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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

The Donald idiocy - "build a wall..."  


#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







































“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” 

- George Santayana

     It's sobering to realize that the Bush administration's being caught flat footed by 9/11 despite very clear warnings which were unheeded and then seeing how that administration used 9/11 as a pretext to go to war has literally changed the world.  The chaos in the Middle East and now in Europe is directly related to the incompetence, stupidity and war mongering the "Bush boys" indulged in guided by their hubris and historical ignorance. 

     Lest one forget, the conditions that created this toxic geo-political mess were a creature of British Colonialism begun in the reign of Queen Victoria and then Winston Churchill.  It's ironic that Queen Elizabeth has now served longer than Victoria and under her auspices the British Empire was dismantled.  Given the contemporary circumstances of the conditions in the Middle East and Africa - in retrospect history might rate Victoria as the better of the two monarchs. 

Moving forward? 

     Commentators like Thomas Friedman and Nickolas Krisfof see little hope in solving the chaos in the Middle East and North Africa.  In the pre-9/11 world tability was achieved by divide and rule tactics of European colonialism, by mapping administrative fiefdoms without regard to historic ethnic or religions lines followed by iron fisted authoritarians who took control after so-called independence.  The vast expanses of the Middle East and Africa has morphed into a classic example of a Hobbesian state of nature. 

     Some argue if the US used air power to establish no fly zones over Syria at least we could limit the collateral damage to civilians.  While this worked in Kurdish Iraq early on, under the current military conditions of multiple militias it would increase incentives of ground action by all sides giving the jihadists even more power.  Russia would view this as a provocative act making a regional issue intro a global confrontation between the US and Russia involving surrogate states - Turkey, Syria, Iran and ultimately Israel.   

      There are no military solutions to the chaos in the Middle East.  That's why humanitarian solutions offer the only hope - increasing refugee aid in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.  UN cutbacks of this aid is unconscionable, especially for Syria's rich neighbor Saudi Arabia.  The other option is taking place without any coherent plan - the mass movement of refugees from this beleaguered region into Europe.  The Euros need to get their act together or face an untenable escalation of human misery with unknown consequences.  

     Sometimes geo-political crises have no short term solutions as Europe found in it's Thirty Years War in the 17th century.  Sometimes the forest fire has to burn itself out.  But what we can do is ameliorate the human costs by providing sustainable community development funding on the ground turning refugee camps into sustainable communities and in extending asylym to victims of Asad's brutality, ISIS's scorched earth strategy and to jihadists in places such as Yemen, Somalia, Libya et al.  

     It's time to make lemonade out of the lemons of what Rami G. Khouri terms our "common vocabulary of violence."     

     The political and moral bankruptcy of the European Union is on full display in the face of the immigration crisis.  Turkey is a member of NATO and a EU member.  And yet Euro members like Hungary are not abiding by the open borders policy of the EU.  And other EU members are balking at that commitment given the current crisis.  With a population of over 500 million people, the EU can easily accommodate 800,000 immigrants without the EU falling into chaos.  

     Many of these would be immigrants, especially from Syria, are highly educated and skilled and speak English.  They would be a valued addition to any nation's workforce and citizenry.  I think President Obama should declare an executive order based on our experience with Hungarian, Cuban and SE Asia refugees to offer asylum to at least 100,000 of these victims of Asad's brutality and militia based terrorism.  If the Euros aren't up to the task - then we must be!   




     In Hollywood it was the 3 Stooges!  In American politics right now it's the 4 Stooges assuming Joe is going to dive in.  

     If the Bern, the Donald, the Joe and the Hillary are to be taken seriously we need to know what they are "for" not just what they are "against."       

     Barack in '08 gave us the message of "Yes We Can."  What's the top 4's theme this time around?  "Happy Days are here again?"

     So far all we've gotten are an implied sense of entitlement and vacuous spin lines playing to a pissed off/fearful electorate.  As a former candidate for POTUS once famously asked of his opponent in '88 - "where's the beef?" Indeed!  


The Outsider: 

     The current leading candidates for president – Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and possibly Vice President Joe Biden implicitly offer themselves as the consummate “outsiders” in American political life. 

     Casting themselves as “outsiders” gives them credibility with a very disaffected public. But they are faux outsiders who really have gotten where they are because they are insiders.  

     Trump is the angry one who isn’t going to do business as usual anymore if elected.  And yet as a self-promoting real estate tycoon Trump is the quintessential insider. His skill is marketing – the ultimate insider game. 

     Hillary’s gender presumably makes her an outsider, a problematic claim at best, since she learned the game of politics from Slick Willie in Arkansas, then as First Lady, then as a US Senator and as Secretary of State.     

     Bernie Sanders has a better claim of outsider status if one isn’t familiar with his political biography.  First he was a mayor and now a member of “the club” – the US Senate.  You don’t get more insider than that. 

     Joe Biden was like Saunders a US Senator and now Vice President.  His homespun style gives the impression of being a simple plainspoken fellow with strong family values and a sense of place that’s not DC. 

     Each of these candidates and the others far back in the pack want to use the American myth that they are “outsiders” because presumably only then can we trust them to do the job that needs to be done!  

     Well let’s look at two recent presidents who claimed the mantle of outsider – Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.  Neither lived up to their billing.  Carter was a one-term president while Reagan left government bigger than ever! 

     Why doesn’t the mythology of the outsider play well in DC? It’s simple, DC is a company town and if one doesn’t learn to play by its rules you will be marginalized.  Carter didn’t play the game, Reagan did. 

     A genuine outsider like Martin Luther King, Jr. might have changed the name of the game but a sniper’s bullet ended that chance.  Ironically it took a consummate insider, LBJ to deliver Martin’s dream! 

     But sadly that dream was snuffed out by the Vietnam War – the other game in DC – run by the military industrial complex.  The interlocking networks of Wall Street and the American War machine call the tune.  

     If Bernie Sanders, the “socialist” – an alien ideology in US politics – were to engage beyond condemning the 1% he might be a threat to the establishment.  But Sanders has voted for military goodies for his state!  

     I never hear Sanders nor Senator Elizabeth Warren rail against the “trusts” like Teddy Roosevelt did.  Until we break up corporations including banks too big to fail – we get what FDR and Barack did – saving the system! 

Mythology in America

     At the end of the day the greatest and most enduring myth in American society is the myth of the market, free enterprise, run by rugged individualists.  There is no such thing.  But don’t tell anyone – they’ll stone you.     

     So at the end of the day we end up with 2 sometimes 3 stooges running for president who promise the moon but deliver the same old at the end of the day dressed up as “change you can believe in.” 

     In the meantime we do what we can to make things better one increment at a time.  But until you break monopolistic power of money and the war machine – that’s the best we get - one half a loaf at best! 

     Change is possible but it won’t come from insiders in the DC beltway but from outside the electoral process.  The status quo is advantaged by inertia and ossified institutions poised against change. 

     In a society divided by Red and Blue voters this anti-change dynamic is even harder to break by a dysfunctional political and economic power structure insulted by gridlock and privilege. 

      The forces of historical change move like tectonic plates over the decades and the political battlefield is disproportionately littered with unwitting victims of the status quo – the working poor, women and children.

     Today 1 in 7 Americans go hungry every day, the middle class is marginalized and the rich get richer – including The Trumpster! 

     Too often the public is caught up in the theater of politics by fawning politicians focused on symbolic change – from the Right or the Left – which leaves the power elite in place as the spin masters game the system.  

     A minor records clerk in Kentucky get’s her 15 minutes of fame by refusing to marry gay couples.  Candidates on the Right flock to her side for a photo opportunity moment.  But this will pass as the media circus moves on…  

The Status Quo/Change continuum

     I see forces of the status quo in play in the Oregon Puzzle Palace all the time.  The key players are an overwhelmingly pro-business lobby and politicians seduced by the illusion of their power in a rigged system. 

     If Bernie Sanders the “socialist” survives the gauntlet, an unlikely prospect, he like a Teddy Roosevelt the “trust buster” might be a change agent.  But the forces of the status quo are so embedded to make change fleeting. 

     Agents of regressive change on the Right face similar odds as Barry Goldwater did in ’64.  The jokers on the Right will beat their drums on the social issues but their base is a diminishing sideshow in American political life.

     The good news is that the election cycle takes place every 2, 4 or 6 years. In between the election sideshow we have 364 days per year to focus on real change.  But this requires organization and sustainability.  

     To stop from a descent into cynicism – my activism against the odds is kept alive by a phrase from a good friend “if not us, then who?”  The stooges are not the saving remnant but you and I are, the real outsiders!  

     But here’s the clinker… 

The Yin and Yang of American Politics

     There are two conflicting ideals in American political life – bourgeois liberalism (the call of ME) and the social gospel (the call of WE). Which narrative we follow determines every generation’s journey. 

     Bourgeois liberalism is the mantra of the status quo. The social gospel is its anti-thesis. 

     The key is what version of the social gospel will dominate the narrative of change – the Right wing or the Left wing version?  Forces of populism have a long history of dividing not uniting the public. 

     Using a railroad metaphor –

     Will we stay on the Progressive mainline or be diverted to a Right Wing siding?  This years election campaigns will frame our future. That’s why it’s important which stooge becomes the engineer in the Oval Office. 

     Whose ticket are you going to stamp? 

     President Obama framed the issue in the 2008 campaign – “to form a more perfect Union” – sadly he was often deflected by the contradictions inherent to the American body politic in DC and country.  

     But forces of change are in play as the offspring of immigrants from the old South who voted with their in the USA after WW II and as millions moved across the Rio Grand in our generation.

     The Euros are facing a similar moment of change. Some embrace it, others resent it…    

     As Garrison Keillor says “as the populous moves south both region’s IQs are raised.”  North Carolina can turn Blue and Ohio too.  My oh my the power of the new demographics.  It’s only a matter of time when Texas is Blue!  




      A PBS program “On Being” produced by Krista Tibbett interviewed a scholar at UCLA who teaches in their school of education.  It got me reflecting on why I spent the majority of my life “being educated” and then “being an educator?”  What was the point?  

The Intelligence in All Kinds of Work, and the Human Core of All Education That Matters

     As I listened to the interview I realized my passion wasn’t to be “schooled” or just help my students navigate the often-troubled waters of “getting an education” – a strange phrase implying education is a product not a life-long process.  There was something more…  

     I use passion deliberately.  Any of my students, colleagues and family know what drives me is not the immediate goal of instruction in a subject – mine being political science – but in committing oneself to the "vocation" of being an engaged citizen. 

     Such a passion has its ups and downs, in and out of the classroom.  And as I look over 40 plus years of a career as a professor of politics my goal was to cajole students into joining in the vocation of the political as a means of self-fulfillment and making a difference.  

     If one believes in the Jeffersonian words of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” then engaging in the political has to be a fundamental part of one’s life not just pursuing a career in the workplace and/or in a profession.  One can master a skill but one doesn’t master life – one pursues it. 

     Our school time is spent in accumulating credits towards getting a high school diploma or a college degree.  But at the end – what’s the point, really?  As an end itself – there is no point to it.  It’s only when one externalizes what one can do with knowledge gained does it become meaningful.   

     We live in a global village that indoctrinates the young into the idea that “if” you are a lawyer, a doctor, an accountant or a businessperson you can achieve success.  Really.  What does “success” mean?  Making money or making a difference in people’s lives?  

     As a homeowner I depend on professional folks with plumbing, electrical and gardening skills to do work around our home that I’m not competent to do.  I watched our street being repaved last week. I certainly don’t have that skill set but glad some do. 

     My point is simple – we take for granted our appliances until they break down and the skilled folks who can fix them.  And we take for granted a construction company who’s hired by the city to repave the street.  But in a civil society when the infrastructure breaks down – so does the society. 

     9/11 taught us the importance of our “first responders” – all government employees.  But in a democracy everyone should be a first responder! 

    On another Labor Day it’s worth remembering that the WPA (Works Progress Administration) in the Great Depression built Portland’s airport, the Astoria bridge, Bonneville Dam and Oregon’s capital.  These projects put people to work while adding to our public capital assets. 

     They also required collaboration of architects, engineers and highly skilled construction workers who put a draft design of PDX, a bridge, a dam and the home of Oregon’s government into reality. In other words, the whole is larger than the sum of its individual parts. 

     Good teaching at whatever level imparts that notion.  It’s that “vision thing” that’s the key not just the immediate task at hand.  In the high stakes test society we live in and in a society that measures our value by a paycheck, these intrinsic values are lost in the focus on the particular. 

     If I taught my students anything – it was not political science but the satisfaction of doing something one loves.  And as I came near “retirement” people would ask me what I planned to do with my “time.”  My 24 years of advocacy has answered that question. 

     I’m still a professor only my venue has just changed…   

     One retires from a firm, a school, a job – but one does not retired from life.  When I was putting my students through their academic paces in and outside the classroom I hope they got the “passion” part and didn’t obsess too long about the grade!     

     When I’m in the Puzzle Palace I see many of my ex-students engaged - often on the opposite side of policy issues from moi – but I know they got it – and I did too!  Viva la difference!  Playing golf or being model trainman are enjoyed diversions but they are not my life, my vocation.  

     With a grand daughter I’ve got another generation to advocate for – being retired from a “job” is not to be “retired from life.” I concur with The Donald that “we can make America great again.”  But it’s not about pompous “him”, or the “entitled” Hillary or Jeb – it’s about US.  Yes WE Can! 

     Education is about possibility not the quest for fame or fortune.  If you are not in the arena, you can’t play the game!  




     EDITOR'S NOTE: As an avid viewer of PBS-TV I enjoy Rick Steve's travelogues on Europe which takes me to place I've never seen and likely never will.  But I can't reconcile the images portrayed by Steves of Euros enjoying the economic, cultural and culinary riches of their native lands from Berlin to Prague, from London to Paris, from Rome to Athens with the pictures of refugees in Hungary jammed into a train station, cattle cars (deja vu?) or walking to Austria on a major highway. 

     Something is desperately wrong with this picture of Europe. 


     Of the 800,000 fleeing war zones in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, the Republic of Congo et al, the US has only allowed 1400 such immigrants from war torn zones here.  So while Europe is clearly exposing it's banality of evil - we're not far behind.  Compare this to how we let in Cubans escaping Castro's regime, refugees from Hungary in the '50s and most lately the "boat people of SE Asia" into the USA.  The only parallel in modern history is how Europe and the US turned its backs on Jews from Nazis Germany who wanted to escape Hitler's "final solution." 

     Some final comments - the distinction between aslym seekers and refugees from economic oppression is akin to the Medieval concept of counting angels on pin heads.  Only the morally obtuse would formulate such a distinction.  Our founders came to the US fleeing persecution of all kinds - religions, political and economic.  How easily we forget the the Irish came here fleeing the potato famine.  Are some refugees "moral equal than others?" I also am ashamed that so few bothered to view this post.  Are we so callous that we really don't care?

     Too busy doing Facebook and/or texting?  So much for a "kinder, gentler nation."  




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