0709 am 'Get This' news

07/09/07 Get This
Chris Andreae

1. The Island of Doctor Pamplin: Bob Pamplin still wants the City of Portland to take Ross Island off his hands, toxics, liability, warts and all. Portland wouldn’t mind turning the island into a nature preserve (smack in the middle of the sewer we have made of the Willamette River)….but aren’t taxpayers going to be chuffed when they get the clean-up bill right in the chops? Still, we don’t want to piss-off God and Mr. Pamplin, now do we?
2. Less Polluted, Just as Holy! Yes, that’s the upper stretch of the Rogue River between Lost Creek Dam and Cole River Fish Hatcheries. Fly fishermen call it that because they go there to catch and release their haul. But fishing hasn’t been so hot there in recent years…So if the fish are being released and they are still disappearing…Hmmm, must be something in the water?
3. Pumped: If construction on the new pumping station goes smoothly the 86 year-old Savage Rapids Dam could be removed a year early. (On the other hand, it is 86 years old and like most of the nation’s infrastructure, it is just as likely to fall apart before it is either repaired of removed.)
4. Balancing Act: Oregon State is getting $1.5 million dollars to study how climate and humans affect the West Coast’s “carbon balance.” (That’s like paying monkeys to eat bananas. Of course it is at this point far cheaper to “study” a problem than to fix it. And it is far easier to “fix” it than to change the behavior patterns that caused the problem in the first place.
5. Martha Odom, Activista, reports: The rally against police brutality in Spokane on the Fourth got ugly – police brutality, y’know…And in Portland on Independence Day the local booze-fueled citizenry took time out from blowing shit up and smacking their kids around to attack demonstrators attempting to call to their attention to the fact that this nation is not the one they thought they were celebrating. And on Sunday, activists staged a ‘Kiss-In’ at Tri-Met – sort of a Kiss-Met – to protest the actions of one bus driver who took it upon himself to defend the moral fiber of bus-transportees by throwing a couple teenaged lesbians of the bus for kissing. John Waters, this one’s for you!
6. Caught Dozing: In Seattle today, right about now, actually, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will be hearing oral arguments (My personal favorite kind!) to decide whether to let the case Corrie et al versus Caterpillar proceed. You recall the bulldozing of Rachel Corrie by the Israeli soldier at the helm of a cheery yellow Caterpillar machine?
7. Slow Boat To China: Striking Freightliner machinists won some job security – at least until the whole company decamps for China – but still face cuts in retiree health benefits and mandatory overtime in the contract they are voting on today. (Unions are rather like elections in this Brave New America: The powers that be need to keep a gelded version of each on hand, albeit drugged and barely breathing, in order to present the mask of democracy to an ever more skeptical world….)
8. Congress is back from vacation and Bush never left, actually. Now the Representatives – and I use the term very loosely indeed - want some answers on Iraq and just how much the whole fiasco is going to wind up costly. And hitting the ‘Executive Privilege’ button once again, Bush denied requests by Congress for testimony from two former aides about the firings of the federal prosecutor. (Of course Sara Taylor and Harriet Miers could tell us what they know….But then they’d have to kill us….
9. Two more Republican Senators have backed away from Bush, who’s polling somewhere in the low twenties, I believe.
10. The NAACP’s Julian Bond dished up a verbal thrashing as well. Alas, Bush lacks the intellectual skilz to comprehend that he is being verbally thrashed – not that he’d care what Black people think in any case…
11. Cat Fight! Cindy Sheehan is going after Nancy Pelosi’s Congressional seat. (This is going to be a ‘painful’ debate in the strictly literal ear-bleed sense…)
12. The Ninth Circuit Court of appeals in San Francisco ruled that the Feds don’t need no stinkin’ search warrant to monitor a suspect’s computer use and determine the e-mail addresses and Web pages that a suspect is contacting. So every time you log on to al-Jazeera, be sure to take a look at some hardcore porn next…covers your ass, so to speak…
13. Another federal appeals court dismissed a case Friday challenging the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program that target international communications. It’s a straight-up reversal of a previous ruling that shut the program down. (The real joke is that these court proceedings take place at all in an America where the administration swathed in the cloak of Empire, does not hesitate to pull the Dagger of duplicity on citizens for any reason or none at all. In the ‘none at all’ category, we find generalized intimidation of innocent people simply to keep the rest of us in line….)
14. Some in the military are placing the blame for the Fallujah massacre squarely on Blackwater USA – others are putting it just a bit to the right.
15. Approximately half the nation is on fire and the other half is under water and we still have the greater part of hurricane season to get through.
16. The fish in the Great Lakes never have a nice day. the best you can say for their situation is that that are too toxic to eat.
17. In Afghanistan today, US-led’ forces killed a “militant” and a couple of little children. (That’s the thing about any insurgency: Everyone is a “militant” because no one is happy to have their land occupied and destroyed. Even the invading force can agree with this paradigm: They too see every man, woman and child as an ‘insurgent’ because every man, woman and child would gladly blow them away given half the chance…You would do the same if it were your ancestral land that had been turned into a killing field….
18. Iraq’s Foreign Minister says that if a precipitous American withdrawal could somehow fantastically be orchestrated – who knows how - there would be civil war in Iraq. (Translation: The FO himself is Kurdish and right now, today, there are 140 thousand Turkish troops massed on the border of Northern Iraq just itching to kick some Kurdish ass. And the only thing stopping them is the heavy hand of Uncle Sam….)
19. Political Party Perks: The Israeli Cabinet approved the release of some 250 Palestinians allied with president Mahmoud Abbas.
20. Waco East: A Pakistani Special Forces commander was killed in the standoff at Lal Masjid in Islamabad. Shades of David Koresh and the Branch Davidians! Seems the Pakistani Army is trying to blow a hole in the wall so that the women and children can get out…Trouble is, they don’t seem to want to come along nicely, straight into the arms of the Pakistani military.
21. China’s bureaucrats are replicating rather faster than one child per family, it happens.
22. In Zimbabwe 10 thousand percent inflation makes that formerly prosperous nation’s economy look like Weimar Germany, only with palm trees. So what Robert Mugabe is going to do is take half the food off the shelves of stores and cut the value of the worthless currency…Other than those measures, he is also thinking of converting to the South African Rand like a number of other impoverished sub-Saharan nations have done.
23. Aux Armes Mes Citoyens!: In France, the new president, Nicolas Sarkozy has threatened to pre-empt the traditional Bastille Day pardon for thousands of prisoners. If Old Nick follows through with the threat, expect another, well…Bastille Day.

 

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