Caliphate is a form of Islamic government. It is led by a Caliph whose followers consider him to be the rightful leader of all Muslims due to his direct linage to the Prophet Mohammad. The declaration of caliphate by ISIL includes an historic area encompassing the entire eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea.
That area includes the present day state of Israel. Therefore, political recognition of the caliphate, by any person or entity, serves to acknowledge that Israel no longer has a right to exist.
Since the declaration of caliphate, the escalation of terrorist atrocities has been even more widespread and devastating. Tens of thousands of Christians and Muslims alike are fleeing to anywhere that is not the caliphate.
The Commission then began hearing arguments representing both sides of the issue including oral testimony from my office. We testified that according to recent press accounts, constituent operators of a century ranch located in northern Klamath County awoke on three consecutive mornings to find that wolves had maimed or killed their cattle. Also placed into the record by my office was written testimony provided by representatives of Oregon Wild and the Sierra Club during a meeting of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee last April.
That committee had considered a bill that would have authorized the Legislature to be in charge of the wolf delisting decision. At that time, environmentalists testified they believed the Legislature did not have the expertise to make a delisting decision and that the Fish and Wildlife Commission was the only body capable of making such a determination:
“Managing our state’s wildlife is the role and responsibility of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and decisions regarding listing or delisting species are entrusted to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and decisions regarding listing or delisting species are entrusted to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission. These entities have the necessary scientific, policy and legal expertise to make these decisions, and the processes to ensure full compliance with the law and opportunities for public participation.”
Oregon currently has the second-highest minimum wage in the nation, behind only Washington State. That is due largely to the 2002 passage of Measure 25, a Constitutional amendment that raised the wage and requires it to be increased annually to adjust for inflation as it is measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Since then, Oregon’s minimum wage has increased, from the $6.90 per hour level set in 2002, to the current $9.25 per hour required by the CPI adjustments. Oregon’s present minimum wage is approximately 22 cents lower than Washington’s.
Multiple efforts are now underway to try and further boost the minimum wage in Oregon. Some legislators have discussed the possibility of introducing bills during the upcoming February 2016 session to achieve that aim. Many similar proposals were introduced during the 2015 regular session, but failed to pass before the Legislative Assembly adjourned last July.
The Oregon Republican Party (ORP) Platform Caucus convened in Bend last week. Its adopted Platform encompasses nearly ten pages of thoroughly deliberated and well-stated Republican principles. The adherence of the nearly 200 delegates’ to strong Republican values is inspiring, reassuring and comforting.
The Natural Resources and Environmental Stewardship plank unambiguously supports a number of values that I strongly endorse.
Delegates voted unanimously to oppose the breaching of dams. They support including all current and future hydropower generation in Oregon's Renewable Portfolio Standard and strongly encourage expanded water storage through construction of new or enhanced reservoirs. The delegates recognize that storage must be sufficient to provide sound water management and hydroelectric power generation while maintaining appropriate environmental policy based on reproducible, verifiable science.
The recent Democratic presidential debate confirmed long-held suspicions regarding that Party’s apparent antipathy towards the free market principles upon which this great nation was founded. Regrettably, Oregon’s self-styled “progressive” leadership has been all too eager to be at the forefront of many of these failed big government policies. They appear to particularly favor programs that attempt to eliminate the private sector and impose government-sanctioned monopolies by force and edict.
Perhaps the most salient example of this interference with private sector industry was the 2010 passage of the controversial Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare.” Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate eagerly voted to enact the 1000-plus page bill on a strict party-line vote.
Most Americans would consider it unconscionable for their elected representative to knowingly and deliberately vote to enact a law without learning how it will affect their constituents. Yet many Congressional Democrats voted to enact the law that affects roughly one-fifth of the country’s economy without reading it. Then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) famously stated that “we have to pass the bill so that you can see what is in it.”
Our previous newsletter warned of the expectation for crony capitalism in President Obama’s “Clean Power Plan.” We noted his scheme was planned behind closed doors and beyond public scrutiny. We explained it was implemented through executive administrative fiat, and was designed with the specific purpose of causing higher energy costs for working Americans.
Those concerns were confirmed with the recent release of a 57-page report entitled “Private Interests and Public Office: Coordination between Governors, the Obama White House and the Tom Steyer-‘Founded and Funded’ Network of Advocacy Groups to Advance the ‘Climate’ Agenda.”The report was compiled by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute, and was the product of public records requests made in multiple states, including Oregon. It should be required reading for caring Oregonians.
The report explains in great detail how Obama’s plan was developed largely through the efforts of former Governor John Kitzhaber, his staff and girlfriend Cylvia Hayes. In fact, an entire section of the report is devoted to the purported misdeeds of Hayes and Kitzhaber. Unfortunately, little has changed since he resigned in disgrace last February pursuant to allegations of influence peddling and multiple ongoing federal investigations.
The scope of the mismanagement of our more than 300 million acres of U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) federal lands was once again made evident by the smoke-filled August skies. Our timber and rangeland resources have been incinerated by multiple, enormous wildfires raging out of control in most of the western states.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center, over eight million acres had burned as of the beginning of September.
Annual greenhouse gas emissions from wildfires dwarfs our nation’s emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels. Their massive destruction and wholesale pollution has become an annual and ever-enlarging consequence of failed federal resource management.
One reason Democrats continue to politically dominate Oregon is the strength of organizations such as the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). That public employees’ union represents local, state and federal employees throughout the country. It has been one of the most powerful political entities in this state for the past few decades.
SEIU’s impressive machinery is dependent upon a handful of factors. Perhaps the most important is the nonstop growth and expansion of government, including the number of public employees.
Good economic times are used as an excuse to create new programs. Conversely, bad times are argued by proponents of big government to demonstrate the public’s further need for services.
One of the most controversial bills enacted during the Oregon Legislative Assembly’s 2015 regular session was Senate Bill 941. It was passed by both legislative chambers on party-line votes and signed into law by Governor Kate Brown. It went into effect on Sunday, August 9.
The new law requires a criminal background check to be performed by a third-party licensed gun dealer prior to most private firearm transfers. Both the person transferring the gun, and the person receiving the gun, must appear in person, before the gun dealer, and must bring each firearm to be transferred with them.
I strongly believe that SB 941 is a blatantly unconstitutional infringement on our Second Amendment right to own and bear firearms. Moreover, it imposes significant restrictions on the ownership of firearms by law-abiding citizen while doing virtually nothing to restrict the illegal sale or possession of weapons.
Oregon’s non-partisan Legislative Revenue Office (LRO) provides the members of the Legislative Assembly with unbiased research and analysis on issues related to taxation and school finance. It issues a report regarding Oregon state finance in February of each odd-numbered year.
The report offers a plethora of information regarding how the state taxes its citizens and spends its revenue. This document is readily available online so policymakers and taxpayers alike can learn what is being done with the billions of dollars that the state government annually collects and distributes.
Taken in its entirety, the report leads the reader to an inescapable conclusion: Your Legislative Assembly suffers from a prolonged addiction to spending other peoples’ money.