Libertarian Thursday: Oakland’s Pothole Vigilantes

‘Pothole Vigilantes’ are covertly fixing Oakland roads in the middle of the night

You know you’re reading a P.K. Dick or Rudy Rucker dystopian Sci Fi novel when the author mentions Oakland burning in the background.

Here’s an enterprising group that’s taking it upon themselves to fix some of Oakland’s woes by filling in potholes when nobody’s watching.

The city’s response is not unexpected: “With finite resources the City cannot always respond immediately to every request – but every complaint is tracked, and the more data City leaders have about where residents’ issues are located, the better they can organize City resources to tackle long-term issues,” says a press release by Oakland Public Works.  For those who feel like they’re not getting through, the city asks you keep trying and report problems multiple times.

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28 thoughts on “Libertarian Thursday: Oakland’s Pothole Vigilantes”

  1. Damocles:
    Here’s an enterprising group that’s taking it upon themselves to fix some of Oakland’s woes by filling in potholes when nobody’s watching.

    Big mistake. Cities like Oakland need to fail, hard. These guys are just prolonging the agony. Like drug addicts, these places need to hit rock bottom before they can right themselves, if they ever can.

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  2. drlorentz:

    Damocles:
    Here’s an enterprising group that’s taking it upon themselves to fix some of Oakland’s woes by filling in potholes when nobody’s watching.

    Big mistake. Cities like Oakland need to fail, hard. These guys are just prolonging the agony. Like drug addicts, these places need to hit rock bottom before they can right themselves, if they ever can.

    So you are pro pothole, Doc?

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  3. drlorentz:

    Damocles:
    Here’s an enterprising group that’s taking it upon themselves to fix some of Oakland’s woes by filling in potholes when nobody’s watching.

    Big mistake. Cities like Oakland need to fail, hard. These guys are just prolonging the agony. Like drug addicts, these places need to hit rock bottom before they can right themselves, if they ever can.

    What do you suggest? Going door to door, executing one family at a time?

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  4. Damocles:

    drlorentz:

    Damocles:
    Here’s an enterprising group that’s taking it upon themselves to fix some of Oakland’s woes by filling in potholes when nobody’s watching.

    Big mistake. Cities like Oakland need to fail, hard. These guys are just prolonging the agony. Like drug addicts, these places need to hit rock bottom before they can right themselves, if they ever can.

    What do you suggest? Going door to door, executing one family at a time?

    How about just having Jerry Brown as mayor of Oakland again?

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  5. 10 Cents:

    Damocles:

    drlorentz:

    Damocles:
    Here’s an enterprising group that’s taking it upon themselves to fix some of Oakland’s woes by filling in potholes when nobody’s watching.

    Big mistake. Cities like Oakland need to fail, hard. These guys are just prolonging the agony. Like drug addicts, these places need to hit rock bottom before they can right themselves, if they ever can.

    What do you suggest? Going door to door, executing one family at a time?

    How about just having Jerry Brown as mayor of Oakland again?

    No, I’m serious… What will failing hard look like, and why do people need to wait for that to happen before they start working to improve things?

    This flippant attitude is why people hate conservatives in my experience.

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  6. Damocles:

    10 Cents:

    Damocles:

    drlorentz:

    Damocles:
    Here’s an enterprising group that’s taking it upon themselves to fix some of Oakland’s woes by filling in potholes when nobody’s watching.

    Big mistake. Cities like Oakland need to fail, hard. These guys are just prolonging the agony. Like drug addicts, these places need to hit rock bottom before they can right themselves, if they ever can.

    What do you suggest? Going door to door, executing one family at a time?

    How about just having Jerry Brown as mayor of Oakland again?

    No, I’m serious… What will failing hard look like, and why do people need to wait for that to happen before they start working to improve things?

    This flippant attitude is why people hate conservatives in my experience.

    Are you serious that someone is in favor of executing people door to door?

    I think flippant questions like comment #3 makes people hate libertarians. 🙂

    Seriously what do you think he meant?

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  7. 10 Cents:
    Are you serious that someone is in favor of executing people door to door? I think flippant questions like comment #3 makes people hate libertarians.🙂

    To be fair, even libertarians hate other libertarians!

     Seriously what do you think he meant?

    I don’t know, that’s why I asked. Although wholesale execution does seem pretty close to bottoming out!

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  8. I hardly think Doc would be on board with wholesale executions. He just doesn’t come across that way on our La Ramu talks.

    The reason for hitting rock bottom is because it is obvious that the strains put on people at this point are not enough to get them to either “vote the bums out” and get new blood in there, or the two tiers the sit either side of the middle class (to the extent that it still exists in Oakland and other similar cities) have not felt the brunt of failing services so the complaints become “no big deal.” I guarantee you that if the pothole issue were a threat to securing votes for the city overlords, those damned things would be fixed before you could say “vigilante.” Instead, look at what you have. Batman doing road work/repairs.

    No, Doc is absolutely correct. These cities–Oakland, San Fran, Chicago, etc.–the need to fail hard. Think Escape from New York meets Taxi Driver meets Mad Max. In fact, if  you want my opinion, that is what the entire country needs, something much worse that the Great Depression. The only risk there is that you will have the narrative being, and the morons, uh, the people believing that it is “capitalism’s” fault.

    Look Dom–can I call you Dom?–just stock up on ammo and wait patiently. Make some friends with plenty of land and learn how to hunt deer.

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  9. Damocles:

    drlorentz:

    Damocles:
    Here’s an enterprising group that’s taking it upon themselves to fix some of Oakland’s woes by filling in potholes when nobody’s watching.

    Big mistake. Cities like Oakland need to fail, hard. These guys are just prolonging the agony. Like drug addicts, these places need to hit rock bottom before they can right themselves, if they ever can.

    What do you suggest? Going door to door, executing one family at a time?

    That’s quite a leap from letting Oakland fail to door-to-door death squads. Your jump is athletic at Olympian levels. Since there seems to be some confusion, let me clarify.

    The “heroes” of the OP are collaborators with evil: Vichy rather than Free French. Instead of being libertarian, they are enablers of the current Prog regime in Oakland. Circling back to the drug metaphor of my previous comment, the pothole do-gooders are like folks who feel sorry for heroin addicts and so decide to give them more heroin to relieve withdrawal symptoms. They are undoubtedly well intentioned; the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I was well into adulthood before appreciating the wisdom of that aphorism. The pothole boys are literally paving a figurative road to hell.

    When I moved to California, Deukmejian was the governor and a former California governor was president. Deukmejian succeeded Jerry Brown in office. How times have changed! What were the chances that Gov. Brown (in his return performance) would be succeeded by someone like Deukmejian? Exactly zero. California cannot be redeemed without passing through rock bottom, you know, like a druggie. To the extent that Oakland had any hope 35 years ago, those hopes are nonexistent under the current regime.

    I just returned from Central Europe. The good people of Czechia and Hungary hate the communists with a white-hot passion. Prague has the Museum of Communism. In Budapest they don’t pull their punches; they call theirs the House of Terror.* My previous visits to these two countries while they were still behind the Iron Curtain were quite different. It is left as an exercise for the reader to explain why Communism is so much less popular in these former Soviet client states than it is in the US and Western Europe.

    Hope that clears things up. Sorry for providing the bitter pill. Facts, as Shapiro never tires of saying, don’t care about your feelings.

    *The house Terror isn’t just Communists; it also includes Nazis.

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  10. Damocles:
    What will failing hard look like

    That’s up to the people in Oakland. If you’re a libertarian, presumably you believe in the freedom of people to screw up in any way they want to. Oakland, and California in general, are on a trajectory that is under the control of the leftist supermajority. History has shown (see previous comment) that people only learn hard lessons by hard experience. Or, in the words of Mr. Franklin,

    Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other, and scarce in that.

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  11. drlorentz:

    Damocles:
    What will failing hard look like

    That’s up to the people in Oakland.

    This is a cop-out… you’re using a term that you won’t define.

    You haven’t provided any bitter pill so far… you say Oakland needs to “fail hard” without ever defining what “fail hard” means.  Once you define “fail hard” then we can determine the correctness of what you say.

    Likewise the “hit bottom” metaphor for drug use is a cop-out, in that there’s by definition some “bottom” everyone hits in their life. I gained four pounds after stopping triathlon training, but then lost it again. Was that my hitting bottom? (disclaimer: example may not correspond with objective reality)  Plenty of people stop bad habits (including taking drugs) at a point far above the hypothetical “bottom”.

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  12. It occurs to me that there may be a difference of opinion in those who believe the “literal” version of the story — that these two guys are trying to replace all the work done by the road department, and those (like me) who believe the “metaphorical” version of the story… that by putting their efforts on social media and thereby attracting world-wide attention to the situation they’re making great gains in getting the city to address the situation.

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  13. Damocles:
    It occurs to me that there may be a difference of opinion in those who believe the “literal” version of the story — that these two guys are trying to replace all the work done by the road department, and those (like me) who believe the “metaphorical” version of the story… that by putting their efforts on social media and thereby attracting world-wide attention to the situation they’re making great gains in getting the city to address the situation.

    Perhaps that is the outcome but my experience is that no amount of shame eve moves governments. The story will die down and the authorities will begin to persecute these two for some statutory violation if they continue.

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  14. Damocles:
    they’re making great gains in getting the city to address the situation.

    Even if it were true (see Reynolds’s comment, supra), it still enables and supports Progressive governance, merely postponing the day of reckoning. Let’s say they fix the potholes. So? It’s just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Poor pavement is the least of the problems with the Progs. Is there going to be a band of libertarian bros to fix the financial problems of these failed states? How about the race-baiting identity politics? Or sanctuary cities? The only possible fix for any of these problems is via the ballot box; the demographics of California generally, and Oakland specifically, preclude that.

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  15. Damocles:

    drlorentz:

    Damocles:
    What will failing hard look like

    That’s up to the people in Oakland.

    This is a cop-out… you’re using a term that you won’t define.

    You haven’t provided any bitter pill so far… you say Oakland needs to “fail hard” without ever defining what “fail hard” means.  Once you define “fail hard” then we can determine the correctness of what you say.

    No it’s not a cop-out. It’s called self-determination, which I’d expect you to favor. But I did give examples. Take a moment to read what I wrote about Hungary and Czechia. That’s one way socialism’s failed hard in the past. Or, consider Venezuela. We are spoiled for choice with historical examples of “fail hard.”

    Any other questions?

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  16. drlorentz:

    Damocles:

    drlorentz:

    Damocles:
    What will failing hard look like

    That’s up to the people in Oakland.

    This is a cop-out… you’re using a term that you won’t define.

    You haven’t provided any bitter pill so far… you say Oakland needs to “fail hard” without ever defining what “fail hard” means.  Once you define “fail hard” then we can determine the correctness of what you say.

    No it’s not a cop-out. It’s called self-determination, which I’d expect you to favor. But I did give examples. Take a moment to read what I wrote about Hungary and Czechia. That’s one way socialism’s failed hard in the past. Or, consider Venezuela. We are spoiled for choice with historical examples of “fail hard.”

    Any other questions?

    Sorry, you still haven’t defined “fail hard”. Is this a case of you’ll know it when you see it?  People laughed when I asked if it was organized executions, but that’s what Hungary experienced, and Hungary is what you’re using as an example.

    You used the term, it’s your responsibility to define it.

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  17. I will define it. The city no longer being to provide basic services due to complete sclerosis, not from incompetence or what have you. Meaning, no water/sewage treatment, no electricity, no police or fire department, no schools, no trash collection, and no monetary benefits to the idle. Then mass social unrest to point of new government officials or completely new governing structure.

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  18. Damocles:

    drlorentz:

    Damocles:

    drlorentz:

    Damocles:
    What will failing hard look like

    That’s up to the people in Oakland.

    This is a cop-out… you’re using a term that you won’t define.

    You haven’t provided any bitter pill so far… you say Oakland needs to “fail hard” without ever defining what “fail hard” means.  Once you define “fail hard” then we can determine the correctness of what you say.

    No it’s not a cop-out. It’s called self-determination, which I’d expect you to favor. But I did give examples. Take a moment to read what I wrote about Hungary and Czechia. That’s one way socialism’s failed hard in the past. Or, consider Venezuela. We are spoiled for choice with historical examples of “fail hard.”

    Any other questions?

    Sorry, you still haven’t defined “fail hard”. Is this a case of you’ll know it when you see it?  People laughed when I asked if it was organized executions, but that’s what Hungary experienced, and Hungary is what you’re using as an example.

    You used the term, it’s your responsibility to define it.

    LOL. This is irony again.

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  19. Damocles:

    10 Cents:
    LOL. This is irony again.

    I’m sorry, you’ll have to define that word before we can continue discussion.

    “is” present 3d singular of BE dialect present 1st & 2d singular of BE dialect present plural of BE [Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German ist is (from sīn to be), Latin estimated (from esse to be), Greek esti (from einai to be)]

     

    Merriam-Webster, I. (2003). Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. (Eleventh ed.). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc.

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