09/20/07 Get This
1. 1. Oregon's minimum wage goes up this January. A spokeswad legislator had this to say, 'That's $30 extra dollars a month. With that much money, a single mother could buy her child a coat and some shoes.' What is this, "Little House On The River'? An "extra" $30 dollars a month? While the owners of the companies these single Mums work for give themselves millions in bonuses as a reward for screwing the people who actually do the work that produces the wealth. Coat and shoes, indeed.
2. Yesterday four activists were arrested for trying to talk to Gordon Smith, an elected representative whom we as taxpayers, employ to listen to and speak for us. (Next Bush might want to try to bring Democracy to America. He's the guy that took it away. It's the least he could do... )
3. The National Weather Service and other agencies have got some bad news for beach-front property owners: You're going to have to run faster and higher because when - not 'if' - an earthquake hit the West coast, the resulting tsunami is going raise the water level by 35 feet - much higher than expected.
4. The Price Is Right ... in front of you: Finally, the puppet-masters of providence have awoken to the fact that although we've gone and broken it, we don't seem able to fix it - and that means we are going to have to pay for it... Oregon's Randall Edwards along with a slew of environmentalists, institutional investor and financial officers are petitioning securities regulators to force publicly traded companies to disclose the risks they face from global warming.
5. Oceans Twelve: The abandoned Formosa Mine has become Oregon's twelfth Superfund Site. (Let's get this root canal over with and just declare America a Superfund Site. We might even get a little financial aid from relatively industrialized nations like Albania... )
6. Not Easy Being Green: The Port of Seattle Captains of Industry are rethinking the disastrous plan to dump PCB's in Elliot Bay. Although the deadly carcinogenic class of chemicals does not mix well with water, it bonds very well with lipids. And that is how the toxin makes its lethal way up the food chain. Currently Puget Sound has the honor of hosting the world's most PCB-filled Orcas. And humans? You don't want to think about it...
7. Take A Number: The Western Environmental Law Center is suing the EPA if it doesn't approve Oregon's plan to reduce auto emissions. (The EPA's "So sue me" attitude makes efforts to protect the environment a Sisyphean task of epic proportions. I say, let's get the United Nations to impose sanctions on the agency for failure to preserve the basic human right to breath clean air and drink clean water. Then if it still won't comply, we start bombing in March when Congress is out hunting Easter eggs and the weather is nice... )
8. Up In Smoke: In San Diego, the judge hearing the Rod Coronado case has declared a mistrial. At a lecture event, someone asked Coronado how to make a Molotov cocktail (Something so simple, a third grade science class has been known to make one. At least that's what we did the day I was subbing... ) and he went through the directions for assembling such a device. Soon after and not far away, a condo project burned to the ground. If what Coronado did is illegal, then teaching the history of World War II is illegal because it might cause the Highly Suggestible to attack Germany...
9. Al Sharpton and a cast of thousands is due to hit Jena Mississippi where another enormous American tragedy has been playing out. The Jena Six were arrested after responding to the appearance of a collection of nooses hanging from a tree where students at the local high school hung out - no tasteless pun intended. One of the Six, Mychal Bell took umbrage - as, indeed he had every right - and slapped the offending white kid with a sneaker. The white kid went to the ER but was out partying with friends that night. Bell is not, it is safe to say, partying with anyone but his lawyers. An all-white jury found him guilty and the kid at one point was looking at 20 years. No. Time has not reversed course... but the American justice system has...
10. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in New York City for a speech before the United Nations General Assembly. And like any other world leader - except perhaps Kim Jung Il - he planned to lay a wreath at the site of the Twin Towers. His request was rudely, childishly, arrogantly turned down. But that is what we are as a nation, rude, childish and arrogant.
11. The Senate has blocked a bill that sought to guarantee troops at least as much time at home as they spent in Iraq 'holding it down.' At this point, the task seems to be Trying Not To Get Killed. Makes you wonder why the troops couldn't just stay home and try not to get killed...
12. The Florida State University police who Tasered - and I mean really Tasered - the student who was trying to ask John Kerry a couple of last minute questions, were put on "administrative leave with pay." Sounds suspiciously like a vacation to me... )
13. You May Already Have Won: Notice how the Republicans trumped up bogus "terror" threats on the eve of Congress's deliberations over how to make permanent modifications to the Foreign Intelligence surveillance Act? Nope, guess not. Okay, just go back to shopping and be sure to make those mortgage payments. If you lose that house, the "terrorists" have already won. (Next: Osama bin Laden produces ads for Publishers Clearing House and airs them on YouTube?)
14. We Are The Champions!: Treasury Secretary Henry 'Bad News' Paulson told Congress yesterday that the federal government will hit the current debt ceiling on October 1. Solution? Raise the roof... (By the way, this bit of business plays very badly with foreign markets. The dollar hit an all-time - and I mean since the Euro first arrived on the scene - low against the European currency.)
15. So this week we learn that Israel has declared the Gaza Strip a "hostile entity." (As in "enemy combatant" or "Martian life form"? Just wondered... ). This means in real terms that the Israel concentration camp directors are turning off the gas and the water and making traveling into and out of Gaza even more of a pain in the bouzouki than it already is. Here's what else it means: Hamas considers the move an act of war.
16. Less than a week before Lebanon's divided parliament starts the process of electing a new president, a leading Christian MP was assassinated. (As far as I know the bomb did not bear the message: "Shalom! With Love, Ehud." Just want to clarify that the thing blew up, so we have no way of knowing... )
17. Freedom is on the March: A gun battle in Afghanistan between police and insurgents left twenty-four people dead. And this is our big 'War On Terror' success story? I'll take Grenada any day...
18. Eighteen of the poorest and normally driest countries in Africa have been seriously hit by months of torrential rains - and the rain is expected to go on for weeks. (Which is why it's so important that the UN slaps some sanctions on the EPA. I say we get John Bolton on the line right now. Until then maybe FEMA could sent some umbrellas... )