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Juneteenth
Wednesday, June 19, 2024 at 12:00 am
Juneteenth
Celebrated on the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when in the wake of the American Civil War, Major General Gordon Granger ordered the final enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas.



Lincoln County Fair
Thursday, July 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.thelincolncountyfair.com
July 4-6
Lincoln County Fairgrounds



Independence Day
Thursday, July 4, 2024 at 11:59 pm
Independence Day
USA



Marion County Fair
Thursday, July 11, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.co.marion.or.us/CS/Fair
July 11-14
Oregon State Fair & Expo Center



Jackson County Fair
Tuesday, July 16, 2024 at 8:00 am
TheExpo.com
July 16-21
Jackson County Fairgrounds - The Expo



Columbia County Fair
Wednesday, July 17, 2024 at 8:00 am
columbiacountyfairgrounds.com
July 17-21
Columbia County Fairgrounds



Linn County Fair
Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.linncountyfair.com/
July 18-20
Linn County Expo Center



Washington County Fair
Friday, July 19, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.bigfairfun.com/
July 19-28
Washington County Fairgrounds - Westside Commons



Coos County Fair
Tuesday, July 23, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.cooscountyfair.com
July 23-27
Coos County Fairgrounds



Curry County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.eventcenteronthebeach.com
July 24-27
Curry County Fairgrounds - Event Center on the Beach



Hood River County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.hoodriverfairgrounds.com
July 24-27
Hood River County Fairgrounds



Jefferson County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.jcfair.fun
July 24-27
Jefferson County Fair Complex



Lane County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.atthefair.com
July 24-28
Lane Events Center



Clatsop County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://clatsopcofair.com/
July 30 - August 3
Clatsop County Fair & Expo



Malheur County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.malheurcountyfair.com
July 30 - August 3
Malheur County Fairgrounds - Desert Sage Event Center



Benton County Fair & Rodeo
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
bceventcentercorvallis.net
July 31 - August 3, 2024
Benton County Event Center & Fairgrounds



Deschutes County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://expo.deschutes.org/
July 31 - August 4
Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center



Union County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.unioncountyfair.org
July 31 - August 3
Union County Fairgrounds



Yamhill County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.co.yamhill.or.us/fair
July 31 - August 3
Yamhill County Fairgrounds



Klamath County Fair
Thursday, August 1, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.klamathcountyfair.com/
August 1-4
Klamath County Fair



Wallowa County Fair
Friday, August 2, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://co.wallowa.or.us/community-services/county-fair/
August 2-10
Wallowa County Fairgrounds



Baker County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.bakerfair.com
August 4-9
Baker County Fairgrounds



Harney County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.harneyfairgrounds.com
August 4-9
Harney County Fairgrounds



Sherman County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.shermancountyfairfun.com
August 19-24
Sherman County Fairgrounds



Crook County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.crookcountyfairgrounds.com
August 7-10
Crook County Fairgrounds



Douglas County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.douglasfairgrounds.com
August 7-10
Douglas County Fairgrounds Complex



Grant County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.grantcountyoregon.net
August 7-10
Grant County Fairgrounds



Josephine County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.josephinecountyfairgrounds.com/
August 7-11
Josephine County Fairgrounds & Events Center



Polk County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.co.polk.or.us/fair
August 7-10
Polk County Fairgrounds



Tillamook County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.tillamookfair.com
August 7-10
Tillamook County Fairgrounds



Umatilla County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.umatillacountyfair.net
August 7-10
Umatilla County Fairgrounds



Wheeler County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.wheelercountyoregon.com/fair-board
August 7-10
Wheeler County Fairgrounds



Clackamas County Fair
Tuesday, August 13, 2024 at 8:00 am
clackamascountyfair.com
August 13-17
Clackamas County Event Center



Morrow County Fair
Wednesday, August 14, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.co.morrow.or.us/fair
August 14-17
Morrow County Fairgrounds



Wasco County Fair
Thursday, August 15, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.wascocountyfair.com
August 15-17
Wasco County Fairgrounds



Gilliam County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
http://www.co.gilliam.or.us/government/fairgrounds
August 29-31
Gilliam County Fairgrounds



Lake County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.lakecountyor.org/government/fair_grounds.php
August 29 - September 1
Lake County Fairgrounds



Oregon State Fair
Saturday, August 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.oregonstateexpo.org
August 31 - September 9
Oregon State Fair & Exposition Center



Linn Laughs LIVE with Adam Corolla
Saturday, September 7, 2024 at 5:00 pm
Linn Laughs LIVE with Adam Corolla 5pm-9pm
Albany, OR


View All Calendar Events


Oregon Laws Reflected in Gun Cases
SB 554 stole your ability for self-defense

Oregon District 2 Representative Cliff Bentz is the only Oregon legislator to vote "nay" on the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to temporarily halt enforcement of its new rule re-defining who is considered to be "engaged in the business” of dealing firearms under federal law.

"The new ATF rule states that individuals are engaged in firearms-related business requiring licensure if the ATF determines they are acting 'predominantly to earn a profit'.” The old rules allowed private individuals to loan firearms to friends and family members or to sell their firearms to individuals without necessarily having to transact through a licensed firearms dealer.

Pro-gun states (not Oregon) argued the new rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). They contend that it goes beyond the executive branch agency’s authorization from Congress to set regulations.

The federal government argued that it derived the authority using the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) in June 2022. They say the definition includes firearms-related business as activity where the intent is to earn a profit. If “intent” is all that is required, then ATF can determine anything they want it to mean. The court will hear further arguments on June 2.

In the meantime, a county in Arizona is being sued over its plans to impose $1,000 fines on victims of crimes when their stolen firearm is used in a crime, and they fail to report it fast enough to authorities.

These two cases are wrapped up in Oregon’s SB 554 passed in 2021. This law levies fines for failure to report a stolen gun with a serial number – you can be held responsible for any crime committed with guns that have been stolen from you, and your liability when you lawfully transfer a firearm is exponentially higher. In addition, under this law, you need to keep any gun you are not carrying locked up and useless, your rights to allow a minor to use one of your firearms are now extremely restricted and complicated by conflicting language, and you may no longer carry a firearm with a concealed handgun license in the Portland Airport Terminal, in the state capitol building and the grounds of any school that chooses to make its property off limits. There remains ongoing debate over contradicting language within the bill and what proponents said it would do.

SB 554 was passed during antifa and black lives matter riots, which clearly was not about “lawful self-defense.” When legislators embellished local communities with six million federal dollars through the bribery of Tina Kotek, Republican lawmakers caved and locked up their firearms and told you to do the same. Voters can't depend on courts to correct poor voting choices or that courts will protect second amendment rights.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-05-24 12:57:42Last Update: 2024-05-24 15:44:47



Clean Vehicle Rebate Program Opens Waiting List
The program receives at least $12 million a year

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, under the direction of Leah Feldon, has announced it has opened a waiting list for the Oregon Clean Vehicle Rebate Program. Applicants who purchase or lease eligible vehicles through June 3, 2024, still have up to six months from the date of that purchase or lease to apply for state rebates. However, high demand and limited funding mean approved applicants are now placed on a waiting list to receive rebates in early spring 2025.

Electric vehicles purchased or leased before April 3, 2024, or on or after June 4, 2024, do not qualify for state rebates, but may still qualify for federal tax credits. They will not be placed on a waiting list for rebates at a later date.

DEQ offers two rebates. Oregon residents, businesses, non-profits and government agencies may apply for one or both of the following: “The good news is we are seeing more people than ever accessing the program, especially for our Charge Ahead Rebate for low- and moderate-income households," said DEQ Transportation Strategies Section Manager Rachel Sakata. "The overwhelming response to the electric vehicle rebate program shows a strong desire among those living in Oregon to embrace cleaner transportation, highlighting the need for continued and expanded support. We acknowledge the brief open window and being placed on the waiting list for next spring are problems for many who want to make the transition from a gas to an electric vehicle now. We are working with our state, local and federal partners to find ways to continue to support this critical work.”

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The Oregon Clean Vehicle Rebate Program receives at least $12 million a year, or 45% of the state’s Vehicle Privilege Tax. It is part of the state's overall transportation climate plan.

Several state agencies and public electric utilities offer savings on EV purchases or charging infrastructure. The Go Electric Oregon website lists available incentives and provides helpful information for potential electric vehicle buyers and lessees.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2024-05-23 15:30:35Last Update: 2024-05-23 15:48:26



Will Governor Kotek Throw Small Farms Under the Bus?
Small garden farms are closing over required water permits

The attack on small farms first came to light when Sarah King’s small dairy ran foul of Oregon Department of Agriculture’s reinterpretation of confined animal feeding operations. Oregon has a special permitting process that typically applies to housing hundreds and even thousands of animals, as mismanaging water can have a serious impact on the local environment. For years, the state did not interpret these regulations as applying to small farms like Sarah’s. But now Oregon wants to regulate small farms like large commercial dairies.

The Institute for Justice reported that the change in interpretation to the law came from large commercial dairies insisting that small dairies somehow have a “competitive advantage” over big ones—that is, that they don’t have to install expensive infrastructure to manage waste. IJ is supporting four small farmers in a lawsuit in Sarah King v. Oregon Department of Agriculture filed on January 24, 2024, to save small dairy farms from large commercial farm requirements.

As the lawsuit plays out, the COFA is on hold while trying to work out a solution. In the meantime, they take aim at small garden farmers that supply farmers markets and neighbors with fresh produce. You would think they learned from COFA that consequences make the Governor look bad, or maybe it was Kotek’s idea to expand the target.

The news started to spread when 24 farmers in District 2, covering Southern Willamette Valley, received letters. Now District 1 is receiving the same letter requiring them to file for a commercial water permit. These small farms cannot produce gardens without water, which means the state is shutting them down despite their refusal to acknowledge it.

Oregon has slowly been changing from a small business state to a large commercial controlled state. While the legislature bends over backward towards diversity and equity for minorities, it now appears to be a front for grooming them for large commercial jobs since small business opportunities are drying up in over regulation.

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Mike McCord, head of Northwest Water District said, “officials use aerial photography, complaints from neighbors, and in-the-field observation to find potential violations. New funding in 2021 allowed the state to hire more staff for enforcement.” Was this funding intended to be used against hard working Oregonians while illegal cartel operations are stealing lots of water?

Illegal cartel operations ran the stream dry in the small town of Williams drying up wells. Oregon produces 1,200 pounds of legal cannabis per year. Cannabis is the most water-intensive crop grown in Oregon, so why aren't illegal operations their target? A formula derived from canvassing numerous cannabis cultivators suggests that one gallon of water per day is needed to produce one pound of cured cannabis flower buds. An average one-eighth acre, 100 pounds of plants, would use 24,000 gallons per growing season.

It comes down to water rights. For a water permit, there is no small amount permit for garden farms. Permits are geared towards large commercial operations. A ground permit for water is over $3,000, plus a costly study proving sufficient water levels even though most are using wells.

Oregon is 35 in rain precipitation and 27 in population use so there shouldn’t be the shortage, but Oregon hasn’t done a study to know what the best practices should be. Under the proposed new rules, the state requires the applicant to provide the proof that “groundwater levels are stable enough in their area to support a new permit, meaning if an applicant is unable to provide enough data on whether groundwater levels in the area are stable, the application will likely get denied.” This changes a five-year policy of automatically permitting even if data is uncertain, to a default ‘no’ if water levels are not proved to be sufficient.

These studies are beyond the financial ability for small farmers with a couple of animals or a half-acre garden even if water levels are known to be more than sufficient. Big corporations can easily self-certify with their experts, ultimately creating a monopoly by wiping out small and mid-size farms.

Greg Kupillas, hydrogeologist at Oregon Ground Water Association, a trade group representing commercial scale water users said, “the rules will stunt economic development.” Is it productive to give environmental groups control? If Governor Kotek cared about small farmers, why does she not change the course of the proposed rules?


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-05-23 11:44:16Last Update: 2024-05-23 16:06:34



Ranked-Choice Voting Measure Hits Title Bump
Supreme Court requires title change

Oregon Legislative Referral 403 (HB 2004)is a referral to voters to consider Ranked-Choice Voting at the upcoming November 2024 General Election. The petitioner, James Sasinowski, challenged the ballot title, asserting non-compliance with requirements set out in ORS 250.035(2). LR 403 would amend ORS chapter 254 to require ranked choice voting for certain elections and would permit local governments to adopt ranked-choice voting in their elections.

The ballot title for LR 403 was prepared by a joint legislative committee and filed with the Secretary of State. Sasinowski challenged all parts of the ballot title, arguing that the word "majority" was used inaccurately and without proper context. He contended that "majority of votes" suggests that a candidate has received the majority of total votes cast, but in operation, ranked-choice voting can produce a winner who does not receive that type of "majority" vote.

The Oregon Supreme Court, in docket case S070879, agreed with Sasinowski in part. The court found that the caption of the ballot title for LR 403 did not reasonably identify the subject matter of the measure and required modification. The court also agreed that the "yes" result statement in the ballot title for LR 403 did not substantially comply with ORS 250.035(2)(b) and required modification. However, the court disagreed with the petitioner that the "no" result statement and the summary in the ballot title for LR 403 required modification. The court concluded that the caption and "yes" result statement in the joint legislative committee’s ballot title for LR 403 required modification and referred the ballot title to the Attorney General for modification.

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Judge Garrett summarizes how ranked-choice voting will work. “As defined in LR 403, ranked-choice voting would permit—but not require—a voter to rank on their ballot multiple candidates and write-in candidates, in order of the voter’s preference. Each cast ballot would be counted as one vote for each voter’s “highest-ranked active candidate.” Ballots then would be tallied in rounds; if an active candidate were to receive a majority of votes cast in the first round, then that candidate would be elected (or nominated, as applicable). Id. § 4(2)(a), (b)(A). But, if no active candidate were to amass a majority of votes, then (1) the candidate with the fewest votes would be defeated (and so no longer would be an active candidate); (2) the votes that had been counted for that defeated candidate would be “transferred to each ballot’s next highest-ranked active candidate”; and (3) a new round of tallying would begin. Id. § 4(2)(b)(B). That same process would continue until an active candidate amassed a majority of votes in a final round of tallying. Id.”

The question of what “majority” means is the majority of votes counted for active candidates in the final round of tallying, as opposed to the majority of total votes cast. In each round of tabulation some voters won't receive equal voting rights eliminating their second, third, etc. votes from being counted. The more candidates that run for a seat, the more likely a second or third choice candidate could win.

“Round” means an instance of the sequence of voting tabulation. This goes directly back to the case of Washington County vs. Tim Sippel in which Washington County was joined by Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum, and the Secretary of State Shemia Fagan to prevent the release of the voting SQL zip files saying the public has no interest or need to know. The SQL files are the tests run on the machine's tabulation prior to the elections to see that the machines are operating correctly. It takes data from various tables it has access to, and it can manipulate that data to come up with an answer according to its protocol.

The 2024 legislature took it in their hands to remove public certification tests on voting machines in SB 1538, which went into effect March 27, 2024. The Gartner evaluation stated the system was not qualified to meet the standards to be used for the 2024 election, but here we are, voting on LR 403 with no way to test or challenge a system completely dependent on computer tabulators. The voters need answers and a voting system that works fairly and not a run around to avoid transparency.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-05-22 15:07:31Last Update: 2024-05-22 19:32:55



Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness... and Decline
The declining test scores are only the canary in the coal mine

Editor's note: This is the third of a multi-part series on the role of DEI in the decline of public education

Previous parts in this series described the systems in place to hold back excellence. The result of all this is crystal clear: workers and students will lower their effort levels to match those at the lowest level. Teachers and employers will adjust their grading and performance reviews to hide differences -- first to satisfy the ideologues, and then to hide the declining output.

It gets worse. The instruction doesn’t just decline as student effort declines, which would happen naturally -- why should a teacher break themselves trying to get performance out of students who are just not motivated? But there are now many teachers who are products of the college indoctrination mentioned above, who are motivated to pass on their poisonous ideology by teaching that the country is systemically racist and corrupt, and that the youth must join and support them in tearing it down. They instruct that there is no need to work or act responsibly because the system is rigged and they will fail anyway, and since all of the younger generation will probably die of climate change within their lifetimes, there really isn’t any reason to do anything but destroy everything. This indoctrination takes the place of instruction in the sciences, languages and arts that was previously practiced.

Again this is only a subset of teachers. But they exist, they are teaching, and this poisoning of the dreams and the self-worth of the youth is the most vile thing I have seen in my life.

It gets even worse. The equality demanded does not just apply to performance. It also applies to behavior.

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In previous times, students who were disruptive were removed from the classroom so as to not interfere with the learning of the rest. They were put in more controlled environments as either detention or instruction with a higher teacher to student ratio and more control of behavior. If they were found to be a physical danger to others they were suspended or expelled. Now, these corrective measures are not allowed if there is any appearance that they are affecting one identifiable group of students more than other groups, particularly when that group is identifiable by race.

So students have learned that if they can claim racial discrimination they can not only demand grades above what they have objectively earned, they can get away with any level of destructive behavior because if there is any indication that a school is punishing, detaining, suspending or expelling members of one race more than others, lawsuits will follow and compliant judges await to award damages. These damages flow to the parents of the destructive student, awarding the very parental failure that created the problem and incentivizing other parents and students to act destructively in order to reap monetary reward.

The tools available to those who would practice this destructive plunder are intentionally increased. In the most recent years, gender identification has joined race as a class which can be discriminated against. The Portland (Oregon) Public Schools bargaining agreement reached after the one-month teachers’ strike of November 2023 requires school officials to consider a disruptive student's race, gender identity, and sexual orientation when crafting that student's disciplinary plan. That plan "must take into consideration the impact of issues related to the student's trauma, race, gender identity/presentation, sexual orientation...and restorative justice as appropriate for the student." Restorative justice calls for the aggressor and the victim to be both treated as victims, virtually eliminating consequences.

The new disciplinary policy also eliminates mandatory suspensions for students who threaten or harm others—now, those students may only be removed from their classroom, not from school altogether.

So now all a kid has to do is claim minority status on the basis of gender ideology, and they cannot be punished or excluded no matter what. They can choose not to work and can engage in any behavior whatsoever, without consequence.

Kids will be kids, and they will take advantage of this. Not all of them, but enough to ruin it for the others.

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The result is that not only have students learned that extra effort will not be rewarded with better grades and low effort will not be met with failing grades, and not only have their minds been poisoned with an apocalyptic ideology, they have learned that they will get away with previously inexcusable behavior from swearing at teachers to destroying property and up to and including actual physical violence. So they yell, swear, turn over furniture and destroy the learning environment for the other students who do want to learn and for the teachers who just want to teach. The teachers become weary of trying to control kids in their classes when they know their efforts will not be followed by corrective measures by the administration, and slowly accept the chaos as the new norm or leave the teaching profession.

The declining test scores are only the canary in the coal mine.


--Bill Dewey

Post Date: 2024-05-22 12:44:52Last Update: 2024-05-22 19:32:03



Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness... and Decline
“They charge any opposition with racism or discrimination”

Editor's note: This is the second of a multi-part series on the role of DEI in the decline of public education

The ideology alluded to in part one of this series doesn’t accept actual diversity in student achievement. For many reasons originating from their own experiences and resulting emotional states, there are those who don’t just feel it is unfair that some will not do as well as others, they in fact feel deeply emotionally troubled that there are differences in outcomes, standards of living and quality of life.

For most of human history these people had no way to rectify their discomfort and had to simply live with it. But that changed with the civil rights laws of the 1960’s. These laws were indeed benevolent in their intent, aiming to right the wrongs which had been perpetrated on minority communities, particularly African-Americans. Though slavery had been abolished five generations earlier, discrimination based on race had continued in some parts of the U.S. and Americans had decided it was time to ensure this came to an end everywhere. The civil rights laws of the 1960’s intended to guarantee everyone an equal opportunity regardless of race, creed, color or sex.

If they had only had this effect, all would have been well.

Unfortunately there were those who saw this as an opportunity to leverage the law to further their personal ideology. They saw that they could use these laws to not only guarantee equal opportunity, but to force equal outcomes, thus assuaging their personal emotional needs. They would claim that wherever differences appeared in workers’ pay, it was not due to differences in performance of the worker but was rather evidence of discrimination. They would claim that where there were differences in workers’ performance reviews it was not due to differences in performance, but discrimination. And wherever there were differences in students’ grades, this had to be discrimination.

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For a time, they failed when evidence was presented that the pay or the grades were in fact based on objective evidence of differences in effort and performance. But rather than accept that, they set about changing the people who were making those determinations, whether they were employers or teachers. They also set about changing who the judges were who would ultimately decide the inevitable court cases. They first took over the universities and law schools, carefully recruiting like-minded individuals and placing them in positions to indoctrinate impressionable young adults by instructing that the world is only just when everyone enjoys success, regardless of any difference in ability or effort.

These young adults became employers, teachers and judges decades later. They also became parents. This is where we find ourselves today. Though they are a subset of people, their views a minority, they have a presence in both the community as parents and within school administration and staff. They also now have the law on their side, which they continue to change to more quickly serve their ideology anywhere that voters are either apathetic or ideologically aligned with them.

Opposing them is very difficult as they charge any opposition with racism and/or discrimination, which immediately brings about feelings of guilt and can even win in court with scant evidence of any actual discrimination, due to judges whose interpretation of the law and its intent is compromised by their own personal ideology.

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The way this manifests in schools is that students who would have previously failed must be given passing grades. More insidiously, those who previously excelled must be prevented from doing so because their success also creates a contrast. There is actually a movement to eliminate ‘talented and gifted’ school programs. This defies common sense; we all benefit from having the inventors and leaders of tomorrow turbo-charged by being challenged to their potential. But the emotional needs of the ideologues is stronger than their logic: this benefit to all can only be allowed if it occurs within a system where everyone benefits equally at every stage and in every place. That being impossible because people will always be different, excelling will simply not be allowed.

With these systems in place, the desire to work harder and excel is squashed. Why work harder when everyone will get the same grade, and the same pay?


--Bill Dewey

Post Date: 2024-05-20 20:37:16Last Update: 2024-05-19 13:22:05



US Supreme Court Puts Oregon’s Teacher Hiring Practices in Question
Diversity-preferred job postings must end

US Supreme Court rules 9-0 in Muldrow v. City of St. Louis in a landmark decision that undercut all DEI-based discrimination, putting a wedge in the progressive’s agenda. The US Supreme Court ruled that a St. Louis police sergeant can sue over a job transfer she claims was discriminatory lays the foundation for legal action against employers who push discrimination against white people in job hiring, work assignment and promotion. Those “diversity-preferred” job postings, the practice of passing over whites for promotions, discriminatory job transfers, pushing unfair diversity trainings, etc., all of these are now legally actionable.

Lawyers tried to argue that there is ‘good discrimination’ and ‘bad discrimination’, that white people should be purposely disadvantaged to pave the way for diversity. The lawyers claimed that this case will complicate DEI programs and limit their ability to discriminate against white men.

The Supreme Court overruled these claims, re-asserting that everyone is equal in the eyes of the law. The court also established a ‘low standard’ for bringing discrimination cases. The victim need not suffer ‘actual harm,’ only show “some harm” under the terms of their employment, and that harm need not be “material, substantial or serious.” The decision makes it much easier for workers to sue over discriminatory practices.

Oregon's efforts to diversify its teaching workforce date back to 1991 with passage of the Minority Teacher Act, renamed the Educator Equity Act in 2015. In 2013, the number of minority teachers, including administrators, employed by school and education service districts would be approximately proportionate to the number of minority students enrolled in the state's schools was added. According to the 2019 Educator Equity Report, in the 2018-2019 school year, over 38 percent of Oregon's K-12 students were considered ethnically diverse, while only 10 percent of its teachers were.

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HB 4031, passed in 2022, adds state goals to match diverse Department of Education employees with the percentage of diverse students. To accomplish these goals, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission awards scholarships of $10,000 to culturally and linguistically diverse teacher candidates to use at approved educator preparation providers. The state's educator preparation providers are instructed to train on CRT and sexual orientation.

The equity agenda of state leadership is stifling the education process and dumbing down students in their effort to push an unfair diversity agenda that is now legally actionable. This is a big win for equality.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-05-20 11:29:36Last Update: 2024-05-20 01:59:51



Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness... and Decline
Government waste compounded by the schools being a monopoly

Editor's note: This is the first of a multi-part series on the role of DEI in the decline of public education

Education has been on the decline in the U.S. for some decades now. School districts and teachers unions demand ever more cash even while academic scores continue to decline.

There are two main causes. The smaller of the two is simple economics; government waste compounded by the schools being a monopoly. It’s simply human nature to be less careful with someone else’s money than with your own, so there will naturally be inefficiency in schools as there is throughout government because it runs on OPM – other peoples’ money. There will also be fraud when public treasury funds are available to plunderers and those lacking a moral compass will take advantage whenever they can. Moreover, the fact that the neighborhood public school is a monopoly -- the only choice for many families, allows it to slack off on performance while retaining the guarantee of continued funding.

If this were the only cause, the correction would not be so daunting. External forces made up of the community of taxpayers and parents naturally applies pressure for performance, and within the schools are teachers who knew they were going into a line of work that would not make them rich and they did so anyway because they love kids and love to teach. These pressures can to a degree counteract the greed and carelessness of some administration and union leaders.

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The larger cause is much harder to correct as it has been carefully planned and placed and isn’t made up of just a few people whose actions are more easily discovered, but is rather an ideology that has infected the minds of millions, including members of both the community and the school apparatus -- unions, administrators and even some teachers. The discussion of this ideology is for another time and place. Here we will focus only on its effect on schools.

In addition to the inefficiency and the carelessness, this ideology creates an additional pressure to directly lower performance. Further, this pressure comes from all sides. Thankfully from a minority of those on all sides but it is very difficult to counteract because it is constructed to appear benevolent. Those opposing it are made to feel guilt, a powerful human emotion. So it has continued to spread.

Throughout human history, educators have been keenly aware that students come to them with a spectrum of abilities and desires. Some are voracious learners who excel while demanding ever more challenge. Most are somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, doing what is assigned but lacking focus as they try to find and define where their strengths and interests lie. Then there are those who want to learn but struggle with various barriers from cognitive issues such as dyslexia to emotional factors, and finally there are those with more serious issues who cannot be convinced to care about their own future or well-being and are not able to put forth any effort.

Educators have developed systems to meet each type of learner with a program designed to address their particular place and learning style, with the goal of providing the greatest overall benefit to all students. The fast learners are challenged, keeping them focused and on a path toward being the inventors and leaders of tomorrow. The average are assisted with identifying their strengths and encouraged to find their focus and passion. Those with disabilities are provided the specialized assistance to help them overcome their barriers and to feel the beauty of the satisfaction of achievement.

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Those who do not wish to learn are helped as much as possible, but correcting their mental-emotional state, which took years to form in dysfunctional and even sometimes abusive households, is a truly monumental task and requires a skill set quite outside the realm of what educators do. It moves into the realm of the psychologist. Schools do in fact employ psychologists, but correcting issues which took years to form would similarly take years to resolve, is so time consuming that it would require a 1x1 ratio of psychologists to students with issues, and doing so while the pressures of the home continue to exacerbate the issue is simply not possible.

As nice as the thought is that we can “fix” these kids, it’s simply not possible. The best a school psychologist can do is to help the child feel some self-worth and somehow convince the child to focus on the long-term. But as the area of the brain responsible for this type of thinking does not fully form until sometime in the 20’s, the psychologist faces a truly daunting task.

So, inherent in the system is the understanding that there will always be some A students, some C students and some F students. This is the nature of the human race and cannot be altered with anything less than a massive investment of resources that no one is willing or able to make.


--Bill Dewey

Post Date: 2024-05-19 20:33:55Last Update: 2024-05-19 13:21:43



House Republican Leader Helfrich Calls for Public Hearing on Ballot Mishandling
Secretary of State remains silent over ballot delays

Oregon House Republican Leader Jeff Helfrich (R-Hood River) is calling for the Secretary of State to appear before the Rules Committee for a hearing on May 31 to answer questions about the chain of custody issues surrounding the return of completed ballots.

Earlier this week, county clerks and the Secretary of State (SOS) engaged with the US Postal Service to determine why the USPS held up completed, mail-in ballots instead of turning them into the elections offices. Despite multiple inquiries, the SOS has failed to answer precisely how many ballots were affected, how many counties were affected, and what election officials are doing to prevent the problem from happening in the future.

“Oregonians deserve to have full faith and trust in our elections system, and it is the Secretary of State’s job to establish and maintain that faith and trust,” said Helfrich. “However, as of this writing, the Secretary of State’s office has yet to share precise details of both the problems that occurred and the planned remedy. The people of Oregon deserve answers in full view of the public to these fundamental questions.”

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The following letter was sent to House Democrat leadership.

Dear Speaker Fahey and Chair Bowman:

As Vice-Chair of the House Rules Committee, I am requesting that you invite the Oregon Secretary of State to the committee hearing on Friday, May 31, 2024. In light of the recent issues arising over completed ballots not being delivered to county elections offices by the United States Postal Service, I feel it is necessary to hear directly from the Secretary of State.

Oregonians deserve to have full faith and trust in our elections system, and it is the Secretary of State’s job to establish and maintain that faith and trust. Even today, as I write this letter, the Secretary of State is using the hashtag #TrustedInfo2024 on social media. However, as of this writing, the Secretary of State’s office has yet to share any details or plan to prevent these same delays in the November general election. How can we trust their silence?

In a recent Oregon Public Broadcasting article, Molly Woon, the state’s elections director said “In no uncertain terms, they [USPS representatives] have said, ‘We will fix this. This should not be happening.’ We continue to have complete faith in the vote-by-mail system.” I look forward to hearing how the SOS and USPS will fix this. Unless I hear a specific plan to prevent similar delays, I find it hard to blindly have the same “complete faith” in the vote-by-mail system. At a bare minimum, we wish to hear answers to the following questions:

I look forward to receiving an update from the Secretary of State during a House Rules Committee hearing.

Sincerely, Jeff Helfrich
House Republican Leader


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-05-17 16:50:52Last Update: 2024-05-19 13:26:01



Oregonians Asked to Supplement Democrat’s Electric Agenda
Public comment opportunity

Despite the pullback of auto manufacturers producing electric vehicles; east coast wind projects face cancelation and delays due to a supply chain crunch and high interest rates; and with all the environmental trash that windmills and solar panels create, including fowl carnage, Oregon leadership keeps pushing electric energy while eliminating fossil fuels, which is needed to produce electricity.

Portland General Electric (PGE) has filed a general rate increase to electricity rates. PGE provides electric service to approximately 920,000 Oregon customers. The filing requests an increase of overall revenues by $202 million or approximately 7.4% for all customer types combined. If approved, residential single-family customers using an average of 886 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month would see a bill increase of $11.33 (7.2%). For a residential customer in a multi-family home using an average of 590 kWh per month, bills would increase by $8.23. Oregon’s bread and butter small businesses are scheduled for the largest increase of 9.4%, large commercial rate increase is 7.4% and industrial rate increase is 4.2%. Actual percentage increases will vary depending on customer type and usage.

PGE identifies several reasons driving the general rate case filing, including investments in local battery energy storage projects for enhanced reliability and resilience during peak demand, transmission, and distribution to allow dependable energy flow as demand grows, and upgrades to technology and generation facilities for increased resilience and long-term, dependable power.

PGE’s general rate case filing is undergoing a nearly year-long review and will be fully investigated on behalf of electricity customers by the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC), the Oregon Citizens’ Utility Board, and others. PUC is hosting a virtual event for the public to comment on Thursday, May 16, 2024, from 6-7 p.m.

PDT, provides the opportunity to speak directly to the commissioners about the proposed rate increase. Customers may also submit comments in writing or by phone through June 14, 2024. This public comment event is part of the investigation, which will conclude in December when the Commissioners rule on the request. The Commissioners may approve or modify PGE’s request and will only approve rate increases if fully justified by the company. New rates, if approved, are expected to go into effect January 1, 2025.

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Comment via Zoom or phone on Thursday, May 16 from 6-7 p.m. PDT. Access the Zoom link and phone-in details. Submit comments directly to the PUC by June 14, 2024 by using an online form and guidelines or email PUC.PublicComments@puc.oregon.gov. Mail comments to: Oregon Public Utility Commission, Attn: AHD – UE 435, PO Box 1088, Salem OR 97308-1088.

To stay informed throughout this case, individuals may request to be added to the distribution list to receive publicly available documents. Submit requests by email to puc.hearings@puc.oregon.gov or by calling 503-378-6678. Please specify Docket No. UE 435 in the request.

The PUC’s mission is to ensure Oregonians have access to safe, reliable, and fairly priced utility services that advance state policy and promote the public interest. Attempt is to use an inclusive process to evaluate differing viewpoints and visions of the public interest and arrive at balanced, well-reasoned, independent decisions supported by fact and law.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-05-15 20:30:12Last Update: 2024-05-16 00:04:15



USPS Holding Up Delivery of Ballots
USPS claims they are inept at counting bulk mailing

Oregon House Republican Leader Jeff Helfrich (R-Hood River) disclosed that ballots are being held by the United States Postal Service (USPS) instead of being returned to county elections offices. USPS is an executive branch agency of the federal government overseen by a Democrat president.

The USPS told county elections officials Wednesday that the ballots were being held because the USPS wanted a firm count on how much to bill for each ballot since Oregon Democrats voted to use business mail to pay for returning ballots. Are they really saying they take this action for all business bulk mail? How many elections have we had pre-paid return envelops and this is a new development? The issue has affected numerous counties in Oregon, though, the full extent is still being determined.

Confusion over another Democrat-passed law – one to extend routine ballot acceptance beyond Election Day – is also contributing to the situation, according to internal election sources. As a result, potentially thousands of ballots have been held from election offices. County elections officials are seeking answers, and a call between them and the Secretary of State’s Office has been set for Thursday morning regarding this problem.

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“Voters deserve to have the utmost confidence in our elections, yet situations like this show how vulnerable our system is. Disruptions in the chain of custody – especially at this magnitude – are outrageous and unacceptable. This is the direct result of Democrat leaders meddling with election laws and failing to properly oversee ballot returns. Oregonians are entitled to immediate answers from their government about how this could happen and what is being done to protect the integrity of the election,” said Helfrich.

Some counties have a track-you-vote website that will verify receipt of your ballot. To avoid federal interference, place a stamp on your ballot. It not only bypasses those being help up, but it saves the state the postage charge.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-05-15 19:55:10Last Update: 2024-05-15 20:30:12



Analysis: The Vital Role of Dissent in Strengthening Political Parties
A Look at Oregon’s GOP Primary

In the realm of political discourse, the emergence of candidates like James Hieb and Todd Vaughn represents a pivotal moment for the Republican Party, particularly in Oregon. Their candidacies bring to light the essential role dissent plays within political parties, serving not only as a catalyst for change but also as a testament to the self-governing values that underpin our political system.

James Hieb and Todd Vaughn are "America First Conservatives." The "America First" Republicans, underscore a broader ideological battle within the Oregon GOP. Their platforms, centered on upholding the oaths to both the United States and Oregon Constitutions, prioritizing Oregonians' needs, and combating leftist infiltration in legislative politics, highlight the ideological divides within the party.

The differences between the establishment Republicans and the grassroots to most would be seemingly subtle, but it comes down to a candidate’s willingness to compromise values versus their loyalty to the purity of their political beliefs.

For instance, Hieb's opposition to Measure 110, his stance on repealing the Corporate Activity Tax, opposing tolling on freeways, retaining fossil fuel energy infrastructure, opposing the Green New Deal, support of the Second Amendment, and election integrity measures, all signify a clear demarcation from more moderate or establishment Republican viewpoints.

Former governor candidate Christine Drazan, who is a champion of the party establishment, is challenging State Representative James Hieb in the primary. Her critics characterize her as a "RINO" (Republican in Name Only) due to her support for policies viewed as left-leaning, including her voting in favor of the "Menstrual Dignity Act" and her backing of Black Lives Matter rhetoric, which further amplifies the debate on the direction of the Republican Party.

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Todd Vaughn's opposition to corruption, cronyism, and lies, alongside his dedication to private stewardship, responsible forestry, and the protection of our natural resources, positions him as a candidate deeply connected to the concerns of rural Oregonians. Another distinguishing characteristic of Vaughn’s grassroots politics is his advocacy for fiscal responsibility, limited government, and recognition of the rights of the individual.

Vaughn is challenging the appointed incumbent in Senate District 1, David Brock Smith. Smith is a career politician who has willingly accepted donations from a San Franciscan Democrat who allegedly has committed voter fraud in California and Oregon since 2012. He has attempted a cover-up on a bill he sponsored, HB3375, which facilitated and fast-tracked the state’s goal of having three gigawatts of wind energy produced off the coast of Oregon by 2030. Smith has tried to deceive the public of his real intentions and re-write his record by claiming he has always opposed these types of green energy schemes. He votes a third of the time with the Democrats destroying any illusion that he is a conservative Republican.

The party’s internal conflict is not merely a power struggle, but a reflection of the broader debate over what it means to be a Republican in today's political climate.

The significance of these primary races extends beyond the fate of two candidates, one who is being challenged by an establishment candidate and one who is challenging an establishment candidate. It is indicative of the ongoing struggle to define the core principles of the Republican Party. The rise of grassroots movements and "America First" conservatives like Hieb and Vaughn suggests a growing disillusionment with the party leadership and a desire for representatives who echo the base's call for candidates that exemplify foundational conservative values and an uncompromising stand against the leftist agenda.

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Encouraging open debate and discussion within the party is not just beneficial but necessary for its evolution and vitality. Dissent can lead to a reinvigorated party aligning more with its members' values and aspirations. It fosters a culture where diverse viewpoints are not only tolerated but should be embraced as a means of achieving a more robust and principled political entity.

Unfortunately, intimidation and retaliation are the recourse for anyone threatening or just questioning the authority of the establishment Republicans who are entrenched in the party’s leadership, which has divided the party into factions making it nearly impossible to work as a successful cohesive organization.

The GOP stands at a crossroads, with the outcome of races like those in Oregon serving as a barometer for the party's future direction. Will it choose to cling to the status quo, or will it seize the opportunity to redefine itself in a way that resonates with the broader conservative base?

History will show the odds are against party reformation, which could be the demise of its future. The establishment's incessant need for control will continue to alienate younger voters discouraging their participation leading to a destructive battle of attrition.

Only time will tell, but one thing is clear: the role of dissent, as exemplified by the candidacies of James Hieb and Todd Vaughn, will be instrumental in shaping the party's path forward. It is a struggle for the soul of the GOP, particularly in states like Oregon, which is emblematic of the larger ideological battles shaping our country's future.

By navigating these internal divides combined with self-reflection, the Oregon Republican Party has the chance to emerge as a unified force, grounded in principle, yet open to the changes necessary to thrive in an ever-changing political landscape.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rob Taylor has been an activist for over 30 years and was the Winner of the 2024 Don McIntire Award for Excellence in Grassroots Political Activism. His podcast is located at www.RobTaylorReport or on Rumble and YouTube.


--Rob Taylor

Post Date: 2024-05-15 14:59:37Last Update: 2024-05-16 12:35:33



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