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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Good Morning, News!

Posted by Dirk VanderHart on Sat, Aug 16, 2014 at 10:51 AM

What am I up to this morning? I just ate what's going to my last food for the next six hours, because everyone is a jerk, and come 4 pm I'll be shoving hot dogs down my unamused gullet at the annual Zach's Shack Hot Dog Eating Contest. (At least, I think I will—the press release says the competition is on "Sunday, August 16." Something's gotta give.) My only goal is not to lose or puke. It'll look like this.

A fun, irony-tinged felony indictment against abominable Texas Gov. Rick Perry! He's accused of corruption for slashing funding to a state anti-corruption unit. It is, of course, far more complicated than that, with overt political overtones throughout, even as prosecutors dismiss political motives. The official charges Perry faces, abuse of office, have been lobbed at the state's anthropomorphic political lightning rods in the past, often unsuccessfully (but hadn't been thrown at a governor since old "Pa" Ferguson). Just how wobbly this renders what seemed like Perry's inevitable 2016 presidential bid remains to be seen.

That didn't last long. The détente and good feeling brought on by the banishing of the St. Louis-area police from Ferguson, Mo? Good for one night of peace only. Tear gas and looting returned to Ferguson last night, with demonstrators setting up a barricade in the street (and some working to prevent looting).

The renewed tension came after cops released a video that appeared to show 18-year-old Michael Brown, killed by a police officer last week, forcibly taking a box of cigarillos from a convenience store. The police didn't, however, offer any new information on why an officer, who didn't even know about the robbery, killed an unarmed Brown shortly afterward.

This guy live tweeted the shooting. This lady saw it.

And by the way: Brown is just one of four unarmed black men who've been killed by cops since July.

Still feel like speaking out on this? There's a demonstration to protest police militarization (of which Portland's not as guilty as some) downtown at 1 pm.

Precisely what we need in the face of the Ebola terror playing out in West Africa is crackpots to assure scared, unsure people that a dietary supplement they peddle alongside hemp oil and "mental clarity packs" will cure the virus. And then for African governments to believe them.

British dockworkers turned up 35 men, women, and children squirreled away in a shipping container in Essex. It was easy: They just followed the "screaming and banging." The unlucky cargo were apparently from India or thereabouts, and had shipped over from Belgium, severely dehydrated and suffering from hypothermia. Only one person died.

Senator Ron Wyden takes to a Portland dais to raise many of the same concerns over government surveillance he's expressed before. But, you know, he said it here, this time.

Sometimes someone in Spokane will chuck a tiny kitten out of a speeding car. And sometimes that kitten survives. This is how legends begin.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a big show, some months back, of being shocked and upset she'd apparently been spied on by American intelligence. She didn't mention, conveniently, the German ears listening in on the business of two US Secretaries of State.

Wearing a burqa while you jack an ATM for its bounty. Seemingly flawless, and yet...

Hot Dog Eatin' Weather.

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And finally, I give you the white-hot video lame duck Arts Editor Alison Hallett recently called "my everything."

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