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John R. Charles, Jr. President, Cascade Policy Institute

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

Susan Gallagher, Parents Rights In Education

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

Bryan Fischer

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

By Paul Driessen

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

Frank Salvato

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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.

 

 

 

Rachel Dawson, Policy Analyst, Cascade Policy Institute

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

Secretary of State Bev Clarno

Travel Oregon should strengthen controls over contracting procedures and take steps to share more information regarding the compensation of agency leadership to better inform the Legislature, according to an audit released today by Secretary of State Bev Clarno.

The findings are outlined in the report entitled: “Travel Oregon Should Strengthen Controls over Contracting and Improve Accountability of Compensation to Inform Decision Makers.”

Travel Oregon has generally demonstrated a commitment to ensuring contracts are in place to provide for the needs of the agency. However, the audit makes recommendations to further strengthen contracting procedures. Additionally, the audit highlights the fact that Travel Oregon’s managers are some of the highest compensated managers in state government. Auditors found the agency lacks detailed documentation to support the decisions that led to these high levels of compensation.

“Travel Oregon should improve its transparency and accountability in how it spends taxpayer money,” said Secretary of State Clarno. “Travel Oregon receives funding courtesy of the lodging tax, which is paid by taxpayers in Oregon and visitors alike.”

Read the full audit on the Secretary of State website (https://sos.oregon.gov/audits/Pages/default.aspx).

In the heartland of America, there is corruption. At Indiana University last week they celebrated the 4th Annual “Sex Fest.” They defended this foray into degrading sex by saying, “Our public health researchers have found some evidence to suggest that people are engaging in a broader range of sexual activities and as a result, it is the IU Health Center’s mission to make sure they practice it safely.”

Campus Reform noted (2/6/20), “The second night offered…demonstrations, including a man whipping a tied up woman in public.”

It was reported that students could choose from an appalling list that included bondage, exhibitionism, and a host of other deviant behaviors.

These things took place at Indiana University – the headquarters of the Kinsey Institute. This is the school where Dr. Alfred Kinsey taught, until he died in 1956.

Kinsey’s research and books launched the sexual revolution. His research is taken as gospel by many. While in college, a virgin Methodist, Hugh Hefner, thought Kinsey’s work was scientific, so he abandoned his religion and enthusiastically became “Kinsey’s pamphleteer.” Continue reading

Bryan Fischer

Transgenderism, which normalizes mental illness about sexuality, has taken a sleeping nation by storm. What not too long ago was categorized as a mental disorder by every psychiatrist and psychologist has now been redefined as a perfectly normal alternative to, well, normal sexuality.

Nineteen states have made it a crime for a mental health professional to help a confused teenager adopt a healthy and time-tested view of his own sexuality. But no amount of redefining words can change the tragic reality that among those who have completed the wholly imaginary transition from male to female (or the reverse) the rate of attempted suicide is a heartbreaking and astonishing 41%, nine times higher than the national average.

(A study from Sweden — a nation known for its “affirmation” of transgender individuals — showed that gender-affirming treatment actually does not reduce the suicide rate for these patients. “In fact, their rate of completed suicide was found to be 19 times the rate for the general population.”)

Accompanying this twisted embrace of sexual perversity is egregious and grotesque medical malpractice. It is now standard operating procedures to put mixed-up teenagers on puberty blockers, drugs which stop a teens perfectly normal sexual maturation. These puberty blockers are actually forms of chemical castration, which is a great idea if we want to inject it into pedophiles, but is criminal when injected in a healthy 13-year-old. Continue reading

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