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#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 

















































     As the race for president narrows, we must think the unthinkable - what if Trump wins?  What would a Trump presidency be like?  I've posted on my FaceBook page - Russ - an article from the New Yorker which examines this from interviews of those within or near the Trump policy wonk orbit - his surrogate think tank so to speak.  

     Here's a policy specific examination by Alternet.  Either version should scare the hell out of you. 

     Trump is not just another Republican he's the not so friendly face of America's flirtation with our own brand of US fascism which has its roots in Huey Long and Geoge Wallace with the historical backdrop of such US creations as the Know Nothings, the KKK, the John Birch Society, McCarthyism and in the current era - Birthers, Climate Deniers, the Tea Party, the NRA et al.
As Trump rises in swing state polls, one wonders: What are voters thinking?


Does it make sense to vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president?

Sure, as long as you believe two things. First, you have to believe that it makes no difference at all whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump moves into the White House — because one of them will.

Second, you have to believe that America will be better off in the long run if we eliminate environmental regulation, abolish the income tax, do away with public schools, and dismantle Social Security and Medicare — which is what the Libertarian platform calls for.

But do 29 percent of Americans between 18 and 34 believe these things? I doubt it. Yet that, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll, is the share of millennial voters who say that they would vote for Mr. Johnson if the election took place now. And the preponderance of young Americans who say they’ll back Mr. Johnson or Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee, appear to be citizens who would support Mrs. Clinton in a two-way race; including the minor party candidates cuts her margin among young voters from 21 points to just 5.

So I’d like to make a plea to young Americans: your vote matters, so please take it seriously.

Why are minor candidates seemingly drawing so much support this year? Very little of it, I suspect, reflects support for their policy positions. How many people have actually read the Libertarian platform? But if you’re thinking of voting Johnson, you really should. It’s a remarkable document.

As I said, it calls for abolition of the income tax and the privatization of almost everything the government does, including education. “We would restore authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from government.” And if parents don’t want their children educated, or want them indoctrinated in a cult, or put them to work in a sweatshop instead of learning to read? Not our problem.

What really struck me, however, was what the platform says about the environment.

It opposes any kind of regulation; instead, it argues that we can rely on the courts. Is a giant corporation poisoning the air you breathe or the water you drink? Just sue: “Where damages can be proven and quantified in a court of law, restitution to the injured parties must be required.” Ordinary citizens against teams of high-priced corporate lawyers — what could go wrong?

It’s really hard to believe that young voters who supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary think any of this is a good idea. But Mr. Johnson and Ms. Stein have received essentially no media scrutiny, so that voters have no idea what they stand for. And their parties’ names sound nice: who among us is against liberty? The truth, that the Libertarian Party essentially stands for a return to all the worst abuses of the Gilded Age, is not out there.

Meanwhile, of course, it does make a huge difference which of the two realistic prospects for the presidency wins, and not just because of the difference in their temperaments and the degree to which they respect or have contempt for democratic norms. Their policy positions are drastically different, too.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Clinton has staked out the most progressive policy positions ever advocated by a presidential candidate. There’s no reason to believe that these positions are insincere, that she would revert to 1990s policies in office: What some are now calling the “new liberal economics” has sunk deep roots in the Democratic Party, and dominates the ranks of Mrs. Clinton’s advisers.

Now, maybe you don’t care. Maybe you consider center-left policies just as bad as hard-right policies. And maybe you have somehow managed to reconcile that disdain with tolerance for libertarian free-market mania. If so, by all means vote for Mr. Johnson.

But don’t vote for a minor-party candidate to make a statement. Nobody cares.

Remember, George W. Bush lost the popular vote in 2000, but somehow ended up in the White House anyway in part thanks to the Nader vote — and nonetheless proceeded to govern as if he had won a landslide. Can you really imagine a triumphant Mr. Trump showing restraint out of respect for all those libertarian votes?

Your vote matters, and you should act accordingly — which means thinking seriously about what you want to see happen to America.



Oregon academic achievement mostly flat in second year of Common Core tests

Betsy Hammond | The Oregonian/OregonLive By Betsy Hammond | The Oregonian/OregonLive
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on September 08, 2016 at 5:24 AM, updated September 08, 2016 at 7:13 AM
Stay connected to The Oregonian

Oregon students' end-of-year performance in reading, writing and math was largely flat this year, except for some mild progress in some elementary grades and a possible uptick by high school juniors.



Overall, 55 percent of students fully mastered Common Core standards in English and just 42 percent met them in math, according to the second year of results from Smarter Balanced tests, created to measure whether students are on track to be college-ready when they graduate.

Compared with results from 2015, more third-graders mastered mathematics and more fifth-graders mastered English. High school juniors improved on strong performances in reading and writing and a weak showing in math. But those 11th-grade results aren't reliable to any degree of precision because so many juniors – 10 percent in English and 13 percent in math – declined to take the exams.

The lack of strong gains across the board was somewhat surprising, as schools generally show improvement during the initial years of new tests, as teachers and students gain familiarity with the style of the exams and the skills and content they cover.

Leaders at Portland Public Schools, which had declining or stagnant results in most areas but improvements in elementary reading and writing, attributed the overall lack of progress to their focus on improving elementary reading last school year. The district worked so hard on early reading that it necessarily took its eye off the ball in other areas, Assistant Superintendent Chris Russo said.

State schools chief Salam Noor, stressing the positive, pointed out that the mild statewide increases were broadly shared. Low-income, Latino and special-education students and English learners all saw gains in reading and writing.

Many results must be taken with a grain of salt, however. In Portland, Eugene, Bend and Roseburg, for example, more than 10 percent of students declined to be tested. The federal government considers test results reliable only when at least 95 percent of students take part. Portland, Eugene, Roseburg and six smaller districts failed to meet that threshold in every grade and subject tested.

Russo, Portland's assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, said he is unsure why so many more parents opted out in Portland than in the rest of the metro area. But he noted that the Portland school board directed employees to take a neutral stance on whether students should take the exam — very different than state officials and most other districts.

In Portland, opt-out rates were highest in high schools, particularly Wilson, Cleveland and Grant, and in inner Southeast and Northeast elementary and K-8 schools with above-average shares of middle-income families, including Lewis, Sunnyside, Roseway Heights, Buckman and Abernethy.

Among high schools, Lakeridge in Lake Oswego soared to the top in performance this year, with 68 percent of juniors demonstrating full proficiency in math and more than 95 percent in reading and writing.

Lake Oswego Superintendent Heather Beck, a strong proponent of the Common Core standards and using Smarter Balanced exams, said Lakeridge's results are no surprise.

"We use the standards as a pathway to help kids become career and college ready," she said, "and the assessments tell us if we're on the right pathway."

Beck said Lakeridge has shown students that their results reveal where they're well-prepared for college – and also help the school target areas where students are not.

"That has created buy-in" and made students willing to take the exams and motivated to try their hardest, Beck said.

In some math courses, Beck said, pre-testing to see what students already knew meant teachers could skip about 40 percent of the content they used to teach, helping them accelerate the course to cover fresher, loftier standards.

Still, Lake Oswego High had one of the higher opt-out rates in the state: a whopping 63 percent.

As at many Portland high schools, Beck said, students at Lake O High see the exams as an unwelcome duplication of SAT, ACT, Advanced Placement tests or similar exams that also measure college readiness.

As was true last year, Oregon's lowest rates of mastery of reading and writing standards occurred in the lowest grades, with half or fewer of third- and fourth-graders showing full mastery. Small rural districts and small-town schools had the most trouble getting third-graders fully prepared. Scarcely any third-graders met that standard in Wallowa (7 percent), Annex (11 percent), Prospect (13 percent) Woodburn (14 percent) or Mapleton (15 percent.)

Many Portland-area schools in high-poverty neighborhoods also struggled to get their students where they need to be. Very few third-graders were on track in reading and writing at Glenfair, Davis and Alder elementaries (all 8 percent) in the Reynolds School District, at Hillsboro's Reedville Elementary (13 percent) and at Portland's Cesar Chavez (15 percent), King (22 percent), Bridger (23 percent) and Boise-Eliot/Humboldt (28 percent) K-8 schools.

In math, the lowest mastery rates tended to be in the highest grades tested. As with reading, small rural and small-town districts struggled most. In Umatilla, Riddle, Pilot Rock and Oakridge, fewer than one in 10 eighth-graders showed full proficiency in math. Among large districts, the worst eighth-grade rates were in Woodburn (16 percent), Parkrose (20 percent) Reynolds (25 percent) and Springfield (32 percent).

Hillsboro showed notable progress, with proficiency rising 2 percentage points in English and math. Like Lake Oswego, the district cited teachers' embrace of the standards and attention to test results – in this case, teachers designed mid-year tests to monitor students' progress – for their ability to home in on key standards and get more students to master them.

The mid-year tests "allow us to make adjustments to our teaching and provide supports for our students to help them succeed," Assistant Superintendent Dayle Spitzer said.

Hillsboro educators rely on that same faith in exams to help teachers improve and students to get better prepared. That can persuade reluctant students and parents that taking the tests is a good thing, Spitzer said. More than 97 percent of Hillsboro students took the exams, including 95 percent of juniors.

Unlike Oregon's old state reading and math exams, which focused heavily on basic skills, the Smarter Balanced tests "are rigorous and ask students to apply their math, reading, writing and critical thinking skills to new texts and problems," Spitzer said. "These are the exact skills we want our students to be able to demonstrate."


RAD:  Over the last 9 years years I've spent a lot of time on education funding and reform.  

Since the Reagan years we have been subjecting K-12 students to "high stakes" testing. Oregon has been a leader in this testing mania. The goal has been to close the 'achievement gap' between white and minority, affluent and less affluent and urban/suburban and rural students. Despite these national and local efforts, those gaps still exist but the political elites inside the DC and Salem beltways continue to believe this is the road to success despite evidence to the contrary.

The fact is that such testing takes away time from regular classroom teaching by focusing teacher time to "teaching to the test." It shrinks the curriculum and in diversity minimizing time for the arts, social studies and PE. We have also seen schools move away from traditional courses like shop or moving into apprenticeships with local industry. But the most important fact is that such testing is economically discriminatory. Studies continue to show "income inequality" is the source of school failure.

As the Oregonian article on this subject noted - such tests... "don't suggest ways to narrow the achievement gap they help to identify."

Instead of investing tax dollars into more testing regimes we should be focusing on moving children out of poverty, homelessness and their parents into decent paying jobs. Children learn when not faced with a day to day battle for survival. We don't need education reform, we need more economic justice!

For more see my FB post...  



And Trump's Racism and evocation of Violence against Hillary... FROM CLINTON CAMPAIGN...  

At a rally last night, Donald Trump hinted at Hillary Clinton’s assassination.

“I think her bodyguards should drop all weapons,” he said. “They should disarm immediately. Take their guns away, let's see what happens to her.”

So far, the reaction has been pretty subdued. Like we should just expect this from Trump. But I can't sit here and not say something about it.

I get that it was a Friday night.

I get this isn’t the first time that Trump has publicly fantasized about the possibility. This summer, you remember, he suggested that “Second Amendment people” could take matters into their own hands to prevent Hillary from naming a new justice to the Supreme Court.

I even get that that the media has been chasing down another important story since yesterday. By all means, let’s spend real time discussing the fact that Donald Trump was the leader of a racist movement aimed at discrediting our first black president. Let’s make all the space in the world to discuss Donald Trump’s unfettered readiness to lie.

But for God’s sake, let’s not reach a point in this election where casual speculation about violence aimed at your political opponent falls below the threshold of what should provoke a public outcry.

If Trump says something like this and we don’t react, we allow his brand of racist, authoritarian, corrupt politics to become somehow normal.

Let’s be better than that.

Let’s use this moment to show that we’re standing with Hillary -- and that we could not be more committed to beating Donald Trump on Election Day, at the ballot box.



     Professor Seymour Martin Lipset wrote about working class authoritarianism in his seminal work Political Man. British political scientist Bernard Crick also wrote about this in his classic In Defense of Politics.

     Trump is creating a revived national narrative of right wing authoritarianism. But he didn't create this. Trump is building on the rhetorical thugs and bullies of the past - in the USA - Huey Long, George Wallace, Barry Goldwater et al.

     Lipset and Crick et al have linked right wing fanaticism to Franco in Spain, Pinochet in Chile, Peron in Argentina. Of course the masters of this ugly anti-politics politics were Hitler and Mussolini (a favorite of Trump until he "looked into" Putin's eyes).

     The danger is that unlike The Kingfish, Wallace, and Barry Goldwater - Trump could win. That would empower all the rightwingnuts - the KKK, Birchers, Survivalists, White Supremacists, the Christian Right et al. 

     This "anti-politics" politics impulse is not just a fixation of the Right, many on the Left buy into this mythology as well.  Democrats have strayed from bread and butter issues into PC politics. The difference is that Hillary Clinton is a "wonk" not an ideologue. 

     I'm not suggesting all who support Trump are "bigots" or "extremists" but there is a clamor for inchoate change that brushes aside all complexities of modern society.  Many want a return to a mythical America of certitudes, a "father knows" best world.    

     Into this gap of our hopes and our fears steps the man on horseback - the dictatorial personality who assures that he can solve all of our problem by waving a "trust me" wand.  We are transported into an Alice in Wonderland "reality" show.  

     We ignore Trump at our peril. He's not just a bombastic showman but more dangerous.   He's a Wizard of Oz that turns out to be a fraud.  

     He's talked about reinventing internment camps to round up Muslims and Latinos used to "relocate" Japanese-Americans in WW II. It's time we woke up to the "clear and present" danger he poses to constitutional government.

     You say it couldn't happen here... That's what others have said... 


I've gotten depressingly familiar with protester beatings at Trump rallies. In the 21st century perhaps the iconic trappings of politics will be the flag, motherhood, apple pie and revenge beatings. Let's hope not. In any case, here's a new case that ups the ante and still has the capacity to shock. 69 year old Shirley Teeter, who wears an oxygen mask and lugs around a tank to support it, was protesting outside a Trump rally in North Carolina when a feral Trump backer turned on her and punched her right in the face. Cold-cocked her, as Shirley put it.
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