12/02/06 Get This
1. Clackamas County has ripped the blocks out from under trailer park tenants. Until the ruling yesterday, the County protected tenants from being abruptly turfed out of their homes so the landlord could sell the park to a developer or personally turn it into a McSuburb. (Clackamas County is in no position to turn its back on unofficial low-income housing.)
2. An Ethiopian woman was kept for all intents and purposes as a slave by a Salem family. This familial bundle of charm, worked Mulu Derbew 13 hours a day, 7 days a week, didn't pay her and "lost" her immigration papers. (With any luck and a good lawyer, Derbew will own the family McMansion... .)
3. No Contractor Left Behind: For years Oregon lawmakers blocked efforts to allow local government to charge builders a fee in order to defray the costs of educating students who may move into new housing developments. Now it looks like the State may be joining the ranks of Progress and collecting those fees. On the down side, the move could be used as a 'Blunt Object' on the head of progressive tax initiatives...
4. The Portland City Council - finally - passed a resolution against the Iraq Civil War.
5. Magical Mystery Tour: Multnomah County Board of Commissions got its first briefing on a District Attorney report on jail conditions and agreed to schedule annual jail tours and create a jail oversight board. (Perhaps they ought to include a few of the thousands of Portland residents who have been "touring" the city's jails for years due to poverty and its consequent inadequate legal representation... )
6. A Clackamas County Deputy fired a .40 caliber gun at a driver who rammed her cruiser. (What? Bad drivers will be shot on sight?)
7. Oregon State epidemiologist Mel Kohn says that young Oregon men aren't treating AIDS seriously because of all the new anti-retroviral drugs available (Only to those who have $600 thousand dollars to pay for another 24 more years of like... The rest of you are shit out of life thanks to the American pharmaceutical lobby and Bad Politics... ).
8. Not-So-Casual Friday: US companies will need to keep track of all the e-mails, instant messages and other electronic documents generated by their employees thanks to new federal rules that go into effect today.
9. Garbage Mining: The nation's largest (Note to thieves: Carefully not to jostle Rush Limbaugh if you run into him at the dumpster behind Walgreen's; I hear he gets vicious when sick... ) have been leaving their garbage unattended and "entrepreneurs" have been taking advantage.
10. Millions of Americans and foreigners crossing US borders in the past four years have been assigned 'terrorist scores' - a quantification of the likelihood that you might commit a terrorist act whilst on holidays (Hey, cruises can get boring... .). So what's your 'terrorist score'? Only the government knows and it's not telling. (In fact, it may not even be revealed at your trial... )
11. Unattended Baggage Dept: The casket of a soldier returning from Iraq turned up on a luggage cart at Rochester International.
12. New Citizenship questions: Instead of having to recite dull details gleaned from the annals of American History, applicants will soon be required to answer toughies like "What happened on September 11th, 2001?"
13. The Supreme Court is reluctantly wading into Global Warming.
14. Today is World AIDS Day. This year's theme is 'Accountability'. (How about 'Wealthy Nations Make Good On Promises And Pay Up', for next year's theme?)
15. South Africa is doing its bit to reverse the damage done by years of denial. Finally, the African nation is facing up to its own AIDS crisis after telling sufferers that anti-virals caused the disease and that eating beets and garlic cured it. Then there was the memorandum sent out by Health Minister Manto Shabala-Msimang alerting regional health officials that AIDS was caused by an "alien infection" (She meant alien in the sense of "from another planet'). So now that South Africa if being ravaged by AIDS Thabo Mbeki has decided to get serious.
16. Somalia is on the brink of all-out war after an Islamist-claimed suicide attack and Ethiopia's decision to authorize action against any Islamist incursion.
17. Was It All Just A Bad Dream?: In Mexico City, Felipe Calderon was sworn in as Mexico's Other President at midnight in order to forestall clashes with Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's loyal supporters. Calderon called upon slumbering citizens to leave behind the divisions that are tearing the country apart and unite with him, striding boldly into the future.
18. Told You So: A former Russian security service officer said he warned the former KGB agent who was fatally poisoned in London about a government-sponsored death squad that intended to kill him and other Kremlin opponents.
19. Machine gun fire rained down on a Baghdad neighborhood today from US helicopters looking for suspected insurgent hideouts. They concentrated the downpour of death on a Sunni area, not to be confused with Shiite areas under the protection of Shiite president Nouri al-Maleki. And just after the meeting with the US president, Maliki's Interior Minister came out with a new warning to Iraqi media not to stir things up by reporting on sectarian violence.
20. It's A Little Like A Timeshare: In Britain the government is considering allowing the public to purchase shares in new prisons under a "buy to let" scheme.
21. Condoleeza Rice wants Israelis and Palestinians to get along and start making the Middle East safe for American and multinational oil interests again...
22. Pakistan has got a new rape law.
23. There was a mass Hezbollah protest in Beirut .
24. Who Wants To Be Canadian Prime Minister: Canada is going to use a 'Reality Show' as part of the process of choosing a new Prime Minister.
25. Typhoon Durian flattened two towns in the Philippines. (Being flattened by falling durians is no joke. They are enormous foul-smelling, spiky fruits that come plummeting down out of the trees during their annual season. Every year there are durian-related fatalities. Now, typhoons are another thing... .)