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Community Comment

Archive for October 2008

Happy Halloween

In this photo released by the Wildlife Conservation Society, a Surinam horned frog is seated on top of a pumpkin at the Bronx Zoo’s ‘World of Reptiles’ exhibit in New York, Monday, Oct. 6, 2008. Besides being a Halloween icon, pumpkins are given to zoo residents for behavioral enrichment: with the goal of stimulating animals both mentally and physically.
(AP Photo/WCS, Julie Larsen Maher)

So, there are other things un-pagan about Halloween!

Early one morning…

Good morning, Netizens…

O Lord have mercy! Here, from the Saginaw News we have a brief and illuminating view of reading the morning paper. I cannot swear it ever happened, but it certainly was worth a good laugh.

Given the malcontent and disparaging comments lately about political figures, it is nice just for once to laugh at our public figures, fictional or not.

Dave

Quote of the Day October 30, 2008

Why does the Air Force need expensive new bombers? Have the people we’ve been bombing over the years been complaining?

George Wallace

What are Values anyway?

The word “values” gets thrown around a lot. Whose values are you talking about?

More news media layoffs…

Good morning, Netizens…

In case you missed it department:


The KXLY Broadcast Group canceled five of its eight weekend TV newscasts and laid off 18 employees on Tuesday.
The canceled KXLY-4 newscasts include the Saturday and Sunday versions of “Good Morning Northwest,” the 5 p.m. newscasts on Saturdays, the 11 p.m. newscasts on Saturdays, and the 5 p.m. newscasts on Sundays, according to general manager Steve Herling.
Newscasts will continue on Saturdays and Sundays at 6 p.m. and Sundays at 11 p.m.
The layoffs included on-air reporter John Langeler and weekend weather anchor Leslie Lowe.

None of this information is mentioned, even abstractly in any of their Blogs or on their web site, a fact that I find vaguely disturbing in its lack of transparency. Layoffs are becoming a normality lately in news centers, both print, online and television, but I believe firmly that such matters are news and should be handled with the aplomb and professionalism accorded to any other news story.

What is equally interesting is that it appears this leaves viewers with only KHQ-TV offering local news on weekend mornings, although all three local televisions still will offer National news of one form or another. According to the latest TV listings, Saturday morning news still will run on KHQ-TV at 7:00 AM, although given my past involvement with TV scheduling, even that could be wrong.

The business of broadcasting or publishing the local news, however, has been and perhaps will continue to get tighter and tighter, as recently seen by the recent layoffs at the Spokesman-Review.

Dave

A Wasperseord A Day — asperse

This week’s theme: Contranyms, or words with an opposite set of meanings.

asperse (a-SPURS) verb tr.

   1. To spread false and malicious charges against someone.

   2. To sprinkle with holy water.

[From Latin aspergere (to sprinkle), from ad- (toward) + spargere (to strew).]

Today’s word in Visual Thesaurus: http://visualthesaurus.com/?w1=asperse

-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)

  “Then and in the war years that followed, EM Forster was a quiet but doughty spokesman for civil liberties, a fact forgotten now that it is fashionable to slight his fiction and asperse the nature of his sympathies for Britain’s colonised.”
   AC Grayling; The Last Word On - Freedoms; The Guardian (London, UK); Nov 24, 2001.

  “Mr. Moon and his wife, Hak Ja Han, called the ‘true parents’ of mankind by his Unification Church, aspersed the couples with water as they passed in rows to the strains of Mendelssohn’s Wedding March.”
   Paul L. Montgomery; 4,000 Followers of Moon Wed at the Garden;The New York Times; Jul 2, 1982.

………………………………………………………………….
What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy? -Ursula K. Le Guin, author (b. 1929)

Send your comments to (words AT wordsmith.org). To unsubscribe, update address
send gift subscription, etc., visit http://wordsmith.org/awad/subscriber.html

Pronunciation: http://wordsmith.org/words/asperse.mp3

Permalink: http://wordsmith.org/words/asperse.html

Picture of the day…October 28, 2008

Good morning, Netizens…

Frank Cheatham kisses his daughter Madison, 13, goodbye outside the James A. Gardner Armory in Dyersburg, Tenn., Monday, as he prepares to deploy to Iraq with the Tennessee Army National Guard’s 168th Military Police Battalion. Cheatham also turned 35 Monday. (AP Photo/The Commercial Appeal, Mike Brown) (October 27, 2008)

At age 13, Madison is on the threshold of being a woman, of falling in love and perhaps even of bearing children of her own. All of the beauty in her life, frozen in the amber of this moment in time, and perhaps in her mind, she wonders if her Daddy will be coming home again to hold her, celebrate her life as she goes through the coming challenges and joys of life.

Oh, but to hold for a moment in time that most-precious gift of life in our arms, to feed it with love and tenderness, to bring it up from a mere baby in our arms to becoming an adult. We cherish moments such as these, with our sons and daughters, their faces uplifted toward us, in a moment of parting.

But first we must be about war and maiming and killing, for it is our duty. Some say one great day we will end all wars, and never again will fathers and mothers pause at the threshold of time, their hearts aching inside with trepidation and sadness at the parting.

That day, when Peace rules the world and men and women of courage no longer leave their children in lieu of war, can never come too soon, my friends.

Dave

Meeting last Friday…

Good morning, Netizens…

Last Friday a band of close friends who helped formulate and build Community Comment met at our traditional meeting place to discuss the future of Community Comment in the face of the continuing downsizing of the Spokesman-Review. This was a closed Gathering, limited to our founding members and a few close personal friends. Due to time constraints on each of our schedules, we had a business agenda relating to how we see the Blog evolving over time, and how best to serve the community in which we live and work.

During the last few weeks and months, we have seen many talented, skilled journalists and friends leave the Spokesman-Review in harsh economic times, thus creating a vacuum in their wake, because for the foreseeable future, their jobs will not and cannot be filled. The economy is in the tank, and the Spokesman-Review, despite what many people might think, is simply mirroring the same economic hardships that have been witnessed at other major newspapers across the country. Some of the best, most-talented writers in journalism have already lost their jobs, and the steep cuts in personnel nationwide may not be over yet.

We at Community Comment, have always enjoyed a unique and challenging position with respect to the Spokesman-Review, in that we serve as a volunteer group of individuals, some whom have past involvement in journalism. We are the only group of its kind who proudly serve the Spokesman-Review online, and although unpaid, we have always attempted to remain loyal to those who lend us the resources we use every day. That is fairness, in our opinions. That does not mean we always agree with the opinions of the Editorial Board, but our dissent should always be a respectful disagreement upon the principles and precepts of professional journalism and adherent to the principles of good taste.

It has become painfully apparent to us that with a sharply-decreasing number of reporters and journalists to cover the often-complex stories of our time, particularly at the Spokane-centric level, one of the challenges we at Community Comment envision is that we must help, in some small way, to fill the gaps. Over the next few weeks and months, we will begin exploring several new pathways we discussed. Some of these are:

Attempt to cover City Council and other public meetings in-depth

Increase the number of locally-shot photographs or other digital media

Integrate and collaborate better with the remaining staff and Editors of the Spokesman-Review.

Community Comment was, at its inception, a work-in-progress, and for the most part, remains that way even today.

Dave

Upon the life and death of Tony Hillerman…

Good morning, Netizens…

One of my favorite American novelists, Tony Hillerman, died Sunday at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, The Associated Press reported. He was 83 and died of pulmonary failure, according to the press wires.

Hillerman became an award-winning novelist writing crime novels about the people he held most dear, the people of the Navajo, Hopi and Zuni tribes of the Southwest. Even one of the protagonists of his novels, a Detective named Joe Leaphorn, had a pragmatic, disciplined mind that bridged the gaps between the fundamentalism of the Navajo world and that of the white world, all with a Masters Degree in anthropology and thus Hillerman incomparably taught his readers about Navajo mysticism while weaving great mysteries.

Anthony Grove Hillerman was born May 27, 1925, in Sacred Heart, Oklahoma, and growing up on territorial lands of the Potawatomie Tribe, he went to St. Mary’s Academy, a school for Indian girls run by the Sisters of Mercy, and attended high school with Potawatomie children.

As a result of a tour of duty during World War II he received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Returning home, he returned to college at the University of Oklahoma after which he married and took up a career in journalism. He was a crime reporter for The Borger News-Herald in the Texas Panhandle; city editor of The Morning Press-Constitution in Lawton, Okla.; a political reporter in Oklahoma City, and later bureau manager in Santa Fe for United Press International and executive editor of The Santa Fe New Mexican.

He eventually quit The New Mexican and the family pulled up stakes and moved to Albuquerque, where he enrolled at the University of New Mexico. He earned his master’s degree in 1966, joined the university’s journalism faculty, taught writing and ethnic courses and became chairman of the journalism department.

Formal honors came his way with his third book, “Dance Hall of the Dead” ( 1973), which won the Mystery Writers of America’s 1974 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Mystery Novel. “Skinwalkers,” which is generally considered his breakthrough book, won the Western Writers of America’s Golden Spur Award in 1987. In 1991, after solidifying the Navajo Tribal Police series with “A Thief of Time” (his own favorite novel), “Talking God” and “Coyote Waits,” he received the Mystery Writers of America’s highest honor, its Grandmaster Award.

Perhaps the most personally satisfying award he received, however, was when he was awarded the status of Special Friend of the Dineh conferred on him in 1987 by the Navajo Nation for his honest, accurate portrayal of Navajo people and their culture. It was also a special source of pride to him that his books are still taught on reservation high schools and colleges.

He will be greatly missed, both by his readers and tribal members throughout our world.

Dave

The Week in Review…

Good afternoon, Netizens…

The Dow Jones news ticker and an advertisement for the movie “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa” are seen simultaneously in Times Square Friday in New York. How utterly appropriate!

In case you missed it, on Friday Wall Street joined world stock markets in a horrifying plunge into the fnancial nether regions by summarily dropping 400 points in early trading, and all the major indexes falling more than 4 percent. Picture is an AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) (October 24, 2008)

It remains to be seen what new thrills and entertainment we will witness this coming week. As someone here as noted, it somehow is oddly appropriate that we are facing unprecedented economic devastation the like of which we have not seen since the Great Depression just as we prepare to elect a new President and Halloween draws near. It does add new meaning to the uncertainty of trick or treat, doesn’t it?

Here is hoping things look better this coming week.

Dave

Higher and Higher Heels



There is a new fad going on – really high heels. I doubt this would affect you men, unless you have a thing against your wife or girlfriend suddenly being taller than you. For me, being kind of ungraceful at times, these would require crutches for me to even be able to stand up in them, let alone walk. What happens after 30 or 40 years of wearing these things? I mean, at some point would you have any toes left after they have been crimped, crumped, and cramped holding up all your weight? These make my arches hurt just looking at them - I think I’ll stick with my tennis shoes.

Our Police Our Selves 10/24/2008

The Official Report

Contact : T.Moses
Date : 10/22/2008
Incident #: 08-327494

Shooting at Elements

On 102208 at approximately 0100 hours a shooting ocurred at the “Elements” nightclub located at 21 E Lincoln Rd in Spokane.   A fight broke out among the patrons and during this incident, at least one suspect displayed a firearm and shot off a round near the crowd. Anyone with any information, namely witnesses or potential vicitms , should call 625- GANG with their information.  Confidentiality is strictly adhered to in these investigations.

Comments

In the old days of police reporting, this was what was sometimes referred to as a “civil riot” although the term donnybrook was often used instead. The only long-term cure to this ongoing problem with the Elements Nightclub is to revoke their business license and liquor license if applicable. That is not a place where one would like to walk their dog, feed the birds (even at 1:00 AM) or drop by for a cup of coffee in my opinion. Of course, nobody died nor was a police officer injured in this incident and I fear that is required before their business license will be at risk.

Dave

The Sky is Falling!

Be Afraid! Be Very Afraid!

This just in from AP, “Stocks, oil, gold tank on growing recession fears”, By Patrick Rizzo and Ellen Simon, Associated Press Writers

Stock market rout spreads around the world as recession worries turn to dismay

See the article here

I have been watching my own very small 401(k) shrinking to nothing, and then thinking about other people across the nation with so much more to lose. This dim picture has exploded to include the entire world - it’s global!

I am thinking “end of days” a lot lately. I think the US dollar is an endangered species. What happens if our dollar becomes totally worthless? Think of this: what happens if the dollar becomes just a worthless piece of paper – and you have $100,000 [dollars] in the bank or in a CD or in stock or whatever? And it suddenly becomes absolutely worthless. I think this is a high probability and I believe what wars have tried to do over centuries, the money meltdown will do overnight: a cataclysmic annihilation of society as we know it. And I think this will happen very, very soon.

Our Police Our Selves October 22, 2008

Contact : Corp. Meidl
Date : 10/21/2008
Incident #:
Prostitution Targeted in East Spokane

On 10/21/2008, several officers joined forces and made numerous arrests to try and curb the prostitution occurring in the City of Spokane. After several businesses complained about prostitution in the East Central area, Neighborhood Resource Officer Strassenberg came up with a plan.

For about five hours today, officers were out posing as prostitutes and as patrons of prostitutes. Officers Strassenberg, T.Douglas, Rosenthal, Draper, Downing, Redmon, P.Taylor, and Sgt. Singley conducted the special enforcement which resulted in the following charges:

* Loitering for the Purpose of Prostitution-4 arrests
* Patronizing a Prostitute-6 arrests
* Felony Drug Offense-1 arrest
* Misdemeanor Drug Offense-3 arrests
* Drug Paraphernalia-3 arrests
* Warrants-4 arrests

The arrests today verified that prostitution is a crime that leads to a larger problem of drug use. It is commonly known that drug use leads to the majority of property crimes in our city, which has been on the rise.

I cannot help but wonder if there is also a direct link between drugs and prostitution in Spokane and sales of stolen property and identity theft. There is a possibly-related story Where pot, porn and pizza meet that defies the imagination.

Dave

Quote of the Day October 23, 2008

Patriotism is often an arbitrary veneration of real estate above principles.

George Jean Nathan

A truly funny spoof…

Good morning, Netizens…

Someone whom I know who has a vibrant sense of humor handed this to me in e-mail recently and given the preponderance of angst and political malcontent taking place in Community Comment, I thought enough of it to post this spoof here. While its source is relatively unknown, with a modicum of research I was able to determine there are several versions running around the Internet and upon further investigation, I attempted to get the latest version for your edification from One of my favorite spoofing sites .

Thus we begin the day by Spoofing the Queen of England

To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth  II
In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.

(You should look up ‘revocation’ in the Oxford English Dictionary.) Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy, nor Florida which is dreadfully hot!).

Your new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.  A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. The letter “U” will be reinstated in words such as “colour,” “favour,” “labour” and “neighbour.” Likewise, you will learn to spell “doughnut” without skipping half the letters, and the suffix “-ize” will be replaced by the suffix “-ise.” Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (Look up “vocabulary”).

2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ‘“like” “know what I mean”, and “you know” is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U. S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter “u”’ and the elimination of ”-ize.”

3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse, or anything French. If you can’t sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you’re not ready to shoot grouse, but possibly the French.

5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler, although a carry permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon.

8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. Australian beer is also acceptable, as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth - see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Diluted Cow’s Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.

Voting Day — a different view…

Good morning, Netizens…

Another day in the life of David Horsey, and this time I nearly spilled a freshly-brewed cup of virtual espresso down my bib laughing hysterically.

What is equally funny is that charges and counter-charges such as those being levied against ACORN have raised their heads for decades, even to the point that the Supreme Court once had to decide who won the election.

Mind you, it doesn’t make voter fraud any less or any more real and serious. It’s just that the persons in charge of handing out the ballots have to know Mickey and Minnie Mouse cannot vote in this election.

Dave

Good Neighbors/Bad Neighbors

From KREM is a story about what good neighbors can do with one very bad neighbor. Lt. Burke Jensen and his pregnant wife moved into a new home in Kennewick, a year ago. Then he was deployed to Iraq and his wife went to stay with family on the East Coast. Meanwhile, the president of the housing association where his house was, wanted Jensen to honor his contract and landscape his yard. Well, obviously, Jensen wasn’t physically able to comply and this just irritated the Bad Neighbor, to the point he was having the housing association start up a suit against Jensen. His ranting and ravings were met with a large handful of neighbors contributing their time in landscaping Jensen’s yard. I think the housing association should ban the Bad Neighbor off the association’s land.

Quote of the Day October 21, 2008

No animal should ever jump up on the dining-room furniture unless absolutely certain that he can hold his own in the conversation.

Fran Lebowitz (1950 - )

The Changing Relationship to AP…

Good morning, Netizens…

The majority of the readers of this Blog never notice it, but behind the scenes the Associated Press plays a role nearly every day in what gets shipped as news, most notably in pictures and video. According to my inbound spool of pictures, which includes every picture I have used since this Blog began, over 80% of the pictures have been attributed to the AP Wire. This is because the Spokesman-Review has a contract with AP to use its proprietary news stories, pictures and other multi-media resources.

According to Tribune perhaps may leave AP confirmed last Thursday that it has notified the Associated Press this week that the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and its other newspapers it might end their relationship with the news cooperative, effective in October 2010. Halfway down the column, it mentions that the Spokesman-Review also may terminate its agreement with AP by year’s end, as well.

Last year, when the Associated Press announced a new rate structure which is supposed to kick in during 2009, a lot of newspapers of newspapers, most of whom were already facing steep cutbacks in their news rooms, howled in protest at the price hikes. We have already seen cutbacks in the newsroom at the Spokesman, and at present, according to Poynter Online The Spokesman-Review is negotiating to drop its AP relationship by year’s end.

If that happens, what impact will that have on Community Comment or other SR Blogs?

Here’s how I see things evolving:

We will have to develop more news content, perhaps from places like Rawstory or other alternative news sources, but they have to step up their accuracy.

In the face of reduced news room staff, we will have to develop sources of original content, local news stories that cannot or are not covered by any other sources.

We will need to find and use other multi-media news sources, particularly here in the Inland Northwest.

Do you have any other ideas?

Dave

Quote of the Day October 20, 2008

What I give form to in daylight is only one per cent of what I have seen in darkness.

M. C. Escher (1898 - 1972), Quoted in Comic Sections, D. MacHale (Dublin 1993)

Painted Cathedral…

Good evening, Netizens…

We trod a path, simply because it called to us, and when we turned, all we could see was where some mad naturist-painter had had his way with all the trees. The reds, purples, fervent dark greens and pastel yellows had all spilled out of his paintbox and tinted all the leaves just in time for us to come down a path through the woods.

Just as we arrived to study the magnificence of the colors, almost as if to further amaze us with its control over our lives, the wind which had been steadily wafting up the canyon on kitten-soft footsteps, suddenly stopped, leaving us in the presence of this beautiful multi-colored grove in silence.

We have all seen the colors of the fall paintbox as they tint the hillsides with a heady mix of colors, and in the grave cathedrals among the trees we often have found special places where even the breezes pause to meditate for awhile among the blazing colored glory of the fields, the heralds announcing Autumn in all her glory.

Dave

A Fall Afternoon Along the Lake

Good evening, Netizens…

Wandering down a country road near Lake Pend O’Reille I chanced upon this marvelous piece of autumn craftsmanship. The reason the intricacy of the spider web is difficult to see in this picture is that the web consisted of at least half a dozen layers, all apparently woven by one solitary spider, or at least that is all I could see.

“What a choice view lot”, the spider seemed to be whispering as it labored away in the late afternoon sunshine, “for I know lots of spiders that could never afford to build their homes overlooking such a beautiful body of water.”

It was so true. While I sat watching easily a handful of various flying insects made the fatal error of flying into the gauze woven by the spider, thus enhancing its horde for the coming of winter.

Dave

Quote of the Day October 19, 2008

Admiration, n.: Our polite recognition of another’s resemblance to ourselves.

Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1914), The Devil’s Dictionary

What is a rock mine?

I can’t find anywhere else to ask this question, so pardon the off-topic instrusion.

Re: “County takes heat over buying land near air base”

Can anyone explain to me what a “rock mine” is? Seems like mines, by definition, are “rock mines.” Is this another way of saying rock quarry? Or is it a gravel pit? If not, what kind of rock does one mine on the West Plains? If there’s a big market for basalt nowadays, I guess I missed it.

Zelda

The message of satire…

Good morning, Netizens…

In today’s David Horsey cartoon in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer online newspaper, Horsey asks a question that perhaps may infuriate some while it is hoped will perhaps engender some awareness of the question, ‘What is McCain’s message?’, perhaps even get some responses that are thought-provoking rather than accusatory.

I admit freely and openly that for over decades I have been what is termed a “news junkie”, simply because I read and watch news as a normal course of operation of nearly every waking hour of every day that passes by. Excepting recently.

Suddenly there are more half-truths, outright fabrications, hysteria and rumor-mongering going on in politics than I ever recall in my life, and it is coming from both parties, Democrat and Republican alike. Some advocates once naively promised us that the Internet was to become a source of knowledge and learning, but in this Presidential election, the Internet is more like a hysterical hotbed of hostility and half-baked, unverifiable information that always seems to have an edge quite similar to an old-fashioned straight razor after a thorough stropping.

Most recently, the general overtones in some areas of the country have turned past mean-spirited and just plain nasty, racist and ugly and suddenly in American history it seems we have lost the ability to laugh at our own selves without becoming targets of whatever political side seems to feel oppressed by anyone holding an opinion based upon mirth or irreverence.

When viewed through the microscope of American satire, people such as David Horsey, I can think of no two people in American life who are more deserving of close examination that Obama-Biden and McCain-Palin.

What is satire, one may ask. According to the Wikipedia, “In satire, human or individual vices, follies, abuses, or shortcomings are held up to censure by means of ridicule, derision, burlesque, irony, or other methods, ideally with the intent to bring about improvement.”

Satire defined

I personally do not care which party platform you support. If you have lost the ability to acknowledge the humor in either candidate, regardless of your affiliation, you have begun the descent into a mirthless, humorless sea filled with angry monsters at every turn. Thus you will miss the truly important questions being asked, such as What is McCain’s message?

Dave

Kevin Coe — the choice is his… or is it?

Good morning, Netizens…

First, let’s rewind the tape on Kevin Coe a bit and peer at him through the eyes of history. I was not living in Spokane during his two year reign of terror on the South Hill, and yet, as a bystander to history, I felt compelled to attend the latter part of the only criminal trial where he was ever brought to bear for having violently raped a woman. That smug, self-satisfied and even arrogant look on his face as they brought him into the court room each day still sits in my mind to this day, and upon hearing the evidence of that criminal trial, I felt more than satisfied that he was guilty of far more rapes than just the single offense he was charged with.

I mistakenly believed in the beginning there must have been something wrong with all the other cases, some credibility issue that prevented police detectives from filing other charges. I was naïve enough to think that had they the evidence, surely they would have filed on all the cases that allegedly took place. They did not file, and thus I pondered just how guilty Coe really was.

Then six months later, after Coe was sent to prison, I met Shelly Monahan in person and it was then I saw through her eyes the terrible impact that smug popinjay self-appointed real estate mogul had on Monahan and other women’s lives. Along with her horrific story other facts began to emerge.

Perhaps the most damning fact, one that is totally unimpeachable, is that once Kevin Coe was put in prison, the rapes by the South Hill Rapist stopped. Oh, to be certain, there were other rapes, other sick individuals committing other crimes, but the particular type of rapes, where a pattern of depravity repeated itself over and over like a record player skipping time after time, those rapes stopped.

Although Coe continued to assert his innocence of all charges the entire time he was in prison, there is little doubt in my mind of his guilt, at least the one trial I saw. There is little doubt in my mind that the various other victims were telling the truth, either. On the other hand, using a jury to determine a criminal’s potential to re-offend crimes is what the courts may have to determine upon appeal.

He does have the keys to his own freedom. What are they, in my opinion?

Complete and total confession of his past rapes with written apologies to everyone he has caused anguish.

Complete the state treatment program for sexual offenders which he has refused to perform thus far.

If released, he must be monitored for the rest of his life by parole and other supervisors.

Should Kevin Coe be put away for the rest of his life? If not, why not?

Dave

Quote of the Day October 17, 2008

War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.

Jimmy Carter (1924 - )

A Sarah Palin Moment…

Good morning, Netizens…

David Horsey’s cartoon for Wednesday from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer speaks for itself.

Senator John McCain did make reference to Bill Ayers during last night’s debate, but no mention was made of Reverend Wright, which surprised many news commentators. The debate did have its talking points, including several allusions to the relationship between Obama and Ayers.

The debate? Could one instead refer to last night’s event as a one-sided snarling competition with a plumber thrown in for good measure? After all, both Obama and McCain seemed to target Joe the Plumber AKA Joe Wurzelbacher, each attempting to depict how their economic policies would affect Joe’s future. How ironic, that Joe the Plumber asked for his moment of stardom and it was in the middle of a political debate.

From what I have read this morning, all the pollsters give the last debate clearly to Obama.

Some have stated that all the cartoons written by David Horsey were visibly pro-Obama. However, if he did write a pro-McCain piece, perhaps this cartoon will placate members of the McCain team.

Dave

Our Police Our Selves 10/16/2008

Contact : Ofc. Teresa Fuller
Date : 10/15/2008
Incident #:
Pedestrian Emphasis Results

Today’s pedestrian safety emphasis in the WSU Spokane Campus area yielded 34 citations in about two and a half hours. Nine motor officers, along with Neighborhood Resource Officers Shaney Redmon and Wayne Downing participated in the sting that went from 7:30am until about 10:00am. Ofc.’s Redmon and Downing were in plain clothes attempting to cross Spokane Falls Blvd. to and from the campus, in one of the major marked crosswalks used by WSU pedestrian traffic near Riverpoint Blvd. Staff and students in the area expressed concern that they could not safely cross Spokane Falls and asked for increased patrols.

Twenty-seven of those citations were for Fail to Yield Right of Way to a Pedestrian. Other citations included no insurance, speeding, using a cell phone while driving, and no valid operator’s license. With all the schools now in session in our area, the Spokane Police Traffic Unit would like to remind drivers to be cognizant of the increased pedestrian traffic in all areas of the city.

What the Police Traffic Unit did not say was for stupid pedestrians simultaneously talking on their cell phones, reading a comic book and eating a burrito to pay attention to where they are walking.


Hockey dad bobbleheads…

Good morning, Netizens…

Okay, here’s how we’re going to decide the Presidential race.

Bobblehead figures representing presidential hopefuls Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain are held outside the Cleveland home of the minor league hockey team the Lake Erie Monsters on Tuesday. The Monsters are offering all 17 and under attendees of their game this Friday night a choice of one of the figurines. The candidate who gives away the most bobbleheads, or who gives away 2500 of them first, will be projected to be the next President of the United States. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta) (October 14, 2008)

See how uncomplicated this could all be? No angst, no advertising, no headaches.

Get yer bobblehead now and elect yer candidate.

Dave

Caliper diem—the end of an age…

Good morning, Netizens…

There was a time, in the springtime of life, when the sunlight crept across the paisley curtains beside their bed and watched them frolic in the throes of lust early one morning. Perhaps that stray beam of sunlight was bemused at the fact they presumed they were uniquely fools, because they presumed they were the first and only of many millions who had been practicing the ancient art of eros since before mankind first walked upright.

That was the age of Great American Builders, for we were the craftsmen, men and women armed with complex tools and measuring devices, who saw to it that things were built or repaired to specification.

I once had a massive tool chest, taller than most men, nearly as a long as an automobile filled with vanadium and chromium steel tools of every imaginable purpose: Swiss calipers to maintain exacting standards, sockets, drivers and wrenches of all known measuring standards, but in the top corner of that vast collection of tools encased in a hand-polished red steel cabinetry, hidden inside a blue cloth, lay a Swiss caliper given to me by my grandfather upon graduating from high school.

Over the years I had always been one to amass tools, for driving a diesel tractor trailer truck required that the owner/operator in those days knew how to fix their trucks before it failed, to be able to take apart a huge diesel engine or a complex transmission with thousands of tiny gears and bearings into its component pieces and put it back together again, each time without error. Truck drivers, at least most of them, did not rely upon fleet mechanics, diesel technicians or other faceless entities working in vast shops somewhere to keep their equipment running.

Jeanie’s excellent story of having a cart walking around an improvisational yard sale of car parts, toting a crank shaft and a squashed bag of cookies reminded me of those days when, awakening just before dawn and gazing into the face of a summer’s dawn somewhere in the Flatlands of Oklahoma. I realized gazing out the crinkled curtains in some long-forgotten room in some place that no longer has a name, that all I had to live for was that fertile field that lay largely unexplored inside my imagination but not while my two good hands were still fit to use. So long as had them both, a part of me would always be about building and rebuilding things using the fine tools that I had possessed nearly all my adult life.

There came the day, which often comes to me in my dreams, when I finally sold my trucks and all the associated parts, materials, and that massive red toolbox that had stood for decades in the corner of a massive old building in Texas. I remember only that I knew I had to make that decision, and to find my fortunes elsewhere in life, for my hands were tired and my eyes no longer what they once were. I remember standing next to a harvested corn field in a chill autumn rain, tears streaming from my eyes, because I had found a world of perfection, of excellence, and had learned to love and cherish it more than life itself. Yet I knew I had to go while I still could.

Lo these many decades later, there is something about the sound of a finely-tuned diesel tractor trailer eager for the great unknown of the highway that leaves me momentarily pulled aside from my path. I get misty-eyed, my pulse pounds and once more I am eager to feel that wheel beneath my hands, to see the highway unfolding before me. Late at night, I dream once more of clasping a truly fine set of tools in my hands and hunting down parts to make things right again. I also remember old friends and acquaintances who could not make that decision and in most cases died behind the wheel in some godforsaken place.

Caliper Diem…

Dave

Picture of the Day, October 14, 2008

Good morning, Netizens…

In this morning’s picture of the day, an Afghan refugee kisses his son outside a temporary mosque in a refugee camp in the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool) (October 13, 2008) This brings us to what I call the “quotient of one”, that being the love of a father and mother for their children, even in a time of war or civil disruption.

Does anyone, regardless of their cultural or religious heritage, love and nurture their children any less nor hold them any less-closely because of ethnic or cultural differences from you or I? Sometimes, buried beneath the fervor of our own nationalism, we forget there are families, often with infant children behind enemy lines attempting to love and nurture their young, to raise them with what they deem suitable values. It has happened in every war, my friends, for warfare is no respecter of children and innocent people.

Dave

Quote of the Day October 13, 2008

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

The Dalai Lama (1935 - )

Columbus Day 2008

Good morning, Netizens…

In a brief tap dance with mother reality, we present the following tidbits of information about today, Columbus Day.

According to the City of Spokane, Parking meters don’t have to be plugged on Monday, Oct. 13, because of the Columbus Day holiday. City of Spokane offices, however, are open as usual on Monday, and garbage pickup and curbside recycling will proceed on a normal schedule.
The Spokane City Council briefing session and legislative meeting will be held on their regular schedule on Monday, Oct. 13, at 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. respectively in the City Council Chambers in the lower level of City Hall, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
Riverfront Park’s Imax Theater is open on Columbus Day. Check Spokane Riverfront Park for the schedule.

According to a variety of sources online, all bank branches and federal offices will be closed Monday because of the Columbus Day holiday. That includes the Postal Service, which will not provide mail delivery or window service.
All city, county and state offices will be open for business as usual.

All the rest of the peonage, including the kitchen drudges, have to work. Why do the federal agencies get the day off but we, the unwashed masses have to work?

Dave

A Bad Day on Wall Street in Review…

Good morning, Netizens…

Realizing that I might have been unduly harsh in my criticism of stock and bond brokers in a previous commentary, I thought enough of it to garner this picture which shows a trader pausing outside of the New York Stock Exchange in the final minutes of the trading session in New York, October 9, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Segar

During that frightening and often very-frustrating day, we saw stocks and bonds plummet, with huge swooping leaps of the DOW and it may not be over yet, despite what optimistic speeches our various financial leaders have made over the last 48 hours.

However, the toll on the brokers and buyers, who bore no association with those guilty of various high crimes, was both real and visible as this picture shows.

For although they once held prestigious jobs in a high-income world, they too, may be staring at the possibility their once-comfortable lifestyles are perhaps a thing of the past. They were guilty of nothing but trying to “hold the line” in an unpredictable and therefore very tenuous market, and most did their jobs with absolute perfection.

It does not change the bottom line for most of Americans who had hoped their investments would allow them to retire. Some of them lost nearly one-half their investment at the push of a call button in some far-off stock exchange or brokerage, and it remains to be seen when or if things will return to normal. These are, after all, men and women in the trenches of the world economy, not those guilty of profiteering or other malfeasant actions.

Do you know how much your investments have lost?

Dave

Quote for the Day October 12, 2008

Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn’t mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.

Edward R. Murrow (1908 - 1965)

Report on Palin Released

Good morning, Netizens…

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The politically charged investigation into Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is over, and its conclusions are stinging. But the fallout, if any, might not come until Election Day.

A legislative investigator found that Palin violated state ethics laws and abused her power by trying to have her former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper.

The Report on Sarah Palin

The inquiry looked into Palin’s dismissal of Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan, who said he lost his job because he resisted pressure to fire a state trooper involved in a bitter divorce and custody battle with the governor’s sister. Palin says Monegan was fired as part of a legitimate budget dispute.

Stephen Branchflower, a retired prosecutor hired to conduct the investigation, said Monegan’s firing was lawful. But the pressure Palin and her husband put on him, he said, was not.

Under Alaska law, it is up to the state’s Personnel Board, not the Legislature, to decide whether Palin violated the ethics laws. If so, it must refer the matter to the Senate president for disciplinary action. Violations also carry a possible fine of up to $5,000.

By the time that investigation is over, however, the election will be over. If Palin is the vice president-elect, the results will hardly matter. If she loses, she’ll have to address the board’s findings at home. The national media will be long gone.

Barack Obama’s presidential campaign did not comment on the report amid persistent accusations by Republicans that rival operatives were manipulating the investigation to help the Democratic presidential nominee.
Democratic Sen. Hollis French, who oversaw the investigation, contributed to that perception when he said the report could provide an “October surprise” for the McCain campaign.
Elton said partisanship played no role in the report.

In this Sept. 9, 2008 file photo, Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten answers questions about the Troopergate investigation during an interview in Anchorage, Alaska. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin violated state ethics laws and abused her power by trying to get a state trooper fired, an independent investigator said Friday, Oct. 10, 2008.

The report notes a few instances in which Palin pressed the case against trooper Mike Wooten, but it was her husband, Todd, who led the charge. Todd Palin had extraordinary access to the governor’s office and her closest advisers and he used that access to try to get Wooten fired.

Gov. Palin knowingly “permitted Todd to use the Governor’s office and the resources of the Governor’s office, including access to state employees, to continue to contact subordinate state employees in an effort to find some way to get Trooper Wooten fired,” Branchflower’s report reads.

Wooten had been in hot water before Palin became governor over allegations that he illegally shot a moose, drank beer in a patrol car and used a Taser on his stepson. The Palins said they feared for their family’s safety after Wooten made threats against them.

(Pictures courtesy AP, Al Grillo)

Dave

Quote of the Day October 11, 2008

When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - ), Clarke’s first law

Quote of the Day — October 9, 2008

If we were to wake up some morning and find that everyone was the same race, creed and color, we would find some other cause for prejudice by noon.

George Aiken, (August 20, 1892 – November 19, 1984) Republican from Vermont

Where did Obama’s race enter the picture?

Good afternoon, Netizens…

Thought for the day:

“It’s too early to declare victory because Barack Obama’s black.”

Quoting David Gergen about the debate last night.

My, my, my. I would have never known had he not told me.

Dave


Our Police Our Selves — October 8, 2008

Good morning, Netizens…

Have you seen this man?


Spokane Police Need Assistance in Locating Wanted Man
Spokane Police patrol officers continue to search for wanted subject Larry G. Gatewood.
A press release for Gatewood was sent out 09/22/2008 when patrol officers attempted to locate him on two outstanding warrants, but were unsuccessful.  Gatewood is now wanted for a total of nine warrants for the charges of 1st Degree Burglary, DOC Escape, Harassment, Driving with a Suspended License, Violation of an Order, Obstructing and Criminal Trespass.
Gatewood is still evading police and continues to antagonize an ex-girlfriend and her children.  Both yesterday and today, Gatewood has prompted a lockdown at Logan Elementary School after he called the school, threatening to harm the children.  It is imperative that Gatewood is located and arrested for the safety of the community.  (Additional media coverage of Gatewood’s wanted status would be appreciated.)
ANYONE WITH INFORMATION ON GATEWOOD’S WHEREABOUTS IS ASKED TO CALL 9-1-1.

Ombudsman Agreement Around Corner.

After almost two years of debate, Spokane leaders agreed on Monday to create a new police oversight system. The agreement, which was negotiated with the Spokane Police Guild, will give the ombudsman power to examine Police Department investigations into complaints of officer misconduct. The Spokane City Council voted 6-0 to back the proposal.

More here.

The Ombudsman Agreement has passed through another step on its way to become an active position.

Quote of the Day October 7, 2008

If there is no God, who pops up the next Kleenex?

the late Art Hoppe, journalist and writer

Anti-Palin Rally Anyone?

“Psssst…pass it on! The Alaska Women Reject Palin rally was to be held outside on the lawn in front of the Loussac Library in midtown Anchorage . Home made signs were encouraged, and the idea was to make a statement that Sarah Palin does not speak for all Alaska women, or men.”

The above was tipped to Dave and I from John “Chef Gus” Olsen. I checked it with Snopes. Thank you, John.

(Pictures courtesy of the Anchorage Daily News and the AP. Portions of the story also attributed to the Anchorage Daily News. DL)

Hello in there, Hello…

Good morning, Netizens…

Nearly every picture Jeanie or I choose to grace Community Comment has spoken to one or the other of us, has formed a visual image of something about which we recognize and feel passionately. Today’s picture is one of those where it has hidden meaning, and thus speaks to me about something I am certain its author(s) had no intention whatsoever of implying.

This picture is one of European Central Bank President Jean Claude Trichet who gestures as he looks out at the audience during a media conference at an emergency financial summit at the Elysee Palace in Paris. The global financial crisis is forcing the leaders of France, Britain, Germany and Italy to come together for an emergency summit in Paris. But differences on how to respond to the economic turmoil could drive them apart. (October 04, 2008) Associated Press

Then again, given the upheaval taking place at the Spokesman-Review over the last few days, I am reminded this morning that we are, after all, as much in an information vacuum as we were when the initial resignations of Editor Steve Smith and Carla Savalli became public news. We are on the outside, peering inward toward the place we identify as being part of our selves: Jeanie, because she grew up in a newspaper family, and myself because I once seriously considered a career in journalism.

Writers must write, but because society is changing so, print journalists are becoming like the dinosaurs. Are print journalists an endangered species, as these layoffs suggest? It does seem that way, doesn’t it?

Not only are we peering into the newsroom wondering if our friends have caught the ax this time, but wondering if the news will continue to worsen. If so, and I believe it is true, perhaps someday I’ll be walking down Riverside and see a face I once read each day in the paper, and, thus fulfill the words of songwriter John Prine, who once wrote so eloquently:

So if you’re walking down the street sometime
And spot some hollow ancient eyes,
Please don’t just pass ‘em by and stare
As if you didn’t care, say, “Hello in there, hello.”

Dave

Quote of the Day October 5, 2008

Rage is the only quality which has kept me, or anybody I have ever studied, writing columns for newspapers.

Jimmy Breslin

Justice Delayed or Justice Denied?

In our Picture of the Day, O.J. Simpson is taken into custody after being found guilty on 12 charges, including felony kidnapping, armed robbery and conspiracy at the Clark County Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas on Friday, Oct. 3, 2008. The verdict comes thirteen years to the day after he was acquitted of double murder charges. (AP Photo/Daniel Gluskoter, Pool)

From thirteen years ago yesterday until now I have always remembered that cocky, arrogant look on his face when O.J. Simpson got away with murder. Granted that he was acquitted of all charges by a jury, that his “Dream Team” of expensive lawyers made his acquittal nearly a certainty and that at least some of his fans still idolized him. In my heart and mind he was still guilty of murder.

Today OJ is incarcerated in Clark County Jail in Las Vegas, awaiting sentencing or the Appeals Court to give him a new trial. Some, myself included, believe this is justice that has been delayed since the murder trial thirteen years ago. Still others are suggesting that it would have been impossible for OJ Simpson to get a fair trial on his current charges because of his celebrity status.

I say it was justice delayed, that should have fallen on his head thirteen years ago yesterday, and that it is right and fitting that, unless the courts otherwise intervene, he will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

How do you perceive OJ Simpson today? Was this justice delayed or simply the vagaries of the law?

Or,

was this a case where a celebrity could not possibly have gotten a trial again?

Dave


Our Police Our Selves 10/04/2008

PRESS RELEASE MISSING ADULT AT RISK
 
DETAILS:
 
Spokane Police requests the public’s assistance in locating a missing “at risk adult.”
 
On 100208 about 1500 - 1700 hours an “at risk adult” drove away from his residence and has not been seen or heard from since. William James, 88 years old, from Spokane has been diagnosed with dementia, and has not driven for several months prior to yesterday. Neighbors reported seeing him drive away in his silver1988 Buick LeSabre – 4- door, Washington Lic# 139NLI. 
 
Several SPD police officers are currently conducting an extensive search, and request the assistance of the public. He was last seen driving away from the area of Crestline St. / E. 42nd Ave.
 
Due to Mr. James’ physical and mental challenges, he is considered to be at risk.  
 
In an effort to locate Mr. James, SPD asks that anyone with information regarding Mr. James or his vehicle to please call 9-1-1 immediately.
 
Missing Person Information:
 
Name:
James, William C    88 years old
 
 
Description:  
White male adult, 5’-04” / 125#, White hair, brown eyes. 
 
Last seen driving:
Silver 1988 Buick LeSabre, 4-door. Lic #138NLI
 
Photo attached.
 
 
Refer to SPD report #08-306060
MJ Rose #916
 

Tribute to The Spokesman Review

I want to offer a Eulogy of sorts, a tribute and acclamation of The Spokesman Review and its entire staff, a tribute to the former Spokane Daily Chronicle, and praise for all newspapers everywhere, as the technology age of the internet erodes away the benefits of news print on paper, books, magazines, the ability to READ.

Nick Reynolds of Kingston Trio passes on…

Good morning, Netizens…

Nick Reynolds, right in the above picture, who played the tenor guitar for the musical group The Kingston Trio passed away yesterday thus bringing a close to a life that began in the 50’s and continued unimpeded throughout the folk generation of the 60’s and 70’s.

Although the trio disbanded in 1967, they reunited several times, eventually retiring for good in 1987/88, although they continued playing well into 1998.
(Archive Picture courtesy of Kingston Trio unofficial web site)

Rest in peace. It certainly was a good run.

Dave


Quote of the Day October 2, 2008

I’m furious about the Women’s Liberationists. They keep getting up on soapboxes and proclaiming that women are brighter than men. That’s true, but it should be kept quiet or it ruins the whole racket.

Anita Loos

The Events of the Day October 1, 2008

Good evening, Netizens…

I returned home late this evening to my beloved Virtual Ballroom and Espresso Bar not truly knowing what to expect after a flame-filled day of rancorous conversations between Casey King and myself. As I strolled uncertainly in the doorway of the Virtual Ballroom, I was struck by the pall of smoke and thus the dim lighting everywhere. Instead of the usual festive atmosphere I have come to expect of an early fall evening, replete with colorful ghosts and goblins of every sort. A dense atmosphere of sadness indelibly painted the ballroom dance floor, while ghosts and live humans alike poised in small groups along the edge of the ballroom floor chatting quietly among themselves.

The minute I saw that the Headless Horseman was the espresso barrista for the evening, I knew I eventually would have to explain my actions throughout the day since, by definition, he could not.

Taking the podium, and after nervously tapping the microphone to make certain the public address system was on and functional, I began.

What I have done today was not a good solution to a problem. I should have banned Casey King the minute he became strident and unrepentant, a major irritant to so many and making allegations against both Jeanie and myself which simply were designed to irritate rather than edify. Instead, I joined him at his game of being irksome and dull-witted, which although part of human nature at times, should never be considered any part of journalism.

However, the reason I did not ban Casey was simple: if I ban him as an administrator, he gets banned across the entire set of Spokesman-Review blogs and I do not believe that is fair. However, I am certain now as then that I wanted Casey King to leave the Virtual Ballroom and Community Comment, but lacking tools to perform that task, decided to shame him into it. I’ll leave it to others to determine whether that ploy worked, but I do note that he has not posted since he filed his letter of complaint with Doug Floyd, with whom I spoke at length about my perceived misbehavior. I wish Casey well; just do not enter in the doorway to Community Comment and the Virtual Ballroom again.

There are other sadnesses perhaps greater than Casey King that should be noted this day, including the faces of many skilled journalists who will be leaving our midst in the middle of yet another cost-cutting effort at the paper. Perhaps sadder still is the resignation of Editor Steve Smith who helped me give Community Comment a place from which to succeed or fail on its own merits. I owe him my gratitude and being faithful.

I am saddened beyond words at the events of the day, but know full and well I must pull myself back together after a 19 hour day and simply move onward.

Since our barrista The Headless Horseman does not speak so well, the custom blend espresso of the day is “Harvest Moon” which is upcoming, and a change in the weather promises tears will fall from the skies upon the events of the day.

Dave

Quote of the Day October 1, 2008

If pregnancy were a book they would cut the last two chapters.

Nora Ephron

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