The Bernie Sanders candidacy and possible presidency – an analysis

By Bruce A. Smith

Bernie Sanders is clearly the Democratic Party frontrunner for their presidential nomination. He won big in Nevada, nosed ahead in New Hampshire, and captured a near-tie in Iowa, along with Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Yet, Bernie’s candidacy has many pitfalls and fearsome uncertainties, and projecting a view outward, so does his administration as President of the United States.

A few days ago, I voted for Bernie in the Washington State primary. However, I did so with great reservation. I am excited by the Sanders campaign and very impressed with how massive the groundswell of progressive support has become. But I also have strong mixed feelings. So do many others, and this essay seeks to explore our many and varied concerns. Continue reading

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The Bernie Revolution comes to the Tacoma Dome – and perhaps the entire nation

By Bruce A. Smith

Senator Bernie Sanders came to the Tacoma Dome on Monday, Feb. 17 and spoke to a Standing-Room Only audience of nearly 20,000 folks, revealing the powerful momentum his presidential campaign has developed.

Sanders was in town marshaling his forces in advance of Washington’s March 10 primary election. For local voters in Pierce County that means a mail-in ballot, which were distributed last week.

By all indications the Sanders campaign – and the underlying progressive movement – is a juggernaut. Not only was the T-Dome filled to capacity, it was a raucous crowd – shouting, cheering, and foot-stomping at every opportunity. However, it was clear that these passionate Bernie supporters are only a slice of the populace. In my five hours of attendance I saw only a handful of people who appeared to over 50 years of age. More troubling, I only saw two African-American individuals and perhaps a dozen Hispanic folks. Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Environment, Events, Politics | 5 Comments

The GOP Lighting Itself on Fire Provides a Hostile Takeover Opportunity for Independents and Centrists

A Guest Editorial by Eric Ulis

Until recently I was registered as a Republican, albeit a centrist. That said, I am going to make a prediction: In the wake of the moral bankruptcy demonstrated by the Republican Party during the Trump Era, the party of Trump is about to get annihilated at the ballot box.

Importantly, if my predicted ballot box bloodbath of the Republicans–that will likely manifest itself over the next few election cycles–occurs, it will provide a rare opportunity for independents and centrists who have long been alienated by both parties and now make up roughly a third of all Americans. This opportunity would represent a once-in-a-lifetime shot at crafting a major political party that operates independently of rabid political partisanship. Continue reading

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TV Suggestions for Those With Colds, Flu, or Bronchitis

By Bruce A. Smith

To those of us sniffling, coughing, hacking, and otherwise dealing with illnesses, may I suggest a few good movies and TV shows that I’ve enjoyed during my past two weeks laid up with bronchitis. Continue reading

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Philmont – the National Boy Scout Ranch cherished by millions of Americans – is put in hock to pay BSA debts

By Bruce A. Smith

I was a camper at Philmont Scout Ranch when I was sixteen-years old, and it was one of the most meaningful experiences of my youth. As a kid growing up in suburban New York, I had never traveled to the western United States, and my month-long expedition with a bus-load of scouts from Long Island was profound – I saw big mountains for the first time and prong-horned sheep scampering on the prairies of Wyoming, and met scouts from Los Angeles, a place so exotic in my mind that it seemed like I was meeting guys from Mars. Continue reading

Posted in Boy Scouts, Campfire Tales, Culture, Nature, Wauwepex | 4 Comments

CooperCon 2019 a rousing success

By Bruce A. Smith

Nearly one-hundred DB Cooper enthusiasts gathered Saturday, November 23, to hear from investigatory experts in America’s only unsolved skyjacking – and to share their own theories and offer opinions.

Drawn to the Kiggins Theater in downtown Vancouver, Washington, for formal presentations from authors and researchers, they also re-grouped at local eateries to celebrate their participation in the Cooper community – a place they call the Cooper Vortex – co called because the many mysteries of the hijacking are so fascinating that aficionados are sucked into reading, researching, and discussing DB Cooper as if powerful winds keep them transfixed.

The beautifully restored Art Deco Kiggins Theater in downtown Vancouver is an ideal site to dig further into the DB Cooper mystery. The city sits directly across the Columbia River from Portland’s International Airport (PDX) where the skyjacking took place forty-eight years ago, and is also the nearest urban center to where DB Cooper is thought to have landed after he jumped from his Northwest Orient 727 on the night of November 24, 1971 – the day before Thanksgiving. Nothing from the skyjacking has ever been found – no body nor the briefcase with a homemade bomb inside, and none of the four parachutes Cooper received as part of his ransom deal with the FBI along with 200,000 dollars in twenties. We still don’t know who DB Cooper was or where he came from. Yes, $6,000 or so was discovered in 1980 along the Columbia River, just downstream from the Kiggins, but no one knows how the money arrived at its location, or when. Continue reading

Posted in DB Cooper, Uncategorized | 65 Comments

Singing DB Cooper – An author’s lament recorded as Cooper World gets ready for the 48th Anniversary with CooperCon 2019

By Bruce A. Smith

The 48th Anniversary of the DB Cooper’s iconic skyjacking is upon us, and many in Cooper World are preparing to celebrate by attending CooperCon 2019 next week.

Cooperites will be gathering on Saturday, November 23 at the Kiggins Theater in Portland, Oregon to hear a bevy of experts on the Cooper case, along with several individuals who are connected to the skyjacking by being family members of the crew, or were residents of Portland scanning the skies as DB Cooper flew overhead on his getaway flight.

Besides the presentations, festivities will also include an optional – and free – Road Tour of the locales cited by the FBI as likely landing zones. In addition, if weather permits, CooperCon 2019 organizer and host, Eric Ulis, will skipper a pontoon boat float down the Columbia River to Tina Bar to see where some of the ransom money was found in 1980. Continue reading

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