Navigation
More About This Website

On the lighter side of life... 

#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace

------------------------------------

Trump & The Mob

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

------------------------------

"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."

----------------------------

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%.  

 

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

------------------------------

  • 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. 

------------------------------

SB 1533 passes!  

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

-----------------------------

Housing Needs in Oregon 

-----------------------------

 

---------------------------

"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

________________

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   


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 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Sunday
Dec112016

MISSION TO GROUND CONTROL, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!

     The CIA conclusion that the Russians hacked our presidential election in order to get Trump elected is now getting the media and congressional attention it deserves.

     A bi-partisan investigation of the Kremlin's hacks can only determine the degree to which our recent election was compromised and with it the legitimacy a Trump presidency.  

     Any Trump claim to a mandate to govern is dubious on multiple counts: 

  • Trump lost the popular vote by over 2.6 million votes. 

  • His victory in the Electoral College hangs by a thread because we don't know the degree to which elections in battleground were gamed by the Russians. 

  • We know that the Russians also created off shore web sites to mislead the voters to Trump's advantage. 

     But sadly this game of the black arts by what I'm calling The Troika of Donald Trump, Vladmir Putin and Juliann Assange is playing out like another saga of political horrors, Watergate. 

     During the 1972 campaign between Nixon and McGovern, the particulars of the systemic scandal in the Nixon White House was well known but the American public chose to ignore the rot that was the Nixon administration. 

     The difference is that Nixon won a landslide EC and popular vote victory but 2 years later he was forced to resign or face impeachment.  Gerald Ford gracefully ended our long "national nightmare" assuming the presidency as the Constitution allows.    

     This time, a majority of Americans did a sniff test and voted against Donald Trump and his not so merry band of altRight white nationalists, corporatists and craven mainstream Republicans.

     The Electoral College however has turned into a Faustian bargain. 

     If Watergate proves anything it's that it will take time to find the truth of this international criminal conspiracy against American democratic institutions.  But at least the story is out 6 weeks before Trump 'might' assume the Presidency.  So it's up to the American people to draw their own conclusions and let the Congress know how they feel. 

     It's up to members of the US Senate and House intelligence committees to step up and investigate the nature of this criminal conspiracy.  If this impending investigation can't be concluded by inauguration day, January 20th - Congressional leaders should go to the Supreme Court for an injunction stopping the EC count. 

     In the past presidents didn't assume office until March 20th.  Delaying the inauguration while extraordinary would give time to clear the air.  This is not just a debate over the Electoral College it's the emergence of a Constitutional crisis.  Can we trust the integrity of "this" election for the most powerful leader in the world?   

     Until that question is answered neither Trump or Clinton should take the oath of office.  As Donald Rumsfeld used to say in his enigmatic way - we are in the realm of the "known unknowns." This is not how to run a railroad let alone decide who won a flawed election.  We have a President he can stay on the job until things are cleared up...

     The other option is for Congress to select an interim president and vice president while all of this is sorted out.  My suggestion would to retain VP Biden and then let the Congress select a VP - most likely Paul Ryan...  

     A bi-partisan coalition government would be a solid foundation for governance until this mess is resolved.  Extraordinary times requires extraordinary out of the box thinking.  


Sunday
Dec112016

HOW TO STEAL AN AMERICAN ELECTION...  

 

www.npr.org
NPR has confirmed that intelligence officials say it's now "quite clear" Russian hackers worked to tip the presidency in Donald Trump's favor. Trump's transition team has dismissed the assessment.

 

 

Sunday
Dec112016

DON'T CEDE FAITH TO THE ZEALOTS AMONG US...  

Friday
Dec092016

TRUMPISM & THE TRUE BELIEVERS...  

     When reading about the "angry white voters" who voted for Trump, a minority of the electorate and supporters of the candidate who lost the popular vote by over 2.6 million votes, I've been trying to understand why working class white voters would support a candidate from the 1%.  Eric Hoffer gives us a template by which to assess such voters - the "true believers."

     I'm not suggesting that ALL Trump voters are "true believers" but that his appeal is clearer when factoring this concept into the equation.  Trump's rhetoric was designed to appeal to anger and fear.  His incivility was his key to his claim to be an "outsider" even though his personal history is of an insider.  His foul mouth was the key to connecting to voters for whom such language hits home.  

     Many voters who sit in the heartland of states like Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania feel left out by the economic changes in American society which go back many decades.  But they also feel left out by Obama despite the facts to the contrary.  If they should be mad - that anger should be directed at the GOP.  But increasingly voters are victims of selective perception in this age fake news. 

     But there is something else going on here - something far more troubling - which Hoffer gets at - a sense of voter alienation that distrusts mainstream institutions be it government, the media, unions, corporations even mainline churches.  Given social media such voters have retreated to their own chat rooms and manipulated media sites catering to their fears, prejudices and ignorance.   

     The descent into political paranoia was skillfully taken advantage of by Trump's campaign through appeals to xenophobia, racism and sexism.  These are the classic tools of the demagogue, the despot who appeals to our fears not our hopes.  That this strategy worked with so many is tragic.  But it says a lot about white voters who are willing to sanction ideas they normally would not countenance.  It indicates a level of delusional thinking that is manifest when people are willing to substitute lies for facts, ahistory for history, incivility for civility.  

en.wikipedia.org
The True Believer: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements is a 1951 social psychology book by American writer Eric Hoffer, in which Hoffer discusses the ...

     Below are some high points from Hoffer.  The point here is that if we are not careful we will put our democracy at risk by not just accepting the person who lost the election but due to the quirky rules of the Electoral College and manipulation of the election by home grown Right Wingers aided and abetted by the Kremlin. 

     Hoffer states that mass movements begin with a widespread "desire for change" from discontented people who place their locus of control outside their power and who also have no confidence in existing culture or traditions. Feeling their lives are "irredeemably spoiled" and believing there is no hope for advancement or satisfaction as an individual, true believers seek "self-renunciation."[1]

     Thus, such people are ripe to be seduced by a movement that offers the option of subsuming their individual lives in a larger collective. Leaders are vital in the growth of a mass movement, as outlined below, but for the leader to find any success, the seeds of the mass movement must already exist in people's hearts.

     Donald Trump fits this niche as a faux leader...     

     The "New Poor" are the most likely source of converts for mass movements/for they recall their former wealth with resentment and blame others for their current misfortune. Examples include... the middle- and working-classes in Germany who passionately supported Hitler in the 1930s after suffering years of economic hardship.

     Mass movements demand a "total surrender of a distinct self."[9] One identifies the most as “a member of a certain tribe or family," whether religious, political, revolutionary, or nationalist.[10] Every important part of the true believer's persona and life must ultimately come from her identification with the larger community... [this conversion process evolved with Trump as his party unified around him despite an early reluctance.]

     While mass movements idealize the past and glorify the future, the present world is denigrated: "The radical and the reactionary loath the present."[12] Thus, by regarding the modern world as vile and worthless, mass movements inspire a perpetual battle against the present. [Ironically, Right wing fanaticism in the USA mirrors the appeal of ISIS in the Middle East.] 

     As I've suggested in past posts on "working class" authoritarianism there is a deep vein in American politics for Right Wing paranoia - examples are many - the Know Nothings, the KKK, White Citizens Councils, John Birchers, McCarthyism, the Christian Right and now the altRight.  When one watches a Trump rally one is reminded of Hitler's brown shirts, in Trumps case people in red hats...   

     To spread and reinforce their doctrine, mass movements use persuasion, coercion, and proselytization. Persuasion is preferable but practical only with those already sympathetic to the mass movement. Moreover, persuasion must be thrilling enough to excite the listener yet vague enough to allow "the frustrated to... hear the echo of their own musings in the impassioned double talk."[14]

     Successful mass movements need not believe in a god, but they must believe in a devil. Hatred unifies the true believers, and "the ideal devil is a foreigner" attributed with nearly supernatural powers of evil.[17] [Trump's anti-immigrant, race baiting and invocation of violence on the campaign trail is part of the tool kit of the True Believe leader.]  

     Hoffer identifies three main personality types as the leaders of mass movements, "men of words", "fanatics", and "practical men of action." No person falls exclusively into one category, and their predominant quality may shift over time.  [The Donald clearly falls into the "practical man of action" slot here but his tweeting also shows his skills in exploiting social media for maximum effect...]

     Hoffer does not take an exclusively negative view of "true believers" and the mass movements they begin. He gives examples of how the same forces that give rise to true believer mass movements can be channelled in more positive ways:

     There are, of course, rare leaders such as Lincoln, Gandhi, even F.D.R., Churchill, and Nehru. They do not hesitate to harness man's hungers and fears to weld a following and make it zealous unto death in service of a holy cause; but unlike a Hitler, a Stalin, or even a Luther and a Calvin, they are not tempted to use the slime of frustrated souls as mortar in the building of a new world.... They know that no one can be honorable unless he honors mankind". 

     Hoffer's point about Luther and Calvin is not to tarnish mainstream Calvinism or Lutheranism but simply to point out that Christianity in it's most virulent form has been a vehicle for extremism.  Calvin's Geneva set the stage for the the politics of the "general will" which Napoleon used to create modern French nationalism - which ended in Europe's first dictatorship. 

     The question is what kind of leader Donald Trump will be - an FDR figure who rises to the times or a false prophet like Putin who acts like a bully?  Either way, our checks and balances system will be put to its maximum test ever. 

Stay tuned... 

Thursday
Dec082016

A PROGRESSIVE AGENDA...  

"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

"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
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     In the aftermath of a very bitter election where Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by over 2.6 million votes (still counting) it's cowardly for the Democratic establishment to argue the party must move to the political center to re-capture those Reagan Ds who voted for Trump.

     There is a better path forward which focuses on the traditional "economic" bread and butter issues that have been the tradition of the Democratic Party since the days of FDR to Obama. It's the Democrats who have cleaned up GOP messes from the Great Depression of '29 to the Great Recession of '08.

     Those basic values center around what I'm calling a "A social contract for a Progressive America"

     This agenda should include the following action items -

1) creating sustainable jobs for the middle class and the working poor;
2) protecting civil rights - of women, minorities, gay people and other marginalized Americans;
3) being good stewards of the land and air not climate deniers;
4) defending the social safety net to bring people out of poverty, 1 in 5 Americans;
5) demanding corporate America pay its fair share of taxes at all levels - local, state and federal;
6) return to a progressive income tax that ends income inequality in America;
7) investing in people not corporate America by demanding corporate profits be shared with employees and share holding be founded on social responsibility not feathering the nests of the 1%;
8) ending our dependence on a bloated Military Industrial Ccmplex that engages us in endless wars;
9) protecting the gains made by the Affordable Care Act by mending it not ending it - adding a public option to it;
10) funding K-12 'public' education and post-high school ed to help Americans get the skills they need to compete in a global market;

     We must oppose the Trump administration's emerging culture of personal and political corruption which will reward vulgar capitalism and special interests not the American people.

     These are all ideas both The Bern and Hillary ran on but a grotesquely rigged EC system has denied majority will.

     What we need is a new contract with "America for Americans" not a return to trickle down economics. As the article below indicates, the popular vote and data show support for such ideas. 

For more go to my FACEBOOK page @ Russ

http://www.salon.com/2016/12/07/democrats-must-own-their-values-tea-party-style-not-shift-even-more-toward-the-mushy-middle/

Page 1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 ... 670 Next 5 Entries »