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Complete Corporate Control - The NW Laboratory

Many of the most repressive policies that have been or are being implemented on a global and national scale have first been test marketed in the Pacific NW. This article names names and details how.
Complete Corporate Control? The Northwest as Laboratory
By Paul Richmond

A Corporate Plantation
There's a new savior being trotted out as our leaders deny that global warming is happening, or tell us why they must spend untold billions to fight drugs that kill about 13,000 people a year while taking payments from the cigarette companies who kill 430,000 a year. The new savior is called public-private partnerships. If we just allow big money into everything, everything will be all right. At least that's what big money tells us.

Let's start with a few basic facts:
1) Most of what can be owned in the world is owned by a very small portion of the people.
2) This concentration of wealth is not an accident
3) This concentration is because the people who own most of everything that can be owned operate for their own short term benefit.

To understand the politics of the Pacific Northwest, look at the first white settlers. They weren't farmers, cowboys, or sheepherders. The first white conquerors were the Railroads. The Railroads were financed by the Banks who were owned by a very small portion of the population that owned most of what could be owned. The small group of people who owned the banks and railroads were given huge areas of land around the railroads and all the resources around them by the government they also owned - this is why all the big timber companies are named after railroads. These are the people who own most of the Northwest today.

The Northwest is a test area. In retail businesses, one practice large corporations have is to test market products in out of the way areas. They do this with new anti-perspirents, soft drinks, and mouth washes.

They do the same thing with political policies, including policies of social control.

The Pacific Northwest has served as a laboratory for policies involving corporate control of education, social services that seize children and work to break apart families and an intrusive police force which proactively looks for ways to seize property and put millions of people in jail. It is complete corporate control, and it even puts an army of cops in your head.

The Oregon Option
There was an agreement signed in December of 1994 by all members of the Clinton Cabinet and every major political figure in Oregon, Democrat or Republican, including incoming Governor John Kitzhaber and U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield, called "The Oregon Option." In the words of then Vice President Al Gore, The Oregon Option turned Oregon into a "laboratory."

The program was based on a program called The Oregon Benchmarks, something implemented by former Oregon Governor, now highly paid corporate consultant Neil Goldschmidt. Under Goldschmidt's "Benchmarks" executives from the largest utilities, banks and other monopolies got to wear the hat of government and redesign the way the state was run. The oft heard euphemism is "public-private partnership."

They came up with an agenda that not only gave unprecedented benefits to corporations but created unprecedented intrusions into peoples lives. An aggressive social service program was begun and thousands of parents were put on trial in front of judges to see if they were fit to keep their children.

Education was also remolded. "Tracking" was put in place and many children were funneled into industrial trade tracks away from any chance of higher learning. Schools adopted "community touchpoints" where representatives from police, social services and "other" agencies are put in contact with children and get to ask them about any problems they may be experiencing. Since the number of people the agencies bring through the system will determine their program's future funding, the agencies come to resemble desperate sales people on commission more than they do impartial advocates in their behavior. It is in their best interest to "find" a problem. Their results often turn into vicious witch-hunts.

The reasons for all this, from a corporate standpoint, is control. The extended families been pretty much wiped out, now the nuclear family, and even the single parent family is being eliminated. We're left with a group of people who grow up with no ties to anyone but the corporate state. The buyout of public by corporations is deemed "creative solutions." The intervention of the police, social service workers and "others" is justified as "proactive." Feel bad? How about an anti-depressant?

Portland Mayor Vera Katz has a tremendous stake in these plans. She was one of these plans' architects. She had sat on panels of the National Center for Education and the Economy with the likes of Hillary Rodham Clinton, George Bush Sr.'s Education Secretary Lamar Alexander, and then Chase President David Rockefeller. The plans they developed were test marketed by their 1991 introduction to the Oregon State Legislature by then Speaker Katz of HB-3565, known as the Katz Education Bill. The implementation of the Katz Bill was then measured as a "benchmark" of the Oregon Progress Board, with elements eventually included in the Clinton Education Bills. Katz felt so strongly about the Oregon Option that she even referred to Portland as a "laboratory" in her January 1995 State of the City Address.

A Friendly Military Police Force
Portland, the Pacific Northwest, and the West Coast have also all been leaders in the development and implementation of a more controlling police force. The region has been a birthplace for an unprecedented use of chemical agents against a domestic population during the WTO Ministerial, an aggressive variety of "Civility Laws" that are driving minorities from areas developers desire, a military training facility that trains soldiers in "urban combat" and a "Community Policing" program that grew a Tactical Operations Unit 2800% in just four years that's been held up as a national model.

Writing in the September 1989 issue of the US Justice Department publication, Perspectives on Policing, former Multnomah County Sheriff, Lee Brown described the history of what is called "Community Policing," but should better be called, "Community Occupation," Mr. Brown, gives a history of the development of this style. This style, says Brown, came out of the inability of the police to prevent or at least control the civil unrest of the late 1960's and early 1970's. Brown went on to become Chief of the New York City Police Department during the unprecedented era of police corruption exposed and documented in the findings of the Mollen Commission, and a "Drug Czar" implementing national policies that have turned us into the nation with the largest number of incarcerated persons in the history of the planet. He has been identified by no less than Attorney General Janet Reno as "one of the fathers of "Community Policing," so his evaluation of the reasons for this style's existence as a more effective way to control dissent should be taken seriously.

Portland itself has been identified as one of the leaders of what is called "Community Policing" but has been revealed as "Community Occupation." It has hosted two of the first International Conferences on "Community Policing," and two of its Police Chief's Tom Potter and Charles Moose, were finalists to distribute the "Community Oriented Policing" (COPs) grants created by the 1995 Clinton Crime Bill, designed to put 100,000 new cops on the street.

Since the implementation of what is euphemistically called "Community Policing" Portland has come to resemble a militarized zone. It's "Tactical Operations Division," the branch that carries machine guns, wears camouflage uniforms, conducts no knock raids, seizes peoples homes, cars and other property, grew from two (2) to fifty-six (56) officers in the space of a few years, as revealed by a report of the Portland City Auditor's Office. Those who were Lieutenant in charge of "Community Policing" such as Greg Clarke and Mark Parisi, all next became Captain in charge of the Tactical Operations Division. Since the "Community Policing" division gathered snitches and informants in the community, and called them a "ties" and "contacts", the succession within the PPB is a natural one.

The COPS plan exported this "Portland" dynamic to the rest of the country. Now better than 70% of those towns with less than populations of 50,000 have their own paramilitary police units. For those with populations greater than 50,000 the number of towns with paramilitary police units has exceeded 90%. They can call it "Community Policing." It is "Community Occupation." It's part of the reason 25% of the people in jail on the planet are in U.S. prisons.

A recent administrator of the COPS grants who helped put the 100,000 more cops on the street and 2,000,000 people in jail, was Seattle's Chief, Gil Kerlikowske. Kerlikowske has also despite the debacle of the WTO Ministerial where tens of thousands of residents were exposed to the same chemical agents the U.S. military used against the Viet Cong, pushed for Seattle to be a leader in the acquisition of "less lethal" weaponry. This included the purchase of 260 additional less lethal weapons included 130 untested tasers 7 times as powerful as the ones used on Rodney King only months after the City issued a series of reports critical of the SPD's use of the last batch during the same WTO police riot.

Portland's Police Chief Kroeker was a trusted advisor to Chief Daryl Gates in Los Angeles. The first paramilitary SWAT team was born in Los Angeles and Gates was its architect. Chief Kroeker's prior experience included "policing" Bosnia and Palestine for the United Nations - held up by Portland mayor Vera Katz and other Kroeker supporters as further proof of his qualifications to be local Police Chief. That this experience in two militarized war zones serves as a resume enhancer for what was a few years ago labeled one of the most livable cities in the U.S. is simultaneously horrifying and absurd. More so after a recent article in the Seattle Times: Allow me to quote some of it:

"... Soldiers at Fort Lewis are the first in the nation to form a combat unit with the agility of an infantry force and the training of a SWAT team... . (T) wo years ago, the top brass ordered Fort Lewis to lead an operation known as "transformation." Tanks and heavy vehicles are giving way to light armored brigades of 7,000 men and women, able to be anywhere in the world in 96 hours...Troops in "transformation" learn police tactics; how to kick down a door and the best way to use plastic handcuffs. Explosive grenades on the firing range are sometimes replaced with flashbang grenades... The initial training has attracted worldwide attention. Military observers from France, Thailand and Japan have visited Fort Lewis to tour exercises. German television has twice sent camera crews... "
Army Prepares for New Type of Battle, Alex Fryer, Seattle Times 2/25/2001

Coincidence that this program is being piloted in the Pacific Northwest? Coincidence that it is being piloted an hour's drive from Seattle, which witnessed an unprecedented domestic paramilitary occupation during its WTO Ministerial demonstrations? Coincidence that it is being piloted roughly a hundred miles from the "Community Occupation" of Chief Mark Kroeker? Not likely.

A Nice Friendly Model of Global Corporate Martial Law
For those outside the region it is worth noting that domestic suppression of dissent by law enforcement has traditionally been a major source of knowledge for counterinsurgency. It is also worth noting that the opinion pieces of the ruling elite hold counterinsurgency as the new war of the future, and that police are becoming military consultants.

The most terrifying of the rhetoric of Community Policing in its being applied to "Counterinsurgencies" is the use of the term "Proactive."

A good window on the ruling elite's plans can be found in the current issue of Harvard International Review, titled "The Future of War." Gregory Foster, a professor of the National Defense University in Washington D.C. envisions the ideal future military that can protect the fabric of democracy. The problem is Foster thinks that the "public -private partnerships" are what "imbue democracy with meaning and enable society to function with civility." He doesn't see this as corporate martial law. Instead, he argues: "there is now an imperative for taking decisive action (on behalf of these corporate interests) on a more regular basis." He advocates the "prevention of crisis" by using a military familiar with urban combat tactics and armed with high-tech less lethal weapons "to treat and remove the root causes of unrest, violence, and instability before they perpetuate a crisis."

In other words, a military with full powers of intervention and an eagerness to use them for the benefit of a very wealthy few.
Kitzahber still pushing this strategy 12.Aug.2001 07:25

barking spider

This is an article published by the Oregonian in May. It highlights the messages in Paul's article. Kitzahber even used the word "laboratory" in this interview.

Kitzhaber offers plan for environment

The Oregon governor wants the Bush administration to give local officials more decision-making power

Thursday, May 3, 2001
By TOM DETZEL of The Oregonian staff

WASHINGTON -- Gov. John Kitzhaber proposed a plan Wednesday for working with federal agencies to solve environmental problems, asking the Bush administration to help draft an "Oregon Agreement" to give state and local officials more decision-making power.
The Democratic governor outlined the initiative at a meeting of agency officials and the state's congressional delegation, including Republican Sen. Gordon Smith, who applauded the effort and said he would work to support it.
The pledge came despite the fact that Kitzhaber is weighing whether to challenge Smith in the 2002. The governor met later Wednesday with Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., to discuss the race.
"Until he wants my job, I'm going to work every day to help him with his job," said Smith, who joined Kitzhaber at a brief post-meeting news conference.
The governor's proposal, still in draft form, comes as President Bush and cabinet officials such as Interior Secretary Gale Norton have pledged to allow more local involvement in federal environmental and land-use decisions.
It also arrives against a backdrop of continuing conflict over Northwest forests and fish that is aggravated by this year's drought.
Citing a power emergency, the federal agency operating Columbia River dams plans to forgo spilling water for migration and spawning of protected salmon, drawing Kitzhaber's anger and the prospect of legal challenges.
In the parched Klamath River Basin, where Kitzhaber has declared a drought disaster, farmers face the loss of more than 200,000 acres of crops while federal agencies reserve water for threatened coho salmon and an endangered sucker.
Courts have rebuffed farmers' attempts to free some water for irrigation.
Local control

Kitzhaber and Smith described the Oregon Agreement as a way to avoid environmental gridlock that fits with President Bush's campaign pledge to allow communities to decide how best to meet federal environmental standards.
"We want to use Oregon as a laboratory to demonstrate what I think is the philosophy of this administration, which is national standards, local solutions," the governor said.
Kitzhaber said the state has already shown it's possible with the Oregon Health Plan, a health care program for the poor that operates under a federal waiver, and the Oregon Option, a state-federal welfare reform program.
A draft of the Oregon Agreement describes the program as "special partnership with the Bush administration to demonstrate how a healthy environment and a strong economy can go hand in hand."
Oregon "agrees with the administration that the 30-year-old federal model of mandate, regulate and litigate needs to be modernized," the draft says. "Today's salmon and watershed problems can only be solved locally."
Kitzhaber complained that a too-rigid interpretation of environmental laws by federal agencies has blocked some of Oregon's efforts to restore salmon and steelhead runs under the Endangered Species Act.
"We've got dozens of private landowners lined up with watershed improvement projects who can't get permits," he said, citing one example. "And after two or three years, they throw up their hands and say, 'Why bother?' "
Smith called the Klamath Basin situation, with its combination of litigation and economic losses, "the poster child of what's wrong with the current operation of the Endangered Species Act. Surely we can learn from our long history that there's room for wildlife and farmers, too."
Under the proposal, federal agencies and the state would first agree to a set of principles for environmental management and in some specific cases to serve as models for the approach.
Officials receptive
As possibilities, the draft mentions the state's plan for restoring coastal salmon and steelhead, the Columbia-Snake Recovery Plan for salmon, and the Blue Mountain Demonstration Project, an effort to restore damaged forests and watersheds on 2.5 million acres and two river basins in eastern Oregon.
Dale Bosworth, the new chief of the U.S. Forest Service, attended the meeting Wednesday as did officials from the departments of interior and commerce, which also have a role in enforcing the Endangered Species Act.
Bosworth did not return a call asking for comment, but Smith and others at the session said the federal officials were receptive to the idea.
Andrew Anderson, a lobbyist with the Oregon Farm Bureau, said the proposal could prompt challenges from environmental groups, which generally have opposed giving states more flexibility to lead species recovery programs.
He said the farm bureau backs the idea because "given an opportunity, local people can solve problems better than federal agencies can dictate them."
The proposal drew a guarded response from two Oregon environmentalists, who said they had not heard about the plan.
"I have tremendous respect and trust in Governor Kitzhaber," said Jeff Allen, executive director of the Oregon Environmental Council. "But who knows who will be governor two years from now and whether that governor will have the same level of commitment to the environment?"
Jeff Curtis, western conservation director for Trout Unlimited, said his group has been supportive of the governor's approach to restoring salmon habitat. At the same time, a study showed that many stream restoration projects by local watershed councils were undercut by poor grazing or other practices.
"I'd say Governor Kitzhaber, we like the approach but we think the devil is going to be in the details in how you carry it out," Curtis said.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., also praised the approach Wednesday, and Kevin Smith, the governor's Washington, D.C., lobbyist, said it had support from all five of Oregon's House members.

You can reach Tom Detzel at 503-294-7604 or by e-mail at  tom.detzel@newhouse.com.

PDXS 1995 article 12.Aug.2001 07:28


Here's another one Paul researched and wrote here in Portland in 1995 I believe, in the newspaper, PDXS
Paul Richmond on...
Selling Oregon's School Children to the Ultra-Rich

Imagine this: A cabal of powerful business owners is after the America' children. They want to train them to be mindless employees in their massive corporations. The power brokers have recruited influential politicians to turn the public school system into nothing more than a training ground for future employees. The politicians also want to break up families that aren't willing to toe the corporate line.

It sounds like an episode of the X-Files or the plot of a cheap science fiction paperback, but this is not fiction. It's already happened in Oregon. The outlandish-sounding scheme culminated on December 5, 1994. That's when a document called "The Oregon Option" was signed by the entire Clinton Cabinet, all members of the Oregon Congressional delegation, outgoing Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts, incoming Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, Portland Mayor Vera Katz, Multnomah County Commission Chair Beverly Stein, Gresham Mayor Gussie McRobert, and others.

At the time of the signing, Vice President Al Gore said "the Oregon Option" would turn the state into a "laboratory." The agreement describes the research field as "childhood health, family stability and workforce development."

To the casual observer, this language may sound like just so much meaningless nonsense- the kind of feel-good rhetoric found in so many governmental documents that are merely collecting dust on the shelf these days. But, in the case of "The Oregon Option," nothing could be further from the truth. This plan actually combines a series of obscure but significant plans created by some of the region's - indeed, the nation's - most powerful politicians and business executives. They are a group which has interacted with one another for years, usually outside the glare of public scrutiny. These are not the sort of people who spend their time working on meaningless projects.

Through the arrangements now combined in "The Oregon Option," these power brokers have readjusted the very structure of 20th Century American society around their own needs. What is being created by The Oregon Option is nothing less than a government run entirely for the benefit of its largest banks, utilities and other major corporations. The aim is the creation of generations of completely docile, corporate trained citizens. It will accomplish this through a life time of government intervention and manipulation in the education and rearing of all children.

Under the programs encompassed in "The Oregon Option," the government wil set up databases on every child conceived. It will use home visits to evaluate the parents to see if they fit the corporate standards. It will have the ability to monitor and break apart families. Parents will go through parenting classes which will fill them with corporate sanctioned psycho-babble and rhetoric. Failure to abide by the conditions of this program will be called "developmental neglect" - grounds for the government to remove the child from the family.

Children will be subjected to an education system which will emphasize their mediocrity. At school, in a manner frighteningly reminiscent of Nazi Germany's Hitler Youth, they will be encouraged to report all suspicious behavior of friends, neighbors, siblings, or classmates to a properly sanctioned authority of the corporate state.

In the end, Oregonians will be no more than cogs in the corporate machine.


"The Oregon Option" is the result of more than a decade of careful planning by some of the wealthiest and most powerful individuals in not only Oregon, but the entire nation. Based on work begun under the administrations of former Oregon governor's Mark Hatfield and Neil Goldschmidt, it has been pushed by some of the state's best known political figures, including former Portland Mayor and Oregon Governor Neil Goldschmidt. At the core of "The Oregon Option" is :The Oregon Strategic Plan," a landmark document drafted and implemented under the direction of former Governor Goldschmidt.

Written in 1988, "The Oregon Strategic Plan" is perhaps the ultimate example of "trickle-down economics." It restructures the entire needs of everyone in the state around those of its largest corporations. Under the plan, large corporations get tax breaks called "reverse investment."- Workers compensations settlements are seen as a disadvantage to attracting large businesses and thus reduced. The education system is restructured to guarantee an adequate workforce for these corporations - though no provisions are made to guarantee jobs for all residents. The per capita income of Oregon residents is raised not by raising the earned income of current residents, but by importing "skilled professional" who will gentrify Oregon and force the current residents out.

Looked upon by Willamette Week and the rest of the official alternative press as the consummate "visionary " leader, Goldschmidt is, according to "American Politics," a member of the Trilateral Commission - a group of the powerful business and political leaders that grew out of efforts by the world's wealthiest families (the Morgans, the Rockefellers, the Carnegies, etc.) to extend the power of their mega-monopolies (U.S. Steel, General Motors, Standard Oil, Chase Bank, etc.). They formed think tanks to redesign public policies to their own benefit, then convinced elected officials to adopt these self-serving plans.

That's the pattern Goldschmidt followed in preparing "The Oregon Strategic Plan." It was drafted by and ad hoc think tank comprised of representatives of the state's dominant economic interests, including Portland General Electric (PGE), Pacific Power and Light (PP&L), Northwest Natural Gas, First Interstate Bank, Weyerhaueser, and a few other members of the Portland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the Oregon Business Council.

Goldschmidt has received substantial campaign contributions for this same group of corporations, and was later retained as a highly paid lobbyist by many of them. This is typical of today's revolving door between business and government.

Overseeing the policy's development was Richard Reiten, then director of the Oregon Economic Development Department (OEDD). After he left OEDD, Reiten was named president of PGE. Significantly, one of Reiten's last acts in his role as OEDD Chair was to move all Oregon state government offices dealing with international affairs into the World Tade a downtown Portland building owned by PGE.

The actual drafting of the plan was done by Duncan Wyse, then a policy manager with the Oregon Office of Economic development. Wyse then became director of the Oregon Progress Board, and body created by " The Oregon Strategic Plan" to monitor its implementation. In 1995, Wyse left state government to become president of the Oregon Business Council (OBC), an influential private organization made of the largest businesses in the state.

The group which directed the development of "The Oregon Strategic Plan" included such heavy hitters as John Gray and Don Frisbee, two well-established Portland businessmen who have served on the boards of a half dozen major corporations, including Weyerhauser and First Interstate Bank. They also served on Governor John Kitzhaber's Transition Team, and are currently members of the Oregon Progress Board.

Whenever a group of people meets among themselves, the decisions they come up with will only reflect the needs of those who had a voice in the process. So it's not surprising that "The Oregon Strategic Plan" meets the needs of large corporate interests, not the general population of the state. For example, the plan sees protections such as workers compensation and unemployment benefits as impediments to "competitiveness." Strategies are designed to eliminate them.

Similarly, talk of raising per capita incomes is not centered around improving the shrinking earning capacity of people already in Oregon - it is centered on bringing people into the state with higher incomes. Obviously, this will not fill the needs of those in Oregon who no longer have jobs. It will, however, provide a steady client/consumer base for those branches of business and government who drafted the plan.

These few examples portray the central premise of " The Oregon Strategic Plan" - readjusting the lives of all Oregonians to the needs of the state's largest businesses.

Readjusting the lives of Oregonians around corporations is not an easy task. It requires allowing the corporations direct access to coming generations. This was accomplished in 1991 when the Oregon Legislature passed HB 3565 - the "Oregon 21st Century Education Act," sponsored by then-Oregon House Speaker Vera Katz. Now Mayor of Portland, Katz admits that this law has origins in research which began a decade earlier. The research Katz is referring to is not that of a local Oregon government body - it is the work of a highly influential private group called the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE).

To call this group "influential" is understatement. Its membership in recent years has included members of the cabinets of the last seven U.S. Presidents. It's also included the chairs of the Democratic and Republican political parties. Representatives from the business community have included high ranking executives from such massive firms as IBM and Apple, Chevron and Exxon, and Coke and Pepsi. Despite the nominal hostility of some of these parings, through the NCEE they became united as one in their redesign of the U.S. education system.

In the center of this conglomeration of corporate and political power is David Rockefeller, the wealthiest member of one of the world's wealthiest and most powerful families. Rockefeller's family network had executive officers, or owned controlling interest, in most of the non-profit foundations and private corporations represented at the NCEE. In David Rockefeller, we find the personification of the wealthy elite capable of redesigning the policies of government for their own benefit. His mere presence on this board meant that its findings would be taken seriously.

Less ominous at the time than Rockefeller's presence on these panels were those of relatively obscure regional politicians and advisors who would later rise to greater prominence. These included the wife of the governor of the second poorest state in the union, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the Speaker of the House of the backwaters state of Oregon, Vera Katz. In 1994 Katz would become the only elected official to be appointed to President Bill Clinton's National Skills Standards Board - a body which oversaw the development of Clinton's national plan for Outcome Based Education, Goal 2000.

A number of people who are currently among Clinton's closest advisors were also involved in the process. One was Ira Magaziner, chair of the NCEE's Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, and a private consultant on international corporate strategies for business and government. Another was Marc Tucker, president of the NCEE and exectuve director of the Carnegie Forum on education and the Economy. Also involved was Laura Tyson, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a consultant to the World Bank and the Rand Corporation.

The recommendations of the NCEE were formally endorsed by the National Governors' Association at its annual 1986 convention. Five governors began implementing these recommendations in their states. They include Lamar Alexander, the then-Governor of Tennessee )Al Gore's home state) who became Secretary of Education under President George Bush, and who is now a candidate for the U.S. Presidency; Richard Riley, the then-Governor of South Carolina, who became Secretary of Education under President Bill Clinton; and Bill Clinton, the then-Governor of Arkansas. These states, all with small populations, all with poor economies, were to serve as trials for this policy before it to be implemented nationally.

A similar indicator of the importance of this law to the power brokers is visible here in Oregon. The Katz aide most involved in the passage of her education act was Phil Keisling. Following his work on the education act, Keisling was elected to the Oregon House, appointed to the office of Secretary of State by former Governor Barbara Roberts, and then reelected to that office. The mainstream and official alternative news media repeatedly touts Keisling as a future Oregon Governor and/or U.S. Senator.

The fundamentals of Outcome Based Education are based on the notion of creating a generation ideal workers. Education, according to the rhetoric of OBE proponents, exists simply to help people find jobs. Consequently, the OVE curriculum is designed to direct students into specific career tracks at a very young age. This is known as "tracking."

Because of the involvement of the largest corporations in the writing in the writing of this plan, they are the ones who, often at taxpayer expense, design the parameters of what the career tracks entail. The end result is a system which supplies select corporations with their choice of workers, but makes no guarantees that even a majority of the students will ever find employment.

One of the strongest illustrations of this complete domination of the education system by the most powerful corporations is the "model program" at Portland's own David Douglas High School. The David Douglas program claims to set up practical internships where students will receive actual knowledge in their chosen field. The program was designed in what is referred to with a straight face as a "partnership" with the Oregon Business Council - administered by the former administrator for the Oregon Progress Board, Duncan Wyse.

While the categories of internships sound utopian, the program's bias is illustrated by where they actually take place. Young aspiring artists are not paired with dancers, painters or composers, but with utility giant PP&L. Students interested in social services are not paired with social scientists or social agencies, bte with PGE. Those wishing to work with nature are not paired with botanists, zoologists, or naturalists, but with the Bonneville Power Administration. Those interested in health sciences are not connected with doctors, nurses or even orderlies, but with insurance giants Kaiser and Providence, where they are taught the finer points of paper pushing. Those interested in business are not shown example of smaller companies that they may themselves start up, but are instead paired with Fred Meyer, preparing hem to be low paid service workers.

These grotesque examples of runaway corporate domination give a flavor of the real work emphasized in Outcome Based Education.

There is also, in OBE, in place of academics, an emphasis on "group dynamics." Students are taught to work as a group, and to value the group's opinion, often above their own. This has led to Orwellian consequences. One parent told of a child who would not put down the correct answer to a simple math problem because it contradicted what their group had decided.

A child who is taught with this dual emphasis -learning what the corporations tell them to learn and not questioning their peer group - is the ideal corporate drone. This child will, as he or she reaches adulthood, have neither the drive to question their working conditions, or the ambitions start a competitive business.

Since this is something few informed parents would accept, Katz's education act set hp a method of enforcement. Specifically, failure to achieve satisfactory progress in these corporate dominated academics is defined as a form of abuse. This gives the government grounds to intervene in the lives of any family which isn't going along with the program. Social services thus become the tool of corporate-dominated government to ensure that this new curriculum would be followed.

While little is specifically written about the role of social services in Katz's bill, it was the subject of a package of laws passed by the 1991 Oregon Legislature. Its principle supporters included state representatives John Meek and Lisa Naito, and, to a greater extent, state senators Shirley Gold, Bill McCoy, and, perhaps most prominently, future Multnomah County Commission Chair Beverly Stein.

So complete are these controls that State Senator Tom Hartung (R-Portland) even joked about them. Hartung chaired the senate Education Committee during the 1995 Oregon Legislature. This committee reviewed and slightly revised the "Oregon 21st Century Education Act." During one hearing, Hartung responded to public protests against the heavy-handed provisions of the act by quipping, "We got rid of all the behavior modification. We just put it somewhere else."

Under Katz's education plan, if a child were not meeting the new academic standards, there could be evaluations to determine if it is "in the child's best interest" to separate them from their parents. While there might be a faintly altruistic sound to this pretense of "helping" kids from"troubled homes" in school, when these sort of rigid standards of academic success are combined with the corporate-based academics, more rights are given to corporations such as PP&L and PGE than to the actual parents in the raising of the child.

Among the many laws which Gold, McCoy and Stein introduced into the 1991 Oregon Legislature are these, which the Oregon Progress Board cites as the most important to its mission: SB 701, which creates a "human investment board" to fund demonstrations projects; SP1099, which encourages municipalities to become "demonstration" sites for these projects (The law further calls for these municipalities to have access to a "continuum" of social services - that is, an interlocking web of social service interventions from cradle to grave); and HB 2954, which creates the "Oregon Coordinating Council for Children and Families", the group which will orient Oregon's education and social service around the goals of the Oregon Progress Board - the direct toe to The Oregon Option.

After former Multnomah County Chair Gladys McCoy (Senator McCoy's wife) died in office, Stein was elected to replace her by virtue of a heavily financed campaign. Once in office, Stein set up Multnomah County as one of the demonstration sited she had created under SB 701 and SB 1099 while in the Oregon Legislature. She accomplished this through the creation of the Multnomah Commission on Children and Families. Stein's closeness with the work of this commission is symbolized by the fact that she shares a front office and receptionist with them