Kahlil Gibran said it well: “Kindness is like snow. It beautifies everything it covers.” Oregonians are a generous group—they give to food banks, homeless, animal shelters, and more. Giving to help others makes you feel even better about yourself. February 17th is “Random Acts of Kindness Day” but let’s do something every day to help someone else. All of us can.
The cold, wet, dark, and snowy months cause us to seek inner warmth as well as outer warmth. While giving blankets and coats to the homeless or animal shelters leads to feelings of warmth in your own heart, we must beware of self-serving charities. Any registered charity can be checked out but giving locally will give you a greater feeling of helpfulness. For instance, instead of sending dollars to a charity that can afford TV commercials or sending you “gifts,” you can give those blankets and towels to the local animal shelter or homeless shelter.
Get your kids and grandkids involved. When they see you giving they’re more likely to grow up caring about others. Some schools even teach that. But let the kids choose what appeals to them whether a nursing home, disaster victims, a hospital, food bank, or even a community garden, where excess produce is given to the Oregon Food Bank, which does an amazing job of distribution. Remember to donate food for pets too. Continue reading
When I was growing up in the 1940’s, my family lived in a very eclectic neighborhood. It seemed that every dad and/or mom pursued a different occupation. Every family had children and we all played together. At the time, I had no idea I would spend all my formative years in that neighborhood, not leaving it until I married. Our parents were either best friends or at the least fine neighbors. It was as if an unspoken code of ethics and conduct existed. Wives cleaned their own houses and husbands took care of their own yards. Summer brought the ice truck and the vegetable man. My own father drove an ice cream truck delivering gallons to the neighborhood. The rest of the year he worked in the Portland Public School’s administration.
Across the street lived an attorney and his family. Up the hill lived an active member of the NAACP. Whenever that family had lamb stew, I was invited to have dinner with them. Their daughter Elizabeth was one of my best friends. I would sit at their table marveling at the beautiful oil painting of a nude black woman that hung on the wall. We all had pets – theirs was a standard white poodle. We were served wine even as youngsters in dainty glasses. I found this to be an amazing experience. Much later in life, I would drive my friend’s mother to NAACP meetings.
I remember only a few times, when as a neighborhood, we experienced real tragedy. Our house was on a corner where four streets met. The second house across from us, facing the side street, was home to a family that was quiet and tended to wave hello’s although the children played with us. Continue reading
Recovery efforts are off to an eggs-ceptional start at zoo’s condor conservation center
California condors at the Oregon Zoo’s Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation are laying the groundwork for species recovery one egg at a time. The first several eggs of 2020 arrived at the center over the past week, and keepers hope to see more throughout the month.
“A successful start to the season like this is great news for the California condor’s comeback,” said Kelli Walker, the zoo’s lead condor keeper. “With only about 500 of these endangered birds in the world, every egg counts.”
There are 14 condor pairs at the conservation center this year — more than any previous season. That means the potential for more eggs and more chicks, but it also means many of these birds are laying eggs for the first time. According to Walker, that makes for a bit of a learning curve. Continue reading
After eight years of bragging that the proposed light rail line to Tigard would result in average daily ridership of 43,000, TriMet has quietly dropped the estimate to 37,500.
This “bait-and-switch” was totally predictable. At the start of every rail planning process, TriMet creates a high ridership estimate to get local politicians excited. Once the politicians agree to help fund the project, ridership forecasts are revised downwards. Eventually construction begins, and just before opening day, ridership estimates are lowered again.
At that point, it’s too late for politicians to back out.
TriMet promised Milwaukie officials that there would be 19,450 average daily rides on the Orange line in 2020. The actual ridership today is 12,160—63% of the forecast.
For the Blue line, ridership today is only 50% of the 2020 forecast. Continue reading
Dallas, Oregon: School District decided to allow a biological female pretending to be a male, to undress in the boys’ locker room. As you may remember, Parents’ Rights In Education sued for the rights of individual students to privacy in respective locker/bath facilities while on the school campus.
With no option for appeal, U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez threw out the lawsuit. Case law cited by Judge Hernandez involved adults, not MINOR children. Oregon law, ORS659A.403 says “school districts may provide for minor children, safety and privacy, by maintaining sex segregated restrooms and locker rooms by biological sex, and provide single stall facilities for anyone requesting alternative accommodation, without breaking any laws.”
In a Nutshell
February 12, 2020 the Ninth Circuit panel issued its decision affirming the trial court in all respects.
The court adopts an overly narrow view of privacy that actually affords prisoners greater bodily privacy rights than public school students! Continue reading
Michael Bloomberg is running for president on a platform of, well, I’m not really sure. His advertising slogan is that he’s the guy who’s gonna get things done. What those things are include killing jobs through a $15 an hour minimum wage, killing the economy by reducing plant food emissions (CO2) by 50%, reducing the Second Amendment ability of Americans to defend themselves, making America less safe by boosting immigration from Muslim nations, granting citizenship to 11 million immigrant lawbreakers, getting women who think they are men back in our military, making America less safe by turning more and more more inmates loose, and making it easier to abort babies.
What he is not going to do is use his “stop and frisk” policy to make America’s minority neighborhoods safer. Bloomberg bagged it because of howls that it was racist. Of course it wasn’t, but that makes no difference to Americans consumed with issues of skin color, They have cowed the former mayor into compliant acquiescence, and he has been apologizing all over himself since he decided to run for president.
“Stop and frisk” refers to what are known as “Terry stops,” after an 8-1 Supreme Court ruling in 1968 that 4th Amendment rights are not violated as long as a cop has a “reasonable suspicion” that a suspect has committed a crime or is about to, and may be armed and dangerous. Continue reading
There is nothing ‘cohesive’ or ‘sustainable’ about ‘solutions’ demanded by WEF ‘stakeholders’
The World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland is billed as the globe’s most prestigious annual gathering of movers and shakers. Its mission is to “improve the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.”
This year’s theme was “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.” Unfortunately, the lofty rhetoric belies the misleading, potentially disastrous realities of agendas supported by many participants.
A primary basis for this year’s theme is the repeated assertion that the world faces a climate cataclysm. European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen thus wants to tax carbon-based energy imports into the EU and end humanity’s practice of “taking resources from the environment and generating waste and pollution in the process.” She (and others) insist that “green energy” would do no such thing.
Climate crisis claims in turn are based on computer models that are only as good as the assumptions built into them – and on attempts to blame temperature changes, extreme weather events and future crises on fossil fuel emissions, because the assumptions and models say it’s a cause-effect relationship. Continue reading
Do they even pass basic energy, environmental, economic and human rights tests?
Should Americans follow China in a massive commitment to supposedly eco-friendly battery-electric buses (BEBs)? California has mandated a “carbon-free” bus system by 2040 and will buy only battery or fuel cell-powered buses after 2029. Other states and cities are following suit.
Vehicle decisions are typically based on cost and performance. Cost includes selling price plus maintenance, while performance now includes perceived environmental impacts – which for some is the only issue that matters. But that perception ignores some huge ecological (and human rights) issues.
China today has 420,000 BEBs on the road, with plans to reach 600,000 by 2025. The rest of the world has maybe 5,000 of these expensive, short-range buses. However, the Chinese still get 70% of their energy from coal, so are their BEBs really that green? Are they safe? And are they really ethical?
Battery costs are the main reason BEBs today are much more expensive than buses that run on diesel or compressed natural gas. But bus makers say electric buses require less maintenance, and climate activists say the lower net “carbon footprint” (carbon dioxide emissions) justifies paying a little more. Continue reading
There are a plethora of reasons why Michael Bloomberg shouldn’t be considered for the Democrat nomination to be president, but two stick out with significance: His wealth and the hint that he would restore the Clinton influence in American politics.
The comedy show that is the field of candidates for the Democrat presidential nomination is Emmy worthy. They exist as a mismatch of Marxists and Trotskyites, oligarchic millionaires and billionaires, globalists and anarchists on the main stage talking about how the rest of us should live our lives so as to be benevolent. They preach about how we must sacrifice for the environment as the fly around the country in private jets (but for Sanders who only flies first class). And they thunder on how the Second Amendment is antiquated, even as they pontificate behind walls of armed bodyguards and spend tens of millions for armed security for their upcoming convention.
The entirety of the Democrat slate expects the sheep among their subjects to jettison the things they have come to know (read: reality) so as to embrace their elitist Nuevo-definitions of words, phrases, and events, allowing for the cobbling of a narrative that appears to legitimize their tapestries of bovine feces.
Whether you see their line-up as comedic or macabre, it is a dangerous line-up. One of them will survive the media labyrinth to exist one election away from the ability to make their vision for our country a reality.
Remember, in November of 2008 everyone stood slack-jawed that a nobody from Chicago exploded into the presidency. The eight years of Barack Obama’s Progressive and Marxist policies not only damaged the economy and security of the United States, but it also divided the people in a way not seen since before the Civil Rights Movement.
Bloomberg, 77, isn’t a nobody. He’s a billionaire fifty-times over who controls a significant media apparatus to advance his narrative. This means he can spin fiction that softens, manipulates, and distorts – to his advantage – his anti-Second Amendment, pro-abortion, open borders, tax-happy agenda in an effort to dupe the people into abdicating their freedoms; as he seeks to make the US Constitution irrelevant and the United States a socialist democracy. This is exactly how he was able to politically reinvent himself so many times.
A lifelong Democrat before registering as a Republican in 2001 to ingratiate himself to New York City voters on the heels of the wildly successful tenure of Rudy Giuliani (R), Bloomberg dropped his Republican designation while in office, registering as an Independent in 2007, and again executed a metamorphic change in re-registering as a Democrat in 2018 in preparation for a presidential run. To say that he is a political opportunist would be a grotesque understatement.
If that isn’t enough to expunge Bloomberg from consideration for any public office, there is credible buzz that he is seriously considering allowing the poison of Hillary Clinton’s politics and influence to resurface on the world stage in a vice-presidential bid on his ticket (I guess that would put her one suicide away from the presidency).
For the record, Bloomberg’s spokesperson issued a non-denial denial when asked about a Clinton number-two spot. Non-denial denials are the things of manipulating despots and tyrants, by the by.
Even Bloomberg’s supporters have to question both his political metamorphosis and his questionable judgment in contemplating adding such a divisive in Hillary Clinton to his ticket given her disapproval ratings. His metamorphosis proves his opportunism and his Clinton inclusion proves his willingness to associate with the criminal class to pander to a voter demographic. These are demonstrations of political infidelity and poor decision-making.
There is an old adage that goes, and I paraphrase: just because you can doesn’t mean you should. We have intellectually lumbered into an era where disingenuous opportunists routinely seek elected office, this happening from local to national. Bloomberg and his ilk are a byproduct of this reality. And because of the short-attention-span narrative-mongers of social media and the soundbite Pharisees of the mainstream media, they are getting elected. Our country and the government our Framers bequeathed to us lays mortally wounded because of it.
And truth be told, we have no one to blame for the demise of our country but ourselves. Opportunists only take advantage of opportunities. We the People are guilty of affording those opportunities.
Frank Salvato is a managing partner at TR² Consulting Group, LLC. He is the host of The Underground podcast as heard on iHeart Radio, Pandora, Spotify, and anywhere podcasts are heard. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His analysis has been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times, and Accuracy in Media, and is nationally syndicated. Mr. Salvato appeared on The O’Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel and is the author of six books examining internal and external threats facing our country. He can be heard twice weekly on “The Captain’s America: Third Watch” radio program syndicated nationally on the Salem Broadcasting Network and Genesis Communications affiliate stations.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), the agency charged with building and maintaining the city’s transportation system, is shifting the responsibility of improving traffic congestion away from itself and onto individual residents.
This was made apparent in a recently released 2018 report provided by Bloom Communications that surveyed Portland residents’ attitudes and perceptions of the Bureau. The contents of the survey are unsurprisingly critical of PBOT and demonstrate Portlanders’ increasing frustration with the region’s transportation system.
Of the themes that emerged, survey participants were generally concerned with safety on public transit, potholes and degrading roads, increasing traffic congestion, and PBOT’s lack of vision.
People want safe and efficient commutes. 81% of participants said that driving their car was the safest way for them and their families to commute, as they have greater control over who they come in contact with and what happens to them. Another 64% said they would consider taking transit if they were sure they “could reliably get to [their] destination faster or in the same amount of time as driving [their] personal car.” However, the current transportation system is seen as an inconvenience for many participants, and it is quicker for them to drive their car due to the frequency at which the MAX and city buses make stops. Continue reading