I have no opinion on Mike Hawash

I don’t know if he is guilty or innocent. Never did. Never met the guy, don’t really care to. But. It is not okay to arrest somebody and detain them without charges in the manner in which he has been detained. A solid month of solitary confinement without charges being brought up. Not okay. Maybe he’s guilty. These tactics are the antithesis of American civil rights, and should not be practiced against a citizen of this country. Give it back.

Travel time

I’ll be in Germany for awhile, so expect sporadic posts. I’d like to put something up daily in a travel log effort, but we’ll see what happens. Leaving tomorrow, woohoo!

Dean Coming to Town

Howard Dean is coming to Portland. I don’t have too many details at the moment, but he’s scheduled to arrive on 5/12. The good folks of the Meetup are planning to get out there and show support in an effort to get a bit of press coverage for him. This is a great way to build the grassroots movement, so if you can be there, do it. I don’t have a time for his arrival yet, but I’ll find out and post that. I won’t be able to make it because I’ll be travelling a bit at the time.

La Cruda

La Cruda is located in SE Portland, near the hipster node 26th and Clinton. It does hold up the credo of the neighborhood with its tasty margaritas (not as cheap as they seem like they are) and late night menu. They serve food till midnite on Thurs-Sat (and maybe the others too). The food is pretty tasty. Good quality ingredients, marinated and grilled meats, and a salsa bar with a decent range of salsas but far too small of cups (the kind that a friggin chip doesn’t fit into) to carry it in, make this a marginal recommendation. The food is Mexican in nature, but it won’t qualm the craving of a die-hard. I find myself there infrequently for a late-night meal. I am rarely disappointed though. The portions are good sized, the prices a little high for the genre. I do far prefer La Cruda to the grease-laden Dots across the street…and I’m not one known for judging food by its health value.

So, overall, it’s a worthwhile spot that meets a variety of needs, and when those needs come together, La Cruda can be a great option. Those needs are: an empty belly turned full, margaritas, late dining, and a good spice factor.

Working Poor At It Again

The IRS has identified the working poor’s Earned Income Credit as an area of fraud they need to address promptly (NYT link, requires free registration, props Nader). This tax credit has been instrumental in raising a vast number of families above the poverty level. Now many of these families will be required to furnish proof of eligibility in a manner likely to make obtaining the dollars too difficult for many properly eligible families. I for one am much happier subsidizing a few extra hard-working family types than cheese-ball corporations setting up off-shore tax shelters or whatever they do. Lay off the workin’ folk. Not layoff.

postwar doldrums

Now the war is over and the reconstruction has begun. This is what all the corruption has been building up to. The emotional charge is less fiery now. The USA’s middle finger is still pointed at the rest of the world. Campaign contributors are realizing the value of their investments in reconstruction contracts and tax cuts. The Democrats are still holed up. We confuse victory for justification. Never forget the wrongness of this war. Not even the discovery of WMD’s will justify the course taken. The use of ‘niks’ appended to a common word has decreased dramatically. The sentences of the world have gotten shorter. To accommodate our president. I foresee the words of this blog to shift to reflect the happier times that a tax cut for the rich promises us. And closings of the schools. And the termination of a wide variety of public services. good times. cheers!

Sweet thing at the ProRow

Well, considering that I’m feeling a bit better, I figured it was time to venture out again. Met up with some friends at Produce Row, and had a few pints. True evidence that I’m ill: none of the beer tasted good…I ended up with pear cider after failing with MacTarnahan’s (not a favorite) and TG IPA (up top), as well as (note to Emma) a sample of Full Sail Equinox.

So, sitting in the pool room, pear cider in hand, we’re just chatting away, when this fellow with painter’s paints and a daughter comes in and sets up at the table behind me. He and his daughter grab the pool table. It is the cutest thing, she’s probably around nine or ten, long mussy blonde hair and big blue eyes, and he’s teaching her to play pool. Very sweet, after several attempts at a ball, it drops, and she cocks her head, finally. She stands on a chair to attempt a shot from the middle of the table, missing, but not by much, I tell her nice shot, and she smiles cocky but shy.

What a nice thing to witness. Some real quality father-daughter time, and probably something that she’ll never forget.


beerdrinker’s been lamed with illness. That’s kept me from posting much due to lack of interesting thoughts. On the up and up now though, so I should be back on track.

Dean communicates

Howard Dean is quite serious in his bid for the presidency. I am so pleased with what I’ve seen before, and now he’s written an article at Common Dreams explicitly stating his strong disapproval of Bush’s foreign policy. This is fantastic. It’s nice to see the combination editorial/campaign speech style in his words. It’s not just a complaint, it’s an offering up of a solution, written passionately, but with the reserve needed to win a broad support base. It really is time for change, and Howard Dean is a large step in the right direction.