12/27/07 Get This
1. 1, Whatever Floats Your Boat: Oregon's food banks are running dangerously low on supplies, thanks to the 'Ethanol is Our Future' hoax, craftier merchandizing, rising global food prices and - you guessed it - the federal government. As money cascades through the House and Senate on its way to Iraq and Afghanistan, the poor stand on the bank without a boat, watching the "rising tide" carry their dinner away.
2. Take Two Aspirin And Call Me Downstream: Edison Carder's piece this week for Our Backyard concerns the amazing quantity and surprising quality of pharmaceuticals found in the water supply. Tap water! It's the new Face of Meth.
3. The Sandy River is a whole new world of fishing now that the Marmot dam is gone. Turns out that a 'deadline' in a river is different than a 'deadline' in a newsroom. It's actually more of a place and less of an incipient train wreck... ...
4. North By NorthWorst: And don't imagine that global warming is doing Canada any favors just because Our Neighbor to The North has an actual means of delivering decent healthcare. On Vancouver Island, climate change is set to wipe out grand firs and western red cedars growing in the wild within 50 years. On the other hand commercial tree farms are doing just fine - for one thing because the trees don't have to live very long... few consumers take the time to think about the benefits of a 300 year-old tree the height of the parliament dome. (Then there's the problem faced by so many of earth's islands... Maybe really enormous kelp will be the next phase of old growth... )
5. The wild world of early December's storms provided the timber industry and private citizens with a variety of logs to take avid advantage of.
6. Seventeen Oregon National Guardsmen are going to Afghanistan to teach The People how the hell to fight. Ahhhh, the arrogance, Ooooh, the hubris... These are people who - not once but twice - repelled the forces of the mighty British Empire, these are a people who have never been defeated by any invader. But a bunch of soft, white fartsacks wrenched from their TVs are going to go over there and teach these Afghani guys about war...
7. Things That Get Dumped In The Park: It is now possible for Americans to have themselves interred in biodegradable kayaks made out of newspaper... And we wonder why the rest of the world keeps looking at us funny... .
8. The US economy staggers into the new year trailing plumes of unemployment applications.
9. And the US military marches against the militias of 2008, trailing 39 hundred dead bodies who doubtless will not be laid to rest in biodegradable kayaks...
10. The Surprise That Isn't: Dick Cheney was behind the defeat of California's go-it-alone tailpipe emissions standards law. Curses! Bunkered again...
11. 'Play Well, Think Well, Live Well, Dream Well': Cigna Healthcare allowed a teenage girl to die, repeatedly denying a liver transplant because it didn't want to pay for the costly procedure and lengthy rehabilitations afterwards. Get Well.
12. Police Academy: The Idaho State police academy's recent graduating class chose, "Don't suffer from PTSD, go out and cause it" as the class slogan. Just moments before the graduation ceremony began the academy director caught the motto and yanked it. He explains: Well, the class president is ex-military. Just a preview of the mind-set we can expect from the post-Iraq police force of the future...
13. America is infested with the kinds of parasitic worms formerly associated with a stint in the Peace Corps.
14. Our Man In Islamabad: Former Pakistani prime minister, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated today. Now the world will get an unsought preview of the kind of man Bush's Best Friend Pervez Musharraf really is.
15. In Iraq US troops killed 11 members of a Mahdi Army "splinter" group. Raising the question, Splintered from what? The existing Mahdi army? The Baath Party? Some failed US paramilitary police training program? Or perhaps the soldiers were merely taking their comrade's advise and "going out and causing some PTSD".
16. While American soldiers are 'occupied' killing the very people we so badly need to make serious amends to, the Iraqi Cabinet approved a general amnesty bill - though the "general" part is problematic: The amnesty doesn't cover America's prisoners, or those convicted of terrorism, corruption, crimes against humanity and kidnapping" which leaves shoplifting and jaywalking. Enjoy, prisoners!
17. Blue Moon: Israel's Ehud Olmert mooned his Middle Eastern neighbors yet again. Despite rational, honest attempts to negotiate a ceasefire, Olmert is still maneuvering to erase Hamas from the face of the earth in the name of choice beachfront property in Gaza.
18. In Indonesia, massive mudslides are wiping villages off the landscape.
19. A 5.5 earthquake hit Turkey not far from Ankara.
20. Election fervor in Kenya heats up: We know this because last week the BBC reported that machete sales were up...
21. The Uzbek election was deemed a "farce." (But look on the bright side: They'll have another one and maybe we can sell them the voting machines from Ohio... )
22. The British security company ArmorGroup withheld intelligence from the military because the company's employees didn't want their superiors to know how corrupt and infiltrated the police actually are. (Presumably, the top dogs already knew: That's why the MPs called for an inquiry)
23. British and European officials scrambled to head off a diplomatic row with Afghanistan after two western aides were expelled for holding talks with the Taliban. (But, wait... I thought that's what diplomats are supposed to do... )
24. And finally, This: Canadian Spokesmodel, Stephen Harper accidentally suggested said he met with the Dalai Lama at his office rather than in a hotel room because he was well aware that the Tibetan spiritual and political leader - a veritable god-like figure to thousands of snarlly, disgruntled Jewish college students - was not a "call girl." Thanks for clearing that up, Steve...