Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hey guess what... Another Fee to drive your car

The Oregonian

A proposal by Gov. Ted "Tax-and-Gouge-me" to raise $3oo million a year for high-ways, bridge and mass transit would come from a mix of higher vehicle fees, registration and titles fees and a higher state gas tax.

The proposal would also include an additional Portland fee, which approved would allow a set of separate fees for cars owned by Portland residents and charge then based on how many miles they drive.
"This doesn't require a program. It permits a program," said David Barenberg, lobbyist for the city of Portland. "It's not like there's a plan immediately to go out and do it."

Details on how much would be charged had yet to be determined.

Drivers could also be charged extra for driving during peak periods.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Government: answer to the economy... start a commission

The New York Times --

Two amendments, both which would create a special commission to dive into the roots of the economic collapse and create a select committee to investigate the causes of the nation's financial crisis.
“Today’s vote by the Senate is major progress on my effort to get to the bottom of this financial crisis. While I also support an outside commission, and have previously introduced legislation to establish such a commission, I believe the Senate has an important oversight responsibility that cannot be delegated. That’s why we need a select Senate committee to investigate this financial crisis and make sure it never happens again.” said Senator Dorgan.

Senator Comrade commented, "... we must hold those responsible for this calamity to account..."

Conrad said that it would be a 10 member panel, modeled after the 9/11 commission.
“The bottom line is I think everybody wants to get to the bottom of why this happened,” Representative Steny Hoyersaid. “What were the failures of regulation? Was it regulatory negligence? Was it regulations were not sufficient? Were they not applied to some of the financial activities outside of the banking and insurance industries?

where do I start...How about the way that we jacked around the interest rates for fears of inflation, making it more expensive for businesses to expand and hire more people, interest rates on credit cards which are based on the prime rate mostly, etc.?
How about not capping the prices on fuel when they skyrocketed out of control?
How about continually raising taxes?
uncontrolled spending?
And is basically being out of touch.

Former Governor Jesse Ventura of Minnesota had a novel idea...
“By going to a national sales tax,[and eliminating the current federal income tax] you would get the gross of your check, and you would decide what you're taxed on by what you bought. Now, what else does that do? It gets everyone - drug dealers, illegal aliens, tourists. Everyone would pay to the economy. And what it also does - it puts the government then on a direct budget with the economy. If the economy struggles, so would government. So it would be in government's best interest then to keep the economy good. Right now the government doesn't suffer, private citizens do if the economy goes bad.
{Source = Minnesota public radio August 24, 1998}

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The saga continues...

Press release -- Senator Ted Ferrioli
Representative Bruce Hanna

Democratic leaders have terminated several bills that would have created tens of thousands of jobs and put dollars back into the economy, however, they missed the deadline for the 2009 session.
“As thousands of Oregonians lose their jobs, Democratic leaders have given pink-slips to bills that would have created jobs, empowered small businesses, and given working families greater relief during this economic recession,” said Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day). “Oregon’s future is at stake, yet Democratic leaders decided to spend more time on bills to increase regulations on businesses and raise taxes on the Oregonians fortunate enough to still have jobs.”

Here are some examples of some of the job creation bills...
“SB 704: Reduce income tax withholding tables by 4.2% to immediately put $100 million back into Oregonian’s paychecks and create 2,500 jobs, without costing government a penny.

HB 3095: Implement the Main Street Incentive Program to encourage home and business owners to engage in capital improvement projects, creating 6,000 new jobs.

SJR 24: Direct state agencies to immediately facilitate implementation of the Western Oregon Plan Revisions, which would create 15,000 new jobs.

HB 3469: Establish a personal income tax credit of $500 per dependent child, and reduce personal income tax rates for low income Oregonians by modifying income tax brackets, which would create over 19,000 jobs.

"it's frustrating that this legislature has spent more time debating puppy mills and snack machines and teachers lounge is then bills to create jobs," said House representative leader Bruce Hanna.

use a stimulus package to stimulate the economy and create jobs? what a novel idea!

Did you notice the pattern in the above bills? Most of them refer to putting money back in the hands of the people. When people have more money... they spend more, which under a system of supply and demand, creates jobs, and it has this unusual side effect of increasing the tax-based revenue.

However, sadly, that's not the way things work in real life.

We have to focus more on building more bike bridges, overpriced transportation systems, concerned about using a cell phone in your car has a primary offense or smoking in your car with your kid...

But hey, Oregon always wanted to be number one... move aside Michigan.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Oregon is proud to be the worst unemployment in the nation...
because Oregon is growing too fast

The Portland Tribune--

"It wasn't supposed to happen again." Referring that Oregon isn't supposed to be the second highest unemployment in the nation at 12.1% [Lane County 13.2%] "we are supposed to have on the highest among large US cities."

Elected and business leaders after the 1980 recession decided that the timber industry in Oregon was to vulnerable [especially with the spotted owl] to economic trends to be such a major employer. [like schools]

As a result, Oregon decided to diversify its business providing tax breaks and other incentives to attract high-tech companies.
When school districts began cutting days, the state became a national laughingstock, prompting leaders to once again promise to diversify the economy. Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski has been especially aggressive at recruiting renewable energy companies, such as Solar World, which has also moved into Washington County.

Art Ayre, state employment economist argues that the high unemployment rate is partly the result of Oregon being the third fastest growing workforce in the nation over the past year, in part because many people would stop looking for jobs during the past decade are now looking for work again.
"This combination leads to a high unemployment rate," said Ayre.

According to press aide Anna Richter Taylor, Governor Ted tax-and-gouge-me is presenting a balanced economic agenda. Kulongoski believes that renewable energy companies represents a good opportunity for the state.

In a related story...

Portland Business Journal --

Oregon Governor Ted tax-and-gouge-me would like federal funds for charging stations for electric cars around the state. The governor is considering the $300 million in competitive grants available through the Clean Cities Program, which is aimed at helping states with the acquisition of low emission vehicles and infrastructure. 30 grants will be awarded and they will either require a 50% match in funding by the public sector or private investment.
Collectively, state agencies, local governments and private businesses need to send a clear message that Oregon is committed to establishing and growing the electric vehicle market ,”Kulongoski said. [we are??? Nobody asked me... how about you?] “Securing these dollars means Oregon will be even more attractive to the car makers that have visited Oregon to market their electric vehicles, one of which is looking to manufacture here.
Norwegian auto-maker Think is considering Oregon among seven U.S. sites to build a plug-in electric auto called the Think city.”

The company is considering the location in the formally occupied Daimler Trucks North America Freightliner location in Portland, who you'll recall was asked to leave Oregon.

Green... Green... Green... Green can represent many things, money which is something of Oregon is lacking, and gangrene which can happen when people have their heads up their ...!

In this economy... and I mean let's be honest folks, sure electric cars will be great... hybrids are wonderful... however, I have no plans to buy any of them in the near future.

If for no other reason, I don't buy a car every three years. Electric cars and hybrids, both require the use of expensive batteries. Even though battery technology is getting better, battery still fail over time, and these batteries are very expensive to replace.

Another point to consider... remember when they first started adding computers to cars and how hard it was to find a mechanic that could actually work on your car?

So I guess my point is... adding charging stations throughout the state is similar to the chicken and the egg scenario.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Springfield Gateway Mall files for Chapter 11 protection

The Register Guard

Chicago-based General Growth Properties which is the nation's second-largest shopping mall company, to include The Springfield Gateway Mall, Pioneer Place in Portland, Bailey Hills Village in West Eugene, is seeking Chapter 11 protection from its creditors across the country for 158 of its 200 shopping centers that it owns.

The Springfield Gateway Mall, which opened in 1990 and houses about 80 stores is one of those 158 malls seeking Chapter 11 protection.
“While we have worked tirelessly in the past several months to address our maturing debts, the collapse of the credit markets has made it impossible for us to refinance maturing debt outside of Chapter 11,” Chief Executive Adam Metz said in a statement.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea Party - I'll bet they thought it was cute

The Oregonian

The Salem tea party, an estimated 3200 people turned out for the event to protest everything from increased taxes to illegal aliens with signs and guest speakers, to include Sen. Jason Atkinson, who also announced that he would be running for governor again pointed out at the rally that they [government] wanted to tax his well water.
Democrats have proposed tax increases on beer and cigarettes, as well as higher fees on drivers and an increase in the $10 minimum tax paid by corporations. But House Majority Leader Mary Nolan, D-Portland, said most Oregonians realize they need to pay for decent schools, good roads and health services.

Some people at the rally suggested that law makers be required to take drug tests.
[maybe, I would think that you would have to be on drugs to suggest a tax increase in a recession.]
"I'm tired of the Republicans and the Democrats spending away our country and trashing it, trying to turn it into a socialist country," said Rob Farrell, and out of work truck driver.

However as I have been saying for a long time, the government does not live in the same world as the rest of us, and feels that we are all wealthy and selfish with our money, and it is their sole job to find ways to take it from us.

Here's an idea, if you want to keep people in their homes, create jobs and INCREASE TAX REVENUE, start by lowering taxes and put the money back in to circulation! DUH!

however do they [the government] get it? yeah, they get it, but don't care.
they feel that this was just a one day event of people letting off steam and things will go back to normal and we the people will crawl back in to our little [obedient] routines.

just another day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Congratulations,we made it!
Oregon is #1

Were #1... (until Michigan checks in) in unemployment at 12.1%

Robin's Commentary --

I would like to send out congratulations to Governor Ted tax-and-gouge-me Kulongoski, the Oregon Legislature's, and the local governments for making us what we are today...broke!

I can rest comfortably in the fact that with the addition of new bike bridges and bike lanes thanks to the stimulus package, that I will have somewhere to ride my bicycle for when I can no longer afford gasoline for my car.

The governor's dream of a "greener Oregon" is becoming a reality as more and more major corporations go out of business. Yep, don't have to worry about those evil corporations anymore.

And I take comfort in knowing that as we strive through this recession that our leaders are working vigorously to solve our economic problems.

Working hard at making it a crime to use your cell phone while driving, smoking in your car with children on board and of course those nasty polluters of cigarette butts.

However, they're also working vigorously in finding more creative ways to stimulate [their own] economy in this economic downturn. With wondrous ideas such as LTD increasing payroll taxes, increased garbage fees to fund the roads, increased license and registration fees, proposed toll bridges and per mile tax only to name a few of the items that are intended to stimulate our economy.

With the addition of the federal stimulus money which is meant to help "stimulate" the economy, I take comfort in knowing that this money will be spent wisely on things like art, bike bridges, repaving train depot parking lots, and making money available for in-state tuition for illegal aliens.

Charging a neighborhood enormous amounts of money to repair their street. Why not, they can afford it.

So how silly of me to think that money should go for more practical things like, oh I don't know... police, road repair, subsidize tax revenues to give businesses a break so they can stay in business... nope! Wouldn't want to do any of that.

Okay, on a serious note...

Obviously what our leaders are doing [if anything] is not working. There are only concerned about their little pet projects and you know what, we... yes we the people ALLOWED that to happen.

The government feels the only solution to anything is to raise taxes.

While the recession has been coming for years, unfortunately, it took the enormously high fuel prices to be the catalyst for the downturn in the economy. People had to start making the decision of whether to fill their tanks or eat.

Money became scarce, people stopped buying as much as they used to... businesses started losing income and laid-off employees in order to cut back expenses, which in turn created a spiral down slide of more people out of work... more people not spending money... more businesses closing due to lack of business... and so on and so.

And this is just no minor issue... some of these businesses are major corporations that have been around for decades.

When they close... they are NEVER coming back.

There will be no new jobs, no tax revenue, no incentives for other businesses to open because the "anchor business" no longer exists.

I must say, I'm very ashamed of my state right now, and I get very furious when I see the "head in the sand, see no evil hear no evil" approach from our leaders.

[Robin getting down from her soapbox now]

Update: Daniel has provide an excellent list of tax increases, I urge you to check it out. {here}

Saturday, April 11, 2009

If an employer hire someone that is illegal,
should that be grounds for holding an employer harmless if the employee gets hurt?

TC Palm --

Victor Leon, 26, who came to United States seven years ago was paralyzed three years ago when he fell from a three-story building in Palm city and is suing Jupiter-based Altec Roofing for Worker's Compensation benefits to help pay his $500,000 medical bill.

Victor and his brother Ivan are both illegal aliens which places Victor in a legal debate over what rights if any do illegal workers have that they are injured on the job.
"It's sort of a legal limbo," said Chad Hastings, Leon's attorney. "He's in a place where basically the American government is saying, 'Go die somewhere.' "

a civil court judge ruled Altec did not owe Leon anything for negligence, citing a precedent case that gives an employer legal immunity when they provide workers compensation, however, Leon was denied workers compensation due to his illegal status.
Companies shouldn't be hiring illegal immigrants in the first place, said former state Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Port St. Lucie. But even if the employer knew the worker was illegal, Harrell said that doesn't entitle an injured worker — already breaking the law — to benefits."
"I don't think we should give any rights to illegals to start with," said Harrell, who made stopping illegal immigration her top issue when she campaigned for U.S. House District 16. "You've got all these contractors out of work. We should be hiring legal workers, not illegal ones. These contractors could avoid all these sticky lawsuits."

Since the accident, Leon has been unable to work and relies on whatever help the people in Indian town may have to offer.
"He wasn't the only one working illegally," said Yolanda Whitehead, 30, who helped Leon make calls to social service agencies. "Somebody needs to give him somewhere to stay and feed him ... and some treatment because he needs help."

"illegal people can't have no rights, man, and I don't know why," Leon said. "I mean, were just humans."

I think it's an interesting question myself...
if an employer is breaking the law by hiring an illegal alien, and chances are they're not paying Worker's Compensation on that worker, and that worker gets injured, does the employer get off scot free?

I don't think so!

In fact, not only should the employer be responsible for the worker's injuries, that employer should also face the legal consequences in hiring the illegal alien in the first place.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

I don't normally post a comment made on other blogs...

Robin's Commentary

Normally I don't post comments on this blog made on other blogs, however I thought I would share a response to a post on "Daniel's political musings"

If I disagree with you it's because you are wrong
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Obama: laws don't matter
Obama to Push Immigration Bill Despite the Risks
While acknowledging that the recession makes the political battle more difficult, President Obama plans to begin addressing the country’s immigration system this year, including looking for a path for illegal immigrants to become legal, a senior administration official said on Wednesday.

He said [during the campaign[ that comprehensive immigration legislation, including a plan to make legal status possible for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, would be a priority in his first year in office. Latino voters turned out strongly for Mr. Obama in the election.

Daniels response:
The president wants to give mass pardons to people who:
1. broke our immigration laws
2. broke our labor laws
3. broke our tax laws
4. broke our perjury laws
5. and did I mention that by "broke" I mean "are continuing to break up until the day they get this mass pardon."

There were some really good comments on Daniel's blog and I wanted to share my response..

stop the suffering. by that I will use an example of a friend of mine whose daughter has a teenage friend that was brought here when she was very young by her parents from Mexico.

Both parents are illegal and of course that makes her illegal.

she is very frightened of being deported to a country that she does not know and very worried about her future because of her legal status.

By allowing illegals to come here and not enforcing the laws is the reason that children like her are forced to suffer the consequences of their parents irresponsibility.

The argument about "breaking up the family's" by deporting a family member would not even be an issue if we enforce the laws already on the books, instead, we look the other way for cheap labor and the PC crowd.

In addition to Daniels point, we are teaching our children that breaking the law is okay if enough people don't follow the laws.

Like Kaelri's example about seat belts. I use them, don't like them. a lot of people don't like them, so why should we use them.

It's the LAW!


Big deal!

Millions of people cross our boarder and now there are too many to enforce the law.

so using that logic, lets all just stop using seatbelts.

in fact, lets fire our law makers.

if were not going to follow and enforce the laws, then why would we need to pay people to make laws.

then in that case, look at all the money we can save by not having a court and jail system.

don't need them. laws don't mean anything.

and so on, and so on...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

LCC eager to spend $8 million from stimulus package--
[but have they learned how to manage their budget?]

Register guard--

At Lane Community College, facilities director Willis and his staff have been working in overdrive mode getting ready to set loose $8 million worth of infrastructure and deferred maintenance work.

However, the state wants the stimulus project started by the end of the month,The college has engineering and architectural firms busily preparing drawings and packages on 15 different projects, and expects to open bidding this week. The stimulus money is expected to put nearly 250 people to work on projects that will take a little bit more than one year to complete.
“We know a lot of people in the local community are hurting and they need a job, and we want to be part of the solution,” Willis said. “It’s pretty exciting to know you’re doing something so positive for the local community.”

Willis said that 85% of the work will be contracted out and the remainder will be done by LCC workers. This translates to about 200 private-sector jobs and maybe 40 staff jobs. Those hired by the College are likely to be kept on thanks to the $83 million bond measure that voters approved in November.
“You can’t imagine the smiles of these folks when they get these kinds of opportunities in the current economic climate,” he said. “We’re so excited that we’re able to really make a positive difference in helping people through this difficult time.”

Listed on some of the projects are changing out old lighting with LED lights, installing a new fire system, a new alarm system that will include a voice messaging system that can alert people to the different types of emergencies, adding a solar thermal system to at least one building to pre-heat water.

But with all that good news, LCC President Mary Spilde said the college may still have to cut between 4 million and $8 million from next year's budget and possibly more if the state's economy worsens.
.”We’re certainly not complaining about that,” Spilde said of the construction funding. “But it is ironic that while we’re doing that we have this huge struggle on the operating side of the budget.”

long-time readers to this blog know exactly how I feel about LCC based on my three year, $22,000 experience with them. When asked which college I would recommend going to for an education in the computer and information industry, without hesitation my responses is ITT.

But without regurgitating my experiences, here's a suggestion for LCC if they would really like to "help stimulate the economy in Lane County."

Are you paying attention Mary Spilde?

ITT in Portland has a program that allows graduates to take refresher courses in their same field at no cost to the student. If LCC would offer a similar program, either at no cost or low-cost, then students who graduated from the college and would like to improve their skills in the area of their degree, [especially in the technology field where you have to stay current with technology] would greatly increase the chances of those graduates getting work.

and in my case... would feel like I made a good investment.

Monday, April 06, 2009

"... the public hasn't come to grips yet with the financial havoc still to come if the recession digs even deeper"

The Oregonian

Where's Ted?

That is some of the sharp criticism from Democrats as well as Republicans in the height of the recession. The feeling is that Kulongoski is hiding when he should actually be out on the stump sharing his plans on how he intends to lead the state through a recession that has forced thousands out of their jobs and left holes in the state budget.

"He's working on it." The governor told the Oregonian, indicating that he's waiting for the right time to put the spotlight on his proposals, which could include revotes on such game-changing initiatives as Measure 5, the property tax limit voters approved in 1990 and then again in 1997, and Measure 11, which set stiff minimum prison terms for violent felons.
"This is not a lack of will on my part to want to take it on," Kulongoski said. But the public hasn't come to grips yet with the financial havoc still to come if the recession digs even deeper," he said.

" Not so long ago, Kulongoski took a more sanguine approach to the state's finances, believing that the economy would continue to grow fast enough to keep pace with the state's needs and that only a few tweaks of the tax code were necessary."

Ted tax-and-gouge-me Kulongoski... what more can I say?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Recession? What recession

The Olympian

Olympia's new $35.6 million City Hall would like to add 10 bronze sculptures which is meant to represent speaking bubbles like those used in comic strips. The "bubbles" which then about 2 feet tall would cost $180,000.

The city requires that 1% of the cost of major construction projects be dedicated for public art. For the new City Hall, the city has to spend $255,000 on art.

art is nice... so would a swimming pool in my backyard. But none of my budget is going to go for either one of these items.
Although this is a news item for Washington state, I thought it was just another example of how government priorities seem to be out of place.

I realize that we do not wish to make our city look like a "Borg ship" from Star Trek, I mean pretty is nice... but how many people could $200,000 hire,
or road repair, etc.?
however, if the city is forced to spend 1% on art, then at least that art should be functional.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

It's my money and I want it now!

Statesman Journal April 4, 2009 -- Portland Tribune October 15, 2008

The State of Oregon has settled a suit with truck manufacturer Freightliner after a German truck manufacturer, MAN AG was awarded more than $850 million by a 12 man jury. In addition Freightliner pay a pre-existing judgment, the jury awarded additional punitive damages of 350 million, including $70 million in damages payable by Freightliner LLC and $280 million payable by DaimlerChrysler North America holding group.

For the past two years, the state of Oregon has continued to pursue a $210 million legal claim against Freightliner's parent company, the Daimler trucks North America despite concerns that the suit may force a manufacturer out of town. [Which is exactly what happened]
under Oregon law, the state is ENTITLED to 60% of punitive damage awards to help crime victims. Before this day could collect the money, however, Freightliner settled the case. Part of the settlement puts aside the punitive damages. {Portland Tribune}
Freightliner General Counsel and Secretary Paul Hurd expressed that "they are deeply disappointed that Oregon would sue us while other states are courting us... Oregon poisoned the well with the suit. They poured iodine in the water." Hurd also stated that "the state is not entitled to any money because no punitive damages were ever paid... they were dismissed in the settlement."

Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers argued in court that the state did not agree to the settlement. Freightliner appealed the state's challenge to the Oregon Supreme Court which upheld the decision.

In the settlement, the state of Oregon will be getting $150,000 for a crime victims fund and a promise of $300,000 if the company moves its truck headquarters from Portland.

The Oregonian
In a somewhat unrelated story, a Norwegian car manufacturer is considering Oregon for a electric-car manufacturing plant which may employ possibly 900 workers. The site that the makers of electric cars have been examining, is the former Freightliner plant.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

What would you do if this happened to you?

The Register Guard

Residents facing Elmira Road and Maple Street in West Eugene may be on the hook to pay approximately $1.2 million in road repair.

The project would cost the city $3.29 million and would require more than 120 property owners who live along those roads to pay a portion of that amount. The project is scheduled to move ahead unless objections are filed by property owners whose ACCUMULATED ASSETS are more than 50% of the $1.2 million portion, in which case it would require a super majority vote of the city counselors (six of the eight) to override the property owner's objections and perceived with the project.

The vote is scheduled to take place on April 13.

if every property owner had to pay for the streets in this manner, no street to be built. I guess I was under the misconception that "road taxes" were supposed to pay for such improvements.

Another issue would be if it happened to the street that I'm on, and if I happen to pay a large amount of money for road repair directly out of my pocket, does that also mean that I own part of the road and can charge of toll for access?

Would I also be entitled to deduct the expense of a new road off my taxes?

And I guess more importantly, the LAST thing that someone needs to be hit with in this economy, is a large bill for road repair. If forced with a similar situation, I would vote to let the road fall apart.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Doctor... I need to renew my prescription for CIGARETTES?

Statesman Journal

Portland Rep. Mitch Greenlick as an idea... since some cigarettes contain nicotine which is and addictive drug,then we should do with cigarettes as we did with over-the-counter drugs to control the use of pseudoephedrine, make them available by prescription only.
"I think this would essentially wipe out smoking in its existing form," Greenlick said. "We need to stop cigarettes at the source." [remember Prohibition?]

Greenlick's proposal is approved, it would include another bill that would increase EH a procession and sale of tobacco from 18 to 21.

Oh, and the federal tobacco taxes that the jump $.60.
"How does he intend to replace all of the tobacco dollars that the legislators have allocated to all kinds of programs throughout the state?" asked Mark Nelson, a tobacco lobbyist. "I assume there's some sort of revenue replacement plan as well."
Greenlick's response: It's unconscionable to raise money from smoking, "and I think we need to give it up."

Greenlick feels that is something that we should discuss, "we want to use this as a revenue vehicle, or do we want to suspend smoking for the health of Oregonians?"

the economies in the toilet and this is what their working on? How nutty is this?

Also Oregon's ban on over-the-counter drugs is something I would not exactly call a success. This small amount of illegal drugs that was created from over-the-counter pseudoephedrine, is nothing compared to the inflow of illegal drugs from over the border. Additionally, by restricting the sale of some of the formerly over-the-counter medications in Oregon has made some people like myself who is an allergy sufferer really suffer due to the lack of availability of some drugs for example Bronkaid.

Oregon Legislature should be focusing on our economic situation in Oregon and find ways of bringing businesses back and encouraging growth versus their pet projects of more bike paths and bike bridges instead of revising a form of probation which didn't work the first time it was tried.