Despite an eight percent increase in general fund revenues, Governor Kate Brown and some lawmakers say Oregon is facing a $1.7 billion budget shortfall in the 2017-19 biennium. Nevertheless, the Governor has released a budget that expands entitlements while raising taxes, fees, and charges by nearly $275 million for the general fund alone.
Expanding programs while increasing taxes is something Oregon could do if it were a rich state. Oregon is not a rich state. Income for the average Oregonian is about nine percent lower than the national average, and the cost of living is 15 percent higher. In other words, the average Oregonian earns less but pays more for basic items than the average American. Oregon legislators and other policymakers must face the reality that the state simply cannot afford costly new or expanded programs. Continue reading
For almost 100 years, Oregon has honored its wounded warriors, our disabled veterans with a property tax exemption. At one time, research shows, this exemption was over 100% of the value of a median single family dwelling in Oregon. This is fitting, as our wounded warriors have given a portion of their body; a part of their being, in the service of our country.
But, this exemption has been reduced to less than 10% of the value of a median priced single family home. This is an unfortunate result of not reviewing old laws and updating them to meet current needs. Continue reading
There are many skeletons in the Cemetery of Bad Science. Some are familiar like Alchemy and Eugenics, while others are less well-known, like Lysenko’s genetic theories and the Linear No-Threshold theory of toxicity. All had promoters who were driven by demons unbecoming a scientist like greed, ambition, and politics. Too often, scientists are motivated by more than an intense curiosity about the natural world. Such is certainly the case with Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming, which we here report as deceased.
The Global Warming Monster had a good run, 29 years in all. That is typical for Bad Science. It usually takes several decades for proponents to give up on a bad idea, or retire, or die; even longer if they are part of the Establishment and can easily crush opponents who dare to disagree. The Global Warming Monster grew out of a PhD thesis by James Hansen, when he was studying astrophysics at the University of Iowa under the well-known Professor James Van Allen. Hansen studied the atmosphere of Venus and realized that the extreme temperatures on Venus could be attributed in part to a runaway ‘Greenhouse Effect’ caused by its nearly pure carbon dioxide atmosphere. Continue reading
The human health consequences of manipulated measurements
Like the tobacco industry before it, the wind industry has spent decades vehemently denying known harmful consequences associated with its product, while promoting its fraudulent feel-good image. Dismissing or denying the serious health impacts of industrial-scale wind turbines is wishful thinking, akin to insisting that tobacco is harmless because we enjoy it.
The problem with wind energy is not just its costly, subsidized, unreliable electricity; the need to back up every megawatt with redundant fossil-fuel power; or its impacts on wildlife and their habitats.
Infrasound (inaudible) and low-frequency (audible) noise (slowly vibrating sound waves collectively referred to as ILFN) produced by Industrial-scale Wind Turbines (IWTs) directly and predictably cause adverse human health effects. The sonic radiation tends to be amplified within structures, and sensitivity to the impact of the resonance increases with continuing exposure. Continue reading
It’s like formulating public safety policies using models based on dinosaur DNA from amber
Things are never quiet on the climate front.
After calling dangerous manmade climate change a hoax and vowing to withdraw the USA from the Paris agreement, President Trump has apparently removed language criticizing the Paris deal from a pending executive order initiating a rollback of anti-fossil-fuel regulations, to help jump start job creation.
Meanwhile, EPA Administration Scott Pruitt says he expects quick action to rescind the Clean Power Plan, a central component of the Obama Era’s war on coal and hydrocarbons. The US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology is reopening its investigation into NOAA’s mishandling or tampering with global temperature data, for a report designed to promote action in Paris in 2015. Continue reading
CPAC, which stands for the “Conservative Political Action Conference,” used to be a venerable conclave which met annually to keep the torch of conservatism lit and burning brightly.
Now it has morphed into an event in which its keynote speaker supports and defends pedophilia (sex with prepubescent boys), pederasty (sex with post-pubescent boys), and statutory rape (adults, such as teachers, having sex with underage individuals).
Over the weekend, this year’s organizers sprung Milo Yiannopoulos, the flamboyantly gay senior editor of Breitbart, on the world as this year’s featured guest. This apparently came as a surprise to the American Conservative Union, the umbrella organization for CPAC. Continue reading
To her credit, Oregon Governor Kate Brown has publicly made ethics reform one of her top priorities. Yet, there have been many negative headlines and top staff resignations over conflict of interest issues. Even small issues mishandled can undermine credibility and create big problems for Governor Brown. Take for instance the news that Governor Brown created a controversy over what appears to be misuse of a State government credit card to pay for personal expenses. Brown later reimbursed the state. Brown managed to deflect this potential controversy during her election campaign at a time when the media and the public was having a debate on her role as Governor.
The public never knew about this information because the Governor’s Office delayed releasing the information. The request for public records regarding the Governor’s Office was made in July 2016, but the complete records were not made available until November 4th — nearly four months later (on a Friday before the weekend), and after hundreds of thousands of ballots in the Gubernatorial election had already been returned. If you follow the Governor you will notice that Kate Brown has been criticized for delaying public record requests from other organizations as well. It is becoming a pattern and it certainly does not fit a Governor who claims to support transparency in Government.
More on her delay at Oregon Capitol Watch here.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Northwest Connection.)
I am dismayed at the lack of legal insight exhibited by the vast majority of commentators in their examination of President’s Trump’s executive order restricting the entry of certain classes of aliens into our country. I have read several articles on this hotly contested issue, and none of them seem to touch on the key points of law. If the 9th Circuit stay against Trump’s executive order is overturned, as it should be, I believe that will be done based on lack of legal standing on the part of the Plaintiff States (Washington and Minnesota). There are aspects of standing that, to my knowledge, no one has as yet discussed in the context of Trump’s order. For instance, standing must be “distinct.” (But you won’t see that in the blogger summaries.) I found the following in the Federal Practice Manual for Legal Aid Attorneys, which is accessible on line.
The (Supreme) Court expounded on (the principles of legal standing) in Warth v. Seldin, where the Court coined the phrase “distinct and palpable injury” to capture the requirement that plaintiffs must plead more than a generalized or undifferentiated grievance against the government.83 “Distinct” generally means that the challenged act or policy affects the plaintiff differently from citizens at large…. The Court explained in Warth that the prohibition against citizen standing and taxpayer standing did not derive from Article III. Rather, the requirements that a plaintiff suffer a distinct and palpable injury are “essentially matters of judicial self-governance.”84 Thus, while the requirement of injury in fact is rooted in Article III, the requirement that the injury be distinct and palpable is a prudential limitation on standing created to effectuate the separation of powers. (Italics mine.) Continue reading
Over the course of my life I’ve listened to 50s rock, surf, Beatles and the British Invasion, classic rock, and heavy metal. Around the time I turned 50, I began appreciating the kind of vintage standards and contemporary ballads that my parents have always liked.
Don’t worry; I’m not going to go all John Boehner on you.
I still enjoy hearing Tom Petty’s “Free Falling,” or Judas Priest’s “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming.” But I don’t automatically close my ears to the great melodies, heartfelt lyrics, and stellar arrangements to be found on the softer pages of the American songbook.
I did not consult the Internet when making this list. These are simply ten songs I came up with off the top of my head while sitting on the couch.
“Johnny Angel,” Shelley Fabares
Though I didn’t have a girlfriend yet, there was something about listening to this sparkling ode to young love on my elementary school playground that made me think I was going to have one soon. If that girl was anything like the angels who sang this song, I was going to be in seventh heaven. Few of us have not suffering over an unrequited love, and no sweeter chorus of voices has ever complained of it. Continue reading
Congress by statute has authorized the president (NOT the court) to “suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens” whose entry HE (NOT the court) determines “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.” He doesn’t need to go to Congress or any court in the land for permission. He can prohibit their entry “by proclamation.” And he can do it for as long as “he shall deem necessary.”
Besides which, if America is as bad as liberals say it is, Trump is doing Muslims a favor by telling them to stay home, is he not? Continue reading