In your typical Third-World megalopolis, basic city functions fall into disrepair, while once-eradicated diseases run rampant — and the local bigwig boasts about saving the world.
Los Angeles is quickly becoming a typical Third-World megalopolis, and the rest of the state isn’t far behind.
Yesterday the New York Post reported “rats running everywhere among piles of decaying garbage,” in a “sprawling 50-block area that is believed to be the base for around 4,200 homeless people.”
Local columnist Steve Lopez called his city a “giant trash receptacle” and asked, “Did someone turn back the calendar a few hundred years?” No, Steve, the city government turned hard left is all. Although debate fans might note that that’s a distinction without a difference.
So where did all that trash come from? Los Angelenos are dumping it out in the streets — and the city isn’t collecting it. Two weeks ago Fox News reported that the problem goes back at least to last October, when the city noticed nine cases of typhus. The city “cleaned up some of the worst piles of garbage,” but then they slacked right back off. The huge pile returned quickly, but officials at first said that it “could take up to 90 days before it’s cleaned up.” The same local news report described it this way:
Even the city’s most notorious trash pile, located between downtown LA’s busy Fashion and Produce districts, continues to be a magnet for rats after it was cleaned up months ago. The rodents can carry typhus-infected fleas, which can spread the disease to humans through bacteria rubbed into the eyes or cuts and scrapes on the skin, resulting in severe flu-like symptoms.
The story also noted that an “out-of-control rat population can even lead to the spread of dangerous strains of salmonella and bubonic plague.”
City services are so strained that it now appears to be playing whack-a-mole with garbage dumpers. As I began writing this piece, a new Fox News report popped up in my MSN feed, complete with video you might not want to watch during lunch.
Statewide, California’s problems aren’t limited to trash dumpers, the homeless, rat infestations, and infectious disease… as if that weren’t already too much Third World fun in the once-Golden State. Stories about San Francisco’s Human Poop Hurdle Olympics are now de rigueur, and you’d better watch where you stick the landing or a used syringe might stick you.
Elsewhere, rolling blackouts are about to become not only normal, but celebrated.
The editors of the Los Angeles Times opined last week that in order “to prevent wildfires, California may need to endure power blackouts.” The editorial goes on:
De-energization, as it is called, has always been a tool for utilities to use when the risk of wildfire is high, though it has been infrequently deployed. But after two horrible years of catastrophic wildfires ignited by downed power lines, regulators are poised to give utilities the authority to shut off power more aggressively during high fire season. The change will primarily affect people in high-fire-risk zones, such as mountains, forests and foothills, but the resulting outages may affect anyone on the grid, including coastal urbanites if utilities power down high-voltage transmission lines.
“De-energization” is one of those euphemisms Ayn Rand might have had economic dictator Wesley Mouch employ in the last third of Atlas Shrugged. And just like in the famous novel, California’s descent into the Third World is entirely self-inflicted. The New York Times noted last year:
It’s counterintuitive, but the United States’ history of suppressing wildfires has actually made present-day wildfires worse.
“For the last century we fought fire, and we did pretty well at it across all of the Western United States,” Dr. Williams said. “And every time we fought a fire successfully, that means that a bunch of stuff that would have burned didn’t burn. And so over the last hundred years we’ve had an accumulation of plants in a lot of areas.
“And so in a lot of California now when fires start, those fires are burning through places that have a lot more plants to burn than they would have if we had been allowing fires to burn for the last hundred years.”
In other words, downed power lines do cause wildfires, but mostly because there’s so much flammable brush that the state government refuses to clear in one way or another. And rather than clean it up — sound much like the trash situation? — California is going to deny electricity to some of its poorest inland residents during the hottest time of the year.
Because caring, or whatevs.
Blackouts, typhus, poop, an army of homeless, wildfires, contaminated syringes, garbage, rats, fleas, and Progressive government — these are the Plages of California. I’d ask the last person to leave California to please turn off the lights, but they’ll have gone dark long ago.