Monday, January 16, 2017

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." 

See Dr. King's profile at

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Obama's Farewell

We just finished watching, live, President Obama's Farewell Address at the McCormick Center in Chicago. The Washington Post has the 51 minute speech in a video link, and  a transcript. 

For the short version (memorable lines), go to CNN.

The New York Times also gives the video and a transcript.

Hope? Change? Progress? Achievements? Gratitude? Inspiration?

He is still all that and more. Go get fired up!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Ends and Means

In February 2009, less than a month after President Obama was sworn into office, the Republican leader in the Senate - Mitch McConnell, sent a letter to Harry Reid, leader of the Democrats in the Senate. I think Senator McConnell's request was a good idea then, and it is a good idea now. Here is a copy of the main points McConnell expected the Democrats to observe:

Letter of 2/12/2009 from Senator McConnell to Senator Reid about the standards to be met for considering Presidential nominees

1. The FBI background check is complete and submitted to the committee in time for review and prior to a hearing being noticed.
2. The Office of Government Ethics letter is complete and submitted to the committee in time for review and prior to a committee hearing.
3. Financial disclosure statements (and tax returns for applicable committees) are complete and submitted to committee for review prior to a hearing being noticed.
4. All committee questionnaires are complete and have been returned to the committee. A reasonable opportunity for follow-up questions has been afforded committee members, and nominees have answered, with sufficient time to review prior to a committee vote.
5. The nominee is willing to have committee staff interviews, where that has been the practice.
6. The nominee has had a hearing.
7. The nominee agrees to courtesy visits with members when requested.
8. The nominee has committed to cooperate the the Ranking Member on requests for information and transparency.
Why would the Republicans, now the majority in Congress, want to ignore, disregard, throw out the excellent rules they established for President Obama's nominees? They are doing everything they can to prevent the Democrats applying the same excellent standards to President Trump's nominees.

If you care about who will wield the power over the environment, taxes, the justice department, etc., then please call your Senators and ask that they observe the same good standards

UPDATE Jan 10, 2017

Chuck Schumer, Senate minority leader, sent Mitch McConnell's letter (above) back to Mitch requesting that McConnell's rules apply to the new president's nominees. The process, including the background done by the Ethics committee for every incoming administration for the past forty years, is to ensure the administration is not embarrassed by undisclosed malfeasance or conflicts of interest in its nominees. It is to protect the new administration, as well as the public interest.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Almost 2017

It is already 2017 in parts of this round, blue ball we call earth. In three hours and twenty minutes it will be officially the New Year here in Estacada, Oregon.

To all my family and friends, I wish you a very happy new year for 2017. May all your deepest desires come true in the new year. May you flourish in health, prosper in wealth, and increase in wisdom.

                           Happy 2017

Thursday, December 22, 2016

What is the Traditional Message at Christmas from the President?

John F. Kennedy
"For nearly 2,000 years the message of Christmas, the message of peace and good will towards all men, has been the guiding star of our endeavors ... (Christmas) is the day when we remind ourselves that man can and must live in peace with his neighbors and that it is the peacemakers who are truly blessed." Dec 17, 1962

Jimmy Carter
"Christmas is a time to remind us that even when we do suffer and are disappointed in the United States and live even a dismal life, compared to our own immediate neighbors, compared to most of the rest of the world, we indeed have a joyous life and a wonderful life." Dec 15, 1977

George H.W. Bush
"Christ's brief time on Earth was devoted to tending the physical and spiritual needs of His flock: healing the sick, feeding the hungry, and illuminating the path to eternal salvation... Today, Christ's message of hope and redemption -- first delivered on that holy night in the City of David -- continues to bring peace and joy to millions of people around the world."  Dec 18, 1990

Bill Clinton
"The Christmas story is dear and familiar to us all—shepherds and angels, Wise Men and King Herod, Mary and Joseph, and, at the heart of it all, a Child. This Child was born into poverty in a city too crowded to offer Him shelter. He was sent to a region whose people had endured suffering, tyranny, and exile." Dec 20, 1995

George W Bush
"Christmastime reminds each of us that we have a duty to love our neighbor just as we would like to be loved ourselves."  Dec 23, 2003

Barack Obama
 "Christ... ministered to the poor. He embraced the outcast. He healed the sick. And in Him we see a living example of scripture that we ought to love others not only through our words, but also through our deeds."  Dec 13, 2013

Donald Trump at 8:50 a.m. this morning
" Defence stocks were little changed after Mr Trump's tweet, but shares of small uranium miners including Uranium Resources Inc and Uranium Energy Corp rose sharply." ABC News Online today

[Former presidents' quotes are excerpts from Deseret News Opinion Dec 13, 2014, online. President-elect Trump quoted from Twitter today]

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Weather Report for Wednesday Dec 14

An accumulation of three inches of snow fell on our driveway here in Estacada yesterday. This scientific number was determined by sticking a ruler into the snow. The high today, Thursday, is forecast to be 34 degrees, and it is predicted to warm up to a high of 45 degrees by next Tuesday.

This weather pattern, which is unusual for western Oregon in December (or even in February) has arrived thanks to La Nina, combined with a polar vortex sweeping down from Siberia. We had studded tires installed on the Matrix last week, and if you have ever seen our road down the hill into town, you'd understand why.

This is the second significant snowfall of the year, and more snow is predicted before the New Year. We lost our electricity both times, and expect it could happen frequently this winter. We have no alternative heat source, but the house is well insulated. This time the power was off for seven hours, but we only lost a degree per hour. If we'd fired up the BBQ on the deck, we could have had a hot meal, but since it was 27 degrees with wind blowing the snow horizontally, we were inspired to stay indoors.

Blessings and prayers for all who must venture out in this weather, and special thanks to the PGE workers who were out in the freezing cold, reconnecting our electricity.