06/06/07 Get This
1. Fear Corrupts and Absolute Fear Corrupts Absolutely: Sentencing was delayed yesterday for Jonathan Paul, a leading environmental activist, the tenth 'Green Scare' defendant and all-round good guy. Problem was, his defense lawyer objected to the way Judge Aiken applied federal sentencing guidelines. It gets tricky when the justice system has been transformed into a sausage factory designed to crank out processed fear. Animal and environmental rights activists such as Paul are our new "top domestic terrorist threat".
2. It's the Thought That Counts: The Oregon Senate is sending Measure 37 Lite back to voters. The bill is only marginally improved but then voters are probably not even marginally smarter now than they were when they voted for the vile measure in the first place. Greed kills more brain cells than meth ever could...
3. Fly Me: Betsy Johnson and the airport bill are still going mano a mano in Salem. If she had done a better job of covering her property sale tracks, she could have run this dog right through a whole herd of legislation virtually unscathed by ethics or even common decency...
4. The Convergence Northwest 2007 began yesterday at the Vancouver Hilton. What, one might well ask, is a hard-line, right-wing Zionist, AIPAC-supported group of Israelis doing in Vancouver, Washington... what exactly are they "converging" with? Dare we hope that they are going to move Israel to rural Washington? I have in the past suggested that we more it to Texas (The state is so big who'd notice?) but Washington would work too. There's even a town there called 'Cheney'... does it get any better?
5. Against The Wall: The drywallers and carpenters are on strike - and so they should be. Labor is under constant assault by management, their pay and benefits incessantly chipped away. But the thing here is, other union members are having a hard time getting behind this one because some of the conditions in the drywallers' demands overstep into the domain of smaller unions.
6. Search & Destroy: Another bill is on its way to the Governor's desk - that is if it doesn't get lost and require rescuing. This search and rescue bill authorizes the issuance of subpoenas to obtain information about lost people if their lives are deemed to be in danger. (What we need is an intelligence test to determine whether people have the brains to decide what's safe and what isn't when the answer is absolutely plain as day... )
7. No Butt Left Behind: Oregon's Republicans have torpedoed a compromise on the cigarette tax bill that would have raised enough money to pay for health insurance for the State's 100 thousand uninsured children. (This really isn't about cigarettes or even taxes: This is about the world's richest nation refusing to join with the rest of the industrialized world and provide healthcare to its citizens. Take a look at the profits pharmaceutical and insurance companies are making... 'Tax and Spend' government? Taxing and spending is exactly and precisely what government is supposed to be doing. That's its whole raison d'etre. Instead what we have is a 'Loot and Plunder' government... )
8. The Oregon Public Utility Commission approved the acquisition of a Seattle-based natural gas company. (The real story here is the one that hasn't happened yet: Here comes that great big Liquefied Natural Gas facility to a shoreline near you... )
9. Man Bites Cop: A Canadian man with an anger management problem was sentenced yesterday after a couple of brouhahas at the border. Michel Labadie allegedly bit a border guard who only wanted to take a peek at his pea pods. To Labadie's credit, he did clarify the situation by stating that since he had a black belt in Karate, he would have used subtler means to object than a brutal nip on the wrist.)
10. John Conyers has sent out another 26 pages for questions for Alberto Gonzales to puzzle over. (Alberto, my advice is get yourself a good attorney... I hear Harriet Miers is available... .)
11. Meanwhile back at Rancho Republican, the hunt is still on for more information on the web of lies and money connecting Jack Abramoff to the White House.
12. Watered Down: The Bush administration has pissed in the pool once again. The Supreme Court ruled that the Clean Water Act now only applies to bodies of water large enough for boats to use and their adjacent wetlands. In other words, the Act no longer protects streams and tributaries. (We truly are 'up shit creek'... .)
13. Oil for Blood! In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, some Red Cross blood bank stations are offering donors gas in exchange for blood.
14. In Heiligendamm, Germany, more than ten thousand protestors are at the seven-mile long steel fence around the G8 conference facility and thousands more are arriving even as I write this. Others are deployed along roads and at a railway station. Police are taking this display of commitment to peace and equality in rather a bad way, firing on the protestors with water cannon while dressed in full riot gear, shields and all.
15. Cyclone Gonu with its 195 mile and hour winds is heading up the Gulf of Oman, not quite straight for the huge oil rigs, but... close enough to raise gas prices.
16. Canada has denied entry to Winnie Mandela. (Stephen Harper, shame on you... But look at the points that will win you in the Bush Camp... )
17. Palestine - goaded by the US and Israel - is heading for full-on civil war.
18. This Is What US Diplomacy Looks Like: Alvaro Uribe's pro-Bush Colombian government has released the first lot of FARC rebels in the hope that the move will gain them the release of their own right-wing paramilitary death squad boy scouts.