Friday, February 1, 2013
As the Hood River News reported in Wednesday’s paper (“Gorge Big Brothers Program Lauds Mentors,” Jan. 30), I was recently named the Hood River County Mentor of the Year for 2012. Believe me, I feel incredibly honored, even though I’m certain many other Big Brothers and Big Sisters deserve this award at least as much as I do, if not more.
But let me use my 15 minutes of fame to encourage other men and women to Think Big. I really enjoy spending time with my Little Brother Jacob, and empirical research has shown that Littles benefit in all sorts of ways, from staying in school and getting better grades to avoiding early parenting.
Right now there are 21 boys and girls on the waiting list in Hood River County alone, and more in Klickitat and Wasco counties. Each one of those Littles is eager to enrich your life, as you will theirs.
So please – Think Big. Contact the good folks at The Next Door.
Stripes are still there
Has the tiger changed his stripes? Have Senate Republicans stopped saying “No” to everything? Have they decided to work with Democrats to get needed laws passed? Some people may think they have.
A filibuster reform bill finally became law. But wait. The filibuster bill that Sens. Merkley and Udall wrote would have required any senator who wanted to delay or defeat a bill to stand on his feet on the Senate floor and explain his objections. That was the heart of the bill.
The bill that was passed doesn’t do that. It has to do with changing some arcane Senate rules that the ordinary person would find hard to understand. Senator Merkley says the bill is a small step forward. I agree with him that a small step is better than nothing.
But the tiger hasn’t changed his stripes. They are still there, but camouflaged. Now instead of outright obstruction (which has gotten a lot of bad press), Senate Republicans have this ploy to water down any bill that comes before the senate and call it reform.
I question publication of the very first letter (“Cleaver Endeavor”) in the Jan. 30 issue. The writer insults 50-plus percent of the voters as being of ‘low-information” and “brainwashed.” Not a word about even one of the many issues facing this community, state or nation.
I would suggest that the first written babble of a baby-child could be more informative or, at the least, the cause of pride for the parents.
Misinformed is worse
How ‘bout an Oscar for that progressive he portrayed?
I think most people who know Bill Davis know that he has a pretty good sense of humor. But his most recent letter to the editor, “Clever Endeavor” (Jan. 30) really was an interesting example of how propaganda works: If you don’t know it’s propaganda then it will achieve its intended goal, which is to influence behavior.
Scientific studies show that FOX viewers are about 20 percent less likely to locate countries on a map that they would most like to bomb, compared to your typical uninformed voter. They also believe that Obama is a socialist, even though his administration has cracked down on whistle blowers, growers and raw milk dealers.
Bill, let me let you in on a little secret: Low-information voters believe that corporate media is liberal (read Media Monopoly). They believe that Republicans are conservative (even though they haven’t balanced a budget since the 1950s). And they believe the “FED” is some type of government agency (their phone number is in the private business section of the phone book).
Republicans and Democrats need to take this country back from the radicals who are at the helm, and who are intoxicated with virtually unlimited power, and worse, are immune from consequences.
Jefferson said that as long as the public is informed it will make the right decisions. He could not have predicted the destructive power of the misinformed voter, which is worse than the low-information voter.
Alarmists at work
I think it is time for some counterpoint to the environmental panic promulgated by a recent guest editorial and “global warming” letter to President Obama.
Global alarmists are seeking to stop the escape of CO2 into the atmosphere (it’s what we exhale) as they believe that this “greenhouse gas” is the primary cause of a rise (albeit small) in global temperature. There are many scientists and meteorologists on their side.
However, this is anything but settled science and the debate goes on, to their chagrin. The current rise in global temperatures has been an ongoing phenomenon for well over 200 years. All indicators of this, including rise in sea levels, shortening glaciers and the rise in ocean temperatures, started well before the dramatic increase in hydrocarbon emissions due to industrialization.
The rise in these numbers is in direct correlation to sun spot activity and the trends have shown no change since the increased introduction of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere.
In addition, the number of tornados in the U.S. has decreased over the last 60 years, and the number of hurricanes making U.S. landfall has remained the same over the same period. United Nations data also confirms that global temperature has actually decreased over the last decade. (http://bit.ly/WD8ZWK).
The environmental lobby tries to panic us into creating a carbon credit system that will further bankrupt the American people. Industrial CO2 accounts for a mere .24 percent of carbon emissions. The rest is created by natural means such as volcanic activity, forest fires, etc.
Even if we stopped all manmade emissions of CO2 it would have no effect on the earth’s warming. We are heated by the sun!
What will be a disaster for our children and grandchildren is our doing nothing about the national debt. This will kill us long before hydrocarbons will.
John F. Brennan
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge