Rock’em Sock’em Cowboy

Operation Shock and Awe, the Big Show, the one we’ve been waiting for, has begun. Everyone is also happy to know that only seven oil wells have been set afire, not 30 as previously though. Also, Emma writes a lucid post on why we shouldn’t be in this war now, even suggesting some gestures that would have made our agression more palatable.

Gambling Nix

It looks like Portlanders will need to continue their hour-long drive out to Spirit Mountain in order to throw away retirement funds, savings accounts, and milk money. Our Governor Kulongowski did not approve Portland’s plan of allowing the Grand Ronde tribe to build a casino in town in exchange for some hundreds of millions of dollars for a baseball stadium.

I am somewhat mixed on this issue. In theory it seems a fine idea. It’ll probably levy an equivalent or greater tax than Measure 28 did, and most likely it’ll strike at a lot of the folks who voted it down, but in the form of casino losses. But, what would a casino do to Portland? The businesses that would popup in support of it tend to be less savory…pawn shops, title loan companies, strip joints. Then there’s the addiction that many people become enveloped in with gambling. It’s frightening enough watching the video poker machines and the manic empty hope I see with so many people playing them, for entertainment purposes only, I’m sure. At least a casino would bring reasonable odds to Portland gambling.

I don’t believe that Portland is ready to cope with the social problems that could easily surround a casino in a major metropolitan area. Good call, Ted.

The World Upside-Down

In a surprising turn of events, internet searches for war have outnumbered searches for sex, though I can’t say that they surpass the combination of all mispellings of Britney. That’s reported in England, but I’m sure that American thirst for knowledge is comparable.

Oregon gets one right

In light of all the nastiness we’ve been hearing about Oregon, the schools, the economy, the infighting, timber, power, baseball, gambling, and such, I was really happy to see this article, in which the Senate put the (at least for-now) smackdown on GWB’s energy/budget plan to drill pristine Alaska. The article tells us that Gordon Smith cast one of the key votes to shift the win over to the powers of good. That’s gonna get us on Georgie’s good side.

Iran Hardly Newsworthy

This one snuck up on me. Apparently Iran wants in on the nukes game as well. I don’t know what to think, with Ari justifying our accusations with reasons like

“After all, Iran has been in possession of a great amount of energy of a non-nuclear nature as a result of their gas and oil supplies,” he said. “There is no economic justification for this, and it does remain a matter of great concern.”

These guys just don’t get it do they? Sure, they have oil. That does not mean that it’s a good idea to suck the Earth dry of it, that it’s good to use it, or that they should have to. Another sweet tidbit from Ari Fleischer,

“This is one of the reasons the president … referred to Iraq, Iran and North Korea as the axis of evil, because of their willing desire to flaunt international accords in pursuit of nuclear weapons.”

Can it be true?

This guy really kicks butt. Vermont governor Howard Dean, speaks well, actually says stuff, and believes in some important issues, such as reproductive rights, preserving the environment, sensible foreign policy, and well though-out education policies.

And he says things like, “Another example of the Administration’s ineptness is on the Korean Peninsula, where U.S. policy has been incoherent, inconsistent and dangerously disengaged.” If there’s anybody out there to restore hope in the Democratic Party, it going to be someone like Gov. Dean. I’d heard of him before, but propers to Tom Tomorrow for hitting me at the right time and the right place.

War Protesting

We are pretty certainly going to war very soon. Saddam has blatantly refused to do any disarming per GWB’s requests entirely whatsoever and the weapons inspectors are over there with their abacus counting the number of nukes in Iraq because they’ve run out of fingers and toes, so it’s perfectly reasonable that we demolish their sorry asses, and hopefully take a pretty good chunk of their culture and history with them, not to mention a pretty good haul of oil. Considering that we have the full support of the UN Security Council behind us, as well as the Catholic Church and every other major organized religion supporting a unilateral crushing of those Trade Center bombing Iraqis, I don’t know why we’ve waited this long.

Anyway, despite all of these things I have to say that this whole business is leaving a bad taste in my mouth. So, try to think of some things to do about it…I am only one man, one blog after all. I received some inspiration from Portland Indymedia, and perhaps you can as well. But here are some things that I will be doing to protest this impending massacre:

  • Drive less. It’s mostly about oil. Cars use oil in the form of gasoline. Try biking to work, it’s healthy!
  • Use all renewable energy for electricity. My electricity provider allows me to purchase blocks of renewable energy, already doing some, but need to convert entirely. It doesn’t cost that much more and it’s good for the environment and Oregon’s economy too!
  • Buy local stuff. There’s a lot of cool stuff made in Oregon (some of it available outside malls and airports!). Support locally owned stores, and but locally made products. Less logistics to transfer, and less likely that they’re part of a huge corporation contributing to the war machine’s chest.
  • Show up to protests. I probably will limit this activity, as I’ll be home fixing my bike, but I’m glad to know you’re out there. I’m also unsure how effective this really is. Due to the right-wing pro-war ownership of the media, it’s easy to paint a leftist wacko image. Bugs me, and it’s wrong, but they exploit the demonstrations to put a deeper wedge in the gap between the anti-war constituent and those who accept the misinformation they are fed. Defeatist attitude, I know, and I respect the protestors, but I’ll work towards my goals my way.
  • Also for consideration is cancelling subscriptions to major media outlets, like newspapers and magazines.

Overall, I think that we should live in a more conservative manner…and the amazing aspect of this is that while protesting the war effort, it is possible to support that same war effort by sacrificing luxuries. Oh, and I suppose I should toss out the the war disclaimer, even though we are a 100% voluntary army, many of our soldiers are there for reasons of hope, need, escape, innocence, and misinformation. Bring them home.

To The Coast

Perhaps it will stay beautiful as I journey to the Oregon Coast in search of Jack’s blue plastic beach decorations. Wish me luck, back tomorrow sometime.