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?)