Showing posts with label Portland Oregon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Portland Oregon. Show all posts

June 8, 2023

Homelessness: Daytime nightmare about to unfold in Portland


Public domain, Creative Commons..

By Hal Brown, MSW, Retired psychotherapist

This is a classic case of municipal decision makers putting the cart before the horse, only in this case the cart is a shopping cart. A ban of daytime camping just enacted in Portland, Oregon may make daytime scenes like this (above) more common.

Homelessness is multifaceted problem but not a particularly complex one to remedy. My intention isn't to elaborate on how to solve the problem. It should be a no-brainer. It certainly isn't the harsh measure of forcing people currently living in tents to wander the streets during the day in the hopes that this will force them to live in approved housing. 

Aside from the fact that there are not enough places for them to live, there are reasons that have to be addressed as to why those who don't avail themselves of such housing make the choice to live on the streets.

Here's the disturbing news for everyone who calls a tent their home in Portland, OR, and anyone with a modicum of empathy for them:

Click above to read article

I have a Portland (Oregon) street address although I really live a few hundred feet from the line between the city a suburban town that is on the terminus of one of the light rail lines from downtown. Low income passes are free or cost as little as $3. This is only relevant because Portland is banning daytime camping. More people will be able to head outside of city limits to find places to live on the street.

This may result in more homeless people deciding to set up camps in the town closest to me where we don't have resources to serve their needs.  Here's another article:

‘Inevitable’: Portland City Council passes daytime camping ban

The ban requires people living in tents to pack up and vacate between 8 AM and 8PM. It will go into effect on July 7th. Talk about a very unhappy Independence Day for the numerous people who live in tents within the city limits of Portland.

I appreciate Portland, the western part of Oregon, and our state government for being very progressive in numerous ways. Unfortunately, I am ashamed for the city because they are taking this inhumane and draconian measure before there are enough solutions in place so nobody has to be ejected from their tents to pay a fine they can't afford, and possibly end up in jail. Lest anyone forget, these tents are their homes and when in clusters they are their neighborhoods.


People living on the streets, business owners have mixed reactions to Portland daytime camping ban

May 26, 2023

It is like fleeing an obsessive and brutal regime in another country: She was trans in Texas and her family moved to Oregon

 By Hal Brown

This story was covered on Portland's KOIN TV:

Fearing for their trans daughter’s safety, a Texas family flees to Oregon

This is a poignant story. It has a happy ending.

It is a tale that reminded me of how people fled from persecution in brutal dictatorships where they rightly feared for their safety and in some instances where their lives were in jeopardy.

I won't attempt to wax poetic about Oregon and how, if you are a progressive, it is weird and wonderful. I've done this before, for example recently in my blog "Stop calling the GOP anti-woke hysteria weird. Weird is wonderful. Call it wiggy instead."

I also won't excerpt the KOIN-TV article which describes how the Texas family whose daughter, born physically male, realized at the age of three that she was a girl. 

Time went on and living in Texas became more and more stressful for the family described in the article living under Gov. Greg Abbott's anti-trans policies.

Being a member of an oppressed minority in a state or country is bad enough, but being a member of a group which is targeted for persecution or even prosecution in another matter.

Ultimately fears that Texas children's service could investigate them and even legally remove the child, then 10 years old, from the parental custody they decided to move to Pride proud Portland.

The child, now 11, and her parents, are now living safe and happily in Portland.

I urge that you read either the article or, better yet, watch the 7:41 minute video. 

There are well-known historic examples of how people fled home countries, from NAZI Germany to Cuba to North Africa to Venezuela. Now here in the divided United States (which I wrote about yesterday in "The 2024 Election will be like the new Battle of Fort Sumpter") we have the tragic spectacle of people feeling that to be safe they have to leave, or we could use the word "flee", their home states.

Women are having to temporarily leave the states where they live to get abortions. Students having to consider transferring from a college they love because the governor has decided it's was too "woke" (as in the case of New College in Florida). 

Across the country we have an uncounted number of people who may be seriously considering moving to a state where they feel they will be free from living under the boot of a dictatorship which has targeted them and their beliefs. The graphic below is from this website.

The states shown above, like Oregon, Washington, and New York, which aren't deep blue like California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island have sections with more conservative residents. Here in Oregon there is even a movement in the eastern rural part of the state to secede and become a part of Idaho.

Click image below to enlarge. The most liberal states are on the top and the most conservative on the bottom.

Whether someone is or has a loved one who is a member of the LQBTQ+ community or who has lost their job like the teachers in Florida who have been suspended for teaching "woke" there are millions of people living in states the government and the majority of residents  would be pleased if they moved. The majority may consider you to be a pervert or groomer. They may think you are a baby killer. They may think you are a communist or socialist. They may think you are merely an elitist. For whatever reason they don't think you belong in their state.

Each person with the means to move who feels attacked for their choices and beliefs has to consider whether it makes sense to stay and fight for their beliefs or chose to move to a progressive state. There are some states where so many residents have their beliefs so entrenched that change in the foreseeable future is just about impossible. 

Of course some people who may want to flee their state are just are unable to move. Aside from not having the money, this may be because of their employment (the family who moved to Oregon was lucky in that the husband's employer was able to transfer him), or having a network of family and friends where they live, or for other reasons. Living where I do in a Portland suburb and having moved from a suburb of Boston I feel lucky. I also feel for everyone who feels trapped in a state where they feel oppressed.

Both in the past and in the present people risked or are risking their lives to escape authoritarian intolerant regimes. People found ways to cross national borders from Germany in the late 1930's, they tried to climb a wall in Berlin, in recent times they are embarking on perilous sea journeys, or trekking thousands of miles from Central American to the Mexico-America border. 

Click above to read article

The logistics for Americans are easier. People can rent a U-Haul and a car hitch and without the danger of getting shot or drowning they can relocate. Unfortunately for those who want to move, it isn't really that easy.

May 13, 2023

Progressive Oregonian shocked and dismayed to see the main story on HUFFPOST

My morning ritual leading up to eventually deciding what, if anything, I can blog about is:

  1. I start my Keurig for my coffee
  2. I turn on MSNBC
  3. I fire up my laptop
  4. I check my email
  5. The first website I look at is HUFFPOST just to see what their editors decide to post as their lead story

Then I look at The New York Times, Washington Post, Raw Story, Salon, and other websites. I often find something I want to blog about in those stories.

Today I was surprised to see that the main HUFFPOST story was about something that very much impacted me as an Oregonian who is pleased to live in a very progressive state.

This is what I saw:

Click above to read article.

Oregon progressives and even middle-of-the road residents dodged a bullet named Christine Drazen, a far right Republican, in our most recent governor race, because an independent named Betsy Johnson became a third party candidate.

Click above to read article
(left to right Kotek, Johnson, Drazen)

Fortunately liberal Democrat Tina Kotek won.

Oregon, and Portland in particular, isn't a politically progressive Brigadoon. We have many problems including a lamentable rate of often deadly shootings, and rampant homelessness. In addition, we have our history of Black Live Matters protests which became violent and made national news. This was because far right groups came here because they were attracted to Portland's reputation as a being so progressive. We are known, among other things, for being so early in decriminalizing recreational use of marijuana, being LGBTQ+ friendly, and accepting immigrants. We also have  the first-of-its-kind psilocybin therapy program.

We also have the eastern rural portion of the state, which is mostly Republican and tends to be rampantly MAGA. They have been voting in non-binding country referendums to become part of Idaho in something called The Greater Idaho Movement. Read today's article about dueling protests.

My takeaway from this situation with our senate is that I should never get blasé about living in such a progressive area, and in the suburbs of a city which rightfully proudly celebrates itself for being weird. 

There is hope as far as this attempt to block hundreds of bills addressing, among other things, gender-affirming medical care, homelessness, gun control, mental health care, education, and abortion rights.  

There is a fly in the ointment that these Republican senators may have inadvertently swallowed. This is that a 2022 ballot measure is now part of the Oregon Constitution. It disqualifies a lawmaker with 10 or more unexcused absences from holding office in the next term.

Please add your comment

If you don't see the Disquis comment section click here and scroll to bottom of page. Comments and feedback are welcome. Disquis is preferred although you can make a comment using the internal Google comment section.

May 2, 2023

Stop calling the GOP anti-woke hysteria weird. Weird is wonderful. Call it wiggy instead.

By Hal Brown

The GOP has gone wiggy in their war on woke.

The author lives in a suburb of wonderfully weird Portland, Oregon.

Click above and below to enlarge the images

Here in Portland, Oregon we are proud of being weird and wonderful. Keep Portland Weird is a frequently used slogan (read about it on Wikipedia).

This is the webpage of Travel Portland:

This conveys how Portland is both weird and woke.

This is from the website Boundless Roads:

Cities like Portland aren't the only promoters of weird and woke as a positive image. For example Weird N Woke is a line of clothing which combines weird with woke in their name  .

The company, founded in Lancaster, PA, offers clothing like the Liberty is Dead t-shirt. Here's their Facebook page. I am now a fan of the company and appreciate that the founder Austin Welk (about him) resides in the Republican Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. It voted GOP in every presidential election since 2000 and in the last Presidential election the vote was Republican, 56.9% to 41.2% Democrat. 

Another way weird is used in a positive sense is in services. For example some of these are described here.

The first column I read this morning was this (subscription):

One word in a sentence prompted me to write a comment in the article:

But Biden’s biggest advantage has to do with the opposition — the Republican Party has gotten weird.
Here's my comment:

I live in Portland, Orgeon, which proudly proclaims (as does Denver) itself as wonderfully weird. Thus I suggest that calling the Republican Party weird is a misnomer and does weirdness a disservice. I suggest the word wiggy which includes weird in the definition: emotionally uncontrolled or weird.
At this writing seven readers there recommended my comment:

Following posting this I realized I should have included Austin as a proudly weird city.

The word was used in this sentence:

As a result, “They have to win the endorsement of a crowd in an echo chamber having a conversation that the rest of the country thinks is too nasty or weird to join,” he wrote.

Headline writers often use alliterations so anti-woke weird warriors sound good. In my opinion wiggy is a better word in this context.

This is how my online dictionary defines weird and wiggy:

weird wird | adjective suggesting something supernatural; uncannythe weird crying of a seal• informal very strange; bizarrea weird coincidence | all sorts of weird and wonderful characters• archaic connected with fate.


wiggy ˈwiɡē | 
adjective (wiggierwiggiestinformal, mainly North American emotionally uncontrolled or weirdyou've been acting all wiggy.

Since both word have the soft W sound wiggy can be used in phrases with anti-woke and warrior as an alliteration. Both words can mean bizarre. Wiggy adds emotionally uncontrolled to the definition. Therefore it describes the Republican war on wokeness. Not only does weird have a positive connotation, but another reason I'd like wiggy used instead is that weird is overused and wiggy is a far less used word.


We can thank Ron DeSantis for pushing the war against woke to and beyond the breaking point by going after Disney and continuing to dig in his heals in his utter bigotry. For example: 

Here's what an hysterical bigot had to say in a Fox News opinion piece.   I found his essay when I did my web search for woke and weird.

Here's what my tour around America taught me about the weird, woke and wicked

Here's what I'm hearing from panicked parents around the country

The author spews intolerance.

* "Why is there a seemingly sudden increase in pedophiles, sexual deviants? Why do we have so many amoral—or plainly immoral—educators, school administrators, school boards, politicians, community leaders, and even judges, hell-bent on advancing the sexualization of our innocent children, and pushing perversion into the hearts and minds of the most impressionable among us?

*Why are too many of these leaders hiding their aberrant "sex education" and "gender-affirming" curricula from the parents of their students, stripping moms and dads of their rights to determine when and how their children are exposed to sensitive topics in school?

* What do these groups of decadent influencers have to gain?  In short, their ambition is the total breakdown and collapse of the family. Their target is our children.  Their goal is social chaos.  In some cases, they have been successful. Tragically successful.

Thanks for reading. Scroll down to make comments and share on social media. The archives and tags are on the bottom of the main page. If you are reading on Booksie, Substack, or Medium click below to go to the blog web page. 

Click to go to main blog. Updates will be posted here rather that on Booksie, Substack, or Medium.

If you don't see the Disquis section below and want to comment this is the best place to do it. Click here and scroll down the page.

Weekly stats for the blog. Note the number of readers from Russia. I would like to have international readers comment about what they think about what is happening in America.

Click above to enlarge

March 24, 2023

In death at 92 Portland's iconic drag queen Darcelle XV gets headline coverage in local news. Take that anti-woke warriors..

 By Hal Brown

If you aren't familiar with Portland, Oregon and its LGBTQ+ scene you may not know who Darcelle XV is so you may want to look at Wikipedia here.

CC 2.0 on Wikipedia
I am often overwhelmed and always dismayed by the news about the anti-woke warriors like Ron DeSantis who thinks drag represents a toxin riskier than ricin, the book burners, and people like this.

Click above to read article

These feelings are mitigated at times when I realize that there are really good people holding the line against the anti-woke mob. I am hopeful when I read an article like this, coincidentally published in Salon today: 

The GOP is becoming more unhinged about LGBTQ people — which will only make them more unpopular

New research shows most Americans side with RuPaul and Kevin Bacon against Christian nationalists

While Portland's Darcelle XV dying isn't a call for celebration, living a full and fulfilling life until the age of 92 is.

This was in my email last night:

Click above to enlarge

I looked at the local TV news websites this morning and noted that this story was the top story on two of the three of them. One was KATU, a station owned by the far-right Sinclair corporation.

Click above to read article

This is what KGW looked like:

Click above to read article

This a morning it wasn't the lead on KOIN online but it might have been when it was posted late last night:

Click above to read article

This is a Google News search for Darcelle XV:

Click above to enlarge image. 

Before yesterday Darcelle XV was featured in these articles:

Click above to enlarge

Here's the Gigantic Brewing story:

Click link for story, click above to enlarge image.

All of this news coverage highlights the fact that here in progressive Portland by far the majority of us, including those in our newsrooms, are woke. Whether we are a member of the LGBTQ+ community or not we are proud to be wonderfully woke.

I feel for progressive in red states and experience a weird tinge of something akin to guilt, but not really guilt, that I live where I do. I have friends in Florida who moved there decades ago never anticipating what it would become, and like many in similar situations there and in other irredeemably red states, can't relocate to a blue state.


Click above to read article

January 2, 2023

A shirtless guy on a Honda bike with pink sneakers and a tattooed man with a "What Part of Fuck Off Is Confusing to You?" t-shirt.

 A shirtless guy on a Honda bike with pink sneakers and a tattooed man with a "What Part of Fuck Off Is Confusing to You?" t-shirt.

By Hal Brown

To my loyal daily readers: Thank you for checking in today. I haven't posted a new blog because I've been diagnosed with pneumonia and am being treat with two antibiotics. I had it in late October and it may not have been treated aggressively enough so this may be a relapse.

Archive on bottom of page

Click any image to enlarge

I took this photo from my car when I pulled up behind this motorcyclist in Milwaukie, Oregon. It wasn't until I got home and looked closely at it that I found it more interesting than just merely a man riding a motorcycle shirtless with his white t-shirt wrapped around his arm on a warm day.

He's not riding a Harley lowrider, but his jeans are riding low. They are Calvin Klein's. Taking a closer look I see something I can't identify:

What is this white band that appears to be plastic which is wrapped tightly around the jeans? It seems to be holding something in the front. It isn't the back of a jockstrap. The many I looked at all have wide elastic bands in the back. So what the hell is it?

Not only are the jeans maroon but his footwear stands out.

They are old fashioned high-top basketball sneakers but in pink.  They seem to be Adidas Matchcourt sneakers. 

By coincidence or not pink sneakers and maroon underpants kind of go together. Maybe he was trying to make a fashion statement.

You can also see on his elbow that it looks like he has a skin condition like psoriasis or a healed wound which could have been from a motorcycle accident. If the latter it means he might have suffered from not wearing a leather jacket, though you rarely see anyone who isn't a Harley biker wearing them around Portland.

Another unknown is what this is on his back:
It could be a healed wound. I'm not a doctor but it could be the exit wound caused by being shot by a hollow point bullet.

 We have a lot of shootings in Portland. Most of them are gang related. I wonder if there is a pink sneaker gang.

I hazard a guess that the motorcyclist is about as far removed from being a MAGA cultist as anyone would be. 

And then there this man:
I have no idea what the politics of this Portland area denizen might be. He clearly doesn't want anyone to inquire about it. He was at the very crowded Milwaukie Farmers Market. He was making a very public statement. I wish I had had the courage to interview him. That would have made an interesting story.

Never let it be said that I don't dig deeply into the backstory of what I write about. I tried to find out the model and year of the Honda motorcycle but couldn't based on the photo of the rear.  I did find out what the hat the Fuck Off man is wearing was.

It is a clothing brand which was started in the city of Bridgewater which abuts the city of Middleboro where I lived before moving to Portland. Below from Wikipedia.

Formed in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Metal Mulisha T-shirts were fashionable among youth in the 2000s. The shirts often feature existential slogans or quotes that tout the virtues of extreme sports.

In 2010, the Murrieta Valley Unified School District banned Metal Mulisha clothing at its schools, due to graphics resembling Nazisymbols and iconography. Some graphics appearing on Metal Mulisha's clothing line include a skull wearing a helmet resembling one worn by German soldiers in World War II, while on the company's logo, the "S" in "Mulisha" is represented graphically by a lightning bolt that resembles the double lightning bolts insignia Runic "ᛋᛋ" of the Nazi major paramilitary organization Schutzstaffel, LAB or SS.

Rabbi Barry Ulrych, of the B'nai Chaim of Murrieta synagogue, regarding the images appearing on Metal Mulisha products, stated "People say it's just a fashion—it's more than that—it's an identity ... These symbols are not as neutral as one might think. Symbols can hurt, and some symbols are intimidating ... With this symbolism, they are glorifying the Nazi past. You can't go through life being ignorant of symbols."

In a letter, the company countered with the statement "Metal Mulisha founders and riders are devout Christians, espousing those values prized in the religious community."

He appears to be wearing not inexpensive Dolce & Gabbana glasses:

Recent blog posts:

Nixon and Kennedy were evenly matched intellectually in their first debate. Nixon lost because of how he looked on TV. Trump may lose because he "loses it" on TV. By Hal Brown, MSW

  Read: Team Biden bets an unfiltered Trump at the debate can shake up the race GOP pollster Frank Luntz said the June 27 faceoff will be &q...