Dean Clough

April 10, 2023

Portico Darwin: Don't Tread on Me


3 Minute Read
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Sorry for a somewhat inflammatory post on a Monday, but I am serious:  JFC enough with bad-mouthing my beloved SF. 

Or Chicago.  Or Seattle.  Or any other radical far left liberal Democrat city.  Or state for that matter.  Yes - those of us in Democratic urban areas have problems, in some cases, pretty bad problems.  I have not been shy in acknowledging them, nor in my criticism.

And I am also aware there was the violent murder of a tech executive just recently here.  Indeed, it occurred right near the swank and towering digs of Ol' Purple Label, and she told me about it directly - and was horrified, of course.

But folks, as Americans, these are OUR cities and states.  Yet I have noticed an increasing number of citizens - especially among a certain political persuasion (guess!) - that seemingly take pleasure in upward fluctuations in things like property crime and homelessness in places associated with Democrats.  You know, real sketchy places like Portland and Manhattan.

But is there no crime or really any problems at all in Charlotte, Houston, and Cincinnati, to name 3 real American cities?  Or in the so-called heartland states in general?   

Sorry, but no.  You can go look it up - as I did - right here at the authority on such matters, the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting site.  What I cite below comes from this impressive resource.

The reality is that all cities have their own sets of problems to varying degrees.  For example, you are far more likely to be a victim of violent crime in Houston or Charlotte than here in SF.  In fact, Houston and Chicago's violent crime rates are nearly identical - yet all we here about is the "carnage" in Chicago.  But why let facts get in the way of carving out the next tranche in The Culture War?

Indeed, you've got to hand it to the Republican spinmeisters:  they've come up with another winner.  "Lawless Democrat Cities" joins other fact-free classics like "clean coal", "death tax", "natural gas", carbon taxes as "a tax on everything", and the original, "pro-life".  Yet Cincinnati's rate of property crime (incidents per 100,000 residences) is virtually the same as Seattle's:  5,049 to 5,259.  Wait, did Cincinnati defund the police?

This trend hit its nadir for me recently via an episode of Real Time with Bill Maher.  He had as a guest the Republican governor of New Hampshire, Chris Sununu, a man with national aspirations and rare among Republicans in that he has kinda sorta denounced dear leader Trump.  That's nice but I was still disgusted and sickened by his glee in deriding San Francisco and California in general.  Here's a guy that wants to lead America yet he dumps on its largest economy and patron?

But the final straw was when he asked why anyone would ever live in California in the first place.

I literally have no fucking idea why anyone in their right mind would ever live here.  Who wants to be in a National Park in the morning, and then see The Old 97s (from Texas, of all places) at a legendary American treasure, The Fillmore, just a few hours later?  And I didn't even get mugged that day!


I'm not just being defensive about where I proudly live.  My God - imagine the fallout if Gavin Newsom went on the same show and trashed Mississippi or Alabama or Kentucky!  He'd be crushed by the slimeball Sununu and those like him as being elite and out of touch. 

But please tell me:  what's the difference?  Because as I look at poverty rates, what do you know?  The most conservative states (including Mississippi, Alabama, and Kentucky) have the worst poverty.  This is from the US Department of Agriculture's website.
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Yet that's nothing I hear Democrats celebrating.  Maybe because it's tragic to think of a child not having enough food to eat - something clearly too common in these Red bastions of liberty.

But it's tragic in the same way as when someone's home must be a tent or they are compelled to break in to cars to survive.  These problems are not something to be dismissed with a derisive "I'm certainly glad it's not like that here in (fill in name of Republican city with its own problems)!"

Because a problem for one American is a problem for all of us. 

Relatedly:  homelessness in SF and California reflect national problems:  limited/zero access to mental and physical healthcare, an opioid crisis, a lack of affordable housing, corruption, and wealth inequality.  My apologies, but there are homeless in Dallas and there's crime in Des Moines.  Don't we all matter the same, as Americans?

Instead of division, here's an idea I've been floating lately.  What would it look like and what could be accomplished if California and Texas partnered on major initiatives?  Prescription drugs would be an easy one, but what about a balanced, rational, and factual educational curriculum that could be a national model for public schools?  Renewable energy standards?  Non-bachelor degree certification partnerships between the Universities of California and Texas?  Frankly, name a subject, and if California and Texas chose together to move in a mutually positive direction, the rest of the country - and eventually, a lot of the world - would go there, too.

Fantasy?  I have been preaching unity for a long time now, and I will continue to do so.  Exactly why can't we work together to make a country we all love better for everyone? 

Or does Chicago matter less than Biloxi?  No, and here's a reminder - one I found right here in San Francisco.



I want to thank Steven Simon for turning me on to this major news.  I can't wait, and I disagree with something Steven predicted:  I bet this will blow the doors off of Keith Richards' memoir, which I deem as mostly Bogus.

Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.


What says coastal elite snob more than a veteran indie rock band from Vancouver? 

Call me names, but I love this Killer new album from The New Pornographers, Continue as a Guest

About Dean Clough