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Inevitable: Another Major Business Shuts Down Store in Crime-Riddled, Left-Wing City

A few months ago, it was reported that Nike -- perhaps the wokest of all the performatively woke corporations in America (all while obsequiously bending the knee to China, of course) -- was begging the city of Portland, Oregon to approve an arrangement under which off-duty police officers would protect one of its major brick-and-mortar locations in the city.  "In a letter to [Mayor Ted] Wheeler and other local officials, Nike offered to cover the cost of the officers that would be assigned to guard its community store on Northeast Martin Luther King Boulevard, which has been mostly closed to the public for months," The Oregonian reported.  The mayor's office, however, replied that the proposal likely wouldn't be feasible.  For weeks on end, the Nike store kept its lights on, presumably for show, but its products weren't accessible to actual customers.  Crime has been a very serious problem in Portland, with criminal-coddling policies turning deadly far too often.  Elsewhere in the city, another staple is now packing up and shipping out:

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Portland Pearl District will lose another large commercial tenant in early 2024 as REI announced Monday it plans to close its store. In an email sent to members, REI said the Portland store had its highest number of break-ins and thefts in two decades despite actions to provide extra security...Spokesperson Megan Behrbaum said the building requires significant investment to address issues and the company has been unable to reach an agreement with the landlord.  “These issues led to the decision to close the store when our lease is up in early 2024. Until that time, we look forward to continuing to serve the outdoor community,” Behrbaum said. She said the decision to close does not reflect the “hard work and dedication” of the Portland team, nor the overall health of the co-op.

This business decision may not be a reflection of REI's corporate health, but it's certainly a reflection of the city of Portland's civic health.  Meanwhile in Chicago, this chaotic and ugly scene played out over the weekend:

A crowd of more than a hundred rowdy teenagers turned violent in Downtown Chicago on Saturday night as dozens torched and smashed cars while blaring music in a 'teen trend' that left two with gunshot wounds.  Shocking footage showed some teenagers jumping on top of a bus while others started a massive brawl after descending on Millennium Park and attempting to breach barricades.  Gunshots rang out with some rounds striking two teenage boys aged 16 and 17...During the chaos on Saturday night, a bystander was attacked while in the driver seat of his car by rowdy teenagers and had to be taken to the hospital. It appeared as if police were unable to handle the crowd and were seen escorting innocent bystanders and tourists to safety. Officers worked to clear large the crowds and video showed dozens of cops lining the street near Washington and State.  'It's heartbreaking, kids fighting, chasing each other, some of them got guns,' an unidentified witness told NBC News. 'It's really heartbreaking when one of them actually gets hurt, and that's unfortunate, happened last night.'

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Some of the videos floating around of the lawlessness are very disturbing. Chicago's soft-on-crime new Mayor-Elect put out a perfectly on-brand statement urging people not to "demonize" the roving packs of criminals:

These groups were not trying to "gather safely and responsibly."  Obviously.  This man hasn't changed, and he's going to be a disastrous mayor.  Not to be outdone, a Democratic Illinois State Senator further defended the mob, casting their actions as a political protest against injustice, or whatever:

When this is the response of community "leaders," the problem is even worse than it seems.  Here's the Babylon Bee doing its thing:

This is in reference to Walmart's plan to close four locations in the Windy City, which was announced on the very same day the Democratic National Committee made public its decision to host the party's 2024 nominating convention in Chicago.  Local officials and activists are angry with Walmart, which of course entirely misses the point:  

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Walmart runs a business, not a charity.  That said, Walmart might want to be careful about the 'corporate values' they're increasingly embracing.  We've seen what can happen when a legacy company turns its back on its core customers, and I'm not sure Walmart shoppers are eager to be force-fed DEI garbage:

In January 2020, Walmart approached public school administrators in Bentonville, Arkansas, about hosting diversity training sessions for the district...By August, teachers were learning that "perfectionism" is "white supremacy" and that "all our systems, institutions, and outcomes emanate from the racial hierarchy on which the United States was built." Bentonville—the site of Walmart’s corporate headquarters—wasn’t alone. In nearby Fayetteville, the district’s public schools embarked on a five-year "equity plan" funded and designed by Walmart-funded groups, including a DEI "research institute" at the University of Arkansas. School leaders attended trainings on the "six tenets of critical race theory," learned that "systemic inequality = trauma," were drilled on the harmful effects of "microaggressions," and sat through PowerPoints on "intersectionality." The district also implemented a "restorative justice" program—designed to combat the allegedly "disproportionate" discipline of black students—that discouraged teachers from breaking up fights and instructed them to sit on the floor with students to "dispel any sense of hierarchy." This report is based on thousands of pages of documents obtained through public records requests submitted by families in Bentonville and Fayetteville. It reveals how the world’s largest retailer is transforming schools in its hometown through grants, nonprofits, and corporate outreach, laundering its ideology ...

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Is this what Walmart regulars are clamoring for?  A slide into Nike-style politics?  You might expect this sort of thing to have taken root in hardened blue states California, but Arkansas?  Speaking of blue states and cities, let's take a spin around a few more headlines and developments:

That hardly-uncommon video of casual, consequence-free theft comes to us from California, at state whose governor has been busy traveling to Republican-led places to warn against the threat of 'authoritarianism.'  On that score, I'll leave you with this:


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