More About This Website

For Pacific people, check out in the "About Me" page my new post - "Reflections on the McCall Forum" 

Check video

- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry


Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks


Sneaker Politics

Kitzhaber and legislators got rolled by Nike. 



"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%.  





  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:


  • Jim Hightower:

  • 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: 


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/ 


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

Invisible People


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


•    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 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


World Cup tax-breaks

"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?  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



From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman 


Democracy Now

The Daily Kos

Blue Oregon


"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... 


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




     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







































     Elizabeth Warren spoke at the NETROOTS NATION convention in Detroit last week.  I've attached a link to her speech thanks to the Daily Koz: 

     Not surprisingly, she gave essentailly the same stump speech we all heard at the Merkley rallly in Portland earlier on May 28th.  The $64 question is she running for President?  She says "no means no."  Then why is she all over the place instead of staying in DC crafting legislation to fix Obamacare or the Dodd/Frank bill to hold "banks too big to fail accountable?"  

     My issue with Warren's speech is that when she claims "WE" held Wall Street accountable she never gives credit to Barack Obama for being center stage in this fight.  The reality is without having Barack in the White House, Wall Street would never have been held accountable with Boehner in charge in the House and if Mitch McConnell were the Senate Majority Leader.  

     Sure Barack has been feckless at times and too cozy with the dudes on The Street, in and out of the administration.  Sure RAD would love to see some "banks too big to fail" CEOs in jail.  But this administration's justice department has squeezed billions of dollars out of all of the big banks to help people facing foreclosure to save their homes and to pay back their ill gotten gains to the American taxpayer.  

     We look back at how much has changed since the passage of the Civil Right Acts of '64/'65 forgetting that the President who signed those bills and who bludgeoned Congress into passing them was a very flawed POTUS - Lyndon Bains Johnson who got us knee deep into the big muddy in Vietnam!  By contrast Barack Obama has gotten us out of Afghanistan and Iraq while John McCain cries "betrayal."  

     Liz is right, organizing is important but that alone won't do the job.  All one has to do is look at Oregon to see how important leadership at the center of power is.  Governor Kitz has sold his political soul to Intel, Nike and corporate Oregon while making a mess of CoverOregon.  Democratic legislators like State Senator Betsy Johnson (D, Scappose) represents those same interests and she's not alone in the Puzzle Palace.  

     So while Liz Warren burnishes her image via a stump speech in front of political nerds who think social media is the wave of the future, those of us in Washington County know better because we lost big time in May to the TROIKA who are wheeling and dealing.  If the net was the road to power Howard Dean would have been elected POTUS in 2004.   

     If one is going to speak truth to power it helps to have those in power on your side.  That was not in evidence last Thursday at the ConnectOregon hearings.  As Liz Warren would say "the game is rigged."  Fortunately progressives have some extra arrows in their quivers but we need allies to clear out the political underbrush at election time. 

     Oregon lost a role model of honesty, integrity, humility and accessibility this week - former Governor Vic Atiyeh.  I didn't always agree with Vic but one always knew what he believed - the private and the public man were one in the same.  Like Barack he took us through hard times and did so with a simple grace.  No drama, Vic.  

     Sadly given the likely election scenario we will face in the 2015 legislature the same obstacle course in the Puzzle Palace we faced in 2013 and 2014.  After all said and done, there is a "dimes worth a difference" between a Barack Obama and a John Kitzhaber.  This should be a warning as we head into the 2016 election cycle, be careful what you wish for.  



Tax Fairness Oregon' width=

ConnectOregon Hearing Disconnected from Oregon Taxpayers

     Thursday 150-200 citizens attended the ConnectOregon hearing in Salem. The strongest opposition was to spending $7 million of public funds to subsidize corporations moving much more coal and oil through Oregon. But there was much support of our message against handing out free taxpayer dollars in the form of grants rather than loans to business interests.

Oregon Transportation Commission

     Amazingly, citizens who had signed up to speak beginning at 1:30 were forced to wait over 90 minutes as elected officials and state employees, as well as some recipients of past grants, congratulated each other—and themselves—on the wonderful work they have done in either handing out or receiving millions of taxpayer dollars.

     Most ludicrous was the businessman who blathered on about the integrity of the ConnectOregon process, never mentioning that so far he’s received $6.7 million from ConnectOregon, and this year is asking for $2.7 million more for his company, Teevin Bros.

     Most appalling were the legislators and other advocates for funding Rainier’s P&W Railroad and the Port of St. Helen’s projects who persisted in claiming that ConnectOregon is product agnostic, and should remain so. But the crowd loudly disagreed that giving public funds to corporations so they can profit from transporting fossil fuels is “right” for Oregon.

     A dozen citizens testified directly to issues they share with Tax Fairness Oregon:

  • ConnectOregon should be mostly a loans program, not a grants program.

  • Users and the local tax base—not other federal or state funds—should provide the required 20% matching funds. Airport applicants should be excluded from the program until aircraft owner’s fuel taxes are the same as auto owner’s fuel taxes. Otherwise, taxpayers are subsidizing the owners of private aircraft.

  • There should be more rigorous analysis of applications, and low-rated projects shouldn’t vault over highly rated projects just to provide an arbitrary rural/urban equity.

  • We must re-examine the priority place this now half-billion dollar program has in state funding.

     Most everyone who spoke about global warming and fossil fuels and corporate welfare got applause. All agreed, however, that the two young Beaverton kids, Miko and Issac Vergun, who spoke about global warming as their future stole the day. They were amazing in their ability to speak truth to power. We hope their words will echo most strongly in the minds of the Commission members.

Miko and Isaac Vergun

     What will the Commission come to decide about individual projects? We don’t know. But we know our next steps are to start meeting members of the commission, and with legislators and candidates, to find sponsors for our bill to reform ConnectOregon, and keep the conversation going about the “ConnectOregon Improvement Act of 2015,” the bill we hope to bring forward next session.

     Here’s what you can do. You can write an email to the Oregon Transportation Commission making any of the points above, or questioning any of the projects. A prioritized list of recommendationsin priority order is available online. All the Tax Fairness Oregon testimony from yesterday is available on our website

  • White’s Transloading rail siding in Dallas, Oregon is loan worthy, but doesn’t need a gift, Patrick Story

  • How $340 million in ConnectOregon gifts rather than loans will cost Oregon half a billion dollars, Elsa Porter

  • Building a helipad mostly just for one business in Bend isn’t an Oregon priority, Patrick Stupfel

  • The arbitrary requirement to give away 10% of funds in each region is wrong-headed, Steve Wright

  • The ConnectOregon process isn’t working, or we’d not fund $5.1 m for a shed for snow removal equipment in Medford, and other problems Larry Scruggs

  • What changes we think the Commission should recommend to the legislature, Jody Wiser

     Some other noteworthy testimony:

  • Airports aren’t putting in any local money, this simply isn’t right, Russ Dondero

  • Why are Oregonians giving food processors $6 million for a building they want? Colin Peddicord

  • These uses of funds make no sense when education is so underfunded, Maureen Barnhart

  • Airports & Fossil fuel projects deserve a “no” vote - leaded fuel, climate change and the 1%, Ellen Saunders

     Remember, the Oregon Transportation Commission is taking testimony until July 25th at 5:00 pm, that’s Friday. Send an email…just three sentences can be powerful. 

     Russ Dondero has blogged about the hearing, power and informative stuff.



Restore to "what" America now - ?  

     Pre-emancipation, pre-women's suffrage, the Gilded Age (oops Dubya done that already), pre-civil rights era...   

     If Paul is an "originalist" he'd roll the clock back to the era of slavery, indentured servitude, women and children being chattel of their husbands or fathers, no labor or child labor laws....  aka the "good old days" for rich white guys...   and the glory days of isolationism, plantations and sweat shops? 

     Paul is a blow dried version of the "Dixiecrats" or George Wallace. 



A train track to nowhere...                  

     I attended a public hearing in Salem on Thursday hosted by the Oregon Transportation Commission at the Salem Convention Center to hear "public" testimony on a bucket full of grants totalling $42 million dollars for the ConnectOregon program.

     ConnectOregon was created in 2005 by the legislature to support "multi-modal" transportation infrastructure investments throughout Oregon - marine/ports, aviation, public transit, rail, freight and bike/ped projects. 

     The only problem is that the public had to wait its turn for over an hour while public officials spoke on behalf of their pet projects.  So a public hearing was turned into a lobbying effort by state legislators, county commissioners, mayors, public administrators and business leaders.  This created a narrative which tilted in favor of the proponents of the projects, a classical "mobilization of bias" which became a filibuster to wear down citizen opponents waiting in the wings.  

     The ODOT "fact sheet" given to each participant states the bias clearly:   "ConnectOregon is a stakeholder driven process..." code words for business and public officials with a vested interest in transportation issues. 

     This is a classic example of how the economic power structure of Oregon controls the public agenda.  Allowing proponents to speak first is to allow those who already have weighed in on these projects in regional meetings creates a "monopoly of discourse" on such projects.  By the time the public got to speak, the issues had been framed primarily in terms of viewing these projects as engines for economic development and job creation, another bias. 

     Only when the non-self-interested public was allowed to speak for a maximum of 3 minutes each did one hear voices of dissent to the process and to some of the projects.  Several hundred people showed up, many having to come long distances to Salem.  But unlike public hearings in the legislature where people who come the longest distance are allowed to speak first and where the norm is to allow panels of proponents and opponents to alternate in testifying - the decks was stacked against the critics. 

      The arrogance of power in Oregon politics is evidenced by the fact that a final "hearing" to decide on the projects will be  held in Ontario in August 20-21, as close as one can get to Idaho and as far away from Portlandia as possible. 

     One of the projects which got a lot of attention was a rail improvement project in Ranier Oregon which was framed by the proponents as a public safety improvement but seen by opponents dressed in red tee shirts as the first step in bringing oil or coal trains up the Columbia River to a port near Astoria for off-loading oil or coal for importing to Asia, China and India.  Proponents denied this was the deal but anyone familiar with the pressure to bring coal from Wyoming or oil from the Dakotas knows what's the long term plan. 

The Lac-Mégantic derailment occurred in the town of Lac-Mégantic, located in the Eastern Townships of the Canadian province of Quebec, at approximately 01:15 EDT .     Coal or oil trains pose a serious public health hazard to communities along such routes as the people of a small town in Quebec found out last year.  Representatives from local fire departments assured the audience they were fully prepared - like the ones in Quebec were? 

     Of course, such trains also increase the carbon footprint and raise global warming risk factors.  So why are so many powerful economic interests and public officials in Oregon ignoring these concerns? It's a good question which was not answered. 

     Crony capitalism is alive and well in Oregon.  It's noteworthy that the  Kitzhaber campaign received a $10,000 campaign contribution from ultra conservative Stimson Lumber Company, a company which will directly benefit from the Ranier rail project. 

     Beyond problems with specific ConnectOregon projects others raised funding questions.  Why are Oregon taxpayers being asked to fund such infrastructure projects via grants NOT low interest loans?  Why are we giving free money to support business development?  Why is there no local match by the affected communities, counties or benefited business interests?   And finally why isn't the economic development bias balanced by criteria which assesses the quality of life and health impacts of each project? 

     While two corporations Amber Energy and Global Partners will pony up several millions to make this project happen, their contributions is not a "match" but an investment pledge contingent on taxpayer dollars being used to make infrastructure improvements. 

     When one sees the "suits" get first in line to testify, as Elizabeth Warren would say "the game is rigged."  As Tom McCall might ask - "why is Oregon chasing after every smelly smokestack it can?"  Things used to be different in Oregon back in the day - more and more they are not as Oregon's economic and political elites act like "hungry hussies" chasing after every job they can no matter the long term costs to our quality of life.  

     One of the public officials was arrogant enough to say that those opposed to this project were "outsiders" when in fact the @ 200 people in red tee shirts were residents of Ranier and other affected communities along the Columbia River.  

     As the 6 hour "hearing" droned on it became clear that the proponents and opponents were like two trains passing each other in the night oblivious to what each was saying while it was clear as a bell who the members of the OTC were hearing.  It wasn't the folks in the red shirts but the "suits" aka the lobby for jobs and more jobs.  The only hope I left with was after a brother and sister, ages 11 and 12 from Beaverton testified against global warming.  They got a big round of applause. 

     3 of the 4 OTC members have a "conflict of interest" given their professional and political backgrounds.  Another example of stacking the decks with "yes" people - the "mobilization of bias" rules!   (see "Comments" #2)  

     The brother and sister represent the future which the assembled state legislators - all Democrats, county commissioners, mayors and business interests, including organized labor are simply willing to flush down the collective toilet on the alter of jobs!  This was heralded as a "public hearing" but anyone in the room knew better.  This was a monologue of the politically blind, deaf and dumb who won't be around when bad things happen as in Quebec last year!  


     PS:  My testimony is included in the "Comments" section for your reading pleasure.  Here's an interesting factoid -

     "Oregon priorities have become so skewed that the state now has one airport for every 14 pilots but only one school for every 433 public school children."  - Testimony from Miki Barnes, Oregon Aviation Watch 





     Why does the “political class” in the USA think corporate CEO’s know anything about education?  Let’s begin with the basics.  Who funds politician’s campaigns?  Is the picture getting clearer to you? 

     Who hires an army of lobbyists to fight for their interests in the halls of Congress or your state legislature?  Hum?  These folk work within an ideological bubble and echo chamber – they are hearing and idea impaired.  

     Finally, why do so many of people in power know each other personally – because they attend the same elite prep schools and often end up at places like Harvard, even if for only a year, in Bill Gates case?  Now do you get it?       


     For the reasons cited below, I second this motion to demote Arne Duncan. 

      He’s a crony of Barack’s who knows nothing about education and screwed up the public schools in Chicago under the false mantra of reform, closing so-called failing schools and privatizing schools. 

     Sadly if he is dismissed a replica will replace him since both parties are committed to the nonsense of high stakes testing, the race to the top (really the bottom) and the so-called Core curriculum whatever that is?  


     I’ve never understood why K-12 teachers are granted tenure in 2 years or sooner.  College professors have to run the gauntlet for 5 years, then up or out.  It takes time to become a good teacher and to be assessed.  Why the rush? 

     But ending tenure is not the solution.  But a longer tenure track time would help sort out those with potential to be good teachers and terminating those who can’t cut the mustard.  Ultimately, this is what principals are supposed to do, hire and fire...  

     Funding is essential, so is supporting professional development and of course having children be ready to learn once they step into a classroom is very important which requires a safe and nurturing home life.  

     When kids come to school hungry or victims of abuse they cannot learn.  That requires dealing with the socio-economic causes of poverty which requires resetting our funding and taxing priorities.  


     When will this torment ever end?  While the issue of the separation of church and state have been with us since the inception of The Republic, the confusion over this issue still persists. 

     Faith is a personal and/or family responsibility.  I oppose schools being used as vehicles for recruiting youth to religion, any religion!  Christian clubs held at schools is simply a device for recruiting unchurched children. 

     Indoctrinating young children to see themselves as being born as “sinful” is developmentally an inappropriate approach to learning when children are young and easily manipulated. 

     Why would a parent want to damage a child’s sense of worth like this?  Young children think what they learn at school is the truth.  Mixing the 3 Rs with faith questions in a school setting is mixing apples and oranges, the former is a teacher duty, the latter a parental one!  

     In a multi-ethnic school community where kids come to school from home with no faith beliefs and/or with a variety of Christian and non-Christian belief systems introduces sources of potential friction which are harmful to learning.  

     Having religious clubs on school grounds legitimizes a particular faith while marginalizing other faiths.  Schools shouldn’t be put in the middle of this issue.  That’s what churches, synagogues and mosques are for. 

Evangelical Christian clubs coming to Portland-area schools

     The political class since the 1950s has been trying to find a panacea to solve school failure.  Sadly, they are looking in all the wrong places as a recent study of Sweden’s charter school system illustrates. 

     As an article on Sweden's experiment (see link below) concludes: 

     “Maybe the overall message is, as Norman Atkins of Relay GSE put it to me, “there are no panaceas” in public education. We tend to look for the silver bullet—whether it’s the glories of the market or the techno-utopian aspirations of education technology—when in fact improving educational outcomes is a hard, messy, complicated process.” 

     Anyone who is a parent or grandparent learns the truth of this fact of life in the old fashioned way – raising kids facing a myriad of challenges – family dynamics, socio-economic challenges and developmental issues which vary from kid to kid. 

     “It’s a lesson that Swedish parents and students have learned all too well: Simply opening the flood-gates to more education entrepreneurs doesn’t disrupt education.  It’s just plain disruptive.” 

     But such experiments do line the pockets of book publishers, education bureaucrats/consultants - aka the education industrial complex! 

Sweden_school_choice, a disastrous_experiment


EDITOR'S NOTE:  For some reason only known to computer geeks, I could not download the live links to the articles noted above except for the article on Sweden - so it's up to you to copy these links and put them in your browser...