The Wenatchee World

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Abdication has a price

Yes, it is true that there was no al-Qaida in Iraq when George W. Bush took office. But it is equally true that there was essentially no al-Qaida in Iraq remaining when Barack Obama took office.

Football it is, and it’s not baseball

The World Cup, the glorious soccer tournament, for me ranks among the greatest of relaxing sporting events. It creates very little tension. This stems from a general disinterest, personal ignorance, and the nature of a sport where a serious chance of changing the score is rare.

Suddenly a city, loud and thirsty

This makes me feel like an prude, a classic stick-in-the-mud neo-prohibitionist fat old guy who doesn’t want anybody to have fun, but I don’t understand much about Paradiso. That’s the June 27-28 festival that will transform the Gorge Amphitheatre from a dusty bluff south of Quincy into one of the largest human habitats in Eastern Washington. The Gorge: Pop. 25,000.

Obama’s foreign policy of retreat

Two hundred and nine years after Marines visited those shores, dispatched by President Jefferson to punish Barbary pirates for attacking U.S. vessels in the Mediterranean, Marines are again in that sea, poised to return. If they are sent ashore, their mission will be to rescue U.S. citizens from the consequences of U.S. policy. Then they might have to do the same thing in Baghdad.

There’s always the sewage issue

We are not easily disillusioned. There are cities and regions we admire for their sensitive nature, their highly educated population, their great book stores, art, music, gardens, bike paths, classic architecture, their transit and infrastructure. We admire their liberal politics and their tolerance, but most of all we admire their environmental ethic. We admire it because they tell us all about it. They demonstrate through word and deed and plug-in hybrid that they are our eco-ethical superiors and we the flawed should strive for collective improvement. Our own political leaders ...

The lesson of Iraq

President Obama’s instincts about Iraq and Syria have been sound from the beginning: Greater U.S. engagement probably cannot make things better but certainly can make them worse, both for the people of the region and for our national interests.

A true challenge: Act as a region

It is not a new observation, but it may be the most valuable insight provided by the “sustainability committee” of experts appointed to advise the city of Wenatchee: This is one region. We are one community. To solve our mutual problems we need to think as a region, and most importantly, act as a region. Rather than continue as a splintered conglomeration of rival municipalities, we need to recognize what we have in common and “work together to ensure our collective long-term economic sustainability.”

Good news swims

If you have a yearning for good news, take yourself down by the riverside and gaze at the waters of the mighty Columbia. Somewhere beneath the surface swims a spring chinook salmon run that may be the fifth most abundant on record. Consider that salmon are so plentiful that the state Department of Fish and Wildlife has opened the Wenatchee River to chinook fishing for the first time in 20 years. About 20,000 spring chinook salmon have passed Rock Island Dam, every one a full-fledged member of a federally protected ...

Floods will find us

Tuesday the Chelan County commissioners will hold a public hearing to consider a tax, specifically a 7-cent-per-thousand countywide property tax for flood control.

Armed, dangerous and dead

So much for the argument that having more people armed in public places will result in fewer gun deaths.

Revenge, American-style

Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord. And although retribution shall surely come in the fullness of time, a ballplayer can only wait so long.

Immigration reform dies again

Only last week, Rep. Dave Reichert was in town striking a somewhat muted but still-optimistic note on immigration reform. It is possible, the Auburn Republican said. In the way time is measured in Congress, it is possible fairly soon. It likely will not come in the comprehensive reform approach favored by Senate Democrats, but in the piece-by-piece method devised and preferred by the Republican House leadership. Their message to fellow House Republicans, said Reichert, is we’ve got to do something.