Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
There's the golden rule and there may be an early-conditioned inclination to help a person in a bad situation. But, there has been the reluctance to "get involved." The considerations were loss of time, danger, messiness, risk - all of the implications of involvement. This has seemed selfish and unneighborly in the past. The Kitty Genovese case has come to be the paradigm for the uncaring big-city. Pro-bad-big city: (Kitty Genovese) Anti-bad-big-city: Kitty Genovese.
"Getting involved" has been taking on new dimensions in its ongoing encounter with a key portion of our tort law system: money compensation for injury caused by negligence. The basis of this concept is: you help another at the risk of losing a law suit for failing to help correctly.
States have enacted "Good Samaritan" laws which might be thought to protect the person who "helps" another. One notes a recent case defining this concept, Van Horn vs. Torti. A person who wants to be a legal Good Samaritan may well want to ask questions before stepping in. Is emergency medical care needed? Am I qualified under the law to render emergency medical care? What is my intention in stepping in - do I have "good faith" (whatever that is?) Will my action be considered selfishly motivated because I expect "others to do likewise to me?" The person needs aid but hasn't offered "compensation" for it, so I'm okay there. Since I can be sued (whether I qualify under the law as a true Good Samaritan or not) do I have insurance that will defend?
The impulse to help will probably continue to involve people in aid to others - but, if a person stops to think about it, the delay may be too long.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
The Doser has been trying to get a grip on the pornography issue. It seems that, to hear of a man prosecuted for privately-viewing pornography, smacks of unacceptable social engineering. There may be consenting adults, probably a tad exhibitionistic, who are well-paid to satisfy their interest in being viewed while performing sex acts. They are certainly not manipulated nor coerced unacceptably. Not The Doser's cup of tea, you understand, but it is theirs. There may be other adults who want to watch that published activity and do not act out some harmful conduct as a result. Just a person involved in private sex. Not The Doser's cup of tea but theirs. The Doser wonders if the anti-porn laws aren't legislating in a social milieu without making adequate distinctions.
Friday, December 19, 2008
and on the side of economizing........
The Venezuelan National Assembly has favored the abolition of term-limits on the office of President of Venezuela. Think of all the economies that would flow from having a President selected for life!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
and, on a much less troubling note ---
A group of Portland women have been cooperating to solve commonly-experienced household problems. It would take some capable management but many difficulties or redundancies could be solved this way.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
The Doser is also wondering if the US Senate has the power to refuse to seat a Senate appointee. The grounds would be the likelihood that Blagojevich withstood the siege on his office long enough to close the financial arrangements on the sale of the seat.
It was a big week for private crooks. There was the Blagojevich issue, of course, and the one about Bernard Madoff (spelled without the"e.") That one raises serious definitional issues: The Doser needs to get the exact elements of "Ponzi Scheme" in mind so that he will be able to spot the differences, if any, between Madoff's $50 Billion venture and the US government's $700 Billion bail-out conduct.
And, on the positive side ....
The (bush) administration has announced that farmers need no longer rat on their toxic cows. They need no longer tell the government about the odors rising from their cows' manure.
The vociferies in Portland, Oregon, have lined up on both sides of the pit-bull issue. Those on one side have reason to fear them; those on the other side have reason to love them. This issue will heat up before it it goes away.
O Costas Karamanlis, in Greece, is holding out valiantly, against weakness in his government both in numbers and record of ineptitude. He's not about to be forced to do the right thing by a bunch of roisterers in the streets.
And, another note on the positive side .....
The police in Beaverton, Oregon, captured the man who, while waiting for the jury to come in on a car theft charge against him, utilized the time to steal another vehicle. Is that chutzpah or what?
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
The US Justice Department is trying its Blackwater slayings case in the newspapers. The Doser sees that as another reason that the government's case must be weak. The first reason is that they charged the men with manslaughter for a case which would have brought a murder charge - if the government had the case it is touting to the press.
and. on a lighter note....
The fired Republic Windows and Doors workers, of Chicago, Illinois, are trying to revive a revered historic conduct that could constipate the down-sizing process. It is the worker sit-in! The Doser thinks it may be successful ..... but only if Republic wants to make windows and doors more than it wants to stiff its workers.
Monday, December 8, 2008
The "irresistibly overwhelming" has arrived when I know that I must hunker down now. The Oxford English Dictionary tells me how to do it: “....squat, with the haunches, knees, and ankles acutely bent, so as to bring the hams near the heels, and throw the whole weight upon the fore part of the feet”. The advantage of this position is that we're not only crouched close to the ground, so presenting a small target for whatever the universe chooses to throw at us, but we're ready to move at a moment’s notice.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
The Big-Three bail-out is expected but it begins to seem less like an enormous reward for bad business conduct.
(bush) sez the Mid-east has entered a "historic and new" period which shows it to be a "freer, more hopeful, and more promising place." The Doser thinks it, nevertheless, wise of (bush) to buy his expensive retirement house in Dallas, Texas, rather than in the Mid-east.
In a recent poll, reported in the December 6, 2008, issue of The Oregonian, those polled indicated that 23% are reducing their giving to their pets this year and 40% are reducing their giving to family and friends. Good to keep your priorities straight even in these difficult times, the Doser says.
Friday, December 5, 2008
and, on a note for the future .....
The Doser has been thinking of the people with ideas of which he disapproves. As a New Year's resolution he will resolve to try to think of them as honest, intelligent people, with opinions legitimately held and to which they are entitled. From this list, any right-thinking person can see that it is going to be a difficult resolution to frame. Some of the people with ideas of which The Doser disapproves are: creationists, anti-Semites, pit bull defenders, fundamentalists of any stripe, scientologists, National Rifle Associates, anti-abortionists, anti-gays, anti-birth controllers, anti-sex educationers, anti-intellectualists, anti-gay-marriagers, faith healers, anti-conservationists, anti-stem-cell-researchists, Ku Klux Klanners and members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. The Doser is sure that there are others - but this list is enough to stretch his tolerance at resolution time this year.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
and, on a happier note,.......
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has conducted a survey which ranks Burlington, Vt. as the healthiest city in US. It ranks Huntington, W.VA as the least healthy. The survey was based on peoples' responses to the question: Are you in good health? Notes that Burlington is actually a healthier place - but that it also has a larger per capita income. Money, of course, doesn't cause happiness but it sure makes happiness more affordable.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
and, on a more or less hopeful note....
The President of the Bilial Mosque Association,Shahriar S. Ahmed, has excoriated the Mumbai marauders as having performed an unjustified "barbarity." He says that many Muslims agree with him and that "No good will come of it..." The Doser wonders if President Ahmed would be saying that if his mosque were located in Cairo or Damascus rather than Beaverton. (Report from OpEd The Oregonian, December 2, 2008.)
Monday, December 1, 2008
and on a note of mixed hopefulness.....
Wal-Mart's profits were up 10% in the last quarter; Nordstrom's were down 57%. At least some people seem to be doing their consumer's part to defeat deflation.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
China is capitalizing on our feckless intransigence in our dealings with our neighbor, Cuba. The Chinese are doing business that they expect will benefit their country from half way around the world. We can't bring ourselves to realize the benefits of doing business across about 100 miles of ocean.
and, on a thankful note.....
The Doser and Ms. Doser were asked recently by the children of treasured friends, now dead, to provide some reminiscences about their parents. What a voyage of recollection, memories, photographs, discoveries! We are thankful for this opportunity.
Friday, November 28, 2008
or - on a reminiscent note .......
The Big Three auto builders seem to be acting like school boys in the Asst. Principal's office: "See, I did my home-work. Shouldn't I get an 'A'?"
or - on a definition of "Change" note ......
There is a red led light on The Doser's toaster! Presumably to find out where it is should it, or The Doser, get lost in the dark. We are going to have to change our ways (not just our banks, credit card jumble, government bailings, foreign policy) We are going to have to modify our profligate ways to get out of this.
.... and on an encouraging note......
Portland, Oregon, needs to spend several million dollars for bridges. Mere bagatelles! Only six measly zeros! We're calmly talking nine zeros and twelve zeros these days.(All of those zeros are to the left of the decimal point too.)
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The Christian Science Monitor, on November 20th, published a cartoon by Jeffrey Stahler. It showed a man and woman reading newspapers which are festooned with bad news issues: Another bailout, Foreclosures, Retail Sales Down, Recession, Troops in Iraq, Credit Crisis, Climate Change. All real issues that bear us down. The woman comments: "I think the Obamas should get a yorkiepoo!" Maybe Stahler was saying the woman is a feather-head to seize on what matters less. But maybe Stahler was saying the woman will save their lives.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
This Baptist group previously came to Oregon to assert their opinions at the funeral of Navy Seal, Marc Lee, a man killed in action in Iraq.
The Westboro Baptist Church, Topeka, Kansas, is a family-operated church known to hold strong opinions.
The Doser has occasionally held his thoughts and beliefs firmly, perhaps too firmly, but he realizes they are only opinions. He would not try to force them on others beyond attempts to convince.
... and, on a more political note......
Good idea: (bush) could invite O'Bama to provide an agenda of matters, or slate of appointees, that (bush) could choose to select before retiring. (If he weren't so busy doing his exit-trashing.) The Doser would consider referring to him with an 11 point font for that rather than the usual nine point font.
Monday, November 24, 2008
and, on a congratulatory note....
Doser's Distinction Dose: Bravos to the lawyers in the pending Oregon faith-healing cases who have reserved presentation of their cases for trial in the courts rather than trying them in the newspapers!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
The ERC is dedicated to the program of re-building our confidence as a way of recovering our way in this anxiety-producing world situation. The Doser has selected two conducts for himself that he considers confidence-building: (ONE) keep track of Oregon Senator Elect Jeff Merkley and blog his good conducts, (Certain elements of the press will high-light his bad conducts .... if any,) and (TWO) keep planning ahead.
and on a planning note.......
The Doser had the good fortune to solve, in one day, the problem of what to read during the student's holiday break: He will read A Passion for Nature, the Life of John Muir, which he's promised to himself repeatedly and Just After Sunset by, yes, Stephen King. A helpful King review gave the needed permission to read the much maligned, very widely read, Stephen King.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
These are the daily dosages from which The Doser would ordinarily have made selection of what to post. Since it is not a school day for The Doser, he has opined extravagantly.
1. We are still favoring consumerism, rather than thrift, in our bail-out thinking. One of the ways The Doser notices that this is occuring is that our buzz-word is "deflation" - i.e. what bad things happen to the economy when the consumers fail to consume satisfyingly.
2. The Iraqis are adept at utilizing symbols that rally their friends. That is a skill that the US is remiss in doing. The Iraqis recently toppled an effigy of (bush) from the very pedestal from which our troops pulled Saddam.
3. A group at Wright-Patterson AFB has devised a miniscule spy device. It is small enough to sneak, undetected, into a building and find out if there are enemies there ...... And to sneak undetected into a building to read one's notes, examine one's tax papers, to see what's on one's computer monitor and with whom we are talking...... Just eight years under (bush) and The Doser has developed this sort of fearful imagining.
4. When Franklin D. Roosevelt faced such a crisis as this one, which was similar in that the banks had fouled up then also, he shut the banks down. It was called a "bank holiday."Some time later, the banks that re-opened were the ones that had been the steadiest in the boat before the "holiday." Many did not open up again. It was terrible for the depositors! This process of ripping the citizens in order to keep alive the irresponsible banks is also a terrible process. There is, in our time of difficulty, a federally-insured deposit insurance to give some relief.
5. The Doser assumes that O'bama has made it clear to Hilary that she is the carrier of his messages to foreign governments - not the foreign policy maker. Has he also made it clear to Bill that he is not the Under-Secretary of State?
6. Bravo to the Portland Art Museum! We need to protect our treasures in order to sustain the culture - even in trying times.
The Doser remembers Joe the Plumber and wonders: What are: his rate of pay, his skill requirements, the length of his apprentice-ship, his retirement package, his benefits program, his immunities from being fired for inept work, the relative importance of his chores .... compared to an auto assembly line worker. It's time for the UAW to put something substantial in the auto-makers' "bail-out plan."
and in a slightly less judgmental note.....
What a victory! There were about 22 remaining California Condors in the 1980s. There has been an increase of almost 800% as a result of a nurturing program.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Citizens of a Portland, Oregon, area school sought to force the school library to remove the book Grendel, by John Gardner, from circulation. They said it was too "explicit" for their teen-age child.
The Doser immediately wrote two haiku relating to his impressions of the current high school scene.
Seem quite like a grope-out at
The OK Corral.
Achieve low fashion!
A hemorrhoidal waddle -
and, in a confidence-building mode.....
President Elect O'Bama asked that roving Dem. Joe Lieberman not be smashed too hard for his intransigence. That's an example of the sort of things we hoped for from our next President.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The domestic automakers have pandered to our lust for motorized monstrosities and they now want to get bailed out. Chrysler CEO, Charles Nardell, said before the Congressional Committee: "We chased the consumer demand." That means Chrysler tried to respond to what the buyers wanted and the people wanted to buy prestigious gas-guzzlers.
Many folks, of course, wondered about our dependence on foreign oil and the possibility of using up that resource and the damage we were doing to the environment. Chrysler moved very slowly in response to those thoughts. Now, it comes to "fix blame or move on" time. The public wants a scape-goat less than it wants to save all those jobs. The Congress has an opportunity now to do what's good for the country. O'Bama has stepped up to the plate and offered a very reasonable compromise: subsidized bankruptcies that will change the way the Big-3 do business. Hooray for O'Bama!
and, on another confidence-building note .....
PSU is launching a project to use the whole City of Portland, Oregon, as a research ground to study environmental sustainability.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
November 17, 2008
The Taliban is making serious attacks upon our Afghanistan supply line from Pakistan through the Khyber Pass. Afghanistan, of course, is land-locked - surrounded by countries holding varying degrees of unfriendliness to the U.S. incursion. Whether it is good for the U.S. to be there or not, it is clear that a blockage of the Khyber Pass will make our position much more difficult.
and, in a more literary vein.....
The Collins English Dictionary has added the word "meh" to its publication. Fans of The Simpsons, world wide, are jubilant.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
"Yes, we can." One of the problems of eldering is that we get side-lined. One of the ways that, perhaps, we ''can" is to organize ourselves. We would not be a group joined to benefit ourselves - perhaps we already have one of those - but as a group determined to benefit America. The "benefit" that is needed right now is to recover our confidence. Let's name the coalition: ERC (Elders for Restoring Confidence.) Ask yourself: Do you have confidence in the future of America? If you do have, what is the reason for your confidence? So, you and the Doser should tell somebody that......... "Yes, we can."
and on the point ......
One of my reasons for confidence in America is that, in spite of the destructive directions in which we have followed our leaders in recent years, I still love the country a lot.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
The Sheriff of Washington County, Oregon, recently sent a letter to the 10,000 holders of Concealed Weapons Permits in that county. He inquired about a non-issue that he had created: whether the Permits had been sought for security purposes. Understandably, a brouhaha has developed.
Get on by the worry on why there are that many such permits in a suburban county of 500,00 people. And get on past why he'd stir up such a mess about a permit program that has gone on without many problems since before 1989. Don't fixate on the cost of the Sheriff's inquiry.
Push right on to speculate on the role of the NRA in this mess.
and in a more general vein......
The actual miracle is that The Doser is as normal as he is! His mother often, over his objection, cleaned his little face with her handkerchief moistened with her spit.
NASA has a machine that has already "flown" 7,000 MPH. It is grooming that program to fire off a machine that will soar up as high as 264,000 feet, or more, and achieve a speed of 10,400 MPH. That is certainly stepping right along but not everybody knows why we are taking those steps at all.
..... and, on a culinary note ......
A fifth type of taste descriptor has been discovered. It joins sour, sweet, salty and bitter. It's been named umami. People who cook will soon be confronted with the critical observation: "It isn't umami enough."
The State of Oregon appears to be divided on the recently-formulated blue/red format: Portland, Salem, Eugene, Medford areas blue, and the rest of the state red. Not good! ERC (Elders for Restoring Confidence) should monitor politicians on their conducts calculated to heal that schism.
and on a more trenchant note ...
The Doser is seeking a new hair-style statement. What is wanted is "retired symphony violinist." What has, at this time, been achieved is "poor homeless folk." Mrs. Doser is quite overwrought.
A conservative friend points out that we should stop carping about O'Bama for the reason that he is the President-Elect. And, if he follows through on what he says he wants to do (work across idealogical lines) the ones that are not still saying McCain should have won and that O'Bama's a Marxist will be perceived as the ones with whom cooperation can be tried.
and on an ERC note .......
We have 32 community garden areas in Portland and 1000 people on the list seeking to use them. Meetings are being held this week on how to sustain and augment this effort. ERC members might consider supporting this program. It is full of confidence-restoring possibilities.
Economists and policymakers (whomever they may be) are turning away from the "quick fix" (bail-out) concept. They wonder if it is as useful as a program previously thought to be too slow: putting the money into reconstructing the infrastructure. Some will say "better to put the bucks into hiring people to build bridges than to pay the Wall Street bankers to binge on our bucks." Others will fret because it is seen, in effect, as the re-institution of the WPA which is "a socialist plot."
.......and in a confidence-building vein ......
There is developing some consensus among the ERC bloc (Elders for Restoring Confidence) that the first initiative is for each of us to select a politician and monitor his conduct. The expected result is that, when he does something that tends toward re-building our nation's confidence, ERC will give him or her well-communicated accolades. Yes, we can.
The Doser got some encouragement on the idea of a coalition of elders working on rebuilding America. A tentative name for the movement has emerged: Elders for Restoration of Confidence. (The ERC.) What do you think of the idea? What might be the kind of actions such a group might take?
.... and in a supportive vein.....
The stock markets - our investments personified - are said to move up on greed and to move down on fear. The newly-formed ERC is working on programs to restore the nation's greed.
The Doser believes that a coalition of elderly people agreeing together to take action together to relieve our nation's distress could have an effect. Who knows what it might be that we could find to do for our country? If the idea strikes anyone, let's put our ideas together.
and on another national level ..........
...... The reporter that First Dog, Barney, bit is talking about suing.
If The Doser were Barney, he'd bring an immediate common law tort action in battery against the reporter to recover damages for the unpermitted, offensive touching.