There are some in Clackamas County who believe that all government spending is bad. They seem to think that tax dollars once collected are piled on the floor of the Red Soils campus and lit on fire while our commissioners dance around, reciting ancient Celtic incantations. We know from firsthand knowledge that our commissioners can dance, but that does not prove they know any Celtic chants.
Now a group of Blue Dog Democrat congressional representatives have signed a letter decrying that the PAYGO guideline was ignored when passing the Dreamer Protection Act. So what is PAYGO, and should we care?
There are two important concepts that need to be understood about the special counsel’s report. One is obvious, the other less so.
One is the question of whether or not the 2016 election was free and fair?
The answer is clearly NO.
“As set forth in detail in this report, the Special Counsel’s investigation established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election principally through two operations. First a Russian entity carried out a social media campaign that favored presidential candidate Donald J Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Second, a Russian intelligence service conducted computer-intrusion operations against entities, employees, and volunteers working on the Clinton Campaign and then released stolen documents.”
iPA’s monthly film series focuses on films which address social, racial, economic, and environmental justice. Following the film they host a panel discussion and provide opportunities for audience members to get involved.
The last time carbon in our atmosphere routinely exceeded 400 ppm was three million years ago. At that time temperatures were 3.6 to 5.4 degrees warmer, and the ocean levels were 15 to 25 meters higher. Imagine if, instead of being above 80 degrees the last week in July, we were well above 90 degrees, and in August if we exceeded 100 degrees for weeks on end. With summers that hot in the Northwest, the probability of wildfires and forest fires increases. Energy usage would skyrocket as more air conditioners were installed, and our air pollution would rival or exceed Los Angeles.
These are not predictions; they are all already happening. Climate change isn’t something happening in some distant future; it is already here.
We live in an era of increasing income and wealth inequality. Many of us have come to accept this as normal. Some see it as an outcome of our technology, others of our culture. Be it nature or nurture, we are no longer in balance with our environment or our society. We see the “other” as someone to be feared rather than helped. We routinely denigrate our environment for short-term economic gain even when we are well aware of the costs of such actions. We allow ourselves to be convinced that our neighbors are inferior in order to justify our waging war against them.
It is ironic that human offspring require more time to mature than almost any other species. From birth through the next decade, without watchful elders, without a protective and nurturing society, few children would ever make it to adulthood. Yet, we create myths that rather than being social creatures, we are independent and born with a right to freedom that justifies us harming our neighbors. Our institutions rarely accept the notion that it takes a village to raise a child.
Labor Day always reminds me of this question. It also reminds me of my first labor strike in the 1950s when I was 16 years old and had just gotten a real job as a box-boy (grocery bagger) at the local A&P supermarket.
Greeting me on my second day of after-school work was a big padlocked chain across the store’s door. Huh? What is this? I need to go to work. I need gas for my beater of a car. What the . . . ?