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home : opinion

What am I not thinking of?
Recently, a handsome, distinguished, successful client asked me the following question: "Brad? What's out there that we are missing? What should we be worried about that no one expects?" Of course, I promptly listed off several insightful points that left this gentleman in complete awe of my powerful intellect.

Okay, what actually happened is that I mumbled something incoherent and then acted like my phone was cutting out. In my defense, it's a tough question: But it's a good exercise to go through. So... without further ado, here is my list of "The Scary Things We Are All Too Dumb to Be Paying Attention To:"

Thursday, December 11, 2014 More...

Letters to the Editor
Thursday, December 11, 2014 More...
Tweak the Wilderness Act to maintain road access
When he co-sponsored the Washington Park Wilderness Act, former U.S. Sen. Dan Evans could not have predicted the law would lead to a disparity in access to our state's wilderness areas.
Thursday, December 11, 2014 More...
Of Snorkle-Nosed Micro-Frogs
It was hot and humid one night last March, the kind of soaking heat that gives one to feel a blanket from a tub of hot water has been wrapped about one's body. The last time I felt that pore-busting discomfort was stepping off an air-conditioned 707 onto an air-stair in a place called Cam Ranh Bay, where the distant night horizon sparked silently with artillery bursts. But this was half a planet and half a century away.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 More...
Around and around we go, but are we making any progress?
An old high school acquaintance recently told me I should use my power as a publisher to support Obama Care and help to fix it. My first reaction was to wonder if she had ever read any of my editorials. While I have long recognized there are many problems with our health care system, I have never seen government run healthcare as a solution.

Then this week I watched the debate conducted by St. Martin's University on the minimum wage. I'm not going to rehash the pros and cons of either of these issues here. But these events have once again prompted me to consider the underlying approaches that give rise to our highly spirited debates over the distinctly different approaches we take to these common issues.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014 More...
Tribal leaders, Commissioner warn of oil train dangers
Washington's people and environment potentially at risk
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 More...
Divine or decline? 
Especially when one has shed blood for one's country, it is monumentally disturbing to arrive at one's fossil years suspecting one's beloved country is in decline.

Granted, this suspicion has been voiced many times in America's history without grounds, but I see unprecedented and startling signs. In no particular order, they are:

Borders. Yes even 'native' Americans immigrated to North America, immigrants have made great citizens, and our borders have long been 'porous', but never has there been the population volume coming to America illegally that we've experienced recently and never did they bring such a load on the American taxpayer. Consequently our failure to secure our borders (as other nations do much more effectively) is degrading America as earlier, legal immigration never did. Our social services net (already overladen with domestic burdens) will eventually overwhelm the taxpayer's finite drainable blood. Our heretofore diverse but nonetheless singular American national identity is already blurring under the onslaught of immigrant factions seeking merely to bring their own cultures under a more socially generous government, rather than to become part of the once world-envied American culture.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 More...
President at war with America
When you don't believe in America, our constitution or the greatness of our people, then you are bound to take actions that are contrary to the interest of the American people. That is why the actions of our President are so understandable to those of us who have never supported him.

President Obama believes America has too much influence on the world. He has said the constitution is a "document of negative rights". He obviously doesn't understand or care that the American voters have rejected his agenda. And despite his rhetoric, he clearly doesn't care about what's best for the American citizens. His response to the mid-term landslide of rejection was to say two thirds of Americans didn't vote. True enough except that doesn't mean they approve his agenda. The problem of non-participation by the American voter is undoubtedly a reflection of their dissatisfaction with the entire political system more than an approval of Obama and his policies.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 More...
A view from the pew
"Where are your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?" "No sir," she said. And Jesus said, Neither do I. Go and sin no more." (John 8:10-11; LB)

This passage is about the woman who had been accused of adultery and brought before Jesus by the Pharisees demanding Jesus follow the law of Moses and stone her. I have often wondered about Jesus' comment to "Go and sin no more." Did Jesus intend it as a commandment or a blessing? We tend to consider it as a commandment - your sin is forgiven, just don't do it again. It is a natural human response, but when I consider the rest of Jesus teachings regarding sin and forgiveness, I am increasingly convinced Jesus intended it as a blessing.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 More...
New Water Regs Could Drown Small Business
Three quarters of the Earth's surface is water and the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seems intent on regulating every last drop of it. The agency, as readers may know, has greatly expanded its authority over carbon emissions and thousands of new rules are forcing power producers to close all over the country. Now it's seeking to expand its authority under the Clean Water Act.

The Clean Water Act, adopted by Congress more than 30 years ago, authorizes the EPA to regulate only navigable US waterways. No administration, Republican or Democrat, in the past four decades has sought to expand the federal government's regulation of water to include farmers' ponds, seasonal streams and accumulations of water that form temporarily after heavy rains. This administration, however, is determined to write new rules that would give to the EPA exactly that authority and the consequences could be severe for small business, consumers and the larger economy.

Thursday, November 20, 2014 More...
Electing the state Supreme Court by districts
When the 2014 election is certified, only one of the nine justices on the state Supreme Court will be from Eastern Washington, Justice Debra Stephens. Had she not won her election, all of the state's Supreme Court justices would be from the Puget Sound region.

When a vacancy recently came open on the court, several newspapers called on Governor Inslee to bring more regional balance to the court and select a justice from Eastern Washington. Instead he appointed Justice Mary Yu from King County.

In recent years, any Supreme Court Justices from Eastern Washington have gotten their start on the Court via an appointment. Justice Stephens was appointed by Governor Gregoire and the last justice prior to her, Justice Richard P. Guy was appointed by Governor Gardner.

Thursday, November 20, 2014 More...
Civic duty requires more
Democracy is key to the American experience. You have the right to vote, and most of you exercise that right. This gives us equal say when choosing the persons to best represent our interests.

For many of us, voting is more than a right. It's a duty. And after weeks (or was it months?) of nonstop television ads, radio clips, and mailings, we were happy get it over with. That duty has been fulfilled.

It's now time to kick back and relax until 2016, right?

Thursday, November 20, 2014 More...
Civic duty requires more
Democracy is key to the American experience. You have the right to vote, and most of you exercise that right. This gives us equal say when choosing the persons to best represent our interests.

For many of us, voting is more than a right. It's a duty. And after weeks (or was it months?) of nonstop television ads, radio clips, and mailings, we were happy get it over with. That duty has been fulfilled.

It's now time to kick back and relax until 2016, right?

Thursday, November 20, 2014 More...
The stock market is crazy
There's a very well-established economic theory that the stock market is perfectly "efficient." That means every single piece of relevant information is perfectly and immediately considered by the markets - which means stocks are properly valued at all times. In other words: The stock market is never wrong.

Here's my theory: The efficient market theory is a bunch of hooey. Exhibit #1 is the recent action of the stock market. From the middle of September to the middle of October, trillions of dollars were lost as the S&P 500 plummeted 9.8 percent, mostly because of very legitimate fears that global growth is weak.

After that painful episode, the markets promptly recovered in even more dramatic fashion and are once again pushing past record highs. You cannot convince me that any of this was based solely on any carefully calculated rationale. The only way to make sense of it is that the markets are made up of humans - and humans are crazy.

Thursday, November 20, 2014 More...
Political science, my other favorite oxymoron
There is nothing scientific about the practice of politics. And no issue demonstrates that point more effectively than the issue of climate change.

Most of our political leaders have decided that the science is settled. The votes have been counted and we are killing the planet.

No problem, they have a solution. All we need to do is set up a new tax on carbon emissions and once again the planet will be safe from the debilitating effects of human infestation.

Thursday, November 20, 2014 More...

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