Resolution time

Well, we made it out of 2020 alive, and so it's time for the annual rituals of a new year. Put up the new calendars, take down the old ones, and debate whether to soak the black-eyed peas before cooking them.

It's also a time for resolutions, of course, and unlike in most years, I actually have a few this year. Some are familiar – eat and drink less, move more, be kinder, smile more, that sort of thing – but this year, I have a blog again, and it's time to set some goals and guidelines for that as well.

My biggest resolution with regard to blogging is that I am going to stop trying to provide coverage of all the anarchist riot crap that goes on in Portland. They really went at it again last night, with plenty more damage downtown. There was no point to it, really. They capped off the night by looting a wine shop.

Rather than hunt down all the details every time it happens, I think I'll just report if things quiet down, as they did for about nine days over Christmas. If you don't hear from me, you can assume that:

A.  The black-clad avengers of all societal wrongs continue to spray paint their inane slogans and bust stuff up, on a nightly basis, mostly downtown but also at selected locations on the east side and in north Portland, and

B.  The police have no effective response. They have three modes: too lazy or timid to do anything; a weak and inept response; or gleeful, counter-productive brutality.

With those assumptions in place, there will be less reason for me to check the wire every morning and to tell you that more of the same garbage happened again the night before.

It was an interesting run watching the Portland protests carefully. Back when it was about Black lives mattering, and particularly when it was about Trump, it was important. But now it's just extremely sad and tedious. I'll let you know if I ever notice that thnigs are changing out on the streets.

Portland has a more significant problem that I want to look at more often this year, although not every day, and that's what we used to call gang violence. I don't know if we're allowed to call it that any more, but the shootings are off the charts. There were about 900 of them in 2020, up from around 400 the year before. For the police response, see B above.

Apparently there were 53 homicides in Portland during the year, including some innocent people who were caught in gang-banger crossfires. Portland can do better. It has to.

Then there's the homeless/mental illness situation, which is nothing short of a horror show. You could have a whole blog just on that topic. I'm staying away, because my views on that would cost me some friends.

Anyway, for this first morning of the new year, let me throw in one more thing, a prediction: There will be a Portland City Hall scandal in 2021, and at least one high-up will be squirming in his or her comfy chair.

The discomfort will be well-deserved. What a mess our city has become in the hands of people like Ted Wheeler, Amanda Fritz, and Chloe Eudaly. They were clueless, and you can see the results for yourself. But be careful while you're out there looking. It isn't safe.