Oregon's curious war against free speech

  • 26 April 2017
  • NormanL

Red light cameras are the bane of motorists' existence. Installed, supposedly, to make dangerous traffic intersections safer, the cameras inevitably become revenue generators for cities, and nothing else.

So what happens when a bright guy challenges the cameras using his mathematical smarts? If he lives in Oregon, the state comes down on him like a ton of bureaucratic bricks:

If Galileo or da Vinci, the famed Italian polymaths, lived in modern day Oregon, they might well be the targets of a lengthy and expensive inquisition by the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying for the unlicensed practice of engineering for engaging in mathematical criticism. That is because neither became state-licensed professional engineers before they publicly questioned the prevailing scientific establishment of their day.

Although Oregon resident Mats Järlström’s mathematical theories are more earthly than Galileo’s or da Vinci’s, he faced a similar inquisition by the Oregon engineering board after he publicly criticized the standard formula used to time yellow traffic lights.

But now Mats, working in partnership with the Institute for Justice, is fighting back against the state’s unconstitutional ban on mathematical debate. Today he filed a lawsuit against the board in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the state’s requirement that citizens must obtain an engineering license in order to publicly debate anything involving “engineering.”

The left is sneeringly proud of its reverence for anything science-related -- except when someone dares to use scientific means to challenge the orthodoxy (or in this case, the cash flow). Then they revert to type, trying to silence debate. The nearby video from the Institute for Justice gives more details on the case.