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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


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

There are 42 housing units for every 100 low income families in Oregon

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







































     "I remember one of the times in my life when things felt very economically insecure. I pulled up to a stop light and made eye contact with a woman holding a sign asking for money. I still remember the thought that crossed through my mind at the moment we looked into each other’s eyes: “I could be her. I am her. The only thing that separates us is one paycheck.” 

     As a housing advocate I’ve spent 25 years working with many others in the Portland metro area, in Washington County and in Oregon to solve the problem of homelessness and housing insecurity. 

     To put the problem simply we aren’t building enough affordable housing for those whose incomes are less than 50% of the medium family income (MFI).  In the metro area there is a 40 thousand housing gap. 

     As market driven gentrification moves on more and more low income Oregonians in the metro area will be pushed out of their rental units and even their homes as property values and along with it local property taxes go up. 

     The housing crisis is getting a lot of headline attention from the local media, advocates and the city council in Portland thanks to Mayor Charley Hales who has now bowed out of an upcoming race for mayor. 

     Hale’s decision which surprised everyone is eerily similar to LBJ’s decision to drop out of the presidential race in 1968 to focus on ending the War in Vietnam which sadly didn’t end until the second term of the Nixon presidency. 

     Oregon’s former state treasurer, Ted Wheeler is probably the reason why Hale’s is dropping out.  Wheeler is a formidable candidate who has put our housing crisis on his campaign front burner. 

     My question is why did it take Wheeler so long?  As Oregon’s Treasurer he could have stepped up to this issue years ago!

     Wheeler wants to use $50 million of Portland’s urban renewal money to finance the building of affordable housing in Portland.  Like Nixon in ’68 he has a “plan.”  But like Nixon's “secret” plan to end the war will it be enough?

     And what of the other two counties in the Metro area, how are they addressing this issue?  Portland does not sit in a bubble.  Without collaboration on this issue on a Metro level, Wheeler’s plan could be derailed. 

     If Washington County and Clackamas counties do little to stem the tide of homelessness and housing insecurity Portland could become magnet for the poor and working poor – making Wheeler’s idea even more daunting. 

     And about the “other Oregon?” 

     The demographics of those in or facing poverty and with it homelessness is diverse – the elderly poor, the working poor, single parents with kids, service workers and our increasing Latino population. 

     As gentrification spreads into the suburbs, finding space for the most vulnerable becomes harder.  If the market rules then the working poor will be pushed further and further into the more rural periphery of the Metro area.  

     The pockets of poverty in Beaverton, Aloha, Hillsboro, Cornelius and Forest Grove on the west side of the Metro area could duplicate what’s happened in Portland’s outer south east and in Gresham. 

     If the affluent continue to congregate in Portland’s “best” neighborhoods, gilded ghettos, those left in the shadows of poverty will increasingly be concentrated in neighborhoods of despair and disrepair. 

     One just has to look at the Bay Area of San Francisco to see what happens.  A once great city of ethnic diversity and a robust middle class has morphed into an enclave of high paid techies and well-healed tourists. 

     This growth model is not economically sustainable.  Without a middle class in place as consumers the products made by the hi-tech economy will be out of reach.  At some point there will be another hi-tech bust. 

     Every night local TV news in Portlandia reminds us of the cost of our indifference to the human toll on the most vulnerable who live in the shadows of Portlandia - victims of gang shootings, the invisible mentally ill and kids who go to school hungry. 

     Imagine 200,000 more people moving into the Metro area – where will they live, who will they displace?  What is the price to be paid?  If we continue to bury our heads in the sand, we will reap what we sow. 



    "...there is a bigger problem: greed and the market..."   Nick Fish, op ed in Sunday's Oregonian 

     In an earlier blog on the Washington County Board's approval on Tuesday of an urban renewal district for North Hillsboro to underwrite hi-tech economic development, I noted how incongruous this decision was in light of the affordable housing crisis in the metro area. 

     The housing authority in Washington County has a 5,000 person "waiting list" for low income rental housing.  It takes a person at the bottom of the list 5-6 years to work up to the top of the list and there is no guarantee there will be housing for them when their time comes because we have a 19,000 unit gap that is growing because of gentrification. 

     The conclusion by the businessman who wrote this article is a myth.  Economic growth alone will not solve the problem of poverty.  A rising tide does not raise all boats!  Collective targeted action of government and a booming economy are the necessary and sufficient conditions not just economic growth.  

     Ironically, a Forest Grove News-Times article on the celebration (?) of Community Action's 50 years in Washington County included a summit on the problem of poverty and housing - here's what one of the speakers had to say -

     Jes Larsen, director of the Welcome Home Coalition "emphasized the need for affordable housing to provide an environment of family stability and achievement."  She went on to say - "Even though Washington County is the economic engine of Oregon, it has not effectively tackled affordable housing needs." 

     No we just continue to plow public backed bonds, tax abatements and credits to support economic development which has no impact on this problem and in fact makes it worse by widening the gap between the affluent residents of the county and the working poor.  For some it's the best of times, for others it's the worst of times. 

     Sadly in my 25 years of advocacy the county's legislative, county, local and private sector leadership are tone deaf to this message even though they give lip service to such organizations as Community Action.  And for the record, those in the human service community are complicit in their silence about this leadership failure.  

     Only somebody like myself who is an advocate, not a service deliverer, has the audacity to call out the political and economic elites of the county.  Why - it's simple - I have no "skin" in this game.  My job is not on the line if I speak my mind - those who know better are scared to speak up.  

     The result is that we continue to play triage with the homeless and those in need of low rent housing while the problem gets worse and worse despite having a 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness.  Look at Portland - they are in the same shape.  But at least they admit it publicly - NOW...

     In Washington County the challenge is met with stone cold silence or a myth that the market is the only solution to this problem.  If the market were so magical it would have solved this problem in the '90s when the hi-tech boom started in Washington County. 

     There is no will to address this problem by political or private sector leadership in Washington County except in small incremental baby steps.  As a member of the Interfaith Committee on Homelessness I tried many times to enlist private sector leadership to no avail.  This is not their mission, making money is...  They have blinders on when it comes to dedicating money to this problem.  


     PS:  If you watch the testimonials from the Community Action Summit - what you need to understand is that these "feel good stories" are the exception.  Community Action, the Housing Authority, our local shelters and non-profit housing developers turn away more individuals and families than they can help.  The reason is simple - we don't have the housing capacity in the county (that 19,000 gap, again) to met the need. 

Watch the Videos



     EDITOR'S NOTE:  The blog post below on The Donald is a copy of an op ed which appeared in last week's Forest Grove News-Times.  In the latest Iowa poll Trump is now behind Ben Carson - though still leading in the national RCP poll.   Trump may not play well in the placid waters (corn fields) of Iowa.  We'll see.  But as one friend terms it "the weak tea" of the GOP is really obvious so without Trump to excite people will the voters simply fall asleep and miss the show when it counts in January.  GOP voter fatigue? 

     And despite the 11 hour House Intelligence hearing (an oxymoron) with Hillary on Thursday - Hillary clearly not only survived it - she "trumped" her GOP attackers staying calm, collected and on message.  They helped her look even more "presidential" than her highly successful debate performance in Las Vegas.  And now with the exit of two Ds from the stage plus Biden's bowing out - it's clearly a Hillary vs. the Bern show.  If they keep it civil this could set up the narrative for the campaign. 

     Thanks to our friends in the north 40 Trudeau's victory in Canada suggests the plot line for Hillary - tax the uber rich, focus on infra-structure, and embrace diversity while the "weak tea of the GOP" sinks in their own bile.  


The Donald and the American Psyche

     Donald Trump has those in the mainstream political class scratching their heads trying to figure out why this master of bombast is leading the GOP parade down the Yellow Brick Road of 2016.

     Remember that road led Dorothy and her friends to the pinnacle of power, only to find the “Wizard” behind the drapes was a fake; all sound and fury meaning nothing.

     Like Oz, “The Donald” is equally a fake; an illusionist into whom his fans put their hopes, fears and anger as if that will be a solution to what bothers them about American politics.

     But alas, he has no answers, as his response in a recent TV clip indicated when asked about his ideas beyond immigration. He simply walked off the stage, leaving a young questioner in the dust.

     The Donald is all about him. He’s creating a cult of personality, not an ideology. He’s a vacuous, self-promoting snake oil huckster out of the annals of Sinclair Lewis and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

     Donald Trump has got on with a diminishing demographic — older white voters who are angry and clearly very anti-political correctness.

      Trump is a 21st century version of a politician who promises Americans — like the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini did back in the day — “to run the trains on time.” Instead, Benito ran Italy into an alliance with Hitler’s Germany and into the ditch of World War II.

     The Donald is reminiscent of American neo-fascists such as Charles Lindbergh, Huey Long, Father Coughlin, Strom Thurmond and Robert Welch — who played on American fears of the time, hate of the other, and legitimate grievances against the economic and political establishment.

     Ironically, Trump is a member of the American oligarchy who is running against the 1 percent, which is why he is feared and reviled by the GOP establishment. Again, if one looks behind Trump’s curtain, he has no answers, just pomposity. He is America’s Putin.

     Will he wear out his welcome down the road? Probably. But Trump is tapping into a deep vein in the American psyche. It’s a narrow fissure mostly within the Republican Party and a diminishing demographic in the American body politic, and the math is against the GOP.

     With 53 percent of the electorate being women, how will Trump’s anti-woman rhetoric play in November of 2016? And similarly, how will his anti-immigrant rhetoric play with the black vote, the Latino vote and the Asian vote?

     If Trump gets the GOP nomination, he will sink the GOP ship just like Goldwater did in 1964. If he runs as an independent, like Ross Perot in 1992, he will seal the deal for Hillary, Bernie or Joe!

     In his journey down the yellow brick road cast as “Wicked” or the “Beast of the East,” his campaign will hit a political road bump breaking his SUV’s axle and ending the fantasy. But the entertainment value will be great TV, and Roger Ailes and Fox News will get what they richly deserve. They created The Donald; now their creation will ruin their fun.




     I attended the Board of County Commissioners morning session on Tuesday.  I joined many others in speaking against the urban renewal plan slated for the north Hillsboro area in the center of the hi-tech fab plants north of Orenco Station.      

The arguments pro and con were predictable. 

      Those in favor - Chair Duyck and Commissioners Terry, Rogers and Schouten with Malinowski casting a "no" vote - argue this "trickle down" idea will boost the local economy, create tax paying jobs and not put taxpayers at risk.  From their view it's an obvious win/win idea with no down side. 

     Those in opposition representing Tax Fairness Oregon and WCCAN opposed argued that such economic development comes at the loss of money to support K-12 education and funding to address our homeless and housing crisis.  The "model" upon which this development scheme is premised is flawed.  

     Using urban renewal bonds to subsidize big box industry as opposed to investing in public low income housing, schools or other public benefit projects such as roads is a misuse of the concept of urban renewal.  Urban renewal projects in the '50s were designed to resuscitate economically blighted areas not bulldoze over prime farm land to privilege global corporations.  

     What happens when the data centers for which this urban renewal district is pegged become technologically obsolete? 

     Who will be holding the burden for paying off the bonds?  The claim was made the 12,000 jobs would be created...   Where will these employees live?  How many more schools and roads will be built to accommodate such growth?  What if this projected job growth doesn't pan out?   This is a ponzi scheme!  

     In an animated discussion with Chair Duyck after the meeting I asked him "if" the model being advocated using urban renewal, enterprise zones, SIP money and tax increment financing was so successful then why does the metro area face a worsening homeless and low income housing crisis?  

    Duyck and the majority of the board seem to believe our housing crisis can be solved by a combination of private charity, the market and non-profits without any significant government subsidies from either the federal, state or local level.  This is the "trickle down" theory espoused in the Reagan years, the time when the crisis began!  

     Washington County is evolving into a hi-tech "plantation like" economy which privileges traded sector firms and their employees while putting the poor and working poor behind the eight ball despite the end of the Great Recession.  


For another view


THE DONALD vs. JEB on 9/11

     Donald Trump is right to nail George W. Bush for being asleep at the switch before 9/11.  The Bush administration was warned by Clinton's top expert on terrorism that an attack on the USA was very possible. 

     Yet Bush took a long vacation after being elected and ignored all the signs that were out there.  This is all a matter of public record not dependent on the ranting of a megalomanic like The Donald. 

     That this is a wedge issue within the GOP ranks, especially between Jeb Bush and The Donald camps, is ironic as hell.  Trump's posturing that he would have done better is just that - posturing.  He never made a public issue of this when the Bush administration was using 9/11 as our rationale for attacking the Taliban in Afghanistan and then invading Iraq - each a disaster with which we continue to live.   

     So a pox of both the House of Bush and the House of Trump. 

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