Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Articles written by Frank Watson

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Warming Periods

About the only non-fiction I read is the local newspaper. I try to avoid the New York Times and Washington Post so I am confident I am reading real news. Other than that, I usually read light fiction; shoot-em-up detective stories, super human...

 

Trump's Impeachment is History

It was a busy week in American politics. The Democrats were embarrassed when the results of the Iowa caucus were overshadowed by administrative glitches. The State of the Union address was choreographed to promote the successes of the current adminis...

 

Save the Whales

The legislature has directed the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to remove the catch limits on bass, walleye and channel catfish in all waters of the state where they coexist with salmon. It seems that someone in the legislature realized...

 

Snowed In

I got snowed in last week. I was at our cabin on the Pend Oreille River where it was quiet, and I could do some writing with no interruptions. There was an unfinished poem running around in my head that I just couldn’t quite get a handle on. I...

 
 By Frank Watson    News    January 16, 2020

Be a Good Citizen First

We are one of the few countries in the world that allows citizens to criticize the government. In many countries, remarks critical to those in power are considered treason. How free are the people of China to speak out against their national leaders?...

 

Pay to Play

The bowl season is about over. The last game is Jan. 13, so we will have to watch the pros until February sometime. After that our TVs will be football free for eight months or so. WSU lost to Air Force in the Cheez-it Bowl. I didn’t even know...

 

The President Goes to Trial

Before I get into the merits of the case, let me say that I am no fan of Donald Trump. Never have been and probably never will be. He is crass, rude and acts like an immature bully. He is everything that you would not want in a diplomat. I can...

 

Christmas is Special

During the decade or so that I taught English to high school freshmen, I would adjust my teaching schedule to begin a block on poetry a few weeks before winter vacation. Poetry needs to be heard to be appreciated, thus, I would begin and end each cla...

 

The Check-the-Box Impeachment

Nancy Pelosi said she undertook impeachment "prayerfully," and apparently what she was praying was that she could get it over with as soon as possible. The House is preparing to send a flagrantly incomplete factual record to the Senate as the basis...

 

Democracy in Peril

Initiative 976 establishing $30 car tags was once again supported by a solid majority of our state’s voters. If this were an election between two candidates, the loser would have conceded long ago. Not so with this initiative. This is the third...

 

Elizabeth Warren's Fail on 'Medicare for All'

The clear loser of the Democratic primary is "Medicare for All." First, it demonstrated the unreliability of Kamala Harris out of the gate, when she endorsed it before quickly backing off. Now, it has blunted the momentum of Elizabeth Warren, made a...

 

Women's Equality

The all-female space-walk was front page news for several days until it was replaced by a story about a female squadron commander at Fairchild Air Force Base. The reality of capable women shouldn’t be a news splash. The attributes for becoming an...

 

The Voice of the People

The 2019 election is history. The results are in except for a few stragglers left to count; not enough to change the outcome. Before the 2020 campaign engulfs us, we have a brief opportunity to examine the latest results to see what we can learn. I...

 

Who is Governing the Country

The House has decided to make the closed door inquiry an official impeachment process. The headlines indicated that they had enough votes to unveil their activities. I heard rumors that some Democrats were going to vote against it, but CNN didn’t...

 

Generation Gap

My kids caught me reading a book. An actual book, printed with ink on real paper. I was lectured about my abuse of the planet and was told how many trees went into making paper. Paper that would line the bottom of our bird cage and eventually be...

 

Shadow Government

There is a branch of our government that is independent of the three branches we study in school. This branch usually operates in the shadows overlooked by both the people and the legislature. It makes its own rules with the same force as law. It...

 

Unions

The United Auto Workers Union strike against General Motors has entered its second month with no end in sight. They are using tactics developed years ago when the big three automakers ruled the industry. Rather than strike across the board, the...

 

Minimum Wage

Minimum wage is an artificial restriction of the free market, and all restrictions of the free market come with unintended consequences. When I talk to small business owners in Eastern Washington, they are unanimous in their condemnation of minimum...

 

Money Drives the Economy

I heard a news report last week proudly announce, “The economy improved last week fueled by consumer spending.” Consumer spending, or lack thereof may be an indicator of economic strength, but it doesn’t drive. It doesn’t fuel the economy....

 

Safety in America

I had a wonderful opportunity in 2000. I was selected as part of Spokane’s sister city educational exchange, and taught English in the Japanese public school system. One of my students was considering applying to be an exchange student in America....

 

American Justice

I thought the court decisions against the makers of Roundup were over the top, but I was absolutely astounded at the recent ruling against Johnson & Johnson. These judgments are not only out of line, but tend to spawn even more outrageous claims in...

 

Entitled to Agitate

To tweet to not to tweet, that is the question. I have found over my considerable years that when you have nothing to add, you should keep your mouth shut. Our president seems to have missed that lesson. When Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar were plannin...

 

Trump Must Go

I’m still looking for an alternative for Donald Trump in 2020. I agree with almost everything negative that has been said of him. He is obnoxious, he makes unnecessary enemies, he is undiplomatic, he does not command loyalty, he generates hate,...

 

Stop the Madness

I realize every writer with a second hand computer will sit down at their keyboard this week and write about the shootings in El Paso and Dayton. I hope you read them all. Some will be emphatic that the only way to stop the shootings is to eliminate...

 
 By Frank Watson    Opinion    August 8, 2019

Everyone Needs a Happy Place

When our legs began to complain about the climb into the overhead bunk of our camper, my wife and I bought a year-round cabin on the Pend Oreille River. It has become our get away when the normal pressures of life need release. One such day last...

 

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