Friday, November 21, 2014

Remember where you came from

To get here 35 years ago, I filled in reams of forms about every detail of my life, provided birth certificates, divorce papers and bank statements.  I had a medical, a chest X-ray, and an interview at the American Embassy in London. I raised my hand and gave an oath of allegiance before a visa was granted.

Then they lost all my papers at immigration in LAX, and I had to do it all over again.  But it cleared the way for a green card - granted a few months after arriving.

So yes, I was sometimes pissed to find that all kinds of people were streaming in without the grind I went through.

But I’ve seen the way most immigrants, legal or otherwise, have made the California economy work, enriched society, helped a vast array of business owners and their investors reap the rewards of cheap labor, enhanced share values and dividends, and provided great affordable food (and wine) to the rest of the country.

Education for their children seems a paltry price to pay in return.

Most pay withholding without any benefits.  Contrary to popular belief, most pay, over time, for their top rate emergency room costs, and all put most of their earnings back into the economy.
They have provided elitists with a perfect way to supercharge income disparity.

To penalize these people by failing to enact immigration reform has degraded their lives through fear, and provided fodder for profilers anxious to exact punishment and stick society with the cost of filling jails.

It sometimes seems that far too many legislators want to exact revenge, not seek solutions. And as we now know to our huge cost from three strikes, and the incarceration of thousand for petty passive crimes, it’s the least effective way to manage society.

So now congress - who’ve done diddly squat for the last six years - wants to exact revenge on the guy who is trying to get the ball rolling. What a waste of everyone’s time. What a soulless crusade.

Maybe they will exhaust themselves, dry up and blow away in the next climate change dust bowl.

Hubris brings nemesis.

The really sad thing, as most new immigrants will tell you, is that the most appealing thing about most everyday Americans, is their huge hearts, and great generosity. I felt it from the day I arrived and still do.

But the divisiveness that brings fleeting power and self gratification to many inside the beltway, and lines the pockets of media parasites, is infecting the rest of us, and undermining exactly what makes us great.  They are stealing our hearts.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Failed state


The other day Ralph Hutchinson, asked me if I was still blogging about Anderson's Sonoma Hotel Folly. He had received a mailer from the developers and wanted to know if I'd seen it.

I think at this stage Darius' hotel proposal is a giant bore.

But this is my response to Ralph.


I'm outside the city limits so we don't get mailers, but I will find a copy.

I haven't blogged or cartooned about the hotel issue recently because I have the feeling that the developers have little choice but to make silly statements that are patently nonsense, and that to rise to the bait would be a mistake.

For instance, the SVVGA said that the initiative's limit of 25 room hotels "would send a message to tourists that they are unwelcome in Sonoma". Darius and Hooper "love" Sonoma. That goofy woman in the radio debate talked about the initiative being "prosperity dynamite",  and that bigger hotels will enhance Sonoma's small town feel.

It would demean me to respond to such idiocy.

These out of touch nutters are incapable of realizing that local people are actually quite smart and find such statements self evidently inane. The wealth and imagined influence of these people make it difficult for them to believe they could be wrong, so they keep pounding out the crap while simultaneously shooting themselves in the feet

I have a sticker in the back of my car that reads "DARIUS KNOWS JACK" and that sums it up for me.

The reason that no more hotel plans will be issued is that the huge massing of the hotel, and its detrimental impact on the town is so obvious that it would only undermine their efforts against the initiative.

Larry has his signatures - I believe it is close to a quarter of the registered voters in Sonoma.

I think there will be a token campaign against it, but If I were Darius I'd be planning a 25 room luxury hotel, and a separate condo development next door.

Darius has spent the last 10 years ingratiating himself with the social oligarchy and the would-be movers and shakers. He has succeeded remarkably well. But they are vacuous when it comes to understanding regular Sonoma people.

Darius' buddy Keith Wicks was in the art store recently buying paper, and I heard him telling the staff that he was designing the hotel (yes, that one) because  the architects didn't know what they were doing.  Quite right.