1029 am 'Get This' news
10/29/07 Get This
- 1. Measure This: Measure 50 - that’s the one that ups the tax on cigarettes in order to pay for children’s healthcare – is going to choke DC, no matter whether it wins or loses. Everybody loves to choke smokers because it’s so easy to find them and give them a hard time. It isn’t so simple to take on the myriad industries whose pollutants are the real health problem plaguing the nation. And as far as real change to America’s healthcare fiasco, the ‘Single Payer solution’ is all the “reform” we really need, but with Wall Street already critically ill, there is no chance anyone would be foolish enough to take on Big Pharma and/or the insurance industry.
- Monday’s Activist Report filled in some of the gaping holes in the mainstream media’s coverage of the anti-war demonstrations that rocked the whole world on Saturday. From Seattle to New York to London and beyond, people hit the streets to tell George Bush to End it Now. And don’t go starting another one just because you happen to be in the neighborhood. The world has become so inured to ‘disaster capitalism’ that rather than be appalled in the face of a crisis, the masses switch channels and the power brokers switch into high gear. You want numbers? San Francisco, 30 thousand; Los Angeles, 20 thousand; Chicago, 30 thousand; New York City 45 thousand; Boston, 75 hundred and Philly, 10 thousand. In SoCal, the Harris fire destroyed much of the town of Potrero just as citizens there were getting set to recall the commissioner who approved the construction of ‘Blackwater West’. Protests blew up in London over burgeoning rates of ”death in custody” incidents. And Martha Odom reminds you: There’s something to protest somewhere every day, so don’t sit around watching TV wondering where your next arrest is going to come from…
- Portland surprised itself by getting its knickers in a twist over the Cesar Chavez/Interstate pissing match. Just go ahead and name it ‘Cesar Chavez Blvd.’ like you planned. People who don’t like it can move. There is nothing romantic about the name ‘Interstate:’ It is a generic moniker that sounds like someone ran out of meaningful names and opted for the solely utilitarian.
- Galloping Consumption: Salmon fishing on the Rogue River is at a record low. Turns out, if you want to consume wild fish, you have to stop consuming so much of everything else….Driving around in a Prius and drinking “Fair Trade” coffee isn’t going to reverse the damage any time soon. It’s the over-consumption that’s consuming us.
- Do the KlaMath: Textbook case of the aforementioned situation: The new federal water plan for the Klamath River is going to destroy fisheries, fishing communities and national wildlife refuges. But farmers who lean hard on irrigation – that means agribusiness – are going to be, well, in business. They get the water and the heavy agricultural subsidies and the rest of us get gutted. Solution: Smarter farmers or more water and neither look probable in the near or distant future.
- MeteorWrong: De gustibus non es disputandum; The Willamette Meteorite did not sell for its estimated value, $1.3 million dollars at auction in New York, a fact which must certainly please the Clackamas Nation to whom the thing is rather sacred. On the other hand, a mailbox, which was hit by another meteor, fetched $83 thousand dollars – far more than had it merely been shot-up with a .22 by rowdy rednecks. (As in the case of my mailbox, which can be yours for eighty-three cents…)
- Sweating It Out: Tropical Storm Noel is about to dissolve what’s left of Haiti. (We tried to turn the island into one big sweatshop and when its despotic rulers failed to comply - Preferring to remain the slave masters that they have traditionally been - we stood aside and let Haiti self-destruct.)
- Lawyers, Take Cover! Dick Cheney is going hunting today.
- Raising the Bar: The American Bar Association is worried about “fairness and accuracy” in executing people. Yes, the ABA has helpfully pointed out that there may be problems with a justice system that lags behind the rest of the civilized world by several hundred years. The lawyers of America want a nationwide freeze on executions. (Here’s a thought for the ABA: Why not answer once and for all the quintessentially American question, How much justice can you afford? And decide capital punishment cases according to the net worth of the convicted? When was the last time you heard of a wealthy individual being executed?)
- It’s The Christian Thing To Do: The Supreme Court is weighing in on religious freedom for prisoners. A Muslim man doing 20 years to life for a murder has had two of his Qurans and his prayer rug taken from him.
- Former prisoner-of-war and certified torture victim, John McCain has no ambivalence when it comes to torturing Americans. The GOP presidential candidate is against it. But torturing other people…Well, When George Stephanopolis asked if he would oppose the appointment of Michael Mukasey (Mukasey is slated to be the nation’s next Attorney General, yet he isn’t exactly sure he knows what ‘waterboarding’ is, and if he did know, then he wouldn’t be sure he was for it or against it although he is pretty sure he understands the law…) McCain’s firm convictions quivered and appeared to crack under interrogation…
- United Nations IAEA chief, Mohamed El-Baradei says that there is no evidence that Iran is building nuclear weapons. El-Baradei accused the US of making the situation in the Middle East worse than it is - and it’s that bad because of us. Some nations fail because they are unable to learn from History; America is a failure because it apparently isn’t even capable of learning from current events.
- And if you don’t believe me, then take it from French president, Nicolas Sarkozy. Sarkozy, in a nutshell, told Americans they are imbeciles. (It’s better that we hear the news from a friend. Let’s not forget that at the end of the Revolutionary war, the British surrendered to the French, not the Americans, thereby confusing and piquing George Washington. This country seems to have bad luck with its Georges…)
- Any Questions?: Turkey launched a new military operation against Kurdish guerrillas, killing as many as – probably more than – 20 people in a raid. Iraqi Kurdish leaders warned the Turks that ‘War Is Not The Answer’.
- Meanwhile, in nearby Kirkuk a suicide car bomber killed at least seven people yesterday. In Kirkuk they do in fact have a very good question, ‘Got Oil?’ The answer to which of course, is ‘Yes’. Where there is oil, there is always war. Yet oddly enough, bad in the days when America had oil, no one attacked us in order to get at it…seems that now that we are pretty much out, war just seems to follow the slick…
- The undeclared guerrilla war on Iraq’s northern border with Turkey has turned into a free-for-all – Britons and other foreign professionals are flocking to the region like soccer Moms to an Ikea opening…
- Yet back in England, demonstrators are hitting the streets in protest against a visit by Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah. This, just weeks after a lucrative new defense contract spelled it out: Business as usual! (Some business as unusual contributed to the Fall of The House of Blair: Tony stopped the Serious Fraud Office (Yes, that’s what it’s called…Not to be confused with the Silly Fraud Office…) from investigating the rather suspicious BAE arms deal with the Saudis. Why it had to be investigated is past understanding…Hey, it’s an arms deal…what more so you need to know?
- Darfur peace talks are stalled out again while rebel warlords get their press kit together.
- Evita! Argentina’s First Lady won the election.
- The Enemy of my Enemy is My Underwriter: Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak told the World today that his nation is going to build itself a few nuclear power plants. (If you didn’t believe that we’ve hit ‘Peak Oil’, that ought to convince you…) and here’s the kicker: The US told him, Great! We’ll help you…that is until the Islamic Revolution arrives and then we’ll label you “terrorists” and then attack you…By that time, Egypt will doubtless be all out of any oil it had, but at least America will get back whatever investment it made in Egyptian nuclear plants.