1. Yesterday at the Salmon 2100 conference in Portland, Bush's chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality told scientists and fishmen that the way to solve the salmon extinction problem was to stop eating fish. "Wha... ..?" said the fishermen and scientists. The Admin conceded thet using hatcheries to supplement dwindling salmon populations is harming wild salmon. But instead of doing the smart thing and making sure there is enough clean water in rivers and streams, the Admin is attacking the 7 percent of fish people catch and eat.
2. Three more activists - probably not connected to the 11 already indicted in Oregon - were indicted this week. This time in California. They are a Sacramento jail right now. Here's how they got there. They were living a cabin in a place called Dutch Flat that was rented by the FBI and wired for audio and video surveillance. (Well, I guess, since they paid the rent, they get to bug the place... .Lesson: Always check with the room mate who writes the checks to see if they are bugging the place.)
3. The Feds have upped the ante on a fugitive activist. $50 to $250 thousand. (Not to mention the rent... ). Daniel Andreas San Diego. The fugitive is suspected of coordinating the 2003 bombings of two East Bay companies.
4. Back home in Eugene, Oregon, jailed activist Daniel McGowan was released on bail yesterday. The official story goes that 4 other activists helped the government identify McGowan as a suspect. The prosecuting attorney said that recorded conversations between McGowan and an informant led to his arrest (McGowan's, not the informant's. (So at last we have an answer to at least one eternal rhetorical question, 'Am I being paranoid?'. Answer: No.)
5. Andy Seaton does the Portland City Council. This time, the topic is exclusion zones.
6. The LA suburb, Maywood has passed a resolution that in essence says that the police won't get involved with the enforcement of immigration policy.
7. The Mexican government has put out a map for migrants indicating where along the US border one can find main roads and water tanks.
8. After 9/11 in a period of febrile fear-mongering, 4 Muslim men were detained without charge, cleared of any connection to terrorism and eventually deported back to Egypt. Now they are back and they are filing a class action civil lawsuit against the government.
9. Has anyone noticed that there is almost a full-blown war going on along the US-Mexican border? Drug Lords and their foot soldiers dressed up in uniforms, driving military vehicles and using military ordnance have repeatedly clashed with the somewhat out-gunned US border patrol. (Also note that the Minutemen cleared out the minute the possibility of actually being shot at came up)
10. FSRN: In Santa Cruz undercover police were caught spying on locals.
11. A report commissioned by the Pentagon claims that the US Army is "stretched to the breaking point." Rumsfeld said he hadn't read the report, but it wasn't true.
12. Senators are accusing Bush of stonewalling on the Katrina response inquiry. But what is even worse, the Admin wants to turn the reconstruction of New Orleans over to a private company - to be set up by the government (I don't make this stuff up)
13. Grover Norquist wants to privatize the public school system (but you knew that... ) by shrinking it to the size that you could drown it in a drinking fountain. He's starting in San Diego (Not to be confused with the fugitive activist) by larding the school board with Christer cronies.
14. Oh, this is sweet: Yesterday Bush nominated one of the justice department's lead prosecutors in the Abramoff investigation to a US District Court seat. Noel Hillman, Chief of the Department's Public Integrity section, was nominated for a Federal judgeship in New Jersey (You thought I was going to Florida, right?). The splendidly incompetent (crony-appointed-by-Bush) Assistant Attorney General Alice Fischer commended Hillman for doing such a great job of investigating Abramoff.
15. Dick Marty's report on CIA kidnappings and torture, says that the US used "gangster tactics" and that European governments turned a blind eye to the "out-sourcing of torture."
16. A footnote in AG Alberto Gonzales's legal memo defending Bush's domestic spying program appears to say that the Admin did not need Congress to extend the USA Patriot Act in order to keep using the law's investigative powers against terror suspects. What this means is that Bush is going to keep on spying and Congress can go fuck itself (Oh that Bush! Keepin' it gangsta, as always... )
17. The supreme court halted an execution. (They must have been celebrating the last days humane ruling before the vast, dark shadow of Samuel Alito falls across the blood-soaked land.)
18. Bush called a press conference this morning ...
19. Alito crouches beneath the White House, drooling and chittering in anticipation...
20. Hamas surprised Palestine's ruling Fatah Party by winning the parliamentary election. (For that matter, Hamas surprised Hamas with the stunning win). At the press conference - see above - Bush said he still considers the social service group that provides clean water, schools and medical care for the beleaguered Palestinian people to be a "terrorist organization". Or maybe he considers them a "tourist organization"> It's hard to understand the man when he gnashes his teeth like that.
21. The US military quietly let 5 women and 400 men out of prison. It had nothing to do with the4 still-kidnapped Jill Carroll. It was a coincidence, of course. We don't do business with terrorists (just with tourists and gangstas)
22. Huge bales of cash that were supposed to be used to rebuild Iraq were quandered by US occupation forces to snort cocaine off the buttocks of naked camels. Also gambling and refurbishing an Olympic sized pool. (But why??? You might ask. Well, "because there were no detailed overt preparations for the reconstruction of Iraq in the run-up to the 2003 invasion "to avoid the impression that the US government had already decided on military intervention" that is why.)
23. In Caracas, Venezuela thousands of people have gathered for the World Social Forum to hear Speeches-to-The-Choir.