My City Was Gone*

November 11, 2008

*That’s the title of Rush Limbaugh’s theme music. It’s a song by The Pretenders. The blog today is about Rush, and about my city. Thought it worked.

First, Marine Birthday Motivational Postersfor the win. Semper Fi, gentlemen (except, you, Murtha, you a**hole. You suck, and so do your voters).

Mom called last night. She wanted to know how to put pressure on Rush Limbaugh to get him to give Mr. Obama a chance. I admire her sense of justice, and I understand where she’s coming from, even though I disagree. I honestly don’t know why she tortures herself listening to Rush–she’s a yellow-dog Democrat, it’d be like me listening to Democracy Now!and bemoaning that they didn’t speak for me. I told her there wasn’t much she could do–he’s not syndicated in the same way Hannity, O’Reilly, etc. are. The Excellence in Broadcasting Network is its own thang. I told her if she felt strongly she could write down his sponsors and call or write them. I also let her know that thanks to the Fairness Doctrine, Rush (as well as many others) would probably find himself out of a job here in a few months, so he was probably getting while the getting’s good.

She’s from a different time, and in a normal world she’d be fair to ask Rush to give Mr. Obama a chance. What I replied to her was that she had no idea what it was like to spend 8 years hearing that your President was Hitler, was a liar, stole two elections, brought down the World Trade Center and killed 3000 people. She didn’t know what it was like to hear Letterman mock his speaking skills every freaking night for seven years. She didn’t know what it was like having a Comedy Central cartoon dedicated to mocking the President. She didn’t know what it was like to walk into a bookstore, wanting to indulge in literature, and find table after table after table of books maligning the President. She didn’t know what it was like to hear the endless choruses of “Not My President!” and the morons who made websites for the rest of the world in 2004 saying “Sorry, I didn’t vote for him.” Listen, very few people have more substantive gripes with President Bush than I do, but he has been maligned and slandered as very few men have. Those of us who still remember 911 remember the fear that day–was it the beginning of more attacks, would they stop? That man, so hated by the left and by the world, kept anything of that magnitude from happening here for 7 years. In September of 2001, we would not have thought that possible.

There’s a website now, which I won’t link to, called “From 52 to 48.” It’s Obama supporters making cutesy signs about how they (52% of the population) love us (48% of the population) and think that we’re awesome and that we should all gather in peace and tranquility around Mr. Obama. Sorry, no. The subtext there is pretty obvious–“Please don’t be the jerks that we were for 8 years.” I won’t. I won’t march in the streets or get hauled away trying to do citizen’s arrests or sport stupid bumper stickers. I won’t call the President-elect “H” or whatever the Obama version is of “Shrub” or “Bushitler” or the intensely stupid Doonesbury “*”. If Mr. Obama is a great President, I’ll be the first to cheer. I’m not counting on it, but it would make me happy. In the meantime though, the hypocrites at “From 52 to 48” can bite me. 

And now, for something completely different…

The above was totally not what I’d intended to write today. I wrote yesterday about how much I love my dear city. We had a World’s Fair here, once. We hosted the Olympics. It’s true–Forest Park holds many lovely buildings left from that era: the Art Museum, the Grand Pavilion, the beautiful wrought-iron aviary at the zoo. Glorious, and built to last.

That was 104 years ago. What happened to this city?

People think of urban decay, and I guess they think of densely-packed ghettos. That’s wrong–ghettos at least have population density and therefore vitality. What has happened to my beloved city is that parts of it have been hollowed out–the city has less than half the population it had at its height. The link above shows neighborhoods on the north side that sometimes sport as few as one or two crumbling homes still standing on an otherwise empty block. It’s a ghost town. I don’t know how it happened. Was some of it racism? Yes, certainly. Was it more than 60 years of corrupt one-party Democrat rule? Yes. Was it the loss of an industrial base? Yes, but how the hell was that allowed to happen? If you put a tack in a map of the US at the dead center of the country, you’d be darn close to St. Louis. By all rights it should be one of the largest, most vigorous cities in the country. It’s the center of a great river, the center of all hubs of transportation, and except for being a picturesque and affordable place to live, it’s rapidly becoming as untenable a city as Detroit. My home, my beautiful home.

Will it happen to your city? What could possibly stop it? People think Mr. Obama will be great for the working man. How can that be? I was listening to NPR (yes, I know) the other day, and an environmentalist woman was thrilled that Prop C had passed. She noted that Missouri gets 82% of its electricity from coal. Mr. Obama is on the record as wanting to bankrupt the coal industry. If that 82% goes away, what will happen to rates in Missouri? Will the poor who still live on the north side afford to heat and keep their lights on with that magical green energy? It’ll hurt me–it will DESTROY them. So, in a recession, we’ll put the coal miners out of work. Our steel industry is already on life support–it, too, will die without coal. Steel workers, out of a job. Oh well, we can always get steel from China, and I’m sure their quality control and environmental practices are far superior to ours. Mr. Obama is going to do away with offshore oil drilling and drilling in Utah by executive order. There go those jobs…in a recession. Again, I’m sure those guys in Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran, and Venezuela are far more efficient and environmentally conscious than we are.

Has a country in history EVER went to such lengths to destroy its own wealth and industrial base? Has any country in history ever tried harder to make itself dependent on the shoddy, environmentally unsound products of other countries while it sat on vast, untapped reserves of wealth and energy? We seem to be heading that way. Don’t worry, though–Mr. Obama is going to raise the minimum wage…for whatever jobs we still choose to have here.

Vital stats: gas $2.00 a gallon; Dow down 73 to 8871; silver up $0.26 to $10.23 an ounce.

Rand of the Day: Oh, it’ll be back. I’m halfway through Atlas Shrugged, and the problem isn’t so much what to quote, it’s when to stop without giving anything away. I’ll try to get to a good short excerpt at some point this week.

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