As the State Turns…

stateturnssymbolby Johnny Beaver

Grannies Be Ragin’
Oregon’s US Senator Ron Wyden has been instrumental in a congressional high five known as the Pacific Rim Trade Deal. Joining forces with quite a few Republicans more than “zero Republicans,” a new record for Wyden, the agreement has granted the President a “special” authority to conduct trade shenanigans with Asian countries. Some of which aren’t in league with American cultural ideals… DUN DUN DUN!

The goal of the deal is to help open up foreign (Asian… DUN DUN DUN!) markets to American goods. There are apparently safeguards, oh excuse me, “special” safeguards to help maneuver for the benefit of the environment, human rights, and… you know, that sort of thing.

Despite the term “special” being used as often as possible, some Portlanders… Portlandians… whatever they are, are pipin’ hot with anger and have joined together in protest. Holding up signs that suggest the aforementioned deal is a “fast track to hell” as well as… well, several old women holding up signs claiming to be “Raging Grannies,” the raging geriatric choir was joined by Brad Avakian, Oregon’s Labor Commissioner. Terms like “short-sighted” and “profit-driven” were bandied about, as well as sentences that contained the word “fight” more than four times before any punctuation surfaced.

BREAKING NEWS: Corvallis Advocate associate editor Johnny Beaver has exceeded the recommended number of quotation marks per sub headline. Congress has convened an emergency session and declared the need for him to stop rambling and just move on to the next part of the piece.

Horse Loins a Hot Topic
The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) is pushing the concept of using anti-fertility drug PZP (porcine zona pellucida… it just rolls off the tongue) to stop wild horses from firing babies out after they engage in dancing the Paphian jig. PZP actually stops them from being fertile for two years and is considering by all 60-plus member groups of the AWHPC to be far more humane than the traditional practice of rounding them up and shipping them to holding facilities.

Other groups, however, are all like: no. For example, New York-based Friends of Animals is just one of a few groups that say the above folks are abandoning the best interests of the horses, claiming that the application of PZP causes a negative impact on the social structure of the herds. One such outcome is the self-ostracizing behavior of mares that can’t get pregnant as they go off in search of stallions elsewhere. Most new data supports this viewpoint.

While animal rights groups like the Humane Society (who owns the patent to PZP…) go head to head with others, the lives of about 50,000 free-ranging horses and burros in the western United States hang in the balance (this is up from 17,000 in 1971).

Currently the Bureau of Land Management reports that the numbers are currently about double what the range can sustain. In recent years, Oregon has found itself with 1,200 horses in its 800-capacity corral.


Llama at ‘Cha! …Did That Joke Not Work?
A horde of 40 goats and a single llama (you know, for protection against bears) have been unleashed at the Portland International Airport. The unpaid landscaping crew immediately set to work on all sorts of invasive plants that nobody wanted to clean up themselves, such as delicious blackberries, stalwart thistle, and the ever-cantankerous grass.

Unbeknownst to the goats and llama, a border collie named Fish was put on goose duty in and around some nearby properties. Chasing them like a mad goon on crystal meth, Fish prevents the geese from getting too close to the airport. This greatly reduces the goosey risk of being sucked through a jet turbine and sprayed all over the side of the airplane like a feathery spaghetti sauce, horrifying passengers and leading to one of those “you threw up, so now I have to throw up” scenes.

We are all thankful for the brave actions of these indentured servants.

Because I Can’t Help Myself
Last week’s Pepsi Team Invitational (THANKS PEPSI!) in Eugene… it could have gone better for runner Tanguy Pepiot. A student at the University of Oregon, he was leading some sort of bizarre religious race called a “Steeple Chase” and decided to make the “big ups, yo!” hand gesture just before the finish line… and this happened to also be just before another racer from Washington (you know, Oregon’s hat) overtook him for the win.

I feel bad for Mr. Pepiot because the silliness of what he did pales in comparison to how stupid he looked as a result. Don’t worry, Tanguy… you’re not alone. Over the last few days I’ve lost like 30 Super Smash Bros. games in a row. Falcon punch, my sweet prince. Falcon punch.