Rural Oregon, not a Priority

Last legislative session I wrote about Rural Oregon was a “feel good” priority. At least the majority pretended to care about the people who live outside of Portland and Eugene.

Now, in this 2016 February session, it is abundantly clear that Rural Oregon is not a priority to the Oregon Legislature.  No one has time to pretend to care in a 35 day session. Especially when you have to push a partisan radical agenda through.

In the next 35 days the party in charge wishes to push the following down Rural Oregon’s economically parched throat:

Minimum wageHELLO is anyone listening!?!? In January, a bus full of Eastern Oregonians showed up at the Capitol for a public hearing on minimum wage. Their message was clear, “Raise the Wage and we are moving our businesses and JOBS to Idaho.”

We are Oregonians, we love our state but when your state turns your back on you and your livelihood then it is time for tough love. That means taking our dollars and jobs elsewhere in order for us to survive.

My friend Shelly has summed it up best:

“If a doctor tells me I have high blood pressure, I do. I might get a second opinion, but I’m going to believe the doctor. You know why? Because he’s a doctor, and went to medical school. I am not a doctor and I did not study the human body and medicine. If the business community is telling you we can’t do this, we can’t. You know why? Not because we want to be richer. We want to continue to employ our employees that have been with us loyally for decades. We want to continue to pay our taxes, support the local counties and state, and we want to continue promoting Oregon to the communities, states, and the world. If the agriculture community is telling you we can’t do this, we can’t. You know why? Because we farm, you don’t. We know the cost inputs, and the money we get paid for our crops. It’s not an opinion, it’s fact. And last night you heard it over, and over, and over again. Why don’t you believe us?


Cap and Trade Investment – In a little more than a month’s time, the legislature expects to create a whole phaux-economic market for carbon. Actually, the legislature is going to direct a state bureaucracy to do it, they are just gonna outline some of the guidelines in a bill. The money generated by the blackmail of industries  the carbon auctions will then be reinvested into various projects, including disadvantaged/rural communities.

The Oregon Legislature knows that a lot of businesses are going to leave if minimum wage is raised. Cap and Trade Investment is an additional tax so they can give handouts to those who cannot find jobs because of the Legislature’s terrible faux-economic polices.

What happened to implementing policies that promote job creation? Policies that punish the producers for producing just means someone else down the line has to pay for it. The person who pays is the consumer aka you and me.

Raising Taxes – Oregon claims to not have enough money, that is BS. They have enough money, they just want more to spend frivolously. It is not ok for anyone else to live outside their means so why is it ok for government?

Their goal is to raise taxes on those companies that GROSS not net over $25 million in sales. A person can have a lot in sales but have very small margins, meaning Gross Income/Sales minus expenses equal net revenue. Sales does not equate profit.

They claim it will only affect “the evil out of state corporation.” However I can name half a dozen companies that are owned locally that gross over $25 million in sales. Again, Oregon Legislature is wishing to push more business out of this state.

Lack of acknowledgement from leadership confirms Rural Oregon is not a Priority.

This was obvious in a recent interaction between Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, House Majority leader Jennifer Williamson and House Minority Leader Mike McLane. The majority party’s leaders could not answer nor did they try to answer Representative McLane’s questions about their policies effects on Rural Oregon. Maybe they did not know Oregon had a town called Lakeview?

Frankly, the blatant disregard for anywhere other than Portland is disgusting. All of the above policies will have a negative effect on Rural Oregon, from costing jobs to forcing people out business. Enough is enough and we need to remember this in November.

Rural Oregon Not a Priority

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Filed under Economy, Legislature, Oregon, Rural

Oregon Under Attack By an Arrogant Government

Oregon is under attack by the arrogance of an out of control government, federally and statewide.

How Did #OregonUnderAttack get here? 

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) decided to make examples out of a ranching family, The Hammonds, from Diamond, Oregon in the Southeast corner of the state.  The BLM tried to get them on all kinds of trumped-up charges and in the end they were found guilty to burning 140 acres of federal land.

Of course this “illegal” fire was lit in order to save their cattle’s winter feed. However a farmer and ranchers means of livelihood means very little to the federal agency with a political agenda. These 140 acres  made them “Domestic Terrorists” in the eyes of US Government.  This article gives a great background: “Where’s there Smoke” 

Funny how our government can easily label ranchers as terrorists for trying to save cattle that feed people but yet are reluctant call to actual terrorists, “terrorists”.

Government Arrogance

The federal government “owns” 53% of Oregon’s land. The Hammond’s case highlights the decades of government arrogance Oregon ranchers face when trying to responsibly manage the land.  The land is a rancher’s livelihood, their number one priority is to take care of it.

Federal Government dominates land in the West.

Federal Government dominates land in the West.

The government likes step in, push ranchers aside so they can manage a situation “better.”  However, the 2015 fire season has multiple examples of government arrogance making a bad situation worse. Each time the government steps in, it costs the taxpayers millions of dollars and more is lost than saved. Pure Arrogance.

Oregon Under Attack 

  • Oregon is under attack from those who wish to take our ranching, farming, logging and mining rights away.
  • Oregon is under attack from those who wish to see every bit of Rural Oregon turned into a park.
  • Oregon is under attack from those who wish to see a fish or a bird saved before a human.
  • Oregon is under attack by incompetent politicians and bloated bureaucracies who have no understanding rural Oregon’s way of life.

The militia group who has taken over the Malheur Wildlife Refuge Headquarters are not attacking Oregon. They are sending a very loud message that people in the Western United States are fed up with US Government’s mismanagement of the people’s land. All they really want is the federal land to be turned back over to the ranchers, farmers, loggers and miners. Seems like a good idea to me.

Learn More About the Hammond’s:

Karen Budd Falen


Filed under Agriculture, Environmentalists, Green Agenda, Politics, Rural

“Want to go for a ride?” RIP Marley

“Want to go for a ride?”

This was a common phrase we would say to our English Bulldog, Marley, registered name “Addicted to Mary Jane”. Tristan and I didn’t choose her name because she only came into our lives just short of a year ago. We adopted Marley on September 23, 2014.

Everyone meet #MarleyDog! @taterstagg & I have adopted her!! #EnglishBulldog #BulldogsofInstagram

A photo posted by Marie Bowers Stagg (@marieb41) on


We were told she was six years old and had 2-3 litters of puppy at a place called Addicted 2 Bulldogs. However her past didn’t matter because she was ours and she was adorable. She loved us & we loved her. 

Every morning I would say “Marley, let’s go to work” and she would kind of saunter out of her bed. Then I would ask “Marley, want to go for a ride?” and she would sprint out the door. For a bulldog, her sprint was seriously impressive.

Marley loved her rides. Her loyalty may have dependent on that alone, but she stuck with us, that’s unless of course someone else offered her a ride.

My mom & Marley riding in the convertible

My mom & Marley riding in the convertible

My sister & Marley

My sister & Marley

September 18, 2015, Marley passed away from what we think was a stroke. She was our first dog and was a part of our hearts. Tristan & I’s home feels a bit more empty. While her death was unexpected and sad, her last year of life was a fantastic one.

How many dogs can say they have 3 dog beds & a human couch to choose from to sleep on? 

I am comforted by the fact that she passed away VERY loved and comfortable.

Here are some of my favorite pictures:

#MarleyDog loves riding in the tractor! #agchat #Plant15

A photo posted by Marie Bowers Stagg (@marieb41) on

#MarleyDog #EnglishBulldogs A photo posted by Marie Bowers Stagg (@marieb41) on

These two are hanging out in heaven now. Greta (white bulldog) passed away last spring after a misdiagnosis after her C-Section. She had 8 beautiful puppies, one is now part of my parents’ lives.

These guys. #EnglishBulldogs

A photo posted by Marie Bowers Stagg (@marieb41) on

A bulldog never misses a meal. The Duke & Greta, my parents’ bulldogs were often guests in our home.

Beg Much? #EnglishBulldogs #Beggers #BulldogBabysitting A photo posted by Marie Bowers Stagg (@marieb41) on

She always knew when I was sad & how to make me feel better.

She gets me. #MarleyDog

A photo posted by Marie Bowers Stagg (@marieb41) on

Marley didn’t command leadership, puppies just followed. After Greta passed away, Marley didn’t take a motherly role but she also made sure no harm came to the puppies. The puppies’ knew that.

Follow the leader! #EnglishBulldogs #MarleyDog #bulldogsofinstagram A photo posted by Marie Bowers Stagg (@marieb41) on

Bulldog life is exhausting.

True bulldog form. #MarleyDog #EnglishBulldogs #bulldogsofinstagram

A photo posted by Marie Bowers Stagg (@marieb41) on

She also knew how to wash her feet.

#MarleyDog likes clean feet #EnglishBulldogs A video posted by Marie Bowers Stagg (@marieb41) on


Somedays the help doesn’t get much better. #EnglishBulldogs #DukeDog #MarleyDog

A photo posted by Marie Bowers Stagg (@marieb41) on

She was loved & she will be missed. RIP Marley.

  #MarleyDog & I enjoying a beautiful spring day. #Fertilizing #ORag #Agchat   A photo posted by Marie Bowers Stagg (@marieb41) on

RIP #MarleyDog @taterstagg & I will miss you!! So grateful to have you in our lives this last year.

A photo posted by Marie Bowers Stagg (@marieb41) on


Filed under Dogs, family