As the State Turns

stateturnssymbolFirefighters Kick Big-A*s Wildfire in the A*s
Remember central Oregon? It’s sort of like the eastern part of the state, only with considerably less Jawas and sand people. They often have to deal with pretty devastating wildfires, such as the recent one that destroyed about 2,100 acres, which for you city folk equals out to about 3 square miles. Thanks to over 600 workers, five helicopters, and about $2.3 million dollars (which is equal to about 2,911,392 burritos, not even accounting for a bulk discount), 72% of the blaze has been contained. Thankfully no homes or other buildings were scorched by the raging inferno (I’m trying out some classical sensationalism, please stand by), which is obviously great news—but it doesn’t always go down that way.

The armpit of our great state is often subject to wildfires and this season is supposed to be a real scorcher. I know I just used the word “scorched” above, but I couldn’t waste this opportunity. Sorry. My fire pun game is weak.

Judge Occupies Malheur Posse’s Lack of Charges… or Something
I’m out of pun juice. Dammit, and I’m only on the third paragraph. Anyway, U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown, or as she is known to her friends, “A-Brown,” which… that was supposed to sound hip-hop. I give up.

Yes, so she dismissed a charge against the Domestic White People Terrorism for Grazing Rights crew that said they played about with guns in a violent crime. Why? Because I guess taking over an unoccupied government building with a bunch of guns, digging a hole to crap in, and then bandying about with free dildos is not considered violent. It’s not like they shot their guns off, leaving 1,685 spent casings at the refuge or anything. And it certainly isn’t like 50 weapons and associated ammunition were seized by federal agents Scully and Mulder while investigating occupier cars and homes, as well as the refuge after the fact. No siree, to pang of violence here. Just a sh*tload of killin’ machines.

I get it, though. The letter of the law is pretty clear that its intention is to only service those who had committed robberies and the like. Good thing we can amend laws, right?

In other news, the Bundy brothers are still recovering from last night’s revelation that they definitely won’t be allowed to wear proper cowboy hats in prison.

Gettin’ the Lead Out May Have Consequences
And I’m back. Recently I reported (and I used the term “reported” loosely as well, no need to write me a letter) on the big… well, clusterfudge going on with the Portland school system over elevated lead levels. Adding to that colossal suckage is that, according to some jokers on the Portand school board’s bond committee, when voters go to the polls in November they may not choose to take out a big enough bond measure, which would leave school officials in a situation requiring some other things to get the boot in order to maintain lead removal as a priority.

It’s going to cost $600 million alone to rebuild three afflicted high schools. And that’s just ridiculous. 759,493,671 burritos is what you could get if you just slapped those kids in the face and told them to go look sh*t up on Wikipedia. Come on, parents, who are you going to trust… a couple of credentialed sources, OR THE ENTIRE INTERNET?

Okay, I get it, you’re a Trumpian conservative. So maybe just cut school lunch programs, put the kids in a work study program because them lawns need mowin’, and sell off all of the books. Oh snap, in your face Donald Trump, you orange bastard.

Actually, one member of the bond committee is suggesting to take one of the schools off the rebuild list, which would save $250 million by itself. However, I’m too far off the rails of this story already, so let’s just walk away.

Derailment Update
Last week a bunch of rail cars carrying a volatile form of crude oil known as Bakken derailed near the Columbia River Gorge. Fire happened, followed by smoke, followed by pissed-off business dudes stuck on I-84 during the resulting closure, what with their Bluetooth earpieces and combed hair and Lionel Richie on the jam box. Well, now we know the cause.

Rail fasteners. Yes, rail fasteners, the ball-bustingly important metal thingamajig that connects railroad ties to the rails themselves. The components are called lag bolts and they really sucked that day, which caused rails to sort of do the splits as the train came galloping through. These parts are usually inspected once every year and a half, but Union Pacific is now saying that they’ll do so more frequently.

They’ve also said that they will not transport any more oil through the area until some planned meetings with local towns have been concluded. However, to make up for the lost revenue, they plan on moving some lava, fireworks, and flying sharks in the meantime.

By Johnny Beaver