One of my first visits outside the state Capitol as governor was to Crestline Elementary in Vancouver. A fire had recently reduced the school to not much more than a charred pile of rubble. More than 500 students had to go to other schools while Crestline was rebuilt, a significant disruption to the sense of normalcy that so many of us take for granted.
In physics, a unified field theory is an attempt to explain with a single hypothesis the behavior of several fields. Its political corollary is the Cupcake Postulate, which explains everything, from Missouri to Iraq, concerning Americans’ comprehensive withdrawal of confidence from government at all levels and all areas of activity.
How exciting it would be to name the Big Y interchange (the junction of highways 97 and 2, the Peshastin East Interchange) after our Washington Department of Transportation regional administrator of 21 years, Don Senn. What a fitting tribute to a man who was a true public servant.
The killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown has rightly provoked widespread outrage, drawing international media attention and prompting a comment from President Obama. The same should be true — but tragically is not — of the killing of 3-year-old Knijah Amore Bibb.
Every once in a while, research quantifies the effects of certain education policies on students. Then, the results are often shelved in favor of the prevailing “common sense.” As in: If you want more scientists, mandate more science courses in school.
This far into the human story, only the historically uninstructed are startled by what they think are new permutations of evil. So, when Russia sliced Crimea off Ukraine, Secretary of State John Kerry was nonplussed: “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th-century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext.” If, however, Vladimir Putin is out of step with the march of progress, where exactly on history’s inevitably ascending path (as progressives like Kerry evidently think) does Kerry, our innocent abroad, locate the Islamic State?
President Obama is impatient. Congress won’t act on immigration, he says, and therefore he will. The White House is coy as to exactly what the president will do. But the leaks point to an executive order essentially legalizing an enormous new class of illegal immigrants, perhaps up to 5 million people.
The old saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” has never been more true than when it comes to the megafires plaguing the West. We can invest money up front, restoring forests to prevent disastrous fires, or we can spend much more money fighting out-of-control blazes that threaten people, water, and wildlife.