‘Not all bad’
I doubt I’m the only one who anticipated the impeachment trial to be a real emotional downer for any political centrists. Sure, those with views clearly aligned with one side or the other would have repeated adrenaline rushes, but nothing much for those of us in the middle.
But I was wrong. The process, including coverage by a free press, has provided a refresher regarding the United States form of government. I’m being reminded that nobody is above the law. At the same time, I’m being reminded that impeachment is a political process — an important one, but one that can be abused. And I’m challenged to weigh reasonable and opposing points of view, even if some of the emotional content is a bit over the top, every time I tune into any form of news media.
That’s not all bad.
Sometimes it takes a crisis to realize what a great community you live in. I don’t need a crisis myself to know this. But we did have a small crisis at the Hood River Warming Shelter when the water was not drinkable and the restaurants in town had to close down for two days this week. We very gratefully rely on the generosity of many of our local restaurants to feed the hungry at our shelter. It was suggested that we contact a restaurant in White Salmon for help and without hesitation, everybody came through with an ample and delicious meal enjoyed by all. I wanted to express my personal gratitude for that quick response to our needs but then realized that I also want to acknowledge all of the restaurants who supply us through the shelter season and hope that the community will show their appreciation by eating in these establishments and letting them know why they are choosing to spend their time there. It is no small thing to produce a healthy and tasty meal for 25-30 people and our guests, volunteers and staff love the food we eat there every night we operate.
The list of restaurants includes Riverside, Farmstand, Full Sail, Basik, Hood River Taqueria, Bodas, Ferment, Kickstand, Mesquitery, Celilo, Double Mountain, 6th Street Bistro, Pelinitis, Pfriem, Solstice and Andrew’s Pizza. Thank you, thank you, thank you! And a special thanks to Mark Deresta at Riverside who has coordinated our food for years now.
Why did Mike Pence agree to be vice president? Trump is an unlikely person for an Evangelical to support. Trump mocks, he insults, bullies, he’s vindictive, vengeful and his lifestyle is antithetical to Christianity. He trumpets so-called ‘religious freedom’. Perhaps Evangelical support for Trump is merely transactional?
Donald Trump has been impeached! For a perfect call? Read the transcript. Here’s the impeachable from the transcript, President Zelensky of Ukraine says, “We are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes,”: Trump cuts in, saying, “I would like you to do us a favor though...” and “I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike...” and “there’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution ...” (1). “Crowdstrike” is code for a Russian propagated conspiracy that Ukraine hacked the 2016 election, not Russia. I bet Trump got this propaganda from Putin in Helsinki. And of course, Biden is Trump’s chief rival in the 2020 election.
So, Zelensky asks about weapons and Trump responds, asking for investigations of “Crowdstike” and the Bidens. Both of these self-dealing “favors” were to benefit Trump’s re-election, not the U.S. interest. And by withholding the $396M to coerce Ukraine into doing these investigations, it should be considered extortion. There is a volcano of evidence to support these facts. And come judgment day there will be a special corner of hell for those who obfuscate, dissemble and lie to justify Trump “asking for favors though.”
Now, it’s common when giving aid to ask a foreign government to do things that benefit the U.S. national interest but it is a high crime for Trump to extort a foreign leader to investigate his chief political rival to cheat in a U.S. election based on Russian propaganda. Trump should be removed from office and then Mike Pence would be president. Evangelicals shall rejoice!
‘Expecting best efforts’
The upcoming session is only for a month, and there’s a great deal to be done, including negotiating proposed legislation for things like funding for police and wildfire protection. I absolutely expect every one of our senators, including my senator Chuck Thomsen, to spend that entire month in Salem, working with their colleagues and making their best efforts to do the job for which they were elected.
Last year, several senators left the state during the legislative session to prevent a vote on a climate change proposal, a subject near and dear to many Oregon residents. This subject is once again on the table to be discussed, and it is being insinuated that another walkout is possible, though a newly elected House Republican Leader Christine Drazan stated (according to an OPB article published on Jan. 17) that a walkout would be a “breakdown of the process”... though she didn’t rule it out.
That ... just won’t do.
Think tank solution
12-year-old Hood River writer Anderson Brunner’s letter, “Crosswalk worries,” may require a “Think Tank” solution. Since the offending object (a car) functions on four wheels, with a fifth wheel that may have a nut behind it, demands personal responsibility. Our best means of public awareness information with the greatest impact, the “next door” Hood River News, is missing. Gee whiz, I’m assuming that there was an ambulance, police cars and cell phone cameras in abundance, and no photo images? WOW!
Now back to “brainstorming” for “Think Tank” solutions: remembering that you can only control you, but not that nut!
Place education warning signs at the curb:
When walking in front of a stopped car, stop and look, wait and walk … to the sidewalk.
These are my thoughts for starters. Now it’s your turn to think!
I’ve been saddened by the news of Kobe Bryant’s death this week and just wanted to state how grateful I am that he was able to inspire so many people world wide for as many years as he did.
It is a helpful reminder to do things that we love with our short time on Earth and to share with those we care about how much they mean to us while we are alive.