1. Bottle Battle: Oregon – still keeping up with the rest of the nation – has passed an updated, albeit somewhat watered-down, bottle bill that covers plastic water bottles which currently cover the landscape. Alas, there is no law against sheer human stupidity which is the underlying reason for the plasticization of the countryside.
2. Unredeemed: Or not as the case may be. The distinctly American practice of giving people gift cards (Instead of taking the time to get to know the person well enough to find or make something meaningful to the recipient….). In any case, the unredeemed money left over on those plastic platters of joy is going to be donated to schools. (Ah the metaphysics of money: It doesn’t exist anymore than radio frequencies do. It sort of wanders electronically as a cloud that floats on high o’er vales and hills, when all at once I spied a crowd, a host of golden gift card bills…But I digress…. )
3. Cat And Mouse: Hunters get to hunt cougars with hound dogs again, even though we voted against the practice ten years ago…
4. The police have charged three people (Two of whom appear to be skanky-looking punks. The best thing one say about these characters is that they are too fat to be speedfreaks. All have priors.) with torching cars in Southeast Portland. Perfect! Now let’s see how these new “terrorism enhancement” laws really work. The charges are Measure 11 mandatory minimum offenses on top of everything else. And the perpetrators can’t even claim to be freeing the animals, unless there were rats living in the mufflers…
5. Another Animal Liberation Front activist, Kevin Tubbs was sentenced to twelve and a half years in prison. Judge Aiken once again gave the environmentalist a stern talking to, and then blasted rats out of her tailpipe.
6. A Wilson High School senior and the rest of her graduating class are going to be spending the weekend removing the marigold peace sign from the lawn in front of the school and replacing it with plain old lawn. (Lucky for Maggie Collins that the government didn’t feel threatened by the peace sign and interpret it as an act of terrorism…)
7. Johnny Comes Marching Home: Sixty Oregon National Guardsmen are coming home today. The ones who don’t wind-up in rehab will spend the summer fighting forest fires and screaming ‘Kill Kill Kill.’
8. As are other returning soldiers around the country.
9. Voters are less than pleased with the Democrats’ performance thus far. What part of ‘Bring the troops home now’ don’t they understand? For that matter, what part of ‘Illegal invasion based on a lie” don’t they understand? And furthermore, how many of our elected representatives know anything at all about the history, language and culture of other societies? How many of them know a whit about geopolitics, warfare, or diplomacy? The only reason they hold public office is that they know how to raise money.
10. Seven out of ten Northwest congressional Democrats voted against the war funding bill. The ones who did not vote for it, did so because it is a load of hyena shit. The bill is outright thievery, stripping cash-strapped communities across the country of their last hope of decent infrastructure. Our schools, roads, parks, air, water and lives are in ruins and all the money we paid in taxes is being shipped to Iraq where it disappears into defense contractor coffers.
11. The Senate has scheduled a no-confidence vote on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for June – thus providing Karl Rove and his evil minions ample time to get all their ducks in a row and sufficiently intimidate legislators as to guarantee that the vote will be White House-approved. (But, Wah-Wah-Wee-Wah! Did you see Monica “Happy Birthday Mr. President” Goodling testify? All we have to do is introduce her to George and Impeachment here we come!
12. String Theory: Somehow an increase in the minimum wage got tied to the crappy war bucks bill.
13. The Raptor Is Here: Oregon pigeon fanciers are on a raptor killing tear.
14. Out Out Damn Spot: The Magic Fu Bird shit on the president as he was telling the nation and the world that Alberto Gonzales is doing a heckuva job. White House Press Secretary Dana “Guano Mama” Perino says, Well, pshaw….Everyone knows getting shat upon by birds means good luck…
15. The US-backed (and probably financed and supplied with arms) Lebanese army is heating up the already scorching situation in the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp.
16. The former head of the CIA covert operations in Europe admits that “extraordinary rendition” has caused serious problems for America’s allies (Question: What “allies”? And comment: And how! Other countries signed on to the International Criminal Court and therefore are subject to international rule of law. They are legally obligated to respect global mandates. The US, on the other hand, never signed up, and thus is free to gallop off into the legal sunset, guns a-blazing. Fasten your seat belts, prisoners!)
17. Jigged: In Ireland, Bertie Ahern won even though the votes are still being counted..
18. The British, not to be entirely outdone by American arrogance and hubris, have decided to opt out of European Human Rights laws – and not a moment too soon!
19. The new US-backed Mexican government is giving itself a stern dressing-down for its insanely murderous repression of activists in Oaxaca last year.
20. The Pope is in trouble for announcing before millions of people in South America that Catholicism and colonialism are the best things to come their way since human sacrifice.
21. The French intelligence officer who led the 1985 bombing of the Greenpeace ship, the Rainbow Warrior, is currently partaking of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness in the United States (Along with assorted other confirmed terrorists such as Luis Posada Carriles, to mention just one…). Louis-Pierre Dillais is an arms dealer whose clients include the FBI, the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland security. His hobbies are gardening, stamp collecting, golf, murdering innocent people and fighting extradition.
22. Iranian banks are raising interests rates, inflation is out of control and petrol prices are through the ceiling…..Can invasion be far behind?
1. Tanks For The Roses: In a preemptive strike for peace, Code Pink, Veterans for Peace and the Surge Protection Brigade marched along the route of Saturday’s Grand Floral Parade. Two of the ‘Seriously Pissed Off Grannies’ out of the SPG were arrested trying to stop the Rose Tank – what a tank is doing in the middle of a flower-related event is anyone’s guess, but there it was. Better we fight them here than in the streets of Baghdad, I always say…
2. The Undead: As it goes in a bad zombie movie, the Liquefied Natural gas companies just won’t stay dead. First there was Calpine and its evil plans for an LNG terminal in the Warrenton area near the mouth of the Columbia River. Calpine perished and now in its place reconstituted out of the ashes, so to speak, we have Oregon LNG. It wants to run a 117-mile pipeline from the mouth of the river all the way to Mollala. Public hearings will be in Woodburn and Forest Grove, but not Mollala…shhhh…they want it to be a surprise…
3. The Smell of Money Burning: the US Forest Service in a paroxysm of Orwellian rhetoric has announced that it is going to test new fire control method. The agency has decided to log trees in areas “specifically selected to influence fire behavior”.. . The Nature Conservancy is all on board this give-away to logging companies and the Bush administration. They are the environmentalists who believe that if you give up a little something to industry, industry will give back…Boy Howdy. Money really does grow on trees.
4. Fancy This: The pigeon fanciers who have been killing raptors are facing felony misdemeanor charges.
5. The senate passed the cougar hunting bill.
6. Friend of Marion County has joined groups in central Oregon, the Coast and Hood River in fighting Measure 37. It’s a question of livability, specifically, do you want to live in Oregon or Orange County? If the latter, then please do so but don’t strip mall Oregon or we’ll blow you to smithereens with our LNG terminals or leave you to freeze to death on Mount Hood.
7. Little Hyatt Dam is a little illegal. It was built ex tempore years ago and now it is considered a safety risk, a hazard and against the law. But what the hell, people like it so they are going to bring their lake up to code. Meanwhile many of the nation’s largest dams are in desperate need of attention…but the Army Corps of Engineers and your money are busy fighting one losing battle after another in Iraq….So don’t forget your towel…
8. An Oregon Coast Technology Middle school student didn’t like the taste of the water in the school drinking fountains, so he took swab samples from the fountains, the toilets and assorted other water sources, tested them in his school’s chemistry lab and found that the toilet water was cleaner…He turned his work in as an English assignment.
9. The senate will test drive a no-confidence vote on Alberto Gonzales this afternoon.
10. Blow Hard: Joseph Lieberman wants to attack Iran. (And I believe he should go for it! Follow your heart, Joseph! Let’s send AIPAC Man over there, toss him out the back end of a C-130 transport with a satchel full of Zionist literature, the latest edition of ‘Hustler’ and Scooter Libby’s book, The Apprentice.’ We could do this on a Friday and aim Joe at a fundamentalist madrassa, then sit back on watch the fun…)
11. Colin Powell wants to close Guantanamo Bay. But before you get too excited about this and start breaking out the Good stuff, the revolution is not quite here: First off, it’s Colin Powell who is saying this because he wants to have some part of his legacy that is not an utter disgrace and he can be fairly certain Gitmo will never close. Secondly, think about it: If Guantanamo Bay is shutdown, are they really going to let all the detainees go free? Then where are they going to warehouse them? The short answer is, In all the hundreds of dungeons and torture chambers in all the client nations around the world that have already played host to America’s invisible prisoners.
12. Prisons in New York are going to ban books – even the Christian ones. That leaves a captive audience planted in front of a TV. Motto, Prison: Where Addictions Go To Grow Up.
13. DePaul University professor, Norman Finkelstein has been denied tenure. It has been a long struggle for a man, who like Jimmy Carter more recently, had the courage and common decency to speak truth to power. ( Finkelstein is the author of ‘Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the abuse of History’, a book that takes to task Zionist superstar, Alan Dershowitz and his puffy little propaganda piece, ‘The Case for Israel’)
14. The Enemy Hmong Us: More bail hearings are scheduled in Sacramento for some of the men charged with trying to violently overthrow the government of Laos.
15. Good Old Golden Rule Days: A foreign policy program based in Fairfax, Virginia – Intelligence Central – is making a name for itself producing “acolytes” of Bush administration Neocon foreign policy. The Defense and Strategic studies program is “outside the academic mainstream, but within the policy mainstream.” Who said that? I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you. Sorry about that. It’s just the policy…
16. Voter ID comes to Mississippi. Voters there must now carry a party registration and photo ID to the polls in primary elections. (So don’t worry, poor and minority citizens: America is moving beyond the days of intimidation, misinformation, blocked roads, threats, lies and coercion, not to mention polling places that aren’t there, aren’t open or aren’t working properly….all a thing of the past!
17. In Iraq, a bridge collapsed killing three Americans. As is the usual Way of the Wire, not much else happened…just countless Iraqis killed, injured, maimed, their homes, businesses, families destroyed, all possible hope for the future denied them for the foreseeable future. Oh, and the mad hatter who was the speaker of the Iraqi Parliament has been quietly lead from the chamber by the Nice Men with soft voices and sharp needles…
18. While not looting the Iraqi economy, raping villagers, swimming in Saddam’s old pool and generally livin’ large in the Green zone, US soldiers have been amusing themselves by arming Sunni insurgents.
19. Then there is Afghanistan another beneficiary of American democracy. An Afghan radio station owner, teacher and mother of six has been killed in Kabul. (Back in the pre-democratic days before the Glorious Dawn of the American Empire, people in Kabul wore Western clothes, men and women went out in public together, cafes were full of Afghanis and Westerners, Lou Reed was popular and the cops smoked chillums as they stood on street corners, holding hands and patrolling…America got there just in time to stop these people from killing us all in out sleep…
20. In Rome Bush scored a ‘twofer’: he was met by enormous throngs of angry protestors that turned violent. And he called the Pope, ‘sir’, instead of ‘Your Holiness.’
21. But the Albanians love him. A cursory romp through Albanian history ought to convince the reader that Bush and Albania are made for one another.
1. Want Some Action? Martha Odom – as she does every Monday morning – brings us the Activist Report. The weekend’s main event was, of course the Gay Pride Parade, bigger and better than ever. But that was then and this is now…Today at 2:00 pm, Peter Bergel, Director of Oregon Peaceworks and Robert Projansky of Veterans for Peace will go on trial at the Multnomah County Courthouse. They were arrested for the simple, citizen-y act of attempting to visit an elected public servant Gordon Smith in his office, on public property. When the whole world is private American property where does the public go to ask questions like these?
2. In Washington State, Puget Sound veterans’ hospitals failed every subject on their accreditation finals. But the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations will be back for a surprise inspection in the next few months. And if there is one thing veterans don’t like its ‘surprises’ and if there is one thing hospitals don’t like, it’s inspections…
3. North Carolina can save soldiers the costly, time-consuming and terrifying experience of going to Iraq. Camp Lejeune offers ample opportunity to be permanently disabled or even killed thanks to its extremely contaminated drinking water. All the more reason to drink beer, avoid North Carolina and stay out of the military.
4. The drywallers and carpenters who have been on strike since June 1st are close to an agreement. It isn’t the best of all possible working worlds, but it’s better than a slap in the belly with a wet fish. Any victory for labor in Bush’s America is rarer than a sighting of Elvis…and Jesus? He shows up everywhere.
5. This time it’s Albany that is locked in a life and death struggle with Measure 37. Seems this woman wants to cut down an ancient white oak so she can develop her property. The City won’t let her do it so now it comes down to property law. (All you fans of Measure 37, please move back to where ever you came from and if you come from here, go to southern California…)
6. Which brings us to the eternal question: When is a stand of poplar trees a ‘crop’ and when is it a forest? You know you spend long nights pondering the question, but the Oregon legislature is here to help. We got into this situation back in the 80 when we still had laws on the books that protected the environment instead of words on paper which is what we have now…(And much of that paper would come from those poplar trees if we were not presently aggressively logging the last of our wilderness areas
7. How desperate is this water situation? Klamath County is considering a new reservoir that would be 20 times deeper than Upper Klamath Lake. It sounds like a lot, but think of all the lawns and golf courses that are going in down there in Southern Oregon ready to welcome the influx of retirees and their McMansions…
8. Just Add Water! Central Oregon’s Jefferson County is as far as one need go to see what happens when development becomes ‘devilment.’ People forget that the beautiful landscape they want to build on is only beautiful because they don’t live there…yet.
9. Common backyard birds are disappearing thanks to the pesticides that kill their food and cats that kill them. (Cat owners, here’s the story: Your cat is not a wild animal. It is a pet and you feed it pet food. Killing birds is natural for wild animals but not for domesticated pets. It is not “natural” any more than it would be “natural” for my German shepherd to kill and eat your cat…which I can arrange for…
10. Our Boy In Baghdad, General David Petraeus says that “stabilizing” Iraq is going to take about a decade because that’s just the way it is with these insurgencies…I mean look at the Battle of Algiers…(By “stabilized”, I presume Petraeus means that all the Iraqis are dead or fled.)
11. Bob’s Your Uncle: Robert Zoellick is about to sail straight to the top of the Free Trade Candy Mountain as head of the World Ban,. where he will oversee the privatization of every drop of water and every grain of rice, every kernel of corn…(Just be sure to keep the girlfriend business on the Down Low, Bob.
12. Congressional Democrats are fighting the executive privilege Goliath…at least until they are the executives and its their privilege…
13. Everything Old Is New Again: The Senate is debating a package of energy bill that are going to have long-term impact on the economy and the environment. (Let’s see…I wonder whether the former or the latter will have priority of place is the eventual sausage that they churn out…
14. Senators Claire McCaskill and Tom Carper were in Iraq recently on a sort of ‘Follow The Money’ tour. Trouble was, they couldn’t find it. Billions of dollars have vanished into the private world of contractors
15. G-Spot: Jay Garner says that what we have in Iraq is genocide. (If Garner thinks that crying ‘genocide’ in a burning building is going to draw the world’s attention to the abattoir that Iraq is fast becoming, I direct his attention to Darfur where it has been going on for years while the world closes its eyes and plugs its ears, yelling ‘Ican’thearyouIcan’thearyouIcan’thearyou…’. Garner led the initial American effort only to be superceded by Paul Bremer – ‘Viceroy’ Bremer to his friends in the Bush administration….and none of them ever mentioned the ‘G-word’)
16. A Kurdish rebel leader has warned Turkey that if its troops and tanks cross into Northern Iraq, fire will rain out of the sky, human skin will erupt with boil, there will be hemorrhaging from orifices, the rivers will flow with blood, all plant life will wither and die and animals will fall dead in the…Wait…That’s already happening…
17. US forces killed seven more Afghani children over the weekend. Even the US Stooge, Hamid Karzai is beginning to feel uncomfortable with the incessant stream of civilian bloodshed. And we put him there to explain just such tragedies tohis long-suffering people. This latest, the US claims that the Taliban was using the children as “human shields” when they bombed the madrassa. Hmmm, let’s see, children in a school…you see how crafty these terrorists are…
18. ‘ No More Democracy For Me Thanks; I’m Driving’: Now that he has drunkenly stumbled around in Palestinian politics, starving the state until he got election that he liked, now, finally, George Bush is considering lifting the embargo that caused the crisis in the first place. Yes, that’s Democracy Neocon-Style.
1. Dudley-do-Wrong: Jefferson High School’s president Leon Dudley is resigning. And who can blame him? He has had virtually no support from the school board (Translation, ‘Vicki Phillips’), the student body is traditionally Black and hence already discriminated against, and the as for sufficient funding? If you think that money doesn’t make a difference, compare Lincoln High School and Jefferson….Whatever Leon Dudley’s failings might be, he was given a population of smart, needy kids and nothing to give to them.
2. You win some, you lose some: School districts from Beaverton to Bend are finally going to get he the money they need to build new classrooms. And it comes from an unusual source, Taxes. Yes, School boards are going to be able to levy construction taxes without seeking voter approval (It would be nice to believe that voters are smart enough to pass legislation that is in their own best interests as well as those of their communities. Yes, that would be nice, wouldn’t it…)
3. The Service Employees International Union is getting more influential in politics – no surprise there since we have an economy based almost exclusively on service sector employment at one end and Wall Street at the other.
4. Raid This: Even before the recent ICE raid on the Del Monte plant and the staffing agency Stafco, a Hillsboro woman had fired a lawsuit at the gigantic companies. The suit claims that the company failed to pay its workers in a timely and proper manner, as well as taking improper deductions from paychecks. The workers themselves had no recourse because of fear of deportation.
5. Veterans In Action staged an anti-war protest on the banks of the highly polluted Willamette River where Senator Gordon Smith was out punting along the watery ways with boy-pal, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. What were they talking about? Immigration? Funding the war? Probably their escape plans when Bush drops his pre-election ‘Gulf of Tonkin’ event on the unsuspecting public…
6. US District Judge John Coughenour ruled in favor of endangered salmon and against developers who claim that hatchery fish and wild fish are the same thing. (Here’s an idea: Lets raise a bunch of developers in captivity, grow them fat and helpless and stupid and then…Never mind…)
7. The top enlisted man at Naval Base Kitsap was sentenced a paltry nine months in jail for attempting to have sex with one 12 year-old child while encouraging another child to have sex with the mother. It’s that strong moral character that the military teaches, y’know…
8. Give That Student a Bonus!: The University of Washington has studied the phenomena carefully and found out that – yup, sure enough – CEO’s are paid bonuses even when the companies they captain are losing money.
9. Today is Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. (It’s ended? Ask any member of a minority population who works three jobs and is the target of discrimination and racial profiling if slavery in the US is over. They aren’t celebrating…
10. Our ‘War President’ has decided to end the embargo on the beleaguered Palestinian people - which he levied because he didn’t like the results of a free, fair and democratic election. (I think its safe to say that if a Dennis Kucinich wins the presidential election, the Neocons will issue an embargo on the United States….)
11. Seymour Hersh has got the real dirt on Abu Ghraieb from no less an insider than Antonio Taguba, the key military investigator. It’s all there in this week’s New Yorker magazine.
12. The Government Accountability Office has a rather anticlimactic report out finding that the Bush administration and its legions of cronied-up agencies ignored Congressional legislation on 30 percent of the occasions when Bush issued a presidential signing statement after signing bills into law. (Translation? What we have here is a rogue regime, answerable to no one but the world’s wealthiest men and women. Since we have allowed our responsibility as citizens to lapse, it will be virtually impossible to change the course of our own history.)
13. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (“Oversight”? “Reform”? Well, It’s going to be a little difficult to oversee and reform a government that has cloaked itself in secrecy and become invisible to the average citizen…) But I digress…The Committee reports that GOP ‘off-the-books’ e-mails are proliferating and as for the ‘on-the-books’ ones, those have been destroyed.
14. The administration is threatening Valerie Plame with a subpoena. But of course Republicans wouldn’t “play politics”, would they?
15. Energy lobbyists have screwed the energy bill because it dared - a small way - to actually attempt to conserve energy.
16. Two North Dakota farmers who have been granted the first licenses in the nation to grow industrial hemp have filed a lawsuit to get final permission from the Drug Enforcement Administration (Won’t the DEA be surprised when they figure out there are not drugs in hemp…)
17. Well, the ten thousand-man American Surge is cutting down Iraqi freedom fighters and civilians alike. What the US is doing in Iraq right now as I am writing this is a war crime of epic proportions.
18. Even the Ban Ky Mooned United Nations has figured out that the US has banjaxed peace-keeping efforts in Darfur.
19. Members of the UN’s new human rights watchdog agency (They came up with a new one that is guaranteed not to watch the US too closely…) has agreed in principle to a compromise on how to launch investigations into some of the world’s worst offenders. (See the previous story for a case in point)
20. Poland is threatening the somewhat fragile European Unity.
21. North Korea is closing its nuclear reactor this July. (Right…and Bush is pulling out of Iraq)
22. The US-funded spraying of coca plantation in Colombia near the Ecuador border has done permanent, irreparable damage to the DNA of indigenous people (But just think how many young hipsters it is saving from rehab…)
23. Fidel Castro says his country will defend itself from the US. (Now we need someone to defend the US from the Bush administration. France?)