Downtown Library Redux

I think everyone is making an argument that a building is for those too poor to own a computer with broadband access — in effect that the downtown library is a multi-story homeless shelter. Terrific. It is a school. It is a homeless shelter. It is a community center with meeting rooms. It is a computer lab. It is a central warehouse for books to be sent to branches. Let’s also make it a cafe! Dubai built a frozen ski center in the desert — let’s do that too! How about including a downtown gym, botanical garden, petting zoo…

What it really is, is a huge building in search of a reason to be built. It is an attempt at aggregation of sufficient Special Interest Groups to win the political day. What each of them cannot do alone, perhaps they can do together, except that the timing is terrible in economic terms. The Second Law of Street Economics is, “Nobody gets any if there ain’t none!”  There ain’t none!” There ain’t gonna’ be none! When there is some it is going to go to public employee pensions, repair of streets, fixing the bursting water pipes, building reservoirs, greedy state government.



When actual measurements confirm that which we already know, that Global Warming is cyclically ending — the Left will take credit for it even though we have not reduced CO2…just like they credit the stimulus spending for the coming recovery even though 95% of the “stimulus” has not been spent.

It is the African Witchdoctors Saber-toothed dance — the efficacy of which is proven by the fact that there are no Saber-toothed tigers in his village!

It Was a Dark and Rainy Night…

This was written August 20, 2006, for one of my liberal friends, but it is germane today:

An Al (a) Gore (y)

It was a dark and rainy night

…in San Diego, and Ira and Eileen Golden were driving home from a three-month around-the-world cruise to the least-known ports of the world. (Adak, Alaska was the high point…)

They were dead tired as they approached their lovely estate in Del Mar, but they were sufficiently alert to the lights on in their estate – they were surprised

As they opened the garage door they saw a lowered 1987 green Camaro, and a lowered white 1997 Honda Prelude.

Ira was at least annoyed, and he said to Eileen, “Do you recognize either of those cars?”

“No! None of my friends…I am really concerned! Should we call the police?”

“We have 911 on our speed dial, and I’ll keep my finger on the cell button, but it could be neighbors or some of your son’s friends…it doesn’t look threatening. No one is waiting in the dark – hell, the lights are on all over the house.”

They gingerly entered the kitchen, really concerned, they saw a middle-aged Latino woman cooking tacos for her teen-aged son. A small Latino man entered the kitchen and asked Ira, “Who are you?”

Ira was more startled than threatened, but said, “I own the house! Who the hell are you?”

The Latino man answered, graciously, “I am Jose. Thank you. Maria and I are from Mexico.  . We liked your home…so we moved in. We are in the guest rooms – oh, our son  Pablo is also living with us, and we have a new baby, Latina.”

Eileen, almost speechless, asked, “What makes you think you can live here? You are squatters, trespassers. We are calling the police!”

“no, no, no please – we are not trespassers or whatever you call us! We are just hard-working poor people, trying to make a better life for ourselves. You can’t call the police because last month Maria had a new baby, our pretty Latina, and the law says she is a member of your family! She is now Latina Golden – and she is your responsibility for the rest of your life. You must, by law, feed her, clothe her, pay for her medical bills, and pay for her education! You must give your name and your support to her children, and her children’s children, and…well, forever. Further, the law says you can’t send Maria, Pablo and I  back to Mexico because Latina is yours and under “family reunification” we must remain here.”

“But…but…” Eileen is sputtered… “You can’t do that!”

“Actually, he can – uh, they can” answered Ira, his quick legal mind going to work.

“But that isn’t fair” replied the pretty Eileen. “WE bought this house – we decorated it – we…by the way, Maria, where did you get the food you are cooking?.”

Sprightly Maria smiled, “It was in your pantry…and, by the way you are running low on ground meat, corn meal, cooking oil…”

Eileen interrupted, turning to her retired attorney husband, “Can they do this…?”

“Probably,” replied Ira. “Not just in law, but in the equity of social justice – we have so much and they have so little. They are just hard-working peasants and you have no idea the hovel that people like this must live in rural Mexico. So long as they are not criminals…”

“Ah, a small problem,” said Jose. “You see, our son Pablo, sitting there at the table, is a member of MS-13…you see all of the gang tattoos. He is really a nice boy, but he was deported last week by your Federales and just arrived back tonight.”

Eileen exclaimed, “But returning after deportation is a FEDERAL FELONY! Now, I AM going to call the police…”

“Just a second, Honey,” smoothed Ira. “Del Mar is a sanctuary city – just like Los Angeles, Dallas, New York City, San Francisco…unless a local policeman actually sees Pablo commit a NEW felony in their presence, he is home free. Some gang members have been deported four, five, six times…”

What?” Eileen is beside herself!

“Si,” says Jose. “Your husband tells truth. We looked all of this up before coming here from Mexico, and the American Friends Committee tells us it is true. Mexican government publishes picture books on how to do it…. Unless Pablo, or one of his friends, rapes and kills pretty Senora, all is well! We will try to be of little care other than school and medical assistance. Marian and I will work –all we ask is that you school our children, put us on your medical insurance, ”

Eileen is apoplectic, and asks her husband, plaintively, “is there ANYTHING we can do…?”

“Si, Senora” interrupts Jose. “por favor, get the guest house ready because Maria’s madre e padre y tres otres are arriving next week, and they are really looking forward to it…”

“Look, you can’t just barge in uninvited…”

“Of course we can, Senora. We did. And so long as we are here, would you get some food in the house…we need cooking oil, ground beef, flour…”

Ira smiled. “Is this a great country, or what? Make a list, Eileen – flour, ground beef, cooking oil…”

Eileen looks resigned, but said, “Ira, how did we get in this mess…didn’t you lock the doors when we left?”

Ira looks a bit non-plussed, but says, “Honey, I believe in Open Borders, and it would be inconsistent and highly illiberal to keep the border open, but lock my house and our cars. We must share with our neighbors who have so little..”

Eileen’s eyes grew wide, “The cars? What the hell happened to our two other cars?”

A slight smile crossed Pablo’ highly tattooed face as he ate another of Maria’s tacos…



Edifice Complex

One of the requirements for getting funds from the state for the $185 million downtown library is that there be substantial private donors.

Mel Katz of the San Diego Public Library Foundation says that he hopes the State won’t even ask to see the list of so-called donors. Apparently, Mr. Katz does not want that list made public. I know that if I had made that commitment a few years back in a booming economy I would not like my name associated with it in this market.

There are a lot of $20 million figures being batted about: San Diego City schools says they will pop for $20 million for a two-floor high school; $20 million has been spent in planning, drawing and preparing the land; $20 million grant from the state; and Katz says that he has commitments for $27.5 million.

None of which adds to anything near the $185 million (minimum) that SOMEONE must come up with to build this White Elephant. The State is broke, and near bankruptcy with the lowest credit ranking of any state; the City is broke, with billions owed to public union pension plans and with the State wanting to (temporarily) borrow city property money.

There are certain lifestyle enthusiasts, library and public transportation to name a couple, who simply want what they want regardless of societies ability to provide it, and they can wrap their personal desires in “the public good” – which those of us who would appreciate ski lifts, for example, cannot.

Tax and Tax

Cap and Tax is on its way, and unless the Blue-Dog Democrats grow some stones it will pass.

The Congressional Budget Office has scored the existing bill, some 1,200+ pages of it and found only $175 per family cost in 2020 – but with enough caveats to allow a Budweiser truck to roll through unscathed.

The Britain’s Taxpayer Alliance says the average British family is paying almost $1,300 a year in green taxes already, just a few years after their cap and tax went into effect. Experience beats projections, every time.

If this passes, and it will be close, it will be, according to the WSJ – the largest tax increase in the nation’s history.

This is one bill that I can predict will get overturned or modified beyond recognition in just a few years.