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home : opinion

Are you ready for fire season?
Last year our friends and neighbors in Okanogan County endured the worst wildland fire in the states history. It matters little what your political views are on the place fire should have in managing our forests, or in who was to blame for the disaster of that event. It's over and we must all come together to help our neighbors recover from that tragedy.

We also must recognize we live in harms way when it comes to fire. We have chosen to build our homes and our communities in the heart of fire country. What happened in Pateros and Brewster could easily occur in any of our rural communities.

Have you considered what you can do to make your home and property less vulnerable to fire if it comes to a forest near you? Do you have a plan to evacuate? Are you aware of the resources that are available to help you prepare, or if disaster strikes to help you get the assistance you might need?

Thursday, April 16, 2015 More...

Letters to the Editor
Thursday, April 16, 2015 More...
"How did my state lawmakers vote in Olympia?
Thursday, April 16, 2015 More...
Three Iraqs
I want Americans to write, email, or call their congressman and senators and advocate for a "three-Iraq" solution to stop the violence and the need for yet more American troops, i.e., blood and treasure, in the future and possibly for decades to come (can you say Korea?).

Let our friends and loyal allies, the Kurds, have the north. Let the Shia, with their Iranian buddies, have the south. Allow the Sunnis to have the rest.

Americans are famously ignorant vis-a-vis world geography, history and culture so allow me to illuminate the origins of modern day Iraq. Google "Ottoman Empire" and you'll see how much of the Middle East was invented out of whole cloth by the Europeans. The dissolving of the Ottoman Empire has led to several made-up countries and a power vacuum and they in turn have been the scene of sectarian strife ever since.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 More...
Corporations still have gobs of cash
For years, one of the things that excited me most about the potential of our economy was the giant amount of cash sitting on corporate balance sheets. My rationale was that someday all that cash would start to trickle into the economy. A little bit here and there to hire more employees, or buy new machinery, or upgrade software... And then that snowballs into even more jobs, and more money, and more investment - and world is a happy place.

That's how this Capitalism thing is supposed to work, but it hasn't happened yet. The economy is growing solidly, but all that cash is still sitting there. According to FactSet, corporate cash piled up to $1.4 trillion dollars at the end of 2014. That means there is still a huge ball of economic potential just sitting there waiting to be put to work. In fact, if you assume money has feelings, this becomes a question of social justice. I firmly believe every dollar bill should have a chance to reach its full potential. This is just one more way the corporate world is stomping on morality.

If all that wonderful money started to pour into the economy, we could be talking about a legitimate economic boom. But it's not happening. So why is all that money sitting around doing nothing? Can't our corporations come up with a better use for money than sticking it in a piggybank? I see two key things going on here:

Thursday, April 16, 2015 More...
Corruption crosses demographic lines
Human fallibility on display everywhere

Consider the following recent news facts:

1 - U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, staunch Cuban-American anti-Castro ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee being charged with corruption for taking bribes over many years from a rich Florida eye doctor for nefarious favors.

2 - New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, prominent in that state's Jewish lobby, arrested for corruption for taking bribes for years from a law firm involved in asbestos litigation.

3 - Eleven teachers, all African-American, found guilty of forgery, fraud and racketeering in Georgia for falsifying student's test scores which caused them to get bonuses and raises. They will be imprisoned.

My friends, I am not anti-politician, teacher or government, but the above three examples are exactly what I am against - unchecked power and money hungry people in positions of trust who display their human failings and allow greed to govern their actions at taxpayer expense.

Thursday, April 9, 2015 More...

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