Monday, April 21, 2014

Group plans motion to defend Oregon same-sex marriage ban

        From the "You're doing it wrong" file ... Attention-slut homophobes plan to "defend" marriage by keeping people they hate and fear from participating in it.  

Still waiting for their campaign to abolish divorce for straights. . . .

Group plans motion to defend Oregon same-sex marriage ban
// - News

The National Organization for Marriage announced plans today to file a motion to defend Oregon's state ban on same-sex marriage in federal court.

Great evidence of no need to commit to road expansions: DOT: Vehicle Miles Driven decreased 0.8% year-over-year in February [feedly]

The goal of the sprawl lobby has never been to build the Bridgasaurus Boondogglus anytime real soon, they know there's no stomach for that. Rather, their goal has always been to get into the transportation plan now, so that years from now, they can turn to people fighting the absurd bridge and say "it's too late" (because it's in the transportation plan).

That is always the sprawl lobby's plan and a key part of their modus operandi. They subject citizens to decades-long planning processes that seem to go nowhere, and they avoid allowing citizens to have a clear choice early in the process when there's a chance of stopping the steamroller before it starts. If the Citizen advisory group doesn't come up with the recommendation programmed by the elites pulling the strings from the sprawl lobby seats, they just ignore the recommendations. 

That's what happened here in Salem. Despite a stacked panel expressly designed to build support for the Bridgeasaurus Boondogglus, the advisory panel never even excepted the idea that we needed a new bridge at all. The "no build" option had the highest support of any of the options considered by the citizens advisory panel.

But the millions of dollars in spending keep going on, lining CH2M Hill's pockets. Make work for consultants and planners is all that it has been so far.

Now the Chamber of Commerce is backing four clone candidates for city Council, all of whom argue that we need a new bridge, although we have no way to pay for it, and there's no evidence that this bridge would do anything to address the problems the so-called "environmental impact statement" process was intended to address.

The hypocrisy of the so-called "business" types is astonishing and would be hilarious if it wasn't so deadly and expensive for Salem. The Chamber and the business lobby around Salem love to present themselves as hard-nosed, clear-eyed thinkers, guardians of the taxpayers wallet, able to read a budget in the spreadsheet and draw the right inferences. But dangle enough taxpayer money in front of them, and they salivate like Pavlov's dog on steroids, and they throw out any notion of looking at the data and the need before deciding on the solution. When it comes the big infrastructure projects, their position is clear and consistent:  the more wasteful the better.

They retreat into gauzy phrases about "moving forward" and "progress" — all the empty phrases they would eviscerate if it came from a hippie in a dress talking about things like community building and proposing the tiniest of taxes to pay for her proposals.

One of the chamber clone candidates is a poohbah in the restaurant Association, the lobby group that has done great harm to Oregon in its fanatic opposition to paying living wages. Workers in fast food joints and restaurants throughout Salem suffer greatly from the lack of a functioning transit system, with absolutely no transit all on weekends. Thus, these workers are dependent on automobiles, which helps keep them poor. Anyone who actually gave a fig about the interests of the Oregon restaurant Association, its members, or the people of Salem, would oppose the Bridgasaurus Boondogglus vociferously. 

Tax the people of Salem 200+ dollars a year for 20 years to build an expressway to connect Polk County and Keizer, and Salem is going to take a severe economic hit. Any candidate who supports that should not be running for election to anything in Salem.

DOT: Vehicle Miles Driven decreased 0.8% year-over-year in February
// Calculated Risk

The Department of Transportation (DOT) reported:
Travel on all roads and streets changed by -0.8% (-1.7 billion vehicle miles) for February 2014 as compared with February 2013.. . .

In the early '80s, miles driven (rolling 12 months) stayed below the previous peak for 39 months.

Currently miles driven has been below the previous peak for 75 months - 6+ years - and still counting.  Currently miles driven (rolling 12 months) are about 2.3% below the previous peak.

The second graph shows the year-over-year change from the same month in the previous year.

Vehicle Miles Driven YoY In February 2014, gasoline averaged of $3.43 per gallon according to the EIA.  that was down from February 2013 when prices averaged $3.73 per gallon.

As we've discussed, gasoline prices are just part of the story.  The lack of growth in miles driven over the last 6 years is probably also due to the lingering effects of the great recession (high unemployment rate and lack of wage growth), the aging of the overall population (over 55 drivers drive fewer miles) and changing driving habits of young drivers.

When the internet dies, meet the meshnet that survives - 19 April 2014 - New Scientist

Salem public safety officials could much more usefully spend time building this than on a plan to build a new police Taj Mahal