HOW SAN FRANCISCO BECAME A FAILED CITY

Because yesterday, San Francisco voters decided to turn their district attorney, Chesa Boudin, out of office. They did it because he didn’t seem to care that he was making the citizens of our city miserable in service of an ideology [to allow homeless people everywhere] that made sense everywhere but in reality. It’s not just about Boudin, though. There is a sense that, on everything from housing to schools, San Francisco has lost the plot—that progressive leaders here have been LARPing left-wing values instead of working to create a livable city. And many San Franciscans have had enough.

walking these streets awakens me to how bad San Francisco had gotten even before the coronavirus hit—to how much suffering and squalor I’d come to think was normal.

Stepping over [homeless] people’s bodies, blurring my eyes to not see a dull needle jabbing and jabbing again between toes—it coarsened me. I’d gotten used to the idea that some people just want to live like that. 

I’d gotten used to the crime, rarely violent but often brazen; to leaving the car empty and the doors unlocked so thieves would at least quit breaking my windows

people addicted to drugs come from all over the country in part for the services San Francisco provides.

Under Boudin, prosecutors in the city could no longer use the fact that someone had been convicted of a crime in the past to ask for a longer sentence, except in “extraordinary circumstances.” Boudin ended cash bail and limited the use of gang enhancements, which allow harsher sentences for gang-related felonies. In most cases he prohibited prosecutors from seeking charges when drugs and guns were found during minor traffic stops. “We will not charge cases determined to be a racist pretextual stop that leads to recovery of contraband,” Rachel Marshall, the district attorney’s director of communications, told me.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/06/how-san-francisco-became-failed-city/661199/

The Harvard Professor Who Enabled Putin and the Oligarchs

It was under Clinton that the Harvard Institute for International Development let professor Jeffrey Sachs propose the economic “shock therapy” for Russia. This directly lead to hyperinflation and the give away of major industries to the lucky few who became Russia’s oligarchs. This was a f**k up on a historical scale

https://www.thenation.com/article/world/harvard-boys-do-russia/

Why Russia needs to be humiliated in Ukraine (Too little was learnt from the collapse of the Soviet Union)

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/why-russia-needs-to-be-humiliated-in-ukraine

in 1991 there was a sense among many Russians that the USSR was not so much defeated as it folded under its own weight. Too many refused to accept that the Soviet collapse was the outcome of years of economic mismanagement and imperial hubris – and so they looked for traitors instead

Ukraine has punctured a big, gaping hole in the narrative of Russia’s ‘greatness’. Russia is poor, corrupt and authoritarian, and now we also know that it is weak and pathetic. Russia’s ‘greatness’ has crumbled in an orgy of murder and rape inflicted by brutal occupiers in Ukraine. Tainted by the blood of the innocents, and beaten in honest combat, the bully has been reduced to size. It’s about time. Thank you, Ukraine, for serving this bitter medicine. Russia needed it badly.

Russia needs proper humiliation. It needs a humble recognition of its diminished status, an acceptance of guilt, and a slow, painstaking effort to rebuild the trust of those it has wronged. Russia did not learn this lesson in the 1990s. It must learn it now.

Sergey Radchenko

Putin’s fantasy that Ukraine is key part of Russia is backwards

Putin’s weird concept of Ukraine being an essential part of the ancient greatness that is Russia was his motivation for invading Ukraine. Here are the words from Putin’s own mouth:

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/66181

The funny thing is, Putin is completely wrong on the facts. Ukraine was around for 1000 year before they allied with “Muscovy” (the nation that became Russia). For details, read:

https://www.newyorker.com/news/essay/the-war-in-ukraine-is-a-colonial-war (paywall if you read too many articles in newyorker.com for free)

Can we just skip to the part where Putin kills himself in a bunker?

Can Russia Keep Up Their Attacks for More Than a Few Weeks? This expert says “no”

Justin Bronk of the Royal United Services Institute gives a painfully detailed analysis concluding with the observation that it’s hard to see how Russia can keep up the pace militarily for more than a few weeks. The video below shows the conclusion of the discussion. Rewind to 45:24 to see the start of the discussion:

Later edit: Well as of July 2022, Russia’s still going. So this prediction was off by at least an order of magnitude.

The Kleptocrats Next Door. The United States has a dirty-money problem.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/01/american-kleptocracy-kleptopia-united-states-dirty-money/620852/

Delaware, Nevada, South Dakota, and Wyoming—nice, normal American states, full of nice, normal Americans—have created financial instruments that nameless investors can use to hide their money from the world

Why doesn’t the U.S., instead of abetting the elaborate arrangements, exert its leverage to help change the rules and eradicate the system? Part of the answer is obvious. Powerful people benefit from it, and they are intent on keeping it in place.

Anonymous purchases of Trump properties skyrocketed once he became the Republican nominee for president. As Michel writes, “We have no idea who the vast majority of these purchasers were, or where they came from, or where they got their money, or what they wanted—or how they impacted American policy.”