As the State Turns: Malheur May Be a Gift… But Portland Is Being Far Too Reasonable

stateturnssymbolPortland on the Verge of Arts Revolution… Maybe
I’ll be honest with you. Normally I care about elections in Portland about as much as I care about… things I don’t actually care about very much. This time around, though, the upcoming elections in good old RIP City (which is a disturbing nickname, by the way) threaten to really change course when it comes to each of the hot button issues—homelessness, gentrification, inequality and… er, taxes. But we don’t care about taxes.

Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) did a recent sizable rundown on candidates and their positions on “the issues,” considering that about half the city council could look different in the near future. I read the whole thing twice, and rather than beat a dead horse (not that doing so doesn’t sound like fun), I’ll give you a rundown on my takeaway from the lineup.

1. Portland has a hell of a lot of really competent, caring people running for office.

2. Many contested seats seem to be battles between two or more very good choices, which makes sh*t sort of confusing.

3. Mayoral candidates Jules “The Clean Cut Guy” Bailey, Sean “The I Could Snap Your Neck Like a Twig, Boy” Davis, and Bim “The I Don’t Need a Special Name Because I’m Already Kinda Weird and Play the Drums” Ditson—they all are banking heavily on their individual war cries for bringing back the old mayor’s arts and culture liaison position, as well as increasing funding and functionality for the Regional Arts and Culture Council.

4. Most candidates for any position mention affordable housing for artists, common sense, dare I say, realistic sober solutions for homelessness, and a general push to keep Portland moving in a direction that fosters cultural diversity and community building around those values.

So… good God, what a horrible, disgustingly boring election cycle. I even did some research on some of the candidates that made me suspicious (generally because of their haircuts), but found jack squat on the hyper-bald Fred Stewart, or the perpetually-just-got-out-of-the-shower-hair Amanda Fritz. Where are the idiots, the charlatans, the buffoons? For that matter, where the hell are the Republicans? Oh, that’s right, they’re all in South Carolina panicking.

At least the national government gets it. As I’m writing this, Donald Trump just got a lockout on delegates in a state everyone (myself included) was sure he’d lose. Now that’s what the &%@! I’m talkin’ about! Maybe I need to start ignoring this state and look at the bigger picture.

More Occupation Tidbittery
A few things have come to my attention in the aftermath of the world’s most ridiculous occupation. So first off, the sheriff of Grant County, Glenn Palmer, has a sweet beard. Unfortunately it isn’t going to save him from the deluge of complaints that have been lodged due to his support of the Malheur occupation. I won’t go into grand detail, but if you’re interested I highly recommend checking out the details—this guy was borderline gallivanting around as part of the group for a while. Once the justice department is down crawling around in his #!@! I’m guessing he won’t be sitting right for a few years.

Honestly, what the hell is it with sheriffs, anyway? It seems like every time I turn around there’s some sheriff out there that thinks he was elected Supreme Hillbilly and was tasked with protecting the good mountain folk from their evil Yankee oppressors. Good grief.

Now, speaking of doing your own research, if you haven’t checked out some of the initial legal defense documentation drafted by ex-occupiers, you are really doing yourself a comedic injustice. A few days ago OregonLive published some of these documents, and they’re a revelation of hilarity. I’m looking at the affirmative defense of Shawna Cox, the she-devil of the occupation herself, and my… oh my… oh my. First and foremost, let it be known that she says that she “suffered damages from the works of the devil” and wants the federal government to pay her “$666,666,666,666.66” as part of a counter complaint against federal employees. She makes claims of the legality of the occupation, and to one degree or another, tries to literally name, as far as I can tell, every single human being that works for the government or the Bar Association, as criminal combatants.

Honestly, you’ve really just got to see it for yourself. The previous statements are just the big picture items. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that every single word of this eight-page document reads like someone took an angsty 14-year-old that had just had their first American government class, removed half their brain and replaced their disposition with that of a middle-aged egomaniac that would rather set themselves on fire than admit that they have accomplished nothing of substance in their life. It’s frightening, hard to believe, an education in American culture… and perhaps even a little bit sexy.

By Johnny Beaver