Your Abbreviated Editorial/Pundit Roundup: Compost edition

Carla Axtman

I am a creature of self-imposed limited interests. I say "self-imposed" because if I didn't force myself into a highly narrow set of hobbies, I'd be flat broke and sleepless.

Besides politics, my only other real hobby is gardening. I chose it because its just about the opposite of politics, with a couple of exceptions. Both require their own hefty doses of compost and both have a certain competitive component (other gardeners may understand what I mean by that).

According to my planting guide, its almost time to get the first seeds of spring into the garden. So I'm hoping to get out today and amend the soil with compost from my bin. If it stops raining, that is.

In the meantime, here's a dose of another kind of compost...from editorials and pundits.

Pat Caldwell, Ontario Argus Observer (Saturday): Reality is that beautiful shining city on a hill that gave us the Iraq invasion and the (cough) defeat of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Hasso Herring,Albany Democrat-Herald (Saturday): Western Oregon University has absolutely no right to monitor and enforce their rules against students carrying weapons on campus. It's un-American to not allow students to carry guns.

Dick Hughes, Statesman Journal (Thursday): Happy Birthday Oregon! I love you! Now here's your "honey-do" list.

Capital Press Weekly (Thursday): Farming cannot be the providence of generations past. Cultivating young farmers must be a priority for Oregon and for the U.S.

Central Oregonian-Prineville: The state's economic stimulus package won't help us because while its $750K, only long-term government jobs do the trick. We love big government...except when we don't.

Susan Nielsen, The Oregonian (Sunday): It's time for paid family leave in Oregon. Here's how we do it.

The LaGrande Observer (Friday): When defense attorneys have to remind judges that there's such a thing as the first amendment, things are screwed.

Hood River News (Saturday): We are swimming in Oregon geekdom until we are pruney.

Eugene Register-Guard (Saturday): DeFazio did the right thing in voting against the stimulus package, for a number of reasons. Not the least of which that the tax cuts to gain nonexistent GOP support never should have happened.

Lars Larson,Oregon Catalyst: I am the definition of crazy.

The Bend Bulletin: We have an assinine, counterproductive firewall so blogs can't link to us and expand our reach.

  • WunderBlunder (unverified)

    What a great article by you, a proud member of the proles! Great leader will be so proud of you!

    Why can't we have a movie about the Heroes of Oregon and how they've saved this state. Maybe a great peoples actor such as Ralph Maccio could play one of the leading roles.

    p.s. Howcome we're so smart and the Repubs are so stupid? Probably because they're such corporate fascists!

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    All that and wit too? I can't understand why the GOP blogosphere isn't more successful......

  • GREAT LINKS! (unverified)

    I'm really enjoying all these links you have added to your article, ALOT! Very good!

  • Tom Carter (unverified)

    Hasso Herring's piece on the university's rules is interesting, both in general and about prohibiting guns. Universities routinely make and enforce rules that run counter to people's rights, frequently on the basis of what's politically correct. They're especially adept at limiting free speech on topics not currently in favor.

    On guns, there's been a lot of claptrap lately about armed students and faculty members being able to prevent the shooting at Virginia Tech, if they had been allowed to carry weapons. According to some, making the campus a gun-free area did nothing more than ensure that only the nutcase would be armed. There's some perverse logic in that, I suppose. However, it overlooks the fact that most normal people carrying guns (including some police officers, by the way) are worse than useless in a gun fight. They're about as likely to shoot bystanders or themselves as they are the bad guy. We're not going to solve this problem until we outlaw all handguns and get them out of the hands of everyone, including criminals. Not likely to happen, unfortunately. So are we better off letting Joe Sixpack pack heat, since the bad guys are strapped? I don't think so.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)

    On safe seed planting dates... I swear by the oaks to know when the last killing frost is history. I've seen two cases where they came pretty close to getting it wrong, but have still never seen a case where they were budded out and there was a killing frost. Conversely, I've never seen them wait more than 14 days after the last one. Seems to work with any oak, from a Texas Live Oak to the proper ones we have here.

    I don't think anyone told Lars that "when the going gets weird the weird turn pro", generally carries with it a sense of exasperation, not that it turned weird because you made it that way!

    As for types like the Bend bulletin...I understand your caution. The internet isn't for everybody. I have a suggestion how to make your systems 100% secure. Unplug them. If you want to dip your toe, buy a book on Linux. Honestly, do people not understand that 80% of "the insecure internet" is insecure Windoze? We think Detroit has some kind of commercial power, but could you imagine the Firestone/Ford recall being reported without mentioning any brand names? That's what happens every time you read an article about the Sasser worm or Vundo or whatever and it isn't entitled "New Trojan/Worm Infects Windows". Sometimes you can read 10, front-page articles on this and you won't see the word "Windows" once.

    Ditto Great Links.

    Wunder- you're not the one from BC that's going to BP San Juan in 4 days, are you? Definitely don't seem like the cricketer from Austin. No, this is who I think you are. BTW, I guess you haven't noticed that there are no real proletariat in this country. A bit dated.

  • Ten Bears (unverified)

    You don't want to link to what's behind the firewall at the Bend Bullshiten. Really. You don't.

    Unless, of course, you're into rightwing paranoid jackbooted fantasies and jew/muslim/christiann cult lion on lamb sex propaganda.

    And they censor Doonesbury...

  • The Chinuk (unverified)

    Carla (to WonderBlunder):

    All that and wit too? I can't understand why the GOP blogosphere isn't more successful.....

    That one comment alone was like the entire NW Republican reading experience distilled down into one tiny comment. So, well done to WB, because that really saves sane people a step. All you have to do to glance into the abyss is to look at that one comment.

    What a vacuous comment Teh Lars said anyway. Its the same thing every conservative ever wrote for the last thirty years and was taken seriously in the last 12 (and still is, God knows why).

    The addiction to tax cuts ... I just love it. Most of us who are working hardly have an income to give a tax cut to, and of course tax cuts are no damned good to unmeploye people (more of which there are, thanks to thirty years of economic policy stemming from Reaganomics). But give us them tax cuts, will ya!

    Get out of the way of business and the economy will fix itself ... that, unlike me in the current economic climate, is rich. Classic Republican doublethink. I think to myself that Teh Lars can't possibly be saying it with a straight face but then I realize that, yeah, he probably is. Because that's just what we've been made to live with for the last two administrations. "Let-it-lay" regulations have given us the financial crisis, outsourcing of jobs foreign countries, and contaimination in the nation's food supply, and the only people who have gotten ahead are the people who were ahead at the beginning.

    Teh Lars will always be the mini-Me to Limbaugh's Dr. Evil.

    Remember, folks, there are just two types of people in the Republican Party: the rich people, and the chumps. Chances are, if you're reading this, you aren't one of the rich people.

  • Charles (unverified)

    Thanks for the wrap-up! I have mixed feelings about Lars' comment. Admitting one has a problem is the first step in recovery.

  • The Libertarian Guy (unverified)

    You may want to check out Oregon's own Nicholas Kristoff in today's New York Times. He has some interesting things to say about teacher quality. An issue that is widely ignored here in the Northwest as well as the rest of the country.

  • Jason (unverified)


    Enjoy your gardening tasks. I started some seeds indoors since I live in Central Oregon.

    Yes, gardening is a refuge from the realities of life and politics...a much needed respite at times.

  • Joanne Rigutto (unverified)

    Here's what I did on my small farm on Sunday. I wanted to start planting on Saturday, but snow, ya know...Pea Plantin' in February

  • Jiang (unverified)

    Posted by: Ten Bears | Feb 15, 2009 4:27:16 PM

    You don't want to link to what's behind the firewall at the Bend Bullshiten. Really. You don't.

    Unless, of course, you're into rightwing paranoid jackbooted fantasies and jew/muslim/christiann cult lion on lamb sex propaganda.

    And they censor Doonesbury...

    That must have been a dilemma! If we let people read Doonesbury, we spread dangerous, radical ideas. If we don't let them read it, we miss ridiculing liberal Portland for its schools. Better err on the side of paranoia.

    I used to unwind in my community garden before Reed bulldozed it to build on-campus dorms. That's when I started posting here, and why I never unwind.

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    Carla, I started my lettuce and sugar snap peas indoors this weekend. How about you?

    BTW it is a bit late to be mixing in the compost, isn't it? That's a late Fall job I thought. Just being prickly...

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    I'm sowing my sugar snap peas directly in to my raised beds. The lettuce starts were done a few weeks ago, they've got teeny little leaves now. They'll go out to the garage in another week or so to transition to the cooler temps. I'm also going to sow my green onions directly into the raised beds, fyi.

    I've done most of my flower bed composting in the Fall and my veggie garden composting in the Spring. I kinda screwed it up last Fall I'm going to work some compost into the flower beds, too.

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    A bit bold on the sugar snaps, aren't you? I read 3/14 is our "official" no more frost sow the seeds and starter day. Good luck with the lettuce. I'm waiting three more weeks.

    But you know I am just a limp ... um ...

    I grind up my leaves in the fall with this cool neato electric blower / sucker / grinder that came with me from bad old North Carolina where I had 15 or more deciduous trees on the property. I layer them in and turn a few times during the summer, seems to work pretty well.

    I hope to get some potato starters at Portland nursery next week. They're not in yet so don't go buying them all up when they arrive!

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    Just went to your site .. nice photos! I rig up a slightly different contraption. Using pvc piping you can cut lengths about 6 inches long and put them into the ground and put a connector on the end. Then you can cut longer lengths to make a hoop. The challenge for me has always been how to hold the plastic onto the pipe. I'm looking for some kind of clamp or clip.

    If you use the thinner (not sure the inch size) PVC, portland nursery sells some clips that you can put on the pipe. I love that store, but $49 for that do it yourself greenhouse is a ripoff--you can build it yourself for about 10 bucks with some PVC, a hacksaw, some plastic sheeting, and a scissors.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)

    Posted by: Jason | Feb 16, 2009 8:03:22 AM


    Enjoy your gardening tasks. I started some seeds indoors since I live in Central Oregon.

    I'm compulsive about keeping data on my plants and believe that valley folk should do as you do as well. Warm weather annuals started around Memorial Day and planted out on the 4th of July mature as fast as those planted outside in late March. June is useful for the consistent, thin, cloud cover most years, that allow you to set the potted plants almost anywhere and they get "direct" light. You save on treatment for pests and diseases, since they're outside less, and you can get a good first crop rotation of cool weather plants in before the 4th.

  • Ricky (unverified)

    You tree huggers have to decide which is more important, people or nature? Do you thin we can have it both ways? I was just watching Fox News Channel on the Australian fires & they reported one man was very mad at the local gov. because his mother & dad were killed by laws they passed as fallowed They had mad a Green law that would not let the people cut down old all most dead trees & also they were not let grass be cut around the houses & along roads.

    Let's use soem of Oregons stimulus money to cut dead trees and mow hillsides.

    That's sad.

    <h2>.sig</h2> <h2>"Nuts" By General Anthony McAuliffe</h2>

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