I have two items today which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."
Let me first make it clear that I am NOT trying to pick on Oregon. There are jerks and felons in every state, and Oregon has come, since its founding, probably further than any other state. But even a state that is such a leader is not immune.
When "the duckbill," an iconic sandstone foundation at Cape Kiwanda State Park, came down, park officials thought it was natural erosion which took it, and issued a statemen including "The rubble serves as a sobering reminder of the ever present dangers of our fragile coastal rocks and cliffs."
Then a video turned up. I will not embed it but you can click through to it. Be aware the language is as crude as the vandals.
David Kalas, who took the video, asked them why they had done it. The ringleader babbled something about a friend having broken his leg, and it was a safety hazard, and they were doing everyone a favor, yada yada yada. Yeah, right. Kalas himself has I think a better perspective:
(W)hat’s disappointing is how significant that one rock is to so many people. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people have taken their picture on it over the years. “People got married on top of the rock, got their engagement photos on top of the rock,” Kalas said. "They can’t share that moment any more with their future children or their grandchildren or anyone like that, it will always just now be a memory," he added.
Let me make my own feeling clear. I see NO moral difference whatsoever between these jerks and the jerks with more money than brains who want to mine for uranium on the edge of the Grand Canyon. Both are treating public property as their own, with complete disregard for the rest of us. The polite term for that is misappropriation. When they steal from or willfilly damage public property, they steal from me. And you. And you. And you.
Oregon State Police, and the rescreation department are now on the case, and say they "take… vandalism of a state park's natural features seriously." But of course, they can only take is as seriously as the law does. The maximum fine is $435.00.
It will take some intensive education to wring any regret from these – people. Alecto and Megaera, prehaps you would team up and turn up the heat. I have another case for Tisiphone today.
Shortly before midnight on August 10, in Gresham, OR, 19-year-old Larnell Malik Bruce, with some friends, was charging his cell phone outside a convenience store, when a red Jeep Wrangler pulled up and a man and a woman got out of it.
The man was 38 year old Russell Courtier, the woman, his girlfriend, 35 year old Colleen Hunt. A fight quickly broke out.
As Courtier smashed Bruce's head into the store's front window, cracking a pane of glass, his girlfriend encouraged the beating.
"Get him, baby," Hunt urged her byfriend, according to police. "Get him, baby."
Eventually, Bruce pulled out a machete and the couple retreated back to their Jeep.
What happened next would be hard to believe if we had not seen so many outrages in just the last year. Bruce started to run, headed towards his home and away from the couple. They began to chase hi down in the Jeep. He attempted to zig zag to avoid them, but they nearly missed him as they gunned the car toward him on the sidewalk. As he tried to cross the street, security footage shows them moving directly toward him and incidentally into oncoming traffic.
Police arrived on the scene moments later, having been called when the fight began, to find Bruce lying in the street with blood gushing from his head and ears.
He died from his injuries days later.
You may, if you look at Courtier's history, wonder why he was actually on the street at the time. He is a long time criminal, has a notorious history as a member of a white supremacist gang called European Kindred (EK), and was on parole at the time of the murder. Yes, that's EK tattooed on his calf in the picture. Not that that is his only tattoo. For example, while in prison, he also tattooed "party bone" on his penis. That and having the "make-shift tattoo gun" in his cell are only two of the almost 40 major prison violations he racked up between 2001 and 2013 How does someone with so many major violations get parole? I don't know.
Courtier and Hunt have both been indicted for murder and are being held on $500,000 bail. Their trial is scheduled to begin October third.
Incidentally Bruce's family has set up a GoFundMe page for help with funeral and medical expenses. It includes this statement – "Though this tragedy has devastated our family, Larnell has the opportunity to save many lives through the Organ Donor program." Well, SOMEONE in this story has class.
Tisiphone – whatever you can do.
The Furies and I will be back.
Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4009830