Friday, March 31, 2006

Welcoming Back B!x and His...Nads?

(Communique image currently unavailable...)
[Assuredly The One True B!x does not require introduction to many of our Will-Valley readers, but for everyone else, here rests his prior legacy--and if you really want a comprehensive look at what he's brought to both blogging and knowledge about the City, you should check out (but not buy)the published archives.]

It came slowly, gradually. After shutting down operations of Portland Communique last September, Christopher Frankonis (known as B!x for reasons as odd as why I'm known as Torridjoe) took an apparently much-needed hiatus from the blogosphere--at least, as much of a hiatus as a person can take when they contribute to or maintain seven other websites. But after the new year turned, every now and again you'd see the stray comment at Blue Oregon or Jack Bog's playhouse of thrown feces. As noted, his break from blogging was really only a cessation of the Communique; starting in November of 2005 he began writing quick hitters of a more personal nature at Furious Nads!, shrouded in dark colors and muted as if he really didn't want everyone to know he was back at it (maybe he didn't).

January was mostly dark, February a time for battling with server issues. With March however, I think it can safely be claimed that the B!x, the B!x is back. Churning out four or five or six or even more substantive posts a day, and beginning to concentrate more on local issues like Council elections and public campaign finance, dare we hope that a regular stream of Portland-centric entries is in the Stumposphere's future? Cross your fingers. Here are excerpts from two highly topical pieces today about candidates for Council, both of which I'm in solid agreement with (click at the bottom of each piece to see the whole thing and read the links I have excised from the quotations). Welcome back aboveground, buddy!

First reported in Theo yesterday, a followup today includes a rather odd accusation from one of the candidates.

In a faxed statement Thursday, Boyles accused the newspaper of religious discrimination against Christian conservatives and Slavic Christians in particular. She did not return two phone calls but said in her statement that she and Golovan "followed the regulations to the best of my knowledge."

Take a look at the original Theo article to which Boyles refers. I'm hard pressed to find evidence of religious discrimination, unless Boyles believes the term to include mere mention of the religious or conservative characteristics of herself or her supporters.

Whatever her rationale for making such a charge, in terms of how such a bullshit accusation plays out here it reeks of desperation.

Were we dealing with a political professional -- be they candidate, elected official, or campaign manager -- we'd all be chattering about how it looks for all the world like a smokescreen meant to divert attention.

Either that, or Boyles is of the overly-sensitive type who leaps to the presumption that any mention of someone's religious conservatism must inherently be meant as an attack.

I, for one, don't find either possibility particularly comforting.
[from Emilie Boyles' Discrimination Smokescreen]

Lister's complaint is that if local business-owners were unable to toss their hard-earned cash at candidates for local office, their only route to participation would be to directly engage elected officials at Council sessions and the like -- something Lister argues they'd be loathe to do.

In other words, it's only through cash, in Lister's argument, that business-owners exert their influence over elected officials.
To tally this up, then: Lister's piece is derogatory towards Portland residents, false in its insinuation that business-owners somehow are barred form contributing to candidates not participating in publicly-financed campaigns, and when extended to its clear implications admits that money is how business-owners influence candidates and elected officials.

I don't think this qualifies as "sense" in any legitimate way. But, lamentably, this sort of unthinking babble certainly is all too common.[from Dave Lister's Common Nonsense]