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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



















































     In an era when government is often grid locked and acrimony is intense, it is reassuring to see an example of our checks and balances system here in Oregon actually work on an issue that is highly divisive, land use planning.  

    I've watched the Oregon legislature in action since 1975 as a political scientist and pundit.  Since 1991 I've also seen it from the view of a "citizen" advocate.  Until this past week, I've never seen the evolution and resolution of a high profile issue like this.  Extraordinary! 

     Here are some examples of acrimony in the Puzzle Palace as things wind down.  Fortunately, there was a more "can do" spirit in play on HB 4078.   

     My take away is that the legacy of Tom McCall is alive and well.  McCall governed with bi-partisan support while ushering in some of the most long lasting reforms in Oregon history from the Bottle Bill to Senate Bill 100.  Despite public and media cynicism, the spirit of comity is not totally extinct in the Puzzle Palace.  

     When the Oregon Court of Appeals overturned Metro’s 50-year growth plan accusing Washington County of using "pseudo factors" in duplicitous (my word not the courts) back room dealing to determine urban/rural reserves, the stage was set for a train wreck that could have taken years to unravel.

     In the US local governments are the creatures of legislatures. The powers the legislature delegates to local government can be taken away. The Gerry rigging of urban/rural reserve boundaries in Washington County forced the hands of the Appeals Court and ultimately the legislature.

     The primary culprit was the board of commissioners in Washington County currently headed by Andy Duyck. But the pro-developer mobilization of bias began with former Chair Tom Brian who got Metro to cave in to a slice and dice land swap process circumventing citizen input.    

     In an act of unbridled hubris the Washington County Board of Commissioners included the Helvetia area within the urban reserves. This ignited a legal battle lead by Save Helvetia and 1000 Friends of Oregon who appealed to LCDC, LUBA and ultimately the courts to challenge back room deal-making.  

     What angered the opponents was not just the decision itself to include a piece of prime farm land north of the Sunset highway in the UGB but the violation of Goal I of the originating act of Oregon’s land use system, Senate Bill 100, Goal I – citizen participation.  

     Will Chair Duyck pay the price for his back room dealing in the May election against Allen Amabisca?  Stay tuned! 

     The Legislature created the urban and rural reserves designation in 2007.  The Oregon Appeals court threw out the specific designations of rural and urban reserves in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties and chastised state land use regulators for approving the plan.

    The court remanded the issue back to LCDC, Metro and the three metro area counties.  The court’s action created a potential paralysis of land use planning in the metro area years in the making. This could easily have taken 4-6 years to redraw the UGB map.    

     Housing and industrial development in the metro area would have stopped throwing people out of work and derailing a recovering economy in the metro area.    

    Into this breach stepped the Oregon legislature under the leadership of Representative Brian Clem (D, Salem) chair of the House Rural Communities committee, which was working on HB 4078 as the court case was being decided.  The initial draft, an expedited land use bill, met stiff opposition from many groups – Metro to 1000 Friends.             

    Chair Clem then stepped in working with Representative John Davis (R, Wilsonville) and Ben Unger (D, Hillsboro) vetting a modified reserve plan to avoid another messy debate in the metro area. To buy time to draft a consensus bill, they shipped HB 4078 to the House Rules Committee.  

See the map
Lawmakers released a draft map showing the changes they want to make to Metro's urban and rural reserves map. Click here to view the proposed map.

     The modified HB 4078 bill removed some prime farmland in the Helvetia area of Washington County from the urban reserves while opening up around 2,000 acres in South Cooper Mountain and South Hillsboro for future development.  These were the keys to unlocking the gridlock.     

     The timing of a new map for urban/rural reserves was the key coming days after the Appeals Court ruling.  The legislature’s intervention preempted the legal wrangling that has bogged down this process since metro area governments approved the original plan in 2010.

    In meetings in Salem and Hillsboro with key stakeholders from all sides Chair Clem got consensus on the “grand bargain.”  But would it hold firm over several days of behind the scenes negotiating and 19 drafts of the bill. 

     The process of bringing divergent groups together outside the formal hearings process to craft a bill is a classic strategy in the Puzzle Palace.  When it works it assures buy in by all involved and likely passage.  But at times it doesn’t work leaving all parties frustrated and looking for non-legislative options.  

     That consensus held firm in the House Rules committee chaired by Representative Val Hoyle (D, Eugene) who like Clem did a masterful job of moving HB 4078. 

     I can’t say enough about the skills of Chairs Clem and Hoyle.  Without their determination to get to “yes” HB 4078 would have been left on the proverbial cutting room floor.  Neither of them represents a district in the Metro area, so they had no dog in this fight.  Instead they were acting in the best tradition of the Puzzle Palace by doing the people’s business. 

     As a witness to this process it was inspiring to see the Oregon legislature work on a bi-partisan basis to bring stakeholders together, who have a history of animosity and mistrust. 

     Chairs Clem and Holvey deserve credit for sticking to their game plan but also for leading a fair and open process.  The proof of their good work was the passage of HB 4078 on a 59-0 vote in the House. 

     Update:  HB 4078 passed the Senate this morning unanimously, 30-0.    On its way to the Guv.  

     The system worked despite teetering on a legal and political precipice.

     I understand why many of my friends in Save Helvetia and WC CAN have a hard time trusting government at any level.  This past 4 years they’ve been put through the ringer by Tom Brian and Andy Duyck.  But at the end of this marathon, they won and the “Troika” lost.  Your voices were heard loud and clear in Salem.  Just check the record of who testified on HB 4078.  

     The McCall spirit and legacy is secure thanks to fearless citizens who refused to be bullied by powerful interests in Washington County, by an Appeals Court stepping up and by legislators who found a path to a "win/win" end game!


      PS:  As citizen advocate in the Puzzle Palace I watched the evolution of HB 4078 and reported my "take" to fellow WC CAN members.  I testified against the original version of HB 4078.  But as things changed, I moved from a "no" to a strong "yes" keeping in close touch with my own legislator Ben Unger. 



Reader Comments (2)

One minor correction: The Reserves package was appealed directly from the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) to the Court of Appeals, as provided in the 2007 statute that authorized the new/experimental process for designating urban and rural reserves,

Since Clackamas County now is opposing the "grand bargain" bill HB4078, and many citizen activists in Washington County remain disturbed at the lack of public access to the hurried negotiations leading to the House's adoption of the revised bill, we still may see more controversy in the Senate; who knows?.
March 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Peters

Thanks for the correction...

Clackamas County now supports the bill... Chair Val Hoyle of the House Rules committee had ALL those groups who were a part of the grand bargain officially and for the record "sign off" verbally on Thursday. I was there, it was one of the most amazing things about the process, unique. She did an excellent job as Chair, as I said.

I disagree - there was no lack of public access.... There were over 40 people who met with Clem in Hillsboro last Sunday. I've been in the Puzzle Palace all session as WC CAN's eyes and ears. I kept people informed on and off the record... But when I testified I didn't claim to represent WC CAN since I felt you and I had a different take on HB 4078.

My prediction is the Senate Rules committee will pass it to the floor of the Senate tomorrow and it will pass easily on the floor.

Oregon's legislative system is the MOST open I've experienced. Save Helvetia has won and the "Troika" has lost despite Andy putting up a brave front.

My motto - "don't let the perfect become a obstacle tor the good."
March 2, 2014 | Registered CommenterR.A.D.

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