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On the lighter side of life... 

#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace


Trump & The Mob



"Give me your tired, your poor

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore

Send these, the homeless, tempest-toss'd to me

I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door."


Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax


Half of the US Is Broke


The myth of the Christian country


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937


A Just Peace


SIP contract online


Middle East friendship chart


Corporations enriching shareholders


- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry


Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks



"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  





  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:


  • Jim Hightower:

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column

Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 

Hard Times in Oregon: 


The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   




    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People


    Connecting the dots between homelessness & hunger in Oregon and Washington County: 


•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.


•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

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

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


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

- James Madison


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

- Karl Marx










































RAD Lines

See my FACEBOOK @ Russ




SB 1533 passes!


Housing Needs in Oregon 




#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace


"There are men who believe that democracy... is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate [and that] tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future..." 

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1941


Obamacare is working in Oregon!

Oregon's uninsurance rate cut more than half following federal health reforms


Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel


Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 


Sign the petition ►

Walgreens - pay your fair share of taxes!

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

Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha  

Intel failed to report fluoride emissions for almost 30 years   

     Why do Intel employees who are house hunting in Hillsboro, Aloha or Beaverton refer to an area within a 5 mile radius of Intel plants as "the dead zone?"  

      Do they know something we don't?  We couldn't trust banks "too big to fail," so why should we trust Intel?

Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw



From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now

The Daily Kos

Blue Oregon


"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001

    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 


    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   



     Garrison Keillor - "...The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be a fount of wisdom... but when you consider...  moon-faced Mitch McConnell, your faith in democracy is challenged severely. Any legislative body in which 41 senators from rural states that together represent 10 percent of the population can filibuster you to death is going to be flat-footed, on the verge of paralysis, no matter what. Any time 10 percent of the people can stop 90 percent, it's like driving a bus with a brake pedal for each passenger. That's why Congress has a public approval rating of [11] percent...." 

"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams


"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  


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

- George Santayana 


"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals


"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  


"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' 

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"  

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921) 

"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."  

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11 


"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”   

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."  

- Abraham Lincoln 


Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society  

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 


"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..."  

- Edmund Burke  


“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”  

- Jonathan Swift 


" Every satirist who drew breath has flung pots of ink at this parade of tooting lummoxes and here it is come round again, marching down Main Street, rallying to the cause of William McKinley, hail, hail, the gang’s all here, ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay."  

- Garrison Keillor 

















































    arnoldmain.jpgFrom: CFM Insider Online:  A GOP Trend-Setter, 9/26/07
    "For those wondering what it might take to elect a Republican as President, or even to a statewide office, look no further than Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who oversees California, the country south of Oregon posing as a state.
    A quick click to Schwarzenegger's official Web site tells the story:
    •     There is a picture of the governor addressing the United Nations about climate change, touting what he calls the world's first low carbon fuel standard for vehicles sold in California.
    •     Standing in front of a reservoir, the governor announces a $9 billion plan to upgrade and expand the state's water infrastructure, increasing above and below ground storage capacity, taking steps to restore habitat and protect water
quality, and boosting water supply reliability.
    •     After a 2-year slog through the California Assembly, Schwarzenegger beams in front of cameras as he signs legislation providing incentives to place an additional million solar panels on the roofs of California homes and businesses to generate 3,000 megawatts of electricity - and give refunds on their electric bills to consumers with solar panels.
    •     Schwarzenegger poses with former President Bill Clinton as they discuss steps to reform health care, a topic that has its own separate section on the governor's Web site, along with one for Maria Shriver, his media-genic wife and First Lady of California.
    This isn't the kind of material you expect to see from President Bush - or a lot of other Republican elected officials. More typical of Republican politics, Schwarzenegger also talks up his commitment to charter schools, workers compensation reform and crime victim rights. But what dominates his Web site, and apparently his policy focus, are issues related to the environment, sustainability and livability.
    To someone such as Schwarzenegger with an eye to winning elections, this is the stuff of winners.
    To Oregonians with long memories, this isn't so surprising. Oregon once boasted Republican leaders, some of them fairly conservative in their viewpoint, who spent a lot of their political capital on similar issues. Governor Tom McCall is best known for crusading to protect the Willamette Valley and clean up the river that gives it life. Senator Mark Hatfield designated large tracts of wilderness areas in Oregon's national forests. Governor Vic Atiyeh has stood with former Democratic governors to defend Oregon's land-use system.
    McCall, Hatfield and Atiyeh stood for many other things as well - for example, higher education investment. But their most distinguishing quality is they won elections - and re-elections.
    So has Schwarzenegger.
    His Web site is polished and festooned with great photographic images and video clips. It rivets attention to his achievements and policy priorities. It also reflects a political persona who has taken the time to think about how he is positioned in the political galaxy and has the ability to showcase legacy-sized priorities.
    Schwarzenegger seems to brush aside posturing for the benefit of his political base - he doesn't harangue about undocumented workers, for example. Instead, he gives the appearance of a man of action determined to wrestle with the giant issues of our time - water, clean air and affordable health care.
    Undoubtedly critics can find fault, but it is hard to quarrel with the aura he creates. The Governator stands above the blue state/red state fault line. He assumes the role of leading his state into the future, setting an example of how a Republican might offer to lead an entire country."
    RAD:  Governor Rambo spent most of his first term trying to appease the base of the GOP and getting absolutely nowhere and in the process coming close to being a first term only governor.  Then he woke up and began to be more collaborative with the Democratic legislature and the mood music in Sacramento changed.  As I said regarding our presidential candidates the key issue is what kind of "learning curve" do they have.  Governor Rambo clearly "learned" the old fashioned way and reinvented himself, much as Bill Clinton did after '95. 
    Schwarzenegger ran as an iconoclastic outsider Republican using a blend of right wing rhetoric combined with 21st century populism and then tried governing by bashing the Ds.  After being hammered he switched his tactics and has in effect governed like a Democrat.  So the lesson for Rs - run to your base in the primary season; then to the middle in the general election and govern like a progressive!  Aside from Rudy G all of the GOP presidential candidates seems hostage to the right wing of the GOP.  They have no learning curve! 



    Corporate leaders always have opinions about how we can prepare a workforce to meet the challenges of a global economy.  In Thursday's Oregonian Rick Warren, senior state executive for IMB, offers his insights in an article entitled "Changing the way we think about learning."  Warren trots out some familiar speaking points:  a commitment to life long learning; being ready to change careers 5 to 10 times in a lifetime; and creating compacts between communities, employers and workers.
    There's nothing new in any of these suggestions.  They have been the focus of national studies like A Nation at Risk (1980) to America's Choice (1990) over the last 40 years.  Corporate America through such sounding boards as the Carnegie Foundation or in Oregon via the Educational Act of the 21st Century (1991) has been beating on this drum endlessly.  In Oregon consortium of foundations has led the charge under the auspices of the Chalkboard Project.  The focus is mostly on increasing school accountability through high stakes testing such as NCLB.
    But Mr. Warren lets the cat out of the bag when he says the following:  while employers cannot guarantee lifelong employment they should invest in employee development.  But he then goes on to say "...In return, employees must take on greater responsibility for their career development, wellness and community involvement..."  He argues that communities must also step up to foster "an adaptive highly skilled work force."  He suggests business and community leaders should team up with college professors " shape the needs of local employers..."  
    However, nowhere in this op ed piece does Mr. Warren suggest that corporate America or Oregon should step up to the financial challenges of creating a highly skilled work force.  The concept of investing in K-12 through increasing corporate taxes is never mentioned.  Why the silence in a state where the minimum corporate tax is $10 per year!  One can only guess that Mr. Warren believes that for the "corporates" there is a free lunch, a public willing to tax themselves.  Aside from Portland's very blue voters, there is little evidence of such will in Oregon. 
    Another irony is that he notes that wages in Oregon are 11% lower than the national average!  With such a disincentive in the marketplace Oregon will face a brain drain of our best and brightest seeking their futures elsewhere.  So, why doesn't Mr. Warren give us a clue how to address the "wage gap"?  That's a variable corporate Oregon controls, not K-12 teachers or college professors.  Instead Mr. Warren implicitly passes the buck as is often the case by CEOs who increasingly are absentee Oregonians just burnishing their careers in a brief stay here.
    But if Mr. Warren is truly serious, he's missed a major alternative and one that has worked throughout our nation's history.  The best education for preparing young men and women for the workplace is a liberal education which focuses on creating a commitment to lifelong learning, interdisciplinary approaches to learning and collaboration.  Good universities like Pacific University and Portland State University help prepare their students for the workforce by challenging them to learn across the curriculum as well as in the field through internships and civic engagement.
    Mr. Warren - where did you attend high school and college?  Why are you so clueless about what really matters as opposed to rehashing the "party line" of corporate America?  Oh, and one final question:  when was the last time you taught a K-12 class or a taught at one of Oregon's excellent public or private universities?  I've spent 37 year plus in the groves of academe as a professor not including my studies at Whitman and the University of Minnesota.  What are your credentials for making these suggestions?
    Mr. Warren, next time just don't talk the talk, walk the walk!  I don't presume to have the expertise to manage IBM, how dare you assume you can do the job of a principal or college president.  Why don't you work on the wage gap in Oregon which is closer to your skill set and expertise, Mr. Warren!  And while you are at it, go to Salem and demand that your company and others like it pay their fair share of taxes to support K-12 and higher ed systems to "invest" in their future employees! 



    NPR this a.m. had a story on the budget crisis in the state of Michigan.  The Democratic governor is facing off with a Republican legislature over a classic budget battle.  The state is facing a 2 billion dollar deficit.  The Democrats want to raise taxes to bridge the gap and to save programs, the GOP in their typical "no new taxes" mantra following the lead of Grover Norquist wants to shrink government down to the size that you can drown it in the bath tub.
    This should sound familiar to Oregonians.  That's exactly the strategy of House Republicans used in Salem toward the end of the '07 session when a major low income housing bill, HB 3551, was sacrificed on the altar of the GOP's reluctance to tax the rich to help the poor.  So from the states to the DC beltway GOP priorities are very clear, billions for the Military Industrial Complex, decreasing leftovers for the rest of us...
    The GOP spin machine likes to accuse the Dems for playing "class" warfare politics, that's a big lie.  The GOP has practiced "class" politics since Reagan was in power.  To the neo-cons government is public enemy #1.  That's what the "no new taxes" pledge means, no to taxing the "haves" to help the "have nots."  Whether it's the Bush refusal to expand SCHIPS to help children get health insurance or the politics of lowering budgets in human services from mental health to veterans benefits, the GOP plays the "Scrooge" card. 




SW vs. TW: GAME ON...

    Stevie Wonder and Tiger Woods are in a restaurant having dinner.
    Woods turns to Wonder and says, "How's the singing career going"?
    Stevie Wonder replies, "Not too bad. How's your golf"?
    Woods replies, "Not too bad, I've had some problems with my swing, but I think I've got that going right
    Stevie says, "I always find that when my golf swing goes wrong, I need to stop playing for a while and not
think about it. Then, the next time I play, it seems to be all right."
    Tiger says, "You play golf"?
    Wonder says, "Oh, yes, I've been playing for years." 
    Woods says, "But you're blind! How can you play golf if you can't see?
    Wonder replies, "I get my caddy to stand in the middle of the fairway and call to me. I listen for the sound
of his voice and play the ball toward him. Then, when I get to where the ball lands, the caddy moves to the
green or farther down the fairway and again, I play the ball toward his voice"
    But how do you putt"? asks Woods.
    "Well," says Stevie, "I get my caddy to lean down in front of the hole and call to me with his head on the
ground, and I just play the ball toward his voice."
    Woods asks, "What's your handicap"?
    Stevie says, "Well, I'm a scratch golfer."
    Woods, incredulous, says, "We've got to play a round sometime."
    Wonder replies, "Well, people don't take me seriously, so I only play for money, and never play for less than $10,000 a hole."
    Woods thinks it over and says, "Okay, I'm all for that. When would you like to play"?
    Stevie says, "Pick a night. "



    Editor's Note:  My blogging this past two weeks has been rather intermittent since I've been preoccupied with family matters.  When one's 29 year old son is getting married in India and you are the only one "home alone" one's thoughts are other directed especially when you wake up at 6 a.m. in the morning hearing NPR talk about a tsunami bearing down on South Asia.
    Fortunately the multiple earthquakes in Indonesia which caused the tsunami alerts did not repeat the 2004 disaster and my family was safe and sound and the wedding and related festivities went off like clockwork, thanks to the efficiency and caring of my son's Indian father and mother-in-law!  So I'm playing catch-up with the news cycle over the last two weeks. 
    Barack Obama:  Got this note from a close friend.  From GE:  "Ruth Marcus in today's Washington Post had an interesting article on the two Baracks, noting what you and I discussed last week about his speeches to different audiences [a very stirring speech to the SIEU and a rather policy wonkish speech to the Brookings folks].  She's very much disappointed in one of the Baracks and concludes her article with the question:  Where's the audacity?  (As opposed to where's the beef?)  Sadly, I'm beginning to agree with her."
    My response to GE:  Sadly, running for office requires something akin to the "Texas two step" - one step forward, the next step backwards!  At the end of the day our choices are for the person who we think (hopes) has the vision to take us in the right direction.  Keep in mind in 1932 FDR ran on a "no new taxes pledge," but once in office he became a fast learner.  Maybe that's the key in selecting between Barack, Hillary or John - who is the fastest learner AND who will remain accessible while assembling a brain trust around them to tackle the tough issues?
    One thing is for certain - the GOP alternatives will not change the course that the nation is in.  They will continue a failed policy in Iraq and beyond; they will pander to the right wing base of the GOP on a host of social issues from abortion to immigration; and they will cater to the Wall Street crowd over the interests of Mainstreet Americans on issues like health care.  Let's keep our eyes on the prize, the Democratic option is the only lever to pull in November '08.
    For now my Barack for President bumper sticker will stay on my car.  But I concur with my friend, one hopes for "audacity" along with clarity in thinking the issues that confront us from Iraq to health care, from social security to homeland security.  But in November '08 RAD as a "yellow dog Demo" will cast his vote to throw the GOP bums out to keep hope alive! 
    Schooling in Oregon:  Today's Oregonian headlines two big local stories focusing on schools.  One talks about how some Oregon kids are falling down and others are exceeding past scores on the NCLB score sheet.  But the data points in both cases are so close, up or down from year to year, that those familiar with statistics would term the differences to be  "within the margin of error."  So what's the big point?
    The other big story is the flip flopping of major high school athletes in the metro area from school to school in quest of a winning program!  We know that colleges recruit blue chip high school athletes, however this game of "gotcha" also happens in high school sports.  My sports journalist son in Seattle has told me similar stories about recruiting in that state too.  It's why some teams continually are at the top of the heap every year!
    Growing up in Roseburg, Oregon in the '50s when RHS teams were in the bottom of the heap, we always heard stories about how Medford or Marshfield would recruit out of towns athletes by getting their fathers a job in a local lumber mill.  Apparently in today's high school culture you don't even have to change addresses!  It's all up to the parents willingess to help their budding star and to coaches doing a "Clinton" - i.e. don't ask, don't tell.  
    In a culture of rampant narcissism and the cultivation of winning is everything why should any of this be a surprise?  NCLB is a reductionist game where scores on a reading or math test presumably tells us all about the quality of the classroom, the teacher and the school.  And on the field of dreams, it's all about whether team "A" wins the big game against the former #1 power house.  Forget about the scoring hanky panky in the first case and the gamesmanship in the latter.
    Ultimately, it's all about winning as the Supremes proved in '00 in Bush v. Gore.  People who believe in truth setting us free or in the fun of the game (win or lose) are hopeless romantics!  Didn't Vince Lombardi say that years ago?   Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing?  Nixon in '72 said ditto Vince and Bush in '00 punched the same card with the help of the referees!  Hell we all know the "stars" get the calls in every sport. 
    The spin zone:  If the Democrats are to win the presidency in '08 and increase their majorities in the House and Senate at the same time, they must have a message more edifying than simply "we're not the party of George W. Bush."  They must be for something.  Recent votes to down size the war in Iraq and SCHIPS are creating a clear line in the sand between the Ds and the Rs.
    The GOP is unwilling to articulate an endgame in Iraq and only a minority of the party of Lincoln have empathy for millions of children without health coverage.  But to make a Democratic sweep in '08 more than symbollic the Demos must win on the battlefiled of ideas, not merely getting out the vote (GOTV).  This has been the strength of the GOP leading up to the Reagan years and beyond.
    The GOP had "new" neo-con ideas which they marketed well and stood behind.  The fact that they were the wrong values and the wrong policies for a majority of Americans is now very clear.  But in politics like poker you must have a "winning hand" instead of relying on the bluff factor all the time.  After 40 years in power until '94 the Democratic party got lazy winning on the line we're not the GOP.  Since the Nixon era the GOP has won playing the "southern strategy" card. Now the question is what do the D's stand for? 
    Gary Hart's "new ideas" in '88 had a nice lilt to them, but as Fritz Mondale asked "where's the beef?"   Hint:  first let's get out of Iraq; then on the home front one should start with reforming our Kafkaesque health care system.  As someone who is days away from hitting what the NYTimes calls the "near elderly" - the big 65 - the process that one goes through in signing up for Social Security and Medicare is anything but user friendly.  Running the maize makes one scream "single payer" please!