Monday, March 05, 2007

Local art auctions for nuclear warheads?

On Saturday night, after countless hours of volunteer work to organize a benefit auction, receipts-counters reported that Multnomah Arts Center volunteers grossed more than $26,000 at the "Give the Arts a Hand" auction attended by 240 patrons.

Coincidentally, over the weekend, we US taxpayers learned that the Bush Administration is asking Congress to spend hundreds of millions (and ultimately billions in classified "Black Budget" funds) to "upgrade" our (yes, OUR) nuclear arsenal. All the better to warm the globe with.

Lest we forget, these weapons are thousands (millions?) of times more lethal than the dread weapons of mass destruction that the Bush Administration claimed justified our invasion of Iraq.

But then we do have to keep those defense industry profiteers happy, don't we?

I was reminded of the bumper sticker that says something to the effect: "What if we held bake sales to build ABMs, and adequately funded our schools?"

Which raises another one of my favorite questions: Is there intelligent life on Earth?

There most certainly isn't in the White House.

But I digress...

At the same benefit auction was Portland Parks Director Zari Santner, whose underlings have put forward a proposal to sell naming rights to Portland parks facilities in order to sustain them.

Note: The Multnomah Arts Center is a parks facility.

I know Zari socially and didn't want to blemish her evening at a social event by restating my opposition to the proposal.

But it seemed to me that by simply selling off the naming rights to the arts center to, say, Waste Management or 1-800-Got-Junk?, we might be able to forgo the need for annual auctions.

So I asked an exhausted auction volunteer near and dear to me whether she would be willing to sell off the name of the arts center to be free of organizing the auction.

Zari take note: Her answer was an unqualified "NO!"

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