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Oregon Town Hall: Pot In 2015

What will be the social and health consequences of pot on children?  We ban smoking cigarettes in public spaces. what about pot?  

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Sign petition to stop Keystone XL Pipeline

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Trust in government is 'dead, Jim'

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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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Oreaviationwatch

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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 & 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

Obamacare another good week

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 Explore Intel emissions

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#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace

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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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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   

     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?

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


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Tuesday
Nov112014

VETERANS DAY, 2014

     Arlington National Cemetery

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

- George Santayana 

     EDITOR'S NOTE:   I am not a veteran quite the contrary I opposed my generation's war in Vietnam as an activist the the Peace Movement of that era.  I have no regrets in the choices I made but I have a great respect for those who make different choices in service to their country.  That respect does not extend to those in the White House or Congress whose hubris sends Americans into harms way forsaking the hard lessons of history and becoming the enablers of mission creep.  

     I think the NPR program (hit link below) frames our national ambivalence well.  My "takeaway" is that we are still fighting wars in the Middle East which were framed by persons long dead - Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill who drew lines in the desert sands of the Middle East which made no historical sense but have unleashed generation upon generation of hopeless efforts to stem the tides of history bent on tearing this part of the world apart.  But we never learn. 

     The blame for our current predicament is on George W. Bush and his neo-con henchmen who saw 9/11 as the pretext for creating what George H. W. Bush referred to as a "new world order" - to remake a region in our own image!   But as time has gone by another version of Pax Americana has morphed into a disaster into which has stepped ISIS/ISIL which has its own imperial vision - the creation of a new Ottoman Empire or Caliphate stretching from Baghdad to Damascus. 

The Takeaway

Audio Essay: Remembering Those Who Serve

This Veterans Day, The Takeaway offers our thanks and appreciation to all of the men and women who have served our country, in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in wars past.

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For more...  
Tuesday
Nov112014

THE PRICE OF VOTER APATHY...  

     With the results of the off-year congressional elections which will return the GOP to power in the US Senate, the House and control of a majority of state legislatures and governorships, excepting Oregon, one has to wonder why so many people took a pass on this election allowing “…to happen.” 

     Yes, it was an historic low voter turnout election – the lowest since 1942 of voters eligible to vote (VEPs) – 36.6% but also lowest in years of registered voters – Oregon’s rate of EV was 69% most states didn’t get above 40%.  Why did so many who voted in 2012 not vote this time? 

     Specifically where was the women’s vote, the Latino vote and the youth vote?  We know that those who don’t vote are disproportionately poor women with children, the minority poor and in general the working poor – the very people who need the government’s help?

     If those who need help take a pass, we know those who do vote will have even more power in the halls of Congress or state government. In May our local county commission races resulted in the re-election of two members of the TROIKA helped by 6,000 Dems not voting! 

     Defeating Andy Duyck and Bob Terry would have been huge in stopping Intel and “the” developers.  

     On election night I was a speaker for the Forest Grove Friends of the Library.  The main question was “does voting count?”  My answer was yes it does.  But of course I didn’t know at 7 p.m. on election night how true my point was and how ironic it was given the GOP sweep, excepting Oregon. 

     Here in Washington County they are still counting the ballots in a state legislative race between Republican incumbent Bruce Starr and his Democratic challenger former state Rep Chuck Riley.  Riley right now has a 221 vote lead.

     With a home away from home in Susan McClain’s office and/or Chuck Riley’s office will be quite a change!  

     The point is simple – if you didn’t vote last Tuesday – your voice wasn’t heard – you’ve been reduced to the “silent majority.”  But I guarantee you that those who were elected will consider your silence as consent to their agenda.  In DC it will be a GOP agenda, in Salem it will be a Dem agenda. 

     I’ve been reading Elizabeth Warren’s book a “Fighting Chance.”  Time and time again she talks about how in the halls of power in DC the little people are not heard.  She’s right.  However, when the little people don’t vote – they get what those who do vote want “banks to big to fail” bailouts!  

     One can of course echo what the pundits are saying about the inept campaign the Democrats ran – running away from Obama and allowing the narrative to be about Ebola and ISIS which have nothing to do with the increasing marginalization of the American middle class and the working poor!  

     The irony is that the American economy is now at its best since the end of the Clinton era. 

     Millions of jobs have been created, the US auto industry is back, US troops are home, Obamacare is working, Dodd/Frank is law and next comes immigration reform.  But with Mitch McConnell as the new Senate Majority leader – minus a presidential veto – all of these reforms are in jeopardy. 

     Do elections make a difference, damn straight!

     The good news is that by 2016 turnout will go from a paltry 80 million last week to over 130 million or more by 2016.  That means more women, more Latinos, more young people and a more diverse demographic will vote giving the Dems a better chance to win. 

     But GOP Senators who were elected last week will not be up for re-election until 2020.  So the Dems and their base will have to get really lucky to turn things around in the Senate and the House in 2016 even if they keep the West Wing with Hillary Clinton the current frontrunner du jour.  

     Yeah I know many are discouraged and don’t trust government – well grow up – it’s the only government we have and if you remain silent we know who will win next time – the same old gang of corporate lobbyists and their crony corporate clients, the economic elite, the 1%.    

     It’s not enough to be “mad as hell” – you’ve got to vote to express your anger!  If that means voting for the lesser of two evils well that’s the only choice we have.  Don’t be naïve and say it doesn’t matter.  Ask Elizabeth Warren if it doesn’t matter or better yet somebody who lost their home via foreclosure!  

     Don’t let the pursuit of the perfect be an obstacle for achieving the good.

 

Sunday
Nov092014

IN MEMORIUM, "UNINCUMBERED BY THE THOUGHT PROCESS" - LOL

 

#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

     This week on Car Talk, we pay tribute to our beloved brother, friend, and co-host, Tom Magliozzi, who passed away Monday, November 3rd.

    Check it out!

Friday
Nov072014

OBAMACARE, AFTER THE GOP VICTORY?  

     EDITOR'S NOTE:  What Drew Altman outlines below is right on BUT what one needs to keep in mind is that any proposed changes, major or minor to Obamacare can be met with a Presidential "veto" which the new GOP majority can't override since it takes 2/3rds in both the House and Senate.  The GOP doesn't have enough gas in their tanks to do this.

     So the question is, after all the posturing on both sides is done, is the GOP ready to focus on making Obamacare, the law of the land just like Social Security, more efficient, more manageable and more cost effective?  Or are their talking points simply a prelude to 2016?  If it's the latter, which RAD believes it is, this will reinforce the GOP brand as being "obstructionist" aka part of the problem not the solution!  

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By Drew Altman is president and chief executive officer of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

     Since the outcome of Tuesday’s elections became clear, a lot has been said, and threatened, about repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

     Republican control of the next Congress is likely to bring ACA challenges in two flavors. There will be early “statement legislation” to repeal the law and possibly to repeal the ACA’s individual mandate, a linchpin of the law that spreads risk and makes its insurance market changes work. These bills, intended to honor election promises to the Republican base, would be vetoed by President Barack Obama if they pass. 

     Then there is likely to be a series of legislative efforts to chip away at the ACA.

  •      One could be, as House Speaker John Boehner mentioned on Thursday, repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a not-yet appointed commission with power to trigger reductions in Medicare payments if spending increases exceed certain levels and Congress does not come up with an alternative approach.

          RAD - The GOP doesn't want to contain Medicare costs?  Really now!  

  •      Another might be repealing or altering the requirement that larger employers cover their workers or pay a penalty, likely by changing the definition of full-time workers from 30 hours per week to 40. 

          RAD - The GOP wants to deny coverage to workers who work less than 40 hours/week like "contract workers." 

  •      Another could be introducing a new “copper”-level insurance plan that has higher deductibles and patient out-of-pocket costs.

          RAD - The GOP supports bringing back "sham" insurance policies!  What ever happened to a kinder/gentler GOP Dubya promised us? 

          RAD - The GOP wants to kill the ACA by defunding it one drip at a time - the old Grover Norquist strategy - eh Mitch? 

     But none of these likely proposals strikes at the core of the ACA: its coverage expansions and insurance reforms. These would continue regardless of whether such changes were made or how fiercely the battle over them is waged.

     Some who intend to advocate these changes see provisions such as the IPAB or the employer mandate as an overreach or too big an expansion of government. There are policy arguments for and against each of these likely changes.

     But for most people, opposition to the ACA isn’t about the details; Obamacare is mainly a proxy for their dislike of the president and their unease about the nation’s direction. The issues that would be the focus of these legislative proposals are mainly the concerns of insiders and such interest groups as business and medical device makers. 

     RAD:  Since Obama is a lame duck POTUS he has no incentive to allow his major domestic legacy to be ravaged by partisan politicians.  So his veto pen will be at the ready!  And since he won't be on the ballot in 2016 his being a "proxy" for the GOP is no longer in play that game ended Tuesday night of this week! 

     Another challenge will be keeping these legislative proposals in perspective. It’s easy to imagine “new challenge to Obamacare” headlines scrolling across the bottom of cable-news feeds as, perhaps, a bill to repeal the employer mandate is proposed in Congress. That would be an important story to cover, but small businesses are exempt from the ACA’s employer mandate and virtually all major employers already cover their workers, so the effect of repealing the employer mandate would not be large.

     As proposals to modify the ACA are introduced in the new Congress, it will be critical for the media to provide perspective, explain what proposals mean for people, and distinguish between small changes and ones that would cut to the core of the law.

Thursday
Nov062014

ELECTION 2014 - OREGON BUCKS NATIONAL TREND

Kitz's pyrrhic victory?      Unlike most states in this off-year election, Oregon did not join the Republican surge and it didn’t match an historic low turnout rate.  Despite Governor Kitzhaber’s well-known flubs, the governor won an unprecedented fourth term and the Democrats increased their majorities in the Oregon legislature.  Things look different in the Beaver state. 

     Governor Kitzhaber’s victory was less than a stellar victory beating his weak GOP opponent Dennis Richardson by an anemic 5% compared to US Senator Merkley’s whipping of his similarly challenged GOP opponent Monika Wehby by a whopping 18% margin.  On top of this more than 50 thousand voters left the governor’s race blank! 

      Why were there over 50,000 "undervotes" in the governor's race?  Normally, the top of the ticket leads in votes.  The marijuana measure attracted young voters from Portlandia to the college towns of Eugene and Corvallis.  Kitz should have captured the youth vote but his "Cylvia" problem lowered his appeal.     

     Governor Kitzhaber clearly needs to reassesses his management style as governor.  He must repair the damage done by his outsourcing tasks to presumptive “First Lady” Cylvia Hayes.  Oregon has only one governor not two.  He also needs to become more a presence in the Puzzle Palace not just a Wizard of Oz working behind closed doors.  

     With the dropped balls of the CRC, CoverOregon and problematic results from education reform plus conflicts of interests within his administration he has eroded much of his moral authority to govern.  Can he regain the credibility he’s lost?  He should start by being more transparent and being a drum major for Oregon not just NIKE and Intel. 

     Fortunately for the governor his party bucking national trends increased its ranks giving him a robust working majority. The Senate will have a 17 to 13 majority, possibly 1 more depending on how the Starr/Riley race in Washington County shakes out.  On the House side his party’s members have increased to a solid 35-25 majority.

     The denizens of the Puzzle Palace – legislators, lobbyists, pundits and the media – will be watching how Kitzhaber uses the bully pulpit to frame his agenda for the 2015 and beyond.  Will he take on tax reform or kick the can again?  Will he stand up against those who want to tear down Oregon’s land use planning system? 

     A governor, like a president, has to understand his power stakes and realize only he is the “decider” not members of his inner circle whomever they might be.  Only the governor can speak for himself.  His ultimate power is the power to persuade his audience – the people of Oregon and the political class.

     Kitz can’t afford any more personal or policy wonkish dropped balls – his re-election leash is a very short one!  Lucky for him he has four years to rehabilitate his image and to craft a mandate by which to govern Oregon.  As a former ER doctor, he knows the drill.  Bottom line he can’t outsource gubernatorial leadership.  

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