As noted in last week’s newsletter,
the City of Langley took up the issue of the Israel-Hamas War during last Monday’s City Council meeting, and — unsurprisingly — called for a ceasefire. I’ve read the version of the resolution as originally presented (it was amended somewhat during the council meeting), and — again unsurprisingly — it has words of condemnation only for Israel. While it mentions that over 1200 Israelis have died, it does not mention that most of them died in a sneak attack by Hamas militants on mostly civilian targets. It is, in fact, a model of modern American progressivism. The introductory memo, prepared by the Dismantling Systemic Racism commission, even touches on the ecological effects of the war — and how they are Israel’s fault.
In his fascinating book, The Three Languages of Politics, Arnold Kling writes,
“A progressive will communicate along the oppressor-oppressed axis …the progressive believes that certain groups or classes of people intrinsically fall into categories of oppressor or oppressed.”
There is oppression in the world, of course. But not everything is about oppression, and no groups are homogenous. One can certainly argue that the Palestinian people in Gaza have been oppressed by Hamas: no elections have been held there since 2006. But progressivism appears to be incapable of acknowledging the possibility that Hamas is the bad guy here.
And as so often happens, the conversation returned to how it makes people feel better to denounce something. Or, as Langley City Councilor Craig Cyr put it:
“And so the question must be asked, will this resolution make a difference? And I think it will,” he said. “And in fact, it’s already made a difference because the conversation is happening in Langley tonight about this topic.”
Oh, well, as long as Cyr can feel better about things. Because it’s not important if opinions in Langley actually bring about a ceasefire — or resolve the underlying conflict. What’s important is that we have a conversation about it. (Have they considered just holding a Two Minutes Hate?)
Also, in South Whidbey:
How low have the fortunes of the South Whidbey Record fallen that South Whidbey Fire Chief Nick Walsh wrote a letter (opening the conversation on a levy lid lift) to the Everett Herald and not to the SWR?
Longtime readers know
that I have very little use for Island County Public Health Director Shawn Morris, who is a “doctor of naturopathy” and does not appear to be qualified for his job. (His bachelor’s degree is in geography.) This week’s story in the Whidbey News-Times shows that he’s not doing a great job of managing the department. All food inspections have been shut down in Island County because of complaints against the food inspector. The story does not say how long inspections will be suspended, but it does say this:
Morris said neither he nor the environmental health manager were aware of most of the concerns raised.
You’ll recall that it was just last month that Morris triumphantly announced the Board of Health’s adoption of its Health in All Policies (HiAP) resolution. (Island County Commissioners Janet St. Clair (D-Camano Island) and Melanie Bacon (D-Langley) both cited this as one of the county’s achievements last year.) HiAP necessarily adds power and influence to the Director of Public Health, a man now demonstrated to be unaware of what’s going on in the core functions of his department. Keep this in mind when it candidate forums come up later this year.
Meanwhile, in Olympia,
another cutoff date looms. Tuesday at 5:00 PM is the deadline for bills to pass their House of Origin. Any bills not clearing this cutoff are dead for the year. You can check our bill status posts for Sen. Ron Muzzall (R-Oak Harbor), Rep. Dave Paul (D-Oak Harbor) and Rep. Clyde Shavers (D-Oak Harbor) to see how they’re doing. (Sneak peek: Muzzall’s doing a little better than Paul and Shavers combined.)