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Give me your tired, your poor

Give me your tired, your poor

That lady holding up the beckoning torch at the entrance of New York harbor symbolizes America’s pride in being the most welcoming of people who seek freedom. But a funny thing’s been happening on the way to that freedom. Newcomers are rushing not to the United States, but to Germany. Germany? Seriously? Well, not that...
We told you so: waiting for the full-rip

We told you so: waiting for the full-rip

“Be your own Jesus.” — Tsunami hazards specialist Patrick Corcoran, Full-Rip 9.0 Sick of worrying about wildfire? Then worry about this: At 10:54 a.m. on Feb. 28, 2001, as I toiled at my Seattle Post-Intelligencer computer, the floor began punching the soles of my feet. As our waterfront building heaved, cartoonist David Horsey and I...
The euro ueber alles

The euro ueber alles

“The European Union has a flag no one salutes, an anthem no one sings, a president no one can name, a parliament whose powers subtract from those of national legislatures, a bureaucracy no one admires or controls, and rules of fiscal rectitude that no one is penalized for ignoring.” — Washington Post columnist George Will...
The latest news on race, fat and water

The latest news on race, fat and water

It’s not often that news out of Spokane becomes a worldwide sensation. The tale of the identity-challenged Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who insists she’s black, created a media firestorm this month. A woman with a history of grievance, Dolezal was president of Spokane’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People...
The firestorm next time: are you ready?

The firestorm next time: are you ready?

Here we are in the fire-scarred Methow, warming up for what experts predict will be another highly dangerous wildfire season, perhaps starting as early as June. What will be done differently this time? Next to nothing. There is one exception. But first, a reality check: Where are we with fire protection? Recently, Washington Department of...
Let’s stop enabling the Saudis

Let’s stop enabling the Saudis

As a Norwegian it pains me, on high-minded historic principle, to give Swedes any credit. But it seems churlish not to applaud those uppity Swedes when they do get something right. Besides, the whole sorry business forces the rest of us to think about stuff we prefer to ignore. So: Sweden’s new foreign minister, Social...
Measles madness reduces community’s immunity

Measles madness reduces community’s immunity

Every day nearly 400 people die of measles worldwide, mostly small children, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2013, says the WHO, measles killed 145,700 people. Measles can cause blindness, deafness, encephalitis and pneumonia. Happily, transmission of this highly contagious, airborne virus is preventable. In the United States, measles actually was declared eradicated...
Blasphemy is free speech

Blasphemy is free speech

“Defending free speech means defending knuckleheads and visionaries alike.” — David Carr, New York Times media commentator.                                 Human beings seem to have evolved into two species: the irreligious, who can thrive in a godless universe, and the religious, who cannot. These...
An unwelcome Christmas gift

An unwelcome Christmas gift

“I’d do it again in a minute.” — Former Vice President Dick Cheney defending CIA “enhanced interrogation,” Dec. 14, 2014. I first encountered Dianne Feinstein 35 years ago in a San Francisco hotel suite while covering a teachers’ strike. A deadline loomed, and the suite swarmed with tense, milling people. In the center of the hubbub, the...
A perfect storm of misrule

A perfect storm of misrule

So, you’re afraid of the Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate? What really should scare you is this: Nearly two-thirds of voters didn’t bother to do their jobs in the mid-term election. And this: Unprecedented amounts of secret, “dark money” from undisclosed donors was legally — legally! — used to fund these Congressional campaigns. Taken together, these two...