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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 3, 2002 9:34 PM. The previous post in this blog was The Saturday papers. The next post in this blog is Your bar dues at work. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Sunday, November 3, 2002

Election Day confessions

I voted against the libraries, the parks, and the kids.

Here in Oregon, where all voting is by mail (a curious setup that merits a long post of its own sometime), I just signed and sealed up my ballot, which I will deliver tomorrow. Among the votes that I regretted to cast were those against three local ballot measures that would have increased property taxes by more than $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value for the county library, restoration of park maintenance, and various vaguely described children's programs.

It's not that I'm against these programs, because I'm not. What angers me is that we are put on the spot to vote to increase taxes for these programs, when our city and county leaders have no qualms about shelling out tons of tax dollars for far less worthy and popular programs without ever consulting the voters, or in outright defiance of what the voters have already told them.

I drive around Portland and see all sorts of projects that are making developers rich while bankrupting municipal coffers. Regular readers of this weblog are no doubt tired of hearing my list: Convention Center expansion, more light rail, Pearl District trolleys, trams to Pill Hill, the ice skating rink, and now a $1 million "exploration" of whether the city should dive into the energy business. Voters have never OK'd these projects -- in fact, they have rejected a couple of them. And yet before we can have parks, libraries, and programs to combat child abuse, we have to vote to jack up our taxes. It's ridiculous.

I've got my property tax statement on my desk right now -- the annual check's due the 15th of the month. The tax is 4.87 percent higher than it was a year ago. That's enough inflation for me. I'm just not up for volunteering to increase it by 13.38 percent for next year, over and above the increases that are already allowed by law. If these measures pass, next year the jump will probably be in the neighborhood of 18 or 19 percent.

If some or all of these measures go down, the politicians will make folks like me out to be the villains. We're too selfish and cheap, they'll imply, to make an investment in our future.

To them I reply: Stop wasting the money we already pay you on toys that will get you your campaign money from the West Hills and your quotations in The New York Times. Start figuring out how to prioritize so that parks, libraries and kids can get a fair shake under the existing budget. Some of the electorate is smart enough to figure out when we're being used, and we resent it.

My other picks:

U.S. Senate: Gordon Smith. A rare vote for a Republican candidate. His Democratic challenger, Bill Bradbury, ran a campaign that did not speak to me at all. Its only message seemed to be, "Gordon Smith votes his conscience instead of the will of the voters of Oregon." Not only was that a weak note to make one's central theme, but on a lot of issues it just isn't true. If Bradbury had mentioned something about the scandalous 2001 tax cuts that are bringing deficits back with a vengeance and hindering economic recovery, I might have listened. But he didn't.

Oregon Governor: Ted Kulongoski. With a large clothespin tightly over the nasal passages. If the Republicans had had the sense to run Jack Roberts, I would have voted the other way.

U.S. Congress: Earl Blumenauer. A good guy, he's done a good job.

Portland City Council: Randy Leonard. We already have one Erik Sten; we don't need a second. It's time to hear from someone who lives in (gasp) Southeast Portland, and acts like it. Plus, Leonard has earned this.

Bonds to earthquake-proof public buildings: Yes, of course. I'm not that cheap.

Reduce age for serving in the Legislature to 18: No, thanks. I'd increase it to 35.

"None of the above" for judge: The most mean-spirited ballot measure in many years, and there has been lots of competition. No, no, a thousand times no.

State appellate judges elected by district: Heck, no! The existing electoral process already exposes the public to too many weird candidates, and makes the bench too political. To narrow the field for worthy judicial talent and localize the politics even further makes no sense whatsoever. I get a kick out of the ads that claim that giving eastern and southern Oregon guaranteed seats on the appeals courts will somehow bring about ethnic and gender diversity on the courts. Right.

Universal health care: Yoohoo! Hello! We're all broke! We can't afford to even be talking about this.

Increase the minimum wage: If you can't afford to pay your help $6.90 an hour, you don't deserve any help.

Prohibit paying ballot measure canvassers by the signature: Yes, yes, yes. The Oregon initiative system has become a perverse joke (see some of the above rants for examples). If you want my signature, you should be out there pestering me in front of the grocery store on your own time. If we must allow you to be paid, we should be able to say how.

Require labelling of genetically engineered foods: I confess to voting for this one, despite the apparent impracticality of it all. I just remember when the food industry spokepersons claimed that the sky would fall when they had to start listing the fat content of their foods on the label. "No other country does this, it's complex, it will create a bureaucracy, and blah blah blah." Since they were faking then, I'm just going to assume that they're faking now. If it's so safe, why are they so afraid to tell us what they're doing before we put the food in our mouths?

OK, that's it. More than you wanted to know, and doubtlessly likely to cost me some plum political job some day.


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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
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Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
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Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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