Like Noah’s Days, Sorta
Vol: 134 Issue: 30 Friday, November 30, 2012
The ten most dangerous cities in the United States, according to Forbes Magazine, (who compiled the list), are ten cities with a population of over 200,000 and ranked according to their violent crime rate as reported by the FBI’s annual crime report databases.
Forbes explained their methodology for compiling their list. In reading through the article, one of the things that caught my attention early on was the warnings from the FBI about how to analyze the data.
“These preliminary 2011 statistics come with more caveats than the black-box warning on a dangerous chemotherapy agent, and the FBI says they shouldn’t be used to compare one city with another. Differences in police reporting standards, urban borders and economics can make it tricky to compare densely populated Detroit, say, with sprawling Houston. We used cities instead of larger metropolitan statistical areas, which gave the disadvantage to older cities with tighter boundaries.”
It struck me as odd that the FBI should have a stake in what Forbes Magazine concludes from the raw data. In any event, the piece explained in its introduction:
“But consistency also means something, and the Top 10 cities on this list all display a lot of consistency both in their stubborn crime rates and their ranking on individual crimes like murder and rape. No. 2 St. Louis, for example, ranks fourth nationwide in murders, fifth in robberies and third in violent assaults. Detroit has lost more than 200,000 residents since 2001, yet it racked up 344 murders last year, compared with 395 a decade ago. The Motor City’s murder rate is second only to New Orleans among cities over 200,000 population (Flint, Mich. narrowly beats Detroit among all cities, with a murder rate of 52 per 100,000). Higher rates of other violent crimes put it at the top of the list.”
So Forbes dutifully noted the FBI’s advice on how best to analyze the data and concluded that these are the ten most dangerous cities in the United States, in descending order:
- Detroit, Michigan
- St. Louis, Missouri
- Oakland, California
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Birmingham, Alabama
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Baltimore, Maryland
- Stockton, California
- Cleveland, Ohio
- Buffalo, New York
Now for a pop quiz. Everybody get out their thinking caps. Here goes.
- Which of those cities has a Republican mayor or majority Republican city council?
- Which of those cities has had a Republican administration in the last twenty years?
- Which of those cities did not cast majority votes for the Democrat across-the-board?
- Which of those cities is not a crumbling, financial basket case with above national average unemployment and welfare participation?
You know, I think I made the quiz too easy. The ten most dangerous cities in America are among the ten most blue cities in America. Forbes also ranked the ten most miserable cities in which to live, overall. Some of them might surprise you.
Again, in descending order:
- Miami, Florida
- Detroit, Michigan
- Flint, Michigan
- West Palm Beach Florida
- Sacramento, California
- Chicago, Illinois
- Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Toledo, Ohio
- Rockford, Illinois
- Warren, Michigan
Wanna do the quiz again? No? Don’t blame you. If you live in any of the ten most miserable places in America to live, chances are you voted Democrat. If you didn’t a majority of your fellow citizens certainly did.
You voted for the same party for President, Congress, Governor, Mayor, City Council and dog catcher. If you didn’t, most of your neighbors did.
For the most part, nobody had to even campaign in the ten most dangerous or the ten most miserable places in America to live. They are dedicated blue cities in primarily blue states. Their cities are blighted and prospects are few.
They are enslaved in a system under which they cheerfully re-elect their masters, election after election, out of fear that anybody else would curtail their government benefits.
So they keep on electing the same folks over and over, hoping that this time, it will turn out better.
Forbes also released a list of the eleven states where investing money could be dangerous — Forbes calls them the financial Death Spiral States. They are, in order from west to east, as follows:
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
- New York
In each of these states, there are more takers than there are makers, ie; there are more people dependent on the government than there are those dependent on the private sector.
Those dependent on the government include state workers and those on pensions, but that doesn’t change the cold economics of the situation. In California for example, the software company that employs 100 people supports 139 other people through the state.
Billionaire Warren Buffet (who owes back taxes going back to 2002) went on NBC’s Today Show to argue in favor of raising taxes on the rich in America:
“No, and I think it would have a great effect in terms of the morale of the middle class, who have seen themselves paying high payroll taxes, income taxes. And then they watch guys like me end up paying a rate that’s below that, you know, paid by the people in my office.”
The people in Buffet’s office probably aren’t fighting the IRS to keep from having to pay their own back taxes. They are, however, busy fighting to protect Buffet’s money.
It is axiomatic that Buffet doesn’t believe what he is saying or else he wouldn’t be fighting the IRS to avoid paying taxes he already owes. But he can say whatever he wants — he isn’t accountable to anyone for his opinion.
In Great Britain in 2009, the Labour Government campaigned on a similar class envy strategy, promising the working class that they would increase spending on benefits and shift the tax burden over onto British millionaires.
That year, more than 16,000 Britons had declared incomes in excess of one million pounds. Then they raised the top tax rate to fifty percent. By the following year, there were only 6,000 millionaires left in Britain — the other two-thirds had left the country (and took their money with them).
It was Margaret Thatcher that first said “the only problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” Look at California. Look at Great Britain. Look at France, where millionaires are fleeing the country in droves.
It is obvious to anybody that gives it five seconds’ thought that those threatened by confiscatory tax rates will find some way to hide, bury or misdirect income into tax shelters or tax losses rather than simply hand it over to the government.
It isn’t just the rich that take advantage of tax exemptions or deductions. Nobody pays more than they absolutely have to. And even if somebody is too dumb to figure it out on their own, they have Great Britain and France for examples.
And for those who would dismiss those examples as European, we have California and the other ten spiralling states to look to for examples. Or the ten most miserable cities in America. Or the ten most dangerous cities in America.
So what does it all mean? As Christians, we aren’t looking for the antichrist or for signs of the Tribulation, other than as a measure of how close we might be to the coming of the Lord.
The first four judgements of the Tribulation are nicknamed, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
The rider on the white horse is the antichrist. The rider on the red horse is War. The rider on the black horse represents economic collapse and famine while the rider on the pale horse is Death.
We don’t know who the antichrist is, but for the first time in the life of my ministry, we have credible candidates in positions of power.
We are embroiled in what is often called a “generational war” that has already raged for more than twenty years since Operation Desert Storm, and in many ways, is just now getting started.
As today’s column has outlined, we appear to be racing toward a fiscal cliff so rapidly that mainstream news reporters are all suddenly and breathlessly reporting that “we’re racing toward a fiscal cliff” as if learning about it for the first time.
When the mainstream news reports it, you know they had run out of ways to either hide it until after the election or blame it on George Bush.
Meanwhile, everyone else seems blissfully unaware, or at least unconcerned, about the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction among the enemies of Israel and the United States.
Or the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood. Or the scope of the looming economic catastrophe at home.
Or the blatant hypocrisy of guys like Warren Buffet. Or the blindness of the partisans at the wheel as the fiscal cliff approaches.
Or the abject lawlessness of this administration and its minions.
It is almost delusional in its scope. We go about our day to day business, hoping al Qaeda won’t strike, war won’t break out in the Middle East, the economy won’t crater and we’ll still have jobs tomorrow.
“But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. ” (Matthew 24:39)
That’s why the Lord gave us signs. So we’d know what to look for.