Day: January 20, 2017

History in the attic

Every household contains a treasure trove of history. Unfortunately much of that history ends up in an incinerator or a land fill. The treasure trove are the thousands, if not millions, of photographs sitting in attics, basements and storage units of most Keizer families. When a person who  has lived in one place for many years passes on it falls to their family to distribute and dispose of their homes—furniture, clothing and memoriabilia of their lives. Many times photographs and scrapbooks are disposed of because family members don’t know the people or places in the photo and thus has no value to them. The Keizer Heritage Museum wants to be part of the disposal process. It is the mission of the museum to collect and archive the history of Keizer, dating back to its earliest days in the 1880s and that includes any photos of Keizer landmarks. Many photos are of people lost to history, but those people may be posing in front of any number of Keizer sites—schools, businesses, homes—that would be significant to the museum’s collection. The Keizer Heritage Museum will accept any number of photos (boxes of them, if that be the case), quickly check for historical importance, then either return the photos or dispose of them for the donors. Keizer has three buldings that date to the late 1890s and early 1900s. The community must...

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Attacking Rep. John Lewis

By MICHAEL GERSON  Who is John Lewis that Donald Trump should be mindful of him? Lewis, by one definition, is a 76-year-old, liberal politician with a disturbing habit of hyperbole. He questioned the validity of George W. Bush’s presidential win. He once compared John McCain to George Wallace. Now he questions the legitimacy of Trump’s presidential victory. By another definition, Lewis was a consequential student leader of the civil rights movement. He led sit-ins to desegregate lunch counters; was one of the original Freedom Riders who integrated buses; experienced the hospitality of places like Mississippi’s Parchman penitentiary; and carried away the memento of a skull fracture from Selma. It must be said that the whole business of questioning a president’s right to hold office is pernicious. It puts a hard stop on all civility and cooperation. The worst instance, of course, was the claim that Barack Obama was Kenyan-born and disqualified to be president—an argument based on partisan, conspiratorial and quasi-racist lies enthusiastically spread by Trump. When the president-elect calls out Lewis on this topic, it is a display of hypocrisy so large that it is visible from space. A conservative friend tells me I’m too concerned about Trump’s “manners.” Probably. (Though it strikes me as odd for any conservative to dismiss the gestures of mutual respect that make democracy and human society possible.) The problem, however, runs deeper....

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Losing jobs to automation

How much longer will increasing numbers of Americans not find work at jobs that pay by the hour, are salaried or paid work of any kind? With the number of machines gone automatic, robots and computers replacing people, inexpensive imported goods and the decline in routine factory assembly and office clerk work, along with the immediate cost and incurred debt of professional training schools, many Americans have just given up. In the meantime, our population has increased exponentially; so, can it be any other than the present time that we recognize the numbers of Americans not employed or employable. For hundreds of years we’ve believed that work and/or a job was the place where a person acquired discipline, initiative, honesty, self-reliance and, as bonus, character, too.  Further, a job was a source of a person’s very survival; no job meant the inability to buy food, a roof overhead, a safe place to sleep, and family support. It’s been important also that, through work, “You make something of yourself.” But we’re going through a break-neck period of change where more and more of those among us choose, or more likely, forced, into being without a job.  At present, that means those —who are homeless—become a class of outcasts, being driven from one open space or empty building to another without permanency anywhere. Those persons in that condition have risen in number to a point where they cannot be ignored because they are threatening social order. Meanwhile, both liberals and conservatives make “full employment” their...

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