Monday, June 29, 2009

'Infomercial King' Billy Mays Found Dead in Home

Fox News--

Mays, 50, was found unresponsive by his wife inside his Tampa, Fla., home at 7:45 a.m. on Sunday, according to the Tampa Police Department.

Police said there were no signs of forced entry to Mays' residence and foul play is not suspected. Authorities said an autopsy should be complete by Monday afternoon.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

This will article doesn't particularly pertaining to Oregon, however, it could.

The Montana news station

Bozeman Montana city jobs require you to turn over your username and password of any social online sites that you belong to as part cities background check when applying for work with the city.

The requirement requires the applicant to sign a waiver statement giving the city permission to conduct an investigation in their background.

The issue at hand is the following...
"Please list any and all, current personal or business websites, web pages or memberships on any Internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo,, MySpace, etc.," the City form states. There are then three lines where applicants can list the Web sites, their user names and log-in information and their passwords."

The city claims that the positions ranging from fire and police all away down to lifeguards requires people of high integrity for those positions.

"You know, I can understand that concern. One thing that's important for folks to understand about what we look for is none of the things that the federal constitution lists as protected things, we don't use those. We're not putting out this broad brush stroke of trying to find out all kinds of information about the person that we're not able to use or shouldn't use in the hiring process," said city attorney Greg Sullivan.

when asked why the city doesn't just create a face book account so they can view the applicant profile, Sullivan said that city officials could explore that option, however this would limit the city to only view the page of the applicant. No one is ever removed his or her name for consideration for a job due to the request, Sullivan continued.

this is one trend that needs to be stopped before it becomes commonplace. I don't care what the job is... my username and password is something I do not share at all.

I would also think that Bozeman would consider some of the following by this request...
#1 it would expose the city to liability of anything that happens in those accounts. Of course, they might argue that since the applicant has given consent to their username and password,that the city was given permission to do whatever they wish to do within someone's account.

#2 the city's argument is that they hire "the highest moral character", I think I would consider this... if somebody does not have an issue of giving over their own personal usernames and passwords, what makes you think that they would not turn over any sensitive city usernames and passwords.

Especially if applying for another job that has the same requirement.

Where is the ACLU on this one?

Friday, June 26, 2009

When does yes mean no and no mean yes?

E-Mail from Lars Larson--

When does yes mean no and no mean yes? The Oregon legislature.

Where democrats plan to pass taxes they know full well won’t pass muster with voters. So they’re pulling a last minute sneaky snakey move. Gut and stuff. That’s where you take one bill…gut everything and stuff in something brand new. Hurry it out of committee. It’s house bill 2414. When voters refer this billion dollar tax hike to the ballot it must now include “overturns legislation” in the ballot title. And the voters won’t be overturning any legislation… because legislation has no legal standing in Oregon if it has been referred to the ballot...and the voters have their say That ought to confuse some. And the law says it must include the phrase “a yes vote rejects legislation that”…and a second statement must include “a no vote approves legislation that”. .Bernie Madoff should have had these scam artists on his staff. Vote yes if you mean no on taxes and vote no if you mean yes.

A gut-and-stuff amendment to House Bill 2414 would overturn Oregon history and practice and sew confusion for Oregon voting on referrals.

The amendment to House Bill 2414 would require that any state measure referred to the people by referendum include the phrase “Overturns Legislation” in the caption. It requires two “understandable” statements of not more than 25 words in the ballot title. One statement would describe the result if the state measure is rejected. It must be worded so that an affirmative vote corresponds to a rejection of the state measure and must begin with the phrase, “A ‘yes’ vote rejects legislation that.” The second statement would describe the result if the state measure is approved and must begin with the phrase, “A ‘no’ vote approves legislation that.”

If you’re not confused by this you’re not paying attention, because the amendment is meant to create a fog of confusion in Oregon’s referendum process.

Currently, a “yes” means “yes” to the issue that the people are deciding in their legislative capacity – the imposition of a tax or an environmental regulation or deregulation – and a “no” means “no” on the issue. “Yes” means acceptance of the legislative proposal; no means rejection of the legislative proposal.

The mischievous amendment to House Bill 2414 overturns both Oregon history and elemental logic in one fell swoop. The guiding principle of Oregon’s referral system has always been that a piece of legislation has no standing if it is immediately referred to voters. Only the voters give it standing and lock a referred measure into Oregon law. That’s why a referendum does not go into effect until voters have had their say at the ballot box. It cannot be overturned because, unlike a legislation that is not referred, it has never been established in law.

The proposed amendment to House Bill 2414 would change this.

“Yes” will mean “no” and “no” will mean “yes”— an affirmative vote will mean rejection and a negative vote will mean approval -- under the proposed amendment, and confusion will reign.

This confusion may work to one side’s advantage on a particular issue, but just as easily work to its disadvantage on the next issue. What’s good referral politics in one political season can be bad politics in another. The current legislature may want to increase taxes; the next legislature may want to strip protection for the Metolius River.

The proposed amendment to House Bill 2414 uses the words “simple and understandable” but the amendment would establish a complicated and obscure ballot on voter referenda and referrals. What this legislature should focus on is consistency and clarity.

Citing a 2001 Oregon Supreme Court opinion, the Attorney General’s Office wrote that a ballot title “complies substantially” with Oregon law “if it identifies the subject matter of a proposed measure in terms that will not confuse or mislead voters.” The Attorney General’s Office made this statement in the context of approving a 2003 referendum petition in which a “yes” vote enacts a legislatively-passed income-tax surcharge and a “no” vote retains existing income-tax rates.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson dead at 50

Fox news --

Michael Jackson died Thursday afternoon at a Los Angeles hospital.

There are reports that Michael Jackson had gone into cardiac arrest although official cause of death wasn't immediately known.

it always comes in threes -- rest in peace

Ed McMahon and Farrah Fawcett

The New York Times --

Farrah Fawcett
died on Thursday in Santa Monica, California
She was 62 and had been battling cancer since late 2006.

The New York Times
Ed McMahon
Ed McMahon, who steadfastly introduced Johnny Carson through the host’s nearly 30 year run on “The Tonight Show,” died Tuesday morning, NBC said. Mr. McMahon was 86

President Obama getting ready to take first step in immigration reform

The New York Times

President Obama is expected to meet with congressional leaders of both parties on Thursday regarding comprehensive immigration reform.

Both Republicans and Democrats agree that the current immigration system is broken and remain divided over how to fix it.

Democrats, who are concerned that the unemployment rate is expected to stay high, are wavering on the idea of immigration reform. In addition, polls show that Hispanic voters, not surprisingly care deeply about changing the system because many of them are related to or least know someone who is entered the country illegally. However, some see it as a lower priority than the economy and health care.
“His [President Obama] position is very clear: he thinks we need comprehensive immigration reform,” David Axelrod, a senior adviser to the president, said in an interview. “But that’s not something that’s going to happen simply on his volition.”
Senator majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada believes that there is enough votes to pass a comprehensive bill this year.
Senator Charles E. Schumer, who has succeeded Senator Edward Kennedy as chairman of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on immigration added, "unless we can convince Americans were going to be really tough, this is not going to work."

“By definition,” Representative Jason Altmire said, “illegal immigrants are people who broke the law to get here. So any effort to reward them with legal status and work permits would not be supported by the people who elected me.”

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

House Bill 2377-Prohibits person of any age from operating motor vehicle while using mobile communication device except under certain circumstances.

The Oregonian--

WHAT THE MEASURE DOES: Requires use of a hands-free device to lawfully use a mobile communications device while operating a motor vehicle. Expands list of exceptions to include public safety personnel, persons using the device in the scope of employment, and person using devices that allow for voice communication only one-way at a time. Designates as primary offense and as Class D traffic violation, punishable maximum fine of $90.

Exceptions are provided for several cases, including use by public safety officers or persons operating a vehicle in the scope of employment and select uses of devices that allow only for oneway voice communication (such as citizen-band radios or certain push-to-talk phones). Violations will continue to be punishable by a maximum fine of $90.

House vote April 28, 2009

YES 38
Member Party City Dist.
J. BaileyDPortland42
J. BarkerDAloha28
P. BarnhartDEugene11
T. BeyerDSpringfield12
D. BooneDCannon Beach32
P. BuckleyDAshland5
B. CannonDPortland46
B. ClemDSalem21
J. CowanDNewport10
M. DembrowDPortland45
C. EdwardsDEugene14
S. EsquivelRMedford6
L. GalizioDTigard35
B. GarrardRKlamath Falls56
C. GarrettDLake Oswego38
S. GelserDCorvallis16
V. GilliamRSilverton18
M. GreenlickDPortland33
C. HarkerDBeaverton34
P. HolveyDEugene8
D. HuntDGladstone40
B. JensonRPendleton58
N. KahlDPortland49
B. KompDWoodburn22
T. KotekDPortland44
G. MatthewsDGresham50
N. NathansonDEugene13
M. NolanDPortland36
T. ReadDBeaverton27
C. RileyDHillsboro29
A. RoblanDCoos Bay9
M. SchauflerDHappy Valley48
C. ShieldsDPortland43
J. SmithDPortland47
J. StieglerDBend54
C. TomeiDMilwaukie41
S. VanOrmanDHood River52
B. WittDClatskanie31
NO 22
Member Party City Dist.
B. BartonDClackamas51
C. BentzROntario60
V. BergerRSalem20
S. BruunRWest Linn37
K. CameronRSalem19
D. EdwardsDHillsboro30
T. FreemanRRoseburg2
G. GilmanRMedford55
B. HannaRRoseburg7
J. HuffmanRThe Dalles59
B. KennemerROregon City39
W. KriegerRGold Beach1
R. MaurerRGrants Pass3
A. OlsonRAlbany15
D. RichardsonRCentral Point4
G. SmithRHeppner57
S. SprengerRScio17
K. ThatcherRKeizer25
J. ThompsonRDallas23
J. WeidnerRYamhill24
G. WhisnantRSunriver53
M. WingardRWilsonville26
Member Party City

“This is a stupid bill. This is more nanny state. Let’s leave the people of Oregon alone, for God’s sake,” said Sen. Jeff Kruse, R-Roseburg.

Keep an eye on those people that voted YES, and see if they make a phone call while driving. bet you they will.

Lars has some thoughts to share

E-mail from Lars Larson:

I just want to encourage all of you to think about how Oregon and Washington should change to encourage an environment that does not tolerate this kind of despicable behavior.

what’s next for Sam…the disgraced Mayor of Portland?

Recall we can only hope. But given history in the Northwest don’t bet on it unless public anger fires up again.

Let’s review…long before Adams began grooming his teenage sex partner…There was boy wonder Neil Goldschmidt…who raped a teenage girl while he was Mayor and on his way to a Presidential cabinet post and the Governor’s office.

Senator Bob Packwood lied about whose girdle he grabbed ‘till all the ballots were counted. Add to this environment, the lesser known names in Oregon and Washington who teach….and in far too many cases take sexual liberties with your kids…teachers shuffled down the road to a new job when they get caught.

Face it…we openly tolerate illegal aliens, illegal drug use, and illegal voting. This community stood up to support the now convicted terrorist Mike Hawash when he went Jihad. We’ve legalized suicide and dope smoking. There’s far too little real outrage about the crimes of Mary Kay, Tonya and Trey. You reap what you sow.

The Question this morning…how bad does it have to get before the community demands it stop?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Even the president gets it regarding immigration

The White House --
President Obama, speaking at the Esperanza National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast June 19, 2009, speaks about his views on illegal immigration.

Here are a few highlights from that speech.
"Like some of you, I am the son of a parent who came to these shores in search of a better future. And while I may be the first African American President, there is nothing unique or unusual about the opportunities that this country gave to me...And I am confident that it's a story that will someday be told by the first Hispanic President of the United States of America. (Applause.)".

while as the audience applauded, President Obama continues...
"We also know that keeping this promise means upholding America's tradition as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. Those things aren't contradictory; they're complementary. That's why I'm committed to passing comprehensive immigration reform as President of the United States." (Applause.)

the audience again signifies their approval by applause...
"The American people -- the American people believe in immigration, but they also believe that we can't tolerate a situation where people come to the United States in violation of the law, nor can we tolerate employers who exploit undocumented workers in order to drive down wages."

there is excitement in the air...
"That's why we're taking steps to strengthen border security, and we must build on those efforts. We must also clarify the status of millions who are here illegally, many who have put down roots. For those who wish to become citizens, we should require them to pay a penalty and pay taxes, learn English, go to the back of the line behind those who played by the rules. That is the fair, practical, and promising way forward, and that's what I'm committed to passing as President of the United States. (Applause.)"

I think I heard a pin drop.
notice, in the transcripts and says "applause" however, watching the video, the room seemed fairly quiet as the president continued.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A US senator from Oklahoma claims that the way Oregon is spending its portion of the stimulus package is not in line with the intent of the program

The Oregonian --

Senator Tom Coburn -- Republican from Oklahoma, is making the accusation that four out of five Oregon projects, and a project from Washington State University in Vancouver qualify as a questionable project.

Coburn claims that there is misappropriation of taxpayer money. For example,

Scappoose -- receiving $4.2 million to raise railroad tracks 18 inches to create a new traffic crossing.

Tri-Met -- 550 bike lockers and stalls cost of $1 million.

Tualatin -- $1.6 million to the end train horn noise inTualatin.

Eugene -- $2.25 million for a 1000 foot bike bridge and pedestrian path

Washington state -- $150,000 project at Washington State University in Vancouver, which will study the brain's reaction to cannabinoids , synthetic drugs that act like marijuana.

Just to name a few. Obama staff has dismissed nearly one third of Coburn's claims as being either faults or misleading. However, local officials are saying not to worry.

The question is do the projects listed above fall in line with the intent of the stimulus package?

"So my main message to all of you is I think you're up to the task; I think you guys will do extraordinary work with using these precious tax dollars that the American people have given up in order to deliver on the kind of economic growth -- short-term and long-term -- and job creation that's going to be so important.

But we're going to need to work really hard and we're going to have to make sure that every single dollar is well spent. We've got to go above and beyond what I think is the typical ways of doing business in order to make sure that the American people get the help that they need and that our economy gets the boost that it needs.

And so I've said before -- I know Joe [Biden] emphasized this to you earlier -- if we see money being misspent, we're going to put a stop to it, and we will call it out and we will publicize it. On the other hand, if the money is being spent as it needs to be spent -- to rebuild our roads and our bridges and our schools, and making sure that we are putting in place the kinds of infrastructure foundations that are necessary for economic growth over the long term -- then I think all of us will benefit and our voters and our constituents, the people we work for, are going to be extraordinarily grateful." Obama press release -- March 12, 2009

so does that fall in line with the intent of the stimulus package?
" So let me be clear, though: This is not a blank check. I know you've heard this repeatedly over the last few days, but I want to reiterate it: These funds are intended to go directly towards helping struggling Americans keep their health coverage, we want to make sure that's what's happening and we're going to work with you closely to make sure that this money is spent the way it's supposed to.

We will get the rest of this plan moving to put Americans to work doing the work America needs done, making an immediate impact while laying the foundation for our lasting growth and prosperity." Obama press release -- February 23, 2009

The "intent" was to maintain or have health insurance and to help put people back to work, not to fund state and local governments pet projects.

"It's all about priorities, says Don Tatro, a spokesman for Coburn. "Is a bike locker more important than a broken-down bridge? "

Spokeswoman Mary Fetsch defends the tri-Met project. "I don't know how much cycling happens in Oklahoma, but there is a phenomenal number here."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ever wonder why Springfield gets more done then Eugene?

The answer in my opinion is trust.

Now Springfield is not perfect. it has it flaws, and it has it good points too.

One of those good points is the leadership and our mayor.

I was very glad to hear that Sid Leiken was running for congress.

I feel that he is in touch with reality and would make a good congressman.

[besides, he sometime reads my blog so he can't be all that bad ;-) ]

Check out his website at

President Obama-- Fly Gate

Fox news--

Washington, DC -- during an interview with John Harwood for CNBC at the White House on Tuesday, President Obama took aim at a fly that was bothering them during the conversation.
"Get out of here," the president told the pesky insect. When it didn't, he waited for the fly to settle, put his hand up and then smacked it dead.

"Now, where were we?" Obama asked Harwood. Then he added: "That was pretty impressive, wasn't it? I got the sucker."

Normally, that would be a pretty funny incident, however, this is Washington, DC and PETA was not amused.
"We support compassion even for the most curious, smallest and least sympathetic animals," PETA spokesman Bruce Friedrich said Wednesday. "We believe that people, where they can be compassionate, should be, for all animals."

PETA would have preferred that Obama used a more peaceful method of "catch and release" for the poor fly.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Oregon's unemployment rate 12.4% depending on how you look at it.

The Register Guard --

Oregon's unemployment rate for May made it to the highest level since 1976 according to the Oregon employment Department on Monday, which places it in range to challenge Michigan's standing as #1.

However, if marginally attached workers were included, Oregon's rate would be 14.2% according to the state employment estimates.
State economic forecasters expect continued job losses through the first quarter of next year.
it looks like we've lost the ball could've the jobs were going to lose." Said Art Ayre, a state labor economist

We need more money!
Raise more taxes!
We need more money!
Raise more taxes!

Damn the jobs and unemployed, full speed ahead!

meanwhile back in Salem...

State legislator #1: Our state is in a severe budget crisis, what are we going to do?
I have got [pet] projects that I want funded, however, my constituents are constantly bugging about less exciting stuff like jobs, police protection and road repair, etc..

State legislator #2: We'll just find more creative ways to raise taxes and fees.

State legislator #1: How? Businesses are leaving the state and unemployment is at an all-time high.

State legislator #2: Nah! Don't believe everything that you read in the papers. I know those peasants, er,I mean citizens out there are just holding money back from us. After all, were still not the worst state in the nation, Michigan still holds that title.

State legislator #1: My god you're right! There still may be money out their to solve our budget woes. However, where would it come from? Who would it come from? We've tax about everything else except for air.

State legislator #2: There you're wrong! Haven't you heard the current trend is "Green"? Jump on the bandwagon man, Everything has a carbon footprint, so we tax the carbon footprint.

State legislator #3: In that case, it is a good thing that the "carbon tax" does not apply to us. There is enough carbon generated in these meetings alone to fully fund the state!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

"Our children still have nightmares, and they internalize our fear and the uncertainty the future holds."

The Oregonian --

The scene: June 12, 2007, federal regions raid the Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., a food processing plant and rounded up 167 illegal workers. Some of the workers were jailed of the federal Northwest detention center in Tacoma while others have been deported or voluntarily left the United States. However, left behind, or about 20 remaining women some with children.
While allowed to live in the community, the women cannot work. They are also not allowed to leave the country until their case is resolved. One of the women who worked at Fresh Del Monte for three years has a court date of March 2010.

"We have been denied the right to work and support our families," said Elsa Martinez Torres, who was also arrested and released in the raid and awaits a deportation hearing.

While waiting for their court date, Federal agents pay the women a surprise visit at least once a month, in addition, the women are required to present themselves to the authorities twice a month and only allowed to leave their houses during certain daylight hours.
"Somebody knocks on my door and I get scared," said Martinez, 50. "This fear is going to stay with me, I can't forget."

Abdias Cortez, 42, who has been living in the United States illegally for 20 years, claims that her three US-born children are having a hard time accepting the fact that the mother might be deported.
"My children can't concentrate on their studies, they keep asking what's going to happen, whether we will have to separate," Cortez said.

One positive impact of the raid, is that it brought the immigration crisis to light, and show the inhumane side of the immigration system according to Portland immigration lawyer,Siovhan Sheridan-Ayala.
"The raids have been an erroneous answer to solving the immigration problem," Sosa said. "They only separate families and damage the future of citizen children who will have to live in a country not their own, said Pedro Sosa, regional organizer with the American Friends Service Committee and the group's facilitator."

"don't do the crime if you can't do the time" -- Beretta

Personally, I think these people should be charged with child abuse for the conditions that they place their child into by crossing into a foreign country illegally.

Just like any other criminal, they fully were aware of the consequences of being caught.

The only difference between this type of crime and any other, is that it is a crime of immigration. And just like any other type of law, if you break it, you must be willing to pay the consequences.

the unfortunate part of it all, it is the children who really have to suffer for the mistakes of their parents.

Friday, June 12, 2009

For those that think open borders are a good idea....

BBC News--

"The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global flu pandemic after holding an emergency meeting.It means the swine flu virus is spreading in at least two regions of the world with rising cases being seen in the UK, Australia, Japan and Chile.

WHO chief Dr Margaret Chan said the move did not mean the virus was causing more severe illness or more deaths.

The swine flu (H1N1) virus first emerged in Mexico in April and has since spread to 74 countries.

Official reports say there have been nearly 30,000 cases globally and 141 deaths, with figures rising daily."

and don't call it the swine flu, the PC folks might get offended.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

"I implore you...
the state will go into chaos [like it's not already] without these bills."

The Oregonian --

Plans to raise Oregon's corporations and upper income earners taxes came to a screeching halt when Senate Democrat Mark Hass, D- Beaverton, would not give the 18th vote that was needed for three-fifths majority for the bill to pass.
"It's hard to separate what's real from the melodrama," said a disappointed Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, after the vote. "What's real is, we have 17 votes and we need 18."

Hass's "no" vote sank the proposed package of tax and fee increases for corporations, to include the companion measure that would raise income taxes on people that make more than $125,000 or households of over $250,000.
Hass said he wants the tax increases to be temporary, which is what a plan promoted by the Oregon Business Association calls for. He likened the tax increase to a homeowner getting flashlights and blankets from a neighbor during a storm, then not giving them back when the storm passes. "Sorry, but that's not the Oregon way," Hass said.

These senators immediately voted to table the bill, which means that the bill could be brought back to the Senate floor for another vote.

"I'm prepared to cut the living daylights out of budgets if that's what you want," said Sen. Vicki Walker, D-Eugene. Walker chairs the subcommittee that writes budgets for natural resource programs.

Ryan Deckert, executive director of the Oregon Business Association, commented that an easy way out for lawmakers is to accept a slightly smaller corporate tax increase and make it temporary. However, not everyone on the Democratic floor feels as optimistic.
"I implore you," Sen. Alan Bates, D-Ashland repeated three times, looking directly at his longtime colleague. "The state will go into chaos without these bills."

Governor Ted tax-and-gouge-me is also hoping that the Senate will reconsider as well as groups advocating for higher spending on schools and other state programs.
We're talking thousands of teacher layoffs statewide" if the Legislature is forced to cut the amount of money the taxes would have raised, said Otto Schell, legislative director for the statewide Parent Teachers Association. "It will be a meat-axe to the K-12 budget."

isn't it interesting on how they start to panic when THEIR source of revenue is threatened.

They are going to have to make some serious decisions on eliminating some unnecessary programs and spending just like the rest of us have.

Perhaps, they will start to get the message that the money tree is starting to get a little bare.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Senate Bill 391 -- if you don't already own an alligator, the Oregon House says it will be illegal

The Oregonian --

In addition alligators, the Oregon House which is always good for a good laugh, passed on Wednesday Senate Bill 391 which would make owning crocodiles, lions and tigers including monkeys [House and Senate excluded] as a pet will become illegal.

The bill passed 43-15 and is waiting Senate approval of an amendment before heading to the governor's desk.

however,If you're ready own a crocodile, alligator, lion, tiger or monkey, you can relax because the bill will only prevent you from getting new ones.

er, never mind!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Credit card delinquencies rise in order to cover daily living expenses

Portland Business Journal--

Trans Union, a credit reporting agency which creates quarterly reports from 27 million anonymous individual credit files, reported that in the first quarter bank card delinquencies which are defined as the ratio of borrowers who fall 90 days or more behind on their credit card payments increased by 11%.
“As the recession entered its sixth quarter, we saw continued increases in average bank card balances, as consumers struggled to meet repayment obligations in a job market that continues to deteriorate,” said Ezra Becker, director of consulting and strategy in TransUnion’s financial services group. “This increase could be an indication that tax refund checks, typically used to pay down balances during the first quarter in years past, are now being used to cover daily living expenses.

if you work for an employer and that employer announces that it needs to cut back on expenses to survive, do you as the employee of the company either (a) helped the company in cutting expenses and streamlining or (b) ignore the situation and continue on as business as usual.

In my opinion, I feel that most people would select option (a).

The reasoning is simple, if the business survives, you as the employee still has a job.

Now, let's apply that to the state of Oregon. We the people [ominous words they seem to have forgotten] are the employers, and the state is the employees. The employers have been trying to tell the employees that they are financially in trouble. The employees, selfishly balk at the employer's financial situation, and continue to act on issues which as a result raises the operating cost of the employer.

The battle pursues between the employer and the employee to the point that employer goes out of business and the employee loses their job.

The above report is a confirmation of what the employers [the citizens] have been trying to tell the employees [state and local government] for a long time now. Business is bad, cash flow is slow, and were fighting for survival. Quit making the cost of doing business more expensive.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

we need a toll bridge because the public does not have the sense about the gap in funding

a $4.1 billion plan to replace the Interstate 5 bridge between Portland and Vancouver, known as the Columbia River Crossing project is launching a campaign to hear residents concerned about tolls which are needed to pay for a least one third of the project cost.
however, the public doesn't understand the effect of declining transportation funding.
"They [The public]don't have a sense of what the gap in funding would be," said Steve Stuart, a Clark County commissioner.

in addition to the Interstate 5 bridge, the council is also looking for public input for adding tolls to interstate 205, the Glen L. Jackson Bridge.

The council also voted unanimously to limit the scope of the planning the two structures across the river instead of the current plan for three. They would include, one for northbound cars, one for southbound cars, one for light rail with bicycles and pedestrians. It

hey here's a thought...
1 -- why don't we fix the roads and bridges that we have now before building a new one.

2 -- and while were at it, let's stop trying to make things more expensive for us in this recession, such as toll bridges.

Of course, according to Steve Stuart, a Clark County Commissioner, were actually too stupid to understand about funding gaps.

well Mr.Stuart, I think we the public understand funding gaps all too well... and I think most of us also understand priorities... which, in my opinion, is one of the reasons why we currently have a recession is because triggered by the high cost of fuel caused a landslide of events after people could no longer afford to buy a nonessential items in order to live within their budget. I emphasize the word budget.

or roughly translated, personal budget "funding gap."

However, our state and local governments have not learned to live within their budget and therefore are in a financial crisis and are trying to force their employers [that would be us the general public] into giving up more money for their budget woes.

That is no different than an employee telling your boss, "I'm not making my bills this month, I need more money and I demand a raise." In real life, the employer would just say, "I'm not responsible for your budget problems." And walk away laughing.

So yes Mr.Stuart, the public is not as stupid as you think, were just dealing with our own issues, and adding a new bike path is not one of them.

And finally, don't criticize someone else unless you can lead by example.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Actor David Carradine Dead at 72

Fox News--

David Carradine was found hanging Thursday in a Bangkok hotel room, where the actor was staying while shooting a movie called "Stretch". The body was discovered by a maid at 10am Thursday morning.

Chuck Binder, Carradine's manager, said that the cause of death is "under investigation".

David Carradine is survived by his wife Annie Bierman and three children.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Oregon's "per mile" GPS mileage tax
Why it is a bad idea

Robin's commentary --

source =Oregon Department of Transportation

on the surface, the idea seems relatively simple and sound.
under the current system, commonly known as the "the pay as you go system" meaning that you paid the fuel taxes at the time that you add fuel to your vehicle BEFORE you use the roadways.

Oregon claims that the disadvantage of this system, is that it does not keep up with the actual costs for maintenance of the current roadways, and declining revenues as vehicles get better gas mileage and are turning to alternative means of transportation.

Oregon's solution to the problem, is to attach a GPS system to your vehicle in order to charge you a VARIABLE RATE PER MILE, which is payable at the pump AFTER you have used the fuel, instead of before like the current system.

in the study, they claim that there is no lack of privacy for the use of the system. However, I disagree.
The concept requires no transmission of vehicle travel locations, either in “real time” or of travel history. Accordingly, no travel location points are stored within the vehicle or transmitted elsewhere. Thus, there can be no “tracking” of vehicle movements.

the key word here is "within the vehicle", conversely...
in order to allow auditing of transactions and consumer challenge of assessments, ODOT would acquire certain data at the time of fueling. ODOT would obtain the vehicle information, the total miles driven in each zone since the last fueling and the amount of fuel purchased and where the fuel was purchased.

and of course, that would be linked at a central database. No tracking whatsoever.. Yeah right.
my theory is that although they may not track "vehicle" information per se, each device will have an identification number, which of course can be related back to the vehicle's owner, and therefore just like using a debit card, information can be collected.

there is also something that's known as "congestion pricing" also referred to as peak period pricing.
This can be accomplished either through an independent electronic system using roadside readers, or as a rate adjustment to an electronically-collected mileage fee, or a combination, for time-of-day travel in specific geographic areas where congestion prevails.

roughly translated, going to work at 8 a.m. will cost more than going to work at 5 a.m.

and of course, given this tool, will the public also lose the ability to determine or have a say in the amount that'll be charged in each zone?

Consider this scenario.

Since the GPS system will have the ability to charge depending on which ZONE you just happened to be driving through, what is to determine whether or not on a particular day, time, or event of a price increase? Even temporary?

Let's say for example that the Rose Parade is happening today, which also would mean that the roads would be congested and therefore congestion pricing could kick in, with the reasoning that it costs more for police traffic control, wear on the road ways, etc. (and while were at it, let's not exclude taxing on shoes because of the extra wear and tear it causes on the sidewalks)

I could go on and on...
I invite you to read the full report for more information.

the above illustrations courtesy of ODOT

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

"Right pocket, Left pocket, it's all the same pair of pants... or is it?

Robin's Commentary--

I found a couple of headlines that I wanted to share about Oregon's budget problems...

Press Release, May 18,2009 from the Oregon Legislative Assembly:

Ways and Means Co-Chairs Release Plan to Bridge $4.2 Billion Budget Gap

"The budget includes $2 billion in cuts from the essential budget level. The co-chairs budget also utilizes federal stimulus dollars ($399 million from the state stabilization fund and $542 dedicated to Medicaid), state reserve funds ($361), and $800 million in new revenue to close the state’s $4.2 billion budget hole."

Then there is this press release from the Oregon House Republicans May 26, 2009:
"State agencies have $4.9 billion in combined ending fund balances, according to the 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report released by the Governor’s Office. The state claims that of this amount, 71.5 percent of the money is available for spending at the state’s discretion. "

Okay, if I got this right, on one side their saying that there is a deficit of $4.2 billion and on the other side they're saying that there is a surplus of $4.9 billion "available for spending at the states discretion".

Okay I may not be an economist, but...