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Top 5 causes of homelessness

- Lack of affordable housing

- Lack of a livable wage

- Medical issues/lack of accessible health care

- Domestic violence

- Mental illness

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Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax

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Half of the US Is Broke

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The myth of the Christian country

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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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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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Corporations enriching shareholders

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- 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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"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.   

 

 

    

    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

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Putting corporate Oregon ahead of our people

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#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace

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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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Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel

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Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 

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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

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?  QuestionIntel.com  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

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

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


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Thursday
Jul302015

DECONSTRUCTING THE ICEBREAKER BLOCKADE

OPB:  How Much Have Protesters Actually Affected Shell's Drilling Plans?

     While the shell icebreaker got through the blockade, the question is was the protest a success?  It depends on how one defines "success". 

     From the protesters view this is a victory because of the local, state, national and international media coverage a protest in Portland Oregon received. 

     From the view of Shell and Vigor Industry breaking the blockade was the story and now the Fennica is on its way to the Artic to help explore for oil.  

     But from a longer view the protests raise again the local and global issue of climate change and whether exploring for oil in the Artic makes economic or environmental sense in an age when we can generate energy from alternative energy sources - solar, wind and passive energy systems.  

     Protest politics can be a barn raising event which can open our eyes to engage in a larger conversation.  

     And on a day when the temperature in the metro area was 103 degrees it makes one wonder given a warm spring and long hot summer whether climate change is here now.  As in the heyday of the Civil Rights movement civil disobedience and protest were regarded as hopelessly quixotic.  History records a different verdict.  

     Everthing in interconnected - environmental quality, social justice and burden sharing. 

     As we see the downside to the "technological" imperative of mining Mother Earth be it deforestation, nuclear proliferation, oil or coal trains, dirty diesel and the use of toxic chemicals all which put human health at risk in Oregon and the world the protesters don't seem quixotic at all but modern day Paul Reveres. 

     It comes down to a question of how we view the human condition - as an endless quest to exploit the earth's resources for profit or as a question of putting the technological genie into a human perspective and balance?  What are the indirect or hidden costs of the technological imperative? 

     No sane person would defend rape, yet isn't that what the Fennica represents in a metaphorical sense, the rape of Mother Earth?   

Tuesday
Jul282015

FILM REVIEW: BUCKLEY VS. VIDAL

BILL BUCKLEY, JR. & GORE VIDAL -

TV AT ITS BEST

     As an addict of NPR 24/7 I found myself on a trip down memory lane via the CBC week day radio talk show "Q" program broadcast on NPR this past Monday.  I was intriguing to say the least. 

     The interview showcases documentary film maker Morgan Neville's latest documentary film "Shut up a minute!"  How the Buckley-Vidal debates changed culture." 

     Below is the program for your listening pleasure or as Bill Buckley, Jr. might have said for your "edification." 

     The events "debated" by Bill Buckley and Gore Vidal "live" on ABC's minimalist coverage of the RNC and the DNC of '68 are not "history" but instead a lived experience for those of my generation who were paying attention aka not "stoned."

     I remember watching these two Titans in battle on the tube in my wire to wire viewing of both conventions.  I was in grad school at the University of Minnesota in '68 and active in progressive politics in the Twin Cities.  I also admired Buckley's razar sharp mind at work on his PBS program "Firing Line."  For at least two weeks in '68 Buckley met his match in Vidal in the ideology and theatrics of the political.  

      The clash of personalities and ideology evidenced by Buckley and Vidal couldn't have showcased the issues of the '60s more clearly.  Contrary to the interview spin put on this "debate" issues were at the heart of the clash of these two American cultural Titans, issues that divided the nation at that time and sadly are reminiscent of the political "blood feuds" we hear now from sea to shining sea.  

      The Republican Convention held in Miami Beach nominated Richard Nixon who like a political Phoenix rose from ashes to be elected and re-elected in '72 while the Democratic Convention held in a Gestapo like police state in Chicago nominated Vice President Hubert Humphrey emerging from the debacle of a divided party and nation reeling from the Vietnam War, race riots and the assassinations of MLK and RFK.  

     To frame the Buckley/Vidal debates as more personality than issue centered is to be blind of the historic tragedies of that era.  Yes, Buckley and Vidal hated each other's guts but they despised each other because both were intellectual icons of the social forces unleashed in the USA in that era and evident today as the Republicans try to savage President Obama at every opportunity in their unending quest to make him a "failed POTUS." 

     The "culture wars" were not just personal but punctuated by racial/class divisions, an emerging feminism and the yielding of the once "solid" South to the GOP were founded on an emerging political demographic that has endured into the 21st century.  We will see it loud and clear in the 2016 presidential election but unlike '68 the Latino, gender and youth vote will tilt towards the likely Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.  

     The personal and ideological vitriol between Buckley and Vidal is deeply woven into the political fabric which divides the base of the parties.  The animus didn't begin in the '60s it has been with us since FDR was considered by the GOP as a traitor to his class.  In the '50s Tea Party fanaticism was mirrored by the John Birch Society who wanted to impeach Ike and Chief Justice Earl Warren.  The politics of hate has deep roots with the 'birth of the nation'!  

      The Walker Report termed the violence in Chicago during the DNC as a "police riot." The Daley machine intimidated Chicago's Black community weeks before the convention.  Daley is not unique.  Washington repressed the Whisky Rebellion, Lincoln used the Alien and Sedition Act to jail Civil War draft protesters.  Such repression echoes throughout US history against labor, suffragettes, WWI vets and Japanese-Americans. 

     The "Q" host given his youth must be forgiven his softball questions.  His guest born in '67 has no personal experience with this era but instead like many of the current generation has a narrow post-modernist frame of reference viewing the debate as a personal and cultural "cat fight" between a crypto-fascist (Buckley) and a queer (Vidal) - their words for each other not mine!  But the roots of this clash go deeper.  

     But you decide for yourself - the first YouTube is pretty clear as a showcase of the arts of character assassination each employed but also on the substantive divide between them.  Having hosted in 1984 a McCall Forum between William F. Buckley, Jr. and  former Senator Dick Clark (D, Iowa) I saw Buckley's charm and debate skills at close hand - go to the About Me section of this blog for my own reflections of that eventful evening. 

     In 1984 with Reagan in the White House, Buckley used his razor-like wit to defend the proposition for the night that "liberalism was dead."  But interestingly, one of my colleagues, an econ prof, told me after the debate many of his students finally understood why they were "liberals" because Senator Clark stayed on message even though as the first victim of the Religious Right he could have gone negative but didn't. 

     Given the legacy of George W. Bush, a party in turmoil and after two terms of Obama in the Oval Office - Buckley's condescension and "Cold Warrior" positions seem hopelessly dated - but don't tell the 17 clowns running for the GOP nomination!  What Buckley and Vidal mirror are the two Americas that have been at odds from the beginning of the Republic - one protecting white privilege, the other a force for upward mobility and inclusion.  

     One final point, contrary to the "Q" interview, Bill Buckley did not invent the Radical Right in America.  Barry Goldwater did that in 1964 with the help of fanatics like Dan Smoot and the Birchers who cultivated those vineyards for decades.  Buckley would regard the Right today as a bunch of anti-intellectual boobs not fit for his commentary.  But here's the YouTube videos of the Great Debate between Buckley and Vidal - you decide!  

  1. William Buckley Vs Gore Vidal - YouTube

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYymnxoQnf8Cached

    Aug 14, 2007 · This is the well know incident between William Buckley and Gore Vidal that occurred during ABC's coverage of the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago.

More 1968 Buckely Gore Debates videos

Monday
Jul272015

THE GOP CIRCUS TENT - BRING IN THE CLOWNS!  

    

     The news media is indulging in a classic feeding frenzy over the idiotic squabbles within the GOP among the "cast of clowns" running for the GOP nomination.  As I've said previously this is much ado about nothing!  But with big fat mouth of "The Donald" Trump blasting away, it's impossible for his GOP rivals not to shoot back at him.  Go for it dudes, it will simply lower the GOP brand as we get into the serious political season later this fall.

     While "The Donald" trends slightly ahead in national polls which mean nothing, he's not on top in the first 3 contests - the Iowa Caucus, the New Hampshire Primary and the South Carolina Primary.  Trump is simply showing what any fool knows - he has high name familiarity (adulation and loathing) based on name familiarity.  Clearly his zeal for self promotion is legendary but that doesn't mean a ticket to the ball. 

     What "The Donald" has going for him is the buffoonery factor.  His comments are what the Car Guys would term talk "minus the thought process."  The fact that he could parlay this into being considered a serious candidate illustrates how ideologically bankrupt the Grand Old Party is at this point in time and out of touch their self-promoting candidates from the 1% are in relation to the GOP's narrowed Tea Party base.  

     Here's a profile of the loonies in the race from minions on the other side.  Granted this opposition research is tainted by the ideology of the Left but it will be a preview of things to come later in the political season as the field is winnowed down.  But right now, the Dems can just sit back and watch the politics of personal destruction on the Right go on and on...   Hillary with her high negatives must be smiling behind the scenes!   

     Whoever emerges from the GOP circus tent will be damaged goods come November 2016 whomever the Democratic candidate turns out to be.  Hillary despite her weaknesses is still the "bell of the ball" with Bernie Sanders trying to ruin the coronation.  Go Bernie, Go!  Joe Biden aside the rest of the Dem field may be lightweights but at least they are not clowns.  To my friends on the Right can you say "Four more years?" 

Saturday
Jul252015

FIRST INTEL LAYOFFS, NOW CAPITAL ONE CLOSES!  

     EDITOR'S NOTE:  Washington county touts itself as the "economic engine" of Oregon being the "silicon forest - with the likes of Intel and NIKE.  But it's not all good news with layoffs at Intel and now 900 jobs on the chopping block at Capital One's call center.

     What's next? 

     Molly Young, Oregonian, July 24

     Credit-card lender Capital One announced plans Thursday to close its Tigard call center and eliminate 900 jobs.

     The news delivered a dual blow to the economy: Tigard will lose its largest employer; and Oregon will suffer a layoff bigger than almost any other since the recession.

     Capital One also said it would close a second call center in South Dakota, cut back in its home state of Virginia, and lay off more than 1,650 people altogether.

     As a result, Portland-area officials and economists interpreted the decision as a sign of business strategy, rather than the region's economic health. Capital One executives bolstered that sentiment during a conference call with financial analysts Thursday, saying the company is cutting costs to offset increasing digital investments.

     RAD:  When corporate managers spin cutting costs by laying folk off as an "investment strategy" - aka increasing digital investments it makes one wonder.  A digital investments a euphemism for moving call centers off shore?  Why are managers never cut or why isn't a CEO sacked for a bad business plan?  

     Capital One said it expects to shut down its Tigard operation by the end of the year.

     "The loss of 900 jobs is certainly unwelcome, and Tigard, for its part, loses its biggest employer," said Jonathan Schlueter, Washington County's government-relations manager. Still, he added, regional unemployment rates are at their lowest levels in decades and job totals reach record highs every month.

     "So today's news is troubling, but certainly not hopeless," Schlueter said.

     RAD:  Why is the county's top government-relations manager (aka chief lobbyist) spinning this story for Capital One?  Yes the county is doing well - if you have a job but many don't and/or have low paying jobs.  Schlueter is the past CEO of Westside Economic Alliance, a pro-business group.  Who is he representing as he passes through the private/public rotating door?   

     Capital One has operated the call center in Tigard for almost four years. It acquired the operation when it bought HSBC's credit card business almost four years ago. Its workforce has fluctuated since then. In 2013, it laid off more than 200 people, but later gained back those jobs as it expanded.

     Employees based at the multi-building campus handled fraud claims and dispute issues and often dealt with commercial clients.  

     Supervisors gathered employees Thursday morning to inform them of the decision and then gave them the rest of the day off, said three current workers who spoke to The Oregonian/OregonLive.

     Employees were told not to speak with the media and did not want to risk their remaining tenure at the company by publishing their names. They... were told the business would likely close in September.

     RAD:  The cloak of corporate secrecy is troubling but more troubling is a question never posed - when did the County know about these layoffs and did it enter into any negotiations with Capital One to save any of these jobs?  Since Capital One like other corporations in Oregon pay little to no state income tax and get breaks on local property taxes the "what did the county know and when did it know it" is an important question. 

     During those interviews and on social media, employees described a generally positive working environment. Wages started relatively high, near $16 hourly, which is the median pay elsewhere in the industry.

     Two employees said they were told their work would shift to Tampa.

     In an email, spokeswoman Julie Rakes said Capital One is "shifting our call center strategy to allow us to become nimble, flexible and scalable to meet our customer needs."

     Rakes said workers can apply for jobs elsewhere within the company.

     That would likely require employees to leave the Portland area. Its online jobs page lists no other sites in Oregon.

     Workers who look for other jobs in Oregon will be in high demand, said Christian Kaylor, who tracks Portland-area hiring trends for the Oregon Employment Department. He said employers have added 35,000 jobs in the Portland area in the past year. "They are entering an economy that is growing rapidly and has low unemployment," he said.

     Washington County is a hub for call centers from many industries, including financial, software, automotive and health care. Call center jobs pay $38,000, on average, there, about $7,000 above the the statewide mark. "It's very, very competitive for labor," Kaylor said.

     RAD:  An individual income of $25,751-$41,200 puts one in HUD's low income limits category.  Such an income will stress a family of 4 trying to pay monthly rent or a mortgage as well as stretch the ability to meet other monthly costs for food, clothing and health care. 

     In Washington County in 2014 40% of all employment was in "lower wage" or "very low wage" jobs.  The average annual wage in Washington County in 2014 was $62,667.  The layed off low wage workers at Capital One will now face not only lost income but the risk homelessness! 

Data Source:  Jill Cuyler-Crook, OED, HPAC Report July 16, 2015. 

     State data show there are 150 call-center operations across Oregon, the most in at least 15 years. They employed a collective 12,300 people before Thursday's announcement.

     Washington County's Schlueter said news that a single call center would shutter does not change his overall take on the economy.

     "We remain bullish on the economic outlook for our county, our region and our state," he said. "We're encouraged by the growth and opportunities we're seeing in other businesses and other sectors."

      RAD:  Of course Schlueter and Kaylor are "bullish" on Oregon's economic outlook - they are not being laid off!  And their bias is through pro-industry rose colored glasses!  The 900 Capital One employees on the job hunt will drive local labor costs down since most will not or cannot move.

     I'm confident neither Schleuter nor Kaylor make considerably more than $38K.   Folks in their position make easily in the six figures not including benefits.  

 

Friday
Jul242015

POLITICAL NEGATIVISM

“IT’S GOT TO BLEED TO LEAD”

     

     With the 24/7 media clock ticking away focused on negativity - riots, civil wars, gun violence, mayhem - which imply that if it's newsworthy a story has to "bleed to lead" it's hard not to become negative and cynical.  I've seriously considered stopping this blog because more and more I get sucked into this negativity vortex - it's inherent in being a critics of the status quo.  But then there are the lyrics of the old Bing Crosby tune -

You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
You've got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum

     My way of "bringing gloom down to the minimum" is to be politically engaged not just through this blog but more importantly through civic engagement in Washington County and in the Puzzle Palace.  But frankly, the indicators of successful engagement this past two years has been minimal when all signs pointed in the opposite direction.  The good news is that Barack has "mo" but that's a galaxy far far away from me. 

     What can I latch on to here in Oregon?  And how many more meetings to nowhere can one stand?  I come back to the line my old buddy in the IFCH who said time and again, "if not us, who?"  Granted I'm now a solo act although I can rely on Eric the Quack to crank up the IFCH e-mail list when I want legislators to hear from their constituents.  Even a sculpture can't be apolitical 24/7...   

     So here's some pointers for those who feel "down and out" in Oregon et al.  

1)  Only you can express your point of view - so why let others speak for you? 

2)  Social media has democratized politics allowing a 1000 flowers to bloom;  

3)  Granted the other side can use the megaphone but why let them have a monopoly? 

4)  We can have access to all levels of government given e-mail - why not use it? 

5)  Still the personal is the political - e-mail, call your legislators, better yet attend their town halls. 

6)  When possible show up at your city council, school board and/or take a drive to the Puzzle Palace,

7)  Oregon provides the most accessible environment for citizen input - use it. 

8)  Engagement is a tonic - it is good for our political mental health. 

Finally and most importantly -

9)  Being an engaged citizen erases the fear that you are the only one that cares! 

     Again, accent the positive, eliminate the negative...   And when in a funk - take a walk...  then re-engage!  

     PS:  Protest politics is engagement, a necessary but not sufficient part.  The gains in civil rights took legal action, then Supremes (Brown v. Board), then MLK et al and finally LBJ...   Politics makes for strange bed-fellows - just ask Barack and his "buds" at the Supreme Court...   


    

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