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The upside-down progressive world

Lead Summary
By Jim Thompson
HCP columnist

Less than two years ago, we watched as certain groups, behaving in ways that can only be described as anarchical, forcibly occupied cities like Portland, Ore.; Seattle, Wash. and Minneapolis, Minn. We were told that these groups had many grievances and were justified in tearing the fabric of these cities apart.

Since February 2021, I have been flying into Portland once per month. I have a project that requires me to go over to Longview, Wash. and review a construction site. I don’t go into downtown Portland.

Since the Portland Airport is on the Columbia River, I disembark and then jump on the expressway to immediately go over to Washington to do my work.

Back in December, I stretched out my trip for a few days. Laura came out, and we went over to the Oregon coast to celebrate our 25th anniversary. This necessitated us driving near the edge of Portland on the expressways there. Alongside the expressways and in every cloverleaf, there were homeless shelters of every kind, right up to the edge of the highway.

In some places, one can see automobiles and pickup trucks in various stages of disassembly. It has been reported on the news what we are seeing here are stolen vehicles, being disassembled in open air “chop shops.”

People I know who live in Washington tell me to never go to downtown Portland, it is even worse.

As you know, I have spent a fair amount of time in Guatemala. The roadsides in Guatemala are neater and cleaner than the expressways around Portland. Seattle is similar, I am told.

Now comes a brave group of Canadian truck drivers, who just want to do their jobs and keep the shelves in the supermarkets full. These people go to Ottawa to express their grievances to the government. They emphasize the entire time that their intention is to be neat and orderly.

But they do have some legitimate grievances concerning Canadian and U.S. Covid protocols and how these affect their business. The Canadian government treats them as the vilest of protesters, and not only that, with the long arms of their police forces, they have threatened to reach out and rough up anyone who donates money to the trucker’s cause.

It will be a long time, if ever, before I go to Canada again.

Meanwhile, back to the anarchists here, the Black Live Matters chapter in Louisville, Ky. has used their funds to make bail for a member accused of shooting a politician.

Not enough craziness? You will find it is not limited to North America.

In Finland, member of Parliament Päivi Räsänen and Lutheran Bishop Juhana Pohjola are facing up to two years in prison for publicly expressing their Christian views and posting a picture holding a Bible.

And then there is Putin – and Biden. It is possible by the time you read this column China will have invaded Taiwan, now that the Olympics are over.

The new normal is terrible.

Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Ga. and is a columnist for The Highland County Press. He may be reached at

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