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"Whatchamacolumn" by Jeb Bladine

The News-Register publisher writes about the community; people; local, state and national affairs; and sometimes whimsey.

Jeb Bladine: Fewer candidates on Oregon ballots

Locally, the 2020 primary election featured high drama; statewide, it was ho-hum. To some extent, the Yamhill County theatrics help explain the statewide political boredom. Whatchamacolumn Jeb ...

Jeb Bladine: Leaders silenced by a political pandemic

People should be fuming over the pandemic in Salem. A mysterious political virus has silenced the voices of state leaders, and for unknown reasons, Oregonians have been sheep-like in response. Whatchamacolumn Jeb ...

Jeb Bladine: Future may depend on May-June events

Imagine staring at your smoldering house while firefighters pack up their equipment and prepare to leave. You feel grateful for their quick response that saved much of the structure. But then the chief ...

Jeb Bladine: COVID-19 exposes excessive secrecy

Privacy is king in Oregon. Confidentiality is the catchword. The COVID-19 virus may lock us in our homes and threaten our financial stability, but at least we won’t risk anyone learning the deep, ...

Jeb Bladine: Modest proposal for a home activity

Here on the ground, an eerie quiet conceals personal unrest. Behind the empty shops, darkened offices and shuttered institutions, people sheltered in place worry about health, finances and the future. Whatchamacolumn Jeb ...

Jeb Bladine: All of your stories become ‘our story’

Late-night images of downtown McMinnville this week were spectacular and eerie. Whatchamacolumn Jeb Bladine is president and publisher of the News-Register. > See his column Third Street ...

Jeb Bladine: Information flowing, but facts are hidden

One great dichotomy with COVID-19 crisis is information overload combined with lack of facts. Whatchamacolumn Jeb Bladine is president and publisher of the News-Register. > See his column We ...

Jeb Bladine: Onslaught corroding every form of trust

It’s working: Too often, my internal response to political debate is a mixture of skepticism and outright disbelief. It’s working, but for whom? Consider this definition from the National ...

Jeb Bladine: Asking ourselves the wrong question

In 1973-74, I watched the Senate Watergate and House Impeachment hearings after work and early into the morning on PBS. It was the ultimate political whodunnit. Whatchamacolumn Jeb Bladine ...

Jeb Bladine: Time for a war on land use tyranny?

For decades, Oregonians have worshiped at the altar of anti-sprawl and habitual protection of agricultural and forest lands. Unfortunately, that near-religious dedication caused us to ignore the laws of ...

Jeb Bladine: Bugging ourselves with smartphones

Do you have a smartphone? If so, do you mind that it tracks and analyzes your movements, creating lucrative information for sale to marketing companies? Whatchamacolumn Jeb Bladine ...

Jeb Bladine: Who’s ready to plan  for county facilities?

Setting aside comment about the long wait: Hooray for Yamhill County and its new $95,000 contract to assess the use, condition and future needs of county government facilities. Whatchamacolumn Jeb ...

Jeb Bladine: Cell phone comment was ahead of its time

Many online forums are snake pits of rude and abusive commentary. In contrast, we’ve come to appreciate the reader comments on our newspaper website articles. Whatchamacolumn Jeb Bladine ...

Jeb Bladine: Polarization thrives in American politics

Public impeachment hearings this week dominated national news, the Democratic presidential candidate debate and front pages of media outlets around the world. The drama appears headed toward U.S. House ...

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