The view from Back East

Tongues are wagging today about this column in the New York Times. It's by Nick Kristof, the senior Times pundit, who is a native of Yamhill, Oregon, and thus sees himself as an authority on the City of Portland.

It's an odd piece. Kristof lists many of the problems plaguing the city and vaguely indicates that local government has failed, but then he chides some business executive for turning down a job here.

The Times's relationship with Portland has always been mildly humorous. For years it's run gushy stories about the wonders of our weirdness, and ignored the incompetence of the politicians and bureacracy. Now all of a sudden, the worm has turned. For the first time that I can remember, Portland has a downside in the Times.

Kristof says not to count Portland out. But he doesn't say why.

Perhaps that's because there is no reason why. Things are not going to change for the better any time soon. Give it a decade, maybe. But that CEO type who decided not to come here made a smart choice. Now is not the time. These are the days of bullets, needles, tents, broken glass, tear gas, and park rangers.

I left a comment on Kristof, but it took the Times eight hours to approve it, and now it's buried in about 1,000 others. I can't even find it. It seems as though everyone who has ever lived in Portland has something to say.


  1. Portland sucks. This summer should be worse than the last, "protest" wise, even with Trump out of office. Can't wait for the wildfires, sure to become an annual event.


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