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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kyron Horman, the List of Abducted Children and "Meeting the Criteria", part 1

By Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon--

Every now and then a child is abducted somewhere in Oregon, and some weeks or months later, I receive a phone call from the child’s parent….

Their story is always the same: It has been weeks or months since they last knew the location of their child…the child disappeared with the other parent, who has fled the state…they’ve been to the police…they’ve been to the courts…they cannot find anyone in the system who is willing to help…the media doesn’t see a reason to get involved…and yet their child is still missing….

They contact me because they have been searching for help on line, and their search has led them to Aaron’s Law, Oregon’s landmark 2005 anti-kidnapping statute, named for my late son Aaron Cruz, and to my blogs, and they’ve read about the law, and they are calling me because they are desperate for advice….

Most don’t have the money to hire a lawyer, much less the resources to hire a private investigator to go out and find their abducted child, and they are mostly men, men who are trying to keep their lives steady while facing the reality, the horror, that they may never see their child again….

Some, like the most recent case, a father who called me a week ago from southern Oregon whose 3-year-old daughter went missing in July, have been told by local law enforcement that their missing child does not “meet the criteria” for any actual action by law enforcement, including adding their missing child to the State Police list of missing Oregon children, or notifying law enforcement in other jurisdictions of the missing child…and yet there is a child who is missing….

The phrase “does not meet the criteria” struck me when I took the call, because I was already planning to write about the subject, which came up during a press conference on the Kyron Horman abduction on July 23, when Washington County Sheriff Dan Staton responded to a series of question, including this one:

Q: How many other children are considered missing/endangered in Multnomah County at this time, aside from Kyron? 

There are no other cases that meet this criteria,” he said.

The Oregon State Police Missing Children Clearinghouse maintains a list of abducted or otherwise missing children, which stands currently at 41 children.

More than half of these children have been missing for decades, and the only child that has “met the criteria” to make the list in the past three years is Kyron Horman….

The Oregon State Police website has a “spotlight” featuring five of these missing children, with Kyron’s name at the top of the list:

Samuel Boehlke has been missing for just over four years.

Jeremy Bright has been missing since 1986.

Karla Coronado has been missing for more than six years.

Carlos Cortez-Leon has been missing for eight years and two weeks.

Samuel Boehlke
Missing Date

Jeremy Bright
Jeremy Bright
Missing Date

Karla Coronado
Karla Coronado
Missing Date

Carlos Cortez-Leon
Carlos Cortez-Leon
Missing Date

At the bottom of the Spotlight feature is a link labeled “Click here to see all of Oregon’s missing children” that takes you to the page where 41 children are identified, where 40 of those children are the same children, year after year, where the Oregon State Police declares that these are all of the missing children, there are none other to be worried about….

But that list does not come close to identifying “all” of Oregon’s missing children, and it never has…it contains only the names of those children who have “met the criteria”….

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has a list of missing Oregon children, but it is a different list....

At the same time, law enforcement is aware that Oregon has its proportional share of parentally and family-abducted children, a number that the US Department of Justice calculates at more than 200,000 children a year, nationwide; you can do the math….

The fact is that no one has a list of all of Oregon’s missing and abducted children, no one…. No law enforcement agency in the state is required to keep or maintain a list, and so no list of missing children exists….

Only the list that “meets the criteria”….

End part 1

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chris Dudley's 67-Point Plan to Make Everything All Better in Oregon's Correctional System

By Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon--

As soon as Chris Dudley heard that Oregon’s correctional system was experiencing a budget crisis, he immediately set to work, just last week, creating another plan with nearly as many points as vowels, and if there is anything Chris Dudley knows about his multiple-numbered plans, is that a lot of people like them, and he’s in the business of telling people what they like to hear….

He was particularly glad to have this opportunity to slap a plan together, even on such short notice, because this is the one area in which he has some actual experience for the job he's applying for....

Dudley's years in the NBA put him in constant contact with a broad assortment of criminal elements, rubbing elbows both on and off the court, you can just about name your poison in that mob....

His lengthy experience in helping a handful of basketball players leverage endorsement deals may not mean much as far as qualifying Dudley for the job of Governor, but it must mean something, and that's good enough for a lot of people....

Dudley has a proven track record of creating multi-numbered lists of Things To Do While in Oregon that sound really smart to a lot of people, though it's not clear why Oregon piqued his interest at this time instead of the states he has closer ties to....

...and he's just about tall enough to be his own watch tower; there ought to be some savings there....

These points all add up to a lot of reasons that are just as good as any other to vote for Chris Dudley....

Here are all of the issues Chris Dudley has considered so far, as of Tuesday, September 28, 2010, as evidenced on his campaign website:

Dudley Issue Overview

Job Creation
Spending Control/Budget Reform
Public Employee Health Care and Retirement Benefits
Privatizing State Liquor Sales
"Rainy Day" State Savings
Higher Education
K-12 Education
Land Use/Property Rights
Rebuilding Public Trust
Natural Resources
Health Care

Don't see the issue most important to you here? Email Chris at

Somehow Oregon’s correctional system was left off of the website list, but Oregon voters can sleep well knowing that very soon, Chris Dudley will have a new list, and that list will have more numbers than all of his other lists combined, and even if they aren’t budget or revenue numbers, the numbers will be right there in the title of the plan where they are easy to see, and that’s what counts anyway….

Here are the first ten points in Chris Dudley’s 67-Point Plan to Make Everything All Better in Oregon’s Correctional System:

1. Let’s have a discussion about this
2. We need to plan carefully
3. This will be all better by 2014
4. Yet another reason to lower capital gains taxes
5. Oregon needs a more business-friendly climate
6. Right after privatizing the OLCC, we’ll privatize the prisons
7. I will appoint a new Correctional Director in the Office of the Governor
8. I will appoint a new Corrections Commission to figure this one out
9. PERS is the problem, and I’ve already solved that problem in one of my other plans
10. The Corrections budget problem has no impact on any of my other plans; they are all still as good as they ever were.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The last days of Aaron Cruz, pt 2: "Dad, I will never be well."

By Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon--

2. “Dad, I will never be well.”

My son spoke these words to me, a thick vein of despair in his voice, and I felt at once a heartburst of pain for him, for all those years that had been stolen from him, those last years of adolescence, those years in which he was forced to become a man without his dad to guide him, those years he had been held in remote Mormon enclaves in theocratic Utah, those years he had suffered through the emotional chaos of dealing with his mother’s life, her boyfriends plus three step dads, including the step dad who often slapped my children around their house in Payson, Utah, a heavy-set angry bastard named Steve Nielsen….

Aaron said these words to me in the early fall of 2003 just a few weeks after I had recovered him from the abduction, the only one of my four children that I was able to recover, and he was filling me in, telling me about how the damage came about, that look in his eyes telling me how severe his suffering had been during those years….

“Dad”, he said, “I didn’t want to tell you over the phone”, he said, “I wanted to see you in person and tell you myself,” he said; that’s the kind of young man Aaron was, an honorable son, his best years already gone forever….

“Dad, I will never be well!” he declared. I had just gotten him enrolled into the Oregon Health Plan. You had to be very sick to gain entry in 2003, and Aaron was more than overqualified for emergency acute care, with eight years’ worth of experience as the victim of a kidnapping…and in my heart, I knew he was telling me the straight-out truth, his opportunity to live a normal life, the life that I had dreamed of sharing with him, had been taken forever; now we were going to need a lot of medical help to find out what was left, what we could hope for….

Aaron was talking about more than the physical damage, he was talking about the emotional damage that he suffered during his years of 100% forced Mormon immersion….

In all the years that had passed since my four children disappeared into the exclusive control of his mother and her Mormon friends, I was able to gain access to only one medical report, that for Aaron, and nothing at all for my other three kidnapped children, despite an Order for Joint Custody….

The one report that I had seen was the documentation for Aaron’s admission “on an emergency basis” into a psychiatric ward in Provo, Utah, dated December 18, 1997, four months short of his 16th birthday. It was a miracle that I had been able to obtain this document….

The report described my son: “He is tall and thin…He has a slightly dark facial complexion…He looks sad…His mood is depressed and affect is sad. He speaks with a soft, slow voice. He reports a number of symptoms of depression including suicidal ideation and self injury...The patient’s insight judgment and impulse control is impaired as evidenced by wanting to resolve his problems with suicide and cutting himself…he has numerous large scars on both arms. He reports that when he cuts himself he feels relieved from internal pain. He cuts himself with a knife….”

I did not actually see those scars until Aaron was laying there comatose in Payson, Utah; he was sensitive about his arms and always wore long-sleeve shirts, plenty of time to count them during those five days and nights he lay motionless and unresponsive, to see the way they crisscrossed both upper arms, left and right, scars across scars…no needle marks on those arms, but lots of long scars, four inches long or more, wide scars, I hadn’t realized that a knife’s edge could create a scar so wide until I saw them on my son’s comatose arms….

I wondered how long he was cutting himself, at the tender age of fifteen, his despair so complete, how soon after his disappearance into Utah did the cutting begin, the report described multiple scars but provided no information as to when the self-mutilation began and how long it continued, and absolutely everyone concealed this information from me, most especially his mother and whoever she happened to be married to or otherwise involved with at the time or at any time thereafter….

Now, a few days after Aaron had been pronounced dead, his mother was telling this memorial gathering her story about the last time she had seen Aaron alive, about how he was sick and feverish and at risk of slipping into a coma, about how she had left him without meds but with a sack of groceries, her new husband Ben Foulk waiting impatiently across town, and she in a hurry to get back to California to her newly affluent life, co-owner of a string of high end retirement homes in El Dorado Hills, the new Mr. and Mrs. Ben and Gina Foulk, grumpy Ben, deep-pocketed Ben Foulk, waiting impatiently across town….

Gina had also left Aaron behind during his emergency psychiatric hospitalization, had gone on vacation out of state, leaving my 15-year old son to spend that  Christmas in the psychiatric ward in Provo Utah with the other patients, while she took a Christmas holiday in Oregon and Washington, including a couple of shopping runs at Lloyd Center….

The report quoted my son at the time he was admitted: “I am very depressed. I want to die. I want to commit suicide. I cut on myself.”

As soon as I learned he was in the hospital, I was able to reach Aaron by phone and we talked about our love for each other. Then he was abruptly released into the custody of stepdad Steve Nielsen, the man who slapped my children around throughout their marriage, and I lost contact with my son, the hospital refusing to provide any additional information, this is Utah after all, and his mother Gina Nielsen refusing to provide any further information about my son, where he was or where Steve Nielsen was holding him…years would pass before I would learn anything more….

“Dad, I will never be well”, he said….

To be continued….

Part 3 is coming soon....

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A conversation with Winona LaDuke about Jim Pepper, pt 1

 by Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon --

Winona LaDuke and I had an impromptu conversation at KBOO 90.7FM that was recorded by KBOO Engineer Liam Delta in May, 2010.

The subjects ranged from the new White Earth radio station that Winona is building (they are looking for engineering help right now--call them if you can help), to the Heavy Haul tar sands project she is opposing, to the great Native American musician Jim Pepper.

The entire conversation will be posted on YouTube in segments, and will be continued....

Here's part 1, about Jim Pepper and Witchi-Tai-To:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Oregon GOP Candidate Chris Dudley offers 20-point Tea Party plan to create one job

by Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon--Once again, GOP candidate Chris Dudley tosses out a randomly numbered “plan” that contains no cost information at all, but lots more free ponies!

Throughout its tedious length, Dudley’s “Jobs” plan identifies only one job that the plan would create: the new Budget Manager position that would be part of his super-sized office of the governor. The Budget Manager’s job would be to explain the budget to Dudley.

Chris Dudley's supporters want to put a man who cannot be responsible for his own decision making regarding his personal finances, and who has no experience managing anything at all, in charge of a multi-billion dollar state budget, and at a time when the state and the nation is in grave economic crisis.

They want to put a man who cannot give clear answers about just about anything he's asked, whether personal or political, even about his campaign "ideas" promoted on his own website; a man who cannot be clear even on his residency, into a position that demands transparency and accountability, and real personal commitment to the state of Oregon.

They want to elevate a man whose campaign strategy depends upon his avoidance of any open discussions about the problems facing the state, into a position that requires its occupant to discuss those problems openly and on a full time basis.

They want to support a candidate who says he wants to shrink government and control spending, but whose plans call for a drastic enlargement of the office of the governor, the creation of new state government positions, open-ended new spending, and the imposition of new fees and taxes, all stated on the Dudley campaign's website.

That makes perfect sense to the Tea Party mentality driving the Dudley campaign, the same mentality supporting the fringe candidates haunting GOP primaries in pockets around the nation.

These candidates, like Chris Dudley, aren't offering real solutions, in large part because their supporters don't care whether they do or not.

They can't be bothered with solutions, they just know what they don't like.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The last days of Aaron Cruz, Pt 1: A mother's love and a sack of groceries

By Sean Cruz

My son’s mother Gina Foulk told the story herself, in words that shock and sadden me even more today than they did at the time of Aaron’s death, more than five years ago….

Speaking before a group of perhaps fifty people in Payson, Utah, gathered together in memory of my son a week after he had been found comatose and unresponsive in her empty house a short distance away, she described the last time that she had seen Aaron alive, and her incomprehensible actions….

He was sick and feverish, she said, and she had left him alone….

He was out of his meds, and she had left him alone, in an empty house cluttered with Aaron’s empty prescription bottles strewn all over, with a sack of groceries and a crazy story….

She had left him alone, sick and feverish, without health care, without a call to a doctor, without refilling his prescriptions, the ones that were keeping him from suffering the very coma in which he died, without driving him to the hospital, without picking up the phone to alert anyone else to look after her son, she had left him alone, and was telling us all about it, without shedding a single tear….

She had told Aaron that Heavenly Father loved him, she said, lying there beside her sick and feverish son, she said, and here are some groceries for you, honey…and then she left him alone….

Aaron was sick and feverish she said, and what she did not say was that her new Mormon husband Ben Foulk was waiting across town, impatient to get back to California, where he owns a string of high-end medical-care-dispensing retirement homes (“Would you like some more cranberry juice with your pills, Mrs Treatednicely?”), and she was in a hurry to get out on the road, no time for doctors….

If she had driven him to the emergency room that night, the staff would have admitted him immediately, put him on IVs, and some medical people would have been working with real concern, realizing as they went along, working to save this young man’s life, that there is more to this story than meets the eye, this young man should have been hospitalized weeks ago, months ago….

The fact is that Aaron had been sick and feverish for a good long time; this part of his mother’s story was not news; In fact, just about everyone in that room listening to Gina Foulk’s story had known Aaron was sick, my son was visibly ill and everyone knew it, and yet no one had stepped up to get him seen by a doctor, not even Mr. and Mrs. Ben and Gina Foulk.

There’s another way to tell the story of the last days of Aaron Cruz: I had gone broke keeping Aaron alive that year, and when I ran out of money to pay for his anti-seizure and other meds, after I had spent my very last dollar, he convulsed and died, sick and alone, in that empty house, out of his meds…with his mother’s last sack of groceries….

Now I was standing here in this other house in Payson, Utah, listening to my son’s mother tell her story, having traveled here on money I had borrowed from friends, having had just gone broke trying to keep my son alive, having just spent five days and nights at his side at the hospital, to the end of life support, I am listening to a story about a sack of groceries and Heavenly Father….

My son’s mother told the gathering matter-of-factly that Aaron was sick and feverish, and she described how she had lain beside him and comforted him with stories about how much Heavenly Father loves him…and here’s a sack of groceries for you, honey, she said…but Ben Foulk was waiting impatiently across town, pills to dispense in Northern California, gold in them thar El Dorado Hills….

She said nothing at all about his meds, no mention at all in her meandering, incomprehensible story about the empty pill bottles that would have been scattered all over the house, Paxil in gigantic doses, the anti-seizure meds that were the key to keeping him out of a coma, no telling what else, since she grabbed and destroyed all of my son Aaron Cruz’s medical records, no telling at all, Ben and Gina Foulk’s lawyers have built an impenetrable wall behind which my son’s medical records are concealed….

Gina Foulk told this crazy matter-of-fact tearless story about how she left Aaron alone that night and turned the page; “I told him all about Heavenly Father”, she reassured this Mormon gathering, and no one said a word….

And her story would get crazier still when she told it a few days later on the day we laid my son Aaron Cruz into the earth in El Dorado Hills, California, where the Ben and Gina Foulks own a string of high-end retirement homes, providing high-end medical care to their well-heeled clients…and for you, Aaron, a sack of groceries and some Mormon stories to keep you company; now, here’s a nice piece of stone on a hillside, enjoy the birds….

To be continued….

M 75 and the Oregon Constitution: Why voters cannot approve the Wood Village casino

by Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon--

The Oregonian published Greg Chaimov’s guest opinion titled “M 75 and the Constitution: Why voters can approve a casino”, where Mr. Chaimov posited a convoluted legal argument to support his employers’ investment in their campaign to create for themselves an exclusive right to build a non-tribal casino in Oregon.

Mr. Chaimov’s legal opinion, however, fails to address the most significant constitutional problems that M 75 would face if passed by the voters, the equivalent of putting only some of the cards on the table, just the ones that the dealer likes.

Passage of M75 cannot possibly lead to an operating casino at the Wood Village property, but what it will certainly do is create a bonanza for the lawyers who will litigate the issue over the next decade or so.

A better ballot title for M 75 would be "The Rossman-Studer Full Employment Act" as it will keep a whole bunch of lawyers employed for a good long time, and at public expense.

The first constitutional issue lies in this line: "The Legislative Assembly has no power to authorize, and shall prohibit, casinos from operation in the State of Oregon."

The Constitution clearly requires the Legislative Assembly to take action to prohibit the proposed casino from operation.

Should M75 pass, the legislature "shall prohibit" its operation, and there are an infinite number of ways for it to do so. The passage of M75 would give Mr. Chaimov's legal team grounds to challenge every legislative action in court, and that is the real goal of the Good for Oregon group's campaign.

They are counting on the voters to put them to work as lawyers, not as as creators of anything that is intrinsically "good for Oregon."

The second constitutional issue lies in Article I, Section 20, which states: "No law shall be passed granting to any citizen or class of citizens privileges, or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens."

M75 stomps all over this section of the Constitution, and it is a mark of the core dishonesty that lies behind the Wood Village Casino--Good for Oregon facade that Mr. Chaimov makes no mention of Section 20 in his editorial.

Under M 75, the only permissible casino location in the state would be at the former Multnomah County Kennel Club, specifically, at 944 NE 223rd Avenue, Wood Village, which just happens to be under the control of Matthew Rossman and Bruce Studer, for their exclusive benefit, a clear violation of the Oregon Constitution.

M 75 defines “gaming operator” as “The owner of the property identified in Section 14 of this 2010 Act”. It's a very exclusive club.

In addition, Section 17, Paragraph (5) of M 75 amends ORS 320.011, creating a special immunity from taxation for the Wood Village casino operators; specifically, from the $125 per-device excise tax.

If those aren’t flaws enough, M 75 would grant these exclusive privileges and immunities to Rossman and Studer for 15 years, renewable for another 15 exclusive years.

In order to pass Constitutional scrutiny under Section 20, M 75 would have had to been written to open casino operations to any Oregon citizen, anywhere in the state, with the same tax immunities. But Rossman and Studer drafted the measure to create special privileges and immunities for themselves alone.

Should M75 pass, both the coming court battles and the actions of the legislature are going to cost a great deal of public money, a completely open-ended budget item, and we can thank Rossman and Studer for sticking us with the bill.

Would you entrust an exclusive gambling license to an operator who only puts some of the cards on the table, just the ones he likes?

The Oregonian posted this as a guest editorial here:

Sean Cruz is not a lawyer, and is receiving no funds from any person or group associated with Measure 75, either for or against, not that he wouldn't appreciate it. His opinions are entirely his own. He gained his familiarity with the Oregon Constitution during his six years of service as chief of staff for the famously non-partisan legislator Avel Gordly in the Oregon Senate, 2003 to 2008.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Jim Pepper, Gunther Schuller, Mr. D.C. and "Custer Gets It"

By Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon--

Jim Pepper never wrote pop tunes, that’s probably the first thing you should know about Jim Pepper.

Jim’s music came from visions, from his family, from ancestral teachings, from his friends with whom he shared his life, from his heritage, from the People, from the Earth, from the Sky, from the Wind and from the Water; they were his sonic visions, and they were as ancient as Man, as eternal….

Sometimes he wrote his music down in the form of compositions, sometimes they were recorded, and sometimes, if you were truly fortunate, you were there when he performed them live.

It’s one thing to have a vision, quite another to have the gift of expressing it, and Jim Pepper was one of the very finest, most original virtuosos to ever breathe through a tenor saxophone in the history of the instrument, right up there with John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, and you can fill out the Top 5 of All Time list with any other two names that you like….

Jim Pepper’s saxophone bridged continents and cultures, broke through language barriers all over the planet, and still does….

His father Gilbert Pepper and his grandfather Ralph Pepper gave him his start on his first tenor saxophone, and that music, their music, came from the Great Mystery….

Jim Pepper would be the first to tell you that his music came from somewhere else, from someone else. He was just the musician, he would say, taking the visions and adding harmony, jazz chords, this or that, singing in that soulful voice as ancient as water, and then picking up that silver saxophone, and your life would change, if only just a little bit at a time….

Mr. D.C. was Jim’s composition dedicated to his musical and spiritual brother Don Cherry, the pocket-trumpet-playing improvisational avante garde hero, the two of them joined for eternity in this world and the next, both of them blowing free and beautiful at the very same time, up there now with Trane and Monk, Dizzy and Miles, Floyd Red Crow Westerman and Johnny Cash.

Here, Gunther Schuller’s arrangement takes you on a journey through time and space, you will wonder how you got there so effortlessly, back to the mid-19th century at a place called The Little Big Horn, and at the same time here you are in the heart of free jazz country, some of the most challenging music that the 20th century had to offer.

First the orchestra enters, signals something’s up, there is something coming your way, you just need to pay attention a little bit, and the Remembrance Band is in there too, very subtle, working it, then the tempo changes and we’re in a new place….

Jazz, orchestra, Indians, Gunther Schuller speaking in his Third Stream voice, full throated….

That’s not Jim on saxophone, but you know he would dig it, and is digging it right now, Jim and Don….

Then the segue into Jim’s “Custer Gets it”….

And his lyrics:

“Here come the Indians, comin’ real fast

“Comin’ down the pass, gonna kick you in the ass

“Here come the Indians, comin’ real fast

“Comin’ down the pass, gonna kick you in the ass

“Custer Gets It! Custer Gets It! Custer Gets It! Custer Gets it!” the singers shout!

And from there swirling into a free jazz moment, a world that Jim knew as surely as any other musician who walked the earth, sure-footed Jim, on the battlefield at the Little Big Horn…you get the point.

Silence…and then the orchestra restates, there’s a little bit of Africa in that theme, it’s World music, after all….

That last muted trumpet note fades…shades of Choctaw Don Cherry…this note’s for you, Don….

With your help, Gunther Schuller’s Witchi Tai To: The Music of Jim Pepper …is coming to Portland in 2011.

You can listen to Mr. D.C. on YouTube right here:

…and your life changes, a little bit at a time….

All music is political, even when it isn't

We had hoped to stage the American Premiere performance of

Gunther Schuller's Witchi-Tai-To: The music of Jim Pepper

at Trinity Cathedral on October 7, 8 and 9, but the stars did not line up for those dates.

We are doubly disappointed, as the Schuller concert series would have been followed on Sunday, October 10, Columbus Day, with a powwow organized around the Episcopal Church's Resolution repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery!

"The Doctrine of Discovery is the dogma that Christian sovereigns and their representative explorers used to assert dominion and title over non-Christian lands with the full blessing and sanction of the Church. The Royal Charter, issued in 1496 to John Cabot and his sons by King Henry II, led to the colonizing dispossession of indigenous peoples from their lands in North America and to the dehumanization and subjugation of non-Christian peoples (which the monarchy termed “heathens” and “infidels”).

"The charter specifically authorized John Cabot and his sons 'to find, discover and investigate whatsoever islands, countries, regions or provinces of heathens and infidels, in whatsoever part of the world placed, which before this time were unknown to all Christians.' The Charter also reads in part, 'John and his sons or their heirs and deputies may conquer, occupy and possess whatsoever such towns, castles, cities and islands by them thus discovered that they may be able to conquer, occupy and possess, as our vassals and governors lieutenants and deputies therein, acquiring for us the dominion, title and jurisdiction of the same towns, castles, cities, islands and mainlands so discovered.'”

The Doctrine of Discovery was fundamentally the license with which Europeans granted themselves the right to steal, to kill, to rape and to enslave as they saw fit...and they always saw fit.

The Doctrine of Discovery led directly to the Doctrine of Manifest Destiny, and with it--here in Oregon--just over 150 years ago--to the forced relocation of Native people from sites they had occupied for thousands of years onto reservations, and to the Termination policies of the 20th Century.

The Resolution – "put forth by the 188th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine – would put the Episcopal Church on record condemning the Doctrine of Discovery and supporting indigenous peoples in their call for the repudiation of the 1496 Royal Charter issued to John Cabot and his sons and other similar Royal Charters which sanctioned European invasion of the western hemisphere.

"The resolution also calls upon each diocese to reflect upon its relationship with the indigenous peoples within its area to understand the history of its relationship with them, to build a relationship with all such Peoples, and to support them in their political and legal struggles for their inherent sovereignty and fundamental human rights."

Here's a draft design of the poster that the Oregon Episcopal Diocese was preparing for the event:

We will call a Steering Committee meeting in the next couple of weeks to start working on 2011.

The Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery events are still taking place, at St. Andrews Episcopal Church on Sunday, October 10, from 3 pm to 6 pm.

Maybe I'll see you there.

Sean Cruz

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Chris Dudley's Oregon College Prep Plan Revealed!

By Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon---

Chris Dudley’s Education Plan for Oregon hinges on certain assumptions about how much education high school seniors really need to prepare for college, and here they are, delivered by a surprise Dudley campaign surrogate:

Dudley Campaign surrogate speaks on education

Friday, September 03, 2010

Chris Dudley campaign offers a free ride to college and more free ponies!

By Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon—

Oregon Republican candidate for Governor Chris Dudley has announced a new education “plan” right on the heels of his 26-Point “Plan to Control Spending and Reform Government”.

The Dudley education “plan” and his “Plan to Control Spending” have two points in common:

The first point is that both “plans” drastically ramp up spending without explaining where the new money is going to come from.

The second point is that there are no actual budget numbers attached to either “plan.”

A third point to make would be the fact that neither “plan” makes much sense.

The tea party anti-government mentality at the core of Dudley’s campaign isn't concerned with real solutions and mostly couldn't pass a basic civics exam. They just know what they don't like.

What they don’t like is government spending, budget and fee increases, and the expansion of bureaucracies, yet Dudley’s “ideas” offer precisely that.

The fact that Oregon's population is increasing drives both budget and fee increases. So does inflation. Neither factor can be controlled by politicians or political parties. Those are conditions that are imposed on Oregon from without.

The Oregon legislature and the new Governor must find ways to deliver essential services in the face of shrinking revenues, a cobbled-together revenue system that was never designed as a “system”, and these outside forces.

Dudley's free scholarship "idea" offers yet another uncontrollable budget scenario, which is the number of graduating seniors with GPAs of 3.5 and up in any given year, multiplied by the actual cost of tuition, which can be expected to rise over time in increments that cannot be predicted. Uncontrollable spending.

A real plan would have the numbers attached. What would the cost be if Dudley's "plan" was implemented in 2010, using the numbers available right now? The point is that the numbers are available, but the Dudley team realizes that their supporters don't care anyway.

In a televised interview, Dudley stated that he wants to create a new exam that every high school senior must pass in order to graduate. When the reporter asked what would happen to the students who didn’t pass the new exam, he responded that he wanted to add tutoring in the lower grades so that no student would fail to read at grade level.

He says he wants to hire tutors, but offers no plan for how that might happen, where the funds would come from and how much money it would require.

The Dudley fans couldn't care less.

Dudley wants to take a whack at teachers, but ignores the fact that many of them are spending their own money on classroom supplies and taking furlough days.

He's stepping into that charter school/online school quagmire, too. The religious right thinks that public schools are too liberal and wants to bleed off their resources, the anti-government types can only be satisfied when they've closed everything down, and the ignorant are often dead set on remaining so.

Dudley's lack of basic fitness for the job of Governor, the utter absence of real solutions in his campaign rhetoric, and his unwillingness to enter into any open discussions of the issues important to Oregonians, are all combining to make it very difficult to maintain my neutrality in this race.

Every idea, good or bad, has a price tag associated with it, and it is not helpful to the discussion for candidates to throw out ideas with no budget numbers or revenue sources attached.

A plan without the numbers is just empty rhetoric.

I'll grant that a lot of people are happy with just that.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Oregon Measure 75 is Dead on Arrival, its public expense has just begun

by Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon--

Proponents of Measure 75 and the Wood Village Casino have placed their bets on the “Pass” line, but they will come up craps regardless of how the November vote turns out.

Measure 75 is fatally flawed with several violations of the Oregon Constitution.

The first issue lies in this line: "The Legislative Assembly has no power to authorize, and shall prohibit, casinos from operation in the State of Oregon."

The Constitution clearly requires the Legislative Assembly to take action to prohibit this or any other non-Tribal proposed casino from operation in the State of Oregon.

Should M75 pass, the legislature "shall prohibit" its operation.

The second issue lies in Article I, Section 20 of the Oregon Constitution, which states: "No law shall be passed granting to any citizen or class of citizens privileges, or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens."

Rossman and Studer's casino measure stomps all over Section 20:

Under M 75, the only permissible casino location in the state would be at the former Multnomah County Kennel Club, specifically, at 944 NE 223rd Avenue, Wood Village, which just happens to be under the control of Rossman and Studer, for their exclusive benefit, a clear violation of the Oregon Constitution.

M 75 defines “gaming operator” as “The owner of the property identified in Section 14 of this 2010 Act”.

In addition, Section 17, Paragraph (5) of M 75 amends ORS 320.011, creating a special immunity from taxation for the Wood Village casino operators, specifically, from the $125 per-device excise tax.

If those aren’t flaws enough, M 75 would grant these exclusive privileges and immunities to Rossman and Studer for 15 years, renewable for another 15 exclusive years.

A better, more accurate ballot title would have been

"The Rossman-Studer Full Employment Act."

Both the coming court battle and the action of the legislature are going to cost a great deal of public money, and we can thank Rossman and Studer for sticking us with the bill. Remember that when they come back for another go in 2012.

You can eliminate much of that expense by voting "NO" on Measure 75.

Talk about problem gamblers….