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0514 am 'Get This' news

Summary of the KBOO am news for Monday, May 14th, 2007.
0514 am 'Get This' news
0514 am 'Get This' news
05/14/07 Get This
sui generis

1. Corporate citizenship is getting its day in court: Tomorrow morning in Eugene the world gets a peek at the Big Bout pitting Property Rights against Civil Rights. A group of environmental activists is facing trial for property crimes. But we live in The Age of Fear now, and for a very good reason: Although it is highly unlikely that life as we know it will come to an abrupt end as the result of the efforts of "terrorists", it is none the less probable that the lives of activists among us will be ruined by something called "terrorism enhancement". Yes, I know... But it is anything but funny. What it means in essence is that if a property crime is committed as part of a political action, twenty additional years can be tacked on to the sentence. (Still laughing?)
2. Martha Odom came in this morning - as she does every Monday - to bring us a first person account from the front lines of political activism. The cops showed up for the first time in nearly two years at the Tuesday evening vigil at the recruiting center. Code Pink put up a great Impeach Umbrella action in St. Johns - good enough to prompt one policeman to offer an intimidating lecture on The Power of Patriarchy and the 'Strong Father' model of public discipline. And 75 people, carrying photos of victims of the Iraq war, gathered for half an hour of silence at the Crystal Springs annual Mothers Day flower show.
3. You used to see them, the BCTI screaming minions of deceit, standing outside welfare and unemployment offices handing out leaflets advertising the great job prospects - yours for the taking - once you complete the BCTI training program. Rare was the employment - gainful or otherwise - that resulted. But what students were guaranteed to land was stupendous debt. Turns out the karma generated is worth a tidy $9 million dollar settlement. (It has been a "learning experience" for both BCTI and its hapless student body... )
4. Mens Support Group: A private contractor that provides monthly statements to state child support recipients may have sent about ten thousand such bills to the wrong people.
5. Oregon Indian tribes are awaiting new federal rules that could hobble attempts to place land into a trust and take it off the tax rolls... even if there is a big, fat casino sitting on top of that land.
6. Beyond Thunderdome: A bus driver in Gresham was shot by some nameless, faceless psycho hoodlum. If it was a premeditated commentary on public transportation, Well, that's one thing. But it is far more likely that it was just another by-product of urban sprawl and suburban inbreeding... .
7. A cyclist was hit by a car on Foster Road this weekend. And at 4:00 pm in the afternoon. A little difficult to claim visibility was the problem... unless, of course the driver of the vehicle was blind drunk...
8. As the US economy reels before the immense power and breakneck growth of the Asian Dragons, one domestically produced commodity and one only stands head and shoulders above the obsolete SUV, the ruined manufacturing towns, the dying family farms... .and that would be the industrial-strength marijuana plantations proliferating through America's wilderness areas. We could save our economy or we could just keep our antiquated, repressive, draconian laws in place. Care to place a bet?
9. Open Season On Civil Rights: Federal prosecutors and attorneys for alleged "al-Qaeda" operative Jose Padilla and his two co-defendants are locked and loaded for opening statements today. The trial will probably last well into the summer, so if you are still confused about how a gang-banger from Chicago wound up in a fix like this, you have a few weeks to organize your notes...
10. Mathew Diaz, a Navy lawyer, is going on trial to face charges of leaking the names of Guantanamo detainees to a civilian human rights group, the Center for Constitutional Rights, I believe it was. Diaz did what his conscience told him to do and now finds himself in direct conflict with the biggest military power the world has ever known - a power utterly lacking conscience, responsibility or accountability. Welcome to Gitmo, Mr. Diaz...
11. Smoke & Mirrors: All across the country God is on the news. Either the Almighty is seriously chuffed with America or its global warming. We have fires raging on Catalina Island in California, along the Canada-Minnesota border, in Georgia and Florida, and in southern Florida. (When the smoke clears and America looks in the mirror, we'll know who's responsible for all those blazes... )
12. Q.E.D.: The US is trying to block sections of a draft agreement on climate change prepared for next month's G-8 Summit. (Put simply, America feels that one set of rules applies to the rest of the world and in the case of the US economy, no rules apply at all... )
13. Political Mileage: Democratic presidential contenders are facing off against Detroit. Fuel efficiency, tailpipe emissions, dependence on foreign oil... all big issues, but issues that the Democrats have been far too silent on for far too long. (The real tragedy is that the CEO who made all those bad decisions years ago have been paying themselves congratulatory bonuses while the men and women who build the behemoths that the world is turning away from, are paying dearly for management's mistakes and lack of foresight... )
14. Voters in a suburb of Dallas, Texas have approved an ordinance that would prevent landlords from renting housing to undocumented immigrants.
15. Jamestown, Virginia: Seems like only 400 years ago yesterday that settlers were saved from certain death by the locals. Even today, the State's Powhatten tribes - the descendants of the people who helped them survive - are not officially recognized by the federal government. If the feds could move just an inch or two, the Jamestown tribes would be eligible to receive the aid available to other Native Americans... History is swirling all around...
16. "I'm The Conductor": Coincidentally, George Bush was in Jamestown recently, and the Band Played On. The conductor, JoAnn Falletta was in the process of doing what conductors do, when she realized that the Leader of the Free World was standing behind her trying to snatch the baton. Falletta handed it over and Bush proceeded to lead the orchestra through a rousing rendition of 'Stars and Stripes Forever', after which the president kissed Falletta on the top of her head and swung off through the trees in search of ripe bananas and female companionship.
17. Rice-Irani: Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice says that now the US has rendered the whole Middleast an abattoir, she says she is ready for talks with Iran. (At least the Cold War is back... and not a moment too soon... )
18. Thousands of US troops supported by helicopter gunships, planes, trains, drones nuclear bicycles, rocket roller skates, pogo sticks and hyperspace blasters spent all last night searching for three American soldiers (Played by Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Drew Barrymore) who were captured by "al-Qaeda" somewhere near Baghdad (Hey, if we knew exactly where, we wouldn't be "searching" for them, eh?)
19. I think I can speak for all Americans when I say that we shall sleep sounder tonight knowing - as we do now - that Taliban leader Mullah Dadullah has been killed... "God bless us, every one... "
20. Pakistan is awash in riots. It all started when President Pervez Musharraf suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudrey over allegations that he "abused his office."
21. Talk Like An Egypt: Egyptian mediators brokered a truce deal between rival factions in Gaza yesterday in an effort to end the deadliest outbreak of factional fighting that killed four Palestinians and wounded a dozen other people.
22. More than a million Turkish secularists poured into port city of Izmir yesterday, gathering along the seafront to protest the creeping Islamisation by Turkey's conservative Muslim government.
23. Brave New World Tour: A billion people - one in seven people on earth today - could be forced to leave their homes over the next fifty years. We have become the refugees in our self-made disaster.