1. People - perhaps a thousand, perhaps more gathered in Pioneer Square this Saturday to protest the persecuted Israel's brutal aggression against both Palestine and Lebanon. Surprisingly, the A/P reported 1,000 people turned out and indymedia reported 500. Whether it was 1,000 or 500, where were the thousands and thousands who turned out for the immigration policy demonstrations? Where were the farm workers who walked off the job? Where were the students that stayed away from classes? This is the same sort of struggle. This is everyone's struggle. It is our ethical responsibility and out human duty to stop Israeli aggression in the Middle East.
2. A 560 foot cargo ship went aground in the lower Columbia River.
3. In Rickreal, Oregon a dairy is planning to partner with RealEnergy, a California company to convert cow manure into electricity and sell it to Pacific Power. (And if you need horse manure compost, send me an e-mail... )
4. Oregon Ingenuity: The Saga continues: In Canby, a blueberry farmer has called the rent-a-hawk people. Last year starlings destroyed his crop. This year he's got 6 falcons patrolling his fields and the berries are safe (as are the starlings. The falcons just scare them away, not kill them)
5. Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels has announced his environmental agenda and it looks like a winner. For starters, he has signed on 250 other mayors to his Kyoto Protocol policy. Go, Mayor Nickels!
6. In DC, five antiwar activists - four had been on a hunger strike for 25 days - were arrested on Friday, and one of them is KBOO's own Martha Odom. Martha and two others among the five are members of Code Pink.
7. The Bush administration has "spelled out" (This is Bush we're talking about, so you can't be too careful... ) plans for a staggeringly enormous arms sale to nations in the Middle East. $4.6 billion, to be exact. Just two weeks ago the administration sold Israel $210 million dollars worth JP-8 aviation fuel to help Israeli warplanes "keep peace and security in the region." (Good thing Bush didn't them the fuel for warlike behavior... )
8. Agent Orange causes genetic damage. New Zealand scientists reported this. American researchers aren't allowed to say anti-American things like that.
9. Condoleeza Rice is all over the place trying to "keep peace and security in the region." And Bush? He's playing T-ball on the lawn of the White House with a group of children (But just for an hour or so. After that Condi has to drive him to soccer practice and then home a nap... )
10. Construction has begun on a huge germ warfare lab near Washington. The lab violates international law and its extreme secrecy is dead certain to exacerbate a biological arms race... other than that, it seems like a great idea that will make every American feel safer from terrorism. I know I do!
11. A right-wing Arizona Representative, one Jonathan Paton, is off to Iraq. (And why not, I say) You may remember Paton: He's the guy who proposed a draconian "smuggling law" under which undocumented immigrants could be prosecuted for smuggling themselves across the border. Keep your eye on Paton. This boy is going far...
12. Immigration? Turns out judges vary sharply (and I might add, pointedly, along partisan lines... ) in their willingness to grant asylum to foreigners seeking refuge in the US.
13. Mel Gibson got arrested for drunk driving and being belligerent. But unlike you or I in similar circumstances, the cops tried to cover it all up and when that didn't work, they let him out on a $5 thousand dollar bail bond.
14. Patrick Michaels, a University of Virginia scientist made a little extra money this summer - $150 thousand dollars, to be exact. And all he had to do was say that Global Warming isn't real (and don't even get him started on the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus... )
15. Massachusetts's governor Mitt Romney owes a lot of people an apology. And he's not even president yet). Apparently Romney told his audience at a fundraiser that, regarding the Big Dig, "The best thing politically would be to stay as far away from that tar baby as I can."
16. More than 60 percent of America is in a drought. Bodies of water have dried up leaving residual alkali dust the likes of which have not been seen since the Dust Bowl in the 30's.
17. In Beirut, protesters broke into the UN headquarter expressing their outrage at the persecuted Israeli precision air strike on Qana that killed about 60 Lebanese civilian. The bombing in Qana killed34 children many women and elderly people. Their bodies and belongings were strewn across the hillside below the remains of their town.
18. Israel - prompted by a worldwide disgust and horror - agreed to a 48-hour ceasefire. Which it almost immediately broke by bombing the village of Taibe and the port city of Tyre, where many people trying to escape the violence have congregated looking for a way out.
19. In Baghdad - you recall the war in Iraq, don't you? - At least 19 people are dead after a series of attacks. The oddest aspect of the violence in Baghdad (which isn't odd at all, actually) is that either a, gunmen dressed in military police uniforms; or b, military police, snatched 26 people in a shopping district.
20. In the Democratic Republic of Congo about 20 million people (also 17 thousand UN peacekeepers, 80 thousand police and one thousand EU observers) turned out for the first election in 40 years. Joseph Kabila it the clear winner.
21. In Europe, the Association of European Fruit and Vegetable Processing Industries warned that high temperatures mean fruit and vegetables are maturing faster than they can be harvested. And that's just the stuff that hasn't already been killed by the heat.
22. In Mexico City's Zocalo, hundreds of thousands of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (LLP) gathered to demand again that the votes be recounted. Obrador's opponent Felipe Calderon won by a very smelly half a percentage point.
23. The Jail is Dead! Long Live the Jail!: A classic 'good news/bad news' tale: Guantanamo Bay's old building is closing because they are building a spanking new maximum security prison instead. Presumably it is designed for longer confinement.