A 13-year-old Jewish boy has used his Bar Mitzvah speech to call for same-sex couples in his home state of Oregon to be granted the right to marry. The US state currently only recognises same-sex marriages conducted elsewhere. Watch Duncan McAlpine Sennett take his synagogue with him as he explains why the biblical definition of marriage is nothing like what those who oppose equality say it is, and by the end you’ll be cheering him on like his local Jewish community.
After months of in-fighting, the beleaguered Oregon Republican Party elected a new chairman last weekend. His name is Art Robinson, and he wants to sprinkle radioactive waste from airplanes to build up our resistance to degenerative illnesses.
On nuclear waste: “All we need do with nuclear waste is dilute it to a low radiation level and sprinkle it over the ocean—or even over America after hormesis is better understood and verified with respect to more diseases.”
But surely that’s just an outliar, I’m sure the rest of his positions are sound and rational.
On public schools: “Public education (tax-financed socialism) has become the most widespread and devastating form of child abuse and racism in the United States. Moreover, people who have been cut off at the knees by public education are so mentally handicapped that they cannot be responsible custodians of the energy technology base or other advanced accomplishments of our civilization.” (Robinson, a home-schooling activist, sells a DIY curriculum for $195.)
Ok. let’s try a different subject…
On AIDS: “There is a possibility that the entire ‘war’ on HIV and AIDS is in error. U.S. government AIDS programs are now receiving $6 billion per year and are based entirely upon the hypothesis that HIV virus causes AIDS.
Where in the world is the GOP finding these idiots? He has more derp quotes in the article, but I couldn’t bear to inflict them on you.
Pharma companies and big retailers “flooded our Capitol building with lobbyists from out of state,” he says. On the eve of the House vote, with the count too close to call, four legislators went out and bought 22 boxes of Sudafed and Tylenol Cold. They brought their loot back to the Legislature, where Bovett walked lawmakers through the process of turning the medicine into meth with a handful of household products. Without exceeding the legal sales limit, they had all the ingredients needed to make about 180 hits. The bill passed overwhelmingly.
Industry’s motto has been “stop meth, not meds.” One lawmaker likens it to the NRA’s “plea to people who own weapons that they are coming for your guns.”
Since the bill became law in 2006, the number of meth labs found in Oregon has fallen 96 percent. Children are no longer being pulled from homes with meth labs, and police officers have been freed up to pursue leads instead of cleaning up labs and chasing smurfers. In 2008, Oregon experienced the largest drop in violent-crime rates in the country. By 2009, property crime rates fell to their lowest in 43 years. That year, overall crime in Oregon reached a 40-year low. The state’s Criminal Justice Commission credited the pseudoephedrine prescription bill, along with declining meth use, as key factors.
For Big Pharma, however, Oregon’s measure was a major defeat—and the industry was not about to let it happen again. “They’ve learned from their mistakes in Oregon, they’ve learned from their mistakes in Mississippi,” says Marshall Fisher, who runs the Bureau of Narcotics in Mississippi. “They know if another state falls, and has the results that we’ve had, the chances of national legislation are that much closer. Every year they can fight this off is another year of those profits.”
Grant Acord will be charged as an adult and also faces 6 counts of manufacturing and possessing a destructive device
A US teenager who intended to blow up his school will be charged with attempted aggravated murder after six bombs were found in his bedroom, a prosecutor said late Saturday.
Grant Acord, 17, planned to attack his school in Oregon in a plot “forged and inspired” by a 1999 mass shooting at a high school in Columbine, Colorado, said Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson.
Acord will be charged as an adult and also faces six counts of manufacturing and possessing a destructive device after investigators found the six bombs in a secret compartment in his bedroom, Haroldson said.
Acord was taken to a juvenile jail Thursday night after police received a tip that the youth was making a bomb to blow up West Albany High School.
He said Acord had written plans, a checklists and a specific timeline for the attack. The investigators found pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails, a Drano bomb and a napalm bomb, Haroldson said.
Police found no bombs during a search of the high school.
Rep. Duncan D. Hunter of California is trying. Yesterday, he introduced the War Memorial Protection Act, a bill that would enshrine into law the ability for federal war memorials in the public square, like the one in Coos Bay, Oregon, to include religious symbols. It’s a direct response to moves by groups like the Freedom from Religion Foundation and Americans United for Separation of Church and State who make it their business to, well, separate church (the crosses and other religious symbols) from state (the U.S. government’s memorials, existing on public property and paid for with public funds).
The bill would be all the more remarkable if it were a new idea. But it isn’t. Last year, in fact, the U.S. House passed by voice vote the same act, also introduced by Hunter.
A National Rifle Association representative, relatives of two people killed in a December mall shooting spree and others took part in a passionate gun control debate Friday as Oregon’s Legislature began considering bills that would impose new gun restrictions but wouldn’t go as far as some lawmakers had hoped.
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard four hours of public testimony on a package of four bills that would expand background checks and add new restrictions on carrying firearms.
The daughter and husband of a woman shot dead at a suburban Portland shopping mall urged lawmakers to adopt the legislation and asked for additional measures, such as requiring that guns be kept locked up.
“The gun that was used to kill my mother was stolen,” said Jenna Passalacqua, daughter of Cindy Yuille, one of two people fatally shot by Jacob Roberts as he opened fire inside the Clackamas Town Center on Dec. 11. Roberts, who killed himself after the shooting, had stolen the AR-15 from a friend.
“Had that gun been locked up properly, she might still be alive today,” said Passalacqua, one of more than 100 people who showed up at the hearing to testify.
Roe v. Wade guaranteed abortion as a legal right across the country. A separate decision two decades later, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, guaranteed states’ rights to limit access to abortion, so long as it did not pose an “undue burden” on the woman.
States have, over the past four decades, made no short use of that latter right. Only one state, Oregon, has not layered additional restrictions on top of the Roe decision. At the other end of the spectrum is Oklahoma: With 22 abortion restrictions, it has more than any other state. The chart below, courtesy of Remapping the Debate, has the full list. You can also go here for an interactive version of the graphic, which will let you look at what type of restrictions each state has set.
Bomb threats to 30 courthouses and other government buildings across Tennessee forced many to be evacuated Tuesday, including the federal building in Memphis, but authorities said no explosives were found.
Tennessee became the fourth state to deal with similar bomb hoaxes. One targeted 28 courthouses in Oregon and similar threats were reported in Nebraska and Washington this month.
Nine threats were reported in West Tennessee counties — including the Memphis federal building — seven in Middle Tennessee and 14 in East Tennessee, said Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security spokeswoman Dalya Qualls.
No arrests have been made in Tennessee and authorities had searched about 14 courthouses by Tuesday afternoon.
Gay-rights advocates scored a major and unprecedented victory at the polls yesterday as voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington approved same-sex marriage. In Minnesota they defeated a proposed constitutional amendment, modeled on federal law, that would have banned same-sex marriage in the state.
With that, nine states—Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington—and the District of Columbia—have solidly approved same-sex marriage. Another 12 states permit ‘domestic partnerships’ or ‘civil unions,’ which provide varying degrees of rights. (The laws in New Jersey, California and Oregon give same-sex couples virtually all the state law rights opposite-sex married couples have.)
A study released Wednesday by a respected Mexican think tank asserts that proposals to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Colorado, Oregon and Washington could cut Mexican drug cartels’ earnings from traffic to the U.S. by as much as 30 percent.
Opponents questioned some of the study’s assumptions, saying the proposals could also offer new opportunities for cartels to operate inside the U.S. and replace any profit lost to a drop in international smuggling.
The ballot measures to be decided on Nov. 6 would allow adults to possess small amounts of pot under a regimen of state regulation and taxation. Polls have shown tight races in Washington and Colorado, with Washington’s measure appearing to have the best chance of passing. Oregon’s measure, which would impose the fewest regulations, does not appear likely to pass.
The study by the Mexican Competitiveness Institute, “If Our Neighbors Legalize,” assumes that legalization in any state would allow growers there to produce marijuana relatively cheaply and create an illicit flow to other states, where the drug could be made available at cheaper prices and higher quality than Mexican marijuana smuggled across the international border.
The report, based on previous studies by U.S. experts including those at the RAND Corporation, assumes that Mexican cartels earn more than $6 billion a year from drug smuggling to the U.S.
It calculates the hypothetical, post-legalization price of marijuana produced in Oregon, Washington and Colorado and sold within those states and smuggled to other states. It then assumes that purchasers around the U.S. will choose domestic marijuana when it is sold cheaper than the current price of Mexican marijuana. That choice will lead to a loss of $1.425 billion to the cartels if Colorado legalizes, $1.372 billion if Washington approves the ballot measure, and $1.839 billion if Oregon votes yes, the study says