Dispatch: From Portland Oregon where apparently "It's in Oregon; and Oregon's like you know, nobody ever thinks of it."
A few presidential administrations back, Portland gained the moniker "Little Beirut" because of all the protests expected whenever the Prez visited. While that's evidence of democracy in action, we have managed to avoid having anything else closely related to Beirut: military checkpoints, bombings, political unrest...
Except this weekend we got a bit of a rude awakening into the post-9/11 world. A Somali-born teenager had planned and executed to the best of his abilities a massive bombing, that if it worked, would have leveled blocks in downtown Portland, during the annual lighting of the Holiday Tree in Pioneer Square. This story made top-fold, front page of the NY Times. Thankfully his "accomplices" were the FBI and so the actual danger level never nudged above a usual mass gathering of Portlanders (panhandlers and rogue bicyclists) but the intent was there. He was ready to wreak mayhem. Andy's cousin and his baby were downtown which really makes us grateful it turned out the way it did.
I'm not sure what will happen to this guy, or what it means for our city, but I do wonder if we lost a bit of innocence after this weekend.