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Posts published in “Day: September 18, 2014”

On Scotland, and tribal implications

trahant MARK
TRAHANT

 
Austerity

What about Scotland? Will it vote to remain a part of the United Kingdom or go its own way? And, could this be a future for tribal nations?

Thursday’s vote — a simple “yes” or “no” — is the ultimate question and answer in democratic form. Should we be our own country?

Should we? Rarely do citizens get to vote “yes” or “no.” Most of human history is about the war that follows such outrageous demands. We spend lives trying to answer that a question, fought by those who are willing to die (and kill) to prove their authority.

That’s what’s remarkable about Scotland. This independence movement and the alternative (which is yet to be defined) is based on individual sovereignty expressed on a ballot. The draft constitution says elegantly: “In Scotland, the people are sovereign.”

I was in Aberdeen in 2009 for a conference on sovereignty and saw this movement first-hand. I talked to people who were enthusiastic about Scottish Gaelic being taught alongside English. There already was a sense of national purpose, rethinking what a country could and should be in the 21st century.

The notion of “devolution,” or returning power to Scotland, has been unfolding since a new Prime Minister, Tony Blair, fulfilled his election promise. The Scottish Act of 1998 provided the legislative structure. Blair told BBC that devolution would “show the whole of the United Kingdom that there is a better way that Britain can be governed, that we can bring power closer to the people, closer to the people's priorities and that we can give Scotland the ability to be a proud nation within the United Kingdom.”

A lot of folks hoped that would be that. Scotland would have “enough” power. Or to use that clunky phrase from American Indian law, be a “quasi sovereign.”

Not quite sovereign. And not quite free. (more…)

On the front pages

news

Big Oregon news was something relatively routine and simply tracking with existing state law: An increase in the state minimum wage, to $9.25 an hour. Oregon continues behind Washington as having the second-highest minimum wage in the country. Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian supported the increase, but it essentially followed the guidelines set up in state law, requiring that increases occur alongside inflationary costs of living.

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)

Cool wet weather may affect potato crop (IF Post Register)
Wildfires roar near highway 12 (Lewiston Tribune)
Few attend guns on campus meeting (Lewiston Tribune, Moscow News)
Will Idaho gay marriage law hit Surpeme Court? (Moscow News)
Middleton launches it own police (Nampa Press Tribune)
Nampa may create food co-op (Nampa Press Tribune)
School supplemental levies common in Idaho (Nampa Press Tribune)
Simpson, Labrador oppose Obama arms plan (TF Times News)
Idaho minimum wage half of living wage (TF Times News)

Natural Grocers opens store at Eugene (Eugene Register Guard)
Avakian wants Oregon minimum wage raise (Portland Oregonian, Eugene Register Guard, KF Herald & News, Pendleton E Oregonian)
Eugene reconsiders YMCA land deal (Eugene Register Guard)
OIT trustees officially installed (KF Herald & News)
Smoke from wildfires may stay in air (Medford Tribune)
Does Umatilla adult moratorium violate constitution? (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Lewis & Clark legal clinic closing (Portland Oregonian)
Legislature works on college affordability (Salem Statesman Journal)
State home aid program funding set (Salem Statesman Journal)

Reid, last big Kitsap indie realtor, bought (Bremerton Sun)
Ferry offload gets left turn lane (Bremerton Sun)
Kennewick won't launch Christian prayer (Kennewick Herald)
Massive Kelso pot organization outlined (Longview News)
Thurston jail negotiation end may be near (Olympian)
Massive Navy scan of private data, conviction tossed (Seattle Times)
Still slow going for marijuana stores (Seattle Times)
It's no longer a SWAT team in Spokane (Spokane Spokesman)
Kokanee fishing running strong (Spokane Spokesman)
Report: 10% online gun sales to ineligibles (Tacoma News Tribune, Olympian)
Clark County trailing in economic renewal (Vancouver Columbian)
Yakima wine harvest breaks new record (Yakima Herald Republic)
Pacific Power seeks 9.5% residential raise (Yakima Herald Republic)