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Fair and Balanced Discussion from Southern Oregon

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Ursula K. Le Guin 

Well, my interest in this author started in 6th grade when I read A Wizard of Earthsea She was always someone who's work was compelling, but I didn't seek it out, nor did I seek out more infomation on her. She was just an author who's work I liked. As my life trundled along, I absorbed the remaining Earthsea books, along with The Dispossessed, Left Hand of Darkness, Malafrena, and Lathe of Heaven.

So as I read over the preliminary materials for the Celebration of Choice dinner hosted by NARAL ProChoice Oregon and saw that she was joining Oregon's First Lady, Mary Oberst and Treasure Mackley, a young Multnomah County activist (not to discount either of these other speakers, particularly Treasure, who was introduced to me earlier in the evening as a 'star', by Jefferson Smith... frankly , calling her a 'treasure' would have been completely appropriate, but we can dwell on her merits and clearly bright future some other time...), representing a 'before, during, and after' Roe v Wade set of perspectives, I was pleased I was going to have another encounter with this writer who's words seemed to find their way to my attention at random intervals throughout my life.

Little did I know these words weren't simply going to find their way into my mind and stick. These words were going to sear themselves into my heart. Intensely personal stories are compelling even when not told by a person with quietly powerful presence or a gift for wordsmithing. In Le Guin, we are given all three. And the story resonated in the room, pulling tears, draining breath from lungs - not in gasps or from stunning blows, but from a gently pressing weight of emotion that emanated in a subtle surge from this woman whose physical stature completely belies the magnitude of her soul.

I am quite certain I do not do the experience justice.

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Sunday, January 25, 2004

Campaign School, Dinners, and Basements, Oh My 

I am back from an EXCELLENT weekend. I went to a campaign school sponsored by the Oregon Women's Caucus. In between the Saturday and Sunday sessions, I also attended the Pro-Choice Oregon Annual Dinner (I will post a seperate entry just dedicated the Ursula le Guin speech and leave at a quiet "wow" for now). And for Friday and Saturday evening, "home" was the guest room at Representative Jeff Merkley's. He was very gracious, with two late evening kitchen table conversations, and many valuable introductions at the dinner event, not to mention an adorable 5 year old daughter who decided I was not allowed to leave. (I clearly snuck out, since I am writing from my home in Medford)

The campaign school was great - with good information, contacts, and an encouraging crop of youthful, progressive candidates and staffers.

I am feeling optimistic today :)

This post contains 'revised and extended' remarks :)

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Thursday, January 15, 2004

State of the Union Scorecard 

For the upcoming State of the Union, the folks at tompaine.com prepared a little scorecard for us to use as we watch :)

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Open Thread - Oregon Issues 

Of course, the big item is the looming special election for Measure 30, to support or reject the compromise revenue plan that came from our record setting 2003 legislative session.

As an educator, advocate for youth issues, and generally concerned Oregonian, I believe we HAVE to support Measure 30, to provide temporary life support for the state's budget. I also believe (and you can find it elsewhere on this site) that we need to completely revisit the overall tax structure of the state. But that is far from the only item we can talk about.

Sound off in the comments!

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Saturday, January 10, 2004

County Platform Convention 

The Convention convened today at JJ North's - it did NOT conclude (all but one plank adopted, but time only allowed for one legislative agenda to come before the Convention)

Information is available at the JCDCC Blog. The pending Legislative Agenda items are posted there for discussion. I sat on the sub committee discussing Election Law.

The second session will be announced soon and is open to all Jackson County registered Democrats. At that point, all Legislative Agenda except Education (already approved) will be considered, as well considering the addition of a new plank addressing Fiscal policy, both domestic and international.

IF you are county Dem, go over and please comment. And when the next session is scheduled, please plan on attending!

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Friday, January 09, 2004

Just some news and info 

Jackson Co Dems Platform convention is Saturday 9:15am at JJ North's on Riverside in Medford (JCDCC link is on the right)

The citizen group working on the DEQ plan has a site up.

More Measure 30 stuff after the convention tomorrow!

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Monday, January 05, 2004

Mars - not a local topic 

but darned cool...

As the son of a geologist, I've always had a thing for 'earth' sciences, and arguably, a mission to Mars qualifies :) though given the root words, areology might be the correct term (thanks to Kim Stanley Robinson for my access to that word).

So if local politics aren't your thing. Or if you want a cool change of pace. Peruse the NASA site for all the latest pictures and animations. And keep an eye on NOVA on PBS (Tues at 8pm on KSYS).

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Open Thread - January 

Well, it'e the New Year - the national political situation is coming onto the radar for more and more people, and things are slowly building.

The Measure 30 debate continues on OregonLive's Girls' soccer forum (see earlier post). I've had some email asking about public transit - I'd invite interested people to comment. RVTD has had a rough time of late and seems to be a noble effort in need of some help, and the Rogue Basin could benefit from a solid transit provider - will we use it? Chime in on anything you wish. I promise, I'll write back :) Note - the Comment tool asks for a bunch of info - you don't need to actually provide ANY - it can be completely anonymous.

Have fun!

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