Tag Archives: Portland

Giving the mentally ill a green light toward violence

This is the headline over a story in Al-Jazeera:

I don’t want to seem too reductive, since the answers to that question are complicated underneath any seemingly simple answers.

But the short answers as they relate to the Portland stabbing incident seem IMHO to be:

  1. Jeremy Christian, the confessed prime suspect in the Portland incident, is clearly not a well person mentally. That does not excuse what he did. But people like him used to be forced to wander the streets and scream their paranoid nonsense to nobody in particular. Now they have their dangerous views reinforced by InfoWars and Fox News.
  2. The election of Donald Trump has, despite how anyone might feel about why he might or might not have been the best candidate, has unleashed a torrent of uncivil behavior in America. Trump is, whatever his strengths or weaknesses, a man who shows people that being rude and, well, basically immature in public is a strength. If the President can do it, why not the rest of us?

Jerk-y behavior has always been with us. It’s just been given a public platform by the current resident of the White House. That is pretty much unprecedented in our presidents, from whom both sides once expected at least a minimum level of maturity and public restraint. 

Not any longer. 

If you’re mentally ill and you already have InfoWars telling you that “they” (whomever “they”might be in your worldview) are coming to get your guns. give your job to immigrants, and take away your free speech, you’re already primed for uncivil behavior in public.

Now, for the first time, throw in a president for whom saying and doing whatever he wants, regardless of the circumstances, is a virtue and not a flaw, why in the world would anyone think that the Jeremy Christians of the world would not be more likely to act on their crazy impulses?

I’m not the first person to point any of this out. But I do think all of this needs to be repeated and stressed every time one of these incidents happens. 

Words and actions have consequences, especially for those who are already battling mental illness and/or alcoholism and drug abuse.

If those of us who are not mentally ill are screaming at one another in public, why should the mentally ill feel any need to restrain themselves at all?

“Free speech or die”: Portland stabbing suspect yells in court.


Diner owner under fire for yelling at misbehaving toddler

There are many seemingly intractable divides in our society: Israel, abortion — and whether parents should remove a misbehaving toddler from a restaurant:

child misbehavior
Marcy’s Diner owner Darla Neugebauer is interviewed by local Portland (ME) news about her yelling at the screaming child in her restaurant.

The owner of a Portland diner is defending her actions – and comments she made on social media – that have left many outraged.

Marcy’s Diner on Oak Street in Portland’s downtown is a busy place on the weekends. Owner Darla Neugebauer said that’s partly what led her to snap at a child on Saturday.

Neugebauer said the child’s parents had ordered three pancakes and then didn’t feed them to the girl, causing the child to cry loudly. After attempts to get the family to leave, or to take the girl outside, the diner owner said she slammed her hands down on the counter and told the girl to be quiet.

If a child screams in the forest and there are no bloggers there to witness it, can it still cause an uproar on Facebook?

I watched the clip below a couple of times and, while the actions of owner Darla Neugebauer might shock someone outside of New England, she doesn’t strike me as someone who is more menacing than just being a bit too brash for her own good — or for people outside of that part of the country.

I also wouldn’t have given the story legs by continuing it online.

Nonetheless, if the child had screamed for more than an hour, that seems well over the time limit required for Neugebauer to have simply offered crayons or a ramekin of Cheerios in an attempt to nicely quiet the child and make the meals of her other paying customers bearable. It appears the parents of the child in question had wrongly decided that they could react to the kid’s acting out in public in the same way they might do at home: let her scream until she wore herself out.

I was eating in a restaurant the other night and at the table next to me were what appeared to be a grandparent and parent, who seemed willfully unaware that the two toddlers with them were screaming and running around the other tables in the restaurant taunting one another and laughing. One child even ran into me and another person seated at another table. Everyone seemed annoyed by it but the two adults in a position to stop it.

Finally what appeared to be a manager of some sort came over and stood near the offenders’ table and glared at the parents and kids. They got the message— this time — and left.

I feel for parents whose kids act out in restaurants, crying or throwing tantrums. One more meal ruined by something that can be largely beyond your control no matter what non-parents think. What is not beyond their control is whether a misbehaving toddler rises to the level of ruining the dining experience of others around them.

Also, this was the “other top story” for the news broadcast that night? I wonder what that other story was? Perhaps a fight on Twitter over Ariana Grande licking donuts?

I had the video on live connect on this page, but it autostarts and that is annoying, especially since it starts so loudly.

Go to the link below to watch.

Source: Portland Diner owner under fire for yelling at toddler, Facebook posts