1. Department of Irony: Leaders of Oregon's schools, community colleges and universities are warning voters that if they vote to cut taxes, they are cutting their children out of the education picture. Trouble is many of these voting parents aren't bright enough themselves to see the danger in this...
2. Back In the USSR: Portland Public Schools is going to offer one of only four Russian emersion language programs in the nation.
3. Help! I'm having an 'Out-of-State' experience: American Indians from out of state tribes may have a harder time getting a driver's license in Oregon than undocumented immigrants. It's because Oregon is one of the few states where officials from the DMV cannot ask people whether they're here illegally but can ask to see documents which would prove otherwise.
4. Got Mercury?: Eighty-five pounds of mercury have been removed from Oregon dairy farms. Mercury? On dairy farms? The State has set up a rebate program that pays dairies to turn in mercury-containing mamometers. These are devices that measure the pressure in automated milking machines. So far, the State has netted 38 of the gadgets.
5. A federal appeals court has upheld an Oregon Supreme Court decision in a case challenging the 2003 reforms to the Public Employees Retirement System. Several groups of public employees have themselves challenged the State's reforms, which cut the pensions of tens of thousands of people who work for the government.
6. According to no less a luminary in the conservation sphere than the World Wildlife Fund says that at current levels, humans will need to consume two planet's worth of natural resources every year by 2050. (Note to other planets in the vicinity: Look out! Here we come!!)
7. Though poor and minority neighborhoods suffered the brunt of Hurricane Katrina's fury, residents living in white enclaves have been three times as likely as homeowners in black areas to seek help in resolving insurance disputes. The people who need the most help are the ones least likely to get it - at least from the very government institutions that can provide it.
8. A drug raid on a Los Alamos scientist's home in New Mexico turned up classified documents taken from the nuclear weapons lab. (Oh, Lawdy-me, does this mean that Kim Jong Il is on drugs? It would at least explain a lot.
9. A government audit has found that overhead costs gobbled up about a third of five major reconstruction projects in Iraq (Thank goodness for that... .At least the money didn't go missing due to massive fraud, corruption and incompetence at high levels of government... .)
10. US military deaths in Iraq surpassed the 2,800 mark - at the very least. The numbers don't count those who died at the medevac helicopter was lifting off. Nor does it take into account the 'private - very private - contractors or the mercenaries or the journalists or the...
11. Do The Math: So what we need in Iraq - obviously - is more troops.
12. "US and Iraqi forces raided Sadr City, a stronghold of the Shiite militia led by cleric Moqtada al-Sadr." What this actually means is that midterm elections are coming and somebody over there better step in and chill-out these crazy heathens that are making US policy wonks look like wankers... .But of course the wire services can't just come out and say that...
13. Britain's Defense Ministry has barred the country's largest commercial news broadcaster from reporting alongside the nation's troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. No. Not because Britain is worried about them getting hurt. The dispute is over the network's coverage of wounded soldiers.
14. He's Baaaaack: Oliver 'Soldier of Misfortune' North is in Nicaragua warning citizens of that nation not to vote for Daniel Ortega in the up-coming elections. North, as everyone knows, was at the center of the 1980's scheme to illegally finance right-wing Contra rebels. North was convicted of a number of charges, all of which were overturned.
15. The Envelope, Please: Israel's Attorney General is investigating - but not very hard - allegations that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert accepted bribes when he was Finance Minister last year.
16. Venezuela says it will withdraw from the bitter contest for the non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council if Guatemala does the same. This means the US puppeteer will have to remove its hand from President Oscar Berger's arse and let the poor geezer go home. Guatemala doesn't even want to be on the Security Council, fer chrissakes.
17. Georgia, Georgia On My Behind: A woman in Georgia is suing her local government because the police pulled her over and wrote her a $100 dollar ticket because she had a 'Bush-it' bumper sticker on her car. The ticket was issued under Georgia's strange but true 'lewd' language laws... A judge overturned the charge but not before the woman got lawyered-up and sued the government for mental suffering, etc.