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Day: August 14, 2015

“Mess: One Man’s Struggle to Clean Up His House and His Act” by Barry Yourgrau

Mess

Mess: One Man’s Struggle to Clean Up His House and His Act” by Barry Yourgrau

c.2015, W.W. Norton
$25.95 / $30.95 Canada
276 pages

BOOK REVIEW
by TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER

Once again, you couldn’t find your keys.

You were pretty sure you put them down on the kitchen counter. On top of last weeks’ mail. Which you’d laid next to a shirt you bought on sale in April, breakfast dishes from who-knows-when, five plastic bags, and a dead plant. Yeah, your house is cluttered, but it’s not so bad – which is what Barry Yourgrau thought until, as he says in his memoir “Mess,” he began to look around…

The apartment hadn’t always been his.

It had, in fact, belonged to Barry Yourgrau’s girlfriend once, and she’d bequeathed it to him when she moved and he needed a place to stay. So when Cosima knocked on the door of the apartment one afternoon, she was surprised that Yourgrau wouldn’t let her in.

He couldn’t, because Yourgrau was a hoarder “at wit’s end.”

Postcards, old calendars, paper bags, souvenirs, and bric-a-brac littered the floors of his home, covered with dust, stored in boxes, slung across furniture and countertops. Not only were the rooms cluttered, but so was Yourgrau’s mind: as a writer, he couldn’t seem to stay focused. His home was too much of a distraction.

Cosima gave him an ultimatum: clean or else. So why not make it a “Project”?  Yourgrau decided that de-cluttering – and understanding his compulsion to hoard – might make an interesting story, perhaps even a book.

A twin with a younger singleton brother, Yourgrau had spent his childhood helping his family to move; his father was a professor, and had worked his way around to a series of jobs. Yourgrau remembered his mother’s death with deep sorrow, but recalled his father as “domineering.” Still, getting rid of their “stuff” was an emotional struggle.

But, then again, getting rid of his own possessions wasn’t easy, either. Yourgrau sought counseling. He read up on hoarding and its psychology, attended a twelve-step program, accepted help from several places, spoke with other hoarders and experts, procrastinated, and tried tackling the mess on his own.

Of his struggles, he says, “A man who cannot let go: that would be me.”

There are a lot of pages here in which “Mess” lives up to its title.

That disappointed me; I had such high hopes for this memoir, but a first-half hodgepodge makes author Barry Yourgrau’s story initially very hard to follow. It doesn’t help that Yourgrau sprinkles his narrative with highbrow literary references and other edge-of-mainstream nods; a sense of mania and referring to people by a series of nicknames only adds to the chaos.

Fortunately, things turn around about halfway through the book. There, Yourgrau starts to dig into the reasoning and psychology of hoarding by consulting experts, which tampers the frenzy. Indeed, the second half of this book is more introspective, more down-to-brass-tacks, and much more interesting.

Ultimately, I don’t think this will help much if you need advice on hoarding or cleaning. It’s just too cluttered for that but, if entertainment is your goal, here’s your book. If you can, then, “Mess” is something to find.

Terri Schlichenmeyer is based in Wisconsin.

Haggen to close Keizer location

The Keizer Albertsons reopened as a Haggen in late April, but now will be closing within two months. (Craig Murphy/ KEIZERTIMES file photo)
The Keizer Albertsons reopened as a Haggen in late April, but now will be closing within two months. (Craig Murphy/ KEIZERTIMES file photo)

By CRAIG MURPHY

Of the Keizertimes

Haggen opened a Keizer grocery store in the spring.

That store will be closed in the fall.

On Aug. 14, Deborah Pleva with Weinstein PR sent out an announcement on behalf of the Washington-based grocery store chain that 27 of the company’s locations will be closing within 60 days.

The Keizer location at 5450 River Road North is one of five Oregon locations being closed. The store, formerly an Albertsons, was briefly closed in reopened in late April with Haggen signage. Darren Dye remained as the store manager and all employees who wanted to stay were kept.

According to the announcement, most of the stores being closed or sold were acquired as part of the transaction of Albertsons and Safeway merging. The Safeway in Keizer is not affected by the latest news. It wasn’t specified in the announcement if the Keizer Haggen would be sold or closed, but a list of impacted stores was labeled as a “List of Haggen stores scheduled to close.”

The announcement notes the company is doing the closures to “improve its business and strengthen its competitive decision” and that future closures could take place in the future as part of the company’s “right-sizing strategy.”

While no reason was given for the 27 particular locations being, a possible clue was given.

“Haggen’s original stores continue to perform well,” the statement notes.

Bill Shaner, CEO of Haggen Pacific Southwest, said the company’s goal is to ensure a healthy company.

“By making the tough choice to close and sell some stores, we will be able to invest in stores that have the potential to thrive under the Haggen banner,” Shaner said in the announcement.

Messages for company leaders as well as store manager Dye were not immediately returned.

Things your grandchildren will NEVER understand

BOYT-Grandkids-never-understand

As seen in The Best of Your Times special issue

By LELAND ZAITZ
For the Keizertimes

It’s a hard fact of life that you can’t stop progress. Each generation in its turn watches with chagrin as the world changes in ways big and small. But it seems that our generation has seen the world change so quickly that there’s hardly even time for nostalgia anymore. What were ordinary facts of life for us must seem inconceivably primitive to the younger generation. For example:

The telephone

Yes, that’s what it was called before it was called the “cell phone.”

You had a black plastic device sitting in its regular place in your house, and it had a dial on it. Which explains why even today we talk of “dialing” a phone number. When the phone rang, you wondered who was calling, because there was no caller ID. You were familiar with sounds such as a dial tone and a busy signal. You had all of your friends and family’s numbers memorized!

If you called a friend and got a recorded message, you might respond with “Are you there? Pick up!” You might lay on the bed for half an hour talking on the phone because that’s as far as the phone cord would reach. And if you weren’t home and needed to make a call, you’d look for a pay phone. Which sometimes came in its own little booth! You might even be treated to the happy surprise of finding a quarter in the coin return. And perhaps best of all, if you were unhappy with your phone call you could slam the handset down on the receiver with a satisfying crash, a pleasure our kids will never know.

Mail

It’s called “snail mail” today, and that’s because it sometimes takes two or three days to get a letter. But before there was e-mail, you wrote letters, often by hand. You might even have had your own stationary. And you had to lick the stamp.

On vacation, you might search for just the right postcard to send back home to let your friends know how much fun you were having. And the picture on the postcard never, ever featured an image of you. Because you never, ever took a photograph of yourself.

Photographs

As nutty as it sounds, there was a time when you took a photograph and then had to wait days to see it. You’d buy a roll of film, 24 exposures unless you were feeling expansive, in which case you’d spring for 36. And you might have to decide whether you wanted slides or prints. Try explaining that to your grandchildren. You chose your subjects carefully, knowing you had a limited number of exposures before you ran out of film. Remember wanting to take one more photo and discovering that you had reached the end of the roll? And remember sitting through a slideshow of your friends’ vacation? Maybe some changes are for the better.

Television

Was there actually a time when you had to get up and cross the room in order to change the channel? Luckily, there were only nine or 10 channels to choose from. And you always wondered what the “UHV” channel was all about.

The only way you’d know what was on was by consulting a little magazine called the TV Guide. You’d arrange your schedule to be home on the night of your favorite TV show — and if you missed an episode, you’d have to wait until summer reruns to catch it.

Eventually, you got a video cassette recorder (VCR) and you could actually record your favorite shows—if you could figure out the recorder. Most of us had a VCR with a perpetually blinking “12:00” display. And you probably accidentally recorded over something you were saving to watch later. You saw a lot of commercials back then, because there was no way to skip through them. And half the TV shows seemed to be westerns. Gunsmoke. Rawhide. Maverick. Bonanza.

Where did all the westerns go?

Music

Remember waiting for your favorite song to come on the radio? You might only get to hear it once a day. You might even call up the radio station and request it. And then, if you were lucky enough to have a stereo system, you might race to record the song off the radio.You made mix tapes for someone you cared about.You used a pencil to tighten the tape in the cassette, and you carefully wrote out a label before sticking it on the front of your tape. Mix tapes—putting together a collection of songs for a friend or sweetheart to send a message. Writing the label and sticking it onto the cassette. Your grandchildren will never visit a record store, or tear the plastic off a new album and hungrily digest every word and image on the LP cover as they listened to the album for the first time. There might be a song you don’t particularly like, at first, but you’d get used to it, since you had to listen to it every time you played the album. That’s how you discovered “deep tracks” that never got played on the radio.

Here are some additional things your grandchildren will never experience:

• Becoming friends with your bank teller.

• Cursive writing.

• Passing notes in class.

• Getting actual plastic toys in a Cracker Jack box instead of a sticker.

• Saturday morning cartoons.

• The milkman.

• Drive-in movies.

• Liquid paper, carbon paper, fax machines and typewriter ribbons.

• Smoking or non smoking?

• Card catalogs at the library. The library, for that matter.

• Rolling down a car window.

• Folding a map.

• And finally, the future: That wonderful tomorrow we were promised, in which we all had jet packs, flying cars, moving sidewalks, meals in the form of a pill and vacations on the moon or in undersea colonies. As someone once said, the future ain’t what it used to be.

(Leland Zaitz is a screenwriter based in Los Angeles.)

A look at hazelnut growing

The hazelnut orchard at Keizer Rapids Park will be harvested again soon, but this time chemicals won't be used. (Craig Murphy/ KEIZERTIMES file photo)
The hazelnut orchard at Keizer Rapids Park will be harvested again soon, but this time chemicals won’t be used. (Craig Murphy/ KEIZERTIMES file photo)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Can hazelnuts in the orchard at Keizer Rapids Park be grown without chemicals?

According to the executive director of the Oregon Hazelnut Growers Association, the answer is yes.

“There are growers farming hazelnuts organically,” Michael Klein told the Keizertimes. “It is not an easy endeavor but it can be done. It requires a lot of extra work, expense and may use chemical sprays approved for organic certification.”

As mentioned last week in the Keizertimes, Kevin Schurter with Schurter Enterprises LLC submitted a proposal in July to farm the 22 acres of filbert orchards on city-owned property at KRP. Tony Weathers had done the harvesting previously, but cited possible litigation for using pesticides in the vicinity of the Big Toy – built within the orchards in June – as the reason for wanting out of his contract.

Weathers was paying the city $9,000 a year in rent. Schurter has proposed paying no rent but giving 15 percent of his proceeds to the city instead. The Keizer City Council last week voted to allow City Manager Chris Eppley to strike a deal.

“The council authorized Chris to proceed without further council action and the lease will likely be signed very soon,” city attorney Shannon Johnson said Aug. 6. “Orchard work could begin very soon.”

The health of the trees has been a concern for years, with most projections being less than 10 years before all of the trees will have to be taken down.

“The non-use of chemicals will speed up the death of the trees, but it is hard to say exactly how long they will last,” Schurter wrote in his proposal. “Hazelnut trees of that variety and age suffer from Eastern Filbert Blight, and spraying and pruning is the only effective way to combat it. Pruning will hold it at bay, but they will eventually succumb.”

Klein said trees with heavy blight infection will indeed continue to deteriorate.

“There’s little that can be done if that’s the case without severe pruning and repeated sprays in coming years,” he said.

Klein noted the issue is common.

“There are no plans to initiate research on untreated orchards as there have been hundreds of others seen in the last 20-plus years suffering the same fate. Everyone in the industry is aware of what will occur over time,” he said.

It’s been mentioned several times recently a lower hazelnut crop than usual, particularly due to issues in Turkey, means hazelnuts from KRP could command a higher price.

Klein confirmed the shortage, but stopped short of guaranteeing financial success.

“There has been a shortage of hazelnuts of late leading to increased demand and price,” Klein said. “A deteriorating orchard may not produce a yield sufficient to turn a profit even with the past season’s high prices. There’s a good possibility that supply issues may correct themselves as soon as this fall.”

Klein noted the hazelnut harvest season is short.

“Harvest in an orchard of this size is usually done one time, late in the season when all the nuts are down,” he said. “If the orchard gives access to the public it complicates an already hazardous activity. The harvest season is late September through October. If you can get someone to manage and harvest through the decline of the trees that’s great. It may be tough going forward as the costs could exceed the potential return plus the risks.”

Two veterans leaving Keizer Police posts

Rita Powers (right) left the Keizer Police Department after exactly 26 years on Aug. 7, while John Troncoso (center) is leaving Aug. 14 after nearly 26 years. (Craig Murphy/KEIZERTIMES file photo)
Rita Powers (right) left the Keizer Police Department after exactly 26 years on Aug. 7, while John Troncoso (center) is leaving Aug. 14 after nearly 26 years. (Craig Murphy/KEIZERTIMES file photo)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Just like that, the Keizer Police Department has lost two employees with a combined 52 years of experience.

Rita Powers, the Police Support supervisor, retired from the KPD Aug. 7 after exactly 26 years with the department. John Troncoso, a longtime detective and head of the Criminal Investigations Division, is leaving the department today, Aug. 14. His official retirement date is Sept. 1, but he already had scheduled vacation for the rest of this month.

Troncoso was among nine employees joining the KPD on Oct. 1, 1989, meaning he joined shortly after Powers.
Police chief John Teague, who joined the KPD the same day as Troncoso and deputy chief Jeff Kuhns, noted the impact will be felt now and especially down the road.

“Anytime you lose a good employee with 25 years of institutional knowledge, that’s a hard thing to fill,” Teague said. “Once they are gone, then you realize how many gaps they filled in.”

Powers figured her anniversary date would be a good time to step aside.

“I just decided it was time,” she said on Tuesday. “I’m enjoying being home for a while and having my own schedule. It was 26 years to the day. I thought about doing it a year ago, then decided to hang on a little longer. I’ve been contemplating it since about February. I just wanted to take a break. Being at a job for 26 years is a long time. People don’t usually hang on to a job that long anymore. I enjoyed it. It was something different every day.”

Powers, who has four granddaughters, has a big upcoming event to keep her busy.

“I have a grandson on the way, due at Christmas,” she said. “I’ll help my daughter with him and maybe do some local traveling.”

Powers enjoyed her time at the KPD.

“I had a really good career,” she said. “I started just before John and Jeff started. It’s been fun watching some of these guys grow older, to watch how their lives have evolved, to see their kids be born and grow. That’s the part I’ll miss the most. It’s really been a family. Some of these guys have started very green. A lot of our officers started as reserves, so I’ve seen them grow to become excellent officers.”

Teague had high praise for Powers.

“Rita is solid as a rock,” he said. “She’s one of those invaluable employees. I call them basement people. They are the people that are foundational to the agency. They don’t gain a lot of headlines in part because their work doesn’t gather headlines. Their personality is they show up, they do great work, they don’t cause problems. That’s the type of people organizations love to have.”

For Troncoso, retirement has been a long time in coming.

“I’ve been thinking about it for four years,” he said. “As the time came, it was a little difficult to do. I wasn’t set on it. I want to make some lifestyle changes.”

One of Troncoso’s main assets over the years was his ability to speak fluent Spanish, which surprised people who judged him by his looks.

“It was definitely a valuable skill to have,” Troncoso said. “There weren’t many detectives in the area fluent in Spanish. People would volunteer things (in Spanish) in front of me, not knowing I understood. But I really used it more to help Hispanics. I worked a lot with the Hispanic community. It’s been beneficial for me and it’s been beneficial for the department since I can function in that world.”

Because of his bilingual ability, Troncoso has been helping other law enforcement agencies and the District Attorney’s office for much of his career. One of the few times he couldn’t do much came with the Harkey murder in 2004.

“I finally got a taste of what it’s like to not be bilingual with that case,” Troncoso said. “I tried to talk to people but they spoke Russian, not a word of English. I just came up empty. I realized what most of my non-Spanish speaking peers had experienced over the years. I was at a dead end.”

Troncoso enjoyed his time at the KPD.

“It has been fulfilling,” he said. “Everyone who gets into this profession knows it’s public service. Most people do want to make a difference and to help. It has been nice to be able to do that.”

Teague noted Troncoso’s retirement will be felt far outside the KPD.

“Losing John is a regional loss,” Teague said. “That guy’s value extends from this department to the profession locally. Compounded with being an exceptionally motivated investigator, he’s also a Spanish speaker. His value to other agencies and the DA’s office, they will sing his praises. There are not many police officers as widely respected as he is.”

Serving up generosity

Jim Marshall celebrated the one year anniversary of Delaney Madison Grill at Inland Shores this week. He did more than toot his own horn, though. He opened the restaurant to treat people assisted by Hope Station Community Services led by Pastor Marcia Mattoso.

Early this week he served dinner to three large groups of people who look to Hope Station for help because they are not eligible for government assistance. He prepared a select menu of choices.

Hope Station serves people from its large facility in Salem, offering food, clothing, computer training and money management.

Marshall is a generous supporter of Hope Station and by serving free dinner, he gives a bright spot to those who live too precariously near the poverty line.

Dozens of businesses support Hope Station with their services, products and financial help. Each is worthy of recognition and heart felt thanks.

Keizer is a generous community and Jim Marshall and his restaurant are but another example of people helping people.

  —LAZ

2020 starts in 15 months

By LYNDON ZAITZ

How exciting! The 2020 presidential campaign will begin in only 15 months.

The day after the 2016 election there will be speculation about who will run for president four years from then. It happens after every national election. And we can start predicting not only who will run but who will win.

That is an exercise in craziness, no? No crazier than what is unfolding today. Six months ago Hillary Clinton was all but coronated as the next president. Jeb Bush was the hands-on favorite to win the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. Now? Not so much.

Jeb Bush’s poll numbers decline in proportion to Donald Trump’s rise. Unthinkable only six weeks ago, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont is polling ahead of Clinton for the first-in-the-nation primary in New Hampshire—which is seven months away. That’s an eternity in American politics.

The leaders in polls this early don’t always go on to win the presidency, let alone their party’s nomination. Just ask President Gary Hart,  President Mike Duakakis or President Mitt Romney. It is pure entertainment for political aficionados to  hear pundits breathlessly talk about why this or that poll is so important and a portent of the future election.

Fans of Donald Trump are already thinking of who his running mate should be. Trump leads in polls, just as Bush and Scott Walker did before him. Some say that Trump will flame out long before the first caucus or primary votes are cast. Others say that he is mirroring a frustated and angry electorate and will ride that sentiment straight to the White House.

There are so many things that can happen in the country or in the world that can upend this entire campaign season. Jimmy Carter was barely a blip on the radar 15 months before the 1976 election. Barack Obama was known because of his 2004 Democratic convention speech, but he still trailed Hillary Clinton 15 months before the 2008 election.

Anyone who claims they know who the two final candidates will be in November, 2016 is just being fanciful. We won’t know who the two nominees will be until next spring.

We will have a new president in 15 months. But whoever wins will have to start thinking about re-election immediately. Potential opponents will already be setting up their exploratory committees and political action committees by then.

Ain’t politics grand?

(Lyndon Zaitz is publisher of the Keizertimes.)

Real journalism, fair and balanaced

By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS

“Conservatives Furious at Fox, Say Trump Wasn’t Treated Fairly,” read the Newsmax headline last week.Talk-radio show host Mark Levin told Breitbart News it was “outrageous” that moderator Megyn Kelly questioned Donald Trump about his coarse language—“fat pigs, dogs, slobs”—referring to women. Levin complained it was “a National Enquirer debate, not a Republican debate,” with too much “opposition research.” Political analyst Dick Morris detected a “disturbing” trend at Fox. The conservative blog Media Equalizer offered that many conservatives “thought they might have been watching MSNBC by mistake.”

So this is what happens when Trump meets up with the “news” part of Fox News. Conservatives frequently complain about liberal media bias. Then they complain when conservative media practice journalism.

The Trump-Kelly feud is like crack for cable TV news. CNN’s Jake Tapper started Monday’s “The Lead” by noting that conservatives wanted the media to cover such stories as Democratic politicians turning on President Barack Obama’s Iran deal, a trip made by Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps chief Qassem Soleimani to Russia in defiance of a U.N. Security Council ban or “black lives matter” activists shouting down Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. But after The Donald told CNN on Friday that he could see the blood coming out of Kelly’s eyes—and “wherever” —Tapper suggested he had no choice but to lead Monday’s show with Trump’s tirade.

To keep the vapid story alive Monday, Trump the Bombast trash-tweeted Kelly. He sent out a link to a 2010 Howard Stern interview in which Kelly talked about her sex life: “Oh really, check out innocent @megynkelly discussion on @HowardStern show 5 years ago—I am the innocent (pure) one!” Translation: She had it coming.

Mayhap Trump wants fans to forget the opening question of the prime-time debate. Fox moderator Bret Baier asked the 10 GOP hopefuls to raise a hand if they were unwilling to pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee and not run a third-party campaign. Trump alone raised his hand. Many in the audience booed Trump. (In a 2011 GOP primary debate, Baier asked hopefuls to raise a hand if they would accept a budget deal with $1 in tax increases for each $10 in spending cuts. Not one Republican raised a hand—a stark signal that compromise would not be on the GOP menu.)

All three Fox News anchors asked questions that begged to be asked. Fox News moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump about his four corporate bankruptcies. “Four times, I’ve taken advantage of the laws,” Trump answered. “And frankly, so has everybody else in my position.”

All three moderators asked probing questions that explored each candidate’s weaknesses. That was a service to Republicans who want a nominee who can win in November. Fox News would have been remiss to not include a question about Trump’s big mouth. I can only hope that the know-nothings who trash Fox News Channel without watching its news programs tuned in. And I can only hope that CNN asks equally pointed questions at the Democrats’ first primary debate, which will be on Oct. 13.

(Creators Syndicate)

U.S. needs guidelines for entering war

As things turned out, one could argue with fairness and accuracy that Barack Obama’s campaign promise to end U.S. warring in the Middle East was half-hearted. Many an American thinks he should have stood by his word while perhaps too many others want war now and, apparently, forever.  The debate over U.S. involvement in the Middle East is currently in debate in Washington, D.C. over negotiations with Iran to stop their making of the bomb.

With implications for U.S. warring overseas, a dozen years ago author Micheal Lewis wrote Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, the story of how Billy Beane of Oakland A’s fame used his wits to build a winning franchise. Beane questioned old assumptions, every sacred cow, and all that was familiar to create a successful team. In foreign policy, the ideas cited in Moneyball relate to America’s role in the world in a new way that’s deigned to maximize the returns on taxpayer dollars. It recognizes that the U.S. has some global responsibilities that no other nation can handle well.  Then, too, with overseas ventures, the U.S. must now better husband our ever-dwindling financial resources to continue as world cop. The best path for the U.S. is to promote our value at keeping the world from imploding not our values as the “better way” when they’re imposed on others who are less and less receptive nowadays.

George H. W. Bush did not initiate a war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.  Rather, he organized and led an international coalition against Saddam and his forces after Saddam invaded Kuwait with intent to overpower it and thereby control its oil and gas resources so he could acquire a position of dominance over a huge part of the world’s oil and gas reserves. Bush and his advisors demanded that Saddam get out of Kuwait, which he refused to do, threatening that his army would be the mother of all armies and would crush the U.S. if the Americans tried to oust him from his new prize.

Bush responded with the U.S. military and four months later Saddam’s legions were sent back inside Iraq.  Bush wisely fended off those who wanted him to send U.S. forces into Iraq to occupy Baghdad and the entire nation. He responded that he would not do that because it would spill a lot of blood with no sure advantage for the U.S. since the oil fields of the Middle East were no longer threatened by a Saddam takeover. For reasons that have never been fully disclosed by official explanation George W. Bush, on the pretext that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction that he would use on Americans in America, “W” took us into a war that’s lasted 11 years, remains unfinished and led to the establishment of the Islamic State (ISIS).

Our future leaders need a clear and workable set of guidelines to address as quickly as possible when war is the last but only means of defending our interests.  Although Colin Powell did his reputation serious harm when he spoke on behalf of the George W. Bush administration to defend going into Iraq, he, along with contributions from former defense secretary Caspar Weinberger, have developed common sense principles that piggyback on Moneyball thinking.

These principles must be observed by our leaders in all future decisions regarding going to war: Is a vital national security interest threatened?  Do we have a clear and attainable objective? Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed? Have all other nonviolent policy means been fully exhausted? Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement? Have the consequences of U.S. action been fully considered? Is the action supported by the American people who are openly and honestly informed? Do we have broad international support?

If any one of these questions receives a “No” answer, war is not the answer.  And if any kneejerk hawks or automatic appeasers are among the decision making group, he and she should be dismissed from the deliberations and replaced by persons not voting for war due to hidden agendas supporting war profiteering or wearing to meetings a costume like the one Napoleon wore at Waterloo.   Meanwhile, it’d be in our best interest, as a nation that wants a future, for those in D.C. to take a long and hard look at the negotiations with Iran before slamming the door on what’s been worked out with a blind determination to go to war when the salient questions as listed above have not been thoroughly, exhaustingly answered.

(Gene H. McIntyre’s column appears weekly in the Keizertimes.)