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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











































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!


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



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 

















































      There is no such thing as safe lead levels in our air, our water or our food.      

     I attended the Senate Environmental & Natural Resources committee hearing last Wednesday on SB 115 which if passed will prohibit the use of leaded fuel in general aviation airplanes by 2022.  My friend Miki Barnes of Oregon Aviation Watch is a persistent advocate on this issue.  She's worked for such a bill for three sessions and finally got a hearing with help from co-sponsors Senator Chuck Riley and Representative Mitch Greenlick. 

Public Hearing held.

Go to Materials/Exhibits to read the testimony on both sides....  

     As I listened to the critics of the bill, mostly older aged dudes like moi but unlike me who can afford to own "hobby" general aviation airplanes to hop around Oregon their comments were that this bill would end their ability as "hobby" aviators to enjoy their planes and help in rescue efforts especially in a major tsunami or the 'big one' - a subduction zone earthquake in Oregon. Their assumption that small municipal airports around the state and their planes would not be destroyed by such an event is laughable.  

     If you read their testimony they would rather protect the status quo which privileges a few rich white people (White privilege?) - than mitigate the harm done to children by leaded fuel.  They barely acknowledged the problem - decide for yourself - read Miki's testimony et al. 

     Essentially these are poor little rich folk who live on private airports, sort of like gated golf courses, or who use local airports which dot the state to enjoy their flying habit. What was never mentionedl was the cost of enabling these high income folks to enjoy their hobby - millions from Connect Oregon - to keep local airports economically afloat while their bank accounts are in the red.  This is in addition to the air pollution from leaded fuel which is a clear a present danger as was noted in testimony (see attached hearing). 

     "Since 2005 ConnectOregon has invested $407 million in non-highway related transportation projects. Per the Oregon Department of Transportation."  Source Oregon Aviation Watch 2/21/17.  I attended an ODT Connect Oregon project funding hearings two years ago - it's an insiders game and a boondoggle.    

     The hearing reminded me of the spin by the auto industry back in the day that 'non-leaded gasoline' would put the Big 3, its suppliers and gas companies and their local stations out of business.  It didn't happen did it!  We've all been waiting for the FAA/EPA to pass national rules that would fix this problem.  But with the Drumpt administration in power and deregulation in vogue - that hope is dwindling everyday.  So states must take up the slack.  Measure 115 is the first step.  

     Frankly, I don't give 'a you know what' if private hobby pilots can't fly until we get non-leaded gas.  What we did for cars we can surely do for piper cubs et al. In the meantime, let's stop the polluting of air especially around airports like Hillsboro which is surrounded by local neighborhoods, schools, child care centers and parks.  If you want to fly your gas guzzling airplane - hanger it in a rural airport - not one surrounding the western suburbs of Portlandia.  Go to Burns!  

     Just for the record, the private jets which fly out of Hillsboro airport servicing Nike, Intel et al use non-leaded fuel so they are not the problem.  What is the problem is private flight training companies which train foreign born not US pilots in touch and go general aviation planes.  Again, until we get non-leaded GA fuel - move these companies to rural airports and keep their air pollution away from densely populated communities like Hillsboro.  

     One final comment:  After 9/11 we found out that the hijackers had been in flight training schools in Florida and California.  I suggest DHS vet these "students" very carefully!  The two Chinas are very sophisticated economies - why can't they train their own would-be pilots?
Oregon Aviation Watch is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose primary purpose is to research, educate and advocate on behalf of the public interest and public ...


FROM THE NEW YORKER by Tom Toro, Feb. 16, 2017 



Terry Crosgrove, who works in an Ohio plant that makes Slim Jims, is studying for an associate degree through Southern New Hampshire U.'s competency-based program, which was begun with money from Gates.

     Bill Gates whose K-12 reforms have largely failed has now trained his sights on higher education.  What's ironic is that he is a "college dropout." 

     That's not to suggest he's dumb, he clearly isn't.  But to have the hubris to think minus any long term experience as a student or classroom professor in a university that somehow he's qualified to know how to "fix" higher ed, assuming it needs a "fix" is to say the least mind boggling.  

     When one looks under the hood at his ideas as described in the Chronicle of Education article (above) it's clear to me Bill Gates is "clueless in Seattle." 

     Just because he has a big bank wad of money to throw around doesn't make his ideas good ones, it simply means as the article examines he has the ability to get eyeballs by fellow enterpreneurs, education bureaucrats and big time politicians.  It's the "Trump effect" all over again, if you spin a line time and time again, eventually the "alt fact" becomes golden.  

     The question that needs to be asked does he have a "lived" experience aside from his one year at Harvard in higher education? No. Has he taught at the university level? No! Has he been a higher ed administrator? No!  If the answer is "none of the above" what's the foundation of his so-called expertise? 

     As the son of privilege he grew up in Seattle attending a private academy.  No doubt he got a good education, the best money can buy.  But does that give him the necessary credentials to be considered an educational guru? No way in hell. 

     If one tracks national trends in educational reform other than John Dewey ('30s) most of the "reformers" have come from the political class - Gen. Hyman Rickover ('50s), Ronald Reagan ('80s) followed by his successors Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama. The best reforms came via Brown vs. Board and LBJ with the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Acts which focused on funding K-12 not micro managing it. 

     Don't forget Title IX in the Carter years.  It opened doors for women but it didn't change the rules and metrics of school or college sports.  

     As one reads the Chronicle article Gates et al reduce education to "competency" based metrics which on their own have nothing to do with educating one for being a citizen but for working in a global economy.

     We've heard this tune before - performance based learning and high stakes testing.  Now we're going to dumb the curriculum down to showing mastery of 120 "competencies" via online learning. Socrates would be flummoxed.  

     I have no problem with making education at all levels accountable but the key question is what is the measuring stick - fitting square pegs in round holes or teaching students the values of life long learning and what it means to live in a democratic society? 

     As the common core of our civil society is shattered, surely there is more to a post secondary education than proving you have the skill set to fit into a job slot. I've seen high school grads fit in that mold in my eye doc's clinic!  But where will future citizens in this Brave New World learn the skills of citizenship and our history?     

    As one educational guru quoted in the Chronicle article posed – what if the focus is misguided? "College completion may be the wrong goal," says Stanley N. Katz, who directs the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies at Princeton University and has written critically about foundations.

     "There is too much emphasis on getting people through the system, processing them," he says. "That needs to be seen in relation to what students are in fact learning. It's a big problem, and it's getting very little discussion."

          Unlike Bill Gates, I attended public schools in Seattle (grade 1-4), in Palo Alto (5) and Roseburg (6-12).  I then attended Whitman College ('60-64) and then a great land grant university, the University of Minnesota ('64-69).  I then had a 42 year college teaching career (see the About Me section of my blog for more details).

     In my time at Pacific I was the originator and director of two major grants, in both cases I had to bend myself like a pretzel to accommodate the agenda of the grantor but I managed to keep the integrity of each grant's mission.  But there were times I just wanted to say "forget it, keep yout damn money." 

     But in dealing with the likes of Bill Gates you are like a minnow swimming with the sharks.  Glad I'm retired and don't have to play those games anymore... 

     I have no issue with acquiring job skills in high school, community college or a four year university.  Apprenticeships and internships are often seminal educational experiences but they don't replace the ability to think critically, to act ethically and to understand a citizen's role in our democracy.   

      Gates et al are offering us a half a loaf not a whole loaf while skirting their responsibility to pay their fare share in local, state and federal taxes to sustain the most important education foundation of our society - which is the envy of the world - our system of higher education.  

     A final thought:  Funding K-12 or higher ed via philanthropy these days is the consequence of diminished public investment in education across the board.  State legislatures and voters have blindly followed the little brick road of the "tax revolter".  The conventional wisdom used to be "taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society."

     In the age of Trumpism those days are over until we discover the errors of our ways - decades from now while sacrificing the next generation or more on the altar of "no new taxes" or bogus scheme of "reform" from those with no history as educators.   






By George Evans

      A recent NY Times article on a typical Trump day in the White House fleshed out for me the scenario of what I believe will be his final days as president.

     He will leave, I predict, in two years, not with the bang of an impeachment (though that remains quite possible), but with the whimper of a an angry resignation.  Of course, he won’t see it as a whimper; whimpering is for losers and Trump is not, in his mind anyway, a loser. He will resign in clouds of glory, condemning Congress, the media, and the American people for not recognizing the greatness of his two years in office.

     The article, written after numerous interviews with knowledgeable people, showed Trump wandering the White House, pretty much alone, watching TV news, for example, as he eats lunch by himself. His family is not there, nor are real friends, because he doesn’t actually have real friends, in the sense that, say, Joe Biden had friends throughout Congress and D.C.

     Trump has family and sycophants who are, like him, on their various power trips, inflating their egos with a whirlwind of activities. These are not friends, the kind that you care deeply about and who care deeply about you.

     He is not the first president to feel alone in the office, but he surely must be the most lonely. The presidency, as others have noted, has a way of isolating a person, who though the most powerful person in the world is also one of the most isolated. 

     Unlike his predecessors, Trump seems to have no real core that would deaden the pain of aloneness. Dig inside the man and you would find nothing but hot air.

     That core makes life possible for individuals, no matter how isolated and how demanding their lives. Trump doesn’t have that core. He needs the reflection of others to get through the day. He is not the sun powered by its own light, but a pale moon reflecting that light.

     On the campaign trail he received almost daily the reflections of others. Each rally he attended he basked in the reflected adulation of the crowds, which mainlined the attention he needed to function. They were his drug of choice, a drug without which he becomes a shadow of himself, a cardboard cutout of a functioning human being.

     As the days go by he will become more and more the prisoner of his office? 

     He will daily and obsessively search for the reflected glory he needs so badly; he will thunder and tweet and issue edicts, but most of it will simply tighten the manacles he’s forged for himself. As the manacles tighten, he will find more media criticism and finally criticism from his own party. He will become a joke—and a very dangerous one.


     The polls will begin to show—and they are showing already— not the warmth of success but the frozen landscape of sustained criticism. Everywhere he turns he’ll find no lasting help. Sycophants don’t help. His family won’t help, though they’ll try. He can only rescue himself, and he’s neither wise nor observant enough to realize that he’s the problem.

     No one changes dramatically enough after 70 years of life to save himself, except for Scrooge, but Scrooge had the advantage of a universally loved and respected Charles Dickens.

     Trump faces the same problem that Sarah Palin faced, the same problem that those afflicted with what seems to be narcissistic personality disorder. They look in the pool and see only themselves. Other people exist only as they reflect favorably on the searchers. Sarah Palin lasted two years as Alaska governor, and then left for a life she thought would give her the attention and adulation she craved.

     Donald Trump will, like Sarah Palin, take the same path. Finding nothing but criticism everywhere he turns, denied the adulation those afflicted with this disorder so badly need, and with no inner core and no real friends to sustain him, he will, with dramatic posturing, resign and return to the life he was most suited for: the business world.

     In that world, he will, like King Midas, turn everything into gold.  lf he’s lucky, he might have the good sense not to turn his food into gold and, like the king, starve to death.

      Given his previous life, I wouldn’t count on it.

     Editor's Note:  As utopian as this scenario of Trump's exit might seem, we have a history of failed presidents in the modern era who served out their first term but imploded - LBJ.  And of course Richard Nixon who left before his second term ended under the shadow of impeachment. 

     Unlike Trump both of them were men of considerable political skills and a sense of history - but alas their personal demons caught up with them.  I certainly hope my good friend and colleague is right on here with Trump - given the clear and present danger he represents to the US and the world.  

     Reports of Trump being a solitary evening presence in the residential East Wing of the White House bolsters our vision of him as a narcissistic loner addicted to cable news and calling friends for what reason - to get another view or "validation"?  It reminds one of Nixon talking to pictures in the White House.    

More fodder for thought and laughs: 

Garrison Keillor: Done. Over. He's here. Goodbye. 



The source Trump's dark vision of America


Editor's note:  What is worrisome about Mr. Bannon is not just his belief in this bogus theory of history, which bears resemblance to the right wing Christian view of the 'end of times' or the bogus theory of the clash of civilizations but that he stands at the center of power in the Oval Office to urge an intellectually vacuous president to make moves on the global scene that could actually make a theory of history tragically real - a self-fulfilling prophecy. This theory may have the impact of Hitler's Mein Kampf.

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