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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 7, 2011 10:17 AM. The previous post in this blog was An intense aftershock. The next post in this blog is Japan nuke meters have been "cooked". Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

What the bureaucrats do all day

The government public relations juggernaut continues unabated. The Portland area's oddball Metro government has taken it to new levels of absurdity. Not only do they come up with a bogus survey of public opinion, badly tainted by self-selection issues, but then their quasi-independent "reporter" burns some hours writing about how bogus it is. It gets nuttier by the day over there.

What next? Surely the guy who invented the survey has to spend some time responding, and of course the reporter will have to report about that. Tweedle dum, tweedle dee, and all with a catchy PERS backbeat for both of them. What a waste. What a town.

Comments (28)

I can't help but to distrust these types of surveys. They could be well intentioned, but they always seem to have the same theme. That is, they are cartefully crafted to get the exact result being sought by the those with a particular agenda.

This almost always being the case, and I have lived here a long time, the money and effort put forth is also a public dollar waste. Unless of course you are the group getting your desired result, and are now able to say you sought and obtained public input. It's a slick game for sure.

"A success story in that was with the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland. That group, Unfred said, was particularly vigilant about getting its membership to sign up for the panel."

So the success is group that further skews the results?
"Metro bought newspaper advertisements in 22 newspapers; 12 are primarily distributed in Multnomah County. Online ads appeared on websites for TV stations, the Portland Tribune, Willamette Week and OregonLive.com." And that cost???
$o now they need to $pend more?
"Now, Unfred said, is the time for targeted marketing."

All thi$ for mental masturbation to pretend they listen or even care!

And if those of us who do care get disgusted and don't bother to answer the survey, you can be sure the true-believers and zealots will, resulting in the skewed outcome.

It reminds me of a bumper sticker I once saw that said something like "Cast your vote or else only the extremists will"

The only rational explanation to the bureaucrats behavoir is the PARALLEL UNIVERSE THEORY:

Parallel universe or alternative reality is a hypothetical self-contained separate reality coexisting with one's own. A specific group of parallel universes is called a "multiverse", although this term can also be used to describe the possible parallel universes that constitute physical reality. While the terms "parallel universe" and "alternative reality" are generally synonymous and can be used interchangeably in most cases, there is sometimes an additional connotation implied with the term "alternative reality" that implies that the reality is a variant of our own. The term "parallel universe" is more general, without any connotations implying a relationship, or lack of relationship, with our own universe. A universe where the very laws of nature are different – for example, one in which there are no relativistic limitations and the speed of light can be exceeded – would in general count as a parallel universe but not an alternative reality. The correct quantum mechanical definition of parallel universes is "universes that are separated from each other by a single quantum event."

There is just no other explanation.

Our multiple layers of municipal government is political patronage run amok, with lifetime health care and pension benefits. Why do we need a taxpayer owned Zoo? Why is Tri-Met allowed to operate a monopoly with no accountability to their consumers/owners? Why are we subsidizing biofuels, eco-houses, and "the arts" with ratepayer funds; but we can't open Wapato because of the different colors of money?

You could fire half the employees at Multnomah County, Metro, and City Hall without impacting my life one iota.

It does seem like we have half of the people, because it is their job and their job involves the control of or planning of, over the other half of the people. Or is it more than half having to push the agenda on the rest?

Suppose can't really blame the folks who have these jobs to keep on selling "the agenda" in order to keep their jobs for survival?

How did this get so unbalanced?

Read recently where this is where the jobs have increased - government jobs since manufacturing jobs have dwindled.

The picture does not look good. Thanks to NAFTA and our Congress who has done nothing as far as I know to facilitate regulations to prevent corporations from moving plants out of our country or tax them for their "imports" so that the lucrative move would not have happened. As it is now, as we all know, we need to look for products made in USA.

As for the surveys, have seen too often the carefully crafted to get the results wanted by those with an agenda. Oldest trick in the book.

"People say...."

I often see a bumper sticker that says "People's Republic of Portland" and have wondered from who's perspective that viewpoint is from? I used to think it was from the rebellious type, but it could equally be a jab from any direction.

Fortunately, we don't live behind the Iron Curtain and are free to pack up our families, our belongings, our bank accounts, investments, assets and holdings, our companies, our corporations, and most importantly, our tax base and contribution to the local economy and just leave, removing it from their grasp. Top-down life engineering will fail just as it did in the USSR but until then, it'll have a large appetite for the funding needed to sustain itself and for the subsidies that maintain the façade of success.

Like City of Portland surveys, Metro's will surely feature Q&A's like: Which form of transportation do you prefer to use for your family's big weekly grocery shopping trip? A) Walk B) Bicycle C) Max D) Streetcar E) Bus. And they wonder why so few want to opt-in?

Mr. Grumpy,
Suppose this sounds cynical, but how free are we really to pack up and leave? The government could determine overnight to close up borders and "no citizens allowed to leave for a period" based on "protecting" us from whatever. They might determine that certain assets cannot be taken.

Or, only the elite who can pay their way out of here can escape.

Know that what I write about here on the blog is generally not a pretty picture, but also know that I do have a life filled with good and positive and laughter. The positive helps in order to deal with the absurdities going on.

Sunny right now, so enjoy and perhaps later a good tasting microbrew! (without the toxic chemicals added yet by Mr. Leonard and his PWB plans)

Clin, I am just as cynical and sarcastic, but I try to avoid leaning towards the paranoid. Closing borders and guarding them by whom? and 'municipalizing' private assets aren't very likely as long as we still live in the United States.
What I'm saying is it's only social engineering if you permit yourself to be subjected to it, otherwise it's just demographic engineering.

I think we keep hoping this will pass and we won't have to move on, which, if I put my scheming manipulator hat on, is exactly what I suspect they want us to think.

Sort of like the old story of how to boil a frog...

'only the elite who can pay their way out of here can escape'

This is true only because of the housing+unemployment dip that has many of us wanting, yet unable to sell our homes and leave

Reminds of the laugher Mr Bog posted from CoP about how SE Portland wants potholes to stop drug dealing.

Give these guys credit for imagination, even if they are disconnected from reality.

"Like City of Portland surveys"

No, they usually are worded like this:

Would you prefer bike lanes for innocent children or paved roads for ax murderers who drive cars?

"Reminds of the laugher Mr Bog posted from CoP about how SE Portland wants potholes to stop drug dealing."

That may explain why I've been noticing the speed humps on 'bike route' streets are being raised into full-fledged speed bumps requiring very slow crossing. It must be to stop drug dealing. I'll bet the Fire Bureau isn't crazy about it.

"Join by April 15 and you'll be entered into a drawing to win one of three $50 cash gift cards that can be used anywhere, just for signing up and being a part of Opt In."

Gosh with a great offer like this what type of people are they expecting to sign up?

How many on the "Opt-In Panel" are Metro employees?

I'd have played along earlier but was working on a story about a bill to take Metro out of the planning business (a story you are unlikely to read in other media) and covering the ongoing budget briefing.

I don't get PERS. And Max - there's only 700 Metro employees, so at least 2300 Opt-Iners are genuine bona fide Multnomah County Democrats who are much more likely to support a gas tax than the region as a whole.

The survey's last Yes/No question:
"Member of or affiliate with any community organization that has strong views about taxes, land-use, the environment, or politics."

Does that mean, like, Unitarian or Presbyterian or Baptist or Catholic or Mormon or Orthodox Jew or Zionist Jew or Shi'ite or Sunni or Wahabbi Moslem or Hindu or Church of Elvis? I think those are all tax-free groups.

"any community organization that has strong views about taxes"

Gee, who do you think would have stronger views about taxes? Pro-tax or anti-tax?

Total money spent for government public relations?

Nick Christensen, it would be nice if there was a comment section following your articles on the Metro website. It would be interesting to keep the dialogue going after your stories are posted. I think you're a decent writer, although I must admit I don't envy the position you are in.

SKA - This was discussed at Tuesday's council worksession. There's some legal questions about having comments enabled - the degree to which the site then becomes a "public forum" that anyone can post whatever they want (not just talking anti-Metro rants, which I might enjoy reading, but literally *whatever* they want) if comments are allowed and unmoderated.

Not sure about the specifics. But I *believe* there's a push to figure out a way to turn them on in the long term. Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of that - clearly, comments often stray from dialogue and discussion and turn into diatribe. But that call is above my PERS-free pay grade.

This Washington County resident just opted-out of the opt-in survey after being totally disgusted with the questions asked.

When I see crap like this being foited on the residents of the Portland Metro Area; I'm really glad I moved out of the area.

Nick,
Since Metro is paying you to visit and blog here why don't you answer questions too?

With no difference between the City of Portland commissioners and the Metro Council the region is not getting the regional representation it should from Metro.
Quite the contrary long ago it effectively became a Portland agency pushing all things Portland.
Why does the Metro council and their loyal press think it is acceptable to have such an imbalanced representation?

As for the Bill, there's much more to Metro's intrusion into the cities than the UGB.

From what I read you are about to impose, without any vote, a global warming mandate on top of the rest of your planning requirements.

The density requirements are ridiculous.

The transportation planning requirements are useless with no cohesiveness between cities.

The TOD planning requirements are another waste.

So when people clamor for Metro to get lost it's about far more than the UGB.

This new stunt with opting nto the "process" is simply another way to concoct the illusion of support. Metro will be able to shape the input message to read exactly the way they want to justify all they do.

As for the UGB process, it was long ago hijacked and morphed into the barricade to growth the far left wants it to be.

The recent highjacking and extension of the Construction Excise Tax, intended to help plan UGB expansion so they can actually be developed,
is the ultimate demnstration. Those dollars getting redirected to the infill, TOD, Urban Renewal ponzi schemes is a lesson for all.

Metro is a dishonest, conniving and totalitarian regime that now uses on staff reporters to perpetrate more of their worsening agenda.

Dear Ben, Please don't require Nick to make a moral decision and walk away from spin job. Nick reminds me of Tony Snow in Bush Whitehouse, and I hope the he doesn't get thrown under the bus when he is honest.

I'm a part of this opt-in survey and I was particularly concerned about the latest e-mail I received for a focus group (a paid focus group, I should add), in which they are looking for participants who:

1. Use transit monthly, but not daily,

2. Ride a bike at least monthly, but not weekly.

So, it rules out those who actually use TriMet (of which two-thirds of us are bus rideres), and it rules out those who predominately drive.


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