0718 am 'Get This' news
07/18/07 Get This
- Welcome to America: Now Go Home: Fellow arrives at PDX from Germany with his family. Abdel Kader Laaredj – you can see where this is going – his wife and children are here on vacation. But not for long. US Customs and Border Protection officials separated Laaredj from his terrified family, interrogated him for hours, tossed him in a cell and sent him back to Germany the next day. On the bright side, Laaredj didn’t end up at either Gitmo or Gresham…
- ‘Bring us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…and we will deport them…’: Human Rights Watch says America’s harsh immigration laws have separated more than one and a half million children and spouses from family members who’ve been deported.
- The median house price in the Portland area is down. (Let’s get over this “home” obsession: Anywhere, anything can be a “home” if you make it one. Many houses remain just than, a place to plug in the TV. inhabited by strangers related only by blood, marriage and/or mutual addictions…) This is bad news for the economy, good news for the environment which has been ‘developed’ to the point of exhaustion.
- All of which serves to highlight the already glaring numbers of homeless people and peopleless houses. They’re made for each other. The only thing that stands in the way is lack of money. And into the breach strides Congress, prodded along by the Community Development Network. There’s a bill floating around that would address 30 years of affordable housing cuts. It’s called the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and it just might pass, given that lawmakers who are dumb enough to vote against it hire people who are smart enough to know where the votes are…
- Dickless Hearing: Democrats on the Natural Resources Committee are going to hold a July 31st hearing to look into the role Dick Cheney played in the Great Salmon Die-off of 2002. Cheney is invited but his spokesrobot says he isn’t likely to accept the invitation. Come to think of it, where exactly is the VP these days?
- A State board has rejected an effort by some Oregon Department of Transportation workers to form their own union. It means breaking with the SEIU, which is the largest state-employee union, and forming the independent Oregon Workers Union. It all sounds brave and pioneering…until you remember that Labor has historically had more bargaining power when workers are represented by massive powerhouse unions…a bit corrupt at times, who but Management doesn’t love the Teamsters?
- Who’s Your Daddy?: Same sex couples won another round in the Foregone Conclusion/Civil Rights Games here in Oregon. A Multnomah County judge ruled that the lesbian partner of a Portland mum is entitles to legal parental status. Amazing, isn’t it, the arduous, lengthy struggle to achieve the basic rights we all were given to understand we are guaranteed in America. Amazing, but true….
- Which brings us, inevitably so it seems, to the question of America’s two-tiered justice system. A cyclist was struck and killed – that’s right; as in Dead – by a driver with a suspended license. The driver was fined for traffic violations. Three cyclists riding through the tiny hamlet of North Plains ran a stop sign. They were pulled over, cited and wound up with more than a thousand dollars in court costs. (I’m waiting to see what happens when a cyclist kills the driver of an SUV…watch the wheels of justice come off…
- The Senate held an Iraq War slumber party in Washington, while in Iraq, the very presence of American troops continues to exacerbate the disintegration of what was once one of the Middle East’s most advanced secular states. (And please don’t think that “secular violence” is the norm in this region. Until the Americans arrived, Sunnis and Shiites had not gone ‘mano a mano’ for six hundred years…)
- Bush & Company cooked up this wonderful idea over the weekend: An international “peace “ conference for Palestinians, Israel and neighboring states. They served it up on Monday. Apparently the only players stupid enough to eat it were the cooks themselves.
- Animal Farm: Veterans groups are celebrating the departure of Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson, who although not distinguished by having a resume that included horses ass inspector, like his co-crony, Michael Brown, nonetheless managed to turn Walter Reed Army Hospital into a pig sty and the Veterans Administration into a monkey-house.
- Sara Taylor – recently returned from washing her hair for a few days – has been called back to Capitol Hill to testify.
- Same for Harriet Miers, although her lawyer says that Miers has an “adequate excuse” against complying with a subpoena and that she is not acting “willfully” in contempt of Congress – after all, who doesn’t experience a certain level of “contempt of Congress on a daily, if not hourly basis? (I know I do…)
- For all you die-hard conspiracy buffs out there, here it is: Wayne Madsen’s website offers a detailed report from someone described as a ‘veteran CIA “official cover” officer’ on ‘Scooter’ Libby’s ties to the Israel Mossad. High point? In addition to the usual Neocons, Israeli government officials called Bush and told him to commute Libby’s sentence. (Just because it’s a “conspiracy theory”, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. This much we have learned after seven years toiling under the black flag of the Bush piracy…)
- We Could Tell You, But Then We’d Have To Kill You Dept.: Even the CIA’s intrepid band of dissenters says the extraordinary renditions are real and even worse than you might have imagined.
- In Sao Paulo, a TAM airliner crashed, hit a petrol station and…suffice it to say, no survivors are expected.
- Mahmoud’s Big Election: Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas says he likes the idea of early elections – it was after all, his idea (His, or Washington’s; the difference is immaterial…). It’s going to further deepen animosities with Hamas, but then again, that too is part of the whole idea…
- Hamas, for its part is less than impressed with the Bush’s Idea for an “international peace conference” to be held this autumn. For starters, it’s the first time Bush has shown any interest in Palestinians. Secondly, the words, ‘Bush’ and ‘peace’ have no place in the same sentence. And thirdly, the president leading a ‘conference’ of any sort is risible coming from a man who can’t put together a cogent sentence. Hamas political leader, Khaled Meshaal said, “The US is trying to impose its agenda on the region.” End of ‘conference.’
- Red Mosque Fallout: In Pakistan, a suicide bomber blew up the most recent in a series of rallies on behalf of Chief Justice – and lone voice of Pakistani secularism - Iftikhar Chaudrey.
- Roadside Infraction: In southern Lebanon, a roadside bomb hit a United Nations peacekeeping patrol. (Scooter Libby or Mossad? You be the judge…)
- It’s His Party And He’ll Quit If He Wants To: In Turkey, it’s election time again and that of course means bloodshed. An independent candidate has been shot dead in Istanbul and Turkey’s prime minister says that if his party fails to win a decisive majority, he’s going to quit politics (Presumably because a man can’t survive too many of these election season ordeals…)
- Libya has finessed a solution to the Five-Nurse-One-Doctor-438 HIV-infected Children problem. Moammar Qaddafi commuted their sentence! Imagine that!
- You Think You Got Trouble Dept: In Ukraine a train full of phosphorous derailed and caught fire creating an enormous toxic yellow cloud and the consequent evacuation of the surrounding area.
- And Iran wants the British Embassy in Teheran compound back. It’s a nice piece of property, y’know…and best of all, it probably includes a high-end bomb shelter…