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Tuesday
Sep202016

If they build it, the cases will come 

This week has proven once again that the Department of Human Services, in particular the Child Welfare Program, is completely out of control, especially in Douglas County, Oregon. They operate with gestapo type tactics and authority, including unannounced raids and confiscation of children from their parents, yet are virtually un-accountable. 

For those who have been Beacon subscribers over the past several years, you will remember the case of Ajay Pichette we followed (from December 2010-2012) where DHS took a seven week old infant child from her mother; who had not been charged with child abuse, substance abuse, or any other crime for that matter, and the ensuing fight which lasted over four years and cost the taxpayers in excess of one hundred thousand dollars, before finally returning the child to her mother. 

The case in question went all the way to the Oregon Court of Appeals, twice, where the mother’s right to her daughter was upheld, and yet the aggressive Douglas County CPS filed appeal after appeal, keeping the child from her mother.

This week Circuit Court Judge George Ambrosini heard a case involving an alleged abuse of a minor child by the father Paul Eckel of Roseburg, and after several hours of testimony ruled that there was no legitimate reason to keep the father from continuing to parent his four children in accordance with the joint custody agreement. He found there was no evidence to suggest the children were in danger of physical harm from their father.

Within a half hour of the court’s ruling, Child Protective Services filed a motion to assume custody of all four children. The father, Paul Eckel was forced back into court, to again make the case that his children are in fact loved and safe in his custody.

The next day, the lone Paul Eckel faced an army of DHS case workers, lawyers and psychologists, along with representatives from the Oregon Justice Department and the Douglas County District Attorney’s office.

As of this writing the children’s mother has custody of the children, although the court has assumed jurisdiction and has issued an order to allow the father unsupervised visits with the youngest child, and supervised visits only with the three older children, the oldest of which is ten. The court further ordered that those supervising the visitation with the father must be mandatory reporters of child abuse who are approved by CPS.

A court date to determine the long-term jurisdiction status of the children and their father, by statute, must occur within sixty days and has been set for November the 9th.

Meanwhile across town at the site of the old Douglas Community Hospital building on West Harvard Avenue, a massive office building is being constructed to house the expanding DHS offices. It is noteworthy that as a real estate broker I can tell you there are virtually no buildings being built to house office space for private sector businesses. But while private sector growth is stagnant at best, big government is big business as evidenced by the construction of the huge new complex for DHS.  Our fear is that as DHS expands into their new facility they will be driven to support it by bringing more and more cases against parents which drives federal dollars into their coffers. If they build it, they’ll come (the cases).

We have tracked several abuses of the local DHS offices and have observed several staff firings and reassignments out of area to cover their past mistakes. One former director of the local office now serves as a private investigator looking into DHS abuses of authority. One thing is for certain, if a complaint is filed against a parent, with or without evidence, the current operating assumption is; guilty until proven innocent!

We have tracked several cases over the past six years and have witnessed first-hand the damage caused to children and their parents when an overzealous CPS exerts their unlimited authority.

Paul Eckel is being represented by attorney Rahn Hostetter of Enterprise Oregon. Hostetter was the attorney who was successful in getting Ajay Pichette’s custody of her daughter back in 2012. We will be tracking this case closely and will be reporting the status going forward.

Wednesday
Sep142016

No Respect

It’s been 229 years since our adoption of the most enduring constitution, which has provided more liberty and personal freedom, than any other document in the history of civilization! But there are those in America today, who not only do not understand its origins, or the safeguards it has provided us, but actually show contempt and disdain for this hallowed document, and the nation it sustains.

Barack Hussein Obama was very clear about his intentions for America, long before he took his oath of office eight years ago, when he said “we are going to fundamentally transform America.” This is one pledge he has certainly kept.

There has not been a time, at least during my lifespan, when the very ideal of Americanism itself has been the subject of such derision and disrespect from our own citizens.

Oh yes, there have been deep divisions in our past, including the Civil War, when our very future as a “United States” or “Union” was in question. Those were terrible days; with brother pitted against brother literally, as Americans from the North and South engaged in mortal combat. The Battle of Gettysburg alone yielding more than 51,000 casualties  in a single day of horrific battle.

And we’ve been through much as a nation since then including; two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, Desert Storm, and on up to our current wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and places we are engaged in and don’t even know about. We’ve survived a great depression, civil rights struggles, assassinations, and suffered a devastating blow just fifteen years ago as Islamic extremists attacked our financial center, Pentagon, and attempted an attack on our nation’s capitol building (crashing in Pennsylvania).

 

One battle in particular, the War of 1812, which had begun with an attack on our young nation’s capitol, prompted the creation of our national anthem (see story on page 9 this issue). Francis Scott Key, a young attorney, penned these words, which, as long as I can remember, have been sung with pride at every major sporting event, and at public gatherings of all kinds:

 

Oh, say! can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming;
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there:
Oh, say! does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

 

But times have certainly changed, and a fundamental transformation, long in the planting has sadly taken root, and has begun to bear fruit. A second string NFL quarterback from the 49ers, whose career had already begun flagging, decided to garner some attention by refusing to stand during our National Anthem. He has since been followed by a certain linebacker from the Denver Broncos, who took a knee, rather than stand in reverence as our anthem played.

 

And sadly now this lack of respect, like a virus, has spread to members of the armed services, and even to high school athletics. Kaepernick and the ‘clueless’ who have followed his poor example have no idea what kind of harm they have done. This is a movement that has been underway long before the NFL celebrities threw their tantrums. It has its roots in communism and the globalists seeking to eliminate national pride and national boundaries.    

 

But this recent dissent from the likes of BLM (Black Lives Matter) and their puppets is something we should be concerned about. It is like the Black Panther movement of the sixties on steroids. And because it seems so high minded, and not, at last in the case of the NFL players, based in violence, it has gained a certain credibility, and has been heralded as protected “free speech’. The bad actors are even being treated as intellectuals, acting with bravery, rather than those involved in shameful displays of disrespect.    

 

But at least for some, it is starting to come home to roost. The Denver player, Brandon Marshall, just lost two lucrative endorsements. And thank God for those two sponsors; Century Link and Air Academy Federal Credit Union, for having the guts to stand up to these disrespectful little millionaire twerps! I hope there are thousands, or better, millions who will take the time to thank these corporate sponsors for their principled, and yes patriotic stance. But where are the team owners? Where are the NFL directors? And frankly where are the fans, showing their outrage? In my mind the stadiums ought to be empty, and the TVs turned off!  And I guarantee you, the team owners and managers would enact new ‘team rules’ overnight, which would require some respect on the field.

 

And lest we forget, this is a terrible example that is being shown to our children, many of whom idolize these misfits!

 

Another black American sailor in the U.S. Navy videotaped herself not at attention during the playing of the National Anthem. She was not nearly as clever as she thought she was, after her Facebook post was called to the attention of her superior officers. The sailor who has not been identified as yet, sat down on base with her fist raised in a black-power like gesture. She posted this comment on Facebook:  "Today I actually did something, and it was small but significant for me," she said. "Until this country shows they've got my back as a black woman … I can't, and I won't and I won't be forced to [stand]."   

 

Her only problem is that she falls under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and justice is coming to her. From an article on Military.com; Navy rules state that troops must stand and face the flag when the National Anthem is played. Troops in uniform must salute, while troops not in uniform must stand at attention and place the right hand over the heart. These rules mean that her behavior could fall afoul of Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, failure to obey a lawful general order or regulation.

 

But at the root of all of this recent uproar is a perceived inequality or unequal opportunity for blacks in America. That’s a little hard to even fathom, when you consider we have a multi-racial President, a black Attorney General, black members of the Supreme Court, and in sports and entertainment, blacks have strong representation. Ironically in the NFL, where the recent flap started out, 68% of the players are black. Where is the injustice?

 

One thing is crystal clear though; Obama’s America has become more divided than ever before, and instead of curbing the riots and cop-baiting he seems to be fueling it, while disrespect is running at an all-time high.

 

Wednesday
Jul202016

The ‘Builders’ are coming….

Making America Great Again is going to have to be a joint effort. One man alone cannot achieve this lofty, yet essential goal.

I discovered a few weeks ago that the next generational identity to follow the so-called Millennials is going to be “The Builders”. This was exciting to learn. The name which had been bandied about before the “Builders” was the “Founders”. That made no sense, founders of what? But the Builders? Now that’s something we can all get behind and none too soon. If nothing more, it could serve as a sort of vision statement.

It was the “Greatest Generation” and the generation before them who were our last builders, in this country. They were the ones who built our dams and bridges, our foundries and factories, interstate highway system, and birthed the generation who ushered in the space program.

But since their day, we have had generations of boomers and more than a few whiners, who, rather than building, have been tearing down what was bequeathed to them. Instead of building our factories and foundries, bridges, buildings, and dams, they are tearing them out!

We’ve lost thousands of factories due to overregulation and over taxation, compounded by trade “deals” which have made some manufacturing impractical if not impossible. According to Ed Schultz at MSNBC trade deals have caused over 50,000 factories to close their doors. It really all started with NAFTA back in 1994, but it’s gotten worse. And the current proposal for a Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is worse yet.

It’s interesting that during the Republican National Convention this week in Cleveland, Ohio, a group called Prophets of Rage, a blend of Rock and Hip Hop, performed a protest concert the theme of which is to End Poverty Now. But what is really interesting is that front man and lead guitar for Rage Against the Machine, Tom Morello, has become an outspoken critic of TPP, which ironically is the same position held by Donald Trump, the man he was protesting. Rage, leans a little too heavy towards anarchy for my liking, but there is a fine line between that and liberty. In this instance, Morello and Trump could cut a “deal” and become strong allies.

But either way if America is to become great again, we are going to need to build stuff, and lots of it! And in order to do that we are going to need energy. Not windmill whirly gigs, but nuclear, and hydrocarbon based energy plants. China understands this and is building nuclear at a furious pace, positioning themselves for future industrial expansion. While we will be forced to compete with windmills.

Trump has released a preview of his energy plan (featured in an article by Marita Noon on page 14). At least he is addressing the concern, which the establishment has done nothing substantive about. Noon feels it is a step in the right direction. What we need is to move towards full and complete energy independence. This is essential if we are going to provide the platform for our future builders and is a significant component of national security as well.

The problem is nothing new, but is not being addressed by the Department of Energy, which came into being under Jimmy Carter and has been a complete disaster. This is an agency which should be shut down entirely. Let the engineers and scientists lead the discussion, and the free-market capitalists fund their conclusions.

It will not be another generation of social and political theorists who will Make America Great Again; it will be our future generation of builders, freed from the shackles of government interference who alone can achieve this.

We are poised for a dramatic shift in ideology under a Trump administration. It is my hope that he will roll back the draconian policies that have crippled our economy. It really is a time that Americans can stand united again, as we did when Reagan came into office, with real hope and optimism about a future of building and achievement, not the industrial devolution we’ve been in for the past three decades.

And if this comes to pass, our social ills improve as well. Give someone a handout and they will resent you, provide them with an opportunity to succeed, with no artificial constraints, and look out! We could usher in a time of economic growth and prosperity, the likes of which we haven’t seen in our lifetimes.

We have a history as Americans, as the greatest example of freedom and prosperity the world has ever known. What is before us today is the opportunity to build on our past successes!

 

David Jaques, Editor

Wednesday
Apr062016

Beware the Science Gestapo comes! 

Governor Kate Brown’s heavy handed political maneuver that demanded the Obama administration’s Justice Department  “take action” in the “Burns Oregon standoff” resulting in the violent execution of Utah rancher, LaVoy Finicum, was bad enough.  But what her administration is preparing next, is not only unprecedented in Oregon history, but will likely result in a huge political, economic , and social upheaval in the state, leading to even greater federal intervention.

Oregon’s democrat Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum, joined 15 other Attorneys General as they launched an all-out assault on scientific inquiry and free speech, by vowing to pursue those in the fields of energy, scientific research, climatology or academia who don’t toe the leftist line on anthropogenic (man-caused) global warming, threatening to “pursue them to the fullest extent of the law”.  

In Oregon one of the primary targets for this crackdown on dissent will certainly have to be Dr. Art Robinson and his son Noah Robinson who spearheaded the world famous Global Warming Petition Project that garnered the signatures of more than 31,000 American scientists, now known as “deniers”, who rejected the false and doctored claims of those who are pressing for a global climate regulatory and taxation scheme.

According to Dr. Art Robinson;  “The Petition Project (see www.petitionproject.com) featured a review article “Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide” by Arthur B. Robinson, Noah E. Robinson, and Willie Soon, Journal of  American Physicians and Surgeons (2007) 12, 79-90. This is a definitive review of the research literature with 132 references, through 2007. Additional information available since 2007 has not changed the conclusions of this review.” Measuring by Google, this article was the most read article of its kind in the world for quite some time.

An article by The Daily Signal (front page this issue) likens the move to the Spanish Inquisition of 1478 in which “the grand inquisitor, Tomas de Torquemada, and his henchmen sought out all those who held religious, scientific, or moral views that conflicted with the monarch’s, punishing the “heretics” with jail sentences; property confiscation; fines; and in severe cases, torture and execution.”

By now we all know that Al Gore, contrary to his claim, did not invent the internet, but what he and his accomplices have invented is the biggest hoax in the history of mankind; the so-called global warming hoax, now climate change.

The claims made by Al Gore and his fellow climate alarmists have been proven to be completely false, and many were based on computer models that have been proven to be fraudulent. Case in point: the earth hasn’t seen any warming in the past seventeen years! In fact, according to John Casey, a former White House space program advisor, NASA consultant, and Space Shuttle engineer, NASA’s own data shows that  the world has only warmed a mere 36 hundredths of a degree over the past 35 years.

But under Kate Brown and Ellen Rosenblum’s new plan, perhaps even writing this column will soon be an arrestable offense.

Eric Schneiderman, the Attorney General of New York, said in a press conference March 29, 2016 “The bottom line is simple: Climate change is real” and that companies [individuals] are committing fraud by “lying” about the dangers of climate change. He added that they will pursue them to the fullest extent of the law”. And this man is the top law enforcement official in the state of New York! He is the one committing fraud by lying. Note his use of the words “climate change is real”.  Yep, it sure is, just look outside. But it isn’t caused by driving SUV’s or coal fired energy plants, and he knows it.

They plan to get around the pesky First Amendment issue by asserting that those rejecting the bogus claims of the climate alarmists are committing fraud which is not protected speech.

This ought to make every American’s blood run ice cold, just thinking about the sweeping powers this type of police action over free inquiry, thought, and speech could mean.   

Today they want to get the climate deniers, but who’s next? Don’t ever think, that just as in the Spanish Inquisition, opposing the king’s religious beliefs, or moral views couldn’t land you in jail. Oh, wait, that’s right, they already can. Try not baking a cake for someone who has a different moral view than your own. You will be fined or imprisoned for exercising your religious beliefs.

And if you don’t comply, like LaVoy, maybe you’ll be shot in the back!

What this latest move by our nation’s attorneys general signals to me is just how bold they’re becoming. They no longer seem to have any restraint on their totalitarian agenda.

The funny thing about tyranny is that it just creeps in, one law, one bureaucrat at a time, until you wake up one morning and there’s no liberty left. My hope is that we as a nation awaken from the slumber born of our complacency, and face down this evil before it’s too late. 

 

David Jaques, Editor 

Wednesday
Mar302016

Oregon Bids Farewell to a Good Friend

It is with heavy heart that I write this message to you. I just learned a couple of days ago that a true champion of responsible Land Use and Private Property Rights here in Oregon, is no longer in our midst.

Bill Moshofsky, many of you in Oregon have known for a good number of years. For me that time goes back to about 1981, when I was still a single man, living in Washington County (Portland metro area). I was a Realtor back then too, and at that time, trying to hang on for dear life after the decimation of the housing industry under Jimmy Carter. That’s when I first met Bill. In fact it was a little before that, during the Reagan campaign.

Bill was an executive at Georgia-Pacific at the time, serving as vice president of government affairs, a career which spanned over 23 years. So it was almost natural, you might say, that he would transition from government affairs to the affairs of government. That was the spirit which motivated Bill to run for congress in Oregon’s first district, the seat held by democrat Les AuCoin at the time. Bill ran against him in 1982 and again in 1984, but alas we were not able to “Toss AuCoin”.  But Bill fought the good fight, and I still have the campaign tee shirt (okay I’m a little OCD) to show I was a uniformed foot soldier, and Washington County Co-Chair for Bill. 

We had some good times back then, and that campaign was one of the earlier, in a long string of campaigns to come. Prior to Moshofsky I was co-chair of the Washington County Nick Bunick for Congress campaign. And that preceded my working on Big John Connally’s and eventually Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaigns. One quick little side note, then back to Bill; I ended up many, many years later as campaign manager for Charles Starr who was attempting to unseat David Wu in that same district, Oregon 1.  I mention that just to say that in spite of the best efforts by Bill and those before and since, the seat remains a democrat stronghold. Maybe some day?

But let’s look further back, into Bill Moshofsky’s earlier years. From his biography on OIA:

He was born in Beaverton, Oregon to Edward and Sophia Moshofsky, the third of their seven children. According to family, Bill always credited his being raised on a farm during the Great Depression, as preparing him for life. He went to McKinley Grade School, and later graduated from Beaverton High School, University of Oregon, and U of O Law School, all with honors. Serving as an infantry officer in WWII, his heroic efforts under fire in Germany led to his receiving the Bronze Star “for unrelenting vigor and enthusiasm”.  That unrelenting vigor and enthusiasm would become a hallmark throughout Bill’s life. He was called back into service during the Korean Conflict, where he served with distinction as a Judge Advocate General officer.

Following his political campaigns, Bill was a partner in the Portland law firm Moshofsky, DiLorenzo and Dietz. But never a person to slow down or get comfortable , he soon became  engaged with Frank Nims at Oregonians in Action in an effort to bring some equity and fairness back to Oregon’s land use system, which had been decimated by Senate Bill 100 and the spawning of LCDC (Land Conservation and Development Commission).

Moshofsky’s years at OIA were very impactful. Working together with founder Frank Nims (Now 97 years old), and current Executive Director Dave Hunnicutt, he was a driving force as OIA became the premier property rights advocates in Oregon (still to this day). Highlights include the win at the U.S. Supreme Court in the Dolan case, the passage of Ballot Measure 37 restoring property rights lost to Senate Bill 100 and the monstrous LCDC bureaucracy which followed. 

Back in the 90’s I had the privilege of working together as Communications Director of OIA with Bill, Dave, Ross Day, and Rachel Barnes. During that time, I observed Bill’s strength and resolve to keep pressing forward in the fight to regain stolen property rights. One landmark case was the Dorothy English victory, in which the estate of English ultimately received in excess of $2 million dollars from Multnomah County for denying her rights, and recovery of legal fees to restore them.  

One thing I will attest to is Bill Moshofsky’s grace under pressure. He was always known as a true gentleman. Many have referred to him as “the kindest man they’d ever known”. Even back in the days of politics, he was always effective without stooping to the demeaning level of personal attacks on his opponent. Kind of like the current presidential race, only different.

You know, I never liked the phrase; “let’s just agree to disagree”.  I guess it’s always struck me as kinda “new agey” feeling. I mean we don’t really have to agree about disagreeing, we just plain disagree. But as a pen this column, looking back, I wonder if maybe Bill is the man that inspired that phrase. I never saw him in a disagreeable posture. He was always composed, effective, and respectful of his adversaries. Which is not to be confused with weak; Bill was anything but that. His years in corporate law and governmental affairs are a legacy to his effectiveness and prowess in dealing with tough laws and tough opponents.

Bill Moshofsky had a quiet dignity about him, and was a man who always appeared comfortable in his own skin. He had a soft voice that always made you feel as though he was taking you into his confidence, but then would crescendo with exuberance as he became fully engaged in the subject at hand.

Yes it’s true what’s been said that Bill was a “kind man”, but it’s also true that Bill is the kind of man who is in short supply in today’s public arena. I will miss Bill, as will the citizens of Oregon, as we have both lost a good friend.     

David Jaques, Editor