Friday, March 10, 2006

Ee-i Ee-i Oh!

Ahh, for the yeoman farmer! Unlike Office Man, preoccupied with his "TPS Reports" and allergic to plaster, toner, and crabbing about his red Swingline stapler, the rural gentleman is the aristocrat of our bedrock agrarian class, indeed the rock on which the ship of state sinks or swims.

Yes, I come to praise the farmer, for in him alone resides the great and lasting values of free men. As Victor Davis Hanson writes,
What other profession is there now in this country where the individual fights alone against nature, lives where he works, invests hourly for the future, never for the mere present, succeeds or fails on the degree of his own intellect, physical strength, bodily endurance, and sheer nerve?

It may or may not be true that the French have no word for "entrepreneur," but they certainly have one for "Farmer," and there is no question which of those two things they respect and value. For here in America we are indeed overrun by people fiendishly and greedily starting new businesses, often with the sole (if unspoken) intent of putting fine old ones out of business, as if we needed a better mousetrap. Let the poor mouse have some food, you cruel harridan!

Yes, this is a point our European friends know too well. Small farms, brimming with expensive but high-quality local produce, consumer appetites kept in check and devoid of the harsh glare of the Wal-Mart Super Center, Europe indeed understands the value of its noble agrarian heritage. What does the entrepreneur, with his sleepless nights peckign at the keyboard, his years without salaries, his constant attempts to evade government regulators, waiting perhaps years to reap his "capital gains" (more like windfall profits!), what indeed has he to teach the farmer?

Yes, the Europeans know the score here. And well we should mind them, for while America's economy stagnates, Europe's religious faith is experiencing a profound rebirth, particularly in the most traditional and "strict" forms. Not to mention that they do it all without those hideous agribusiness subsidies.

Indeed, one need look no farther than 3,000 miles over the horizon to see how the health of the small local farmer is the health of the nation.

35 Comments:

Blogger Casey said...

Rod Dreher and John Miller at NRO have plugged this blog, correctly, as very funny.

I just hope Rod doesn't read some of my comments on the threads (wink).

10:26 AM  
Blogger Haggard said...

Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God, if ever he had a chosen people, whose breasts he has made his peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue. It is the focus in which he keeps alive that sacred fire, which otherwise might escape from the face of the earth.

-- Thomas Jefferson

6:24 AM  
Blogger kathleen said...

haggard, no doubt Jefferson wrote that in the comfort of his custom built home, taking a little break between inventions/experiments probably, while his SLAVES tilled the soil outside. rich, isn't it.

8:16 AM  
Blogger pgepps said...

Aye, lea' the wee, sleekit, tim'rous, cowerin' beastie some food, ye murderin' pattle-wieldin' farmer!

We all know mice are conservatives, anyway!

Cheers,
PGE

12:37 PM  
Blogger Emory said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Casey said...

Well, not all of Jefferson's slaves tilled the earth. One of them, apparently, tilled Jefferson himself.

Yes, I'll concede that the DNA case isn't completely proven.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Emory said...

For those of you with stomachs of steel who've actually read the entirety of this Walden-Pond-run-amuck (it took me two excrutiating days and five times as many martinis), did you catch RD bemoaning his ten-hour sedentary workday, fretting that he "can't see how it's sustainable" - without a hint of irony at the inevitable comparing of his editorial hours to the physically grueling, backbreaking days of the farmer he so idolizes. The saccharine, sentimental way he romanticizes farming is hilarious. The irony becomes ever more delicious when you consider this ludicrous gripe is in the last chapter entitled 'Waiting for Benedict' - the same Benedict of the famous Rule, whose strict, almost militaristic daily regime of work, study and prayer ("to work is to pray")puts even the poor farmer to shame.
I think Mr. Contra-Crunchy is really on to something - perhaps France, what with its government enforced maximum 35-hour-work-week, socialized medicine, and lazy farmers, is the PERFECT place for Mr. RD and his cabal of Crunchy Cons to thrive!

7:51 PM  
Blogger Emory said...

Just been informed I misspelt "excruciating" - chalk that up to my formative years of homeschooling...on a farm!

9:37 PM  
Blogger Casey said...

Kinda off the subject, but Dreher just posted an extract from his book that disses American suburban church architecture...because it's not as good as the architecture of the Chartres cathedral.

What's next, Rod? A dismissal of the neighborhood baseball field because it's not as big as Yankee Stadium?

Unfortunately, this comparison says a lot more about Rod's contempt for the suburbs than about any kind of architecture. Bruce Frohnen just chimed in with another priggish condemnation of those oh-so-tacky burbs. Of course, when it comes to selling his book in suburban Borders stores, Rod gets less contemptuous real fast.

At least some recent posts indicate that Dreher is aware of his, ah, inconsistencies. I think he's starting to realize how preachy, condescending, and insufferable the crunchblog often sounds to non-crunchies. But this trashing of the suburbs will grate even more on non-crunchy ears.

6:54 AM  
Blogger Casey said...

By the way, non-crunchy ears are a lot more comfortable than the crunchy variety.

7:36 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

By the way, Angelo Matera follows up Rod's praise of medieval Catholic excess by praising the xenophobic culture of prewar Japan.

Quoting a Propsect magazine article that Dreher cited, she writes that the entrepreneurs of 19th-century Japan "'identified with' and 'felt...personally' their commitment to Japan. Their intellects and emotions had been shaped by their culture, and it was the love of that culture that motivated them to do the right thing for their community."

Wasn't this the same love of culture that motivated their immediate descendents to invade Manchuria?

Ignore the validity that their points have: between the French economy, medieval Catholicism, and now Japanese nationalism, the crunchies are just brilliant when it comes to picking historical analogies.

Next, Dreher will write about the crunchiness of a well cultivated garden -- and will use Versailles as an example.

9:11 AM  
Blogger Casey said...

Yes, the hymn to imperial Japan was unfortunate. But nobody at NRO seems to bother any more with the crunchblog except the crunchies themselves. So the crunch crowd doesn't get even gentle feedback that a loving reminiscence of the regime which gave us Pearl Harbor might not work so well with many Americans.

I really have to wonder at the crunchies' tone-deafness sometimes. It seems that they just can't imagine how many people reading their blog would react to some of their wilder and crazier remarks.

Anyway, the crunchblog seems to be winding down. The hot new blog at NRO is the Phi Beta Cons blog. It's an education-themed hangout for all those much maligned mainstream conservatives like John Miller and Roger Clegg. They do not discuss veggie burritos.

11:18 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

Does that mean we're winding down, too?

12:38 PM  
Blogger The Contra Crunchy said...

Bubba,

So long as they crunch, I will munch. Like the butterfly my season is short, but glorious.

-CC

6:00 PM  
Blogger Casey said...

The crunchblog is still attracting some attention from non-crunchies at NRO. JPod got on the soapbox to denounce the crunchies' attitudes on housing.

Dreher replied with another swipe at those yucky suburbs (or exurbs as he likes to call them). You know, those terrible places where most Americans live. Just to make it a crunchy trifecta, Rod also praised keeping the wife at home and living in a small house.

Then Dreher bid a hasty bye-bye because he had to fly out for a speaking engagement. I assume he's flying on a crunchy plane, maybe one of the Wright brothers' later models.

At least the speaking engagement is a little crunchier than a book promo on Fox News or at Borders: he's talking at a private Catholic school called Belmont Abbey College. The subject? "Benedict, the Domestic Monastery and Media Barbarians of the Dark Ages."

It's hard, but I won't make any jokes about crunchies talking about the Dark Ages.

7:55 AM  
Blogger Casey said...

Rummaged through stories about Dreher's hated suburbs, and found this item from San Francisco, of all places: 51% of Americans prefer to live in the burbs, while only 13% want to live in Dreher's beloved urban centers. The rest wanted an even less urban existence in those super-yucky exurbs Dreher despises. The URL:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/01/29/INGHSGSE691.DTL

But what do we stupid run-of-the-mill Americans know? Rod Dreher says the burbs suck. So they gotta suck, right?

8:10 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

Looks like things are getting interesting again at the Crunchy Conservatives' Community Preservation blog.

Stegall just posted a fairly presumptuous email about how suburbanites are primarily concerned with impressing the neighbors, and -- thanks to Lopez/the NRO staff -- it's clear that at least one reader (who is himself crunchy) does not approve.

9:37 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

A few thoughts on the topic of housing, in no particular order.

1. Yesterday Bruce Frohnen suggested that the New Deal of all things was the cause of the change in how people live -- where and in what sort of dwelling:

"A return to towns that make sense, where work, play, schooling, shopping and sleeping are part of an integrated life, would be a return to the way Americans did things from the Puritans' landing up to the New Deal. I can't help but think that preserving the New Deal is not what conservatism is all about, and that conservatives who believe in the innovative powers of entrepreneurs ought to be able to escape from the massive, New Deal mindset that we have to split up our world into compartments that suit nobody but a few lazy developers and ideologues."

I will grant that our lifestyles changed dramatically around the time of the New Deal, and I can see how one would want to persuade conservatives to join a position by putting it in opposition to FDR's expansionist state, but correlation is not causation, and I fail to see how the Alphabet Soup of the New Deal led to the growth of suburbia.

In explaining the difference between American cities and European cities, a reader later hinted at what I think is one of the real causes for this change in lifestyle:

"Mass use of the automobile. The more walkable, eye-pleasing American cities were all built before truly widespread automobile ownership, starting after WWII (compare Houston to Boston). Almost all European cities were built before even Boston."

Why did our lifestyles change? In a word, TECHNOLOGY. More specifically, the automobile, electricity, the radio, and the telephone explain the lifestyle leap -- why homes in 1906 and 1956 barely resemble one another and why homes in 1956 and 2006 are in many ways only superficially different.

It has nothing to do with FDR and nothing to do with leftist architects from France.

As some evil soggy conservative put it, "Cars, the birth control pill, the Internet, and television have all done more to dissolve the iron chains of community and tradition than most of the acidic ideas of dangerous philosophers."

2. If Point #1 is true, just what in the hell does Rod Dreher and the others think we ought to do about it? Conceding for a moment the premise that reclaiming Mayberry is the goal to which we ought to strive, I have no faith that successfully reaching that goal would require anything less than an authoritarian regime -- a government that either dictates how we use our property to mitigate the changes wrought by the automobile or makes the automobile impossible to own for anyone but the anointed elite.

There's the occasional suggestion of free-market solutions, which I would quickly support, but does anyone here doubt that Dreher would abandon the principle of limited government if resurrecting Mayberry required such a sacrifice?

3. Before Stegall shot his mouth off (for the eleventeenth time), Frederica Mathewes-Green wrote something that caught my attention:

"I think the answer is that conservatives conserve (they care for the Old) and they value the Small, Local, and Particular (homes are smaller and cheek-by-jowl with neighbors)."

I think I've figured out what's so distateful about the crunchy attitude: it's similar to the anthropological Prime-Directive view that so many liberals seem to have about other cultures.

In Star Trek, the Prime Directive said, essentially, that advanced civilizations shouldn't interfere with civilizations that haven't broken the warp-speed barrier, and quite a few liberals apply that principle (and multiculturalism) to advocate keeping the third world in abject poverty: we shouldn't help such-and-such tribe get indoor plumbing because that would take away from their traditional meeting place at the well -- never mind that a cleaner source of water would improve the health of everyone in the tiny village, and let's dare not ask any of the mothers whether their daily get-together is worth her child's life.

I think we see the same attitude with the crunchies, applied to the rest of us instead of to some other culture. They think we should all live on farms or in homes that are "smaller and cheek-by-jowl with neighbors," because that's how they see the idealized version of America.

The question is, will they limit themselves to persuasion or are they willing to impose these values on the rest of us?

I think the answer's clear: the blog shows that they're hardly trying to persuade us now. Why would they try when they think we're such moral reprobates?

10:09 AM  
Blogger Casey said...

At least Stegall is controlling his rants to some degree, though JPod might disagree. Stegall hasn't called Podhoretz a Stalinist or "not quite human" at any rate. But once again the crunchies can't avoid turning people off with their snobbery and disdain.

The blunt fact is that most Americans live in the suburbs because they want to live there. When the crunchies rant against "strip malls" and "sprawl" and "McMansions", they're unnecessarily alienating most people in this country. They come off as snobby elitists gazing down their noses at us poor, clueless peasants who like suburban living. Or even exurban living, to use Dreher's favorite hate-word.

It would make far more sense for the crunchies to skip the rants and modestly propose solutions for what they see as problems. Do they want stricter zoning laws? Fine, argue the issue in a mild, rational manner and avoid the table-pounding condemnations of suburbia. Priggish, strident contempt won't convince anybody except a very small minority of true believers.

6:31 AM  
Blogger Casey said...

Frohnen just offered a perfect example of how clueless the crunchies are in making their case:

"But it seems to me a good thing to...present people with the argument that there is something better than strip malls and McMansions."

Bruce, ol' buddy, if you really want to present that argument, I advise you to drop the dripping-with-contempt hate-words about strip malls and McMansions. Otherwise, suburbanites (a.k.a. "most Americans") will just laugh you off...or tell you to take a flying leap. You really do come off like Captain Kirk gazing down upon an - in your view - primitive civilization, to use Bubba's very appropriate analogy.

Gawd, if the crunchies could only hear how they sound to other people...

6:52 AM  
Blogger Pauli said...

Casey nails it for me in this summary: "But once again the crunchies can't avoid turning people off with their snobbery and disdain."

Amen. This suburb-bashing and fear of sprawl is thinly-veiled prejudice and straw-man stereotyping. To us humble suburbanites, the rhetoric is no less offensive as racial slurs like "French people never bathe", "Blacks don't speak good English" and "Irish people have too many kids." I moved out of the city to the suburbs after I got married and had kids because of the insanity of my inner-city neighborhood. I don't have time to sit around and figure out a way to fix the urban squalor caused by 50+ years of bad management, labor union worship and Democratic party control - does anybody?

What would I sound like if I lived on a farm but condemned someone who gave up a 1.5 story bungalow on a 1/10-acre plot in a blighted, under-patrolled, crime-ridden urban area to move his family of 5 to a nicer, bigger house with a little bit bigger yard and less drug-dealing neighbors? This being what I did, I routinely hear it being termed a selfish move in crunchidom among other things. And these self-proclaimed moralists should know that we have better things to do in Midwestern suburbs than to sit around trying to impress each other. We work; maybe not as hard as farmers, but harder than these crunchy clowns.

I offer the left-handed congratulations to these guys for inventing the political correctness of the right.

7:39 AM  
Blogger Casey said...

Getting off the subject again, but something very intresting just happened on the crunchblog. Stegall approvingly quoted Maggie Gallagher's slam against Dreher for his - well, I'll say the word - hypocrisy:

"A true traditionalism would not be represented by people who move to Dallas, buy a nice bungalow and invite friends over for tasty organic cooked food."

I think everybody has noticed how Stegall occasionally nips at Dreher for his, let's say, inconsistency. (That sounds nicer than "hypocisy.") The first entry on this blog cleverly caught the tension between the two.

But this is as explicit as the conflict has gotten. I figured one of the anti-crunchies would sooner or later really rip Dreher for saying one thing and doing another. This is the closest we've come, and Stegall seems to agree with the rip.

Will true believer Stegall, the Carrie Nation of daycare centers, go after Dreher for selling his book at Borders? It could happen, and it would make the crunchblog a lot livelier.

Of course, Dreher could rip back at Stegall for being, gasp, a lawyer instead of a dirt farmer. This could get to be fun.

7:51 AM  
Blogger Casey said...

Shucks, Stegall seems to have backed off from his approving quote of Maggie Gallagher's attack on Dreher. He just posted a long e-mail that rambled on about many things but ended with a defense of Dreher from Gallagher.

Still, I have to think that Stegall would just love to challenge Dreher on how he's marketing his book, among other strayings from the righteous path of crunchiness.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

I wouldn't be surprised if Stegall tried to run Dreher out of the crunchy church for being less than pure; I truly should stop being surprised at all by any of his antics, as yesterday he pretty much said outright that suburbanites are evil.

What surprises me is that there's nothing in response to that post. I'm not sure what to make of that.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Pauli said...

Bubba noted:
> [Stegall] pretty much said outright that
> suburbanites are evil.

Bubba, I don't know if Stegall ever says anything outright. :) But he definitely insinuated it in this post where he reiterates the crunchy line that a moral judgment should be attached to every simple human action. For example, it seems like I'm supposed to believe that the horizontal architecture of my split-level suburban house is not only offensive to his superior tastes, but offensive to Almighty God who created the Heavens and Earth in the Byzantine-Romanesque style - especially the Heavens part.

Stegall is really starting to remind me of the famous Longfellow quote, "Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad." His assertions in this case seem to be, if I'm not going crazy myself, that we suburbanite sub-humans have a disordered "love" of strip-malls, McMansions (tone-deaf slur meter just went off) and that ol' devil, sprawl.

The way I look at it is this. The way to deal with a strip mall isn't to blow it up in a wild, vengeful fury of crunchiness. Just extend the strip mall a few blocks, put one of the same size across the street, put a traffic light at each end, a supermarket down one side street and a church down another, school down another…. Plant some trees, let 50 years go by and voila! you got yourself a little town. Granted it's not Rome, Venice or Paris, but "Rome wasn't built in a day" as they say.

The retort might be "yeah, but no one does this. They just let everything continue to sprawl all over the place, blah, blah, blah." Ok - well then you go do it - take all your book royalties or client fees, take out a loan and actually become part of the process. You show us how it’s done, bro. Build us a crunchy, convivial place to live.

You could even zone part of the town as a place to slaughter chickens when you get the urge.

11:33 AM  
Blogger G.J. said...

Pauli doesn't want to do any really challenging work, but the Crunchies should:

PAULI: "I moved out of the city to the suburbs after I got married and had kids because of the insanity of my inner-city neighborhood. I don't have time to sit around and figure out a way to fix the urban squalor caused by 50+ years of bad management, labor union worship and Democratic party control - does anybody?"

AND THEN:

PAULI: "The way to deal with a strip mall isn't to blow it up in a wild, vengeful fury of crunchiness. Just extend the strip mall a few blocks, put one of the same size across the street, put a traffic light at each end, a supermarket down one side street and a church down another, school down another…. Plant some trees, let 50 years go by and voila! you got yourself a little town. Granted it's not Rome, Venice or Paris, but "Rome wasn't built in a day" as they say.

The retort might be "yeah, but no one does this. They just let everything continue to sprawl all over the place, blah, blah, blah." Ok - well then you go do it - take all your book royalties or client fees, take out a loan and actually become part of the process. You show us how it’s done, bro. Build us a crunchy, convivial place to live."

12:25 AM  
Blogger G.J. said...

Serious question followup:

How might CCs get their own stalwart 10% (without alienating others) and persuade people like Pauli--prior to his suburbanization--to address these sensible concerns posted from an emailer on CCblog:

"The difference between modern American mobility and the old frontier is that the modern version is about running away from perceived risks and threats. Barring the semi-mythical sociopaths who were always looking for "more elbow room" or to escape the sound of axes and the presence of neighbors (Daniel Boone, "Pa" Ingalls, and Cooper's Leatherstocking), frontiersmen and settlers in the old west went toward threats and took risks, generally with the goal of settling a place so they could cease moving. Contemporary suburban man tends to have this desire to escape others (as well as taxes but not expensive services and infrastructure) but with little tolerance for risk, danger, and delayed gratification.

"As someone who lives on a crimeless block in a still seedy but slowly gentrifying neighborhood, and as someone who makes it his business as a free citizen to deter and fight crime, I personally have a very hard time not expressing utter contempt for the weakness of white flight suburbanites who compensate for their reactive life of fear and insecurity with SUVs and the idea they are being responsible, mature adults with their obsessions about property values and school district SAT scores. Bad neighborhoods don't just magically improve. It's not an abstract function of the market. It has a lot to do with financial and personal investment in a lot of hands-on risk and adventure. It can be lots better than the fearful imagine, and it bothers me to no end that among my neighbors who agree with all this, there are hardly any who would identify as conservative, although the most sensible ones see the feckless incompetence and fear of facing urban realities in many liberal politicians and talking heads. There are lost opportunities here in more ways than one."

And much earlier, this one from another TNPer was never answered:

"Early on, I found myself wondering if this very academic (and certainly brilliant) discussion can get any traction, or even a hearing, with the red-state rank and file. Who exactly is this book and discussion for?

"I live in a Midwestern city that was dominated, built and deconstructed by socialists for most of the twentieth century. (Rather crunchy and substantially conservative, religious and natalist socialists, many of whom were co-opted by the New Deal.) The city's history since the 60s is the familiar rustbelt story: post-industrial economic collapse; the turn to irresponsible and violent radicalism in the civil rights and countercultural movements; the flight of the white and black middle class; the proliferation of guns, drugs, and despair in the broken underclass communities left behind; the pathetic dance of cajoling and bribery between "protest-identity" minority demagogues and white liberals. Apart from a steady, bipartisan voting-with-one's-feet withdrawal movement, the general response to these events has been inchoate libertarianish reaction driven by cynicism and resentment on the right alongside denial and nostalgic statist dreaming on the left. Each feeds the other in the paralysis of a short-sighted politics of reaction.

"Generally political disputes reduce to taxation, and this is indeed one of the most highly taxed states. On one side are those who want to pay as little as possible to perceived (and often real) sources of dysfunction and corruption. On the other side are those who think social spending is the only answer to every problem. Politics on the right focus on an understandable but profoundly unhealthy, deep-seated, and highly racialized fear and loathing of the city (our state's economic hub) that they've all but abandoned. The left ignores the material realities of the inner city and economic infrastructure to sermonize about tolerance and diversity.

"As witnessed by an extensive network of conservative bloggers in my region, the primary discontent with the GOP at the national level is that it is not serious about small government. Aside from city-suburb conflicts, the most beloved regional conservative political initiatives center on downsizing and tax cuts at the county and state level, including initiatives that actually increase spending and bureaucracy in order to legislate taxing and spending constraints on legislators! Now it may be clear to crunchy cons of an urbanist stripe that this rust-belt world of sub/exurban conservatism has a drunken incoherence all its own, but it's far from clear to conservatives who are not already in the crunchy choir. Ideas of community and common good are not in the political discourse because of our culturally balkanized situation. I have a hard time seeing how "crunchy cons" can even begin to penetrate these kind of on-the-ground realities."

1:29 AM  
Blogger Pauli said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:03 PM  
Blogger Pauli said...

Gas. Jape wrote:

> Pauli doesn't want to
> do any really challenging
> work, but the Crunchies should:

Oh Jape, thou hast searched me, and known me... NOT. I paid my dues in the city. A few examples are in order:

1) I bought my house for $70k. Added a bath & bedroom, roof, patio. Many other improvements. Just appraised for $102,000.00. Challenging? I'd never done any of that before. Let the jury decide.

2) I went to the crime watch meetings in the area pretty regularly. Offered my pad for a cop perch for apprehending criminals. Met the cops. Kept up on what was happening.

3) I lent my neighbor $1,000.00 after he told me he needed money for his family. Paid back $600.00. He had a gambling problem. I tried.

4) I was propositioned in my own driveway. I said "no", but gave her some dough so her big, fat pimp wouldn't beat her up. (He actually banged on my car window.)

5) I ran out in the street with a camera to take a picture of a guy who just bought drugs in front of my house. He throws it in reverse. I walked right up to the car, he rolls down the window and pretends to ask directions. Then peels out.

6) I come home there's a car in the driveway and some guys running toward me. I left my car behind them, I got into their car and said "Wow, thanks for the car bros", I get out and call the cops on my cel phone and bust them - turns out they're running. Didn't need my 9, thank God.

Speaking of God, are you a priest or do you just play one on the internet?

6:59 AM  
Blogger G.J. said...

Good for you, except for the cash handouts. I surely understand how urban psychosis/burnout can set in--I take it you got tired and that was the rationale for suburbanization. But it fascinates me that in this somewhat common scenario, other less "blighted" city neighborhoods are not considered. I guess it is the assumption that the burbs, or certain burbs are virtually crime free. For a time. Maybe.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Pauli said...

Since when is a loan a handout, Japey?

Help me folks, Bubba, Kathleen, et al. Do you think I said to myself "Damn - I got to move to them thar suburbs. I'm going CRAZY from this urban thing!! I CAN'T TAKE IT!!!"

Or do you think we went driving around looking for houses, some in the city, some in the country, some in the suburbs until we found something suitable for our family?

And what's funny is what you learn at the crime watch meetings. Like the fact that the utopian "other less blighted" parts of the city are just the next target. The ex-cop that ran the meetings was always reiterating this, mostly in defense of the police's delayed responses to the flare-ups. The other thing that you learn is if you want criticism of a city, a white dude like me cannot possibly hold a birthday candle to what those 50-80 year old black church ladies who can't afford a house in the burbs say. "They ought to burn those projects down!!", "They ought to give him life with no parole, but he's walking!!"

It's all about law enforcement, Japey, can't you guys see that? The liberal judges have got to be replaced. The concerned citizens are not part of the machine that keeps them in power, and that machine is not conservative.

8:22 PM  
Blogger G.J. said...

How did we jump into all this? I think the only relevant point here is that you, Pauli, and your experience is not representative of anything except a kind of failure. You can dress it up and justify it--you really can justify it, I'm not arguing with that. But it is still a failure on its own terms, a failure to achieve the goals you originally had. You can blame external agents, and they might even be 99.9% of the blame. But to tip your experience over into some kind of general template for urban settlers is beyond cynical. Because you failed, all will fail, so lets damn anyone who suggests trying as hopeless romantics, etc.?

Yeah, every other neighborhood is "the next target." Actually, sometimes the suburbs are the next target. As the oldest suburbs decline in value, police tend to help the natural movement of the underclass in that direction. What's the common trait here: mobility. Trouble moves and others run.

I know and very much like "those 50-80 year old black church ladies who can't afford a house in the burbs." But the fact is, they don't want a house in the burbs. They have deep roots where they are. That is the tragedy of it.

You think I'm not aware of crime problems and liberal judges? THis is exactly what I was trying to engage you on:

"The concerned citizens are not part of the machine that keeps them [liberal judges] in power, and that machine is not conservative."

WHY NOT?! Because conservatives chicken out and run away.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Bubba said...

One genuinely wonders if our psuedo-priest here lives in the most crime ridden area he could find, or if his desire to live in relative peace and security is yet another hypocrisy that he the annointed can enjoy.

6:31 AM  
Blogger G.J. said...

I move around a lot, but my main headquarters for many years would probably scre you plenty. The dumb crime is abating, however, as it has become "organized" under my spiritual and logistical direction.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Bubba said...

As any good crunchy will tell you, those who move around alot epitomize selfishness. And it may be the case that you're a still being a bit hasty in drawing conclusions about the lives of people you do not know.

Anyway, I'm sure you think crime is a lot smarter under your watchful eye; you're a regular Corleone.

Fredo Corleone.

2:00 PM  

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