Do you remember San Francisco? 5

At last count, approximately 8,000 people live on San Francisco’s streets. 

Erica Sandberg writes at City Journal:

The most important walk you can take in San Francisco is not to the grand Golden Gate bridge, down crooked Lombard Street, or to the brightly painted Victorians in Alamo Square.

They are still there of course. But they are not the most memorable things about San Francisco. Not any more. What is?

It’s to the city’s large and gritty sixth district, which contains the Tenderloin, Civic Center, and South of Market neighborhoods. What you’ll find there will shatter any preconceived notions about homelessness you might have heard from activists, city departments, and elected officials. You’ll realize that San Francisco doesn’t have a homeless problem—it has a substance-abuse crisis. And Project Roomkey, California governor Gavin Newsom’s hotels-for-homeless plan that he’s touting as a model for the rest of the country, won’t help any more than a band-aid will cure a cancer patient.

Block after block, you’ll see thousands of people who are barely alive. Some are alone; others are piled on top of one another, running into traffic, or standing slumped over, unconscious. They’ll be injecting or smoking heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine in front of you, unaware or unfazed by your presence. Scabs cover their faces and bodies, limbs are swollen red and blue, often bloody and oozing pus. You’ll notice the garbage, rotting food, discarded drug detritus, and feces surrounding them. A shocking number are mere teenagers, but many are old or have aged well before their time.

Yet Newsom has declared that with programs like Project Roomkey, the United States can solve homelessness. To see the results of the program is to know what a bizarre claim this is. While a small portion of the unhoused are healthy enough to shift into and benefit from such housing, the vast majority are not—and their troubles won’t be alleviated by a hotel room.

Crime has also surged around the SIP motels and hotels, as people score from dealers just outside the lobbies. Shootings, robberies, and car break-ins have become commonplace, as have open-air drug use and sexual acts performed in broad daylight—an alarming change for neighborhoods like the Marina, which not long ago did not have a high population of unhoused, addicted people.

The tide of people coming into the city, drawn by easy access to cheap, potent narcotics, will continue unabated. Some may get a hotel room, but most will become fixtures on the streets. Few, if any, will get better. Based on current projections, more than 1,000 people will die from overdose in 2021.

Who or what turned pleasant charming San Francisco into a hellhole?

What political party governs the city? And the state?

To what party does Governor Gavin Newsom belong?

No prizes for the right answers.

Posted under corruption, Crime, Health, Leftism, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, April 28, 2021

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The vast migration of the 21st century 19

In the dark ages before the Internet, what did the masses of the hellish Third World know about the First World?

Not much, unless the First World came colonizing, which turned parts of the hellholes into pockets of civilization.

The Internet changed everything. The dwellers in darkness saw the light. From their huts, their slums, their shanty towns, their hovels, they viewed the great cities of the West, the goods in the stores, the size of the houses, the millions of cars on smooth roads; they saw the plenty, the ease, the pleasantness, the manifest wealth. And they wanted to go and live there.

So they did, by the thousands and tens of thousands. And so they continue to do.

Tides of people are flowing from the lands of poverty into the lands of plenty. They flow from south to north, into the lands of “the West”. (And into its branch, Australia.) They will not ebb away again.

What fools they would be not to go where the grass really is greener.

I, the migrant, know that the journey will not be easy. I have a perilous sea to cross. Or a desert.

I may have to work and save for years to pay for a passage over the sea or a guide over the desert.

I know that I risk drowning. Of dying of heat and exhaustion. Of being robbed. If I, the migrant, am a woman I will almost certainly be sexually assaulted.

But it is worth taking the risks to get there.

If I can just get there, it will not be hard to get in. There are no barriers to speak of.

There, I will be given a house, and money without working for it. There, my children will go to school free of charge. There, if I get sick, I will be cured free of charge.

Clearly, from the point of view of the immigrant, coming from hell to western Europe or Canada or the United States is a highly rational decision.

But why is the First World letting them in, the millions of them? Is the decision of First World governments to do so also rational? What benefits do they reckon accrue to them, to their countries through this demographic tsunami?

Here’s someone with an explanation –

Sean Byrne wrote in February 2018 on the RTÉ (Ireland’s National Television and Radio) website:

Over the past three years, Europe has experienced the worst refugee and migration crisis since World War II.  While the flow of refugees from Syria has diminished as some eastern European countries have closed their borders and the EU has given €6 billion to Turkey to persuade it to keep Syrian refugees within its borders, the flow of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa across the Mediterranean continues unabated.

The number of refugees entering Europe peaked in 2015 at just over one million. Half were Syrian, 20 percent from Afghanistan and seven percent from Iraq, with most of the remaining 33 per cent coming from Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2015, 3,771 people drowned while crossing the Mediterraneancrammed into unseaworthy and overcrowded boats by traffickers. Most of the migrants from sub-Saharan Africa are trying to reach Europe through Libya. The lack of an effective government in Libya has enabled people traffickers to operate almost unhindered out of Libyan ports and there are reports that some migrants are being sold as slaves in Libya. …

The hopeless poverty of sub-Saharan Africa, where populations are growing faster than output, causes many people from the region to risk their lives to reach Europe. …

The writer believes that the massive immigration into Europe is a Good Thing:

As Europe’s population declines and ages, it must accept significant immigration or face economic and social decline.

We should all appreciate that. Economic and social decline! That (does he mean? or hasn’t the question crossed his mind?)  would be far worse than losing our countries to an alien population. Yet some of us are – he thinks – hard-heartedly and stupidly against it.

Even when the immigration was “limited” we were already fussing about it:

Yet the limited immigration that has taken place over the past 30 years has already led to the rise of anti-immigration political movements and some of these, including Germany’s Alternativ fur Deutschland are achieving electoral success. The new Austrian government includes the vehemently anti-immigration Freedom Party, while Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary are all refusing to take their share of the refugees that the EU has agreed to accept from Syria. …

But what of the …?

He knew what we were about to protest and answers us:

Because of the inexorable decline of birth rates, Europe will need large numbers of migrants over the next 50 years. Some of these migrants will want the economic benefits of living in Europe while maintaining their own cultures, including such practices as forced marriages, honour killings, female genital mutilation and the persecution of gay people. Many immigrants to Europe will reject the rights and freedoms painfully achieved by western democracies over the past 200 years. Resolving this conflict of cultures will be the greatest challenge facing Europe over the next 50 years.

It’s a challenge. That’s all. A little courage, some planning, lots of tolerance and humility are all we need to … what?

Byrne’s defense is no defense at all.

Is there another? Can someone else tell us why we must adapt ourselves cheerfully to a huge change in our culture and tolerate (among other appalling practices of the Third World) forced marriages, honor killings, female genital mutilation and the murder of homosexuals?

Yes. Here’s one.

Matthew Boose writes at American Greatness:

The New York Times recently published an op-ed advancing a rather peculiar argument. Author Suketu Mehta builds on the familiar, hackneyed debate over reparations for slavery to make an even bolder, but more politically contemporary proposal: as penance for colonialism, the West should open its borders to the Third World.

Mehta suggests immigration quotas for Western countries that correspond with their respective historical sins. Mehta categorizes the nations of the world into “creditors” and “debtors,” according to their legacy as oppressors or oppressed within roughly the past 500 years.

By this token, “Britain should have quotas for Indians and Nigerians; France for Malians and Tunisians; Belgium for very large numbers of Congolese”. The West should accept 12 million African laborers, one for every African enslaved by the colonialists of the past.

While audacious, this argument expresses what many on the Left believe, but are often careful to avoid stating frankly: that mass migration should be seen as a form of just punishment for the West’s history.

We interrupt to state firmly that the era of Western colonialism on the whole brought more good than harm to the “underdeveloped” world. That is certainly true of the British Empire (though in the case of the American Revolution right was on the side of the rebels). The British took the rule of law, impartial justice, a free press, and higher standards of living to their colonies. On the other hand, we grant, German colonial rule in South West Africa (now Namibia) was oppressive and murderous. And Belgian rule of the Congo in the time of evil King Leopold was a horror story, told memorably by Joseph Conrad in his story The Heart of Darkness. Later the Belgians did better. Now the Congo has reverted to what it was in Conrad’s story. The plight of the African peoples in general is, in all but a few cases, worse now than under colonial rule.

As for the slave trade, it is important to remember that the victims were first enslaved by Africans and Arabs before Christians bought them.

In general, immigration activists try to disguise their malice as sympathy for “refugees”, many of whom are in fact economic migrants seeking a better life. Of course, one need not be so cynical as to imagine that their concern for the well-being of would-be immigrants is entirely fake. But once in a while, the mask will slip, and it becomes apparent that they are motivated at least as much by resentment towards the destination countries as they are by compassion for migrants.

From the “walls are immoral, but we don’t really want open borders” denialism of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to those openly calling for immigration as a form of reparations, there is a growing consensus on the Left that all restrictions on migration are motivated by xenophobia, borders are immoral because they are exclusionary, and Western countries are morally obligated to accept an unlimited number of migrants because of past wrongs.

How would these immigration quotas be drawn up? As with slavery reparations, the price is levied indiscriminately and with great prejudice. People who had nothing to do with the negative effects of colonialism are saddled with collective, generational guilt for the sins of distant, forgotten ancestors.

Mehta mentions more recent ravages as well, such as the Iraq War. National sovereignty doesn’t absolve America’s leaders from the responsibility of making smart, and ethical, foreign policy decisions. The United States should not invade the world and then expect the world to stay behind in the blast crater. But why should American workers pay for Iraq, when it is America’s irresponsible leaders who deserve the blame?

An exact accounting of who the “debtors” are, and what they owe, is beside the point. How would one go about determining who deserves to pay for King Leopold II’s brutal exploitation of the Congo? The enterprise is no more workable than figuring out which Americans living today should pay for slavery. Never mind the specifics; all Westerners are assumed guilty for the wrongs of all Western history.

The classes that comprise America’s elite are pushing this narrative. Journalists, academics, educators, entertainers, and activists are all popularizing academic, anti-American histories that invert the story of America’s founding and legitimize unlimited migration as a form of just deserts.

This new radicalism marks a shift from traditional American heritage, history, and identity. No one can deny that immigrants have had a profound impact on American history and society. But until recently, immigration has been understood as adding to, not defining, American identity; as something that should occur within legal and reasonable boundaries, not endlessly and without consideration for the economic welfare and social fabric of the existing nation.

Put simply, immigration always has been regarded as a privilege. Immigrants would come to America through a legal process. They would be vetted and accepted as American citizens, with certain expectations. They would assimilate to American society and pledge loyalty to their new home. They would contribute more than they would take. The would learn English, and be good neighbors and citizens.

In sum, immigration worked best when it had benefits for America and the migrants it accepted alike. There was no malice or malevolence toward the United States or its existing people involved.

This is a path that countless migrants have followed and continue to follow. But for numberless thousands of migrants coming more with the mindset of invaders than immigrants, a set of powerful interests exists to justify their illegal entry as an entitlement. …

Lawful process has been replaced with lawlessness, gratitude and respect with brazen entitlement.

For the Left today, immigration is a universal human right that can brook no restrictions, whether by national sovereignty or mere economic realism. …

To justify this universal right of entry, the Left employs a foundational myth. In this myth, America, and the West broadly, is the villain and debtor to the suffering masses around the globe. Citizenship is not a privilege but a right owed by Westerners to every “citizen of the world”. 

In this founding myth, the settlers of America were illegitimate brutes who despoiled the verdant plains and stole the birthright of today’s rightful heirs to the continent. American history begins not with 1492, but with the beginning of the struggle for social justice and the rise of modern progressivism in the 20th century, particularly the mid-century. The American “history” that has been written is illegitimate and needs to be written anew, by the erstwhile, rightful occupants of the land. In fact, the real Americans need not have any historical ties to the American continent at all, other than having been on the receiving end of America’s might.

This academic narrative typically writes off the Founders as irredeemable racists, discrediting their nobility, wisdom, and efforts to build a lasting constitutional republic. Once relegated to humanities departments in America’s universities, this “de-colonialist” ideology has seeped into the wider public consciousness through various left-wing channels. Today’s students learn more in K-12 education about what is wrong with America and its past than what made it great.

At its core, this anti-founding myth denies that America has a core identity at all. There is nothing greater about American life than the sum of the countless job seekers searching for a better life from abroad. America has no history, since that history is illegitimate; it has no culture that rises above what can be bought on the market, including the various commodified “cuisines” brought from afar and sized down to American palates; it has no border, since borders are restrictive. America is simply a giant  casino in which all and sundry may seek their fortune, with special preference given to those shut out by the prejudices of the past.

In this narrative, migration, being a right rather than a privilege, comes with no obligation for the migrant.

What nation would there be to render any obligation to, anyway, when America is merely a “nation of immigrants”? …

In an excerpt of his book, This Land Is Our Land: An Immigrant’s Manifesto, Mehta argues the West is being “destroyed, not by migrants, but by the fear of migrants” and describes fears of mass migration as “irrational”. Millions of Westerners somehow have been duped into working against their own interests by populist strong men playing off atavistic hatred.

But if immigration is a form of punishment, payment of the “debt” for the West’s wrongs, is this not an admission that those “irrational fears” are simply clear perceptions of the costs of mass migration?

When they’re not forwarding shallow, disingenuous arguments for mass immigration as a boost to the GDP, today’s most ardent proponents of open borders—however much they might deny it—agree in their most honest moments that mass immigration, rather than being a net boon, brings burdens that Americans may be loath to accommodate—but must bear, as payback. How, then, are the fears of immigration restrictionists irrational?

In their haste, the open borders proponents are giving the game away. Does their confidence stem from a belief that they have already won? That through their combined institutional powers, the media, activist judges, the administrative state, academia, an education system thoroughly co-opted by anti-American ideology, and corporate interests seeking cheap labor, dissenters are powerless to resist their agenda?

Can anything stop the vast migration from the impoverished and wretched south into the prosperous north? Will walls do it? Will laws do it?

Perhaps only the economic ruin of the north will put a stop to it. So will the migration itself cause economic ruin? Or keep the welfare states going, as the Merkels and Macrons and Trudeaus and Newsoms who hold the gates open insist that it will?