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On the lighter side of life... 

#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace


Trump & The Mob



"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


A Just Peace


SIP contract online


Middle East friendship chart


Corporations enriching shareholders


- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry


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%.  





  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • 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...   

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

See my FACEBOOK @ Russ



SB 1533 passes!


Housing Needs in Oregon 




#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace


"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


Obamacare is working in Oregon!

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


Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel


Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 


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   

     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?  We couldn't trust banks "too big to fail," so why should we trust Intel?

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... 


    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   



     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 



















































     Tom Hayden's passing at age 76 is a personal landmark for me. He was an intellectual and political mentor to me though we never met.

     I first encountered his analysis of US politics in reading essays by him in Studies on the Left - my first copy borrowed from my political science professor Robert Fluno at Whitman in his senior seminar. I think Bob was bemused by my left wing politics. As the "campus Marxist" among frat dominated Whitman peers whose politics veered to the Right it was an eye opening journal that made me realize I wasn't alone. "This land was my land" too as Woody and later Dylan would celebrate in their lyrics.

     I then migrated to grad school at the U of Minnesota to study with Mulford Q. Sibley, an iconic socialist/pacifist professor and renowned scholar of political philosophy. At the U of M my "academic" flirtation in ultra conservative Walla Walla with radical social thought became "actionable" with my involvement in the anti-war movement as it morphed into the Clean for Gene (McCarthy movement) and upon MLK's assassination with the civil rights movement in the Twin Cities.

     But the intellectual foundation was the Port Huron Statement written largely by Hayden which called for "participatory democracy" - something that sounded very radical at the time but has become a centerpiece of progressive politics since that time be the issue urban renewal now morphed into gentrification, Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter. Hayden's ideas along with Saul Alinsky inspired a president and would be president to be a "community organizers."

     Hayden along with elder statesmen on the Left who I met over the years - AJ Muste, Eugene Genovese, Staughten Lynd, Michael Harrington, Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, Charles Hamilton, Sam Brown, William Sloan Coffin and William Appleman Williams (the editor of Studies on the Left) - gave this Democratic Socialist aid and comfort well before The Bern came onto the public stage in 2016.

     But Hayden unlike many of his then youthful "radical" brethren plowed a pathway from protest politics to elective politics - while continuing "the struggle" to a more perfect union. I've followed a similar trajectory from "academic" radical to "community activist." It was a personal disappointment that despite trying I was never able to get Hayden to the stage of the McCall Forum he was simply too busy changing the world...

Rest in peace Tom - ya done good!



Trumpism – the Poison of Political Polarization

     "I think the only means of true political change will come from people working outside of that [two-party electoral] system to undermine it, and subvert it, and weaken it, and destroy it; not try to work within it to change it." - Glenn Greenwald 

     "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." - Grover Norquist

     Such Apostates from democratic politics are intent on subverting the keystone of democracy - the peaceful transition of power via the election process.

     Seen in this light it explains the strange and serendipitous alliance Trump and Putin. The politics of anti-politics makes for strange bed-fellows...


     Only by connecting these dots can one deconstruct the bizarre twists and turns of the 2016 presidential campaign as it devolves into a PT Barnum-like circus show beyond any Reality TV writer’s capacity to envision. 

     It began with 17 GOP candidates who Donald Trump ran over like a MAC truck using invective and vulgarity to defeat in a political demolition derby. 

     The mass media’s complicity in enabling Trumpism is also notable.  They gave the circus its oxygen by covering Trump’s every word no matter how surreal it was.  In the new social media age the "salacious is in" and the "news fit to print" is out. 

     The media provided no filter to distinguish the sensational from the real. There was no substantive discussion about issues like climate change, foreign policy or income inequality.   

     The contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders was sedate almost sanitized compared to overblown rhetoric in the GOP.  Both kept to their talking points.  

     But Sanders became a one trick pony harping at Wall Street and pandering to college students by calling for free tuition. Sanders was Trumpized.     

     When the race became a two-person contest between The Donald and Hillary – the poison and polarization of our politics got worse moving into the salacious.

     At the GOP convention and now the latter days of the campaign Trump has rallied his troops by the call to “jail her” playing out his version of the Spanish Inquisition. 

     Any hope for civility in this campaign has been stillborn by Trumpism – the appeal to racism, xenophobia and sexism – the hallmark of Right Wing authoritarianism.  

     But it would be a mistake to put the entire blame for the devolution of American politics in Trump’s “smallish” but groping hands.  The origins of Trumpism go back to McCarthyism. 

    Right wing authoritarianism has echoes in the ghosts of the KKK, the No Nothings, the Palmer Raids of early 20th century American politics.  But Trumpism takes it up a notch.

     Anyone who has read Robert Penn Warren’s All the King's Men - Wikipedia, the free... can understand the neo-fascist dynamic in play this election season.

     Each of Trumpism’s predecessors had significant grass roots support from the lumpen proletariat but never close 40% plus of the American voting public…  

     This suggests we are in a “critical” election cycle where our politics are being realigned as we watch and/or participate in the sideshow.  Assuming Trump loses will this venom last? 

     It will continue into a new Clinton administration. Just as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the GOP will wage a “holy war” against another new Democratic president. 

     Why is this poison so viral?  It stems from the legacy of Barry Goldwater’s campaign in 1964 where he said in his acceptance speech as the GOP nominee –

     “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!

     Ronald Reagan upped the anti-government animus in his 1980 inaugural address by saying that government is not the solution – “government is the problem.” 

     This set the stage for the party of Lincoln to retreat from Lincoln’s and Teddy Roosevelt’s conception of government framed by Lincoln to whit that - 

     “…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…”

     This retreat from GOP tradition of the Eisenhower and even Nixon eras has been accelerated by the Tea Party and the Radical Evangelical Right. 

     The arrogant neo-con establishment GOP has been marginalized by a more radicalized GOP animated by its pro-life and fundamentalist Christian beliefs now co-opted by Trumpism. 

     The authoritarian Right genie is out of the bottle created by neo-cons of the Bush II era and their super PAÇ allies.  It’s been replaced by a Trump-Putin-Assange axis. 

     Assange an anarchist wants to destroy American government, Trump wants to play Il Duche in his reality TV version of the USA and Putin wants to make Russia “great again.”  

     Each of these actors with their rabble of deplorables if successful would transform our Republic into a tyranny.  Their marriage of convenience is frightening.  

     Their actions pose a threat to realign our politics from a system of checks and balances to one of permanent polarization and gridlock.  Our best hope is to defeat Trumpism soundly. 

     As Trump continues to unravel before our eyes – the chances of an historic defeat of the politics of fear and paranoia seem more likely.  But the genie is out of the bottle.  

     Facing a resounding electoral defeat will the Republican Party return to its Eisenhower roots or will Grand Old Party emerge as a permanent minority party captured by the radical Right? 

     My fear is the latter scenario.  I don’t think the authoritarians can be put back in the bottle because they have become the grassroots shock troops of the GOP. 

     As Lenin said in 1917 constructing his own revolution – “all power to the Soviets.”  But this led to a civil war then to Stalinism.  So much for the great revolution!  

     The break between the “corporatist” and country club bourbon GOP and the I’m pissed off as hell lumpen proletariat Tea Party elements of the GOP are irreconcilable. 

     The 2016 election could bring about a major realignment within the GOP split by two factions which no longer share a common vision.  This may be the enduring legacy of Donald Trump. 

     Like his Atlantic City casinos Trump can build them but eventually everything he puts his smallish hands on goes into bankruptcy.  But like the Pied Piper Trump constantly reinvents himself…   

      The Democrats face a similar challenge reconciling the remnant of the old guard bread and butter labor wing of the party with it’s litmus test progressive wing composed of racial minorities, pro-choice women, LGTB and others on the Left.  

     The Left has divisions too - notable in the frenzied '60s - the Weathermen, the Black Panthers and more recently Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter.  As Will Rogers said - "I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat."

     But winning the presidency to continue the Obama legacy and getting back at least the Senate will float all boats in the party for now until 2020 comes along and the party faces an insurgency on the Left in a post-Bern era.  

     My Canadian Connection has sent me two articles from our neighbor to the north which echo this analysis.  For the record, I've had these missives for weeks and did not read them fully until after I penned this post...  Great minds thinking alike?  LOL...   

     Stay tuned…  Keep a light on for us, just in case "s..." happens!  'It's not over 'til it's over....'  Yogi Berra



     Arizona's major newspaper, The Arizona Republic, dared to endorse Hillary Clinton for president.  It's a first time endorsement of a Democratic candidate for POTUS. 

     Read the story below to see the vile and threatening reaction from some of its readers, it illustrates the poisonous atmosphere of hate that Donald Trump has created this year.

     Donald Trump stealing a line from Bernie Sanders claims that the election is 'rigged' - a claim that was bogus when Bernie uttered it and even more ludicrous now.  In many of the open primaries and caucuses independents were able to vote.  Such open primaries helped fuel The Bern and The Donald campaigns by appealing to independents and cross-over voters registered as Ds or Rs.  

     Trump latest rigged claim is to attack the media for focusing attention on his own words sexist words and actions.  For Trump there is no such thing as bad news.  He's mastered the game of the "big lies" knowing that the more he says things no matter how outrageous the media will cover him.  As they say in headline news land "if it bleeds it leads."  The reality TV star has turned free media into a cottage industry by "feeding the beast" - mass media.    

     "The medium is the message" is a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan meaning that the form is more important than the content.  McLuhan proposes that a medium itself, not the content it carries, should be the focus of study. McLuhan states that "a light bulb creates an environment by its mere presence."  Social media is now that light bulb.   

     The editorial cartoon below gives one a clear view of how The Donald sees the Constitution and the peaceful transition to power...    I illustrates TD is a "clear and present danger" to America.  




By Marc Volavka – guest editorial post

     I’ve been doing my own self-evaluation, and pondering, of the upcoming election.  Belonging to several “social media” outlets, including Facebook, I have become more and more astounded at how truly polarized we are. 

     My “Never Hillary” friends have surprised me at how willing they are to accept, and re-tweet/re-post absolute garbage.  But my “Never Trump” friends have become more and more strident, and vulgar, in their position. 

     This is the sign that we are not getting out of the political “deadlock” we are in any time soon.


     The Trump strategy is now abundantly clear—fire up his base; and depress Democratic and Independent turnout. After the latest tape release regarding his sexual assaults; and his Sunday night performance; it’s the only political strategy he has left. Will it work?  I hope not.

     None-the-less, as more and more of the Clinton/Podesta emails are leaked; those of us who have been trying to ignore the Clinton’s mantra of “triangulate”; are getting more and more concerned.

     I will fully admit that, after the almost perfect convention that Hill and the Dem’s could have run; this Bernie supporter/voter/contributor let his guard down---let his “heart” over-rule his political instincts. The polls immediately after the D convention clearly demonstrated I wasn’t the only one. I fully embraced the “I’m with her.” mantra...

     My political instincts and my own “sniff test” are now back in balance. Am I shocked by any of the issues that are raised by the leaked emails?? No, not at all. Just back into the honest reality that what we have here are two, deeply flawed, candidates; neither of which should be the Presidential candidate of our two major parties.

     Am I changing my position on whom I support, or who I will vote for? No. Period.

     To me, the choice is still clear. Trump is a racist. He is a misogynist. He is an Islamophobe. And he has certainly sexually assaulted women. He is the best example of “a rich kid who thinks he’s ‘entitled’ to anything he wants”.

     But, sadly, my vote is now back into the “lesser of two evils” category. If Gary Johnson hadn’t shown himself to be “legalize pot’s” worst advocate/example...I might have been willing to consider voting 3rd party. Wouldn’t be the first time for me! (lol)  But, he’s amply demonstrated that, next to Donald Trump himself; he’s the 2nd most uniquely UN-qualified candidate running for President...

     If “the Donald” would be willing to actually accept and follow his truly “expert” political advisors—and focus exclusively on Hill’s emails; her destruction of them; her clear avoidance of Congressional subpoenas; her two-faced messages to Wall Street; her actions related to contributions given to the Clinton Foundation while Secretary of state---he’d be far more likely to be in a dead heat.

     The best thing those of us who think of ourselves as “progressive”; and aren’t afraid to be labeled as “liberals”, have going for us is that “the Donald” is, now, more about getting revenge within the Republican world, than actually winning an election. In his own words; he’s been “un-shackled”.

     We now have a realistic chance to take back the Senate. And if he persists in this strategy, we have a real chance of taking back the House as well.  That alone convinces me that a Hillary vote is still the right vote.

     For those of my friends who don’t understand how I could even write these words; given who Donald Trump is, in his heart and soul; I say this: Bill Clinton’s actions (not just words) equal Donald Trump’s. I had 4 opportunities to vote for Bill Clinton as President—two primaries and two general elections. He got my vote 1 time.  And Hillary's actions in defending him back then can now be seen (if you are a cynic) as her own political calculation of “triangulation”—how do I move forward?

     I say this, not trying to denigrate the honest, personal pain; humiliation; betrayal; Hillary felt at the time. I say this NOT as a judgment about her personal decision to stay with, and fight for, her marriage. She was trying to make the best decision she could; not solely about HER, but considering having a 13-year-old daughter, and a marriage--and certainly mixed feelings--about truly “loving” the man she married. (I know this pain personally).

     But, of all the ‘crap’ that the release of Podesta’s emails raise—the one that I can not ignore is the relationship between the Clinton Foundation and her actions when Secretary of State vis-à-vis Haiti and awarding contracts.

     Notwithstanding...Donald Trump scares me. Period.

     He is unfit to be President. Period!

     He fails the most basic tests of morality or character. He is a racist. He is a misogynist. He is an Islamophobe. And I believe there is ample evidence that he and Putin (Wiki leaks) are in ‘co-hoots’.

     (Not to mention the **SNIFF** **SNIFF** **SNIF**--Coke user??)

     That should give any American patriot, pause...

     I will vote for Hillary on Nov. 8th. I will do so, without hesitation, despite my own belief that she has flaws that would, in almost any “intellectual” debate; disqualify her for my vote.

     I will, however, not do so with any joy...but with an honest conviction that I want to leave humanity (read that: my niece; my nephew; his wife; and my ‘adopted’ daughter of 13) a world they can still impact positively. A President Clinton can be held accountable. 

     I don’t want Trump’s fingers on the nuclear trigger, or, for that matter, anywhere else!



EDITOR’S NOTE:  Marc is a dear and close friend.  I think his analysis and his conclusions are persuasive.  But I’d add that the danger Trump’s candidacy poses is to risk putting power in the hands of a demagogue – a would be dictator who shows signs of being mentally unhinged. Trump poses a “clear and present danger to our democracy we’ve never experienced.  Sadly we will be dealing with the after shocks of his candidacy for decades.  

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