25 December 2016


Merry Christmas, or other end of year holiday of choice, to all, and may our new year be as prosperous, felicitous, and uneventful as possible. Given our current situation, uneventful would be good. 
♦ David Studhalter
¡El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido!
«The people united will never be defeated!»

17 December 2016

Letter re electoral reform to governors of key blue states

I sent this letter to the governors of four key blue states, including my own state of Oregon.

December 16, 2016

Hon. Kate Brown, Governor of Oregon
State Capitol Building
900 Court Street NE, 160
Salem, OR 97301 

Hon. Jerry Brown, Governor of California
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

Hon. Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002

Hon. Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New Yor
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224


Dear Messrs. and Madam Governors:

I am writing to strongly urge you to support efforts in your states to further the ideas recently promoted by the leading progressive thinker Thomas Geoghegan to improve the essential democracy of our nation, wherein your states are crucial: 

1.       That your state refuse to cooperate with the undemocratic Electoral College, by returning presidential ballots blank or not returning them at all. This will force the Congress to use procedures to obtain the votes, and will register for the notice of the public that your state's people object to being disenfranchised by this undemocratic system. (In the case of Oregon, it is also necessary to pass as soon as possible the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which when it is triggered into full effect at 270 votes will effectively end the injustice of the Electoral College.

2.      That your state enact as soon as feasible Australia-style mandatory voting (coupled with Oregon-style vote by mail). If this law were in effect in this recent election, nearly 6 million votes would separate the majority vote for Clinton from the non-democratically designated winner. Such a wide margin of popular electoral preference being disenfranchised would make it virtually impossible for the nation not to reform its electoral process in the near future.

Please consider these recommendations carefully. I trust that as patriotic leaders who believe in essential democracy, you will realize the wisdom of supporting them.

Thank you.


Very truly yours,


David Studhalter 

15 December 2016

What's in a name?

I have a new dermatologist (both parents had and survived melanoma, so it's indicated for me to have a skin survey yearly). Her name is Dr. Kwak. I kid not. I feel for her. That must be a burden. The receptionist thought it advisable to volunteer, "it's spelled K-w-a-k." My last name (as occurs to some people but not others), although it is Swiss-German, is sometimes taken for English, and given a somewhat rude connotation. 

As a kid, I had to put up with the occasional taunt. My mother, who was Secretary of a pioneering reproductive rights activist organization in California in the mid-1960s was the butt of one of those margin blurbs in Playboy in 1968: "Aptly yclept Secretary of the California Committee on Therapeutic Abortion: Ellen Studhalter." It's actually not that funny. 

11 December 2016

My newly adopted city addresses excessive income inequality

My newly adopted city of Portland is doing its bit to address the most important issues facing our nation, which the Right Wing coup we are now forced to endure for at least four years will make all but impossible to make progress on. In this case, excessive income inequality. Portland is also ahead of most of the country in addressing the environmental crisis, another area where we can expect nothing but setbacks on the Federal level for some time to come. 


Bolton: Report of Russian Hacking "False Flag"

In yet another example of Daniel Patrick Moynihan's dictum that you can have your own opinions but not your own facts, the fatuous and, hell, I'll say it, EVIL John Bolton is now accusing President Obama of releasing the evidence of the Gangster Empire Russia's hacking of the electoral process in our country as a "false flag operation." John Bolton, who is either delusional or postively Goebbelsian in his willingness to outright lie to advance his own political agenda (which I consider much more likely), is NOT WORTHY TO CROSS THE THRESHOLD of the White House, the People's House.
♦ David Studhalter
¡El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido!
«The people united will never be defeated!»

07 December 2016

Mt. Hood from Robinette Court

​Only from a tiny corner near the street, but you actually can see the snow capped peak of Mt. Hood from our front yard. 

02 December 2016

Carrier Stunt and Trump as Con Man

This is a little out of context. It's part of a response I wrote to a friend who had some specific thoughts about Trump's Carrier stunt and cabinet picks. 

Trump's Carrier coup was just a stunt. It's not a policy. It's a PR stunt. And a pretty effective one. They aren't going to systematically use public funds to try to save American jobs. It's only a small amount of money, and Carrier went along with it (for now) in order to curry favor, and for no other reason. The realcause of this kind of thing is the change in SEC rules in 1982 that permitted unregulated stock buybacks. Owners, and CEOs are owners, of large corporations are incentivized to maximize their short term gains at the expense of the company's long term health, and even moreso at the expense of their American employees. Before 1982 this kind of conflict of interest/market manipulation was (sensibly) illegal, as it had been since such destructive anti-democratic and anti-free market policies had been seen to have contributed to the crash the first time. In 1929. The gradual unraveling of financial regulations that prevented a recurrence, or relapses, in the 1930s, started under Reagan, and has continued under all presidents since, including Democrats. Obama, notwithstanding Dodd Frank (now facing evisceration anyway), did very little to change it. (BTW Chubb did a lot of stock buybacks, enriching Finnegan and other top execs, prior to the ACE buyout, which we should have seen coming when it became clear what they were up to. This kind of stuff, which should be as illegal as insider trading, is so common nowadays it hardly even gets any notice at all). 

As far as Il Donaldo's choices for the cabinet go, I look upon his entire campaign as a grift. A con. He sold one thing, and now that the bait has been taken, it's switcheroo. Kleptocracy full on. Use of public assets to enrich himself and his cronies. Mnuchin is a perfect example. I strongly recommend you listen to THIS segment from Ian Masters's program 11/30 to get the picture of Mnuchin, an odious kleptocrat who would not be out of place in Putin's sphere. 

This is Trumpworld, and we're going to have to somehow survive it. I hope the Democrats wise up and organize soon, because this guy is a very effective con artist, and he just might pull off a long stint at the helm, to the great detriment of the United States of America. 
¡El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido!
«The people united will never be defeated!»

The utterly odious Mnuchin

I was disappointed and disgusted by Trevor Noah's softpedaling the odious predatory banker Steven Mnuchin, nominated by Trump for Treasury Secty. This total asshole engineered a government guarantee of the face value of thousands of loans in So. Cal. (IndyMac, renamed OneWest). Bought portfolio for about 65cts. on the dollar, got the govt. to guarantee 80% of FACE value, then aggressively foreclosed, auctioning houses, depressing RE market and throwing thousands out on the street, so he could get 80% of the losses measured by FACE VALUE reimbursed by the taxpayer and make millions in Corporate Welfare while the kind of people who believed and supported Trump were badly hurt. Mnuchin is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what Trump promised, a vicious financial predator, second generation Goldman Sachs sharpie, put in charge of the henhouse! But was there even a HINT of this in the Daily Show's segment on him? Nope.

¡El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido!
«The people united will never be defeated!»