Friday, January 11, 2013

Compensation on Display

After my little post yesterday about Gun Appreciation Day, Juanita Jean went ballistic, so to speak, taking the gun nuts to task and renaming their celebration "I Have A Small Winkie Day".

While she was pondering the size of these crazy guys' privates, more evidence of her theory was being recorded in Oregon. A pair of 22 year olds, one from Medford so familiar to police that top officials know him by name and the other from Gresham. They took a few strolls- through downtown Gresham and Southeast Portland- with assault style rifles slung over their backs- an AR-15 and a similar long gun, plus a handgun on one guy's belt. The men marched up and down Powell Boulevard, passing West Gresham Grade School, the post office and other stores several times.

Why? The young man from Gresham was happy to oblige interviewers and get his 15 minutes of fame. The guy who declined to comment says it all on his FB page: He was home schooled (not very well, if you count all the spelling errors) and is "a full flesh libertarian and a gun right extremest. We the people should control our government and bring us back to when we had and own our Life, Liberty and Property."

Their intent was "to educate the public and open their eyes to something they could come up and talk about." And you know, open lines of communication with the cops so they don't over react to someone with a gun. And they video their adventures in education to post on youtube. Just to help educate us.

Yeah, right. I'm gonna walk right up to two young guys with semi automatic assault weapons on their backs and ask if I can touch one. I can just hear what Juanita Jean would say...

Well, it worked out really well, for the demonstrators of their Second Amendment Rights anyway. No one was hurt. No charges were filed because they were not doing anything illegal. Both have concealed hand gun licenses. They were simply making a political statement.

For the general public, and the police department, not so well. Their strolls prompted 10 calls to 9-1-1, scared the you know what out of customers (including mothers with young children) in a coffee shop, sent a shop owner and employees into hiding after locking the front door, and sent a day care center into lock down. No harm done.

These boys have a life threatening case of Stupid. Just because something is technically legal doesn't mean you should be doing it.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Timing is Everything

In honor of President Obama's Inauguration and MLK Day, our County Democrats are holding an Inauguration Breakfast in the hallowed hall of our campaign HQ, which is conveniently attached to Katina's Cafe (where I gained my 5 Pounds for Obama, and a heavy caffeine habit over the course of the six weeks we were there). The President has called for a Day of Service on Saturday, Jan. 19th. We're working on something appropriate, but may move our efforts to post breakfast on Monday, while we have people gathered in one place.

Why, oh why, am I NOT surprised that the Pro Gun Nuts have decided to piggy back on January 19th with their very own Gun Appreciation Day ? Lock and Load at

On 01.19.13 go to your local gun store, gun range or gun show with your Constitution, American flags, and 'Hands Off My Guns' sign to send a loud and clear message to Congress and President Obama.
I am beyond repulsed. If you are, too, then please join President Obama's call for a National Day of Service. Maybe, cue Steppenwolf, these insane people will go to their gun ranges, fire all of their guns at once, and..explode into space.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Just a Big Mistake. Really.

I have never been a fan of Ticketmaster. I hate all the big 'transaction fees' and the snafus trying to buy tickets online. Why they need such a big transaction fee even when you are doing electronic tickets is beyond me. What a racket. Then they sell out almost immediately, but you can instantly find tickets at higher prices on the secondary sites. I hate that.

So when I read about this today, it made me really glad I wasn't joining many of my fellow National Delegates for the trip to DC for the Inauguration. Many of them were trying to get tickets to the Inaugural Ball. There are only two official ones this year, and one is the Military Ball, for servicemen and women. Several succeeded, while others sat forever online while their computers whirred hopelessly. If you thought, after a totally unreasonable amount of time, that your computer was locked up, and tried again, you'd lose your place in the virtual cue.

Some of the faithful were not happy that, after a year of time and effort working to reelect the President, after daily onslaughts of emails with updates, planning, and never ending requests for money, that they would have gotten the inside track on when tickets would go on sale. I suppose they should look at it as a very democratic process...with no inside track. Sadly, the people with the inside track were email subscribers to Ticketmaster.

I had no plans to fly to DC in January. I have been to DC in winter. My sister and brother in law flew out from PDX last time to attend the inauguration in the freezing cold, wrapped up in their most heavy duty winterwear. I prefer my winter outdoor exposure to include calorie burning exercise that allows me to wear thin layers of clothing even when the temps are in the 20s. And friends of mine know, I'm not much of a 'Ball' girl, unless it's the MLB kind of ball. Which reminds me of a story.

When we lived in Lagos (91-97), the big deal of the year was attending the Marine Ball. It was like prom. Everyone would get dressed to the nines and go to cocktail parties at each others' houses before heading in town for the big event. We were part of the Marine Ball Not gang. We'd have a big dinner party at one of our homes, and play board games until the wee hours. We didn't dress up. We didn't dance. We did eat, drink and listen to music. And play nerdy board games like Risk. Or my favorite, Songburst 50s and 60s edition, where teams had to correctly finish singing a phrase from a tune, given the year, the band, and the first few words. I still have it, by the may be time to dust it off for a game night.

In 1995, I had to rethink our plan. Our Marine Ball Not Party was almost a disaster. My soon to be fired cook... who I hadn't wanted in the first place because I like to cook myself, but felt pressure to give him a job...had been told to make some aloo tiki (Indian potato fritters) with chutney dip as one of my appetizer contributions. I went next door to the Marine Ball party for a bit, took some pictures for them, had a few drinks, and came home to find no cook, and no appetizers. I looked in the oven, thinking maybe he had put them in there to keep warm. I could SMELL them, but I couldn't find them. Finally I looked in the trash can. There they were. They had exploded upon frying- he dumped them and ran. And never completed the other appetizers. Fortunately, the cocktail party next door had to leave with plenty of food uneaten. I collected their leftovers and our party was saved.

And so we were beholden to the Maurers, who told us that we WOULD be going to the ball in 1996 because it was the 75th anniversary of the Marine Ball. They would buy tickets for us if we didn't, so get prepared. I took them seriously, and gave the local tailor one of Lloyd's suits for size, and he made a tuxedo for him (for a whopping $50 or $60- Lloyd still has it). And I bought some nice fabric and a pattern while I was on home leave, to make a fabulous dress. It was OK. The cocktail party was great, I drank enough to dance a few times, the ceremony was awesome, and it was fun talking to some of the young Marines at our table, so far from home. We were transferred back to the States before the next one, so I was glad I went. Once.

The cook? Well, the holidays were approaching. I gave Victor his food basket, some severance pay, and sent him on his way. I took back my kitchen with Gladys, the housekeeper/nanny who could cook better anyway. And we all stopped gaining weight without Victor's killer croissants and breads.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Will They Get Continuing Ed Credit?

Freshman legislator Liz Pike from Camas, WA (do I need to bother putting in the R?) is planning to file a bill to change state law and allow teachers to carry concealed weapons in the classroom.

In her bid to get lots of attention at the front of this issue, before she even takes office, she is proposing that teachers would (in their spare time?) undergo mental health screening and gun training at their own expense before they can carry their weapon on a belt or in a holster. Won't that make all the kids and parents feel safe??? And it won't cost the district a dime!

Don't worry, every school district would get to decide whether teachers can carry. Permits would be confidential- only law enforcement and the superintendent would know who's packing. I guess the principal, coworkers and parents don't need that info.

No doubt there will be plenty of dialogue to (hopefully) shoot down this trial balloon.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Resolutions 2013

1. Do NOT ignore Far From The Pahk.
2. Keep stirrin' it. There's a ton of stuff to work on.

That is all.

Memory Booster for Harry

What on earth are they drinking/smoking/breathing out there in DC? Really.

“If there were ever a time when Tom Udall and Jeff Merkley were prophetic, it’s tonight,” Reid said on the floor. “These two young, fine senators said it was time to change the rules of the Senate, and we didn’t. They were right. The rest of us were wrong—or most of us, anyway. What a shame.”

That was 8 months ago. Nothing has changed. If anything, the reform is needed now more than ever.

Dear Harry,
Need I remind you that you got dissed by Mitch, who preferred to work with Joe Biden? Now you want to give him time to come to consensus with you? Grow a pair, Harry, or be gone.

Stay on his case, Jeff Merkley. Sit outside his damn door, and don't let him leave the office until he takes care of this.

Markey Malarky

With the likelihood of John Kerry being nominated and confirmed as Secretary of State, Scott Brown is getting himself all in a tither for a second run at Senate. Is he coming out strong on jobs? Education? The economy? Why citizens of Massachusetts should send him back to DC?

Nope. He is SO tempted to run, because one possible candidate, Rep. Ed Markey, isn't REALLY a resident of the Commonwealth. Markey has represented his district since 1976, when Brown was still in high school. Rep. Markey owns a residence in Chevy Chase, MD as well as the family home in Malden, MA. And (gasp) his wife was a doctor at the NIH.

I'm guessing when your career means working in DC while representing your home state, that long commute thing gets a little old. Frankly, things worked better when Congressfolk and Senators had second residences where they worked...they spent more time with each other outside of the halls of Congress, a bygone era Ted Kennedy said he missed (in his memoir, True Compass).

Mr. Brown needs to check his hypocrisy meter as well. The man also owns a place in DC, is a member of the MD National Guard, and has a wife who is a part time reported there.

Markey is the senior member of the Massachusetts delegation. But Scott Brown has never seen him on his airplane rides back and forth, which equals evidence that he is NOT a resident.
“You’ve got to check the travel records. I’ve come back and forth (from Washington to Boston) every weekend, almost, for three years, and I see, you know, most of the delegation, and I have never seen Ed on the airplane - ever,” Brown added.
 Hey, Scott Brown. I made two trips to Boston last year. One from PDX in June, the other from Charlotte, NC, the Friday morning after the convention. Three guesses who I stood in line with on the jetway waiting to board my USAir nonstop?

If former Sen. Brown keeps going down this path, he'll end up a two time loser and his political career will be a footnote in the history books.