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On the lighter side of life... 

#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace

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Trump & The Mob

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

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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."

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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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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Middle East friendship chart

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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- 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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"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.   

 

 

    

    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...   


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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... 


Every Fascist Needs an Enabler. Donald Trump Will Have Mike Pence.


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. 

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SB 1533 passes!  

http://oregon.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=10863

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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, 1941

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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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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   


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

    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 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

« THE CASE FOR IMPEACHING TRUMP... | Main | WHY THE RICH GET RICHER & THE REST OF US GET POORER »
Thursday
Oct052017

AMERICAN DEMOCRACY DESCENDS INTO HYSTERIA

Why American Democracy Has Descended Into Collective Hysteria

We are a great power in decline—but neither party has a clue what to do about it.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump after a campaign rally in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, February 2016. (AP Photo / Gerald Herbert)

     The pundit class loves to refight the last election and explain the why and wherefore of what should have happened in 2016 but didn’t because candidates didn’t follow the pundits’ script. The talking heads sound like sourpuss theater critics who wanted to rewrite the third act.

     Gene Robinson, the amiable Washington Post columnist, is an honorable exception. He has lost patience with the conventional wisdom that failed so miserably last election season, and his recent column spoke the plain truth about the collapsing party system.

     “I believe a political realignment is underway, and those who fail to discern its outlines could end up powerless and irrelevant,” Robinson wrote. The traditional left-right, progressive-conservative political axis has lost its validity. “I believe neither party has the foggiest idea what the new diagram looks like.” Amen to that.

     It has been my message too. During last year’s campaign, I described Bernie Sanders as the “high road” to fundamental change, while Donald Trump owned the “low road.” It may take several election cycles to determine which road the country embraces—if it doesn’t choose a path very different from either.

     Both major parties are stuck in the past and afraid of the future.

     For now, our governing system resembles a kind of collective hysteria, an emotional breakdown that reflects problems far broader than our having a crackpot president. Both major parties are stuck in the past and afraid of the future. Fear and confusion have overwhelmed the establishment. They have no plan for our future—not one that speaks candidly to the troubled conditions that have emerged over the last generation.

     There’s a familiar pattern in American history: When the two-party system was stalemated and radical reforms were needed (abolishing slavery or voting rights for women, for example), people organized powerful third-party challenges to advance their cause. The country is now ripe for another rump insurgency.

     The long-standing presumption, at least among political centrists, has been that independent activists have no choice but to align with a major party to gain a voice in government. But digital technologies, which lower the cost of communication for ordinary citizens, have disrupted the two-party monopoly. The fruitcake election of 2016 has not generated a new third party, but it’s early days yet.

     People are torn between what they have always wanted to believe about their country and the contradictions they see in real events.

     People have won the means to speak for themselves and compete directly with the official truth packaged by the two major parties. And dissenters have learned how to gain voice and power by attacking the established ranks. This is healthy for small-d democracy. Maybe party professionals will learn how to listen.

     The American dilemma is deeper than mere politics. People are torn between what they have always wanted to believe about their country and the contradictions they see in real events, often in their own lives. I believe this tension is the source of our political hysteria.

     Who are we really, as the American people? Where am I in the larger scheme of things? What happened to the country I loved? These imponderables are not confined to left or right, rich or poor, but obviously are felt most poignantly among people experiencing personal loss and disappointment.

     This sense of loss is the psychological wound that Donald Trump picks at maliciously, exploiting the pain and despair with his self-inflated vow to miraculously restore America’s “greatness.” The slogan is brilliant. It is also Trump’s most cynical lie.

     The crux of America’s conflicted feelings is this:

     We are a great power in decline, but one that pretends nothing has changed. The decline in our dominance of world affairs is not a tragedy, and may actually be liberating in many ways. But the so-called American Century is definitely over, mainly because so many other countries have caught up with us. Neither major party wants to talk about this, partly because they don’t know what to say, but also because whatever they say might sound vaguely unpatriotic.

     This global realignment of relative economic power does not mean the United States must become weak or impoverished. On the contrary, once we recognize our changed position, it should free us from certain things. The burdens of neocolonialism—fighting half a dozen wars at once to discipline “lesser” nations—are very expensive. In fact, they have weakened us.

     The popular chanting of “USA! USA! USA!” sounds like false bravado to anyone who knows what’s happening. How will Americans react when they wake up one morning to discover that China is now the largest economy in the world? I doubt they will chant “We’re Number 2! We’re Number 2!”

     The history of great nations in decline ought to be a cautionary tale for Americans. On their way down, declining powers have often squandered their assets on wasteful wars in vain attempts to deny the reality of new competition. 

     Ken Burn's PBS series on Vietnam is a classic example of a once great power gone awry. 

     One classic example is the British Empire, which sent its army to put down a colonial upstart in North America. Washington policy-makers would doubtless deny the neocolonial comparison, but we do seem to be following the same old script—using military force in an attempt to shape the economic playing field.

     What should Americans do?

     First, drop the nostalgic rhetoric of past glory and triumph. Instead, begin a serious analysis of our current situation, and future possibilities, and explore the options that are plausible and worth trying. Forget old political factions and labels. Ask the big questions and invite everyone to the table.

      We can dispel stalemate and confusion by reopening the oldest questions Americans have always asked themselves. What kind of country do we wish America could become? And how might we get there? 

     Editor's note:  One of the flaws in American society is that we've never reconciled two fundamental contradictions - possessive individualism and the social gospel.  The former values the marketplace and the autonomous individual the latter values community what  MLK, Jr. termed "the beloved community." 

     One reason the split personality exists is that the word "socialism" has always been a four letter word to many Americans. 

     Yet if we look at the high points of the American Experiment it has been during "socialist" eras - the building of the Erie Canal and the transcontinental RR, the Morrill Act of 1892 which established the land grant college system, the trust busting of Teddy R, the New Deal, the GI Bill, the building of the interstate highway system and our cultural trust - such as our national parks and the Smithsonian. 

     Contrary to Reagan "government is not the problem, the quest for a unregulated economy is...    

     JFK's inaugural address posed these two contradictions - "don't ask what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."  The problem with this formulation is that it presumes the answer is individual not collective action.  JFK had two irreconcilable policies - the Peace Corps which embraced good works and the War in Vietnam which embraced a culture of death.  That's the modern American dilemma.    



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