The author is enjoying the majesty of Tumalo Creek and its fabulous waterfalls, reading about the $71 million water/hydro/death-laser project being "proposed" by the city.
Our Christian Nation
Remember when you went to Pearl Harbor and saw the shrine honoring the Kamikaze pilots of Japan who destroyed our entire fleet in World War II? Me neither. Equally confusing is the mosque being planned for Ground Zero, which has become a lightning rod for believers in giant spaghetti monsters and an election year "Gotcha!" President Obama (who is really a deep-cover Muslim woman, according to some) is twisting his forked tongue, offering on Friday that Muslims "have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country... That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances." New York Republican Rep. Peter King, who gladly welcomed his party to use Ground Zero as a propaganda and invasion tool, does not agree, saying that 9-11 "was carried out in the name of Islam." Some are arguing that this mosque and center for religion will be a beacon for understanding America's secular ways, why we are different and how freedom of (and from) religion opens minds. Others are clinging to their Bibles, forgetting the Holy Crusades, inquisitions, imprisoning of Galileo, pederast priests and insufferable past decade of Evangelicals to decry yet another mosque in a city full of old, empty churches. Like the Crusades, there will be no winners, only centuries of conflict over old words and little patches of land.
The poster-child of congressional criminals and the need for term limits died in a plane crash in Alaska last Monday with the longest-serving Republican Senator (dating back to the Civil War) Ted Stevens smashing into a mountain along with former aides and lobbyists who sold their souls and stuck by his side until the ugly end. Also on board was former NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe and his son, who both survived, which says much about how God feels about oil-friendly politicians vs. those outspoken about the realities of Climate Change. Stevens joined the Senate in 1968 and has brought billions to the desolate yet oil-rich state known as Alaska; a jury in 2008 found him guilty of improperly accepting gifts (contractors building him vacation homes, employing his kids, you know, small stuff), with fellow Republican Jim DeMint baffling everyone by discovering ethics for a moment to draw up a motion to expel Stevens from the Senate. All charges were later dropped, so this plane crash will solidify Stevens' legacy as a hero among Republicans and a martyr for big oil. Others will thank that mountain, forever known as Mt. Justice.
More Reasons to Howl
Afghan President Hamid Karzai disbanded all private security firms working in his/our country within four months, decreeing on Tuesday: "In order to protect Afghan life and property, avoid corruption, security irregularities... blah blah blah. I was placed in power by Bush-Cheney so you can all suck it!" The U.S. is "studying" Karzai's decree while wondering who will protect the most corrupt leader we've installed since every dictator we've installed then had to dethrone via assassination or invasion. In other dictator news, North Korea promised to "deal a merciless counterblow" to the U.S. and South Korea for holding our annual joint military exercises over the next 11 days; North Koreans will be armed with stones to skip at our massive Navy, as China looks on with dead eyes, the bills for all of our ships and fun toys in hand. Finally in military news, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced he will retire by spring of 2011; Gates recently demanded 2 percent cuts across the board for all branches of the military, then told them they could keep the savings - amounting to $1.2 billion or so, U.S. taxpayers will each be given a medal and empty shell-casing for our patriotism.
Hell Just Got Bigger
The guy who ruined Craigslist for everyone heroically killed himself this weekend. The body of Philip Markoff was found in his cell in a Boston jail. Markoff was charged in 2009 with the fatal shooting of Julissa Brisman of Boston after responding to her ad on Craigslist for a massage. Also, the need for the death penalty was further proven by Billy Ray White (no relation to Billy Ray Cyrus or Miley) who has been serving two life sentences plus 10 years (just in case) for murdering J.D. Hall in 1985; White has been sending letters to the victim's daughter under the predictable alias "Charles Manson" vowing to "carve her up like a turkey and make her head into a flower pot"; in part based on these letters, a parole board recently denied Mr. White's request for leniency for the sixth time.
A Bottle for Tequila
Finally in celebrity news, proof that Illinois really is a Southern state after "fans" pelted reality star/Playboy model (is there a distinction?) Tila Tequila with bottles, rocks and human feces when she took the stage at something called the Gathering of the Juggalos in southern Illinois, another music "festival" but different in that it's produced by the totally credible artists known as The Insane Clown Posse. The gathering is basically a giant conclave for the economically disenfranchised, toothless and badly tattoed residing in the area around the Mason-Dixon Line. Tequila's attempts to quell the riotous crows by flashing her surgically enhanced breasts were apparently unsuccessful and she was chased from the stage to her trailer as blood ran down her face from where the fans projectiles struck her bronze mug. Reports estimated that more than a 1,000 fans then descended on her trailer breaking the windows and nearly toppling it before relenting. Tila, of course, plans to sue.