Jeez, Sorry for Partying
If you're in a college fraternity, there are a few activities in which you will almost certainly find yourself involved. You will consume beer by placing the keg tap directly in your mouth as your "bros" hold your feet up in the air. You will clothe yourself exclusively in T-shirts celebrating parties you and your "bros" have previously facilitated. And, if you're really, really lucky, you and/or your "bros" will douse a couch in lighter fluid and light it aflame as you stand awestruck in its glow with a smile on your face and a Busch Light in your hand.
But apparently, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality doesn't appreciate this sort of tradition, which is why the agency fined the Delta Upsilon house at Oregon State University $1,000 for tossing a five-foot-long couch into a fire pit last June. Sure, the DEQ had warned the fraternity for two prior couch burning instances in 2006 and 2008, and setting furniture on fire is known to release toxic chemicals, but come on, DEQ, haven't you ever seen Animal House? (MB)
Who Reads the Voter's Pamphlet, Anyway?
When you get your voter's pamphlet this week - you know, that pile of staple-bound gray pages without which your untrained mind would be utterly unable to cast a vote - there will be an error, or at least a misleading statement, at least that's what a local Republican is saying. On Monday, former state Representative Tim Knopp, filed a complaint with the Secretary of State's office, claiming that Joyce Segers, a candidate running against Greg Walden's U.S. Congress seat, made false and misleading statements in the statement she submitted for the pamphlet.
At the top of Segers' statement, it reads: "Joyce B. Segers - U.S. Representative, Second District." Knopp said this statement implied that Segers was the incumbent - and after reading the statement as Segers submitted it, well, we agree it's a little confusing. But right below that, it lists her occupation as "author" (slightly more impressive than, say, "poet") so that does, sort of, clarify that she's not employed as a U.S. representative.
There's another problem with the statement in that Segers included a quote attributed to The Bulletin, which gives the impression that the paper had endorsed her, when in fact the quote was pulled from a guest commentary that ran in the paper in June. But here's the thing: Does Knopp really think that voters will think that Segers is the incumbent, regardless of the fact that Walden has been in office for an entire decade? Walden has made himself quite visible during his tenure, often donning blue jeans and posing for photos with a chainsaw and stuff like that. You'd think Knopp would have a little more respect for the intelligence of our region's voters. (MB)
Guns, Bribery and Corruption!
If you haven't heard, the Old West is having the Best Week Ever. This week, America is channeling Deadwood by allowing guns oh, everywhere, and government officials in Alabama were arrested on charges of bribery and corruption. Oh lawd!
After Louisiana legalized guns in churches last month, a bunch of states thought, well, if it's OK with God... The New York Times is reporting that Tennessee, Arizona, Georgia and Virginia recently passed laws explicitly allowing loaded guns in bars. Let me repeat. Loaded. Guns. Because, really, what goes better with booze than a loaded glock? It's time for duels to reenter the vernacular. In the article, Tennessee State Representative Curry Todd explains the new law protects people walking to and from restaurants. "The police aren't going to be able to protect you," he said. "They're going to be checking out the crime scene after you and your family's been shot or injured or assaulted or raped." Thanks for the vote of confidence in your police force, Todd!
Another Old West mainstay, corruption, has been making headlines recently as well. While corruption, unlike dueling, has pretty much endured through history, it really had its heyday a hundred or so years ago. Luckily, it's back with a vengeance in Alabama. Eleven state legislators, lobbyists and powerful businessmen were arrested on Oct. 4 on suspicion of accepting bribes in exchange for voting for electric bingo machines at casinos. Grandmothers everywhere will have to return to their local churches for the real gambling action. Let's hope they don't forget their guns. (SR)
No Toys for You, Kid
In an effort to make fast food healthier and piss off the city's children, the San Francisco Planning Commission put forward a proposal that would ban fast food restaurants from including toys (and by "toys" we mean nine cents of plastic that's been molded into the likeness of Disney's latest animated star) in meals without sufficient nutritional value. If the meal includes fruits and vegetables, states the proposal, then a toy can be still be included. This, of course, is aimed at the Happy Meal, the cardboard-enclosed collection of fast food that has pacified screaming five-year-olds since 1979. If this law is actually put into place, it will definitively gauge a child's desire for french fries and/or hunks of plastic crap, while also finally showing us the point at which the head of an anti-government conservative will explode. Example: "Damn gumment can't tell me what to feed my chilrun... " (Insert whatever you think an exploding head sounds like here). (MB)