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Columns

Phil Knight funds some fine athletic facilities on the UO campus. I just wish he would stop using Donald Trump as a design consultant.

I recently discovered that my 14-year-old stepson, who lives with us full-time, has been stealing, wearing, soiling, and hiding his toddler sister’s pull-ups. I’ve found them after he hides them in his closet, which also serves as a general storage area. After discussions with him, I’m certain that wearing them is a pleasure thing for him. (He says “curiosity,” but this has been going on so long that he knows what it feels like.) He has even stolen some of the neighbor girl’s Baby Alive doll diapers to wear and soil.

Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. — Karl Marx

Dear readers: Two excellent writers stepped in to answer the Savage Love Letter of the Day while I was on vacation, and I wanted to share two of their responses in the column this week. (The SLLOTD appears daily—cough, cough—on Slog, The Stranger’s blog, and is blasted out to folks who have the Savage Love app.) First up is Daniel Bergner. He’s the award-winning author of four books of nonfiction. His newest book is What Do Women Want?

One saying goes like this, “When you have your health, you have everything!” That is a wonderful sentiment, but I think I could add that having a loving family, a challenging job and enough money to live comfortably — all of those things are part of my idea of “everything.”

Forty-eight years ago this month, Lyndon Johnson overcame years of resistance by the medical establishment and signed Medicare into law. It’s as close as this country has ever come to establishing the kind of universal, publicly funded, “single-payer” health care system that prevails in most other industrialized countries. Coming at a time when half the nation’s seniors lived in poverty, its passage quickly demonstrated that it was possible for the federal government to provide health coverage for the costliest section of the population to insure, at a fraction of the administrative cost required by private industry.

County Administrator Liane Richardson demonstrated admirable qualities on the job. She had shown herself to be tireless, dedicated and ingenious. If she had only been working for us ... 

The Occupy Wall Street meme went viral in September 2011. People all over America assembled to oppose the astonishing Wall Street bailouts, which continued after emergency assistance to Main Street dried up. Street drama was electrifying. Looking back, history will show that Occupy was the beginning of a paradigm — shifting people’s reaction to the third structural crisis of American capitalism (after the depressions of 1893 and the 1930s). Both of these previous crises resulted in fundamental rewrites of the operating code of the American political operating system. The emergence of the Occupy movement marks the beginning of a rewrite of our political operating system.

I'm a 25-year-old male. After a tragic set of circumstances, I am now the legal guardian of my 15-year-old brother. He's gay. Fortunately, our parents took care of "the talk" and taught him how to use condoms. Unfortunately, he has started dating a senior at his school who is about to turn 18 and is a fucking sleazeball. You know the type: entitled, narcissistic LA type, drives a BMW paid for by his rich parents. This asshole has no respect for my brother.

This must be nature’s designation of the Year of the Nut. Filbert trees all around town have an abundance of swelling husks. When growing close to the curb, nuts are being knocked off their branches by passing trucks and smashed on the street by subsequent traffic. Squirrels and crows leap out onto the street to snatch up the soft, as yet unripe, meat of the seed inside, what we call a nut. Walnuts are also showing a major crop, especially the Turkish walnuts, in abandoned orchards and back yards.

In a Viewpoint on Aug. 1, 2012, Roy Keene described how Timber Town Eugene buzzes along nearly oblivious to the forest destruction and herbicide poisoning around it. Much like a frog in a pot of water brought to a slow boil, the timber industry relies on what geographer and author Jared Diamond has referred to as “landscape amnesia” — slow environmental degradation that would be offensive if only at a faster pace.

I am a 28-year-old gay man living in a major East Coast city. I recently connected with a guy on a vanilla dating website, and we are quickly developing a real interest in each other. After talking online for a bit, we exchanged numbers. Our first conversation was through text messages for the better part of six hours. The next night, we talked over the phone for an hour or two. And the third consecutive night was our first date.

I know you’re slammed with work, debt and episodes of Downton Abbey to catch up on. And I know you feel like an eco-hypocrite jetting to see Grandma and coral reefs before they disappear. Me, too. But if your political inaction on climate change stems mostly from not knowing how to make a difference, Bill McKibben just issued his Tarzan call for your help.

Millions of Americans have been educated to believe that their psychiatric drugs correct a known “biochemical imbalance,” but they might be surprised to find that this belief is not actually supported by science. In fact, the evidence that psych drugs correct “biochemical imbalances” is so weak that an editorial in Psychiatric Times recently claimed that it is only within “urban legend” that well-informed psychiatrists have ever believed such theories.

The revelations of the past month and a half have shone light on system of suspicionless global and domestic surveillance so pervasive that George Orwell would have been stunned. The goal of the NSA is that all electronic communication whatsoever will be stored and analyzed. If “red flags” are raised in the analysis, or if suspicion is raised for other reasons, then a closer look may be had.

Stand-your-ground laws say that if  a person is confronted by danger he has no duty to retreat, though good sense may advise that he do so. Or, he can play John Wayne and the law will have his back. Such laws entitle A to kill B if he “reasonably believes “ that killing B is “necessary” to save his own life. Such laws speak with forked tongue. For how can A reasonably believe it was necessary to kill B if A could have avoided such a necessity by jumping on his horse and riding off? It only makes sense if your mind lives in Dodge City.

I’ve been mostly happily married for 15 years. I’m a straight man. I love my wife. We used to have a great sex life. But after many years, children, and just day-to-day reality, our sex life is now pretty unsatisfying. While my wife was barely GGG at the beginning, now she will not go down on me ever. We do have sex 4 to 10 times a month, but it is always plain vanilla. I went on Craigslist to look at the “casual encounters” ads, and after months of just looking, I replied to some. My only actual response admitted to being a man pretending to be a woman.

I am a young gay man who has been so freaked out by the idea of catching an STI that I haven’t gotten with anyone for two years. But last night, I hooked up with a cute 21-year-old FTM trans boy, and maybe because it was a person with lady parts, I let caution go, and no condom was used. How worried should I be about having made a baby with a person who is way too young to have one?

Cautious Homo In Loopy Dilemma

P.S. He is on hormone therapy.

 

My friend and former Congressman Jim Weaver, who lives on Seavey Loop Road, called me about a month ago asking what might be done, if anything, about the summer events in Buford Park that seemed to be multiplying exponentially. He told me about an event last year that backed up traffic from the park to I-5 and kept him from getting out of his driveway.

The air was calm, the birdsong brisk, as sunlight slanted through the canopy, spotlighting the Wiley Griffon Historical Monument in the Eugene Masonic Cemetery. It may have been a trick of the light, but Wiley’s bronze eye sparkled. The Preacher and I stood looking out into the forest, overlooking the gravesite on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Medgar Evers, June 12.

The plan to add bike lanes to South Willamette Street asks bicyclists to entrust their lives to a paint strip on the pavement.

I’m a 26-year-old straight female. I’m writing because I need to ask someone what to think right now. I just fucked a guy while on holiday in Costa Rica. I thought I was sex-positive and adventurous, so why do I feel so ashamed? I’m dating a boy back in the US who I absolutely adore, but we’re not necessarily exclusive. The guy was a 22-year-old local — I thought he was so sweet. But he did that bullshit “fuck her and then get her out of bed and drive her home” shit. I told him it wasn’t okay, and he made excuses.

f you wanted to carve a dugout canoe from a log, is it better to chip out the inside first? Or should you first shape the outside and then scoop out the inside? The answer at the end may surprise you.

The politics of gun control today clearly indicate that at the federal or state level in Oregon, legislation to either enact new limitations or expand current regulations regarding firearm ownership is highly unlikely.