Navigation
More About This Website

Middle East friendship chart

--------------------------------------

California topples a tyrant

--------------------------------------

10 Things US does worse than Europe

--------------------------------------

Corporations enriching shareholders

 

 
Check video

- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry

-------------------------

Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

------------------------

Sneaker Politics

Kitzhaber and legislators got rolled by Nike. 

More

 


-----------------------------

"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.   

 

Steve Duin Schools get the blame 

School Reform/slate.com 



    

    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


Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 

-----------------------

Easier to buy assault weapon than vote

-----------------------

Kansas' ruinous tax cuts

"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild



Check video

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

 Sign the online petition on Intel emissions in link below:  

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?

Rediscovering Government

Is the US #1? 

 

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 

krugmanonline.com 

 

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


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Tuesday
Jul082014

IMMIGRATION, THE BANALITY OF EVIL

Detainees sleep and watch television in a holding cell where hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed at a U.S. Customs facility in Nogales, Texas.     UPDATE: 

     The debate over how we deal with 60,000 children from Central America coming over the US/Mexican border to escape violence in their home countries is getting morally obscene. 

     It reminds me of the indifference the US took of the plight of the Jews as the Holocaust cranked up as Hitler invoked the "final solution."     

     To deport children back to such conditions is to exhibit a kind of moral callousness that is hard to understand.  These children should be treated as "refugees" not as illegal aliens.  We offered a welcoming hand to "refugees" from Eastern Bloc "captive" nations,  to Cubans fleeing Castro's regime and to the "boat people" of Vietnam and Cambodia.  

     We should make the same offer today especially since so many of the children have relatives in the USA who can take them in.  What amazes me the most is the relative silence of the American religious community in this debate. 

     Some local priests and pastors in the southwest are speaking out and taking action. An arm of the National Council of Churches has responded, it's time the Catholic Bishops, the Jewish and other faith communities spoke out.     

     If there was ever a need for churches to be "sanctuaries" it's now. 

     For the Obama administration to officially sanction a "deportation" regime is unconscionable and unrealistic.  The reality on the ground is that no such policy can be implemented given the current crisis on the border.  To extend a hand is not to sanction lawlessness but to demonstrate compassion and charity. 

     Obviously a long term solution will require American foreign and economic policy to cajole the nations of Central America involved in this human tragedy to do right by their people.  As long as we are mired in the stupidity of the Middle East we can't help those closest to us, our good neighbors, to "do the right thing."  This is shameful.  

     From White House Press conference, Love Field, Dallas, July 9th, 6 p.m. 

     Q    There are increasing calls not just from Republicans, but also from some Democrats for you to visit the border during this trip.  Can you explain why you didn’t do that?  And do you see any legitimate reason for you to actually do that at some point, or do you think those calls are more about politics than anything else? 

     THE PRESIDENT:  Jeh Johnson has now visited, at my direction, the border five times.  He’s going for a sixth this week.  He then comes back and reports to me extensively on everything that's taking place.  So there’s nothing that is taking place down there that I am not intimately aware of and briefed on.

     This isn’t theater.  This is a problem.  I’m not interested in photo ops; I’m interested in solving a problem.  And those who say I should visit the border, when you ask them what should we be doing, they're giving us suggestions that are embodied in legislation that I’ve already sent to Congress.

     So it’s not as if they're making suggestions that we’re not listening to.  In fact, the suggestions of those who work at the border, who visited the border, are incorporated in legislation that we’re already prepared to sign the minute it hits my desk."

     Mr. President - with all due respect "politics is theater"...   For you to outsource your moral duties as POTUS to a bureaucrat is to give your "power stakes" to others.  Only you are the POTUS.  As Reagan taught us long ago - it's the visuals that count not the words. 

       if you have time to play pool with the Gov. of Colorado and time to meet with Gov. Perry of Texas, who "rolled you" (see the press release in "comments"), you have time to fly down to the US/Mexico border to talk with the "refugees".  If not then as RAD said about Clinton in '98 - you've lost the moral authority to govern! 

    What's the point of being POTUS by retreating to being a policy wonk or just keeping the chair warm for Hillary?  

Monday
Jul072014

FUNDING HIGHWAYS IN THE 21st CENTURY

Washington County takes two steps forward on road funding

     The editors of the UnOregonian credit the Washington County Board for doing the right thing in supporting a ballot measure in November to increase the county gas tax to 30 cents and ending the 20% reduction on the Transportation Development fee.  RAD would concur with a big "but..." 

     The "but" is that with the impending ending of the federal highway transportation trust fund caused by the House GOP refusal to pass the trust fund budget - our local efforts will come to naught since highway improvements are matched with federal and state money.   So if the trust fund zeros out, then we will face a big fiscal "pot hole."  As environmentalists say "everything is inter-related."  

     The other "but" is that as long as we are wedded to a local, state and federal "gas tax" not a mileage tax we are losing billions of dollars because of federal fuel efficiency standards being raised and because of the subsidization of hybrid cars.  The more efficient our cars are, the less gas we use, the less gas taxes we reap.  This also creates a privileged position for hybrid car users who pay less gas taxes than non-hybrid car owners. 

     It's time we entered the 21st century in how we fund our highway and bridge infrastructure from sea to shining sea. 

     Moving to a mileage tax will help.  We have the technology to do this by having each state DMV put a type of GPS monitoring device on vehicles to measure mileage usage per month.  And the other pay off is that minus the federal and state gas taxes, our costs at the pump will go down.  But first things first, tell the Congress to get off their collective butts and pass the highway trust fund, now!  

     For the future check out this "road usage" pilot project website from ODOT: 

     Let's end the hybrid owner's "free ride."   

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Update: 

KOIN Local 6

     “Oregon might have to pony up as much as $110 million this year to cover the federal share of highway work caught up in the deadlock in Washington over transportation and taxes. The government has told states that in August it’ll start rationing transportation aid. For years, gasoline tax revenues have been falling short of covering transportation spending – more-efficient vehicles use less fuel – and Congress is divided over what to do. How this will affect Oregon is an easy question to answer, ODOT officials said. There will be lost jobs, and projects like the widening of Highway 26 won’t get done.”


 

Sunday
Jul062014

A JULY 4TH GREETING

     When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people... to assume... the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

     We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...  

     We spent July 4th in San Francisco.  On the plane ride down I began reading Elizabeth Warren's book A Fighting Chance.  Then while listening to KQED, the local NPR station, I heard a very erudite discussion about the Declaration of Independence.  We often focus on our "rights" as if they are self-actualizing but as Warren chronicles her life it's clear that rights hinge on government action. 

     In the real world the connection between us doing our thing as individuals and the government impeding or embracing the concept of rights is obvious to me.   

     Returning on the red-eye special from 5 days in San Francisco eating well, riding the cable and trolley cars and enjoying the scenes of the City by the Bay punctuated this reality.  San Francisco has a very diverse population and attracts tourists from all over the world.  At dinner we heard different languages being spoken and saw people of all races enjoying the 4th of July from Market Street to Fisherman's Wharf.    

      On the trip to Portland our packed to the gills plane was similarly diverse headed to what people think of "white bread" Oregon.  That was Oregon of my youth but not any more.  I enjoyed sitting in SFO for several hours watching an Hispanic family including what I assumed were Grandpa and Grandma with 5 well behaved grand-children,  4 little girls and a boy ages @ 7-10.  

     At one point I asked the Grandfather if they were going to Portland but he waved me off indicating he didn't speak English.  The kids didn't either to their elders but I suspect they are bi-lingual if they live in Oregon as appeared to be the case when I saw them being greeted by their Oregon family at PDX.   I thought the girls were cute, what do you expect from a grand father to a 4 year old grand daughter?  

      So at the end of the July 4th week and despite acrimonious fights over immigration in Congress and beyond, our county is becoming more not less diverse and we are better for it.  Of course this is coming from a person whose extended family tree includes Italian, German, English, Japanese, East Indian and Jewish roots plus religious diversity from Congregational, Baptist, Catholic, Evangelical and Mormon traditions. 

      While Ann and I were having a lemonade in The Buena Vista bar I talked political philosophy with a young woman from Israel who attended Columbia U in NYNY and was headed to Portland hoping to land a teaching job!  She and her two lady friends were headed to see La Traviata simulcast in ATT Park where we saw the Cards beat the Giants!  Go figure what will happen in a crowded bar when you are seated with people you've never met. 

     Viva la differance as we pursue "life, liberty and happiness."  A belated happy 4th 2014...    

   

Monday
Jun302014

FROM THE POLITICAL THEATER OF THE ABSURD

   EDITOR'S NOTE:  Here's some articles I've stockpiled for the dog days of early summer.  What does one do when politics becomes farcical?  Laugh, cry or scream?   

     I've been boycotting the World Cup in Brazil.  The article above from a Pacific colleague shines some light on why one should boycott the games, even though Jules as a former US soccer player doesn't go this far. 

     I have a close friend who is in San Paulo, Brazil visiting friends.  When coming in from the airport two weeks ago he saw lines of soldiers with AK-47s, the "welcoming" committee?   When he looked up the cost for a ticket to one game the price started at $800 - even as a die hard "Damn Yankee" fan he wouldn't pay this to see a World Series game. 

     Bottom line, as in the last Winter Games in British Columbia all the promises aren't being kept.  At the end this will be a fiscal drain on Brazil while poor people are removed for the games.   

     As the "CC" said - "well this certainly clears things up?"  Indeed! 

     Politics makes for strange bed-fellows - very strange!  The enemy of our enemy is our friend?  Radical is any group which shoots at us or "our friends?"  This is a nest of vipers, thieves...   One needs a score card to sort this out.  Orwell and Huxley would have fun with this:  love = hate, peace = war, friends = foes.  Now why are we taking sides here?   Have we learned nothing?   

     My solution - don't arm any of them, it will end in the wrong hands.  Let ISIS, the Syrians, the Iranians et al have at it.  For the USA - be careful what you wish for...  I thought Dick Cheney was retired?  

     Do these academic know there is "no there, there."  This idea died in 1972 when proposed by McGovern and Nixon.  To steal a line from the "CC" - "nice idea but it will never happen." 

     "Where it does become more radical is when you get into the area of the working age population, and the idea that people should receive some income whether they are in the labour market or not. That's a fairly radical idea in our culture, because most of us were brought up to believe that in order to survive you have to work."

     What guarantee is there that "working" enables one to survive...?   Ask those who work and live in poverty, 1 in 5 Oregonians.  Besides we know that when you give people "free money" they will spend it at the local casino, not for food or shelter...  The dole only works for the job creators like Intel and Nike, right?

     For another view see below...   

Food stamps: Does it work to pay recipients to eat healthier?

     On a warm June evening, Delona Thies headed to Nicolas Amaro's stand at the Forest Grove Farmers Market and picked out a $3 pint of bright red Hood strawberries. Next, she stopped by Aaron Nichols' stand and picked up a $2 bunch of rainbow chard. Both items were free. Thies, 48, paid with five wooden tokens she received at the market's accounting booth after swiping her Oregon Trail card to use $5 in food stamps. The market provides $5 in matching money that can be used only to buy fruits and vegetables.

     "We can afford to buy more fresh, local produce," the Forest Grove resident said. "Before, I'd save the fresh fruit for my son. I had to ration it, kind of, but I think we can afford to eat more of it now." The program is part of a relatively new approach to answer a question: Does it work to pay poor people extra so they can afford to eat healthier?"

California's jungle primary: Tried it. Junk it

     "Though county registrars are still tallying the votes in several close contests, the memory of California's June primary has already begun to fade from the state's collective consciousness — assuming, that is, that it ever made an imprint there at all. Before it vanishes altogether, though, Californians should take away one lesson from June's balloting: The state's new method for conducting primary elections is an asinine idea that can lead to perverse and anti-majoritarian consequences.

     If the goal is to get more citizens to vote, especially independents, the fastest growing registration group, then the open primary is a better alternative.  The "top two" primary can be manipulated too easily and confuses voters even more than the existing alternatives. 

     Oregonians will have a chance for vote for this idea in November.  Don't buy the hype, the bull - vote NO...   

     Today's SUPREME's ruling on the AHA illustrates how out of touch the 5 "boys" on the court are with the real America.  Clearly they believe a woman's place is in the home, barefoot and pregnant.  

     This plus the refusal of Boehner et al to do immigration reform will seal the deal in '16 for the GOP - you can't win by ticking off women, Latinos and organized labor!  

 

    
Sunday
Jun292014

REINVENTING THE WHEEL

     The Canadians are joining the education reform movement spawned in the USA in a Canadian "race to the top" or is it the bottom?  While the reasons up north echo the rationale for reform in the US -  to create a global workforce, Canada is taking a different pedagogical direction to create change - or so it seems.  


     The key features of this new model are an emphasis on creativity, innovation and “digital literacies,” with more discussion of broad concepts and big ideas and less emphasis on factual knowledge.

     Any teacher worth their pay is already encouraging students to be creative.  And any teacher should be innovative to take advantage of new knowledge of how to teach more effectively.  Teaching always involves concepts not merely rote learning of "facts"...   And the basics are still reading, writing and math.  So what's the real problem?

      I don't think it's teachers per se but the need to reward good teaching and to weed out the bad apples.  Peer teachers or principals know who the marginal ones are.  They just need to suck it up and weed them out!  I don't think this is a problem so much of bad teachers but parents who are AWOL from conception to birth and beyond.

     As a grandfather to a 4 year old I see too many upwardly mobile parents more tethered to their I-phones than watching their kids.  It is also beyond doubt that the primary indicators of school failure is economic status.  If you come from the wrong side of the tracks, you are programmed for failure. 

     So all the talk about reforming education in the USA from 1980 on and now Canada - is classic avoidance behavior of the real problem - socio-economic inequality.  Change that and you will do more to assure success in schools than any so-called education reform of K-12 schools.  

     Courses will be personalized to suit students’ “learning preferences.” Classes will be “student-centred,” and feature far less direct instruction and far more project and group work. Teachers will be expected to act as guides to “self-directed learners.” Technology will feature heavily in the classroom. Grades and testing will be downgraded. (Because who, after all, can measure “creativity”?)

     Again, good teachers personalize instruction taking into account the multiple intelligences of each student and the need to be culturally appropriate with children that increasingly comes from different class, racial and gender oriented groups.  But this is impossible to do with large class sizes!  

     Classes should be student centered not lecture centered.  Again good teachers learn this stuff in their college classes and practice teaching.  Project centered and group work are fine tools for expanding learning opportunities but they can't replace competent adult teachers any more than such could replace good parenting. 

     The love affair with technology and its presumed magic is so ubiquitous in modern society it makes one think all we need to design is a robot teacher machine.  This of course is non-sensical.  Testing is a bad word these days, especially high stakes testing.  But students need to be continually assessed as to how they are doing.  

     This doesn't require treating them like so many widgets as if they were on an assembly line but it does require high standards of proficiency to be set and the old standards of grading be it non-grade centered or the usual A, B, C et al - have worked for ages and people understand it.  So what's the problem? 

     Again, it comes back to valuing education, hiring and paying for good teachers, keeping class sizes small - 20 or below and treating teachers as professionals not people who need to be constantly monitored.  But again, the first teacher is a parent.  If parents do their job - then when kids go to school they will thrive - if not good luck!  

     All too often one sees parents not doing their job.  Maybe parents ought to be licensed to give birth...  Nope, too Orwellian.   So we'll just have to muddle through and teachers will have to mitigate the collateral damage done to kids before they ever get to school hungry, tired, unwashed or upset.  

     A final note - the best reforms come from the bottom up, not the top down! 

     

 

Page 1 ... 2 3 4 5 6 ... 567 Next 5 Entries »