Forums

Welcome Guest 

Show/Hide Header

Welcome Guest, posting in this forum requires registration.





Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5 6
Author Topic: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem
Kung Fu Zu
Moderator
Posts: 801
Permalink
Kung Fu Zu
Post Re: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem
on: January 11, 2019, 12:03
Quote

I don’t wish to idealize the Japanese. I’m sure they have their poor. But I would imagine that if six Japanese lived in a one-room 18’ x 18’ room, the room would be spotless and orderly. The kids would be neat, well-fed, and no one would be allowed to just hang about doing nothing, drunk on their ass.

In order to stress how strong this mental ability to wall themselves off is, I would joke that a couple could be copulating in the corner and a Japanese in the other corner could go on as if nothing was happening.

I have personally been in very small Japanese apartments where the table consisted of a round piece of wood set on the empty bathtub. The bed was a futon which was rolled up and placed in a cabinet during the day. You can believe me that such places were always neat.

The Japanese like their drink. They can get drunk at night, but they show up the next day. I have seen this many times.

Timothy-
Lane
Moderator
Posts: 1574
Permalink
Post Re: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem
on: January 11, 2019, 12:14
Quote

Before she moved in with me, Elizabeth slept on a futon. (She had a lot of furniture, but no bed.) There were a few occasions when I slept on it, when I was having bad problems with my bed slats falling. When enough do so, the results are very inconvenient. Eventually I removed the bed frame and took it to the basement (except for the headboard, which included a couple of bookshelves and was thus very handy holding a small part of our library), placing the box springs directly on the floor.

Kung Fu Zu
Moderator
Posts: 801
Permalink
Kung Fu Zu
Post Re: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem
on: January 11, 2019, 12:22
Quote

I have slept on futons many times. I still have an old one which I kept when I moved back to the USA. It was very comfortable, but I noticed that it became less so as I gained weight.

I think futons are made for light people, which is what the Japanese are.

Brad-
Nelson
Administrator
Posts: 1710
Permalink
Brad Nelson
Post Re: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem
on: January 11, 2019, 12:52
Quote

The Japanese like their drink. They can get drunk at night, but they show up the next day. I have seen this many times.

Surely this illustrates a truism: Work hard / Play hard.

The general theme I see playing out in this book is this: The truth of Progressivism and Big government *if* the proletariat are a dirty, uncouth rabble who can’t find their way out of the gutter, and perhaps don’t want to.

In the case of New York City (given the policy of accepting a mass of immigrants), there was no way to produce a halfway decent society without strong and constant government intervention by do-gooders. There were just too many people ready and willing to live in their own filth. Sure, in many cases, there might not have been much they could have done about it, which simply proves the point (one that Lincoln made):

“The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves in their separate, and individual capacities.”

Clearly New York City had reached this point. The influx of immigrants overwhelmed any natural mechanisms for people to start a new and productive life on their own.

Country folk (other than the now ubiquitous farm subsidies) wouldn’t know what to do with government intervention. If some bureaucrat wants to stop by and milk Nessie in the morning, then fine. But otherwise what use are they? They are simply in the way. But for the sort of rabble who congregate in cities (and they always seem to), their lives must necessarily be regulated by government for their own good.

No one here at StubbornThings likes that notion. They want less government. We represent the type of people who don’t mind working, but we don’t want to pay for the rabble who won’t make even the barest attempt to: stay sober, work hard, stay out trouble with the law, not sleep around and populate the world with their bastards, etc.

But the reality is that big cities, even now, require a strong nanny state in order to function. We can laugh at the idiots in New York who try to limit the size of Big Gulps. But the basic impulse to control the rabble isn’t necessarily wrong.

We conservatives (at least those few here) probably understand the principle that Jefferson did long ago: “When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.” The was certainly New York City at the time.

Modern methods (and vast amounts of public money) have ameliorated many of those ills. Modern transit systems, hospitals, and police forces — none of which Jefferson anticipated — have helped make big cities a livable place. And not only a livable place but a preferred place.

Some cities have abrogated this inherent “social contract” and have increasingly become dirty and unsafe places. Now bums, feces, discarded needles, gangs, violence, and/or illegal aliens plague some whole cities, or portions of them. There is no John Jacob Astor who has stepped forward to state the obvious. Our “Progressive” leaders have done what they can to wall us off from even discussing these problems.

The various reasons for this turn around in America have been discussed here. But this is oddly the reverse state of things in some cities where they are not doing the basic job required of them — the job that New York City once faced and more or less dealt with.

Timothy-
Lane
Moderator
Posts: 1574
Permalink
Post Re: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem
on: January 11, 2019, 13:35
Quote

When Astor stepped in (as when J. P. Morgan prevented a bank panic in the early 20th Century), the idea was still that people relied on charity, not government subsidies. Now that that's no longer the case, there are fewer Astors around.

I seem to recall reading fairly recently that voting can be predicted by population density. The denser the population of an area, the more it supports the Demagogues.

I don't recall the title, but I once saw a movie about an IRS agent trying to collect taxes from a farmer who basically didn't use money. Similar ideas show up in Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Of course, when there is no formal government, something will end up replacing it. This has come up in discussions of medieval Iceland, which was something of a functioning anarchy. The Spanish Civil War saw many areas come under Anarchist control, and they certainly had ways of preventing the chaos (after they eradicated social enemies such as priests and the bourgeoisie).

Brad-
Nelson
Administrator
Posts: 1710
Permalink
Brad Nelson
Post Re: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem
on: January 11, 2019, 15:24
Quote

The denser the population of an area, the more it supports the Demagogues.

The book doesn’t contain all that much about Tammany Hall. But given the reach of the octopus’s arms, rare would be a history of any aspect of New York where that wouldn’t intersect.

The author mentioned that Tammany Hall provided the masses with things:

Tammany provided everything from jobs and food to bail money and a proper burial—all without preachy condescension. What Tammany got in return were votes, a process facilitated by its role in helping these newcomers to become citizens.

But the long story is that Tammany Hall was a superficial public relations campaign aimed at the ignorant masses whose end was the Tammany Machine itself. That machine was about skimming public money for the political class in power and its cronies. The masses themselves were in worse shape than if there had been no Tammany Hall. Gobs of money that was earmarked for public projects was skimmed off.

The Democrat Party has the same relationship with their voters today. (Again, I can hear Mr. Kung reciting “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”) Money is thrown at high-visibility projects (Solyndra, for example) but the purpose isn’t, and never was, investment in new energy sources. It was in enriching one’s party members and cronies. The same with Obama’s dishonest “stimulus” package back then. Detroit is in worse shape than it would have been without Democrat Party "help." But the party sure helped themselves.

It is beyond dispute that these Tammany tactics in Detroit and elsewhere have benefited the cronies but have caused ruined amongst those that the do-gooders feigned to help. They hand out public money, but not with the intent to help anyone but with the intent to buy their votes. That is as deep as their interest goes. The same dynamic existed in New York City regarding Tammany and buying immigrant votes just as it does today with the Democrat Party and their attempt to swamp America with illegal aliens who they (rightly) view as future voters.

The cynicism is astounding. Evil thoroughly walks the halls of the Democrat Party as surely as it did Tammany Hall.

Timothy-
Lane
Moderator
Posts: 1574
Permalink
Post Re: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem
on: January 11, 2019, 16:17
Quote

It was a complex matter. The skimming off of public works was huge (Boss Tweed was brought down in the early days of work on the Brooklyn Bridge, but he made sure to get his share of the funds before then), and no doubt paid for all those unofficial freebies for poor voters. So the voters gave Tweed the political power that enabled him to collect lots of graft, and in return received freebies using part of that graft. I doubt the precise allocations of graft to the bosses and to the poor can ever be computed, since I doubt anyone recorded the figures. All it would take is one spy in the right place to turn the records into evidence. And that would require disgorging a lot of the graft to pay off a judge.

Brad-
Nelson
Administrator
Posts: 1710
Permalink
Brad Nelson
Post Re: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem
on: January 11, 2019, 17:56
Quote

The general impression of this book is that Tammany Hall did provide some services to their constituents. But the impression was that once such projects got started as regularly-funded programs, they were basically gutted by skimming of the funds.

My impression (it could be wrong) is that Tammany Hall was a bit like Al Capone. He was a hero of “the poor,” paid for by a few public relations trinkets that didn’t cost much and that, on balance, were a thoroughly net detriment to them.

Timothy-
Lane
Moderator
Posts: 1574
Permalink
Post Re: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem
on: January 11, 2019, 18:22
Quote

Capone did provide a very nice soup kitchen. No doubt it was much appreciated, and conceivably was one of the inspirations for Robin and the Seven Hoods. Of course, so was the illegal booze he sold. And the gun battles in the streets of Chicago? Collateral damage, I guess.

What I've read is that the political bosses would supply poor voters with freebies -- coal in the winter, a turkey at Thanksgiving or Christmas, little odds and ends like that. They no doubt paid for it out of their graft, which was also used for bribing other political figures (John Steele Gordon's The Scarlet Woman of Wall Street, about the Erie Railroad Wars between Cornelius Vanderbilt and Daniel Drew, Jim Fisk, and Jay Gould, cites lots of politician-buying as the main weapon of the struggle).

Brad-
Nelson
Administrator
Posts: 1710
Permalink
Brad Nelson
Post Re: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem
on: January 12, 2019, 08:38
Quote

I suppose to make a final judgment on all this, we need a cost-per-vote analysis, how much was provided extra as services (whatever the motivation), and how much was retracted or constrained because of skimming or obstructionism — halting what otherwise could have been built. From this book, there is little doubt that Tammany Hall was an impediment to progress. Much like Detroit, they mired people in their suffering and degradation.

An interesting consideration is the notion about how cities “evolve.” As a turn-of-phrase, it’s harmless. But few make the necessary distinctions that lead to thought and understanding.

Cities can indeed “evolve.” And what you tend to get is slums. Cities worth living in are intelligently designed. A conservative ought to rebel at how much planning and restraint. (Regulating the size of Big Gulps is clearly crossing the line.) But good cities are designed and planned. Slums are what “evolve.”

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5 6
Mingle Forum by cartpauj
Version: 1.0.34 ; Page loaded in: 0.251 seconds.