Friday, 12 January 2018

How to Recognize That You Live in a S**thole

I don't profess to have a PhD or have been a member of some s**thole foundation....but I've traveled enough to note general circumstances.  This is how to recognize your community, city or county has fallen, and can't get up:

1.  A large segment of the local population think that the overall leadership is corrupted.  Maybe not fifty-percent or more....but to the idea that one out of every three people think the authority in charge can't make ethical decisions anymore.

2.  To accomplish s**thouse status, you really need a news media which refuses to address the problems. This usually means that murders are on page six...that no one ever discusses or writes a story about white-flight where folks leave a city or region....or that some corrupted city or state official was arrested on bribery charges. 

3.  Jobs tend to disappear.  Companies start to add up the cost on security, or the problems in recruiting employees, or the decaying neighborhood around their headquarters or production center.  Unemployment jumps above ten-percent, and stays above ten-percent.

4.  Drug usage escales.  People are disconnected from society and hope for the future.  They need something to tranquilize them, and a couple hours of some decent high will help alleviate the frustration of living in a s**thole.

5.  Robbery increases.  It might be nickle-and-dime situations....some guy breaking into your garage.  Some kid stealing your co-worker's car at the gas station.  Maybe even some dynamic duo breaking into your business one night and just spray-painting the whole interior with some special theme-message.

6.  Cops don't care.  Rather than work on crime....they focus on public events, traffic tickets, and speeders.  They know that the prosecution folks won't do much of anything, and the judges would prefer not to handle public cases.

7.  Murders ramp up.  Maybe your 150,000 residence city went through two decades with just a dozen murders a year, and that was the norm.  Then something 'clicks', and you wake up to see the 20th murder by August, and the mayor talking about more cops. 

8.  You start to notice either in city parks or along the streets themselves....more folks just hanging out, and drinking from 10 AM on.  It's not just twenty-odd folks anymore....but a hundred or two-hundred hanging out and sipping booze all day long.

9.  You start to notice more graffiti on public streets. 

10.  People start talking about massive renovation to upgrade away from s**thole status, but then the money cost comes up and you realize that the tax base is no longer existing to fix the problems and you are simply climbing deeper into debt. 

My Top S**thole Cities in the US

This is my list....other folks would have a different view.

1.  Detroit.  Up until the was a pretty good metropolitan area.  Since the's a s**thole.  There's entire neighborhoods of empty houses sitting there.

2.  East St Louis.  I've driven through the area once (needing to ship my car overseas).  There's just not much you can say about the town.  It's a s**thole.

3.  Birmingham, Alabama.  Back in the 1970s, you probably could have driven through and said it was a middle-class town.  Cocaine came, incompetent city management, crime, murder, etc.  It's a real s**thole today.  It's a place where you don't leave the interstate unless it's a real emergency or you need to fly out of the airport.

4.  Memphis.  There are a couple of neighborhoods and areas of the city where it's still safe and reasonable.  Most of the city a s**thole.

5.  Up until the 1990s, Atlanta was in this growth and boom period.  Since the crime and mass urbanization period, most big organizations (including the Braves) are in the process of moving out of the city. 

6.  Baltimore.  Based on the murder rate, and don't go anywhere other than the downtown harbor area where cops are out in force.  They spent the last twenty years making this a major s**thole.

7.  Stockton, CA.  I traveled through the area back in the mid-1980s and kinda thought it was mostly a middle-class, working-class town.  You go and look at murders and crime's a four-star s**thole.

8.  Cleveland.  Basically, the city died in the 1970s.  In 1950, they were near 915,000, it's near 395,000 and shrinking.  It'll probably hit 250,000 by 2025.  By 2050, I think the city will actually reach 100,000 in population. 

9.  Buffalo.  Businesses left the area in the 1970s and 1980s.  There's just no reason to remain in the local area.

10.  New Orleans.  The curious thing here is that there is a  mile-by-mile area in the party district of town where you might want to stop off and have a couple of drinks and enjoy the festive attitude of the area.  But once you venture out of the protected area....this is mostly a s**thole.

Sh**hole Countries, Sh**hole Cities

After watching the news this morning and getting the hyped-up talk by the news media, I sat and paused over the President's words.....concerning sh**hole countries.

First, I've been to a couple of sh**hole countries in my life.  These are typically places where you fly into the airport....get a taxi and go immediately to where you need to be, and you don't venture too much beyond the 'safe' zone.  You drink only bottled water that you can trust.  You avoid cops because they are heavily corrupted.  You avoid the local beer or alcohol because they might not be pure or safe.  You generally keep your shot-records current and worry about getting TB from these sh**hole countries (I already went through the TB medication process after getting TB from such a country). 

Second, as much as people talk about sh**hole countries....I even talk about sh**hole cities. These are cities that you don't drive through after dark....stop at ATM machines....refuel your car at any gas station, and you tote a pistol within the car.  You worry about your car being stolen as you pull up to refuel.  You note the murder rates within the city and listen to the mayor talk about more police....then you watch as cops refuse to really do much to stop the killing.

Third, sh**hole countries are places that typically don't get big conferences, world fairs, or Olympic sport/World Cup situations. 

Fourth, go ask about resort options at the local travel office for sh**hole countries.  Watch the travel agent just grin, and ask if you been smoking any good weed.

Fifth, go ask about protected hotel compounds in sh**hole countries.  I worked with a guy who got this great deal on a resort hotel....five-star rating, in a sh**hole country.  He flew in....walked ten feet from the airport into a bus, which drove straight to the protected compound.  Fantastic place.  Great food.  Free booze (cocktails and beer) were part of the deal for two weeks.  Guards roamed the perimeter and ensured safety and no robberies.  Never once did he venture beyond the protected area.  Came back with great words over the hotel, the beaches, and the staff there.  As long as you didn't venture beyond the protected area, it was fine.

Sixth, go and ask yourself....why do sh**hole countries exist?  It's mostly because these folks never reach a crisis stage where revolution occurs.  They never truly overthrow their regime or dictators.  They just keep living on the edge of society, and accept it.

Seventh, go and ask journalists....why don't you go and report from sh**hole countries?  Go and do on-the-scene interviews.  Ask about garbage pick-up. Ask folks about the cops and safety.  Go and ask about the hazards of life in the sh**hole country.

My advice for the journalists hyping this....if you had to go and pick something to jump down on Trump about and talk about forty-eight hours straight, boy....did you pick the wrong topic.   Most Americans who've done military time and gone to the sh**hole countries will vouch for Trump's words.  Such countries exist and they just aren't places that you'd desire to go and spend a week.