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September 4, 2013 01:28 PM

Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio has weighed in on the possible war on Syria, saying:

I have yet to hear the administration answer two simple questions—what are our objectives and what is our long-term strategy in this conflict. This situation is incredibly fluid, but I currently do not support an open-ended, ill-defined intervention in another civil war. It's abundantly clear that there's no easy resolution to this conflict and the need for or potential effectiveness of U.S. military involvement is questionable at best.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted Sept. 4 to authorize a U.S. strike on Syria. Yesterday the Washington Post documented Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) playing video poker on his iPhone

McCain joked about it on Twitter.

September 4, 2013 01:16 PM

From the Institute for Public Accuracy today:

Eryl Nassruns the Anthrax Vaccine blog and recently wrote:

Only seven nations are not parties to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Israel and Myanmar (formerly Burma) signed but failed to ratify the 1993 agreement. Five other nations failed to sign it: Syria, South Sudan, North Korea, Angola and Egypt.

Nations who are parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention agreed to destroy all their chemical weapons by May 2012, but most have failed to meet that deadline, including the United States. Furthermore, it is by no means certain that all nations possessing chemical weapons declared them, so information on existing stocks of such weapons is incomplete.

Had the 189 nations who are members of the OPCW complied with the terms of the Chemical Weapons Convention's required destruction of chemical weapons, there would be many fewer such weapons available for transfer and use. Unfortunately, the 2007 deadline for complete destruction was missed, as was the (final) extension to 2012 missed. So the U.S. and other nations are not in compliance with their responsibility and promise to destroy all their chemical weapons by last year.

So when Obama says that we know Syria's Assad has chemical weapons, Assad could be saying the same thing about us!"

See: "U.N. Chief Urges Full Chemical Disarmament by 2018," which notes: "The United States presently intends to wrap up destruction of its chemical arms by 2023."

Jacqueline Cabasso is executive director of the Western States Legal Foundation, which focuses on weapons of mass destruction. They just released the briefing paper "The Rush to Bomb Syria: Undermining International Law and Risking Wider War," which states:

It is hard to see how breaking solemn undertakings to most of the countries in the world by neglecting treaties and principles of international law that the United States has agreed to will either bolster U.S. 'credibility' or enhance respect for international law. ...

International law provides no exception for the ad hoc use of force by states in cases involving the actual or possible use of prohibited weapons, such as chemical weapons, by states with which they are not at war. Standing alone, the allegations of chemical weapons use by the Syrian government do not provide a legal basis for military action by any non-party to the conflict. 

Unilateral punitive strikes justified as a defense of the global norm against chemical weapons are unlikely to actually protect Syrians or others against use of chemical weapons and other attacks, may do little to reinforce the norm or even undermine it, and could lead to a significant increase in the level of violence throughout the region. 

There are viable international ways and means to respond to the apparent use of chemical weapons in Syria that should be vigorously pursued before the use of force is considered.

 

Stephen Zunes is professor of politics and chair of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco and said today:

Syria, when it had a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council in 2007, introduced a draft resolution to create a weapons of mass destruction zone for the entire Middle East, but the United States blocked it.

Zunes notes that this would have included addressing Egypt's chemical weapons and Israel's nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. 

He recently wrote the piece "The U.S. and Chemical Weapons: No Leg to Stand On," which states:

The first country to allegedly use chemical weapons in the Middle East was Great Britain in 1920, as part of its efforts to put down a rebellion by Iraqi tribesmen when British forces seized the country following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. According to Winston Churchill, who then held the position of Britain’s Secretary of State for War and Air, 'I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisonous gas against uncivilised tribes.'

September 4, 2013 06:17 PM

Here is the Lane County press release on its latest closing of Free Speech Plaza. The county voted for an "emergency" closing of the Wayne Morse Terrace (aka the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza) 4-1, with Pete Sorenson voting against the closure. The county is also changing the Lane Code rules on the plaza, to "provide clear long term rules for use of the Free Speech Area." 

The county says in the press release that "Under both the order and the proposed Code revisions, the Designated Free Speech Area, a County facility within the Wayne Morse Terrace will close from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily."

 

September 4, 2013 12:17 PM

Longtime Eugene newswatchers may remember KMTR meteorologist Tim Joyce, he's now with a TV station in Seattle, but his sister, Emily Joyce has been living in Eugene. Emily Joyce went missing on Aug. 29 and Tim Joyce is asking for help in finding her.

September 2, 2013 01:56 PM

Why name huge storms after nice people when you can name them after climate-change denying politicians? The only thing that would make this video better would be the addition of "Hurricane Art Robinson."

September 2, 2013 01:22 PM

Citizens from Congressional District 4 will attempt to meet with the offices of Rep. Peter DeFazio, Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Jeff Merkley at 11 am Tuesday, Sept. 3, at their district offices at the U.S. Courthouse, 405 East 8th Ave.

“Activists are extremely concerned that the U.S. is about to enter yet another illegal, immoral aggressive war of choice, but are also outraged by the lack of communication from Congress,” reads a press release today from Leah Bolger, a U.S. Navy veteran and one of the organizers.

“When I called the offices of my elected officials, I was stunned to be told by staff that they didn’t know what position they (DeFazio, Wyden and Merkley) were taking,” says Bolger. “There is nothing on their respective websites, we’ve seen no op-eds or press conferences. It is completely unacceptable that these three have taken no position on an issue as serious as war.”

August 30, 2013 11:34 AM

FRIDAY:

Afroman was gonna show up on time, but then he got ...

Capital Cities

Schoolboy Q

Daedelus

The Thermals

Bassnectar

August 30, 2013 12:19 PM

Souls of Mischief

Minus the Bear

Aesop Rock

DJ Shadow

Amp Live & Minnesota

Beats Antique

Nas

August 30, 2013 02:19 PM

Hieroglyphics

Blue Scholars

Neon Indian

Lil B

Empire of the Sun

August 30, 2013 06:19 PM

The SLEEPS (Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Place to to Sleep) protest is spreading both in physical space and on social media. The protest is centered at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza — or as Lane County is now calling it, the Wayne Morse Terrace. The county has called an emergency session on Sept. 4 to discuss an emergency closure of the plaza and developing an ordinance for an "actual free speech area."

Though the rules for the area have changed over time, county and court documents  and press releases have long refered to the entire area as the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza or sometimes the Terrace/Plaza. Congressman Peter DeFazio, who was one of the county commissioners who orginally proposed the Wayne Morse Terrace and the free speech area, tells EW he's not sure changing the name changes the intent of the area.

The recent brouhaha over camping in the plaza, after a Eugene municipal judge ruled the county's closing down the plaza during a previous SLEEPS protest was unconstitutional, centered on the issues of feces as evidence of a health and safety issue. Valkyrie says the good thing about the focus on feces is that it has brought attention to the need for bathrooms downtown. The issue was futher inflamed when a photo of a person allegedly pooping near the SLEEPS protest began circulating after someone from Lane County sent it to right-wing am talk show the Wake Up Call. 

Hedin Manus Brugh of SLEEPS says after he saw the pictures he searched every "nook and cranny" of the Free Speech Plaza for where the pooping might have occured, but couldn't find the site. He says SLEEPS keeps a list of its members and the photo being circulated is not someone from SLEEPS. Brugh, who was recently homeless himself, says it's not easy for many SLEEPS members who have often led hard and independent lives on the street, to sign a contract with the group but "at the end of the day we know [being organized] is going to work" and help the homeless have a place to sleep and to use the bathroom.

Homeless and free speech advocate Alley Valkyrie says she did find where the photo was taken — on the other side of the county building from the SLEEPS protest and showed the spot to an EW reporter. She questions why rather than just taking a photo someone didn't stop the person from dropping his or her pants. She also questions the lack of date and time stamp and source of the photo.

Valkyrie agrees with Brugh that the rump in the photo is not a bottom belonging to a SLEEPS protester. Moreover she says, on the night before the city found feces in the Park Blocks that led to the grassy areas being fenced off, she went and talked to the people sleeping there. Those campers were not affiliated with SLEEPS or even local she says. They told Valkyrie that they were in town for the Kaleidoscope Music Festival. "That's who pooped in your park," she says. . Photos have been circulating from the county that allegedly show human feces and a person pooping. You can see them here

Valkyrie also points out that driving homeless campers out of the West Eugene Wetlands on the edge of town has driven more homeless to the city center. 

She was taken aback over recent statements on Facebook by Commissioner Jay Bozievich that not only accused Valkyrie of being "liar" but  also accused her of saying SLEEPS was purposely pooping in planters. Bozievich has recently increased his posts and visibility on his "West Eugene Commissioner Jay Bozievich" Facebook page.  A recent survey by Lindholm Company says "Commissioner Bozievich, based on these data, is in the weakest shape of the three county commissioners up for re-election next year. He has a three-to-one favorability ratio which is good, but he has less than 30 percent favorables. This analysis implies that people who know about Commissioner Bozievich like him, but not enough know who he is."

Bozievich writes on his page that previously was used during his election: " Alley, If you are not lying then Jon Ruis and Eugene staff lied to us in a meeting last Friday when they told us you admitted to them in a meeting that SLEEPS was using landscape areas as bathrooms in an attempt to have the City pressure the County to open the Public Service Building bathrooms 24-7 and then you went on TV and denied SLEEPS participants were involved and that it was all probably from dogs."

Valkyrie says she did not attend any such meeting, and that the city staff  "would not say that something came from my mouth when it did not."  Nor did she speak to the media about dog poop. Valkyrie provided EW an email statement from city attorney Glen Klein  that says: "Jon was not at the meeting last Friday. Captain Durr, Kathryn Brotherton and I met with Alicia, the county's lawyer and staff. Jay was not at the meeting either. During the meeting, the issue of feces in the Park Blocks and surrounding area came up. Captain Durr mentioned that he had had a conversation with Alley. Alley said that as far as she knew, no SLEEPS folks were using the park blocks as a restroom. She did add that if the City added public restrooms, then maybe no one would use the park blocks as a restroom. This was all that was said during the meeting on the topic. "

Valkyrie is contemplating a legal recourse on Bozievich's allegations.

Update: The thread in question has been removed from Bozievich's Facebook page. More of the conversation is below.

Update 2: EW asked Lane County's public information office for a response from Commissioner Bozievich on Friday afternoon before the holiday weekend. Bozievich responded on Sunday:

I recently posted some information in a comment on my Facebook page about Alley Valkyrie and S.L.E.E.P.S. I have since discovered the information was incorrect. I have contacted Ms. Valkyrie and personally apologized. I would like to extend that apology to the S.L.E.E.P.S. organization. I am sincerely sorry for placing inaccurate information about both parties on my page.

August 29, 2013 04:38 PM

Bill Moyers asks if change within the system is still possible.

August 29, 2013 02:04 PM

Eugene could use something like this downtown.

August 29, 2013 01:59 PM

Update: The county has posted its materials related to Wednesday's special session. On first glance, it appears Lane County plans to distinguish between the "Wayne Morse  Terrace" and a smaller "actual free speech area."

***

According to the agenda sent out for a 9 am Sept. 4 "special" meeting of the Lane County Board of Commissioners, the board will be discussing the ""Matter of an Emergency Closure of the Wayne Morse Terrace" with County Counsel Stephen Dingle and discussing "Matter of Amending Chapter 60 of the Lane Manual to Add Provisions for use of the Designated Free Speech Area" with Alex Cuyler, intergovernmental relations manager (the seemingly random capitalization of agenda items comes from the agenda itself).

The links to "view materials" on the agenda say ""Material for this item is currently being worked on by staff. This link will be updated with material as soon as possible. Please check back at a later time," so the direction that the County Commission staff intends to go with the the provisions for using the free speech area is currently unclear. Civil Liberties Defense Center attorney Lauren Regan had previously offered to help county staff with the language after she won a motion to dismiss charges against protesters in the plaza the last time the county closed it.

 

SLEEPS (Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Places to Sleep) moved its camp back to the Free Speech Plaza after a judge determined the plaza's closure had violated the protesters' constitutional rights. The core of the county's argument had centered on alleged feces found in planters. 

Now someone from the county is circulating photos of poop and a person pooping. It is not clear when the photos were taken or by whom. Lane County Spokesperson Anne Marie Levis, when contacted about the photos, which were being discussed on the KPNW Wake Up Call radio show, said she didn't know how the show had gotten the photos from the county. KPNW cited "administrators" but Levis says that the acting administrator, Alicia Hayes, did not release the photos. In addition to the local Wake Up Call morning show, KPNW airs Lars Larson, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

Levis says, "We want to talk about this issue in a respectful manner. We respect the rights of individuals for free speech."

The commissioners will be taking public comment at the special meeting at about 9 am, according to the agenda.

The photos are below and since they feature poop and  and a naked butt pooping viewer discretion is advised. Scroll down if you wish to view them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 29, 2013 06:43 PM

From time to time we get complaints about spelling errors in our personal ads. We know that some of you out there can't wait for EW to come out in print on Thursdays just so you can break out your red pens and correct typos (FYI, our style guide is a mixture of AP, Chicago and our own in-house style guide, so you AP Stylebook purists are out of luck). 

We do our best to put EW out each week error free, however we make an exception when it comes to personal ads. Why? Well, we've said it before and we will say it again: If you are going to date someone you meet in a personal ad or have fetishy sex-type activities with said person, then far be it from us to hide the fact that "Mechanic for Fantasies" or "Hot Bi Slut" can't spell in our Wink and Kink ads, or even our I Saw Yous. For some of us bad spelling in a personal ad is a dealbreaker.

But sure, go ahead, keep cutting out the typos and mailing them to us.