1. The Hillsborough Air show this weekend was spectacular for all the wrong reasons. A vintage plane went down in a suburban neighborhood. The 73 year-old pilot was killed. (It is dreadfully sad, yet perhaps it will make people think twice before pouring thousands of dollars into an event that serves mainly to 'Biblically stimulate' the NASCAR set... )
2. Assisted living facilities aren't being inspected as much as they ought. This is surprising? Who'd want to go into those cesspools unless one was forced to as a result of being abandoned by one's family?
3. The US Forest Service is looking to cut costs starting with the Deschutes National Forest where, in the near future, you may find "primitive" campgrounds, fee booths and... private business administration. (Picture raccoons asking if you'd like fries with that... )
4. Gas Migration Time: SoCal residents are moving to the Medford area to get away from the traffic and thus causing traffic congestion leading to road rage, stress and anxiety. Apparently Oregon's newest citizens didn't think their plans through carefully - that or carbon monoxide-triggered mental dysfunction... )
5. Oregon presented contractors with a great big golden goose last week: Starting October 1st, cities and counties can't require - or charge - contractors for reviews of the electrical or plumbing portions of their projects.
6. Eugene is appealing a ruling that cleared the way for trial in a racial profiling lawsuit . The plaintiff - who happens to be a young black man - says a Eugene cop singled him out for questioning. The only odd thing here is that it is going to trial.
7. The Center for Tribal Water Advocacy filed a suit in federal court in Portland against the National Marine Fisheries Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the US forest Service. The claim? Cattle grazing on the Joseph Creek area of Wallowa County.
8. The Inuit Circumpolar Conference in Barrow Alaska was on last week and the conference chair told the world that a whole way of life is vanishing - not to mention the actual land on which the life used to live. The world, alas, was not listening. It was preoccupied watching the space shuttle land and listening to George Bush say 'shit'.
9. Nationwide temperatures soared into the 90's yesterday. There were power failures in LA and other places. It was 120 in a small town in South Dakota. I'm no Al Gore but you can draw your own conclusions. (By the way, anyone else notice all the fir trees that show suspicious patches of brown? As in Bark Beetle die-off?)
10. Huge fires - fires large enough to merge and generate their own wind patterns - are burning in California and 8 other states.
11. A former member of the National Guard wants to be sent to a real war zone - Washington, DC. In Minnesota retired Army National Guard Tim Walz is running for public office.
12. Executives at leading US companies received cut-rate stock options in the weeks after 9/11. Companies defended the practice, saying the options were a way of calming and offering an incentive to executives in tumultuous times... (sort of like 'comfort money'. For some traumatized people a bowl of mac & cheese does the trick; others may require millions of dollars in wind-fall profits... .)
13. Mark your calendar and head for the Russian river. July 22nd is the annual Bohemian Grove protest. Who will be there - besides you, of course? Bush I & II, Clinton I (but not II because other than hookers, women aren't allowed... wait, never mind), Tony Blair, Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dick Cheney, the list goes on...
14. Which puts Bush in rather a bind; George will have to decide whether to go to Camp Burning Owl or the NAACP's annual meeting: Think, George, think...
15. Judges in New York are allowed to carry guns ("Is that a gun in Your robe, Your Honor, or are you just glad to sentence me?)
16. Homeland Security wants all to keep a sharp look out for terrorists overflowing their own countries and flowing into ours.
17. The G-8 said the wealthiest nations would take steps to reduce demand for transportation fuels. But the Bush administration came out the big winner; there was no call for significant increases in vehicle efficiency. (Makes a feller want to rush out and burn an owl... boy howdy... )
18. Last year the worst drought in over 100 years hit the Amazon basin. This year the situation is getting worse. Tributaries over a mile wide have dried up and Brazil ahs declared a state of emergency.
19. Close to a million people from all over Mexico converged on Mexico City yesterday to protest the bogus election.
20. Israel is pounding Lebanon. France has sent a ship to evacuate its citizen and Britain may do the same.
21. Java got hit with another tsunami (Wait a minute... was it not announced recently that the Asia-Pacific area had its warning system up and running? The tsunami was caused by a 6.8 underwater earthquake.
22. In India 35 - possibly more - farmers have committed suicide despite a state relief package. What the farmers in Maharashtra really want is an end to the free market regime introduced last year following the WTO agreement. And what they want even more than that is for Monsanto to get the hell out of India.
23. In Iraq, a suicide bomber detonated explosives outside a Shiite café in a northern province. (When gas tops $5 a gallon, I can see it happening here as well... ) Twenty-six people died. Elsewhere in Iraq ... .suffice it to say that Elsewhere is also more or less on fire. That's Democracy for you... boy howdy... )
24. Extreme flooding and typhoons are raking China.
25. With all this excitement (and I didn't even mention North Korea) will George Bush make it to Burning Owl this year? Stay tuned!