Cassandra2 put it more succinctly than my unfettered rambling. I'm smeared with ideas so I'll drop them here for consideration, attack and improvement.
How do we make Oregon recession proof? We need to create jobs here. Simple. Short term. But won't work long term.
We earthlings need to develop a more sophisticated and harmonious outlook of ourselves and the world. Allow me to waste some of your time by taking a closer look at more fundamental problems we face.
What good is recession proofing Central Oregon if the rest of the world is aflame?
Hello? Global climate change. Something appears to be going on that's affecting everybody. Do we know with certainty what that "something" is being caused by?
Perhaps our rapacious, thoughtless, arrogant abuse of Earth is going to present us with some "challenges" like extinction.
I get the impression that people who will vote for McCain and Palin will do so because they've hacksawed their heads off at the base of their necks.
They perceive they will receive lower taxes and the continued ability to buy cheap stuff from Walmart. They think the U.S. military will protect them from the Evil Doers not on Wall Street as we rot from the inside.
Our cultural, political, ethical, educational and financial values are atrophying as we adopt the screaming me-mes. "Me, me, me, me first, me good, me strong, you suck, we crush you now." We behave as if the U.S. is some freaked out, post-modern Hulk.
But we're terribly frail and can easily be made to fight against each other. We're already fighting for scraps. The level of political polarization in the U.S. shows we are closer to black and white uncivil war than achieving the healthy shades of gray for which America is renowned.
What's the problem with having an intelligent, slippery, sophisticated president who might actually be able to get something positive done here and abroad? Why are we afraid of smart and potentially more ethical people? The new guard is always young and will make mistakes, but I don't see any particular disadvantage compared to the mistakes the old guard are making.
Do you like stupid people? I'm scared of stupid people who currently occupy lofty places. This is extremely dangerous. Nuff said.
In the U.S. we are slow to acknowledge that some government and taxes are useful for our self preservation and continued success. Highways and infrastructure cost. Government programs cost. It's arguable, but we receive some benefit from our tax dollars as much as we hate to part with them.
I started reading books by Chalmers Johnson, *Sorrows of Empire* and *Blowback*, and realized we have way too much of our country's budget invested in military support of our economic desire to rule the world for the benefit of the select few.
Yes, I'm cynical, I can't help it. We still have too many poor folk for me to be impressed with our progress of providing freedom and democracy to the fuzzy wuzzies.
I'd prefer to see the U.S. get out of the military business. Sorry Lockheed, Boeing, Martin Marietta, etc. I feel less safe after 9-11 than ever. Russia's getting all grumpy again, and we've got all manner of folk saying mean (but true) stuff about us. We've lost our way. We've lost our credibility and integrity as a beacon of freedom and opportunity. (Yeech!)
Have any of you considered that America might be suffering PTSD after 9-11? We are so shocked that we're making stupid, boneheaded mistakes now. I hadn't thought of that until recently.
Anyway, America should feed people good food instead of killing them with remote controlled drones. How well is what we're doing today working? We're locking ourselves in instead of locking the Evil Doers out.
If one studies enough history, one will conclude that many of the terrorist problems we face, we created for ourselves long ago. Through clandestine activities America has abused and interfered with so-called sovereign nations. A nation can't be sovereign if America invades it financially and militarily, right?
For example, we started shipping good-paying U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas in the 1970s, and we thought we'd kill a few birds with one stone in the process.
One, we'd indirectly protect our environment (sort of) if we let China do our dirty work for us. The recent Olympics was terrifying in terms of seeing China's environmental degradation on the telly. China's pollution drifts across the Pacific and settles in the great Pacific Northwest. How ironic.
Two, we'd reap the benefit of cheap goods because Chinese workers don't receive good wages. Oh yes, a few Chinese have been lifted out of dire poverty to minimum wage poverty. It's a start. Props to China.
Whether direct or indirect, America has consciously spit on others and now the chickens are returning to roost in the form of the Taliban, Al-Quaeda, name_your_extremist_fundamentalist_Koolaid_drinkers here.
I'm still reeling from shock that 43 had the temerity to ask, "Why don't they like us?" It doesn't seem logical for the the oppressed or f**ked over to appreciate or love their oppressors does it?
Okay, this is a long winded way of saying that American might and sovereignty is built on a foundation of sand. Our survival requires that we deconstruct the strip mall of our broken dreams.
We can no longer afford Hummers in every garage and Fillet Mignon in every pot. That illusion died along time ago because it was never sustainable to begin with.
Picture if you will: a Hummer-driving hockey mom, smearing lipstick on her pit bull's lips as she runs a red light while texting to an oily fat cat in Houston. There's a dead salmon frozen in a waterfall, that's my soul up there....
There are too many people on Earth for our current level of know-how, resources and jobs to support. Earth could probably support 12 billion knuckleheads if we were more knowledgeable, sophisticated, sensitive, and much less war like, but fortunately we aren't that clever.
There are too many people living in the desert Western United States. There are too many people living in Central Oregon where water is already scarce. Less rain, smaller glaciers run in direct opposition to increased population and more swimming pools in Central Oregon.
Okay, I'm so far off base now that I won't mind if you delete this, but let me offer this. How about we give up on the idea that there is such a thing as a "free market". Holy mackerel, what a pile of baloney.
There is nothing free about our economy because as we've just seen, it's manipulable by everyone from everywhere. We've got short sellers, naked short sellers, blind high siders, options callers, derivatives dorks, and freaks of Wall Street like Cramer.
So instead of suffering the slings and arrows of a few clever market manipulators why don't we focus on a controlled economic plan that sanely addresses the fact that the U.S., Europe and Japan have too much stuff that needs to be redistributed to those who don't have enough. This is what we're essentially doing anyway, kicking and screaming.
Rich countries must purposely stop consuming so much stuff so those resources can be used to help others ameliorate poverty, disease, hopelessness and fundamental lunacy.
I don't care whether you call it socialism, democracy, communism - we control the economy. We're the people who created this stupid thing. We all talk about the fact that we're compassionate, caring, blah, blah, blah. Meanwhile we lock ourselves into the gated communities of our self delusion and hypocrisy.
So Oregon could develop clean industry. Instead of sending raw logs over seas, Oregonians could produce finished wood products here. Don't we have the brains and capability to build clean/green industry?
Could we grow sustainable hardwood forests here? How about green housing plants useful for producing new medicines?
We have brain power here (going to waste) that will show us how to reduce the amount of electricity we consume while we're building out clean renewable energy. We need to upgrade the electrical grid to accommodate wind turbines.
GE and Google are getting together to push for upgraded electrical delivery. Google already has a data center in The Dalles, so Central Oregon could leverage development ideas with Google.
Instead of putting up tilt-wall warehouses on farm land, let's do organic, environmentally friendly, high tech agriculture to feed Oregonians and the world. Hydroponic green houses with recycled water. Lots of sunshine in Central Oregon. Oregon could develop the most comprehensive agriculture system in the world. People always need good food to eat.
It would be neat if Oregon became an intellectual, educational, haven hub for nurturing humanity. As the challenges of climate change and overpopulation increase, Oregonians should strive to become more sophisticated in terms of their skills and world knowledge.
Central Oregon could be home to agricultural, medical, technical schools. Maybe not full scale universities, but schools that fit specific needs of Central Oregon, Oregon and the world.
With lots of sunshine, Central Oregon can host giant solar arrays and locals will maintain and evolve them.
This is a start. I'm too distracted to continue. Trying to listen to NPR and contribute to TOL is making me all cattywumpus. Time to set down my digital quill in favor of some sunshine and metaphorical Schnapps.
As surprised as 43 is about ?Why they don't like us,? I'm more taken aback by our polarized short sightedness. We need a Columbia River Crossing like we need cork-sized holes in our foreheads.
Short term solutions won't work any more. We need to step back, take many deep breaths and some yoga too, and we need to thoroughly dig into what it's going to take for humans to continue living on this third rock from our closest sun.
I know we're compelled to act quickly and locally, but our quick actions are creating unforeseen consequences. Let's not "ready, fire, aim" critical solutions for Oregon as we have been. We need to solve our fundamental as well as short term problems.
Thank you for your consideration. Cheers.