Ooh, I love to see my name and photo in the newspaper! Also, my brilliant piece on What's so great about Oregon? When the Statesman Journal asked for submissions, I couldn't resist.
Short answer: We're #1 in personal freedoms.
Longer answer: click on post continuation
(Note: my wife wanted me to clarify that I don't go to strip clubs. I just admire Oregon for being free to have so many of them. Also, to the online commenters who thought my piece was a satire -- it isn't.)
Oregon is No. 1 in nation in personal freedom
Published in Salem Statesman Journal, November 25, 2010
I love how Oregon trumps New Hampshire's downer "live free or die" motto. Who wants that choice?
Here we're able to "live free and die free." Not without limits, but more so than in other states.
Our constitution enshrines free speech of all sorts to an exemplary degree. That's why we can take pride in being No. 2 in strip clubs per capita. West Virginia, sadly, is No. 1.
We're also free to sit inside our cars, dry and warm, while an attendant pumps our gas for us.
The Oregon Beach Bill guarantees free beach access to everyone. And our pioneering land use laws ensure that farmers will be able to continue freely raising crops rather than having subdivisions sprout instead.
If we find ourselves suffering from severe pain, cancer or other serious problems, we're free to find relief through medical marijuana. Hopefully before too long, Oregonians will vote to legalize marijuana use for everyone, making us even freer.
And when our life nears its end, we're free to decide how and when we want to die. Oregon's Death With Dignity Act allows us to end our own lives when we're terminally ill through the voluntary administration of lethal medications.
There's a lot more to love about our state, but our unique freedoms are tops for me.
Brian Hines of Salem has lived in Oregon for 39 years.