by Jim Quinn
“If you have been voting for politicians who promise to give you goodies at someone else’s expense, then you have no right to complain when they take your money and give it to someone else, including themselves.” ― Thomas Sowell
“The fact that so many successful politicians are such shameless liars is not only a reflection on them, it is also a reflection on us. When the people want the impossible, only liars can satisfy.” ― Thomas Sowell
My original title for this article was going to be 30 Blocks of Potholes, Shitholes, and Assholes, but I didn’t want to offend the sensibilities of my highbrow readership. The trigger for that title was my morning commute on 34th Street in West Philly near the Philadelphia Zoo. This extremely well-traveled four lane highway resembles a moonscape of craters capable of blowing a tire (which I did a few years ago while turning onto Girard Avenue).
As I swerved through this obstacle course of government incompetence, I reflected upon how Philadelphia was a real shithole city run by Democrat asshole politicians (those not in prison yet). I’ve written dozens of articles about the 30 Blocks of Squalor over the last decade and one thing remains constant – West Philly is still a shithole, occupied by low income, low IQ, low morality, welfare state slaves who continue to vote for the same assholes who have enslaved them in squalor.
I’ve been making a daily trek through the pigsty of West Philly through three presidential administrations (Bush, Obama, Trump) and the mayoral stints of John Street (only 15 associates went to prison for corruption), Michael Nutter (left office with a city pension plan underfunded by $5.7 billion), and Jim “beak nose” Kenney (Mr. Soda tax and under FBI investigation).
Over the course of the last 12 years (and many years prior) the list of Philadelphia politicians shipped off to Federal prison has been endless, including congressman Chaka Fattah, DA Seth Williams, State senator Vince Fumo, councilman Rick Mariano, and now union boss Johnny Dougherty and councilman Bobby Henon. A slew of lesser lights has also been shipped off to the penitentiary. Corruption is the common theme tying all Philly Democrat politicians together. They effortlessly fulfill the roles of ass in this article about holes.
The narrative pushed by the Democrat politicians and the left-wing rag – Phila Inquirer is Philadelphia is rising, attracting new businesses, and is the place to be for nightlife and millennials. Of course, the narrative is bullshit. Facts are always inconvenient to welfare state Democrats, but the ignorance of their constituents is what keeps them in power. The narrative of Philadelphia getting safer is obliterated by the 351 murders in 2018, up 43% since 2013, and the highest level since 2007.
Assaults involving a gun totaled 2,327, up 13% since 2014. There were over 14,000 violent crimes and 63,000 robberies and thefts in 2018. The vast majority of these crimes occur in West and North Philadelphia, as local news stories lead with multiple murders and shootings every night (average of 4 shootings per day). Over 80% of murder victims are young black men, murdered by other young black over drugs.
The population of the US grew from 179 million in 1960 to 309 million in 2010, up 73%, while the population of Philly dropped from 2 million to 1.5 million, a 25% decline. The feckless politicians have been touting how the population has risen by a few thousand since 2010 (probably illegals flocking to a sanctuary city). There are a few “hot” areas in the downtown area for the rich and gentrification sections drawing millennials. A few of my nieces and nephews moved into these “cool” areas of Philly. After being robbed and experiencing the “best” of Philly, they’ve all moved back to the relative safety of Montgomery County.
When a few rich folks dressed in Armani, wearing Rolexes get gunned down while nonchalantly strolling to their favorite 5 star restaurant in the “nice” part of town, the exodus will resume with alacrity. It seems the clueless liberal rich folks don’t consider the fact the armed free shit army can march into their “safe zones” and take what they want. The have nots know where the haves live. And they have no qualms about forcefully acquiring what they feel is their due. Shockingly, tough gun laws are not adhered to by the feral black criminals shuffling in the shadows on the garbage strewn, pothole ridden, mean streets of Philly.
The liberal narrative of a city on the upswing must be flogged incessantly to keep their constituents (aka slaves) docile and ignorant of reality. But, even the liberal press in Philly lets their guard down and admits the truth by accident sometimes. Five years ago, to much fanfare, Obama declared the Mantua section of West Philly a Promise Zone. How uplifting and noble. This designation was going to lead to investment, new businesses, jobs, and unicorns farting rainbows in West Philly.
Reality has been far different than the press releases and I see the reality every day as I drive through this pathetic excuse for a community. The reporter interviews people who have lived in Mantua for decades and they had never even heard the term Promise Zone. But at least someone painted a mural (aka graffiti) on the wall of a dilapidated tenement to let everyone know they were in a promise zone and not a dangerous ghetto.
The reality is that after a ten-year bull market and growing economy, West Philly hasn’t revived or seen any advancement in the lives of its inhabitants. Obama used your tax dollars to build low income housing and zoo parking garages and then more of your tax dollars to repair all the shoddily built low income houses built by incompetent minority owned union construction companies. The $28 million Taj Mahal parking garage is occupied approximately 30% of the year.
You are far more likely to see yellow crime tape in Mantua than a kid carrying a school book or a woman wearing a wedding ring. The only people portraying Obama’s Promise Zone as a success are the “non-profit” grifters who hoover up the Federal handouts and pretend they are helping the community. Now the inconvenient facts never acknowledged by the politicians and liberal activists:
- Philadelphia’s poverty rate of 25.7% allows it to retain its supreme status as the “poorest big city in America.”
- The Mantua Promise Zone, a two-square-mile area home to about 30,000 black people, has a poverty rate almost twice the citywide rate, at 50.6%, up from 50.2% in 2014.
- The neighborhood’s deep poverty rate, defined as 50% below the federal poverty line, also increased – to 32.3% from 31.0% since 2014.
- The 2016 Mantua unemployment rate was little changed at 12.3% (actually closer to 20% as those classified as Not in the Labor Force rose), more than twice the recent city-wide rate of 5.8%.
- Mantua median household income in 2016 was $17,969, up slightly from $17,170 when the Promise Zone was announced. Still 70% below the national median.
- The proportion of local people aged 25-64 with a high school education or higher edged up to 80.1% in 2016 from 79.6% two years earlier. This has been achieved by lowering standards and graduating anyone who can fog a mirror.
“The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read. The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think. The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling.” ― Thomas Sowell
Even the numbers quoted above about graduation rates are complete and utter bullshit. The brand spanking new West Philly High is where all the little Einsteins from Mantua and the rest of West Philly matriculate. This fine institution of learning has computer labs, the newest technology, a student teacher ratio of 12 to 1, 500 students (98% black), school uniforms and 100% receiving free breakfasts and lunches. The Philadelphia School District spends over $2.8 billion, or $14,000 per student per year.
Of course, a huge portion goes to administrators and gold-plated pension and healthcare benefits for the below average union teachers. The payoff for this investment is a 59% graduation rate at West Philly High, an average SAT score of 1057 among the cream of the crop who actually take the exam, and a ranking of 632 out of 677 high schools in PA. Despite these pitiful numbers, over 25% enroll in college. That tells you all you need to know about the state of higher education today.
“Most officially “poor” Americans today have things that middle-class Americans of an earlier time could only dream about—including color TV, videocassette recorders, microwave ovens, and their own cars. Moreover, half of all poor households have air-conditioning.” ― Thomas Sowell
Obama’s Promise Zone is a joke. They have used your tax dollars to knock down hovels, leaving vacant lots with wooden fences built around them. These vacant lots were supposed to be where all the re-development and businesses were supposed to magically appear. Instead they are strewn with garbage, drug paraphernalia, dog crap, and weeds. The Mantua Square low-income townhouse development, built in 2012 with 8 storefronts for all the businesses falling all over themselves for this awesome opportunity.
Seven years later and not one business occupies any of the storefronts. So much for black entrepreneurship. The neighborhood looks like downtown Baghdad after shock and awe. There are probably just as many weapons in West Philly as Baghdad. Despite the squalor, every saggy pants wearing teenager and 300 pound baby momma is yammering on an iGadget. Welfare teens are wearing $250 sneakers and $50,000 Cadillacs are parked in front of $25,000 rat infested fleapits. What a country – thank you Federal Reserve for all that easy money.
“One of the consequences of such notions as ‘entitlements’ is that people who have contributed nothing to society feel that society owes them something, apparently just for being nice enough to grace us with their presence.” ― Thomas Sowell
The entitlement mentality in West Philly is as strong as ever. Over 75% of black kids in West Philly are still born out of wedlock. Drug dealing is still the primary source of income. More than 50% of the population survive on tax payer funded food stamps, living in tax payer funded housing, using tax payer funded Obama phones, and watching taxpayer funded cable TV. They are more dependent today than they were a decade ago.
Obama’s Promise Zone essentially promised the people of Mantua more free shit and a continuation of their welfare mentality enslavement on the Democrat plantation. Keeping these people dumb and ignorant is essential for Democrat politicians retaining their stranglehold on power in Philly and all the urban ghettos across the land. If these people actually obtained a good education and learned to think for themselves, the chains of ignorance would be broken and the slaves freed.
The Democrat politicians who have controlled Philly since the 1950s are as incompetent as they are corrupt. They go hand in hand as the city falls further into debt and the basic infrastructure disintegrates. This has not been a harsh winter in the Philly area, but the roads, especially 34th Street from Girard Ave. to Haverford Ave., are a disgraceful example of government incompetence, apathy and fiscal irresponsibility. With a pension fund having only $4.9 billion in assets but $11.3 billion in liabilities, fiscal Armageddon awaits.
With a $6.2 billion shortfall (entire city budget is $4.7 billion), the scumbags running the city still allow the DROP (Deferred Retirement Option Plan) program to reward politicians and union leaders with criminally large payoffs as the infrastructure crumbles. This outrage allows eligible politicians to “retire” for a day at the end of their terms, collect six-figure cash bonuses, and then, upon winning reelection (and making a quick trip to the bank), go right back to work the next day. Six City Council members took DROP money — president Anna Verna ($566,039), Jack Kelly ($384,828), Donna Miller ($185,572), Frank DiCicco ($421,123), Frank Rizzo Jr. ($195,052), and Marian Tasco ($478,057) and were then eligible for their regular gold-plated pensions. All of these corrupt politicians were Democrats.
“The welfare state is the oldest con game in the world. First you take people’s money away quietly and then you give some of it back to them flamboyantly.” ― Thomas Sowell
While these crooked politicians have been pillaging from the taxpayer coffers for decades, the neglect and negligence of these elected officials to run the city is evident on every street, and particularly along the 30 Blocks of Squalor. They spent millions of Obama porkulus funds on installing wheel chair ramps on every street corner, while ignoring the crumbling sidewalks between the ramps which would prevent a wheelchair from ever needing to use the ramps. There is no rhyme or reason for which streets receive a new coating of blacktop from the overpaid sloth-like union dregs.
It’s incomprehensible that some barely used side streets were paved in the last year, while they allow 34th street to disintegrate on a daily basis to the point where cars are swerving in and out of lanes to avoid destroying their suspension or blowing a tire. This morning, after a light snow, the right lane was completely blocked because no government drone could be bothered to unclog the sewer drain and get rid of the foot of water at the entrance to the zoo. Some of the potholes in West Philly are so deep, you could probably catch a world-famous tasty Philly carp in them.
The reality is that despite having outrageously high city wage taxes of 3.9%, a sales tax levy of 8%, high corporate taxes, ever increasing real estate taxes, and sin taxes on cigarettes and soda, the city somehow can’t keep its basic infrastructure from falling apart. With gold plated government pension plans, siphoning funds to friends and family, and payoffs to union bosses, the budget doesn’t have anything left for potholes and keeping stoplights functioning.
The newly paved streets are dug up or incur sinkholes days after completion. The politicians never address the looming disaster under the thin veneer of blacktop. Ancient sewer lines and decrepit water pipes burst on a regular basis flooding homes and businesses because asshole politicians don’t give a crap about the poor black folk in West Philly. They’ll get their vote no matter how poorly they are served.
“To believe in personal responsibility would be to destroy the whole special role of the anointed, whose vision casts them in the role of rescuers of people treated unfairly by “society”.” ― Thomas Sowell
The definition of shithole is an extremely dirty, shabby, or otherwise unpleasant place. If ever a word described West Philly to a tee, it’s shithole. Every day appears to be garbage day, as refuse and debris litter the sidewalks and streets. The black people who inhabit this paradise of squalor don’t give a fuck about their community, their neighbors, or their city.
They have no self-respect, desire to improve their lot in life, or initiative to understand how they have been screwed and who screwed them. They wallow in ignorance and poverty, while believing that Democrat politicians care about their plight and are going to rescue them with more welfare handouts. Personal responsibility is an unknown concept in West Philly. Enslavement in dependency will keep West Philly from ever reviving itself.
The intersection of 36th and Lancaster Ave. is a five-way intersection that includes trolley tracks. A few weeks ago, the stoplight malfunctioned and was on blink when I passed through at 7:30 in the morning. A malfunction such as this should be repaired by an efficient government within a couple hours. The lights at this intersection remained dark for the next seven days.
That is a disgraceful example of government ineptitude and apathy. Further down the block, the lights at the major intersection of 36th and Chestnut have consistently malfunctioned resulting in gridlock conditions and many near accidents. These are the basic functions needed to keep a city running and the assholes running this shithole haven’t got a clue or don’t give a fuck.
All of the feel-good socialist drivel being spewed by AOC and her oblivious acolytes has been put into action in Philly and other urban ghettos across the land. Tens of trillions have been poured into these shitholes since LBJ rolled out his Great Society plans to enslave blacks in welfare goodies and ensuring their votes for a hundred years. Liberals like Hillary and AOC mouth platitudes about a village raising a child, when West Philly proves how well a village does in raising the bastard children of those who take no responsibility for the children they have produced.
Only a village idiot would believe cretins like Hillary and AOC know how your children should be raised. They’re fascists who want to take your money in order to forcefully inflict their warped vision upon the entire country and taking no responsibility for their epic failures. These socialist tyrants will not be happy until the entire country looks like the 30 Blocks of Squalor.
Seven decades of one party rule in Philadelphia has wrought murder, squalor, poverty, corruption, debt, welfare enslavement and guaranteed Democrat voters. This is the Democrat plan for the entire nation and is why they desperately want to keep the borders open to more Democrat voters. If successful, they will turn the entire nation into one giant shithole. If the Democrats gain one party rule over the country, AOC’s end of world prediction may come true – after the civil war starts.
“Hillary Clinton said you know, it takes a village to raise a child and somebody said it takes a village idiot to believe that … it is part of the whole thing of third parties wanting to make decisions for which they pay no price for when they’re wrong.” ― Thomas Sowell