Clackamas County Cancels ICLEI Contract

As reported by Roxanne Ross

An announcement of momentous import was made at the April 26th 2012 Board of County Commissioners meeting of Clackamas County, Oregon.  Commissioner Jamie Damon revealed that Clackamas County would not be renewing their membership in “ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability USA” at the next annual dues deadline.  Commissioner Jamie Damon stated, “This was brought up several business meetings ago, and I was unfamiliar with the organization, so I did some research and looked up the organization as well.  And we have decided to not continue as members of ICLEI.  So I just wanted to let you know that.” The remaining crowd in the room erupted in applause.  It was nearly at the end of the meeting around one hour fifty nine minutes (video on their web).

Through ICLEI membership, local governments receive tools for carbon counting assessments and programs (regulations/controls) that can be implemented locally to lower carbon emissions.   Dues are paid annually and programs can be purchased from ICLEI.  The May 2009 consent agenda for the City of Portland shows a $25,000 program purchase from ICLEI.  Goals are set, carbon assessments are made, action plans to reach the goals are formed, action plans are implemented, carbon assessments are done again, and new goals and action plans are formed.  Local governments pour lots of personnel time as well as the actual payments to ICLEI.

ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability used to be known as International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives.  It is the global organization and ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability USA is the American corporation making the contracts with local governments.

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Keep the 1st Ammendment

by Editors of the National Review.

The phrase “stunning development” is used far too often in our politics, but here is an item that can be described in no other way: Nancy Pelosi and congressional Democrats, frustrated by the fact that the Bill of Rights interferes with their desire to muzzle their political opponents, have proposed to repeal the First Amendment.

That is precisely what the so-called People’s Rights Amendment would do. If this amendment were to be enacted, the cardinal rights protected by the First Amendment — free speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom to petition the government for redress of grievances — would be redefined and reduced to the point of unrecognizability. The amendment would hold that the rights protected by the Constitution are enjoyed only by individuals acting individually; individuals acting in collaboration with others would be stripped of those rights.

The Supreme Court and U.S. law have long held that Americans do not surrender the rights they enjoy individually when they act in association with one another. This has been a fundamental feature of U.S. law since the very beginning, and even before that, inasmuch as the notion that collective action does not deprive us of our rights goes back into the Common Law as well. U.S. court cases going back to the 18th century recognize that fact, as does federal statute: 1 U.S.C. §1 reads in part: “the words ‘person’ and ‘whoever’ include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals.”

Strange things give the Left the heebie-jeebies, and “corporate personhood” seems like a strange thing. But “corporate personhood” is simply the notion that incorporated groups — businesses, political parties, unions, nonprofits, etc. — are single entities under the law. One would think that the Left would find this convenient: If Monsanto is not a “person” under the law, it cannot be regulated, taxed, sued, or fined, because for the purposes of the law it does not exist. Without the ability to treat enterprises as a single legal entity, there would be no redress for damages caused by a defective GM vehicle except to file claims against each individual owner of the 1.57 billion shares of GM stock outstanding.

But if GM and Monsanto can be sued, then they can defend themselves from suits. If they can be taxed on their property, then they can own property. If they have liabilities under contracts, then they have rights under contracts, too. If they have liabilities under the law, then they have rights under the law.

But the Occupy Left and the Democrats who sympathize with those ignorant misfits resent the fact that some business enterprises oppose their political agenda and support their opponents. (And some don’t: Wall Street gave generously to the Democratic party, and to Barack Obama particularly, in the 2008 election cycle.) The Left controls the unions, the government bureaucracies, most of the media, and the educational establishments, but its dreams of taxation and regulation do not sit particularly well with many who have to pay those taxes and suffer the regulation. The answer, in the mind of Pelosi et al., is to strip those opponents of their political rights.

The so-called People’s Rights Amendment would have some strange consequences: Newspapers, television networks, magazines, and online journalism operations typically are incorporated. So are political parties and campaign committees, to say nothing of nonprofits, business associations, and the like. Under the People’s Rights Amendment, Thomas Friedman would still enjoy putative First Amendment protection, but it would not do him much good inasmuch as the New York Times Company, being a corporation, would no longer be protected by the First Amendment. In short, any political speech more complex than standing on a soapbox at an intersection would be subject to the whims of Nancy Pelosi.

Representative Donna Edwards, a Maryland Democrat, nonchalantly concluded that the amendment would of course strip even political campaigns of the First Amendment rights: “All of the speech which, whether it’s corporations of campaign committees and others engage in, would be able to be fully regulated under the authority of the Congress.” The entire point of having a Bill of Rights is that there are some things Congress may not do. “Congress shall make no law” is a phrase that Democrats cannot abide, apparently.

One of the great dangers of such efforts to regulate political speech is that it puts incumbents in charge of setting the rules of the game under which their power and their position may be challenged. That is a recipe for abuse and corruption, and for smothering those critics who would draw attention to abuse and corruption.

Nancy Pelosi proposes to amend the Constitution the way the iceberg amended the Titanic. The First Amendment has served us well. Nancy Pelosi has not, but she has led her Democrats to a disturbing place in their quest to secure power, even at the cost of cashing in the Bill of Rights.

 

Wikipedia: National Review is a fortnightly magazine founded by the late author William F. Buckley, Jr., in 1955 and based in New York City.

The Growing Threat of Socialism

Tune in to the I Spy Radio Show Saturday, 4/21/2012  11a.m.-noon (West Coast time).

Listen live on KYKN (1430-AM) or, if you’re outside of the Salem (Oregon) listening area, go to www.kykn.com and hit the listen live button.

Guest: Trevor Loudon, Investigative Journalist and author of Barack Obama and the Enemies Within.   NewZeal Blog

This week: Trevor Loudon, investigative journalist from New Zealand, has been touring the US to warn people about the very real threat of socialists and communists and how they’ve managed to quietly influence and infiltrate society and politics right here in America. It’s been a short 23 years since the Berlin Wall, but it feels as if we’ve become complacent about communism and socialism almost as if they don’t seem to be the threat they once did. But socialist have been steadily and increasingly growing in power right here in America. If you’re over the age of 30 but that somehow sounds like conspiracy theory or fiction—it shouldn’t. Tomorrow, we’ll ask Trevor about socialism, why it’s a threat, and how it spreads. We go in depth with him about issues he doesn’t usually bring up in his presentations. You’ll hear why socialists target healthcare and the environment—and firsthand stories about living in New Zealand under fully socialized medicine. We talk about Russia and even some predictions of what Obama may do in order to try and win his second term presidency. Have you heard our very popular “I Spy Minute,” aired weekdays at 10:00 a.m. during KYKN’s peak listenership?

This show will be aired on KYKN(1430-AM), this Saturday at 11:00 a.m., West Coast time. If you’re outside of the Salem listening area, just go to www.kykn.com and hit the listen live button. Busy on Saturday? Not a problem. After the show airs, you can go to our webpage www.ispyonsalem.com and download it from our “past shows” page.

TOP TEN BEST REASONS TO BE AN UNACCOUNTABLE BUREAUCRAT AT THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION! | Americans for Prosperity

TOP TEN BEST REASONS TO BE AN UNACCOUNTABLE BUREAUCRAT AT THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION!

GSA Official Jeff Neely Says “Cheers!” GSA Official Jeff Neely Says “Cheers!” Life at the General Services Administration really isn’t so bad. Sure we’ve all heard about the taxpayer-funded Hawaiian vacations, wild parties and piles of free sushi, but nothing compares to your own boss telling Congress you are entitled to not only spend taxpayers’ money however you want, but get a big bonus for it!

“The senior executives were entitled to bonuses under our — we’re entitled to bonuses. I don’t believe the pay freeze affected those bonuses.” – Former GSA Administrator Martha Johnson

But that’s not all! Let’s take a look at some of the other perks unscrupulous bureaucrats are “entitled” to!

Receive almost $1 million to spend on a wild & crazy Vegas getaway

Build team camaraderie during multiple “dry run” Vegas planning trips

Earn thousands of dollars in bonus cash for party planning

Enjoy fabulous Hawaiian vacations at taxpayers’ expense

All-you-can-eat taxpayer-funded sushi

Host your very own hotel party at taxpayers’ expense for all of your agency and non-agency pals!

Use your acquisition skills to hire an outside event planner to do your work for you

Receive taxpayer-funded souvenirs for your hard work such as canteens, t-shirts, commemorative coins, yearbooks, and more.

Cultivate innovative team-building exercises like $75,000 bicycle-building projects

Ability to partake in uncommon business practices like criminal bribes and kickbacks…

via TOP TEN BEST REASONS TO BE AN UNACCOUNTABLE BUREAUCRAT AT THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION! | Americans for Prosperity.

Australian Government to Ban Free Scientific Inquiry on the Internet? | johnosullivan

Australian Government to Ban Free Scientific Inquiry on the Internet | johnosullivan.

What do you think?  Do you think open and frank discussions may “confuse” citizens .. making them suspect the “official” version of reality is, well, unsupportable?

Look at history for some reflection.  What kinds of governments repress, stifle, or prohibit the free exchange of observable facts?  All tyrants want to control information.. control people.. and impose their will over others.   A free people, free to discuss issues openly and without fear of retribution, is the last thing Tyrannical leaders or governments want to flourish.

 

Gov Jindal- Real Education Reform

Governor Jindal…is about to sign some of the most sweeping education reform legislation the nation has ever seen.

Schoolhouse Rocked: Bobby Jindal Brings Real Education Reform to Louisiana

By Troy Senik
Thursday, April 12 2012

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has always been a man in a hurry. By the age of 20, he was an honors graduate of Brown University with double majors in public policy and biology. By 23, he had completed a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford (having politely declined admission to Yale Law and Harvard Medical School) and taken a position with the prestigious consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

At 25, he was the youngest-ever Secretary of Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals; at 27, he was the executive director of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare; at 28, president of the University of Louisiana system. By 30, Jindal was an Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services in Washington. Within four years, he’d be sworn in as a U.S. Congressman from Louisiana’s First District. Within another three, he’d be governor of the Pelican State.

Thus, even at the ripe old age of 40, when Bobby Jindal tells you he’s going to do something, it becomes a matter of mathematical certainty. So when Jindal pronounced in his second inaugural address, delivered in January of this year, that “as long as there are children who are not receiving a quality education here in Louisiana – our mission is not accomplished,” it should have served as a heads up to the state’s educational establishment that reform was about to bear down on them with gale force.

Despite that warning shot, the defenders of the status quo – led by two unions, the Louisiana Association of Educators and the Louisiana Federation of Teachers – were caught flat-footed. And now, Jindal, less than three months after his Inauguration Day promise of root and branch reform to the state’s dysfunctional education system (44 percent of Louisiana schools receive grades of “D” or “F” in the state’s accountability ratings; test performance is in the bottom five nationally), is about to sign some of the most sweeping education reform legislation the nation has ever seen.

The laws passed by the Louisiana legislature last week read like a conservative education reformer’s wish list. Teacher tenure, which previously required three years of employment, will now be contingent on educators receiving a “highly effective” rating in five out of six consecutive years. Back-to-back “ineffective” ratings will be a firing offense. Seniority will no longer be a dominant factor in layoff decisions. Decisions about teacher employment and pay will largely devolve to principals and superintendents (they had previously been dominated by local school boards), allowing them to act with the dispatch becoming of an executive.

The reforms go well beyond personnel matters, however. They open up opportunities for charter schools, allowing new providers to enter the market. They offer vouchers that will allow poor and middle-income children in Louisiana’s worst schools to attend private or parochial institutions. They even expand opportunities for online learning.

Had Jindal tried something nearly as audacious in a union-dominated state like California, Illinois or New York, the proposal surely would have been stillborn in committee. But in right-to-work Louisiana, where the unions aren’t subsidized by compulsory membership, the best that organized labor can do is flail in anger after the fact. And flail they have.

In a move reminiscent of the outrage displayed by union forces opposing Governor Scott Walker’s reforms to public employment in Wisconsin, Louisiana teachers marched around the statehouse in Baton Rouge to protest Jindal’s proposal, predicting an imminent educational apocalypse.

Furthering the Wisconsin parallels, some of Jindal’s most fervent critics have launched a recall effort against the governor and his legislative ally, Speaker of the House Chuck Kleckley, in the wake of the legislation. The effort isn’t expected to go anywhere, however (as Ben Wolfgang noted in the Washington Times earlier this week, there have been at least four prior recall attempts against Jindal, all of which have failed). That owes in part to the political culture of Louisiana. But it also stems from the fact that the state’s voters don’t seem to share the sense of panic besetting its special interests.

Louisianans are sharp enough to realize that the dominant mantra of the education establishment – “spend more money, get better results” – has been disproved virtually everywhere it’s been tried over the past few decades. They’re also not susceptible to the doomsday fears that usually accompany efforts to create charter schools or implement voucher programs because such anxieties are contradicted by experience.

In the aftermath of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, the state converted many of the public schools in New Orleans into charters – and the results were breathtaking. During the 2010 school year, more than 61 percent of New Orleans public school students attended a charter institution. In the five years since Katrina, graduation rates shot up by 11 percentage points and the percentage of failing schools in the city dropped from 2/3 to less than 1/3. Public education in New Orleans didn’t merely recover: It came back stronger than it had ever been before.

Louisiana has one other thing going for it. Unlike other states where the public sector exists as a sinecure for those seeking cushy benefits and lifetime employment, at least some of Louisiana’s teachers seem to have kept sight of the fact that they’re still public servants.  A recent story in the New Orleans Times-Picayune characterizes a local grade school teacher worrying “that giving principals leeway to pay teachers what they want is simply unfair.” After an extended monologue, she’s interrupted by a colleague who responds, “I understand that it’s a job. You’re going to get paid what … they think your value is. That’s everyone’s job outside of teaching.”

Quite so. It’s heartening to think that under Bobby Jindal’s new system, that’s just the kind of teacher who might be up for a raise.