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"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

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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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Middle East friendship chart

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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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: 


 

  • 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 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. 

     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...   

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If you want to e-mail me "comments" use my Yahoo back up e-mail address russdondero@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

See my FACEBOOK @ Russ

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  • 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... 

 

Trump & The Mob

http-//www.politico.com#13C5A6C


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. 

     

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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Housing Needs in Oregon 

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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, 1940

  • "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  


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

 



"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 

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

 

FYI:  

Squareapace has closed the "comments" section on my blog as a way around this contact me via my Yahoo e-mail address posted on the left sidebar...   

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Thursday
Apr282005

LINE OF THE DAY

Can't write anything.    Tom Delay must go the way of Jim Wright and Newt Gingrich - the sooner the better.  Hopefully, 'the exterminator' will see the wisdom of resigning before he's censored and thrown out of the House.  Next to go -  John Bolton.  George the lst for UN Ambassador!  He knows the value of alliances... 
Thursday
Apr282005

SOCIAL SECURITY: MORE LIGHT, LESS HEAT

Editor's Note:  This is a 'Guest Blog' written by my friend and colleague, Professor Emeritus George Evans.  A shorter version appeared in the Forest Grove News-Times several weeks ago.  I hope other FORs will submit their blogs too.  As with any editor I reserve the right to deny and/or edit such blogs.  No litmus tests, but it must be your words.  I can read the NYT, WSJ et al on my own time.  RAD

    Social Security needs attention, but not the kind it received in last week’s article (“Fear on Social Security is party line for Democrats”). To politicize the issue, as many have been doing recently, is to virtually ensure that a solution to the problem will not be forthcoming anytime soon.  
    That said, let me offer a few comments on the current debate. President Bush and others have spoken of an impending crisis in Social Security and proposed personal, or private, accounts as a solution. That’s a little like purchasing a new roof for your house when the problem is a leaky kitchen faucet. The new roof might be a good or bad idea; its purchase certainly deserves to be thoroughly discussed. But it does nothing about the leaky faucet. Quite recently, the President has acknowledged as much.  
    About that leaky faucet: let’s call it a demographic leak, and it’s no President’s or political party’s fault. It’s not even a leak yet, not for another 12 years or so. That’s when the money being taken out by the increasing number of retirees and other recipients will exceed the money paid in by workers, a result of the baby boomers retiring. In a personal budget, that’s spending more money than you’re making.  
    But not to worry, we tell ourselves, because we can tap into a large savings account (nationally, in the trillions) to pay our bills and live the lives we’ve become accustomed to. So we decide not to fix the leak. Maybe it will go away, we say, half believing it.
    Procrastination is not generally a useful approach to any problem, and this one will be no exception. We’ll have another 20 or so years to live as we were, noting the leak from time to time but doing nothing about it. And then . . . surprise! We discover we’ve exhausted our savings. Unsurprisingly, the leak, not being fixed, continues dripping. At that point we’ll be forced to face some rather unpleasant circumstances, like reducing our income by approximately 20 to 30 percent.
    But even though we’ve exhausted our savings and not fixed the leak--this is not often mentioned in the debate--we could still live reasonably well, though with an unwelcome austerity and with the leak continuing. That is, as long as workers are still paying into the system, payments can be made to retirees and others normally receiving benefits. This could go on indefinitely, as long as there were no catastrophe, like a nuclear war absolutely devastating the country and its economy.
    The President has urged we not procrastinate in dealing with Social Security. I agree wholeheartedly. Though we could live with the leak, paying down on our savings, and then continuing to live on in reduced circumstances after their exhaustion, our better angels are whispering in our ears not to go that route. Not if we’re concerned about our futures and our children’s futures.
    So, what do we do? Like most Americans, I’m just a layman on this debate. A number of suggestions, though, have been offered by various experts. For example, according to the trustees of the program, an increase of 1.5 percentage points in the payroll tax (from 12.4 to 13.9 percent) would stop the leak for virtually the rest of the century. Or, as one economist pointed out, eliminating the recent income tax reduction on those making over $500,00 a year would fund the program through much of this century. Other suggestions include raising the annual cap (now $90,000) on income subject to taxes; raising the retirement age; price indexing rather than wage indexing on benefits, and so on.
    There’s no shortage of suggestions. What we need is the will to lay aside our political and philosophical agendas and name calling and fixing blame. The leak--the financing of Social Security--is a national, not a partisan, problem; let’s approach it in such a spirit.
    When we’ve solved the leak problem, we can think about the roof--private accounts--as added protection against water damage. And, incidentally, for those with the inclination and resources, that new roof is already available. It’s called 401(k) plans. IRAs. The stock market. Even banks. What’s more, none of these requires any advice or assistance from the government. They’re truly private and, like most investments, no guarantee of future rewards. You pay your money and take your chances.
    Private investments in the stock market are neither social nor secure. But for those with the knowledge and skill, to say nothing of luck, they work pretty well. If that sounds too much like gambling, well, then it’s time for you to enter the debate. Preferably without the overheated rhetoric.
    As a footnote to this debate (and it’s a footnote only to this administration and Congress, both of them fixated on the leaky faucet and prospective new roof), economists have noted that outside the house there’s a water main in serious disrepair: the huge budget deficit, already over $400 billion and rising. If that main breaks—as it very likely will if our national leaders pay no more attention to it than they now are—then the roof and the leak will be the least of our problems. We will be faced with a veritable tsunami of economic flooding, overwhelming us all.

Tuesday
Apr262005

LINE OF THE DAY

Can't write anything.Martin Luther King, Jr.                             "...But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I. compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid..." 

Martin Luther King, Jr. - Letter from Birmingham Jail. 

Tuesday
Apr262005

THE POPE'S FRIENDS

    The new Pope Benedict XVI has staked out the case against what he terms the "dictatorship of relativism."  In the process he has willingly allowed his words and persona to be captured by the fundamentalist pro-GOP Christian Right in the USA.  The contradiction of such a position is made obvious by the example of House GOP Majority Leader Tom DeLay (in his pre-Congressman life, an insect exterminator), who has emerged as the latest poster child of congressional abuse of privilege.
    How a political party and its allies on the religious right can be silent on the ethical excess of one of their own belies their protestations of moral purity.  But then again, in politics we often find ourselves cohabiting with very strange bedfellows indeed-for example, Slick Willie, Newt Gingrich.  But it would be folly for Democratic liberals to allow the Right Wing in the USA to claim God, the Flag, patriotism or morality as their own.  While the Pope and his non-Catholic secular and religious allies in the GOP want to claim such ground, a few examples demonstrate how shaky is their hold on moral purity.
    To be against giving contraceptive information to people in the third world - to embrace abstinence as the only rule in sex education - is to condemn many women of color in the third world to lives of sexual abuse, unwanted pregnancy, HIV-Aids, and poverty.  Where's the morality in that? The Pope/Bush policy to deny women of the third world such information in effect is a form of sexual genocide, if not racism.  
    To condemn gay and lesbians as moral or psychological deviants is to belie the reality that sexual preference is not a chosen life style, but genetically coded (one might even say God-given). Where's the morality in that?
    To focus on the individual's relationship to God as the primary basis for salvation is to ignore the many strains in the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths (to say nothing about other great religions of the world - Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, for example) which focus on issues of community, social justice and equality.  Where's the morality in that?
    It is to deny a fundamental fact pointed out by Plato and Aristotle well before the Christian era began that men are social animals, not merely autonomous beings set adrift in the world by a capricious deity.  As Jefferson put it so beautifully in the Declaration of Independence: "We take it as self evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."
    So how can women, homosexuals, working people be denied their "inalienable Rights"?  Now our friends on the Right would have you understand the word "Creator" to mean God, and the Pope would specifically refer to the Catholic definition of the deity.
    But the Preamble of that document refers to the "laws of nature and nature's God."  In other words, the author of those powerful words and those who signed the document, as men of the Enlightenment, hedged their bets; they did NOT want to start a nation off by creating their own culture wars, so they embraced both science and religion as the basis for what are called "natural rights."
    The key here is not the specific origin of such rights as much that such rights pre-exist the founding of the republic - hence their universal appeal down through the ages.  If humans are endowed with such rights as a consequence of being human, then no person, no government, no church, nor corporation can deny us these rights.
    And we also know the Founders were quite concerned about separating Church and State, given the diversity of religious practices in the colonies at the time, which is why they included "establishment clause" in the First Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids the state establishing any particular religion, the norm in much of Europe at the time.
    Were the Founders religious ?  In a conventional sense, in many cases, yes, but not clearly denominational, and Jefferson was not that religiously transparent;  as a deist he is often claimed by the Universalist-Unitarian Church as one of their own.  Franklin, Hamilton, and Madison had similar religious views.
    So, as we move into the set up stage for election 2006 and 2008, let's keep in mind that the great enduring accomplishment of LIBERALISM (both the 19th and 20th century versions) is respect for moral absolutes as Tolerance, Equality, Social Justice, Freedom of Speech, Privacy and Diversity (human and ecological).  LIBERALISM, and its Social Democratic sister ideology practiced in Canada and Europe, need not relinquish the moral/ethical high ground to their conservative critics.  And while religious fundamentalism in various shapes is ascendant today all over the world, liberals need not cede the divine either.  Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jimmy Carter have given liberalism excellent role models of the blending of faith and politics in action, as did Catholics Dorothy Day or the Fathers Berrigan.
    A conservative Pope using the PR techniques of Madison Avenue and his Pope-mobile, now joined by his new-found allies on the Right in the USA, has merely put a friendly face on right-wing authoritarianism. However one describes it, "compassionate Conservatism" or "friendly fascism" is bad news for working people, women, homosexuals and people of color, as well as for the environment.
    This authoritarian bias is evident in the past and currently:  The Catholic Church had no problem with Italian, Spanish or Portuguese fascism; the complicity with Nazism in Germany is more complex. Per capita income in Oregon continues to slide in a global economy. Women in the USA, depending on who ascends to the Supreme Court or who controls state legislatures (Oregon, e.g.), may see their rights under Roe v. Wade whittled away (based on issues of viability, parental notification, the 48-hour rule, counseling, etc.); gay and lesbian people will continue to struggle as did many before them to attain their basic rights.  And, finally, people in the developing world are the unwitting victims of neo-colonialism of both East and West, corrupt political regimes, militarism, poverty and a host of Malthusian issues--overpopulation, gender violence and even genocide as we see in Darfur and have seen in Cambodia to Rwanda.
    I have no problem with people claiming moral truths to live by; my problem is how does one select such truths?  How does one know that your truths are THE truth?  And when applying such truths how do you know you are doing it correctly?  It seems to me that such a process requires a combination of critical thinking, historical understanding, common sense and perhaps most importantly, humility.
    However faithful one is to personal beliefs, the Greeks and Shakespeare remind us of the human proclivity to hubris.  That's what bothers me the most about the Pope and his friends on the GOP Right Wing - they have no doubts.  In all candor, such an attitude often afflicts the LEFT as well.
    I think the recent debate over Terry Shaivo illustrates the complexity of ascertaining the truth.  When we are taught to affirm life, liberty and happiness, there is no rule book which guides us in particular cases.  At best we are all muddling through.  But that was not good enough for the GOP, nor President Bush, nor for Governor Jeb Bush or the Florida legislature.  Thankfully, at the end of the day the Founders system of checks and balances worked out, and the Judicial branch put an end to governmental interference in a very private matter.  Family values trumped politics ultimately.  
    But of course, we all know the GOP and its allies on the religious right are going to use Terry Shaivo in the 2006 and 2008 campaigns as their personal poster child in their own morality play for political correctness.  They do so at their risk because, despite their moral fervor, the public was not buying it.  Most resented the intrusion of politics into a family's pain.  Sometimes, other tenets of LIBERALISM come into play - restraint, privacy, respect for diverse opinions, the market place of ideas, all values the Right seems to ignore.
    Sometimes we need to admit that our moral principles in real life do not help us all that much.  We are all muddling through.  It's like the rules of golf: they require the players to regulate themselves. Anyone who has taken a mulligan knows the ambiguity.








Monday
Apr252005

LINE OF THE DAY

Can't write anything. "...What saved Oregon's economy - what brought people back to the state - was not the contrition practiced by politicians but the invaluable character of its land and rivers and air.  People came to Oregon because of the place - a place of surviving beauty that one man had cherished like no one before..."  Brent Walth, FIRE AT EDEN'S GATE, TOM McCALL & THE OREGON STORY, p. 467. 

"Oregonians, your state is average, according to its biennial barometer" - headline from April 19, 2005 OREGONIAN - page 1.