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Boot the pseudo deciders aka "TROIKA" out

Vote for candidates -   

Elizabeth Furse for County Commission, District #4

elizabethfurse.com

Allen Amabisca for County Chair

allenamabisca.com

Re-Elect Greg Malinowki to County Commission

Greg Malinowski

- Intel tax abatements

- The Knight fix - Brother can you spare...

- 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

 


"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: 


 

  • 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



ahomeoftheirown.com/  

    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

 

Boot the psuedo deciders aka "TROIKA" out

Vote for -

Elizabeth Furse for County Commission, District #4

elizabethfurse.com

Allen Amabisca for County Chair

allenamabisca.com

Re-Elect Greg Malinowki to County Commission

 Greg Malinowski

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
Jun022006

PARSING WORDS

    The Bush administration has reversed course with the Iranian government and offered to sit down at the same negotiating table with Iran — if Iran fully suspends its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities.  But Iran has said it has no intention of stopping these activities.
    Iranian officials accepted the idea of talking to the United States, but rejected preconditions for talks. "...We will not negotiate over our nation's natural nuclear rights but we are ready to hold fair and unbiased dialogue and negotiation over mutual concerns within the context of a defined framework..." NYTimes online
    Now what gives the US the right to set preconditions about talking with the Iranians?  But notice the operative word is "suspending" not stopping, ending or terminating enriching uranium.  So, in effect, the US has blinked under the pressure from our European allies and erstwhile collaborators - Russia and China.  
    Iran and the US have maneuvering room if the Iranians take the bait.  But why should they?  We are giving India nuclear materials for presumably peaceful uses of nuclear energy but everyone knows that's a ruse.  Our ally against terrorism, Pakistan has the capacity for developing nukes and we don't threaten them with sanctions. 
    The sad fact is that in the modern world of the 21st century having nukes is a way of achieving status in the international community.  Russian has them, so does China, so does Israel, India and Pakistan.  So why should Iran be any different?  And if the truth be told the US and her European allies are the arms merchants of the world. 
    Don't get me wrong, RAD thinks nuclear warheads and the technology that produces them should be disbanded across the world.  That's what the regime under the 1996 Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was all about.  Of course the US has not signed the treaty while Russia has. 
    But when you have a rogue nation like the US claiming the right to pre-emptively strike, invade and/or occupy any nation it deems to be a national security threat - there is little incentive for nations on the "evil doer" hit list to be reasonable.  So the US goes into this process with little credibility. 
    But let's hope that statecraft via the diplomacy of parsing words makes Iran et al come to the table.  Because if this gambit doesn't work - the Bush team has been very clear that all the more incendiary options are on the table.  And with Vice President buckshot calling the shots in the West Wing - watch out.
    With our troops bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan, the reserves and National Guard ranks overextended and fatigued - the military option for dealing with Iran will not be a conventional one.  If diplomacy fails - there is really only one option for an administration with an itchy trigger finger.
    I hope Cheney is kept away from the little black box with the red button!  Hopefully, Rumsfeld and Condi can agree on that one.  Of course Israel is the pro US default option in the Middle East for blowing up nuclear plants.  One shudders at either option being used.  You think "they" hate us now!       

Friday
Jun022006

THE BANALITY OF EVIL

    Yesterday's take:  The alleged massacre of Iraqi civilians killed by US Marines in Haditha last November sounds eerily similar to the My Lai massacre in the Vietnam War.  Why do we think it was the first and only time, then or now?  And why does anyone believe there wasn't a cover up, then and now?
    Congressman John Murtha (D, Pa), an ex-Marine himself doesn't believe in the Marine Corps' tooth fairy spin on this story, why should any of us believe in the sanitized version out of the Pentagon?  The  administration has made it very clear the Geneva Accords is a "quaint" document for another era - so why should we expect Marines to distinguish between insurgents and civilians?
    Today's take:  Now there are 3 such incidences of Iraqi civilian killings by US forces.  And Dubya has known about Haditha since March.  So the cover-up by the Marines and now the West Wing is clear.  When are we going to end this atrocity of an occupation and when is the Congress going to have the testosterone to begin impeachment proceedings against the most dangerous administration in US history?
    Again, to quote the great philosopher Yogi Berra - "it's deja vu all over again".  Vietnam to Iraq.  The arrogance of power, the abuse of power.  Hubris on display at home and abroad. 


   

Thursday
Jun012006

THE STARRETT FACTOR

By Russell Sadler
    The recent Rasmussen poll showing a near-dead heat between Gov. Ted Kulongoski and Republican nominee Ron Saxton (43-41 percent) raised more questions than it answered because 10 percent of those polled were undecided. Independent candidate Ben Westlund was not included in the poll because he has not qualified for the ballot yet, though seven percent of the respondents volunteered they were voting for someone other than Kulongoski or Saxton.
    But the Rasmussen poll was swept into the recycling bin by  reports that veteran broadcast anchor Mary Starrett will become the the U.S. Constitution Party’s candidate for governor.
    Starrett, 51, spent more than a decade hosting Good Morning Northwest with Jim Bosley on KATU-TV in Portland. She was a popular talk show host on KPDQ, a Portland Christian radio station.  As executive director of Oregonians For Life, a political action group, Starrett retains substantial name familiarity in Portland and its suburbs where Oregon’s statewide elections are usually decided because that’s where two-thirds of all Oregonians live.
    Bright, articulate and enormously telegenic, with an internet site archive of occasional opinion pieces oozing sweet reason, Starret will be a formidable threat to Saxton’s bid and might even derail Westlund’s independent bid if her arrival on the scene discourages voters from signing Westlund’s nominating petitions -- unless intrigued voters look into the Constitution Party.
    Founded as the U.S. Taxpayers Party in 1992 by Howard Phillips, a former aide to Richard Nixon and once a rising star in the Republican firmament, it changed its name to the Constitution Party in 1999 and merged with many of the state affiliates of the American Independent Party, ostensibly because they all shared a common desire to fight legalized abortion. But deep inside the Constitution Party, people like Phillips embraced the seditious doctrine of Christian Nationalism.
    In her recently published book, “Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism,” Michelle Goldberg chronicles the development of a revisionist history of the United States now taught to home schoolers, Christian secondary school and college students and preached in fundamentalist churches describing an nonexistent, mythical United States founded on “Biblical principles.” This “curriculum” outlines a theocratic government to “reestablish” Biblical rule to replace America’s pluralistic, secular form of government.
    There is no public record on Starrett’s talk shows or in her archived columns that suggests she subscribes to any of this extremism. But Starret will discover she has acquired this baggage by running as a candidate of the Constitution Party. She will have to defend it or disown it.
    More seriously, there is the question whether the presence of a Constitution Party candidate will change the nature of the discussion over school finance. For more than a decade, the Christian Republicans who control the Oregon Republican Party  avoided dealing with the deadly consequences of Don McIntire’s 1990 Ballot Measure 5 by ginning up a fake debate over the legitimacy of public schools that paralyzed the Legislature.
    The vast majority of Oregonians believe in the legitimacy of public schools. A race for governor among Saxton, Kulongoski and Westlund finally promised to discuss the state’s highest priority -- stabilizing Oregon’s crippled system of financing schools.
    So far there is no evidence in anything that Starrett has written or said that suggests she would deliberately derail that debate. But the Constitution Party is part of a radical group that's asking the Southern Baptist Convention to lead a mass withdrawal of Christian children from the “godless” public schools. Will Starrett’s candidacy bring this feckless debate to Oregon to further delay school finance reform, or will she wisely disown and condemn her party’s Christian nationalism?
    It is difficult to predict the effect of Starrett's candidacy on the governor’s race. It is certainly a blow to Saxton. His handlers hoped that Kevin Mannix’s supporters would vote for Saxton rather than run the risk that not voting would allow Kulongoski to win reelection. But now the Christian Republicans have their own candidate and they can watch Saxton go down in flames feeling good about themselves for having stuck to their “principles.” Just ask the people who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 how good that feeling can be.
    Kulongoski’s handlers, on the other hand, must be pinching themselves, wondering whether Starrett’s candidacy is real. There is little chance now that the Democrats who thought the Governor isn’t liberal enough will dare take a walk in November for fear that either Saxton or Westlund, if he makes the ballot, might win with a plurality of the votes.
    What I thought might be a rerun of of the 1930 three-way election that elected Julius Meier, Oregon’s only independent governor, just may turn out to be a more dramatic modern history in the making. Pass the popcorn!

    RAD:  The "Starrett Factor" will be interesting to follow.  First, most Oregonians have no idea who Mary is. The radio news talk jocks don't even know how to pronounce her name!  So her name familiarity quotient is not very deep except among the Christian Right voters.  That vote is largely way under the radar screen because it's word of mouth and church based. That's bad news for pro-choice Saxton because Starrett is being outed in the media as the anti-abortion alternative. This will trim Saxton's right wing sails - losing him a portion of the hard core cultural conservatives (@ 5%).
    As far as Westlund - if  he gets on the ballot Starrett's candidacy will not affect him since his draw is from Kulongoski's base and from independents (25% of the voting public in Oregon) and disaffected pro-choice GOP women, especially in voter rich Washington County. In a 4 way race, a vote for Starret is a vote lost to Saxton which should reduce his plurality to @ 30% - assuming he also loses 5% of the GOP moderate vote to Westlund. 
    So at that point, it becomes (if Gentle Ben gets on the ballot) - a Westlund vs. Kulongoski race.  Will Dems stay home - who knows? All the usual organized Demo groups will stay with Ted, but organized interests can no longer deliver their base.  We may have a race where if Starrett gets 5% (like Mobley got in '90 to help Barbara Roberts win), if Saxton is marginalized to 30% and then Westlund-Kulongoski divide the remaining 65% - the winner wins with @ 33% of the vote. Ted's team better not light up their cigars yet, they might blow up on them!
    So as RS says - "pass the popcorn" - this is going to be fun for we political junkies... 

Wednesday
May312006

THE INTERNET CABAL

    RAD:  Got his missive from e-Bay today.  Thought I'd share my outrage at those who want to steal the net from we bloggers and e-mail users.  Hell, Al Gore invented the internet - don't you know in his Senate days. And we paid for the R&D which made it possible with our tax dollars! 

net_neutrality_header-1.jpgDear e-Bay user, 
    As you know, I almost never reach out to you personally with a request to get involved in a debate in the U.S. Congress. However, today I feel I must.
    Right now, the telephone and cable companies in control of Internet access are trying to use their enormous political muscle to dramatically change the Internet. It might be hard to believe, but lawmakers in Washington are seriously debating whether consumers should be free to use the Internet as they want in the future.
    The phone and cable companies now control more than 95% of all Internet access. These large corporations are spending millions of dollars to promote legislation that would divide the Internet into a two-tiered system.
    The top tier would be a "Pay-to-Play" high-speed toll-road restricted to only the largest companies that can afford to pay high fees for preferential access to the Net.
    The bottom tier -- the slow lane -- would be what is left for everyone else. If the fast lane is the information "super-highway," the slow lane will operate more like a dirt road.
    Today's Internet is an incredible open marketplace for goods, services, information and ideas. We can't give that up. A two lane system will restrict innovation because start-ups and small companies -- the companies that can't afford the high fees -- will be unable to succeed, and we'll lose out on the jobs, creativity and inspiration that come with them.
    The power belongs with Internet users, not the big phone and cable companies. Let's use that power to send as many messages as possible to our elected officials in Washington. Please join me by clicking here right now to send a message to your representatives in Congress before it is too late. You can make the difference.
    Thank you for reading this note. I hope you'll make your voice heard today.
Sincerely,
Meg Whitman
President and CEO
eBay Inc.

P.S. If you have any questions about this issue, please contact us at government_relations@ebay.com.

Tuesday
May302006

THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM

    Al Franken on his Tuesday, May 30, Air America program spent an hour interviewing Peter Beinart, editor at large of the New Republic about what conservative columnist George Will terms Beinart’s “virile liberalism.”  
    One of Beinart’s heroes is Harry Truman who faced down the Red Menace in the post WW II era by two strategies – bricks and mortar for Europe – the Marshall Plan; and the creation of the national security state which began the Cold War on the home front and beyond.
    While the Marshall Plan created the economic and social basis for flourishing non-soviet 'socialist' democracies throughout Europe, the national security state (CIA to the Pentagon) became the foundation from the ‘50s on of American interventionism throughout the third world from the Congo to Vietnam, from Iran to Indonesia. 
    Beinart’s other hero is JFK who following on the steps of Truman and the Dulles brothers in the State Department and the CIA took us into the slippery slope of Vietnam on the siren call those famous words in his 1961 inaugural address:
126524-351572-thumbnail.jpg
Note JFK, LBJ & Nixon
    “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”  
    One should always be suspicious about leaders who use such sweeping phrases – they are either going to pick your pocket (by taxing you) and/or draft you (and send you to war).  For the record RAD was never a JFK or RFK fan.  My political idols included Stevenson, Morse, McCarthy and McGovern. 
    The problem is that the Truman-Kennedy formula created a powerful engine of global economic power – the IMF and the World Bank and the national security state (CIA, NSA et al) – what IKE called the military-industrial complex which had a singular goal – stop communism and make the world safe for capitalism. 
    The problem with the Beinart prescription is that people around the world from the ‘50s on have resented, been victimized by and don’t want Uncle Sam and his puppets like Tony Blair or the chosen ones inside Baghdad’s green zone dictating their choices. 
    Virile liberalism got us into the Cold War and endless quagmires from Korea to Vietnam, from Lebanon to Iran, from the Congo to Angola, from Cuba to Chile.  We need less virility and more humility.  WW II taught us that Wilson’s vision of the “war to end all wars” was a nightmare which led us into the abyss of WW II. 
    Why do Beinart and ideological lightweights like Al Franken insist on repeating the error?  We don’t need more virile liberalism – that gave us Hiroshima; the Korean War; Vietnam and now in the hands of the neo-cons the mess in the Middle East from the West Bank to Afghanistan, from Iraq to Iran. What’s next nuking Iran? 
    The poverty of contemporary liberalism like it’s Cold War version is that it's simply another neo-con delusion – after all many of the current neo-cons were once Dems who deserted after ’72.  What the Democratic party needs is not more, but less of the Truman or JFK vision thing!  
    9/11 has made Democrats clones of the neo-cons.  It’s time for another vision – a vision based on a respect for diversity here and abroad, a strategy which urges patience not haste and a rejection of those who argue “it’s my way or the highway.”  We need to end the hegemonic thinking that has dominated DC insiders since the Cold War. 
    The “evil empire” imploded in 1990 – quit making the ubiquitous “terrorists” surrogates for Stalin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro.  The only thing virile liberalism will get you – under Hillary, John or Al et al – are more quagmires like Iraq.  It’s time we concentrated on figuring out how to turn the weapons of war into ploughshares of peace. 
    If virile liberal/neo-con principles have succeeded so well – then why is the West Bank and with it Israel on the edge of implosion?  Why is Africa today a toxic brew of tribal failed states?  Why is the AIDS epidemic exploding from Russia to China, from Asia to Africa?  And why are we after 3 plus years still bogged down in Iraq and now facing the ominous nuclear glow of Iran? 
    The best foreign policy for the USA and the Democrats is one based on the principals of global social justice, global environmental stewardship, global economic sustainability, showing respect for the rule of law and reducing regional or sub-regional conflicts before they become global conflicts by embracing multi-lateralism, interdependence and collaboration.
    We need less virility and more humility.