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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 26, 2012 8:22 PM. The previous post in this blog was Maher nails it. The next post in this blog is For sale: 20 sq mi, Hanford vu. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Big bam boom

We're in the middle of a second consecutive evening of thunderstorms in Portlandia -- quite unusual. We had started watering the yard last week, but there's no need to do it in these hellacious downpours.

We're one of the 18 people who have American pro soccer on the telly, and we see that the Timbers' fans are getting drenched. A few minutes ago the cameras were on Little Lord Paulson, who was making an important executive decision about how long halftime should last. Given the way he's soaked Portland taxpayers, he's the right guy to make that call.

Oh, and the score of the soccer game is 0-0, with no hope of the paint drying in this weather.

UPDATE, 8:36 p.m.: Here are some stairs at Mount Tabor Park -- a waterfall fountain this evening.

UPDATE, 9:24 p.m.: An exciting 1-1 final score in the Timbers game. It's like hockey, only 10 times slower, and no overtime.

Comments (34)

Jack...18 people watching MLS on TV? That sounds high to me. 18 would be the same viewership as MSNBC.

BTW, I thought pro soccer had overtime. They just don't have shootouts. Hockey added that 5 or 6 years ago. Even if they added a shootout to pro (haha) soccer, I'd still rather watch the Paint Drying Channel.

No overtime tonight. Now they're showing a tape of the Seattle match. British twit announcer, soccer fops chanting in the background -- utterly unbearable.

Isn't that a fish ladder.

Forgive my mood, but I happened to be downtown filming homeless people today for this music video I'm doing about the economy. You know, the mess Merritt Paulson's dad helped put us in before we turned around and provided Merritt with his latest playpen.

I've seen plenty of poverty abroad but it still is a little amazing to me to see homeless Americans. That is a fixable problem, if we really wanted to spend the money on one less unnecessary war or two. We could at least put a huge dent into it.

Oh, and there are a lot of homeless vets. Maybe if we had less wars, we'd have less wounded warriors roaming the streets. But since we committed them to go fight in Iraq and Afghanistan and Vietnam, how about taking care of America's homeless veterans before we kiss Merritt Paulson's ass?

In fact, I have some advice for the part of the Christian community that is always mouthing off about how this is a Christian nation. My advice is don't go there. You would be better off denying it. Just embrace the crass secularity of the place and run with it. Why?

Could you imagine if what you believe is true, and you're someday face to face with God? What if the questions turn to how we rewarded rich kids like Merritt Paulson when our streets have so many homeless?

At that point, it will be damn convenient to be able to say, "Sorry we didn't take care of that, but you realize, God, that America never really was a Christian nation, right? What could we do? It was hard to get everyone motivated with so many heathen bastards around."

I wouldn't try and stick with the line about how Christian this country is. Not with how many people are out there on the streets. No wonder there was thunder and lightning during the match.

I thought that the salvation army was christian

And a number of local churches that help the homeless.

Thanks
JK

And this Presbyterian Church trying to help homeless being opposed by neighbors:


Moreland Presbyterian leaders saw it as an opportunity to continue the church's tradition of working with the homeless, Pastor Tom McKnight said this week.

They didn't expect staunch and vocal opposition. But that's what they got.

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2012/05/moreland_presbyterian_churchs.html

thanks
JK

When we cruised our little sail boat in the South Pacific 23 years ago we visited places like Samoa, and Fiji, and Tonga and you know what?...We were asked if it was true that there were people who were really homeless in the United States. We said, "yes". Our various hosts informed us that while there was poverty by western standards in many places, "There are no homeless people here" we were told.
I do not know if that is still true. We have probably exported homelessness as well as Coca-Cola and McDonalds.
I do not see the likes of Mittens, Sarah P, Michelle Bachman, Newt, Santorum, and that horrible AZ governor, or many of the so called demos, doing anything positive to alleviate or even mitigate the homeless problem in the USA.
They all just shut themselves behind their gated Mcmansions...to watch soccer?

The Bible has lots of stuff about helping the poor as a part of Christianity. You would think any God-fearing Christian would be out there doing all they could. I mean they certainly take the sentence or two about gay people to heart. What about the hundreds of times poor people are mentioned?

Let's just look at one devout servant of the Lord: Our own Lars Larson. You scoff, but Lars was going to erect a crucifix on Pioneer Square as part of his heroic service in the War on Christmas. A large crucifix on the public square? They don't come much holier than that.

We also know Lars helped market the Iraq War as a faithful servant of his master George W. Bush, and was rewarded with a trip to the Oval Office for his efforts. Surely with such wealthy patriots supporting our troops they shouldn't go lacking if they get home and wind up homeless. Yet thousands of veterans from Iraq are homeless. Why is that?

Bill, If we are going to assign blame for war and homelessness there is plenty to go around. You may want to make that a long playing music video.

As for the rain and weather in Portland...April showers bring May showers which in turn brings more June showers.

Turning it back to the soccer. I thought Kalif Alhassan was brilliant in the 1st half. I didn't see the 2nd half.
Some of you soccer fans out there should remember the famous "Hand of God" goal by Diego Maradona, right?
Between the thunder and lightning and another late goal for the other team, maybe we've offended you know who. Maybe the Big Guy Upstairs isn't impressed that with all the suffering on our streets, we reached out a loving hand of financial assistance to Merritt Paulson. You saw the lightning. You heard the thunder. I'm just sayin'...

Homeless and committing suicide!
Of course if the homeless vets are dead, then the so called 'christians' can just forget about them.

Wow, 1-1 tie.

I'm amazed at the low threshold for entertainment value soccer fans have.

Must be the alcohol or the idea for the evening they can pretend being an unemployed English young adult instead of being American.

Bill, politely asking, what are you explicitly doing for the homeless?

BDS is alive and well, in all Bojacks threads.

As I mentioned in the other thread, Move On.

Bush won, Bush won again, Barack won over three years ago. And soccer games (and yes, some Christians) still suck, and it rains in Portland on the homeless.

Those facts will still be true next decade. Move on.

lw,
You're missing the point. I'm not the one bragging about my Christian faith. If I have to listen to the self-righteous ego trips of the holy among us, can't I at least expect them to follow their own faith? Is that asking too much?

It's all becoming clear to me, almost like a vision. Remember when this bad patch started, how quickly Merritt was to go on Twitter and say the problem wasn't the level of talent on the team? What a guy, huh?

Maybe he was right. The problem is that we made a deal with Henry Paulson - one of the main architects of the global financial collapse - the guy who was running Goldman Sachs when the firm was "helping" Greece with its financial problems.

I hate to say it but we may have incurred the wrath of God here.

The Timbers won't be great 'til the Paulsons beg for forgiveness and turn their fortunes over to helping the poor. That's what it could take before this is lifted.
You don't think Portland's city council has caused a curse to be placed on our Rose City sports? What about Greg Oden and all the injuries? You think that just happened?

And regardless of if you go to church today, thank a vet, any vet, tomorrow.

lw;
As for what each of us as individuals can do; give money, time, expertise of some sort, through various private charities; we all can and should, do more.
However, this is a national problem, involving thousands of individuals with all sorts of individual needs. This is where government should provide. As far as the vets are concerned, the government sent these people off to war, and the government should provide what they need after they return, and we the taxpayers will have to pay for this, just as we paid to fight the wars.
The care of our veterans is the duty of each and every citizen.

Oh and by the way, I am sick and tired of some of the so called christians carping away about how they are better than everyone else, just because they go to a service of some sort of Sunday, while the rest of the week they advocate for the death penalty, deportation, the elimination of child welfare programs, elimination of taxes for the super wealthy, and the glories of unregulated capitalism.
I think Jesus would have kicked those folk out of the temple!

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Lars Larson for his military service. Oh wait, he doesn't have any. Surely someone so gung ho about sending our troops to Iraq had some military experience to draw on?

Oh well, at least he's spending all his time and money trying to make this up to the thousands of Iraq veterans on our streets. You mean he isn't?

I guess it's time just to honor him for his service in the War on Christmas. It wasn't easy fighting that battle - you know how busy the holidays are. Is it any wonder Lars received the highest medal a radio DJ can get for his service? That's right. He was given the Order of the Candy Cane.

While we are ranting, raving and foaming at the mouth about everything except what this post is about, I am sick and tired of the overused race card by the Obama-is-mesiah crowd of still-believers.

From the WaPo:
The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza said the results [( Barack losing 40% of the votes in his own primaries to Nobody, None-of-the-above, and a federal prisoner)] “have drawn a collective eyeroll from Democrats — and many others who closely follow national politics — who ascribe the underperformance by the incumbent to a very simple thing: racism. No, none of these Democrats are willing to put their name to that allegation . . . But it is without question the prevalent viewpoint they hold privately.”

Democrats are 40% racists?
Democrats?

Harry,
I will say one great thing about President Obama. I happened to be watching one of those Sundays news shows and they were listing the fallen soldiers from the prior week. None of them were killed in Iraq.

Wow..all these coping mechanisms on display. Religion, sports, party affiliation, past and current pols. Thankfully the human race is blessed with a multitude of ways to deal with unhappiness.

RE: the homeless -- truly a sad state, but do realize that not all want to be helped. For those that do want help, we all can help in some way either directly or indirectly, but it is difficult to separate those who are truly in need and those few who may be grifters. We can help some, but we cannot help all.

I travel the world, and am amazed that in good old P-town I see the highest concentration of people who seem to be down-and-out. This simply cannot be true, or I my travels are too selective. Something is surely amiss...

As for soccer, it is much more interesting when one has skin in the game - an alma mater, or a friend or family member playing. Otherwise, pretty boring.

It's all becoming clear to me, almost like a vision.

Ya never know...

Bill,

No offense but to me you appear to be all over the place and every where but where you need to be focusing.

Two places.

One is the local establishment/politicos who have devoured the billions which could have went a long way to making the city a clean, safe, low debt and efficient city that would have provided the kind of "community" more conducive to floating all boats.

Unfortunately the developer, bureaucrat politician cabal has not recognized any value in basic municipal refinement. Instead they persist in the master planning, monument and legacy building "investment" while a festering sore of wholesale dysfunction produces the perpetual fiscal crisis that seeks to close a community pool.

The other place is your narrow perception that stereotypes and labels and assigns so much to so few.
The Christian World is full of immense philanthropy and charity serving a vast spectrum of the downtrodden everywhere they are. And they aren't bragging about anything while they do.
I'm sorry but I just don't get how you see some monster of "self-righteous ego trips of the holy among us" getting in the way of goodness.

Same goes for your assignment of so much on the Bush. He was the same size of ingredient as Obama is today. A piece in an apparatus that produces all of the many similarities between the Bush and Obama adventures. Even down to war, killing, spying on citizens and neglect of our veterans.

The talk show host's crucifix episode hardly qualified him as a "devout servant of the Lord". That was what is was, no more.

His "marketing the Iraq War" didn't qualify him as "a faithful servant of his master George W. Bush". At least half the country supported the war. Were they servants of master Bush?
Is Obama now a master with his supporters being servants?

And who was Bush supposed to invite to the white house. Thom Hartman?

Are you concerned about the wealthy Obama visitors and our troops lacking if they get home.

Some were homeless with Bush and now with Obama for the same reason there isn't enough being done locally.

How in the heck do you think such basic consideration for common care and essential services will ever get the priority focus it deserves when we can't even stop the insane Rail Mafia and a $2 billion Mystery Train?
Or the out of control PDC and planning racket? Billions have been devoured with billions more being diverted to retire the massive debts.

So while I acknowledge your authentic concern for society's ailments I find it a perpetual impediment to be directing
energy towards claims of a Christian Nation, George, Lars and Merritt.

Portland is a sick mess of convolution with inept and dishonest politicians making every mistake San Francisco made as they spent enormous sums chasing the homeless problem while at the same time feeding it.

Willie Brown couldn't understand why so few results came from such massive spending. San Francisco's homeless approach has evolved.

http://sfpublicpress.org/news/2010-12/steering-city%E2%80%99s-homeless-focus-from-sin-to-sickness

But their experiments are hard to assess.

Google "is care not cash a success"

and the hits report the results as all over the the place.

And that is right where I started. :)

Bill, I don't think I missed the point, whichever one I'm trying to figure out from your posts here.

I'm not denying that there are religious hypocrites, but there are secular too, regarding the homeless or however you want to expand it.

I guess I know of so many religious souls that do try to help the homeless (and other society failings) that I can't besmirch the whole lot of them. And that applies to so-called secular business people and small and large corporations. And I think you know of examples.

INFO,
I knew it was coming. That's why I directed my remarks at, "the part of the Christian community that is always mouthing off about how this is a Christian nation."

Not the "Christian World" as you used in your response. But I knew that would happen, so no sweat.

I still don't understand why we have thousands of homeless veterans in a nation like this, and I think it's fair to bring that up this weekend.

Bill, "I still don't understand why we have thousands of homeless veterans": Because many make that choice and many choose to leave.

I spent yesterday afternoon with a one-time Iraq veteran. He had all kinds of friend's help, his church, vet paid counseling/schooling/housing and he still elected to do some foolish things. But he's seeing the light-his choice.

I spent Mothers Day with another friend who had four tours in Iraq and Kuwait as a sharp shooter. Same story of choice, and he's much better.

I guess we can do more, but we do a lot already. Saying thank you means a lot to them.

"the part of the Christian community that is always mouthing off about how this is a Christian nation."

I get your beef but my point is it pales in comparison to the greater good they provide and I don't see why it is so aggravating or problematic that some tout the nation as a Christian nation.
It's background noise.

"I still don't understand why we have thousands of homeless veterans in a nation like this, and I think it's fair to bring that up this weekend."

I don't either and right on.

There are many serious and fundamental problems in need of addressing that are chronically neglected. More so every day as our government for the people finds more things to do they shouldn't.

I think it cannot be reversed on a national or even a state level. It's too big. Size matters.

That's why these local battles need to succeed with you and I (figuratively speaking) pounding the insane ruling, elite into full reversal.

There is no excuse for the allowing the local Creep parasite to flourish because we get all caught up in grander beefs we can do nothing about.

IMO the Portland-Metro-TriMet Monarchy is at an unprecedented precipice of vulnerability and collapse.

A few final pushes in coming months and it all starts to disassemble.

I realize this is a diversion from a serious discussion that hijacked the original post, but I for one really loved having an unexpected display of thunder and lightning two nights in a row.

Like Jack, I grew up in NJ. When a cool front collided with three or four days' worth of sweltering heat and humidity, the result was a spectacular light and sound show.

Some of my fondest summer memories as a kid involve watching a big purplish-black bank of anvil clouds move in to bring a few hours of relief from the oppressive mugginess. As kids we'd be outside trying to finish an inning of Wiffle ball hearing the distant rumble of thunder. We'd be sweating to death until the leading edge of the storm arrived with a strong breeze that turned the leaves upside down and dropped the temperature by 10 or 15 degrees in minutes. The clouds would darken as they drew closer, and the light would take on a certain hazy diffuse quality.

The first fat drops of rain would smack us on the arms or the back of the neck, and then a brilliant flash of lighting would split the sky followed by a much louder crack of thunder. Then the skies would open like they did last night, and every kid in the neighborhood would race home to get under cover, grab something cold to drink and watch the storm roll through.

I don't miss much about NJ as a place to live full time, but I do wish we had more thunderstorms here. Some fireflies would be nice too.

There is a magic about those fireflies! They can look like city lights from a distance.

jmh,
You described the thunderstorm and feelings of those so well, I remember those first few drops of rain when playing outside. What I remember that was remarkable was that all ages played baseball together on homemade fields, the pitcher coming forward for the little ones to swing that bat and get to first.
A fine community I experienced.

The homeless problem, many reasons.
The increased cost of living here has contributed to housing problems as has our housing situation. One of which I have written about before.
I remember being told over and over we need more affordable housing, what was meant was more "subsidized public affordable housing," - was it so that much of what was real housing affordable would be be destroyed to make room for the new redo plans?
Affordable apartments destroyed or changed into condos, as were tiny bungalows, duplexes, older apartment buildings and scarcity of land and room have increased rents. When the cream of the top has been unduly given to a few, more problems and I suspect that those few who have benefited leave town on weekends and live in enclaves away from problems.

I wonder about our "affordable subsidized" housing plans here, it doesn't seem to be working to provide housing. Why not eliminate the cost of the program or some of it anyway, and purchase/rent places for people to get off the streets. There are many empty buildings right now with kitchen/bath facilities, why not make use of them? How does this look when our community has places but people on the street?

Clinamen, I agree with you that "affordable housing" has come to mean "subsidized housing" here in Portland. There's more value in free market affordable housing as you state.

The "cost of the program" is excessive as demonstrated by PDC where over 30% of all TIF dollars for each URA must go to "subsidized affordable housing". And that price doesn't include the 35 years (life of URA) on average of other tax subsidies given.

PDC's own admitted administrative costs run over 16%. For example the almost $300 Million of TIF dollars for SoWhat equals $100 Million dedicated to "affordable housing". Admitted PDC administrative cost will be over $16 Million. That would buy a lot of real affordable housing in the open market.

When Block 49 Affordable Housing in SoWhat is costing over $350 dollars/sq.ft. (excluding land cost), we know the homeless, and us, are being duped.

Occupy should be marching in front of PDC.

Lee,
Thank you for giving specifics. I don't know details/financials about this "subsidized housing" program, but I have sensed that something is amiss.

Thanks, Clinamen. Another way to look at PDC SoWhat $16 Million administrative costs is equate it to what decent apartment houses are going for now-around $70,000 per unit. That equates to 229 units.

Or look at the TIF affordable housing requirement of $100 Million. That equates to 1429 apartment units.

Are we spending our dollars effectively for affordable housing? No. Government could be considered an impediment.

Time to barbecue.

I missed thunderstorms, too, when I lived in Portland; I got a few when I lived on the east coast but the best thunder boomers in the world are in the Midwest, where I grew up with my brother, now a Portland resident.

As far as the "hellacious" rain, I had to laugh. My brother and I once had this conversation not long after I moved to Portland:

Brother: "I'm taking the kids to the park. Want to come with?"

Me: "Sure. Did you know it's raining?"

Bro: "Portland rain or real rain?"

Me: "Portland rain."

Bro: "No problem; I'll just put on their slickers and rain boots."

My brother and I had never discussed rain in our lives so I thought it was a hoot how we both perfectly articulated what we were dealing with that day.

And, yes, we walked to the park and had a blast, the toddlers jumping in every puddle they could find.



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The Occasional Book

Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 119
At this date last year: 21
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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