Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Come, ye thankful people, let’s handle this Wednesday, November 22, 2017, and get on with Thanksgiving! Portland’s weather is rainy, but record-settingly warm, with highs of 60 degrees.  Sunrise 7:19 AM  Sunset 4:33 PM
The holiday travel zoo begins today, and hundreds of thousands of Oregonians will jump on the highway and head for their family gatherings. So traffic will be bummer to bummer, and ODOT says it will be at its worst between 3 and 7 PM today. The highways will be free of ice or snow to Central Oregon, the Oregon Coast, and California. Today and Sunday are the top two travel days at PDX. And checking the airport’s status boards: all flights are running, the Economy Lot is 81% full, and the FAA’s Command Center map shows green lights at all major hubs.
If you see a swarm of F15’s zooming up from the runway at PDX, fear not…the Oregon Air National Guard’s 142nd Fighter Wing is conducting a combat readiness practice, scrambling a dozen of those jets this morning.
A US Navy plane with 11 on board developed engine trouble and crashed into the Pacific off Japan. Eight were saved, three are missing. That’s the fifth accident this year involving the Seventh Fleet, whose admiral in charge has already been relieved of his command.
Have to wonder what’s going on in the North Bethany area. A large home under construction burned down last night –and the same neighborhood where two homes burned down in August.
Net neutrality. That’s a pretty poor term for something that affects the one thing that connects us all: the Internet. But the story of its proposed repeal bears watching, and needs your input. If net neutrality goes, net connections become a commercial commodity for sale at different levels. The more you pay, the better your net connection will be.  If you can’t afford it, well…
Weird story. A federal judge in Portland has sentenced to two years a woman who visited her boyfriend in jail and gave him a kiss–which was actually a mouth-to-mouth transfer of seven balloons filled with meth. He swallowed two of them. They burst in his stomach, and he died of methamphetamine toxicity.
Sad to see that David Cassidy died, only 67 years old. I never was into The Partridge Family,  but their single “I Think I Love You”–performed by David, real-life stepmom Shirley Jones, and the Wrecking Crew–was a worthy occupant of the pop charts. Interesting story: when he was four years old, his parents got a divorce—and they kept it secret from him for years. They had dinner together, they went to movies…though he spent a lot of nights at his grandmother’s.  A neighbor spilled the beans to him when he was six.
A Texas 16-year old boy who’d been shuttling around in foster care most of his life was so inspired by his high school English teacher that he asked her to adopt him, and be his forever Mom. She did.
A 102-year old Polish man who escaped the Holocaust believing that his entire family had perished learned this month that he was wrong.  Israeli researchers found that he had a brother who also survived, and though the brother has passed, he had a son, and the two were able to meet and exchange stories, something the elder man had never imagined. Given the advancing years, that’s among the last of such reunions.
Archeologists have discovered the oldest known evidence of wine. It’s in the ancient land called Georgia, at the crossroads of Asia and Eastern Europe, where neolithic jars were found to contain biomolecular evidence of a wine from 8000 years ago.
Portland’s Singing Christmas Tree opens Friday night. So maybe do the tree-lighting in the Square, and pop over to the Keller?
It was on this bleak day 54 years ago that Walter Cronkite took off his glasses and said to America that President Kennedy was gunned down in Dallas. For a majority of Americans across the political spectrum, what truly happened will forever be a mystery. Only one in five of us believes that Lee Harvey Oswald did the deed alone. He firmly denied it under two days of questioning, and then was killed. Last month’s document release only provided more loose ends, such as the transcript from a 1975 deposition in which the head of the CIA was asked if there is any evidence to indicate that the CIA was involved in the assassination, and his answer is missing.  A memo from J. Edgar Hoover two days after the assassination doesn’t help. The FBI director wrote: “The thing I am concerned about is that we have something issued so we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin.” Polling indicates that most Americans suspect that strings were being pulled in secret. And still are.
So Thanksgiving! We need to make it a state of mind, more than a meal. It might require some discipline,  if you consider where we are. The national mood is that of resentment; we have an administration that was elected on resentment and expresses it daily, and we have an opposing culture that is accordingly aggrieved and expresses that every day as well. Feelings are personal and passionate, and resentment is plastered in your face every time you log into social media. The opposite of resentment is gratitude. It’s not our natural state this year, but Thanksgiving demands of us that we do one thing: celebrate. Another day of living. Another day of love.
So Happy Thanksgiving! The DD will be back in full farce on Monday, but we’ll check in as warranted throughout the holiday weekend, in between the pie and the pie.

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