Comment history

Listen to Gresham, Hillsboro mayors

I understand your sentiment roger, but not your reasoning, which amounts to little more than a religious attitude toward progress, what some call [Myth of Progress][1], one of the two dominent myths than inform American (actually Western) culture.

And no, fossil fuels will not be depleted within 20 years*. The decline in production of fossil fuels and diminishment of industrial civilization will likely occur over the next couple of centuries, in a slow decline (if we are lucky and good) punctuated by brief periods of dramatic and rapid change. What *will* change over the next several years, I believe, is there will now be a broad understanding that the era of fossil fuels as the primary driver in the growth of human society is ending...

* In fact, when fossil fuel production ends, almost half of the petroleum ever on Earth will remain beneath the ground still, simply too expensive to extract.


May 15, 2011 at 8:54 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Door manufacturer shutters operations

Presuming he's American, this one sentence (above), "The economy and housing could be have been fixed pretty simply," shows how badly our education system has failed to educate our citizens in even the most rudimentary knowledge and understanding of the world.

We have a very long way to go, it seems, as a people...

May 15, 2011 at 8:03 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Listen to Gresham, Hillsboro mayors

Good piece John, and talking to mayor and citizens of "light-rail towns" is a good way to gain and share perspective on this surprisingly contentious issue. Rail and other public transportation modes have been slow to be accepted by many Americans now unknowingly addicted to fossil fuels, but this will likely change to enthusiastic support once people understand the oil is running out and that, as John Michael Greer asserts in his incredibly prescient and relevant blog, ["there is no way to make a middle class American lifestyle sustainable."][1]

Rail *is* the future of public transportation in this country, if not the world, as within several decades I believe almost no one will be driving fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, nor for that matter will there be any airlines operating. The fuel is simply running out, and there is no replacement that is even close to having a similar fuel value. There is much research showing that oil production peaked worldwide in 2005-6, and that [renewable energy simply cannot power our economy][2], and [that lifestyle changes are in store for virtually everyone in America][3] who lives for 20 or more years. Us and our "infinite growth forever" economy are addicted to using petroleum, and like all addicts forced to kick the habit, the pain getting off this stuff will be a great challenge, and for many, not survivable.

So even if “Right-wing conservatives...hate public transit and use any reason they can to say it’s wrong," once the fuel is effectively gone and the automobile ceases to be a key part of our economy, even these people will come to appreciate the foresight some of our leaders have exhibited in pushing this through.


May 15, 2011 at 7:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Clark County home values tumble

"...this market is a once in a lifetime opportunity..."

Lol. How original. How craven. How irresponsibly reckless.

This sort of statement in the face of an economic predicament few if any of us have ever experienced merely underscores the common-sense perception that the water is now, more than ever, filled with sharks just looking for their next meal. And if you imagine the market to be "returning to normal," or that the "local economy is getting stronger by the day," or that 300 jobs is a significant number of newly employed anywhere *other* than a small town, you could be their next unwitting victim.

Be very careful, in a deflationary environment taking on more debt--such as a bigger mortgage--can be folly. And while North Portland and parts of Clark County **may** become the exception to this nationwide predicament, the last thing these people have an interest in is whether or not "you'll do just fine."

Caveat Emptor.

May 12, 2011 at 10:40 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Clark County home values tumble

Even compared to the historic trend-line, local home values still have quite a ways to fall before we rejoin what might be called pre-bubble reality. Many, many of us cravenly fell for the banking/investment community's greedy come-ons, bought the BS line about homes as investments, and are now suffering the consequences. We deserve it.

And given that many of the "investment instruments" millions of Americans hold (in pensions, retirement funds, etc.) have substantial holdings of mortgage-backed securities, we are all becoming substantially poorer as home values return to earth. This and similar consequences of the other endless-growth-based schemes we bet on is the price we are now paying for basing our economy on a ponzi-dynamics based model.

Our business, government and spiritual "leaders" have sold us short and sold us out, and this is now past being primarily an economic crisis, and is instead a *political* crisis. The losses have already occurred, all that is being managed now are your expectations for the downward trip most don't even know has begun! The wealthy and powerful are securing their positions as best they can in a rapidly changing world, but anyone else under 50 expecting to see a pension may be indulging in the most dangerous sort of fantasy.

Those who prudently prepare will be best able to withstand the coming storm, and learning to live with more self-reliance and less stuff is the only sane strategy for the world we now inhabit.

May 12, 2011 at 7:03 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Port of Vancouver not as choo-choo-choosy as Florida

To judge by the short-sighted comments here, not a single commenter seems even slightly aware that the non-renewable resource of petroleum reached its peak (world) production around 2006 (see [here][1], among many sources, for details), and that **there is no comparable fuel that will replace oil**, the energy source that powered the development of the industrial economy. Some foresight by our leaders to ensure reasonable transportation options in the coming decades as fuel prices spike and then soar out of reach is, I think, a prudent investment.

Granted, it will take many decades for there to be no oil being produced, but there are very strong, clear signs that we are in the early years of the largest economic contraction the world has ever experienced, as the relatively easily-obtained fossil fuels diminish and we discover there is no easily-obtained replacement.

IMO, several decades "down the road" it is very unlikely our children's children will be driving *any* fossil-fuel powered vehicles, but, hopefully, they'll still be able to catch that "inferior" mode of transportation, the train.

All aboard! (or not...)


May 10, 2011 at 7:22 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

In Our View: Death of a Monster

Matthew 5:43, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy."

Matthew 5:44 "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;"

We Americans seem now to be rather small of character, and as violent as ever, with not even the pretense of being a particularly moral people, implying as it does difficult choices and--if avoided--even more difficult consequences.

"Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword," Matthew 26:52.

In the midst of our often bloodthirsty revelry, [Salon's Glenn Greenwald perhaps][1] put it best today when he said, "It's been a long time since Americans felt this good and strong about themselves -- nothing like putting bullets in someone's skull and dumping their corpse into an ocean to rejuvenate that can-do American sense of optimism."

If you are truly elated today over this "happy news," ask yourself what that giddiness you feel really says about *you*, and try to imagine what Jesus would have said to you about it...


May 3, 2011 at 11:47 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Oregon medical marijuana reform bill hits snag

"Three former Oregon state troopers are scrambling to keep alive a bill that would give police access to confidential lists of medical marijuana users and growers and make it harder for teenagers to use pot as medicine."

My, my, my, its so comforting to know that we now have these fine policemen, uh--former policemen, so impartially concerned about the welfare of children and the rest of us who might use this dangerous, dangerous, um...weed. Fortunately for the rest of civil society, there are still some sensible voices left in our statehouses that will NOT let a policemen mentality dictate policy; we have enough problems in this society with overheated, authoritarian male egos as it is!

Ask yourself, why is that these former lawmen feel the need, even urgency to pursue this intrusive and absurd solution-in-search-of-a-problem, but not those who actually are trained to help teenagers cope with the pressures of drug use, illegal or not? Because these people likely *aren't* concerned with the mental and physical health of anyone, but rather are authoritarians looking for meaning and purpose in their, of course, dominating others. One way to do that is through prohibition, enforced strictly, and this is a story older than the Bible itself...

April 18, 2011 at 12:50 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Tea for two: no talk about politics

Oops--the first part of my comment got lost somewhere in the ether, and I lack the energy and will to recreate it, lol.

It was something about John being more interested, like many mainstream commentators, in talking about the TP than asking the hard questions about the utter failure, morally and otherwise, of our two major political parties, in leading us through the difficult challenges ahead of us as a nation, blah, blah, blah...

If the rest of my comment doesn't make much sense, hopefully *that's* why!

April 3, 2011 at 7:33 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Tea for two: no talk about politics

Regarding political parties, after Obama's near absolute betrayal of the principals that he expressed so fervently on his way to becoming President, many of us former Democrats realize how hopeless the Democratic Party really is as a counterweight of any substantial sort to the machinations of the Republicans, let alone as a genuine force for any positive hope and change. "Hope and change" have been revealed to be simply another craven politician's lie, intended only to deceive in order ro capture the vote, and Obama stands revealed today as little more than yet another lying politician fully in bed with war- and especially profit-loving corporate America.

A brief recitation of Mr. O's recent, hope-these-change accomplishments is in order here: Guantanamo is still open. The Patriot Act is in full swing. Wiretapping on American citizens is overt. Habeas Corpus rights have effectively been suspended. Support for torture is now bi-partisan. Another Arab country attacked. Military trials about to begin. Drones raining death down upon Pakistanis. Tax cuts for the wealthy intact. Repubs control the House.

Yeah, hope and change. Talk about *that*, Mr. Laird!

You instead, like so many mainstream media messengers, seem to be hoping to deflect attention away from the absolute bankruptcy of coherent ideas and morals-based ideals that define today's major party politicians, and likewise seem unable to imagine that the existence of the Tea Party as a *symptom of the problem,* rather than a posible solution to anything, other than intense and well-deserved scorn people have for our two major political parties. There are simply no new ideas in American politics today, as America itself seems to be a nation bankrupt of both relevant ideas and the moral authority to deliver them to others.

April 3, 2011 at 7:26 a.m. ( | suggest removal )