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Posts published in “Day: January 18, 2015”

We lost the war

rainey BARRETT
RAINEY

 
Second
Thoughts

The war of terror is over. The terrorists won.

Before reaching for your friendly keyboard to throw electronic “rocks” my way, consider the evidence. As a matter of fact, consider a lot of evidence. The latest: three guys massacred 16 people in France. Though they met their own violent end(s) hours later, there are now 10,000 French army troops walking the streets of that country with 10,000 automatic weapons at the ready. Three dead guys - 10,000 armed troops. Plus God knows how many local cops, security types and various private guns-for-hire.

One guy - just one - puts some explosive powder on his shoe in an aircraft and tries to light it afire. From that day forward, hundreds of millions of us have had to walk barefoot in airport lobbies. One guy - millions barefoot.

Another guy - just one - had what appeared to be an explosive in his shorts while being an airlines traveler. From that day forward, hundreds of millions of us have had to endure full body scans and/or body scans with hand wands. One guy - millions of us being body scanned.

I could fill a few dozen more paragraphs but you get the idea. When dealing with terrorists, they almost always win by definition because, from the moment of the violence, everyone else reacts. Or over-reacts. Someone breaks into your house - you buy a burglar alarm. Or a gun. Or both. You buy new and heavier locks. More of ‘em. Somebody bashes your parked car. You fix it and park it somewhere else. You react - doing things you otherwise wouldn’t have done. Your thinking changes.

First the violence - the terror, if you will. Then the response.

Many moons ago, I landed in Washington D.C. - unemployed. Thanks to the late Sen. Len Jordan, I was hired as a uniformed Capitol police officer. Now days, Capitol officers are professionals - as well-trained as the D.C. cops. Patronage employees are now limited to copiers and staple machines.

I used to wander the halls of the Capitol and the House and Senate office buildings, first as a tourist and later as a reporter. You don’t do that today. Scanners, badges, armed police, body searches and more. All over the place. There are large cement planters everywhere on the Hill to block someone trying to ram a vehicle into a building. Acres of blacktop and more of just grass - cordoned off to keep open spaces on the Hill - open. Sharpshooters on the roofs of many federal buildings around the Capitol. Same with the White House and other locations.

Terrorists. Just a handful over the last 40-50 years. But billions spent in that same time reacting. Just in Washington D.C..

Checked your local court house or city hall carefully lately? Looked really close at those new cement planter boxes out front? The little security cameras in the trees or jutting out from the eaves? How about the new “No Parking” areas or the removal of parking spaces that used to be so handy? Noticed an armed officer or two in public buildings - or schools - in our little towns? How about all that new military hardware for local cops?

Terrorists. Winning. While we react. (more…)

Eclipse the bus rider

 

Eclipse, a black Labrador Retriever, has learned how to navigate the city's mass transit system - by herself. Occasionally, she hops on a bus to get the dog park... without her owner.

On the front pages

news

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)

Hospital taxes continuing even for privates (Boise Statesman)
Mediation entering criminal cases (Boise Statesman)
New political website from Zion Bank (Boise Statesman, Lewiston Tribune)
Boise phosphorus facility in Canyon protested (Nampa Press Tribune)
Large rally at statehouse for 'add the words' (Nampa Press Tribune)
Muslims at TF plan mosque expansion (TF Times News)
Checking in on drug court grads (TF Times News)
Looking at a quarter century of the lottery (TF Times News)

Damaged Leaburg Dam impacting fish hatcheries (Eugene Register Guard)
Pot panel goes to work on new rules (Eugene Register Guard)
Wyden town hall held at Klamath Falls (KF Herald & News)
Some scofflaws run up huge parking fees (Portland Oregonian)
Homeless in Portland high numbers than national (Portland Orgonian)
Analyzing widely varied gas prices in Salem (Salem Statesman Journal)

Legislature considers carbon tax idea (Everett Herald)
Longview industrial park going green (Longview News)
Cuts at Lewis-McChord seem highly likely (Tacoma News Tribune, Olympian)
Looking at direct flights to SeaTac (Port Angeles News)
Genetic study finds more about Kennewick Man (Seattle Times)
Clark jail issues emergency body alarms to some (Vancouver Columbian)
Reviewing Yakima's homeless situation (Yakima Herald Republic)