12/28/07 Get This
1. Greenhouse Gas: A bevy of Portland's Greenest went to Chicago and gassed on about The City That Works to a sustainability conference. Said the delegation: Portland is going to tax new construction unless it meets higher energy efficiency standards. After the waves of positive PR subsided, so did local enthusiasm. Funny how image and reality rarely coincide in Bushwacked America...
2. Like cats digging holes, shitting in them and then burying the results, the best idea America has come up with for dealing with excess carbon is... bury it. But not so fast; Seems this too is a terrible idea. The only question is when are we going to stop creating waste instead of struggling to hide it from ourselves?
3. Oregon has joined other states in passing laws to stop teenagers from talking and text messaging on cell phones while driving. Raising the next question: Should the very elderly be driving? Should those in urban areas where there is ample public transit be driving? Should we all be out in the garden digging holes in which to bury our own shit?
4. Wasteland: In California, water in the Sacramento Delta is killing off the native fish. Where once there was life, we now have silent equilibrium. The more control we attempt to exert over our environment, the more surprises it will have in store for us...
5. The Sauvie Island Bridge sailed up the Columbia - or is it down? - River this morning at 7:30 sharp to the delight of Portlanders who turned out to cheer the bridge on its way.
6. 'What's That Smell?': The EPA is preparing to comply with a congressional request for documents concerning its decision on tailpipe emissions. (Quick! Hide the matches... )
7. Ill Wind: More from the weird new world of weather: In Southern California, strange, strong winds knocked out power and flattened lesser structures. This time it was cold wind rather than the familiar Santa Ana blast furnace. Still,
8. The US Census Bureau has this: There are more than 300 million people in the United States, all eating and shitting more than ever before. Every 8 seconds another mouth is born. Every 11 seconds someone pops their clogs and every 30 seconds someone immigrants to America. (And hundred years or so someone asks, Where are we going to put all the waste we are creating? Until the question becomes, Where are we going to get the resources to make more stuff to consume? Then again, lets not forget, these latter are dying out leaving room for more people with fewer questions.)
9. It's illegal to drive in Michigan if you are not "documented."
10. FEMA got itself a new Public Affairs Director - aka 'Damage Control Czar.' This, because the old one, Pat Philbin was about to leave anyway to go work for the Director of National Intelligence, when he held a fake press conference. Apparently, Philbin misjudged National Intelligence because the job offer was withdrawn. (National Intelligence has plenty of other people working full time creating fake news, so they hardly need any more dead weight... )
11. Chicago schools are militarized - But only the ones attended by poor and minority students who have no hope of college anyway. Parents actually like the locked and loaded learning environment: It makes it easier to justify holding the kids at gunpoint at home...
12. And in Ohio, two college students who could no longer afford tuition at the schools they were attending, took to robbing banks. They got sentenced to 20 years in prison ... But it could have been worse; They could have joined the military instead.
13. Ron Paul wants to attack Iran... Just as soon as someone tells him where it is on the map...
14. Pakistanis rioted today ass Benazir Bhutto was laid to rest in her illustrious family's mausoleum. The whole country is fractured, blood flowing in the streets, vehicles on fire, five billion dollars in "US military aid" gone missing. And for America's plutocrats, It's A Beautiful Day. Disaster is always good for business and with the US economy coming apart at the seams, someone is already figuring out how to make a buck or two off the suffering of the Pakistani nation. (But then the US economy is a relic of the past at this point. Wall Street is another historic curiosity. Business is now conducted on board your private Gulfstream somewhere between Dubai and Shanghai...
15. Bagh-Dada: More violence and mayhem in Baghdad today. Alas the American consumer has picked that one dry and moved on to other news stories. We are way beyond surreal - this is sur'roid.
16. Israel continues expanding to illegal settlements, building - literally - in the dust and upon the bones of generations of Palestinians.
17. Russia has helpfully provided Iran with a supply of anti-aircraft missiles capable of taking out American and/or Israeli planes.
18. The air in Beijing is lethally toxic.
19. Looks like Kenya's president Mwai Kibaki is the winner in this week's elections. (Did I mention the surge in machete sales?)
20. And Latin America had a stellar year for disasters.