H. Bruce Miller
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H. Bruce Miller

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Category: The Wandering Eye144 Editorial13 Local News1 Film1

Year: 20111 20102 20102 20092 2008154

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In Paradise, the Puffery Never Stops Yawn ... Bend and Central Oregon are the subject of yet another glossy puff piece, this one in the latest issue of World Golf magazine. August 14, 2008

Recent Articles

  • Who is John Galt? Who Gives a Crap?: Atlas Shrugged's tea party flops hard

    Members of the Ayn Rand cult have waited 54 years for a movie version of her magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged. They finally have one that's true to the letter and spirit of the book. And that's the problem.
      Near the end of this movie, to relieve the tedium, I started thinking about what could have been done to save it. And I came up with the answer: Ragnar the Pirate. The name Ragnar the Pirate appears in a newspaper headline at the beginning of the movie and he's mentioned in passing later on, but that's all. The screenwriters could have done a lot more with Ragnar the Pirate. For instance: The two principal characters, railroad heiress Dagny Taggart and steel tycoon Henry Rearden, are in Rearden's office having one of their intimate, sexy chats about steel smelting when Ragnar the Pirate (Johnny Depp) swishes into the room, skewers Rearden with his cutlass, picks Dagny up in his arms and carries her off to his pirate stronghold. That would wake up the audience.
  • LandWatch Goes to the Mattresses Over Resorts

      The fight over Deschutes County's new destination resort rules isn't finished yet: Central Oregon LandWatch has put the county on notice that it plans to challenge them. LandWatch filed ìnotices of intent to appealî Thursday with the state Land Use Board of Appeals, charging that the county's new rules for determining what lands are eligible for resorts ìactually increase the development potential in the county.
  • Waste and Fraud: Walden Goes After the Big Game

      Eastern Oregon's own Rep. Greg Walden and a couple of other Republican congressmen have unleashed their righteous wrath on a federal program that helps low-income folks heat their homes.
  • The Next Flu: Swine flu is in retreat - but will we be ready for the next attack?

    Swine flu is in retreat - but will we be ready for the next attack?
      Nobody knew where it came from - or even what it really was. It struck swiftly, and with devastating force. People who were apparently healthy could develop symptoms and die within hours. Entire small villages were wiped out. In Philadelphia, it killed nearly 300 people on a single October day. Before it was over, the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 had claimed somewhere between 50 million and 100 million lives worldwide - more than the bubonic plague that ravaged Europe in the 14th century.
  • The BLM's Steens Mountain Freeway

    The acronym "BLM" stands for "Bureau of Land Management." After looking at what the BLM did in the Steens Mountain area last month, maybe the
      The acronym "BLM" stands for "Bureau of Land Management." After looking at what the BLM did in the Steens Mountain area last month, maybe the name should be changed to "Bureau of Landscape Mutilation." For reasons as yet unclear, the BLM took a backhoe and other heavy equipment and plowed more than 14 miles of roadway. According to the Bend-based Oregon Natural Desert Association, which is suing the BLM, the work involved "construction of a newly-bladed two-lane road into the area as well as road construction into the Steens Mountain Wilderness along the Donner Und Blitzen Wild and Scenic River. The development uprooted hundreds of junipers including several old growth trees," as well as moving boulders the size of cars. The affected area "contains important habitat and breeding territory for Greater sage grouse," currently being considered for endangered species protection. ONDA provided before-and-after photos of one stretch of Burnt Car Road, a remote, virtually unused track that runs along one edge of the Blitzen River Wilderness Study Area. The contrast is - without exaggeration - shocking. The "before" photo shows what looks like a meadow with sagebrush and wildflowers and two barely visible vehicle tracks running through it. The "after" photo shows something that looks like an attempt to recreate the New Jersey Turnpike. The natural vegetation has been obliterated; in its place is a two-lane scraped swath of bare dirt. Picture 14 miles of this beautiful natural area being raped in this fashion and it's not hard to see why ONDA is furious - and why it's hauling the BLM into court. A short stretch of the Burnt Car Road "improvement" extends into the Steens Mountain Wilderness Area, a clear violation of law. The BLM says this was done by accident and it's sorry. But it will be harder to claim that the rest of the 14 miles of road grading was just an "accident" - and to justify why it was done in apparent violation of federal law. Make that "apparent violations of laws" - ONDA in its lawsuit charges that the BLM broke a slew of them. Among other things, the suit alleges the BLM failed to give public notice of its planned road work and disregarded laws "expressly prohibiting off-road vehicle use and creation of new motorized vehicle routes within the CMPA [Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Area] and prohibiting impairment of wilderness values" in Wilderness Study Areas.
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