Mad people’s republic

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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 12:57 pm

Andrew Bolt visits the US:

America has unparalleled wealth and power. But I haven’t seen so many mad people and beggars on the streets since I was last in Cambodia. And I saw them today in San Francisco.

Similar local governments produce similar outcomes.

Posted by Tim B. on 07/29/2006 at 08:07 AM
    1. Quite a few mad people in Perth, apparently.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2006 07 29 at 08:15 AM • permalink


    1. San Francisco has the worst of all worlds—a government that encourages the beggars and lunatics and a climate that makes them (relatively) comfortable.

      Posted by Rob Crawford on 2006 07 29 at 08:43 AM • permalink


    1. Besides, California is the land of flakes, fruits, and nuts. Anything is possible there.

      Posted by bongani on 2006 07 29 at 08:52 AM • permalink


    1. Most of the United States is free of these mad people and beggars wandering the streets. That’s because most of the United States doesn’t smugly think of itself as a progressive utopia the way the residents of San Francisco, or at least their city’s government, do.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2006 07 29 at 09:02 AM • permalink


    1. If you want lunacy in the Land of Oz, head for South Australia. They seem to have a monopoly on it.

      Posted by Mick Gill on 2006 07 29 at 09:23 AM • permalink


    1. I just got back from a trip to L.A. and S.F. and when I tell people that I loved L.A. and found very little to love in cramped, grimy, homeless-ridden S.F., they look shocked… and then they admit they kind of feel that way too.

      S.F. is a lab, or maybe the petri dish, for every bad public policy idea in America, from rent control (which subsidizes a small portion of the upper middle class while killing the market for affordable housing) to free public toilets (because the homeless need to pee too, you heartless conservative; result is, no public restrooms in restaurants, the free public loos are always occupied by the homeless, and there’s no economic incentive to have more than about four of them since they’re not earning the city any revenue).

      I found one good thing the city did there in modern times—the market in the old Ferry Building.  Otherwise, it’s a mess.

      Posted by Mike G on 2006 07 29 at 09:42 AM • permalink


    1. Yes, yes, Mike G, but the compassionate head-tilt is so much better developed in SF.

      Posted by JorgXMcKie on 2006 07 29 at 09:51 AM • permalink


    1. I’ll be damned! I didn’t know Sad Francisco was in the United States.

      Posted by stats on 2006 07 29 at 10:07 AM • permalink


    1. To be fair, and not because I like San Francisco The Fruitcake Capital of the World, but it isn’t only San Francisco.  Las Vegas has a fair share of homeless bums having conversations with the air, as well, and I’ve seen more than a few in Florida, and in fact, every large city has too many.  It’s the place that draws them, and if there’s no rigorous enforcement to keep them off the streets and out of the parks, there they are.

      They used to be kept in institutions where they could be cared for, but the disastrous social policies of the last few decades took care of that.  It’s almost impossible to commit someone unless they’ve done murder, and then it’s the devil’s own trying to find a place for them other than prison.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 07 29 at 10:42 AM • permalink


    1. Speaking of the slightly crazy and substance abusers, Mel Gibson, everybody’s favorite (or not) Aussie/Yank was arrested in Malibu for driving under the influence.  Goodness.  What would Jesus do?

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 07 29 at 10:54 AM • permalink


    1. Oh my God, that is incredible. Anyone who thinks that SF is in any way representative of the US is just nuts. The City has been horrifically mismanaged for decades now and has a policy of giving out CASH GRANTS to vagrants.

      The result has been a mass migration of every bum west of the Mississippi to SF. Everyone know this. This is common knowledge.

      Posted by NewSisyphus on 2006 07 29 at 11:23 AM • permalink


    1. #4 Andrea,

      Hospitable weather for living rough is key.

      I’ve heard there’s a bumper sticker in (very underpopulated) North Dakota that reads:

      “40 Below Keeps The Riff-Raff Out”

      Posted by JDB on 2006 07 29 at 11:32 AM • permalink


    1. SF is lost.  On my last trip I left a comment on the card to the effect, I will not be spending $200 for one of your lovely rooms again until the streets outside are free of belligerent homeless and the stench of Eau de PeePee.

      You will notice the mayor has not made good on his promise to clean up the streets….he did manage to broker the first gay marriage ordinance, though.  So that’s important.

      Posted by Patricia on 2006 07 29 at 11:43 AM • permalink


    1. “That’s because most of the United States doesn’t smugly think of itself as a progressive utopia the way the residents of San Francisco, or at least their city’s government, do. “

      Thank you for clarifying that Andrea.  Some of us are resisting against the Eliberaliti here in San Francisco.  Not having much success, but it’s hard when you have almost no support from the populace.

      Posted by Secret Agent X-9 on 2006 07 29 at 12:35 PM • permalink


    1. The best place to be in San Francisco is on the way outta town.

      Posted by ushie on 2006 07 29 at 12:58 PM • permalink


    1. It all goes back to something I learned in Psych 101: Whatever behavior is rewarded, you’re going to get more of.

      Posted by ErnieG on 2006 07 29 at 01:25 PM • permalink


    1. If you think Frisco (they hate being called that) is a liberal bastion of crap – and it is- visit Rome sometime.
      Take Frisco, add 20 degrees of heat, Gypsy beggars, North African street vendors, several billion cigarette butts, graffiti on every flat surface and 2,000 years of grime.  Except for having the most beautiful women in the world, it’s a dump.
      Frisco’s just full of assholes.

      Posted by lmassie on 2006 07 29 at 01:36 PM • permalink


    1. A few years ago the brilliant liberal government decided to *pay* the homeless about 300 dollars in *cash* per month – because the liberals are so compassionate don’t you know.

      They were shocked – shocked – when the numbers of homeless then skyrocketed.  Surrounding communities love the SF decision, as it caused a mass migration of their own human debris to the liberal hobos paradise.

      Who can blame them?  Obviously, the homeless nutters are more intelligent than the liberals in the city government.

      Posted by DocMike on 2006 07 29 at 01:54 PM • permalink


    1. I’ve really had my fill of unchallenged liberal governments running our major cities (into the goround) for decades and then having their acolytes trying to smear the rest of us for the miserable results of their idiot social policies.  By every measure, New Orleans should have been absolute heaven on earth after 50+ years of total Dem rule.  That it was a corrupt, racist, no hope environmental shit-hole even before Katrina speaks volumes.  Doc Mike speaks truth about SF, although I thought the amount was closer to $400 a month.  And the SF Chronicle’s conclusion was “despite this homeless subsidy, the number of homeless continues to grow”.  The liberal mind is a wondrous thing to behold.

      Posted by Vanguard of the Commentariat on 2006 07 29 at 05:00 PM • permalink


    1. And the SF Chronicle’s conclusion was “despite this homeless subsidy, the number of homeless continues to grow”.

      And as per James Taranto, the Chron was probably blaming Dubya for it, right?

      Posted by PW on 2006 07 29 at 05:05 PM • permalink


    1. I lived in SF for 3 1/2 years and then, happily, received a job offer in LA and ran screaming home. If you’re looking for an urban study on utopian mismanagement you couldn’t do better than the City by the Bay.

      Posted by Dr Alice on 2006 07 29 at 05:10 PM • permalink


    1. If you want lunacy in the Land of Oz, head for South Australia. They seem to have a monopoly on it.

      By cripes Mick, as soon as I have finished booking my P&O cruise and checked my ANZ bank balance I am coming for you.

      Posted by rbresca on 2006 07 29 at 05:23 PM • permalink


    1. I lived in Berkeley during the mid-60s while attending the University of Californa.  I counted the hours, minutes and seconds until I graduated and could high-tail it down to L.A.  My idea for urban renewal at the time (still valid IMHO) was to take about five trillion cubic yards of earth, fill in the entire Bay Area, level it off, and start over.

      Posted by Bruce Lagasse on 2006 07 29 at 05:30 PM • permalink


    1. 20.  Absolutely PW.  These now homeless people were successful pillars of the community during the Clinton admininstration.  It was only when Bush cut their taxes that they lost all hope and went south!

      Posted by Vanguard of the Commentariat on 2006 07 29 at 05:31 PM • permalink


    1. My first visit to SF was in winter of 1990, in the middle of a recession.  There were homeless everywhere, and I thought I was back in the London underground (the last place I had seen so many).  The particularly insane ones seemed to lurk around Berkeley.

      Fast forward to 1996, for my next visit, in Autumn (Fall).  There still were a few bums, but so help me if they didn’t look well heeled for vagrants.  But, in Berkeley, the insane ones were still there.  And I think they recognised me.
      At that point I realised that for some, it is a way of life.

      Posted by entropy on 2006 07 29 at 05:42 PM • permalink


    1. Cash? Hand-outs?  In Frisco? for bums?

      I’m all over it!

      “San Francisco, here I come, right back where I started from”

      But seriously, how about Hizbollah/Tal-i-Ban and San Francisco having an exchange program.  They could both get to know each other better.  Burkhas for bi’s, jockstraps for jihadis, the possibilities are endless…

      Posted by Son of a Pig and a Monkey on 2006 07 29 at 06:00 PM • permalink


    1. #11 – I think that’s Andrew’s point, without coming out and saying it.  If you’re a reader of Andrew’s articles, you’ll see he has this theme against the unproven social experiments being foisted upon us by our ‘progressive liberal’ love-in superiors.

      Posted by spyder on 2006 07 29 at 07:37 PM • permalink


    1. My first visit to the Bay Area was in the early 70’s.  Wearing a white uniform.  Honestly I got a better reception in some foreign countries (Oz stands out) wearing that rig.

      Posted by Vanguard of the Commentariat on 2006 07 29 at 08:10 PM • permalink


    1. On my regular visits to the USA in the 1970s and 1980s, getting to the Australian Trade Commission offices in San Francisco was always an amazing “trip”. Union Square was an absolute zoo. Seems like nothing much has changed.

      Posted by Geoffrey MG on 2006 07 29 at 08:26 PM • permalink


    1. Vanguard — Nah, they were mostly dot-com stockholders.  Remember the ‘dot-bomb’ of the Clinton years, that Big Dig sinkhole for hundreds of billions in capital, that of course had NOTHING AT ALL to do with the recession…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 07 29 at 08:48 PM • permalink


    1. OK, different thread Richard.  I’m with you now, Gore as prez, etc…

      Posted by Vanguard of the Commentariat on 2006 07 29 at 09:08 PM • permalink


    1. #5 If you want lunacy in the Land of Oz, head for South Australia. They seem to have a monopoly on it.

      Justify that statement Mick, or I’ll slug you one from this side of the computer screen..
      Americans:  Adelaide is the Best Kept Secret in the World.

      Posted by Barrie on 2006 07 29 at 10:12 PM • permalink


    1. San Francisco?  Don’t they need fires and earthquakes sometimes for the same reasons New Orleans needs a Katrina?

      Posted by Barrie on 2006 07 29 at 10:13 PM • permalink


    1. #32 Best kept secret? Like The Family pedophiles? Bodies in barrels? Septic standard drinking water? Endless Labor governments? Elizabeth? Hmmm, come to think of it . . . keep it to yourself.

      Posted by slatts on 2006 07 29 at 10:58 PM • permalink


    1. It tells you everything you need to know about San Francisco that Phil Bronstein is the publisher of the Chronicle, the dump’s biggest paper, the shaper of the public opinion of the city and the arbiter of the terms of its social debate.

      Mr. Bronstein had his foot mauled when he elected to jump in a pit at the LA Zoo with a Komodo Dragon.

      This mover and shaker, this conscience of the city, woke up one morning and said to his wife, “Honey, I want to jump in a hole with a giant maneating lizard.”

      And his wife, fizzling sex-bomb Sharon Stone, said, “Fine, dear, I’ll have my people make some calls.”

      Although we are being unfair to Frisco in one regard.  It does perform one public service.  So long as the TV news can get close-ups of some purple-faced, shaven-headed lunatic in a cerical collar standing on the steps of City Hall and screaming, “I love my gay husband!” gay marriage will never be legalized in the US.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 07 29 at 11:57 PM • permalink


    1. “There’s a lake of stew and of whiskey too, you can paddle all around it in a big canoe…”

      Posted by Daniel San on 2006 07 30 at 12:30 AM • permalink


    1. I enjoyed the Clam Chowder at Pier 39 but please don’t tell me what was really in the bowl.

      Posted by Spag_oz on 2006 07 30 at 01:45 AM • permalink


    1. Andrea Harris, are you suggesting that Cambodia is a “progressive utopia”? There aren’t many stretch limos there, and the poor in Phnom Penh make poor Americans look decidedly rich.

      Bolt, perhaps subconsciously, was actually pointing out one of the inherent flaws of late modern capitalism – disparity of wealth, ever increasing. It mean seem obvious… that’s because to most of the world it is.

      Posted by gson on 2006 07 30 at 05:38 AM • permalink


    1. mean = may


      Posted by gson on 2006 07 30 at 05:39 AM • permalink


    1. #17 “Frisco’s just full of assholes” -well yeah.

      Posted by crash on 2006 07 30 at 06:51 AM • permalink


    1. My goodness, you really are one of the dumbest people I’ve ever encountered, gson. Heck, even most of the leftist student activists at my uni wouldn’t be caught publicly flogging on about “disparity of wealth, ever increasing” as “one of the inherent flaws of late modern capitalism”, but here you are, exposing your economic illiteracy for all the world to see.

      And no, Andrea didn’t call Cambodia a progressive utopia. Because, you know, unlike San Francisco Cambodia doesn’t actively encourage the creation and continued existence of a homeless bum culture through stupidly misguided leftist policies.

      Posted by PW on 2006 07 30 at 01:58 PM • permalink


    1. Yeah, San Franscisco and environs are called People’s Republics because of their unquestioning embrace of capitalism with all its flaws.  Right.

      Posted by charles austin on 2006 07 30 at 05:07 PM • permalink


    1. Hey gson, are you are posting from one of your model egalitarian societies, say Cuba or North Korea?  Oh that’s right, you couldn’t be, cuz they wouldn’t let you onto a site like this.

      Posted by Vanguard of the Commentariat on 2006 07 31 at 12:14 AM • permalink


    1. Check out the youngish couple on Today Tonight with thirteen kids and their eldest girl has two and one more on the way.
      They collect seventy six thousand a year plus other bonuses. He is “too sick” to work and hasn’t for five years. He has an “anxiety disorder” and “loss of short term memory”.

      Posted by crash on 2006 07 31 at 08:39 AM • permalink


    1. Besides, California is the land of flakes, fruits, and nuts.

      I thought that was Battle Creek.

      Posted by JDFlanagan on 2006 07 31 at 03:45 PM • permalink


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