Wally Wonders Why No editor, no publisher, you get what you get

November 15, 2008

All hail Paul Harvey

Filed under: Media Issue — Tags: , , , — wally @ 9:31 am

ode Hold on there; Paul Harvey didn’t get elected so why the hail?  Well why not?  He is the king; the king of looking for the rest of the story.  And darn it where would we be if we’d never heard that melodious phrase “and now here’s the rest of the story.”

When I pick up our paper, It would be helpful if there were  a little Paul Harvey running around the pages shouting out the rest of the story.  Thankfully there is no little gnome, as that would actually be scary, but neither is there, on many occasions,  the “rest of the story.”

Such was the case reading Local Iraq veterans discuss life after war in this mornings paper.  As the title indicates, the article covers a forum at WWU where Iraq veterans discuss life after war.

The veterans, English, Rick Lawson, Ash Woolson and Jared Gardner, discussed difficulties they face in receiving benefits from their service from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or, for some, overcoming post traumatic stress disorder.

Doris Kent, whose son, Jonathan Santos, died in Iraq, and Tiffany Schoessler, whose husband, Adam, is a veteran, discussed what is was like to go through life with a loved one serving in a combat zone.

Listening to those who have served is an invaluable experience and I almost feel it a duty for those of us who haven’t served in the military.  I’ve listened to many a relative’s story of WWII or Vietnam and only on occasion heard the troubling rest of the story.  I’d encourage people to listen intently to anyone who has or is serving; there always seems to be more to a story.

The story of this article is no different; there is a rest of the story.  And as the rest of the story unfolds, I should remind you that nothing past this point was available to the thousands of subscribers who only read the regular paper.

Sam Taylor had more of the story in a blog post which he describes as information coming from a group connected with the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center (WPJC).

Join a discussion with local veterans and those directly affected by the Iraq war, as they share stories of what it means to return after war time. The community is invited to an unbiased, depoliticized discussion around issues of what it means to be a returning soldier in the U.S., current V.A. treatment, and readjusting to civilian lives. This event is co-sponsored by Bellingham GI Sanctuary city, Social Issues Resource Center, Veterans Outreach Center, and Civil Controversy Series.

More towards the rest of the story, Sam has included the list of sponsors when he passed on the WPJC information for the event.  However, the real rest of the story lies deeper than just naming the sponsors.  The first sponsor is a likely candidate to look at for the rest of the story because, also in Sam’s blog post was information about a fundraiser for the group.

Join the Bellingham GI Sanctuary city campaign as we celebrate an evening to benefit war resisters in Bellingham. “The Desserter” is a gathering, party, dessert music show to support the campaign to make Bellingham a Sanctuary city for war resisters. Join us for an evening of celebration and conversation.

So the “unbiased, depoliticized discussion” the paper subscribers read about was actually sponsored by a group who wishes “to make Bellingham a Sanctuary city for war resisters” or as the WPJC referred to it in their newsletter, “support the campaign to make Bellingham a war resister friendly community.”

Here’s what the group says about themselves at GI Sanctuary City, Bellingham, WA.

The people of Bellingham are calling for an ordinance that will provide legal sanctuary for member s of the military who exercise their duty to object to an illegal war. To that end, we hope to have grassroots community effort to urge City Council to pass resolutions to not waste public funds on the arrest or detention of service members who are absent without leave.

Really?  The people of Bellingham are calling for this ordinance?  You’d think that’d be in the paper if it were the case.  So really, the supposedly innocuous “unbiased, depoliticized discussion” veils the rests of the story, which is the campaign by a few in Bellingham to see the city become a haven for AWOL soldiers.  And not just a place to gather covertly as it is right now, but they are asking Bellingham to ignore laws and not arrest or detain service members who are absent without leave.

Now you know the rest of the story, but what about the paper reading portion of the public?  Why did the Herald keep the rest of the story from them?   When will we hear the rest of the story?

August 31, 2008

You deserve a pat on the back

Filed under: Local Issue — Tags: , , , — wally @ 9:00 am

pat If you are part of the ever more vocal right in Whatcom County, then I think you deserve a pat on the back this morning.  Not only have Republicans, new and old, made a strong showing in local elections, but we also seem to have turned a corner in voicing our opinions.

Yesterday, Scott Ayers wrote Fair recruiting letter creates a letters to the editor flood which describes how he was amazed at the “stir one letter to the editor can create.”  He describes that one letter.

On Monday Aug. 18 we published a letter from Everett Bone of Bellingham expressing displeasure with the U.S. Army’s recruiting booth at the Northwest Washington Fair. Bone said he thought of the fair as a place for families and “not war” and encouraged people to contact fair officials demanding they not allow a recruiting booth in the future.

He goes on to write

Since that letter published, I have received more than a dozen responses, almost all disagreeing with Bone’s letter and expressing their unhappiness with what they perceived as a lack of support for the U.S. military and the troops.

Bravo, I applaud everyone who wrote one of those “more than a dozen responses” not only because you were individually standing up for those who defend our nation, but also because you, perhaps even unbeknownst to yourself, just fought in battle against “turf” as I believe Mr. Ayers once called letters such as Mr. Bones.  Turf, or Astro-Turf letters are meant to feign real grassroots efforts while in reality are part of a well constructed effort, as seems the case with Mr. Bones letter.   His letter of August 18 closely followed an August 14 “Recruiter Alert” call by the Whatcom Peach and Justice Center for letters to the editor.

Portion of “Recruiter Alert” issued by WPJC August 14 Portions of Herald Letter to the Editor by Everett Bone, August 18
Their presence is appropriate at this festive family event. The Mission of the Lynden Fair is to “promote an appreciation for our agricultural heritage, provide education about the role agriculture plays in life”… and to be “a social gathering place where family values will be honored and individuals of all ages will be entertained.” The fair supposed to be an event for families, not war. If any time was more inappropriate for the Army to be “pre-recruiting” young people it is now. This is a shame to Whatcom County. The fair needs to stick to appreciating our agricultural heritage and provide education to our youth about the role agriculture plays in the future of our community and in the world, not war.
The Army set-up has a large group of young people wearing Army Strong shirts and dog tags. However, all but one are civilians, never having served, and work for a marketing company. To have people, with “Army strong” t-shirts out there trying to sell war to our children who are not even in the military is hypocrisy.
Write to or call the The Northwest Washington Fair Association President Curly Hoksbergen, and the eleven other board members (all males), and ask them to keep the recruiters out of future fairs because their presence is inconsistent with the Fair’s Mission. Please call or write the Northwest Washington Fair Association President Curly Hoksbergen, and the 11 other board members, and ask them to keep the recruiters out of future fairs because their presence is inconsistent with the Fair’s mission.

Hmm… reads like astro-turf and doesn’t smell like real grass…  You be the judge.

When I started this blog a couple of years ago, liberal, socialist and what I call anti-US opinions dominated the Herald’s letters to the editor.  But today, letters from the same community that brought us the Troops Home Resolution, No War Against Iran, and run anti-recruitment effort in our public schools, are immediately, effectively and overwhelmingly shut down.

Those we disagree with most definitely have a right to write and voice there views.  However, we also have this right to write.  So everyone pat yourself on the back and then pick up the pen or pull yourself up to the keyboard.  After 1 or 2 more great defensive plays, the ball will change hands and we will be running on the offense.

July 11, 2007

Growing anti-US campaign that is a threat

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — wally @ 7:23 am

Agustín Aguayo is the latest in what seems like an endless line of deserters, AWOL soldiers and anti-US veterans that the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center is pumping up as heroes.

WPJC hosts Iraq War Veteran & Resister Agustin Aguayo on Sunday, July 15, at 7pm at the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center. – WPJC

And it’s not that the WPJC is a big threat to our nation in themselves, but they are part of an ever growing anti-US campaign that is a threat.

Two years later, after his application for discharge as a conscientious objector was denied by the Pentagon, Army Spc. Agustín Aguayo went AWOL in order to resist redeploying to Iraq. He will explain why he chose jail instead of redeploying to Iraq. Agustín will be joined by his wife, Helga, who led a grassroots campaign for justice and freedom for him and all military war resisters. –courage to resist

Bellingham and the WPJC arejust another stop in a big talkshow circuit for aimed at tearing down our national defense and specifically this administration who lucky for us, is bent on our national defense. Here is a list of the others on the circuit. I’m sure a few names will be familiar.

Eli Israel
Eugene Cherry
Kyle Snyder
Suzanne Swift
Mark Wilkerson
Lt. Ehren Watada
Agustin Aguayo
Darrell Anderson
Ivan Brobeck
Ricky Clousing
Kevin Benderman

courage to resist

The actions and sentiment of these people and the groups which they allow to represent them are directly against the goals of our elected government. When I see the WPJC and their local associates standing on the street corner I see heroes for those who wish us harm; heroes for those who wish destruction of our nation. I don’t see American heroes. They certainly are not my heroes.

May 1, 2007

What else were the kids up to down at the college?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — wally @ 6:09 am

And this time I’m not talking about the students. It’s probably fresh in everyones mind that the State Democrats met recently and decided follow caucus results not primaries, but is it as fresh in your mind that in the same meeting they also passed a resolution promoting desertion in the military? If you’re like me it couldn’t be fresh because you never heard about it. Thanks to WhackyNation I now have the rest of the story and you do too.

BELLINGHAM – Leaders of the state Democratic Party voted overwhelmingly Saturday to support Lt. Ehren Watada, the Fort Lewis officer who refused orders to serve in Iraq.

“We support and commend Lt. Ehren Watada for his courage, moral leadership, and commitment to duty demonstrated by his act of resistance to the continued costly, destructive and immoral U.S. military occupation of Iraq,” the resolution said.

Watada is awaiting a court-martial in July. The central committee’s resolution calls on Washington Democrats in Congress to help him.

The News Tribune

Glorifying deserters, legalizing drugs, releasing felons, erasing borders; it continues to be beyond my comprehension why anyone thinks Democratic Party ideals are good for our county, state or our nation.

Oh there was at least one ray of hope in Mike Carnahan, a Democratic Central Committee member from Clark County who spoke against the Watada resolution.

It’s an all-volunteer military, he said. “I find it offensive as, a veteran, to have him doing what he’s doing”

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