"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." - Thomas Jefferson (appears in the Jefferson Memorial)

This is hindsight now – we didn’t see it coming either, so none of this is we-told-you-so – but, in hindsight, you can understand why there’s such uproar and outrage about the North Idaho Adjudication, to the point that bagging it is a consideration on the table.

Our view has been and is that the NIA would be a real asset to the Panhandle, as over time the Snake River Basin Adjudication will be for most of the rest of the state. The Panhandle legislators who got the NIA pushed through – partly in return for their regional support for late-running issues in SRBA – understood that. Now the whole effort could come undone, but if it does, it will be a loss for the area and a distinct failure for the Panhandle’s local political leaders.

But you can see why it’s happened. On this issue of water, the North simply isn’t as sophisticated as the South.

The North Idaho Adjudication was launched by the Idaho Legislature in 2006, aimed at doing what the SRBA has been doing in almost all of the rest of the state. What that is, is a formal determination of water rights: Who has what, whose rights are superior to whose, and under what conditions and circumstances. It’s complex stuff, and the 20 years since the SRBA was launched has been a busy stretch at the SRBA Courthouse (it has its own building, and occupies space beyond it). But it’s been productive. Unlike most western state adjudications, which tend to bog down halfway to forever, the SRBA is actually nearing completion. More than 130,000 water rights have been defined and assigned. When it is done, there’ll be a lot more certainly about where everyone stands. Not only a massive achievement, it will be a landmark in regional social and economic stability. On top of that, when the drought hits, as it may next year, the region will be far better prepared to deal with it (unfortunate as the results still may be). The NIA was designed to give this same set of advantages to the Panhandle.

However. There’s a crucial difference between the Panhandle and most of the rest of the state, which is that most of the rest of the state has a lot less water – the Panhandle is comparatively moist and rainy, albeit not by Pacific coast standards. Part of what that means is that southern Idahoans long have had to deal, very consciously and very deliberately, with the subject of water rights. They’ve had to. They’ve developed canal companies and irrigation districts and a cadre of water lawyers. The idea of what a water right means is almost carved into the DNA of some of the more rural residents.

Not so in the north. While most water users in the south long had been operating off of specific water right claims and filings (however flawed, in some cases), many Panhandlers never bothered to trouble themselves with such things – water’s plentiful, right? So the estimate is – we see it again most currently in the Spokesman-Review – that only about a third of Panhandle water users actually have water rights. From their perspective, something they’ve long taken for granted is about to come under a bureaucratic microscope, complete with files of paperwork and the prospect of losing what has long been assumed theirs.

So when Dave Tuthill, the director of the Department of Water Resources, conducted a couple of information meetings in the region in June and July: “Both of these meetings contained significant opposition to the NIA, which did not concern me because I recall attending meetings during the commencement of the SRBA where water users opposed the adjudication.”

And there was southern Idaho opposition to the SRBA, from a number of people and for a long time, as Tuthill recalls; but it was generally minority opposition, because most of the water user community understood what was going on and what was at stake. Our suspicion is that, in the Panhandle, most don’t.

(There was also a foulup, for which Tuthill took responsibility, concerning a water basin boundary, that stirred some anger; but that looks more like a subsidiary issue, or even an excuse, than anything else.

For now, Tuthill is asking legislative leaders for advice, and advising them that for now he’s holding off on a formal commencement of the NIA (which was planned for this year). The region’s political leaders are split, both county commissions and legislators.

This is a point where leaders could step in with some serious education coupled with soothing. (State leaders could usefully play a rule here too, but the local leaders have a special connection to the constituency.) Their initial impulses, that the NIA could be a real asset to the region, were on track. Comes now the question of whether they throw away something they bargained hard for only a couple of years ago.

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the raceway at Boardman

Raceway at Boardman/Pacific NW Motorsports Park

We motor through Boardman (Oregon, that is, in case you’re unfamiliar) periodically, and ordinarily it has not been among the high points of those trips. Nothing against the city or the people there, it’s just that . . . there’s a lot of flat, scenically empty miles on any side of Boardman, and we’ve found the area most notable for the dust storms which, to the area’s credit, are duly warned about in area traffic signs.

People do live and work there, mainly in crop process and port activities, but for most of us the Boardman area isn’t a destination. Or hasn’t been. But that may change, because of something that happened at 2 p.m. today.

Boardman now seems poised for a long-awaited development as a racetrack destination point. From the management of the Pacific Northwest Motorsports Park: “Boardman’s motorsports speedway development will officially make the leap from dream to reality on Thursday, October 25th at 2:00 PM, when state, regional and local officials join the developers of Oregon International Speedway to break ground for Pacific Northwest Motorsports Park at the Tower Road site just off I-84, exit 158. The first motorsports country club in the Pacific Northwest is expected to open to members and enthusiasts in the fall 2008.”

They’re talking about a massive development, including hotel space, other entertainment options, condos, golf and more.

Very ambitious. You have to keep your fingers crossed on this one, because what’s needed is a large response – a substantial customer base – which would have to come from a considerable distance away. Boardman is quite a distance from a large population center – close to halfway between Portland and Boise, which in total is a full day’s drive.

But it’s worth crossing fingers. If it works as a business proposition, it could establish a real gem in a part of the Northwest that could use it. And in this kind of area, this kind of development really doesn’t have any obvious downside.

It also could give the region’s racing community something to cheer for, after their double rejections in the last few years around the Puget Sound. NASCAR may not have gotten very interested yet, but if the early economic signs look good, that could change.

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Dino Rossi family

Dino Rossi family

In today’s long-awaited announcement that he will run again against Democrat Christine Gregoire for governor, Republican Dino Rossi met the first two bars any challenger of an incumbent – for that is their respective roles now – has to do. But look through what he has to say, and you’re left with the simultaneous impressions of, “is that all there is?” and, “we’re drowning in data, what’s your point?”

What we’re left looking for for is this: The one or two really compelling arguments for why you gotta fire the incumbent and hire this guy. Rossi’s statement was loaded with critiques of the Gregoire Administration, and included a list of his own proposals. But will voters find any of them strong enough to reverse the direction they’ve taken the last four years?

We’re not easily finding the political version of the “killer app,” instead reading through a list of arguments that can too easily bog down in details – stuff that doesn’t seem very likely to grab voters by the throat, rivet them enough to get their attention.

Here are is the Rossi brief against Gregoire, from his descriptive press release on te announcement:

* The governor promised to blow through the bureaucracy and control state spending. She has since added 6,000 new state employees and increased state spending by 33 percent – or $8.2 billion. This sets the state up for a huge budget deficit.
* The governor promised not to raise taxes. Shortly after being certified governor she said, “I never really said ‘no taxes.” She has since raised taxes on gas, many families who have lost loved ones, and in other sectors. The governor also told a newspaper in April that she supports a state income tax.
* The governor pushed through the largest gas tax increase in state history and promised to reduce traffic congestion. Democrat State Auditor Brian Sonntag recently released a performance audit saying her Department of Transportation is not focused on congestion relief. Her agency director said that safety is the number one priority, yet the state’s two most unstable transportation infrastructures – the Alaskan Way Viaduct and 520 bridge – are as dangerous today as they were when she entered office.
* The governor promised to protect communities from dangerous criminals. Her Department of Corrections then released thousands of felons from prison early – including high-risk sex offenders and people with a history of violence. Many of these early release felons went on to commit more serious crimes.
* The governor promised to take care of children in state foster care. Yet state foster children have been killed, raped and even tortured as she points the finger at her agency director and others. A recent report shows the state does not even have the current contact information for around 1,000 state foster parents.
* The governor promised to establish a stable education funding formula for our K-12 public education system and to demand accountability in schools. Her education funding task force failed to recommend a new, valid funding formula. The state is now being sued. She also delayed the math and science portions of the WASL as graduation requirements, saying the problem is with the curriculum. She’s had three years to improve what is being taught to students. Meanwhile, more students are not prepared for the global economy that awaits them.

In parsing these points, we’d agree generally with some arguments and disagree with others but mostly – in a lot of places – what you see are statements that cry out for further explanation (and doubtless will get it from the Democrats). Some of these issues are problems of long running, long standing, that will not be entirely resolved four years from now whoever is governor. Some almost beg for easy rebuttal – he should be leery of using the gas tax increase against Gregoire, since it was the state’s voters after all who locked it in place, rejecting arguments against from Rossi’s allies. And does Rossi think he’s going to get voters stirred up in an abstract argument over school testing formulas?

His own proposals:

• Use the same priorities of government approach he led as chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. In 2003, Rossi worked across party lines to pass a state budget that did raise taxes or cut services to vulnerable people – despite a $2.8 billion deficit. He would control state spending, not raise taxes and is opposed to the governor’s idea of a state income tax.

• Focus on traffic congestion and use transportation performance audits as drivers for reform and efficiency. He believes voters were misled and deserve what they promised.

• Not release violent, dangerous felons early from prison. He would also provide community corrections officers the resources and tools they need to properly monitor people released from prison on community supervision.

• Push for stronger punishment of sex offenders who fail to register and require them to disclose their Internet activities.

• Focus on children in state care and bring accountability to the state’s role with foster parents.

• Establish a stable and responsive K-12 public education funding formula that meets the state’s constitutional “paramount duty.” He would also hold school districts accountable for consistent failure and make it easier for talented people outside the teaching profession to teach subjects like math, science and computers.

Sounds fine, except that what he’s saying and what Gregoire will say out on the stump won’t be significantly different. Rossi says he wants to address these things; Gregoire will argue that she has been working on them and wants to do more in a second term. So where in that is the compelling argument for replacement?

An opening statement isn’t, of course, a delimiter; Rossi’s campaign message can evolve over the year to come. He and his managers may be bearing that in mind, and see this opening as a relatively non-controversial opening shot. One way or another, an evolution may be in the air regardless as the campaign takes further shape.

A LIST Rossi’s campaign website has one item on it we don’t usually see, a link to “Call Talk Radio.” Click there and you get a wonderful little resource: A list of talk radio programs across the state. It’s a list we at least will be taking advantage of (for purposes of listening, though, rather than calling in . . .)

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At the New West Boise blog, Jill Kuraitis has a nice first-person piece up about what happened after she heard a report suggesting that her in-uniform son might have been hurt, or worse, and how she got help and information (and, finally, word that her son was okay) from the office of Idaho Senator Mike Crapo.

She concludes, “In an election year, it’s often overlooked that winning political campaigns turn into government offices which serve the people. A lot of what a senators field staff does resembles my story, although most are not so easy. They may try to help a farmer whose crop has failed, or track down a scholarship for a deserving kid, or help a widow collect her social security or pension. All Congressbeings have staff who do nothing but constituent service, and they don’t ask if you voted for their boss.”

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Tomorrow Dino Rossi, the Republican once and presumably about-to-be (we try never to say that something will happen – you never can tell for sure) candidate for governor of Washington, is scheduled to make his big announcement, once in east King County and then in Spokane. (All right, the dual announcement is itself indicative of entry into the race.) At that point, with a formally announced candidate running, the games begin.

So what is Rossi’s strategy? The Seattle Times‘ David Postman has been mulling just that, and poses the question for readers: “What would you tell Rossi to say Thursday when he announces his second campaign for governor? For example, I’ve been wondering how much time he’ll spend in his announcement talking about 2004 and his drawn out battle against Gov. Christine Gregoire. Does it help to make this about a rematch and Rossi’s attempt to claim — or reclaim as he’d say — what Republicans think is rightfully his?”

There’d be temptation for Rossi to do that, coming so achingly close only to see his opponent do a whole bunch of stuff, acting very ambitiously, as though she had a landslide mandate (somewhat like a president of our acquaintance). Our thought is that, aside from maybe a quick reference or two, a wink/nod to the faithful who remain convinced he was robbed, he’d be much wiser to move quickly past it. Focus on his loss in 2004 would cast him as a sour-grapes loser, locked in with the might’ve-beens, stuck in the past, someone out for revenge – not the image of someone you’d want as governor. Besides, those who thought he was robbed already are in his camp; he won’t add to their numbers by emphasizing that bit of history.

How would Rossi be better advised to handle his rematch? By recognizing the political changes the state has been through (such as the overwhelming Democratic control of the legislature), and using them. He could say: “Look at what this all-Democratic state government has been doing – but most important, look at the trend line. I have plenty of concerns with the emphasis on tax increases over the last four years. But that’s not why I’m running again; that’s history. This election is about who will be governor for the next four years. My concern is: Where will four more years of unchecked Democratic control leave us? Do you really want four more years of government so completely in the control of one party, with no one to cry foul or be able to check the bad ideas that come up? Do you want only one set of ideas on the table – or would we be better off having a broader set of ideas in play? Like these that I want to put on the table . . .”

A cautionary note, but without hard-core attack; a call (implicitly, not so explicitly as to put off his partisans) for big-picture moderation; an indication of dealing with a range of ideas, rather than hard-core ideology; a look ahead rather than to the past; a call again (but with a fresh angle) for a partisan break in the governor’s office. (Note to Postman: Here’s your answer from this corner.)

As to what Rossi actually says, we’ll all find out tomorrow.

FLIP SIDE For a sense of the message problems Rossi does face, though, check out the crafty Democratic video about “Rossi’s rationale.”

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An estimated 40 jobs will be going away, 30 of them through layoffs, at the Spokane Spokesman-Review. Tough times which had been earlier foreshadowed.

Publisher Stacey Cowles said the paper is going through a transition, but “we’re unsure where it is to.”

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Our general election ballots showed up last weekend, and we’re back from a walk to deposit them in the local ballot box. Filling them out didn’t take long since on our ballots there were only two questions to decide: Measure 49, and Measure 50.

The campaigns around both are ferocious, and as light as many Oregonians’ ballots are this season, most people in the state nonetheless probably know well that an election is on. There are too many road signs to miss.

Our votes went in favor of both measures, not because either is necessarily perfect, but because they represent an improvement on what currently is. And that’s enough. If they turn out to have problems, which could happen, there’s a legislative session nearly next year and another election a year from now, for dealing with that. The endless commercials blasting both seem overblown at best, or maybe deeply dishonest, when you bear in mind the changeability of legislation.

Measure 49, after all, is aimed at exactly that: Amending an earlier ballot issue, Measure 37 from 2004, which dramatically changed Oregon land use law.

The text of Measure 49 is on the long side, as the Salem Statesman-Journal said in its editorial in opposition: “We dare you to read Measure 49 before voting on it. All 13,414 words. And then make sense of the measure. Therein lies its fatal flaw. By toying with the state’s land-use system instead of reforming it, the measure would accomplish the opposite of what its backers seek.”

We took the dare and did read it – all 13,414 words – and didn’t have great difficulty making sense of it. The Statesman-Journal‘s objection on this ground is simply odd, for a capital city newspaper. (If length is a legitimate objection, then a lot of bills passed each year in Oregon and elsewhere, and objected to by no one, should be tossed out.) Legislation is often written like this, for good reason, and the short-cut, over-simplified approach in Measure 37 is a significant part of what was wrong with it. Lots of sheer information – from issues like transferability to basic matters of process, to what about the property and other rights of neighbors and others affected by developments – was simply left out, ignored, left for (someone? anyone? the courts?) to make up as we all rolled along. Part of what Measure 49 does is put this basic legal process, definition and descriptive information into the law, which the writers of Measure 37 didn’t do and would eventually have to be done anyway.

A lot of the length of Measure 49 comes from repetition, because the process and conditions it sets apply differently according to what type of property is involved (urban or rural, high-value farm or not, etc.) or when the claim is filed. Only a portion of Measure 49 actually applies to any specific piece of property. Measure 49 at least is properly drafted legislation. (It may generate legal arguments and challenges, but likely not more than Measure 37 – and probably fewer, because it is written in detailed enough fashion to properly cover its bases.) And long though it may be, its pieces are plainly enough written and not especially hard to understand.

It does not “take your property away” (as we’ve heard it very dishonestly put – we saw no such provision when we read the measure). As a whole, it seems to put Oregon’s land use system somewhere in between where it was before Measure 37, and where it is today. Taken as a whole, it looks like an improvement over either approach.

Is it perfect? Certainly not by our standards, and likely not by many others. But then, land use ought to be an ongoing review. Measure 37’s virtue was in demonstrating that land use in Oregon need not be soldered into one place forever. Measure 49 may be the necessary next step in a series of long-term improvements.

The two key objections to Measure 50, which increases the state cigarette tax by 84.5 cents, the money to be largely given over to covering children’s health care, also relate to this matter of permanence.

The critics of 50 haven’t focused much on the core issue – raising cigarette taxes to underwrite health care for children – presumably because that concept sounds like a clear electoral winner. They’ve focused instead on two related issues, both somewhat relevant, but neither of which has business being decisive.

One is the softness of the cigarette tax. The number of cigarette smokers, and cigarette buyers (mainly from Washington, where the tax is higher), seems likely to diminish over time, and the more quickly if the new increase is passed: A weak basis for covering children’s health care, right? And it would be, if you assume that the financing or the structuring of children’s health care will never change. But between the new Oregon state health insurance plan, also passed this session, federal efforts gathering steam, and other developments, chances are good that six or seven years from now there’ll be less need for cigarette tax revenue on that front. So why pass this thing? Because of the tens of thousands of children out there right now who have no meaningful access to health care. Is the cigarette tax increase a solid “forever” fix? Likely not. But it could do an immense amount of good in the short term, while the larger structures are being put in place. The aim is correction of a scandal of massive proportions; the cause is substantial and worthy.

The other argument does bother us (though we’re puzzled at the idea that so many Oregonians will be as upset by it): The inclusion of the tax increase, and its use, in the state constitution – a new thing. Our view long has been that state constitutions generally ought to be a lot leaner than they are, in general documents of structure and basic principle, not setters of policy. Is this a fatal flaw? It might be if the Oregon constitution were such a pristine document to start with, but, as the Oregonian has pointed out in a fine historical review, the constitution has been cluttered up with all manner of pieces of legislation, more than 200 of them, in the last century. As a larger-scale matter, we’d be in favor of cleaning out the document and moving the policy stuff into the state code, and while we’re at it setting a higher bar for amending the document at all. But, since amendment is so easy, there’s no reason the material in Measure 50 couldn’t simply be added to the code in the next session or two, and amended out of the constitution after.

If either of these measures pass (or for that matter if they don’t), the story will not be over on land use or on children’s health. Both subjects will continue to demand attention, and will get it. The immediate issue is, will Oregon’s people be better off, for now, if they pass?

We marked our ballots after concluding they would.

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Charlie Clark

Charlie Clark

Back in 2001, we had this to say in describing Union Pacific lobbyist Charlie Clark (as one of the 100 most influential people in Idaho):

Once an inherently powerful lobby in Idaho, Union Pacific (with its diminishing rail mileage) is less so now, though it still has a substantial employment base in the state, and quite a few farmers and businesses still rely on it for transport service. Clark’s experience and background, however, give UP a strong voice. He’s been at the Legislature since the early 70s (when, still a college student, he served as House Sergeant at Arms), and his close ties with a wide range of legislators and others, and sense of the ebb and flow of legislation, matter. UP took a loss in 1998, with passage of a truck weight bill; but Clark remains a major lobbying presence. He received votes for influence in the transportation field and in eastern Idaho, as well as statewide.

Those are some of the public facts, valid enough as far as they go. There are also the private, or at least less public facts, and Clark was one of those people who understood how they are as important.

Charlie Clark, whose formal title was special representative of the president (of Union Pacific Railroad), and whose government relations territory this year (it had been shifting) covered Idaho, Montana and Utah, died on Sunday. It came as a shock, completely unexpected: He had been walking his beloved dog Rags (who traveled with him almost everywhere), returned home, sat down, and passed away.

He was a good friend of many years duration, from the mid-70s when he was a new (and the youngest to date) sergeant at arms at the Idaho House, and I was starting to cover the Idaho Legislature. Just over a month ago, September 19 by the calendar, we lunched at Old Chicago in downtown Boise, hashing over as usual Idaho and its politics – Charlie was one of its best and closest observers, and professionally a fine participant too.

Charlie Clark was a corporate lobbyist, and here’s the thing: What sticks in memory most about him was the depth of humanity he brought to politics and to his trade. One mutual friend today described him as a “gentleman,” somewhat of the old school, and he was, though lacking entirely any stuffiness or pretense. But that doesn’t quite cover it, any more than saying he was a solid professional, which he also was. I’d call him “Idaho old school.”

Charley knew the substance of his work, and he was a solid train loyalist, ever ready to do battle with the “Department of Trucks”. He was a loyal Republican. None of his allegiances, though, ever seemed to much distort his take on how the real world operates, in the most practical of ways. And that was largely because he got to know people, to understand people, very well. As a lobbyist, that meant he would spent much of the year visiting people – some of them legislators or other political people, and some not – all over the state, meeting them on their turf, getting to understand how they saw the world, see it all through their eyes. As he’d relate some of his findings, I’d find my take on people and situations shifting a bit, often in the direction of gaining new appreciation, certainly gaining depth.

For some years, we’d take occasional daytrips out to the Idaho hinterlands, “political science studies” as Charlie described them, to explore new parts of the state and meet some of the people who lived in them, and find out how they think. He absorbed it all, into a mind able and willing to contain opinions in addition to his own, an ever-diminishing ability in today’s politics.

To say he’ll be missed – as will be said, here too – again doesn’t cover it. Idaho has lost a good person and its political world a disproportionate part of its humanity.

Best wishes and sympathies to Kathy Clark, and to Rags.

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Series television, ripped from the Northwest’s headlines (courtesy Spoilerfix) . . . Up next on the Tuesday ABC show (and one of our favorites) Boston Legal (and no, we didn’t make this up) . . .

“Oral Contracts” [Airing November 13]: Alan defends Denny when he is accused of soliciting gay sex in a bathroom by two undercover cops.

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The Seattle Times has a great graphic out today on Proposition 1, the mega-transport funding proposal, showing in clear visuals where money would be given from taxpayers and car licensers, and where it would go toward road and Sound Transit projects. Highly recommended as a clarifier of a much bashed-around topic.

Consensus seems to be that the sides are closely enough split on the measure that its outcome is too close to call.

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Awhile back we drew some scoffs with the suggestion that the issue of “net neutrality” could become a political hot spot. It didn’t (in a major way at least) in 2006, and hasn’t this year (owing in part to some backing off from some of the big telecoms). But it’s coming. The only question is when – and how it will be shaped.

We draw attention to this Associated Press piece on Comcast Corporation partly because Comcast is a big Internet as well as cable provider in the Northwest, and also because so many people in the region are affected by shifts or alterations in Internet traffic structures. The AP ran a sophisticated series of nationwide tests and found at Comcast “the most drastic example yet of data discrimination by a U.S. Internet service provider. It involves company computers masquerading as those of its users.”

There may be some customer-service rationale to what Comcast is doing. Essentially, it seems to be redirecting and second-tiering traffic in file sharing – transmission of often large data files – in the interest of keeping other traffic (emails, web access and so on) flowing more smoothly. File-sharing sometimes takes a hit because some of it is illegal (such as sharing of copyrighted music or videos). But a whole lot of it is legitimate; the whole field of open-source software, for one example, is absolutely reliant on it. (The Northwest’s large Linux community, for one, has been snapping to attention on this yesterday and today.) This kind of activity could seriously disrupt key file-sharing outfits like BitTorrent.

The AP describes: “Comcast’s technology kicks in, though not consistently, when one BitTorrent user attempts to share a complete file with another user. Each PC gets a message invisible to the user that looks like it comes from the other computer, telling it to stop communicating. But neither message originated from the other computer — it comes from Comcast. If it were a telephone conversation, it would be like the operator breaking into the conversation, telling each talker in the voice of the other: ‘Sorry, I have to hang up. Good bye.'”

One Portland area Linux user with some knowledge of how the cable net systems work sees it as a little more benign, involving trying to move large transfers toward more local networks, in an effort to conserve bandwidth. And apparently plenty of other cable companies are moving into similar technology.

Regardless, this whole territory, even if specifically justifiable, ought to make net users generally uncomfortable. At the least.

This territory is going to turn political, in significant ways. Give it time. The seeds have been planted.

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Idaho Oregon Washington

We had forgotten about this, and thanks to the brief cite at Red State Rebels that served as a reminder. To wit:

Turns out that Jim Risch, the probable Republican nominee for the Senate, delivered answers in full to the Gem State Voter Guide when he ran last year for lieutenant governor. (His opponent then and probably next year as well, Democrat Larry LaRocco, didn’t respond to the survey.) Risch’s answers are still posted on line.

The voter guide was developed by the Idaho Values Alliance, whose main spokesman is Bryan Fischer.

A sampling of the responses: “Embryonic stem cell research in Idaho” oppose; “Require state testing of home-schooled students” oppose; “Remove jurisdiction from the U.S. Supreme Court over religious liberty issues” support; “Pledge not to raise taxes, fees or rates” support; “Allow teaching in public schools that man is a created being, not an evolved being” support; “Allow teaching in public schools that the proper role of government is to protect rights given to man by God” support . . .

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