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Posts published in “Day: September 16, 2014”

ISIS and the talkers

rainey BARRETT


One of my secret character flaws is occasionally getting a deep and continuous chuckle out of someone’s political discomfort. Oh, not real people. I mean the hate-mongers and loonies on the far right. Or left.

Such is the case these days noting the very untypical near-silence and even greater-than-usual oral confusion of Beck, Limbaugh, Palin, Hannity and their fellow travelers. They’re absolutely flummoxed and having a most difficult time trying to attack the President. The source of their confusion seems to be - ISIS. Anything to do with ISIS.

They want to heap scorn, criticism and verbal garbage on those in the White House. As is their usual bent. They want to loudly claim the administration is charging off in the wrong direction. But none of them - not one - has landed a blow. They’re as totally tongue-tied as the rest of us when it comes to trying to figure out what to do with this latest, most murderous turn in our world.

Oh, they blather and posture and exhibit the same kind of flatulence we’ve come to expect. But they’re even further off-target with their specious rambling than usual.

Same on the far left. None of the usual suspects over there has managed much more than a whimper about “homicidal psychopaths.” The videos of beheadings and executions have taken this latest outrage against the civilized world to such extremes that even the most accommodating ultra-liberal can’t muster much more than a “tsk tsk.”

This absence of informed criticism and our so far restrained response to ISIS seems to me three-fold. One - the extreme cruelty and seeming lack of any sort of conscience in these murderers is so stunning and such an affront to an otherwise civilized world that it knocks the mental wind out of us. They commit the sorts of acts we’ve learned of in ancient history classes. It’s the stuff of video games and violent movies. Not real life. We just can’t get our heads around it.

A second reason, I believe, for our failure at the moment to have a national response - other than extreme revulsion - is how to respond. What can you do? What actions can you take? When such a merciless adversary is inviting you onto the battlefield in hopes of killing more of our youth in frenzied battle, do you take the bloody challenge and show up? Or, do you gather your best advisors and try to create a civilized - and more traditional - reaction?

The fact is ISIS presents such an unorthodox and merciless enemy that even the military is somewhat stunned. They aren’t teaching “ISIS-101" at West Point or Annapolis. Our cadets and midshipmen aren’t learning how to deal with beheadings, mass executions and slaughter of any and all people ISIS hates. Which seems to be all the rest of us. (more…)

On the front pages


Top Washington story is the growing (emerging) battle between the University of Washington and Washington State University over WSU's proposal to establish its own medical school.

The idea has an extravagant ring to it but the bigger-picture justification could be there. UW's well-regarded school is hemmed in for growth, limited in its expansion options at a time when projections suggest a need for greater numbers of physicians around the Northwest. The niche would be a med school aimed more strictly at training physicians, leaving most of the advanced research (for which UW is well known) at Seattle. The training element need is becoming clearer with time. Idaho State University leaders have discussed the idea of a med school there, and although that project may be a heavy lift for the smaller institution and state, it reflects real needs and pressures. The WSU project may have enough force to carry it at least to early stages of development.

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Radar may help avoid elk crashes on 75 (Boise Statesman)
NW Boise annexation battle ahead (Boise Statesman)
Lewiston considers possible park ideas (Lewiston Tribune)
State panel considers teacher pay levels (Lewiston Tribune)
Latah gets an armored vehicle from Bonner (Moscow News)
40 places in Pullman may be historic-designated (Moscow News)
Carl's Jr gets contentious parking variance (Nampa Press Tribune)
Reviewing high school-college dual credit (Nampa Press Tribune)
Balukoff staff pay arrangement found legal (TF Times News)
Reviewing TF's dangerous intersections (TF Times News)

Eugene schools ask for levy support (Eugene Register Guard)
Onion fire near Grants Pass grows (Medford Tribune)
Corps ends review of coal terminal (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Estacada fire yield lots of smoke (Portland Oregonian)
Cover Oregon error smaller than expected (Portland Oregonian)
Hillcrest younth prison may shut down (Salem Statesman Journal)
Food companies against anti-GMO measure (Salem Statesman Journal)

Overtime for firefighters hits budget (Bremerton Sun)
Grant brings more dental service to Kitsap (Bremerton Sun)
UW blasts plan for WSU med school (Spokane Spokesman, Kennewick Herald)
Small towns worry about more train traffic (Longview News)
Smoke covers NW Oregon (Vancouver Columbian, Longview News)
WA state revenues continue rising (Yakima Herald Republic, Olympian)
Thurston Energy gives conservation rebates (Olympian)
Amazon plans $1 data center in Ohio (Seattle Times)
On a push to build casinpo in Bremerton (Seattle Times)
Twisp area rebuilds progressing (Spokane Spokesman)
Concerns about lowering Lake Pend Oreille (Spokane Spokesman)
Vancouver looks at new fire station sites (Vancouver Columbian)
Clark Co fair audit yields mixed report (Vancouver Columbian)