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Top 5 causes of homelessness

- Lack of affordable housing

- Lack of a livable wage

- Medical issues/lack of accessible health care

- Domestic violence

- Mental illness


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


A Just Peace


SIP contract online




Middle East friendship chart


Corporations enriching shareholders


- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry


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%.  





  • 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.   




    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


Putting corporate Oregon ahead of our people


#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace


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

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1941


Obamacare is working in Oregon!

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


Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel


Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 


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

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  

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?

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... 


    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







































     Waiting in the Puzzle Palace "lobby" for a hearing on Tuesday I saw this posted in one of the permanent displays in our Capitol buidling. 

     "Never doubt that a small group of thoughful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it's the only thing that ever does..."    

- Margaret Mead


     This issue will be settled in the final days of the current session by the leadership of the legislature and Governor Brown.  It will involve all the heavy hitters in the legislature and major interest groups...  

     Why not share the $86 million state wide by dedicating it to 1) K-12, 2) affordable housing & 3) transportation improvements?   That way everyone wins! 

Oregon's kicker tax rebate would be suspended under bill from Beaverton legislator

     This idea probably has no chance of passage.  But it's a good idea and glad to see it get some attention.  One never knows in the final days of a session what might pop out of the box in the Puzzle Palace...  

     Diverting the personal kicker money by putting it in a "rainy day" fund makes sense but the need is for revenue now not in the future.  Again with funding needs noted above - why not "invest in Oregon now" not sometime down the road?  



     It's good to see Governor Brown give strong support for a $100 million bonding proposal to build affordable housing in Oregon and for Washington County Chair Andy Duyck expressing support for this proposal which came out of former Governor Kitzhaber's last days in Mahonia Hall as the current session began. 

Make less than $16.61 an hour? You can't afford a 2-bedroom apartment in Oregon 

     Affordable housing is not just a Portlandia problem, it's a challenge throughout Oregon from Bend to Hillsboro, from Medford to the Coast.  But as I've pointed out the "ask" will not meet the need.  It will build 4000 units tops when the need in Oregon is for 130,000 housing units.  That doesn't do much to solve Oregon's "housing" gap problem.   

     Also, the other game in play in the Puzzle Palace on housing is the inclusionary housing bill, HB 2564 which has a greater potential to address the real need for affordable housing especially in communities in the state where low vacancy rates make home and rental prices higher than the working poor can afford. 

     But as written HB 2564 excludes rental housing and given my experience people who earn below 60% of Median Family Income (MFI) can't meet the monthly mortgage payments of a home buyer.  So the promise of building affordable housing for people becomes another false promise if the rental part is excluded unless the Dash-5 amendment is passed.  

     It's time we address the real problem - the need for a wider variety of rental or home buying choices.  The market can't do this job.  It took the GI bill and federal housing policy in the '50s to offer a piece of the American Dream to working families.  We walked away from that promise in the '70s.  It's time to put the American Dream within the grasp of average Americans.  

     Governor Brown and Chair Duyck - your rhetoric must be matched by reality.   So far all I see is another "trust me gap." 



     I spent Tuesday in the Puzzle Palace advocating for HB 2564, the inclusionary housing bill and in two hearings - House Revenue on a transparency bill HB 2077 and in the Senate Human Services & Early Childhood committee on HB 2564.  HB 2077 was up for a work session and still has more work to be done before it's ready for a committee vote to send it to the Senate floor.  HB 2564 having passed in the House has a much easier route, though not a certain destiny. 

     What impresses me is the power of committee chairs to manage a bill through often murky and/or troubled waters.  What ticks me off is the apportionment of time given to lobbyists and elected officials early in a hearing and then as time is running out -  the chair requests that we keep our testimony short.  Clearly in the legislative arena while technically speaking all who speak are equal some are "more equal" than others.  This is not surprising but it still pisses me off that the deck is so stacked against the average citizen. 

     What also bothers me is how uniformed legislators are about the bills they are hearing.  Fortunately in Oregon, unlike many states, staff to committees are non-partisan and quite expert on each of the hundreds of bills out of thousands that make it to a public hearing and beyond.  But the attention span of a legislator is short - no doubt do to how many balls (i.e. bills) they have to juggle.  But it makes one pause about the possibility that crafting mistakes can be made which then show up down the road. 

     The difference between a veteran chair and a new chair is striking - to manage a committee requires diplomacy, guile and perseverance not unlike managing cats.  When a committee chair declares a point about a bill is a "policy issue" it's a means of nicely saying the comment is not germane to the bill per se but a partisan point to be ignored - assuming one has a majority of the votes in one's pocket.  This is why it's so important to be the majority party.  Point/checkpoint!  




Mount Saint Helens, May 18, 1980   


     Everyone in the Puzzle Palace is all a twitter because we may have $465 million more for the 2015-17 budget along with a Personal Kicker tax credit of $284 to taxpayers for the 2016 tax season.   But on the horizon between 2017-21 is the loss of revenue coming from the PERS decision by Oregon's Supreme Court which slapped the hands of legislators for breaking a "contract" with public employees. 

     So before we go out and spend the projected extra cash let's calculate the long term scenario to avoid a political and fiscal Mt. Saint Helens down the road.     



Top 5 causes of homelessness in order…

1.    Lack of affordable housing

2.    Lack of a livable wage

3.    Medical issues/conditions/lack of accessible health care

4.    Domestic violence

5.    Mental illness

     I saw the interview below earlier in the week.  What I love about it is the beginning where Tavis refers to a "discussion" with Bill O'Reilly...  

     The reality is that the focus on the homeless per se distracts from the real issue noted in the "Top 5 causes of homelessness." 

     The Housing Alliance's and Gov's goal of using $100 million (actually only $85 million, if it survives the W&M co-chairs possible cut to $50 million) won't do the job!   

      I know politics is the art of the possible but when advocates accept 4000 when the need is 130,000 rental units - it's morally offensive to me.     


     That's not the politics of a "half a loaf" but 3% of a loaf...    

     A real housing plan would begin with the top 5 list...  but until we get over our Kicker addiction, terminate Measure 5 et al and end SIPS - the poor will get the leftovers...    

     I've testified for the $100 million but I'm not happy about this!  Yes, something is better than nothing.... But let's call it what it is - the politics of triage...        

     This was a dart thrown at the problem in what turned out was the final days of the Kitzhaber era... 

     Oregon should do better as Gretchen Kafoury would say... 

Tavis Smiley PBS PRI Image

Tavis Smiley talks with Academy Award-winner Susan Sarandon and her son Jack Henry Robbins about their new documentary Storied Streets.

To view hit the bolded names of the guests...