As the State Turns

stateturnssymbolThe Josephine County GMO Apocalypse
OK, so the headline here is a little sensational, sue me. Actually don’t, I’m already broke. Anyway. Lawyers are about to slap each other around because farmers who are against the county-wide GMO ban are attempting to get it lifted while—and get this—other people who like the ban are trying to protect it. It’s a tale as old as time. And that’s as far into the lyrics from Beauty and the Beast that I will ever get.

There was a hearing on April 14 to discuss whether or not the people complaining even have a right to challenge the ban. That’s democracy at work, folks! That said, the issue is likely to come down to whether the court decides that state law supersedes the county prohibition, or not.

Like the debate over all things gluten, GMO debate makes for one of the most hideously misinformed arguments being played out in American government right now. If history speaks volumes, we can look forward to a decade or two of back and forth on this until a general consensus is reached in national law. And then? I guess just hope that what goes on the stone tablet is on the right side of science.

#Lawsuits Matter
So this report was squeezed out of Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum’s office, and it basically detailed how a “threat assessment” was filed against a DOJ lawyer and supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, Erious Johnson Jr. His social media pages were mined, and a tweet related to political rap and clock necklace enthusiasts Public Enemy was misinterpreted as a threat against law enforcement. And I’m pretty sure the jackass that felt justified in doing all this went through his garbage and sniffed his laundry, too. Oh, by the way, his name is Darin Tweedt… and Rosenblum had, at some point, decided to move the guy just three doors over from Johnson’s office. Johnson was like, “WTF?” and they were like, “No comment.”

And here we are!

A complaint and a “tort” (turns out this is not a dessert or a turtle) have been filed, which is legal speak for “We’re getting ready to sue you until you cannot be sued anymore.”

There is some good news though, believe it or not. Human Resources at the Oregon DOJ has recommended they improve “diversity training.” It will likely include a white collar worker running around the room to Eye of the Tiger, high-fiving everyone.

Oregon Political Update
A quick rundown on recent developments.

1. Jeff Merkley has officially endorsed Bernie Sanders for president, making himself the first senator to do so. “It was the bird landing on the podium,” Merkley stated. “It was the bird that did it for me. Seriously guys, I really &%#@! like birds.” Actually there was some sort of long explanation given, but yawn.

2. John Kasich is making bold moves for Oregon delegates. How? By befriending all of those unelectable Oregon state Republicans. When asked why there was no mention of Art Robinson, his campaign said that they felt including non-humans might complicate his ticket.

3. There is no number 3. That’s how important Oregon is in the primary election season.

And for More Spectacular Boredom…
Guess what the average salary was in 2015 for Oregon state employees? No? Well, I’ll tell you anyway: $56,028—with benefits, up to $89,000. A whopping 10 percent of the state budget goes to paying these wages.

Economist Nick Beleiciks of the Employment Department said that the average amount for private sector fools in 2014 was only $45,893. In what, similar jobs? No? Nothing? OK, I guess we’ll just take those numbers as is and pretend there aren’t any absentee variables.

Chronicles of the Fisher
There’s a snooty-looking little forest weasel called a fisher, and last week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said, “Hey fishers, *%@&! you,” refusing to add them to the endangered species list.

Conservation Northwest, a group that has helped reintroduce the fisher to the Pacific Northwest after they were trapped into near non-existence in the late 19th century, has reported rebound populations in Washington—but nowhere else. They are under the impression that the Wildlife Service is basically saying, “If it’s good in Washington, it’s good in the region.” And they sort of think that’s dumb.

Fishers are about the size of a cat and look like a mixture of a wolverine and a mink. And if you ask me, a monkey on crack that has had its head sucked into a glass bottle. Though they don’t have any official protections on paper, it’s good to know somebody is looking out for the creepy little bastards.

By Johnny Beaver