I think that it would be very informative to know where the millions of $s that the presidential campaigns raise goes to. Who economically benifits and what role do they play in raising the funds? What money stays local what goes to the communication conglomerates... How do they fit into the political picture...
I think this is a great question, but perhaps better for an investigative news story, or a magazine article, than an hour of conversation. Does that make sense?
An issue that seldom gets coverage in the news is the large number of people who have found themselves disenfranchised in the elections process. I am specifically referring to persons with disabilities who are unable to vote without the assistance of someone else.
I have personal experience around this topic as I am unsighted and have needed to have another person mark my ballot for me since the age of 18. There was a season of my life when I was with a partner who I am fairly certain was not marking my ballot in the way I was requesting, as we had widely differing views and he argued with me while assisting me to mark my ballot. I hope this was not the case, but intuitively, I sense it was. Either way, the voting process was extremely uncomfortable.
The incredibly wonderful news, here in Oregon, is that now, many of us who had never voted privately and independently, are now able to!
There is a new, innovative and unique tool now available to Oregonians called the Alternate Format Ballot. It is simply an HTML version of the ballot that does not require connection to the internet, but does open in a web browser. This means that the ballot displays like a web page and allows for easy navigation and marking. It?s an elegant and simple solution that allows many people, who cannot mark a printed ballot (such as myself) the option to use a tool they use every day (a computer) to mark their ballot in the privacy of their own home (like the majority of other Oregonians). It only requires that someone have access to a computer, a web browser and a printer.
There is also an option to mark your Alternate Format Ballot using a computer system through your local elections office via an Accessible Computer Station (they have both stationary and portable systems).
This is a new tool and it is unique to Oregon, so if there would be interest in exploring this topic for an up-coming show, prior to the election, please feel free to contact me and I can get you connected with the best people to utilize in the discussion.
Here?s to more and more people getting to vote privately and independently!
(I?m 35 and will be voting privately and independently for only the third time in my life, in Nov., thanks to the innovative work done prior to, and now the creation of, the Alternate Format Ballot!)
I don't have a comment on subjects you should consider, but I do have a suggestion for your approach. Please, please be more like "Talk of the Nation" and less like "World, Have Your Say." By that, I mean have topic experts on hand to help guide the discussion and keep it intelligent. I listen to TOTN almost every day and find it fascinating. But whenever WHYS comes on, I turn to another station or turn off the radio. We need intelligent discussion, not blathering idiots.
We will have experts on hand for most shows, and we'll turn to them for the depth and thinking they bring to bear on their subjects. But we also want to hear from people -- including you! -- about their lived experience. Our hope is that a smart combination of expertise and experience will make for both more informative and more engaging conversations.
Having said that, assuming we booked the most expert expert in the world, padlocked this site, and disconnected our incoming studio phone lines, what would you want us to talk about?
Yes, I agree. I do the same thing with TOTN and WHYS. I like to be able to ask a question of someone who might actually know the answer rather than hear just anyone throw out opinions.
The recent floods reminded me that disasters, as far as the media is concerned, are really only news AFTER they happen. Amid the stories of woe and the usual kudos for organizations like Red Cross, there is seldom an in depth introspection about people's own preparedness (or lack thereof). I fear that the normal coverage, which focuses on the cavalry charging in to help, gives the wider public the wrong idea. In some of the larger disasters we face here in the NW, particularly the very real subduction earthquake exposure, the disaster area and level of destruction will preclude a fast response for the vast majority of citizens. The media is not alone in this focus oversight, Portland itself has scores of personnel at ONI tasked with community issues such as graffiti and crime, but only one person working to prepare households and neighborhoods.
We need to have an honest discussion about personal responsibility. In most urban disasters, 80 percent of victims are rescued by neighbors, not professionals. No community can afford to have enough resources on hand, so that is not the answer, we are. I'd love to hear from folks affected by the recent floods, how their preparations worked or did not work. Did they even really know they were in a flood plain? Did they have a 72-hour kit, a plan, and did it work?
Organizations like the Red Cross need to be involved in this discussion. Their understandable focus on the mission at hand, and the fundraising needs they have, may overshadow the cautionary tale they should do more to promote (they have slick preparedness booklets, but they are not a "talking point"). I would also tap Lawrence Behmer, the City's (Portland) Neighborhood Emergency Team coordinator, and someone who lived through the Anchorage or Mexico City earthquakes (also subduction events) to round out your panel.
We've been talking informally about going back to the flood-affected areas and picking up the story where most of the news left off. You've given us some good possible angles. I'll bring this up in our story meeting tomorrow.
I would really like to hear what is happening now, and what things all Oregonians need to think abotu to be ready for the next natural disaster. Maybe some emergency preparedeness tips that everyone should have. Our church encourages all its members to have 72 hour kits that are ready to go on a moment's notice, but I would be interested in finding out where in Oregon we should go if we are told to leave our homes.
Just listened to your first program, and while you did not sink to my (very low) expectations, you still didn't rise much above dreadful. Your guests did their best, but the conversation was too fractured and there wasn't a clear narrative thread.
What is slipping through the cracks is news reporting. We have a very interesting Portland City Commission and mayoral race -- what about profiles of the candidates (not interviews!) The problem is the disease of "talk" programs rather than produced news programs. We already have Talk of the Nation and the truly awful World Have Your Say -- the last thing we need is an entire morning -- 9am - 1pm of talk programs.
By killing Oregon Considered and scattering the little bits of local news around ATC, OPB has effectively abandoned any attempts at being a channel for credible local news, and it's a shame.
So, my tepid congratulations for not sinking to the depths of "World Have Your Whine", but I'm afraid that's damning with faint praise.
I was pretty impressed with the quality of the show, although I completely agree that killing Oregon Considered was a terrible idea. I think that having a strong onews rganization like OPB, and not doing local new programming is a crime. I am glad we are covering central Oregon better, but it seems sad that there isn't one place to go and get all the Oregon news now. I like the show, but this isn't a replacement for news programming.
How about we lose World Have Your Say and bring back Oregon news programming?
I agree that "World, Shut Your Trap" should go. It's the only show on OPB where I intentionally turn off the radio or turn the channel when it's on.
I was in the audience today for "Think Out Loud" and I think the hosts and guests did a great job of putting on a program. I think the problem is that today's topic was too wide. Huge, open-ended questions were asked and no one could possibly be expected to answer them. If the show's topics were more specific, the guests and hosts could provide more insight.
I agree about turning it off, when it comes on. My kids know that from 10-11 am we will be listening to country music. As someone who is an avid OPB listener and involved in supporting OPB in a number of ways, I find it sad that we still have "World Have you Say" on when there continue to be so many problems. The last time I tried listening I was offended for the people calling in. The host "paraphrased" for several callers and totally changed the meaning of what they had just said. That did it for me. What is the point of asking people to share their point of view if you are going to totally ignore it?
I would love to see more serious visual and performing arts coverage on OPB. Although I am new to PDX, I find it surprising that the arts/culture scene here is simultaneously strong and opinionated, and yet also completely unmoored. This is a city teeming with artists and designers, and yet there are relatively few institutions that actually bring a high level of discourse to the conversation (it seems to me PICA and the Cooley Gallery @ Reed do the best job in terms of visual arts programming and Pacific Northwest College of Art is starting to raise the bar too). Just this week the Portland Art Center announced it was closing its doors after 5 years (another sign of a fractured community).
In contrast to many places I have lived, Portland seems to have the audience and intellectual curiosity to build a robust, internationally recognized art scene, and yet nurturing those audiences with vital institutions and programs is seriously lacking. Also, what about addressing the shallow pool of philanthropy in Portland? I keep hearing it's difficult to get Portlanders to open their wallets to support arts organizations (this might be a tricky topic since OPB relies on similar philanthropic activity).
We totally agree about more (and more serious) visual and performing arts coverage on Think Out Loud. Please keep us informed about the shows you think warrant hours of talk.
As for this specific comment, I hope that our recent show The Price of Art started to ask some of your questions. (And apologies for not recognizing this in advance. I would have liked to have given you credit on air. Think of this as a belated acknowledgment of our gratitude... and of the fact that we're on the same page!
Race and gender in the current presidential race seem to have finally risen to the surface as topics. I guess the one question I haven't heard raised in relation to this is: Would Hilary Clinton's gender affect her ability to work for peace in the Middle East? And what I mean by that is that many of the cultures in that area devalue women and would not take a woman seriously. I have heard that this has affected Condi Rice quite a bit. Obviously, here in the US her gender is not a barrier to her being respected. But I don't think it's ludicrous to ask if it would be in the realm of foreign diplomacy.
I'm not sure if this question alone could sustain an hour of radio. How do you imagine fleshing it out for a larger discussion?
And for other folks: is this a conversation you're interested in?
Education is very underreported on, both in the state and nationally. I think that we need to look at how our children are being educated, how it was evaluated, and what we can do to improve the education being given at all levels.
I think that most parents and community members don't know how classrooms are different from when we were in school, the way state testing happens and what it means to how schools are graded, and what to do if their children aren't meeting state standards. I would like to hear from classroom teachers, rather than just state and school district talking heads, sharing their experiences.
I like this idea a lot, and in particular your focus on classroom teachers.
I'd love some recommendations from around the state of teachers who might be eager to talk about their experiences. Any teachers out there? Or parents with teachers to suggest?
I'm a teacher and am happily a part of these discussions. On another note...
I teach students in a community with a lot of poverty. A while back, you did a show on racism. What we don't talk enough about is classism. So much of our society is unaware of the stereotypes we have around social class & poverty. There is a local speaker and author named Donna Beegle, EdD., who with the help of caring community mentors, social services and amazing internal drive was able to pull herself out of generational poverty. Her story is inspiring and enlightening. I would love to hear her on your show. If you're interested in her story it's at http://www.combarriers.com/about
For pledge week, how about a show that lets people share their funny, life changing, etc. experiences with OPB and NPR?
Hmm. I worry that it would sound a little insular, and very self-congratulatory: a whole hour of a public radio show dedicated to public radio show listeners talking about... public radio!
Does anyone else want to hear this?
The angle on this story is who pays the piper. In Ben Franklin's time the average citizen ponied $1.50 a month for a Free Press. Free referred to freedom and liberty as opposed to "free of charge", tab picked up by the business interest that somehow is not covered in the press. The ethic of the free press has been lost. Subscribe for "getting a gift"? Seems like the principle of a free press is lost. Are we citizens just purchasing another entertainment product?
There is one angle.
Angle two: Who pays for the press when the advertising model crashes? In the 50's it was
big money. Whiskey, appliances, cars, tobacco spent big bucks on vehicles to present their version of display advertising on TV. Times have chaged. Margins there might not be so fat. Plus Google is has trasformed the display ad model to a far more intelligent and less annoying thing. Problem: No funding for broadcast media any more.
A direct bottom line assault on the "free press". With no ethic of supporting a free press we expect our spoon feeding for nothing.
Now all our free press money goes to utilities sans content. This must be fixed. Oh, and good-bye to World Have Your Say... who wants to be shouted at? Let TOL go for two hours.
Why have your good work followed by a radio exit ramp?
Just reading a few of the replies posted I see a lot of dislike for "World Have your Say." Add me to that chorus.
I would like to hear some on the air discussion about OPB programming content. In recent years weekday programming has moved away from a mix of news and information and music. I believe that your new evening broadcast has completed the complete removal of music from OPB's weekday programming. I miss "Performance Today" and the other excellent music that I used to hear. KBOO and KBPS just don't cut it for me.
I have been an OPB member for over 30 years and I can't remember the last time I saw a survey of the membership about what we would like to hear. Instead we get to hear the latest ideas from the programming director. The last few times I have sent email to OPB I received a "thanks for your interest in OPB" reply. The last such email response prompted me to call membership services and reduce my monthly contribution and shift it to OPB television.
I must agree - WHYS is not a very good program. Other NPR programs do a much better job on world news, so... spend more time on Oregon issues. TOL is a good start!
WHYS is one of my favorite programs... maybe the speakers are not perfectly selected or expert, but at least we are able to hear views from every corner of the world, including (for once) the developing nations in Africa and Asia. It is so unique that it should be retained despite its failings.
Just a couple of things to add. This Saturday is the anniversary o the last Cascadia Earthquake in 1700 (just Google "Cascadia Earthquake wiki" to get the full story). We know the date of the last one because its tsunami killed people all the way across the Pacific in Japan, where records were being kept.
Also, the previous manager of Portland's NET program, Rachel Jacky left Portland a couple of years ago and is now the national head of these programs (usually known as CERT) at FEMA. She would be another good resource.
Well, we obviously missed this particular anniversary (it's been a very busy first week and a half!). But I should tell you that in general we're not crazy about doing shows based on anniversaries. While they can be a good reason to talk about a certain thing on a particular day, there has to be more to the story -- something current, or contentious, or resonant, or weird, or whatever -- that propels a moment of history into a topic for an hour of conversation.
I don't know much of anything about the Cascadia Earthquake, and I'd love to learn more. Do you have a sense for how this historic event becomes a vital hour of radio in 2008?
Yeah, here is your discussion topic: "This is the anniversary of the Cascadia Quake 300 plus years ago. it was so big they felt it in Japan. Scientist studying it tell us it happened here, caused this kind of damage and if it happened today this is what might happen. Is Portland ready for this big of one? What do we need to get ready, What will it cost to get ready, What will it cost NOT to get ready"
I'd like to see more conversations on Health Care issues. For example, can you actually get some health care experts in with *hard* numbers on what the uninsured Oregon population costs us in emergency room costs, etc? Can a credible argument be made and defended that a state wide medical plan could save us money? How much could my medical insurance premiums drop if we could move people from emergency rooms to using primary care physicians?
These are good questions, and I'd like to bring them to bear on our conversation when we turn back to health care. It's obviously not going away as an issue, but to be honest we most likely won't come back to it for a few weeks, at least. (There's just so much else to get to!)
When will it be coming back? when you do, it might be good to talk about the rising out of pocket costs for those who are insured. We just finished our taxes, and we have over $16,000 in out of pocket health care costs, and that is for a family of 5 with "good" health coverage through an employer health plan. (That doesn't include the cost for health insurance premiums, which was another $4500 for the year.) We had only 2 days where anyone was in the hospital this year, compared to 5 years ago, when the twins were born and we had a total of 75 days of hospital stays (for the entire family) and only had $650 in out of pocket expenses.
I think that all too often we forget that even those with "good" insurance still have a lot more out of pocket costs that they are paying for health care.
David, I don't know if this is the correct area to be posting this comment, but here goes anyway. I have a problem with the organization of your discussion forum. To monitor and read new comments, you basically have to reread the entire threads. Isn't there something you can do to alert us regular readers and posters that there is new content and direct us there. There are plenty of discussion forum software packages that provide these features (flags to let you know there are new posts and links to take you directly to new content). What you have now is fine for a first time visit. But if you expect people to become part of this community, you need to provide them a way to skip over all the stuff they've already read.
I totally agree. All I can say for now, though, is that we're working on it. I think the best we can do for the short term is a series of incremental improvements.
David: reply/post here if you need technical assistance.
This page will NOT get bookmarked... it's a once-only visit
although I would be happy to toss ideas into an ongoing brainstorm.
A wiki site would make a lot more sense than this linear blog.
OK, now my show suggestions. At the risk of having the show turn into a typical commercial rant and rave talk show, I think you should try shows with more controversial topics. For example, transportation and highway funding (new freeways? new bridge over the Columbia? new MAX lines? limiting highways and concentrating on bus and bike?, etc.) Or, the Mult. County Jail and who should be running it. Or Ceasar Chavez Ave and why it should or shouldn't happen. Or combining city and county government -- good idea or bad idea. Or, the initiative process in state government -- good idea or get rid of it. Etc. There are lots of topics out there that deserve in-depth analysis and that people feel strongly about.
I just registered to make a comment on this morning's discussion and was looking around the site and found this. I got some real chuckles and am pleased to see comments from others like me who can't stand "World Have Your Say" and all the more appropriate alternative names people have given that show. Get rid of it!!
The OPB effort to focus on Oregon in part of it's programming is reasonable. However, as others have said - don't fall into the trap of mimicking the [I]WHYS[/I] format of whining from people who don't listen to each other and repeat their limited perspectives over and over.
Why not bring back Oregon Considered and improve& expand it by collecting ideas for discussion/issue programs, as you've done on this site, and invite appropriate experts from different points of view to have an intelligently moderated discussion (think The News Hour with Jim Lehrer). If you want listener feedback, collect it in an on-line survey [e.g., using a service like SurveyMonkey] and in the following day's program report on the information you collected. You could also refer that information to the appropriate speakers you had and periodically have an 'update' on previous topics.
World Have Your Say is one of the few places on radio or television where we can hear people from around the world speak on issues that concern us all. It's a true connection. Leave it on!
Well, I will say that after listening to WHYS a few times, I realize that idiots live all over the world, not just in the USA.
Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) is a statewide issue that has been flying below the radar until recently. Secretary of State Bill Bradbury recently said LNG facilities would take the state "180 degrees in the wrong direction". With three LNG shipping terminals and four separate pipelines under consideration in Oregon we need to alert Oregonians to the environmental costs, actual need for this "dirty fuel", security issues and flawed federal siting process.
Oregon is considering proposals for three port and storage terminals to import Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and four pipelines to transport LNG across the state. These proposals are bad ideas from any perspective. Secretary of State Bill Bradbury recently called importing LNG from around the globe "dirty fuel that adds to the greenhousse gases we're putting into the environment." We don't need to magnify the state's dependence on foreign fuel. The governor has said he is committed to sustainable and renewable energy, yet he has refused to come out against LNG proposals.
Importing LNG will seriously undermine Oregon's alternative energy initiatives. The bulk of LNG will serve California markets. California has repeatedly refused to site LNG terminals in it's own state. LNG infrastructure threatens natural habitat and ecosystems. Supertankers filled with LNG pose a frightening security risk. Proposed pipelines would traverse the Coast Range, known for its unstable soils, wildfires, fault zones and frequent landslides.
The Oregon LNG proposals promote energy dependence and increase global warming. Governor Kulongoski needs to send a strong message to the Federal Energy Regulating Commission (FERC) that our state will not be a conduit to supply liquefied natural gas to markets in California. A comprehensive needs analysis that includes all new natural gas facilities has to be performed before we consider any of these proposals.
Oregon farmers and foresters land will be taken under eminent domain to allow pipelines to cross private property. The notification and public review process has been severly flawed in Oregon. A strong coalition of environmentalists, energy experts and land-rights activists have joined together to oppose LNG terminals and new pipelines in Oregon. LNG is a perfect topic for Think Out Loud. Its an issue that has been flying under the radar yet affects many Oregonians. It's a complex issue that has been influenced by the Bush administrations 2005 Energy Act that took siting and regulation power away from the states and gave that power to the federal government.
Conventional political wisdom has it that in this election year it's all about the Independents..."unaffiliated" voters are seen to be the key to victory both in the remaining primaries and in the general election in November.
Independents made up more than 20% of Oregon voters in the 2006 general election and that number has reportedly been growing.
I personally know of two Oregonians -- one a onetime Republican, the other a onetime Democrat -- both of whom shed their party affiliations ( out of protest) in the '90's...but who this month have re-registered so that they can vote in the Oregon Democratic primary in May.
Is this a trend among Oregon's significant "unaffiliateds"...and if so, why now and what does it portend for the various candidates ?
I have a question about Barak Obama. Barak Obama has been seen turning away from the cameras and not pledging aliegence to the Untited States flag. Why hasn't anyone confronted him on this or the fact that the christian church he joined recently pledges it's aleigence to Africa not the US. Also how long has it been since he was actually muslim? And why hasn't anyone asked him if he becomes president will he send troups to Africa? I would like the record set straight on this issues before the Oregon primaries.
Clearly this is a "shill" post designed to malign a candidate. A few seconds research will show that this candidate is not and has never been Muslim, was raised by Christian grandparents & mother, and has belonged to the same Christian church for many years before his elected service. It would be helpful if the moderator would ferret out some of these supposed topics suggested by those who don't wish to further knowledge but slander others.
Strongly related to the story about foster care is the story about the decline of public mental health in this state. Oregon's state hospital is currently facing a federal probe and over the past 6 years there have been a number of police shootings of individuals with chronic and persistent mental illness. Many, if not most, of the children in foster care are there due to their parents' mental illnesses (I happen to include drug abuse as a mental illness). I read in a response to a posting about the public health crisis that you might not get to that topic for a while. However, this is a very important topic that is only going to get worse as the state and the country enter a possibly long recession and public funds dry out to help those in greatest need. The ER's, police and the justice system are overwhelmed already. Public health and public mental health are topics that will be very important to voters nationally this year as fewer employers can handle the growing cost of healthcare and the number of uninsured will likely grow. I'm aware that this is a large subject with many parts to it, of which foster care is a small area. Maybe a discussion on what voters think should be covered under "public health" or "public mental health" could be an option, or at least a start of a conversation on the bigger topic.
Thank you, Mr. Miller, for making the time to reply to every post here.
And thanks to you, Ms. Harris, for bringing your considerable skills back to Oregon and for sharing them with us.
I believe that a conversation that's slipped through the cracks is one concerning my/our actions that have both immediate and long term implications in terms of my/our dependence on foreign oil, dependence on LNG , global warming, pollution, sustainability, food costs, poverty, starving children, developing economies, health care, and very limited natural resources.
It's a topic that's difficult and uncomfortable for me to discuss and it's difficult for me to admit to my own contributions to the problem and it's difficult to come to terms with the fact that I need to change my "lifestyle", which I'll do with great reluctance.
The problem is pet ownership ... and my "carbon paw-print"
I stumbled upon this article: http://www.nysun.com/article/57294?page_no=1
I consider myself a "liberal", and after much thought and soul searching I have to disagree with Elizabeth Powers when she calls me, a liberal, a "hypocrite".
A hypocrite is someone who knows better, acts in opposition to that knowledge, and then denies his or her actions.
Although I disagree with Elizabeth Powers' labeling, I do agree with her facts.
All my life I've owned very large dogs: Great Danes, Doberman Pinschers, and at one point, three German Shepherds at the same time.
I've owned and loved many cats, too, and for almost a year I also fed 39 feral cats on a daily basis.
And I was in the Veterinary Corp when I was in the military.
However, now that I've been educated about my carbon paw-print and now that I know better, I can't, with a clear conscience, continue to own pets.
When my sweet Kramer, now 13, passes away, I won't own another pet.
The ramifications of my actions will not be in some distant, or even near, future ... the ramifications of my actions will be immediate.
At this point in time, we can't afford to not act individually because we know the consequences of our actions or inactions both here in the Northwest and globally.
I hope you'll consider tackling this difficult subject which has slipped through the cracks.
In closing, Mother Teresa said, "It is a poverty that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."
I can't help but think that by feeding Kramer, I'm driving up the cost of food for some poor mother in some developing country because I'll pay more for a corn, wheat, or other crop to feed my dog, and I'll pay more for the meat to feed my dog than she can afford to pay to feed her child.
This might sound boring but I'd really like to understand what has kept Oregon from increasing the gas tax so we can repair the streets we have. I'm amazed that Eugene is cutting their local tax because the "fair" way to do it is to have the same state wide gas tax. The streets in Eugene need major repairs as do the State highways in Lane County. The cost of getting my wheels realigned from hitting so many potholes is more than I'd pay if we had a 10 cent a gallon gas tax. Why can't we do something about roads? I'd vote for a county wide tax or a state wide tax as long as if was less than 10 cents a gallon. Something is keeping this off the table. What is it?
The problem has been that our tax is increased only by vote, and it is levied per gallon. Improvements in gas efficiency actually lower the amount of tax collected per mile driven on the roads. And there are lobbies that make it hard to talk about it.
This might be a little hard to do on radio, but I have wondered for years what areas of the Willamette Valley would be covered if an earthquake lead to a dam break when the reservoirs along the Willamette were full. Folks in areas that would be flooded by tsunamis have a plan to get to higher ground, but Willamette valley residents (and Columbia valley residents?) don't have a clue where "high enough" ground might be if a couple dams broke. Why not?
I would like a discussion on bilingual education, it's benefits and drawbacks. My children attend a bilingual Spanish/English program in Oregon City, and I know some about the Portland programs. I have been told that they are a less expensive alternative for school districts than simply have ESL classrooms, and that students from both Spanish and English speaking homes benefit. For all of that, I also hear negative comments about having my children in the program, and the opinion that "I" am just making it easier for illegal immigrants. I personally don't understand the point of view, and have never had it articulated in language that did not involve profanity. I would be interested to hear what critics feel are the drawbacks, as well as what parents and students who are involved in bilingual programs, for a variety of languages, feel are the advantages.
I know a number of families and teachers who may be interested in sharing their experiences.
I am also very curious why Bend doesn't have any bilingual programs (or at least didn't as of last summer when I moved back to the Portland area) when there is a growing Hispanic population, and so few bilingual workers. When I was hiring for a bilingual position in Bend, we had to recruit from the Metro area or out of state to find qualified candidates.
Here's my topic idea:
[b] Are you happy that Oregon is #1 in state spending on prisons?
Are you glad that Oregon is one of five states that spends more on incarceration than on education?"[/b]
Are these priorities serving Oregonians and preparing the next generation of children to tackle the tough probelms facing our state, country and planet?
The new study by the Pew Center on the States which includes these findings was covered by the Oregonian and almost every major national paper.
I was shocked and ashamed as an Oregonian to see where our supposedly progressive state ranks in spending among the fifty states. Oregon spends the MOST state revenue (as a percentage) of any state on incarceration. Oregon is one of only five states that spends MORE MONEY on prisons than on education. How progressive it that?
This is a very timely topic now that the next ballot will have Oregonians voting on the "Mastermind of Measure 11" Kevin Maniacs' newest fear-mongering initiative to SPEND ENDLESS AMOUNTS OF MONEY ON INCARCERATION of low level criminals and non-violent offenders.
This would be a great follow-up to the (unintentional?) fear-mongering topic of GANGS in Oregon.
Most Oregonians would agree that meth is bad and has created problems for the state, but how much do we spend on marijuana arrests/incarceration? I don't know the answer to that but my opinion is that $1 is too much. Oh Oregonians, why do you want to WASTE so much money? Do we have any less crime? Will you ever be safe?
I would agree that this is a topic that needs to be discussed. I think that more diversion programs, which actually help people kick their drug habit, would be a better use of state money.
I also can't help but think that as a state we need to focus on education, to help keep people out of prison on the front end. What if we looked at education as the way to keep people productive members of society and our prison budgets low? Would we be more likely to fund it at a level that made all students more likely to engage?
Childhood obesity is on the rise. It seems the focus in the media has been on the fatty diets and inactivity of children these days. But in urban-density focused Portland, how many options do average children really have to be active?
As a parent of a six-year-old girl in a neighborhood of tiny lots and childless neighbors, Portland is a tough place to help your child get out and play--especially without driving somewhere. There are no parks within a 10-minute walk of my SW Portland house. For nine months of the year, you can't count on having a halfway dry playground where you can take a kid to play unless you have the means to pay for classes, club membership or even community center admission. Who could do this on a daily basis? And because the world is a scarier place than when my friends and I ran wild as kids through our Parkrose neighborhood, I have to go along for the entire trip to the playground and arrange in advance if we're want to have a playmate available, too. With a home-based business, plus home, life and the rest that I'm responsibile for as an adult, the trip often has to be cut short. My daughter begs for us to move to a house with a big yard and a park or other kids nearby. Our yard is so small, she can't run in it. I know I'm not alone on this one. I'd like to see a discussion on how we foster communities and free play for our kids in a city/state with fewer and fewer families with kids and more fragmented communities. There are a myriad of issues here, including urban versus suburban perspectives, kids' socialization, pressure on parents to keep their kids active and healthy with no consistent resources to help them, PE disappearing in schools, uncovered playgrounds in a rainforest climate, a pervasive attitude among childless citizens that other people's kids aren't there problem, yada, yada, yada.
I'm boring as dirt. I farm. So what is slipping through is the creep of Oregonians onto the deepest soils in the world--those massive floods of 400 foot high that came down in the Ice Ages gave the Willamette Valley soil depths of 20 feet where most arible spots in the world have a tough time having more than 6 inches.
In the first Land Use concerns of the 1970s, just the building of a retirement complex south of the Willamette in Wilsonville sparked a whole wonderful debate on land use. It was a bipartisan, wonderful, only seen in Oregon type debate. So I guess what is really missing is what will be the spark for the next time we all sit down and do the right thing? Measure 37 was a bit about greed, but there was the germ of truth that some of the 1970s approaches are outdated. So what will spark a real debate today? Or will apathy rule once again?
I think land use would be a topical topic. I would like to know specifically what made the 1970's effort different from to day. I understand that in the 70's there was a great deal of education and discussion to build support and consensus for what Oregon would look like before the land use laws were written. Of course there were also fewer people here and the economy was miserable for 20 years so there was less pressure for development too. I personally am very pessimistic that Oregon will not become like everywhere else eventually. I am dis-heartened at what seems like obliviousness of people here who enjoy the state but don't seem to think that there is a problem. I think if you have arrived here from an Urban locale somewhere else in the country it all looks fine, on the other hand if you looked at southern california 50 years ago it probably looked pretty edenic too.
I agree that a large part of the challenge is to help "transplants" understand how Oregon became the way it is. Maybe we could start neighborhood classes on "How to be an Oregonian." :)
"Better Together" edited or compiled by Robert Putnam (author of "Bowling Alone") is a great book on how things have been changing since the 50s, or how we might get back to greater civic participation. The last chapter is specifically on Portland and why it is different from most places around the country.
I would like to hear how Measure 49 was crafted. I think of it as a huge accomplishment that the community was able to agree on something different from Measure 37. It goes right the the heart of land use planning and why farm and forest folks apparently agreed that we need some regulation after all.
Chalkboard.org would be a great resource for you on the education question. They have worked with folks on all sides of public education including teachers and parents. It's also a great example of local trusts getting together to try to solve a public issue: how do we make our education system as good as we think it should be?
Race is slipping through the cracks. Living in a very white state makes it hard to recognize what it is like for non-whites to live here. I would love for the people of this state to hear about what some people encounter here, and to have a conversation about how to make Oregon a better place for everyone to live. I fear that if we don't do a better job of improving our cultural competencies Oregon will be a place only white people who want to keep it white will move to. Check out orst.edu to see the Voices Project for ideas. Also, the Oregonian had a recent story on a N Portland neighborhood (Alberta?) where whites are moving into a traditionally black neighborhood and how they have started meeting together to plan community events. Very cool.
I'd like to hear discussion about the problems with internet drug sales. I don't mind someone getting blood pressure medication from Canada, but it is trivial to buy major pain-killers online with no real prescription.
My sister was addicted to pain killers (thank you Oxycontin!) and she was able to buy bags of stuff from "pharmacies" in Mexico, etc. Her doctors were clueless and trying to sort though the Federal bureaucracy was hopeless. Whoever you called, it was someone else's problem. She couldn't be committed by family because of the strict laws. She eventually died because of the pain killer addiction. Ironically, it was liver failure caused by Tylenol that killed her. Many people don't realize that Tylenol/Acetaminophen is in a lot of pain killers.
So - how about a conversation about pain-killer addiction, internet drug availability, no Federal enforcement, clueless doctors?
Conversations that ring in my head every day!
(Posted by Robert J Fraser)
Well they are not exactly conversations but rather a range of ringing sounds that constantly drive away any semblance of silence. Never ending, never ceasing, well maybe not never. I love it when it rains as the white noise masks this 24/7 high pitch hissing. And now my heart goes out to the thousands of soldiers who are coming home with this infliction called Tinnitus.
Ten years ago while living in South Florida, I was hit by a truck crossing the Everglades causing whiplash. This terrible whistling sound in my head appeared and I stopped taking medication for my neck pain hoping the sound would go away but it didn?t. It drove me crazy to the point that I was ready to throw myself into Biscayne Bay if it weren?t for the thought of the further pain I would cause my family.
I Googled ?ringing ears? and the website ATA.org came up. Thank goodness for the American Tinnitus Association. If William Shatner, spokesperson for ATA, could overcome this horrible affliction so could I. There was hope and more than hope. The American Tinnitus Association provided me resources to cope with this affliction. I promised myself that one day I would do more than send in my annual membership check for $35 which contributes to research for an eventual cure, today?s mission of ATA.
This affliction has never been a high priority among the medical community. The
typical response from doctors in the past has been a shrug of the shoulders and the pronouncement of, ?Just have to live with it?. I come from a generation whose motto has been ?Make your dreams a reality.? We flew to the moon we can certainly stop this ringing of the ears.
Last year I moved to Portland, the city of ?can dos?, where the national headquarters of ATA is most appropriately based. I volunteered to assist them in any way I could. Last week I read the Associated Press front page column in the Saturday, March 8 edition of the Oregonian, ?Troop?s hearing takes hit in battle zone?. The American Tinnitus Association played a big role in making that story happen. The war has given this affliction and disability finally a voice. And it is not just victims of accidents, medications and the battle zone explosions that are suffers, it is now our children whose hearing is threatened by IPODS, boom boxes and all the loud environmental noise about us. An invitation to ATA to participate on your program would give an important voice to this affliction which is often preventable and which has ?slipped through the cracks? for so many years?.
What?s important about featuring the ATA now is that they have recently changed their mission to focus on curing tinnitus. They exist exclusively to cure tinnitus through the development of resources that advance tinnitus research. Researchers now believe that a cure for tinnitus is possible because of the advances in imaging technologies like functional MRI?s that have allowed investigators to see tinnitus on a screen in real-time when its present in a patient. Because of these breakthroughs researchers have been able to isolate the problem within the auditory pathways of the brain and believe a cure is possible.
The ATA is focused on increasing research funds through their own research program which was issued over $4 million in research grants since 1980. They have provided the seed grants allowing tinnitus investigators to gather pilot data that have enabled them to go on and receive much larger grants from public agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH). They are also focused on increasing the government?s capability to fund research through the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the NIH. Last year, through their advocacy efforts, they successfully persuaded Congress to list tinnitus as a researchable condition through their Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program.
A recent article in the Ogreonion reminds us that special ed students get twice as much funding as "regular" students.
And funny thing: a lot of them do not earn regular diplomas.
Are the inmates running the asylum?
Are regular students' diplomas watered down to where it does not even imply reading capability?
Is this a good way to use limited educational resources?
Consider the lively discussion generated by the TAG show. There is a lot more to discuss.
A topic you almost never hear anything about is the epidemic level of iatrogenic disease in this country. You can easily put together a very good case from A.M.A. and government publications that allopathic medical practices are killing or destroying the health of millions of people every year. Iatrogenic illness is the first to third leading cause of death in the U.S., depending on how much counting you do.
Some angles: How is it that the medical and pharmaceutical industries are held immune to science and statistics-based inquiries into their basis and effectiveness? How did they gain the power to have their dangerous products made mandatory under law? How do they get away with pulling the mantle of science over their business activities, when what they are doing is based on economics? How are doctors mis-educated or indoctrinated into forcing an obsolete, dangerous, and injurious medical model onto the public? Why is the medical establishment doing its best to suppress medical research that leads away from their antiquated mechanistic Newtonian physics drug-based models? There are new, Einsteinian physics science-based medical paradigms trying to burst onto the public scene; what are they?; but they are being vigorously suppressed by the drug companies, the AMA, and the government; why?. What if we could prevent disease from manifesting at a physical level by treating it at an energetic level(we can)? What are the effects on society of having medicine forced on us by law? How many parents and babysitters have been imprisoned for "Shaken Baby Syndrome" when brain swelling caused by vaccinations was the cause of the baby's death? How many children are injured by autoimmune reactions to vaccinations and other drugs? Why is autism at the 1 in 150 children level now, and still rising?
There are endless aspects and ramifications to iatrogenic illness, and lots of recent scientific advances that could change the situation dramatically for the better. Let's talk about them for a change!
I teach students in a community with a lot of poverty. A while back, you did a show on racism. What we don't talk enough about is classism. So much of our society is unaware of the stereotypes we have around social class & poverty. There is a local speaker and author named Donna Beegle, EdD., who with the help of caring community mentors, social services and amazing internal drive was able to pull herself out of generational poverty. Her story is inspiring and enlightening. I would love to hear her on your show. If you're interested in her story it's at http://www.combarriers.com/about
ps...I'm posting this again, the first time it landed in the middle of comments from January. I think I get the format now.
Hmm -- you have a lot of topics and threads but it is hard to tell what they are about because every subject line is the same.
I am interested in eating local food. I buy from a CSA and am involved in a local farmers market: The Parkrose Farmers Market www.parkrosefarmersmarket.org. This is a hot topic with global implications but very local in how it plays out.
Parkrose farmers markets first day is May 3rd, saturday. If you want to profile us, we would welcome it :).
Here is is my issue. There's a lot of press and excitement about computerizing medical records in a way to make them accessible to all of a patient's providers and facilitate care, even if an emergency occurs away from one's home area.
I have heard nothing on OPB or anywhere else about the dark side of this technology. Within Oregon's oldest HMO there has been this technology for about 9 years. It is easy for unscrupulous doctors to misuse this information at his/her discretion, and I have been a victim of exactly that abuse.
When a doctor with a politically prominent place in a medical administration commits a deliberate and calculated medical coverup, he or she can easily get copies with zero regard for the so-called patient rights of confidentiality. Even psychiatric records, both medical and counselling/listening non-MD psych visit records ("just somebody to talk to") were copied directly to my primary provider upon his sudden realization that he was being exposed as a deceitful provider with his own self-interest and the Company's covert financial manipulations as number one priority. In addition to exposing his own inept and collusive "care", I was especially problematic for him because I was also an employee in the facility where he had his medical office-space. During a time when the Company's need for millions of dollars to fund ever-growing technological abilities, staff-reduction was paramount. Huge staff cuts started being made in 2003 at Kaiser NW facilities. They are still going on. I am sad that NPR and OPB promote this so-called not-for-profit. Forty five middle-managers (my boss was a pharmacy supervisor for more than 20 years) were told that they either could take on a doubled or tripled management-load or leave with some form of gold-plated parachute. At least his parachute was golden compared to mine. I was suddenly disabled due to 14 yrs of medical covering-up during my employment in the pharmacy department. When many years of deliberately reversing a diagnosis and then totally ignoring that "history" of multiple sclerosis and developing degenerative disc disease were compunded by unignorable knee-arthritis, I was accommodated by a sudden transfer to pharmacy administration's main offices. I was in a minority there because I truly believed that quality of care and accessibility and HIPAA laws were serious stuff. I worked according the the Golden Rule (Do unto others, etc). It was soon obvious I was a Bleeding-Heart Liberal. The only one, apparently. I had to be eliminated even if it required multiple violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act. I was hearing and seeing too much criminal, amoral administrative maneuvering. I floated between pharmacy and accounting. No room for ethics in Kaiser's accounting department. I should have filed a Whistleblower suit first, but at least I did copy all my medical records shortly before I was forced into early retirement, because as soon as I retained an attorney, the KP legal dept started a hatchet job on my records. It is really quite interesting to show to my new healthcare providers. Especially the OBGyn records that were 99.9% black magic marker. Worse than White House records.
Oregon law is totally biased toward protecting the medical establishment and has attorneys afraid to file med. malpractice suits for fear of punitive fines for filing "frivolous" suits.
I don't know if every state legislature is as bad as Oregon, but this enormous computerization of records to make them infinitely accessible to any sociopathic administrator who finds it necessary or convenient to alter, cover-up or destroy them to make the patient look like a nut-job is a very, very bad thing. There is no way to protect the patient from a disinformation campaign.
I 'm sure I can't be the only victim of this kind of gross negligence. It is not just unethical. It is evil. And for the perpetrator, it is EASY.
I agree it will harm more than help on top of that it helps the government watch dog.
Well, last week, OPB and every other major news outlet in the NW covered the release of new earthquake hazard maps, the meeting of scientists and emergency planners, and Native American oral histories of previous Cascadia quakes . . . still waiting for you guys to put together a show . . . someone from POEM, Red Cross, USGS etc. This is not just an urban issue, rural areas will be hit hard too, and the big cities will not be able to help them as is usually the case.
I don't get to listen very often, but what I like about the premise of this show that none of the other shows mentioned here offers, is dialogue with our neighbors about topics that are different here in Oregon than they are for the rest of the world. Fixing foster care looks different in our town and State, for example, than it would in London.
Another thing that I like, is that this show allows people to tell about their own personal experiences and stories--local stories that are relevant to the rest of us because we're neighbors. THAT is engaging. Hearing the stories of my neighbors is one of my favorite past times, if they are respectful, insightful and candid. Maybe those three things are hard to find, but it's worth a shot.
Topics about the future, about how are kids are going to deal with the growing social, economic, and environmental problems that are rising now, are of interest to me. I like that others are interested in talking about natural disaster preparedness, peak oil and farms, healthcare and schools. Lets keep revisiting these discussions as things improve or decline! As a parent, it is always so encouraging to hear that I am not the only one disappointed in the way we do school and healthcare these days, and the way we do them both differently for different economic classes.
Similarly, I'd like to hear and talk about the state of housing facilities that are available to our aging parents in Portland and other places in Oregon. What are people doing, how are they being creative about finding more caring options than your average assisted living facility with underpaid staff and very little to stimulate the minds and engage the hearts of our loved ones? Two years ago I took a second job in a very expensive Portland facility and I was horrified. I'll never put my parents in a place like that.
Speaking of housing facilities, I'd love to hear more about all of these "shared living" communities popping up all over Portland and Oregon, where kids play in a central common area and meals and yardwork and other things are shared with neighbors... and variations on this theme.
I'd like to hear a show on urban infill housing versus protecting our urban forest canopy i.e. those skinny houses that are creating a lot of controversy amongst east side communities in Portland. We have the tension between preserving the urban growth boundary, providing affordable housing within the city and maintaing the character and livability of our neighbourhoods. I'd like to hear Randy Leonard talk about the process and why other issues such as tree protection are not considered. Concordia is begining to loose many old growth trees to cheaply built houses. Meanwhile areas like Irvington enjoy much greater protection. Why does the disparity exist? Why does the city refuse to listen to neighbourhoods that want creative infill that preserves the best things those great old trees represent in our communities i.e. space, clean air, shade, wildlife islands etc.
I hope you'll consider this issue because it's currently flying under the radar. Small pockets of our community resist the most aggregious developments, but a public discussion is needed to raise awareness and make city beaurocrats accountable.
Currently in the Concordia neighborhood in NE Portland, one of the grand cedar trees, which is an integral part of the neighborhood forest canopy, is being cut down and replaced with a skinny house. Infill advocates argue that the practice is environmentally friendly in that more people live closer to the city center and are able to commute using the mass transit systems already in place. On the other hand, cutting down a 100-year old healthy tree, over sixty feet in height and eleven feet in circumference, does not seem like an environmental friendly act. This is a protective forest canopy providing protection from the heat of the sun, from wind and noise. It is absorbing pollutants and hosting the local wildlife. If we weigh the assets of a towering tree against those of a single family home, which one should we recognize as more valuable to our neighborhoods? Additionally, this home is allowed to be placed a mere 10 feet from the property line, where all other homes on the block are on average 25 feet back on the property. Not only will this home not fit in aesthetically with the other homes on the block, but its placement will stick out 15 feet further than all of the other homes.
This is not an isolated incident and many, many trees have come down and will be coming down to make room for infill housing. Is this a good thing for Portland? Thirty years from now, will we look at our neighborhoods and be happy that many of our large trees were cut down to make room for skinny homes? Do these homes contribute in a positive way to our neighborhoods or not?
People have also said that taking down a tree in Portland to make room for infill housing means that a tree outside the city is saved. Is this really true? With the development happening in the Gorge, it doesn?t appear that way. The city is behind these skinny homes and fast tracks the permit process for developing them. And in many neighborhoods, there is absolutely no protection for these grand trees that contribute in many ways to the livability of the neighborhood.
A group of residents from the Concordia neighborhood met with Ty Kovatch, Chief of Staff for Commissioner Randy Leonard, and have also spoken with Kathleen Stokes from Land Use Services. Both Ty and Kathleen say that their hands are tied because there are no laws that protect the trees ? basically property owners? rights trump everything else. How about we have a discussion on ?Think Out Loud? with city officials and concerned residents? This is an important issue that is having a tremendous impact on the livability of our city. Additionally, Ty Kovatch told the Concordia residents that the city?s effort to curb urban sprawl actually makes Portland less livable. With the population of Portland on the rise, what can we do to create more balance in the future between curbing urban sprawl and protecting the livability of our neighborhoods? Check out http://www.karott.com/savethetree/ to read how neighbors in Concordia are fighting back.
Are our U.S. Reperesentatives and Senators truly representing their states issues and agendas or are they more aligned and obedient to their politcal party's agenda? States seem to have lost all federal influence and now sunject to heavy federal regulation and burdened with unfunded programs. Within this current campeign cylce, I hear U.S Congress candidates debate almost strictly national geoplitical issues but not neccessarily how their candancy will support Oregon's needs. What are Oregon's issues or state agenda that needs to be taken back to Washington DC?
Well, seems like half of NPR's field reporters are covering a major earthquake . . . now would be a good time to discuss the preparedness of our area.
I would like to hear a discussion about our current "Culture of Fear". I was intrigued by a comment a guest made during today's discussion "Stayin' In" that while abductions have decreased over the last 20 years, their coverage in the media has increased dramatically. One of the results is that parents are less likely to allow their children to play in the woods near their homes. This is a topic I've been thinking about a lot as a parent and as a citizen. We are afraid of child abduction, terrorists, germs, and a host of other things. I find that I'm more afraid of getting in trouble for giving my children space than I am of something bad actually happening.
How has the media helped to propagate a culture of fear?
Is our attention being diverted? What should we really be afraid of?
Do children really benefit from hovering parents?
How has the culture of fear influenced our spending habits?
Families are more transitory than in past generations. How can we make it easier to reach out to a new community and meet the neighbors?
How can restore common sense to the discussion?
I think a show on city chickens is due! Seems each spring another family is setting up a coop in their yard, and fresh eggs are showing up for sale in office lunchroom refrigerators. Reasons I've heard for keeping chickens range from acting on concerns about our industrial food system, to pest control in gardens, to a love of quirky pets. I'm wondering, is Portland the capital of city chickenhood?
Washington County is currently engaged in a discussion about governing the Urban Unincorporated Areas (UUAs). The Urbanization Forum, organized by the County Commissioners, is holding it's second meeting on June 19.
We wrote a series of articles in the Cedar Mill News examining the history of how so much of Washington County became urbanized without cities, see
for background info on the situation.
This is a complicated situation, but it's very important for people to understand the issues. I could recommend several people to include in the conversation.
I believe we need a discussion on personal bankruptcy and what people will be faced with when filling. It seems like a dirty word and no one discuses it unless it is a company bankruptcy like that makes it les immoral.
I personally filled recently. You all ready feel broke down you tried everything bankruptcy is your only way out. There are many reasons why people file and it usually is a combo. For me it was Medical bills one trip to the ER, the Federal raising of the minimum payments to Credit Card Companies,? That doubled my payments per month? I just bought a new car and then lost my job a month later.
?A Trip to a Bankruptcy Attorney? My attorney did not seem to be on my side. With new laws passed there afraid of the Trustees because the trustees can now file suits against attorneys. Even though I am not married and do not legally have a domestic partner the trustee and my attorney kept trying to make me hand over personal info on my boyfriend like employer, income, savings, and social security number. I said no I believed it would even be illegal for me to do so and he did not want any part of my bankruptcy. My lawyer said I had to comply to anything the Trustee requested. It was a fight I had to be my own attorney. I had to say I was not going to go through with the process than finally my attorney said the trustee had no right to my boyfriend info which is what I had been saying all along. Also they try to make you allow a wage order from your employer. I pay my payment to the trustee every month by money order but that was a fight also. When I expressed my gratitude for being able to pay the trustee myself my attorney said quote ?good for you not for the rest of us? unquote. California allows automatic bank withdraws for payments apparently Oregon dos not have that set up.
I will stop here although there is so much more to say. I sincerely hope this matter will be discussed with the overwhelming increase in bankruptcy cases.
Please consider setting this blog so that the newest entries appear at the top. When I first found the page, I thought, "Oh, they must not be getting much traffic, look how old these posts are!"
And it's kind of boring to scroll past all the old stuff just to see what the latest posts are...
I would like to see something on the state of technology education in Oregon. We've got all kinds of economic reports showing 28% growth in technology jobs that pay on average $88,000 per year (2x the avg. OR salary), but they go unfilled (or people are hired from outside Oregon) because our educational & governmental leaders/institutions aren't making necessary changes to prepare kids for a great professional future. Perhaps it's because the mythology that has built up regarding outsourcing, the mis-allocation of educational funds or a lack of understanding about how important this sector is to Oregon's economy...I don't know, but I feel strongly that we're relegating our kids to a sub-standard future if we don't draw attention to this problem and fix this soon.
We have been on the public dole with the Timber Payments program that was to make up for government control of the states timber resources. What really fell through the cracks is the deplorable state of government controlled forestry. If you were to talk with private timber owners you would find that their resources are being depleted by their mere locality with federal and to a lesser extent state owned forests. Chronic mismanagement that allows insect deprivation and invasive species contamination have degraded OUR forests while excessively ignorant regulations and "For Profit" land grabs and timber sales have cheated Oregonians for years. Timber payments do not offset incompetence.
We have no right to demand payments for a timber not harvested when that timber rots or becomes fodder for catastrophic fires. When rural economies are bolstered by the economics of a fire economy ( $ Millions to fight fires yet none to husband the forests) yet are deprived of the resources of the timber surrounding their homes, demanding payments for this insulting ?caretaking? of our natural resources is akin to asking the robber beating you on the head to put a coin in the parking meter so you don't get a ticket while you are unconscious.
How can a population surrounded by the greatest gifts that are our natural resources be dependent on handouts from a government that breeds the need for those welfare checks? I have never met a person who would not rather have a good job that pays a living wage than be on the dole! The lack of respect the government shows towards our forests are manifest in their disdain of the American people. Making a society dependent on your stipend is not respect and is self perpetuating the needs and disrespect.
Here's a little funny... what if I could show you a system designed in the 1920s and later redesigned by our own government, FEMA to be precise, that would turn (20) twenty pounds of any wood in our forest into the equivalent of (1) one gallon of gasoline? And this design also shows how to build the unit for conversion of this energy as well as how to modify ANY internal combustion engine to use it safely? Look out any window in Oregon and assess how many pounds of woody material are in that tree just outside. Now look at the reports from the Oregon Department of Forestry on the amount of timber that needs thinned (husbanded) in Oregon... millions of acres... billions of tons of wood... being laid waste by fire and insects, instead of used to replace the oil everyone is screaming about. A forest is a true solar energy system but like a solar photo voltaic panel being used for a door stop in your garage its potential energy is not realized. Why is our timber dependent counties the hardest hit fiscally when they are surrounded by bounty? Because we do not see the forest for the trees. Why is the most endangered counties in Oregon surrounded by forests, millions of tons, of invasive trees (Juniper Occidentalis, Western Juniper) that is degrading our grass and grazing lands up to 30% while we pay those that don't like us to send us their pollution laden fuels. Nonsense is nonsense... we are smarter than that!
This is but one system of the many.
What is missing is American Ingenuity, it has been replaced by the enslavement of easy money and easier answers that make us comfortable slaves. But slaves no less! What is slipping through the cracks are the answers that are out there that no one is formatting into a usable system of self empowerment. What is slipping through the cracks is our pride and the future of our children. What is slipping through the cracks is a livable economy and environment.
Yes... I'm passionate about it. No excuses.
PS; I love OPB! My life partner says I am cheap but I don't need cable tv because I can get OPB out of thin air.
I think it would be very interesting to hear a show about intersexed people. I learned in my college sex education class that people of indeterminate sex are quite common. The teacher stated that 1 in 1000 people are born neither completely male nor completely female. The instructor taught that there are three varieties of this. She also said people born with mental retardation are statistically less common than intersexed people. This being the case, I find it strange that I do not see more people like this, and that it is not generally acknowledged by the popular culture at large. I would love to learn from a sociologist and a geneticist why these people seem to be either intentionally or unintentionally invisible. Is it a lack of acceptance by our culture, or a (probably justified) fear of bigotry on their part? To me it seems strange that the popular culture does not have a place or social roles for all the diverse people which God, or nature if you prefer, has created. My exwife is Vietnamese, and she says intersexed people are not invisible or discriminated against or stigmatized in her native land. My exwife says such people are known as, roughly translated, "He-and-She" persons. Again, the views of a sociologist and a geneticist would be very interesting and informative for the general public, particularly for myself. I think public education on this subject could help intersexed individuals be excepted and hopefully embraced by the society at large. After all, people tend to fear what they do not understand, and fear can lead to bigotry.
What's not slipping through is the money. It does not trickle down; that would be a leak, and, the rich know how to keep from leaking money. They take a profit from our work, a profit when we spend ( every penny ), and when we run out of money ( since we don't get paid enough to continue driving the economy with our spending )they take a profit in the form of interest from the money we have to borrow to spend to live. Sorry for the rant, but, given the new nature of the recent successful presidential campaign; do we still need the rich to run things? The bailout is, I'm sorry, RIDICULOUS!Are they ever going to share the fruits? NEVER!
Suggested Topic: Have the rich outlived their usefulness?
Here's something slipping through the cracks with a distinct Oregon connection.
While the economy and wars are occupying much of the media spotlight, President-Elect Obama remains dedicated to the causes of volunteerism and community service as part of the solution to getting the country back on track.
At the change.gov website, a tab across the top of the page is marked "America Serves." This section talks about Obama's plan to expand the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps, as well as create several new volunteer corps. Obama is keeping his pledge of bringing change by empowering people to become the change.
Oregon has a thriving community of AmeriCorps members and volunteers, and is a hub for returning Peace Corps volunteers and recruitment. Oregon is poised to become a model for what Obama's vision of national service might look like.
I think marriage and family relationships are slipping through the cracks, in one of our counties alone we had 10,000 marriages in 2007 and around 6,000 divorces. People are quitting each other left and right and the devastation is on the kids of these marriages. Most people spend more time learning to drive a car than they spend learning skills for the most important relationships that we ever do. I'm trying to combat this trend with a school that teaches people how to do relationships better . How about a Valentine's Day story?
One of the weird things I witnessed during the election that seemed very "oregon" was the politics of "liberal gun owners". After watching Bush's administration ignore or do end runs around a number of our fundamental rights, it is a little surreal to consider that my victorious candidate may do the same thing with gun rights. His rhetoric about "sportsman" and "defense of home" was designed to put some gun-owning Democrats and independents at ease, but neither rationales are actually part of the Second Amendment.
The Democratic gun caucus meets in Portland this weekend, in part to begin lobbying their own party in the hopes that draconian gun restrictions will not be on the agenda next year. Given the propensity of TOL to pick subjects that would be of interest to listeners all across the state, you could not go wrong with this one.
During discussions of government funding of local communities, we have forgotten that taxpayers elsewhere nave no interest in funding county governments in Oregon regardless of how essential such funding is to our communities. Other regions of the country have their own problems, especially now. The loss of the logging industry , for example, means a loss of productivity (wealth production). We need to consider what fraction of current productivity is appropriate and historically acceptable as tax revenue, and how we can live within that amount of revenue. Federal government subsidies may not be sustainable because they are borrowed money and those debts will come back to haunt us soon, These most fundamental issues are difficult to deal with but should be considered seriously now.
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