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Susan McLain - for State Representative

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State Ballot Measures: 

NO on 86  

YES on 87

YES on 88

YES on 89  

NO on 90 

NO on 91

NO on 92

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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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Teen rape suspect "just happened to slip away" (Video)  

Bob Terry dodges and weaves!     

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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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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

Chuck Riley for State Senate

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Local Ballot Measures: 

Wash County

NO on 34-221

NO on 34-222

Metro

NO on 26-160

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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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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Oreaviationwatch

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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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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


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Monday
Sep182006

COUNTY LEVIES

    Thursday, September 14 some of our top county officials came to Pacific's campus to participate in a Town Hall meeting held in the Milky Way to give information about the Washington County Public Safety and Library Levies. 
010_15.JPG    From left to right the people are:  Rob Gates, Manager, County Corrections Center; Robert Herman, District Attorney; Pat Garrett, Chief Deputy, Sherriff's Office; Russ Dondero, host; Eva Calcagno, Manager WCCLS; and County Commissioner Andy Duyck, District 4.
    Other VIPs in attendance were State Representative Chuck Riley; FG City councilor - Pete Truax, Colleen Winters, Director FG City Library and Eric Canon, Chair of the Interfaith Committee on Homelessness.
    The Public Safety levy includes funding for a wide range of services - meth interdiction and incarceration; keeping criminals off the streets in secure jail space and support for victims of domestic violence.  The Library levy continues existing services such as support for summer reading programs, literacy programs for kids and book acquisition for patrons of all ages.
126524-474137-thumbnail.jpg
Eric Canon & one of the County's canine corps used in drug interdiction.
    The Public Safety levy includes money for the county's four homeless shelters which play a critical first responder role in meeting the needs of families faced with housing insecurity. The Library levy is critical at a time when public schools have cut back their own library services to students.  Both levies are focused on maintaining existing services.
    For more information on each levy go to:

Countywide Library Services -- Measure 34-126

Countywide Public Safety -- Measure 34-127

Sunday
Sep172006

THE FACE OF HOMELESSNESS

"Homelessness: Just One Event Away for Some," by Sherry Harbert, Foreign Interest, September 10, 2006
 126524-472895-thumbnail.jpg
The average age of a person in a homeless shelter in Washington County is "12"
   For the working poor homelessness is always one event away. Increasing housing costs, an illness or a job loss is all it takes to plummet a family into its grasp. And once there, it is extremely difficult to sustain financial and housing security. It is the plight of one Washington County, Oregon, woman struggling to avoid it the second time.
    Tammie Fields woke up this morning wondering how long she could call the walls around her a home. She worries each day about getting food for her daughter and herself. And she agonizes over being slammed back into homelessness when she has done everything humanly possible to avoid it. But what she dreads more than anything is being separated from her daughter if she loses her home.
    Most people don’t have to awake each morning to such dire circumstances. But the numbers are growing for those who do in Washington County. And it is not a drawn out process that allows for intervention and support. For many working poor in Washington County it takes only a single event. For Fields, it was a simple layoff due to slow business.
Working for an Insecure Future
    Only last May, Fields was a success story for homelessness. At a “Put a Face on Homelessness” forum, held at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Fields delivered a poignant speech about her first spiral into homelessness, living in a shelter and working her way out to become self-sufficient. But more than any of the physical gains, Fields netted something better—her dignity. She had proved herself and succeeded. A downturn in the economy changed all that. For Fields, the effects were immediate.
    “I keep thinking, where can I go?” Fields said. “Who in this state cares enough to help?” Fields is caught between government regulations and economic conditions where little help is offered. Her wages earned as a waitress just kept the family together month to month. For most working poor, there are no personal savings to access in a downtime. Think unemployment is there? Fields would qualify for being laid off for economic reasons by her employer, but that is only one facet of unemployment.
    What really matters for those seeking unemployment is their work history 15-three months prior to the date of their claim. The State of Oregon bases unemployment compensation on pay history within that time frame. If an individual did not work within the beginning of that time frame, as in the case for Fields, there are no unemployment payments. It is stark reminder of how homelessness can haunt individuals long after they reach above it. Fields can eventually qualify for benefits in the next quarter, but that is little consolation when she needs immediate help.
    RAD:  This is one of the gaps in welfare reform under the Clinton/Gingrich plan of 1996 when Bill Clinton ended "welfare as we know it."  Well Clinton/Gingrich did end welfare as we knew it - but due to the Monica Lewinsky scandal Slick Willie and the Newt never got back to repairing the damage they admitted they did to the poor under a flawed bill.  And today in Oregon DHR is understaffed because of a growing case load of you guessed it - more and more poor people and cut backs in case workers since Measure 5s passage.  As they say "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."  But that would be granting Clinton and Gingrich far more credit than they deserve.  And of course the Bush administration and a GOP congress have made matters much worse since 2000 by cutting back on what was left of welfare. 
    Fields loved her job at the Tanasbourne Roses Restaurant and Bakery. “Roses was great,” said Fields. She said after she was laid off, her ex-boss even brought her food, a bus pass and a reference letter that Fields says makes all the difference in how she’s treated when she applies for work. “They see it as a legitimate reason for looking for work,” said Fields. “I’ve noticed a big difference in how I’m treated at interviews before the letter and after.”
    “I hate asking people for help,” said Fields. “But, I’m almost on my knees. I’ve been looking everywhere for a job. Even McDonald’s isn’t hiring.” Fields, who must rely on public transportation, said this is the worst time for restaurant workers. She’s been in the field long enough to know that most restaurants cut back hours after the summer.
    With no money coming in, Fields is becoming desperate for food. She said she cannot qualify for food stamps because she made too much money last month as a waitress and must wait three months before she can qualify. Fields has sought out food baskets, but they are only given once a month. And three to four bags of non-perishables help, but do not last long between two people.
    Fields said looking for a job in the restaurant industry is at least quick. Most interviews are conducted on a walk-in basis. But interviews mean little if there is no offer attached. “You’ll have a great 20-minute interview and then they’ll say they aren’t hiring,” said Fields. She has even tried all the fast-food restaurants where the hours are not guaranteed. But so far, nothing has emerged.
    Fields says it gets more difficult each day. “I look at my daughter to get strength to go on each day,” she said. “I have to go out and act positive. But it’s hard to be positive when you don’t believe in yourself, when inside you’re screaming.”
Poverty Costs the Family
    Fields has never had the illusions of a big house, big car or vacations. “I just want a stable home for my daughter,” she said. “That’s my long-term goal.” Fields and her 14-year-old daughter, Rebecca, share a warm and supporting relationship. “We talk to each other about everything,” said Fields. “It’s always been the two of us, so we’ve always been really open.”
    Their relationship is so close that a simple message left by Fields with her daughter’s friend was enough to send Rebecca home with worry. Fields said she worked weekdays and did double shifts on the weekends, so her daughter expected her to always be at work. “I just left a message that said I was home,” said Fields. “She came home early. I told her what happened and we cried and cried because we knew what it meant.”
    Fields said the excitement her daughter had to begin high school with friends at the same place was wonderful to see at the beginning of summer. But that has changed. “Earlier this summer she was excited. She was thinking about high school dances and the homecoming,” said Fields. “But she doesn’t talk about it anymore and that worries me. When I see her stop talking, I know she has no hope.”
    Fields is most proud of her daughter. She describes her as warm, respectful and “mature beyond her years.” Even when she missed the bus one day, she cried because she couldn’t go to school. She regularly gets top grades. It is reason enough for a parent to feel proud. Succeeding when homelessness, living in shelters and not knowing what the future holds is even more cause for praise. It both amazes and worries Fields. “She’s been through so much.”
    Fields said she was numb upon first hearing about being let go, then she spiraled into a deep depression. It was only seeing her daughter that forced her to get out and look each day. She has done all she can at the State of Oregon Employment Office, even matched her skills with the jobs posted. She worries it may not be in time to save her apartment. “We’ve only been here since April,” said Fields. “It’s not like I’ve been here long enough to form a history.” She fears that when she has no money next month, she’ll have [no] home. And this time she worries that it will destroy her daughter’s future if they become homeless again.
    Fields’ only hope is not what any parent would ever willingly choose. But it may be the only way she can somewhat protect her daughter. “When we were in the shelter, one of her friend’s family said they would take her in,” said Fields. “While it makes me feel good that she would be able to go to school with her friends and be safe, I can’t even wrap my mind around that we’d be separated. But I’ll never put her back in a shelter.”
The Last Place on the List
    Though Fields says the Community Action Family Center in Hillsboro was a good place with good people, she entered it last year feeling lost and confused. “You feel worthless—worthless,” said Fields. “I felt like it was the end. We just stayed in our room and cried. We did a lot of crying.” Fields said the only thing that kept her going was her job. “That was the saving grace,” she said. “I saw other families there that didn’t have a job. At least I had one and I could work to save money for an apartment.”
    Her experience at the shelter proved better than she initially thought. She too had misgivings and misunderstood what a shelter was and how people ended up in one. The shelter allowed her to work and save money for her apartment. Besides giving families a place to stay and meals, the four Washington County shelters also provide life skills training, financial planning and household donations to help families when they can actually acquire private housing.
    The Committee on Homelessness asked Fields to speak at the May forum as part of a multi-tiered campaign to raise funds for the county shelters which can only serve one-tenth of the homeless needs in Washington County.
    RAD:  Besides the Bridging the Gap campaign for the shelters, passage of the Public Safety Levy in November is critical if the 4 county shelters are to survive.  That levy includes funding for the shelters who serve victims of domestic abuse as well as families facing homelessness.  But even with a fully funded shelter system in Washington County, it will still only serve 12 out of every 100 people (families) seeking help.  The shelters turn away single persons and of course cannot serve those with criminal records, drug addicts or alcoholics.  What Tammie's story illustrates is that shelters are band-aid approach, necessary but not sufficient.  What we need is more affordable housing and a welfare system which does not force the poor to make impossible choices - as Tammie is faced with. 
    Without the shelter, Fields may not have even had a chance to succeed. The events that led to her entrance into the shelter had been long in coming, leaving her with no other option.
    When her father died suddenly in 2002, Fields was devastated. It was even more painful when she heard insinuations at the church he attended that he “must not have lived righteously with the Lord.” The cold comments shocked Fields. It was not what she expected or needed in her time of grief. Those events led her to pack up and move with her daughter to Florida to get as far away as she could. But her time in Florida fared no better. She began a relationship that turned abusive. She feared for herself and daughter. Her mother managed to get enough money for bus fare back to Oregon last year.
    Back in Oregon, she soon found herself homeless when her mother was evicted last December. Her mother’s social security wouldn’t cover a new apartment for the three, so Fields was faced with looking elsewhere. She found a state program that paid for three days in a motel, but before she could even begin establishing herself, she fell ill with meningitis. On the day she was discharged from the hospital, she and her daughter entered the shelter.
    And yet under such debilitating circumstances, Fields had one thing that kept her going—a job.
No Money, No Room
    The affordable housing crisis is drowned out over the boom in new home construction in Washington County. It hides a growing problem of income disparity in the county. In 2004, Oregon ranked third in the U.S. for the number of renters spending 30 percent or more of their household income on rent and utilities. The figures from the American Community Survey show almost half of all renters pay more than 30 percent. Add that the closing of eight mobile home parks in the last two years in the county, one of the only other affordable housing options, and the future looks bleak. The Oregon Food Bank has been steadily strained in meeting hunger in the state, based primarily on what it says “is the lack of affordable housing.” Oregon has had one of the highest rates of hunger in the U.S.
    Fields lives within those crisis conditions, even when she worked. She placed her name on the Housing Authority’s list back in February, and just met with the agency last week to see if she qualifies for help. “It took six months just to get an appointment to see if I qualify!” said Fields.
    RAD:  The Housing Authority's revised wait list includes over 3000 applicants, families, who must wait 3-5 years to get into subsidized housing in the county. At the current rate of adding/building affordable housing it would take over 30 years to meet the current demand in Washington County for affordable housing.  In a region which is expected to get just under a million new residents in the next decade - you do the math.  They will not all be rich, BMW driving, hi-tech yuppies or retirees cashing in their chips from California!  This is why our Interfaith Committee on Homelessness asked our county commissioners to appoint a citizen's committee to look into long term solutions to homelessness and housing insecurity in Oregon's most affluent county. 
    Beyond the bureaucratic maze Fields must deal with, her growing frustration is with attitude of many people. “Homelessness is not a drug problem, it is not a lazy problem,” said Fields. “It’s all around you. It’s everywhere. It’s everyday people who want to work.”
    Fields says she feels like she has a disease that is contagious by the reactions from many people. “I just want people to take their head out of the sand and notice,” she said. “This is a real problem. People tell me there are all kinds of jobs. But I’m 36 and I even applied at McDonald’s.”
    RAD:  I contacted Pacific University's food service to see if they are hiring.  They are - hopefully Tammie will get one of those jobs.  But how many Tammies are there - answer thousands.  According to current data - 45,000 residents of Washington County live on the edge of becoming homeless, just like Tammie - one lost job away or catastrophic illness away from losing their homes or being evicted as a renter.  For a nation pouring 8 billion dollars a month into the war machine to fund the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations - that Americans should be treated so shabbily by their own society is shameless.  And don't think Tammie is alone - many Vets come back to find they too are homeless and forgotten especially those who's lives are shattered by long-term physical and/or mental disabilities gotten in country. 

© 2006, Foreign Interest

Saturday
Sep162006

FALSE PROMISES

    According the CFM's latest Insider Online, Oregon House Democrats have a chance to take become the majority party in the upcoming legislative session.  On the other hand, CFM lays out a scenario that the Democrat's majority in the Senate may fall from 19 to 15 with swing votes being held by Ben Westlund and Avel Gordly, now registered Independents.
    But if the margins between both parties are narrow - you can expect gridlock city to greet the next session.  And with an incumbent governor who is on and off again about issues such as the kicker and other new revenue sources, don't expect Salem to be a place for profiles in courage come January 2007.
    If the House Democrat's campaign promises are a harbinger of the future just expect a different set of interest groups to be heard, especially OEA, trial lawyers and environmental groups.
    Don't expect any serious heavy lifting on issues like tax reform.  So while House Democrats promise to be aggressive on health care and support for education, they don't give a road map of how these goals are to be achieved.  They just offer the same old bromides - promises, promises!  That may be good politics but it's bad governance.
    Until Oregonians are told the truth that you can't do more with less and that to close the gaps in school funding, health care, human resources et al will require higher, not lower taxes, new revenue sources, not the same old same old - we're all perpetuating a sham.

Friday
Sep152006

THE GREAT TAX DEBATE

    Ron Saxton is accusing Governor Ted for being a "tax and spend liberal."  I guess this must mean Ron is a "no new taxes" kind of guy.  But when one reads their comments - their own ideas are more nuanced than their campaign rhetoric.  That's the difference between running for office and governing in office.  After the election, reality sinks in to the winner and the burdens of people's expectations set in.
    Which ever man is elected governor - when the January session is rolled out - Oregon will face the same problem - how does the state live within the constitutional mandate of a balanced budget and at the same time address the needs of K-12 funding, the challenges of higher education, the DHR budget morass and a host of thorny challenges to do "more with less", to do "more with the same" or to do "more with more."  Oregonians will need to have a rendezvous with reality. 
    Instead of getting into a food fight over taxes what we need is a debate about what each candidate sees as the essential mission of the state and how we get there from where we will be in January 2007.  Can Oregon continue to rely on the volatile income tax?  Can we continue with the kicker?  How can we compete with states like Washington who have a more balanced tax system, including a sales tax? 
    Having a quality K-12 system, having a world class university system, treating the needy with compassion - doesn't come on the cheap.  We've been trying to run the system on chump change ever since Measure 5 passed in 1990.  What we have gotten as the Saxton ads indicate is "mediocrity" - not just in schools but across the board.  So Mr. Saxton - what is your vision of what the state government should be doing?  Or are you just a Bill Sizemore wannabe? 
 

Friday
Sep152006

SAME OLD, SAME OLD

    Listening to Dubya's press conference this morning merely underscores the embarrassment our President is.  The way he relates to the White House press corp is patronizing and simple-minded.  He never answered any of the questions fired at him, he simply trotted out the lines given to him by Karl Rove.  He couldn't even acknowledge the names of his loyal opposition from his own party - Senator John McCain and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.  To steal a term from Richard Nixon - Dubya is simply another "prat boy" who happens to be President.