12/03/07 Get This
1. This Rain, It's Plain, Does Not Stay In The Drain: It's raining like a bastard. Roads are flooding because even though Portland has been populated for a while now, no one has figured out that when the water comes down the effluvia goes up, out and all over the road. It should go without saying: don't drive through white water because you and your vehicle will be washed away.
2. Bush: Bad for civil rights, Good for the ACLU. Membership across the nation is up as citizens feel those cold, bold NSA eyes boring into their backs. In Oregon, membership is way up. Maybe it's something in the water or maybe it's the plethora of case from Patrice Lumumba Ford to Brandon Mayfield to Pete Seda... Anyone of us could be next... .
3. Case In Point: An ethics complaint has been filed on behalf of attorneys for the al-Haramain Islamic Charity Foundation (deceased). This most recent challenge to the administration's spy program says government lawyers failed to report intercepted communications between other attorneys and their clients.
4. The Activist Report: KBOO's Activism Czarina tells it like it is. At the White House, demonstrators protesting the administration's deadly 'abstinence only' charade were arrested. And since the new SDS version 2.0 was founded last January, groups have been coalescing in high schools and universities across the country. Youth activism is - at long last - pulling a Lazarus: Power to the Party People! Picketing resumes this morning by striking Multnomah Education Service District workers - It's the healthcare, Stupid. Where's Wally? Wednesday is Wake-Up Wal-Mart day at the 82nd Ave store in Happy Valley. There are so many reasons to kick the supershop off the face of the earth: Just for starters, how about the 200 thousand-plus jobs we would have if Wally got lost? Naomi's Here: This Friday, Naomi 'Shock Doctrine' Klein will be at the First Uni, 7 pm. And on the 10th, the 'grannies' and grandpas' of the Surge Protection Brigade go on trial for the Good Friday Blood & Roses action at the military recruiting office on Broadway. Question: How is that demonstrators can be arrested for trespassing on "private property" when the military's rent is paid for by taxpayers? It gives 'Private' a whole new meaning...
5. Winds of Change: Portland is trying to hire more non-sexual deviant, non-borderline personality disorder afflicted police. Also it would be nice if the recruits possessed rudimentary literacy skills...
6. World AIDS Day in Portland: A march and vigil in Pioneer Courthouse Square. (Sad Fact: As long as pharmaceutical companies are making money, HIV/AIDA will never go away. Catastrophe is just another business opportunity for the bottom line feeders. Why kill the Virus That Laid The Golden Egg? Just ask Naomi Klein... )
7. Worse Than California's No Smoking Laws: The Marine who murdered an Iraqi for lighting a cigarette last New Year's Eve is being charged with murder. (So stop complaining about "secondhand smoke" and start worrying about "collateral damage"... )
8. Business is Business is Lobbyists: Now that the Writing is on the Wall and the Shit is in the Wind, Lobbyists are ginning up for the mighty fight to keep government out of the hands of the people and firmly in the private sector. What they are concerned about is the possibility of a Democratic win - and yet, and yet... If it's Clinton, the business Lobby will have nothing to worry about.
9. Jack-in-the-Box: The Bush administration is laying out a new secrecy defense in an effort to end the court battle about the White House visits of - lobbyist - Jack Abramoff. (Democrats won't win because there will be another 9/11-type event that will catapult Giuliani from 'America's Mayor' to 'America's President'. But the Bush camp should stay on point because one way a thoroughly corrupt president can distract the public from his/her indiscretions, is to hypnotize it with the dirty deeds of an even more corrupt ex-president... .And Rudy can always tell us that we 'Don't know Jack'... )
10. America has let Britain know that it can kidnap British citizens if they are wanted for crimes in the US. Britain too America: "We thought that was what 'extraordinary rendition" was all about."
11. Mystery Witness: Defense lawyers working on Gitmo prisoner, Omar Ahmed Khadr's case aren't allowed to tell their client who the witnesses against him are. But that's not the half of it: Ahmed Kadr is 21 years-old - which means he was a teenager when he was plucked form the face of the earth and transported to the lowest Circle of Hell. Still, his might be the first Gitmo prosecution to actually go to "trial"...
12. The US is spending our money on a new spy satellite that will be able to read ... Well, let's just say it's a good idea to wear clean underwear even if you expect to be nowhere near a bus...
13. World leaders once again are trying to hammer out some kind of agreement on Climate Change. This time the party's in Bali. (Notice how they never hold these summits in Detroit or Nome, Alaska?)
14. In Pakistan, opposition leader Nawaz Sharif is about to be disqualified from parliamentary elections after his nomination papers were rejected. They were rejected because the last time he tried this, he racked up a specious "criminal record." Unlike Pervez Musharraf who of course has no such compromising past nipping at his heels... .(And if Sharif doesn't like the court's decision his other option is outright assassination. But hey: It's a tradition! Like hunting whales!)
15. 'Vote Early! Vote Often!': Then there's the Russian Way... If you are Vladimir Putin, you punish those who do not vote for you in a variety of imaginative ways - just short of a one way ticket to the gulag of your choice. supporters on the other hand were encouraged to vote Putin as often as they liked all election day long...
16. In Venezuela's election, voters did not approve the reforms Hugo Chavez was seeking. (Read between the lines: When you see a headline generated by any major Western news outlet that claims "civil rights activists", "students", and human rights workers" staged anti-Chavez rallies... Be Very Suspicious. This election had National Endowment for Democracy smeared all over its hands. As did the coverage of the run-up to the balloting.)
17. Fidel Castro was nominated for a seat in the National Assembly.
18. Ecuador dissolved its own opposition-dominated Congress the first day out.
19. Israeli PM Ehud Olmert has rejected the December 2008 target (No pun intended) for a peace agreement set at last week's summit in Annapolis. (Obviously Olmert figured that it would take a little more than a year to achieve a "peaceful" Palestinian population - you just can't get more "peaceful" than dead... )
20. Fuel is running out in Gaza as are human beings. Israeli defense forces seem to be popping a few people every day just to stay in "fighting form". (And the world wonders why these "militants" are so angry all the time... )
21. They had to call off the Palestinian census (I could make a joke here about there being no more Palestinians left to count, but it is so far from funny that... ). The idea was that Fatah and Hamas were going to work on the project together. But Fatah is so corrupt and Hamas is so tapped-out, pissed-off and starved that there is no way this could work - Not to mention the fact that Israel keeps on shooting a few people every day and letting hundreds more die waiting at checkpoints on their way to hospitals... )
22. The Palestinians can point proudly to the 45 new European trained female policemen who just graduated.
23. And finally: Turkey affirms its Army's right to be in Iraq. (Try saying that with a straight face... I dare ya!)