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Susan McLain - for State Representative

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State Ballot Measures: 

NO on 86  

YES on 87

YES on 88

YES on 89  

NO on 90 

NO on 91

NO on 92

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“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937

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Teen rape suspect "just happened to slip away" (Video)  

Bob Terry dodges and weaves!     

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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Oreaviationwatch

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Middle East friendship chart

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California topples a tyrant

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10 Things US does worse than Europe

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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Check video

- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry

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Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

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Sneaker Politics

Kitzhaber and legislators got rolled by Nike. 

More

 


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"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.


The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  

 

RAD'S

WEBSITE PICKS: 


 

  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:

Realclearpolitics

  • Jim Hightower:   

Jimhightower.com

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column


Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 



Hard Times in Oregon: 

Hardtimes

The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


  

      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   

 

Steve Duin Schools get the blame 

School Reform/slate.com 



    

    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People

http://www.npr.org


 Homelessness

    Connecting the dots between homelessness, hunger & health care disparities in Oregon and Washington County: 

Homelessness:  

•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.

Hunger:

•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

Heath Care Disparities: 

•    Adults in Oregon without insurance represent 22.3% of the state’s population compared to 19.7% of the nation.  In Washington County approximately 


A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  

 

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison

 

"Philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways. The point is, however, to change it. 

- Karl Marx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

Chuck Riley for State Senate

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Local Ballot Measures: 

Wash County

NO on 34-221

NO on 34-222

Metro

NO on 26-160

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"There are men who believe that democracy... is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate [and that] tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future..." 

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1941

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Obamacare is working in Oregon!

Oregon's uninsurance rate cut more than half following federal health reforms

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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Oreaviationwatch

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Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel

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Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 

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Kansas' ruinous tax cuts

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Sign the petition ►

Walgreens - pay your fair share of taxes!

 

"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild



Check video


Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha

 Sign the online petition on Intel emissions in link below:  

Intel failed to report fluoride emissions for almost 30 years   

     Why do Intel employees who are house hunting in Hillsboro, Aloha or Beaverton refer to an area within a 5 mile radius of Intel plants as "the dead zone?"  

      Do they know something we don't?  QuestionIntel.com  We couldn't trust banks "too big to fail," so why should we trust Intel?

Rediscovering Government

Is the US #1? 

Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman 

krugmanonline.com 

 

Democracy Now
democracynow.org

The Daily Kos

dailykos.com

Blue Oregon

blueoregon.com

 

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 

 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001


    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 

americanobserver

    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   

GarrisonKeillor

 

     Garrison Keillor - "...The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be a fount of wisdom... but when you consider...  moon-faced Mitch McConnell, your faith in democracy is challenged severely. Any legislative body in which 41 senators from rural states that together represent 10 percent of the population can filibuster you to death is going to be flat-footed, on the verge of paralysis, no matter what. Any time 10 percent of the people can stop 90 percent, it's like driving a bus with a brake pedal for each passenger. That's why Congress has a public approval rating of [11] percent...." 


"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

 

"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  

 

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 

 

"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals

 

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  

 

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?'

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?" 

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921)

 

"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11


"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”  

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."

- Abraham Lincoln

 

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

 

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..."

- Edmund Burke 

 

“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”

- Jonathan Swift

 

" Every satirist who drew breath has flung pots of ink at this parade of tooting lummoxes and here it is come round again, marching down Main Street, rallying to the cause of William McKinley, hail, hail, the gang’s all here, ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay."

- Garrison Keillor


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Sunday
Oct192014

THE PATH OF "MARTYRDOM" OR "YES WE CAN"?  

Would be terrorists? From ON BEING, PBS, KRISTA TIPPETT

Hopes and Dreams in a World of Fear

     For over a decade, the French-American anthropologist Scott Atran has been listening to the hopes and dreams of young people from Indonesia to Egypt. He explores the human dynamics of what we analyze as “breeding grounds for terrorism” — why some young people become susceptible to them and others, in the same circumstances, do not. His work sheds helpful light on the question on so many of our minds as we watch horrific news of the day: How could this happen — and how could we possibly help transform it?

http://www.onbeing.org/program/scott-atran-hopes-and-dreams-in-a-world-of-fear/84

      Scott Atran is director of research at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris, visiting professor at the University of Michigan, senior fellow at Harris Manchester College of Oxford University and research professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York. He’s the author of Talking to the Enemy: Faith, Brotherhood and the (Un)Making of Terrorists.

     RAD:  As I was listening to this interview my mind went back to the '60s - why did some of us go down the path Martin Luther King charted of non-violent resistance to confront injustice while others like the Black Panthers and the SDS Weatherman opted for violence?  We were of the same generation but we made very different choices which changed our lives.  So the questions Scott Atran applies to members of my generation too.  

     If one goes back to the days of the American Revolution or Civil War - the same questions can be asked.  For Americans over the long haul the arc of justice was advanced more by institutions of a civil society not unending violence.  But we can't deny the role violence on behalf of freedom played a role as well as in behalf of oppression especially of Native Americans and African-Americans.  Each generation has to face these same questions - whether here or abroad.  

     What does "the other" want?  They want to be "significant."  What options do "they" have?  When we invade their country what do you think?  Hannah Arendt talks of the "banality of evil" Scott Atran describes what one might term the "banality of terrorism."  To reverse the cycle of violence can we have conflict without enemies?  As Lincoln said - "do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?"  Are we winning friends - their hearts or minds or the opposite?  

     This interview in 2011 was before ISIS when the Arab Spring brought hope.  Scott Atran's comment "sometimes you have to fight things, when people want to kill you or blow you up, then you have to fight them." adds a tragic note.  Timing is everything.  Thanks to the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq after 9/11 we are left with the collateral damage of a failed US foreign policy.  And now we're knee deep in a "surrogate's" war against ISIS, the new face of terrorism.   

     The problem with the 7 scenarios is the author never discusses option 8 - what happens "if" ISIS is successful in establishing its Caliphate?  As Scott Atran points out in the interview foreign policy wonks can come up all kinds of data driven scenarios but they don't really understand the psychology driving each of these groups.  If ISIS is the "successful" face of terrorism - what becomes of the Middle East then?   Is this the "final solution?" 

     - Thanks Dubya!  

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Update on Ebola post below -

Sunday
Oct192014

EBOLA HYSTERIA, ANOTHER MEDIA FEEDING FRENZY?  

  •      Sadly President Obama appointing a political operative as our Ebola Czar is not reassuring since the appointment treats the public panic as a PR not a public health problem. 

  •      Members of Congress aren't very helpful either.  The GOP has seized on Ebola fear as a strategic advantage for the 2014 campaign and Dems join the chorus for an air blockade of West Africa.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrovH26DlbA

John Whitehouse, Media Matters 

    A new poll last week revealed disturbing trends about the increasingly dire media coverage of the Ebola story in the United States. Measuring the rising anxiety among news consumers, a Rutgers-Eagleton poll of New Jersey residents found that 69 percent are at least somewhat concerned about the deadly disease spreading in the U.S.

    The truly strange finding was that people who said they were following the story most closely were the ones with the most inaccurate information about Ebola. The more information they consumed about the dangerous disease, the less they knew about it. How is that even possible?

     Poll director David Redlawsk cast an eye of blame on the news media. "The tone of the coverage seems to be increasing fear while not improving understanding," Redlawsk told a reporter. "You just have to turn on the TV to see the hysteria of the "talking heads" media. It's really wall to wall. The crawls at the bottom of the screen are really about fear. And in all the fear and all the talking, there's not a lot of information."

    While the Rutgers-Eagleton poll was a statewide survey, not a national one, it's reasonable to assume that the Ebola information phenomena documented in New Jersey is happening elsewhere, as a series of nationwide polls have highlighted just how little Americans understand about the rare virus.

"Reporters can be part of the problem or part of the solution," Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings announced at press conference on October 2, as the city began to deal with its local health crisis following the disclosure that an Ebola victim was being treated in a city hospital. 

     Two weeks later, what's the verdict?

     It's not fair to suggest most of the Ebola coverage to date has been overly hysterical, or that none of it has served an important purpose during the time of a possible health crisis.

     But too much of it has been based on fear and hypotheticals and driven by a weird look-at-us-now undercurrent. "It's almost like they're crossing their fingers for an outbreak," noted Jon Stewart earlier this month, mocking the wildly overexcited television coverage.   

     CNN actually invited onto the network a fiction writer who wrote an Ebola thriller in the 1980s to hype unsubstantiated fears about the transmission of the virus. CNN's Ashleigh Banfield speculated that "All ISIS would need to do is send a few of its suicide killers  into an Ebola-affected zones and then get them on some mass transit, somewhere where they would need to be to affect the most damage." And colleague Don Lemon lamented that government officials seemed "too confident" they can contain the Ebola scare.

     Of course, abetting the culture of Ebola misinformation is Fox News, which has served as a cauldron of fear mongering and anti-government paranoia in recent weeks: 

Elisabeth Hasselbeck of Fox News literally demanded that we put the country on lockdown, banning all travel in and out. In a bit of race-baiting, Andrea Tantaros of Fox suggested that people who travel to the country and show symptoms of ebola will "seek treatment from a witch doctor" instead of go to the hospital. Fox host Steve Doocy suggested the CDC is lying about ebola because they're "part of the administration". Fox also promoted a conspiracy theorist who is trying to claim the CDC is lying when they caution people not to panic.

     The hallmark of overheated rhetoric and almost cartoonish mistrust would suggest there might be a ratings motivation lurking behind the coverage; a willingness to jack up the fear factor in order to lure viewers in. That's something PBS science correspondent Miles O'Brian touched on when he urged journalists to "take a breath" on the Ebola story. "Unfortunately it's a very competitive business we're in, and there is a perception that by hyping up this threat, you draw people's attention."

     But the attempted ratings grab hasn't led to an increase in public understanding. In August, a Harvard School of Public Health poll found that "Two-thirds of people (68%) surveyed believe Ebola spreads "easily" ("very easily" or "somewhat easily") from those who are sick with it."

     That, of course, is inaccurate.

     Fast forward to October Rutgers-Eagleton poll, and despite the enormous amount of recent Ebola news coverage, those who followed the story more closely were more likely to believe Ebola can be spread easily, even though the disease cannot be spread like the flu.

     Even more recently, according to a Harrison Poll survey, "Three out of four of those polled said they are concerned that people carrying Ebola will infect others before showing symptoms themselves." As Medical Daily noted, "This is a medical impossibility." (Ebola cannot spread until the symptoms present themselves.)

     The Ebola virus is clearly being treated as one of the biggest, most important on-going news stories of the year, especially by cable news outlets. The fact that Americans have such a weak grasp on the facts doesn't speak well for the quality of coverage to date.

     Where is this generations C. Evertt Koop when we need him or her?  Why can't the CDC get it right about protocols for Ebola with simple and well known methods of dealing with epidemics?  

Saturday
Oct182014

ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL...  

     EDITOR'S NOTE:  My recommendations on local and one Metro ballot measures are listed in the right sidebar of this blog.  My brief rationale for each is below:

VOTERS BEWARE!    

Local Ballot Measures: 

Wash County

NO on 34-221: 

This measure is the classic a half a loaf is better than a whole loaf.  The commissioners admitted the $30 annual vehicle registration fee will not meet all the needs of road maintenance in Washington County.  For example it will not include money for repairing bridges.  Their original intended "ask" was for a $45 fee but after a lot of back and forth they backed off.  My belief is that if the need is there make the "ask" and explain it to the voters. 

Editors of the UnOregonian show the pot holes in the county board's thinking -

Funding crossroads: As The Oregonian's Luke Hammill reported, a letter from Washington County transportation officials to Hillsboro's planning director indicates the city and county have some work to do before they figure out how to fund infrastructure for South Hillsboro, a residential mixed-used development...

... tensions apparent in planning for South Hillsboro and Beaverton's South Cooper Mountain project raise concerns. The county and the two cities involved need to make sure they have a realistic plan for transportation infrastructure...  before planting more homes, and ultimately more cars, in already congested areas.                                                               

NO on 34-222: 

This revision of the county charter asks permission for the county board to reconfigure the commission districts, the hard work is left for a 90 day period after a YES vote.  Given the current board's record of back room dealing I'm not willing to trust the board to do a fair job.  They will carve up the county to protect their own interests not the wider public interests.  This has been in the works for since May - it's another back room deal.  

Metro

NO on 26-160: 

This measure extends the existing prohibition on housing density in single family neighborhoods.  It prohibits inclusionary zoning in residential areas.  There already is a state prohibition engineered by the Oregon Home Builders' lobby in the late '90s.  With a growing metro population where are people going to live if we don't make room for them - the working poor, single women with families and our growing Latino population?  

Friday
Oct172014

BILL MOYERS – PREACHING TO THE FAITHFUL… 

     Bill Moyers is an iconic commentator on PBS often focusing on the soft underbelly of how we have gone off track as a nation.  Below is an interview in a recent “Moyers & Company” report sent to me by my CC.   

 


Restoring an America That Has Lost Its Way

October 9, 2014

     BM:  Three years ago, reporter and former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert took to the road and traveled across the United States to gather research for his new book, Losing Our Way. In it, Herbert tells the stories of the brave, hard-working men and women he met who have been battered by the economic downturn.

     RAD:  Herbert is not inventing a new form of journalism, he’s traveling the same road taken by story telling journalism fashioned by Studs Terkel’s “Conversations with America” and CBS’s Charles Kuralt’s “On the road.”  Even the famous “boys on the bus” during campaign season do human-interest stories…    

     BM:  He found an America in which jobs have disappeared, infrastructure is falling apart and the “virtuous cycle” of well-paid workers spending their wages to power the economy has been broken by greed and the gap between the very rich and everyone else.

     RAD:  There is nothing new here.  Since the Reagan “revolution” of defining government as the enemy we’ve been disinvesting in bridges and roads and as a result the once family wage jobs of the post-WW II era have disappeared and along with them the middle class. 

     He tells Bill:

     “We’ve established a power structure in which the great corporations and the big banks have allied themselves with the national government and, in many cases, local government to pursue corporate interests and financial interests as opposed to those things that would be in the best interests of ordinary working people…

     Once you do that, you lose the dynamic that America is supposed to be. It’s supposed to be an egalitarian society, a society of rising standards of living, a society of a vast and thriving middle class. And we are getting farther and farther away from that ideal.”

     RAD:  Herbert is right on here but then again unless one is a modern-day Rip Van Winkle – the Great Recession has “schooled” us in the “new normal” of massive unemployment and low wage jobs.  Even with an improving economy now under 6% unemployment the “wealth gap” is growing. 

     BM:  As for solutions, Herbert says, “People need to start voting against the excessive power of the great moneyed interests. But more than that, we need a movement, a grass-roots movement that will fight for the interests of ordinary men and women…”

     RAD:  Again Herbert is right.  But in Oregon when I urge my friends to vote against the “moneyed interests” in Oregon – I get push back because that means in this election year voting NO on the best friend of NIKE and Intel et al - John Kitzhaber and his 4th term as governor. 

     Most of my e-mail and on-line critics are women who fear the scary socially conservative views of Kitz’s opponent.  Dennis Richardson is a social conservative but if he were elected like Reagan back in the day he would be stopped in his tracks by a Democratic House and Senate.  Richardson would be unable to roll back the clock to the '50s.  

     But the genesis of our problem is that we are confronted in Oregon and the US by a sclerotic political system that offers us the lesser of two evils in each election.  This will not change until liberals do what the Tea Party has done – create a mass movement to challenge the pro-business Democratic party “establishment.” 

     Sadly, I see no evidence of such a mass movement.  The reality is that the jobless poor and working poor are too busy eking out an existence.  They don’t have the time or skills to be politically engaged.  And the dirty little secret is what’s left of the middle class is too wedded to the “establishment” to take up the challenge. 

     When certifiably smart and well healed liberal women can’t fathom voting NO on Kitz, just like they couldn’t vote NO on Slick Willie – you’ve got a big problem of political false consciousness among the most progressive voting block in Oregon and the nation, college educated women!  

     In an ironic twist – Oregon’s so-called “First Lady” Cylvia Hayes’ Bend firm 3E Strategies had a contract with Demos June 1 through Nov. 30, 2013 where Herbert is a senior distinguished fellow.  Hayes’ “partnership” with Kitz no doubt gave her entree to this DC think tank.  

     One ought to be careful about who their “friends” are and voters ought to be more careful about putting too much trust in politicians that “talk the talk, but don’t walk the talk.”  A grass roots movement of progressives would be able to hold “our presumed friends accountable.” 

     To steal a line one might get from NRA true believers that's akin to soldiers going into battle without ammo and guns…   


- The Red Tory


     

Thursday
Oct162014

KITZHABER NOT SO "GRAND BARGAIN" ON CLEAN ENERGY

EDITOR'S NOTE:  Governor Kitzhaber considers himself to be a leader on climate change and clean energy but according the Neighbors for Clean Air he removed the Diesel Program from DEQ's 2015 legislative agenda.  Is this another example of Kitz talking the talk but not walking the talk?  As WC CAN's voice in the Puzzle Palace I'm working with other allies to reverse this misguided decision

                              

                                                                                    October 15, 2014

Reducing the two largest sources of dangerous diesel emissions, older trucks and construction equipment, would save more than lives.

It would save Oregon children:

  • 119 asthma ER visits 
  • 250 acute cases of bronchitis
  • 3,200 lower respiratory symptoms
  • 5,300 asthma exacerbations

And it would save our state nearly $4 Billion dollars in public health costs associated with all disease attributed to diesel pm 2.5 emissions, including adults who experience: 

  • 145 non-fatal heart attacks

  • 25,910 Work Loss Days 

  •  151,000 Minor Restricted Activity Days

Last week, we reported that Governor Kitzhaber removed the Diesel Program from DEQ's 2015 legislative agenda.  While, technically true (the Governor approves the state agency agendas), his office wanted it to be known that the decision was made because DEQ requested it. But it leaves one wondering: does the Governor support the work to reduce harmful, costly, climate change accelerating, snow pack melting, black soot that comes from old dirtier diesel engines in Oregon?

     The question is an interesting insight into how our state prioritizes and advances important initiatives on behalf of Oregon citizens.  How does DEQ set its priorities? Compelling risk? Available options? Federal mandate? And why would DEQ make the request to remove the diesel program from their legislative package when the agency has:

  1. articulated a clear and compelling need to reduce diesel emissions in Oregon; (at a June 6 presentation, DEQ staff reported that 468 deaths a year in Oregon are attributed to diesel emissions - or nearly double the deaths combined caused by homicide and drunk driving in our state).

  2. spent months of staff time last spring analyzing and developing a program proposal, that was culled from nearly 20 available options to address the problem?

     We don't have a clear answer to those questions.  We suspect that last summer, when DEQ staff was sharing its program proposal with stakeholders, that the agency and Governor received push back from businesses that see a great market opportunity in the importing of cheap, old dirty diesel, trucks and equipment that are soon to be outlawed in California. 

     Since we know that already 1 in 5 trucks newly registered in Oregon were previously registered in California, we know that Oregon is an important after market for California businesses that are dumping older equipment.

     As citizens, we can't do much about DEQ's priorities.  But the Governor can if we think he should.  What do you think?  Should reducing diesel particulate emissions be a state priority?  Should Oregon work to stop the catastrophic climate and health impacts of doing nothing when California moves to outlaw old diesel engines in 2015?

You can sign the petition here; or if you have already done that, leave Governor Kitzhaber a message: (503) 378-4582.