The St Louis Contrarian

Providing Independent and Intelligent Insight on St. Louis Public Policy Issues

Archive for the month “January, 2021”

Good Idea by Cori Bush

The freshman congresswoman from St. Louis is calling for a national study that would look at the discriminatory environmental impacts that pollution has on people of color. Many studies have shown that the location of environmental hazards disproportionately effect black people. Written by Paul Dribin


Vaccines and Racial Equity

St. Louis County like most parts of the country has been slow to get citizens vaccinated. They announced today a vaccination site at Florissant Valley Community College. This is a good start. What concerns me and many others is that underserved people and poor people are less likely to get vaccinated. Right, now the system is such that it requires computer literacy and skills to navigate an obtuse and fragmented system. Lower income people often do not have the resources to do so and are skeptical of medical personnel. President Biden is putting an emphasis on equity in coronavirus policy. I hope he is successful. Written by Paul Dribin

Missouri Has Lowest Rate of Covid Vaccinations in the Country

Tony Messenger points out that Missouri ranks at or near the bottom of a lot of important public health measures.

An Inner City School in St Louis that Works

I am writing about St. Louis City Acadamy, a school that serves mostly black lower income elementary school children quite successfully. The students thrive at this private school funded by the Danforth family and other local donors. Our Optimist Club has also played a part in the funding. The students, are happy, respectful, kind, and learn. Most go on to the best private middle and high schools in the area and successful college careers. What are the secrets. Engaged parents and motivated students. Parents are required to volunteer a certain amount of time at the school. It shows that poorer children can be well educated. It simply takes adequate funding, dedicated teachers and staff, and committed parents and students. Written by Paul Dribin


Eviction filings have increased dramatically in the St. Louis area and across the country. A moratorium on evictions does not mean that evictions will not be filed. What will happen when moratoriums are lifted is not pretty. There could be massive evictions and homelessness. In addition small landlords in particular are hurting by not receiving rent payments. Any solution to this problem must include payments to landlords as well as tenants. Written by Paul Dribin

Can Biden Get His Agenda Through

I will add my two cents to the comments. This blog is supposed to comment on local issues but this affects us all. I do think there is a real chance to pass covid relief measures and an infrastructure bill. The Democrats need to remove things like raising the minimum wage from the covid bill. That was stuck in to appease the left wing of the party. I think there are enough Republicans who are willing to compromise. An infrastructure bill should also be able to pass providing there are not poison pills in it. Right now there is some posturing on both sides which is ok. Written by Paul Dribin

St. Louis to Implement New Neighborhood Development Strategy

The St. Louis Economic Development Corporation has announced a new plan for neighborhood development. I have not had opportunity to read the plan but will report back. In any case the them seems to be a community focused approach to development, rather than a developer driven approach. We will see what this means. I had been advocating this approach years ago. Written by Paul Dribin

Christianity, Cults, and Right Wing Terrorism

Many progressive Christians have expressed concern about the prevalence of Christians in the right wing terrorist and militia movement. They complain about Christians who fall for conspiracy theories. In actuality these movements have much in common with the structure of Christianity. They both ask you to suspend belief in reality and facts. Both believe in conspiracy theories. In the case of Christians the conspiracy is about people out to get them. Both have an air of moral superiority, believing they are the chosen by God and will be rewarded at a later time. Finally, both have a corner on truth.

So indeed it is not the least bit surprising that Christians are attracted to conspiracy theories and right wing movements. Written by Paul Dribin

Chaos in St Louis County Council

A good article that makes great sense

Causes of Violent Behavior

I am convinced that there have always been violent and weird people around. The difference is that social media magnifies their efforts and Trump expanded power to them immensely. Much has been written about this which I am not going to repeat. There is another factor which does not get much attention. That is the practice of well meaning people, often on the left to tolerate crazy speech and treat it as fact. Many people have said to me during the years that if someone believes something is true, that is ok for them and we should tolerate it. Many of these beliefs encompass left wing thought as well, such as GMO foof being dangerous, or vaccines being harmful. Is it possible to be too tolerant.? Senator Moynihan said that we are all entitled to our own opinions, not our own facts. We need to stop treating wacky opinions as facts. Written by Paul Dribin



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