As the State Turns

stateturnssymbolMalheur Posse, Facebook Defense
Just when you thought it was safe to open your eyes, go online, fix a nice garden salad (with those little crunchy things), or pretty much do anything: it’s the Malheur Posse—they’re back and they’re better than ever, baby! Let’s start things off with a quote from Ammon Bundy that has been making the national rounds:

“If they are going to detain us as innocent men, then they are obligated to afford us the rights to defend ourselves and emotionally connect to our families.”

If you guessed that you’re about to hear some jail cell demands, you guessed right! Or you’ve already read national news. Either way, I’ll let you down easy… there are no requests for dildos.

Now, the post-occupation, presently jailed Bundy crew believes wholeheartedly that they are innocent. And because they are innocent, they seem to think they should have access to things that guilty people in jail cannot access. They want extra chairs, hard drives, computers, a printer, Microsoft Movie Editor (so at least one of them can go all Nadya Suleman for some extra defense cash), a scanner so they can upload copies of their butts to Facebook (they want access to that, too)… and, amongst other things, their ability to collude with fellow Malheur occupiers in preparation for having federal conspiracy charges shoved straight up their as*es.

Unsurprisingly, Multnomah County responded a little bit like this: “lol no.”

While I won’t bore you with the 150,000 different reasons nobody would ever have those requests granted (even the supremely innocent Bundy Gang), one complaint that rings out above all others is the lack of access to Facebook. According to the Bundys’ lawyer, a bunch of evidence against them is on social media… therefore they need access in order to defend themselves. Apparently their lawyer is incapable of accessing Facebook for investigative purposes because he is a quadriplegic and nobody likes him enough to assist. Either that or somehow Bundy’s ability to post videos of hillbillies tipping over their Rhinos with coolers of beer spilling out all over is key to the defense.

Who knows. I guess we’ll just wait for the next series of antics to roll on out.

‘I Told Ya So’
That phrase was probably the first one uttered last Friday after a 96-car Union Pacific train derailed near Hood River, flinging 14 rail cars (about 11 of which were transporting oil). Four of them caught fire and at least one exploded, sending a reasonably impressive plume of black smoke into the air. Counted amongst the immediate results was the evacuation of a school and the closure of a nearby stretch of I-84.

One resident stuck in traffic, Larry J. Phillips of the Dalles, told local KWTF news, “At first I was seriously worried about not making it home in time for Game of Thrones, but I forgot that it was still Friday. I’m always doing that!” Nobody more interesting could be found for comment.

At the time of writing this no exact cause for the derailment had been isolated, though a “braking incident” was reported. Sort of like that time in 1987 when Dad almost slammed into the Sweet Home Dairy Queen. Only with oil.

The Oregon Department of Transportation released prior inspection reports that show some “issues” with that particular stretch of track, but nothing supposedly violation-worthy. Though the full impact of the incident has yet to be seen, current reports show that no oil has leaked into the Columbia River. And nobody was hurt. So that’s good.

The oil being transported was of the Bakken kind, which is that highly volatile crude variety that everyone has been saying, “Don’t let those damn Idahoans transport through our state to Washington!” And, well, turns out they had a point.

Portland Schools: Fun Fun Fun
Remember last week when I rambled on about the Portland Public Schools (PPS) lead testing issue? It turns out that the Environmental Protection Agency had warned Oregon officials way back in April that they needed immediate testing because of the above average levels of lead found in area drinking water… and this is where a bunch of people get fired, am I right?

It also turns out the EPA and the Portland Water Bureau have what some might call a longstanding feud over the city’s desire to stick with less aggressive water treatment than is federally recommended … and this is where a couple of people “retire” willingly.

All of this, combined with the new study showing high levels of toxic superstar radon in over 100 PPS classrooms… yikes, what a mess. At least they’re starting to clean things up, right? A law designed to lower classroom radon is on the books… as of… last year.


By Johnny Beaver