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Huckleberries Online

Archive for February 2006

Wild Card/Tuesday — 2/28/06

HBO simply has to repeat PDXPup’s wonderful posting re: the Huckleberries Chaos Theory, which she introduced with the line: “The way I see it.” The Pup belongs to one of three blogging families that inhabits this blog. All hyper-talented. She’s also related to HBO by education, having attended the same college as Amy Dearest, where she was a star athlete. I don’t often reprise a post. But this one deserves it. Mebbe it’ll prompt you to start your own thread …

Best of the Local Blogs — 2/28/06

Cartoon: Jim Tibbs/Grants Pass, Ore.

1. I wasn’t going to post a BOTLB today, but Marianne Love/Slight Detour forced me to do so, with two excellent posts this week. One that had me busting a gut as she plays off our front-page story Monday about bull “butts, guts and nuts” here. And the other about a developer blaming a local baby boom for all the population growth here.

2. Bearable Bob and CDADave, two of the HBO blogosphere’s finest are bed-ridden with upper respiratory problems here and arthritis maximas here, respectively. But they’re not MIA as they continue to soldier on in cyberspace.

3. MikeK/Idaho Kennedys has posted for the first time since — what? — the Coeur d’Alene municipal elections, and he’s begging for matching money for a $100,000 grant for the new library here. Alas, where have you gone MikeK? Has politics ruint another good man?

*Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise zeroes in on a slight scrap between Reps. Bob Nonini and Jim Clark over a Rathdrum aquifer funding bill here.

*HBO newby Hindu/Sagebrush of the Tri-Cities already is suffering Portgate fatigue here,

Meanwhile, JBelle provides a list of cool things she wants to do sometime here, Amyrebba let’s us know that she’s still around here (thanx to Cis’s prodding), and Stebbijo has a cool photo of a dog on the open range here/.

All We Are Is Dust In The Wind …

Students at St. Peter Parish in Kirkwood, Mo., watch the burning of the palm branches Tuesday in an annual ceremony the day before Ash Wednesday. The wind shifted direction and the smoke blew towards the first-graders who are from left: Max Prosperi, 6; Allison Henry, 8; Scotty Villhard, 6,; Cara Palombo, 6; and Pauly Morrison, 7. Burning the branches is principal Dan Bauer. (AP photo/J.B. Forbes)

Easter Egg — Another Political Quiz

You can find a cool Pew Center quiz that’ll show you where you fit among several types of people and political animals. Me? I fell in the “upbeat” category. Check it out here.

Hat Tip: SR colleague Rasha Madkour

An Ex-Californian Who Didn’t Bumpersnicker

First, you should know what office colleague Renee’s bumpersnicker sez: “Please, Lord, let it snow 20 feet this year — Maybe the Californians will leave.” Then, you’d understand this hand-printed note that was on her windshield when she returned from shopping at Safeway on Fourth: “Californians are here because greedy Realters (sic), (expletive deleted)! They’re here to stay!!” You’ve been warned.

How Brand X “Corrects” Its Polls

Remember when I said I thought there was something fishy about that recent Coeur d’Alene Press poll re: the Idaho governor’s race — you know, the one that had Demo Jerry Brady way ahead of favored Repub Butch Otter (and then switched within a few minutes to reflect the opposite)? Well, there is something wrong. HBO has inside info. Deep Throat sez HBO “busted” the Press some time back when it ran a poll re: Bossman Duane Hagadone’s attempt to cultivate a downtown garden on Sherman Avenue. Remember? The poll showed overwhelming opposition for several days until it abruptly switched to show strong support. Deep Throat: ” The poll is not secure and all a programmer has to do is upload whatever numbers you want to the TownNews ftp server. You just have to make sure that the numbers all add up to 100% or it will crash the poll. You would be amazed how many times that has happened. The programmer we used to have had a hard time with addition. We put in whatever numbers Jim Thompson emailed to (us).”

/case solved … move along.

Dear Flabby (If TUBOB Gave Advice):

Dear Flabby,

My husband spends way too much time on the computer reading and commenting on some newspaper blog, Strawberries or something, he never takes me bowling anymore and has even lost interest in sex, I’m at wit’s end! I’m still a young beautiful woman and I deserve better than this. — Arguing in Athol.

Flabby: Your husband will never change. He’s addicted. The worst thing you can do is try to make this marriage work. Call me. Really. We’ll get together. I love to bowl, I’ve got a 10 handicap.

HBO Catches Toms Peeping

A couple of peeping toms look into a window in Norfolk, Neb. Monday. About a dozen wild turkeys were spotted around the northeast Nebraska city. (AP Photo/Norfolk Daily News, Dennis Meyer)

Video Journal: Revisiting Linette Freeman

“Linette Freeman of Coeur d’Alene first shared her story with Spokesman-Review columnist Cynthia Taggart three years ago. At the time she weighed more than 400 pounds and was considering weight loss surgery. Her friends and family raised money so that she could get laparoscopic gastric banding surgery, which promised quick weight loss. The elective surgery cost $25,000. Three years later, after some initial success, she has regained some of the weight and she is still working towards a healthy weight.”

For Jesse Tinsley’s Video Journal post and to hear Linette’s story in her own words, follow the links after you click here.

APhoto of the Day — 2/28/06

Participants in the Cardboard Classic race along during Red Lodge Winter Carnival on Red Lodge Mountain in Red Lodge, Mont., Saturday. Racers were built from cardboard, tape, glue and paint and the raced down a ski slope. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Billings Gazette, Bob Zellar)

Question of the Day — Families Want Death

Issue: Relatives want death penalty for Duncan
Families reject plea deal idea
/Taryn Brodwater, Spokesman-Review

Darlene Torres (Brenda Groene’s mother): “We’re definitely not interested in any plea bargain whatsoever. Mr. Douglas – we’re behind him all the way.”

Question: So, that’s that? Forget about any possible plea bargain for life in prison without possiblity of parole?

Quick Fix 6 — 2/28/06

1. APhoto Fix: Anna Nicole Smith, walks outside the U.S. Supreme Court, in Washington earlier today. Dressed in all black, former stripper turned weight-loss promoter fought her way through a throng of photographers and autograph-seekers on her way to a Supreme Court showdown in her bid to inherit her late husband’s fortune here/Manuel Balce Seneta, AP photo.

2. Cartoon Fix: Gary Varvel (Busted for dealing), Rob Rogers (Strange apologies), and Jeff Stahler (Game of Life).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten H&R Block Excuses” here.

4. My Way Fix: This Day In History here, Today’s Birthdays here, Positive Quote here, and Word of the Day here.

5. Top of the News Fix: Peaceniks making plans to storm the White House here, Poll: 18% have favorable view of Cheney here, Bush admits Bin Laden helped him win here, Democratic national convention in “Sin City” here, and Australia may ban smoking in cars here.

6. Opinion Fix: Roger Hunt/USA Today (Time to overturn Roe), Wall Street Journal (Hollywood liberals chase off productive Californians), Jennifer Biddison/Townhall (Evangelicals misled on climate change), Pete DuPont/Wall Street Journal (Reagan’s election was turning point), and Stanley Kurtz/National Review (Gay marriage hurts marriage).

Where Do We Go From Here II

I’ve been flirting with an outside-the-box idea re: how to get a handle on my work schedule. As it is now, I hit work about 8:30 a.m., blog straight thru while eating my lunch at my desk, and leave around 6:15 p.m. Long day. And I still barely have time to complete my newspaper duties. So, obviously, something has to give. Bossman Steve Smith definitely wants my voice on the Editorial Page in the same capacity (three editorials per week). But he’s open to other changes. So I was wondering …

What would happen if I folded Huckleberries into the Editorial Page, rationing it out over two or three days a week, instead of just one? What would happen, if I produced a Best of the Local Blogs once a week for the Editorial Page? And compiled responses from a good thread once a week? And then simply ran a giant Huckleberry as it’s own separate piece? In other words, if I produced an ongoing Huckleberries for the Editorial Page that interacted with the online version? Is it possible? Bob free-wheeling it on the Op-Ed page about love lost and cigarettes wanted (with my editting out his F-bombs, of course). Mari/Marianne/Cis combining their years of knowledge into a thread on our “Lower 40,” the name we have for the space below the main editorial. I’ve mentioned the idea to both Opinion Editor Doug Floyd and Bossman Smith. Both are interested.

What do you think?

DFO

Wild Card/Monday — 2/27/06

I need to go home and let the dog out. His legs are probably crossed by now. I also need to read through Mari Meehan’s post re: the suggestions you guys made Saturday morning, “Where Do We Go From Here,” and might comment a little later in the evening about it. (Momma’s not home tonight, so I can get away with sneaking onto the blog.) Anyway, no “PS” tonight. Then, I’m not fond of that feature because I have to dig for something while I have one foot out the door. Anyone think of something that’d draw comments and be easy to post? While you’re thinking of that, you’re welcome to use this Wild Card for your own threads …

Best of the Local Blogs

After a year of blogging, Bayview Herb Huseland has spruced up his site with a photo (above) and a site meter (with a little help from his friends Cis and Mari Meehan) here.

Newcomer: Put your hands together for new “Friends of Huckleberries” blogger Hindu, who writes the Sagebrush blog, from the Tri-Cities, Wash. He’s a conservative in the farming business who has his cross-hairs on the western Washington. Good blog. Good guy. Click here.

*Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings is dissecting the remarks from the HBO Saturday question: “Where Do We Go From Here?” here.

*Family Phil tried to keep news that Don Knotts had died from his 7-year-old but an NBC newscaster spilled the beans here.

*Bearable Bob excoriates downhill skier Bode Miller for his embarrassing Olympic flameout in his post: “Bode Miller: When Egos Are Disqualified” here. (Caution: Not for timid readers.) BTW, you might want to swing by Bob’s site to wish him well as he tries to recover from a bug he’s not too fond of here.

*Holy Moly is thinking about Christmas and “Thin Places” in his latest post (which may or may not include his photo … dunno) — but not about our December dust-up involving the ACLU and Christmas here.

*With tears, Cis/From A Simple Mind sez goodbye to Harold’s IGA, where everyone used to know your name, here.

*Dunno which of the Golly Gals posted the terrific post, “Boys In Toy Land,” about the Route 53 Diner in Rathdrum, but it’s blogging at its best — photos, good commentary, interesting subject — here.

Meanwhile, poetical Mittens/Calico Gals yearns for spring here, Toad tries and fails to outfox his son here, and Sagebrush Patriot recommends a pretty good Boise Chinese food place (don’t look if you’re hungry) here.

And Darren McGavin Makes 3, R.I.P.

Darren McGavin, top, in a scene from the television series “Riverboat” in this June 25, 1959 file photo. McGavin, 83, the husky, tough-talking actor who starred in the TV series “Mike Hammer,” played a grouchy dad in the holiday classic “A Christmas Story” and had other strong roles in films and TV here.

Factoids: McGavin was born in Spokane in 1922, and the role I enjoyed him playing most was “Kolchak: The Night Stalker.”

Question: Can any gimlet-eyed HBOer name the second actor in the photo above?

Feedback: “I’m rethinking my earlier guess - is that a young, pre-mustache Burt Reynolds?” — The Heimlich Maneuver. (DFO: Bingo)

HBO — to JQC re: Winter’s End

Jane Q. Citizen: “The one thing you can count on as far as winter in north Idaho is it ain’t over ‘til it’s over. We keep ours on (studded snow tires) until the last legal day to do so.”

DFO: For the first time since I arrived in the Northwest almost 30 years ago, I declared Feb. 2 to be the end of winter. Hear me out. In the past, I’d get bummed about winter stretching into April sometimes. (In Kalispell, Mont., it can stretch through June.) Anyway, the day marks my father’s birthday and Punxatawney Phil’s prediction. Since Phil’s friend Pennsylvania wherein lies the despicable town of Pittsburgh, home of the Super Bowl-stealing Steelers, I decided an East Coast groundhog wasn’t going to tell me when winter was going to end. I’ve enjoyed February as never before this year and considered the cold blast last week as the dying gasps of Old Man Winter 2006. I’ll keep my studs on for a coupla more weeks just in case OMW has another puff in him. But the robins in my trees and the Mariners preparing to open spring training games say its spring. Hip, hip …

Dennis Weaver, R.I.P.

This 1956 file photo shows actors Dennis Weaver, left, as the slow-witted deputy Chester and James Arness as Marshall Matt Dillon, are shown in a scene from CBS’ TV classic western “Gunsmoke” in 1956. Weaver, 81, died of complications from cancer on Friday at his home in Ridgway, in southwestern Colorado. (AP archive photo)

It’s Not As Easy As You Think To Miss …

… Old Harry Whatshisname, Veep Dick Cheney’s hunting partner. See how you do when the quail are flying and Harry’s getting in the way here.

Hat Tip: SR Circulation Buddy Mike Mahon

Don Knotts

Thanks for the smiles
you gave our life
and farewell now
dear Barney Fife.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

The Vet Said — What?

“Dr. Dean Aldrich said he couldn’t comment without written consent from the dog’s owner due to privacy reasons” — Taryn Brodwater/Spokesman-Review, writing about the veterinarian’s refusal to comment a severely injured pet bull that was found in the Priest River area recently here.

DFO: There’s privacy rules for … dogs?!

Photo of the Day — Don Knotts, In Memoriam

Tim Conway, left, and Don Knotts, who died Friday night, are seen in this 1974 photo in character for the film “The Apple Dumpling Gang”. To commemorate this fine actor’s great career of making us laugh, I’ve selected this AP file photo for the daily cutline contest. You write the cutline.

SR Editorial: Seek Life for Perv Duncan

“Even if (Joseph Edward) Duncan is convicted for the first three killings, he isn’t going to be executed any time soon. Decades from now, he and his lawyers would be filing appeals and challenging any execution dates ordered by current and future Kootenai County judges. A capital punishment case is a slow, expensive process. It should be. No one wants to see an innocent person put to death. Nor does society want guilty verdicts thrown out on technicalities. As much as Kootenai County residents want a pound of flesh, there is a more sensible way to resolve this case – a plea bargain that would put Duncan in prison for the rest of his life without possibility of parole.”

For the rest of my editorial about Joseph Edward Duncan III, click here.

Quick Fix 6 — 2/27/06

1. Otis Chandler, the former publisher of the Los Angeles Times, is shown on Sept. 11, 2003, in Los Angeles, with a portrait of his mother Dorothy Chandler, left. Chandler, who transformed his family’s provincial, conservative newspaper into a respected national media voice, died early today. He was 78. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Gary Freidman )

2. Cartoon Fix: Nick Anderson (Another threat to ports), Robert Airail (A uniter, not a divider), and Steve Benson (United Arab Emirates).

3. Humor Fix: “They had a streaker during the curling match between the U.S. and Britain. No charges were pressed against the man because being the curling event there were no witnesses” — Jay Leno.

4. My Way Fix: This Day In History here, Today’s Birthdays here, Positive Quote here, and Word of the Day here.

5. Top of the News Fix: U.S. citizens rally to stop turnover here, Creationist Henry Morris died at 87 here, Bush, Rove expect Hillary prez race here, Two-thirds of hurricane donations exhausted here, and Poll: Most get news from TV broadcasters here.

6. Opinion Fix: Dexter Lehtinen/National Review (Iraq nothing like Vietnam, except at home), Ruth Ann Daily/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Learning from principled pro-lifers), James S. Robbins/National Review (Bin Laden flip-flop), Kathleen Parker/Orlando Sentinel (What’s wrong with being Islamophobic?), and Armstrong Williams/Townhall (A war on terror, not Muslims).

For The Record re: Fred Phelps

DFO (from Saturday night): “The Fred Phelps hate group have done two things that stink to the heavens: interrupted patriotic funerals with their nuttiness and given the Left wing another strawman to point to when it denounces Christianity. A lot of wrong can be done in the name of religion, both from the right side and the left side. Phelps and his ill-informed ilk are no more Christian than my dog. Indeed, this clan has a surprise awaiting them on the other side.”

DFO (follow-up): I didn’t equate hateful funeral crasher Fred Phelps with the Bush bashers at the Coretta Scott King funeral. Someone else made the comparison, as a follow-up. And I followed that up with a comment that the comparison was a “little over the top.” I stating this for the record because sometimes a blog thread is like one of those games in which a line of people are suppose to repeat a statement to one another — and what comes out one end isn’t what goes in at the other. BTW, for the Lefties here, you guys don’t have dibs on Coretta Scott King. Or her husband. They were two for the ages. And for all people of goodwill in this country, both Left and Right. To use her funeral to show disrespect for a sitting president, as Carter did, was shameful. You might see it otherwise. But I’d say most people not caught up in a hatred for Bush would see it as shameful.

HBO — to Sue re: Committed Fathers

Sue: “I love to see Dads taking an active role in raising their children. Heath Ledger has the financial freedom to make that choice, and others do it for the family’s benefit regardless of financial situation. More power to him and all you dedicated dads.”

DFO: Sue made a wonderful statement about faith last week. And she scores again here. The importance of loving fathers in a child’s life simply can’t be overstated. My kids are raised and out of the house. But I take comfort in the fact that I almost never missed any activity of importance to them. Also, I established the tradition when they were in high school of taking them out to coffee, to discuss anything they wanted to. Our coffees lasted for hours, so I think they enjoyed them, too. I pity the father that doesn’t take time to enjoy his kids.

HBO — CDADave re: Saturday Flame War

CDADave: Zip-ah-dee-doo-dah, Zip-ah-dee-aaay,
I think Huckleberries is here to stay
Plenty of folks all throwin’ flames
Zip-ah-dee-doo-dah, Zip-ah-dee-aaay!

DFO: I was going to post some “HBO to’s …” and then I noticed the total disintegration of the Saturday thread after my last post with Green Libertarian lecturing me about allowing Any Mouse back in … and then decided what’s the use? Why waste the time? My time. On a weekend. Baby-sitting. If I say anything else at this moment, I’ll regret it. I’ll catch you this afternoon, after I’ve gone to church and counted to 10. (Or is the mention of church going to set some of you guys off, too?)

Wild Card — Saturday 2/25/06

You have a lot of topics below to read and possibly comment on. But there’s always room for more. So, here’s your Saturday Wild Card …

WND Poll Features John Rook’s Boone Crusade

Issue: Who’s missing from Rock Hall of Fame? Effort initiated to induct pop pioneer Pat Boone/WorldNetDaily

Quote: “With all of these accomplishments, how is it that Mr. White Bucks could be excluded from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame? That’s what legendary radio man John Rook would like to know – along with thousands of Boone’s fans. Rook has created a website – and a movement – to back Boone’s entry into the Hall of Fame. Thousands are signing a petition that will be presented to the Cleveland-based institution.”

Question: Should Pat Boone be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

1. No, he’s not really rock and roll
2. No, he just performed cover versions of black artists’ tunes
3. No, he doesn’t fit the sex, drugs and rock and roll image of the music industry
4. No
5. Who cares?
6. Yes, he was a genuine rock and roll pioneer
7. Yes, on record sales – no question about it
8. Yes, he’s being discriminated against because of his wholesome image
9. Yes, he’s being discriminated against because he’s a Christian, a conservative and a WorldNetDaily columnist
10. Yes

DFO: No. 6

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

HBO — to Dan of the County re: R’s & D’s

Here’s some statistics from our website that give the total average percentages of R and D votes cast in the last 4 general election cycles. It doesn’t always come out to 100% because sometimes there were other candidates. But it does give some kind of outside boundaries for how many votes tend to be cast for the two major parties in Kootenai County. Again the number for R and D is the average of the votes cast by party in all races in those general elections where there were at least a Rep and a Dem running. Also out of all of those races I took the highest and lowest percentage for any of the races that year.

1998 Gen, R=59% D=40%, Hi R=72% Hi D=56%, Low R=44% Low D=28.

2000 Gen, R=61% D=38%, Hi R=52% Hi D=44%, Low R=52% Low D=31%.

2002 Gen, R=54% D=42%, Hi R=63% Hi D=53%, Low R=40% Low D=33%.

2004 Gen, R=61% D=38%, Hi R=71% Hi D=51%, Low R=49% Low D=29%.

For those 4 general elections the average Rep votes=59% and Dem votes=40%.

More DOTC: “So it looks like in general,any R candidate can expect to have at least a 10-20% head start on any D candidate in Kootenai County…no wonder I feel like a Maytag repairman sometimes … but hey those Maytags are still around.”

DFO: So, now you know why Dan of the County is a rare Democrat who has beat the odds. He must be good to do so. And he is. Thanks for your work here, Dan.

HBO — to Sue re: Moving to the Right

Sue: “I too worry that I’ve moved to the right, but when push comes to shove, the brain kicks in, the thought processes activate and begin a mid-course correction bringing back from the edge.”

DFO: Strange, I worry that I’ve moved to far left. I was complaining about it to the other Editorial Board members today. Remember: I’ve written two editorials defending the right of the Gay-Straight Alliance to meet and I have a left-trending one coming this weekend that might surprise some of you. I’ve never been a true fiscal conservative. And I go green the closer an environmental issue is to home. I don’t think it’s healthy to be knee-jerk anything.

Wild Card/TGIF — 2/24/06

Here’s a Wild Card for individuals who have their own threads to promote this Friday afternoon …

P.S. — Don’t Worry, Be Happy — 2/24/06

Pew Survey: Republicans are happier than Democrats: It’s not because the party controls all levers of federal power either/NewsMax

DFO: By and large, I’m a fairly happy person. Nothing I prize more than a good laugh. Of course, I occasionally get owly, especially on the blog late in the week when I’m battling deadlines on my news side jobs and a posse of Barking Moonbats are trampling all over my brilliant ideas on the various threads. Then, I become downtown Strangelovian in my desire to punch the ban button. But it all slows down at 6 o’clock on Friday evenings. I love Friday nights and Saturday mornings.

Question: On a scale of 1 to 10, are you happy?

Top Cutlines — 2/24/06

Golden retrievers (Samantha, at the wheel, Barkley and Tanner), owned by Jon Morse, of Aurora, Colo., during a visit to the dog park at Cherry Creek State Park Thursday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Aurora Sentinel & Daily Sun, Shannon Davidson)

Top Cutlines:

1. (tie) Parallel barking is not as easy as it looks — North Star, and: Bumpersticker: Bit** On Board — Bob.

2. The Bones family was first in line for the drive-in movie when “101 Dalmatians” opened — Whippersnapper.

3. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey 2006 ….finds Samantha, Barkley and Tanner headed home after a long weekend in Vegas — Dave Tolle.

HM: Cis

For all of today’s terrific cutline entries, click here.

“The Thinker”

“A penny for your thoughts,” they’d say
when he was in a pensive way;
for cogitations more sublime
they’d sometimes offer him a dime.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Smile, When You Say “Colorectal”

Claudia Bucher with the Red Cross, crawls through CoCo, The Colossal Colon, at Crestwood Hospital Thursday in Huntsville, Ala. Gastroenterologist Smita Shah said the giant colon can increase the public’s awareness about the need for colorectal screenings and just get them comfortable in saying the word “colorectal.” (AP Photo/The Huntsville Times, Bob Gathany)

HBO — to Cis Re: Uptight People

Cis Gors: “East Coast especially in New England are known for being tight with their money, sometimes uptight and closed mouth. … But when they meet you, they want to know who your parents and grandparents are and etc. Because of being closed mouth, they are thought to be snobs, and some of them are. A lot of them aren’t. They just aren’t as loose and friendly as people on the West coast are.”

DFO: Easterners seem to have an edge to them. They’re in a hurry. They talk fast. Walk fast. Then, mebbe I’m describing New Yorkers from the city.

Question: Who are the most uptight people in the U.S. of A.? The friendliest?


HBO — to Dustin Re: Fernan Tower

Dustin: “People keep commenting on how this building will block views…. have you actually looked to see where this building will be? Have you ever been over by the entrance to the Resort Golf Course? All that’s there are ugly, run down gas stations and motels. People call this building ugly, but I see it as much more attractive than what’s there. There’s no way it will block any public viewing of the lake. Not only that, but with the small size of each floor (in the 6000 sf range), this will be a very narrow tower. I know people are afraid of changing CDA for the worse, and I appreciate the beautiful surroundings as much as the next person. People have to realize that growth will happen, and to research these proposals before making knee jerk reactions and saying that they will ruin the city. Would you rather have visitors to the city see this upon entering from the east, or some worn out looking motel and open parking lots? This is a good move for CDA.

DFO: I don’t know who Dustin is, but he makes a good point re: the tackiness of what’s there now. You could go on to add that a Fernan Tower will prompt other development nearby. Nice defense here. I hope Dustin checks in here more with your ideas.

HBO — to Tom Taggart Re: Balanced Budgets

Tom Taggart: “I am amazed how some republicans have abandoned the idea of a balanced budget. At one time it was central to their platform. It was so important they proposed constitutional amendments to balance the budget. Now that they are in power the message is different. ‘Don’t worry about the debt, it isn’t a big deal. The economy is so healthy it will grow us out of it.’ Both parties are guilty of changing when in power, but this turn around seems especially astounding.”

DFO: The Balanced Budget Amendment was the linchpin of U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s political existence when the Democrats had power, pre-1994. I haven’t heard him mention it in — what? — a decade? Your comment is dead on. The R’s have lost the moral high ground when it comes to fiscal responsibility. The D’s haven’t had it since, say, John F. Kennedy.

APhoto of the Day — 2/24/06

Golden retrievers (Samantha, at the wheel, Barkley and Tanner), owned by Jon Morse, of Aurora, Colo., during a visit to the dog park at Cherry Creek State Park Thursday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Aurora Sentinel & Daily Sun, Shannon Davidson)

Question of the Day — “Famous Potatoes”

Issue: Potato lobby makes case in license plate debate/Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review

DFO: Idahoans, particularly those of us in the north, should have a choice whether we have “Famous Potatoes” on our license plates or not. Having said that, I’d probably choose to keep the plates because I’m found of potatoes.

Question (for individuals who have standard plates): Do you mind having “Famous Potatoes” on your license plates?

Quick Fix 6 — 2/24/06

1. APhoto Fix: HBO’s apologies to anyone planning to watch the scintillating curline match between the US and Britain tonight … United States skip Pete Fenson yells after a shot during the bronze medal curling match against Great Britain in Pinerolo, Italy during the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games earlier today. The United States defeated Britain 8-6 to win the bronze medal. (APhoto Mark Baker)

2. Cartoon Fix: Chuck Asay (Airport security vs. port security), Signe Wilkinson (Port security v. cartoons), and Gary Varvel (Carter supports ports deal).

3. Humor Fix: This story keeps getting crazier. President Bush now says he didn’t know about the Dubai port deal until after it was approved. Apparently this is part of the White House’s don’t ask him - don’t tell him policy — Jay Leno.

4. My Way Fix: This Day In History here, Today’s Birthdays here, Positive Quote here, and Word of the Day here.

5. Top of the News Fix: Right-wing radio, TV split on port control here, Crude raises $2 per barrel on Saudi oil blast here, Golf course refuses Bill Clinton here, February sweeps: Oprah in graphic sex talk here, and Man kills neighbor for slamming door here.

6. Opinion Fix: Daniel Henninger/Wall Street Journal (Washington defines politics downward), Carrie Lukas/Independent Women’s Forum (Feminist victory), Brent Bozell/Media Research Center (Sex, culture & the college student), Oliver North/Freedom Alliance (Misunderestimated disconfirmation), and Mona Charen/Townhall (Lethal injection blues).

Wild Card/Thursday — 2/23/06

Eighty-seven comments on the Hump Day Wild Card? Any Mouse is obviously back and becoming a productive member of HBO again. BTW, as noted in the Best of the Local Blogs last night, make sure you check out the two new Friends of Huckleberries on the blogroll: Sagebrush Patriot (from Mountain Home) and Holy Moly (from Yakima and soon Anacortes). Both are big-time additions to the blogroll here. BTW, I’ll soon be separating the wheat from the tares on the North Idaho blogroll. You’ve been warned. Now, here’s your afternoon Wild Card …

Top Cutlines — 2/23/06

A scene from the Quarry Hill Nature Center (New Jersey) starring Stan, the T-Rex, and Executive Director Greg Munson earlier this week. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Rochester Post-Bulletin, Elizabeth Nida)

Top Cutlines:

1. At the museum of historic irony, Greg sets up the baby boomer exhibit — Apple Sider.

2. (tie) Duane Hagadone receives his quarterly teeth-cleaning — North Star. And: scene from “jurassic park IV - extinction” — Granati.

3. As predicted by the Spokesman Review, a cadaver announces its candidacy against Ron Vieselmeyer (right) — John Austin.

HM: LukeB

It’s My 2 Cents … About Slimeball Duncan

Convicted perv Joseph Edward Duncan III is guilty as sin and should be executed. There I said it. In journo-world, you’re always suppose to use words like “allegedly” and “reportedly” to describe crimes and charges before conviction. But this is the blogosphere. And we all know he did it. That’s why I’m irritated by the delay of six months in the beginning of the trial granted to Public Defender John Adams for his sleazy client is so irritating. As much as I want to see Duncan exterminated for murdering Brenda, Slade and Dylan Groene and Mark McKenzie and brutalizing young Shasta Groene, there is something worth considering here: a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

PD Adams, an anti-death penalty sort, knows his client is going to be found guilty by a Kootenai County jury. He also knows that we’ll be trying to put the scumbag to death 20 years from now, at great financial cost to the county and emotional cost to Shasta Groene and her family, who will remain in Duncan’s clutches as long as the trial and appeals proceedings are working their tedious way through the judicial system.

Question: As much as I hate to say it, wouldn’t it make more sense to accept a plea bargain from Duncan that would guarantee that he’d remain in prison for the rest of his life that try to satisfy the animal extinct to kill this monster?

HBO — to Sagebrush Patriot re: Blogging

Sagebrush Patriot: “I think the most powerful manifestation of blogging (in America at least) will be a resurgence of republican values (In the literal sense of that word, not the Party name) and a grassroots drive for honesty and accountability in media and government. Information will travel with the click of a few keys, minus the touch up of the spin doctors and black-out technicians, and some lights will start going on. This enlightenment will bring unity, and the sense of self that the country was once certain of before that identity came under direct assault and vilification by the MSM and Hollywood. We will realize more of us are on the same page than we thought.”

For the rest of the “Sam Adams Would Have Blogged” post by Justin Becker/Sagebrush Patriot, click here.

DFO: Newby blogger Justin Becker is dead on here. The major political parties have done a good job dividing us and keeping us distracted while they do the bidding of their real handlers, the large corporations, oily lobbyists or whatever other entity is pulling their strings. Meanwhile, we quibble about which side is the lesser of two evils — the emphasis here being on the word “evils” — while we agree on many things. You see that agreement every day in the comments section here. Shall we overcome Big Politics and Big Media someday. P’haps. But we’ll certainly transform what the media will be like in the near future.

What Is This?

1. Blurkers and Anonymous posters getting up the nerve to attend a Huckleberries Online blogfest.

2. Zeta Tau Alpha sorority sisters at Auburn University Montgomery trying to break the record for most people in one place wearing Groucho Marx glasses.

3. Austrian Olympic biathletes and cross-country skiers meeting the press after a weekend drug raid at the Olympic Village.

4. Groupies vying to become the future Mrs. Adam Morrison.

5. Bearable Bob’s online cheering section reacting to a successful cluster blogging run on Bush, Cheney, Rethuglicans and wingnuts.

Easter Egg — Stopping Bin Laden

HBO published this in the comments section first to see whether it’s over-the-top re: ethnicity or ‘toon violence. Hearing no objection, HBO is bringing it out front as a means that HBOers can practice stopping terrorism and p’haps bring Osama bin Laden to justice. It was sent north via Oklahoma City and The Heimlich Maneuver — and it’s not PC. You can plan “Bin Laden’s Liquors” here. (Caution: Compulsive young twentysomethings reporting for the UI Argonaut and about to begin a summer internship in the CDA office of the SR shouldn’t play this game)

Question No. 3 — New CDA Skyscraper


Courtesy of Scott Whitesitt

Issue: Sky High: Fernan Tower would be tallest building in Cd’A, North Idaho/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press

Additional Info: Fernan Tower is being proposed by Charter Builders LLC and designed by ALSC Architects for Fernan Village along Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive. It is a mixed-use project with about 10,000 square feet of retail, 20,000 square feet of office space, parking for 250 autos and 210,000 square feet of condos — about 115 units. The project is in the schematic-design stage and is anticipated to be 20 to 30 stories and 220 to 300 feet high. The renderings and photo composite depict a 30-story structure.

Question: Do you view this news as good or bad?

Question No. 2 — 2/23/06

Issue: Arabs see bias behind U.S. uproar over ports deal: ‘Islamophobia … has become like an infectious disease that spreads … in the West’/Reuters

DFO: I’m just connecting the dots back to a country with that has been linked to terrorism in the past.

Question: Do you believe Islamophobia is fueling concern re: the controversial ports deal?

Photo of the Day — 2/23/06

A scene from the Quarry Hill Nature Center (New Jersey) starring Stan, the T-Rex, and Executive Director Greg Munson earlier this week. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Rochester Post-Bulletin, Elizabeth Nida)

HBO — to Holly re: CDA Press “Skewp”

Holly: “News is a dirty, dirty business. The Sentinel thought it had the other papers beat on the NIC budget shortfall. We kept the news to ourselves over the weekend, but some reporters from Brand X got their hands on The Sentinel Monday (one day before distribution) and used Alison’s information as leads to write their own story, which was published Tuesday. I’m not really complaining, as the Press had the right to do it, but it’s disappointing that we were that close to having the scoop. Then again, the Press is giving us money for our NYC trip, so maybe it’s a trade-off …”

DFO: I’m curious if the Press plagiarized the Sentinel. Or if it did its independent report after seeing the Sentinel banner story? If I ran the Sentinel, I’d demand an arrangement with the Press that it couldn’t publish stories it saw in the Sentinel until after the NIC paper hit the streets. If the Press responded as a result of the NIC story, it should have given the Sentinel credit somewhere. On the other hand, I suspect the Press found out about the Pappy Boyington flap by monitoring this blog. That’s fair.

Quick Fix 6 — 2/23/06

1. APhoto Fix: A dog jumps through flaming hoops as part of training to be a rescue dog in Kunming, China, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2006. Other skills taught to a group of six dogs to prepare them for rescue duty during disasters includes obeying gestures and search and rescue in water. (AP Photo/Color China Photo)

2. Cartoon Fix: Daryl Cagle & Co. (American ports run by Arabs), Robert Nowak (Cheney & the media), and Monte Wolverton (Merely flesh wounds).

3. Humor Fix: “Here is just an unbelievable story. The White House has given permission for a company owned by the government of Dubai to run six U.S. ports including New York. Dubai is accused of helping to fund the September 11th attacks. And was one of only three countries to support the Taliban. Now they are going to run the port of New York. What’s next? Are we going to put Mexico in charge of immigration?” — Jay Leno.

4. My Way Fix: This Day In History here, Today’s Birthdays here, Positive Quote here, and Word of the Day here.

5. Top of the News Fix: Americans work more, accomplish less here, Suspect in killing spree was free on state error here, Iraq vet accused of stabbing wife 71 times here, South Dakota abortion bill targets Roe here, and Vindictive Trump makes Martha look good here.

6. Opinion Fix: William Bennett & Alan Dershowitz/Washington Post (A failure of the press), Donald Rumsfeld/L.A. Times (War in the information age), Thomas Lifson/The American Thinker (The Left’s coup d’etat at Harvard), Vali Nasr/New York Times (Ominous repercussions from the golden mosque), and U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum/Philadelphia Inquirer (Bush must say no to ports deal).

P.S. — Wednesday, 2/22/06

Issue: 8 co-workers share $365 million jackpot: 7 men, 1 woman who worked at ham processing plant pooled money for tickets/Associated Press

DFO: You’re odds are slightly better than mine at winning a Powerball jackpot because I’ve never bought a lottery ticket. I do buy an occasional raffle ticket, with the idea that the money is going for a good cause. But gambling isn’t in my makeup. I’m too tight when it comes to throwing away hard-earned money in games of chance.

Question: Have you ever won a significant amount of money in a lottery game?

Best of the Local Blogs — 2/22/06

Shutterbug Family Phil took his son and his camera to Spokane last night to provide a pictoral report on the Harlem Globetrotters visit here

*Put your hands together for a Stebbijo-recommended newby blogger who hails from Mountain Home: Justin Becker (aka The Sagebrush Patriot). He’s new to the game. But he provides great insights re: blogging in “What Is Blogging?” here and “Sam Adams Would Have Blogged” here. (Monster Hat Tip to Stebbijo for making the proper cyber introductions)

BTW, you’ll notice there’s another new link under “Friends of Huckleberries” — Kevin Erickson of Yakima (aka Holy Moly). Superb blog. Check the blogs by Justin and Kevin out.

*”Back when I used to run, I was still big and slow. My lightest running weight was 215. So me trying to run up a hill was like a “semi-truck” going up Snoqualmie pass. Lugging all the way! I had the heart of an Olympic athlete, but the body of a couch potato,” begins CDADave’s latest Thin Air post here.

*Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings opines that we can’t wall the world out any more as the Ming Dynasty did with its great wall (read: isolationism doesn’t work) here.

*Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind applauds “The King’s” approach to life (which doesn’t include watching anxiety-increasing news broadcasts) here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour watched a police pursuit in her old stomping grounds Friday night and realized that her pastoral life in Bonner County is going the way of the dodo here.

Meanwhile, Bre tells us about a trip to Seattle here, Sam proclaims his love of the Olympics here, and Bob free associates about Bush, mountain biking and blogging here.

Quotable Quote

“I shot the son-of -a-bitch and I’m glad I did. I’m an honest man,” Delbert “Earl” O’Kelley, 67, after allegedly hitting 44-year-old Charles Piper twice while firing five shots at him from a .22 caliber rifle, outside Piper’s residence in Clarkia. For the rest of the St. Maries Gazette-Record story, click here.

Afternoon Question — 2/22/06

Issue: Christian college to nix ‘Crusaders’ mascot? Some students believe name sends ‘wrong message’ to world/WorldNetDaily

Blogger Robert Duncan: “I would like to suggest that NNU consider adopting a plant as its mascot, and especially one that imbues pure humbleness: the pensive and sublime ‘Viola tricolor hortensis.’ I can think of nothing that would be more fitting than to hear at future sporting events that loud and clear cheer: ‘Let’s go, Pansies!’”

Question: P.C.? Or a correct response for a name that has outlived its usefulness?

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 2/22/06

Rachael Lewis, an eighth grader at Sawtooth Middle School in Meridian, Idaho, stands next to a set of vending machines Thursday, Feb. 16, 2006, at the school. The Idaho House Education Committee is to hear a bill Friday, Feb. 24, 2006, that would control which foods show up in school vending machines here. (AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Chris Butler)

1. Cartoon Fix: Milt Priggee/Skagit Valley Herald discovers another reason for European riots here, and David Horsey/Seattle PI provides his unorthodox “History of Religion” here.

2. A Kirkland, Wash., man who died in a fall down a Bellevue mall elevator shaft was trying to crawl out of the stalled elevator when he lost his grip here.

3. In Spokane, a former federally protected witness was sentenced to 15 years in prison for selling a gun to another federal witness working for the FBI here.

4. A Washington mother was charged with two felonies in Montana for allegedly aiding and abetting her son’s escape from a van as he was on his way to begin serving a 40-year prison term here.

5. Illovene Potter, a Puyallup legend who died on Valentine’s Day at age 87, established so many firsts as a helicopter pilot that the Smithsonian has asked her son to send artifacts documenting here amazing career here. (Free Tacoma News-Tribune online subscription required.)

6. IMHO-NW: D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Equal rights for all), Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman (House Speaker targets lobby law), Rebecca Nappi/Spokesman-Review (Athletes need mettle before metal), Art Thiel/Seattle PI (No room for skate rivals to be pals), and Ron Judd/Seattle Times (Sasha Cohen hits big time).

Online Poll: A plurality of 42% of 1342 respondents to a Lewiston Tribune poll say they’ve only received one or two parking tickets in their lives.

*Washington has agreed to buy Qurans for a Spokane area prison after settling a suit with a prisoner here.

*Prosecutor Bill Douglas opposes any further delay in suspected killer Joseph Edward Duncan’s trial here.

*Seven bighorn sheep rams on Wild Horse Island on Flathead Lake will be killed next week, part of a Montana study into wildlife health and disease here.

Orbusmax Special: The latest action on WWII war hero Pappy Boyington’s dis by the University of Washington Student Senate here. (Plus, follow the Orbusmax link to the strong reaction from bloggers to Seattle PI’s editorial defending UW senators.

Local Question of the Day — 2/22/06

Issue: PF Council denies Ironman request: Panel votes to still seek expense reimbursement, pending any help/Brian Walker, Coeur d’Alene Press

Additional Info: The Post Falls Area Chamber had requested the city to stop seeking reimbursement because it may hamper contract negotiations to extend the event in North Idaho another three years and may spoil future opportunities to attract large events.

Question: Is the Post Falls City Council being anal retentive here?

Photo of the Day — 2/22/06

I was thinking about the possibilities of this one from our, ahem, open house Tuesday. And thought to myself: whatheheck. Here, Idaho Editor Scott Maben cuts the ribbon to celebrate our new phone system and have an excuse to expense three giant pizzas for the CDA newsroom. You write the cutline. (Photo: Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review)

Seattle PI Tut-Tuts Boyington Flap

“In the dialogue that is supposed to be at the heart of education, asking a question is always fair. Questions lead to understanding. In the casting of aspersions over a recent tie vote to honor a single World War II hero from the University of Washington, talk radio and the blog world managed to overlook the central role of questions. We are so surprised.”

For the rest of the PI’s clueless defense of the UW students leaders dis of Pappy Boyington, click here.

DFO — To CDADave re: Dubya’s Tenure

CDADave: “I have a clock on my blog that counts down the minutes until the end of Bush’s term. The fact that our country not only elected him, but re-elected him, REALLY depresses me.”

DFO: Two names, CDADave: Al Gore, John Kerry. The Democrats didn’t provide a viable choice. As out-to-lunch as Bush can be on ports, illegal aliens and the deficit, he’s still easily the best of poor choices as far as I’m concerned. Mebbe the Dems should forget about their emerging poor field in ‘08 and draft John McCain.

WorldNetDaily Poll — US Ports Deal

Issue: Enter at our own risk: What do you think of Bush’s plan to veto efforts to stop Arab control of U.S. ports?/WorldNetDaily

Question: What do you think of Bush’s plan to veto efforts to stop Arab control of U.S. ports?

1. He’s right, barring Arabs is discriminatory
2. He has to maintain the distinction between mainstream Arabs/Muslims and extremists/terrorists
3. If there were any real threat to U.S., Bush would oppose the turnover
4. I know plan might not sound good, but I trust the president
5. It seems like a foolish position, but I’m not about to side with Hillary and Schumer
6. Bush just doesn’t get it, he’s politically tone deaf, perhaps even brain dead on this issue
7. This is nuts, the 9-11 hijackers used UAE as an al-Qaida staging point, and it’s a major terror finance center
8. First, the border insanity, now this. I suspect ‘behind the scenes powers’ are forcing Bush to take this stance to help ruin America
9. When are those articles of impeachment going to be ready?
10. Other

DFO: No. 7

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card/Tuesday Evening — 2/21/06

We haven’t heard much from Bearable Bob, GreenL and Any Mouse today; so, that means they’re blurking somewhere near. Be afraid. Be very afraid … as you prepare to use this Wild Card …

Bearable Bob: ‘Candy Is For Quitters’

“Well, today makes four months without a cigarette. Who’d a thunk. Longest I’ve ever quit. Is it getting easier? Some days I guess. I miss the little (ahem, suckers). Always there, always reliable, always packed together ready to tickle my dopaminergics. (Sigh) Come on baby, light my fire. Do I feel better? Yeah. Even though I’ve gained 20 lbs and eat way too much candy, my energy level is much higher and I smell better and all that. I think (or hope) I’ve peaked on the weight gain as I’ve lost a couple of pounds recently.”

For the rest of Bearable Bob’s post re: quitting smoking, click here.

DFO: Monster Hat Tip for making this far, Bob.

Morrison’s Stache According to CDADave

Everyone’s talkin’ about Zag star Adam Morrison’s mustache, so why not CDADave here?

Extra! Bush Threatens Veto Over Ports Deal

Issue: Bush threatens veto over U.S. ports deal: Rejecting of measure to stop Arab takeover would be 1st time president has used power/WorldNetDaily; and: Arab Americans see bigotry behind ports uproar: ‘I find some of the rhetoric being used against this deal shameful and irresponsible’/Reuters; and: Carter supports Bush on ports deal: ‘I’m sure the president’s done a good job … to make sure this is not a threat’/Miami Herald

“There have been some dumb decisions since the United States was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, including the ‘welcoming’ of radical Muslim groups, mosques and schools that seek by their preaching and teaching to influence U.S. foreign policy and undermine the nation. But the decision to sell port operations in New York, Newark-Port Elizabeth, Baltimore, Miami, Philadelphia and New Orleans to a company owned by the UAE may be the dumbest of all.”

Columnist Cal Thomas/“Any Port in a Terrorist Storm”

How To Find Neighborhood Pervs …

Stephany Bales from U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo’s office sends along a Family Watchdog map device for locating sex offenders in the neighborhood. All you do is type in your address and then use the buttons to zoom in on the neighborhood. By clicking on the colored boxes close to your home, you’ll call up a photo of the sex offender and a brief description of his crime. I’m happy to say I have only one nearby. But he’s only a stone’s throw away. You can locate your neighborhood’s pervs here.

HBO — To Mary Souza Re: Good Doctors

Mary Souza: “Wow, I am amazed that there have been no positive stories here about the doctors that have HELPED people, which would be an overwhelming percentage of the time, but instead we’ve heard only about the exceptions to the norm. I was a critical care nurse and nursing instructor, so I have seen the good and the bad of it, but doctors take on the incredible task of treating the human body—no two are exactly alike and people bring all their social, emotional problems as well. (“No, doctor, I don’t smoke anymore”, or “I only have an occasional drink” or “No, my boyfriend didn’t hit me, I fell down the stairs”…) The bottom line is that we are all responsible for our own health and doctors are people too, with their own set of strengths and problems. We have to stand up, ask lots of questions, ask even more questions, expect good service and respect the complexity and frailties of the human body.”

DFO: Well said, Mary; I have a great doctor now, Bob McFarland, whom I’ll have to leave soon because the SR switched insurance companies, and some of us in CDA have been left out in the cold. The quack that misdiagnosed my wife is on the list of new doctors who accept the new insurance. I might stick with McFarland anyway on a pay-as-you-go basis since I have a flex plan.

Best of the INorthwest — 2/21/06

Former sports broadcaster Curt Gowdy shares in a moment of silence on Nov. 9, 2002, for the late baseball legend Ted Williams. Across Wyoming, close friends and family of Curt Gowdy remembered the longtime sports announcer who died Monday at the age of 86 as a “great ambassador” for his native state here.

1. David Horsey/Seattle PI has Dubya in his cross-hairs again today here, while Milt Priggee/Skagit Valley Herald takes aim at veep Cheney here.

2. The Oregon Supreme Court upheld a voter-approved property rights law today that requires governments to pay landowners for property value losses caused by regulations, or to waive the regulation and let the owner develop the property here.

3. A food fight took place yesterday in the Washington state Senate with a group of ninth-graders from Kirkland Junior High pleading the case of the Walla Walla onion to be named the state vegetable over the humble potato here.

4. Now approaching its fifth anniversary, the Nisqually earthquake in western Washington is a good example of the trigger-happy inclination of the Bush administration to declare national disasters and waste tens of millions of dollars on relief here.

5. The Supreme Court shot down the appeal from a woman sentenced to 80 years in prison for trying to scalp and kill her landlady here.

6. IMHO-NW: Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (A Presidents’ Day test), Thomas Lipscomb/American Spectator (Pappy shot down at UW), Bert Caldwell/Spokesman-Review (IRS owes you), Ron Judd/Seattle Times (US women’s hockey), Art Thiel/Seattle PI (A dream lies lot in Turin snow).

Online Poll: 79% of 272 respondents to a Helena Independent-Record poll oppose selling U.S. Forest Service land for any reason here.

*A Kalispell angler broke Montana’s nearly 18-year-old perch record with a 2.39-pound catch here.

*A 25-year-old Kirkland man fell about five stories to his death Monday night when he tried to escape from an elevator that was stuck between floors at a Bellevue shopping center here.

*Seattle church leader could become second gay Episcopal archbishop here.

Orbusmax Special: Corvallis council favors resolution calling for troop withdrawal here.

HBO — to Any Mouse re: Reporter Bias

Any Mouse: “A person’s world view/faith informs and colors all that they do. To the 90% of reporters and professors who are left of center, the idea that faith matters in ever aspect of life is simply goofy. They cannot understand my perspective, they want what the Soviets had — a formal declaration of official atheism and an formal, official ‘separation of Church and state.’”

DFO: First, you still need to substantiate that 90% figure. I saw a study that showed an overwhelming number of media types voted for John Kerry over George Bush. Secondly, there’s no question in my mind that a good number of editors and reporters are moderate-to-left. And they tend to line up on the same side on such social issues as abortion, gay rights, church-state separation, etc. And that affects coverage and play. The L.A. Times did an in-depth study a decade or so ago (I still have the hard copy) that shows how biased abortion coverage is — from simple labels like pro-choice (positive) to anti-abortion (negative, because of the “anti”) to the characterization of individuals involved in protests. Having said all of this, however, the media are comprised of individuals with a variety of backgrounds that aren’t as easily pidgeon-holed on the majority of subjects. And most of them try to sublimate their bias.

HBO — To Dang re: Medical Malfunctions

Dang: “Too many people from the older, WWII generation worshiped doctors and never questioned them. This must change. I encourage people to be investigative, active patients. Ask questions and demand answers. Know your rights. Assume that your doctor is an idiot (he assumes that you are). I had to physically block a nurse at KMC from administering a blood test to my then-wife. The nurse was insistent and refused to listen to me, calling in the supervisor. In her mind, she probably thought I was a pest and wanted me removed. But the supervisor pointed out, as I already knew, that the name on the test kit was not my wife’s and the nurse was in the wrong. No apology, but I was glad that I was there and defensive.”

DFO: You just reminded me of another horrible encounter with the medical industry. When my son was 3 months old, he underwent surgery to save his life from cancer. On the evening before, we were told by a nurse not to give him anything to drink. Anything. Including water. Can you imagine our anguish when his mother couldn’t nurse him and he couldn’t have water. The poor baby was almost dehydrated by the next morning when we returned to the hospital for the operation and learned from the doctor that the nurse had been misinformed. He was allowed liquids. Incredible.


Question of the Day — 2/20/06

Issue: Bill lets doctors say sorry for mistakes: Idaho Medical Association believes patients may be less likely to sue/Associated Press

DFO: I’d like to get a letter ap-hollow-gy from a Local Clown Doctor who misdiagnosed my wife’s apendicitis a coupla years ago — and almost killed her. It’d be nice to know that he realized he blew it. As is, I still consider him a quack and he probably doesn’t know it.

Question: Has there ever been a time when a doctor of yours should have apologized for his treatment of you or someone in your family?

WorldNetDaily Poll — Darwinism

Issue: 500 doctoral scientists skeptical of Darwin: Growing list of signatories challenges claims about support for theory/WorldNetDaily

Question: What is your view of Darwinian evolution?

1. As Carl Sagan said, evolution is a fact, not a theory
2. Evidence for evolution is powerful, disputed by ignorant and overly religious people
3. Evidence for evolution outweighs any possible drawbacks or inconsistencies
4. I’m not sure what to believe
5. There’s little solid evidence for evolution
6. Evolution is illogical and contrary to laws of science
7. Who has ever observed one species turning into another?
8. Scientific evidence clearly disproves evolution
9. To believe in evolution takes a greater faith than to believe in a Creator
10. Other

DFO: No. 9 (Let the games begin).

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Running Late

Just got in after the weekly morning meeting with my padre. Quick Fix 6 coming. Meanwhile, you can reflect on this bumpersnicker I saw on Highway 95: “No you can’t have my rights: I’m still using them.” It was on a Lexus that came with a “ST8LESS” vanity plate and a small window sticker that said: “Dixie Burns In My Heart.”

New Olympic Sport?

OK, I’m not going to spoil the fun for you by spilling the beans re: who wins this new Winter Olympics event tonight. But I will tip my cap to CDADave for the chuckle.

Best of the Local Blogs — 2/20/06

Family Phil and his two offspring spotted this during a trek around Tubbs Hill Saturday here. Nice.

*Stebbijo/Your Choice opines re: the meaning of Winter Blogfest ‘06 at the Captain’s Wheel in Bayview Saturday, hosted by Bayview Herb Huseland, including: “These are the kind of people who can and will change news as we know it today” here. (Remember to check out Golly Gals coverage of the blogfest, too, here.)

*Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings has food for thought re: the humble proposal for a Boys and Girls Club in Post Falls as opposed to the mega-Kroc Center proposed for Coeur d’Alene here.

*Doggone it, CDADave made me bust out laughting again with this here, and his Thin Air is the best tidbits column produced in this town by an individual who doesn’t have Stacey Cowles’ name written on the bottom of his checks here. (Eatcher heart out, Bob Paulos.)

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour remembers those awkward freshman mixers of UI days gone by here.

*Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise bounces back from knee surgery to tell us about “Dead Legislators Day” at the State Capitol here.

Meanwhile, Cis discusses her favorite presidents here, The Calico Girls are writing haikus here, and Bayview Herb provides his version of Winter Blogfest ‘06 (with comments from attendees) here.

Warning: I’m going to be culling through the North Idaho Blogroll soon because some of the posters haven’t added much new in the last month or so.

HBO — to Apple Sider re: Facial Hair

Apple Sider: “egarding facial hair, I’ve been clean shaven, worn a full beard, mustache, and a goatee. I disagree that goatees are hip. Goatees were hip like 15 years ago when Andre Agassi and Bruce Willis first shaved their bald heads and started wearing them. They were hip then, but now everyone wears them and they seem kind of tired. Take the mullet as an example, Billy Ray Cyrus started a trend that lasted too long since it takes awhile to grow a good mullet. Right now I’m working on the long, shaggy hair look with a full beard, and looking very Bohemian. Iwonder what would happen if Morrison decided to wear a mullet.”

DFO: I keep wearing my stache and wait for the fad cycles to catch up/slow down occasionally, so I can be considered with it. What’s in today, follically speaking?

Cis Sends Another Easter Egg

HBO hopes that Sam Taylor has recovered from the last addictive Easter Egg, sent along by Cis Gors/Kootenai, because hers another from her. Enjoy here. (Your Blogmeister scored a 24 within the first coupla minutes.)

Fredericks: Hayden Lake Kayaker

Doug Fredericks: “On my journeys (Sunday), I stopped by Honeysuckle Beach and the Dike Road in Hayden. LOT’S of ice created by the wind-whipped waves this week. The dock is actually partially submerged from the weight. A week ago I sent you a picture of crocuses popping up!! I’m also attaching a picture of a man kayaking on the lake. He had to break through the ice with his paddle to reach clear water, brrrrrr…!”

APhoto of the Day — 2/20/06

Patrice Lauzon of Montreal looks over at partner Marie-France Dubreuil of Montreal after a fall in the figure skating original dance at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympics Sunday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Mike Ridewood, CP)

Huckleberries: Boyington Snub Redux

You’ve heard that the University of Washington Student Senate dissed North Idaho WWII hero Pappy Boyington by refusing to honor the UW alum with a campus memorial. But did you know Jill Edwards received her comeuppance – you know, the sophomore senator who said Boyington and other Marines weren’t the type of people the university wanted to produce? Seems 18 co-sponsors submitted a resolution demanding that Edward ap-hollow-gize in writing to all Marines associated with U-Dub, living and dead, and that her mea culpa be printed in full in the student paper and read over the campus radio. Further, the resolution says: “To realize her mistake, she must acquaint herself with the history of the person she is so keen to dismiss, by reading Col. Boyington’s book, ‘Baa, Baa, Black Sheep.’ All of these requirements are mandatory, under pain of losing her seat on the Student Senate.” Do I hear a second?

For the rest of today’s print Huckleberries, click here.

WorldNetDaily Poll — Sasquatch

Question: Do you think there is a creature commonly known as ‘Bigfoot’?

1. Yes, the plethora of sightings and physical evidence can’t be wrong
2. Yes, while I admit evidence is scant, I still think the creature exists
3. I think it existed at one time, but no longer
4. Only when some chubby clown can squeeze himself into the ‘Sasquatch suit’ or put on ‘Bigfeet’ to lay down phony tracks
5. I’d like to believe in Bigfoot, but the evidence just isn’t there
6. I think there’s likely unexplained creatures, but not Bigfoot as it’s commonly known
7. No, it is and always has been a hoax
8. No, and those who think Bigfoot is for real need to remove their tin-foil helmet
9. Other

DFO: No. 9 — Sasquatch blurks on HBO.

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card/Sunday — 2/19/06

The blogfest at the Captain’s Wheel in Bayview made for an interesting Saturday afternoon. Good conversation. Good companions. A common interest in making the HBO blog community into something better than ever. My wife warned me about attending. “You guys might be disillusioned when you finally meet face to face.” That wasn’t the case. If anything, we seemed to know each other so well that we began conversing easily and immediately, as if we were long-time friends sitting around a table at a coffee shop. Who knows? Mebbe the others were disillusioned when they met me for the first time. Stebbijo said she was surprised that I’m as laid back as I am. (I hope she never sees me a few minutes before a newspaper deadline. I can bite heads of chickens as such times.) Anyway, it was fun. Mebbe Herb, Cis and Mari will throw a bigger bash next time. Meanwhile, here’s your Sunday Wild Card …

Quote of the Weekend — Bearable Bob

“Oh it’s too early and too Saturday to fight to argue to vex and annoy. Nope, it’s sunny and outside you can take a deep breath and taste the polar sky. You can breathe the bite of the arctic…share the air that whistles over the tundra and down the rockies. It’s sunny and clean and days like today are why July afternoons shine so brightly. They are being polished now and put in the drawer until later.”

((((Pacific Northwest))))

HBO — to Family Phil re: Any Mouse

Family Phil: “Well, AnyMouse has been back only one day and he’s already managed to obnubilate, prevaricate, hyerbolize and ululate the HBO comments section right back into redundancy.

DFO: You’re overreacting here, Phil; all I see is the Mouse behaving himself while folks are taking potshots at him. I find the interaction between AM and Sara to be interesting. And everyone else seems to be posting in different threads. The main thread today seems to be about cell phones (and everyone needs to read the write-on post by Big Mac). One way to avoid being overwhelmed by anyone’s thread is to read the comments under an individual post rather than “Recent Comments” to the right. Remember: Some HBOers like the Mouse. Some like Bob. I like ‘em both.


HBO — To Dan of the County re: Jesus Stories

Dan of the County: “I’ve been thinking lately about two stories in the scripture and the quite different responses that Jesus had to what we might call sexual corruptions and material corruptions.

“The first was the woman taken in adultery. I can’t help thinking that some of our religious leaders of today would have exercised a penalty of that day—having her stoned to death. And I’m sure they might have thought Jesus should have exercised his right of “Holy vengeance” on her. Actually his reaction was quite different…you’ll need to read it for yourself.

“The other story has to do with the money changers in the temple. Many of the popular images of Jesus are of a soft spoken forgiving person with the “patience of a saint.” However the scene in the temple presents the image of someone who is totally angry and full of true righteous indignation over the insult to God via turning it into a “den of thieves”.

“It seems in our current religious culture we have made “sins of the flesh” almost unforgivable actions and yet we wink at material corruption and often have “hearts of stone” when it comes to those in the world that the biblical poor, lame, fatherless children and widows represent.

“I just have to ponder if our hierarchy of moral values match that of what God actually intends for us.”

DFO: You nailed it, my friend.


HBO — To TS re: Your Offer For Coffee

TS: “To understand me better: and for me understand you, I make this offer. I don’t hide behind an alias I answer emails and my number is in the book. If you are in the Cda area I would love to buy you a cup of coffee, or the beverage of your choice and chat. You see, in order for this country to work, we need to understand each other, not just quote what we have heard, but share our experiences. Sure we may continue to disagree but … Here is your olive branch from a guy on the right.”

DFO: Good for you, TS; this is exactly the kind of thing I strive for here at HBO — a chance to communicate rather than talk past one another. Sometimes, I despair that the goal can be accomplished, especially when the flamethrowers are flicking their Bics. But there’s been some great threads over the last coupla days. We’re making progress here when gays and Evangelicals can discuss Idaho’s marriage amendment without resorting to buzz words; when Demos and Repubs can find mutual ground; when Seasoned Citizens advise and fret over college kids like Sam; when young adults like Bre, Sarah, PDX Pup share their zest for life with their elders, when Bob, GreenL and I can enjoy poking fun at one another without losing respect for one another. Those are the good times that ease the burden of feeding this insatiable beast all the time.

APhoto of the Weekend — 2/18-19/06

Ray Haney, of Gillette Wyo., is shown after finshing the first leg of the Ashton American Dog Derby dog sled race Friday in Ashton, Idaho. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Post Register, Robert Bower)

HBO — to Sue & Any Mouse re: Banned Topics

Sue: “One of my favorite Mark Twainism’s:
‘Christ were here now there is one thing he would not be – a Christian.’ Oh, that’s right, this is out of play.”

Any Mouse: “There is a lack of diversity here. Why? Because the host has decided to avoid topics that create heated debate.”

DFO: You two are kidding, right? Did you read yesterday’s threads? We had global warming, a first-edition, controversial Muslim cartoon, the local supermarket mag controversy (with SI cover) — and that was all before noon. In the comments section, I was trying to hold off Bearable Bob with one hand and guide a debate about Idaho’s marriage amendment with the other. Very few things are off limits here. Passionate debate is welcomed. But incivility is not.

HBO — to Side Note re: Name Change

Side Note: “Okey dokey, I’ll be the first. I am thinking of changing my name hear at Huckleberries. I plan to remain anonymous, though I’m not too sure how anonymous I have remained. If anyone out there would care to offer input I’d appreciate it, I am considering the following but any suggestions will be considered: Sidewinder, Sideswipe, Westside, Sidetalk, Apple Sider, Side Ache, Side view, Side, Sid, Sidey, Cosmo, Taurus, Scruffy, Gandhi, Kramer, Square Knot, South Paw, Lefty, Clicker, Einstein, Forrest, Dan, Griz, Bob (oops that’s taken), Oroville, Cougster, Huckster, Dogster, Biff, Caboose, Big M, Mole rat, Moldman, Crockpot, Side Not.

DFO: The pseudonym Side Note is one of my favorites here. However, I understand the need to freshen things up a bit. Bob, of course, has been taken. Ditto: Westside, Sid and we have a Big Mac. Cosmo and Kramer are too Seinfeldian (and there’s nothing wrong with that). I’d guess from some of the other suggestions that you’re lefthanded and the last child of your family? And that you either drive a Ford Taurus or were born under that sign? I’d love to know the meaning behind Moldman and Crockpot. But enuf of my reading into things. My favorites: Apple Sider and Side Ache. (BTW, some of you with unimaginative pseudonyms should consider an upgrade.)

HBO — to Truthseeker & Bob re: The Sunshine

Truthseeker: “For any newly arrived transplants to our area, do yourself a favor today and do not shut yourself in a warm house, get out and experience this day. Drive up to Farragut State Park, go down to Lakeshore Drive, even CDA City Park, in Spokane, try the County Park in Liberty Lake or the Finch Arbortrerium(SP?), but bundle up, get out and experience this facet of North Idaho. (and don’t forget the thermos of cocoa and marshmallows!) Me, I’ve got a secret spot that the dogs and I will head to for a romp in the sunshine. And bob - peace brother, we’ll get back to it later!!”

Bearable Bob: “Oh it’s too early and too Saturday to fight to argue to vex and annoy. Nope, it’s sunny and outside you can take a deep breath and taste the polar sky. You can breathe the bite of the arctic…share the air that whistles over the tundra and down the rockies. It’s sunny and clean and days like today are why July afternoons shine so brightly. They are being polished now and put in the drawer until later. ((((Pacific Northwest))))

DFO: Bingo.

HBO — to Mary Souza re: Internet Dangers

Mary Souza: “So, to change the subject a bit, how about some legislation to protect our kids from porn on the internet? Oprah had quite an expose about webcams and sexual preditors on her show yesterday—which I rarely watch, but this one was very informative. The conclusion was that webcams and kids combine for extremely dangerous predatory situations for children from otherwise well-tended families. Then the Press had a story this morning about a Post Falls 12 year old who posted a photo on MySpace.com … seems some 20-something guys arranged to “meet” her at the Mall—but luckily her Mom was the one they met. It’s crazy on the web. There is evil in the world, and the internet is helping it grow exponentially. What can we do?”

DFO: I missed this one the other day. I remember several years ago catching my daughter innocently chatting in a chatroom with other “kids” who seemed way to interested in knowing about her personal habits. We had a long talk about it. And she decided not to continue visiting chatrooms afterward. The Internet is the source of so much good. And so much bad. You have to ride shotgun on it as much as you can. And pray. I’m glad my kids are raised — and this is one of the worries I can check off my list re: them.

HBO — to Mike Kennedy re: Marriage Amendment

MikeK: “I wouldn’t automatically use the word hateful, because there will be many people who vote for this measure that don’t have a hateful bone in their bodies. I’d simply say it’s an unnecessary tempest in a teapot whipped up for partisan political purposes and it’s slightly hypocritical, too. I think a serious threat to the institution of marriage is the large number of bitter heterosexual divorces that happen every day, particularly where kids are involved.”

DFO: I wasn’t sure which post I would use to address this issue, yours or Sam’s. I will vote for the amendment because I believe it’s crucial to protect traditional marriage, for all its struggles, as the best way to protect and nurture children. That makes me a bigot in Sam’s eyes, I guess — even though I also support the Gay-Straight Alliance’s right to exist along with other clubs at Lake City and Sandpoint high schools. And I oppose discrimination against gays in housing and in the work place. For me, this isn’t about hate. It’s about a clash of cultures — traditional religionists and conservatives versus liberal religionists and secularists. The former is supported by 4000 years of Judeo-Christian history and the world’s major religions and cultures. The latter compare the gay rights struggle of the last 50 years to the civil rights movement. Both sides parrot information from their team’s playbook on the issue. I don’t know if we’re grown up enough on this blog to discuss this issue intelligently for the next eight months.

HBO — to Side Note re:

Side Note: “Well, I’ve certainly seen a shift here. There seems to be less of a religious tone. Could have something to do with the comments also. There used to be more conservative commenters that didn’t avoid drawing their faith into the discussion. Seems now that the progressives have framed the debate outside of the Biblical approach. For that, I kind of miss folks like Any Mouse simply because there were more diverse points of view. There really does seem to be less of the conservative point of view here these days. Not that I connect Christianity to conservatism at all. Jesus was a radical.”

DFO: Jesus would be a radical in today’s churches — liberal or conservative. He’d tell the liberal religionists to quit picking through the Scripture for parts they agree with. He’d tell the conservatives to loose the legalism. He’d tell both sides to learn to love. I prefer Christianity at its simplist level. No stain glass. No suits. No ritual. No do’s and don’ts. No religion. Just a relationship with the risen Christ. I quit talking about my faith here because I got tired of the other side blowing up the thread. Thanks for the opportunity to do so again. Now, I’ll take it out of play again.


Wild Card/TGIF

The weekend is upon us, HBOers, so I’ll post this Wild Card and invite you to start your own threads …

Top Cutlines — 2/17/06

Here’s Your Huckleberry Hound (with smaller shoulders) meeting with a visiting politician at the CDA office of the Spokesman-Review. You write the cutline.

Hat Tip: Family Phil

Top Cutlines:

1. Vice President Cheney congratulates DF Oliveria for surpassing Matt Drudge’s page views before heading out to hunt bald eagles on Lake Coeur d’Alene — Jane Q. Citizen.

2. “Mr. Oliveria, as I said to Patrick Leahy on the floor of the Senate, go *&%$ yourself” — Mike Kennedy.

3. “Hello Dave. My buddy Duane has told me so much about you. Hmmm, that’s funny… You don’t look like a snake” — Family Phil.

HM: Sam Taylor & Dave Tolle

For all of today’s cutline entries, click here.

Meanwhile, Back At The White House …

For more CDADave spoofs, click here

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 2/17/06

A day-old female wolverine kit is fed by Northwest Trek worker Dallas LaDucer Wednesday at the Pierce County wildlife park near Eatonville, Wash. (Lui Kit Wong, AP Photo/The News Tribune photo).

1. David Horsey/Seattle PI targets Iran with the bomb here, and Milt Priggee/Skagit Valley Herald takes aim at the nation’s “disaster response team” here.

2. Recalled Spokane Mayor Jim West lashed out at The Spokesman-Review on Thursday, hours after the FBI announced that a criminal investigation into his conduct in office did not produce enough evidence to warrant federal public corruption charges here.

3.Wyoming cowboy singer Garet Johnson is being idolized by fans but not the “American Idol” judges here.

4. The Boise P&Z commission slapped a three-strike rule on a Boise State fraternity before approving the first BSU frat house in recent memory — one that the frat rats promise won’t become an “Animal House” here.

5. A Spokane Police Department lieutenant who had supervised traffic enforcement officers was demoted Thursday to detective after an internal investigation revealed he had twice driven more than 100 mph on Interstate 90 while attending a training conference in Tacoma here.

6. IMHO-NW: D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Speaker undercuts prayer breakfast goals), Missoulian (Ban should apply to all sovereign nations), Kalispell Daily Inter Lake (Dick Cheney’s hunting accident), Helena Independent-Record (Ban drives road death toll down), and Art Thiel/Seattle PI (Olympian Weir misses bus, medal).

Online Poll: 75% of the respondents to a Great Falls Tribune poll say the Guantanamo detention facility should remain open.

*Idahoans may get a chance to purchase non-potato license plates here.

*Washington’s Lottery will not continue earlier plans to market itself to young adults here.

*Seattle manager Mike Hargrove has his own VP-like quail tale here.

*Calendar puts focus on Montana women in trade here.

Orbusmax Special: UW student Senate to vote again on Boyington memorial here.

Question of the Day — Racy Magazine Covers

Issue: Skimpy magazines targeted: New resident attacks ‘inappropriate’ material; Hayden council passes ordinance/Lynn Berk, Coeur d’Alene Press

Crusader Amber Facer: “If a wedding magazine shows decollete down to someone’s navel, I want that covered and if the store manager won’t do that, then I can’t shop there.”

DFO: I empathize with this woman re: trying to protect children from seeing too much at the checkout counter. But her crusade isn’t going to go very far because society’s to accustomed to this stuff.

Question: What do you think of Amber Facer’s crusade?

TGIF Photo of the Day — 2/17/06

Here’s Your Huckleberry Hound (with smaller shoulders) meeting with a visiting politician at the CDA office of the Spokesman-Review. You write the cutline.

Hat Tip: Family Phil

HBO — to Bob re: Jim Tibbs Cartoon

Bearable Bob: “I have to say the Jim Tibbs cartoon is a huge insult to the entire world and religion of Islam. But of course he knew that and DFO did too. You anti-Islamist haters are morally in the same stinking sewer as the Islamofascist haters. Spare your two wrongs make a right moral reasoning of a 3 year old arguments. It’s sadly predictable and sadly stupid. I watch wingnuts blow their pinheaded little tops at Ted Rall cartoons and then they hoot and guffaw over hate cartoons like the one above.”

DFO: You’re being PC here, Bob. I ran that cartoon past a young Muslim friend of mine, who said she saw nothing wrong with it, and she ran it past a Muslim friend of hers, who saw nothing wrong with it. In fact, they thought it was funny. This may be an example of a Liberal white guy in Spokane Valley trying to feel offended by something that he thinks will offend Muslims. Do you think that I would publish that without checking it out first? Mebbe this shows that moderate Muslims have better senses of humor than white Libs?

WorldNetDaily Poll — Global Warming

Issue: Poll: 70% of evangelicals see global warming threat: 51% of respondents want government to take action even if economy is harmed/WorldNetDaily

Question: What do you think about global warming?

1. Anybody who doesn’t believe there’s global warming is the equivalent of a flat-earther
2. Concern over global warming is just good Christian stewardship of God’s creation
3. The evidence is persuasive
4. I believe it’s occurring but not because of anything man is doing
5. The scientific evidence is conflicting – no one knows the answer yet
6. Occurring or not, there’s not much man can do to stop it
7. It’s junk science and makes for junk spirituality
8. God created the world – he’s capable of taking care of it
9. The world is careening toward hell and these evangelical leaders are concerned about global warming?
10. Other

DFO: Nos. 5, 6

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

ETA — 9:30 Ths Morning

I won’t be in the office this morning until around 9:30.

DFO

Wild Card/Thursday — 2/16/06

I had a nice present waiting for me this morning as I began blogging on the second birthday of Huckleberries Online — a record daily pageview number from Tuesday: 9040. That’s the first time ever over the 9000 mark and 106 over the blog’s previous best. Mebbe HBO will record a 10,000 sometime this year. Can’t wait. But enough of my blog bragging. The Wild Card is for your thoughts …

Top Cutlines — 2/16/06

A Greylag Goose, with what appears to be a toothpick in its nostril, is shown Wednesday at Jerry Ivey Park in Salina, Kan. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Kathy Shogren)

Top Cutlines:

1. Burt, the “pick” of the gaggle, trying to add an AFLAC tat to his backside, is goosed instead — John Austin.

2. Goosey and his friends stopped at the restaurant cashier for a toothpick, but he got stuck with the bill — Jesse Tinsley.

3. Mother Goose is having a mid-life crisis — Family Phil.

HM: A Token D

HBO — to Arpie re: Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment

Arpie: “I’m surprised DFO has not highlighted or provided a link to the vote yesterday in the Idaho Senate, for a costitutional ammendment to ban gay marriage. He wrote a signed commentary about this issue a year or two ago. This is going to be a huge mess for Idaho the rest of this year. I’m already disgusted in even thinking what the TV commercials are going to be like as groups descend on Idaho to push this ban.”

DFO: I thought I’d posted something about this. Oh well, it’s easy to do so now: Senate approves marriage legislation: Amendment goes to voters in fall/Meghann M. Cuniff, Spokesman-Review. It’ll be interesting to see what happens this year re: controversy because a dozen states have passed amendments either supporting traditional marriage or opposing gay marriage in the last coupla years, including uber-liberal Oregon.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 2/16/05

Cheryl Horne shows off one of the t-shirts she makes advertise a fledgling nonprofit group formed to advocate for better laws to catch sex offenders. She is also the creator of the infamous “Kill Duncan” bumpersticker (referring to Joseph Edward Duncan III, who’s suspected of kidnapping Shasta Groene and murdering her family) that has been seen around Coeur d’Alene here/Jesse Tinsley, Spokesman-Review photo.

1. Milt Priggee/Skagit Valley Herald doodles re: Muslim extremists and timid American media here, and Dubya empathizes with veep Cheney in the latest ‘toon by Eric Devericks/Seattle Times here.

2. “For 10 minutes, the three dogs she’d loved as pets chewed on the back of her skull, ripped open both her legs, swatted her cheek and left a ragged circle of blood and bruises on her left arm. Then one of them licked her wounds,” according to Lynn Berk/Coeur d’Alene Press, here.

3. I’m Melllttting: Glacier National Park in Montana and adjacent Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada should be declared endangered by the United Nations because climate change is melting glaciers and threatening the parks’ environment here.

4. You read about some U-Dub student reps dissing the memory of Coeur d’Alene area WWII hero Pappy Boyington first in WorldNetDaily, second in Huckleberries Online, and now Christi Wilhelm/Coeur d’Alene Press picks up the thread here. Now, Orbusmax reports, U-Dub student leaders are catching heck for being clueless here.

3. FBI: Ex-Spokane mayor Jim West’s conduct doesn’t meet criteria for federal charges here (and West has scheduled a press conference for 3:30 this afternoon to address the finding).

6. IMHO-NW: Doug Floyd/Spokesman-Reviw (New smoking ban is harsh, but …), Idaho Statesman (More needed to protect kids from pervs), Missoulian (Shift Katrina relief, restoration to states), Sam Taylor/UI Argonaut (Drinking yourself blotto), and Jim Moore/Seattle PI ($6000 protest against Super Bowl refereeing).

Online Poll: By 49.3% to 48.1%, respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll said they’d change the Idaho Constitition to protect traditional marriage.

*Racist stickers plague Pullman, Wash., here.

*A Kennewick kindergartner was left behind on a school bus last week after he fell asleep under a seat and the driver failed to check for stragglers here (free subscription required).

*”Extreme Makeover” beneficiary from Sandpoint, Idaho, to stand trial for DUI here.

*Idaho State has named a new prez here.

Orbusmax Special: Mary Letourneau’s Vili charged with DUI here, and unwanted kiss lands two-time loser in prison for life here.

Question of the Day — 2/16/06

Issue: Avista CEO earns $2.57 million in salary, other compensation/John Stucke, Spokesman-Review

DFO: No wonder our energy bills keep going up. On the other hand, a .500 pitcher with a reputation for pitching a lot of innings can make two and three times as much per year in the Big Leagues.

Question: Are you bugged by salaries of top-level Avista execs? Or do you think the SR should mind its own business?

HBO — to Gary Ingram re: Property Tax Relief

Gary Ingram: “DFO, as Ronald Reagan used to say, “There you go again” as you poison the well by saying that South Idaho Republicans are blocking property tax reform. That is absolutely untrue. All proposals have been allowed a hearing, the Rev and Tax committee is voting on these proposals and bills have moved out of committee to the floor and are on the calendar for debate, some even to day, at this hour.”

DFO: Gary, until Repubs deliver on property tax relief, I’m going to keep the flame burning brightly under their back sides. I was all over Gov. Dirk Kempthorne re: property tax when he visited out Editorial Board after the State of the State Address. If you recall, Ron Rankin had to threaten Phil Batt with another 1% initiative to force him to provide statewide property tax relief in the mid-1990s. Rankin’s not around any more. So, I’ve been beating his drum loudly when it comes to relief — so loudly that even Newcomb and Geddes will hear it, even it Crow doesn’t. Until legislation is passed and signed (Kempthorne isn’t happy with a 75-75 homeowners exemption), I’m going to pound the supermajority party to get something done.

APhoto of the Day — 2/16/06

A Greylag Goose, with what appears to be a toothpick in its nostril, is shown Wednesday at Jerry Ivey Park in Salina, Kan. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Kathy Shogren)

HBO — to Truthseeker re: Brady Tax Gesture

Truthseeker: “How can I get hold of Jerry Brady to write a check for my taxes too? I want to vote for him, but he needs to offer up a little good faith gesture first.”

DFO: You know, you might have something here. Instead of wasting all that money to campaign for a gubernatorial position that Congressman Butch Otter all but has locked up in Republican Idaho, why doesn’t Brady send every non-D Idahoan a check for $9.79 with a note reminded them that southern Idaho R’s are blocking property tax reform? It’d be a great gimmic.

HBO — to Chris Rodkey re: Olympics In Real Time

Colleague Chris Rodkey: “Hey DFO, you might want to start hiding the results of the Olympics behind a “spoiler” warning. I was looking forward to watching boarder X on NBC tonight … but you just told me the ending. It takes out a little bit of the suspense. Just an idea.”

DFO: Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Quick Fix 6 — 2/16/06

1. APhoto Fix: Gold medallist Seth Wescott, far left, Jason Smith, 2nd left, both of the USA, French bronze medallist Paul-Henri Delerue, and Austrian Dieter Krassnig, far right, speed downhill in the semi final of the Snowboard Cross competition at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Bardonecchia, Italy earlier today. Radoslav Zidek of Slovakia took the silver medal. (AP Photo/Diether Endlicher)

2. Cartoon Fix: Wayne Stayskal (Gore’s anti-American speech), Wayne Nowak (Tires & other retreads), and Drew Litton (Lost NFL season).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Good Things About Winning A Gold Medal (Presented By Olympic Gold Medal Winning Speed Skater, Chad Hedrick)” here.

4. My Way Fix: This Day In History here, Today’s Birthdays here, Positive Quote here, and Word of the Day here.

5. Top of the News Fix: New song: Veep was on a “homo” hunting trip here, Furor erupts over Saddam recordings here, Man who laughed at Cheney gets shot hunting raccoons here, House balks at pork reforms here, and King children not united on center here.

6. Opinion Fix: Christopher Hitchens/The Age (Giving up freedoms), Peggy Noonan/Wall Street Journal (Bush to replace Cheney?), Mark Stein/The Australian (Demography explains 90% of everything), Debra Saunders/SF Chronicle (Passing the high school test), and Marvin Olasky/World (Pat Robertson’s tight-lips strategy).

P.S. — How Long Are You Going To Live

Issue: Turned 50? Fail this test and you might not see 54/CNN Health

DFO: I found a cool test that will predict if you’re going to be alive in 4 years, based on a test with several easy questions. (BTW, when it has that math problem re: weight and height in which you need a to square your height to divide into your weight, that simply means multiply your height in inches by itself.) My chances of checking out in the next 4 years is only 4 percent. Cool. I might pay the house off yet.

So, go ahead and take the test by following the link above and then the link provided in the article in the third paragraph. Good luck.

Top Cutlines — 2/15/06

A scene from the 130th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show on Valentine’s Day in New York. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Top Cutlines:

1. Fritz, the talking dog, is ejected from the competition as a fraud when he answers “Bark” (what’s on the outside of a tree), “Roof” (on top of a house) and “Ruth” (best ballplayer.) Afterward, he looks up at his owner and says “DiMaggio?” — John Austin.

2. If you make me do one more stupid trick or make me eat one more of those dry nasty treats, I’m swear I’m going to pee on you — Bre.

3. Oh don’t be so fussy…remember how much you like it when the judge checks under your tail? (tail wags) That’s my baby doggy! — Bob.

HM: Dave Tolle & Whippersnapper

For all of today’s cutlines, click here.

Which 1 of These Turkeys Fell Thru Ice, Froze?

United States hockey fans celebrate the game-tying goal by Team USA’s Jordan Leopold during the third period against Latvia during a 2006 Winter Olympics men’s ice hockey match earlier today in Turin, Italy. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg )

Cheney: ‘I’m the Guy Who Pulled the Trigger’

Vice President Dick Cheney, center, walks back to his office in the White House after doing a television interview earlier today in the Esinehower Executive Office Building. At right is Mary Matalin, Cheney’s former communication director. Man a left is a Secret Service agent. For Fox News story, click here.

DFO — to Bearable Bob re: Ron Brown’s Body

Bearable Bob: “Until the MSM faces up to and reports that cold winter day when President William Jefferson Clinton stood at the base of those Croatian mtns and with a wink to Hillary who then loaded the Stinger surface to air missile in the shoulder fired missile launcher perched on Bill’s Big Mac fattened shoulders and he yelped THIS ONE’S FOR YOU HILL and shot Ron Brown’s plane shrieking down out of Croatian airspace and buried one more scandal to keep his insane cabal of liberal bloodsuckers in power, well let’s not worry so much about quails, shall we? They are just a gamebird. That’s all.”

DFO: Now, this is a thing of beauty that deserves admiration from partisans on both sides of the HBO blog struggle. Bob, if you could only provide one of those surface-to-air missiles to fight spammers and blog trolls today, I’d be in your debt.

Extra! Cheney To Break Silence …

… with Fox News interview at 3 o’clock this afternoon here.

Most Influential Black Poll — Jackson, Condi

AP/AOL Black Voices Poll: Jackson Rice are top Black leaders/Breitbart.com

15 percent — Jesse Jackson
11 percent — Secretary of State Condi Rice
8 percent — former Secretary of State Powell
6 percent — Barack Obama, a freshman Democratic senator from Illinois.
4 percent — Nation of Islam minister Louis Farrakhan
3 percent — Oprah Winfrey
2 percent — Martin Luther King Jr. and Al Sharpton
14 percent — picked somebody else
Almost one third — Didn’t pick anyone

Question: Who would you pick as the top Black leader in the U.S. today?

Dick Cheney, Olympics Cartoons …

Daryl Cagle’s stable of political cartoonists takes dead aim on Dick Cheney’s hunting accident here and the Winter Olympics here.

Dick Cheney Bumpersnickers

I gave you guys a chance to come up with your own Cheney bumpersnickers last night, but you seemed to get distracted by partisanship. So, I’ll provide a link to a bunch of them here.

SR Edit: Don’t Sell Off Prime Public Land

“After watching Congress go on a pork-happy spending spree, the administration has done nothing to demonstrate a real need for dumping prime public land while running an annual debt in the hundreds of billions of dollars. The initial selection of such land as the Hayden Lake property and 160 mountainous acres that Indian tribes use for vision quests near the St. Joe River raises questions about a hidden agenda.”

For the rest of my editorial today re: the public lands selloff proposal, click here. And: You can find a cool Monte Wolverton cartoon about this plan here.

Quick Fix 6 — 2/15/06

1. APhoto Fix: Erik Roberson, dressed as a knight in shining armor, rides a horse up E. Main St. in downtown Richmond, Va., to propose to his girlfriend, Melissa Dickert, at her workplace on Valentine’s Day. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bruce Parker)

2. Cartoon Fix: Mike Lester (Hunter Dick Cheney), Steve Kelly (No difference: D’s & R’s), and Henry Payne (NHL gambling scandal).

3. Humor Fix: David Letterman’s “Top Ten Things You Don’t Want to Hear on Valentine’s Day” here.

4. My Way Fix: This Day In History here, Today’s Birthdays here, Positive Quote here, and Word of the Day here.

5. Top of the News Fix: Hillary blasts Cheney secrecy after shooting here, PETA chief fires off letter to Cheney here, Scalia dismisses “Living Constitution” here, Feds investigate GOP candidate here, and US skater Weir causes stir with Russian jacket here.

6. Opinion Fix: James Q. Wilson/Wall Street Journal (Divided we stand), John Stossel/Creators Syndicate (Teachers unions are killing public schools), Tony Blankley/Washington Post (The shooting party), Kathryn Jean Lopez/National Review (Jesse Jackson’s worst nightmare), Tom Bevan/RealClearPolitics (Al Gore: International man of mystery).

P.S. — The Republican Empire Strikes Back

DFO: This should get the juices going on both sides tonight. The goal is to come up with a better bumpersnicker than the one above. Any of you HBOers clever enough to state your position on the shooting incident — in 12 words or less?

Best of the Local Blogs — 2/14/06

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CDADave made me bust out laughing with this spoof of Granati’s fine black-and-white photo from last night. Dave’s commentary about this photo is here. And he provides sound reasoning why we should keep the potato as our mascot here.

*Colin Mulvaney/Video Journal provides a wonderful ode to Valentines Day by taking his camera to a retirement center to interview 7 couples who have been married a combined 302 years here.

*For the first time in 32 years, Marianne Love/Slight Detour is apart from her True Love (William E. Love Jr.) on Valentine’s Day here.

*Family Phil was curious/furious after a review of the “Curious George” by Ebert & Ropert didn’t get two thumbs up because — (drum roll, please) it is truly a children’s movie here.

*Jim Meehan/Idaho Vandals tells of a columnist for the Orlando Sentinel who believes back to the future UI football coach Dennis Erickson may stay with UI 2 or 3 years to refurbish his image here.

*Toad/Synaptic Disunion doesn’t have use for the commercialism of Valentine’s Day, but he analyzes the value of it in this nice think piece here.

Meanwhile, Blogmeister KenP tells of discontent among some readers who prefer national/int’l news on the front page to local news here, Bayview Herb deals with Seattle’s gridlock here, Cis opposes Idaho’s anti-gay marriage amendment here, and Greg tells of a Lakeland High soccer player who won a state honor here.

Dem Brady Tags Kempthorne Over $9.73

Dear Governor Kempthorne:

Today I sent to Valley County a check for $9.73, the amount of the property tax overdue on the 14 acres you own near Tamarack. It is not my intention to embarrass you; I mean no disrespect. However, the property tax system is unfair, and you oppose needed changes. I am campaigning to replace you and lower homeowners’ property taxes. You offer an irresistible opportunity to highlight why two provisions of Idaho property tax law need to change.

First, the $9.73 tax on your property amounts to less than $l.40 cents an acre while other nearby Valley County residents pay $100 or more an acre because of a “developer’s discount” approved by the legislature and by you. It is not a fair deal. In my view, the governor should represent what is fair about our tax system, not what is broken, and should stand for the credibility of the entire system, which relies on voluntary compliance. As governor, I would make the system more equitable by vetoing or opposing provisions like the discount you enjoy.

Second, I choose this gesture to dramatize your decision not to stand up for Idaho homeowners whose property taxes are going through the roof in many places. Property taxes are rising five times faster on residential than on non-residential property. This is not fair. What was once a balanced system is rapidly becoming a tax primarily on homeowners. I would raise the homeowner’s exemption to $l00,000 and escalate it with inflation.

You claim this inequity is a local, not a state problem although the property tax system that is yielding this result was created by the state. Under the state’s uniform assessment rules, cities, counties, and school systems have no choice but to rapidly increase property taxes on homes.

Your hands-off approach to property taxes is ill suited to the needs and demands of homeowners across the state. Right now you are doing nothing and showing no leadership. As governor, I will, and there will be property tax reform.

Jerry Brady

Washington Poll: Rossi Over Gregoire in ‘08

Strategic Vision, LLC, has just sent HBO a poll of Washington voters that found:

*38% approved of Governor Christine Gregoire’s job performance; 54% disapproved; and 8% were undecided. The poll found that 45% approved of the job performance of the State Legislature; 46% disapproved; and 9% were undecided.

*In a hypothetical 2008 match-up between Gregoire and 2004 opponent, Dino Rossi, the poll found that 55% said they would vote for Rossi; 35% said they would vote for Gregoire; and 10% were undecided.

*United State Senator Patty Murray received a 54% job approval; with 30% disapproving; and 16% undecided. United States Senator Maria Cantwell received a 47% job approval; with 35% disapproving; and 18% undecided.

*In a potential match-up with Senator Cantwell and Republican Mike McGavick, the results were Cantwell 48%; McGavick 40%; and 12% undecided.

HBO Valentine Salute — to Whippersnapper

Whippersnapper: “Valentines is a concept that many men don’t understand. First you buy a big box of chocolates that you don’t need, then you buy flowers that will last a day or two and after that, you go out to eat somewhere nice. All totalled, about $100. Or, you go out and spend hundreds on a piece of jewelry that she’ll like, but will leave you tapped out for Mothers Day, which is coming in a about three months.

North Idaho Valentine gift: a load of firewood to keep warm through February, a few pounds of elk jerky (that will last for months if stored correctly) and a new pair of Sorels she’ll appreciate when she has to go out back to bring in more wood.”

DFO: Gentlemen, we’ve heard from the North Idaho God of Love here. If it isn’t too late, grab your rifle and ax and head to the woods — to save Valentine’s Day from being lackluster. (HBO is taking for granted that you bought her the Sorrels for a previous Valentine’s Day.)

Valentine’s PM Question — 2/14/06

Issue: Women We Esteem

DFO: I’m stealing this from the National Review online edition today. The NR asked some of its top writers to name the women they esteem — outside of their immediate family and sweethearts. Me? Who’s classier than Laura Bush? She loves her man. She loves her country. She’s strong. Confident. Yeah, and even attractive. She puts the Lady in First Lady.

Question: What woman do you esteem?

APhoto of the Day — 2/14/06

Caden Sanders, 4, finds one way to get his skateboard over the hump at the skate park at Beach Park in Bakersfield, Calif., this morning, while his mother (not shown) watches in her lawn chair while reading a book. You write the cutline. (AP photo/The Bakersfield Californian, Casey Christie)

Clark: ‘Sounds Like Assault & Peppered To Me’

“Oh, don’t worry. I’m not going to use (Harry) Whittington’s misery as a way to take a few cheap potshots at lawyers. Like how Rule 10 of the new Lawyer Hunting Law would require stuffed or mounted attorneys to “have a state health department inspection for AIDS, rabies and vermin.” Lawyer bashing would be taking the low road and that’s not my style. Besides, in the grand scheme of things the world is filled with far bigger dangers than bird hunting with Dick Cheney. Having Ted Kennedy drive you home, for example.”

For the rest of Doug Clark’s column on veep Dick Cheney’s hunting accident, click here; for wise-cracks heard round the nation on the incident, click here, and for great New York Post treatment of incident, click here.

An Autumn-Spring Valentine’s Match In The Air?

Your Huckleberry Hound with an unknown starlet on the red carpet during recent Grammy ceremonies? Whatta dawg.

Hat Tip: to Bronx Boy for providing the idea in the comments section last night and to Family Phil for carrying it to this extreme. Thanx to both of you for the chuckle.

P.S.

Issue: Special license plates.

Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise: Four new special license plate bills have been introduced so far this session — for the Idaho State Historical Society, the Idaho Elks Rehabilitation Hospital, the National Rifle Association, and breast cancer education and screening.

Question: If you could have any special plate approved for your car, what would it be?

Wild Card/Monday — 2/13/06

Gotta take care of things for my day job, HBOers. So, I’ll leave you with this Wild Card while I opine on the other side for awhile …

Best of the Local Blogs — 2/13/06

“On the way into work (Friday), I had to stop by the gas station to get some air in my tire. As I drove up, the water spigot formed a stalagmite of ice underneath itself. I thought it looked interesting — Granati”

Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings sees hypocrisy in the congressional refusal to give up smokin’ and chewin’ in our nation’s capitol here.

*Wow! Bearable Bob nailed some dyne-oh!-mite photos of the Spokane River yesterday, before the snow moved in, here (click on photo to enlarge).

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour is posting from San Antonio here, while Baby Brother Jim offers a cartoon that could cause rioting in Europe here.

*JBelle/The ‘Kan EWA Notes pens a neat note to her son who just turned 20 here.

*Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind considers local pols every bit as goofy as federal ones when it comes to hare-brained ideas for public property here.

Meanwhile, CDADave rants about “big-box inundation” here, Sam’s bi-weekly Argonaut causes him to lose a scoop here, Stebbijo asks about “Famous Potatoes” on her Your Choice blog here.

CDA Press Poll — What To Build?

Question (held over from last week): Which major project are you most likely to support?

*Coeur d’Alene School District’s facilities ($39.9 million in taxes) — 31.1%

*Kootenai County’s jail expansion (up to $50 million in taxes) — 12.1%

*Coeur d’Alene’s Kroc Community Center ($3.6 million in pledges) — 33.0%

*None of the above — 23.6%

Total Votes: 1056

Hat Tip: Kelly Richards, for pointing out the unusually high number of votes (and interest) in this question.
Your Vote: Coeur d’Alene School District’s facilities ($36 million in taxes

Run On USFS Land …

HBO hears (from SReporter Jim Hagengruber) that people were lined up at the USFS Panhandle office this morning waiting to protest — and in some instances) buy forest land being considered for sale by the Bush administration. Spokesman Dave O’Brien told Hagengruber that he has never seen citizens so angry at a proposal before. Among the early risers was one guy who wanted a first shot at buying part of English Point on Hayden Lake for development. Nothing’ll be for sale until after a 30 day comment period. Meanwhile, HBO joins protesters who contend that the Bush administration is out to lunch on this one.

For Valentine’s Cheapskates — Start Shoveling

Cindy Viands, right, gives her husband Randy a hug in the driveway of their Shrewsbury, Pa.. home earlier today. While shoveling the drive Sunday, Randy said he came up with the idea to make his wife smile for Valentine’s Day. Cindy said, “it’s better than candy and jewelry because it’s from the heart.” (Associated Press photo

Photo of the Day Redux

Hearing that Vice President Dick Cheney would be touring snow-ravaged areas of the northeast, Ken the Dog takes no chances.

Update: Reporters Press McClellan on Delay in Reporting Cheney Shooting Incident/Greg Mitchell, Editor & Publisher; and: Blind Spot: The vice president learns there is no “E” in quail/Bruce Reed, Slate.

Hat Tip (photo spoof): Bill McCrory

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 2/13/06

A ferret named Annabelle yawns as Sara Hamilton brushes her coat in preparation for competition at the Inland Northwest Ferret Association Show Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006 at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds. Dozens of animals vied for ribbons and trophies at the show. Pet owners extolled the virtues of the little animals, who are known to be active, curious and gentle here. (Jesse Tinsley photo/Spokesman-Review)

1. Cartoonist David Horsey/Seattle PI provides his take on veep Dick Cheney’s hunting accident here.

2. 400 Gonzaga U. students are among the first in the country to use “biometric finger scans” to pay for meals on campus, and other businesses in the Gonzaga area have added or are adding the program for such things as haircuts and lattes here.

3. Seattle is replacing Muzak with homegrown bands playing everything from soothing original piano compositions to hip-shaking Latin arrangements here.

4. KeyArena could be profitable without Sonics by hosting more concerts, ice shows and college and high-school games, according to a study by a city consultant here.

5. An independent investigation into allegations against former Mayor Jim West last year cost the city $36,000, nearly twice as much as was budgeted in a Spokane City Council contract, here.

6. IMHO-NW: D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Huckleberries: More Monday morning QBing), Ron Judd/Seattle Times (Not Kwan song we wanted), Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (Burglar’s plea for sympathy falls flat), Howard Schultz/Starbucks (Why Sonics deserve support for arena), and Art Thiel/Seattle PI (Cracks appear in ice for US).

89% of 1642 respondents oppose an Idaho bill that would give developers a tax break on undeveloped lots.

*Find out how a Coeur d’Alene couch potato became an Ironman athlete here.

*Nineteen cats spared from death in Georgia arrived in Billings before dawn on Sunday ready for another chance at life here.

*A Great Falls, Mont., clerk was injured when he tried to stop 2 women from stealing beer here.

*Memorial service for Puyallup police dog today here (free subscription required).

Orbusmax Special: Up to 700 women not told about placenta registry here.

SR Edit: Rev&Tax Committee Get Something Right

“(Dolores) Crow’s (Rev & Tax) committee poked its head back into the sand when it refused the request by Kootenai County and other progressive counties to expand the local-option sales tax to cover a range of capital projects. Currently, the half-cent sales tax can be used to fund only jail expansions as well as provide property tax relief. By denying the request out of hand, the committee refused to recognize the tough job local government faces in constructing buildings and acquiring land. Crow’s committee isn’t to be congratulated for voting for some tax relief. It’s more like the proverbial broken clock that occasionally gets the time right.”

For the rest of my editorial about property tax relief, click here.

Question No. 2 — Michelle Kwan

Issue: Kwan pulls out of Turin Games: ‘I’ve had a great career, I’ve been very lucky’/Nancy Armour, Associated press

Additional Info: Kwan’s last chance to win the only medal that has eluded her grasp — an Olympic gold — ended sadly yesterday when she withdrew from the Turin Games because of a groin injury.

Question: Will Kwan’s decision to pull out affect your enjoyment of the Winter Olympics?

WorldNetDaily Poll — Cheney Hunting Mishap

Issue: Hunter shot by Cheney ‘very stable’: Companion accidently hit during weekend trip in Texas/Associated Press

Question: What’s your reaction to Vice President Cheney shooting a fellow hunter?

1. Cheney must resign immediately, he’s unfit for office
2. The incident shows guns don’t shoot people, vice presidents do
3. More evidence guns need to be banned in America
4. Hunting can be dangerous, and accidents happen
5. Thank goodness the man was not hurt more seriously or killed, it would have been a major tragedy
6. Media will blow this out of proportion purposefully to make Cheney look bad
7. I feel bad for the victim and Cheney, but I can’t wait to hear the jokes
8. I stand by Dick Cheney, who is a great vice president
9. I still would rather go hunting with Cheney than Bill or Hillary Clinton any day of the week
10. Other

DFO: No. 7

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card/Sunday — 2/12/06

Valentine’s Day is only two days off; so, it’s time for guys like me to freak out. I don’t enjoy shopping for gifts unless I have an adviser like my daughter along to make sure I don’t mess up. At least, I have an idea this year re: what might make a good present. But I’m open to suggestions. Any of you guys already have your gift picked out? Any of you gals have a good suggestion for a gift? You can take up that thread here. Or start your own with this Wild Card …

HBO — to Family Phil re: Old Farts

Family Phil/A Family Runs Through It: “The AARP is now apparently employing mind readers on it’s membership committee, because somehow they were able to sense how I feel. Today in the mail I received a personalized plea to join the group and “get the most out of life over 50.” Please, give me another decade before you tell me that I’m an old fart.”

DFO: Ouch! I blew past 50 and now am 56. I don’t belong to AARP, however. Never got around to it. Mebbe I’m in denial. On the other hand, I still keep a great pace at work and enjoy life more than ever now. So, I don’t think 50 is something to fear, Phil. Probably my lone concession to age was to give up softball. That, and I walk instead of jog. Any of the rest of you out there fearing the Big 5-0? Or 4-0? Or even 3-0?

HBO — to Bayview Herb re: Wal*Mart

Bayview Herb: “I worked for Wal-Mart for two years. In that two years, I was never ever denied a bathroom break. Breaks were scheduled every two hours. If you work an 8 hour shift, one 15 minute break in two hours…Lunch one hour…another 15 at the 6th hour. If a bathroom emergency occurs, and I have had them, You called a Customer service manager, they took over for you until your return.I enjoyed my time there. Respect for the individual is a very high priority for employment. If it weren’t for the commute, I’d probably still be there. Much of the comment content above, is inaccurate, misleading, and obviously slanted to a pre-conceived position, arrived at with very little trouble given to truth.”

DFO: I don’t do enough grocery shopping to have a strong opinion here. I know, however, in our tourism economy that Wal*Mart enables many families to make ends meet. And I suspect that some of the anger generated against Wal*Mart is a result of a class and union thing. Herb here has firsthand knowledge of how things stack up for employees. And he’s saying that much of what’s being circulated about workers is inaccurate. Still, Wal*Mart’s going to create a traffic mess if it opens a store at Honeysuckled and Highway 95, particularly on weekends.

Wild Card/Saturday — 2/11/06

I survived my stint as emcee at the Hayden Bible Church Valentine’s Banquet Friday night — and then helped wash dishes afterward. My pastor’s wife was shocked to see me doing so. But I don’t mind washing dishes — as long as there’s good tunes or a ballgame on the radio. In this case, we put good tunes on the church intercom. A good time was had by all. But enuf of my personal life. You have plenty of good questions below and this Wild Card to entertain yourselves today …

Question No. 3 — For Sale: Idaho Forest

Issue: For sale: 26,000 Idaho acres: Details of Forest Service plan raise concerns in region/James Hagengruber, Spokesman-Review

Additional Info: Included in the sale are prime recreation sites near Coeur d’Alene, including the entire English Point trail network and Mokins Bay campground along Hayden Lake. The proposal also includes 160 mountainous acres near the St. Joe River once used by Indian tribes for sacred vision quests.

DFO: Absolute insanity.

Question: What’s your reaction to news that the Bush administration wants to sell prime pieces of forest to the highest bidders?

Quote of the Day — Dennis Erickson

“I’ll have to talk to him — it’s the first I’ve heard of it. … We all make mistakes. It’s what you do after” — new Idaho football coach Dennis Erickson after learning that starting QB Steve Wichman was facing a court appearance Feb. 14 after pleading innocent to a DUI last month.

See: Erickson has wild first day on job: Traffic bogs down Web site; quarterback’s DUI revealed, and: Vandals to keep bulk of existing coaches.

DFO — to Bearable Bob re: Blogging

Bob: “I’ve been out of town for two days but before I left I decided to quit this blog for awhile. It’s been my master for nearly two years and I’m tired. Tired of emails from Typepad threatening me with Terms of Service violations (later dropped after I explained who quoted whose name first, ahem) more complaints to work (probably the same person who whined to Typepad, but who knows), emails threatening me with assault, always needing to be ‘on’ here with fresh, creative, interesting content” — Bearable Bob post titled “Blogback Mountain.”

DFO: You aren’t the only one who gets tired, Hoss. Of late, I’ve been asking myself:
Is blogging worth it? I’ve spent the last two years (as of next Thursday) basically doing two jobs — editorial writing, columnizing and this blog. I’m always distracted at work because I can’t focus on one for too long without the other elbowing its way in. It’s sorta like talking on a cell phone while you drive. I constantly feed this thing. And am rewarded with spam from Cialis and Viagra, an occasional blog troll, commenters who go off in huffs because another commenter bruised their feelings or they can’t post a borderline word. I post a poorly worded question in a hurry and understandably get a posse of newsroom feministas after me. Grumpy people with ideological blinders lurk in the blogosphere to parse every word I write when they’d never have the courage to blog themselves. Life would be simpler if I devoted myself to the Opinion Page, where an occasional nasty letter to the editor or phone call are the only annoyances. But a blog is habit forming. And the good outnumbers the bad. That’s what keeps me coming back for more.

P.S. — 2/10/06

Issue: Winter Olympics

DFO: I tend to like the Winter Olympics better than the Summer Olympics. And I’m not sure why. Mebbe it’s all the weird events, like curling, luge and ski jumping. The US never does that well in the winter games. But it’s cool to watch the Jamaica bobsled team make a valiant effort on their country’s behalf.

Question: Why are you going to tune in the Winter Olympics this year?

Best of the Local Blogs — 2/10/06

CDADave/Thin Air claims he couldn’t help himself when he saw this Quick Fix 6 photo from Thursday. For the rest of his blog today, click here.

*Colleague Ben Shors sends an SOS from Africa, urging HBO to post a link to his travelogue (complete with Muslim unrest re: cartoons, exotic women in skimpy bathing suits and shark-filled waters), the the boss will continue paying him to surf here.

*Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings continues to believe that American newspapers, including The Spokesman-Review, have imposed self-censorship by not publishing the controversial Muhammed cartoons and are shirking their obligation to educate and stir debate here.

*Jim Meehan/Idaho Vandals (no relation to Mari) tells you the latest about Dennis Erickson’s 2006 staff and asks Erickson if he’s in the running for the Oakland Raiders head job here.

*Bearable Bob explains why blogs are so dang hard to write and endure (spam, blog trolls, threats, angry commenters, etc. … I feel his pain … and I’m not kidding) and so dang hard to leave, after breaking away for a few days here.

*JBelle/The ‘Kan EWA Notes explains how a gal born on CDA’s Pennsylvania Avenue can be so in love with New York here.

*Yesterday, radio legend John Rook, who lives in the CdA area, reminisced about ‘50s rocker Eddie Cochran. If you enjoyed that, you’ll enjoy the chapter about Cochran from Big John’s online book, “Passing Thru,” here.

Also: Cis spotlights a blog she enjoys here, Marianne’s on the road again here, Sam’s having second thoughts about scientology here, and Digital Fog grants Grammy winner Kanye West’s wish to be in the Bible here.

Wild Card/TGIF — 2/10/06

The weekend’s here a bit early this week. I need to make a quick change and get to Hayden by 6:15. Or else. That “or else” comes from my better half who’s in charge of the church’s annual Valentine’s Banquet. So, I’m outtahere. You can work your own threads with this Wild Card …

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 2/10/06

Chanting “Hillyard pride” and carrying signs, Kayla Dixon and hundreds of other Rogers High School students protested what they saw as a principal’s orders to quit using the working-class community’s name in cheers at sporting events here. (Photo: Brian Plonka/Spokesman-Review)

1. Milt Priggee/Skagit Valley Herald reveals the problem of trying to fill Alan Greenspan’s shoes here, while David Horsey/Seattle PI glimpses into the congressional dining room here.

2. Idaho ticket sales booming after Dennis Erickson hire here.

3. Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne past due on $9.73 property tax bill here.

4. Ouch: A jury exonerated a Spokane woman Thursday of any criminal wrongdoing for twisting off a testicle from her 73-year-old, half-blind, alcoholic boyfriend last September here.

5. A New Jersey woman who knocked a Northwest Airlines flight attendant unconscious and tried to get into the cockpit of an airliner before being removed from the plane in Billings will spend four months in federal prison here.

6. IMHO-NW: Gary Crooks/Spokesman-Review (Senate asbestos bill needs refinement), Tim Woodward/Idaho Statesman (Montana mystique), Olympian (Driving with cell phones hazardous), Fritz Neighbor/Missoulian (UI disses MSU’s Kramer), John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (WSU Bennett ball hits bottom),

Poll: 79% of the respondents to a Caspar (Wyo.) Star-Tribune poll back legislation to ban open containers of alcohol in vehicles here.

*Spokane leads Washington in train derailments here.

*Police believe 76-year-old St. Maries woman was a random murder victim who also was raped here.

*Idaho pro-lifer is starving to make a point here.

Orbusmax Special: Seattle weekly publishes controversial Muhammad cartoons here. And: Taxpayers foot bill for sex-change operations, penile implants, breast augmentation, piercings here.

HBO — to OrangeTV re: Potty-Mouth Columnist

OrangeTV: “Well, H-E-Double_Hockey_Sticks!! (Another gem from the CDA Press ‘Editorial’ page):” ‘I was very surprised to read in Marty Fortier’s column the use of the following language: “…what the hell…” We have citizens of all ages reading the paper, and I feel it is irresponsible to set that type of example — especially to adolescents. Acceptance of such language in our newspaper tells students that it is just fine to speak that way. I personally found it in very poor taste’ — Cathyanne Nonini.”

DFO: Hmm. Cathyanne’s complaint might sound trite at a time when late-night fare drops SOBs right and left as well as other cuss words. But a little civility never hurts. I was e-mailed by a fellow this morning who has decided to quit commenting here because, among other things, our filter wouldn’t allow him to use a cuss-slang word that substitutes for griping. Amazing. I’d guess Fortier was using WTH for shock value when he should have resorted to better writing. (Example of recent Fortier column here.)

Question: Should a newspaper allow low-level profanity to seep into its news columns? Or should it consider the children in the readership audience and continue to block them?

Question of the Day — 2/10/06

Issue: CdA plans to trade land to lure Salvation Army/JoNel Aleccia, Spokesman-Review

DFO: There’s an interesting subtext to the fund-raising going on to make the mega-public fitness center a reality — a church-state one. No one’s talking much about it, but a significant Salvation Army church will be a part of the Kroc Center if/when it’s built in Coeur d’Alene. City officials are doing their level best to tiptoe around the church-state question because the center is desperately needed. I tend to side with the tiptoers because I believe we’ve become draconian when it comes to church-state separation, thanks to the ACLU and its ilk.

Question: Are you bothered that the new Kroc Center comes with a Salvation Army church?

HBO — to Sue re: Hillary’s Health Care

Sue: “I believe Hillary did fight tooth and nail for fair health care, which I believe is a number one priority for this country, only to be mocked and vilified by the majority republicans in congress. That’s the reason there’s no teeth, no aggressive defense of workers in this country. We need to see what a Democrat President and a Democrat congress could do for us.”

DFO: When she wasn’t commandeering the war room to snuff hubby’s bimbo eruptions or furnishing her New York home with White House silverware and accessories, Hillary tried to nationalize one-seventh of the nation’s health-care system. And was soundly rejected by the American people. An interesting sidelight to the first-term fiasco was that she illegally tried to hold secret meetings to do so. I’m thankful that Bill was forced to deal with a Republican Congress at the time. Or that major tax increase he hit us with at the beginning of his first term might have become a way of life for us. As is, he and the Republican Congress marched us toward a balanced budget. Mebbe what we need is a split governance rather than one-party governance. The Republicans have been less than impressive running things.

Quick Fix 6 — 2/10/06

1. APhoto Fix: This image released by World Press Photo in Amsterdam, The Netherlands earlier today, shows the first prize Sports Features Singles of the World Press Photo 2006 contest by Colombian photographer Henry Agudelo, El Colombiano, showing a bullfighter in Medellin, Colombia. (AP Photo/Henry Agudelo)

2. Cartoon Fix: Bill Schorr (Muhammad Cartoon), Jeff Stahler (Curious George), and Ed Stein (Dems’ war-time traumas).

3. “There’s a boycott now of Danish products in the Muslim world. Luckily not too many mosques are made out of Legos” — Jay Leno.

4. My Way Fix: This Day In History here, Today’s Birthdays here, Positive Quote here, and Word of the Day here.

5. Top of the News Fix: 2 US skiers, 6 others suspended here, Sweden shuts far-right Web site over cartoon here, South Dakota House passes abortion ban here, Gays blame Christians for gay-bar rampage here, and Breyer: Zero politics on high court here.

6. Opinion Fix: Peggy Noonan/Wall Street Journal (A spirited tribute to Mrs. King), Michael Kinsley/Washington Post (The ayatollah joke book), Charles Krauthammer/Washington Post (Curse of the moderates), Brent Bozell/Accuracy In Media (Super Bowl: Good, bad news), and Frederica Mathewes-Green/National Review (“Curious George”).

Wild Card/Thursday — 2/9/06

We’ve almost made it through another week together. And things have been pretty solid blogwise. HBO hasn’t been below 5364 pageviews for a weekday since Monday, Jan. 23. And there’s been three days of around 7500 and one well above 8000. So, we’re moving the standard higher. It wasn’t that long ago that 2000 pageview per day was the goal. Thanx for your continued support. Now, here’s your Wild Card …

Top Cutlines — 2/9/06

Pentwater High School student Whitney VanZoeren, left, applies a mask of peanut butter to the face of Dana Early as the juniors prepare for Wednesday homecoming activity, the popcorn toss, in Pentwater, Mich. The object is to get as many popcorn kernels to stick to the peanut butter as possible. You write the cutline. (AP photo)

Top Cutlines:

1. Alrighty, Tammy Faye, now that the natural base is applied we can move on to the blush — Whatever.

2. They told her she had to quit smoking to heal properly, but the French woman who received a face transplant last November just wouldn’t listen — Family Phil.

3. “…if you think my face is a mess, you should see the mirror after i popped this sucker” — Granati.

HM: Whippersnapper

For the complete list of today’s cutline entries, click here.

Question: How Many Wins for ‘06 Vandals?

How many wins will Dennis Erickson lead the Vandals to next season?

0-2
3-4
5-6
7-8
More than 8

The Idaho Statesman asked this one for its online poll today.

2006 Idaho schedule: Sept. 2 — @Michigan State, Sept. 9 — @Washington State, Sept. 16 — Idaho State, Sept. 23 — @ Oregon State. Then (unscheduled as of yet) WAC home play against Boise State, New Mexico State, San Jose State and Nevada with road games at Fresno State, Hawaii, Utah State and Louisiana Tech.

Afternoon Question — ‘Hillyard Pride’

Issue: Rogers students protest ‘Hillyard’ ban: Principal Meyer on hot seat for banning derogatory cheers/Amy Cannata & David Wasson, Spokesman-Review

DFO: I’m struck that Rogers students have a self-deprecating pride in their neighborhood and that the principal doesn’t quite understand the nuance here. Then, I don’t understand Spokane that much. At columnist Doug Clark’s roast, Hillyard came in for rough treatment.

Question: Is this much ado about nothing? Or do the kids have a point?

Eye On Boise: Homeowner Exemption Bill OK’d

In her Eye On Boise blog, Betsy Russell reported that earlier today HB421, which would increase the homeowners exemption from $50,000 to $75,000, passed the notorious House Rev & Tax Committee by a voice vote, with only one dissenter, here.

HBO — to Radio Pioneer John Rook

“Of course I have a special attraction to anything about Eddie Cochran. After all these years I find so few in this country who even know his name…let alone his music. Because I was Eddie’s pal in the 50’s I still get regular communication from England and many parts of Europe. Had he lived, he would have made many contributions. Eddie was a brilliant musician, a great performer and had much to do with the explosion of the “British invasion” of the 60’s. So many of those who came to the forefront then told me how much Eddie effected their career. I think of him almost daily and cherish those times we “ran across” southern California as teenagers. Neither of us then realized how much our efforts then would still be recognized 50 years later. … Hey Oliveria…thanks for bringing up a subject that brings about memories of some great times” — John Rook.

DFO: John, you should reminisce more often about your contacts with the music industry’s greats, either on your blog (yeah, I know you have the online book) or here. I find your reflections among the most interesting HBO posts.


Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 2/9/06

Montana football coach Bobby Hauck, left, gets a trim from Gov. Brian Schweitzer as part of the university’s “Coaches vs. Cancer” program, which aims to raise awareness and money to fight cancer Wednesday in Missoula, Mont., here. (AP Photo/Missoulian, Linda Thompson)

1. David Horsey/Seattle PI shows what might happen if everyone rioted every time s/he was offended by a political cartoon here.

2. Seth Cook, a 12-year-old Washington boy with rapid-aging disease, not only is the toast of his town but also featured in an hour-long NBC “Dateline” story here.

3. Travis Greene, a Marine corporal and former Twin Falls (Idaho) runner who lost both legs in an explosion in Iraq, posts his first message on a Web site dedicated to his recovery — and is overwhelmed by the response here.

4. Actor Scott Campbell, who debuted as a bellboy in a Sentinel (Mont.) High play, has added to his portfolio since with appearances in “Grey’s Anatomy” and now as shopkeeper Monroe in “Brokeback Mountain” here.

5. Police Theory: North Idaho septuagenarian was killed simply because she lived too close to where a bad guy slid off he road and got stuck here.

6. IMHO-NW: Bert Caldwell/Spokesman-Review (A new voice for Spokane Russians), Heather Anne Cunningham/Idaho Statesman (Revising eminent domain laws), Bud Withers/Seattle Times (Guess who’s coming to Gonzaga), Doug Clark/Spokesman-Review (Invasion of the condo people), and Ron Judd/Seattle Times (Apolo Anton Ohno).

Online Poll: 64% of 1147 respondents to an Idaho Statesman online poll say that new UI Vandal football coach Dennis Erickson will win no more than 4 games next year here.

*An Olympian who grew up on North Idaho’s Schweitzer Mountain will be gunning for gold in the downhill snowboarding event at the Winter Olympics here.

*January was the wettest month ever recorded in Glacier National Park, west of the Divide, here.

*Authorities found a crack pipe in a 6-month-old’s crib during a Spokane Valley raid here.

Orbusmax Special: Oregon high school reverses stand on “Laramie Project” here.

Video Journal Strikes Nerve

Some viewers are upset at Colin Mulvaney’s Video Journal re: the sentencing of former teacher Robert M. Swalstad to six months in jail for seducing a 15-year-old girl whom he later married. The end of Colin’s journal is extremely emotional. You can see it, read comments about it and decide how appropriate it is here.

APhoto of the Day — Peanut Butter Face

Pentwater High School student Whitney VanZoeren, left, applies a mask of peanut butter to the face of Dana Early as the juniors prepare for Wednesday homecoming activity, the popcorn toss, in Pentwater, Mich. The object is to get as many popcorn kernels to stick to the peanut butter as possible. You write the cutline. (AP photo)

WorldNetDaily Poll — Circus Animals

Issue: Woman gets naked to protest circus: Paints nude body to look like tiger, gets in cage to lament Ringling Bros/WorldNetDaily

Question: What are your thoughts on circuses keeping wild animals in cages?

1. Animals should not be kept in cages for people’s amusement
2. Circuses are pass̩ Рpeople want to see animals acting naturally, not performing tricks
3. Anyone who believes animals should be in cages should be thrown in jail
4. Circuses need more regulation to guarantee they protect and care for their animals
5. I can’t believe there are people who believe this is a problem
6. I’d go to the circus if they had more exhibits like Jabeen Akhtar, the PETA tiger lady
7. Circus people use the animals to make a living – they’re not going to hurt them
8. God gave man dominion over all the animals
9. As long as the animals are treated humanely, there’s nothing inherently wrong with it
10. Other

DFO: No. 9

For the WorldNetDaily news roundup, click here.

P.S.

Issue: Manilow tops charts for first time in 29 years: ‘50s evergreen pop launches ‘70s star/Rolling Stone

DFO: Barry Manilow? Seems he still rights the songs that make the whole world sing.

Question: Who’s you golden oldie of the ‘50s, excluding Elvis? Como? Sinatra? Buddy Holly?

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 2/8/06

A drawing released by the Zhongda Zhang/ Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing shows an artist’s conception of Guanlong wucaii, the earliest known tyrannosaur. (AP Photo/HO/Zhongda Zhang-IVPP)

*Wal-Mart to open some 1,500 new stores: On top of nearly 3,200 world’s largest retailer already operates/Associated Press —But will the uber-corporation be able to open ones in Hayden and Moscow. Inquiring minds want to know.

*Newspaper intimidated by drug-running thugs: Editor: Reporters will steer clear of critical stories after attack on newsroom/Laredo Morning Times, Texas — Not one of journalism’s finer moments.

*Scandal shakes up small Arkansas town: Mayor, top cop arrested, police chief’s wife allegedly bedded prisoners/Associated Press — Arkansas? Hmm. Isn’t that where a former president of ours if from? Whatever happened to him and his missus?

*Wife sues miner’s brother, tabloid over hospital photo: National Enquirer paid $800 for picture showing Randy McCloy on life support/CNN — All the brother got was $800? He should be sued — for stupidity.

*86 evangelical leaders fight ‘global warming’: Claim ‘millions of people could die in this century because of climate change’/New York Times — Rick Warren should stick to teaching people how to lead a purpose-driven life and let the scientists battle over global warming.

Top Cutlines — 1/8/06

An unwelcome goose is shooed away by Marla Eddrief, second from left, as she and her husband Edward, pose for photographer Hal Fleener at Hpward Amopn Park in Richland, Wash., Monday. The couple was married Saturday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Tri-City Herald, Paul T. Erickson)

Top Cutlines:

1. “..any reason that these two should not be married, speak now or forever hold your peace.”
Goose: AFLAC! — Whippersnapper.

2. The obtrusive bird didn’t think he was fowling things up, as he figured “Everyone likes a shot of Grey Goose straight up…” — PDX Pup.

3. “Honk, honk! Weddings alway make me cry. Where’s my hanky, Honk” — KaleJ.

HM: MIK

For the rest of the cutline entries, click here.

A Columnist Explains Why He Blogs

“But after three years and more than 180 columns, I looked down into the well of my experience and interests as a reporter, writer and teacher and saw, or at least, believed, it had gone bone-dry. I thought I had covered all the subjects that mattered to me and ones that readers had asked me to address. I needed to try something new. I wanted to blog.”

For the rest of the article by Chip Scanlan/Chip On Your Shoulder, click here.

HBO — to Thom George re: One-Income Families

Thom George: “ErinG, leaving the world of income-earning, outside-of-the-home-work to stay home and raise my children was the BEST thing I have ever done in my life, I know it, they know it and my wife knows it. Adjusting to living on 1/2 the income wasn’t that hard for us and after a short while the income rose to cover what I’d relinquished.”

DFO: Bingo. I don’t want to lay any guilt trips of families who need two incomes in our tourism industry economy to get by. But my wife and I decided from the get go that the kids were No. 1 priority and that their mother, in my case, wouldn’t work outside the home through college. We sacrificed a few things, including newer model cars to embrace that lifestyle and continued on when their grades earned them great but not full-ride scholarships to private colleges. I have no regrets, although I’m looking forward to the day when all the college loans are paid and I can buy a slightly used Hummer.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 2/8/06

A life-size statue of Marilyn Monroe, as seen in the movie “Seven Year Itch,” sold for $30,000 Tuesday as part of the auction of property belonging to Marilyn’s on Monroe, a defunct Spokane casino and restaurant. Here, ring man Gary Justice, right, encourages bids here. (Jesse Tinsley/Spokesman-Review)

Local editors, journalism professors and a former mayor will discuss The Spokesman-Review’s investigation of former Mayor Jim West at a forum tonight sponsored by the Washington News Council here.

1. David Horsey/Seattle PI doodles how Pittsburgh’s “12th Man” had a bigger impact on the Super Bowl than Seattle’s famous “12th Man” here, and Milt Priggee/Skagit Valley Herald lets his thoughts be known re: US newspaper reluctance to publish the controversial Muhammad cartoons here.

2. The University of Idaho will introduce former UI/WSU/Wyoming/Miami/Seahawk/Oregon State/49er coach Dennis Erickson as its new football coach at a press conference this afternoon at 5:30 here.

3. Dave Smith Motors of North Idaho’s Silver Valley, the World’s largest car dealer, is suing three former female employees for defamation of character for filing harassment claims here.

4. Montanans have been turning out in droves to see “Brokeback Mountain,” contrary to what conservative radio host Bill O’Reilly predicted before the movie hit Big Sky Country here.

5. Rushing leader Shaun Alexander is confident Seattle will offer a “fair deal” to sign him here.

6. IMHO-NW: D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Science should guide wolf policy), Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman (Interviewing Seymour Hersh), Kalispell (Mont.) Daily Inter Lake (Cartoon Jihad no laughing matter), Bruce Ramsey/Seattle Times (Defending cartoon censorship), and Art Thiel/Seattle PI (Critics lament shrug of Turin).

Online Poll: Given 4 options including “no opinion,” a plurality of 30.7% of 833 respondents to an Idaho Statesman poll said their children’s homework was “too light.”

*Washington state health-care subsidy to Wal*Mart workers put at $12M here.

*A Billings woman has been charged after her newborn was found dead in an LA trash bin here.

*A Washington state senator has introduced an assisted-suicide bill in Olympia here.

Orbusmax Special: Oregon National Guard to model for new action figure here.

Back to the Future: It’s Erickson

A cool picture of Dennis Erickson’s first stint with the Vandals in 1974. That’s Head Coach Ed Troxel with assistants Erickson (kneeling left), John McMahon, Gary Knecht, and Andy Christoff. Above, Erickson as head coach of the Seattle Seahawks.

“The University of Idaho has scheduled a press conference for 6:30 p.m. MST today to announce Dennis Erickson as their new football coach. The popular Erickson is returning to the Moscow campus, where he won 32 games and a Big Sky Conference championship in four previous seasons with the program (1982-85). He went on to win two national championships at the University of Miami and became a head coach in the NFL with San Francisco and Seattle.”

For the rest of the Idaho Statesman story, click here.

Hat Tip: Family Phil (who is all over the Erickson story)

HBO — to Stopthecrazygrowth

Stopthecrazygrowth: “I’ll bet that if Kootenai County held a referendum of the voting public and asked, “Do you want to see growth continue in its present form?” You would see similiar wide spread “No” answers. Of course, that is a question that would never be relegated to the tax-paying public. As for Bonner County - the people have spoken, time to move on.”

DFO: Aren’t “the people” to blame for the predicament they’re in? After all, they can stop the crazy growth simply by replacing the two Kootenai County commissioners that’re seeking re-election with two stop-growthers. It’s that simple. But the people are too fat, dumb and happy to pay attention to the county courthouse. Or their City Hall. Therefore, the developers and booster types control those entities. And the people keep expecting a pro-growth politician to all of a sudden embrace no-growth. Ain’t gonna happen. We get what the developers pay for.

Question of the Day — You Be The Judge

Issue: Ex-teacher jailed for impregnating girl, now his wife/Couple hopes life in Wyoming will provide “second shot”/Sara Leaming, Spokesman-Review

DFO: Judge Robert M. Swalstad had a tough call here. The teacher and his under-age galpal are now married. By sentencing him to six months in jail and ordering him to register as a sex offender, the judge hurt the couple’s chances of beginning life over with a decent job to meet its needs. Yet, the sentence was below the maximum.

Question: What would you have done? (You can find Colin Mulvaney’s Video Journal of Sara Leaming’s story here.)

Coming Soon To A University Near You …

“I’m telling you, Dennis Erickson had a little extra pep in his voice when I reached him Tuesday in San Jose to ask about his interest in the Idaho football job. As I wrote, Erickson is in Moscow today, meeting with the Vandals. And I expect if Idaho is wise (apologies to Montana State’s Mike Kramer, who comes in second here) Erickson will be announced as the next coach in the next 24 hours. The best part of this is that Idaho plays at Oregon State next season on Saturday, Sept. 23 in a game that was meaningless, oh, about 15 minutes ago but suddenly feels like so much more.”

For the rest of blog comment by John Canzano/Oregonian re: Erickson, click here.

Hat Tip: Family Phil

P.S.

Family Phil: “The Nick Holt situation just took a turn into the Twilight Zone. KIVI-TV in Boise just reported that Holt has changed his mind on joining Scott Linehan with the Rams and is now headed back to USC to be Pete Carroll’s Defensive Coordinator! The football coaching world is a strange place indeed.”

DFO: Sometimes, it’s hard to make up your mind. I remember the long night I had in September 1984 when I decided to quit as news editor of the Lewiston Morning Tribune and join The Spokesman-Review as a courthouse reporter. Hardest job decision I ever made. I changed my mind every hour on the hour. After I decided to stay in Lewiston, my friend Doug Clark called me several times to persuade me otherwise. And he finally succeeded at 3 o’clock in the morning. I worked in Coeur d’Alene for a year before I finally felt comfortable that I’d made the right decision.

Question: What is the toughest job decision you’ve ever made?

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 2/7/06

Mitchell Rupe reads a statement to jurors at the conclusion of his third death-penalty hearing in Olympia, Wash., seen in this Monday, Mar. 6, 2000, file photo. Rupe, a former death row inmate once found too fat to hang, died in prison Tuesday following a long illness, a state penitentiary spokeswoman said here. He was 51. (AP photo)

*Report: Teen killed priest due to cartoons: Turkish TV says Muslim high-school student confessed to slaying/Reuters — The old defense of “The Cartoons Made Me Do It.” C’mon.

*Iran renames Danish pastries: Sweet treat will be called ‘Muhammadan’ pastries in protest of cartoons/AKI — How silly can you get? Now, could you pass the ketshup for my Freedom Fries?

*‘Shocking’ Saddam art banned in Belgium: Piece depicts handcuffed Hussein inside liquid-filled tank/Agence France-Presse — ‘Tis doubtful that Saddam Hussein has many followers inside or outside of Iraq. The world doesn’t have much use for a “former” strongman.

*Lesbian shower scene keeps viewers at ABC: Opening scene of post-game ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ helped make episode ratings winner/Associated Press — Super Bowl afterglow + menage a trois = ratings bonanza. If only Ricky and Lucy had known, they could have invited Fred and Ethel into the bedroom to boost ratings even more. Sheesh.

*Study: Angry people a danger to themselves: Being mad quadruples odds of being injured, getting hostile makes it sixfold/USA Today — Another reason to count to 10.

A Perfect Day in the INorthwest


A day as perfect 100 years ago

“Today, up here in the Inland Northwest, the sun SHONE all afternoon, and it was about 40 degrees outside with a very slight wind. The surface of Lake Coeur d’Alene was glass-smooth. The seagulls, geese and ducks were out, so I fed my “flock”. Geese have a really dignified way of approaching you if you have food for them. They walk up to you placidly, and emit a low, subtle “honnnnk”; what a refreshing approach, especially after hearing the seagulls scream bloody murder as they peck each other to death over a crust of bread. I then “jumped the gun” on Summer and actually sat on the sea-wall at City Park for about 45 minutes, and it was just great to be out! It was a gorgeous day; how gorgeous was it?” — CDADave/Thin Air.

Nothing But Net — And A Narrow Win

Gonzaga needed this Sean Mallon free throw with .3 seconds left in the game to beat Saint Marys 62-61 Monday. St. Marys?! At home?! I’m reluctantly beginning to agree with skeptics who believe that the Zags will be gone by the second round of March Madness. They have been particularly tough since Maui. (Christopher Anderson/The Spokesman-Review)

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 2/7/06

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, left, adjusts a bandana on the state’s “first dog,” Franz, as he is held by the governor’s daughter, Michelle, in a photo from Jan. 30 in Olympia, Wash. The tiny Pomeranian, so popular with school children and state capital visitors that he had his own Web site, died Monday after being struck by a car here. Gov. Chris Gregoire was thankful for condolensces here.(AP Photo)

1. Suspected family killer Joseph Edward Duncan III claims he’s not crazy and sez God spoke to him after he kidnapped Shasta and Dylan Groene here.

2. Thanks to a group of school children in Great Falls, Mont., the most popular “guy” at the Montana state capitol is back — no, not the governor but his dog Jag — here. And Montanans approve Jag’s return by 65% to 35% margin in a Great Falls Tribune online poll.

3. Former Gov. Booth Gardner, who has battled Parkinson’s Disease for more than 14 years, on Tuesday predicted voter approval of an “assisted death” initiative he plans to promote in 2008 here.

4. “Idaho athletic director Rob Spear’s wish list for his next football coach should begin and end with one name: Dennis Erickson‘” according to Brian Murphy/Idaho Statesman, here. Story here.

5. Buffeted by nationwide publicity, Pierce County Superior Court Judge Beverly G. Grant says she is sorry for leading a Super Bowl cheer before a sentencing hearing in a manslaughter case here.

6. IMHO-NW: Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman (Simpson’s ties reaping benefits), Missoulian (Successful bison hunt), Robert L. Jamieson Jr./Seattle PI (Nazi visit offers teaching moment), Bill Virgin/Seattle PI (Want a new KeyArena?), and Steve Kelley/Seattle Times (Not a super day for zebras).

*An issue devoted to embarrassing moments turned into something of an embarrassment for student journalists at Peninsula High School when the principal ordered it shelved here (free subscription required).

*A Northwest Montana author has a word for parents who have kids suffering from cancer: never give up here.

*New tunnel could lead to opening of Silver Valley’s Sunshine Mine here.

*Two controversial Montana trademarks registered by Las Vegas businessman David E. Lipson for the phrase the “Last Best Place” have been suspended by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office here.

Orbusmax Special: Federal Way woman accused of partially blinding child with hypodermic needles here.

Giving Thanks for Simple Pleasures

“From start to finish, yesterday would have to be the best day yet of 2006, at least from my perspective. After reflecting upon the precious moments that unfolded throughout the day which made me smile, laugh, and openly exclaim enthusiastic gratitude, Monday, Feb. 6 stands out as a winner. Its timeline reflects a vast array of simple, much-appreciated pleasures.”

Marianne Love/Slight Detour goes on to list 19 reasons to be thankful for Feb. 6, including:

*Sun and blue sky.
*Clear roads, easy driving.
*Dozens of empty spaces in the airport’s metered parking lot.
*A brief encounter with a former student, Maya Benner, flanked by her parents and headed off for the experience of a lifetime–six months in Christchurch, New Zealand.
*Fun at the Bon Macy’s and Nordstrom perfume counters. Didya know you can’t find toujour mai anymore? Maybe the Internet will net us a bottle of Mother’s favorite perfume.

Question: Do you share Marianne’s enthusiasm for simple pleasures? Or are you a Gloomy Gus?

APhoto of the Day — 2/7/06

Morgan Riemenschneider, a 5-month-old, checks out a plate of doggie cookies as her mother Diana, of North College Hill participated in “Cincinnati (Ohio) Pug Fest” with their 2 dogs Saturday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Cincinnati Post/Ken Stewart)

Question of the Day — Tag Too Rough?

Issue: Game of tag banned on playground: 3rd-grader petitions Spokane principal for review/WorldNetDaily

DFO: I hope I’m not passing along a bum steer here because this has a WorldNetDaily copyright on it — and no local attribution. If Spokane elementaries can bust third-graders for bringing 2-inch plastic toy guns to school, however, anything’s possible. Tag is a great outlet for school kids. Helps ‘em burn off energy. Soon, we’re going to be producing nothing but sissies.

Question: What do you think of the move by some Spokane schools to outlaw tag?

P.S. — To The Victors Go The Spoils … Alas

In this photo released by CBS, host David Letterman shaves Pittsburg Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on the set of The Late Show with David Letterman Monday. On Sunday, Roethlisberger led the Steelers to their first Super Bowl victory in 26 years by defeating the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 21-10. (AP Photo/CBS, J.P. Filo)

Best of the Local Blogs — 2/6/06


Cartoon: Jim Tibbs, Grants Pass, OR

*Patrick/Making Flippy Floppy plans to review every Mexican food place in North Idaho this year after doing a nice job with Asian food in 2005. For his first review, he takes us to Cafe Chulo in Coeur d’Alene (a cabana that has replaced those failed burger joints in the K-Mart parking lot) here.

*Marianne Love/Slight Detour is sorta fed up with levy/bond backers comparing prospective property tax hikes to so many pizzas, hamburgers or macaroni-and-cheese boxes per month. You don’t have to know much about Bonner County’s vote on a recreation district Tuesday to enjoy here weekend post here.

*The Golly Gals take their show on the road again — this time to visit Joe Peak and his Enaville Resort (The Snake Pit) in the Silver Valley here.

*Don’t look now, but 2nd District Congressman Mike Simpson has endorsed Coeur d’Alene High principal Steve Casey in the crowded race for Idaho Superintendent of Schools, according to Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise, here. And Betsy also reports that the marriage amendment passed the House today by a 53-17 vote here.

*Ken Paulman/Daily Briefing notes that The Spokesman-Review has decided not to post the controversial cartoons of Muhammad here.

Also: CDADave rates Paul McCartney’s Super Bowl performance better than the Stones here, Bre wants some peace and quiet after a weekend hosting two other families and busting her diet here, and Rich reports that Washington state First Dog Franz was hit by a vehicle and killed during the weekend here.

Bearable Bob Takes On SBXL Oaf-fishals

“Last year, bad calls cost the Seahawks some games. Holmgren used to get apologies from the League office. This year it also happened, but the Hawks were so good they won despite the bad officiating. Until last night. Last night. Professional football players, who work their asses off to get there, didn’t get to win the Super Bowl. Nope. It was fat middle aged mostly white guys in striped shirts. Making bad calls in the whipcrack speed of real time and then refusing to overturn them even when multiple millions of TV viewers can readily see the correct call during slow motion replays. Fat old guys. Unreal.”

For the rest of Bearable Bob’s take on the horrible Super Bowl oaf-fishiating and a photo of the refereeing corps, click here.

HBO — to Susan Cuff re: Spring Training

Susan Cuff: “Pitchers and catchers report on the 15th. Is there any sweeter sound?”

DFO: And the Winter Olympics and Gonzaga’s postseason NCAA run … there’s plenty of reason to continue to live Seattle Seahawk fans. Step away from the ledge.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 2/6/06

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Willie Parker makes a 75-yard touchdown run as he’s chased by Seattle Seahawks from left, LeRoy Hill (56), Michael Boulware (28), Bryce Fisher (94), Lofa Tatupu (51), and Etric Pruitt (35), from left, during the third quarter of the Super Bowl XL football game, Sunday in Detroit. You can read all about it in the Seattle Times here or the Seattle PI here. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

1. Milt Priggee/Skaget Valley Herald doodles re: the letter sent by the Joint Chiefs of Staff protesting a Tom Toles cartoon here.

2. Christian conservatives have joined with the pornography industry to fight a proposal by Montana U.S. Sen. Max Baucus to create an Internet red-light district but for radically different reasons here.

3. Doug Clark, a columnist/musician for The Spokesman-Review, has produced another parody song re: life in Washington state — this time focusing on the Enumclaw bestiality act that’s gaining so much attention. You can hear “Bestiality” (as song to the old “Mr. Ed’s” theme song) here. (Click on link under “media downloads for Doug Clark.”)

4. Vancouver’s Matthew Braddock, 25, badly injured in Iraq 13 months ago, is the subject of a three-page profile in Time magazine that hits the newsstands today. Title of the Time story is “The Scars of War.” Braddock is one of at least 345 who have had amputations here.

5. Wayne Zahn has gone from rodeo champion to prison inmate in his lifetime. The 54-year-old rural Forbes man made a name for himself on the amateur and pro rodeo circuits. Last week, he was sentenced to serve eight years in prison for threatening people in a family land dispute here.

6. IMHO-NW: D.F. Oliveria/Spokesman-Review (Monday’s Huckleberries), Spokesman-Review (Schools shouldn’t have to police cyberbullying), Art Thiel/Seattle PI (As bad as it gets for Seahawks), Jim Moore/Seattle PI (Seahawks Couged it), and Kay McFadden/Seattle Times (SB XL’s weird ad mix).

Online Poll: 55% of 262 respondents to a Lewiston Tribune poll oppose wolves being killed to restore central Idaho elk herds.

*Man lies down on I-90, hit by 3 vehicles here.

*Puyallup police canine killed in line of duty here (free subscription required).

*Two-year UIdaho football coach Nick Holt is jumping the Vandal ship to join the St. Louis Rams here.

Orbusmax Special: Bellingham eatery defies Washington smoking ban here.

Whitecaps: Fuhrman’s Oprah Moment

“Anyone who can stomach listening to The Mark Fuhrman Show on 1510 KGA The Big Talker out of Spokane, Washington, has heard Fuhrman do on-air interviews with author David Race Bannon. Bannon wrote Race Against Evil: The Secret Mission of the Interpol Agent Who Tracked the World’s Most Sinister Criminals. In his KGA interviews with Bannon, Fuhrman touted and regaled Bannon’s exploits on behalf of Interpol. Unfortunately for Fuhrman and KGA, David Race Bannon inflated his credentials.”

For the rest of the comment by Bill McCrory/Whitecaps, click here.

Question of the Day — The One That Got Away

Issue: Steelers win Super Bowl 21-10/Jim Meehan/Spokesman-Review, and: Retro Seahawks resurface at the wrong time/John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review.

DFO: I’m relieved that my 49ers weren’t victimized by the refs Sunday. I would have had a cardiac meltdown. Seattle was robbed by the zebras on prime time TV. F’shame. Bring on the Winter Olympics.

Question: It’s the day after. How are you feeling about the Seahawks and Super Bowl XL?


WorldNetDaily Poll — Muhammad Cartoons

Issue: Most U.S. papers not running ‘offensive’ cartoons: USA Today: ‘I don’t know if fear is the right word’/Editor & Publisher. And the controversial cartoons here.

Question: Why haven’t most U.S. newspapers published the Muhammad cartoons?

1. There’s no good journalistic reason to publish them
2. The images are offensive to Muslims, and papers are not in the offending business
3. The papers feel the written word can do a good-enough job of describing the cartoons
4. They are afraid of losing readers and/or advertisers by offending anyone
5. Management sees the violence overseas, and fears becoming targets of violence here
6. Editors at the papers sympathize with the Muslim cause
7. It’s been so long since they’ve covered real, hard-hitting news, they have no concept what it is anymore
8. They’re hypocrites! Any cartoon mocking Jesus or the president is fine with them, but not images of Muhammad
9. Other

DFO: Mebbe 5, 8 and 9; editors don’t want to invite religious violence here, although they’re more prone to publish things that mock Christian symbols. On the other hand, it might be that U.S. papers don’t pay that much attention to European controversies. Bottom line? Mebbe it’s best that editors think twice about mocking someone’s religion.

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Top Weekend Cutlines — 2/5/06

This bear in a New York zoo caught SR shooter Jesse Tinsley’s eye as he was looking through the AP photo wire this week. You write the cutline.

Top Cutlines:

In A League of His Own: Griz the former circus bear explains what it takes to make the bigtime. “Back in the day, before no-handed unicycle riding, all a bear has to do was dance a little and look cuddly. Yep, the unicycle change everything for circus bears” — Side Note (and many more).

1. Gentle Ben realizes he’s packed on a few pounds since the holidays and takes Sam’s advice to get in a little cardio before swimsuit season — Jane Q. Citizen.

2. TOUCHDOWN SEAHAWKS!!!! — JBelle.

3. (“Stupid humans always fall for this one”.) “Hey buddy, give me five.” — Whatever. And: “What’s the white stuff on my paws, err, huh, what white stuff, I’ve never seen that stuff before in my life. Honestly” — Sam.

HM: Everyone else. Nice job.

Wild Card/Super Bowl Sunday — 2/5/06

You can talk about where you’re going today to watch the Super Bowl. Or who you think is going to win. Or what you plan to eat. Or anything else you desire. This is going to be my last post until Monday. We need to concentrate on the things that are really important today, HBOers — and that means Seahawks. Here’s you last weekend Wild Card …

Question of Super Bowl Sunday — 2/5/06

Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake stole the spotlight from one of the best Super Bowl games 2 years ago with the “costume malfunction” scam. So, what are we going to be discussing on Monday about the Super Bowl Sunday (outside of a Seattle win)? Mick Jagger dropping dead of a heart attack at halftime? A particularly tacky commercial? What?

Update: The one-sided refereeing.

APhoto of the Weekend — 2/4-5/2006

This bear in a New York zoo caught SR shooter Jesse Tinsley’s eye as he was looking through the AP photo wire this week. You write the cutline.

HBO — to Family Phil

Family Phil (re: best sandwiches): “Hudson’s is awesome I don’t get it. Talk about “plain, plain, plain”… The hamburger I had at Hudson’s was decent enough. I mean, he cooked it. But it was just a bun, a beefy patty, and a couple of pickles. Smaller than the kid’s cheeseburger at McDonald’s, at three times the price. Why do people rave about this tiny little burger that is gone in three mouthfuls and leaves you hungry for something more?”

DFO: I have to make a confession. I’ve had two Hudson’s hamburgers — ever. Once, before I moved here, with Doug Clark. Nothing against the hamburger because I know it only by reputation. I simply don’t like bellying up to a counter, shoulder to shoulder with others when I eat. Then, I have this deep-seeded fear that I might ask for fries inadvertently — and get laughed out of the place. BTW, one of my best Huckleberries ever featured a incident at Hudson’s — helped me win a national award.

HBO — Bayview Herb

Herb: “There was apparently a technical glitch which precluded people linking from Huckleberries to my somewhat derisive post re: the Vagina Monologues. While I suspected the editorial elves in Spokane, since my link and blog were blocked, I have been informed that that is not the case. Since it has been restored, and you can now reach here thru the S/R, I have to assume that whatever went wrong was at my end. I also believe in the tooth fairy. I in troubleshooting, was able to link to other blogspot sources, and since I was careful to eliminate the obvious, have come to the conclusion that the editorial staff in Spokane might have slipped a troll into the picture. In the future, I will try to be more resectful, sirs…”

DFO: You’re jumping at shadows here, Herb. And to test that theory, I’ll provide a link directly to the edgy comment here. If it goes down again, we’ll have to start looking for suspects. BTW, we’re looking for gremlins, not a blog troll. A blog troll is someone who haunts a site, posting flames that stir up other posters.

HBO — to Westsider … Again

Westsider (re: the “P.S.” request to pick the best HBO pseudonym): “Well definitely NOT the frequent night-time poster Size Genetics. Why can’t this spammer be stopped?”

DFO: Smile when you say Size Genetics (a penis enhancement scame) or Viagra or Cialis or the one or two other rotten scammers who post here. They and the HBO Blog Troll are pushing us toward registration. If we block the spammers IP, they simply move onto another IP. As a result, we try to anticipate their moves and block ranges of IPs, which occasionally end up snagging you legitimate bloggers. Easymark and The Heimlich Maneuver were both caught this past week in the fight against the spammers. The spammers tend to attack at night. You have to be careful with Cialis because it appears in words such as speCIALISt and can create peripheral headaches. Tonight, Size Genetics has spammed me 7 or 8 times. I’d love to be able to pay this (expletive deleted) back by sending a worm back via return e-mail. Instead, I dutifully kill out the spam posts and await the regrettable day when HBO’ll require registration.

HBO — to Westsider

Westsider: “To expand on Thom George’s note above: The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that $320 billion has been spent on Iraq and Afghanistan… Or to put it another way — from the front page headling of The Seattle Times today: Irag war is costing $100,000 per minute.”

DFO: I saw this same story in the Times this morning, Westsider. Although I support the purpose for the war, the figure of $100,000 per minute takes my breath away. And that probably doesn’t include enough body armor and other protection to keep our troops more out of harm’s way. War is hell. And expensive as hell.

WorldNetDaily Poll — Julian Bond

Issue: Black groups denounce NAACP chief: Julian Bond tied GOP to Nazis, called Rice, Powell ‘tokens’/World Net Daily; and: AP ignores Nazi comment: Inflammatory comments newsworthy from Robertson, not from Julian Bond/NewsBusters

What do you think of Julian Bond’s statement comparing the GOP to Nazis?

1. Hey, if the jackboot fits, wear it
2. He was essentially accurate
3. It was a little over the top but what’s the big deal
4. He might have slipped but he’s still a respected civil rights leader
5. Bond showed so much promise as a young leader – it’s too bad he didn’t live up to his potential
6. He’s shamed the memory of Martin Luther King
7. When someone resorts to Hitler or Nazi analogies, it’s a sure sign he’s lost the debate
8. He’s become a vitriolic, divisive race-baiter
9. His hate-filled rhetoric has more in common with the Nazis than anything the Republicans say
10. Other

DFO: Nos. 7-8 (btw, this is somewhat of a reprise of the Thursday night question, I know.)

For the WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

Wild Card/TGIF — 2/3/06

I’ll probably take the same approach this weekend as I did last one, responding to comments and questions you have later tonight. You seemed to respond to it last weekend. Also, I have a pretty good APhoto of the weekend provided by Jesse Tinsley. Sorry I didn’t get around to the “Best of the Local Blogs” again today. I may need to start rotating those with “Headlines@ Closin’ Time” to keep everything fresh. There’s just so many hours in the work day. Have fun this weekend. Root the Seahawks onto victory. And I’ll see you back here Monday.

You Might Be An Idaho Redneck If …

Scene: At Curley’s Hauser Junction Jan. 28, a young couple spies a man in a T-shirt with this message: “Will Race For Sex.” Hubby: “Do you want to race?” WRFSer responded that he only raced women. Hubby’s Significant Other: “You should be more specific.” At that point, Mr. WRFS said he wouldn’t race anyone who could go faster than he could – a quarter mile in 7 seconds. You know, as Jeff Foxworthy would say, you might be a Redneck if you’ve ever used “Will Race For Sex” as a pickup line.

Top Cutlines — 2/3/06

A frog named Snohomish Slew is held up by Dallas Van Dyke as a crowd watches the inaugural Groundfrog Day festivities in downtown Snohomish, Wash., Thursday morning, Feb. 2, 2006. In a ceremony modeled after Groundhog Day, event organizers said the frog predicted more wet weather for the region and that the Seattle Seahawks would win the Super Bowl over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Detroit. You write the cutline — and make your prediction, too. (AP Photo/Dan Bates)

Top Cutline:

1. The Groundfrog day celebrations ground to a halt after Bubbua, the fry cook at the diner, misread the flyer and prepared ground Snohomish Stew — A Token D.

2. Snohomish Slew predicts: The Seahawks will flood the Steelers, who will croak on the spot — MIK.

3. The frog gets the rubber glove test to determine the number of inches it will rain on the wet side of the state — Whatever.

HM: Cis

Super Bowl Analysis

“Well, ya-know, I mean, it’s gonna come down to turnovers, ya-know, how many we get and how many they get, and it’s gonna be a war in the trenches, and it’ll depend on who comes ready to play, cause there’s no tomorrow, and we’ll have to leave everything on the field, ya-know, and we’ll have to take advantage of our red zone opportunities, and of course be prepared for their blitz package, and any trick plays, ya-know, and what it comes down to is just playing smashmouth football, and I mean, really take it to them, cause they’re a great team, ya-know, and we feel like we don’t get enough respect, so we’re going to have to go out there and earn it, by just taking what the defense gives us, I mean, whether they’re in zone or man-to-man, we’ll need to keep moving the chains and using up the clock to keep the pigskin away from their QB, who can really light up the scoreboard so we’ll need to stick to our game plan and make some plays, cause usually it comes down to who wants it the most, ya-know, so if we can jump on them early and take the crowd out of the game, I think we’ll have a good shot at getting a ring, ya-know, cause this might be a once in a lifetime opportunity to hoist the trophy, yaknow, cause I feel we can play with anybody if we bring our ‘A’ game, and, I mean, eliminate foolish penalties that take us out of scoring position, ya-know, and the special teams will have to step up and give us good field position, cause the kicking game could be the deciding factor, ya-know, so if we can keep them from hitting the deep ball and turning it into a track meet, and if we can establish our running game to set up the passing game, hopefully, ya-know, we’ll be the ones taking a knee at the final gun. YaknowwhatImean?

Richard Miller

Prep Writer Greg Lee Stirred The Pot …

…by asking fans of the two local high schools who’d win tonight’s postseason prep matchup between the girls basketball teams of Coeur d’Alene and Lake City. Check out the 18 responses to his question here. Also, Greg is really getting into blogging as he provides several new posts here.

Afternoon Question — A Good Local Sandwich?

Truthseeker: “I have yet to find a really good sandwich anywhere West of the Mississipi.”

More From Truthseeker: “Hudson’s is awesome, just that I didn’t count a burger as a sandwich. I’m just spoiled by the little neighborhood grocery stores and deli’s back East where they cut all the cold cut meats individually for your personal sandwich, grow and cure their own hot peppers, slather their own oil concoction all over it and all the while they’re making your sandwich, you get these great down to earth, type conversations. I’ve tried Valentino’s - plain, plain, plain - least to me. I was shocked the first time I ordered an Italian sandwich and they asked if I wanted sprouts - West Coast blasphemy!!! Too many places around here using Oscar Mayer cold cuts, kraft cheese, French’s mustard, etc. I can make that sandwich myself.”

Question: Truthseeker makes a strong case. Do you agree with him?

Seuss: The Congressman and Abramoff

That Abramoff!
That Abramoff!
I do not like that Abramoff!

“Would you like to play some golf?”

I do not want to play some golf.
I do not want to, Abramoff.

For the rest of “The Congressman and Abramoff (As Told By Dr. Seuss”), click here. (Author could be John Tynan/The Witlist here.)

Hat Tip: Stacey Cowles

APhoto of the Day — 2/3/06

A frog named Snohomish Slew is held up by Dallas Van Dyke as a crowd watches the inaugural Groundfrog Day festivities in downtown Snohomish, Wash., Thursday morning, Feb. 2, 2006. In a ceremony modeled after Groundhog Day, event organizers said the frog predicted more wet weather for the region and that the Seattle Seahawks would win the Super Bowl over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Detroit. You write the cutline — and make your prediction, too. (AP Photo/Dan Bates)

Reader: How Much News Lost In Redesign?

“Regarding the make-over of the newspaper: It was done ex-parte — no choice, take it or leave it. Seems like an odd way to do business for a newspaper devoted to dialogue. Steve Smith didn’t say anything about this at his lunch address at First Presbyterian last week. That would have been a good venue for conversation.

“Why is it that the loyalists get the axe? Those of us who loyally read the newspaper get less while you chase the non-reader market. Tough business decision!

“I can’t help but feel like there is less news/editorial content. How much is lost with the switch…15 percent? Too much white space and too large headings on the sections. Use it for news!

“If we lost 15 percent of the news content, how can that be fair to those of us who pay several months in advance and took you up on automatic withdrawal at the Fair? Didn’t you just raise the price 15 percent without consulting readers? — Martin Wells

Editor Steve Smith provides his answer here.

Quick Fix 6 — Titanic 2006?

1. APhoto Fix: The ferry “Al Salam Boccaccio 98” in Suez in this Nov. 25, 1999, file photo. The Egyptian Maritime Authority said that the “Salaam 98” passenger ship carrying 1,300 people sank 40 miles off the Egyptian port of Hurghada. Helicopters have spotted bodies as well as one lifeboat carrying three people in the vicinity of where the 35-year-old ship was last contacted here.

2. Cartoon Fix: Ed Stein (State of the Union 2006), Bill Schorr (Oprah’s book club), and Rob Rogers (Voting terrorists).

3. Humor Fix: Daniel Kurtzman/Political Humor brings us Dubya’s State of the Union speech in musical verse: “Addicted to Oil” here. (Note: This has to be a parody of Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love.”)

4. My Way Fix: This Day In History here, Today’s Birthdays here, Positive Quote here, and Word of the Day here.

5. Top of the News Fix: Jobless rate drops to 4 1/2-year low here, Woman arrested for ‘racist language’ at Taco Bell here, US media at all-time low here, 6 rural Alabama churches burned here, and Northwest to hire foreign flight attendants here.

6. Opinion Fix: Daniel Henninger/Wall Street Journal (Voters crave ideology), Mort Kondracke/Roll Call (Bush, Demos in state of war), Oliver North/Townhall (The pen and the sword), Stanley Kurtz/National Review (Canada dismantles marriage), and Brent Bozell/Accuracy In Media (Profane ‘American Idol’).

P.S. — Coming In From The Cold

Many have “come in from the cold” today — and revealed their true identities to me. The result? I’m grateful for your trust to keep your identities to myself. And I’m humbled. The caliber of commenters who post here couldn’t be higher. Musicians. Athletes. Politicians. Stock brokers. Attorneys. Etc. Among those who came in from the cold today were Westsider, Chatterbox, MIK, LukeB, A Token Democrat, Truthseeker, Seeker, etc. Some still haven’t: Big Mac, James Bond, ValleyMoll, among others. ValleyMoll sez she doesn’t trust journalists to protect her ID. She’s still welcome to post here, but without full privileges. In talking to Blogmeister KenP, the day is coming soon when we’re going to require registration. It provides legal protection for us. And enables us to deal with spam more effectively. I once thought this was a problem. But no more. If/when registration is required, you still would be able to post under pseudonyms. And your name would be kept secret. Can you point out any flaws in this approach? In the meantime, I’d ask those still out in the cold to come in soon and join the fun officially.

Best of the Local Blogs — 2/2/06

Steve Remington/Black Bear Blog isn’t a “local blogger” per se, what with him being from Maine and all. But he’s definitely one of the “Friends of Huckleberries” (and the nation’s best outdoor blogger for 1995). Above, Steve introduces us to a rare albino whitetail that a friend of his spotted on the road and tells you about it here.

Put your hands together for Luke Bakken (LukeB), who had a letter published in this week’s Inlander, here. (BTW, HBO isn’t outing LukeB here because he posted a comment under the Wild Card that drew people’s attention to his letter. Congrats, Luke.)

*”I’m tired of seeing my sons wearing psychic body armor. I’m tired of a world where girls and boys grow up without moms. I’m tired of always being the one in the urgent care room. I’m tired of rushing to grocery stores during my lunch breaks. I’m tired of thinking about rewinding time. I’m tired of being alone. I’m just … tired” — ending of Bearable Bob comment, “The Addition of Small Things” here.

*Family Phil is dealing with coughs, tantrums and sleep deprivation as his kids fight through days on end of coughts and sniffles here.

*Herb Huseland/Bay Views e-mailed me re: his post today about the “Vagina Monologues” — and double dog dared me to post it. Now, I’m sorta like Ralphie & his friends in “A Christmas Story” when it comes to double dares. Click here. (BTW, you’ve been warned.)

*Stebbijo/Your Choice got some ideas from Toni/Idaho Nature Trail for some fun mischief to create next time you’re at Wal*Mart here. Also, Stebbijo has begun featuring a “Blog of the Week” — and Cis Gors/From A Simple Mind is in the batter’s box today here.

*Mari Meehan/Dogwalk Musings has some thoughts about author James Frey’s fall from grace here.

Also: Marianne pens an ode to typing teachers here, KaleJ roots for the Pittsburgh Steelers (this is no misprint) here, and CDADave reacts (appropriately) to the news that another spotlight might blossom on Highway 95 here.

Pretty As A Picture

Ron Faulkner, left, of San Diego, walks across McWenneger Slough, east of Kalispell, Mont., Thursday, as Roger Franklund, of Columbia Falls, Mont., fishes through the ice. Recent warm temperatures have melted the top layer of ice, but the fishermen reported the ice to be three to five inches thick. (AP Photo/Daily Inter Lake, Craig Moore)

DFO (personal note): It was very close to this spot that I fell in love with northwest Montana. You pass McWenneger Slough as you drive out old Highway 2 from Kalispell toward the Bad Rock Canyon and Glacier Park. A little further down the road is the turn to a little Mennonite Church that sits in the shadow of the Rockies at Creston. Alongside it once stood a softball diamond. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven the first time I played left field for my church softball team (in summer 1977), with the Rockies towering ahead, the little white Mennonite church to my right, and a knee-deep wheat field behind me. Keep your mansions just over the hilltop. That’s the scene I expect to see on the other side when I cash it in here.

Ah’m Your Huckleberry

Paula Marano’s 3rd-graders joined others from
Skyway for the annual mock trial in a Kootenai County courtroom of Judge Eugene Marano. While the jury deliberated the fate of Goldilocks in a “bad manners” case, the judge fielded questions from the audience.

Q: Are you a real judge?
A: Yes

Q: Have you ever sent anyone to jail?
A: Yes, but only if they really deserved it.

Q: Do you yell a lot?
A: We’re not supposed to do that. It’s not very judicial.

Q: How much money do you make in 5 years?
A: Slightly more than a teacher, about $93,000 per year. (audience gasps) You can multiply that by five.

Q: Do you like waking up in the morning?
A: Yes, because Mrs. Marano is there beside me. (Mrs. Marano blushes)

Aw.

Hat Tip: Jesse Tinsley

Feedback: “I wrote down these questions while shooting a photo at this event and sent them on to DFO. I was somewhat shocked at the $93K salary, but I think that’s in line for a senior judge. And I knew that Judge Marano knows about teachers pay because his wife is a teacher.
My sense is that judges make a lot of money so they don’t—among other things—get tempted to take money ‘under the table’” — Jesse Tinsley.

Question of the Afternoon re: Gay-Straight Alliance

Issue: Mica Grange wants parent approval: Measure would require permission for student after-school activities/Linda Ball, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: “The local proposal would make it mandatory for students in the Coeur d’Alene School District to have parental approval to be a member of an after-school club or activity. When asked whether this has to do with the Gay Straight Alliance Club at Lake City High School, grange member Martha Cook said not directly. ‘We’re not saying that we do or do not support the GSA,’ Cook said.”

DFO: I’m bothered that the Grange is so worked up about this that it’s willing to inconvenience everyone to snag the one or two kids who might not have permission from their parents to attend the GSA. Big-time overkill.

Question: Should the Mica Grange be poking its nose in a Lake City High issue?

January HBO Page-View Numbers

After a slow start, as a result of a Christmas holiday hangover and changing my blog address (remember to bookmark the new one: www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/hbo), the traffic for Huckleberries Online has regained momentum. Final January pageview number: 132,069. Or a daily average of 4260 (compared to 38,133 for the month and an average of 1230 in January 2005). Of note, HBO averaged 5683 pageviews over the last nine days of the month. Also, the daily number of weekday comments posted here has run from 156 to 265 over the last week. Thanx for your support.

HBO — to Bob

Bearable Bob (full comment below Noonan entry): “Lefty blogs and their rabid, loyal readers scare old school columnists. They don’t get it, they envy it, then they attack it.”

DFO: You should have expanded your commment. Successful blogs scare the bejabbers out of “old school columnists” — period. You’ve seen that during the last week here when the SR INLife posse was riding down on this Huckleberry Hound. I got popped online once by the lynch mob immediately after I posted my “oh!-my!-fensive” question re: the WSU rape survey. But the first one who slimed me in the print edition had to wait until the following Sunday for her once-a-week column. And we’re still waiting for the first predictable DFO-bashing letter to the editor in response to that column. By then, we’d talked the subject to death here and had moved on to many other subjects du jour. I don’t know how many newspaper columnists, either political stripe, could survive in the blogosphere, which has a wild West feel to it, a place where you’re held accountable for every word. Pronto.

APhoto of the Day — 2/2/06

Diego the Chihuahua keeps in step with owner Leigh Webber, from Charleston, and his dog friend Spotz, a dalmatian/Boston terrier mix, as they make their way down Gordon Street in Charleston, S.C., Wednesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Post and Courier, Mic Smith)

WorldNetDaily Poll —

Question: Should shirts bearing messages be banned from the Capitol gallery?

1. Yes, it’s disruptive to the somber proceedings of the institution
2. Yes, but only when the president is addressing a joint session of Congress
3. Yes, some messages are designed to be incendiary so you have to ban them all
4. Yes, otherwise protesters will claim a free-speech right to also use signs, banners and chants
5. Yes, offending others should always be illegal
6. Yes
7. No, if T-shirt messages are banned, then flag lapel pins and patriotic ribbons will be banned too
8. No, a government that can tell people what shirts not to wear is too big
9. No, the First Amendment says ‘Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech’
10. Other

DFO: No. 2 — The State of the Union address isn’t a time for theatrics in the gallery. The focus should be on the president’s message, not some fool spectator who wants media attention.

For today’s WorldNetDaily news report, click here.

February

Before the storms of March, we play in the month of love,
until the melting last days, then we pray in the month of love.

I want you and you want me and we’ll say in the month of love,
here are the directions mapping our way in the month of love.

So we buy hearts and cards, we engage the cliche in the month of love,
let’s forget the past, let’s fake the future, it’s all ok in the month of love.

I sprinkle the fields with chocolate and make hay in the month of love,
you scythe the crop with kisses and it’s harvest day in the month of love.

So come these days of ardor, this 28 diamond cache in the month of love,
shortest of all the twelve, ending before the skies gray in the month of love.

Bob Salsbury

Wild Card/Wedneday — 2/1/06

You know the drill by now … here’s your Wednesday Wild Card …

Headlines @ Closin’ Time — 2/1/06

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito places his hand on the Bible as his wife Martha-Ann looks on during his ceremonial swearing-in in the East Room of the White House Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2006, in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

*Britney, NBC plan to mock crucifixion: In ‘Will & Grace’ role, she plays Christian doing cooking segment called ‘Cruci-fixin’s’/WorldNetDaily — Will I get the lynch mob after me again if I admit that I’ve never watched “Will & Grace”?

*Muhammad-cartoon controversy heats up: Newspapers across Europe reprint caricatures in support of Danish publication/BBC News — A dare the, ahem, brain trust at “Will & Grace” to poke fun at Muhammad rather than Christ, and see what happens. Make that double dog dare.

*Women sue Wal-Mart over morning-after pill: Accuse retail giant of violating state regulation by failing to stock contraceptive/Associated Press — Wal*Mart can’t catch a break.

*Porn spammer pleads guilty: Conviction 2nd-ever for transmission of obscene e-mail messages/Computer World — Most excellent.

*BNUDE OK for license plates, but not GOT GUN: ‘The ones that are bad are bad … They try to get away with disguising it’/South Florida Sun-Sentinel — Gotta give “Got Gun” credit for a message with bite. Most vanity plates are BOORING.

To — Green Libertarian

Green Libertarian: “It’s not at all hard to understand why Bush has done nothing to control the borders. Illegal immigrants keep down the wages of all americans, especially at the lower levels, and are perfectly willing to work in substandard condititions for substandard wages. It saves big agribusiness (and WalMart, before they got caught) a ton of money. Besides, who’s going to take care of the yards (and more and more, the kids)in the McMansions?”

DFO: GreenL, could it be that the moon and stars just lined up right, and I agree with you here? It feels soooooo strange. But I agree that Bush and other leading Repubs are out to lunch on the threat to our borders.

An HBOers View of Dubya

“My friend Scott drew this after last night’s speech. I hope it doesn’t offend anyone, it’s all in fun, you understand” — Toadman.

Huckleberries Best of the INorthwest — 2/1/06

A male hooded Merganser lands on Fernan Lake, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2006. (AP Photo/Coeur d’Alene Press, Jason Hunt)

1. David Horsey/PI provides a celeb prediction about the outcome of the Super Bowl here, while Eric Devericks/Seattle Times reflects upon the State of the Union here.

2. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane has offered $45.7 million to settle sex abuse claims that ultimately drove the church into bankruptcy 14 months ago here.

3. Thieves dealt a blow to the mother of Carrie French, the Caldwell woman who died while serving in Iraq, when they stole from her yard a flag and a sign honoring French here.

4. With machines doing more of the potato harvest work, some parents and educators want to rethink the tradition of the “spud break” — an annual vacation in early fall that lets kids help bring in the state’s signature crop here.

5. Paul Allen chooses his words carefully. The owner of the Seattle Seahawks could not have been clearer Tuesday in expressing his desire to extend coach Mike Holmgren’s contract beyond the 2006 season, according to Mike Sando/Tacoma News Tribune (free subscription required), here.

6. IMHO-NW: John Blanchette/Spokesman-Review (12th Man frivolity), Gary Crooks/Spokesman-Review (Coretta Scott King’s legacy), Coeur d’Alene Press (Taxing Girl Scouts), Susan Paynter/Seattle PI (Sheehan went too far), and Art Thiel/Seattle PI (Super Bowl rush is on).

Online Poll: With 5 options available, a plurality of 35.4% of Olympian readers say the key for a Seattle Super Bowl win Sunday is stopping the Pittsburgh blitzes.

*UMontana Repubs rally to support Bush, troops here.

*Fearless behavior of Yellowstone wolves toward cars, people raises concerns that they’re being fed here.

*The call to ban bestiality gets Washington Senate hearing here.

Orbusmax Special: A naked man was struck and killed on I-90 near Snoqualmie Pass here.

HBO — to Black Bear Blog

Steve Remington (BBB) — “I just don’t understand how a person could listen to Bush last night and get angry at the man. I just can’t see it no matter how hard I try. For a person who voted for Clinton the first time around and was once a Liberal I should know what angers Liberals. Bush is a guy who I would love to have a beer with and shoot the breeze. There is no just no hatred that thick that I could invent, even with my over-active imagination.”

DFO: Last night, someone in the comments section asked something to the effect: “Do people really like this guy (Bush)?” The answer? Unequivocably yes. Despite all the anger and loathing expressed here by valuable commenters (you know who you are), I believe Bush is a decent man who has been handed one of history’s great piles of horse manure to sift through. Also, I don’t buy the notion that he’s dumb — unless applied with the descriptive phrase “as a fox.” History will treat him kindly. Mebbe hatred for Dubya is part of the fall-out from the controversy surrounding his first election — and a spill-over from the hatred mah people felt toward Clinton. Mebbe part of it is a frustration that our guy isn’t in power. If Kerry or Gore had won over the last 8 years, I wonder if they’d be held in the same contempt by conservative/liberals as Bush is by liberals? (Now, Bob, GreenL, Toadman, et al, be gentle; you know that I’m fragile after suffering friendly fire yesterday.)

Question No. 2

Issue: One strike, you’re out’: Initiative proposes tough punishment for sex offenders/Richard Roesler, Spokesman-Review

DFO: This approach to sex offenders appeals to me. But I wonder if voters will count the cost? One strike and your out will require far more prison beds. It’ll also mean that the courts don’t have discretion to judge between low-level sex offenders and far more dangerous ones. Then, you have to ask yourself, is there really such a thing as a “low-level sex offender”? As a victim of sex abuse (as a child), I still remember my experience. And I still feel nothing but contempt for the extended family member who got away with it, 50 years ago.

Question: Would you favor a “one strike and you’re out” policy?

HBO — to Mike Kennedy

Mike Kennedy: “Yes, DFO, you read that earlier post right. The eagle has landed, the entire clan is together again and as soon as Adelphia gets my high-speed internet service up and running later this week I’ll be living AND working from our new digs, too. To quote Paul McCartney, “no more lonely nights…”

DFO: We need a song to celebrate Mike’s becoming a legitimate man again — by moving into Coeur d’Alene’s city limits. What’s the name of that song that has the line: “back in my baby’s arms again”? Welcome, Mike; now, you no longer have to look over your shoulder to see if Lee Shellman’s looking back.

Running Late

Sorry, dudes & dudettes, I’m running late again today. I have to lose the Quick Fix 6 to catch up. ETA of first post: 5 minutes.

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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