Friday Ephemera
Her Unspeakable Woes

Elsewhere (98)

Mark Steyn on the downfall of Detroit:  

Americans were so inured that the formal confirmation of a great city’s downfall was greeted with little more than a fatalistic shrug. But it shouldn’t be. To achieve this level of devastation, you usually have to be invaded by a foreign power. […] In my book After America, I observe that the physical decay of Detroit — the vacant and derelict lots for block after block after block — is as nothing compared to the decay of the city’s human capital. Forty-seven percent of adults are functionally illiterate, which is about the same rate as the Central African Republic, which at least has the excuse that it was ruled throughout the Seventies by a cannibal emperor. Why would any genuine innovator open a business in a Detroit “innovation hub”? Whom would you employ? The illiterates include a recent president of the school board, Otis Mathis, which doesn’t bode well for the potential work force a decade hence.

Daniel Hannan on the same: 

The Observer, naturally, quotes a native complaining that “capitalism has failed us,” but capitalism is the one thing the place desperately needs. Detroit has been under leftist administrations for half a century. It has spent too much and borrowed too much, driving away business and becoming a tool of the government unions. Of Detroit’s $11 billion debt, $9 billion is accounted for by public sector salaries and pensions. Under the mountain of accumulated obligations, the money going into, say, the emergency services is not providing services but pensions. Result? It takes the police an hour to respond to a 911 call and two thirds of ambulances can’t be driven. This is a failure, not of the private sector, but of the state. 

Victor Davis Hanson tries to start that “honest conversation” about race in America: 

The president knows that if it is true that African-American males are viewed suspiciously, it is probably because statistically they commit a disproportionate amount of violent crime. If that were not true, they might well be given no more attention as supposed suspects than is accorded to white, Asian, or Latino youths. Had George Zimmerman been black, he would have been, statistically at least, more likely to have shot Trayvon Martin — and statistically likewise less likely to have been tried.

See also Heather Mac Donald on reports by victims of crime:

In fact, the race of criminals reported by crime victims matches arrest data. As long ago as 1978, a study of robbery and aggravated assault in eight cities found parity between the race of assailants in victim identifications and in arrests - a finding replicated many times since, across a range of crimes. No one has ever come up with a plausible argument as to why crime victims would be biased in their reports.

Cassandra ponders some fashionable double standards and things one mustn’t discuss when discussing race:

If it is acceptable for the President of the United States or the Attorney General to regale us with a remembered litany of racial slights, why is it racist and wrong for Victor Davis Hanson to share memories that left an imprint upon him? Why is it racist and wrong for me to do the same?

And Jeff Goldstein observes what $100,000 of student debt is buying for tomorrow’s “progressive” intellectuals:

And besides, what better way to save the planet than to remove a bunch of carbon footprints that are probably wasting valuable natural resources with all their electronic gadgets and social media time. Killing the children is for the children. As any major dude can plainly see.

As usual, feel free to add your own links and snippets in the comments.