Ted Taylor has been the editor at Eugene Weekly since 1998.
Tea Party folks in Oregon are blaming liberal infiltrators for racist signs that have been appearing at their rallies, even though the ultra-conservative activists have long fought immigration reform, have hardly any people of color in their ranks, and the majority of them appear to believe President Obama is a Muslim who has lied about where he was born. Racist caricatures of Obama have appeared at Tea Party rallies since the early days of the movement.
In an email to supporters this week, Oregon Tea Party Chair John Kuzmanich asked attendees at rallies “to keep an eye out for Jason Levin, a former Beaverton Middle School teacher and creator of the ‘Crash the Tea Party’ movement. Mr. Levin has encouraged his followers to ‘infiltrate’ Tea Party events across the country while carrying racist signs and acting in a manner contrary to the Tea Party's message.
“Since last year’s incident with Jason Levin and his supporters, the fiscal conservative movement has stepped up its zero tolerance policy against expressions of racism,” he said. "If we see any racist or pro-violence message on a sign, we'll know Jason Levin and his supporters are back. We will politely insist that they leave."
Oregon's Tea Party will hold a rally at 5:30 pm Friday, April 15, in Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland. The event will begin with live music and continue with speakers from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Cosponsors include Multnomah County Republican Party, Americans For Prosperity, Oregon 912 Project and Freedomworks.
Here in Lane County, the local Tea Party’s 912 Lane Group is also planning a “Tax Day Rally to Promote Patriotism, Fiscal Responsibility, Limited Government, and Freedom!” from 5 to 7 pm Friday, April 15, at the old federal building at 7th and Pearl. Art Robinson, who is expected to run again against Congressman Pete DeFazio in 2012, will be among the featured speakers. Boy Scouts will sell hot dogs. Tea Partiers will sell Tea shirts. Email email@example.com for more information.
Lane County Health Care For All-Oregon, Eugene-Springfield Solidarity Network and SEIU are involved in a “Rally for Main Street Not Wall Street Priorities” planned for noon Friday, March 18, near US Bank at 8th and Willamette in Eugene. Other rallies are being planned in Salem and around the state at US Bank branches (see “Union Power” story in EW this week).
“Facing major take-backs at the bargaining table to help balance the $3.5 billion budget deficit, state workers need to make sure the governor and Legislature examine all state contracts and not just workers' wages and benefits,” say organizers.
“To accomplish this we are spotlighting some of the most abusive private contracts the state has signed including some agreements with the banks that caused the recession and loss of revenues in the first place. One contract is with US Bank, which administers unemployment and child support payments on a debit card called the Reliacard. Workers on unemployment get a check each week but US Bank only allows card holders to withdraw money twice before they are charged a penalty. If a card holder comes off unemployment and leaves some money in the account they are charged another fee by US Bank. The same charges are levied against parents who receive child support with the Reliacard.”
Organizers say US Bank will be renegotiating the contract with the state this year and “we know they can do better for unemployed workers and parents.”
The Democratic Party of Lane County is organizing a demonstration and march from 4:45 to 7:30 pm Friday, March 11, starting at Hilton Convention Center steps, then marching down Oak Street to the Free Speech Plaza at 8th and Oak, and then continuing to the state offices at 165 E 7th. The march is in support of collective bargainers. AFSCME and SEIU are currently in collective bargaining with the state. See http://dplc.org for more information.
Former Eugene Symphony conductor Giancarlo Guerrero has been appointed principal guest conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra Miami Residency. Guerrero’s appointment is for three years, beginning in 2011-12, the residency’s sixth season, through the 2013-14 season. He travels worldwide as a guest conductor and is known as an enthusiastic advocate of new music and contemporary composers.
Guerrero was born in Nicaragua and raised in Costa Rica, received a bachelor’s degree in percussion from Baylor University and a master’s degree in conducting from Northwestern University. He was music director of the Eugene Symphony (2003-09) and served as associate conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra (1999-2004).
Musical Arts Association of Miami Chairman Daniel R. Lewis made the announcement March 2 in Miami. “We are thrilled that Giancarlo is joining the residency family,” said Lewis in a press release. “His appointment as our principal guest conductor creates a framework to expand our reach and impact in the community. Together with Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, this provides Miami-Dade with an unbeatable artistic team.”
Cleveland Orchestra Executive Director Gary Hanson said, “Giancarlo Guerrero is a visionary artistic leader who shares our passion for music and music education. His commitment to the orchestra and to the residency will help us achieve our goals of artistic excellence and meaningful community engagement.”
The letter below was sent to me Feb. 18 and I decided not to print it. I questioned the science behind the author’s allegations (not wanting to pass along bad information gleaned from the internet), and he responded in turn, and got a bit personal. It appears I have lost my testicles. Is he right? Feel free to weigh in. — Ted
To all concerned citizens:
I am writing in regard to the Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering program that is poisoning humans, animals, and agriculture in all 50 states of the Union. This is a crime against humanity and the environment. This is no secret anymore. By now they have virtually turned what used to be our atmosphere into a heaving, toxic, ionized plasma. They have been spraying neurotoxins on us every single day in Eugene for many years. I have personally become sick from the astronomical amounts of aluminum oxide, barium, strontium, and other heavy metals that drift to the ground into our lungs, soil, food, and water from the aerosol spraying.
I would actually prefer to die from the planet overheating, than to die because my secret government is spraying neurotoxins on its citizens like they were cockroaches and denying it. I strongly urge our representatives to sponsor legislation that demands a statement from our government as to this horrific, nightmarish holocaust they are waging and that puts an immediate stop to these crimes against humanity.
Please let us all have the courage not to deny this is happening. It is not a secret anymore. The patents are all there for anyone to see, as well as the bizarre “cloud” shapes and stringy streaks of toxic chemicals from horizon to horizon on a daily basis. All anyone has to do is look up and it is quite obvious our atmosphere has been completely chemically altered by this spraying. It is now evident that the fallout from this spraying is extremely toxic and eventually lethal to all living things, including the entire food chain and the families of political representatives. This is causing massive die-offs of trees, wildlife, agriculture, and destroying the food chain we all depend upon for survival.
I would like a prompt reply as to where our representatives stand on this horrifying abuse of power, the media blackout surrounding this issue, and the denial and silence of all parties involved, marginalizing this issue and keeping it firmly in the “conspiracy theory” category. It is clearly no longer a theory. The time has come for our representatives to muster the courage to speak the truth. We demand a public government statement on this issue now, full transparency on all current geoengineering programs, and swift and decisive action from our representatives to halt this holocaust immediately.
Obviously, if our representatives do not have the courage to even respond to this issue without denial, neither I, nor anyone I know can continue in good conscience to vote to keep them in office. Please contact your representatives regarding this critical issue.
Editor Ted Taylor responded:
This theory has been around for decades and has been discounted by just about everybody with any scientific credentials. Do you have some expertise in atmospheric science that would give this some credibility?
Peter Johnston responded:
“All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer
“This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.”
— T. S. Eliot
Yes, Ted, I do happen to have expertise in atmospheric science and know more about this subject than probably anyone you will ever meet. I also have confirmation of the global spraying program from the chief meteorologist of one of our local TV news stations, and from the top environmental attorney in the country of India, who I met on a lecture tour he was doing in the U.S. on climate change a few months ago. But the burden of proof is not incumbent upon me. The time for that is long past. Those who can handle the truth already know. Those who can't, don't want to know. Your job, however, is to print what is important to your community.
Most people see the trails and the low-level "cirrus clouds" (not possible), they just don't know what these strange skies are. They are so unusual and disturbing that people are afraid to ask for fear they might have to confront the horror of it. It has also very effectively been blacked out from the media, been marginalized to the realm of conspiracy theory, and hence a silent taboo has been established at the mere mention of the phenomenon. These facts alone call for a public inquiry by anyone with a conscience. I don't know what you are afraid of in denying the reality of this.
I simply wrote a letter to your paper to try to educate the public and possibly save some human lives, including yours. Too bad I had to go through you to do it. If literally millions of photographs, many patents and government documents, scientific analyses of the toxins that saturate our air, water, soil, and food from the aerosol spraying program, much less the eyewitness testimony of hundreds of thousands of honest, awake, courageous people around the world, all available freely and easily online, is not enough to convince someone, then nothing will. I feel sorry for you that you do not even trust your own two eyes, dubious intellect, and questionable analytical skills. Do you ask for documentation from everyone who writes a letter to the editor trying to express an opinion?
This is your one and only life, Ted. This is not a drill. You have the opportunity to educate our community about deadly toxins being sprayed almost daily on us like cockroaches. You and your loved ones are breathing in tiny particles of aluminum and barium into your lungs every day you take a step outside and take a breath. Aluminum lodges in the brain (ask any honest doctor who has the balls to tell the truth) and has caused the skyrocketing rate of Alzheimer's in our parents (and will us) and autism in our children. You had a chance to make a difference. You blew it. Your arrogance belies the intensity of your fear to even consider this could be true.
Perhaps it is best you just forget you ever heard from me. Go back to sleep and pretend everything outside your door is just peachy. Too bad you have no balls. You could have potentially saved some lives.
With much love and sadness,
Sunday, Feb. 13, is the 10th anniversary of the Worst Day of the Year Ride in Portland. When this ride first began, 250 hard-core bikers showed up ready for the predicted chilly downpour. But it didn't rain.
“Every year since that first year, the ride has grown and the weather has held out,” say organizers. “Just in case the weather does sour, you'll be kept warm and cozy along the way with hot drinks and tasty treats at each of the three rest stops on course. The finish line is at the Lucky Lab brew pub and Laughing Planet Café is serving up a feast of scratch-made soups.”
Participants can choose either the 18-mile urban route or an extended 45-mile challenge course that traverses the west hills to Hillsboro and back into Portland via a journey through St Johns. The Worst Day of the Year Ride is limited to 4,000 riders. Sign up early to ensure you don't miss out on this whimsical ride. Costumes and decorations encouraged. Register at http://wkly.ws/110
The Oregon Legislature is back in session this week and one bill that’s getting attention, but seems unlikely to pass, would dismantle many state agencies and merge them into an umbrella organization called the Oregon Department of Natural Resources.
Senate Bill 521 was introduced by Sen. Bruce Starr Jan. 10 and referred to committees for study Jan. 14. No further meetings have been scheduled. Starr is a Republican from Hillsboro.
Starr’s 1,100-page bill would abolish the Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Fish and Wildlife Commission, State Parks and Recreation, Department of State Lands, Department of Land Conservation and Development, State Board of Forestry, Land Use Board of Appeals, Water Resources Department, and numerous other boards and commissions.
Would the new agency reduce accountability and cut funding for important environmental controls, giving more power to the resource extraction industries? Some comments can be found at http://oregonflyfishingblog.com