SLL WILL BE ON A BUSINESS TRIP FROM 3/2 TO 3/6 AND WILL BE UNABLE TO POST. POSTING WILL RESUME 3/7.
An autopsy, from Jim Quinn at theburningplatform.com:
“Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.” – H.L. Mencken, Notes on Democracy
I’ve written dozens of articles about the 30 Blocks of Squalor over the years. The 30 blocks are essentially from 69th Street to 39th Street encompassing the wretched potholed route from unsafe Upper Darby through the killing fields of West Philly. The fine union government workers in the Streets Department have consistently maintained Chestnut Street in a constant state of disrepair. Not that drivers notice.
When there is an accident on the Schuylkill Expressway in the morning I’m forced to run the 30 Blocks gauntlet down Chestnut Street. I’ve had to do it a few times in recent days. The expletives flowed in waves as I hit four unmarked craters in the center lane. These were not the common everyday West Philly potholes that pock the landscape like it’s the moon. At least if you see a local resident fishing in the pothole, you can avoid it.
These four separate craters were man made, or to be honest, created by a bunch of government union drones, not refilled with blacktop or marked with an orange cone. The question is whether this is utter incompetence, blatant indifference, spite or a business transaction between government drones and local tire dealers. Luckily, government traffic engineers have been too swamped to properly time the lights on Chestnut Street for the last 20 years, so no one can travel faster than 15 mph anyway. Government lessens the pain of their ineptitude through their ineptitude in another area. They call that a win win in Philly. As the light at 57th and Chestnut remains on blinking yellow for a week, it makes you wonder what pressing issues are occupying the fine highly compensated union Streets employees.
I’ve now been navigating the crumbling ghetto of West Philly for the last ten years. I can without equivocation state I have not seen one new private business open its doors on Chestnut Street, in Mantua, or any other area I travel in West Philly during the entirety of those ten years. The existing businesses – nail and hair salons, fast food joints, bars, liquor stores, porn video outlets, smoke shops, car washes, more bars, and hysterically tax return offices (earned income tax credits) – haven’t invested a dime in keeping up their appearances. Maybe they used all their spare cash to sure up the bars on their windows and the roll down steel gates necessary to keep the upstanding neighborhood honor student juveniles from having a little fun.
It appears there is an existential shortage of paint, hammers, garbage bags, wedding rings, and employed upstanding men taking responsibility for the children they father in West Philly. There is plenty of yellow crime scene tape, as West Philly accounts for a significant portion of Philadelphia’s 280 annual murders (up 13% in 2015). Houses originally well built in the 1950s and with some upkeep would still be fine homes, are in disrepair, with collapsing porches, dilapidated gutters and roofs, crumbling sidewalks, boarded up windows, and satellite dishes on every one. The lucky end units usually have a mural of black people doing great things, with trash, garbage and overgrown weeds underneath and black people not doing great things shuffling along the streets.
To continue reading: More Than 30 Blocks of Fiscal Irresponsibility