Nothing but the News

Mostly Peaceful Protests burn Portland…again

Downtown Portland– Peaceful protestors gathered for a 101st night in downtown Portland Tuesday in order to advocate for equitable public policy toward black Americans and end police brutality. “We just want our black, non-conforming, and Wiccan xi’s and xim’s to be free of violence,” Antifa General and Flower Prince/Princess Karen “Unicorn” Rutledge told reporters over the weekend. “Our message is that simple.”

Karen Rutledge pictured giving instructions to other members (she’s the one in black, wearing a face covering).

Protestors are increasingly upset by negative media attention to their cause. “We are no different than anyone else. We are normal people,” said Mister Smash (who didn’t want to reveal his real name, for fear of retribution. “I put my pants on one leg at a time, myself. I don’t let my mom do that for me. She’s not even allowed into my room anymore.”

Alan “Mister Smash” Nusbaum pictured all dressed up before taking the long limo ride to the night’s protests.

Mister Smash isn’t new to the protesting world. “I went to my first protest when I was 16,” Smash says in a thoughtful moment. “The courts had just released two cops who brutally murdered an innocent man and nothing was going to stop me from making sure that justice was done.”

Smash was referring to two Portland PD officers who were involved in a now infamous incident in the “skid row” district of Portland. The officers were trying to make an arrest of the “Nursing Home Rapist,” who had just escaped from prison after murdering 3 guards with his bare hands and stealing their firearms. The two policemen shot and killed the man after he shot out all four tires of their police car and broke out the windows. The officers were later acquitted in court, sparking city-wide protests. “It was just another case of the cops murdering a person of color.”

After the trial was over the officers were fired by the mayor of Portland. The city rules give the mayor plenary power over all police matters as well as the usual mayor duties. The policemen had been defended by Mister Smash’s father, prominent Portland attorney Phillip Nusbaum. “It all turned out OK, though. The cops got off scott-free, but my dad gave me a thousand bucks for my protesting club and a new car. So basically, justice was done.”

At around 9:30 the night’s “Protest against Racial violence, Sexual repression, Genderism, Capitalism, Wealthyism, and Right-Wing Media bias” launched into high gear. Protestors peacefully occupied the middle of Capital Street Bridge, and lit the bridge on fire. “It was a statement about repression. It was beautiful.” said Karen Rutledge. Paramedics treated 12 peaceful protestors for smoke inhalation, and the protestors were quickly able to recover and return to protesting, peacefully.

Peaceful protestors trapped on bridge

The group then left and gathered later in front of the Resting Sunset Retirement Home on Fourth Avenue. “Down with the f****** cops!” “Yo ho, capitalism has got to go.” and “No justice, no peace. These streets are not your streets…anymore.” The peaceful protestors chanted in unison out of their pre-prepared protest chant books.

Peaceful protestors in front of the Resting Sunset Retirement Home

Translating The Bible

The other day I was in church and the sermon focused on a particular passage in the Bible’s book of Acts. It was a pretty well known passage in Acts 2 that talks about the first Christians. After Jesus had ascended into heaven, the Spirit of God had empowered the first Christians to do miraculous things, and huge things were happening that caused the explosive growth of the number of believers. The passage goes like this. Continue reading

2019 Predictions

As each year turns to the next I try to right out what events and trends I think will take place in the year to come.  As I say each time, this is neither astrology nor an attempt at prophecy.  I am simply making an educated guess at what I think will happen.  The purpose is actually for my own amusement.  Part of it is hubris, as I am addicted to saying “I told you so.”  But it is harmless fun, unless you are one of those people that gets mad at the weatherman if it rains on your wedding day.

    1. I wish that this year upcoming will be filled with a mix of pretty good, and some not as good—but I highly doubt that. I believe (and don’t at all wish) that this year will be one of the worst years that anyone in this country truly remembers. I tend to be a political pessimist, but this goes deeper than that.

Continue reading

Humphrey and The Trade

Humphrey digital header

When I was a kid I remember watching a short Disney cartoon that made an indelible impression on me. It showed a bear named Humphrey, who desperately wanted some fish. He swiped at the lake over and over, and all that he ended up with was a tiny minnow. As he held it above the water, sad that it was so tiny, a bigger fish jumped up and swallowed it whole.

At that point he had an epiphany.   He could hold the fish over the water and one by one collect the larger fish that jumped up to eat the minnow. Soon his arms were full of large fish. Just as he was about to walk away a fish bigger than all the others floated by. He dropped all of the other fish and pounced. Continue reading

Stealing the Sunrise

Sunrise Header

In my first year of college, I pulled a lot of all-nighters—and not the wimpy ones where you go to sleep at 3 AM and then get a good 6 hours sleep before going to class. No, I mean staying up until the sun rose and then going to class without having slept at all. I did this because as a Political Science major I had a lot of reading to do. I have always been a good reader but a bit of a slow one, so that meant spending a lot of late hours reading, and chewing ice to stay awake.

I remember one night I finished my homework around 4:30 AM. My morning class was at 9, and I knew that 3 ½ hours sleep would end up only being worse than if I hadn’t slept at all. So, I made the decision to walk somewhere off campus and watch the sunrise. In my young man’s mind this was a good idea and I don’t know if I’d experienced a sunrise before. Continue reading

Joseph

Nativity HeaderI come from a long line of talkers. My lineage is filled with teachers and preachers and others known for their speeches. The holiday dinner tables growing up were always a place where the noise never stopped, and if you wanted to get a word in edge-wise you had to jump in at any pause for breath. Of all my relatives, my mom can out talk anyone. I’ve had hour-long phone conversations with her where my only part was “hello…” and she took it from there.

Let’s just say the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. I’m a talker too. I’ve struggled with it my whole life. If they had an anonymous support group, which I suggest calling On-an-on-and-on-annon. I would weekly stand at the front saying, “My name is Ryan, and I’m a talkaholic.”

Continue reading

Aunt Grace

Schoolroom

The other day I read an article talking about how the teaching of cursive handwriting is being completely abandoned in school, mostly because computers have made it unimportant.  I disagree, but largely because I was taught cursive, and use it primarily in my handwriting.  I can’t imagine how printing could be anywhere close to as efficient as cursive when you have to use pen and paper.

I have never had beautiful handwriting, and I’ve never particularly enjoyed physical writing compared to typing on a keyboard.  Despite this fact, the story of my learning this skill  is an important one in my childhood.  It is a tale involving a discouraging 1st grade teacher, a converted home schoolhouse, and a really old woman. Continue reading

Bicycle

Bicycle

The other day I was called by a single mom and asked to assemble her son’s shiny new bicycle. It was his birthday gift, and the task of building such a thing was a little beyond her comfort level or ability. Since I have known them both for quite some time, and because I have become somewhat of an expert on handyman-type stuff, I was the guy she called.

The project didn’t take me long at all, with my bag of tools and a glass of iced tea. And as I later stood and looked at the completed bike, I thought back about my own memories of my childhood BMX. Continue reading

Ruby 5

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the seriesRuby

This is the final installment of a multi-part story.  Please click on the article to view full, then click the series link in the area above in order to read the whole story.

Leash Header

When I went off to college most of my interaction with Ruby stopped.  I was far away from her.  She loved my mom and was fulfilled in her inner-dog.  I would see her from time to time, and she was always as happy as a dog could be for us to visit.  She was also always eager to prove that she knew all of her old tricks.

She was never one to spend a lot of time outside and never one to wander away from home.  Some dogs are always trying to dig their way under the fence, or jump over it—but not Ruby.  She preferred a warm couch to the great outdoors.  This makes it very strange that she got out of the yard one day while I was away at college. Continue reading