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Add your name to pledge to take on the NRA

 "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



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 

















































    The Pope and The Bern 'encounter'  - The Pope - "I greeted him and his wife, a handshake and nothing more. It's called good manners.  If someone thinks a greeting means getting mixed up in politics, it's time to look for a psychiatrist."  source - ANSA 

     Bernie Sanders has made income inequality the centerpiece of his campaign for the Democratic nomination.  Here's his pledge from his website:  


     Demanding that the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share in taxes. As president, Sen. Sanders will stop corporations from shifting their profits and jobs overseas to avoid paying U.S. income taxes. He will create a progressive estate tax on the top 0.3 percent of Americans who inherit more than $3.5 million. He will also enact a tax on Wall Street speculators who caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs, homes, and life savings.

     Stopping corporations from shifting their profits and jobs overseas won't solve the problem, neither will raising the estate tax on the top 0.3 percent will do the job nor taxing Wall Street speculators will be sufficient.  A real "revolution" requires sacrifice across the board from Main Street to Wall Street.  

     These are all necessary but not sufficient conditions for returning American society to the good old days of post WW II America of the GI Bill and the highest income taxes in US history which created the middle class society we had from the '50s to the '80s until the Reagan revolution screwed everyone but the 1%. 

     It was the programs of the New Deal, the fight against the Third Reich, the Marshall Plan and domestic programs like Truman's Fair Deal, JFK's New Frontier and LBJ's New Society which got us to the promised land of a stable middle class society. The keys were 'huuuuuge' public investments and a progressive income tax which went as high as 50%. 

     The Bern loves to invoke the Euros as a model of promoting a fair deal for all its citizens.  That fair deal hinges on high individual and corporate income taxes which would cause American voter apoplexy.  

     Unfortunately, The Bern despite his "Democratic Socialist" pretensions has not laid out such a plan because he knows it would piss off his base who wants something for nothing - free college et al.  You can't just tax the 1% to get out of this mess - everyone must share the burden. If you want to move from a Walmart to a Nordstrum economy you have to pay the price.  

     Bernie can rant on all he wants about the 1% but the problem is that ALL Americans have bought the false doctrine of trickle down economics that if we simply lower taxes the wealth and jobs created will raise all boats.  This is a LIE...  Such economic has sunk the boats of the middle class from sea to shining sea.    

     Look what Oregon voters did to themselves as an example of this stupidity and misguided self-interest which drove it.  The voters in the People's Republic of Portlandia were the key voters who passed Measure 5 in '91 which transferred wealth to corporate Oregon on the false premise of lowering property taxes. 

  •      Oregon has never recovered from that experiment in Reaganomics which was copied across the nation in every state in the USA - including Bernie's Vermont which prides itself as a low tax state.  This simply transfers the taxing power to state legislatures which are now led by GOP leaders who have taken the "no tax pledge."  

  •      Oregon has bucked the trend by electing Democratic governors for the last 28 years while the D's currently control both houses of our legislature. But they haven't had the will to put a fork through Measure 5 which has forced state labor unions to propose Measure 28 to increase taxes on corporations.  

     If it passes in November it will add 1 billion dollars to our biennial budget but it alone will not be sufficient to reverse the damage caused to our schools, universities, social safety net and transportation system since '91 by disinvesting in Oregon.  Except for California under Jerry Brown no state has stood up to the challenge. 

      So if The Bern was elected president his promises would fall on deaf ears in the GOP dominated House, even if the D's steal control of the Senate in November and most states would ignore his agenda.  We have become addicted to the siren call that we can 'get something from nothing.' That's Bernie's appeal especially to his adoring millennial supporters.    

      Remember when Dubya told us that after 9/11 it was patriotic to go shop at the local mall?  The Bern's plan sounds a false - there is no there, there...  

     And when one looks under the hood of The Bern's plan - it's not much different than what Obama has been saying to little effect due to GOP obstructionism during his 7 plus years and that Hillary is echoing.  But the difference is that unlike the Bern or Obama - Hillary has the governance skills learned from Slick Willie to tackle a progressive however incremental agenda. 

      What Hillary lacks in rhetorical skills compared to Bernie she makes up for collaboration skills learned in 8 years in the West Wing, 8 years in the Senate and 4 plus years as Secretary of State.  Bernie by contrast as a "loner" has evidenced no such skill set.  Like the Donald Bernie seems to feel "saying it" makes it happen!  As IKE learned, that's not the way the system works...   

     One final thought - given the lineup within the Democratic party - the hope for change will require that if Hillary is the nominee she will have to ask Bernie to be her VP just as JFK against all odds asked LBJ to be his VP.  Politics does indeed make for strange bed-fellows. 

     The thought of The Donald being Potus should keep most D's from straying into the political wilderness.   But with a Hill/Bern team the chances of a historic victory on the scale of LBJ's trouncing of Goldwater in '64 will be enhanced and out of that came the Great Society and the Civil Rights Bills of '64/65. 

      That's how one can fashion a "political Revolution" which would be huuuuuuuuuuuuge...       




     Thursday night’s CNN sponsored debate in New York has been framed as the most heated debate of the 9 Democratic debates this election season. Contrary to media spin I thought it was par for the course. 

     But everything in the Big Apple is supposed to be bigger than anywhere else.  So one can’t expect the NYNY centric media monopoly to not stay on message as advertized. And CNN can’t be outdone by their archenemy Fox News. 

     There was one memorable moment where Wolf Blitzer tried to rhetorically separate the two candidates when they were stepping on their lines about who’s tougher on Wall Street.  But this was hardly the first time of such frenzied responses. 

     Some feel Hillary was shrill even screaming, others feel that The Bern was yelling.  My take at such moments having watched all of the Demo debates is that The Bern has the sexist habit of trying to dominate while Hillary gets defensive. 

     Yes, The Bern at times being the old fart he is uses his height and arm wing span to get into Hillary’s space and then she fights back which makes he seem shrill or even shouting over his louder voice – which never changes volume. 

     The theatrical nature of these so-called debates is that as long as the audience is allowed to clap, shout or scream support of their candidates then we shouldn’t be surprised at how quickly they can degenerate into verbal unruly brawls not debates. 

     But compared to the GOP debates – the “Brawl in Brooklyn” was less brawl than just an animated discussion of the issues not a comparison of the size of The Donald’s body parts or his ability to verbally insult his opponents. 

     But as I predicted in a previous blog with the campaign moving to NY one could expect fireworks.  But for anyone who was paying attention, if that’s even possible for a public fed a steady diet of reality TV, there was substance nevertheless. 

     One hopes that when we move into the fall season, there will be only four debates – one in the East, the South, the Midwest and the West.  But more importantly one hopes these debates adhere to rules of civility – silence from the audience.  

     Jim Lehrer several years ago at OPB talked about moderating one of the 1992 campaign debates between Bill Clinton and George HW Bush. His way for putting audiences in their place was to remind them that their role was to be seen not heard. 

     But under the auspices of the current debate protocol the audiences are part of the circus. It has a result of lowering the level of discourse and enables the candidates to ignore the rules of engagement with impunity. This demeans the enterprise. 

     It’s bad enough to have The Donald turn debates into World Wrestling matches. One can only shudder at the thought of what he’ll do in the fall with Hillary on the other side of the stage. One hopes she’ll have the audacity to be the adult in the room. 

     But in a nation addicted to social media excess, so-called reality TV and a media intent on feeding frenzies the bar has been lowered so much that unless the fall debates follow the “Lehrer Rules” we will continue to see democracy debased.   ‘

     The only thing left to do is not to watch these so-called debates that is akin to asking us not to watch a fire in our own neighborhood.  Good luck on that plan!  

    So who won in the ‘Brawl in Brooklyn’ will be known Tuesday. What was lost was civility and an audience, especially the Bernie types acting like they were at a football game.  The chanting at the end – “Bernie, Bernie, Bernie” was juvenile!  



I Know Why Poor Whites Chant Trump, Trump, Trump –...

     The author of this essay who lives in Camas, Washington just across from Portlandia was interviewed this morning on OPB's "Think Out Loud" program. 

     An interesting take.  Her work reminds me of Studs Terkel, the famous working man's writer.   





     The Oregonian investigated a young women's death in our Washington County jail.  It's a sad story of a drug addicted young woman who grew up in Portland in a middle class home.  But somewhere along the way she made some very bad personal choices.  But the focus of the lengthy article is that in her last days alive she didn't get the medical help while in our county jail to save her from death. 

     If this were an isolated event, one could pass it on as a unique however tragic death but there have been other articles about our county jail involving staff having sex with inmates and a youth on a day leave to a UO game who raped a woman while at the game.  Clearly the county administration of the jail is not doing it's job to protect the inmates nor the public. 

     Such incidents almost caused me to vote NO on the recent County Public Safety Levy which includes money for our county homeless shelters.  But I sucked it up and voted YES with fear and loathing not wanting to punish the innocent who find themselves in need of emergency shelter even though it's at best a band aid not a real solution to homelessness. But I didn't support the levy publicly!  Next time I will vote NO. 

     The problem is that our county board, our local sherrif, our corrections officers or our local DA office exhibit a level of incompetence and cronyism that is manifest.  Until these people go - such tragedies will continue to happen.  But it's also what happens when government outsources county services to private contractors all in the name of saving a buck. 

     We get the justice we pay for - and in this case - a young woman died because of a combination of incompetence, a failed attempt to skirt public records access and hiding behind the law to prevent the public's right to know.  But the Oregonian reporters have given us the sordid information and after reading it one can only come to the conclusion that the Andy Duyck machine must go!  

Dying alone: A jail inmate's health spiraled for 7 days and no one stopped it




     H. Rap Brown, a '60s Black Power leader used to boast rhetorically that "violence is as American as apple pie."  Of course the context of that statement was to justify Black Power and the use of "any means necessary" to achieve an end to Black oppression at the hands of the occupying army in the hood - the cops or White society in general.  While Black Lives Matter echoes such anger today, it has done so through mostly peaceful non-violent however confrontational protest. 

     Brown's anger which had a lot of history to support the rhetoric but not the remedy (in my humble White Left wing MLK dude opinion) has been re-echoed by some White gun owners who feel having a gun is the only means of defending oneself against "the government."  Weapon possession is something like 357 million guns.  But only 22% of Americans own a gun - so those who have them apparently have multiple guns...   This begs the question how many guns are necessary to feel safe in America today? 

     An underlying question to me is why are "some" mostly White folks so paranoid that they need 5 plus guns on average in their hands to feel safe despite the fact crime rates are down compared to the '70s?  Why have gun purchases gone up since President Obama was elected?  Is there a racial cast to such paranoia? 

     When one looks at the history of gun use in American society we are clearly the most gun happy and addicted nation on earth.  And if one looks at the history of slavery, the KKK, Jim Crow and segregation - White men possessing guns has been a primary vehicle of keeping "the other" down which ultimately ended in the Civil War where the issue was resolved by the use of weapons of mass destruction to save the Union.  But of course, the Union which was saved was not a "more perfect Union" but something far less perfect.  

     At a time when we are on the edge of becoming a nation where non-White Americans will be the majority, one wonders if those with guns fear that when "they" are the numerical minority - they will be treated the way their fore bearers treated the "other" back in the day - be it Native Americans, Black Americans or in today's world Black men profiled as would-be law breakers and felons imprisoned disproportionately to their percentage of the US population often for non-violent crimes. 

     Let me be clear - I'm not saying White people by their nature are racists.  And I'm not absolving people of color for gang violence in their own communities.  But what I'm mystified by is the gun fetish in the USA and its connection to racism among those who for whatever reason fear the other?  With a Black president in the White House, it seems a trip wire has been touched on the psychic nerve ending in some White folks. Donald Trump feeds off this paranoia as George Wallace did in the '60s.  

     Thankfully most Americans don't have this disease.  Polls show that 80% of Americans believe in gun control.  Even among NRA members there is a division of opinion.  But for some on the far Right the gun fetish is very strong.  I suggest this requires some personal introspection in the ghosts of one's family history and one's own emotional reactions on the issue of guns in American society.  I've got no problem with guns for sport - but I do have problems with why any rational person needs an AR-15 or AK-47 assault weapon.   

     Target shooting, hunting, collecting is one thing - buying an automatic weapon meant to mow down people in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan or on the streets of America is another thing.  One is sport, the other suggests paranoia.  In fairness to police - they may need firepower to combat the criminal element.  But John Q. Public is not a "well regulated militia" - a civilized society leaves that job up to the experts - local, state or federal police and/or our own local National Guard units.  

     I prefer zero tolerance on guns or a prohibition of keeping guns in one's home.  If you want to hunt or target practice - keep them at a local gun club or other safe place.   But I'm not king so gun owners need not worry you can still hug your guns and cling to your Bible.  But by contrast I have to live in a society awash in guns where some dude with road rage could take a shot at me if I flipped them off for being a SUV bully, a juvenile practice I don't indulge in.  

     In the meantime guns owners need to keep their guns under lock and key out of the hands of children or burglars.  As they say you are part of the problem or part of the solution.  But the vast majority of Americans are neither since we don't have guns!  So much for majority rules...  Tell that to the NRA.  

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