1. Bottle Battle: Oregon – still keeping up with the rest of the nation – has passed an updated, albeit somewhat watered-down, bottle bill that covers plastic water bottles which currently cover the landscape. Alas, there is no law against sheer human stupidity which is the underlying reason for the plasticization of the countryside.
2. Unredeemed: Or not as the case may be. The distinctly American practice of giving people gift cards (Instead of taking the time to get to know the person well enough to find or make something meaningful to the recipient….). In any case, the unredeemed money left over on those plastic platters of joy is going to be donated to schools. (Ah the metaphysics of money: It doesn’t exist anymore than radio frequencies do. It sort of wanders electronically as a cloud that floats on high o’er vales and hills, when all at once I spied a crowd, a host of golden gift card bills…But I digress…. )
3. Cat And Mouse: Hunters get to hunt cougars with hound dogs again, even though we voted against the practice ten years ago…
4. The police have charged three people (Two of whom appear to be skanky-looking punks. The best thing one say about these characters is that they are too fat to be speedfreaks. All have priors.) with torching cars in Southeast Portland. Perfect! Now let’s see how these new “terrorism enhancement” laws really work. The charges are Measure 11 mandatory minimum offenses on top of everything else. And the perpetrators can’t even claim to be freeing the animals, unless there were rats living in the mufflers…
5. Another Animal Liberation Front activist, Kevin Tubbs was sentenced to twelve and a half years in prison. Judge Aiken once again gave the environmentalist a stern talking to, and then blasted rats out of her tailpipe.
6. A Wilson High School senior and the rest of her graduating class are going to be spending the weekend removing the marigold peace sign from the lawn in front of the school and replacing it with plain old lawn. (Lucky for Maggie Collins that the government didn’t feel threatened by the peace sign and interpret it as an act of terrorism…)
7. Johnny Comes Marching Home: Sixty Oregon National Guardsmen are coming home today. The ones who don’t wind-up in rehab will spend the summer fighting forest fires and screaming ‘Kill Kill Kill.’
8. As are other returning soldiers around the country.
9. Voters are less than pleased with the Democrats’ performance thus far. What part of ‘Bring the troops home now’ don’t they understand? For that matter, what part of ‘Illegal invasion based on a lie” don’t they understand? And furthermore, how many of our elected representatives know anything at all about the history, language and culture of other societies? How many of them know a whit about geopolitics, warfare, or diplomacy? The only reason they hold public office is that they know how to raise money.
10. Seven out of ten Northwest congressional Democrats voted against the war funding bill. The ones who did not vote for it, did so because it is a load of hyena shit. The bill is outright thievery, stripping cash-strapped communities across the country of their last hope of decent infrastructure. Our schools, roads, parks, air, water and lives are in ruins and all the money we paid in taxes is being shipped to Iraq where it disappears into defense contractor coffers.
11. The Senate has scheduled a no-confidence vote on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for June – thus providing Karl Rove and his evil minions ample time to get all their ducks in a row and sufficiently intimidate legislators as to guarantee that the vote will be White House-approved. (But, Wah-Wah-Wee-Wah! Did you see Monica “Happy Birthday Mr. President” Goodling testify? All we have to do is introduce her to George and Impeachment here we come!
12. String Theory: Somehow an increase in the minimum wage got tied to the crappy war bucks bill.
13. The Raptor Is Here: Oregon pigeon fanciers are on a raptor killing tear.
14. Out Out Damn Spot: The Magic Fu Bird shit on the president as he was telling the nation and the world that Alberto Gonzales is doing a heckuva job. White House Press Secretary Dana “Guano Mama” Perino says, Well, pshaw….Everyone knows getting shat upon by birds means good luck…
15. The US-backed (and probably financed and supplied with arms) Lebanese army is heating up the already scorching situation in the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp.
16. The former head of the CIA covert operations in Europe admits that “extraordinary rendition” has caused serious problems for America’s allies (Question: What “allies”? And comment: And how! Other countries signed on to the International Criminal Court and therefore are subject to international rule of law. They are legally obligated to respect global mandates. The US, on the other hand, never signed up, and thus is free to gallop off into the legal sunset, guns a-blazing. Fasten your seat belts, prisoners!)
17. Jigged: In Ireland, Bertie Ahern won even though the votes are still being counted..
18. The British, not to be entirely outdone by American arrogance and hubris, have decided to opt out of European Human Rights laws – and not a moment too soon!
19. The new US-backed Mexican government is giving itself a stern dressing-down for its insanely murderous repression of activists in Oaxaca last year.
20. The Pope is in trouble for announcing before millions of people in South America that Catholicism and colonialism are the best things to come their way since human sacrifice.
21. The French intelligence officer who led the 1985 bombing of the Greenpeace ship, the Rainbow Warrior, is currently partaking of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness in the United States (Along with assorted other confirmed terrorists such as Luis Posada Carriles, to mention just one…). Louis-Pierre Dillais is an arms dealer whose clients include the FBI, the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland security. His hobbies are gardening, stamp collecting, golf, murdering innocent people and fighting extradition.
22. Iranian banks are raising interests rates, inflation is out of control and petrol prices are through the ceiling…..Can invasion be far behind?
This month's theme is Women Teaching Women. We'll visit the Rock and Roll Camp for
Girls, to talk with the women who run the program and some of the girls who have learned to rock out there. We'll also hear from Johanna Brenner, a professor at Portland State University who helped to found In Other Words Women's Books and Resources, one of the only nonprofit, feminist bookstores in the country. It's a great show chock full of inspiring women's voices. And if you're a dude, remember, feminism is for everybody. An excerpt from this show was also featured on the NPR Station Showcase. As always, you can find out more info about past and future shows, podcasts and downloads by visiting Julie on the Radio. Thanks for listening!
Swimming anyone? A report released by the Oregon Environmental Council reveals that the Willamette and Columbia rivers are the most polluted rivers in Oregon. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality rules currently allow “persistent bioaccumulative toxins in amounts or concentrations that violate chronic or acute toxicity criteria” for human and aquatic life.
Examining those uncommon educational opportunities that crop up among friends and like-minded folks who want to share knowledge in a casual setting. Hear an interviw with Jen Neitzel of the DIY Lounge, visit a Portland Free Skool class on the history of the Black Panthers and more. Produced by Julie Sabatier and Brian Kramer with music from Dave Shur, Brendan McCracken and The Sham. Tune in next month (May 17) for Part 2...
A new book claims that organic farming "poses the single greatest threat to natural ecosystems and biodiversity in human history" and that the organic food industry is using fear to manipulate eco-conscious consumers. The credibility of organics is in question, but so is the credibility of the book's author. Turns out he works for the Hudson Institute, a non-profit funded by the global agri-business and the biotech industry. Coincidently, a new guide for consumers rating pesticide loads on fruits and vegetables has been released. Guess which method, conventional or organic, rates best.
Platform International Animation Festival Did you know that the biggest animation event in the country is happening this summer, and the host city is Portland? Tune in to Words and Pictures to hear the preview from event organizers, Marilyn Zornado and Shawn Bowman. Originally aired April 24th.
S.W. Conser hosts a discussion with sculptor Joe Liptak about an exhibit on Viewmasters that the 3D Center is mounting. Also an episode of History Detectives coming up in June takes place at the 3D Center.
The times, they are a-changin': Season Creep, a new plant hardiness map and the fate of the Oregon Grape. The National Wildlife Federation publishes a new report called A GARDENER’S GUIDE TO GLOBAL WARMING: CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS. Find out how to get a copy. Makes a great gift, too!
Biofuel: the 'green' fuel of the future? An environmental activist group says the Biofuels for Energy Security and Transportation Act of 2007, a US Senate bill mandating increased biofuel production and on a fast track to become law, fails to address critical environmental considerations and may cause more harm than good.
THIS SHOW INCLUDES WEB-ONLY EXCLUSIVES!!!
Dive into classes on medicinal herbs and bicycle maintenance. Hear interviews with Michael Newman, who curates the "Live Journalism and Experts" series at the Waypost and Teri Thomas Peterson of SCRAP (the School and Community Reuse Action Project). Thanks to Brian Kramer for production assistance. Thanks to Levi Cecil for recording help and original music. Click here to download higher quality audio file. Podcast available here! For more information or to make a donation to support the show, please visit my website. Thanks for listening!
If you missed Education Part 1, listen to it here.
1. Oregon’s got a renewable energy bill. Big utility companies are going to have to get 25 percent of the State’s electricity from wind, sunlight and biomass by 2025. Rural communities can tell the federal government to piss-off with its timber payments because out in the hinterlands there’s a gusher in every gust of wind, every beat of the sun’s heart….or not, as the case may be. Americans have been infantilized and the education system has been retooled to prevent thinking outside the box, so we’ll probably wind up out-sourcing the search for new ideas…
2. Back in the 80’s Oregon spent 20 percent of its state budget on higher education. Today, 10 percent of state spending goes to higher education. Oregon ranks 45th in state per-student spending for colleges and universities. This year spending on higher education is, well, higher…But look what we’re paying for: Most students are more interested in getting MBAs than actually learning anything about their world.
3. And if you don’t believe me, take a look at the recent hate crime (The victims of which deny that the attack was race-based) in which two Hispanic men were beaten by a gang of white hicks. Had the hicks learned anything in high school they might have realized that the targets of their violence were very much like themselves: They just wanted to drink beer in the park and hassle women…
4. Living Dangerously: The BPA has been hit by metal thieves. (Times are tough; It’s either put your life on the line stealing aluminum from a power plant or join the military. (See what I mean about the disintegration of the American intellect and imagination…)
5. The State has turned down the taps on payday lenders’ stream of revenue. Interest is capped at 30 percent of the prime rate – which still isn’t such a bad deal. The lenders say the new law will put them out of business. I say, Good.
6. Some forty businesses in the Rogue River Wilderness area say that protecting the region makes for economic growth. The Bush administration wants to log it anyway. (Proving that the Regime’s greed and stupidity at times work at cross purposes….)
7. Numbers Game: Yet another salmonella scare hits the shelves. This time the shelves are in natural food shops – or megastores that sell natural foods. (Looked at from another angle, its throw of the dice. When you have massive numbers of people eating massive amounts of food, chances are somewhere in the vast process there’s going to be room for a little salmonella to come shining through…)
8. A seventeen year-old boy brought a gun to his high school in Aloha in order to protect himself from other students. This just a few weeks after smacking the vice principle. (This kid sounds like a real charmer; I can understand why he might feel that other students disliked him…)
9. Scene 1: Interior. John Ashcroft’s hospital room: Just about as crowded as the room where Lincoln died…but I digress; There is a microphone boom visible in every scene on which can be read: ‘Property of the NSA. Do Not Remove.’ Enter: The entire Justice Department, a herd of countless numbers of migrating attorneys, assorted sycophants and spear-carriers and a chorus line composed of high-stepping ‘Monicas’. Enter: James Comey wearing a shining white cowboy suit featuring fringed chaps with no pants underneath. Comey pulls out a gun and waves it wildly at one of several cardboard Alberto Gonzales figures and yells: ‘Ho! Dirty Al! Get this, Cheney warned you that he wouldn’t be havin’ that there promotion of that eaves-non-dropper Patrick Philbin…a-and…’ Pow! The NSA mic wobbles over and cracks Comey right in the face. Comey: ‘Shit! Shitaroo!’. He pulls the trigger and blasts a hole in one of the Gonzaleses. The hospital room begins to shake. It’s like…like an…earthquake, maybe? Hey, what’s going on here…It is an earthquake. Cracks run up the walls. Then in the middle of the room something pointy is coming right through the floor, sorta pointy and round..Yikes! Here it comes! I-It’s the…White House? Ashcroft: ‘Wha? Hey, I’m still here…what about my needs?’
10. Adam Kokesh, the Marine who wore his uniform to an anti-war rally lost his appeal for a new hearing. (Adam, not to worry. A discharge of any sort of degree from the military is a good thing…)
11. There are currently over 200 thousand homeless veterans, many of them addicted and/or deranged. But don’t you vets worry either: For one thing, you are out of the military and for another Gordon Smith is going to see to it that you get some of that peer mentoring you’ve heard such good things about and also $13 million dollars – which is about two hours worth of ‘Surge’ in Iraq and a few dozen more soldiers heading for homelessness…
12. The California Report has it that military bases are contaminated with “hazardous waste” and hallelujah – they’ve come up with some clever ways of addressing the problem. (Good! Because we are going to need some good clean-up ideas after the shooting in Iraq stops….)
13. The Pentagon’s acquisitions chief has jumped ship. Kenneth Kreig used to be in charge of new weapons systems, aircraft and “other technologies” Now he’s in charge of “spending more time with his family.”
14. Bush’s ‘War Czar’, Lieutenant General Douglas Lute says he had been skeptical of Bush’s decision to send thousands more troops to Iraq. Which is actually rather a brave thing for Lute to admit given that he hasn’t been confirmed yet.
15. The immigration bill is still lying around the Senate in pieces waiting for someone to figure out how to put it together without tanking a perfectly good political career…
16. Teenage Wasteland: Safeco Insurance has come up with a GPS tracking device that one installs in one’s vehicle – actually, in any vehicle one might want to keep track of. It goes somewhere in the dashboard, apparently, and once it’s in, no one knows it is there except for the NSA and whoever is on the receiving end of the signal. The idea is to keep track of feral teenagers. Right….
17. Iran has evacuated thousands of people living in the path of Cyclone Gonu. (It’s sort of a drill for the up-coming Cyclone American Hubris…)
18. Not To Put Too Fine A Point On It Department: North Korea test fired a short-range missile (That, or possibly a long range one that didn’t work out as planned…) While Bush and Putin are busy pointing the Big One at each other, Krazy Kim is hopping up and down, mussing his wacky pompadour, shouting: ‘Hey! Hey Bush! Lookee here! No, over here! East…Farther East….Waaarm…Getting warmer…Yes! YesYesYes! That’s me! Right here with the nuclear missiles! Look! Look at me! I’m the threat you love to hate! George! George? George, are you listening?”
19. A sixty-seven year old Palestinian man was shot dead in his home by Israeli soldiers.
20. The Pentagon has had a few it its big grey gophers snatch up “an extremely dangerous terror suspect” in Somalia and whisked him off to Guantanamo Bay. Abullah Arale, no doubt is still wondering; ‘Shit, man…One minute you could be tending your herd of goats, and the next…’
21. NGOs attending the G8 Summit in Heiligendammm want to know where’s all the money you promised to poor countries last time around. (What is it about PR that these people do not understand?)
22. Israel is thinking about making peace with Syria.
23. And Costa Rica has broken up with Taiwan and now is going out with China.
Michael Pollan says: "Few pieces of legislation have as profound an impact on … the health of the American soil, the purity of its water, its biodiversity and the very look of its landscape as the Farm Bill." Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer agrees and says it's time to take back the Farm Bill from the special interests.
1. Tanks For The Roses: In a preemptive strike for peace, Code Pink, Veterans for Peace and the Surge Protection Brigade marched along the route of Saturday’s Grand Floral Parade. Two of the ‘Seriously Pissed Off Grannies’ out of the SPG were arrested trying to stop the Rose Tank – what a tank is doing in the middle of a flower-related event is anyone’s guess, but there it was. Better we fight them here than in the streets of Baghdad, I always say…
2. The Undead: As it goes in a bad zombie movie, the Liquefied Natural gas companies just won’t stay dead. First there was Calpine and its evil plans for an LNG terminal in the Warrenton area near the mouth of the Columbia River. Calpine perished and now in its place reconstituted out of the ashes, so to speak, we have Oregon LNG. It wants to run a 117-mile pipeline from the mouth of the river all the way to Mollala. Public hearings will be in Woodburn and Forest Grove, but not Mollala…shhhh…they want it to be a surprise…
3. The Smell of Money Burning: the US Forest Service in a paroxysm of Orwellian rhetoric has announced that it is going to test new fire control method. The agency has decided to log trees in areas “specifically selected to influence fire behavior”.. . The Nature Conservancy is all on board this give-away to logging companies and the Bush administration. They are the environmentalists who believe that if you give up a little something to industry, industry will give back…Boy Howdy. Money really does grow on trees.
4. Fancy This: The pigeon fanciers who have been killing raptors are facing felony misdemeanor charges.
5. The senate passed the cougar hunting bill.
6. Friend of Marion County has joined groups in central Oregon, the Coast and Hood River in fighting Measure 37. It’s a question of livability, specifically, do you want to live in Oregon or Orange County? If the latter, then please do so but don’t strip mall Oregon or we’ll blow you to smithereens with our LNG terminals or leave you to freeze to death on Mount Hood.
7. Little Hyatt Dam is a little illegal. It was built ex tempore years ago and now it is considered a safety risk, a hazard and against the law. But what the hell, people like it so they are going to bring their lake up to code. Meanwhile many of the nation’s largest dams are in desperate need of attention…but the Army Corps of Engineers and your money are busy fighting one losing battle after another in Iraq….So don’t forget your towel…
8. An Oregon Coast Technology Middle school student didn’t like the taste of the water in the school drinking fountains, so he took swab samples from the fountains, the toilets and assorted other water sources, tested them in his school’s chemistry lab and found that the toilet water was cleaner…He turned his work in as an English assignment.
9. The senate will test drive a no-confidence vote on Alberto Gonzales this afternoon.
10. Blow Hard: Joseph Lieberman wants to attack Iran. (And I believe he should go for it! Follow your heart, Joseph! Let’s send AIPAC Man over there, toss him out the back end of a C-130 transport with a satchel full of Zionist literature, the latest edition of ‘Hustler’ and Scooter Libby’s book, The Apprentice.’ We could do this on a Friday and aim Joe at a fundamentalist madrassa, then sit back on watch the fun…)
11. Colin Powell wants to close Guantanamo Bay. But before you get too excited about this and start breaking out the Good stuff, the revolution is not quite here: First off, it’s Colin Powell who is saying this because he wants to have some part of his legacy that is not an utter disgrace and he can be fairly certain Gitmo will never close. Secondly, think about it: If Guantanamo Bay is shutdown, are they really going to let all the detainees go free? Then where are they going to warehouse them? The short answer is, In all the hundreds of dungeons and torture chambers in all the client nations around the world that have already played host to America’s invisible prisoners.
12. Prisons in New York are going to ban books – even the Christian ones. That leaves a captive audience planted in front of a TV. Motto, Prison: Where Addictions Go To Grow Up.
13. DePaul University professor, Norman Finkelstein has been denied tenure. It has been a long struggle for a man, who like Jimmy Carter more recently, had the courage and common decency to speak truth to power. ( Finkelstein is the author of ‘Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the abuse of History’, a book that takes to task Zionist superstar, Alan Dershowitz and his puffy little propaganda piece, ‘The Case for Israel’)
14. The Enemy Hmong Us: More bail hearings are scheduled in Sacramento for some of the men charged with trying to violently overthrow the government of Laos.
15. Good Old Golden Rule Days: A foreign policy program based in Fairfax, Virginia – Intelligence Central – is making a name for itself producing “acolytes” of Bush administration Neocon foreign policy. The Defense and Strategic studies program is “outside the academic mainstream, but within the policy mainstream.” Who said that? I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you. Sorry about that. It’s just the policy…
16. Voter ID comes to Mississippi. Voters there must now carry a party registration and photo ID to the polls in primary elections. (So don’t worry, poor and minority citizens: America is moving beyond the days of intimidation, misinformation, blocked roads, threats, lies and coercion, not to mention polling places that aren’t there, aren’t open or aren’t working properly….all a thing of the past!
17. In Iraq, a bridge collapsed killing three Americans. As is the usual Way of the Wire, not much else happened…just countless Iraqis killed, injured, maimed, their homes, businesses, families destroyed, all possible hope for the future denied them for the foreseeable future. Oh, and the mad hatter who was the speaker of the Iraqi Parliament has been quietly lead from the chamber by the Nice Men with soft voices and sharp needles…
18. While not looting the Iraqi economy, raping villagers, swimming in Saddam’s old pool and generally livin’ large in the Green zone, US soldiers have been amusing themselves by arming Sunni insurgents.
19. Then there is Afghanistan another beneficiary of American democracy. An Afghan radio station owner, teacher and mother of six has been killed in Kabul. (Back in the pre-democratic days before the Glorious Dawn of the American Empire, people in Kabul wore Western clothes, men and women went out in public together, cafes were full of Afghanis and Westerners, Lou Reed was popular and the cops smoked chillums as they stood on street corners, holding hands and patrolling…America got there just in time to stop these people from killing us all in out sleep…
20. In Rome Bush scored a ‘twofer’: he was met by enormous throngs of angry protestors that turned violent. And he called the Pope, ‘sir’, instead of ‘Your Holiness.’
21. But the Albanians love him. A cursory romp through Albanian history ought to convince the reader that Bush and Albania are made for one another.
APA Compass for June features part one of a two part series on immigration and the criminal justice system and how it is affecting our communities. Guests include Many Uch, who was featured in the documentary, "Sentenced Home," and Doua Thor, executive director of the Southeast Asian Action Resource Center. And Chihiro presents this month's Angry Asian Minute.
1. One day it’s “selective thinning” by timber companies that will save Oregon’s wilderness areas from grotesque human depredation….And the next? For those of us who still believe in empirical evidence rather then heuristic sophistry, science shows that logging big dead trees after a wildfire and planting young ones makes future fires worse. (And it doesn’t even take that much science to come up with that assessment: I learned in the fourth grade that when trees die they become ‘nurse trees’ providing the nutrients for more trees. Fer chrissake, you don’t even need to get through the fourth grade to learn this – a short walk in the woods should suffice as a demonstration…)
2. “I remember when all this used to be forest”: Oregonians get to vote on a property rights bill again this November. The bill isn’t much of an improvement on Measure 37, but it does put the damper on the bulldozers to some small degree. (Edward Abby, where are you now that we need you most?)
3. (Not) Laughing Gas: Oregon LNG, the new, metastasized Calpine wants its 117-mile LNG pipeline and it wants it now. The pipeline is going to run from Warrenton on the mouth of the Columbia River all the way to the unsuspecting town of Mollala. And Oregon LNG (Catchy little name, no?) is just one of five such bad ideas waiting to happen. None of the five has formally applied to FERC…Hmmm, smells like a fix is in somewhere. Don’t be surprised when ground is broken, permits retrofitted and Ron Wyden and the Oregon Economic Development Commission throw themselves a party…
4. How many laws does it take to unscrew a metal halide light bulb? Just one… but people actually have to suffer permanent injury before it can be enacted.
5. Fish & Ships: NOAA Fisheries Service has denied a special permit to allow drift gill net boats to troll for swordfish and thresher shark in waters designated as a preserve for endangered leatherback turtles. The turtles actually only have to manage to hang on for another decade or so until the sharks and swordfish have been fished to extinction or industrialized nations eat themselves to death…
6. Oregon unemployment numbers are down and spirits of the wealthy are up. It’s hard to swallow that huge mouthful of $60 steak with all those faces pressed up against the window, isn’t it? The numbers may be down, but do they count those who have given up all hope of finding work and are now enjoying a life of crime and/or incarceration? What about the people who are working three part time minimum wage jobs and are maxed out on the payday loan line?
7. The Iraq Study Group now says it isn’t so sure that pulling combat troops out of Iraq by March 2008 remains valid. (Pull ‘em out! The Pentagon’s private Armies of the Night are more than capable of protecting America’s privatized shadow government in Iraq, whose role is, of course, to govern privatized Iraqi ministries and institution from the safety of fortified structures build by private contractors. It didn’t take America long to make the leap from sanctifying the Corporate Citizen to the apotheosis of the Corporate Nation…
8. Do Not Pass Go. Do Not Get Out of Jail Free: Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald wants Scooter Libby to go straight to prison (Where Libby will doubtless have ample opportunity to do some research for his next book; rape from the other point of view. (I say we lock him in a cage with a bear hopped up on Viagra to train him not to fall in love with his captors…).
9. As predicted, delaying the no-confidence vote on Alberto Gonzales had the GOP’s desired effect: It provided time for the likes of Trent Lott to do some arm-twisting and deal fixing.
10. Proof the Human Race has ceased evolving: A majority of Republicans are Creationists – paramecium that celebrate Christmas and Easter.
11. The Pentagon is selling used F-14 parts to Iran. And just to show the world that this isn’t true at all, the House voted a second time to ban the Pentagon from selling leftover F-14 fighter jet parts sought by Iran. (What was not said is that the Pentagon – dare I say the entire US military establishment? – is so deeply and irreversibly privatized that Iran should have no trouble whatsoever getting those parts. Never had, never will.)
12. Not As Seen on TV: As the world’s top military powers go about the delicate business of dismantling stockpiles of obsolete nuclear arms, more ordnance of all kinds are entering the international arms Black Market (You should see some of the catalogues…Awesome!). The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute issued a report last week that underlines the dangers presented by this flood of ersatz nuclear gizmos. By the time you see it on TV, it will be too late..
13. Military recruiting is down. (I guess the guys are signing on with Blackwater. The pay is better and I hear the benefits are great. Plus they give you flack jackets made out of real Kevlar instead of the version offered by the Army made from old copies of ‘Playboy’ and duct tape…)
14. Senior American military officers have told the Jerusalem Post that war planning is at the “Iran ready” stage. Whether or not the American public is at the “Iran ready” stage is not known…I suppose that’s why they told the Jerusalem Post instead of the Washington Post.
15. Somewhere Over The Green Zone, Bluebirds Fly…The Pentagon apparently once was developing a “gay bomb.” (Okay chemtrail watchers…are you happy now?)
16. Afghan police mistook US troops on a nighttime mission for Taliban fighters and opened fire on them early today.
17. The CIA has been unsuccessful thus far in its mission to infiltrate white Americans into radical Sudanese groups in the Middle East (Possibly because the Americans kept calling their contacts, ‘Dude’ and inserting the word ‘like’ into every sentence.). So here’s the next best idea: We are going to use Arab-speaking Sudanese citizens. (But wait, you say…Didn’t President Bush himself just call for additional sanctions against the Sudanese government over the genocide in Darfur? Think: We already are selling F-14 parts to Iran and we routinely do ‘business’ with Colombia…)
18. First it was the Americans passing around handfuls of amphetamines and steroids to the troops …Now the British are on board the Magic Drug Bus. This, despite the fact that when accused of one atrocity or another perpetrated against civilians, said troops blame, ‘the fog of war’, the sense of camaraderie and the drugs. What ever happened to ‘Lessons Learned’?
19. In Australia, A “cyclone-like” monster storm has shut down most of New South Wales.
20. And the same goes for China. A monster storm has closed down most of the southern part of the country. Guangzhou is where all the foreign factories making all the American and European products sold in the Big Box world are located….In case any of you are Wall Street watchers…you might want to try it this week…. fascinating!
1. Welcome to ICE Land: More than 165 workers were arrested yesterday by almost the same number of ICE agents in a raid at the Fresh Del Monte plant in north Portland. Two offices of the company responsible for hiring the workers in the first place, American Staffing, also got ICE-ed. In the case of American Staffing, deporting these sons of bitches will be a no-brainer: send them straight to hell. The Del Monte workers, like much of Del Monte’s products, will be “processed.” As for their children and families…their lives are currently in freefall
2. The State of Oregon has told federal agencies that they will have to do some hard work on behalf of beleaguered salmon if they are going to bring the Columbia River Basin hydroelectric system into compliance with the Endangered Species Act, while at the same time avoiding breaching dams on the lower Snake River. The only ‘hard work’ that will have any effect will be removing the dams, the timber companies, the developers and the thousands of True Believers who feel entitled to their limitless use of natural resources. (As for the dams, they are for the most part in such disrepair in the wake of governmental privatization; it won’t be long before the salmon will swim free, along with most of the people living downstream…)
3. Bushwhacking: The Bush administration wants to cut 1.5 million acres from Northwest forests considered critical to the survival of the northern spotted owl.
4. It Is The Sunset of The Age of Aquarius: Fellow walks into the Beaverton DMV, wants to renew his license…The police appear and taunt the 25 year-old man, telling him to “Get a haircut” and then calling his parents to verify the man’s identity. (Good thing he wasn’t trying for a passport; he could be in Gitmo by now…)
5. Father Knows Asbestos: Washington State is still – after six long, cough-inducing years – trying to get its ban on asbestos in place. The way to do these things is to revise actuaries in order to reflect the real cost of ‘doing asbestos business’.)
6. Case Dis-messed: More from Washington: A judge in Olympia has dismissed charges against 16 people who protested military shipments through the Port of Olympia last year.
7. The National Intelligence Director, Mike McConnell – a man with a colorful past has won Bush’s approval to begin revising an executive order that lays out each spy agency’s responsibilities and the government’s protections against spying on Americans. In the case of the former this is going to take some time. In the case of the latter, it will be a short walk off an even shorter pier. Just a few of the high points: We can expect to lose all protection against surveillance along with prohibitions against human experimentation and the long-standing ban on assassination (Let the Israelis or Blackwater do it; Their hands are already dirty…)
8. Just for starters: The head of Boston’s FBI office is warning the region’s top universities to be on the lookout for foreign spies or potential terrorists who might be trying to steal unclassified, yet sensitive research (Such as candid photos of George Bush’s Skull & Bones initiation? Who wouldn’t exchange a few prisoners for those…)
9. Your Money And Your Life: The National Security Analysis Center Knows Where You Live: In fact, it may well have been there. Even lawmakers have been startled from their comas by a proposed FBI anti-terrorist program, which is going to cost an unknown but massive amount of your money and invade a massive, unknown amount of you life.
10. Homeland Security Secretary, Michael Chertoff, is the latest member of the Bush administration to pitch for a compromise immigration bill. The best thing about the immigration debate is the way it clarifies the sheer veniality of both Democrats and Republicans. Lawmakers are engaged in a delicate balancing act, the Hispanic vote, the business vote, red neck bigots and billionaire donors. It’s way more than they ever wanted to show us and just what we expected to see…
11. The Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy is not happy with a Justice Department staffer implicated in the AttorneyGate scandal (That has been artfully concealed behind the immigration debate and Bush’s jumpstarting the cold War). Apparently, one Bradley Schlozman has been rethinking his thoughts out loud. It all revolves around an election eve lawsuit (My favorite kind!) and some of Mr. Schlozman’s ill-considered statements.
12. A top Army investigator went a little, well, too far with a recent investigation. Brigadier General Rodney Johnson (‘Rod Johnson’? I’m just saying…) apologized for ordering New Mexico National Guardsmen serving in Kuwait to be strip-searched (For “gang tattoos”, y’know. After all, they were Hispanic…) All together now: “Hey you bunch of immigrants, Grab your gun and drop your pants…Hup Two Three Four…”
13. The soldier that went missing during a solo exercise at an Army post in central Texas was found dead yesterday.
14. The Feds are going to do a better job of inspecting harvested human body parts. Targets of the beefed-up (I swear, no pun intended. No. I mean it. Really.) inspections provide bones, tendons, cartilage, heart valves and other prime cuts. Apparently some of their ‘products’ have had to be recalled.
15. The UN’s Middle East Envoy, Alvaro de Soto’s “End of Mission Report” lays it all out: The US and Israel are largely responsible for the chaos in the Middle East. de Soto should read the Project for a New American Century manifesto to learn why the chaos is no accident. It’s all there in black and white.
16. In Iraq today, it was a repeat of the 2006 attack that shattered the famous golden dome of the Askariya Shrine which amped-up an already out of control situation. Today’s bombing destroyed two minarets of a revered Shiite shrine in Samarra. (Hmmm, wasn’t it just yesterday that we learned that US forces were cooperating with Sunni insurgents?)
17. In Afghanistan, a former Green beret serving time for running a private jail for “suspected terrorists” has been sprung. Jack Idema was mysteriously pardoned by Hamid Karzai after serving nearly three years. (But it’s going to look good on Idema’s Blackwater resume. We may even meet him personally one day soon when the US has got its system of private detention centers fully functional…)
18. Hamas has seized the Fatah Party security headquarters. Factional fighting in the occupied territories is deep into a downward spiral. I wish I could say that the US and other Western nations are standing by doing nothing, but, alas, it looks like they are on the verge of rolling out a blood-red carpet for Israel to march into the remains of Palestine…
19. The Czech villages where Bush wants to put his Star Wars ride are protesting, vehemently demanding that America take its LaserLand and shove it.
20. American and Australian military forces are staging war games – Exercise Talisman Sabre – in Queensland next week. A record more than 27 thousand troops along with a carrier battle group, 30 ships, two nuclear submarines and more than 100 aircraft are gathering for the massive ‘play date’. It is an environmental disaster of epic proportions for marine life off the Queensland coast…and so much more…For starters; it comes on the heels of reports of China’s rapid militarization and America’s raging Empire of Paranoia.
How many, do you suppose, of the nearly ½ million Oregonians dependent on Food Stamps buy organic or naturally grown food at farmer's markets? An initiative called the Oregon Farm Direct Nutrition Program (FDNP) is now available to help.
1. Something’s Rotten in the Produce Aisle: Aside from the families torn in pieces and scattered to the four winds, the raid on Fresh Del Monte brought to light egregious safety violations at the plant. If the economic refugees who were rounded up by ICE agents fled their native countries to work for Del Monte, that puts the results of NAFTA into stark perspective…
2. Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions are more likely than the rest of us to commit suicide. It must have been something they saw. They say travel broadens one’s point of view…
3. Something’s also rotten in Eugene: The Oregon DEQ is going to “expand the investigation” of 30 more residents of a neighborhood in Eugene that is contaminated with trichloroethylene, a known carcinogen. Welcome to Superfund Estates!
4. Duct & Cover: One hundred and sixty-seven human beings are currently being “processed” and Randy Leonard is battling the city of Portland over the popular practice of duct-taping a family ‘Spot’ on the sidewalk from which to view the tanks and advertisements for local corporations. (Wait a moment! What about our ‘Sit/Lie’ ordinance? Let’s grab all these people and ban them from the streets of Portland for a year or so….)
5. Cleaning the Government’s Clock: A budget subcommittee is going ahead with a bill that would strengthen Oregon’s ‘clean government’ guidelines. (It bodes ill that it’s a budget committee that is going to address the problem of following the lobbyists’ money. Ethics is something money can’t buy…
6. Starbucks is going to have to cough up $85 thousand dollars for failing to provide extra training and support (And for firing her as well) for a bi-polar barista. (I thought all baristas were bi-polar….)
7. Psycle-Killers Be Warned: Oregon roads are a bit safer now with the passage of a law that prohibits drivers from running over cyclists or at least from driving close enough that if the cyclist fell off into the traffic lane, he or she would not be hit.
8. Fire! There he was, a fireman standing in a burning house, cell phone at the ready, calls 911 and is put on ‘Hold’. Here’s what the problem was: The call center was overwhelmed by…three calls at the same time.
9. The Felon of a Felon is Not Fitzgerald’s Friend: I. ‘Scooter’ Libby, acolyte of Felony Fats himself, Dick Cheney, is back in court today, begging Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald not to send him Down In The Hole while his appeal is pending.
10. ‘It’s A Pleasure To Serve You!’: Two former White House officials will face subpoenas for their involvement in the firings of the 8 US Attorneys. Harriet Miers gets one and so does Sara Taylor. (Karl Rove, the cheque is in the mail…)
11. Dennis Kuchinich is gathering co-sponsors for his resolution to impeach Dick Cheney. Is he serious? Serious as a heart attack, as I believe the saying goes…
12. Cover Your Ass Memo from the Feds: The FBI wants all its agents to be careful (So if you are an FBI agent, Listen up! I’m not going to repeat this…) while collecting data from Americans in terror investigations: Specifically: don’t go trampling on their privacy rights and not to expect secret evidence to remain secret no matter how long it takes you to cover your tracks…The is a nation of rules and laws, some of which pertain to you (Like not driving close to bicyclists and putting duct tape on the sidewalk) but most do not. So keep up the good work, boys! And if anyone gives you any trouble, call Evergreen and get that person on the next flight out of town…
13. The House passed a gun control law. Seems that even the NRA thinks maniacs and convicted felons can’t get a hold of guns (Are you listening, Scooter?)
14. The six men accused of plotting to kill soldiers at Fort Dix are being arraigned right now in New Jersey.
15. In Lebanon, tens of thousands of mourners marched in a funeral procession for prominent anti-Syrian legislator Walid Eido. Eido was killed by Israel’s Mossad …Wait…did I say ‘Mossad’? I meant a car bomb. That’s right he was killed by a car bomb….
16. A coalition of NGOs took out the UN security Council’s trash yesterday. (Is it just me or have you noticed that Ban Ki-Moon is no Kofi Annan?) for its shocking silence on violations of international law by US occupying forces in Iraq. The group urged the UN to end its mandate in Iraq. (I’m sure the UN would love to get its mandate out of Iraq but that road to the airport is just too fucking dangerous. They are going to wait for the helicopters to pick them up from the roof of the US Embassy….
17. In Palestine the Gaza Strip is virtually on the edge of civil war and the fighting is spreading to the West Bank is my bet. Just a moment ago we got word that Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyah has been “fired.” Arab states fear a Hamas-run Gaza could become a power center for the group’s allies Iran and Syria. (I can picture Condoleeza Rice in her cobweb-festooned, toad and rat-infested tower is rubbing her hands together: “It’s working! It’s working! We starve them until they become radical fundamentalists with nothing left to lose and then we stand back while they self-destruct….”)
18. Human Rights Watch says the UN has tarnished its reputation and undermined its legitimacy through “lack of accountability” in the Serbian province of Kosovo. (Be glad that’s all they did. Look at Sudan. Look at Iraq…)
19. While the Americans and the Australians amuse themselves with war games in Queensland, the Chinese are massed military firepower – nuclear and conventional – on the coast across from Taiwan. Some of the hardware is short range, some not-so-short range…
20. A 6.8 earthquake knocked the dishes of Guatemalan shelves last night.
Words & Pictures welcomes celebrated stop-motion animator Teresa Drilling. Dividing her time between Portland and London, Teresa has brought alive characters for Aardman Animation ("Wallace and Gromit"), Sesame Street, and most recently, the American version of "Creature Comforts," airing on network TV this summer. Plus, she's got a lot to say about Jungian archetypes. No, seriously.
1. Want Some Action? Martha Odom – as she does every Monday morning – brings us the Activist Report. The weekend’s main event was, of course the Gay Pride Parade, bigger and better than ever. But that was then and this is now…Today at 2:00 pm, Peter Bergel, Director of Oregon Peaceworks and Robert Projansky of Veterans for Peace will go on trial at the Multnomah County Courthouse. They were arrested for the simple, citizen-y act of attempting to visit an elected public servant Gordon Smith in his office, on public property. When the whole world is private American property where does the public go to ask questions like these?
2. In Washington State, Puget Sound veterans’ hospitals failed every subject on their accreditation finals. But the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations will be back for a surprise inspection in the next few months. And if there is one thing veterans don’t like its ‘surprises’ and if there is one thing hospitals don’t like, it’s inspections…
3. North Carolina can save soldiers the costly, time-consuming and terrifying experience of going to Iraq. Camp Lejeune offers ample opportunity to be permanently disabled or even killed thanks to its extremely contaminated drinking water. All the more reason to drink beer, avoid North Carolina and stay out of the military.
4. The drywallers and carpenters who have been on strike since June 1st are close to an agreement. It isn’t the best of all possible working worlds, but it’s better than a slap in the belly with a wet fish. Any victory for labor in Bush’s America is rarer than a sighting of Elvis…and Jesus? He shows up everywhere.
5. This time it’s Albany that is locked in a life and death struggle with Measure 37. Seems this woman wants to cut down an ancient white oak so she can develop her property. The City won’t let her do it so now it comes down to property law. (All you fans of Measure 37, please move back to where ever you came from and if you come from here, go to southern California…)
6. Which brings us to the eternal question: When is a stand of poplar trees a ‘crop’ and when is it a forest? You know you spend long nights pondering the question, but the Oregon legislature is here to help. We got into this situation back in the 80 when we still had laws on the books that protected the environment instead of words on paper which is what we have now…(And much of that paper would come from those poplar trees if we were not presently aggressively logging the last of our wilderness areas
7. How desperate is this water situation? Klamath County is considering a new reservoir that would be 20 times deeper than Upper Klamath Lake. It sounds like a lot, but think of all the lawns and golf courses that are going in down there in Southern Oregon ready to welcome the influx of retirees and their McMansions…
8. Just Add Water! Central Oregon’s Jefferson County is as far as one need go to see what happens when development becomes ‘devilment.’ People forget that the beautiful landscape they want to build on is only beautiful because they don’t live there…yet.
9. Common backyard birds are disappearing thanks to the pesticides that kill their food and cats that kill them. (Cat owners, here’s the story: Your cat is not a wild animal. It is a pet and you feed it pet food. Killing birds is natural for wild animals but not for domesticated pets. It is not “natural” any more than it would be “natural” for my German shepherd to kill and eat your cat…which I can arrange for…
10. Our Boy In Baghdad, General David Petraeus says that “stabilizing” Iraq is going to take about a decade because that’s just the way it is with these insurgencies…I mean look at the Battle of Algiers…(By “stabilized”, I presume Petraeus means that all the Iraqis are dead or fled.)
11. Bob’s Your Uncle: Robert Zoellick is about to sail straight to the top of the Free Trade Candy Mountain as head of the World Ban,. where he will oversee the privatization of every drop of water and every grain of rice, every kernel of corn…(Just be sure to keep the girlfriend business on the Down Low, Bob.
12. Congressional Democrats are fighting the executive privilege Goliath…at least until they are the executives and its their privilege…
13. Everything Old Is New Again: The Senate is debating a package of energy bill that are going to have long-term impact on the economy and the environment. (Let’s see…I wonder whether the former or the latter will have priority of place is the eventual sausage that they churn out…
14. Senators Claire McCaskill and Tom Carper were in Iraq recently on a sort of ‘Follow The Money’ tour. Trouble was, they couldn’t find it. Billions of dollars have vanished into the private world of contractors
15. G-Spot: Jay Garner says that what we have in Iraq is genocide. (If Garner thinks that crying ‘genocide’ in a burning building is going to draw the world’s attention to the abattoir that Iraq is fast becoming, I direct his attention to Darfur where it has been going on for years while the world closes its eyes and plugs its ears, yelling ‘Ican’thearyouIcan’thearyouIcan’thearyou…’. Garner led the initial American effort only to be superceded by Paul Bremer – ‘Viceroy’ Bremer to his friends in the Bush administration….and none of them ever mentioned the ‘G-word’)
16. A Kurdish rebel leader has warned Turkey that if its troops and tanks cross into Northern Iraq, fire will rain out of the sky, human skin will erupt with boil, there will be hemorrhaging from orifices, the rivers will flow with blood, all plant life will wither and die and animals will fall dead in the…Wait…That’s already happening…
17. US forces killed seven more Afghani children over the weekend. Even the US Stooge, Hamid Karzai is beginning to feel uncomfortable with the incessant stream of civilian bloodshed. And we put him there to explain just such tragedies tohis long-suffering people. This latest, the US claims that the Taliban was using the children as “human shields” when they bombed the madrassa. Hmmm, let’s see, children in a school…you see how crafty these terrorists are…
18. ‘ No More Democracy For Me Thanks; I’m Driving’: Now that he has drunkenly stumbled around in Palestinian politics, starving the state until he got election that he liked, now, finally, George Bush is considering lifting the embargo that caused the crisis in the first place. Yes, that’s Democracy Neocon-Style.
Guest Mark Bitterman from The Meadow in North Portland talks to us about chocolate and the cocoa butter regulation changes being proposed by the FDA. Weigh in on the issue by following the FDA link on The Meadow website: www.atthemeadow.com
Other guests are local chefs talking about hunger.
1. Dudley-do-Wrong: Jefferson High School’s president Leon Dudley is resigning. And who can blame him? He has had virtually no support from the school board (Translation, ‘Vicki Phillips’), the student body is traditionally Black and hence already discriminated against, and the as for sufficient funding? If you think that money doesn’t make a difference, compare Lincoln High School and Jefferson….Whatever Leon Dudley’s failings might be, he was given a population of smart, needy kids and nothing to give to them.
2. You win some, you lose some: School districts from Beaverton to Bend are finally going to get he the money they need to build new classrooms. And it comes from an unusual source, Taxes. Yes, School boards are going to be able to levy construction taxes without seeking voter approval (It would be nice to believe that voters are smart enough to pass legislation that is in their own best interests as well as those of their communities. Yes, that would be nice, wouldn’t it…)
3. The Service Employees International Union is getting more influential in politics – no surprise there since we have an economy based almost exclusively on service sector employment at one end and Wall Street at the other.
4. Raid This: Even before the recent ICE raid on the Del Monte plant and the staffing agency Stafco, a Hillsboro woman had fired a lawsuit at the gigantic companies. The suit claims that the company failed to pay its workers in a timely and proper manner, as well as taking improper deductions from paychecks. The workers themselves had no recourse because of fear of deportation.
5. Veterans In Action staged an anti-war protest on the banks of the highly polluted Willamette River where Senator Gordon Smith was out punting along the watery ways with boy-pal, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. What were they talking about? Immigration? Funding the war? Probably their escape plans when Bush drops his pre-election ‘Gulf of Tonkin’ event on the unsuspecting public…
6. US District Judge John Coughenour ruled in favor of endangered salmon and against developers who claim that hatchery fish and wild fish are the same thing. (Here’s an idea: Lets raise a bunch of developers in captivity, grow them fat and helpless and stupid and then…Never mind…)
7. The top enlisted man at Naval Base Kitsap was sentenced a paltry nine months in jail for attempting to have sex with one 12 year-old child while encouraging another child to have sex with the mother. It’s that strong moral character that the military teaches, y’know…
8. Give That Student a Bonus!: The University of Washington has studied the phenomena carefully and found out that – yup, sure enough – CEO’s are paid bonuses even when the companies they captain are losing money.
9. Today is Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. (It’s ended? Ask any member of a minority population who works three jobs and is the target of discrimination and racial profiling if slavery in the US is over. They aren’t celebrating…
10. Our ‘War President’ has decided to end the embargo on the beleaguered Palestinian people - which he levied because he didn’t like the results of a free, fair and democratic election. (I think its safe to say that if a Dennis Kucinich wins the presidential election, the Neocons will issue an embargo on the United States….)
11. Seymour Hersh has got the real dirt on Abu Ghraieb from no less an insider than Antonio Taguba, the key military investigator. It’s all there in this week’s New Yorker magazine.
12. The Government Accountability Office has a rather anticlimactic report out finding that the Bush administration and its legions of cronied-up agencies ignored Congressional legislation on 30 percent of the occasions when Bush issued a presidential signing statement after signing bills into law. (Translation? What we have here is a rogue regime, answerable to no one but the world’s wealthiest men and women. Since we have allowed our responsibility as citizens to lapse, it will be virtually impossible to change the course of our own history.)
13. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (“Oversight”? “Reform”? Well, It’s going to be a little difficult to oversee and reform a government that has cloaked itself in secrecy and become invisible to the average citizen…) But I digress…The Committee reports that GOP ‘off-the-books’ e-mails are proliferating and as for the ‘on-the-books’ ones, those have been destroyed.
14. The administration is threatening Valerie Plame with a subpoena. But of course Republicans wouldn’t “play politics”, would they?
15. Energy lobbyists have screwed the energy bill because it dared - a small way - to actually attempt to conserve energy.
16. Two North Dakota farmers who have been granted the first licenses in the nation to grow industrial hemp have filed a lawsuit to get final permission from the Drug Enforcement Administration (Won’t the DEA be surprised when they figure out there are not drugs in hemp…)
17. Well, the ten thousand-man American Surge is cutting down Iraqi freedom fighters and civilians alike. What the US is doing in Iraq right now as I am writing this is a war crime of epic proportions.
18. Even the Ban Ky Mooned United Nations has figured out that the US has banjaxed peace-keeping efforts in Darfur.
19. Members of the UN’s new human rights watchdog agency (They came up with a new one that is guaranteed not to watch the US too closely…) has agreed in principle to a compromise on how to launch investigations into some of the world’s worst offenders. (See the previous story for a case in point)
20. Poland is threatening the somewhat fragile European Unity.
21. North Korea is closing its nuclear reactor this July. (Right…and Bush is pulling out of Iraq)
22. The US-funded spraying of coca plantation in Colombia near the Ecuador border has done permanent, irreparable damage to the DNA of indigenous people (But just think how many young hipsters it is saving from rehab…)
23. Fidel Castro says his country will defend itself from the US. (Now we need someone to defend the US from the Bush administration. France?)
1. Need vs. Greed: Oregon’s Department of Human Services is getting 13 percent more money this year. Which won’t begin to restore all the assistance that got chopped back in the bad old days (‘Reichstag Blowback’, if you will. Breaking few eggs to make a cake and the eggs just happened to be the economy and a few thousand lives…). And the requests for Human Services money just keep pouring in from state agencies that help the needy…at least the ones who have managed to survive in the poisonous atmosphere of the last seven years. (Look, “Tax and Spend” is exactly and precisely what the government is supposed to do that is what it exists to do. That is the only way of preventing all the money from aggregating in the hands of the very few….)
2. Tiiiiiimber! More timber payments. (Plant industrial hemp. You’ve got plenty of space now that you’ve cut down all the trees…)
3. So Sue Me: Oregon lawmakers are voting on a bill today that is intended to hold manufacturers accountable for the life of their products, not for the current eight year statute of limitations. What it means is that if you buy oh, say, carpeting and twenty years later become ill as a result of two decades of toxic carpet fumes invading your dreams, then you can go after the manufacturer. This would have been a stronger law thirty years ago. Now most products and their components have changed hands so many times between factory and shop, who are you going to go after for damages?
4. Ishmael, Call My Lawyer: In Washington, San Juan County isn’t waiting for the Feds to provide protection for Orcas in the waters of the San Juan Islands. They went ahead and passed their own ordinances. Works okay for local whale watching boats, but rogue operators and foreign-flag vessels are going to continue to sail under the radar.
5. Paper Cuts Hurt, Even For Those With Bad Circulation: Now it’s the noteworthy San Jose Mercury News that is cutting its newsroom staff.
6. Bush is going to veto the controversial Hollow Microscopic Ball of Cells Called the Blastocyst Stem Cell Bill. Don’t call it ‘ Embryonic Stem Cell’ research, because it isn’t. The cells in question are derived from the blastocyst stage of development. (The guy who thought up the “Embryo” business is none other than Frank Luntz, the genius behind the terms, War on Terror, Clear Skies Act and every other seemingly harmless term the Bush administration has ever uttered…)
7. Connecticut’s Republican governor has vetoed a medical marijuana bill. (But that could change. Jodi Bell is ‘in remission’…)
8. America’s Drug Dealer: Rudy Giuliani’s campaign chairman, Thomas Ravenal has been indicted on federal cocaine charges. (Good thing for Tom that it wasn’t crack; He’d be in serious trouble …)
9. The ACLU is suing the government to prevent it from drugging immigrants before deporting them. (Doesn’t the ACLU realize that this is America! Immigrants are supposed to bring us the drugs with them when they enter the country: We aren’t supposed to be giving them the drugs when we are in the process of sending them out….)
10. If You Can Make It There, You’ll Make It Anywhere! Start spreading the news….New York’s billionaire Bureaucrat, Michael Bloomberg is switching sides again. Bloomberg was a lifelong Democrat until he decided to run for Mayor. Now that he (perhaps) is running for president, Bloomberg has decided that he is an Independent.….It’s….Showtime!
11. Wal-Mart is in the prepaid debit card business. You don’t need a credit check or even a bank account to pick up one of these babies. (They know more about you than your own mother anyway…) A whole new world of financial woes awaits you.
12. The gap between the rich and the poor ever widens. Globalization: It’s the economic version of ‘the two-state solution’
13. As if it were not bad enough that we’ve gone and pissed off the entire Muslim world, now we’ve gone and rubbed Antigua and Barbuda the wrong way (And, No. It isn’t because we’re killing the oceans, but we’ll get to that…). Trouble is, we owe them 3.4 billion dollars a year for failure to comply with a WTO ruling that US Internet gambling restrictions are illegal. (Unlike, oh, say, the Vancouver Stock Exchange….)
14. John Rizzo is Bush’s Chosen One for CIA Counsel. There was a strange, other-worldly hearing yesterday – rather like a séance - in which lawmakers asked Rizzo ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions to which Rizzo answered ‘yes and no’ on grounds that if he really answered the questions, he would jeopardize national security (If destroying the legally elected Hamas government and supporting Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people does not “jeopardize national security”, then I’m not sure what does…Digression there.. Sorry.). Many of the questions Rizzo was asked have been a matter of public record for years. Does America engage in the practice of extraordinary rendition to countries known to use torture? Does the Pope write Motoring Ten Commandments…
15. The Haditha Massacre trial drags on, slouching towards a slap on the wrist. (But look on the bright side: The Marines who murdered those people will in all probability go mad…)
16. It’s Surge-arific! Attacks on the Green Zone are on the rise. A mortar or possibly a rocket – I mean, who knows in all the chaos – narrowly missed the PX today.
17. Japan has extended its air force transport mission in Iraq by two years. (And Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe says that the Rape of Nanking never happened. Coincidence?)
18. In Nigeria, there is a general strike on right now that is lead by thee oil workers unions.
19. Jimmy Carter has pointed out to the rest of the world that what the US and the EU did to the Palestinians is a deliberate attempt to divide and thus destroy the Palestinian nation and people. (America, as always, fingers in the ears, eyes squeezed shut, muttering, ‘I can’t hear you I can’t hear you I can’t hear you…’)
20. Speak of the Devil: Israel launched major attacks on Gaza today. While Bush sat back, enjoying the ‘Rapture’ from a safe distance.
21. Israeli opposition leader and Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu is off to Washington to negotiate stricter economic sanctions on Iran – as long as we’re in the neighborhood. He is also getting together with Hillary Clinton, Fred Thompson and Dick Cheney. (Entertainment provided by a chorus line of naked AIPAC lobbyists, high-kicking their way through the evening’s show-stopper, ‘Presenting the Family Jewels…’)
22. And now the envelope please. The winner in the ‘World’s Worst Polluter’ in the CO2 emissions category is……………………….China!
This episode is all about a DIY housing project called Dignity Village, the only government sanctioned "tent city" in the United States. "DIY, Portland" host Julie Sabatier spent 2 days in the village just before they signed their lease with the city and moved to a larger spot on the Sunderland Recycling Facility. Residents there shared their stories about how they got to the village and why they
are encouraged to stay or leave.
This show also marks the debut of the brand spankin' new "DIY, Portland" theme song, composed by Portland's own
Nick Jaina! Other music in this episode comes courtesy of the incomparable Jason Leonard. Special thanks to Brian Kramer for his keen production assistance.
Podcasting and higher quality downloads available right here.
1. The Oregon Senate approved a bill setting up the framework for universal healthcare. But don’t plan on getting sick just yet; this isn’t a done deal. (And keep a close eye on Ron Wyden; especially be watchful for the fateful handshake with medical insurance companies…)
2. Double Indemnity: Oregon’s deadly “Double Majority” is on its way back to the ballot. The “Double Majority” means that if there is a vote on a local tax to pay for schools, voter turn-out is 49 percent and all 49 percent vote for the tax, it still doesn’t pass because…less than 50 percent of registered voters bothered to vote. This time around, let’s hope more than 50 percent of us vote.
3. Gresham has finally driven back the Wal-Mart assault. But Wal-Mart isn’t giving up its Portland campaign. the ‘Monstore’ is looking around for other neighborhoods upon which to unleash its bloodthirsty lawyers.
4. The Employee Free Choice Act is on the block this week, Lawmakers and labor leaders are hoping the rest of the nation will follow its lead and pass the Act which would give workers the right to sign forms to join a union rather than through an employer-controlled election. But wait! There’s more! The federal version provides for increased penalties on businesses that violate fair labor laws. (And by the way, after losing billions of dollars through lack of foresight and bad design CEOs of major automakers are going to cut their union members salaries by half….and they expect their work force to go along with the dirty deal…)
5. Aloha! The Oregon Senate is all for ethics reform…. “Now watch this drive…”
6. The federal – or ‘business End’ – of the Columbia Basin hydroelectric dams told a federal judge that they are expecting to make the kinds of changes to their strategy to boost salmon returns that the State of Oregon and Indian tribes want. The feds are still on the predator war path and at the helm of the fish transport trucks….and Yikes! Looks like that’s a big waterfall up ahead…
7. Vulnerability is Endearing…Oregon has got new, tougher laws against aggressive and/or careless drivers who menace and/or kill cyclists.
8. A highly suspicious posting popped up on the ALF/ELF website. Someone vandalized a shop in Pennsylvania, ‘Linda’s Fashions and Fur Salon’, notable for the fact that ‘Linda’ hasn’t sold fur for 20 years. So the people behind this rather ignominious action write that the “attack” occurred “under cover of night by masked activists” and throw it up on the North American Animal Liberation Press Office website. And the real corker is this: Whoever did this writes that the “attack” was carried out in solidarity with Jeffrey Luers…Wha? A “fur” shop in Pennsylvania? Look, informants: What happened, the dog ate your homework? Do a little research and try to either be a bit smarter or get your handlers to write you up some notes….
9. Line in the Sand: Then Edison Carder brought us the Word on the Ross Island scam. Essentially, Bob Pamplin left Ross Island “screwed blue and thrown in the Bushes without any loving” and now he wants to give Portland part of the island without any indemnification whatsoever. Taxpayers are going to pick up the tab for clean-up and future law suits resulting from people poisoned by contact with the island.
10. Save the dusky tree vole!
11. Who Let The Khat Out of the Bag? About half the group of Somali men who were busted for khat possession in Seattle a while back signed plea agreements. The rest did not. Now a federal judge has dropped the charges for ht others. Moral of the story: Don’t listen to your Public Defender when he/she tells you to accept a plea bargain: Make the bastards see you in court.
12. Now that Tony Blair has some time on his hands, Bush is angling to send his Boy Toy to the Middle East as a “peace envoy.” Since Blair obviously did such a great job of “taking the peace” in Iraq….
13. Jose Padilla’s lawyers are trying to get the judge to prevent the highly suggestible jury from being shown a video of bin Laden. The defense says its perfectly okay to show the film at the trial of Padilla’s co-defendants – just not at his trial. What Osama bin Laden has to do with a misguided gang banger from Chicago is any body’s guess…(Yet we have innocent shish kabob vendors from Herat sitting down there in Quantanamo Bay wondering if they’ll ever see the Hindu Kush Mountains again…)
14. “Bitch Set Me Up”: Lawyers for Artur Solomony and Christiaan Spies have helpfully pointed out that their clients were promised green cards by an FBI informant for agreeing to smuggle arms into the US. Wait…’Arms’ to the US? This is the weaponry capitol of the whole galaxy. Nowhere are assault rifles more readily available. Deranged children can easily get their hands on a gun. Still a trial is a trial and Artur and Christiaan can laugh about it all later. Right now, try to keep straight-faced guys…
15. The Southwestern part of the US is out of water.
16. New York State is flooding. Other places are on fire.
17. And jobless claims are “unexpectedly” up. (“Unexpectedly”? What exactly were these jokers expecting?)
18. While assorted factions in Iraq are being attacked by US forces and one another – or actually any combination of the aforementioned – things are not what they seem in Iraq…They are even worse…at any rate, while the bombs are raining blood most other places, up north in Kurdistan, oil deals are being negotiated, money is being made, Iraq is on sale!
19. Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has invited all his pals to a little peace-type get-together at the seaside resort Sharm el-Sheikh (Made famous by a number of spectacular bombings in recent years, in case the name sounds familiar to you…) Everyone’s invited! A long as you are Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (Just back from a no doubt lucrative trip to Washington), Palestinian blowhard Mahmoud Abbas, and Jordan’s King Abdullah. ‘Two State Solution’ my ass…
20. Nafkas On Parade! Women MPs in Israel’s Knesset are upset with the Foreign Ministry for resorting to pornography (Read: Naked IDF female soldiers in Maxim magazine. Eeeehew) to promote Israel (Well what else are they going to use? Dismembered Palestinian children?)
21. The UN secretary-general expressed disappointment with a decision by the United Nation’s new human rights watchdog to single out Israel for investigation. I refer your attention to the above story…
22. Now it’s Germany that is chuffed with the EU. (And only yesterday it was Poland…) The Germans want the EU Charter of fundamental rights to be legally enforceable as part of a new deal on how Europe is run. (So does this mean no more ‘extraordinary renditions’? No kidnapped clerics? No Polish Star Wars?)
23. The Bad News and the Good News: The foreign medics detained in Libya for the last eight years are going to be sentenced to death….and then receive clemency. (Hey we could try that in Iraq: declare ‘Victory’ and then just leave…)
1. Grow Your Own: Yet another produce recall. This time it’s chopped onions from Trader Joes. Chop your own too, come to think of it…
2. Have You Hugged Your Blastocyst Today? Oregon’s bill to explore public funding for stem cell research was ‘aborted’ this week. (And please don’t call it ‘embryonic’ stem cell research. They aren’t ‘embryos’; They are blastocysts.
3. Mark Your Calendar Now: Oregon voters will decide in May 2008 whether police agencies should have more power to seize and sell property tied to illegal activity and use the money to help pay for investigations. (Keep in mind that it is not unheard of for property seized by the police – especially fun stuff like pool tables and ATVs often ends up on the property of police officers….)
4. Is That A Pistol in Your Genes, or Are You Having A Seizure…The Oregon Supreme Court ruled yesterday that collecting DNA samples from convicted felons to build a profiling data base does not violate constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure. (The good news: Your DNA is unlikely to wind up in a cop’s garage. The bad news is that although the ruling may not violate any search and seizure laws, it nonetheless leads to some very dark corners of American jurisprudence.)
5. Legislators voted to more than double the amount of money that Oregon spends annually on student aid…..
6. And not a moment too soon either. It is to be devoutly hoped that the next generation will be smart enough to figure out that ethanol is a burn in every sense of the word. It takes a lot of gas to make ethanol and ethanol is grown by agribusiness thus enriching Monsanto, Cargill et al. and about all it really fuels are investors on Wall Street. (And did I mention that it’s a dead give-away to the genetic engineers?)
7. Busy week for the Oregon Senate. Yesterday legislators signed off on an array of tax credits that add up to an estimated more than $22 million dollars in tax credits. That’s $22 million that the State won’t be getting over the next two years. But that’s Okay: We can hold an Ethanol Sale. (Or better still, a hemp sale…)
8. Umatilla had to briefly stop incinerating chemical weapons this week, but the facility is fit as a fiddle and ready to incinerate once again.
9. Republican and Democrats alike want to see – actually to hear – hundred of low power FM stations in urban areas across the US. (And right before a presidential election….How convenient…)
10. Hedging Their Bets: In Washington, Pacific Power & Light got a rate hike. Not the massive one the company wanted, but it’s still a significant boost in customers’ bills and a significant coup for hedge fund wizard, Warren Buffett and Friends…(That was just Washington. Bend over, Oregon: Here comes Warren…)
11. Washington fish are full of PCBs and even worse carcinogens. You know that you are in much worse trouble than you think when the government bothers to expose part of the real story…
12. Other toxic contamination in Washington: Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is visiting Seattle next week. Check Seattle indymedia and make your travel plans accordingly! (It’s “free and open to the public.” And it’s sponsored by a fun bunch of wacky ‘Intelligent Designers’….Who must have forgotten to sharpen their pencils when they came up with Gonzales….)
13. The Bush administration is whispering about the possible closure of Guantanamo Bay concentration camp. But that doesn’t mean that the prisoners will be brought stateside and given fair trials. In a far more likely scenario, they will be extraordinarily rendered out of sight and out of mind to place from which they are even less likely to return.
14. The Ashcroft, Comey imbroglio simmers away. In any other country – hell, in any other US administration – this would be constant front page stunner, the very lifeblood of government-at-the-highest-level scandal. But in the shadow of the last few years, it has become just one more chapter in a sordid saga of corruption and felonious behavior.
15. Bush’s approval rating is somewhere around 26 percent.
16. House Democrats are ginning up to hand the White House another piece of legislation heading straight for the presidential veto bin. Congress voted yesterday to rescind a ban on providing funding for abortions to people in poor countries. (Self-control, people! It builds character…)
17. Breast feeding: It saves lives but loses money.
18. Vice (And how!) President Dick ‘Dick’ Cheney wants to abolish the government office charged with safeguarding national security. (Translation: Cheney doesn’t want the public or even legislators to see what he has been up to, Lo, these seven long years…)
19. Surprise Me: a new report says that New Orleans levees are in no better shape now than they were before Katrina. (But hold steady there, citizens: Mayor Ray Nagin is going to appeal to foreign governments for the aid that was not forthcoming from the American junta.)
20. The Senate has voted to require average fuel economy of 35 miles per gallon for new cars, pickups and SUVs by 2020…When, no doubt, what little gas left in the world will cost $35 dollars a gallon.
21. Members of Congress are trying to shut down the School of the Americas…Again. Like cancer, the School will simply morph into another acronym and possibly decamp for less transparent shores. (I hear Guantanamo may be available…)
22. If you think the average Iraqi is having a really bad day, imagine what it must be like to be an Iraqi orphan chained to a pipe while slowly starving to death. Yes…That’s why American troops are welcomed with flowers and open arms wherever they go…
23. Life…It’s a Beach: What’s scarier than waking up in bed with Dick Cheney, weirder that getting hit by lightning or giant hail, deadlier than a shark attack?….C’mon, guess….Sand castles! Yes, every year holidaymakers take their very lives in their buckets when they go to the beach…
1. Senate Majority leader Kate Brown is moving on. Her name has come up as a possible candidate for statewide office next year…Secretary of State? Attorney General? All it takes is money. The clearest indication that we have forfeited Democracy is not the USA Patriot Act, not state-sanctioned torture, not the corruption of the judiciary. Close, but no cigar…The real canary is election money. Your vote doesn’t count unless your candidate can back it up with cash…
2. The Pros versus the Cons: This November we all get to vote on an 85 cent cigarette tax. Tell me how much the pro-tax campaign has and how much the con side has and I can tell you what the outcome will be.
3. All that money Oregon managed to round up and dedicate to education isn’t going to make much difference. The anti-tax people say it is all going to teachers salaries and healthcare. But here’s the thing: The money in the school budget just barely restores the system to its pre-recession level. If we were really serious about educating children, we would have raised taxes and doubled the current budget. (But who needs educated citizens when money is going to decide the outcome of all future elections and the only role people play in the scheme of things is to serve as trained monkeys pushing the lever and eating the food pellet that is instantly forthcoming…)
4. Sea lions are eating too many salmon…But that’s just what sea lions do. And have been doing for thousands for years. Sea lions eating salmon is only a problem when fish stocks are dangerously low thanks to agribusiness run-off, industrial pollutants, logging and let’s not forget the most alarming threat of all: the failure of the ocean systems known as ‘up-welling.’ You want to eat salmon? How much is it worth to you? Can you stop buying at ‘Big Box’ stores? Stop driving a car? Live your carbon footprints at t he door?
5. Is it, for example, worth doing without a little heating in the winter and cooling in the summer months? A federal judge has nailed the BPA for miscalculating energy demand. And selling more electricity than it could generate. So what did the BPA do? The choices were, adjust turbines to boost power – thereby pureeing the fish or cut off power. Hellllloh, salmonburgers!
6. Loggerheads: The US Fish and Wildlife Service offered timber titan Weyerhaeuser the golden opportunity to “edit” a letter the agency was sending to that selfsame timber company regarding “concerns” about Weyerhaeuser logging on land designated spotted owl habitat (Not to mention the thousands of other creatures who call it home….)
7. Cutting ‘Timber’ to Save People: The US Senate cut the extension of the county timber payments. Ron Wyden has chosen to build his nest on this very, very safe issue. We now await the egg.
8. In Seattle the NAACP has asked the police chief to resign. Seems there was some chiefly involvement in a controversial internal investigation of an instance of excessive force…..Hmm, probably nothing serious, eh Chief?
9. Activist Martha Odom has this: Police at the G8 summit admitted they had agents provocateurs urging protestors to throw rocks and bottles. – no doubt even provided said rocks and bottles… And in Texas, Texans4Peace want you to know that there is a detention facility – not unlike our many other detention facilities spread out around the world like a tide of tears and blood – where more than 200 families are being held. And specialist Eli Israel has become another military voice refusing to fight in Iraq.
10. Last week Vice President Dick ‘Dick’ Cheney came out with the statement that his office is not part of the executive branch of the government and therefore not subject to oversight. But that was then and this is now: Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel plans to introduce an amendment to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill to cut funding for the VP’s office. Emanuel: “He should return the salary the American taxpayers have been paying him since January of 2001, and move out of the home for which they are footing the bill.”
11. Forty-one percent of Americans think Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11. It’s all there in a recent Newsweek poll, and I assure you, it gets worse than that.
12. California is facing what forecasters are calling the ‘Perfect Drought.’ (And the Colorado River is facing what climatologist are calling a ‘Shit Out of Water’ event.
13. The big immigration vote is on the way. Here’s where the glorious spectacle of money and politics conspire to generate some of the worst legislative behavior we have seen in a while. (Behold the writhing, roiling contortions lawmakers are putting themselves through as they attempt to make donors and voters of every stripe happy. And imagine if legislators had read the USA Patriot act, or the authorization to go to war…imagine the furor if anyone had been paying attention, if anyone cared…)
14. Britain’s new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown says he really cares. Protestors to Brown: ‘Enough to pull out of Iraq?”
15. There’s a video out now all over the internet featuring BBC journalist Alan Johnston wearing a suicide bomb belt…and it doesn’t seem to be the lamentable result of a bout of ‘Stockholm Syndrome.’
16. Meanwhile, Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is wondering if he too will have to strap one on in order to get the world’s attention.
17. Israel is still in the process of telling the world that it is giving the Palestinians the money it took from them. (Israel is telling the world slowly and giving the money back slowly in order to make the good vibrations last…)
18. In Karachi, Pakistan, the weather is up to its new tricks. Heavy rain and thunderstorms killed at least 228 people….and counting.
19. Six United Nations peacekeepers were killed by a car bomb in southern Lebanon yesterday.
20. Checking Out: And in Iraq, a suicide bomber targeted a meeting of Sunni-allied Sheiks. The bomber managed to get through the layers of security surrounding the Mansour Hotel and blew himself up in the lobby. The Mansour is a stone’s throw from the hallowed Green Zone. The blast killed at least twelve people and messed up a great many others. Among the dead was noted Iraqi poet Rahim al-Maliki. So it goes…
1. ‘You Can’t Go Home again’: As Oregon legislators feverishly clear their desks in preparation for decamping to their ‘second home’, their ‘summer place’, ‘the beach house’, a bill that would have put $20 million dollars into a fund for affordable housing. (Never mind the fact that some Oregon houses cost just that - $20 million….). The bill was demolished by Republicans at the bidding of the developers and real estate lobbies. Essentially it would have upped the filing fee for real estate transactions. But, look, if you are buying a $500 thousand dollar house, you can afford another $250 dollars….I mean, put it this way: That’s a month’s wages for the Hispanic man who does the gardening, right?
2. Warm and Fuzzy and Green: Legislators did manage to pass a greenhouse gas emissions bills…And why not! By the time the thing really takes effect they’ll all be out of office and it will be too late to slow the freight train even enough to wave good-by to the world we once knew.
3. Case in point: It’s that time again. The Portland Water Bureau is going to have to start blending groundwater and Bull Run water early this year. Last year the draw-down did not begin until August 15th.
4. Oregonians are concerned about education, immigration and the environment, failing once again that they are all part and parcel of the same problem: Our obstinate refusal to limit our consumption.
5. The Oregon News Service has a piece on the damage war does to poor and minority communities. (But really, actually wearing a uniform and carrying a gun are the extreme end of a spectrum of trauma that poverty inflicts on society’s less privileged members.) And let us not forget the majority communities we wage war against…What it must be like to be on the receiving end America’s economic frustration…
6. Portland is searching for a new school superintendent. This time let’s look smarter rather than harder. We dredged Vicki Phillips out of the murky waters of scandal and corruption flowing from her prior to Portland job.
7. Forty years of Israeli occupation of Palestine. An indigenous Arab population is still paying the ultimate price in land and blood for what was essentially a European crime. And America has been a willing – even eager – accomplice to first the crime, and then the punishment…
8. In Washington, Democrats for once are getting out in front. Republican Dino Rossi’s 2004 run for governor gave rise to a variety of entities – some more campaign like than others. Rossi says he isn’t running but his organization Forward Washington definitely is.
9. The massive fire currently storming its way around Lake Tahoe has done a lot more than toast the tourists’ marshmallows: It has dumped tons of ash into the lake poisoning fish and fisherfolk alike.
10. The Other Iraq War: The Bush administration is looking into ways to gracefully compromise with cooler heads on the situation Over There.
11. No less a luminary than Senator Richard Lugar says that Bush’s Iraq “strategy” isn’t working. But you have to take into account, this “strategy” had nothing to do with the actual nation Iraq as it exists in the real world. Any “strategy” was concerned with favors to contractors, fear of the State Department, Wall Street and polls…..probably some drugs and few hookers involved somehow…but “strategy”? No. No, I’m afraid it never came into play.
12. Take A Few Deep Breaths: Ex-EPA chief Christie Whitman was booed and hissed right from the start as she coolly informed her audience at a hearing yesterday that her agency hadn’t lied to New York when it told people working, walking and breathing near the ruins of the world Trade Center that they were perfectly safe. (And the owner of the Center, fellow who had a demolition crew right there on site and ready to pull sown anything else left standing….don’t see much of old Larry Silverstein these days…But Silverstein Properties has some other lovely buildings for lease. And if you decide you don’t like yours, Well, Bango! Give Larry a call and down it comes…)
13. Charles Schumer, Senate Democratic Vive Chairman thinks that Alberto Gonzales should just get out of the way during this ‘Attorneygate’ investigation. (Alberto, they’ll call you when the arraignment date is set.)
14. As it happens, whether Rahm Emanual meant the move in jest or not, many of his colleagues agree that if Dick Cheney says he’s not part of the government, we ought to take the man at his word and get our money back.
15. Yesterday the Supreme Court pulled the rug out from under campaign finance reform, handed the president’s faith-based franchisees a free-bee; And the Mighty Scotus told a kid in Alaska that he can’t display his ‘Bong Hits For Jesus’ banner across the street from the school…not even for the Olympic torch. (Maybe he just needed a light…)
16. A man in Texas sentenced to die by lethal injection is planning to use his final moments in the land of the living (That would be the non-Texas parts, I presume) as a stage to showcase his abilities as a comic. No disrespect to the family of the victims. He just wants to make a tense situation go a bit smoother.)
17. Sloppy Seconds: Tony Blair is going to be our new International Middle East Peace Envoy. Loads of luck, Tony! Give my regards to Alan Johnston…
18. The Pentagon’s plans to create a new US military command based in Africa have hit a wall of hostility and outright disbelief – ‘You want to put a what? Where? –from governments all across the region. (You see how this ‘Global War on Terror’ Works, eh? More a sort of ‘Terror War on the Globe’ really…)
19. Robert Zoellick was stealthily, under cover of a thick cloud of money ushered into the World Trade Organization.
20. Hugo Chavez says he expects the Americans to invade any minute, now that they have “softened up” the country by sending in all matter of Black Ops destabilization crews. (A “second home”/”summer place” for the School of t he Americas? The National Endowment for Democracy’s computer camp?
21. Britain is flooding. (Well of course it is; This is June. But this time around it is deeply disturbing extreme weather and it has killed people and even though having one’s holiday ruined on an annual basis may be cause for mortal violence, still, this is very odd weather for Britain in June…
22. And, as Rick says in the last scene in ‘Casablanca’, “We’ll always have Paris”
SissyBoy is a group of Portland-based performance artists. They refer to themselves as “drag terrorists” or “gender terrorists.” Their over-the-top shows in bars and clubs are both political and comedic. Last year, they were part of the Time Based Art Festival and they recently returned from their first west coast tour. KBOO producer Julie Sabatier caught up with SissyBoys Zebra and Jeffrey Darling at a photo shoot for Outlook Magazine in May and she put together this excerpt for the OutLoud show.
Hear an interview with Gunther von Hagens the famous and often controversial anatomist behind the Body Worlds exhibit that recently made its way to The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland. The exhibit showcases real human specimens preserved by replacing bodily fluids with plastics. Most of the so-called plastinates appear without their skin at various stages of dissection. Von Hagens has been hailed as a pioneer in medical education and derided as a sicko who desecrates human remains.
KBOO Art Focus host Julie Bernard and producer Julie Sabatier went to the press opening of the exhibit and interviewed Mr. von Hagens about his unique dissection methods, his thoughts on death and whether he thinks of what he does as "art."
Special for the Platform Animation Festival - originally aired on Words & Pictures on June 26, 2007
Scott McCloud, the author of the landmark work "Understanding Comics" rolls into town on a 50-state lecture tour exploring the art of visual storytelling.
Special for the Platform Animation Festival - Originally aired on Words & Pictures on June 26, 2007
Rose Bond and Dryden Goodwin introduce the free animation installations that have been appearing in the Pearl District during the Platform Animation Festival. Rose is a celebrated local animator and visiting artist Dryden Goodwin has been featured at the Tate Modern Gallery.
1. Portland’s very own Oregonian had an incendiary little piece on immigration – specifically, on the phenomena of ID theft and the immigrant community. Seems that undocumented workers are shifting from document forgery to ID theft in their effort to obtain employment. Here’s the nut: “Federal authorities attribute the proliferation of fraudulent documents to a rise in multinational criminal organizations” Be afraid…Be very afraid…
2. Meanwhile, one Yaderlin Jimenez finally got her green card. Her husband – also cardless – is missing in Iraq. Mrs. Jimenez herself was about to be missing in America: She was on the verge of being deported but the DHS roused itself at the eleventh hour and issued a stay.
1. Now that the potage is cooked it’s time to take it to the polls. Oregon lawmakers referred eight measures to the ballot. Most comical of all is the cigarette tax, which is to be enshrined in the Oregon State Constitution. Yes, that is what it takes to get health coverage for 100 thousand uninsured children. Why not just give the money directly to the huge health insurance companies and leave the constitution out of it. That’s how every other department of the US government works now, right?
1. Since 1990 the Republicans have been sitting on Salem’s face and Oregon’s lowly service industry employees had to clean up after the party. But things changed this year and the Democrats are, ‘back on top’ so to speak. So far it’s working out well for workers. As long as the Dems don’t do anything stupid, we still have a chance to undo some of the mischief made in the last 16 years…
2. “I Shot the Sheriff”: Here’s the dilemma: They’re union members and they are cops. So whom do you root for in this particular movie? The union representing the Sheriff’s Office sued the Department of Community Justice and won. Pass the popcorn…
1. Dig This: The Oregon Legislature dug up $60 million dollars to dredge Coos Bay. Hello Oregon Economic Development Commission and Ron ‘The Con’ Wyden, the legislator that couldn’t say No to a sailor (Or a salesman, for that matter…). The idea is to attract the world’s largest – and pollutingest – shipping company, Moller-Maersk, to our coastal shores. It isn’t just the sea that will be ruined: Think about the kind of transportation system it is going to take to move those 2 million shipping containers into the hinterland. Didn’t see that one coming, didya?
1. The Island of Doctor Pamplin: Bob Pamplin still wants the City of Portland to take Ross Island off his hands, toxics, liability, warts and all. Portland wouldn’t mind turning the island into a nature preserve (smack in the middle of the sewer we have made of the Willamette River)….but aren’t taxpayers going to be chuffed when they get the clean-up bill right in the chops? Still, we don’t want to piss-off God and Mr. Pamplin, now do we?
Members of Oregon's 2007 legislature are very proud of the flurry of environmental laws they passed this session. Many are applauding these accomplishments but some activists are expressing concern about a new renewable fuel standard that provides incentives for Oregon biofuel production. They fear it will put food and biofuel on a deadly collision course.
In anticipation of the zine symposium in August, it's our second annual zine show! Hear Kate Haas reading from her zine and John Marr remembering back to the DIY ethic of the punk rock era that first inspired him to publish himself. Get an update about the Independent Publishing Resource Center and find out how Portland is like Paris.
As always, thanks to Brian Kramer for production assistance and Nick Jaina, who composed our theme music. All other original music in this episode comes courtesy of Levi Cecil.
Podcasting, higher quality downloads and more information is available right here.
Award-winning authors/film historians Amid Amidi & Jerry Beck have been rescuing forgotten animation from archives and festivals and collecting it on their website Cartoon Brew Films. S.W. Conser and Bill Dodge catch up with Amid and Jerry following their appearance at the Platform International Animation Festival.
Hundreds of artists, writers, and self-publishers converge on Portland State University every August for the annual Zine Symposium. Organizers Claudia McBarron and Patrick Devine offer a rundown of this year's events, joined by local cartoonist Erika Moen.
A new episode of DIY, Portland is born! This month, we're talking with midwives, doulas and moms about a do-it-yourself project as old as human history. You'll hear stories of home birth and unassisted birth, along with music from the lovely and talented Ali Ippolito. Fair warning: you will also hear some sounds of mamas grunting and babies crying.
Thanks once again to Brian Kramer for his audio skills and to Nick Jaina for our theme song. Special thanks to Nina Jacobi for her piece called "Birth Night."
Higher quality downloads and links to podcast, etc. available right here.
Academy Award-winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom recently jumped into the director's chair to create the animated short "Lifted" for Pixar. Gary hosted a screening at this summer's Platform Animation Festival in Portland, and has plenty of stories about finding soundtrack material in the strangest of places.
Words & Pictures takes a loving look back at the brilliant and quirky UPA studio (started by Disney strikers after WWII) with animation historian Tee Bosustow. Tee's father Stephen helped found the haven for artists and oddballs, many of whom ended up blacklisted during the McCarthy red scares of the 1950's.
I recently had the opportunity to hear and see Jason Webley at the Pickathon in Portland, Oregon. His stage presence, lyrics and music were delightful, fun and accomplished. The interview and performance was recorded in the KBOO studios and aired on September 10th, 2007.
This month's show examines educational models that encourage and even require kids to make their own choices about what and how to learn. We'll visit the the Village Free School in southeast Portland, where 40 kids ages 5-18 make day-to-day plans and decisions about what topics they want to pursue and at what pace. We'll also drop in on Portland Youth Builders, an alternative program specifically designed to meet the needs of low-income students who have dropped out of high school. And we'll hear from Anna Fritz, who was a straight-A student when was inspired by the unschooling movement and decided to leave school at age 16.
Patricia Sweeney of Spiral of Life talks about the legalities and logistics of a home funeral, which like home birth is enjoying a kind of revival right now. Cynthia Beal of the Natural Burial Company discusses the multitude of options for green/natural burial. For more some intriguing facts discovered while working on this show as well as plenty of other information, please visit http://destinationdiy.org.
Mike and Laura Allred, the award-winning team behind such offbeat comics as Madman, The Atomics, and Red Rocket 7, sit down with Words & Pictures host S.W. Conser to discuss contemporary art, dream inspiration, and film adaptations of their work. Recorded during the 2007 Stumptown Comics Festival.
KBOO news reporter Michael Gene Horowitz quizzes moderate aristocrat, Hon. Luani, and bar association president Laki Niu about a compromise proposal to inaugurate democracy in the Kingdom of Tonga, recently floated by Luani's Political Reform Committeee in Parliament.
Marlene hosts Dr. Steven Bailey and an interview with Dr. Brian Scott Peskin, author of "The Hidden Story of Cancer". Then, in the second half of the show, Marlene and Ed Goldberg discuss the mortgage crisis and sub-prime lending.
Another edition of the locally produced environmental series, Our Backyard, with KBOO's Edison Carder. This edition: A couple of holiday gift book ideas. One for the "eco-geeks" and and one for the "eco-phobes". Happy Solstice!
KBOO program director Chris Merrick and Ani Haines, host of Positively Revolting Talk Radio join host Julie Sabatier for an honest look at FCC regulations and the restrictions that made this month’s “DIY, Portland” episode too hot for the radio.
A conversation with Canupa Gluha Mani (aka Duane Martin Sr.) from the Strongheart Civil Rights Movement about the declaration (pdf) earlier this month by the Lakota Indian Nation of independence and secession from the United States. He was a member of the delegation which delivered the official documents to the U.S. State Department. The Lakota Freedom Movement has extensive documentation related to the reasons for their action.
John Niekrasz (drums) and Seth Brown (electric piano) perform rigidly composed and yet very flowing, free music. This is from a show only hours before John flew to India to seek a drum master. This performance sums up four years of work as a duo, plus other projects such as Fly Fly Fly Fly Fly.
Bolivia is recovering from a violent weekend of protests in Sucre . 4 people were killed and hundreds were injured as groups protested a constitutional assembly being held to reform Bolivia’s founding document.
KBOO's Eoin Bastable spoke earlier today with Evan Cuthbert who is living in Bolivia and reporting on the current political situation.
Jade Pekkala interviews Local musician Chris Kokesh in-studio LIVE on Movin' On. Chris Kokesh, well known for her guitar and fiddle work in the popular band Misty River, is a talented solo artist as well. Chris sings some songs with her guitar, and plays an original fiddle tune with the fiddle in an unusual tuning. Don't miss this charming time with Chris Kokesh!
Live interview with Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek, founder of Sabeel, an ecumenical grassroots liberation theology movement among Palestinian Christians. Also in the studio with Hala and Will, was Mary Trolan, a Palestinian Christian born in Jerusalem. Today's show is a sharing of family histories, experiences of the dispossession of 1948, the Nakba, and of their significance for understanding the current conflict.