In addition to the stated goal of dismantling the forces of the Islamic State, U.S.-led efforts against the terrorist organization might provide long-term byproducts that benefit American interests in the Middle East.
Another 20 years, apparently, won't bring enough technological advances to have us soaring around with jet packs or using our personal flying machines to go on some errands. Yet while the future envisioned by the forward-thinking animation of "The Jetsons" will need to wait, the state of Washington is engaging in some planning for future transportation needs.
Leave it to William Shakespeare to find the best possible words. Lesser minds might have said something such as "levelheadedness must be employed when considering risky endeavors." But The Bard? The Bard wrote, "the better part of valor is discretion," a sentiment that remains pertinent.
The decision amounts to a sharp rap on the knuckles with a ruler, but the state Supreme Court demonstrated some judicial temperance last week. Justices ruled that lawmakers have been in contempt for a lack of progress on public school funding, but they held off on punishment until after the 2015 legislative session.
Cheers: Good news for the Clark County Sheriff's Office is good news for citizens — in this case the future hiring of eight new deputies and one jail commander. County commissioners approved the move this week, which will be funded over the next two years with about $1.5 million in expected money from the Washington Department of Corrections.
The 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks is, in many ways, much different from the ones that have come before it. Yes, the wounds still are raw, tempered by time but never to be completely salved. And yes, our reaction still is uncertain, flustered by doubts about the United States' role in the world but driven by a resolute faith in our nation and her people.
It's no secret that the Affordable Care Act is increasing pressure on an already strained health care network. Adding millions of people to a system that was suffering from a well-documented shortage of doctors can only exacerbate some problems.
As if school funding and mental health care didn't generate enough concerns for next year's Legislature, now there are dire reports about Washington's prison system. According to the Justice Reinvestment Task Force, providing adequate prison space over the next 10 years could cost between $387 million and $481 million, which just might be the legislative equivalent of squeezing blood from a turnip.
While it is easy to get dazed and confused amid the constant swirl of economic news and numbers, we'll try to keep this simple: The fact that U.S. manufacturing is growing at a robust pace is good news.
Cheers: Kudos to voters in Ridgefield, who two years ago passed a $47 million bond measure for local schools and now are seeing the fruits of their contributions. The district is putting the finishing touches on vast school expansions and improvements that will enhance the educational experience for both students and teachers.
As students throughout Washington settle into the new school year, they might or might not recognize differences in the educational demands that are being placed upon them. And that might or might not be beneficial — which points out the teeth-gnashing that has accompanied implementation of Common Core educational standards. Formulated by a business-driven coalition that enlisted support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Common Core is designed to produce consistently higher education standards across states and to better prepare American students to compete in a global economy.