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May 29, 2015 7:22 AM

May 29, 2015 6:38 AM

With the passage of an amendment to Pendleton city code to contain the smell of marijuana, one man saw a chance to rein in lingering bodily odors as well. “While farting may be legal in Oregon, many (including myself) are offended by the flatulent stench,” said Peter Walters’ letter to the editor in the East Oregonian. He goes on to complain that businesses and homeowners can’t seem to contain farts, and calls on the city to address the problem…. “The Mayor and a few on the council have made it clear that they want to fight this legalization with every thing they can,” wrote Walters in a Facebook message. “Meanwhile, everyone in this town thinks that the city council is a joke because they spend their time on stupid crap like lingering pot smells while citizens complain about ten-year-old pot holes.”

A couple months from now, recreational marijuana will be legal (medical marijuana is and has been for some time) in Oregon…which may account for the unusually cloudy weather of late. While a plurality of voters approved legalization, the demographics of the Beaver State are to say the least lopsided, which means one needs to look outside the numbers for the real story. The vast majority of the state’s population lives in the fairly Liberal Portland metropolitan area and down through the Willamette Valley to Eugene and Springfield. The rest of the state might as well be called West Idaho, because it has far more in common ideologically with Idaho than Oregon. Of course, the population outside the Willamette Valley is negligible, so the moral of the story is that what Portland wants, Portland gets.

Legalizing marijuana may be popular west of the Cascades, but in more Conservative areas on the east side such as Pendleton, the idea has met with no small amount of resistance. Pendleton’s city council has gone out of their way to impede the availability of and access to legalized marijuana. The council recently lifted their moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries, but city business licensing rules prohibit licensing any business that would be illegal under federal law. The city council can (and does) claim to have done their part…only to be thwarted by the evil, nasty feds. Damn the bad luck, eh?

As one might imagine, not every Pendleton resident sees sense and sensibility in the city council’s war on marijuana. Peter Walters’ letter, while tongue in cheek, was an expression his frustration over the council’s perceived obsession with marijuana as they ignored real issues facing Pendleton. Walters reasoned that, if the city council was so concerned with offensive smells, perhaps it was time the city began looking to ban other assaults on the olfactory sensibilities of the good people of Pendleton. Flatulence seems like a good place to start if your goal is to highlight the absurdity of what your government is committing tax dollars to. That Walters is garnering the attention he is can’t be making the city council members happy…and that’s probably the best thing to come out of this.

Perhaps the authoritarian drug warriors will wake up and recognize the absurdity of continuing to stand on the wrong side of history and public opinion. They don’t have to like marijuana- clearly they don’t- but they’ll eventually do the right thing, if for no other reason than to stave off a revolt. Or if not, perhaps they’ll just go ahead and ban flatulence, which will undoubtedly be the death knell for any Mexican restaurants unfortunate enough to do business within Pendleton’s city limits.

May 29, 2015 5:05 AM

May 29, 2015 4:59 AM

Oh look - we haven’t checked in on that fun-loving Kory Watkins lately. Apparently he’s a tad peeved about him not getting his preferred open carry legislation. He’s so cute when he threatens violence against legislators isn’t he?

Here in America, most of us are pretty reasonable folk. We understand that, because of the melting pot nature of our great country, there are as many different ways of seeing the world. Generally speaking, we don’t demand that others respect our viewpoint even as we grind theirs into dust. “Live and let live” seems like a pretty good motto overall philosophy of life, and I think most of us do a reasonably good job of reflecting that.

Then there are the smiling jackasses like Kory Watkins, who, outside of being a truly objectionable excuse for a human being, seemingly has little of value to offer humanity. Irrevocably wedded to his inflexible (and wholly inaccurate) interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, Watkins had taken pushing the ammosexual agenda as his personal crusade. It’s not enough that he’s ready, willing, and able to twist and pervert the 2nd Amendment (the most wantonly misinterpreted 26 words in the English language) to justify creating a world that could only fairly be described as a free-fire zone. To Watkins’ way of thinking- if indeed if can even be called that- an American has the God-given right to carry ANY weapon, ANY amount of firepower, ANYWHERE they see fit to do so, regardless of the threat it poses to others. It’s almost as if Watkins and his fellow travelers in the Open Carry movement are compensating for certain…um, shortcomings.

And you wonder why I refer to them as The Brotherhood of the Tiny Penis ©….

May 29, 2015 4:40 AM

May 28, 2015 7:04 AM

May 28, 2015 6:59 AM

May 28, 2015 6:46 AM

All these verbs have two things in common: They begin with the letter “L” and confuse the bejeezus out of many people.

I’ve never considered myself a grammar nazi, but I suspect there are those who’d (not without good reason) disagree with that self-assessment. As a writer, I’m more attuned to words, spelling, and grammar than the average bear, but it’s my gift, and the use of language to communicate ideas has always fascinated me. I’m fortunate enough to have been born with a facility and passion for writing, and so I suspect that means I should be honest about my prejudice. Poor spelling and grammar is a huge turnoff for me, because I’ve always taken it as a sign of being poorly educated. That’s not universally true, of course, but it’s my prejudice and I’ll cling to what bits of it make sense to me.

I’ve never had much use for grammar rules, perhaps because through my years of writing I’ve internalized so many of them that they’re second nature and don’t even feel like rules. Even I have to admit that the rules surrounding the usage of “lay” and “lie” confuse me. Sure, I could study them, internalize them, and make them my own, and to some degree I suppose I have, but I couldn’t regurgitate them to save my life. Nor do I particular want to.

I’ve managed to cobble together my own style by staying largely within the lines when it comes to grammatical rules, and some of the rules I know and live by are ones I’m probably not even aware of. The ones that I struggle with, and there are a few, I generally try to avoid. I rarely put myself in a situation where I’d have to use “lay” or “lie,” much less have to try and decipher the rules to ensure I’m using them correctly. Readers can pick apart my writing for “rules violations”- and some have- but I’m fortunate to have readers kind enough to gently nudge me in the right direction when necessary. This is what I get for working without a net (and very early in the morning) or an editor.

A little advice from someone who takes his writing seriously- if you find yourself having to worry about whether or not you’re being grammatically correct, you can probably find another way to say it. English is good like that, so like anything else in life, why do it the hard way when there’s an easier path?

Maybe sumday u 2 can rite reel gud two!!

May 28, 2015 6:32 AM

May 28, 2015 6:19 AM

That the Texas Legislature isn’t exactly known for compassion should hardly come as a surprise to even the most casual observer. I can’t help but think that the late Molly Ivins would have had a field day with this bill, which will literally help keep puppies from being euthanized

Stopping a bill that will help keep puppies alive. I’d be fascinated to hear how this one is being rationalized.

Go ahead; I’ll wait….


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