Sunday, November 30, 2008

U.S. and Cuba

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

Are we getting our money's worth?

The Doser considers them to be very fragile pontifications when the stock market next day quarterbacks say: "The market went up because of a report of (something)" or "... the market went down because of (such and such) event." The Doser wonders if there might not be devised a scientific way to measure the effectiveness of the bail-outs, for example. Perhaps a connection to the the stock market's "up blips." How many blips, we could ask, can we get for a billion - at today's prices?

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

Lighten up, yes, we can.

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

Yelling "fire" in somebody else's theater,

The small Oregon city of Silverton rebuffed the over-stated opinions of the members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, on November 24, 2008. Silverton has just elected, and gives community support to, a person who does not fit in the standard Silverton mode of sexuality.

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

The Put Upon Bush

It is possible that the (bush) revisionism program has already started. Journalist Leonard Pitts, Jr. notes a man named Shapiro who has published the opinion that the (bush) administration, and that capable, misunderstood man himself, have been slammed harder than they should have been. He must be able to point to some solid, beneficial governmental process that (bush) performed and it would be of some interest to find out what it is. The journalist, or course, feels compelled to recite the litany of wrongs (bush) has committed in his "reign of error." Is the country going to need to proceed to a season of justifications, recriminations, trials and appeals to nail down the facts? This is a time when the country really needs to get on with attempting to recover.

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

Yes, we can. Now!

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

Student's week-end spree

Nov. 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.

Gotta Ante up to play

November 21, 2008

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

Grendel Withstands Censorship


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.

High School halls today
Seem quite like a grope-out at
The OK Corral.

Achieve low fashion!
A hemorrhoidal waddle -
The hanging pants look.

Damned either way.

Cynics are saying: "He'll appoint Hilary because that's the deal he made to get her out of the race to the convention." If he appoints Hilary as the result of a true, sober process of comparison, the cynics will say: "See, I told you."

Stevens' Swan Song

Corrupt former US Senator from Alaska, Ted Stevens, is expected to appear on the US Senate floor to perform his swan-song: bid adieu to his former associates. The Doser wonders if he will offer to disgorge some of his ill-gotten gains.

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

Lady or the Tiger

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

Unique for us.

The Doser's Canadian friend, Angelo, sent a comment that was made by David Berreby and posted November 17, 2008. It referred to an article by Steven Erlanger, NYT November 11, 2008. Erlanger had lauded the uniqueness of O'Bama's election as an event that could happen "only in America." Berreby pointed to Disraeli, Bonaparte, Cem Ozdemir, Fujimori, Sonia Gandhi, Roman Emperors Philippus, Septimius, Severus Diocletian - just to mention a few. None of them were included in the expectable-electable group. The Doser agrees with the Berreby correction of the excesses of the Erlanger article but adds: O'Bama's break-through was a biggie for those in the US who resent black bigotry. It was solidly unique for us.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Distant sea lanes.

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


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


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.

Not like Mom's

November 14, 2008

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."

One destiny.

November 12, 2008

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.

Enough already

November 11, 2008

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.

Building up America

November 10, 2008

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.

Founding of the ERC

November 8, 2008

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.

Yes, we can.

November 7, 2008

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.