Category Archives: Poverty

The Comfortable and the Afflicted

Dave Miller, the popular host of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s “Think Out Loud,” was shot to death last night in an apparent road-rage attack. Now that’s the kind of fake news that is not even remotely plausible. Guys like Dave Miller are rarely homicide victims, and they know it. Professional journalists – especially those who occupy […]

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 […]

Political Hands Rock the Cradle

Life begins with somebody getting screwed. Sounds cynical, but that’s how it is. Who’s getting screwed by President Donald Trump’s decision to end federal funding to organizations that provide abortions? Women and children – and, yes, some men. It’s ironic that Trump’s signature on a law targeting Planned Parenthood funding came in April, which happens […]

Seeking Justice at the City Club

The City Club of Portland is not where you will find the poor and the destitute. This is a members-only civic organization where you will find community leaders and activists, business owners, various professionals and elected officials who meet for lunch and conversation. Each week they gather at the elegant Sentinel Hotel for the Friday […]

Hands Up! Don’t Talk Back!

From the back of the bus, Dick Gregory saw the future 54 years ago: “The NAACP is a wonderful organization. Belong to it myself. But do you realize if tomorrow we had complete integration, all them cats would be outta work?” In 2016, a lotta cats need segregation – cultural segregation, law-and-order segregation, housing segregation. […]

Delusions of Black Americans

Barack Obama’s days as president are winding down, and with them go the false hopes of his black brothers and sisters who thought America would finally be theirs. It isn’t theirs. Neither is it mine, and it probably isn’t yours (whatever your skin color). As any ordinary non-black American could have told ordinary black Americans: […]

Young Fascists Colonize Portland

She was a picture of Aryan perfection: Blonde hair, the color of straw. Creamy complexion. Pale eyes. Thin, colorless lips. Blonde on blonde on blonde. She followed me into the Saffron Colonial Cafe in North Portland where I had taken a seat for a late Sunday lunch. “I want you to know that what you said […]

Renters Rights and $10 Cocktails

Even a high-school educated waitress could have predicted the affordable housing crisis. If the population grows, and the housing stock doesn’t, the price of housing will rise, and people will have to pay more for whatever they can find. It has turned out just like my mother said it would. How come the politicians couldn’t […]

For Those Who Still Hear the Guns

It’s easy to play the ugly American when the target is right here in America, in the American South. We love making fun of all those ignorant bohunks with their Southern twangs. As the Confederate battle flag comes down in South Carolina (and elsewhere), perhaps Civil War re-enactments will end, too. Then maybe we can […]

Tax Bill Comes Due For Obamacare

My one-year experiment with Obamacare ended on tax day with me writing a check to the IRS for $5,424. More than half of that – $3,000 – went to reimburse the government for an Affordable Care Act health insurance policy that provided me little in the way of medical coverage. It didn’t bother me to […]