As the State Turns

stateturnssymbolPot Blocks and Market Shots
Merry Christmas, folks. Well, technically all that nonsense is over, but because I have the best publisher in the world, I’m spending Christmas morning writing this stuff. And by stuff, I mean all this news about stupid people. Starting off, we have the over 70 Oregon communities that have thrown their name in the hat to have retail marijuana sales banned. Cities and counties in the state have until Dec. 27 (which has passed by now) to sign up to sign out on marijuana. The vast majority to speak up so far are in rural areas (surprise, surprise), though some small parts of Portland are on the list.

Now, many of these places are citing the fact that pot is still illegal on the federal level, but it seems safe to assume that, in at least a few instances, this is a bullsh*t smokescreen designed to cover up the fact that a lot of these areas overwhelmingly voted against legalization in the first place because drugs are bad, mmmk?

I was going to list a bunch of local cities who are on board, though it seems easier just to say that all of Linn County has put their foot down. I can’t help but wonder if there is some sort of conspiracy at play here… it’s well known that the county has problems with the presence of drugs. Maybe somebody with the right connections doesn’t want weed encroaching in upon meth’s market share. Who knows.

In many areas voters will get a chance to reject their community’s inclusion in the retail pot ban, but unless they all choose to overturn, it looks like Oregon has a long road ahead of it towards some sanity on the topic.

A Christmas Tragedy
Poor, poor little Portland. Apparently they ran out of trees this year, with many lots closing early due to being cleaned out. Even some Fred Meyer stores sold out, my word! Oh wait, this just in… beep beep, beep, beep, etc.

Turns out most of these place didn’t run out until Dec. 21 or so. Who the hell waits that long to get a Christmas tree? Serves you right, weirdos. I mean, those things are a pain in the a*s… you’re going to go through all that trouble of getting it upright, hanging stuff all over it, etc., only for a few days? Good grief. Good grief indeed. What, do you also wrap your presents on Christmas morning?

Oregon chops down and ships out over six million trees a year, mostly to places like Japan and Mexico. There. I hope a cold, hard fact makes you feel better after this embarrassing tale.

On Dasher, on Dancer… on Landslide
If about nothing else, the holiday season helps shine a spotlight on the true meaning of togetherness. Appreciating this fully were two dozen people crammed in a shelter in Oregon City after their apartment complex was cornholed by a landslide. Nobody was hurt, so my joke was not in completely poor taste. You’re welcome.

As the State Turns Weather Update
Speaking of weather, it has been raining a lot. This has caused a lot of water to fall from the sky, where it then forms into puddles. These puddles, coincidentally, are also made of water. Also it lands in rivers, which scientists think has something to do with their rising levels. They also believe that this is the same stuff that’s in the ocean, and so we might want to avoid puddles and rivers because: sharks. This has been your weather update.

Opt Out Uh Ohs
Remember when we talked about all of those standardized test opt outs here in Oregon? Well, Washington and Idaho copied us, and now all three states have joined nine others in receiving letters from the federal government that essentially say this: “Listen, you little sh*ts. You’re going to miss the 95% participation target. You miss it, there will be hell to pay.” And of course, hell to pay means these states might lose federal funding.

At the root of the issue is a newish Oregon law that allows parents to opt their kids out without reason. As a result, a large number of students are avoiding the tests. In fact, 21 entire districts have fallen short of the participation requirement.

Uh… If this sounds like a bunch of wheel-spinning nonsense that has literally nothing to do educating our kids, then… that’s depressing. Because it does sound like that, and it is that, and it is depressing. We can’t even get the system to inch away from memorization towards critical thinking, so why not just continue doing the standardized test cha cha.

By Johnny Beaver