Wally Wonders Why

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Media Issue

Bellingham “Alarmist” Herald

oil spill There is a  is a vessel in Bellingham being fitted to contain and clean up huge oil spills in Arctic waters, but right now it is sitting in Bellingham Bay with spill containment booms surrounding it.   And leave it to the Bellingham Herald to support the Bellingham alarmist attitude with their own front page alarmist billing.  

Really, what kind of image comes to mind when you read there headline “Oil-containment barge under construction in Bellingham spills oil”  I know when I read it, my immediate thought was of how much oil was filling that containment barge and how much of it was spilling.   I’m sure a lot of people were thinking about the Deep Horizon Spill as well as a few in Bellingham that were thinking about coal..ya know oil and coal are both carbon based.  I was also thinking about how yucky and stinky it might be if the forecast of super hot weather turned out to be accurate. 

Whatever your initial thought, I think the headline made it sound pretty bad, so it was a little surprising to learn that this headline is over 3 quarts of oil that they supposedly spilled over the course of the last 3 weeks or so?  Okay now, that really is alarmist…3 quarts!

Three spills, each releasing about one quart of oil into Whatcom Waterway, came from leaks in pressurized hydraulic systems on July 24, and Aug. 4 and 6.

Bellingham Herald

I’m not suggesting that it’s a good thing to spill a quart, or even three quarts, of oil into Bellingham Bay but let’s keep this in perspective.   The way I see this big picture is that this is only 3 quarts and the sooner this ship is on station in the Arctic, the better the odds are that it will be there to clean up a lot more than 3 quarts of oil should it be called to a spill.   So why hassle them over 3 quarts?  Well the State Department of Ecology had an answer,

"They’re a quart at a time, but every time there’s a spill there’s more environmental damage," Ecology spokeswoman Katie Skipper said.

Bellingham Herald

Wow!  Every time there is a quart spill there’s more environmental damage,  Wow again, where do we draw the line on how little of a spill is too little of a spill and how little of a spill does it take to call this harassment rather than enforcement?  I wonder if anyone in the Dept of Ecology realizes that oil occurs naturally in our oceans and in fact about half the oil in the oceans come from naturally occurring sources.  This is one of my favorites, it is a great historical description of naturally occurring crude oil along the West coast.

Pedro Fages, a Spanish explorer and military commander of the Monterey Presidio, in his report to the Viceroy of New Spain recorded the use of tar and oil by the natives near Mission San Luis Obispo. Fages’ account, written in 1775, mentions natives using tar for water- proofing baskets and pitchers and for caulking small boats. Fages also noted ” … pools of bitumen bubbling out of the ground” near the mouth of the Santa Clara River. In 1776, Spanish missionary Pedro Font recorded that “… much tar which the sea throws up is found on the shores, sticking to the stones and dry, little balls of tar are also found. Perhaps there are springs of it which flow out into the sea.” In 1793, during the travels of English explorer James Cook, his navigator, George Vancouver, recorded in his journal that they had anchored off of Goleta. Vancouver reported that the sea was “… covered with a thick, slimy substance, which, when separated or disturbed by any little agitation, became very luminous, whilst the slightest breeze, that came principally from onshore, brought with it a very strong scent of burning tar.” He continued that “… the sea had the appearance of dissolved tar floating on its surface, which covered the ocean in all directions within the limits of our view.”  www.mms.gov

So again…3 quarts?  If that is a crime then watch out on these upcoming hot sunny days because you never know how soon it will be until your kids, slathered with sunscreen, are slapped with a cease and desist order by our State Department of Ecology when they go wading in Bellingham Bay?

Sunscreens are a great way to prevent some of these harms, but unless you pick the right sunscreen it might be doing more harm than good, exposing you to even more health concerns while contaminating fish and water.


If you think that I am crazy or that I am just being alarmist, think about the thousands of people with just a little dab of sunscreen and remember what the Department of Ecology spokesperson said, “every time there’s a spill there’s more environmental damage.” 

Media Malpractice: the movie

I think any reader of this blog knows that I don’t believe we elected the best person during our last election.  So here we are today halfway through President Obama’s  term with talk of his reelection beginning to ramp up.  I’m guessing there are a lot of very disappointed Barack Obama supporters wondering what happened?   

Well media manipulation prompted by themselves, savvy campaigns, or both is what happened.

If you were intrigued by that little teaser, it’s worth taking a look at a complete documentary about media influences so that you can put your skeptic hat on as we once again approach elections.  If you have a Netflix account  Media Malpractice by John Zeigler is a full length in depth documentary currently on their Watch Instantly list, or there is more about the video and it’s production at Media Malpractice.

Don’t be duped into voting for I-1098

I-1098, formerly I-1077 is billed as making our state tax code more fair.  But the message on the street that seems to resonate is the one that was repeated in today’s Herald,

A campaign to impose an income tax on the state’s wealthiest residents is likely headed to the November ballot,

And it is the same message that is on the vote Yes on 1098 website

[I-1098] Imposes a high-earners income tax only on the wealthiest 3 percent of households

This should sound great to the 97% of us who aren’t the wealthiest 3% and even better because we are also promised a 20 percent cut in the state property tax and an elimination of B&O taxes for more than 375,000 small businesses.   And yes, it sounds great right up until you read the initiative and have the sense to put 2 and 2 together.

The Dupe:

As pointed out in the AP/Herald article the income tax has only 2 brackets and won’t apply to anyone who makes under $200,000.

The income tax would have two brackets. The first is 5 percent of any income above $200,000, or $400,000 for couples. The second bracket is 9 percent on the income above $500,000 for individuals or $1 million for couples.

Seams pretty clear, but the article is wrong.  If you read Initiative 1098 you will find that there are not just 2 brackets, there are actually 3 brackets and tax rates defined.

If taxable income received is: The tax is:
Not over $200,000 0
Over $200,000 but not over $500,000 5.0% of the excess over $200,000
Over $500,000 $15,000 plus 9.0% of the excess over $500,000

The initiative does not state that those making under $200,000 won’t be taxed.  It does say that we will be taxed at an initial rate of 0%.  With the aid of slacker media, we are being duped into voting in a state income tax that applies not just to the rich, but to everyone of us no  matter how much or how little we make.   If the intent was really to not tax those who make less than $200,000, then why not just say that instead of making a tax bracket with a rate of 0%.  Is anyone so  naive to think that the 0% rate won’t go up once the tax structure is in place?

One of the commenters on the AP/Herald article though, points out this regarding the initiative.

This initiative explicitly requires a future, majority vote of the populace to expand an income tax to lower income levels.

And they are correct, there is a section that would protect the us from this rate increasing without both the legislature and us approving it.

Sec. 1004. The excise tax rates in section 501 of this act may not be increased for any income level without a majority vote of the legislature and submission of the changes to the people for approval.

But I’ll say this again, as I’ve said it again before, Never underestimate our elected official’s resourcefulness when it comes to taking our money.    I am certain that the legislature will approve it leaving only the will of the voters between us and an income tax for everyone.

Does anyone remember the will of the voters who approved Initiative 960 which required a 2/3 majority of lawmakers to approve tax increases?  And do we remember that our lawmakers figured out, not a way to reign in spending, but rather, a way to suspended the initiative that we approved?   Here it is again, Never underestimate our elected official’s resourcefulness when it comes to taking our money.

Make no mistake, if you vote for a state income tax for anyone, you will be taxed by the state.  Don’t allow yourself to be duped. Vote NO on I-1098.

Still Standing with Israel

After hearing today about Israeli commandos killing Palestinian peace activists I was mentally prepared to admonish Israel for their actions.  Instead, I read more before I leaped and no will offer a few words in support and admiration for Israel.

Israel had imposed a maritime blockade off the coast of Gaza, because Israel has been in a state of armed conflict with Hamas that controls Gaza.  Israel has in the past allowed relief ships to pass through the blockade, but they closed the blockade after Hamas escalated rocket attacks from from Gaza last fall.  Remember that from Gaza, Hamas had been attacking Israel with rockets for years even to the point that Israel has moved schools underground.  and last year stepped up their bombardment.  I continue to maintain that as long as someone is attacking a nation, the nation has a right to defend it’s people.  Let’s not forget the reality of Hamas that most Israeli’s deal with everyday.  Hamas doesn’t want peace with Israel.

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).
Preamble to The Hamas Charter

So Israel was faced with a group of ships that were intent on running the blockade to supply Gaza with aid.  The rockets that Hamas fired from Gaza into came from somewhere and although the Turkish IHH who organized the flotilla maintain that only humanitarian supplies were on board, I think that Israel was motivated to be certain of this fact.

The Navy ships initially requested the ships to change course peacefully from Gaza and head for Ashdod, where they would be able to unload their aid material, which would then be transferred over land to Gaza after undergoing security inspections.

And my suspicions would be heightened after reports of those on board the flotilla chanting about the army of Mohammed returning and one person interviewed said “Right now we face one of two happy endings: either Martyrdom or reaching Gaza.”   If that statement sounds more like a jihadist to you than a peaceful activists, don’t worry you’re not alone.   The Turkish IHH may claim they are a merely a peace group, but much of the world recognizes that Turkish IHH also supports radical Islamic groups like Hamas, in this case.

It also doesn’t help if a Hamas organizer of the flotilla, weeks before makes the claim that with the next flotilla, “the confrontation will be directly with the Zionist enemy itself on the high seas.”  It’s tough to find a lot of “peace” in those statement and not surprisingly not a lot of peace in how things unfolded.

The IDF videos provide proof that the “peace activists” that Navy commandos expected on the flotilla actually were armed extremists who had carefully planned to ambush the soldiers. One commando suffered serious wounds after a being thrown 10 meters from the bridge of one ship to the deck below.

The demonstrators had clearly prepared their weapons in advance for this specific purpose,” IDF spokesmen said.

The attackers assaulted the commandos as they descended on deck by rope from helicopters hovering above the flotilla. The Navy soldiers were virtually defenseless because of their orders as the attackers beat them with metal clubs and knives and fired at them with two pistols that had been snatched from the commandos.

The soldiers were under orders not to shoot, but the “open fire” command was given after stun grenades failed to disperse the attackers.

So given the situation I have to say that I admire Israel for sending in it’s commandos with strict orders not to shoot and I admire the Israeli commandos for their courage and discipline in this situation.   Things could have been a lot worse, or better if the peace flotilla had just peacefully cooperated with Israel.

** Updated 6/2/10**

I was not surprised that President Obama sided with terrorist organizations rather than with Israel and their right to defend itself in this situation.  I was very disappointed though, that he chose not to speak himself in condemnation of Israel, but instead used, Hillary Clinton.  From the look on her face and her unconvincing delivery I wouldn’t be surprised to see her resign sometime soon and start her 2012 bid against Mr. Obama.

The real message from President Obama: He doesn’t want to support Israel, but he doesn’t want a sound bite of him condemning Israel either.  What a South end of a North bound chicken move by our President.

Also in the video clip I saw, Secretary of State Clinton said “The United States supports the Security councils condemnation of the acts leading to this tragedy.”    I hope the list of acts leading to this tragedy will start with a condemnation of this planned ambush of  Israeli military.

Source article links with video:



Are They Deranged?

derangedYes.  In my armchair therapist opinion many who oppose the Tea Parties are deranged.

The Tea Party has essentially one message and it is resonating with so many across our nation.  The local Bellingham group describes their mission as reversing “deficit spending and the concentration of power in central government, in order to preserve states’ rights and individual liberty for future generations.”

Whether its reducing taxes, reducing government growth, opposing new intrusive laws, the main focus of the Tea Party has been put forth in a loud, clear and peaceful manner since it’s beginning.   And while the news media has been able to drum up a couple of crackpots here and there, the movement I’ve witnessed has by enlarge stuck to it’s principles in a peaceful manner.  Especially here in Bellingham where I’ve seen nothing but peaceful enthusiasm.

But even here in our town a mental disorder, a derangement, is spreading.   The minds of otherwise normal people are failing them as they are being consumed by what is now known to be Tea Party Derangement Syndrome (TPDS).

Local evidence is easy to find.  Here just a few days ago a commenter at the Herald displayed symptoms of TPDS.

As I’ve said many times in this forum, not all Tea Party members are blatant racists,but the “movement” certainly is. And the organizers, from Dick Armey to local “leaders” most certainly are.

I inquired twice about which leaders and what incident led them to believe that local Tea Party leadership were blatant racists.   Rather than evidence, the commenter instead suggested that I might be a Tea Party leader.  Clearly their mind had diverged from reality.

And there is poor Joe Teehan who in his KGMI Blog claimed that there are Tea Partiers who “can’t accept that Barack Obama was elected to the presidency” yet never said who he was talking about.  I’ve yet to meet a Tea Partier around here who doesn’t accept Barack Obama as legitimately elected.   Joe also claimed, again without evidence, that Tea Partiers say they are “governed not by the government but rather by the Constitution.” Has anyone met a Tea Partier yet who doesn’t recognize that we are under the authority of our elected government?  If anything Party goers lament the overbearing amount of government we currently have.   I see a clear divergence between reality and what those suffering from TPDS are experiencing.

Remembering that the Tea Party’s mission centers on reducing government spending and control, it is clear when reading the following news snippets that Tea Party Derangement Syndrome is affecting people all across our nation.

It may be that the Pakistan-based Taliban, the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has quietly established a Connecticut franchise while we weren’t looking. That’s possible. But it seems far more likely to me that the perpetrator of the bungled Times Square bomb plot was either a lone nut job or a member of some squirrely branch of the Tea Party, anti-government far right.  mediaite.com

Really???  In this post 9/11 nation someone can actually believe this?

A website (crashtheteaparty.org) was recently set up. The creator, though he tried to hide his identity, has been outed; his name is Jason Levin, and he’s a middle school teacher in Beaverton, Oregon. He’s on record saying that you might see some of his team in Nazi uniforms at your local tea party pretending to be racists and other offensive characters. freerepublic.com

And making your own supporting evidence?  Outstandingly deranged.

…it has emerged via whistleblowers that the U.S. Military in Kentucky is training to confront Tea Party protesters…prisonplanet.com

I wonder if our Commander in Chief has anticipated how my 7 year old, who was at a recent Tea Party, might react to a military confrontation?

Kevin, if I can, perhaps not at today’s event, but as you’ve noted in the past, a lot’s been made of some of what they refer to as the fringe elements who show up for these rallies. Some in the past have had offensive signs and rhetoric.

We’re looking at some pictures. And obviously, these are the fringe elements to which we refer. But there’s Obama being painted a mustache on to look like Hitler there.  MSNBC/newsbusters.org

MSNBC trying to paint Tea Partiers as fringe just as the LaRouche fringe, not Tea Partiers painted Obama as Hitler.

And there’s NBC again, this time themselves on the fringe as they attempt to create racism out of thin air.

“There aren’t a lot of African-American men at these events,” NBC News reporter Kelly O’Donnell, a white woman, told Darryl Postell, a black man at a Tea Party rally held Thursday in Washington, DC, pressing him, in an exchange she chose to include in her NBC Nightly News story, to address her prejudiced assumptions: “Have you ever felt uncomfortable?”

Not surprisily, the answer was not as the seemed to want, but how reality is.  Darryl Postell responded “No, no, these are my people, Americans.” A reality very similar to what Rev. Perryman said in his YouTube regarding racism in the Tea Party.

Tea Party Derangement Syndrome may not have a clinical diagnosis yet, but it is real.

  • Those suffering from TPDS believe Tea Partiers are terrorist, but they aren’t.
  • They believe them to be a fringe element, but thousands of them standing on the guide and in other cities show they aren’t.
  • Syndrome sufferers try to manipulate reality to fit their derangement, but reality is real, they won’t win that game.
  • TPDS sufferers believe Tea Partiers are racist despite the reality that race hasn’t a darn thing to do with the message or mission of the Tea Party.
  • TPDS sufferers fluidly dip in and out of reality, often in the same sentence.

I wondered what those suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome would do once President Bush was no longer making the news.  I see that some sort of transference to  Tea Party Derangement Syndrome has occurred.  It seems that there is always an element of our society that can’t deal with many aspects of conservative reality and in the case of TPDS they can’t deal with the reality of the Tea Party explosion.

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