Aliens Killing Our Cattle?

Ranchers in eastern Oregon have been unsettled by what they lately have been discovering on remote areas of their land. Over the summer five carcasses of young purebred bulls have been found north of the town of Burns. The bulls were bloodless, their tongues and genitals surgically removed. There was no sign of coyotes or buzzards or any other scavengers. The ground around the desiccated bodies was undisturbed, no boot prints, no paw or hoof prints, no vehicle tracks..

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Flying Drones for Dinner?

“I keep getting trouble with my wife — when we go shopping in the delicatessen, I’m the one that’s flexing the salamis to see what their tensile strength is because they’d make good wing spars!”

Unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) — aka drones — are part of the twenty-first century world. We mostly think of them as a means to drop bombs on people or a the newest way to invade our privacy. Nigel Gifford has a better idea: use drones to deliver food to besieged people.

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Our Trust-Busting Justice Department

Republicans emphatically oppose an overreaching Federal Government interfering with business. Except when they don’t. Republicans are strongly in favor of the rights of states to handle their own internal affairs. Except when they aren’t.

As part of the current occupant of the White House’s War on Anything Obama, the Environmental Protection Agency rescinded regulations mandating increased automobile fuel economy. The regs, issued in 2011, required automobile manufacturers to produce average fuel economy of 50 miles per gallon by the year 2025. The present-day EPA stated that fewer emissions was a noble goal but it would make cars more expensive and somehow less safe and so isn’t worth it

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The World, STEM and History,

It could be this is just an old liberal-arts grad yelling at the sky, but here goes…

Tuition at Waldorf School of the Peninsula in Mountain View California is $38,000. Its student body comprises many of the offspring of Silicon Valley tech executives. The school’s curriculum emphasizes literature, mathematics and science; also visual and performing arts. Students learn cursive writing using pen and paper. Teachers illustrate lessons by hand on chalkboards. There are no computers in the classrooms. Those who have made fortunes convincing school districts on the importance of technology in the classroom — and designing software intended to be addictive — want their own children to grow up without it.

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Voter Suppression Update: Marching Toward Plutocracy

Republicans accept as a truism that the fewer people voting, the better the outcome for the so-called Grand Old Party. So they proceed accordingly, ranting, without evidence, about rampant voter fraud, passing legislation making it more difficult to vote, devising radically partisan gerrymandering and even making those working on voter-registration drives subject to criminal penalties. (Click here for the latest from Tennessee.) And of course, doing noting to safeguard electronic voting equipment from foreign intrusion. We here in Oregon are smug, with our vote-by-mail that makes every vote verifiable with its paper ballot.

But now the GOP has a better idea. Why go to all the trouble of concocting schemes to make it harder for people to vote? Why not just do away with elections altogether? They are already doing just that in several states. Republicans have already cancelled 2020 primary elections in South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona and Kansas. The Republican National Committee, in collusion with the reelection campaign for the current president, decided they don’t need no stinkin’ elections. Too bad for Joe “You lie!” Walsh and Mark “Appalachian Trail” Sanford who have announced their intentions to challenge the current occupant of the White House for the Republican nomination.

Yes, the party can cancel primary elections. You can be assured they are hard at work on the ultimate voter suppression: how they can “postpone” the general election.

Amazon, the New Domino’s?

In the mid 1960s, Tom Monaghan did some informal research among customers of his three-location pizza restaurant. He concluded that enough people wanted their order delivered and wouldn’t much care whether the pizza was any good, he changed the emphasis of his operation. Domino’s Pizza promised delivery within thirty minutes of taking the order or the pizza was free. He also began franchising and in less than a decade had two-hundred locations.

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