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Middle East friendship chart

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California topples a tyrant

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10 Things US does worse than Europe

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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Check video

- 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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Sneaker Politics

Kitzhaber and legislators got rolled by Nike. 

More

 


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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.   

 

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 

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Easier to buy assault weapon than vote

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Kansas' ruinous tax cuts

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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



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


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Friday
Jul112014

ISRAEL’S STATE TERRORISM, DÉJÀ VU

Palestinian mourners chant slogans as they carry the bodies of eight members of the Al Haj family, who were killed in an Israeli missile strike early morning, during their funeral in Khan Younis refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, July 10.     While the current violence in Gaza was brought on by the killings of three Israeli school boys by persons still unknown, the match that lit the Palestinians was the murder of an Israelis Arab by burnt to death, again by persons unknown, presumably an act of vengeance for the prior killings.  

     In a civil society on either side of the West Bank, one would police investigations would have taken place to sort out the facts and bring the perpetrators to justice in the court system of Israel since in both cases the victims lived in Israel not Gaza.  Sadly terrorism has been the default position. 

     In Israel the calls for a kind of Old Testament vengeance has come with typical Israeli militaristic precision, bombing homes and killing over 100 civilians thus far.  Hamas on the other hand started this fracas by launching missiles into Israel which have not caused any loss of life, so far. 

     So as typical of violence in this part of the world, Israel’s capacity to kill is out of proportion to what the hated enemy can do.  It’s like Al Capone in the old days in Chicago killing off his competition be it fellow gangland dudes or cops.  In this case the state terrorists of Israel have the edge. 

     Israel has such a disproportionate edge in the tools of violence largely due to US economic and military assistance.  The USA is the largest purveyor of such weapons in the world!  And any suggestion that we dial such support back from Israel would cause the Jewish Lobby here to go catatonic.

     So sadly the cycle of violence will rain down on the Palestinians like battle of David vs. Goliath.  We’ve seen this picture before – nothing seems to change.  Collateral damage and blood flows in the streets of the Fertile Crescent from Jerusalem to Baghdad, from Damascus to Gaza.

     Since all involved pray to the same God albeit with different texts, one wonders what God is thinking about his/her beloved peoples?       

     I also wonder why progressives who find multiple reasons to fault the USA, seldom apply that yardstick to Israel.  A double standard? 

Friday
Jul112014

IN OREGON, THE 1% vs. THE REST OF US

Oregon is demure and lovely, ... And I think you’ll all be just as sick as I am if you find it is nothing but a hungry hussy, ..  - Tom Mcall

     Connect Oregon was created to encourage business and job growth across Oregon.  However, after reading the 28 proposals in the COV applications report, these proposals, at a cost of $42 million in lottery backed bonds, are less focused on job growth but instead subsidizing local airport users, especially private plane owners. 
     While any investments in public infrastructure do create temporary construction jobs and over the long term filter through a local economy to create ancillary jobs - the payoff to the Oregon taxpayer is minimal compared to the direct benefit to the private sector, who is asked to contribute nothing to these projects, nor are local voters asked to step up in support. 
   

     While K-12 funding, higher education funding and human services funding in Oregon continue to face funding challenges, we are pouring millions of dollars matched by FAA money from the federal government which amounts to a hidden subsidy of a few Oregonians - those who own their own planes and/or corporations who want to land their jets in regional airports at little or no cost to themselves.

     The public benefit is not proportionate to the cost to the taxpayer of Oregon.  An example, is the Bend Heliport expansion request, one of 28 proposals which will be vetted next week in Salem by ODOT (see how to respond below).  

    This COV recommended project asks for $326,700 of lottery bond dollars to support a helicopter pad at the Bend airport, largely so a private business can use it to give flying lessons while assuming others will use it for repair businesses.  How does one balance subsidizing a for profit enterprise at the expense of a future college grad? 

     Instead of investing in Oregon students we are investing in existing business that don't need help or the kind of help struggling families need. 

     For example, only 20% of eligible college students actually get Oregon Opportunity Grants.  And since they are for only $2000 a year, the students are obviously providing significant match which is not required in COV projects. 

     There is something very wrong in this picture of privileging the 1% vs. Oregon's struggling working families.   This kind of slush fund funding of the private sector has to stop unless there is a wider public interest to be served which these projects don't illustrate.  How we spend public tax dollars says what our real values are. 

     When we subsidize Nike, Intel et al via SIPs and now OCV grants with no private or local funding match required we are saying our priorities are the private sector not the general public. 

     When an Oregon student attends college he/she may get a scholarship but parental support is required, often loans are required along with work study.  There is no "free lunch" for college students - why is there for corporate Oregon and owners of private general aviation airplanes which pollute in the latter case?

    The Oregon Opportunity Grant is Oregon's largest state-funded need-based grant program for students planning to go to college. Opportunity Grants are funded primarily by Oregon taxpayers.

     Nearly 32,000 students received OOG awards totaling more than $51.6 million in the 2012-13 academic year, and a similar number of students are projected to receive awards of up to $2000 in 2013-14. 

     Sadly this doesn't cover enough college bound students and it doesn't stop many from ending up in serious debt after graduation.  And annual funding of the OOG progam is only $10 million more than ConnectionOregon grants which illustrates how miserly Oregon is in supporting higher education! 

     Again, there is something very wrong with this picture.  If you want to invest in Oregon invest in students not in perks for the 1%!  Please join me in Salem next Thursday!  

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July 9, 2014

For more information: Dave Thompson, ODOT Public Affairs, (503) 986-3455

SALEM – The Oregon Transportation Commission will hold a public hearing during its regular meeting on July 17 in Salem to receive public testimony regarding ConnectOregon V project funding recommendations. The meeting will be held at the Salem Convention Center, 200 Commercial St. SE, Salem, Oregon 97301 and the public input period will begin at 1:35 p.m. Written testimony can be submitted through July 25 to: ConnectOregon@odot.state.or.us or via hard copy to: ODOT, Attn: Chris Cummings, 555 13 St. NE, Salem, Oregon 97301. 

A final review committee forwarded a prioritized list of recommendations to the OTC in June; the applications were also reviewed and prioritized earlier by modal committees and regional/geographic committees. The commission will make a final decision regarding project funding at its August 21-22 meeting in Ontario, Oregon. OTC agendas are available online (http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/comm/Pages/otc_main.aspx).

ConnectOregon is a lottery-bond-based initiative first approved by the 2005 Oregon Legislature to improve transportation connections by investing in in air, rail, marine/ports and transit infrastructure. The 2013 Oregon Legislature approved a fifth authorization of $42 million in for ConnectOregon; the latest legislation includes bicycle/pedestrian projects as also eligible for funding. To date, more than 203 multimodal projects have been approved for $382 million in ConnectOregon funding, representing, along with matching funds, approximately $834 million for non-highway transportation improvements supporting economic development around the state.

Visit the ConnectOregon website for more information about the program, http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TD/TP/ConnectOR.shtml.

Tuesday
Jul082014

INTEL ISN'T THE ONLY POLLUTER IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD...  

EDITOR'S NOTE:  The articles below come from a news service I get called OUR OREGON...  

Intel's DIX Fab Plant, next to its Ronler Acres campus at Orenco Station in Hillsboro

Chemical non-reaction
Portland Mercury

     "You could be forgiven for obsessing over oil trains. Locomotives hauling black gold have shown a worrying predilection for igniting lately—with one especially terrible accident killing 47 in Quebec last year. Now, similar trains have begun moving through Oregon, and Portland, causing protests and alarm and media interest.

     But if you've downed a Hefe-weizen at the Widmer Brothers Pub on North Russell, or meandered through the Central Eastside to scope a laser light show at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, or driven up Highway 30 to the St. Johns Bridge, chances are you've come far closer to potentially explosive, latently deadly chemicals than you ever will to a crude-splashed caboose.

     Potential mayhem surrounds us at all times. The problem is no one's telling you about it."

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Busted bottles
Willamette Week

      "No corporation had more at stake in the May ballot measure over control of the city’s water than Portland Bottling Co.

      The soft-drink bottler contributed $100,000—more than any other donor—to the failed measure, which would have wrested control of Portland’s water and sewer utilities away from City Hall.

     The company claimed it wanted to rein in rising water bills and stop the misspending of ratepayer funds. “The mayor has called us political terrorists,” Portland Bottling president Tom Keenan said last July. “I say we are political liberators.”

     Records obtained by WW show the company may have had another motive for getting the utilities out from under city control: Portland Bottling has been under investigation by the city for illegally dumping millions of gallons of wastewater."

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."   

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     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.”


 

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