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"Give me your tired, your poor

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore

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

I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door."


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 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. 

     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


"Philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways. The point is, however, to change it. 

- Karl Marx



































RAD Lines

There are 42 housing units for every 100 low income families in Oregon

Housing Needs in Oregon 




#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







































Researchers Explore How To Reduce U.S. Gun Violence Deaths

What gun research says -

  • The gun industry can help by making "smart guns"

  • Gun owners can lock up their guns, take the bullets out when not in use

  • Bring back the universal ban on assault weapons - AR15 etc.

More ideas...  

  • Move to universal background checks like Oregon has done - including gun shows and private sales....

  • Submit guns sold on the net to background checks...  

  • Bring back the waiting period on gun sales...  

  • Ban the sale of guns to anyone diagnosed with a mental illness... 

  • Make it a crime to sell guns to anyone with a mental illness...    

  • Create a real community mental health system in the USA as part of health care reform...  

  • Treat gun violence as a public health problem...  

  • Require that those who commit gun crime be treated like sex offenders....

EDITOR'S NOTE:  I grew up in Roseburg and lived 6 miles from town in the Melrose area when I was 13-15.  One night two friends and I saw heard dudes thrashing around a new home being built across the street from a friends home.  We yelled at them asking them what they were doing - they yelled back an obscenity.  We then got the hand gun of our friend's parents (they were not home).  It was the scariest moment in my youth.  Fortunately I persuaded my friend to just call 911 and give the license plate of the car.  We did and we found out the county sheriff's patrol stopped the car.  It turned out the dudes in the house were carpenters getting their tools...  I've never been near a gun since...  and I've lived in both rural and urban USA...  and faced similar situations...   I call the cops...   not do a John Wayne act...  

More food for thought -

     "Providing everyone with better access to mental health services would be like a "rising tide that floats all ships," Farley said. Maybe, he said, "it's enough that no one will get to a tipping point."



Oregon Celebrates Diversity and Inclusion and Stands Against Anti-Muslim Rallies and Events


October 7, 2015 - We proudly sign on to this statement in opposition to upcoming anti-Muslim events and in support of and in solidarity with Muslim communities across the State of Oregon.  


     A group calling itself "Global Rally for Humanity" is organizing anti-Muslim rallies across the country on October 9 and 10, 2015. In some states, the organizers of the events are encouraging attendees to openly carry guns. Their message is one of violence, racism and hate.     

      The events are based on anti-Muslim and anti-refugee narratives.

     In Oregon, a rally is planned in Medford in front of the Medford Police Department. Political leaders, human rights groups, diverse religious leaders of every faith, and community organizations condemn these malicious attacks on the Muslim communities. These rallies and events undermine our core values as an inclusive and just society. They threaten human rights, dignity and equality for all. They are contrary to democratic American values.

     In addition, we are compelled to speak out against these Islamophobic events for a number of pressing current reasons: 

  • Oregon and our nation are once again grieving the senseless killing of innocent people following the shooting at Umpqua Community College. Any fueling of the philosophy of violence is unconscionable. 
  • We are also besieged by images of refugees, many of whom are children, fleeing war-torn nations. We see overcrowded refugee camps where families are starving, dead children washed ashore, and other horrific situations. As a nation with such vast resources, we should be reaching out to re-settle and welcome these individuals, not making them into villains. 

     "The organizers behind these upcoming Islamophobic events are claiming their events is about being pro-law enforcement and pro-humanity. The premise for these vague sentiments is the idea that all Muslims are somehow a threat to humanity instead of being part of humanity," said Kayse Jama, Executive Director of the Center for Intercultural Organizing.

     "We must affirm that there is a place for everyone in our state," said Darlene Huntress, Executive Director of Oregon Action. "The narrative that anyone poses an existential threat to our communities, law enforcement, or 'humanity' because of their faith is not only wrong and offensive, it creates and perpetuates dangerous stereotypes about fellow community members and all those that follow the Islamic faith." 

     In response to the anti-Muslim rally in Medford, Center for Intercultural Organizing, Oregon Action, faith leaders, and community groups are organizing a counter-rally called, "Countering with Love," in which we will express our support for an accepting, welcoming pluralistic Oregon.

    Across the State, we, the undersigned, stand firmly hand in hand with our Muslim brothers, sisters, neighbors and friends. Injustice to one is an injustice to all.


EDITOR'S NOTE:  Please join me in speaking out against hate and fear.      


Gulzar Ahmed
Nkenge Harmon Johnson, President and CEO Urban League of Portland
Active for Peace & Justice, First United Methodist Church, Corvallis
Ainsworth United Church of Christ, Portland, OR
Alberto Moreno, Oregon Latino Health Coalition and Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs
Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights
Andrea Miller, Executive Director of Causa Oregon
Ann Mbacke, Director of Religious Growth and Learning, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis at the University of Oregon; and pastor
Beth Daniel, Corvallis
Bill Glassmire, Corvallis
Bishop Dave Brauer-Rieke, Oregon Synod - ELCA
Blackberry Pie Society, Cottage Grove
Bob Watada, Eugene
C. U. R. R. E. N. T. S. of Justice for Peace, Union County
Central Pacific Conference
Charles Dennis Alger MA, MDiv, Gresham United Church of Christ
Charles Newlin, Corvallis
Columbia County Coalition for Human Dignity
Community Action for Racial Equity, Mid-Willamette Valley
Community Alliance of Lane County
Community Resilience, Josephine County
Corvallis Area Move To Amend
Corvallis SURJ: Showing Up for Racial Justice
Corvallis-Albany Palestine Solidarity
Creation Justice Ministry
Darlene Huntress, Executive Director, Oregon Action
David Scharf, Columbia County
Director, the Wesley Community Center
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon
Elaine Nussbaum, Columbia County
Eloise Bates, Columbia County
Faith Reidenbach, Philomath
Feed the 'Burg
Friends of Sabeel North America
Gary Dielman, Baker City
Gigi Gordon, Columbia County
Heather Gardner-Madras, Springfield
Human Dignity Advocates of Crook County
Institute for Christian Muslim Understanding
Interfaith Advocates for Peace with Justice, McMinnville
Jan Elfers, Executive Director, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon
Jared Franz, Policy Director, OPAL Environmental Justice
Jewish Voice for Peace-Portland Chapter
Jo Ann Hardesty, President NAACP Portland Branch
John and Christine Perala Gardiner, Cave Junction
Joseph Lewis, Scappoose
Joseph Santos- Lyons, Asian Pacific Islander Network of Oregon
Julia Meier, Executive Director of Coalition of Communities of Color
June and Ed Hemmingson, Albany
Kathy and Phil Paterno, Powell Butte
Kayse Jama, Executive Director, Center for Intercultural Organizing
Leah Bolger, CDR, USN (Ret), Corvallis
Leslie Chartier, MDiv
Lester and Judy Hoyle, Cave Junction
Linn-Benton Pacific Greens
Malcolm Drake, Josephine County
Matt Morton, Executive Director of Native American Youth and Family Center
Michael E. Peterson, Veterans for Peace, Chapter 159, Eugene
Muslim Educational Trust
NAACP, Corvallis-Albany Branch
Nadia Telsey, Eugene
Nancy Ward, Columbia County
Occupy Roseburg
Oregon Anti-Violence Project
Patricia J. Collins, St. Edward Catholic Church, Lebanon
Peace and Justice Team of Bend First Presbyterian
Peace and Social Justice Team of Trinity Episcopal Church, Bend
Peter and Sue Goodman, Albany
Rabbi Ariel Stone
Rabbi Ariel Stone
Rabbi David Kosak
Rabbi Debra Kolodny
Rabbi Joey Wolf
Rabbi Joshua Boettiger, Ashland, Oregon
Rabbi Maurice Harris, Eugene OR
Rev. Barbara Nixon, First United Methodist Church, Corvallis
Rev. Brenda S. Wills, Toledo
Rev. Caren Caldwell, Medford United Church of Christ
Rev. Dr. Arvin R Luchs, United Methodist, Retired President-Elect Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon
Rev. Dr. Charles S. Currie,Jr.Director, Center for Peace and Spirituality, University Chaplain, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Pacific University
Rev. Dr. Dale E. Luffman, Community of Christ
Rev. Dr. Walter John Boris, Conference Minister, Central Pacific Conference, United Church of Christ
Rev. Dr. William Sinkford, First Unitarian Church, Portland
Rev. Janet Parker, First Congregational UCC, Salem
Rev. Jill K. McAllister, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis
Rev. John Boonstra
Rev. K. Antonia Won, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Oregon, Bend
Rev. Kate Lore, First Unitarian Church of Portland, Portland, OR
Rev. Lowell Greathouse, United Methodist Church, Mission and Ministry Coordinator, Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference
Rev. Lynne Smouse López, Ainsworth United Church of Christ
Rev. Rod Stafford, Portland Mennonite Church
Rev. Ron Werner, Jr. Oregon Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
Rev. Thomas Disrud, Associate Minister, First Unitarian Church of Portland, Oregon
Rev. Timothy Stover
Rev. Warren Light, Esq.
Reverend Catherine L. Alder
Sally Jeane Crum, Corvallis
Shelley Ries, Corvallis
Sister Mollie Reavis, SNJM
Social Justice Alliance, Josephine County
Southern Oregon Veterans for Peace
Spirit of the Valley UMC
Springfield-Eugene SURJ: Showing Up for Racial Justice
Teresa Wilson, Klamath Falls
The Rev. Aleida Jernigan, Co-Executive Presbyter, NE/NW Region, Presbytery of the Cascades
The Rev. Canon Richard Toll
The Rev. Susan Kintner, Assistant to the Bishop of the Oregon Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, President of the Board, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon
The Revs. William and Mary Jacobs, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Medford, OR
The Rt. Rev. Michael Hanley, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Oregon
Toc Soneoulay-Gillespie, Director of Refugee Resettlement, Catholic Charities of Oregon
Tyler MacInnis, Portland
Unidos Bridging Community, McMinnville
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Klamath County
United Campus Ministry at Oregon State University
United Church of Christ
Veterans for Peace, Chapter 141, Bandon
Veterans for Peace, Linus Pauling Chapter 132, Corvallis
Westminster House
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Corvallis Branch
Yitzhak Husbands-Hankin, Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Beth Israel, Eugene, Oregon




     I'm dismayed that some residents of Roseburg are upset that President Obama is going to fly into Roseburg tomorrow to talk privately with the families of those who were shot by the UCC shooter.  No family has to attend this private meeting with the President.  One presumes the White House has done its due diligence by reaching out to the families and knows this closed door meeting is for reasons of compassion not politics. 

     I'm pleased that city and county leaders are welcoming the President's visit.  One hopes he will meet with the first responders as well.  

     The fact that the President deliberately "politicized" the UCC killings is irrelevant to this gathering.  The President was merely stating the obvious - that guns are a "political" issue in the US - the NRA has made this abundantly clear for decades by arguing again and again that "guns don't kill people, people kill people."  True but this is a totally disingenuous example of NRA spin. 

     If guns were not so easily accessible via gun stores, gun shows, the net or private sales - then the UCC killer would not have been able to carry out his heinous crime against the innocent as have so many before him from Columbine to Sandy Hook.  The question is not how to get guns out of the hands of people who are collectors, hunters or target shooters - it's how to keep them out of the hands of mentally disturbed people. 

     But the fanatics at the NRA will not engage in such a conversation.  Evidence of this came on NPR today on the Takeaway (open link below) when the host interviewed a gun advocate who argued that gun violence is down in the USA - so why is all the attention on guns?  It's obvious why we are focused on this issue - the UCC shooter had access to 14 guns - all purchased "legally" by him or his mother - an admitted gun nut. 

Voice of Gun Rights: Mass Shootings Are About People, Not Weapons

     The host of Gun Talk Radio, the only nationally syndicated radio show about firearms, condemns mass shootings, but doesn't believe the U.S. should make it harder for people to buy guns.   

     Even "if" gun crime is down - gun violence continues to be a major public health hazard whether in the hands of inner city gangs or in the hands of mentally disturbed persons.  On top of that in my life time, guns have been the weapon of the assassins of JFK, MLK, Jr., RFK, Malcolm X and the attempted assassinations of Reagan and Wallace.  The implication that gun crime is not a problem is ludicrous. 

    An op ed in the NYTimes posed the rhetorical question - "Do we want a society in which some 33,000 people in America lose their lives to gun violence each year and more than twice as many are injured by guns? Do we want a society in which mass shootings are routine?  If we do, well, we have it..."   

     A final point:  FBI crime statistics depend on the reporting from local police departments in the 50 states.  It's well known that the integrity of these statistics is problematic at best since standards and routines of reporting vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  We have no standardized national crime data base independent of what police report from city or county police agencies.  Such reporting is a local "political" decision...  

      As reported in the Oregonian Oct. 2, 2015 page A-9 -

     "According to crowd sourced counts, this is the 294th incident in the US this year in which four or more people were shot and the 45th shooting on a school or college campus..."  As Roseburg's famed head football coach Thurmond Bell said - "it's sick.  You wonder what's happening in this world today.  In Roseburg?, in Roseburg?" 

     If the Potus is a bit "hot" on this issue, he has a right to be.  As a Black American he knows "Black lives historically don't matter."  And as the father of two female children he knows their safety is constantly at risk.  Now folks in my home town know they are at risk too.  So much for small town America being "different."  Despite NRA spin - bullets don't distinguish between good and bad folks!  

     Yes problem is not guns per se, it's keeping guns out of the wrong hands! 

     But how does one accomplish this without robust gun laws - registration, licensing with required training like a driver's test, background checks (including a mental health assessment) which are totally transparent from state to state.  The NRA nuts will say such ideas are a violation of the 2nd amendment.  As long as the Wild West mentality prevails NOTHING will change!  


President Obama with Governor Brown and the Mayor of Roseburg after meeting with the families of the UCC victims. 

     PS:   200 people who turned out in Roseburg today to protest President Obama's visit don't represent the 22,000 people who live in the Roseburg area.  Turning this visit into a rump NRA/Tea Party Rally was inappropriate.  What does this do to comfort the families who lost loved ones or heal those injured at the hands of the UCC shooter?





     "Every time, we hear so many voices firmly insisting that guns are a solution, that they should be legally present in more places and carried by more people, and that any limitations are entirely the wrong direction.  You can see how someone living in the debris of his own mind and his own life, looking only to make other people feel the kind of pain he does, might conclude that guns are also his solution."

     - David Sarasohn's Oregonian column, Oct. 6th


     EDITOR'S NOTE:  The interview of the outgoing head of the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH) on the PBS's The Takeaway describes our broken mental health care system and the public health hazard of gun violence. 

     The problem is while gradually terminating state mental hospitals in the Kennedy era building a "community based" mental  health system never took place.  Instead county jails have become the warehouses of mentally ill especially homeless persons.  Ironically Oregon is building another state hospital in Junction City.  As the Oregonian noted Roseburg has seen community based mental health access wither away. 

     While gun owners and non-owners will never agree on what limits to put on gun ownership, they should agree that we don't want a mentally ill person to have access to guns unless we want a repeat of the Sandyhook to UCC killings. 

     How to limit access is the hard nut to crack. A rational person would think gun licensing, like car licensing, would be a start.  Nobody thinks having a driver's license is an infringement on our constitutional rights.  Licensing and a gun test of would be owners won't be a cure all after all traffic accidents occur daily by those who have a driver's license.  But putting distance between those suffering from mental illness and guns is a good place to start. 

     With background checks and licensing we can put a barrier between those who pose a "clear and present danger to the rest of us. 

        Ask yourself - had "the shooter" at UCC gotten proper mental health care from his childhood on when his problems were first evident - could this tragedy have been averted? 


PS: Politics a usual...  



     It has been alleged that the shooter in the Umpqua Community College killings was egged on by people on social media.  If so they are morally complicit in his crimes. 

     Should they be held legally accountable too?  At what point do such "virtual" participants pose a "clear and present danger" to the wider community? 

     The problem is ferreting out such persons requires a degree of intrusiveness by law enforcement which impinges on our freedom of speech.  Then again, it is the norm for police to confiscate any materials that might be related to criminal behavior under a warrant for a search signed by a judge. 

     Should the legal shoe be dropped?  I don't like the Big Brother implications of such an idea but since so many social media posts are unfiltered - one wonders where personal responsibility ends and legal culpability begins?   The shooter clearly was a very troubled person - but so are his enablers... 

     The legal culpability of the "enablers" who are still out there on the net could be considered a criminal or civil offense.  I think the victims should have the right to sue the "enablers" under civil law.  It won't bring their loved ones back but it would send a message that this "sickness on the web" must stop. 

     The UCC "shooter's" mother, a nurse, is a  proud "gun packing mamma"...  As in Sandyhook and Springfield the "enablers" of the shooters were parents.  Why would a parent knowing their child has "issues" give them access to guns? 

     This tragedy also shows how fractured our mental health system is despite promises in the '60s to create a community based mental health system.  This requires federal and state action.  Oregon should take the lead at both levels with Senators Wyden and Merkley along with Governor Brown.

     "Douglas County mental health services fractured." Oregonian, Page A1&4, Oct. 6th


     Despite Oregon's having gun background checks laws on the books which includes gun stores, gun shows and private sales - it didn't stop the shooter from legally buying 14 guns (when or where is not clear) despite his mental health issues.  This requires federal legislation, backed up by state law.      

     Gun owners and non-owners should support legislation that reduces the risk of a mentally ill person from having access to guns but in a society awash with guns this is problematic. But Sandyhook to Roseburg prove it's time to "get real" about the gun and mental health connection.  

     Again - what about the "enablers" lurking in the dark on social media?  


     PS:  Oregon's background check law on guns puchased by via dealer or at a gun-show passed in 2013, the background check law on private sales passed last session in 2015,  The shooter "amassed" (Oregonian, p. A12, Oct. 4) his guns in the past 3 years - possibley before these laws implementation and/or purchased them out of state or online.

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