TriMet’s MAX Yellow Line first opened 15 years ago in May 2004. The Yellow Line’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) made a myriad of predictions for the year 2020, which makes now the perfect time to reflect on what officials promised and what taxpayers and transit riders have since received.
Yellow Line History
The Yellow Line originated in 1988 as a 21-mile project connecting Vancouver, Washington with Downtown Portland and Clackamas Town Center. This plan was scrapped after Clark County voters defeated a proposal to raise $236.5 million in 1995 and Oregon voters turned down a $475 million regional ballot measure in 1998.
Not to be deterred by a lack of voter support, officials developed a shorter alternative in 1999 that would run from the Expo Center to Downtown Portland along Interstate Avenue. This alternative cost $350 million, 74% of which came from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Continue reading
Researchers at North Carolina State University disassembled a scooter in their lab and calculated what it took to produce it. The aluminum (scooter frame) and lithium (battery) metals must be mined, and all other vehicle’s components must be manufactured. All this accounts for about half the greenhouse gases an e-scooter is “advertised to save,” over its lifetime. Adding up the environmental costs of collecting discarded scooters, transporting them to charging stations, maintenance — and disposal (when old or damaged beyond repair) — amounts to far more than the other half of greenhouse gases that e-scooters are supposed “to save.”
So, with e-scooters, it’s the same story as with solar panels, wind turbines, and electric cars: everyone feels “warm and fuzzy” about “helping the environment,” but the undesirable effects on our environment are actually more severe than using fossil fuel instead!
Pete Buttgieg intends to be the first openly homosexual president in American history. (Cory Booker is trying to tamp down speculation about his own proclivities by squiring actress Rosario Dawson around town. But she had to be coaxed into endorsing him, giving the lie to the whole thing.)
Unfortunately, Buttigieg is making such a transparent and phony play for evangelical votes that his shtick isn’t convincing anyone. Earlier in the campaign, he tried to squeeze open borders and minimum wage mandates out of Scripture, and now he’s breezily trying to wedge abortion in. Continue reading
Renewable energy proponents boast of the reduction in costs for windmills, solar panels and storage batteries. However, for all three the 10-fold decrease in cost faces the “law of diminishing return,” where every incremental gain yields less progress than in the past.
A typical wind turbine requires 900 tons of steel, 2500 tons of concrete and 45 tons of non-recyclable plastic. Converting the iron ore into the 900 tons of steel requires about 170 tons of coking coal which is transported by fossil fuel. The turbine will never generate as much energy payback during its typical operating lifetime as was invested in building it.
That is where government subsidies enter the equation.
As more electricity is generated by wind and solar, the battery becomes more of a partner. Continue reading
Some years ago I attended the Wild West Rough Stock Rodeo at the Northwest Equestrian Center on Highway 26 and Haley Road. Along with most of the audience, I removed my hat, and placed it over my heart when the graceful teen-age girl rode her horse around the arena carrying the American flag.
And I suspect that many of them, like me, surreptitiously wiped a little moisture from the corners of their eyes as we listened to a stirring blended audio recording: the National Anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance, the Declaration of Independence, even parts of Martin Luther King’s famed “I have a dream” speech.
It felt good to feel good about being an American—to have a good, clean, wholesome time of fun enjoying a well-presented, particularly American form of entertainment and sport among a crowd of Americans who didn’t have to apologize for taking pleasure in their Americanism. Continue reading
Neil Gorsuch is promoting his new book, A Republic, If You Can Keep It, and is doing media interviews hither and yon, even with news personalities who detest his judicial philosophy. These interviews, even the hostile ones, reveal insights into his view of the Constitution. These glimpses should exhilarate anyone who loves the Constitution and the Founders who crafted it for us.
For too long, we have been governed not by the Constitution the Founders gave us but by the one mangled beyond recognition by an activist Supreme Court, with all its penumbras and emanations and such. If we can take Gorsuch at his word, those days are over. We are headed into the sunlit uplands of a jurisprudence that would make the Founders stand up and cheer.
Antonin Scalia had been the keeper of the flame until he died. He was a towering intellect and an unapologetic originalist. His like may not come again for a long time, but it looks as though Gorsuch may fill his shoes quite nicely in the interim. Continue reading
In choosing the headline for this essay, I realized that it peripherally applied to me. I hope that I am still relevant in a world gone crazy with endless nonsense conjured up by those seeking absolute power. Revolutions purporting to establish a Utopian society to solve all perceived problems, likely solve none of them. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” was a ruse that led to great dictatorships and great misery. Every student of 20th century history has to completely oppose all who would lead us down that path.
No one did that better than the great writer George Orwell, whose novel about a dystopian future, “1984,” so starkly portrayed the problems with dangerous mind-bending ideologies that it is still relevant today. Published in June 1949 just a year before Orwell’s death, the prophetic novel concerns an individual, Winston Smith, living in a mythical society called Oceania, where the Party run by Big Brother controls everyone through their Thought Police who prosecute Thought Crimes. Orwell talked about Newspeak where language was manipulated to suit the needs of the Party and Doublethink where contradictory beliefs were simultaneously accepted as correct. Continue reading
Climate models predict disaster – but real world evidence shows no such thing
Speaking at the 13th International Conference on Climate Change, held July 25 in Washington, DC, Dr. Roy W. Spencer of the University of Alabama in Huntsville said: “There is no climate crisis. Even if all the warming we’ve seen in any observational dataset is due to increasing CO2 (carbon dioxide), which I don’t believe it is, it’s probably too small for any person to feel in their lifetime.”
And yet, that same month, Democrat Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Earl Blumenauer and Democrat Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a non-binding resolution that demands a “national, social, industrial and economic mobilization” – to “halt, reverse, mitigate and prepare for the consequences of the climate Continue reading
For years, even as it has been more than obvious they exist just a bit to the left of Trotsky, CNN has claimed that it is a legitimate and objective news source. Even as the public became more aware of the agendized propaganda spewing forth from Chris Cuomo, Don Lemon, and Christiane Amanpour, and even as CNN uploaded partisans like David Axelrod and Van Jones, some still labored under the illusion CNN somehow was a legitimate news source. But this newest firing needs to serve as proof positive CNN has completed its transformation from news to opinion-propaganda.
CNN vice president and spokesperson Matt Dornic took to Twitter to explain why their network executives made the decision to fire on-air contributor Eliana Johnson. Johnson is leaving her position as White House correspondent for Politico to take on the job of editor-in-chief at The Washington Free Beacon. While CNN categorizes Politico as a legitimate news source, they label The Beacon as a “conservative” publication. Continue reading
The media is understandably preoccupied with Hurricane Dorian and its immense strength. Meteorologists and citizens alike are absorbed in forecasts of the hurricane’s track, and whether it will hit Florida broadside or work its way up the eastern seaboard.
And as anyone could predict, the Whackadoodle Caucus is in full throat, blaming mythical global warming for an increase in the number and intensity of hurricanes. They are dead wrong on all counts.
First, in order to have global warming be the cause of anything, it has to be happening. But it’s not. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – not part of the vast rightwing conspiracy – there has been no U.S. warming at all since 2005. Yes, you read that right. No warming, period. Nada, zip, zilch, bupkis. Continue reading