Sunday, May 30, 2010

Am I Supposed to Feel Sorry For This Guy?

Working as many hours as I do, I'm largely cut off from television news, and I wouldn't listen to a radio talk show if you chained a set of headphones to my ears and held a gun to my head. But I do get the opportunity to browse the headlines in the Oregonian when I pick it up off the sidewalk on my way in the door of the cafe in the morning.

I know newspapers are having a really hard time staying afloat these days. And I honestly think it's a terrible shame. It's possible that print media was the last place you could obtain actual news if you went looking for it. But since papers have decided to turn themselves into "news magazines" in an attempt to retain readers, there's nothing much besides a whole lot of fluff splattered between the first and last pages. And there's no such thing as a "news" piece written without a ton of very obvious editorial intent.

So the other day, I spied this story on the front page of the paper:

AT & T Customer Goes To Jail After Shooting At Thieves' Car which some jack-ass with a concealed weapon permit and a loaded .38 in his pocket decided to play "NCIS" and shoot out the tires of the getaway car of some thieves who had run out of the local cel phone store with a couple of hot I-Phones.

He missed. God knows where those shots went, or could have gone. And since when does one resort to deadly force to recover $700 worth of electronic gadgets? The Gresham Police hauled his ass off to jail. And everyone is outraged, because this ballsy guy was "just trying to do the right thing."

I have to say, we live in a crazy world. Every time the police around here actually have to kill someone, there is a monstrous investigation, the cop gets suspended until the investigation is complete, editiorialists from every nook and cranny put in their two cents about how the police misuse deadly force. A cop can hardly taser or bean-bag someone without being painted as an accomplice to the Rodney King assault. But let some Joe Blow on the street with a concealed handgun and an over-developed fantasy life take pot-shots at a petty thief, and he's painted as some kind of folk hero.

I guess this qualifies as my


for this week...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Why I Really Love Oregon's Senior Senator

I grabbed something to read off the newspaper table at the cafe, while I sat down to scarf down my (excellent!) cream of broccoli soup. The reading material of choice just happened to be our local newspaper, published once a week. What I was actually looking for was whether any of my competitors were advertising, and what they were advertising. What I found was a wonderful gem of an opinion piece written by Oregon's senior senator, Ron Wyden.

Looking for a link to post here, I found it at the Washington Post:

Bipartisanship Shouldn't Be a Political Death Sentence

I'll tempt you to go read the whole thing with quotes like this:

Ideologically, Bob and I couldn't be more different. He's pro-life. I'm
pro-choice. He voted for the Iraq war; I didn't. If Bob has ever seen a tax
break he didn't like, I am unaware of it. But one thing Bob and I have in common
is our fundamental belief that we were elected to do more than just get
reelected, that once elections are over we have a duty to try to govern even if
it means working with people with whom we don't always agree.

And this:

Working in a bipartisan fashion can lead to watered-down legislation, yes, but
principled bipartisanship can also lead to a value-added, better result.
Personally, I believe that both sides can get much more of what they want by
working together than by simply trying to prevent the other side from gaining
ground. By working with those with whom we don't necessarily see eye to eye, we
are forced to work harder, to test our ideas and to consider solutions that we
may never have thought of on our own. Moreover, if Democrats and Republicans
ever stop fighting each other, they might finally find the strength to defeat
the interest groups that all too easily exploit the partisan divide.

Please go read, and have your faith renewed that there is at least one man in Washington who "GETS IT." (Well, there were TWO, but one has lost his job because of it...)

After reading this, perhaps I've decided not to leave the country after all. At least there is one human being--who happily represents my adopted home state--who does not have his head up his political ass (wish I could say as much for the state of Utah...).

As long as Ron Wyden represents me in Washington, I'm good...

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I’m not sure if this is WTF entry, just some observations now that the primary is over out here in good ol’ Oregon.

Oregon Republicans are fielding a former pro basketball player for governor; at least he has a degree in political science with a minor in economics. Near as I can tell, he hasn’t done anything with them but he does have the degrees. At least the ‘Pub running for Ron Wyden’s senate seat is a law professor. No political experience but I assume he knows something about the law.

And the local candidate running for Defazio’s congressional seat appears to be a real prize. He appears to be a right wing nut scientist from Cave Junction. He doesn’t believe in global warming, markets his own line of home school products, seems to believe that Creation Science is a good thing and markets survivalist books from his web site. The one thing all these candidates have in common, loudly trumpeted, is their total lack of political experience.

If you follow the “lack of experience’ argument to its logical conclusion I’d expect one of these candidates to show up at Lisa’s cafĂ© looking for a good mechanic or checking out the local garage when they need a surgeon. After all experience isn’t everything, right?

Note: The candidates are a little thin on the Democratic side too. Although it’s been repealed the one item both parties could agree on a few years ago was making it harder for anyone who wasn’t a democrat or republican to get a spot on the ballot. Hell of a way to run a railroad.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Here's a New Idea...

I've come up with a new idea for a post series.

I'm going to call it "WTF?!"

Every time I encounter something in the news, in life, in the political landscape, that screams the inanity of what our world has become, I'll post it as a WTF.

Today's WTF is...

Cinco de Mayo.

Have you noticed how every other bar, eatery, shopping mall and chamber of commerce in the US is having a big Cinco de Mayo Celebration?

You know...Cinco de Mayo. The obscure Mexican holiday that we Anglos have adopted as the day to raise a glass to Mexican American culture.

And yet...

These days, we treat Mexicans like the worst plague to darken our land since Yellow Fever.

Can you say...