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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


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Tuesday
Oct142014

DREAMGIRLS...  

    

     We saw the Portland Center Stage production of the musical "Dreamgirls" last Sunday at the Gerding.  It was a spectacular performance in every way. 

     "Dreamgirls is famous as both a Tony-winning Broadway musical and a star-studded film that won Jennifer Hudson an Academy Award, Dreamgirls is a soulful sensation and a chart-topping favorite for millions worldwide. Featuring '60s Motown hits and inspired by true stories of R&B stars like the Supremes, the Shirelles, James Brown and Jackie Wilson, Dreamgirls follows the tumultuous rise to fame of a female trio from Chicago whose joy and celebration come hand-in-hand with deceit and betrayal. The sparkle, sass and sorrow of the girls' journey is captured in unforgettable songs like "One Night Only," "Cadillac Car," "Steppin' to the Bad Side," "I Am Changing" and the gorgeous torch song "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going."

     RAD:  What I found especially compelling is how honest the musical is to the nuanced way it treats the "color" line within the Black community in the entertainment world, how it displayed the tensions among the Dreamgirls and their "handlers" in moving an R&B ensemble into being a "cross over" trio and the role "payola" money to DJ's greased the skids - as they say in politics - "walking around" money!  Anyone who has seen the production will doubtlessly wonder if "Diana Ross" aka Deena Jones in the play ever wonders did her "look" or talent take her to star dome?  One is inclined to say both but the price was high with collateral damage done to friends.  Such is the price of fame!  

OregonLive - Highly Recommended

     "...The play is not just a celebration of African-American rhythm-and-blues artists such as The Supremes, it is about the pursuit of dreams and about ambition and betrayal. Even more, it explores the sacrifices made by Motown artists who sought to cross over and succeed with the majority culture. The heart and soul of their music had to be muted; deep emotions and funkiness had to be smoothed out and sanitized in order for R&B artists to be embraced by the pop singer scene."
Read Full Review

Richard Wattenberg

     RAD:  For me the power of "The Dream" evokes the American Dream or MLK's "I have a Dream."  After all the sacrifices to get there - to the musical or political promised land - we are all driven by "the dream" Jefferson's ironic and tragic legacy of the "pursuit of happiness" no matter the cost...   

Ev'ry man has his own special dream
And your dream's just about to come true.
Life's not as bad as it may seem
If you open your eyes to what's in front of you!

We're your Dreamgirls, boys!
We'll make you happy.
Yeah...
We're your Dreamgirls, boys!
We'll always care.
We're your Dreamgirls...
Dreamgirls will never leave you!
No, no...
And all you have to do is dream, baby,
We'll be there!
 

Read more: Dreamgirls - Dreamgirls Lyrics | MetroLyrics    

Saturday
Oct112014

WHO IS CYLVIA HAYES, REALLY?  

Gov. Kitzhaber's fiancee Cylvia Hayes confirms third marriage to Ethiopian immigrant, WW reports

Fear and loathing on the campaign trail...   

     In Friday's City Club debate moderated by OPB's David Miller the more the debate turned on Oregon's "First Lady" - the more embarrassing it became for Governor Kitzhaber but also for Oregonians.

     Clearly Ms. Hayes is a woman with several pasts which few knew about and a present which involves using her connections to Kitz to advance herself as a policy wonk in Oregon and beyond. 

     The governor became very defensive suggesting that the attacks on Hayes was an attack on a strong woman, implying the media scrutiny and criticism is "sexist" - suggesting it was an attack on all women who have a career. 

     This is a ludicrous argument since Hayes in no way is your average career partner but a woman who has advanced herself through her relationship with John Kitzhaber.  Minus the "Kitz connection" Hayes would not stand out in the crowd.   

    Kitz is employing a "reverse sexism" standard which makes Hayes the victim rather than what she appears to be - a very calculating woman looking to advance her career by trading on her "partner's" fame.  She's not the first and won't be the last but let's admit what it is... 

     Cylvia Hayes is no Eleanor Roosevelt or Hillary Clinton...  

     When the moderator turned from "Cylviagate" to an important policy question about "inclusionary zoning" neither candidate answered the question but Kitzhaber's opponent kept harping on the same question - despite Kitz being governor for 3 terms why is Oregon doing so poorly in addressing poverty?  

     It's a fair question and the answer is that Kitzhaber has done little to end the income gap in Oregon while giving Intel and Nike 30 year tax breaks.  I've followed his career since '91 and issues of poverty or housing have never been on his agenda - not as a powerful legislator nor as a 3 term governor. 

     But Richardson has no record either and his feeble attempts to dodge and weave around the question just made him look foolish and petty.  It's sad that in 2014 neither major candidate offers us much except the same old political bromides of getting the economy moving.  My question is "moving for whom - the 1% or the 99%?" 

     Neither deserves our vote. 

     With implosion of the CRC, the Rudy Crew debacle, the CoverOregon mess, the failure of the governor in 12 years to come up with a tax reform plan, not closing the achievement gap and now Cylviagate, Oregonians have good reason to wonder if John Kitzhaber is as they say in Texas a dude who is "all hat but no cattle." 

     The governor's dalliance with a woman 20 years his younger (he's 67, she's 47) suggests a gubernatorial mid-life crisis now made worse by her "memory lapse" - why subject Oregon to it...?   Check out the picture of Ms. Hayes aka "Pretty Woman" (not my words, hers!) from a recent Steve Duin column.  A picture is worth a thousand words!  

     Kitz has consistently displayed poor judgment in his personal life which lapses into his political life and has promised a lot but delivered very little to the voters of Oregon.  Add Patricia McCaig to the list of power hungry women using the "Kitz connection."  Intel and Nike also gotta love governor "John" in his blue jeans, cowboy boots and a blue blazer!  

      He should have the decency to resign...   

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     PS:  I got a flurry of e-mail  - some supportive and some accuse me of being "sexist," naive or hint as me being a "disloyal" Democrat. 

     See the "Comments" section below for the point/counterpoint. 

     As a "family values" liberal I refuse to bend to the whims of "political correctness" on Kitz and Oregon's first lady.  As we've found in the past from Nixon to Clinton, it's not the act of making mistakes that get's pols in trouble (and make no mistake - Cylvia Hayes is a "very political persson" by her own account) - it the deception which hides the facts.  And when it becomes public - then the trouble begins. 

    The Governor not just Ms. Hayes will suffer the consequences of his choices.  Sadly so will Oregon. 

    But let me be clear - my refusal to line up for the Gov is because after 3 times voting for him - on his record, not his relationship with Ms. Hayes, he's become what I've termed recently an "Intel/Nike" liberarl...   He talks like a liberal but governs like a Republican.  Giving tax breaks to corporate Oregon are not my idea of progressive politics.  Beware of pols who talk the talk but don't walk the talk...   

     Sadly, for the Governor and Ms Hayes the nature of their relationship has now become very "political."  We are the choices we make!  

     The Cylvia Hayes soap opera keeps rolling along:  

Thursday
Oct092014

THE TROIKA IS AT IT AGAIN

    Since the end of the May primary election, rumor has it that the Andy Duyck, Bob Terry and Roy Rogers, the TROIKA, want to reconfigure commissioner districts in Washington County. 

     Terry wants to jettison Helvetia from his district.  This is understandable since that’s where his opponent Elizabeth Furse lives as well as Allan Amabisca who challenged Chair Duyck. 

     But aside from the petty behind the scenes politics of it all, the county is seriously out of alignment especially Terry’s District 4 which is geographically huge by comparison to the other four districts and the largest in population. 

     The districts currently don’t meet any reasonable standard of “one man/one vote.”  And the current rule in play of a 15% variance is way out of line with the rules that govern Multnomah County, which has a 3% variance.

     Any plan for reapportionment should also take into account designing districts according to a “community of interest” standard as well trying to preserve as much as possible the historical roots of commission districts. 

     Here’s how Multnomah County does it -

     In Multnomah County the Auditor’s Office prepares a plan to modify the district boundaries after each 10 year census if the population of any Commissioner District exceeds 103% of any other Commissioner District. The plan must be presented to the Board by August 1 of the year following the census.

     Multnomah County follows state guidelines of contiguity; equal population; existing boundaries; communities of interest; transportation links; not favoring any political party, incumbent or other person; and, not diluting the voting strength of any language or ethnic minority group. Not diluting voting strength is also required by the federal Voting Rights Act.

     The process of drawing up Measure 34-222 doesn't meet such standards and has been less than transparent largely because the timing of the county board’s vetting this issue was during the "dog days" of summer. 

Here’s the timeline of the process: 

  •   June 24 Worksession – At the Board’s request, staff presented options regarding changing the population requirements that would trigger the reapportionment process.

  •   July 1 Regular Board Meeting – Staff provided amendment language for Board consideration and the Board scheduled a public hearing for July 22.  http://208.71.205.11/cablecastapi/embed?show_id=11006

  •   July 22 Regular Board Meeting – The Board conducted a public hearing on the proposed Charter amendment language provided by staff and directed County Counsel to prepare a ballot title and explanatory statement. http://208.71.205.11/cablecastapi/embed?show_id=11070  

  •   August 5 Regular Board Meeting – The Board adopted the ballot title and explanatory statement and directed staff to file the measure for the General Election this November.  http://208.71.205.11/cablecastapi/embed?show_id=11104

    My major complaint is that at none of these sessions did the board get any public comments, none!  Now is this because people are lazy or are there other possible reasons?  Well it’s summer and families are busy.  

     Additionally other than an article in the Forest Grove News-Times there was no news coverage of the board’s review of district realignment.  It raises the old question, if a tree falls and nobody hears it, did it really happen?  

Growing population threatens fair representation

by Kendra Hogue

     The public was effectively left out of the conversation because the discussion was largely an insider’s game that this board is now infamous for given the Intel SIP decision among many other similar "non-disclosure" decisions. 

     In the July 1 hearing Commissioner Roger’s opined that reapportionment is “not a political issue.”  As the commissioner who sold the farm in the Intel SIP agreement my irony detector finds Roy’s spin not surprising!  

     The other part of the shell game being played by the board is that the ordinance being voted on in November simply establishes the goal posts of a 3-5% variance within which reapportionment is to be completed 90 days after the election. 

     Here’s how Commissioner Rogers framed it – “If the charter amendment is approved by voters, how would the lines be redrawn? “We haven’t talked about how to do it,” says Rogers.  Yeah Roy it’s “trick or treat” time isn’t it!  

     To say decisions of what neighborhoods in Washington County will be moved from District 4 to the other districts is not “political” defies belief.  Can you spell Gerrymander, Roy!  

     Imagine the “logrolling” that will go on between board members to protect their turf and do them no harm in future elections.  Commissioner Rogers and Schouten will be up in 2016.  They must be licking their chops in anticipation of drawing the lines!  

     As a an amendment to the charter this job should have not been an “insider” game but tasked to a citizen task force to look at the options with the help of staff and outside experts from PSU. But that trumps the TROIKA - a no/no hereabouts! 

     Again, the “good old boy” system rules Washington County and here is another example of how the game is played without public input, a lack of transparency and ultimately decided in an expedited process after November. 

     Yes, the commissioner districts are badly misaligned – they have been for decades.  Who came up with the old 15% rule?  But the goal of fixing this also should be done in a way that creates public trust instead of playing games. 

     As they say the “devil is in the details.”  So when you get your voters guide read about Measure 34-222 carefully.  I will be voting “NO” because the TROIKA has not earned my trust.  Has it earned yours?  

     We have until 2020 to fix this problem – what’s the big rush now?  Or yeah because Bob Terry hates the troublemakers in Helvetia.  Who is next on Bob Terry's, the bully “hit” list?  

Wednesday
Oct082014

DOES THE END JUSTIFY THE MEANS?  

    EDITOR'S NOTE:   The Revernd Chuck Currie is a former student and good friend.  He's now Pacific University's Campus Chaplain. 

     As a signer of this letter to President Obama, Chuck's action makes me take pause.  My impression was that the administration was doing everything it could to minimize "collateral" damage.  If not so, then I share the concerns of those who penned this statement. 

     But I'm not sure the air strikes against ISIS/ISL can be done under the “near certainty that civilians will not be harmed."  This wasn't allied policy in WW II when we saturated and fire bombed Germany and Japan.  I'm excluding the A bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which I regard as immoal "mission creep" in the extreme!  

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Nearly 200 Faith Leaders Condemn President’s Lifting of Civilian Protections in Syria Strikes

Nearly-200-faith-leaders-condemn-presidents-lifting-civilian-protections-syria-strikes/

     Washington, DC – Nearly 200 Protestant, Catholic and Evangelical faith leaders and professors issued a statement calling on the Obama administration to take stronger steps to protect civilians when carrying out airstrikes in Syria. Prominent signers include Dr. Susan Thistlethwaite, professor and former President of the Chicago Theological Seminary, Sr. Simone Campbell of NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, and Baptist ethicist Dr. John Shelley.

     The administration recently announced that it had scaled back criteria for ensuring that civilians are not harmed in strikes aimed at ISIL.

     “News that your administration has abandoned the stated policy of making every effort to protect civilian lives in the course of drone strikes undermines America’s moral authority,” they wrote. “As people of faith, we see this as a grave moral issue.  We urge you to put back in place your policy that no strikes will take place unless there is a ‘near certainty’ that civilians will not be harmed.”

     “When you mirror your enemy, you risk becoming your enemy,” said Dr. Susan Thistlethwaite, a United Church of Christ pastor and former President of the Chicago Theological Seminary. “The U.S. is now on that path and it is a profound moral mistake.”

     “Our faith traditions argue that civilians must be protected in war,” said Rev. Chuck Currie, a United Church of Christ pastor and Director of the Center for Peace and Spirituality and University Chaplain at Pacific University. “We are at our best as a nation when we live up to our highest ideals. It is our sacred responsibility to protect the most vulnerable. The president must order U.S. forces to resubmit to his original policy regarding the use of drones.”

     The full statement is below. The statement and full list of signers is available here. Titles are for identification purposes only.

Dear Mr. President:

     We write with growing concern over the air strikes in Syria and Iraq.  News that your administration has abandoned the stated policy of making every effort to protect civilian lives in the course of drone strikes undermines America’s moral authority.  As people of faith, we see this as a grave moral issue.  We urge you to put back in place your policy that no strikes will take place unless there is a “near certainty” that civilians will not be harmed.  

     Your stated reason for engaging in military action against ISIL was to protect innocent civilians and to bolster the security of the United States against terrorist attack.  The recent deaths of civilians, which may have been preventable under your previous stated policy, will only serve to increase the fear and distrust U.S. military action in the region has produced since 2002.  It is very likely that these deaths will further radicalize the population, which only serves to weaken the national security of the United States. 

     We join Human Rights Watch in calling for an investigation into whether the recent strikes in Idlib were unlawful and urge your administration to cooperate in any such investigation. 

     Many in the faith community have previously expressed reservations about the strikes in Syria and Iraq. Our concerns deepen each day. Under “Just War” criteria it is a moral imperative that civilian lives be protected. We remember your words when accepting the Nobel Peace Prize:

     It is undoubtedly true that development rarely takes root without security; it is also true that security does not exist where human beings do not have access to enough food, or clean water, or the medicine and shelter they need to survive. It does not exist where children can’t aspire to a decent education or a job that supports a family. The absence of hope can rot a society from within.

     Airstrikes do not offer hope, particularly when those airstrikes take the lives of civilians, including children.  We expect more of you, Mr. President.

     In the days after 9/11, our nation was led by fear.  In the process, we abandoned some of our most cherished values as civil liberties were curtailed and an unprovoked war – a war you called “dumb” – was waged.  We live with the consequences of those decisions today.

     Fear of ISIL should not drive our nation to repeat mistakes.

    At the United Nations, you told the world:

     “The ideology of ISIL or al Qaeda or Boko Haram will wilt and die if it is consistently exposed and confronted and refuted in the light of day.  Look at the new Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies — Sheikh bin Bayyah described its purpose:  “We must declare war on war, so the outcome will be peace upon peace.”  Look at the young British Muslims who responded to terrorist propaganda by starting the “NotInMyName” campaign, declaring, “ISIS is hiding behind a false Islam.”  Look at the Christian and Muslim leaders who came together in the Central African Republic to reject violence; listen to the Imam who said, ‘Politics try to divide the religious in our country, but religion shouldn’t be a cause of hate, war, or strife.’”

     You lifted up a series of non-violent but strong responses to the unjustified terror ISIL has unleashed.  What will fuel the ranks of ISIL and other extremist groups are the deaths of more innocent civilians.  Our job, as Americans, is to protect civilians.  There is a better chance of creating a lasting just peace if we increase foreign aid, take additional steps like the ones we are taking to fight Ebola, and serve as an example to the world that our most cherished principles cannot be broken even under threat. 

     In closing, we urge in the strongest possible terms that you order American forces to return to your policy that no strikes will take place in Syria and Iraq unless there is “near certainty” that civilians will not be harmed. 

Tuesday
Oct072014

KITZHABER - "LET'S MAKE A DEAL"  

 
Diesel Engines built before 2007, emit a dangerous mix of over 40 toxic substances that are known to cause cancer.  This "black carbon" is also the second largest contributor to climate change in the US.  This is a problem with a solution at hand.  New engine technology removes 99% of pollutants, including ultra fine particulates, carbon and nitrous oxides. 
Oregon is the only state on the west coast that currently does not restrict the operation of the older vehicles.  It is time for this to change!

      Since last spring, two thousand four hundred signed an online petition asking Governor Kitzhaber to address the public health and climate risk of diesel particulate emissions.

     His response? 

     The Governor removed the Diesel program proposal from the Department of Environmental Quality's 2015 legislative agenda. 

     His reason is to get a clean fuels bill passed in 2015.  The logic of this escapes me, bad diesel should be part of a "clean fuels" bill. 

     Kitz is running for a 4th term so his agenda should be proactive not one of negotiating with the enemy - the industrial polluters. 

     Another example of Kitz talking like a liberal but governing like a conservative! 

     Oregon should enact rules that phase out the use of older trucks and construction equipment that emit the most dangerous form of particulate emissions known as black carbon.  It is bad for our children, and it is bad for the climate.

     You can sign the petition here; or if you have already done that, leave Governor Kitzhaber a message: (503) 378-4582.

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