Wednesday, January 27, 2010

May 1940 British War Cabinet Crisis


"If this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end only when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground."
Winston Churchill, May 1940

Winston Churchill speeches to Parliament and on the radio to the English People during World War II are well known but the above quote was from what Churchill told the British War Cabinet at a meeting on May 27,1940 and was not recorded and the only record of it is from notes by Hugh Dalton, a member of the Labour Party and the newly appointed Minister of Economic Warfare.

The British army had been cut off from the French on the Continent and were retreating to Dunkirk on the English Channel. The only hope of rescuing the ENTIRE British army was to evacuate them back to England from Dunkirk. Lord Halifax a member of the war cabinet and a rival of Churchill was advocating a negotiated peace with Hitler and the War Cabinet was deeply divided on the issue . Churchill as Prime Minister fought the cabinets impulse to end the war with a negotiated settlement over a period of a few days and finally at this meeting expressed his opinion on how they should proceed.

Churchill began his remarks by making no attempt to mitigate the seriousness of the situation Britain had found herself in.
The French had failed to make a push northwards from the Somme. They had too few Divisions between the sea and Amiens and their communications had been badly bombed. Therefore, though we had done our best from the north, it had been impossible to close the gap, and we were in grave danger of being surrounded. Now, therefore, it was necessary to fight our way through to the Channel Ports and get away all we could...We should certainly be able to get 50,000 away. If we could get 100,000 away, that would be a magnificent performance... ( In the end they actually evacuated 330,000 allied troops from Dunkirk) )have thought carefully in these last days whether it was part of my duty to consider entering into negotiations with That Man [Hitler]. But it was idle to think that, if we tried to make peace now, we should get better terms than if we fought it out. The Germans would demand our – that would be called disarmament – our naval bases, and much else. We should become a slave state, though a British Government which would be Hitler’s puppet would be set up – under Mosley or some such person. And where should we be at the end of all that? On the other side we have immense reserves and advantages. And I am convinced that every one of you would rise up and tear me down from my place if I were for one moment to contemplate parley or surrender. If this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end only when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground.

The cabinet stirred by Churchill's determination gave him a huge round of applause and the crisis of the British War Cabinet was over. England fought on alone until the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor and joined the war.

To read more details click on the title for a link to an excellent Wikipedia article on the series of meetings.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

STATE OF OREGON: "CLOSED FOR BUSINESS"



The voters of the state of Oregon today passed new taxes on Corporations and the people who create non governmental jobs. They did this in the middle of a recession and period of high unemployment in this state. New business don't need to come to Oregon and these new taxes will scare them away. Those business that are here will cut costs resulting in layoffs and business closures or worse moving to another state that is not hostile to business. As usual the tax measures failed in Eastern and Southern Oregon but were very popular in Portland. We are a state divided by geography and class! This is exactly what happened in places like Detroit! Ultimately, this will result in higher unemployment, less tax revenue and more dependence on handouts from Washington DC to keep funding more government, and the generous benefits that public employees have been given because of the political power of their unions. Yes, today the state of Oregon hung out the "closed for business" sign! As unemployment climbs, the voter can only thank themselves. When the "rich" and "big corporations" have moved out of state what minority will we go after next to finance the state government! It might be YOU !

UPDATE:

States with the highest unemployment rate:

41 ALABAMA 11.0
41 OREGON 11.0
43 ILLINOIS 11.1
44 NORTH CAROLINA 11.2
45 FLORIDA 11.8
46 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 12.1
47 CALIFORNIA 12.4
48 SOUTH CAROLINA 12.6
49 RHODE ISLAND 12.9
50 NEVADA 13.0
51 MICHIGAN 14.6

Oregon is in the "top" 10 ! Now all we need to do is beat Michigan !

UPDATE 2:

It didn't take long!

Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski says it's time for the Legislature to take up "kicker" reform now that voters have approved tax increases on corporations and the wealthy. Now they want to take our "kicker" away.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Duck Sports News.com


One of the best web sites, if not the best, to obtain news about the University of Oregon Ducks is "ducksportsnews.com". Click on the title above for a link . Check back often as it is updated all day.Be careful because it can become addictive! It's also FREE.... no subscription.

Jay Jones, who runs the site loves the Ducks as much as I do but unlike some "Duck sites" he does not attempt to censor the news but provides links to any news about the Oregon Ducks even if it is critical. He let's you go to the information on the Internet and let's your judge the credibility of the information. Isn't that what the Internet is all about. We are no longer limited to what an editor in Portland or Eugene or another Duck fan thinks is "newsworthy." Sometimes the information is wrong or just plain "crap" but I want to be the judge of that! Thanks, Duck Sports News.com.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

"Into the Storm" (2009) *****





*****He was a drunk and a "war monger" and in the dark days of 1940 Winston Spencer Churchill saved Great Britain and the free world when no one else would stand up to Hitler and Nazi Germany !

Last night I watched a Netflix copy of "Into The Storm" an HBO movie that is a continuation of the earlier HBO movie "The Gathering Storm." The earlier HBO movie dealt with Churchill's Wilderness Years" between World War I & II. "Into the Storm" covers his World War II years. While not as good as the first movie, I will buy the DVD and will watch it over and over because it is very good. The new movie has different actors who are good ..... I especial like the actress who portrays Churchill's wife Clementine. The movie is only two hours and at points has a "greatest hits" of the war years quality to it. However, when the movie deals with Churchill's personal life it is wonderful. Perhaps you need the "greatest hits" of history to put context to his personal life. The movie is a series of flashbacks to Churchill's war years as he awaits the election results of Great Brittan's first general election since the end of the war in 1945. (Churchill lost)Churchill is on vacation with his wife and family in the south of France and he is obsessed with the election results but keeps thinking back to the war which he "loved". As much as he loved the war it brought great pain to him physically and to his relationship with his wife and children. The movie is very effective in this regard. I also particularly like the weekly conversations he has with the King during the war and the development of their relationship. Churchill was not an easy man to live with and his wife and servants put up with a lot. But as he said in the first movie "I am a great man." There is no question of that.

On of my favorite parts of the movie is after the fall of France and the evacuations at Dunkirk. England stands alone! Some in the British War Cabinet suggest negotiations through Mussolini for a peace agreement with Nazi Germany. Churchill says he would negotiate if he felt it would save England but he believes Hitler would not honor any agreement. He goes on to tell Parliament and the English People:

We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the Old.


In the movie the speech is shown with cuts to people of all walks of life in England listening to the speech on the radio. They are all afraid and Churchill is giving them the "backbone" to carry on.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ernie Kent: "Depart, I say......."



Last night my Oregon Ducks lost to the Cal Bears by 32 points in Men's Basketball The 4th loss in a row and after several seasons of poor performance from his teams there is no debating the issue.

To Oregon Basketball Coach Ernie Kent! "You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"

A phrase used on two dramatic occasions in the British House of Commons. It was first spoken by Oliver Cromwell in 1653 when forcibly ejecting the remaining members of the Long Parliament: 'You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!' The passage was used by Leo Amery on 7 May 1940 in his attack on Neville *Chamberlain.


Ernie is a Duck and will always be a Duck and as someone who bleeds green and yellow he must understand how destructive this season is on the University of Oregon, the team and himself. Many fans have given up on Oregon Basketball and the results will be seen in the empty stands at the next home games and in ticket sales for the new arena for next season. . The Athletic Department needs to act fast as they have a disaster on their hands. Oregon Duck fans are in rebellion! He needs to go NOW!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The vote heard round the world! (UPDATED)


Republican Scott Brown wins the Massachusetts Senate seat held by Teddy Kennedy. I watched Brown's victory speech tonight and I think the GOP has a new "STAR" that we will hear more about in the future. Democrats in "red" states across the United State must be in panic mode tonight. This may not be the end of "the wilderness years" for conservatives but it may be the beginning of the end! Chris Mathews ,for once, was right .....this is Concord and Lexington and the "world is turned upside down" for the Democrats. It's fitting that the revolution should start in Massachusetts.

To the liberals who think that the main reason they lost was they had an allegedly weak candidate..... oh, please continue to think that because as long as they believe that they will not change!

UPDATE:
Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post said it best:

"For the Democrats to lose Ted Kennedy's seat one year after Barack Obama's victory is a cataclysmic event that will reverberate far beyond the health-care bill that now faces 41 'no' votes in the Senate."

Waiting for the Vote


The eyes of the nation are on the vote in Massachusetts tonight to replace Teddy Kennedy in the United State Senate. Massachusetts where the American revolution was born. Massachusetts one of the most "blue" states of all. The home of the Kennedy's, Tip O'Neil,John Kerry (who served in Vietnam)and Barney Frank. Will Republican Scott Brown win????????

I don't often quote Chris Matthews but here is a good one:

“I think this is going to be Lexington and Concord, it’s going to be a shot heard round the world. Everybody’s going to know that health care was at stake there because Barney Frank said it better than anybody, ‘It kills health care.’ This means the president has to push the House to pass the Senate bill, go to Maine and try to get one of the two senators there, go to reconciliation. As you and I know very well, there’s no good trade route now for health care if they lose Massachusetts.”

Monday, January 18, 2010

Goodbye Mac Court ! Thanks for the Memories




This is the last full season of Oregon Duck basketball to be played in "Mac Court." Next year when the University of Oregon starts their Pac -10 Conference games it will be in the new 200 million dollar Mathew Knight arena nicknamed "Matt Court." The new arena is named after Nike boss Phil Knight's deceased son. The Ducks need a new arena and I am looking forward to the move but not without a nod to the the old area where I have so many memories.

But first a little history from Wikipedia:

McArthur Court is a basketball arena located on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene. Also known as "The Pit" or "Mac Court," it is known as one of the toughest arenas in the country for opposing players to play in. The arena is named for Clifton N. (Pat) McArthur, a student-athlete and the university's first student body president.[1]

Its unique and antiquated structure has the fans on top of the court. The maple floor bounces under the weight of the student section that surrounds the court.[2] In 2001 Sporting News named it "best gym in America".[3] For its history, character, and atmosphere, sports writer and arena researcher Bill Kintner named McArthur Court in his top five of college basketball arenas in America. He notes that McArthur Court "is a building that will give you chills even if there is no game being played."[4]

The arena was funded by a $15 fee imposed by the Associated Students of the University of Oregon and the mortgage papers were burned as part of a public ceremony after the building was completely paid for.[5]


Interior of McArthur CourtThe second-oldest on-campus arena still in use (after Fordham University's Rose Hill Gym), McArthur Court saw its first game on January 14, 1927, a 38–10 Oregon victory over Willamette University. Among its finest moments are two upsets over #1 UCLA in the mid-1970s and another upset of the top-ranked Bruins on January 6, 2007. An undefeated home season in 2001–02 propelled the Ducks to the "Elite Eight" in the NCAA Tournament. Players to call the court home over the years include Ron Lee, Blair Rasmussen, Terrell Brandon, Fred Jones, Luke Ridnour, Luke Jackson, Malik Hairston, and Aaron Brooks.


As an undergraduate student at Oregon in the 1960's Mac Court was already very old. I can remember watching a Simon & Garfunkel concert from an upper deck. Bob Hope also came for a benefit concert.

When I came back to the University of Oregon for law school after the Army Oregon football was not very good. However, in basketball it was the era of coach Dick Harter and his "Kamikaze Kids." Harter ran his team like a marine drill sergeant and his motto was "they don't know what hustle is until they play Oregon." Oregon would play tenacious defense and would dive for basketballs.Oregon fans and students would "pack the pit" as it was called and made a ton of noise and would rock the upper decks causing the scoreboard to rock along with the baskets. An opposing coach call we fans "deranged idiots" and we felt honored by the description.

It was during this time I met my wife to be. I spent the summer after my first year in law school as a law clerk here in Medford working for a law firm and met this cute legal secretary. Early on she came to visit me in Eugene during a basketball weekend. I only had one ticket to Mac Court so she agreed to type one of my class papers while I went to the game. I should have know then this lady was a jewel. I got to the game and bought a second ticket off another student and used the pay phone in Mac Court to call her and met her at the door with her ticket. After that we had many dates at Oregon basketball games until I graduated.

Years later after we had children and they were in middle school we brought them both to Mac Court during coach Jerry Green's first season so they could experience the magic of our special place.

Over thirty years after that first Mac Court date we returned without our adult children to watch their South Medford High win the State Championship in Basketball.

The seats seem a little smaller now and the bathrooms hard to find but "The Pit" will always be special to us.

Friday, January 15, 2010

ASU 76 Oregon 57 in Mens Basketball


"You don’t lose by 20-some-odd points at home,” Oregon junior LeKendric Longmire said. “That’s unacceptable.”

“We’re not playing defense,” Longmire said. “Point blank, period. You don’t defend in the Pac-10, you don’t win.”

“We got outhustled,” Longmire said. “We got out-toughed.”

"They deserve better,” said Longmire of the fans. “The whole state deserves
better.”


"It’s time for everybody to take a step back and critique themselves as individuals so we can get it right as a whole,” Longmire said

You got that right!

As I have said on this blog before, about a year ago, I came to the very reluctant conclusion that Oregon coach Ernie Kent has to go. When Kent goes, and he will go, sooner or later, the new coach will need to look at which Oregon players are better suited for a lower division school based upon their skill and or lack of desire! I have a suspicion that some of the players (Longmire and Singler excepted) may be using the unsettled situation with Ernie to sabotage him or at least take it easy!There will be film of who stepped up in this period of transition and who took advantage of it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue


Congress, the administration and states must recognize that our weak economy simply could not sustain all the new taxes, regulations and mandates now under consideration. It’s a sure-fire recipe for a double-dip recession, or worse,

Former Oregon Governor, Vic Atiyeh: NO on 66 & 67




"Winston Churchill once said: "Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the wagon."

The Democrats in the Oregon Legislature decided to "shoot" and "milk." The Democrats, knowingly or unknowingly (both are unacceptable), have most likely snuffed out the fragile flame of an accelerating recovery. They deliberately decided to match income to spending instead of what the rest of us do, which is to match spending to income.

After budgeting almost $5 billion more than the last state budget, they and their income-consuming allies are now telling us they want more. In the process of selling Measures 66 and 67 they are shamefully dividing Oregonians into three classes, two-thirds of which are to be "shot" or "milked."

Please, don't tell me it would have been too difficult and painful to balance the budget without taking more money from a targeted group of Oregonians. Don't tell me that I'm unaware of the trauma of producing a balanced budget. Don't tell me any of that. It took three special sessions to do it in 1982 as Oregon's state income fell. I know it all personally, in excruciating detail, and the memory of that experience remains with me today.

The unemployment rate then was over 12 percent. But unlike today, inflation was raging at 13 percent and interest rates were over 20 percent. That period in Oregon history has been very favorably recognized by Oregonians and the media for the actions we took. I say "we" because it took the Democratic majority and a Republican governor working together. It was not always in harmony, but always with respect.

I am strongly opposed to Measures 66 and 67. I don't want to put Oregon on the side of killing jobs -- an estimated 45,000, according to two leading economists. I have said, time and time again, that government cannot create jobs, but government can create the atmosphere for the creation of jobs by private enterprise. These two ballot measures would do the opposite.

Over my eight years as governor, I worked hard to diversify our economy -- hours upon hours, in other states and overseas. I was determined to put Oregon on the economic map. When I left office, the state no longer was competing against California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona and Washington. They were competing against us.

I yearn for a majority of legislators who have the far-seeing vision to put Oregon back on track. I'm frustrated to see Oregon once again drop down to a second-class state because too many elected officials make political decisions based on their re-election.

Voters, this is your chance to send the message of hope. Vote "no" on Measures 66 and 67."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Coach Ernie Kent & Duck Basketball


Last year it was almost imposable for me to watch the Oregon Ducks play basketball. They were so bad it hurt too much to watch the few games we get here in southern Oregon on TV. It was almost merciful that Comcast Sports Northwest, which has the exclusive right to broadcast many Oregon games, has not come to a deal with Charter Cable or the satellite providers to allow the broadcast of Duck game here in southern Oregon .However, after the Ducks beat the two Washington schools last week in Washington, I had hopes the Civil War game in Mac Court shown on Fox SportNorthwest would be a good game. That was not the case! The Duck looked terrible last night against a not very talented Oregon State team . The Ducks lost to the Beavers on our own court and it was very painful at how inept the Ducks were. It was last season all over again. I saw little or no improvement in the team. This is what I wrote about Coach Kent at the end of last season:


Ernie Kent is .. a loyal Duck who loves the University of Oregon. Because he loves the University of Oregon I would hope that he would see resigning now or at the end of next season, as an act of personal sacrifice for the good of the Ducks. Ernie, despite some "personal mistakes" is a good man who cares about his players. He works hard to make them good citizens who graduate. He is an excellent recruiter who is able to convince parents that he will take care of their boys and look out for their long term welfare. Ernie has given a lot to the University of Oregon community. When he was first hired there was no bigger fan than I was. As a student, I watched "million moves Kent" play as a member of Dick Harter's "Kamikaze Kids." Ernie works hard as a coach and has given everything he has on behalf of the team. Unfortunately, Ernie has become a victim of the success he has brought the University of Oregon. Fans are no longer willing to accept mediocrity.

And, unfortunately Ernie has become a very divisive figure. I have talked to many fans in person and through online groups and every season the last few years he has divided those Duck fans into two groups, those that want him gone and those that support him. The discussions are often very bitter and there are even those fans that now secretly root against the Ducks in hope that Ernie will leave. There are also many Duck fans who have just lost interest in Duck Basketball. Most fans agree that Ernie is not a good "game day" coach from the bench. Many also believe that his teams do not get better as the season progresses. Kent has taken the Ducks to the NCAA "Final 8" twice with NBA quality players he has recruited. However, there is a general consensus that his teams "under perform." A "winning season" next year or even making the NCAA Tournament next season will not cause this divisiveness to go away. In today's economy the Athletic Department will have a tough time selling enough tickets to make the new basketball arena, "Matt Court," financially successful. It will be much tougher with Kent as head coach. He doesn't have enough supporters to buy the necessary tickets. It is with deep sadness that I write this and I wish it were not so.For the last three seasons or so I have been "on the fence" about Kent. I have now taken sides however reluctantly. I have felt this most of the season but did not want to comment till the season was over. The season is now over. Please, Ernie do the what's best for the Ducks! Regardless, I will never root against the Ducks openly or secretly. Go Ducks!


My opinion has not changed! Ernie, please make me wrong !

Sunday, January 10, 2010

NO on 66 & 67 (State of Oregon)



Well pigs do fly.... the Medford Mail Tribune came out today editorially against Oregon state measures 66 & 67. They join the Portland Oregonian that did so last week.

Also I have posted a newsletter I received from State Representative Dennis Richardson outlining why he is against 66 & 67:

Rep. Richardson's Newsletter
January 9, 2010

Measures 66 & 67: Economy and Jobs
The State of Oregon is in a financial crisis. Like most states, Oregon’s revenues are down and its costs are up. Although individuals, families and businesses have cut back to deal with these hard times, in the current 2009-11 Budget, Oregon State has expanded programs, added 1540 additional employees, increased spending by $4.7 Billion (9.3%), and increased long-term debt by $4 Billion. All of this spending in 2009 was on top of a 21% General Fund spending increase in 2007. In short, Government spending compounds and Oregon’s spending is unsustainable.

Oregon’s problem is not the need for more revenue, but the need for more discipline in spending. The total State Budget for 2005-07 was $40.8 Billion, and for 2009-11 it is $56 Billion—a jaw-dropping $15 Billion, 37% spending increase in only four years. (Click here.)

The consequence of the State’s insatiable appetite for additional revenue through tax increases will be a slower economic recovery and the loss of thousands of jobs for Oregon workers. In sum, Measures 66 and 67 send the following message to high-earning Oregonians and their businesses: If you live in Oregon, move away, and if you are considering business investment, take your money and jobs elsewhere. If you think this is mere hyperbole, read what the economists have learned from other states that raised such taxes. (Click here.)

It might be helpful to review what occurred in the crafting of our current 2009-11 State Budget. Even though Oregon’s economy was in recession and State revenues were down, the All Funds Budget rose by $4.7 Billion--a 9.3% increase in spending." (Click here.) To compensate for inadequate revenues, the solution of the House and Senate Democrat Majority and the Governor was to create new revenue streams. These new revenue sources included increasing our gas tax, vehicle registration fees and multiple other tax and fee increases. (Click here to see the entire list of new taxes and fees passed by the 2009 Legislature.) In addition, the Democrats increased the state’s debt load by borrowing an additional $4 Billion of long-term debt. (Click here.)

The increased gas tax, the substantial increase in vehicle registration and title fees, the new sales tax on health insurance policies and hospital bills, as well as the other new taxes and fees are now in force, and we have no choice but to pay them. These new taxes and fees will generate an additional $916 Million of revenue this biennium to the State (without even mentioning the $4 Billion in new State debt).

Unfortunately, $916 Million in new revenue was not enough. The Democrat leaders and Governor wanted $1.650 Billion to pay for expanding programs and government expenses.

To get the additional $733 million to cover the additional spending, the Democrats passed additional tax and fee increases on high-earning Oregon individuals and businesses. Many believed these additional taxes went too far, and 120,000 Oregon voters signed petitions to give Oregon’s voters the final vote on these tax increases.

This brings us to the January 26th vote on Measures 66 and 67.
The voter’s pamphlet, the news media, and our mail boxes are full of information and misinformation--Pro and Con--seeking to influence our votes.

The proponents of these Measures would have us think life as we know it will end without these two tax increases. We heard such fear-mongering in the campaigns for tax increase Measure 28 and Measure 30 (both of which the voters defeated). We are hearing it again. Proponents of Measures 66 and 67 are wringing their hands and pleading that K-12 education will be decimated, senior citizens will lose their access to basic care, criminals will be set free, etc., etc. We have heard this propaganda before.

Such scare tactics cloud the fact, there will be no automatic cuts in programs if the tax increases in Measures 66 and 67 fail.

The Legislature is already scheduled to meet in February. If these two tax measures fail, I believe there will be a vote to raise the corporate minimum tax from $10 to $150, without imposing a permanent tax based on business sales—a tax that would have to be paid, even when the business is losing money—like the tax increase contained in Measure 67.

Next, the Legislature will look at existing pools of money sitting in various accounts, and decide how much would be prudent to use. Finally, the Legislative leaders and Governor will calculate what amount, if any, will need to be cut from the State Budget.

Any actual cuts will be made where Legislative leadership and the Governor choose to make them. Such cuts should start in places that will have the least affect on our children and actual programs benefiting our citizens.

Nevertheless, it may be tempting for Oregon voters to pass these Measures. After all, don’t they just affect rich people and big corporations?

Since Oregon’s unemployment rate continues to hover around 11%, let’s consider the consequences of these Measures on Oregon’s families and their economic survival. In other words, how will Measures 66 and 67 affect the Oregon economy and our desperate need for more jobs?

As stated above, knowledgeable economists have demonstrated that Oregon will lose thousands of jobs, over time, if the voters pass these permanent tax increases on Oregon’s high-income-earners (business owners), and Oregon’s successful corporations (job creating employers). The analysts have reviewed other states that have increased such taxation, to learn from their experiences. They found that when income taxes are increased, wealthy people leave high taxation jurisdictions and move to lower taxation jurisdictions. Recently, a Medford C.P.A. told me that Reno, Nevada is actually recruiting Oregon residents and businesses to “come to Nevada, where there is no income or inheritance taxes.”

This is common sense. If you were an employer and were looking for the best state to move or build your business in, would you go to a state with the highest income taxes in the nation?

If Measure 66 passes, Oregon will have a top personal income tax bracket of 11%, and will tie with Hawaii’s new tax rate and share the distinction of having the highest tax rate in the nation. Washington and Nevada collect zero personal income taxes and Oregon will be at 11%. (Let’s see, which sounds more attractive…the lowest tax in the nation or the highest?) I know that Oregon could point to the fact that we have zero sales tax, but that does not change the national income tax rankings, and the adverse publicity high-taxing states receive. (Click here.)

Like most of you, the Measure 66 tax increases will not affect my wife, Cathy, and me. Nevertheless, our votes should not be based on class envy. With the Measure 66 rate fixed at $125,000, and with income creep and inflation, those who do not earn $125,000 now may well be subject to the higher tax rate in the future. When I was a boy, my father, a contractor, earned a good wage, $7,000 per year. Today, that same job would pay more than $70,000 per year. Those of us who have been around for awhile have felt the affects of “bracket creep” during our careers.

High Income Earning taxpayers already pay most of Oregon’s taxes (Click here.) They should be rewarded for their success and thanked for the jobs they create for Oregon workers. Instead, we punish them. If the proponents of Measure 66 want to increase Oregon’s revenues, they are free to increase the taxes they pay on their own State Income Tax returns. To me, it makes little sense to drive those who create Oregon jobs and pay most of Oregon’s taxes across the Columbia River to Washington State or other low-tax states.

Regarding Measure 67, I have already pointed out that an increase in the minimum filing fee is not the issue. The problem is that Measure 67 will tax Oregon corporations on their sales and not profits. Here in southern Oregon is located Town and Country Chevrolet. Yesterday, I talked to its owner. Alan Deboer. He confirmed that their profit margin on new car sales is so low that the dealership lost $250,000 in 2009, even though it did $14 million dollars in business. For Town and Country, $15 million is the break-even point. If Measure 67 passes, Town and Country Chevrolet will have to add $15,000 in additional taxes to a balance sheet already dripping in red ink. Such will be the case with all high-volume, low-margin Oregon corporate businesses.

The Measure 67 tax increase is 1/10 of 1% of sales, and when the profit margins are only 1-3%, it can represent a 10% tax increase on profits. It is unwise to burden Oregon’s highest income earning taxpayers and high volume businesses with additional, permanent tax increases such as those contained in Measures 66 and 67. We cannot tax our way out of this recession. It is time for a change in spending habits in Salem. Oregon’s economic problems will not be solved by raising taxes on those who own Oregon’s businesses and hire Oregon’s work force. Although Measure 66 and Measure 67 were passed by the Legislature, by Referendum their future will be determined by the voters. Will these Measures pass or fail? It is up to you, me and the other Oregon voters to decide.

Sincerely,

Dennis Richardson

Friday, January 08, 2010

Holidays are over


Blow out the candles the party is over. On Monday, our daughter flew back to Washington D.C. On Wednesday night, my wife took down the Christmas tree and other inside decorations and my son and I hauled the boxes downstairs to the garage. Last night the college bowl season ended with the National Championship game at the Rose Bowl. My son and I had buffalo wings and pizza. Early Saturday morning our son will fly back to grad school and I will take down the outside Christmas lights. The four of us had a great Christmas Holiday Season what with Christmas and the "road trip" to the Rose Bowl. My sister came down from Portland for Christmas and it was good seeing her. I love Christmas shopping, the trips to Donut Country with the kids, the movies, the college football bowl games (we watched a lot) the going out to restaurants, the talk of politics and Christmas lights and music.

Best Day: Disneyland... it was crowded but our plan worked perfectly. Love the Abe Lincoln robot and his presentation in "Great Moments with Mr.Lincoln."The presentation has been closed for a number of years and it was good to see it again.
Best Meal: Tri Tip Steak at the Harris Ranch on the way down I-5 on the way to the Rose Bowl.
Favorite moments: The four of us having lunch at the Cheese Cake Factory in Old Pasadena in the bar watching the Sun Bowl on TV;marching with the Oregon Marching Band down "Main Street" at Disneyland; and the trips to Donut Country with my son.
Best Souvenir: The picture of the four of us coming down Splash Mountain we bought at Disneyland.
Best unplanned moment Our daughter turning off the freeway and driving down the Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood and then driving back to the freeway down Hollywood Blvd.
Best part of the Rose Bowl:Seeing and talking to all the zany Oregon Duck Fans. The lady who sat beside me at the Rose Bowl was a 1964 grad of Marshfield High School where I (a North Bend High Grad) had lots of friends that year.
Worst part of the Rose Bowl: (other than the score) was the distance and scarcity of rest rooms and being so far from the field in the end zone.As much as I love the Rose Bowl and it's history it is an antiquated stadium and needs a major make over.
Worst Day: Fighting freeway traffic on I-5 north from Anaheim to go to Oregon's pep rally at the Santa Monica Pier and having a cold pouring rain when we got there.
Best part of the Holidays:Having our kids at home and going on one more "road trip" together.We got to go to a movie together on Christmas Day("Up in the Air" **** with George Clooney) and traveled more than 1,500 miles together. Kids did most of the driving. We watched, in our motel rooms, a bowl game almost every night and I loved the breakfasts served at each of the four motels at which we stayed.
Best Fast Food Meal: "In and Out Burgers" after the Rose Bowl

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The C-SPAN Lie? See Eight Clips of Obama Promising Televised Healthcare Negotiations


Click on the title for a link to videos of Presidential Candidate Barack Obama lying to the American people eight times. In each separate video he promised televised health care negotiations.

From the Politico Web site:

A reporter reminded the San Francisco Democrat( Nancy Pelosi Democrat Speaker of the House) that in 2008, then-candidate Obama opined that all such negotiations be open to C-SPAN cameras.


“There are a number of things he was for on the campaign trail,” quipped Pelosi, who has no intention of making the deliberations public.

Monday, January 04, 2010

OREGONIAN: "Wrong time, wrong tax hikes: Vote no on Measures 66, 67"


It's not everyday that I agree with the Portland Oregonian Newspaper's Editorial Board but I sure agree with their Sunday editorial on ballot Measures 66 & 67
By The Oregonian Editorial Board
January 03, 2010, 8:43AM
Of all times, of all things, the Democrats in the Oregon Legislature chose now, in the throes of one of the worst recessions in history, to make business an enemy. They chose this moment to pit business against schools, the private sector against public unions, employers against the jobless.

The two referrals on the Jan. 26 special election ballot -- Measure 66 and Measure 67 -- insist that Oregonians pick a side, to accept one lousy, harmful choice or the other. No, we won't do it. You shouldn't, either.

It didn't have to come to this. The Democrats who control the Legislature could have approved a modest and mostly temporary package of business tax increases with the full support of the Oregon Business Association, which represents many of the state's largest and most public-minded corporations.

Instead, Democrats bent to the demands of the most liberal members of their House caucus and approved an unwise and ill-timed package of corporate and personal tax increases that has infuriated virtually every business group and commercial sector in Oregon....



...the Democrats buried kicker reform and chose to fill a large hole in the budget by tacking more onto Oregon's already high personal income taxes -- exacerbating the top-heavy volatility of the state's tax system. The self-described progressives in the House caucus further insisted that income tax increases on wealthier Oregonians -- mostly business owners and professionals, otherwise known as employers -- be permanent, not levied just long enough to get the state through its budget crisis.

The supporters of the tax measures bristle now at any suggestion of class warfare, but they are spending millions of dollars on advertisements claiming that the measures are not about you, but about them -- those lucky few rich Oregonians not paying their "fair share." They don't bother to explain how paying one of the nation's highest income taxes amounts to skating on one's responsibilities.

This is ugly stuff, at an especially ugly time in Oregon. People are suffering, business is hurting, plunging tax revenues have ripped a $727 million hole in the state budget. There were, of course, no easy, pain-free and non-controversial ways for the Legislature to fill that hole and protect schools, public safety and other essential services.

But there were, and still are, better ways than Measures 66 and 67. Oregon doesn't have to tack a permanent increase onto the income tax that lands on the very people Oregon most needs to invest more in their businesses and their employees. It doesn't have to replace the absurdly low $10 minimum corporate tax with a new scheme that would force businesses with high sales volumes but no profits to pay up to $100,000 a year in minimum taxes even as they fight to cut their losses and hold on to as many jobs as they can.

Oregon doesn't have to further polarize its politics at the very moment the state ought to be pulling together to solve its very serious problems. Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Dave Hunt keep telling us that they did everything possible last session to accommodate the interests and needs of Oregon business. Why, then, is there more anger and hostility in Oregon between business and labor, and between business and state government, today than at any time in recent memory? .....

The bottom line, though, is that the Legislature can do better than Measures 66 and 67, whether in the February session or in 2011 and beyond. Lawmakers can work closely with business to craft a careful, responsible increase in corporate taxes. They can refer kicker reform to Oregon voters and explain, this time with the help of business leaders, why it's vital that this state never again be caught with such a volatile tax system and so little in reserve.

Those are the measures that Oregonians should be preparing to vote on in the coming days. Instead, the Legislature has presented voters with accept-them-or-else tax increases that strike at the very businesses and employers that Oregon is depending on to lead an economic recovery, start hiring again and pay the wages that support state services.

That's not what Oregon needs. Vote no on 66 and 67.


(To read the entire editorial click on the title for a link)

Talk about "Class Warfare" ..... all you have to do is look at the TV ads in favor of the measures. They show a picture of a nice house and say the measure will only effect "them"... the "wealthy!"

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Home From the Rose Bowl!


The four Wickres returned today from their "road trip" from Medford, Oregon to Southern California for the Rose Bowl.Our beloved Ducks came up short but otherwise we had a good time. It was good to be with our adult children and to go back to Disneyland. We also got to drive down the Sunset Strip and Hollywood Blvd. We went to Old Pasadena and showed our green and yellow. The Oregon pep rally at the Santa Monica Pier was cold and rain swept. I thought it "never rains in Southern California." On the other hand, we had a perfect day at Disneyland and got to march up "Main Street" with the Oregon Marching Band.At the game we yelled our voices horse. I still love my Ducks! "Letter of Intent" day is coming up and we need to get bigger linemen. How long till spring Practice? Let's Go Ducks!