0815 am 'Get This' news
08/15/07 Get This
- Can’t See The Forest…For The Stumps: Giant swaths of Northwest forests are dead or dying. Pests, you know. Along with the many gifts of global warming - the ice cap oil, the palm trees and coconuts, the year-round tan – come pests and plant diseases galore. In Washington state, ten percent of the forests are dead or dying. In Oregon, especially east of the Cascades, the situation is just as bad. (Or good, from the point of view of the federal government and timber companies….)
- You Go To The Woods With The Government You Have, Not The One You Wish You Had: And the federal government is no help – not this one anyway. In fact, the Bush administration wants to change the way it “manages” forests in Western Oregon. In a word: Clear-cutting.
- When Good News Goes Bad: Information about immigration services and benefits now is available to members of the US military and their families via a toll-free hotline. In other words, if you are an undocumented immigrant you can solve your legal problem by joining the Army and going along on Dick Cheney’s Adventure in Iran…
- In San Francisco today the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing the al-Haramain case – minus the key figure, a Saudi man by the name of Soliman al-Buthi. Of the dozens of lawsuits alleging civil rights violations by the not-so-secret-anymore surveillance program, this one has the best shot at succeeding.
- And that’s not all San Francisco’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has been up to. Yesterday the court overturned a judgment in favor of a woman who had sued contractors at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation for causing her thyroid cancer. On the bright side, the ruling opened the door for three other ‘down winders’ to get a new trial.
- Mickey Mouse vs Albert Einstein: The Disney Company is going after University of Washington researchers who came up with the astounding finding that videos such as ‘Baby Einstein’ and ‘Brainy Baby’ are useless - if not out-and-out harmful - to their target audience members, babies.
- Houston, We’ve Got Tasers: The trial of a hospital security guard who tasered a man is getting underway this week. What happened was this, A couple was leaving the hospital with their newborn baby (They didn’t like the way they were being treated), when the guard opened zap on the father who dropped his infant. The couple say that their child was injured in the fall.
- Another Rat Disembarks from the Titanic: Dennis Hastert says he is “stepping down” after this last term of his. (Paranoid Theory of the Day: Remember earlier this year when it was announced that Halliburton was moving to Dubai? The thing about the GOP; They’re always out in front of the situation. In this case, the question is, Did Cheney tell the company to move to Dubai so that when the administration’s whole litany of corruption and malfeasance began to emerge under withering legal light, there would be a ‘safe house’ ready and waiting? No extradition treaty with the US – and indoor skiing! Does it get any better…)
- No Long Lines Like The DMV: Yet another of the many wondrous and unrevealed rooms in the USA Patriot Act sequesters this: Under the Act, AG Alberto Gonzales can expedite executions if he likes. And he likes.
- The Bush administration announced today that it was branding Iran’s elite 125 thousand-strong military branch, the Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. (So what does that make the US military…?) In most civilized, informed nations, that news would be enough to spark massive spontaneous protests and provoke a concerted outcry from opposition legislators – but not here in the USofA. “It can’t happen here” is sadly and ironically true, once more.
- Paperwork: Apparently, a document has surfaced that “suggests” that a Texas oilman (Soon to relocate to Dubai…) provided the Iraqi government with information about US invasion plans (We had a “plan”? That’s news!). This fine fellow is on trial for paying millions in kick-backs in order to secure hot oil-for-food contracts. His defense wants the aforementioned documents to be excluded at the trial.
- An American soldier has been convicted of beating an Iraqi detainee with a baseball bat. (As American as apple pie and Mom…)
- In Northern Iraq, two car bombs killed hundreds of ethnic Kurdish Yazidi villagers.
- Iraqi security experts say that a complete US troop withdrawal could be accomplished in a year. Now that’s a mission worth accomplishing…
- Amidst all the understanding and good vibes floating around the Middle East these days, Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai.
- In North Korea, the heaviest rain ever recorded in the region has flooded the countryside, causing some 300 thousand people to flee their homes and destroying one tenth of the farmland.
- Thailand’s equivalent of the Supreme Court has issued a warrant for the arrest of former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra on grounds that he and his wife were trying to evade corruption charges over a land deal. (A “land deal” was all it took to get the Thai court to move. And look at the smorgasbord of crime the Bush administration has laid out before the American people…)
- India and Pakistan will be celebrating Partition for most of the week so plan accordingly and stay away from Kashmir…
- Six Palestinians were killed by Israeli air strikes in Khan Younis the Gaza Strip. The Israeli Defense Forces said that these people were “armed militants”. One such “armed militant” was a 60 year-old woman. Yesterday they killed a four year-old girl “armed militant.” Can’t be too careful, eh, Israel? And Netanyahu got elected head of the Likud Party, giving Syria a serious case of the jitters. (I say, Hamid Karzai and Pervez Musharraf should suit-up and go spread some of their ‘good vibes’ around the Levant, which is increasing short on Love Potion #9. )