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Community Comment

Archive for September 2009

Polanski no longer a fugitive from justice…

Good morning, Netizens…


I have no great pontification to make regarding Roman Polanski’s arrest in Zurich, Switzerland recently, for the crime he has been charged with committing, that of illegally having sexual intercourse, with a 13 year-old girl in actor Jack Nicholson’s house in Los Angeles in 1977 is and was a shoddily-performed piece of work from my point of view.


There is little doubt, however, of the man’s cinematic genius, which has nothing to do with the criminal charges he is facing. Rosemary’s Baby, The Piano and Chinatown all stand tall as evidence of his brilliance yet Polanski fled the US on the eve of being sentenced after admitting unlawful sexual intercourse with 13 year-old Samantha Geimer in 1977. If he was innocent of those charges, why did he run?


What is equally of interest, why did the Los Angeles District Attorney wait this long to extradite Polanski? His lawyers suggest prosecutors did not want to have to deal with allegations of prosecution and judicial misconduct in the original handling of Polanski’s case. That’s odd, as it is the first time I’ve heard that mentioned before. Some sources state the reason they filed now, rather than years ago, is that Polanski’s lawyers recently filed to have the charges dropped. When the district attorney’s office discovered that Polanski would be in Zurich to attend a film festival, they arrested him there.


There are some charges of gross misconduct on the part of the District Attorney’s office, and other allegations that Polanski’s original arrest had political motivations.


The bottom line for me remains, did he commit the crime? Why did the LA prosecutor wait so long to press for extradition?


Like so many high-profile criminal cases, there are more questions than answers. Not being privy to the facts surrounding the case, aside from the salacious image of a 13 year-old girl in a hot tub, my only thought is that, were that my daughter, I would want answers long before now, and if I couldn’t get the answers from either my daughter or the DA’s office, I might resort to other means. 


Dave

The missile next time…

Good morning, Netizens…


This cartoon by David Horsey clearly reflects my opinion. It’s just as if he were sitting here in the hovel peering over my shoulder at the screen and sees I have a few personal animosities about Iran that any good journalist should avoid in public.


Then there is the number of historical references which suggest, among other things, that someday we will have a major conflagration in the Middle East. There are lots of historical references which suggest it probably will happen on our watch, and that it is almost inevitable. Anyone wandering around the desert who is developing nuclear weapons is, therefore, suspect.


Now of course I will admit I personally believe that all nuclear weapons should be melted down into slag quietly, with as little waste of time as possible. So long as the world powers possess such vile, abominable weapons, the sheer math suggests sooner or later someone is going to set them off targeting their favorite enemies. That is because no one has ever created a weapon of war that only got used once. Once you have opened this Pandora’s box, how quickly can you quickly close it?


If you think the current economic meltdown is playing havoc with your lifestyle, our kids, the essential goodness we have come to expect from living in America, stop and think about what effects a nuclear conflagration might possess, regardless of how long it lasts. As we saw from Chernobyl, the fallout from just one melted-down power plant, would quickly migrate around the world, sickening perhaps millions, and those would be the fortunate ones, as others, or even gene-damaged descendants would wait for perhaps years to die of radiation-induced sicknesses. An exchange of nuclear weapons could be worse.


We’re going to stand by while this lying, deceitful little Lord Fauntleroy of the desert builds nuclear weapons to further his agenda? If there is even a scintilla of a chance of that happening, take him out as surgically as possible.


Dave

The missing portions of the tape may tell all…

Good morning, Netizens…


At 9:02 AM on April 19, 1995, ostensibly Timothy McVeigh blew up the Alfred R. Murrah building in Oklahoma City. McVeigh was accused and convicted of the hideous crime, and was put to death. Not much question existed in all but a small handful of conspiracy theorists that he was the person that killed 168 people and injured thousands more, yet now there is a plausible theory emerging that suggests the American people were never told the entire story.


There were various security cameras running that fateful morning, and Jesse Trentadue, a Salt Lake City attorney who obtained the recordings through the federal Freedom of Information Act as part of an unofficial inquiry he is conducting, now states there are critical portions of the tape(s) that are missing.


The tapes turned over by the FBI came from security cameras various companies had mounted outside office buildings near the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. They are blank at points before 9:02 a.m., when a truck bomb carrying a 4,000 pound fertilizer-and-fuel-oil bomb detonated in front of the building, Trentadue said.


It has taken a lawsuit and years to obtain copies of those tapes, taken from 11 different cameras dispersed throughout the area. In all, Trentadue received over 30 tapes, and has filed for more documents relating to the bombing.


What is missing? The tapes all go mysteriously blank just minutes before the explosion tore the Murrah Building apart, and mysteriously restarted several minutes after the blast.


“Four cameras in four different locations going blank at basically the same time on the morning of April 19, 1995. There ain’t no such thing as a coincidence,” Trentadue said.


Nope. I think he’s right. It certainly doesn’t look like a coincidence at all.


Dave

Seattle Times down for over 3 hours…

Good morning, Netizens…

I suppose it’s news, but as of three hours ago, the Seattle Times online is inaccessible. Efforts to reach it result in the page(s) timing out, and even their reserve site(s) are down, as well.

I can’t ping it, can’t reach any of their routers, either. It smells somewhat like the same type of denial of service attack that hit the Spokane area (including the SR) a number of months ago.

It is either that or OMIGOD! What’s that huge cloud billowing up over the mountains to the west?

Nah. That’s just the weather front moving into the Spokane area. According to the talking heads, we should have a moderately-good dust storm this afternoon. My poor garden needs all the topsoil I can get.

Dave

Body art or simply a distraction?

Good morning, Netizens…


This morning, we will take a bit of a walk on the “wild side”, although if people object to that description, I’ll probably ignore them.


In this morning’s picture of the day, a man who calls himself ‘Spikey Bob’ poses for pictures at the International London Tattoo Convention, in east London, Friday. The convention brings together the world’s best tattoo artists from the US, Australia, Canada, Japan and UK as well as piercing specialists, fashion designers and fans of skin art.


My initial question is how does this guy deal with the metal detectors at most banks, government institutions and other lofty places?


Of course, the religious conservatives will possibly point out the various Biblical references which they may say are opposed to tattoos and various other body art, such as Leviticus 19:28 where it states “”You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD” and in various other Jewish scripts from the Talmud thereto.


That religious set of credos aside, you have to admit this guy never lacks for entertainment value. When he walks down the street he has syncopated jangling ringing in his ears and various other bodily parts so he can snap his fingers with the beat, if they are not otherwise encumbered by metallic arts.


If you saw this guy heading into your favorite shopping center, what would be the first thoughts that cross your mind?


Dave





There is a place for them…

Good morning, Netizens…


A few months back the word “demagogue” was defined and explained as the word of the day. I believe today’s cartoon from David Horsey carries that definition forward and gives us two different images upon which to base our understanding of the word.


Furthermore, David Horsey comes up with what seems to be a simply wonderful method of dealing with two such vitriolic men of our times. Yes, they are actually quite fitting for one another when you stop to think about it. In fact when you consider that Ahmadinejad has nuclear weapon aspirations that, until just recently, were hidden behind his bluster and Holocaust denials, and Gadhafi who persists in denying his country had a role in the terrorism, including the bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, they are about matched for one another.


However, it is my belief that neither man deserves to be world critics of any other form of government, including our own. They simply have too much baggage of their own.


Put them someplace where they no longer can pose a threat to the free world and let them preach their obscene gospels to one another. That is where they belong.


Dave

The bane of the government class…

Good morning, Netizens…

How utterly accurate David Horsey’s cartoon this morning is! The unanswered question that remains, like a crusty old penny on the tip of ones fingers is, how much money is actually passing between lobbyists and the government that got elected promising to end this largesse?

I dearly love watching some of the same banks and lending institutions that stood up quickly for the “free handouts” when President Obama told us we had to save them, are the same institutions that today are back to business as usual, paying huge bonuses, lavish parties for their high-rolling clients and other nefarious deeds? I once laughed at their television advertising.

Now, like the mother searching for her lost child,  I simply wonder where the banking lobbyists are tonight? Or do I really want to know…

Dave

Too hectic to be this old, but still struggling…

Good morning, Netizens…


I cannot help but plead the fifth, for this is the second time in as many months that I have had to work exorbitant hours repairing damages caused by power outages for which there is no reason that I/we can decipher. Yesterday’s power outage, which encompassed a substantial area, given the good weather we have been enjoying and lack of damaging winds, came as a complete surprise throughout much of the downtown area. It also overwhelmed several Internet Service Providers and thus, several servers that normally broadcast to the world are down this morning.


Even worse than that, our dear Jeanie is home sick with the flu. The flu, by itself, even in the face of the various perversions of the flu making the rounds, normally would be a non-event. However, with her kidneys in the final stage of failure, Jeanie has no defense mechanisms left in her body to combat such things and thus she is quite ill.


So, despite being well-known for being exceptionally verbose, this morning I have little choice but to throw my fates to the Deities and hope I can get some time later on today to write more about the news of the day.


If you have any prayers handy in your most secret places, please say a few for dear Jeanie. Things may get better, but then they might get much worse.


Dave

Phillip Paul captured in Goldendale…

(from KHQ-TV breaking news)

Phillip Paul has been purportedly captured in Goldendale, Washington. He was apparently driven to the Goldendale area shortly after his escape from the Spokane County Fair.

Dave

Cure the disease, not the symptoms…

Good morning, Netizens…


Lately we have seen several situations arise in the Spokane area involving the mentally ill in the news, with the most-recent being Phillip A. Paul’s escape from a poorly-organized day out for mental health patients from Eastern State Hospital at the Spokane Interstate Fair.


The single universal cachet to Paul’s escape and the nearly mass hysteria it engendered, however, is that sensationalism sells news and it pushes blog numbers higher than they normally would go, which I believe shows society’s lack of awareness of the needs of the mentally ill. Hardly anyone cares how it feels to be a schizophrenic, which is the malady from which Paul has suffered for many years. Even fewer people understand that schizophrenics can be unpredictable, even after they have been under what appeared to have been long-term treatment programs, such as are employed by Eastern State Hospital. They can appear quite normal one day; the next day totally irrational.


Of course, one cannot presume that the drug treatments used by psychiatric professionals are necessarily either going to work or, in worse cases, are even tolerated by their patients. I remember about 15 years ago an Eastern Patient was released from the wards at Eastern and almost immediately stopped taking his medication. His words at the time still haunt me.


He stated, “The damned drugs they give me make me sicker than I already am. They make me feel like an alien, and I think I’d rather be a schizophrenic.”


This was the same man who, for most of the time I knew him, persisted in wearing a priests collar and ministering to the mentally ill, sometimes with phenomenally-positive results. On his “good days” when his personality was nearly-normal, he volunteered quite successfully at a plethora of agencies throughout Spokane, and appeared to actually have a very uplifting and energetic effect on some of the mentally ill to whom he ministered. On his “bad days” often when he had stopped taking his medications, he became an accused child molester and often encouraged others in his flock of mental health patients to stop taking their medications as well.


When the police arrested him, it merited a small column in the B section of the paper, and in those days there were no blogs to talk candidly and openly about his afflictions. On the other hand, I never forgot the hope he engendered in some of his “flocks” lives where none had existed before.


Perhaps what the strange case of Phillip A. Paul demonstrates more than the incompetence of the people in charge at Eastern State Hospital is that the schizophrenics of this world need hope that someday someone will find a cure for this wretched disease.


Dave

How to avoid the pitfalls next time…

Good morning, Netizens…

This morning David Horsey explains for those who haven’t figured it out yet how we’ll avoid future economic cataclysms. Yes, come to think of it, it might work. That is providing we get out of the current mess the economy left us in this time around.

Dave

Week in Review…



Good morning, Netizens…


Picture of Phillip Paul courtesy of the Spokesman and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Department.


Thank God it’s Friday! A quick review of the news thus far this week:


Governor comes over to this side of the state for her flu shot. Promoted as encouragement that the flu shot works, I wonder if Governor Gregoire is flaunting the fact she has excellent heath insurance benefits. Gee, I wonder what her copay is? On the other hand, I have heard the rumor she has a deluxe lakeside cabin over by Hayden Lake, and probably will be spending the weekend there. Rumor has it she has installed a throne suitable for receiving visiting luminaries, bureaucrats and lobbyists, where they can receive an embossed picture of them kissing her ring.


A convicted murderer walks away from the Interstate Fair and no one is the wiser for over two hours. Phillip Arnold Paul, a convicted murderer formerly incarcerated at Eastern State Hospital who was adjudged by the courts as criminally insane was given a day pass to attend the Interstate Fair. Since he ostensibly didn’t like the Tilt-A-Whirl ride, he decided to leave the fair, and has since disappeared. No one knew he was gone for over two hours. The difficult part of such a concept is now officials are looking frantically for someone to blame for the decision to allow inmates access to the Fair with only marginal oversight. My bookmaker has odds that the police will capture Paul before anyone stops by to explain public policy at Eastern State Hospital.


Seven inmates, no make that patients, at a “heavily secured” facility for sex offenders were busted for possessing pictures of graphic kiddie porn. Heavily secured, huh? Since the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services are in charge of the former McNeil Island facility for sex offenders, it somehow stands to reason things like this happen. Ostensibly all seven inmates received the CD’s containing graphic kiddie porn and bestiality pictures via the U.S. Postal Service, since they are prohibited from having Internet access. How about we put them on the wind-swept island devoid of any access of any kind, and simply let them contemplate their previous sins in this life?


The late Otto Zehm found NOT GUILTY on all counts by federal task force. It remains to be seen if the task force will find any culpability in other areas of the investigation, cover-up or other malfeasant activities that took place that fateful night. Stay tuned to your Motorola radios for the latest news updates.


And that, dear children, is the Week in Review for the Week of September 18th 2009. As we used to say, if you didn’t like the news this week, please go out and make some of your own.


Dave

New evidence surfacing in Otto Zehm case…

Good afternoon, Netizens…


I’m only going to say this once because I loathe making predictions when I do not know beyond a reasonable question of a doubt whether or not what I am saying is factual and honest. However, having read the Spokesman-Review this morning, both on and offline, and having contemplated the facts such as have been presented to me, coupled with a number of very interesting phone calls to verify even more facts, I can state beyond a question of a doubt that we, the citizens of Spokane, were deliberately and maliciously lied to by various Spokane Police Department officials and officers about Otto Zehm’s murder.


I will go one step further to state that, were it not for the federal agencies investigating Otto Zehm’s death, were it not for their diligence in uncovering the facts surrounding Zehm’s death, the universal rug sweeper which has been used by the Spokane Police Department in the past to hide some of their more unsavory acts would have long ago buried the facts about Zehm’s death far below public sight.


Police Chief Kirkpatrick needs to get a rug sweeper of her own and begin cleaning the Department. There has to be an end to abuses of power and authority, and she is either part of the solution or just another part of an increasingly-large problem at the highest levels of law enforcement in the City of Spokane. I believe she has the values and morals to perform such a task, but she is going up against the Police Guild, and that could be a real nightmare for her both administratively and professionally.


Rocky Treppiedi might be from Brooklyn and purportedly an award-winning lawyer, but he just broke what I believe to be an unspoken rule: Grand Jury testimony is privileged and sacred. If you hear information or testimony in a Grand Jury hearing, regardless of who your clients are, you are forbidden from passing that information onward. (Ruling courtesy of Gonzaga Law School Library). Of course, I believe Mr. Treppiedi has been known to bend more than a few laws in the past. Why would he change now?


Even our sometimes-lackluster State or Federal Prosecutors cannot turn blind eyes once the FBI begin bringing their case to the public’s attention. Perhaps, just perhaps, there might not be any cops in the court room high-fiving one another once the criminal trial is finished on Otto Zehm’s death.


Honesty and integrity in high places in the Police Department has been one helluva long time coming. Maybe we are getting closer.


Dave

Mary Travers, true to the very end…

Good morning, Netizens…


Mary Travers of Peter Paul and Mary has passed on.


This video clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5gO-jWKsqU&feature=related is a bit of an odd duck by which to remember the late Mary Travers, but it demonstrates two vital precepts:


In their lives together on the stage, Peter, Paul and Mary sang universally of freedom wherever they went, in this case Japan. They lived the lives they sang, unlike some of Spokane’s bands who do not have the courage nor the moral integrity to live the lives they extol in song. It is one thing to advocate universal freedom for all; it is entirely a different matter to dedicate your entire life to that precept.


The second precept is to always be true to your beliefs, which she unquestionably was.


In yet another clip from Peter, Paul and Mary, there is perhaps a continuing note of optimism and hope, which is what I believe Mary Travers never lost sight of in her multi-year battle against cancer.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8xPNwe3zio&NR=1


Even in this somewhat shabby video excerpts, in one of her final performances in public, walking with a cane and sitting on a chair on the stage, Mary Travers sang until the end.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGLfIoNAsso&NR=1


Thank you for all the wonderful years, the memories that stand out as fine as bone china and your impeccable set of values.


Dave

A few items…

Good morning, Netizens…

Ron_the_cop asked during a Wild Card:

“OK when’s the next breakfast meeting at your secret hide away?”

Funny you should mention that, Ron. The inestimable Mr. Hibbs and myself were planning to meet for breakfast at our usual covert location this morning, Wednesday, perhaps 8:00 o’clock for illuminating discussion, trenchant observations on world history and a competent and thorough analysis of the weather. Plus we may have additional discussions of literary merit regarding books we have read since our last meeting, which are, as always, biased and yet cogent.

These mini-Gatherings are, of course, open to the public although poorly-publicized. Most of the time, planning of these events consists of a phone call, either from Mr. Hibbs or myself to the other, announcing the need for breakfast. They invariably take place Tues-Thursday, although we do occasionally include Fridays, but NEVER on Mondays, because that never works with my schedule. 

I suppose we probably should schedule a true Gathering for a real public blow-out while the weather still remains in the realm of summer-like, but I will have to fit that into my hectic schedule somehow.

In other news, although she is too shy and reclusive to mention it much, lovely Jeanie of Spokane is planning her dialysis, which may be coming soon, and I encourage everyone to keep our fair consort in your prayers, mumblings to God and other reflections. I was going to suggest standing outside any given public facility asking for people to donate a kidney or two, but then realized Jeanie might not approve of such maneuvars on her behalf.

That is about all of the news that’s fit to retell this morning.

Dave

 

Television, how it all was once…

Good morning, Netizens…


I discovered what I believe to be a genuine gem in my Internet reveries this morning. Point your browser to http://www.emmytvlegends.org/ and settle in with a cup of your favorite beverage, as once you have started, you simply cannot quit.


This is a collection of television and movie stars being interviewed. Most of the stars/starlets were there when television was in its infancy, and they tell about various aspects of their performance histories. As far as I can tell, most of the interviews were unrehearsed, and stand as near-historical documents in my opinion.


The site features a good search engine, and includes a wide variety of luminaries, many of whom are either well up in years or deceased. If you loved early television, this site will take you back in time when television all began.


Dave

The new-and-improved health care system?

Good morning, Netizens…


Obama’s Health Care Plan seems to have more land mines than the main highway leading to/from Kabul, Pakistan and yet while the Republicans are muttering openly against it, many middle-class to lower-middle class Americans simply cannot afford either the preventive medical care, treatment or the medications they need for good health because they have no health insurance. Then there is even those utterly fear trips to the dentist, which can set a middle-class family into the throes of bankruptcy.


I admit a certain bias when it comes to health insurance. I once had health insurance, the self-paid health insurance that is among the most-costly of them all, but I paid it willing. The minute I had my first heart attack, they cancelled my policy which should be against the law. They eventually closed their doors. Once I applied for a new health insurance premium, however, I had a pre-existing condition, and what was even worse, the cost of the premium, at $710 per month, was far beyond my financial means to pay. The rates for health insurance have continued climbing since that time.


I am a statistic, one of the millions of Americans who cannot afford health insurance. I have two choices: go on welfare or hope someone fixes a badly broken system.


It sounds to me as if the Obama Healthcare System is any improvement. In fact, it sounds suspiciously as if the Health Care Insurance companies wrote it, which is no improvement at all. However, if the Obama-plan is voted into law, we will not have any choice on whether or not to buy a policy.


Perhaps this is best described as, “if you don’t have or cannot afford health insurance now, under Obama-care you will have health insurance but you will not have any choice.”


Dave







 

President Obama to appear on Letterman…

Good afternoon, Netizens…

President Obama will appear on the David Letterman Show September 21, next Monday.  This will be the first appearance of a sitting President on the late-night talk show.

Given David Letterman’s ascerbic wit and often dry humor, what questions do you think he will ask Obama?

Dave

Today in History, September 15, 1963…

Good morning, Netizens…


Do the names Addie Mae Collins (aged 14), Denise McNair (aged 11), Carole Robertson (aged 14), and Cynthia Wesley (aged 14) mean anything to you? On September 15, 1963, these four young girls died, among others, at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama when a bomb set by members of the Klu Klux Klan went off blowing a hole in the rear of the church.


I have never forgotten that date, although I admit the names eluded me this morning until I decided to commemorate this terrible day in history. There is an excellent article on the days events back then at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/16th_Street_Baptist_Church_bombing that gives additional details.


As an associated event, Carol Denise McNair, one of the deceased at the church, was a good friend and playmate of young Condoleeza Rice, lately of Washington, D.C. fame. 


My, how history writes, and having written, moves on.


Dave



The good Serena Williams…

Good morning, Netizens…


AP Photo/Elise Amendola


Serena Williams, left, of the United States, hugs her sister Venus after winning the women’s doubles championship over Liezel Huber, of the United States, and Cara Black, of Zimbabwe, at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Monday. This is, of course, not the “Evil Serena” that yesterday verbally ostracized a judge and threatening her, which may have resulted in her being fined or perhaps even worse.


The initial foot fault that began the fireworks was a terrible call by the line judge. Not only was it a terrible procedural call, it wasn’t a foot fault. The replays show that Serena’s foot was behind the line when she served. You could make the argument that it was close but not close enough to make the call. Let the line judge explain the video replays.  Aside from the shoddy call by the line judge, Serena was about to lose the match anyway. Maybe that is what this was all about. 


No, this is the “good Serena” who seemingly wins tennis tournaments with relative ease, smiles for the cameras and normally keeps her priorities straight. Yesterday her courtside manner cost her a tennis match.


Dave

Fair admissions down…

Good morning, Netizens…


We’ve had near-flawless weather. As this KREM picture shows, we have Michael Jackson’s rides, all for free, but the admission numbers to the Spokane Interstate Fair are down this year. Although a Fair spokesman suggests it is not because of a price raise, one cannot help but wonder. In a year when budgets are tight due to the recession, people are less likely to spend money on a tight year, especially if someone raises the admission price.


According to the Fair, however, vendors are enjoying good sales, although the number of people entering the fair are down by as much as 3800 paid admissions.


Maybe things will pick up. After all, we have The Beach Boys remnants and Glen Campbell coming to town, neither of which are top-selling performers. I wouldn’t pay fair admission to hear either, but then I tend to be pretty picky about what music I listen to.


Your results may differ.


Dave

The return of the Wild Card…

Good evening, Netizens…

It has been awhile since I offered a Wild Card at Community Comment, but upon hearing the news that Antonio Banderas is coming to Spokane next month to film a movie, and knowing how certain females will undergo palpatating hearts upon hearing this news, I decided that a Wild Card is in order.

According to rumors, Banderas will be starring as a detective in his next film, so perhaps that gives our gentrified femailes something further to discuss.

Dave

Patrick Swayze succumbs to cancer…

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Good evening, Netizens…

In an age where stars, starlets, aspirants to stardom and well-known celebs all seem to have a cloud hanging over them for various reasons, then we have the long and powerful career of Patrick Swayze, who passed away today at age 57 of pancreatic cancer. Swayze was known for a remarkable number of award-winning movie performances, not to mention his involvement in ballet and dancing.

I never met the man, never had an opportunity to shake his hand and personally thank him for his award-winning performance in “Ghost”. Had I the chance, I probably would have been maudlin, maybe even blubbering a bit, but I never forgot the essential goodness which the film portrayed.

Swayze had dignity and poise before the cameras, as in his personal life. He passed away today at home with his family at his side, his dignity intact. Rest in Peace.

Dave

Life in Cuba

Good morning, Netizens…

When I first stumbled across this AP picture, I had a momentary historical lapse, as if my eyes do not deceive me, this is a 1952 Chevrolet. In the USA this beast would have long since either become an entry at a classic car show or maybe exiled to the scrap yard, but in Havana, Cuba, they use them as bootleg taxis.

A sweet little 235 cubic inch 6-cycliner (perhaps a 216, as some Chevies varied back then), a Spicer 3-speed manual transmission and few other options, this model was one of my first cars, and although I came to loathe the 216 engine because of its design, I came to trust the 235’s hardiness and ease of maintenance. Although it didn’t have quite enough poop to climb over the Rocky Mountains at 70 MPH (More like 50 MPH was its top speed climbing over the bigger passes) it reliably delivered good fuel economy with long life for my generation.

Some models later on even came equipped with overdrive, which gave it even longer life, better fuel economy and quieter running at freeway speeds.

The best part is with just a modicum of study, I rebuilt my first car, which is how I learned the trick of using the 235, instead of the 216, since the latter had babbeted rods and main bearings. That was a genuine pain to rebuild.

Ah, the memories of the open road!

Dave

Nadine Woodward demoted to unemployed…

Good evening, Netizens…


Nadine Woodward, who has been a gracious, upbeat constant in the news broadcasting industry in Spokane for nearly 20 years, was summarily dismissed from KREM-2 television’s news September 7. The pointy-headed goon from Texas in charge of her dismissal, KREM General Manager Jamie Aitken, isn’t answering either his e-mail nor voice mail, not that he ever does.


You can read the interview the Spokesman-Review’s Tom Sowa had with Woodward here http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2009/sep/11/woodward-let-go-after-19-years-krem/ and unlike the cowardly despicable policies of KREM-2/BELO, where public comments on the story of her dismissal are not being accepted, comments are being accepted to the news story at the Spokesman.


According to Sowa’s article, a lot of the reasons for Woodward’s dismissal revolve around a substantial pay cut in her unnamed salary, but that isn’t all.


“I’ve never been treated with more disrespect and dishonor in 25 years in this business,” Woodward stated in her interview.


I could not agree more. Nadine Woodward is one of the two reasons I have been, until now, a loyal fan of KREM-2 evening news, the other being award-winning Randy Shaw, her co-anchor. I can see now where this, too, will change. KREM-2 and BELO are in my cross-hairs now.


Dave



The Eighth Anniversary of the Twin Towers

Good morning, Netizens…


Just so you remember, to keep your sense of history straight, here is a partial list of the tenants of the former World Trade Center Towers 1 and 2 that fell 8 years ago today:


http://interactive.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/Tenant-List.htm


I had tried to call a former client on the 102 floor that morning, and could not reach them. It was later on I found out why. I never forgot sitting down in front of the television and watching over 100 of their employees plunged to their death.


Please remember them and their families in your prayers always.


Dave





Red Skelton on the Pledge of Allegiane

Good morning, Netizens…

The late, great Red Skelton could make me laugh or make me cry.


It is somehow especially meaningful to me, on this, the eighth anniversary of 9/11 for I remember that morning in agonizing detail. However, a friend forwarded this old, forgotten memory to me this morning, and somehow it just seems a right and proper thing to do on this historical moment.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPbIls0iOnI


Thank you Red Skelton, for all the memories, the laughter, the characters you brought to life and the lingering sadness when you left us behind.


Dave

Who is lying?

Good morning, Netizens…


I would have commented on the trial and acquittal of Rob Boothe yesterday, and how the Wall of Blue filled the court room and tastelessly applauded his acquittal after the jury had left the room, but to be frank, someone is lying, and I hate it when that happens. It simply diminishes my respect for the police in Spokane. It makes me contemptuous and quite fearful of their virtually unlimited authority, because by not telling the absolute truth, they are unworthy of wearing the badge.


We have two sworn officers of the law, Officers Erin Blessing and Shaidon Storch, who testified during the trial that they witnessed Boothe kick John Luna in the face while he was handcuffed in custody, supine upon the ground. Both Blessing and Storch were close enough to Boothe and the suspect, they reasonably would have have had a good view of things. John Luna said someone kicked him in the face but he couldn’t see who it was.


It takes a lot of guts for a police officer to testify against another police officer. There is an unwritten code among police officers that one does not contradict their fellow officers. One does not testify against them, even if what is being stated is the truth. This is why the Wall of Blue is so corrupt; it is historically difficult to get the truth when a police officer is involved in the commission of a crime.


Then, on the other hand, we had several other officers who testified they saw nothing of the kind, that Boothe did not kick the suspect in the face.


Someone is lying. Who?


Having been acquitted of kicking John Luna, the case of choir boy Rob Boothe is over, and he will slip into anonymity behind the Wall of Blue once again. He still faces an Internal Affairs investigation, and perhaps even the wrath of Chief Ann Kirkpatrick. I do not believe for a moment that Chief Kirkpatrick condones nor would willingly stand by when officers are lying, regardless of rank.


It is time to clean the house, to tear down the Wall of Blue. It is time, once again, for the unexpurgated, untarnished truth to come forth, and public disclosure take place lest my contempt and the contempt of every citizen in Spokane for the Police Department continues to grow unabated.


Dave

The Post-Obama education talks…

Good morning, Netizens…

O Lord spare us from the idiots we may become through being narrow-minded and ignorant! At least that is what cartoonist David Horsey seems to be saying this morning as we revisit one of his American cartoon families after the kids watched President Obama speaking to them in school yesterday.

If we cannot or will not heed President Obama’s words to our kids yesterday, if the kids are unwilling or unable to heed his words, we are doomed sure as the dickens to raising a generation of idiots.

After a thorough and careful review of his speech yesterday, ie., study hard and go to college, is there any cogent reason kids shouldn’t heed his words? Did anyone see or hear where President Obama tried to sell the kids on Socialist or Communist theories? One of America’s greatest resources upon which our very futures depend so heavily, upon which our very futures rely is that of our PEOPLE in the future.

In short, our kids are our futures. Without critical thinking, and good reading, math and history skills, we are doomed.

Dave

The Queen’s Knickers…

Good morning, Netizens…

Alexandra Kim, curator of the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, holds a pair of bloomers which once belonged to Britain’s Queen Victoria, as she poses for the photographer at Kensington Palace, in central London, Tuesday. The underwear, which has a 56-inch (142-centimeter) waist, has been added to Britain’s Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection at Kensington Palace. It has a matching chemise, is embroidered with a “VR” and is believed to date from the 1890s.

Yes, as even the AP story that accompanies this picture observes, the Queen in the late 1890’s was a bit portly. The poor old Queen had had a string of kids, and was eating well at the time.

I cannot help but wonder if anyone in a future generation will suddenly discover some bit of underwear that belonged to royalty of any kind in our generation, and add it to some fantastic collection of knickers belonging to American royalty.

It seems unlikely to me, although given the incredible number of perverts and other strange creatures we have living in Spokane’s enlightened modern society, I suppose anything is possible. However, I do not imagine we would have a royal ceremonial dress museum for our own Mayor Queen Mary Verner’s knickers, would we?

Stranger things have happened in Spokane though.

Dave

A message from the battle front…

Good evening, Netizens…

I have done this in the past, and with the news from Bob Kirkpatrick, my friend, continually getting worse, he is contemplating ending his life with dignity rather than continue living it in pain and anguish. While I support his right to exercise that option, I will absolutely be horrified if nothing else can be done to help him.

For you see, I too hold the VA in contempt for the slip-shod manner in which they provide services to American heroes in their care. So I am enclosing Bob’s message to them  from on his blog http://www.deludia.com/ in the hope that others will listen with their hearts and perhaps bring their combined leverage to bear on them. and I quote: 

To: Sharon Helman, Spokane VAMC

By bk

Dear Ms. Helman;

I am a 100% service connected Multiple Myeloma victim and I am dying. I am seeking a Washington physician to help me end my life under the state’s Initiative 1000 because I have absolutely no confidence in the VA’s ability to keep me cared for and as comfortable as circumstances permit. I do not want to die, but that choice has been taken from me by the Vietnam war and the VA.

I read your defense of the Spokane VAMC doctor(s) in reply to the Spokesman Review. You really missed the mark. All the best doctors in the world are useless if a patient cannot access them in a timely manner. With an average wait of six weeks to two months to get to see a doctor at the Spokane VAMC, and then the doctor has a maximum of 20 minutes to spend with the patient, the medical care you offer to patients like me is ridiculous. It is no better in the ER; my visits causing me waits of at least 4 hours and waits as long as 14 hours being the status quo. This is a horrendous abuse of cancer patients like me who cannot be exposed to a waiting room full of sick people for extended periods. I take pain medications every three hours and so waiting any longer than that means I am in excruciating pain for hours because I cannot get pain help until I see the doctor. This drives me out of the ER and back home where I can get access to my pain meds. Your policies do not permit patients to bring their own drugs to the ER so we are left defenseless. Even if I get the opportunity to see a doctor, they won’t provide enough pain medication to do the job. In spite of my medical record being available showing the level of morphine I take, they all provide only minimal (read:  ineffective) pain control. On top of it all, the people in ER reception are often rude and unswervingly uncaring about patient situation or discomfort; their attitude has literally driven me from the ER on one occasion.


Power still out in Stevens County…

Good evening, Netizens…


Last night’s wind storm must have truly clobbered portions of Northern Stevens County above Colville as tonight, more than 24 hours since the wind blew through Spokane causng a few outages that were repaired within 4-5 hours, there are still over 500 residents and businesses north of Colville without power according to the Avista web site.


From the looks of the Avista outage map one would surmise most of the remaining power outages are perhaps in the fringe areas of the Colville National Forest which are always susceptible to downed tree limbs and other tree-related damage in remote areas.


In some cases it takes a few days for Avista’s big trucks to navigate remote wilderness roads. However, one would also presume that would imply Avista would perform line maintenance more often to minimize such occurrences from happening in the future.


Dave



American parents gone mad????

Good evening, Netizens…


I have been covertly listening to the news over the long weekend, but one of the news items that most often caught my ear was the number of schools that were refusing to carry the television broadcast of his speech to school children tomorrow. Some children will be kept at home by their misguided parents to avoid any chance they might be “indoctrinated” by Obama’s speech.


I have tried to comprehend or even understand what the right-wing, wingnut Republican extremists have been saying, but cannot simply because they are saying nothing here that is rooted in logic or sensible rational thought, but is based in fear and ignorance. In fact, having read a great deal of this spewing taking place from the Republican Right Wing, I am even more convinced this is nothing less than racism, albeit disguised in a great number of ways, but still racism at its worst.


I suspect, but cannot prove, that most of these parents reside in areas of the country where there are few black citizens, where blacks hold few positions of power. Could it be possible that the “caring parents” simply do not want their children to ever witness a young, well-educated black man who is so powerful? Could it be that the parents are committing the worst kind of indoctrination of all, as they want the next generation of their families to be as hideously racist as those who preceded them in history?


There are some in the ultra-conservative Republican right wing who would have us believe President Obama is a radical, a terrorist, a goon with horns and out to destroy America. He is just black, and that seems to truly bring out the race hatred in some people.


I have read the real Obama speech on the White House web site  http://www.whitehouse.gov/MediaResources/PreparedSchoolRemarks/ that he will be giving to school kids tomorrow, at least those willing to hear a message of hope, as opposed to some of the not-so-clever forgeries I have read today. President Obama has seven more years to rescue America from its own disgusting dependence upon racist ideologues and half-baked hatred. It makes me sick.


Of course, your opinions may differ.


Dave

Google is a verb and a noun…

Good morning, Netizens…


Just how pervasive is the Internet Search Engine Google http://www.google.com/ anyway? It seems that virtually anything, ranging from news stories, books, just to name a few of the have been assimilated into this massive search engine, but where do we draw the line? That is one of the questions David Horsey asks in this cartoon.


Or perhaps if one assumes that Google is synonymous with the Internet itself, perhaps we should ask the question just how pervasive is the Internet?


Unlike some who are reading this brief message are saying, “Why, we could not survive without the Internet.”


Let us reflect back on the idea of an all-consuming Google for a moment. Then let us look at some alternatives. Personally I think it is too late for that, but your opinions may differ. I think we waited too long to look how voracious the Internet Search Engines are and how we have become dependant upon them for our everyday lives. On the other hand, let us examine carefully all the good things search engines bring us.


You have to balance everything in life, including our dependence upon the Internet, do we not?


Dave

Wind causing power outages…

Good afternoon, Netizens…

Winds gusting between 35 and 50 MPH this afternoon caused sporadic power outages throughout North and Far Northern Spokane region. Other areas were adversely affected by the windstorm, as well, with portions of Stevens County and Kootenai County, Idaho impacted as well.

The official count of outages according to Avista currently stands at 1740 homes and businesses without power at 8:30 PM this evening, a portion of which is visible from our house looking South. Power has been out in that area since shortly after 5:30 PM this afternoon, and Avista has just now arrived on the scene to make repairs. 

Based upon past experiences, there are many areas in Stevens County where power probably will not be fully restored before tomorrow morning.

Dave


What is a patriot?

Good morning, Netizens…


As you whip yourself into rising from bed this morning, ask yourself if you are a patriot. Cartoonist David Horsey poses that very question, as viewed through a very small prism, and perhaps the results are not what you might think. If you constrain your personal definition of the word patriot to where people are either in favor of Green Technology or a continued addiction to foreign oil, I believe the limits imposed are sadly limiting.


I remember quite a few patriots, because my definition refines the question even more. My patriots are so defined because they have given themselves of the ultimate gift they possess, their bodies, their health and even their lives in the defense of liberty, such as that may be. Some of them are living among us while others lay in repose in their graves beneath the trees. Some unfortunately live along West First Avenue in hellish existences, and their needs for the most part going unheeded by the very veteran’s agencies that we pay to protect and serve them. Some even weep real tears when Old Glory marches down the street, and I with them. These, the unsung patriots, have come to represent everything I know of such men and women.


However, having made that statement, and when viewed through the lens of David Horsey’s incredible wit and skill, given the choices thus submitted in this cartoon, what would your results be? Would you stand on liberal versus conservative politics or make a different decision? Is a policy of energy independence considered being a patriot​?


Dave

I have to pass once again on Pig Out in the Park…

Good morning, Netizens…


I have been hectic for over a week’s time. I suppose most people would mutter thickly beneath their breath about someone bitching about having more business than they can handle, but I am bitching. I have lots of projects, things which profit me little or nothing, but must be done nonetheless. There are several stories that need to be told which, for the time being, will sit glaring at me from the corners of my desktop; several honey-do projects that will be put off until I can recover from this insensible madness, and even worse, I have been pumping myself up, trying to lose weight and recover my good health but even that may be put off for awhile. Then there is the incessant work.


I have chosen to ignore Pig Out in the Park once again this year, for it represents a particular type of culinary temptation I don’t need and yet, based upon previous years, cannot resist. Each booth tantalizes my senses, begs me to indulge in more self-indulgence and Lord knows, I don’t need the extra calories or the fat. Instead of running downtown to embrace the madness in the park, I will wait, like an unrepentant sinner that I am, and perhaps drop by as the festival draws to a close.


Maybe if I am lucky everyone will still have their stands up and serving food and oh so tremulously I can sneak into the park for just one sniff, one delicate sniffing of the good smells I so dearly love, should not have but cannot resist. Perhaps maybe by the weekend, with temperatures plummeting well down below our local averages, perhaps the incessant crowds will have dissipated, leaving the arena of wonderful smells and memories of times when I could eat whatever my soul desired to an old gray-haired man with lust in his heart.


Of course I should not mention Pig Out in the Park without reminding everyone of the two truly awe-inspiring men without whom it would never have become what it is. Bill Burke and Val Workman have slaved like two giant workhorses for as long as I have known them in the traces of public service. The really marvelous story of Pig Out in the Park is told http://www.spokanepigout.com/about.ydev and it is a story to cherish. Thank you both for all that you have done to make such a success story happen.


Even if I dare not linger too closely to the bountiful feast.


Dave



Victory in Afghanistan?

Good morning, Netizens…

I have read rather extensively about life in Afghanistan from a remarkable number of scholarly authors, and in each new book I have read, I have heard how culturally isolated the entire country lives. If you take the modern-day convenience such as television, and compare the number of televisions per citizen, you will realize that once you leave the major cities, televisions, and thus from them, news reports are at best, word-of-mouth. Thus you will see how the people live.

Thus, David Horsey’s cartoon this morning is closer to reality than perhaps we might think.

Then you add the rugged terrain, the number of times Western Civilization has broken promises to the Afghanis and the number of countries who have attempted to defeat them in war unsuccessfully, and then add their dismal employment numbers, you have a country that truly is living in midieval times.

What is truly frightening, however, is through their neighbor Pakistan, they may gain access to atomic weaponry. Stone-age cultures should never have access to such things. Of course, since I cannot speak for the US State Department, and thus speaking from my own opinion, your results may differ.

Dave

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