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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

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


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Tuesday
Aug262014

INTEL ALERT - MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!  

Intel 30 Year SIP is passed unanimously tonight - Oregon progressives abandon all hope!

The corporate "socio-paths" won!

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ACTION ALERT: Make the Intel Deal Work for the Entire Community

This Tuesday, the Washington County Commission and the Hillsboro City Council will vote on a 30-year tax break deal for Intel. It’s a big commitment for a lot of jobs for our community for a long time; it’s also a $2 billion tax break on a $100 billion investment. This is a massive arrangement that demands scrutiny to make sure it meets a basic standard—that it leaves Oregon stronger in 30 years than we are today.

Intel’s agreement requires it to pay taxes and fees on all of its property and buildings. That should be good news for our community and especially our schools. But, because of the way the deal was made, Intel pays fees and taxes but schools get less than their fair share. Each year under this deal, our schools lose $4.2 million more a year than they can afford. What’s worse, because this deal includes a controversial state program called Gain Share, the costs to kids go up another $14-$15 million.

If we simply changed the way this deal is structured, Intel could pay the same amount but we could get almost $19 million a year to classrooms around the state.

[Email the commission now and ask for a better deal for schools]

The true test of a good deal is whether both sides—the company and the community—are better after the deal than before it. If we keep cutting school kids out, Oregon can’t benefit the way we should.

Improving schools is one part of the challenge, but there are some long-term changes that need to happen to the way tax deals get made.

First, this deal is for 30 years. That’s a long time, especially in the high tech industry. Originally, there was a cap on these sorts of deals of 15 years—the Commission and the Council should restore that cap so each tax break agreement has the public scrutiny it deserves.

Moreover, we deserve more time. The details of this deal were largely hammered out without any input from the public. Worse, a vote on this massive tax break is scheduled to happen as early as this Tuesday, before the public has had a chance to examine and evaluate its impacts on the county and our schools.

Oregon already has the third largest class sizes in the country and Washington County schools are struggling more than most. A tax break of this size must be written in a way that protects our schools and our communities from further harm.

A lot of work needs to be done to make sure that this new $2 billion tax break doesn't harm our schools even further. Please take a minute to email the Washington County Commissioners and urge them to:

•   Give the community more time and more transparency to examine this tax deal. Commissioners and councilors should postpone their vote until we've had a chance to examine all the facts. There's no need to rush into this.

•   Cut the length of the tax break to 15 years. Three decades is an unreasonable length of time for a tax break this large. We should be able to reevaluate it after 15 years.

•   Ensure that schools get a fair deal. Without the right safeguards in place, local schools could lose out on millions of dollars in critical funding.

Go here now to send the commission an email and ask for a deal that works for everyone.

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Monday
Aug252014

INTEL, THE ART OF INTIMIDATION

     A TV reporter from one of Portland's stations talked with me for 2 hours on Saturday asking lots of questions why the Intel SIP new giveaway is bad for Oregon. 

     The reporter than asked if I knew any business person in the Hillsboro area who would be willing to go on camera explaining why they thought the 30 year deal was a bad. 

     One business person who I know well would not go on record and so I reached out to another friend whose spouse owns a small business in the area and who opposes the Intel deal. 

     After thought the decision was not to contact the TV reporter because of the fear of retribution by Intel employees who are customers.  I find this truly outrageous.  When people are silenced in this way it marginalizes the democratic process. 

     What happened to FDR's wisdom in the height of the Depression of '29 - "that the only fear we have to fear is fear itself."  

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DON'T BE SILENCED BY "BIG BROTHER" INTEL - attend the public hearing on the "30 year deal" - tomorrow - Tuesday August 26th, Washington County Public Service Building, Hillsboro - doors open at 6:30 p.m.  

Saturday
Aug232014

SHOULD WE CHANGE OREGON'S PRIMARY SYSTEM?  

EDITOR'S NOTE:  I participated in a debate on Ballot Measure 90, the top two primary initiative which will be on Oregon's ballot in November.  The debate was hosted by the residents of the Terwilliger Plaza retirement complex in Portland.  The major proponents and opponents spoke, RAD was there to offer a political scientist's view not to take sides with either side.

Portland Tribune
      "When Edna Campbell of Jefferson joined 19 other voters for a study this week, she had a definite opinion on Measure 90, which would change Oregon’s 110-year-old primary election system. “I came in all for it,” she said. “Why not? It sounds like a good idea.”

     Measure 90 on the Nov. 4 ballot would allow the top two finishers in a primary, regardless of party affiliation, to advance to the general election. Under the current system, only registered Democrats can choose Democratic nominees, and registered Republicans the same.

     Unaffiliated voters, who have been growing as a share of Oregon’s electorate, can cast ballots only if they affiliate with parties or if the parties open their primaries — which has been rare in the past 25 years.

     But after intensive study during the past few days — conducted as part of the Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review — Campbell was among the 14 who sided with the opposition to Measure 90.

     Citizen reviews of selected ballot measures date back to 2010. Panels are chosen at random to reflect the diversity of Oregon voters. In addition to taking sides, panels come up with findings that are listed in the state voters pamphlet and online voter guide."

RAD's Take: 

     The role of political parties is to recruit candidates for public office.  Parties also establish ideological cues for candidates and voters. 

     Without parties playing this role – how will candidates be recruited under a top two system?  Is this really a move to a non-partisan or independent candidate system? 

     Without political parties recruiting candidates, it leaves the process of candidate recruitment up to self-starter candidates with access to big money.       

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    The proponents of Measure 90 want to enable more moderate candidates to have a chance to be elected rather than extreme candidates from either party. 

     Granted hyper partisanship is a major issue today, especially in Congress, but from my experience in the Salem Puzzle Palace this is much less so. 

     A top two primary will favor candidates with name recognition and access big money funders.  This will not guarantee moderates will emerge in November. 

     When people find out their choices are between two Ds or two Rs – what incentive is there to vote when one party is locked out, along with minority parties?  

     Past reforms have had the consequence of lowering voter turnout among minority, working class and other economically marginalized voters.  Is this good? 

     The opponents of Measure 90 feel that parties play a necessary role in our political system.  By diminishing them voter have less information to assess candidates. 

     But in today’s hyper-consultant and media driven campaigns – do candidates state the issues clearly or do they offer up stale platitudes rather than address major issues? 

     It’s my experience as a citizen lobbyist that most issues are really non-partisan not driven by strong ideological divisions between office holders.   

     How can we move from a Republican party dominated by Tea Party radicals and a Democratic party which has no commitment to its New Deal roots?  

     Does the Top Two primary system solve the problem of low voter turnout in primary elections?   If not then why go down this road with possible unintended consequences?  

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Options to a Top Two Primary system: 

  • Open primaries

  • Same day registration

  • Motor Voter registration

  • Declaring voter suppression is a civil rights violation

  • Making vote by mail a national practice  

  • Reversing Citizen’s United

  • Requiring full disclosure of campaign contributions  

  • TV and radio stations giving free airtime to candidates  

  • Schools doing a better job of educating future citizens on democratic politics 

 

 

Wednesday
Aug202014

THE BIG LIE IN OREGON - WHO PAYS THE TAXES?  

EDITOR'S NOTE:  As the Intel SIP decision comes down the pike next Tuesday - you might want to keep this OCPP report in mind as the Guv, local officials in Washington County and now both major newspapers - The unOregonian and the Pamplin Papers spin you like a top to get you to believe Intel pays their fair share of taxes:   

Ernst & Young finds Oregon has nation's lowest total effective business tax rate


Saturday
Aug162014

OREGONIAN SHILLS FOR INTEL...  

Intel Update: 

     I testified against the "Intel SIP deal" before the Washington County Board and the Hillsboro City Council.  So did Jody Wiser of Tax Fairness Oregon and my friend Dale Feik, WC CAN's emissions committee chair. 

     What's most disappointing is that the process by which the deal came down was a closed door process from March to just a week ago, driven by "non-disclosure" agreements signed by local government officials at Intel's demand.  Transparency is out, open meeting laws are out and accountability is out - the "deal" is virtually signed sealed and delivered.

Read more...

Intel's tax breaks: Hillsboro City Council hears support and opposition to deal

     Correction: 

     If you want to speak out against this violation of open government attend next Tuesday's public hearing August 26th at 6:30 p.m. before a joint session of the county board and Hillsboro city council in the Public Services Building in Hillsboro.  It will be your last chance to speak out before the skids are greased for Intel for the next 30 years! 

Welcome to the "new" Oregon, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel.   

==========================================================================

     In the wake of the Intel deal for more SIP money, the editors of the Oregonian have the audacity to admit Oregon needs an additional revenue source - their favorite tax - a sales tax.  Now Oregonians have voted down a sales tax 9 times, how clearer could it be that this is a road nowhere?  This is merely the Oregonian's way of hiding behind the fact that the negotiated Intel deal - which is not consummated yet - is an outrageous shakedown of Oregon and it's voters.  

     Giving Intel a 30 year deal which relieves them of property taxes by only taxing the first $100 million of the value of what's reported to be over 2 billion in new machinery is a rip off of gargantuan proportions.  It will continue to place an unfair burden on those who get no 30 year breaks on their property taxes - renters, home owners and small business.  And it will mean over the 30 years there will be less money for schools and other public services but of course not for the TROIKA's pork project - a community center!  

     This get worse the more you learn about it - check out Mike Rogoway's latest analysis: 

     As Washington County and Hillsboro officials prepare to vote on that deal late this month, the remarkable duration of Intel's new tax package has become a focal point for those weighing the agreement. The pact, announced last week, would exempt up to $100 billion in equipment from the property taxes that other businesses pay.

     The agreement would save Intel something like $2 billion over the life of the deal and effectively lock in the company's tax structure through Super Bowl LXXX. Compensatory payments – minimums Intel agrees to pay to compensate local taxing authorities for the foregone revenue – aren't indexed for inflation, so their value will drop substantially over the years.

     When Rogoway, touting the editorial board line, after all they pay his salary - claims that "even critics of this deal are broadly supportive of tax breaks on the monstrously expensive equipment that outfits the chipmaker's multibillion-dollar Washington County factories" who is he talking about?  He never asked for my take as WC CAN's VP and Senior Policy Analyst.  His reference to Tax Fairness Oregon's position is a slight of hand comment. 

     "As with previous SIPs, Intel agrees to make an annual payment of $2.87 million, pay a $2 million community service fee and donate $100,000 year to charities selected by local elected officials. The abatements apply only to the value of equipment and machinery beyond $100 million, and will not affect taxes on land and buildings. According to a report by ECONorthwest on Intel's economic impact in Oregon, the company paid $20.8 million in property taxes in 2012 on land and buildings." 

     Notice the "framing" of the property abatement reference above - "apply only to the value of equipment and machinery beyond $100 million...?  Such a deal, Intel is taxed only on the first $100 million but not the rest of the $2 billion.

     For a multi-national corporation with a over $9 billion dollar revenue stream this year, the annual payments, community service fee and donations to charities are "chump change" - the latter a slush fund for local officials to divy out - what is termed "pork" in DC.  While Intel paid $20.8 million in property taxes - it paid no state income taxes.  Forest Grove's School District #15 has a current general fund for 2013-14 of $54.1 million dollars. 

     What's Intel's contribution to our schools?  Oh yeah, Gains Share money which comes from income taxes on their employees...   What a trick, Intel pays the $150 minimum state income tax, their employees pay income and property taxes and Intel gets huge property tax breaks. 

     In 2013-14 Washington County's total budget was over $737 million.  If one adds the total budgets of Beaverton and Hillsboro, these local governments added to the county budget come to $1.3 billion.  Intel's $20.8 million in property taxes equals 1.6% of these three local governments most impacted by Intel.  

     This does not factor in the budgets of other local districts to which property tax payers support - local school districts, special districts, Metro, PCC et al.  Factoring these into the budget equation lowers Intel's contribution even lower than it's 1.6%.  

     According to an EcoNorthwest report, the last year Intel paid state income taxes in the mid-90s the price tag was $50 million.  Those were the days!  Those records are no longer available to the public!  Intel's motto - "transparency is not us!"  They lie about emissions and they hide what they used to pay in taxes!   

      If one adds up the school budgets of Washington County's other local school districts - Beaverton, Tigard, Hillsboro, Gaston, Banks, North Plains and Sherwood an additional $20.8 million is a drop in the bucket.  Then consider the budget challenges of local cities which are impacted by infrastructure demands placed on them by Intel's 17,000 employees (not to mention NIKE) - it doesn't add up.  Intel is not paying its fair share nor is NIKE, 

     When one looks at the Oregonian editorial board's list of things we need to do to keep Intel and NIKE in Oregon the future demands over the 30 years of this "deal" just zooms like a rocket. 

     "In Hillsboro, that means continuing to increase the housing and civic options for employees at Intel and other companies who would live closer to work if the amenities they desired were available."

     RAD:  In Washington County apparently Intel employees are more equal than other employees!  

     I pay property taxes to support my local schools, my city government, METRO, the county, PCC, the ESD, Clean Water Services, the Port Authority of Portland and special levies for school construction, county roads, public safety, libraries, parks and green spaces.  What's Intel's contribution to these taxpayer supported programs?  After all "corporations" are legally persons, right, so they should pay like you and I do, right?  

     We know what happened to the economy when "banks too big to fail" got fat and sassy.  As US Senator Elizabeth Warren says "the system is rigged." 

      Here in Oregon and Washington County the "rigging" is being done by our governor, our legislature, our county commissioners and local officials.  It's time to tell the TROIKA of Andy Duyck, Bob Terry and Roy Rogers enough is enough!  Tear up the Intel deal and negotiate a fair deal for the taxpayers of Washington County as promised in the campaign!  If not, maybe it's time for a recall election of the TROIKA!