Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ginning Up The Base

There was no evidence of racism in the Michael Brown shooting last summer until the mainstream media and government officials injected it. The day after the shooting Attorney General Eric Holder sent legions of his “Community Relations Service” personnel to Ferguson. Were they there to prevent racial violence? Doesn’t look like it. They held private gatherings for residents - some of whom reported afterward that the Holder’s people wanted to discuss racism and “White Privilege.” Why would they do that? Because they wanted it to be about racism.
Two weeks ago, six hundred people demonstrated in downtown Portland, Maine with the now-familiar signs declaring “Black Lives Matter” and “Hands up! Don’t Shoot.” Did “Gentle Giant” Michael Brown put his hands up and beg the “racist,” white Ferguson police officer not to shoot him? No. That was a lie told by Brown’s partner-in-crime, Dorian Johnson, and contradicted by other witnesses as well as the forensic evidence. However, leftists all over the country still want to believe it because the media played it up so much the first days after the shooting. Now it will forever be true in the their mindset.
Demonstration in Portland, Maine

Then came the alleged University of Virginia “gang rape” reported in Rolling Stone. The story fell apart and the embarrassed magazine said it no longer had confidence in the report, but that didn't matter to progressives who wanted to believe it anyway. Hence, one of the Portland, Maine demonstrators carried a sign proclaiming “Racism is tinder. Rape is fuel.”
It calls to mind the alleged gang rape by the Duke Lacrosse Team. That fictitious incident combined race and rape. Race-baiters, feminists, and their mainstream media mouthpieces seemed downright disappointed when that juicy story turned out to be fabricated, and they had to stop professing their outrage.
The left doesn’t really want racism or sexism to go away. If Americans were to believe both are diminishing, that’s a problem. The base of the Democrat Party is made up of blacks and single women who need to be kept in state of perpetual outrage against “racist”; “sexist”; white men. If there aren’t enough examples, it becomes necessary to manufacture them.
Despite Democrats being the party of the Ku Klux Klan and Republicans being the party of Lincoln, the left-wing base of the party has been able to control most of the black vote since the 1960s. However, since the election of the first black president, opinion polls indicate that 53% of Americans believe race relations have worsened and that’s not what people expected when they voted for Barack Obama.
When I asked my students (I was still teaching in the public schools when he was elected), why they favored Obama, by far the most common reason was: “It’s time we had a black president,” and their opinions closely reflected what their parents thought. Indeed, that’s the answer most people gave me whenever the subject came up in casual conversation. When they asked me why I didn’t support him, I said it was because he was an inexperienced lefty with strong, socialist tendencies. President Obama’s popularity has plummeted since and Attorney General, who is also black, claims that criticism of both himself and his boss is racially motivated.
Many think Obama won the majority of white voters because they could feel good about themselves voting for a black candidate. Sporting an Obama bumper sticker would declare to the world: “See? I’m not racist.” It's a white guilt thing and that’s a strong, political dynamic for those calling themselves progressives. The Urban Dictionary defines white guilt as “a belief, often subconscious, among white liberals that being white is, in and of itself, a great transgression against the rest of the world for which one must spend their life making atonement. It is often exemplified by embracing the cultures and philosophies of various other ethnic groups while neglecting one's own roots.” Now thousands of white liberals afflicted with it attend the annual “White Privilege” conferences paid for with our tax money.
White guilt also currency for race hustlers like the (allegedly) Reverend Jesse Jackson and his sidekick, the (allegedly) Reverend Al Sharpton. Black writer Shelby Steele, who wrote a book about white guilt, said: “Jackson is what I call a challenger who says to whites, ‘I will never let you off the hook. I’m going to presume you are a racist until you give me something. Then I’ll offer absolution of some kind, but you have to buy your innocence.’” Now Sharpton is one the most frequent guests at the White House, offering advice to the president on racial matters.
Liberals suffering from white guilt were seeking a plenary indulgence when voting an inexperienced, unvetted, radical-leftist Barack Obama into office. Many now realize their mistake. We see those who refuse to acknowledge it out there marching with their hands up.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Cold Morning Muse

Moonset over Chatham, NH

So cold it was the other morning the leaves of my wife’s rhododendrons were curled up. The previous night’s full moon lit surrounding woods with silver and it’s nearly always frigid under a full moon in a Maine winter. The sun had been up an hour and I should have gone out to run, but I decided to wait ’til noon. My iPhone app said it would be 22 degrees by then and my ears wouldn’t freeze too badly. Could wear a hat I suppose, but I don’t like to.
The Moats and Mt. Kearsarge

Cold winter mornings put me in writing mood and that’s what I planned. By noon I’d feel like getting up to stretch my muscles and clear my head. Running in cold air helps that. It was time to renew work on a big writing project I had put down last spring because I had to get away from it. I was so far into it all winter that I couldn’t see it whole. So immersed was I in its parts that it wasn’t clear how they’d fit together and flow and I hoped my six-month respite would remedy that.
The Baldfaces in winter

My workspace in our Lovell house is an upstairs office, and it was a mess. I don’t let my wife clean in there so everything had a layer of light-gray dust. Cobwebs formed in the windows and mustiness assaulted the nostrils of anyone entering. Anything touched would leave fingers chalky. Clutter covered my desk and every other horizontal surface. Boxes spilled out of the closet prevented closing its bi-fold doors. It’s a former bedroom and was always neat and clean when it belonged to my daughter - and she went off to college twenty years ago. I had cleaned it up before, but I couldn’t remember the last time. Organizing my writing project would take several weeks at least and attempts to do it in an unorganized environment would probably retard the effort.
Winter sunset over Jackson, NH

In case the reader get an impression that I haven't labored in my office for a long time, let me say that I have a high tolerance for messy work environments. However, it had deteriorated to the point where even I couldn’t stand it anymore. Cleaning up my sorry space should only have taken an afternoon, but so many old papers and pictures were unearthed to re-read and re-examine that it took me two days. Such textual and visual remnants of times gone by evoked memories and emotions - most good, some not, but all of them vestiges of ordinary life. I had to feel them and let them go. Some of these sentimental remnants I saved, but the bulk of them went to the dump along with old computer equipment, old files I would never need (I hope), and even some old photographs. These last were images that looked great on a computer screen, but lost something when I sent them out to be printed as eight-by-tens. There was enough old stuff to fill two trash barrels, which I immediately took to the dump lest I change my mind and retrieve any of it.
The back field in winter

My office windows overlook a back field I spent seven years clearing with my my old chainsaw and a 1949 Ford 8N tractor. Never do I tire of looking at the view all that clearing exposed. I cut about eight cords a year to heat the house each winter until I opened up the woods as much as I wanted. All four children have been gone for several years and we don’t really need all this space which we now heat with oil. My wife would like to downsize - and I see the logic in that, but I like it here. Some of my life’s labors haven’t produced much but that long labor did. Where else would I be able to look out on such a beautiful result? Someday I’ll leave, but knowing me, I might put it off so long that I’ll do so horizontally.
August sunset over Mt. Washington, NH
All photos are views I see from my office. Be hard to leave this.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Against Football? I'm Not

One thing I like about the Portland area is that there’s usually something interesting happening on any given day or night. Last weekend I attended a book promotion at Longfellow Books by author Steve Almond who published “Against Football.” I’m not against it. I love football and plan my weekends around Patriots’ games, but I wanted to hear the writer make his case.

When I go to these things, I’m closeted. Nobody knows me down there and I don’t ask questions which may hint that my thinking is diametrically opposed to almost everything being said. Sometimes I feel like an anthropologist observing another species of hominid in its natural habitat, the very progressive City of Portland, Maine.

A woman introduced Almond saying he wrote for Salon and Slate as well as several other leftist web sites and publications and they met at a writers’ workshop on the coast. He was dressed in jeans, collarless pullover, and organic-looking shoes. He had a slight build and didn’t look like he had ever played football. He looked like Obama’s “Pajama Boy” without the glasses. Nonetheless, I tried hard to keep my mind open in case he had a case to make. The woman wore tight pants, high leather boots, and a vest-like thing with a Patriots logo over a collarless pullover with extra-long sleeves that covered half her hands leaving only fingers visible. She moved them extensively when talking and claimed to be an avid fan. I thought she asked him too many questions, leaving little time for the audience to ask some.
He claimed he was a fan (which I doubted) and had a hard time weaning himself, but watching football had become a moral quandary. He said it was the concussion thing mostly — that football players had shorter lifespans and were more likely to suffer dementia. He claimed players, mostly black, were exploited by billionaire owners. Watching games would only funnel more money into their pockets. Players were highly paid, but their careers were short.
He said he couldn’t watch men from poor backgrounds sacrifice their bodies for his enjoyment. He said football was “militaristic,” after which I expected he’d say they were dressed in uniforms and took strategic orders from their superiors to knock down men in opposing uniforms - or something like that - but he didn’t. He said football was militaristic because it was like watching soldiers suffering in battle while he was safe and warm in his house, which made him feel guilty. That confused me. Did he feel guilty because he could be safe and warm in his house only because soldiers were willing to suffer in battle? He didn’t elaborate but I was left with the feeling that he just disapproved of the military in general.

He disliked football’s “medieval gender roles” too, and worried his daughters would see muscular men and cheerleaders as sex-role models. He said football was “heteronormative” as if that were something to disdain. It’s a made-up word to slander those of us who think heterosexuality is normal. It’s repeated often on college campuses where people major in “Queer Studies”; “Gender Studies”; “Women’s Studies”; “Whiteness Studies” and such things.

He insisted Richie Incognito bullied fellow Miami Dolphin offensive lineman Jonathan Martin because he was repressing his latent homoerotic attraction to Martin. That analysis seemed so off the mark to me that I looked it up when I got home. Looks like he got it from Keith Olbermann, a hard-left sportscaster who suggested it on ESPN.
He believes the NFL is “completely morally corrupt,” is “racially perverse” and “incredibly classist,” whatever that means. He said, “Football has militarized us” but I didn’t hear a coherent explanation for what he meant by that either. He sees football as an “engine of nihilistic greed” and he’d like “public ownership of teams.” Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Government running the NFL? Look what it’s doing to health care. Government-run schools banned dodge ball in gym class and tag at recess. Just think what it would do to football.
NFL team owners tend to be politically conservative, with most donating to Republicans, but not all. Robert Kraft, for example, donates to Obama. Many players and coaches are conservative Christians as well. None of this was mentioned by Almond in his presentation, but I have to think they were factors in his contempt for the game. Perhaps he goes into these aspects of football in his book, but I won’t be reading it. He said enough in Portland to convince me that would be a waste of my time.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Very Old War

For homework, I told students to research a 1786 conversation Thomas Jefferson and John Adams had in London with a representative of the Barbary Pirates named Ambassador Adja. Most students found it. Jefferson and Adams asked Adja why his government was so hostile to America which had done nothing to provoke them. His answer was reported by Thomas Jefferson and my students thusly:

that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet [Mohammed], that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman [Muslim jihadi] who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.

Sound familiar? It matches statements we’re hearing from ISIS today. My intent was for students to find out for themselves that Islamic terrorism isn’t new. The United States has been dealing with it since our country was founded. War with ISIS is just the latest chapter of a 1400-year-old war of Islam against western civilization. And yes, I’m teaching American History again, as I reported in my column published September 2nd. 
Evidently Adja didn’t mention the 72 black-eyed virgins with whom the slain Muslims believe they would be provided for their eternal pleasure in Paradise. When Jefferson became president in 1801, he stopped paying tribute to the Barbary Pirates and dispatched the Marines “to the shores of Tripoli” as the Marine anthem lyric goes. Marines are called “Leathernecks” because of the stiff leather collars they wore for protection against beheading by Arab scimitars. Under the command of Maine’s Commodore Preble the United States took the fight to the pirates. Southern Maine Community College in South Portland is on the site of the former Fort Preble, named for the Commodore.
Muslim Siege of Vienna

Their homework assignment for this week is to find out what happened on September 11, 1683 in Vienna. They’re good students, and they’ll come back next week knowing that a Muslim army of 300,000 gave up its siege of that fortified western city and retreated in defeat. The late Christopher Hitchens was the first modern westerner to point out the significance of that September 11th date only three weeks after the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center. “[The siege of Vienna] can rightly, if tritely, be called a hinge-event in human history,” wrote Hitchens in The Guardian. “The Ottoman empire never recovered from the defeat; from then on it was more likely that Christian or western powers would dominate the Muslim world than the other way around.”

And so it was — especially after Ottoman defeat in World War I — western powers did indeed dominate, until oil was discovered under much of the Muslim world in huge quantities. The independent Muslim nation-states we know today became very, very wealthy. Money is power, and several have renewed Mohammed’s goal to take over the world and make it Muslim. Some, like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, try to do it covertly. Others, like Iran, do it openly.
ISIS killing unbelievers
I refuse to post pictures of their many beheadings

Although Turkey’s Kamal Ataturk abolished the last caliphate -- which was based in Turkey -- in 1924 and separated church and state there. ISIS - the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - has taken up the Muslim mantle of leadership and re-established it after the caliphate’s only known hiatus in its 1400-year war on the west. ISIS is obeying the Quran which instructs them in verse (8:12): “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”
The renewed caliphate has beheaded three Americans so far this year. Our leaders, including Presidents Bush and Obama, keep insisting that Islam is a “Religion of Peace.” Trouble is, we’re not seeing much evidence to support their claims. When I go over this week’s homework with my students, I’ll ask them if they agree.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lacking Temper

Keene NH Pumpkin Festival last month

Young men can be crazy. They commit the majority of crimes. Insurance companies charge them huge premiums because they have the most traffic accidents, usually involving more deaths and more property damage. When their baseball or basketball teams win championships, they riot and destroy property to “celebrate.” A seemingly innocuous pumpkin festival in semi-rural Keene, New Hampshire triggered such behavior as young, male college students there went wild last month.
"Celebrating" Giants victory last month

They’re also aggressive because they’re full of testosterone. That makes them good soldiers as long as rigid rules within the military keep them in line. Older men, whether superior officers, fathers, uncles, grandfathers, coaches, teachers, or whatever, can temper excessive and/or destructive behavior to which young men are prone — if the young men respect them. Young women can temper that behavior too, but again — only if the young men respect them in a monogamous relationship.
Young black men are the craziest. Why? Mostly because there are few mature, older men in their lives. Back in the mid-twentieth century there were — when the black families were more intact than white families of today —  young black men weren’t any crazier than young white men or any other kind because it’s not a racial thing. It’s a culture thing, and it goes back to the “War on Poverty” in the sixties. When government started “Aid To Families with Dependent Children or AFDC, it didn’t aid families in the larger sense. It made them weaker because government effectively took responsibility for supporting children away from the men who fathered them. Millions of families were affected, but a much higher percentage of black families. Another reason is that young black men have fewer mutually-respectful, monogamous relationships with young women. Rather, they objectify women as “bitches and ho’s” to be used and abused.
When young men gather in groups, they’re even crazier. Whatever behavioral inhibitions an individual might have tend to disappear in groups. If groups morph into gangs, behavior becomes malevolent. Add guns, alcohol, illegal drugs, and degrading sexuality, should anyone be surprised when all hell breaks loose? Today’s inner cities make the wild west look tame. A typical weekend in Chicago these days has five or six killed and a dozen or two wounded - almost always young black men as both victims and shooters. For some reason, however, our mainstream media considers this a taboo subject. When a young black man is shot by a  white man, though, especially a cop, they’re all over it like flies on you-know-what.
Malignant attitudes now widespread in young, black, male subculture are glorified across America. Everywhere we see young men wearing pants low on their asses and driving around with big base woofers playing “Hip-Hop” music and shaking windows as they pass. Hip-hop “artists” who survive their destructive lifestyle into their twenties or thirties receive awards from Hollywood and fawning attention in the wider media. They’re also invited to the White House.
After two or three decades of it, Americans seem to have accepted this stuff as normal. Back in the 1960s urban riots were explained as righteous anger against racial oppression by federal study groups such as the Kerner Commission. Today’s leftists still wave that banner, but after half a century, the rest of America isn’t so quick to excuse barbarism. They’re not buying the media spin on the incident in Ferguson, especially since the facts of the case don’t support it.
Ferguson riots

Our nation’s attention is focused on what will happen when a Ferguson grand jury refuses to indict the police officer who shot a young black man. Nearby St. Louis is girded for prolonged street violence by hordes of young black men and their leftist enablers. In spite of the evidence in the case, they believe the white police officer killed him because he was racist and not because he feared for his life. That dubious claim has been fueled by liberal media outlets, by Attorney General Eric Holder, and by President Obama who met with “Ferguson activists” like the allegedly Reverend Al Sharpton on November 5th — the day after the midterm election he lost so badly.
Sharpton said the president “was concerned about Ferguson staying on course in terms of pursuing what it was that he knew we were advocating.” Hmm. “Staying on course”? On course to what? Sharpton is a notorious rabble-rouser who has stirred up riots before. Remember Crown Heights? And, he’s a close associate of both Holder and Obama. If Missouri and other areas break out in riots following the grand jury’s report, will they all be held accountable?

They should be.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Forcing Through

“I’m done torturing myself for the day.”

My wife and I often say that on those days we force ourselves through our different exercise regimens. She likes to do hers privately in front of a television screen showing people doing various strenuous moves that she copies. I prefer to do my exercises privately as well but some of it requires running, and that I have to do out on the road in front of my house, or along the waterfront near Bug Light in South Portland when we’re staying down there. Cars go by in Lovell and dog-walkers go by in South Portland, but the rest of my regimen is performed alone in my room.
I hate it all. I only do it because I feel better afterward than I would feel if I didn’t. The running part is relatively new. That I started about six or seven years ago after my brother had his legs amputated due to a condition we both have: Buerger’s Disease. I should use past tense in his case because he died of it a couple of years ago. It’s a rare, hyper-allergic reaction to using tobacco products. He’s dead because he couldn’t stop smoking. I’m alive and still have all my parts because I could. Addiction can be a terrible thing and takes many forms. I cannot run very far because I have diminished blood flow to my lower legs and they cramp up with vigorous use. So, I jog a short distance, let the blood come back, then sprint as far as I can. All this helps increase blood flow to my feet. With exertion, my legs develop what’s called “collateral flow” - the actual formation of new, small arteries, but never enough to get back to what I was born with.

Since I have to force myself to do it each day, I’ve tried hard to focus on the bright side of exercise - or should I say the slightly less-dark side. While running, for example, I’m aware that each season has its own smells. This time of year there’s a kind of sweetness in the air as leaves and other formerly-green vegetation decay, adding another layer of duff covering the forest floor. When the last autumn leaves blow across my path and I can see further into the woods, it brings back many memories. A silvery autumn light shines on bare, light-gray trunks and branches of beech trees, oaks, and other hardwoods. Gray stone walls become more visible and I remember pleasant days spent hunting with my brothers.
Kezar Lake Last Monday

We’re all going to die sometime, but I’d like to live as fully as possible until the end - and exercise helps. That’s what I think about when I force aching muscles through their paces. Entering the stage of life when people are most likely to need it, health insurance is our biggest expense. The Maine Public Employees Retirement Fund only covers about $300 a month in premiums and I have to pay an additional $1300 to cover both of us. There isn’t much left of my pension after that, so I keep working at the part-time jobs I always had while teaching. My wife still works as well, seeing clients two days per week as therapist.
President Obama promised us his Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” would bring down health care costs for everyone and reduce premiums by an average of $2500. But none of that has happened. Instead it has had the exact opposite effect. Costs are rising fast and so are premiums. The president has been hiding even greater increases until after the midterm elections were over, threatening insurance companies not to release information beforehand. The bad news of more huge increases is expected any day now.
It’s not encouraging that Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel was the primary author of Obamacare. He just published an article in last month’s Atlantic entitled: “Why I hope to die at 75,” and subtitled: “An argument that society and families—and you—will be better off if nature takes its course swiftly and promptly.”
He’s telling us we’d all be better off dead. This is the guy, brother to Obama’s former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who was accused of creating the infamous “death panels” alluded to by Sarah Palin. The left ridiculed her and vehemently denied their existence, but Emanuel’s article last month would seem to lend credence to Palin’s claim. Health care will have to be rationed by government and younger, healthier patients will take priority over older, less-healthy ones.
I’ll be eligible for Medicare in about eighteen months and my wife a year after that, but more and more doctors are refusing to take on medicare patients. All these things motivate me to continue my self-torture each day.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Maine Things

A pack of coyotes lives near our Lovell, Maine home. Sometimes they wake me up at night with their howling, especially when they’re right under our 2nd floor bedroom window. I can get right back to sleep though and the sound doesn’t disturb me. Yet if I’m woken by dogs barking outside the house next door, I can’t. Their barking bothers me and I’ve wondered why. It has something do with the coyotes being wild and hunting for a meal. When they’ve killed whatever they’re after and eaten their fill, they quiet down. Dogs, however, bark because they’re neurotic and discontented. They go on incessantly with little purpose but to spread their neurosis and discontent. That annoys me.
I hear noises at night outside our South Portland, Maine house too. Being close to the city, there’s a low-level hum that never stops. It’s like white noise though and it doesn’t disturb me. There’s a far-off train whistle I find charming, and I hear tooting from Casco Bay Lines’ ferries as they sound their horns when leaving their Portland harbor terminal on their way to various islands. Those sounds charm me too, and so do fog horns from Cape Elizabeth. Ever-present sirens are part of the urban milieu. They’re not charming, but not too disturbing either unless they’re on our street. Then I want to know what’s happening - not usually enough to put my pants on and actually go outside to look, however.
Elvis and his owners

Feathers are ruffled over in neighboring Cape Elizabeth lately. A rooster named “Elvis” is crowing too much for some neighbors. There’s a huge population of green weenies in Maine’s most affluent town, so there are lots of “Vote Yes on Question 1” to outlaw bear-baiting signs. But the Cape’s animal lovers are conflicted. The town is considering an ordinance prohibiting roosters on lots smaller than 40,000 square feet - about one acre. Presumably, Elvis’s owners live on a lot smaller than that, and if the ordinance passes later this fall, Elvis’s goose may be cooked.
King Julian
We had chickens when my kids were little, including a few roosters, and they crowed often - until we ate them, that is. We had neighbors close by, but none complained. Maybe that was because we invited them over for dinner whenever we cooked one. Those roosters were delicious - best chicken I ever ate. My granddaughters over in Sweden, Maine have a rooster they named “King Julian, and they asked their mother why King Julian is always jumping on the hens. “He likes to wrestle,” she told them. Being three and five years old, that explanation has satisfied them so far.
Claire 5 and Lila 3 play on their dirt pile

Maine’s news has been dominated lately by a vocal nurse who says she doesn’t need to be quarantined after returning from a month-long stint working with Ebola patients in West Africa. People are conflicted about her too. They admire that she went to help people with a dangerous disease, but they wonder why she insists medical quarantine guidelines are too restrictive and bad science. People in Maine are also confused by ever-changing federal government reports about what is safe and what isn’t. The Pentagon quarantines soldiers who do not have contact with infected patients for three weeks, but the CDC says Traci Hickox, who did have contact with infected patients, doesn’t have to be. Until last week, the CDC’s web site said: “Droplet spread happens when [Ebola] germs traveling inside droplets that are coughed or sneezed from a sick person enter the eyes, nose, or mouth of another person.” Then that disappeared from the CDC web site.
Is Ebola a political issue this election season? Many suspect Obama’s CDC of putting politics before science. Nurse Hickox is a leftist Obama supporter. She also worked for the CDC, but mysteriously scrubbed that from her Linked-in profile when she challenged Governor Christie’s quarantine. Why? Democrats running our government insist that fear shouldn’t influence decisions about Ebola, and smugly claim they’re relying strictly on science. But what about their global warming campaign. For that it’s okay to use fear. Unless we switch to windmills and solar panels, polar bears will all die! Coastal cities will be flooded! The planet will boil! It’s all “settled science,” they insist. But it’s based on flawed computer projections: There’s been no predicted warming for twenty years. Ice caps and glaciers that were supposed to be gone by now are expanding. Mainers would like some global warming after last winter.
Fear is used for pipelines too. Greenie Democrats around here want marijuana pipes legal, but oil and natural gas pipes outlawed, including the local Portland Pipeline. Though it’s been moving oil safely for three generations, they’re apoplectic about reversing its flow. Study after study shows the proposed Keystone Pipeline would be harmless, but Greenie Democrats insist on studying it until they find something fearful to scream about.