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On the lighter side of life... 

#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace


Trump & The Mob



"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

See my FACEBOOK @ Russ




SB 1533 passes!


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 

















































     Given The Donald's clear incitement to violence in his rally in North Carolina (see quote below) he should be 'decertified' by the GOP as their candidate for the presidency, Governor Pence should replace him at the top of the ticket.

     Trump'S words pose a 'clear and present danger' to Hillary Clinton. He can't waffle on what he said. He's proven again he's unfit to be president by exhibiting no filter in his rhetoric.

     He will say anything to appease the Tea Party base that supports him.  His over the top rhetoric and lies inflames 'the haters' in his audiences.   He has debased our political discourse.  

     His comments are morally disgusting and dangerous to our political system. He should step down! He has lost the moral standing to be a candidate for the highest office in the land and the most powerful position in the world. 

     Repeating his contention that Mrs. Clinton wanted to abolish the right to bear arms, Mr. Trump warned at a rally here that it would be “a horrible day” if Mrs. Clinton were elected and got to appoint a tie breaking Supreme Court justice.

     “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” Mr. Trump said, as the crowd began to boo. He quickly added: “Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.”

     It's these unforced errors as they say in golf that are costing Trump his ratings in the polls in important battleground states like Pennsylvania.  They underscore his failure as a candidate to stay on message.  It also reinforces the public impression that Trump is psychologically unhinged and incapable of showing any sense of discipline. 






     I agree with those who are troubled by The Donald's unfiltered comments on the stump.    

     He's lost his own narrative about making America great again (whatever that means) and has flipped into a mode of ranting about his fellow Rs who aren't endorsing him, Mr. Kahn, crying babies, calling on the Russians to spy on the US, et al.

     Added to his bigotry towards Muslims, African-Americans, a disabled reporter covering one of his rallies, women et al. one gets the impression The Donald an unstable human being.

     I've speculated his being a non-reader and his stream of conscious-like speeches are a sign of ADHD and/or dyslexia. But now I'm thinking he's a mental case in need of treatment. One thing is for sure - he's intellectually, morally or temperamentally NOT fit to be POTUS...

     For more info on those leaving his shinking ship, go to my Facebook page...  



The Impossible Dream-Man of La Mancha

Governance is done in prose, keeping hope alive is done in lyrics or poetry...   

     I've read and heard Bern delegates say that the "political revolution" is not over.  I hope they are right and stick by their desire to change the system from the bottom up.  However, bringing about such change will not be easy - it will require a life-long commitment not unlike Hillary Clinton's life story shows from her days as a college student, to her work for the Children's Defense fund and yes - to her work as First Lady, a US Senator and now the Democratic nominee. 

     More specifically, given my 25 years of advocacy for the homeless, affordable housing and more recently land use planning and keeping Oregon's air and water from being polluted by toxic chemicals the road to change is an often bumpy road, a marathon not a sprint.  This will require building coalitions with existing progressive forces in Oregon who have long been at the head of such change - like 1000 Friends and the Housing Alliance, among many other such groups. 

     I've read some of the Bern delegates intend to run for office.  I hope they do - we need their idealism, energy and passion.  Hopefully we'll see a new cadre of people running for local office - city councils, school boards and the state legislature.  But those options will not be immediately actionable given the political cycle. It's too late in the current political cycle to ramp up such campaigns.  But it's not too late to get engaged.  

     As delegates from the DNC in Philly the obvious choice is to become an active and engaged precinct committee person and member of your county central committee.  Having earned the right to be a delegate to the DNC this is an obligation you should honor.  But there are many ways you can broaden your impact back here in Oregon working with other progressives that have been on the arena for decades.  The water is warm, jump in...

     But there will no instant successes.  Social media is not a substitute for changing the system brick by brick.  This requires getting to know your own community beyond your Bernie Bubble and influencing local leaders and legislators. Your idealism is needed to rattle the cages of all too many Democratic elected officials who are more "corporate Ds" than Bernie Ds. They need to be challenged.  

     You don't have to reinvent the wheel.  Add your voices to those who back Measure 97 which if passed will pump $3 billion into the general fund. 

     The Portland school board has dropped the ball so many times over the last 20 years that we certainly need "change agents" on that front.  So too for Metro. Those of us in suburban or rural Oregon could use an infusion of new progressive blood too.  But the key is to know your community. Organizing for The Bern in a primary campaign is different than building coalitions of the willing. 

     We can't allow The Donald be elected.  Who is president, who controls Congress and state legislatures is crucial because they control the purse strings!  If Hillary is not in the Oval Office and our legislature doesn't remain in Democratic hands it will be impossible to fulfill the promises coming out of Philly.  Those like me who remember what it was like to see Nixon elected in '68 and Bush elected in '00 have learned this lesson the hard way. 

      The impact of Reaganomics and the politics of sequestration are impediments to economic justice.  

     Economic justice doesn't come from our rhetoric but from hard work in the trenches to influence elected officials at all levels.  Changing the narrative isn't enough it must be backed up by local, state and federal tax dollars.  We live in an interdependent economy where bringing about change requires acting on multiple funding fronts.  For example minus federal funding we will never end homelessness.

     Allowing Donald Trump to occupy the Oval Office will set back progressive agenda for decades. 

     If a progressive agenda is to succeed it requires grassroots people willing to rally, testify, vote for and become 'change agents' talking truth to power.  This will not happen overnight, it will take decades of hard work requiring a long term vision.  Now that I'm in my '70s I feel like MLK did on that hot Memphis night before he was assassinated that I may not get there with you but I can see the "promised land." 

     It will be up to a new generation of Americans to step up by embracing JFK's call - "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."  The torch is being passed off to a new generation of activists.  Hopefully you can look back when you are my age and say we delivered on that promissory note of economic and social justice.  Don't agonize, organize! 

     As Barack has said, there is not a Red nor a Blue America - there's only a United States of America.  But that America has been fractured by 7 years of Republican obstructionism in the Congress and an increasingly polarized society.  Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter and The Bern have changed the narrative within the Democratic Party but Trump has fueled his campaign by tapping into the anger out there.  He can't be allowed to steal your thunder.   

     Your generations "mission impossible" is to create that America by connecting the dots as Hillary said in her college graduation speech in '69 by doing the hard work to move beyond politics as the art of the possible by "making the impossible, possible." 





     “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat,”

The Man in the Arena – April 23, 1910 – Theodore Roosevelt.  

     As President Obama said at the DNC on Thursday we must reject cynicism and fear – that’s not who Americans are. I hope Barack is right but there is no doubt our nation is at a crossroad.  We can either embrace the politics of hope or we can get sucked into the vortex of fear. 

     Americans like to think we are “exceptional” that nothing is impossible if you try hard enough as an individual or as a society that cares for those who have been left behind, for those living in the shadows, for those who have been marginalized  - for those who need a hand up nor a hand out. 

     But in the presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump we have a choice that many regard as a choice between the lesser of two evils. That cynicism is understandable but it’s not the foundation upon which we can build a civic culture.

     Voters must navigate an election where neither candidate is without their flaws.  But we live in a world where none of us is perfect.  But at times I get the impression that Americans want candidates of the Immaculate Conception. 

     Well Jesus is not on the ballot – Hillary and Donald are.  And in that reality show one has distinguished herself for over 30 years as a determined advocate for the public while the other has no public service resume. One candidate’s life has been dedicated to service, the other to ego gratification.  

     Hillary has been in “the arena” her entire life working 24/7 as a “change agent.” The Donald has built casinos and golf courses using other people’s money to make the quick buck just before he bails out by declaring bankruptcy. Hillary has successfully advocated for women and children, while her opponent has advocated for himself. 

     Yes Hillary has her flaws.  But again when matched against Trump’s there is simply no contest.  She has an extensive record of public service, Trump by contrast has never run for office before. For some that’s his attraction, he not a politician.  

     But actually Trump is a politician of another kind who has used his access to line his pockets here and abroad.  Now he want to bring his skill set to the Oval Office.  But what are his skills what does he bring to the job interview in this election? 

     So far we’ve seen him invoke fear and hate using vicious, mean spirited stereotypes of Muslims, Latinos, women, African-Americans and those with disabilities. Trump also traffics in the politics of threats by suggesting he’s not so sure about NATO.  I could go on but you get the picture. 

     Donald Trumps America is “exceptional” because it an image based on the politics of hate, fear and bullying. With his empty promise of making ‘America Great Again’ – “believe me” - his vision of America is based on fear and a diminished America, a fortress America where he will preside over as our “law and order” sheriff aka President.  

     By contrast Hillary Clinton will build on the legacy of the Obama years – years of hard won victories over the Great Recession, bringing health care to over 30 million previously uninsured Americans and getting Americans back to work from sea to shining sea. 

     She will also bring expertise to foreign policy and the strategic use of American military power.  What does Trump promise – bombast, backsliding on our allies and dangerous threats thrown at China and ISIS without any serious thought.  

     The so-called reality TV celebrity plans to use his ‘art of the deal’ skills to confront our enemies.  I’m sure Putin and ISIS are quaking at the thought of The Donald being POTUS.  But what is most shocking is that Trump doesn’t read but simply reacts to the tube. He's even more ignorant than Dubya!  

     Fox News will no doubt be his default expert.  If that doesn’t scare you, nothing will.  Yes, I know Hillary has her e-mail problem and trust issues enlarged over the years by that “vast Right Wing conspiracy?  But at the end of the day – I’ll bet on her over the Trumpster anytime.  She’s been through hell and back thanks to Slick Willie and numerous elections. 

     Unlike the Donald she’s been in the area for 30 years – The Donald is clearly on training wheels.  To use Rumsfeld’s convoluted language – I’d rather bet on the “known known,” than the “unknown known” when I vote this fall. 

     Hillary has the gravitas, the resume and the hard knocks to do the job.  The Donald is the clown, the bully in diapers… 

     My bet is on Hillary who as a student commencement speaker in 1969 at Wellesley College said that politics as the art of the possible is not enough – “the challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible possible.” 

     That’s the “change agent” who will keep the audacity of hope alive!   

    The choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is a choice of how we define American exceptionalism - one based on hope or one of fear.    



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