Monday, May 25, 2009

Better to be an Innocent Bystander.

The Doser received a transcript of Rush Limbaugh's 2002 broadcasted material on the subject of the wildly different ways the 9-11 victims' families were recompensed as compared with the way our combat-killed soldiers' families were recompensed. Limbaugh's figures were probably accurate in 2002. The benefits have been improved, slightly, since that time. It set The Doser to thinking about this matter.

The families of soldiers killed in combat now receive $100,000 as a death gratuity, certain continuing post privileges, a burial stipend of $1,900. The family will get GI Insurance benefit in the amount for which the soldier paid premiums. The family will get standard social security benefits. The Doser's soldier friend said: "Some states also give benefits; don't enlist until you check them."

The 9-11 victims' families received an average of $3.1 million. (The low being $1.85 million and the high $4.7 million.) They will also get the standard Social Security benefits. There seems to The Doser to be a radically unfair disparity in the handling of these two circumstances. In one, the decedents were in the wrong place at the wrong time and were handsomely recompensed. In the other, the decedents volunteered to fight for their country and were killed doing it and are not recompensed anywhere nearly as well.

To gloss over the inequity,totally ineptly, an urban legend was circulated for a while that the 9-11 victims' families were denied the benefits of their own private insurance under their policies' "war" exclusion.

Delivering does not a Mom make.

It appears that Oregon may have another bridge-tossing mom. Refutation, it seems to The Doser, of the opinion that every woman capable of breeding should be forced to deliver.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Awarding the DMA for May.

A friend in Iraq tells The Doser that some elements in that country are saying that the U.S. is withdrawing from Iraq because we are cowards and are being forced out. The Doser feels that deserves consideration for awarding of a D.M.A. for May. The Doser is re-reading Cheney's speech to make sure the award goes to the most deserving. (D.M.A. is the Dumb Mendacity Award.)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

In the face of a storm of criticism, the Oregon legislature has suggested raising gas taxes and auto registration and licensing fees to support road and bridge maintenance. The Doser notes that the argument goes something like this: Why can't the legislature find a tax source among those who do not use the roads and bridges?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Get things right!

Here's the sort of goof-up The Oregonian does. In its May 20,2009, edition, it front-paged the "news" that the Portland Development Commission is producing poorly (a stale, widely-known, fact) and it buried on the fifth page of the second section the dazzling, important news that the ED drugs do their job. Now, The Doser asks you!

Premature opening of the barn door.

The Senate refused to withhold funding for Guantanamo closure. (Notice the frantic anti-O'bama impress of the RepPress outlet as exemplified by Andrew Breitbart.) Actually, it seems to The Doser,also, that the Administration got the heart before the course - asking the Senate to withhold funding to close the torture facility before plans for its inmates were made. (The Oregonian reported the story on page A2 of the May 20, 2009, edition but, of course its web connection is so flaccid.)

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Grand Old Party

The new leaders of the Republican party appear to be Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin. (Not as active as it is expected she will be when her "memoirs" are completed.)Cheney and Limbaugh tried to tar and feather Arlen Specter when he did "the unthinkable." They bad-mouthed David Souter who had failed to live up to party expectations. And, now, the leaders of the Republican party purge, have landed on Colin Powell. Powell is quoted in The Oregonian, May 15, 2009, saying: " I think that what Rush does as an entertainer diminishes the party and intrudes or inserts into our public life a kind of nastiness that we would be better to do without." Cheney landed fully on the Limbaugh side - he is quoted as saying "I think my take on it was Colin had already left the party. I didn't know he was still a Republican." The Doser notes that the "recently outed political party" often feels withdrawal symptoms but these are quite acute.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It is absolutely no rational objection to say of our penal system that we shouldn't try other systems because ours is working so well. Thus, even one that comes out of left field may be considered. This one is out of left field.

So, what about this?

1. Sentence every convicted offender to the maximum penalty provided under the law.

2. Make a determination whether this offender is intractable or dangerous. If either is the case - off to the pokey. ("Intractable" is an easy call: this program is explained fully to him and if he refuses to be involved in it, he's intractable. "Dangerous" is a much more difficult concept and initially would be determined in a hearing beyond conviction like the one available now.)

3. If the offender is not intractable or dangerous, he is given an exhaustively thorough life-examination. An elaborate schedule that reflects how the offender would live if he did not commit criminal acts would be devised. A set of rules rather like a very-detailed probation program would be designed for him.

4. The offender would then be presented with the schedule/behavior program. If he refuses to be bound that way - off to the pokey.

5. If the offender accepts the schedule/behavior program, he is fitted with a "short leash" device.

6. The schedule and behavior program is frequently and regularly monitored.

7. If the offender gets off the schedule/behavior program, he is called to give account. If he can't give reasonable account for his failure - off to the pokey.

The Chavez Clashing

The City has become involved in the brouhaha over naming an existing street after Cesar Chavez. The Doser believes that the contention is largely the result of the expense and effort connected with changing the name of the street where you live or where your business is. The Doser suggests a reasonable alternative: name the expected Tri-Met bridge over the Willamette: THE CHAVEZ CROSSING.

Not unmixed good news.

The Oregonian reports an OTP&E* program statistic this morning. Cigarette sales had fallen to their lowest levels by June 2008 (the date of the report.) The Doser ventures to suggest that they will have fallen even further in the last year since many users are observably using "depression" alternatives: rolling one's own, cadging cigarettes on the streets and cadging butts from the street. *Oregon Tobacco Prevention and Education.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Needed repairs.

The current manned NASA mission to fix the Hubbel is dangerous in the extreme. The Doser considers that the expected returns on the effort are valuable but hopes that the cost of those returns is not large.

Small step forward.

The Doser considers the Afganistan/Pakistan conference with President O'Bama to be a fine first step on a long, long march. At least these two key figures are less alienated socially. To proceed to cooperation on a program upon which they both agree seems unlikely. It is the prestige of our President that brought about this first step. The darkest immediate cloud on the horizon, however, is still the darkest immediate cloud on the horizon.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Banking on banks.

The Doser regrets that he did not have a pen at hand to record exactly the inane remark that Timothy Geitner,Secretary of the Treasury,made in his testimony before Congress. It was reported by KGW yesterday. The gist of what he said was that, by our further infusion of cash, we would achieve an unprecedented transparency of their banking function! Could that be what we're buying from them: additional information about what the blighters are up to? Even the WSJ seems to have missed the remark.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Doin' what comes naturally.

There are three legitimate interests faced off in the Oregon back country: the ranchers want to shoot marauding wolves, the city folk want to protect and increase the wolf population and the wolves want to slay sheep and cattle. The Doser thinks that a reasonable compromise of the legitimate interests would require that the State of Oregon pay the rancher for their sheep or cattle that are killed or damaged by wolves.

Blunder pays off.

The Doser was just blundering around trying to find some others who think The Drug War is dumb and ran across LEAP. The Doser hopes you will let Leap speak for itself. Particularly are the remarks of Sen. Jim Webb reasonable.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Less than effective measures.

Killing pigs to ward off the "swine flu," even if you bow east as you do it, seems to The Doser to be like refusing to speak Spanish in order to ward off the Spanish flu. After urging us all to wear masks, the governments are now announcing that masks are useless since the virus is so small that it can easily pass through the mask. All just shows how ready we are to try superstition when we are facing difficulties of unknown dimension.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Appeasement sometimes doesn't work

The Pakistan government essentially bought its peace with the Taliban by ceding their administrative province of SWAT to the Talibani. The math escapes The Doser but the area involved appears to be about the same as if Canada had taken over Ohio to Maine. More recently, they worked out a deal for granting a cease fire but this time had to agree to impose Islaami law in order to purchase "peace for our time,*" as it could, reminiscently, have been termed. Pakistan has not appeared to have the heart to defend its own territory. The US wants Pakistan to run the Talibani back across the border into Afghanistan. (As though we didn't have enough trouble there with the Talibani already.) The Doser thinks we ought to take several careful looks at our involvement in that area. Is the control of that part of the world valuable enough to take on the Jihadists virtually single-handedly for it? The Oregonian today published the pictures of some of the 2600 Oregon men and women being deployed to Afghanistan. (In keeping with The O's customary inept dealing with the Web, one will have to wait until tomorrow to see the pictures at

* As some remember: "The phrase 'peace for our time' was spoken on 30 September 1938 by British prime minister Neville Chamberlain, in his speech concerning the Munich Agreement....... The Munich Agreement gave the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia to Adolf Hitler in an attempt to satisfy his desire for ..... 'living space' for Germany. The German occupation of the Sudetenland began on the next day, 1 October. One year after the agreement, following continued aggression from Germany and its invasion of Poland, Europe was plunged into World War II." (Wikipedia)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Less than newsworthy

We are so susceptiable to being media-ed. We seem to jump from hype to hype. The Doser, too, more's the pity.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Well, it just goes to show how much better it is to be a seller than a buyer of petroleum. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, scraped together enough to spend $1 billion on race-horses. He was also able to eke out a bit more and purchase a 747 airplane to transport them to the Kentucky Derby. A Portland retired high school coach could only afford $15 thousand for his entry.

Giving in to Pirates.

Captain Richard Phillips, erstwhile master of the Maersk Alabama, has come out in opposition to the "pay-the-pirates" received wisdom from the insured ship-owners. The Doser hopes he will be able to get another command. The Doser also hopes we start arming the vessels.