Yesterday over Portland the sun looked smaller, like a glowing red pearl in watery clam sauce. The state still has dozens of fires. The wind has calmed and it’s cool here as well, and the mist seems to hold less smoke, judging by its color and the absence (I think) of the faint scent of burning. Today the weather is indistinguishable from a June morning in Southern California other than the unnatural sunlight, now less red and more yellow. With the calming weather we are getting a break.
Rumors are flying about antifa setting fires and there are some arsonists in custody. So far they appear to be typical firebugs drawn by the spectacle but for one with some connection to antifa. The details of his arrest don’t suggest an organizational scheme but mental illness–he started a fire, called the cops and managed to talk himself into arrest on scene. Fragments have emerged on Twitter, from the right pushing the antifa arsonist line. There’s a Clackamas deputy Sheriff speculating here that people are staging accelerants and the like:
In another a young man shows photos of purported arsonists on the scene of a fire:
Arson in Oregon. pic.twitter.com/vPhz355VBt
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) September 12, 2020
Clackamas County, bordering to the south Portland’s Multnomah County, has been hard hit, and is American patriot turf–the fatal car caravan that resulted in the murder of Aaron Danielson originated there.
Antifa involvement need not be a conspiracy originating in leadership circles; the movement has produced or attracted God-knows how many unbalanced people, any of which might take it upon himself to start a fire.
Also, just as the dry summer weather and invasive bark beetles killing trees desiccated the landscape ahead of the fires, antifa’s summer terror has wrung the calm out of our psychological landscape, and it would be naïve not to assume it contributed to the pyromaniac element, whatever its dimensions. It seems certain the fires have at least attracted the kind of crazies we can expect, who may be more numerous and more crazy in our current environment of cop-hate and black-worship.
I found myself wondering recently what if we had a major emergency such as this and all of a sudden we all need the police as part of a disaster response. Here we have one and we see there’ll be no lessening in the campaign against police or softening of sentiment against them from the left, as well as evidence of just how much trust law enforcement has for the public has been degraded.
The media of course has leapt into action regarding arson-speculation, squelching the rumors before they spread, busy “debunking” the chatter on the ground with an FBI report, as if anyone really knows just yet. Whether it’s panic or not, it appears armed patriots are out in rural areas looking for potential arsonists, and a Clackamas County deputy sheriff is on leave for this recording advising “militia” members on escaping prosecution if they should take out an arsonist:
Sergio Olmos, antifa allied freelance journalist who’s been covering the Portland riots, was chased off by armed men near one fire, apparently for looking like antifa, and there are reports of roadblock checkpoints in Corbett, about twenty miles from Portland. All this will be presented as baseless panic in the media, but considering the rabid summer we’ve just endured, suspecting political terrorists are behind or taking advantage of this is hardly paranoid, and not nearly as crazy as the tenets of “systemic racism” and “reimagining policing”. Indeed, it would be more irresponsible to give no consideration to the possibility of political actors at least taking advantage of the chaos, than not.