As the State Turns…

stateturnssymbolTurns Out There Are More Than Two Parties?
I know this headline must have come as a shock, but breathe. This is a democracy, after all. Doesn’t it make sense that we’d have more than the Democrats, the Republicans, and Ross Perot? This new party, the Green Party, is run by a woman named Jill Stein. She publicly revealed herself for the first time in the Oregon city you’re most likely to be flashed in: Portland. Before you even ask, no, she didn’t wear a cape of any sort. Nobody does anymore, and it’s a shame.

Judging from a photo of her and her supporters, it looks like she is up to about 15 or 16 of them, and a cargo van, which could handily take over three city blocks for the sale of methamphetamine if they so desired. In the meantime, Stein’s professed major issues are a move to renewable energy, a higher national minimum wage, a single-payer healthcare system, free college education, and taking a chopsaw to military costliness, with brutal force. That was my last good adjective of the day, I hope you enjoyed it.

Good stuff all around though, for sure. She made her Portland stop at the Roseland Theater, joined by Seattle City Council human Kshama Sawant. Nothing else happened. You’re welcome.

The Ducks Are Sucking
Not literally, as far as I know, but they just lost to the California Golden Bears (isn’t that the guy on the Sugar Smacks box?). I can’t give you the number of games they’ve lost in a row now—it’s just too painful—but what I will say is that it’s greater than 9,000. This is the worst losing streak for the Ducks since 1996, and we all know what caused that: the release of Lil’ Kim’s mind-bending debut album, Hard Core. Also I want to just mention Los Del Rio’s masterpiece, Macarena, which changed my life, and it can change yours, too.

CyberAttacks Strike Oregon… Sort of
Here’s how it went down: teams of cyber ninjas plugged their laptop computers in to pay phones and pissed people off all over the place last Friday. Did they take down governments? Get the nuclear launch codes? Expose a Clinton email that was actually damaging? No, much worse. They interrupted connectivity to Netflix, Spotify, Twitter, and other services by wing-dang-doodin’ (also known as a distributed denial of service attack) around with some New Hampshire-based Internet “performance company” called Dyn, Inc. If you’re thinking about Viagra and Internet stiffies, you’re not alone. You, are not, alone. Just wait until you see the last four letters of the word right after Gloi below.

But hey, just because most Internet users only access five or six websites, ever, doesn’t mean that other businesses weren’t affected. Gresham’s Haus of Gloi artisanal soap business was quoted as estimating losses between $500 and $1,000 during the event.

Those in the know are paying special attention to this assault, however, not just due to the scale, but because there are so many Internet connected devices in the home in 2016—only to grow in the future. Your DVR, baby monitors, cameras… there’s even a network-ready toaster that’s about to be funded on Kickstarter. These attacks can affect these sorts of items, even if just by preventing them from functioning.

On a more serious note… cyber sounded dorky in the 90s, and it sounds dorky now. Please, write to your state representatives and be a part of real change: word change.

The Tale of the Oregonian License Plate
Let me pitch this to you: new Oregon license plate design, kinda hideous and dominated by yellow, teal and blue, says “KEEP PORTLAND WEIRD!” and has a bit of the design from the old airport carpet on it. Proceeds will go to two arts non-profits here in the state. Now, let’s say that in order to do this you have to register as a non-profit and go through an application process with the DMV that, while I have not been able to confirm this before deadline, supposedly can cost up to $5,000.

You can’t just whip that kind of money out of your rear, so what to do… ah, Kickstarter. And you lay out the plan to potential backers very clearly, starting you haven’t been approved and intend to use the success of the crowdsourcing project to make it happen. In fact, you lay out anything anyone might want to know to make the process clear and informative, especially in regards to the money should success not be found. And then, lol. Then you get a cease and desist order from the Oregon Department of Justice, because they’re afraid you might, perhaps purposefully or accidentally, defraud backers because you haven’t started the actual process… which you can’t do… which is why you’re starting this Kickstarter… and then OPB runs an article on the situation that leaves out important facts about the Kickstarter.

This is one of those times I hope I really missed something one way or another. Sigh.

By Johnny Beaver

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