As the State Turns

Washington Trial for Oregon Activist
Back in 2016, five activists went into Canada and literally shut off oil pipelines that allowed the liquid gold to come across the border into the U.S. They were caught, and as of now Ken Ward, a resident of Corbett, Oregon, is facing charges of sabotage and burglary – both felonies – in a Washington court.

The owner of the pipeline has stated that non-professional pipeline tampering is dangerous, which to be fair, is probably true. But Ward argues that the pipeline itself is dangerous, and that if given the chance, he’d commit the crime again. This is despite a possible penalty of $20,000 in fines and 20 years in prison.

A request to allow climate scientists to testify that the danger of climate change was inevitable, and therefore the pipes needed to be shut off, was denied by the judge. If held accountable, Ward has made it clear that he would appeal.

Trump, Walberg, and Oregon’s Acid Coast
As you’re likely to know by now, President Donald J. Trump announced last week that he’d be pulling the United States out of the landmark Paris climate accord. Despite basically the entire known Universe advising him not to do this, including his own daughter and advisers (or ex-advisors, we should say…), Trump has just gotta do Trump, am I right? The end of U.S. world leadership had to come sooner or later, and what better, more massive way to go out than to deny a mutually beneficial agreement held by nearly 200 other nations? Boo-ya, I believe, is the term.

Anyway, for those of you worried about the environment, there’s good news. Michigan Republican congressman Tim Walberg recently had this to say: “I believe there’s climate change. I believe there’s been climate change since the beginning of time. Do I think man has some impact? Yeah, of course. Can man change the entire universe? No. Why do I believe that? Well, as a Christian, I believe that there is a creator in God who is much bigger than us. And I’m confident that, if there’s a real problem, he can take care of it.”

Well sh*t, we’re saved! I guess that means we don’t need to worry at all about recent reports from Oregon State University researchers that found globally high ocean acidification levels up and down the coast of the Pacific Northwest. It’s pretty simple, from what I hear… the more carbon in the air, the more carbon oceans absorb, the higher the acidity. Sure, it’ll wipe out all sorts of species of marine life and probably wreck the fishing industry… but if it becomes a real problem, poof. Solved. In the meantime, weird stuff like “the Dungeness crab,” whatever the hell that is, will just need to take one for the team.

Kate Brown Reacts to Paris
Let me paraphrase Governor Kate Brown’s response to Trump’s Paris decision. Loosely.

“You’re not the boss of us, you small-minded ^$!#@!”

While we won’t be on the books officially, Oregon plans on continuing to meet the goals of the Paris agreement, and will join a number of other states in doing so. The clear message is that Oregon will not be bullied out of doing the right thing, and I think we’re all really feeling that right now, between this and other recent events, including the murder and injury of several Oregonian heroes the other week.

Thankfully, this message is one our community has cultivated in recent decades, and will remain neither singular, nor narrow.

Oregon Loses Hipster Status, TriMet Driver Blames ‘Liberals’
If we’ve learned anything from the media about our state recently, it’s that we aren’t living in Portlandia. While I’m sure some Oregonians needed to hear that, most did not. Clickbait aside, the state has done a lot in recent decades to work towards a progressive cultural and legal reality for its citizens. Not in the sense that it diminishes what has been accomplished, but this reality is something we’re still working for. It’s future, not present. This shouldn’t be a secret, but there’s a lot of things that shouldn’t be.

Case in point, the other day a TriMet bus driver posted on his Facbook page that “Liberals and Democrats … [are] turning it into a Muslim hatred thing.” This fool has been rightfully yanked from his post, TriMet stating that the decision was “to avoid a situation that could be unsafe for our riders and the safe operation of the bus.” Probably a good plan. I mean, can someone that stupid effectively tie their shoes? What if a lace comes loose and wraps around the gas pedal?

You know, one might balk at the “WHITE TERROR IN PORTLAND” Huffington Post headline, but tell me, how do you define terror? I can imagine that being regularly exposed to human waste like that bus driver is a bit terrifying.

There’s a ways to go, but a whole lot of appreciation for every last one of you that are helping us get there.

By Johnny Beaver