Smart Dope is at it again . . .

For those of you with strong stomachs, follow me into the amusing mind of Johnny-be-Hood to find out what North Carolina's own Smart Dope Art Pope is spending his hard earned money on today.


Let me set the story. Little Johnny is writing while on a visit to the left coast . . . opining about all things free and easy, extolling the virtues of being rich and having unrestrained opportunities to exploit whatever common good Smart Dope happens to have in his sites this week.

And you won't be surpised to discover he's dealing in lies.

PASADENA – I’m here in Los Angeles County, the exemplar of all that is said to be wasteful and disastrous about urban sprawl in the United States. The soaring mountains ringing the valley are hard to see clearly through the mid-afternoon haze. But do I feel like Dante exploring a sprawling level of Hell? Not in the slightest.

Ummm. Excuse me Johnny, but exactly who (besides you and your nutcase patron) consider LA to be "a sprawling level of hell?" I thought LA was SIN city . . . hell itself, the source of all evil. Hmmmm. Maybe you should stay there.

. . . the Smart Growth minions who warn about the Los Angelezation of their own cities suffer from a fundamental misunderstanding. They believe L.A.’s traffic and other problems stem from a low-density, inadequately planned development strategy too fixated on the automobile to the exclusion of other forms of transportation. In reality, Los Angeles, at more than 7,000 residents per square mile, is by far the most densely settled metropolitan area in North America.

Listen, if you're going to lie, you might want to at least create the illusion of truth by choosing facts that aren't so easy to check. LA has 7,000 residents per square mile. And you're saying that's the most densely populated metropolitan area in North America? Gee golly, John, you need to brush up on your geography. Or have you forgotten about these seven other cities that have higher density per square mile?

Manhattan - 26,000
Chicago - 12,000
Philadelphia - 11,000
San Francisco - 16,000
Boston - 12,000
Washington DC - 9000
Miami Beach - 12,000

It's tempting to abandon a serious critique of Hood's nonsense after exposing these lies, but there are two more points I can't ignore.

Low-density, auto-based settlement patterns – what critics call “sprawl’ and I prefer to describe as “freedom” – are hardly limited to the modern American context. They are preferred by most consumers in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere (which is not to say that all can yet act on their preference).

So not only is little Johnny an expert in la-la land, he also knows the minds of "most consumers" in Europe! Sort of like King George knows Putin's mind? Have you looked into their eyes and measured their souls, John? Or are you just making up more self-fulfilling bullshit?

This is the kind of crap that spills from right wing sewers every single day. And, sadly, is swept up by the so-called main stream media as though it represents reality.

And finally this:

Wouldn’t it be great, they ask, if people could have the option of a Manhattan lifestyle in downtown Charlotte or Raleigh? Perhaps, just as it would be great if I didn’t have to hear a single bar of rap music for the rest of my life. But to accomplish my aesthetic goal, I’d have to make lots of other people sacrifice something they strongly prefer. I have no right to demand that, nor any reasonable expectation of success.

This is where the wingnuts go from amusing to dangerous. They don't understand why anyone should ever have to sacrifice something they strongly prefer. And when your sugar daddy is Smart Dope, why would you think otherwise?These people have no sense of the common good. Rape the environment, destroy the air, subsidize the oil industry, help the rich get richer and fuck the poor. Nothing could be finer, right?

Do us all a favor, Johnny. Don't come back.


PS Put on your rubber gloves and hold your nose. Here's the link.


The original title to this

was "what an asshole" . . . but my wife made me change it.

But isn't truth

a clear defense!


Did not.

I just expressed my humble opinion that there are better ways to win friends and influence people than by calling them "assholes."

Close, but . . .

I just read the original from Baronne at US News and World. It's clear Hood ripped the guy off, but I'll leave it to lawyers to determine whether plagarism applies.

plagarism out of Rose Bowl tickets for john boy

Pasdena can go to hell as far as I am concern!*
paraphasing John Pope rope dope Boy

What do think his chances of getting invited to the Rose Bowl
parade next year after that intelligent design comment?

Better yet! I bet the Chamber of Commerse of Pasdena will
put him on their endangerous free market facist list!

Don't think he qualifies for an endangered list..

Last I checked there were plenty of bumholes left in this world and plenty of fascists too.

I'm just saying.......

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Say it! Say it! Say it! Dry Cleaners john?

Oh come on and say it! It will make you feel better and
Chances are that john boy will read it and wet in his pants
again about him ranking at the top of the list of AHoles
and little berto's with his little Caesar smiling face on NC Spin

Taking the Bait

OK, I'll take the bait.

I have no idea what Michael Barone piece a reader is referring to from which I am said to have plagarized. If he has written about Los Angeles and sprawl, that is news to me, though I presume I would large agree with his take. I found out about the new book on sprawl via some web postings and a sample chapter, to which I included a link.

Whoever is attempting to correct my statistics is apparently unfamiliar with the necessary terms. A metropolitan area is not the same thing as a city. LA is the most densely settled metro area, measuring as people per square mile. Obviously, certain municipalities or parts of municipalities are far more densely settled, as I wrote in the piece (I mentioned Manhattan specifically). Since I was writing from Pasadena, not L.A. or Santa Monica, and writing about the county and the metro as a whole, and comparing it to the Triangle region, a careful reader might well get a clue as to what was being discussed. Actually, even a careless reader might.

As to the other material in this screed, it is on a level of discourse that would be embarrasing if coming from my eight-year-old. Presumably the writer is older, which makes it more embarrassing.

No plagarism

I made the remark only with a faint recollection of the piece. the Hood piece and the US News and World Reports were both working from the same book as a primary source and both acknowledged that they were quoting from the book, which is exactly what they should have done.

I apologize for my part in the charge and would take it back if I could, but one of the things about posting on the web is that it sticks no matter how off the cuff your remark.

Lets get to the substance...

Forget the back and forth about statistics and screeds, let's get to the substance of the issue. One big issue that I have with Hood's and the author of the book's position is essentially: "sprawl is freedom". People have always wanted to do it; now people other than the rich can get away with it; therefore, the trend is good since it is liberating. The problem is that this is seen as a way to ignore the costs associated with sprawl. Sure, the middle class has more options. But the options come at the expense of so many things that tend to be ignored by the pro-sprawl crowd.

We all know about the environmental costs of increased sprawl in terms of decreased open land and increased driving, the social stratification problems it creates, the isolationism documented by social scientists, the health problems that recent studies have shown it creates...

To me it also reduces the freedom of those that do not have the money to buy large tracts of land in the suburbs. Before all of these areas were developed, there were woods that people could take a walk in, play in, and explore without having to have the money to purchase any of them. Now covered with apartments and single family residential, no one can use them without a huge cost. Some argue that parks take the role of open area, but there is not enough funding to obtain an adequate amount of parks, and the ones open are being overused.

I think people should sacrifice a little of their ability to have 1/2 an acre so that we all can have hundreds or thousands of acres to share.

It's nice to see you here.

I have no idea what the plagarism story is all about, but it seems like it is all cleared up. So, as long as you are here, how about responding to some of the articles throughout the site that suggest you are off the mark with your policy ideas.
Elevate the conversation, if you will.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

I'll take credit for the screed, thank you.

I'll also give you full credit for showing up to correct the record on similarities between your piece and Barone's. Case closed.

And being the careless reader that I am, you'll forgive me for not getting into a statistics war about the definitions of metropolitan areas and cities. The truth is, you were using a broad brush to paint an admiring picture of highway hell . . . with a ready solution in mind:

Most of what many people think they know about Southern California and growth, in other words, is simply not the case. Traffic congestion plagues the region in large measure because California has failed to invest in adequate highway capacity.

I know all freedom lovin' Americans want their highways . . . but is that really the true source of the situation you're describing? Sez who? I can think of at least three other failures that might have played just a teeny tiny role in the traffic gridlock and environmental degradation happening in La-La land: poor zoning, inadequate transit planning, and criminally weak CAFE standards.

I know that government involvement in these three issues doesn't jive with your unbridled freedom to do whatever the hell you want, but as you should have learned somewhere along the way, whatever the hell you want is not the only thing that matters. And letting the markets do their thing (re: CAFE standards in particular) runs risks that even Dear Leader considers unacceptable now that he's calling for an end to our oil addiction.

You also had this to say:

What is really going on in much of the Smart Growth literature, and the political movement it describes and propels, is an attempt by elites to impose their own, different aesthetic and social preferences on a largely unwilling population.

The "elites" I know are not trying to impose anything on anyone. They are doing their best to educate a brainwashed electorate about the costs of choices and decisions "we the people" are making . . . while suggesting alternatives that might mitigate some of the environmental and lifestyle costs. If that's what you mean by imposing, we've got a bigger problem than I thought.

So. Thanks for clearing the record about your source material. I'm glad to discover that plagarism is not among your weaknesses.

But what I really want to know is where you came up with this:

Low-density, auto-based settlement patterns – what critics call “sprawl’ and I prefer to describe as “freedom” – are hardly limited to the modern American context. They are preferred by most consumers in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere (which is not to say that all can yet act on their preference).

I've spend many months in China, Scandinavia, central Europe and South America over the past three years, and I've seen nothing to indicate that any particular lifestyle is "preferred," let alone one based on low-density, auto-based settlement patterns.

Sounds like wishful thinking to me.

Not to belabor this thread, but...

If you are concerned about tone, why is this in the John Locke blog:

That's the brilliant Mark Steyn's take this morning in the WSJ:

The progressive agenda — lavish social welfare, abortion, secularism, multiculturalism — is collectively the real suicide bomb.

Comparisons to suicide bombers are not nice either.

You haven't seen the half of it.

The snide arrogance of the JLF righteous knows no bounds . . . and the Carolina Journal is filled with it. Not to mention the flat-out misrepresentations of reality. I know it might be more gentlemanly to try to raise the level of discourse, but it's really not worth it with these guys. Sometimes you just have to call an assh*le an assh*le and be done with it.