0801 am 'Get This' news

program date: 
Tue, 07/31/2007

08/01/07 Get This

Chris Andreae


  1. Jonathan Paul – the tenth and last of the ‘GreenScare’ defendants – is going to be sentenced today.  His attorney disputed the original sentence and requested a delay.   So today’s the day.  Just in time for Americans to get the message that everything they do in any public place, even a few notable private ones, to boot…Everything is under surveillance now.  And as for “counter surveillance”?  You’ll need a permit for that…
  2. Perversion Power:   PGE wants you to brace yourself for what it calls some “perverse” tax effects.  Specifically, since voters were too stupid and gullible to opt for a public utility, PGE is now a money factory for shareholders (When they say “publicly” traded, they are talking about a “public” with cash to burn…at both ends.).  And that means capital gains “consequences” for shareholders.  But it also means that you, the feckless consumer will be shouldering a significant portion of the company’s tax burden….And your part isn’t going to be a piddling corporate minimum $10.  No, Citizen.  What makes you think you are a corporation?
  3. Closing A Chapter On Rural Literacy:  Jackson County’s interim library director is resigning.  All fifteen of the county’s libraries were shut down because voters decided they didn’t want to pay for no stinkin’ books.  (On the bright side, they merely closed the libraries:  They could have burned them to the ground…)
  4. Oregon has discovered – along with a number of other enlightened states – that caring for severely disturbed children at home costs less and produces better outcomes than institutionalizing them.
  5. “I See Dead People”:   Congress members see “holes” in the Bush administration’s “gut feeling” approach to national security.  (Why do they hate us?)
  6. Hanford Nuclear Reservation leaks like a sieve.
  7. The City That Never Sleeps:  New rules for New York require permits and insurance coverage for people trying to film or take pictures for longer than just a few minutes in one place.  Somehow this doesn’t make a person feel “safer.” Very few terrorist operations bring along a film crew complete with caterers and lighting when they set out to document potential targets…And it’s highly unlikely that Robert DeNiro is planning to attack the Statue of Liberty.
  8. Going, Going, Gone:  The FCC approved new US rules for next year’s airwaves auctions.  The deal is that this will open up access for consumers to use nearly any wireless device of their choice.  (But I thought we already have that?)
  9. The EPA is being sued by unions and nonprofits for failing to mention to the general public that popular pesticides containing  chlorpyrifos (That would be Lorsban, shoppers.)  can make people very sick.  The stuff has been killing bugs and field workers for forty years in one hundred countries. 
  10. Quicksilver Management Service:  The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has issued a permit to a BP refinery allowing it to continue dumping mercury into Lake Michigan. 
  11. Thanks For The Memories:  The voting machines in Florida amount to cardboard boxes with Republican retirees and AARP volunteers inside tearing up ballots.  Or in the case of the touch screen version, if you go to push the button for a Democrat, a palsied finger shoots out and pokes you in the eye.  And if that isn’t enough to swing the state to the Right, anyone with brief access to one of the voting machines can replace a memory card with one preprogrammed to read one candidate’s votes as counting for another.
  12. The White House is dragging its cowboy boots on Congress’s request for information about Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’s “conflicting” testimony on the domestic spying program.  (What makes Congress think that anything will make the administration and its minions tell the truth about anything?  They never have and they never will.  That’s how they got to their positions of power:  The Truth might set you free, but lies will set you up for life…)
  13. National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell allows as how the aforementioned domestic spying program was only a small part of a much broader spying effort.  (You have to assume that the NSA’s computers know more about you than your mother does and consequently will have more success at torturing you than she ever did…)
  14. Last night was the deadline for Louisiana homeowners to file applications for government compensation for hurricane damage.   (“Hurricane damage”?  They should be taking the Bush administration to the International Criminal Court in the Hague and charging it with crimes against humanity for what happened in New Orleans.)
  15. The retrial of a 2003 lawsuit that found Microsoft infringed on Web browser patents was set to start this week, but it’s been postponed - yet again - until the end of August. Here’s how it works:  If you are playing in the same league as Bill Gates, you can get away with stealing technology and then when the owners of the technology sues you, you simply steamroll them in court.
  16. You want proof?  Voila!  Rupert Murdoch is going to end up owning the Wall Street Journal.
  17. The Lessons of History:  The US has asked Israel to look into the possibility of pumping oil from Iraq to refineries in Haifa via the old Mosul-Haifa pipeline that was in use prior to 1948.  During that particular war of Independence, the Iraqis stopped the flow of oil to Haifa and the pipeline fell into disrepair.  (And what makes America think it is going to be any different this time around?)
  18. Bush says “al-Qaeda” is the main problem in Iraq.  US military poobahs in Baghdad say it’s the Shiite militias.  And the rest of the world clearly sees that the problem is the Americans.
  19. Condoleeza Rice says that the huge arms deal she and Defense Secretary Robert Gates laid at the feet of the US’s tutelary “allies” in the Middle East  is a little taste of things to come for Teheran.  Iran will be receiving the out-of-the-box version of the $63 billion dollars worth of weaponry.    (This is what American diplomacy has devolved into:  If other countries fail to get with the Program, give them a bunch of guns:  Everybody understands guns…)
  20. Russia is reducing the flow of natural gas to Belarus because Minsk got behind on its bill.  (It could be worse:  They could be paying PGE’s taxes…)
  21. The Russian Navy right about now is planting a little Russian flag in a thermos bottle 14 thousand feet under the polar ice cap so that they’ll be first in line for the oil and gas reserves when all the arctic ice has melted.  Synchronize your watches…
  22. The UN, prodded by Gordon Brown is – finally – going deploy international forces to Darfur.  This, over the objection s of the Chinese who already have signed energy exploration agreements with the Sudanese government and don’t want to wind up with a cookie missing its fortune.





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