OK…It’s Thursday, February 15, 2018, we’re sure of that. It’s reasonably certain as well that sunrise is at 7:12 AM, sunset 5:38 PM. There have been numerous showers, but they’re waning like the moon–in fact, today is the New Moon, which means no moon, and we’ll see a high of 50.
So we look again into our national soul and find it lacking; we light candles and sway and nothing changes. We send up prayers, express our good thoughts, write passionate posts with angry-face emojis, and we’re still a country where a pissed-off young man whom everyone in his school seemed to know had lots of problems and an obsession with guns could walk in and squeeze the trigger on his easily-acquired, court-protected weapon of mass destruction. And just like that, he’d blink out the sacred lives of seventeen innocent and cherished people. We pray, oh yes we pray, but if anyone hears it, you can’t tell; we could assemble en masse and rage at the heavens with clenched fists and demand of the Almighty, as they did in the Old Testament, Why, God, if that’s who you are, Why? And the Almighty might thunder back: “Because that’s a choice you have made.” Perhaps someday we will be judged accordingly. But the concrete consequence of our conscious decision to arm ourselves to the teeth comes with sickening regularity, and with a stupefying lack of epiphany on the part of our elected leaders. It’s our national shame, and the shame is on us.
At the same time, a grandmother in Everett, Washington foiled a mass shooting when she found her grandson’s journal with detailed plans–and called 911, prompting a search which revealed an AK447 hidden in a guitar case. The student is now in custody.
By the way…reposting a message from Portland Police Sgt. Pete Simpson, one of the good guys…”Parents, please talk to your kids about speaking up when they see things on social media that cause concern. Far too often, we find out after a tragic event that someone knew something but was afraid to say something.” Same applies to adults.
How on earth do we go from that…to covering the other news of the day…
Unfinished business: former Governor John Kitzhaber allegedly violated ethics laws eleven times, according to a report for the Oregon Government Ethics Commission. Kitzhaber’s partner Cylvia Hayes, by the way, is in a wheelchair following surgery for a crushed ankle suffered when a horse fell on her.
The man who slid to his death on Mt. Hood on Tuesday is identified as 35-year old Miha Šumi (pronounced MEE-huh SHOO-mee), who came to Portland seven years ago from Slovenia to join Jet Reports, a company that specializes in business analytics, which has set up a Go Fund Me account for his family.
You know the Portland-based Grammy-winning band Portugal the Man? Their tour bus caught fire in Iowa, and they’ve had to cancel some shows. They’re all OK.
American skier Mikaela Shiffrin won the gold medal in today’s giant slalom. Latest medal count: Team USA has 8 total, 5 gold, for 5th place. Norway and Germany are in the lead.
The Portland Trail Blazers played one of their best games of the year, beating the usually-dominant Golden State Warriors 123-117 at the Moda Center. Now it’s All-Star break time.
Today is Susan B. Anthony’s birthday. Born in 1820, she was the leader of the campaign to allow women to vote, though it was a century after her birth that the 19th Amendment accomplishing that objective was finally ratified. She brought the campaign to Portland in 1896, staying at the home of movement leader Abigail Scott Duniway. Women gained the right to vote in Oregon in 1912, one of the last of the western states where that became true. (The West was way out ahead of the rest of the country).
One wonders what would be different today if women had an equal seat at the table–or any seat at all–at the founding of our nation.
Happy birthday to Matt Groening, the Lincoln High graduate whose sharp social satire underlies every episode of his creation, “The Simpsons.”
Big sigh. Do we do “Tell Me Something Good” and its DD equivalent, H4HH?
Of course. If there’s one constant, it’s that everywhere, and in spite of all, people do the best they can.
“–Toddler rescued from train tracks by quick-acting student in busy Milan subway station.”
–“Kansas 5th graders are giving up their Valentine’s Day party and donating it to “Wichita’s Little Heroes,” kids with life-threatening illnesses.”
–“A couple accidentally proposed to each other at the same time.” They both said yes!
–“Baltimore is at 12 days without a homicide: the longest streak since 2015.”
–“Elementary students help a couple get the honeymoon they were denied 60 years ago because of racism”
–“Melania Trump tells hospitalized child the best part of being first lady is meeting kids like her.”
OK. Signing off. Stay safe, stay kind. Thanks for reading this, and taking part in the community here.