Wildfires in Oregon this summer have burned thousands of acres, resulting in hazardous air quality conditions and the evacuation of hundreds. As our firefighters face these fires, it’s important to examine the policies and practices that may contribute to increased wildfire risks.
Environmental advocates point to carbon-induced climate change as a factor in intensified droughts and longer fire seasons, but dealing with climate change as a means of dealing with wildfires puts the cart before the horse. Wildfires are a cause of carbon emissions more than a consequence, since burning forests release higher amounts of stored carbon. Before addressing the impacts of carbon on our forests, we must address the impacts of poor forest management. Continue reading
Oregonians have a proud tradition of giving back to distinguished or disadvantaged members of society. Businesses have broken barriers to provide better service to groups like seniors, veterans, new families, and vulnerable people, by offering discounted rates or donating services for a worthy cause.
In one particular and familiar industry, however, the state will not allow such generosity. Customers in the aforementioned groups looking to move from one home to another, who could benefit from special offers, would find themselves out of luck, thanks to an apathetic state agency with misaligned priorities. Continue reading
Ever been on the receiving end of this frustrated appeal? Has it ever flowed past your lips? It’s usually reserved for those times someone comes to the end of their patience. They invoke God’s name, assuming that will magically impact someone else’s behavior.
This article is not going to lambast the person who belittles God’s name in this way. I used to speak like this when I got angry or frustrated. Then I came to know Jesus as my Savior. Once I understood what He went through to bear the judgment my sins deserved, my blasphemy changed to love for Him. No longer could I drag His name through the mud. Continue reading
An accuser has crawled out of the shadows to charge Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh with sexual assault. The accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, contends that 36 years ago Kavanaugh, in a drunken stupor, shut her in a room at a party and clumsily attempted to undress her.
She contends that another male, apparently one Mark Judge, was also present and was also a participant. Kavanaugh and Judge have both categorically denied the event ever happened. Said Kavanaugh, “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”
Judge was equally emphatic. “It’s just absolutely nuts. I never saw Brett act that way.” Continue reading
Heroes. Our televisions and movies are filled with super-heroes. Men and women gifted with special abilities to fight crime. Do we really believe someone can throw fire from their hands, or throw up an energy shield to withstand an explosion, or fly at will, or stop speeding cars with their hands? Of course not. It’s our way of stating our wish that someone could fight the evil around us and bring about justice. Continue reading
You might be astonished to learn that one out of every 10 households in America rents a storage unit to hold all of the STUFF that will not fit in their homes/garages. This statistic has me wondering why? If you know that you can’t take it with you when you die, then why would anyone feel the need to hang onto so much stuff? It boggles the mind!
I have a sister who has always been very sentimental about “things.” She has three children and three grandchildren and has proudly saved almost every drawing, trophy, report card, baseball, video, and doodle that they ever brought home. Although this is very sweet of her, the result of years of collecting was overwhelming! Continue reading
Several years ago I wrote a column of this same title. And I began the process of doing so. Changes can come fast or they can take years. Life changes in an instant with a job loss, a move, health challenges, divorce, or death. These kinds of changes are unexpected and there is little we can do to prepare for them.
Other kinds of changes take months or years, depending on circumstances. I began downsizing five years ago. I started by getting as much plastic as possible out of my house. Then books were donated to the library, the local Montessori school, and my friend’s rural ‘library box’ alongside her driveway. Bags and bags of recently unworn clothing went to local churches. Household goods went to Salvation Army and local Senior Centers. This made a considerable dent in ‘stuff’ but not so much. Continue reading
You’ll always want to base your investment decisions on your own needs and goals. But there may be times when you might consider adjusting your portfolio because of risks and opportunities. Now may be one of those times.
Here’s some background: In recent months, the Federal Reserve has raised short-term interest rates several times, and given its generally favorable outlook on the economy, it has indicated it may continue bumping up interest rates gradually over the next year or so. The Fed doesn’t control long-term interest rates, but these rates often follow the lead of short-term movements. However, longer-term rates haven’t yet risen as much as shorter-term ones, which means the difference between short- and long-term rates is relatively small, historically speaking. Continue reading
I’ve wanted to be on a jury since the first time I saw Perry Mason on TV in 1957. One of the great disappointments of my adult life is that I’ve never been called for jury duty. People all around me would be called, would complain, and then would immediately start figuring ways to get out of it.
It became clear to me that it was pretty easy to avoid jury duty. Often people would brag about how cleverly they had presented their circumstances in such a way as to convince the judge that they were unable to serve. Few of them went so far as to admit they had lied. Continue reading
Both former president Barack Obama and the current DNC chairman, in an effort to scare Democrats enough to get out and vote, said last weekend that democracy itself is on the ballot in November.
Here is the former president: “You need to vote because our democracy depends on it.” Continue reading