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Top 5 causes of homelessness

- Lack of affordable housing

- Lack of a livable wage

- Medical issues/lack of accessible health care

- Domestic violence

- Mental illness

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Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax

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Half of the US Is Broke

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The myth of the Christian country

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“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

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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Oreaviationwatch

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Middle East friendship chart

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry

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Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

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"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%.  

 

RAD'S

WEBSITE PICKS: 


 

  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:

Realclearpolitics

  • Jim Hightower:   

Jimhightower.com

  • 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: 

Hardtimes

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

http://www.npr.org


 Homelessness

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

Homelessness:  

•    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:

•    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

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Putting corporate Oregon ahead of our people

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#1445: Tommy, Riposa in Pace

requiescat in pace

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"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

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Obamacare is working in Oregon!

Oregon's uninsurance rate cut more than half following federal health reforms

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Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel

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Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 

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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?  QuestionIntel.com  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

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now
democracynow.org

The Daily Kos

dailykos.com

Blue Oregon

blueoregon.com

 

"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... 

americanobserver

    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   

GarrisonKeillor

 

     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


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Tuesday
Jul142015

IRAN ACCORD GIVES PEACE A CHANCE

The Iran Option

EDITOR'S NOTE:  The negotiations with Iran have resulted in an historic accord, explained below. 

Obama on Iran: Every Pathway to Nuclear Weapon Is Cut Off (audio)

     Sadly, the GOP is still committed to its "failed presidency" strategy even as the Obama era comes to an end. 

     Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is committed to torpedo this agreement.  Well, he doesn't have the votes to do it without Democratic help but that hasn't stopped the GOP from throwing dust in President Obama's fact time and time again. 

     Nothing it seems will stop the GOP from pursuing its political "death wish" - not McConnell, not Boehner and not 16 pretenders to the Oval Office!  When will Goofy throw his hat in the GOP ring - oh yeah it's done under the name of Donald "Daffy Duck" Trump. 

     This generation of GOP hacks doesn't remember Nixon going to China and Reagan negotiating arms control with Gorbachev.  They rather stay in their ideological bunkers railing at the moon risking nuclear confrontation between Israel and Iran.

     Politics is the art of timing.  This is the time to bring Iran back into the international community.  If not now, when?

     It's also important to keep in mind this is an "arms control" agreement as with the Soviets not a disarmament agreement.  To expect Iran to de-nuke itself when neighbors like India, Pakistan and Israel all have nukes would be a deal killer.  

     Yes, Iran is a sponsor of state-terrorism.  So are Saudi Arabia, Syria,  Israel, North Korea and pseudo-states like ISIS.  Dragging those issues into this discussion was a deal breaker.  The key is getting Iran past its ideological blinders into negotiations.

     The opposition to this accord from Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is founded on the concept of "linkage" borrowed from the Nixon/Kissinger era premising negotiations on Iran's good behavior across a spectrum of foreign policy issues.  

     The Nixon doctrine failed in Vietnam and ultimately was dumped by Nixon in normalizing relations with China.  By isolating Iran as a paraiah state you entrench the hardliners.  Given Iran's geo-political position we need to engage Iran, not isolate it.  

ISIS atrocities against women - Secret-network-helps-women-escape-isis-and-sexual-slavery

     For the record, the US is the greatest arms merchant in the world but hardly not alone - China, Russia but also our allies Britain, France and "neutral" Sweden play in this sadistic sandbox.  So as Scripture suggests "those without sin, cast the first stone."  

     International relations is a matter of building trust and then institutions all the while adopting the Reagan attitude of "trust but verify.  Roms wasn't built in a day - neither will the normalization of relations with Iran be done in a metaphorical day. 

     Keep in mind besides Iran who the signatories of this deal are:  the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia and Germany -- along with the European Union.  None have an interest in a "nuclearized" Iran.  

     One hopes that President Obama will prevail.  We don't need a deja vu experience of Woodrow Wilson at the end of WW I losing The League of Nations at the hands of another generation of Republicans - which opened the door to WW II. 

     Secretary of State John Kerry may earn a Nobel Peace Prize for his dogged determination to bring this accord to a successful conclusion.  One hopes his predecessor Hillary Clinton will move from her tepid to full throated support for the Obama/Kerry plan.

     Come on Hillary this is not the time for nuanced political points but seeing the bigger picture beyond the upcoming campaign!  

     This accord solidifies the Obama legacy - ending the Great Recession, passing the ACA, de-Americanizing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, normalizing relations with Cuba, passing Fast Track and ending the ban on Gay Marriage et al.   

     So much for labelling Barack as a "failed" lameduck president. 

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WHITE HOUSE President Barack Obama

     Today, after two years of negotiations, the United States -- together with our international partners -- has achieved what decades of animosity has not:

     A comprehensive, long-term deal that will verifiably prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

     This deal shows the real and meaningful change that American leadership and diplomacy can bring -- change that makes our country and the world safer and more secure.

     We negotiated from a position of strength and principle -- and the result is a nuclear deal that cuts off every pathway to a nuclear weapon.

I want to make sure every American knows what this deal means and how it works. Take a look here.

     Because of this deal, Iran will not be able to produce highly enriched uranium or weapons-grade plutonium, the raw materials necessary to build a bomb. Here's why:

     Under this deal, Iran will reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium by 98 percent, remove two-thirds of its installed centrifuges -- the machines necessary to produce highly enriched uranium -- and store them under constant international supervision.

     To put that in perspective, Iran currently has a stockpile that could produce up to 10 nuclear weapons. Now, its uranium stockpile will be reduced to a fraction of what would be required for a single weapon.

     Under this deal, Iran will modify its nuclear reactor in Arak so it cannot produce weapons-grade plutonium -- and all spent fuel from the reactor will be shipped out of the country indefinitely.

     This deal is not built on trust -- it's built on verification. Under this deal, we will, for the first time, be in a position to verify that Iran is meeting all of these commitments. International nuclear inspectors will have access to Iran's nuclear program -- where necessary, when necessary.

     This is the most comprehensive and intrusive verification regime that we have ever negotiated. If Iran tries to divert raw materials to covert facilities, inspectors will be able to access any suspicious locations.

     As Iran implements this deal, it will receive gradual relief from sanctions. If it violates any aspect of this deal, sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy will snap back into place.

Learn more, and get additional context, right here.

     That's the deal.

     It has the full backing of the international community. Without it, there'd be no agreed-upon limitations on Iran's nuclear program and other countries would feel more compelled to pursue their own programs, threatening a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region of the world.

     Put simply: No deal means a greater chance of more war in the Middle East.

     That is why it would be irresponsible to walk away from this deal. Moving forward, I welcome a robust debate in Congress on the details of this deal. As Commander-in-Chief, I am confident that this deal will meet the national security interests of the U.S. and our allies. So I will veto any legislation that prevents the successful implementation of this deal.

     Our differences with Iran are real, and the difficult history between our nations cannot be ignored. But it is possible to change. The path of violence and rigid ideology; a foreign policy based on threats to attack your neighbors or eradicate Israel -- is a dead end.

     A different path -- one of tolerance, and peaceful resolution of conflict -- leads to more integration into the global economy, more engagement with the international community, and the ability of the Iranian people to prosper and thrive. This deal offers an opportunity to move in a new direction.

We should seize it.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

 

 

 

Sunday
Jul122015

THE PUZZLE PALACE - THE PICTURES TELL IT ALL!  

Senate President Peter Courtney/House Speaker Tina Kotek

     "When the session began Feb. 2, many Democrats were gung-ho to raise the minimum wage as high as $15 an hour. But Courtney warned that such a proposal would hit a wall in the Senate. More than a dozen bills on the minimum wage fizzled.

     "It was disappointing for us that Peter Courtney said from the start he didn't want it to come to the floor for a vote, not even letting his members take a stance on it," according to a $15 advocate. "Absolutely we saw the Senate as more of an obstacle than the House."  

     This assessment is part of an excellent article in Sunday's unOregonian (see below): 

A tale of two Democrats: How clashing leaders shaped the 2015 legislative session     

     After reading this article it became clear why the inclusionary housing bill HB 2564 didn't make it out of the Senate Rules Committee upon referral to that committee by President Courtney on June 2.  This bill was Kotek's major initiative and has been on her top list since the 2014 session.  She testified in favor of this bill on the House side gracefully blunting John Chandler's blunder busting attempt at dissembling.  But ultimately she couldn't stop Courtney from putting the stake through its heart. 

     From my own observation, Courtney runs the Senate like LBJ ran the House back in the day when he was the US House majority leader and his friend Sam Rayburn, also a Texan, was the Speaker.  Courtney is a "good old boy" who plays by the classic good old boy rules of a legislative "bully."  Courtney is not a good loser, nor a good listener.  He doesn't play fair, he plays old fashioned political hardball.  And his Democratic Senate caucus enables him. 

     Courtney loves to hear himself talk.  He uses rambling homespun jargon to make his points.  When you're the Senate President nobody is going to keep you within the normal 2 minute limit mere mortals are obliged to obey in a hearing room.  He just goes on and on which speaks to another character trait of Courtney - he's full of himself what the Greeks termed hubris.  Kotek is no shrinking violet but a policy wonk more nuanced in the exercise of power not just another power grabbing 'pol'. 

     So at the end of the day, it's not ideology but personality styles which dominate the current Oregon legislature.  One hopes as Governor Kate Brown establishes her presence in the hallways of the Puzzle Palace, she will help blunt the competing egos of Kotek and Courtney as she shapes her agenda.  In the meantime Oregon is left with transportation and a housing policy as works in progress.  If Brown can do this then she will be able to move her agenda with a solid Democratic majority. 

Saturday
Jul112015

WITHER GREECE, WITHER THE EURO?

Friday
Jul102015

THE TYRANNY OF GEEK DOM

    BEWARE, GEEKS IN CHARGE..

     Over the last two weeks my e-mail server company Easystreet was forced by Google to "migrate" 900 residential customers in the Portland metro area to Office 365, a Microsoft product.  Oh joy! 

     I spent a week making this transition while backing up my e-mail files to my Comcast e-mail and Pacific e-mail systems just in case the migration didn't work. 

     Despite many glitches everything turned out fine and I now am using my new Office 365 e-mail without any major problems. 

     As a committed computer troglodyte I hate change while those in the industry seem to feel change per se is good.  At Pacific the clueless Geeks there always wanted to make changes the week of spring finals!  Ask the Greeks how they feel about ubiquitous system change or those on the receiving end of Wall Street's screwing us over in the Great Recession. 

     My motto is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."  It's a mantra Tiger Woods should have adopted early in his career! 

     OK, reality is that you and I - the consumers - have no say in this process.  I got this message loud and clear the other night when I talked to a tech dude at Easystreet.  I was simply trying to figure out how to add additional files to my e-mail and to delete multiple e-mails I don't want (as I did before the change) in one easy stroke (no pun intended). 

     After a two hour "conversation" it became clear I don't speak the same language as those in "Geek Dom." 

     At one point the tech dude asked if I was using a MAC not a PC.  Well since I've been an Easystreet customer for over 20 years one would think they would have that info in their NSA enhanced records!  MACs and PCs inhabit different computer universes!  My takeaway is what we have here to steal a line from the Paul Newman flick Cool Hand Luke "is a failure to communicate"

     It was suggested I move my files to G-mail.  Well that was really helpful since Google started this mess. 

     The point by the tech dude is that this is the future of the world down the road.  In my jaundice view the new face of "friendly fascism."  It's a road I refuse to travel until I'm forced to.  But it tells you who is in power in the parallel universes of Google and Microsoft.  Big Brother knows what's best for us!  Get over it.  Done!  

     Well I refuse to submit to the "Tyranny of Geek Dom!"

     Next time I won't bother asking help from what radio talk show consumer advocate Clark Howard terms "customer no service."  I'll just figure it out on my own or not try to ask what appear to be simple questions since like dealing with IRS there are no such things as "simple" questions unless one knows the answers ahead of time! 

     Such experiences make me want to return to the good old days of the passenger pigeon, the Pony Express, the telegrah key or snail mail.  But as GE used to say in their TV commercials in the '50s "progress is our most important product." One wonders progress for whom - corporate conglomerates and their hi-tech minions or simpletons like you and moi who pay the bills?      

      You might ask why don't you "just fire Easystreet?"  I don't want to do that right now with all my political activities I don't want to lose my ability to maintain my e-mail records and keep access with my constituency....  

     But a year from now when I turned in my advocate badge, I just might do that! 

     Waiting for a flight home from SFO on Monday after 4 great days in the City by the Bay my significant other noticed I was the only person in the United waiting room not using some "device" - laptop, I-Phone etc.  I have a simple cell phone - that's it.  I don't text message, I don't do Facebook, Twitter et al.  I keep it simple! 

     I heard on NPR the next day United's computer crashed leaving people stranded sea to shining sea!  We just got out of Dodge in time!  My oh my....   This was before the news that millions of federal employees had their files hacked - by who knows whom - Russian, Chinese or Drug Cartel hackers?   As the line goes "only the paranoid survive."  

      Welcome to the Brave New World of Geek Dom!  


Thursday
Jul092015

JEB'S TALKING POINTS!  

EDITOR'S NOTE:  Memo to Dubya II - Americans already work more hours per week than any workers in the developed world.  The French have August off plus hundreds of holidays, most other nations have down time spread throughout the year coinciding with school breaks.  Jeb - just another "friendly face of a kinder/gentler" conservatism - eh? 

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