The author has been sent on the road to discover a lost country formerly known as America. He is reporting from an exploded bullet factory (however redundant) after escaping a burning RV, questioning karma and basic sanity for Or-Bust.com and The Source Weekly.
With a "B"Our utility companies are really starting to feel like bad dates. We give them billions in tax breaks to plunder our Earth so they can sell our natural resources back to us, and then they totally cheat on us. Word has it that BP is considering dropping its PR façade "Beyond Petroleum" and is presently testing "Bitter Pill" or "Barack's Pals" (another attempt by BP at anything reminiscent of "green" should be treated with skepticism). Warning BP not to "nickel and dime" Gulf coast residents over damage claims (local fisherman report their $5,000 claims are being delayed or ignored), President Obama added, "My understanding is that BP has contracted for $50 million worth of TV advertising to manage their image during the course of this disaster. In addition, there are reports that BP will be paying $10.5 billion - that's billion with a "B" - in dividend payments this quarter."
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of barrels continue to flow from the Gulf floor daily with only Kevin Costner's brother offering ideas on containment (seriously, we can't make this sh*t up) as other alternatives such as Dutch ships that basically vacuum the fouled water of oil are also being considered. Meanwhile, environmentalists say the ships' 80 percent purification rate for the post-vacuumed water isn't good enough.
But is water that's 100 percent oil-slicked and utterly devastating to the environment they so love any better?
Not to be outdone in ineptitude, utility crews 50 miles southwest of Dallas hit a 3-foot wide natural gas line on Monday, killing one and raising a fireball that could be seen and felt in Fort Worth; firefighters had to stay a half-mile away due to heat. Never to be outdone in disaster, West Virginia had a similar incident earlier the same day with a drilling crew hitting a methane gas pocket, burning seven. Speaking of power, why doesn't Bend, a rare place that supposedly gets 300 days of sun each year, require all new buildings be ultra-efficient with solar panels to create a giant power-production urban-Eden? Wouldn't that be awesome? How about some mass transit within 300 miles of Central Oregon as well? Why haven't we thought of that? Oh, who's buying lunch today in Salem? Sorry, forget we said anything...
Nice Old Lady Say What?
This is why grandma needs medication, and not the front-row honorary seat at all White House briefings. Helen Thomas has been covering the Executive Branch since James Garfield (actually over four decades, which is still pretty impressive) but it's an off-record statement she made to a rabbi at a White House event last week that will forever mar her legacy of candor and ignoring JFK sexing-up any blonde with a smile. Immediately passed from that rabbi to the mainstream press and utterly unconfirmed as a quote, Thomas said the Jews should "get the hell out" of Israel and go back to Poland and Germany. Dementia at age 89 may be to blame (Germany didn't really care for Jews if memory serves) but such subjective journalism from a polished albeit wrinkled and bent-back pro was her death-knell; Thomas was forced to retire from the Hearst News Service when her comments were made public. If you don't know Hearst's equally impressive legacy: Starting the Spanish-American War, making Orson Welles famous for mocking its founder in Citizen Kane, and forever blacklisting marijuana because William Randolph Hearst had a large investment in timber and needed that useful yet pesky and oh-so pleasant weed out of the way.
Our department of statistics shows that it's about 1,218 to 1; that's the ratio of minorities to white girls who go missing annually. But when one does (and she's young, cute, and from Alabama) watch out! Natalie Holloway, the teen who disappeared on Aruba in 2005 and has since appeared in sea-floor footage, bad Russell Crowe movies and a "Where's Waldo?" comic may at least have justice. Joran van der Sloot, a name so evil that he must be guilty, was arrested by police in Peru and confessed to helping another girl disappear (she's Latino so don't worry too much); van der Sloot has already been charged in the U.S. with extortion for trying to get $250,000 from Holloway's family for information about the case. "He's a psychopath. I heard that he has been killing women every May 30," said Dario Morales, a physical trainer in Lima who is totally unqualified to make any such statements. Coincidentally yet very helpful for fundraising, van der Sloot's arrest came the same week the Natalee Holloway Resource Center was announced to open in the National Museum of Crime & Punishment in Washington.
It's not too late to road-trip to Astoria this month; nope, not the cloud-covered coast replete with choice hallucinogenic fungus, but the actual city - Why? It's the 25th anniversary of The Goonies being released! June 1985 changed all of us: R.J. Reynolds and Nabisco merged, Hezbollah hijacked TWA flight 847, Route 66 ceased being an "official" highway, and zany misfits showed us how to save a neighborhood from mean developers and bank robbers, aided by a deformed pal who loves Baby Ruth candy bars. A young Josh Brolin, a Corey (the one still living) and that hot redhead still haunt the hill. Oh, and Lewis & Clark's western winter fortifications, a bunch of good beer and beaver-trapping stories can be found in the area too.
Immediate Back-in-Bend Questions
Where did all the bearded guys come from? Why aren't there more "foreclosed" signs? Was that an earthquake? OMG who makes bullets in a city center? The Source Weekly swept most of the major alt-weekly awards in the Pacific Northwest? Really? Wow! Does her dad know what she's wearing? Speaking of that, are these shorts now too stained to wear? Wall Street or westside, who's buying?