Category Archives: The Nation and Beyond

Lake Oswego Councilor’s Personal, Poignant Protest Caught on Video

With one memorable exception, virtually all major policies imposed by the Trump administration have caused division among party lines. That exception, of course, was the immigration strategy enforced in early May that separated children from their parents after they crossed the Southern U.S. border. As Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned at the time, “If you cross this border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. … If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law. If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”

As a result, nearly 3,000 children, including scores under the age of five, were removed from their parents and placed first in Customs and Border Protection facilities, then in shelters provided by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Continue reading

Platform Convention Reflections Part 2: Defending the French

In the midst of a discussion about expanding the role of government to enhance social protections, a delegate arose and cited France as an example of government intervention into the economy run amok. The delegate cited France’s slow GNP growth and overall sluggish economy.

Indeed France’s unemployment rate is about 5 percent higher than the U.S. However, French productivity has exceeded the U.S.’s from 1985 through 2010. But these economic numbers, which are routinely used to determine the health of an economy, miss the mark. The measure of success of any economy isn’t how much wealth it has or even how much it creates. The measure of a successful economy must be the welfare of the people who are served by the economy. Continue reading

What Will Our Elected Officials Do?

Photo by drburtoni via Creative Commons license.

The TriMet parking lot at Park Ave was full.

The MAX tram into Portland was full.

The North Park blocks were full.

Broadway was full and closed to vehicular traffic.

Pioneer Square was full.

The difference between the Women’s March and the March for Our Lives was the composition of the crowd, far more young people in the streets in the latter event.

For those on the sidelines, for those who failed to march, the question heard most often was: will it make a difference? Continue reading

US Education Secretary Is Flunking and Endangering Our Public Schools

By Diane Jukofsky, Beavercreek

Kathleen Jeskey, co-founder of Oregon Save Our Schools

School safety is a prime concern always, but especially since the horrific shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, last month. The issue also underlines another striking difference in principles between the U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, and the nation’s leading teachers’ organizations. DeVos, who is heading a newly formed commission on school safety, has expressed her support for arming well trained school staff, including teachers.

But the National Education Association’s President, Lily Eskelsen García, roundly rejects the Trump-endorsed idea of arming teachers. “Bringing more guns into our schools does nothing to protect our students and educators from gun violence,” she said. “Our students need more books, art and music programs, nurses and school counselors; they do not need more guns in their classrooms.” Continue reading