om full of what look like sheep but are really members of the Oregon Energy Facilities Siting Committee (EFSC). In the back of the court are what appear to be vultures but are actually Idaho Power lawyers and PR persons. In the judge’s seat is the Brown Queen. The sheep are baaaing, the vultures are grinning on their perches, hunched, rubbing the tips of their wings together as if they had hands and, the Brown Queen is screaming at Alice, “Shut up! Shut up!”
Alice yells back, “This is nothing but a kangaroo court.”
“Of course it is!” the Brown Queen screams, “Why? Because we always jump to our own conclusions.”
Alice interrupts: “Like for Idaho Power, and it makes me hopping mad. How deep is a kangaroo’s pocket anyway?”
“Order!” shouts the Brown Queen, “None of your impertinence! Letters you address to us we will ignore because a power company helped elect me and in turn I own the weasels —hmmm, I mean sheep, who I appointed or sanctioned. We make this look democratic. Write protest letters all you want but remember, we make the rules. We even have a rule if you don’t cross your i’s and dot your t’s we automatically throw your letter out.”
“But you don’t dot t’s or cross your i’s.”
“Oh but I do!” the Brown Queen exclaims, crossing her eyes. “And after they cross, I do it again, that way everyone who voted for me knows I’m a double crosser. Next, everyone’s letters, like yours, I feed them to my EFSC weasels — hmmm, I mean sheep, who make fun of them before voting on the known outcome. That’s why we always win. And you lose.”
“But it isn’t fair,” Alice cries. “The power lines are unnecessary. The only reason you want to approve this is because Idaho Power is buttering your bread. New technology will render Idaho Power’s project useless. Idaho Power plans on ruining over 9,000 acres of land running lines through Eastern Oregon and give us nothing. To boot, Idaho Power has no honest plan to stop their equipment from spreading noxious weeds into our farmlands!”
“Shut her up!” the Brown Queen bellows.
The noise in the court gets louder, the EFSC sheep are baaaing with intent and the Idaho Power vultures are ruffling feathers and are blowing raspberries. Alice continues:
“What about fires like the Paradise fire that was started by PG&E? Idaho Power plans to use our volunteer firemen to extinguish their fires. You’re going to approve Idaho Power’s plans to destroy our national heritage, ruining tracks of the Oregon Trail, and then rub it in by stringing wires and planting towers in plain sight of the BLM’s Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. It will ruin the tourism Baker has nurtured.”
“Off with her head!” the Brown Queen roars.
“At least I have one,” Alice retorts. “What about noise? EMFs? No plan for those is there? And those Idaho Power dams built 50 years ago promising to build fish ladders for them but lied just to build the dams? And you are slobbering to give license to Idaho Power to do as they please and run permanent havoc throughout Eastern Oregon. You were given charge of protecting citizens, not nurturing profits for big businesses! And furthermore …”
But the vultures began squawking “Ignore the facts! Ignore the facts!” and Alice can no longer be heard. Ripping off their outfits, the sheep have suddenly revealed themselves as weasels who begin hissing. The Brown Queen smashes her gavel on her desk, and crossing her eyes, commands, “Take her away! No, bring her here! Let me give her a sentence: ‘lake Alice away and make her wrile protest lellers the resl of her life and when elernily comes, remove her head.’ There! How do you like that sentence?”
“You didn’t cross your t’s.”
“No but I crossed my eyes.”
“Your rules,” said Alice, “Don’t make any sense.”
Alice said much more that day.
But it can’t be printed here.
Whit Deschner is a Baker City resident and member of the Stop B2H Coalition.