A Nightmare in the Pacific Northwest

People who say "love is love" are morons.  Living in Washington taught me that.  They never ask "how" or "for whom," and they somehow have the idea that you can just love, and everything will turn out great.

If they'd ask questions, it wouldn't be so simple.  For instance, is politics — one of the dirtiest and most unscrupulous games we play — love?  Aren't you fighting for somebody when you're fighting somebody else?  Can you love a criminal and a victim at the same time?  Isn't love a choice toward one person or one group of people and an exclusion of some others?  When you marry a woman and make a baby with her, don't you have an obligation to your family — and not to a family in Mexico?  And how far can you go with it?  Does your love for your family mean you can do whatever you want with somebody else's?  Isn't love the source of all hate?  Is love the same thing as lust?  Can real love happen only without lust?  What if you love yourself?  What if you didn't — would that make you a better person?  Would we even survive if we were "better" people?

Not to make things too difficult, but if we don't think difficult things, then we experience worse — and we drag the people we love through it, too.  Washington is experiencing this right now, a kind of political Christianity without heaven or salvation or Jesus and thus leading to Hell.  In other words, it's a reaching out to the worst of us and finding out that in order to love them, we would have to hate the best of us.  Jesus Christ said that unless a man hates his father and his mother he cannot follow me.  This is a hard saying, but no harder than unless a man hates an upstanding family, he cannot love a junkie.

This is exactly what we're finding out right now.  My case in point takes place in Bellingham, a once-idyllic college town way north of Seattle.  It may have been the colleges that ruined it.  One moment they were doing fine, and then someone started asking what they could do for the downtrodden.  Next thing you know, the downtrodden are arriving en masse, and people are getting robbed, and feces is darkening the streets, and the mayor gets chased out of City Hall by Antifa.  This last part seems like rhetoric, but it's the literal history.  You can see things like it on video, and the cops, standing against hordes of ugly green-haired gender-fluid youngsters, stood by and took a beating over it.

But the city is a bird's-eye view of the tragedy — a catastrophe made digestible with statistics, and painful stories that get smoothed into pie charts.  When you get up close, it looks very different — like Yeager's, a sporting goods store that's clean and friendly and family-run for over a hundred years, currently manned by a woman, and a good one, who recently lost her husband to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

This owner, to any upright person, is exactly the kind of woman you want for a neighbor and a fellow citizen.  She works her own family business and loves God and raised five great kids and pays her taxes and would be respected, I think, by the best of our ancestors.  I've known her for a long time, and I can't think of anybody better to go to church with, or to leave my kids with, or whom I'd be prouder to have in office.  Her son asked to keep her name secret, so we'll call her Pam.

Pam's been running Yeager's for years now, and you can see her featuring locals on her Facebook page, and throwing sales on hard-to-find items.  But lately things have changed.  Instead of featuring locals, she's featuring more criminals.  Her son (whose official job is managing the ski and paddle section) spends most of his time in loss prevention, and he apprehends junkies and lowlifes almost constantly.

Recently he caught a bum and was told to "call the cops; they won't do anything anyway."  And they won't.  The city of Bellingham won't prosecute many minor offenses, and the criminals walk free, maybe back to Yeager's, maybe to another mom-and-pop store until whole families drown as even Walmart did in Portland.  None of her children has been stabbed or shot.  But the likelihood increases every year as strangers with nothing to live for keep stealing from families worth living in.

A couple of men broke in recently and stole a thousand dollars' worth of stuff.  Before that, others stole $6,000, and before that, others stole $3,000.  But like the pie charts and statistics, the dollar sign obscures the real meaning of the offense.  As such, it wasn't a number out of a vault or an account, but the bread and butter off the family plate.  Every burglary that happens to Yeager's drives Pam closer and closer to red ink.  Every thief is chipping away at the hard work and love and investment of generations — from the legacy of grandparents to the inheritance of grandchildren.  And none of the above burglaries, she says, was covered by insurance.

The men and women who know how to provide for others are being bankrupted by the men and women who know how only to steal from others — to ruin others, to drown whole families without apology, without mercy, without conscience.  A burglary used to happen every five or so years at Yeager's.  This year, they've had five.  And there's nobody coming to save them.  According to KING 5 news, judge Debra Lev wants to give all non-violent offenders counseling and more benefits instead of jail time.  She calls this "restorative justice," an attempt to make everyone whole except victims.

What's most frustrating is that these junkies are backed by a self-righteous mob — a mob that asks for more tent cities for junkies, for fewer rules for junkies, for more money for junkies.  This in the end leads Bellingham to more junkies.  When the police try to clear out the encampments, they get hooted and pelted by hordes of the "compassionate."  They are, in essence, armies of people compassionate to lone deadbeats and junkies and openly cruel to mothers and children.

I wonder how long good families can survive in Bellingham.  And if they can't, how long it will be until families take matters into their own hands — and whether the city and the media will actively prosecute them first.

Jeremy Egerer is the author of the troublesome essays on Letters to Hannah and welcomes followers on Substack.  Email him at letterssubscription@gmail.com to get a free copy of his essays, or to see what he says next.

Image via Needpix.

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