Thursday, May 31, 2007

Iraq Occupation Protest in Bellingham

Evan Knappenberger an Iraqi War vet has gotten a permit to put up a watch tower in front of the Federal building in Bellingham, WA., from June 1 to June 7. He will be standing guard for a week, day and night, to draw attention to the US Military's STOP-LOSS and Inactive Reserve policies which are essentially a substitute for conscription in a political war.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Whatcom County Elections

'08 Presidential Candidates... blah, blah blah.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch: there are County and Municipal elections this year. Whatcom county has a long list of offices up for election in 2007. Filing week begins at 8:30 a.m., Monday June 4 and closes at 4:30 p.m. Friday, June 8.

So far it looks like the big race of the year will be for Mayor of Bellingham, with six candidates:
Seth Fleetwood - Bill Gorman - Don Keenan - Dan McShane - Dan Pike - Bob Ryan -
Four of the candidates have already asked local Democrats to support them.

The other race that might produce some excitement is for Mayor of Ferndale. It looks like the embattled Mayor Jerry Landcastle will face a challenge from city councilman Gary Jensen. An article in Wednesdays Bellingham Herald (E-mails show Ferndale didn’t follow permit procedures) isn't going to make it any easier for Landcastle to get re-elected.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

we will follow himm...........

i'm sure Montana will too.....sounds neighbor Michael has returned to Colorado recently.....something drew him back......

anyway, i look forward to working with David and many other amazing people to get this UNITED states back....good luck to David and Emily and Monty!

Moving to Denver
Some personal news in my neck of the woods that I wanted to share with readers: My wife Emily, my dog Monty and I will be moving to Denver, Colorado from Helena, Montana in about 2-3 weeks. I’m simultaneously bummed about leaving Montana, but psyched to be staying in the Great American West and to be going to such a great city.

Congressman Larsen explains

Although I can usually find something good to say about Larsen, his lack of communication with his constituents is very frustrating. There's nothing about the Iraq Occupation 'emergency' funding vote on the Congressman website. That was a big deal vote and I don't understand why Larsen didn't have a statement, up on his website and sent out as a press release, to explain his reasons for voting for H.R. 2206.

Scott Ayers, opinion page editor at The Bellingham Herald, has gotten a statement out of Congressman Rick Larsen - D (WA-02).
Congressman Larsen explains his position on Iraq

May 29

One of the goals of my blog is to ask questions of elected officials that citizens want answered. We have received many letters and e-mails in recent weeks questioning U.S. Rep Rick Larsen's stance on Iraq and on funding for the war.

The following is his response to those questions:

If you have questions for any local, state or national elected leader, let me know and I'll get an answer for you.

Larsen: "The American people have been pushed to the brink of exhaustion by the war in Iraq. Every day I hear from constituents who are fed up with President Bush's policies. Although we don't always agree on the best way to change course, I share your frustration and I will keep pushing for a new direction.

During the last election, Democrats told the American people that we would fight for a new direction in Iraq. That is exactly what we have done. With President Bush in control of the White House, and Democrats holding less than a two-thirds majority in Congress, changing our direction in Iraq will not happen overnight. But together with my Democratic colleagues, I will keep holding the President accountable for his policies in Iraq. And together, we will deliver the new direction the American people have demanded.

Prior to January, I believed that the United States should remain in Iraq until our military had completed the training of Iraqi military forces. Since then, I have called for the unconditional partial withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq to end our military involvement in Iraq's civil war and refocus our efforts on fighting terrorists. I believe that we need to hold the President accountable for a new direction, and I believe that we need to provide our men and women in the field with the resources they need to do their jobs. I have always supported legislation to fund our Armed Forces and those who serve.

I have voted several times this year to hold the President accountable and change our course in Iraq. I voted for the Iraq Accountability Act (H.R.1591) to end our involvement in Iraq's civil war and re-focus our efforts on fighting and killing terrorists. I voted for McGovern amendment (H.R. 2237), which sets a timeline for the redeployment of U.S. Armed Forces while keeping some troops in Iraq to protect U.S. diplomatic missions, protect American citizens, fight terrorists and train Iraqi security forces. I voted for the second Iraq Accountability Act (H.R. 2206) to fully fund our troops for a limited amount of time and hold the President accountable for his own benchmarks in Iraq. All of these bills either failed to pass the Senate or were vetoed by the President.

Last week, I voted to pass an emergency supplemental bill (H.R. 2206) that fully funds our troops and requires that the President report to Congress on his progress in Iraq so we can continue holding him accountable. This bill is not perfect. The benchmarks it includes are weaker than the ones I would have chosen. But it does not give the President a blank check. And make no mistake: this is only the beginning of our work holding the President accountable for a new direction."

open letter to those who represent(?) me..........

Senator Patty Murray
Senator Maria Cantwell

Representative Rick Larsen

I have been struggling to comprehend your recent vote to spend more of our precious treasure to continue this illegal immoral occupation of an innocent people who did not threaten our allies, their neighbors, or us.


There is no excuse to participate in prolonging this one day longer. We should not draw down to the 14 permanent bases in time for the republicans to declare victory next summer. And what does victory look like?? Production sharing agreements???
Shame shame shame...

We should leave now! The military and the private contractors should all leave. We are sacrificing our human treasure and our descendants will be paying the debt for years to come. And what we have done to the Iraqi people is beyond comprehension. War crimes! The Bush Administration must not be allowed to continue the occupation of Iraq. We must say no to these bullies with weapons and a cash flow.
Shame shame shame...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Bellingham - Immigration Reform Vigil

This report is from Rosalinda Guillen, Executive Director of Community to Community (C2C). Community to Community Development is a place-based, grassroots organization committed to creating alliances in order to strengthen local and global movements towards social, economic and environmental justice.
Aline Soundy hands out flyers and speaks with a Bellingham resident about the current immigration reform bill


On May 22nd Community to Communtiy Leaders joined Hate Free Zone and Washington CAN on a 24hr. fast and vigil to call awarenes to the debate taking place in Congress on a bill to reform our nation's immigration laws. Pramila Jayapal and Maru Villalpando in Seattle, Aline Soundy, David Cahn and I in Bellingham fasted and held this vigil for 24hrs in front of the Federal buildings.

We strongly believe that this compromise is flawed, for many reasons and needs some serious amendments to it, as you can see by the article below other folks agree with us though for very different reasons. I would like to report that we printed 300 flyers and ran out by 11am Wednesday morning, we spoke with over 400 interested passersby, some did not want to take a flyer, most listened politely, agreed or disagreed , a few were very rude and vociferous and anti-immigrants in general. We were on the corner pictured above from noon Tuesday until noon Wednesday. We were joined on both days by many friends as the day waned and nightfall swept in, Catherine Chambers, Cayla Casciani, Joseph Moore, John McGarrity, Marie Marchand,Ellen Murphy, Adam, Sean Hoppsand others. Nancy Ging, Funke Olise were two that stayed with us through the night.

Together we witnessed downtown Bellingham at night and enjoyed the visits from the young homeless folk that inspired us to continue our social justice work when they insisted on giving to our efforts from the very little they have, because they still believe we should all care about each other and that our country is on a very bad direction. One said as he gave us his blanket"It's sad that after only 200 years we are already in moral decline, it took Rome a lot longer" Once again we must remember that we are all connected and will be impacted in one way or another by whatever immigration reform bill passes. How can we possibly live with the shame of not speaking out against a bill that provides funding for detaining 27,500 people a day on an annual basis.

Finally and happily I want to say that overwhelmingly folks were very supportive of a just and fair immigration reform, supportive of immigrants and their families documented and otherwise, understood our issues with the current bill and committed to call Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell as well as Representative Rick Larsen and ask them to slow down, do not vote on this bill yet and get more input from folks in the Districts. The information from the Yakima Herald article also shows that most people recognize this bill as it is written is not the answer to immigration law reform.

Maybe this time they will live up to their leadership and do the right thing, though their current votes on the Iraq war funding bills does not give us much hope. We will continue to build community in Whatcom County and for us at C2C we will do the right thing at home, regardless of what Congress decides.

- Rosalinda Guillen -

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Are WE Smart Enough to Elect Bill Richardson?

The Vice-Chair of the Whatcom Democrats and I went down to Seattle on Thursday to see Gov. Bill Richardson. We listened to his stump speech along with about a hundred other Democrats from around the state.

Seattle Times chief political reporter David Postman covered his speech on his "Postman on Politics" blog.

There were articles about Gov. Richardsons visit in the Seattle Times, the Seattle PI, the Tacoma News Tribune, and a condensed little AP piece up here in the Bellingham Herald .

A little later in the afternoon, a few of us bloggers had the chance to talk to Gov. Richardson for about half hour. The others have written about it here, here, here, here and here.

I've mulled over what Richardson laid out in his speech and how he answered our one on one questions. I went back and reviewed meeting with him last July . What came across to me was that he's honest and thoughtful, no inflexible talking points, no canned answers, no triangulating. The guy I talked to last Thursday was the same guy I talked to last July; there's been no a focus-group driven make-overs. He's a politician to be sure, but he's no phony.

He's able to confidently talk about the full range of national and international issues because he has full spectrum political experience... and he has a sense of humor:

Check out his website and see if you don't agree that he's got the experience and the right kind of policies to be the next President.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Iraq bill; The Math Doesn't Work!

More Math-tarded crap from the Whitehouse:
... White House spokesman Tony Fratto noted that it came 109 days after Bush sent his emergency spending request to Congress. ...
So What the hell is Tony (obviously a career criminal) Fratto trying to get at? Even with Bush's veto of the first spending bill, the Democratic majority in Congress got his emergency (kill more of our troops to protect his ego) funding to him ten days faster than last years Republican majority did. Our Democrats in Congress might disappoint us when they do a centrist "New Democrat" wimp-out, but they can't be said to drag their feet about it.

At least they get a gold star for punctuality

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Minutemen Meltdown - WA Chapter Kicked Out

BREAKING NEWS: Dissenting officials kicked out of Minuteman Civil Defense Corps

By Jonathan Clark

Published on Wednesday, May 23, 2007

BISBEE — At least two state-level officers of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps have been expelled from the civilian border-watch group after raising questions about its executive leadership, particularly that of MCDC President Chris Simcox.

According to internal documents that surfaced on the Internet this week, 18 state MCDC leaders sent a memo on May 8 to Simcox, Vice President Carmen Mercer and Executive Director Al Garza asking them to attend a meeting in Phoenix to address perceived problems, including a lack of financial accountability and Simcox’s leadership style. In a memo dated May 14, Simcox responded by denouncing the meeting as unauthorized and informing the 18 signers that their membership in the Minutemen organization would be terminated if they attended the meeting. ...(article)

On Simcox list of members to be terminated are: Hal Washburn, WA Ops Director & Claud Lebas, WA Chapter Director. With those two kicked out, that pretty much wipes out the membership of the Washington State Chapter.

So far the Washington State Minutemen website has nothing to say on the subject.

However, the Southern Poverty Law Center has some analysis and Mark Potok director of SPLC's Intelligence Project summed up what Simcox Minutemen was really about.
... The infighting has delighted some of Simcox’s critics outside of the MCDC, including the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center, which responded to the expulsions Wednesday with an article posted to its Web site titled: “House of cards: Chris Simcox’s Minuteman group, the country’s largest civilian border patrol, may be collapsing.”

The story is accessed via a link reading “extremist Minuteman group implodes.”

From the outside, the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps always looked like a fundraising racket,” Mark Potok, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project, told the Herald/Review. “Apparently, it looks that way from the inside, too.” ...(article) [my emphasis added]
I just wonder what hurts our local border vigilantes more; that they've been kicked out of the MCDC - or - that the whole thing was always a racket and they were the suckers.

Monday, May 21, 2007

DFA Endorses Impeaching Gonzales

- Democracy for America endorses the petition to the House Judiciary Committee to impeach US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Watch the video and then

go sign the petition.


Maybe we could show a court this video

and have Gonzales removed for Mental Incompetence

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Howard Dean on the Colbert Report

DNC Chairman Howard Dean appeared on The Colbert Report

In his intro, Stephen said: "Here's how divided our country is; he screams until he's blue in the face, I scream until I'm red."

Friday, May 18, 2007

open letter to Rep. Rick Larsen......

thanks to Debi for this......

Dear Rep. Larsen and Staff...

Costa Rican President says no more students will be sent to School of the Americas. Read SOAWatch news below. SOAWatch staff boldly met with several Latin American presidents over the past two years to have them commit to no longer send troops to Ft. Benning, GA-based SOA.Is your representative a co-sponsor to close the SOA? Check to see at YOU ARE IN THE 2ND CD, YOU CAN HELP. Rep. Rick Larsen is not on the co-sponsorship list as he has been in the past. Please call Rep. Rick Larsen's DC office at (202) 225-2605 or his Bellingham office (360) 733-4500 and ask Rick to co-sponsor HR 1707 TO CLOSE THE SOA.

stop this criminal madness!!!!!

please sign on to co-sponsor and advocate for it .....thanks.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Big Send Off for Falwell

I've notice a lot of finger wagging coming from the right-wing whinosphere. They're just ecstatic because the comment threads on some liberal websites have contained some unkind comments about the recently deceased Jerry Falwell. They seem to think that somehow proves something. There's much clucking about incivility and meanness with no apparent recognition of the incongruity of defending Falwell, who shortly after the 9/11 attack said; "the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians -- who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle -- the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'"

But the chicken-scratching from the wing-nut blogs just can't compete. This news item supplied me with 100% of the recommended daily dose of irony.
Protesters skip soldier's funeral for Falwell's
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

He died two days ago, but in a bizarre twist of fate, the Rev. Jerry Falwell provided a final bit of heavenly solace to the friends and family of fallen soldier Anthony Bradshaw on Wednesday.

Many in New Braunfels had braced for a protest at Bradshaw's funeral by members of Westboro Baptist Church. The Topeka, Kan., church has drawn widespread scorn for staging anti-homosexuality demonstrations at fallen soldiers' funerals. ...

... But the protesters were a no-show in New Braunfels on Wednesday because they chose to travel to Virginia in preparation for demonstrating at Falwell's funeral, said member Shirley Phelps-Roper, who is also an attorney for the church.

"There are dead soldiers everywhere," Phelps-Roper said. "You don't have a very high-profile, cowardly, lying false prophet like Falwell dying every day."

Phelps-Roper said the group plans to demonstrate at Falwell's service because members believe he was never harsh enough in his declarations that homosexuality was the source of America's problems. ... (Star-Telegram)

Addendum: I just noticed a post by Rick Perlstein that points out another wing-nut critic of the recently deceased Falwell.

Although she begins her column with some faint praise, it seems Ann Coulter agrees with the Phelps clans opinion that Jerry Falwell was insufficiently malevolent:

Actually, there was one small item I think Falwell got wrong regarding his statement after 9/11 that "the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians -- who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle -- the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'"

First of all, I disagreed with that statement because Falwell neglected to specifically include Teddy Kennedy and "the Reverend" Barry Lynn.

Second, Falwell later stressed that he blamed the terrorists most of all, but I think that clarification was unnecessary. The necessary clarification was to note that God was at least protecting America enough not to allow the terrorists to strike when a Democrat was in the White House.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

free(dom)trade is on the march............

open letter to my representatives.......

Senator Patty Murray
Senator Maria Cantwell

Representative Rick Larsen

Regarding the recent trade dealing:

I hope all the secrecy and handshaking’ behind closed doors will be stopped. We need to abandon free trade and move to fair trade. Throw out the trade deals and go back to tariffs. Much will need to change in the near future for all the people of the world if we are to survive. We need to be producing here. We will need to work with all the people of earth to share the dwindling resources. We will have to stop being pigs. We are 4-6% of the world’s population using 25% of the world’s resources in a world of dwindling resources . We can change how we think about enough and try to make it less painful or we can continue on the way we are probably ensure no one survives.


until we are willing to look at our behavior in the world honestly it will be hard to make the changes we need to. i hope we will be the best we can be.

recommended viewing.....

The Power of Community

Crude Impact

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Bellingham Mayoral candidate forum

We had the opportunity to hear from the 4 Democratic Mayoral candidates at a forum presented by Whatcom County Democrats last week. All 4 candidates were very well spoken and have great ideas for the future. Bellingham would be very well served if any of these candidates became the next Mayor.

Dan Pike

Dan McShane

Don Keenan

Seth Fleetwood

Friday, May 11, 2007

Bill Richardson's New Ads

I get a real kick out of these ads, especially the first one.

Bill Richardson's New Ads: Job Interview and Tell Me

Let him know what you think

Pelosi Comes Out for Fair Trade

A Very hopeful sign from the Capitol.
Pelosi Statement on New Trade Policy Recognizing International Labor and Environmental Standards
Washington, D.C. -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel,
Bush Administration officials, and bipartisan House and Senate leaders held a news conference this evening in the Capitol to announce a new bipartisan trade policy that incorporates internationally recognized labor and environmental standards in U.S. free trade agreements. Below are Pelosi’s opening remarks and attached is a fact sheet on the new trade policy: (read more)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Iraqi Lawmakers ask for Timetable

(AP) U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq at 3,383
Majority of Iraqi lawmakers call for timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops, lawmaker says

May 10, 2007
7:58 AM

(Baghdad-AP) _ A majority of Iraqi lawmakers have endorsed a bill calling for a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops and demanding a freeze on the number of foreign troops already in the country, lawmakers said Thursday.

The legislation was being debated even as U.S. lawmakers were locked in a dispute with the White House over their call to start reducing the size of the U.S. force here in the coming months.

The Iraqi bill, drafted by a parliamentary bloc loyal to anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, was signed by 144 members of the 275-member house, according to Nassar al-Rubaie, the leader of the Sadrist bloc. ...(more)
Since the Iraqi parliament seldom gets anything done, it's highly significant that they've managed to put together a majority to ask for a timetable for U.S. troops to withdraw.

What will the Bush administration do? They went on and on about Iraqi elections and creating a democracy in Iraq; so now, will they honor the will of the Iraqi parliaments?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Democratic PCO's meet with Rick Larsen

our day was very productive(a PCO training) thanks Natalie and Carole (for volunteering to have both arms twisted0. i think we are on the way to building an even better party here in Whatcom County.
we had a lively discussion with Rep. Rick Larsen

Rick and Brooke were very organized and
ready to hear what we had to say.Rick answered our questions very candidly and i felt he really wanted to hear what we had to say. and i felt we were heard.

it was a very positive and productive day!!!!

thanks, everybody!

Bellingham Mayoral candidates face off.....

i managed to be there for half and it was great to hear the candidates answer will be an exciting political season in Bellingham this year.....

and from the new
Northern Neighbors website....
Forum Information for Mayoral Candidates
Forum Responses - Answers to Questions
Forum Responses by Question

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Whatcom County Cow Powered Car

Yes, we have Moo-vers and shakers way up here in Whatcom County.
Lynden cows fuel WWU vehicle

Calvin Bratt

The cows of a Lynden dairy farm helped a Western Washington University experimental car

LYNDEN -- The cows of a Lynden dairy farm helped a Western Washington University experimental car win a $75,000 research award in a national contest in Washington, D.C., last week.
  Methane gas from the farm of Darryl Vander Haak powered a hybrid vehicle that was entered in the People, Prosperity and the Planet competition of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  The Viking 32 vehicle, using refined and compressed bio-methane from 17 cows per day, can obtain up to 50 miles per gallon and travel up to 400 miles per day, according to its developers. ...(more)

Friday, May 04, 2007

Republican Law and Disorder


In the House of Representatives, the people are represented by two separate and fundamentally different parties. The Democrats -- with a New Direction for America -- and the Republicans -- whose business is corruption.

These are their stories.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Commander Guy?

Today is: Where's Osama, day 2060

Bush's Iraq War
U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD: 3352
Latest Coalition Fatality: May 03, 2007

As of February 3rd, 2007

Juan Cole has a news flash for the ill informed.
"Note to Bush and Edwards:
On How there is not Really any al-Qaeda in Iraq"

Gallup Poll. April 23-26, 2007.

"Still thinking about Iraq -- If you had to choose, which would you favor: the U.S. setting a timetable for removing its troops from Iraq and sticking to that timetable regardless of what is happening in Iraq, or the U.S. keeping troops in Iraq as long as necessary to secure the country, even if that takes many more years?"

Setting a Timetable for Removing Troops - 57%

Keeping Troops As Long as Necessary - 39%

Unsure - 3%

Ferndale/Blaine Area - E. coli in Drinking Water

BREAKING NEWS May. 3, 2007

Boil water order issued for near Ferndale, Blaine
E. coli found in Bell Bay Jackson water



Customers of the the Bell Bay Jackson Water Association between Ferndale and Blaine should boil all drinking water until futher notice, after officials discovered E. coli in the water supply.

Water used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation should be boiled for three to five minutes before use. The bacteria’s presence is an indication that human or animal waste has made it into the water.

Officials don’t know what caused the contamination, but they will re-seal a water tank to correct the problem, according to the water association.

Officials anticipate the problem will be fixed by Friday, but people should boil water until the water association notifies them it’s OK to drink without boiling.

For more information, call 366-3967.

If you read that and now you're wondering 'how could that happen' here in America, you might be interested in reading something about why our infrastructure is crumbling = That Sinking Feeling

You can't veto the truth

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Bellingham's Immigrant Solidarity March

150 rally for immigration reform
Local protest finds support, opposition


BELLINGHAM — About 150 people marched through the city Tuesday, waving U.S. and Mexican flags and chanting slogans in English and Spanish calling for a better deal for immigrant workers. ...

... Before they began their march to the Whatcom County Courthouse at about 1 p.m., they got a sendoff from Mayor Tim Douglas.

“I salute you for having the energy to stand up, be seen and be respected,” Douglas said.

Saying waves of immigration have always been part of American history, Douglas said he supported federal legislation to create a more workable immigration policy. ...

... In front of the Whatcom County Courthouse, Bellingham City Council member Terry Bornemann offered support.

“It is the new immigrants who always remind us of the importance of hard work,” Bornemann said. “New immigration brings new energy.”

The group then marched back to Cornwall Park for a potluck fiesta.

The event was sponsored by Community to Community Development, the Whatcom County Human Rights Task Force and Whatcom County Democrats.
I walked yesterday as a Legal Observer and I counted at least 250 people. Over at, Carl seems to have counted the same sort of numbers.

The fearmongers prattle on about 'amnesty' and 'open borders', but fair treatment and simple justice for immigrants are really what people were marching for. Inform yourself; read about what some of the problems really are.

Here's a few pictures I snapped.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Washington State Democrats come to Bellingham

last weekend started with a dinner honoring Karen Marchioro

thanks Whatcom County Democratic Women's Club for a fantastic evening!!!!!!

the dinner was packed and we sure had a wonderful time..

it was a thrill to be there and see Karen honored

Senator Spanel watches State Senator Eric Oemig discuss his Impeachment Bill Washington State Senate JM 8016.

he spoke at an event sponsored by the Progressive Caucus: Impeachment and other just desserts. thanks to all who put this together.

the Democrat's got down to business the next day and it was fun to be a part of the day.