Wheeler says it's your fault

The mayor of Portland, "Dud" Wheeler, gave a lovely New York Times interview to mark the death of Measure 110, which he correctly admits is a failure. But to him, it would have "worked" if only we had enough "treatment" for the drug-addicted.

The accompanying comments on the Times website are actually more compelling than the interview. A lot of Portlanders check in to give old Dud an earful, and there are quite a few voices pointing out that "treatment," in its current form, doesn't really produce much by way of lasting results. Most addicts are lost causes, and cleaning them up usually doesn't last long. All you can hope to do in the long run is forcibly keep them away from the dope. So somebody has to go to jail, either the dealer or the user, take your pick.

It's tragic, it's horrible, but it's reality. For many of the people camped on the streets, their lives are pretty much over. The question becomes whether we let the rest of the civic life of the town die with them. Portland seems to be fine with that.

The interviewer invited Wheeler to take some responsibility for the disaster resulting from decriminalizing drugs, but he could barely bring himself to do it. He's no more responsible than anybody else in the whole USA, apparently.

Do you look at yourself and say, “I have blame in this?”

I think we all have blame in this. Of course. We have somewhat reaped what we have sown. And I don’t just mean here in Portland, Oregon. I mean as a nation.

No mention in the article of the fact that Dud's political career is now over. It was quite a ride over the cliff. 

Meanwhile, I was startled when I saw that Bobby King, who covered up for bad cops for nearly a decade as the prez of the police union, is being installed as a very-high-up "chief of staff" (sorry, Paywall of Pity) in the city police chief's office. King was Wheeler's public safety "advisor" through the riots that marked a crucial stretch of the decline and fall of the city, but for some reason the bureau wants to bring him back around as Dud heads out the door to Trust Fund Land.

It makes me a little nervous. I sense that the anarchist crowd is lying in wait to blow the place up again, and King's reappearance in the spotlight probably won't calm that stuff down. These sure are interesting times.


  1. I was with you 100%, until the cop stuff.

    1. The Portland cops should be ashamed of what they’ve done and haven’t done to get the city to its current tragic condition.

    2. "The Portland cops should be ashamed of what they’ve done and haven’t done to get the city to its current tragic condition."

      Hear, hear.

  2. Well the new take down of America is organized looting, the rioting is passé. NYC, SF, and LA are leading the pack, but we are in the cross hairs of this operation. The only possible snag is we've run most big retail out of town. We shall see.

    1. When the rest of big retail leave downtown. I’m sure someone will find a way to blame the cops

  3. Portland cops should be ashamed of the cowardly and willfully ignorant citizenry they attempt to protect. I've seen too many Portlanders proudly hating and harrassing cops.

    My favorite Oregon cop story is from down the Gorge. An undistinguished and visibly scared cop nonetheless went into a home to stop a 6'5" drunk logger from beating a woman. Instead the drunk beat the cops brains out. Right effing there.

    Anyway, the unrepentant murderer should never walk free again. What did the three university educated BIPOC women of the parole board do? Why, cut that big handsome boy loose after 20. Their solipsistic judgement was temporarily overridden, but the big good lookin' lug walked free too soon.

    Pretty quick you are going to have what happened in the way of mass murder, rape, kidnap, and massacre in Isreal happen in Portland and across this land. Why?

    Because you let a self-elected elite comprised primarily of activist women run with open borders, replacement population, denunciations of capitalism, hate for marriage, religion, the middle-class all of it run your nation as well as your local government.

    Sexual mutilation of children is a legitimate business in Oregon; anti-white and American education is embodied in those courageous conversations in the public schools.

    You are all in on the congressional January 6 concoction but ignore the year of murderous vandalism and buring that prevailed in your town.

    I reckon should Orange Man Bad win in November the same stinking, violent, gangsters will re-emerge with the protection of the elect. Why? Cause you pension suckers have to reminded who owns you

  4. Dan Baum wrote a great book on the drug war; this is from a Harper's article, the whole thing is worth reading:

    As the once-unimaginable step of ending the war on drugs shimmers into view, it’s time to shift the conversation from why to how. To realize benefits from ending drug prohibition will take more than simply declaring that drugs are legal. The risks are tremendous. Deaths from heroin overdose in the United States rose 500 percent from 2001 to 2014, a staggering increase, and deaths from prescription drugs — which are already legal and regulated — shot up almost 300 percent, proving that where opioids are concerned, we seem to be inept not only when we prohibit but also when we regulate. A sharp increase in drug dependence or overdoses that followed the legalization of drugs would be a public-health disaster, and it could very well knock the world back into the same counterproductive prohibitionist mind-set from which we appear finally to be emerging. To minimize harm and maximize order, we’ll have to design better systems than we have now for licensing, standardizing, inspecting, distributing, and taxing dangerous drugs. A million choices will arise, and we probably won’t make any good decisions on the first try. Some things will get better; some things will get worse. But we do have experience on which to draw — from the end of Prohibition, in the 1930s, and from our recent history. Ending drug prohibition is a matter of imagination and management, two things on which Americans justifiably pride themselves. We can do this.

  5. As someone who was an IV drug addict on the streets and is now about to wrap up my last semester in law school and enter a legal career, I take issue with your assertion that treatment does not produce lasting results. it is true that treatment results do vary significantly, largely due to access to long term recovery supports post-treatment. Nevertheless, treatment and recovery support services do work for a significant portion of the SUD population (myself included). Importantly, it might not stick the first, second or even third go around. Such was the case with me. I tried year after year to get clean until it finally stuck. That does not mean that my access to care the first five times was somehow wasted--it helped plant the seed that abstinence was both achievable and worked.

    M110 was never going to work because we lack a comprehensive continuum of care to get and keep people sober. The healthcare system we were supposedly moving into from the criminal justice system never existed. I also think that the criminal justice system plays and will continue to play an important role in persuading people to get help.

    However, just because treatment is not universally successful does not mean we write people off who are living on the streets in the throes of acute addiction. If we had, I wouldn't be sitting in Bojack's tax class right now.

    1. Congrats on getting clean and doing something positive with your life. As you pointed out, the cost to help people get clean is extremely expensive to do it right. Unfortunately we prefer to blow up other humans with all of our money.

  6. Clean and sober myself for 38 years. I have known people go through treatment 9+ times or more. That is expensive. It probably rivals or exceeds the dough spent on the carceral alternative.

    My personal experience is that one does dope and alcohol until one cannot do it anymore, until one has had enough. What prompted me to change? The squalid degradation of my life and a real clear shot at the state penitentiary.

    The state of Idaho could not, would not give me a bunk. Nor in-patient. Root hog or die. While some help was extended, I had to bother myself. Being a dope fiend is rightfully stigmatized as they are parasites who daily choose to damage any community with which they are in contact or inhabit.

    Keep government and school officials out of kids' undergarments. Good god, let young people move into adulthood without the freakazoid rubbish that prevails concerning race and sexuality in schools and society.

    I'm not saying put a bounty on them put do use work camps based on the old CCC model. Open bunkrooms, regular hours, at least teach basic skills, and pass along universal rules for adults (if you've got to ask you aren't going to understand).

    Make sure that they know how to add, subtract, and divide. Read. Teach them the most honest version of history you can: don’t disguise what the “settler” nations of the Comancheria, Iroquois federation, the Aztec, Inca, and Mayan peoples did to survive, expand, exploit and worship. The 1619 Project and the Courageous Conversations are bullshit every bit as toxic as dope addiction.

    Shape the nation, insofar as it can be shaped by government policy, so that intact families are the chief beneficiaries of government largesse. Encourage civics and civic participation Teach the structure of the American government and the theories that underpin it.

    For chrissake quit burning churches and harassing Christians. Nearly any religion is better that the savage secular fatuity that prevails, and the Christian faith though shot through it may be with criminals and frauds is far less villainous than any system or whimsey they currently prevails in society.

    Those dope fiend bum camps around schools were inexcusable. Only a people who hated thyeir young would have pertted it/them

    Finally, act like men: take responsibility, right wrong with vigor, reward the good and do not subsidize evil. Aid the weak and provide charity starting with the family that you raise.


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