11/13/07 Get This
1. Olympic Protest: The community meeting called to address tensions after the protests at the Port of Olympia went nowhere. Despite video evidence to the contrary police chief Tor Bjornstad told the crowd that "That no one got sprayed that didn't know it was coming." So we can assume that "It's coming" pretty much all of the time... . and when it does, it never happened...
2. The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions: The Interstate avenue brouhaha continues. Since you can't please all the people - especially bigots and racists who remain uppity even as History rolls inexorably over them - why bother? Name Interstate Cesar Chavez and be done with it. There is just no way anyone can wax nostalgic over a name that was quite obviously chosen by the imagination-challenged by opening a dictionary and randomly running a finger down the page with eyes squeezed shut. It could have been Sphincter Street. It could have been called 'The Road To Hell'...
3. The State had to cough up more than $300 thousand dollars to settle claims brought on behalf of five men who say they were denied adequate care for hepatitis C while they were incarcerated. And chances are, prison is exactly where they contracted the disease. Still, what goes around comes around and the cost of perpetrating human suffering has a way of infecting society as a whole.
4. And another inmate is suing the State of Oregon because he can't get the gender reassignment surgery he is due.
5. One does not even need to endure a jolt in the pen to catch hepatitis C. The disease is the nation's latest 'silent epidemic.' But the thing about these 'silent epidemics' that make them so cruel is this: Much of the suffering could be avoided if we had the will to create a society that does not drive people to use drugs, that does not lock people up in sub-human conditions, a society that values each human soul and cares for every human body.
6. When you're out of hops, you're out of beer. There's a global hops shortage.
7. The Wages of Sin: The economic costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - in actuality, the continuation of world Wars I and II. Take a look at how the spoils were divvied up: it all there, a road map to endless conflict. But I digress... These two latest eruptions of human viciousness have cost $1.6 trillion dollars thus far - and counting. That's about $21 thousand dollars for a family of four. And it does not take into account the cost to American society as a whole. Then let's not forget to factor in the crime, homelessness, madness and domestic mayhem that war jingles in its pocket as we go whistling past the graveyard...
8. Packing: The Supreme Court is going to puzzle over the question of whether it is a good idea to allow guns in Washington DC. (What's that you say? Isn't Our Nation's Capital bristling with guns even as Scotus scratches its hoary head? Yes, but those are just the illegal ones: The Supremes want to consider allowing legal ones...
9. A judge has ordered the White House to hang on to copies of all its e-mails. Just in case... Information is a terrible thing to lose
10. The top deputy director of national intelligence, Donald Kerr wants you to know this: Privacy no longer means anonymity. And, in fact, if any more laws are passed under the fraudulent marketing banner, 'Global War on Terror,' privacy no longer means privacy. (On the bright side, the ship of state appears to be rapidly sinking under the sheer weight of the information it has collected on us all... .)
11. The San Francisco Bay oil spill has created a slick that will be around for years. But if want 'slick' try the inevitable kangaroo court trial that will doubtless exonerate captain and crew. 'Mistakes happen' y'know. (In a world that is rapidly running out of oil, one would think people would be bit more careful about how they move the stuff from A to B.
12. In New Jersey, a bear stole a minivan, took it on a joyride and abandoned it in the woods.
13. Benazir Bhutto is under house arrest - again. (And Pervez Musharraf remains America's Most Favored Dictator.)
14. Turkish helicopter gunships attacked abandoned villages in northern Iraq today. It's first of what will likely be a long series of such air strikes which inevitably will hit non-abandoned villages... . especially with winter coming on and people staying home more... And remember, Recip Erdogan is another world leader the US needs to cozy-up to.
15. In Zimbabwe, a man died of starvation while standing in a queue to get a visa. He hadn't eaten on two weeks.
16. The Russian oil spill is a burgeoning ecotastrophe. Yet since it has taken place in a relatively remote region of the world, it will escape the attention of most Americans. We have numbed ourselves with the magnitude of the suffering in the world and now we are running out of disposable income with which to go shopping...
17. The Japanese yen got punched in the nose by collapsing mortgage markets in the US and now it's going to hit back.
18. In clashes over land in West Bengal, six people have been killed. This is a mainly communist-controlled part of India, so official reports are careful to focus on that as the cause for the riots. But look again: The local farmers are actually objecting to the construction of a massive petrochemical concern in the middle of their community.
19. Man Down: In Northern Ireland, a second policeman has been shot so far this week.
20. An Australian nutritionist wants the airlines to charge obese passengers a 'fat tax.'
21. They're Coming To Take Us Away - and I don't mean in a minivan driven by a bear: And finally, an international panel of former pilots and government officials wants the US government to reopen its generation-old UFO investigation "as a matter of safety and security." Osama bin Laden is hiding out in a space-cave? The truth is out there... far, far out there...