Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Cliff-hanger Minnesota

The hair-breadth US Senate election in Minnesota must be farther apart than the media are telling us: Candidate Coleman is claiming election irregularities.

Every little bit.

A citizen seeking to relieve the problems with our US debt asked if a payment could be made so as to apply on the debt directly. The answer was: Make the check payable to the Bureau of Public Debt and mail it to Attn.: Dept. G, Bureau of the Public Debt. P.O. Box 2188, Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188. To send a check would be a bit like a flea climbing an elephant's leg with intentions of rape, of course. The answerer didn't say if the gift is deductible.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

U.S. Senate aspirant, Caroline Kennedy, lards her public expressions with many of those inane tics: "ya know." If The Doser were the Governor of New York, a decision on her aspiration would be easy.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Lost Art?

The Doser recalls that the late Dr. John W. Mackenzie could grasp a kippered herring with left thumb and forefinger and deftly extract the entire skeleton with his fork. Sixty years of trial-and-error in trying to reproduce that feat has produced little but error for The Doser. Does anybody know how to do that?

Lady or the tiger

If O'Bama's theology-fringe preacher, Rev. Rick Warren, sticks with the issue: to do a prayer that hedges our bets on the new President, the "lady door" will have been opened. If, on the other hand, he prays his biases - a common prayer format - O'Bama will have opened the wrong door.

Getting Involved.

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

Avoiding a transition.

Bail-outs of banks and other financial institutions and manufacturing companies are desperate, perhaps last-ditch, efforts to salvage laissez-faire capitalism. In spite of its failure to take care of its own people and its failure to keep them in an orderly relationship with the less fortunate of the world, many people do favor capitalism. Even those who have been savaged by it can't bear to think of accepting an alternative. It does appear that President-elect O'Bama considers it his duty to attempt a rescue of capitalism. Do we really want him to do that?

Making the Transition

It appears that we are at the end of an era. A Dosage-receiver remarked that new eras often grow out of the ashes of the preceding era. The skills of capitalism will apply in the new conditions, it is assumed. Nevertheless, The Doser wonders if he, and people like him, are going to be able to "make it" in new circumstances. He remembers a seasoned welfare client who said to him: "If things get really bad, I will survive, because I know how. But you are not likely to survive because you don't know how."

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Role Models

Christmas came early this year with the gift of excellent side-by-side newspaper stories about two of our heroines: Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. Basically, Paris has responded to the "inside job" robber who stole $2 million worth of jewelry from her house. As she put it, she has "upped the security majorly." We can continue to look to her for well-rounded phrases. As to Britney's gift to us, a court this year awarded her father (her caretaker) $75 per hour more to take care of her (an additional $51 thousand for the year.) She is so self-less in her care of her father. Most of us don't have the money to emulate these heroines but they are examples, for us, in our smaller matters.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A syntactical haiku

Doser lost like track
When he was like tallying
“Likes” like one, like day.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

If no ox is gored, then what?

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

Absolute opinions

Calculations, guesses, educated guesses, adages, informed guesses, certainties, assurances, faiths, decisions, judgments, thoughts, litanies, notions, suppositions, religious hand-downs, proofs, hypotheses, solutions, theories, convictions, evidence, religions, agnosticisms, estimates, judgments, decisions, reports, -isms, discoveries, opinions, firmly-held opinions, beliefs, -ologies, intuitions, gut-reactions, tenets, commandments, testimonies, and many other things that we have in our minds......are IDEAS. Whatever ever gave us the notion that we could force our IDEAS upon other people? Kill other people for them?

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


The Doser became interested in the subject of pornography because of a December 17th, 2008, article on child pornography in The Oregonian. As the Ponderous Profession is wont to say: "Reasonable minds can differ on the issue." On the legal definitions, there is fair unanimity of opinion at the ends of the opinion spectrum: the Constitutional right to freedom of expression at one end (protected) and exploitation of people at the other end (not permitted.) What is in between those two poles? What are the uses made of the material? Wide range of use. Do men and women feel differently about the issue? Seems so. What actually is it? Differences, here. Is there always a societal and time-period range of tolerance? Doser thinks so. The Doser is going to look into the issue and will report his opinions. Please enter comments as you wish. Your comments will "tighten up" the research. Yesterday The Doser googled and found 15,600,00 "pornography" entries - today, there are more than sixteen million!

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

We can buy the future; don't save for it.

The action of the Federal Reserve Board comes down on the wrong side of the economy issue. What it does, it seems to the Doser, is to encourage the continuance of profligacy and turn its back on the alternative: to save for the future.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Got a real bargain.

The "bargain" scenario is clear. The Doser finds it odd that, though all people associated with law enforcement know it, very little is done about it. This is it: a citizen has a possession or possessions taken from him against his will. The usual methods are: theft, burglary or robbery. Oftentimes, the thief, burglar or robber doesn't have a personal use for the items so he must turn for cash to a person referred to in the criminal law as "receiver of stolen property." Once in a blue moon, the "receiver" is a Dickens-type Fagan who is in the business of buying stolen goods. Ordinarily, however, the "receiver" is a citizen who "gets a good deal" on the items. That person is willing to take the item with no real questions asked. But, he has several bits of question-raising information. He pays much less than he knows the item is worth. He doesn't know much, or anything, about the seller. He does know, as is common, that the seller does not have an established place of business. Multnomah County Judge Frank Bearden tried three young men, recently, found them guilty of "receiving stolen property" and slapped them on the wrists. This scenario will continue because such leniency is very common, indeed. The theme of the scenario is one "honest" citizen gets a "bargain" at the expense of another.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

December 13, 2008 Weekly round-up.

The lawmakers are said to be commenting that bankruptcy for the Big Three is "out of the question." This is understood to mean that they think the current management could run them better than a Trustee in Bankruptcy. The Doser wonders why they think that.

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

From Blackwater to Republic

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

Time to "hunker down."

There is a gulf of differing intentionality between squat and hunker-down. Squatting is often used. One squats to look at the dandelion, one squats so as not to tower over a child, or squats, of necessity, in the woods. One hunkers down - which is the same physical act essentially - in order to tolerate a period that is irresistibly over-whelming. We seem, now, to be in the interim period where we see that it's time for others to "hunker down" but believing that we don't have to do that yet. As the Doser said some time ago: This is the time for the UAW to put something on the table. As the Governor said, it's time to levy some demanding fees on ourselves. As an op-ed person said, it's time for the Oregon Teachers Association to ease up on their demands. As Metro Councilor Rod Park said, the convention area hotel isn't a possibility now.

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

End-of-Week thoughts.

It has been proved, by a preponderance of the evidence, that O.J. Simpson killed his ex-wife and her boy friend. It is clear that he is guilty of armed robbery. The sentencing judge stated that she was not "paying back" for the murder acquittal. The Doser thinks, nevertheless, that a sentence of thirty-three years is excessive.

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

We're High Binders too.

It's true that we don't trust those Big Three High-Binders from Detroit. They were very highly paid to do a job at which they failed and did not have a clue about how to ask for help to clean up their mess. But we are not to be trusted either. With our whole world mortgaging itself to the oil-producers, we demanded monster cars and three car garages. And here's our equivalent of the "private jet trip to Washington:" we have now become very concerned for the welfare of the car manufacturing workers. Still clueless, like the Big Three High Binders.

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

Portland not an outlaw

Some of our self-perceptions here in Portland, Oregon, may even have a scintilla of basis in reality. The fact is that we think of ourselves as greener, more innovative, more tolerant, more socially progressive than other cities. There is, without doubt, a strong anti-Iraq War sentiment here. But, the Doser points out: we are not outlaws. Those who break the military and national laws by abandoning their military posts and running into hiding are outlaws. Those who protect them are outlaws. The City of Portland should reject the proposal that Portland be declared a sanctuary for AOL service personnel. The Doser's position would be much less comfortable for him if those outlaws had been drafted into the service.

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

Congressional Poker

The "High Rollers," had suffered two serious losses before coming to the table. The losses were caused by their feckless gambling strategy in the past and the second by the recession. Recently, they tried to get in the game with an IOU type ante. That "ante" was laughed at by the willing, but not gulled, congressional players. The "High Rollers" have, gamely, returned to the table, however, and have ante-ed up with a more-highly polished pot-sweetener. Whether the UAW will sweeten the pot is not clear at all. The moment is tense and the loungers around the table are watching to see if Congress will "Call" the ante amount, raise it, refuse again to accept an IOU, or throw up its hands .... again.

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

Way to go!

The proper scheme of priorities on going from here to there is 1. Not go, 2. Walk, 3. Use a bicycle, 4. Take public transit, 5. Hitch-hike, 6. Share a ride, 7. Call a taxi, 8. Use your car. Wow! Do we ever have our behavior and expenditure priorities messed up!

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.