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Opinion

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Helen Doran

Oregon guidelines for the 2020 fall semester have been remarkably inconsistent, causing confusion and mayhem for faculty, parents, and students alike. The Oregon Department of Education recently released new guidelines that allow students with special needs to have limited in-person instruction but with reduced hours and class size. This includes students with disabilities, English language learners, and those enrolled in career technical education (CTE) programs.

But even these guidelines are dependent on the absence of Covid-19 cases among staff and students for two weeks. This doesn’t guarantee a stable learning environment for students that need stability the most.

The guidelines also fail to explicitly address those affected by the decision to continue virtual learning in the fall. What happens to the student experiencing homelessness who has no access to a hotspot? What about the single mother who has to choose between keeping a job and staying at home with her child?

It’s time to face the reality that Oregon’s public school system cannot guarantee a “one-size-fits-all” solution for students this fall. A money-back guarantee for K-12 education would go a long way in empowering parents to find the stability they need in uncertain times. Continue reading

David Wojick, PhD

By Paul Driessen

Not just for energy, but for every aspect of our lives, living standards, culture and freedoms

David Wojick and Paul Driessen

Kamala Harris co-sponsored the Senate resolution to support the Green New Deal. Now Joe Biden has endorsed the plan. Naturally, people want to know what the GND will cost – usually meaning in state and federal government spending. But that is the wrong question.

The real question is, how much do Green New Dealers expect to get out of it, at what total cost? Mr. Biden says he wants the feds to spend nearly $7 trillion over the next decade on healthcare, energy and housing transformation, climate change and other GND agenda items. But that is only part of the picture.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (who has a degree in some socialist version of economics) and the folks who helped her write Biden’s so-called Climate Plan have a clear idea of how much money they want, and pretty much know where they expect the money to come from. Here it is in its clearest form, as stated by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s then chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti: Continue reading

Jerry Newcombe

With violence in the streets of many of our most prominent cities, there is an underlying subtheme that is also troubling. Christophobia, which attacks anything Christian, is surely on the march.

Perhaps the latest example is the burning of Bibles in recent Portland protests.

On 8/2/20, Washington Examiner noted, “Portland protesters were filmed burning Bibles and the American flag as protests continue in the city for more than two months. Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz responded to a Friday video of people burning what was described as a ‘stack of Bibles’ on Twitter Saturday, saying, ‘This is who they are.’”

In reference to this bonfire, journalist Ian Miles Cheong, managing editor of Human Events, tweeted, “I don’t know what burning the Bible has to do with protesting against police brutality.” And he added, “Do not be under the illusion that these protests and riots are anything but an attempt to dismantle all of Western Civilization and upend centuries of tradition and freedom of religion.”

How interesting to note that the focus of the ceaseless attacks in Portland has been the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse. The late Mark Hatfield, a long-time senator from the state of Oregon, was known for years as an outspoken follower of Jesus. Continue reading

John R. Charles, Jr. President, Cascade Policy Institute

Last month, the Metro Council voted to send a regional payroll tax to the November ballot. The rationale for the new $250-million-a-year tax is primarily to help fund a 12-mile light rail extension from Portland to Bridgeport Village in Tigard. It will also pay for a smattering of minor transportation projects throughout the region, but those are just ornaments on the tree.

There are at least three problems with this proposal. The first is that we already pay two transit taxes: the TriMet payroll tax assessed on employers, and the statewide transit tax collected from employees’ paychecks that was adopted by the Legislature in 2017. Most people don’t benefit from either one, because they don’t use transit. Adding a third tax to pay for light rail to Tigard ­– called the Southwest Corridor project – makes no sense.

Second, light rail ridership peaked in 2012 and has been dropping ever since. Now, amid the coronavirus pandemic, it is down about 70% from last July, according to TriMet ridership numbers. With many worried about the inability to physically distance on public transit and the prospect that some may work from home permanently, more rail is the wrong project at the wrong time. Continue reading

Bryan Fischer

The Constitution says that a vice-president must meet the same eligibility requirements as the president: “[N]o person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.” Article II of the Constitution specifies “[n]o person except a natural born citizen…shall be eligible to the office of President.”

Senator Kamala Harris is not, from a constitutional standpoint, a natural-born citizen of the United States. She was born on American soil, but that’s not enough to qualify for birthright citizenship. Here is the actual language of the 14th Amendment (emphasis mine throughout):“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” It’s not enough just to be born on U.S. soil. You must both be born on U.S. soil and be subject “to the jurisdiction thereof” when it happens.

It’s not even enough that one’s parents be legally present in the U.S. at the time of the child’s birth. The issue is to whom the parents – and therefore the child – owe their ultimate allegiance. So while they may temporarily be subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S., their ultimate allegiance, the ultimate jurisdiction to which they are subject, belongs to the nation of their birth, the land where they possess citizenship and from which they came. Continue reading

Jerry Newcombe

Bible-burning on the streets of Portland may be old news by now, but there is an irony lost to many in burning the Scriptures. All these protests are presumably part of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. But if one truly believed that Black lives matter (or all lives, really), the last book you would want to burn is the Bible.

Slavery has been around since the dawn of time. However, as African-American scholar Dr. Walter Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University, told me in an interview: “The significant thing about the Western world is that we have spent so many resources to uproot slavery and abolish it. And the Bible played a key role in that abolition.”

One man in particular, converted by the Bible, played the vital role in abolishing slavery. William Wilberforce (1759-1833) was a longtime Member of Parliament, who spent the last 50 years of life fighting against slavery in the British Empire. Wilberforce grew up in the lap of luxury and wealth. He became a member of the House of Commons at age 21, a position he held for forty-five years. At first, his life in politics was just a cushy job with lots of perks. But about five years into his service in Parliament, Wilberforce became a devout Christian, and he became much more serious about trying to have a positive impact on the world. Continue reading

Karen Hardin

Lord, protect our religious freedoms in this nation that we still have. Please heal our land.

A stunning picture emerged last weekend as every player of the NBA’s Oklahoma Thunder and their opponents Utah Jazz bowed their knee to Marxism in an anti-patriotic demonstration of solidarity against America. Yahoo Sports stated the players “have largely knelt to protest police brutality and racial injustice” citing the BLM connection to Marxism “a conspiracy theory.”

The problem with that coverup is that the BLM founders have proudly made that connection themselves.

In an interview with The Real News, Patrisse Cullors, who is credited as the co-founder of Black Lives Matter (BLM), confirmed “the movement was conceived by ‘trained Marxists’ pushing an agenda of Communist Revolution.” Cullors stated, “We actually do have an ideological frame. Myself and BLM co-founder, Alicia Garza, in particular are trained organizers. We are trained Marxists.”

But Marxism is not the only political ideology using African Americans for their own agenda. Islam has also proudly made that claim as well as they work to manipulate the black community for their own purpose.

Author and lecturer Avi Lipkin links the destruction of historic American monuments to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is a group connected to Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Black Lives Matter. Continue reading

Eric Fruits, Ph.D.

On July 24th, the New York Times ran a 2,300-word piece describing the challenges owners of vacation homes have faced in converting their second homes into their primary residences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Challenges included the inability to get a Starbucks vanilla latte or find a bagel shop.

Readers overwhelming responded: “Read the room, New York Times!”

With millions out of work and struggling to pay the bills, it’s hard to sympathize with a vacation homeowner struggling to find a place in her second home to put a pencil holder and paper tray she bought in Florence, Italy.

Closer to home, our elected leaders can’t read the room either. Sitting safely in their home offices, collecting steady paychecks, and venturing out for a photo op at a protest, they continue to push ever higher taxes on their struggling constituents.

Less than five months after sending two new income taxes to the voters, Metro is now charging full speed ahead on a payroll tax to pay for the unneeded Southwest Corridor light rail project from Portland to Bridgeport Village. The project anticipates tearing up Barbur Boulevard and adding congestion to dozens of intersections and highway ramps. Making way for light rail will require the destruction of at least 78 residential dwellings, and as many as 293. In addition, as many as 156 businesses will be forced out, displacing up to 1,990 employees. Continue reading

Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)

During our late July heat wave, I was talking with a man who was sweltering, because Portland General Electric had turned off his air conditioner as part of a program to shed load during periods of peak demand for electricity. He was being paid $50 for his trouble. That may sound like a good deal for everyone, except other ratepayers. They end up footing the bill for PGE’s lack of ability to provide electricity when it is most needed. And customers who sign up for the program may suffer from heat stroke. 1100 people died in Toronto, Ontario Canada during the very hot July of 1936, before air conditioning was widely available. “It was like we were living in a furnace,” one man said.

On very hot days, Portland General Electric is faced with two problems simultaneously. Demand for electricity soars and their ability to generate it falls away dramatically. Something has to be dreadfully wrong for that to occur. But the explanation is simple.

PGE has fallen for the renewable energy scam. They have constructed vast wind farms with enormous nameplate capabilities. The chart included here shows that the Pacific Northwest region managed by the Bonneville Power Administration has more than 2,000 megawatts of wind power available when the wind is blowing. That is twice what our one nuclear power plant in Washington State provides. But the nuclear plant is close to 100% reliable, while the wind is close to 100% unreliable when most needed.

Look at what happens when the weather gets hot. Wind disappears as a high pressure weather system settles over the region, producing our hottest weather during the summer and coldest weather during the winter. These are the weather conditions when we most need electricity and when wind cannot deliver it. Our hydro is expected to take up the slack, but can barely do so. Consequently, PGE is building natural gas-fired thermal power plants to backup wind. They start quickly but are so inefficient that they use more natural gas than would a stand alone high efficiency gas turbine plant run continuously. Continue reading

Bryan Fischer

Mask mania has swept the United States, with some surveys admitting that perhaps 95% of Americans are wearing them, under the entirely illusory belief that the masks are doing them some good.

Unfortunately, no scientific study has demonstrated that masks do any good at all in terms of protecting people from COVID-19. Some mask wearers may feel a little better, because they may feel like they have some protection even though in reality they have none.

Governors and mayors, caught up in the mindless frenzy, are imposing fines on constituents who go au naturale. Houston’s mayor will issue $250 fines, after a single warning, for those caught without a face covering. Miami issues $100 citations for a first and second offense, followed by an arrest on the third offense. Broward County fines violators $1000 a day, and continued malfeasance can put someone behind bars for 60 days.

There might be some slight justification for these draconian measures if masks worked. But they don’t.

The N95 masks, about which there was so much frenzy a couple of months ago, filter stuff that comes in but filter nothing going out since they are designed for contaminated environments. So if you’re in Walmart and somebody comes cruising in wearing an N95 mask, you have no protection at all from him. He may think he’s protecting you, but he’s not. You may think he’s protecting you, but he’s not. Continue reading

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