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Juneteenth
Wednesday, June 19, 2024 at 12:00 am
Juneteenth
Celebrated on the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when in the wake of the American Civil War, Major General Gordon Granger ordered the final enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas.



Lincoln County Fair
Thursday, July 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.thelincolncountyfair.com
July 4-6
Lincoln County Fairgrounds



Independence Day
Thursday, July 4, 2024 at 11:59 pm
Independence Day
USA



Marion County Fair
Thursday, July 11, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.co.marion.or.us/CS/Fair
July 11-14
Oregon State Fair & Expo Center



Jackson County Fair
Tuesday, July 16, 2024 at 8:00 am
TheExpo.com
July 16-21
Jackson County Fairgrounds - The Expo



Columbia County Fair
Wednesday, July 17, 2024 at 8:00 am
columbiacountyfairgrounds.com
July 17-21
Columbia County Fairgrounds



Linn County Fair
Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.linncountyfair.com/
July 18-20
Linn County Expo Center



Washington County Fair
Friday, July 19, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.bigfairfun.com/
July 19-28
Washington County Fairgrounds - Westside Commons



Coos County Fair
Tuesday, July 23, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.cooscountyfair.com
July 23-27
Coos County Fairgrounds



Curry County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.eventcenteronthebeach.com
July 24-27
Curry County Fairgrounds - Event Center on the Beach



Hood River County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.hoodriverfairgrounds.com
July 24-27
Hood River County Fairgrounds



Jefferson County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.jcfair.fun
July 24-27
Jefferson County Fair Complex



Lane County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.atthefair.com
July 24-28
Lane Events Center



Clatsop County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://clatsopcofair.com/
July 30 - August 3
Clatsop County Fair & Expo



Malheur County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.malheurcountyfair.com
July 30 - August 3
Malheur County Fairgrounds - Desert Sage Event Center



Benton County Fair & Rodeo
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
bceventcentercorvallis.net
July 31 - August 3, 2024
Benton County Event Center & Fairgrounds



Deschutes County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://expo.deschutes.org/
July 31 - August 4
Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center



Union County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.unioncountyfair.org
July 31 - August 3
Union County Fairgrounds



Yamhill County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.co.yamhill.or.us/fair
July 31 - August 3
Yamhill County Fairgrounds



Klamath County Fair
Thursday, August 1, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.klamathcountyfair.com/
August 1-4
Klamath County Fair



Wallowa County Fair
Friday, August 2, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://co.wallowa.or.us/community-services/county-fair/
August 2-10
Wallowa County Fairgrounds



Baker County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.bakerfair.com
August 4-9
Baker County Fairgrounds



Harney County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.harneyfairgrounds.com
August 4-9
Harney County Fairgrounds



Sherman County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.shermancountyfairfun.com
August 19-24
Sherman County Fairgrounds



Crook County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.crookcountyfairgrounds.com
August 7-10
Crook County Fairgrounds



Douglas County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.douglasfairgrounds.com
August 7-10
Douglas County Fairgrounds Complex



Grant County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.grantcountyoregon.net
August 7-10
Grant County Fairgrounds



Josephine County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.josephinecountyfairgrounds.com/
August 7-11
Josephine County Fairgrounds & Events Center



Polk County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.co.polk.or.us/fair
August 7-10
Polk County Fairgrounds



Tillamook County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.tillamookfair.com
August 7-10
Tillamook County Fairgrounds



Umatilla County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.umatillacountyfair.net
August 7-10
Umatilla County Fairgrounds



Wheeler County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.wheelercountyoregon.com/fair-board
August 7-10
Wheeler County Fairgrounds



Clackamas County Fair
Tuesday, August 13, 2024 at 8:00 am
clackamascountyfair.com
August 13-17
Clackamas County Event Center



Morrow County Fair
Wednesday, August 14, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.co.morrow.or.us/fair
August 14-17
Morrow County Fairgrounds



Wasco County Fair
Thursday, August 15, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.wascocountyfair.com
August 15-17
Wasco County Fairgrounds



Gilliam County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
http://www.co.gilliam.or.us/government/fairgrounds
August 29-31
Gilliam County Fairgrounds



Lake County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.lakecountyor.org/government/fair_grounds.php
August 29 - September 1
Lake County Fairgrounds



Oregon State Fair
Saturday, August 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.oregonstateexpo.org
August 31 - September 9
Oregon State Fair & Exposition Center



Linn Laughs LIVE with Adam Corolla
Saturday, September 7, 2024 at 5:00 pm
Linn Laughs LIVE with Adam Corolla 5pm-9pm
Albany, OR


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Voter Fraud: What’s in the future for voting by mail?
Blockchain technology would take the fraud out of polling

Editor’s note: this is the second of a multi-part series on Oregon’s mail-in ballots.

How many of the national headlines should Oregon voters be concerned about? The news has shifted from fraud to postal delivery being timely for mail-in ballots. Thomas J. Marshall, General Counsel and Executive Vice President of the United States Postal Service, is reassuring for Oregonians in a letter to Secretary of State Bev Clarno. He says their “reading of your state’s election laws, as in effect on July 27, 2020, ballots are generally mailed to eligible voters no later than 14 days before Election Day, which should allow sufficient time for voters to receive, complete, and return such ballots by the state’s Election Day return deadline.”

Nationally, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said “The Postal Service is ready today to handle whatever volume of election mail it receives this fall…we will deliver the nation’s election mail on time and within our well-established service standards. The American public should know that this is our No. 1 priority between now and Election Day. In addition, effective Oct. 1, we will engage standby resources in all areas of our operations, including transportation, to satisfy any unforeseen demand.”

What’s in the future for voting by mail? The Office of Inspector General USPS, originally filed for a patent in February 2019 and the official filing was February 2020. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently made public that patent application titled ‘Secure Voting System’ that describes using blockchain technology to secure mail-in voting. The patent application consists of four levels of protection verifying voters’ identity by an online ballot system. It prevents dogs, cats, dead people, multiple voting and illegal/non-citizens from entering the tally. Once a voter has provided proof of their identity, the system would create an anonymous token for them in the form of a unique identifier. The system separates voter identification and votes to ensure vote anonymity, and stores votes on a distributed ledger in a blockchain. The system would also send the voter a mailed ballot. To ensure there hasn’t been any tampering with the mailed ballot, election officials can compare it to the linked anonymous ballot submitted online. Blockchain technology is a decentralized system used for cryptocurrencies making it nearly hack proof. It would take the fraud out of polling, but caution still points to those not able to navigate online needing assistance and keeping voting coercion-free.

Oregon Secretary of State’s office verified that some of the county election officials have conducted pilot projects with systems using blockchain for military and overseas voters. Jackson County used the technology for the November 2019 special election that allowed the voter to access/mark/cast their ballot via their smartphone. They report that 27 choose to participate out of 213 qualified voters and said it went even better than hoped.

In the meantime, Robert McCullough, McCullough Research, says Oregon’s tally computers can be altered easily to divert votes using a USB stick in less than a minute. Janice Dysinger, Oregonians for Fair Elections, says “the vote tally machine is supposed to be separated from the internet, without any connection to it. Yet a USB drive connects the system delivering the election data to the county clerk's computer routinely in the course of the election. Allowing a USB access to the vote counting machine leaves our election unsecured.”

When investigating the tally machines, Dysinger says “We have never been able to observe the computer code that is inside the machine. It should be ‘open source’ programming that is observable by all parties... Yet, the companies that run the software system say it is patented and that no one can see it. This is debated all the way up to the Election Assistance Commission. We objected to this in 2008. It fell on deaf ears.”

The concern over mail-in ballots nationally is the delay in delivering and counting ballots plus ballot harvesting. If an election can’t be decided by the end of the presidential term January 20, it puts the nation in a turmoil. There are legal debates whether the acting president would be Pelosi or Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Either way, the DNC has obtained 600 attorneys to litigate any problems or perhaps cause problems. Could it be for the purpose of prolonging determinations or actually making the election fair?


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2020-08-28 09:22:29Last Update: 2020-08-25 09:42:08



Policing Under Attack
Unlike COVID-19, community safety is NOT a top priority

The Joint Committee on Transparent Policing and Use of Force Reform announced their agenda to their remote September 3, 2020, meeting. They will hold public hearings on nine LC proposed bills for what they say will be introduced in the 2021 session.

Our police are under attack on the streets, while they try and perform a “perfect” job that is acceptable to two drastically different ideals. Even when they do their job perfectly and arrest those in criminal acts, they get no support from the DA. The criminals are demanding these legislative changes to belittle an honorable profession so fewer and fewer will aspire to be our protectors. What will our streets look like then?

Proposed legislation to be discussed:

LC 742 (LC 17) - Regulates use of chemical incapacitants, kinetic impact projectiles and sound devices by law enforcement agencies.

LC 743 (LC 18) - Establishes requirements for peace officer uniforms. Establishes requirements for displaying identifying information on peace officer uniforms and for disclosing identifying information to public upon request.

LC 746 - Imposes limitations on arbitrators’ decisions concerning alleged misconduct by law enforcement officers. Establishes Commission on Statewide Law Enforcement Standards of Conduct and Discipline to adopt uniform standards of conduct for law enforcement officers and disciplinary standards by which law enforcement agencies and arbitrators shall make determinations regarding imposition of disciplinary action against law enforcement officers. Removes discipline guide or discipline matrix as mandatory subject of bargaining.

LC 747 - Relating to arrestee well-being.

LC 762 (LC 19) - Directs Department of Public Safety Standards and Training to establish publicly available database of certain information about misconduct and discipline of public safety employees established by Department of Public Safety Standards and Training. Requires reporting of complaints, allegations, charges, disciplinary proceedings, certain judicial findings and prosecutorial determinations of unreliability, suspensions and revocations of certification and certain resignations of public safety employees to department for inclusion in database.

LC 763 (LC 20) - Directs Oregon Criminal Justice Commission to establish statewide database of reports of use of physical force by peace officers and corrections officers. Requires law enforcement units to report on use or threat of physical force, and deaths of persons in custody, to commission.

LC# TBD - Relating to identifying patterns or practices of misconduct by peace officers or by officials or employees of any governmental agency.

LC 825 - Relating to qualified immunity

You can voice your views by submitting email testimony to JTPUFR.exhibits@oregonlegislature.gov, or register to phone-in using an online form or calling 833-588-4500 for assistance. The meeting can be viewed via livestream on OLIS.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2020-08-27 15:36:53Last Update: 2020-08-27 19:11:56



Public School Teachers Arrested During Riots
Nothing to see here. Move on.

In a republican form of government -- where the people elect representatives to make governing decisions for them -- there is always likely to be some level of disconnect between the will of the people and the actions of those elected and hired to represent them and to execute policy on their behalf. That disconnect might even be described as a feature because it allows a buffer against the less-informed, whimsical will of the people.

However, it can never stray too far and get to a point where it is unresponsive to the will of the people. Once that happens, the outcome can never be good.

For instance, parents of students who attend Rutherford County Schools in Tennessee must agree not to monitor their child’s online classroom sessions during distance learning. County school officials asked parents to sign forms agreeing not to watch these virtual classes.

It's hard to imagine why. Educators are fond of using the excuse of lack of parent involvement -- possibly with partial justification -- for less-than-acceptable performance. They can's have it both ways and expect that parents shouldn't monitor what kids are doing during distance learning. Aren't you even more curious about what the content of the curriculum is, now?

Hannah Rose Fewster, a 24-year-old preschool teacher at the Sweet Day Community School, was arrested this week during riots. She was charged with multiple criminal offenses and released without bail. Jacob Soto, a 41-year-old band teacher in Portland Public Schools was arrested and charged with felony riot, among other things. Does anyone think that either of these two will lose their jobs? What if you don't want your child taught by either of these people? Do you think you have any choice? What if you are a taxpayer and you don't want to continue to employ such people? Do you think you'll get a reprieve?

For a movement that's ostensibly about justice, it's difficult to watch the education system hand out such injustice to parents and taxpayers.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-08-27 15:08:51



Save Our Children Plans Rally
The group is focused on raising awareness of sex trafficking

Save Our Children is planning a rally on Saturday, September 5, 2020 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. The first 20 people will receive a T-Shirt free of charge with the phrase save our children. Attendees are asked to bring signs and loudspeakers. The group is hoping that this will be a really great opportunity to be seen and heard.

In a society that seems to be clamoring for justice in very loud and public ways, let's not forget those who are most vulnerable and right under our noses.

You can join their facebook group and find out more information at the link.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-08-27 13:50:21Last Update: 2020-08-27 13:18:47



Adding Up Stats
Remember something about lies, dammned lies, and statistics?

The focus on this week’s bulletin from the Oregon Health Authority and Department of Human Services is air quality tips. “We know indoor gatherings can increase the risk of spreading COVID-19, but what can we do to reduce the risk?” They say turn off your fans and open windows “to move [the hot] outdoor air inside.” If you’re ready to buy this solution, you’re being subjected to brainwashing.

To emphasize the necessity, they present the statistics for the week.

“Viral tests for COVID-19 are the most reliable way to diagnose someone with COVID-19. But what should you do if the test is negative? False negatives happen about a third of the time.” So, their reliable test has a 33% failure? Equal application says it must go both ways. So, of the 247 new “confirmed and presumptive” cases, 82 are being quarantined for no good reason, and we know the bad reason.

But wait, there is more, the report reads, “If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should quarantine for 14 days, even if you don’t have symptoms.” So, if you go out in a crowd, give up your life for two weeks and self-quarantine just in case you got to close to someone that didn’t quarantine themselves.

“Oregon weekly testing reports 247 new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, 7 new deaths.” The counties with the highest cases continue to be Marion (40), Multnomah (48), and Washington (38).

“Oregon’s 421st COVID-19 death is a 93-year-old woman in Lincoln County who died on August 15 in her residence. The death certificate listed COVID-19 disease or SARS-CoV-2 as a cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death.” No positive test, no exposure, what age do you die of natural causes? The remaining six deaths all listed underlying conditions, and had tested positive. They were ages 93, 66, 87, 68, 71 and 63.

Do these reports strengthen your confidence in how Oregon is handling the COVID-19 outbreak?


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2020-08-26 18:23:30Last Update: 2020-08-26 18:50:21



State Legislators Call Out OSHA’s Injustice
Request a reconsideration of fines

Representative E. Werner Reschke (R-Klamath Falls), Representative Vikki Breese-Iverson (RPrineville), and Senator Dennis Linthicum (R-Klamath Falls) strongly object to the nearly $10,000 in fines imposed by OSHA (Oregon Safety and Health Agency) against Howard Drugs in Lakeview, Oregon. OSHA found Howard Pharmacy out of compliance with the Governor’s mask mandate orders. This case was reported on in the national media. These legislators represent the citizens of Lake County and are concerned with the apparent lack of due process exhibited by OSHA.

“This presumption of guilt and judgement is outrageous. OSHA’s ruling is incongruent with their own rules, allowing a business to accommodate for those who have a medical condition that precludes them wearing a mask. This action has very little to do with slowing the spread of the Coronavirus. It is more of the Governor’s plan to serve her revenge cold and slow,” said Senator Linthicum.

Representative Reschke stated, “There is no proof of harm having been done by Howard Drugs. They followed the rules. These ”preventative fines” are an overreach by state government. There was likely more exposure of COVID-19 to the Lake County community by the inspectors who came to Lakeview, from outside the area, than any chance of the spread by Howard Drugs.”

“Howard Drugs is the only pharmacy in Lake County. If this fourth-generation business were to close, the next nearest pharmacy is 90 miles away. It would be like closing all pharmacies in Portland and telling residents they had to drive to Eugene to fill their prescriptions,” explained Representative Breese-Iverson. Together, these state legislators said they will contact OSHA to request a reconsideration of the fines.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-08-26 08:45:36



Hospital Capacity Stable Statewide
This metric was once cited as the reason for lockdowns

As reported by the Oregon Health Authority, Oregon's hospital bed capacity is stable in every region of the state. The charts below show how many hospital beds are available and being used. This data does not show the maximum capacity of hospitals. If more patients needed to be hospitalized, hospitals could increase the number of beds in a variety of ways, including adding staff and/or equipment, repurposing other types of hospital beds, and postponing or cancelling elective procedures.

Oregon maintains a database of hospital capacity which collects this kind of information called Oregon's Hospital Capacity Web System (HOSCAP). Early in the COVID-19 outbreak, hospital capacity was cited as a major reason for extreme lockdown measures.



--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-08-26 08:27:59



Flags To Be Flown At Half-Staff to Honor Fallen Oregon Marines
After days of pleas from Representative Bill Post and others to do so

In response to the urging of State Representative Bill Post (R-Keizer), Governor Kate Brown ordered all flags at Oregon public institutions to be flown at half-staff tomorrow in honor of two fallen Oregon Marines, Lance Corporal Jack Ryan Ostrovsky of Bend, and Lance Corporal Chase D. Sweetwood of Portland. The two Oregon Marines were among nine service members, eight Marines and a Sailor, who lost their lives in an amphibious vehicle accident off the coast of San Clemente Island, California on July 30, 2020. Flags should be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, August 26.

"These two young men, Lance Corporal Jack Ryan Ostrovsky of Bend, and Lance Corporal Chase D. Sweetwood of Portland, showed incredible honor, bravery, and dedication to the state, to their country, and as Marines," Brown said Tuesday. "My heart goes out to their families and loved ones for their tremendous and unexpected loss. Dan and I extend our sincere appreciation for their service."


--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-08-26 07:00:57Last Update: 2020-08-26 08:16:46



Worries of Excessive Covid Mandates in Oregon
Kate Brown threatens more restrtictions on businesses

Last week, Governor Kate Brown hosted a press conference where she threatened that Oregonians must follow her additional arbitrary COVID-19 rules or she will likely institute unconstitutional travel bans and shut down Oregon’s economic drivers, such as restaurants, again.

“Despite admitting that Oregon has one of the lowest COVID-19 morbidity rates in the country, Governor Brown wants individuals and businesses to do more, give more and surrender all,” said Senator Dennis Linthicum (R-Klamath Falls). “The story about keeping COVID under control is a false narrative used to accomplish the real goal: to control all aspects of Oregonians’ lives and crush the economy by forcing compliance. Citizens are already reeling from their sense of powerlessness after the unnecessary and life-shattering edicts by the governor.”

In the face of what the science and data shows about the tragic and costly results from economic lock-downs, Governor Brown has camouflaged government overreach under the pretense that COVID is treacherous for every person, in every walk of life and in every community. Agencies like OR-OSHA are planning on enforcing new rules on top of pre-existing mandates, which will eventually stomp out independent business and free enterprise, on the road to growing government and robbing citizens of their inalienable rights.

“Governor Brown’s actions are the brutal part of the story,” said Senator Linthicum. “The forced closures and mandated distancing requirements are deeply immoral and dangerous. The governor’s malfeasance is driving preventable economic wounds deeper into Oregon’s already struggling communities. It is past time to re-open Oregon and now is the time to Keep It Open.”


--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-08-25 18:53:43Last Update: 2020-08-25 12:00:57



Meme of the Week
Technology doesn’t fix everything.




--Northwest Observer Meme Team

Post Date: 2020-08-25 13:09:42



Voter Fraud: Vote by Mail
Vote-by-mail may enable voter fraud.

Editor’s note: this is the first of a multi-part series on Oregon’s mail-in ballots.

President Trump gave Susan B Anthony a complete pardon for being convicted for voting in 1872. She risked her life to vote. What would she think today of marchers in DC demanding vote-by-mail to replace voting at the polls? Protesters shout on the crowded streets that due to the pandemic their health is threatened if they go to the polls to vote. Isn’t that a rather baffling demand coming from people that are not practicing social distancing during their protest? What is the real reason they are demanding vote-by-mail?

There are many examples from across the country of how vote-by-mail enables voter fraud.
Janice Dysinger, Oregonians for Fair Elections, says the problem with mail-in ballots in Oregon is the registration. “We have seen specific non-citizens say they are not a citizen at DMV, decline to register, only to find they have been registered to vote.” She has worked with others to identify and document voters whose registration was changed without their permission. The Secretary of State denies it, but more people are coming forward having received the wrong ballots or no ballots because their party was changed when doing business at DMV. She stresses that you must check your voter registration before every election, especially if you have done business with DMV.

Dysinger reports that the Human Services Department’s training document instructs their agents to fill out a declination SEL503 form for every person coming into the office to document that they were asked to register to vote. If they don’t ask, they are considered a problem employee. The training manual instructs the agent not to send in the applicant’s ID with the voter registration card to the election’s office, if the ID is from out of state. That it is not the duty of the agent to determine the applicant’s eligibility to vote. Some have language barriers and the position is that it isn’t their job to find out if they are qualified. If they want to register, they say they have to treat them all the same. Even if it’s only partly filled out, they still submit it to the election office.”

Oregon’s rules say that if someone gives their name, birth date and address so they can be sent a ballot, they are agreeing that they are qualified so are registered to vote. Dysinger says “once they are on the voter rolls it is very difficult to find out if they are a citizen or not. The rules are so loose that they can put down any street or cross street or landmark as an Oregon address, and have the ballot mailed to anywhere in the world. It’s a systemic problem with our voter rolls. Anyone from another state or country can register to vote without any ID or documentation using the FVAP.gov application,” which she points out does not meet the Oregon Constitution requirements. She also points to a problem in the Oregon Revised Statutes, ORS 247.035, which says the person only needs to think of Oregon as their home, where they intend to move someday.

The big problem with mail-in ballots all over the country and in Oregon are mistakes made when marking the ballot. In Oregon about 0.35% of voters don’t sign their ballot return envelope.

Dysinger points to problems with executing selecting candidates on the ballot, problems with the signatures, and then you have problems with the post office only delivering 95% of the ballots. Five percent of voters is enough to swing an election.

In the early 90’s, Kate Brown ran for State Representative and won her race by only 7 votes. If just 8 more people had voted for her opponent, we would most likely not have Kate Brown as Oregon’s Governor today. In the 2018 primary, HD 53 was won by just 2 votes.



You can sign a White House petition asking President Trump to stop mail-in voting.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2020-08-25 09:05:35Last Update: 2020-08-25 13:56:12



Opinion: Who Should Balance Risk and Reward for You?
Every once in a while, common sense pops up

It isn’t every day that someone from Pennsylvania makes me look at things in a new way, but that’s what happened to me recently. State Representative Jesse Topper represents Pennsylvania’s 78th District. Rep. Topper was speaking about high school football.

I don’t know about you, but when someone from rural Pennsylvania speaks about high school football I pay attention. Other than mining coal, there aren’t a lot of other things to do in rural Pennsylvania. Topper, who coaches football at Bedford High, had the following to say

I’ve had the opportunity to watch this football team at Bedford prepare for this year. And we told them, wear your mask, social distance at meetings, split your time in the weight room. They’ve done all those things. We’ve said if you follow these protocols you’ll have the opportunity to play.

To now come back to them and say, “You’ve done everything right; but you know what we still don’t have the will to let that happen.” And I think back to those words “It’s not worth the risk.”

We know, must of us up here have either played or been a part of athletics, we understand that there is inherent risk to what we do. That’s why there is an ambulance that sits out by the football fields on a Friday night. We know that there is risk.

But always that risk/benefit reward ratio has always been left to the families—to determine is this worth the physical risk. Well, I don’t see any difference in that now.


Those comments struck a chord with me, and I suspect they will with many Oregonians. Maybe I’m just lucky, but if it wasn’t for the hysterical news coverage, the unprecedented erosion of our civil liberties, and our economy being shut down, I’m not sure I would actually know that COVID-19 is ravaging our country.

Tragically, some of our elderly neighbors in Mount Angel have passed away...as people tend to do when they get old. Dying is the risk of living.

We’ve seemed to have lost sight that life is about balancing risk and reward. Reasonable people don’t take foolish risks, but they also understand life without risk is impossible.

Once upon a time, Americans lived their lives understanding that risk is everywhere. But they also saw reward everywhere. Somehow, we’ve become afraid of risk and reward. We have allowed politicians of both sides to stoke our fears—deciding for us where we can go, whom we can meet, and how we can worship.

The problem with politicians is that they’ll take all the power we’re willing to give them.

I stumbled across an interesting word the other day: Kakistocracy. It means “government by the least competent.” In Oregon and throughout our country, we have given a Kakistocracy unprecedented control over our lives. But it appears that politicians are as incapable of fixing our problems as they are uninterested in trying.

For obvious reasons, social scientists had to come up with a word to describe out-of-control corruption, incompetence, inefficiency, and indifference. They call it governmentality. But every once in a while, common sense pops up, even among Republicans; so I’ll give Rep. Topper the last word:

Quite frankly, when the governor was out in a protest in the streets of Harrisburg he was asked, “Did you follow your own protocols?” He goes, “No I didn’t because I felt the cause was worth the risk.”

Well we cannot just allow one person in Pennsylvania to discern for everyone which causes are worth the risk and which are not. That decision needs to be left up to parents and up to families. Is it worth the risk? I believe that in my case it is, maybe some other people don’t; but at the end of the day if we’re going to leave that decision only up to one person then we have a problem that is far greater than COVID-19.


Dan Crowe is from Mount Angel. His wife decides the right balance of risk and reward for him.


--Dan Crowe

Post Date: 2020-08-24 19:48:46Last Update: 2020-08-17 20:20:49



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