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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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Jeb Bush's damning secret history

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Red states that mooch

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Trust in government is 'dead, Jim'

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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


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Tuesday
Mar172015

FERGUSON TO ISIS – TRAFFICKING IN YOUTH

     Encounters between law enforcers (public and private) and young Black men with the deaths of the latter is all too common in the USA. 

     Likewise the emergence of ISIS as a recruiter of young would be jihadists to Syria and then into ISIS ranks is also clear as a bell. 

     Where are the adults? 

     Brain development research has shown teenagers and young adults don’t have the developmental capacity to make reasoned decisions.  

     Any parent that pays attention to their 16 – 20 year old knows this from experience.  They don’t need a study to tell them this. 

     You can’t prevent your kids from making mistakes, that’s part of the journey of being young – learning from one’s mistakes. 

     But when being in the wrong place at the wrong time ends in death it’s not a teachable moment but a tragedy.  

     One of the keys to helping young people navigate this terrain is for a parent to be aware of what their kids are thinking and into - being in dialogue. 

     All too often when I hear stories of young people becoming protesters on the streets of Ferguson or joining ISIS I wonder where are their parents? 

     As a former anti-war and civil rights activist beginning in my 20s I was far away from home so that my parents couldn’t chart my decisions. 

     But my Dad and I had an open relationship so I shared with him my thoughts on a wide variety of personal and political issues. 

     I was never judged or yelled at but was treated like the adult I was in the process of becoming.  That relationship continued until he passed away. 

     Young adults need a parental sounding board…  Too many seem to lack that support system.  I keep wondering why?  

     I wonder if the parents of clearly troubled teens who use social movements to “act out” really are in relationship with their late teens, young adults. 

     You can’t shelter children from making what you feel are dumb choices but you can be “in relationship to them” enough to know what they are thinking. 

     As “active” parents my wife and I have played the "parent card" many times with our two sons to give them the benefit of our views and life experiences. 

     The key to this parenting is not to yell and judge but to try to understand their views and remain in communication with them even when we disagree.  

     When I see young people protesting in Ferguson in late night gatherings or hear of young recruits going to Syria to join ISIS – where are their parents? 

     Let’s be frank. Too many African-American families are so fractured that the parenting function has been assumed by gangs and now protest groups.     

     As a young college professor in the ‘70s I witnessed very privileged young ones get involved in anti-war politics in part as youthful rebellion. 

     Experience shows that youthful emotions can take over the “moment.”  At such times one has choices - to follow the crowd or use common sense.  I've been there, done that!

     Modern society has created a “youth consumer culture” that can be easily politicized and manipulated for purposes good and bad.  

     If Mom and Dad are in an open relationship with their teenage/young adult kids, the risks of youthful risky decisions can be hopefully mitigated. 

     Acting out and alienation is part of growing up.  And society aids youthful marginalization by creating a “them” versus the “us” narrative. 

     European society has marginalized “the other” by its failure to assimilate or accommodate immigrants to mainstream culture. 

     In the US the Black experience mirrors a similar pathway to alienation especially among Black men who are viewed with suspicion by white people. 

     It also doesn’t help in Europe, the USA and the Middle East when youthful joblessness is a generational experience. 

     But increasingly I wonder “where are the parents when their kids are in the streets after midnight taking risks we may all come to regret…?” 

Sunday
Mar152015

OREGON'S EDUCATION FUNDING - THE REAL MARCH MADNESS  

     The top of the fold lead article in today's UnOregonian lays out the "Faustian" trade offs in the K-12 education budget which is going up in net and per public numbers but which is nowhere near where it ought to be inflicting pain on some districts while leaving other's in a "no foul, no harm" zone. 

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Oregon school funding paradox: How could $600 million not provide a boost?

An artificially high level of funding this school year and the move to full-day kindergarten may combine to make a $600 million increase in state funding look like no increase for next school year.  Full story ________________________________________

     On top of the budget trade off having some students get community college credits for free in accelerated classes or what amounts to a 5th year of high school.  Either way, there is "no free lunch" in this proposition - somebody has to pay the bill - local districts, the state or the feds.  But not corporate Oregon!

     This begs the obvious question of where's the money coming from?  For now it's coming out of the local school budgets which are now going to have to fund with state help - full day kindergarten - which means less money for K-12 overall let alone a 13th grade.  How about our tattered safety net which leaves kids more at risk every year?  

     Until Oregon legislators bite the bullet of Measure 5 and the personal kicker which is going to rebate $300 million back to individual taxpayers this fall there is no end in sight of this political game of budget triage under the guise of more K-12 funding.  And on the horizon is the fate of the PERS reform siting in the Oregon Supreme Court. 

     Given the "politics of avoidance" factor is the glaring fact of life that Oregon has the lowest local and state business taxes in the USA, Intel and Nike have a 30 year get out of jail free "no new taxes" card thanks to Kitz and we give billions in SIP and other tax breaks to corporate Oregon based on the BIG LIE threat they will leave Oregon.  

     Corporate Oregon benefits from our transportation system, our airport system, our habors, our schools and our universities despite the fact they pay, at best, Oregon's minimum income tax, $150 per year!   At the same time the hi-tech industry has the audacious arrogance to complain we don't educate enough "geeks" to work in the industry.  

     It's time for a reality check in the Puzzle Palace and Mahonia Hall but so far the ghosts of the past rule - Measure 5 and corporate Oregon's game of thrones.  It's way past time to call corporate Oregon's bluff.   We should "triple dog dare them!"  WTF...     

Saturday
Mar142015

IN MEMORIUM

 

   

     Gretchen Kafoury, former city commissioner, Oregon legislator and Multnomah County commissioner, died Friday, March 13. She was 72.

     RAD's take on Gretchen - 

     Gretchen was a Whitman grad, class of '63.  I knew of her back then but got to know her best as a good friend and ally on affordable housing causes over the decades in her various roles noted above. 

     Gretchen was a straight talking no spin cycle pol who deaply cared about the most vulnerable in Portland and Oregon.  She had no problem talking truth to power!  As Governor Brown noted Gretchen was "authentic" not some blow dried politician who needed handlers....    

     Kafoury most recently was a teacher at Portland State University’s College of Urban and Public Affairs, Hatfield School of Government.

     Gov. Kate Brown said she would miss Kafoury’s “humanity and authenticity.”

     “Gretchen Kafoury really knew what servant leadership meant,” Brown said Friday evening. “She exemplified that commitment by serving and standing alongside Oregon’s most vulnerable citizens and championing equality for women.”

     Portland Mayor Charlie Hales called Kafoury "the conscience of our community."

     “Portland has lost a leader and role model today," Hales said Friday night. "She was tireless in her work with the National Organization for Women, the city of Portland, Multnomah County and the Oregon Legislature. She has been a colleague, an ally, a partner — the conscience of our community.”

     A longtime political activist who worked on Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign, Kafoury helped establish the Oregon National Organization for Women in 1970 and the Oregon Women’s Political Caucus in 1971.  She represented Northeast and Southeast Portland in the Oregon House from 1977 to 1982.  She was elected to the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners in 1985.  She served on the Portland City Council from 1991 to 1998.

     Gretchen we will miss you!  In the Peace Corp in Iran, as a teacher and iconic leader she answered the call "if not us, who?"   

Friday
Mar132015

ALTERNATIVES TO HILLARY?  

Hillary the GOP pin cushion?     I'm getting political puff pieces touting the virtues of Democrats who might be better candidates than Hillary. 

     The list includes Senator Amy Kobuchar (Minn.), Duvall Patrick, former governor of Mass, Senator Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Martin O'Malley former governor of Maryland. 

     Some with a warped sense of humor include Michael Bloomberg, former major of NYNY and even Ron Wyden on the really desperate list.  Hell why not former UW/NFL QB Jake Locher retired due to injuries?  This game is like the Golf Channel trying to find a replacement for Tiger Woods as a marquee star...    Good luck!  

     If you want to push Hillary more to the left - Bernie Sanders is your best bet but Sherrod Brown would be a good contender coming from the bell weather state of Ohio.  Look for one of these would be candidatdes to be a possible VP pick instead.  Bernie by contrast won't come into play in that inside the DNC game.   So Run Bernie Run!   

     Happy Friday the 13th...   

Wednesday
Mar112015

OUTSIDE & INSIDE THE PUZZLE PALACE!  

     Bill Hall, former RAD student at Pacific "back in the day," and RAD hanging out at the Housing Alliance Rally today in Salem in front of the Capitol building.  Notice RAD was almost smiling!       

      Bill is a county commissioner in Lincoln County on the Oregon coast.  He's also a rising star in the League of Oregon Counties Association and the author of a forthcoming book on Tom McCall - to whit "what if Tom had become president in 1976?"  Look for it in your favorite bookstore soon...   Bill was the keynote speaker at the rally and the first testifier of those invited to testify before the House Human Services & Housing committee.

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     Inside the Puzzle Palace: 

     The endemic "sickness" of the Kitzhaber era just keeps spilling out on the front page of the UnOregonian.

     Today's story was about a forestry advisor to Kitz who like Cylvia clearly used his dual roles as an advisor to Kitz on forestry policy to advance his private business interests in making timber deals. 

     Why this is surprising to anyone is hard to fathom.  In the 1950s IKE's secretary of defense said without flinching "that the business of government is business."  This cost him his job.  It wouldn't today!   

     As long as electeds see their role as being "business friendly" this sickness will continue. I've seen a succession of Oregon governors from Atiyeh to Kitzhaber who didn't draw any line of distinction between Oregon's well being and the well being of entities like Intel and Nike...

     In the Atiyeh era we got rid of the unitary tax which taxed the worldwide wealth of corporations located in Oregon.  Faced with a sour economy being "business friendly" seemed like a good idea.  It also was intended to fend off Measure 5 - the property tax revolt begun in California in '78.  Times have changed - corporate Oregon has done very well - it's time to take them off the "dole".   And they aren't going to leave Oregon!  

     This is not a matter of "perception" of ethical propriety, it's a matter of drawing a white line between the corporate and political arenas.  Since the Reagan years we have lost any such distinction - I see it all the time in Salem.  

     The genesis of this problem is that the narrative of politics in the Puzzle Palace and in the DC belt way doesn't center on the "public interest" but private "interests."  Our concept of the public good has withered since the Reagan era when government was falsely proclaimed as public enemy #1. 

     I'm not an apologist of government per se but our history is clear without the regulatory hand of government in play events like Kitz's implosion and the Great Recession are inevitable.  At the local, state and federal level government regulation has become the witting or unwitting hand maiden of private interests and a culture of greed. 

     I'm not opposed to public/private partnerships which advance the public interest.  As a housing advocate I've supported housing legislation that depends on such partnerships or leveraging.  But there has to be a clear public interest served if taxpayer dollars are used for economic development of "public goods" - schools, housing, roads and other infra-structure needs.       

     From the '50s to the '70s the countervailing power of industry and organized labor created a balanced conversation about what was the public interest.  With organized labor marginalized that countervailing voice has withered to be replaced by a variety of groups who contest the "corporates" in elections but not in the corridors of power. 

     It's not a matter of which political party you favor either.  In Oregon, especially in Washington County we have what I call "Intel Ds" - legislators who feel giving SIPs to Intel is good public policy because it bankrolls 17,000 jobs hereabouts and puts Intel employees income and property taxes in the coffer while giving Intel tax loopholes galore. 

     Intel’s most recent SIP agreement approved in early August of this past year an historic 30 year deal that will grant the tech giant more than $2 billion in potential property tax breaks on up to $100 billion in local investment.

     The deal does not require the company to invest anything or add jobs...   

     Averaging $2 billion in property tax breaks over 30 years equals an annual break of $6.7 million per year.  And since Intel doesn’t pay state income taxes – the cost shift to local residents and businesses which don’t get a SIP is considerable to say the least.  See "comments" section.  

     At the national level we have a rabid Republican party dedicated to making Obama a failed president while pandering to the likes of the Koch brothers and their ilk as if it was akin to saluting the American Flag.  But this catering to the Fortune 500 crowd began in the Clinton years without any apologies to being business friendly. 

     It's only when one factors in the social agenda that the differences between the two parties become clear.  The GOP is the party of aging white folk and the lumpen proletariat from the ranks of the Tea Party.  The Dems are the party beholden to the hi-tech sector, Hollywood, people of color, gays, youth and what's left of the labor movement. 

     When I sit in a public hearing in the Puzzle Palace where the messaging is let's open the books of transparency to see "if" corporate Oregon is paying it's fair share, it's morally offensive because we know the answer is NO.  What we should do is demand that corporations pay their fair share in wages and taxes so that people don't end up homeless. 

    This sickness is deeper than Kitz - it's systemic from DC to Salem, from Wall Street to Main Street.  We've become beggars at the public trough trying to appeal to the moral conscience of he 1% when it's clear they have no conscience - they divined this system with the help of Bob Packwood and David Stockman in the Reagan era.    

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