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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. 

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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

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


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Saturday
Aug122006

THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY

    THE GOOD:  After three days of watching the US Women's Amateur earlier this week at Pumpkin Ridge's Witch Hollow golf course, one is struck by the good sportsmanship demonstrated by the players.  As a forecaddie [a person who marks balls in the rough or out of bounds]. it was nice to see players competing against each other giving the verbal equivalent of high 5s for good shots.  The caddies (often parents or siblings) also got into the act as well.  A caddie and a golfer even thanked me for being a volunteer. Given the straight and long hitting RAD had little work to do except to seek shade and risk eye strain trying to pick off a ball hit off the tee coming at me 200 plus yards away. My oh my can those women hit the ball - long and straight.  Off the tee they were hitting anywhere from 200 to 275 with very little roll.  
    THE BAD:  It's sad that Senator Ben Westlund has packed it in for the governor's race in Oregon.  RAD was warned earlier in the political season that Westlund would bow out.  I'm very sorry to see this insider information was right on.  How can one collect 45,000 signatures to put your name on the ballot and then walk away?  One suspects it's the old money game.  When the two major party nominees are going to be spending $5 plus million each, Westlund's war chest of less than 500K was paltry. The other factor was no doubt poll ratings, Westlund never got above 10% of the potential vote - so at this point in time - he would have simply been a spoiler not a viable candidate.  But that's before the fall campaign has started and before any TV debates.  Ben unlike Jesse (either one!) - you didn't "give hope a chance." 
    THE UGLY:  Given Westlund's decision RAD will probably do a "Hunter Thompson" - vote for Ted Kulongoski "with fear and loathing."  I stood on principle in '68 and refused to cast my vote for Humphrey.  Since that vote was cast in Minnesota - it was academic as they say since HHH won his home state in '68.  But given the electoral college math, other ticked off Ds may have helped Nixon win in '68 in other closely contested states. The basic lesson of politics, according to RFK and which the Nixon era should have taught us - "don't get mad, get even."  But Ben, you let us down and appear to be just another craven politician after all.  How disappointing.  Westlund has short-changed the Oregon voter by listening to the wrong people - pollsters, consultants and money men - the same political con artists who have run Oregon aground under Kitzhaber and Kulongoski. 
    RAD RANT:  Politics should be about principle not simply winning - just like golf.  One loves golf not for the score but for the challenge of doing your personal best.  Don't get me wrong RAD hates to play a poor round, but that comes with the territory.  Ben didn't give Oregonians the chance to show us what their personal best was.  RAD feels Westlund could have won in a 6 person race - money be damned.  But in the final moments, it's not about money it's giving the voters a choice not an echo.  Now all we'll get is a choice between the same old tired hacks running the show and a choice between two very flawed major party candidates.  Politics is about principle and process not just winning.  Yes, winning is exhilarating and at some point if you don't win - you can't make a difference.  But by bowing out now, we'll never know what a difference Westlund might have made. That's a sad commentary on politics and Ben Westlund.  By bowing out now, Ben didn't risk making the cut by being a "no show."     

Wednesday
Aug092006

ANOTHER INCONVENIENT TRUTH?

By Russell Sadler
    The Middle East is in flames. Confidence in the Bush regime and the Republican-dominated Congress is so low that control of the national legislature is up for grabs this November.
    Put it all on the back burner. Something with potentially more far-reaching consequences has just showed up in the news -- again. The “Dead Zone” is back off the Oregon Coast.
    Dead zones are bodies of water with insufficient oxygen to sustain marine life. Scientists call this process eutrophication. The term usually means the introduction of chemical nutrients -- usually nitrogen or phosphorus -- into an ecosystem that creates large algae blooms. Bacteria consume the dead and dying algae using up the oxygen in the water. Marine life that depends on oxygen cannot survive.
    This process usually occurs in lakes, rivers, bays and large enclosed bodies of water like the Great Lakes, or the Gulf of Mexico. Scientists have identified about 150 “dead zones” around the world.
    But the “dead zone” off the Oregon Coast has a different cause that has scientists mystified. It appears that unusual wind patterns off the coast are causing nutrient-rich deep sea water to rise to the surface closer to shore than usual. Scientists call this “upwelling.”
    Upwelling normally brings important nutrients to marine life. Under these unusual wind conditions, however, nutrient-rich deep sea water encourage large algae blooms near shore in the spring. The algae die and -- just like eutrophication -- the bacteria that consumes dead and dying algae and use up the oxygen in the water. Aquatic life dies.
    For the last five years, researchers have discovered suffocated fish and crabs off the Oregon coast. The “dead zone,” first observed in 2002, has quadrupled in size and is now as large as Rhode Island -- about 1,235 square miles. The dead zone lasts a few weeks and disappears when the winds shift.
    At first scientists thought the “dead zone” might be related to the El Nino and La Nina episodes or some long term ocean cycles. But the dead zones appearing for five straight years raises questions about those theories.
    Dr. Jane Lubchenco, an Oregon State University marine biologist, suggests climate change may be a factor because there is no other apparent explanation for the altered wind patterns.
    The media can get a bit provincial about these matters -- Oregon reporters are concerned about the dead zone “off the Oregon Coast.” But the effects of these unusual wind patterns and their consequences are being observed up along the West Coast of the USA and British Columbia.
    One interesting finding: Seabird populations that scientists have been studying -- sometimes for decades -- suddenly began crashing.
    Off Southern California, scientists from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography concluded fish larvae are down 50 percent and there have been massive kelp dieoffs. In the last 30 years, the upper 300 feet of the Pacific ocean has has warmed significantly. Scripps has been recording ocean temperatures since 1919.
    In California’s Farallon Islands, and British Columbia’s Triangle Island, populations of Cassins auklet failed to breed successfully in 2005. Scientists diagnosis? Starvation.
    Off Washington’s Tatoosh Island common murre populations plummeted. All along the Washington and Oregon Coast common murres and Brandt’s cormorants died in droves. Scientists’ diagnosis? Starvation. Their usual ocean food was not available.
    At a meeting in Seattle last January, 45 scientists evolved the theory about the unusual wind patterns and it’s effect on reducing the food supply for seabirds. When the winds do blow they are suspected of creating the “dead zone” off the Oregon Coast. When these wind do not blow, they are suspected of creating sea conditions that reduce the seabirds’ food supply.
    Is this a silly preoccupation with dying tweety-birds?
    The seabirds -- and the Dungeness crab -- are symbols like the canary in the coal mine. Eventually, the forces that damage an ecosystem so it cannot support seabirds and marine life left unaltered will damage the ecosystem sufficiently to affect the humans that depend on it, especially if they involves the aquatic food supply as scientists now suspect.
    None of this talk about changing weather patterns should lessen concern about ocean pollution, which is extensive and serious. The Los Angeles Times just published a thorough five-part series on ocean pollution. (www.latimes.com - click on Altered Oceans)
    The unusual wind patterns apparently causing “dead zones” and suffocating the forage fish and other aquatic life that crabs and seabirds feed on create consequences that should not be taken lightly. They are  potentially more damaging than war in the Middle East or even a change in control of Congress. 

    Editor's Note:  It's hard to argue with RS.  But since the Bush administration does not take global warming seriously, will not abide by the Kyoto Treaty and is thick as flees with the oil industry - perhaps there is a connection between domestic and military based toxins being introduced into the oceans and the appearance of dead zones.  Closer to home - as long as folks in Victoria, BC dump raw human and other waste into their part of Puget Sound - one wonders if anyone is minding the store.  Look at how DEO has taken a ride in enforcing water quality in the Willamette and how Portland, like Victoria, dumps raw sewage into a river which Tom McCall once 'saved' - or we thought he had.  So whether it's the air, the water or unregulated industrial pollution those who manage the global economy on the homefront and beyond are culpable in many ways - ecologists term it the tragedy of the commons.  The biggest dead zone may be the 5 inches between our collective ears. 

Wednesday
Aug092006

HIGH STAKES TESTING SCAM

    A front page article in today's Oregonian (below the fold) says it all - "Difficulty factor skews student scores."  Apparently the discrepancy between how well 3rd & 5th graders do on Oregon's own tests compared to how those same students slip as 8th graders is not the student's fault, but the tests.  The elementary grade tests have been deliberately designed to keep the bar low, hence raising the rate of success.  Keep in mind success means 50% or more of the students meeting the standard, a very low bar already.  The 8th grade tests are more rigorous.
    It's not that the students get dumber, but the tests get tougher!  So the testing scam continues.  And Oregon is not alone in fraudulent high stakes testing.  But never mind, the educational bureaucrats stay resolved that high stakes testing is the silver bullet in raising student performance.  Superintendent Susan Castillo says the tests need to be more rigorous.  NCLB has spawned an industry which is doing to education what American foreign policy has done to Iraq.  In computer language it's garbage in, garbage out.
    Now don't tell this to GOP governor candidate Ron Saxton, the former school board chair of a presumably failing Portland public school system.  And don't tell Vicki Phillips who is closing schools left and right because of these ubiquitous but "skewed" test scores.  One wouldn't expect our education policy makers to confront the reality that educational success is hard to assess and even harder to test.  How students learn is a very illusive process requiring excellent teachers not more tests. 

Tuesday
Aug082006

POTPOURI

    Political novice Ed Lamont defeated Senator Joe Lieberman (D, Conn) tonight in a key Democratic primary race largely 126524-422695-thumbnail.jpg
Senator Lieberman concedes loss
due to anti-war sentiment.  One better tell Hillary she risks becoming 2008's Hubert Humphrey if she continues to tether herself to a war without end.  But then again, Hillary has many skeletons in her political closet going back to the famous 60 Minutes interview of she and Bill in '92; Whitewatergate which was more her doing until Monica came along; and the her botched health care plan which would have made Rube Goldberg blush given it's mind numbing complexity.

    Maybe it's being in too much sun today at the US Women's Amateur Championship but RAD is 126524-422698-thumbnail.jpg
Jane Park, Califronia, in top 4 after stroke play
struck by all of the Asian women who play golf at this level - many of whom are future LPGA prospects.  While the tournament has young women from around the world - Australia, England, Japan, Korea, Philippines, New Zealand, Netherlands, Germany, Taiwan, Canada, Thailand, Colombia, Ireland and Spain - what is notable is that most of the Asian women golfers are from the USA and not just from the West Coast or Hawaii.  Another tribute to our immigration policies over the years. 
 

 

Tuesday
Aug082006

Good Bye Joe L?

    Today Senator Joe Lieberman (D. Connecticut) may be on the losing side to retain his Senate seat in that state's Democratic primary.  The 2000 VP nominee for Al Gore, the first Jewish candidate nominated by a major party for the next highest office in the land, has run into trouble because of his support for the war in Iraq and his belief that we must remain committed to our policy there.  Today's Oregonian editorializes that the voters in Connecticut would be misguided in defeating Lieberman based on this one issue, opposition to the war in Iraq.
    The problem with the Oregonian's argument is that opposition to the war in Iraq is NOT a single issue cause.  When you spend 7 billion dollars per month in a war which should never have happened, which cannot be won and which has morphed itself into a crisis affecting the entire Middle East from Iran to Lebanon, from Israel to Eygpt, it's no longer a one issue question.  And on the home front imagine what could be done with that money or how it could be targeted to help with other international crisis - from Dafur to global warming.
    In 1968 many establishment voices felt that Senator Gene McCarthy (D, Minnesota) was misguided or on a utopian mission to unseat LBJ.  Well history records that Clean Gene was right in unseating LBJ and the nation's power structure was wrong in getting us involved in the swamplands of Indo-China (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos).  Elections are about holding politicians accountable.  And hopefully the voters in Connecticut will do "a McCarthy" and throw Joe out on his keester.  He's out of touch with his base, but more importantly with history.  
    Senator Lieberman's threat that if defeated he will run as an Independent only shows his contempt for the voters of his state and his lust to remain in office - no matter what.  That fact that he's become a lapdog of the Bush administration is only one reason to "throw the bum out."  Like so many DC pols he is out of touch with the voters of his state and values power more than admitting he was wrong on Iraq.  Like the West Wing gang - he'd rather stay resolved to a losing cause.  Of course, it's not his sons or daughters who are being sacrificed each day we stay the wrong course. 
    Polls indicate that the race has tightened up and Lieberman has distanced himself from Bush.  But make no mistake about it - Iraq is "the" issue on the minds of American voters:  Ds and Rs, liberals and conservatives, moderates and party loyalists, independents and undecideds.  And like the Vietnam war in '68 it's not a single issue question because like that war, this war affects everything the USA does at home and abroad.  We are more unpopular than ever and the administration is cutting domestic programs at home to protect tax cuts for the rich and war profits for the military industrial complex.