Comments by lucas

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Posted on January 23 at 3:25 p.m.

"Word definitions are facts." True enough, but word definitions are in flux. The word, "suffer" for example, used to include the idea of permit. No one uses the word like that anymore. Newly coined words are not even in the dictionary. So maybe you and I would like to stick to the dictionary definition of "illegal," but clearly those on both sides participating in the rally had no such scruples.

On No Love Lost over 'Illegal' Headlines

Posted on January 23 at 2:49 p.m.

"Even without a single new Mexican immigrant, their high birth rate insures that they, combined with first-generation Mexicans, will become the overwhelming majority of residents in the near future." And remember, their children will be U.S. citizens, just like the children of every Ellis Island immigrant. It is always good to put ourselves in others' shoes. If we choose to object to Latinos becoming the overwhelming majority, we need to confront the fact that (most of us) Europeans also became the overwhelming majority not too long ago, and this after Latinos started out as the overwhelming majority in the earlier history of California. If we do not like current citizenship policies, we need to use legal means to change it,mindful of the fact that any change will apply to everyone, not just Latinos.

"Anyone who says that "Latino" is synonymous with "Illegal" has already lost their credibility as well as their objectivity. How can anyone have a rational discussion based on that assumption?" I did not make that assumption. As I show from the article, that is the assumption already inherent in the rally. If you disagree, then discuss that. Using ad hominem at every turn is ineffective.

On No Love Lost over 'Illegal' Headlines

Posted on January 23 at 1:34 p.m.

What are you rambling about? I answered your objection with direct quotes from the article. Kindly address the substance of my comments, and avoid the ad hominen and the projection, or you risk damaging your credibility.

On No Love Lost over 'Illegal' Headlines

Posted on January 23 at 1:31 p.m.

What are you rambling about? Also please lose the ad hominen and the projection, or you risk damaging your credibility.

On No Love Lost over 'Illegal' Headlines

Posted on January 23 at 12:35 p.m.


First, Look at the quote again. " :...its dehumanizing word choice that intentionally offends Latinos, who account for 44 percent of Santa Barbara County’s population." The reason 44% of the population may be intentionally offended is only if the word "illegal" is made synonymous with "Latino." It is clear that neither side in the rally actually confronted this ridiculous idea.

Second, I am not on any side. Some people think that everyone must choose a side. That is not true. Just because I say something YOU characterize as left does not make me left, sorry. Besides, when you hurl the word "left" as it were were an epithet, you commit ad hominem. Doing so is illogical and leaves you open to being discredited for being "right."

Third, the rally was ostensibly about the use of a word. Yet group leader Mike McGetrick made it clear the rally was really protest against Latinos in general. "He said he ... worries about how “Mexican is being taught in school instead of English.” That is a tell. Spanish (not Mexican) has been taught in school for more than six decades, and there has never been a risk of it supplanting English. "McGetrick said a continued influx of unauthorized immigrants would spell financial ruin for the state, but liberals and Latinos are blind to such issues,"equating "illegals" to Latinos, and ignoring data showing that since 2007, there has been a net outflux of unauthorized immigrants. And explain on what basis "they also demanded to see documentation proving citizenship" especially without authorization. Do you think they would have made such a demand of my Swedish client?

Fourth, sorry, I did not throw the race card in. Sadly, it was already there from the beginning.

On No Love Lost over 'Illegal' Headlines

Posted on January 22 at 8:29 p.m.

The main problem is summarized here, :...its dehumanizing word choice that intentionally offends Latinos, who account for 44 percent of Santa Barbara County’s population." Both sides have accepted the ridiculous and inaccurate idea the "Illegal" = "Latino." If those supporting the Newspress had confined their reasoning to freedom of speech, that would be worth discussing. Instead, they made it clear that that freedom of speech was merely a pretext for the true purpose of the protest as illustrated by "hur(ling) derogatory, epithet-filled insults across the plastic fencing, the least offensive of which were, “Speak English, you morons!” and “Go back to where you came from!” They also demanded to see documentation proving citizenship and held signs that read “Stop the Invasion” and “Deport Illegal Alien Gangbangers.” Clearly, the issue for Newspress supporters was not whether the Newspress should use the word "illegal."

As far as the other side goes, there is not actually any problem with the word "illegal" except that it has morphed into meaning "Latino." Words change, and the word "illegal" has been ruined. that is the reason the Newspress should either avoid it, or take pains to make sure its meaning is clearly understood to mean people from anywhere in the US illegally.

I have prepared tax returns for "illegals," some of them from China, one from Scotland, one from India, and one from Sweden. The main problem was that both sides accepted the same unexamined assumption.

On No Love Lost over 'Illegal' Headlines

Posted on July 6 at 3:11 p.m.

"Some tourists actually mistake Ralph's on Chapala for the Mission." Actually, Ralph's on Chapala was once some rich Spaniard's hacienda long ago. And dou4now points out why rentals in this town continue to be in such bad shape when he says, "I live in a low-economic housing apartment and the management has never updated their property cause of the Grandfather clause to stay with a passing rating as long as no upgrades or improvements are done." What he does not know is that even non-low income housing is deteriorating because to fix them up properly would run afoul of the city's "legally nonconfoming" grandfathering policy. It is not quite that no improvements or upgrades can be made. It is that most of the necessary improvements or upgrades will subject the property to the current building and design codes.

On From Red Tiles to Green Roofs

Posted on July 6 at 3:02 p.m.

Anyone who has seriously searched for an apartment to rent or a house to buy in Santa Barbara knows full well that there is an inordinate number of illegal rentals. Also “affordable” and “low income” are NOT synonyms. This town has a serious shortage of affordable housing. Anybody with a full-time job should be able to afford a nice quality one-bedroom. I happen to live in a one bedroom whose rent is $1160/month. Such rent given landlords' insistence that tenants make three time the rent implies a 20/hour job. However $1160 is on the low side of rentals in SB. The typical rental, even ones in terrible condition will require more than $25/hour jobs. Do some research, and compare the income of typical tenants in most towns. SB's average is significantly higher because of all the professionals who must rent because they cannot afford to buy.

And this accurate comment should get everyone's attention,” so many of our safety workers and teachers and others working in SB live pretty far away, you must know this. Therefore, they create pollution, waste energy, and when we have a real emergency the fire and police and other emergency personnel will be too far away to help.”

Santa Barbara had a great opportunity to get some downtown affordable (not necessarily low income) housing with the project on W Victoria. Why they approved a plan to build more over-priced condos is beyond me. That was a huge lost opportunity.

On Architecture Creates Attitude

Posted on July 5 at 9:19 a.m.

What bother's me about Nick's article is the unchallenged assumption that the "sisters" were not really sisters. Years ago in a northern Californian county, there were two unmarried sisters who lived together all their lives. They taught at two different schools in the county. Lest you think they could not possibly have been sisters, let me add that they were also identical twins. Even earlier, I knew two retired missionaries who owned a house together the last thirty years of their lives. At least in those days, the lesbian assumption was not automatic---and that today the assumption is automatic, in my view, is the bigger problem.

Furthermore, the sexual orientation of the "sisters" is none of our business, any more than the philandering of straight people. Recently, there was an article about Gore Vidal who lived for "53 years in a sexless relationship" with some other guy. Again, none of our business. C.S Lewis shared a house with his brother for decades.

I do not think the issue was ever a marriage issue. The issue was (for example) documents like durable powers of attorney legally executed by single people naming other unrelated single people as their agents or trustees are routinely rejected by health care providers, etc., if the trustor and trustee are different genders. Why? Because of the stupid assumption that they must be gay. If it takes marriage to fix this problem, so be it.

When I get old, I may want to enter into an economic partnership with another old geezer. That we do so should not make us automatically gay in the eyes of our neighbors. Federally recognized registered domestic partnerships in this day when extended families no longer serve their societal function would fit the bill nicely. To put the issue in terms of marriage adds unnecessary cultural buttons like religion and culture. The frame never should have been marriage.

On Worked Like a Dog

Posted on January 31 at 9:47 a.m.

Yet again, another project that falsely equates "affordable" with "low income." Affordable is supposed to mean that anyone with at least a median income should be able to afford a median turn-key house. What about people who make between 80% and 200% of the median income.

"In South Santa Barbara County, Inflation-adjusted median income has declined to 1990 levels, but home prices are much higher than in 1990" (

One source says SB's median income is about $56,000. Twice the median income comes to $112,000. At a 38% loan to income ratio, housing expenses (PITI, utilities, repairs) can come to no more than about $3500 per month. Anyone who makes less than TWICE the median income (an income greater than about 85% of all Americans) will have great difficulty finding an affordable turn-key house of typical configuration (3/2, front and back yard, garage).

So people who make less than 80% of the median income have a chance, and people who make more than 200% can buy a house, but the people in the middle, arguably most of the residents, are stuck with dealing with crummy rentals and terrible landlords.

On New Affordable Housing Project Breaks Ground

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