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On the lighter side of life... 

#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace

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Trump & The Mob

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

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"Give me your tired, your poor

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore

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

I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door."

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Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax

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Half of the US Is Broke

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The myth of the Christian country

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

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937

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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Middle East friendship chart

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry

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Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

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"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

RAD'S

WEBSITE PICKS: 


 

  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:

Realclearpolitics

  • Jim Hightower:   

Jimhightower.com

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column

Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 


Hard Times in Oregon: 

Hardtimes

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

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

    

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

Invisible People

http://www.npr.org


 Homelessness

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

Homelessness:  

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

Hunger:

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

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


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

 

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

- James Madison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

See my FACEBOOK @ Russ

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  • He lost by 2.9 million votes...

  • He's a con artist...

  • He's a pathological liar... 

  • He's a failed business man...

  • He's a fascist... 


Every Fascist Needs an Enabler. Donald Trump Will Have Mike Pence.


Trump's role models are Vladmir Putin and Benito Mussolini.  He has contempt for our checks and balances system.  He wants to "rule" not govern like a strong man, a despot.  He will shredd the Constitution anytime he feels the urge to do so and like all despots he only listens to his inner circle.  And he is paranoid and narcissistic. 

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SB 1533 passes!  

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

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Housing Needs in Oregon 

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"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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Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel

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Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 

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Sign the petition ►

Walgreens - pay your fair share of taxes!


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


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


Intel failed to report fluoride emissions for almost 30 years   


Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

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

- George Bernard Shaw

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now
democracynow.org

The Daily Kos

dailykos.com

Blue Oregon

blueoregon.com

 

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

- Emilie Buchwald 

 


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

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

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

americanobserver

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

GarrisonKeillor

 

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



"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

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

- Mark Twain  

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

- George Santayana 

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

- Pablo Casals

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

- William Butler Yeats  

 

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' 

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

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

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

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11 

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

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

- Abraham Lincoln 

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society  

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 

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

- Edmund Burke  

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

- Jonathan Swift 

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

- Garrison Keillor 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Saturday
Dec292007

AN ANTHEM FOR THE NEW YEAR

How Can I Keep From Singing
Melody, a Baptist Hymn
Lyrics, Pete Seeger's version

My life flows on in endless song
Above earth's lamentation.
I hear the real, thought far off hymn
That hails the new creation
Above the tumult and the strife,
I hear the music ringing;
It sounds an echo in my soul
How can I keep from singing?

What through the tempest loudly roars,
I hear the truth, it liveth.
What through the darkness round me close,
Songs in the night it giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that rock I'm clinging.
Since love is lord of Heaven and earth
How can I keep from singing?

When tyrants tremble, sick with fear,
And hear their death-knell ringing,
When friends rejoice both far and near,
How can I keep from singing?
In prison cell and dungeon vile
Our thoughts to them are winging.
When friends by shame are undefiled,
How can I keep from singing?

Saturday
Dec292007

BEAVS BEAT TERPS

images.jpg    Friday night's OSU 21-14 Emerald Bowl victory against Maryland wasn't exactly a work of art but with a stout defence and enough offense the Beavs managed to "fumble" their way to victory.  With a 9-4 record "Beaver Nation" fans have something to flap their tails about certainly more so than woebegone Quack Attack fans.  Thus far the Beavers are the toast of the PAC-10 in the post-season bowl season which except for the BCS show-downs is a lot of sound and fury meaning nothing although "bowling" helps in recruiting wars, pleasing one's fan base and having big mo for next fall.
    In an era when any team with a 6-6 record is "bowl eligible" simply illustrates how dumbed down post-season bowls have become as "commerce" takes precedence over excellence.  But in the new Gilded Age of deregulation and sub-prime loans standards have obviously gone by the wayside across the board.  The "culture of mediocrity" in sports mirrors society or is it society mirroring sports?  But the fun and circuses does take our minds off of the dark news of the day at home and abroad.  But RAD rather watch the Golf Channel's "Tiger Woods Week" which evidences that excellence is not a totally lost value. 

Thursday
Dec272007

THE ASSASSIN'S BULLET, UPDATE

uploaded-file-86612    The assassination of Benazir Bhutto, a former Prime Minister of Pakistan in 1988-90 and 1993-96, underscores the problematic nature of democracy building in much of the Third World.  Ms. Bhutto - the first woman PM in an Islamic state - was attempting a political comeback in the most dangerous of circumstances. 
    She and another ex-priminister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif were attempting to wrestle control of Pakistan from the hands of an authoritarian pro-American regime headed by President Pervez Musharraf who came to power in a military coup and like Russia's Valdimir Putin based his power on the loyalty of the Army and Pakistan's secret service. 
    Bhutto, who headed the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Sharif, who is the leader of the Muslim League, were engaged in a very high stakes political chess match with Musharraf over the future of Pakistan.  Would Pakistan emerge from the January 8 elections as a born-again democracy or would it slide back into a dictatorship? 
    Bhutto's assassination can only be a dark omen that Pakistan will slip back into one-man rule while it continues to be a sanctuary for what some term "creeping Talebanization."  In both regards, US foreign policy which is closely tied to Pakistan can only be considered to be even more at risk as a result of this tragic event. 
   While RAD is hardly an expert on the politics of South Asia, while at Whitman I did my BA thesis in political science on the Indian independence movement and the split between the Congress Party headed by Nehru and Gandhi and the Muslin League headed by Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the father of Pakistan. 
   With the British inspired partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 the forces of religious nationalism took hold of the new nation of Pakistan.  The tragic events of today simply underscore the dubious legacy of the divide and conquer strategy of  British colonialism and the combustability of defining a nation state by religious affiliation. 
    What Muhammed Ali Jinnah reaped in playing the religion card in the formation of modern Pakistan has born a sad harvest which threatens to destabilize the entire South Asian sub-continent.  With two nuclear powers facing each other, India and Pakistan, one hopes cool heads will prevail in the coming days and months as events sort things out within Pakistan. 
   While we don't know the identity of the assassin of Bhutto the result is to remove a powerful force in her native land which might have been the bases for moving from an authoritarian regime to a civil society.  An Oxford/Harvard educated leader, Bhutto as an accomplished politician and articulate spokesperson Pakistan will be hard-pressed to replace. 
   We in the USA know in reflection what the loss of a would-be leader costs.  In 1968 had Robert F. Kennedy not been assassinated he no doubt would have been the Democratic nominee.  With RFK facing Nixon who knows how the election would have turned out.  Had RFK won we might have turned away from the disaster of Vietnam and would never have had the tragedy of Watergate. 
   Not every election gives a nation a chance to begin anew.  We had our chance in 1968 only to have it taken away by an assassin's bullet, a rigged DNC and then by Richard J. Daley's Gestapo police in the streets of Chicago.  Now another leader has been taken away - who knows what might have been.  One fears we now will reap the whirlwind in South Asia and beyond.
   One suspects that Osama bin Laden is smiling in his cave hideout somewhere on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan marvelling at his minion's handiwork.  With an American puppet government in Iraq sitting on the time bomb of its own intra-religious/ethnic hatreds while like Nero it fiddles away the time who can say that the events of this day will not be a harbinger of things to come throughout South Asia and the Middle East? 
   While the American Raj has replaced the British Raj - colonialism is still colonialism.  And as this century moves on the early 21st century is looking more and more like the early 20th century.  From 1914-18 great nation realpolitique was matched by the forces of national, sub-national and religious-ethnic devolution.  The result was two world wars and a Great Depression. 
   As they say, be careful what you wish for - you just might get it.  This is why our own presidential election season is so important.  Do we want the same old, same old simply because it claims to have the "experience" factor or are we willing to risk it and grasp new leaders with new ideas who are willing to break out of the mold of the K-Street crowd and the old hands in the CIA, the Pentagon and State Department?
   We just celebrated a Christmas holiday with the dark cloud of a sub-prime loan recession hanging over us.  What will the New Year bring - more of the same dumb, tragic and costly decisions or a new day?  You folks in Iowa and New Hampshire have a very heavy burden to carry.  Anybody out there good at playing "Texas Hold-em?" 
   PS:  As more and more information comes out about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto the hidden hand of Washington D.C. insiders comes into play.  According to today's Washington Post Bhutto's return to Pakistan was a carefully scripted return urged by the Bush administration trying to salvage its own deeply flawed policy of support of a military dictator who plays both sides of the political fence - the USA and jihadists.  In typical fashion our policy was an attempt to put a fig-leaf to cover Musharraf - an "emperor with no clothes."  
     According to the Post story:
    The turning point to get Musharraf on board was a September trip by Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte to Islamabad. "He basically delivered a message to Musharraf that we would stand by him, but he needed a democratic facade on the government, and we thought Benazir was the right choice for that face," said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer and National Security Council staff member now at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy.
    Now granted there are no easy solutions when one is engaged in big power politics.  But perhaps that's the central issue.  Why after the failure of the Vietnam War and the collapse of the Soviet Union is the USA still engaged in being the policeman of the world?  DC insiders are now asking what's Plan B for the Bush administration.  In otherwords how can we use American statecraft to cover up the failure of US foreign policy?  In the short run, there is no possible Plan B except to hope the Pakistan military keeps its mitts on the 50-100 nukes they reputedly have.  
    What we need is a long term (30 year) international, not USA driven, strategy of fostering democratic reform in the Middle East and South Asia by supporting on the ground social change through cultural exchanges, education reform and economic reform which might be the basis over time for moving power from the mullahs and military to civilian leadership.  Otherwise we are simply left trying to put a "democratic facade" on a a series of failing states be it Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan or the Palestinian Territories.
    An article in the Nation online points out -
    Without democracy [in Pakistan]...there is not even a remote possibility of...  putting an end to sanctuary for Al Qaeda's leadership [in Pakistan].  Without democracy there is scant chance that the tribal and religious leaders who have provided the Taliban with a strategic sanctuary can be won over. Without democracy there is little chance for reform of madrassas that not only spew out "martyrs" for Kashmir and Afghanistan but also give aid and comfort to the very small number in the West looking for justifications of violence.
    Why does the USA increasingly remind one of the ancient Roman Empire on its decline?  Why do we continue to support the Pontius Pilot's and King Herod's of the modern world instead of their democratic alternatives?   Benazir Bhutto may have been a very flawed vehicle for American diplomatic maneuvering.  But at the end she chose real democratic reform instead of being merely the handmaiden of US duplicity - hoping to get it right after two missed attempts as prime minister.  Tragically, an assassin's bullet ended the fairy tale for both she and the USA. 
 



 






Sunday
Dec232007

THE POLAR EXPRESS

opr0612dpt3047.jpg

May the Polar Express bring you a
Peaceful Christmas &
New Year filled with Hope. 

RAD aka the Train Man

* Picture SPS 700 a 4-8-4 Northern, Portland, Oregon RR Society
 
 

 
 
Saturday
Dec222007

OUT IN THE COLD - WHAT'S NEXT?

    homegirl_vi9s.jpgRAD:  News Release and/or shameless self-promotion by the "good guys" of the 'Grove: 
    The Washington County Interfaith Committee on Homelessness is holding a Town Hall meeting January 12, 2008 at Tigard United Methodist Church, 9845 SW Walnut Place, Tigard, Oregon (located off SW Pacific Highway--99W).  
    This program is open and free to the public.  Please join us! 
    The purpose of the Town Hall is to learn what public and private sectors in the state, metro area and county are doing to address the problem of homelessness and housing insecurity faced by low-income residents of the metro area whose annual income is 50% or less of medium family income (@ $30,550 for a family of 3). 
    In addition to the program (see below) - there will display tables from various organizations sharing information on how homelessness and housing insecurity is connected to health care disparities, school success, community corrections and food insecurity. 
    In Washington County 86% of the 1200 plus homeless according to 2006 data are families with children. According to Eric Canon, Chair of ICH - "the homeless are the canary in the mineshaft of a larger problem - housing insecurity which affects more and more people in our county, the metro area and Oregon." 
    Russ Dondero, a political scientist, has been a housing advocate for 16 years.  He points out that "the risk of becoming homeless includes the working poor, Vietnam and Iraq era Vets, mobile home owners facing condo conversion and now victims of the sub-prime loan debacle." 
    Dondero adds:  "In addition to 5544 families on the county housing authority's waiting list for assisted housing (a 3-5 year wait) there are 43,000 residents in the county who are a job loss or catastrophic health care crisis away from becoming homeless." 
    Eric Canon, a sculptor by profession, feels that "in the richest county in Oregon we can do better to help the vulnerable in our communities and region.  It's not enough to give Christmas baskets to the poor during the holiday season - that spirit of concern should continue throughout the year." 
    Canon points out "that few decide to be homeless, most are victims of circumstances that none of us would chose.   What is needed is a hand up, not a hand out.  The workshop is directed to answering that question - how can we help people get control of their lives to pursue the American Dream of having a home of their own." 
    As Canon concludes - "we've studied and studied the problem, the point of this workshop is to figure out what is being done and how to help with people of good will to step up to the challenge."   

Speakers: 

  • Hector Lopez, retired Minister, Central Pacific Conference. United Church of Christ
  • David Leslie, Executive Director, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon

Panelists: 

  • Tom Brian, Chair, Washington County Board of Commissioners
  • Carl Hosticka. Metro Councilor, District 3 (includes Tigard area)
  • David Edwards, Oregon State Representative. District 30 (Hillsboro)
  • Ryan Deckert, Executive Director, Oregon Business Association
  • Ed Dennis, Hillsboro City Council & Oregon Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction

Town Hall timeline: 

10:00 Welcome - Eric Canon, Chair of ICH
10:05 Rev. Hector Lopez, UCC - Intro - "Why we should care?"
10:20 Panel Discussion
11:10 Q&A
11:40 David Leslie, EMO - Summing Up - "What should we do?" 
11:55 Eric Canon, Final comments
Noon - end of Town Hall

    For more info on the Interfaith Committee on Homelessness go to our website  - http://www.ahomeoftheirown.com/