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0124 am "get This' news

Summary of the KBOO am news for Wednesday, January 24th, 2007.
01/24/07 Get This
sui generis

1. The St. John's 'brownfield' drew a North Portland crowd for a discussion about how to use the reclaimed toxic wasteland for the benefit of the public. (Hint for the public: Be careful what you wish for... .)
2. Gone Fishin': Oregon scientists have found mercury in more than 27 hundred fish of various species throughout western states. Mercury is not a substance that can be easily 'reclaimed', so plan on not eating fish or breathing thee air or drinking the water in the very near future.
3. The Beaverton city council appears set to support a ban on 'replica' guns; you know, the toy guns that look so much like thee real thing that police have on a number of sad occasions shot the little tykes whose parents are stupid enough to have bought the playthings in the first place. (Hint for Beaverton parents: At least buy your kid a real gun so he/she will have a fighting chance in a shoot-out with the cops... .)
4. Vancouver is considering 'alcohol impact' areas. (In other words, the places that the poor and the disenfranchised live, often mistaken for 'brownfields'... .)
5. Seattle police are investigating why a 17 year-old boy died last weekend after collapsing during a 'routine' booking. At this 'routine' booking, the teen produced court papers showing that a judge had - just the day before, in fact - quashed the warrant that got the boy arrested. The warrant, however was still active in the police computer system. The teen, unlike the warrant, is no longer active at all.
6. Bush still wants to loot Social Security, the last American institution than can be described as remotely functional - not counting the New York Stock Exchange.
7. Six US Senators introduced a bill yesterday to stop imports of clothing and other goods made under 'sweatshop' conditions. The idea - and it's a good one - is to retool US trade policy to boost workers rights. (Now that years of neocon policy have emasculated American labor unions, I guess, sure, why not let's take on the woes of workers somewhere else... .)
8. US immigration police have rounded up hundreds of alleged criminal immigrants in Southern California.
9. Bush's Big Talk was exactly what the pundits told us it would be. The nut of it is this: Bush wants to win a war, any war, at any cost.
10. In an interview with Kathleen Stevenson, Steve Kretzman of Oil Change International said that Bush's energy plan was all PR and no plan.
11. The United Nation's climate panel predicts that by 2100 the changes wrought by 'human endeavor' are going to be catastrophic. (On the bright side, the situation is almost certainly going to eradicate large chunks of said, 'human endeavor'.)
12. The Canadian government is going to spend millions of dollars - healthy Canadian dollars, that is - to protect the world's largest temperature rainforest. This is the area of British Columbia known as the Great Bear Rainforest and it stretches from Vancouver Island all the way to Alaska, where, alas, the US government is going to arse-off Canada's efforts in the name of responsible resource stewardship, by drilling for oil... .
13. The European Parliament is trying to persuade member states to investigate the CIA's extraordinary rendition flights. This, just the Oregon bar association wants to ask local lawyer Scott Caplan a few questions about his imaginary friend Bayard, who is the 'extraordinary' owner of one or more of the planes involved.
14. Russia's Defense Minister is not happy about US plans to locate part of its 'Star Wars' paraphernalia in the Czech Republic. For some reason, the Russians are having a hard time buying the story that America's interest in weaponizing space is purely for peaceful purposes... .
15. In Iraq, the promised US and Iraqi forces 'crackdown' on Moqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi army has netted some 600 unfortunate Shiites.
16. Israeli President Moshe Katsav has been formally charged with rape... .And not just the violation of Lebanon, either. This is the personal one on one sort...
17. The US launched more air strikes on Southern Somalia again, claiming to target al-Qaeda (You'd think oil had been discovered in Somalia, or at least some natural gas... ... otherwise why are we wasting the ordinance?)
18. Ethiopia is pulling its troops out of the Somali capital, Mogadishu - or what's left of it. From pictures in old books, Mogadishu was a beautiful city not so long ago...
19. In India, millions of women are going through menopause at an early age - in some cases, in their 30's. Chronic malnutrition is the reason why... .and possibly the stress of working in sweatshops...
20. Well Someone's Got To Do It: The Taliban is building schools in Afghanistan, since the 'US Coalition's' reconstruction efforts have glaringly failed to launch. (Hey, don't knock it: It worked for Hezbollah in Lebanon... .
21. Will work With Teargas: And in Germany, it is now possible to rent young, good-looking protesters, complete with signs and slogans.