”You think I’m licked. You all think I’m licked. Well, I’m not licked. And I’m going to stay right here and fight for this lost cause.” Senator Jefferson Smith
The 1939 classic movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, starring James Stewart as Senator Smith, tells the story of a man who really believed he was appointed to the Senate to do the honorable thing and serve his constituents to the best of his ability. Along the way, he finds the deck is stacked against him by special interests that just want him to be a place-setter, and for him to not question the status quo. He confronts his opponents using Senate rules and old-fashioned gumption. The movie shows it is possible for one person with principles to overcome powerful political forces.
“I wouldn’t give you two cents for all your fancy rules if, behind them, they didn’t have a little bit of plain, ordinary, everyday kindness and a little looking out for the other fella, too.” Sen. Smith. Continue reading
This primarily reviews the book American Made by Dan Di Micco, Chairman Emeritus of Nucor Steel.
The United States has experienced 30 years of slipshod economics and 20 years of failed unbalanced trade policies. This was caused by lack of leadership. Di Micco says we need to create 30 million new jobs by 2025. And we need to invest $3.6 trillion in infrastructure improvements and expansion. Our leaders, consciously or unconsciously have declared his goals as mission impossible. Di Micco disagrees. Continue reading
“Wisdom is the power to see behind a tree.” – old Indian chief
“Common sense is the widest understanding possible of the relationship of common things and our relationship to them.” – William Dempster Hoard (1836-1918)
A FARMER’S PHILOSOPHY. For the benefit of anyone who has never heard of this great man, I think this is a good time for a book review. “W.D.” – as he’s usually known around these parts – headquarters of his still-existing publishing enterprise, had no formal education beyond the age of fourteen, and graduated from farm hand door-to-door salesman. He was an unapologetic farmer by trade (as were several of our Presidents). “The Life of William Dempster Hoard” is the book, and what a life it was! Continue reading
Stevenson’s signature event returns for its 23rd year. Mark your calendars now for Friday and Saturday, June 24-25 when Gorge Blues & Brews Festival hits the Skamania County Fairgrounds in Stevenson, Washington. We will celebrate 23 years of musical genius, award-winning craft brews and fabulous food in the spectacular setting of the Columbia River Gorge. Continue reading
Last week I was shocked to learn that two former city councilors who abruptly quit mid-term filed a recall petition against me – and the councilors who replaced them.
As your mayor, I’ve prided myself on communicating with transparency and candor. In that tradition, I would like to offer a glimpse of what this is really about.
This recall is about personality, not policy. Continue reading
Earlier this month, Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day) sent a letter to the Oregon Educators Benefit Board (OEBB) asking the board to eliminate a proposed rule to impose a $100 fee per month per teacher or other public education employee who opts out of OEBB medical coverage. On June 17, April Kelly, rules coordinator for OEBB, responded to Ferrioli saying OEBB had decided to drop the $100 monthly fee on educators for exercising their right to choose the medical coverage best suited for their families. Continue reading
Oregonians Must Unite to Stop IP28
Public employee union backers of Initiative Petition 28 have turned in more than enough signatures to place their massive 2.5 percent gross receipts tax measure on Oregon’s November ballot.
While supposedly dedicating most of the $6 billion per biennium additional tax revenue to public education, health care, and senior services, in reality legislators would be under pressure from powerful lobbyists in the Capitol to substitute at least some of this new revenue for money they would otherwise dedicate to those services. In short, the loudest voices in Salem, not voters, will ultimately control where this extra tax money goes. Continue reading
Control is a wonderful thing – and for most of us, it is completely elusive. As someone with ongoing heart issues, and a much loved little dog with a severe health condition – I feel well qualified to speak on this subject. Having raised and adored small dogs for years, I have been lucky. Now, not so much. Continue reading
For many people, the concept of retirement can be scary, both emotionally and financially. If you, too, feel somewhat anxious about what awaits you, you might feel more comfortable in knowing that, depending on where you work, you might be able to retire in stages. Continue reading
My father does not come from wealthy people. There was always a roof over his head, and he didn’t miss any meals, but it was hardscrabble at times, first as a toddler in Nebraska, then a young boy growing up in Casper, Wyoming. When my father’s father, Grandpa Fred, up and left for California, Dad came too, and there would seek his fortunes as an adult. Continue reading