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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

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Half of the US Is Broke

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The myth of the Christian country

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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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Middle East friendship chart

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

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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: 


 

  • 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.   

 

 

    

    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 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. 

     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

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  • 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

http-//www.politico.com#13C5A6C


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

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Half of the US Is Broke

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The myth of the Christian country

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Housing Needs in Oregon 

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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, 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

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

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

 



"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


 


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Friday
Oct192018

The Disappearance of Public Space in the Arab World...  

Jamal Khashoggi and the Arab dark hole where foreign outrage refuses to tread

BOSTON — I have followed closely in the United States the unusually sharp reactions to the apparent abduction and possible murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. This is as heartening as it is unusual. It may also miss the point about the deeper meaning of Jamal Khashoggi’s life and work.

We have never seen such an outpouring of public and political anger in the United States that now demands answers from the Saudi Arabian government about what happened to him. Yet I fear this also encapsulates a deep, dark, black hole of selective, occasional, and personalized moral and political outrage that ignores — and perhaps perpetuates — the true crimes and pressures that plague all journalists and ordinary citizens across the Arab world.

The Khashoggi case is only the latest and most severe of tens of thousands of cases of Arab men and women who have been detained, imprisoned, tortured, and in some cases killed by their own governments or domestic political movements — usually for the “crime” or “security threat” of speaking their mind independently, offering views that differ from the state’s positions, or simply refusing to parrot the government’s propaganda.

The ghastly kidnapping and/or killing of Khashoggi — especially if it has been ordered by the Saudi leadership, which remains an unconfirmed accusation — absolutely deserves the international attention it is getting. Yet this attention will remain transient, deeply flawed, and lacking credibility if it does not translate into a more serious effort to join hands with brave Arab men and women across our region who continue to struggle for the freedoms, rights, and basic dignities that are denied to us by those very governments that the U.S. and other world powers support almost absolutely.

This is a pivotal moment because of both the nature of the crime and the nature of the victim. The single most important basic human right that has been denied the Arab citizen, in my view, has been the right of freedom of expression. It is telling that many reforms across the Arab region in administrative, commercial, judicial, educational, gender, and, even occasionally, security sectors have not touched the home-based Arab mass media, which remains under the licensing and legal thumbs of governments and security agencies.

Consequently, the Arab security state’s insistence on treating its nationals like robots and parrots may well have been the single greatest detriment to the normal, stable, equitable national development of our Arab countries since the 1950s — when army officers seized power and gradually steered the region towards its current fate of tensions, violence, disparities and mass emigration of tens of thousands of our brightest young people, who refuse to acquiesce in their own dehumanization and mass mind control experiments.

Khashoggi would not quietly accept life in an Arab region of 400 million people who are not allowed by their governments to use their entire brain for cultural, political, intellectual, scientific, discovery, or just entertainment purposes. He understood that Arabs who could speak their minds and debate their common public conditions would eventually play the major role in ending the multiple economic and political miseries that plague us today.

Societies wither and states fragment and collapse when their human element shrivels because it is not allowed to use its brain to express opinions, engage in public discussions, and offer suggestions for how to resolve the few problems we faced before we entered the era of the security state some half a century ago. Freedom of expression does not mean political opposition plots, security threats, or sinister foreign conspiracies, as most Arab governments frame the accusations they make against those citizens whom they torment, deter, detain, expel, imprison, indict, and, in some cases, torture and kill.

The added dilemma is that Arab governments that prevent their citizens from thinking and speaking freely do so by following their own laws, which allow them to abuse citizens in the ways that prevail today. Jamal Khashoggi understood this and sought in vain to find a way to achieve normalcy, dignity, integrity, and fraternity in our Arab societies, working within the established state system. For years he worked within the limits of what his Saudi government deemed permissible, cooperating closely with government officials and organizations to try to achieve a more equitable society that treated all its citizens decently. He fled abroad when he realized he could not achieve his goals, and felt his life was in danger.

I am sure that if Jamal Khashoggi could speak today, he would ask those individuals and institutions in the world that genuinely care about his fate and legacy to do this: Turn your faces towards those masses of ordinary Arab men and women who are suspended in the impenetrable zones of their own dehumanization, at the hands of those state powers that are vehemently supported by the American, British, Israeli, Iranian, Turkish, Russian and many other foreign governments.

I suspect he would remind those who now clamor for information about him that this case is not mainly about him. He is just the most visible and tragic — but heroic — tip of the iceberg of hundreds of millions of Arab citizens who are denied their voice, and therefore their humanity, but who persist in their struggle to regain that humanity. They languish in Arab jails in their tens of thousands in most Arab countries, and in their tens of millions they wander across Arab lands like mindless robots, comprising that deep, dark hole where the selective, occasional moral and political outrage we hear today from the U.S. and other lands refuses to tread.

Rami G. Khouri is senior public policy fellow, adjunct professor of journalism, and Journalist in Residence at the American University of Beirut, and a non-resident senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Middle East Initiative. He can be followed @ramikhouri

Copyright ©2018 Rami G. Khouri — distributed by Agence Global

Wednesday
Oct032018

COMMON GROUND?  

The American Dream - hope, hoax or utopia?     

This is a must read... We've lost our "common ground" which was based on a belief that in America if you worked hard and played by the rules you or certainly your children would succeed. As a retired college professor I taught mostly first generation college students how to succeed academically and how to navigate the workplace to be successful. Those were 32 plus years of affirming the American Dream vicariously through my students and our two sons. When I return to campus and teach as a lecturer in our OT program, I still see that dream being fulfilled and that hope being kept alive. So I don't get the anger that the GOP has tapped into. I've lived in the heartland and on the coasts. What we have here is what FDR termed that "unreasoning fear of fear itself." But when he spoke those words in the depths of the Great Depression he was facing a nation where 1/3 or more of the workforce was unemployed and many were homeless. Now thanks to President Obama's hard work we have 3% unemployment and many jobs which can't be filled because workers don't have the right still set. That's what we need to fix not the targeting of immigrants, minorities and/or women! But as long as the politics of rage dominates our political discourse, we won't address the real problems that came largely out of the Great Recession and Wall Street's excesses - excesses which is a Trump family legacy as recent reports of how he came to his inherited, not earned, wealth prove. The insecurity of the marginalized middle class is real but their misplaced focus is on immigrants and "the other" not the cretins on Wall Street and their congressional friends.

 

www.nytimes.com
Protesters in a hallway tried to disrupt a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week.CreditCreditDamon Winter/The New York Times I began my journalism career covering a civil war in Lebanon. I ...
Friday
Sep142018

WHO ARE THE MODERATES?  

Ds vs. Rs.  

I was listening to NPR this morning to a discussion about how hard it is to be a "moderate" these days in either party.  I must confess that the term moderate never has made sense to me.  You are either a Democrat, a Republican or an Independent.  For those who consider themselves Democrats or Republican is like being a fan of your favorite sports team.  But bottom line, you can't be neutral i.e. independent.  You can respect the other and hope your team plays fair but ultimately you want them to win. 

Some of the folks interviewed said they were "moderate" Ds but felt the party was drifting far to the Left.  Rs who claimed the mantel of "moderate" felt the GOP had drifted into Trumpland.  Now the history of both parties is that their bases have always been a mix of different folks - urban/rural, Southern/Yankees, different ethnicities/races and more and more those who espouse identity politics.  It's the latter that seems to be the problem with so-called "moderates" they don't like the hyperbole of identity politics.  I get that, I don't either.

One of the D voters felt the party has been taken over by "socialists"  Bernie did not win in 2016 and atypical congressional elections don't make a "socialist wave!"  Another D voter wanted health care reform. What prey tell was Hillaycare and Obamacare?  Let's get real.  Most electeds are pragmatic not ideologues. But one party dedicated itself out of sheer partisanship to make Obama a "failed" POTUS. Donald Trump has accomplished this feat all on his own!  

Then again which party has been taken over by the "extremists" - White Nationalists, the NRA, rabid anti-abortion fanatics who feel God has commanded them to prevent ALL women from exercising reproductive freedom. This makes the Democratic side seem moderate by comparison - LBGTQ acitivsts, Me-Too activists, Black Lives Matter activists and pro-choice activists. Identity politics on the Right is unAmerican and authoritarian in spirit while on the Left it's about expanding freedom to create "a more perfect union."  

When push comes to shove what does it mean to be a "moderate for peace" or a "moderate for social justice/"  One suspects the term disguises the "closet" Republican who voted for Trump in 2016!  Finally, only in America is socialism a dirty word,  How sad...  

But at the end of the day, one has to chose which team you support and who one vote's for.  Too many people whether on the Left or Right or so-called "moderates" are looking for a party or candidate akin to the immaculate conception - one who mirrors their individual political proclivities.  If they don't find that candidate, then they feel marginalized and walk away from the arena. Or do they?  Based on polling data from the 2016 campaign "moderate" Rs voted for Trump despite his many flaws.  They sucked it up.  So did Bern voters for the most part.  

Some voters think of themselves as social liberals and fiscal conservatives but never the reverse, social conservatives/economic liberals.  Huh?  If you are in the former camp one guesses you are a liberal who doesn't want to pay the taxes to support your so-called liberalism!   Psychologists would call this an example of cognitive dissonance. 

The real question never asked is why would self-claimed "moderates" Rs vote for Donald Trump a racist, a bully, and a sexual predator?  Similarly why would a moderate D feel uncomfortable voting for Hillary who is a centrist aka a moderate?  Or better yet why did so many "moderate" Rs not cross over and vote for Hillary?  In the past many of them would have done so as they did in the 1964 campaign between Barry Goldwater and LBJ.  Like the passenger pigeon why has the "moderate R" become an endangered species? 

What has happened to all those good Rs who were willing to cross party lines?  And as we head into the 2016 campaign what will happen to those "moderate" Ds when push comes to shove? The answer is easy - they will vote for regular Ds running for re-election. But what will "moderate" Rs do when faced with a Trumpified choice in the R column and a Democratic challenger?  We don't get to chose our parents but have to make do for the best of the family. 

Maybe that's the new "family values" of American politics - not letting the perfect become an obstacle of the good.  It's called being an adult!  

Thursday
Aug302018

THE GOP TAX-CUT CON

The Tax-Cut Con Goes On

Why Social Security and Medicare are on the ballot.

Paul Krugman

By Paul Krugman

Opinion Columnist

  • Aug. 23, 2018
 

What will happen if the blue wave in the midterm elections falls short? Clearly, at this point it still might: Democrats will surely receive more votes than Republicans, but thanks to gerrymandering and population geography, the U.S. electoral system gives excess weight to rural, white voters who still have faith in President Trump. What if, thanks to that excess weight, the minority prevails?

One answer, obviously, is that the unindicted co-conspirator in chief will continue to be protected from the law. And for those concerned with the survival of American democracy, that has to be the most important issue at stake in November. But if the G.O.P. hangs on, there will also be other, bread-and-butter consequences for ordinary Americans.

First of all, there is every reason to believe that a Republican Congress, freed from the immediate threat of elections, would do what it narrowly failed to do last year, and repeal the Affordable Care Act. This would cause tens of millions of Americans to lose health insurance and would in particular hit those with pre-existing conditions. There’s a reason health care, not Trump, is the central theme of Democratic campaigns this year.

But the attack on the social safety net probably wouldn’t stop with a rollback of Obama-era expansion: Longstanding programs, very much including Social Security and Medicare, would also be on the chopping block. Who says so? Republicans themselves.

In a recent interview with CNBC’s John Harwood, Representative Steve Stivers, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee — in effect, the man charged with containing the blue wave — declared that, given the size of the budget deficit, the federal government needs to save money by cutting spending on social programs. When pressed about whether that included Social Security and Medicare, he admitted that it did.

And he’s not alone in seeing major cuts in core programs for older Americans as the next step if Republicans win in November. Many major figures in the G.O.P., including the departing speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, and multiple senators, have said the same thing. (Meanwhile, groups tied to Ryan have been running attack ads accusing Democrats of planning to cut Medicare funding — but hey, consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. So, apparently, is honesty.)

Now, Republicans who call for cuts in social spending to balance the budget are showing extraordinary chutzpah, which is traditionally defined as what you exhibit when you kill your parents, then plead for mercy because you’re an orphan. After all, the same Republicans now wringing their hands over budget deficits just blew up that same deficit by enacting a huge tax cut for corporations and the wealthy.

So it might seem shocking that only a few months later they’re once again posing as deficit hawks and calling for spending cuts. That is, it might seem shocking if it weren’t for the fact that this has been the G.O.P.’s budget strategy for decades. First, cut taxes. Then, bemoan the deficit created by those tax cuts and demand cuts in social spending. Lather, rinse, repeat.

This strategy, known as “starve the beast,” has been around since the 1970s, when Republican economists like Alan Greenspan and Milton Friedman began declaring that the role of tax cuts in worsening budget deficits was a feature, not a bug. As Greenspan openly put it in 1978, the goal was to rein in spending with tax cuts that reduce revenue, then “trust that there is a political limit to deficit spending.”

It’s true that when tax cuts are on the table their proponents tend to deny that they’ll increase the deficit, claiming that they’ll provide a miraculous boost to the economy and that tax receipts will actually rise. But there’s not a shred of evidence to support this claim, and it has never been clear whether anyone with real political power has ever believed it. For the most part it’s just a smoke screen to help conceal the G.O.P.’s true intentions.

The puzzle is why Republicans keep getting away with this bait-and-switch.

Fifteen years ago I wrote a long piece titled “The Tax-Cut Con,” describing what was even then a time-honored scam; it reads almost word for word as a description of Republican strategy in 2017-18. Yet I keep reading news analyses expressing puzzlement that men who were strident deficit hawks in the Obama years so cheerfully signed on to a budget-busting tax cut under Trump. To say the obvious: These men were never deficit hawks; it was always a pose.

And the gullibility both of the news media and self-proclaimed centrists remains a remarkable story. Remember, Ryan, who was utterly orthodox in his determination to cut taxes on the rich while savaging programs for the poor and the middle class, even received an award for fiscal responsibility.

Which brings us back to the midterm elections. Rule of law is definitely on the ballot. So is health care. But voters should realize that the threat to programs they count on is much broader:

If the G.O.P. holds its majority, Social Security and Medicare as we know them will be very much in danger.

Monday
Aug062018

RACISM & SEXISM IN THE 2016 VOTE...  

Mark Setlzer, a former student of mine at Pacific and now professor has contributed a major study on the role of gender in the 2016 election.  It's worth the read. 

Here's Mark Setzler's complete article: http://acme.highpoint.edu/.../Why_Did_Women_Vote_for... If your not an analysis junkie just go to the conclusion

The "deplorables" at a Trump rally.  It's not just pissed off White men!