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Posted on March 12 at 5:04 p.m.
Thank you for a terrific piece, Rob. We loved Lou and miss him terribly.
On Lou Genise 1970 2009
Posted on February 20 at 1:04 a.m.
SIMA! I remember when my boss signed a new lease with SIMA. They brought down a photocopy for his file, and he realized they had WHITED-OUT AND CHANGED THE DOCUMENT HE HAD SIGNED. Their new management is missing the point here. Younger employees won't change the company's bad reputation -- ethical behavior will.
On The Retail Detail
Posted on February 20 at 12:01 a.m.
To me, they pretty much broadcast "Guess what! We're even bigger [colloquialism for rectal orifice]s than you thought!"
Posted on January 30 at 10:10 a.m.
The law treats corporations like individuals in most ways save one -- there is no three strikes law for corporations. There should be. Greka is a repeat offender -- we can't get through a month without an oil spill from these nitwits. They drip with contempt for the environment, the law, and people of our county. Greka should be shut down for good, their assets liquidated for the benefit of the taxpayer (who has repeatedly been burdened responding to their mess), and their managers sentenced to a nice long jail term, during which they can ponder whether their sick and twisted business philosophy really is the best way to go.
P.S. Have you seen the PR ad Greka is running on TV? They come off like first-class scumbags even when they're trying make nice for the camera.
On Greka Sues County
Posted on November 16 at 9:47 a.m.
Thirty years ago, the conservative movement began organizing think tanks and foundations to mold and financially support young conservatives, to build and expand conservative thought, and most of all to deeply embed it in the political culture by developing an army of richly supported media-savvy figures: TV talking heads, newspaper columnists, radio hosts etc.
They have succeeded enormously. Today, the great majority of political thinkers interviewed on TV come from these conservative institutions, which include the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institution and so on. The great majority of political radio and television talk show hosts are conservatives as well. And the difference in the assumptions in the political debate is astonishing:
In JFK's time, the mainstream assumption was that in 30 years we would evolve into a social democracy along European lines. Instead, in 30 years a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, espoused positions well to the right of Richard Nixon's, and the Republican Congress was so extreme and ideologically rigid that they literally shut down the government rather than reach a compromise on the budget. And that has, in general, been the pattern: the left runs scared and accepts the right's definitions of the debate, as a so-called Democratic Congress did for Bush; and the right employs scorched-earth tactics from the halls of power to the popular discussion (hence Sean Hannity calling Bush's recession Obama's fault before Obama has even taken office, etc.)
The Right will always be better funded than the Left, because the Right's economic agenda boils down to protecting and expanding corporate power, and corporate power is where the money is. So when the organized Right says it intends to do something, you'd best figure that they mean it, and have the money to do it.
Here, the speaker said the Right intends to colonize popular culture the same way they colonized political culture. Don't doubt it. It may again take 30 years, but they're patient.
Has Obama's flood of small online donors, which did reverse the money advantage this time, changed the game permanently? Only if they can move beyond supporting a single candidate and start building left-wing think tanks to change the terms of the debate for generations to come, as the Right has done. That's a lot easier for the Right, when a tycoon (Mellon Scaife, Koch etc.) can drop $100 million every few months like buying a box of crackers, than when the left has to try to build it out of $10 contributions...
On Conservative College Students Attend Leadership Conference
Posted on November 13 at 6:32 p.m.
I visited that complex when I was apartment hunting. What a %$#@ dump. If they're renovating it, that's good, but why did they let it get so run down to begin with, and are they planning to jack the rent when they're through? I'm sick of scumbag landlords pretending that they can't offer affordable housing without making their tenants live like roaches in a trash can. Hillshore Gardens, any of Dario Pini's complexes, the broken-windowed triplex across the street from me....the list is endless. Who at the city can we complain to about these code enforcement nightmares?
On Mass Evictions on Modoc Road
Posted on November 9 at 12:02 a.m.
Interesting take on the market there, Shaw, given that BEFORE the election, the market rendered its judgment of the Republican incumbent by losing more value than any time since the Great Depression.
You want to blame someone who hasn't taken office yet for a crisis caused by his predecessor? GROW UP. The situation is serious. Thanks to the Bush league, we'll be lucky to escape a full-blown Depression now regardless of whether Obama, McCain, or the Lord Jesus Himself were to occupy the Oval Office.
Oh well. If you honestly believe the market is a good proxy for national well-being, you can take comfort knowing that the market historically does better under Democratic presidents.
Posted on August 12 at 4:41 p.m.
I wonder if these folks actually read the article before commenting? Ranting about liberals, saying that services should be provided instead of housing alone, complaining that this will cost more money. For heaven's sake, if they had carefully read the article, they'd realize:
1. Mangano is a Bush appointee, not a liberal.
2. He is not promoting housing INSTEAD of treatment for substance abuse and mental disability, but rather housing WITH those services.
3. The idea is to SAVE taxpayer money. Direct quote from article: "Studies recently completed in 65 cities and counties around the nation calculated that on average, a chronically homeless person on the streets costs taxpayers between $35,000 and $150,000 annually. To provide stable housing costs $13,000 to $25,000, which includes mental health and other support services" (e.g. jail, psych ward, etc.) As Mangano says, you don't have to be Warren Buffet to see the better investment.
On Federal Homeless Official Tours Santa Barbara Housing
Posted on July 12 at 11:39 a.m.
Bill, you answered your own question. The state is in debt because it doesn't raise enough money to cover its expenses.
The culprit is not waste, fraud and abuse. Schwarzenegger went looking for it and turned up practically nothing.
The culprit is not state lawmakers spending money on frou-frou. Almost every penny of state spending is dictated by federal law and state voter initiatives; the amount of discretionary spending asymptotically approaches zero.
The culprit is not employees being paid too much, or government wouldn't keep losing its best employees to better paid jobs in the private sector.
The culprit is that in good times, politicians cut taxes. And in bad times, they don't restore them. And in all times, voters pass boneheaded tax and spending initiatives that cause more problems than they solve.
The bottom line is that we the voters want services, but don't want to pay for them.
So roadways are a crumbling mess on the state level -- but fine in this county, where we finally gave up and taxed ourselves with Measure D to maintain them. Conversely, jails are sufficient in counties where voters chose to pay up and build new ones -- but we lack jail space in this county, where we failed to do the same. Remind yourself of this next time you wonder why the police don't make more arrests.
There is no free lunch. If we want something (enough jail cells, enough probation officers, enough freeway lanes, enough firefighters, anything), we need to man up and pay for it. Previous generations of Californians understood this, which is why Ronald Reagan raised taxes as governor.
On Charges Filed in July 4th Stabbings
Posted on July 12 at 10:49 a.m.
Once again we see what Santa Barbara County development is all about. Osgood here gets to build 72 mansions on the last piece of undeveloped coastline in southern California and that's just hunky-dory. Yet ask Goletans to agree to a single unit of affordable housing on an urban infill parcel with no significant environmental impacts, and watch the whole neighborhood whip into a petition-signing frenzy.
The next time I hear some a-hole justify the lack of affordable housing here with "supply and demand," my head is going to explode. There is endless demand for affordable housing. There's just no supply. Where are the maids for these 72 mansions going to live?
On Two Steps Forward for Controversial Naples Plan
Head for the Hills music is based in bluegrass that ... Read More
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