Gold dust at my feet

The new year started mostly sunny in Portland. There wasn't much wind, and if you went for a constitutional walk, you could get by without your scarf and gloves. 

The outlook in the local paper was also sunny. The milquetoast editorial board at the O declared 2023 to be Oregon's "year of getting unstuck":

[F]or all the ways that 2023 has marked a year of rinse and repeat, there were key signs that our elected officials ­­– finally – are beginning to break the cycle. New leaders have helped shake off the inertia that’s marked government at multiple levels. 

These folks are always big on the "key signs." As I recall, they were seeing them a couple of years ago in downtown Portland. Any day now, they said, the comeback will be in full swing. It hasn't happened.

And what would the "key signs" be this time around? According to the O, they are Governor Kohoutek and her task farce, the executive genius of Julia Brimming With Photo Ops on the county commission, and the always-impressive "there were only 73 homicides." Geez.

I'll give you a "key sign": The black bloc-heads who paralyzed Portland for a year and change were at it again yesterday. If there's a political riot anywhere in the world, there has to be another one in Portland the next day. The latest excuse is Gaza, and yesterday the avengers of all social wrongs took to their cars and blocked the road to the airport.

Of course, if Portland had effective law enforcement, there would have been multiple arrests, lots of cars towed away – you know, accountability. But as we all know, the cops in Portland are nowhere to be seen these days despite their all-time record budget, and so rarely is there any consequence to any crime, much less the politically motivated ones. Missed your flight? Too bad. You're in Portland. Stuff happens. Land back! End civ! Join the movement, comrade.

The task farce told everybody to take the plywood down from in front of their expensive plate glass windows, but when you see the far left Reed crazies out there acting up in Mommy's Subaru, you have to wonder how long it will be before they're back to breaking stuff and spray-painting their inane slogans on everything. That problem, along with the absence of any serious police response, is quite a dark cloud over any "getting unstuck."

And so yes, I enjoyed yesterday's weather, but you'll forgive me if I don't share the enthusiasm of the smiling cheerleaders at the O. Oregon is a long way from turning a corner, and with a boatload of new Looney Tunes characters running for the reconstituted Portland City Council, it seems likely to get worse in the years ahead.

On a related note, an alert reader wrote me the other night to complain that KOIN-TV had just aired a long segment concluding that Oregon's street drug decriminalization law, Measure 110, is "starting to work," and just "needs more time." The reader complained that opposing viewpoints were not included. I looked around on that station's website and couldn't find any trace of that story, but I don't doubt for a minute that such a thing aired. The people who pushed Measure 110 on the Oregon public – whoever they are – have plenty of money to keep their fictions alive.

But don't worry, reader. I think the situation will improve soon. My crystal ball tells me that the upcoming "short session" of the state legislature is about to leave most of the existing fiasco in place – they'll recriminalize public use of drugs, but that's all – and another ballot measure will be needed to repeal the worst of Measure 110. But I also see such a ballot measure passing quite handily. Oregonians have mostly wised up to the fact that however lovely it sounds in practice, decriminalizing smack, meth, and fetty is never going to "work" in reality. It's time for whoever cooked up Measure 110 to take their money and their flunkies to some other state to ruin it. 


  1. Bravo! Jack
    I can’t till there are a dozen city commissioners and Joann and Sara and the Gnome are back in city hall…or down the street as there isn’t enough room for them at the current city hall. SMDH!

  2. A more realistic assessment:

    How drugs turned Portland into a ‘demonic hellhole’
    The Rose City is a decriminalization nightmare

  3. I proclaim 2024 as the year of Hope. Where Portland residents cautiously hope that the adults in charge will finally come to their senses. And the politicians hope that come election time, that we all miraculously forget about the last five years or more.

  4. When the Big O acknowledges that its Portland coverage of BLM and Antifa has been mishandled, the turnaround has a chance.

  5. Did you mean recriminalize, not decriminalize?

    “ they'll decriminalize public use of drugs”

    1. Totally agree there’s a palpable sense of getting on board with the Optimism Party. The O engaged in a different kind of activism when Portland was being destroyed.

    2. Yes, I meant re, not de. I fixed it, thanks.


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