The Journal

 

Serving the Metropolitan Area

 

Since 1872

 

 

August 7th

 

  

THE SHAME (and the PROMISE) of CITIES!

 

By Jack Parnell - retired Congressman and Independent Presidential candidate

 

Syndicated by Acme Features

 

         

 

"Genes hold culture on a leash..."

 

 

- E. O. Wilson

 

          Might lose a few votes from the haters of New York (or Dallas or Birmingham) values with this slice of truthiness, but hey!.. I like a city.

          Now, might be one someplace near you, might be not. Might not even be a real place... just an amalgamation of neighborhoods from Seattle or Louisville; Chicago, Denver... maybe even Vegas, back in the day! Even Washington DeeCee, as I miss sometimes...

          I like the slap of shoes (not sneakers, not for adults) against a pavement. Walking's good for soul and body... whilst driving (or being driven) round, your eyes play tricks. You miss details.

          I like a city with museums, real libraries and at least two daily papers as so despise one another that the truth can often be parsed from between their bluster. Plenty of watering holes, major league sports, a hall for country music, rasslin' and the foreign symphonies. Don't care for most ballets 'ceptin’ that "Nutcracker" for kids, over the Christmas, but I'd rather live in a place that had 'em, if I changed my mind. Stores as aren't owned by franchises... restaurants where you might taste something out of this world, might catch a sickness. Never know! The noise and the risk of it...

          Risk is what's at issue... people who don't like cities being those as don't like taking chances in a society where everything's gone at risk.  Not that myself, nor any politician, should have authority into telling people where to live... Pol Pot messed that up!... but it does seem we've beaten up on cities for too long. One Replutocrat pup with vestigial Libertarian leanings... forget which, was back in the Congress... shows me this picture from the Boston paper after them riots in St. Louis. Whole streets where buildings are burnt out, cars up on the sidewalk, burnt out too, and this policeman walking up and down, writing out parking tickets like a goldarned U.N. peacekeeper.

          Writing out friggin' parking tickets!

          Pretty much sums up how most in Congress treat cities. Yet, if you'll open your kids' history books, most of what people think significant, even noble, sometimes, took place in or near a city. Athens. Rome. Baghdad… or, at least, Babylon, of which Baghdad was a suburb back in the day.  London.  Paris.  Jerusalem.

          Not to libel groundhogs, but when the Founding Fathers got together to draft that Constitution of ours'n, they convened in Philadelphia, not Punxsatawney.

          Someone almost forgotten now, for having been too much the optimist during exciting times, was Francis Hutchison, the great adversary of Hobbes and those other termites as infested the English royal courts. His heresy was that life is inherently social, not "nasty, brutish and short", and that governments should "...prohibit the greatest or wisest of mankind to inflict any misery on the meanest, or to deprive them of any of their natural rights."  (He employed the term “meanness” as its original designation of material, as opposed to moral want.)

          Most great philosophers and statesmen of the past lived among each other, in cities, not walled away in security communities. They got great by running into one another in taverns and coffee shops and other public places, having to sharpen those faculties as improve by discoursing with people smarter than you. "As darkness falls, the great capitals of Asia and Europe hum with human vitality," observes the modern pundit, Andrew Glass. "At the hub of these urban centers, streets swarm with people enjoying the gentle August nights. They stroll. They talk. They eat and drink."

          So... why's the difference between over here and the over there? We know, but cannot speak.  Paula Deen settled that issue.  Squeamishness clamps our tongues.

          Most as get out of cities move to get away from...

Well...

          After I'd said I'd not stand for re-election due to the gerrymandering and became... how shall I describe it... more libertinous in thought, speech and deed after the wife refused to take me back, the Washington Post, that beacon of liberal squeamishness, took issue with my designation of Chicago's Reverend Fellows as "one diseased (n-word)" for demanding he be the one paid off after those two church bombings on the South Side of Indianapolis. They were, as ever, ticked off over the use of that word whose utterance is, apparently, more terrible than extortion or setting children on fire.

          So, I am going to resort to the n-word minus its dash like this... nword. It's a made-up word (if  President Covfere and Shotgun Sarah Palin can coin terms, why not me?), as insinuating swords (which stand in for the cheap guns that nwords raise against everyone not of their tribe, and most as are); it also reflects the negativity as keeps these victims of history nwording their way 'round as how life has been so unfair and et cetera and et cetera.

          As nwordist apologist Corinne Brown of the Congressional Black Caucus puts it: "We keep hearing, 'Get over this.' We will never get over this."  Gimme a dime!

          Black South Africans, at least, "have had their own earth under their feet," agreed the late South African writer Nadine Gordimer. "It is unfortunate to have to say it: History is against you in the U.S.A."

          History's agin' us all! Hitler's mistake, declaims one Jason Brent, lawyer and Mensa member was "the fact that his actions prevent a rational discussion of the creation of a master race." Another Mensoid as deems surplus Americans in the Outsourcing Age "...too stupid, too lazy, too crazy, or too anti-social to earn a living..." recommends they "be humanely done away with, like abandoned kittens."

          He ain’t talking ‘bout the Trump kids…

          Virtuecrats graciously eschew genocide, favoring bible-thumpind schools, Singapore-style catchlaws and a sea of unfunded jails. Those who still have jobs and money wall themselves up in gated enclaves "...to protect the value of my home, to shut out other races, other cultures and crime," as let slip this city planner, Edward Blakeley.

          Now, I pick up the paper and read about the six dollar gas, seein' smiling shiekhs and Texas oilies as cluster 'round that Bush Boy Jeb like barnacles in big hats, apologizin’ for their inability to seal the deal last time out. High gas prices do make cities desirable again, so the question gets to be... who benefits? Do people living there finally get their jobs and communities back, or do those who commute out’n compounds during the week get to take their homes, too, and leave the meanest (18th and 21st century applications, the both, intended) to spin down and out into nwordism; fodder for social workers, poverty pimps and the jails?

          One reason I mentioned Francis Hutchison, earlier, is that he also championed discrimination. He discriminated between so-called "perfect rights", which are guarded by law and so-called imperfect ones "governed only by men's honour and conscience"... equality and charity and gratitude, for example, as become precarious without opportunities and justice.  The anti-government pundit Walter Williams… citing Madison, Franklin Pierce and Grover Cleveland… asks whether politicians as vote to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable are “just plain constitutionally ignorant or mean-spirited, or has our Constitution been amended to authorize charity?”

"There does come a moment," surmised former HUD Secretary Cisneros, being of a different persuasion, "when the country simply can't carry on its shoulders a permanent and growing underclass of 10 or 15 or 20 million people."  And that was more than a decade ago, before the outsizing and downsourcing vaporized much of the middle class, jacking that number up towards fifty, even… taking Mitt Romney’s forty-seven percent useless as a benchmark… a hundred mil adult Americans, and lightening the complexion of the problem, as if by pouring more artificial cream into the coffee.

In their last joint budget, President Obama and Congress waxed each others’ loins by reinstituting tax cuts for billionaires and shelling out back-unemployment insurance for those as sit on their butts of a day or year, rather than being marshaled to perform the tasks that private sloth and government cutbacks… some justified, others not… are leaving undone.  And who was delegated to pay for this – once the markers exceeded twenty tril and Chinese and the Russians and French came a calling with garbage bags of American IOU’s?  The kids, that’s who…

Or our grandkids – if we’re lucky.

          Americans must Awaken to the need to plug the holes in our lifeboats, Assemble to do this necessary work in common, and Attack such worms as keep chewing away against our ship of state. We cannot accomplish this by cutting cities adrift. They are our promise. But... with or without new oil crises... they also represent our enduring shame. 

    

   

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