But He Tries to Be a Good Person in Other Aspects of His Life

Filed under:Authors,Jerks,Priorities,Wacky Oregon — posted by Anwyn on June 19, 2009 @ 10:03 am

So that gives him a pass on calling soccer moms “brainless” and claiming people who live in the suburbs have “little to do and everywhere to drive.” Guess those soccer moms should’ve gotten off the highway and let him pass on his important business of, one hopes, leaving the state as quickly as possible.

His most recent story follows 17-year-old James Hoff through his troubling junior year of high school. He rants and raves about environmentalism and how we are all killing ourselves with our rolling smog machines. As he rages against society and capitalism, he yearns for the love of his ex-girlfriend Sadie. James’ soft side is slowly revealed in between his humorous rants.

One day after a mall visit he writes, “I love the rumor that the air in the malls is oxygen enriched to make you stupid and make you buy stuff. Why are you there if you’re not stupid and going to buy stuff?”

Soccer moms: Brainless. Mall shoppers: Stupid. Check-check.

As Nelson worked to craft the character and came up with the book’s unique narrative style (it is told as a series of journal entries, school essays and internet postings) he began to relate to his angry teenage character.

“The kind of stuff the guy does in the book is the stuff I did in high school,” he said. “I really felt like I was that kid. I was really in his brain.”

You mean, the author who thinks people who don’t live as he does are stupid can relate to a fictional teenager who thinks people who live the way he doesn’t want to are stupid? Pretty profound, you pretentious L.A. jerk.

Dear Oregon, You Are Not Unilateral

Filed under:Heh,It's My Life,Wacky Oregon — posted by Anwyn on June 13, 2009 @ 11:04 am

I have a voice in this too, you know. You are not Darth Vader–you can’t say “I’m altering the deal” with total impunity. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t pretend innocence. I can’t stand it in a guy and I won’t tolerate it in my state, either. We had a deal. Don’t act like your total control over the weather gives you the right to alter the provisions at any time.

Listen up: The deal was that you will provide me with warm, sometimes hot, dry summers that, while increasingly bad for my skin, are terrific for my hair. Not muggy, wet summers, either warm or cool. Consistent humidity, great for my skin and lousy for my hair, I could have in any of my more homelike states back east. You want to make it that much easier for me to depart for one of them? Keep this up.

Oh, you want to make nice now? Don’t want me taking my diversity-enhancing Republican self out of your left-wing-infested evergreen woods? You can start by NOT raining when my friend’s son is getting married outdoors tonight. From there, we’ll see.

If They Do This, I Will Finally Stop Talking About Moving, and Move

Filed under:Church of Liberalism,Not Cool,Politics,Wacky Oregon — posted by Anwyn on December 30, 2008 @ 6:03 am

Oregon governor Kulongoski to pursue mileage tax.

Now that you’re beaten into submission on that whole fuel-efficiency thing, you’re using less gas, but we still demand that you drive less, and oh yeah, we are determined not to lose a single penny of revenue by you curbing the behavior that we demanded you curb to begin with.

The online outline adds: “The governor is committed to ensuring that rural Oregon is not adversely affected and that privacy concerns are addressed.”

How can rural areas possibly NOT be adversely affected except through special exceptions that will no doubt rile suburban dwellers? If I had no choice but to drive ten miles one way to the nearest drugstore rather than the two I drive now, that’s an adverse effect. And please believe me when I say: I’m from North Carolina, I’ve lived in Texas and small-town Indiana, and Oregon outside Portland is the single largest rural area I’ve lived in close proximity to.

They say they’re dealing with the privacy issue–i.e. although while they plan to track the car they don’t plan to record its travel–but I fail to see how that can be assured since the distance tracking will be done, obviously, through GPS. So it seems to be more a case of “Trust us! We promise we won’t track vehicle location even though, obviously, we could!”

Tell me another one, Nanny Salem.

Via Drudge.


Filed under:It's My Life,Wacky Oregon — posted by Anwyn on December 16, 2008 @ 9:49 am

I love the snow in Portland; it’s like winter at home in the midwest, but the downside is pretty big: Oregonians absolutely cannot drive in the stuff even two days after it’s fallen.

Eah, Doesn’t Even Look Much Like Him

Filed under:Good Grief,Not Cool,Wacky Oregon — posted by Anwyn on May 13, 2008 @ 10:27 am

Obama as Messiah Rising from the Oregon Waters.

Alas, however, that is recognizably Portland, OR, behind him.

H/t Ace o’ Spades.

Mount St. Helens

Filed under:Not Cool,Wacky Oregon — posted by Anwyn on January 16, 2008 @ 11:50 pm

Last time I lived downwind. About six hours downwind.

Nowadays I live less than two hours away. We’ll see.

Via AoSHQ.

Mount Hood

Filed under:Wacky Oregon — posted by Anwyn @ 11:44 pm

A happier ending than most of last year.

Reasons to Leave Oregon Piling Up

Filed under:Not Cool,Priorities,Wacky Oregon — posted by Anwyn on January 2, 2008 @ 5:02 pm

…in the shape of a toxic fungus killing people stone-dead. Via the Headlines of the Ace of Spades, who tells off the quoted doctor, Paul Cieslak, for taking it lightly:

“You’ve got bigger things to worry about,” he said. “If we start to get more reports and it’s increasing, I’ll sit up and take note.

He’s the manager of the communical diseases program in the state Public Health Division. Thanks for your vigilance and expertise, Dr. Cieslak. I guess that’s why they pay you the government big bucks.

Fun with SiteMeter

Filed under:Blogging,Heh,Wacky Oregon — posted by Anwyn on December 30, 2007 @ 11:20 pm

Somebody came to this blog by googling the phrase “how healthy is it to live in oregon.”

Well, it depends. What political persuasion are you, and how high do you like your blood pressure?

Seemingly Outrageous Oregon State Policy to be Tested in Court, Holding Up Civil-Union Law Pending Outcome

Filed under:Not Cool,Politics,Priorities,Wacky Oregon — posted by Anwyn on December 29, 2007 @ 1:24 pm

Oregon’s civil-union law passed the legislature this year, and a group collecting signatures to put this law on the statewide ballot in 2008 missed the number of valid signatures by a very small margin–96 short of the required 55,179.

Now the law is blocked in federal court pending the outcome of a lawsuit challenging the state’s method of verifying signatures. And if the implications of the phrase “random statistical sampling method” are what they seem to be, the challenge isn’t coming any too soon.

Attorneys for the state said that procedures verifying signatures are applied equally to everyone. The state uses a random statistical sampling method to determine whether enough valid signatures are collected.

The Oregonian story is long on personal anecdote, including the old, tiresome tarradiddle about inheritance and medical decisions between gay couples, but short on detail as to how the state goes about verifying the signatures. “Random statistical sampling method” certainly suggests that they take some minority number of signatures and put them through a verification process–and then assume that if two out of ten of those signatures are invalid, then two out of ten of the whole number are invalid. And whether that nutshell I just gave is literally correct or not, this is a document full of math to ascertain that the process is definitely accomplished by estimates and not by verification of the whole number of signatures.

The signature verifications are made in stages. First, a random sample of 1,000 signatures is verified. If the petition does not qualify from the first sample, then the second larger random sample is verified. Qualification of the petition is then based on an estimate of M [where M=number of distinct valid signatures] made from the combined first and second samples. In the event that the petition is not qualified from the combined sample and a second submission is made as permitted by ORS 250.105(3),a random sample of signatures from the second submission is verified. Qualification of the petition after verification of the sample from the second submission is based on an estimate of M made from the samples in the first and second submissions. The methods for determining whether a petition has a sufficient number of valid signatures are described for the following three cases: after verification of the first sample, after verification of the second sample, and, when applicable, after verification of the sample from the second submission. For each of these three cases, examples are given to illustrate the numerical calculations and conclusions.

So in other words, the state “verifies” (unfortunate choice of word, considering how the process is accomplished) a “random statistical sampling” of signatures that are supposed to signify the position of a voter on an actual election question. But instead they’re treating it like a poll–if a random sample is in this proportion, then so must be the whole.

And that’s outrageous. It’s unfortunate in a way that this lawsuit should take place over this particular case–the protests will be wild and vehement, and the motives of anybody who thinks, as I do, that the state’s procedure is a fraud will be questioned to the hilt–but it’s high time this was looked at in detail. I certainly never knew they verified those signatures by poll rather than by count. I’m no statistician, but when I think of 96 short of 55,179, the phrase “not statistically significant” floats to mind.

I wish the judge a stalwart backbone and the plaintiff a good set of mathematicians.

“The Illegal Immigrants, As You Call Them”

Filed under:Cool,Politics,Wacky Oregon — posted by Anwyn on December 19, 2007 @ 8:23 am

…will soon find it more difficult to get Oregon driver’s licenses without proving they are in the country legally, if an executive order of Democratic Governer Ted Kulongoski goes through.

Naturally there are people who don’t want to see it implemented. After all, without valid licenses, how can these people who “carry the country on their shoulders” keep carrying it?

The people who indulge in this kind of rhetoric have, as somebody said, more nerve than a bum tooth. Go ahead, Gov. Kulongoski.

“Contrarian” Speaks Truth to Managed Economy

Filed under:Language Barrier,Need a Good Editor?,Wacky Oregon — posted by Anwyn on December 14, 2007 @ 11:01 am

Story outline, Randal O’Toole (heh-heh, Toole) story, Oregonian, by Anna Griffin

I. Describe the guy. Lucky here; he looks as though he shops at Old West Undertakers. Hook him up with preachers, that turns people off–

Slap a Bible in his hand and O’Toole could easily pass for a frontier preacher. He has the look, if not the Good Book: a stern, tight-lipped expression, an impressive display of graying facial hair, a wardrobe that tends toward simple black suits and looping Western-style bow ties.

II. Contrast conservative opinion with that of the New York Times

Click. Here’s a slide showing a big house on a lush, green yard. This is in Houston, a plump 2,300 square feet for $170,000.

Click. Here’s a skinny house in Portland, maybe 1,200 scrunched square feet on a sliver of a yard. Asking price: $260,000.

It’s like looking at a diet company’s before and after photos. The crowd — a room of like-minded libertarians and conservatives — quakes with laughter.

“You’d better hurry. They just dropped the price,” O’Toole says. “It’s got granite countertops and hardwood floors. Who cares if you barely have enough room to turn around in it?”

Times are flush in Portland. Planners and civic leaders from around the world come to see how we do it. The New York Times can’t stop writing about how great we have it, whether we’re sipping tea, buying big vacation homes or biking to work. Although the housing market has cooled, Portland hasn’t suffered the same steep decline as the rest of the country.

III. Make the point that it could be worse,

Still, O’Toole sees hope. Even after Oregon voters approved the property rights limits of Measure 49, Portland isn’t a lost cause. No, we’re not Houston. But we’re also not San Francisco. At least, not yet.

Snap. Article writes itself.


Portland Metro’s current policies will lead to us being as bad off, in terms of what a housing dollar will buy, as San Francisco, as the reporter herself mentions, though she doesn’t make perfectly clear whether this is only one of O’Toole’s crazy positions or if she understands that fact herself. Nevertheless, the point is well made. Not today, not tomorrow, but someday, we will be just as crowded and just as house-poor as the Bay Area. And with any luck I will be out of here long before that happens. For a city that claims to care so much about the poor and working-class, it is nigh on impossible to get a decent house around here for working-class money–especially one that does not share walls with other families–and strict land-use policies are a big driving factor in that. But hey, win-win, right? You get to keep your farmers in perpetual farmity while keeping out lower income strata that might affect our safety rating. Win-win.

H/t: Daddyman.

Circumventing Gun Law Without a Law, Because a Law Would Be Against the Law

Filed under:Church of Liberalism,Language Barrier,Not Cool,Politics,Priorities,Wacky Oregon — posted by Anwyn on November 10, 2007 @ 2:00 pm

Confused yet?

A Jackson County Circuit judge ruled Friday that the Medford School District can forbid a teacher from carrying a concealed handgun on school grounds.

English teacher Shirley Katz, 44, argued state law allows her to carry a concealed handgun for protection.

[Judge] Arnold said the issue before him was whether a school district can prohibit employees from carrying weapons by writing an employee policy. State law does not allow local governments to write laws restricting guns, but because the district had not enacted a law, Arnold ruled the district prevailed.

The reasoning here seems to be that Oregon state law does not expressly guarantee the right to concealed carry by preventing local jurisdictions from passing laws against concealed carry. My question for the judge is what other possible purpose could such a law have, other than to prevent local jurisdictions from infringing upon a right guaranteed by the state?

This is a rock and a hard place for the school district, and as a former teacher and a mother, I’m not unsympathetic to that. On the one hand, would I prefer teachers to have guns in case bad guys with guns show up and open fire on students? Yes. On the other hand, the body of public school teachers is not immune to poisonous, insane, and criminal people within their ranks. Teachers are brought up with noticeable frequency on sexual abuse charges regarding their students, for example. All it would take is one instance of a gun-carrying teacher turning out to be a psychopath who opens fire, and the particular school that had hired that person would be completely finished. (Although I frankly doubt that schools, especially in this state, are given to placing any importance at all on the former scenario of armed teachers helping to prevent school shootings.)

But it should not be a difficult issue for the state law. Either make an exception for school districts under the law, or enforce the law–that the right to carry arms shall not be infringed. Here’s what the law actually says:

166.173 Authority of city or county to regulate possession of loaded firearms in public places. (1) A city or county may adopt ordinances to regulate, restrict or prohibit the possession of loaded firearms in public places as defined in ORS 161.015.

(2) Ordinances adopted under subsection (1) of this section do not apply to or affect:

(a) A law enforcement officer in the performance of official duty.

(b) A member of the military in the performance of official duty.

(c) A person licensed to carry a concealed handgun.

(d) A person authorized to possess a loaded firearm while in or on a public building or court facility under ORS 166.370. [1995 s.s. c.1 §4; 1999 c.782 §8]

A city or county may not adopt ordinances to infringe upon the rights of a person licensed to carry a concealed handgun. A school district is not a legislative body, but it is a governmental one, as has been tested numerous times in free speech cases. In addition, the law also says:

166.170 State preemption. (1) Except as expressly authorized by state statute, the authority to regulate in any matter whatsoever the sale, acquisition, transfer, ownership, possession, storage, transportation or use of firearms or any element relating to firearms and components thereof, including ammunition, is vested solely in the Legislative Assembly.

(2) Except as expressly authorized by state statute, no county, city or other municipal corporation or district may enact civil or criminal ordinances, including but not limited to zoning ordinances, to regulate, restrict or prohibit the sale, acquisition, transfer, ownership, possession, storage, transportation or use of firearms or any element relating to firearms and components thereof, including ammunition. Ordinances that are contrary to this subsection are void. [1995 s.s. c.1 §1]

Oregon school districts are called, well, districts. If they are going to issue directives that have the force of law on their campuses, then they are making law in effect and most assuredly usurping the power of the state legislature. In addition, their directive does not apply to parents or visitors–why? Because they know they could never make it stick on people over whom they don’t have direct employment power. The net effect is, give up your concealed carry right or find another job. And as I say, I’m not unsympathetic to this position–all things being equal, “around your young children” is not where you want guns as a matter of routine. But all things aren’t equal when it comes to school shootings. The teacher in this case wants the gun for her personal safety and not as a test case for teachers prepared to fight back against potential shooters, but the implications of the precedent will presumably be the same. I hope this is overturned on appeal.

Update: Survey of the two school resource officers at Citizens’ Academy says: Teachers carrying would deter would-be shooters.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace