More of ‘Year in In My Eyes’

Column bits that were fit for print but didn’t fit in print:

• The five forks Henri gave Fortunatto’s would mean far less if we only raved, never ranted. Let me assure you that no one here harbors ill will toward any local proprietor. We just want good meals when we plop down hard-earned cash—as we’re sure you do. (Jan. 3)

• Forget the “socialist medicine” rhetoric. Think of “direct medicine” the next time you hear talk of single-payer plans. (Jan. 17)

• I know voting machines are a real concern in this era of superhackers and ruthless corporations. This I know as well: Scantron sheets and cardboard boxes were fine when I voted for ASB president … but U.S. president? (Feb. 7)

• If the CN&R’s Iraq roundtable taught me anything, it’s that I’m glad I’m not running for president. Obama—OK, or Clinton or McCain—faces a no-win situation. I think we need a phased withdrawal coupled with a phased adjustment in consumption. (March 13)

• Vitriol floats all around us. When it comes to the CN&R, I strive to keep discourse civil—focused on issues rather than insults. That might not be as exciting as hate mail, but I’d rather be serious than “Stupid.” (May 1)

• Our political structure has become an interlocking set of businesses. In the end, any switch we make via local election or state initiative gets absorbed by the bureaucracy and only makes it stronger. That’s why antiestablishment candidates are so refreshing … and maddening. We wish their quick and easy solutions were doable. In the end, we know they’re not. (May 29)

• I’m more likely to believe conspiracies than prophesies, but why take stock in any speculation? Watergate proved conspiracies can be real. Screenwriters and novelists have us looking for them everywhere. (July 3)

• I know it’s tempting to assign blame. Let’s make sure lessons get learned so we needn’t rant anew. (July 24)

• We’ll never all agree on which art to commission, or where or how; but we can agree why. An art town, “Top 10” or otherwise, needs to support its artists. (July 31)

• No offense to Alaska, but it’s essentially a county with Senate seats and congressional earmarks. (Sept. 11)

• I’m gonna miss Councilman Steve. You gotta love a guy who changes his vote on a cable surcharge after he had a flashback to opening his cable bill. I don’t want to overgeneralize and say he’s nuts, but after that meeting, Maisie Jane dusted him with cinnamon. (Oct. 2)

• My gut said Dave Pollak, but my head (and editorial board colleague) said Jann Reed—as does our school board endorsement. (Oct. 23)

• I’m so glad the election is over. That’s not just because I’m pretty happy with the results, though that’s clearly a factor. Mostly I’m happy because I won’t have to wade through campaign agit-prop for another 18 months. (Nov. 6)

• I don’t think you have to sacrifice your ideals and values in the quest for consensus. (Dec. 18)