We know what can happen. We have seen disaster first-hand. We know that when transporting anything by rail, the possibility of an accident is more a question of when than if. Knowing this, the towns and cities of Washington situated near a main rail corridor have a reasonable interest in what is passing through, and are right to wonder how we would respond to an accident. With 100-car oil trains moving Bakken crude through the state every day, concerns rightly multiply.
We would be remiss to let the school year pass from memory without congratulating the local national champions. We read that Wenatchee High School’s famed Sports Medicine team recently placed first in the large-school category at the American Academic Competition Institute National Sports Medicine Competition. Results of the online competition were just announced. Wenatchee received the top score in its division, ahead of Culver City, Calif.; Monte Vista High School of Danville, Calif.; and Valencia High School of Valencia, Calif.
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.
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.
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.
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 ...
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.