Conservative Corner: Fiscal Responsibility The Hard Way

As you may have heard by now, there will be some very noticeable cutbacks on campus that will affect us all in an attempt to battle a gapping $2.9 million hole in the LBCC budget. The Oregon and U.S. economy has been struggling for years and, as we have seen, the effects have been noticeable. With the decline of employed people paying taxes comes the short fall of the state, federal budget. A 5% drop in LBCC enrollment is also a part of the reason for the budget cutbacks.

 Republicans and conservatives blame The Obama Administration and the Democrats for a badly floundering economy, while the Democrats and progressives point their accusing fingers at the Republicans for stifling what they call “economic growth”. No matter who may be at fault, one thing for certain is our government’s lack of fiscal responsibility.

Since LBCC does get money from the state government, and the State of Oregon has a higher than average unemployment numbers, it stands to reason that there would be consequences for the lack of tax income from working people. According to, Oregon has been suffering with 8.4% unemployment since last January. The national unemployment rate at that same time was 7.9%. Could this be the consequences of a democratic and progressive run state?  Who knows?

The Albany Democrat-Herald has reported that Linn-Benton Community College President Greg Hamann has said that 23 positions will be eliminated, the baseball and women’s basketball programs will go, and there will be a $3 raise in tuition to $94. Whether you’re partial to a person of the layoff list, a baseball or basketball fan, or a student on a tight budget, the cuts will affect us all and many will feel the pain. The tuition hike is pending the vote from the LBCC Board of Education and will likely take effect July 1st.

At the risk of sounding like a heartless, animal, perhaps the cutbacks might be a good thing. Although the idea of losing important and extremely qualified people and very worthy programs will definitely hurt the institution, however, this could be the long pain-full treatment we need for our financial ailments.

When the typical family experiences economic hard ships, what would be the logical thing to do? Borrow money from family members, take out another credit card, take out an additional mortgage on the family house, or ask the government for a bail-out? Of course not! The family will use common sense. If the family members cannot find additional income they will eliminate unnecessary expenses, luxuries and would stop spending beyond their means and perhaps even financially downgrade their lifestyle. Maybe if the current presidential administration tried more of this tactic we wouldn’t be where we are today financially as a country.

Perhaps if LBCC didn’t try to rely too heavily upon the finances from an  already burdened tax payer and a state in a recession and found ways to be more efficient with tuition and tax payer money, things may be different. It is well know how tough the economy is here in Oregon, but looking toward a balanced budget as a butcher with a block full of meat isn’t quite the way most of us would like to see it.

No one on campus wants to see faculty and staff leave or programs get cut, but if we all look at it in a fiscally conservative way, we might see the cut backs may be for the better. After all, we all need the school to have a balanced budget to operate effectively. As the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”.  It is very unlikely that Greg Mamann’s choice to eliminate positions and programs will  kill the school, but perhaps it will makes us a little more aware of our financial choices when economic times get better.




Conservative Corner: A Glance Behind the Tea Party Label

When you think of the Tea Party Movement what comes to mind? Perhaps to have been told they are a bunch of rouge, far right-wing racist extremists secretly funded by the Republican Party, or maybe a group of patriotic people who love God, family and country. Maybe you know nothing of the Tea Party Movement. Despite what the liberal/progressive media has reported about the movement, or what your neighbors may have told you, you may not know the grass-roots, conservative organization or what they really believe.

The Tea Party movement appears to be fighting an uphill battle with their critics screaming out myths, half-truths, and sometimes bold-face lies from many sides. According to, an anti-tea party, liberal group, the tea party movement shows “hatred, division, virulent, unpredictable anger, violent threats and posturing by the Tea-Baggers present a real danger to the lives of President Obama, his family, his administration, Congressional Democrats and liberal progressives of all stripes”. The website goes on to say that the, “Tea Party’s lies, violence, racism, ignorance, intolerance, bigotry, and corporatist fascist efforts to subvert our democratic process” The deception and lies of the liberal media continues with the New York Times in a Dec. 26, 2012 article with the statement that the movement was “anti-government”.

During the 2008 tax “season”, people from all over the country protested in Washington DC and at their state capitols to show their disapproval to the way the government was being run. This event was not covered by the cable TV news. If it was covered at all, it was done so in a very negative way.

It’s true, there is a lot of negativity and trash-talking about the Tea Party, however, the truth is out there and it will shed some positive light on this conservative, social/political, grass-roots activist group of American patriots.

The Tea Party movement has no founder or exact date of birth; however, it does have inspiration. Many in the movement credit the original Boston Tea Party of 1773 as the driving force for its actions, as tell us. According to, two people began the passion for the movement as we know it today. Rick Santelli stood on the floor on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and let loose on the famous rant that aired on CNBC and Keli Carender, a Seattle housewife, is known as “Liberty Belle”. Her blog is credited for a great deal of the early action in the Tea Party movement.

According to, there are 15 main “Non-negotiable Core Beliefs”, which include responsible and legal immigration, a strong military and defense, support of the 2nd Amendment, limited government, an end to deficit spending, and others. Many in the movement gather their strengths from a “holy trinity”, if you will, which is God, family and country. They rely heavily on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for their inspiration, and believe these two documents are the law of the land.

Even though there are few minorities in the Tea Party Movement, all are welcome despite race, creed or political ideals. It is believed that the negative coverage from the liberal media like CNN, MSNBC, Politico and others are to blame to the low minority numbers in the movement. To see more on the Tea Party movement and the people it attracts, go to and to see what it’s really like, go to and see their version of Face Book at

The Tea Party Movement is not about a bunch of white, racist, anti-immigrant, homophobic, old people who are board of their retirement and want to get exercise by ruining the country. These are Americans of every walk of life who are trying to demand a fiscally responsible, constitutionally limited government, a free market system and a life free from government intrusion.

 While you are enjoying your spring break this year, ask yourself this question; is your country acting responsible? Are we as a country fiscally and socially responsible? Is America heading in the right direction in regards to spending, the deficit, taxes, unemployment, and corruption? If you don’t think so, then rest a little easier. The Tea Party Movement is hard at work fighting for the constitutionally guaranteed rights of “we the people” of these United States of America.

                                          Have a great spring break.


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Conservative Corner: Stranger in a Strange Land

During the weekend of the March 3, 2013, the staff of the Commuter,(including yours truly), endured a long 12 hour journey by passenger van to and from the Golden State and the City by the Bay to attend the 29th Annual Associated Collegiate National College Journalism Convention. The trip was defiantly memorable; however, not much unlike that annoying person who you just met and won’t leave you alone, it seems bits of the liberal media kept on poking out is ugly head for its understanding of what is news and journalism.

As a small town kind of guy, I found the City of San Francisco to be a world of wonder. Tall buildings that would keep doctors busy for weeks with neck problems and the sights, sounds, smells and attitudes of the big city was quite a sensory overload for some who are not used to it. The sessions at the convention for me were nearly as over whelming as the city itself.

The conference played host to over 60 sessions with more than 50 speakers and 30 plus panelists. It was a four day free-for-all for knowledge, advice and information on what the pros do in today’s journalism world with sessions on everything from the importance of the internet in today journalism world to how to train you sales staff and everything in between. Unfortunately, I did feel the lack of conservative journalism and a little more liberal journalism than I would have liked to see.

Walking into a session as an older college student was somewhat overwhelming.  In classes of my youth students would actually use pen and paper to take notes and sometimes use a tape recorder. I noticed that time is nearly gone. As I glanced around a room I witnessed journalists of tomorrow tap out notes and tweets on their laptops, tablets and phones. One person tweeted that the journalism classes of today are different than those of the past. Today, students who spend all their class time on phones are not considered rude. It is strange how times change.

I have come to the conclusion that gone is the old ways of doing things; including journalism and we must make the jump to modern communications to keep up with the rest of the world despite how it feels to the older crowd. With the majority of people at conference plugged in to some degree, I have found that me and people like me cannot be the proverbial old man sitting on the porch screaming at the local kids to get off his lawn. Either we all except the new ways of communication or get left behind and suffer the consequences. This is especially true with older people.  

The convention in San Francisco was a fun and exciting place and we all learned a lot, however I came to the realization that technology is the way of the future no matter what your field of interest is. So embrace it, even if you are older, and watch how far modern technology can take you.