Get This: Looks like we put the 'Surge' in 'insurgent'...
1. Poll-axed: Sho Dozono made a feeble effort to hustle a little free money in the form of public campaign funds. Alas, the wealthy Portland Business Alliance member had accidentally accepted the donation of a poll designed to determine if he ought to actually run for mayor. But as they say, The Sho must go on ... now running on fumes and private funding.
2. Beam Me Up: No less than three Oregon environmental groups want more money for public transportation, light rail lines and bicycle lanes and pathways. (The Oregon Environmental council, Environment Oregon and 1000 Friends of Oregon are all on board.) Yet to the casual observer from a planet far far away it would seem that the state has far more pressing problems: LNG terminals, casinos in protected areas, Dead zones off the coast, the destruction of forests and the extinction of fish. to mention just a few... .
3. The Guv asked his Ocean Policy Advisory committee to recommend nine marine reserve sites. And quite by coincidence, nine legislators from up and down the coast want to "study" the marine reserve idea a little longer. (But not too long, guys: Most of the living things in Oregon waters are dying off. Climate change is part of the reason. And too many people is the rest of the story...
4. Does This Dam Make My Ass Look Big? The 440-foot Round Butte Dam on the Deschutes River is getting tricked out with a 'Fish Migration Tower' to which plucky bands of little fish make their way across scalding desert wastes, through forests where every malevolent shadow breathes deadly fumes on the brave travelers, over perilous mountain passes, through ice caves echoing with the screams of lost souls, and thence to the Dark Towers themselves, where at last the fish... Wait... No, that's Lord of the Rings.
5. The five Makah defendants decided - at the 11th hour - not to accept a plea bargain which would have substituted probation for real jail time. Because?... . Wait for it... They wouldn't be allowed to hunt whales while on probation.
6. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an attempt by the Canyon county Idaho commissionaires to sue businesses that employ The Undocumented.
7. Wall Street is cutting twenty thousand jobs. (Don't worry boyos! Chin up! There's plenty of work in Canyon County Idaho digging potatoes and so forth... )
8. A plucky band of 19 conmen and women in Southern California bilked the gullible out of their homes in yet another pothole along America's Road to Mortgage Perdition.
9. As Hamas and Fatah negotiators plan to mend fences with the aid of Yemeni mediators - perhaps as soon as the upcoming Arab League Summit - Dick "Dick" Cheney is loudly braying about the impending failure of any compromise on the part of either side. (Cheney' unhelpful remarks reveal more about "Dick" in particular and Americans in general than about the actual negotiations that will take place... )
10. Turns out the Iraqi defector affectionately known to Capitol Hill insiders and call girls alike as 'Curveball' wasn't really responsible for getting the US into the Iraq War - much as we as a nation would like to believe. Actually, although 'Curveball' was considered an "unstable, immature and unreliable " (As might well be said of the whole administration... ) source by some senior officials in the CIA. But they bought (And I do mean 'bought.')the stories because the stories were exactly what they wanted to hear.
11. The Mum of a soldier who was seriously wounded in Iraq, then found dead in his barracks room at Fort Hood upon returning stateside. is insisting that the government list her son as killed in Iraq. (For that matter, this whole nation, civil liberties, economy, environment - the works - ought to be listed as killed in Iraq... )
12. Oedipus Wrecks: There is not a shred of evidence that Saddam Hussein tried to kill George Bush's father.
13. Two American citizens of Iraqi descent are being held by the military in Iraq. They are very likely innocent, but even if they were not, they are still naturalized citizens and it seems only just that the Supreme Court honor their request to be returned to the United States to stand trial.
14. Maine, New Hampshire and South Carolina have until the end of the month to comply with the regime's draconian Real ID rules. And if they don't? Then Homeland Security will bar travelers from using those states' licenses and ID cards to board planes. (There! All you terrorists from Maine, New Hampshire and South Carolina! See what you get!)
15. AUS Airways pilot accidentally fired the gun that he is legally and post nine elevenly allowed to carry. I don't know about you but I don't really feel any safer flying US Air these days. If the wings don't fall off the pilot could just as easily blow a hole in the side of the plane. At least tell us the caliber. ("Good morning! I'm your Captain Brent Spoof on this short hop between Newark and Philadelphia. I'll be packing a Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle, so any of you who are sensitive to loud noises and sudden lack of air pressure might want to spend the flight in the lavatory at the rear of this aircraft... ")
16. In Iraq, the port city of Basra is blazing. Here's what happened: The Bush administration has been loudly proclaiming it's Big Surge a howling success. Whereas in fact, the eerie lull in violence was more reasonably attributed to the Mehdi Army ceasefire. How do we know that al-Sadr's militias don't really give a damn about fighting other Iraqis? Because al-Sadr's headquarters in Najaf ordered field commanders to go on maximum alert and prepare "to strike the occupiers" and their Iraqi collaborators. Next question?
17. The US says that Iran is the reason for all these nasty attacks on the Green Zone. Right! Iranians are pissed off that Iraqis have bombed their cities flat, wiped out all public services, rendered the populations destitute and murdered women and children. Sure thing George... Whatever you say...
18. In Pakistan, Yousaf Raza Gilani was elected prime minister yesterday. More about Gilani in the weeks ahead. I don't know; But let's just call it an educated guess...
19. In Greece protestors disrupted the lighting of the Olympic torch. And protestors plan to light up a whole lot more all along the torch's path to Beijing.
20. And in Peru, the Achuar people are fighting oil exploration and extraction companies for control of the Amazon forests they call home