Jefferson Public Radio Recordings

In 2001, Les AuCoin was living in Ashland and teaching at Southern Oregon University. When the 9/11 terrorist attacks occured, he felt compelled to respond. Working with Jefferson Public Radio (JPR), he recorded a commentary for public broadcast and within two months, his commentary became a regular biweekly feature on the radio. AuCoin called out issues in international, national, state and local politics for the next four years. The recordings, supplied to the Pacific U. Archives by JPR, are indexed below in rough chronological order. 

Date Title Description
18 Sep 2001    Some Ayatollas are Home Grown An audio commentary by Oregon Congressman Les AuCoin on the nation's response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This recording aired on Sep. 18, 2001, one week after the attacks. AuCoin criticizes the conservative televangelists Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson's responses to the 9/11 attacks and reflects on American values. Two months after this commentary aired, AuCoin began recording regular bi-weekly political commentary episodes for JPR.
26 Sep 2001 9/11 coping Reflecting on how Americans were coping following the 9/11 attacks, including the topic of national solidarity and the potential sacrifices Americans were likely to make.
12 Nov 2001 Introductory: Inaugural weekly episode The first regular episode of Oregon Congressman Les AuCoin's biweekly audio show on Jefferson Public Radio (JPR). In this episode, AuCoin introduces himself and the general subject matter of his show.
21 Nov 2001 First Thanksgiving post-9/11 Expressing his gratitude for the heroic government employees who provided aid during 9/11 (listing firefighters, postal workers, police officers, and emergency medical personnel), as well as the other public employees who provide essential services daily. AuCoin describes how these government employees faced being defunded and demoralized in the "rabidly anti-governmental age." On the other hand, AuCoin comments on how national crises bring people together and highlight the importance of the workers in the public sector.
26 Nov 2001 With Hatcheries, a Sucker is Born Every Minute Discusses the differences between hatchery and wild fish, as well as the need to protect habitats and genetically diverse wild populations. He criticizes developers and Judge Michael Hogan, who ruled in favor of treating coho salmon from hatcheries as equivalent to wild coho.
1 Dec 2001 Welfare to Work, When There is No Work Criticizes former President Bill Clinton and political consultant Dick Morris for their "welfare reform" measures in the 1990s. AuCoin argues that the outcomes of those reforms had caused predictable distress for poor people during the Recession of 2001.
5 Dec 2001 Paradise Lost - to Recreational Bulldozing Criticizes the granting of mining claims to amateur miners on government land. He notes that streambeds in the Siskiyou Wilderness and other places in Oregon were being degraded by gold mining operations, which provided little public benefit and great environmental harm.
12 Dec 2001 Mr. Ashcroft, and the art of name-calling Criticizes U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's defense of military tribunals, compares Ashcroft to Joe McCarthy, and describes the dangers of ad hominem attacks in politics.
2001 John Ashcroft and the Second Amendment Discussing John Ashcroft's advocacy of firearms that he had recently taken to the Supreme Court. Ashcroft argued that the right to bare arms was not only constitutionally protected for state organized militias, but for individuals as well. Countering Ashcroft, AuCoin asserts that the definitive interpretation of the second amendment right was presented in a 1939 Supreme Court decision, which ruled that "the amendment protected a collective right, not an individual right."
2001 Oregon Inequality On the issue of growing income inequality in Oregon in the early 2000s. AuCoin asserts that income inequality had been growing nationwide since the 1980s and 1990s, even amidst a prosperous economy. Before the 1980s, AuCoin notes how both Democrats and Republicans of the Oregon legislatures worked together, especially under Governor Tom McCall. The problem, according to AuCoin, was that "rich, selfish men invented Oregon's conservative ballot measure industry." AuCoin advocates for "bold, smart, and fearless leadership" that would restrict the ballot measure industry, prioritize secondary and higher education for economic growth, and convince taxpayers that the success of the state costs money, "especially money designed to build human skills, and convert taxeaters into taxpayers."
2001 Get a Life Gray On President George Bush "doing a favor" for his brother Jeb Bush by extending oil drilling rights in Florida. AuCoin argues that President Bush was hypocritical for putting oil extraction above the environment; he highlights the cancellation of California oil and gas leases by the Bush adminstration who then subsequently tried to force California to accept 36 year old lease sales on its outer continental shelf.
2001 Sharon and Arafat On the topic of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the early 2000s. AuCoin discusses the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas; sharing his opinion that Yasser Arafat should not be the only one held accountable, but Ariel Sharon as well. He states "the bottom line is, of course we can't absolve Yasser Arafat of all responsibility for this crisis; at the same time, it's dangerous to condone Sharon."
2001 Missile defense system Criticizing Bush's proposed national missile defense system, deeming it useless against "rogue" terrorist attacks who avoid using missiles and cooperation in the first place. On the other hand, AuCoin asserts that access to plutonium is indeed a real concern: "according to Sam Nunn... 60% of the former Soviet Union's plutonium stocks are lying around Russia in unsecured storage. Think of it as terrorist theft waiting to happen."
2001-2003 Ashland Library Highlights the importance and value of public libraries in communities, specifically pointing out the one in Ashland, Oregon. AuCoin advocates for libraries, stating that no matter one's background, everyone has equal access to knowledge. In a library, AuCoin argues, nobody is treated as a commercial functionary. He condemns a recent law that Ashland library had to overcome that nullified a majority vote on spending levies if voter turnout was less than 50%.
Jan 2002 State of the Union On President George W. Bush's 2002 State of the Union Address. In the recording, AuCoin analyzes Bush and his appointments of John D. Negroponte, Otto Reich, Ted Olson, and Bennett Raley. He criticizes the Bush administration for cutting federal funding for libraries, research on renewable energy sources, community hospitals, workforce training, et cetera.
14 Jan 2002 Bad Moon over Klamath Basin Discusses racially-motivated shootings that took place in Chiloquin in 2001. He describes how the shootings were related to tensions between the Klamath Tribes and area farmers over water rights. He calls on white residents to oppose racism.
24 Jan 2002 Enron and the Robber Baron Era Discusses the unethical corporate behavior of Enron and the need for government regulations.
28 Jan 2002 The Hardware Store Uses the analogy of a hardware store to describe the ideal outlook of a politician.
Feb 2002 Office of Official Lies On disinformation being spread by the administration of President George W. Bush. AuCoin states that although Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld claimed to have closed a federal "Office of Disinformation" before it began operating, AuCoin suspects that the goals of the office were still in force. AuCoin provides what he claims are two past examples of dishonesty coming from the Bush administration regarding the No Child Left Behind Act and Social Security trust fund surplus related money mismanagement.
24 Feb 2002 Beware the Yikes of March Tells humorous anecdotes about teaching college students. AuCoin references the book Non Campus Mentis by Anders Henriksson, a collection of erroneous college history essays.
22 Apr 2002 Hatcheries On hatchery closures as part of a $2 million Fish and Wildlife Service budget cut. AuCoin asserts that those closing were often sources of pollution and/or uneconomical. AuCoin suggests that limiting the number of hatcheries will allow more money to be used for schools and healthy wild fish. This episode aired on April 22 (Earth Day), probably in 2002.
Apr 2002 Humility Pondering a future with President Bush winning the 2004 election after then recent remarks by Bush that he would restore humility to American foreign policy if reelected. AuCoin states that, in the past, Bush has handled affairs in a non-humble way and that he is thus concernced with how Bush would handle violence in Iraq, especially admist news of his plans to invade Iraq.
2002 Toss Up Race Votes Discusses the possible upsets or changes in majorities in the U.S. House and Senate during the November 2002 midterm election and President Bush's theoretical chances in the 2004 presidential election.
2002 Credit Card Industry Discusses credit card debt in the United States. He criticizes proposed reforms of bankruptcy laws and the number of Democrats cozying up to the credit card industry.
2002 Spring Will be Missed On enjoying warm late winter/ early spring days. AuCoin recounts his day going on an aquatic adventure and learning new fishing techniques while listening to Eddy Arnold's and Kenny Roger's music.
2002 Soft Money On a bill in progress to ban soft money raising and spending. Soft money, known as non-federal money, is money that federal candidates and officeholders pass around for "party activities." AuCoin lists the ways soft money has been used and describes how Americans want to ban the use of soft money.
2002 Campaign Finance Reform On campaign finance reform. AuCoin criticizes the fact that politicians must devote excessive attention to raising funds for campaigns. He describes how an upcoming vote in Congress (the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, commonly known as the McCain-Feingold Act or BCRA) could reform campaign finance. However, it will require citizens to start contacting their representatives for change to happen.
2002 Political child abuse On how government spending cuts were impacting the lives of children. AuCoin describes a controversial statement by the National Institute of Health: "Child abuse has become ingrained in American life."
2002 Term Limits Lobby On term limits and incumbents. AuCoin, a critic of term limits, asserts that political operatives of the national term limit movement will try to handcuff people with term limits. AuCoin further wonders if civic leaders will be up for debate on term limits now, since few did so in 1992.
2002 Nader Experiment On political differences over timber policy. In the recording, AuCoin argues that although former Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader had criticized both major parties for having essentially the same stance on environmental policy, the Bush administration in fact has a worse record on environmental policy. While President Clinton's Forest Service Chief, Mike Dombeck, had worked to conserve National Forest resources, President Bush's Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth was promoting many harmful policies.
2002 Mark Hemstreet On Mark Hemstreet, owner of Shiloh Inns. According to AuCoin, Hemstreet organized a group of wealthy, anti-government businessmen to help elect "reactionary," pro-tax cut candidates to the Oregon state legislature. AuCoin states that Hemstreet then lobbied Congress for massive federal spending to stimulate the economy, including a year-long moratorium for businesses and individuals. AuCoin asserts that the actions of Hemstreet reveal the "enlightened self-interest that animates many conservatives."
2002 Divorce Discussing a Portland newspaper's article on divorce and divorcees in Oregon. AuCoin states that Oregon sociologists found that Oregon has become especially popular for people that divorce elsewhere, as the state offers social tolerance and divorced women opportunities. AuCoin, however, describes how he is troubled by the manner in which the newspaper leaves out the trauma kids face following divorce.
2002 Forest Fire Management On forest fire control and protection. AuCoin argues that fires should be reintroducted to the forest to ultimately burn excess fuel. The city of Ashland, Oregon, led by Forest Service Ranger Linda Duffy, has agreed to logging and thinning to better limit future fires.
2002 Colorado Forest Fire On the Hayman Fire, Colorado's worst forest fire in the state's recorded history. AuCoin argues that fires have worsened due to years of fire suppression that have led to unhealthy forests. He thus advocates for the reintroduction of controlled burns that allow limited forest thinning.
2002 Domestic Spying On the Federal Bureau of Investigation tracking information on American citizens. Aucoin suspects possible people in charge of deciding relevant data could be Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI Director Robert Mueller, or others in local FBI offices.
2002 Pedophile Priests On the cover up of cases of pedophiles and sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. AuCoin states how some priests accused of abuse were transferred to other parishes when their crimes were discovered, rather than being prosecuted or dismissed. AuCoin condemns Bishop Bernard Law of Boston, who defended this practice by comparing it to the moving around of alcoholic priests.
2002 Conflict Resolution, Part 1 On political conflict in the "state of Jefferson" (Southern Oregon) and how civil discourse could improve matters. AuCoin says that while having a natural clash of ideas is healthy, demonizing each other is not. He brings up the racially-motivated shootings that took place in Chiloquin in 2001. AuCoin asserts that community-based conflict resolution projects can help rival groups discuss problems civilly, and describes how Southern Oregon University (SOU) recently ran a workshop for forty people that attempted to make discussions more humane.
2002 Conflict Resolution, Part 2 On political conflict resolution. Continuing a story he began in an earlier radio episode, AuCoin describes what he witnessed at a conflict resolution workshop held at Southern Oregon University, where 40 people from different political groups came together to discuss their differences. He contrasts political struggle that resolves conflicts to "ugly" namecalling and demonization. Notably, AuCoin mentions the shooting rampage that occured in the Native American community of Chiloquin, Oregon in December 2001 during the Klamath Basin water crisis. He ends by playing the song "We Can Work It Out" by the Beatles.
2002 Kelly AuCoin On spending the day in Washington, D.C. with his actor son, Kelly AuCoin. In the recording, AuCoin discusses the difficulties of seeing his son while living on different sides of the country, reflects on watching his son getting older, and shares how he and his son always find the time to crack jokes with one another.
2002 Government Lies Regarding the federal government withholding information tied to "anti-communist" regimes in central America that led to deaths, such as the death of Jennifer Harbury's husband, Efran Bamaca Velasquez, who disappeared in Guatemala in the late 1990s. AuCoin describes how Harbury, a lawyer, sought information about her husband's death, discovering he was captured, held, and tortured to death by the Guatemalan military after being presumed dead. AuCoin brings up the CIA sponsored coup d'etat that toppled Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz in 1954. AuCoin also discusses the death of Benjamin Linder, an American engineer from Portland who was killed in Nicaragua by one of many "anti-communist" fascist regimes funded by the U.S. government.
2002 Free Public Land Discussing the topic of national parks and the Recreation Fee Demonstration permits. AuCoin states that public national parks were established for Americans to explore freely, and condemns the new $30 Recreation Fee Demonstration permits introduced by the government, which fund unnecessary programs unrelated to the parks. Quoting Russell Sadler, he states "these fees are a deliberate attempt to impose the same competitve conditions that private recreation uses to make profits."
2002 Klamath Releases Water On water rights policy in the Klamath Basin. In his recording, AuCoin describes how President George W. Bush's Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton and Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman were "opening the water tap" in Klamath Falls, an action AuCoin dubs as "political theater trumping substance." AuCoin argues that while the opening of irrigation is beneficial to farmers, it is often harmful to the endangered fish that reside in the water.
2002 Ashland's John Treadway On Ashland speech coach John Treadway and his elite high school debate team at Ashland High School on the occassion of his retirement in 2002. AuCoin expresses his admiration for Treadway and his impactful teaching that encouraged students to become critical thinkers. At the time of the recording, Ashland High School's debate team was considered one of the best in Oregon and the region.
2002 James Madison On Founding Father James Madison and his legacy in relation to the War on Terrorism. According to AuCoin, constitutional rights and civil liberties that Madison and other Founding Fathers established were being threatened by "unrestricted, unaccountable, political power" during the War on Terror. AuCoin makes references to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and Trent Lott.
2002 Water Bladder On the dangers of water transfers. He describes a scheme by an Alaskan company named World Water SA, which was planning to collect water from rivers in Mendocino County, California in giant "water bladders." The bladders would be towed south down to the coast to San Diego, where taxpayers would be charged for the water. AuCoin says that this scheme likely will not happen, but that ideas like this in the past have occured and caused great environmetal harm, benefitting only a few people. AuCoin says that taxpayers should not subsidize these sorts of projects, but that the free market cost of natural water should be passed on to consumers.
2002 Consumerism and Skymall Magazine Recounting how he kept himself occupied on a recent airline flight by reading SkyMall magazine. AuCoin asserts that consumerism is so embedded in the American economy that we can not help but give in to unnecessary products that magazines sell.
2002 Susan Castillo On the Oregon Republican Party's attack on a candidate for Oregon State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Susan Castillo. AuCoin states that Castillo is not well-liked because of her views on foreign policy, specifically in relation to the War on Terror, which AuCoin calls irrelevant to the role she was running for. AuCoin additionally shares that Castillo is part of the board of Women's Action for New Directions (WAND), a national group that aims to reduce militarism.
2002 Who's to Blame? On Democratic critics condemning George Bush for not being better prepared to prevent 9/11 when he had received an Intelligence warning weeks prior. AuCoin, however, states that the critics were "barking up the wrong tree," and asserts that it was the faulty performance of intelligence that had failed to share information, check leads, and connect the dots with evidence. Meanwhile, AuCoin asserts that Democrats should lay off of George Bush, and advocates for a congressional investigation.
2002 Consumer spending On the decrease in consumer spending in 2002 and the subsequent fears of a potential recession. AuCoin critcizes how U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Paul H. O'Neill was "urging Americans to patriotically flock back to the shopping mall," as this "diminishes us as citizens...[as] mere economic units." Instead, AuCoin advocates for protecting one's money, civic virtues, and acts of goodwill in order to lift the national spirit.
2002 Hanford Condemning a proposal to ship large amounts of nuclear waste to the Hanford Nuclear Site. Weeks prior to the proposal, the U.S. Department of Energy won the right to designate Nevada's Yucca Mountain as the national nuclear repository. AuCoin states the Hanford Site is among the most polluted sites in the world, and while some radioactive materials had already seeped through the ground into the Columbia River, the Department of Energy was planning to expand the site. 
2002 Clear cut logging in the Tillamook and Clatsop forests Commenting on a proposal by the Oregon Forestry Department to "clear cut" previously approved logging sections in the Tillamook State Forest and Clatsop State Forest. AuCoin specifically calls out Oregon State Senator Joan Dukes of Astoria for her support of clear cut logging on the basis of how it would hypothetically benefit the economy.
2002 Northwest salmon; Columbia dredging On the survival of salmon in the Pacific Northwest, pointing out how salmon are endangered in the region. According to OSU Professor Robert Lackey, the Oregon congressional delegation claims to be salmon friendly, but in fact supports dredging the Columbia River.
2002 My 38 year anniversary Commemorating his 38 year wedding anniversary. AuCoin reminisces on his life and political career with his wife Sue at his side.
2002 Scandals and Martha Stewart On betrayal-based scandals, specifically pointing out Martha Stewart's insider trading scandal. Making some comparisons, AuCoin wonders where the Bush aministration got the idea that Iraq had biological and chemical weapons to justify the invasion.
2002 Clarifying dredging radio episode errors Clarifying and apologizing for factual errors on his part in a former radio episode on Columbia River dredging. AuCoin states that he still stands by his original comment on how sometimes even good people have negatively impacted the climate for reasons of monetary gain. However, he apologizes for using out of date information, including details about the motives of the Port of Portland and a comment on how dredge spoils were to be placed in sensitive aquatic locations, as this was the original proposal of the Army Corps of Engineers, though it was vetoed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Washington State of Ecology.
June 2002 Tribunals Regarding governmental abuse by exploitation of military tribunals following 9/11. AuCoin states that military tribunals were designed to track foreign suspects, not American citizens like in the case of Jose Padilla. According to AuCoin, the government has been allowed to hoard and keep files on nearly any individual deemed suspicious, supposedly justified in the name of war, though AuCoin argues against deeming the current national situation a "war."
Jul 2002 Yucca Mountain On the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository dispute between the White House and nuclear industry. A recent bill had overridden the state of Nevada's veto on hosting "the nation's first radioactive garbage dump." A key fault of the Yucca Mountain location, according to AuCoin, was the fact that the area was not large enough to hold all of the nation's nuclear waste. The majority of episodes feature features his commentary on current political events, often focusing on issues important to southern Oregon where JPR is based.
Aug 2002 Social Security On the topic of social security earnings. AuCoin discusses how President Bush wanted younger workers to fund their social security benefits through the policy of privatization and the stock market. Had social security been privatized, AuCoin argues, Americans would be in a "lose-lose economics" situation. For example, according to AuCoin, Willshire 5000 had lost 50% of its value, while social security did not lose any value in a recent year. This episode aired in August 2002.
Aug-Sep 2002 Bush visit and Mark Rey On President Bush's visit to Oregon and his approach to preventing future wildfires by loosening regulations and allowing commercial loggers to thin fire prone, old growth forests. According to AuCoin, Bush's Assistant Secretary for Agriculture (responsible for national forest policy) and former timber lobbyist Mark Rey had helped to pass the "notorious" timber salvage rider policy of 1995. The policy had destroyed the trust between the industry and the environmental conservation community.
Sep 2002 9-11 Anniversary Regarding the first anniversary of 9/11. Reflecting on the first year post-9/11, AuCoin points out how journalism had transformed "from a profession into a commodity producer... garnished with a dose of American jingoism." For the first anniversary, AuCoin advocates for simplicity, reflection, remembrance and embracing silence, because "silence is golden."
Sep 2002 Allan Fitzsimmons Condemning Allan Fitzsimmons' (the Wildlands Fuel Coordinator at the United States Department of the Interior) approach to environmental management. According to AuCoin, the Bush administration had used then-recent wildfires as an excuse to weaken environmental protection laws and to promote logging of new and old growth trees, catering to commerical loggers instead of "genuine forest health." AuCoin asserts that Fitzsimmons' complacency to ecosystem management was rooted in theology, not ecology. AuCoin states that "science contends that we are of nature, not apart from it."
Oct 2002 Dear Democrats Discusses the elections of 2002, criticizing the Democrats for being too moderate and "milquetoast." He argues for the party "to return to its roots" by advocating for "the average family's right to privacy, a clean environment, good schools, affordable health care, and protection from both corporate greed at home and wreckless wars abroad."
Oct 2002 Campaign Fundraising Discusses campaign financing in Oregon. He describes his first campaign in Washington County, Oregon and the importance that volunteers once had in elections; contrasting this with the influence of money and negative advertisements in the early 2000s.
Nov 2002 William Safire: Whistleblower Praises conservative commentator William Safire's editorial in the New York Times (Nov. 14, 2002) which condemned the government's "Total Information Awareness" program, a centralized federal database of information on American citizens.
Nov 2002 The Patriot Act Criticizes The Patriot Act of 2001 for enabling the United States government to spy on the daily activities of American citizens. He mentions John Ashcroft, a prominent supporter of the law.
Nov 2002 Thanksgiving reflections On the occasion of Thanksgiving 2002. In the recording, AuCoin spoke about good news regarding his family and highlighted the importance of friendships. He used these anecdotes to make the case for relying on inspiration from such personal connections, rather than from the government.
Dec 2002 Odious Byrd and Trent Lott In which he condemns racist remarks from Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi. AuCoin further discusses how prevalent racism has been in American politics since the 1960s.
2002-2003 Gates Analogy: Auto vs. Computer Industry Regarding Bill Gates' alleged comments comparing the development of the auto industry and the computer industry. This story was based on a viral joke that was circulating in the early 2000s, playing on the fact that computer technology had improved exponentially while cars had only improved marginally over the last few decades. AuCoin shares General Motors' response, listing ten hypothetical faults of cars if they adopted the same technology standards as Microsoft.
2002-2003 Israel Foreign Policy On Palestinian suicide bombings against Israel citizens and Israel's invasion of Palestinian territories. AuCoin asserts that not enough had been done to prevent suicide bombings from becoming normalized, mentioning how President Bush "stubbornly refused to curb Israel's overreaction to Palestinian suicide bombers." Further, AuCoin states that "Islamic rage" can be harmful to Arab governments and the United States alike.
2002-2003 Taxes On the pressure of taxes on the occasion of Tax Day. AuCoin criticizes how tax preparer companies give predatory high-interest loans to low-income families for as they await their tax refund. AuCoin goes on to argue that taxes generally are too low, condemning President Bush's tax cuts.
2002-2003 Oregon House Republicans' Political Theater Commenting on the manner in which Oregon House Republicans addressed the issue of tax reform in a then recent session. Republican House Speaker Karen Minnis tried to suggest a partisan alternative to the issue of tax reform by enacting a "hastily crafted spending cap," ignoring the fact that the state of Oregon already had spending limits in place.
2002-2003 Deficits; Bush massive tax cuts On proposed tax cuts demanded by President Bush in the name of stimulating a "weak economy." However, AuCoin states that no matter the state of the economy or whether the government is running on a surplus or a deficit, tax cuts will always be pushed for by the Bush administration. AuCoin condemns what he calls "deficits of mass destruction." There is no telling what Bush's demand for tax cuts is spent on.
2002-2003 Biscuit Fire; salvage logging plan On backlash towards the US Forest Service for their overestimation of salvageable timber following the Biscuit fire. Independent forest ecologists assert that planting dense, even-aged conifer trees after logging often burned much worse and more easily compared to natural timber stands. AuCoin states how Oregon Senator Ron Wyden had been urging the Forest Service to release a report on the damage which would be included in the final environmental impact statement of the Biscuit salvage.
2002-2003 Citizens for a Sound Economy On Washington DC-based group called the "Citizens for a Sound Economy,'' an anti-tax organization dedicated to defeating a temporary tax surcharge in Oregon. Three likely Oregon businessmen involved with the organization include Aaron Jones, Wes Lematta, and Dick Wendt.
2002-2003 Two Bushes On President George W. Bush's comments admitting to not often reading. AuCoin speculates on whether or not Bush had read former President George H. W. Bush's memoirs, which discussed the topic of a hypothetical Iraq invasion during his administration.
2002-2003 Newt and Me Sharing his opinion of the Patriot Act and how it rejects the traditional concept of conservatism. AuCoin points out how both he and Newt Gingrich, "political opposites," believe that the Patriot Act oversteps human rights and disrespects the rule of law.
2002-2003 Prey Commenting on a Fox News poll that revealed that most Americans do not believe that the country was heading in the right direction. AuCoin states that this makes sense when one considers that "prey are always less happy than, say, predators." He expresses concern about Medicare's future following a prescription drug bill proposal supported by American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), which would be detrimental to retired Americans but monetarily beneficial to the organization.
2002-2003 Urban and Rural Schooling On urban voters in Oregon agreeing to local levies in order to improve the quality of their schools. According to AuCoin, such levies were in reponse to Oregon Republicans rejecting any proposal to raise the state revenue.
2002-2003 Recall Elections On recall elections. AuCoin asserts that while recall elections are an important component of democracy, they can be abused when politicians are unjustly put up for a recall election. He specifically mentions California Governor Gray Davis' recall election, and mentions how conservative republicans of California also agree that recall election can lead to political instability.
2002-2003 Nuclear War On how the government has viewed the probability of winning a hypothetical nuclear war. As a US Congressman in the 1980s, he recalls being informed that the Reagan administration felt strongly that the US would prevail in a hyopthetical, global, nuclear war. AuCoin questions how any country could really win a nuclear war. He shares how as small nuclear weapons increase in number, more and more nonelected US military officials would have access to the nuclear buttons.
2002-2003 Income Tax Kicker Commenting on the Oregon legislature and the Oregon income tax credit "kicker." AuCoin suggests getting rid of the kicker and replacing it with a rainy day fund in order for the Oregon legislature to more adequatedly organize the state budget.
2002-2003 Fight Teenage Obesity On Oregon state senators Republican Randy Miller and Democrat Kurt Schrader refusing to accept a federal grant of $10 million to fight obesity in Oregon schools and communities. AuCoin criticizes this action, citing that Oregon is one of the most obese states in the West. He also comments on the more general issue of the Oregon state budget deficit.
2002-2003 Salmon-Ballot Measure 66 Criticizing the implementation of Oregon Ballot Measure 66: Lottery Funds for Parks and Watersheds. He states how the Oregon legislature used the money for other purposes, such as a research laboratory, which he felt wronged Oregon voters. Habitat Division Director Dave McAllister will be removed and replaced by Fish Division Administrator, Ed Bowels.
2002-2003 Jobless labor On the unemployment rate in the early 2000s. He states that despite the recession officially ending in November 2001, the jobless rate did not decrease alongside the economic rebound. AuCoin points out the issues of intense foreign competition and the low amount of business investments at home.
2002-2003 9/11 pilgrimage Reflecting on his then recent "pilgrimage" to the former location of the Twin Towers in New York City in the immediate years following 9/11. Though this wasn't his first trip to the area post-9/11, he describes how the attacks have had a lasting impact on the city landscape and the lives of himself and his fellow Americans. He honors the innocent souls and the heroism of the first responders who lost their lives. He recalls eating at the famous Windows on the World in the past, and mentions visiting St. Paul's Chapel on his trip, which was used as a shrine for the victims.
2002-2003 Pleasure Principle On what he calls the "pleasure principle" -- "the habit of cutting taxes...without knowing or trying to know their budget consequences." He describes the consequences of cutting taxes in Oregon during budget deficits, inlcuding the loss of vital services in order to rebalance the budget. The recession has impacted revenue.
2002-2003 Wyden On Democratic Senator Ron Wyden's handling of an unnamed wilderness bill. According to AuCoin, Wyden had not been cautious enough in the legislative process or in gaining bipartisan support, and he feels that while the bill is sound, he worries it won't ever be passed. AuCoin points out how some have suggested that Wyden's goal with the bill was to really "improve relations with conservation voters."
circa 2002 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and Bush Regarding President Bush renouncing the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. AuCoin advocates for the ABM Treaty, stating that the treaty made Americans safer and saved taxpayers billions of dollars. From Bush's view, according to AuCoin, renouncing the treaty was done to protect the US from terrorist groups, as the treaty was an outdated, Cold War-era relic. AuCoin, however, asserts that renouncing the treaty is likely to trigger other countries nearby to acquire more missiles, while unlikely actually preventing terrorist attacks.
Dec 2002-2003 Measure 28 In which he voices support for Oregon Ballot Measure 28 of 2003. The measure would have imposed a temporary income tax surcharge of 1% to close budget gaps. AuCoin argues that the tax would cost taxpayers little and would pay for the essential services in the state.
Jan 2003 Iraq and the Bush State of the Union Address In which he responds to President Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address, when Bush called for the invasion of Iraq over their supposed holding of Weapons of Mass Destruction. AuCoin recalls serving in the military during the Cuban Missle Crisis and contrasts the clear nuclear threat from the Soviets at that time with the dubious evidence of a nuclear threat from Iraq. He predicts that winning a war in Iraq would be far easier than keeping order in Iraq after the war is over.
Feb 2003 Brain Drain: Teachers and California Regarding the Oregon state budget cuts resulting in inadequate support for teachers. In comparison, AuCoin explains how California's employee benefits for teachers, including paid moving expenses, sign-on bonuses, and greater annual salaries, were tempting Oregon's best teachers to move out-of-state. This episode likely aired in February 2003.
2003 New York after the Twin Towers Regarding his first visit to New York City after 9/11. AuCoin describes how the nearby St. Paul's Chapel had become a shrine to honor those who had lost their lives on 9/11. An entry from the chapel's guest book stated that "too often it is in loss that we discover the things that we love and why we love them," which AuCoin takes and applies to the war in Iraq, arguing that the situation had led to the U.S. government neglecting civil liberties.
2003 Bush Tax Cuts Criticizing proposed federal tax cuts under the Bush Administration during the early 2000s recession.
2003 Legislature Start Discussing the political implications of the even split between parties in the Oregon State Senate in 2003. He compares the even split of 2003 with the split of 1971, when AuCoin was a State Senator. He also criticizes Democratic Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski for placating Republican interests.
2003 Minnis' Program Cuts Criticizing a speech by Republican Oregon Speaker of the House Karen Minnis. AuCoin argues that the Republicans were cynically pretending to be concerned about program cuts that they had voted for the previous year.
2003 Anti-War Car Criticizing President Bush for under-funding research on hydrogen fuel cells for cars in place of gasoline. AuCoin shares how he bought a gas-electric hybrid car, dubbing it his "anti-war car."
2003 Flag Burning and the Iraq War Discusses the burning of the American flag as a response to Bush's administration policy on Iraq. AuCoin asserts that while burning the American flag is technically legal due to the principle of freedom of speech, he personally disagrees with the action; arguing that the flag stands for freedom, not the politicians involved in the Iraq war "who officially abuse what it stands for." Indeed, AuCoin encourages waving the American flag to protest the policies of those in the White House.
2003 Who is Richard Perle? Regarding Richard Perle, the Chairman of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee and advisor to President Bush. AuCoin criticizes Perle, sharing how Perle has a history of promoting nuclear weapons, aggressive actions against Iraq since 1996, and pushing President Bush to wage a war with Iraq.
2003 Multnomah Voters and Taxes Regarding Multnomah County Ballot Measure 26-48 of 2003. AuCoin shares how Multnomah County voters voted to increase taxes on the county-level to alleviate the school funding crisis. Moreover, he criticizes the hypocrisy of the conservatives in the Oregon legislature who condemn Ballot Measure 26-48 for keeping tax revenue within Multnomah County schools and out of rural Oregon counties, while simultaneously arguing against raising taxes in general. AuCoin specifically calls out Republican Oregon State Senator Ted Ferrioli.
2003 INS jumped Karri Reen On the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) stopping Norwegian resident alien Karri Reen (perhaps misspelled) at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport during a background check, 10 years after her and her husband James Youngworth were convicted for illegally growing marijuana for personal use in 1993. After their settled 1993 conviction, the couple received probation and community service orders, but the INS deemed Reen an "aggravated felon" in 2003, threatened to deport her, and arrested her with "post-9/11 zeal." AuCoin deems the situation a case of douple jeopardy: the INS applied a current law to a past conviction.
2001-2003 Unrestrained logging On the topic of wildfire management and unrestrained logging in the early 2000s. AuCoin states that "greedy" legislators connected to the timber industry will likely blame recent wildfires fires on environmentalists and advocate for unrestrained logging. He brings up a recently proposed bill by Montana Representative Dennis Rehberg.
2001-2003 Rascal On a new addition to his family, a year-old dog named Rascal from the Jackson County Animal Shelter. AuCoin recalls taking Rascal, his new fishing companion, to Dailey (or Daley) Creek with him.
2001-2003 Tire blowout Recounting having a tire blowout on Montana State Highway 43. With a tire on the loose and no lug wrench, strangers, including some from Roseburg, Oregon (who AuCoin refers to as his "fellow residents of the state of Jefferson") stopped by to help out, and AuCoin expresses his gratitude of the persistent benevolence of the strangers.
2001-2003 University support Advocating for additional government support for the Oregon university system. AuCoin expresses his gratitude for the accomplishments of former Oregon Governors Neil Goldschmidt and Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski. Southern Oregon University (SOU) in particular has the probability of being a successful school, by being located in "one of the most biologically diverse areas in the United States," AuCoin says. He believes that the state board should focus on expanding multidisciplinary courses.
2001-2003 Weight loss On his comeback to the JPR studio following a health scare. Following his health scare, his doctor had instructed him to lose 35 pounds in a year for the sake of his health. AuCoin notes that permanent weight loss occurs when there is a behavioral change.
2001-2003 Lars Larson; Rosa Parks Commenting on how conservative talk radio show host Lars Larson compared himself to African American civil rights activist Rosa Parks. AuCoin points this out as a fallacy, especially history-wise, stating how he can not see Larson being a civil rights activist during Parks' time. Further, AuCoin describes Parks as "soft-spoken" and Larson as more aggressive with his reactionary politics, frequently shouting down the opinions of callers on his radio show.
August 2001-2003 Travel Tape On taping and listening to music during his travels, a decades-long tradition of his. AuCoin recalls listening to pre-recorded tapes of Tchaikovsky on his trips to Moscow in the 1970s. He also shares a memory of him listening to Luciano Pavarotti at his rented house in Tuscany.
Dec 2001-2003 Shibboleths and Senator Bradley On steering clear of shibboleths with a new election year approaching. AuCoin defines a shibboleth as a "lazily arrived at opinion, usually false, that a person hasn't bothered to examine critically or doesn't want you to." A shibboleth "peddled for years by the political right," according to Senator Bill Bradley, is the way that "extreme conservative groups, whose survival depends on keeping citizens perpetually irate with authority, discourage people from accepting that they might be in the minority on a particular issue." AuCoin states that this shibboleth claims "that choices that appear to be made democratically are in fact the authoritarian will of [the] government."
Dec 2001-2003 Holiday reflection On the topic of reflection during the holiday season and counting one's blessings. AuCoin references an essay by an unknown author on the global ratios of poverty, ethnicity, religion, wealth, and education.
Dec 2001-2003 Stimulus On a conservative bill that plans to stimulate the economy through tax breaks for wealthy corporations and individuals. AuCoin asserts that this bill would do nothing to increase demand in the economy, and would only enrich Americans at the top economic tier at expense of middle class and unemployed Americans, who he argues should be the ones to receive potential tax cuts.
Dec 2001-2003 Ashcroft and military tribunals Expressing his concern regarding Attorney General John Ashcroft 's support of military tribunals post-9/11. According to AuCoin, Ashcroft, a supposed conservative, had promoted "sweeping prosecutorial powers," shocking civil libertarians, prominent conservatives, and law enforcement experts. Former director of the FBI and CIA William H. Webster had expressed his concerns with these new military tribunals set up to judge people suspected of terrorism. This episode aired in December 2001-2003.
2001-2004 Big Ten Chair Kevin Mannix Commenting on the use of multiple old, moderate Republican names to sponsor a Portland fundraiser event held by "hardline conservative" Oregon State Representative Kevin Mannix. Many prominent Oregon politicians were named, such as former State Treasurer Bill Rutherford, former Secretary of State Clay Myers, former Secretary of State Norma Paulus, and former Attorney General Dave Meyer. AuCoin points out how some of these politicians felt that their names had been "hijacked." Those who attended the fundraiser event included former Governor Mark Hatfield and former member of the United States Senate Bob Packwood.
July 2001-2004 MLK Jr. Reflecting on Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy on the occassion of the Fourth of July weekend. AuCoin references Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail," stating that injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere, and that there are two kinds of laws, just and unjust laws, and that we as Americans have the moral responsibility to choose whether to obey or disobey.
June-August 2001-2004 Fishing a rainbow trout On catching a rainbow trout during a fishing trip. AuCoin further discusses fishing tactics and culture.
2003 Gay Marriage; Massachusetts Supreme Court Commenting on the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage in 2003. AuCoin points out how President Bush and members of Congress have condemned the ruling. AuCoin utilizes sarcasm to point out the fallacy of opponents who claim that gay marriage is somehow harmful to other marriages.
2003 Overtime Pay On President Bush's proposal to cut overtime pay admist a period of high unemployment. AuCoin brings attention to a study done by the Economic Policy Institute, which asserts that the administration's proposal will immediately disqualify millions of eligible workers from overtime pay. AuCoin states that this proposal will lead to Americans receiving less pay for the same amount of work.
2003 Iraq Before the War On the lack of US preparedness leading up to the Iraq War. AuCoin emphasizes how the United States spent an abundance of money on military defense, but fell short when it came to providing proper life-saving flak jackets for troops.
2003 Deficit; Joshua Bolten On Director of the Office of Management and Budget Joshua Bolten's comments that brushed off the issue of a budget deficit, stating that "concerns about the deficit are secondary to economic recovery." Democrats heavily criticized Bolten's comments, though AuCoin discusses the history of the manner in which both major parties have changed their views on budget deficits.
2003 Klamath tribes and forest management Commenting on how several environmentalist groups have opposed the return of 1000 square miles of ancenstral lands to the Klamath tribes. The environmentalist groups claim that they are concerned that returning the land will lead to aggressive logging, though AuCoin asserts that Klamath tribes have blueprints for environment friendly forest management, drawn up by forest experts Jerry Franklin and Norm Johnson.
2003 Offshore James Watt On the dicussion of hypothetical oil drilling off of the coast of Oregon that was brought up by a proposed bill. First Interior Secretary to Ronald Reagan James Watt proposed the idea of oil exploration on the outer continental shelf in the 1980s, but AuCoin used his power as a congressman to halt this. AuCoin questions whether energy should trump other values.
2003 Students at SOU On the occassion of his retirement from teaching at Southern Oregon University (SOU) at the age of 61. He reminisces about students' interactions and the joy of being a teacher. AuCoin shares his plans of going into writing following his retirement from teaching.
2003 Kulongoski's Budget On Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski's approach to the state budget. AuCoin deems Kulongoski's budget as purposefully milquetoast, as Kulongoski himself calls the proposed budget "inadequate."
2003 Iraq and Christian Soldiers On the Bush's administration's move "not to impose the West's will" on Iraq following the fall of Baghdad. AuCoin supports this move, as he asserts that Iraqis are skeptical of the United States intentions. He points out some of Franklin Graham's negative remarks on the religion of Islam.
2003 CNN Fall of Baghdad On coverage of the War in Iraq. He asserts that CNN is one of many news organizations that has covered the Fall of Baghdad in a entertainment-focused manner in order to capture more viewers.
2003 Iraqi freedom On operation "Iraqi Freedom." AuCoin points out how truth was a casualty of the War in Iraq, specifically pointing out how the Bush Administration used the idea of weapons of mass destruction to justify the war.
2003 Union Busting On the Bush administration's attempts to privatize up to half of government jobs, including management jobs with the Forest Service and BLM. Mitch Daniels, Bush's former director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, says this move could increase quality and keep down operating costs. AuCoin criticizes this proposal.
2003 Environmentalist lobby's flaw On a flaw of the environmental lobby, specifically criticizing their frequent "my way or the highway" approach. For example, Democrats Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio and California Congressman George Miller had collaborated with Republican Congressman Greg Walden on a forest health bill, but because it was a compromise, AuCoin states that other environmentalists were dissatified and the congressmen ended up dropping the bill.
2003 Chainsaw Choo Choo On a then recent Oregon forest report. Douglas County requested and paid for the report, led by researcher of Oregon State University School of Forestry, John Sessions. AuCoin points out how Sessions is a civil and forest engineer, not a wildfire scientist, and was seemingly unqualified to author the report. AuCoin states that the best approach to generating healthy forests is by natural recovery.
2003 Governator Commenting on Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign for the Governor of California. AuCoin points out and criticizes the novelty of Schwarzenegger's movie star and bodybuilding status in the political world, stating "celebrity has become the holy grail of American politics."
2003 Green Out On operation "Green out" ads on teaching environmental stability to kids. Both AuCoin nor founder Holly Swanson can't find examples of ads containing substantiation. AuCoin states the group's manner of handling is a threat to political values.
2003 Parks On recreation budget cuts negatively impacting national parks. AuCoin describes how park rangers and superintendents were given orders to follow a script and lie to the public about budget issues facing the park. Chief of the US Park Police Teresa Chambers did not follow orders, expressed concern about low staffing in the parks, and was placed on administrative leave. AuCoin describes President Bush as treating each national park as his "reelection campaign office."
2003 Commemorating JFK Commemorating President John F. Kennedy on the anniversary of his assassination. Sharing his admiration for the president, AuCoin recalls listening to a June 11, 1963 speech by JFK regarding his use of the National Guard to desegregate American schools.
2003 Support Troops On supporting American troops during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He argues that members of the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) are being taken advantage of by the George W. Bush Administration in order to avoid spending money.
June 2003 Bush against Sharon On the topic of President Bush's stance in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict following a then recent attack by Israel (perhaps a raid in Gaza). AuCoin points out how Democrats Tom Lantos and Gary Ackerman called out Bush and defended the Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon. AuCoin agrees with Bush that it is "right to get tough with Israel" with equal sterness in order to help contribute to peace in the Middle East and for US security purposes.
June 2003 Robert F. Kennedy Sharing excerpts from Robert F. Kennedy's journal, reflecting on his life and political career on the 35th anniversary of his death. AuCoin expresses how much American politics have changed since Kennedy's days.
23 Aug 2003 Bipartisan Describing how 11 Republicans in the Oregon House of Representatives put the state of Oregon first above partisan goals. He states that Republican Rob Patridge of Medford stepped up and voted to preserve public services and balance the budget, going against traditional party lines. AuCoin shares his admiration for the Republican 11, who "defied their party's dogma" and stepped up as leaders in order to compromise and address the issue of the Oregon budget deficit.
Nov 2003 Arnold Schwarzenegger Commenting on Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger getting involved in politics. AuCoin points out the novelty of a former bodybuilder being elected as the Governor of California, stirring turmoil for the future of politics. AuCoin states that no party really won the election, but instead "angry populism" did.
Nov 2003 Boise Cascade old growth logging On Boise Cascade company's pledge with Rainforest Action Network and two other national environmental organizations to phase out logging old growth forests. Boise Cascade was coaxed to an agreement when organizations led by the Rainforest Action Network of San Francisco convinced consumers to boycott buying their products.
Dec 2003 Christmas Tree On the tradition of decorating a Christmas tree. He describes how each ornament hung is representative of his life with his wife and family. AuCoin says the time has changed his family, though not his Christmas tree, which represents the passage of time through its decorations.
2003-2004 Salvage Appeal On the Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003, which claimed to improve forests and reduce wildfires by thinning out trees. AuCoin says the act instead allows logging companies to profit. Doctor Jerry Franklin of the University of Washington gave Congress data on how intact forests in fact increase wildlife diversity.
Jan 2004 O'Neill Advice On former National Security Council member Paul H. O'Neill's accusations against the Bush administration. AuCoin states that, according to O'Neill, "the effort to overthrow Suddam Hussein was actively discussed from the very first days of the administration."
Feb 2004 Measure 30; Emergency Surcharge On the topic of Measure 30 and the results of the then recent election in Oregon. AuCoin ponders the potential results of the vote on Measure 30, which would have provided an emergency surcharge on state income tax. Measure 30 ended up being rejected by Oregon voters.
Mar 2004 Legislature food fight On the discussion of tax reform in the Oregon legislature in order to raise the state revenue and protect vital services. AuCoin mentions a stalemate in the legislature regarding tax legislation and how the defeat of Measure 30 had already halted a proposed source of emergency tax revenue. AuCoin also discusses the topic of Karen Minnis supporting a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
Apr 2004 Bob Edwards On American broadcast journalist Bob Edwards leaving NPR's Morning Edition.
May 2004 Atomic Defense On toxic nuclear waste management at Hanford Site, Washington; Aiken, South Carolina; and Idaho Falls, Idaho. He describes how Senator Lindsey Graham proposed the idea of allowing the Energy Department to reclassify radioactive waste, despite the known risk of contamination in the environment. Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith supported Washington Senator Maria Cantwell's attempt to remove the revision, but the vote was tied.
2002-2004 Good Beef Criticizes the mishandling of cattle feed in feedlots in the West. AuCoin argues that the switch from grass-fed cattle to corn-fed cattle has led to poorer quality beef. As cattle are not intended to digest grain, corn-fed cattle often have an increased risk of illnesses that require heavy doses of antibiotics, which humans then consume. Further, as AuCoin shares, corn-fed beef has more saturated fats than grass-fed beef.
2002-2004 Developers and HB2689 Commenting on Oregon HB2689. AuCoin states how Republicans, with the support of the real estate lobby, aim to challenge Oregon's land use laws to open rural lands for urban development in the name of alleviating unemployment. However, according to AuCoin, land use laws do not in fact correlate to economic development issues.
2002-2004 Rascal's birthday On his dog Rascal's birthday. AuCoin reminisces on the day he got Rascal and the impact that the dog has had on his life.
2002-2004 Oregon budget cuts On Oregon voters pushing for state budget cuts. AuCoin ponders the potential consequences of such budget cuts, including a mass exodus from public schools.
2002-2004 Lt. Gen. Jerry Boyken Commenting on President Bush's appointments of individuals with strange, nonmainstream views in high positions of power. AuCoin goes on to list odd remarks from Bush appointees, including the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, William G. "Jerry" Boyken, and reactionist California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown.
2002-2004 Patriot Act: Orwellian News On the government abusing the national intelligence powers of the Patriot Act to investigate ordinary crime, not just terrorist activity. AuCoin deems the situation "Orwellian news," as the federal government was able to spy on American citizens without prior grand jury approval.
2002-2004 Operation Green Out Criticizing a newspaper ad by a conspiracy theory group called Operation Green Out that avocated against environmental sustainability education for Oregon children. AuCoin explains how Holly Swanson, the founder of the group, argued that sustainability education was brainwashing kids, hijacking education for future citizens to be in favor of the so-called International Green Party Movement.
2002-2004 New Year Commemorating the New Year sometime in the early 2000s. AuCoin ponders new possibilities for the New Year, specifically advocating for bettering the lives of American children, such as reducing the child mortality rate by ensuring that each child had comprehensive health insurance, and by making college more accessible via state-funded scholarships. He also discusses potential initiatives in Oregon politics.
2002-2004 Catholicism and JFK's achievement On the Vatican's decision to keep Catholic politicians ecclesiastically accountable for upholding Catholic doctrine. AuCoin criticizes this decision, describing how it undoes the achievements of President John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic president, who advocated for the separation of church and state in the 1960s. AuCoin explains that JFK affirmed that the head of any church should be prohibited from having any influence over the United States government.
2002-2004 Cell phones On cell phone use in his personal life. AuCoin discusses the stress of switching cell phone providers, and comments on the greed of the cell phone industry.
2002-2004 Don McIntire's Ballot Measure On antigovernment activist Don McIntire's Oregon ballot measure to limit state spending to population growth and inflation. AuCoin describes how McIntire and similar activists have been responsible for the controversial income tax kicker and halted the possibility of a state rainy day fund.
2002-2004 Water On the issues of water rights and drought in the American West. In Bend, Oregon, AuCoin describes how a lot of water is wasted due to a 13 mile diversion canal that loses 65% of the water that it takes from the Deschutes River due to evaporation and seepage. He states that a proposal to replace the canals in order to make them more sustainable was denied by Bend homeowners.
2002-2004 Gordon Smith On Republican US Senator Gordon Smith and his plan to add an unpopular, expensive, old growth logging proposal to an overall vital bill. AuCoin states that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service had found that Smith's proposal would increase fire risks and hurt wildlife.
2002-2004 McIntire Spending Cap On Oregon anti-tax activist Don McIntire's efforts to put a spending cap on state spending on the ballot. AuCoin says this proposal would lead to future state budgeters being limited to recession level spending even after economic recoveries, and would overall doom Oregon public schools, universites, police protection, and the disadvantaged.
2004 Curious George Comparing and contrasting book character Curious George to President George Bush in the White House following carnage and claims of guerrilla warfare in the War in Iraq. AuCoin suggests that President Bush locate curiosity and find advice beyond his advisors.
2004 Ban Biscuit On Republican U.S. Senator from Oregon, Gordon Smith, and his logging proposal following the Biscuit Fire. The Biscuit Fire had burned roughly 500,000 acres in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in 2002. AuCoin says that Smith was pressuring Oregon conservationists with an ultimatum. He notes that Senator Ron Wyden has objected to Gordon Smith's actions as an appropriation writer.
2004 Bush's soldier jacket Commenting on a photograph that depicts President Bush in attire reminiscent of a US soldier. AuCoin argues that it is akward for Bush to be dressed up as a soldier when he is a civilian commander in chief.
May 2004 Ordered Torture On the controversial prisoner abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib at the hands of the US military. AuCoin describes how several guardsmen questioned what they witnessed but were informed not to speak about it. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon is openly imploring the Pentagon to reveal who gave such orders.
May-Jun 2004 Clarifying Abu Ghraib comment Commenting on an earlier recording concerning abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. AuCoin clarifies his comment which compared the abuse of prisoners to the crimes committed by Iraqi Dictator Saddam Hussein.
Summer 2004 Terror Threat On the War in Iraq. He discusses Richard A. Clarke's Against All Enemies book, stating that says the war with Iraq was the "wrong" war, making us more vulnerable to terrorism. AuCoin states that while President George W. Bush's main focus in the war has been retaking Al-Qaeda down, he has been oblivious to other terrorist regionaries in the Middle East.
Summer-Fall 2004 Bush National Guard On President Bush's controversial National Guard record as a young man despite his support of the Vietnam War. AuCoin claims that MA Senator John Kerry made a nobler choice than Bush regarding their participation in the Vietnam War. Further, AuCoin criticizes Bush for calling out the patriotism of his critics while having avoided the Vietnam War himself.
2004 Nader's 2004 campaign On Ralph Nader's 2004 presidential campaign. AuCoin describes Nader's position in the 2000 election as a Green Party candidate, and argues that he helped to give the election to George Bush. He describes how consumer-friendly agencies such as the Occupational Safety Administration, the National Highway Transportation Safety Commission, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission have since rejected giving Nader support for the 2004 election.
Aug 2004 Undecideds On 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's August visit to Medford, Oregon. Kerry visited the Republican Jackson county in order to persuade undecided voters.
2004 CBS Asserting that CBS has increasingly enforced political censorship. AuCoin states that CBS is refusing to run a MoveOn advertisement which was critical of President Bush for being "controversial," despite running controversial anti-tobacco and RNC ads.
Fall 2004 Oregon Measure 37 On Oregon's 2004 Ballot Measure 37. The measure proposed requiring state and local governments to either waive land use laws or pay landowners when there a regulation affects property value. AuCoin quotes former Governer Tom McCall that "Oregon must be protected from grasping wastrels of the land."
Fall 2004 Citizen Campaign Encouraging his listeners to vote in the 2004 presidential election. AuCoin claims that the election will likely be so close that it will be decided by swing voters.
Nov 2004 Democrats' angst On John Kerry's loss in the 2004 United States presidential election. He argues that the Democratic Party should accept their losses, recognize the party's gains, and move on from the election.
Nov-Dec 2004 Un-American Criticizing Republican US Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert's "Hastert Rule." AuCoin states that Hastert and his "henchmen" were "un-American" in their actions in Congress, rejecting the will of the majority of Congress in the legislative process.
2004 Moral Tax Proposing a "modest" tax break which would encourage farmers to cooperate with gleaners via tax incentives. He compared and contrasted this with the other tax breaks, stating that if Republicans can "shave a teenie weenie bit off of the rich man's tax break, you can call it even."
2004 9/11 and the War in Iraq On President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney linking the War in Iraq to 9/11, which AuCoin calls dishonest.
2004 Mainstream 2004 On an advertisement by a traditional Republican group called the Mainstream 2004 that criticized President Bush and Republican Congress for leaning too far right admist the 2004 Republican National Convention. The group included Republican politicians Norma Paulus, John Rutherford, and Daniel J. Evans, and others.
2003 Falsehoods Commenting on President Bush's admission to being wrong about his accusation that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction prior to the Iraq War. AuCoin stated that Bush's failures were "in the way that his top officials manipulated or ignored US intelligence to win support for the war." AuCoin states that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld lied to Congress about intel of Iraq having chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction.
2003-2004 Nader Commenting on Ralph Nader's 2004 presidential election campaign. He compares and contrasts the political arena that Nader faced in 2004 compared to his 2000 presidential campaign.
2003-2004 Kulongoski college trust fund Describing how Ted Kulongoski's revolutionary college trust fund was reminiscent of the GI Bill and former Governor Oswald West's Oregon Beach Bill. While Kulongoski had not yet proposed funding for the proposed program, AuCoin praises the proposal, which would allow more Oregonians to attend college.
2003-2004 SOU Debate Biscuit fire On a debate on timber salvage held at Southern Oregon University between Forest Engineering Professor John Sessions and Conservation Biologist Dominick DellaSala. The Biscuit Fire had burned 500,000 acres in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in 2002, greatly impacting large areas of old growth forest. At the time of this recording, John Sessions of Oregon State University was calling for expanded salvage of timber in the affected areas, far above the harvest targets that had been set initially. This approach was opposed by many forestry and ecology experts, including DellaSala. In AuCoin's view, Sessions was unduly influenced by political and business interests.
2003-2004 National Defense On Iraqi prisoner abuse at the Abu Ghraib Confinement Facility at the hands of members of the US Army and the CIA. AuCoin shared that the Bush administration was complacent towards the abuse, despite the Red Cross and Secretary of State Colin Powell bringing awareness to the abuse. It was not until Major General Antonio Taguba delivered a report showcasing the abuse that the Bush administration acted.
2003-2004 Salmon Puree On the Bonneville Power Administration's salmon reduction plan which would break a NOAA Fisheries promise to provide a habitable environment for salmon. On the other hand, AuCoin states that Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski coincides with Kulongoski's Brand Oregon campaign to market of wild-caught salmon across the nation. AuCoin lists critics of the plan as fish and conservation groups, including Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, National Wildlife Federation, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
2003-2004 Gray Wolf On the return of the gray wolves, an endangered species, in Oregon. He describes how the return of gray wolves to the state is supported by conservation biologists, but that farmers and ranchers are skeptical and weary of the wolves preying on their livestock. Regarding the skepticism of gray wolves and their potential livestock predation, AuCoin claims that statistics in other states show that it should be a nonissue.
2003-2004 Bio-pharming Condemning bio-pharming, a new form of genetic agriculture that aims to splice pharmaceuticals into the genes of commercial crops. He describes how the Oregon chapter of the Physicians for Social Responsibility are working to block bio-pharming in the state.
2003-2004 Oregon jobs report On the findings of a recent Oregon jobs report. AuCoin quotes author Studs Terkel, who stated that "work is about a search for daily meaning as well as daily bread." He also cites the comments of policy analyst Michael Leachman on the downturn in Oregon jobs. AuCoin goes on to list the findings of the report and what it means for future generations.
2003-2004 Endangered Species Act Condemning the Bush administration for ignoring the Endangered Species Act. AuCoin criticizes Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish & Wildlife Craig Manson for stating that conservation can take place without critical habitat. AuCoin especially expresses his concern for the marbled murrelet bird and the Northwest salmon. The administration's focus so far is predation above all.
2003-2004 Bush Reforms Social Security On President Bush's proposal for Social Security reform. AuCoin states that Bush claims that he is trying to manage budgets for current retirees and Americans approaching retirement age while also supporting young workers; AuCoin compares Bush to a "political contortionist," as he can not accomplish all of these things at once.
2003-2004 Cascade-Siskiyou Grazing Buyout On a grazing buyout proposal. AuCoin states that ranchers and conservationists have agreed to taking the cattle off of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. AuCoin says that it is up to Senator Gordon Smith to approve or dismiss this beneficial proposal.
2004? Good Bye The last episode of AuCoin's JPR radio show. AuCoin expresses his hopes to work on stories that take longer to develop, and says that he is "planning to spend some time getting behind the headlines and standard journalistic analysis of such issues, and to document how irresponsible monied interests are manipulating language and symbols to get the non-elite public to work against its own interests."