1. The Dean of OSU Forestry school said he regrets his and other professors' attempt to derail the publication of Daniel Donato's paper on forest recovery. Dean Salwasser testified in favor of the logging bill earlier when it was still in play. Seems that he is having some second thoughts, since so many people are worried that the school could face right-wing backlash (the absolutely worst kind) if their findings don't support the timber industry's mythology.
2. Kulongoski chose 10 people to be on a new State land use panel. Take a look at some of these people's background.
3. Re: shipbreaking: A core group of citizens in Newport (Not what you think of when you think 'activist'. These people are fishermen, tourist industry business owners and service providers, marine insurance guys, electrolysis techs, mostly middle-aged and middle class). Bay Bridge had already talked to the State Economic Development Corp. The fix was in. The shipbreaking plan was announced the Saturday after Thanksgiving. By the following Tuesday, these people had gathered upwards of 350 signatures opposing the deal, produced a full page ad that came out in the paper, mobilized and educated friends and neighbors and were a force to be reckoned with. They had about 6 weeks to stop Bay Bridge and they pulled it off with flourish.
4. The Pentagon says that its creepy psy-ops warfare is okay as long as it isn't pointed at Americans (Wait... .isn't Gawd supposed to protect Americans from psy-ops?)
5. The Feds are warning mayors across the nation that if there is a bird flu pandemic, they're on their own. Which of course is another way of saying that the citizenry is on its own which is another way to say 'Buy a respirator.'
6. The budget deficit is going to hit $337 billion this year - up $23 billion from the August estimate. (This plus the bird flu is going to pinch... )
7. Even the American public is worried about the deficit (Which goes to show how very serious the deficit situation really is: anything that rouses the American public from its stupefying lack of curiosity and interest has got to be very bad indeed.)
8. The gap between rich and poor is widening. (Brought about largely by the fact that both the rich and the poor vote Republican... )
9. The Oregon Department of Agriculture fined the Cascade Division of Western Farm Service $152 thousand dollars. The company racked-up 191 pesticide-related violations since 2002 and at 5 different WFS stores in the Willamette Valley. (Fun project! Go to the ODA website, get a list of restricted pesticides - pesticides include herbicides, remember - and the go after huge 'big box' stores that sell garden supplies. There is a vast list of chemicals they are not allowed to sell to the public.)
10. A Pennsylvania politician running for Rep. candidate for governor fired his campaign manager. This manager apparently referred to his client's opponent as "the rich white guy". In point of fact, the opponent is African-American.
11. Bush gave a news conference yesterday - sort of a little hors d'oervre before the big Feast of Lies next Tuesday.
12. Democrats can't agree on whether to filibuster the Alito nomination. John Kerry and Ted Kennedy want to go for it, after all, what have the Dems got to lose anyway? Please call every Senator you can think of and tell them to fight this nomination tooth and nail. What? What's that you say? Yes I am aware that neither the Reps nor the Dems are in charge. The guys who are actually in charge are out of town - Davos, Switzerland - and no one is steering the ship of states. With Alito on the Supreme Court, the slow motion coup d'etat will be complete.)
13. No less a personage than Ken Starr wants to spare the life of a California inmate. (There in exhibiting the delicate interplay of 'eros' and 'thanatos'.)
14. It's been quite a week for shipbreaking, both deliberate and accidental. The 1994 decision by an Alaskan jury to award punitive damages to the 34 thousand people harmed by the Exxon Valdez oil spill are back in court trying to get Exxon to pay up. This is the third time the case has come before the 9th Circuit court.
15. The Minutemen Project is filing a lawsuit against Laguna beach for violating its civil rights. Laguna Beach won't give the gun-loving guys to be in its Patriots Day Parade. Fancy that!
16. Stephen Harper is sending ice-breakers to the Arctic to defend 'Canadian waters'. The US says, 'not so fast. Those are international waters'. Harper: You defend your sovereignty and we'll defend ours. (Then he stamped his little foot and pouted.)
17. Israel won't talk to Hamas and Bush says he won't either, although both Bush and Israel want to continue peace talks. While the two pondered this conundrum, Israeli gunmen shot a 9-year-old girl.
18. The ACLU is suing the government for using the Patriot Act as "an instrument of censorship". The DHS has a policy of "ideological exclusion" which prevents US citizens from hearing ideas whose expression is protected by the Constitution (Which as Bush mentioned recently is "just a piece of paper"). The plaintiff in the suit is Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss intellectual and distinguished Muslim scholar. He has been denied a visa despite the fact that he has been offered a tenured position at the University of Notre Dame and has a series of speaking engagements all around the country. (At least the US will be spared the humiliation of 'Brain Drain' - we're all drain and no brain.)
19. Al-Jazeera aired a video of the two German contractors who were kidnapped this week.Up-date on the border war: Mexico's top diplomat suggested that it might have been American soldier disguised as Mexican troops that may have been in the military Humvee filmed earlier this week protecting a huge pot shipment. Mexico insisted that if the men in military gear were in fact Mexican then they were drug lords, not soldiers. Anybody can buy police and military gear at street stalls in some border towns. (Confusing? You bet! My analysis: It's like Halloween... only with guns and drugs. Wheeee!)