Archive for Washington – Page 2

Two fifth-graders conspired to murder a "really annoying" girl; a knife, semiautomatic gun found in backpack

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what is happening

Honestly, it's getting harder and harder to know if these horrifying stories are new or updates of recent ones. There are so many, it's as if a mushroom cloud-sized explosion of gun scares and/or massacres has occurred, or maybe we're just seeing more reported. Either way, it's scary as hell, and insanely unhealthy both mentally and of course, physically.

My jaw is dislocated from all the dropping. I'm in tears. I'm enraged. I'm appalled. I feel helpless. I'm confused. I'm determined. I'm re-energized. Why do gun zealots not see what most of America sees? Why is common sense gun safety legislation such a threat? (rhetorical)

A slippery slope, the gun huggers call it, because next thing you know, Big Guvmint will take ALL their guns! What about the slippery slope we are now experiencing, right now, right this minute? The one that leads to more mass murders, more senseless deaths, more children dying. What about that slippery slope?

The latest incident occurred in the state of Washington where two fifth graders may face charges after school authorities found a knife and a gun in a student's backpack.

The student who owned the backpack is ten years old.

Ten years old.

L.A. Times:

School authorities said two fifth-grade boys planned to use the weapons to lure another student outside the school and kill her "because she was really annoying."

That's right, two boys (the other was eleven years old) wanted to murder a classmate because she was, in their opinion, annoying. They also targeted six others.

And to make matters even worse, they promised to pay $80 to a student if he promised not to tell anyone about their plot.

Had a fourth-grader not told a teacher he had seen the 11-year-old with a knife, who knows what might have happened?

Here's what was found in the backpack: The knife, which had a 3¼-inch blade, a .45-caliber Remington 1911 semiautomatic handgun, and an ammunition clip.

A semiautomatic handgun.

Here's what the 11-year-old had to say:

"I was going to kill her with the knife and [the other boy] was supposed to use the gun to keep anyone from trying to stop me or mess up our plan."

What were their parents teaching these kids? Why were weapons like these even accessible to them? Why did they think murdering someone was the answer? Why weren't they taught that words should be used to solve personal problems, not violence?

The older boy said he had been friends with the girl for several months "but that he hated her now." He said the girl "had recently become rude and would pick on him."

The obvious solution: End her young life.

Thankfully, the school had been promoting a program that encouraged students to report anything suspicious, which is exactly what happened. Thankfully, a child made the decision to step forward and report the suspicious thing.

And thankfully, School Supt. Mike Cashion said this when asked about arming teachers:

"I told them [the legislature] I can't imagine a teacher taking a gun out, leveling it at a fifth-grader and killing them," he said. "It's the antithesis of what we are."

If only murder and gun adoration were the antithesis of what way too many of us are.

More details at the link.

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What marriage equality looks like: "You know, we woke up and we realized, we don’t have to rush."

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Via the L.A. Times:

Vicky Dalton, the Spokane County auditor who headed the statewide marriage licensing effort, said the turnout Thursday for same-sex marriage licenses in Spokane County was lighter than she expected.

So she asked a question to a newly reassured, very heartened gay man: Why didn't you rush to get a marriage license now that you have the legal green light?

Best Answer Ever:

"They said, ‘I thought you guys would have been one of the first,'" she recalled, "and he said, 'You know, we woke up and we realized, we don’t have to rush. We don’t have to worry. This is not going away. We can get a marriage license wherever we want now.'

"There’s no rush, nobody has to get down here immediately," Dalton repeated to herself. "That was probably one of the most powerful moments of the day for me."

Or to put it another way, progress.

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How to make GOP heads explode in 3 headlines

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New Jersey Senate Approves Marriage Equality: Gov. Chris Christie (R) has promised a veto.

Washington Governor Signs Same-Sex Marriage Bill: Gov. Chris Gregoire (D-WA) was visibly emotional as she signed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington...

Appeals court rules California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional

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VIDEO: Tear-inducing testimony from Washington state's marriage equality hearing

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Via Buzzfeed.

"You know, I was married for 23 years to the love of my life and he died 6 years ago. I think of all the wonderful years we had and the wonderful fringe benefits of having 3 beautiful children. I don’t miss the sex, and to me that’s kind of what this boils down to. I don’t miss that… I mean I certainly miss it, but it’s certainly not the aspect of that relationship, that incredible bond I had with that human being, that I really really genuinely wish I still had. And so I just think to myself: how could I deny anyone the right to have that incredible bond with another individual in life. To me it seems almost cruel."

"And someone made the comment that this is not about equality. Well yes it is about equality. And why in the world would be not allow those equal rights for individuals who are truly committed to one another in life to be able to show that in the way of a marriage. My daughter came out of the closet a couple of years ago and you know what I thought I was going to agonize about that. Nothing’s different."

But the very last part was the best, IMHO. Watch all the way to the end.

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Washington legislature has enough votes to legalize same-sex marriage

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Look who's joining New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia:

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- As lawmakers held their first public hearing on gay marriage, a Democratic senator on Monday announced her support for the measure, all but ensuring that Washington will become the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage. [...]

However opponents have already said they would challenge any new law with a public referendum. ... Gay marriage foes wore buttons that said "Marriage. One Man. One Woman."

The buttons should have added, "... at a time." See: Gingrich, Newton Leroy.

When asked how they would vote if a referendum challenging a gay marriage law was on the ballot, 55 percent said they would vote yes to uphold the law, with 47 percent of them characterized as "strongly" yes, and 38 percent responded "no," that they would vote to reject a gay marriage law.

Keep up with the times, marriage equality opponents. More than half of all Americans believe that marriages between gay or lesbian couples should be legally valid.

If loving someone is wrong, I don't wanna be far right.

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VIDEO: The tale of the underreported union uprising

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Bill Wagner / The Daily News Law enforcement personnel wrestle ILWU Local 21 longshoreman Kelly Muller to the ground as they arrest protesters and try to clear the tracks so a Burlington Northern-Santa Fe grain train can pull into the EGT grain terminal at the Port of Longview.

Via.

Aug. 29, 2011: This video shows an unidentified driver plowing into two union demonstrators at the EGT terminal site in Longview. The car appears to speed up as it plows into two of the workers. One of the workers is pushed several feet as the car continues moving, and the driver doesn't even slow down.

One of our favorite readers, Blondetwit, sent me an email detailing a situation in her area that isn't getting any national media exposure (surprise!). Since she is familiar with the story, I'm happy to let her tell you in her own words what's been going on in her neck of the woods. Bolding is mine:

I wanted to let you know about something that's been brewing for a while now, yet there's no national coverage at all - strikes me as really odd. We have a union uprising, one significant enough that today ports from B.C. To Long Beach, CA shut down operations for 15 minutes in solidarity for the union - yet, no coverage.

I live in Cowlitz County, WA, an hour north of Portland, OR, two hours south of Seattle, WA. We are on the Columbia River, home to several port cities, of which Longview, WA is one. Longview is in Cowlitz County, and we have a progressive port that exports grain, timber and the like, as well as importing materials, including the huge wind turbines that ultimately end up in wind farms.

A multi-national conglomerate, EGT leased property from the port for exporting grain, with the specific agreement (as usual) to use only local longshore union workers. In our case, International Longshore Worker's Union Local 21 (ILWU). When it came time to open operations, EGT refused to us union labor. One thing led to another, and they decided to go ahead and use union labor, but instead of the local union, they sought out a Portland union, Operating Engineers. That union has actually crossed picket lines.

There's been allegations of police brutality and support for EGT, as the local Cowlitz County Sheriffs have seemingly been harsh on the union and ignored union pleas to deal with assaults, etc., on behalf of EGT employees. There's even video proof of one allegation of an employee striking, with his vehicle, 3 protesters - a hit and run. Since it's been up on Youtube, the sheriffs department has been forced to deal with that one. [Laffy Note: The video is the one I posted above]

This morning there's even a filing of recall of the Sheriff, and allegations of civil rights abuses.

Another interesting point is that the port itself, after numerous arrests, sent their attorney to the local prosecutor's office, asking that all charges against the protesters be dropped. The prosecutor has indicated that she won't do that. The prosecutor, Sue Bauer is a Democrat, and has received support from the ILWU in the last election, but has made no bones about her relationship with all things law enforcement, especially the Sheriff's Dept.

Here's a link to virtually everything being reported locally about it - but even that's a bit skewed.

Interestingly, Portland media (which we are tied to thanks to Congress making some stupid decision that we are in the Portland marketing area) has covered it from the perspective of the Operating Engineers, a Portland based shop, covering nothing of what's actually happening here.

Tragically, this community is cracking in half over this mess. I saw a brawl between two older ladies outside the Starbucks yesterday, starting out with them yelling at each other over the union issue. One was apparently a member of the union auxiliary, and the other one was accusing the auxiliary member's husband of being a thug and that they were running off any other businesses that might seek to locate here. If they're of EGT ilk, that's probably a good thing.

If you take some time to review the materials at the link, I think that you'll also start to wonder why there's no national media on this. This is old school stuff. A multi-national corp doing everything they can to break a union, and enlisting another union to them against each other.

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Cartoons of the Day- Washington is broken

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Via.

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