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We’re From the Government – We’ll Say Whatever We Want

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Salem Statesman Journal March 6, 2014

Over the protracted sobs of her mother and maternal grandmother, a Marion County Circuit Court judge Thursday today found no reason to reverse a decision made in January to reunite a 6-year-old girl with her father (Alfonzo Pantoja) in Mexico…

Grandmother Kerrie Lechuga argued that Pantoja’s Salem police record and a domestic violence conviction made him unfit to parent her granddaughter in a foreign country. Lechuga’s own daughter, Gloria Segura, has an admitted methamphetamine problem, is on parole and does not have custody of “Susana.” The child has been living with a foster family in Salem…

…(Judge Jamese Rhoades) acknowledged that sending the child to live in a foreign country might not seem like a perfect solution, but just because it’s not what the child is accustomed to does not make it unhealthy or unsafe. (emphasis added)

Our Response & Your Comments

Forget that this story touches on immigration. Our point is that government will use any argument to justify what it needs to justify.

Think about the last time you read about why we couldn’t deport a child to another country. The argument probably was “America is all she’s known. She grew up here. She doesn’t speak (insert  language).” Sounds reasonable. How come it doesn’t apply to the little girl in Marion County?

Because “public servants” will say what they need to say – no matter how contradictory.

Remember when ObamaCare would create jobs? Now it’s causing people to lose jobs. But that’s OK – because they’ll be free to write poetry, start a garage band or otherwise “pursue their passions,” say those in charge.

Remember when ObamaCare wasn’t a tax? At least until the Administration saved it by testifying to the Supremes that it was a tax.

Our point – ignore the, uh, “fluid” arguments and use your common sense to decide if a government action is good or bad.


Editorial: Driver cards about road safety

Monday, October 28, 2013

Oregonians are about to embark on a difficult yearlong debate on public safety: Would Oregon roads be safer if undocumented immigrants had driver’s licenses and vehicle insurance?…

It is no secret that many undocumented immigrants in Oregon overstayed their visas, or crossed into the country illegally, in search of a better life for their families and themselves. They are driving — to work, to medical appointments, to church and to other activities.

Instead of ignoring that reality, it is good government policy to have them drive legally — with knowledge of Oregon and U.S. driving laws and customs, which differ from those in some countries, and with liability insurance in case of accidents…

The Salem Statesman-Journal

October 20, 2013

Lane Solutions responds & your comments

Drivers’ cards for illegals may or may not be a great idea – that debate’s for another day. Our objection is to the Statesman-Journal’s argument.

A couple hundred years ago poet Samuel Coleridge coined the term “willing suspension of disbelief.” This is why you get tense when the bad guy’s going to ambush Agent 007 in a movie or laugh when Larry pops Moe in the noggin with a pipe wrench. You know that neither is real but you get a kick out of them anyway.

Coleridge would have loved the Statesman-Journal, which asks us to buy their line that people who a) are in the country illegally and b) stole a Social Security number if they got a job are c) going to immerse themselves in our driving laws and d) shell out a pile of money for liability insurance.

If the paper wants to argue for or against driver’s cards for illegals – fine. All we ask is that they don’t treat their readers like idiots who don’t know a moronic argument when they see one.


Gun Control Issues Updated

Monday, May 13, 2013

By Susanne Penegor

Local stores can’t keep gun ammunition in stock due to panic buying as consumers worry about the government’s willingness to propose new gun control legislation for law-abiding citizens.  This bipartisan issue has turned guns and ammunition into hot commodities nationwide.  Local stores limit the amount of ammunition consumers can buy and customers line up early in the morning to buy out ammunition in a matter of hours.  A local Bi-Mart store said they had not had .22 shells available for sale for 3 weeks.

Gun clubs are adding gun safety and personal protection classes as women who have never shot a gun before are being told by their families to learn how to use one.  Recently there was a proposal in Salem to limit Oregonian households to one gun per house.  If that law had passed, the police would go door to door and take away extra guns from law-abiding citizens.  Even hunters and gun collectors could have been impacted by this proposed bad legislation.

The panic buying of guns and ammunition fueled by recent proposed gun control legislation nationwide is spurred by rumors that the Obama Administration is trying to take away our Second Amendment rights, not by taking guns off the market–but by taking ammunition off of the market.

While the US doesn’t require gun registration yet, gun buyers are subject to background checks and fingerprinting.  According to the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey, the US has the best-armed civilian population in the world, with an estimated 270 million guns.  That’s an average of 89 firearms for every 100 residents.  Firearms that do require registration in the US that are subject to the National Firearms Act include machine guns, shotguns and rifles with barrels shorter than 18 inches and silencers.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which handles that registration, there were more than 3.1 million National Firearms Act-registered weapons in the US as of March 2012.  The National Rifle Association estimates that 100 million American own guns legally.

Some American cities have their own gun control laws now which prohibit guns in public parks.  In Utah it is illegal to display a gun in public at all without being subject to a law prohibiting “brandishing” a gun in public.  There is a crazy quilt of local laws for states and cities that have effectively amended the Second Amendment without having to go to Congress to change our Constitution.

The gun control enthusiasts don’t want to address the issue of how gun ownership saves lives or stops crime by using guns for self-defense.  A recent Gallup poll noted that 3 in 10 Americans own a gun and most gun owners say they use their guns to protect themselves against crime, for hunting and for target shooting.  According to a 2012 Gallup poll, Republican and Democratic gun owners are almost equally likely to say they use a gun for protection against crime, 64% to 69%, respectively.  According to Gallup, male gun owners are more likely than female owners to say they use a gun for hunting (53% to 45%, respectively) or for target shooting (68% to 59%), while female owners are slightly more likely than male gun owners to use a gun for protection (74% to 63%, respectively).

History shows that a government that takes away citizens’ guns disarms their populace to gain political control over them.  The first thing that Nazis did in Germany was to take away the guns from their citizens.  Our forefathers understood the need for self-defense of all kinds, including against a tyrannical government.  While various government entities in the US are taking a Big Brother approach to us and would like to strip us of our Second Amendment rights, it is up to us to remain vigilant and to keep our elected officials accountable for their actions–especially involving proposed gun control laws.

Susanne Penegor is an Oregon native, a graduate of the U of O and a former local business owner.


Having Jail Space Only Solution to Effective Incarceration and Rehabilitation

Friday, October 21, 2011

Most people don’t differentiate between “prison” and “jail”. As far as most of us are concerned, as long as the “bad guys” are locked up in a small room with bars and a stainless steel toilet, it really doesn’t really matter what we call the facility, but jail and prison are very different animals that house different populations and meet very different community needs. A healthy community needs both local jail capacity and access to prison space for its most serious offenders.

Prisons are state-run facilities that hold felons who have been sentenced to serve more than a year in custody, while jails are local facilities that house those who are awaiting trial, including those awaiting trial on the most serious felony charges, and those who have been sentenced to serve short periods of incarceration for violating probation or committing misdemeanor crimes like DUII, simple assault and theft. Although it’s important for misdemeanor wrongdoers to be punished, local jails play a more critical role in the criminal justice system: they give force to judicial orders. I’m talking about orders to attend trial, order to participate in anger management counseling and orders to follow through with drug treatment.

Judges, like parents of young children, must have the ability to enforce the rules they make. Unfortunately, when it comes to a group of criminal offenders who typically have no tangible assets, the only enforcement power that matters is the ability to incarcerate. The system fails in dozens of tragic and expensive ways once criminals understand that the loss of jail capacity has rendered the judges “toothless”. That’s where Lane County stands today with respect to property criminals, and the consequences are doing great harm to victims, taxpayers and offenders.

Some might think that the inability to incarcerate is a windfall for the criminals. That’s certainly true for some of them, but for many, perhaps even most of them, the lack of local supervision and jail space is depriving them of a real shot at meaningful rehabilitation. Similarly, some in the community believe that failing to fund a jail is saving money that could be better spent elsewhere, but we’re not saving at all. We’re ensuring more victimization, more insurance costs and higher prison populations, all of which ultimately cost us much more. We’re also paying in lost quality of life and lost business opportunities, because we feel less comfortable in our community and few businesses would choose to relocate to an area with property crime rates among the worst in the country. In sum, we’re being “penny wise and pound foolish”. We’ve struck a balance that represents the worst of all possible worlds: we’re forcing a system design which does less, at greater costs, with disastrous results. That’s a shame, particularly when we have the local talent and expertise to deliver an optimized system capable of delivering more of everything for less. We can do better.