Upper-Left-Edge Archive

Our Political Dysfunction (Easily) Explained

In our checks-and-balance system, the checks maintain balance. Each branch keeps other branches from grabbing too much power. But this is a different problem. One branch has collapsed, so the other branches lean in and step up

Climate Hardships Fall Unevenly

The rain (or lack thereof) does not fall equally on the just and the unjust. The dismay Kristen feels is not distributed equally across the political spectrum.

How To Make Utility Bills More Fair

No one disputes that conservation should be encouraged. Pricing structures shape public behavior. Habits are harder to change than rates. As things stand, the champions of conservation pay nearly double the per-unit rate as those who use

We Need a Rural WeWork Model

WeWork’s success relies on the serendipity of meeting others using adjoining workspaces. Can some of the benefits of proximity be replicated in a digital world? What would bring rural neighbors together around shared economic benefits?

Keep Eugene Weird

Now more than ever, we must preserve and protect those things about us that make absolutely no sense. We have to support outdoor tuba concerts, mausoleum tours, nude beaches for middle-aged bathers, and our S.L.U.G. Queen pageant.

Murphy’s Law and the American Midwest

The stories we tell animate the world around us, and many people in the heartland have gotten used to shading their stories in darker tones.

Searching for the Sweet Spot Between Monarchy and Anarchy

The Hammonds have claimed to be “victims of government overreach,” but the facts presented at trial show a case of “government reach.” For decades, they flouted federal grazing statutes and required range management practices. Each reprimand they

Please Take Us Back, China! Please.

We’ll do anything. We’ll sort everything ourselves. We’ll go back to open receptacles. We’ll wash everything by hand. We’ll flatten our cardboard completely. We’ll cut out the bottoms of our cans and flatten those too. We’ll even

Recalling Some of Oregon’s Unluckiest Days

It’s hard to think of events in our own lifetimes as part of our heritage, but when those events are as large and spectacular as these, the shadows of history are cast quickly. After watching the miniseries,

Putting the Dime on Oregon’s Bottle Recyclers

So where does the dime go after you pay the deposit at the store? It goes to the OBRC, which is effectively privately owned by beverage distributors.