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Top 5 causes of homelessness

- Lack of affordable housing

- Lack of a livable wage

- Medical issues/lack of accessible health care

- Domestic violence

- Mental illness


Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax


Half of the US Is Broke


The myth of the Christian country


“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


A Just Peace


SIP contract online




Middle East friendship chart


Corporations enriching shareholders


- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry


Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks



"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%.  





  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:


  • Jim Hightower:

  • 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: 


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


    Connecting the dots between homelessness, hunger & health care disparities in Oregon and Washington County: 


•    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 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


Putting corporate Oregon ahead of our people


#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace


"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


Obamacare is working in Oregon!

Oregon's uninsurance rate cut more than half following federal health reforms


Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel


Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 


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?  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



From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now

The Daily Kos

Blue Oregon


"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... 


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



     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







































GOING, GOING, GONE...     The legislature and Governor Brown are ready to put a fork into one of former governor John Kitzhaber's biggest ideas - the Oregon Investment Board.  The board of high profile corporate and education bureaucrats was intended to lead K-12 and higher education into the future along with the help of the state chief education officer, first Rudy Crew now Nancy Golden, past superintendent of Springfield schools.  How exactly this was to happen has been a clear as mud, then and now. 

     As with Kitzhabers's pledge to do something about early childhood education, the OIB was rudderless from the beginning - a figment of Kitzhaber's imagination.  Kitz spent 3 and 1/3rd terms in office re-arranging the deck chairs in health care and education without much to show for it as illustrated by the failure of the CoverOregon website, the defunding of education (K-12 and higher ed) and kicking the can on tax reform.  In Kitzhaber "there simply was never a there, there" - just empty rhetoric.

     The issue in Oregon is not reorganizing education it's the funding of education at all levels from K-12 to higher education.  This requires a commitment to 1) getting rid of Measure 5; 2) ending the personal kicker; and 3) reforming Oregon's tax structure.  As a Puzzle Palace watcher, there is no evidence anyone in Salem has the courage to face the music.  Until they do, Oregon will limp along in education #47 out of 50 states, a education funding bottom feeder - the Mississippi of the West.    

     Not unlike Kitz in his blue blazer, jeans and cowboy boots, Oregon is all hat and no cattle.  



     The front page investigative report in Sunday's unOregonian details how an out of state land speculator, a replica of Donald Trump, was enabled by the Kitzhaber administration to push his golf empire dream on the southern Oregon coast.  It appears, unless Governor Brown, says "no way" that the only thing that will prevent this dude from violating the McCall legacy of pristine public beaches will be the federal government. 

       As an avid golfer, I'm not opposed to golf course construction per se but the trends in golf indicate we have too many golf courses and that the golf consumer public is diminishing.  But the Bandon Dunes area courses are designed for high income golfers not your average duffer and the location on the south Oregon coast is more targeted to a California golf elite not Oregonians.  So why invest in expanding options for out of state golfers south of the border? 

     The rationale is that Oregon needs to attract the tourist dollar.  But since such destination golf resorts provide total on site servcies to the weekend warrior - the benefits to the local economy are minimal aside from those who work for such resorts for minimum wage jobs.  Besides a land grab, the subsidizing of such resorts includes using Connect Oregon money for airport expansion in both Brookings and Crescent City, California.      

     Why are taxpayer dollars being used to benefit the 1%?  

     What's shocking to me is that Oregon's vaunted environmental movement doesn't seem to have joined the battle to save a part of our beautiful southern Oregon coast.  Where's 1000 Friends, OLCV, the Oregon Environmental Council et al?  I can only presume that once "Kitz" gave the go ahead - the enviros were like the silence of the lambs.  Why?  Could it be that the enviro lobby in the Puzzle Palace doesn't care much about the "other Oregon?"

     The enviro lobby may not be as powerful as they claim they are in the e-mail missives I get on a daily basis.  Or when industry waves the bloody flag of jobs - even low pay jobs on a primo golf course - the D's become putty in the hands of developers!  A look at the battle over pesticides makes gives one pause.  While the environmental lobby gives thousands of dollars to Dems during the campaign season - what are they getting for their generosity? 



     With ISIS taking more territory and now major cities in its attempt to establish an Islamic Caliphate, it makes one wonder if it's time for the US and allies to pull the plug on this latest and longest military misadventure in modern US history.  There is no light at the end of this tunnel.  That said - to kiss Iraq and Syria off is to doom   innocent Middle Eastern people to death at the hands of ISIS death squads or a brutality reminiscent of Hitler's Third Reich. 

     If the West pulls out totally or in drips or drabs, let's remember that the origins of this foreign policy disaster began in the Bush administration which took its eye off the ball in Afghanistan and changed the course of history by invading and occupying Iraq.  Whatever happens is a Bush not an Obama legacy.  For that Bush should be damned for the millions of Middle East lives sacrificed on the alter of his administration's hubris not to mention the thousands of allied dead or "wounded warriors" who came home. 

     There are three options -

1) Send more US and allied troops (200K) into the region to stamp out ISIS - that would require not just our volunteer forces but returning to a war time draft.  We can't expect our regular military to have deployment after deployment minus back up from middle America.  Anybody who lived through Vietnam knows this is a grotesque pipe dream.  There is no will to do this. 

2) Continue to deploy "advisors" supplemented by air/drone strikes against ISIS targets.  That doesn't seem to be working. Minus a major offensive by troops from Saudi Arabia, Iran and other regional nations - it's clear the "local" militias and the remnant of the Iraqi army can't do the job despite years of US military training, support and hardware.  You got to know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. 

3) We can sit by while ISIS takes more of Iraq and Syria (a Russian legacy) and let the inevitable happen.  Keeping in mind most the land ISIS controls is mostly empty desert - when these modern day Visigoths over extend their brutish empire they will force Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel et al into an "unholy" and implicit alliance to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIS unless they have a collective death wish. 


     The CC sent me this article as his Memorial Day contribution: "America on Memorial Day: Heavily armed, dangerous, unstable"-

     The author tars Obama with the Dubya legacy.  Bush's hubris is well documented but somehow Obama's caution is now an example of "American exceptionalism."  Huh?  The author regards the US as "schizophrenic" and relishes America's decline.   But since geo-politics eschews a vacuum, who will replace the USA as an arbiter in this increasingly chaotic world - Russia, China, Iran, the Euros, OPEC?  So the author would move us from being "exceptional" to "self-loathing."  The Greeks have a word for this condition which Freud made part of psycho-analysis - thanatos.   

     My sadness is not about the end of Pax Americana but the decay of human rights that is happening in its wake.  This "decay" is outlined in Thomas Friedman's latest column -  which also notes that the "decay" began 60 years ago @ 1955 - at the height of the Cold War - Ike was Potus and the Dulles brothers manned the State Department and the CIA...   It's also the time that Israel was consolidated while Palestinians were pushed out of their former homeland.  The "troubles" began before WW I when the Brits drew the map of the Middle East, sins of the father come home to roost.   


     Bottom line, this is no longer our fight.  In reality it never was!  But our moral obligation is to allow locals who helped the allied mission to emigrate to the US or Europe.  As one looks at the map, it would be ironic if the ISIS Caliphate would embolden ISIS extremists to spread into Mother Russia - a fate which Putin richly deserves.  But the US should turn the page - we tried and we failed once again.  

Iraqi forces lack the 'will to fight,' defense secretary says

     Iraqi forces have never demonstrated any "will to fight" other than battles based on age old sectarian hostilities.  Iraq as a nation-state is a fiction only propped up by a brutal dictator like Saddam Hussein - once he was taken out - Iraq ceased to exist.  There is no "there there, there never was." 

     Of course, the likely option is more of the same since no administration wants to admit they "lost" a war.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.  Somehow the early years of the 21st century seem eerily like the late years of the 19th century on the eve of WW I with a collection of ineptly ruled nation-states and an alliance system founded on quick sand.  Our legacy - a system of failed states from sea to shining sea.  

A Memorial Day Lesson - The hidden history of America at war...    

The Takeaways-digital-breadcrumbs-moon-trash-and-building-better-future-africa/

"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war" - John Adams



     Waiting in the Puzzle Palace "lobby" for a hearing on Tuesday I saw this posted in one of the permanent displays in our Capitol buidling. 

     "Never doubt that a small group of thoughful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it's the only thing that ever does..."    

- Margaret Mead


     This issue will be settled in the final days of the current session by the leadership of the legislature and Governor Brown.  It will involve all the heavy hitters in the legislature and major interest groups...  

     Why not share the $86 million state wide by dedicating it to 1) K-12, 2) affordable housing & 3) transportation improvements?   That way everyone wins! 

Oregon's kicker tax rebate would be suspended under bill from Beaverton legislator

     This idea probably has no chance of passage.  But it's a good idea and glad to see it get some attention.  One never knows in the final days of a session what might pop out of the box in the Puzzle Palace...  

     Diverting the personal kicker money by putting it in a "rainy day" fund makes sense but the need is for revenue now not in the future.  Again with funding needs noted above - why not "invest in Oregon now" not sometime down the road?  



     It's good to see Governor Brown give strong support for a $100 million bonding proposal to build affordable housing in Oregon and for Washington County Chair Andy Duyck expressing support for this proposal which came out of former Governor Kitzhaber's last days in Mahonia Hall as the current session began. 

Make less than $16.61 an hour? You can't afford a 2-bedroom apartment in Oregon 

     Affordable housing is not just a Portlandia problem, it's a challenge throughout Oregon from Bend to Hillsboro, from Medford to the Coast.  But as I've pointed out the "ask" will not meet the need.  It will build 4000 units tops when the need in Oregon is for 130,000 housing units.  That doesn't do much to solve Oregon's "housing" gap problem.   

     Also, the other game in play in the Puzzle Palace on housing is the inclusionary housing bill, HB 2564 which has a greater potential to address the real need for affordable housing especially in communities in the state where low vacancy rates make home and rental prices higher than the working poor can afford. 

     But as written HB 2564 excludes rental housing and given my experience people who earn below 60% of Median Family Income (MFI) can't meet the monthly mortgage payments of a home buyer.  So the promise of building affordable housing for people becomes another false promise if the rental part is excluded unless the Dash-5 amendment is passed.  

     It's time we address the real problem - the need for a wider variety of rental or home buying choices.  The market can't do this job.  It took the GI bill and federal housing policy in the '50s to offer a piece of the American Dream to working families.  We walked away from that promise in the '70s.  It's time to put the American Dream within the grasp of average Americans.  

     Governor Brown and Chair Duyck - your rhetoric must be matched by reality.   So far all I see is another "trust me gap." 

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