1. Ron Saxton is closing in on Kulongoski. Yesterday's 'debate' (These things are not actual debates; rather they are glorified Q &A's) was cringe-inducing. Saxton sounded like he was out to win an election. Silent Ted sounded like a man trying to hang onto a job he hates.
2. Wild, Wild West: Central Oregon has been drawing wealthy residents from California. So it's good news that violent Mexican drug lords are moving in with armies of undocumented countrymen with the sole intention of 'working the land'. America; what a country!
3. Police in Eugene arrested a 15-year-old boy outside a high school. Kid was armed and dangerously stupid.
4. Can't See the Fish for the Plans: District Judge James Redden sent a deeply flawed salmon recovery plan back to NOAA fisheries to account for the effects of yet another plan for the lower Snake and Columbia Rivers. The nut of it is this: The State is telling the Bush administration not to fuck with our rivers and the fish that love them.
5. Wal-Mart got slapped back by Gresham, drop-kicked by Beaverton and now the megamoth is trying to sneak back into Gresham. (There is already a huge Wal-Mart near the Wood Village. Did I say, 'near'? It's bigger than Wood Village.)
6. Chelsea Gerlach and Stanislas Meyerhoff - the activists who are charged with arson stemming from fires at a Vail, Colorado ski resort in 1998 - were arraigned on Wednesday in Federal Court in Eugene. The Umatilla chemical depot has firing up its nerve gas incinerators. The process is scheduled to be completed by the middle of next year or until the workers are all killed off.
7. Mystery Time: A year and a half ago a "mysterious" oil slick appeared in Puget Sound around midnight. Federal prosecutors in Seattle are declining to presses criminal charges against ConocoPhillips even though their tanker was the only ship in the area when the spill happened and even though the 'chemical fingerprint' showed that the substance that contaminated the sound's beaches was obviously crude oil.
8. The Wheels on the Justice Bus Go 'Round and 'Round, 'Round and 'Round... :Former AG John Ashcroft does not have absolute immunity from a lawsuit over the 'material witness' policies the Justice Department used after 9/11. US District Court Judge Edward Lodge refused to dismiss charges brought by Abdullah al-Kidd against Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzales and the Department of Homeland Security.
9. The Senate has endorsed President Bush's plans to prosecute and interrogate prisoners - which could one day after the 2008 election theft, include you and I. (This is the final blow to civil liberties. I guess no one cared enough to fight back... .That's okay. You were probably too busy fighting secondhand smoke... )
10. The House approved a bill that would grant legal status to Bush's warrantless wiretapping program "with new restrictions". (Like what? Government agents can't hide under your desk? Make personal calls on your Verizon account? Record your breathing to learn if you are scared shitless yet?
11. In Britain, senior military officers are pressuring the government to pull troops out of Iraq or at least set a date ('How's next week look for you, Nouri?'
12. The Iraq 'war' is currently costing over $2 billion dollars a week. (Ironic, isn't it, that Bush's 'war' is really a police action gone horribly wrong. Had it originally been launched as a police action rather than a 'war', things might have gone better. But Bush wanted to shoot his wad at something and Iraq just happened to be his Dream Girl)
13. The Hewlett-Packard corporate spying brouhaha is still entertaining the troops on Wall Street and the mainstream media.
14. And on the topic of money and corruption in high places, Jack Abramoff had nearly 500 contacts with the White House (I'm guessing he was not just breathing heavily at Laura), yet oddly enough, Bush barely knows the man - must be the drugs.
15. EU officials have until this Saturday to coordinate their passenger data collection techniques and uses with those of Americans. It comes as no surprise that the US wants more information on travelers and Europe is fed up with the fear sausage that squirts from the White House like a river of...
16. Shinzo Abe, Japan's new nationalist leader, got the foreign policy ball rolling today in a speech before parliament. Abe said he wants to make his country a "decisive force on the international stage'. Translated into reality, this means he wants to rekindle Japan's militaristic past. (Koisumi had similar tendencies but he was an Elvis fan, and as everyone knows, A Man Cannot Serve Both The Emperor and The King... )
17. The leaders of the coup in Thailand, dusted the strippers off the tanks doubled parked in downtown Bangkok and announced that they were forming an interim government.
18. Nonetheless, the US imposed sanctions on Thailand. (Probably for shooing the go-go dancers back inside the bars; Sometimes free people do really free things... )
19. Thirty people have been arrested in Brussels during riots over the death of a North African man being held in police custody.
20. The Israeli human rights group, B'tselem has published death tolls for the conflicts in Lebanon and Gaza.
21. The leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq has called for the kidnapping of Westerners (Perhaps so the group can try out some of the new Bush administration detention and interrogation methods? After all, they do indeed qualify as 'Enemy Combatants'... .) But I digress. He also wants nuclear and biological scientists to join the cause.
22. The jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan has called for his militant PKK group to begin an unconditional ceasefire following a recent upsurge in violence. (Not to mention the fact that the Israeli military has been training Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq,
23. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have abjectly and belatedly apologized for handing Maher Arar over to the Americans. (Appalling, isn't it, that we as a nation are now as feared and hated as any backward, cruel dictatorship. We have become the dark side of human nature. We are all culpable. We share responsibility for what this country has become... )
24. The Ethnic Minority Games in China descended into a farce of cross-dressing, cheating and mob violence farce. A reporter told Xinhua, "I've never seen violence and ugliness like that."