Archive for September, 2007

Portland news and notes

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

Passed by Voodoo Donuts.  It appears that there was a drunk man in front of that business, unsatisfied with a couple of donuts he had just bought, trying to unload them for reduced price.  At least I think that was what was happening.  I did not take, nor did I buy anything in proper fashion, what with the end result being me standing around with one fewer green bill in my wallet and some sugary pastry with bacon or cereal on it.

Tom Potter has a beard.  It was a signal that he was going to announce no run at a second term, I suppose.  The consensus common wisdom appears to have built itself around the idea that when the history of Portland is written, it will move from Mayor Katz to Mayor Adams, not quite able to squeeze in that Tom Potter interlude.  There seems to be this idea that Katz overloaded the city with mulititude major projects with the insinuation that Mayor Sam Adams will do the same, as is the natural course of things, and as explains the inability to say anything about Tom Potter and the manner in which everything anyone is saying about him comes across as a backhanded compliment.   What the city needs is a few more new trams?  (Maybe a major league baseball stadium?  Sam Adams, of course, being the presumptive next mayor for Portland.  Probably for about the same sort of reasons that Jim Francesconi was, and we all know about his tenure as mayor.

Fun with Spam.

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

Hm.  Shifting through the spam folder of my comments section, and I get this:

Awesome write up discussing Spurious Sexual Scandal of Mike Gravel Coming Out of the Wormhole and Being Thrust Into Dark Corridors of the Internets. What was the spuriously claimed manifestation of Mike Gravel doing on the evening of August 10, 1972 and what was the sexual pro quid quo which resulted in the re-coronation of a minor landmark? Does this spuriously claimed manifestion of a possibly fictionalized account of Mike Gravel know no shame?! I love this interesting posts.

Sometimes I wonder if anyone ever takes a look at what the “fill in the blank” formulas that their created- spam-bots  spew out.  Note to the spam-bot creators, though — you will be docked points for the “I love this interesting posts” — grammatically incorrect is it.

Yes.  I did indeed have a post entitled “Spurious Sexual Scandal of Mike Gravel Coming Out of the Wormhole and Being Thrust Into Dark Corridors of the Internets. What was the spuriously claimed manifestation of Mike Gravel doing on the evening of August 10, 1972 and what was the sexual pro quid quo which resulted in the re-coronation of a minor landmark? Does this spuriously claimed manifestion of a possibly fictionalized account of Mike Gravel know no shame?!”  I was being kooky at the time in examining the Senate career, and controversies thereof, of the man who would not be president.

Sports Short

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

The upper half of the front page of the Oregonian on Monday– or at least the front page of the attention grabber – tends toward the sensational or lowest common denominator to grab attention and suck up a couple of quarters “Street edition” in those boxes — blared out some NFL sports scores: “GOOD NEWS” and “BAD NEWS”.  The good news was the Seattle Seahawks won; the bad news was the Atlanta Falcons lost.

Seattle not being in Oregon; Atlanta being even further from Oregon.  But the market for Portland, Oregon and the state in general has decreed the Seahawks and the Falcons as the team that we are following.  For Seattle, I suspect that the lines of demarcation for what the networks play have expanded and contracted, moving from side to side, over the years depending on the relative strength of the Seahawks and the northern California teams of the 49ers and Raiders.  For Atlanta, we seem to be forced to swallow whatever team former University of Oregon quarterback stand-out Joey Harrington is on — which, because Harrington has had a bad NFL career, means that Oregonians get to follow a bad football team.  (Harrington has had a sort of fools’ luck in ending up as starting quarterback.  He was signed to the Falcons as a backup to dog-killer Michael Vick, who is now either in prison or shortly will be in prison.)

Is this coverage going to continue until Joey Harrington is drummed out of the league, or will there be a final cut-off point where Harrington’s plight is finally cut — maybe when he ends up the third choice on a team?  All I have to go on for comparison is Jon Kitna (a more successful NFL quarterback, for whatever that is worth) of Central Washington University, and I don’t think the Ellensburg transmitter cuts out from the Yakima affiliate to show the team he leads, not since he was with the Seahawks, at any rate.


Random quote from an article on Appalachian State:

“I want to play against real teams,” Connor Vaughan, 19, a freshman from Atlanta, said before the game.

With quotes like that, it becomes deeply satisfying if a lesser team in its division does to Appalachian State what Appalachian State did to Michigan.  (Which, in the end, does not appear to be a massive upset, Michigan being… a bad team and all.)

nine eleven

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

An interesting measure of the zietgist and how much mental brain-span is devoted to thinking about 9/11 today comes with a scan of the comics page in the newspaper.  The comic strips, at this moment in their devolution, tend toward being postage stamp sized greeting cards, and tend to have a hard time resisting the urge toward a bit of sentimentality.  Any previous year, it was likely loaded with cartoonists doing 9/11 commemerations.   Today, the number of comics strips in the Oregonian involving 9/11 was One.  And that was  a local strip.

Other convincing nods to 9/11 — sidewalk chalked with “9/11 Truth Means No Wars!  [blahdeblah.blogspot.blahdebla]

So Usama Bin Laden’s tape, timed for 9/11… And General Petraeus’s testimony (the troops are coming home!  Or… you know… a slice of the surge.  The rest we’ll be debating for the 2012 presidential election. ), timed for the same reason. The flap the Republicans in Congress have carried forth with the condemnation of the ad shows me a mentality that has it that, nobody can speak any evil of Petraeus.  He has been knighted by the elite opinion-marblers — in similar ways as McCain or Colin Powell at one time — or Bush in the immediate after-math of his bullhorn speech in 9/11.  Or, at the very least, they are trying to hammer that into existence — and to a degree, have.


All’s Quiet on the Western Front

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

I had supposed a lull in the proceedings of L’Affaire Larouche, even knowing that internally somewhere in the center in Loudon and in other spots there had to be at the very least a sense of nervous jitters.  I supposed that there was nothing much that I myself, a relative naive to anything and everything, could possibly add.  The total effect comes with a somewhat generic overview item on Dennis King’s website, which has the feel to it of a place-holder in a lull between two more important items.  (Though, who am I kidding?  It’s as good an overview for a general audience not paying obnoxiously close attention as any.)

Looking it over, one week ago I came to my irreconcible conclusion, and last word, whether anybody cares or not, regarding some pesky things that bother me from a former member’s clearing the air of his involvement in the cult.  He has since added another myspace entry to tackle an assertion from a book, easily findable if you want to read it.

But, somewhere after pausing to enjoy a political commercial from 1984- that dastardly Anglo-Dutch Grain Cartel –, and then finding some  mild entertainment value to be found from some slightly off-kilter comment from “Jesus Christ” left on a blog entry here– that dastardly Anglo-Dutch Grain Cartel — I note that yesterday, the Cult Leader (the “demise” of which is coming, as Steinberg let out) sent out this note to his followers…

… To be found in the comments section (because I don’t want it to loom large on the front page of my blog, and because I can’t find frontpage to put it on a different page at this moment), his attempt at corraling the faithful from the “gossip” hounds at, I don’t know… here, there, various spots found in the sidebar over there.  Other than that, he stokes again the ego of the “Youth” against his babyt-boomers, and dredges up the apostates who have doubted him (ie: baby-boomers) over the years at various intervals, and — yep!  Another swipe at Molly Kronberg.

Nebraska’s old Senator, and Nebraska’s Next Senator

Monday, September 10th, 2007

I tend to view Chuck Hagel’s retirement as something of a bad thing.  It is not so much his departure — with him liable to show up in some foreign policy think tank or as a token Republican in a Democratic administration — before winding up to cashing in as a lobbyist in that permanent government slot.  Despite some rhetorical flourishes at Bush’s policy in Iraq and various facets of the “Imperial Presidency”, he maintains a solid voting record with the Bush Administration, up to and including those arenas he criticizes Bush for — it is the “well, with great reluctance” trap of the “Centrist”/”Moderate”/”Mr. Serious”.

He is a maverick to the name of maverick.   He would be infuriating as a Democrat — he would be Joseph Biden.  His greatest asset is that he annoys Republican partisans.
I suppose one cannot underestimate that part of the Senator’s power — the Sunday morning blathering fest, which is why Lieberman is more aggrivating than a number of other Senators.  The word on the street is that the Democrats are going to siphon us with Bob Kerrey, automatic front-runner for the Senate seat against anybody the Republicans might put up there.  I think I know the Democratic Party well enough to know roughly what they will be doing with Bob Kerrey — somewhere within the Good Ol’ Boys’ Network, his stature will be inflated and grown — Nebraska’s Senate race will be  a Top Priority, and probably THE TOP PRIORITY in terms of the down-the-ticket ballot.  All those liberal blogs (and — the “netroots” — as the election proceeds, will be tapped to donate to Bob Kerrey.

Bob Kerrey, ironically probably as a whole to the left of Nebraska’s current Democratic Senator (The most conservative Democrat in the Senate), but where Ben Nelson tends toward his issues of what Nebraska needs and doesn’t make have a huge public profile, Bob Kerrey will.  And on that issue of “War and Peace”.  An interesting little dilution.  The drive to something of a 60-seat filibuster-proof majority is mooted.

Identical voting record tendency on that area of concern, rhetorically worlds apart, probably the same effect within their parties — though the Democrats can’t quite absorb it as well the Republicans — unless it were a matter of the Democrats maintaining a majority over a minority — which even a tepid party and tepid agenda is an improvement for the short-term, no matter the corrosive forces within the party.  (Ie: Barbara Boxer heading the committee covering global warming versus Jame Inhoffe.)   It isn’t though.   So, Nebraskans, vote for the Republican.

Is this an I-tunes release?

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

The mill for the conspiracy theorists, and the conspiracy theorists in all of us, are currently being plowed by the Usama Bin Laden tape, and the political message and entreaty for us, the servants of the Great Satan.  It is second nature.  (He has a black beard, I see and hear.)

Remember when Henry Kissinger, goddamned Henry Freaking Kissinger, was tapped to lead the investigation into 9/11?  Or the rules that Bush set for his testimony, sit with Big Dick Cheney — nothing in the record?  Those were the moments of pause, when I myself felt obliged to fall into that particular abyss.  Or at least let the conspiracy theorists go wild without any objection.

Beyond the taunting of simply attempting to thrust his presence into our mindspace, I can never make heads or tails of Usama’s purpose in saying what he says.  Either he is moving straight ahead with what he considers well-heeled arguments or he is trying to affect a certain political response in our corner of the world.   Richard Clarke claims that agents in the CIA watched the eve-of-the-2004 election taped greeting and greeted it with the analysis of “He wants Bush to win.”  Indeed, Bin Laden probably shoved Bush into his margin of victory, with a message that was red meat for right-wing Republicans… “Why he sounds just like Michael Moore!

I cannot offer up that analysis for that tape, and the right-wing intelligensia and pseudo-intelligentsia cannot offer up that familiar refrain for the latest.  If they want to glom onto the Noam Chomsky reference and the calls to enact Kyoto, I can only glide onto the trumpeting of “Islamofascism”‘s low tax rate and good moral groundings.  The tactical idea of acting as a parody of some left-wing figure falls to shreds.  He seems to be covering his bases, from his fuzzy perspective of how American (and onto “The West”) political discourse moves.

So, in the next tape, I want Bin Laden to make a direct plea to the 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists.  The ones who believe Bin Laden is an apparation, a US government creation.  Then we can really get post-modern on our asses!