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Friday, May 19, 2006

New Blog on the Block

Posted by on May 19 at 15:43 PM

The Seattle Times’ chief political reporter, David Postman, tells me that he’s going to become a blogger starting Monday.

The name of the blog: Postman on Politics. The link: TBA.

And in what I think is probably a first, at least locally, Postman will now be doing political blogging almost full time. In other words, dear blogosphere doubters, the Seattle Times has just assigned its chief political reporter to work the blogosphere every day, at least through the November elections.

My take: Good move for the Times, good move for Postman, and good luck to those of us bloggers who now have to compete with him. I covered the governor’s race trial with Postman last June in Wenatchee, and I remember the liveblogging that he did there check out the time stamps for his posts from day one, they’re pretty intense.

POSTED 8:54 AM Monday

POSTED 9:44 AM Monday

POSTED 10:09 AM Monday

POSTED 10:54 AM Monday

POSTED 11:33 AM Monday

POSTED 11:33 AM Monday

POSTED 11:52 AM Monday

POSTED 1:34 PM Monday

POSTED 2:26 PM Monday

POSTED 2:26 PM Monday

POSTED 4:24 PM Monday

POSTED 4:52 PM Monday

POSTED 5:38 PM Monday

Granted, that was live-blogging, but still. Postman tells me his blog will be more analytical than opinionated, and that when his opinion enters into his posts, it won’t be ideological. Here, I think, lies the biggest question about the Postman on Politics experiment: Given that most successful political blogs these days are highly ideological, do web surfers really want a non-ideological blog that covers politics from an “objective” perspective?

We’re going to find out.


CommentsRSS icon

I like Postman's stuff and I will miss him in the Times. I don't think I will follow him to the sphere. What will it be? News articles in blog format?
Linking, commenting and a point of view is what the medium is about. If he was doing great stuff in the paper and then went into blog mode for the last week, I'd check it out. But months out? Nah.
Didn't in the early days of radio people read full newspaper artilces on air? That didn't last for good reason.
If it works, it will only be because he grows an opinion.

The "analytical" way of covering politics is going to end at some point. The only reason it exists is because daily newspapers have to have a large press run in order to stay in business, and they can't afford to offend anyone. The only way to cover politics without offending anyone is to pretend the actual outcome doesn't really matter.

Online, there isn't much economy of scale, so people are going to gravitate towards news that reflects their point of view. So a non-ideological blog is going to attract people that are interested in politics, but non-ideological - people only interested in it as a sports event. I think it's a pretty small audience compared to people that actually care about the outcome.

On the other hand, while I find daily papers fairly nauseating to read nowadays, I must admit that their writing talent is much greater than most blogs... people that write for a living tend to be pretty good at it, no matter what their constraints might be. And they can use their paper to promote the blog. So they have some advantages.

Sound Transit's probably already started under the table payments to DP for spin.

The Middle East Situation/SOLUTION ( The winds of war or a probable peace ) The extended forecast for the Middle East is
complicated with dual fronts: either gentle breezes
calling for a world summit are heard and realized and
cooperatively engaged, or the storms of war will be
visible on the radar. The region has no low pressures
present. If the latter, we shall see turbulence from
Israel or the U.S. strike, or if Iran anticipates an
immediate danger, it may launch an initial first blow,
more than likely one that will affect the entire West
and the vital oil fields in the nearby regions. With
the aid of the new Iranian torpedoes and low-flying
aircraft, this will help level out the balance of
power and reduce the American advantage. Attacks that
can be launched from within Iran are more probable.
In addition, I foresee direct hits on oil tankers
nearing the Straits of Hormuz, which will bottle up
naval as well as commercial shipping and transport,
denying passage if possible in and out of the Gulf.
These actions could inflict irreparable damage to the
European, Japanese, and western economies.

Turkey may be enough of a dissuader to both Syrian and
Kurdish ambitions toward exploiting the growing
conflict because of their military power. If Syria
does find itself seeking a direct role, it would be
mainly to antagonize the Israelis. I believe that it
would be dangerous and unwise for Syria to seek direct
conflict with the U.S.

Iranian armor and ground forces could seek to cross
the Iraqi frontier and go directly into engagement.
If it were a focused assault, Iran would more than
likely be trying to penetrate into the Green Zone to
support and encourage the insurgents. This is
possible given the lack of a sizeable American
presence.

Afghanistan will also change as a theater of
operations for both sides. I believe the fight will
be more visibly joined by remaining Taliban and Al
Qaeda operatives. The American plans will depend on
whether there is a defensive or offensive mode of
thought coming from the White House. We have all seen
prior campaigns. However, if the Pentagon sways
toward engagement, this round will be larger and more
tumultuous than recent conflicts and will present far
more complexities. Some essential points would be air
strikes on air defense systems, the power grid,
communications, primary missile systems, targets on
both garrisons and caches, nuclear facilities, and
naval facilities near the Gulf. Weapons of choice on
the part of the Americans would be bunker busters,
precision-guided bombs, very heavy munitions, long
range bombers, and fighter bombers. The Americans
will probably try to focus on an air campaign, due to
a lack of ground forces.

The American ground force insufficiency, in my
opinion, is a grave disadvantage. Even though the
Americans possess the great technical advantage, this
may become a decisive factor. Our tactics and
strategies for ground force engagement aided by direct
air assaults create a lethal combination.

A world summit for Middle East peace, if convened in
our very near future, could address withdrawal by all
foreign occupiers, as well as water rights, nuclear
arms, the establishment of a nuclear-free zone, and
the civilian use of nuclear energy as a power source.
These issues need to be addressed: the
Israeli-Palestinian issue and a mechanism to scale down
the fear factor that exacerbates the arms race. This
would negate this likely war. Too often, we have
treated regional symptoms rather than the root of the
problems. My gravest concern is that these matters
will not be addressed and that the coming conflict
will denigrate into the incorporation of other nations
to the point of escalating into another world war.

I belive if Russia or China would host such a summit.Perhaps if this summit were jointly hosted by these two great nations the world community would understand the gravity of our current situation, the Middle East lacks a BALANCE OF POWER!
________________________________
( The Israeli regional nuclear arms monopoly )

Why is Israel not being held accountable for their nuclear toy box, while Iran is under the international microscope for their nuclear ambitions? For example, look at Israel's avoidance of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and other international agreements on matters of nuclear energy, technology, materials, facilities, and weapons, and at the same time, is proceeding forward in her pursuit for development and acquisition of materials by any means necessary for the purpose of weapons development. She has surpassed other members of the nuclear club, both in capability and volume, and in sophistication in her varied weapons systems, both in the range of these delivery systems as well as lethality of their yield potential. These devices number more than several hundred, the most ominous being her neutron bombs, a developing nuclear submarine fleet, the Nautalis and Thell Laser Systems, and atomic mines and cannons. That does not even include Israel's other programs in the biological and chemical arenas. Much has been authored on these matters from very reliable sources from inside the Israeli nuclear and defense lair.

The contradiction between the international community's positions on the Iranian nuclear ambitions and Israel's policy of nuclear ambiguity is reckless and obsolete. It is perceived as an arrogant posture, and is counter-productive to peace. Unfortunately Israel is a nuclear state. Partiality shown toward one state over others in the international realm amongst the great powers has become a game of favors and privilege and is similar to the child's game of "Mother, May I". Israel has slipped through the net of the International Atomic Energy Agency's inspections and scrutiny due to the influence of those nations having mutual objectives.

Pressures are truly rising in the Middle East. The stakes are very high, yet the international community lacks the political maturity to meet these issues with real solutions, even though the risks in not doing so, more than likely will result in a war, economic or ecological crisis or all three. The stakes are too high to ignore the situation. If it is not addressed, there will be catastrophic reverbations.

The answer should be the establishment of a nuclear-free zone from north Africa to the Pakistani frontier with the inclusion of Israel under a NATO umbrella of protection and eventual incorporation as a full partner. There should be an inventory taken of the nuclear assets of the Israeli program. Command and control should be dually managed by both Israeli and NATO personnel until the arsenal is scaled down to point 0. A verifiable regional cooperation treaty on such matters should be established.
( American and Coalition transfer of Iraqi security and training )

Given the political stale mate in the gulf region over Iraq and its occupation by American and coalition forces and the counter by various factions internal and external insurgents/fighters both religious and political there is a possible mechanism for altering this quagmire.

Shortly after the coming installment of the new coalition government this mechanism should be implemented. The process would be carried out by Coalition forces having a phased withdrawal by various numbers being equaled by an introduction of local Arab forces into Iraq. For example, 20,000-50,000 troops being withdrawn by American forces, that being matched by the introduction of local regional Arab forces into the American role over an agreed time frame to the point where there would be no longer any American or allied forces in Iraq. This process would be best negotiated through the Arab league and regional powers; Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other gulf states. This would bring greater coorperation amongst the Arab peoples and it would accelerate political normalization within Iraq and the region. Deployment of troops would be determined by tactical officers. The process when completed would be a true test of the newly erected Iraqi infrastructure and political frame work. In concluding the process it would give the Iraqi people the opportunity to demonstrate a new collective national resolve and fulfillment of their aspiration. This would allow the American people to begin to have closure over this very contentious time.

( The Israeli Palestinian compromise )

After giving this much thought, and after examining this complex issue from all conceivable angles, these are my conclusions and suggestions. Given the recent warming in relations and voting in the Israeli Parliament or Knesset toward the eventual withdrawal of forces from the occupied territories, there are issues that would further the peace process. The primary concern of the Israelis is security, given the recent negative vote in the world court at The Hague on the Israeli security fence.

There is a counter to that position. In areas where the wall has been erected, the acts of violence and bombing have shown a dramatic reduction in occurrences. The Israelis should be allowed to complete the security wall, and in exchange, the Palestinians should be allowed to have a secure overland egress similar to a walled expressway connecting the West Bank to the Gaza Strip. I would like to recommend that the Gaza Strips access point should begin at Bayt, continuing through Israel, and ending at Idriah on the West Bank. The access could be segmented into sections of underground tunnels and walled, above-ground overpasses, much like our modern day freeways. The walls denying visibility will offer greater security and ease on both sides of the issue. The segments of underground tunnels and above ground over passes will give variation so this project will not physically or topographically sever Israel into portions, North and South, but rather become only slight interruptions. This would also heighten mutual security for both states. The length of segments from tunnel to raised, walled highway could be determined by the concerned parties, technical, military and political, etc.

This plan would not entirely disrupt the overall land expanse from border to border of the Gaza Strip to the West Bank. The distance from Bayt Gaza to Idriah on the West Bank is approximately twenty-five miles or forty kilometers. Professional advisors must give qualified opinions and decisions, which should be based on sound judgment for all the parties' benefit. This would be the beginning of meeting physical realities in a practical way.

NATO should be brought in as a security umbrella over Israel and Palestine, depressurizing the Golan Heights, which Israel presently occupies. If NATO forces were to be placed along the Lebanese and Syrian frontiers after an Israeli pullout, then the Golan Heights could be overseen by a regional super-national water and irrigation authority, preferably chaired by a neutral nation such as Finland, or Sweden, etc. The majority of land area could be considered a land reserve or trust, as this is a primary water source as well a strategic military vantage. Given the turbulent past and the contention between the three major area religions, the future of Jerusalem should be decided by referendum, sponsored by the UN General Assembly, and to ensure fairness, international observers should be on the ground to oversee the vote. The heart of the issue is sovereignty, who shall govern, and how Jerusalem shall be ruled. All sides want to control and possess Jerusalem; the matter should be decided by the ballot. One option for the residents would be dual citizenship based on native culture, either Palestinian or Israeli. Both peoples want Jerusalem as their capital; Jerusalem itself could become a confederated municipality of both Israel and Palestine with a unique status. Its governmental structure could also be dually managed. Perhaps Jerusalem's populace could choose independence and opt for full membership in the UN General Assembly as an international municipality as a city-state, similar to other small nations and entities.

NATO could be a stabilizing force politically as well as militarily. Given the apprehensions of the numerically superior Arabs and the advanced and highly
capable Israeli IDF, NATO's inclusion of Israel and Palestine would stabilize both the internal and external insecurities. Due to the geographical proximity of these two states, their economies and security are interdependent. Water resources are a vital matter. A prime example of two former adversaries becoming equal partners in NATO has been demonstrated by Turkey and Greece, as they both have proven to be strong contributors to the NATO mission. If NATO were to come in, and conduct a inventory of the nuclear facility in the Negev Desert at Dimona and at other military facilities in Israel, as well as becoming a full partner in the day-to-day management, command, and control there, it would greatly lessen Pan-Arab anxieties in the area and could lead to disarmament. It would demonstrate Israel's regional goodwill and would lessen the argument for the nuclear option regionally.

This could have a far-reaching effect in countering increasing militarism in Southwest Asia. It could also lead to a greater international peace and a new direction for NATO. I believe lives can be saved and enriched. Our origins are from a common root and our destinies will be shared, as we are members of the same extended family of man, and are children of the one true God!

Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully,

Craig Scott Aberle Tel-(763)428-3988
craigaberle@yahoo.com
P.O. Box #49 Dayton, MN 55327, USA.
PS. Please respond to these concepts.
Although my occupation is primarily in labor, I am an amateur enthusiast and student of various kindred antiquarian subjects such as Heraldry, Vexillology, World History, Genealogy,as follows in my paternal lineage Craig Scott ABERLE, son of Kenneth Eugene ABERLE, son of Erwin Bassett ABERLE, son of Jesse Herbert ABERLE, son of Matthias ABERLE, son of Matthias ABERLE, son of Johannes ABERLE, son of Johann Georg ABERLE, son of Christian ABERLIN, son of Michael ABERLIN, son of Hans ABERLIN, son of Christian ABERLIN, born at Hornberg, Baden, in the year 1605. Into the family of Aberlin, of the tribal or stem Duchy of Swabia,Schwaben,Suebi,Suevi,Suevic, Tribe Aesar, clan Suevi) ,Aes,Trojan,Troi,Thracian,Thirasian,Tarusha.Biblical lineage Ti'ras, son of Ja'pheth, son of No'ah, son of La'mech, son of Ma-th'u-sala, son of E'noch, son of Ja'red, son of Ma-le'le-el, son of Ca-i'nan, son of E'nos, son of Seth, son of Ad'am. Ethnography, Ethno History, Biblical Historical Geography, Cultural Geography, and Political Science, These subjects have captured my interest for over twenty-five years.


( Counter Pressure Measures for Middle East Peace )Pressures are truly rising in the Middle East. The stakes are very high, yet the international community lacks the political maturity to meet these issues with real solutions, even though the risks in not doing so, more than likely will result in a war, economic or ecological crisis or all three. The stakes are too high to ignore the situation. If it is not addressed, there will be catastrophic reverbations.

The answer should be the establishment of a nuclear-free zone from north Africa to the western Pakistani frontier with the inclusion of Israel under a NATO umbrella of protection and eventual incorporation as a full partner. There should be an inventory taken of the nuclear assets of the Israeli program. Command and control should be dually managed by both Israeli and NATO personnel until the arsenal is scaled down to point 0. A verifiable regional cooperation treaty on such matters should be created.
( The Israeli Palestinian compromise )

After giving this much thought, and after examining this complex issue from all conceivable angles, these are my conclusions and suggestions. Given the recent warming in relations and voting in the Israeli Parliament or Knesset toward the eventual withdrawal of forces from the occupied territories, there are issues that would further the peace process. The primary concern of the Israelis is security, given the recent negative vote in the world court at The Hague on the Israeli security fence.

There is a counter to that position. In areas where the wall has been erected, the acts of violence and bombing have shown a dramatic reduction in occurrences. The Israelis should be allowed to complete the security wall, and in exchange, the Palestinians should be allowed to have a secure overland egress similar to a walled expressway connecting the West Bank to the Gaza Strip. I would like to recommend that the Gaza Strips access point should begin at Bayt, continuing through Israel, and ending at Idriah on the West Bank. The access could be segmented into sections of underground tunnels and walled, above-ground overpasses, much like our modern day freeways. The walls denying visibility will offer greater security and ease on both sides of the issue. The segments of underground tunnels and above ground over passes will give variation so this project will not physically or topographically sever Israel into portions, North and South, but rather become only slight interruptions. This would also heighten mutual security for both states. The length of segments from tunnel to raised, walled highway could be determined by the concerned parties, technical, military and political, etc.

This plan would not entirely disrupt the overall land expanse from border to border of the Gaza Strip to the West Bank. The distance from Bayt Gaza to Idriah on the West Bank is approximately twenty-five miles or forty kilometers. Professional advisors must give qualified opinions and decisions, which should be based on sound judgment for all the parties' benefit. This would be the beginning of meeting physical realities in a practical way.

NATO should be brought in as a security umbrella over Israel and Palestine, depressurizing the Golan Heights, which Israel presently occupies. If NATO forces were to be placed along the Lebanese and Syrian frontiers after an Israeli pullout, then the Golan Heights could be overseen by a regional super-national water and irrigation authority, preferably chaired by a neutral nation such as Finland, or Sweden, etc. The majority of land area could be considered a land reserve or trust, as this is a primary water source as well a strategic military vantage. Given the turbulent past and the contention between the three major area religions, the future of Jerusalem should be decided by referendum, sponsored by the UN General Assembly, and to ensure fairness, international observers should be on the ground to oversee the vote. The heart of the issue is sovereignty, who shall govern, and how Jerusalem shall be ruled. All sides want to control and possess Jerusalem; the matter should be decided by the ballot. One option for the residents would be dual citizenship based on native culture, either Palestinian or Israeli. Both peoples want Jerusalem as their capital; Jerusalem itself could become a confederated municipality of both Israel and Palestine with a unique status. Its governmental structure could also be dually managed. Perhaps Jerusalem's populace could choose independence and opt for full membership in the UN General Assembly as an international municipality as a city-state, similar to other small nations and entities.

NATO could be a stabilizing force politically as well as militarily. Given the apprehensions of the numerically superior Arabs and the advanced and highly
capable Israeli IDF, NATO's inclusion of Israel and Palestine would stabilize both the internal and external insecurities. Due to the geographical proximity of these two states, their economies and security are interdependent. Water resources are a vital matter. A prime example of two former adversaries becoming equal partners in NATO has been demonstrated by two other Mediterranean powers Turkey, and Greece, as they both have proven to be strong contributors to the NATO mission. If NATO were to come in, and conduct an inventory of the nuclear facility in the Negev Desert at Dimona and at other military facilities in Israel as an enitial task. Secondly by becoming a full partner in the day-to-day management, command, and control there, it would greatly lessen Pan-Arab anxieties in the area. Thirdly this would lead to disarmament on all WMDs. It would demonstrate Israel's regional goodwill and would eliminate the argument for the nuclear option regionally. These tools can be phased in over a merged time table of 15 months as the first goal to employ these measures. The second or mid point at three and one half years. The final stage with a target date of seven years until the objectives of the plan would be reached and concluded.
This exspanse of time would be gradual enough to allow for adjustments and acclimation to the coming changes.
This could have a far-reaching effect in countering increasing militarism in Southwest Asia. It could also lead to a greater international peace and a new direction for NATO. I believe lives can be saved and enriched. Our origins are from a common root and our destinies will be shared, as we are members of the same extended family of man, and are children of the one true God!

Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully,

Craig Scott Aberle Tel-(763)428-3988
craigaberle@yahoo.com
P.O. Box #49 Dayton, MN 55327, USA.
PS. Please respond to these concepts.
Although my occupation is primarily in labor, I am an amateur enthusiast and student of various kindred antiquarian subjects such as Heraldry, Vexillology, World History, Genealogy, Ethnography, Ethno History, Biblical Historical Geography, Cultural Geography, and Political Science, These subjects have captured my interest for over twenty-five years.

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