1. Something’s Rotten in the Produce Aisle: Aside from the families torn in pieces and scattered to the four winds, the raid on Fresh Del Monte brought to light egregious safety violations at the plant. If the economic refugees who were rounded up by ICE agents fled their native countries to work for Del Monte, that puts the results of NAFTA into stark perspective…
2. Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions are more likely than the rest of us to commit suicide. It must have been something they saw. They say travel broadens one’s point of view…
3. Something’s also rotten in Eugene: The Oregon DEQ is going to “expand the investigation” of 30 more residents of a neighborhood in Eugene that is contaminated with trichloroethylene, a known carcinogen. Welcome to Superfund Estates!
4. Duct & Cover: One hundred and sixty-seven human beings are currently being “processed” and Randy Leonard is battling the city of Portland over the popular practice of duct-taping a family ‘Spot’ on the sidewalk from which to view the tanks and advertisements for local corporations. (Wait a moment! What about our ‘Sit/Lie’ ordinance? Let’s grab all these people and ban them from the streets of Portland for a year or so….)
5. Cleaning the Government’s Clock: A budget subcommittee is going ahead with a bill that would strengthen Oregon’s ‘clean government’ guidelines. (It bodes ill that it’s a budget committee that is going to address the problem of following the lobbyists’ money. Ethics is something money can’t buy…
6. Starbucks is going to have to cough up $85 thousand dollars for failing to provide extra training and support (And for firing her as well) for a bi-polar barista. (I thought all baristas were bi-polar….)
7. Psycle-Killers Be Warned: Oregon roads are a bit safer now with the passage of a law that prohibits drivers from running over cyclists or at least from driving close enough that if the cyclist fell off into the traffic lane, he or she would not be hit.
8. Fire! There he was, a fireman standing in a burning house, cell phone at the ready, calls 911 and is put on ‘Hold’. Here’s what the problem was: The call center was overwhelmed by…three calls at the same time.
9. The Felon of a Felon is Not Fitzgerald’s Friend: I. ‘Scooter’ Libby, acolyte of Felony Fats himself, Dick Cheney, is back in court today, begging Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald not to send him Down In The Hole while his appeal is pending.
10. ‘It’s A Pleasure To Serve You!’: Two former White House officials will face subpoenas for their involvement in the firings of the 8 US Attorneys. Harriet Miers gets one and so does Sara Taylor. (Karl Rove, the cheque is in the mail…)
11. Dennis Kuchinich is gathering co-sponsors for his resolution to impeach Dick Cheney. Is he serious? Serious as a heart attack, as I believe the saying goes…
12. Cover Your Ass Memo from the Feds: The FBI wants all its agents to be careful (So if you are an FBI agent, Listen up! I’m not going to repeat this…) while collecting data from Americans in terror investigations: Specifically: don’t go trampling on their privacy rights and not to expect secret evidence to remain secret no matter how long it takes you to cover your tracks…The is a nation of rules and laws, some of which pertain to you (Like not driving close to bicyclists and putting duct tape on the sidewalk) but most do not. So keep up the good work, boys! And if anyone gives you any trouble, call Evergreen and get that person on the next flight out of town…
13. The House passed a gun control law. Seems that even the NRA thinks maniacs and convicted felons can’t get a hold of guns (Are you listening, Scooter?)
14. The six men accused of plotting to kill soldiers at Fort Dix are being arraigned right now in New Jersey.
15. In Lebanon, tens of thousands of mourners marched in a funeral procession for prominent anti-Syrian legislator Walid Eido. Eido was killed by Israel’s Mossad …Wait…did I say ‘Mossad’? I meant a car bomb. That’s right he was killed by a car bomb….
16. A coalition of NGOs took out the UN security Council’s trash yesterday. (Is it just me or have you noticed that Ban Ki-Moon is no Kofi Annan?) for its shocking silence on violations of international law by US occupying forces in Iraq. The group urged the UN to end its mandate in Iraq. (I’m sure the UN would love to get its mandate out of Iraq but that road to the airport is just too fucking dangerous. They are going to wait for the helicopters to pick them up from the roof of the US Embassy….
17. In Palestine the Gaza Strip is virtually on the edge of civil war and the fighting is spreading to the West Bank is my bet. Just a moment ago we got word that Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyah has been “fired.” Arab states fear a Hamas-run Gaza could become a power center for the group’s allies Iran and Syria. (I can picture Condoleeza Rice in her cobweb-festooned, toad and rat-infested tower is rubbing her hands together: “It’s working! It’s working! We starve them until they become radical fundamentalists with nothing left to lose and then we stand back while they self-destruct….”)
18. Human Rights Watch says the UN has tarnished its reputation and undermined its legitimacy through “lack of accountability” in the Serbian province of Kosovo. (Be glad that’s all they did. Look at Sudan. Look at Iraq…)
19. While the Americans and the Australians amuse themselves with war games in Queensland, the Chinese are massed military firepower – nuclear and conventional – on the coast across from Taiwan. Some of the hardware is short range, some not-so-short range…
20. A 6.8 earthquake knocked the dishes of Guatemalan shelves last night.