Thursday, April 26, 2007


New ideas presented to people are often rejected before being processed fully. In the old days religious dogma was the idea that was promoted most. Strong arm tactics were used in the Crusades and the Inquisition. Holy wars are wars of ideas and dogma.

Later the Jesuits took a somewhat gentler approach while trying to convert the populations of Asia, South America and Africa. Though it was softer, it still used elements of bribery, violence, intellectual superiority and belittlement.

Those times are thought to be the dark ages of brainwashing and mind control, but seeming harmless brainwashing techniques still take place today. The techniques are based upon fear, greed, guilt, ego and psychotropic rewards.

How else could a country convince so many of its children to sign up and risk their lives in military service to fight a war in the Middle East where the geography and culture is so distant from anything these children have ever known? If you think this is an exaggeration, consider all the times the President and the administration have mentioned the word “terror” while speaking in public. A day never goes by without its utterance. Greed comes into play when they boast of signing bonuses and paid education benefits. Playing to the ego there is the “Army of One” and “Be All That You Can Be.” Finally if you ever visit a Job Fair or County Fair in this county the military has displays that dwarf all other. A few years ago at the Fair Grounds the military used the entire arena to display trucks, tanks, climbing walls, mobile bridges and cool technology. They had rooms where the children could play video games and some games are even given away as prizes. There were all sorts of free gifts handed out in an attempt to indoctrinate these children into an early acceptance, which adds up to easier future recruitment.

Children are also the targets of brainwashing with subliminal and not so subliminal product placement in TV shows and movies. They are the targets of cereal, candy, soft drink and toy companies. This is constant assault and the children haven’t a chance to escape unscathed.

It’s not just children. Males at 18-25 years of age are the golden cash cows for most of corporate America. But what is being sold to people above that age? Mostly luxury items, medicine, politics and philosophy.

Here in Dried Salmon County you are presently being sold on a number of things. First there is LNG plant. The LNG industry is trying to sell their plans for development by sending out faux watercolor pamphlets in the mail. They try to brainwash us that it is safe and good for our county, the river, the wild life and the world and it will provide jobs.

We are being told that we need to replace Port Commissioners. We are being told that we need a new college. The tools that those in the selling seat are using on us are fear, greed, ego, and guilt. Oddly, no one is giving psychotropic rewards, yet.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Dried Salmon County Commissioners: Highlights

Though our collective historic memory goes back only so many years, let us revisit some highlights that several of the past County Commissioners have brought us. Please be mindful of the fact that many of these past and sitting commissioners do so while simultaneously holding down another job or owning a business and generally have busy lives. Some have contributed greatly to our county by their service to the county in what is technically a “volunteer” position.

Helen Westbrook, who served two 4-year terms with a 4-year break in between, represented District 5. Westbrook, who served several years at the Board’s Chairperson, was a tireless champion of parks and resource preservation, animal rights and the rights of County’s seniors. Though seemingly abrupt at times to the outside observer on occasion, her heart was in the right place in regards to the constituents she served during her two terms. She was a “get down to business” type of commissioner. Those that have worked with her closely describe a very caring, compassionate and methodical person when describing Westbrook’s work ethic.

George Kiepke, another past Chairperson of the Board, served one and a half terms before resigning early from his District 3 seat. Kiepke was a diligent supporter of labor and had a keen understanding of union issues not only as they pertained to him in his paid position at a local paper mill where he was, we believe a union officer, but also as a Commissioner.

Tim Gannaway, was someone you would have expected to bring some ‘prayer’ to the table as a Commissioner, but not so. Gannaway was his “own” thinker while he served District 1 for one four year term on the Board. From what was observed, he came to meetings well prepared (sometimes overly so) and well read on all of the subjects to be discussed. Now, he was one for going off on a tangent from time to time, and it was probably just the “scientist” in him that wanted to know every “facet” of every aspect of every decision. Nothing wrong with that, and definitely better than someone who “wings it.”

Lylla Gaebel, represented District 1 for a full 4 year term and we believe was vice-chair at least some of that time. Always the bridesmaid and seemingly never the “bride,” Gaebel was very active on many local and statewide groups concerning her ‘pet issues’, those of communications, emergency management, transportation and economic development. Abrasive at times to both fellow commissioners as well as the public, she was a hard working commissioner who dedicated a lot of her time and energy into the job. Woe be to the person that crossed her on the wrong day or on one of her issues!

Sam Patrick, who is currently in the middle of his second 4 year term representing District 4, also served on the Clatsop County Planning Commission prior to his stint on the Board. Patrick has served at least one year (that we remember) previously as the Board’s Chair. Ever the tireless retired corrections deputy, Patrick appears to relish in questioning issues from all possible angles, many angles which never would have occurred to anyone else but this Commissioner. Some have been pretty far ‘out there’, but a few have been right on. Usually playing devil’s advocate on most issues, Patrick has been and continues to be a strong supporter of law enforcement issues, emergency management issues, and has a keen interest on timber and economic development issues and has served on several state advisory committees.

Current Chair Richard Lee, who is at the beginning of his second 4 year term, came to the Commission as a Board appointment due to the resignation of previous District 3 Commissioner George Kiepke. Not one that flies ‘under the radar’ Lee usually appears a “face value” elected official. You may not agree with him, but that’s a different story with a different remedy, if you so choose. Most know that Lee is definitely ‘pro-business’ and not overly ‘pro-government’ and always looks at things from a “business-person’s perspective.” Lee has had the honor of being designated as the Chair for the past 3 years by his fellow Commissioners.

Patricia Roberts was appointed in August 2004 to the Board to complete Bob Green’s early retirement as a Commissioner representing District 2. As someone who has worked in the housing and design industry, she has become a voice as the liaison to both of the North Oregon Housing Authority and the Clatsop county Housing Authority, is involved heavily with the Clatsop County Historical Society and the Lower Columbia Preservation Society, as well as being a strong advocate for federal recognition for our area as a ‘gateway’ destination. Never quick to make a decision as a Board member without looking at issues from a myriad of angles, Roberts appears to be a careful and cautious public official who always admits when she was wrong and is not afraid to hold off on a controversial vote to allow for more information that is needed to enable her to make a decision.

Bob Green, retired businessman, served District 2 nobly for almost two full 4 year terms before health reasons forced him to slow down a bit. He was doggedly determined in regards to making sure that land use issues were fairly applied to all, not only the wealthy and those with the most lawyers accompanying them to the meetings. He was not afraid to get right into the fray if he thought he was right on an issue and would bird-dog it all the way through to completion. Though some have described him as the personification of ‘cantankerousness’, Green had a firm grasp on what was right for Dried Salmon County and the residents who call it home. Thank you for your service, sir.

Thanks to all of you who have stepped up to serve.