Does the end justify the means?

Friday night's violent outburst in the Hollywood District has prompted some weekend chatter. Some of the commentary is pretty strange.

First, some are reporting that a couple of dozen businesses were "destroyed." That is nonsense. A lot of property was destroyed or damaged, but few, if any, businesses were destroyed. Trust me, Chase Bank and Whole Foods are still open for business.

But more distressing than the inaccurate reporting are the tweets that are perfectly fine with all the broken plate glass and all the spray paint mess. The vandals say they were protesting the treatment of trans people, and because of that, more than a few tweeters are saying that the property damage is okay.

A good-sized helping of this viewpoint appears on Twitter after every "black bloc" rampage. This time around, even one of the targeted businesses chimed in.

We heard this, too, when they totally trashed the front of the Historical Society museum. Somehow that wasn't "violence." I looked up the definition of violence. Here's what I got: "behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something." The all-knowing avengers of injustice seem to have missed those last two words.

The county district attorney isn't helping with this. The last time I looked, he wasn't prosecuting smashed storefronts and graffiti – too small potatoes for him. The problem is, those potatoes add up. I'm sure we're well over $1 million in damage to Portland businesses this year.

The police have been incompetent. Before both the museum riot and this last one, there were ample warnings on social media that a night of "rage" was coming. It's probably the same two dozen people every time. Maybe I watch too many Dragnet reruns, but shouldn't the Portland police be able to infiltrate these gangs and stop the "nights of rage" before they start?

Until they do, the righteous lefties will continue with their tantrums, I guess. "Injustice anywhere is an excuse to break windows everywhere." And no one in their right mind will even think about opening another business in Portland.


  1. One of my pet peeves is when newspaper articles say things like, "Although there was a shootout at the bank, the bank tellers were unharmed." To that I'd say, "Define unharmed." Having something hugely traumatic happen to you may not harm your body, but it can harm your emotions. You would never say a soldier who came home from Iraq with PTSD was unharmed.

    So here we have a cleaning crew in this bank on Sandy just going about their business. All of a sudden the windows start exploding and there's a crowd of angry people outside. What about the cleaning crew's feelings? That must have been a terrifying experience that they certainly did not deserve.

    Don't they count as our fellow human beings?


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