As the State Turns

MAX Stabber Crazy?!
Last Spring, Jeremy Christian verbally assaulted and intimidated two young girls on a MAX train in Portland, and then stabbed three men who came to their aid, killing two of them. It wasn’t the first incident of violence on the MAX, but it is certainly one that has stuck with us – in part due to the hateful, fascist bullsh*t he spewed during the encounter. I know I don’t get on the train without thinking about it, in the very least to wonder whether or not I’d come to someone’s aid, knowing the possible consequences. I’d like to think I would.

In preparation for trial, Christian had been reviewed a ways back by Seattle psychologist, Mark D. Cunningham. Last week, his report became publicly available after one of his defense lawyers made a request to the judge. As reported by OregonLive and several other outlets, Christian was described as having severe social problems, having been unable to live on his own or develop relationships. The report notes that in the months leading up to the stabbing he had become stressed out and riled up by the political climate – it was around that time he started carrying a knife. Cunningham also reported that he had admitted to spouting offensive things to screw with people, but displayed no white supremacist tendencies. Apparently, Christian even actually went one step further, talking smack about fascism and condemning war, genocide, and even intolerance.

Christian, who says he was barely conscious at the time of the incident, claims he was angry after an encounter the night before. That incident also happened on the MAX and involved Christian shouting racial statements, claiming he was a neo-Nazi, and throwing a bottle of Gatorade at a woman. He said he had smoked pot on the day of the first incident, and had consumed Sangria on both days. He cites different amounts for each day, varying between a glass and a bottle. The Sangria was Vella brand, which is disgusting. Please don’t ever drink that sh*t.

According to Christian, when he drinks he becomes a gigantic as*hole (my words, not his), and likes to ride the train and start arguments, carrying both the Book of Mormon and some Viking stuff. He says this is all about exercising his right to free speech, which… yeah… no, not really.

As you may already know, Christian previously spent eight years in prison for armed robbery, and supposedly spent most of that in solitary confinement. Cunningham has cited this as contributing to his mental deterioration. If convicted, Christian could face the death penalty (yep, we allow that here). If executed, he’d be the first since Harry Charles Moore in 1997.

There’s really nothing at the end of this rainbow for anybody.

NORCOR: Do It For the Children

Or rather, don’t.

After a report from Disability Rights Oregon was released earlier this month, both Wasco County and the Oregon Youth Authority have said they will no longer be sending kids to the Northern Oregon Regional Corrections Facility; a detention institution in The Dalles that handles juveniles in addition to adults. The report concluded after six months, citing undocumented solitary isolation in windowless environments, unable to read or write. According to experts, facilities like NORCOR are supposed to like, help kids and stuff… give them a chance to straighten out, etc. Sounds suspicious, I know.

NORCOR officials have spoken out a few times since the report, which I will summarize for you now:

“The report is wrong. But no, if that’s true it’s bad, we agree. But it’s wrong. We’ll be looking into it. We will work with authorities to improve the situation, which isn’t a situation, because the report is wrong. But no, we’ll be improving.”

Seems like their as* is insufficiently covered by all of the excrement they’ve blown out of it, but I suppose time will tell. In the meantime, they may want to consider a little expansion to the word count, considering the Benton county Judge that just ordered pretrial inmates to be housed locally before being sent there. Because NORCOR sucks.

Zoning Fight… GO!
There’s this spot of land in Deschutes County, right? It’s zoned, and through said zoning, helps to protect mule deer from traffic and other kinds of noise that freak them out. The mule deers need the help, because they’ve been having trouble poppin’ out kids since the 70s due to humans building crap all over the place. Enter Pastor John Shepherd, another human who doesn’t give a rat’s as*.

Appropriately named, Shepherd has been operating a “church” out of his home since 1999, and does a lot of weddings and other gatherings through it. He tried to get a permit last year, but it was overturned due to the fact that his “church” (notice the quotes yet?) violates the zoning code. This code actually forbids “churches” outright. Pissed off that his wedding business, er, I mean “church” can’t get a permit, he is now looking to the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which was signed in 2000 and protects worship thingies from discrimination.

While environmental groups have pointed out that this guy’s “church” is a “church” and not a church, several county commissioners have made it clear that they’d like church removed from the list of prohibited stuff. Sounds like fun. Let’s all be glad we don’t live there.

By Johnny Beaver