Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Don’t mess with Christmas!

Boston Herald

Jerry Falwell along with an army of conservative lawyers warned Boston and other cities, "don't mess with Christmas!"

"This is a Christmas tree," Boston Parks Commissioner Toni Pollak insisted about the Nova Scotia spruce that will light on December 1 in the historic Boston Common. "It's definitely a Christmas tree."

Falwell, has put the power of his 24,000 member congregation behind the "friend or foe Christmas campaign," in an effort to lead the conservative legal organization liberty counsel. The group promises to file suit against anyone who spreads what it sees as misinformation about how Christmas can be celebrated in schools and public spaces.

Other crazy things going on...

  • Westfield, a group of high school students were suspended for distributed candy canes with religious messages. A federal court found the suspensions unconstitutional. Yea!!

  • Last year, an ACLU lawsuit led to a creche being banished from an elementary school display in South Norwood. a crèche is a representation of the Infant Jesus in the manger, hey I had to look it up.

  • In Lexington, the Knights of Columbus filed a lawsuit challenging selectmen’s decision to bar them from erecting a creche on the town green, but a federal judge upheld the ban.

  • “Today, it seems like all religious symbols are being erased,” said Kathleen Hintlian, a Lexington mother of five who used to take her children to visit the creche each year. “I thought it represented hope and peace. And we need that especially in our world today.”

    I agree. Although I have never been a really great advocate of Jerry Falwel, for once I will say that I will give him kudos for taking a pro active approach and not letting one of our major traditions in this country die e.g. Christmas.

    I never really thought that much about it when I was growing up and we see all those animated kids shows like the Grinch that stole Christmas because I thought that Christmas would always be here.

    Never in my wildest dreams, would I think that there would be a group that would actually try to ban Christmas. But they are out there.

    Personally, I don't care what label that you put on the tree itself. To me, I will always refer to it as a Christmas tree. It is not a Hanukkah tree, it is not a Muslim tree, it is not a holiday tree, it is a Christmas tree.

    For those people who wished not to celebrate Christmas, can go to work on December 24 and 25th for straight pay, while the rest of us stay home and celebrate the birth of Jesus.

    We constantly hear that we should celebrate diversity. While I agree with that 100% it must be a two-way street. The beauty about the United States is that we have the freedom to practice whatever religion we wish, and that includes Christianity.

    I am not a Christian but I do believe in God and I will defend your right to believe your religion whatever that may be.

    NO ONE is asking somebody else to participate against their will in any religion and if a particular religion offends you then all I have to say in response to that is...

    GROW UP!!!

    Sunday, November 27, 2005

    we had our car stolen last night

    I thought it was pretty ironic as I am putting together an article to blog about money for public safety when there is a knock on the door from Springfield police asking us if we know where our Nissan is.

    Apparently, our Nissan decided to take a trip to sweet home without us.

    The vehicle was recovered by sweet home police as the perpetrator was in the act of trying to steal another vehicle.

    Springfield police said that Nissans are now higher on the theft list and along with Honda's.

    having a police officer come to your door and tell you that when your cars is missing is a feeling that is very hard to describe and it makes me even more angry that we do not have officers patrolling the streets as much as we do patrolling the freeways.

    Does this mean that I will now support the initiative for public safety? No!

    solely because they are not responsible with their money. The county commissioners of rather spend money on the fairgrounds than they would on public safety.

    Don't get me wrong, I think there should be in increasing public safety, and I would be glad to support it even on my low income if I felt that they could be trusted to use your money wisely, however when I read in the paper Registerguard in which it seems like they are totally out of touch with what the public's desires and what it can afford.

    suggesting a sales tax or a tax on business sales may temporarily raise money for public safety but in my opinion it will have a devastating long-term effect on the local economy. I also believe that once a sales tax becomes established in one county it will not be long before a sales tax will start showing up around the state. I read an article the other day about another city talking about a local sales tax although I cannot remember exactly which city.

    As I have said many times before, when it comes to budgeting and money, it is still "right pocket, left pocket, it is all the same pair of pants." there are "unnecessary" projects that can be cut to provide the necessary services. Necessary services and basic services should be the priority of the state's budget. We need public safety, roads, and basic services before we need to worry about funding for the fairgrounds, skateboard parks, ugly looking funnel at bus stations, etc.

    well, I'm off to sweet home to retrieve the car.

    Thursday, November 24, 2005

    Happy Thanksgiving

    Wednesday, November 23, 2005

    what would Alan Greenspan say

    Robin's Commentary

    Approximately 5 years ago, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan's effort to fight off inflation and preventing "irrational exuberance" of the economy, decided to start raising the interest rates that resulted in a landslide of business closings and large unemployment numbers with Oregon being on the top of that list.
    In my own opinion, only catching the feds offguard because they were using the old rules to regulate the economy and not taking into consideration how fast the new global economy works.

    Before the fallout, Mr. Greenspan alluded that the increase in interest rates was starting to show a positive effect in the economy. Of course, here on the West Coast, all that we saw was taxes going up, earnings going down, businesses closing and more families becoming a two income household.

    Recently, Mr. Greenspan has raised interest rates numerous times and plans to increase them again before he retires while again claiming that the economy is improving.

    Tell that to GM and the 30,000 people that will be losing their jobs.

    Tell that to the city of Eugene who claims that they did not have enough money to operate public safety and are going to impose new taxes on us to steal the money from us.

    Explain to me why my phone bill is 55% taxes and fees.

    I'm not an economist (nor do I play one on TV) but I wish somebody could explain to me how increasing the interest rates and make it more expensive for businesses to borrow money to improve their companies and to hire more people is actually positive for the economy.

    Leading economists have stated that the government would receive more income if it lowered taxes which would allow people to buy more products which would create more businesses which would create more tax revenue.

    Mr. Greenspan I wish you could explain your theory to me so that I may better understand.

    Tuesday, November 22, 2005

    Ted Koppel of ABC's "Nightline" bids farewell

    KATU 2
    New York -- Ted Koppel of ABC's "Nightline" bids farewell Tuesday night after 25 years.

    "Nightline" will continue Monday with a revamped format and hostMartin Bashir, Cynthia McFadden and Terry Moran.
    another news legend retires, who will be there to take places.

    Whether you like him or not, he is part of an disappearing era.

    Two High-Tech Firms and Their Executives Sentenced for Illegally Exporting Missile Technology to India

    US Immigration and Customs Enforcement(ICE)
    November 18, 2005 Boston MA
    "Two New England high technology companies and their top executives were sentenced late Friday, November 18, 2005, in federal court for violating United States export law in connection with the export to India of equipment that is used to manufacture a material that improves the accuracy of strategic ballistic missiles with nuclear capabilities."

    Fiber Materials Inc. of Biddeford Maine, it's wholly owned subsidiary, Materials International of Acton Massachusetts Leachman, top two officers Walter L. Lachman, 72, of Concorde Massachusetts and Maurice H. Subilia, Jr, 58 of Kennebunkport Maine, was sentenced by US District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock.

    Lachman received three years probation, the first year which was to be spent in home detention.

    Subilia received three years probation, the first six months of which to be spent in community confinement (halfway house), to be followed by one year of home detention.

    A fine of $250,000 where imposed on the defendants.

    I went to the US immigrations and custom enforcement web site to find more information so that I can better comment on the letters from Oregonians for immigration Reform (OFIR) third request to ICE to have a presence in Woodburn Oregon as a deterrent for illegal aliens trying to receive any Matricula Consular ID card [if you're legal you do not need one]which is also attended by different agencies from the State of Oregon.

    thanks to Daniel for posting this letter

    We have been frustrated on why there is a lack of interest on the enforcement of illegal immigrants. Considered for one the article above and the minute sentences that these two received.

    In Oregon, (again thanks to Daniel for putting me onto this one), I want to introduce the following

    72nd Oregon legislative assembly -- 2000 regular session

    House Bill 2089

    AN ACT

    Be it enacted by the people of the State of Oregon [there is an oxymoron]
    SECTION 1. ORS 181.850 is amended to read:
    181.850. (1) No law enforcement agency of the State of Oregon or of any political subdivision of the state shall use agency
    moneys, equipment or personnel for the purpose of detecting or apprehending persons whose only violation of law is that they are persons of foreign citizenship { - residing - } { + present + } in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws.

    And we wonder why there is no interest in pursuing illegal immigration.

    Looks like I better start learning Spanish.

    is it racist to advertise that you speak English?

    KGET 17
    a California gardening company that advertise the fact that its employees speak English is being criticized as perpetrating racist stereotypes by activists and its community by some in the Hispanic community like Lou Gómez, the president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are calling the ad racist.

    The 2 inch ad in question was published at the bottom of Wednesday's home and Garden section, and reads: "having problems communicating with your current gardener? -- talk to us, where English-speaking."

    John, a representative from the company, said that the ad simply speaks for itself and that he simply trying to compete. "Well, in the same way that you're able to say you cater, that you advertise that you do speak Spanish, why can't you advertise to English-speaking customers as well." said Angie White

    Alicea Gonzalez said, "it doesn't directly indicate a race, but I think it's pretty clear what they are trying to insinuate, so I think it's insensitive."

    insensitive? Do you not think it is insensitive when we drive by a store whose store name is only in Spanish? That seems rather obvious that they are excluding all the other races.

    Personally, I think more companies should follow suit. I understand that from a business point of view that companies are openly advertising to their Spanish customers that they speak Spanish as a convenience to their customers. Well what about French, German, English.

    Was wrong with advertising, "English customers welcome"?

    Saturday, November 19, 2005

    For panhandlers, Its Alice's restaurant

    KOIN 6

    Beaverton Oregon has discovered a way to get a handle on its panhandling problem.... get them for littering.

    "Needles, bottles, and leftover food -- hidden trash heaps are a growing problem in Beaverton, in areas where homeless people can handle. Were not picking on them. We're not trying to be mean. That we expect them to obey the laws," said Officer Mark Barrowcliff.

    "The word is out they will get you," Bill Corcoran said.Corcoran has been homeless for two years. He's been cited and says he's learned his lesson.
    "It just doesn't look good for us if we're standing in a spot all day and litter is accumulating," Corcoran said.
    The problem with litter enforcement is that it takes up a lot of police time. Officers actually have to witness the person leaving the trash.
    Somehow, I'm just not very surprised that it actually took the litter police to decide to start cracking down on panhandlers.
    On the other side of the coin, how are they going to pay their fines and do they actually expect them to show up for court?
    I guess it is like trying to find how many licks does it take to get the center of a Tootsie Pop Pop... the world may never know.

    Wal-Mart in trouble again over illegal aliens

    Yahoo News (AP)
    100 Arrested at Wal-Mart Construction Site

    ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Federal immigration agents detained more than 100 workers at a construction site for a new Wal-Mart distribution center, said Department of Homeland security spokesperson Marc Raimondi.

    More than 50 federal immigration agents, joined by the US Labor Department, Social Security Administration and state police raided the construction site near Pottsville, about 80 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

    "We have written contracts with the subcontractors requiring that they follow all applicable local, state and federal employment laws" said Wal-Mart's spokesman Marty Heires and that the company would cooperate with federal authorities.

    In 2003, a raid of 60 Wal-Mart stores in 21 states led to the arrest of 245 illegal workers.

    This is a very good question of who is responsible for what.

    If the contractor signed an agreement that it will follow state and local laws, and that relieves Wal-Mart that any liability because the burden is on the construction company.

    Perhaps a better approach would be that when a construction company KNOWINGLY hires a bunch of illegal aliens, that the owner of the construction company should risk facing criminal charges for aiding and abetting a criminal and in addition, there should be a full audit of the rest of their employees.

    My point is when an employer breaks the law such as hiring a crew of illegal aliens, that the word to get out so that other companies that are legitimate do not hire these companies again.

    Thursday, November 17, 2005

    Lars Larson -- Schedule Changes

    if you live in Eugene area, and listen to KPNW, sometimes it is very easy to get confused about the different showtimes of the Lars Larson show.

    Due to the lack of popularity of the "All Oregon hour" feature of the Lars Larson show has resulted in programming changes for both KPNW in Eugene and The Lars Larson show times.

    Lars's new schedule is...

    The Northwest show 11-2 p.m.

    The National show 3-6 p.m.

    KPNW schedule, 12:06 p.m. starts Lars on his second hour until the end of his Northwest show at 2 p.m. (live)

    From 2 p.m.-3 p.m. is the first hour of Lars's show, (recorded)

    From 3 p.m.-4 p.m. is Lars's national show (live)

    then the National show (when there are no sports) from 6 p.m.

    speaking of live versus recorded,

    I had the opportunity to talk to a very nice gentleman Lee Chabre, program director of KPNW while I was inquiring about the showtimes I took the opportunity to mention that it would be really nice if they would put a disclaimer to let us know that the show is recorded.
    He said they had never really thought about that and would take it under consideration.

    another little interesting tidbit that I thought I would share, when I went to QwestDex searching for KPNWs phone number, this is what the search query returned.

    if you wish to call KPNW, call Clear Channel at 485-1120

    Daughter Wears Sign as Punishment

    AOL News (ap)
    EDMOND, Okla. (Nov. 16) - Tasha Henderson got tired of her 14-year-old daughter's poor grades, her chronic lateness to class and her talking back to her teachers, so she decided to teach the girl a lesson.

    She made Coretha stand at a busy Oklahoma City intersection Nov. 4 with a cardboard sign that read: "I don't do my homework and I act up in school, so my parents are preparing me for my future. Will work for food."

    "This may not work. I'm not a professional," said Henderson, a 34-year-old mother of three. "But I felt I owed it to my child to at least try."

    In fact, Henderson has seen a turnaround in her daughter's behavior in the past week and a half. But the punishment prompted letters and calls to talk radio from people either praising the woman or blasting her for publicly humiliating her daughter.

    Marvin Lyle, 52, said in an interview: "I don't see anything wrong with it. I see the other extreme where parents don't care what the kids do, and at least she wants to help her kid."

    Others disagreed:

    Tuesday, November 15, 2005

    Sony announced that it will cut 10,000 jobs, 7% of its global workforce in a restructuring move and could see more than $1 billion of assets sold.

    Stan Glasgow, the president of Sony electronics US consumer sales, nevertheless painted a bright future for sales of noise blocking headphones, computers, televisions and other high-tech products by his division.

    "We are very bullish on what's going to happen this holiday season," Glasgow said at a briefing in New York, citing "explosive growth" in the market for high-definition television.

    He also said that the holiday season is now longer than in years past, which should help the U.S. consumer electronics unit through in the early months of 2006.

    "We see it being strong and profitable early next year," Glasgow said of the U.S. unit.

    source: Msn Money
    in addition to Sony's problems,...
    The fallout from a hidden copy-protection program that Sony BMG Music Entertainment put on some CDs is only getting worse. Sony's suggested method for removing the program actually widens the security hole the original software created, researchers say.

    Sony apparently has moved to recall the discs in question, but music fans who have listened to them on their computers or tried to remove the dangerous software they deposited could still be vulnerable.

    "This is a surprisingly bad design from a security standpoint," said Ed Felten, a Princeton University computer science professor who explored the removal program with a graduate student, J. Alex Halderman. "It endangers users in several ways."

    The "XCP" copy-protection program was included on at least 20 CDs, including releases by Van Zant, The Bad Plus, Neil Diamond and Celine Dion.

    When the discs were put into a PC - a necessary step for transferring music to iPods and other portable music players - the CD automatically installed a program that restricted how many times the discs' tracks could be copied, and made it extremely inconvenient to transfer songs into the format used by iPods.

    That antipiracy software - which works only on Windows PCs - came with a cloaking feature that allowed it to hide files on users' computers. Security researchers classified the program as "spyware," saying it secretly transmits details about what music the PC is playing. Manual attempts to remove the software can disable the PC's CD drive.

    source:Aol Business News
    Sony has forgotten its lesson from the days of the beta and VHS wars. Sony and its quest to hold a tight rein on its license for Betamax fell victim of VHS who allowed his license to go to Panasonic, Magnavox, Quasar and others and thus VHS became the dominant format.
    The same is true in the CD market.

    in their attempt to regain control of unauthorized copies of music and software CDs, the engineers at Sony have been for years trying to develop ways to block consumers from making illegal copies of their disc by incorporating copy protection methods in both the CD and the CD drives built by Sony. now do not get me wrong. I am not endorsing making illegal copies of anything. it is theft without question.

    The problem is, is that a lot of times the consumers do not see the little tiny warning label on the front of the package warning them that this product will not play in your computer or <fill in the blank>.

    I for one, refuse to register my music CD that I buy just for the privilege of playing it on my computer and I predicted a couple years ago when they first started doing this that it would cost them sales. now, that I have heard news that Sony has incorporated "spy ware" within its music CDs that creates "HIDDEN FILES within my computer, there is no way that I will buy a disc. And I think it is really sad because they are not doing their clients "the artists" any favors.

    It is just like when they tightened security on their CDs because they were afraid that Napster was costing them business. then as it turns out, BMG, which owns part of Sony now owns Napster. A lot smarter move if you asked me.

    Blood Type B+ donors needed!!!

    I just received this e-mail for help that I want to pass on...

    Hi all, sorry about the impersonal mass email, but my best friend has
    cystic fibrosis, and is quickly deteriorating, so we are on the
    massive word of mouth hunt for B+ donors to help save her life. Read
    below if you want more information. Thanks for your time!

    you can go to her website to learn more about her at angelsforamber.com

    URGENT...Help us get the word out!

    Amber was finally discharged from the hospital today after almost
    three weeks. It took her much longer this time to return to her
    meager baseline of 20% lung function, as determined by pulmonary
    function tests ( PFTs). Her disease is progressing rapidly and we
    desperately want to save her life. There is one living donor who MGH
    has started to work up but stopped because they need two to complete
    the process. If you or anyone you know are type B blood and healthy,
    please consider this gift and contact Nina Hall at 617-726 6162 at MGH
    lung transplant program. Thank you all very much, Laurie Wesemann

    if you are unable to help, then you could help on a spreading the word for this young lady that really needs someone's help to save her life.

    Sunday, November 13, 2005

    What other countries have failed to do in the past, Mexico has done. THE SUCCESSFUL INVASION OF THE UNITED STATES!

    When I saw this headline, I about fell out of my chair in disbelief!

    LEE COUNTY— under a proposal in Tallahassee, a state's top Democrat is supporting a plan to make Spanish class is mandatory for all students in kindergarten through second grade, just like English or math.
    "I frankly believe, the earlier you teach someone, the better it is," said George Muentes, an English as a second language teacher. then how about teaching ENGLISH to Spanish speaking children???
    The law would make Spanish a CORE CLASS like math and science. It would force school officials to shuffle an already crowded schedule." The length of the school day would not change, but the Spanish would have to be squeezed in somewhere, which means that popular classes may have to be cut to make room.
    If the bill passes, it will take effect until 2007. But the mandatory Spanish classes is already a controversial subject was some parents. NO KIDDING!!
    "I've heard it the other way that English was the language here... on the other hand, there's a lot of Spanish people here. No, it does not surprise me. I just don't like it," said parent Ed Barrick. you just don't like it? Wake up and smell the coffee.
    "It's a good idea to offer Spanish. But I don't know if we want to mandated, frankly." Said Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist
    The idea may be controversial, but it may not be too long before bilingual books become standard for local students.

    The point is people, WE HAVE BEEN INVADED!!! [Oh Robin, you are always exaggerating] really? Look at the evidence.
    Definition of an invasion is... "The dramatic increase in the number of individuals in a non-native population, accompanied by an expansion of range." Source: www.wsg.washington.edu/pubs/bioinvasions/bioinvasions15.html
    The definition of surrender is... "relinquish possession or control over ... relinquish to the power of another; yield to the control of another" source: wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
    And finally, the definition of treason is "In law, 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 cooperates with an enemy, is considered to be a traitor. Oran's Dictionary of the Law (1983) defines treason as: "...[a]...citizen's actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the [parent nation]." Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treason
    This is exactly what we have done. We are surrendering our country to invading forces when we turn our back to the problem.
    I thought it was very interesting in the article that they did not mention who is sponsoring the bill.
    My question is, the way things are going in Oregon, what is to prevent it from happening here. What is to prevent it from happening in other states?
    As I've said before, I have no objections to learning a second language. However, I WANT THE CHOICE OF WHICH LANGUAGE THAT IS!
    Moreover, when they start telling us that our children are going to be FORCED and that it will be MANDATORY for them to learn a second language, then we have lost our country.
    Now don't go and tell me that same old story of "we need to learn a second language because of the increased population of the Hispanic people" and "United States is a melting pot".
    Yes, the United States is a melting pot of different cultures speaking a common language. And that language is English! Not Russian, not Japanese, not Spanish.
    I agree that it is really great that we all embrace our diverse cultures. Nevertheless, to function in a country you must speak the common language not the other way around.
    The facts are this...
    Come here illegally, you are a felon. No questions asked. You're in violation of federal immigration laws and that makes you a criminal regardless of the reason.
    Support a criminal, and you are technically aiding and abetting which then makes you a criminal as well .
    Force the legal citizens of the United States to change their cultures to accommodate another, is treason.
    So, tell me than how forcing our children to speak Spanish, the California gun-control bill and others are not treasonous acts against the United States.
    I strongly believe that anybody in public office who openly and willfully supports another nation over our own [which is also a violation of their ethics code] should be tossed out of office and tried for treason.
    Harsh words I know, but this political correctness that we all have been subject to, is no different than waving the white flag.
    We have lost our own culture, Christmas for example and replaced it with somebody else's.
    Prove me wrong!

    Thursday, November 10, 2005

    Meeting with Jason Atkinson

    I was very honored to have the opportunity today for the first time to meet Jason Atkinson in person along with a few other bloggers in my area and I must say that I was very impressed with him.

    In my opinion, I will definitely say that he is not like the typical politician that we hear about all the time e.g. sleepy Ted and the other minions that are in office.

    I thought he was very open and honest with his answers.

    Gully from Resistance is futile! wrote an excellent article about our meeting and I invite you to check it out at this Link

    I will be the first to admit that I have been disillusioned with politics. I feel the way a lot of people feel...

    "My vote does not count for anything,why bother?" Measure 37 is a good example.

    "Why waste my time? I could care less who is the head of the library, why don't we get something worthwhile to vote on for change? "

    One thing I would tell you especially after today's meeting, that this is not the same old same old politician that we are so used to. I kind of relate him to Ross Perot, as somebody who in my opinion, is not going to be business as usual.

    I will be the first to admit that like many people, in the past I had voted for the lesser of two evils. Normally, the people that we have a choice of are somebody who are independently wealthy or are lawyers or independently wealthy lawyers or people are just totally self-serving.
    They promises us anything that they think we want to hear to get into office, and then once they are there, we're no longer important as the people unless they need our vote and support again.

    I do not believe this will be the case with Jason Atkinson.

    so if you have not checked out Jason Atkinson then I invite you to seriously do so.

    celebration of life in honor of Ben Powell...

    Eugene Weelky
    We were sad to hear this week of the sudden and unexpected death of Benjamin Powell, a gifted 19-year-old Eugene musician and composer. He played guitar, bass, banjo, violin and mandolin. He was a member of The Cheeseburgers and formerly Android Ethic, and played with Paul Biondi's bands and many others. He was born April 24, 1986. His father is John Powell, founding member of the Valley Boys, and a member of The Cheeseburgers. A memorial jam session is planned for 1 pm Saturday at Cozmic Pizza.
    Memorial contributions may be made to the Ben Powell Young Musicians Fund in care of River Road Park,1400 Lake Drive, Eugene, OR 97404

    Saturday, November 05, 2005

    Is It Just Me?

    is it just me, or does it seem weird that the checks for the Lane County property tax are going to a P.O. Box in Portland?

    should you ensure your insurance company?

    I just getting ready to write the checks for my car insurance and there was an important message along with my bill...

    Dear valued customer, you know you're in trouble when they start out like that

    Most insurers doing business in Oregon participated in the Oregon insurance guarantee Association (OIGA).in the event an insurer fails, the association settles unpaid claims on behalf of consumers. Oregon law requires that policies be surcharged directly to recover the cost of handling those claims. If your policy is surcharge, the term "OIGA recoupment fee" along with the indicated dollar amount will be displayed with the statement of your surcharge.

    In my case, it is an extra $3.50

    2008 Olympic trials, why should we subsidize it with our tax dollars?

    Robin's commentary:

    As I said in an earlier article, my speculation of why there is such a push on public safety NOW is because of the lure of money from the 2008 US Olympic track and field trials coming to the Eugene area.

    In Friday's Registerguard , there is an article stating "Downtown Hilton Ponders Expansion" for the 2008 Olympic trials.

    The article continues to say...

    The Hilton Hotel is considering an addition of at least 80 guest rooms. The Hilton was touted to be Oregon track clubs bid as the top candidate to be the headquarters hotel for athletes competing in the 10-day trials. The bid promised that at least 225 rooms in the hotel could be committed to the event, "there is a probability that an 80 room tower will be built before 2008." Said Eugene General manager John Erickson on Thursday.

    That's an optimistic viewpoint, according to both Erickson and Kari Westlund, who as president and CEO of the Convention & Visitors Association of Lane County Oregon has urged Hilton officials to consider adding more rooms.

    Westlund said the USA Track & Field site selection committee was hoping the host city for the 2008 trials would have at least two hotels with a minimum of 350 guest rooms each. A group of hotels in Springfield's Gateway area that are managed by Sycan Development loosely qualify together as one large-capacity hotel, and the potential Hilton expansion was mentioned as another possibility.

    Sacramental, which finished as a runner-up for the 2008 trials, has four hotels with at least 350 rooms each.

    I made a statement about our tax dollars subsidizing the 2008 Olympics, think about this.

    As I stated in previous postings, for years, public safety officials have cut back on our public safety services, [fire and police] and play their little games while crime is on the increase in our area.

    Now all of a sudden, with big dollars knocking at our door, the little game is starting to backfire on them.

    We all know that the Olympics will bring money into the area where they are hosted, as evident by the possible future of the Hilton Hotel.

    However, there are some roadblocks are in the way.
    ... Inadequate roads to handle the increase in traffic (especially with the main arteries being torn up for that high-speed [choke] bus line).

    ... Inadequate parking facilities. (of course, I am sure that the University of Oregon Department of public safety (DPS) is drooling over that one for increase in the number of future parking citations)

    ... Inadequate public safety patrols to handle an event that has an estimated 17,000 people a day increase into our area. (They openly tell us all the time that they don't have enough people to patrol as it is)

    Just to name a couple, and so the big question is...

    Who's going to pay for all this? WE ARE!!!

    The good news is about the new business tax and sales tax that they're trying to push on us is that I heard recently that we are going to be ALLOWED to vote on this issue.

    I am urging a NO vote on the public safety initiative.

    Let them take some of their money for the 2008 Olympics of the $29 million high-speed [choke] 14 mile bus line that we were not asked if we even wanted.

    Friday, November 04, 2005

    Thousands of DMV records found in meth bust computer

    KATU 2

    PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland police made a significant discovery while investigating a Portland residence suspected of being a methamphetamine purchase point.
    Investigators say they found a computer in an apartment near southeast 137th and Stark that had thousands of transaction records and personal information from the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles for the years 1999 and 2000.

    Police say the records include names and addresses, and birth dates of thousands of people who conducted transactions at the DMV over the two year span.

    Investigators say they think the computer was a stolen item. THEY THINK????
    Officials say the DMV records could be used by identity thieves to perpetrate ID theft crimes against thousands of people. COULD!!!
    There was no comment on whether more copies of the records could still be out in public on other computers, but DMV officials did say that security measures at the DMV are now much more stringent than they were five years ago.
    "security measures at DMV are now more stringent than they were five years ago?" Does that mean that they are admitting that they were very sloppy?

    I thought the records were stored in a central mainframe in a secured area accessed by terminals. How did these records get downloaded into a computer that can be taken somewhere?
    Oh yes, I forgot that the DMV sells our records

    And then we have the recent case where a private DMV training company with helping illegal alien to get driver's license by providing them phony addresses, etc.

    And they are also talking about privatizing DMV?


    Valley Boys son found dead

    I just got an e-mail that John Powell, lead singer for local band The Valley Boys, son was found dead this morning.

    no details at this time.

    BioPay Targeting the Hispanic Market for Biometric Check Cashing

    Yahoo News

    HERNDON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 4, 2005--BioPay, the leading biometric transaction processor in the country, announced today that it will be expanding its program that actively targets retailers who serve the nation's rapidly expanding Hispanic community for its Paycheck Secure product

    The company plans to expand their presence with retailers in additional metropolitan areas with large Hispanic populations such as Phoenix, Chicago, New York, Las Vegas, and the Washington DC metro area where BioPay's headquarters is located.

    BioPay's Paycheck Secure system allows consumers to enroll at a grocery store, liquor store, convenience store or check cashing location. Once enrolled, the consumer can cash their payroll check at the enrolled location (or in some cases across a chain of locations) just by "putting their finger down" to confirm their identity.

    New immigrants from countries such as El Salvador, Mexico, and Guatemala have fueled an on-going rise in the estimated 9 to 10 percent of Americans households who do not have a checking account according to the US Treasury, or an estimated of 30 million people in America. Often "lightly documented" these hard-working residents have traditionally found it difficult to cash their paycheck at a bank or a retail store

    Retailer Ed Vela, General Manager at Los Angeles based Jax Markets added "I love the system. It works amazingly well. Before I used it in my store I was losing $12,000 per quarter and once we installed it, we nearly eliminated fraud."

    Thursday, November 03, 2005

    Greenspan raises the rates again... I guess you can't teach an old dog new tricks

    Associated Press

    18 year veteran Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, commented after the 12th increase in the short-term interest rates that the Federal Reserve is expected to follow the same script by gradually increasing interest rates to make sure inflation does not get out of control. sound familiar

    The Fed is trying to boost borrowing costs for consumers and businesses gradually as a way to slow the economy enough to keep inflation under wraps. The Fed's concern is that the surge in energy prices that occurred after hurricanes Katrina and Rita shut down Goff Coast production facilities could spill over into more widespread in inflation pressures.

    June 2004 is when the Fed's first started tightening the interest rates and were bellowing the same concerns, "we are worried about inflation." Alan Greenspan, commented "But how do we know when irrational exuberance has unduly escalated asset values, which then become subject to unexpected and prolonged contractions as they have in Japan over the past decade?"

    This statement sent both analysts and the media to their dictionaries to try to figure out what the heck he said. (One thing is for sure, never asked this guy for directions)

    Alan Greenspan's concerned about increasing inflation was unfounded as one senator tried to appeal to him at a Senate hearing, "I would like you to come down to Missouri and walk through our neighborhoods. Take a look at some real people instead of getting input from those thousand dollar plate dinners and wealthy friends of yours."

    With the increase of interest rates, businesses could no longer afford to expand and buy more equipment. Businesses started to close their doors.

    Mr. Greenspan relying on his 18 years of experience quickly found out that in a global economy things move a lot faster than they did in his day. You can't just make a little tweak here anymore without causing an and economic avalanche.

    As more businesses close, unemployment became rampant. Oregon for example became number one in unemployment. Large companies started laying off thousands of people and going out of business.

    Companies that you would think would be around forever like Sony and Hewlett-Packard for example started to lay off employees and close facilities.

    The Fed's formula also does not take into consideration the increase in taxes that are being placed on the general public which also impacts the economy.

    I'm not an expert on economy but it does seem more reasonable to me that if you lower taxes and give businesses an opportunity to put the money back into their company and with lower taxes the consumer will be able to keep more of their paycheck and thus spend more money. That it is a win- win situation for both business and government.

    Taking money out of the consumer's pocket and given it to the government does not inspire growth, in fact, it suffocates it.

    Alan Greenspan will be retiring in 2006 and will be replaced by Ben Bernanke who I would hope will look at the whole picture not just his little corner of Washington DC to make his decision.

    Blogger list update

    if you're a blogger who visits my board and would like to have your blog added to my list, please respond to this message and I would be more than happy to do so.


    Wednesday, November 02, 2005

    More talk on sales tax

    Robin's Commentary


    What part of no do they do not understand?

    I cannot believe that they are still debating on being the first county in Oregon of having a sales tax or, placing a gross receipts tax on business (that will attract more businesses), just to fund public safety.

    Then I asked myself why are they being so concerned about public safety now, when they never have been before? What has changed?

    Could it be that they are actually concerned about the welfare and safety of the citizens of Lane County? Naw! If they did, the DA's office would not publicly advertise in the paper which crimes that they will no longer prosecute, and the police would actually the start responding to burglar alarms again and more concerns would be focused towards crime instead of busting our large prostitution ring.

    Therefore, that could not be it.

    So based on their history, obviously that can't be something that would benefit the general public, so it has to be something that benefits themselves.

    Here's my theory...


    Yes of course, money. And Olympics bring in a lot of money.

    I will bet you that part of the condition of the Olympics coming to Eugene, is that the city provide adequate security, however there is a problem...

    For years, they have been telling us that they do not have the manpower to provide services and protection to the citizens of Lane County.

    While crime is on the increase, instead of hearing of projects like Salem, using bait cars to catch thieves who still vehicles, you hear about the city of Eugene setting up stings to bust our large persecution problem.

    Suddenly, with the opportunity to host the 2008 track and field Olympics, they find themselves in a logistical nightmare. Not enough manpower and equipment to handle security and the increased traffic flow, and no available funds to correct the problem.

    So what does a local government to do... what they normally do,

    Threaten the public.

    "If we don't get this bond measure, we are going to cut services." While there is nothing left to cut without violating the city charter, in addition, we've heard that threat so many times that it does not carry any weight anymore.

    So since threats do not work, a new plan has arisen. Introduce a new tax and force people to pay it.

    Tuesday, November 01, 2005

    Should you be warned that your class will be taught in a foreign language?

    Robin's Commentary

    My first term at the University of Oregon has been a real learning experience (pardon the pun) and I will admit, that it has been very difficult for me being a returning student because there are a lot of ASSUMPTIONS that the institution makes about understanding policies and the way things work.

    One thing that I have finally come to accept grudgingly is being required to take courses that are supposed to "add to life's experience" which have no relation to whatever field you're trying to go into. (I can do several blogs on that subject)

    Anyway, I'm not the type of person that is very easily offended nor do I get angry very often, but what happened in class today, which was the second time that it happened, I felt very offended and insulted.

    The instructor was showing a film that would take up the whole class time and within two minutes into the film, said, "I can't stand this dubbed voiceover" and went into the language settings in the DVD player, and switched the language from English to Swedish along with subtitles.

    I spoke with the instructor after class and told him my concerns, and he replied that it is COMMON KNOWLEDGE that in a class like this (literature) that foreign languages are sometimes used. My response to him is that we are primarily an English-speaking society here and I have a hearing problem and I record my classes to help me in this regard, and by playing the film in a foreign language does not help my handicap, plus I hate subtitles.

    I also informed him that if I knew that he was going to do this, I would not have taken the course.

    I checked the syllabus and there is no mention about speaking or having material presented in a foreign language.

    I feel at the very least, in the course catalog and on the syllabus, that they should not "assume" that we know they're going to be presenting material in a different language and expect us to be tested on this, unless it is a foreign language class.