As the State Turns

stateturnssymbolAnd So It Begins…
Although, by the time you read this, it may be over. In which case, well, that’s what you get for reading a weekly I guess. Via a report that I read somewhere by some dude, election officials in the fine state of Oregon (you may have heard about it) have been put on alert regarding some sort of voter suppression “scheme.” By scheme, of course, they mean robocalls. No, nothing as classy as being tied to the train tracks, or a well-oiled mustachio. Just some automated calling system that’s telling Oregonian voters (mostly Republicans) that their registration may have been marked as inactive, along with some stuff about how so-and-so Republican lost by one percent and blah blah blah. And just when I was about to…

…blame it on the Republicans, word from the street comes surging in, and it appears as if our Secretary of State, Jeanne Atkins, has said that it does indeed look like the Oregon Republican Party is behind the nefarious shenaniganery. Okay, guys, who the hell taught Art Robinson to use the computer? And they said it couldn’t be done.

The Oregon Repubs have admitted to making robocalls, but there are conflicting reports regarding the scrip and so yadda yadda yadda, the investigation surges on. Ironically, they’re now claiming that statements made by Atkins are actually suppressing Republican votes. It’s a big ol’ suppression party up in here, folks. The GOP is all pissed off that people are being told to ignore the calls, saying that they were meant to spur inactive Republican voters into full-on beastly vote mode (hashtag TRUMPRAGE). Next, the Democratic Party of Oregon has called on the GOP to turn over info like call lists to the Oregon Department of Justice—and its big brother, the US Department of Justice, so that they may incriminate themselves early enough to influence the election in the Democrats’ favor and… ugh.

Next.

How Does the Electoral College Work, and Is It Fair?
This was the title of an Oregon Public Broadcasting article that we are absolutely, positively not going to discuss.

Next.

Derby Championship Rolls into Portland
See what I did there? Derby is popular around our local pond, thanks to the Sick Town Derby Dames, but Portland just got a mega-dose of the action thanks to playing host to the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association Tournament Extraordinaire (I may have embellished that a bit). The primary event was a 12-team tournament in which people skate around a track and smash into each other while doing things. Honestly, I’ve tried to follow the rules for years now, but no luck. Jammers, blockers, the pack, pivots, crossovers, back-blocks, whipping… can’t do it. Thankfully, you don’t need to get it to enjoy it. You don’t even need to know the winners, which I will now prove by not posting who they are. As Captain Planet once said, the power… it’s yours.

What you should know, however, is that Portland’s Rose City Rollers won the championship in 2015 (yes, I realize I just mentioned a winner)… and that of all sports, you’re not going to find one that has spread across all six continents, yet retain such intense levels of community. There’s a friendly, all-inclusive culture to roller derby, and we’re proud to have hosted the championship here in Oregon.

Arrests Made in Million Mask March
In the organizers’ own words (taken from their Facebook page):

“We have all witnessed the corruption of government this last year, from rigged elections to the Police killing civilians with impunity.

We take to the streets this November 5th to voice our anger. We wear masks not to hide ourselves but to show solidarity with each other, not as individuals, but as an anonymous, collective movement.

Around the world, cities will be gathering; PDX is one of those cities. Let the world know we stand together with the faceless and the anonymous against government corruption.

If possible, let’s try and wear black or dark clothing in order to take away from the individuality and create a more anonymous gathering.”

I dig it. Reminds me of that first Apple Macintosh commercial, from back in ‘84. Only nobody runs in and explodes the screen with a sledgehammer, because it’d eff up the solidarity something royal. Another thing that didn’t happen in the commercial was six arrests, resulting in charges of interfering with peace officers, disorderly conduct, and criminal trespass. Arguably, that could have occurred after they said, “Cut.”

According to police, you need a permit if you’re going to hold an event that blocks or restricts the movement of people. In this case, traffic. According to the protesters?

“We do not ask the permission of those that we take to the streets to protest against.”

Haters gonna hate, I guess.

You Shall Not Pass
Sounds much better as “Thou Shalt,” but I don’t want to screw up a Lord of the Rings quote, okay? Anyway, quick win for oil train opponents here: a special little county within the Columbia River Gorge has said, “Oh hell no” in response to Union Pacific Railroad going, “Hey, can we do more track stuff, please?” Could be because of that train that flew off the tracks and exploded last year, spoiling water and causing evacuations.

In their face.

By Johnny Beaver

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