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July 15, 2007

Back: Searchie, Peter, Rick

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Some of my favorite bloggers have made returns from hiatuses (hiati?) and slowdowns. In each case I'm a little late in reporting the fact -- mea culpa. But don't let my ineptness deter you from some serious blogging pleasure.

* After a few months away, some of it spent in her beloved Eastern Europe, Searchie blogs again. Searchie is part punkette, part intellectual, and part Left Bank dreamer. She's unafraid of both pain and beauty, and she's always a delight. Don't miss a couple of beautiful Euro-doorways that captivated her during her recent travels; photos are shown in this posting. For my money, that's some seriously great architecture.

* Back in the day, Peter Briffa was one of the bloggers who opened my eyes to the kinds of opportunities blogging was making possible. Funny, smart, offhand, both blunt and crisp, he surprises initially because of his unapologetically reactionary point of view. "Reactionary" as a positive virtue -- you don't run across that very often in the mainstream press, that's for sure. Some of Peter's postings are cryptic and merry demolitions of British media and political figures I know nothing about. (Tony Blair? Gordon Brown? Who dat?) But many are mischievous blasts of crusty and provocative good sense that even a cluelessly provincial American can enjoy. A major plus: Peter never stops giving amusing and vigorous demonstrations of the art of writing short.

* On a visit to the Southeast, Rick Darby -- who recently returned to blogging after a heart scare -- ventures on and off the Interstates, and marvels at all the shapeless new sprawl straggling this way and that. Great Rick quote:

The United States has added a hundred million to its population since 1970 (most of it through immigration). Rural sprawl is one result. Yet for some reason I have never been able to understand, the country remains addicted to booming population. USA Today recently carried a front page piece on the fastest growing cities, and their local officials beamed with pride. New York City's reigning idiot, Mayor Bloomberg, could hardly contain his glee at predictions that the city will add another million people in a few years. Politicans and businessmen see in population growth only more tax revenue and more customers, respectively; the rest of us see more congestion, less open space, and more herd behavior.

That's a seriously good topic Rick touches on: Who are the people who promote endless and fast population growth -- raw-number growth that isn't wanted by most of us? (A striking number from that poll: "Only one in ten agreed the population should reach 400 million or more, a number some have estimated the country will reach by 2050 if current rates of immigration and fertility hold." In other words -- and I'm going to blast this loud and clear -- current U.S. policies are promoting results that 9 out of 10 Americans don't want.) Why are these powerful people forcing sharp and unwanted population increases on the rest of us? And why aren't more of us quicker to denounce their power-grabbin' antics?



posted by Michael at July 15, 2007


Mayors celebrate local population growth because it means, usually, that people want to live there. Population decline is associated with economic depression and urban decay. (Chicago lost a lot of people from the destruction of housing by slumlords and slum tenants. There are many blocks in the west side ghetto with only two or three buildings left standing.)

Posted by: Rich Rostrom on July 25, 2007 12:41 AM

Hello, Rich

I do not know if you remember me, but I used to frequent soc.history.what-if, under the nick of "Devite". I got tired of the constant shouting and exchange of insults in Usenet (I do visit alt.politics.bush to say what I think of the Idiot in Chief).

It is good to see you again

Posted by: Adriana on July 25, 2007 12:14 PM

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