Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A Tale of Two Cities, Part I: Vancouver, B.C. and Seattle

Vancouver and Seattle possess striking similarities and differences from each other. In this first post, let's look at some similarities, some which are not well-known to persons not living in the region.

International Events:
World's Fairs:
The Century 21 World Exposition was hosted by Seattle in 1962. Century 21 was dedicated to showcasing the advances of science during the height of the Cold War. I will expound more on Century 21 in future postings, as this event was an enormous turning point in Seattle's history. More about Century 21 at this commemorative site.

Expo 86 was hosted by Vancouver in 1986. Themed "World In Motion - World in Touch", Expo 86 celebrated the astonishing advances in all forms of transportation. Expo 86 - Looking Back commemorative site has some neat information about this event.

International Conferences:
The Second World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference was held in Seattle in late 1999, and brought Seattle some of the worst publicity imaginable.

I am seeking some tips from other bloggers about major international conferences (they are very numerous) which have occurred in Seattle and in Vancouver.

(this story will be continued - please post your comments and suggestions - I will be comparing not only the core cities, but the greater metropolitan areas.)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Giving back Congressional pork barrel??

"They can kiss my ear!", responded Representative Don Young (D-Alaska) when presented with pleas by thousands of Alaskans that their state voluntarily relinquish the staggering amount of transportation pork barrel money, to provide desperately-needed money for Gulf-coast Hurricane Katrina relief.

When pressed further about the "America Gives Back" proposals being pushed by many Alaskans, Rep. Young further exclaimed, "That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard."

"Young Scoffs at Criticism of Bridges" (Anchorage Daily News) gives a rather grim insight into the desperation elected officials feel in protecting their "hard-won" pork barrel projects for their pet constitutencies.

Michelle Malkin provides a vigorous critique of "Don Young: Hog Wild".

Left-wing blogger Think Progress captures the essence: Rep. Don Young (R-AK) is a self-proclaimed “little oinker” and aspires to be the “chief porker. A CNN video interview link is provided, and the following dialogue between the CNN reporter and Rep. Young ensues:

REPORTER: Isn’t there a bunch of stuff in that highway bill, at least 24 billion dollars, that could be taken out and used for the people in New Orleans and Mississippi and the places that were affected?

REP. YOUNG: No! That money is not there! That money is for transportation! That is not added pork. See, that’s why the whole media — Wall Street Journal, yourself, respectfully, you know, Sam Donaldson — don’t know what the hell you are talking about. This is grandstanding by individuals that don’t know what they’re talking about. I’ll go back to that. It’s ignorance and stupidity.

The issue of Congressional pork-barrel extravagance, all for the sake of helping buy key campaign contributions and votes from pet constituencies in members' home districts, should not die. Our nation must demand better performance from Members of Congress than the execrable waste and "let them eat cake" arrogance demonstrated by Rep. Young and many other power brokers in the halloweed halls of Congress.