May 28, 2022

Clackamas County Parks to visit

  Updated: About my career and about the Mason Mental Health Center ||||| My political stories are here || Open just this page || Back editions in right column.

The parks we visit are either state or city parks. These (click photo) are county parks. We've yet to visit these any of these parks. Stay tuned for photo essays when we do

May 27, 2022

Texas school shooting

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I thought my version of the NRA logo might be too extreme for Facebook, Twitter

Below: Before I added the dollar signs.

From Sweet Free Clip Art

When I added the little crying boy to my version of the NRA logo which I originally made just by adding the AR-15's  I thought it might be too extreme to post on Facebook and Twitter. Then I looked at the images posted on the Duty to Warn page on Facebook. Yesterday I used the illustration in my diary The NRA, Jesus, and a stark reminder of US gun obsession on the way for lunch in lovely Estacada, OR.

Some of the editorial cartoons about the NRA and the GOP are far more graphic than my image. 

Knowing that my idea wasn’t particularly brilliant and others may have modified the logo in a similar way, I figured I might as well do my very small bit.

By using some of the hashtags that came up when I typed #NRA into Twitter I increased the chances people might see it.

The NRA, Jesus, and a stark reminder of US gun obsession on the way for lunch in lovely Estacada, OR

Above, just before turning off the main road to go to the lovely out of the way village of Estatada, a 45 minute drive along a scenic winding road from where I live we pulled up next to this car at a traffic light. Sitting on the passenger side I saw the logo and managed to take one quick iPhone photo before the light changed to green. While non-members of the organization may not easily recognize the NRA logo just from the colors I was pretty certain this is what it was so I took the photo and then enlarged it and sure enough that is what it was.


Yesterday, for relief from the news coming out of Texas, it seemed like a good idea to visit Estacada for lunch at New Panda, a favorite Chinese restaurant, and to walk around to browse and shop at the variety of boutiques, arts and crafts, and gift stores there.


(See photos from Estacada on my blog taken on a previous visit.)


Seeing the NRA sticker was a stark reminder of what my friend and I were trying to escape. We wanted a respite from the tragic news and the right-wing bullcrap coming from the likes of Gov. Abbott, Sen. Cruz, and Tucker Carlson who said this:

Tucker Carlson reacts to President Joe Biden's address to the nation following the school shooting in Texas: "The President of the United States, frail, confused, bitterly partisan, desecrating the memory of recently murdered children with tired talking points of the Democratic party, dividing the country in a moment of deep pain rather than uniting. His voice raising and amplified only as he repeats the talking points he repeated for over 35 years in the United States Senate, partisan politics being the only thing that animates him. Unfit for leadership of this country." Real Clear Politics


Along the way to Estacada this little sign on a utility pole made me think about how religious beliefs won’t do a damn think to stop gun violence. For believers hopefully it is some solace to trust that the souls of their lost children are resting in Heaven, but not to be too cynical it is a stretch to trust Jesus to do anything to change the minds of Republicans about pandering to the NRA let alone passing legislation that might actually have an impact on such shootings.




Here’s the NRA logo which has an eagle grasping two two rifles in its talons. 


The guns in the logo bear only slight resemblance to the muskets being used when the Second Amendment was written in 1791.


I expect that some cartoonists have already redrawn the logo to show the old fashioned rifles replaced with modern military style guns and, as an afterthought I added the little crying boy. I can’t draw well so here’s the version I created with InPixio:

May 25, 2022

Oregon governor race


Oregon: Let's hope Republican and (really right-wing) unaffiliated gov. candidate can assure Democrat Tina Kotek wins

Hopefully Betsy Johnson (U/A) and Christine Drazan ( R ) will split the conservative vote so Tina Kotek (D) will win the Oregon governor race which will be between the three candidates. Their positions on transgender athletics in public shcools tells a lot about them. It shows the kinds of voters they are trying to attract.

Christine Drazan ( R )
We need to respect the dignity of every individual, but that does not mean we should accept that biological males competing in women’s sports is fair or appropriate. Women have fought for—and earned— respect and support for themselves in sports and have made incredible gains in doing so. We must defend that progress and stand up for fairness.
Betsy Johnson (unaffiliated)
I don’t believe it’s fair to force female athletes to compete against biological men. Sports should be about fair competition, not social engineering.
Tina Kotek (D)
I believe in supporting all children to be their authentic selves. Unfortunately, some politicians are racing to stigmatize vulnerable trans kids in order to divide people and distract us from real issues. When we talk about our trans community, we should be talking about how to prevent assaults on trans people, especially trans women of color, who are more likely to be assaulted. While other politicians work to bring harm to the LGBTQ+ community, I’m going to focus on the work that matters: ensuring all Oregonians are safe and protected.

From her ads I see that Betsy Johnson wants voters to believe she can bring Democrats and Republicans together to get Oregon's problems, like homelessness, resolved.
Lots of luck with this.
If Johnson believes she can do this she's engaging in wishful thinking and deluding herself, though it's quite possible this is just a political ploy to get votes form naive voters. In her ad about homelessness she says that she agrees with Democrats about approaching the problem with compassion but then says she will eliminate tent encampments without saying how she's going do this, and worse from my perspective she goes on to say she agrees with the Republicans that homeless people should take personal responsibility.

Here’s her ad about how she says she’ll solve the homelessness problem:

In the latter, it is the height of ignorance about the reasons people end up homeless, including mental illness and substance abuse as well as poverty, that individuals end up homeless. This is classic Republican "they should pull themselves up by their bootstraps" rhetoric which for decades has been used to try to derail social programs.


These are Republican Drazen’s positions including her oposition to mask mandates. Here’s her view on solving the homeless problem:

“As Governor, I will address the root causes of homelessness – addiction, mental health, and affordability – and work with our nonprofits, the faith community, and local governments to get people off the streets. We must help those looking for assistance. And when people commit criminal behavior, I will ensure they are prosecuted instead of given a pass. We cannot continue to enable this any longer.” 


As if non-profits and faith communities aren't doing whatever they can with little significant success. Also, she manages to demonize homeless people by suggesting with the word “when” that many of them are criminals who are getting a pass. This is reminiscent of Trump’s comment “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. […] They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people” 


 No surprises here.


Compare Tina Kotek’s priorities and positions.

And then there’s this (emphasis added)

“Former State Senator Johnson will not tell Oregonians about her positions against the environment and the fight against climate change, her working to thwart common-sense gun safety measures, her attacking the interests and well-being of working families and more,” said Debby Garman, a Hillsboro resident who is listed as the committee’s director. “We believe that for democracy to work, it is vital that voters have the facts. Over the course of the election, we will work to provide those facts to Oregon voters.”

from Democrat-backed committee plans to highlight Betsy Johnson’s conservative record in Oregon

May 22, 2022

Fields Bridge Park in W Linn, OR

Updated: About my career and about the Mason Mental Health Center ||||| My political stories are here

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Fields Bridge park....

... is a beautiful 19 acres located on the Tualatin River in West Linn. It is not too far from Willamette Park on the Willamette and Tualatin River (see map below). This is a favorite picnic spot because it has tables right along the river. There are no similar picnic tables at Fields Park. There is a lovely scenic walk next to the river though and story walk signs for kids to follow on a bear hunt.

From their website:  Fields Park was constructed in 2006 and currently consists of community gardens, ball fields, basketball courts, walking paths along the Tualatin River, WiFi and playground. 

Progress on development of Fields Bridge Park moves forward with the removal of the old house on the property. With an approved mitigation plan from the State of Oregon the development will include a small picnic shelter to reflect some of the design characteristics of the house. The approved master plan also includes a canoe/kayak launch and the connection of pathways in the park.

The original Master Plan can be referenced for some details. Now that the house has been removed a plan will be developed that will take advantage of the new vacated area and include the addition of amenities listed above. Reference

Wikipedia: The Willamette Meteorite, officially named Willamette and originally known as Tomanowos by the Clackamas Chinook[Native American tribe, is an iron-nickel meteoritefound in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is the largest meteorite found in the United States and the sixth largest in the world.[6][7] There was no impact crater at the discovery site; researchers believe the meteorite landed in what is now Canada or Montana, and was transported as a glacial erratic to the Willamette Valley during the Missoula Floods at the end of the last Ice Age (~13,000 years ago). It has long been held sacred by indigenous peoples of the Willamette Valley, including the federally recognized Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon (CTGRC). 

The meteorite is on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, which acquired it in 1906. Having been seen by an estimated 40 million people over the years, and given its striking appearance, it is among the most famous meteorites. In 2005, the CTGRC sued to have the meteorite returned to their control, ultimately reaching an agreement that gave the tribe access to the meteorite while allowing the museum to keep it as long as they are exhibiting it.  

A historical marker in the Willamette area of West Linn, Oregon. The plaque reads: "In 1902 Ellis Hughes discovered the 15+12 ton Willamette Meteorite, the largest ever found in the United States, about 2 miles N.W. of this place. Marker erected August 4, 1962 by West Linn Fair Board."

Nixon and Kennedy were evenly matched intellectually in their first debate. Nixon lost because of how he looked on TV. Trump may lose because he "loses it" on TV. By Hal Brown, MSW

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