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On the lighter side of life... 

#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace

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Trump & The Mob

http-//www.politico.com#13C5A6C

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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."

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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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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 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. 

     In Washington County, Oregon's "economic engine," the divide between the affluent and the working poor continues.  We have a 19,000 unit gap in affordable low income rental housing.  County political and business leaders are indifferent to this crisis...   


A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  

 

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison

 

"Philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways. The point is, however, to change it. 

- Karl Marx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

See my FACEBOOK @ Russ

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Case-for-Trump-over-Clinton-is-a-loser

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SB 1533 passes!  

http://oregon.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=10863

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Housing Needs in Oregon 

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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
Aug232016

GOP DEMONIZE THE CLINTONS, AGAIN...  

     The Washington Post reports that access to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton may have been influenced by donations to the Clinton Foundation when she was secretary of state.

     Source:  Lucas Jackson/Reuters/PRI - The World

Listen to the article podcast - download

     The Post's Rosalind Helderman got ahold of the emails after a lawsuit made them public. An excerpt from Helderman's story:

     The release of the correspondence follows previous disclosures of internal emails showing a similar pattern of access for foundation contributors, and it comes as Republicans allege that Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, used her perch in the Obama administration to trade favors for donations. Clinton and the foundation have vigorously denied the charge.

     "What we found was that there is this worldwide network of friends and supporters of the Clintons," Helderman says. "They've been on the world stage for a long time. People who have given them political donations and also people who have persistently given donations to the Clinton Foundation, who did appear from these emails to have a sort of back channel, direct line in to Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state."

     Essentially, Clinton Foundation staff could get people meetings with the Clintons, specifically the secretary of state.

     For example: the crown Prince of Bahrain. Not unusual for a US ally to get a meeting with the secretary of state, but an indicator that someone who donates to or is a "good friend" of the Clinton Foundation could get a meeting more easily than someone who isn't.

     However, Helderman notes, a donation to the foundation did not guarantee a meeting with either Clinton.

Full disclosure: Public Radio International is among a number of news organizations that have donated to the Clinton Foundation. 

     When checking out the list of media corps, CEOs or journalists who contributed to The Clinton Foundation is there a quid pro quo involved or simply a charitable donation all corporations and the 1% give out of altruism or as a tax write off? 

     RAD:  In listening to the podcast - what is key is that the Clintons given their national and international profile live in "a culture of access" in this case for people who support a foundation that has been instrumental in Africa in collaboration ironically with former President George W. Bush to address the health issues caused by a variety of epidemics there and in other parts of the world including the USA.   

     As the author of the Post article says "this is the kinda way that Washington works."  One could say the same about Paris, Geneva, London, Brussels or Bonn.  After many investigations nobody has found a "smoking gun" where access created a clear conflict of interest.  What it did was enable people to access the Clintons for their help and that of the foundation which has done philanthropy all over the world.

      One doesn't see articles in the Post or on NPR about the Carter foundation.  How many high profile people does former President Carter interact with on his many projects including peace keeping and election monitoring?  In the age of gotcha journalism and negative politics even doing good has its risks as Hillary and Bill are finding out - when one runs for President - scrutiny is the price but to use a 'Bilism' "this dog won't hunt." 

     While the media (which you note in NPR's case is caught up in this tangled web) - indulges in a "feeding frenzy" in the dog days of August between the conventions and the start of the 2016 campaign @ Labor Day - our friends in the media need something to do to justify their salaries while they move up the media food chain.  I've got an idea for them - check out The Donald's "culture of access" which he has used in the pursuit of his own "charity" - himself...    

     We lowly Oregonians have no "culture of access" - yeah and I've got a bridge over the Willamette I want to sell you.  Attending my first Northwest Political Science Association annual meeting many years ago @ 1975 I remember our host, a distinguished professor of political science from Lewis & Clark said one of the nice things about Oregon is you could get all the movers and shakers in the state in one large class room.   

     This was not criticism of how things got done in Oregon but quite the contrary - how collegial Oregon politics back then in the McCall, Straub, Hatfield years when good public policy put us on the map.  Oregon at its best still has that collegial bi-partisan aura and we have a state which is free from scandal which tarnishes many other states, especially those east of the Mississippi. We don't elect convicted felons - they do in Illinois and Pennsylvania.

     On a personal note when I created and produced the Tom McCall Forum for 25 years (1982-2007) we could not have done it without our "culture of access" to corporate boards and philanthropy - that's what a university president and the university relations team do.  But nobody, not the president of the university or a trustee ever determined the topic and/or speakers - that was my job with input from my departmental colleagues and students. 

     I presume that Hillary as Secretary of State had boundaries - something The Donald never has evidenced!     

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PS:  Check out my latest FB posting (hit the link Russ)

     The media is using the Clintons as a punching bag in it's usual cheap shot journalism mantra - feeding frenzies and gotcha journalism galore.  Having been habituated to Trump's Twitter mania all the media does is react to invented scandals or personal attacks - it doesn't do any serious reporting...   

Friday
Aug192016

THE BOY FROM ALLEPO...

     The face of the war in Syria... Whose to blame?

     President Assad of Syria and his Russian enabler Vladimir Putin have the most blood on their hands. But the militants on all sides of this brutal multi-front sectarian civil war are also complicit.  The Obama administration failed to find a diplomatic solution to this problem despite declaring early on we'd strike a red line to separate the combatants. That promise evaporated early on.  So we also share in the blame game.  

     Why didn't we set up a "no fly" zone as we did in Iraq over Kurdistan?  There's been no coherent answer to that question. My assumption has been that once we realized the Russians were involved, to do so would have meant a de facto declaration of war against Mother Russia risking WW III. So children like the "boy of Aleppo" are the collateral damage of geo-political reality with no end in sight of on the ground brutality..

     Here's where Donald Trump and the GOP must share part of the blame. They've demonized the victims of terrorism in Syria et al.  Only 10,000 Syrian refugees will get to the USA before the end of the Obama administration. By contrast our Canadian neighbors have set their goal as 25,000. But both are far from the goals the Euros established before they lost their nerve and ethnic paranoia set in.

     So when you hear The Donald trumpet "keep the Muslims out" - we know who he means - children like Omran!  That's not a profile in courage but zenophobia. 

     But I still come back to the question, we used a no fly zone in the former Yugoslavia under Clinton, one to protect Kuwait under Bush I and one under Bush II to enable the Kurds to create their autonomous region - what makes Syria different? Had we stuck to our red line earlier, Putin wouldn't have dared challenge us any more than he went beyond the Crimea in his annexation of that region from The Ukraine.

     There are no easy answers but "something is better than nothing" than sacrificing a generation of innocent children.   And with Trump being in bed with Putin you know he'll do nothing if elected to help the children of Syria which at this time is as likely as the Syrian air force not "barrel" bombing Aleppo!

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For the LATimes article which I used for this post - go to my FB page - it includes video...  

Friday
Aug192016

FROM RIO WITH LOVE?  

By Jules Boykoff, for FGNTimes...   

    If Twitter-sphere trash-talking were an Olympic sport, Donald Trump would be a legitimate contender for gold.

     When the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics commence on Friday, Trump will be consumed with campaigning. But it turns out the Olympics and “The Donald” have a whole lot in common. Like Trump, the modern-day Olympics are a tempting blend of spectacle and speculation. But behind the shimmering scrims sit some brutal truths.

     The cosmopolitan luminaries who run the International Olympic Committee inhabit the world of helipads and caviar, a zone of privilege where Trump would feel at ease. The IOC’s Olympic Foundation reserve fund sits at about $1 billion. The IOC and its “Olympic Partners” — the Who’s Who of the corporate world, including Coca-Cola, GE and Visa —could comfortably rub shoulders with Trump and his ilk.

     When these corporate partners jet into the Olympic host city, they don’t pay a dime in taxes. This is not unlike Trump: the last time he made public his income-tax returns, he had forked over a grand total of $0 to the feds.

     Both Trump and the Olympics position themselves as philanthropic, donating to both charities and fulfilling grandiose promises to the host city. But as with Trump, whose donations have proved to be more phantom than opera, the great benefits that the Games supposedly bestow on everyday people in the host city have turned out to be more aspirational than inspirational.

     Look no further than Rio de Janeiro. Hosting the Olympic Games was supposed to jumpstart the cleanup of the city’s waterways. But today Guanabara Bay and the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, which will soon host Olympic water-events, look more like scenes from the Old Testament, plagued by massive fish die-offs and sludgy carpets of trash clogging the shoreline.

     According to lore, the arrival of both Trump and the Olympics are supposed to float all economic boats. But with both there’s a gulf between reputation and reality. Trump’s businesses have left a sketchy record in their wake. Exhibit A: Trump University. Exhibit B: his Atlantic City casinos hemorrhaged money. And while Trump himself did not go belly up, his shareholders did.

    Similarly, the Olympics have become infamous for fudging the numbers. Every single Olympic Games since 1960 has catapulted over budget. This puts host cites on the hook for cost overruns, which average a whopping 156%. Meanwhile the IOC jets off to the next Olympic venue.

     Mitt Romney, Trump’s nemesis who has sniped at him from the sidelines, has done some Olympic truth-telling as well. The former Republican presidential candidate, who previously nudged the scandal-wracked Salt Lake City Olympics across the finish line, recently cautioned of the Games, “It’s really not a money-making opportunity.”

     In truth, research by academic economists has shown that for host cities, the Olympics are less “The Art of the Deal,” and more “The Art of the Steal.” Taxpayers in the Olympic city pay a sizable price.

     Trump has been called an “imperial CEO” but the IOC shares his penchant for onerous demands. Host cities are forced to harmonize their local laws with IOC dictates to prevent ambush marketing. This can lead to ludicrously monomaniacal outbursts of brand protection. During the London 2012 Olympics, one local café was strong-armed into removing its “flaming torch breakfast baguette” from its menu. A flower shop was ordered to disassemble a window display made out of tissue paper that was in the shape of the Olympic rings.

     Trump could surely relate. After the ghostwriter of Trump’s blockbuster autobiography “The Art of the Deal,” publicly dubbed the book a work of fiction that the Republican presidential nominee might not even have read from cover to cover, Mr. Trump’s chief legal counsel sent him cease-and-desist letter.

     Trump’s frivolous lawsuits sprawl back to the 1980s when he unsuccessfully sued fellow businessmen for having the temerity to share his surname and try to start a firm named “The Trump Group.” As with the Olympics, legal action all too easily replaces healthy, measured conversation and compromise.

     Beyond the bluster, Trump shares similar favorability ratings with the Olympics. Seven of every ten Americans view Donald Trump unfavorably. Meanwhile a recent survey in Brazil found that nearly two-thirds polled thought the Rio 2016 Games will bring “more harm than benefit.”

     Trump actually has historical links to the Olympics. In the lead-up to the 2004 Athens Games, Trump carried the Olympic torch as it passed through New York City. Previously he led an unsuccessful campaign for New York to secure those same Games. And in Rio, Trump Towers—five sleek skyscrapers—are slated to be built in the city’s northern zone (apparently he plans to Make Brazil Great Again).

     We can learn a lot about the state of the Olympics in the 21st century by flinging the Games through the Trump filter.

Jules Boykoff lives in Portland and teaches political science at Pacific University in Forest Grove. He is the author of three books on the Olympic Games, most recently "Power Games: A Political History of the Olympics" (Verso Books, 2016). His writing on Olympic politics has appeared recently in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. In fall 2015, he was a Fulbright research fellow in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he researched politics in the pre-Olympic city.

 

Tuesday
Aug162016

BURNED: HOW A WILDFIRE DEVASTATED LIVES ..

Firestorm: Poor planning and tactical errors fueled a wildfire catastrophe

     The Faustian bargain of sequestration? 

     The Oregonian's special supplement does a good job of explaining the particulars of last summer's Canyon Creek fire but it leaves out a key component of the genesis of this and similar fire storm catastrophes in the Wild Wild West.  

     Behind the tragic consequences to people's lives and lives lost caused by such devastating fires, why did we have 10 million acres of such fires in the USA last year?  The answer is climate change and poor short term and long term planning for such events. 

     But what the authors don't mention is that too many of us in the West have taken for granted an almost divine right to live adjacent or literally in large forested areas.  As long as we insist on living so close to forested land, these wild fires are going to not only destroy prime forest land but they are going to put entire rural communities at risk and with them spew smoke into urban areas hundreds of miles from them if the wind conditions allow. 

     So while we concentrate on better planning and better funding by public and private forest managers (aka collaboration) including selective harvesting within old growth timber land, spotted owls notwithstanding, we also need to set major timber lands off limits to "rural sprawl" - be it building homes on the edge or in of big forests and recreational development such as high priced destination golf resorts.  

     We have a right to 'visit' our national forests and parks, we don't have a divine right to live in them, what the editors of the unOregonian term euphemistically as the "wildlife/urban" interface. 

     As a taxpayer I should NOT have to pay for the luxury of those who want to have a "second home" on the range near Mother Nature's pristine sites. As Tom McCall would say "come visit but please, please don't stay."

     For more proximate answers check out these suggestions from the authors:  

Sunday
Aug142016

WAREHOUSING THE POOR...  

Portland gives massive homeless shelter greenlight...

     This is a bad plan to help the homeless.  Building a larger shelter doesn't solve the problem but is simply "human removal" of the homeless from downtown Portlandia and its neighborhoods.  It's an 'out of sight out of mind' Faustian bargain.

     Putting the homeless in an industrial area with no mass transit access,  social services or retail stores like a big box grocery store or Goodwill store makes no sense.  Go to my Facebook page for more on this Potemkin Village proposal.  We need permanent low-income housing not shelters! 

     According to Oregonian columnist Steve Duin Homer Williams' vision is that we can't build enough apartments for millennials and seniors. "We're going to need to build dormitories... with shared showers and bathrooms..." Williams new bleak normal scares me more than The Donald. 

     This "Terminal I" plan (pun intended) is an echo of how Native Americans were "relocated" to reservations and Japanese-Americans were sent to "internment camps" in WW II.  This is an example of the poverty of thinking that comes out of minds who think in terms of business plans not social justice.

 

 

Another broken promise!  

www.oregonlive.com
Officials said they'd lock in a price by July for property owned by the Zidell family
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