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Susan McLain - for State Representative

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State Ballot Measures: 

NO on 86  

YES on 87

YES on 88

YES on 89  

NO on 90 

NO on 91

NO on 92

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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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Teen rape suspect "just happened to slip away" (Video)  

Bob Terry dodges and weaves!     

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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Oreaviationwatch

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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

Chuck Riley for State Senate

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Local Ballot Measures: 

Wash County

NO on 34-221

NO on 34-222

Metro

NO on 26-160

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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, 1941

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Obamacare is working in Oregon!

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

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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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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


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Thursday
Oct232014

CAMPAIGN MONEY, AN ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE!  

 

     EDITOR'S NOTE: As the 2014 campaign comes down to the finish line it's very predictable that each campaign be it for a candidate or ballot measure comes down to the so-called money game.  And in Oregon this year big money from outside Oregon is flooding the state.  If one feels that money distorts the political process - which it does - this is bad news!  But if you feel "money is speech" then the more $$$ - the more speech you get. 

     The folks at OUR OREGON, a liberal activist group are following the money game - here's some highlights from today's Our Oregon e-blast.    

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In midterm home stretch, campaign cash floods Oregon races
Bend Bulletin

     "Control of the Oregon Senate is up for grabs, but donors are overwhelmingly flooding Bend’s House race with cash in the homestretch of the November general election. Republican candidate Knute Buehler has raised more campaign cash than anyone else in any House or Senate race in the state, according to The Bulletin’s review of campaign finance records on Tuesday.

     Meanwhile, Republicans are eyeing the chance to take the Senate, where Democrats held 16 seats and Republicans had 14 last session. The Senate races identified by both parties’ leaders months ago as contentious are among the most expensive in the state in terms of campaign fundraising. They will also likely break the million-dollar mark in coming days.

     RAD:  Back in the '90s legislative races cost $100 to 250K not anymore!  Who is flooding the campaign coffers?  Not individual donors but the "big daddy" pro-business PACs and pro-union PACs in the state and well beyond Oregon.  Thanks to Citizens United the money game is the elephant in the room.  With soft money that is undisclosed and unlimited interest group PACs not the candidates dominate the messaging. 

New report tracks big money coming into northwest for midterm
OPB News

     "The Center for Public Integrity is out with a report that shows Oregon’s (and to a lesser degree Washington’s) ballot initiatives are attracting big outside money. Ballot measures in only two states – California and Colorado – are attracting more money, according to the report. The report looks at TV ad spending through Oct. 20 and found that nationwide about $119 million has been spent so far on state ballot initiates.

     In Oregon, $7.6 million has so far been spent, which according to the report breaks down to $2.68 per eligible voter. Oregon’s Measure 92 has received the most ad spending. CPI reporter Liz Essley Whyte writes:"

     RAD:  Measure 92, the GMO measure is a major turf battle being waged by agri-business and their retail grocery allies against an equally well moneyed organic food industry located in California.  This will probably break previous records.  But ironically one side will win and the other will lose - so does "big money" speak?  It may be a necessary but it's not a sufficient condition in ballot measure mania.  The key will be which side can get out the vote!  

Midterm registration sets record in Oregon

Bend Bulletin

     "The final numbers are in: More voters are registered for the Nov. 4 general election than in any other nonpresidential election in Oregon history. Now it’s a question of who will turn out. In the two weeks leading to the Oct. 14 voter registration deadline, Democrats added more voters than Republicans. There are 832,814 Democrats eligible to vote this year versus 658,107 Republicans. The state also has more voters registered to neither major party than it has in its history."

     RAD:  This has to be good news for the Democrats who want to keep control of the legislature.  Kitz has a lock on the governor's race despite "Kitz's follies."  If up registration means bigger turnout for the D's, this should give the Ds wind at their backs.  But in the May primary in Washington County over 6,000 Ds did not show.  And with the top of the ticket having "image" issues - will this turn off likely D voters?  Off year elections usually favor the party out of power, in this case the GOP.  

Thursday
Oct232014

CANADA'S GOVERNMENT ON LOCKDOWN

Armed RCMP officers head towards the Langevin Block on Parliament Hilll following a shooting incident in Ottawa October 22, 2014. A Canadian soldier was shot at the Canadian War Memorial and a shooter was seen running towards the nearby parliament buildings, where more shots were fired, according to media and eyewitness reports. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

     The shootings in Ottawa Canada this week illustrate that nobody is immune from the reach of global terrorism especially as jihadism is “outsourced” via internet and social media chat rooms.  Like it not we live in a global village.

     My "CC" sent me an article which details even more horrific "gun violence" incidents in a nation like the US where guns are part of the culture and ironically where the current government has relaxed gun laws!  

     But the attacks in front of Canada’s War Memorial and within the chambers of her Parliament when Prime Minister Harper and MPs were meeting in their party caucuses suggests the “targets” were chosen to make an ideological point.  

     On 9/11 the World Trade Center was a symbol of US economic hegemony, the Pentagon military hegemony and Capital Hill the power center saved by heroic passengers. Never mind those killed were innocent victims of Islam turned into ideology.    

     Events like this in Canada, as in the US, will spur debate about guns and  how we balance freedom vs. security in the age of terrorism.

     Such events may even rachet up the debate over the national security state on both sides of the US/Canadian border even more?  Given the ubiquitous reality of data mining by government and business will this increase Big Brother's role in our lives?  

     In this latter case my "CC" forwarded me a missive which raises the paranoia level in an oddly ahistorical context.  Critics on the Left often don't distinguish between Bush I and Obama - they in fact conflate them (see more in "Comments" section). 

     Some will assert that if we quit “meddling” in other people’s countries – the terrorists wouldn’t bother us.  Sounds reasonable enough at first but if that’s true why does ISIS target the innocent in its emerging Caliphate? 

     The historic origins of modern terrorism go back to the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution. The point of terrorism is to strike fear into the hearts of the average citizen to bring down the power structure of the “evil empire.” 

     The terrorist’s goal is to tear down the nation-state by re-creating a Hobbes-like state of nature while substituting the state with their dystopian vision of paradise by subjecting humanity to a “war of all against all.” 

     The terrorist is not a rational actor as game theorists assume – quite the contrary.  Like the plotters of the Oklahoma bombing of the federal building they are so alienated that they prey upon the innocent.

     The terrorist’s furtive imagination conjures up an “enemy” then strikes out.  In the USA the KKK terrorists hated Blacks, Jews, Catholics and Commies.  So they targeted such people. Jihadists are caught between the old order and modernity. 

     Todays terrorists strike out against symbols of modernity – and Western society’s have given them many targets from the days of European colonialism to Pax Americana – US economic and military hegemony in the post Cold War era.  

     But the events in Canada illustrate the trip wire of the terrorist mind is not deep but reactive.  A war memorial or parliament building become targets.  It makes me pause about the risk factors of driving to the Puzzle Palace in Salem…   

     Life must go on.  But we can’t afford to put our heads in the sand and assume if we’d just leave ‘em alone, they’d leave us alone.  Despite Eric Snowden’s conjuring the demons of the NSA while he sits in Putin’s safe haven – we live in a global village. 

     There is no safe haven largely because “the other” be it people like you or me living abroad or “the other” immigrants living in the USA, Europe or Canada occupy the same spaces. 

     Fortunately for most of us the risk of being a victim of terrorism is the same as getting Ebola – it’s much riskier just walking across the street to get a latte at one’s favorite java joint here in the Grove or in Portlandia.  

     As they say in golf – stay in the moment and hope for the best!  I don’t want to live in a gated nation or play golf anywhere where I have to go through a security check.  But alas one never knows, does one as Ottawa found out on Wednesday. 

    As I told Pacific students on 9/11 “your days of innocence are forever lost.”  It’s time we understood our impact on other people but the same holds true for the “other” as well – we all inhabit the same small thing called spaceship earth…   

     Things wouldn’t be so messy had four things happened in the USA in 2000 – had Al Gore been a better debater, had Nader not taken 90,000 votes in Florida, had the Supremes not stolen Gore’s victory and had Dubya not been POTUS. 

     When I come home from playing golf my wife asks “how I did” – my response is the classic “if only….”  On a larger scale I take consolation from the words of a young girl at the beginning of a life cut short by the “terrorists” of her day.  

     “In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.” 

Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

 

 

Tuesday
Oct212014

IN THE KITZ HOUSE - IS THERE NO SHAME?  

"Kitzgate" goes on and on and on...

   

State announced $150,000 contract to wife of key Kitzhaber advisor before competitive bidding
Oregonian

    

     "Oregon Health Authority officials announced the selection of the wife of a former top aide to Gov. John Kitzhaber for a $150,000 contract before any formal bidding took place."

     The Oregonian has learned. A state manager internally announced the hiring of Kate Raphael to produce videos about the governor's health reforms on July 31, documents show. That was eight days before a formal competitive-bidding solicitation was issued, and nearly a month before a contract was signed.  Two other firms bid on the contract, including one with a $100,000 lower price tag.

     Raphael got the job. The contract illustrates the cozy relations in political circles and how they contribute to the public's skepticism of government. Raphael's husband, Tim, served as Kitzhaber's communications director until December 2013. Now advising the Democratic governor's re-election campaign, he also works with First Lady Cylvia Hayes, coordinating her Oct. 9 public apology for an illegal green card marriage in 1997."

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     RAD:  Given what in the Nixon era was termed "the horrors" now Kitzhaber's horrors - the Nike and Intel "deals", the CRC failure, the CoverOregon debacle, the walkout of Rudy Crew, Cylviagate and now cronyism in the governor's office, if Kitz is re-elected he will have lost the "moral authority to govern." 

     His trust with the voters of Oregon will have been broken. His reputation will be in tatters inside the Puzzle Palace.  He should simply leave office before January and turn the keys to Mahonia Hall over to Kate Brown, the Secretary of State who is next in line to succeed the governor. 

     A victory over a flawed opponent will be a pyrhic victory.  The Kitzhaber era is over!  If he truly cares about Oregon Kitz should have the deceny to leave office and allow his successor to take the gavel and begin the process of repairing the breach Kitz has created by his arrogance, incompetence and hubris.  

 

Tuesday
Oct212014

WASHINGTON COUNTY BOARD - "SMOKE & MIRRORS"  

Tax Fairness Oregon' width=

    

     Voters beware: the Voter’s Guide doesn’t give the full picture on Measure 34-221.

We urge a NO vote on the Washington County’s $30 per year increase in the vehicle registration fee, Measure 34-221.    

     Road maintenance is a problem.  We support solving the problem, but not with this Measure.

     Why do we think Washington County voters should vote NO?

Reason #1. Voters should vote “no” because this isn’t the only way the problem might be solved, and we don’t need two solutions to one problem.

     Road maintenance needs are under discussion at every level of government: not just locally, but also at the federal and state levels.

     Obviously we can’t wait for Congress to act.

     But state legislators have solutions on the burner for the coming session. And the Washington County Commission knows it…but conveniently ignores it in the Voter’s Pamphlet.

     Legislators will very likely increase both the vehicle registration fee and the gas tax during the 2015 session. It’s the probably source of another $36 million per year for the streets, roads and highways of Washington County.

     Washington County, the Association of Oregon Counties, the League of Oregon Cities, and several of our county’s cities are members of The Oregon Transportation Forum, a huge coalition asking the 2015 legislature to not only increase the vehicle registration fee, but to also increase the gas tax by 5 cents per gallon–for maintenance only, and possibly by another 5 cents a gallon for road enhancements. Additionally, they want to index the gas tax and all auto licensing and registration fees for inflation.

     Given the strong 40-member coalition and the road problems across the state, the Oregon Transportation Forum’s idea to increase state-wide funding for road maintenance will likely succeed, and Washington County and her cities will get $36 million a year, most of it dedicated to road maintenance. We don’t need the $12.8 million in the County’s measure on top of the additional money that will come from the state to maintain our streets and roads. It’s overkill.

Reason #2. Further, voters should vote “no” because this fall ODOT will report the results of study on the costs of damage to roads due to the use of studded tires. The legislature may establish a fee for studded tire use to recover road repair costs. If that were to happen, then the county would receive even more funds to maintain roads.

     The legislature’s action will solve the problems of road maintenance for the whole state, not just Washington County.

     The County Commissioners fail to mention these likely new sources of funding. We support the statewide solution, but not this double hitting.

     On three separate occasions County Commissioners have told us they don’t think the state legislature will act. In fact, it is the state that has acted in recent years, while the County Commissioners did not.

     The legislature raised gas taxes by 6c a gallon on January 1st, 2011, in addition to raising three other vehicle-related fees a year earlier. Washington County and her cities have been receiving an extra $15 million a year and have seen the state pay for major projects like the $43 million Brookwood Parkway/Helvetia Interchange on Highway 26 because of legislative action.

     Meanwhile the Commissioners have avoided solving the road maintenance problem by ignoring funds that were available.

     In 2008 Washington County residents voted to implement a Transportation Development Tax that would collect money for roads from new development–homes, hotels, schools, manufacturing plants, etc. However, the County Commission didn’t fully implement this tax–until 21 days ago, just in time for this election. On October 1st the Transportation Development Tax on a new home, for example went up $1371 dollars. With these taxes not being fully collected for six years, it is no wonder there’s a problem with our roads.

     The County received, this year, $38 million in Gain Share money from the state and $20 million in fees from Intel and Genentech–they can use this money as they wish. They haven’t shared much of this $58 million with schools, so why hasn’t the money been used to maintain roads? If they were truly worried about the state of our roads, why have the County Commissioners not used these funds to solve the $10.5 m road maintenance backlog?

     This is a statewide problem that will get a statewide solution.

Tax Fairness Oregon urges your “no" vote.

     The voter’s pamphlet doesn’t give the full picture. If voters affirm Washington County’s new road fees, and legislators vote for and a gas tax and vehicle license increase, Washington County and her cities will have way more than needed for road maintenance.

And drivers–especially low income drivers–will be paying through the nose. Vote “NO” on Measure 34-221.

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For more reasons to Vote NO:  

ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL...  

Sunday
Oct192014

THE PATH OF "MARTYRDOM" OR "YES WE CAN"?  

Would be terrorists? From ON BEING, PBS, KRISTA TIPPETT

Hopes and Dreams in a World of Fear

     For over a decade, the French-American anthropologist Scott Atran has been listening to the hopes and dreams of young people from Indonesia to Egypt. He explores the human dynamics of what we analyze as “breeding grounds for terrorism” — why some young people become susceptible to them and others, in the same circumstances, do not. His work sheds helpful light on the question on so many of our minds as we watch horrific news of the day: How could this happen — and how could we possibly help transform it?

http://www.onbeing.org/program/scott-atran-hopes-and-dreams-in-a-world-of-fear/84

      Scott Atran is director of research at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris, visiting professor at the University of Michigan, senior fellow at Harris Manchester College of Oxford University and research professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York. He’s the author of Talking to the Enemy: Faith, Brotherhood and the (Un)Making of Terrorists.

     RAD:  As I was listening to this interview my mind went back to the '60s - why did some of us go down the path Martin Luther King charted of non-violent resistance to confront injustice while others like the Black Panthers and the SDS Weatherman opted for violence?  We were of the same generation but we made very different choices which changed our lives.  So the questions Scott Atran applies to members of my generation too.  

     If one goes back to the days of the American Revolution or Civil War - the same questions can be asked.  For Americans over the long haul the arc of justice was advanced more by institutions of a civil society not unending violence.  But we can't deny the role violence on behalf of freedom played a role as well as in behalf of oppression especially of Native Americans and African-Americans.  Each generation has to face these same questions - whether here or abroad.  

     What does "the other" want?  They want to be "significant."  What options do "they" have?  When we invade their country what do you think?  Hannah Arendt talks of the "banality of evil" Scott Atran describes what one might term the "banality of terrorism."  To reverse the cycle of violence can we have conflict without enemies?  As Lincoln said - "do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?"  Are we winning friends - their hearts or minds or the opposite?  

     This interview in 2011 was before ISIS when the Arab Spring brought hope.  Scott Atran's comment "sometimes you have to fight things, when people want to kill you or blow you up, then you have to fight them." adds a tragic note.  Timing is everything.  Thanks to the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq after 9/11 we are left with the collateral damage of a failed US foreign policy.  And now we're knee deep in a "surrogate's" war against ISIS, the new face of terrorism.   

     The problem with the 7 scenarios is the author never discusses option 8 - what happens "if" ISIS is successful in establishing its Caliphate?  As Scott Atran points out in the interview foreign policy wonks can come up all kinds of data driven scenarios but they don't really understand the psychology driving each of these groups.  If ISIS is the "successful" face of terrorism - what becomes of the Middle East then?   Is this the "final solution?" 

     The "war" on drugs:  Back in the '60s we had a "war on poverty" and then the "war on drugs" - the former was succeeding until the Vietnam quagmire took us down a bad path which Iraq replicated.  Beware of POTUS's from Texas!  The latter has failed because we've never dealt with the demand side by providing what was promised in the '60's  a "community mental health" system.  Ironically vets are the most impacted by this gap in our health care system.  

     - Thanks Dubya!  

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Update on Ebola post below -