Eugene Weekly : Views : 3.1.07

Unda the Rotunda:
The Scarlet Letter
‘A’ is for accountability

Imagine being handed a check from the state of Oregon for hundreds of thousands of dollars that provides tax incentives to your business to either locate here or expand your current operations. Imagine further that the money comes with relatively few strings attached: If you’re in an enterprise zone, you only have to increase employment by 10 percent and invest $50,000 in buildings or equipment; if you’re in the free-for-all-world of economic development, your check is a ticket to unfettered, unencumbered spending that promises little in the way of jobs or economic development. And if you’re wondering who pays for it all, take a look in the mirror. [Read More]


Natural Resistance:
Crossing the Lines
The need for real conversations

I believe the single most moving, admirable behavior of humans is when they converse across lines: ethnic, religious, socioeconomic, political, racial, age, cultural or species.

Barbara McClintock won a Nobel Prize in 1983 for her scientific research on so-called “jumping genes,” mobile sequences of DNA within the genetic material of a cell. She discovered this process in the 1940s and early 1950s. It helped explain how genes can turn off or on the expression of some physical characteristics in a living being. Other scientists finally understood her work in the 1960s and 1970s as they studied genetic regulation and genetic change. McClintock spent her adult life with corn, and a fellow scientist remarked that McClintock was able to see things happening within corn genes that others had not yet seen because she empathized with corn. She conversed with corn, listening by observing and talking by testing hypotheses. A biography of McClintock is titled A Feeling for the Organism. [Read More]