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Robert Stokes 

Bio:
Robert Stokes provided commentary for The Inlander from 2001 to 2009. He served in the Army in Germany, taught economics at the University of Washington, loved to fish and had two daughters and four grandkids over in Seattle. But he never quite left Spokane Valley; he returned in the mid-1990s to take care... more
  • Survival Strategy

    The Republican Party could rebound if it can attract the aspiring masses who don't like limits.
      Barack Obama’s victory will not kill the Republican Party, unless Republicans help. Opinion polls and two elections show that Republicans became a minority three years ago. In pre-released 2010
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  • Can't We Just Get Along?

    Two wings of the Republican Party have negotiating to do.
      "Shut up!" said the chairman of the 2008 Washington State Republican Convention, recently conducted in Spokane. The target of his ire was a Ron Paul supporter seeking clarification of when a
  • Gang War

    Ask not how Republicans should win again. Ask "why."
      After any election, leaders and members of the losing party should ask themselves two questions. “How can we win next time?” And, “Why should we win next time?” Answers to the
  • A Humane Debate

    Immigration is a real problem about real people, and the debate should reflect that.
      From earliest childhood to my late 30s, I listened to my maternal grandmother tell stories of her immigration to America as a young girl. That experience took her from a thatched roof village in 19th-
  • Five Years After

    To truly honor the victims of 9/11, we must put that day in its proper perspective.
      It’s almost 9/11 again. On that day in 2001, nearly 3,000 Americans were killed by Islamic terrorists — one-third the number who die on an average day from all causes. No comparable event
  • Crying Havoc

    Perhaps President Bush won’t meet with Cindy Sheehan because the answers to her questions are too dangerous.
      On April 4, 2004, Casey Sheehan was killed in Iraq. His mother Cindy Sheehan wants President Bush to explain why. He might answer this way: "The hard truth is your son's life was wasted. I accep
  • Raise Standards

      I'm mad as hell, and I won't take it any more!" Remember that movie line? It came from the 1976 movie Network. William Holden was the TV news executive who considered journalism a profession of public service. Faye Dunaway was the enterta
  • Raise Standards

    If the stories about Mayor Jim West fit some kind of journalism standards, maybe we should reconsider them.
      "I'm mad as hell, and I won't take it any more!" Remember that movie line? It came from the 1976 movie Network. William Holden was the TV news executive who considered journalism a profess
  • Bad News Cycle

    When fear is the tone set by our leaders, bad news is the norm.
      As I write, U.S. Marines continue their sweep through Fallujah. Thirty-eight Americans have already been killed in the campaign, with 275 wounded. The Bush administration hopes to defeat the insurgent
  • Bad News Cycle

      As I write, U.S. Marines continue their sweep through Fallujah. Thirty-eight Americans have already been killed in the campaign, with 275 wounded. The Bush administration hopes to defeat the insurgents before the Iraqi elections in Januar
  • Water Woes

    In mathematics, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Not so in politics.
      In mathematics, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Not so in politics. Two steps forward, one step back, maybe a side step: That's the more likely path. Consider the dispute between the Liberty Lake Sewer Distric
  • Log Jam

    President Bush dukes it out with environmentalists over forest policy.
      President George W. Bush calls his forest policy the Healthy Forest Initiative. Environmentalists call the emphasis on forest health an excuse for more logging. Whatever its purpose, the new policy, currently winding its way through Congr
  • Just Another Risk Factor

      As I write, we are in "Code Orange," the second-highest level of terrorism alert. The government tells us we should buy duct tape to seal our windows against chemical or biological attack. In Washington, D.C., police are carrying gas mask
  • Rey Of Hope

    The national forestry debate comes to Republic.
      On Saturday, the national debate over President George Bush's forest policies came to Republic, Wash., in the person of Mark Rey. As Undersecretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment, Rey is political overseer to the Chi
  • Not Out of the Woods

    Forestry scientists fudge the facts on lynx population.
      The U.S. Forest Service disclosed last month that federal and state biologists submitted false evidence indicating Canada lynx were found in the Wenatchee and Gifford Pinchot National Forests of Western Washington. According to U.S Fish
  • Salmon Are Not Created Equal

    A federal judge rules that "wild" in-stream spawning salmon aren't endangered.
      The discussion about how to best deal with the remaining salmon in Northwest rivers and streams has just become a bit more complicated. In September, a federal judge ruled that the Endangered Species Act (ESA) couldn't protect "wild" in-s
  • The Salmon Wars Continue

    Legal action in a Portland federal court.
      Earlier this month, a consortium of environmental and fishing groups filed action in a Portland Federal Court, claiming the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) plan for restoring Columbia River salmon violates the Endangered Species
  • Go, Napster, go

      Computer savvy music lovers know about Napster, the Internet music-sharing software. As I recently used Napster to get one of my favorite tunes, downloading the software made me one of Napster's 60 million members. Once in the club, I j
  • That Dam Issue

    The real issue behind all the dam-busting rhetoric.
      Breathless ads on TV, set in front of that now familiar wall of concrete, suggest that if you vote for so-and-so, he'll personally take the first sledgehammer swing to the four lower Snake River dams. While hugging those dams the way environ
  • Only the Beginning

    Clinton punts on the salmon issue
      The Clinton administration handed the issue of the Columbia River's salmon recovery and the Snake River dams to its successor last Thursday by releasing the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Final Biological Opinion. That plan sets
  • Moose Police

    Tracking the wild elk.
      When I recently joined the Inland Northwest Wildlife Council (INWC), I signed up for several committees. Sometime later, the council secretary called to ask if I wanted to go chase a moose. It seems one of those committees I signed up for
  • Breaching Brief

    The fallout over the Endangered Species decision.
      Next month, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) decides whether breaching four Snake River dams is required by the Endangered Species Act (ESA). If NMFS says yes, dam supporters will take their case to Congress. If the agenc
  • A Sound Almanac

    Remembering forester Aldo Leopold.
      On Earth Day, 1970 -- the first Earth Day -- I joined several hundred other University of Washington students in a line in front of the Student Union Building. There we waited for forestry students to issue each of us a tree to plant on a v
  • A Salmon Solution?

    Fish debate takes center-stage at the Met.
      Last Thursday, the fate of the Snake River salmon was weighed by some of the most influential voices in the debate at Spokane's Met Theater. An audience of more than 120 listened as 11 speakers addressed the controversial issue as part of

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