Tuesday, October 17, 2006

And Thus the Hawthorne Rebellion Was Born

There were two articles in the Oregonian today that might encapsulate these times and what needs to happen right now if we're to save America. The first was about the CEO of some healthcare corporation who's leaving with a 6 million dollar bonus, 5 mill a year for life, and - oh yeah - over 1 billion in fancy stock options, that were backdated to maximize the greed factor. The other story describes how the small businesses of Hawthorne rose up against Sam Adams and his attempt to nickel and dime them for a little more revenue for the city. Sam wanted to install parking meters on Hawthorne. I was in Showcase Music the other day and I told the owner I had seen him talking about the issue on TV. What I heard from him and others working at the store was the same level of deep frustration and anger I hear from different people about the Bush administration.

Incidentally, the Detainee Torture bill that was passed back on September 28th - in what is being called the Day America Ended - was signed into "law" today. It is now called the Military Commissions Act to disguise the fact that the provisions can be used against ordinary American citizens. At this point, the President can arrest you and hold you indefinitely without habeas corpus, and - oh yeah - torture you for the rest of your life. It is legal now, so it's time to close the scrapbook on the American experiment. Unless....

When I see the government, even on a local level, try and jam a plan like parking meters on Hawthorne down our throats, the response gives me hope. This was an open rebellion and the People of Hawthorne spoke. Wouldn't it be cool if that same spirit rose up nationally and told President Bush where he can take these violations of our constitutional rights? We're tired of him working for these rich bastards like the wretched CEO with a billion plus in stock options, while this government grinds down everybody else.

Maybe we should get out front of this and market it. It's like that old Arlo Guthrie song: What we've got here is a movement in the making. Someday people could come from around the world to visit Portland and see where it all started. Visit the place where the Hawthorne Rebellion began - and went on to sweep the country and save the free world. These tourists could spend their dollars here, but one thing's for sure: If they rent a car and drive over to check out Hawthorne, they won't be putting any money in a parking meter. The People have spoken and that's not going to happen. And thus the Hawthorne Rebellion was born.

7 Comments:

At 5:36 PM, Anonymous butch said...

Wow.....just wait until Sam Adams hears you compared him to the Bush Administration. Prepare to have a property tax assessor knocking at your door at any moment....

 
At 8:39 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Don't these people ask dissenters why they hate Portland? That's right out of the Bush playbook, isn't it?

 
At 8:39 PM, Blogger LaurelhurstDad said...

One question that I never heard answered about the move to put meters on Hawthorne was "What about all the cars that would then park on the side streets?"

As anyone who lives nearby knows, those streets are already at capacity for parking. Moving the freeloaders onto them would kill any residential parking that was left.

It's one thing to hear from the retailers, but I think the locals should have made an even bigger squawk.

 
At 9:27 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Whatever happened it was enough to shut the idea down. That's a local reminder that if enough people stand up on anything, the leaders have to follow. Kind of like the Ports deal was nationally, although I heard that was implemented somehow anyway.
The consent of the governed will always mean something even in a dictatorship like we're becoming. This was quite a sad day in the history of America.

 
At 9:38 PM, Anonymous butch said...

I'm actually a bit torn on this. As one who frequently visits Hawthorne from my Rose City Park abode, sometimes it is a Royal pain to find parking in the area. If meters on the street would allow extended parking (2 hours or more), it would sure make it easier ot weed out some of the loiterers who take up spaces on the street when people like myself are actually going there to plunk down $50-$100 for a movie/dinner/drinks. Maybe stagger a meter every other space? I know that on a whim, if the wife and I find a babysitter and want to got out on a weekend, we don't even consider Hawthorne because the parking is so bad it would make more sense to walk the 40 blocks from our house.

 
At 10:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need to attack Washington and fire or hang all those corrupt bastards and take our country back! No, I am not a terrorist, I am an American!

 
At 10:49 PM, Blogger Frank Dufay said...

It's one thing to hear from the retailers, but I think the locals should have made an even bigger squawk.

We weren't really part of the conversation yet. (I live off Hawthorne at SE 23rd). The first phase was to see if the business community was on board. Next was selling permit parking to us residents.

I've lived here nearly 20 years and have watched Hawthorne develop. It's mostly good, but there's some denial that there truly is a parking problem. Unfortunately, I don't think meters really add "capacity."

I still like the "Hawthorne Rebellion" idea though. We are a rambunctious bunch.

 

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