Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Announcement: Slow posting ahead

Posts are going to be a little slow this week as this is the first week of school and my first week at the University of Oregon.

It has already been quite a trip and some things that I feel have been quite interesting. Particularly in the aspects of, "what I am being charged and where my money is going"

To start, let's talk about the U of O's refund policy.

For example, unlike Lane community college, which gives you a chance to try the class for a least one day and still gives you the opportunity to get a 100% refund, the University of Oregon, allows you that opportunity one day before the term starts.

Otherwise you donate 10% of the class fee to the University of Oregon assuming that you drop the class before the beginning of the second week.

I already had dropped one of my classes, and also have this to say about my experience.

Realizing of course that teachers and professors have to start somewhere, the University of Oregon has this thing called, "Graduate Teaching Fellowship" (GTF).

So my very first class at the University of Oregon yesterday, was trigonometry math 112 being taught by some kid who was more nervous than I was being a brand new student.

I was talking to a friend of mine about this and she informed me that the professors there normally do not teach 100 & 200 level classes, the GTF's do.

Like I said, everybody has to start somewhere. However, since most educational institutions charge by the credit hour, and speaking from a consumer's point of view (a phrase that I have found in my experiences at Lane community college they do not like) I'm having to wonder why I am paying the same amount to have an amateur instruct me versus a seasoned professional.

So, I went into the class with the attitude of, OK, let's give this guy a try and see how it works out.

So after 10 minutes of the usual introduction and discussing the syllabus, he starts his class. After about 15 minutes of scrawling diagrams, and figures and making a few jokes about Star Wars to compare what he is doing on the board, he then springs a surprise on us, "by the way, I forgot to mention that I do not allow CALCULATORS on any of the tests and quizzes"

So feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, I immediately drop the class.

I then headed over to Lane community college, talked to a season instructor there that teaches the same subject who proceeds to inform me that you cannot do this class without a calculator. My tutor, who has her degrees in mathematics also concurs.

So, since I am still duel enrolled between the two colleges, even though it will cost me more in student fees, and the University of Oregon's fee for credit classes depends on how many credits you take, at least I will be getting my math instruction from a seasoned professional and feeling like I'm getting my money's worth.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Don Adams dies at 82

Don Adams, who played the fumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart in the 1960s television spoof "get Smart" has died at the age of 82.

Adams died of a lung infection late Sunday at Cedars-Sinai medical Center.

"Sorry about that, chief"

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Peaceful protests don't stop immigrant program

Statesman Journal
INDEPENDENCE -- Protesters peacefully carried signs and sang ballads about the blight of illegal immigration Saturday during an event put on by the Mexican government.

Meanwhile, employees from the Mexican Consulate for Oregon, along with representatives from several Oregon state departments, were undaunted as they provided documents and resources to the more than 200 Mexican nationals who arrived at Henry Hill Elementary School.

Protesters, organized by Oregonians for Immigration Reform, decried the state's participation in the event.

Among the services offered at the daylong event were matricular consular cards, Mexican birth certificates to children born in Oregon and information about paying taxes, receiving health care and getting a driver's license in the state.

"We're not protesting the Mexican consul general, but the state agencies, especially the Oregon Department of Employment," said The president of OFIR, Jim Ludwick. "Why are they here?"

"They are selling drugs to our kids and raping our kids," said Daniel Miglavs of Sherwood. "Our public officials, our state employees, are in there right now aiding and abetting them."

He defended his statement by waving a stack of papers that showed the high rate of incarceration for Hispanics in Oregon.

"They're disproportionately committing crimes versus the general public," Miglavs said. "It really is an underlying crime syndicate."

The peaceful tone of the morning was momentarily interrupted by a man who drove past the school in a convertible jeep blaring the Mexican dance tune, "Juana la Cubana."

Mexico's Consul General for Oregon, Fernando Sánchez Ugarte, said this is the fourth time that the outreach program has drawn protesters.

"There's no point," he said about the demonstration. "Our activity is necessary to help these people. What we're doing is peaceful and legal."
Sánchez said there is no plan to eliminate or scale back the program, quite the contrary.
"Next year, we'll be increasing the number of events," he said. "There's a lot of demand."
Sánchez said that the consulate rented the school for $150 and brought its own equipment.

At one point, a group of curious neighbors walked to the school when they saw the picket signs.
"This is a disgrace," said Bridgett Currier, 20. "They just come here to make a living for their family. Why can't we just live in peace?"
Noe Nuñez, 21, shook his head.
"I've never seen anything like this," he said about the protesters. "This surprises me a lot and shows me what kind of people live in my community."
As for the Mexican citizens who showed up for services, most seemed unfazed.

"We're only here to work," said Raul Aguirre, 29, who lives in Eugene. "But, wherever we go, there are people like this."

Oklahoma -- First State to Require Cold Medicines to Be Prescription Sees Massive Influx of Super Labs

The Oregonian
Oklahoma sees a steady and ever more potent supply since a 2004 law to curb pseudoephedrine sales.

Oklahoma City -- As members of Congress consider restrictions on the sale of cold pills used to make methamphetamines, they might want to look at what's happening in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma, which last year became the first state to make consumers visit a pharmacy to buy cold medicines containing the math ingredients pseudoephedrine has seen a massive influx of meth made by Mexican "super Labs" which contain tons of pseudoephedrine which has kept meth plentiful and potent.

The number of Oklahoma users shows no sign of falling in property crime still keeps the Oklahoma County Jail at capacity.

A new analysis of federal data by the Oregonian shows that the drug's potency has hit levels not seen in a decade. Rising purity indicates the supply of meth is growing, and it means a $25 bag of meth will last a user longer.

Federal officials estimate that home Labs account for 35% of meth consumed in the United States, while Mexican cartels produce 65%.
so once again, we leap without looking first and getting all of our information and thereby causing the citizenship to suffer by limiting what is normally over-the-counter medications in the false hopes of reducing the supply of methamphetamines while again ignoring the main issue that the MAJORITY "65%" come from over the border.

How many times does the public have to keep telling the government, you need to control our borders and enforce our EXISTING laws instead of playing around, coming up with Band-Aids and trying to patch together useless legislation without the data and information to properly back it up.

How much longer just the law-abiding citizenship of the United States must pay for the government's incompetency?

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Car Accident Sends 30,000 QuarterlyTax Payments into the Water

San Francisco-thousands of tax payments and other correspondence sent to the Internal Revenue Service, some of it possibly from Idaho and Washington, was dumped into San Francisco Bay after an automotive accident.

15,000 taxpayers were recovered from the accident.

The IRS says the taxpayers who are affected could include residents of Idaho and several other Western states and vacated also include anyone who mailed an IRS tax payment to the agencies San Francisco post office between September 1 and September 11.

The IRS says it will waive interest and penalties for any affected taxpayers.
This brings several questions to mind...
First off, what are these doing in a vehicle in the first place? I thought the post office was delivering delivering these to the IRS office.

Second, I think it is very nice of them to waive interest and penalties for losing these records.

Lastly, when you are talking about identity theft, just how secure is the information that is being sent to the IRS office?

Special Report

Our roving reporter Daniel pays a visit to Saturday's event in Independence Oregon to help illegal aliens

the event was held at a public school in the Central school District 13 J.

Participants included...
Consulate of Mexico in Portland
Department of Consumer & Business Services
Oregon Attorney General’s Offi ce
Bureau of Labor and Industries
Oregon Child Development Coalition
Department of Human Services
Department of Revenue
Department of Transportation — DMV
Employment Department
Oregon Health Action Campaign
Oregon Health Division
Housing and Community Services of Oregon
Legal Aid Services of Oregon
Mid-Willamette Valley Senior Services Agency
Oregon Migrant Education
Social Security Administration
Secretary of State

Please visit Daniel's blog for more on his series from Saturday's event.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

U of O Department of Public Safety discourages driving and encourages alternative transportation

Oregon Daily Emerald

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) hands out between 24,000 and 35,000 tickets every year for cars improperly parked on campus. This does not include the tickets written by the City of Eugene for cars parked in the campus area.

"It is an individual's responsibility to know the rules and regulations for driving and parking on the U of O campus," DPS Parking Manager Rand Stamm said. "We will be happy to provide them with any and all information. Ultimately, it is their responsibility to know it."

"Basically, the university owns or controls just over 3300 totals parking spaces," Stamm said. "We further rent from the city of Eugene 200 - some meters you can use our permit at."

Over the course of the year, DPS sells between 6500 and 7000 total permits even though not everybody who purchase a permit is on campus at the same time, this ratio of permits to parking spaces still leaves the the supply of parking spaces stretched thin.
"If you do not absolutely have to drive, don't," he said . Stamm, who rides the bus, said DPS deliberately crafts its policy to discourage driving and encourage the use of alternative transportation. This is part of a larger effort by the university to promote alternative transportation, he said.

"The university's policy and our long-range plan is to encourage the environmental and social advantages of alternative transportation."
WOW, 24,000 tickets!!!
Parking citations range from $15-$300 (Penalties for Parking and Traffic Offenses) so assuming that they got at least $15 per ticket that would equal $525,000 per year.

DeFazio assist Eugene/Springfield area in gaining $3 million federal grant

Peter Defazio assists Eugene/Springfield area in gaining $3 million Federal grant to boost interagency emergency communications ability.
Lane County news release

The Eugene/Springfield area in Lane County will receive a $3 million COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) grant for the US Department of Justice to continue work on a collaborative interoperability Project for local first responders. The Lane County Sheriff's office, the city of Eugene, the city of Springfield and the Eugene Water and Electric Board are working together to improve emergency communications equipment for first responders in the region and the COPS grant will go a long way to further this effort.

Consumers risk having their TV shows and movies automatically erased by their DVR

Fox News
Among the functions included in TiVo's latest software upgrade is the ability to allow broadcasters to erase material recorded by TiVo's 3.6 million users after a certain date.

The ability was demonstrated recently when some of TiVo's customers complained on TiVo community sites that episodes of "The Simpsons" and "King of the Hill" they recorded were "red flag" for deletion by the copyright holder.

Elliott Sloan, a TiVo spokesman, called the red flag incident in a "glitch" and said it only affected a handful of customers. "It's a nonstory." Sloan said.

Last year TiVo quietly disclose that it would employ copyright protection software for Macrovision Corp. for pay-per-view and video demand programs

Copyright laws nowadays are becoming so confusing, it's hard to keep track of what you are legally allowed to do, so I am not going to touch on that right now.

However, one thing that I definitely do not like is my equipment taking control of itself in deciding what I can and cannot do with it.

For example, and I will admit that I do not rent movies that often however a couple weeks ago when I rented a couple titles on DVD I got a very interesting surprise.

When I tried to fast-forward through the FBI warning to get to the movie, my player refused to respond to my command. This happened with all three movies that I was playing and I only got control of the player after the movie started.

The only option that I had available to me was to turn the power off.

I was not even aware that my player had such technology that would allow the DVD to control its functions in this manner and needless to say I was not overly thrilled by the prospect.

Sony to cut 10,000 jobs

Sony Corp. said on Thursday that it would cut about 7% of its global network force and sell more than $1 billion in assets and post a loss this year.

With a restructuring plan that failed to excite some analysts, Sony hopes to reverse its fading fortunes and catch up with rivals such as Matsushita Electric Industrial.

"Sony and its peers all faced tremendous pressure in the marketplace, though we have a sense of urgency and we have a sense of purpose. We can and will compete vigorously." Howard Stinger, Sony's new chief executive, told a news conference.

To boost efficiency, Sony abolish the companies system that Stinger said was permitting different business units from communicating freely and working together for common goals. This cause overlap and missed opportunities in the market.

Sony unveiled plans to sell real estate, stocks and non-core assets worth ¥120 billion by 2007/08.

Sony has already cut 20,000 jobs and significantly lowered fixed costs under a previous three-year restructuring plan that was scheduled to end in the current business year.

"I think Sony is heading in the right direction," he said. "But whether it is attractive enough to buy or not is a question to be answered a bit later when things get clearer."
okay, I will admit that I have a dog in this one since I was one of the 277 people that lost their jobs when Sony closed.

When Howard Stinger commented about abolishing a system that prevented communicating freely and working together, he is absolutely correct.

I was working for Sony Springfield before their initial construction was completed and I was there to the end and we have missed in my opinion numerous opportunities for exactly the above reasons.

Of course my opinions are based on being a former business owner myself, and although Sony did to some wonderful things for our community and was very much involved in our local community, to me, it just "seemed" like they were not in touch with the marketplace and missed opportunities.

To be fair, I was not privy to management decisions and input so my opinion is based on an observation of a production employee.

Before Sony shut their doors in Springfield, it was rumored that the corporation was going to cut 1000 jobs, no way did we know at the time that when the new president of Sony America took over that we were going to be one of the huge chunks of the cuts.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Oath of citizenship

Naturalization Oath of Allegiance
to the United States of America


"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."

I'm confused, should we also remove the word GOD from this as well?

JetBlue flight 292 makes a safe landing

Flight 292 from Burbank to JFK makes a soft landing at LAX with its nose gear twisted perpendicular to the plane.

Fox news has provided a video of the landing. (More)

Kudos definitely go out to the pilots and support crew for bringing everybody down safe.

Server Problems

apparently within the last 24 hours, blogspot was having server problems, hopefully, the problems have been resolved and I apologize for any inconvenience and thank you to those who brought it to my attention as well.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

child safety seat standards raised


Earlier this year, Washington State raised the age requirement for the state's child passenger restraint law to 8 years old and prohibiting kids from riding in thefront seat until they are 13 years old.

Last week, the federal government put manufacturers on notice that new regulations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will require booster seats to protect children up to 10 years old and weighing up to 80 pounds.

The legislation, dubbed "Anton's Law," was in honor of 4-year-old Anton Skeen, an Eastern Washington boy who died in a 1996 car crash. The boy had been wearing a seat belt but was so small that he slipped out of the shoulder strap.

"We need to make sure that child safety seats and booster seats protect our kids, no matter how large or how small they are," said Jeffrey Runge, who spearheaded the proposed stricter regulations as NHTSA chief.

currently, the requirements for Washington State are...
# Children up to 13 years old must ride in the back seat where it is practical to do so.

# Children up to 8 years old, unless they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall, must ride in a booster seat or other approved restraint system.

# The restraint system must be used according to the car seat and automaker's instructions.

# Vehicles equipped with lap-only seat belts are exempt from the requirement.

# In Washington, all vehicle passengers are required to wear seat belts. Anyone wearing a lap and shoulder seat belt must wear it correctly and not place the shoulder belt under the arm or behind the back.

In Oregon, children up to six years old are required to be a child safety seat.

although I agree about child safety, how high are we going to keep raising limits? 14, 15 year olds are next?

How about we start requiring everybody to wear helmets because of all the head injuries due to vehicle accidents.

what about walking, how many injuries are caused due to tripping?

Sometimes I think comparing the way people drove when I was growing up compared to now, as the cars come with crumple zones, multiple air bags, I sometimes feel that people think that they are just indestructible judging by the way people run stop signs, red lights and are just totally careless on the road.

don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of safety, and I have assisted in enough accident scenes to have a pretty good idea the damage that can be done to some, but let's also not forget about common sense too.

In-state tuition for illegal spur civil action in New York.

Washington Legal Foundation

September 7, 2005, the WLF filed a formal complaint with the Department of Homeland security (DHS) against New York, charging that New York is violating the civil rights of US citizens who live outside the state and that New York is violating federal law by offering in-state college tuition rates to illegal aliens that live in New York while denying those same rates to nonresident US citizens.

The federal statute at issue was adopted in 1996 and designed to ensure it that in the state that offers discounted, in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens on the basis of their residents in the state must offer the same discounted rates to all US citizens.

I think it's an interesting point... most states require that you live within the area for certain length of time to qualify for in-state tuition... the Catch-22 is they may live in the area for the required length of time but they are not legally supposed to be in the area in the first place.

Something New to Consider...

As we all know, being an illegal alien is a federal offense however, here is a new word for you...


In law, the definition of treason is the crime of disloyalty to one's nation. A person who betrays the nation of their citizenship and/or reneges on an oath of loyalty and in some way willfully or cooperates with an enemy.
treason defines a citizens action to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injured the parent nation. It is also generally considered treason to attempt or conspire to overthrow the government.

source Wikipedia

so consider what has been happening recently with the "undocumented" aliens who knowingly cross our borders illegally, and set up residence here.

No matter what the reason, if you come to this country illegally, ... you're a felon

Provide them jobs, shelter... you're aiding and abetting a felon

Force the citizens of a country to have to learn a new language against there will in their own country and change their way of life... thats an INVASION

Support all the above... TRAITOR

So what else would you call it when 16 government agencies this Saturday, September 24 at the Henry Hill elementary school in Salem, assisting illegal aliens in violation of federal immigration law title VIII, section 1324 (a) ? (Link)

and they wonder why we get so upset over this issue.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

More Government Gadgets for Your Car

The Oregonian

If you think that sleepy Ted's idea of California emissions controls in Oregon is crazy, then how about a device in your car that reports if you're emissions are not within tolerance, notifies you by e-mail and gives you 45 days to fix it?

Well kiddies, this is what is cooking at the DEQ.

$39, you get a gizmo that mounts underneath your dash, send your cars vital emissions data straight to the state and forever frees you from the hassles that every driver in Portland and Medford must face when they renew their vehicle registration.

"I don't care where they've been or how fast they're driving," assures Ted Kotsakis, head of the state Vehicle Inspection Program, who's leading development of the new system.

What it will do is keep the air cleaner by catching smog-belching cars right away, instead of waiting as much as two years until they show up for inspection.

The unit, slightly larger than a Matchbox, plugs into the car and collects details about the emission system. When it's time to renew their registration, drivers can hook the unit to a home computer and send the details to DEQ online. or they can allow the device to transmit its measurements to DEQ receivers placed at intersections. The equivalent of driving through a wireless Internet "hotspot."

The system is voluntary, [for now] and drivers who have these installed in their vehicles will be allowed to renew their registration online or at the DMV office.

However, let us not also forget about the other wonderful little device that they would like to stick in our cars... the GPS system for collecting the road mileage tax.

Straight from the office of innovative partnerships and alternative funding...

Coming to a gas pump near you,

ODOT Presents... (Insert fanfare)


(Road User Feed Task Force)

RUFTF and ODOT have further refine the Oregon mileage fee concept.

Are you tired of those outdated means of paying your road tax by the gallon, well fear not. We have a new system for you.

Thanks to the RUFTF team, your road tax will no longer be based on the amount of gallons that your car uses, it will now be based on where and when you travel.

Don't have the cash on hand to pay the toll at the new toll bridges, not to worry, the RUFTF team has an answer for that one too. Just pay it at your next fill up.

But what about traveling outside of the state? Won't I be paying Oregon per mile tax if I drive in California and then return?

No, you will only be paying their per mile tax that you drive in Oregon. Other states of course will have their own system and rates per mile that you will pay when you buy gas in those states.

However, how will I know how much that I am paying? The system includes an in vehicle mileage information display. The system will display the current miles traveled and the current pricing of the zone of travel. E.g. basic mileage rate in Oregon i.e. 1.25 cents per mile; a peak pricing rate for driving in the congestion zones during peak periods of congestion.

Concerned that the fees are too broad, fear not, the enhanced device capabilities will ultimately allow creation of the find smaller zones within urban areas to facilitate precision in designing congestion pricing strategies.

Motorists satisfaction guaranteed! Technology enhancements will allow greater motorists satisfaction with the technology for the mileage fee by creating a "user-friendly" system.

Moreover, best of all, when it comes time to pay the tax, the sensitivity of the vehicle positioning will not be a significant issue when you pull into the pump to fill up.

Okay, all kidding aside. You can view the 2003 -- 2004 report on RUFTF at this (link)

GPS systems in your car to collect a VARIABLE per mile road tax.

the DEQ's system that will tell on you if your car hiccups. Which can happen for a number of reasons, e.g. bad gas, bad or loose plug wires, etc. forcing you to repair your car within 45 days whether it needs it or not.

Oh yes, and don't forget about the little black box or Event Data Recorder (EDR) similar to an airline's Black box that is already showing up in well over half the 2004 model production passenger and light vehicles.. (link)

These black boxes record whether or not you are wearing a seatbelt, throttle position and brake usage just to name a few.

Got to love technology.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Car Theft

Robin's Commentary

Well I am not at all surprised at this little article in the Springfield news referring to car theft in Eugene/Springfield area.

I was however surprised at the numbers.

Springfield population of 53,000
Between January 1 and August 31 of 2005, 214 vehicles were stolen which is a reduction of 53 cars or 20%. [And they're bragging about it]
That is an average of 26 vehicles a month.

Eugene, population 133,000
Between January and July 2005, 742 cars were stolen. [Now get this] that number is anticipated to jump to around 1500 by year's end. An increase of 61.7% over 2004
An average of 106 vehicles a month and is EXPECTED to rise to 126 vehicles a month average.

So what do we hear in the headlines of our local daily dead fish wrapper?

Do we hear about stings like those that Salem police is using to curb vehicle theft? Link No!

Do we hear that the DA is concerned about it? No! I do not think it is on their advertised list of items that they will prosecute.

Will the police protect your personal property? No! The police publicly stated that they would no longer respond to an alarm that is not witnessed.

We do hear that they will spend the time and resources to curb prostitution.

We do hear that they do not have enough money to do their job.

We do hear representatives from the city and Police departments on the radio stating that they will return full services if we give them the more money first.

So following the guidelines of "gimme the money and then I will do my job", the Public Safety Task Force reached a compromise of $24.4 million package of services to fight methamphetamine, [buzzword warning!] reduce family violence and improve treatment and prevention programs, but could not agree on how to pay for the package. Registerguard 9-9-05

The members of the committee did reach a unanimous vote agreeing that the Lane County Board of Commissioners should seek a tax other than property to pay for additional jail beds, rural resident deputies, drug treatment, youth-oriented crime prevention programs and other services.

Proposals included a combined personal and corporate income tax, a sales tax, and a property tax. Proposals to impose a sales or income tax and use some of the revenue to pay property tax rebates got vigorous debate as being "more saleable" to the public.

"More saleable to the public."

If you want to make it more saleable to the general public, then prove to us that you can actually manage the money that we gave you.

For example, take the $29 million for that new bus system that we do not need at this time and put it towards public safety. Oh wait, you can't, because that came out of different funds.

How about all those roads that you are repairing that on the surface (pardon the pun) do not look like they are in need of repair versus the ones with the huge potholes? Nope, different budget.

How far would $90,000 for a stupid LTD funnel decoration go? Whoops, there again, different funds.

The point is the monies available. It is all right pocket, left pocket it all comes from the same pair of pants.

Metro Districts Struggle How to Raise Money

the Oregonian
With some local levies expiring soon, metro districts struggle how to raise money beyond what the Legislature provides.

On Friday, former Portland Public Schools Superintendent Jim Scherzinger sent a memo to school districts in three counties, outlining possible tax rates and their effects.

The discussions, while preliminary, are getting mixed reactions. Some suburban school districts are not sure that voters across Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas Counties will approve and other tax. you're not sure? After all the times voters keep telling you no, you're not sure?

But with Multnomah County's income tax running out next year, along with some local-option property taxes in surrounding counties, school districts across the region are struggling to find ways to raise dollars beyond what the Legislature provides. it was a temporary tax designed to temporarily help support the district

The effort, led by Portland Mayor Tom Potter's staff, includes a group of officials from 17 school districts who have been meeting for several months.

"Everyone regionally who's been at the table is still at the table," said Nancy Hamilton, Potter's chief of staff. "I think that's a good sign."

The goal is to bring the discussion of school funding back to state lawmakers, Hamilton said.

"If we can stay together on this regionally, if we can stay together on this strategically, it'll be easier to build a statewide discussion later," she said. that just sounds stupid. It is not like you're trying to do that union negotiation

Depending on the rate, the tax could raise roughly between $52 million and $125 million a year, based on 2003 tax data. which means that their information is more than two years old if you include the time that I took to collect the data. In the meantime, a lot more people are out of work, more businesses have left the area and things just generally cost more now, e.g. gas prices.

Although city and school district officials agree on the need to find local revenue to bolster school budgets, not all agree on how a regional income tax would affect districts or how one should be collected or distributed.

Portland Public Schools, hit the hardest by budget cuts and declining enrollment, an argument for giving them more money? lost $35 million in revenue, mostly from the expiration of a local-option property tax. With the Multnomah County income tax running out, the district will face an additional $50 million hole next year.

In July, lawmakers in Salem approved $5.24 billion in state aid for schools the next two years. The funding package is more than anticipated but won't restore teachers and programs eliminated in recent years.

explain this one to me... if the funding package is more than anticipated, then why do they need more money?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

“I pledge allegiance...

... to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

A brief story of the Pledge of Allegiance. excerpts from The National Flag Day Foundation Inc.

The Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States, was first given national publicity through the official program at the national public school celebration of Columbus Day in October 1892.

May 18, 1939, the American flag committee in material, which was naturally circulated, accepted the decision "let the flag float over every schoolhouse in the land and the exercise be such and shall impress upon our youth the patriotic duty of citizenship."

Also included was the original 23 words of the pledge. October 1892, the word "to" was added.

"I pledge allegiance to my flag, and (to) the Republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Columbus Day, October 1892, more than 12 million public school children in every state in the union repeated the Pledge of Allegiance.

Since then, the Pledge of Allegiance has been modified three times.

June 14, 1923 the words "the flag of the United States" replaced the words "my flag".

In 1924, the words "of America" was added.

On Flag Day June 14, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved the adding of the words "under God".

The Pledge of Allegiance continued to be recited daily by children in schools across America, and gained height popularity among adults during the patriotic fervor created by World War II. The pledge became official on June 22, 1942, when the United States Congress included the Pledge to the Flag in the United States flag code (title 36) at which it received its official title as: The Pledge of Allegiance.

September 2005, the ninth circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the words "under God" are unconstitutional.

Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, whether it states God or not, was created to show your allegiance to the United States of America and the patriotic duty to its citizenship.

Additionally, I feel that not only should the pledge be recited, but the meaning of the pledge itself be discussed in schools.

As the Spirit of America is being torn down almost daily, you have to ask yourself what is next.

Consider this, if the Pledge of Allegiance has been considered unconstitutional because it has the words "under God" in it, does this also mean that we will no longer fly the flag at schools because it might be seen as a symbol of God?

Federal Judge Declares Pledge of Allegiance Unconstitutional

FRANCISCO (AP) -- Stunning politicians on both the left and right, a federal appeals court declared for the first time Wednesday that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is unconstitutional because of the words "under God" inserted by Congress in 1954.

The ruling, if allowed to stand, means schoolchildren can no longer recite the pledge, at least in the nine Western states covered by the court.

In a 2-1 decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the phrase "one nation under God" amounts to a government endorsement of religion in violation of the separation of church and state.

LSI Logic Corp sells semiconductor manufacturing plant


LSI logic Corp. a maker of microchips used in DVD recorders in data storage devices, set on Tuesday it would sell its Oregon semiconductor manufacturing plant and move to a strategy of using contract chipmakers.

According to the Mail Tribune, the decision means an immediate layoff for 90 of the company 630 Oregon employees by Halloween.

LSI and other semiconductor company shed more than 7000 Oregon jobs from 2001 to early 2004 according to the Oregon employment Department.

The article states that part of the reason for their decision to outsource its production to contract manufacturers who take advantage of high minds and low overhead in Asia to keep costs down.

Again, another example of just how expensive it is to have a business in Oregon.

The company that I worked for did the same thing. As soon as a tax breaks were over, we had to start cutting manufacturing costs and overhead leading up to a layoff of 70 people to finally closing the eight-year-old plant a year later forcing an additional 375 people to lose their jobs.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Auto Industry has joined to stop tougher emissions

The Oregonian

Portland, Oregon (AP) -- The automotive industry has joined Republican legislators in filing a lawsuit to stop Governor Ted Kulongoski from adopting tougher vehicle emission standards.

The complaint argues that the governor lacked the authority to make a line-item veto of a clause in a budget bill.

The lawsuit — filed on Friday in Marion County Circuit Court by Senate Majority Leader Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day, and House Majority Leader Wayne Scott, R-Canby — contends the governor can veto specific spending items. But it argues that he cannot veto spending that is not yet in the state budget.

Meanwhile, Kulongoski has said the Legislature exceeded its constitutional boundaries by including the clause in a spending bill.

Kulongoski violated the trust of the people. I hope that we can force a vote on this issue.

Meet Senator Jason Atkinson

Saturday 2 p.m. September 17, 2005
Garden Way Church
Eugene Oregon

For information, call Norm Fox at 541-746-7430

Monday, September 12, 2005

ABC set to air in Spanish

The Washington Times

ABC as part of a plan to make all network's primetime entertainment available in Spanish starting this season.
The move is an acknowledgment of the expanding U.S. Hispanic population and its potential as a source of viewers. Previously, "George Lopez" was the only ABC series that aired in both English- and Spanish-language versions.

"We wanted to move beyond toe-dipping and really dive in," ABC entertainment chief Stephen McPherson said. "Almost half of the 41 million Hispanics in this country watch only or mostly Spanish-language television, and we want to bring that audience to ABC."

ABC, using both dubbing and closed-captioning, will be the first of the major English-language broadcasters to provide its full prime-time entertainment lineup in Spanish. Most other networks offer few shows in the language.

The cost is "not inexpensive," Mr. McPherson said Thursday, declining to provide a specific figure. But he said the return could be significant in terms of viewership.

Hispanics are the fastest-growing minority in the United States and represent one-seventh of the population, according to a recent Census Bureau report.

Casting has begun for actors to voice the Spanish dialogue.
The rest of ABC's prime-time entertainment schedule, which debuts next week as the 2005-06 season officially begins, will be available with closed-captioned subtitles in Spanish, the network said.


Kudos goes out to the Salem Police Department

Statesman Journal
Car theft finally becoming an issue.

Jeffrey Allan Hamilton opens the car door, slides behind the wheel and starts the ignition.
He's driving casually in the car he just stole, checking in his mirrors with no idea that his every move is being recorded by a hidden camera.
Then, surprise showing on his face, he notices a Salem patrol car.
Hamilton quickly parks, saying to himself "How do they know it was stolen?"
They knew it was stolen because the car belongs to the Salem Police Department
It's one of a handful of bait vehicles that police say they are using in areas with high car-theft rates. Police want to deter car thieves as well as put repeat offenders in jail.

Just like an episode of cops, a hidden camera in the vehicle shows dispatch of the faces of anyone in the car and records everything that happens. A global positioning device also tells police where the car is at all times.

So far, they have had 15 people enter one of the vehicles in their small fleet of bait cars, including one arrest in September 5, three of the bait carcases have ended with convictions.

"I don't think it qualifies as entrapment," Salem Attorney Mark Obert said, "because they're not going out of their way to encourage somebody to do something they're not normally going to do."

In Hamilton's case, he saw the patrol car, but officers did not spot him until he was out of the car and gone. Hamilton, now 25, returned to the car 6 1/2 hours later install it again, police said.

This time he was caught and convicted.

I think this is wonderful with all the stolen vehicles that Salem has finally decided to do something positive about it.

It seems like the only news that you hear about the Eugene police lately to help reduce crime is they're sting on prostitution. (Yawn)

I have never heard of a John or a prostitute breaking into somebody's house to make money for their trade. Unfortunately, car theft especially in the Eugene/Springfield area is very high and it is not uncommon at least in my neighborhood to find a stolen vehicle with its windows busted out every other week.

Therefore, in my book, kudos goes out to the Salem Police Department.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

California emission standards, toll bridges, in Oregon?

Registerguard editorial

The Oregon Department of Transportation is considering allowing private companies to build highways and recover their investments by collecting toll.

Odot is evaluating proposals for privately built highways or added freeway lanes in for Portland area location.

The 2003 Legislature and Governor Ted Kulongoski approved the private-public partnership, finding little support for higher gasoline taxes to finance the expansion of the state increasingly congested highway network.

The private projects, such as a widening of the Interstate 205 freeway or the construction of a bypass around Newberg and Dundee, would be financed by tolls. The companies might also receive development rights in exchange for building the roads.

Oregon's highway network has been toll-free-construction, maintenance has been financed entirely by the gasoline tax, and the way to mild tax paid by heavy trucks.

I would like to remind people about Odot's plan to have a GPS system in every car to collect a per mile tax whose fees will vary depending on the location and time of day, and this will also include toll fees.

The tax becomes payable when you fill up at the pump.

Every time that the state comes up with a new method to collect money from us along with new fees to make travel more expensive, it's not only affects the price of our community, but it also affects the prices services and goods.

Would you be in favor of tracking your child's every move electronically?


New gadgets are starting to show up on the market that will track your children's activities as to how far they are driving, what they buy, what they eat and whether or not they show up for class.

The gadget involved is a simple cell phone that transmits location data. The details are delivered by e-mail, cell phone text message or the Web.

The service called Teen Arrive Alive
promotes a system that for $19.99 a month, you can monitor your teen seven days a week 24 hours a day.
You will no longer have to call your teen, or have them call you to find out where they are. Parents can simply go online or call the locator hotline to find out where your child is.

Teen Arrive Alive provides not only location, but also the speed and direction of travel.
The system also features a live detailed map on their web site showing your child's location, direction and speed. Information is gathered every two minutes and maintained for seven days.

Another service known as "Alerts" from U.K.-based Langtree SkillsCenter Ltd. Parents are notified by text message, e-mail or phone whether a student has shown up for class and can get progress reports (good and bad) on schoolwork. Just starting up, the company has signed about 10 U.K. schools so far and is expanding to the United States.

Several companies that have been around for a while Digital Angel Corp. and VeriChip Corp both offer human implantable RF ID microchip technology for everything from GPS tracking to access control in real-time.

All these companies advertise the positive benefits of these various devices. From locating your child to secure access to a sensitive area, the technology is now available to do it.

Wearable or implantable devices that track you are becoming the things of the future. There are some companies especially high security companies are requiring their employees to be implanted with a chip that will allow you access to secure areas.

The question is would you want to be implanted for a job? I would not.

As far as having my child monitored by their cell phone, I can see both sides of the situation. I can also see having these devices in your cell phone and not even being aware of it.

In fact, the FCC requires that all new cell phones have a GPS tracking capability built into them. The GPS feature is only supposed to be activated when you call 911, the question is, how do you really know when it is turned on or not.

Kulongoski & California Emissions -- a Theory

Robin's Commentary

Is Governor Ted Kulongoski really concerned about the air quality in Oregon?... I have a theory.

It has appeared during Kulongoski's time as governor, that he really has not been in touch with the people of Oregon and has really not done anything for Oregon, then he introduces the idea of joining Washington State by adopting California new vehicle emission standards to reduce greenhouse gases.

The standards state that by 2016, all new cars, SUVs and light trucks sold in the West Coast states would have to comply with tougher standards on emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.

Lars Larson has had several experts on his show stating that air quality is not a problem in Oregon, in fact, it is improving. One even stated that as new cars are becoming more efficient, that tighter regulations are unnecessary.

So why is Kulongoski pushing so hard with this issue? Moreover, why is he pushing it now?

Consider this...

Government has a long history of only being concerned about itself and finding ways to make money for its own little pet projects.

It is also a well-known fact that government always has a "wish list" of things that it would like to do if it had the funds to do it.

Let us assume for the moment that you became aware of a large grant that will become available to individual states in the near future from the federal government if you implement certain programs, so not wanting to miss out on this opportunity, you look for ways to get on the list for the money.

Around the time Kulongoski announces his plans for California emissions standards in Oregon, this little article makes the news.

August 10, 2005, President Bush signed the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act (SAFETEA-LU) providing a $6.4 billion in guaranteed funding for federal surface transportation program over six years through FY 2009 including $52.6 billion for federal transit programs-a 46% increase over transit funding guaranteed in TEA 21.

So, what is it? What is the big deal? Who benefits from it?

Here is a summary prepared by The League of American Bicyclists

Surface Transportation Program (STP): 32.5 billion over five years. 10% of these funds are set aside for Transportation Enhancement (TE) activities.

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) improvement program:
Five year funding set at $8.6 billion. Historically, bicycle and pedestrian projects have accounted for approximately five percent of CMAQ funding, which would mean $430 million over the life of SAFETEA-LU.

... Change. Section 6003 establishes a pilot program under which up to five states may "assume responsibilities for certain projects and programs" including the TE program. The state Department of Transportation would assume the responsibility program administration currently held by the Secretary of transportation.

Congestion Migration in Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program:
Five-year funding set at $8.6 billion. Historically, bicycle and pedestrian projects have accounted for approximately 5% of CMAQ funding, which would mean $430 million over the life of SAFETEA-LU.

Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP):
Significantly increases funding to 5 billion over four years (2006-2009).
Change.... improvement for pedestrian or bicycle safety
Construction of traffic calming feature
Installation and maintenance of fluorescent yellow green pedestrian/bicycle crossing warning signs.

Recreational Trails Program (RTP):
Five-year funding at $370 million. At least 30% must be spent on non-motorized trail projects, which will mean at least $110 million over the life of SAFETEA-LU

A more detailed summary is provided by taxpayers for common sense, which breaks down the funds by state. Oregon

you can come up with your own conclusions.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Asking for an opinion from readers

I am going to be a little off-topic this time and put a question out to the readers for an opinion on something that happened recently.

I am one of those types of people who believe that a credit rating is very important and I have developed a system of checks and balances to make sure that every bill is paid on time.

Part of that system is that I arranged with EVERYBODY that I owe monthly payments to and have their due date around the 15th of the month because I ALWAYS send checks out to everybody on the 5th of the month thus allowing time for the US postal snail to arrive before the due date.

I recently noticed that my phone bill had a due date of the third of the month.

So being the conscientious person that I am, I called the phone company about this to get the due date changed and I was informed that the due date is related to my phone number and if I wish to change my phone number then I can change the due date.

Well of course, I am not going to change my phone numbers simply to change a due date on a bill so I asked the representative if there is any way that they could make a notation on my account and she replied "no".

Therefore, I proceeded to talk to the manager who basically confirmed what she said in addition, also told me not to worry, that I have an excellent payment history with them and that I am a good customer.

I was satisfied with his answer and did not think that much more about it and made a few notes on my bill and went on with my business.

Yesterday, I get mail from the phone company with big red letters on the front "IMPORTANT OPEN IMMEDIATELY"

The letter starts out...


Our records indicate that there is a total past-due amount of... and payment should be received by September 16 or the service will be disconnected and a restoral charge of $10 per line and a security deposit may apply to reestablish the disconnected service.

Of course this always happens on Friday afternoon when it's too late to really talk to anybody but I managed to call the 800-number anyways and the operator is telling me that their system AUTOMATICALLY sends out a disconnect notice three days after the due date.

I was in shock, the manager did not mention anything about this and don't they normally give a past due notice before a disconnect notice?

I have never been late on any bills and I have never in my life received a disconnect notice from anybody.

I called a friend of mine who also uses the same phone company and she told me that she was surprised because she pays her phone bill every three months and has NEVER gotten a disconnect notice.

One thing of particular interest here is... I talked to the manager on September 6 and the date of this notice is September 6. Coincidence?

So, I have some things that I am thinking about doing and actions that I'm thinking of taking but I wanted to get some other opinions on this issue first.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Concerned about Air-quality in Oregon, what about field burning?


Wednesday, a 100 acres field burn near Corvallis failed to raise on the winds, creating a gray cloud that alarmed residents and Monroe, Junction City, Elmira, Veneta and as far south as Lorane.
"It didn't get the lift," said John Byers, coordinator of the state smoke management program. "It did not look good, so we did not continue."

33 rural dwellers called the lane regional air pollution authority to complain about the smoke. 26 called the state's field burning complaint line.

This is the third field burning this summer that it prompts a rash of complaints from Lane County residents. On August 27, smoke intruded on Springfield, prompting 275 calls. On August 24, a burn south of Fern Ridge Lake bothered about a dozen callers.

The smoke rises annually when about 200 Willamette Valley grass seed farmers burn the straw off their fields after harvest.

Living in the Willamette Valley, we go through this every year. The smoke just gets trapped.

The farmers claim that they have to do field burning to kill off bugs and disease however, there are alternative proven methods in accomplishing this but they are more expensive.

However, why isn't Kulongoski who is so concerned about changing the automotive environmental standards to California environmental standards concerned about field burning?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Robin's Commentary

Vicki Walker steps into the ring to challenge sleepy Ted Kulongoski

Going to Vicki Walkers web site link and some of her accomplishments, I would say are rather impressive. For example,she was instrumental in passing legislation to set up Oregon's landmark pesticide tracking program (HB 3602), declaring youth suicide prevention a priority (HJR 53).

During the 2001 legislative session, Walker served as a member of the judiciary committee and criminal Law subcommittee; business, labor and consumer affairs committee; and the Smart growth and commerce committee.

Walker was also instrumental in raising the issue of racial profiling, enacting legislation in SB 415 that establishes a law enforcement committee to receive and analyze demographic data to ensure that law enforcement agencies do not engage in racial profiling.

and the list goes on...

Although I will say that her record seems impressive, I have to say that I do not think she carried herself very well on the Lars Larson show yesterday, in fact in my opinion, she skirted around and avoided answering some very simple pointed questions.

Lars asked her questions about how she felt about lowering taxes in general,and about the high price of gasoline.

she acted as if she was confused over the questions, and never really did answer his questions.

she pointed out that it is very hard to give any specific answers, however, that is not what Lars was asking for. He just wanted to know what her feelings were on the subject.

I will admit,I was not very impressed.

Lane County Commissioner Peter Sorensen-Dalso has already announced that he will challenge Kulongoski in 2006. Registerguard

"The Republican primary is likely to be a replay of 2002 contest between former state Republican Party chair Kevin Mannix and Portland lawyer Ron Sexton. State Senator Jason Atkinson, a Republican from Ashland is also running."

Walker's scoffed that critics who assailed her for challenging Kulongoski and potentially aiding the GOP. She was quoted, "I don't worry about all that," she said. "I'm not afraid of Kevin Mannix."
I do not believe that it will be Kevin Mannix that she has to worry about, in fact I'm hoping that people are not going to fall for the same old same old anymore and will insist on somebody who actually has a track record of being more responsive to the people and not ignoring them after they get elected.

It also saddens me to say that living in Eugene/Springfield area the majority of my life, that there really is not too many people in local government offices in this area that really impress me especially enough to be running for governor.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

High-Tech Parking Meters-

Pacific Grove California -- Forget about rubbing off the traffic officers chalk marks off your tires or gaining extra time from when another car leaves money on the meter.

New technologies for parking meters are changing all that. The new meters are triggered by remote sensors, and grids embedded in the street so that the system will know when a car leaves and a new car enters, thus resetting the meter to zero when the new car arrives.

The system can send information via radio signals to traffic enforcers when time runs out on any parking spot in town.

Chalk marking the tires will be a thing of the past as well, with GPS enabled cameras that scan your license plate and know how long a car has occupied the given space.

The meters can also increase parking fees over time, so quick errands remain relatively inexpensive but long stays become more costly.
For Officer Tony Marino, it's a question of changing attitudes, showing people the benefits of a system that can no longer be gamed.
``I just wish people would go with the flow,'' said Marino, whose three-wheeled cart is the center of the town's enforcement operation. ``I mean, a parking meter is like a restaurant table: We have to turn these things over.''
It is one thing when we leave money on a meter, and another person gets to use the time,
However, if the meter resets itself with time still on it, then the city is being paid double for that same parking space.
If they are going to be that picky, then I should get a refund for any amount of time left over.

Hurricane Katrina: Blog for Relief Weekend -- update

Update 9/5: The weekend's fundraiser is officially over with well over $1M in donations logged.

$ 1,277,699 in contributions
1,829 blogs participating
305 charities recommended

Again, thank you to all those who participated and contributed.

Bob Denver/Gilligan dead

Bob Denver, star of Gilligan's Island who underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery on May 18, 2005 died today.

information via Lars Larson show

Monday, September 05, 2005

ICE--not actively looking for illegal immigrants

Statesman Journal
Question: "is ICE actively looking for illegal immigrants?"
Answer: "No. We have big picture priorities."

In an interview with Dale Helman, Supervisory Special Agent for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Investigations in Portland, was asked recently by the Statesman Journal about immigration laws in Oregon.

When asked about his function in Oregon, he responded "we work within our agency and with the FBI to run down any information on aliens that might be here and may harm the US -- stopping terrorism before it happens. We follow up on everything, no matter how small. Our priorities are: export control, financial crimes, drugs, child pornography, and human smuggling.

"What we focus on here is when someone breaks a federal law, if they are not a US citizen."
Q: Is ICE actively looking for illegal immigrants?

A: No, we have big picture priorities.

Q: But haven't illegal immigrants broken a federal law?

A: They have technically violated the law, but entry without inspection is an administrative matter. oh I see, this is the same when you call the police for help and they tell you that it is a civil matter and will not respond.

Q.: Do you investigate employers who hire illegal immigrants?

A: Yes, it is in our jurisdiction, but the sheer volume and number of aliens that have to be dealt with precludes the type of investigations. because it's an administration problem?

We do the best we can, but Oregon has made it easy. First, you have agriculture and, Oregon is the only state west of the Mississippi that allows illegal aliens to get driver's license and police are allowed to communicate with federal officials. The state is like a sanctuary.
I was totally shocked when I read this part, "that Oregon is the only state west of the Mississippi that allows drivers license to illegals."

Moreover, the fact that ICE, a Department of Homeland security, will not enforce immigration because it is an "administrative matter

That is going to get the exact results as the DA in the Eugene area listing what crimes that they will not investigate.

The situation will only get worse before it gets better.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Spamming Blogs -- Tacky

You know that your getting noticed when you start getting spammed.

anyway, if it gets worse, I too will have to use word verification.

Hurricane Katrina: Blog for Relief Weekend -- update

Blog for releaf as of this posting has helped gain

$613,728 in contributions with 1586 participating blog donating to 192 charities

again, if you have made a donation and were inspired by a blogger, please log onto the following site and register your donation and thank you for your contribution and support.
The Truth Laid Bear

Friday, September 02, 2005

FEMA Head: Lawlessness Not Anticipated

Washington Post

WASHINGTON -- The head of the federal disaster relief agency said Friday it's "heartbreaking and very, very frustrating" to witness the virtual anarchy in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans and defended the Bush administration's response.

Interviewed on several network morning news shows, Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, blamed emergency assistance delivery problems on "the total lack of communications, the inability to hear and have good intelligence on the ground about what was actually occurring there."

Appearing on ABC's "Good Morning America," the FEMA director said he "never thought I'd see" the lawlessness that has overtaken the city and interrupted emergency relief efforts.

It is time to get real people

With cutbacks in law enforcement, increasing gangs, millions of federal law breakers e.g. illegal aliens and people pushing political correctness, unfortunately I am not a bit surprised.

If a situation similar to this such as the recent threat of the tsunami in Oregon, I would highly expect the same situation. People that do not care about the law are not going to change their beliefs to help others. They are going to see it as an OPPORTUNITY for personal gain.

As Greenspan found out five years ago when he was playing with the interest rates, the world has changed, things happen faster now than what they used to it and you can not go by the same old same old any longer.

As Ross Perot once said, "when the president looks out his window from the Oval Office, he sees trees and a green lawn. From his point of view, everything looks wonderful. What he does not see is the homeless people sleeping on the benches across the street."

This is also true for state government as well.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

bloggers for relief update

so far as of 11 p.m. September 1, 2005...
$207,301 in contributions
1287 blogs participating
135 charities recommended

And increasing by the minute.

information courtesy of The Truth Laid Bear

if you have made a donation and were encouraged by a blog, please go to the above site if you have not done so already and register your contribution and to which charity that you contributed to so that you may be counted.

and many thanks go out to everybody who has contributed in this dire time of need.

United States now receiving help from around the world

Yahoo News

WASHINGTON-in a dramatic turnaround, the United States is now on the receiving end of help from around the world as two dozen countries offer post hurricane assistance.

Venezuela's Citgo petroleum Corp. pledged $1 million in donations for hurricane aid.

The United Nations informed US ambassador John R. Bolton he was prepared to support the relief effort "in any way possible."

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon sent a letter to President Bush offering hundreds of doctors, nurses, technicians and other experts in,trauma, natural disasters and public health.

however, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) had rejected a Russian offer to dispatch rescue teams and other aid.

Offers have been received from Russia, Japan, Canada, France, Honduras, Germany, Venezuela, Jamaica, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Greece, Hungary, Columbia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, China, South Korea, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and NATO.

Bush told ABC-TV: "I'm not expecting much from foreign nations because we haven't asked for it. I do expect a lot of sympathy and perhaps some will send cash dollars. But this country is going to rise up and take care of it."

"You know," he said, "we would love help, but we're going to take care of our own business as well..."
I think this is wonderful that other countries are offering their help without being asked, for as much as we have helped other countries in their time in need, it is great to see that they are willing to return the favor.

Mr. Bush, there is no shame in receiving help especially when we are one of the first to offer help to another nation when they are hit with disaster.

Shots Fired at the Superdome!

Fox News
NEW ORLEANS — The evacuation of the New Orleans Superdome was disrupted Thursday after a gun shot reportedly was fired at a military helicopter as thousands of National Guard troops poured into the Big Easy to boost security in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

With roads completely flooded into the area, volunteers with boats are hoping to help access though still stranded on rooftops were told to stand down by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.