• As the State Turns
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    stateturnssymbolLawyers Lead Legally (#alliteration)
    Lawyers… They’re great when they’re on your side (mostly), and suck when they’re not. Well, a few baker’s dozen of them in Portland are definitely on your side—even if you don’t know it. Because yes, I’m basically ignoring anyone who supports Trump right now, because I believe they need to be saved from themselves. If you do, too, and you’re actually still reading this column, then I consider that a cry for help. Aaand… I’m all out of hyper-biased insults.

    Anyhow, members of both the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Lawyers Guild (er… NLG? Sure, why not…) who think President Trump’s sh*t-talking of judges and ridiculous travel ban stuff is like, completely stupid… they’re getting together and saying so. One of them was even seen holding up a sign.

    They had a small rally at the Multnomah County Justice Center. Believe it or not, not one of Portland’s 11 Trump supporters showed up to voice their disinterest.

    And that’s about it.

    In Remembrance of Quanice Hayes
    Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (which is frankly a weird place to hide), you’ve read about the recent shooting death of 17-year-old Quanice Hayes – gunned down by an officer of the Portland Police Department. Reported as an armed robbery suspect, initially there was a lot of talk about Hayes having been shot in the back – something that the medical examiner has confirmed as untrue. Either way, and however it went down (a replica gun was found near Hayes), a kid is dead and people are rightfully both pissed off and saddened.

    A protest of around 200 people marched through downtown Portland last week, ending on the steps of the Multnomah County Justice Center (popular place, it seems). Police showed up in riot gear to try and control the crowd in an attempt to stop them from blocking traffic. The only big altercation between protestors and officers occurred when a 19-year-old got all feisty with another motorist somewhere down 3rd Avenue.

    Poker Rage Pokes Police (#alliteration #failheadline)
    A Portland cop was “let go” after he freaked out on some fellow cop homies at a home poker game. Freakout, no big deal, right? Well, he did leave and come back with his gun, threatening someone’s family and even offered to shoot someone in the head. It’s like, woah woah woah, hey there buddy. Calm your shorts, lol. Good lord. I’m sure that dude treats the people he interacts with on the street with fairness and dignity.

    Prosecutors Summon OPB Reporter
    With the second trial for the Malheur hole-poopers underway, federal prosecutors have used a classic subpoena maneuver to rake in one Joel Spelvado, an ex-OPB dude who interviewed the lovely Ryan Bundy once upon a time in the early days of the poop-u-pation. Whether or not they’re going to ask him to reveal his ultra-secret reporter notes, which is basically against the entire journalistic code of ethics, remains to be seen. And that’s about it, I guess. Can’t think of another sentence that will let me use the word “poop” again. Except for that last one.

    Badgers Goin’ Dam Crazy
    Okay look, full disclosure: I accidentally shot one of these things with a BB gun when I was a kid. No, I wasn’t really trying to shoot it… I thought it was a stump. Well, it was a mistake. That son of a waffle chased me and my friend Ben T-1000-style for like 10 miles… which, in kid distance, is about 100 yards. We crawled up on a rock for safety and it went away shortly thereafter. We were safe. However, that was just one of a great army of badgers, and their villainous handiwork is long for this earth.

    Apparently these Jerks of the Forest are risking dam safety in Oregon because they’ve been tunneling around in what I’d like to believe are purposeful attempts to kill us all. Their passages, as well as some from their subordinates (i.e. other animals) are causing problems that have alerted engineers on the state payroll. If they don’t cut it out, people could die and homes could be damaged. Some company called Debaca Land & Cattle LLC is allowed to remove or kill the badgers, so I guess Bob’s your uncle on that one.

    By Johnny Beaver

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  • Linn-Benton Backwash
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    linnbentonbackwash1After being blinded by Ryan Lochte’s obnoxious silver hair, I had almost forgotten that swimming was even a sport. Well, it is. And Lebanon High School student Casey McEuen just set records for some stuff called the “5A state” 50-yard and 100-yard somethin’ or other. His time in one of these things was 20.60, which surpassed the previous record by .20. Which sounds like almost nothing, but much like landing a final lame light punch in a Street Fighter II: Turbo Edition battle, it’s all that it took (and was significantly more worthy). Congratulations, my dude. I can’t even get in the water because I’m afraid of potential lobsters.

    Speaking of water and record-setting, over 600 people did the Polar Plunge in Corvallis. They helped jockey in over $50,000 for the Special Olympics, which is amazing. Not only is the water insanely cold, but they run the risk of encountering a murder of ice lobsters. These are seriously the bravest folks around.

    Senator Ron Wyden had a rip-roaring town hall meeting in Corvallis last Monday, and I’m still recovering (and I didn’t even go). What a dream boat. Also, I’m proud to announce that there were no reported attacks from uh… town hall-dwelling lobsters. Yes, this lobster theme is going to last until the end of this week’s edition.

    Pooooop, on the waaater… a fire in the skyyyeee. There was no fire, but all this recent rainfall did cause a bunch of raw sewage to come tumblin’ out of the wastewater facilities in both Millersburg and Albany. And tumble it did—right into a bunch of places it shouldn’t be, including Crooks Creek in Millersburg. For an idea of scale, chew on this: the pump that was supposed to prevent this, but stopped working… is rated to suck 800 gallons of turdwater per minute through the pipes.

    I’ll leave it to you to figure out how lobsters fit into that last one…

    By Johnny Beaver

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  • As the State Turns
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    stateturnssymbolStorms Runnin’ Amok
    If you didn’t notice, the wind last week was a yuge pain the in the rear port, blowing trees about and coming action-packed with a boatload of rain — probably like a million boats, because boats are only so big and it rained all over. I did the math, it’s sound. Just trust me and move on.

    So apparently these storms were record-breaking, and “swept” around and whatnot. Our beloved democratic Governator Kate Brown extended an emergency declaration last Friday, stating that it will last at least 30 more days. Brown made a visit to Ontario, Oregon, which was reeling from caved-in roofs due to snow, which included an estimated $100 million in damage to, uh… onions. Yes, there’s a like a zillion onions being stored up there. The More You Know. :Η:

    Anyhow, Brown wound up getting off the plane in Ontario, Canada, but quickly flew back before anyone noticed too bigly. I did, of course. But I can’t hold the lot of you to my expert standards.

    Bling Scouts
    Not my best headline, but at least it’s horribly inappropriate. An Oregon man has filed a $5 million suit against the Boy Scouts, alleging sexual abuse by a Scout overlord. It specifically names the Cascade Pacific Council, which is some sort of Boy Scout thingymajig group that operates out of Oregon’s west side. ::throws up W hand sign::

    The suit references instances that occurred in 1981, specifically accusing Charles Shattuck, a former Scoutmaster and convicted sex offender. The Boy Scouts of America have responded by basically saying, “We are so incredibly sorry, that was f*cked up beyond belief.”

    Another Elephant Bites the Dust
    This is actually the first elephant I’m aware of that has died, but as “all y’all haters know” (as some people would phrase it), if I don’t use clever headlines there would literally be nothing worth reading on this page. Anyhow… Packy is dead. Packy was an elephant living in the Portland Zoo, amazing people for decades with his walking around and stuff. He was 54 and he lost a battle with a type of tuberculosis and he really loved run-on sentences and liked peanuts. I’m guessing on the peanuts thing, but don’t elephants eat peanuts like crazy? Using their weird snake-noses to reach on over your shoulder and suck them right out of the bag. I’m so sick of that crap.

    Packy was alright though. Everybody liked him, and it’s sad to see the old bastard go. Rest now, Packy, for you and your suspiciously ethnically insensitive name have been returned to the ether. Or maybe buried in a pallet of coffee cans.

    Or flushed down the world’s biggest toilet.

    Mo’ Wolves, Mo’ Problems
    A proposal is being floated around that could allow people to hunt down and kill wolves that are causing disturbances. Like if a wolf fires off a card game with your chickens and cheats, blammo, slug to the head. Eats a pie off your windowsill? Well, you saw that coming, and blammo, poisoned. And now you’re driving the neighbor kid to the hospital, because that nasty little twit couldn’t keep his hands off.

    Environmental folks aren’t too happy about this, because they generally care about animals and stuff like that. They want to keep Oregon wolf-murder free, unlike nearby states like Idaho, where it’s generally open season on their hairy rears if they get out of line and unplug the Xbox controller charging dock or something.

    Whichever way it goes, this issue isn’t going away soon. On one hand a lot of people don’t want wolves running around giving upper deckers or short-sheeting beds, but on the other a fair number of folks don’t want them shot in the head over it.

    To Pump, or Not to Pump
    A measure is gaining traction that seeks to allow more Oregonians to pump their own gas. This follows last year’s law that has enabled backwoods, I mean rural, areas to allow late night self-pumpin’. The measure in question seeks to expand this, so us lazy people living outside of Jawa territory are safe.

    Opponents of the measure have questioned the intelligence in increasing self-serve gas stations in a state where most people are too stupid to operate a pump. That’s not exactly how they said it, but I prefer this version.

    Personally, I’d prefer a service where mountain trolls come down and fill my car up at night for free. I guess we’re stuck in Trump’s America though, so cool stuff like that will never happen. Though technically if you’re patriotic enough, you’ll put on a green rubber suit and give me free gas.


    By Johnny Beaver

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  • Linn-Benton Backwash
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    linnbentonbackwash1If you live in Linn or Benton counties, cover your noise, avert your eyes, and sew your mouth shut – the flu is going around, and it’s making people poop and puke all over the place. All of this is true for other counties as well, but who cares about them?

    Some stray dogs went all batsh*t on a small flock of chickens in Monroe. That’s all there is to that, I just thought you’d like to know about it. Also, it rained a lot the other day, which resulted in a bunch of really deep puddles. My socks got wet walking to school and I was all pissed off and stuff about that.

    I’ve decided to rename the top four most wanted criminals in Albany to “Bazooka Joe,” “One-Armed Willy,” “Eric Cartman,” and “Some Guy with a Hat That Seriously Has No Other Amusing Features.” I realize you can’t see them right now, but I think that’s okay. Use your imagination. Speaking of Albany, the funny headline of the week goes to the Democrat-Herald for “Crash snarls traffic in northbound lane of I-5,” which features a totally bizarre use of the word “snarls.”

    Lebanon has decided not to go forward with becoming a Blue Zones Project Demonstration Community. (It’s not worth explaining what this is again. See last week’s “Backwash.”) In its place is the Live Longer Lebanon Committee, which will be working very hard to prolong everyone’s misery.

    To the man wearing a truly massive dreamcatcher around his neck in the Lebanon Walmart: are you aware that you might be appropriating Native American culture in an offensive way? I recommend switching to a big chain, or perhaps an old school alarm clock, à la Flavor Flav.

    By Johnny Beaver

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  • As There State Turns
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    stateturnssymbolState Budgeteers Gettin’ Busy
    First of all, I’d like to say that I’m very proud of this headline. Please, if you see anyone using the word “budgeteers” in the future, file a lawsuit on my behalf. I want what’s mine and I don’t care who I’ve got to trample to get it. Wait a second, who does that sound like?

    Anyhow, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls… budget time is here. Oregon is on the rise in terms of both cash flow and costs, whee! It looks like we’re set to fall pretty well short unless the money wizards pull some sort of shenanigan, like a good old-fashioned panty raid. Or cuts to government programs… could be that, too.

    Because these faceless, nameless people (my fault… as I noted in Backwash, it’s a lazy day) are champions for the people, last Friday they made their first appearance in a series of seven public thingamajigs that will allow for human suggestion as far as how to deal with the budget. They’re not asking for input from the 3.97 million citizens of Oregon because they’re totally panicking and have no idea what to do, of course.

    Ron Wyden Does His Thing
    Speaking to a stuffed sardine can of Oregon humans at Linn-Benton Community College, Senator Wyden recently said a bunch of cool stuff that made a lot of people think, “Hey, I like this guy. And not just because he’s the only dude in government that understands the Internet.” The Albany mayor, what’s-her-face, said it was the bigliest meeting of its kind in the history of all of Albany.

    Some of Wyden’s comments went sort of like this:

    “I will make sure Trump’s relationship with Russia is exposed.”

    “[insert something really smart sounding here]”

    “Will someone please shut that lady up? Yeah, the one that keeps shouting, ‘Impeachment!’ I told a joke to calm her shorts but it isn’t working.”

    Landlords Getting the Boot
    Not really, but the headline works. So here’s the deal: PDX’s integrous city council put their foot where the sun don’t shine in relation to landlords that have been kicking out residents with no good reason. Their ruling now requires said landlords to pay a fee to tenants they forced to relocate. They’ve also got to pay a fee if they raise the rent more than 10 percent.

    So how much do they have to fork over to unwilling nomads? Between $2,900 and $4,500, which is designed to cover moving costs, a security deposit, and first and last month’s rent. And that’s how you stick it to the man, folks. Right in the fruit ‘n’ veggies.

    The Super Bowl Happened
    One of the teams playing won the game, which a lot of people missed out on due to bathroom breaks. What, take them during commercials? Hell no, that’s the best part. I don’t know about you, but I wait all year to have stuff sold to me in clever ways. I dream at night of one day being one of those journalists that gets to write all about it. I guess until then I just have to keep on spinning total nonsense for my own amusement.

    Columbia County Goes the Way of the Dodo
    Apparently on Jan. 15 there was a 911 call in which a sheriff’s deputy used the term “speed bump” to describe a drunk guy lying in the street (in freezing weather), and also called the local Clatskanie Fire Department “dodos.” The man in the street later turned out to be the victim of an assault, so that’s awesome.

    Despite the fact that this jacka*s is responsible for helping people during emergencies, I think it’s okay to laugh. And not just because I usually think it’s okay to laugh. That said, all sorts of stuff is now “under review,” which is no surprise considering allegations of everything from racism to “sextortion” have been dropped on the tiny town’s police department over the last few years.

    Maybe we shouldn’t laugh, after all.

    Got a Little Rattlin’ in Your Ear?
    We’ve all seen the story circulating on Facebook, but did you know it happened in Oregon? Well, now you do, at least. Even if you knew it before. Primarily because I just told you. So yeah, this teenager from Portland had her pet python crawl into the hole in her earlobe. I’ll leave you with a quote that tells the story better than I ever could:

    “I was holding my #SNAKE and his #DUMB ASS saw a hole, which just so happened to be my fuckin #EARLOBE, and thought that it would be a bright idea to #ATTEMPT to make it through…” –Ashley Glawe

    By Johnny Beaver

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  • Linn-Benton Backwash
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    linnbentonbackwash1Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope, it’s a cool-looking truck-tank thing and the Benton County Sheriff’s department just got one for the low, low price of free. Thanks to some kind of fancy federal program that turns over extra military stuff to police-types, our local peacekeepers have a brand new peacekeeper (that’s literally what it is called). They hope it might come in handy in the event of an active shooter situation, as it is heavily armored and looks like it could run over a baby triceratops. Damn, though… I bet that its gas mileage sucks.

    In other triceratops-related news, two Eugenians were busted for meth on the 2nd after being pulled over on Highway 20. We here at The Advocate are still trying to find information on this “Eugene” place… Apparently it’s some kind of really huge city down I-5.

    Backwash Memories: Just about one year ago today I wrote about a Relay for Life in Albany that was raffling off a gun as part of its fundraiser. That sh*t is still funny.

    Last Thursday, an Albany resident by the name of Johanna Vonruden was bandied about in court in relation to her alleged crime of “fire some shots, stuff someone in her car, and drive to Costco.” Seriously, why the hell do so many Linn County criminals wind up getting busted in store parking lots? The Lebanon blotter is like 20 percent people getting arrested at Mega Foods and Walmart.

    Lebanon might become a “Blue Zones demonstration community,” which from what I can tell is a really expensive program that tries to enforce healthy living practices that are similar to places that are… uh… healthy. Some locals are opposed to the multi-hundred-thousand dollar price tag, but I say go for it. Too many toothless shamblers rollin’ down Main Street.

    By Johnny Beaver

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  • As the State Turns
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    stateturnssymbolOregon Officials Speak Out on Immigration
    Many top media posts at the start of the week involved quoting state officials in regards to Trump’s immigration orders. The general take away is that they’re disgusting, and that Donald John Trump is a big, bloated sack of stupid that couldn’t float its way out of a turd canal. And I don’t even know what the hell that means.

    Our Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum, stated that discriminating based on national original is illegal, meanwhile there seems to have been an increase in Immigration and Customs people tomfoolery in Portland. Perhaps that legality is changing? Doubtful. I just don’t want Trump to feel bad about himself – he might “send in the Feds” somewhere. To do something.

    Also meanwhile, Senator Jeff Merkley was all like, “This administration sucks, and they’re attacking the crap out of people that don’t deserve it.” Congressional Dude Earl Blumenauer added this: “Yeah!” And also something about families being ripped asunder, and cruelty and unjust stuff.

    Across the river (maybe, I’m not sure where Blumenauer was standing) Portland State University claimed to have 76 students from countries named in Trump’s asinine order, and they expressed their intent to help those students in a post-order America. PSU also announced itself as a “sanctuary,” which, if you happened to read the Linn-Benton Backwash this week – good lord. Please, rescue me from this. I wanted to attend PSU, but now I’m not even sure if it’s real.

    The Governator herself, Kate Brown, also chimed in with a message that read sort of like this: “We actually can’t use tax money to run around snatching up undocumented people like criminals. Sorry, dude.”

    Since the order, a small, ragtag band of merry folk have been protesting it at the Portland International Airport. Reports indicate that they haven’t even mentioned the change in carpet yet, so you know they mean business.

    Oregon has taken in 5,000 refugees over the last small handful of years.

    The Legacy of LaVoy
    You may remember Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, the Malheur occupier with a death wish that came true. His wife has announced her intention to sue both federal and state law enforcement over the traffic stop shooting death of her husband. Her lawyer, Brian Claypool, has stated that because Finicum and those in the car had not committed a serious crime – such as robbing a bank (the banks are super important), or murdering someone, that there was no probable cause to pull them over.

    I mean, they did take over a federal building, destroy property, dig a giant hole to crap in, order dildos on eBay and blame it on protesters, and walk around with a bunch of guns insinuating that they’d use them if the Federales tried to retake the building. And it did wind up costing Oregon taxpayers almost $3.5 million, as well as at least $6 million more just to restore the refuge. Of course, there’s also the mental and emotional trauma of those living in the area, not to mention the rest of us who had to read or write about these yokels for a month and a week.

    But nah, law enforcement had no reason to stop them as they drove away from the compound in search of snacks.

    The officer who shot and killed Finicum was previously cleared of wrongdoing in an investigation. It is expected that hundreds will gather for the one-year anniversary of Finicum’s death, where they will undoubtedly dig a hole and poop in it. Out of respect.

    As You May Know…
    …anyone who gives a rat’s a*s about the environment is watching the Environmental Protection Agency like hawks as it transitions under Trumpian rule. Everything from state agencies to tribes and miscellaneous environmental programs in the state of Oregon have been among the most anxious watchers, wondering what will happen if the hundreds of millions of dollars the federal government usually supplies is gutted, or dries up completely. While a temporary freeze on both grants and communications has been lifted, it has done little to soothe those whose lives depend on a progressive, science-based EPA and the associated big bucks that help make the world go ‘round.

    Personally, I think we’ll be just fine if we stop trying to clean up toxic materials, halt research, work on improving clean water sources, or constructing air quality gizmos on reservations. Oh, and seriously, what the hell do we need to restore habitats and rivers for?

    Besides, Trump is draining the EPA’s swamp by cutting its staff in half. That’ll surely help.

    -By Johnny Beaver

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  • Linn-Benton Backwash
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    linnbentonbackwash1So… on the 25th, a naked guy ran into the UPS store on Philomath Boulevard in Corvallis. At the tail end of his dash, he leaped upon an employee. The report says he was under the influence of something, but I think it’s safe to say the guy was just high on life.

    Some Lebanon High School sports teams won again. It’s like dude, change it up a little.

    Twilight Zone… Trump has threatened to defund “sanctuary cities,” or places that are not willing to spend a fortune investigating the immigration status of anyone they see that is brown. And basically because that is insane, they don’t actually exist. And now Linn County Sheriff Bruce Riley has stated that his county is not one of these nonexistent sanctuary places, because if they do conduct an investigation and find an immigration issue, they will report it. So Linn County is not a place that doesn’t exist, meaning it does exist. And if you happen to be non-white, they won’t be investigating your immigration status just for the hell of it, which makes them what Trump thinks is a sanctuary city… and those don’t exist, so. What the &*^#@? Is Linn County, real or not?

    The Albany Democrat-Herald reported that actress Barbara Hale died. Of Perry Mason fame? Dude, they’re a small paper, why don’t you cut them a break? The Huffington Post got dibs on John Hurt. And us? We’re just waiting for Steve to kick the bucket (as are some of our more colorful detractors…), as he’s our only contract for death reporting. I thought the shoestring budget would’ve been obvious by now.

    The Lebanon Log: On Jan. 21 some dude in Comcast gear demanded money and personal information from a woman living on Market Street. How this is unlike any actual Comcast employee, I cannot say.

    By Johnny Beaver

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  • As the State Turns
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    stateturnssymbolDavid Reaves Ousted from Ducks
    A man who performs some sort of important but incomprehensible to non-football fan duties for the University of Oregon Ducks had a bad weekend. First he was arrested in Eugene for driving under the influence, and then on Sunday the university issued a statement that they were canning him. I mean, damn.

    He looks incredibly pissed off in his mugshot, with an expression I can only describe as 22% “I’m gonna kill ya” and 78% “I really screwed the pooch this time.” It’s actually really depressing, but I’m certainly not going to justify the crime just because his whole world just got flushed down the toilet.

    No word as to what intoxicant he was imbibing, but I doubt he was high on life.

    Marijuana Taxes on the Decline
    Peaking at $7.8 million back in October, taxes collected from Oregon marijuana sales have declined 28% since then, with only $5.6 million coming in for December. While there’s no talk about the obvious bubble that comes with new businesses (I can still feel the headache from the asinine dance music Dutch Bros played all day at their 9th Street opening), pot retailers have been pointing the finger at a constricted supply chain. Citing unknowns regarding permitting, pesticides, and more, they say that plenty of customers are still lining up for the munchie-inducing goodness.

    Don’t freak out, though: 2016 blew away the $45 million tax influx, settling down around a cool $60 million. All I know is that there are more people legally enjoying movies like Suburban Commando and Mac & Me than ever before.

    Post-Inaugural Solidarity; Oregon Marches
    Well, it happened. Like a pachinko game with balls made of solid feces, Donald John Trump has fallen down the board, bouncing off of every brass pin in his way, and has landed right in office. Obviously distressed about the whole shebang, I’ve voiced my concerns—and here are just a few of the responses I’ve either gotten directly, or have overheard being given to others:

    “What has he done to make you think he’s a racist?”

    “Well, you know, you just have to get used to the fact that other people have opinions, too.”

    “All these protesters, they’re costing the taxpayers money.”

    “People need to just calm down.”

    You should know, these are not coming from Trump supporters—and we’ve all heard this particular brand of rhetoric. The desire to explain away or suppress a conflict you don’t understand is natural, and I’m not here to complain about this group, or point out my belief that our educational system’s near-total disregard of critical thinking studies is largely responsible for producing a citizenry that doesn’t understand what it means to be a citizen.

    What I am here to discuss is that while I spent the first couple of post-inauguration days drowning in these sorts of statements, the world’s response has reminded me that we’re not all crazy, we’re not all stupid (not completely, anyway), we’re not all xenophobes, and we’re sure as hell not alone. Sure, I’m willing to bet that many protesters are dickheads, or have terrible taste in music… but, priorities.

    And sure, it sounds clichéd (and is), but with hundreds of thousands flocking to DC or marching in other American cities, as well as cities all over the world… I’m okay with the cliché. I need that cliché to fuel the ignition of my own patriotism for a country that, despite its glaring failures, is at least supposed to be about lifting up all Americans. All. And that’s what many don’t seem to understand—a Trump administration, and these anti-science, anti-choice, “alternative fact” lunatics that have hijacked the Republican Party, are representative of more than economic, foreign, and political policy. These people are attempting to use positions of power to rewrite our national culture in a way that is purely exclusionary, and designed to abuse fellow citizens in order to justify an ideology whose sole practical function is to perpetuate itself on ignorance and apathy. I’m going to have to go with a big ol’ no thanks on that one, butt-holes.

    So, to all of your pomp and puppetry, I say kiss our a*s, Mr. President. And you can start with the hundreds who walked out of OSU in protest the other day, as well as the thousands of participants in the women’s marches that occupied the Portland streets (or perhaps the estimated 175,000 in Seattle). Better ask Ben Carson to pick you up some lip balm on his way out with your dry cleaning.

    By Johnny Beaver

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  • Linn-Benton Backwash
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    linnbentonbackwash1The Board of Trustees at our beloved OSU have voted to pull the school’s investments completely out of fossil fuels. This is great news for concerned students, staff, and community members—because they’re totally going to reinvest the funds in affordable parking, right?

    Speaking of parking (not really, I just like using that as a segue), there was an interesting “event” at the downtown Safeway on the 19th. One Shaun Gess alleged that he had been struck with a bottle, but as it later turned out (after police viewed camera footage) he had not been hit with a bottle, but involved in some kind of scuffle with a Brenton Walker Garman. Gess was given a friendly second-degree disorderly conduct citation, while Garman was not so lucky. He got that same citation, only with an added charge of fourth-degree assault, assault of an officer, and of course resisting arrest. Oh, and a harassment charge. I suppose if you’re going to go, go all out.

    Also speaking of parking – in at least some sense of the word – on the 19th I witnessed a swaying telephone pole what must have been just minutes after an accident last week on the corner of 9th and Spruce in Corvallis. The 911 operator let me know that they had received multiple calls, and so feeling great after doing my civic duty, I treated myself to a delicious smoothie. Thankfully the pole didn’t go down, and nobody was reported injured. Too bad we can’t say the same about the national car accident that happened the next day. You know, on the 20th.

    Lebanon Log: I’ve tried to tell people that the 1997 Nissan Altima is not the best car for eluding police, but 30-year-old Thadeus Earl Zeek just didn’t listen. He led police on a chase for just under half an hour after speeding away from a stop. He hit a car at one point, and then ran over spike strips and just kept on going, Grand Theft Auto-style. Only he must suck at it, because he was shortly thereafter stopped and taken down on foot by Lebanon police (they always take off on foot, don’t they?). He’s currently facing charges for driving with a suspended license, reckless driving and endangerment, and some other crap.

    By Johnny Beaver

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  • As the State Turns
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    stateturnssymbolSeaside Standoff Ends with Little Fanfare
    I’m not sure how one could reasonably refer to an armed standoff as ending “peacefully,” but that’s just what happened in Seaside, according to police. After three days and a number of gunshots, a man in some house (hey, the details are slim right now) called 911 and let them know he wanted to leave without being shot. Totally reasonable.

    The man’s mother was in the house at the onset, but left unharmed after the coppers first arrived on the scene. In the end, nobody was hurt, and the boys in blue reported using several de-escalation tactics successfully.

    With nutters running all over the place killing people, it’s nice to know it doesn’t always have to end badly.

    The Hills Are Alive… with the Sound of Litigation
    President Barack Obama was a busy guy. During his administration he did a great many things—and a lot of them are now under attack. Nope, not talking about the Affordable Care Act here (for once), but an expansion to a 65,000-acre national monument in the south of the state known as Cascade-Siskiyou. Obama’s action added 48,000 more acres—something praised by Oregon state Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, as well as many environmentalists.

    Apparently not everyone was happy, though, and now a timber industry group is railing on about how Obama’s move could be considered an abuse of power under the 1906 Antiquities Act. According to the American Forest Resource Council, several thousands of these acres had been previously handed over for logging purposes. Who knows, maybe they’re right.

    After reading into the matter more, it seems as if there are far too many people claiming that their take on the whole shebang was based on an “impression” of the law, rather than any sort of clear understanding. As I’m sure you are painfully aware, whenever this sort of language starts getting tossed around we’re in for a barrel of laughs—and by that I mean a huge, disastrous mess. I guess it’s good that I’m in the business of huge messes.

    I look forward to updates as people inevitably go to war over about 7,000 acres of trees.

    This May Come as a Shock…
    But apparently in this country, people have rights. Even immigrants! I know, right? Who would have thought. Even crazier, people care about said rights. In fact, on Saturday the 14th about 400 of those people showed up on the capitol steps in Salem to say something to the effect of “Hey, Oregon gives a crap about the people that live here, Trump or no Trump.”

    Causa, an immigrant rights organization based here in Oregon, was on the scene to show support to a group of people that feel especially threatened with Donald Trump on the way to the Oval Office. I can’t imagine why—I mean, Donald Trump is the smartest man on Earth. I’m sure his loudmouth call to deport over 11 million undocumented people, as well as his ridiculous plan to build a wall along the Mexican border… well, they couldn’t negatively affect anyone from that group.

    Hey. If Trump can just make stuff up as he goes, so can I.

    Speaking of an Incoming Trump
    Yep, that inauguration is tomorrow. Now, despite the fact that he couldn’t get anyone actually good to provide entertainment at the event, or even get some of the more respected Republican leaders to show up, I’m sure at least it’ll blow up the television ratings, right? Well, there’ll be two less viewers—Earl Blumenauer and Kurt Schrader of Oregon democratic representative fame. That’s right, they’re refusing to even watch it on TV. Now that’s cold.

    That last phrase doesn’t really work without a vocal inflection. Oh well, deal with it. If you were watching me on TV this wouldn’t be a problem. Anyhow, Schrader used “ass,” one of my favorite words (that gets censored if I use it, but not if it’s in a quote), in his statement about the whole thing. I guess that makes up for democratic state Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden’s attendance to the horror ball itself. Though if you ask me, Ron Wyden poops rainbows, so he’s OK in my book. I don’t have a book. Lying is infectious, I guess.

    Representative Peter DeFazio said he wasn’t going either, but not to think much of it because he never does. Damn, he’s cool.

    OSU Students Rejoice Over Missed Days
    In cries of joy heard the state over, students missed a bunch of class last week due to Oregon State University weather closures, as well as instructors and professors alike who were stuck up in Portland for several days after due to heavy snow in the area. Granted, I drove up there anyway because in the art department, we’re hardcore and stuff. West side and all that.

     I don’t really know what that means. I’m sorry. You can go now.

    By Johnny Beaver

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  • Linn-Benton Backwash
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    linnbentonbackwash1First off, let me state that there’s nothing funny about violence. Except for slapstick, but that’s different. However, I found myself giggling just a wee bit to discover that one “Bradley Gentle” had been arrested for going ape-sh*t with a baseball bat at the Corvallis-Benton Public Library. Indeed, a man named Gentle attacked a couple of people with a bat… at a library. One victim was hit in the hand, and the other in the head, receiving a deep wound. The victim with the head wound told police he knew the attacker from the men’s cold weather shelter, but that the attack was seemingly unprovoked. More on this soon, I’m assuming.

    In other fun Corvallis news, on the 11th some guy got pissed off that McDonald’s was closed and threw a bicycle while screaming obscenities. Just a few hours earlier on the same day someone named Andrew Richard Westmoreland allegedly headbutted someone else; though he claimed he was the one that had been headbutted. I guess it’s hard to tell, as two heads colliding probably results in damage to both. A real mystery, this one.

    Last Sunday a gasoline truck got a little excited and leaked all over the place, prompting the Lebanon Fire District to race into action. When they got there they cleaned up the 30 gallons, lickety–split. One lickety–split is equal to 2.34 hours, roughly. I’m making that up. Also, regional Hazmat folks from Albany’s Fire Department helped. Good job, folks! Now, if only they could have gotten it into my gas tank.

    BREAKING NEWS FROM LEBANON: Waterloo has a mayor. Yeah, they just got a new one… That’s how I found out. Had no idea. You learn something new every day. For literally everyone reading this, Waterloo is a hole in the ground near Lebanon.

     The Lebanon Log will return next week, as there was way too much good stuff to include here without going over my word count. Please, write your local Congressman about getting me some more space.

    By Johnny Beaver

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  • As the State Turns
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    stateturnssymbolOPB Has Got Our Winter Weather Backs
    Oregon is the land of both sharing and caring, is it not? Thanks to a special Oregon Public Broadcasting report, we have the following slightly modified driving tips for those of you braving the winter weather conditions.

    1. Don’t go outside in Portland when it snows, because nobody knows how to drive. The resulting gridlock will force you to listen to way too much NPR as you chill out (pun intended) in your car, waiting for overly polite people to finalize their intersection standoffs.

    2. “[No seriously, don’t drive unless you have to.]” Thanks again for that.

    3. Buy AAA. Don’t buy any other road service package, just AAA. What’s better than one or two A’s? That’s right.

    4. Snow tires and chains help when driving on snow or ice.

    5. Travel with an emergency kit, including a shovel, a blanket, and cat litter. This way you can wrap up warmly and dig your own grave just after you take a sh*t in the back seat.

    6. Drive slower. Because driving faster increases the likelihood that you will not be moving slow enough to avoid accidents caused by faster movement.

    7. Don’t tailgate people. This is because they might stop, and then you might hit them. If they’ve got one of their victims in the trunk, you might even take them out before they get a chance to string them up in a basement and flay them alive. Flaying a dead body is just… meh.

    The Crabbers’ Strike That Time Forgot
    Actually, it was mostly just me that forgot. And by forgot, I mean that I had no idea there was a crabbers’ strike until the crabbers’ strike was over. Ain’t no strike like a crabbers’ strike because a crabbers’ strike don’t quit. Until it has been 11 days. Anyway.

    The processing industry had apparently agreed to a $3 per pound rate a month or so ago, then pulled a Trump and dropped it to $2.75. After some highly successful “kiss our as*es, we will just strike” striking, both parties settled on a price of $2.875 per pound.

    One fisherman told OPB that a successful negotiation results in a total lack of happiness and pissed-off-ness. I like that. It’s very calm, very neutral. Maybe light a scented candle and really sink into one of those Hallmark made-for-TV movies. Maybe give your cousin a call—let bygones be bygones. After all, it has been six years since he set your dog on fire.

    Slack Picked Up on PDX Mental Health Calls
    PDX PD is getting some help with mental health 911 calls thanks to the new Unity Center for Behavioral Health, which will be offering Johnny-on-the-spot services for those experiencing a mental health “episode.” Jan. 5 saw a ribbon cutting and tours of the $40 million facility. There will be beds for up to 80 adults and over 20 teens and kids; though apparently you’re up sh*t’s creek if you’re under age nine.

    Now all we have to do is completely transform our culture’s attitude toward mental illness so that those who need help can actually go out and get it, or get on disability without a decades-long fight. Should take, what… another year or so?

    Don’t Like Cows Crapping in Your Shellfish?
    Well, you’re in luck! It looks like an era of, shall we say, “contamination” has ended as the result of an agreement between the tribal Lummi Nation and local dairy farmers of Washington’s Portage Bay. Considering it’s likely that all Oregonian dairy and shellfish consumers have swallowed objects and juices from this area, it seems that you should know a few things:

    1. Shellfish are gross, and they also have been growing in cow foul.

    OK, it was just one thing. But hey, the Portage Bay low tide is being returned to its previous stinky glory. I’m willing to bet you’re super excited about that right now. Jumping for joy, even?

    Portland Port Files Against Monsanto
    Long story short, Monsanto contaminated the holy hell out of the Port of Portland with PCBs. What are PCBs, you ask? Glad you did. They are polychlorinated biphenyls, which are basically organic chemicals that present as either solids or kind of greasy, oily liquids. You can’t smell them or taste them, so that’s a bonus. They’re used as lubricants mostly, and manufacture was halted way back in 1977 because they’re generally pretty terrible for people and the environment. As in, cancer level terrible.

    Still, Monsanto managed to cause a mess that is likely to cost hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up. Their response to the lawsuit is that it is silly and dumb, because you can’t sue someone for doing something that was totally legal 40 to 80 years ago… 40 to 80 years ago.

    I guess we’ll see how that turns out.

    By Johnny Beaver

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  • Linn-Benton Backwash
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    linnbentonbackwash1Weather update: it’s cold out. Also, a big shout-out to Mother Nature for letting it snow enough to stop me from having to go to my editorial meeting, but not enough to screw up the first day of the term. You’re beautiful, I love ya!

    Last week a water main on 29th between Arthur and Circle burst, but they fixed it pretty fast so… kinda boring. No offense to the customers who went a short while without water, but with Trump’s Twitter bungles tearing up the news media I’ve got to have something better to go on if I’m going to get anyone to pick this paper up ever again.

    Speaking of, an a*shole in a green hat was seen driving around Lebanon in an off-road vehicle as soon as enough snow had fallen. I’m not saying who it was, but I’ve got frostbite because I’m too stupid to wear gloves. Rural living has its benefits. No, seriously. There are like, four of them.

    The Philomath coach involved in that hazing case was convicted, but we already saw that coming. Second-degree criminal mistreatment. I guess that sounds kinda cool. Probably not enough to get any respect in The Joint, though I don’t think The Joint is included in a community service sentence.

    Just in time to celebrate Trump’s inauguration, everyone in the mid-valley seems to be coming down with the flu. If you’re not already burning the candle at both ends, so to speak, I highly recommend wrapping yourself in plastic and having a trusted friend bury you in the cellar. I’m not sure how much this will actually help with avoiding sickness, it just sounds cool.

    The Lebanon Log: And the winner of the Lebanon Holiday Season Prize goes to the guy that was stopped by police while chopping a sign down on South Williams Street with a machete. He was counseled on “better ways to deal with anger,” and had the machete taken away.

    By Johnny Beaver

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