1. Oregon has until last year to put good teachers in all classrooms.
2. Native-to-Coos Bay Olympia oysters are gone. This is a culinary tragedy indeed, for humans. But it has much worse implications to the entire marine environment.
3. What if you threw a Smelt Festival and the Smelts didn't show up? It happened in Yachats. Oregon Fish & wildlife says the disappearance is caused by "ocean conditions."
4. Good-bye, Blue-fin Tuna, also.
5. Big wind-farming is coming to Oregon.
6. Now Washington is on-board with the growing opposition to the siting of an LNG facility near Astoria. People on the other side of the river started thinking about the environmental degradation (Hello, Smelts? Oysters?), not to mention the possibility of a 6-mile wide fireball ignoring state lines.
7. Two bicyclists in Seattle were participating in a monthly Critical Mass ride when they were thrown to the ground, beaten and arrested by plain clothes cops.
8. Louisiana relies on its "dirt-cheap, sometimes free, always compliant, ever-ready and disposable" labor. Undocumented immigrants? Even better: Convicts!
9. The Navy's use of sonar during war games and submarine hunting practice caused hundreds of whales to become disoriented. Many died in the mass stranding. (But, hey, if it's a question of saving the whales or shooting at imaginary submarines... well... )
10. Hey, Kids! Join the military and see the World - as long as the world is a series of homeless shelters, madness, addiction and loss. Across America hundreds of thousands of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan are homeless. Plus it's hard to get a job if all your resume says is "I kill people I don't even know for money."
11. Here's the new plan those geniuses at the Pentagon have for Ramadi: "Get rid of it."
12. Or perhaps a stint in the Marines will prepare you for a career in the music industry... ..or not, as the case was with Corporal Joshua Belile and his ill-conceived song, 'Hadji Girl.'
13. The Iraqi Justice Minister wants the US to do a lot more than "investigate" the rape and murder of a young (the hospital said she was about 14 years old... ) woman and the murder of three family members. But few Iraqis believe that justice actually will be done.
14. The Delhi police and intelligence agencies are investigating another break-in at a high security location involving - to no one's great surprise - US intelligence agencies. (All this sensitive information mining, all these satellites and listening devices aimed at citizens and allies - so why was North Korea's missile launch such a surprise????))
15. And the answer is... ..because we are stunningly incompetent, I am forced to conclude... ..Italian police arrested a director at Italy's military intelligence agency suspected of helping the CIA in the alleged kidnapping of a "terrorism suspect" in Milan.
16. President Bush's foreign friends are vanishing into the mists of politics... and don't even ask about his domestic ones...
17. Bush expressed amazement when he heard that the Sudan peace deal was not working out so well. This, 18 months after it was signed. The Prez told the BBC's Khartoum reporter, "That's not the information I'm getting." And how.
18. In Mexico, Lopez Obrador is demanding a recount. Aside from the garden variety of fraud - voter list purges according to likely party affiliation, etc. - there was Ken Blackwellesque chicanery. The election software used in the exit polls is made by a company called "Hildebrando" which - by sheer coincidence - belongs to the brother of Felipe Calderone.
19. Journalists in China used to be able to report on sensitive political issues by burying their stories in 'disaster' reports (of which China has plenty to choose from). There's a draft law in the works that will put an end to this practice.
20. North Korea launched an early birthday present for his spiritual twin George Bush. Last night they test-fired 6 missiles and another one this morning (By this time, they must be running flat out.)
21. Israel has declared a "Long War" (As opposed to what? The last decades of state-sponsored terrorism?)
22. Switzerland says Israel has clearly violated international law by imposing collective punishment on Palestinians over the capture of an Israeli soldier (As compared to what? The thousands of Palestinian men, women and children in Israeli prisons?). If Switzerland really wanted to get serious, all it needs to do is freeze all accounts with anything to do with Israel... )
23. And more pirates in the Malacca Strait! In a world often violent and strange, it is comforting to know that some things... ..