As the State Turns

stateturnssymbolShell Protest Update
Well, for better or worse, the Shell icebreaker Fennica is well on its way towards drilling for oil in the Arctic.

The voyage was delayed for appropriately 36 hours by protestors, including Kayaktivists (they’re new) and people suspending themselves from the St. Johns Bridge (Bungaktivists?). The damage they dealt to the operation is estimated at about $6 million, which sounds awesome until you calculate the total cost of the expedition and realize that the sticker price has only gone up 0.002%.

Making matters worse, a federal judge found Greenpeace (behind much of the protest) in civil contempt, ordering them to pay $2,500 for every hour that the Bungaktivists dangled themselves from the bridge. Most expensive. Circus. Ever.

Well, probably not. The IMF and World Bank still hold regular meetings.

One protestor, 19-year-old Christian Pence, assaulted a Multnomah County sheriff’s deputy during the course of having his a*s forcibly removed from the water. Because nothing says “Stop the drilling!” like taking a swing at a peace officer.

The estimated cost to Greenpeace seems to be about $90,000 in fines. Money that couldn’t possibly have been better used to create awareness regarding the imminent danger of oil drilling.

Liquor Chief Calls It Quits
Oregon’s big liquor kahuna, John Eckhart, a retired assistant chief with the Portland Police Bureau, resigned last week after documents and an interview suggested some nondisclosure issues. As it turns out, Eckhart had some strong ties to the owners of a Portland strip club by the name of Club Rouge (known for its lovely, world-class teenage strippers), which is a big no-no for a man in his position to keep secret. Said club is currently under federal investigation for marijuana trafficking and one owner, Nathan Wheeler, is suspected of fraud.

Eckhart is currently in court trying to win back money he had given to Wheeler as a real estate investment. He also claims he knew nothing of the illegal operations, which true or not, is besides the point in terms of a possible ethics violation. Defenders of Eckhart currently claim that he was not required to disclose said relationships because they were “personal”… which is, of course, a total line of bullsh*t if you take a look at the bigger picture.

Which we’re not going to do here, because the lack of cocaine, prostitutes, and dead bodies is forcing this to shape up as a pretty lackluster scandal.

Willamette Valley Drought
If there is anything I’ve learned from junk farming games that constantly hound me to buy vanity items, it’s that plants need care. And to provide care, farmers need help from the sun, soil, and water. And Gatorade.

Unfortunately, Willamette Valley farmers, who normally have access to all three in abundance, are having a hell of a time thanks to this stinky drought. Water has been scarce and the sun, being a lovable idiot, has pitched in a bunch of extra hot days to help.

So far experts have been unable to pinpoint exactly what kind of trouble local agribusiness is in, but this has much to do with the diverse number of crops the valley harbors. Which makes their opinion… mostly useless. I guess at least it doesn’t mean we’re all already screwed.

Washington Update
Washington state has increased its gas tax by seven cents. This has been met with tears from Oregonians that like to drive up north, get out of their car, touch dirty equipment, and pump their own fuel like commoners. All three of them.

Elsewhere in Oregon’s hat, results have come in from the state’s primary election. Unfortunately, because nobody down here cares, at all, popular opinion has dictated that I say nothing more on the matter.

Bottle Return Woes?
Oregonians are returning fewer and fewer bottles for their five-cent return, data shows. Other data from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission shows that about 68% of bottles were brought back for redemption in 2014. Thanks to a law that comes into effect when the redemption rate drops below 80 percent for two years in a row, the deposit will double to 10 cents as of Jan. 1, 2017.


1. The homeless are stockpiling bottles to force the law’s effect, after which they will cash out and flood the upper middle class with new membership.

2. The rich are collecting bottles and dumping them into the ocean to spite fools that believe in global warming, as well as the poor.

 3. In general, people don’t give a sh*t about the environment enough to get their hands sticky returning several hundred bottles to afford a loaf of bread, and that maybe we should grow up and start handling bottles like Germany (

By Johnny Beaver