Friday, April 25, 2014

Oregon's Art Robinson wants your urine

Love the 1950s vibe of this cartoon in Robinson's brochure

We received a weird brochure in the mail today from "Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine." Which is Oregon politician and GOP religious nut Art Robinson's personal and private little lab on his ranch in Cave Junction, Oregon. From the brochure:

From Cave Junction ranch and lab, Art Robinson provides provocative voice for Oregon GOP | Inside, the lab looks like a bit of OHSU plunked down on a pasture -- except for the hunting trophies on the wall and an old pipe organ in the center of the room, with the sheet music to "Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee" placed above the keyboard. (Oregon
This sounds like something from a novel by Vonnegut or some such, but it is real. Robinson's lab is under the "nonprofit" category, as the return address on the brochure reveals, and is a public entity.

The brochure asks us to send a urine sample to their lab. If we do, we'll be in on Robinson's cutting edge scientific discoveries, that will not only help the medical field, but education:
 We need samples of your urine in order to calibrate analytical procedures that can revolutionize the evaluation of personal chemistry -- and thereby improve our health, our happiness and property, and even the academic performance of our children in school.  (from Oregon institute of Science and Medicine mailer/brochure, April 2014.)
Nowhere in this four page glossy, full color brochure does it tell us what, exactly, Robinson's "Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine" will do for us once he has his hands on our pee.

If we return the pre-paid reply included in the brochure, we will receive a "…brief questionnaire  asking your age, sex, and some simple health questions." "…six months later" we will be asked for another urine sample. Assured we are not obligated to continue with giving pee samples we are encouraged to continue, since "… a series of samples at six-month intervals makes possible longitudinal experiments that are of increased value." (Robinson)

Robinson is a notorious character in Oregon; here's what his advice on what to do with nuclear waste:
"All we need do with nuclear waste is dilute it to a low radiation level and sprinkle it over the ocean – or even over America after hormesis is better understood and verified with respect to more diseases." (Robinson 1997: Oregon Loon Watch/Daily Kos)
In 2011, Robinson accused OSU of harassing three of his six children, stating that Oregon State University was trying to expel his three children as "political payback." He's said that public education is "child abuse" and should be abolished. (He's also created his own home school curriculum.) And so on.

"Nonprofit" -- what a mad scam!

And now, Robinson has spent quite a bit of money mailing out full color four page brochures, soliciting citizen's urine, which will be collected, tested and kept in his own private lab on his Oregon ranch.

The brochure wasn't addressed to us specifically (and obviously political affiliation wasn't considered since we are not Republicans, nor Christians) but mailed under a generic "postal customer" designation.

A lot of money spent, in hopes of receiving good citizen's urine.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Just Say No to Tasering Students and Militarizing Our Schools

Staged and faked scenarios in schools, usually violent (accidents, crashes, alien invasions, war, etc.) and police presences that harm and arrest students.

Just Say No to Tasering Students and Militarizing Our Schools: When The New York Times (NYT) calls the tasering of students as a "disciplinary" measure torture, it is time to take notice that our schools have been infected with the appalling post 9/11 acceptance of harsh interrogation and discipline.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mental Health Evaluation Form

I surprised myself earlier today with my response to the following episode. I had to go to the health clinic -- this clinic is owned by (though they contract out) and a part of the institution where I'm employed. When I checked in at the front desk I was handed a form that asked questions having to do with my emotional and psychological state. I'm paraphrasing here but the questions, maybe about two dozen of them (maybe less) were along the lines of:
1. Have you had trouble sleeping?
2. Has your enjoyment of activities decreased in the past two months?
3. Have you had thoughts of suicide or self-harm in the past six months?
and so on in regards to depression, stress, bad dreams, thoughts of suicide, etc. Without thinking about it I said "This is quite a form, it's a bit odd" and the woman very nicely explained everyone gets the form, it's standard, no one sees it, etc. I said I understood all that but it still seemed odd and I wasn't going to fill it out. Later the doctor said she understood that and I was under no obligation to fill it out; the staff was not defensive or pushy in any way. They all explained very patiently that "no one will see this form," and "everyone gets this to fill out," and "it's done once a year," but my issue is: why? If I'm going in for a routine female related exam (pap, what have you) why in the world do I need to fill out a form about mental health? But I did think the whole thing odd -- if I do feel those things, in need of counseling etc. then of course I'll pursue that but to fill out a form like that "just because" seemed, well, odd.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

375-pound military drone crashes near Pennsylvania elementary school, report says | Fox News

National Guard flies unmanned drone and crashes it, near a school:

375-pound military drone crashes near Pennsylvania elementary school, report says | Fox News: Pennsylvania authorities are investigating Thursday as to why an unmanned drone crash landed near a Pennsylvania elementary school.

The Lebanon Daily News identified the 375-pound drone as a RQ-7 Shadow, operated by the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. A military official called Wednesday afternoon's incident a hard landing, but the drone was apparently run over by a car.