Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Dope Box Derby

Now that he has finished behind Jane Murray by a 2 to 1 vote in the May 5 primary, winning only one precinct to her twenty-two, expect Mayor Kalb and his disturbed wife to grow increasingly desperate and disruptive in the run up to the November general election. The Kalbs’ favorite trick is to crash other people’s meetings and try to turn them into Kalb campaign rallies. Why go through the trouble of organizing a meeting of your own, to which very few people probably would come, when you can like the cuckoo bird, lay your political eggs in somebody else’s nest?

Mooching every opportunity he can for public exposure during this election season, Kalb is currently appearing on Channel 25, enthusiastically endorsing the Soap Box Derby. Don’t be surprised to see a Soap Box Derby display in a Marting window, along with the Easter Bunny, Mothers (on Mother’s Day), the Girl Scouts, and other sanctified groups, which is the equivalent of putting statues of the Virgin Mary in the window of a cat house.

What we have in the current city government is a Dope Box Derby, with the Mayor, the Auditor, the City Solicitor, and members of City Council competing to see who is the dopiest, in more than one sense, and the most subservient to the rich white trash who run the city. As president of the City Council, Howard Baughman would have had the number 2 position in the Dope Box Derby if the voters in his ward hadn’t begun a campaign to recall him, which almost certainly would have removed him from office by the same kind of wide margin by which Murray clobbered Kalb in the primary. Rather than allowing himself to be recalled, Baughman resigned, enabling the city council to appoint his replacement, thus preventing the voters in his ward from making the decision of who would replace him. Resigning rather than being recalled so that another crook can be appointed in your place is a dirty trick that has been pulled before and will be pulled again.

Instead of competing in an honest race, Portsmouth politicians do what some unscrupulous entrants at the Soap Box Derby have done: they cheat. In 1973 the 14-year-old Derby winner had an illegal electro-magnetic device in his racer that gave him an advantage over his competitors. The electro-magnet pulled his racer forward toward the steel paddle that started the race. The mastermind behind the magnetic device was the boy’s wealthy uncle, whose own son had won the derby the year before in what was possibly another electro-magnetic powered racer. It took observers a second time around to figure out what was going on. The boys were only tools, as Kalb and other Portsmouth politicians like him are. The masterminds behind Portsmouth’s Dope Box Derby are a couple of wealthy individuals who do everything they can to eliminate competition in Portsmouth’s economic and political life. Why leave anything up to chance when a lapdog mayor can be installed in office the way an electro-magnet can be installed in a Soap Box racing car?

Kalb has complained that the 1999 Ford the city provides him does not reflect well on the dignity of the city. The truth is he reflects far worse on the dignity of the city than the 1999 Ford he is driving. If Kalb got the vehicle that a public servant of his limited ethical and intellectual development deserved, it would be a Dope Box Derby racer, of the kind shown above, which is powered only by gravity, and therefore needs a hill to run. When a visiting dignitary is in town, Kalb’s racer could be towed to the top of the reservoir via Sunshine Ave., and the mayor and the visiting dignitary could take turns whizzing down the hill like kids on a sled. Instead of traveling hundreds of miles to compete in motorcycle rallies for senior citizens, on geezercycles, as they are sometimes called by the younger crowd, he only has to spend an hour out of the Municipal Building, or at the most a morning, as he currently does on Thursdays to punch a cash register at Kroger’s.

When it began in 1934, the Soap Box Derby was for boys only. That form of discrimination eventually ended, and in 1975 a girl won the Derby. Up to the present time, Portsmouth has never had a female mayor. It is probable, but not a certainty, that next November we will elect our first female mayor. Not a certainty because six months is plenty of time for mischief, plenty of time for Kalb’s rich uncles and the lawyers they can hire to install electro-magnets. Or they may have already decided Kalb is hopeless, as many voters have decided, in which case they might reconsider their options. One thing is sure: they will not give up trying to stick the taxpayers with the Marting Building. That is the 125-year-old booby prize of the Dope Box Derby.