1. Drink Beer; Pay The Police: It’s The Law! Could be the law. Oregon’s got about the lowest tax on beer of any state in the nation. And we seem to have come up short in the State Trooper department. So it’s a marriage made in heaven. Meanwhile, back in hell, the Rehab people are chuffed because they want the extra money to teach people how to live ‘One day at a time’ without resorting to beer or getting arrested….
2. Try to Stay Calm: Look, I know this is exciting news, just try not to get too euphoric. It is possible once again to fly back and forth between Salem and Salt Lake City. Take a few deep breaths…
3. Business is on board the Wilderness Wagon. It is begining to dawn on the The Corner Office that protecting the natural environment makes good financial sense. (They pay people to figure these things out….)
4. Five people were hospitalized yesterday after a Milwaukie cold-storage facility exploded, blasting ammonia onto SE. McLoughlin and bringing traffic to a reeking halt. (It always amazes me how generous the law is when it comes to commercial incompetence and how harsh and vindictive when it comes to the harmless-yet-expensive damage done by people who put their freedom on the line in the name of the living earth….)
5. Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith once again hiding behind the trees while war rages in the distance. Yes, it’s back to timber payments for rural communities again…Anything but speak out loudly and clearly against the wars we are currently waging. Ron! Gordy! Come on out…If all this money were not being poured into the sand, the rural communities would get their payments. If we had the sack to rebuild a decent education system, the next generation might find the inspiration to create sustainable industries. And if we passed commercial hemp laws, we could grow our way out economic malaise….
6. Oregon’s grass seed farmers are breathing a smoky sight of relief. The law preventing field burning went down in, well, flames. So the official ‘non-terror-related arson’ is a Go again this year.
7. Seattle is on the verge of banning plastic bags and containers. But worry not, Garbage Mining tycoons of the future; there is more than enough to keep your post-petropolis wealth rolling in for decades to come….
8. The salmon fishing season has only just begun but the sting of disaster is already in the air. Fishermen, tribes and business are filling out their disaster relief applications before the stench of another dying industry drives them back to the land….
9. For the most part Northwest senators milled about helplessly in the mounting drifts of immigration legislation. Our own Ron Wyden voted for the ‘English Only’ amendment along with his evil twin, Gordon Smith. (Don’t you love the spectacle of elected representatives Going Both Ways on voters, most of whom are irredeemably polarized on the whole immigration debate and will be watching their elected representatives’ every involuntary twitch….
10. Deaf-Nation: San Francisco’s peace platoons are marching against the annual Fleet Week roar-off by the Blue Angels. (What? Come again? Could you speak up please…I can’t…wait this will be over in a minute…)
11. Seoul Food: Just as more of the virulent strain of E-coli has forced the recall of yet another meat mountain, here comes South Korea. Seoul has lifted a ban on American beef imports after the US confirmed that only two shipments meant for domestic consumption were mistakenly exported. Let me restate that: Meat that has only been cursorily inspected for BSE is okay for Americans to eat. No so for South Korea: There, people prefer their beef prion-free. Apparently, we accidentally shipped the Koreans some uninspected meat which was destined for American tables. Anyway…Just wait till they sink their teeth into that ‘Coli-burger’…
12. Which is available at Albertsons and other local stores, (as well South Korea, of course). Look for the smudged, illegible label that says, ‘EST 1241’ inside the USDA inspection mark.
13. Bush had to lie down briefly yesterday because he had an “upset stomach”, known to the rest of us as a “hang-over.”
14. China wants its money back on all those tainted vitamins and raisins it bought from us recently when it was briefly on a health jag. But now its back to chain smoking and eating Buffalo Wings…
15. Human rights groups say that the US has “disappeared” 39 people.
16. Banana Republicans: In Colombia, Chiquita Brands is getting sued by the families and friends of people killed by the rightwing paramilitary death squads sponsored by Chiquita. The suit says that ten employees of Chiquita and its Colombian subsidiary “knowingly aided and abetted the paramilitary forces” responsible for the 144 murders.
17. Stem Sold-Out: The House gave final Congressional approval to legislation aimed at easing restrictions on federal financing of embryonic stem cell research. The vote? 247 to 176…Not bad, but not enough to derail a presidential veto. (George, you might as well let it pass. It may provide a cure for Psychopathia Empirialis…)
18. Bush momentarily stunned his cohorts in Heiligendamm yesterday by announcing that he would consider the 50 percent cuts in emissions proposal – But it was just gas…
19. Honey I’m Home: In Iraq, while he was at work, carloads of attackers raided a police chief’s house, killed the chief’s wife, two brothers, eleven guards and then kidnapped three of the man’s adult children.
20. It’s official! There really are secret detention centers in Europe. And here’s the beauty of it: They are, for the most part, in Poland and Romania, conveniently located near Bush’s proposed missile shield site. So protestors can plan ahead, have their mail forwarded and alert their lawyers…
21. US soldiers are still going about their business looting Iraqi antiquities….Fooled ya! US soldiers do not have the education to realize the value of the archaeological treasure they are surrounded by. What they are actually doing is bulldozing ancient cities and using the broken pieces to fill sand bags for gunner emplacements. At least with looters you can hope the material will eventually show up at Sotheby’s.
22. Hurry Up and Kuwait: Contractors! What are ya gonna do…The Department of Justice is investigating whether or not a Kuwaiti construction firm contracted to build the US Embassy in Iraq carried out human trafficking with its laborers. (The Americans hired Kuwaitis because they thought that Iraqis might be a security risk.
23. Striking Oil…Workers: The Iraqi government has threatened to use force against a strike by the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions after striking workers shut down the pipelines earlier this week…Not like it was in the Bad Old Saddam Days, is it?
24. Turns out the idea to make people visiting Canada get passports was another bad egg laid by Homeland Security. The backlog of applications has brought the agency to its knees and forced irate travelers to not travel. …and it seemed like such a good idea at the time…
25. Syria and Israel are creeping ever-so slowly toward cataclysm.