The author is honoring the wishes of an honest reader who expressed concerns about "facts" and "pompous writing" by offering only accurate and unfunny stuff this week. Sorry to those who like jokes about South Carolina and underwear-stealing cats, we do need to set a higher standard for news- - much like the need for skimpier bikinis afloat on the Deschutes.
A "Last" Is Lost
Daniel Schorr, the wise yet gruff voice of phlegm on NPR died on Friday at age 93, the last of Edward R. Murrow's CBS team of Lucky Strike smokers, bourbon sippers and true journalists. "Mad Men" is misogynist mythology. These guys were legit. Fired from virtually every journalism job over his 60-year career, Schorr started in U.S. Army intelligence after World War II (fired over "editorial independence") then opened CBS's bureau in Moscow in the 1950s and did the first-ever interview with Nikita Khruschchev (later getting in trouble with the KGB, arrested and barred from the Soviet Union). Schorr covered the building of the Berlin Wall, Watergate, the CIA and FBI, then helped Ted Turner create CNN - until leaving once more over "editorial independence." At NPR, Schorr was allowed a few minutes to teach us a lesson bookmarked by history, a truly honest voice that should make all bloggers stealing stories from others blush. "Editorial independence" was once code-speak for "Leave my story alone - and quit pitching me celebrity sh*t!" Now it means mourning BP buying YouTube channels to offer its version of events. RIP Daniel, somewhere an editor is quoting you.
Oh, About That Well
Despite tropical storm Bonnie threatening progress (as if 100 days of BP's BS and polluting can be called "progress") the cap on the well in the Gulf is holding. BP CEO Tony Hayward isn't so lucky, and will be replaced by Robert Dudley on October 1. Infamous for saying "I want my life back," as thousands of fisherman and billions of eco-lifeforms struggled through his poor management, Hayward won't be missed as he parachutes off to a secret island with the Bush family. Hardly inspiring confidence, Dudley has been in charge of the BP mess since June, saying, "And I'm going to focus for the next month and a half on what we're doing on the Gulf Coast, our relationships on the Gulf Coast and in Washington." In related apocalyptic news: A new leak (really, another one, unrelated to BP) has been spotted in the Gulf, spewing oil 20 feet in the air in southeastern Louisiana. This well is owned by the state, so be sure our awesome political hacks will fix it real soon.
Sweet Thursday Siesta
Arizona's SB 1070 ("anti-immigration/protect white people") law goes into effect on Thursday, and stores statewide are reporting steep demand for khakis, talcum powder, and golf shirts as all non-white people will be tarred and feathered at midnight. "Lawful stop, detention or arrest" requirements in SB 1070 are the most divisive, and the Obama Admin stepping in to challenge the constitutionality of the law at the last minute makes this one ugly squeaker. Overseeing the legal mess in federal court is Judge Susan Bolton, who seemed dismissive of civil rights arguments while offering the astonishing, "Why can't Arizona be as inhospitable as they wish to people who have entered or remain in the U.S. unlawfully?"
And You Wondered About Our Politicos...
Following that news from Arizona, and revelations that Bend's early government was ensnarled with local brothels until recalled by voters (much like our present government and developers), you might feel better to hear the story of Bell, California. This quaint southeast LA community (cue "Low Rider" and envision Cheech and Chong smoking a giant feces joint) is now drawing the ire of Attorney General/former-stoner Jerry Brown for ludicrous salaries being paid to officials: City Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo earned $800,000 and police chief Randy Adams $457,000 - each year. Subpoenaed records show Mayor Oscar Hernandez and three council members were being paid around $100,000 for their part-time posts; pensions may be revoked and indictments to follow, with a local protest drawing hundreds wearing t-shirts reading, "My city is more corrupt than your city."
The site whose creator admits "May have blood on (its) hands... " keeps whistleblowing our Pentagon to bits. As reported here a few weeks ago, following "classified" video footage of our troops slaughtering Iraqis and Reuters journalists (and an American analyst arrested and facing charges for "illegally" releasing this "classified" footage), WikiLeaks has now topped itself by releasing 92,000 reports that our military would rather keep secret concerning Afghanistan. Again "illegally" released by another 22-year-old analyst, these reports show our troops desperately lacking resources and basic attention from commanders and the American public. Of course our commanders were busy invading Canada while the American public was watching American Idol or some crap show that gives people hope, then totally rips it away as we laugh and laugh.
"Prophet" To Be Freed
Warren Steed Jeffs, also known as perv or "prophet" of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDSWTF), has had his conviction for rape as an accomplice and sentence of consecutive terms of five years to life reversed by the Utah Supreme Court. Said Jeffs' defense attorney Wally Bugden. "We're overjoyed. We're ecstatic that the Supreme Court agreed with us." We're thrilled, too, that a man can force a 14-year-old girl to marry her 19-year-old cousin, more so that Jeffs is still awaiting trial in Texas for felony sexual assault of a child and, if convicted, will face five to 99 years. Of course his lawyers are using Utah's reversal to get all charges dropped, so this prophet may continue his holy ways. Even Joseph Smith is embarrassed by this guy, and that's saying a lot.
Did anyone see that hailstorm on Monday? Seriously, those were the size of mothballs. No, wait, golfballs. Frozen watermelons falling from the sky, who's the old lady in the minivan who simply stopped on 97 South in front of me? I'd like to thank her in the most rude way. Seriously, them hails were bigger than a VW Beetle, an entire family of alpacas was injured, a Vanagon of frigid death, I tell ya...