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We Sold Our Souls For Rock and Roll: Gonzo at Wal-Mart, mud flap sales and Scientology 

The author has been sent on the road to discover a lost country formerly known as America. He is reporting from the catwalk at the

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The author has been sent on the road to discover a lost country formerly known as America. He is reporting from the catwalk at the annual fashion show in La Pine, wearing a tube-top, cutoff jeans shorts and cowboy boots, on assignment for Or-Bust.com and The Source Weekly.

And the Winner is...

Forget Simon, let's talk Sonia-Federal Judge Sonia Sotomayor, that is, who was nominated on Monday by President Obama to replace David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court. If her controversial same-sex marriage decision in Rocky v. Bullwinkle and those pictures of her eating a pickle don't come to light, Judge Sotomayor will become the first Hispanic and third female U.S. Supreme Court justice. "An inspiring woman who I believe will make a great justice." lauded Obama while introducing Judge Sotomayor's nomination. A case surely to hit the new justice's desk will be the California Supreme Court's upholding of a voter-approved ban on same-sex unions, which allows existing same-sex marriages to remain legal (how's that for confusing?). As Sotomayor's nomination was announced, nearby, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales wiped away a tear, mumbled something incoherent, then returned to stocking shelves at Wal-Mart.


Local News Ticker

A new service from Upfront, these rapid-fire news stories were seen in other publications recently, however poorly researched, written, and altogether biased: You know Bend is totally broke when local politicos are again considering selling our cemeteries - Once raised from the dead, the pioneers who founded Bend are going to be quite pissed, and maulings and brain eating will be understandable retribution for our elected leaders. Crook County voters refused higher taxes to pay for its schools and extracurricular activities; in a related story, sales of wife-beaters and stripper mud-flaps for pickup trucks have skyrocketed in the region in the past month. Today, like yesterday, a police officer will approach a loitering teen near Drake Park and ask him or her to move on. Two blocks away, a stoner is trying to sell his house, and the sweet stank of kind buds is attracting heavy traffic of home-seekers and curious pedestrians. On a serious and impressive note: The 8th Graders from REALMS school kicked butt at a recent Watershed Summit held in Sisters - Their presentation on Tumalo Creek was timely and thorough --- Way to go, kids!

L. Ron Hubbard - Prophet and Novelist

Upfront has managed to enrage all major religions in the past few weeks, so let's take aim at Hollywood's worst decision since allowing Madonna to act. "A great way to make money is to found a religion," said L. Ron Hubbard once - the same sci-fi author and Scientology founder who had to live on a boat in his final years due to tax evasion, death threats, etc. Question: "What is the best way to cook duck?" See page 46 in Dianetics. Next Question: "What is a religion?" See France, which is now debating whether Scientology is a cult, sect, business, religion, or all of the above. Germany has already banned John Travolta and Tom Cruise's beliefs (another sign of Germany's compassionate wisdom), but America embraces L. Ron's offspring and tax-exempt status (more signs of our growing ignorance). Forced payments are a critical part of France's debate over this "religion's" validity, while gracefully ignoring its founding notion that an ancient war among aliens sent souls into volcanoes, creating Hollywood producers (soul-less creatures, of course) who will green-light any movie in which Cruise should have an accent but inexplicably doesn't. One bright spot of this sorta-kinda religion-as the Les Schwab stage crasher pointed out a few summers back-Beck is a Scientologist. So it can't all be bad. Can it?

Speaking of Cruise Missiles

Only days after testing a nuclear weapon, North Korea fired two short-range missiles from its east coast. Sane, smart, and totally competent "Supreme Leader" Kim Jong-Il obviously needs more food to feed his starving citizens, so his continued "Look at me! Look at me!" strategy isn't unexpected. What is surprising is that the UN Security Council (which includes North Korea's only friend on Earth, China) denounced these actions as a "clear violation" of international law. Other notes on international strife: Pakistan keeps announcing it has killed hundreds of Taliban, but the war for the hearts, minds and nukes of Islamabad continues. Sri Lanka is celebrating the slaughter of the Tamil Tigers, marking the first moments of peace in the country in over two decades.

Other Violations of Law

In yet another sign that the GOP has lost its mind, Rush "Got Any Pills?" Limbaugh and Dick "Don't Indict Me" Cheney are apparently trying to get Colin "Don't Call Me Colon" Powell to resign from the Grand Ole Party. While the GOP's tent keeps shrinking, it is interesting to note that approval ratings for the former-VP (and future prisoner) Cheney have risen 8% (from 29%) since leaving office. Perhaps the bump is from racists returning to his side, as Cheney attacks Obama and Powell, or it's the splendid feeling of spring renewal, as evidenced by former-President Dubya Bush's approval numbers rising 6%-up from three total Americans approving of him when he left office.

Finally, this Op-Ed: "Bring GITMO Here!"

As other communities with "Super Max" prisons scream "No!" to the possibility of suspected terrorists who were definitely tortured at GITMO being moved into their high-walled, high-security backyards, it is time for Central Oregon to accept that we need those construction projects and jobs. The little armpit of Hardin, Montana (population 3,400) is already begging to host GITMO's all-stars, so why shouldn't we? The Badlands are already replete with wanted criminals and barbed wire, our citizens are incredibly well-armed. Give them a gun, bucket of water and the Koran. Come to GITMO C.O., you might never leave! One additional benefit, real life inmates for the nearly mothballed Madras prison.

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