Saturday, August 30, 2014
The Oregonian, this State’s leading Newspaper, Supports Legalized Recreational Marijuana (Bad Idea – Part 4)
Moving along on my critique of The Oregonian’s published endorsement in support of Measure 91, legalized recreational marijuana in the State of Oregon, brings me to their 3rd premise:
The Editorial stated: “Opponents of the measure are right about a couple of things. Allowing retail sales of recreational marijuana inevitably will make it easier for kids to get their hands on the stuff, as will Measure 91’s provision allowing Oregonians to grow their own. It’s also true that outright legalization will increase the number of people driving under the influence, which is particularly problematic given the absence of a simple and reliable test for intoxication. There is no bong Breathalyzer.”
True’s Comment: In a sort of roundabout, unintentional way, the Editorial Board has made a good argument against Measure 91. It is about the “kids.” It really is. It’s about our children and our grandchildren. Most of us don’t much give a damn about what adults inhale or drink or inject in their veins. Except that when those adults get in trouble, the taxpayers always have to foot the bill.
Of course, we nonsmokers, non-inhalers, and non-injectors will have to be especially cautious when we drive. Make sure you buckle-up. And, the moderns who bought small cars to conserve fuel may want to reconsider the possibility of being hit head-on by a driver, under the influence of yet another legal intoxicant, in his 4X4 truck.
But, the part of this argument by the Oregonian that really got me was the last sentence. “There is no bong Breathalyzer.” Bong? Was that supposed to be funny, a joke? Or was that the Editorial Board’s attempt to show they know the ‘street’ terminology? I didn't think it was funny. I thought it was stupid.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
The Oregonian, this State’s leading Newspaper, Supports Legalized Recreational Marijuana (Bad Idea – Part 3)
I was glancing through today’s Oregonian (Portland’s major newspaper) and the Editorial Board has issued another ‘pick for the November 2014 election.’ This particular editorial, however, covers a subject matter that pertains to Lake Oswego voters and an issue which I know little or nothing about.
But, and I’ll be darned, the Editorial Board has decided to start identifying themselves. I wonder if they read my previous blog post. And, who are these esteemed and very knowledgeable individuals?
They are N. Christian Anderson III, Mark Hester, Len Reed and Erik Lukens. Well, I googled them. Interesting. Nonetheless, what I found does not explain why their editorial on Legalized Recreational Marijuana appears to have been written by an eighteen-year-old, first year journalism student. Could there be a young, ambitious ghost writer involved?
Before I continue with my critique of their support for the legalization of marijuana, I want to introduce you to the Editorial Board:
N. Christian Anderson III: He is Chris Anderson, the Oregonian’s publisher. His entire career has been in the newspaper business. Before coming to the Oregonian, he was a consultant for media companies and, prior to that, the publisher and CEO of the Orange County Register. Reportedly, he was raised in Heppner, Oregon where he delivered the Oregonian newspaper as a boy? OK, sounds like a nice guy, but probably too busy to read and approve, much less research and write, the editorial on legalized marijuana. Although, of course, he may have offered his off-the-cuff personal opinion; which would have held considerable sway with his subordinates.
Mark Hester: Mark is an Associate Editor for the Oregonian – started with the Oregonian in 1996, Business Editor until 2005 when he became the Sports Editor. Entire career in journalism. Grew up in the South, BA from Mississippi College and an MBA from University of Texas. Previously, he worked for the Spokesman-Review in Spokane.
Len Reed: Len is an Associate Editor – joined the Editorial Board in 2010. He writes on the environment, energy, education, science and culture subjects. He was formerly with the Los Angeles Times. He is a graduate of Trinity College in Connecticut, and is a former John S. Knight Fellow at Stamford (I’m not sure what that is, but sounds impressive).
Erik Lukens: Erik is The Oregonian’s editorial and commentary editor. Does that mean he actually writes the editorials? Anyway, he worked at the Bulletin in Bend from 1998 to 2012. Prior to that, he worked at the Trentonian in Trenton, NJ. “He and his wife have three boys and a dog.”
Well, so now we know. These are the gentlemen who advise you on how to vote on the question of legalized recreational marijuana. Are you OK with that?
That said, in addition to my previous stated background, I, too, have a dog. And, Watson happens to agree with me about the marijuana issue.
To be continued… but not tomorrow. Tomorrow is a special day for me.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
The Oregonian, this State’s leading Newspaper, Supports Legalized Recreational Marijuana (Bad Idea – Part 2)
I would like to address each of The Oregonian’s (Portland’s major newspaper) comments in support of the legalization of recreational marijuana (Measure 91); and I will.
But first, you must understand that the majority of voters in the Portland Metro area will vote for legalization. Why? It’s their nature. What more can I say? The Oregonian’s Editorial Board simply reinforced that public inclination. Portland residents, many of them, not all, take pride in their community’s outlier status. You even see bumper stickers like: KEEP PORTLAND WEIRD. OK, that’s kind of cute and harmless I suppose, but it makes it difficult to enter into a serious discussion with these folks. Which may explain The Oregonian’s superficial discussion of Measure 91. Furthermore, many in Oregon, tend to take their lead from California and Washington. It’s kind of an inter-state inferiority complex. We don’t want to be considered backward.
Well, let’s get started and discuss The Oregonian Editorial Board’s principal points for the legalization of recreational marijuana:
The Oregonian Editorial Board: “Oregon has had a wink-wink, nudge-nudge relationship with recreational marijuana use since 1998, when legalization for medical purposes created a wide-open system that distributes pot cards to just about anyone with a vague medical claim and the signature of a compliant physician.”
The Oregonian Editorial Board: “But let’s be honest: recreational marijuana is all but legal in Oregon now and has been for years. Measure 91, deserves Oregonians’ support, would eliminate the charade and give adults’ freer access to an intoxicant that should not have been prohibited in the first place.”
True’s Comment: If you read the above two, very weak statements by the ‘Editorial Board,’ they seem to be saying that the previous laws, particularly those involving medical marijuana, were poorly enforced anyway so let’s just shortcut the whole system and legalize the drug. I suppose we could use that argument for many of our poorly enforced laws. What about driving under the influence? Fraud in our various social welfare programs? Prostitution? Gun violations? Probation Violation? Car theft? Burglary? Some of you who don’t live in Portland are now saying, ‘hold it, just a minute.’ ‘Our Sheriff, our police department investigates and prosecutes car theft and burglary.’ My response is, ‘Why not try living in Portland for a while and see what response you get from the PD when your car is stolen?’ Their response is generally: ‘You might try contacting your insurance agent.’
But, let’s stay with the illicit drugs that are particularly attractive and harmful to young people like marijuana. For example: anabolic steroids, cocaine, inhalants, ecstasy, purple drank, bath salts, salvia, spice, various prescription drugs (OxyContin, Vicodin). More intoxicants and harmful chemicals, for ingestion by our youth, are being discovered and developed every day. And, let’s get one thing absolutely straight regarding the marijuana issue; marijuana is addictive and it does do permanent damage to the brain – primarily in young people. If you have a moment and really care about our youth, please visit the following website and educate yourself:
This may not matter for many members of this State, but marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Even if you don’t actually use it, sending it through the mail is a federal offense. The bottom line here is that this is no way to make law. How is the typical citizen supposed to understand or respect the law when our governing bodies can’t agree? More importantly, The Oregonian’s position is irresponsible in recommending such a conflicting law.
To be continued…
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
I have been thinking. I believe that George Bernard Shaw would approve – if he was still alive. He was once quoted as saying: “Few people think more than two or three times a year; and I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.”
OK, what have I been thinking about? Well, today, and yesterday, I’ve been thinking about marijuana. Legalized marijuana is going to be on the Oregon ballot very soon; and indications are that it will pass quite easily. I’m sorry to hear that because I think it’s a bad idea – a very bad idea. And, I think the public is misinformed about marijuana and the inevitable downside, particularly for children and young adults.
Why should you care what I think? I’m not sure. But, I’d like you to give me a chance to convince you.
The Oregonian, the State’s leading newspaper, on Sunday, gave their opinion. “It’s Time to Legalize Recreational Marijuana.”
Who am I to doubt the combined wisdom of the Oregonian’s Editorial Board? Whoever the Editorial Board is. They don’t seem to identify themselves. You might ask, what is their combined life experience? What makes them experts? Do they have self-serving reasons for their editorial position? Do they now smoke marijuana? Have they in the past? Perhaps more accurately, the economist, Edward Glasser once opined that individuals, like make up the editorial boards, are “entrepreneurs of error.” What does that mean? Principally, he is referring to business leaders who furnish opinions when it will increase their own financial returns. The Oregonian’s Editorial Board is, after all, representing a business that hopes to make a profit. They realize that the majority of their constituents in the Portland Metro area will vote for the legalization of marijuana – so, hell, why not give them what they want?
I must say that the Oregonian’s reasoning, in defense of their opinion on marijuana, was a little weak. However, it did cause me to think about it. What was their reasoning?
1) “Oregon has had a wink-wink, nudge-nudge relationship with recreational marijuana use since 1998, when legalization for medical purposes created a wide-open system that distributes pot cards to just about anyone with a vague medical claim and the signature of a compliant physician.”
2) “But let’s be honest: recreational marijuana is all but legal in Oregon now and has been for years. Measure 91, deserves Oregonians’ support, would eliminate the charade and give adults’ freer access to an intoxicant that should not have been prohibited in the first place.”
3) “Opponents of the measure are right about a couple of things. Allowing retail sales of recreational marijuana inevitably will make it easier for kids to get their hands on the stuff, as will Measure 91’s provision allowing Oregonians to grow their own. It’s also true that outright legalization will increase the number of people driving under the influence, which is particularly problematic given the absence of a simple and reliable test for intoxication. There is no bong Breathalyzer.”
4) “The potential increase in intoxicated driving is, again, a reason for concern, and the measure directs the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to recommend appropriate changes to the vehicle code by 2017.”
5) “A completely legal high is only a short drive away for anyone in the Portland Metro area.”
6) “The Measure appropriately leaves the task of regulating the new industry to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which knows a thing or two about the distribution and sale of intoxicants. The OLCC would adopt the necessary rules by 2016”
7) “As of July 1, almost 65,000 Oregonians had medical marijuana cards, and many of those 65,000 have friends with whom – just a guess – they share the fruits of the system.”
8) “And then, there’s the big pot shop across the river – aka Washington.”
Now, I’d like to give you some of my thoughts. First, as a matter of full disclosure: I have a modest educational background (a Masters in Public Administration). Sorry, no degree in journalism or any Ivy League background. I’ve worked in local and Federal law enforcement. And, I’ve worked in the corporate sector for many years as a Security Manager. A considerable part of that corporate security work involved illegal drugs in the workplace environment.
PS: I’ve never smoked marijuana or used any other illegal drug. And, I have no financial interest in whether or not Measure 91 should pass.
To be continued…
Friday, August 22, 2014
To my readers,
I don’t often do this; but I’d like you to read the following ‘open letter.’ As yet, we don’t know the exact circumstances involving the shooting death of Michael Brown. We should withhold final judgment. However, after all the nonsense circulated in the media, maybe we should hear some plain old commonsense from an experienced police officer. You may not agree with what he has to say; but I do.
An Open Letter to Captain Ronald S. Johnson
From a former St. Louis Metro Area police chief
Chief Ed Delmore | Sunday, August 17, 2014
FEATURED IN LIFELINE TRAINING
"I have to call you out.
I don’t care what the media says. I expect them to get it wrong and they often do. But I expect you as a veteran law enforcement commander—talking about law enforcement—to get it right.
Unfortunately, you blew it. After days of rioting and looting, last Thursday you were given command of all law enforcement operations in Ferguson by Governor Jay Nixon. St. Louis County PD was out, you were in. You played to the cameras, walked with the protestors and promised a kinder, gentler response. You were a media darling. And Thursday night things were better, much better.
But Friday, under significant pressure to do so, the Ferguson Police released the name of the officer involved in the shooting of Michael Brown. At the same time the Ferguson Police Chief released a video showing Brown committing a strong-arm robbery just 10 minutes before he was confronted by Officer Darren Wilson.
Many don’t like the timing of the release of the video. I don’t like that timing either. It should have been released sooner. It should have been released the moment FPD realized that Brown was the suspect.
Captain Johnson, your words during the day on Friday helped to fuel the anger that was still churning just below the surface. St. Louis County Police were told to remain uninvolved and that night the rioting and looting began again. For much too long it went on mostly unchecked. Retired St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch tweeted that your “hug-a-looter” policy had failed.
Boy did it.
And your words contributed to what happened Friday night and on into the wee hours of Saturday. According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, you said the following regarding the release of the video:
There was no need to release it, Johnson said calling the reported theft and the killing entirely different events.
Well Captain, this veteran police officer feels the need to respond. What you said is, in common police vernacular—bullshit. The fact that Brown knew he had just committed a robbery before he was stopped by Officer Wilson speaks to Brown’s mindset. And Captain, the mindset of a person being stopped by a police officer means everything, and you know it.
Let’s consider a few examples:
On February 15, 1978 Pensacola Police Officer David Lee conducted a vehicle check. He didn’t know what the sole occupant of the vehicle had recently done, but the occupant did. Who was he? Serial killer Ted Bundy. Bundy attempted to disarm Lee. Lee was able to retain his firearm and eventually took Bundy into custody.
On April 19, 1995 Oklahoma State Trooper Charlie Hangar stopped a vehicle for minor traffic violations. He didn’t know that 90 minutes earlier the traffic violator, Timothy McVeigh, killed 168 people with a truck bomb at the Murrah Federal Building. But McVeigh sure knew it, didn’t he? Fortunately, given his training and experience Hangar was able to take McVeigh into custody for carrying a concealed firearm. It was days later before it was determined that McVeigh was responsible for the bombing.
On May 31, 2003 then-rookie North Carolina police officer, Jeff Postell, arrested a man digging in a trash bin on a grocery store parking lot—an infraction that would rise to about the level of jaywalking. Postell didn’t know that he had just captured Eric Rudolph, the man whom years earlier had killed and injured numerous people with bombs and was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list.
So now, let’s consider Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson’s stop of Michael Brown. Apparently Wilson didn’t know that Brown had just committed a strong-arm robbery. But Brown did! And that Captain, is huge.
Allegedly, Brown pushed Wilson and attempted to take Wilson’s gun. We’re also being told that Officer Wilson has facial injuries suffered during the attempt by Brown to disarm him. Let’s assume for a moment those alleged acts by Brown actually occurred. Would Brown have responded violently to an officer confronting him about jaywalking? Maybe, but probably not.
Is it more likely that he would attack an officer believing that he was about to be taken into custody for a felony strong-arm robbery? Absolutely.
Officer Wilson survived the encounter with Brown as did Lee, Hangar, and Postell. Michael Brown didn’t survive and it’s too soon to say if Officer Wilson’s use of deadly force was justified and legal. You and I both know that not all officers survive such confrontations. Officers die in incidents like this Captain Johnson, including a couple that I remember from your own organization:
On April 15, 1985 Missouri Trooper Jimmie Linegar was shot and killed by a white supremacist he and his partner stopped at a checkpoint; neither Trooper Linegar nor his partner were aware that the man they had stopped had just been indicted by a federal grand jury for involvement in a neo-Nazi group accused of murder. The suspect immediately exited the vehicle and opened fire on him with an automatic weapon.
Just a month before, Missouri Trooper James M. Froemsdorf was shot and killed—with his own gun—after making a traffic stop. When the Trooper made that stop he didn’t know that the driver was wanted on four warrants out of Texas—But again the suspect knew it.
So Captain Johnson, I guess the mindset and recently committed crimes of the suspects that murdered those Missouri Troopers didn’t mean anything. The stops by the Troopers, as you have said, are entirely different events right?
Some information contained in this article came from the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP).
Monday, August 18, 2014
Re: My post of August 16th, 2014, I received a comment, which is set forth below, that I felt I should address with somewhat more specificity. I’m sure there are many out there who have the same perspective as Anonymous – and are frustrated by the slow progress in this investigation. The anonymous comment was:
“Terri has never been charged with a crime after more than 4 years. Why haven't LE charged her? Could it be because they have no evidence? Just because Desiree thinks Terri did it is no reason this hater crowd stalks this woman. Either charge her if you have something on her or let her go. I hope when all this is over she sues these 4 idiots & takes DD's cousin down as well!” August 18, 2014 at 10:11 AM
I believe the four idiots she/he is referring to are the four women who testified at the hearing regarding the proposed name change. I’m doubtful that their testimony had any particular influence on the Judge’s final decision to deny Terri Horman’s request for a name change. I don’t know, but do not believe that any of the four women held any official capacity or possessed pertinent information other than what has been published in the media. In fact, unsubstantiated vitriol may have actually worked in Terri’s favor.
Regarding DD’s cousin, I’m not sure what Anonymous is referring to; but realize that some of you have followed this case more closely than I have.
Regarding the law enforcement investigation, the apparent lack of progress, and the inability to even characterize someone as an official suspect, it has frustrated all of us. Why is this?
My belief is that the high profile nature of this case, the retaining of prominent, high-powered defense representation, the miscues by investigative organizations early on; and a lackluster, professionally insecure prosecutive staff have paralyzed any progress. At this point, the only thing that will move this case along is the discovery of Kyron (presumably dead at this point), or a major reorganization at the Multnomah County Prosecutor’s Office.
I tend to agree with Anonymous in some sense. Terri Horman, after all that has been said and done, should be charged with something. I can’t say what crime exactly, because I have not seen what evidence is available. BUT… If there has been absolutely no prima facie violation, no indictable crime committed in any respect; well, I think Terri deserves some sort of official apology.
However, the prosecutor will not apologize, nor will he attempt prosecution on a lesser charge. Why? Because now, after all the publicity, the false promises, the absurd, often unsubstantiated allegations, the official posturing and bravado, the Multnomah County Prosecutor would become a local laughingstock. That office has taken the position that it is all or nothing, murder or nothing. In their private conversations they are saying, ‘Look, right now, the Sheriff’s Office and the other investigative agencies are taking the heat. If we prosecute on any charge, particularly a lesser charge and lose, our careers will go right in the dumper. Let’s wait and see. Maybe, they will find the body. And, if not, the public tends to forget.’
Will the public forget? Yes.
Saturday, August 16, 2014
In a recent Oregonian article (byline Maxine Bernstein), August 15th, it was reported that Terri Horman, Kyron’s Step-Mother, an unofficial person of interest in Kyron’s disappearance, had requested a Douglas County Court to change her name. Terri Horman testified that she wanted to remove the “stigma” associated with the Horman name. Reportedly, four women witnesses testified against the name change. The four women were not identified.
As most of us recall, seven-year-old Kyron disappeared from a Portland public grade school four years ago. There has been no trace of the child since that day.
It is interesting that the Douglas County Judge refused to grant Terri the name change. Name changes are normally not a big deal. With the possible exception as follows:
Although standards vary from place to place, generally speaking, ‘a petition for a name change can be denied if a judge believes that you are making the change to avoid judgments, legal actions, debts or other obligations.’
Terri Horman reportedly described her current name, Horman, as a “stigma.” This may have been a contributing factor in the Court denying her request. The word ‘stigma’ is defined as: ‘A sign of social unacceptability – or the shame or disgrace attached to something regarded as socially unacceptable.’
This might not have been the type of reasoning a judge wanted to hear from a supposedly grieving parent of a missing child.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
I’ve been thinking of things to write about. I’m growing a little tired of writing about crime, criminals, corrupt cops, dishonest and/ or insincere politicians. But…
I do think the circumstances surrounding the death of Jennifer Huston, resident of Dundee, Oregon, are very odd – at least based on what we know so far. There are three possibilities or potential causative factors that might have led to her death: natural causes, suicide, or homicide.
The most recent information disseminated by law enforcement was that they are continuing to investigate, but that there are no signs of ‘foul play.’
Natural Causes: Highly unlikely, in my opinion. If someone is gravely Ill, and reportedly she had been having headaches, that person would travel toward medical help; not drive out in a desolate part of rural Oregon.
Suicide: Perhaps, but why bother with driving to such a remote area? We don’t know the cause of death. If she shot herself, I suppose it’s conceivable that someone might seek-out a remote location. If she took a fatal dose of pills, or ended her life in some less violent manner, again there would be no need to seek a remote location where your body might not be discovered for an extended period of time. And, of course, the unanswerable question: Why would such a lovely, young woman with two small children do such a thing? Was she terminally ill? Doubtful. Her husband would have known that information. And, was there a note left behind?
Homicide: Based on initial reports, that seemed the most likely circumstance. Thankfully, I guess we might say, that was not the case.
Sometimes there are just no answers. The one person who knows the answer is gone. And, sometimes even that person could not explain, what might have been to her, the unexplainable.