0927 am 'Get This' news
09/27/07 Get This
- Caught In The Act: US District Court Judge Ann Aiken shot a couple of holes in the USA Patriot Act yesterday. Judge Aiken is one courageous adjudicator: With regard to the Brandon Mayfield matter, she wrote that the Act violates the Constitution by allowing the government wiretapping and search privileges without probable cause. (Even with it, the government tends to be rather heavy-handed in sorting through one’s personal belongings.) In the case of Brandon Mayfield, they left footprints on the carpeting in his house…and much more.
- County timber payments are going to be extended and “ramped down.” (Presumably it’ll be a short “ramp”, since we’ve pretty much cut down all the trees…)
- “This Won’t Hurt A Bit”: The Oregon health insurance company PacifiCare got slapped with a $34 thousand dollar fine, which according to insurance industry actuarials is more than well worth the price of doing business. The company got fined for rejecting claims without conducting a reasonable investigation. In other words, they can still turn down a claim as long as they have looked at it?
- Non-Complywood: Seventeen years after Congress passed a law regulating airborne toxins – the carcinogen, formaldehyde, in this case – the wood products industry is still trying to dodge the old bullet. The industry says it needs more time to comply.
- The union representing more than 500 Portland area ambulance workers has “disclaimed” the bargaining unit that was supposed to be negotiating a new contract, leaving the workers shit out of a contract. So if you plan to get sick, make sure you have a ride lined up…
- Cute white students at PSU were terrorized by a full-on police urban tactical assault unit descending upon their leafy dream. The cops claimed that they were responding to reports of someone running around with a knife. Residents of minority neighborhoods were doubtless unimpressed by the flare-up: They live with this sort of thing on a daily basis. The only difference being that the police claim it was a gun not a knife and – of course – someone almost always gets shot…
- Vanity Plates: The US has issued the first full-on nuclear license in 29 years. The lucky winners are NRG, Inc (Cute name, no?) and the south Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company (Obviously thee thinker of the two). Matagorda County will host the reactors. Let’s see, there are hurricanes, freakishly hot, then freakishly wet weather to contend with…Perfect site!
- Not one of the three leading Democratic contenders is willing to guarantee the long sought-after end of the occupation in Iraq. (Are you kidding? Have you see the price oil is trading at on the London stock Exchange? Which, by the way, is getting set to put up the ‘Under New Management sign any day now. The only question remaining is ‘Dubai or Qatar’?)
- To Russia, With Love: The nation’s top physicists have concluded that the Bush administration used inaccurate claims to reassure NATO allies that the US missile defense plans for Eastern Europe pose no threat to Russia.
- Hispanic immigrants in New Haven, Connecticut filed a lawsuit yesterday against the city after federal agents led a massive crackdown on the community. (But really, why waste money on lawsuits? How about a work stoppage instead!1 Hit ‘em where it really hurts…Kick’em in the Nannies…)
- Blue In The Face: The Center for Biological Diversity is petitioning the federal government to set speed limits for ships in the Santa Barbara Channel. This, after tourists were spooked by the sudden, gruesome appearance of three dead blue whales on mainland beaches.
- Sanctions on Burma/Myanmar? Bush likes the idea. For one thing it makes him look like a defender of human rights when the rest of the world is still reeling from Abu Ghraeb, extraordinary rendition, Gitmo, torture and the raping of the US constitution. Also, he can pronounce the name of the country – both of them, in fact. China and Russia see no point in imposing sanctions on a country that has been so dirt poor for so long that the citizenry wouldn’t notice the difference anyway.
- Night raids on monasteries around Rangoon and Mandalay resulted in hundreds of arrests and at least one reported death. (What this actually means is that a great many people were killed in brutal ugly ways, far from the bright lights and the tear gas…)
- So far this week Israel has killed ten Palestinians. “Militants”, y’know. The rub is that when a whole people is under siege for years and years, sees their sons and daughters die for no reason, has their ancestral lands stolen and wantonly destroyed, loses all touch with the world outside, cannot even find work digging a ditch, something snaps and suddenly everyone’s a “militant.”
- Al-Qaeda is in Pakistan. Pakistan has nuclear weapons. (Wha? We bombed the wrong country?)