Jenny, Kirk & public remembrances

Invited to submit names for the new Willamette River pedestrian/bike/light bridge, 264 people opted for either “bridge” or “the bridge”. I have no idea what to make of that.

339 people nominated “Kirk Reeves” in one form or another (I counted “The Trumpet Bridge” in the tally). Kirk was a bright part of the downtown Portland landscape for many years, and a Facebook page garnered over 1,700 likes. It was a sweet gesture and speaks to the affection Portlanders can have for one another. Despite being the top vote-getter, however, “Kirk Reeves” was never a serious candidate for the bridge’s name; not to be uncaring, but he is not a person of historical significance.

Beatrice Morrow...Read the rest

Still my President

Watching the President’s interview with Chris Matthews this evening made me realize what it is that makes me lose faith in him: listening to or reading the media and the multitude of internet voices. When I hear him speak for himself, I realize why I became a supporter early on and why I still have faith in Barack Obama as my President.

And yes, I know: that sounds sappy and naive. But it’s honest.

I did not support Obama in 2007 because I thought he was another Paul Wellstone or Howard Dean. I understood he was more of a centrist, not quite a progressive in the way that I am. I wasn’t surprised that he didn’t seek to jail the banksters and other...Read the rest

Vermont single-payer: not so fast, kids

A number of folks have been posting various links about Vermont’s single-payer system, and I get the feeling people are under the belief that this is happening now. It’s not. Single-payer won’t start there until 2017, the first year it will be allowed under the ACA. So excitement needs to be tempered: it’s another 3 years until even in Vermont, everybody’s in and nobody’s out.

And whenever people start cheering for single-payer, I want to stop them for a moment and ask them if they understand that SP is not health care but a means to pay for health care. Simply getting rid of the insurance companies doesn’t fix a health care system. You have to have an entire system in place that...Read the rest

How sick is this?

Suppose the news headline was this:

“Dave Dahl, co-founder of Dave’s Killer Bread, has cancer”

What would the response to this news be? We know quite well that answer: an outpouring of sympathy, well-wishes, prayers, and offers of support. The community would rally behind him, one way or another, wanting nothing more than a speedy and full recovery.

And if the headline was slightly different:

“…has a relapse of cancer”

Not just the same outpouring of good wishes, but a fervent hope that this time, the healing is full and complete. The flood of positive thoughts and words would, I expect, be over-whelming.

But that’s not the headline, and that’s not what the out-pouring is. Instead...

Obama: all I gotta do

Bicycles symbolize what is possible

"We" were not the only ones attacked on 9/11

The most common thing I hear about 9/11 is that "we" were attacked. The victims of the attack in NYC were from all over the world, and they included undocumented workers — you know: "illegal aliens". People of almost every ethnicity died that day, not to mention many, perhaps, hundreds, gay & lesbian people.

373 non-United States citizens were victims. 12% of the total.

If you are going to say "we" regarding September 11th, remember what that word actually meant — and use it that way every day....Read the rest

Kerry: not a gaffe, and more than luck

A gaffe is "You're likeable enough, Hillary". A dumb statement or comment that makes a politician look bad & needs lots of repair.

Kerry's off-the-cuff remark on Syria was not a gaffe. It was the obvious answer to the question. He basically said, "Duh. Give up the weapons, now." And then he added, sensibly, "But they won't."

That's not a gaffe. It was the right answer, and who the hell would have thought the Russians, who had done nothing but obstruct for over two years, would suddenly get on-board? So effing-what if this opportunity came because of a throwaway comment?

And the only reason we were in a place where Kerry could make that comment (not-a-gaffe) and the Russians had the opportunity to run with it is because the...Read the rest

Dr King: The cause helps all of America

Easy choice