All the world seems bright and gay. It appears that Ireland's become the first country to legalize homosexual marriage by referendum. Putin crosses that country off his annexation list; ISIS wonders if they have any tall buildings over there.
Yesterday, Oregon gov. Kate unveiled her plan to borrow $100 million and use it to build "thousands of affordable housing units". Being that this is Oregon and she's a politician, that likely would translate into "dozens of high-end apartments". In any case, while everyone's trumpeting a $15 minimum wage, the claim's being made that you have to make a little over $16 an hour to rent a two-bedroom apartment in a lot of places around the state.
That's because, according to government, nobody should pay more than 30% of their income for housing. Oh, had I only known back when I was getting started! Back then, I had this thing called "roommates" that helped cut the expenses down. Of course, I wasn't a "single parent", either; never have been.
Responsibility was a big thing when I was growing up, and when you're making $3 an hour, it's amazing how responsible you can be. On the other hand, we didn't have things called "Baby Mommas" or "Baby Daddys"; that's a fairly recent development which seems associated with lack of responsibility.
So gov. Kate's big plan - since they use a two-bedroom apartment as a standard - appears geared toward "single parents" who are either on welfare or who are in low-income jobs. I wonder if she's ever heard of a place called "Cabrini Green".
Some people are content to sit or perhaps amble around the public fountain, reflecting upon its symmetry, taking in the sounds of falling water, and perhaps considering natural beauty in general. Others look at the fountain and go, "Hey! Free car wash!"
The usual suspects think that employers should hire felons, and to that end, they've introduced legislation that would prohibit inquiring about a job applicant's criminal background during the hiring process. Portland Democratics believe that until an employer actually extends a job offer to an applicant, it's unfair to ask whether he/she has been convicted of a crime.
Oregon is considering a “ban the box” law that would eliminate questions about felony convictions on employment applications.
What a great idea! For some unknown reason, the National Federation of Independent Businesses isn't enthused. Actually, there are a couple of reasons why they oppose HB 3025: quite apart from the additional costs, there's the little fact that employers are required to maintain a safe working environment. They can be held liable for failure to do so, and HB 3025 neither absolves nor limits that employer liability.
Proponents of the bill suggest it will help reformed convicts find a job by removing an obstacle that often disqualifies a candidate from employment early in the hiring process.
Well of course they "suggest" that! The question of just how the employer is supposed to determine the degree of reformation - if any - of a convict is something that they prefer not to address.
As usual, Portland Democratics seem to believe that they know more about running businesses than the business owners themselves. Hey folks - get back to us when you've figured out how to maintain the roads.
A report submitted last week to Portland City Council elucidates what many of us have intuitively understood: city policies have shut down housing in most areas of the city to all but upper-income white folks; in many areas, all other groups are effectively priced out.
And don't even think about buying a condo, much less a home; those are for elite whites only:
When earning the median income for their Census tract, single mothers have almost no chance of renting a home with more than one bedroom in Portland. A median-income black household can’t afford to rent anything bigger than a studio apartment outside the Southeast 122nd Avenue and Division Street neighborhood. Median-income Native American households are limited to studio apartments in Parkrose or Cully.
The demographic that had the highest median income and the most housing options was married couples with children, at $88,088 a year, followed by whites, moderate income earners and Asian households. African and Native American families are completely priced out.
People in most cases now can't afford to live near where they work. The Portland solution? Build more apartments along light rail lines, with no parking. Currently in the works are massive developments in the Lloyd Center area that would add over 900 new apartments - with no way for would-be renters to get to and from jobs unless they're fortunate enough to have landed work along a light rail or bus line (and bus services have been scaled back to support rail operations).
Obviously, what's needed are more jobs that pay median or higher wages, and these are largely in the industrial sector today - such as Greenbriar Corp. and Vigor, both of which are located along the waterfronts. Pembina Pipeline wants to build a LNG terminal at Port of Portland property, which would bring in 800 construction jobs and 40 permanent jobs paying double the local median, but Portland mayor "Streetcar" Charlie is dead set against it.
Them ol' ISIS boyz are claiming credit for the shooting down there in Garland, Texas, which is pretty amusing, since Simpson and his roommate hopped out of the car and opened fire with so-called "assault rifles" and between the two of them they managed to get precisely one bullet into the ankle of a security guard. The guard was treated at a local hospital and released; Simpson and his buddy weren't quite so lucky; they quickly assumed ambient temperature.
Now, if them ol' ISIS fellers really was behind the effort, one can assume that they might have learned something: in America, we shoot back. One officer returned fire and killed both of them, demonstrating once again that a handgun can be far more effective than what the media insist upon referring to as "assault rifles".
It's a regular occurrence here: folks are always getting lost or injured while hiking in the Columbia River Gorge or around Mt. Hood, and it's generally because of their own negligence. Just this morning, around 12:30 a.m., Search and Rescue had to drag another set of dumb hikers out of the Gorge after they got lost above Multnomah Falls.
I used to live up in the area, and spent a lot of time hiking around there. Never once got lost; just stick to the trails and you'll be fine. But there's a steady stream of unprepared or just plain stupid folks who have to go off-trail, or find themselves all turned around, or whatever, and somebody has to go haul them out.
They don't put up with that nonsense in New Hampshire:
A Michigan man must pay the state more than $9,000 for costs related to a 2012 rescue in the White Mountains.
The state Supreme Court has upheld a lower court’s decision against hiker Edward Bacon, who was 59 when Fish and Game search teams and volunteers rescued him after he dislocated a replacement hip while hiking. The court reaffirmed that Bacon’s negligence led to the search and rescue. He was ordered to pay $9,200 for costs related to the efforts.
15 F&G personnel and 35 volunteers searched through the night to locate him and effect the rescue. Bacon claimed that okay, he had a bad back and had undergone four hip replacement surgeries, but nonetheless, he'd trained for his planned expedition!
The Supreme Court leaned on facts presented in the previous bench trial: Bacon’s multiple hip surgeries, bad back and that he trained for his trip in a city park with 250-foot hills and gravelly spots that “did not remotely resemble the challenging terrain he would experience in the White Mountains.”
This is exactly the sort of thing we need to implement in Oregon; putting lives at risk to rescue unprepared idiots free of charge simply enables them.
Two years ago, a now 44 year-old Washington State University "instructor" (don't know if that means he was a perfesser or not) suffered a serious head injury during the course of a fight outside a bar that's located on property owned by the university. Naturally, his lawyer's suing WSU.
Warner, an instructor in WSU’s Department of Critical Culture, Gender and Race Studies at the time, was with a friend outside Stubblefields early March 30 when he was knocked to the ground.
They actually have a "Department" to teach junk like that? So basically the guy had a doctorate in political correctness?
How does today's job market value a degree in Critical Culture, Gender and Race Studies?
Granted, brain damage is often devastating; a good friend of mine suffered that after a car wreck in high school, and it's something I'll never forget. But that was an accident; this doctor chose to go to a bar with a friend who became belligerently drunk, and he incurred his injury during the course of the ensuing fight.
The university bears no responsibility for that; the bar wasn't even on campus - they just own the property at that location. The Doctor of Political Correctness simply made bad decisions. Which, given his vocational choice, seems unsurprising.
Chuck Riley, a Democratic from Hillsboro, has some interesting perspectives. Amusingly, although he voted for universal background checks on gun sales, he was unable to explain how the law he helped to pass would work. And that was the start of things; how he got himself stuck in the proverbial tar baby:
At a recent constituent coffee town hall, Oregon state Senator Chuck Rileytook heat from pro gun folks who were upset with his vote for the “universal background check” bill. Riley attempted to defend this in numerous different ways, including referencing Supreme Court decisions. When one citizen asked him about the Supreme Court upholding slavery back in the 1800s, Riley said “They were right for the time”.
Oh, my. At least Chuck seems to be aware of the fact that Democratics have historically opposed civil rights, having enacted the Jim Crow laws and founded the Ku Klux Klan. And, like slavery itself, these were "right for the time", apparently. And like a good Democratic, he seems to oppose Constitutional rights as well.
Surprisingly, there are nearly 200 breeds of birds and mammals threatened with extinction today. That's largely due to agricultural industrialization over the course of the past 70 years. Prior to World War II, farms were small and exhibited considerable regional variation, but that was soon to change. With the advent of Big Ag, stratification set in - both in terms of the kinds of crops grown and the kinds of livestock raised - leaving the currently vulnerable breeds out in the cold.
There are fewer than 200 Choctaw hogs left, for example. This pig was prized by theNative American Choctaw tribe as a meat source. But displacement of the tribe led to the breed's downfall. Today, Choctaw hogs live on just a few farms in a single county in Oklahoma. The animals are still extremely vulnerable to inbreeding and, Walker says, to natural disasters. "They could potentially get wiped out by one tornado," he says.
But these heritage breeds may be in luck, as America's grown increasingly food-conscious overall, and many of the breeds are increasingly finding interest due to their unique attributes.
"We sometimes say, 'You need to eat them to save them — just don't eat them all,' " says Ryan Walker, the marketing and communications manager of the conservancy.
It would be interesting to see what might happen if the same approach was applied to, say, elephants.