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Senator Wyden (D-OR), Senator Feinstein (D-CA), Senator Lincoln (D-AR), and Senator Bacus (D-MT), Senator Craig (R-ID), Senator Kyl (R-AZ), Senator McCain (D-AZ), Senator Domenici (D-NM), Senator Crapo (R-ID), and Senator Cochran (R-MI) cut a deal today on a new version of HR 1904. Undersecretary of Agriculture Mark Rey led the discussions between the Senators.
According to rumors, the democrats gained very little, but caved very easily to Senate Republican and the Administration's demands. The deal will not be final, until Mark Rey goes back to the Administration to get the Administration's commitment to uphold the deal. Once the Administration signs off, the deal is done.
According to Senator Feinstein and Senator Wyden's office this new deal is not going to be attached to the Interior Appropriations bill. However, according to Senator Bacus' office, the deal now will go to the floor as a stand-alone bill and the four deal-cutting democrat Senators have committed to helping the Administration and the Senate Republicans garner the needed 60 votes to pass a bill that is filibuster proof.
However, the four deal-cutting democrats did not get a promise from the Administration or the Senate Republican's that the deal would remain intact in conference. What this means is that the deal will hold on the floor but as soon as the bill goes to conference -- all deals are off. It is highly likely that Senate Republican's at the urging of Mark Rey, will just attach the original language of HR 1904 in conference. In short, the deal-cutting democrats will likely gain nothing (if the language is just added back in, in conference) for their weak compromise.
Come enjoy an extended weekend in the Mount Hood National Forest for hikes, community, and activist building workshops including: Forest Ecology, Tree-Climbing 101, Basic Wilderness First Aid, Ground-Truthing "Recording and examining forested areas", Herb Walks and more.
For Rides and More Info Call Cascadia Forest Alliance 503-241-4879
Please call to give or get a ride
The Immigrant Workers' Freedom Ride bus from Portland departed to join ten other buses on the road to Washington, DC on Tuesday, Sept. 23 after a weekend of trainings, rallies, and send-offs. The Freedom Ride promotes awareness of immigration issues specifically legalization, a road to citizenship, family reunification, and workplace and civil rights protections.
Forty-five Oregonians will travel the Portland route across the country and represent Oregon as advocates for justice. They will call on Congress to change current and out-dated immigration laws. Their send-off rally, held in Portland on Sunday, Sept. 21, and their morning departure on the 23rd featured immigrant workers and allies sharing their stories and reasons for joining this unprecedented quest for justice.
"This is truly an historic event," said Ramón Ramirez, President of PCUN, Oregon's farmworker union, and a rider on the Portland bus, "With the support and participation of labor unions and immigrant rights organizations from throughout the country, we have succeeded in creating a campaign that will bring the struggle for immigrants' rights across the country."
Here is the audio from the full 3 hour meeting of the Ablina Ministerial Alliance.
The report on the killing of Kendra James was released by the Albina Ministerial Alliance on Saturday 6, 2003. The summary of the report can be found at Portland Copwatch . The full report is soon to be available on the website.
I listened with disbelief to GW Bush's address to the UN. In the recent past, both Cheney and Rumsfeld have gone on the record to admit that there had been no connection between the events of 9/11 and Iraq or the Hussein government.
Yet, in a speech designed to marshal support for nationbuilding in Iraq, the first words out of Bush's mouth, recalled the 9/11 tragedies and global terrorism.
In a speech where he often fumbled words and fiddled with his script, Bush spoke in a defensive, arrogant, and inexplicably vague way about the need for the UN and its affiliated countries to support police and rebuilding efforts in Iraq. Although it was not explicitly stated in the speech, it is still clear that these contributing countries will have no real influence or power - something the Bush administration is unwilling to relinquish. It is also increasingly clear that, despite the desires of the Iraqis and our allies, control over Iraqi affairs and services will not revert to actual Iraqis until it is pried out of Mr. Bush's fingers or until all major services have been divied up among major corporations domestic and foreign.
homeless people in southeast have been pushed from place to place all summer. In the last few months many people from the area near St. Francis have found a refuge around the old Pierre's Bakery. The bakery has been closed for a while. Until the last few nights, police have driven by, engaged people in conversation, sometimes taking pictures, often honking a horn at 7-8 am to get people up and about but no arrests of requests to move on. In fact the a neighborhood office told some of the people that there had been no complaints about the camp.. Now however the manner has changed and people have been warned that they must go "somewhere else" or they are going to be cited, have their possessions impounded and receive tickets and a day in court.
Just days before he was to give a speech at the U.N. President Chavez abruptly cancelled his trip to the U.S. Venezuelan Military Intelligence says it has "overwhelming evidence" of a CIA backed plan to bring down the Chavez airplane enroute.
This is one of a series of U.S. backed efforts to remove Chavez from power (and now kill him outright). There was last years coup attempt, backed by Washington, the CIA and the U.S. corporate media. On April 12th 2001, Venezuelan President Chavez was kidnapped and Dictator Pedro Carmona claimed power. The U.S., supposed defender of democracy, was the only Western Hemisphere nation to support the dictatorial overthrow of a popular and democratically elected leader. Enormous public outcry foiled the coup attempt and Chavez was reinstated.
In December, Washington supported a "national strike". The so called general strike, which was really a lockout led by wealthy corporate executives, was designed to break the popular support for Chavez by the shutdown of Venezuela's oil industry. It was highlighted by sleazy tactics, lies and sabotage. It too failed though it did cause serious harm to the economy.
Washington tried to impose new presidential elections through the Organisation of American States (OAS) This turned into an embarrassing blunder, however, when the proposal became the first major US initiative to be rejected by the OAS as they voted 32-0 to support the democratically elected government of Chavez.
This july, Washington cut off credit to Venezuela from the U.S. Export-Import Bank. According to foreign diplomats in Washington, the head of the bank privately admitted that this was done for political reasons. Now Chavez has had to cancel a trip to the U.S. because of intelligence information that the CIA might bring down his plane.
Why is the U.S. so determined to overthrow Chavez?
Chavez has twice been democratically elected by landslide vote. The first time in 1998, and the second time in 2000, along with a revolutionary new Constitution which gives historic rights to women, and indigenous peoples.
This August, Chavez handed over land deeds to campesino representatives from across Venezuela. Through the initial phase of a revolutionary Agrarian Reform process, more than a million hectares (2.5 million acres) were transferred to campesinos, benefiting more than 40,000 families. The government handed over 31,437 land deeds, 121 farm machines and 30 billion bolÃvars (US$20 million). The second phase of the plan will be to distribute two million hectares by the end of this year.
Quoting Chavez "In Venezuela, we are developing a model of struggle against neoliberalism and imperialism. For this reason, we find we have millions of friends in this world, although we also have many enemies." The Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela and Latin America may well be the strongest democratically based opposition to the neoliberal agenda happening in the world today.
[ Informative Chavez interview from Jan 2003 | Indigenous Rights Attorney Joe Castillo Assassinated in Venezuela | The Venezuela Papers | Farmers and Indigenous United - Historic Gathering Set for October 12 in Venezuela | Women protest moves to topple ChÃ¡vez | Declaration To Support Land Reform And Farmers' Movement In Venezuela ]
According to a Reuters story, "The largest ice shelf in the Arctic, a solid feature for 3,000 years, has broken up." The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf broke into two pieces, and a local fresh water lake poured into the ocean after "all of the fresh water poured out of the 20 mile long Disraeli Fjord." Being scientists, they used careful language and introduced caveats : "Local warming of the climate is to blame, they said -- adding that they did not have the evidence needed to link the melting ice to the steady, planet-wide climate change known as global warming."
Recently someone posted an article under the title 'Baked Alaska' that described retreating ice in Northern Alaska. In this report the evidence was anecdotal (stories told by native residents of the area, tales of polar bear drownings when pack ice broke up and the bears could not reach shore, with other bears unable to get out onto the ice and instead spending their time rummaging through the town's garbage. Robins, using that uncanny sense they possess, have moved into Northern Alaska for the first time to nest, having somehow determined that it is safe to do so.)
According to the report over the last 100 years over 90 per cent of the Ellesmere ice cap has disappeared. A similar pattern of 'regional warming' is taking place in Antartica, and the warming in the North Atlantic is also responsible for the 'regional' pattern of increasing monsoons over the Sahara region since the late 90s (which in turn was responsible for pushing desert air into Europe this summer leading to the heat wave).
Sunday afternoon, September 21, 2003, a gathering of about a thousand strong met at Terry Schrunk Plaza in downtown Portland Oregon to demonstrate for Peace and protest the continuing war in Iraq. From there they marched through downtown Portland, joining up with the Immigrant Worker Freedom Ride rally taking place at Pioneer Courthouse Square.
I arrived late, due to attendance at the Immigrant Workers Freedon Ride rally taking place almost simultaneously at Pioneer Courthouse Square [ audio story ]. Just as I walked up a small group of people wrapped in American flags burst into the center of the Plaza and ignited a Palestinian flag, seeking, presumably to encite conflict and divert attention from Peace to anger and animosity. Jo Ann Bowman, master of Ceremonies for the rally, more than rose to the occasion by immediately leading a chant, "we're here for peace," which rose from the crowd and lasted long after the provocateurs were led by the police from the Plaza. Thank you, Jo Ann Bowman.
Then Jo Ann introduced Zaher Wahab, a professor at Lewis and Clark College and Afghan native, recently returned from a ten month visit to his homeland, who spoke for about 7 minutes. Zaher states that the U.S. has spent approximately 1 billion dollars a month for two years, while spending less than 50 million on economic development. "Many people initially welcomed the Americans, but now they are perceived and treated as an occupying force."
Of all days, I witnessed a bike get thrown to the pavement this morning by a car door. Does anyone know what the law is?
This morning I was riding behind another biker in the bike lane going up Broadway towards PSU. Parked cars to the right of us, moving traffic to the left. In front of the Banana Republic building, a minivan pulled up next to the bike lane, no turn signal, and the passenger quickly threw open her car door on the bike in front of me. The bike hit the door and hit the pavement, so did the rider. I stopped quickly so I wouldn't hit the door as well. The woman getting out of the car immediately started to yell about how we should look where we're going, how we should've seen her and expected cars to be stopping there and unloading passengers. She was really pissed. So pissed, in fact that she didn't even bother to ask if the biker was hurt! Still yelling insults, she walked into her building and told her driver to pull away.
background: [ Sept. 22: International Car Free Day ]
Inspired by the Freedom Riders of the Civil Rights Movement, immigrant workers and their allies will set out from Portland and 9 other major U.S. cities and cross the country in buses on September 23rd, 2003. They (over 900 Freedom Riders) will converge on Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress and then travel to Liberty State Park in New Jersey October 3, and then Flushing Meadows Park, Queens, New York for a mass rally on October 4, 2003.
This is a 10 minute audio file of three short presentations made at that rally, in English and translated into Spanish. First was a speaker who spoke to why this Freedom Ride is necessary. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to catch his name. Next was Jeff Richardson of the Hotel Employees Restaurant Employees Union, Local 9, followed by Ramon Rameriz of PCUN, which is the Pineros Y Campesinos Unidos Del Noroeste, Northwest Treeplanters and Farm Workers United.
See also: [ Unwelcome At Immigrant Rally ]
We know a lot more now about the dangers and disasters of U.S. empire building in Iraq Â— the ongoing bloodshed on the ground, expansion of terrorist activities, the huge budget busting costs of occupation, the stretching and undermining of the military, and the increased sense of fear and insecurity that many Americans feel as a result of the invasion and its potential for blowback.
We also now have a better handle on the immediate and flimsy reasons for the invasion. But far, far less is known about the planning and the actors that brought us this foreign policy disaster? What ideas and worldviews motivated the push to overreach and try to dominate the globe, with Iraq as step number one? What secrets, maneuvers behind the scenes policy power struggles after the attacks of 9/11, led the U.S. to invade a country that had nothing to do with 9/11?
The "Top Ten Censored Stories" followed by the 15 runner-ups:
Calls between now and on Monday are critical, as a group of Senators have almost come to a consensus on a back room deal on HR 1904 (the so-called Healthy Forests and Restoration Act). There could be a vote as early as Monday afternoon on the Interior Appropriations bill, which is where 1904 could be attached.
I drove away from the rally this afternoon with my sign in the back seat. I did a right turn on a red without stopping all the way and shit if a cop did not appear on my bumper with lights flashing a couple blocks away. Having the sign in my back seat was not the best thing for sure, as a cop walks up to you to give you a ticket. He took my license, looked it over and looked my back seat at the sign. Now the really trippy part. He handed back my licence and said please be more careful when you turn on a red light and TELL YOUR FRIENDS WE ARE NOT ALL BAD GUYS. That was it. Shit! No ticket, no warning, nothing, he just let me go. So that is it. I suppose I am sucker to believe him, but he really was just a nice guy. It was pretty nice to not get a ticket.
When we look at the problems and dangers we face today, we can clearly see that these emerging disasters are the result of the breach of natural law, the arrogant disregard for simple moral principles, and this immorality is rooted in the greedy self serving nature of modern society. A dog eat dog social order breeds covetousness, rivalrous special interests, and in the end causes self serving acts of immorality. As a consequence the world becomes like a lake into which everyone has flushed their pollutants. The karma of the world has become evil, and having sown moral rottenness, and broken natural law, we find ourselves on the receiving end of natural justice. Can anyone really complain when a day of judgment arrives?
When I contemplate that wonderful spiritual symbol, the signs of an emerging Garden of Eden on the Sahara, it occurs to me that the day of judgment is at hand, and following this the day of punishment arrives, and let everyone know it. This is marvelous natural justice, and as terrible as it can threaten to be, it is still a lovely and awesome thing to behold. There is no injustice in natural law, and if the punishment seems ruthlessly punitive, this is only in keeping with the ruthless immorality of the modern world.
This is a web version of a presentation being given to packed audiences explaining why the towers collapse was a demolition.
the official timeline and narrative told by the media: The towers collapsed.
On Thursday, September 18, 2003 Portland Indymedia Web Radio did a live interview with m2, a portland imcista, who was in Cancun for the anti-WTO actions. In the interview, he relates his first-hand experiences of the actions, the community, the Cancun Indymedia Center (Centro de Medios Independientes), and the mythical activist "hurricane" that blew through Cancun. This a very positive and informational talk that you shouldn't miss. Listen to the Interview
On 9/18/03, President Jughead cleared Saddam Hussein of any complicity in the Sept 11 attacks. But then he went on to deny that he or anyone in his criminal cabal had ever said anything that even remotely implied such a connection. Secretary of Offense Donald "Strangelove" Rumsfeld even went as far as to say on Tuesday that he couldn't imagine ever suggesting such a thing: "I've not seen any indication that would lead me to believe that I could say that" he said, in his typically tortured bureaucratic double-talk jargon. However, the historical record suggests that the denials from the Regime are lies: US Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation to the UN Security Council on February 5 dwelt at length on the "links" between Saddam Hussein's regime and the al Qaeda terrorist group, which he stressed was headed by Osama bin Laden and responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Centers.
Anyone else get that business-sized envelope from PGE in the mail recently, the one with the cover letter and pamphlet spelling out what a bunch of swell guys they are, and what a fool you'd be to "risk" a "government takeover"? How thoughtful of them to spend my rate dollars sending me lying propaganda in the mail.
Oh, sure, they spout bullshit like "that money comes from our shareholders, not our ratepayers". Well, gee, just where do they think those shareholder dividends come from? Does PGE have a secret orchard of money trees somewhere that they harvest C-notes from? Or perhaps they hire Rumpelstiltskin to spin straw into gold for them? Yeah, right.
Let's take a look at some of their propaganda:
Soon, we will take one of two paths -- if not sold, PGE will become an independent company again. But what if you are sold? They never discuss that option. How curious.
Inspired by the Freedom Riders of the Civil Rights Movement, immigrant workers and their allies will set out from Portland and 9 other major U.S. cities and cross the country in buses on September 23rd 2003. They (over 900 Freedom Riders) will converge on Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress and then travel to Liberty State Park in New Jersey October 3, and then Flushing Meadows Park, Queens, New York for a mass rally on October 4, 2003.
"Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride" Send-off!
Sunday, Sept 21st, 2003 at the Pioneer Courthouse Square in Downtown Portland, Oregon
1:00 to 3:00pm
Come meet the "Oregon Freedom Riders" and join us in an afternoon of solidarity, music, and speeches to provide support for Oregon's "Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride Bus"
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