Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Microsoft expected to cut jobs as profit weakens

Microsoft Corp is expected to post a quarterly profit that misses its own target and announce thousands of job cuts this week as the global economic slump hurts even the technology industry's biggest players.{read more}

The economy is like the ecosystem. remove one part of it which may seem totally inconsequential at the time, however has a devastating cascading effect.

for example...

Price of fuel escalated so high, that people had to decide to forgo other necessities in order to get to work and back. (Are you paying attention all you "lets get you out of your car nuts?")

Governments continue to raise even more taxes because of dwindling revenue streams.

People forced to buy less and less to try to make ends meet.

Businesses start to lay off employees and close their doors to do slumping sales.

More people out of work, means less sales, which means more closures.

People start losing their homes.

Crime escalates.

With all this devastation, what is one of our legislators working on?
banning cell phone use without a hands-free device while driving; regulating pharmaceutical gifts; stopping smokeless tobacco handouts; and lowering the mandatory school age from seven to six.{Portland Tribune}

You know it just gets me right there… Oh wait, I think that's heartburn.

The department of corrections would like to build another jail - why?

The Register Guard

The department of corrections would like to bulldoze 90 acres near junction city and make way for a new prison and mental hospital.

The project which is expected to begin this spring, will remove 85,000 cubic yards of wetland and replace them by more than 1.13 1,000,000 yards of fill.

The U.S. Army core of engineers is accepting comments from the public on the permit application through February 6. A public hearing may be held in the future however is not currently scheduled.

gee, another new prison…
I wonder if they've also included money to run it in their budget unlike the Wapato jail facility which could not afford to open its doors five years after was built.

Intel to close five factories

The Oregonian

The chip maker Intel, plans to close five factories worldwide this year including hillsboro's Fab 20 which opened 12 years ago eliminating 1000 jobs.
"The effect of the economic downturn on our business has been much more severe than we anticipated even a few months ago," said Intel Oregon spokesman Bill MacKenzie.

Intel said that it will hold Fab 20 in "reserve" for possible retrofitting and reopening sometime in the future.

what I think is kind of interesting is this headline from the June 16, 1999 archives…

Intel bows to growth concerns in Oregon {CNET news}
"But at least one community, Washington County, Oregon, wants to control the development and traffic big businesses can bring while supporting the benefits Silicon Valley transplants can provide...Tonight the Washington County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a $200 million tax-break package for Intel. The chipmaker, in return, has agreed to pay a fine of $1,000 for every manufacturing worker it brings in over a cap of 5,000."

Oregon is just getting weird, and now, it's time to pay the piper for its stupidity.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Oregon reaches new 23 year unemployment high

Oregon Live

Oregon seasonally adjusted unemployment rate hit a 23 year high of 9% in December breaking a previous record of 9.1% in April of 1995.

This could boost Oregon's unemployment rate from being the fifth worst in the nation to the third worst in the nation according to democrats in the Oregon senate.

"We have good reason to believe that federal dollars are on the way that will increase our capacity to help out-of-work Oregonians," said Sen. Diane Rosenbaum of Portland. She chairs the Senate Commerce and Workforce Development Committee.

let's keep those talks about raising taxes coming governor!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Oregon once again in the top five list - unemployment.

bureau of labor statistics

Robins Commentary -

Being a lifelong Oregonian, one of the things that we've always been proud of was being "first" or a leader. While it appears that we're becoming a leader in something else that I'm not proud of, Oregon's 8.1% unemployment. The top five in the nation.

How did we get there? I have a theory…

"See no evil - hear no evil - speak no evil" when it comes to the needs of the people of Oregon.

The news is full of items like, " we're losing tax revenue for this project or that project and therefore we need to raise more taxes."

Apparently they think that being an Oregonian means that we are all actually very wealthy with huge amounts of reserve cash that we're just hoarding from the government. How selfish of us! I mean really.

Our elected " representatives" that "we" voted into office to represent our best interests still seen in my opinion to be failing us. And we allow it!

I cite a recent example when the lane county commissioners decided that our vote was an inconvenience to them when they decided to enact the gas tax that the voters had voted down. They were very surprised when a large number of people got together and said, "no more!"

And that's what it's gonna take to get the message through otherwise, pet projects like Ted "tax and gouge me" Kulongoski's VARIABLE PER MILE TAX as an example will become a reality along with toll bridges, emissions taxes, CARBON TAXES and anything else their wild imagination can come up with to get money from us. Trust me it won't stop.

I don't know what little world that some of these representatives and our governor live in, currently not the real world, but apparently it takes sending more messages like the one we did in Lane County.

It is a fact that in economic down times, tax cuts help the economy (and government income) more than tax increases.

In short, it's time to wake up and smell the coffee and put some money back into the consumer's pockets or we will be heading for repeat of the great depression.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Two well known actors die

Ricardo Montalban a known for his role in "fantasy island" and "Khan Noonien Singh" in both a 1967 star trek episode and in star trek two, "the wrath of Khan" just to name a few, died Wednesday morning at his Los Angeles home with complications related to age. He was 88.

BBC News
Patrick McGoohan who was best known for his role as "The Prisoner" died in Los Angeles after a short illness. He was 80.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bilingual language to be taught at El Camino del Rio elementary school in Eugene

The Register Guard--

On Wednesday, the Eugene school board cleared the way for ordering new books and training its staff at El Camino del Rio or to the rest of us known as River Road elementary school in Eugene.

The program would effect all three kindergarten classes and two of the three 1st grade classes. The immersion program which has been a long time coming according to Principal Paco Furlan, will offer instructions in both languages [English and Spanish] with core subjects. Half the day being taught in Spanish and the other have being taught in English.

The goal according to Furlan, is to roll out one more grade level at a time in subsequent years until the program is statewide.

I have several problems with this… First in being, that English is the primary language still in the United States and if it wasn't for the huge influx of the illegal aliens primarily Spanish speaking, this would not even be an issue.

Secondly, if I wanted my child to learn a second language… (which I have no problems with) I want it to be a language of my or my child's choice.

Thirdly, is this another sign of things to come? I mean, the State Of Oregon already pays 5% more if you speak Spanish and they do not to my knowledge at least pay anymore if you are bilingual in Vietnamese, Japanese, etc.

So where does it end? How many jobs have you been qualified for in Oregon but are unable to obtain because you do not speak Spanish? I'm seeing more and more with no signs of it slowing down.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Should cars have automatic speed limiters?

BBC News

For the last couple years, the State of Oregon has been researching a new method of collecting road taxes by adding a GPS device to your car to track the miles traveled between fill ups and thereby making the tax payable at the pump.

Well, in addition to tracking your mileage, what is the next step for vehicle GPS Systems?

How about an automated speed limiter preventing you from exceeding the posted speed limit?

They're working on it!

Research on this type of car is currently being done overseas, and according to new report, a speed limiting devise could help save lives, cut carbon emissions[and reduce your carbon tax]. The System Works by comparing the current GPS location of a vehicle with an onboard map of the area. If the system determines that the current speed of the car is in excess of the posted speed limit, the system will override drivers control and reduce the throttle and apply brakes if necessary. The operator or driver of the car does have the option [currently] to override the system if necessary.

Speed limit in devices are nothing new and are becoming more common in commercial vehicles.
in my opinion, having a system that takes away control from the driver is dangerous. For example, how many times during a normal road trip do you have to speed up to avoid a collision? The other issue, is freedom and control.

As technology advances… How much "control" how we're going to give up for the illusion of safety?

Friday, January 02, 2009

Kulongoski [and Congress ] trying to pursue "per mile" GPS gas tax

Democrat Herald

In an effort to make up for vehicles getting better gas mileage and for the lack of income (tax) that they produce, Kulongoski has filed for the 2009 legislative session a plan that he recommends as "a path to transition away from the gas tax as the central funding source for transportation."

What the governor is referring to is the Office of Innovative Partnerships and Alternative Funding "Road User Fee Task Force" or RUFTF {link}, a system which would be installed in every vehicle to replace the current gas tax system.

The GPS-based system would basically track miles driven within the state of Oregon. The per mile tax rate would be based on the location, time of day and congestion. The tax itself would be paid at the time of fill-up.

Vehicles that are not equipped with the GPS device would pay a penalty of two cents per gallon under Kulongoski proposal.

as you recall, I have been against this project from its beginning. Not only will it cost drivers more in the long run as per the current system of paying per gallon, this system is also a variable tax system. Additionally, since we seem to be in cooperation with Washington and California, there is nothing that says that the system will only be active in Oregon.

For more information on the project and its intricate details... please refer to the following link {link}

Follow-up article…

Oregon is among a growing number of states exploring ways to tax drivers based on the distance they drive instead of how much gas they use, even going so far as to install GPS monitoring devices in 300 vehicles... Congress is talking about it, too. A congressional commission has envisioned a system similar to the prototype Oregon tested in 2006-07.
{Edmonton Sun}

Though the GPS devices did not track the cars’ locations in great detail, they could determine when a driver had left certain zones, such as the state of Oregon. They also kept track of the time the driving was done, so a premium could be charged for rush-hour mileage.{the Argus Observer}


and lets not forget "Toll Roads too"