Tuesday, January 31, 2006

"I am hoping seriously that we consider separating blacks from whites because it's not working....."

San Francisco Sentinel

District 10 supervisor candidate Charlie Walker yesterday called for creation of a separate San Francisco school system for African Americans. I

"I am hoping seriously that we consider separating blacks from whites because it's not working," Walker reflected.
"What good did it do us to demonstrate to get our freedom when we didn't get nothing out of it.
"The women, the gays, the Asians, the Latinos - they got it and we're still sitting around here. In San Francisco alone, 42% of our people are unemployed.
a lot of people are unemployed and that has nothing to do with skin color

"So what do you do when, in 1860, ninety-eight percent of our people worked for white people and in 2001 - guess what - ninety-eight percent of our people still work for white folks.

Simple… Get off your lazy Ass and quit whining.

I'm not denying that in the 21st century that prejudiced no longer exists. There are some people still around that I believe if you're not like me, you're nothing. But to make comments like "I don't think America has really comes to grips with the crime of slavery." That was a horrible time in US history, but that was then and this is now. MOST of those people are long gone. They're dead. Quit trying to bring them back!

I am 25% Native American, female and overweight. Yet I worked in a mans world as a technician and put up with the old boys network and many times had to be better then they were.
Was it fair? No! However, I did that for me, not to impress them or to try to be their equal.

Separating the races or the sexes, I do not feel it is a good idea. This creates an "us versus them" attitude in my opinion that is dangerous. When you start thinking about people as "them" instead of "we", then separatism and hatred take root.

The first step to making things better is to stop your whining and your "poor me" attitude.

Thank to Larslarson.com for the story tip

Monday, January 30, 2006

More job cuts and plant closures


Kraft announces plans to cut 8000 jobs and close up to 20 plants

Kraft Foods Inc., the nation's largest food manufacturer plans to eliminate about 8% of its workforce and close as many as 20 production plants.

Kraft said the cuts would save an additional 700 million in annual costs on top of a targeted 450 million in savings that will be achieved through restructuring that began January 2004.

Craft along with other food manufacturers have been hit by higher costs for commodities such as meat, coffee, nuts and packaging.

The thing that has always confused me when companies decide to close their production facilities or stores, is that it would seem to me in some circumstances that they are reducing their ability to produce future income.

Here's an example. Up until several years ago, there were two Kmart stores in Eugene/Springfield area. Kmart, in their cost cutting wisdom decided to close all Both stores.

OK, now I understand on the books it looks good because you just reduced a huge expenditure and extend profits. However, as in the case of Kmart, who was recently purchased by a Sears Roebuck I believe, is trying to make a comeback.

For them to return to the Eugene/Springfield area, with mean to find a new location, construction or renovation of the new building and having to build up a new customer base.

In the meantime customers like myself who frequently shopped Kmart, have discovered new stores to fill our needs.

I guess what I'm trying to say that it is shortsighted in my opinion too totally eliminate a future source of revenue instead of just cutting back. Because when times turn around, everybody else is ready to take advantage of it because they still have the machinery in place.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

"Elect me as your representative and I promised to..."

how many times have you heard that one?

"I care about the people... I feel your pain."

"I think it is about time that blah government blahblah….and I am for blahblahblah taxes. blahblahblahblah should be for the people, because the people are blahblahblah .
So elect me as blahblahblah and you will seeblahblahblah. " Yea…Talk to the hand. Zzzzzzzz

So you say to your partner [okay, I am being a little politically correct] *Yahn * "same old garbage... just another politician promising anything to get your vote...

Politics as usual.

So I guess that I will do what I do every election, pick using the following criteria. let's see...

I don't know him/her...

I don't like or trust him/her...

he/she don't have a clue...

he/she an incumbent... I definitely don't want him...

he/she could not hold a real job!

Therefore, I guess once again it is voting for the lesser of two evils or don't vote at all.

This is how I feel and it does not surprise me at all how many other people that I talk to also feel this way.

"The government is the people...", "people are the government..."

We lost that privilege a long time ago and that is evident by how unresponsive the government is to the people's needs.

Surprisingly, however, this is not the case with Senator Atkinson. he is not the same old same old politician that we have become accustomed to and that is a good thing, and as they say... the proof is in the pudding.
Check this out.

Last Saturday, this group of motley crew otherwise known as bloggers were invited to attend a luncheon/meeting with Senator Jason Atkinson (last row right)and his campaign manager Matt Evans.
This was not one of those events where you and a hundred other people go to a fancy restaurant, listen to a speech for an hour and then get a short question-and-answer period.


We met in a small office in Tigard for 2 1/2 hours and ate club sandwiches and chips. The senator who was very tired from being on the road all day even took time to make us coffee.

We started out with a question-and-answer period and then he shared with us some of his ideas and asked us for our opinions.

One of the questions that he had asked [and I want to open it up for discussion here on this blog] is what can he do outside of the normal biased media to reach out to people?

Of course there was the discussion of raising money, but that is a given. Senator Atkinson is running a very tight campaign financially and is looking for contributions from people for what they can comfortably afford, such as $25, $10 etc.

As a homeowner and a taxpayer, every November as I watch thousands of dollars of my savings go into government and listening to same old blahblah rhetoric of doublespeak that spews out of politicians/salesman mouths, "I care blah lower taxes blahblah." Yeah, whatever! Just meaningless buzzwords!

I don't believe that is the case here. I believe that Senator Atkinson really means what he says when he talks about Oregon and wants to bring Oregon back to the people.

Just out of curiosity, after the meeting I asked Matt [who is an experienced campaign manager] if he had ever known any politician to meet one-on-one with people like this.

His response, "no, except for question-and-answer periods after a speech, or with a meeting of volunteers, a meeting like this is very unusual."

And who are we? We are just average citizens with their little amateurish publications [blogs] that Senator Atkinson felt was important enough to take time out of his busy schedule to talk over club sandwiches.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Special Commentary Series about Locals Colleges and Universities

February 9, 2006
Your chance to sound off.

Welcome to the roundtable discussion about local schools and universities in Oregon.

The central focus of this forum is to offer you an opportunity to express your opinions and offer constructive criticism based on your experiences in the higher learning institutions.

Keep in mind, that people in the various administrations* do visit this blog and therefore while I encourage you to be honest in expressing your experiences both during and after college, I ask that you please address your comments accordingly and respectfully. Posts that bash individuals or inflammatory statements will not be tolerated and will be removed.

Anonymous postings are welcome in addition to postings from teachers and administrators.
It may not seem like it, but your input is important and valued.

Some topic suggestions ...

§ Financial aid issues, the maximum credit limit…
§ Quality of instruction, were the instructor's knowledgeable and receptive to questions?
§ Were the tools available to properly teach the course
§ Did the classes focus on the course description?
§ How much did you spend for your education and did you feel that it was money well spent?
§ Did you get a job in your major?
§ Were there any courses that you were excited about?
§ Do you have any suggestions for improvement
§ Other

Any input or comments about your experiences are important.

And remember, one rule in business is... "If one person says it, 10 others are thinking it."

Okay, with that said, let's see how well this works.

*Disclaimer: There is no direct involvement. This is an unsolicited open forum focusing on local colleges and universities issues.

links of interest:
20/20 Special:Stupid in America
Caution... slow blogging ahead (maximum credit limit, etc.)
LCC financial aid maximum credit limit policy
the maximum credit limit raises its ugly head again

if I click my shoes three times, can I go home?

"The US economy is doing fine even with rising interest rates and oil prices higher than they were 18 months ago." Alan Greenspan said addressing the Senate Banking Committee{link}

"The economy added 108000 new jobs in December and has added more than 400,000 jobs in the last two months.... tax cuts have helped create more jobs...", President Bush addressing the economic club of Chicago on January 6, 2006{link}

If everything is so wonderful then why are the top two carmakers doing massive layoffs and closing facilities?

Why is it every time you turn you see articles like this...

(Salem) Transit tax increase sought... "tax increase would cost the owner of $150,000 home an additional $74 per year Statesman Journal

Comcast will increase its cable rates an average of 4% Statesman Journal

Even the Direc TV which is always putting down the cable company for raising its rates announced a 4% average increase. Statesman Journal

This all has to be just a nightmare...

because it is just too crazy to be reality.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Honesty and Respect -- words that you never heard in politics until now

Robin's Commentary

Some might say that Senator Jason Atkinson is the new kid on the block and considering his age, that in some respects is true. Senator Atkinson is definitely not your father's politician believing in the same old same old method of politics.

Several months ago, I had the honor to have coffee with the senator along with a few other bloggers in town. I am not a reporter; I'm just an average citizen who is tired of the news media not asking questions that the public [or at least my circle of friends] feels are important.
For example, who really cared who President Clinton was sleeping with today? That is an issue between him and his wife Hillary. However that was what the media focused on versus the other important stuff going on around the world at the time.

So you're left thinking, how does this affect me? Why is this important to me?

The questions that I asked were more pertinent, I felt to what is happening now in Oregon and that affect me and my family. Questions such as how do you feel about ODOT installing a GPS system in your car to charge you a random per mile road tax?

"Politicians promise anything that the public wants to hear in order to get into office, then once elected, it is a free-for-all and the public no longer matters. What about you?"

I know that this was not a pardon the pun, "politically correct" question to ask somebody who is running for office, but I will say that I was very impressed with his answer.

"I'm an honest person and I'm not going to lie to get into office." Was Senator Atkinson's response to my question. I truly believe that came from his heart and I did not pick up anything that led me to believe that it was a bunch of BS.
I am running because I believe in the common sense, good will and sound judgment of real Oregonians whose voices are too often silenced by entrenched special interests in the Oregon Legislature.
If you feel as I do, that we have to change the way we do business in Salem; if politicians make you feel like you don't matter and special interests seem like an overwhelming force against the voice of the voter, don't give up. Join me. We can restore honor to public service. We can rebuild trust with Oregonians. We can hear the voices of Oregonians in the halls of government again.{source}

The power of bloggers

If you been on the Internet for any length of time, you have heard of blogging. Blogging has become such an important medium in our society that the central media now regularly considers bloggers opinions to be important. And just like the rule of thumb, that bad news travels faster then good news, Senator Atkinson took a chance.

Wanting to reach the people, Senator Atkinson did something that to my knowledge no politician has ever done before. He drove over an hour on the freeway to go out of his way to meet a handful of bloggers.

"I met with a handful of bloggers, and out of that organically an Atkinson for Governor blogger network was started," he said. "I was told we now have 20 blog sites on the Net."
Such unconventional means "have been extremely well received," said Atkinson. World Net Daily

Senator Atkinson does not believe in mudslinging and I feel that he is very sincere when he says that he wants to help fix what is wrong with the State of Oregon.
He has proven his sincerity to me at least that he wants to be in touch with the people and stay in touch with the people even after he is elected.
Oregon can no longer afford the "business as usual" politicians and leadership. We desperately need someone in the governor's office who is responsive to the people, not someone who feels that the solution to everything is to throw more money at it and that the people of Oregon are only a revenue source just waiting to be tapped.
Keep an eye on the new kid on the block [Senator Atkinson], I think he's going places.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Day Labors - the underground economy

Detroit news

An item to complement Daniels wonderful report about last weekend's carousel of information {link} was an issue regarding day labor pickup places.

I came across this interesting little article that I thought I would share.
of the 10.3 million unauthorized migrants estimated by the Pew Hispanic Center who live in the United States, 6.8 million of them make up about 4.6 of the nation's workforce.

While it is traditionally common to think of illegal aliens only working in the fields, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, 26% work in landscaping and 27% are drywall installers. They [Pew Hispanic Center] estimate that more than one of every four or drywall installers and landscape workers are illegal.
illegal immigrants make far less than the rest of the population. Their average family income of $27,400 is more than 40% below the legal immigrant or native family income of about $47,700 the Pew Hispanic Center found.

It is a pretty long article, and I recommend it for reading.

Also be sure to check out http://danielisright.blogspot.com/ for pictures and other information about last weekend's event

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Is it you right to search in private?

KEZI 9 news

Google inc. is rebuffing a request from the Bush administration wanting a list of all requests entered into Google's search engine during an unspecified single week -- a breakdown that could conceivably span tens of millions of queries. In addition, it seeks one million randomly selected Web addresses from various Google databases.
In court papers that the San Jose Mercury News reported on after seeing them Wednesday, the Bush administration depicts the information as vital in its effort to restore online child protection laws that have been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Yahoo and several other search engines have complied with the government's request.
as the Internet's dominant search engine, Google has built up a valuable storehouse of information that "makes it a very attractive target for law enforcement," said Chris Hoofnagle, senior counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
The Department of Justice argues that Google's cooperation is essential in its effort to simulate how people navigate the Web.
In a separate case in Pennsylvania, the Bush administration is trying to prove that Internet filters don't do an adequate job of preventing children from accessing online pornography and other objectionable destinations.

Google contends that complying with the subpoena would represent a betrayal to its users.
Pam Dixon, an executive director for the world privacy forum cautions, "when you're looking at a blank search box, you should remember that what you fill can come back to haunt you unless you take precautions."

I propose a long-term truce with the U.S. military….

Fox News

translation of the portion of the purported Usama bin Laden audiotape aired on the Al Jazeera network:

…God has prevented us from lying and betraying. You can give us this truce so we can build Iraq and Afghanistan that you have destroyed.

…Our situation is getting better and better and your situation is getting worse and worse.

…The reason why we didn't have any such an operation in the United States is not because of security difficulties; the operation will take place and you will see such operations by the grace of God and by the will of God.
…I propose a long-term truce that will give the two sides stability and security.
And this is the most important, most diligent solution as a result of which there will be no losses.

I think that he made a fool out of us. The mighty USA can't find one guy, but decides to become freedom fighters for Iraq instead.

Of course we are there now and we need to finish the job, however I am still confused on how Saddam Hussein is connected to the twin towers.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Welcome to News Tip

I have provided this experimental area as a means to suggest news items or articles that are of interest to you that you would like to share with others.

To maintain the integrity of this blog, any articles that are submitted must be accompanied by verifiable supporting material, such URL [web site address], published in a newspaper, etc.

Suggestions about articles are also welcome assuming my research team [me]can find documentation supporting or related to your suggestion.

if I decide to use your article and you would like credit for suggesting it, please be sure to include your name with your suggestion.

From time to time, I will post from guest commentators. These are people who I know and as a rule; guest commentators are restricted to these people.

As always, you are welcome to add an unrelated comment to an article posted on the blog. Please remember that the more facts that you could provide about your comment, the more integrity that your opinion will receive.

Finally, rules of decency apply! Your comments are welcome however, remember that your comments are displayed publicly and that anybody can read them. If you wish to bash my articles or me then please post your comment on the related article. Vulgar and obscenities of course will be deleted.

I know... there are always rules.


Saturday, January 14, 2006

Stupid in America

ABC's 20/20
"The best thing that you could do to fix the problem, is allow competition and close the bad schools."

Aired last night [Friday], 20/20 did a real good job of investigating why schools are having poor scores compared to other schools in the world
Jan. 13, 2006 — "Stupid in America" is a nasty title for a program about public education, but some nasty things are going on in America's public schools and it's about time we face up to it.

When I was watching the show I was wondering about the kids that they were interviewing. how did they pick them? Were they the best of the best, or just average children?
20/20 wanted to tape a typical class room, but was turned down for New York city schools, and all but the hand picked schools in Washington D.C.
One was Woodrow Wilson High. Newsweek says it's one of the best schools in America. Yet what the students taped didn't inspire confidence.

According to a Gallup poll in the article, they claim that 76% of Americans were completely or somewhat satisfied with their kids public school.

Education reformer Kevin Chavous and many other education professionals say," Americans don't know that their public schools, on the whole, just aren't that good. Because without competition, parents don't know what their kids might have had."
And while many people say, "We need to spend more money on our schools," there actually isn't a link between spending and student achievement."

The show compared two schools. One after an outcry about money was given a large grant. they use the money to buy Olympic size swimming pool and gyms. They also bought computers and other tools for the students, this increased the cost per student to $9000. [sound familiar?] The results showed no improvement in the test scores.

The second school working on a voucher system did not have the new fancy things as above. No computers, pools or gym equipment, and they showed no improvement in test scores. The cost per student, $3000. 20/20 also pointed out that there was a waiting line to get in to this school, and enrollment was done by lottery.

Jay Greene, author of "Education Myths," points out that "If money were the solution, the problem would already be solved … We've doubled per pupil spending, adjusting for inflation, over the last 30 years, and yet schools aren't better."
He's absolutely right. National graduation rates and achievement scores are flat, while spending on education has increased more than 100 percent since 1971. More money hasn't helped American kids.
Ben Chavis is a former public school principal who now runs an alternative charter school in Oakland, Calif., that spends thousands of dollars less per student than the surrounding public schools. He laughs at the public schools' complaints about money.
"That is the biggest lie in America. They waste money," he said.

"Monopoly Kills Innovation and Cheats Kids"
Not having a choice of where to send your kids for their education creates the monopoly and makes the schools less responsive to the children's needs.
Inspector John Lozano of[San Jose, California, works for the district going door-to-door to check if kids really live where they say they live. And even seeing that a child is present at a particular address isn't enough. Lozano says he needs to look inside the house to make sure the student really lives there.
Think about what he's doing. The school district police send him into your daughter's bedroom. He even goes through drawers and closets if he has to.

I would hope that he had a search warrant if he wanted to come into my house
20/20 article on the Web has a pretty good summary of the show and in my opinion makes some excellent points. The lack of competition, and the lack of choice makes the system a monopoly with no incentive for improvement and not responsive to their clients [students] needs.
They make an excellent argument of how throwing money at the problem just does not work.
In my own experience when I reminded one of the department heads that I am the customer and you are providing a service that I am paying for, his reply was, "if that was actually the case then that would make us a business." My reply, "and you're here because?"
If you missed the show last night, I highly recommend looking at the videos and reading the article available at the link above.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Total dollars spent: $757,000.00 on EmX High Speed [choke] bus so far....


EmX (pronounced M-X) is the name chosen for our community’s bus rapid transit system.[Manufactured by New Flyer]
Pretty cool huh?
LTD is projecting that their service will begin in late 2006 on their $23 million 14 mile high speed [choke] bus project between Eugene and Springfield and plans to expand the corridor at a later time.
The argument in favor of purchasing a special hybrid bus system is that it's dedicated bus lanes and priority control over the traffic lights will decrease commuting time over the current bus system because of traffic congestion.
I still question the need for the expanse versus using smaller buses with traffic light priority capabilities which are already in place for emergency vehicles.
Although LTD has not had much luck with hybrid electric vehicles, to give credit where credit is due; New Flyer has been around since 1930 and has a history of manufacturing BRT style buses.
2001 LTD purchased six hybrid vehicles with 83% per federal participation. The vehicles suffered catastrophic failures and the manufacture went bankrupt. The January 2005 estimate on the six vehicles was $1.02 billion.[LTD]

A new traffic light around town

The lanes are designed for transit use only and will have a signal head different from signals used for autos. (The signal heads for EmX resemble the illustration and are similar to the ones used in a light-rail system.)

More detailed information about the construction is available at LTD web site.
"EmX is a fun name to say and hopefully will prove memorable both in name and experience."

Okay here's your test... you'll need a paper, pencil and calculator for this one.
Projected costs for the Franklin corridor according to Registerguard was $18 million[Source] to an estimated $23 million[ Source] for a 14 mile bus ride between Eugene and Springfield.
So take the latest estimate that I could find, $23 million, divide that by 14 [miles] to figure out the cost per mile for the system.

Add to that
the possible increased to the LTD payroll tax otherwise known as the employer or self-employment tax.

Evaluate and implement a payroll tax increase of .0002 to be effective January 2006
[ source April 28, 2004 Lane transit District budget committee]

Also the loss of business storefront real estate for the development of the special lanes.

Do the math.

do you think that it is worth it?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Not married and want to have a child via artificial insemination? Not in Virginia State

HB 187

HB 187 Unmarried women; prohibition on provision of certain intervening medical technology.

Summary as introduced:

Prohibition on the provision of certain intervening medical technology to unmarried women. No individual licensed by a health regulatory board shall assist with or perform any intervening medical technology, whether in vivo or in vitro, for or on an unmarried woman that completely or partially replaces sexual intercourse as the means of conception, including, but not limited to, artificial insemination by donor, cryopreservation of gametes and embryos, invitro fertilization, embryo transfer, gamete intrafallopian tube transfer, and low tubal ovum transfer.
I will admit that I have mixed feelings over this one.
The argument is that a woman's right is not as important as the child's right to have a father.

What do you think?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Is the Springfield News laying off employees?

Springfield News
"…we’re helping them transition after the closure."

After many years printing high-school newspapers, festival guides and other web press products, The Springfield News is preparing to stop doing commercial printing.

“We are focusing our resources on the newspapers,” said Willmann. “We certainly appreciated all the hard work all the folks here put in on the press and composing and in the mailroom, and we’re helping them transition after the closure.”

“Those resources would be distracting us from our core purpose, which is to serve our advertisers and readers with interesting, effective newspapers,” she said. “ My guess would be by the term "effective newspapers" would be delivered totally electronically on line?
Good luck!
There is a reason that papers to not use the Web as their primary method of delivery. It is inconvenient & it is like trying to read a newspaper through a 3 inch square

It’s going to be really great, we are super excited about it,” she said. “I don’t know of any other newspapers in Oregon that are doing this.”

It has been many years since I haven't had anything to do with the Springfield news, but assuming that things had not changed that dramatically, that two day a week newspaper relied on commercial printing to support the newspaper side of things.

So by "transitioning" does that mean that they are laying off employees or retraining them for other departments?
I guess we will have to wait and see.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

ODOTs Worst Fear....Cars that get 250 MPH

Live Science

Experimental Hybrid Cars Get Up to 250 Mpg

Monrovia-based Energy CS has converted two Priuses to get up to 230 mpg by using powerful lithium ion batteries. It is forming a new company, EDrive Systems, that will convert hybrids to plug-ins for about $12,000 starting next year, company vice president Greg Hanssen said.
University of California, Davis engineering professor Andy Frank built a plug-in hybrid from the ground up in 1972 and has since built seven others, one of which gets up to 250 mpg. They were converted from non-hybrids, including a Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Suburban.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Caution-slow blogging ahead

it is the first day of winter term as I get ready to return to one of the WORST investments I've ever made in my life -- taking a computer degree at Lane Community College.

but what can you do, I spent a lot of money and I'm almost done with the program, so might as well finish it.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

United States faces severe worker shortage in the future

USA Today

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States faces a severe worker shortage in the near future, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said Wednesday in advocating better education for Americans and changes in immigration law to allow in more foreign workers.
Chamber President and CEO Thomas Donohue, at a news conference outlining business prospects in 2006, said the country is ill-prepared to deal with the impending retirement of 77 million baby boomers.
"We have yet to secure an adequate supply of working taxpayers to run a growing economy and support an explosion of retirees," he said in his organization's report on the state of U.S. business

I think that is BUNK!
I'm going to be 50 years old soon and so far I have already spent $20,000 my own money in loans to further my education in hopes of getting in "entry-level" job. And as far as retirement... as expensive as things are today, I do not ever see that as an option.
Donahue wanting to pass immigration laws to include guest worker program simply dilutes the workforce by "securing access to cheap labor".
Part of the reason why labor is so expensive is the additional fees, taxes, employer matching fees, Social Security and Worker's Comp.
A rough estimate an employee whose wage is $7.50 an hour, would NET approximately five dollars an hour [depending on deductions] and costs the employer over $10 an hour.
So, if you want cheaper labor... reduce the overhead to employers and allow them to hire more people, which would put more money into the economy and the tax base.

Finally -- in my opinion this type of thinking that the US cannot do anything without "cheap labor" makes us look like a bunch of helpless wimps unable to take care of ourselves. Actually if you stop and think about it, it was the same mentality that we had about slavery.

The other argument regarding immigration is "the lack of qualified educated workers in the United States." Based on my experience in my training for my associates degree, I'll have to agree that the educational system sucks.

50% of my classes have nothing to do with the major itself. They are required classes such as PE, human relations at work, etc., that are supposed to make me a "more rounded individual".

Therefore, I can see why students are graduating with very poor or little knowledge in their major but they are at least better rounded individuals.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Stamp Price Rises to 39c Sunday

It'll cost more to send mail starting Sunday. The first rate increase since 2002 will boost the cost of sending a first-class letter by 2 cents, to 39 cents.

Springfield High School “Islamic Project".


Students at Springfield High School are now learning about Islamic culture in nearly every class.
Students in this drama class are painting a stage backdrop of the Iranian mosque of Isfahan for their upcoming performance of Shakespeare’s “Othello.” It is part of the Springfield High School “Islamic Project".
Motivated by the Iraq war, the lessons on Islam began this quarter. Drama director Jonathan Siegle came up with the idea. Now, he says Islam is being taught in a variety of classes: "For example a math teacher might include elements about the fact that Arab mathematicians invented Algebra, they invented the zero. Islamic art, culture, music, history—these are elements that are very important and can be included into the normal curriculum."

HR 4038 -- penalizes employers for hiring illegal immigrants

HR 4038 -- penalizes employers for hiring illegal immigrants
... violations shall not be less than $50,000 for each occurrence...

HR 4038 Introduced on October 7, 2005 (By Rep. Charles Gonzalez [D-TX] to amend the immigration and nationality act to improve enforcement of restrictions on employment in the United States of unauthorized aliens.

The act which may be cited as the "unlawful employers accountability act of 2005" shows that Congress finds the following:

1. Current efforts to stem the tide of illegal immigrants crossing into United States have fallen short of need.
2. The number of illegal immigrants currently in the United States is approximating 11 million.
3. Cities, counties, and states are forced to absorb the cost of illegal immigration without compensation from the federal government or employers.
4. United States companies continue to recruit and hire illegal immigrants and thereby aid in the erosion of the border security of the United States.
5. The hiring of illegal immigrants has had a negative impact on the employment opportunities of legal immigrants and United States citizens.
6. Federal law expressly prohibits the hiring of illegal immigrants.
7. in 2004, only three United States companies were cited for hiring illegal immigrants.

straight from the horses mouth so to speak, Congress has found and apparently finally heard what the citizens have been complaining about for a long time but was disguised under the "political correctness" of the liberals.

So, now that they recognize the problem, what are they going to do to give it some teeth?

HR 4038 IH
(4) Cease-and-desist order with civil money penalties for hiring, recruiting, and referral violations --
in respect to a violation by any person or other entity of subsection (a) (1) (A) or (a) (2), the Secretary of Homeland security shall require the person or entity to cease and desist from such violations and to pay a civil penalty in the amount specified in subparagraph (B).

(B) AMOUNT OF CIVIL PENALTY -- a penalty under this paragraph shall not be less than $50,000 for each occurrence of a violation described in subsection (a) (1) (A) or (a) (2) with respect to the alien referred to in such subsection, plus, in the event of the removal of such alien from the United States based on findings developed in connection with the assessment or collection of such penalty, the cost incurred by the federal government, cooperating State and local governments, and state and local law enforcement agencies, in connection with such removal.

One of the major arguments for illegal immigration is that the immigrants come here for better opportunities. Large corporations see illegal immigrants as a profit making opportunity, and politicians as a means of getting more votes. They are just as much to blame for the problem as the immigrants themselves for violating the law.

It doesn't stop there...

(b) DENIAL OF AGRICULTURAL ASSISTANCE FOR VIOLATORS -- in the case of a violation of subsection (a) (1) (A) or (a) (2) by and agricultural Association, agricultural employer, or farm labor contractor (as defined in section 3 of the immigrant and seasonal agricultural worker protection act (29 USC 1802), such association, employer, or contractor shall be ineligible for agricultural assistance described in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of section 1211(a) of the food security act of 1985 (16 USC 3811(a)) for a period not to exceed five years.

I think that HR 4038 is definitely worth keeping on the radar

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Schedule Senator Atkinson's campaign

Here are some places the remainder of this week where
you can see and/or hear Senator Atkinson on the issues
that are important to Oregonians:

Thursday, January 5, 2006
Noon - 1:00 pm
Radio Interview
Lars Larson Show
750 am in Portland and Statewide

Thursday, January 5, 2006
4:30 - 6:30 pm
Atkinson Campaign Reception
Multnomah Athletic Club
1849 SW Salmon
Free Parking
RSVP: 503-968-1878

Thursday, January 5, 2006
7:00 - 8:00 pm
Republican Informal Meetup
Mazatlan Restaurant
2050 SW Morrison St

Friday, January 6, 2006
6:30 - 7:30 pm
"Meet the Candidate" Coffee
Coos Bay Red Lion Inn
1313 N. Bayshore
Coos Bay
RSVP: 541-269-3900

Saturday, January 7, 2006
8:00 - 9:00 am
Radio Interview
Jeff Kropf Show
KXL 750 am in Portland

Eugene/Springfield no longer a quiet little community

It is very interesting when you live in a town most of your life to watch it grow from a small sleepy little town where neighbors helping neighbors to a "mind your own business" community normally shared by larger towns.

I was very disturbed as I read headlines like these in 2005...

Springfield Police Make Arrests In Last Week's Shooting

Junction City Man Arraigned On Murder Charges

Murder suspect claimed spirits hurt baby

Springfield Police Continue Shooting Investigation

Man killed in drive-by shooting

District attorney plans to ignore small crimes

public safety [sales]tax could raise $60 million in tax revenue

and the list goes on...

Happy new year

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Going to work today... Do I take the RED Road or the BLUE one?

Robin's Commentary

Government mandated...
GPS systems in your car...
Increased Interest Rates...
Mandatory Increased Minimum Credit Card Payments...
Changes in Bankruptcy Laws

For the people, by the people, out of touch with people!
It seems like every time that you turn on the news; our government is trying to find new ways to get more money out of us.

I have reported several times on this blog about GPS per mile tax systems being installed in vehicles which will charge you PER MILE and vary the amount per mile depending on where and what time that you travel with the fees to be collected at the gas pump.

Well knowing that Oregon [which used to be a leader] cannot come up with an original idea [Kulongoski's methamphetamine plan as an example] probably got the idea of GPS tracking from the governments VEHICLE POSITIONING SYSTEMS (VPS)/pricing technology or otherwise known as "value pricing". Federal Highway administration
Project number VPPP-2002(029)
The project will utilize a statistically significant sample of motorists who will be levied charges for access to selected roadway facilities at particular time periods in the day. The demonstration will involve “before pricing” and “after pricing” data collection and will hold participants financially harmless by providing them with individualized travel budgets. This project will test the application of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to locate participating vehicles within time and space in order to develop the facility use data required to administer a system-wide variable facility pricing program.

... imbedded highway loops collect performance data on limited sections of the state highway system. This data can be used to aid in the price setting process. Calculations may be made on a road-segment basis, and then used in a simplified price structure to facilitate communication of the fee system. For example, different road segments may simply be identified as “red road” or “blue road” type segments, with all “red road” segments being priced at X cents per vehicle mile.

thinking about bypassing the system... they're way ahead of you. Here is one of the bullets
Develop compliance features
It is important to the integrity of the study that the in-vehicle meter be operational at all times, and reasonably tamper proof. This can be achieved by building in connections to the vehicle ignition circuit so that failure to receive a moving GPS signal after some default period of vehicle operation indicates attempts to defeat the GPS antenna. In addition, the software can be programmed to detect impossible “leaps” between distant waypoints. Such features, coupled with embargoing of access to the travel budget for non-compliant participants should encourage compliance. Power management for the in-vehicle-units should also be addressed as a related element.

in addition, just like with red light cameras and photo radar, what is to prevent the systems from automatically mailing you a ticket every time you go over the speed limit?
This is something that we really have to take seriously and tell the government to stick to their old way of collecting highway taxes and that we will not have our vehicles tracked.
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Ready for higher credit card payments?

New minimum requirements are in effect ABC News January 3, 2006

Credit card issuers are starting to implement the January 2003 guidelines issued by the Federal Reserve requiring minimum credit card payments to increase from 2% to at least 4% each month.

the new rules are meant to get people to pay down their debt faster, but in the short-term many who get by paying just the minimum are concerned about how they'll pay more.

it just gives me a really warm and fuzzy feeling inside that the government who cannot manage its own debt is so concerned about mine and wanting to help me pay mine down by forcing me to make higher payments.

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Almost every day the news you hear where a major company has either closed or has or is planning to lay off thousands of people, about new or increases in taxes and fees, and the federal government [Alan Greenspan & President Bush] telling us that the economy is improving and getting stronger.
This reminds me of the children's story about the Emperor that wore no clothes.

Drive-by Shooting in Eugene


Man killed in drive-by shooting

EUGENE, Ore. - The Lane County sheriff's office is investigating what they believe is a fatal drive-by shooting in the River Road area in Eugene.

Sheriffs deputies found the body of 32-year-old Paul Michael Schpankyn in the front yard of a home in the 1100 block of Horn Lane.

A witness told deputies shots were fired from the passenger side of a car heading westbound. I guess that our little town is growing up :-(

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The CDC May Have To Step In regarding Illegal Immigration

"Certain diseases that we thought we had vanquished years ago are coming back, and other diseases that we've never seen or rarely seen in America, because they've always been the diseases of poverty and the third world, are coming in now," said Madeleine Pelner Cosman, author of a report in the spring issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons [link] from a June 9 article from WorldNetDaily.

(Expanding on a story from Daniel's political musings)
Cosman is particularly concerned with increases in multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis, chagas disease, dengue fever, polio, hepatitis A, B, and C, she told Lou Dobbs on CNN June 9th.

Cosman said 84 hospitals in California have been forced to close because of the high cost of treating illegal aliens with only 50 percent of all treatments reimbursed by government.

"We have a terrible, absolutely vicious, law called EMTALA: the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, which is really the culprit that requires every emergency room, and every physician of an emergency room, to treat illegal aliens for free," she said.

in a related article from WorldNetDaily

Leprosy, [caused by bacteria or germs called Mycobacterium leprae. It is an infection that affects the skin and the nerves of the hands and feet and can also cause problems in the eyes and nose] is a contagious skin disease in is now making its mark in the United States

Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz., told the Business Journal of Phoenix. "For example, in 40 years, only 900 persons were afflicted by leprosy in the U.S.; in the past three years, more than 7,000 cases have been presented."
96 cases reported 2002, 763, 917 cases detected worldwide source = CDC
"While legal immigrants must undergo health screening prior to entering the U.S., illegal immigrants far more likely to be carrying contagious diseases are crawling under that safeguard and going undetected until they infect extraordinary numbers of American residents."