Thursday, April 6, 2017

‘How dare you work on whites’: Professors under fire for research on white mortality - The Washington Post

Guo: Absolutely. That's one point that I made a week ago when I wrote about this. It's not just a lot of these death rates are rising, but that a huge chasm has now opened up between us and Europe.

Deaton: The obvious difference is that the safety net is enormously more generous in Europe. And lot of people in their 50s who lose their jobs can go on retirement. You get a doctor's certificate and you get paid pretty much your salary until you die.

There's one other policy recommendation that I've been pushing. We're spending about three trillion dollars a year on health care. And our life expectancy is going down. Whereas all these other countries are spending way less, and their life expectancy is going up. For me the implication is if we implemented single payer, we'd get rid of a lot of these costs. Not without screaming and yelling, of course, and not without goring a lot of oxen.

But the crucial thing is recognizing the extent to which these rising health care costs are responsible, at least in part, for the stagnant wages for people without a college degrees. If they've got an employer and they've got health care, their wages are getting pushed down by the employer paying for that health care. People don't even realize this. They think it's for free.

I'm not a left-wing nut pushing for single-payer! It's not because I like socialized medicine. It's just because I think this is eating capitalism alive, and if we want a healthy capitalist society in America, we've got to get rid of this monster.

"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay"

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Mark Your Calendar: An All-Too Important Event @ SalemCinema - April 4

Please share widely, let's pack the theater and support an important organization.

A Fundraiser For Common Cause Oregon
all seats only $12 ~ Tickets available now at our box office during regular business hours or online at!
On April 4th, numerous participating theaters nationwide will screen the film 1984, based on the 1949 novel by George Orwell. The story centers around Winston Smith, a member of the Outer Party. Winston works in the Records Department in the Ministry of Truth; his job is to rewrite and distort history. As a way to rebel and escape Big Brother's tyranny, at least in his own mind, he begins a diary, which is an act punishable by death. The group of movie theaters chose April 4 to screen this film because that is the date in which Winston starts writing on his diary.
 A joint statement from theaters reads, "The endeavor encourages theaters to take a stand for our most basic values: freedom of speech, respect for our fellow human beings, and the simple truth that there are no such things as 'alternative facts.' By doing what we do best - showing a movie - the goal is that cinemas can initiate a much-needed community conversation at a time when the existence of facts, and basic human rights are under attack. Through nationwide participation and strength in numbers, these screenings are intended to galvanize people at the crossroads of cinema and community, and bring us together to foster communication and resistance against current efforts to undermine the most basic tenets of our society."

no coupons, passes or CineBucks accepted for special events

Best of Salem: Naomi Oreskes lecture at Willamette, Mar. 10

Naomi Oreskes Lecture
Salem - Mar 10

Willamette University, Rogers Hall
900 State St
7:30 pm
Harvard professor Naomi Oreskes, author of "Merchants of Doubt," discusses industry-driven efforts to undermine scientific research that threatens profits. 

From the long-denied connection between smoking and lung cancer to the latest target - the science behind climate change - learn more about how a few industry-funded researchers delegitimize scientific consensus by using the trappings of science to mislead policy makers and the public.
Free Admission. 

"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay"
Oregon Public Empowerment News (

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Find out How Oregonians' Votes for President Can Count Again

The Oregon Legislature is all ready to join the National Popular Vote (NPV) compact, an agreement between the states that will retain the Electoral College but fix the dangerous design defect that produced a so-called president who lost by millions of votes.

All ready except for one Senator: Salem's Peter Courtney, Senate President. He's fine with having Oregonian's wishes ignored and having a system that lets reactionary billionaires start out with a head-start towards installing their preferred candidate for the presidency every four years.

The Electoral College was always 100% about slavery and giving certain people -- white, rural people -- more power than anyone else in deciding who should be president.

The entire reason the Electoral College was created was to protect the slave states from an abolitionist president, while allowing them to disenfranchise most of their residents; further, they got to count enslaved people as 3/5ths of a person in the census, which determines the seats for the state in the House of Representatives in Congress.

You can no more separate the Electoral College from its roots in preserving the disproportionate power of white rural votes than you can separate the purr from a cat.

The whole point of using this bizarre anachronism is, as it was before the Civil War, to disadvantage the people more urban regions (the norther, free states) while unfairly advantaging voters in rural states (the South). It's the most un-American idea in the Constitution, in that it is entirely about making "one person, one vote" into pure fiction, as the Electoral Collect means that the weight of your vote for president -- the only national elected office -- depends entirely on whether you are in a more or less populous state. If you are a rural voter in an empty state, your vote counts many times more than it would if you were in a high population state.

The Electoral College is now not just stupid, it's a pathological and dangerous threat to the American Republic in the age of nuclear weapons. That's because its terrible defect -- the consequence of electing a popular vote loser -- is now dormant no more; twice since 2000, the popular vote winner was not elected and the electoral vote loser was.

Worse, the arguments in favor of the Electoral College have now been clearly shown to be absurd. 

The Electoral College doesn't protect against the unqualified populist, it is what allowed the unqualified populist to use over-weighted rural votes to win the office despite having millions more Americans opposed to his election than in favor of it.

The scholarly rationalization ("the substitution of a good reason for the real reason") was always that the Founding Fathers feared a demagogue and a candidate for president who would whip up popular sentiment against the rich and powerful and convince the people to give him power, which he would then use to benefit himself and his friends instead of governing in the national interest. This is precisely what has happened now, in this most dangerous time.

The only reason Oregon hasn't joined the NPV compact is the President of the Oregon Senate, Peter Courtney, Salem's state senator. Come to Louck's Auditorium next Sunday at 3:30 and hear more about NPV and what you can do to help get Oregon into the right column of YES states.

National Popular Vote: What is it? Why is it needed?

Event Information


Join John Koza, founder of the National Popular Vote, and local advocates to learn more about the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact and how we can pass it in Oregon. The NPVIC would ensure that the winner of the popular vote wins the presidency.

NPVIC would not abolish the Electoral College and would only go into effect once states representing at least 270 Electoral College votes have enacted the compact.

Currently, 10 states representing 165 Electoral College votes have entered the NPVIC.

Date and Time


Salem Public Library: Loucks Aditorium
585 Liberty Street Southeast
Salem, OR 97301
View Map

Friday, March 3, 2017

These Folks Loved Trump. Until Their Friend Was Taken Away. | Mother Jones

Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay

Fix the Broken Electoral College

The system of electing the President needs changing because
  • Five out of our 45 Presidents have come into office without receiving the most popular votes nationwide. 
  • Oregon was one of the many states that were totally ignored in the 2016, 2012, 2008, and 2004 general-election campaigns. 
Please email your Oregon legislators and urge them to pass the National Popular Vote bill (Senate bill SB823).  

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
State winner-take-all laws are the reason why a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the national popular vote.  Under these state laws, all of a state's electoral votes are awarded to the candidate receiving the most popular votes in each separate state. Given that the average margin in the national popular vote has been only 5% since 1988, undemocratic outcomes will continue to occur if the system for electing the President is not reformed.
Existing state winner-take-all laws create another problem in every election. Presidential candidates only campaign in a handful of closely divided "battleground" states. Voters in other states (such as Oregon) get ignored because presidential candidates do not campaign in states where they are hopelessly behind or safely ahead. Of the 399 campaign events in the 2016 general-election campaign:
  • Over half of the events (57%) were held in just four states (Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Ohio).
  • Virtually all of the events (94%) were in just 12 states (containing only 30% of the country's population).  Details.  
As presidential candidate Scott Walker (R) accurately stated in 2015, 
"The nation as a whole is not going to elect the next president. Twelve states are."  Video 

Fortunately, the U.S. Constitution specifically allows state legislatures to change the method of awarding their electoral votes without amending the U.S. Constitution.  Article II says:
"Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors...."

Existing state winner-take-all laws may be changed in the same way they were originally enacted -- namely by passing a different state law in the state legislature.  

Under the National Popular Vote bill, the winner will be the candidate receiving the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.  The bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes -- 270 of 538.  All of the presidential electors from the enacting states will be supporters of the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC. This guarantees the national popular vote winner with an Electoral College majority.

Please tell your Oregon legislators to pass the National Popular Vote bill (Senate bill SB823). 

A national popular vote for President is an achievable political goal that can be in place in time for the 2020 election. The bill has already been enacted into law in 11 states possessing 165 electoral votes, including four small jurisdictions (Rhode Island, Vermont, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia), three medium-sized states (Maryland, Massachusetts, and Washington), and four large states (New Jersey, Illinois, New York, and California).   It will take effect when enacted by additional states having 105 electoral votes. The bill has passed at least one chamber in 12 additional states with 96 electoral votes (AR, AZ, CO, CT, DE, ME, MI, NC, NM, NV, OK, OR) and was approved by unanimous bipartisan committee votes in 2016 in two other states with 26 electoral votes (MO and GA). A total of 2,955 state legislators have endorsed it. The National Popular Vote bill passed the Oregon House of Representatives in 2009, 2013, and 2015, but has not previously received a hearing in the Oregon Senate. 

Recently, the National Popular Vote bill received bipartisan support in 
  • 40-16 vote in the Republican-controlled Arizona House
  • 28-18 vote in the Republican-controlled Oklahoma Senate
  • 57-4 vote in the Republican-controlled New York Senate
  • 37-21 vote in the Democratic-controlled Oregon House 
The National Popular Vote bill will make every vote equal throughout the United States.  It would ensure that every voter, in every state, will be politically relevant in every presidential election. 

Learn more at

Please tell your Oregon legislators to pass the National Popular Vote bill (Senate bill SB823). 

Thank you.


Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Magic Trick

Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Willamette U, Divest Now! I just signed this petition -- will you?

Dear Friends,

I just signed the campaign: Divest Willamette University From Fossil Fuels.

The First University in the West should be among the First to Divest from Fossil Fuels!

It would mean the world if you could also add your name to this fossil fuel divestment campaign.

The divestment movement is catching on like wildfire, and with good reason: 

If it is wrong to wreck the climate, then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage, and to invest in a thing is to encourage more of it.

We believe that educational and religious institutions, city and state governments, and other institutions that serve the public good must divest from fossil fuels.

Every name that is added builds momentum around the divestment effort and makes it more likely for us to win. Will you join me by taking action on this campaign?

After you've signed the petition please also take a moment to share it with others. 
 It's super easy – all you need to do is forward this email.

Thank you!

"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay"
Oregon Public Empowerment News (

An Important Film on 1/17 as Corporate Orcs Descend on D.C.

One week from tonight:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017
at 7 PM
"We The People 2.0"

In spite of the legendary belief that the United States Constitution established a government of, by and for the people, it is the people themselves who have long been struggling to straighten the crooked bough of American law.
We the People 2.0 confronts its viewers with the ravages of environmental damages that corporations have done across America. Alongside documenting grassroots activism, including the kayak flotillas that protested Shell Oil in Seattle, the film focuses on legal challenges presented to corporations by granting rights to ecosystems. Talking heads include the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, a nonprofit that helps small towns draft laws against fracking, factory farming, and water privatization. 

Our documentaries are followed by guest speakers and an audience discussion.

See below for more information. 
And thank you for your support.

 Upcoming Film

Tuesday January 17, 2017 * 7 PM 

We The People 2.0

We the People is a visual essay about the loss of democracy in the United States.  The film utilizes both original footage as well as found footage to describe a profound change in thinking at the grassroots level. The story unfolds through the eyes of rural people who have faced decades of toxic dumping, drilling and mining in their communities.  We learn with them that the reason why, in spite of all their efforts, they "get what they don't want, again and again," is because they are, by law, truly powerless in spite of propaganda that says they live in the "best democracy in the world."   These people come to understand that the reason they can't stop the destruction is that the US has become an oligarchy, run by the corporate few who ignore the rights and will of the people.  These people are frontally challenging our corporate state; thereby saving nature and themselves. Thomas Linzey, a nonprofit attorney's inspiring words shows how, we, the people, can turn this around and lay claim to our democracy. This movement is building as you read this, not just in this country but around the world; our film shows how and where it all began. 

Guest speakers:

Ann Kneeland, Environmental and land use attorney, (also in the film)

Ed Dover, Professor of Political Science, 
Western Oregon University

To view trailer:

Dept. of Great Local Stuff: Fill Your Pantry Event at Marion-Polk Food Share

Fill Your Pantry
Friends of Family Farmers & Marion-Polk Food Share invite you to Fill Your Pantry!

How it works: order online to fill your pantry shelves with local storage crops like beans, grains, winter squash, root veggies, and more! Then come out on January 28th to pick up your goodies from the folks who grew them. 

Marion-Polk Food Share
1660 Salem Industrial Drive
Salem, Oregon 97301

*Please enter using the side door 
January 28, 2017
Order Online Now!
Online order period: January 8-22

Pre-ordering is recommended because it is both easier on the farmers (knowing exactly what to bring to market) and offers the customers the best selection, as many items sell out!
Participating Vendors:

Salem 2017 vendors include: Carman Ranch, Grateful Gardens, Lonesome Whistle, Foothills Honey, Sun Gold Farm, Adaptive Seeds, Oven & Earth Farm, Springbank Farm, Minto Island Growers, and Heritage Farms NW 
  SNAP/EBT Accepted!

We will have a SNAP terminal on site. If you are paying with the Oregon Trail card, you can still pre-order, but you will pay the day of the event. 

Contact Friends of Family Farmers: 

Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay