Sent this e-mail out today. They want to win an entrepreneurial prize:
"PORTLAND, Ore.—Just 5,000 online votes are needed to make Instant Birth Control – hormonal contraception available through Planned Parenthood’s web site – eligible for millions of dollars in program development and expansion funding.
"Instant Birth Control, available now to women in Oregon and Washington, is one of 10 finalists in an international competition that seeks to identify Disruptive Innovations: replicable, sustainable ideas that could change health care delivery forever. Planned Parenthood would like to make Instant Birth Control available to women all over the nation.
"The competition is hosted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and social entrepreneurship organizations Changemakers and Ashoka. There were 307 entries from 27 countries.
"From among the finalists, three will be chosen to receive $5,000 each. In addition, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation may award up to $5 million to support projects with the potential for the greatest impact.
"Voters are asked to go to www.Changemakers.net by August 29 to help Planned Parenthood win one of the $5,000 prizes and perhaps qualify for the RWJF award. Look for the Disruptive Innovations link under “Competitions.” The two-step voting process will take only about five minutes.
"Instant Birth Control is a collaborative effort among five Planned Parenthood affiliates in Washington and Oregon, housed in the Online Health Center of Planned Parenthood of the Columbia/Willamette.
"Planned Parenthood of the Columbia/Willamette is the largest non-profit family planning and reproductive rights organization in Oregon and Southwest Washington. For more than 40 years, Planned Parenthood of the Columbia/Willamette has successfully carried out our mission of providing, promoting and protecting access to reproductive and sexual health care. For more information, visit www.ppcw.org."
So I guess we're supposed to celebrate entreprenuership. I think I'll pass.
It isn't often that government slaps a union. This one is priceless. Congratulations to Jackson County for recognizing who is actually buttering their bread. It gets funnier here. NWRepublican scored this one.
Somebody here has written about the role education has played in moving forward the agenda of Leftists. You can hear the argument that one of the roles played by the education system is to give avenues of access to viewpoints that aren't necessarily offered in the home. I guess this is the "education as means to sophistication" argument. Of course, sophistication leads to nuance, I guess.
Lewis & Clark College has been on my personal radar since the 70's. I attended State. My girlfriend attended L & C. I studied normal old economics. My girlfriend studied economics, too, but she was taught that systems that don't pay all employees equally were guilty of discriminating against their workers. They called this the "labor theory of value". That this was a Marxist belief, and therefore more of a religious belief than an observation on sources of value, didn't make much of a dent. And, I suppose, for good reason.
When you're a student your goal is to get good grades. That's what your parents have been pushing for years. Your teachers have told you the importance of good grades. Universities require good grades for admission. To remain in college, you need good grades.
Very rarely do you hear about the value of a good education. I think there is an assumed equivalancy between a good education and good grades. But if your experiences in high school and college were anything like mine, you know that's BS. My senior year in high school? Get real. I had to read Lord of the Rings. Seriously. I was required to do so. About 15 minutes into the book I realized "we have a problem". I went to a couple of classes following the placing of this text in our hands and listened to what my classmates were cranking out for commentary. Watching the teacher, a man who married one of my classmates that summer, I realized that all I had to do was reproduce the narrative thread of my classmates, and bingo! A grade!
It wasn't the book. It was the narrative thread.
So, take a while and listen to this. It will take an hour. It's about the narrative thread being taught in our schools. At the law school at Lewis & Clark, at least. And while your listening, take a look at this. One of the most important First, Fourth and Fifth Amendment cases in the country is taking place right now in San Francisco. Chances are you haven't even heard of it.
But you probably read about the New York Times writing about international phone surveilance that occured without a search warrant? This case was generated by that reporting. So take a peek at Zombietime's coverage of the AL-HARAMAIN case. And listen to the kids being taught at L & C. And think about the narrative thread being taught. Not just in colleges. But in high schools, middle schools and grade schools.
Sure, I'm a cranky old guy. But didn't you have at least one class along the way where you knew what you were being "taught" was BS and you chose to go along just to get along? Sure you do. But what about that old bell curve. The one that shows that only half the people are above average intelligence? What if you couldn't discern between being taught a narrative thread and being educated? Would you know the difference between indoctrination and education?
"Eastern Oregon timber harvests have continued to decline to historic record lows, falling from 30.6 percent of Oregon's harvest in 1991 to now only 12.6 percent of harvests.
"This raises serious concerns about the ability of eastern Oregon's forest industry to contribute to rural economies in that part of our state, and to help restore the region's fire and insect- and disease-prone overstocked forests," said Gary Lettman, forest economist with the Oregon Department of Forestry.
"With 2006 harvests at 4.3 billion board feet, harvest volumes in Oregon remained above 4 billion board feet for the fourth straight year. In spite of softening housing markets and a weakening outlook for lumber and plywood markets, overall harvests declined less than 1 percent from 2005.
"While eastern Oregon harvests continued their fall, harvests in western Oregon remained essentially unchanged
"Although harvests from public and non-industrial private forest lands declined, increases from Oregon's industrial forest lands kept harvest well above the 4 billion mark. At 3.2 billion board feet, harvest volumes on industrial lands were the highest that they have been since 1982. Harvests on Bureau of Land Management lands increased 7 percent to 130 million board feet – continuing the increase for the fifth straight year since harvest levels from those lands hit an historic low in 2001.
"However, U. S. Forest Service harvest levels continued to fall. Total harvested volume from Oregon's national forests fell 60 million board feet to 216 million board feet, with a 17 percent decrease in eastern Oregon and a 26 percent decrease western Oregon.
"Lane County continued to be the state leader in total timber harvest, with 594 million board feet, followed by 493 million board feet from Douglas County and 363 million board feet out of Coos County.
"In eastern Oregon, Klamath County continues to be the harvest leader in spite of having the largest decline in year-to-year timber harvests in the state. Klamath County's harvest of 153 million board feet was more than double that of eastern Oregon runner-up Union County's 75 million board feet.
"This information and more is available in the recently-released Oregon Department of Forestry 2006 Annual Timber Harvest Report – a compilation of data relating to timber harvesting and other forest practices in Oregon that includes harvest volumes by county and ownership, harvested acres, and estimated western Oregon species harvested."
What does it cost to chase the dream of an Environmental Utopia? Are Oregonians willing to pull up their boots and get back to work? What will it take to wake us up?
In an effort to prop up the hysterical rantings of Global Warming Fabulists--e.g., the AlGore--Governor Ted (What Me Worry?) Kulongoski's office today announces that Oregon is going to "Lead the Way". Which is what we do in Oregon. We "Lead the Way!"
"Climate scientists and environmental activists like former Vice President Al Gore are alarmists. They use flawed statistical models to predict a catastrophic future of thawed glaciers, super-charged hurricanes, swamped coastlines and scorched crops."
"'In the media, we hear the gloom and doom side,' said Rep. Jeff Lewis (R-White), chairman of the House Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee that held the hearing. 'There is alternative information out there'."
It seems the legislature in Georgia is going to roll for AlGore and Global Warming. They even listened to experts, like Patrick Michaels, a professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia. "Michaels, the scientist from UVA, said climate change is real. But he said the likely impact — the dramatic rise in sea level, the extent of the loss of the glaciers of Greenland, the jump in severe hurricanes — has been exaggerated.
"Many of the suggestions to reduce CO2 would cost a lot of money and provide very little change, he said."
But fools rush in, as it were. "In February of this year, Governor Kulongoski was instrumental in forming the WCI with his fellow governors of Arizona, California, New Mexico and Washington.
"The WCI established a long-term commitment to significantly reduce regional GHG emissions thus lowering the risk of dangerous threats to the climate. Since February the state of Utah and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Manitoba also have joined the WCI."
Environmental scare tactics have lead the progressive/socialist/Lefty agenda for more than 40 years. Earth love, Mother Gaiea and environmentalism all share the same basic font of belief. People involved productively in making their lives, and their childrens' lives, more productive are Wastrels (see Governor McCall's statement here.)
People who fight against resource use, development, efficient roads and highways are Good. Good also means Democrat, since Republicans are more concerned with favorable business conditions and schools that teach usable skills. Democrats talk about having a Vision for the Future. Republicans talk about keeping costs down and money in the tax-payer's pocket.
Republicans are boring. Democrats are cool.
“The WCI is leading the way for North America in adopting real measures and programs to combat global warming and to secure economic and environmental opportunity,” Governor Kulongoski said. “I am pleased that my fellow governors and premiers have agreed upon a regional goal in the time frame we decided upon. This step sets the stage for the crucial work of developing a regional design for a cap and trade program in the coming year.”
His speechifying is more convoluted than my writing. What he's trying to tell you is, you're screwed. "As part of this commitment, members of the WCI agreed to establish a Western regional GHG reduction goal by the end of August 2007 and design a multi-sector market-based mechanism, such as a load-based cap-and-trade program, by the end of August 2008 to help reach the goal. Each member will also participate in a multi-state GHG emissions registry."
Does the Crap-0-meter peg on this? It should. "This step is another of a growing list of aggressive policies to combat global warming under Governor Kulongoski’s leadership. Oregon was the first of the WCI members to establish state specific GHG emissions goals in early 2005. Oregon’s goals are to arrest the increase of emissions by 2010; reduce emissions to 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020; and reduce emissions to 75 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. The Oregon Legislature codified the GHG emissions goals in statute this year."
Didja know? "Arrest the increase of emissions by 2010".
"The Oregon Legislature codified the GHG emissions goals in statute this year."
Didja get that? Planning a new business in Oregon? It better be making hand-made pemmican. Your governor and Democrat controlled legislature have signed business-growth's death warrant.
Remember Freightliner Corporation? It employs 670 union machinists. Those guys are worried about losing their jobs. And seriously, if you were planning an automobile or truck manufacturing facility, what would make you put Oregon on the top of your list of potential new facilities? Would it be the low tax rates? The low energy rates? The competitive business environment? The pro-business environment?
Other efforts Governor Kulongoski has initiated to combat global warming include:
"Convening a statewide Global Warming Advisory Group. "Implementation of a clean cars program for state vehicles. "Directing state agencies to use 100 percent renewable electricity by 2010. "Adoption of a renewable energy standard requiring 25 percent of Oregon’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2025. "Adoption of a renewable fuels standard. "Creation of a State Climate Research Institute."
Now, take another look at the picture at the top of this post. Half of this state is designated as wilderness. Almost half is designated rural. So which of these areas--urban, rural, wilderness--will be forced to pay for the governor's initiative?
It ain't gonna be the urban. That's where the votes are.
When I talk to customers, one of the first questions I ask is "What is it about you and your business that is important for my audience to know?"
I work in a rural community. Most of the businesses I work for have owners living in town. Another way of saying this is "Mom and Pop" businesses. The local market. The local furniture store. Businesses that feel good if they can gross 40 to 60 thousand a month.
And a lot of little businesses that feel good if they can gross 10 to 15 thousand a month. That being said, what is the purpose of my question?
For a lot of small business owners, having a business is buying a job.
When you ask them what they do they start telling you about buying merchandise, keeping the books and making sure that the toilet is clean. They do the work. As they grow they may bring on an employee, but that employee is simply taking over the mundane tasks that the business owner really doesn't want to do himself. And they can look at the cost of an employee as allowing them more time to spend of "more productive" activities.
But when I ask my question, a lot of times I get blank stares.
They think about the jobs they have to do to open and operate a business. Very little time is spent on the "Vision Thing". Or, too much.
Most "business advisors" in the area are associated with the local community college. My favorite, a man who spent his career in the military before becoming a "business advisor" was a man of great vision and little common sense. On his last big project I was invited to a roll-out of their business plan. I was appalled. They were going to spend millions creating a business that nobody wanted. Sure, the services they planned to provide were services being offered successfully by others in the market. It was the product they provided that was the issue.
It was the way they packaged it. Sure it was expensive. Sure it was lavish. Sure it was overbuilt. Overbuilt. Maybe would have made sense in Palm Desert. Maybe Phoenix. But at the beach?
By the time the project was almost done all the signals were there. They were going banko quick. By the time the project opened for business it was clear it was a flop.
Since then there have been three sets of owners who have come in to turn it around. Where they've all failed is to see that "making it work" isn't a business plan.
What people want when they come into the market is a relaxed place where they can entertain themselves and their guests. Before the business advisor came in the picture the operation ws a successful one. There was very little chrome and brass. There were no ferns. The end product was a masterful recreation of a California Fern Bar. It's like they went to Downtown Portland and reproduced the gaudiest bank tower fern bar they could find.
But they forgot the customer. If the customer had wanted a bank tower fern bar, they wouldn't be heading to the beach to a $400-thousand dollar cottage. They forgot what the customer wanted. An escape from the city. Remember the line, "If you build it they will come"? So, what is "it"?
"What is it about you and your business that is important for my audience to know?" What is "it"? Not do you need plates, a kitchen and a large dining hall. Sure, you need some of these things if you're going to open a restaurant, but don't you think my audience already knows that? A "great view" isn't going to bring customers back. The "largest menu of fresh fish dinners" isn't going to bring customers back. The "its" of business aren't just the things you have to do to keep the doors open, nor can you cover for the lack of "it" by offering great things that simply don't get "it".
This is where the "Vision Thing" can get confusing. In too many cases, the "Vision Thing" is simply a cover for not knowing what "it" is.
Dead fish, dead birds, dirty water, dirty air. These are the icons of the environmental movement. When industries, communities or businesses attempt to move forward to provide jobs, resources and income to the state, environmentalists trot out dead fish, dead birds, dirty water and dirty air.
One of the major bogey men for environmentalists is the existence of hydroelectric power plants. This is a hard one, because most of the decisions to place dams across rivers to generate electricity or for flood control were made forty to sixty years ago. The dams in the Klamath Hydroelectric Project (KHP) have existed since 1918. Whatever stocks of native salmon that may have existed on the Klamath River above the dams of the KHP have been gone long before your mom and dad were kids.
The same is true for northern stocks of salmon above Grand Coulee. Grand Coulee was never designed to have access for returning salmon above the dam. Power generation and water for irrigation. That was the choice. Between 19 and 20 billion kilowatt hours each year. In addition, annual crop worth more than one-half billion dollars. 300,000 acres of land and water for recreation. Flood control operations that keep flow at The Dalles below 450,000 cfs.
So, what is the issue with KHP? Perhaps it's a too concerned Federal Judge. Perhaps it's because the name of a greedy, rich guy--Warren Buffet--is associated with the project. Perhaps it's because Pacificorp owns 50 hydroelectric dams and environmental groups want the dams to go away. So, they're going to fight the relicensing through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) at every opportunity. And maybe find a friendly judge.
But dead fish, birds, dirty water, air create a kneejerk reaction among the environmentally friendly. And the salmon! Salmon, the King of Fish! Unfortunately, the reach for salmon can't be sustained. The native stocks have been gone for decades. What we're really worried about here is "two species of sucker fish and a species of salmon."
In April, 2001 "District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong of Oakland, Calif., barred the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation from supplying water to the 1,400 farmers and over 6,000 other water-users that depend on the Klamath River Project." (WND)
This, despite the fact that the Upper Klamath Lake was full.
Now, again, environmentalists have moved to stop the FERC process of relicensing the dams. Their claim?
"According to plaintiffs’ complaint, PacifiCorp has caused damages to the individuals by creating toxic conditions in the reservoirs and the entire Lower Klamath. Specifically, the suit alleges that toxic blue-green algae thrives and settles in the reservoirs above PacifiCorp’s dams, creating a toxic environment for salmon and endangering human health. According to plaintiffs, when the algae and its toxic by-products flow downstream, it threatens not only their livelihoods but their way of life. They allege that PacifiCorp has decimated the Klamath salmon fishery, dissuaded tourism and other recreational uses of the river, and seriously impeded tribal religious ceremonies, most of which are river-based." (Press Release 8-21-07)
Dirty water. Dead sucker fish. You examine the claims of the enviros against the claims of farmers, ranchers and electricity users of the past 90 years and the enviros come up empty. Save the Algae Blooms! or, Save the Suckers!
Neither motivate well. But environmentalists aren't seeking balanced use. The kind of balanced use that was needed when rivers were burning. Rivers are cleaner. Air is cleaner. Natural fish and bird stocks are coming back. The kind of fantasy returns wished for by the enviros is infantile. But still supported by a federal judge. A judge who ruled in favor of salamanders. A judge who removed grazing rights to ranchers in an area larger than the State of Virginia. A judge that may not need the truth if he has a deeper vision of the thing.
"Human "Dam" Blockades PacifiCorp's Portland Headquarters "Three protesters lock into 600 pound concrete barrels, demand removal of Klamath dams"
Three protestors. Click on the link above and look at these valiant Earth Warriors.
"PacifiCorp is a climate criminal and salmon killer living in the heart of Portland," said Cedar Knoll, who was also locked into the blockade. "For human health, salmon survival and a livable climate, PacifiCorp must un-dam the rivers of the west and eliminate its use of fossil fuels."
Cedar Knoll. Imagine if her name had been Kandi Larue. She'd be a stripper today. Yet, these are the folks at the forefront of the Eco/Environmental Movement. If you have a job, a ranch or a family, you're a criminal. If you're dumb and stupid and want to pretend to bring back stocks of fish that have been gone for more than 90 years...er, okay. But for once, just admit your fantasies, please. And judges who sign on to the fantasy? Try growing up.
Picture from John Klicker/AP "The Folly of 'Smart Growth'" by Randal O'Toole Thoreau Institute (pdf)
I like Dangerus. He, uh, motivates me. I don't know how. Mebbe it's just he posts on things that I've had rolling around in my head and I say "damn" and start writing.
His latest post on Light Rail hits Oregon's biggest problem right on the head (of the nail, if you don't get the allusion). And drives it home.
When I wrote in an earlier post that Senate Bill 100 was a creation of the "Commune of Paris" in 1973, I merely wanted to point out that we live in a fantasy land of opportunities where even the craziest notions get credence, and my pal Mohammed has to put his life on the line, every day, for the simplest notions of freedom and liberty.
But Oregon didn't get to this fantasy state without a lot of planning. By 1968 Americans were introduced to Zero Population Growth (ZPG). In his best-selling book, "The Population Bomb", school kids all over the nation were required to read about Paul R. Ehrlich's new catastrophe--the destruction of America due to over-crowding population growth, global warming and mass famine.
I'll admit it. Somebody tells me that we're going to end up dying because of over-population and I'll take a look at the problem. Since I'd been alive America had lived under the threat of a nuclear cloud. By 1970 we had Pete Seeger singing about it (click on Track 24) on TeeVee. But now, not a nuclear bomb...a population bomb! No blooming cloud, just filth and death.
We were forced to read it at school. We heard it innumerable times on the TV. By the time my wife and I decided to have children our minds were made up. Two. ZPG. Moving from DINK to parenthood was commitment enough. (DINK=Dual-income, no kids.) And with increasing capitalization of production in this country, increases in productivity were going to outpace demands for labor. At least, that was my theory. And my theory relied upon the history of economic innovation that has occured, particularly in the past century.
And, up until this time, voluntary limits on population growth combined with voluntary contributions to productivity seemed a hella strong argument for sustained economic growth.
No matter how hard apologists work in an attempt to redeem Malthus, if you view the work on objective data--instead of normative outcomes--it becomes apparent that innovation would allow for continued economic progress. (For a brief discussion, check Wiki's Joseph Schumpeter. "According to Schumpeter, Ricardo and Keynes reasoned in terms of abstract models, where they would freeze all but a few variables. Then they could argue that one caused the other in a simple monotonic fashion. This led to the belief that one could easily deduce policy conclusions directly from a highly abstract theoretical model.")
What Malthus, Pete Seeger, Ehrlich and any of the current crop of Social Engineers couldn't, don't and won't admit to is the power of innovation. And our inability to mandate innovation. That doesn't mean that "social activists" won't stop trying. Some of the social goods mandated during the 1960's and 1970's made, and make, sense.
Chances are, if you were born after 1969 you've never heard of rivers burning. In 1963 Clean Air was mandated federally. Clean Water was mandated federally in 1972. According to the USGS, in the 1960's "Oregon's Willamette River was off limits to recreation and the mighty salmon perished." And, in 1969, the Cuyahoga River burns. Again. That's right. The river was on fire. And it hadn't been the first time this particular river burst into flames. That's some serious pollution.
It's hard to argue against federal intervention--governmental intervention--when rivers burn. It's hard to argue against birds dying. So by 1972, DDT is banned. Growing up in Portland there were days when you couldn't see Mount Hood because of the weather. Then there were days when you couldn't see Mount Hood because of the smog. Smog had to be banned.
By 1973 a majority of state legislators looked at smog, water pollution, dying birds, and the population bomb and decided to intervene again. Confusing intervention with innovation, the State of Oregon adopted Senate Bill 100 (pdf). I stood in shock as I listened to the "powers-that-be" describe the intent and scope of this bill. The Liberal Arts College at Ole OSU was housed in a run-down hall. On the top floor were the Political Science offices. And in the lounge, meeting with our professors, were Oregon luminaries Tom McCall and State Senator L.B. Day talking to our department's chair and selected professors. Listening to these gentlemen outline the loss of innovation in favor of intervention was shocking. Gentlemen who had taught me Constitutional Law and the value of civilization sold out liberty for state control.
Yes, birds were dead. Yes, rivers were dirty. Yes, our skies needed to be cleaned-up. But where, in a plan crafted in 1973, were we allowing for dynamic innovation in 1983? 1993? Understanding the Roar of the Times can explain our fall into Central Planning. And there was enough tactile, physical evidence of the need for intervention that falling off the cliff "wasn't a concern." I had profs tell me I was worried too much. That we needed to make changes to protect the environment. Read the words of Governor Tom McCall to the legislature in 1973:
"There is a shameless threat to our environment and to the whole quality of life, an unfettered despoiling of the land. Sagebrush subdivisions, coastal ‘condomania,’ and the ravenous rampage of suburbia in the Willamette Valley all threaten to mock Oregon´s status as the environmental model for the nation. We are dismayed that we have not stopped misuse of the land, our most valuable finite natural resource.
"We are in dire need of a state land-use policy, new subdivision laws, and new standards for planning and zoning by cities and counties. The interests of Oregon for today and in the future must be protected from grasping wastrels of the land. We must respect another truism: that unlimited and unregulated growth leads inexorably to a lowered quality of life."(LCD History)
Land use was recognized as something that could be controlled by local governments. All SB 100 did was require local governments to put their plans for the next 50 years down on paper. And then submit those plans to the state government for approval. No big deal. No big change. It was something governments were doing, anyway.
But we've only covered a portion of the fiasco that intervention has cost the state billions in the past 35 years. Well, the state and the federal government. This desire to intervene has been the capstone of state politics. Because we're doing good things. Whether we can afford them, or not.
Like Light Rail. According to Danegerus' webpage, "In Portland 2/3rds of the budget goes to the 1% of commuters who ride LightRail. As fares only cover 1/6 the budget you have a situation where every $1.25 bus ticket actually costs twice that though I think it's reasonable to subsidize bus service. Do the math. Every $1.25 Train ticket costs the city hundreds of dollars. "
From PublicPurpose, if you ride the Westside lightrail line, the cost to the City to carry one passenger each year is $9,850.00. The cost of leasing a BMW 740 is $9,149.00 per year. A Saturn SL is $2,326.00 per year. Wouldn't it be cheaper to lease a car for each of these commuters than to spend thousands to put him on a train?
But...we saw rivers on fire. Smog. Dirty water. Dying birds. Salmon die outs. That gave us a blank check to intervene, didn't it? So to protect the state we place limits on growth. That was the purpose of SB 100. Under SB 100 several counties have been picked for development. Rural and Wilderness counties must maintain their rustic character. State intervention is necessary to live a dream dreamt in 1973. But at the same time development was being limited in the state, the type of development that would be allowed would be development that fit the dream of "smart growth". (pdf)
From Randal O'Toole's "The Folly of Smart Growth" (pdf), "Despite the benefits of suburban living, some political leaders and social activists in the early 1970's began to vilify low-density suburbs as "sprawl." The anit-sprawl movement came into prominence in 1973 when George Dantzig and Thomas Saaty published their book Compact City: A Plan for Livable Urban Environment. The book unleashed a large movement of planners and architects who endorsed government efforts to mandate much higher population densities, more multi-family dwellings, and severe limits on auto driving."
Mandate higher population density. Severe limits on auto driving. Instead of innovation? Intervention. But the tools of intervention are limited, no?
Rob Kremer has been bothered by the tools of intervention. In his article "soft totalitarians" he writes: "It struck me - Portland is not just an elitist town - it is actually in its own way totalitarian. The elites decide how they think we should live, and then use the coercive instruments available only to government to make us live that way."
In O'Toole (pdf) the author writes, "Metro planners have also placed a stranglehold on the Portland-area road system. In order to increase the use of public transportation, the agency has publicly announced its goal of increasing roadway congestion to the point of stop-and-go traffic flow on roads parallel to existing or planned transit lines." Remember, governments can intervene. They can't innovate.
So, Oregon is living a mythic existence. State legislators from high-density areas like Portland, Eugene, Salem and Medford continue to insist on government intervention. Communities like Baker, Warrenton and The Dalles become increasingly dependent upon state and federal funds for growth and employment. Lane and Douglas counties are unable to provide for basic K-12 education without massive federal funding.
Victoria Taft had a funny article about how absurd our state's intervention into planning and transportation has resulted in the utter mystification by our state's planners.
"The other story is the one about IKEA. It's a well known story. Central planners planned a high density center and even gave away taxpayer land, rights of way, and money to Bechtel to do it in exchange for a light rail contract. Part of the deal, of course, was that big box stores were not allowed. No WalMart. No Costco. Nuttin, honey. But the location, lack of planned parking and other "amenities" were so antithetical to making money in that crummy location that nobody came to the party. IKEA made a pitch, and, the planning poohbahs, elected officials, et al looked the other way, removed some of their mandates and said ok. Now we have Randy Leonard complaining about their sign. Gads.IKEA has been trying to get into the Portland market for awhile. Costco wants to expand as does WalMart.Planners: you have "Peter Principled" your way out of your relevance.Bonus question for Walmart haters: From what countries are most of the items in IKEA imported?China and Poland."
"We had two mottoes that guided us in those days," she explained at a conference years later. "One was, go like hell until you can't go no more, and the other was, it was easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission."
The impact of Global Warming is being felt by all of us. As politicians force us to change from our use of inexpensive fuels to cachet "green" fuels, the demand for grains that were previously used for feedstocks have been converted into fuelstocks.
And, as a result, prices for basic foodstuffs in your home have been rising. For example, just take a look at prices for halibut.
According to Juneau Empire back in March, fisherment were looking for prices as high as $5.50 a pound. Anchorage Daily News talks about "eye-popping prices for their catches."
Sitting at the club Saturday morning, a local halibut fisherman told us that they're now looking at $11.50 a pound for fresh halibut. But can we afford to let fishermen continue to sell their products at such high prices? I think it's time for Senator Smith to take a look at the incredible gouging taking place in the fishing industry. It's time for us to announce controls on fish prices.
Imagine $9.00 a gallon gasoline. Here's Senator Smith's take on prices changing: ""Legislation Senator Smith is supporting along with Senators Wyden and Cantwell to ban gas price gouging in the aftermath of disasters was included as an amendment to a fuel efficiency bill approved by the Senate Commerce Committee today. The price gouging provisions establish tough new federal protections that would guard against profiteering and market manipulation by oil and gas companies." (From May 8 Press Release, Senator Smith's office).
We need to get ahead of the gouging curve. It's time we put price controls on fish. And wheat and corn.
I'm waiting for the Senator to pick up the cross and head to Tarsus.