Tag: Los Angeles

David Spady on LA, Stupid People, DACA, and the NFL

 

David SpadyDavid Spady returns to Whiskey Politics where we discuss if Los Angeles and California can afford the Olympics, the national debt just hit $20 trillion and all we got was this lousy t-shirt (what the heck are Republicans doing to reduce the debt?), Annenberg’s study showing just how stupid people really are, Trump, Pelosi, and Schumer, DACA, and tax reform. Will Trump get a bad deal, and is the Kaepernick effect causing lower ratings and empty stadiums?

Sorry, LA, But You’re Hosting the Olympics

 

The new Olympics aquatics center in Rio de Janeiro, six months after the games.

On Monday, the International Olympics Committee “awarded” the 2024 Summer Games to Paris and the 2028 Summer Games to Los Angeles. The leaders of both cities were thrilled at the announcement, pointing to the honor, legacy, and other unmeasurable vagaries the Olympics will bring. But hosting the five-ring circus hasn’t worked out well in modern history:

Los Angeles Says, “Goodbye, Columbus”

 

Today the Los Angeles City Council voted 14-1 to replace the celebration of Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. Thus, Los Angeles joins a number of other progressive cities including Phoenix, Portland, Seattle, Denver, Minneapolis, Berkeley, and Santa Cruz in kicking Christopher Columbus to the curb in favor of indigenous peoples. The Los Angeles effort was led by Councilman Mitch O’Farrell who is a proud member of the Wyandotte tribe.

I must admit I don’t fully understand the infantile fascination and celebration by progressives of societies and peoples described variously as Native American, Indigenous Peoples, Indians (politically incorrect) or Pre-Columbian Americans (PCA’s) as some sort of numinous people. Mr O’Farrell in making the case for this change stated the following;

“Christopher Columbus’ legacy of extreme violence, enslavement, and brutality is not in dispute. Nor is the suffering, destruction of cultures, and subjugation of Los Angeles’ original indigenous people, who were here thousands of years before anyone else”.

O.J. and Us

 

The cover image on iTunes for the Academy Award winning documentary series “O.J. Simpson: Made in America” is a dripping glove in the design of the stars and stripes. It perfectly captures the message of the series — the “trial of the century” was really a reflection of America’s sins.

So, yes, the history of the Rodney King beating, the Watts riots of 1965, Mark Fuhrman’s disgusting racist language, and every curse, slap, and traffic stop ever suffered by a black American at the hands of the police is part of the gloomy backdrop of the Simpson case.

But that is far from the whole story. The film would have been less interesting if that were all there was to it. Certainly the filmmaker Ezra Edelman (the bi-racial son of Children’s Defense Fund founder Marion Wright Edelman and law professor Peter Edelman) places the O.J. case within the context of black/white tensions in Los Angeles and in America generally. The jury’s indifference to the evidence is juxtaposed with the grainy video of Rodney King’s tormentors, undated black-and-white images of police roughing up black suspects, and even stills of lynchings. One of the jurors looks straight into the camera and declares that in acquitting Simpson “we took care of our own.”

Richard Epstein looks at how both federal interference and local regulations conspire to drive up the cost of housing.

Victor Davis Hanson explains how political and cultural changes in California have eroded the state’s status as a national leader.

The Obamaville Olympics?

 

I live near Los Angeles’s most infamous green space, the titular grounds of what may be the strangest hit in pop song history (the original hit № 2 on the charts in 1968 for Richard Harris — yes, the actor Richard Harris — while the more famous rendition by Donna Summer topped the charts a decade later). MacArthur Park has seen a lot of problems in the 15 years I’ve lived near it. In that time, it has gone from a No Man’s Land where gangs — notably the 18th Street Gang and Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), two infamous international criminal organizations with roots in the area — would sell drugs and dump bodies in the lake, to the vital heart of the mostly densely populated area of the country west of the Mississippi River. The area, known as Westlake (because the lake was on Los Angeles’s western periphery about a century ago), is home to Central American immigrants, many of them illegals, though also some Koreans priced-out of neighboring Koreatown.

Many groups have sought to rehabilitate MacArthur Park, making the area a safer, more livable place for some of Los Angeles’s poorest residents by encouraging families, especially mothers, to use the park en masse. The strategy worked: The presence of moms, kids, and even intact families in the park and on the adjacent streets has gone a long way toward reducing crime and changing the neighborhood for the better. But, in the last year or so, a new problem has shown up in MacArthur Park and the surrounding streets that has beaten back the families and made the streets more dangerous: the tents. In the past few years, homeless encampments and tent villages have proliferated across Los Angeles. The city has always has a massive homelessness problem, so much so that it even became the ultimate punchline of the 2007 South Park episode “Night of the Living Homeless.”

Richard Epstein describes how government interventions have driven the Golden State’s housing prices to extraordinary heights.

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At my polling place in central Los Angeles, there were already about two dozen people in line when I arrived just before the polls opened at 7 A.M. Voting moved slowly thanks to a whopping seventeen ballot initiatives – with more than a couple of the vaguely-worded “funding for students and education” ones that always […]

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Attention southern California Ricochetti – I’ll be emceeing at The Magic Castle in Hollywood December 5 – 11. If you’re in the area and interested in passes to this private club, leave a comment here and I’d be happy to make arrangements. You can learn more about the Magic Castle at its website or watch a clip […]

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“Why a Hoodie?” She Asks

 

shutterstock_396473320My latest contribution over at PJ Media concerns the circus atmosphere that sometimes prevails at the Los Angeles police commission’s weekly meetings. The local chapter of the Black Lives Matter movement, most of whom are unburdened by employment or other responsibilities, have been making regular appearances at these meetings, taking advantage of the public comment portion to harangue the commissioners and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.

As I explain in the piece, the police commission is composed of five members appointed by the mayor, who selects them not for their expertise on law enforcement matters, of which they have none, but rather for their ability to satisfy an unwritten but steadfastly observed “diversity” formula. “But this diversity,” I write, “as is most often the case when the term is used today, does not extend to a diversity of thought or political opinion, only of race, sex, and sexual orientation. As it’s currently composed, the police commission is uniformly liberal, albeit with some members leaning farther to the left than others.” Thus on the commission can be found two white men (one of whom is gay), a black man, an Asian woman, and a Hispanic woman.

The piece got a bit long, so I didn’t include all I might have. But in watching the video of the May 10 police commission meeting I was struck by a colloquy between Commissioner Sandra Figueroa-Villa and two department officials who had made a presentation on how the LAPD investigates officer-involved shootings. So revealing was this exchange that I wanted to present it here. The presentation included a news report on an exercise conducted at the LAPD academy which demonstrated how these investigations are conducted. In the exercise, a pair of officers respond to a radio call, upon arrival at which they are fired upon by a man armed with a handgun. The officers return fire and kill the man.

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Threats like the one sent to our two largest school districts yesterday should be handled by mayors in consultation with the police and the FBI. In other words, it’s a job for professionals, not school superintendents more equipped to crack down on peanuts and Star Wars t-shirts. A glance at New York City’s and Los Angeles’ […]

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So I stole most of that head line, but this is an interesting article.  There’s enough background in the article so you won’t have to search the internet for the back story of LA’s theatre union woes. I’m interested to hear from the Libertarians (you’ll know the line in the article when you get to […]

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L.A.’s $15 Minimum Wage: Great for Government Workers, Bad for Everyone Else

 

1973900_ME_garcetti_wage_GMKWhen I think about California, I think the best thing is to paraphrase historian Richard Cobb’s famous quip about France: “Wonderful state, California… pity about the Californians.”

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Municipal Star Chamber (a.k.a. City Council) voted 14-to-1 to follow Seattle over a fiscal cliff and increase the city’s minimum wage to $15/hour (given that California law does not allow workers earning tips to be paid less than the minimum wage, that means waitstaff would earn fifteen dollars plus tips.) The city’s non-Mexican, anti-American Mexican-American mayor Eric Garcetti has been fervently pushing for Los Angeles to commit economic seppuku since taking office, and he has gotten his way. One can only assume the one holdout vote simply wanted a more reasonable living wage of $100/hour.

While The New York Times cheers this lunacy on, anyone with half-a-brain would know that this scheme is madness. Of course, the collective population of much of Los Angeles can barely cobble together a third of a cerebellum, so it is entirely understandable that this nonsense would pass in a town as overwhelmingly stupid as this one. But what is the real aim? Well, the unions were the real drivers of this wage hike, so that should explain everything. After all, there are only three major industries that remain unionized in L.A.: the entertainment industry (which is coughing up blood like a consumptive); the public school teachers; and the government employees. As the first group really does not have to worry about making minimum wage once it secures union membership, the latter two unions are certainly the real culprits.

Your Tax Dollars at Work (for Those Who Don’t)

 

shutterstock_151870730On Thursday, the Los Angeles Times told of a report from the City Administrative Officer titled “Homelessness and the City of Los Angeles.” Among the revelations in the report is that 15 different city agencies and departments spend more than $100 million each year on providing services to the homeless. “In July 2014,” the report says, “the Mayor pledged to end veteran homelessness by December 2015 and chronic homelessness in Los Angeles by December 2016.” As with any report from any government bureaucracy, this one says these goals will be achieved through the spending of even more money to be extracted from the taxpayer.

The report also contained recommendations, including this: “Treatment of the homeless with dignity, and clarity on their rights.”

Dignity and rights, they say. Well, sure, who isn’t for dignity and rights? But reading the report put me in mind of interactions I’ve had with some of the city’s homeless people, about whom “dignified” is not among the first thousand adjectives one would use to describe them. Here is a story about one of them:

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It seems that every time I write something for Ricochet, my thoughts are bent towards the job market, the economy, or Labor and Union issues. I’m afraid that this time is no different. I’ve written before about how my conservative principles are often at conflict with the labor market that I work in.  This is […]

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Winning Back America by Ignoring the Parts You Hate

 

Remember a few years back when the media was stocking up on smelling salts over Sarah Palin’s reference to small towns as “the real America?” Truth be told, I was never warm to that formulation. As a matter of crass politics, a winner never disowns huge segments of the electorate. I also disagreed with the idea on principle. I think a lot of us at Ricochet know what Palin was trying to say: that there are parts of the country where earnest patriotism is regarded as gauche. I’m all for attacking that attitude when it specifically arises, but applying it as an undifferentiated slight does a disservice to a big chunk of the country.

Still, if the media’s outrage had to do with the content rather than the speaker, they’d be taking to their fainting couches over the latest column from (West Virginia native!) Michael Tomasky, whose new piece at the Daily Beast drops the mask about how leftists really feel about the South; namely, that it is populated by untermenschen. After referring to the region as a “reactionary, prejudice-infested place” (the evidence for which comes from Louisiana’s rejection of Mary Landrieu in last weekend’s Senate runoff), Tomasky lets fly with an olympian expectoration:

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Randy Weivoda and I are both planning meetups for the weekend of Oct. 4-5.  His is in Duluth, mine is in LA.  Rob Long is threatening to plan one soon in D.C., and there will also be one on Nov. 8 in Ft. Lauderdale with Barkha Herman. So now that we’ve got most of the […]

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