UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

January 30, 2009

BREVITAS

OBAMALAND

Washington Post - Many attorneys from both parties also marvel at the sheer number of lawyers Obama has appointed or nominated so far, particularly at the White House counsel's office, which will have at least 22 attorneys working under counsel Greg Craig. That's more than twice as large as the office was under Bush, with three deputy counsels, the special ethics counsel and 18 associate and deputy associate counsels.

Christian Century - Anglicans Evangelical pastor Rick Warren has offered to open the campus of his California megachurch to conservative Anglicans who have broken with the Episcopal Church. . . "We stand in solidarity with them," Warren wrote in an e-mail posted online by Christianity Today, "and with all orthodox, evangelical Anglicans. I offer the campus of Saddleback Church to any Anglican congregation who need a place to meet, or if you want to plant a new congregation in south Orange County." In 2003, the Episcopal Church consecrated V. Gene Robinson, an openly gay man, as bishop of New Hampshire, precipitating a clash between liberals and conservatives in the Episcopal Church and the global Anglican Communion.

WORK

NY Times
- To crack down on businesses that pay below the minimum wage, fail to pay overtime or to pay wages altogether, steal tips or commit other labor violations, the New York State Department of Labor is starting an experimental program that will rely on community organizations to monitor compliance with labor laws. . . The six groups will conduct know-your-rights training, providing employers with information about compliance and distributing brochures to workers in supermarkets, laundromats, nail salons, day-labor sites and other work areas. They will have a designated contact in the Labor Department's Division of Labor Standards, which enforces wage and hour laws, to whom they can refer violations or detailed questions from employers. After the first experiment in New York City and on Long Island, the Labor Department will seek additional groups to sign up for the program.

IRAQ

Guardian, UK -
The Times have an exclusive interview with Tony Blair in which the former prime minister comes close to admitting that he suffers doubts over his decision to invade Iraq. While asserting he was not haunted by the decision, he goes on to say: "But of course I reflect on it, and am troubled by it, and feel a great sense of responsibility for it." . . . On the issue of whether history will vindicate him over the decision to invade, he said: "I don't know. Nobody knows."

DRUG BUSTS

USA Today - The major findings in a report by the Justice Department's National Gang Intelligence Center, which has not been publicly released, conclude gangs are the "primary retail-level distributors of most illicit drugs" and several are "capable" of competing with major U.S.-based Mexican drug-trafficking organizations. "A rising number of U.S.-based gangs are seemingly intent on developing working relationships" with U.S. and foreign drug-trafficking organizations and other criminal groups to "gain direct access to foreign sources of illicit drugs," the report concludes. The gang population estimate is up 200,000 since 2005. . . The report says about 900,000 gang members live "within local communities across the country," and about 147,000 are in U.S. prisons or jails.

TRANSPORTATION

Street Films -
Recently the San Francisco Transportation Authority found that during peak commute times vehicles run more efficiently when signals are timed at the speeds they actually travel during congestion -- 12 to 15 mph - rather than the current 25 mph.

CRIME BLOTTER

Annmarie Bricker,
23, of Valparaiso, IN has been arrested after attacking her newly wed sister at a reception honoring. The host claims Bricker yanked out clumps of her sister's hair and took her to the ground. The alleged problem: Bricker hadn't been invited to the wedding.

TC Palm, FL - A Port St. Lucie man found with an apparently urine-filled "tube device" under his armpit during a urine test at a probation and parole facility is facing charges after running from officials and being tackled, according to a police report. A correctional/probation officer told police that John M. Contreras, 25, was being given a urine test for "illegal substances" Thursday morning at the facility in the 3500 block of Okeechobee Road when the device was spotted. The officer said the "urine apparatus" had a tube extending toward the groin area, "consistent with an attempt to defraud a urine test," the report states. When the officer tried to speak to Contreras about this, Contreras ran through the building hallway but was tackled.

Live Leak
- Hastings District Court surveillance video shows 2 men making a break for it but apparently forgetting they were handcuffed together. Disoriented after being pepper sprayed, their getaway plan ends in disaster with each guy blaming the other for hitting the pole.

NY Metro - A woman soccer fan from Hatfield, England has been banned from taking her pet parrot to soccer matches after the bird disrupted a game by constantly imitating the referee's whistle.

Guardian, UK - Irish police are being handicapped in a search for a stolen van, because they cannot issue a description. It's a Special Branch vehicle and they don't want the public to know what it looks like.

WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH A POLITICALLY CORRECT BRITISH CHARITY?

BBC - "Drunken sailors" have been removed from the lyrics of a nursery rhyme in a government-funded books project. But the Bookstart charity says the re-writing of What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor? has "absolutely nothing to do with political correctness". The charity says that the shift from drunken sailor to "grumpy pirate" was to make the rhyme fit a pirate theme, rather than censorship. "Put him in the brig until he's sober," has also been lost in the new version. . . Bookstart, a project that encourages parents to read with their young children, has produced a different version - with no references to alcohol-swigging sailors. . . The Drunken Sailor version familiar to children already leaves out some of the saltier verses. The original includes such suggestions as: "Shave his belly with a rusty razor", "Stick him in a bag and beat him senseless" and "Put him in the hold with the captain's daughter." The captain's daughter was a euphemism for a lashing from a cat o' nine tails.

INEXPLICABLE E-MAIL OF THE DAY

Received by the Review - Still on Bookers trail! Debbie said she didn't even remember what she had for breakfast much less the year Booker was bear-napped. If anyone has anything or remembers anything about Booker's bear-napping, Mary would be the one!.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re:"gangs are the "primary retail-level distributors of most illicit drugs" The biggest drug smuggling gang I know of is the CIA. Somebody has to fund all those assassinations and renditions.

February 1, 2009 5:05 PM  

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