09/28/07 Get This
1. All Measure 49, All the Time: Opponents and supporters of Measure 37 Lite are hitting the airwaves. Pro-development rabble so far have done a poor job of disguising their anticipated rape of rural farmland as "property rights". What about the rights of future generations for whom we hold the land in trust? How about some "wilderness rights"? That'll only happen when the wilderness has shareholders to answer to.
2. The Oregon News Service has a report on the brighter future for Oregon counties facing budget crisis over timber payments. (Wake up, farmers: Whenever there's a crisis, there is opportunity. Sell shares of protected wilderness and preserved farmland: Put a price on further destruction of the environment. The higher the price, the more untouchable our remaining wild lands will be. Cynical? Yes, but it might buy a little time while we wait for the superior intelligence beings arrive to save us from ourselves... )
3. A Republican Senator from Oklahoma has blocked the preservation of Washington State's Wild Sky Wilderness area. Why Senator Tom Coburn has got it in for Washington's remote, beautiful wild lands is anybody's guess... . But allow me to take a shot at it. Coburn wants private industry to get its hands on the land. (Proving once again that Republicans will fuck you when nobody else will... )
4. The Horatio Algae Story: We now are confronted with a toxic algae bloom on the Klamath River. The algae is lethally toxic and it tends to "bloom" in slow moving waters - waters which would otherwise be moving fast, were it not for PacifiCorps hydroelectric dams.
5. Labwhore Fined: A Washington State farm labor contractor got dinged for $317 thousand dollars for discriminating against workers in violation of federal law. Los Angeles-based Global Horizons - among other crimes - failed to provide work to local people. (Tip: When a huge corporation comes knocking at the door of your community promising jobs, be sure you get it in writing... )
6. Hillsboro, in a spurt of genius, put a commemorative fire hydrant painted 'Stars & Stripes' in a dog park. Alas, the citizenry did not share in the brilliant comic intellect that produced this tribute to American jingoism. The City wound up planting thorny barberry around the piss-icon. (How about a life-sized sculpture of Greg Oden's knee for the pooches to hump? Better still, Greg could just sit in the park until his leg heals. Public service comes in many forms... )
7. Jena Six victim Mychal Bell was released from jail on a $45 thousand dollar bail bond. It's a good start, but it in no way addresses the not-so-underlying racism. Sneering 'Town Fathers' told NPR they really didn't see how a noose could possibly be understood by southern redneck teenagers as a symbol of their rich tradition of lynching people... Shame, Jena Louisiana. And shame on NPR for not calling these people on their bigotry.
8. The Fed and Drugged Administration: The FDA audits less than one percent of all clinical drug trials. (I've known coke dealers who were more fastidious with product... )
9. Fourteen of the so-called "high value," so-called "terrorism" suspects at Gitmo are going to get lawyered-up, at long last. They may even be able to challenge their status as "enemy combatants." (And while we're at it, how about challenging America's 'Kinder, Kuche, Kirche' mindset?)
10. Crimes of the Hate: Senate Democrats managed to tack the Hate Crimes bill onto military spending without a trace of irony.
11. The Fuel On The Hill: Representative John Dingell, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has gone brave and smart on his cohorts on the Hill. Dingell has drafted legislation that would slap a fifty-cent tax on gas. (Fans of rap, take note: You could be instrumental in sinking this shot... )
12. A military panel in Baghdad has acquitted sniper and sociopath-in-training, Jorge Sandoval of murdering two unarmed Iraqis. (I guess What Happens in Iraq, Stays in Iraq... )
13. A Democratic Congress managed to shame the GOP into passing increased funding for the S-CHIP program. Even Republicans aren't dumb enough to vote against sick kids in the run-up to a presidential election...
14. The four Republican front-runners did not show up for a debate at historically black Morgan State University. (Among the many convincing excuses: 'Not tonight dear, I have a headache'; 'I have to wash my hair', 'I have to wash my dog'; 'I have to wash my car' 'I have to launder my money'... )
15. The Prez told a rapt audience of New York school kids that, "Childrens do learn." (They had to hear it from someone... Better the Leader of the Free world than some crack head on the corner... But not much better... )
16. In Myanmar, the military has killed at least ten people and they are aggressively raiding monasteries, arresting monks and beating up pro-democracy supporter.
17. Another day In Baghdad: Iraqi police and witnesses report that US occupation forces attacked an apartment building and murdered at least ten civilians. (Go to www.electroniciraq.org for the latest out of the War Zone.)
18. 'Five More Years!': Pakistan's Supreme Court opened the floodgates to another five years of Pervez Musharraf.
19. Security Council heavy-hitters. lead by the heaviest of them all, Russia, are backing away from further sanctioning Iran until after the IAEA inspectors get in there. (But then, the IAEA inspection coming up zero hasn't stopped the US from Bringing the Democracy anyway... )
20. And Now This: Three Mexican kids were driving a remote road in Southern California when they were pulled over by a Border Patrol cop. They were handcuffed and placed in the cruiser while the officer searched their vehicle. Noticing that the key was still in the ignition and the motor was running, they boys must have figured, 'Eh? What the hell... ' and they fired up the border patrol car and gunned it back across the border into Mexico. (Can you be charged with GTA if the owner of the automobile placed you in the driver seat, gave you the keys and even left the car running?)