Daily Archives: January 27, 2011

Using Reagan to Rehabilitate Obama?

Those of us old enough to recall the Reagan years and after he left office, will readily recall how the media disliked our 40th president, Ronald Reagan. After nearly every speech, we were treated to Sam Donaldson coming on to let us know what he “really said.”

The media was only too quick to run with son Ron Jr.’s claim that Ronald Reagan had Alzheimer’s while in office just a few weeks ago, giving little credence to son Michaels’ counter claims that he did not.

In spite of that, Time magazine’s upcoming issue features a photoshopped cover of Reagan embracing Obama and an article The Role Model: What Obama Sees in Reagan

While they still try to draw distinct differences in the article, they try to build an aura of Obama, the New Reagan.

Historian Douglas Brinkley says, “There are policies, and there is persona, and a lot can be told by persona. Obama is approaching the job in a Reaganesque fashion.”

Time makes the comparison Between Obama & Reagan in SOTU speeches, “Let us, in these next two years — men and women of both parties, every political shade — concentrate on the long-range, bipartisan responsibilities of government.” Reagan said in his 1983 State of the Union, “not the short-range or short-term temptations of partisan politics.”

One major difference they miss out on is, Reagan stood for something. He spoke from the heart, meaning what he said. He inspired confidence and expressed leadership. He said what he meant and meant what he said.

Obama does none of that. He only tries to build an image of himself, supported in the article when he and Michelle once were sharing lunch with Nancy Reagan at the White House and she remarked on him being a “lefty.”

Obama’s reply? “I am a lefty. A lefty who wants to be remembered just like Ronnie.”

Sorry Barack, I imagine you’ll be remembered more as a Carter.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Rees Lloyd: Guide HORSES on Tri Met???

Excuse me,  I’m new to Portlandia. I need your help in interpreting Portland’s progressive governmental rulers.
I read the Zero’s page 1, lead story today on “TriMet beefs up rules on fare fraud,” i.e., by requiring seniors to have photo identification if they use “honored citizen” passes. 
The article included  the following:
“TriMet says the change is part of its ongoing efforts to update codes and operate smarter. On Wednesday. for example, the agency’s board of directors voted to ban electronic cigarettes and officially recognize guide horses as service animals.”
“Guide horses”? On “TriMet”?
How does that work?
I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a “guide horse.”
Nor did I know that guide horses use the TriMet. 
Where do they sit?
How is recognition of “guide horses as service animals” evidence of operating TriMet “smarter”?
And “electronic cigarettes,” what is the problem? Second hand “electronic non-smoke” ? 
Why is it bad? Does it affect guide horses?
Where do the guide horses go when they are on the TriMet and have to “go”?
Is that less annoying then electronic non-smoke?
Are the guide horses on TriMet eating organic grain that could be eaten by that anonymous child “who went to bed last night without supper” that the food fascists are talking about in advising they are going decide what food citizens like me can eat? 
I want to understand  Portlandian Progressive Governance (and distinguish from plain old European-style democratic socialism)  and I need help processing this information. I hope Victoria Taft listeners or readers can help me to understand these manifestations of liberal progressive governance. 
Meanwhile, I ‘m going to comfort myself by rushing to the local supermarket and buying up all the brownies, cookies, and non-organic fat-rich tasty good stuff before the food fascists attack and remove it in their zeal to govern other people’s lives 
Please advise.
–Rees
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Libs Claim: M 66 & 67 HELPED Business! It’s All So Clear to Me Now…

http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/news/2011/01/27/our-oregon-66-and-67-helped-business.html?ana=RSS&s=article_search

Our Oregon: 66 and 67 helped business

Portland Business Journal – by Andy Giegerich , Business Journal staff writer

Date: Thursday, January 27, 2011, 12:04pm PST

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The group that backed Oregon’s passage of two tax measures last year has unveiled a website touting the state’s business gains since voters approved the measures.
Our Oregon’s website recaps several news stories and announcements of companies expanding their Oregon facilities or relocating to the state since Measures 66 and 67 passed last year. The measures collectively raised the corporate minimum tax and personal income taxes for wealthy residents. Among the highlights:
• SolarWorld added 350 jobs last May
• Hi-Tec USA moved its boot-making headquarters to Portland last fall.
• John’s Incredible Pizza announced it would open restaurants that provide 185 jobs in the Portland region.
In announcing the site, Our Oregon noted that lobbyists had claimed the tax measures would make it more difficult to do business in the state.
“So, what actually happened? Scores of businesses have announced that they are moving to or growing in Oregon,” said Scott Moore, an Our Oregon spokesman, in a statement. “Venture capital has skyrocketed, clocking in with the second-best year since the dot-com boom. Oregon’s 10 largest public corporations are sitting on $6.4 billion in cash and short term investments. . .(corporate lobbyists) were wrong a year ago. Businesses didn’t flee — they flocked here.”
Measures 66 and 67 passed by a margin …

The group that backed Oregon’s passage of two tax measures last year has unveiled a website touting the state’s business gains since voters approved the measures.
Our Oregon’s website recaps several news stories and announcements of companies expanding their Oregon facilities or relocating to the state since Measures 66 and 67 passed last year. The measures collectively raised the corporate minimum tax and personal income taxes for wealthy residents. Among the highlights:
• SolarWorld added 350 jobs last May
• Hi-Tec USA moved its boot-making headquarters to Portland last fall.
• John’s Incredible Pizza announced it would open restaurants that provide 185 jobs in the Portland region.
In announcing the site, Our Oregon noted that lobbyists had claimed the tax measures would make it more difficult to do business in the state.
“So, what actually happened? Scores of businesses have announced that they are moving to or growing in Oregon,” said Scott Moore, an Our Oregon spokesman, in a statement. “Venture capital has skyrocketed, clocking in with the second-best year since the dot-com boom. Oregon’s 10 largest public corporations are sitting on $6.4 billion in cash and short term investments. . .(corporate lobbyists) were wrong a year ago. Businesses didn’t flee — they flocked here.”
Measures 66 and 67 passed by a margin of 54 percent to 46 percent, and 53 percent to 47 percent respectively.

Read more: Our Oregon: 66 and 67 helped business | Portland Business Journal

OFA – "We Do Big Things"

Now that we see the left has officially began the 2012 re-election effort for the One, we see slogan after slogan being proffered. “Win the Future,” “Together We Win,” and now, a tee shirt offer of “We Do Big Things.”

Yes, and on the back it should read, “Doubled the National Debt,” “Raised Taxes,” “Threw Millions out of Work,” “Takeover an Unprecedented Amount of Business” and “Suffer the Highest Losses of any Midterm Election Since 1938.”

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Seal the Borders? Naw…What For????

But let’s sue AZ and any other state that seeks to keep out illegal aliens.

U.S. border authorities have arrested a controversial Muslim cleric who was deported from Canada to Tunisia three years ago and was caught earlier this month trying to sneak into California in the trunk of a BMW, according to court documents.
Said Jaziri, the former imam of a Muslim congregation in Montreal, was hidden in a car driven by a San Diego-area man who was pulled over by U.S. Border Patrol agents near an Indian casino east of San Diego on Jan. 11. Jaziri had allegedly paid a Tijuana-based smuggling group $5,000 to get him across the border near Tecate, saying he wanted to be taken to a “safe place anywhere in the U.S.” 

here.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

***APPROVED*** Food Action Plan Voted on Today: Food Corps, Govt Food Hubs, Govt Food Brokers

Here are my previous posts on this. No point in reinventing the wheel (unless you’re the government). Please compare and contrast these posts to the story being told in the Zero today. The Zero reports that this plan is just to help out farmers (here). Sure, Zero, sure. (Hey, how’s that David Wu story coming along???)
Sunday, December 19, 2010

Government Take Over of Food, Restaurants, (Land?) in Offing for Multnomah County. Food As a “Right.”

Think I’m exaggerating? As promised, I’m now blogging what I’ve pointed out all week on the program: on January 27th the Multnomah County Commission will consider the “Multnomah Food Action Plan.” Find it here and here. This trojan horse represents itself as a way to fight hunger while at the same time getting rid of what its authors determine is “unhealthy” food. It puts the government at the forefront of making food related decisions for you; including where you buy it including government sanctioned, “food hubs.” It encourages more people to be put on welfare and government housing. The plan calls for manipulating the urban growth boundary, urging land trusts, and forcing people to grow food on empty lots. It would look better on paper if the authors considered private property rights and individual liberty in their plan, but alas, in the People’s Republic this is a plan that has at its heart, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. Here.” It’s a socialist uptopian dream–which has never worked and which seeks to use our money to accomplish it. It makes food–and maybe even shelter–a right. Instead of 

working, able bodied people will have to do virtually nothing to support themselves. If you think times are financially tight now, just wait till Multnomah County becomes an even bigger welfare magnet than it already is. As Margaret Thatcher once observed, “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples’ money.” 

Details of the plan after the jump. 

This plan is breathtaking in its scope. It calls for the county to direct how people receive food in so called “food hubs,” assigns the county the duty to ” reduce unhealthy food availability [think McDonalds lawsuits],” reduce property rights with its plan to “establish an agricultural land trust,” “increase acceptance” and “promote enrollment” of the food stamp program (SNAP), make it “easier” to eat more healthfully–by diktat–of course. In short, it would put government in charge of what you access you have to food. And the plan makes a foray into housing calling for the county to “create sustainable living conditions.”
And it’s all done in the name of ‘social justice.’

Multnomah County, like much of the country, is at a critical juncture in fixing its food system. Currently, we have a two-track food system: those who can afford it have access to sustainable, locally grown, healthful foods, while the poor have few healthful food options in their communities, and even fewer economic resources to purchase such foods. Hunger, food insecurity, and health disparities result from a system that perpetuates economic inequality and social injustice. The scales must be rebalanced.

There are some things that I like in the food plan such as production of food for the poor and a seed library to share seeds. But they’re only effective if free people can decide to involve themselves in such programs.
“Empowering,” “funding,” “creating,” “fund opportunities for,” “increasing opportunities for,” “develop incentives,” mean we’re going to pay for this “new” plan to take over the marketplace. Furthermore, the avowed goal to hook more people on welfare is unseemly and wrong. When did it become government’s job to make it easier for people to shirk their own responsibilities?
Worse, millions of taxpayer dollars will undoubtedly be wasted on this program before we arrive at the point where it’s obvious government can’t solve the problem of people wanting to eat french fries.

Among the groups urging more government involvement–if not takeover–of the food available in Multnomah County are those whose fortunes will rise with the government’s increased involvement.

ReCode Oregon meets in the “Che” (Guevarra) room of a local church. Their goal is “legalizing sustainability.” Various farmer’s markets support the plan. We can agree that farmer’s markets are wonderful community assets. But they’re private and they’re “markets.” They would become even more beholden to government under this plan.
TransitionPDX is a group created to agitate for government control of food. The group invokes the belief of ‘peak oil’ and ‘climate change’ as reasons to transition to government control over food.
The reasons for needing the program according to the food plan web page? Well it reads like they sat down and threw everything against the wall. Objectives appear to be in conflict with the other. 
 • About 36,000 people in Multnomah County access emergency
food boxes each month.
• Only a small portion of the food we consume is locally grown.
• Over half of all adults in Multnomah County are overweight or obese.
• Chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke is on the rise.
• About 30% of Multnomah County children receive food through the SNAP food assistance program.
• The average age of an Oregon farmer is 58 years.
One one hand people are hungry but on the other hand the do gooders want to deprive them of fast food or out of town sources of food. On one hand they claim to be concerned about the poor but on the other hand they want to drive up the cost of food by having most of it from local sources. On one hand they say 30% of children are on the food stamp program–a huge number–and on the other hand call for a higher number of people to be on welfare. On one hand they claim more people should grow food and on the other hand they want to use the force of government regulation to deprive people of private property rights to do it.
For free markets–literally–and free peoples this plan is a disaster. Making food and shelter a ‘right’ sounds like a laudable goal, until you realize that when government takes over things have a tendency to rise in price not to mention it disincentivising taking care of oneself. When lesser things become a ‘right’ government takes control of it and people come to expect it. We become Greece.
I want to help people, that’s why I give to charity. Government is not and should not become a charity. 
Posted by Victoria Taft, 11am – 3pm KPAM 860 at 14:27

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hippies, “Social Justice” Groups, The Usual Suspects: The Groups Behind the Multnomah Food Action Plan

The Multnomah Food Action Plan (discussed in a previous post here; find the plan here) in short seeks to control the food sold and eaten in the region–for our own health, of course. These goals sound aspirational but government will make decisions based on these aspirations and you’ll have to live with them. Think pie in the sky emission standards aspirations which translate to $20,000,000.00 in sewer fees being ripped off for bike paths and you get the picture of what happens with government aspirations and guidelines. Government’s ‘want – to’s’ often become our ‘have – to’s.’

If you like a hippy dippy-sustainable-CSE-compost lifestyle you should live it. You can now without government diktat. For the rest of us, we’ll have our Koi Fusion and VooDoo donuts, eat granola and our CSE provided swiss chard when we want, thank you very much.
So who’s behind this plan besides government? I’ve already mentioned a couple of groups in my first post. I’ve reposted the info on these groups below. But who else is involved? Glad you asked. Today we go over a couple more of these backers of the food plan.
The 47th Avenue Farm started in a vacant lot on, you guessed it, 47th Avenue. It has since branched out and is a political supporter of –surprise! Rex Burkholder of Metro (another supporting group) and is now engaged in a land grab on an island on the Willamette River.

Protect Grand Island!

Our newest farm is on Grand Island, a beautiful little island in the Willamette River with a strong agricultural heritage and a promising agricultural future. Recently a rock company applied to convert 225 acres of prime farmland into a gravel quarry. Help us protect the farms on Grand Island!

Look for one of the results of the Multnomah Action Food Plan to order whoever owns this plot of land to “donate” it to the hippies (I’m assuming the owner to be Dr. Robert Pamplin–my boss–who’s “donated” huge swaths of land already).

Meantime, over at “The Dirt” they’re imagining a life without carbon. I’m not kidding. They may be farmers or dirt lovers or something but don’t know much about the “carbon” they want to get rid of. They’re part of the TransitionPDX which is, in turn, affiliated with other groups. You see, if you LOOK like there are MORE groups out there agitating for the take over of the food production around here they’ll be accorded more power than you.
Among the groups urging more government involvement–if not takeover–of the food available in Multnomah County are those whose fortunes will rise with the government’s increased involvement including Whole Foods and New Seasons. With a possible government mandate coming down on food requirements, these two grocery stores will be situated to reap the benefits versus Safeway which may have to find new vendors and would be put at a disadvantage with new requirements. There’s something in it for them. Nothing wrong with that as long as you know that altruism isn’t the only thing motivating them.

ReCode Oregon meets in the “Che” (Guevarra) room of a local church. Their goal is “legalizing sustainability.” Various farmer’s markets support the plan. We can agree that farmer’s markets are wonderful community assets. But they’re private and they’re “markets.” They would become even more beholden to government under this plan.
TransitionPDX is a group created to agitate for government control of food. The group invokes the belief of ‘peak oil’ and ‘climate change’ as reasons to transition to government control over food.

Their objective? 

“Inherent within the challenges of peak oil and climate change is an extraordinary opportunity to reinvent, rethink, and rebuild the world around us.” – Rob Hopkins, The Transition Handbook.  

More later. Meantime, check out the groups for yourself! 
Multnomah Food Initiative Steering Committee organizations:

Metro; City of PortlandPortland/Multnomah Food Policy Council; 47th Avenue Farm; Bright Neighbor; Burgerville; CNRG; Cogan Owens Cogan, LLC; Community Food Security Coalition; East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District; Ecotrust Food and Farms; Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon; Growing Gardens; Hacienda Community Development; Loaves and Fishes; Montavilla Farmers Market; Native American Youth and Families Center; New Seasons Market; Oregon Food Bank; Oregon State University Extension Service; Portland Farmers Market; Portland Permaculture Guild; Portland Public Schools: Portland State University Institute of Metropolitan Studies; ReCode Oregon; The Dirt; Transition PDX; Upstream Public Health; Village Gardens, Janus Youth Programs, Inc.; Whole Foods

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Multnomah Food “Action” Plan Web Poll

What fallout do you predict from the local Food Action Plan that calls for getting rid of “unhealthy foods” from our area? Vote over here http://kpam.com/
G’bye Mickey D’s!
G’bye Voo Doo Donuts!
G’bye Hipster Food Carts!
Answer number one only.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Joe the Plumber Makes a Comeback at SOTU. ‘…Punish Your Success…’

“I Don’t Want to Punish Your Success…”
Back in the campaign President in 2008, Barack Obama met Joe the Plumber. Joe took the Presidential wannabe to task for Obama’s plan to raise taxes on people making over $250,000 a year. Joe explained that raising taxes on that amount would rob this small business owner of income that he deserved–because he was willing to work hard, risk capital and buy the business. What magically happened when he bought the business? Did he suddenly become rich because he was now going to file his business taxes under personal income taxes as so many small businesses do? 
The exchange was fairly lengthy (here), but the attitude of Obama because crystal clear with this exchange:
The only thing that changes, is I’m gonna cut taxes a little bit more for the folks who are most in need and for the 5% of the folks who are doing very well – even though they’ve been working hard and I appreciate that – I just want to make sure they’re paying a little bit more in order to pay for those other tax cuts. Now, I respect the disagreement. I just want you to be clear – it’s not that I want to punish your success – I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you – that they’ve got a chance at success too.” 
In Obama’s world view that ‘piece of the pie,’ as Michelle is famously quoted as talking about, remains static. If the government confiscated more of Joe’s money –if he paid higher taxes–that would mean someone else would get more. Put another way: If Joe made more money someone else necessarily got less. That is ignorant. Worse, the President claimed he didn’t want to “punish [Joe] for his success.” But that’s precisely what he wants to do. It’s exactly what he meant.
Fast forward to Tuesday night in the Presidential State of the Union address where he said he wanted to go after millionaires because–obviously–if they’re able to keep more of what they earned they would be depriving students somehow of getting scholarships or some government program (here).
Before we take money away from our schools or scholarships away from our students, we should ask millionaires to give up their tax break. It’s not a matter of punishing their success. It’s about promoting America’s success.
Either-or. False choice. If you win someone else loses. In Obama’s world there’s no growing the economic ‘pie,’ there’s only rearranging it–confiscating more of it from “rich” people– to give to others. This accomplishes his social goals and stokes the class warfare fires. In Obama’s world there’s only a static–frozen in time–amount of money that can’t be grown and therefore it needs to be redistributed. 
There’s no mistake that in the speech which David Axelrod claimed the President took a firm hand in editing that the ‘punish your success’ line was likely inserted by the President. 
I’ve noticed one thing in the President’s addresses: when he says he doesn’t want to do something it usually means he does. 
Thomas Sowell recently penned a piece (here) in which he takes up the issue of the myth of the ‘rich (here).’

What those who are arguing against “tax cuts for the rich” are promoting is raising the tax rates on families making $250,000 a year and up. A husband and wife making $125,000 a year each are not rich. If they have a kid going to one of the many colleges charging $30,000 a year (in after-tax money) for tuition alone, they are not likely to feel anywhere close to being rich.
Many people earning an annual income of $125,000 a year do so only after years of earning a lot less than that before eventually working their way up to that level. For politicians to step in at that point and confiscate what they have invested years of working to achieve is a little much.
Those who own their own small businesses have usually reached their peak earnings many years after having started their business, and often operating with very low income, or even operating at a loss, when their businesses first got started.
Again, having politicians step in with an extra tax at that point, when later incomes compensate earlier sacrifices, is sheer brass — especially when real millionaires and billionaires have their wealth safely stowed in tax shelters.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Rees Lloyd: Guide HORSES on Tri Met???

Excuse me,  I’m new to Portlandia. I need your help in interpreting Portland’s progressive governmental rulers.
I read the Zero’s page 1, lead story today on “TriMet beefs up rules on fare fraud,” i.e., by requiring seniors to have photo identification if they use “honored citizen” passes. 
The article included  the following:
“TriMet says the change is part of its ongoing efforts to update codes and operate smarter. On Wednesday. for example, the agency’s board of directors voted to ban electronic cigarettes and officially recognize guide horses as service animals.”
“Guide horses”? On “TriMet”?
How does that work?
I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a “guide horse.”
Nor did I know that guide horses use the TriMet. 
Where do they sit?
How is recognition of “guide horses as service animals” evidence of operating TriMet “smarter”?
And “electronic cigarettes,” what is the problem? Second hand “electronic non-smoke” ? 
Why is it bad? Does it affect guide horses?
Where do the guide horses go when they are on the TriMet and have to “go”?
Is that less annoying then electronic non-smoke?
Are the guide horses on TriMet eating organic grain that could be eaten by that anonymous child “who went to bed last night without supper” that the food fascists are talking about in advising they are going decide what food citizens like me can eat? 
I want to understand  Portlandian Progressive Governance (and distinguish from plain old European-style democratic socialism)  and I need help processing this information. I hope Victoria Taft listeners or readers can help me to understand these manifestations of liberal progressive governance. 
Meanwhile, I ‘m going to comfort myself by rushing to the local supermarket and buying up all the brownies, cookies, and non-organic fat-rich tasty good stuff before the food fascists attack and remove it in their zeal to govern other people’s lives 
Please advise.
–Rees
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Rees Lloyd: Free Self Defense Seminar at Team Quest MMA a Success

              If you missed the free self-defense seminar held by Team Quest MMA and Fitness in Portland on Saturday (Jan. 22, 2011), you missed something good – good for you, good for your family, and good for the community.
         But the success of the effort may lead to more opportunities, according to Matt Lindland, Oregon’s Olympic Silver Medalist and Mixed Martial Arts Super-Star who co-founded Team Quest in Portland along with MMA legends Dan Henderson and Randy Couture.

“We are pleased at the response to our offer of a free self-defense seminar for the community, which we put on as a way of giving back to the community, and to raise funds for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital,” Lindland said. “People who participated are asking for more. We may now schedule more free seminars like this, or maybe shorter, focused self-defense training in half-hour sessions, maybe weekly.”

  
       MMA is the fastest growing sport in America, and Team Quest has earned a national and international reputation as one of the best, most famed mixed martial arts training centers in the world. Created in the Gresham area of Portland, Team Quest now has training centers in Portland, Tualitin, and West Linn in Oregon; and, in California, Redding, Oceanside, and Temecula, CA, which is led by Team Quest co-founder Dan Henderson. [For more details, log on to www.teamquestmma.net.]
         Matt Lindland has brought honor to the sport, to himself, and to Oregon, not only by bringing home his Olympic Silver Medal (in greco roman wrestling), but  by his status as an MMA  super-star competitor, MMA trainer, and entrepreneurial co-founder of Team Quest, which has produced many MMA champions  and stars.
         Lindland is also an MMA match-maker, founder of “Sport Fight,” which provides the opportunity for up-and-coming athletes to compete and develop their talents in the demanding sport of MMA before growing crowds at MMA events, including one set for January 28, 2011, at  Spirit Mountain Casino. (See, http://sportfight.tv/ )
TEAM QUEST-SUPPORTING COMMUNITY, VETERANS
         Team Quest, under Lindland’s leadership, has also done much to give back to the community. The free Self-Defense Seminar is one aspect.   Another is Team Quest’s support of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
         Yet another aspect is Team Quest’s special recognition and support of veterans. Among other things, Team Quest provides a special discount for military veterans, i.e., the first month free and twenty-percent off the normal fee thereafter. (See, www.teamquestmma.net.)
         Team Quest is also a primary sponsor of “No Soldier Left Behind,” an Oregon non-profit organization created by Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans who assist veterans coming home to readjust, especially those vets who need help with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) traumatic brain injury (TBI) or other wounds or injuries, and need help in obtaining Veterans Administration medical care or benefits. (www.nosoldierleftbehind.org)
FREE SELF-DEFENSE SEMINAR –“GIVING BACK TO COMMUNITY
         “We feel at Team Quest that with the economy in decline and crime going up,  a free self-defense seminar to help citizens to be better able to defend themselves in potentially life threatening situations is a great way to give back to the community,” Lindland said. “It is also part of Team Quest’s efforts to raise donations for St. Jude’s Childrens Hospital,  which never turns a child in need away.”
         The free self defense seminar was intended for those with no self-defense experience, others with some MMA or other martial arts training, and even those with advanced training.
         Scott McKendry, General Manager at Team Quest MMA & Fitness, said, “Team Quest is involved in, and contributing to the community. The free self-defense seminar concept is one way of giving back. We will be looking at doing it more often. All those who participated seem very pleased.”
         McKendry said that while Team Quest was pleased with the turn out, and would definitely consider more free self-defense seminars,  “generally, we still have to get over the hurdle of the misperception of what MMA is all about.” He explained:
         “I think many in the community still have the perception that an MMA training center like Team Quest is full of a bunch of mean, scary, street fighter-types engaged in what the media long ago branded a ‘blood support.’ That’s not the realty at all.
         “The professional Team Quest fighters training here are dedicated, decent world-class athletes, and people. So are those on our amateur team and others who are hoping to become professional. We have a program to train people to become instructors. The skilled trainers we have, not only in MMA but in fitness, weight-loss, or basic defense skills, are educators who  really care about those they are teaching, not scary imitations of intimidating DI’s.
         “But, I believe that once people venture into Team Quest, they realize it is really a family friendly place at which they can learn skills for themselves, and their kids in a safe environment, from really decent athletes and trainers, who are also parents, community members, decent people just like them.”
         McKenry’s perception was in abundant evidence at the free self defense seminar held at Team Quest’s facility at 18206 SE Stark, Portland, OR 97233  (503-661-4134; www.teamquestmma.net.).
         Indeed, it was a full house. In one large training room, the free self-dense seminar was going on; in another, bikes and other devices for weight loss and fitness were busy; in another, weight lifting rather than weight loss was ongoing;  the very large, glassed training area which faces the street was filled with young children competing in a mini-MMA tournament, with a hundred or more parents and relatives cheering them on.
         The participants in the self-defense training all expressed praise for the instructors and gratitude to Team Quest for providing the free seminar. Mike Mincles of Portland, who said he has trained in MMA, stated: “It was good. Very good. Good, solid concrete instruction.”
         Leah Preble, of Troutdale, who said she had some martial arts experience, described the seminar as “Awesome. I would definitely encourage people to participate if Team Quest offers it again. There was great feedback from the instructors. They were very good in patiently helping us get the details right.”
         And, among the beginners with no martial arts or self-defense training, there was, among others, the daughter-mother team of Blair and Victoria Taft, the former a teenage student and the latter Oregon’s “Radio Personality of the Year” as host of the Victoria Taft Show, “The Tea Party of the Air,” on KPAM-860 (11-3pm., M-F).
         “It was outstanding,” said Victoria Taft. ”We are very lucky to have Matt Lindland and the whole Team Quest team in our community.”
         The trainers handling the self-defense training also provide evidence in support of McKenry’s comments on those instructing at Team Quest, and on the misperception that many have about MMA.
         Those assisting in the self-defense training were Scott McQuary, owner and head trainer at Team Quest in Tualitin; Julian Carroll, a Portland Police Department officer who lost 100 pounds at Team Quest and is now an MMA amateur competitor; Hillary Van Ormun, a Texas Christian University Graduate who is the only female on Team Quest’s amateur fighting team; Vladimir Novikov, in training to be an instructor; and Matt Lindland.
         Scott McQuary led off the seminar by discussing the importance of “remembering that your greatest defense is your own mind. Keeping alert to conditions around you to avoid danger. Keeping confident and using your knowledge if you are in danger. And remembering that the most important thing is not to overcome an aggressor, but to get yourself out of danger…. Use everything available to you – your voice, your demeanor, your self-defense skills – and overcome inhibitions about appearing rude to avoid danger — like failing to cross the street if someone is following too close to you because you don’t want to appear rude, implying that person is a danger. Overcome inhibitions against fighting back with whatever it takes to get free of danger if you cannot run to safety.”
         Throughout the two-and-one-half hour seminar, McQuary made himself available at one time or another to all those participating, helping them to get a move right. In every instance, although he was instructing about violent moves in violent circumstances, he was soft-spoken, even gentle, in helping those at the seminar to get the moves right that might save their lives.
         POLICEMAN’S 100-POUND LOSS IS HIS GAIN AT TEAM QUEST
         Instructor Julian Carroll, Portland Policeman for some twelve years, also was gentle in his instruction, and had a most enlightening and inspiring story regarding Team Quest and MMA:
         “I think a lot of people don’t realize that Team Quest is a very friendly place full of very friendly people who really want to help. Many people have the wrong conception of MMA. That would probably include me, I guess.          “When I walked into Team Quest the first time, I was 5’ 9” and weighed 260 pounds. I had no martial arts experience. I didn’t even dream that one day I would be fighting, and instructing, in MMA. I really didn’t know what Team Quest was all about, but I found a really good group of people, and started training. I lost just about 100 pounds training here. As I lost weight, I became more and more serious about the sport.  Now, I am on the Team Quest amateur fight team and hope to be fighting professionally. I’m also training to be an instructor, and hope I can help other people as Team Quest has helped me. It is very satisfying.”
T.C.U. TO TOUCH ‘EM UP
         Hillary Van Ormun attended High School in Lake Oswego, and left to attend and graduate from Texas Christian University.  She worked for a law firm on the East Coast, which transferred her back to Oregon. She relates how she became involved in MMA and Team Quest:
         “I was really nervous when I first came in to Team Quest. I knew they had all these great professional fighters here, like Matt Lindland. I didn’t know what to expect. But they’ve been very welcoming and helpful to me. It’s been great. Now, I’m the only woman on the Team Quest amateur fight team, and they are looking for a fight for me. I’m also on the instructor training program. I never thought I would be so involved, but I am, and its great. My husband is not involved in MMA, but he is very supportive,” she said.
         “I would encourage women to really consider becoming part of this. It’s empowering,” she said. “Like today, helping others to learn in the free self-defense seminar. Helping the community. Helping people be a little more confident. Its great.”
         Jason “Pepsi” Novelli, passing by on his way to a sparring match, complimented amateur fighter Hillary:  “She’s the nicest person who ever punched me in the mouth,” he said
FROM RUSSIAN SAMBO IN ARKANSAS TO MMA AT TEAM QUEST
         Vladimer Novikov is a native-born American of Russian heritage.  He moved from Arkansas to Oregon in 2007.
         “When I knew we were moving to Portland, I was very happy because Portland is where Team Quest was created. I was overjoyed. Team Quest has an awesome reputation, nationally and internationally. I couldn’t wait to be able to join up with Team Quest,” he said.
         Vladimir, who hobbled around the mats and instructed on crutches from a non-MMA injury, said that his only experience in martial arts had been in Russian Sambo, “which is a very violent, combat sport,” which he had been taught by an immigrant former captain in the Soviet army.
         “MMA requires skill in many forms, not just boxing, not just wrestling, or grappling, but all the forms. It is a great sport and Team Quest is a wonderful place to learn. I am very grateful,” he said. “I love to teach. This is like a dream.”
THE OTHER INSTRUCTOR:  MATT “THE LAW” LINDLAND
         Matt Lindland also was an instructor at Team Quest’s free self defense seminar. He taught, he helped, quietly, modestly, gently, unobtrusively, almost in the background. If you didn’t know who he was, you would never know that he was an Olympic Silver Medalist, a MMA legend and superstar, the co-founder of Team Quest whose values are at the heart of Team Quest.
         He disappeared from the seminar before its conclusion. When I looked for him at the conclusion of the seminar for a quote, I was told he was in the other, larger training area in the front of the facility where a kids’ MMA tournament was going on.
         These were little kids. When I walked in, the kids engaged in MMA competition  appeared to be under seven or eight years old. The room was packed with parents and kids sitting around the room against the walls while the match was taking place on the mats. I didn’t see Lindland, and watched the match. The kids were good. Trained. Using MMA techniques. Disciplined. Confident. Coaches were coaching both at the same time; not helping one against the other, but helping both to get their techniques right. The parents were cheering the kids on – but cheering both kids, and in a cheerful spirit.
         If there was a need of evidence that Team Quest is a “family friendly place,” here was the existential not rhetorical proof : There had to be at least a hundred adults in that room, maybe as many kids. And the atmosphere was one of support for all the kids, nothing mean-spirited.
         Hard to believe that those kids, gaining the discipline, self-confidence, and respect for their adult MMA instructors that they achieve at Team Quest, with the help of supportive parents, will descend one day into delinquency.
         It is true that some of the toughest men in the world train and compete in MMA, and many train at Team Quest in Portland and at Team Quest’s other facilities. And it is true the MMA may be the most demanding sport involving single, unarmed combat.
         It is also true that Matt Lindland is one of those “toughest men in the world.”
         But the reality of  MMA at Team Quest is not that it is about  ‘blood sport.”
         The reality is that Team Quest is a friendly place, a place of traditional American values, a place where families and kids can be safe, a place of personal discipline, effort, athleticism, challenges physical, mental, and spiritual, and, for adults as well as for kids, a place of dreams.
         I gave up on finding Lindland in the crowd and turned to leave, which is when I spotted him. He was sitting of the mat, his back against the wall,  one adult among the many, seeking no special notice, one of the toughest men in the world, with little kids surrounding him,  a very tough man gently and protectively helping those kids to make their dreams come true.          Maybe one day one them, too, would represent our country at the Olympics, and come up with Gold or Silver or Bronze Olympic Medal as their teacher, Matt Lindland, did. Maybe not, but they will all be better for the experience.
         I asked Lindland, who has been honored so much for his achievements in MMA, nationally and internationally, if there was any particular way I should describe him in reporting on the free defense seminar, Team Quest, and him.  He said simply, “Just say I’m a patriot.”
[For more information on Team Quest, see www.teamquestmma.net.]
                 
 

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OFA – "We Do Big Things"

Now that we see the left has officially began the 2012 re-election effort for the One, we see slogan after slogan being proffered. “Win the Future,” “Together We Win,” and now, a tee shirt offer of “We Do Big Things.”

Yes, and on the back it should read, “Doubled the National Debt,” “Raised Taxes,” “Threw Millions out of Work,” “Takeover an Unprecedented Amount of Business” and “Suffer the Highest Losses of any Midterm Election Since 1938.”

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Seal the Borders? Naw…What For????

But let’s sue AZ and any other state that seeks to keep out illegal aliens.

U.S. border authorities have arrested a controversial Muslim cleric who was deported from Canada to Tunisia three years ago and was caught earlier this month trying to sneak into California in the trunk of a BMW, according to court documents.
Said Jaziri, the former imam of a Muslim congregation in Montreal, was hidden in a car driven by a San Diego-area man who was pulled over by U.S. Border Patrol agents near an Indian casino east of San Diego on Jan. 11. Jaziri had allegedly paid a Tijuana-based smuggling group $5,000 to get him across the border near Tecate, saying he wanted to be taken to a “safe place anywhere in the U.S.” 

here.

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***APPROVED*** Food Action Plan Voted on Today: Food Corps, Govt Food Hubs, Govt Food Brokers

Here are my previous posts on this. No point in reinventing the wheel (unless you’re the government). Please compare and contrast these posts to the story being told in the Zero today. The Zero reports that this plan is just to help out farmers (here). Sure, Zero, sure. (Hey, how’s that David Wu story coming along???)
Sunday, December 19, 2010

Government Take Over of Food, Restaurants, (Land?) in Offing for Multnomah County. Food As a “Right.”

Think I’m exaggerating? As promised, I’m now blogging what I’ve pointed out all week on the program: on January 27th the Multnomah County Commission will consider the “Multnomah Food Action Plan.” Find it here and here. This trojan horse represents itself as a way to fight hunger while at the same time getting rid of what its authors determine is “unhealthy” food. It puts the government at the forefront of making food related decisions for you; including where you buy it including government sanctioned, “food hubs.” It encourages more people to be put on welfare and government housing. The plan calls for manipulating the urban growth boundary, urging land trusts, and forcing people to grow food on empty lots. It would look better on paper if the authors considered private property rights and individual liberty in their plan, but alas, in the People’s Republic this is a plan that has at its heart, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. Here.” It’s a socialist uptopian dream–which has never worked and which seeks to use our money to accomplish it. It makes food–and maybe even shelter–a right. Instead of 

working, able bodied people will have to do virtually nothing to support themselves. If you think times are financially tight now, just wait till Multnomah County becomes an even bigger welfare magnet than it already is. As Margaret Thatcher once observed, “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples’ money.” 

Details of the plan after the jump. 

This plan is breathtaking in its scope. It calls for the county to direct how people receive food in so called “food hubs,” assigns the county the duty to ” reduce unhealthy food availability [think McDonalds lawsuits],” reduce property rights with its plan to “establish an agricultural land trust,” “increase acceptance” and “promote enrollment” of the food stamp program (SNAP), make it “easier” to eat more healthfully–by diktat–of course. In short, it would put government in charge of what you access you have to food. And the plan makes a foray into housing calling for the county to “create sustainable living conditions.”
And it’s all done in the name of ‘social justice.’

Multnomah County, like much of the country, is at a critical juncture in fixing its food system. Currently, we have a two-track food system: those who can afford it have access to sustainable, locally grown, healthful foods, while the poor have few healthful food options in their communities, and even fewer economic resources to purchase such foods. Hunger, food insecurity, and health disparities result from a system that perpetuates economic inequality and social injustice. The scales must be rebalanced.

There are some things that I like in the food plan such as production of food for the poor and a seed library to share seeds. But they’re only effective if free people can decide to involve themselves in such programs.
“Empowering,” “funding,” “creating,” “fund opportunities for,” “increasing opportunities for,” “develop incentives,” mean we’re going to pay for this “new” plan to take over the marketplace. Furthermore, the avowed goal to hook more people on welfare is unseemly and wrong. When did it become government’s job to make it easier for people to shirk their own responsibilities?
Worse, millions of taxpayer dollars will undoubtedly be wasted on this program before we arrive at the point where it’s obvious government can’t solve the problem of people wanting to eat french fries.

Among the groups urging more government involvement–if not takeover–of the food available in Multnomah County are those whose fortunes will rise with the government’s increased involvement.

ReCode Oregon meets in the “Che” (Guevarra) room of a local church. Their goal is “legalizing sustainability.” Various farmer’s markets support the plan. We can agree that farmer’s markets are wonderful community assets. But they’re private and they’re “markets.” They would become even more beholden to government under this plan.
TransitionPDX is a group created to agitate for government control of food. The group invokes the belief of ‘peak oil’ and ‘climate change’ as reasons to transition to government control over food.
The reasons for needing the program according to the food plan web page? Well it reads like they sat down and threw everything against the wall. Objectives appear to be in conflict with the other. 
 • About 36,000 people in Multnomah County access emergency
food boxes each month.
• Only a small portion of the food we consume is locally grown.
• Over half of all adults in Multnomah County are overweight or obese.
• Chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke is on the rise.
• About 30% of Multnomah County children receive food through the SNAP food assistance program.
• The average age of an Oregon farmer is 58 years.
One one hand people are hungry but on the other hand the do gooders want to deprive them of fast food or out of town sources of food. On one hand they claim to be concerned about the poor but on the other hand they want to drive up the cost of food by having most of it from local sources. On one hand they say 30% of children are on the food stamp program–a huge number–and on the other hand call for a higher number of people to be on welfare. On one hand they claim more people should grow food and on the other hand they want to use the force of government regulation to deprive people of private property rights to do it.
For free markets–literally–and free peoples this plan is a disaster. Making food and shelter a ‘right’ sounds like a laudable goal, until you realize that when government takes over things have a tendency to rise in price not to mention it disincentivising taking care of oneself. When lesser things become a ‘right’ government takes control of it and people come to expect it. We become Greece.
I want to help people, that’s why I give to charity. Government is not and should not become a charity. 
Posted by Victoria Taft, 11am – 3pm KPAM 860 at 14:27

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hippies, “Social Justice” Groups, The Usual Suspects: The Groups Behind the Multnomah Food Action Plan

The Multnomah Food Action Plan (discussed in a previous post here; find the plan here) in short seeks to control the food sold and eaten in the region–for our own health, of course. These goals sound aspirational but government will make decisions based on these aspirations and you’ll have to live with them. Think pie in the sky emission standards aspirations which translate to $20,000,000.00 in sewer fees being ripped off for bike paths and you get the picture of what happens with government aspirations and guidelines. Government’s ‘want – to’s’ often become our ‘have – to’s.’

If you like a hippy dippy-sustainable-CSE-compost lifestyle you should live it. You can now without government diktat. For the rest of us, we’ll have our Koi Fusion and VooDoo donuts, eat granola and our CSE provided swiss chard when we want, thank you very much.
So who’s behind this plan besides government? I’ve already mentioned a couple of groups in my first post. I’ve reposted the info on these groups below. But who else is involved? Glad you asked. Today we go over a couple more of these backers of the food plan.
The 47th Avenue Farm started in a vacant lot on, you guessed it, 47th Avenue. It has since branched out and is a political supporter of –surprise! Rex Burkholder of Metro (another supporting group) and is now engaged in a land grab on an island on the Willamette River.

Protect Grand Island!

Our newest farm is on Grand Island, a beautiful little island in the Willamette River with a strong agricultural heritage and a promising agricultural future. Recently a rock company applied to convert 225 acres of prime farmland into a gravel quarry. Help us protect the farms on Grand Island!

Look for one of the results of the Multnomah Action Food Plan to order whoever owns this plot of land to “donate” it to the hippies (I’m assuming the owner to be Dr. Robert Pamplin–my boss–who’s “donated” huge swaths of land already).

Meantime, over at “The Dirt” they’re imagining a life without carbon. I’m not kidding. They may be farmers or dirt lovers or something but don’t know much about the “carbon” they want to get rid of. They’re part of the TransitionPDX which is, in turn, affiliated with other groups. You see, if you LOOK like there are MORE groups out there agitating for the take over of the food production around here they’ll be accorded more power than you.
Among the groups urging more government involvement–if not takeover–of the food available in Multnomah County are those whose fortunes will rise with the government’s increased involvement including Whole Foods and New Seasons. With a possible government mandate coming down on food requirements, these two grocery stores will be situated to reap the benefits versus Safeway which may have to find new vendors and would be put at a disadvantage with new requirements. There’s something in it for them. Nothing wrong with that as long as you know that altruism isn’t the only thing motivating them.

ReCode Oregon meets in the “Che” (Guevarra) room of a local church. Their goal is “legalizing sustainability.” Various farmer’s markets support the plan. We can agree that farmer’s markets are wonderful community assets. But they’re private and they’re “markets.” They would become even more beholden to government under this plan.
TransitionPDX is a group created to agitate for government control of food. The group invokes the belief of ‘peak oil’ and ‘climate change’ as reasons to transition to government control over food.

Their objective? 

“Inherent within the challenges of peak oil and climate change is an extraordinary opportunity to reinvent, rethink, and rebuild the world around us.” – Rob Hopkins, The Transition Handbook.  

More later. Meantime, check out the groups for yourself! 
Multnomah Food Initiative Steering Committee organizations:

Metro; City of PortlandPortland/Multnomah Food Policy Council; 47th Avenue Farm; Bright Neighbor; Burgerville; CNRG; Cogan Owens Cogan, LLC; Community Food Security Coalition; East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District; Ecotrust Food and Farms; Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon; Growing Gardens; Hacienda Community Development; Loaves and Fishes; Montavilla Farmers Market; Native American Youth and Families Center; New Seasons Market; Oregon Food Bank; Oregon State University Extension Service; Portland Farmers Market; Portland Permaculture Guild; Portland Public Schools: Portland State University Institute of Metropolitan Studies; ReCode Oregon; The Dirt; Transition PDX; Upstream Public Health; Village Gardens, Janus Youth Programs, Inc.; Whole Foods

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Multnomah Food “Action” Plan Web Poll

What fallout do you predict from the local Food Action Plan that calls for getting rid of “unhealthy foods” from our area? Vote over here http://kpam.com/
G’bye Mickey D’s!
G’bye Voo Doo Donuts!
G’bye Hipster Food Carts!
Answer number one only.

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Joe the Plumber Makes a Comeback at SOTU. ‘…Punish Your Success…’

“I Don’t Want to Punish Your Success…”
Back in the campaign President in 2008, Barack Obama met Joe the Plumber. Joe took the Presidential wannabe to task for Obama’s plan to raise taxes on people making over $250,000 a year. Joe explained that raising taxes on that amount would rob this small business owner of income that he deserved–because he was willing to work hard, risk capital and buy the business. What magically happened when he bought the business? Did he suddenly become rich because he was now going to file his business taxes under personal income taxes as so many small businesses do? 
The exchange was fairly lengthy (here), but the attitude of Obama because crystal clear with this exchange:
The only thing that changes, is I’m gonna cut taxes a little bit more for the folks who are most in need and for the 5% of the folks who are doing very well – even though they’ve been working hard and I appreciate that – I just want to make sure they’re paying a little bit more in order to pay for those other tax cuts. Now, I respect the disagreement. I just want you to be clear – it’s not that I want to punish your success – I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you – that they’ve got a chance at success too.” 
In Obama’s world view that ‘piece of the pie,’ as Michelle is famously quoted as talking about, remains static. If the government confiscated more of Joe’s money –if he paid higher taxes–that would mean someone else would get more. Put another way: If Joe made more money someone else necessarily got less. That is ignorant. Worse, the President claimed he didn’t want to “punish [Joe] for his success.” But that’s precisely what he wants to do. It’s exactly what he meant.
Fast forward to Tuesday night in the Presidential State of the Union address where he said he wanted to go after millionaires because–obviously–if they’re able to keep more of what they earned they would be depriving students somehow of getting scholarships or some government program (here).
Before we take money away from our schools or scholarships away from our students, we should ask millionaires to give up their tax break. It’s not a matter of punishing their success. It’s about promoting America’s success.
Either-or. False choice. If you win someone else loses. In Obama’s world there’s no growing the economic ‘pie,’ there’s only rearranging it–confiscating more of it from “rich” people– to give to others. This accomplishes his social goals and stokes the class warfare fires. In Obama’s world there’s only a static–frozen in time–amount of money that can’t be grown and therefore it needs to be redistributed. 
There’s no mistake that in the speech which David Axelrod claimed the President took a firm hand in editing that the ‘punish your success’ line was likely inserted by the President. 
I’ve noticed one thing in the President’s addresses: when he says he doesn’t want to do something it usually means he does. 
Thomas Sowell recently penned a piece (here) in which he takes up the issue of the myth of the ‘rich (here).’

What those who are arguing against “tax cuts for the rich” are promoting is raising the tax rates on families making $250,000 a year and up. A husband and wife making $125,000 a year each are not rich. If they have a kid going to one of the many colleges charging $30,000 a year (in after-tax money) for tuition alone, they are not likely to feel anywhere close to being rich.
Many people earning an annual income of $125,000 a year do so only after years of earning a lot less than that before eventually working their way up to that level. For politicians to step in at that point and confiscate what they have invested years of working to achieve is a little much.
Those who own their own small businesses have usually reached their peak earnings many years after having started their business, and often operating with very low income, or even operating at a loss, when their businesses first got started.
Again, having politicians step in with an extra tax at that point, when later incomes compensate earlier sacrifices, is sheer brass — especially when real millionaires and billionaires have their wealth safely stowed in tax shelters.

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