Conversation of the Day

Filed under:Heh,It's My Life — posted by Anwyn on December 14, 2007 @ 2:49 pm

Son: “Do you have a cold?”

Me: “No, but since you have one I might get one soon. It’s contagious. That means the germs will jump off you and onto Mommy, and then I’ll have a cold.”

Son (reassuring): “I’ll help you let them jump off you and onto Daddy.”

“Contrarian” Speaks Truth to Managed Economy

Filed under:Language Barrier,Need a Good Editor?,Wacky Oregon — posted by Anwyn @ 11:01 am

Story outline, Randal O’Toole (heh-heh, Toole) story, Oregonian, by Anna Griffin

I. Describe the guy. Lucky here; he looks as though he shops at Old West Undertakers. Hook him up with preachers, that turns people off–

Slap a Bible in his hand and O’Toole could easily pass for a frontier preacher. He has the look, if not the Good Book: a stern, tight-lipped expression, an impressive display of graying facial hair, a wardrobe that tends toward simple black suits and looping Western-style bow ties.

II. Contrast conservative opinion with that of the New York Times

Click. Here’s a slide showing a big house on a lush, green yard. This is in Houston, a plump 2,300 square feet for $170,000.

Click. Here’s a skinny house in Portland, maybe 1,200 scrunched square feet on a sliver of a yard. Asking price: $260,000.

It’s like looking at a diet company’s before and after photos. The crowd — a room of like-minded libertarians and conservatives — quakes with laughter.

“You’d better hurry. They just dropped the price,” O’Toole says. “It’s got granite countertops and hardwood floors. Who cares if you barely have enough room to turn around in it?”

Times are flush in Portland. Planners and civic leaders from around the world come to see how we do it. The New York Times can’t stop writing about how great we have it, whether we’re sipping tea, buying big vacation homes or biking to work. Although the housing market has cooled, Portland hasn’t suffered the same steep decline as the rest of the country.

III. Make the point that it could be worse,

Still, O’Toole sees hope. Even after Oregon voters approved the property rights limits of Measure 49, Portland isn’t a lost cause. No, we’re not Houston. But we’re also not San Francisco. At least, not yet.

Snap. Article writes itself.


Portland Metro’s current policies will lead to us being as bad off, in terms of what a housing dollar will buy, as San Francisco, as the reporter herself mentions, though she doesn’t make perfectly clear whether this is only one of O’Toole’s crazy positions or if she understands that fact herself. Nevertheless, the point is well made. Not today, not tomorrow, but someday, we will be just as crowded and just as house-poor as the Bay Area. And with any luck I will be out of here long before that happens. For a city that claims to care so much about the poor and working-class, it is nigh on impossible to get a decent house around here for working-class money–especially one that does not share walls with other families–and strict land-use policies are a big driving factor in that. But hey, win-win, right? You get to keep your farmers in perpetual farmity while keeping out lower income strata that might affect our safety rating. Win-win.

H/t: Daddyman.


Filed under:Not Cool,Sports — posted by Anwyn @ 10:46 am


H/t: Daddyman.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace