Wednesday, March 31, 2010

TEA PARTY PETITION

I,________________, as a member of the Tea Party, take an oath that I

will not use "socialist" programs such as SS, Medicare, other medical coverage provided by the Feds,

take out loans from the Feds, use the Fed highways, roads, fire departments, use 911 emergency

system, the police departments, the Armed Forces will not protect me, will not use libraries,

schools, use cell phones, land phones since the use Fed money, over the air television or radio stations,

use the internet, use Fed workers to guide my plane to an airport, public transportation, etc.

Anything that uses Fed money, included free wood from national forest, hunting land, fishing resources,

camp grounds. I will also take a chance on the food I eat, the water I use, since I will have to

test it myself along with the waste water leaving my property.



If I am using or benefiting from any Fed program, I will immediately stop and return said

money.



Sincerely,______________ Date___________

Thursday, March 25, 2010

JASON BARBOUR RESIGNS FROM TRANSIT RIDERS UNION

Portland City Council Candidate Jason Barbour Resigns from Transit Riders Union

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: Friday, March 5, 2010

Contact: Jason Barbour, info (at) electjasonbarbour.com

"Quality, usable, dependable public transportation service, whether provided by bus or rail, is a key component of a good major city," Portland City Council candidate Jason Barbour says. "I believe that continuing my interest in public transit service advocacy and activism as a candidate for public office, as well as a daily public transit rider and Portland Community College student, sends a strong message to TriMet that it should provide Portland, as well as the entire metropolitan area, more service at less cost to riders, not less service at more cost as they propose for September 2010."

With these words, Barbour resigned as a Co-Coordinator of the Transit Riders Union today, effective immediately, citing professional differences between co-coordinators.

He continues his candidacy for Portland City Council.

"We won't have jobs, commerce, educational opportunities, libraries, hospitals, parks, arts, social services, or anything else if citizens cannot reach these destinations in a timely manner," Barbour argues. "Public transit serves as a way for pedestrians to extend their trip range. Public transit is a backup for motorists and bicyclists. Public transit is also the primary mode of transportation for thousands, including myself."

Barbour points to the passage of Ballot Measures 66 and 67 by Oregon voters as proof that the citizens of Oregon are willing to see additional permanent funding for essential services. Barbour believes public transit is an essential service. TriMet says they have 'no choice' but to eliminate service due to falling revenues from traditional sources of funding.

Barbour also hopes his candidacy in Oregon's largest city sends a message to Governor Kulongoski and candidates for the next term, that public transit riders should be appointed to the TriMet Board of Directors. It is currently unknown if any member of the TriMet Board relies on TriMet for daily transportation needs. Barbour ultimately wants to see an elected TriMet Board.

"It is unfortunate that, in the ten months I was involved with the Transit Riders Union, differences of opinion and irrelevant side conversations at meetings have dwindled interest and diluted its message and purpose," Barbour comments.

Barbour has previous successful experience with public transit advocacy and activism as a volunteer with The Committee to Save C-TRAN in 2005. Barbour believes the group was successful in part due to everyone putting aside their differences for one goal: help keep public transit service on the road.

A sampling of irrelevant topics discussed at Transit Riders Union meetings included partisan politics, personal pronouns, structure of nonprofit organizations, and sociological context. All of these were absent from the 2005 Clark County, Washington, effort.

Jason Barbour's campaign website is ElectJasonBarbour.com.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

FOR BOJACK

Trees of Mystery - Sky Trail tour
Sky Ride at Stone Mountain
Skyride to Harbor Center Tower in Vancouver
Grouse Mountain Skyride in Vancouver BC
Sky Trams in Santa Cruz!
Sky-Tram Ride to Mansa Devi Temple in Haridwar

FRED REED

The Last Hope

March 19, 2010

.

Washington is out of control. It does as it likes, without restraint. It spends American money and American lives to fight remote wars for which it cannot provide a plausible reason. It determines what our children will be taught, who we can hire and fire, to whom we can sell our houses, whether we can defend ourselves, even what names we can call each other. The feds read our email and track the web sites we visit, make us hop around barefoot in airports at the command of surly unaccountable rentacops. They search us at random in train stations without even a pretense of probable cause. We have no influence over them, no way of resisting.

Except, perhaps, to ignore them.

Washington has learned to insulate itself from interference by the population. Huge impenetrable bureaucracies beyond public control make regulations that amount to laws, spending God knows how much money to do God knows what for the benefit of the interest groups that run the government. These bureaucrats cannot be fired and usually cannot be named. Congress, like the bureaucracies, serves not the United States but the big lobbies. The looters of Wall Street wreck the lives of millions, and get millions in bonuses for doing it instead of the end of a rope.

Further, the federal government simply doesn’t work. It is clogged up, constipated, gridlocked, using antiquated technology to do badly things it ought to do and things it oughtn’t. In large part this is because federal hiring rests on the desires of racist and feminist lobbies instead of suitability for the work to be done. Whole departments—HUD, Education—do much harm and little good. IRS is ruthless, incompetent, and unaccountable, the tax laws burdensome and crafted for the benefit of special interests and of Washington. I can change my address with my bank online in five minutes and know that it has been done; IRS requires a paper form and six to eight weeks to effect the change, and you don’t know whether it has been done. The goons of TSA leer at our daughters with their porno=scanners. The VA can easily take six months to provide a veteran’s records, when it could be done online in five seconds. The Pentagon spends a trillion a year, precious little of which has anything to do with defending America, but can’t defeat a small group of badly outnumbered men armed with rifles and RPGs; the intelligence agencies were unable to warn them of the prospect.

The government doesn’t work. It is broken. It can’t be fixed. It can’t be fixed because only those within it could, and their interest lies in not fixing it.

The only remedy short of armed rebellion is civil disobedience at the level of the states. Clear constitutional justification for refusal to obey Washington lies in the Tenth Amendment:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

A great many states now begin to do a great many things counter to Washington’s wishes. I think it wise to keep resistance within the framework of the Constitution, but the entire question comes down to a blunt truth: No law extends beyond the lawmaker’s power to enforce it. Congress can pass a law against gravitation, but can’t prevent things from falling when released from a height. The federal government made alcohol illegal but, in the face of massive public disregard, couldn’t make it stick.

What happens if, as may happen, California legalizes marijuana—not just for contrived medical purposes, but legalizes it, period? I search in vain for the Marijuana Clause in the Constitution. The feds do not have the manpower to enforce federal laws within California without the help of the police of California. What happens if a state passes a law saying that its citizens cannot be forced to buy health insurance? What can Washington do? It can persecute individuals, but a state, or thirty states, are another thing. The FBI can arrest any one person, but it cannot arrest Wyoming.

Much depends on how sick people really are of the ever-growing thicket of laws, regulation, imposed political correctness, surveillance, and having to live according to the dictates of remote elites with whom they have nothing in common.

At bottom, Washington’s power is economic. The feds rely for control on taxing money from the states and giving some of it back in exchange for obedience. They cannot arrest Wyoming, but they can deny it federal highway funds. This technique provides de facto control over everything from kindergarten to MIT.

Now, if Idaho passes a law (I’m making this up) saying that no restrictions on the ownership of guns will be enforced within the state, Washington might choose discretion over valor and ignore it. Legalizing marijuana, however, or refusing to accept compulsory medical care, would be a direct if not necessarily intentional challenge to the power of the central government. The feds could not afford to let either of these things slide. The danger of the precedent to the grip of the governing classes would be too great. A deadly serious confrontation would ensue.

What could, or would, the federal government do in response to defiance? Send the Marines to occupy Sacramento? Or the FBI to arrest Arnold and the legislature of California?

Or cut off California’s financial water? No bailout for the state’s tottering economy, no more fat subsidies to the universities, and so on?

The question is how ugly might things get. Washington may be able to make the states back down. It may not. The peril for the feds is that it might occur to the states that, while they get their money from Washington, Washington gets its money from the states. The central government depends absolutely on the states, whereas the states would get along swimmingly without the current central government.

How tired are Americans of a dysfunctional, oppressive Washington, unconcerned for its citizens, unaccountable and tending fast toward the totalitarian, that sprawls across the continent like an armed leech of malign intent? That is the question. The first time a populous states says “No,” if such a state ever does, we will get the answer. The United States has been free, prosperous, and reasonably well governed for a long time. It no longer is. Things go downward, within and without.

Nothing lasts, change comes, and things break. We shall see. Give it five years.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

WTF?

Take a look at this and just remember elections in November 2010.
U..S. House & Senate have voted themselves $4,700 and $5,300 raises.
  1. They voted to NOT give you a S.S. Cost of living raise in 2010 and 2011.
  2. Your Medicare premiums will go up $285.60 for the 2-years
  3. You will not get the 3% COLA: $660/yr.
  4. Your total 2-yr loss and cost is -$1,600 or -$3,200 for husband and wife.
  5. Over these same 2-years each Congress person will get $10,000
  6. Do you feel SCREWED?
  7. Will they have your cost of drugs - doctor fees - local taxes - food, etc., decrease?
  8. NO WAY.
Congress received a raise and has better health and retirement benefits than you or I.
  • Why should they care about you?
  • You never did anything about it in the past.
  • You obviously are too stupid or don't care.
  • Do you really think that Nancy, Harry, Chris, Charlie, Barnie, et al, care about you?
Send the message to these individuals --- "YOU'RE FIRED!"
In 2010 you will have a chance to get rid of the sitting Congress: up to 1/3 of the Senate and 100% of the House!
Make sure you're still mad in November 2010 and remind their replacements not to screw-up.
It is ok to forward this to your sphere of influence if you are finally tired of the abuse. Maybe it's time for Amendment 28 to the Constitution..
28th Amendment will be as follows:
"Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators or Representatives, and Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States ."
Let's get this passed around, folks - these people in Washington have brought this upon themselves! It's time for retribution. Let's take back America ...

An idea whose time has come .......

For too long, we have been too complacent about the workings of
Congress.
Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire at the
salary they are making after only one term in office; that they don't
pay into Social Security; that they specifically exempted themselves from
many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of
prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live
under those laws.

The latest is to exempt themselves from the Health Care Reform that is
being considered.....in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn't seem
logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don't care if they
are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The self-serving must
stop.
This is a good way to do that. It is an idea whose time has come.

Have each person contact a minimum of 20 people on their address
list, and in turn ask each of those to do likewise. In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one proposal that really should be passed around.

Proposed 28Th Amendment to the United States Constitution:

"Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of
the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or
Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the
Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the
citizens of the United States".


Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Secret to Having Happy Employees

About 10 years ago I was having my annual holiday party, and my niece had come with her newly minted M.B.A. boyfriend. As he looked around the room, he noted that my employees seemed happy. I told him that I thought they were. Then, figuring I would take his new degree for a test drive, I asked him how he thought I did that. "I'm sure you treat them well," he replied. "That's half of it," I said. "Do you know what the other half is?" He didn't have the answer, and neither have the many other people that I have told this story. So what is the answer? I fired the unhappy people. People usually laugh at this point. I wish I were kidding. I'm not. I have learned the long, hard and frustrating way that as a manager you cannot make everyone happy. You can try, you can listen, you can solve some problems, you can try some more. Good management requires training, counseling and patience, but there comes a point when you are robbing the business of precious time and energy. Don't get me wrong. This doesn't happen a lot. There's no joy in the act of firing someone. And it's not always the employee's fault — there are many bad bosses out there. Bad management can make a good employee dysfunctional. On the other hand, good management will not always make a dysfunctional employee good. And sometimes people who would be great employees somewhere else just don't fit your company, whether it is the type of business or the company culture. In the worst cases, the problem of a bad fit can have a bigger impact than just one employee's performance. Being in charge does not necessarily mean you are in control, and being in control does not necessarily mean being in charge. Have you ever seen a company or department paralyzed by someone who is unhappy and wants to take hostages? It is remarkable how much damage one person can do. If you haven't seen it, I suggest you watch "The Caine Mutiny." Basically, one guy takes apart the ship. He was unhappy. It only takes one. This is only my opinion. I don't have a Ph.D., an M.B.A., or even an economics degree. What I do have is a happy company. And that makes me happy. Now I know some people argue that business is about making money, and not everyone has to be happy. That is also an opinion. Everyone has a right to his or her opinion. When you own a company, you also have the right to surround yourself with the people you choose. I have spent the last year and a half focusing on cutting costs, figuring out how the market has changed, and worrying about the economy. Things seem to be getting better, or perhaps I am just getting used to it. Either way, I had a good day today. Not because I got a big order, great financial reports or even an employee stopping by to tell me what an awesome boss I am. (That generally doesn't happen. You have to tell yourself. It's a boss thing.) I had a great day because I spent most of it walking around the company and appreciating the fact that even after a year and a half of soft sales and cutbacks and furloughs, I have wonderful people working for me. They care. They are committed. They understand the whole customer–staff–company triangle, where all of the legs support each other. If you read books on great companies, they usually leave out a dirty little secret. It doesn't make for good public relations — like talking about how you "empower people" or how your "greatest assets" are your people. Both of these well–worn clich├ęs are true. What is also true is that it's hard to build a great company with the wrong people. When you have the right people, business is much easier. I know because I have tried it both ways. Jay Goltz owns five small businesses in Chicago.

Friday, March 5, 2010

STEVE

Meet Metro's new chief: Service is the key
LIGHT RAIL BLOG
The Arizona Republic
Sean Holstege
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 11:33 AM

With a wave, a longtime Metro employee ushers me into the agency's inner sanctum and says "Meet the new boss."

Being a gentleman of a certain age, my mind jumps to a Who lyric, and I wonder, "Same as the old boss?"

Not quite. Metro CEO Steve Banta projects a much more hands-on image than the one struck by his predecessor Rick Simonetta. Simonetta was a planner by training and after a long and distinguished career came to Phoenix to build the starter line. His critics accused him of being aloof or overly willing to delegate at times.

Banta's quarter-century-long career started as a mechanic. He keeps in his office a picture of the San Diego trolley he first worked on in the mid-1980's. From there he moved around the country, working his way up as a mechanic supervisor, but always in the operations side of the transit business.

It comes across in his speech.

"I call it the view through the windshield. If we all understand what the operator sees and the mechanic sees every day, then our system will succeed," he says.

Banta understands that providing transit service is a contract with the public, riders and non-riding taxpayers alike. He came from managing operations in Portland, where the 72 percent of the customers could drive but choose not to. Here, about two-thirds of Metro's customers have a car.

"I ask (the) operators: 'Would you pay full fare to use our service?' If the answer is yes, great, keep doing what you're doing. If the answer is no, what can you do to get to yes?"

It's not an abstract question. Banta is leasing a home in Central Phoenix's Willo neighborhood and rides the train to work. He plans to meet with businesses along the track to see if Metro's promises came true. He says managing a transit system is all about the relationship with the community.

"Ultimately you are connecting people to life," Banta says.

He says there are four keys to Metro's success: keeping the system in good repair, providing a good work environment, getting community buy-in and providing top service.

"Now we have to embrace operations. If (someone feels he gets value for the transit ticket, the expansions will market themselves," he says, noting that he's talking with federal officials about downsizing expansions for the first time in his career.

Keeping faith with customers may be challenging in Metro's second year, as the agency and its member cities consider budget cuts and service reductions. Banta describes the scale of cuts this way: "They are unfortunate, not drastic. It's not draconian."