Month: June 2015

The acceleration of history

By E.J. DIONNE JR.      WASHINGTON — Sometimes history speeds up. Rarely in our nation’s 239 years of life has a single week brought such a surge of social change and such a sweeping set of challenges to past assumptions.      The move against the Confederate battle flag in South Carolina quickly cascaded into a national effort to cast aside commemorations of secession, slavery and white supremacy. This was more than symbolism. It represented something bigger — the nation’s turn toward “thoughtful introspection and self-examination,” as President Obama said in his powerful eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney on Friday.      For years, the fact that slavery was the central cause of the Civil War was swept under a rug woven of heritage and battlefield glory. Confederate emblems that came into wide public use in the 1950s and 1960s in large part to protest racial equality and civil rights were treated as if they had always been there, representing a “tradition” kept vague enough to hide away slave labor, disenfranchisement and murderous night riders.      On Thursday, the Supreme Court decided, 6-to-3, to keep the Affordable Care Act whole. To go the other way, as Chief Justice John Roberts argued, would have violated any plausible understanding of what Congress had intended. Roberts’ reasoning was rooted, ironically, in the principles of interpretation put forward by Justice Antonin Scalia. This did not...

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Religious and gay rights must coexist

By MICHAEL GERSON       WASHINGTON — It is often the fate of conservatives to be concerned about the fire code and occupancy limit at someone else’s party. Never more conspicuously than concerning the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision, Obergefell v. Hodges.      With many friends and relatives celebrating the outcome, judicial conservatives are generally anxious about the process. Beyond the question, “Who benefits?” conservatives are asking, “Who rules?” Should it be judges determining and applying an evolving conception of human rights, or legislatures engaged in the slower, messier work of self-government?      Social conservatives are correctly upset about a process that grants, in an act of self-dealing, enormous power to an unrepresentative clique of lawyers who cannot imagine any serious moral deliberation beyond their immediate social circle. But social conservatives also need to recognize that, before Obergefell, the process of self-government was moving with unaccustomed haste in the direction of state recognition of gay marriages. And this reflects an extraordinary shift in public opinion toward acceptance of the practice.      Why has the gay rights movement been so dramatically successful? Certainly, the people who came out to family and friends — often at considerable risk and cost — humanized an abstract debate. Fictional gay characters — see “Glee” and “Modern Family” — did much the same.      But perhaps the most significant shift in strategy came from public intellectuals such as Jonathan...

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Mural timeline still undecided

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes For months, this summer or early fall has been targeted as the time for Keizer’s second public mural to be done. That could be changing, though it’s not certain yet. Lore Christopher and Jill Hagen, both members of the Keizer Public Arts Commission (KPAC), announced plans in February to put a mural on the north wall at Town and Country Lanes. Not long after, Christopher said the mural would be done in September. The design of the mural has undergone revisions. What was originally announced as the design was later amended to be a proposed design. The design is now envisioned by KPAC members to be scenes from the Iris Festival Parade. At Tuesday’s KPAC meeting, the timeline got potential revisions as well. Keizer City Councilor Amy Ripp will be working with KPAC member Rick Day to get the wall – estimated to be 140 feet long and nine feet tall – ready “in the next 30 days” with gray primer and the wording “Everyone loves a …?” in large letters. Mardi Smith, general manager at Town and Country, had artist Michelle Rotharmel with her, who has done large murals before and will be helping on this one. Another artist in the room, Wendy Lusby, questioned at one point when the project would be done. “As an artist, I’m really confused by some...

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“Born to Be Wild: The Rise of the American Motorcyclist” by Randy D. McBee

“Born to Be Wild: The Rise of the American Motorcyclist” by Randy D. McBee c.2015, The University of North Carolina Press $35.00 / higher in Canada 359 pages BOOK REVIEW by TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER You’ll never be accused of missing adventure because you’re too tired. Two, in fact, is just the right amount of tires; because the weather is perfect and it’s summertime, you can’t imagine riding on more. But how did a simple modification on a bicycle become something that’s represented danger to many people?  Read the new book “Born to Be Wild: The Rise of the American Motorcyclist” by Randy D. McBee, and you’ll find out. In the early years of the last century, when “gypsy tours” were organized for the benefit of motorcycle enthusiasts who wanted a scenic ride to a place where they could compete, riding was a fun pastime. That changed in 1947 in Hollister, California, when roughly 4,000 motorcyclists rallied, fought, disobeyed traffic laws, and got drunk and disorderly. Quick-thinking police had the situation under control in no time, but the die was cast: motorcycling became near-synonymous with debauchery. At that time, there were over 200,000 motorcycles registered for use on highways in the U.S.; by 1950, the number had more than doubled.  In many American minds then, leather jackets, rolled-up jeans, white t-shirt, and a slouch (a la Marlin Brando and James Dean)...

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Canucks rout S-K

By HERB SWETT For the Keizertimes The Volcanoes opened their 2015 season on the short end of an 11-2 game with Vancouver on June 18 at home. It was a contest through five innings, with the Canadians leading Keizer 3-0 going into the sixth. Starting and losing pitcher Nick Gonzalez gave up two more runs in the fifth and was relieved by Kirk Singer with two out. Vancouver added three runs each in the sixth and seventh before Fernando Pujadas hit a bases-empty home run in the eighth. An error in the eighth scored Brennan Metzger for the final run of the game before a crowd of 2,822. Gonzalez gave up six hits for three runs and had four strikeouts and two bases on balls. The first two Canadian runs came in the third, with a single to left center field by Juan Tejada leading off the inning. An error by first baseman Juan Kelly on a pickoff attempt by pitcher Clinton Hollen sent Tejada to third base. Earl Burl drove Tejada in with a double to left and went to third on an infield single by Alexis Maldonado. Burl scored as Lane Thomas hit into a force out. In the Vancouver fifth, Christian Vazquez led off with an infield single and Burl walked. Maldonado hit into a force out of Vazquez at second, and Burl and Maldonado pulled...

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