Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lies in the Wall Street Journal

"What was really protected was the $83,402 a year average in pay and benefits to Oregon state workers, 30% higher than what private workers receive."

The above quote from the WSJ article is a Lie.

Oregon's state and local government workers had average earnings much closer to those of private-sector workers (about $41,300 and $40,600, respectively). Read the truth here.

Next time your house catches on fire, give me call and I'll see if I can help...Oh wait that is what we collectively pay for. Socialism rears its ugly head. Next time some one breaks into your house, give me a call...Oh wait that's what the police are for. Next time your kid needs an education... you get the idea. You should know that Oregon's two largest private sector employers, Intel (computer hardware) and Fred Meyer (grocer and dry goods) respect and need a well educated workforce. They did not join Phil Knight (Nike makes no products in Oregon) and Tim Boyle (Columbia Sportswear makes no products in Oregon) in fighting this bill.

The article also fails to mention the fact that Oregon has no sales tax, and limited property tax assessments to 3% a year (here).

Let's say that Nike and Columbia Sportswear were paying the $10 (ha, ha) alternative minimum tax, set in 1931. Raising the rate from $10 to $150 isn't going to break these corporations, no matter the squealing from Tim Boyle, Phil Knight, and their media lackeys at the Oregonian.

Analysis of the latest data showed that 63 percent of all corporations operating in the state paid only $10 in income tax. The 5,156 profitable corporations comprised about one-quarter of all the corporations that paid the $10 minimum. 136 corporations paid 52 percent of all Oregon corporate income taxes in 2006. “If I were the CEO of one of those 136 corporations carrying half the load, I’d want to know which large, profitable corporations are getting away with paying just $10" (OCPP policy analyst Michael Leachman).

One indication of the magnitude of the loophole and overseas tax haven problems comes from the Multistate Tax Commission, which estimated that corporate tax avoidance schemes cost Oregon roughly $80 million in revenue a year (2001 data).

Full disclosure: I worked at Portland State University for ten years, and am now self employed, spouse is a special education teacher in Portland Public Schools. Previously, we were both small business owners, Printing Press and Massage Therapy respectively. We own house and rental in Oregon and timber property Washington. We both graduated from Public Universities. If we got anywhere near the "average" in the WSJ article, we would already be retired.

Photo credit: The Oregonian

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I was nervous but...

Oregon voters agree with legislature, pass ballot measures. This revenue had been put in the budget and was only referred to the voters by the business lobby. But the high tech companies took no position, they seem to have strange need for a well educated workforce, something that is missed by Nike, Safeway, Columbia Sportswear.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

English Lesson

Just heard from a fellow student of mine from JiDa. A Korean, she was in Changchun studying English and I was there studying Chinese. She lived on my floor and I tutored her in colloquial English.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

But here's the skinny:

There has never once been a marginalized group that has won recognition and rights by sitting back and waiting politely for it to happen. There has never once been a marginalized group that has won recognition and rights by doing anything other than speaking out, organizing, making itself visible and vocal. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed."

So you'll have to forgive us if we take the accusations of our offensive, dogmatic, in-your-face extremism with something of a grain of salt. You'll have to forgive us if we listen to the concerned advice from believers about how our confrontational tactics are alienating people and we need to dial it back...and respond by giving it the horse laugh, and continuing to do what we've so successfullybeen doing. You'll have to forgive us if we treat the attempts to quiet us down as attempts to shut us up.

Read the whole thing here.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Tian Xia Wu Zei

Chinese Movie night at the Confucius Institute. No Thieves Under Heaven. Great film, had me laughing all the way thru. Glad I didn't see this before my train ride in China. I'd have been alot more nervous about thieves! The country bumpkin doesn't believe in thieves, and hollers out at the train station, "Are there any thieves here?" So of course the train is full of lone pickpockets, a couple working in tandem, a gang of thieves, armed robbers, and the police. The bumpkin, named Root, a Chinese language pun on the word stupid (ben), has his money stolen several times, saved by the good hearted thieves, by the police, back-and-forth. Hen Hao!

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Cool! Turned on the T.V. and caught the last 10 minutes of this game. Sweet. Haven't watched much hockey lately, but Fenway looked great.
photo nyt.

Friday, January 1, 2010


Lost a chicken last night. My own fault, as when we came in last night from visiting Amy & Brian's new baby Cedar, it was pouring and I was starving, and went right inside instead of putting the chickens in their box. Margo heard skwawking at three in morning and went out to chase off the raccoon with a stick. The raccoon let go of the one hen which Margo captured and put in the pen, one missing, and one headless chicken still guarded by the raccoon when Margo came back to investigate. It looked so cute. And sheepish, "I didn't want to kill your chicken."

Then today I was talking on the phone to Annie and I saw Blackie run across the road and behind the neighbors house. We soon had her herded back into the yard.