The fruits of consistent, applied liberalism in the Bay Area Rapid Transit system

San Francisco is famous for its accommodating stance toward the “homeless.” Here is one of the results of that policy, as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Human waste shuts down BART escalators

About which Matthew H. comments:

Another characteristic symbol of America, 2012: The gleaming, multi-billion dollar light rail system caked with the excrement of vagrants and junkies whom the political “authorities” refuse to punish or expel.

Leftism/Liberalism/Progressivism (call it what you will) is nothing other than a conscious scheme to bankrupt and demolish society and, ultimately, to render the world entirely unfit for human life.

LA replies:

We could put it this way:

Ultra modern city + rule by liberals = ultra modern city rendered dysfunctional by the excrement of vagrants.

Or we could put it this way:

Since liberalism is the ideology of modern Western society, what must be the fate of modern Western society?

- end of initial entry -

Brandon F. writes:

As someone who works on elevators and escalators I can tell you that it would take a lot of … that kind of matter … to foul up rollers, etc. on an escalator. I can’t imp>
July 28

Jim Kalb writes:

This is somehow symbolic. At least in some settings liberalism presents itself as incredibly high-minded, because it’s so abstract and indifferent to the cruder aspects of life. If you object to it you must be a low sort of person. It turns out though that you can try to ignore those aspects of life but they’re not going to ignore you.

DJM writes:

In 2002 I was working as a contractor for two utility programs in the San Francisco Bay Area. One of them had me traveling by BART each day in order to get to San Francisco, where I would then either walk to my job sites, or take the Muni (local bus and tram service).

Everything the article said is absolutely true. Every day I could smell the odors drifting up out of the escalators; I could see excrement here and there; and the overall impression was that BART’s underground stations had become San Francisco’s toilet.

Market Street was, and likely still is, overflowing with some of the most tragic figures I have every laid eyes on. I have little or no sympathy for the burnt-out druggies and drunkards, but mixed in are the mentally ill that the do-gooders wanted released from the institutions where they were at least getting some help. The result of all of this is filthy sidewalks that at times become impassable, and the begging often becomes abusive and threatening. I am a big man, and some say my looks are intimidating. Not to the beggars!

At the end of my day I would ride the BART back out to Concord, both physically and emotionally exhausted. I just do not understand how the San Franciscans put up with—or encourage—this sort of thing.

You and I are in disagreement about some social issues, but when it comes to public order and public decency I am as conservative as they come.

Gintas writes:

I have a good source with the Seattle Department of Transportation who says the mayor has a deliberate policy of making road work difficult. The goal is to make it so troublesome to drive in Seattle that people will take to the buses and bikes. Seattle DoT is not underfunded, but the roads are nearing Third-World quality. I don’t like driving there because my car is being beaten to pieces. This explains also the seeming futility of the city to clear the streets after the snowstorm we had a few years ago. It’s not incompetence—it’s policy. It’s liberalism.

July 29

Paul Nachman writes:

Here is John Derbyshire circa 2003 on the loathsomeness of San Francisco:

Why? This is a great puzzle to the city’s irredeemably liberal Board of Supervisors and their soul-mates in the local press. One of the latter, Ilene Lelchuk of the San Francisco Chronicle, recently began a sentence thus: “With San Francisco’s homeless population growing despite the millions of dollars the city spends annually to help its most desperate residents …” Note that word “despite.” We spend more and more on the homeless, and still their numbers increase. How can this be? What a strange and wonderful thing is the liberal mind! (Recall the similarly clueless New York Times headline, though this one I am quoting from memory: “Prison Population Swells Despite Falling Crime Levels.”) …

And of course, the street people stink. Even in the open spaces downtown, you can’t avoid the stink. It is probably worse than it used to be before the UN Plaza fountain was fenced off in March, as the street people had been taking baths in the fountain. They had also been urinating, defecating, and discarding drug paraphernalia there—the last to such a degree that the water was dangerous with chemical contaminants, even if you could bring yourself to ignore the waste products. The city used to do a daily clean-up, fishing out the needles, the turds, and the Muscatel bottles, but at last they got fed up and erected a chain-link fence round the whole thing in the teeth of, it goes without saying, vehement protests from “advocates for the homeless.”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 27, 2012 04:49 PM | Send

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