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0317 am 'Get This' news

Summary of the KBOO am news for Friday, March 17th, 2006
1. A farmer and a Democrat is running in the Democratic primary in District 17. Why is this important? Because the Republican incumbent would otherwise be unopposed. It's a symptom of thawing...
2. Nearly half of Oregon's elderly eligible haven't signed up for Bush's huge fruit basket to the pharmaceutical industry, And other half could buy their way out of a heart attack and don't care.
3. Earl Blumenauer plans to introduce legislation today that would direct Bush to redeploy US Armed Forces from Iraq - starting with the National Guard. "Direct Bush" - The commander in chief of the entire military is a man who has never been to war, never read a book about war, knows nothing about military history and would have flunked out of business school (which really amounts to training and should not be confused with education) were it not for the power, money and influence of his father. (After this one, no more Zevon quotes - promise. "Send lawyers, guns and money... .Dad, get me out of this... ")
4. The Commander in Chief is also going to sell off 300 thousand acres of our (as in yours and mine) forests to raise $800 million dollars, which sounds like a lot until you take into account: n 1, It's spread over 41 counties; 2, and last five years; 3, The war on Iraq costs $177 million dollars a day. That's right, every day.
5. Voters in Mendocino County approved a measure in 2004 prohibiting genetically modified organisms. Since then 14 states have barred local regulation of the types of seeds farmers can use and another five are considering similar bans.
6. Top leaders from the Christian Right are warning Republicans that they must do more to advance conservative values ahead of the mid-term elections. Apparently the Christers are not satisfied with the power they already wield - no, they want it all. And they will tell you so themselves. 'It's for your good... '
7. Guards at a juvenile youth camp kicked, 'applied pressure to the head', punched and generally 'counseled' a young inmate to death - 'It was for his own good'.
8. The envelope please... Bush's choice to replace Gale Norton as head of the Department of the Interior is... Idaho governor and friend of developers and oil companies alike, Dirk Kempthorne. Dirk's voting record on environmental issues represents a direct assault on living things. He has favored changing the Endangered Species Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act to make them favorable to commercial interests. Dirk seems to want to personally dig gigantic holes in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the name of oil exploration.
9. Four big storms in three weeks have caused mudslides and chaos in the Hawaiian Islands. In some places it's the wettest Spring on record since 1907. And this would be because...
10. Rising ocean surface temperatures are a primary factor in a 35-year trend of stronger, more intense hurricanes. Scientists report verification of the link between severe storms and rising ocean temperatures.
11. California prison officials have begun using GPS anklets to track gang members. (They must have got the idea from wildlife biologists). What next? Tranquilizer darts used on protesters? Oh, Right. They already have those...
12. Even the New Yorker magazine is pleased to tell the future-perfect tale of the hipsters who have themselves shot-up with RFID chips, making it possible to open doors, turn TV's and computers on, make toast (and blow your dog for all I know... ). It's a scary thought, but what's even scarier is the notion that DARPA succeeded in making this technology "cool", and the left can't even sell the idea of resisting an illegal war... )
13. Sexual assault! The military says that reports of sexual assault are on the rise ever since it allows victims to report sexual assault. (This is why no one joins the Army to learn to think; you join to keep and empty but not open mind, and kill people, of course.
14. Congress pushed the ceiling on the national debt to $9 trillion dollars. There is no way to understand what a figure that size really means. It's a colossal number and it reflects What America has Lost in six short years. Not just material loss, either. Tolerance, civil rights, regard for the environment, understanding of the rest of the world... .I could go on and you could too. We let it slip through our fingers.
15. The Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security has laid out for the Administration just exactly how vulnerable US ports really are (What's the matter with this guy? Doesn't he understand that the best thing that could possible happen to Bush right now would be if an American port was attacked by terrorists. It is about the only thing that would rescue the president's popularity... )
16. The Administration released a revised National Security Strategy today and guess what? Right! The whole thing can be summed up in two words: 'Iran' and 'pre-emptive strike.'
17. Woman Freedom Organization released a report that shows that violence against Iraqi women has increased dramatically. Women have been kidnapped, raped, killed, not necessarily in that order and frequently all at once. Some women in Iraq are no doubt feeling a bit nostalgic when they remember the days of Saddam Hussein.
18. The Pentagon is worried about military build up in China and most of it aimed at Taiwan. If we are so worried about "military build-up", why the hell did we go and sell them all that stuff in the first place? (The Pentagon would do well to worry about the US deficit. It's a far greater threat to our "security" - that and North Korea. But it isn't fun to bomb the deficit and N. Korea is too bleak to make good TV.)
19. Iceland's economy is in trouble - the proverbial 'canary in a coalmine.'
20. UN arms embargoes are systematically and consistently violated. (See #18 above).
21. It gets worse: Russia and the US have spearheaded a call for increased nuclear power to provide a more secure energy supply for the world. Wheeee!