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USA Politics

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Genghis Khan, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. Perun

    Perun Climbing like a monkey Staff Member

    Why is nobody mentioning the fact that Trump used an interview on his command to launch the missiles on Syria as an opportunity to plug the chocolate cake at his privately owned resort?
  2. Brigantium

    Brigantium Work Geordie for hire Staff Member

    I've seen comment about it on FB, maybe even a meme, does that count?
  3. CriedWhenBrucieLeft

    CriedWhenBrucieLeft Ancient Mariner

    Was that not like a week ago?
  4. Perun

    Perun Climbing like a monkey Staff Member

    Trump's weekend trips to Mar-a-Lago (where he ate beautiful chocolate cake while ordering missiles to be fired on Syria) cost American taxpayers 25 million dollars this far. By way of comparison, the Obama administration cost taxpayers an average 12.1 million per year.
    Forostar likes this.
  5. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler ɹǝlʍoɹԀ ʇɥƃᴉN Staff Member

    Trump is working harder so he needs more rest.
  6. Perun

    Perun Climbing like a monkey Staff Member

  7. Brigantium

    Brigantium Work Geordie for hire Staff Member

    It's certainly being commented on, but nobody other than diehard anti Trump critics seem to consider it significant.
  8. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    It's more the hypocrisy than anything else. Obama's vacations were commonly attacked by the right.
    Forostar likes this.
  9. Cornfed Hick

    Cornfed Hick Electric Eye

    He cost us a lot more than that...

    In all seriousness, each time Obama came to LA to schmooze with celebs and raise money, he probably cost several million dollars in lost productivity, due to road closures and the like. At least Trump is going to Florida instead of New York, which I'm told comes to a complete standstill when he's in town.
  10. bearfan

    bearfan Ancient Mariner


    A Beaverton man who has a bachelor of science degree in engineering and has repeatedly challenged Oregon's timing of yellow traffic lights as too short was investigated by a state board for "unlicensed practice of engineering'' and fined $500.

    Now, Mats Järlström has joined with the national Institute for Justice to file a federal civil rights lawsuit against members of the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying.

    He contends state law and the board's actions that disallow anyone from using the word "engineer" if they're not an Oregon-licensed professional engineer amount to an "unconstitutional ban on mathematical debate.''

    "It's important in my mind we can share ideas freely in Oregon to promote innovation,'' the 56-year-old said. "I feel violated at this point in time.''

    Eric Engelson, a spokesman with thestate board, declined comment Tuesday.

    For the state board to initiate an investigation against Järlström is a direct attack on his free speech, his lawyers argue. Järlström identified himself as an engineer in emails he sent to city officials and the Washington County sheriff challenging the timing of Oregon's yellow traffic lights.

    The state law that defines "engineer'' violates the First Amendment, their suit contends.

    They also say Järlström isn't alone in getting snared by the state engineering board's aggressive enforcement of its interpretation of the word.

    "The government does not have the power to take speech that is objectively true, declare it false and then punish speakers who -- wittingly or unwittingly – deviate from the government's idiosyncratic definition,'' wrote attorney William Ohle in the suit.

    "Järlström thus brings this federal civil rights lawsuit," Ohle wrote, "to vindicate his and others' constitutional right to speak out on any topic – however complex it may be – and to describe themselves truthfully using the word 'engineer.' ''

    This isn't Järlström's first foray into federal court.

    In 2014, a judge tossed out Järlström's civil rights lawsuit against Beaverton that claimed the city's yellow lights were too short at intersections where the city had installed cameras to catch motorists running red lights.

    His interest in the matter stemmed from a red-light-running ticket that his wife received in the mail in 2013. Since then, Järlström has conducted his own studies, presented his findings to local media and "60 Minutes" and even to the annual meeting last summer of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. He's currently working on an article to submit to an academic journal.

    Järlström is a Swedish-born electronics engineer. After serving as an airplane-camera mechanic in the Swedish Air Force, he worked for Luxor Electronics and immigrated to the United States in 1992, settling in Oregon. Currently, he's self-employed, testing audio products and repairing and calibrating test instruments.

    "The First Amendment guarantees to every American their right to debate anything and everything,'' said attorney Samuel Gedge, of the Institute for Justice. "And nobody needs a government permission slip to talk.''

    According to the suit, the state board has initiated similar "outrageous'' investigations against others for using the word "engineer,'' including Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman:

    -- In 2014, the board received a complaint that the Voters' Pamphlet described Salatzman's background as "environmental engineer.'' Saltzman earned a bachelor of science degree in environmental and civil engineering from Cornell University, a master of science degree from MIT School of Civil Engineering and membership in the American Society of Civil Engineers. He isn't, however, an Oregon-licensed professional engineer. The board investigated, and nearly a year later, voted to warn Saltzman against using the word "engineer" in incorrect ways, according to board meeting minutes.

    -- In 2010, an activist told the city council in La Pine that a new power plant would be too loud for nearby neighbors. The board fined the activist $1,000 for "illegal, unlicensed practice of engineering,'' according to board minutes.

    -- More recently, the board initiated an investigation into the subject of a Portland Monthly article -- a woman immigrant and entrepreneur featured in an online story titled "The incredible story of an engineer behind Portland's newest bridge.'' The board opened an investigation because the woman wasn't a professionally licensed Oregon engineer. The board questioned the writer, who said the woman profiled didn't use the word "engineer" but her editors included it in the headline. The board ultimately found the allegation unfounded.

    -- A board investigation was launched into Republican gubernatorial candidate Allen Alley based on a complaint that he misused the word "engineer'' in one of his political ads. In the ad, he said he'd take a different approach, noting, "I'm an engineer and a problem solver.'' He earned a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Purdue University and worked as an engineer for Ford and Boeing and holds a string of engineering-related awards. But because he's not an Oregon-registered professional engineer, the board launched an investigation that's ongoing 10 months later.

    Järlström's suit doesn't seek monetary damages, but an order prohibiting the state board from continuing to censure nonlicensed engineers from speaking out, Gedge said. The attorneys will be seeking a preliminary injunction against the state board.

    "We're just trying to protect Mats' rights going forward,'' he said.

    "Criticizing the government's engineering isn't a crime; it's a constitutional right,'' Gedge said. "Under the First Amendment, you don't need to be a licensed lawyer to write an article critical of a Supreme Court decision. You don't need to be a licensed landscape architect to create a gardening blog, and you don't need to be a licensed engineer to talk about traffic lights.''

    The Institute for Justice is a national public interest law firm that advocates for First Amendment rights. It has filed similar types of lawsuits against occupation-licensing boards.

    In Kentucky, for example, it filed a suit in federal court after the Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology tried to censor the parenting advice of nationally syndicated columnist John Rosemond for "unlicensed practice of psychology.'' A federal judge in 2015 found the state board had "unconstitutionally applied'' state regulations to Rosemond's advice column and barred the board from pursuing such enforcement.
  11. LooseCannon

    LooseCannon Yorktown-class aircraft carrier Staff Member

    That's ridiculous.
  12. Cornfed Hick

    Cornfed Hick Electric Eye

    Yes, it's ridiculous, but...

    What a weenie. Anyone who cites their "feelings" as a basis for some kind of complaint or redress can go fuck themselves.
    Zare likes this.
  13. bearfan

    bearfan Ancient Mariner

    Well, he is European :)
    Cornfed Hick likes this.
  14. Dr. Eddies Wingman

    Dr. Eddies Wingman Brighter than thousand_suns

    Well, your country has a president who is offended by everything, so ... :ninja:

    On the topic: How ridiculous a behaviour from that institution. So, what do you have to do if you take your engineering education with you to Oregon, in order to be allowed to use your professional title there? Do you need to get a certificate from that authority?

    Anyone posing as an engineer if they are not one, will be exposed in their professional life anyway.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
    Zare and Forostar like this.
  15. bearfan

    bearfan Ancient Mariner

    Exactly, sounds like some board of self important government employees trying to justify their paychecks
  16. Dr. Eddies Wingman

    Dr. Eddies Wingman Brighter than thousand_suns

    I could get it if they wanted to prevent non-engineers from posing as engineers in public discussions, because I do see how a false title can give false credibility. Hence mail-order doctorates for people who want to commit fraud, like "Dr." Robert O. Young (the pH diet fraud) or "Dr." Kent Hovind (the infamous creationist). But taking such measures against people who are certified engineers, with degrees from well renowned institutions? :facepalm:
  17. bearfan

    bearfan Ancient Mariner

    it really comes down to a guy saying the stop lights are not timed right ... he was putting out information, the guy is an engineer, but even if he was not, it should not be an issue. Same with the candidate running for office. If they were charging someone for engineering work, I could see that .. but these are people putting out information.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
  18. Shadow

    Shadow Deluxe Edition Staff Member

    Come now, Dr. Hovind's thesis (pdf) is a credible scientific work by any standards. It may not have a title, but it does helpfully begin with "Hello, my name is Kent Hovind."
    Zare likes this.
  19. Perun

    Perun Climbing like a monkey Staff Member

  20. Dr. Eddies Wingman

    Dr. Eddies Wingman Brighter than thousand_suns

    Christ ... this is the President of the United States.


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