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On this day, November 26, 2010, US federal agents in a sting operation arrested Mohamed Osman Mohamud (19), a Somali-born teenager, just as he tried blowing up a van he believed was loaded with explosives at a crowded Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland.

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Oregon Legislature Interim Committee Meetings
Wednesday, December 7, 2022 at 8:00 am
Legislative Committee hearings
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Oregon Legislature Interim Committee Meetings
Thursday, December 8, 2022 at 8:00 am
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Oregon Legislature Interim Committee Meetings
Friday, December 9, 2022 at 8:00 am
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82nd Session of the Oregon Legislature Begins
Monday, January 9, 2023 at 8:00 am
The 2023 Session of the Oregon Legislature begins. Legislators are sworn in and bills are introduced.
Oregon Capitol, Salem

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Opinion: A Moral Case for Opening the State
We need to have some frank discussions about what is realistic

The year 1349 was a bad one for Europe. More than 20 million people -- five times the population of today's State of Oregon -- died from the black plague that was just starting to sweep over Europe. Back in March or early April, one could be forgiven for making comparisons to the medieval plague or even the Spanish Flu which struck early last century.

We're starting to get some answers now. We're starting to find out how this virus works and just what danger it poses. We're starting to have the ability to do actual science and not just to guess. And you know what? It's just not all that bad. Despite the state being "locked down", Costco has brimming with people the whole time. Sure, they're wearing masks and trying to keep a six foot distance (where did that number come from, anyway?), but there are just as many of them shopping as there ever was, and the same is true of Target, Wal-mart and a host of other places. If this was a "pandemic" or even an "epidemic", we'd be seeing way more cases.

But we're not. Especially in rural areas. Medical facilities braced for the onslaught, and cancelled bill-paying and less-urgent medical care. The epidemic pateients -- and their dollars -- never showed up. Now, rural medical facilites are laying off people. It's hard to say that this aspect of the economic tragedy was caused by the virus. This was caused by government. Let's acknowledge that, and maybe we can at least say that the government acted in good faith, but it was caused by government.

People who support opening the state often get criticized for being insensitive to the loss of life. I'd like to do a comparison, and suggest a modest proposal. The Oregon Health Authority updates a website daily that accounts the loss of life due to COvID-19. I'm not going to argue at this point about the accuracy of these stats. Let's take them as is. At the time this article was posted, the loss of life was at 137 statewide.

If that number causes you to want to shut down the state or take other drastic actions which result in massive damage to the economy, take a look at another web site, updated daily by another state agency, that accounts for the loss of life due to traffic accidents in Oregon. At the time this article was posted this was at 103, or let's say, a number that is clearly in the same range as the COVID-19 deaths.

If you think that the state needs to be shut down because of COVID-19 how can you -- on a moral level -- make a case for keeping Oregon's roads open? How can you escape the same criticism for being insensitive for the loss of life?

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-05-17 17:51:48Last Update: 2020-05-17 14:52:21

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