'The Great Game' 2.0 Reloaded: Sanction This!
The Water Wars are Here…
Actually, water wars have been part of the savage continuum that has left Cascadia on the brink of environmental collapse. Of course Portland doesn’t see it through the urbasn haze. And few people are aware that the State is far from water rich.
So no surprise that Eastern Oregon's Umatilla and Morrow Counties are finally paying the price for decades of reckless water use.
Heavy irrigation dropped aquifers by up to 500 feet in a matter of decades, among the steepest declines worldwide.
Chinook and coho salmon runs in the Umatilla River were declared dead in 1926 and weren't restored until 1994. Designation of four "critical groundwater" areas in the basin reduced irrigation rights basin-wide by 67 percent.
Willamette Valley farming is easy on the environment compared to the heavy machinery deployed in Umatilla and Morrow counties, . But the two counties ranked second and third statewide in 2011. Agriculture provides more than 14,000 direct and secondary jobs in the basin, and its growers and food processors annually ship products worth more than $1 billion to domestic and international markets.
Umatilla basin farmers have been seeking additional water for more than 20 years. They believe technology and mitigation will allow them to increase their draw from the Columbia, even during spring and summer, without harm to endangered salmon.
Wyden's Existential Race
Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden isn't on the ballot this year and yet he is nearly as fixated on campaigns for Senate as candidates running in Montana or Virginia or Missouri or any of the other battlegrounds.
If Wyden and the other Democrats hold the majority in the Senate, Wyden is almost certain to chair the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
If President Barack Obama wins re-election and picks Sen. John Kerry to be the new Secretary of State (as many believe possible), Wyden could be the third-most senior member on the powerful Finance Committee.
Next to the race for President, the Senate races offer the most tension -- and are spending the most money.
Testifying against Israel's apartheid
This from Portland Indymedia: author: Gary Lapon and Daphna Thier
Gary Lapon and Daphna Thier report from New York City about the Russell Tribunal on Palestine and its two days of hearings into the crimes of the Israeli government.
October 10, 2012
NEARLY 1,000 people gathered in the Great Hall at Cooper Union in lower Manhattan on October 6 and 7 to hear two days of testimony on the complicity of the U.S. government and the United Nations in Israel's past and present crimes against the Palestinian people.
The testimony took place before the Russell Tribunal on Palestine. Modeled on a tribunal to investigate U.S. war crimes in Vietnam organized by British philosopher Bertrand Russell, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine is an effort, embraced by renowned writers and thinkers, to expose the barbarism and oppression against Palestinians carried out by the Israeli government and its allies.
A statement from the Tribunal  said that this session in New York City was the last of four that "[aimed] to bring attention to the complicity and responsibility of various national, international and corporate actors in the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and the perpetuation of Israel's impunity under international law."
The New York session focused particularly on the role of the UN and the U.S. in supporting or failing to prevent or punish Israel's crimes.
Since it has no legal authority, the tribunal relies on its "members' prestige, professionalism and commitment to human rights." The jury for the New York session  included activists, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, legal professionals and scholars, and prominent intellectuals, ranging from Native Americans to African Americans born in the Jim Crow South, to people from South Africa and Northern Ireland.
The week before the New York session, it was announced that musician Roger Waters, best known as a member of Pink Floyd, had joined the jury. Waters said in an interview that he had joined the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel a few years ago after he was contacted about canceling a concert planned for Tel Aviv. "It's an absolute tragedy that Palestinians have been thrown off land their families have been living on for thousands of years," Waters said.
This tribunal session was held in the U.S. to call attention to the American government's role as key funder and enabler of Israel's crimes, but also to connect the struggle of the Palestinians with that of African Americans and Native Americans.
Harry Belafonte, who attended the Saturday session, said the connection between civil rights for African Americans and justice for Palestinians is "a link that I've always recognized...In the midst of our struggles from the civil rights movement to the liberation of South Africa, we have found great synergy in our interests as oppressed people of color. Both benefitted from the presence of each other and we continue to experience the need for one another."
Organizers of the tribunal aimed not only to shed further light on Israel's crimes, but to build connections between struggles against oppression across the globe and inspire others to act in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
- Length: 12:22 minutes (5.66 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 64Kbps (CBR)