By Ralph Schwartz
In the wake of the shooting deaths of 20 little schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn., a newspaper in New York City’s north suburbs has posted the addresses of all gun license holders in two counties.
As a tit-for-tat retaliation, a lawyer has posted the names and addresses of some of the journalists involved in the project.
“Targeting gun owners by publishing their home addresses is pretty dangerous,” the lawyer said. He meant dangerous for the gun owners themselves, or their neighbors without guns, both of whom could be targeted for crimes.
Dangerous too for the journalists, I have to figure. Glad I’m not answering the phones in that newsroom today.
(Minutes after I posted this, I found that N.Y. newspaper’s defense of the gun-permit article and map.)
There’s an active political blog scene in Whatcom County — which of course if you’re reading this, you already know.
Riley Sweeney and Shane Roth teamed up for an end-of-the-year video presenting tongue-in-cheek politically themed awards for 2012, many of them with a local flavor. It’s a spoof of the major entertainment awards shows, and their “Laptop Award” is called the “Lappy.” Sweeney and Roth make a good team: Sweeney the buttoned-up liberal, Roth the Eddie Vedder of progressive commentary.
On the right, just to pick two, are Whatcom Excavator and the Antikakistocracy blog. (Anyone who visits the latter site will find out right away, “kakistocracy” means rule by the least qualified or least principled.)
In recent posts, Whatcom Excavator, or “WE,” has tackled at length issues such as the reconveyance of state land around Lake Whatcom for a county park, wind power and global sustainability efforts impinging on local governments.
Karl Uppiano in the Antikakistocracy blog recently posted something in praise of Rush Limbaugh.
In Sweeney and Roth’s end-of-year video, Sweeney mentions that the authors of WE are county Republican officer Greg Brown and Whatcom Tea Party officer Ellen Baker. I asked Baker about this, and she denied it. She said she’s only a contributor, and she doesn’t know who runs the blog.
(Roth, by the way, contributes to another blog — Latte Republic — owned by Elisabeth Britt.)
After working on a longer piece about the Whatcom Tea Party, which ran on Sunday, I’m inclined to find a similar community of progressives/leftists to write about. Past efforts to interview the local “Occupy” group have failed, but maybe I’ll give it another try.
Final notes on my tea party story:
Yes, I know the 8,844 acres proposed for reconveyance from the Department of Natural Resources to the county is all state land. I regret that the structure of the story led people to believe I thought otherwise.
To repeat again, the Whatcom Tea Party does not endorse the views of two of its officers, Baker and Uppiano, about Agenda 21. I only intended to report that at least two people in the tea party’s leadership endorse that anti-Agenda 21 stance.
Finally, Uppiano wrote a very good response to my treatment of the tea party’s pre-November election poll. Time and space constraints didn’t allow me to go as deeply into the matter as Uppiano did.
Today should be Day 9 of The Bellingham Herald’s new paywall. How is it working for you readers of this blog? Are you still clicking? Are you subscribed or counting stories to stay below the threshold of 15?
This post was corrected on Dec. 31, 2012, to name Elisabeth Britt as owner of the blog Latte Republic.