12/06/06 Get This
1. Fernando Sanchez Ugarte, the Consul General of Mexico in Portland has a new job: He's tapped to be Felipe Calderon's Undersecretary of Finance. Ugarte is a product of the University of Chicago Free Trade Mill, so that tells us a bit about Calderon's economic priorities...
2. Portland's free (Free to users. It cost a bundle to get the technology in place) WiFi internet was launched yesterday... ... Ta Da!... .from Pioneer Courthouse Square and other sites around the city. (Homeless people I talked to downtown yesterday hadn't heard about it but wondered if there was any money lying around for WiFood and WiHousing... .)
3. The Guv says thee Oregon's economy is turning the corner. The new budget is good news for schools, but better still thee is talk - finally - taxing corporations and putting the corporate "kicker" into a 'rainy day' fund.
4. Can't See The Profits For The Trees: Oregon's own Gordon Smith and Idaho's aptly named Mike Crapo have given up their greedy dreams of speedy salvage logging. For this year. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of Republicans.
5. Get On The Bus: The US Supreme Court is antsy about Seattle's Open Choice school policy. Scotus has been waving its brains over the practice of using race to assemble a diverse student population. Justices wondered whether the policy violates the constitution "even while pursuing a noble goal." (The Supremes had no qualms about doing away with habeas corpus and a variety of rights guaranteed in the constitution, but kids on buses, that gets their knickers in a bunch?)
6. Homeless In Seattle: In Seattle the number of homeless people who are dying in the street has been on the rise.
7. Thank You For Smoking: The Union of Concerned Scientists issued a report estimating that more than 11 hundred Californians die prematurely each year from Construction site pollution. (And you thought it was secondhand smoke... )
8. Agricultural experts and climate scientists (As well as anyone else with common sense.) are warning that the developing world's struggle for food security is going to get worse. And they've got a solution: New crop varieties! Translation: Archer Daniels Midland, aka Monsanto wants the public to feel good about the massive profits it plans to make developing genetically modified monster seeds. By The time ADM is done with a poor country, the behemoth will own every ounce of soil and every grain of rice...
9. The Ones That Got Away: New data from NASA shows that the critical base of the ocean food web is shrinking as the sea's warm.
10. Half of the Peruvian Amazon is leased for petroleum development.
11. Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead: In Denver, Colorado, the real estate foreclosure rate for 2006 is officially the worst on record.
12. Happy Holidays, From the Bush Family: It was just days ago that a judge ordered FEMA to continue to provide housing benefits to people who lost their homes in the 2005 hurricane season. Now the Bush administration is challenging that court order requiring FEMA to make housing payments to thousands of families. FEMA is appealing the ruling. and may even ask for the judge's ruling to be put on hold while the appeal plays out - effectively depriving people of housing during an attempt to make it legal.
13. Here Comes Democracy!: The Pentagon official responsible for arms sales, says the US government is on its way to brokering about $20 billion dollars in sales.
14. The richest one percent of adults in the world owns 40 percent of the planet's wealth. The global study is from the UN World Institute for Development Economics Research. It's the first long, hard look at wealth distribution as opposed to just income: Who's got it and who doesn't.
15. What If They Gave A War And Nobody Won?: Rumsfeld's successor, Robert 'Guns & Blowses' Gates, he of Iran/Contra fame and misfortune, displaced opportunist, disgraced imperial poobah, says "We're not winning the war." Well somebody certainly seems to be fighting one...
16. Dept. of Head Scratching: The Commission on Changing course in Iraq wants you to know that the situation there is "grave and dangerous". These bright boys suggest that Bush threaten to reduce and economic and military support if the Iraqis don't stop all this fighting... .
17. Bitch-Slapped By Kangaroos: Military prosecutors are close to charging some of the Marines involved in the deaths of 24 civilians in Haditha.
18. Canadian police say they had told US authorities that they had no evidence that Maher Arar was an al-Qaeda agent before Washington deported him to Syria for torturing.
19. France's Foreign Ministry has said six-nation talks on a UN resolution to punish Iran for its nuclear program have failed to reach an agreement.
20. In Mexico, Flavio Sosa, leader of the Popular Assembly of the peoples of Oaxaca - APPO - was 'detained' by the Feral Preventive Police.
21. The money that the US was planning to use to buy the 'hearts and minds' of the Afghani people has ended up in the hands of the Taliban. (Well, it's a start.)
22. Sinking Ship: The UN has withdrawn workers from El Fasher, the capital of Sudan's northern Darfur State.
23. Police in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of opposition supporters who were about to hold a demonstration in support of ousted Kanu leader, Uhuru Kenyatta.
24. Australia has legalized the cloning of human embryos for stem cell research.
25. :Spanish Fry: Spain wants Burger King to get rid of its ads displayed... ..wait for it... .a hamburger.
26. Would You Like Fries with That: South Korea says it has found traces of bone in a third shipment of beef from the US. (Wait 'til they find the e-coli... .)
27. A group of Chinese people with AIDS are to receive more than $2.5 million in a landmark case. The 19 plaintiffs received contaminated blood from illegal blood sellers operating out of a hospital in 2004.