oregon blog 09-12-19 (settled in) by george drake

Hi All:


Well, the stuff is now at least organized.  Still all over the place, and I’ll deal with that as I go along, but at least it’s mostly accessible and organized.  The beach is within a five minute drive and Bro and I get down there about once a day to talk to the ocean, rain or shine.  So far there’s been about equal amounts of each, but I hear that’s unusual this time of year.  Luckily it’s warmed up enough that it is rain.

The sound of rain on the roof is a wonderful treat I haven’t heard much of since leaving Davis in 1978.  Comforting and reminiscent of the shelter of a close family when I was young,  I am so thankful for that era, especially when I hear so many others speak of troubled childhoods.  To all you parents out there: remember that that’s the most important job there is.  Providing a comfortable, loving, and safe home for your children to grow up in.  The most important job there is.  Do it well.

My internet connection sucks, so I’m still working on trying to resolve it.  

Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate it.  Happy Holidays to those who have only the holidays.  Work safely and happily to all those who have to work.


This morning I awoke with a political insight into what seems to me to have gone wrong in our democracy.  yesterday I was angered by the Senate’s having caved in on not only the public option but the extension of medicare to younger Americans.  As sometimes happens, overnight it occurred to me what the key problem is: The number isn’t 60.  It’s 40.

When did we get bamboozled into thinking otherwise?  The whole role of the filibuster has been reversed by the switch in emphasis that has, somehow, been allowed to take over the public discourse.  The onus is on the Republicans to get 40, not on the Democrats to get 60.  Thats a world of difference

When there had to be a vote of sixty to even consider the health bill about two weeks ago, I was dumbfounded.  When I was in student government years ago and learning about parliamentary procedure, it took someone who wanted to discuss an idea and  a second willing to hear it.  When did our psyches become adapted to the idea that you had to have a supermajority  approve having a discussion?  You used to need the supermajority to stop a debate, note to start it.  What’s going on here”

In a democracy, the onus for stopping a majority from exercising its will needs to be with the minority.  The pressure mustn’t be on the majority to get and then to retain sixty in order to avoid the minority stopping action. It must be on the minority to muster forty votes to stop the will of the majority from ruling.  That isn’t even right, and said that way makes it clear.  The need of forty votes is supposed to rest with those who wish to keep a debate going.  That vote happens over and over again until the debate is closed.  That’s where you have to hold your forty.  The vote to pass is supposed to take place after a debate, and almost never to be revisited.

The majority is supposed to need 50 % plus one.  The minority is supposed to loose.  That’s the idea of a democracy.  The majority is supposed to rule.

The situation as we now seem to perceive it will  sooner or later, bring this democracy down.  The obstruction of solutions supported by a majority is un-American and the existence of a provision to allow an incensed minority to halt the rule of the majority is there for an exceptional exercise of protection when the minority feels its rights are being trampled.  If it’s something they believe in strongly enough to filibuster about, then let them filibuster and lets see how long their moneyed interests will hold out in the face of a  national philosophy that says, “Wait a minute.  What happened to the rule of the majority?  Whats so wrong with 51%?”

The number isn’t 60. It’s 51, counting the Vice President.  Assuming it’s 60 is a formula for a dysfunctional government.


Forecast today was amusing.  How many different ways can you say, “Oh yeah, rain that day, too.”  (editor alert: how do you punctuate that last sentence?)

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