Posted by: sweeneyblog | September 19, 2014

Friday Odds and Ends: Media, Scots and Crawford

Hello Loyal Readers,

It is time for your favorite feature, the Friday Odds and Ends: all the news that’s fit to print, but not big enough to justify a whole post.

First story, our local defenders of democracy, the League of Women Voters has conducted a study which assessed the availability and accessibility of digital information in Whatcom County. They will be presenting the findings from this study, as well as sharing a presentation from Dean Wright and Joan Connell about the evolution of information, at the Bellingham Public Library this Saturday from 10 a.m. – noon. There will be a post-program event from 12:00-12:30.  At this post-program, those in attendance can receive technology coaching to learn how to better access digital information, see you there!

The greatest British hero (pictured below) may have recently become Scottish, but Scotland itself will remain part of Great Britain. As a member of a former colony of Great Britain, I cheered for independence but no such luck.

The Doctor observes the results


Sam Crawford

What I found interesting was the turnout. Reports show 84-86% of registered voters participated in this vote. Think about that for a moment. In the last hundred years, the best we’ve been able to get is just shy of 63% turnout. What issue could possibly motivate four out of every five American voters to turn in their ballots? If we had that level of involvement, how would that change our political system? Thoughts to consider.

Finally, I saw a letter to the editor in the Herald recently from County Councilman Sam Crawford praising Sen. Doug Ericksen. I thought, what a better advocate for the embattled Senator under pressure for taking over $200,000 of corporate cash than the County Councilman who took $60,000 in corporate cash to buy the county council in 2009? While Ericksen hasn’t been caught deleting evidence, he still is plagued by similar ethical issues.

That’s it for today, onward to the weekend!



  1. I was routing for the Scots to become independent BUT fear is a great ally when make such a huge decision to secede. In the most recent Nation magazine there is an article about Scotland’s Big Decision. Since the election came out NO, it still leaves BIG problems and questions for Scotland’s relationship with England. Seems what they want is “less reliance on coal and oil for energy”! They already have a large supply of wind power! They want to “ditch” the Trident nuclear missile system, and they want to keep the National Health Service publicly owned. WOW! these sound like progressive goals that I hope they are still able to pursue.

  2. Well the Scots had a real choice which is something quite rare in the US political system, particularly the corrupted federal system. There the “choice” is between two pre-vetted corporatist candidates differentiated on highly emotive social issues but absolutely in lockstep on foreign policy, war, environment, campaign finance and maintaining the current system at all cost. Why vote if the whole thing is a stage-managed charade run by a traitorous psychopathic parasitic oligarchy?

    • BEN CARSON IN 2016.

      • (the only prominent republican not currently facing criminal charges or related to Ron Paul) IN 2016!

  3. I read this blog in hopes of finding hilarious nuggets like this: “…embattled Senator under pressure for taking over $200,000 of corporate cash than the County Councilman who took $60,000 in corporate cash to buy the county council in 2009? ”

    Keep ’em coming Riley.

    For those of you who missed the debate:


    • If it comes out that six figure campaign contributions were laundered by Tom Steyer through various Far-Left PACS to Fleetwood’s campaign I assume that Riley would report it.

      • I definitely would. Money in politics is always a story – no matter who is receiving it.

    • Who’s davesix and why is the real name policy not enforced throughout the page for everyone?
      It’s not my blog but at least one could be consistent so everyone plays by the same rules.

      • Davesix is Dave Onkles, planning commission and recent newsmaker in the Whatcom Police Report. WordPress automatically uses people’s login rather than their name went commenting on a wordpress site so when they have frequently used their real name and are linking to a site with their real name on it – I let it be. I’m trying to make it fair without holding up the process too much.

      • I’m not sure how writing your name holds up any process but it’s your blog.
        Politics, like the discussion of politics,
        should have consistent rules for everybody regardless of their standing with the moderator or the format.
        And a sitting commissioner should always sign their real name to everything so voters get a record of exactly how that public servant thinks.
        Or not.

      • I agree the rules should be consistent but if a frequent commenter screws up on a comment and doesn’t leave his name on a comment but it is clear who it is, I’m not going to delete it. Frankly, I don’t have enough time in my day to police this over and over so I do what I can. If this continues to be an issue, I’ll just shut down comments all together.

  4. “Local defenders of Democracy, the League of Women Voters”-LOL! 🙂

  5. We will see Riley.

  6. “As a member of a former colony of Great Britain, I cheered for independence but no such luck”-Do you have a current Green Card or should I call ICE?

    • sigh . . America is a former colony, Wayne.

      • Double sigh, I thought you were referring to Ireland, the “first colony” of great Britain. My apologizes to the Irish.

        And yes, I know that only Northern Ireland is part of the UK today.

  7. I am sorry to interrupt this back and forth, but I fail to see any comment on the City Club snipe contest between Fleetwood and Erickson on Wed. As spectator sport, it topped what is going on here, but not by much.

    • I posted a link to a video of the debate in my comment above. I think Fleetwood brought a knife to a gunfight.

      • He did.

  8. “(the only prominent republican not currently facing criminal charges or related to Ron Paul) IN 2016”.

    Are Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney and Bobby Jindal facing criminal charges?

    • Fair point, I was thinking Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie

      • Is Christ Christie facing criminal charges?

  9. Regarding the 85% turnout and what could motivate that here. I was involved in attempting to get on the ballot an initiative calling for an amendment to the U.S. constitution saying that corporations are not people and money is not speech. Polls show that 80% of people support this position. The thinking was that it would have boosted turnout in this mid-term election. While gathering signatures, I saw a lot of apathy out there. I even had people try to convince me to not vote! Getting money out of politics is very important to restoring faith in our electoral process.

  10. I love it when Sweeney deletes my comment and then disables replies to the succeeding comments.

    You misspelled my name: It’s “Onkels”.
    In the future, when you use my images, I hope that you will at least spell my name correctly in the attribution, rather than ignoring your responsibility entirely.

  11. Riley – good on you for putting up with the insults from the Farber-Onkels peanut gallery. While he’s sometimes amusing in a nyuck nyuck way, Farber doesn’t add much to the discussion. Onkels is actually literate and can actually argue but he seems to have some personal antipathy to you.

    I wouldn’t blame you for blocking them – but please don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater and kill the comments.

    • And you do?

      • I try to think for myself. I’m not getting my ideas from the teevee. Or at least, try not to. And in my couch time I enjoy a little political discussion. I try not to get too personal – I think you were out of line, Wayne, with your insult of Riley and you should apologize.

      • i don’t get anything from the “teevee” as you call.

      • David Camp,

        What “insult” of Riley should I apologize for?

        Let me know and I will certainly take it under advisement. if i feel I erred I will make it right.

      • Wayne – it’s been deleted. I suppose Riley should be happy to be insulted with some inane Limbaughism like “librul operative”. And if you don;t listen to Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Hannity and the other Satanic voices on the radio you must be tuning in with your tinfoil hat.

  12. Dave, you petty little man. I logged in from an account without knowing it would not reveal my name (maybe from my laptop which has a different operating system than my desktop). Unlike you, I have never revealed my identify. In fact, I pride myself if taking responsibility for my words and actions. You know that. Riley explained that, and you are still trying to use any excuse to hide your identify.

    My name is WENDY HARRIS.

    • I guess I could be a petty little man named Dave,
      but I hope Commissioner Onkels was your intended subject.
      And if not, I stand insulted for no good or justified reason by a woman I’ve somewhat admired over the years as a firm voice for sanity.
      As far as shutting down comments if and when they don’t fit your idea of rules,
      I can’t imagine such a thing and it serves no purpose to make threats like that in response to inquiries about aberrations in your own stated policies.
      How hard could it be to delete a post that doesn’t comply,
      or simply abandon that real name rule once and for all.
      Politics is a fun exchange of ideas, some smart, some derogatory and some simply inane,
      but trying to police the tone is a thankless job without any obvious rewards,
      so I’m happy I don’t need to do it.


      • I have no idea who Wendy’s “Dave, you petty little man” is. Perhaps she would be willing to clarify this for us all.

      • I had no idea this list had so many Daves, or so many paranoid people. 🙂 I meant davesix, who used obvious computer glitches to revert back to using a handle, which frankly, I fail to understand because your cover is blown.

        My name is Wendy Harris, and I do not think that Riley puts his time and effort into running a blog for this kind of silliness.

      • You are right Wendy, Riley has a liberal agenda he is trying to promote.

      • I got your liberal agenda RIGHT HERE…

      • Whaaaaaaat?

      • Doran,
        “I guess I could be a petty little man named Dave,…”

        My compliments! you’re off the hook!

    • Pardon me?

  13. Using full names when writing insults goes a long way to assuaging paranoia since it’s assumed a defense is always in order.
    The host has pledged to delete anything that reeks of a personal off-topic attack so I’m surprised it still stands on the board.

  14. I’ve spent a lot of time on discussion threads on blogs, mostly discussing politics in one way or another. One of my goals has always been to get someone of an opposing view to call me names, for obvious reasons.

    It hasn’t usually been this easy.

    As “Wendy” (not “hwendyo”?) noted, any dummy could see this: “Who’s davesix and why is the real name policy not enforced throughout the page for everyone?
    It’s not my blog but at least one could be consistent so everyone plays by the same rules.

    By: RubieBegonia on September 20, 2014
    at 7:31 am


    Davesix is Dave Onkles”

    Riley deleted a comment by me in which I expressed amusement about “RubieBegonia”‘s question and signed, of course, with “davesix”.

    • Riley is practicing a sort of IDEOLOGICAL APARTHEID here in Whatcom county.

      Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela

  15. My 8:13 comment above, which I signed “David Onkels”, was meant to be a reply to Wendy.

    For some reason, it was truncated and misplaced, with the signature omitted.

    • A old Liberal/Progressive trick no doubt.

  16. Guys – I step away from the comments section for the weekend and this is what I get. Find something else to do – I try and police this to the best of my abilities but this thread is toast. Go argue about some politics for a change. Might I suggest my latest post about the gun initiatives?

    • Actually, I appreciate you bringing out the two (on cancels out the other) “gun initiatives” as I was getting tired of hearing about Doug Ericksen’s meal planning.

      • If you don’t like what the site discusses, than don’t go come to it. All you do on this site is troll and sound like an idiot.

      • If YOU are going to use use FOUL language it is YOU that should “don’t go come to it”. Failed English Grammar in school eh?

  17. Contributions?


    I’m certain that you will pursue this with extreme diligence.

    • I’m looking at the NextGen group – they haven’t spent any money. The only people I hear suggesting that it may be politically involved in our neck of the woods are KGMI and you, David. I think you are swearing all over the road with this – best take a few deep breaths and come back when his big scary environmental PAC does something.

      • I think you meant “swerving”, but I also think that Mr. Steyer does not intend to produce pro-Ericksen ads with his money.

        Do you?

      • I won’t know until there is something more than rumor and innuendo out there. I follow the PDC closely, if there is an expenditure, I’ll report it.

      • What about the county election last year?

  18. Riley,

    Jared Jackson posted “If you don’t like what the site discusses, than don’t go come to it. All you do on this site is troll and sound like a [fucking] idiot”.
    I thought FOUL language was a NO-NO for everyone including Liberal/Progressives or does it ONLY apply to Conservatives?

    • Just now seeing it, I’m removing the offensive word but really, this thread has gone on far too long. Find something else to do guys.

      • It only was posted last Friday Riley. You should be happy with your “staying power”.

        Solution: give us some more to chew on.

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