The image that will remain with us from the recent Republican National Convention is not Donald Trump’s scowling acceptance speech or his boast to be the only cure for our national disease. What we will remember is the sea of Republican delegates chanting for the opposition’s nominee to be hauled off to prison. “Lock her up, lock her up!” they shouted. We presume they do not intend to offer Hillary Clinton a trial or the presumption of innocence, and that her sentence would be interminable.
The sad truth, in this nation and state, is that we most often deal with those suffering mental illness by sending the police. “In a mental health crisis, people are more likely to encounter police than get medical help,” reports the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Nearly 15 percent of men and 30 percent of women booked into jails “have a serious mental health condition,” the alliance reports.
The Wenatchee River flows through, we dare say, one of the most beautiful valleys in the country. Tranquil, pastoral, gorgeous in every season, there is nothing quite like it. And yet, if you wish to take a walk on the river’s shore, or wet a line in its salmon-filled waters, you are hard pressed to find a spot between the cities of Leavenworth and Wenatchee. Steep bluffs or private land abound.
Historian Helen Knowles has written a book about the famous Elsie Parrish, whose suit against the Cascadian Hotel, where Elsie worked as a housekeeper, went all the way to the Supreme Court. The decision upheld the state's minimum wage law for women.
The main purpose of the modern political convention is to produce four days of televised propaganda. The subsidiary function, now that nominees are invariably chosen in advance, is structural: Unify the party before the final battle. In Cleveland, the Republicans achieved not unity, but only a rough facsimile.
Political conventions are echo chambers designed to generate feelings of invincibility, sending forth the party faithful with a spring in their steps and hope in their hearts. Who would want to be a wet blanket at such moveable feasts?
Back in early days of the presidential nominating process, weeks ago, I wrote that this Donald Trump fetish was entertaining and all, but if he ever becomes president and does what he promises to do, woe to us. We can expect to see our largest industry eviscerated, its overseas markets destroyed, its workforce carried off in chains, employers required to test prospective employees electronically, a fence erected and military police deployed on the borders, our largest trading partners vilified, legal immigration reduced, etc.
Years from now, bright-eyed children will look up at Grandma or Grandpa and ask, “Where were you when they nominated Donald Trump?” Far too many prominent Republicans will have to hang their heads in shame.
We should have expected the sudden rise of a commercial marijuana industry would bring conflicts. The new farms, and the heavily invested growers, were bound to collide with residents who could never imagine such things rising in their sight. Add the unanticipated pungent odor of ripening marijuana, and the bright lights of state regulation and you have the makings of a land-use showdown.
What a relief. Congress has passed what would be a wholly unjustified and unnecessary food labeling law in order to avoid state-by-state chaos in the supply chain. Soon, within years, we will know what plant breeding technique produced our high fructose corn syrup and soy lecithin. That is, if we are interested.
“The most significant reinforcement of our collective defense any time since the Cold War,” President Obama called it. A bit of an exaggeration, perhaps, but it was still an achievement: Last week’s NATO summit in Warsaw ordered the deployment of troops to Eastern Europe, the alliance’s most serious response yet to Russia’s aggression and provocations on its western frontier.