Tuesday, May 15, 2007

VOTE by 8PM today

Voting closes for the special election at 8PM today. Make sure to turn in your ballot at the Oak Grove library or another authorized location; call the elections office at 503 655 6510 if you can't find your ballot.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it - George Santayana

Robert A. Heinlein died 19 years ago today... this blog entry honors him and his quest for passing on the torch of freedom.

He created honor for all of us, everywhere he went, with everything he wrote. A stellar example is this book, written when television did not dominate politics, and political parties really mattered.
Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good - Thomas Sowell

Reading this non-fiction book opened my eyes to the virtues, yes, virtues, of partisan politics, when the enormous power of the damned noisy box did not lead us astray into discarding partisan politics, replacing it with the hollow shell of the Demopublican and Republicrat parties today.

And, partisan politics still works today, on the local level. I've been asked, as a consequence of my service on the county sheriff's Enhanced Law Enforcement District Advisory Committee, to comment on a proposal to expand and revamp the county commission. In my response, I advocated the preservation of a partisan vote for the commission, instead of making it non-partisan.

Partisan politics *assures* competition on nearly every issue, and raises the bar of discourse and thought in civic affairs, for the greatest peril of a democracy is apathy. When citizens, the ultimate judges of truth and right, can no longer be bothered to vote, an oligargic elite can rule a placid, uncaring populace of sheeple.
And, in Oregon, our vote-by-mail system provides us with high turnout, low fraud and very high accuracy, a blessing when fighting voter apathy, for when it's easy to rig the system (see Diebold's vote editing machines as one small example), apathy increases, so I hope you Oregonians will continue to support vote-by-mail.

Last month, Tim Russert gave some worthy insight in a Bill Moyers PBS special (downloadable here) program on media blindness to bad intelligence. Russert emphasized the bipartisan system, especially when the press is lazy or has limited resources, is very important to revealing errors in government.

Even when I am one of those partisans, I appreciate the advantage of an honest critic, and when Clackamas County doesn't have an aggressive watchdog press, we need partisan opposition to assure the best government possible.

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, however, if faced with courage, need not be lived again - Maya Angelou

We can learn from history, and I have learned that the ability of concerned, earnest Americans is increasingly irrelvant because of 'non-partisan' politics; for, all politics have partisans, and the 'non-partisan' lie merely makes it easier to mask the true interests of those invisible partisans.

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain - John Adams

It is time, now more than ever, to study politics and war. Heinlein explained first principles of what served us well through two centuries of social progress in Take Back Your Government, and he's well worth reading if you ever want to be an agent of liberty.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Fatherland Security, There You Go Again

The agency that can't protect the identity data of its own employees has another ill-conceived scheme, the REAL ID system. Never mind that if one security document is all that's needed, criminals will learn how to forge it and cops/security folks will be lulled into accepting it.

Read up on it, and then TODAY, NOW, send this to DHS, who obviously is far too busy doing a miserable job of rebuilding New Orleans to consider how many ways this violates Federal Law, the intent of the Congress and the spirit of the Constitutiuon (especially the Ninth Amendment).

May 8, 2007

Fax: 1 (866) 466-5370

Department of Homeland Security
Attn: NAC 1-12037
Washington, D.C. 20538

RE: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking DHS-2006-0030

Dear Secretary Chertoff:

Because the Department of Homeland Security is creating an illegal national identification system, I write to urge the agency to withdraw the regulations and seek repeal of the REAL ID Act. The attempt to create rules for the establishment of a national identification system is unlawful for the following reasons:

1. The law that created the Department of Homeland Security prohibited a national identification system. By trying to implement REAL ID, the Department of Homeland Security is breaking the law and violating the public trust.
2. The plan will create a massive national identification system without adequate privacy and security safeguards. It will also make it more difficult for people to get driver's licenses. And it will make it too easy for identity thieves, stalkers, and corrupt government officials to get access to such personal information as a home address, age, and Social Security number.
3. The regulations endanger the privacy of domestic violence survivors' personal information, exposing them to stalkers in all 50 states.
4. If the regulations are not withdrawn, then the Department of Homeland Security must FULLY APPLY all provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974 to this REAL ID system, including the right to limit the use of personal information collected by the federal government, access the data collected about them; correct any mistakes in the data; and turn to the court system to apply for redress.

We the people were unable to speak during the rushed passage of REAL ID. We are speaking now and we are demanding that the Department of Homeland Security reject this illegal national identification system.

Respectfully submitted,

Oak Grove Citizens Informed and Aware May meeting

May 9, 2007, 7:00 p.m.

The Oak Lodge Community Council monthly CIA (Citizens, Informed and Aware) meeting will be held at 7 PM Wednesday May 9, 2007 at Rose Villa, 13505 SE River Rd. We will be in the Fellowship Hall. Please do not park Rose Villa’s campus; either park on River Rd. or in the lot at Torbank.

Our topic is “Community Values”. Community Values include trees, paths and sidewalks, housing, libraries, jobs, Urban Renewal Districts, transit and surface water. Our values are a collection of each of our values. Please join us.

This a great topic because Clackamas County’s Community Congress V will occur this Saturday May 12th. You can still register for the Congress online at www.co.clackamas.or.us/community.

If you have questions call 503.730.6401 or E-mail Dick Jones' e-mail address.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Low Pork Diet

Oregon, it seems, is on a low pork diet. Only five cents per person of federal cash spent here (totalling $177,160) was obtained by the congressional chicanery known as 'earmarks.'

Who's Number One? Why the District of Columbia, at $1.19 per resident.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Four Dead In O Hi O

Not the first time the US Military turned on innocent Americans.
Not the last, either.
Hope we learned something, though.
Some of us.