Posted by: bkivey | 10 May 2021

Burn, Portland, Burn

On 23 April, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler ” . . . urged the public to safely stand up to the black bloc group of violent demonstrators who continue to plan “direct actions” around the city that routinely end with shattered windows, fires and other vandalism.” 

I was going to write something else here, but every time I read that sentence, it sounds like an apology. To the rioters. ‘May we please be allowed to ‘stand up’ to you?’ The term ‘milquetoast’ may be too weak. Back to the program. 

I’ve noted that Portland has gone right the hell downhill the last 3 – 4 years. Graffiti, homeless camps, and trash have become the greeting on roads into the city. Now you can add a boarded up and graffiti-marked downtown, because businesses are leaving due to the rioting, and people don’t feel safe downtown. In the last 24 months, the attitude of natives and long-time residents has gone from ‘Portland is Great!’ to ‘What happened to my city?’ to “I don’t go into Portland anymore if I don’t have to.’ And with business and government offices closed, not much reason to. 

How did Portland reach this state of affairs? Portland didn’t become Riot City USA overnight. I would argue that Portland’s decline began with the tolerance city government afforded the 2011 Occupy Wall Street protestors. That tolerance for violating civic norms has been ongoing in the city’s handling of the ever-growing homeless population. Mix in the soft corruption that is part and parcel of daily city government, and sooner or later, you’re going to have real problems. Like now. 

Portland mayor Ted Wheeler was up for election last year, and after federal agents were deployed to Portland to protect federal property, Wheeler joined the protestors. The political calculus appeared to be that his Socialist challenger was gaining ground in the chaos, and he wanted to show that he was down with the struggle.

Except city officials aren’t’ paid to be down with the struggle, they’re paid to maintain an open and relatively safe environment in which a free society can conduct it’s business. That can’t happen amidst social unrest, and it is certainly not the job of elected officials to exacerbate the situation. Ted Wheeler got tear-gassed for his efforts, and that’s a bit of karma I can get behind.

Karma proved, indeed, that it is a beeotch when protestors attacked the building in which Wheeler lived. You literally cannot get any closer to home. Joining and encouraging those protests maybe not such a good idea, huh, Ted?

So now the fist-pumpin’, protestin’ Mayor of Portland is calling on the citizenry to do what government can not: protect themselves. Huh. Tell me again how great Progressivism is.

Related Reading

Politicians Behaving Badly

Good Intentions and Magical Thinking

You Say You Want A Revolution

Occupy Footnote

Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow

Standing on the back porch a couple evenings ago, and saw a bird execute a high-speed, low-altitude, contour-following pass. Altitude appeared to be about 8 inches, and the wings were in afterburner, I would guess. The bird twisted and turned through the trees without slowing down, until it got to the creek. I thought something was chasing it, but nothing followed. Maybe the bird, like people, just likes to let it rip, occasionally. If you can fly, may as well have some fun with it. 

 

 


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