Sunday, August 30, 2009

Misplaced Blame


The anti-Robert Moses bandwagon has been gaining steam over the last decade or so. Today he is vilified as a monster who destroyed the fabric of New York, made mega-blunders and above everything else was the boogie man incarnate because he made the overpasses at Jones Beach too small for city buses to pass under, oooo, he was racist.

Blaming Moses for all city ills is sort of akin to cursing the subway system and saying it is the worst. Both are knee-jerk reactions that fail to take into account the great things that were accomplished. The subway takes millions of people from all corners of the city to their jobs and if you even slightly remember the cars of the 70's and 80's you will realize how much better things are now. They are cleaner, they run more frequently, graffiti is gone and so are for the most part surly token dealers. Of course they could still be better. Instead of wasting time and money on a Second Avenue line so a bunch of Manhattan assholes can save 5 minute off their walks to their $7000 a month apartments, how about extending lines in the large swaths of Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Staten Island that have no train service at all?

So what did Moses do? Here are some of my recent exchanges with Moses bashers.

Moses ignored rapid transt which fell into disrepair. by the way, was just in Amsterdam and Copenhagen where they have bike lanes everywhere and it seems to work out great. you dont need to take your car everywhere in a big city, I never needed too

Nice idea in small cities and places that are not spread out, but try that in Los Angeles or Montana. Bikes are a great form of exercises and recreation but this notion that they are the savior of modern man is ludicrous.

If you are a kid, into your 30's this is all very nice but then you get old, you get fat, your knees ache and you don't want to get up in the morning and go out in the rain and have a workout before you had your morning donut. Try biking from the Rockaways and then tell me how we should live like people in Copenhagen.

you must have read the same book I did, THE LAST GOOD SEASON.

Moses was insane, he wanted to put highways through the Empire State Building and CAnal Street which would have destroyed that neighborhood

historical revisionism, today's bike assholes caliming Moses was racist, Moses was pro car, blah, blah. The only thing Moses did was take a city that was stuck in the horse and buggy era and make it a modern metropolis. You want it look at that fact with modern rose colored glasses, go ahead, in my mind the man did great things.

And so what if he put a highway through C-Anal Street? how would have made it worse then what it looks like today?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Blame


Does the damage done by this man have no end? It's common knowledge that Ronald Reagan's infatuation with the Soviet Union led almost directly to what we have today in Afghanistan. Our support of the Mujaheddin was the reason the Soviets lost that war. Of course it also is the reason that country became a radical Islamic state and everything that happened because of that. Draw your own conclusions.

We can also say that our dealing arms to Saddam Hussein during his war with Iran eboldened that dictator and created problems for us years later. Let's also not forget the arms for hostages shenanigans of Oliver North in Iran.

Now I am learning about how this neo-con demigod also inadvertently spawned the greatest gang problem since prohibition. Back in the 80's Reagan's fight against communism had us supporting the far right in El Salvador's bloody civil war. As with most such conflicts people got the fuck out of Dodge. Many came to LA. It's there that the kids of these refugees became targets of attacks from Mexican gang bangers. Some forged their own gang, MS-13. Some were deported and learned new techniques of brutality back home in the killing fields. When they slipped back into the US they brought a new level of violence to the gang wars. Today most states have problem with this gang. Even on Long Island any killing that features young Hispanic men is bound to be MS-13 related.

The impact of this president's policies is incredible. Even 20 something years later we are still cleaning up this administrations mess. Un-fucking-believable. On a minor trivia note, the devil horns gang symbol that the Salvadorans have adopted as their own is really nothing more then the hand gesture you see at all metal concerts. Originally the gang were a bunch of metal heads and stoners who hung out in LA's MacArthur Park. So I guess in that sense we can also blame Metallica and Dio for contributing to the national scourge on some level.