Category Archives: Mental illness

Portland’s Twisted Values

New York City has Central Park, and Portland, Ore., has an elaborate trail system that extends throughout the city, from Forest Park in the northwest to the southwest hills. Central Park has its nooks and crannies where homeless can hide, but nothing like the camps found in available green spaces in Portland. Portland’s urban woods […]

Wheeler and the Jive-Talkers

The tidy, black girl didn’t look much older than 10. She was dressed in what looked like, at the time, the standard blue-and-white Catholic school uniform. She sat towards the front of a public transit bus as it made its way through Oakland, Calif. Given the late afternoon hours, she was probably headed home. She […]

High Hopes and Sad Realities

What would Jack and Jackie make of the street scene outside the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Ore. where there’s currently an exhibit devoted to the 35th president of the United States? President Kennedy and the First Lady might be amused by the casual under-dressing in public, the exposed flesh and the tattoos. They would […]

Held Hostage by the ‘Mentally Ill’

Dispatcher: “9-1-1. What is your emergency?” David Kif Davis: “My Jewish ancestry has been insulted. I’ve got PTSD, and somebody called me a skinhead. I want an apology.” Dispatcher: “9-1-1. What is your emergency?” Charles Johnson: “I just threw a cup of water in somebody’s face at a public hearing. It’s how I express my […]

The Tail Wagging the Police Dog

The Portland, Ore., police officer applied for a job with the Oregon State Police in Salem. As usual, the prospective employer asked the applicant why he wanted to leave his current job. The Portland officer told of how he had pulled over a speeding driver and ticketed him. The driver, who was black, warned the […]

A Cop Shop Under Siege

If a mentally ill man – armed with a weapon or just his fists, legs and deranged anger – had burst into the meeting hall where the Community Oversight Advisory Board recently gathered, there’s no doubt who would have been expected to deal with him. The police. Five Portland police officers are on the 20-member […]

‘Stay Mad Normie Scum’

Too bad Pope Francis didn’t visit America a week later. He could have used the killings at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., to denounce guns – and abortion. The Holy Father could have pointed to the killer’s apparent hatred of religion, then – working all angles – he could have drawn a connection between […]

Blue Hours and Alien Boys

When it comes to the mentally ill, nobody is singing, “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.” No, when it comes to crazy people on the street, whether or not they’re our brothers, we don’t want to carry them. We call the cops. In Portland, police have been accused by the U.S. Department of Justice of […]

‘Life Isn’t for Everybody’

Several months ago, one of the click-bait titles that popped up frequently on the Internet was “11 Female Stars Who Used to be Hot.” Would Robin Williams, 63, have clicked on that story to see which formerly hot actresses were now considered past their prime? Or would he have looked at that link and wondered […]

Making the Wrong History

It’s amazing how desperate some people are to be a part of history. It doesn’t matter which part. Years from now, what will the customers who waited in line outside Main Street Marijuana in Vancouver, Wash., tell their grandkids? “I waited in line outside, in darkness, before the sun was up. Finally … I got […]