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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



















































Editor’s NOTE:  With the daily drumbeat of the Trump administration's assault on everything I believe in - I wonder if this my native land any more?  To make matters worse here in Oregon a dysfunctional legislature led by Democrats seems hell bent on ducking all the important issues when it comes to dealing with our 1.6 billion dollar deficit.  The mood music out of the Puzzle Palace is budget cuts. And the final indignity was here in Washington County this past week when the "good guys" at Thrives decided to punt.


     Is the glass half full or half empty? 

     I've been a member of Washington County Thrives since 2009. Thrives members are committed to reverse poverty in Washington County by promoting access to affordable housing, workforce training, and early learning.

     It's a network (a "collaborative") of non-profit, business, education, health care, government, faith based and citizen activists trying to move the county, the "economic engine" of Oregon, to lend a helping hand to its most vulnerable residents.

     It's a network of organizations co-convened by Community Action and the Vision Action Network.

     For years human service advocates have been dreaming of a day when Washington County stepped up to craft a county levy similar to our public safety, road and library levies - focused on housing, workforce training and early education.

     The levy would have raised $22 million per year for 4 years, at a modest rate of 34 cents/thousand of assessed valuation. For a home valued at $350 K that would be $119/year. That would have been a game changer in Washington County.

     This was to be the year!

     After our April 26th Thrives meeting our dream of a county levy has been put on hold until at least 2020 because a Portland polling firm, CDRI, hired by the county concluded that a 53% base of support for such a levy was not sufficient!

     I was the lone voice in the room Wednesday morning who questioned the methodology used by CDRI and with the recommendation of Thrives board to not move ahead with a May 2018 or November 2018 levy campaign.

     I feel like we're engaged in a process of counting angels on pinheads.

     The argument was that we need more time to talk with our various stakeholders and to develop a message that resonates with the voters. We've been doing that since before Thrives existed. So now we are told to "wait" again.

     Not this dude! Why because the devil is in the details:

     When one includes "likely" voters who are "very confident" (22%); "somewhat confident" (29%); "leaning to yes" 6%; and "not confident but yes voters (2%) the potential support base for such a levy is 59%.

     What's interesting is that the "naysayers" remain at 37% while the polling firm's "projection" is that such a levy is not likely to pass based on the assumption that 28% of so-called "fence sitters" now in support will slide to NO.

     This is an astounding conclusion!

     A campaign that could not build on a 59% base would be considered incompetent.

     Keep in mind there is no public discussion of such a campaign unlike high profile campaigns which come with baggage aka high positive and high negatives.  

     Yes conventional wisdom is that without support in the high 60s or low 70s after a long heated campaign - support will wither and defeat may stare one in the eye. But if the levy was a candidate any campaign guru would take those odds.

     If 2016 has taught us anything beware of conventional thinking!  

     Unlike a candidate with a well-known record or a controversial issue that polarizes the citizenry, our levy doesn't have such a profile - there is plenty of evidence that citizens of Washington County are concerned about housing affordability.

     Why couldn't a properly run levy campaign build on existing "favorables" and create a winning coalition?

     To underscore this rhetorical question the CDRI poll shows that such a campaign gains support when focused on the idea that families succeed when they have a stable home, a living wage job and a stable education for children.

     This mirror the long held talking points of both Thrives and Oregon's Housing Alliance. Support increases even more when messaging focuses on affordable housing for low-income seniors, veterans and people with disabilities.

     This has been confirmed by national studies done on messaging around this issue.

     The key of course is putting together a campaign and also assessing your opposition - in this case likely to come from the housing development and realtors lobby with it's deep pockets. So this would have to be a grassroots campaign a la the Bern.

     Echoing President Obama’s phrase – I feel the “fierce urgency of now” to get on with the task of presenting a levy NOW not years from now when we think the power brokers in this county may be ready to hear the message.

     For the record we have been trying to engage the political and business community on this issue going back well before Thrives was created starting in 1993-94 when County Chair Bonnie Hays asked me to chair an Affordable Housing Study.

     So the issue of affordable housing and homelessness has been on the radar screen in Washington County for over 24 years!

     What has not been evident is the political will to take the next step! And now when the mood music from the board seemed right - Thrives is calling a time out. Why?

     We've e created a 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness and have had countless community forums to discuss this issue. We also had two national figures on this issue talk to the Westside Economic Alliance and our County Board.

• Phillip Mangano, Bush II’s ending homeless czar and
• Utah’s Lloyd Pendleton, director of Utah's work on this issue.

     The Interfaith Committee on Homeless (IFCH) sponsored many forums on this issue over the years. 

     It’s last town hall several years ago at the Cedar Hills UCC featured Providence Health Care CEO Greg Van Pelt as our keynote speaker - so how much talk do we need before we "walk our talk?"

     Consider this - Intel and Nike encourages its employees do "community service" in the county. There is a base ready to be tapped in a different kind of campaign, not one based on the assumption that only older voters will vote.

     The claim was made that the average as opposed to median age of a "likely" voter in Washington County is 57. That is a disingenuous data point implying only an older demographic will vote in such an election.

     This spurious data point doesn't reflect millennials, soccer moms nor that aging baby boomers were radicalized in the '60s and are very liberal in a county that trends Democratic not Republican and with independents the fastest growing voters.

      At one point the cliché was trotted out "after all Washington County is not Portland!"

     Oh please!

     As Washington County has become more urbanized and the home of hi-tech, such a stereotype obscures a more complex reality in our county. We are no longer a county where one size fits all - we are a very diverse county.

     But this reminded me of a comment made when we moved to Oregon by a college student attending a highly regarded liberal arts college in SW Portland to whit finding out that I taught at Pacific in Forest Grove - "how did I like living in the Bible belt."

     Some stereotypes never die. I've witnessed this Portlandia condescension toward Washington County many times coming from Portlanders who live within their own bubble. I've had enough of this nonsense.

Keeping Hope Alive:  

     I saw an interview of US soccer icon "striker" Abby Wambauh by Joe Buck on ESPN. Abby again and again said that it was not her victories but crushing losses that taught her the lessons she needed to learn to propel her to success.

     We are failing to heed this lesson – to strive for victory at the risk of failure. The Thrives poll indicates without a campaign yet begun we are at a 53-57% support position. The challenge is to protect and build on that base.

     This is boilerplate campaign 101.

     The unelected leaders of Thrives are calling for a “time out” projecting defeat if we go to a levy at this time. It’s like a team waiting for the big game and deciding because the odds makers predict failure – let’s not suit up!

     In 2006 the faith community stepped up in support our shelter system in light of the failure of the 2005 Public Safety levy and impending budget cuts that would have closed our county shelters.

     We created the Interfaith Committee on Homelessness (IFCH) in 2005.

     Defying the odds we raised $20,000 for our county shelters to sustain them until the next levy came for a vote in 2006 and passed.

     We didn’t wait for the skies to open up, we did it because it was the right thing to do.

     If a levy was put up for a vote in 2018 despite it's being an "off" year election with a gubernatorial election and a likely referendum on the Trump administration voters across all demographics would be highly energized!

     But let’s say we lose in May 2018 – as the 2005 Public Safety levy went down in 2005 – you don’t cut and run – you look at where we are strong and where we lose support and then we move ahead!

     I was a member of the County Housing Authority's Housing Advisory Committee for 9 years and a founding member our 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. We’ve been talking about such a housing levy for decades.

     There is no right time. What is required is summing up what Theologian Paul Tillich calls the “courage to be”.

     If Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver and Portland can step up then why can’t Washington County – Oregon’s economic engine?

     Justice delayed is justice denied. How many years must we wait to act on behalf of the most vulnerable of Washington County’s residents?

     I feel like we're in Samuel Beckett's existential tragic-comedy play "Waiting for Godot" or more simply a rat running in a circling cage.

     I'm not willing to wait - there are rumors of a possible metro area campaign in 2018 calling for a $500 million bond levy. If such happens I will be a strong supporter of such a measure.

     The members of Thrives, an overwhelming majority of them women, are tireless providers of services to our county's most vulnerable residents - children, the elderly, working poor and our growing Latino population.

     They have been let down NOT by the Board but by their own leaders! How tragic. 

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