Obama’s weak record on freedom of the press | Editorials | The Seattle Times

To the Seattle Times and other media outlets that are appalled at the Obama Administrations lack of openness all I can say is, “Welcome to the party!” But lets ignore the fact that you’re a late comer and just embrace the fact that you came at all.

Click on the link below for a good, but obvious editorial the Seattle Times has decided to present…finally.

Editorial: Obama’s weak record on freedom of the press | Editorials | The Seattle Times.

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Seahawks Blew It! And We Ought to be Mad.

Russell Wilson after brilliant performance in Atlanta

The big bold headlines to the Seattle Times this morning says “End of a Super Season” with a subtitle of “Heartache after fearless comeback; finale to thrilling year”. To me it sounds all to familiar. “That’s OK boys. It’s OK that you blew a chance to bring this city its first ever football title and first major championship in more than a generation. We still love you”. A Seattle sports team gives our city some excitement one week, wins a few games and proceeds to take a bow from adoring fans devoid of much sports success to embrace when ultimately all they did was perform a face plant in front of the entire nation.

In case you missed it let me inform you of all you need to know about yesterday’s 30-28 loss to the Falcons in AtlantaSeattle had the lead with 25 seconds to go in the game and Atlanta had the ball at its own 27 yard line, 34 yards away from the possibility of a LONG field goal. It turns out, Atlanta only needed 12 seconds to complete two long passes to the Seattle 31 where kicker Matt Bryant

Matt Bryant | Atlanta Falcons

Matt Bryant

lofted a chip shot 49 yard field goal for the win. For the uninformed football fan let me inform you: THAT SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN! Not to a championship caliber team it shouldn’t.

But wait…it has happened before…to this same team. Please recall Chicago, December 2. Seattle scores a wonderful comeback touchdown with only seconds to play to take the lead on the 8-3 Bears and seemingly wins the game remarkably. Only they didn’t. Like Matt Ryan yesterday, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler completes a pass of about 50 yards to Brandon Marshal against Richard Sherman and a befuddled Seahawk secondary.

English: Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears warmi...

Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears

Putting Chicago in position to kick the tying field-goal as time expired, forcing overtime. Had it not been for the flip of a coin going Seattle’s way, giving them first possession of overtime, the Seahawks could have lost that game. Having lost that game Seattle doesn’t make the playoffs. Chicago does.

So what does it say about a team that twice in 7 games allows an opposing team to move from deep in their own territory into field goal position in mere seconds and lose a game they led. To me it says some really bad coaching is taking place. When it happened the first time you could blame Richard Sherman for not trying to knock the ball down and instead trying to intercept it. When it happens a second time and it involves other players besides Sherman, you have a pattern and you have a problem.

The thing Seattle fans need to learn and still haven’t is the team had an opportunity and you can’t blow opportunities like that. The team had the momentum and a realistic shot at going to and winning the Super Bowl. I’m not talking about a “punchers chance”; which everyone in the NFL playoffs has. I’m saying, and so were a lot of other people by the way, that Seattle was possibly the best team in the playoffs. Period! Of the 4 teams left in this years playoffs Seattle has already beaten two of the teams this year, and woulda, coulda, shoulda beaten a third, Atlanta, yesterday. Yes, they are THAT good. But they blew it.

The Seattle Times headline this morning is so typically Seattle and so pathetic. I want a championship and am no longer going to settle for “Nice Try”. And if the rest of the city joined me and insisted that our sports teams get their acts together I’m sure a championship could actually come our way.

Being stubborn and demanding and often annoying in ones drive to excellence is a BIG part of what makes champions. Watching U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor last night on CBS’ 60 Minutes, she said as much. She said, “I’m sure my stubbornness has a lot to do with what success I’ve achieved in life”. She elaborated more…but…there ya go.

I have a brother one year older than me, raised in the same house, same parents, and we are as completely different as two people can be. My brother is a millionaire. He’s also a stubborn bull-headed, my-way-or-the-highway jerk. He always has been. Even when we are kids. I’m no pushover. But I would never be accused of being a sore loser, or poor-sport. I have always tried to be positive and complimentary to my teams, my opponents, and in every situation. Not my brother. As a child he used to cry whenever his team lost. He still can’t stand losing. A few years ago while spending a New Years Eve at his 4500 square-foot home we were playing pool. Pool is a game I can play. Not my brother. I was beating him repeatedly. At one point after 3-5 game after he missed another shot he threw his cue stick on the table scattering the balls and ending the pool play for the night. I’ve played pool in bars ever since lying about my age at 19 and being a frequent customer at the Mustard Seed Two tavern in Bellevue. I have a table in my home. I have never seen anyone do that before…show such poor sportsmanship. For my brother…it was predictable.

So what I’m saying is don’t be so accommodating Seattle. Expect more. The Seahawks blew it yesterday and deserve to be criticized not praised . They lost a very important game they should have won and we have no business patting them on the back. We ought to be kicking them in the ass and saying…“Don’t mess up next year! We’re sick of your mediocrity. And we deserve better”. By the way…same goes for you Mariners.

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Protect Your Kids! Teach Car Safety.

The Author

The Author as a 6th Grader

I’ve been struck by a car going 35-40 miles per hour and lived to tell about it. Most kids eleven years old don’t survive to tell such a tale. Too many of them aren’t talked too enough to know they can prevent it by having a little fear.

The other day I was driving out of my neighborhood, past my local elementary. A young girl was walking on the sidewalk in front of me to my left. A car was parked on the right sidewalk and appeared to have people in it. I noticed all this as I was approaching. I felt the hair stand up on the back of my neck and took my foot off the accelerator. Suddenly, without warning, without looking the little girl turned from the sidewalk directly into the street and directly into my path. She was walking to the car. Fortunately, I’d sensed this might happen. Though I was prepared for it, I still needed to quickly, firmly apply my brakes and screeched to a stop. My 7000-pound Chevy Avalanche skidded. I was only driving about 20 miles per hour. The little girl crossed in front of me and never looked up at me. She was about 3 feet from the grill of my truck.

As has happened too many times I was instantly transported back 37 years to January 5, 1976. The day I was almost killed doing something very similar to that unknowing little girl.

When I was 11 years old my older brother and I shared a Seattle Times paper route. Back then the Times was an afternoon paper and we took turns delivering the daily news to the residents around Crossroads in Bellevue, Washington. January 5 was a cold and rainy night. As is the norm at that time of year in the Northwest it was dark by 4:30pm.

I was returning home from my route. I’d made it a regular practice to ride my bike through the Crossroads Shopping Center parking lot in making the 2 mile ride home following my delivery of the papers. I’d also made it a habit to cross 4-lane NE 8th Street about 100-yards from the traffic light…and nearest cross walk. It was the first Monday following what was then called the Christmas vacation. So more people were at work that day and at that time coming home. I waited and waited for a clearing in the traffic in order to cross the busy street. It seemed like an eternity.

In being a little impatient, I saw a small opening and began pedaling my ten-speed across the street as I had done a-hundred times before. I quickly knew I’d made a bad decision. Two cars were descending upon me in the rain and dark of a cold January night. Still, I thought I could make it. I pedaled faster; reached the far curb and yanked up on my front handle-bars. I had performed this exact act many times without fail, to hop the curb and continued into the parking lot, and subsequently onto the rest of the way home. On this night my hop was short. I hit the curb with my front tire and bounced back into the road, and the on-coming car.

It’s amazing how everything slows down when faced with a perilous situation. I distinctly remember hitting the curb and then bouncing back. Almost instantly the brand new blue Cadillac hit me broad-side and sent me flying through the air. For the rest of my life I’ll remember turning upside down in the air, and with me upside down as if hanging by my feet my forehead smashing against the vertical street-side part of the curb. I tumbled onto the sidewalk, lay there for just a moment, then stood up. I was a big kid. Already 5-foot 10-inches. I stretched out my full length. My newspaper-carrier poncho fell twisted around my shoulders. And then…gravity pulled me back to the ground. I collapsed and smashed my head again.

Seemingly instantly I was surrounded by caring people asking if I was OK. I don’t know where they all came from. Someone had a blanket and covered me as I laid on the concrete trying to cope with what had just happened. All I could think was, “My Dad was going to be pissed!”. I remember repeatedly apologizing to everyone who was helping me for causing them so much trouble. I couldn’t bring myself to spit out the blood in my mouth. That would have been rude, in front of all those people. So I just swallowed it. I can still taste it.

The ambulance arrived in a hurry. Paramedics quickly began looking me over. They paid particular attention to my right arm. One said to the other, “It looks like he cut it off.” Having not scanned myself. I didn’t know what he was talking about. I couldn’t feel my whole right side. So I thought he was talking about my right hand. Then the same EMT looked me in my eyes and said, “Where else do you hurt?”. “Huh?” I replied. “Besides your hand, where else do you hurt?”. “My right leg kinda hurts.” My leg is where the car had made direct contact.

It was eleven days after Christmas. I was wearing my first ever pair of new jeans. They were Swabbies, with the BIG patch pockets. They were very popular in 1976. And they were the first cool clothes I’d ever had. The first that weren’t hand-me-downs. The EMT took out some scissors and began cutting my first-ever brand new pants. And for the first time I began to cry. The paramedic, a 20-something guy, stopped cutting and asked if he was hurting me. I cried “No. You’re ruining my new pants”.

Shortly after, they hoisted me onto a gurney and loaded me into the ambulance. My leg was badly bruised; in coming days turning purple from my shin to my hip. I had a big bloody scar on my forehead. It looked like the worst kind of floor-burn you might get from taking a charge or diving for a loose ball on the basketball court. Only worse. My bottom lip was split, leaving me with a slight, permanent fish- hook shaped scar. And my hand survived. But my right index finger didn’t. It was completely severed. Fortunately, I was wearing gloves. So the last two digits of my pointing finger didn’t end up on NE 8th Street run over by the many cars that sped by, hurrying home. It was re-attached.

Over the next 3 years I had four surgeries to straighten the finger out, and to get the blood flowing properly. But nothing worked. It’s a bent stump, with a permanently frozen knuckle to this day. And it will be the rest of my life.

I was lucky that night. My head trauma could have been much worse. My other fingers and hand could have been more seriously mangled. And while my clear and sober mind reminds me of how lucky I was, every time I slam on my brakes to avoid hitting a kid too impatient to look and wait for traffic, every time I hear screeching tires, and every time I see a car-pedestrian accident is depicted on TV or in the movies I’m instantly transported back to this nightmare. And it is a nightmare. One you don’t want your children to experience.

Talk to your kids about obeying traffic laws. It’s Summer time and they’ll be out and about a lot more. Tell them to be patient and to cross at the

Me and My Dog Sheiba- My Hand in a Cast behind the dog

Me and My Dog Sheiba- My Hand in a Cast behind the dog

cross walk. Tell them to never step in front of a moving car unless you have absolutely made eye contact with the driver and you know they see you. Tell them the pain of being impatient, or of lacking respectful care is too much. Tell them a friend told you how bad it can be.

My severed finger today

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Another Kid is Shot and our 2nd Amendment Cringes

handgun

In the Seattle area three kids have been shot by handguns in the past three weeks. According to The Seattle Times the third happened at a gas station near the Tacoma Mall. A man with a license for carrying a concealed weapon placed the gun underneath the driver’s seat as he exited the car to fill the gas tank. A three-year old in the car got the gun and fatally shot himself in the head.

This kind of tragedy is avoidable if only people exercise a little more common sense when it comes to the ownership of handguns. Don’t. Don’t own them. Far more people are shot with guns they or their family members own than by the strangers with guns. If you want to dramatically increase the likelihood that you or a member of your family is shot, own a handgun.

Where I put my foot down is on government getting involved and telling us we may not own guns. The government is not needed in this discussion. Just common sense. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” 

The Founding Fathers thought so much of this Right that they placed it second on their list of the first ten amendments, commonly known as The Bill of Rights. But a key aspect of the amendment is frequently ignored by 2nd Amendment advocates, “A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state…”.  Remove that phrase and the amendment takes on more meaning. It does not say “We shall have the right to keep and bear arms in order to kill our fellow man”

World Peace

. So some regulation of firearms can and should be exercised. To say there should be none is to argue that anybody can own, build, and possess a nuclear weapon; for what is that if not a more extreme form of “arms”.

Still I oppose government banning or severely restricting handguns. But there are lots of things we as people have a right to do that common sense dictates we avoid. I always tell my kids to look both ways  and make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street, even at a cross walk. Entering an unregulated cross walk in heavy traffic may be your right. But you’ll be dead.

I’m a gun owner. Rifles and shotguns, for hunting. I have been since I was twelve years old and my Grandpa gave me a .22 rifle as a Christmas present. He had made an annual gesture of giving guns to the boys in my family for a couple of years. So in a very real sense guns are a tradition in my family.

The author with his shotgun

But for reasons I’ve already explained I have never and would never own a handgun. The only time I would ever own a handgun is if I lived on my own. Then I can be sure to never angrily use it or accidentally use it against a person in my family; and I would be sure to not have it used against me either angrily or accidentally. It’s all well and good to claim I would never use my gun in anger. But I’m sure there are many, many murders behind bars who said or thought the same thing.

Three children shot and severely injured, or killed in only three weeks in the Seattle area is too much. It’s too painful. How much do you really need your gun. Does it really protect you? Or does it just excite you? Perhaps the more important question should be, does having it increase your chance of being shot or of someone you care about being shot, or does it increase your chance of you or someone else you love ending up dead? I’ll answer the obvious question: own a handgun and dramatically increase your chances of a quick, tragic death.

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If you like this blog or find it interesting please do the author the honor of sharing it. TY.

What Disqualifies One From Public Honor?

John T. Williams

When dedicating public moneys and public land in honor of a single individual I thought I knew what would qualify someone for such recognition. Erecting a statue, or naming a bridge or school or merely placing a lasting plaque for public display would typically require that the so-honored individual be someone who benefited the general populace in some worthwhile or at least memorable way. The honoree should be someone of whom many if not most would want to emulate. While not perfect, the person being honored should have led a life of mostly positive virtue.

With the City of Seattle‘s actions this past week I no longer know what qualifies a person for such high public honor. In fact, I am now stupefied as to what would disqualify someone from public adoration and affection. For the Northwest’s largest and increasingly most backward city has determined a prominent place in its most visited public place is suitable location to erect a memorial to a homeless, alcoholic drunk who’s only notable contribution to society was keeping police occupied.

Sunday a collection of people carried a 33-foot tall, 5000-thousand pound totem pole from Seattle’s Pier 57 to Seattle Center where the traditional native carving was erected at the base of the Space Needle, only Seattle’s most recognized symbol.

Deutsch: Die Space Needle (Himmelsnadel) in Se...

Mayor Mike McGinn was on hand presiding over the dedication. The totem pole was carved and erected in memory of “wood-carver” John T. Williams.

Williams was shot and killed by Seattle Police officer Ian Birk in 2010. Birk shot Williams after having three times yelled at the man to drop a knife Williams was carrying. The shooting was determined to be “unjustified” by a Police Review Commission. However, King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterburg in February 2011 chose not to file criminal charges against Birk, saying “a jury would find him not-guilty”. Birk later resigned from the Seattle Police Department.

The 50-year old Williams was unknown to Birk. He was not unknown to Seattle Police. Williams had been convicted of criminal wrong doing more than 30-times.  Many of those convictions were for indecent exposure. Shortly after his death the Seattle Times newspaper wrote of Williams: Williams had been a chronic alcoholic drifting in and out of homelessness, detox centers, hospitals and jails for decades. From Des Moines to Sedro-Woolley, police officers dealt with Williams time and again. He was arrested and charged more than 100 times in the city of Seattle alone since 1985, for a slew of misdemeanor offenses: disorderly conduct, criminal trespass, drinking in public.”

I get that his shooting was probably unjustified. I also appreciate that the police officer was not criminally charged in the case. I absolutely don’t get creating a publicly recognized honor for a man so weak as a human being and completely dependent on the public dole for his mere survival. If a man like this can qualify for memorial on public lands who do we disqualify?

English: Ted Bundy in custody, Florida, July 1...

Ted Bundy

One of the Northwest most famous natives was Ted Bundy. Among his many accomplishments was that he was a Husky, having studied at the University of Washington. Perhaps that’s the place we should dedicate a statue to the serial killer. We could erect it on Greek Row where he found some of his victims. It could feature Bundy wearing the sling he was known to use as a fake ploy to lure his victims. Or does killing multiple people disqualify one from public adoration? Seemingly, that’s the only disqualifier.

I suppose if Whitney Houston is worthy of a 5-hour televised public funeral and of flags being flown at half-staff in her home state of New Jersey a totem pole being erected for Williams isn’t off the charts. In fact on the scale of justification it sounds just about right. Williams should have recorded some music during his life, perhaps then his picture could be hung in public schools. I suppose on the scale of honoring victimhood it’s perfectly in line, and I should fall in line and be accepting of it. In doing so I’m only left with the question of how to properly pay homage to Williams next time I’m at the Seattle Center with my family and come across his memorial. It seems in keeping with Williams life and his memory the only appropriate thing to do would be to urinate on it. It’s probably what he would have done.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.


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