06/16/07 Get This
1. Strong Is Wrong: Voters yesterday decided unequivocally that they didn't want a 'Strong Mayor'. The City Charter remains untouched in all its Byzantine glory and the gargoyles crouched on the flying buttresses around City Hall have folded their wings, sheathed their claws and gone back to snarling at smokers...
2. Tidy ID: The Oregon Senate voted against the federal 'Real ID' and for "legal presence" legislation, meaning? Only those who are in the country legally (Or who can locate documents which establish the fundamental legality of their presence on American soil) can have a license to drive. So if you are recently arrived from the constellation Andromeda, get yourself a bike...
3. Our "precious bodily fluids" continue to flow fluoride-free. Sponsors of a bill what would have required towns with more than 10 thousand people to put fluoride in the water failed to garner the necessary votes yesterday. (Now we need a bill to get the rest of the 'surprise ingredients' out of the water... .)
4. Beam This Junk Up, Scotty: The body politic flows on... An electronic recycling bill was passed by the House yesterday and is heading for approval by the Senate.
5. Jackson County - living proof that evolution goes both ways - voters rejected a relatively small property tax that would have kept their libraries open. The good news here is that the next time they have an opportunity to vote on the issue, they'll be illiterate and unable to read the Voters Guide and ballot... .Or perhaps that's what happened this time.
6. The town of Boardman on the Columbia River is going to farm trees for a saw mill - Hey, that's why they call it 'Boardman'
7. Oregon kids whose parents don't have the right papers are going to get kicked off the State healthcare rolls. But that's okay, Oregon... They'll wind up in emergency rooms where what began as a simple ailment has metastasized into a life and death crisis. We are only as strong as our weakest members, anti-immigrant bigots: The bill is in the mail...
8. Oregon's Own Green Zone: The government prosecutor in the 'Green Scare' trial going on in Eugene has compared the Earth Liberation Front pyromaniacs to the KKK - another organization notoriously infiltrated by government informants who traditionally seem less bent upon actually informing the government than the ones who set up the ELF activists. (Can't you just hear those SUV's screaming in pain?)
9. Jerry Falwell, even as we speak, is finding out what's on the Other Side Of The Door. (Brace yourself, Jerry: Most illustrated Bibles depict God wearing a sort of dress... )
10. Sacramento is starting to panic over the coming budgetary train wreck: Seems that a serious "housing slump" is about to suck all the air out of the economy. Soon the 'Governator' will be forced to sleep in his Hummer and Californians will be working in sweatshops outsourced from mainland China.
11. Applications for building permits are down but Americans are still buying enormous SUVs. Who says serendipity can't happen here...
12. Inventing the Square Wheel: The wheels of Justice may need their lug-nuts adjusted a bit... The government's assorted cases against Guantanamo detainees are starting to come a cropper. Who ever it was who cooked up the story that US-born Majid Khan belonged to al-Qaeda and wanted to blow up roads and bridges has recanted his story. (Look at the faces of drivers stuck in traffic on W. Burnside while the bridge is up and you can see where some of these notions originate: "I am Spartacus!")
13. Toto, I Don't Think We're In Miami Anymore: Former Haitian strongman, Emmanuel 'Toto' constant says he's going back home to Haiti and he isn't scared to do so. (Haiti, it must be said, is in such a rapid meltdown, that 'Toto' is going to feel right at home amid the blood and chaos.
14. Hurrah! Bush has got himself a 'War Czar' But we aren't supposed to call him that. Lieutenant General Douglass Lute is going to be war 'Manager'. (Ah, that's the problem in Iraq... .We didn't have a decent manager... )
15. Lutin'And A-Burnin' Tonight: Yet word does not appeared to have reached Baghdad that the war is about to be properly managed. Across the capital and the nation, attacks flared, in some cases chemicals were involved.
16. Homeless people are going to be banned in Denver during the Democratic National Convention (Unless, of course, they temporarily join a union in order to make the city government look good for Labor... )
17. Journalists are going to be banned from Iraq. (Actually, they are still welcome at the officers clubs in the Green Zone, but no more photographing the aftermath of car bombings and IED attacks - we don't want the American public to get the idea that something has gone haywire with the "management" of this quagmire...
18. Australia has run dry.
19. Sand In The Lines: In Medellin, Colombia, the commander of a right-wing paramilitary of AUC (That's the 'United Self-Defense - and how1 - Forces of Colombia') says a few of his boys had been doing business with members of the US-backed government for years...
20. The water around Japan is too hot.
21. At least sixteen Palestinians have been killed in the fighting in Gaza (Clearly what we have here is a "management" problem... )
22. Business Is Business: Top Mexican drug officials want the US to do something about the top American weapons from flooding into the hands of Narco-Warlords.
23. Even the White House is taking a step back from Paul Wolfowitz. (You know you are deeply corrupt when... .)
[Addendum to yesterday's 'Get This': For those of you who thought I was making up the term, 'al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia':
Search for 3 G.I.'s Abducted in Iraq Continues
The New York Times
By DAMIEN CAVE
Published: May 14, 2007
BAGHDAD, May 14 — The search for three missing American soldiers abducted after an attack south of Baghdad continued Monday as the Al Qaeda group that claimed responsibility for the ambush said the soldiers would never be found.
"What you are doing searching for your soldiers will be in vain and lead to nothing but fatigue and unrest," said a statement posted on jihadist Web sites by the Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella insurgent group that includes Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. "Your soldiers are in our hands. If you desire safety, do not look for them."
(And Ken, Give regards to Barbie...)