Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Let Them Eat Sprouts

One of the reasons, I guess, that I stay in El Pueblo de Los Angeles is the drama. Home of Hollywood, Surf City, Beverly Hills and the famous San Fernando Valley, LA seems to be the place from which all the nuttiness that sweeps the world springs. It's hip! it's happenin'!

It also seems to be the fount of all the big government meddling scams that sweep the several state capitals and, finally, Washington DC.

  • The anti-air pollution movement? started in LA.
  • Hippies? Right here.
  • Anti-nuclear power? LA, again.
  • Freeways? LA.
  • Smoking bans in bars? El Pueblo.
  • Chain cosmetic surgery? Our own Beverly Hills.
  • Health food craze? Still, LA.
  • Anti-obesity? See above.
The list could go on, but I'll be merciful.

This time it's the LA City Council. I don't think anyone other than a far-left loon could get elected to the LA City Council even if he got to count the votes.

This last, the anti-obesity thing, is the excuse the LA feudal lords, calling them ladies would be way too much stretch....for calling a moratorium on fast food in South-Central LA. See the sordid story here.

It used to be called South-Central. In yet another moronic move by the City Council a few years ago, 'twas decided that changing the name of the district from South-Central LA to simply South LA, would wholly change the character from a poor, crime-ridden racial ghetto to a pleasant, tree-lined suburb. Well, it's still a poor, crime-ridden racial ghetto. And, it's still called South-Central by nearly everyone but the LA City Council.

They won't actually do anything about the street crime, because it might offend someone.

Businesses won't relocate or set up branches in South-Central because they'll be vandalized and robbed, and there are relatively few buyers and employable workers there.

There is, however, no shortage of fast food stores and liquor stores.

The sages at City Council have, at times, threatened to close down the liquor stores, as if that constitutes a cure for alcoholism. In the linked story, they apply the same (none dare call it) logic to repair the largely imaginary obesity problem.

Yet, a majority of those misguided individuals who vote for City Councilfolk keep returning these incredibly dysfunctional idjits to the Council term after term. They do nothing but make speeches that say nothing, dedicate horribly tasteless art projects at municipal parks and buildings and call for higher taxes.

In the dreamworld in which a Ruth's Chris will open at Crenshaw and Imperial, who in that neighborhood will have a hundred fifty dollars or so to treat his date to a steak dinner. Well, there are several crack sellers that might, but they spend their leisure time on Rodeo Drive or in Westwood. Nobody'll open a Ruth's Chris in South Central.

It'll be Church's and McDonald's for most of those folks--not that I think there's anything wrong with them--even if they have to take a bus to Inglewood for it. That is, until that same dreamworld City Council lightens up on their tax load so they can afford to improve themselves.

All government can do is take things away.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California


Lone Chatelaine said...

I had no idea they didn't want to call it South Central anymore. Guess one too many gansta rap songs referred to "growing up South Central", huh.

Instead of giving the people that live there a tax break, they'll probably arrange some sort of real estate tax break or freeze to any acceptable restaurant that opens up a place there. That's what they do in my nearby city where there is now a Virgin Record Store, Starbucks, Hard Rock Cafe, and a 12 screen movie cinema where there used to be execution style killings every weekend. And of course they make that tax break applicable to ALL the Starbucks in the city. Not just the one that's in the newly rejuvenated neighborhood. So the chain is all like, "Yeah we'll put a store in there...sure, no problem."

Col. Hogan said...


Larry Elder, a syndicated LA talk show guy, still refers to himself as "The Sage from South Central." He's a conservative-libertarian who is ever-critical of the LA City Council, as referring to their inability (and, seemingly, lack of desire) to effect positive change in the area.

The scenario you describe is usually the way this sort of thing happens, no doubt with positive effects 'pon the bank accounts of the various City Councilfolk. A far better solution would be to lessen taxes and regulation in the area to allow those same poor folks a bit of capital to start local businesses themselves.

A new Ruth's Chris will not help South Central, except to make a few menial jobs available. Fewer jobs, I'll wager, than are lost by the closing of a few McDonald's. A locally-owned Fatburger or Looziana BBQ joint will help a lot more--as would the Bethlehem Steel plant that left the area twenty-odd years ago because of draconian taxation and regulation.

steveintx said...

"twas decided that changing the name of the district from South-Central LA to simply South LA, would wholly change the character from a poor, crime-ridden racial ghetto to a pleasant, tree-lined suburb."

Kind of like taking the "North" out of North Dakota would make the state a year round garden oasis? I laughed my ass off when they were talking about that.

I've seen nothing about the 25¢ per bag tax on the grocery stores that is passed along to the shopper. Is that going to drive shoppers into the 'burbs to do their shopping. Does that tax also effect the fast food chains and liquor stores? How about Macy's? I'm thinkin' they used to use these huge ass 100 gallon plastic bags back in the 70s.

If people like this weren't in a position of resposability it would be laughable

The Wine Commonsewer said...

It used to be called South-Central.

It used to be called Watts.

The ban is racism dressed in elitist clothing.

Citywide, the childhood obesity rate is 25%. On the Westside, it's 20%. In SC, it's 30%.

In effect the LA City Council is saying that as long as only 20% of our precious children are ponderous porkers, it's okay.

Aside from that, even if you're a nanny stater S/C is only a bit worse than the rest of the city.

The Wine Commonsewer said...

On a completely tangential note, Mrs TWC told me the other day that there are no Blacks living in Compton any more. I was shocked.

Col. Hogan said...


There's a bill going through the Stalag California state house to initiate that tax. There's also an organization to oppose the tax (which I believe must go through the initiative process), which is already airing ads in opposition to the bag tax.

Col. Hogan said...


Interesting how the poor in most countries are thin and starving, and poor Americans are fat.

Lone Chatelaine said...

Cheap food is usually unhealthy and fattening. Healthy food costs a lot more.

Think frozen dinners, frozen pizza, or macaroni and cheese in a box, versus fresh produce at the supermarket. You spend a lot more money when you try to buy healthy food.

But just taking the unhealthy foods out of the supermarket wouldn't necessarily solve the problem. Because then the poorer people wouldn't have enough money to buy enough food for their family.

Col. Hogan said...


It's easy for you and me to say, being able to buy better food, and even easier for the very wealthy TWC, but the working single mom from South Central, who has maybe an hour between her two jobs, doesn't have time to cook up a wholesome meal three times a day. Fast food is a pretty good deal for her, and most fast food chains do have some healthy foods on the menu. Of course, that's not what the kids want.

Anyway, I don't presume to make their choices for them, and I don't see the evil LA City Council doing a very good job of it either.

I work in construction, and thus eat one or more meals a day at McDonald's, a lunch truck or sometimes a better restaurant--but I could eat better and I know it. C'est la vie.

Lone Chatelaine said...

Oh, I totally agree with you, Col. Cause even if the single mom did have time to prepare the meal, she may not have a budget for it to be all the trendy health foods that some people think everyone should be eating. It's just not that easy to only buy healthy food. Some people can't afford enough of it to feed a family of four. So they have to buy the cheaper stuff, and it's usually not the most healthy. But it's filling and satisfying to kids who need some supper.

TWC said...

....even easier for the very wealthy TWC....

I knew I should have bought stock in Time Warner Cable. [Big Sigh].

TWC said...

Interesting how the poor in most countries are thin and starving, and poor Americans are fat.

If you look at photos from the Depression era you realize that actual poor people aren't fat.

If you've got a cell phone or a TV or a car or any combination of the above, you ain't poor, a term with some of that built in elasticity, I realize. Like incest, it's relative.

Now, I did see some poverty in Breezewood, Pa. We definitely weren't in Kansas no more.

If that little bit of chicanery has piqued your imagination you can click on my name and see what I had to say about Breezewood.

Bonus: You'll hear a little about Jim Shepard.

< / shameless self promotion

Shecky! Get the jet.

MK said...

"They do nothing but make speeches that say nothing, dedicate horribly tasteless art projects at municipal parks and buildings and call for higher taxes."

Sounds like a leftist infestation alright.

Col. Hogan said...


I thought the missus had the jet in you have more than one?

twc said...

strangest thing, Col, I've left a response to your last comment three times and all three times it didn't post. I think the problem is over here, either with my computers or my worthless ISP.

Just wanted you to know.

Col. Hogan said...

Always interested, TWC. Keep trying.

The Winecommonsewr said...

Thanks, Col, my useless ISP finally added more bandwidth. It took about a week for it to be completely used up. Back to same, same.

I think what happens is that when I post the comment the internet stutters. It is interrupted by interference.

My internet runs on the same spectrum as shortwave, wireless routers, and cordless phones. So there is a propensity for it to stutter (be interrupted for short periods of time ranging from 1-2 seconds to several minutes).

Plus the provider's business model is to over sell and hope most people don't use the service. Like airlines overbooking.

And the support is non-existent.

As are the choices for other providers.

Thanks for the ear.

Col. Hogan said...


I have no idea what you just wrote.

'S ok, though. I always like your comments.