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Sep 6

The Bankruptcy of the United States

Posted on Monday, September 6, 2010 in Issues, Opinion

By Porter Stansberry, from the November 23, 2009, S&A Digest

It’s one of those numbers that’s so unbelievable you have to actually think about it for a while… Within the next 12 months, the U.S. Treasury will have to refinance $2 trillion in short-term debt. And that’s not counting any additional deficit spending, which is estimated to be around $1.5 trillion. Put the two numbers together. Then ask yourself, how in the world can the Treasury borrow $3.5 trillion in only one year? That’s an amount equal to nearly 30% of our entire GDP. And we’re the world’s biggest economy. Where will the money come from?

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Sep 6

How public education cripples our kids, and why

Posted on Monday, September 6, 2010 in Issues, Opinion

By John Taylor Gatto

John Taylor Gatto is a former New York State and New York City Teacher of the Year and, most recently, the author of The Underground History of American Education. He was a participant in the Harper’s Magazine forum “School on a Hill,” which appeared in the September 2003 issue.

I taught for thirty years in some of the worst schools in Manhattan, and in some of the best, and during that time I became an expert in boredom. Boredom was everywhere in my world, and if you asked the kids, as I often did, why they felt so bored, they always gave the same answers: They said the work was stupid, that it made no sense, that they already knew it. They said they wanted to be doing something real, not just sitting around. They said teachers didn’t seem to know much about their subjects and clearly weren’t interested in learning more. And the kids were right: their teachers were every bit as bored as they were.

Boredom is the common condition of schoolteachers, and anyone who has spent time in a teachers’ lounge can vouch for the low energy, the whining, the dispirited attitudes, to be found there. When asked why they feel bored, the teachers tend to blame the kids, as you might expect. Who wouldn’t get bored teaching students who are rude and interested only in grades? If even that. Of course, teachers are themselves products of the same twelve-year compulsory school programs that so thoroughly bore their students, and as school personnel they are trapped inside structures even more rigid than those imposed upon the children. Who, then, is to blame?


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Aug 14

Jerry Lee Wilson, Write-in Candidate for Oregon Governor

Posted on Saturday, August 14, 2010 in Issues, Opinion, Political campaign

Occupation: Founder/CEO, Soloflex, Inc.

Occupational background: Airmail Pilot; Airline Transport Pilot; Organic CSA Farmer.

Education: Attended New Mexico Military Institute, South Texas College, Eastern New Mexico University; Flight Safety International.

Candidate Statement

Oregon’s Constitution grants its Governor Executive Power. By Executive Order I will:

End government-for-sale. Money is the root cause of every ailment in our body politic. No contributions or gifts will be allowed to those seeking or holding public office. Candidates for office can publish their resumes and ideas in an expanded voter’s guide and participate in televised and other public debates. This is a truly revolutionary thing I will do if you elect me. Both major party candidates in this election have accepted contributions from unions and corporations, a clear violation of the law (Ballot Measure 47, passed by Oregon voters in 2006).

Establish a State Bank. This bank would make 2% loans to municipalities, private companies and individuals to repair and expand Oregon’s transportation and renewable energy infrastructure, to make our factories, offices, homes and schools more energy efficient and to rebuild our manufacturing base. We need this bank to create long-term, living-wage jobs. And we need it now!

End the drug war. It hasn’t worked, we can’t afford it and we can use that money to help create an economically viable future for the next generation.

While I have never run for elective office, I have been a Chief Petitioner on two statewide Initiatives, one to close the Trojan nuclear plant, another to decriminalize hemp. I served as a member (dissenting) on the 2004 National Democratic Party Platform Drafting Committee. I have been a long-time anti-war activist, Executive-in-Residence at the University of Oregon MBA Graduate School and twice a keynote speaker at Willamette University’s Entrepreneur Conference. I have created hundreds of jobs and brought to Oregon about $1 billion in sales.


Without Jerry Wilson in this race, important issues like campaign financing, the war on drugs, and state-supported, broad-scale economic development would be quietly swept under the rug by the two major candidates. Why vote for the lesser of two evils when one has the opportunity to vote for the better candidate with better ideas and the courage to state them.

John Platt

See more such comments and read the latest news: One Alternative to Kitzhaber and Dudley, by Hank Stern, Willamette Week, August 16, 2010