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Jun-28-2007 12:00printcomments

Political Big Picture
Now Striking Terror
For All Thinking Citizens

Oregon Legislative Session Reflects Frightening National Realities.

Oregon State Capitol
Oregon State Capitol
Photo by: Tim King

(SALEM, Ore.) - When one contemplates political realities in the nation AND State, there's nothing left but fear for the future, heavily burdening all responsible, rational cogitators in any Oregon community.

"Sheer terror that shakes any self-confidence" for any real American or Oregon future may be the natural outcome as we abandon thirty years-and-more of neglect and negativity; but that's devastating for desperate citizens at the end of another confrontational Legislative session.

In Oregon this finally-fading/away "representative assembly" had clearly, once again, regressed into repeated confrontation and mean mutual manipulation; with massive and continuing damage-done to what, demonstrably and desperately, was needed-now AND here.

The most essential elements of any reforming moves-forward have been left-to-the-last, or mostly and meanly neglected; while massive public-opinion messages --demonstrated by direct, driving public involvements by determined citizen preparatory-action on key issues-- have still been notoriously neglected; while some are simply nullified by brutal denial of any decent hearing or public discussion by "legislative leadership."

(Does anyone else also wonder whether it was "Oregon political fears" which prompted such facile disemboweling of the possible forward progress for the Kitzhaber/ARCHIMEDES-bill , so desperately "delayed by national group effort" in this session?)

This was THE session for which heavy year-and-more-long preparations had been made: in K-12 education (Chalkboard, STAND); in higher education (State commission, Legislative studies); in healthcare (State-group special studies, ARCHIMEDES); in public agency ethics reform (State commission, special Legislative studies); and through a very workable and helpful "Benchmarks process" operation.

(That last was organized years ago by the Legislature to measure-and-evaluate forward progress towards literally hundreds of well-considered and rationally measured State goals and objectives. Did YOU even learn about it, or know of those very-informative "Benchmarks" readily available --and even organized for YOUR OWN assessment via Internet access ? Full report upcoming in S-N soon.}

Neither corporate tax reform --obviously and furiously foremost of all needs here after SEVENTY YEARS of neglect !!-- nor clear, clean and universal healthcare --fully/funded and second-foremost in demand from Oregonians-- were wound up in this session with widely-acceptable action at any level.

Those two may well be the real-issues most relative to the Oregon future, outweighing even the now-recognized rational and reasonable return to basic continuing sensible-investment funding for all levels of Oregon education; indisputably the best possible return-for-money we will ever get.

Meanwhile major matters of massive concern to all in the State remain unmanaged and, indeed, even un-approached; while others now suffer from further indefensible depredation and delay, inconsistent with any possible democratic discipline.

(Documenting details in descriptive, widely published media reports are contained in our source materials, available on request, summarized here to save reader time, pain and further terror.)

There's no question whatsoever that the collapse of so-called "conservatism" at the national level --reflected in rough rejection by the American public in every poll and other referendum re the Bush badly-flawed administration-- has had its rough impacts on this Oregon session.

(Does anyone seriously contend that the attack-and-manipulation mechanisms plainly in continuing usage here are entirely home-base originated, and without due and decisive control from D. C.?)

The continuing GOP-factional infamous failure to carry out the Republican Party promise for more cooperative contact and continuing consideration for real Oregon issues has very obviously responded --once again and in key issues, points, and times-- to the "same old substantive-simplicities" set up and supplied from the same D.C. domiciliary where they have been "broadly nurtured for the past century."

That action simply continues the same attacks, by the same old cabal; with heavily-commensurate funding from Far Right billionaires determined to deny and sabotage any forward political- and social-issue progress.

It also continues constant corporate erosion by lavish lobbyist application of effort and "campaign contributions" at the very heart of a century during which democracy has been under constant and countervailing attack of any and all forms of regulation and control.

(Does anyone still seriously contend that "campaign contributions" and their malign massage for corporate purposes is not a major part of our Oregon problems?)

That GOP-gap between the 21st Century and common action for what is now demanded is nothing new, either there-or-here. All signs are that "it will continue until-and-unless we wipe out that way of political living at lesser levels" than fully enlightened realities now demand.

Perhaps the time has come --surely it seems so, after SEVENTY YEARS !!-- for at least first steps in repairing and remediating the extremely debilitating loss of potential State revenues from declaring "payment UN-necessary" for the obvious corporate "fair share"; in a State which welcomes and supports their profit-clearing presence and purposes and very-clear large impact-AND-influence.

The kicker-compromise by corporate/business interests is, in and of itself, sure proof that many of our fellow citizens in those key contributing institutions have now, finally, come to believe as so many others of us already do.

Surely the time has arrived also for full funding of a new pattern for our own Oregonian comprehensive and carefully-constructed healthcare system-for-all Oregonians --especially since solid documentation in detail shows clearly we pay through the nose painfully already now; with costs which --if thoughtfully applied and effectively manager --are already much more than enough to provide this essential human right, so recognized worldwide, while we wallow in less-than-enough; and watch some of our children die while the dollars-are-there.

But "it'll-never-happen" is still the key-feeling for too many, too "persuaded" to think "with own mind" by political persiflage perpetrated as excuse but truly rating as abuse-of-democracy; and "see with own eyes" in the media, in political progress or lack-thereof, and in the posturings and perpetrations of political "leadership" as we encounter it every day, in every way.

Never will "She Fly With Own Wings!" until we ourselves set up the demanded takeoff situations.

Strong bird she may be --but no further flight is NOW in any way possible --until and unless we take away those hampering heavy weights of devastating dollar-power-- and the continuing desperate 19th Century political pretensions and persiflage still driving confrontation rather than democratic compromise and cooperative effort for the commonweal.


Reader's Note:

Corporation devastation of any-and-all regulation-and-control, as determined facilitator for cumulative "profits", is documented in excruciating historical detail since Revolutionary days in: "Gangs of America: Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy": ISBN 1-57675-260-7; This is a new book by Ted Nace, N. Dakota Resource Council head, famed as Peachpit Press computer-book producer, and now as freelance reporter. For general summary-statements: Edits and reports in Bend BULLETIN, The OREGONIAN, the STATESMAN-JOURNAl, the Eugene REGISTER-GUARD, and other key Oregonian dailies and weeklies.

For overall "public opinion" statements: Numerous articles in The NATION, the ECONOMIST, the PROGRESSIVE, the AMERICAN PROSPECT, HARPERS, FORTUNE, TIME, and the ATLANTIC -- as well ongoing surveillance of The N.Y. TIMES, the Washington POST, USA TODAY and other outstanding national and regional papers.

Quotes are verbatim, summarized, condensed from documentation; list of sources and exact statements are available on request.

More than 80 separate items were involved in preparation of this Op-Ed, which is an expression of personal-professional opinion offered to stimulate and strengthen YOUR OWN cogitation on these issues. -hcr

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion; but not his own facts." --Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Henry Ruark July 1, 2007 3:13 pm (Pacific time)

"See also": "FIGHTING FOR AIR: Battle to Control America's Media" --excellent readable sociological study by Eric Klinenberg, NewYork University authority, endorsed by Robert McChesney, Dan Schorr, George Lakoff, Amy Goodman, Todd Gitlin, and Thomas Frank --so cannot be denied as timely, true assessment.

S.LaMarche; June 30, 2007 8:07 pm (Pacific time)

I've been following this for a few years now and would agree with Mr. Ruark that the strings are pulled in D.C. with little or no regard for Oregonians unless it wins votes for the rubber stamper's, a.k.a. legisllators. They promised to end the war in Iraq, remember? They keep their power and jobs and dance to the music from Pennsylvania Ave. I don't believe Any of them anymore. They speak for the corporations that own them, not the people who elect them still believing they tell the truth while serving the people. They don't serve their constituants, they don't even function. If my output in a normal job scenario was as dismal as theirs I'd have been fired years ago for incopitance! Give 'em hell Henry!

Henry Ruark June 30, 2007 7:44 am (Pacific time)

DFP: Still have copy of "Uncle Wiggily Wriggles Ears", left over from kindergarten...first book with workable pieces to build image by hand. If you will ID to Editor, glad to add to your library, since do not need any longer.

D.F. P. June 29, 2007 6:55 pm (Pacific time)

Say what?! This has to win an award for convoluted, meaningless and pretentious nonsense -- whatever it was about.

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