Dark Palms

Our Long Winter continues…

Engaging Los Angeles politics as a citizen or homeowner is to face the limits of patience. I offer a small illustrative example from the Special Election in District 6 to replace Nury Martinez:

Dakota Smith of the Times asked the candidates in a recent forum what the proper staffing level of LAPD should be. Who says we’re not talking about public safety? See, the box is being checked. Look!  

In an exercise of pure conjecture, the progressives proffered fake numbers: 9700, 9200, 8500, abolition. None of it mattered. Left unaddressed was the wee inability of the LAPD currently to recruit at all.  We are losing 50 officers a month to attrition. The recent Academy class was 27, a number only achieved under relaxed physical standards and lenient background screens following a billboard and online recruiting drive.

So, having installed a Soros D.A. and a Police Chief who banned the Blue Lives Matter flag from all precincts and tolerated a Mayor who literally kneeled before BLM and called them murderers, having de-criminalized theft, assault and civic disorder, having emptied the jails and closed four prisons; having incentivized miscreants to refuse handcuffs and turn any garden variety police encounter into a Jerry Springer-like throwdown for the benefit of social media, Los Angeles is discovering fewer and fewer are willing to sign up and now draws an academy class of 5’3″ single mothers and middle-aged recovered alcoholic ex-cops from the Midwest looking to put hay in the barn for retirement.  Six foot 23 year olds with proper upper body strength and cardio fitness? Not so much.

In a reasonable media environment the obvious question would be, if the veterans are taking early retirement or transferring to Idaho and young, fit men are not replacing them, what policy changes do you intend to make?  But our world is not reasonable and the Times does not ask. Instead the candidates are invited to play rotisserie baseball and everyone gets a pass.

So let me be the one to say it: an inverted recruitment curve is a bit like eating the seed corn. A city might get away with it for a few years, but the remorseless mathematics of scarcity take over.  Los Angeles has reached the inflection point of triaging 911 calls for lack of personnel. Is the iceberg next?

Thomas Andrews, in life as in film, could have been undone by pride as the ships designer. Instead of denying the obvious to save face for a few hours, he persuaded people to board the life boats immediately, sparing hundreds of lives.

This might be a good time to ask: who is our Thomas Andrews?  Where is is he? She? They? Public safety is the first obligation of the state. Without it, there is no commerce. Reduced commerce, lower tax base. Fewer stores and restaurants call into question the price point for houses. Zillow beckons. Starlink. Amazon. The frontier. The next great American metropolis may prove a virtual one, where people live on farms and trade direct to consumer  beef for solar panels.

I’m an urban guy. I kind of liked my city. In 2019.

Is there no one running for office or holding a position of influence willing to acknowledge our bulkheads have been breached?  Perhaps not yet five, but do we really want to put ourselves to the test?

8 thoughts on “Dark Palms”

  1. We had a house in Venice and left 2 years ago. We made a good profit and bought a house in Sarasota Florida. Why did we leave? Home owners had no rights in Los Angeles while the homeless had all rights. The police were not permitted to enforce existing laws and the homeless came in droves. We had homeless encampments on both sides of the street and when we saw a young mother pushing her baby carriage in the middle of the road because she could not use the sidewalk we knew it was time to leave. Florida feels safe. Even thought people are allowed to carry guns none are being used illegally. There have been two instances where burglars entered houses only to be carried out dead. The word gets out and there is less crime. I feel safe! In Maslows hierarchy of needs this is the second most important need after food.

    1. You could market an entire town around the principle of “we carry you out if you burgle”. This may be the future model for retirement communities.

    2. “Even thought people are allowed to carry guns none are being used illegally.”

      Californians were once aloud to carry guns. If SB-2 passes another bulkhead will be breached.

  2. If fight is giving way to flight and you’re ready to vote with your feet, you need to broaden your scope of potential destinations. I just returned from Mexico City where I successfully acquired my immigration documents. (It’s not that hard. I did it in three weeks.) At a certain point one region’s decline is balanced by another’s quiet relative rise. Mexico has plenty of problems just like the US. But there are islands of civility and gracious urban living at a favorable currency exchange rate in Polanco, Roma Norte, Condesa, Coyoacán… It’s a failure of imagination to settle for a gated community on the outskirts of Boise or Nashville when you could enjoy a world class city instead.

    1. Work takes me to Mexico City somewhat regularly… indeed the area by the National Auditorium is a pleasant oasis. That being said, we drive through some pretty rough areas to get there…

      …the point being, is “world class city” living an illusion? Cities seem to possess a gravitational pull towards suffering and misery. Something about man’s tendency towards self-destruction after building monuments to his greatness? I honestly don’t know…

      I’m going the opposite way. Looking for land far from any city. It’s a bit of an illusion itself, as I’ll still be dependent upon an electrical grid and grocery stores… but I can guarantee no homeless encampment is going to pop up outside my front door, and criminals will be dealt with as needed… they might not ever leave the property.

      1. Well, you needn’t be dependent on the electrical grid in this day and age. However, most people trying to make a transition to country life are paying for it with remote work or home businesses that are dependent on social media or online banking services. These can be disconnected in a moment’s notice for political reasons by unaccountable forces. The Canadian truckers being an obvious example.

  3. i check in on this blog occasionally to see how things compare to my home in nyc. it’s equally nuts here. the subways have become rolling homeless hotels. i see the poor petrified tourists with their scrubbed children sitting across from some pathetic sleeping derelict on my daily commute. the drugstores now have locked plexiglass across their shelves. i’ve been here most of my life. my family is here. if i could figure out the economics, i’d move in a new york minute.

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