0726 am 'Get This' news

07/26/07 Get This

Chris Andreae

 

  1. Welfare for Agribusiness:  The new farm bill was run right past family farmers who are already pushed up against the wall by giants.  Farm income – like all the other sorts – is being concentrated in the hands of a very few people, hands that never touch the soil, hands that are reserved for consummating deals in board rooms, lobbyist’s private clubs and the offices of our legislators.  The hands that work the land are going to come from other countries.  And they belong to the economic refugees displaced by a flood of cheap subsidized American foodstuffs.
  2. Coincidence?  I Think Not:  Despite the tremendous popularity of farmers markets in Oregon, more than half of those launched from 1998 to 2005 failed. And despite the hype, most of the people who trumpet their support of the markets and the American family farmer in general, still can be spotted (By  high-powered telescopic sighting devices…) shopping at Nordstrom’s, choosing “paper or plastic”, and buying roses from Chile.
  3. Born To Be Wiiiii-iiild!:  We’re going to get more Mt. Hood wilderness and not because a meteor is about to provide extra landmass gratis…No.  More of the existing woods is going to be protected from development.  (How about a little protection from recreationalists who believe that it’s okay for them to frolic through pristine forest land leaving a trail of tire tracks, plastic water bottles and dog shit…That’s okay, because, well, they are special and because they love to get out in Nature and just…breathe it all in…)
  4. Metro bought 49 acres of land on Clatsop Butte that otherwise would have fallen to developers.  Presently, the Clatsop Butte Natural Area is not accessible.  and the longer this lasts, the better off the flora and fauna will be.
  5. An old-school Army National Guard drill sergeant is in trouble.  Apparently he showed up to thrash a gaggled of freshly-shorn recruits through the Agony and the Ecstasy of boot camp…And “Lo and behold”, there were the new guys sporting nose rings, ear rings and hugging the staff (Presumably tattoos are still okay, or is that just the Navy?).  Well, Staff Sergeant and Iraq War veteran Andrew Hellman just snapped…And now he’s about to be court martialed.
  6. Washington has got the inside line on methane from garbage dumps.  (Ah, ‘tis late, ‘tis Very Late, when garbage is considered a “renewable energy source.”)
  7. The National Wildlife Federation has some concerns about the effects of catastrophic climate change on Washington’s rivers and shoreline – some but not really enough.  The “scientists” overlooked saltier water, rising water levels and the acidification of the sea as climate change sinks its teeth in. 
  8. Kaiser-Permanente’s Portland Research Center confirms what most people have known all along:  Hormone replacement therapy (An utterly fraudulent scam to milk women of millions of dollars in exchange for the promise of symptom-free Change of Life. ( “Change of Life’? …And how.  The main change was from not having breast cancer to having it.).  Here’s another little stab in the back from the pharmaceutical industry:  Those little pink ribbons?  The company using them as part of its PR is one of the companies that pressured women to use its HRT drugs in the first place.
  9. Cleaning products are bad for your health.
  10. Terms of Impeachment:  ‘Dirty Al’ Gonzales is looking at perjury charges.  The White House persists in defending him and where are the Democrats with the impeachment proceedings?   If this isn’t enough, what is it gong to take, and who is they are really afraid of?
  11. House Democrats  - that would be John Murtha – have come up with another try at getting the troops out of Iraq.  This version involves withdrawing troops in two months and it ends in another blown election cycle when Bush’s backdoor men devise some sort of crisis rendering elections out of the question.  In short, Bush would have the last word on troop withdrawal.  And the word is:  Iran.
  12. Current and former intelligence officials say the Bush Administration’s National Intelligence Estimate regarding terrorist threats to the US does not provide evidence to support its assertions.  (But I’m sure the NSA and the State Department are printing it up even as I write this…)
  13. In Dallas, Texas there was a massive explosion at: 1. A liquefied natural gas plant.  2. A gas plant.  3. A place where they make chemicals.  Your choice.  (Things change fast when the spin begins…)
  14. One of the dogs that assisted in the search for survivors at the World Trade Center, après 9/11, has died of cancer.  Coincidence?  I think not…
  15. Bad news for the rats and cockroaches at the Walter Reed Army Hospital:  A presidential commission (As contrasted with a presidential omission) has come up with ideas for doing better for veterans.
  16. Giant quid are attacking California’s central coast (And I thought squid were supposed to be relatively intelligent…. Shouldn’t they head for the beaches of Southern California?
  17. Today is Revolution Day in Cuba.
  18. And to celebrate, the first class of American students got their diplomas from the Latin American School of Medicine.  They are mostly from minority backgrounds and they are on their way home now to work in poor neighborhoods.  Just one problem:  They are going to have to pass American board exams before they can enter practice and from what we have seen of the arrogant, childish behavior this country has displayed towards Cuba, those exams could be dangerous…
  19. Noriega gets out in a few short weeks.  Just in time to be extradited by the French government.  (It’ll never happen.  We’ve all grown so fond of Manuel…And the CIA is going to need the extra cash to run covert wars of destabilization in the Middle East in the Unlikely Event of an 2008 election in the US….)
  20. Israeli forces have killed more Palestinians.  (Funny, isn’t it, how eleven year-old girls carrying loaves of bread can be so easily mistaken for heavily armed militants?)
  21. Arab leaders held talks in Israel regarding the fate of the Palestinians.  (Which can be summed up as follows:  “Look you reduced a whole populations to angry, impoverished, disenfranchised refugees in their own land…..Now you deal with them…”)
  22. Amnesty International is asking someone, anyone, any international entity to help with the Iraqi refugee situation that is engulfing Syria and Jordan.  (Yet another destabilizing factor in the mix).  Here’s what it would take:  Not more money donated to Amnesty International – though that’s always nice to do – but an about face as consumers of the world’s dwindling resources.  The less we use, the fewer the demands on the carrying capacity of the earth, the less the power that has crystallized in the hands of a very few people.  That would work, but few are the brave souls who would quit their jobs and live on air in order to leave behind an earth worth living in….
  23. Agence France Presse reports that British intelligence “inadvertently” helped with the American extraordinary rendition program (Not very ‘intelligent of them’…)
  24. Arrested Development:   And finally, two journalists from the UK’s Daily Mirror were arrested under Britain’s tough new anti-terror laws.  What they were doing was working on an investigative piece on rail freight safety.

 

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