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    07/27/07 Get This

    Chris Andreae

     

    1. First al-Qaeda and now, garlic mustard.  Seems there’s always something to be terrified of.  Portland is on the weed warpath and the ‘Emerald City’ is pulling out all the stops – We’re going to unleash the Round-up.  But wait!  Garlic mustard is incredibly easy to pull up by hand, it is good to eat and herbicides kill a whole lot more than the weed-in-question.  Another thing, herbicides don’t eradicate every trace of the plant.  It will come back and eventually it will become resistant to the weed killer.  And don’t even think about run-off and the Willamette River…. (On the bright side:  Herbicides do us all a favor by thinning the gene pool…)
    2. Rolling up the ‘Welcome Mat’:  Portland’s loudly-touted charity to Katrina refugees has run out.  The money’s all gone and the Great American News Cycle has moved on.  All that remains is the suffering, the loss, and the ghosts of communities that have been cast to the four winds.
    3. Sex Crime:  It’s Not Just for Catholics!:  A $45 million dollar sex abuse lawsuit against the Church of the Latter-Day Saints will be mediated by a judge in a last ditch effort before the case goes to trial – where it will receive a hell of a lot more attention from the salivating media than if it is quietly resolved behind closed doors.
    4. This weekend in Portland, the North American Street Newspaper Association holds its biennial conference.
    5. Un-SAIF at Any Speed:  The Oregon Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the State Accident Insurance Fund can be considered a “person”, and hence, sue-able.  And – naturally – SAIF is being sued because the Workers Compensation Board ordered the fund to pay full disability for an injured worker and SAIF did not pay up.  (It would be cheaper to just do the right thing in the first place.)
    6. Fish Fry:  Biologists want fish in the Klamath River to continue to be protected from Dick Cheney.  The Endangered Species Act is supposed to cover the finny little guys, but it’s going to be an up-stream battle all the way…
    7. Karl Rove and his seneschal, J. Scott Jennings are being subpoenaed.
    8. Makes You Want To Ralph:  Public Citizen says that the Neocon’s  (Of both parties, I might add…) obsession with insidious trade pacts are giving consumers serious cramps.  Food inspections are inadequate or non-existent, depending on who gets paid off.
    9. Congress shot down Bush’s European missile “defense” system – in part, anyway.  (We can only hope that the EU will nail the rest of the beast.
    10. “What Happens When I Push This?”:  Massachusetts bans “push-button hunting”.  No, this not about the eternal quest for the remote.  There actually is a practice wherein a “hunter” sits at a computer, locates an animal and then kills it with a remote-controlled gun by clicking the mouse.  (Don’t be shocked that this sort of thing exists:  It’s part America’s next military arsenal.  Be surprised that they haven’t started using it on a civilian population …yet.  I guess we are such easy targets it’s hardly worth the bother…)
    11. Amnesty International is going to have a little talk with Oaxaca governor Ulisse Ruiz about this  police brutality thing Ruiz seems to be involved with.  (The arms dealers will be stopping by next week with the second-hand push-button hunting systems….)
    12. Since the US is just rolling in money, we are going to spend three billion dollars, not on schools, not on our crumbling infrastructure, not on healthcare, No.  Nope.  None of the above.  The money is going to be piled up on the US-Mexican border for people on their way North to crawl through…
    13. And that is something that really irks Hazelton, Pennsylvania mayor Lou Barletta.  Barletta’s  extravagant anti-immigration laws were struck down this week.  It’s called ‘precedent’, Lou.  Get used to it.
    14. War Really In Murder:  The Defense Department has come up with some rather damning documents that seem to corroborate what many of us have been thinking for some time now:  Pat Tillman (Who’s Curve of Time took him from football player to soldier to war hero to victim of ‘friendly fire’ to….) was murdered. 
    15. A federal judge has ordered the government to pay a judgment of nearly $102 million dollars because agents withheld evidence that would have kept four men from spending decades behind bars for a murder they did not commit.  (The murdered  party was a Mafia guy, so the Feds figured that putting four innocent people in prison for the 1965 hit could be chalked up as “collateral damage” – sort of like what happened to Pat Tillman, only more mobbed-up…)
    16. The Iraqi refugee crisis continues to suppurate.
    17. In Iraq, the sans culottes are getting craftier.  A highly sophisticated (But not in the San Tropez, Armani-wearing, Michel Foucault-talking way)  simultaneous bombing and rocket attack hit a Shiite market district yesterday in Baghdad.
    18. Mahmoud Abbas seems to be in cahoots with the Israelis and the Americans.  (Apparently  taking that all-American piece of free advise, Abbas simply ‘followed the money’…Peace:  It doesn’t come cheap these days…)
    19. Abbas’s security chief quit.
    20. Watch where you step in Colombia:  Landmines, y’know.
    21. The US embassy in Baghdad is being built by slave labor, not Halliburton.  It’s just the contractor.
    22. And in Pakistan, students rioted over the re-opening of the Red Mosque

     

     

     

     

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