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"Give me your tired, your poor

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore

Send these, the homeless, tempest-toss'd to me

I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door."

Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax


Half of the US Is Broke


The myth of the Christian country


“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


Middle East friendship chart


Corporations enriching shareholders


Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks



"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%.  





  • 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.   




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

Invisible People


    Connecting the dots between homelessness & hunger 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. 

     In Washington County, Oregon's "economic engine," the divide between the affluent and the working poor continues.  We have a 19,000 unit gap in affordable low income rental housing.  County political and business leaders are indifferent to this crisis...   
















































RAD Lines

See my FACEBOOK @ Russ


  • He lost by 2.9 million votes...

  • He's a con artist...

  • He's a pathological liar... 

  • He's a failed business man...

  • He's a fascist... 


Trump & The Mob


Trump's role models are Vladmir Putin and Benito Mussolini.  He has contempt for our checks and balances system.  He wants to "rule" not govern like a strong man, a despot.  He will shredd the Constitution anytime he feels the urge to do so and like all despots he only listens to his inner circle.  And he is paranoid and narcissistic. 


Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax


Half of the US Is Broke


The myth of the Christian country


Housing Needs in Oregon 




"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, 1940

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

  • 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  

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

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

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... 



"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 

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



















































Japanese-American internees waiting for Registration at the Santa Anita reception center in Los Angeles, California.

Historical/Corbis via Getty Images

Third grade teacher Tony Osumi says he, like a lot of Americans, watched the recent news from the Southern US border with growing dismay. The images and sounds of wailing children being pulled from their tearful parents' arms and taken away to temporary shelters made him wince—and reminded him of the first day of school for children who hadn't been before.

"It's hard enough when parents drop off kids for the first time and seeing that,"says Osumi, who teaches in Los Angeles. But this was so much worse: In Osumi's school, the new students would be retrieved at the end of the day, and returned home to be quizzed and comforted by their parents. There was no such assurance for children at the border.

"It's heartbreaking," he sighs.

Flashbacks to a traumatic time

The border separations also reminded him of something less benign: the separations many Japanese American families on the West Coast experienced in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor. In the initial days after the attack, Osumi says, "many of our fathers were picked up by the FBI immediately after Pearl Harbor and taken without notice, where they were going, and how long they'd be gone."

EDITOR'S NOTE:  Yes, fathers and older brothers suspected of being "spys" were rounded up (though none were proved to be spys).  And then followed the roundup of 120,000 plus Americans of Japanese ancestry (legal aliens and citizens) who were put into internment camps for the duration of the war.  FDR's EX Order 9066 was a stain on American society as will be Trump's incarceration of the undocumented and asylym seekers.  

RAD analysis: An Update -

The Trump policy - if you call it that - is based on lumping those who are coming here "undocumented" and those who are coming here seeking asylum. These are two different populations which have different claims in a court of law. The last I looked at it - we still have a Constitution and we still are a society of laws not mere men. Both groups have a right to due process of law not to be "criminalized" or "railroaded" out of the USA summarily!

Trump's stated goal is to stop the migration of people south of the Rio Grand from coming to El Norte. His goal is based on a racist ideology and a profound ignorance of our common history - north and south of that border. Before the Civil War Texas, California and much of the Mountain West were part of Mexico - so cultural and economic links have been a fact of life for hundreds of years.

And in a global economy those links are stronger than ever no matter how much Trump and his "deplorables" rant and rave. American agriculture depends on migrant farm workers as does much of our construction industry. Who rebuilt New Orleans after Katrina - undocumented workers, that's who! And our high tech economy depends on workers from China, India and many other nations.

For the record - the "incarcerated" include South Asians... who is next on Trump's hit list?

US immigration policy is based on a myth that somehow we can "segregate" ourselves from the rest of the world. Over the years immigration law and policy has been a patch work of "don't ask, don't tell" going back to the late 19th century when millions of immigrants from Europe came to the US without passports (aka WOPS) - the Irish, Italians, Germans (including Trump's grandfather), Jews, Poles etc.

But Trump who is opposed to the "catch and release" policy of past administrations is adding a new layer to this debate instructing the military and other government agencies to set up what amounts to tent cities to warehouse up to 20,000 from undocumented to asylum seekers (individuals and families}. This is parallel to what the Internment was all about. When will the numbers go up? And where will these tent cities - aka internment camps - be set up?

If you think this is a stretch you weren't paying attention to Trump who in the campaign used the Internment as an example of how we could "solve" this problem. And many in his base of "deplorables" would no doubt favor such a policy - as did many Americans during the Iran hostage crisis arguing for the revival of the "camps." There is no end to this white supremacist mendacity!

The past is prologue to the future?


Polarization is worsening as Trump attempts to delegitimize the American system. Are we headed toward a war?  

A Second American Civil War?

Sunday, June 3, 2018

By Robert Reich

Imagine that an impeachment resolution against Trump passes the House. Trump claims it’s the work of the “deep state.” Fox News’s Sean Hannity demands every honest patriot take to the streets. Rightwing social media call for war. As insurrection spreads, Trump commands the armed forces to side with the “patriots.”

RAD:  There will be two sides in such a verbal or actionable "war."  The irony in this scenario is that the Market - the real Deep State not the political class - would no doubt plunge and corporate America would not support Trump. Even riots in the Streets in '67 or '68 did not end the Republic, nor the election and subsequent removal of Nixon from the Oval Office after Watergate.   

Or it’s November 2020 and Trump has lost the election. He charges voter fraud, claiming that the “deep state” organized tens of millions of illegal immigrants to vote against him, and says he has an obligation not to step down. Demonstrations and riots ensue. Trump commands the armed forces to put them down.

RAD: Each national guard is an arm of a state government.  Trump would have to nationalize each guard in each state - a preposterous proposition. Such a decision would be challenged in the courts. 

If these sound far-fetched, consider Trump’s torrent of lies, his admiration for foreign dictators, his off-hand jokes about being “president for life” (Xi Xinping “was able to do that,” he told admirers in March. “I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll give that a shot some day.’), and his increasing invocation of a “deep state” plot against him.

RAD:  As far as I know we are not a dictatorship yet.  As in physics - for every action, there is a reaction.  Such a decision by Trump would unravel 231 years of US constitutional history.  

The United States is premised on an agreement about how to deal with our disagreements. It’s called the Constitution. We trust our system of government enough that we abide by its outcomes even though we may disagree with them. Only once in our history – in 1861 – did enough of us distrust the system so much we succumbed to civil war.  

But what happens if a president claims our system is no longer trustworthy?

RAD:  Again simple math argues against this fear.  Trump lost the election by 2.8 plus million votes, that anti-Trump base has not been moved and his approval ratings are no higher than 40%.  The majority has concluded that it's Trump who is not trustworthy not The Constitution. 

Last week Trump accused the “deep state” of embedding a spy in his campaign for political purposes. “Spygate” soon unraveled after Republican House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy dismissed it, but truth has never silenced Trump for long.

Trump’s immediate goal is to discredit Robert Mueller’s investigation. But his strategy appears to go beyond that. In tweets and on Fox News, Trump’s overall mission is repeatedly described as a “war on the deep state.”

In his 2013 novel “A Delicate Truth,” John le Carré describes the “deep state” as a moneyed élite — “non-governmental insiders from banking, industry, and commerce” who rule in secret.  

RAD:  Carre's "deep state" are the moneyed elites from which Trump came to the presidency.  If you took a poll of those elites I don't think Trump wins that poll no matter how high the Dow goes up. His irrational Twitter rants against Canada's premier Trudeau after the G-7 meeting this week sowed deeper seeds of uncertainty across the global market place. This is an unfiltered and undicsiplined POTUS who can't be trusted and everyone in the world knows it, it's on display 24/7.  

America already may be close to that sort of deep state. As Princeton professor Martin Gilens and Professor Benjamin Page of Northwestern University found after analyzing 1,799 policy issues that came before Congress, “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a miniscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”

Instead, Gilens and Page concluded, lawmakers respond to the policy demands of wealthy individuals and moneyed business interests.

Gilens’ and Page’s data come from the period 1981 to 2002, before the Supreme Court opened the floodgates to big money in its “Citizens United” decision. It’s likely to be far worse now.

So when Trump says the political system is “rigged,” he’s not far off the mark. Bernie Sanders said the same thing.

RAD: But these moneyed interests are not what Trump is focusing on but the "political and journalistic" class that dares to show the American public that the Emperor Has No Clothes.  

A Monmouth Poll released in March found that a bipartisan majority of Americans already believes that an unelected “deep state” is manipulating national policy.

But here’s the crucial distinction. Trump’s “deep state” isn’t the moneyed interests. It’s a supposed cabal of government workers, intelligence personnel, researchers, experts, scientists, professors, and journalists – the people who make, advise about, analyze, or report on public policy.

In the real world, they’re supposed to be truth-tellers. In Trump’s conspiracy fantasy they’re out to get him – in cahoots with former members of the Obama administration, liberals, and Democrats.

RAD:  Agreed! 

Trump has never behaved as if he thought he was president of all Americans, anyway. He’s acted as if he’s only the president of the 63 million who voted for him – certainly not the 66 million who voted for Hillary or anyone who supported Obama.  

Nor has he shown any interest in unifying the nation, or speaking to the nation as a whole. Instead, he periodically throws red meat to his overwhelmingly white, rural, and older base.

And he has repeatedly shown he couldn’t care less about the Constitution.

So what happens if Trump is about to be removed – by impeachment or even an election? 

In early April, Sean Hannity predicted that if impeachment began, “there’s going to be two sides of this that are fighting and dividing this country at a level we’ve never seen” – “those that stand for truth and those that literally buy into the corrupt deep state attacks against a duly elected president.”

Last summer, Trump consigliore Roger Stone warned of “an insurrection like you’ve never seen,” and claimed any politician who voted to oust Trump “would be endangering their own life.”

A second civil war? Probably not. But the way Trump and his defenders are behaving, it’s not absurd to imagine serious social unrest. That’s how low he’s taken us.

EDITOR'S NOTE:  While I don't share Robert Reich's pessimism.  I'm not ready to say he not onto something.  But for this scary scenario to happen ALL of our checks and balances would have to break down.  First and foremost is our tradition of the smooth, non-violent transition of power.  This happened in 2000 when Gore accepted an obviously flawed election result with the stamp of approval by the Supremes.  And it also happened when Trump succeeded Obama despite losing the popular vote by 2.8 plus million votes. 

But if Trump refused to accept the results of an election that he loses in 2020 - he would have to refuse to allow his successor to be inaugurated or take office. That's a reach I can't imagine.  Would his base be "riotess" - probably but so was Hillary's and nothing stopped Trump from taking his oath of office.  What would be the legal mechanism for such a refusal - Congress not certifying the results of an election?  This is an unlikely turn that not even a hyper partisan GOP majority in Congress would dare to do. 

Would Trump call out the troops to stop the succession?  He might try but the question is would the Joint Chiefs of Staff make such a move?  Quite the reverse - they are required to uphold the law and civilian rule.  While this is playing out the Supreme Court would no doubt be asked to decide if the impeachment process was valid and/or who had the credentials to succeed to the presidency. They would have no choice but to accept an impeachment decision by the Senate and/or the results of the election as they did in 2000.  If not they would undercut their own independence and credibility and with it the rule of law. 

What the "deplorables" would do is worrisome - but they would not be alone in the streets.  The loyal opposition would also rise up as well.  How things play out will be determined by mayors and governors across the land and by the professionalism of our police and/or national guard.  Ultimately, the results will be played out in the news and social media.  The one bothersome fact is that like the Arab Springs - there is no guarantee that Reich's fears are unwarranted.  But again, the Arab world does not have the history of civic culture we have. 

But then again, no pundits imagined Trump would be elected in 2016. 



EDITOR'S NOTE:  The most basic axiom of politics is that to govern you must win elections up and down the ballot. That requires creating winning coalitions out of often divergent groups.  It also requires a candidate who brings people together and who has a unifying rhetoric that appeals to our common values.  In the case of the Democratic party e pluribus unum is the key. 

In the case of the GOP their winning minority fashioned out of the politics of fear and hate has allowed them to goverrn as if they were a majority party.  A party that loses the popular vote by more than 2.8 votes is not a majority party. Trump snatched victory out of the jaws of defeat by Hilllary's strategic failures at the end plus GOP derrymandering and voter suppression.  

What the Dems need in 2018 and 2020 is a unifying rhetoric of empathy bringing the coalition back - just beating the anti-Trump drum will not be enough.
A self-described liberal thinks Democrats need to put aside identity politics to focus on winning elections.


EDITOR'S NOTE:  I woke up late to hear President Trump (gag) terminate the Iran nuclear deal Obama and the allies negotiated. As many have noted this is a "reckless" decision for the region, especially for Israel and Iran but also not a hopeful sign on the eve of negotiations with North Korea.  Given Trump's decision why should Kim Jong Un believe anything Trump says or signs?  

Trump is simply going down his list of campaign promises while upping the ante in a world which he seems intent of making more unstable. He also seems to be motivated by his personal "hate" for President Obama. How much of Trump's hate toward Obama is based all a well thought out ideology, a strategic vision or pure unadulterated racism to erase any vestige of his predecessor's legacy?  

The immediate risk is what will Iran do and what will Israel do?  Two regimes headed by zealots who see the world through a "good guy bad guy" apocalyptic lenses is not the foundation for negotiation. I hope the Toronto Globe & Mail editorial below proves to be more accurate than my fears. But looking at things through rose colored glasses when Trump is involved doesn't make it for me.  The dude is ignorant and vindictive. 

It's hard to keep hope alive.  

Trump is a self-obsessed and mean spirited dirt bag (I cleaned that up...)  Playing a zero sum game with the ideological clique which rules Iran is not a "deal" that can be made. The bully Potus knows only one way, "my way or the highway."  In a nuclear tipped world in the Middle East with leaders poised to pull the trigger in Iran and Israel one has reason to be worried.  

President Obama and our unlikely allies Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China brokered a good faith agreement creating a 'no nuke free zone' in Iran. Now that the Drumpf has broken the deal it's unlikely that Humpty Dumpy can be put back together again. And who stands to benefit from geo-political chaos - the Man in the Kremlin.




I get a post every week from a website covering the Puzzle Palace.  Given the author, I assumed it titled to the Right.  His post this week confirmed this... 

A primer against gun control: The rally served as a primer on why many Oregonians fear gun control. They believe America is safer when well-trained, responsible people are carrying guns — and that firearms restrictions would make the country less safe. They believe the Second Amendment provides an unmitigated right to bear arms. Some fear that gun registration would lead to gun confiscation.

Commenting on a rally in front of the Puzzle Palace, the claim that America is safer when people carry guns is ludicrous on it's face.  No evidence backs this up - guns are a public health hazard.  Whether on the streets of Chicago or in the hands of a mass murderer Sandy Hook et al. 

What are the so-called "well-trained" gun owners afraid of?  I suspect it's their unreasoning fear of government - a staple of American politics since the Boston Tea Party.  Those "White" Boston Patriots dressed up as Native Americans - now that's not exactly profiles in courage to me.  

Who are the AR 15 owners?  Good question.  According to the Rolling Stone article cited below - "There are now more than 8.5 million civilian assault rifles on the U.S. market, an arsenal owned by some 5 million people."  But we are a nation of 350 million so a minority of a minority is driving this debate.  Most gun owners don't have AR 15s and are reasonable people who agree that gun control of some sort is needed.  

The NRA extremist leadership who claim gun rights comes down to an implicit White Supremacist view of America - the evidence is overwhelming from Oklahoma City to Charlottesville.  Look at the history of White violence against non-whites - 1) the eradication of Native Americans; 2) slavery; 3) the rise of the KKK; 4) the John Birch Society and 5) the Tea Party.  

As FDR said in the height of the Great Depression - "we have nothing to fear but fear itself, unreasoning fear." Not sure I agree with FDR's rhetoric at that time given the collapse of our economy. People had a right to be fearful. But when it comes to guns I think we have reason to fear the extremist apostles of the NRA and their GOP friends.  

Here's the article, you be the judge yourself.  Again, it offers a different view of gun owners but ends with the same NRA party line -

Capital Chatter: Reflections from a 2nd Amendment rally

Organizers of Second Amendment rally at the Capitol tried to talk about guns without demonizing those who disagree with their views. Click here

Hughes is not a fanatical gun rights proponent but the argument that the AR -15 is a sporting weapon beggars belief since it's military version the M-16 was used in Vietnam as an anti-personnel weapon to mow down enemy soldiers along with it innocent villagers aka the Milai massacre.  

Huges tried to "normalize" the opposition to gun control just days before we had another AR 15 shooting in Nashville, Tennessee.  Enough of this... The AR-15 should be banned.  So aside from fire fights with organized crime or the drug cartel who needs it but the military or police?  

For a short history of the AR 15 go to...
An assault rifle designed for the battlefield has become a windfall for the gun industry and common in mass shootings

The rally in Salem may have been a "kinder and gentler" version of many such rallies but the goal is the same - to stop the momentum of restricting the use of assault weapons in lieu of the atrocities we've seen from Columbine et al.  

Americans don't want to take guns away for those who use them for target practice, hunting or personal safety - but there has to be a balance here and assault weapons don't preserve such a balance.  Polls have shown for decades that a majority of Americans favor gun control.

My gun control laundry list includes -

  • mandatory background checks including gun shows and private sales;
  • outlawing bump stocks & large maggazines;
  • outlawing the AR 15; and creating a robust system to prevent the mentally ill or domestic abusers from buying guns; and
  • allowing gun manufacturers and sellers to be sued by victims of gun violence;  

As the data below indicates gun violence is a 'clear and present danger' and major public health hazard in the US - and this does not include police killings of innocent Black people or the mentally ill - an almost daily occurence in the USA -
The Washington Post has spent the past year determining how many children have been exposed to gun violence during school hours since the Columbine High massacre in 1999.