Monthly Archives: April 2003

I have no opinion on Mike Hawash

I don’t know if he is guilty or innocent. Never did. Never met the guy, don’t really care to. But. It is not okay to arrest somebody and detain them without charges in the manner in which he has been detained. A solid month of solitary confinement without charges being brought up. Not okay. Maybe he’s guilty. These tactics are the antithesis of American civil rights, and should not be practiced against a citizen of this country. Give it back.

Travel time

I’ll be in Germany for awhile, so expect sporadic posts. I’d like to put something up daily in a travel log effort, but we’ll see what happens. Leaving tomorrow, woohoo!

Dean Coming to Town

Howard Dean is coming to Portland. I don’t have too many details at the moment, but he’s scheduled to arrive on 5/12. The good folks of the Meetup are planning to get out there and show support in an effort to get a bit of press coverage for him. This is a great way to build the grassroots movement, so if you can be there, do it. I don’t have a time for his arrival yet, but I’ll find out and post that. I won’t be able to make it because I’ll be travelling a bit at the time.

La Cruda

La Cruda is located in SE Portland, near the hipster node 26th and Clinton. It does hold up the credo of the neighborhood with its tasty margaritas (not as cheap as they seem like they are) and late night menu. They serve food till midnite on Thurs-Sat (and maybe the others too). The food is pretty tasty. Good quality ingredients, marinated and grilled meats, and a salsa bar with a decent range of salsas but far too small of cups (the kind that a friggin chip doesn’t fit into) to carry it in, make this a marginal recommendation. The food is Mexican in nature, but it won’t qualm the craving of a die-hard. I find myself there infrequently for a late-night meal. I am rarely disappointed though. The portions are good sized, the prices a little high for the genre. I do far prefer La Cruda to the grease-laden Dots across the street…and I’m not one known for judging food by its health value.

So, overall, it’s a worthwhile spot that meets a variety of needs, and when those needs come together, La Cruda can be a great option. Those needs are: an empty belly turned full, margaritas, late dining, and a good spice factor.

Working Poor At It Again

The IRS has identified the working poor’s Earned Income Credit as an area of fraud they need to address promptly (NYT link, requires free registration, props Nader). This tax credit has been instrumental in raising a vast number of families above the poverty level. Now many of these families will be required to furnish proof of eligibility in a manner likely to make obtaining the dollars too difficult for many properly eligible families. I for one am much happier subsidizing a few extra hard-working family types than cheese-ball corporations setting up off-shore tax shelters or whatever they do. Lay off the workin’ folk. Not layoff.

postwar doldrums

Now the war is over and the reconstruction has begun. This is what all the corruption has been building up to. The emotional charge is less fiery now. The USA’s middle finger is still pointed at the rest of the world. Campaign contributors are realizing the value of their investments in reconstruction contracts and tax cuts. The Democrats are still holed up. We confuse victory for justification. Never forget the wrongness of this war. Not even the discovery of WMD’s will justify the course taken. The use of ‘niks’ appended to a common word has decreased dramatically. The sentences of the world have gotten shorter. To accommodate our president. I foresee the words of this blog to shift to reflect the happier times that a tax cut for the rich promises us. And closings of the schools. And the termination of a wide variety of public services. good times. cheers!

Sweet thing at the ProRow

Well, considering that I’m feeling a bit better, I figured it was time to venture out again. Met up with some friends at Produce Row, and had a few pints. True evidence that I’m ill: none of the beer tasted good…I ended up with pear cider after failing with MacTarnahan’s (not a favorite) and TG IPA (up top), as well as (note to Emma) a sample of Full Sail Equinox.

So, sitting in the pool room, pear cider in hand, we’re just chatting away, when this fellow with painter’s paints and a daughter comes in and sets up at the table behind me. He and his daughter grab the pool table. It is the cutest thing, she’s probably around nine or ten, long mussy blonde hair and big blue eyes, and he’s teaching her to play pool. Very sweet, after several attempts at a ball, it drops, and she cocks her head, finally. She stands on a chair to attempt a shot from the middle of the table, missing, but not by much, I tell her nice shot, and she smiles cocky but shy.

What a nice thing to witness. Some real quality father-daughter time, and probably something that she’ll never forget.

sicky

beerdrinker’s been lamed with illness. That’s kept me from posting much due to lack of interesting thoughts. On the up and up now though, so I should be back on track.

Dean communicates

Howard Dean is quite serious in his bid for the presidency. I am so pleased with what I’ve seen before, and now he’s written an article at Common Dreams explicitly stating his strong disapproval of Bush’s foreign policy. This is fantastic. It’s nice to see the combination editorial/campaign speech style in his words. It’s not just a complaint, it’s an offering up of a solution, written passionately, but with the reserve needed to win a broad support base. It really is time for change, and Howard Dean is a large step in the right direction.

No Child Left Unarmed

Googlin around for info on the No Child Left Behind Act, I came across an interesting caveat mentioned by Mother Jones. If a military body requests a school for student contact information, they must furnish it. This is a huge violation of rights. While I was not significantly harrassed by recruiters, I know people who were, and these people would not stop…phone calls everyday, mailings, and now probably mass emailings. And what is next? All records being released to any government agency? Let’s take a step back here and quit screwing with the kids. Apparently, this was thrown into the NCLB because David Vitter (R-LA) thought some schools were a bit rude to military people. ugh.

A School’s Choice

Not extraordinary news to stand out among the atrocities, but I noticed that West Linn-Wilsonville School district is making a good decision and even handling it well in disallowing students tranferring to other schools outside their area. The good part is that they are letting next year’s seniors finish with their current school. This decision will save the district hundreds of thousands of dollars and is a good example of positive changes that are available to help with the current budget crisis.

Tim Robbins rocks

Go Tim! A nice speech in which he lays out several of the issues with protesting the war and the manner in which the current administration has impeded dissent, without once using the word protest.

The more

This fancy bloggin software lets me use a more tag. Expect that more. For your bloggy pleasure you’ll have less scrollbar mileage to get to the bottom of the page and find what you think you’re looking for.

Teacher’s's Plight

Had to add a new section to the blogroll over there for Phillip Greenspun. He was one of my earlier internet heroes (though losing points for embracing .NET) more for his outspoken views and concepts on usability and community-driven web sites than for the ArsDigita (now RedHat property…blech) software itself. Expect quality, though sometimes wordy and egotistical, opinions and banter.

This is a good little post about the work lives we are forcing on our teachers. Illustration of the huge inequities abounding for them, and the hurdles they need to overcome to do their job, one which might be considered important. I witnessed this in my own student teaching (I later decided that teachers are treated too badly here to actually get a job as one), with many teachers being moved from room to room, not having a home, nowhere to have a preparation period. Believe me, preparing classes and grading papers takes time, and that’s not even doing things like setting aside time to talk to kids in an effort to get through to them and pay attention to special needs. It is truly difficult to foster a positive learning environment like this. Teachers need props. The room is more than just a place with a ceiling and places to sit and write. It is a place for visual aids to be setup. For personalities to be expressed. To keep your lunch. My heart goes out to teachers.
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tough call

Me: what do you have on tap?
Waitress: uh, Bud, Bud Lite, Coors, Coors Lite…you wanna look at a menu?

They actually did have Alaskan Pale on the guest tap. cheers.

Free as in beer

Emma has a sober post about the pending beer tax. I’ll post more on this one when I get back from Idaho and have a chance to read the bill. btw, her permalink no worky so scroll down to it (4/11 posting).

The icebreaker

I’m here in Idaho this weekend for a wedding. Really good folk, good times all that stuff. Anyway, tonite there was rehearsal for all the people in the wedding, of whom I’m not one, but I’m close enough that I got to go to the rehearsal dinner. They had a little room chained off to keep the rabble-rousers out until we arrived at the restaurant. N and I got there first, so had a beer and waited outside. When everyone got there we got the little room, all arranged diner style…they told us we could move the clothed tables around to make on big table, which we did. Christa (bride to be) moved the first one, so I thought I’d help and grab the second. Grab, slide, CRASH. The table I chose was actually two very small tables stuck together, and only on came with me…the caraf fell throught the crack, along with water glasses, settings, all that good stuff. The only thing that didn’t go was the butter. All the glass broke, but nobody was hurt.

Operation Iraqi Freedom the Drinking Game

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get good and loaded, while supporting the troops. Here’s what you need to play. Some friends, a twelve-pack of beer for each of you, a bottle of tequila, dice, some poker chips, and a television. Turn the teevee on, and switch it over to local war coverage if it somehow isn’t already.

Here’s what to do. Veg out on the tube with a beer in your hand. Just like most teevee drinking games, most of the action revolves around people on teevee saying and doing stuff.
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