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The Most Significant Surge in America is Hope

This election is boiling down to the choice between the overdue taking of leadership by the dominant generations versus denial; the inability to recognize the oncoming headlong rejection of the old ways of doing business.

Hillary's fading candidacy reminds me of one of the last scenes from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in which Indy - hanging over a ledge above a chasm - finds himself barely inches from the Holy Grail.

Indy just can't quite grasp it.

Finally a voice of reason is heard from his father, played by Sean.

"Indiana .... let it go."

"But I just need to -"

"Let it go, Indiana."

In view of what has happened in an America suffering from the presidential incapacity - accurately described by Mr. Maher last Friday night  - of America's first retarded president,  it might have been better had we passed the baton back in 2000.

Speaking in fantasy, it also appears that had McCain somehow managed to avoid or overcome the total dishonesty of the Bush campaign and managed to wrest the nomination in 2000, what would the result have been?

Ignoring the reality that Gore actually won that race, we can conclude that Mccain's apparent conscious-less pandering in this campaign suggests how a McCain presidential campaign in 2000 would have required the same pandering to the only political coalition that made the 2000 election close.

McCain would have needed the same kind of sleazy help actually provided to Bush in the 2000 election.

This political sleaziness constitutes the "same old same old" that politicians of my generation have been enmeshed in for years. Only the most naive of my generation would insist that the government previously dominated by Democrats  was entirely ethically clean and free from corruption at the highest levels.


Having achieved majority status in Congress and with a haste borne of poor assumptions, elected Republicans rushed to the pork troughs and the lobbyist all-you-can-take buffet.

They commenced their own version of "back-room deal making" with an abandon that reveals the immaturity of their civic perceptions.

They behaved like junior high students acting out their own limited perceptions of how the government of Democrats must have included widespread corruption, graft and opportunity. These apparently were perceived then as entitlements/spoils of Republican victories.

It also reveals the shallow understanding of the consequences of dishonest Rovian-style Limbaugh-publicized political discourse based on lies, distortions and hate.

The truth is that even in their most shameful moments of public stewardship, the Democratic Party - over all those pre-1990's years of majority status - suffered much fewer embarrassments of civic failure and criminal conduct than Republicans have managed to accomplish in their few years of recent Republican control.

These national Republicans were sustained and elected by their respective state party organizations, organizations trained, coached and controlled by national RNC schemers.

Many of the newly elected arrived in D.C. either riding the coattails of the Bush victory based on deception and dirty tricks, or heavily subsidized by the likes of Tom Delay-types (who then installed the lock-step device in their brains.)

That's the legacy of Republican experience.

It is this "same old same old" working environment from which and in which Hillary and McCain have their context.

This is the ultimate weakness of Hillary's tactic of trumpeting her experience. It is perhaps an unconscious admission on her part that business-as-usual is the only method of governing Hillary knows.

The same is true for McCain, but it involves a more gruesome and shameful truth with the Republican Party,  

It's the Fear-Mongering, Stupid

McCain now has those discredited Republican minions and Bushco's economic management to thank for having to limit himself to a Johnny One-Note campaign.

His primary selling point seems to be that he used to be in the military, that he has a Patton-like understanding of what it means to be a commander-in-chief who presides over a nation of quivering cowards created by irresponsible and dishonest fear-mongering.

... that he used to be a prisoner of war and therefore has an ex-prisoner's perspective against torture. Most Americans understand that opposition to torture is an American Core Value. This ideal campaign tool has now been squandered by expediencies of McCain's candidacy.

Problem is McCain must appeal to the same "conservative" Republican constituencies who will have been very volatile, rigid and inconsistenlty unreliable supporters in the overall administration his presidency would entail beyond national security.

That of course would be business as usual.

McCain's "same old same old" is worse than Hillary's.

But Hillary has the 8-year reputation of an ex-president husband who seems to have squandered much of his own good will and popularity with his recent campaign behavior; who doesn't understand Obama's generation and doesn't know when to shut up.  

She also - when her experience is hi-lighted - has an unsuccessful attempt to reform health care 16 years ago that collided headlong with lobbyist and Republican business-as-usual.

Including this experience, Hillary now proposes that she's learned how to fight dirty - but makes no mention of asking citizens to help her achieve her goals without having to fight dirty.

She does not seem to be interested in cleaning house, merely sweeping out what's under the rug to make room for more.

We boomers born in the late 40's and the 50's have had our chance with Clinton and most recently, Doofus, who is our most recent legacy. If so, that means we muffed it when we had the chance.

The generations to whom Obama appeals OWN the future; have a right to it. These are the generations who have gotten out TO vote, have gotten out THE vote and outnumber us older folks  by tens of millions.

The foolish attempts by Hillary and McCain to cut Obama off at the knees by denigrating hope also diminish expectations.

They also expose the candidates, campaigns and party faithful who have lost a genuine hope themselves for the pillars of what really holds this country together.

It's what's wrong when McCain and Hillary - with apparent personal arrogance - ignore the need to talk about voters acting like citizens, who forget to mention how voters must take on-going action and personal responsibility.

You could make the case that failure to insist that post-election citizens take action causes  experience-touting candidates to seem to mimic other failures: historical leaders around the globe who've pretended to be father, mother or parent of an entire nation.

... leaders who promised to protect citizens and fix everything needing fixing without citizen help. Few of them are remembered as benevolent successes and most presided over failure and disaster.

We know that these "when I'm President I will ..." promises are not intended to rule out or exclude citizen participation. However in talking in this manner, Hillary and McCain are failing to communicate any expectation or demand of civic responsibility from voters.

Business as usual means that most of the country is purposefully left out of the action - which is what the Republican Doofus adminstration of 2000-2008 has been all about.

Obama knows that. He is speaking to the generations that will call the shots.

America's core values are founded on hopes and expectations; attitudes that sustain or contrast actual reality. It's a reality that may reveal the yet-to-be-corrected or something-needs-to-be-done issues that constitute life in this country.

That's why they are "core" values.

It is hope, courage and willingness to tinker with problems. It's in the attempt to change coupled with the will to focus on equality and national security that might generate laudable civic successes.

The founding fathers were not primarily political veterans in their 50's and 60's who served based on experience and age. The wisdom of the Constitution did not come about because 100 folks my age put the distillation of their life's experience into the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

That some my age contributed is true. But that the majority were of my age group is not true. They were closer to the age of only one of the remaining leadership candidates.

But all of the founders, regardless of age, were significantly united in one of the most important attributes demanded of leaders ... courage.

We olders owe America's youngers a greater demonstration of patriotism and the taking of responsibility for our own governance beyond cowardly pretending that experience matters more than courage. We need to demonstrate a belief and will to look for change when change is necessary.

We must recognize that Hillary's inability to appeal to the majority generational activism of her own party cannot be explained away or ignored by an appeal to our fears of another "My Pet Goat president" if that moment tragically returns.

A real leader can rise without need of a resume and only a lack of courage and will runs and hides from that idea. (Or in the case of the election of 2000, when the stupid voted as a majority block, the exception proves the rule,)

We must recognize that McCain's inability to unite his party demonstrates a dangerous lack of leadership communication skills. If he has to put on his commander's cap in response to another 911 moment, he'll need guidance in how to communicate effectively. Or ... he'll have to rely purely on macho tough talk and we know where that last President to do that got us.

The greatest gift we can give our children and grand children is not our fear, not our timid caution in the face of all the "what might be's" offered up by aging politicians who need us to be fearful so they can get power.

The greatest gift we can and should pass on to the generations that already own and deserve to run the future is strongly epitomized by Mr. Murrow of my parents' generation.

"We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men."

That thinking is what makes a generation get remembered as the greatest generation.

Arthur Ruger
Publisher, Willapa Magazine

Andy Rooney: PERSPECTIVE   
  I've learned.... That the best classroom in  the world is at the feet of an elderly person.
  I've learned.... That when you're in love,  it shows.
  I've learned.... That just one person saying  to me, 'You've made my day!' makes my day.
  I've learned.... That having a child fall  asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world. 
  I've learned.... That being kind is more  important than being right.
  I've learned.... That you should never say  no to a gift from a child.
  I've learned.... That I can always pray for  someone when I don't have the strength to help him in some other way.
  I've learned.... That no matter how serious  your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.
  I've learned.... That sometimes all a person  needs is a hand to hold and a                         
heart to understand.
  I've learned.... That simple walks with my  father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for  me as an adult.
  I've learned.... That life is like a roll of  toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
  I've learned.... That we should be glad God  doesn't give us everything we ask for.
  I've learned.... That money doesn't buy  class.
  I've learned.... That it's those small daily  happenings that make life so spectacular.
  I've learned... That under everyone's hard shell is someone who wants to be  appreciated and loved.
  I've learned.... That to ignore the facts  does not change the facts.
  I 've learned.... That when you plan to get  even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.
  I've learned.... That love, not time, heals  all wounds.
  I've learned.... That the easiest way for me  to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am. 
  I've learned.... That everyone you meet  deserves to be greeted with a smile.
  I've learned.... That no one is perfect  until you fall in love with them.
  I've learned... That life is tough, but I'm  tougher.
  I've learned.... That opportunities are  never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.
  I've learned.... That when you harbor bitterness, happiness  will dock elsewhere.
  I've learned.... That I wish I could have  told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away.
  I've learned.... That one should keep his  words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.
  I've learned.... That a smile is an  inexpensive way to improve your looks.
  I've learned.... That when your newly born  grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, that you're hooked  for life.
  I've learned.... That everyone wants to live on top of  the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing  it.
  I've learned.... That the less time I have  to work with, the more things I get done.

Amy Goodman at Truthdig
Where Do We Go From Here?
Posted on Apr 2, 2008

By Amy Goodman

It has been 40 years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., while standing on the balcony outside his room at the Lorraine Motel. King was there to support striking sanitation workers, African-American men who endured horrible working conditions for poverty wages. While King’s staff was opposed to him going, as they were scrambling to organize King’s new initiative, the Poor People’s Campaign, King himself knew that the sanitation workers were at the front lines of fighting poverty.

I went to Memphis on Dr. King’s birthday. There I interviewed Taylor Rogers, one of the striking sanitation workers who marched with King. He told me:

“Back in 1968, 1,300 sanitation workers—we were tired of being mistreated, overworked and underpaid. We decided that we were just going to stand up and be men and do something about our condition. And that’s what we did. We stood up, and we told [Mayor] Henry Loeb in the city of Memphis that ‘I am a man.’ ”

While he was organizing against poverty, King also came out forcefully against the Vietnam War, alienating his erstwhile ally, President Lyndon Johnson. Exactly one year before his assassination, on April 4, 1967, King gave his “Beyond Vietnam” speech at Riverside Church in New York City. He said: “A few years ago, there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor, both black and white, through the poverty program. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. Then came the buildup in Vietnam, and I watched this program broken and eviscerated as if it were some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war. And I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic, destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.”

He went on, “I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.”

Time magazine called the speech “demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi.” The Washington Post declared that King had “diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people.”

King made an essential link between poverty at home and war-making abroad. The connection, sadly, is as relevant today as it was the last year of King’s life. A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies, “40 Years Later: The Unrealized American Dream,” lays out key elements of the inequality that African-Americans experience in the United States around education, employment and wealth accumulation.

On education, the IPS report states that African-American college graduation rates will not be on par with white graduation rates for another 80 years. The income gap between blacks and whites will not disappear for more than 500 years at current rates. More than one-third of African-Americans earn less than $20,000 annually, before taxes.

African-Americans are also far behind in the accumulation of wealth. Add to all this higher incarceration, less access to health insurance and shorter life expectancy. King’s Poor People’s Campaign went beyond race, as he reached out to poor whites in places like Appalachia. Today, one in five residents of West Virginia is on food stamps, as is one in 10 Ohioans, and, according Jim Weill, president of the Food Research and Action Center, one in three children in Oklahoma has been on food stamps at some point in the past year. It is clear that Dr. King’s goal of bringing people “to the promised land” is still far off.

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on 650 stations in North America.

2008 Amy Goodman

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Willapa Magazine  has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article.


Candidates and parties, using manipulation and newspeak has inserted this kind of nonsense into public discourse.

A big flap over the wrong sermon and the wrong Reverend

... the world can be divided into worthy and unworthy and that any human being has a right to judge another on a spiritual level. - Noemie Maxwell on Washblog

It is a sad time when politics draws judgmental religious thinking into an arena where inflammatory sermons without fail do more harm than good.

Lietta and I are reading Frank Schaeffer's bio "Crazy for God." Schaeffer's father (Francis Schaeffer) is credited by most as being the theological father of the late 1970's and early 1980's evangelical insertion into activist political dialog. The father'ss focus was almost exclusively on opposition to abortion. For example, Operation Rescue's Randall Terry openly credits Francis Schaeffer as his inspiration.

The later chapters of the son's book address Frank's own deteriorating attitude regarding religious celebrities who speak on political issues. I recommend Frankie's book to anyone with an interest in the history and growth of evangelical political agitation. (For more specifics, go to the The Yurica Report: The Despoiling of America)

Unfortunately, the gates to political preaching were opened 30 or more years ago when purely greedy televangelists recognized an opportunity for greater fame, greater audiences and corresponding cash flow (or notoriety) by taking cues in hate-mongering and anger-mongering from the likes of Limbaugh.

Actually, one could even go further back for inspiration in modeling one's own pulpit political content based on the political activist preaching of Dr. King. King's preaching and speeches gave us the healthiest form of religious/political rhetoric - probably because it stuck to the liberal compassionate philosophy of Christ as found in the New Testament.

Sadly, it now seems commonplace for ignorant and poorly-read political biblicist candidates like McCain to attempt to make hay or lure supporters of the ilk of John Hagee and Rod Parsely. These are those whose indignation seems to be more patently and deliberate grandstanding as opposed to the assumed sincere and righteous indignation unleashed in Reverend Wright's fire.

In addition, although Hagee's literalist devotion to the end-times fantasy comes across as naive ravings of Donald Duck, there are evangelicals who still naively and passively assumed that the political manure dragged by preachers into their sermons is the same god-talk that Jesus talked.

The underlying problem to all of this which now seems a permanently-embedded aspect of political life in America (a more effective way to knock down any wall of separation than some constitutionally mandated formality) is how one party using manipulation and newspeak has inserted this kind of nonsense into public discourse.

Traditional and presumably non-self-righteous parties and candidates are nevertheless forced to talk the talk and walk the walk of religious rhetoric whether they want to or not. Politically, Fake Consultant's words about America's own role in generating the creation of emotional global "IED's" of resentment and downright hatred of this country are on target.

Writings like Chalmers Johnson's books and William Blum's "Rogue State" are not refutable unless you are so blindly nationalistic and full of the limitations of jingoism that your proclamation of "America: Love it or Leave It" becomes the unspoken arrogance of your own ignorance as well.

Undeniably, American global imperialism is why the most insignificant of American citizens cannot travel abroad without the need for serious consideration of personal safety, not to mention the need for much more CASH.

We have the extremely inferior and failed Corporate Free-Market Government-Bail-Out-Supported system to thank for that. (Would Jesus have bailed out Bear who more than likely ruthlessly refused to forgive it's on economic debtors?)

As a members of a global community we Americans are both economic and religious global imperialists. Honest evidence and observation makes that statement is almost impossible to rebut with the use of lying and self-serving rhetoric. ... unless you are a political and religious bigot taught by shallow contemporary corporate conservatism to believe the at all costs, what is good for American business is good for the whole planet regardless of American Corporate tactics and strategy.

It's the ultimate answer to the growing negative response to an old American cliche: "Would you buy a used car (do business) with this guy?"

And who publishes here?

Arthur Ruger is a contributing editor at

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Arthur is an author and freelance writer

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I was only a half-hearted party participant and knew I'd vote for whomever of the two gets the nomination.

Arthur's Opinion after going to the caucuses

Today we drove to Naselle for the Democratic Caucus for our three Pacific County communities of Naselle, Nemah and Bay Center. I had been keeping quiet about the caucuses after Lietta indicated earlier in the week that she'd be interested in going.

I thought that I had better things to do with my time and as one who had unofficially renounced membership in the party, I didn't want to go.

But Lietta did and since the flyer said folks could come as observers I went with her.

When we signed in Lietta advised me that the mailer she received previously had indicated that I was still a registered Democrat. So I signed myself in. However, on the right hand side where it said to indicate my presidential preference coming in, I left it blank. I had yet to make up my mind.

Although impressed with Obama's success and the sense of enthusiasm and acceptance of his candidacy sweeping the country, I was leaning ever so slightly in the direction of Hillary.

Principally - as I've joked with friends - I've felt that we baby boomers can't leave George Bush as our legacy to our children. Surely we get one more chance. Hillary is one of us. She'd be a hell of a lot better than Bush.

Hillary is experienced more than ANY candidate still running or who has been running. A Hillary resume based on facts and documented experience indicates that there is no other candidate this time that is/was more qualified to function from Day One as president.

But the reason my leaning toward Hillary was slight has more to do with leadership and the ability to move people to action; to inspire and provoke civic participation.

I signed in as "uncommitted" but inwardly was leaning toward Hillary, believing fully that I would hear no new reason that would sway me toward Obama.

I also vowed to merely listen and refrain from speaking since I was only a half-hearted party participant and knew I would vote for whomever of the two gets the nomination.

Lietta was among the first three to speak. For someone who's never been there to a caucus and done that previously, that woman was not one who hesitates. After listening to an Obama supporter followed by someone who spoke like she might be the head of the local Clinton support organization, Lietta made up her mind, stood up and gave an updated version of the powerful and important points she's been making now at least five years. She's never altered her emphasis on the importance of supporting those who seem most willing and able to end the Iraq slaughter as soon as possible.

Back and forth the speakers stood and offered their alternating opinions.

The Clinton supporters' lead speaker by that time had made three curious statements that caught my attention:

(1) Earlier in her political life she was caught up in support of an idealistic candidate, Jimmy Carter, who let her down; who demonstrated a lack of ability to deal with the Washington cesspool. She said she'd never take idealism over experience again.

(2) She told a story about Bill Clinton the idealist - right after he was first elected in 1992 - being taken aside by Republican politicians and/or party hacks who flat out told him exactly all that he could and could not do.

(3) She declared that Hillary had been working on Health Care reform for years and that such reform was not attainable given the political/economic climate unless there was a president who could function as a scheming dealmaker rather than an idealist.

Idealism would leave millions of Americans uninsured.

Note: I would be curious to hear from other caucuses as to whether or not the Carter and Bill Clinton stories were heard there. Those stories were presented in such an odd context that I've been wondering if they were Clinton Campaign talking points given to supporters beforehand to be used in each caucus.

Somewhat irked by a sense that she might have been trotting out campaign-directed talking points while posing as a wise voice of experience with inside knowledge, I finally put in my two-bits.

When Hillary's supporter followed up her Carter and Bill Clinton stories with a whack at Obama for an unrealistic idealism that would fail at health care reform I had heard enough.

The Carter story doesn't fit because Carter in 1976 - minus the excessive wealth - looked more like Romney than Obama. He emphasize his borne-again religious outsider shtick and brought a high amount of political naivete with him into the White House.

Which is precisely what a President Romney would have done.

To shallowly compare Carter and his 1976 ambush of the electoral system of that time to Obama in 2008 with his senatorial experience, his lengthy on-his-feet-in-the-street success and experience (not to mention having to deal with a more openly vicious and intense experience in campaign attack politics than Carter faced) is not a legitimate comparison.

As for in-power Republicans telling new President Bill Clinton how the cow ate the cabbage, neither is that a legitimate point for supporting Hillary over Obama.

The simple truth about that circumstance is this:

McCain is on the Right, has built an albatross out of his Bush/War support and advocacy that will hang around his neck and be totally visible and publicized to the same electorate that overwhelmingly repudiated Bush and his war in 2006.

Obama represents that same repudiation. Hillary does not.

Obama is much more likely to be elected in a landslide with long coattails.

Hillary - by virtue not only of her dubious war wisdom, but also her stubborn refusal to acknowledge error when she voted for the war authorization as well as her self-proclaimed 35-year linkage to knowing the Good-Old-Boy ways of doing business - is less likely to win by a landslide.

Her coattail dragging more Democrats into current Republican-held seats in Congress is less likely because like it or not, she does not represent change in the same context as Obama. She more likely will represent only a change of drivers on the Good-Old-Boy Bus.

Of the two, Hillary would more likely be subject to Republican muzzling than a victorious Obama.

The Bill Clinton story is only true because of the number of Republicans in Congress at that time and how empowered they were.

As for talking point #3,

I work in a Welfare office. Very few vocations in this state present such a broad picture of how many Washington residents actually are under-insured or have no medical insurance at all. Statistics and political talking points aren't what walk into my office literally begging for some kind of welfare medical coverage to allow them entry into medical treatment for something tearing them apart.

Health Care Reform, as was brought up by several Democrats at the caucus today, is a legislative event, not a presidential decree.

Whatever Hillary could do as the elected president, Obama could likewise accomplish; perhaps more easily since his coattails would sweep more Dems into office.

Also, since it is a legislative event, what evidence is there that Hillary has a better handle than Obama on medical coverage for the poor in this country?

She and Bill had 8 years to try to get something done and did not. In addition, when a Republican congress passed welfare reform with a stylistic tone and manner that vilified the poor and needy in this country, Bill and Hillary did not have megaphone voices supporting what Republicans were preparing to take away from the poor.

Hillary also has not demonstrated much ardor in enthusiastic vocal outrage over the Bush budget cuts for the past seven years so why would we think she has a greater wisdom about health care for the poor than does Obama?

Finally, I see that Hillary (whom I will vote for if she's nominated) was endorsed by the two most prominent Washington Democrats who have disappointed and failed to impress me over the past five years, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray.

Obama was endorsed by Christine Gregoire who has demonstrated that she's a more aggressive and activist governor than was Gary Locke;

who has demonstrated that she's a doer more than a talker who has in her own elected venue has not made hesitation a standard procedure.

While in terms of opposing the lawless corporate American imperialism and slaughter in Iraq, Cantwell and Murray both offered me nothing more than excuses and alibis as to why they could not challenge Bush Republicans to a fight.

Obama doesn't have to defend that kind of weakness and timidity.

I agree with Gregoire.  

One more thing. Among those Democrats the gullible, believe-any-talking point Democrats weren't visible in large numbers. If in fact the Clinton supporters were using talking points, those who rebutted those points were using their own personal scripts. They were thinking on their feet and originating their own thoughts, benefiting and encouraging all of us.

Our little caucus went for Obama.

Naselle will send 4 Obama delegates to the County Convention and 2 Clinton delegates.

Bay Center will send 2 Obama delegates (Lietta is one of them) and 1 Clinton delegate.

Well, that's my story.

I stood up mad, spoke up

... and sat down an Obama supporter.

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Published by SwanDeer Productions
Arthur and Lietta Ruger, Bay Center, Willapa Bay in Pacific County Washington


Willapa Magazine 2007 is an internet journal based in Bay Center, Washington. The opinions expressed by Arthur or Lietta Ruger are the writers' own. Willapa Magazine recognizes Fair Use law and publishes original writings in their entirety based on 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. Willapa Magazine Permission of author(s) ia required for reprinting original Willapa Magazine writings and the original author(s) for material posted under fair use law.