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.
The severely contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune (Us Marine Corps Base in North Carolina is in the spotlight again after federal hearings this week.
Joanne Laurier, a journalist for the World Socialist Web Site published an in depth article about the Base’s toxic Legacy today.
KBOO’s Lina Aglialoro has this summary.
As the Portland activist community begins to shape its response to Tuesday’s massive immigration raid at the Del Monte fruit packing plant in North Portland, activists in New Bedford, Massachusetts have offered a hand of support.
That community was devastated by a massive immigration raid in March in which over 350 people were arrested.
KBOO spoke with Corinne Williams, the Director of the Community Economic Development Center, in New Bedford, about that community’s experience with ICE Raids.
Here in Portland, immigrant rights supporters have been organizing meetings and setting up a legal aid fund for those arrested.
A Vigil for Human Rights is being planned for tomorrow in solidarity with the one-hundred-sixty-seven arrested workers. It will be in Tacoma, Washington, outside the Justice Center where the men and women are being held.
Carpools will be leaving portland from Liberty Hall, on Northeast Ivy Street, at ten am Saturday, June 15, 2007.
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. Look out Ruth Reich!: Here comes Oregon’s state review of prison food. Basically, the cuisine is acceptable; it’s the ambiance and the service that really suck.
2. Shoot First, Pay For It Later: Our newly militarized police force is starting to cost us. The family of Jason Porter has launched a $4 million dollar wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Springfield and the policeman who shot their unarmed, 15 year-old son in the face after a car chase.
3. ‘Ich bin ein Angleno’: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told the National Association of Hispanic Journalists that if Hispanic kids want to learn English faster, they should watch more English language TV.
4. The human rights, civil rights and the progressive community joined with Hispanic leaders yesterday to raise one, united voice of outrage at the immigration raids this week. The fallout from the roundup has occupied everyone’s attention up until yesterday’s press conference at the Mexican embassy. Meanwhile, parents and children search for one another in a wasteland of paperwork and legal barbed wire.
5. Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon smith offered up their financial disclosure statements on the altar of public scrutiny yesterday. And, Lo! There seemed to be nothing amiss.
6. Textbook Bill: The thing about higher education is the higher price of the books. Students at colleges and universities have been crushed by the cost of their books for years. What Governor Kulongoski is going to do about it is to sign a bill that partially puts the damper on the amoral greed driving companies to exploit a captive market.
7. This is what Measure 37 Looks Like: In Marion County, commissioners ignored their own planning code as well as the scientific review when they approved a 42 house subdivision in a limited groundwater area. Neighbors are already having trouble with their wells and the ground is barely broken on this latest of Oregon’s burgeoning sprawl of rural slums.
8. And now it’s on to the Haditha Massacre. Lance Corporal – and psychopath-in-training – Justin Sharratt told a military court that he thought the three people he murdered in cold blood were insurgents. His statement is unsworn so there won’t be any cross examination. (See, this is what you learn in the military; impeccable moral character and the courage to tell the truth…Then when you get out of the military, you apply what you’ve learned to civilian life…with predictable consequences.)
9. Alberto Gonzales: What can one say really about this guy??? Here’s what: Gonzales has gone and used an interim appointment authority procedure that is already banned by Congress. The ‘Preserving United States Attorney Independence Act’ was passed and sent to the president to be signed on June 4th. Bush has yet to sign it (Tennis elbow?). If the Act is not signed or vetoed in ten days, it expires. That would be…let’s see, yesterday…Stay with me here: The main thing the Act does – make that ‘would have done’ – is overturn a GOP stealth measure that allowed the AG to appoint US Attorneys on an interim basis with congressional confirmation. So Gonzales plans to appoint George Cardona as an interim US Attorney when his stint as Acting attorney runs out…wait for it…tomorrow. We could have stopped all this back in 2000 but the hogs are in the kitchen now…
10. The Supreme Court has ruled against public sector labor unions. (Pure failure on the part of Grover Norquist: There wasn’t supposed to be a ‘public sector’ at this stage in the program…)
11. Bush is trying on his old cheerleader costume for this new $4 billion dollar (Helloooo, contractors!) border patrol proposal intended to sweeten his immigration bill. (At last! We find out whether or not Republicans swallow…)
12. Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell say they ‘envision’ a vote on this compromise immigration bill before the rockets’ red glare on July 4th. (‘Envision’? Don’t these people know not to mix hallucinogens and fireworks unless you really know what you’re doing…some of us do.)
13. Massachusetts has rejected a same-sex marriage referendum. (How about a ‘same-marriage sex referendum’ making it legal to have sex with other people while remaining in the same marriage? It’s just a thought…)
14. A federal judge has finally convicted Klansman James Ford Seale of kidnapping and conspiracy in the 1964 deaths of two black teenagers in southwest Mississippi. (“But everybody knows about Mississippi goddamn” as Nina Simone sings…)
15. Hamas is in control of Gaza, Fatah is control of the West Bank…(Where’s Ban Ky Moon? Where’s the Security Council? Where’s Condoleeza Rice? Ahhhh, yes, of course, celebrating the death of Palestine with the Israeli government in Tel Aviv. When the world’s heavy weights said they were after a ‘two state solution’, little did we know what they were really talking about….)
16. IAEA chief Mohammed al-Baradei says that an attack on Iran would be “madness” (Since when has “madness ever stopped the Bush administration? Of course it’s “madness”, that’s the whole idea…)
17. There’s a new medical school opening in Cuba. A great many of the students are from Bolivia and many of those are indigenous people…
18. Venezuela is buying itself some submarines from Russia. This, just days before George takes Vladimir home to meet his parents in Kennebunkport. . (Barbara to Vladimir: “George Sr. and I just hope you will be able to support our little boy in the manner to which he has become accustomed…”)
19. Striking civil servants and their supporters have shut down most of South Africa’s major cities.
20. Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern was elected for a record third term in succession yesterday.
21. Police in the Democratic Republic of Congo have arrested two soldiers suspected of killing a journalist working with Radio Okapi. The station was set up to aid the peace process in the wake of the 1998-2003 war.
22. Iran, Iraq and the US are planning to meet “again, don’t know where, don’t know when, but they’ll meet again some sunny day…”
23. In Oaxaca yesterday, marchers turned out to commemorate last year’s uprising which, for all intents and purposes, is still on the rise.
Ted Clout from South Dakota is a politician who publicly lobbied to remove Native American kids from their homes to put them into foster care.
But as KBOO reporter Scott Pham discovered, while engaging in this public battle, Clout was simultaneously abusing his own Native American foster kids:
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.
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.