One thing I did when I went in and told my boss, Kitsap Sun
Editor David Nelson, that I was taking a job elsewhere was I
promised him I wouldn’t write a “Goodbye” column. Those kind of
farewells can be so full of self-importance and blindness.
It’s blindness to the fact that the majority of readers, and
“majority” is really underselling it, are
fortunately incapable of giving a bark about some fool who got
the notion that writing stuff that happens for a living is not
going to write stuff that happens anymore. Not for a living,
I mean, I don’t read farewells from people leaving their jobs at
the toaster manufacturing company, the shipyard, or the bar. Even
some politicians make less noise when they leave the business.
Hasta la vista, baby. (California Motor Speedway 2006. Photo by
I stayed committed to my promise to David for about a week,
figuring I’d leave a note on Facebook that a few people would
notice. It would be enough for those who wondered what
happened and to make clear that I didn’t get fired. Because I
operate under the perhaps misguided notion that I have a reputation
worth protecting, I cared a whit about that.
But your accountant will let you know if the party’s over and
that you might ought to consider getting your money laundered by
someone else. So as my final day approached I shifted in my
thoughts about this. I got the notion to create a farewell that
wasn’t so much like the ones I’d seen that had become so
tired. There have been so many journalists leaving the business in
the last 10 years that it’s nearly impossible to not swim in the
exit pieces. I crafted a short message on top of a picture of
a cowboy riding off into the sunset, then accidentally let it post
sooner than I wanted to. For 15 minutes or so you had the chance to
Even that seemed too self-serving and emotional, so I
took it down.
The reason I came back to write something is because I don’t
want to quit this job without saying one thing, even if it
is in a tortured farewell.
If you’re curious why I would leave, my first answer is simply
that it is time. I believe everyone involved wins in this. I loved
being a journalist for the last 16 years, but I never operated
under the assumption or even the hope that it would last forever. I
said before on Facebook that this is amazing work. I mean it. I’m
sure I’ll miss parts of it, particularly the people I got to meet
as a reporter, especially including my coworkers. We cover things
that are boring to most people, other things that are exciting to
many and news that is tragic to everyone. In all of those
experiences I was always amazed by the graciousness of
those who somehow had faith that talking to me might do some
And that gets to the one thing I wanted to say: Thank you.
To leave without saying that seemed ungrateful.
The other reason I leave is because the right opportunity became
available. On Monday I go to work in the Kitsap County Auditor’s
office as education and outreach coordinator. If you run for
something here you will probably talk to me. I’ll be taking on
other communications tasks in the office as well, applying what
I’ve learned here and learning new skills.
For my closing number I leave you with a song that I think
reflects the emotions of someone who looks back on a career path he
hopes did some good and probably wasn’t as great as he
wishes he were.
Please come see me and hang out with friends at Story
Again, thank you. As always, go Dodgers! And my apologies
to David. I hope this doesn’t get me fired.
There was far more material than I could use in the story about
the passing of Adele Ferguson. Here are some more comments I think
you’ll enjoy. There could be a few more. I received some written
stories, but I’m double-checking to make sure the writers would be
fine with me including them. Check back. They’re good ones.
“I always liked Adele because she would stab me in the front.” —
Former Gov. Dan Evans. This quote actually was told to me by David
Ammons, former AP statehouse reporter now with the Secretary of
State’s office, but Evans confirmed that he said it.
“She was the den mother in a moveable feast. She was absolutely
hilarious; I’ve never known a better story teller.” John Hughes,
former editor of the Aberdeen Daily World, now overseeing the
Secretary of State’s Legacy Project.
“They called her’Senator Adele,'” Rachel Pritchett, former
Kitsap Sun reporter who met Adele in the 1980s. Pritchett was a
communications staff member in the state Senate at the time.
“She was tough as nails, but she was also very feminine and
dressed smartly. She was not feminist in the modern sense of the
word. She pushed for the right for women reporters to wear pants on
the floor.” — David Ammons
“She was a phenomenal asset to Bremerton. She defended Bremerton
and she defended the Navy to the hilt.” — Ralph Munro, former
Washington Secretary of State
“Adele was great. She could swear and drink with the
best of the backroom politicians. I remember one time
late in Warren G. Magnuson’s career he came into the office
assisted by two of his aides. They had hold of each of his elbows
so he wouldn’t fall down. He stopped right next to my desk to
steady himself and catch his breath. He still had about 30 feet to
go to get to Adele’s office and made it in another couple minutes.
The next day in her column Adele called Magnuson ‘robust and
healthy.’ That was so far from the truth, but only Adele could get
away with that. All the top politicians made appearances in her
office. She was one of a kind, and I really liked her and got along
great with her because she called them like she saw them, except
for Warren G.)” — Terry Mosher, former Kitsap Sun reporter
“She was the only media person who sat through the Gamscam trial
from day one to day end, so she had an opportunity of hearing all
the testimony and listening to the various witnesses. She was a
steadfast in my defense in that time and continued to be so.” —
Gordon Walgren, former state legislator who served about two years
in prison in connection with the Gamscam scandal.
“She was such a person of such stature. The Kitsap Sun should be
so proud.” Rachel Pritchett.
“She never did go for a tape recorder to record. She was about
the last reporter who depended on her own shorthand, but she easily
the most accurate reporter that covered me.” — Dan Evans
“Adele could punish when she thought you did something wrong.
Several times she would lay me out, but we were always friends.”
Norm Dicks, former congressman.
“She was bigger than life for me when I was very young.” —
“She gave as good as she got. She was deliciously bawdy and
funny. Boy could she write.” — John Hughes.
“She had more insight in the capitol building than anyone, by
far. She could smell a story two or three days before the next guy
knew there was even one coming.” — Ralph Munro
“At times she would be salty. She could be critical, but she was
always fair.” — Norm Dicks
“Feisty. Opinionated. Conservative. She had her own ideas and
carried them out as best she could. Most of all she was a good
friend.” — Gordon Walgren
“If Lehman (John Lehman, former secretary of the Navy) was at
the Rotary or the Chamber of Commerce and he and I had gone fishing
that day, she wanted to know all the details.” Norm Dicks,
explaining Adele’s love of salmon fishing.
Dan Evans said Adele was covering an event in Washington, D.C.
and was sitting next to him. A button came off his sport coat. She
looked in her purse and found a sewing kit and sewed the button
back on. “It was the last thing you would expect out of adele. She
said, ‘You tell anybody about this and I’ll kill you.'”
“I was sitting next to her. I asked her what it would take to
get onto the Bremerton Sun. She said, ‘Not much, apparently.” —
One of Adele’s fellow Olympia reporters was on deadline to send
in a column, but “he was so drunk there was no way he could have
written that column.” Adele said, “‘I wrote the column for him. I
knew how he wrote.’ I don’t think you could get away with that
nowadays.” — Dan Evans
“She would invite people into her office and say, ‘Don’t sit
down.” — Rachel Pritchett
When I got to spend those four days up there, (Hughes
interviewed Adele over four days for the Legacy Project oral
history about Adele. about the fourth day I decided it would not be
imprudent. I allowed myself to have a little beaker; I think it was
MacNaughton’s. I kissed her on the forehead and she said, ‘Don’t be
fresh.’” — John Hughes
“She was a superb political reporter. She feared no one and she
was always up front in her feelings.” Dan Evans
Point of personal privilege: In the first six years I worked for
the Kitsap Sun beginning in 2002 I knew Adele Ferguson mostly
through her columns in the local biweeklies and from her questions
at debates during election season. It was in 2008 that things
changed for me. We attended both county party conventions, offering
coverage for our different publications. Again, she was writing for
the biweeklies. I was writing for the paper she had been the voice
of for almost five decades.
At the Republican convention the party gave her a Barnes &
Noble gift card. I sat next to her at the Democratic convention and
the party didn’t give her any gifts, but several delegates came to
the table to say “Hello” to her. This was the first time I ever had
a lengthy conversation with Adele and I was charmed like you
wouldn’t believe. Maybe if you ever met her you would believe
A few things charmed me. One, she was a vivacious story teller,
and I’m a sucker for stories. Secondly, she had all kinds of
respect from a large number of Democrats that day. Certainly they
didn’t like her politics, but they loved her. Third, she said she
used the gift from the Republicans to buy Barack Obama’s books.
Fourth, for all that she had accomplished she didn’t ever treat me
as anything but a peer, and given her history and all she
accomplished she had every right to act superior.
After that I got to meet with her at her home in Hansville when
the state made her one of three oral history subjects. At other
times I would call her when I needed a quote about someone with
political history here in Washington or for other various reasons.
In every instance she was gracious to me. I know others can’t say
that. I guess I was a lucky one.
It is true that she wrote columns later in life that were
unsupportable. Not that many, but how many does it take? Set that
aside for a moment and consider the woman’s life as a whole. We,
both women and men, walk through doors she opened. It’s hard for me
to imagine some of our open government laws existing without
reporters like Adele Ferguson, who called nonsense on secrecy.
Women, particularly journalists, owe their opportunities to Adele
and others like her.
I’m 53 and I enjoy political reporting, but I’m content in the
reality that my chances of ever filling Adele’s shoes as a
political reporter are slim. Perhaps that time has passed for
anyone, but even if it hasn’t it would be akin to matching the
greatness of a Willie Mays or Sandy Koufax. She meant that much.
For me, even though Adele will be remembered generally for her
work as a political reporter, I’ll remember her most through two
stories she told me at that Democratic convention. From that moment
on I was a fan. She also told them to John Hughes, who wrote her
biography and oral history for the state’s Legacy Project. Those
stories will conclude this insufficient memorial. Allow me to add
one more thing. I’m really going to miss Adele. I feel lucky that I
ever got to meet her.
According to the Cornell
Lab of Ornithology, “The goldfinch’s main natural habitats are
weedy fields and floodplains, where plants such as thistles and
asters are common. They’re also found in cultivated areas,
roadsides, orchards, and backyards.”
Friedrich, who grew up in South Kitsap back in the old days when
it was still largely rural, said he used to see them all the time
in the fields of his youth.
I live in the woods of South Kitsap and spend a lot of time
walking outdoors. I can’t say I’d know a goldfinch if it flew smack
into me. They don’t come to our feeders. The heck with them.
The term “bark-eaters,” by the way, originated with former Arts
& Entertainment editor Deborah Woolston, who once referred to
South Kitsap as “land of the bark-eaters.”
Back on topic, I’d like to know how the heck the goldfinch was
chosen as our state bird in the first place.
There’s nothing about the bird that says, “Washington State.”
Its range is widespread,
again from the Cornell Lab: pretty much all of North America.
The map actually shows the gold finch is more often sighted in the
Midwest and on the East Coast, than in the west.
The goldfinch is so common, in fact, that it’s also the state
bird of Iowa and New Jersey … New Jersey! And, yes, Jim Dunwiddie, I know there’s
more to your former home state than the New Jersey Turnpike.
Another thing that’s just wrong about having the goldfinch as
our state bird is that, according to the Cornell Lab map (first
linked page), the bird pretty much vacates Washington in the summer
(I may be misinterpreting the map, and am sure to hear from
nitpicking birdwatchers on this).
Now, about the heron. It’s a beautiful bird, plentiful around
Puget Sound beaches. It’s graceful in flight and great at stabbing
things with its beak, which is, like, a ninja skill of the bird
By the way, have you ever noticed how they always name
developments after the critters that used to be there before the
houses went in? I used to live near Heron Ridge, before it was
Heron Ridge. Herons used to roost in the woods, scores of them. It
was quite a sight. I’m sure they’ve found other places to roost. I
wonder if they still pack together like that. Maybe you
birdwatchers out there can help me out.
It seems like the great blue heron better represents the Puget
Sound region than any other area of the state. So probably the best
thing about this bill is that it’ll give the folks in Western
Washington and Eastern Washington something to argue about besides
Next I think we ought to mess with the state fossil, which is
currently the Columbian Mammoth. Any nominations for a
In fact, lets just redo the entire
list. Have at it:
State folk song:
State marine mammal:
State endemic mammal:
Manning said the atmosphere in Olympia “is really intense right
now, and it’s really scary to be in government and to think there’s
that level of anger out there.”
Manning said being in government is seen as a disgrace, yet
government workers perform essential functions, child protective
services for example. The biggest shame, Manning said, is if
government became the last place people would go to get a job.
“There’s not a lot of hope or optimism about government right
now,” Manning said.
He’s all for free speech, but, “Let’s ease back on the rhetoric
a little bit,” he urged. “It should be about issues and ideas.”
Question: If you have ever thought about running for public
office, have recent events of violence against politicians
discouraged you? (take the poll on the Kitsap Caucus home
About a month ago, a reader called in to deliver a news tip that
piqued our interest – and our appetites.
He claimed that a day after the state-mandated sales tax on
candy, soda and bottled water was repealed by voters, major grocery store
chains upped their prices by the same margin as the tax.
Consumers would fork over the same amount for their M&Ms
both before and after the tax was repealed, he said.
In other words, retailers would pocket an extra 9 cents for each
package of Reese’s Pieces they sold while the state would simply go
without. That was the caller’s hunch.
Had we just stumbled onto Candygate 2010?
We decided to test his theory by looking into whether retailers
would charge more for the snacks and water immediately after that
sales tax went away.
On Wednesday night, we made trips to Safeway, QFC, Walgreens and
a convenience store on Kitsap Way.
At each stop, we picked up a candy, gum and water. We took note
of how much the stores charged for soda.
We returned a day later — when stores were told to stop
collecting the sales tax — to buy those same items and
compare the receipts.
The caller’s theory didn’t hold up. At three of the four stores,
we spent less on our purchases the second day.
But the convenience store charged us $3.90 both times for a
package of Wrigley’s 5 Gum, a Three Musketeers candy bar and a
20-ounce bottle of Aquafina. A 23-cent sales tax was tacked on to
Despite what we encountered there, state Department of Revenue spokesman Mike Gowrylow wrote in
an e-mail that the Dec. 2 transition “has gone smoothly as far as
we know” for most retailers.
He said that consumers should demand a refund if stores charge
them for a sales tax on candy, gum or water.
If that doesn’t work, they can seek a refund from the DOR, he
The bigger problem for the agency is retailers who stopped
collecting the tax before Dec. 2. “But we really can’t do anything
about that,” he said.
Unfortunately for us, there was no corporate grocery store
conspiracy to unravel — but at least we got to eat a bunch of
Kim Rubenstein, local news editor, tweeted “Now that I can’t
have the Obama chia pet, I want one.” They’re hard to get in
Bremerton, apparently. Read Peter Callaghan’s blog entry at the (Tacoma)
We’ve freaking got icy roads and power out here, so as much as I
want to honor your embargo of the following press release, I’m not
sure if I will be in a place where I can post this as soon as the
clock strikes 3 a.m. our time. Chances are I’ll be sound asleep
under a pile of blankets so tall I won’t feel the cat walking on
me. I know this is a critical issue here that I’ll be busting out
early, and that I risk never again receiving a press release on
critical issues such as this, but I have a feeling if I’m up at 3
a.m. (I am a West Coaster), this won’t be the first thing on my
We’ve seen plenty here about the fish and fisherman and the two
ladies in Bremerton. Public art has its supporters and its
detractors and the latter group has fun in the comments section of
our stories. (“What’s the deal with the Flying Nun doing squat
thrusts statue?” writes RB3. Personally, I thought she looked like
Rosie from the Jetsons.)
Others are having fun with it. I do see people taking pictures,
and Rosie gets dressed up from time to time. Look for a Gonzaga
jersey this next basketball season, I’m told.
In Everett they’ve got a new wrinkle on the concept
of public art. The city paid $350 for eight old pianos and
commissioned artists to paint them. For a few weeks they’ll be out
on the street for anyone to play. From the story:
Street Tunes was modeled after another art project, “Play Me —
I’m Yours” by artist Luke Jerram. That project has featured pianos
in public places in cities including New York and London. The
pianos in Everett are planned to be on the streets through Aug.
At the end of the event, Aug. 25, the pianos will either be
auctioned, with the money going to the city’s general fund, or
they’ll be put on ice until next year, when the event would happen
Is this something we should do? Should we encourage our artsy
types to splatter some paint on some old uprights and put them in
downtown Bremerton for a while, or Poulsbo? (Bainbridge Island
would probably not stand for such clutter, though it might add to
the city’s reserves.) Port Orchard might prefer calliopes.
As I write this I’m listening to Dori
Monson talk to Anne Bremner, a Seattle
attorney who finds herself on television and radio a lot, about the
accusation that Al Gore tried to get frisky with a massage
I’ll admit I’ve read the reports. I’m no expert and
it’s probably in my best interest to keep my opinions to myself.
Those opinions are not very conclusive anyway.
So I go to you experts and ask, do you think there is anything
to this accusation?
Bremner, by the way, is being very measured about this. There
are reasons to doubt her story and reasons to believe it.
At Costco’s gas station today I saw a vehicle with a bumper
sticker reading, “I’m not Republican.”
The only other context I have for you is it was on a minivan.
The two people in the van looked to be in their 50s or so. A woman
behind them called out that she liked their sign.
Why? What is this bumper sticker saying? Is this a left-leaning
couple needing to make one point, or is it a Tea Party couple
needing to make another?
For a little more context, I didn’t see the sticker until we
were all in our vehicles and leaving. I would have loved to ask
what the sticker meant, but that might have involved serious
James M. Olsen of
Bainbridge Island, shared this photo and a letter he sent to the
editor thanking Kitsap Mall for its Memorial Day display. He
describes it as “above and beyond the usual merchandised treatment
of Memorial Day.” I agree.
Even as we question whether winter has officially overstayed its
welcome, I am certain that especially in this area we generally
don’t forget why we have the day off, or get paid more for working
it. Here’s Olsen’s letter.
The Kitsap Mall showcase of Service Men & Women Past and
Present (on display at the Center Court) is a moving and dignified
tribute to our nation’s veterans on this special weekend.
Laid out on long decorated tables are acrylic display frames with
hundreds of photographs and identifying information. As I
examined each photograph, vividly alive were the images of veterans
from WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, First Gulf War, Iraq, and
Afghanistan. These veterans are the fathers, mothers,
brothers, sisters, aunts, and uncles of all of us Particular
heart-wrenching are the photographs of those killed in
action. The photos represent the military services of USMC,
US Army, US Navy, US Coast Guard, and US Air Force.
My sincere thanks to the management of Kitsap Mall for this very
special commemoration that is clearly above and beyond the usual
merchandised treatment of Memorial Day. And kudos to Angie
Pomeroy who coordinated this display with the public.
Things are getting hairy at the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s
Today I went there to interview a dog, specifically a
two-year-old yellow lab who is the county’s new canine courthouse
companion (my story will run Friday, barring unforeseen
Such animals have been found useful in diffusing tension in
courtrooms and other settings of the criminal justice system,
especially when children must testify about crimes they have
witnessed or experienced.
Courthouse dogs are already at work in King, Snohomish and
Skagit counties. According to the the website Courthouse dogs, “Since 2003
courthouse dogs have provided comfort to children who have been
sexually abused while they undergo forensic interviews and testify
in court. The dogs also assist drug court participants in their
recovery, visit juveniles in detention facilities, greet jurors and
in general lift the spirits of courthouse staff who often conduct
their business in an adversarial setting.”
Now before you go getting all upset about frivolous county
expenditures, know that Kerris (that’s her name) was presented to
the county courtesy of Canine Companions for Independence. And it’s
no small gift, because these highly trained dogs cost CCI $20,000
Let me just say this. If Kerris ever runs for office, she has my
Speaking of animals at the courthouse, have you notice the
assorted bunnies roaming around the parking lot behind the jail?
They are always there, but hardly ever the same ones. Feral rabbits
no doubt. But, I mean, why the courthouse?
Which leads to another question … if elephants are Republican
and donkeys are Democrat, to what party do the rabbits belong? I’m
thinking they’re Socialists.
And while we’re at it, what is with the donkey and the elephant
According to the Democratic
Party website, “when Andrew Jackson ran for president in 1828,
his opponents tried to label him a “jackass” for his populist views
and his slogan, “Let the people rule.” Jackson, however, picked up
on their name calling and turned it to his own advantage by using
the donkey on his campaign posters. During his presidency, the
donkey was used to represent Jackson’s stubbornness when he vetoed
re-chartering the National Bank.”
this website, cartoonist Thomas Nast later used the Democratic
donkey in newspaper cartoons and made the symbol famous. “Nast
invented another famous symbol—the Republican elephant. In a
cartoon that appeared in Harper’s Weekly in 1874, Nast drew a
donkey clothed in lion’s skin, scaring away all the animals at the
zoo. One of those animals, the elephant, was labeled ‘The
Republican Vote.’ That’s all it took for the elephant to become
associated with the Republican Party.”
The State Department’s Protocol Gift Unit must document every
gift, no matter how small. Data from 2009, Obama’s first year in
the White House, has not yet been compiled. Records show some of
the more offbeat items received by his predecessor, George W. Bush,
include a black Mercedes mountain bike from German Chancellor
Angela Merkel, a shoe shine kit and CD, “Spirit of the Bush,” from
the Governor General of Australia, and the book “1,001 Reasons to
Love America” from the Sultan of Brunei.
Other gifts to Bush that caught my eye: Official Dallas Cowboys
gear from the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia, a bull moose antler
sculpture from the Canadian Prime Minister and 12 bottles of
Georgian dry red wine from His Excellency Mikheil Saakashvili,
President of Georgia, “handled pursuant to Secret Service
State Department gift officials must log the date of the gift,
who it came from and the protocol under which it was accepted. The
standard response is, “Non-acceptance would cause embarrassment to
donor and U.S. Government.”
As it turns out, in some cases, they really shouldn’t have.
According to the blog, the President of Indonesia, thoughtfully,
donated to President George H.W. Bush a Komodo dragon. “Perhaps
worried that the venomous, flesh-eating lizard wouldn’t play nice
with First Dog Millie, Bush donated the dragon, named Naga, to the
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden,” the blog says.
And talk about gifts that may have missed the mark by a hair,
the president of Azerbaijan gave Clinton a carpet that was a
portrait of the president and first lady Hillary Clinton. The
carpet shows the first couple inside a heart-shaped medallion. “I
wanted to convey their lives as one beating heart,” the artist
As a send off for the weekend I thought I’d give you something
to think about other than where you’re going to be taxiing your
youth, avoiding those weeds, ingesting beverages or clearing ground
for that chicken coop you might one day be legally allowed to put
in your backyard in Bremerton.
It’s not that I want you to think about me, because Heaven knows
you’re not on my mind all that much when the little guy asks me
three times where the puzzle piece goes, never satisfied with my
answer. But allow the Kitsap Caucus to offer some appetizers on
What first got me thinking about this was a news piece I read from the
San Francisco Chronicle, detailing how the budget deficit is
growing nearer to crisis proportions. The following, for me, were
the money paragraphs:
Polls show rising public alarm – and public refusal of specific
spending cuts or tax increases required to change course. A Field
Poll last month showed most Californians do not want to cut the
largest parts of the state budget, such as education or
The polling firm Democracy Corps recently warned Democrats that
the deficit now tops unemployment as a voter concern. But it also
found voters “unenthusiastic” about the options to close the
deficit. Voters overwhelmingly prefer spending cuts to tax hikes
but reject cutting specific programs.
P.J. O’Rourke, in the book I just finished reading, “Parliament of Whores,” writes
about 200 pages to explain the reality that appears in the final
sentence of these next two paragraphs, which comes after he writes
about his experience in a very local town hall meeting in which
actual decisions were being made.
Citizens may have hardcore beliefs in the right to do whatever
they want on their property or smoke whatever they want in their
home, until it touches them. That inner granite that was once
bedrock to principled living starts to crack, and pretty soon
they’re using legal means to stop others from doing something that
will introduce a change in their lives that they don’t like, or
will let them change others’ lives in a way that profits them.
Principles get tossed pretty quickly when convenient, or
“Authority has always attracted the lowest elements in the human
race. All through history mankind has been bullied by scum. Those
who lord it over their fellows and toss commands in every direction
and would boss the grass is in the meadow about which way to bend
in the wind are the most depraved kind of prostitutes. They will
submit to any indignity, perform any vile act, do anything to
achieve power. The worst off-sloughings of the planet are the
ingredients of sovereignty. Every government is a parliament of
The trouble is, in a democracy the whores are us.”
His first line is about authority attracting scum, but there is
a quote about absolute power that suggests that authority doesn’t
just attract scum, it creates it. We can point accusing fingers at
the electeds all we want, but often they’re doing what they know we
want, not what we say we want. Sure, they sometimes try to pull
fast ones they hope you won’t notice, but for the most part they
want your approval.
The talk today is all health care reform, which based on the 120
comments I saw last time I saw our story posted everyone
knows about. In the midst of that I thought I’d share the latest
negative ad from California in the governor’s campaign.
There’s a story on it here in the New York Times,
which makes the case that because of YouTube and other sites can be
made pretty cheaply, if you consider $30,000 cheap. If you can make
an ad and get it to go viral, you can score. I think I’m going to
make a stick figure cartoon and try to get it to go viral. Any
ideas what I should promote?
Today we had a story about Joe Azevedo’s
flag atop the Fir tree. I suspected some might quibble with the
proper etiquette being displayed, because the flag does not come
down until Joe goes up and puts up a new one. According to the
VFW’s primer on flag protocol,
it should have a light.
This is really important to some of our readers, including a man
who called me this morning to say that he appreciates what Azevedo
is doing, but there are many like him who break protocol without
My question is if Jack Hamilton can get away with wearing this
shirt, shouldn’t we cut Joe a little slack?
If this blog has seemed inconsistent in delivering political
material as of late, it’s largely because I have been immersed in a
project story that will be out within a couple of weeks. When it
comes out I’ll share how and why the project came about. For now
I’ll tell you that it has to do with how people make major
transformations or conversions in their lives.
Oddly enough there’s little, if any, political material in the
piece, though when I started I thought there might be. There are
pundits and politicians who migrate from one party or philosophy to
another. Though I don’t really address it in the story, I think I
might understand a little more how it happens. The conversions I’m
dealing with are mostly the sudden kind, which I don’t think often
happens in politics.
That said, 25 years ago when I worked as an intern in
Washington, D.C. I became convinced that many of the unelected
people on Capitol Hill working for elected people were mercenary. I
also believed that few people in Washington cared about solving
problems, it was more about winning. From my perspective, it’s way
You see above in the Kitsap Reader a Washington Post piece by
Joel Achenbach called “The
audacity of nope.” The piece opens with this:
“The state of the union is obstreperous. Dyspepsia is the new
equilibrium. All the passion in American politics is oppositional.
The American people know what they don’t like, which is:
That sounds like nihilism, but they’re against that, too.”
My heavens, the piece is depressing, more so because it’s
accurate, much more than it was when I was an observant intern in
Senator Wilson’s office.
For me it makes sense now that there is an absence of political
transformation in my story about conversion. When you get to
thinking that Americans will be disapproving of whoever gets
elected; and disapproving of the talking heads that discuss the
politicians; and you recognize that your e-mail Inbox was once
filled with calls for regime change in Washington instead of Iraq,
but that now your Facebook page is filled with messages of calls to
hand our leaders over to Haiti; you kind of wonder if changes in
the political world really matter. The same people are yelling.
They’ve just exchanged arguments. Well, the tone of them
I might feel differently tomorrow if I sleep better tonight.