12/27/06 Get This
1. A sinkhole near SE 16th and Oak Street in Portland swallowed a truck yesterday. The truck was out looking for... well... .for the makings of a sinkhole.
2. The Metro Regional government has got up a program that pairs the construction of an environmental information network with an internship program for at-risk young people.
3. Medicare help is still available for some people - those who are able to leap through bureaucratic hoops in a single bound - whereas healthcare is a right that should belong to everyone.
4. A Supreme Court ruling in Canada allows indigenous peoples to engage in night hunting. It's part of their tradition and culture in much the same way that hunting for blind people is part of tradition and culture in Texas.
5. Lumber companies Weyerhaeuser and Plum Creek have basked in positive PR for their participation in a program that certifies their logging practices as "environmentally friendly." (I know. That's exactly what I thought too... ) But in a number of separate actions environmental groups such Audubon are accusing the companies of using the program as a cover for the rape and pillaging of the last of the nation's wilderness.
6. Public interest groups are challenging the broadcast-license renewals of eight Portland/Salem television stations. The Money in Politics Research Action Project and other watchdog groups charge that the big stations didn't provide adequate coverage of local elections in 2004. And that's just for starters... .
7. Oops!: Former president Gerald Ford died.
8. One of the first things Democrats are going to do once they get their hands on the wheel is create a fund to promote renewable energy and conservation. The money is going to come from rolling back some of the oil industry's tax breaks and patching up holes in the drilling lease legislation, another crack in the Ship of State through which public money has been hemorrhaging.
9. Incredible: A long-running Senate investigation has "debunked" charges by Republican Kurt Weldon that military analysts identified Mohamed Atta and other 9/11 hijackers before the attacks. The Democrats said the evidence provided by eyewitnesses was not credible.
10. The Pentagon is sending 3,500 troops to Kuwait, 'Just in case... '
11. Here's how it starts: Fellow goes to Vietnam, gets an honorable discharge, comes home, becomes a convicted murderer, dies of a heroin overdose while serving a life in prison, gets buried at Arlington Cemetery, then dug up again because, hey, he killed people and then it turns out he would have been eligible for parole in 2017 at which time... ... he could have been buried at Arlington. War really makes a Man outta ya... .
12. In Texas, a nine year-old boy stabbed and killed a two year-old girl. Military recruiters were at the house within moments... .Just kidding.
13. Polar bears - the few that have managed to dodge the climate change bullet are going to be listed as threatened under the Endangered species act. (And when the bears are extinct they can be delisted. Ain't Nature Grand... )
14. The US Department of Health and Human Services has canceled a $900 million dollar contract with VaxGen for a new anthrax vaccine after problems with the vaccine's stability caused the company to miss the deadline for clinical trials. This is all a part of something called Project Bioshield. Which is part of the administration's plan to protect American health in the event of an "emergency." (Actually it's another step toward developing biological weapons for domestic use, but who's asking... .)
15. A Christmas patrol in Baghdad was greeted by an angry but peaceful anti-American demonstration.
16. Israel is thinking long and hard about the Gaza truce.
17. And while they do that, Israeli settlers are moving into Palestinian territory in the West Bank.
18. Four Nigerian chief judges have been suspended by judicial authorities for their alleged role in the controver4sial removal of State governors. Apparently they had been gallivanting around the countryside impeaching lawmakers with whom they had disagreement. (I say, give those men US visas ASAP... .)
19. Venezuela, Columbia and Ecuador: A Colombian official says that Hugo Chavez cancelled a trip to Bogotá to protest Colombia's coca-eradication program which has been defoliating fields of everything, coca, food crops, and also sickening people living along the border of Colombia.
20. Traces of cocaine have been found on 94 percent of Spanish banknotes.
21. Tony Blair's plane overshot the runway at Miami International.
22. China's looming pollution problems are all chalked-up to corruption. Or is it the corruption is caused by pollution... either way, the pollution and corruption are the only things likely to slow that nation's economy any time soon... .