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Monday, August 11, 2003

Sticks and stones

John down at Poor Schmuck ripped into me the other day. Name-calling and everything. He didn't like my post about inappropriate siting of locally undesirable land uses (LULUs) in Portland neighborhoods. Nor did he approve of my praise for Rep. Earl Blumenauer's opposition to repealing the federal estate tax. And he takes issue with my opposition to the proposed third runway at Portland Airport.

I won't claw back with quite the same viciousness, but I would like to answer a couple of his criticisms. John found this "hilarious":

Here's Jack, the loyal liberal who is all for drug treatment, helping criminals ease back into society and helping the less fortunate, complaining about Drug Treatment Centers, Halfway Houses and Methadone clinics being built in his neighborhood.
John, I'm not "all for" methadone. It's being pushed on all sorts of people who could get off opiates altogether with the right treatment. Methadone is another very addictive, and potentially fatal, drug. It should be administered only as a last resort. And if it's going to be centralized in private clinics, those places belong in areas other than residential neighborhoods. Downtown would be good; the industrial central southeast part of town would also be good. Prescription by individual doctors or at hospitals would make even more sense. And if clinics have to go in residential neighborhoods, the neighbors should get a fair hearing ahead of time. Which they don't.

Gangster halfway houses in residential neighborhoods? No. Not in any residential neighborhood.

As for the estate tax repeal, I'm don't really see the relevance of my occupation (tax lawyer) or Earl Blumenauer's social status (rich heir, according to John). But if John wants to continue to send 40-50% of his salary to the revenuers while fat cats like Cheney pay 20% on the dividends they live off of, well, that's John's prerogative. It just sounds unfair to me.

Turning to the airport expansion, it's unnecessary and will greatly decrease the livability of the entire east side of Portland. (Except for a few folks right next to the airport, though, nobody's caught on yet.) If a new runway is needed -- and there's absolutely no evidence that it is -- it needs to get much further from town. I'm quite aware, John, that PDX was originally built on the outskirts of town. But it's in the middle of town now, and it shouldn't get any bigger or more obnoxious. They ought to bring those big noisy jets right into, say, Salem, coming in over... oh, I don't know... Albany?

John, I'm still waiting to buy you a burger and a Coke, shake your hand, and talk about all the things that we agree on. I'm not as liberal as you think.

UPDATE, 8/12, 2:07 am: There was a nice article in The New York Times (not John's favorite paper) on Monday about a new drug that promises to push methadone aside as the heroin addiction treatment option of first resort. It's called buprenorphine ("bupe" for short), and individual doctors prescribe it at their offices, not in those infernal methadone clinics. Between bupe and Medicaid cutbacks, some methadone clinics may go under. I will not weep for their owners.

Comments (1)

Yeah, I gave up on the NYT some time ago. I still read the Washington Post which is still biased, just not so blatantly so.

I really wonder about the whole heroin addiction business. I have heard first hand from friends that have given up heroin, alcohol and cigarettes that heroin was by far the easiest of the three. Drug treatment has become a billion dollar industry in the U.S. and I wonder how much of it is truly needed.

Rehab won't help anyone who doesn't want to change very much no matter how many people with degrees and white coats they have there, and AA and NA worked long before the professionals found out about it.

I'm still in contact with some of my old AA buddies but many have quit or formed their own groups to get away from the court ordered "victims" who are looking to get a check mark on their caseworkers list and have no intention of doing anything except scam the system.

Drunks and Druggies are experts at this. Ask one sometime.

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