26 October 2007

Just Cause They Quote Communists Doesn't Make Them Biased . . .

. . . OK, I lied. Yes, it does make them ridiculously biased that when the Washington Post journalists authoring this front page article from Wednesday want to go for a quote about the Southern California wildfires they turn to anti-American, anti-sprawl, anti-technology, ranting leftist ex-hippie Prof. Mike Davis of UC Irvine to get their pull quote.

City of Quartz made him famous in certain circles. He became the local prophet of doom du jour for a good chunk of the 90s, especially since it came out a few years before the Riots and seemed to be prophetic in its dystopian and jaundiced look at our little corner of paradise. But he was wrong, the area didn't collapse, and isn't collapsing. It continues to prosper, even if a little unsteadily and uneasily at times. There are huge problems associated with the sprawl that is Southern California, but with those problems also come amazing opportunities, and Prof. Davis' brand of anti-development and anti-progress rantings are based in a Marx inspired nihilistic disregard and disdain for people and their right to choose their own economic priorities.

The fires are tragic, and some people are building too close to wilderness areas for their own safety, but so long as they don't expect me to pick up the whole tab as they rebuild their lives, assuming some risk is a part of everyone's life. Also, newer communities and homes seem to have faired better than the ones put up in the 70s and 80s, so developers are getting better at siting and providing adequate clearance around developments to ensure safety.

Now I wouldn't have read the WaPo article if it wasn't pointed to by this TCS Daily article by Ralph Kinney Bennett (hat tip Instapundit, the STUPID HUMANS caption sucked me in). What's up with not linking the WaPo article itself? I had to look it up, but it was easy enough to find. Also, Bennett doesn't name Mike Davis in his critique of the article, even though the article mentions his name. That seems kind of silly, and as soon as I saw the reference to a UC Prof. quoted in an article critical of sprawl, I had a hunch it would be Davis, but Bennett could have saved me the trouble by first, linking the stupid article in the first place, and second naming the UC Prof, rather than refer to him obliquely.

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