Day: December 11, 2015

Patience is not a virtue vs. terror

By MICHAEL GERSON In his address to the nation on terrorism, President Obama warned against “tough talk.” On this, at least, no one can accuse him of hypocrisy. In the aftermath of recent attacks, Obama perfunctorily ticked off a series of inputs: airstrikes, arming and training Iraqi and Syrian forces, cooperating with allies on counterterrorism and pursuing a cease-fire in the Syrian conflict. And then he issued this directive: “I’ve ordered the Departments of State and Homeland Security to review the visa-waiver program.” Who at the White House thought it would be helpful for the commander in chief, after a terrorist attack on the American homeland, to order an interdepartmental review process? Obama gave a speech of reassurance for a policy that appears to be collapsing. The Islamic State has solidified control of vast territory and is displaying many of the characteristics of an actual nation. It has attracted jihadists from around the world to the conflict in Syria and Iraq, many of whom will return home with deadly skills. With the Paris attacks, the Islamic State has demonstrated the strategic capacity to strike in Western capitals. It counts affiliates in about a dozen nations, including a particularly successful Libyan branch operation. And it has become a rallying point for self-radicalization, as close as a Facebook pledge of allegiance. Before the events of the last few weeks, it might...

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I never want to see my dentist again

A Box of Soap By DON VOWELL All I got for Christmas was a new front tooth. So far. Actually I needed only to replace a chunk that broke out on the back side of the tooth.  It takes the discipline of a Zen Master to keep your tongue from ceaselessly probing, massaging, and exploring the jagged edge of a crater in the back side of your tooth. That discipline is beyond me. I called the dentist soon after the chunk went missing. I shudder to think where it might have gone.  Hopefully it’s not lodged in some far-flung intestinal crevasse. My ordinary practice is to wait until my face is swelling before I actually make a dental appointment, but my restless tongue couldn’t just leave it be. There are a lot of reasons not to go to a dentist.  The first is discomfort.  My chosen dentist is the least threatening dentist in Oregon and has never caused me any pain. A wonderful man, he moves slowly, precisely and gently.  He also explains every step before he goes forward. But there is more to pain than pain. There is also anxiety that there could soon be pain.  With all that skull-ringing drilling and grinding, and the forced air and water spraying rotted tooth fragments all over your mouth it is not so far-fetched to believe that you are one...

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Dieker leaving as chamber leader

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes It hasn’t happened in a while, but the Keizer Chamber of Commerce is looking for a new executive director. Christine Dieker took over the position in March 1998 and has been in the position since, aside from a few turbulent months in 2003. But that is changing: Dieker submitted her resignation to the chamber’s Board of Directors on Dec. 2. The board accepted the resignation. “I have growing opportunities,” Dieker told the Keizertimes. “I do not have another job lined up or one targeted in the near future. I’m very blessed with a family that’s supportive, a husband (Tom) that can provide our income. I don’t have to hurry up and get a job on the financial side of things. I am open, but semiretiring. I still have some work left in me. There will be some opportunities for me, but nothing is lined up.” Bob Zielinski, the current chamber president, knew there were family considerations but was still surprised by the timing. “She’s been kind of talking about her mother’s health and she has grandkids who are here,” Zielinski said. “There have been comments (about retiring) made periodically, but I didn’t think it was serious. But she’s certainly put in her time.” That time began in 1998, when longtime State Farm agent Sam Goesch was serving as the chamber president. “I like...

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