Archive for January, 2009

Go Away, Sam. Steve Novick for Mayor.

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

I’ve posted enough times (three, as the case may be) to suggest a simple bit of friction in my mind regarding Sam Adams.  I don’t much like Mr. Adams, but my sense of outrage starts way too late in the proceedings to much care for your — what is it?, www.samadamspleasegooffyourself.com and www.predatorareyousam.com ?

There’s this thing where I don’t quite understand Randy Leonard.  Sam Adams met with him privately, Leonard asked him if anything more was going to come out, Adams said “no”, the Oregonian published the interview with Beau Breedlove, Leonard muttered on the lie from Adams has new damaging information had come out.  It may be that I’m too far out of the orbit and Leonard is too close to Adams and works with him every day, but I didn’t see too much new information in that interview that significantly altered my view:  I had pretty well inferred sexual advances at the age of 17; it seems implausible to imagine just out of the blue two weeks after the 18th birthday — Sex, with nothing unsordid before then.  Mind you, Mr. Breedlove denies actual sex, but acknowledges prolonged kissing in a public restroom (the detail of setting I wave away as neither here nor there).  But, mind you, I cannot accept even here the cries out of a pedophile (or, rather whatever the term is to “phile” for pubescent teenagers) “grooming” for, like three weeks.

Dissecting some issues of concern, coming to conclusions based in the minituae of details further than some would come to conclusions, and just what damaging details Breedlove revealed, Adams comes off badly for two reasons:  #1:  He initiated it.  Ergo:  Predator, such as it is.  As a means of comparison, the 22 year old Monica Lewinsky that the 17 going on 18 yeard olf Breedlove is being compared to was the one who flashed her thong at President Clinton.  #2:  Another difference between Mr. Adams and Mr. Clinton in their Major Age Gulf Affair, a dent in Dan Savage’s g-danged “Rules of the Game”.  Clinton, in his recollections, in his wary “I just screwed up” reflection, collected the thoughts that Lewinsky is a smart good young woman — worthy of giving a collection of Walt Whitman to, it would appear.  Mr. Adams to Breedlove after this ill-advised fling:  see panel two in this cartoon:  “I didn’t find it compelling.”  Logical enough — Adams is in his 40s, and Beau is bouncing from the age of minority to the age of majority — not much in common there except an active Libido.  But Beau named his dog “Lolita”, couldn’t Adams at least give him a Nabokov book and put in a good word for him?  (The latter one just suggests a matter of sleaziness, the former one suggests a matter of criminality.)

Back to Randy Leonard and the sense of not having “anything new come out”.  I sort of feel the same way with the Willamette Week.  Mark Zusman came on KPOJ the day of Obama’s Inauguration and relayed the story.  And relayed the story of confronting Sam Adams with the story, and Adams’s reaction — shaken to the core, denial, fidgeting nervously — then having to accept its reality.  At any rate, an understandable reaction.  Zusman left out an important detail which I wished I knew — its omission allowed me to at least take the Adams result as “understandable reaction”.  I understand why this had to be omitted with journalistic practices of sourcing, but its omission throws a chink in the story of Adams’s reaction and my ability to at least understand Adams.  Here:

During the Jan. 15 interview, WW asked Adams why Vezina would say something that Adams—at the time—was contending was a lie. Adams suggested it was because Vezina had an ulterior motive. Adams said it was because “I accused him of trying to rape Beau.”

Wait.  What?  Adams accused his accuser of rape? 

Seriously, everything — including the character assassination of Mr. Ball, makes some type of semi-respectible sense.  But — um — you don’t falsely accuse people of committing rape.  That’s a… no-no…. significantly shifting my impression of Mr. Adams.

And its omission contradicts the impression left by Zusman when first hearing the story.  I suppose a dripping of information allows the Willamette Week to prolong its import on the story, a by-product of the more assured import in having to handle your sources, and there was probably no way for Mr. Zusman to relay this withoug biting his tongue.  But, beyond that, I do have a bit of a problem with this:

There is no evidence that Adams’ claim has any factual basis. WW waited to publish this story until it could get responses from Vezina and Breedlove. But Breedlove did not return more than 15 messages asking about the alleged rape attempt.

“More than 15 messages”?  Couldn’t it have stopped at, like, reach attempt number 10?

As for Adams, Bang #2 here comes with:

Contacted on Friday, Jan. 23, Adams backed away from his earlier explanation of Vezina’s actions and offered a new one. He acknowledged that Vezina was telling the truth about Adams’ having had sex with Breedlove. But the mayor still insisted that Vezina’s motives weren’t pure.

Okay.  The “Rape” allegation wasn’t floating here — is there another equally contemptible thing Adams could float?  He’ll have to sit on that one, until he comes up with something to fill in the vague “motives weren’t pure”.

Instead, he said Vezina was angry because he learned that Adams lied to him about his whereabouts on July 9, 2005.

Hm.  A bit of defense comes in the comments section, which I don’t quite buy because at this point Mr. Adams should know he’s speaking to a broader crowd:

Boy24  writes on Jan 28th, 2009 1:28pm Comment 33 | Respond

I have read this again. The obviously distraught mayor states on January 15 that at some point four years earlier he accused a person he was then dating of trying “to rape” a mutual 18yo friend. Then he says that he does not really know what happened between the two men but the young man was very upset. In the context of the conversation between two middle-aged gay men, “rape” can only mean unwanted sexual attention. It is an unfortunate wording, because some people can think that an actual sexual assault was discussed. Which is an absolute impossibility, given the young man’s physique and other factors.

This report will certainly leave readers feeling dirty, both because of the tactic developed by this tabloid in attacking the mayor and actual content of the conversation. I do, however, strongly object to framing this story as a new development (Mayor Goes On Attack) when it is just another droplet of the interview conducted on January 15 and and reported a week ago. WWeek is serializing the bit of compromising information about the mayor they have, in order to boost readership while disregarding completely the negative impact this reporting has on people (other than Sam) and the city. It also sounds like the reporter really took advantage of the mayor’s distraught state during this interview.

annie  writes on Jan 28th, 2009 1:48pm Comment 36

Mr. Boy24, “Rape” is not a word to just be bandied about. It has a serious and real connotations associated with it. Your mayor appears to have a problem with using powerful words that could get him in a whole lot of trouble, should the person he’s labeling a “Rapist” decide to fight back. Yep, it appears Sam’s level of being distraught has amped a couple of notches… […]

I see the activists of that sort (the sort that placed an angry note at an emptied Willamette Week box) have an empty “Just Out” bin downtown with a paper plastered saying “Worried About Perceptions?  In 2009?  Imagine ‘Just Out’ Covering Stonewall”.   Whatever.  We’re a few paces too far for that to qualify.

Why are the Cardinals in the Superbowl?

Friday, January 30th, 2009

A survey conducted by the USA Today, the phrasing be-fuddles me:  Do the 9-7 Cardinals NOT BELONG in the Superbowl?  Good thing the responses given clarify the positions instead of offering up a “Yes” and “No” to the negative-loaded question (“Belong” and “Don’t Belong”), because otherwise it’s a confusing and badly phrased question.

This writer believes that the Cardinals don’t belong.  And he spins the Cardinals appearance in the Superbowl, gilded with two home playoff games against teams with better records, to the NFL’s expansion to 32 teams and sub-letting into divisions of four teams.  And to a degree, I agree and thought at the time that this would lead to this sort of inevitible situation where an 8-8 team was going to get in in the form of the San Diego Chargers versus an 11-5 New England Patriots team sitting out.

But going down this list presented of anomolous results, I can come up with a perfectly good reason for the results.

The 2005 Steelers were the first No. 6 seed to win a Super Bowl and the first team to win the Super Bowl without the benefit of a home playoff game. The 2005 Steelers, in other words, were an anomaly by historic standards.
The 2005 Steelers would have been a #1, or perhaps #2 seed — similar to the season before when they finished 15-1, if not for Ben Rothenberger mid-season injury.  The team sucked for a few weeks.  They then got their quarterback back, and were good again.

The 2006 Colts entered the playoffs with the worst run defense the NFL had seen since the expansion Vikings of 1961 (Indy surrendered an awful 5.33 YPA) and a unit that surrendered 360 points that year. It was the worst defense of any Super Bowl champion. The 2006 Colts, in other words, were an anomaly by historic standards.
This strikes me as an attempt to force an argument.  The Colts also finished with a 12-4 record.  Their defense proved their undoing the previous season, they managed go get past it this season.  If the Bears had won — the NFC Superbowl team and #1 seed– they would have been an anomolous team with a historically subpar offense and quarterback.

The 2007 Giants were a 10-6 team that outscored opponents by a mere 22 points. Yet like another No. 6 seed, the Steelers two years earlier, the Giants won three straight road games before winning the Super Bowl. Their +22 scoring differential is the lowest of any Super Bowl champion and only the 2006 Colts (360 points) gave up more points than the Giants (351). The 2007 Giants, in other words, were an anomaly by historic standards.
Whose fault is it that the Undefeated New England Patriots couldn’t defeat a team that, in a six team per conference playoff scheme, was legitimately  Team #6?  For what it’s worth, the supposed “Turning Point” for the team in becoming Championship Contenders was the final week of the season, when they went toe to toe with the Undefeated New England Patriots, thus shoring up the idea that they could battle anyone, a Moral Victory which tend to be lame except here it was surpassed by an Actual Victory.  At any rate, The Giants’s Legitimacy as Team #6 out of 6 stands in opposition to:

The 2008 Cardinals are the latest Team Nobody Saw Coming – the anomalous Super Bowl contender that not only lost seven games this year, but lost many of them badly. The Cardinals were blown out by 21 points or more four times this year. They scored just one more point than the surrendered (427 to 426) and if they do win Sunday – remember, they get to play at home – they’ll easily be the worst team and the worst defensive club that’s ever reached a Super Bowl. 

 Okay.  This is the first anomoly of Championship Contending that can be placed on these out-of-balance divisions.  The Cardinals turning point was said to be, again, their defeat against the New England Patriots, where they lost by 40 points, and where the Coaches decreed, as they were going to stumble into the playoffs even if they ended with a 7-9 record, that the team needed to get better.  Losses against New England appear to be what spurs teams into the Superbowl, apparently.  What can be said?  If this were a fair world, they wouldn’t have scratched at the playoffs.  Once there, they rallied around the idea that they were the Worst NFL Team Ever to make the Playoffs.  Maybe everyone just sucked this year?

Quick thought on Jimmy Carter and advice for W.

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Today’s USA Today has an interview with Jimmy Carter, a reasonably puffy piece, where he suggests that Bush’s public stock will rise in the years to come.  The up-shot, such as it is, comes with Carter unwilling to say he’ll come up to Carter’s high estimation of Truman.

But the best advice for Bush on raising his stock, I’ll suppose, comes with the Carter post-presidency resume:

Won the Nobel Peace Prize, built houses with Habitat for Humanity, observed elections abroad, written almost 2 dozen books, and through the work of the Altanta-based Carter Center, worked to virtually eliminate the debilitating Guinea Worm disease in Africa.

Political sour-pusses on the right have written books calling Jimmy Carter “Our Worst Ex-President”, opinions that I’ve seen expressed in part by some figures on the Left (outside the political mainstream, as the case beggars).  But the title sticks for Carter “Best Ex-President” — notwithstanding some good competition from William Howard Taft and from John Quincy Adams.

Let’s allow for a marking off of his Nobel Peace Prize.  “Won by a Hater.  What a Surprise!  Hey… Arafat won that Award, you know?”  Let’s mark off “observed elections abroad” — Hey, now — he lifted up a flimsy rationale against the continuation of Aristaide’s reign in Haiti — danged American Imperialism!

That leaves us with — He Built Homes and he eliminated Guinea Worm disease.

So what Bush needs to do in order to increase his political stock and have a fruitful post-presidency is to build some homes and to eliminate a disease.  The question is… what disease should George W Bush eliminate?

I recommend something relatively simple and well known:  George W Bush should devote his post-presidency to advocating Early Detection and better treatment options toward the Elimination of Lyme Disease.  In between building houses.  Get to it, Bushie!

weekly descent into madness

Friday, January 30th, 2009

I.  Regarding the current curfuffel in this city regarding elected officials… it could be worse.  Unrelated Political Fringe figures could deem it somehow relevant to Cause on behalf of.

Dateline Boston, a month ago.  Previously I posted regarding the Larouchies coming to the aide of a Corrupt Black City Council member, who is shown here with an arrow drawn over an extract hand pointing to a green blur being put into his hand, serving as the Champion of a Lost Cause that they might draft some overarching scheming connecting the British plot to assassinate Obama and a general plan to attempt some pick up of support in the black population.  (I note howiecopywriter has come to the aide of Charles Rangel — I guess arbitarily selected as being in the Clinton — Roosevelt — Larouche part of the Democratic Party versus the Soros — Pelosi part.)

As these things go, of course, Larouche was trumpted by a Bigger Person.  By whom?  Well, naturally… Another Great Champion of Lost Causes — nay, “Lost Causes” are sometimes worthwhile — Lost and Unworthy Causes.  The most noteworthy “Champion of Lost Unworthy Causes” for Ramsey Clark being  the Champion of the Lost Unworthy Cause of “Larouche as Political Prisoner”.

This collision in Boston can’t be a coincidence, can it?  I mean, did Chuck Turner send out the “Fringe Battler” signal at the moon, ala The “Bat Signal”, which was spotted by Larouche and Clark?  Did Chuck Turner first roll over to the Larouchies, then decide even they were too far beneath him so at least a step up in the respectability column to tap at Ramsey Clark?  It’s all very mystifying.  And the inanity continues.  (Semi-related and of note:  this appeal to vote for the Green Party in Illinois.)

II.  A Revelation from a source to xlcer at factnet on current living conditions within the LYM:
For those who do not think that the cult could go any lower in forsing extreme poverty and lumpenizaton on members, consider an email I received that says that because the stipends in the LYM are non existant, there are a few ways to eat. One way is from the LA finance officer who tells them to buy more pasta. The other is having LYMettes sell their eggs for money to fertility clinics without the NCs knowing it.

So too xlcer presented the google map, and shoddy shack, for the headquarters of Larouche Incorporated Oakland.  Perhaps another Bread Loaf Relief is in order, though not so much to make any point on the errancy of Larouche Predictions as to satisfy the “Relief” portion of the FDR “Relief, Recovery, Reform” New Deal policy.  Other advice comes fromthis Adam comic strip — more generally pointed at the current economic Recession which has us all bracing for double digit unemployment figures — though here I have to say, I think weather through the downtrun, what with the great stewardship of President Bloomberg guiding our policy.

III.  But this brings me to a different point.  The map points us to “American System Publications”, which sort of brings me to mind a bit of an inquiry.  At the moment, the wikipedia battle has drawn us to the current trio of Larouche sock-puppets having made some quick edits due to the noted vacation absense of the moderator, Will Webank (who has returned, and is I suppose rumbling through his items of interest at wikipedia) — here I link here again as a shout to the mildly interested “It’s even stupider than it looks at first blush”.  This appears to have been a final lunge in the now ceased attempt at Larouchian editing of many a’topic to include Larouche’s “contribution” to many a’topic:  the anachronistic topic of “The American System”, Henry Clay’s proposal for America plucked up by Larouche Inc. for a glom on when Larouche dremaed of pulling his troops away from the realm of Marxism.  The discussion shown here has… The subsequently banned “Herschel Kurstofsky” (reappearing in the form of many a sock puppet) trying to inject into the “American System”:

The American System also emphasized the importance of the power of the human mind to innovate, as the most important topic of discussion for economists. As Abraham Lincoln himself put it, in a speech delivered on the stump in his 1860 campaign, “Man is not the only animal who labors; but he is the only one who improves his workmanship. This improvement he effects by Discoveries and Inventions.”

The American System has been increasing ignored by historians and economics professors, but it is arguably the only approach that has been historically successful in bringing about the rapid economic progress of nations, as demonstrated by its success under the Lincoln Administration and its subsequent revival under Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The two approaches which dominate the academic world today, Laissez-Faire and Marxism, have yet to produce substantial results, and nations which practice them seem to rely on the exploitation of other nations to survive.

The most outspoken proponent of American System Economics in the early 20th Century was Dr. Sun Yat-sen. Today, it is the American politician and economist Lyndon LaRouche.

It appears that an actual current proponent of “The American System” does indeed exist in the guise of “Northmeister”, who I suggest should go ahead and resurrect The Whig Party.  Taking note of his argument that The American System lives and runs through the course of American history, Herschel Kurstofsky chimes in with this unsoliciated suggestion, unsoliciated seeing as “Northmeister” not once mentions Larouche:

If you are thinking about mentioning LaRouche, be advised that Wikipedia is dominated by a clique that insists that LaRouche may only be referenced in a derogatory fashion. Edits which mention LaRouche in non-derogatory terms, regardless of how germane or well-documented they may be, are suppressed.

Which led HK to edit what I guess is a Northmeister editing job with a statement of:

I was uncomfortable with this: “Today this system is generally ignored in the academic world, where the dominant theories are the British system of Smith and the Communist system of Marx. Some conservative economic isolationists have revived interest in the American System approach in varying ways. They include Ross Perot, Pat Choate, Patrick J. Buchanan, Lou Dobbs, and James Fallows. (Liberal isolationists do not like the pro-business slant, and spend their energies attacking NAFTA.) ” …and I have reverted to this: “Today this system is generally ignored in the academic world, where the dominant theories are the British system of Smith and the Communist system of Marx. Some commentators and activists have revived interest in the American System approach in varying ways. They include Ross Perot and his Reform Party, Pat Choate, Patrick J. Buchanan, Lou Dobbs, Lyndon LaRouche, and James Fallows.”

Yes.  Everywhere I go people are talking about The Whig Party Platform of 1840.  Through the entire Bush Administration, it was all incessant “Why is Bush not adapting the Whig Party Platform of 1840?, and now it’s all “I hope that Obama adapts the Whig Party Platform of 1840!”
This gets ridiculous and is spotted as such, and to wrap up before I close this door, bebank responds to northmeister:

Come on, let’s stop making this stuff up. Which historian or economist regards the New Deal as the successor of the American System? –Will Beback 23:22, 22 March 2006

IV.  THE MORE I LEARN ABOUT OUR POLITICIANS THE MORE I REALISE WHY THEY SHOW NO INTEREST IN THE CRIME ON OUR STREETS- THE REASON BEING THEY THEMSELVES ARE THE VERY WORST OF CRIMINALS.

The blogger who posted that then went on to post … what article… regarding what?
To sum up that old article:  the Jeremiah Duggan case was hatched with the tools of the Guardian, the anti-war liberal at times Socialist British paper — to keep the Impeachment of Dick Cheney from happening.

More unimpeachable logic from Larouche-land here:

Just wondering, is Sir Alan Greenspan still GB’s financial advisor? Lol. Lyndon LaRouche states that Soros is a British agent and international drug pusher and urging legalisation of the international drug cartels,EIR Jan 16,2009 Vol.36 No.2 If this is not true, why has Soros not sued LaRouche. You cannot comment on the City of London without talking money laundering, and it is called laundering because it is very, very dirty.

Yes.  Why don’t the subjects of Larouche’s Conspiratorial Ramblings sue him?  And why don’t the Nation’s Elite sue David Icke for the slander that they are all Reptilian Lizard People?

But it’s interesting when conspiracy theorying is out conspiracy theoried, as withLarouche’s function is to obscure the issues and prevent people from identifying the real menace.  Wait a minute.  Who’s pulling the strings on Larouche?  The Synarchists themselves???

V.  Making note of the change in oppositional tactics, now raging against the Soros — Pelosi part of the Democratic Party and discarding the old nemesis of Bush, but more importantly for this blogger, the questionOne odd difference is that when the LaRouchies were going after Cheney, they were gathering signatures in front of Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods; going after Pelosi, they’re standing in front of Von’s. I wonder why.
This interior monolouge has been completed.  The Rush at the PUMA movement is far behind us, complete with — cannot link to this often enough — and with it the odd convergence with Walter Tarpley is over with.  Case in point, the Larouche Inaugural Special Web-cast.  Take it away, Debra Freeman!

But, the demand for Mr. LaRouche to address the nation and to address the world, prior to President Obama’s inauguration, in the midst of what is unarguably the worst crisis that our nation has ever faced, was overwhelming. And in meeting that demand, we scheduled today’s Webcast. […]
And, take it away, the Kim Jong Il of a dozen dozen people!
Now, the significance of that is this: No one knows exactly what President Obama is going to conclude on the issue of the international monetary-financial crisis. I haven’t talked with him; and he has, of course, restrained himself on a number of matters, pending the time that he is the actual President, as opposed to speaking as a President-elect. […]

We all await that moment when Larouche will get a speak-through with Obama.  Heck — it could happen.  Obama’s all for Speaking with All Kinds of Politicals for Strained Unity, right?

The huddled Larouchies at the warehouse in Oakland, I assume, went off after the Historic Speech to electioneer for this post.  The 43rd District on the California Democratic Party State Central Committee… Democrats across the state’s 80 Assembly districts voted for delegates over the weekend, during a competition that the general public is largely unaware of, said Hugh Esten, an exiting delegate.
Best opportunity for a low-scale Illinois ’86, with added bonus of nobody noticing.  And the roots for the great Presidential Nominating battle between Larouchies sometime in the future.  Witness:
Courtney Jones — who was standing near a group of his supporters who sang songs with lyrics like “I need a bailout” and “LaRouche was right,” in reference to New Hampshire political activist Lyndon LaRouche — said he hoped to be a part of changing the party.“I’m running so I can help shape the Democratic platform around reality,” Jones said.
Let us all now go out and shape the Democratic platform around reality.

Those 5 states

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Everyone has been linking to this map, a gallup survey which reveals that Democrats have a clear trump over Republicans in party registration with 29 states and DC, and Republicans only have 5 states.

It’s not really all that interesting in the sense that Democrats held registration advantages through the Nixon and Reagan landslides, thanks to the Solid South forged out of the Civil War.  Maybe there’s a bit of interest in seeing that belt of states which voted for Goldwater, and voted for Thurmond before that, and voted for Wallace after that, and stayed with Stevenson against Eisenhower sticks out in the South — more Republican registrants down there in the Land of Dixiecrats, would have been mildly ironic in the Days of the Solid South.

An exercise I need to look around to see someone doing would be to quantify the percentage differences between percentage for Obama or McCain as against the percentage difference in registration — this would give us a clearer vision of the strength of the Zell Miller Democrats in those parts.  As it were, all this gives us a ranking down in percentages for party identification — Virginia is the last Obama state before it becomes all McCain, semi-appropriately enough considering it was the state that going down the percentages put Obama over the top and which came closest to the national percentage.  But jarring to see next to Oklahoma, which went heavily for McCain, and was part of that notable “Appalachia to Ozarks Belt” where McCain performed better than Bush.  Different types of Democrats, the Northern Virginia DC Suburbanites who have shifted Virginia to a Democratic state and the Oklahoma Democrats who shipped to the Senate two of the biggest Republican loons.

The McCain Belt includes five of these six states: West Virginia, Kentucky, Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana, Oklahoma. — the states that don’t quite clump into the Obama at the top, McCain at the Bottom list (well, Oklahoma runs up to the top of the McCain list, but for expediency’s sake I mention it here).  Remember there, Obama lost the West Virginia and Kentucky primaries by forty plus percentage points.

But, the lesson of this gallup survey is that at the moment it seems that only Mormons are willing to call themselves Republicans.  In that “Republican Rump” figuration, it looks like Mitt Romney is going to be the 2012 Republican nominee.

How about ‘Bust Trusting’?

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

I see that Robert Reich is throwing this mini-essay about “Lemon Socialism” about, and to google is to find a number of sites where you can see Robert Reich’s words.

Another term for what’ s going on might be “Bust Trusting”, a play off of ye olde Progressive craze “Trust Busting”.  Bust Trusting.  Trust the Busts.  Well, it’s a thought.

journals of note

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

The other day, The Oregonian’s above the fold front page had the headline “Blood Everywhere”.  It was the big story, more details on the tragic random shooting spree by a lone gunman at the under-age downtown club.  (Sympathies to all involved).  The headline, I thinks, was inappropriate — I won’t say “Literally ‘If it Bleeds it Leads'”, because that would entail a novel type of printing, so I substitute the word “figuratively” for “literally”.

I wandered to the Oregonian online and its coverage on the story, and looked down in the comments.  This is not such a good idea — what you will see is people throwing shots at the Mayor.  But I guess it shows how hard-wired people are to the Sam Adams story to wedgie Sam Adams in that.

Meantime, a Willamette Week box downtown has been emptied, with someone having written something like, I don’t know Tabloid “Journalism”.  The Beat marches on from there.

For some slight explication on previous post, I do think Adams should go, but I don’t think so with enough force to pick up pitch forks.  And the one thing Adams must know comes from his status as “First Gay Mayor of a Major American City”, Portland being Media Market #25 (or is it, like 35?)– and there lies Adams’s problem:  I don’t have much doubt about most cities from Market #1 through 25 in being able to elect a Mayor who is gay, but he just screwed up the slowly moving out to the media markets that make Wheel of Fortune an enduring commodity.

Actually that last point about Wheel of Fortune was a non-sequitur, forced to mention that odd shift in cultural norms.  I don’t know how Wheel of Fortune ratings break down by way of urban / suburban/ rural.

My point is here to compare to Obama, who I can find a news article saying Obama’s election has inspired various black elected officials to make that next bold step to a further higher office — Representative Artur Davis of Alabama, eyeing the Alabama Governorship, is the best example.

Sam Adams — my Verdict

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

The Official Verdict of the Skull/Bones Blog:
I do not believe it would be a Great Travesty of Justice if Mayor Sam Adams were forced to Resign.  I do not believe it would be a Great Travesty of Justice if Mayor Sam Adams were to retain his seat.  While this sounds as though it is a weasley statement, and one that would annoy a mass of people who view any defense of Sam Adams as a reckless loosening of Moral Fibers  — I firmly and strongly cling to this conviction.

Shockingly, this bit of reporting from The Oregonian adds nothing to deter this conviction, and I’m actually a bit puzzled by the immediate hammering that this answers some lingering doubt about anything, but nonetheless the comments come forth:  “That answers everything!  Clean out your desk, Sam!” — suggesting that if it was reported that Adams had hacked out a hairball the call would come forth in the comments “There it is!  Clean out your desk, Sam!”, the reportage being irrelevant.  (Interestingly enough, “Silverfox” has it wrong here regarding Senator Craig.)

Now, that being said, let’s see what the Letters to the Editor to the Oregonian for yesterday have to say — Letters to the Editor being, of course, the 20th Century version to a Blog.  Yesterday is good because it’s a small sampling, least read newsday and a few days for the story to have had a lull, before the Sunday edition hit with the next attempt to dredge up some interest.

Elaine Bauer:  I think that had Adams been straight — and his affair had been with an 18-year-old woman — it would hold no interest, prurient or otherwise. Male-female consensual sex is not newsworthy.   Yep.  Never heard of purient interest with a 40-something old politician and a woman half his age.

Gilion Dumas:  Sam Adams used his position and age — and the glamour that came with them — to seduce a teenager. Whether or not Adams waited until Beau Breedlove turned 18 to have sex with him, the relationship he nurtured when the young man was 17 is what gave him the opportunity and authority to seal the deal.
The glamour that comes with the position of City Council member.  No more Glamourous a job than that, eh?
Strangely enough, in my eyes if not the Eyes of the Law, it would for the reason cited by Gilion Dumas if Adams had not waited for the 18th birthday.  Of course if I were Breedlove and I were okay with having had sex on the wrong side of 18, I would just lie — which the commenters to today’s Oregonian article seem to be conjecturing.  We’re a little weird in the realm of Adolescence and early adulthood, though 18 is as good as any a designation for “Age of Majority”, I will subscribe to the “horse-shoes” rule here — that age being arbitrary enough.  The Criminal Justice System/Industry books young teenagers for Crime with “If you do the Adult Crime, you do the Adult Time”, and while that’s not going to be a license to have sex with someone the youngest age of someone who was convicted with an Adult Charge, it is a defacto permission from the Law for me to make a morally fudge judgement about the Age of Majority — though, not too much younger than Beau.

Moving forward here, the editor of the Willamette Week I heard describe the situation in terms that a 17/18 year old would never find the Mayor attractive, “a pudgy 40-something year old” was his words.  Here, I think he’s missing the judgement of the just down-sized “Gay Columnist”, who will inform you that Sam Adams is, indeed, “Hot”.

Joe Kitterman:  This is not about being gay or what goes on in one’s bedroom. This is about lying. Sam Adams concocted a falsehood to willfully and intentionally mislead us. He lied to you, he lied to me, he lied to his long-term partner and convinced Beau Breedlove to lie to us all as well.
This is a weird statement.  Bluntly put, I’m the opposite:  I have no problem with the lying, but I do have some trouble with the sex. 

Jeff Kerr:  The relevant questions are:
Is Sam Adams a devoted public servant who holds the best interests of the community and the world at heart? Is he strong enough to learn from his mistakes and become wiser because of them?
These are the questions Adams should be asking himself as he ponders his political future. We don’t need a perfect mayor, we need a human being.
At the end of the day we’re trying to untangle the question — Would Sam Adams go all Mark Foley on us?  I suppose Gilion Dumas, “in his line of work”, already has the answer to that question, but bully for him.  In some comments in one of the news items posted by one of the papers, I saw a fairly ludicrous statement on how Beau’s life has swerved off course after being damaged by the affair with Adams, based on some preposition along the lines that he has — here in the early 20s– has (horror of horros) had a string of retail jobs, his promising life obviously destroyed.  I see these attempts at Reaching.

Nothing like a good gay sex scandal, eh?

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

On Tuesday, the station that airs local conservative bloviator Lars Larson spliced together the commercial where Larson spewed forth something along the lines of (I don’t listen to Lars Larson because, you know: dull and tedious.  I do listen/hear parts of Michael Savage because, I don’t know… amusing despite myself.  That is where I heard the commercial):

“Portland Mayor Sam Adams says he is the First Queer Mayor of a Major American City.  He has now admitted to having lied about having had sex with an 18 year old former intern (of state legislature).  If he lied about that, what else has he lied about?  Sam Adams must resign.”

Now, hearing that, I had to do a weird back-track.  I assume Larson was referencing the possibility that Adams had lied about age, or some other item in the news story (though I doubt that).  But the problem is, in this clip, Larson mentions two items of which Adams has claimed: that he is the “First Queer Mayor of a Major US City”, and that Adams has now admitted to having had sex with Breedlove.  The problem:  I don’t believe Adams’s claim of being gay is in dispute by anyone.  But somehow Larson has to snip that into the conversation, and it comes across as rather stuffed.

City Hall has, for the past week, been surrounded by the Media.  It’s a strange sight, and one I don’t envy for anyone working in it.  Protesters are waving signs, denouncing and supporting Adams — an inevitable sign, which I think could have made more clever by someone more talented.  Adams is reportedly holed up at his house, deliberating away — I imagine his fence is far enough from anywhere to keep the Media Malestorm away.

For the record, Prezhilton.com, and I say this by dent of looking through google photographs and seeing a photo of Adams with the word “Boo!” written over it, opposes Adams.  And wonkette.com supports Adams in his hour of shun, as you see from their posting a picture of a shirtless 18 year old (Note that wonkette changes the headline of various papers from “Sex with Teen” to “Sex with Adult”).  Because prezhilton.com and wonkette.com matter in this.  (Of course, reading down the comments for things like this, I have that question, “If a politician can’t lie about sex, what can s/he lie about?”

I suspect that the greatest cleavage of difference of opinions (for Portlanders, which is in the end the only people whose opinions matter here) comes from one of the great dividing lines of political and sociological attitudes in America — people with children versus people without children, which has an affect of placing attitudes of perspective and where one can identify oneself in this storyline.  Both make sense, I have to say.