07/03/07 Get This
1. Now that the potage is cooked it's time to take it to the polls. Oregon lawmakers referred eight measures to the ballot. Most comical of all is the cigarette tax, which is to be enshrined in the Oregon State Constitution. Yes, that is what it takes to get health coverage for 100 thousand uninsured children. Why not just give the money directly to the huge health insurance companies and leave the constitution out of it. That's how every other department of the US government works now, right?
2. Money can't buy you love... . that's why we have elections: Activist politician Steve Novick has been snubbed by the national Democratic party but he's running for Gordon Smith's seat anyway. And he has raised some serious money. Trouble is, Novick isn't a marketable product like some other Oregon politicos.
3. Americans have got their knickers in a bunch over the question of whether undocumented immigrants consume more in public services than they pay in taxes. The IRS doesn't care: As long as they get the money, it makes no difference who is on the other end of the social security numbers... . after all, we've got a war to pay for... literally and figuratively.
4. Margaret Butler from Jobs with Justice joined us by phone to bring the Word down from the US Social Forum mountain. (Alas, we as a nation are so far from our original ideals the very language we use to express ourselves has been hijacked and subverted to serve the purposes of a handful of looters bent upon snatching everything they can lay their hands on before the entire country implodes... .
5. Magnum Opus Dei-l: East Burnside was scheduled to be dismantled and recreated in the name of profit. Originally, Beam Development, a small local company, bid on the development deal and won the hearts and minds of neighbors and an endorsement from a citizen selection committee. But the PDC sided with Opus, a real estate giant based in Minneapolis. It may be Opus's world but small businesses are living in it and East Burnside is revitalizing itself
6. In Seattle, the face-off between Hempfest organizers and the Seattle Art Museum looks like a win for Hempfest.
7. Taking a Beating: In a parallel universe, a report landed in the lap of the Seattle City Council yesterday. The City on the Sound needs to overhaul the way it investigates police misconduct.
8. Bottom Feeders: How bad is the corruption of the food chain? So bad that scientists in Seattle are putting together a nationwide program to investigate seafood contamination. Good to have the information, but the bottom line is, once the old snowball starts rolling, it isn't easy to stop. Not eating fish is only the beginning of Hungry Days in a poisoned world...
9. Scooting Justice: As the world now must surely be convinced, America is the land of "Liberty and justice" for the wealthy and powerful. Everyone else is guilty until proven innocent. And 'Scooter' Libby is only the beginning... there are plenty more where he comes from. In a couple of generations, the Bad Fish will all be kings...
10. Arizona's Democratic governor, Janet Napolitano has signed a bill that prohibits people from hiring The Undocumented - period. (But that's okay, because the state is shit out of water, so there go the farms, the lawns and the gold courses... )
11. "Why Do They Hate Us?": The Navy is investigating "possible" military crimes committed by Marines during the Fallujah Massacre back in 2004... "Possible"?
12. Friendly Fire: A Vermont National Guard soldier and a Canadian private were killed in Afghanistan by their own guys. (What a senseless waste of an American bullet; it could have been used on an Afghani civilian... .)
13. In Kansas, a doctor has filed a legal challenge to the constitutionality of part of a state law restricting late-term abortions. (Free advice: Dr. Tiller, get someone else to start your car for the duration... )
14. Vladimir Putin survived the meeting with George's parents, the lobster, the fishing and the boat trips and came away from the whole affair visibly smug in the knowledge that the president it just as stupid as Russian intelligence concluded long ago...
15. The US is still accusing Iran of being in cahoots with Iraqi resistance fighters. (And why wouldn't Iraq be in cahoots with Iran? If you were under attack by the American military you too would accept any help you could get. The enemy of my enemy is my friend...
16. People are stealing kegs - without the beer. This can only mean two things: First, the world is running out of mineral resources at an ever-increasing rate, forcing up the prices scrap metal dealers pay; And second, people are desperate for sources of income to augment their pathetic service industry paychecks.
17. The Big Fix: Nouri al-Maliki's puppet government was set up by the US for one reason and one reason only: To ensure that oil profits wind up in the hands of the major Western petrol companies. America really could give a rip about the bloodshed... Now that the al-Maliki's Cabinet has approved a draft 'oil law', the US can safely pull the troops out and let the whole situation drown in its own ichor...
18. Is There A Doctor In The House?: British police are concentrating on four physicians with roots outside Britain in the investigation into last weekend's failed car bombings in London and Glasgow. Four of the doctors are from Iraq, Jordan and India. (Motive? Well, hell, they are after all doctors... How long can you watch your own people suffer horribly and die before you blow up yourself... ..?)
19. Mordecai Vanunu is back in jail even though he has no Israeli nuclear secrets to tell the world. We already know that 'the Mad Dog of the Middle East', Israel is nuked-up, so what's left to say?
20. 'Are You Going To Eat That?': China is going to take a shot at reining in its rather casual approach to organ donation, given that in some cases the organs were more properly defined as 'stolen' rather than donated. Moreover, Chinese patients are often given the leftovers after wealthy foreigners have skimmed off the cream of the crop. There have been rumblings for a number of years now about the practice of executing a prisoner or two here and there to provide a particular organ on request...