Thursday, March 26, 2009

Coming this Saturday April 4th

Here's a great opportunity to be visible and powerful in the face of continued war.

Out of Iraq, Out of Afghanistan

We want CHANGE, not WAR!

On April 4, 1967, one year to the day before his death, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech at Riverside Church in New York City, "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence." "...I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today--my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent."

On Saturday, April 4th, 2009, the PDX Peace Coalition will present Change ≠ War, a public reading of Dr. King's speech in downtown Portland. We will gather to demand an immediate end to the war in Iraq, and join with brothers and sisters worldwide to call for the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan. And we will give voice to the civilians of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine as well as the US soldiers that are speaking out in resistance; the voices that have been crushed and silenced by our country's violence and occupation.

President Obama's new plan for Afghanistan is expected this Friday, it is up to the peace movement to demand change, real change, not more war and occupation. Join us at any of the following activities on April 4th to help us "speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy."

Change ≠ War
Saturday, April 4th

11:00 am Teach-in: Ending Occupation from Iraq to Afghanistan to Palestine
Cramer Hall, Portland State University

2:00 pm March: Out of Iraq, Out of Afghanistan
Money for People, Not for War
South Park Blocks, SW Park & SW Salmon

3:00 pm Public Reading: Dr. Martin Luther King's “Beyond Vietnam” ... 42 years later, an inspiration for today's peace movement.
Skidmore Fountain, SW 1st & SW Ankeny

Volunteer to help with the planning or to help on April 4th, email our Volunteer Coordinator.

Spread the word: Facebook the event, get posters, flyers and stickers to spread all over town.

Donate to make this event possible. You can contribute securely via paypal on our website.

The recent election and inauguration positively inspired huge numbers of people. Unfortunately, though, President Obama plans to send more troops to Afghanistan, and increase the military budget even further: more money, more troops, more death and destruction. Grassroots activists are called to offer an alternative vision that will alter this bloody course of action and create a climate for real change. Let’s show the world that Portland is up to the task.

Here's a Little Good News's not all doom and gloom in Oregon. We're getting some new blood into the old system...

State Leaders and Long Term Care Advocates
Will Announce 300 New Health Care Jobs
Through Use of Federal Stimulus Dollars

Legislative leaders and long-term care providers for elderly and disabled Oregonians will hold a news conference Friday at 1 p.m. in the Capitol Press Room to announce positive news among the doldrums of the economic downturn: how federal stimulus dollars and state dollars will help fund nearly 300 new certified nursing assistants positions across Oregon, improving resident care and safety at the state’s nursing facilities.

Funding for increased staffing at long term care facilities was first approved by the Oregon legislature in 2007 from recommendations from Governor Kulongoski’s 2006 Nursing Facility Staffing Commission, which found that patient safety was at risk due to low staffing levels. However, severe budget pressure from the current revenue shortfalls jeopardized the second phase, scheduled to kick in Wednesday (4/1/2009).

Through the use of increased federal dollars into the Oregon Medicaid program through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act these critical new positions are now affordable – and will add 300 positions at a time when the state unemployment rate is increasing rapidly. The positions are funded through increased payments through Medicaid to the nursing facilities based on the number of patients. That increased match made it possible for Ways and Means Co-Chairs Peter Buckley and Margaret Carter to protect the new positions in the 07-09 rebalance.

Expected to attend the Friday news conference are Senate President Peter Courtney, House Speaker Dave Hunt, Dr. Bruce Goldberg (director of the Department of Human Services), representatives of AARP, SEIU and the Oregon Health Care Association.

Information will also be provided on how Oregonians can apply for the certified nursing assistant jobs created under the program.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Goodbye Leftyblogs

There was a time in the not-so-distant past where the term “lefty” stood for left wing politics. The values associated with being a left winged person included justice, equality for all, and caring about/for “the People”. I must have not been paying attention when that changed.

Now the term “lefty” seems to be more about I “left” those values behind, in favor of getting along, not making waves, and abandoning “the people”. It’s capitalism in its purest form. Looking out for number 1.

Last week a post showed up on Leftyblogs titled “The Retards are Mad”. I found the title to be upsetting, but was blown away when I read the content. Bigotry at its worst. There were at least 26 clicks from readers of Leftyblogs on this post, and an additional 25 clicks on my response to it. These are clicks not comments. It’s as if the readers/writers of Leftyblogs see nothing to comment on about hate speech. Those who did comment are not associated with Leftyblogs.

So... I can’t pretend the lack of caring about bigotry and hate doesn’t bother me. Nor can I pretend that I feel anything close to kindred with the people involved with Leftyblogs. Therefor, I’m asking that the administration of Leftyblogs not post anymore from my blog. I am removing the link I have to Leftyblogs from my blog, and wish to sever any connection I have with Leftyblogs from here on.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Something We ALL Should Do

There's an effort under way to eradicate the "R" word from the American vocabulary. Some would see this as a free speech issue, while supporting the idea of removing the "N" word in the same way. That's not only hypocritical, but also discriminatory. Here's the announcement from Jeff at Big Dawg Tales...

Spread the Word to End the Word!

It is time to “Spread the Word to End the Word” and on 31 March 2009 Special Olympics is calling for a national day of awareness for America to stop and think about their use of the R-word. That R-word is not “recession,” but something more hurtful and painful – “retard.”

Wear the Spread the Word T-shirt and show your support! Click on the logo above to order yours today.

Most people don’t think of this word as hate speech, but that’s exactly what it feels like to millions of people with intellectual disabilities, their families and friends. This word is just as cruel and offensive as any other slur.

Spread the Word to End the Word will raise the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the R-word and encourage people to pledge to stop using it. America will be asked to declare their support for more respectful and inclusive language, specifically that referring to those with intellectual disabilities.

Created by young people with and without intellectual disabilities, Spread the Word to End the Word is one element of Special Olympics’ vision of a world where everyone matters, where everyone is accepted and, most importantly, where everyone is valued. Leading the way in promoting acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics opposes prejudice and discrimination, continuously working to dispel the negative stereotypes associated with this population — the use of the R-word being one such stereotype. In a world that has worked to eliminate pejorative racial and ethnic language such as the “N word,” among others, the R-word is gaining popularity.

On 31 March, young people across the country will lead local efforts to raise awareness and collect pledges on from peers and the community to vow not to use the R-word. Actor and activist John C. McGinley, of the hit show “Scrubs,” is helping with this effort by making national media appearances on behalf of the campaign. On 2 March 2009, he appeared on "The Bonnie Hunt Show."

Send us your plans to Spread the Word at After 31 March, let us know how your Spread the Word event went. Send a report, photos and videos to

W T F Seaside?

Right in our own back yard... Seaside, Oregon to be exact; people are attacked for being different. Of course, it all starts with language. From KPTV...

SEASIDE, Ore. -- Police said two men were beaten unconscious Sunday morning because they are gay, and the people who assaulted them haven't been found yet.

Investigators said the victims, who are from Washington state, were on the beach near downtown Seaside at about 3 a.m. when three or four men attacked them. Investigators said the beatings are hate crimes.

The Seaside police chief said he has put two full-time detectives on the case and they are trying to find any witnesses who were on the beach Sunday morning and may have seen who was responsible for severely beating the two men.

"It's a small town. Only time it gets crazy is when there's a lot of tourists and people in town," said Evan White, who works in Seaside.

Investigators said around 3 a.m. the victims were sitting next to a beach fire with three or four other people, and when the two men got up to walk to the ocean, they were attacked and beaten unconscious because they are gay. Investigators said when the victims woke up they helped each other to a nearby hotel where they called for help and were taken to a local hospital.

Mica Macdonald works at a Seaside hotel and said Seaside is not a dangerous place, but he said it's a bad idea to stay on beach after dark unless you're in a big group.

"It's a great place to hang out, but not a great place to hang out at night I don't think," Macdonald said.

There were several people who were sitting next to the fire in front of the Best Western Hotel at the time of the attack and police would like to talk to them.

Anyone with information in the case should contact Seaside police.

Monday, March 23, 2009

More Harm Than Help?

Update 3/24/09: I just learned that the state of Virginia pulled off this kidnapping without our DHS knowing until after the fact.

Sometimes I wonder if the state causes disability. I'm talking about it's part in the following story from the KATU website...

BEAVERTON, Ore. - A Beaverton family calls it a "DHS horror story.”

A brother and sister, under order of the Department of Human Services, were taken by force away from their older sister's home and a school and sent back to the parents who had abused them for years. Now, there's a growing local effort to bring them back.

Web sites related to the case accuse DHS officials in Virginia of wrongfully taking the children away from Stephanie Johnston, 24, who was acting as the children’s sole parent in Oregon. Johnston isn't just the parent to 9-year-old Tavvi and 12-year-old Conner, she's also their big sister. Johnston has cared for the children after they moved from Virginia to Oregon to escape abuse at the hands of their parents, who reportedly had drug habits.

Letter after letter posted on one Web site, from parents and local teachers, pleads for the kids’ return to Beaverton.
"We're angry, we're angry, we're enraged,” Johnston said, “but we're also terrified, we’re scared, and we're also sick to our stomachs." She remembers Tavvi coming to live with her two years ago. She says she was terrified and traumatized. “When she came [to Oregon], she didn't communicate, she didn’t make eye contact, maybe two weeks without talking," Johnston recalls.

Parents KATU News talked to at Peninsula Park in North Portland say they saw Tavvi and Conner recover and thrive under Johnston's care. “She knew how to help them heal from all of their trauma,” one woman said. “She lived her life for her family for her brothers and sisters,” another added.

It all ended last week when DHS workers and armed police officers entered Tavvi's fourth grade classroom at the Cooper Mountain school and grabbed her without warning. “It will take her years to get over that abuse,” one woman said. “That was pure abuse, an adult abused her once again. Johnston described the scene at the school: “It was with extreme force and resistance with her kicking and screaming.” Tavvi had to leave everything behind, including what she treasured most, her pet rats.

DHS also took Conner, Johnston claims, without letting him take a single belonging, not even his shoes.

Johnston said she would have worked with DHS if they had wanted to make a gradual transition by helping the kids adjust to a new home in Virginia.

Now, she worries, especially about the little girl who was once too afraid to talk.
“I cannot imagine what my little girl is going through, trying to fall asleep at night, and trying to get up and have breakfast, just those simple things, without her family," Johnston said. Johnston tells us she has called and emailed DHS in Virginia and received no response.

Messages KATU News left with DHS offices in both Oregon and Virginia were not returned.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Toxic Hate

As I suspected, my challenge of the hate monger will go unanswered. Generally, people filled with hate are unable to back up their words with action until the hate causes them to lose their mind altogether. At that point they will usually explode in a violent act toward those they hate.

What makes Hart Williams such a hateful person? He obviously hates Republicans, or anyone who sees things differently. He obviously hates people with developmental disabilities, as demonstrated by yesterday’s post. What have these groups of people done to him personally, that would cause him to spew such ugliness. Does he believe they are somehow responsible for his failed political career? Or his failed writing career? In the way he describes both of these groups, you’d think they were also responsible for the obvious pain he’s experiencing.

I guess when you are as full of yourself as he is, and you feel the sting of your own impotence in the world, lashing out at a group of people can be expected. I do think he’d better leave people with developmental disabilities out of his hateful sights from now on. Otherwise, I might have to take a trip to Eugene.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Leftyblogs Strikes Again

I see. A hate monger can get his posts on Leftyblogs within 4 hours of writing them, but someone defending those being hated can't get their posts on within 7 (almost 8)hours within posting them on his blog. Must be another technology glitch. Good job Leftyblogs. Keep sticking up for the less fortunate.

Gonna Need More Than a Vorpal Sword

There's a dude on Oregon leftyblogs who is a prime example of what I would call a misplaced piece of geneology. He posted today about people with developmental disabilities, calling them names like "retard", "drooler", and "spases". I'm certain he wouldn't use derogatory terms about black folks or hispanics or probably gay people, but he's bad enough to call these folks (who he suspects don't blog)such names.

Now, he has a right to be a jerk, as long as he's willing to pay the price. Here is my challenge to the punk who's post is titled "Retards Are Mad". You sure do shoot off your mouth pretty well for such a jerk. How 'bout you and me getting together tomorrow to see whatcha got?

Ire On Fire

By the time 1981 rolled around, I’d already lived in London for a year. I had seen what was going on in Northern Ireland through the lens of the British Press. Though I was only 25 years old, and not at all political, I was disturbed by what I’d read and saw on TV, compared to what I’d heard from people on the ground.

Back in New York, I heard that another hunger strike was about to begin in the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland. I also heard that a man 2 years my elder was leading the hunger strike. His name was Bobby Sands.

I felt like Bobby Sands was my brother. Maybe it was because we shared a favorite verse from the Bible (No greater love has a man, than he would lay down his life for his friends). Maybe it was his shear devotion to a cause. I don’t know. But I felt like we were related, if not genetically, then spiritually. In fact when I heard about the fast unto death, I thought about joining, but was too afraid of dying.

Bobby finally died after not eating for 66 days. I cried when I heard about it.

This morning I saw the movie “Hunger”, which relived the months and weeks before the hunger strike as well as the strike itself. It was hard to watch, as it brought back some painful memories that have dissipated over the 28 years since it all went down. I decided after watching the film that I NEED to write this post for me and anyone who cares about what happened in Northern Ireland back then.

Shortly after Bobby died I wrote a song called Ire On Fire, which I’ve dedicated to his memory. These are the lyrics...

I sing this song about Ireland
And about what’s going on
The country there’s on fire man
And I’m wishin’ I was wrong

It don’t take xray vision
To see the dark despair
And the only answer missin’
Is how to get England out of there

So, toora loora loora
Toora loora lay
The children cry while their fathers die
And it can’t go on this way

The winds blow cool in Ireland
Along the mossy banks
But the quiet breeze has been drowned out now
By the sound of bombs and tanks

The Irish have their troubles
And they’re still by far not resolved
But the bloody mess could be dealt with best
If the English weren’t involved

So, toora loora loora
Toora loora lay
The children cry while their fathers die
And it can’t go on this way

My bloodline flows from Ireland
Like that of Bobby Sands
And I feel that he was a brother to me
Though we’ve come from different lands

So I’ll sing this song about Ireland
And about what’s going on
From North to South by the word of mouth
I’ll sing what’s going wrong

So, toora loora loora
Toora loora lay
The children cry while their fathers die
And it can’t go on this way
Toora loora loora
Toora loora lay
The children cry while their fathers die
And it can’t go on this way
It can’t go on this way
They won’t let it go on this way

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wrong Apology Mr. President

So... our President demonstrates a "mind set" of superiority over people with developmental disabilities on Jay Leno's show last night. Fairly typical in today's intolerant society, where it's fine to say things about these folks with little or no repercussion.

I'd like to tell the Pres. that I know a man with a developmental disability who could mop up the bowling alley with him and his hurtful language. Unfortunately, this man's teeth are rotting, so he might have to take a short break during the process. But hey; the discussion's been started, so let's keep it going.

When he says "It was like the Special Olympics or something." regarding his 129 bowling score, is he disparaging Special Olympics? Of course not. He's saying that folks who participate in Special Olympics are less than the non-disabled population, and it's ok to use them as an example of such.

Is the President aware that people with developmental disabilities have some of the worst healthcare in the world? Including in the USA? Special Olympics Report. Perhaps the President should be apologizing to this community for the continued medical neglect they face.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Report That Never Was

Yesterday morning as my wife and I prepared for our walk, we tuned into KPTV to find out what kind of weather we were facing. We were both in the bathroom brushing our teeth, but could hear the tv in the bedroom. We both heard something about a Foster mother who was advertising somewhere about her 21 year old Foster son who has Down's Syndrome being in search of a girlfriend to have sex with.

I turned quickly to the bedroom to find out more, but the chick with the chipmunk cheeks was done reporting. On our walk I decided I would do some research to find out what the story was about. I just couldn't figure out why this was news. Is the thought that developmentally disabled folks shouldn't have sex?

Later in the day I wrote a question about the story on the KPTV website. I asked where I could find the whole story, as it wasn't on their website. I never got an answer from them. Kinda like they never reported it in the first place. Hmmm....

Anonymous Comments

I'm done with publishing anonymous comments on my blog. If you don't have the courage to publish your name when commenting on a post, you're probably afraid to say what you say anyway.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ruby's Bequest

Yesterday I received an interesting email from Patrick Tutwiler, one of the leaders of the National United Cerebral Palsy organization. Seems he’s been reading my blog for some time, and likes what I write about. He’s involved, along with the AARP and the Institute For The Future in the creation of a website called

These organizations have collaboratively put together a place where stories about disability can be shared and commented on. It’s pretty cool. I shared the story of my friend’s neglect and eventual death here in Oregon. There are many other interesting stories on the website as well. Check it out.

What If...?

I’m wondering what I would do if I was making around $85,000 a year in a cushy government job, and I won the lottery for $4,000,000. I know, the question is why, if I’m already making a lot of money would I be playing the lottery in the first place? The answer don’t know, I just do it.

First thing I’d do is split the money into 4 separate donation pots. I’d then donate 1 million to the Developmental Disabilities Advisory Committee for the Portland Police Department. This group means a lot to me, and my donation would go a long way in furthering their work.

Next, I’d donate a million to the Office of Investigations and Training. These people are the ones who investigate allegations of abuse and neglect toward some seriously vulnerable Oregonians. They could use the money to grow their program by hiring another staff member or expanding services.

One million would go to setting up an ombudsman program for adults with developmental disabilities. I’d want to do everything I could to eradicate all forms of medical neglect in Oregon, including denying people life saving treatment. This program would operate in concert with OIT, but would be independent of it.

Lastly, I’d donate the 4th million to the agency I’d work for. With the budget being what it is, there’s not a department in any governmental agency that couldn’t use an extra million dollars. I know I wouldn’t solve all the problems we have, but maybe if other people saw my generosity they’d want to do more themselves.

Monday, March 16, 2009

"A Huge Pain In The A**"

An anonymous human being saw fit to call me "a huge pain in the a**" in a comment on my blog this past weekend. It was in relationship to my complaint about elected officials ignoring constituents when contacted. At first, I found myself angry that a stranger, who doesn't know me, would take a pot shot at me in such a way. I responded with my own comment about their obvious lack of courage.

Then I got to thinking. I AM A PAIN IN THE ASS. As a non-neutral reporter of what I see around me, I'd be as cowardly as the anonymous commenter if I wasn't. The way I see it, the huge pains in the a** in this world have brought about more positive change than all the "nice" people who are willing to let the truth go unstated.

So, thank you, anonymous commenter! You accidentally complimented me on my blog, and in my desire to see truth and justice served. May I be a pain in the a** all the days of my life.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

On Legislative Town Halls

I had been considering going to Tina Kotek and Margaret Carter's Town Hall this morning to tell them how disappointed I am that they don't reply to emails from their constituents. Then I got to thinking... they'll use an excuse around failed technology, or accidental deleting, or spam, so why bother.

Truth is I've sent Margaret Carter at least 13 emails over the course of the last 5 years, and she's NEVER replied to 1. This is my state senator! I gave up on her some time back. Tina Kotek used to get back to me, but has since given up on doing so. Why? Because she can. This is my state representative!

They'll say anything to get your vote, but when the rubber hits the road after they've gotten elected, their computers have problems.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Here's Your Arts Oregon

Ok... I think I get it now. You replace the Oregon Channel,which allows people who don't have a computer to watch what's going on in state government with the Ats Channel. The idea would be this would satisfy people who are angry that the legislature absconded with 1.8 million dollars from the Oregon Cultural Trust. Do you suppose this could possibly be the case, or is this switch purely coincidental?

Whatever the case may be, I think it sucks that the Oregon Channel is no more.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fair Is As Fair Does

Here's an excellent view from a Socialist perspective on what's happening in Oregon RIGHT NOW. It was written by Adam Sanchez for the website...

March 11, 2009

POLITICIANS ACROSS the country have begun using the argument for "shared sacrifice" to justify massive cuts in social spending. We all have been living beyond our means, the argument goes, and the only way out of the economic crisis is for everyone to tighten their belts.

Using this argument in Oregon, after the state legislature announced it would cut an additional $106 million from Oregon's education budget, on top of $61 million already cut in December, Gov. Ted Kulongoski emphasized that "everyone is going to have to share in" taking cuts.

As the Oregonian reported, these cuts "would have the effect of reducing per-student spending in Oregon, now about $10,000, by about $300. No other state has cut schools even half that much." Oregon schools are considering closing a week or two early or moving to a four-day week to meet the budget reductions.

As Patrick Emerson a professor at Oregon State University wrote, "a loss of eight school days--as was being contemplated in Portland--could be expected to lead to an almost 5 percent increase in failure rates. That means an additional one out of every 20 children would fail."

Students, parents and teachers aren't the only people being asked to sacrifice to balance Oregon's budget. Kulongoski is asking state workers to take 26 unpaid days off from work in the next two years. Other proposed cutbacks include slashing $1 million in payments to foster parents, removing nearly 50,000 low-income adults from state health care coverage, taking away $4.8 million from child care programs, and cutting $9.9 million from the budget set aside to hire lawyers for low-income defendants.

In Portland, the TriMet transit agency has announced it plans to cut a dozen of its 93 bus routes and will reduce service on others during off-peak hours. These reductions will disproportionately affect low-income workers who have no other way to get around the city. The biggest route that is on the chopping block services over 1,800 people in the largely low-income and high minority population in the northeastern quadrant.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

YET DESPITE all the talk of "shared sacrifice," there are some people in Oregon who seem to still be doing quite well. According to the Wall Street Journal:

Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft and owner of the Portland Trailblazers basketball team, might save hundreds of millions in taxes over the next few years, thanks to a provision in the economic stimulus legislation signed by President Obama Tuesday. The provision is aimed at helping companies who are trying to restructure their debt, by delaying taxes that would otherwise be due when debt-holders agree to forgive a portion of the debt.

Or take Merritt Paulson, son of Henry Paulson, the now infamous ex-Goldman Sachs CEO who is reportedly worth $700 million. Merritt is 80 percent owner of the Portland Timbers and the Portland Beavers, and seems poised to receive $85 million in public funds from the Portland city council to renovate PGE Park as a major league soccer stadium for the Timbers and build a new minor league baseball stadium for the Beavers.

This "public-private partnership," like the bailout father Paulson helped craft in November, simply means the public will pay as the private sector (in this case the Paulsons') profits.

In fact, ultra-rich CEOs and business owners haven't had to sacrifice much at all in Oregon, according to recent studies published by the Oregon Center for Public Policy (OCPP). A study released on February 23, found that over 5,000 profitable corporations operating in Oregon, with over $1 million in taxable income paid no income taxes in 2006 beyond the $10 minimum! Most Oregonians would be outraged to learn that they've been paying more in income taxes than gigantic corporations.

A second study released by the OCPP on March 3 found that Oregon has the second-lowest state and local business taxes among all states in the country. According to OCPP executive director Charles Sheketoff, Oregon "could raise business taxes by $1.6 billion annually and still be in line with state and local business taxes nationwide."

What is simply mind-boggling about the budget crisis in Oregon is that we could fill the $855 million hole in the budget and have millions more to spare by simply raising state business taxes to the same level as other states. Yet beneath the veneer of "shared sacrifice," politicians across the country have made it clear that they plan to make workers and students pay for this crisis.

As Joel Geier points out in the International Socialist Review, "In 1973, GDP per person, in constant non-inflationary dollars, was $20,000 a year. By 2006, it was $38,000 a year--a more than 90 percent rise. Wages, however, in that same 33-year period, declined."

In other words, workers didn't see any benefit from the last boom, and now they are asking us to pay for the bust. The bankers, the CEOs and the politicians are the ones who have been living beyond their means. They should be the ones sacrificing to pay for the crisis they created, but that won't happen unless pressured from below. It's time workers and students organize that struggle, and fight for change we can believe in.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Don't Be Afraid Of The Rich People

I was watching the Reverand Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping show this morning, when they were gathering to save the commons around where the World Trade Centers used to be in New York. The city wants to turn the area into a gigantic mall. The Capitalist Party is behind the move.

I decided that if we were going to have french toast for breakfast (as my wife suggested) I should get some sausage to go with. I took off down North Denver Street on route to New Seasons. At the corner of N.Denver and N. Portland/Rosa Parks (still can't figure that one out) I rounde the corner without fully coming to a stop. I had a complete view of the traffic which was none, so I didn't come to a full stop.

A guy who was at the recycling place in his 2009 Volkswagon Prious beeped his horn at me, which I thought was pretty dumb. I pulled into the New Seasons parking lot, and sure enough he also pulled in. As we got out of our cars, I asked him; "You beeped at me, why?" He answered; "You didn't stop at the corner". I then asked him; "and that impeded you, how"? He replied; "It's a law". I said;"So we should all follow every law, and work to get rich,right"? He said; "Sounds good to me". To which I replied; "You're a fucking asshole, and you need to wake up". He said nothing else.

We need to focus on the impoverished people in Oregon, before focussing on "being green".

Friday, March 06, 2009

Rep. Kotek's Answer

Why and when did the Oregon Channel become the Opera Channel?? For the last 3 days there has been no showing of the 2009 Oregon Legislative Session on my television. Rather, it's been showing the Arts Channel; opera and all. Is this the sort of transparency we are to expect from our legislature??

On February 5th I asked Tina Kotek to look into showing reruns of each day's capitol events in the evening, so low income (can't afford a computer) Oregonians could watch the proceedings. She never wrote me back. I guess this is her answer. There was no real reason for her to respond after all. That's why I voted for her...efficiency.

$1.8 Mil. From the Oregon Cultural Trust Fund

Want to see how angry people are with Margaret Carter (over her mock tears) following the pilage of 1.8 million dollars from the Oregon Cultural Trust Fund? All you need to do is sign up for email alerts from Google to find out. Type in "Margaret Carter" and before you know it, you'll be getting several emails about bloggers who are sincerely upset. I'm glad I'm not in her shoes right now. That's for sure...

What's NOT Being Reported

In attempting to piece together the circumstances leading to the death of 16 year old Nathan Vredevelt, I’ve come to some vague conclusions that deserve further scrutiny. This is the young man who had Down syndrome, and was struck by 2 cars on I-5 near the Rose Garden Arena on Sunday night. He died yesterday from his injuries.

According to the accounts I’ve read, he was watching the Blazers play the Spurs from a suite. His sister and his caregiver were attending the game with him. My guess is that because he had an identified history of “bolting”, he required his own caregiver. Obviously he was someone who also required line of sight supervision whenever out in the community.

The story is that at halftime he asked his caregiver if he could use the restroom located within the suite they were watching the game in. The caregiver ok’d the request and Nathan went over to the restroom door. There was someone in there already, so the door was locked.

If the caregiver was doing their job correctly, they would have been watching all this play out. They would have made sure that Nathan came back to them and waited until the other person came out. Then they would have escorted him to the restroom, and waited outside the door for him. That way he couldn’t have bolted from the suite, left the Rose Garden, made it to the freeway, and got hit by 2 cars.

I believe there is an investigation going on around all the details. If not, there should be.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Calling All Legislators

Here's some news you can use when trying to figure out how NOT to cut services in Oregon. It's quite simple... tax the corporations in our state. This comes from the Oregon Center on Public Policy...

A new study funded by big corporations found that Oregon has the second lowest state
and local business taxes among all states and the District of Columbia and that
businesses get a better deal for the taxes they pay in Oregon than just about anywhere else in the country.

The study's data suggest that Oregon's state and local business taxes are so low
that the state could raise business taxes by $1.6 billion annually and still be
in line with state and local business taxes nationwide, according to OCPP executive
director Charles Sheketoff.