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Michael Munk PDX Historian

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Were the cavemen smarter than us?

Were the cavemen smarter than us?blog.egresswindows.com


I am confounded that we have collectively abandoned responsibility for ourselves. Why have we as a society turned our backs on providing for our own personal safety, as well as our loved one’s? Were the cavemen smarter than us? Our ancestors never left the cave without a club.

Don Dupay for Salem Insider
checkitout! Were the cavemen smarter than us?

Half of Americans
are "Poor" or "Low-Income"

Based on the Census Department's  Relative Poverty Measure, the which is "most commonly used in developed countries to measure poverty." The  Economic Policy Institute says half of us are "economically vulnerable." According to this standard, 18 percent of Americans are below the poverty threshold and 32 percent are below twice the threshold, putting them in the low-income category.

The official poverty rate increased by 25 percent between  2000 and 2011. Seniors and children feel the greatest impact, with 55 percent of the elderly and almost 60 percent of children classified as poor or low-income under the relative poverty measure.  Wider Opportunities for Women reports that "60% of women age 65 and older who live alone or live with a spouse have incomes insufficient to cover basic, daily expenses."


"We have documented graft and corruption in the Portland Development Commission, and it's time to hold them accountable."
~Tim Flanagan, writer, educator, and editorial coordinator at The NW Alliance
  • PDC waste: Feeding at the trough -- but under polite cover ...

The Stump › oped‎ Oct 27, 2011 - Dave Lister: "The PDC has written off $9.6 million in bad debt on misbegotten projects in the past 10 years, including $1.8 million for a failed condominium project overseen by Judy Shiprack, who later was elected to the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners. The agency also promotes a culture of secrecy. As reported in The Oregonian, two high-level PDC staffers were recently awarded severance packages totaling $150,000 on the condition that they leave quietly and not disparage the agency. When asked why the PDC has backed these failed projects, its answer has been that the projects were too risky to obtain conventional financing. If that's the case, why were they backed at all? Why are Portland's taxpayers in the banking business? Is it really the city's role to select winners and losers? Ultimately, that is a question for the city's voters. Maybe it's time to do away with the PDC. What the voters did in 1958 can be undone." Dave Lister is a small-business owner who served on Portland's Small Business Advisory Council.
read more: http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2011/10/pdc_waste_feeding_at_the_troug.html

Randy Leonard  www.portlandmonthlymag.com/news-and-profiles/people-and-profiles/articles/whats-next-for-randy-leonard-may-2012  Image: Andy Batt

  • Shining a light on PDC - BlueOregon

"The PDC was interested in acquiring the old Police Bureau property on the corner of SW 3rd and Oak in 2002. They had an appraisal done that indicated the property was worth $850,000. The PDC promptly paid $1.2 million for the property and then spent another $500,000 removing the building and cleaning up contamination to make the property "shovel ready" for a developer. PDC then had the very same appraisal firm do another appraisal in 2006. The second appraisal now indicated the property was worth negative $2.7 million. Yes, you read that right. NEGATIVE $2.7 million dollars. And yes, that property is in downtown Portland.

But wait. There's more. Then the PDC commission voted to give the property to a private developer to construct a 168 unit condominium project on the condition that 15% of the condominiums initially be affordable for people earning 120% of median family income, which is about 40% higher than the nearest threshold for City Council approval. After nine months, the development proposal says, any units not sold can be sold to people of any income level.

At a time when we have senior citizens who are in poverty on multi-year waiting lists to get into decent housing, the PDC constructed a deal on the SW 3rd and Oak property that benefits upper income Portlander's with a huge taxpayer subsidy. And for the icing on the cake, the PDC communicated to the private developer that the project would not be prevailing wage because prevailing wage law is triggered by a government subsidy, and since the property on SW 3rd and Oak had a negative value it did not amount to a subsidy, and would not trigger prevailing wage.

... since I was first elected to the city council in November, 2002, the PDC has refused to allow the city council to look at its line item annual budget during the city councils annual budgeting process. There is to this date no accountability to any elected official as to how and why PDC spends its money."
~Randy Leanord   a city commissioner and former firefighter
read more:  http://www.blueoregon.com/2006/12/an_editorial_in-1/

Zimmerman saga was all about race

Let's get real


  Zimmerman saga was all about race

George Zimmerman (Credit: Reuters/Gary W. Green)

Because it happened in America, the trial of George Zimmerman for shooting
and killing Trayvon Martin was all about race. And because it happened in
America, the people who benefit politically from the same invidious forces that
led both to Trayvon Martin’s killing, and the acquittal of his killer, will deny that
race had anything to do with either the killing or the verdict.

Suppose Trayvon Martin had been a 230-pound 30-year-old black man, with a
loaded gun in his jacket. Suppose Zimmerman had been a 150-pound
17-year-old white kid, who was doing nothing more threatening than walking
back from a convenience store to his father’s condo.

Suppose Martin had stalked Zimmerman in his car, until Zimmerman became
afraid and tried to elude him. Suppose Martin had gotten out of his car and
pursued Zimmerman. Suppose this led to some sort of altercation in which
the big scary black man ended up with a bloody nose and some scratches on
the back of his head, and the scared skinny (and unarmed) white kid had
ended up with a bullet in his heart.

How do you suppose the big scary black man’s claim of “self-defense” would
have gone over with a jury made up almost entirely of white women?  But of
course this is America, which means that the scary figure in this story is the
skinny unarmed teenager, because in America pretty much any black male
over the age of 12 in this sort of situation is going to be presumed  to be the
”aggressor,” the “thug” – in short,” the real criminal,” until he’s proved innocent,
which he won’t be, even if he’s now a dead, still unarmed teenager. And his
killer is a grown man who provokes a fight with an otherwise harmless kid,
starts losing it, and then shoots the kid dead.

Because this is America, pointing out that a black boy can be shot with
impunity by a more or less white man because many white Americans are
terrified by black boys and men is called “playing the race card.”  The race
card is what the people who benefit politically from the fact that many white
Americans are terrified by black boys and men call any reference to the fact
that race continues to play an overwhelmingly important, and overwhelmingly
invidious, role in American culture in general. And in the criminal justice
system in particular.

Trayvon Martin was stalked by George Zimmerman because he was black.
Trayvon Martin is dead because he was black. George Zimmerman was
acquitted of killing Trayvon Martin because the boy Zimmerman killed was

If you deny these things, you are either a liar or an idiot, or possibly both.

... Paul Campos is a professor of law at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Mother Jones

1:16 PM  -  Public
Obama can murder you with drones on US soil, US Attorney General writes. But only in, like, "extraordinary" circumstances. Comforting.

Somali American Council of Oregon Seeks to Unite Frightened Community
African youth are at-risk from extremists, but they are also caught in the school to prison pipeline… To read all about it click here

Now Six - Not One - Hanford Tanks Leaking Radioactive Waste

Governor: "This is disturbing news"

- Craig Brown, staff writer

Six aging, single-walled underground storage tanks are leaking radioactive waste, threatening groundwater below the Hanford nuclear site, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee announced on Friday afternoon.

 Workers at the Hanford nuclear reservation work around a a tank farm where highly radioactive waste is stored underground near Richland, Wash. Six underground radioactive waste tanks at the hemisphere's most contaminated nuclear dump are leaking, Gov. Jay Inslee said Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 (AP Photo/Shannon Dininny) The seeping waste adds to decades of soil contamination caused by leaking storage tanks at Hanford in the past and threatens to further taint groundwater below the Columbia River, officials said.

The newly disclosed leaking tanks were revealed by Inslee just a week after the U.S. Energy Department disclosed that radioactive waste was found to be escaping from only one tank at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

"This is disturbing news for all Washingtonians," Inslee said in a statement released by his office. "This certainly raises serious questions about the integrity of all 149 single-shell tanks with radioactive liquid and sludge at Hanford... We received very disturbing news today.  I think that we are going to have a course of new action and that will be vigorously pursued in the next several weeks."

Obama's 'Playbook' for Targeted Strikes Has a Gaping Hole--CIA's Killer Drones in Pakistan Exempted

The CIA's deadly campaign of drone strikes in the tribal areas of Pakistan will be exempt from the Obama administration's attempt to codify rules for targeted killings.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

The Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) campaign of drone strikes in tribal areas in Pakistan will continue to run wild in the coming year. A “playbook” for how the U.S. conducts targeted killing operations by drone that is nearly completed will exempt the CIA’s drone strikes in Pakistan, making the “playbook” essentially useless, considering that the vast majority of strikes occur in Pakistan.

From the Daily Kos!
Published Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 03:58 PM PDT

Am I My Brother's Keeper?
Why pay for health care for the undeserving?

by Samuel Metz, MD

My brother-in-law Max has smoked since he was 12 years old. Now he’s turning 40 and hates the miserable habit. His many efforts to quit reduced his three-pack a day habit to one, but he still can’t kick the addiction. Meanwhile, his many years of low-paying jobs, if they offered any benefits at all, provided him only with high-deductible health insurance he couldn't afford to use. He hadn’t seen a physician in years. But last month he went to the emergency room with a hacking cough that kept him awake for two nights running. The ER people gave him three pieces of bad news: (1) he’s got an advanced lung cancer requiring an operation he can’t afford, (2) the only hospital that will admit him is the county hospital funded with tax dollars, and (3) the multi-hundred dollar emergency room bill is more than he can pay.

Question: Should we spend our hard-earned tax dollars on Max’s operation? Or should Max go without health care because, after all, his bad decisions had allowed the disease to go undetected for so long and caused the cancer in the first place?

It's a question that goes to the heart of our health care crisis. Should we reduce health care costs by excluding the undeserving? If we don’t squander dollars on them, we liberate billions for us solid citizens who earned our right to health care. Why should everyone have that right?


If Oregonians diverted what we currently spend on health care premiums and out-of-pocket payments into a statewide, publicly-funded, universal care agency, we would recover enough administrative costs to pay for treatment for uninsured people like Max without spending more money. We need to regain our health care dollars from insurance companies, not from our neighbors (deserving or undeserving).

Universal health care is an essential tool to ensure each of us gets better care for less money. Who cares if freeloaders get care at our expense if by doing so the rest of us spend less and receive better care?

So hop on the bandwagon for quality health care for everyone. The campaign to create publicly funded universal health care in Oregon is underway, spearheaded by Health Care for All-Oregon. To provide Max with the care he needs while making your own care less expensive, visit www.hcao.org. Learn more about how to become a better advocate for your family’s health care needs and play your own role in this vital process. Turning Oregon into a shining example of cost-effective comprehensive health care requires people like us looking after ourselves, our families, and our communities.  Join us!  

Samuel Metz is a private practice anesthesiologist, HCAO representative from the Portland chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program, and founding member of Mad As Hell Doctors.
  Go here for the whole article at KOS
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and the courage to take.” 
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The right to rebellion is the right to seek a higher rule... GEORGE ELIOT

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