The Guilt Trip
In the 1970s and 1980s, Americans loved to say that people around the world knew it was the U.S. government, not the U.S. people, that was the enemy of peace and justice around the world and at home. That is no longer true and the recognition is growing daily around the world. This is the hope presented by the Bush re-election -- that the people of the world increasingly realize that the U.S. public is not capable of and is not interested in a U.S. government that is good for the rest of the world. The opportunity presented by Bush's re-election is that the people of the world will realize that they must challenge and defeat the U.S. government (and the people who elect it every four years) in international forums, in the marketplace of ideas and in every other forum of international debat.
All the Democrats and "progressives" asked John Kerry to do was to beat George Bush. Kerry was essentially told by Democrats and so-called progressives, "Go wherever you have to go ideologically and do whatever you have to do politically. Equivocate on abortion, support the war in Iraq, do whatever you have to. Just beat George Bush." But Kerry and his party couldn't do even that.
Kerry didn't beat George Bush. Despite moving as far right as he could and becoming in the end a pro-war, ruling class, conservative Democrat, John Kerry lost. You, my fellow so-called "progressive" Americans, sold out. You -- Noam Chomsky, Howard Dean, Spokane Progressives, The Nation magazine, all of you -- led first-time voters and young voters to John Kerry and the ideologically bankrupt Democratic Party. Several candidates out there, Ralph Nader and David Cobb among them, could have and in fact did eloquently address every issue that you claim out of one side of your mouth to believe in. But you, yes you, silenced them and their supporters.
Not to worry, right? Your house is warm, your bed is made, there's food in the fridge and two cats in the yard. Yes, you sold out and the rest of the world knows it.
Life Goes On
The election is almost finished. There is still the sound of disagreement and anger, not to mention fear for the future of our country. Strange as it seems, I fully expect my bank account to be credited with funds from Social Security and my retirement. I can attend the church of my choice if I so desire and am able, just as both Democrats and Republicans everywhere can. I expect the price of oil to continue downward, freeing some money we need to live on by reducing prices of gasoline, food or other things. The lights will come on when I push the switch, I can call anyone I want to, and the kids still have to go to school.
In other words, life will continue virtually unchanged in the near future, which is about all anyone can expect, right?
There are still some puzzles. How did Arafat gain a billion dollars or so in Swiss banks while so many Palistinians are hungry and out of work? We have a very public investigation in the United States of what happened to over $21 billion of the UN's Iraq Oil-for-Food Program, but hear nothing at all about whether there are similar investigations by France, Germany, Russia and China's leadership - and why not?
Is it just possible that those who provided millions of dollars to fund the political campaigns of both major parties still have some extra funds to give directly to our poor and needy at the same level? Perhaps the stockholders of newspapers and television networks might be shamed into contributing some of their incredible profits from the campaigns to such a purpose as well. Of course, there would be a battle as to whether existing organizations could be trusted to handle such funds, right? Is this a great country? You bet!
William H. Allison
Medical Lake, Wash.
Jumping the Gun
In the Inlander's College Hoops Preview (11/18/04), it was reported that Gonzaga's men's basketball team was ranked 25th by the AP and 26th by the USA Today/ESPN preseason polls. Other preseason polls rank them about the same. Sports Illustrated ranks them 22nd, CBS SportsLine picks them 21st, The Sporting News has them 20th (with the nation's #7 frontcourt) while Street & amp; Smith's has them unranked (outside the Top 25) and Athlon predicts they'll be 1 & amp; Done, reaching the field of 65 but not beyond. The highest preseason ranking of all, though, is by Lindy's, which touts the Zags at a not-so-sweet 17, with the #4 frontcourt in the land. The last two annuals, like the Inlander, showcase Ronny Turiaf on their preview covers.
As mentioned in Howie Stalwick's article, last season GU ranked #3 in the nation in the final poll before the Big Dance and was ranked #12 in the final poll after the tournament. Obviously, the Bulldogs have outgrown their Cinderella slippers and everyone realizes they're a force to be reckoned with. But can small schools like Gonzaga be considered national championship caliber? Even though Xavier and St. Joseph's (Jesuit schools not much bigger than ours) reached the Elite Eight last season, only six other schools besides Gonzaga with a Zag-size or smaller undergraduate enrollment have gotten that far in the NCAA tourney since Jacksonville lost the 1970 final to UCLA, and Providence (also a Catholic college) is the only one of the seven to advance to the Final Four (1973 and 1987.)
Does this mean that Holy Cross' 1947 title will be the last one ever by a college as small as Gonzaga's? In a season that began just a few weeks after unexpectedly big wins by President Bush and the Boston Red Sox, anything seems possible. All things considered, however, Gonzaga's recent record is the envy of small colleges their size. Of the 31 such schools that have gone past the opening round of the Big Dance, GU is the only one to do so in five out of six consecutive seasons, and its three straight Sweet Sixteens (1999-2001) hadn't been accomplished by a small school in three decades. With or without a national championship, Gonzaga has put Spokane on the map. We all hope that the best is yet to come.
Urban Mining: Not Pretty
To Spokane County Residents: Think zoning provides for nicely managed growth? Think again. Unless you are buying the last lot in a fully developed neighborhood, don't assume you can buy a piece of property, invest in a home and spend 25 years building a lifestyle without the threat of a new neighbor coming in and turning all that upside down.
We have a new neighbor who has apparently decided not to "run a few head of cattle" on land he purchased under the pretext, but to instead develop a 200-acre gravel mine at Hwy. 195 and Stutler/Paradise Road. He filed for a zone change -- and until the neighbors balked, Spokane County appeared ready to hand over a permit.
Neighbors representing the Ridge at Hangman, Hangman Hills and Paradise Prairie are fighting this proposal. Experts have told us this project threatens to damage water quality and that wells could go dry. What value is a home without water?
Additionally, we are concerned about the noise of blasting and crushing, the stench of asphalt production, industrial lighting used during multiple shifts, high production periods and traffic problems generated by 1,500 additional heavy truck trips a day entering Hwy. 195. The proponent says 95 percent of those trucks will go north. If you live in the neighborhoods to the north and use 195 to the merge point at I-90, you should be concerned as well.
I hope Spokane County remembers the fiasco of the compost facility in North Spokane. Taxpayers will balk at more payouts to homeowners whose lifestyles are ruined by stench and dust.
That a couple of businessmen can profit at the expense of many longtime residents is ridiculous. Spokane County: Turn down the zone change request.
Regarding the recipe in the Inlander's "Festive Foods" section (11/24/04): Hey, those Santa Sausage Balls are a legitimate delightful snack food. What do you mean: "(Not recommended for actual consumption)"? I have been looking for the recipe, which I misplaced some years ago. Rushed right out and bought sausage so I can make them for the next holiday party. Thanks!
Medical Lake, Wash.
What God Thinks, Part Two
The Letter to the Editor entitled "Defining God's Will," published in the Inlander (11/24/04), is shocking. I'm amazed anyone professing to be a Christian could be so confused and misinformed about what Christianity stands for and what kind of life Jesus wants his followers to live. It's true Jesus was the Prince of Peace. I guess, however, that I missed the chapters in the scriptures telling man to have "Peace at any price" and to turn his back on massive evil. Mr. Leeth feels man should sacrifice his wife and children rather than pick up an ax to defend them and to stand by while neighbors slaughter their wives and children.
Doesn't he realize Al Qaeda advocates killing Americans as a way for them to go to heaven and that women should be treated as less than slaves? I feel President Bush, who is one of our very few presidents outspokenly devoted to Christianity, is doing the Lord's work by trying to help stamp out this very evil threat to humanity.
On the other hand, Mr. Kerry has devoted his life to marrying untold wealth and has never demonstrated any dedication to the Lord, or even tried to protect our country. His idea of protecting us is to give billions of dollars to the United Nations, who have proven themselves totally worthless in helping our country in any way or even protecting the homeland of Christianity and Judaism. Many good and devoted Democrats saw the threat Mr. Kerry posed to our country. That's why he lost. Praise the Lord.
Brent L. Kurtz
Publication date: 12/02/04