Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Feelers and doubters
Two worlds for the soul of a man: physical and spiritual. Both real. Both conceivable by the human eye and mind.
Christians, in-between the walls and handshakes of life, there are more real things that affect you than the physical indications.
The animists of Japan had it almost right. The spiritual world isn’t mysterious in nature. It makes perfect practical sense. There is a science to it. It looks like earth, but it’s more powerful, which is why the Sword of the Spirit is so cutting (think of it, a single sword that could outdo any missile.)
So get down to earth. Realize that angels and demons are nothing that strange, and that they have economies, hierarchies, order, rules.
So for the feelers, direct your adoration to the proper place. For the doubters, direct your doubting to the proper place. The mystique comes from the romance of a relationship with the personification of Truth, not the truth itself. Even demons believe.
Free speech reigns at Fox
The other day celebrated investigative reporter and well-known author Bob Woodward, who helped lead the way to solve Richard Nixon’s crimes during Watergate, had the gall and audacity to suggest President Obama’s behavior is that of a madman the way he is running our country into the ground.
That didn’t set well with the Barack Hussein media, so they’re going after Woodward’s longstanding credibility because he dared to speak out against their lecturing leftist leader.
Apparently Bob didn’t recite the script from “The Book of Obama.” He forgot you never criticize this president unless you want to be blackballed and scorned by your peers.
Of course, you can criticize the president if you’re within the conservative confines of the one and lonely Fox New Fortress. Here, away from the Barack Hussein media, actual free speech still reigns supreme with realistic and objective news reporting that’s interesting, lively and thought-provoking. The Barrack Hussein media doesn’t like that for some reason.
Fox News deals with external facts on both the left and the right, unlike the Barack Hussein media’s protective thoughts and adoring feelings for the commander in chief. They’re not giving us the real news; they are high-ranking members of the Obama Fan Club.
Stick with Webster’s
With respect to a recent letter to the editor citing the “Urban Dictionary” to define willful ignorance as a “practice most commonly found in the political ideologies of Liberal American Politicians,” I must cry foul. Never having heard of this dictionary myself, I looked it up online.
Lo and behold, there are two definitions (each submitted by users). The definition not quoted in Saturday’s paper says that willful ignorance is a “practice most commonly found in the political or religious ideologies of ‘conservative’ Americans.”
If you think this is funny, check out the definition of obfuscation: “A dance move created by North Carolina band Between the Buried and Me. This involves closing one eye, and stepping to the side.”
I’ll stick with Webster’s.
Why is it that every night the Hood River Armory lights up their little compound bright enough to be seen from space, yet they can’t even muster so much as a flashlight to shine on the American flag by their front door?
No coal trains in the Gorge
Recently in Hood River the coal interests with the help of a public relations firm held multiple sessions at a local hotel; there were 10-12 participants per session for what appeared to be an attempt by them to understand why we don’t want 1½-mile-long coal trains going through the country’s only national scenic area.
It appeared as though it was an attempt to find the things people would support, such as jobs and the build-out of ports; never mind the noise, dirt, diesel emissions and health hazards created by the trains carrying coal.
The session I attended had people from Cascade Locks, Hood River and The Dalles participating. They paid $100 cash for our time. People were not informed in advance as to what the purpose of these sessions were, but it was obvious from the questions.
When you consider the costs of the food, the public relations people, the hotel rooms, and $1,000-$1,200 per session to the participants, it would appear that the coal companies will do and spend whatever it takes to open the Gorge for their dirty business.
Let your state, federal representatives and the governor know: We don’t want coal trains despoiling our home.
Working on safe water
The Oak Grove Water Company was formed in about 1928 as a co-operative. The water users held shares of the company. The company was operated by volunteers until the 1980s, when a part-time operator was employed. This part-time position is still in existence. Volunteers are still assisting the operator.
I served as an operator for 20-plus years. During that time, many changes in the rules were made by the federal government, the Oregon Health Department and Hood River County Health Department. Water operators are now required to obtain training and be certified. Because of the rule changes the state and county officials are expected to assist the drinking water operators to provide clean and safe, potable water for the users of each water company or district.
Throughout the years, Oak Grove Water Company has continually updated the water system. The system now has modern piping, a 100,000-gallon water tank for storage that was refinished a few years ago, and has added users in the Binns Hill area. Binns Hill residents had wells that were failing.
During the years of operation of the Oak Grove Water Company, there have been some problems with leaks, outages due to construction, and outages caused by events of nature. These problems were taken care of as soon as possible by the operator and volunteers.
Nothing of the magnitude of the present spring reconstruction has ever occurred. When events did occur the members of the Oak Grove Water Company realized that this is one of the considerations of living in the country and having excellent and inexpensive drinking water.
A question concerning this matter is “Did the Oak Grove board, Hood River Health Department, regional engineer for the Oregon do everything possible to determine this problem and assist in resolving it?” The article written by Ben McCarty (Feb. 20) indicates that Hood River County Health Department and Oregon Health Department were more interested in deadlines and sending out violation notices than in assisting with the resolution of this problem.
The operator of the Oak Grove Water System is diligently working with the contractors, engineers and the Oak Grove Water Board to give the community safe drinking water. Those of us who use Oak Grove water need to have patience and be thankful for our water resource.
‘Sound the Alarm’ on coal
It is time to sound the alarm about the plans to ship massive amounts of coal through the Columbia Gorge. The first permit for a coal export facility could be issued as early as April 1 by the Oregon Department of State Lands and Gov. Kitzhaber.
Coal exports threaten our quality of life in the Gorge in many ways: coal dust, additional noise, roughly double the number of trains and barges and potential accidents. According to our nation’s top climate scientist, NASA’s James Hansen, “Coal is the single greatest threat to civilization and all life on our planet… It is the worst planetary poison.”
The Gorge Ecumenical Ministries and the Power Past Coal coalition invite you to take action and help Sound the Alarm about coal and climate change. Next week at noon on Wednesday, March 13, we are going to gather at the Riverside Church in Hood River; please bring a bell to ring and a sign to carry.
From there we will march down to Overlook Park for remarks from local leaders and two minutes of bell ringing at 12:30 p.m. in solidarity with another Sound-the-Alarm event that will be happening in Salem.
Following this we will march through Hood River, ringing bells and carrying signs, and return to Riverside Church by 1 p.m. If you want to bring your lunch there will be time to eat before we leave Riverside Church.
If you would like to make a sign there will be a sign-making session this Thursday, March 7, at 5:30 p.m. in the Pioneer Room at Riverside Church. Please plan to join us on Wednesday, March 13, at noon at Riverside Church, bring a hand bell and help to Sound-the-Alarm!
Pastor John Boonstra, Bethel Church
Pastor Vicky Stifter, Riverside Church
Peter Cornelison, Friends of the Columba Gorge
Lauren Goldberg, Columbia Riverkeeper
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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