1. Even as tuition and fees have gone up 50% in the past 5 years, Oregon's university students are more likely than ever to be taught by part-time instructors (whose other job is probably as 'greeters' at Wal-Mart). Because it broadens their perspective on the American workforce? No. Because it's cheaper. (Okay, yes).
2. The weekend saw Portland's 4th homicide so far this year.
3. For the next two weekds, Oregon, Washington and BC drivers are going to have to slow down, lay off the testosterone and learn some manners. After that, it's back to the good old arsehole-on-wheels scenario. 'Saturation patrols' is the official term for the program.
4. Australian police are trying to get the US to extradite 'Dr. Death' or Dr. Jayant Patel, as he is known in Oregon. Patel's lawyer is fighting the extradition on grounds that media coverage would jeopardize his chances of getting a fair trial (which is the same as observing that in the US, the individual is largely indifferent to what goes on in the world unless it gets between him and the car, TV or ham,burger.).
5. ONS: Republican bully Gregg Walden is sponsoring a bill that would give the government power to log forests after forest fires. The bill will be heard (if that's the word for it) in Congress this month.
6. Betty Friedan, author of the groundbreaking book, The Feminine Mistake (not to be confused with Hilary Clinton, The Feminine Mistake) has died.
7. We get another month to sit at the bedside of our rapidly expiring civil rights. That funny sound on your phoneline? That would be a death rattle - and not necessarily a long distance one.
8. Alberto Gonzales is testifying before a senate panel as I write this. Gonzales and Bush go back to the halcyon days when Bush was the harmless governor of Texas. And now here's our boy defending absolute, unquestioned power for Bush until the "war" is over. And that would be when? One Senator asked. Gonzales: When we have eliminated al Qaeda (As the specter - Not Arlen, either - of Pentagon-generated "al Qaeda" attacks waiting somewhere out there in the future... ..)
9. Zacarias Moussaoui returns to the courtroom this week where the jury will decide if he deserves the death penalty. The trial has been a matter of high melodrama. The trial has been delayed repeatedly for appeals over Moussaoui's access to al Qaeda detainees who he claims support his case. The Admin won't grant access due to "security concerns" - same argument that will likely be made when the environmental activists currently in jail invoke habeas corpus.
10. Bush's budget, submitted this week, is a giant pipeline between the US economy and the Pentagon. But every other department of government is getting hosed. Absent funding, social service programs will fail, permitting the government to point out that the programs don't work... ..all the more reason to cancel them. And still no public outcry? Not unless the car, TV and hamburger are threatened.
11. In Oregon's gubernatorial primaries illegal immigration - or illigration -has emerged as a potent issue. Republicans are climbing over one another to be the toughest fist to the weakest chin. Land of the free, home of the brave - but not necessarily in that order...
12. The Pentagon has got its "Long War" on. Here's what it is going to look like for the next 20 years: More troops secretly deployed in foreign countries (Some blond, 270-pound corn-fed hick who can barely speak English - never mind any other language - dropped into, of, say Venezuela. How's that work?). More: special ops, unmanned drones, and strange new technology. Guess who's in the cross hairs? (Other than environmental activists, that is) China! Our Fountain of The Cheap Stuff We Love! How about that?
13. And with all that money flowing straight into its jugular vein, the Pentagon cooked this up: A new counterterrorism "strategy" will measure and review military operations to determine whether or not more terrorists are being created or destroyed (presumably by the aforesaid military operations).
14. A prison riot in a maximum security jail in LA ended with one person dead and hundreds wounded. Authorities normally can't segregate prisoners based on race or ethnicity. Authorities also say they have no idea what caused the riot...
15. The Secret Service is investigating a RI 7th-grader who wrote an essay describing 'My Perfect Day'. Apparently the kid's 'Perfect Day' included violence against Bush, Coca Cola, Wal-Mart and Oprah. (I say the boy is on his way to either Pelican Bay Supermax or a Pulitzer.
16. FSRN: A NY Federal judge says the EPA made deliberate misleading statements about air quality in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
17. Lebanon's Interior Minister Hassan Sabeh has resigned after demonstrators set fire to the Danish embassy in Beirut.
18. The Palestinian Attorney General has discovered that $700 million dollars have gone missing. AG Ahmed al-Meghami did not name any of the individuals under investigation. (And asked that no one say the word, 'Fatah' for at least a couple of months... .)
19. The US military is investigating the death of an Iraqi detainee at Abu Ghraieb. The prisoner, who had no previous medical condition, died of what is described as a "stroke". (Stroke? Stroke of what? A pen? Brass knuckles?)
20. Iran's leadership says it's going to forge full speed ahead with the uranium enrichment despite the fact that the day before, that nation had been reported to the Security Council. And as the Russian Defense Minister mentioned sanctions are not going to have much effect. (So this means? ... .Wait for Israel to attack or just go in, guns a-blazing?)
21. Twenty-three prisoners - 13 of them convicted members of al Qaeda - escaped from a Yemeni prison. By tunneling.
22. Afghanis read the papers, too and so they're annoyed with the Western world. Militants attacked a US military patrol in Afghanistan today, killing one American. It happened near a central Afghan city where protests erupted over the publication of those cartoons. (That or because the local paper had cancelled 'Doonesberry'.