Link to jump to start of content The Seattle Times Company Jobs Autos Homes Rentals NWsource Classifieds
The Seattle Times STOP: The Seattle Times Opinion Blog
Traffic | Weather | Your account Movies | Restaurants | Today's events

Welcome to STop, the Seattle Times Opinion blog where our editorial writers and editors share their evolving thoughts on a variety of issues. STop is a place where opinion writers and readers can exchange views and readers can learn more about how editorial positions are formed.

The opinions you read below are those of the individual writers, not necessarily views that will become formal positions of The Seattle Times. Respond to STop
(Please be aware that your name and comments may be published here, unless you specify otherwise).

Currently, STop cannot automatically post readers' comments on the blog. However, the editorial staff will regularly post readers' comments. Your comments are sent directly to the individual editor or writer.

space space space

Jim Vesely
Jim Vesely
E-mail | Bio

Lee Moriwaki
Lee Moriwaki
E-mail | Bio

Joni Balter
Joni Balter
E-mail | Bio

Eric Devericks
Eric Devericks
E-mail | Bio

Lance Dickie
Lance Dickie
E-mail | Bio

Bruce Ramsey
Bruce Ramsey
E-mail | Bio

Kate Riley
Kate Riley
E-mail | Bio

Lynne Varner
Lynne Varner
E-mail | Bio

Ryan Blethen
Ryan Blethen
E-mail | Bio

March 31, 2004

Smoke free prisons

On July 1, prisoners and guards in Washington prisons will be forbidden to smoke. Supposedly this is being done to reduce the state’s expense for medical treatment, though I am unconvinced--people who smoke die sooner, and dying sooner they will save the state lots of money.

A more believable reason is that some prison guards have filed a lawsuit about secondhand smoke, and the state is worried about being sued by somebody who gets cancer.

That is what we get for socializing responsibility through the tort system. When the individual is no longer responsible for his choice to smoke, he may lose his choice. That is, if the state becomes responsible for our decisions, they may no longer be our decisions. They may be the state’s decisions.

It is not a trend I welcome. I also note that there is a deep urge by some people to strong-arm their fellow citizens into creating a ‘smoke-free society.’ This is one more salami slice off our freedom.

My sympathies are with the prisoners, who are in effect having another penalty added to their sentence, and to the officers, who didn’t think they were serving a sentence.

Respond to this posting

Posted by Bruce Ramsey at 04:39 PM

March 30, 2004

Re: Toxic art

Regarding "Toxic Art," a reader writes:

The "artist" in question probably got the idea from the incredibly bad logo for Sherwin Williams Paint. It features a representation of the Earth being drowned in red paint. The slogan? "Cover The Earth". How they've escaped the wrath of environmentalists is beyond me.

Written by a reader

Respond to this posting

Posted by Bruce Ramsey at 02:47 PM

March 26, 2004

Toxic "Art"

An "artist" takes fire hoses and sprays 780 gallons of red paint on an iceberg off the coast of Greenland. Two thoughts come to mind. First, that if this is a government-subsidized "artist," which I suspect, at least he would be paid by the Danish taxpayers and not by me; and second, that if anyone in an enterprise doing something useful let 780 gallons of red paint into the arctic marine environment it would be called a toxic spill.

Respond to this posting

Posted by Bruce Ramsey at 04:46 PM

March 25, 2004

Brightwater! Wild Sky! Buy one now!

“Brightwater.” “Wild Sky.” Can we have a break on these names? These are public-sector projects, for goodness’ sake, not the name of some real-estate development.

“Brightwater” is particularly bad; it is the name of a plant to treat human sewage. “Wild Sky” is a wilderness area for hikers. It is not as dishonest as “Brightwater,” but it is still a name thought up by a huckster. The “Index Wilderness” would have been better. Maybe the “Skykomish Recreation Reserve.” But “Wild Sky?” Oh, come on.

Respond to this posting

Posted by Bruce Ramsey at 03:36 PM

March 23, 2004

Morning Sedition

NPR host Bob Edwards deserves better than the cheesy corporate coup that replaces him months short of the 25th anniversary of "Morning Edition." If the talent-rich network needed to make a change, next November was the perfect time.

Edwards helped build "Morning Edition" into a powerhouse. Certainly the program is not his show alone, but the decision to indecorously remove him is remarkably dense for a personality driven industry.

Edwards and the nation have been through a lot together. He's been a great fit for the morning. Yes, there is a long list of able replacements. One or two of them will inherit a big audience and a loyal following. I want to believe some of the candidates will protest this shabby treatment of Edwards.

Respond to this posting

Posted by Lance Dickie at 04:01 PM

What's it come to?

The University of Washington probably will have to use private donations to put together a pay offer for its new president, Mark Emmert, who has been making $490,000, plus a $100,000 bonus, at Louisiana State University.

Raising some of the money from donations, rather than the taxpayer, may be a good thing. As a taxpayer, I am willing to think so. But it is odd to think of the donation from the donor's point of view. The traditional thing was to donate to scholarships for the poor. It would give the donor a warm feeling to do that.

Imagine now that you are asked to donate instead to the pay package of the university president, who has been making half a million a year. That is a different feeling--and a different world.

Respond to this posting

Posted by Bruce Ramsey at 03:54 PM

The Axis of Incompetence?

Richard Clarke's book, "Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror," is described as a stinging indictment of the administration's mishandling of terrorism and its fixation with Iraq before and after Sept. 11. He has leveled his incendiary charges on television in advance of the book's publication.

The Bush White House wants everyone to believe this is all Dick Clarke's American Grandstand, an unseemly grab for attention by a demoted and disgruntled former counter terrorism expert. Funny thing, the smear is not selling.

The personal attack on Clarke has been a singular dud. After 30 years of service to four presidents, starting with Ronald Reagan, Clarke has a work history and credibility that is trusted and respected: "This is a serious book written by a serious professional who's made charges and the White House must respond to these charges," said Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb.

Associates from past administrations defer judgment on Clarke's charges, but they offer unqualifed endorsements of his seriousness and professionalism.

Clarke must be held accountable for his assertions, and a grilling before the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks is a good place to start. After much delay and avoidance, administration officials started to appear this week. They have the perfect forum to refute Clarke's damning accusations.

Read the latest story in The Seattle Times involving Clarke.

Respond to this posting

Posted by Lance Dickie at 03:18 PM

A future of cheap drugs

From a reader:
It is really quite ironic that Seattle would try to save money by importing[drugs] from Canada while at the same time trying to attract biotech to the area. If the drug companies can't make money, which would be the case with price controls, then what's the value of a biotech industry?

From Editorial Writer Bruce Ramsey:
Well, yes. The first big drug by a Seattle company was Enbrel, marketed by Immunex (now Amgen). It is a wonderful drug, and it came out with a normal dose costing about $1,000 a month. It was probably because of this $1000-a-month drug that Amgen bought Immunex, and continued Immunex's building program at the north end of Elliott Bay. Drive by them; they are the biuldings Enbrel built. And Enbrel was not introduced concurrently in Canada, because it is the Canadian practice to wait several years until the price of the drug comes down.

Look at the biotech buildings in South Lake Union: Nice, new, brick buildings. They are expensive. The machinery in them will be expensive. The people will expensive--meaning that they have high wages, which we think is good.

But all that is paid for, ultimately, by selling drugs at high prices, meaning that Seattle has a vested interest in high drug prices. Still, Seattle does what it has to do. If I had to pay market price for drugs (which I do not), I might be buying them in Canada, too.

Respond to this posting

Posted by Bruce Ramsey at 08:38 AM

March 19, 2004

They have the right

Washington Mutual Savings Bank's proxy materials contain an interesting resolution this year: a limit on the compensation of the bank’s CEO, offered by the Sheet Metal Workers’ National Pension Fund. (To read it, search the proxy file for “sheet metal.”)

The Sheet Metal Workers would limit CEO Kerry Killinger to a salary of $1 million--his actual salary for the past three years--plus a bonus of no more than $1 million, which would be a pay cut. (Search the proxy file for “summary compensation table” or look in The Seattle Times.

Carol Bowie, director of governance research at the Investor Responsibility Research Center writes: “This is what is known as the ‘Commonsense Executive Pay’ proposal, which has been filed at 85 companies that we know of this year, mainly by pension funds of the building trade unions (Carpenters, Plumbers, Sheet Metal Workers, etc.).

“This one asks for…quite restrictive caps on pay (by American standards at least), e.g., maximum $1 million salary, $1 mil bonus, $2 mil severance package, etc.). Executive pay proposals in general have become quite numerous in the last few years, and support for them has been increasing, but proposals seeking these kinds of restrictions generally don't get high support from shareholders (average support last year for proposals seeking to "restricted executive compensation" was 15.4% of votes cast.”

From my days as a business reporter, 15.4% of votes cast for a resolution opposed by the directors (as this one is) would be a lot.

My own thoughts are not definite. Kerry Killinger is a well-regarded executive of a Seattle company that has become nationally successful. He’s worth a big salary. Whether he’s worth more or less than what he is paid I really don’t know. I doubt if the management of the Sheet Metal Workers’ Pension Fund knows either, which is why I probably would not vote for their resolution were I a shareholder.

But I would grant the Sheet Metal Workers Pension Fund one thing: as owners of 28,095 shares of WM, they are co-owners of the company, and as such, should have every right to make a proposal about how much to pay the executive who runs it.

Respond to this posting

Posted by Bruce Ramsey at 04:45 PM

Thanks but no gracias

If Spain's new leader, Prime Minister-elect Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, was really trying to help Democrat John Kerry get elected president, he should have remembered the old adage that silence is golden. Coming out two days after his own election and injecting himself into the American presidential contest makes Zapatero seem like the ultimate Buttinski.

Zapatero has many good points on the war in Iraq. Fine, he can make those. But then he went a step further, urging Americans to vote for Kerry for president. Zapatero has been elected to office in the aftermath of a tragedy. People feel terribly unnerved. If Zapatero is truly rooting for Kerry, he would have done a lot better by saying nada.

Respond to this posting

Posted by Joni Balter at 04:31 PM

March 17, 2004

Those gullible Americans

The Times today has a Knight-Ridder story about the Iraqi exiles feeding false information to Western media before the war. A gullible media gobbled it up. The Bush administration made much use of these stories; vice president Cheney said the government got more intellegence from the exiles than from its own intelligence service.

There were stories that Iraq had cooperated for years with al Qaida, that it had played a role in the 9-11 attacks, that it had biowar plants disguised as milk trucks, etc.

The problem is that stories now turn out to be lies, apparently spread by exiles who wanted America’s help in getting rid of Saddam Hussein. Our officials apparently believed these lies because they wanted to believe them.

Chief among these Iraqis has been Ahmad Chalabi, head of the Iraqi National Congress (which is not Iraq’s Congress.) When asked about the falsehoods by the British media, Chalabi famously said: “As far as we're concerned we've been entirely successful. That tyrant Saddam is gone and the Americans are in Baghdad. What was said before is not important. The Bush administration is looking for a scapegoat. We're ready to fall on our swords if he wants.”

Chalabi now claims he was misquoted. The article “implies that I admitted to disseminating false information, this is absolutely untrue," Chalabi wrote the Telegraph. Well, that he disseminated false information is not a mere opinion. It is a fact. And the article implies more than that. It implies that he sold the American government a lie for political purposes of his own.

Respond to this posting

Posted by Bruce Ramsey at 01:30 PM

Re: The right to eat

A reader responds to the obesity issue:

Yes, individuals should take responsibility for their own actions. But when the choices individuals make impose undue consequences on the lives of others, those choices must be circumscribed. If an individual becomes obese and therefore strains the healthcare system, all of us will pay in the form of higher health care costs. There is a public interest, then, in reducing the waistlines of all Americans.

The government, by working to reduce obesity, is providing a public good. Under the conservative theory of government, providing public goods is the business of government. There are strong liberal and conservative arguments in favor of government action to reduce obesity in America.

Written by a STop reader

Posted by Susan Byrnes at 01:24 PM

March 12, 2004

Thoughts on Susan Lindauer

Susan Lindauer, now accused of working for the government of Saddam Hussein, was a co-worker of mine. We worked in the same department of the same newspaper for a few months in 1987. I am ashamed to say I can’t remember her or offer an iota of insight about her.

The first press reports say she was arrested for being a spy. The story says she met several times with officials at the Iraqi delegation to the UN, and that she carried a letter for the Iraqis to the home of Andrew Card, the president’s chief of staff. He is a distant a relative of hers.

That is not spying. It is running an errand. Delivering a letter ought not be behavior that is hunted down and punished. Nor should it be punishable that Lindauer did something that benefited the Iraqi government in some general way. Everyone who publicly opposed the war, myself included, could be accused of giving aid and comfort to the Iraqi government.

The report also says the Iraqis paid her $10,000. That’s different. That crosses a line, because payment would make her an employee of a foreign government. It would also be crossing a line to give a foreign government any information that might be used against the United States. But lobbying one’s own government is within the rights of a citizen.

I don’t know what Susan Lindauer did or didn’t do. Let that be determined at trial. Let’s also be careful at what behavior we punish, and that we call things by the right names.

Respond to this posting

Posted by Bruce Ramsey at 04:13 PM

March 11, 2004

Charters: Bring 'em on

I support charter schools, and yet I agree with much of the analysis of the opponents of charter schools.

Opponents argue, for example, that charter schools will divert resources from existing schools. Yes, they will. That may be good, because some existing schools use resources badly. A charter school might use the resources better.

Opponents argue that charter schools will establish a separate class of school. Yes, they will. We’ll have another variety of public school to choose from. Good.

Opponents argue that charter schools will circumvent the authority of elected school boards. To an extent, they will, and that is fine with me. Elected school boards got us into the mess we are in. Democracy is a good way to choose political leaders, but competition and consumer choice work much better in governing the organizations that supply goods and services to consumers.

Finally, opponents argue that charter schools will undermine the existing public schools. In some places, they will. They will undermine them only if they offer something that works substantially better, and that parents like substantially more.

The opponents say, "If it's broke, fix it." Well, we've tried that, and we can continue to try it; but now we have another way, which is: "If its broke, replace it."

Respond to this posting

Posted by Bruce Ramsey at 11:35 AM

How about a DVD fee?

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Philadelphia City Council may consider implementing a charge for borrowing video tapes and DVDs from the public library.

Seattle might think about that. It goes against a tradition, but the tradition was established for books, not movies. There is also a thriving private sector in movie rentals, which shows that people, and not just rich people, are willing to pay.

The library couldn’t and shouldn’t charge as much as Blockbuster, but even if it charged, say, 50 cents for tapes and $1 for DVDs, it would help the system’s finances. Maybe a new revenue source would make the difference between the library staying open all year, or in the evenings, and being closed.

I mentioned it the other day to Dwight Dively, the city’s director of finance, and he said the authority here would be the library board; the city government subsidizes the library but does not control it.

I have mentioned this idea to a handful of people and every one of them dislikes it. Still, we may come to it.

Respond to this posting

Posted by Bruce Ramsey at 11:28 AM

Re: The right to eat

Bruce, I have to respectfully disagree with your characterization of obesity as an individual problem. We're not talking about whether or not people can button their favorite jeans. Obesity causes very serious illnesses that require medical treatment. Obese people are more prone to diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, cancer and other ailments.

Everyone pays for their hospital stays and doctor visits. In fact, Medicare and Medicaid covers about half of the $75 billion a year it costs to treat obesity-related illnesses. Next year, half a million people will die from unhealthy eating and lack of exercise.

This absolutely is a public-health crisis. If we don't address prevention, the cost will only rise--for all of us.

Respond to this posting

Posted by Susan Byrnes at 11:24 AM

March 10, 2004

The right to eat

Obesity is not a “crisis,” which the dictionary defines as “an unstable or crucial…state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending,” particularly one with “a highly undesirable outcome.”

Obesity is a problem, and mainly not a social problem, either, but an individual problem for one fat person at a time.

Today’s news reports quote officials and advocates that it is a “public-health crisis” and an “epidemic.” Tommy Thompson, the federal secretary for Health and Human Services, is quoted saying, “We need to tackle America’s weight issues as aggressively as we are addressing smoking and tobacco.”

Some individuals do need to tackle their individual problems. But this story is not framed on an individual basis. In using words like “epidemic” and making comparisons to the campaign against tobacco, it implicitly calls for governmental action.

The story talks about what Bush is doing, what the Food and Drug Administration is doing, what the Department of Agriculture is doing. It paraphrases advocates who want “to encourage more healthful eating and force the food industry to improve products…” (Italics mine.)

Force: that means government. This article is a call for government to busy itself in our lives by telling us what we have to eat, and what we can't eat. More jobs for do-gooders and busybodies.

Let us be clear about this. Obesity is a personal medical problem. Its cause is not lack of dollars; it is not lack of knowledge; it is not lack of “access” to arrugula and grapefruit; it is in most cases the choices people make. Those choices are their business. In some cases it is hard-wired into their metabolism, and that matter is their business, too.

Make an exception for kids in public schools. As the proprietor of those schools, government has to think about what kind of food it wants to offer in them. That is a legitimate public question. But what the rest of us eat, as long as it is within the normal realm of human food, is clean and honestly sold, is not a public question. I don’t want the government using the tax code, or the tort system, telling me what to eat. It’s none of their business.

Respond to this posting

Posted by Bruce Ramsey at 03:42 PM

Re: Sims and gay marriage

Written by a reader responding to "Sims and gay marriage":

Joni, I agree, Sims is doing the right thing. He is working within the law to move us forward rather than blatantly opposing the law, and I applaud him for his political savvy on this topic as well as his progressive and compassionate view.

A politician is selected to represent and protect all of the people in their area of influence, especially those whose needs and interests are not well represented already by the majority.

Sims is constrained by law. But occassionally it is our duty, and the duty of politicians, to question, review and even help in challenging existing policy and law--especially if it is unjust or denies those inalienable rights that all men and women (including the gay ones) are entitled to. Otherwise, there would be no social or legal progress.

Written by a STop blog reader

Respond to this posting

Posted by Colleen Pohlig at 10:20 AM

Re: The right to lie

Written by a reader responding to "The right to lie":

The problem with the right to lie is not that it is allowed only for the rich or for the government, but that it is unevenly applied period. Or, to be more specific, the penalties associated with lies often don't seem proportionate to the nature, reason or impact of the lies themselves.

Martha goes to prison for avoiding $50,000 in losses. Bush Jr. made hundreds of thousands of dollars on his Harken stock sale, which was likely insider trading. But Jr. never had to officially lie about it because the SEC, led at the time by a former Bush aide, never interviewed Jr. or anyone else on the Harken board during its short "investigation." See this link and this one.

Clinton was indeed eventually caught in a lie about sex. Yet what was the investigation actually supposed to be about? It certainly didn't start off as a sex investigation. It changed so many times from its original purpose in an attempt to find Clinton guilty of SOMEthing, I lost track. In the end, they got him for lying during their investigation, not for what was being investigated.

Clinton deserved consequences for lying under oath, but I question the level of consequences, whether he should have ended up in a place where he had to testify on the topic in the first place, or the real importance of that lie to matters of state.

Again, Bush is too careful to actually make his proclamations under oath, especially regarding things he is widely suspected of lying about, like Iraq. When asked on his rare unscripted interview on "Meet the Press" if he would testify before the commission investigating intelligence on Iraq, Bush said, "You know, I don't ... testify? I mean, I will be glad to visit with them."

Which is a shame, because I would have loved to hear the follow up to such testimony. I imagine it would be something like, "Well, you see, I, that is we, that is, the meaning of "is" are be, uh ... did I mention I'm a war president?"

Written by a STop blog reader

Respond to this posting

Posted by Colleen Pohlig at 09:51 AM

March 09, 2004

Re: The right to lie

Bruce, are you suggesting the government give a pass to those who would lie to an official investigation? Prosecutors must send the message that no matter how powerful or wealthy you are, if you lie to an investigation, you are headed for jail.

Look at former President Clinton for example...

Respond to this posting

Posted by Eric Devericks at 01:49 PM

No more primary elections

Much of the confusion around the proposal for a “modified blanket” primary election in Washington comes from the label “primary.” What Secretary of State Sam Reed proposes is not a primary election at all.

A primary election, says one source, is “an election process whereby a political party chooses its candidates for public office by a direct polling of party members.”

Another source calls it “a nominating election in which a candidate is chosen by a political party.”

What we have had in Washington since 1935 is an election “whereby a political party chooses its candidates for public office” by polling all registered voters.

In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that that kind of system violated the rights of the parties because it subjected them to dictation by non-members.

Most other states avoid this problem by registering voters by party, or by requiring voters declare their party when they come to vote. That is a primary election.

Reed’s plan is not a primary election. It says to the parties, in effect: “You pick your nominee, and we’ll put that nominee on the first ballot. Anybody else who wants to run can file the usual way and we’ll put him or her on the ballot as an independent. Then the people vote. “The top two candidates go to the second ballot, which is the final choice.”

We keep thinking of “primary election” and “general election.” But that’s not what we’re talking about any more. In Reed’s plan, there are two general elections. You might call them the preliminary election and the runoff election.
Neither is a primary election.

Respond to this posting

Posted by Bruce Ramsey at 01:45 PM

March 08, 2004

The right to lie

It was a cheesy way to get Martha Stewart. It was like arresting someone for stealing a car and then, upon realizing that there was not enough evidence to prove that a car had been stolen, prosecuting for resisting arrest.

Stewart was not convicted of insider trading in 3,928 shares of ImClone Systems stock. The charges about that were dropped. She was convicted of lying to government employees who were asking questions about it.

The law is Title 18, U.S. Code, Sec. 2001, which you can read here and here.

Basically, if you lie to a government in a material way, even by saying “I don’t know anything about that,” when you do know, they can nail you. The law applies even if you aren’t under oath. And the law does not apply to what they say to you. They can lie. You can’t.

This law was originally written in the 19th century, and rewritten during the New Deal, to nail people who lie to get benefits under federal programs. Like the antiracketeering law, the Patriot Act, the Trading With the Enemy Act and other such pairs of pliers on the federal tool belt, it is useful for prosecutors. It makes the prosecutorial job easier. Of course they like it. But it is dangerous to the citizen’s liberty.

I don’t like the idea that my government can lie to me and I can’t lie to them. If I am not under oath, and some busybody comes around asking questions, maybe I want to lie to them. Maybe I think what they want to know is none of their damn business.

Well, it is a whole lot safer simply to decline to talk. As citizens, we have a right to do that. At least for now.

Respond to this posting

Posted by Bruce Ramsey at 01:31 PM

March 05, 2004

Free Marty Percale

Make up your own prison handle for Martha Stewart, but I don't think she should ever see the inside of a jail cell.

Her convictions for conspiracy, obstruction of justice and two counts of making false statements ring true, but not the prospects of incarceration. She is also guilty of felony arrogance and greed, but her insider trader follies have cost her more than any stock loss she hoped to avoid. Her reputation, dignity and corporate image are all trashed; all things she worked hard to nurture and protect.

Shipping Stewart off to a minimum-security Club Fed to get the yipps out of her putting, drop a few pounds and pen a prison cookbook is a waste of taxpayer dollars. Save serious time behind bars for corporate grifters who brought down companies, put employees on the street, cheated stockholders and robbed people of their investments.

Fine Stewart and put her on a lengthy probation. She will not be stupid twice.

Respond to this posting

Posted by Lance Dickie at 02:32 PM

Noblesse Oblige

A gruesome story in the New York Times gives a picture of Haiti. A 21-year-old man who had joined an anti-Aristide group was taken by Aristide forces. They cut off his hands and feet, poked out his eyes, and set him on fire. His supporters tracked down the man who had ordered it done. They took him, beat him unconscious, put a gasoline-filled tire around his neck and set it on fire.

Do Americans understand such a place? I don’t think so. We have poked our noses into Haiti many times. Woodrow Wilson sent in the Marines in 1915; they stayed in Haiti until1934. Bill Clinton sent 20,000 Marines on Sept. 14, 1994, in “Operation Uphold Democracy”--upholding Aristide, the fellow whose supporters cut off the young man’s hands and feet.

Now, 1,000 Marines are back in Port-au-Prince. We are not claiming to uphold democracy, only order, but there are many voices telling us of our “responsibility” to rebuild a nation.

I deny that Americans have such a responsibility, and I don’t think we know how to do it. I note that our Marines are joined by French soldiers. Here is an idea: Let the French do it. It was their colony, not ours. The French have long experience in the business of nation-building, with a hand in such places as Niger and the Ivory Coast.

Let the French fix Haiti, if that country is a thing that can be fixed by a foreign army. I suspect that it isn’t, and would rather have that discovery be made by the French.

Respond to this posting

Posted by Bruce Ramsey at 12:28 PM

March 04, 2004

Sims and gay marriage

A few columnists and publications are calling on King County Executive Ron Sims to authorize gay marriages. Democrat Sims, who is running for governor, should not follow renegade mayors and county officials around the country who are allowing gay marriages.

For one thing, Washington has a Defense of Marriage Act that makes such a move a violation of state law. Sims openly supports gay marriage but says he must uphold the law. Exactly. No politician can pick and choose which laws to adhere to--and which to violate.

Respond to this posting

Posted by Joni Balter at 04:04 PM

March 03, 2004

Silver Slug = White Elephant

The former ferry Kalakala is not going to be restored. It would take too much money, and nobody with that kind of money has stepped forward to restore it. The first owner went bankrupt, and the current owner, Steve Rodrigues, shows no signs of a thick wallet. He is months behind in paying his rent for moorage space in Seattle.

Rodrigues is proposing to tow the old hulk to the Makah Indian Reservation at the tip of the Olympic Peninsula before moving it to Everett. If he gets it out to Neah Bay, it will never come back to Puget Sound. The Makahs will be stuck with it, and God knows what they will do with it.

Respond to this posting

Posted by Bruce Ramsey at 11:59 AM

Re: Should Paige resign?

From a reader responding to "Should Paige resign?"

It is unconscionable to equate America's public school teachers and education support professionals with terrorists. NEA members are actively involved in helping children, strengthening communities, and making America great.

NEA members, parents and policymakers have been expressing legitimate concerns about the flaws in the design and implementation of the so-called No Child Left Behind Act and the lack of resources to carry out school improvements that parents and teachers know will make a difference.

Secretary Paige and others in the Bush Administration resort to name-calling and other attacks in an effort to hide the fact there is growing resistance to this bad law from Republicans and Democrats, governors and legislators, parents, teachers, education support professionals, and school administrators.

When will politicians learn that one cannot separate NEA members from their organization? NEA's actions are driven by the issues that teachers and education support professionals believe are important--including the problems with bureaucracy and paperwork, wrong priorities, and the one-size-fits-all approach of the so-called No Child Left Behind Act.

Written by a STop blog reader

Respond to this posting

Posted by Colleen Pohlig at 11:54 AM


November 2005

    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30