0725 am 'Get This' news

07/25/07 Get This

Chris Andreae


  1. Kindergarten Konsumer:  Oregon’s Head Start program is expanding, but not enough to meet demand.  Too many people, not enough money and an administration that can’t see over its own bottom line.  The generation that is just starting life in the learning lane, is not about to get an education in the three dimensional sense.  Rather, kids are being trained for jobs that in turn train them to consume.  Climate change?  This is where it all starts…
  2. This year’s ‘Kids Count’ reports confirms it:  Children aren’t doing very well, all told.  In a very real physical sense.  (But you see from a the point of view of the bottom line, sick kids are good for the insurance and pharmaceutical industries…)
  3. A “bipartisan” group of House members introduced a universal healthcare “coverage” bill yesterday.  Essentially it’s a guaranteed bill of health in perpetuity for the healthcare insurance industry.
  4. Stop and Think and Think again:  The ACLU wants to know what the ‘Stop and Think’ abstinence program is up to with its requirement that presenters possess “an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ” and attend a Bible-based church.  (They could also call it, “When Jesus Comes”, but I digress…)
  5. Oregon House speaker Jeff Merkley is running for Senate against Gordon Smith.  (Proving yet again that what this country needs is a two-party electoral system before we even begin to think about third parties…)
  6. Coastal forests have been hit by a resurgence of Swiss needle cast disease.  Just another symptom of too many people using too much of everything.  And no amount of “carbon trading” is going to fix the problem any time soon…
  7. Chairman of the Board-feet:  The Bush administration got a wee black eye this week.  A federal appeals court upheld judge Ann Aiken’s ruling that salvage logging after a fire is not on the table – not the ‘board’room table, or any other.  (Let’s hope this serves to control some of the more mysterious fires started by lightning in areas where meteorologists say no lightning – dry or otherwise – occurred…)
  8. No Talking in the Halls of Academia:  Ward Churchill was fired by the University of Colorado for expressing outrage at the administration’s fanciful interpretation of the 9/11 attacks.  Three faculty members accused Churchill of  “plagiarism and falsification”.  Translation:  Money springs eternal in the canyons of Manhattan;  It flows out to amenable public institutions, avoiding those populated by the likes of Ward Churchill who ‘don’t want to rock the boat;  Who want to sink it.’  (Paraphrasing Putney Swope, thank you very much…)
  9. The Call of the Sea:  The Navy is going to go right ahead with tests of its new high-octane marine sonar.  Here’s one thing we know without even reading the Navy’s test results:  The technology is killing whales.  Here’s another little thing we also know:  The Pentagon thinks that if we don’t kill off the whales with this sonar, national security will be in jeopardy.  That’s probably why we can’t take bottle of water on airplane rides, if you follow the Pentagon’s logic…)
  10. MacRepo:  Californians are losing their homes in record numbers, thanks to being too stupid to analyze the risk of hybrid mortgages and greedy enough to believe that buying more house than they could afford was a great idea.
  11. And Californians aren’t the only ones feeling the pinch:  World markets are getting a dose of the whips and jangles over the looming fallout from the collapse of the US sub-prime mortgage market.  (But who wants to trouble themselves over the art and science of debt derivatives when the paint isn’t even dry…)
  12.  Who Caught the Cheese?:  Airports are being warned that travelers are about to be screened for anything that looks like the makings of disaster.  Cheese, for example.  If you are one of the thousands of people who routinely carry a big lump of cheese on the plane, try to bring along something exotic that in no way resembles C-4.  And no “wires, switches, pipes or tubes.”  Takes all the fun out of air travel, no?
  13. Yesterday, ‘Dirty’ Al Gonzales entertained the Senate Judiciary Committee with his feats of ventriloquism and tall tales.
  14. Gonzales also contradicted his previous testimony (Translation:  He lied) regarding the dramatic nighttime visit to the hospital room where John Ashcroft lay sedated.  What then White House counsel Al was after, was a kiss-off on the administration’s warrantless wiretapping program.  The amazing part is that the Bush White House had any qualms about breaking the law in the first place.  It has consistently operated above and beyond the law right from the get-go.
  15. Till the Wheels come Off and Burn:  While it still has breath left in it, the Judiciary Committee has gone ahead with the issuance of contempt charges against Bush’s chief of staff, Joshua Bolton and former White House counsel Harriet Miers.
  16. Bush:  “al-Qaeda, al Qaeda, al-Qaeda.”  Is he trying to scare us or merely attempting to master the pronunciation?
  17. Bush met with one of America’s last remaining allies in the Arab world, Jordan’s King Abdullah.  (Ever notice how well George gets along with royalty?)
  18. White House aides are coaching top diplomats on how to present America to the world.  The world, though, has a fairly clear idea of exactly what sort of monster America has morphed into and no amount of PowerPoint presentations is going to change that for the foreseeable future.  (PowerPoint presenter to diplomats:  “Why not pass the time by playing a little solitaire?”
  19. Mass Graves Next?  Fort Lewis is holding one collective service a month for its dead soldiers instead of individual events.  It’s a numbers game, I guess…
  20. The African nation, Niger has put the old gag on its media in a futile attempt to prevent the news of the growing rebellion in its northern desert from reaching the outside world.  (One would hope that the world would notice any reports to this effect and react with concern and humanitarian acts…But that is not the Way of this particular World.  It seems the more we have to be aware of, the more we choose to ignore.)
  21. The US doesn’t want the Sudanese government to have veto power over the proposed Security Counsel resolution mandating joint African Union UN peacekeeping in Darfur.  (Not that it makes any difference:  The only thing the US cares about here is preventing the Chinese from exploiting the oil beneath Sudan’s sands.
  22. Flooding in Britain.  Flooding in Texas.  Once-in-a-century rains in China.  But here’s Europe experiencing a deadly heat wave, especially in the southern and eastern areas.  Italy, Greece, Albania, the Balkan states – throughout the whole region temperatures have been in the hundreds for at least a week.  Fires are burning out of control.   People are dying. 
  23. Human rRghts Watch wants Oaxaca officials to take a long hard look at police brutality.  Alas, it is on the “official” side of the scale where the trouble begins…
  24. Iran says it’s going to go “illegal” if the West doesn’t stop meddling with i6ts energy program.  (In the sense that the Iraq war is “illegal”?  depends on what they mean by “illegal”….)
  25. Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe is planning to stay on as PM even if his party loses Sunday’s upper house elections.  (Looks like American-style Democracy has spread to Japan – and we didn’t even have to attack them a second time to get there….)
  26. And finally, Straight Out Of Florida:  Someone found a fully-functional (“Minus the part on top that goes Boom,” in the actual words of a Marine spokesperson.) Patriot missile in a garbage dump.  Presumably the thing just didn’t fit in the Pentagon’s military ordnance shredder….






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