More About This Website

Oregon Town Hall: Pot In 2015

What will be the social and health consequences of pot on children?  The new law bans smoking pot in public places - will it be enforced?    


Sign petition to stop Keystone XL Pipeline


Trust in government is 'dead, Jim'


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937


A Just Peace


SIP contract online




Middle East friendship chart


Corporations enriching shareholders


- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry


Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks



"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  





  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:


  • Jim Hightower:

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column

Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 

Hard Times in Oregon: 


The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   




    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People


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


•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.


•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

Heath Care Disparities: 

•    Adults in Oregon without insurance represent 22.3% of the state’s population compared to 19.7% of the nation.  In Washington County approximately 

A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  


"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison


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

- Karl Marx



































RAD Lines

Obamacare another good week


 Explore Intel emissions


#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







































17 Steps To Prevent More Cop Killings And Stop Abusive Policing ...

     Killings by cops are not just a race-based problem.  In Portlandia we've seen cops kill the mentally ill who are white as well as African-Americans...   But the proportion of non-white people killed and/or imprisoned is higher given their % of the total population.  And youth are more likely unwitting victims of excessive force than older folks...  

     The problem is the "insulated culture of the thin Blue Line" - their shoot first, ask questions later mind set, police labor unions which protect them no matter what and DA's who all too often are complicit in the "cop cover-up" as we saw in the flawed grand jury process in Ferguson.  

     As the chart below shows this is not just a race issue but a civil rights issue in a much broader context than the media narrative would suggest.  It's really a "class based" problem whether you are white or non-white.  I've not seen any upper middle class types reported as killed by cops... 

     But if you are a person of color you are more likely to be "profiled" and hence "at risk" than a white person. 



     Gov. John Kitzhaber released his state spending plan Monday, Dec. 1. The general fund, including lottery revenue, would increase from $15.9 billion to $18.6 billion in the next two-year budget cycle. (Dave Killen/The Oregonian)

    The Plan sidebar from The Oregonian

     The governor is touting his new budget plan that targets an $18.6 billion budget for 2015-2017.  Keep in mind that while the governor “proposes” it’s the legislature that “disposes” as the final decider of the budget.

The plan
Gov. John Kitzhaber proposes to spend $18.6 billion in general fund and lottery dollars over the 2015-17 biennium in the following areas:
$9.4 billion: Education
$4.9 billion: Human services
$3 billion: Public safety and judicial
$378 million: Natural resources
$269 million: Administrative
$204 million: Economic and community development
$152 million: Transportation
$119 million: "All other" expenses
$12 million: Consumer and business services
2015-2017.  Keep in mind that while the governor “proposes” it’s the legislature that “disposes” as the final decider of the budget. 

     The governor wants to help Oregon families find jobs, training and a better education while improving the state's economy -- particularly in counties that continue to struggle after the recession, the “other Oregon” beyond the I-5 corridor.  

     His general fund/lottery budget projecting $9.4 billion or 50 percent going to education, represents a nearly 11 percent increase from the 2013-15 budget.  He focuses on early childhood education while flat lining the rest of the K-12 budget. 

     Kitzhaber also is asking for $100 million in bonding authority to attack homelessness.  With over 1 in 5 children growing up in poverty, this is music to the ears of housing advocates though the downside is the use of Oregon’s credit as a funding source.

     Just for the record, as the senior housing advocate in the Puzzle Palace, $100 million won’t end homelessness nor build enough low-income housing units in Washington County with a current gap of 19,000 units, let alone Oregon!  19K units wouid cost out @ $3.8 billion...  

     A look at the rest of the governor’s projected budget leaves the same question as his previous budgets over his first 3 terms – “show me the money.”  How are Oregonians going to pay for such things as free full-day kindergarten? 

     Aside from the minor fixes in Oregon’s out of balanced income tax system, a bit for low income Oregonians and lower capital gains taxes for corporate Oregon, the governor has kicked the can again on tax reform – for the forth time! 

     The governor simply has no new ideas on tax reform despite repeated task forces and promises on this issue.  He’s floated the idea of a state sales tax but like a magic trick artist he’s put that rabbit back in his black top hat. 

     Aside from working around the edges, Kitzhaber is unwilling to bite the poison pill of Measures 5 and 50 – the property tax revolt measures of the ‘90s that put Oregon behind the eight ball making us the lowest taxing state in the USA.

     The only solution to our funding gap issue is to move to a genuinely progressive income tax not the low indexed one we have now.  High-income earners and corporate Oregon should pay their fair share.  Until then we’re just being offered smoke and mirrors.  

     Given Democratic Party super majorities in the Puzzle Palace, the leadership will have the final say.  Kitzhaber’s less than shiny image due to blunders from CoverOregon to Cylvia-gate, will make legislative leaders less beholden to Kitzhaber.    

     A careful reading of legislator comments suggests, Kitz won’t get a free ride in the Salem Puzzle Palace:     

     Part of Kitzhaber’s budget wizardry is projected savings from CoverOregon’s Medicaid program.  However, national studies indicate that the “cost-savings” from Obamacare are not likely in the near term due to increased use of ER plus private physician visits. 

     The governor’s rose-colored glasses scenario is problematic. “Such savings are “not possible without the savings accrued from health care transformation," Kitzhaber told the 2014 Coordinated Care Model Summit.

     "A year ago, who would have believed that 95 percent of people would have health insurance and one million would be enrolled in a new care model that's improving health and reducing costs," he said.

     "Two years in, the coordinated care model is actually working. That doesn't mean there's not a lot of difficult work ahead of us."

     Some 300,000 people have been added to the Oregon Health Plan since Jan. 1, according to Kitzhaber.  That’s good news but there are another 300,000 Oregonians minus such care despite the best plans of mice and men! 

     So as we head into the 2015 session there are some very big unanswered questions – does Kitz have the clout needed to get his agenda through the Puzzle Palace and if he does succeed down the road will all the promises pan out? 

     As the editors of the UnOregonian said: 

    "The governor has taken advantage of an upswing in the economy to propose heavy spending on new programs, which he justifies with rosy assumptions about future savings that may or may not occur...  "

     As they say in the movies – the plot thickens.  Unlike the "boys" from Nike U. Kitz's X's and O's may not line up so easily as his season begins in January.  Stay tuned….




    The neo-isolationist Left argue that the problems in the Middle East are largely a result of the US meddling in the region.  If we'd stop messing in other people's business they would settle their disputes by themselves. 


     Such critics conflate Bush and Obama policies while side stepping the moral case for US engagement.  

      The Bush administration rationale was a classic great power geo-political argument for intervention anticipating a long-term twilight war against terrorism all over the world.  Fighting the war on terror became the pretext for new "cold war."   

     By contrast Obama foreign policy has been framed by more limited strategic and nuanced goals of achieving regime stability and stopping crimes against humanity posed by jihadists from al Qaida to ISIS while we scale back boots on the ground.  

  • The Bush doctrine was framed around the big lie of WMDs in Iraq; 

  • The Obama has focused on switching from the use of hard to soft power;    

     The halo effects of the Bush doctrine exist thanks to the complexities of regime change, the Syrian debacle and now ISIS.  But for Left wing critics of Obama to conflate Bush and Obama records by harping on "mission creep" is to engage in revisionist history.  

      Considering that the map of the Middle East was the handiwork of British Colonialism from Queen Victoria to Churchill, the problem is more complex than the critics from the Left admit. And the record of the locals settling disputes is not promising - as the 1957 Suez War proved.  

     Critics on the Left falsely frame our Middle East policy as another Vietnam.

     We got into the Vietnam War after WW II to help France save face and to not lose another nation to the Soviet/China orbit.  We got into Afghanistan because of 9/11 and in Iraq because of the falsehood of WMDs.  We were on the wrong side of history in Vietnam's civil war.  By contrast our war against al Qaida was justifiable while the invasion of Iraq was not.  The alleged link between Afghanistan and Iraq was the Bush administration's other big lie.  

      Sadly President Obama has been saddled with domestic and foreign policy mistakes of his predecessor.  Bush dug a big hole, it's taken Obama two terms to dig out of it with no help from a highly partisan GOP.  

     Had the US kept its objectives in Afghanistan limited to squashing al Qaida and toppling the Taliban, history would have been very different.  But the Bush administration invoked the war on terrorism to pursue an imperial vision of ourselves in the Middle East and the "new world order" George H. W. Bush invoked.  Bush II used the rhetoric of the jihadists to justify a wider war his father thought unwise in 1991.  Vietnam was not the template, finishing the job Bush I had started was the goal.  

     Demands of jihadists that foreigners must leave was a propaganda game.  Since sovereign governments of the region allowed a foreign military, political and economic presence the legal status of the terrorist demands holds no water.  The claim that foreigners should not be allowed to occupy holy sites is moot.  No foreign troops occupy Mecca et al.  Ironically, the Taliban, al Qaida and ISIS have systematically destroyed holy sites given their medieval mindset and scorched earth tactics.  

     Some on the Left, especially the editors of The Nation can't distinguish between Bush II and Obama foreign policy.  Any response by Obama to ISIS is considered "mission creep" and a prelude to enlarging our footprint in Iraq or Afghanistan despite military withdrawal.  These critics can't distinguish between a Dubya invasion of both Afghanistan and Iraq which stationed over 200,000 troops and private security forces in country and our current footprint of 3000 in Iraq and 12000 in Afghanistan.  

     The implied message of critics on the Left, despite Obama's record to the contrary, is that he will escalate US and allied boots on the ground following the Dubya model.  Is this a law of nature or just Left wing paranoia?  

     But let's give the critics their due for the sake of argument.  If the US totally pulled out of the Middle East what would happen?  Who would stop ISIS from creating a modern day Muslim Caliphate based on their extremist views of Islam and their actions of ethnic cleansing?  Would this invite an Israelis response?  Would Iran be emboldened to step into the breach?  Or would Turkey, a member of NATO join the battle?  What would Putin do given Russia's lust for a role in the Middle East going back to the Czars?     

     Critics on the Left are seemingly tone deaf to the moral issues in play as ISIS routinely commits crimes against humanity as it pursues the creation of an Islamic Caliphate. 

     Using a geo-political template to other world "hot spots such as Russia's "annexation" of The Crimea and invasion of parts of Ukraine, if the US did not have a military footprint in Europe would one want a "militarized" Germany to step up to Putin?  In Asia who would one prefer to face China down - the US or a "militarized" Japan?  We saw these scenarios play out in WW I and WW II.  Do we want a replay while America stands down in blissful "isolationism?" 

     The critics on the Left are stone cold silent about the risks of neo-isolationism.  It's easy to pontificate from the sidelines like Monday morning quarterbacks...  

     The facts are that none of these scenarios are strategically or morally tenable in the Middle East, in Europe nor in Asia.  Whether we like it or not the USA is the only global superpower and with it comes responsibilities.  The question is not do we "cut and run" but how can we avoid making dumb decisions like the one under Bush I and II of invading a sovereign nation, Iraq?  Obama, the reluctant warrior, has tried to steer a middle course while his 2012 opponent Senator John McCain is screaming for more "war"...  

     Crafting American foreign policy is inherently messy and creates challenges where there is no black or white solution, nor any assurance of victory.  One is constantly faced with less than perfect geo-political choices and the moral question "if not us, who?"    

    An immediate example is the refugee problem created by the Syrian conflict and ISIS.  

     Let's hope that Hillary Clinton has learned her lessons from her infamous pro-war vote on Iraq and takes a more strategic stance on how to deal with the intractable problems of international politics.  My model is Eisenhower who negotiated a "cease fire" in Korea and who refused to get involved in Vietnam.  Sadly JFK, LBJ and Nixon didn't listen to IKE's warning about the military industrial complex which his predecessor Harry Truman enabled by supporting the establishment of America's national security state. 

     JFK, LBJ and Nixon unlike Obama were not "reluctant" to use American military power wherever they saw a threat to our interests - in Europe, Africa, South America or Asia - they were "can do" presidents.  

     Playing the global politics card requires caution, perseverance, humility and a combination of hard and soft power.  The black and white options of Nation/Ron Paul neo-isolationists or the McCain/Cheny neo-conservative interventionists are false choices.  If the US withdraws from the world scene, it will rapidly become an infinitely more dangerous multi-polar world where would-be super powers will divide up the world into their own spheres of influence.

     If one plays the "realist or cynics" card consider a "what if ISIS wins" scenario.  Will they succeed in establishing their Caliphate or will the jumble of jihadists which make up this "coalition of the disaffected" break up leading to a partitioned Iraq and an Afghanistan waste land run by warlords again?  A partitioned Iraq would not be the end of the world but an ungovernable Afghanistan would continue to pose an existential threat and raise questions and recriminations in the US asking "what did we get for our sacrifice"?  

     There are no easy answers but defaulting to isolationism poses long term risks which critics on the Left don't want to talk about.  This would leave the American foreign policy narrative up to the John McCains et al.  If that doesn't frighten one, then nothing will...       


     The author of this sober article raises important strategic questions which the Obama administration unlike its predecessor seems to be asking.  But he poses a juvenile rhetorical question - "...Does the Persian Gulf require policing from the outside? Maybe. But if so, let’s volunteer China for the job. It will keep them out of mischief... "

     In a convoluted article on Hillary Clinton, the most likely Democratic presidential candidate in 2016, the author acknowledges after a long exegesis of why the US needs to temper it's "meddling" he then pivots to reality that in "...practice...  as several administrations have found, international affairs will not leave a US president alone."  




Rosa Parks being fingerprinted in Montgomery, Ala., in 1956 Underwood Archives / Getty Images


     It was Dec. 1, 1955, six decades ago, that Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus


     As TIME would recount Dec. 1, 1955, in its list of days that changed the world, she was on her way to a meeting at her local N.A.A.C.P. about protesting segregation laws when it happened: “she found a seat in the first row of the “colored” section in the back. But after a few stops, the driver ordered her to get up so a white passenger could sit down. Parks refused, and the police were called to take her to jail.” Her ordeal would soon inspire a citywide boycott and a ruling that such segregation was illegal. 

     Park's action launched the Montgomery Bus Boycott which lasted more than a year.  In November 1956 the Supreme Court struck down the city bus segregation laws.  

     When Parks died in 2005, the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. wrote an appreciation of her life. As Jackson pointed out, the idea that she didn’t move just because she was tired is a myth:

     With quiet courage and nonnegotiable dignity, Rosa Parks was an activist and a freedom fighter who transformed a nation and confirmed a notion that ordinary people can have an extraordinary effect on the world. In her declining health, I would often visit Mrs. Parks, and once asked her the most basic question: Why did you do it? She said the inspiration for her Dignity Day in 1955 occurred three months prior, when African-American Emmett Till’s murdered and disfigured body was publicly displayed for the world to see. “When I thought about Emmett Till,” she told me, “I could not go to the back of the bus.” Her feet never ached.



In this photo shot by freelance photographer Johnny Nguyen, Sgt. Bret Barnum (left) hugs 12-year-old Devonte Hart during the Ferguson rally in Portland on Nov. 25, 2014. (Johnny Nguyen/Special to The Oregonian)


     Maybe if protesters prone to throw rocks or bottles would instead give flowers to cops during a demonstration it would set a different tone like this picture did!  We had the Summer of Love in SF back in the day - since hugs are not PC - how about flowers in this bleak mid-winter?       

     I applaud those in the 120 mile march from Ferguson to Missouri's capital in Jefferson City.  If one wants to change the narrative - start with how police are trained.  In '70 was in an anti-war march in Carlisle, PA in response to Kent State.  The local cops were scary, state cops less so and MPs disciplined... 

     My favorite cop story was in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1968 when we were protesting the St. Paul Athletic Club's "whites" only rule.  A member's car was illegally parked in front of the club.  A St. Paul cop wouldn't ticket the car but he showed us how to do a "citizen's ticket."  LOL...   

Page 1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 ... 591 Next 5 Entries »