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 Local News 101
 A Report for The Busy
Dec 17
Calvary Christians Threaten Neighbors, County At Meeting

2 religious groups protested a County Commissioners' decision tonight which took away special privileges from them.
   The law specifically prohibits discriminating AGAINST the religious groups but does not grant them special privileges automatically. The County extended that privilege at a time the churches were providing important public services. The schools, hospital, colleges, the Poor Farm, orphan asylums, etc. were all run by churches. Today, the public picks up the tab for such activities and essentially pays TWICE by providing the churches exemptions.
Of course, the churches have come to view it as an entitlement, a free lunch.
    The County has traditionally tolerated that view, and tonight decided the churches should have the responsibilities others have, regarding marginal use permits on the city's outskirts.
   'Existing facilities will be grandfathered in under the new law but will have to undergo a review process if there is a significant change in use, such as the size and frequency of services. New ones will have to obtain a permit through a process involving an application fee, a staff review and possibly a public hearing.'
   Cavalry Chapel, regarded by neighbors as a nuisance, specifically threatened  to adopt an antagonistic posture with neighbors. "We don’t feel this puts us in a very good position to be collaborative,” Rick Fletcher, the preacher at Calvary Chapel darkly hinted. And he threatened the County as well that "this is something that’s going to cost the county a lot of time and money".  
   Fortunately, if the County needs to defend ourselves, we can ask the Court to direct the church to reimburse for the costs of doing so.
   The cry of persecution when "entitlements" are withdrawn has become a staple among religious groups. In fact, today, a bulletin advising religious groups of ways they can take advantage of subsidies appeared on the web:
1. Fund your religion classes with school vouchers, tuition tax credits or capital grants.
2. Get free facilities for after-school clubs in public facilities.
3. Nudge your doctrines into public school textbooks and discussions.
4. Support military missionaries on government salaries.
5. Use federal disaster relief to rebuild after “acts of God.”
6. Leverage historic preservation grants to rehab your real estate.
7. The public underwrites religious infrastructure. Some religious groups may be able to build a portfolio of real estate investments without having to contribute to public amenities, utilities, transportation, or policing. Many community services and assets get paid for by real estate owners through property taxes. But for a long time, houses of worship have been exempt, making them effectively subsidized by surrounding properties.
8. International aid dollars. World Vision, a multi-national with an evangelical mission and employee statement of faith has built a vast loyal following largely by appending evangelistic priorities to US aid dollars.
9. Administering public health facilities. With Obamacare and technology costs driving hospital mergers, religious healthcare corporations like Catholic Health Initiatives ($15B+ in assets) are finding that they can secure monopoly positions in many communities or even entire regions.
10. Provide safety net services to potential converts. Prisoners, addicts, single moms, pregnant teens, the elderly, foster kids…the possibilities are endless.

The patience of the public is not, however, endless, as was evidenced last night.

 


The clown car known as the Supreme Court held another of their séances, called "sessions", in which they, surprisingly, effectively overturned a referendum on driver's licenses for some undocumented immigrants. They blocked a state 'from enforcing a policy that denies driver’s licenses to young immigrants granted legal status by President Barack Obama in 2012.'

Dec 15

Wisconsin Sportswriters Chime In on Reasons for Anderson's Move

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Jeff Potrykus and the Wisconsin State Journal's Jason Galloway have sent more bad news about the motivation for the move of OSU's new football coach when queried why they think Anderson moved from Wisconsin's cachet program.
'Possible reasons for Andersen wanting to make this move -- lack of money for assistants, high admission standards, coaching in Barry Alvarez's shadow, the desire to get back to the West -- have been circulating over the past day. Based on what you know about Andersen and about Wisconsin, what's your perspective on why he'd decide to leave Wisconsin for Oregon State?
Potrykus: I think the only legit and serious concern was the admission standards. Gary knew it would be difficult to bring JUCOS in, which he did at Utah State. But they have lost at least two promising HS recruits because of academic standards. Those hits appeared to make Gary very concerned. I never heard any grumbling about assistants pay and Alvarez's shadow isn't nearly as long or oppressive as some national folks portray.
Galloway: I think the high academic standards had a lot to do with it. Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said that Andersen brought that up as an issue multiple times during his short tenure with the Badgers, and there were rumors as far back as a couple weeks ago that Andersen may be open to leaving Madison. That being said, he knew what he was getting into when he took the job. Wisconsin didn't hide anything about its academic standards for incoming freshmen. The school prides itself on being successful on the field and in the classroom.'
   We are aware that there are those whose opinion of OSU Athletic Director De Carolis is so low that they can imagine the man assuring Anderson that he can put the walkons for "Dumb and Dumber" on the OSU team and draw no flak. But we can all wait a few months before rushing to judgment, please. If he starts recruiting junior varsity players en masse, we'll know.


Beginning in January, the DMV will make it a little easier to change the declared gender of a driver for transgender drivers. 'Currently, the state of Oregon keeps a list of roughly 110 therapists statewide. If you want to change the gender on your driver's license—and haven't gotten the change approved in court or undergone surgery—you'll need a letter from one of these therapists, assuring the DMV you're "participating in gender-reassignment therapy and living full-time as the desired gender."
   The new policy, going into effect on January 2, does away with the restrictive list. Starting next year, transgender Oregonians will be able to take a special form to their "licensed medical or social service provider" to obtain the same authorization, according to an outline provided by the DMV. It might sound like a small change - and driver's licenses are only one of a tangled maze of documents trans people have to wrestle with while transitioning from one gender to another - but advocates say it makes a big difference for a population that has outsize difficulty obtaining employment, and therefore health insurance. '



Dec 14
OSU's Heisman Winner Terry Baker Implies He Voted For Mariota

Terry Baker: 1962 and Today

Once Oregon's only Heisman winner ever, Terry Baker was effusive about the 2014 UO Heisman Trophy winner: "He's a fantastic football player. And from what I've heard, he's an outstanding person. It's wonderful. I'm wishing him the best..The award will stay with you for the rest of your life. And with that, in the short-term, comes really high expectations...He might get some ribbing from the veteran players. And people will think he should start right away. And it can be kind of a burden. Look at Manziel. There are going to be heavy expectations now. But I think he'll be able to handle it... There's nobody that I can remember who shows the mobility he has," Baker said about Mariota. "He is one-of-a-kind there.. He makes great decisions on the field," Baker said. "He sees the field really well, and he finds the open receivers. He's the total package, no question." Like other previous recipients, Baker was allowed to vote for this year's winner, but participants are asked to keep their ballots secret until after the vote but he said mischievously that "I will say that Marcus Mariota was on my ballot".
Below: Mariota's acceptance speech melted a few hearts.


The problems inherent in the Boards of Trustees now running the separate major universities in Oregon created a crisis at UO this week when the faculty Senate pressured the Board to delay publishing "a policy that some faculty members believe will supersede the UO constitution, usurp faculty authority over academic matters — and even repeal part of the university’s 1876 charter."
   The faculty Senate Executive Committee actually convened an emergency meeting on the issue which "was riddled with expressions of tension and mistrust". The interim UO president Scott Coltrane said "We are in a broken place, a place where things aren’t going very well".  The Board postponed the policy decision until March.


Dec 13

Bureau of Justice Releases Latest Statistics on Student Sexual Violence
Today, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a division of the US Department of Justice, released figures comparing rape involving students with rape not involving students. Surprising to some, the rate of rape and sexual assault was 20% higher for non-students. However, the rate of reporting rape and sexual assaults by students is much lower - 80% of such incidents are likely to go unreported, compared to the 67% of nonstudent victims. For both groups, 80% of the offenders were known by the victims and only 10% involved weapons. You can read their summary here.
New OSU Coach Not Going to Be Happy Here

There were 2 disturbing themes in the gazette's article detailing why Wisconsin coach Gary Anderson took a step down to come to OSU. The first was a hint that Wisconsin newspapers also referred to - that he dislikes the emphasis on academics and character that the Big 10 places on its teams, that he thinks it hampers recruiting. Mike Riley will fit in with that system well at Nebraska, sharing a similar set of priorities.
   Corvallis, on the other hand, had the experience with Joe Avezzano, who overlooked football players who seemed to be in jail more often than on the football field, and Corvallis was outraged by that system. We are not going to be happy with a system which places more emphasis on the football games than on developing the academic potential and character of the young men playing the games.

   The 2nd thing to make the City uncomfortable was Anderson's use of mumbo-jumbo about "being led" and "being told" to come to Corvallis, presumably by some supernatural force. If, as the gazette article implies, he is expecting this city to resemble the rubes in a small, backwater, Utah college town, he is going to have a rude awakening. We have, as they say, "been to the city and see-d" the Elephant. We long ago ceased to be predominantly governed or even moved by superstition here. We have no sympathy for such a point of view. In fact, it is cartoonish to us, if not downright repelling.

New Revelations About Riley Leaving OSU Only Increase Respect
Initial reactions to Mike Riley's leaving OSU for Nebraska involved a sense of betrayal from many OSU fans. But Kerry Eggers' revelations in the Portland Tribune are stirring opposite reactions. Eggers says that OSU's Bob De Carolis demanded of Riley that his assistant coaches be given only year to year contracts, something Riley had fought tooth and nail.
   That sort of loyalty to the people who work for him is something we all respected Riley for. That he was willing to "go to the mat" for them, and is now taking ALL of them with him, only increases our respect for him more. "It was a horribly hard decision, really gut-wrenching for me", Riley says. But It is what we would have wanted and expected from him. It is in character matters that Riley excelled. The wins and losses column pales by comparison. Florida State is an example of the opposite point of view - a "successful" team led by a man most regard as a rapist, Jameis Winston.
    And De Carolis's role in the matter is exactly what we would have expected from him, the opposite of Riley's. It's unfortunate that it was Riley rather than De Carolis whose departure was necessitated by the confrontation. De Carolis might be happiest elsewhere. At Florida State, for example. OSU fans would certainly be more comfortable if he were there.

Even the UO Mascot Came Out to Support the GTTF in UO Strike

Above: In a somewhat related issue of loyalty, the strike by grad students (Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation or GTFF) in Eugene has exposed fault lines between faculty and administrators. The administration had demanded that department heads enter grades for classes they hadn't taught or else hire someone else to do the grading. "Utterly irresponsible in either case", said Bonnie Mann, chairwoman of the Philosophy Department, where 7 courses were taught by grad students. "There’s no way on Earth, even if I had been willing to, that I would be able to familiarize myself with all that course material and do any sort of responsible job grading these students. Who in the hell am I going to hire? No. 1, we don’t have a lot of people with Ph.Ds in philosophy running around Eugene. We just don’t."
   'A dozen department heads, including Mann, said they wouldn’t enter grades on that basis. The University Senate earlier this month voted in opposition to such a plan.
One professor dubbed the university’s plan the “Wizard of Oz” strategy, Mann said. “Oh, you want to give the students a diploma without giving them a brain - a grade without an education?'
   'Only an associate dean remains, which means an administrator, who does not even have a degree in philosophy, is grading 200-and-some philosophy students on the basis of grading records that had been left to her,” Mann said.'
   'Mann said she is philosophically opposed to doing what she considers “strike-breaking work.” In a letter to undergraduates explaining her refusal to enter grades, Mann explained that she is one of seven children of a Boise Cascade millworker, whose plant unionized in an extremely risky and volatile process when she was 10 years old. University officials quizzed her repeatedly on her refusal to enter grades, which she eventually discovered was laying the groundwork for the administration to take disciplinary action against her, Mann contends. “What I imagine is that I’ll be fired from my position as department head,” she said. “In fact, I think that’s very likely.”
   The UO administration adopted other tactics guaranteed to cause bitter feelings in the wake of the conflict with the GTFF strike although the conflict was settled after mediation. For example, the administration threatened international GTF students with deportation, which drew a sharp rebuke from the GTFF (you can read their cease-and-desist order here).

Dec 11

OSU Vet School Ballooning Despite Low Incomes for Grads

Above: The crushing debt of students graduating from OSU in the professions has come home. Vet school graduate Julie Stafford says. "Faced with a monthly payment approaching 40 percent of her take-home pay, Stafford got into an income-based repayment program that lowered her monthly obligation. The debt, which she figures could take 25 years to repay, weighs on her. "It's like a mortgage to a house I'll never live in," Stafford said. "I sometimes put my head under the covers and pretend it doesn't exist."
   '"You look at a young vet making $65,000 a year, their ability to buy a house or save for retirement is almost impossible," said Mackenzie Martin, a West Linn financial planner who works with veterinarians. "I have people five years out of school who are still living like students."
   'In a strange disconnect with the reality faced by their grads, more American colleges are jumping into the vet school business and some existing schools are expanding, which could make a saturated market even more competitive.
   One of the vet schools with big growth plans is OSU in Corvallis. The vet school is considering a $12.5 million expansion of its animal hospital and other facilities, which would be paid for, in part, by growing enrollment 25 percent.'


December is a Good Time to Not Be In Wisconsin, New OSU Coach Decides

Just a few days after OSU coach Mike Riley announced he was leaving for Big 10 team Nebraska, the midwest conference is returning the favor, sending Wisconsin's Gary Anderson to OSU. Anderson has built an impressive team at Wisconsin. Prior to Wisconsin, he was at Utah State, which is not part of the backward Mormon combine of BYU and, less so, Utah. By all accounts, the move was a "step down" and the reason Anderson agreed was to get out of Wisconsin and back to the West, where his roots are. And December can make that a pressing argument in Wisconsin. For informational purposes, it is 24 degrees in Madison and dropping.
   OSU has tried to "sweeten the pot" by promising to spend $42 million on the Valley Football Center. "The project will add 55,000 square feet of additional space to the center that will house a new locker room at field level, expanded training and equipment areas, a new team meeting room and a media center. The end zone seating will also be reconstructed with improved sightlines, while a concourse will connect the east and west sides of the stadium."
   Too bad it won't also contain several thousand parking spaces for students.
   New accounts indicate that it as Riley's commitment to his staff which drove OSU coach to Nebraska. OSU Athletic Director Bob "De Carolis wanted to eliminate multiyear contracts for Beaver assistant coaches -- something Riley had fought hard for in recent years -- and also wanted to renegotiate Riley's deal to pare the years remaining down from seven. " Riley's assistants ALL are going with him to Nebraska.


Dec 10
After a 22 hour mediation session, UO grad students are back at work grading student theses and exams. 'The new contract provides the teaching assistants with fair wages and a hardship fund to provide paid medical and family leave.. I'm extremely proud of the graduate employees of GTFF," AFT-Oregon President David Rives said. "This contract is a monumental achievement for workers across all campuses."


Dec 9
While Corvallis continues to penalize the homeless with expensive fines for "illegal camping", other cities in Oregon are providing designated places. Eugene has just authorized 2 more sites near Autzen Stadium which will accommodate 15 people each.

Portland Police Chief Looks to Campus in San Antonio

Above: Portland's Police Chief Mike Reese meanwhile was touring San Antonio's 37 acre campus for the homeless, which includes dormitories (above) for 1000 who can prove they've been in the city for a year. 'Homeless people who take shelter in the dorms are required to spend 40 hours a week in “productive activity,” which can range from job training classes to counseling. Virtually every social service a homeless person can require is available at the campus, all intended to help people stabilize and find a path toward productive lives, all seamlessly working together. The campus even maintains a kennel for residents who have pets. ...For those unwilling or unable to enter the shelter, Haven For Hope offers an alternative - an attached courtyard campground with showers and sanitary facilities, fans and umbrellas, and no rules limiting length of stay. For those who cannot enter the dorms because they still drink or use drugs, the campground is an option - they can be under the influence there, though they can’t bring in forbidden substances from outside. The campground can accommodate as many as 800 homeless people, and even features roving mental health professionals looking for campers in need of their services. '

Dec 8
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE LAUNCHES THEIR ANNUAL CHRISTMAS BASH - OF THE POOR

The Chamber of Commerce has been busy passing out fliers asking people not to give money to the poor. The Chamber has sponsored placards reading "Handouts Don’t Help", and claiming a distinction between panhandlers and the homeless: "The latest initiative is aimed at deterring panhandling, not at preventing donations to the homeless, said Kevin Dwyer, the president of the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce."
   Dyer complains of the choices some panhandlers make. "Some of them are legit and need help, but they may be using the money for drugs or alcohol. And you really don’t know where your money is going when you give it to them." That is hilarious for those of us in lines at local groceries and in downtown boutiques, who shake our heads when we see what people - ALL people, whether homeless or well heeled - are capable of spending money on, especially at Christmas time.
   The Chamber initiative has sucked in several local businesses and even Gina Vee of Corvallis Housing First. Vee says "I never recognize the panhandlers as people who use our shelter". That can only be because she's not downtown in the morning when the shelters turn out their guests, a number of residents told us this morning. The latter head for the streets and immediately begin asking for money or cigarettes. There are others, who prefer not to stay at the shelters, regarding themselves as separate from most of the homeless. Some of these take to busking as musicians, others to seek out various sorts of day laborer jobs.
   Decades ago, many of them could find full time work at local restaurants at "entry level" (a euphemism for minimum wage) jobs. Those jobs are not available today, and instead cafes - some of them part of the Chamber - offer part time, temporary jobs, still at minimum wages. Faced with a choice of working and being homeless or just being homeless, many have chosen the latter.
   The Food Stamps available to the poor are $127.43, on average, in Oregon. That needs to be supplemented somewhat, but Vee says she believes "there are enough organizations around Corvallis that people in need of food or shelter do not need to panhandle." Instead, they should turn to the existing organizations and trust their decisions on what to do with funds. One suspects she'd be happiest if she could make those decisions for the rest of us too.
   The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty and The National Coalition for the Homeless disagree. They have issued a report (you can read it here) declaring crackdowns on panhandlers (better known as beggars in Calcutta) to be part-and-parcel of an overall campaign to criminalize and further marginalize the poor.   
   Discouraging panhandlers, they say, has
"not been proven to reduce panhandling, as they do not address the underlying reasons why a poor or homeless individual may need to ask for money." Downtown, this morning for example, 3 teen buskers were trying to beg enough money so that a fourth, a friend, could pay a critical bill and NOT be homeless. The poor have all kinds of financial needs, like the rest of Corvallis.
   This is not to suggest that we ourselves respond regularly to requests for assistance. We are familiar with many of those involved in homelessness in Corvallis. We have limited funds and reserve our own donations to those we believe most in need and most sincere. We recommend you do the same. But do NOT permit yourself into being persuaded by the Chamber - which has almost NEVER been known for anything but greed and self interest. They have played the same role with the working population and the poor that the KKK plays with African Americans. It's a little late for them to be posing as anything else.
   The Chamber simply finds the poor a nuisance. At Christmastime, they want shoppers to see Jolly everywhere. Beggars are apt to dispel that. And giving money to the poor means people will have less to spend on what some might view as trivia, available en galore in Chamber member shops.
   Housing First is to be applauded for their commitment to providing housing - FIRST - for the homeless.
National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty and The National Coalition for the Homeless both agree on this as a priority. It is unbecoming for Housing First to be sucked up into this Chamber effort.


Dec 7
The latest figures suggest that the County needn't put to much time into puzzling over the demands of a handful of religious people for special exemptions for new churches from conditional use permits on the city's fringes. The small neighborhood churches long ago gave up the ghost and the megachurches were born. They too are now dying.
   "Construction of religious buildings in the U.S. has fallen to the lowest level at any time since private records began in 1967. Religious groups will build an estimated 10.3 million square feet this year, down 6% from 2013 and 80% since construction peaked in 2002".
   The US now spends five times as much money on sex toys as on church construction.

Dec 4

Mike Riley Off to Nebraska

ALERT! OSU football coach Mike Riley is leaving immediately to coach the University of Nebraska. Nebraska fired Bo Pelini after seven seasons, and a 9-3 record this year. Riley has done worse but at OSU has still been impressive, “Mike Riley consistently won at OregonState with inferior talent,” tweeted ESPN analyst David Pollack. “He developed talent & found under the radar guys. Will do same @ Neb.”
   'Mike Riley went 93-80 overall (.538) and 58-63 (.479) in Pac-12 play, and won nine or more games four times. For comparisons sake, the man Riley will replace went 67-27 (.713) overall and 39-17 .696 in the conference, winning nine-plus all seven years.' Riley's contract at OSU runs through 2021 and presumably Nebraska will pay the penalty.

 The secondary worry of Corvallis residents concerns the character of Riley's replacement. Many remember the Joe Avezzano coaching years, when it seemed like Avezzano must have been recruiting out of parole board hearings, with his football players perpetually in trouble legally. Avezzano's record at OSU was abysmal as well, never winning more than 2 games in a season.
Joe Avezzano

1980 Oregon State 0 11 0 .000
1981 Oregon State 1 10 0 .091
1982 Oregon State 1 9 1 .136
1983 Oregon State 2 8 1 .227
1984 Oregon State 2 9 0 .182

 


The revelations of a young woman who says she was gang-raped by 2 of Riley's players, without any real consequences, was shocking to Corvallis residents. It only increases the nervousness of Corvalisians looking into the future. Especially with Bob De Carolis doing the hiring of Riley's replacement.

Dec 3
Moms Hand Over 18,000 Signatures to Fred Meyer's Asking Guns Be Removed

'Oregon members of the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America are asking Fred Meyer [owned by Kroger] to stop allowing customers to openly carry guns in its stores. Twelve moms delivered copies of the Moms Demand Action petition bearing more than 18,000 signatures to Fred Meyer headquarters.' Anneliese Davis, a group member, says that she "supports the Second Amendment right to bear arms. "I come from a gun-owning, hunting family ... my husband is a veteran," she said. "I can't find a single (family member) who feels the need to take a rifle with them when they go to the grocery store."
   In fact, most observers agree that the people seen to be "packing" weapons in grocery stores are PRECISELY those people in the community most do not want to see carrying weapons around. Says one reader, "they are among the most unstable people I know."
Moms Say They Are in the 2nd Day of "The 12 Days of Kroger" Campaign

   There have been incidents at the Fred Meyer's stores. ' Jerry Harryman, a customer at the Clackamas Fred Meyer, pulled a .380 semiautomatic pistol during a physical confrontation with another customer, William Young, and shot him in the leg. Harryman, who had a license to carry a concealed weapon, was convicted of second-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon .' Harryman tried and failed with a "Stand Your Ground" defense. Young's wife, 'Dorothy Young, who was with him at the time of the shooting, along with her grandson, said the problems started in the checkout line. "I was putting in my PIN number for my card," she described. "The guy kept looking around me and trying to get my PIN number, and my husband asked him to back off." Dorothy Young said Harryman refused, and the fight reportedly turned physical. "Bill was going around the other aisle to go between me and him, so the guy shoved a cart at him, threw and punch, and said, ‘I've got a gun,'" described Dorothy Young. "He pulled the gun; Bill went for his hand and pushed it down…that's when Bill got shot in the leg." Despite the pain, Bill Young, a Vietnam veteran, worked to secure the gun, as customers ran from the checkout stand and hid inside the store. "All Bill could think about was getting the gun away from him," said Dorothy Young. "Bill just put his finger in the trigger hole, so he couldn't get any more shots off, and held onto him, until there were other customers and people from the store who came and helped."
    In Newberg this year, a "man allegedly walked into the store, smashed a display case, stole a backpack to hide the weapons and took off without anyone noticing what had happened until two hours later." The public may have been alarmed by a man wandering through carrying an arsenal, but would have assumed it was just more of Kroger's crazy policies at work.
    Panera Bread, and Starbucks have both banned weapons in stores.
   In related news, 'Deschutes County has a new claim to fame. Gun retailers outnumber museums and libraries by almost 7 to 1, the highest rate among U.S. counties in a recent analysis by The Washington Post.'



Churches Whining Again About Losing Special Privileges, Claiming Discrimination

Christians packed a County hearing on whether churches, like everyone else, should be required to get conditional use permits in urban "fringe areas". Existing structures would be "grandfathered in" unless their use changes.
   "Churches, mosques, synagogues and other community gathering places are permitted outright in the urban residential zone under the current code, but neighbors of some of the county’s busier houses of worship have complained about traffic, noise, parking and other issues." In south Corvallis, for example, a reader writes of a church blaring electronically amplified music Sunday mornings at various times disturbing the neighborhood.
    "County planning staffers outlined the advantages of the conditional use process, saying it would allow the county to review new or expanded facilities on a case-by-case basis and provide a way to mitigate the potential livability impacts of large congregations on suburban neighborhoods... A number of opponents cited the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, a federal law aimed at protecting religious organizations from discrimination. ".
   In reality, current law "discriminates" against others, giving religious groups an unearned exemption required for others. There was a time when churches provided essential services that argued in favor of such exemptions. The hospital, for example, was run by the Episcopal church, the public school by Methodists, and the College by United Brethren churches. Food distribution was run for the poor by churches and the County Poor Farm was greatly their work. Those services are now all run by publicly funded organizations and the churches are largely focused on themselves. There are a tiny number of churches who help provide shelter for the homeless but even that service is becoming the work of an NGO. And those churches, like the Presbyterian church pictured above, are unlikely to require the permits because they're well-established in the urban core.
   Further, the churches most affected tend to contradict the values held by a majority of the citizenry. They are vitriolic in being anti-gay, racist, and anti-poor, they really are deserving of no consideration beyond that extended to any other citizens.


Archives here

WORLD NEWS
 
BREAKING NEWS OF
THE ECONOMY, TRAFFIC AND BUSINESS
The Los Angeles Times has been running a special on the Big Agra farms south of the Mexican border which supply Walmart, Safeway and Whole Foods. 'The farm employed hundreds of poor indigenous workers at a salary of $8 per day. The rudimentary, scorpion-infested camps where the workers lived had not child care facilities or schools. The workers were not given enough food to feed their families. If they wanted more, they had to buy it at inflated prices at the company store. People too sick to work were denied food. Worse, workers were not allowed to leave.'

Dec 16

A New York high school student has now racked up $72 million trading stocks at lunch time after losing his shirt in penny stocks, according to New York Magazine. Oh wait...  Today, the magazine apologized and published a new interview with the kid:
 You seem to be quoted saying "eight figures." That's not true, is it?
No, it is not true.

Is there ANY figure? Have you invested and made returns at all?
No.

So it's total fiction?
Yes.'

Dec 13
'A proposal to raise Oregon's minimum wage to $15 per hour picked up support this week from 10 Democratic lawmakers who signed on to sponsor the bill. "I think a lot of people want to see the Legislature look at making sure the work that people do allows them to stay out of dependency on public support," Sen. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, said. "That's the purpose of the minimum wage."

Dec 12
'Elizabeth Warren did a bit of outreach to Republicans today, urging them to remove from the omnibus budget bill that rollback of part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law that we covered earlier today. If you really oppose government bailouts, she said, then why on earth would you vote for this measure that would allow FDIC insurance to bail out banks that lose money on derivatives trades — those risky little gambles that crashed the world economy back in 2008?'

Dec 11
Democrats in Congress announced they had pushed through funding for the Newport Coast Guard station to remain open another year.

Portland economist Joe Cortright has authored a study showing that gentrification is not really on the upswing in the US. Instead, the number of people affected are - twice as many people now live in poorer parts of urban areas. You can read the report here.

A judge has ordered Bank of America to pay a couple $1 million for 700 robo-calls after they fell behind on a second mortgage.

'So here’s a little reminder of Why Unions Matter: they give employees at least a fighting chance against bullshit like this: Kip Hedges, a baggage handler at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport who had worked for Delta Airlines for 26 years, was fired by the airline after he spoke in favor of increasing Minnesota’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. Delta said that he had been canned for “disparaging” the airline.'

'The Washington Parks and Recreation Commission iis working on a policy setting fees and terms for when farmers can use long-distance trails otherwise off-limits to motorized vehicles.'


Dec 10

Nike is claiming in a lawsuit that 'three Nike footwear designers stole "a treasure trove of Nike product designs, research information and business plans" to start a new Brooklyn Design Studio for Adidas they expect to open next year'.

Oregon Counties dependent on federal taxpayers to provide their essential services through the public forests have failed to secure funding in the latest Congressional bill.

The 5-4 male majority on the Supreme Court took another step toward the Republican ideal of a US in which the 1% is served free by everyone else. Companies no longer have to pay employees for activities which are not 'principal activity" which the workers are employed to perform'. That means, for example that wait staff can be required to do cleaning for free, etc. The case was an Amazon process which involved an extra half hour unpaid while security checks were performed after work.

Dec 8
'Oregon employers of all sizes could have to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave to their employees if a law being pushed by Democrats succeeds during the 2015 session.'

Dec 5
Charity Watch has come out with the annual list of miserably performing charities and near the top of the list is Vietnam Veterans of America, active in Oregon.

Dec 4

Multnomah County agreed to a $15 an hour minimum wage to be phased in over 3 years. 9% of the County's workforce will benefit.

'Fast-food workers in roughly 190 cities nationwide are set to walk off the job Thursday morning, demanding an industry-wide base wage of $15 per hour and the right to form a union. Thursday’s strike, the latest in a series of day-long labor actions coordinated through a nationwide coalition of various fast food worker groups, may well be the largest work stoppage in the history of the industry, if early organizer estimates prove to be accurate.'

Dec 3
The Obama administration's traditional reliance on corporate managers to lead crucial federal institutions (the FCC, the Affordable Health Care Act and the bank bailout come to mind) is hitting a snag as opposition to the plan to draft Lazard banker Antonio Weiss as Secretary of the Treasury has drawn 100,000 signing on in opposition.

Dec 2

The Port of Newport’s plan to begin moving logs out of Yaquina Bay next year has hit a large bump
in the road with Hancock Timber Resource Group and log exporter TPT deciding to pull out of the venture because of market conditions.'

Dec 1
Motorists pulling into Woodburn to fill up gas tanks without checking prices will be sadly disappointed to find that the price per gallon of the 3 stations off of I-5 are as much a a dollar per gallon more than others around Oregon. The Arco, Standard and Shell stations are all guilty of the "price gouging", says KATU.

Nov 26
'For the third Black Friday running, America’s largest retailer is expected to face labor protests at locations across the country. Workers and supporters affiliated with the union-backed labor campaign OUR Walmart say this Friday will be their biggest strike yet.'

Nov 25

A leaked slide show from the oil industry has shown an elaborate "astroturf" plan to create phony organizations intended to present the impression that grass roots consumer groups - like the "Oregon Climate Change Campaign" are springing up to oppose attempts at controlling global waming.

Nov 24

Bend estimates they will need 16,000 new residences in the next 15 years and are trying to wrestle with the state over how they will fill that need while avoiding apartments as much as possible.

Northwest growers say they are steadily losing workers to higher paid jobs, especially in the oil industry and agricultural labor pays so poorly that the industry is having trouble finding the necessary workers. There is an obvious solution to that - pay higher wages - but the industry prefers recruiting desperate workers to cross the border, even if that means illegally, apparently.

Nov 23
Like the 2 other firms from the South who have have tried to muscle into the Corvallis housing scene to build quads for OSU students at the Sather and Witham Hill Oaks, Capstone Collegiate in Eugene is based in Alabama and is as notorious as its cousins for maintaining nightmarish conditions. Today, the Register Guard issued an investigative report.

ALL earners, including the top 1%, aould be better off if the tax rate went back to the Eisenhour levels, before Democrat LBJ lowered them to make the war on Vietnam and the Great Society more palatable to the rich, says a joint study from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Bonn.


Nov 20
The city of Newport is discussing challenging " the legality of the U.S. Coast Guard’s planned decommissioning of its air rescue facility in Newport.'

Facebook bus drivers voted to unionize as Teamsters in yesterday's vote by a nearly 2-1 margin.

A new study published in Nature magazine shows that people in the banking industry lie "at the drop of a hat" but only while they're at work,

Nov 19
The Republican Party over 35 years has loyally worked to further the policies of Ronald Reagan and we can safely say they have arrived: "Boeing Co, Ford Motor Co, Chevron Corp, Citigroup Inc, Verizon Communications Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and General Motors Co.  reported a tax rate of -2.5 percent despite claiming more than $74 billion in combined pre-tax profits."

Nov 18
A new report on homelessness documents the shameful historic high of 2.5 million children who were homeless last year.

Nov 17
Sakuma Brothers Berries has agreed to pay workers unpaid wages for break times until the state Supreme Court rules on "piece work" workers in agriculture.

Nov 15
1,900 strip dancers of Rick's Caberet were awarded $10 million in unpaid wages.

Nov 14

Above: A Channel 4 news report on bank corruption and greed went viral after the reporter "lost it" regarding his impatience on the issue.

Across the US, Walmart workers pressing for higher minimum wage occupied the stores and in California, riot police were called out as intersections were also blocked.


Nov 11
American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta are filing objections to Sea-Tac rules requiring them to pay the airport's $11.22-an-hour wage. They are trying to have the minimum wage squashed, which in turn screams for Americans to avoid their airlines.

Nov 10

The notorious homphobes of Chick-Fil-A are planning on opening one of their klaverns in Portland, the company said, a day after announcing plans to open two others in Seattle.

See older posts here.
 

 
SPORTS NEWS 
 
Published by Corvallis Today LLC
A Creative Commons Site
a
CHRISTY'S
CRIMEBEAT

A CRIME
COLUMN 
 
Kimberly Jean Wheeler

Ms Wheeler has been charged with not appearing on a DUII, meth charge, etc. Intellius says she's from Florida, via Albany.

Javier Nickolas Corona
Mr. Corona has been charged with stealing a vehicle ("Unauthorized Use") as well as not showing up on meth and heroin charges, etc.
Anthony Andrew Witt

Mr. Witt has been charged 4 times in a year, usually on heroin or assault related charges. This time he is charged with absconding on a heroin delivery charge. In 2012, he "admitted to stealing more than $300 of tip money on three separate occasions from Shari’s, where he was employed", police said.

William Robert Andrew Johnson

Mr. Johnson appears to be one of the Lost Boys who wandered off the movie set and found himself bewilderingly in Corvallis. He has been charged 11 times in 2 years, usually in association with some sort of car prowl or drug charge. He is from Yachats.
   Otherwise, the crime scene in Corvallis was pretty uneventful, focused as is evident from the above, on the addiction issues, which the Oregonian has once again today pointed to as springing from the pharmaceutical industry and the pharmacy/ physicians' cartels. The sheriff, of course, lacks any authority to move against either, so long as the County and City sit on their hands.
   In related news, the head of a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy was charged with 25 counts of second-degree murder in connection with a fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people. US Attorney Carmen Diaz says that "Production and profit were prioritized over safety. Beginning in January 2012, NECC’s environmental sampling, in one of the so-called ‘clean rooms,’ found mold and bacteria in 37 out of 38 weeks." The company's supervising pharmacist, the prosecutor says, was "telling pharmacy technicians to falsely label medications as being sterilized and tested"."


Dec 17

ALERT!

Travis Stephen Burington
Mr. Burington has been released after serving his sentence for a parole violation following new charges of theft, meth, etc. He was last arrested in June for a car prowl and meth but has been charged 8 times in 4 years, managing to go 10 months without an arrest in an unusually long span. Kaleb Burrington has been charged 10 times in about the same time span for meth, burglary, etc. Neither should be permitted to roam your neighborhood without adult supervision.
Tobias James Binek

Mr.Binek was charged with theft. He is another gift from Albany and was last charged in Benton County for violating a restraining order in September.

David Howard Cook

Mr. Cook has shown up to begin serving 60 days on a parole violation. He has been charged 8 times in a little more than 1 year with burglary, theft, meth, etc.
   In related news the Oregonian has been running an in-depth look at the meth addiction in Oregon, now estimated to be costing us $6 billion a year and has concluded that the governor and the Legislature both ignored warnings and solutions over years. The same can be said of Benton County Commissioners and the city Council, because the report also points to the "gateway" drug for meth being not pot or alcohol, but pain killers. Those benefitting from the addictions are physicians. Benton County has yet to introduce the measures required to combat the ill:
1) A registry of physicians prescribing the pain killers. Those raking cash in from addictions are not Mexican cartels alone. They are the physicians' cartels. We need to know who they are to begin policing them. They are NOT doing it themselves.
2) A ranking of those physicians and the number of painkillers prescribed.
    Until the county begins publicizing such numbers, we cannot begin to take their "law enforcement" efforts seriously. They are simply enabling crimes.
   OSU police are asking for help finding 5 banners stolen during the Civil War Weekend. 'The five banners were taken between Nov. 29 and 30 from the OSU campus, police said. The banners are described as 3 feet by 12 feet, orange with white lettering and double-sided with "OSU Oregon State University" on one side and the Beavers logo and "Beaver Nation" on the other side. Two banners were taken from the west side of Dixon Recreation Center, and the other three were taken from poles near Washington Way and Adams Hall. '

Elsewhere in Oregon, Portland police have issued warrants for 3 men in a 1995 execution of a man while he slept, with his children in another room. All 3 are already in custody in various prisons throughout the country.
 

Janice Roberts

Janice Roberts, the director of an institution for the disabled who embezzled $80,000, leading to the institution's collapse, has been sentenced to 90 days in jail. 'Since Roberts' resignation, the state Department of Education pulled more than $500,000 in grants from Oregon RISE, the nonprofit's board disbanded and the agency shut down.'

Eugene police surveillance of a "known drug house" was interrupted by a drug delivery from 2 men believed to be associated with Mexican drug cartels. Both men were chased and captured, one using a K-9 unit.

A new study shows that women who use meth are 5 times as likely to develop Parkinson's disease as those who do not.
 

Above: Bobby Shmurda, whose Shmoney Dance went viral, has been arrested, tied to "a rash of gang-related shootings, drug-related crimes and “acts of violence", police say.
 

Mark-1 Plumbing Truck Ends Up in ISIS Video

Above: Elsewhere in the US, the last time Texan Mark Oberholtzer  saw his truck was when he traded it in at an autodealer. 'On Monday, however, the Ansar al-Deen Front, a Syrian militant group, posted a photo featuring the black Ford F-250 pickup with an anti-aircraft gun mounted on the truck bed and the logo of Oberholtzer’s Mark-1 Plumbing Company and contact information emblazoned on the doors.' The hate calls and phone threats started. "A few of the people are really ugly" he said.
   Also in Texas, the rape of a 16 year old in July which was widely viewed on the internet has now resulted in 2 arrests.
 

Michael Egan

Michael Egan, who said he was the victim of an organized Hollywood sex ring and was handed around as a minor at parties, has been arrested today for securities and wire fraud. The FBI says 'Egan lied about owning parts of Vegas hotels and casinos and knowing the CEO of a major bank. He also allegedly duped an attorney into telling his investors that he had $13 million in assets when in reality he had less then $11K to his name.'
 

NFL's Ray McDonald Booted from 49ers After Rape Charges

'San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald, who was arrested on domestic violence charges in August, has had a search warrant served at his house by police who are investigating a rape case.' .."This is about a pattern of poor behavior," Baalke, the team's GM, said Wednesday."

New York's Deputy Controller said today that many of the state's charter schools are engaged in untrackable money laundering for corporations.
 

George Stinney Jr.

Above: A judge said today she was reversing the conviction of a 14 year old African American boy who was convicted in 10 minutes by an all-white jury in 1944, despite clear evidence he was unable, at 95 pounds, to carry the 2 bodies of his alleged victims a half mile as was done by the killer. 'Newspapers reported that, because of his small stature, at 5ft 1in and weighing just 95lb, the guards had difficultly strapping him into a chair built for adults. When the switch was flipped and the first 2,400 volts surged through his body, the too-large death mask slipped from his face revealing the tears falling from his scared, open eyes. A second and third charge followed. He was pronounced dead on 16 June 1944.'
 

Estefanía Isaías (with Carolina Jaume)

Above: 'Today the New York Times published an incredible, and incredibly detailed, account of unrestrained favor-trading within the Obama administration. In a nut: The president’s cabinet, including the State Department under Hillary Clinton, suspended travel bans placed on certain Ecuadorian nationals who committed fraud (and worse) after those nationals’ family members pledged five- and six-figures sums to Democratic organizations. Estefanía Isaías, had been barred from coming to the United States after being caught fraudulently obtaining visas for her maids. But the ban was lifted at the request of the State Department under former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton so that Ms. Isaías could work for an Obama fund-raiser with close ties to the administration.'

That curious Pope guy, Francis, has helped end a crime wave which lasted half a century, normalizing relations between Cuba and the US. Republicans laughably criticized the move, saying it does nothing for "human rights" - as in the "human rights" they defend having massively violated under George Bush in the Senate Torture Report.

In other bigotry news, the Indiana Methodist church whose preacher fired the gay director of the choir will close at the end of the year. A lay leader also asked to resign after asking the preacher to reconsider says "about 80 percent of the congregation had left the church" after the 2 ousters. The preacher, David Manter, however said that "attendance and donations had been spiraling downward for 30 years" anyway.
 
And in keeping with a string of WTFs, a Republican official in Springfield, Massachusetts participating in a public Hanukkah lighting reminded the Jewish residents that "Jesus is the reason for the season". Hannukah predates Christianity by 200 years.

Dec 16

Phillip Antonio Lutz

OSU President Ed Ray may have an opportunity to demonstrate the changes in OSU policy regarding off campus sexual abuse that he touted in conversations about the case of Brenda Tracy, sooner than he'd liked. Ms Tracy last week said she'd been gang-raped by OSU football players and others in 1998.
    Mr. Lutz has been charged with Sex Abuse III, and there are 2 Facebook Pages, one for Phllip Lutz and one for Philip Antonio Hank Lutz.

Philip Lutz Phil Antonio Hank Lutz (Philip Lutz)

The latter says he "Studies at Oregon State University" and is a CHS graduate, and has a badge for Army ROTC. The former says simply that he "Studied at Oregon State University". If he indeed remains an OSU student and is convicted, we can expect to see repercussions. It's always discomfiting to be the first public example of a changing policy. No matter how long overdue that change is.
    To be clear, Sexual Abuse III, would include some of what Ms Tracy says she experienced. It does not, however, usually involve children.

Elijah Narayan Warren

Mr. Warren has been charged with disorderly conduct. His previous charge was a DUII in February. The web identifies him as being from Lincoln City via Salem.
   Otherwise, the crime scene in Corvallis was quiet last night.

Elsewhere in Oregon, Sean Christopher McFadden was charged in Veneta with whacking his room mate with a 6 foot tall Christmas tree. In the War on Christmas, Christmas is striking back.

Steven Rocket of Forest Grove faces charges of a decade of traveling to the Philippines for sex with children, alongside charges of sexually abusing 3 young sisters who were friends of the family, as well as of producing child porn for the web.
 

Lawrence Franks

Lawrence Franks, a Damascus, Oregon man who had graduated from the Army's West Point at the top of his class became depressed, bored and even suicidal, he says, at Fort Drum in upstate New York and did what any officer would do in his situation. He hopped a plane to Paris, and enlisted in the French Foreign Legion as an enlisted soldier under an assumed name.
   He quickly became attached t the staff of French general Laurent Kolodziej, and ought in the Central African Republic.
Kolodziej says that "He is a man I will never forget and by whom I will always stand. He is more than a born soldier, he is a born gentleman. I would like to have ten men like that in my team and I would be the happiest of generals."
   When his Foreign Legion enlistment of 5 years expired, Franks turned himself in and the army has now sentenced him to 4 years in prison for desertion. To turn myself in was the happiest moment in my life," he said. "Now I was coming home to my family and to take responsibility for what I had done." His distraught father had written the Portland Tribune to whine of his son's decision that "Lawrence gave us no clue he was contemplating a life-changing decision when we spoke per phone on March 29. His commander informs me he was an exemplary young officer with a bright future. I am a sad, confused dad. My wife would like to say, 'We are surely not alone wondering why our beloved Lawrence left all behind, including us, whom he deeply loves.' West Point and the American taxpayer provided Lawrence with a superb education. I assure you my family plans restitution." Give it a break, dad. The kid was bored. He yearned for an adventure and found it. The story is worth the tax payer investment.

'Authorities in Clallam County are looking for a man who was likely burned while stealing copper wire. The theft knocked out power in part of Olympic National Park. Officials said when one of grounding wires was cut, it made contact with a regulator, which caused it to short circuit. Surveillance video shows the thief enveloped in an electrical arc. ' The thief escaped but is likely without any hair left on his body, police say, and probably has severe burns on his hands, face and neck.

Clackamas County, long considered the most corrupt county in Oregon, has now been named the defendant in a lawsuit alleging exactly that, filed by a former manager. 'The lawsuit states that Clackamas County’s Social Services Division improperly made payments from a fund meant to help people caring for disabled family members to the agency’s staff. The lawsuit alleges that the funds were then used by the agency’s staff to pay for travel, lodging, personal computers, facials and massages. It also states that money was embezzled from a program that manage the finances of some of the county’s most vulnerable people. '

'In the first year since the law was passed, 1,400 people in Multnomah County received training and naloxone kits. As of Dec. 1, they reported reversing 554 overdoses. And between July 2013 and June 2014, heroin deaths decreased by 29 percent, research analyst Lindsay Jenkins told lawmakers.' The advocates of the law are calling for a "Good Samaritan" addition to the law allowing people witnessing an overdose to call 911 without fear.

Burrito Boy is the 4th Eugene fast food restaurant in a month to be robbed. In all instances, the robber is described as a fat man. ' Detectives are looking for a blue-eyed man, 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing about 250 pounds. He was clean-shaven and had medium-length blond hair showing from under a dark gray stocking cap'. The man walked into the restaurant and salivating at the menu for some time before placing his order, police said. AFTER ordering food, he pulled out a gun, pointed it at an employee and demanded money, police said. He was last seen waddling west from the restaurant.

Bryan Cramer, Springfield school janitor, has been sentenced to prison after the FBI found 900 instances of child porn on his computer.

A new report on meth addiction in Oregon shows that the Governor and Legislature slept through warning after warning as the meth addiction waxed, now costing $6 billion a year.

A new federal spending law effectively ends the federal ban on medical marijuana.


While a US Marshal's deputy was working in the Grant school area of Portland, someone smashed his window and hauled of a vest with military equipment attached.

A New York wannabee fell into an online Portland police sting operation for prostitution using a fictitious ad from "Ashlee" and began aggressively trying to recruit her as a "pimp". Finally, after repeated requests and explicit texts, the PDX officers sent  Clive Taguoa Morrison, an unemployed Fedex driver, a plane ticket and arrested him. In court today, where he was sentenced to register as a sex offender the rest of his life, "he looked as if he were trying to figure out how he had ended up in handcuffs and a jail jumpsuit"
 

Samantha Geimer, Now and Then

The 81 year old film director Roman Polanski is moving to have quashed a 1977 conviction for raping a 13 year old, Samantha Geimer. 'His case caps off a year that has seen a number of older male Hollywood figures come face-to-face with histories of sexual-assault allegations, including Bill Cosby and Woody Allen.'

A federal appeals court says that a requirement for porn actors to wear condoms does not violate the Constitution. That would be the answer to Corvallis's "open carry" problem - pass an ordinance making them wrap the guns in a condom. That would end it.

In Philadelphia, Stephen Rozniakowski,  a big tough guy who couldn't handle his feelings - they were oh-so-SCARY! shot his ex-wife and killed the daughter.
 

"Genius Stock Trader at Stuyvesant High School Racks up $72 Million On Lunch Breaks" - NOT

Above: Arguments that the US is dominated by a set of primitifs with a blunted sense of right and wrong received some support today from a NY Times article that claims only 31% of Americans have an issue with torture. Of course, that's the NY media which yesterday reported a high school child racking up $72 million in stock market winnings on his lunch break and which today "amended" the report with another interview of the child:
You seem to be quoted saying "eight figures." That's not true, is it?
No, it is not true.

Is there ANY figure? Have you invested and made returns at all?
No.
So it's total fiction?
Yes.'

Las Vegas resident Christopher Sena saw and presented himself as a loving husband and responsible father and a devoted friend of local police officers. 'In reality, authorities believe, Sena was a perverted monster who practiced child abuse and incest in what the Los Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is calling “one of the most horrific sex rings in memory.”
   A 23-count amended criminal complaint alleging incest, bestiality and felony child abuse filed against Sena, sources said, only begins to illustrate the scope of the evidence Metro detectives have gathered. Sena was first arrested on a sexual assault charge in September. His wife Deborah and ex-wife Terri, the biological mother of his three sons and one daughter, were arrested December 11 in Las Vegas. Among the evidence recovered: A videotape of two Sena children having sex with the family dog.'

A new study has been released which explains the fact that magazines in waiting rooms are old: the newer issues have been stolen.


In the ongoing religious crime wave, religious extremists of the Taliban killed 140 people, almost all school children, in Pakistan.
   A Christian Family Research Council radio show host discussed the option of executing all gay people who file discrimination lawsuits.
   Christians in Georgia have launched a campaign that "Santa is Satan" and is turning kids into atheists.
   That's just in time for a retrospective on Pokemon which looks back at the early struggles of the game when Christians thought Pokemon should be suppressed because they were fearful it might too be a Satanic plot, as they are with Harry Potter and Halloween and... they are such a timid group.


Dec 15

James Albert Josep Boulanger          

Mr. Boulanger is charged with domestic violence assault and coercion, interfering with making a report, etc.
   Otherwise, in Corvallis crime last night, a 20 year old has been charged with DUII, criminal mischief, illegally entering some one else's vehicle, etc., his first offense.
 

 

Above: Elsewhere in Oregon, police followed leads from the public and arrested Isabel McDaniel. Police say she hit a pedestrian and flipped him on top of the car, then drove 11 blocks before he fell off or was removed.

In Lincoln City, Derek Hammons and Amanda Santini were accused of manufacturing and selling heroin near a school, as well as child neglect.


In Yachats, police picked up Linda Baehr on charges of depositing $12,000 in bad checks over 2 months.

Elsewhere in the US, a white supremacist cut off the head of a fellow Aryan Brotherhood member who had robbed his girlfriend. There's never been any honor among white supremacists, as they say.
 

Creed Frontman Scott Stapp

Above: The former Creed frontman Scott Stapp has now at various times called police to tell them a group is following him, bent on killing him, and another time calling 911 to report that 15 vehicles are following him for the same purpose and he has been driving for 36 hours to avoid them. He has also called and said 'ISIS will attack the people of Florida, and he knows that because the terrorists are members of his family. Stapp's wife claims Stapp is deep into drugs and is trying to get him committed to a psych hospital for 60 days'. A perfect example of the quote from a local drug rehab counselor in today's Oregonian that "There are 3 kinds of addicts: Those who are about to lose everything, those who have lost everything and those who never had everything".

A Georgia judge was convicted of framing a woman who had publicly accused him of sexually harassing her.
 

Sandra McElroy

This would be hysterical if the context were different. Sandra McElroy, the Missouri woman whose testimony to the grand jury resulted in the dismissal of charges against a Ferguson police officer for gunning down an unarmed teen, was revealed today as ”a troubled, bipolar Missouri woman with a criminal past who has a history of making racist remarks and once insinuated herself into another high-profile St. Louis criminal case with claims that police eventually dismissed as a “complete fabrication."
   Before she made her claims of witnessing the killing, she had written about and raised money - no one knows where that ended - for the accused officer. She had posted virulently racist statements about African Americans. An FBI agent asked her when she first reported having seen the shooting. "So you are posting racist things online and you are telling us, you know, and you are telling us, you know, your account and then there are videos that doesn’t show your car. And then there is a map that shows you couldn’t (have) left the way you left from… But, obviously, we find out what people’s motivations are when you say you posted things online that are racist and you come in here and tell us an account that supports Darren Wilson… You raised money for Darren Wilson.”
   She didn't mention it when she first contacted agents but suddenly she produced an 11 page journal including the killing.
 

Model Chloe Goins May Be Worst News for Bill Cosby Yet

Model and lap dancer Chloe Goins says it was only 6 years ago that Bill Cosby drugged her and stripped her naked at the Playboy mansion. That's within California's statute of limitations for sex abuse. She says she woke "up naked to find him licking her toes and pleasuring himself".

In Pennsylvania, another big bad "man" claiming he couldn't handle his feelings shot and killed 6 people including his ex-wife and is being hunted down like a dog.


Abroad, police in Sydney stormed a coffee shop where an Iranian-Australian accused of murdering his wife and sexual assault of another woman was holding hostages. Man Harom Monis has also been charged with 50 counts of exposure and sex abuse."This is a one-off random individual. It's not a concerted terrorism event or act. It's a damaged goods individual who's done something outrageous" said his former attorney. Two people are reported dead, as is the hostage taker.
   In related news, "rape Russian roulette" firm Uber turned on "surge pricing" for those fleeing the Sydney hostage scene.
 

Jennifer Laude

Above: In the Philippines, Joseph Scott Pemberton, a US Marine long suspected of killing trans woman Jennifer Laude after discovering her gender, has been charged.

Dec 14

Bobby Wade Loftis

Mr. Loftis, of Philomath, has been charged for the 5th time in Corvallis within recent years. Twice it's been on parole violations of a sexual assault, and twice related to meth. The fifth time was an unspecified post-prison sanction. Home facts lists him as having been convicted of sex abuse in 2001 and again in 2009, and of Rape 3 in 2009. This all makes Mr. Loftis seem like a ne'er-do-well, but we have to put it in context: for Philomath, it's not so vile. It's not like he ate his mother or somesuch.

Kevin Joseph Diltz

Mr. Diltz's fetish with guns is probably drawing to an end. 2 years ago, Starker Forests had him charged with "criminal trespassing while in possession of a firearm" for shooting on their land, and now he's been charged with menacing, pointing a gun at another, unlawful use of a weapon, DUII, etc. He's a classic example of a truism in Oregon - the people flashing guns and especially those shouting about their rights are exactly the people whom communities LEAST want to see with access to firearms.
   In related news, the city Council is debating a "resolution" on open carry, having rejected the other 4 alternatives presented by city staff, including an ordinance, or a referendum among the citizens (that ALWAYS sets the city to Council trembling). Instead, we will have a "resolution" - a thumbsucker everyone can feel good about without any meaning.
Something along the lines of (pick one), instituted in Corvallis before.

April Christine Huff

Ms Huff is evidence of the wildly successful campaign by the Chamber of Commerce to criminalize the poor. She was charged with "illegal camping".

Ariella Nicole Dickson

Ms Dickson was charged with DUII, which is curious if alcohol related, since no MIP citation accompanied her at age 20. She was charged with assault in June.
   Otherwise, a 23 year old was charged with DUII, his first we can find. Likewise, a 24 year old.

Elsewhere in Oregon, a Homeland Security agent abroad struck up a conversation with an Oregon City man who told him of having sex with a 2 year old. A search of his computer found images of the rape of an 8 year old as well as other explicit child porn and after a trial, Gregory Allen Nye has been sentenced to prison.

Marquel Dugas has become the second person to be arrested in a Portland high school shooting.

An investigation by the Oregonian of sex harassment of teens and young workers has found that the state Departments charged with oversight have failed them miserably.  The report concludes that teens put up with it because of their experience in high school, not realizing that in the workplace, it rises to a new level. For example, 'An 18-year-old woman alleges her 42-year-old male boss cornered her in a booth at a Tigard tanning salon, stripped off her clothes and took pictures. She asked him to stop, finally pushing him away as he reached for her genitals.
   A 17-year-old hostess at an Ashland restaurant alleges a male co-worker constantly asked about her sex life and danced suggestively behind her as she set tables, long after she had asked him to stop. She complained, collected witnesses and evidence and yet, she says, state and federal investigations never followed up.
    A 22-year-old woman working at a Portland public golf course alleges a 42-year-old golfer restrained her in a cart as he offered to pay her as much as $80 for a sex act. Soon after, his 39-year-old friend pulled down his pants and flashed her from the front and back. When she told her boss, she alleges, he sent her back to work and let the men continue golfing'.
Other cases for the Bureau of Labor:
   Case: Megan Laws began working for Kaizen Restaurants Inc., a franchisee that operates the Burger King in Sandy, in December 2008 at age 17. A male supervisor began flirting with Laws and touching her, according to a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The lawsuit alleged a co-worker told the teen she should “take one for the team” and have sex with the supervisor in the freezer. Laws was fired in May 2010 after reporting the behavior to other managers, according to the lawsuit.
    Case: A 16-year-old girl with a developmental disorder started working with her mother at a Winco Foods store in Washington County. An older male co-worker began sexually harassing the girl, according to a lawsuit filed in 2009. The complaint alleged the co-worker asked the 16-year-old to go outside and behind the store and she followed, thinking it was to complete a work duty. The lawsuit alleged the co-worker sexually assaulted the girl. According to the lawsuit, the mother told the store manager the next day, but the man wasn’t punished or fired. The 16-year-old was fired.
    Case:Amanda Mundy began working at Sandoval’s Fresh Mexican Grill at the Portland International Airport in 2008 when she was 21. The owner, who now operates five restaurants, often commented on Mundy’s body, hugged her against him and once attempted to kiss her on the lips, according to a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. The labor department closed the complaint when Mundy’s lawyer took her case to court.
   Case:Brooke Sinclair began working at the Dick’s Sporting Goods in Eugene in September 2009 when she was 21. A supervisor began flirting with her, grabbing her body and commented on what he would like to do with her sexually, according to a complaint filed with the Oregon Bureau of Labor. He once hit her behind with a baseball bat and said that he “liked the bounce back,” the complaint alleged. She complained to the store manager in October 2011 and was told she would be fired if she couldn’t get along with the supervisor, according to the complaint. The labor department closed the complaint when Sinclair’s lawyer took her case to court.'

A Texas man who formerly lived in Clackamas is facing 125 years in prison after being convicted of sexually abusing and raping 2 little daughters of a girlfriend in Oregon, beginning when they were 6 and 3. The girls, he claimed, "wanted to have sex with him and he just couldn't resist".

Across the US, an Auburn football player has been gunned down in the same apartment building where 2 football players were shot and killed in 2012.

The Obama administration has until Friday to convince a federal judge they should be allowed to keep buried hundreds, perhaps thousands, of photos showing abuse of prisoners by the Bush administration. 'The photos represent disturbing images from the Bush administration’s watch, it is the Obama administration that has allowed them to remain buried—all with the help of a willing Congress.'

In Delaware, a young man shot his father with a crossbow to head off a coming confrontation about having skipped school last week. Seth Ramsey has been charged in the death.

A fifteen-year-old Chicago boy died saving his twin brother from armed assailants this weekend, who were trying to steal the brother's coat.

A New York banker who left a note confessing to running a $5 million Ponzi scheme and then survived a following suicide attempt has been charged.
If he'd have waited for the Republicans' spending bill, with its rider legalizing once more bank shenanigans, he might have been ok.
 

Traci Bingham

It's not just the crimes which will land you in jail, as many in the city's jail roster have discovered. Traci Bingham took $30,000 to appear in an explicit porn movie then backed out. The porn company sued her and because she repeatedly didn't show up, the court issued a warrant. Bingham is famed for her Baywatch appearances and activism for PETA.

Police from Georgia descended upon a cab hauling an 11 year old pre-teen from Arkansas to Florida to meet a boy she'd met on vacation 2 years previously. Alexis Waller had stolen $10,000 from her grandmother's sock and paid the cabbie $1300 for the 800 mile ride.

If you'd forgotten the batch of dumbasses who've been taking office under the Republican banner, Wisconsin's Scott Walker reminds us, in his exhortation to the Jewish community to resort to flaming torch bombs. In his fumbling attempt to reach out at Chanukkah, he closed a letter in which he probably should have said "mazel tov", with "Thank you again and Molotov".


Dec 13

Kalina Jo White

This is Ms White's 5th time this year to be charged. She's usually been charged for nuisance crimes, including squatting in the old Pepsi Headquarters with her boyfriend. She has traditionally been a part of the young Corvallis homeless scene. She has, observers say, always seemed a little lost in the City. She has adopted a hardness she has mistaken for discernment but which "gets her by".

Donald Glen Barron Eddie Allen Downard
Mr. Barron is from Monroe, like Ms Ginty, featured last night. In fact, the two of them were charged July of last year together with deputies 'arriving on scene for a fight-in-progress. Donald Glenn Barron Jr., 42, was booked on charges of fourth-degree assault (domestic), unlawful use of a weapon, menacing and first-degree criminal mischief. Charollet Marie Ginter, 28, was arrested on a fourth-degree (domestic) assault charge.. Barron’s criminal mischief charge stemmed from him allegedly putting a dent in the hood of a car. This time, Mr. Barron is charged with violating a restraining order as well as a parole/probation violation for an assault.
   Mr. Downard has been charged with a violation of parole on a domestic assault charge. and a hold has been placed on him. He was charged in March when 'police located and arrested Eddie Allen Downard, 42, of Corvallis three days after he allegedly assaulted his wife in front of their two small children. He was booked on three counts of felony fourth-degree assault and one count each of physical harassment and coercion.'
Jordan Lee Hellman

It sounds like the plot of a horror movie, being stalked by someone named Hell Man, but it's reality for one Corvallis woman. Mr. Hellman is from Portland and has been charged 3 times in Corvallis this year for trespass, violating a stalking order - repeatedly - etc. In March, 'police arrested 22-year-old Jordan Lee Hellmann of Corvallis on charges of first-degree criminal trespassing, third-degree criminal mischief and stalking after he allegedly scaled the wall of his ex-girlfriend’s apartment building while drunk in an effort to get to her apartment through her balcony. The woman was awakened by the noise and ran to her neighbor’s apartment for help.' That wasn't the end of it.
   In September, 'police responded to the Avondale Apartments for a reported stalker incident. Police later stopped Jordan Lee Hellman, 23, of Portland in his car in relation to the incident.' Now, he's been charged again with violating a stalking order.
   Someday, we need to publish a Pigger's Guide with the pictures of the handful of ghastly men in the city whom no self-respecting woman should give even the time of day.
   Otherwise, in Corvallis, a 56 year old woman was given a DUII, her first charge so far as we could find.
   Police are warning students that, as they leave town for Holiday vacations, Linn County residents outsiders tend to flood the city looking to prey on their empty homes. “We know that when students leave, bad guys come to town looking for opportunities to take things from them as they go,” said Lt. Cord Wood of the Corvallis Police Department. “We will be actively out looking for folks who we've had experiences with coming to town and looking to steal from college kids during this time of year.” Wood noted that
Linn County residents criminals commonly look for the easiest opportunities to commit crime and the empty campus presents several attractive opportunities for theft. "Students will typically load up their cars the night they go, and it makes them a prime target for car prowls,” Wood said. “And then while (the students are) gone over the break, it makes student housing an attractive target for burglaries. They know they can get into unoccupied residences, and that there will be a delay in the reporting (until the students return). Those are things that work to the benefit of the Linn County residents criminals.”
 

K-9 Officer "Mick"

Above: Elsewhere in Oregon, Paul Alan Ropp was sentenced to 30 years for shooting a police officer through both legs with an AR-15 and killing K-9 officer "Mick".
 

Lonzo DeShawn Murphy

Above: Portland police arrested a 22 year old "man", Lonzo DeShawn for the shootings of students 5 blocks from his apartment at Rosemary Anderson alternative high school. A handgun was seized at the time of the arrest.

Kimberly Vollmer

2 little girls who were molested by their foster mother Kimberly Vollmer were awarded $4.1 million by a jury. 'DHS approved Vollmer, then 31, as a foster parent in January 2011, even though she had a borderline low IQ of about 70; had been hospitalized in 2005 on a psychiatric hold for five days because she’d purposely cut her arms and her face; and had been fired from a job as an adult caregiver because of repeated medical negligence, the girls' attorneys said.Even though Vollmer originally was only supposed to care for three foster kids at most, DHS let her house as many as eight children at a time.'
 

Cylvia Hayes

Newly released emails show that Cylvia Hayes, the governor's partner in his personal life, believed she was somehow his partner in his gubernatorial life and illegally treated a "government assistant as a private secretary for her consulting business", according to emails released to Willamette Week in a documents request.

A new report from the Pew Charitable Trust has shown that Oregon sentencing reforms are reducing the number of violent crimes and of prisoners held in prisons for such crimes. 'One year after House Bill 3194 became law, Oregon would save $17 million by July 1 and would be on track to save $326 million over the next decade.' That comes after decades of Republican legislatures passing sentencing laws which created a staggering financial burden on the state's residents. Now, 'the April prison forecast, put out by the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis, found that Oregon will add just 219 inmates over the next 10 years, and the prison population is expected to decline through 2017.'
 

Corey Kanosh

The family of a Paiute Indian chief's grandson and artist, Corey Kanosh, is hoping that the uproar over the killing of unarmed African American kids begins to be extended to the killings of unarmed Native American youths by police, as well. Specifically, they want the case of Kanosh at the hands of a Utah police officer re-opened.

Above: In related news, Dear White People, a viral "concept trailer" from Justin Simien of Manchester U. is now a reality.

Parents of 13 Sandy Hook school victims are suing Bushmaster, the manuufaturer of the weapons used by Adam Lanza.
 

Rose Cochran
1941-2014

Above: Rose Cochran, the wife of Mississippi Republican Sen. Thad Cochran, died at a hospice facility in Ridgeland, Mississippi, Friday at the age of 73. She had been at the center of one of the most bizarre episodes of the 2014 elections, although she was blessedly unaware of it.. Idiot supporters of Cochran’s primary opponent, tea party hero Chris McDaniel, had sneaked [illegally] into the nursing home where Ms. Cochran, diagnosed with early-onset dementia and bedridden, had lived since 2000, so they could take photos of her that were supposed to shame Thad Cochran.
 

Riff Raff Gets New Lease on Life Giving up Cocaine, MDMA, Staying with Pot, He Says

Riff Raff seems to be buoyed by Oregon's vote to legalize pot. He says that, after a charity basketball game when he was so loaded he couldn't play, that he knew he needed to give up coke and molly, but is staying with pot. He says that "Whenever I have the urge to do coke or molly, I just pick up weights instead."

In the Yukon, a case of suspected arson has been tracked to an instance of a dog chewing on a box of matches. Fire Marshall Dennis Berry said "Obviously it's easy enough for a dog to plan an escape when they set fire to their own dog bed', but humans can be the victims of such mischief.


Dec 12
ALERT!

Corvallis Police Issue Perv Alert
"The Corvallis Police Department is asking for the assistance of the community in identifying the pictured individual. Between 11:00pm on December 9, and 2:00am on December 10, the pictured subject entered a number of local hotels. On two occasions, in different hotels, the subject exposed himself to female employees. He is a white male, in his twenties, with blond hair. If you recognize this individual, or have additional information, please call Officer John Stenger at 541-766-6911."
Charlotte Marie Ginter

Ms Ginter has been charged in Benton County 4 times in a little more than a year. She is from Monroe. She has been charged usually with domestic violence-assault. This time she has been charged with violating a restraining order and not showing up on earlier charges of assault, etc. After all this time, if convicted, a sensible judge will tell her that she has lost her license to be romantically involved with anyone else for the time being. A part of the City apparatus ought to be devoted to maximizing the possibility of citizens finding and holding Romance in their lives. Ms Ginter can clearly transform that search into a nightmare and needs to be marginalized until she matures.

Mary Ann Mcwhirter
This is Ms McWhirter's 4th time to be charged in a little over a year, this time on a meth and trespass charge, as has characterized all her arrests here. 22 years ago, when Ms McWhirter was 25, the Appeals Court heard a case from Douglas County "in the Matter of Mary Ann Bryant, aka Mary Ann McWhirter, aka Amber Dawn Christine Nelson, Alleged to be a Mentally Ill Person" that "respondent was found to be mentally ill and was committed to the Mental Health Division in November, 1992. At that time, she was given outpatient commitment status which allowed her to receive treatment for her condition on an outpatient basis subject to certain conditions, one of which was that she must abstain from all nonprescribed alcohol and drugs. In February, 1993, a notice of revocation of her outpatient status was filed. The proposed revocation was based on respondent's alleged use of nonprescribed drugs and alcohol. A hearing was held and evidence was introduced that she had used prohibited drugs."
   That sounds remarkably like our guest today, especially considering the rarity of the name. If that be true, then Ms McWhirter epitomizes a large segment of the drug-chasing population: mentally ill and engaged in self-medication. There are less expensive and more humane ways to address mental health issues, which are often interlaced with homelessness.
   The County Health Department advertises " outpatient services for adults with mental and emotional disturbances; alcohol and drug abuse treatment for adults; treatment for the severely and persistently mentally ill; and 24-hour crisis services." But the resources available are limited, and have been since Ronald Reagan dismantled the country's mental health care network.
   There has been some emphasis on establishing a Mental Health Court akin to the Drug Treatment Court, under pressure from NAMI (National Alliance on Mentally Ill) and the police department has been given limited resources for crisis intervention training. An Executive Summary of the problem recommended both (you can read it here). However, in NO case is anyone proposing to SOLVE mental health issues. We only hope to MANAGE them at the least expense and as humanely as possible.
John Rocky Conser

Likewise, Rocky has battled all his life with personal demons, and has tended to try to drown them in drugs or alcohol say his friends. He is otherwise, they say, very personable. One who knows him well says this is a temporary setback for Rocky. "He was clean and sober, looking so good, and had a sponsor". Hang in there, Rocky. We're all pulling for you.

John David Stone

Mr. Stone has been charged in Corvallis 5 times in a little more than a year, usually for theft or not showing up on other charges, which is what he is charged with this time.
   Otherwise, a 54 year old man was charged with Ms McWhirter, and like her was charged with meth and trespassing. It is, as far as we can find, his first. Likewise, a 55 year old man reported to serve 5 days on a robbery III charge, his first as far as we can find.

Police have swarmed to the shooting of 4 students  at Rosemary Anderson High School in Portland. A second male was wounded too. The shooter is reported to have fled the scene. The victims were:
'A 16-year-old female, who is in critical condition.
A 17-year-old male, who is in serious condition.
A 20-year-old male, who is in serious condition.
A 19-year-old female, who was grazed by a bullet and treated at the shooting scene.'
 

Imaginary Attack on Imaginary Pet Squirrel Triggers Slashing in Prison

Above: Elsewhere in Oregon, a Hannibal Lecter attacked 2 prison guards. "he lieutenant is very lucky to be alive ... the corridor officer is very lucky to have his eye," said Michael Meserve, a union official." Sajoh "Yates had tussled with and bitten corrections staffers before, logged time on suicide watch and acknowledged that he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia".
   "All night long, Yates banged around and hurled things inside his cell in 4-B. He ranted that a female corrections officer – not in the unit at the time – had killed his pet squirrel, a fiction invented by a troubled mind. Correctional officers conducted inmate counts at 12:20 and 5 a.m. Between those counts, the inmate trashed his quarters. Later that morning, Yates was allowed out of his cell into a common area called The Flats with other prisoners. About 7 a.m., a lieutenant identified in the indictment under the initials "S.S.L.," and a senior officer specialist identified as "T.O.Y.," walked to the doorway of the Yates' cell with a camera to document the damage. The officers were just getting under way when an inmate authorities have identified as Yates rushed up behind them in a rage, clutching a razor between his thumb and forefinger."

Washington County child abuse detectives have organized a prostitution sting using Backpage.com. 6 have been arrested thus far.

A Falls City man, Robert Silver, was convicted in a case where officials found 175 malnourished and dying Alpacas on Jocelyn's Alpaca Ranch

In Steilacoom, an undercover lottery investigator handed a clerk a $1000 winning lottery ticket and was told it was worth $3. The clerk was arrested when she showed up at lottery headquarters to claim the stolen prize.

'A federal judge on Friday sentenced key figures in a Coos Bay defense contracting company to prison for their roles in a multimillion-dollar conspiracy to buy cheaply made truck and aircraft parts – some from Mexico and China – and pass them off at premium prices to the U.S. military.'

Police are now saying that 2 Gresham shootings within a couple of hours are likely related.

The Justice Department says Native American tribes can grow pot just as long as they abide by the guidelines set out for Oregon, Washington and Colorado.

UO may be struggling with the issue of sexual violence and OSU may have been shaken by the announcement of a woman that she had been gang raped 16 years ago, with OSU doing little even though OSU athletes were involved. But the Christian Bob Jones University can claim the Prize, according to a consultant's report:
    “I was abused from the ages of 6 to 14 by my grandfather,” one respondent said. “When I went for counseling I was told: ‘Did you repent for your part of the abuse? Did your body respond favorably?’” The person reported being told by a university official that going to the police “tore your family apart, and that’s your fault,” and “you love yourself more than you love God.” Another person said that at Bob Jones, “abuse victims are considered ‘second-rate Christians.’ ” And another said that university staff consistently told victims “that they bore the sin of bitterness and that they should not report abusers.”

The indicted Texas governor, Rick Perry, 'is eager to convince us that he is SO ready to run for president in 2016. He’s been practicing his counting and his ABCs, and he’s got those glasses, and he’s stopped popping pain pills, and this time, America, this time, we won’t be laughing our asses off forever and ever and some-other-word-we-can’t-remember-what about the comedy gold that was Perry’s last attempt to win the White House. And golly gee whiz, he sure is off to a good start:
“Running for the presidency’s not an IQ test. It is a test of an individual’s resolve." We are already cracking up about the new NEW glasses Perry’s going to have to buy for 2020 to convince us that he’s been working on his IQ too.'
 

NFL's Daren Sharper Indicted for Rape

NFL Safety Darren Sharper, formerly of the New Orlean Saints, has been indicted on 1 count of rape and 2 counts of aggravated rape. If convicted of the latter in Louisiana, he will spend the rest of his life in prison without possibility of parole.
 

Popular Christian Radio Host Gets 40 Years in Prison

In the ongoing religious crime wave, popular Christian radio host John Balyo was sentenced to 40 years in prison for molesting children and possessing child porn. 'Following Balyo’s sentencing, Kenny Duke, one of the Homeland Security investigators who helped break the case, told 24 Hour News 8 that based on what was found in Balyo’s storage locker – a kit with handcuffs, rope, tape, zip ties, chain and rubber gloves as well as stories about serial killings and children’s obituaries', he was worried more victims are to be found.

Call them the houses that torture built: Two sprawling luxury homes purchased by the CIA-contracted psychologists at the center of the scathing Senate report. James Elmer Mitchell and John Bruce Jessen are not the first Americans to employ waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” against our enemies.  But they are almost certainly the only ones to get rich doing it. They did so by employing what is widely dismissed as “voodoo science” based on misapplied principles in a program that CIA records suggest produced little, if any, intelligence of significant value... The Senate Intelligence Committee report says they secured a contract with the CIA in 2006 valued “in excess of $180 million.”
   The Onion pretty much summarized the rest of the report accurately:
'Tortured detainees often provided information vital to national security such as groans and hallucinatory shrieks
   Interrogators were poorly trained, with many barely acquainted with proper, humane techniques for dragging people up and down stairs until they passed out
   CIA physicians subjected many prisoners to a process known as “rectal hydration” or “rectal feeding,” which really isn’t as bad as you’re imagining, unless you happen to be picturing the most humiliating and invasive scenario conceivable. In that case, you’re pretty much right on the money.
    Many U.S. officials were exposed to prolonged sleep deprivation for days at a time while trying to rationalize the moral atrocities they had overseen
   Officials intentionally de-emphasized dungeons-filled-with-pain-and-horror aspect of the program to media and legislators
    The grim practice of waterboarding occurred on a consistent basis, but you already knew about that and kind of moved on, right?'
 

Dimitri Diatchenko

The perennial Russian villain of US TV and movies, Dimitri Diatchenko, was charged with 2 felonies after 'after allegedly leaving his ex-girlfriend a video of himself killing, skinning and eating her pet rabbit. According to police, he sent her step-by-step photos and later told her he would do the same thing to her.'
 

Above: In England, dozens of couples protested new laws making porn a crime, specifically those showing women having orgasms. 'In the shadow of the Houses of Parliament in central London, demonstrators gathered on rugs to discuss politics and politely sit on each other’s faces. The protest against censorship of pornography was to take the form of a world-record attempt, but Guinness refused to sanction the event and, in the end, no one remembered to count.'

See archives here.

Note: Everyone should be assumed innocent until convicted. There are several sleazy websites across the country posting mugshots, utilizing photos owned by the public, in the public domain, all run by Portlander Kyle Ritter, which will remove your mugshot for $39 or such from their sites. This is not one of them. Do not send in cash trying to have a mugshot removed. It would just be a waste of your time and your money. Instead, put your time into turning your life around. And your money into your kids.

 
BREAKING NEWS OF
 
LIVING
Dec 17
'Backers of a measure to ban genetically engineered crops in Benton County delivered a stack of initiative petitions, tied up with red ribbon and topped with a festive bow, to Elections Supervisor Jeff Doty on Tuesday afternoon. “This is your Christmas present,” petitioner Dana Allen declared as she plopped the papers down on the counter of the county elections office. Supporters claim to have gathered 3,078 signatures. County elections officials now will begin the task of verifying the signatures to weed out duplicates and to make sure the signers are registered Benton County voters.
If at least 2,171 signatures are determined to be valid, the measure would appear on the ballot for the county’s next regular district election, scheduled for May 19.'

New York has banned fracking saying the health risks "are just too great".


Dec 14
'A federal judge has decided to block for now an attempt by the drug company Actavis to halt sales of an older form of its Alzheimer’s disease drug Namenda in favor of a newer version with a longer patent life.' New York accused the company of forcing patients to switch to the newer version of the widely used medicine to thwart competition from generic manufacturers.

Dec 13
Verve Offers Mama June, Sugar Bear $1 Million for "Epic, Redneck Sex Tape"

Above: There's some truth, apparently, in P.T. Barnum's advice to "Never over-estimate the taste of the American Public". Porn maker Vivid Entertainment will let Mama June "call the shots in a suggested porn film starring her and her ex-. Among the suggested titles: "Slap the Thigh, Ride the Wave".

A responsible Portland homeless person reported that at night barrels of soil were being dumped into a trench alongside a bridge he and his son frequented and reported it. Further follow up by DEQ confirmed his sighting, and it has been determined that the dumpings were legal. But hats-off for the whistle blower!

' Examination of DNA from 21 primate species – from squirrel monkeys to humans – exposes an evolutionary war against infectious bacteria over iron that circulates in the bloodstream. Supported by experimental evidence, these findings, published in Science on Dec. 12, demonstrate the vital importance of an underappreciated defense mechanism, nutritional immunity. '


Dec 12

Above: The Gregory Brothers are back with their latest version of Songify the News, with Rick Santorum's "Bang the President".

'A bill authorizing the release of unallocated water in the Prineville Reservoir and opening the Bowman Dam to hydropower development passed Congress on Thursday after a last-minute deal resurrected the legislation.'

Scientists mapping genomes of existing birds have created a tree which shows, for example, that all birds come from giant "birds of terror", but also that falcons, for example, are more closely related to parrots than to eagles and hawks.

An oil corporation's tanker has had a collision and sunk in Bangladesh, creating "an ecological disaster" in a bay harboring rare dolphins and contaminating the Irrawaddy and Ganges rivers. The head of Bangla Desh's Wildlife Conservation Society says dispersants are ruled out in the case of delicate mangrove ecosystems such as this.
 

Above: Greenpeace has absolutely pissed off the world's environmentalists by damaging a World Heritage site with an ad.

Dec 11

Children who were exposed to elevated levels of phthalates - common household chemicals - in the womb score 6 points lower, on average, in IQ tests than other children.

In one more attempt by Republicans in Congress to gut the environment for the profits of the Koch brothers, the preservation of sage brush habitat is not included in their spending bill.

The Obama administration is considering new measures to attack the import of Chinese solar cells, claiming the cells are subsidized. Some US firms are wondering why. If the Chinese government is willing to subsidize solar energy around the world, what's the big deal?

Pennsylvania schools are suing the state over a lack of sustainable funding for education in violation, they say, of the state Constitution. One Philadelphia school for 400 students has an annual budget of $160 for supplies for 400 kids.

Big Agra - those people who brought you GMOs too - have overfed animal;s with antibiotics to the point that drug-resistant strains are now predicted to be killing more people than cancer by 2050, says a UK panel of scientists.

BASE Jumper's Last Photos Go Viral
The UK's Gareth Jones took the above photo before BASE jumping to his death in Australia. Wrote his friend Echo Widmer: "He was loud the day I met him, and he was loud the last day I hugged him and squeezed him before saying goodbye. He was never boring, he always challenged the norm. He made every moment more fun, and exciting. He pulled everyone out of their comfort zones and just let go. He was a 100 percent authentic version of himself, and completely proud to be who he was. He reached out to people when he needed to, and he held himself together beautifully. Ironically he told me and some others a week ago that when he died, he'd be pissed if his friends had a funeral and cried for him. He said he wanted to have a Viking Funeral and he wanted his friends to send him out to sea on a burning ship while celebrating and partying in the moonlight."


Dec 10
While Republicans have danced around the issue of global warming to allow their Koch brothers funders time to continue profiting from greenhouse gasses without concern for the consequences, a new threat has emerged off the coast of Oregon and Washington. 'Off the U.S. West Coast, methane gas is trapped in frozen layers below the seafloor. New research from the University of Washington shows that water at intermediate depths is warming enough to cause these carbon deposits to melt, releasing methane into the sediments and surrounding water. Researchers found that water off the coast of Washington is gradually warming at a depth of 500 meters (about a third of a mile down), the same depth where methane transforms from a solid to a gas. The research suggests that ocean warming could be triggering the release of a powerful greenhouse gas'.

A Mormon associated charity in Utah barred a volunteer who dared to wear a pants suit instead of a skirt. The chairwoman said "Once someone sees someone wearing pants, then everyone thinks that would be accepted. “We just don’t go there. We still are very strict". Strict here is a euphemism for fossil. “I had worn this because I thought it would best represent my professional attitude" said the volunteer, Ellie Kaiser.


Dec 9
The state Land Board has turned their backs on Republican pushes to sell off public lands and assets cheaply to corporate raiders, saying that the overwhelming public feedback has been against closing Elliott State Forest to the public, in order to sell it.

The stronger US dollar is leading to lower costs for chemicals and fuel for farmers who use a lot of both, but prices of US exports will rise significantly.

Dec 8
Midas, KFC Team Up for Crossover "Road Bucket"

On the heels of KFC's spin with Aquafresh and the "Original Recipe" toothpaste flavor, the Onion reports the KFC Road Bucket with Midas  as partner. It comes "with 10 pieces of chicken, your choice of two sides, and four biscuits served on a corrosion-resistant aluminized steel muffler, all for the special low price of $19.99,” said KFC marketing director Mike Wesle...“Or customers can upgrade to the Colonel’s Highway Bucket for an additional $10, which includes twice the food served in an all-season radial tire, plus a 64-ounce coolant reservoir of Pepsi.”

Supporters of the GMO labeling issue say those counting ballots left out 4600 ballots and they are suing.

'It's far too early to declare a state of emergency, but the low snowpack that plagued winter recreation all of last season appears to be rearing its ugly head again. The main problem — precipitation falling as rain instead of snow — has kept even higher-elevation ski areas closed on Mount Hood, as well as keeping snow almost nonexistent at mid-elevation ski areas at Santiam and Willamette Pass.'


The sports writers are whining that the Big 12 "got hosed" in the selection of national championship candidates, when Baylor and TCU. the Big 12's best, were passed over. The problem is that the Big 12 is now really just the Big 10, and they had to scrape the bottom of the barrel - Iowa State for example, to even find TEN teams willing to play in the same league as the Texas teams. The problem is that conferences need 12 teams to host a league "championship".
   Leagues are expected to have SOME values in common, and Texas's insistence on educating students with falsehoods like "Moses wrote the Constitution" in texts gives everyone pause. No one wants to be grouped with Texans on such matters. Texas's anathema is not going to change for others outside the state. And until Texas changes, the chance that Texas teams will find their way into the national championship are slim to none.

The state has lifted the algae alert at Devils's Lake which was instituted in August.


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BREAKING NEWS OF
GAMING, SCIENCE AND THE INTERNET
Dec 17

Above: It's decided - one of the worst investments of 2014 is Bitcoin. 'Some of us have argued that bitcoin actually never was a currency, but rather a plaything of speculators. When such playthings start to lose value, speculators have a tendency to abandon them en masse, which they appear to have done in this case.'

Anonymous hacked the emails of the Swedish government and released them today as a reward for the Swedish government's takedown of Pirate Bay on behalf of media corporations.

'A "letter-writing campaign" that appears to have been organized by a shadowy organization with ties to the Koch Brothers inundated the Federal Communications Commission with missives opposed to net neutrality', an analysis shows.
 

"The Interview" Is Shelved After Carmike, Others Cancel


A reader suggests that Sony's answer to the campaign against the critically-panned movie "The Interview" was not to pull it, based upon the cancellation of theater chains, as was done today, but to make it available free for download. The expense to Sony would be no more than the current situation, and would discourage future hacks. Sony's action simply encourages it. Michael Moore wrote "Dear Sony Hackers: now that u run Hollywood, I'd also like less romantic comedies, fewer Michael Bay movies and no more Transformers....Also, I really liked Tyler Perry in "Gopne Girl" so hold off on doing anything yet with Madea."


Dec 16

A reader reports that 'people are renting UHaul vans and putting posters on them and walling in Google buses into the slow lanes until they speak out in favor of Net Neutrality. I thought it was a pretty awesome twist emphasizing reasons to support net neutrality.'

For 2 Weeks, Thieves in Portland Have Been Stealing Tires of Car2Go
Said one reddit user, "Twice now I've reserved a Car2go only too find the wheels have been stolen." Wrote another "Saw one of these cars downtown, on SW 4th and Salmon, that had both rear wheels missing (car was sitting on ground, thieves not even kind enough to put on bricks). Amazing how brazen people are, just a block from the Police Station at that." A third wrote "It must be easy to remove the tires without a jack. Also, with no 'owner' nearby, no one is looking to protect the vehicle." Speculation is that the small tires are being stolen for the Bluetooth tire pressure sensors in the tires. Software problems have plagued the app in Portland as well. A company manager wrote "For those members who have shared, "That's it...I am done with car2go." I totally understand why. But I hope that you know that each of us here are members as well, and that with each heartfelt apology we wrote - we sincerely meant it. "

Uber has now been hit with $67,750 in fines by the city of Portland after 10 days of operating without required licenses and background checks.

A new video game allows the user to commit what might be looked upon as sacrilege - by punching a hole in a famous work of art.


Skype now has a spoken language translater able to decipher Spanish and English. 'Skype asked two schools to try Skype Translator – Peterson School in Mexico City, and Stafford Elementary School in Tacoma, USA – playing a game of 'Mystery Skype' in which the children ask questions to determine the location of the other school. One classroom of children speaking Spanish and the other speaking English, Skype Translator removed this language barrier and enabled them to communicate'.

Dec 15
"Rape Russian roulette" firm Uber turned on "surge pricing" for those fleeing the Sydney hostage scene.
   Beginning New Year's, Uber will be banned in France.


'The users of WordPress, a free and open source blogging tool as well as content management system (CMS), are being informed of a widespread malware attack campaign that has already compromised more than 100,000 websites worldwide and still counting. The news broke throughout the WordPress community earlier Sunday morning when Google blacklisted over 11,000 domains due to the latest malware campaign'

The Citizens' Bank of Weir Kansas has reworked the ACH banking system which batches wire transfers and debits. " "Today's banks offer the equivalent of 300-year-old paper ledgers converted to an electronic form — a digital skin on an antiquated transaction process", says the bank, and has redesigned a system allowing instant transfers rather then the long delays often seen today.

Sony has become sketchier than ever at trying to fight the hacks of their shows with illegal means, including contemplating uploading fakes onto illegal pirate sites.

'Last week, Ubisoft said that it was planning to release a major patch to fix many ongoing problems with Assassin's Creed Unity today—as in Monday, December 15th. Now, the developers have announced via their live updates page, "we are choosing to hold off until we can give you the improvements we've promised."


Dec 14
Canada's pro-corporate government has given Microsoft the OK to import as many poorly paid workers from abroad as wanted, regardless of whether Canadians qualified for the jobs are available. There's no doubt the Obama administration would live to do likewise but is forbidden by law.

Parisian cab drivers are planning on blocking all roads into Paris tomorrow over the issue of Uber.

Sony is now threatening everyone reporting on their data leak.

The threat of Google to block Spanish news sources rather than pay royalties may yet backfire seriously as the AEDE, the Spanish broadcasters' group is moving to force Google to include Spanish results from news searches.


Dec 13

Above: Google can't believe it either, but the cardboard DIY virtual reality headset has now sold half a million copies and an SDK has now been released. 'All you have to do is print out the instructions from Google, acquire a few simple add-ons to complete your Google Cardboard construction project, and slide your smartphone in the requisite holder. Voila! A cheap Oculus Rift. Or, at the very least, the most inexpensive iteration of virtual reality you're likely going to find.' Amazon is now selling them for $20 fully assemblable.
 

Translation: "On Bird Do Not Tread

Above: 'For a brief, magical period of time, you could surf on birds in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. As in, ascend into the skies on their tiny, feathered backs. Unfortunately, it broke the terrorist-fragging heck out of the game, so Valve had to take it out. But they added something fun.' Valve has immortalized the glitch with this sign.

Dec 12

Above: Time Warner didn't need to be creating a new batch of haters, which is what they did by running the above ad - the company calls it "edgy" - everywhere, including the Cartoon Network for kids.

Alert! Lenovo is recalling power cords due to fire hazard.

PDX taxi drivers are outing Uber drivers to their insurance companies if the companies are Allstate, Stae Farm, Geico or Progressive..

Sony is using illegal Denial-of-Service attacks to try to prevent the stolen movies from being downloaded.

'A new feature in testing on YouTube allows users to quickly create GIFs from videos on the video service.'

Hackers have launched the same attack as that which humbled Sony against Las Vegas Sands Corp., owned by the right wing extremist Sheldon Addison.

The FBI has said that bringing down Silk Road 2.0 was possible because they had a mole inside the organization.

Facebook is claiming now to have the ability to assess the drunkenness of those posting their selfies and will suggest the posts not be made in such instances, hopefully leading to a decline of stupid job interviewees showing how drunk they were last night.


The funnest thing about the pirated Sony files has been the correspondence. The letter of George Clooney about the movie he's making on Rupert Murdoch, who would have been deported long ago if we has sensible immigration laws, is among them. "How much fun are we gonna have…the stakes are higher than citizen kane…if we tell the truth in a compelling way…rupert won’t get time/warner…cnn won’t be fox….i’m so excited to do this film..and for those of you listening in…i’m the son of a news man…everything will be double sourced..so come on with your lawsuits…f*ckers."

Other communications pilfered from Sony involve upper managers' interactions, as documented in a Sony lawyer's files, as for example, those involving Keith LeGoy, a vice president:
"I am offended by the language and manor that Keith speaks to me and usage of the constant "F" word, his derogatory language, once calling a married President a [Expletive] faggot, and another high level executive a "dyke," "Forty year old women need tits", regarding a high executive, "Was that before or after she wiped the coke off her upper lip," accused another married high level executive of sexual dalliances with an international star, his own indiscretions and calling me a "Bitch, referring to me as a "Dumb Bitch" and calling me "Queen B" out in the open for years, despite my telling him that it is his covert and now overt way of calling me a Bitch. His response to me, "…If the shoe fits" . I asked him and demanded that he stop, complained about most of the above to HR's, and little happened.
   The beginnings of the sexual abuse occurred in 2007 when he asked me to join him while he serenaded HR and Operations managers in his dimmed office. I refused him twice saying that I had an abundance of work to complete. The final time that he asked, he offered me, "Veuve Cliquot with HR, I told him in no uncertain terms, "I don't drink." He yelled slapping at me, "Then, you're not on my team!" Initially, it seemed like a joke, later it became apparent with the comments, like I'm imperious and then he began calling me a "Bitch" in many incarnations and that became de rigueur in the office.


Dec 11

'I am Bread, the latest game from the people who brought us Surgeon Simulator, is a great game on its own, even in its young stages of Early Access. But it is missing one crucial thing: 1980s sports montage music. Let's...'

Simpsons' Edna Krabappel and Maggie Simpson  Published in Journal
The punking of "scientific journals" continues unabated. Now, 2 journals have published "Fuzzy, Homogeneous Configurations", a spoof written by Alex Smolyanitsky to expose several scientific journals.

A Corvallis Clinic employee left unencrypted patient data on a laptop which was stolen, the Clinic says. The employee no longer is employed there. The data was in spreadsheets which implies an archaic records system, according to one local IT expert.

Uber is appealing a fine levied by the city of Eugene for operating without required permits, background or safety checks.

Security researchers have exposed the vulnerability of Smart Watches , with entire conversations shown in plain text.

Having confronted Uber, the city of Portland is next considering Airbnb for those who have not applied for the permit and requisite safety chacks.

New York City is launching the first stage of providing free wi-fi access in homes, beginning with 10,000. The "Hot Spot" device works like a router, delivering wireless Internet over a cellular network.

Google News is closing in Spain after legislation dictating that news items lifted from the Spanish press need to include monetary compensation for the source.


Dec 10
As Portland's case against Uber moves to federal court, it now appears that the Uber driver whose reported rape of a woman CEO has resulted in Delhi's expulsion of Uber, was a repeat offender. 'In fact, he has been named in at least eight different cases at two police stations here, including molestation, theft, chain snatching and two cases under the Uttar Pradesh Goonda Act' - which allows police to shoot an offender on sight. Nonetheless, UberX accepted him as a driver. Uber's response to the victim's report of the rape was "Sorry about what happened here! That’s definitely not what I’d expect out of an Uber trip. Your driver should always be courteous and professional, making sure to deliver the 5-star Uber experience in every trip. I’ve passed along your feedback to our driver operations team."
   In related news, district attorneys in Los Angeles and San Francisco "have filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Uber for failing to protect passengers".

Comcast is being sued for turning privately leased routers in homes into publicly accessible "hot spots" without home owners' permission to try to compete with phone companies.

Amazon has introduced a "make an Offer" option available for the holidays.

The telecom corporations are pressuring the Oregon governor and legislators to cut them even more slack in taxing providers, and the implication is that Google might abandon Portland if the tx breaks are not forthcoming. Telecom corporations were, years ago, provided tax breaks to build fiber. They pocketed the money and never built the fiber networks.

Portland has initiated the body cam bidding process for PDX officers, to get them in place by next fall.

VDOS of Corvallis is one of 4 corporations the FAA has granted drone authorization. The company operates a Warm Springs test range as well as monitoring sites for Shell Oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

A new version of Destover, the malware used to hack Sony, has been unleashed on the web and the signed security certificate is one stolen from Sony.
 
Pirate Bay Is Shut Down and Peter Sunde's Not Unhappy About It

Pirate Bay disappeared from the web after Swedish police raided the site's servers in Stockholm. 'The piracy site knocked offline worldwide on Tuesday morning and remained unavailable for several hours, but the site appeared back online in the late hours with a new URL hosted under the top-level domain for Costa Rica.'
Peter Sunde, one of the founders wrote that he was not especially unhappy:
"News just reached me that The Pirate Bay has been raided, again. That happened over 8 years ago last time. That time, a lot of people went out to protest and rally in the streets. Today few seem to care. And I’m one of them.
   Why, you might ask? Well. For multiple reasons. But most of all, I’ve not been a fan of what TPB has become.
   TPB has become an institution that people just expected to be there. Noone willing to take the technology further. The site was ugly, full of bugs, old code and old design. It never changed except for one thing – the ads. More and more ads was filling the site, and somehow when it felt unimaginable to make these ads more distasteful they somehow ended up even worse.
   The original deal with TPB was to close it down on it’s tenth birthday. Instead, on that birthday, there was a party in it’s “honour” in Stockholm. It was sponsored by some sexist company [see photo above] that sent young girls, dressed in almost no clothes, to hand out freebies to potential customers. There was a ticket price to get in, automatically excluding people with no money. The party had a set line-up with artists, scenes and so on, instead of just asking the people coming to bring the content. Everything went against the ideals that I worked for during my time as part of TPB.The past years there was no soul left in TPB. The original team handed it over to, well, less soul-ish people to say the least. From the outside I felt that noone had any interest in helping the community if it didn’t eventually pay out in cash. The attention for new artists (the promo bay) felt more like something TPB had to do in order to keep it’s street cred. The street cred I personally tried to destroy when being part of TPB, multiple times, in order to make sure that people stopped idolizing TPB the way they did. Mostly it didn’t work though.
   As a big fan of the KLF I once learned that it’s great to burn great things up. At least then you can quit while you’re on top. I think I left TPB just a little bit after that top, and not when it’s as shitty as it was when it was closed today. It feels good that it might have closed down forever, just a real shame the way it did that. A planned retirement would have given the community time and a way to kick off something new, something better, something faster, something more reliable and with no chance of corrupting itself. Something that had a soul and could retain it.
   But from the immense void that will now fill up the fiber cables all over the world, I’m pretty sure the next thing will pan out. And hopefully it has no ads for porn or viagra. There’s already other services for that."

Dec 9

Above: 'As they always say, the sincerest form of flattery is when someone remakes your stuff in Unreal Engine 4. This time, the remake is Hideo Kojima's P.T., and the remaker is level artist Jonathan Vallieres, this being his first, 2.5-month UE4 project. '

A Spanish judge banned Uber from the country and prohibited firms from processing payments for Uber in future.

'Hewlett-Packard will take a big step toward shaking up its own troubled business and the entire computing industry next year when it releases an operating system for an exotic new computer...HP aims to achieve its goals primarily by using a new kind of computer memory instead of the two types that computers use today. The current approach originated in the 1940s, and the need to shuttle data back and forth between the two types of memory limits performance.'

Microsoft is going to introduce the hated "subscription model" for Windows in future.

The lab at Berkeley has shrunk the entire capacity of the massive CERN collider to the size of a table top and yet has set new records for energy gradients.

AdNauseum has introduced a clever means of twisting up the online ads intruding everywhere - it quietly clicks on ALL the ads. 'As the data gathered shows an omnivorous click-stream, user profiling, targeting and surveillance becomes futile.' And it costs advertisers a fortune.


' The DDoS spammers known as Lizard Squad are set to give PlayStation fans some holiday blues. PlayStation Network, the online system for Sony’s PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 consoles, was brought down..by Lizard Squad, whose previous exploits have downed airplanes with bomb threats, screwed up gaming for World of Warcraft and League of Legends fans, and last week gummed up Xbox Live.'

'The United Kingdom's mail service is testing out a 3D printing service at its central London delivery office in a bid to explore consumer appetite for the "embryonic" technology, printing items including shoes, jewelery, soap dishes and phone cases.'


Dec 8

Polish Nobelist Marie Curie Trolled like Women Today, said Einstein

Above: Newly read letters of encouragement from Albert Einstein, also a Nobel winner, to Marie Curie show that the #gamergate trolling of famous women is not new. "I am so enraged by the base manner in which the public is presently daring to concern itself with you", Einstein wrote of a readership which " attempts to satiate its lust for sensationalism!".
   In related news, Montana's legislature has now enacted a new "dress code" regulating women's hem length as well as other aspects of dress.


"Rape Russian Roulette" firm Uber has started drawing fines of $2250 per violating driver and $1500 fine for Uber per violation as the showdown with PDX continues. Portland Commissioner Steve Novick said "I guess this kind of behavior is to be expected from a company that plans to spend a million dollars investigating journalists' private lives. And that keeps track of the sex lives of its own riders."
   In related news, Uber has been banned in Delhi after another rape by a Uber driver was reported.
UPDATE: Portland has filed suit to ban Uber completely as an illegal organization.

'Workers went on strike at a German site of Amazon on Monday, aiming to hit the U.S. online retail giant in the busy pre-Christmas season amid a long-running pay dispute.Services sector union Verdi said workers had walked out at midnight'.

'A critical, but easily exploitable personal information disclosure vulnerability has been discovered in the widely popular online marketplace AliExpress website that affects its millions of users worldwide. Owned by Ali Baba, the vulnerability allows access without passwords, security researchers announced today.

'Two groups of French publishers, the GESTE and the French Internet Advertising Bureau, are considering a lawsuit against AdBlockPlus creator Eyeo GmbH on grounds that it represents a major economic threat to their business. According to LesEchos.fr, EYEO, which publishes Adblock Plus, has developed a business model where they offer not to block publishers' advertisements for remuneration as long as the ads are judged non-intrusive. "Several criteria must be met as well: advertisements must be identified as such, be static and therefore not contain animation, no sound, and should not interfere with the content. A position that some media have likened to extortion." According to Filloux the legal action misses the point. By downloading AdBlock Plus (ABP) on a massive scale, users are voting with their mice against the growing invasiveness of digital advertising. Therefore, suing Eyeo, the company that maintains ABP, is like using Aspirin to fight cancer.'

Dec 7
'The North Korean government insists it had nothing to do with the hack on Sony ... but at the same time they're rejoicing over the security breach. A N.K. National Defense Commission spokesperson called the hacking "a righteous deed".

Dec 6
'A new mobile Trojan horse infection has been discovered by security researchers that comes pre-loaded onto low-cost Chinese-made Android smartphones'. The trojan is called "Death ring" and the phones are most popular in Asia and Africa.

'Pretty soon, powering your tablet could be as simple as wrapping it in cling wrap' usung ' a new way to spray solar cells onto flexible surfaces using miniscule light-sensitive materials known as colloidal quantum dots (CQDs)—a major step toward making spray-on solar cells easy and cheap to manufacture.'


Dec 5
Portland police are on the verge of adopting body cameras and the primary snag at this point is where to store all the footage.

PDX is vowing to "throw the book" at "rape-Russian-roulette" Uber if the company does as they threaten and start offering rides tonight without permits and background checks.
UPDATE: Uber drivers cancelled on those requesting rides, when "those requesting" were enforcement officers.

Oregon's Ron Wyden is introducing legislation to pre-empt the FBI request that manufacturers include a "back door" for the government to snoop.

The new DSL standard will allow 1 gps over telephone wires.


The Deer God: ' It's unfinished, incomplete. But that's where the intrigue lies. With no tutorials, or anything to give guidance, you have to gather how the game mechanics work on your own. It's this exploration of how the game works with the literal exploration of the in-game landscape which makes The Deer God so very interesting.'

Buzzfeed has sifted through 40 gb of 100Tb data posted from the hack at Sony and concludes it can't get any worse. The data includes "employee criminal background checks, salary negotiations, and doctors’ letters explaining the medical rationale for leaves of absence. There are spreadsheets containing the salaries of 6,800 global employees, along with Social Security numbers for 3,500 U.S. staff. And there is extensive documentation of the company’s operations, ranging from the script for an unreleased pilot written by Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan to the results of sales meetings with local TV executives."
UPDATE: Sony's hackers are now emailing threats to Sony employees directly: "I am the head of GOP who made you worry.
   Removing Sony Pictures on earth is a very tiny work for our group which is a worldwide organization. And what we have done so far is only a small part of our further plan.It's your false if you if you think this crisis will be over after some time. All hope will leave you and Sony Pictures will collapse. This situation is only due to Sony Pictures. Sony Pictures is responsible for whatever the result is. Sony Pictues clings to what is good to nobody from the beginning. It's silly to expect in Sony Pictures to take off us. Sony Pictures makes only useless efforts. One beside you can be our member.
   Many things beyond imagination will happen at many places of the world. Our agents find themselves act in necessary places. Please sign your name to object the false of the company at the email address below if you don't want to suffer damage. If you don't, not only you but your family will be in danger.

   Nobody can prevent us, but the only way is to follow our demand. If you want to prevent us, make your company behave wisely.".

'

See older Posts here

 
  NEW CORVALLIS
   WRITING:

   A.G. Agee
Holiday Madonna
 
   One blustery December day long ago, I awoke to morning headlines in our local paper describing a head-on collision the night before that had killed two people that were very dear to me. Nobody I was related to was killed, but both of the dead people were in our church choir. The previous evening, we had been practicing for our Christmas performance the previous evening, and the weather was really blowing. According to the story, conditions on the expressway had gotten so bad that visibility was almost zero, and the deceased driver, one of our sopranos, and her deceased passenger, our cantor, were making a left hand turn across oncoming traffic. The surviving driver who hit them had been drinking and was jailed. As I read the paper at breakfast, I lost my appetite. I could not believe our two choir members were no longer among the living. I had just harmonized with them the night before.
   The soprano was a single woman who was well liked, but the cantor was loved for her soaring solos that filled the church. She was married with two children, and her family was very poor. Her husband and the two kids would always sit in the congregation just behind the choir. Their clothes—even their Sunday best—were old and faded but clean. The cantor, in addition to being able to sing like an angel was handicapped—her legs worked just well enough for her to move slowly with a walker—and her husband would usually assist her when the choir moved forward to sing during the church services. The entire congregation would watch as the choir moved forward to sing up front by the organ. Always last in line, the cantor with the angelic voice would very slowly make her way to a chair next to the organist.
   The practice sessions we’d held so far that Christmas season included a hymn by Handel, which was written for a soloist like our cantor. During our practices, the choir would build slowly to a crescendo, but it was as if we were a mother plane launching a smaller plane that would reach out as far as outer space - we launched our cantor who would then soar an octave above any of the rest of us - and for her it was effortless. Her body may have been crippled, but she was perfectly capable of leaving that all behind her when she flew at those musical heights. During such moments, the entire congregation and anyone who heard her sing fell in love with her. Needless to say, the news of the deaths of these two people spread shock and sadness everywhere around town - at every stop on my route, the topic came up.
   While reading of the wreck in the newspaper that morning, I could not help but notice the address of the drunk driver. He lived with his parents in a house that I knew was along my bread delivery route. Without realizing it, I made a mental note of that address.
   People eat a lot of bread around the holidays - especially when the weather is chilly. My delivery truck was full to the top with fresh-baked muffins, bread loaves and cinnamon rolls—and the clerks at the stores who checked me in were all feeling the chaos of the weeks leading up to Christmas. Besides the wreck, we also spoke about the weather—they were mostly glad to be working indoors as the storm cells rolled over us with only brief periods of sun.
   Out in the rain that day on my route - before I knew it - I was driving past the house where the drunk driver lived with his parents. Although it is my nature to be forgiving, I caught myself having the blackest thoughts about the people who had raised such a thoughtless young drunkard - and I was thinking jail time was insufficient punishment for the driver who had killed my friends from choir. Slowing my delivery truck to take a good look at their house, I was filled with such black thoughts. I continued on down the back road that was a short-cut to my next delivery.
   Rounding the corner and heading up the hill, I was going slow and nursing these grievances when the sun decided to peek through the rain clouds and flood the hill crest with light.
    The leaves were all off the trees along the road by now, and for some reason I noticed the porch of a small house—a house that I did not remember being there. On the porch of the little house temporarily bathed in brilliant sunlight was a woman nursing an infant. She was moving the baby from one side to side to the other and then covered herself as I noticed her. She looked up to meet my distracted gaze with a look of absolute peace and grace.
   At that point, my truck switched to auto-pilot, and I was somehow detoured off-planet before arriving at my next delivery. The force and brilliance of her point of view completely evaporated all the negativity in my heart in an instant—as the bright sun will dry the pavement in no time at all.
   Her peace had a lasting effect. Thanks to this little Madonna, I was blessed that holiday season the strength to forgive the offending drunkard—as well as myself for all my drunkenness. Peace returned me, and I said a prayer for all drunks—for the soprano, the cantor, and the Madonna and her child.
 
Site Dedicated to the Memory of Eric McKinley, d. Iraq, 2002
Eric McKinley was our local connoisseur of ska music and cafe denizen whose unit was activated and sent to Iraq by George Bush to patrol with inadequately armored vehicles. When Congressional funds for armoring the vehicles were diverted by the notorious Republican Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska (later tried on corruption charges), Eric's unit was reduced to using plywood to give their vehicles some additional protection. When an insurgent's IED hit Eric's vehicle, his horrified teammates were forced to watch as the heat of the burning plywood began exploding the grenades strapped to Eric's body. Eric, you are not forgotten and will live forever in our hearts.