There are a great many people in the Northwestern United States who will fall asleep tonight to visions of puny New England defensive backs helplessly bouncing off Marshawn Lynch as he pushes relentlessly toward the end zone. The few brave enough to try to stop him spin in futility as the mighty Lynch pushes them aside like ... like? I am no sportswriter. I don’t have a clever simile here. Like rag dolls, maybe? Like stale cheese puffs? Like mild annoyances? That’s stupid. Like a bull smashing all those dudes ...
Amid the ritual expressions of regret and the pledges of “never again” on Tuesday’s 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, a bitter irony was noted: Anti-Semitism has returned to Europe. With a vengeance.
One of my special childhood memories is that of my grandfather carrying me on his shoulders through patches of nettles as he worked his way to the upper Stehekin River to fish a secluded spot above Bridge Creek. The narrow road had opened a fantasy land of towering mountains, dark wooded groves and sparkling water. We didn’t have much time as Grandpa was squeezing this adventure into a narrow window. Dad would only be content covering the orchard crew a day or two while we played around.
The business of baseball and the nation’s business used to be conducted in Washington with similar skill. The Washington Senators were run by Clark Griffith, who said: “Fans like home runs, and we have assembled a pitching staff to please our fans.” Today, however, Washington’s team is a model of best practices. The government? Less so.
At first it seems like a magic trick. You hold this shiny thing up to your mouth and blow. Buzz your lips or puff on a little stick of wood, and out comes a noise. Or you poke your finger at a white plastic key, pull on a string or hit something with a stick. You move your fingers or poke a different key and the noise changes. And then lip buzzers, key pokers and string pluckers make noise at the same time and, with luck, something strange and wonderful ...
It has been awhile. We are not accustomed to so much good economic news, not all at once, so last week’s Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce presentation on regional trends was like breathing our first fresh air in months. It was good news, tempered by the realization that our new prosperity is unevenly shared.
They call it the “Friday-to-Monday” problem, or the revolving door effect. Top state officials work for the people on Friday, walk out the door and walk back in Monday morning as lobbyists, paid to persuade the public agencies they managed days before.
Rep. Cary Condotta, R-East Wenatchee, has introduced legislation to limit citations issued via red-light cameras to no more than $25. How seriously to take this proposal we do not know. What is certain is it is likely to eviscerate the red-light camera business in Washington, chopping the lucrative fines down from the current $124 standard. As with most bills that hack down government moneymaking schemes, this probably won’t get far.
While Iran’s march toward a nuclear bomb has provoked a major clash between the White House and Congress, Iran’s march toward conventional domination of the Arab world has been largely overlooked. In Washington, that is. The Arabs have noticed. And the pro-American ones, the Gulf Arabs in particular, are deeply worried.
We human beings, so naive, so gullible. We forget so quickly. We are easily lulled into a kind of amnestic stupor. We are warm and secure and beyond well nourished, so much so that the fears that haunted our ancestors have disappeared. Our memories are clean and we are happy and ignorant, and it seems that absent corporate conspiracy or devious government schemes, not much can hurt us.