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Posted on May 5 at 11:20 p.m.
Who is ultimately at fault in your situation, Hank? Your neighbor's landlord is, for renting to those morons, despite the negative impacts that his irresponsible decision to do so has on you and your landlord.
The kid with the website is concerned about landlords engaging in criminal behavior against good tenants. You are concerned about landlords enabling criminal behavior by renting to bad tenants. Either way, THE BUCK STOPS WITH THE LANDLORD.
Speaking of which: you say you have destroyed peoples' bicycles because you don't like where they are parked -- multiple times, no less. A responsible landlord would evict your neighbors --- and also evict you, because a tenant who destroys other peoples' property for petty reasons (or any reasons) is an unacceptable liability.
On Power to the Lessees
Posted on March 21 at 9:55 p.m.
Following which, Justin Michael will anonymously promote himself in the third person.
Posted on March 12 at 6:30 p.m.
I wish the partisan trolls on both sides would give it a rest with the dimwitted finger-pointing, already. We are NOT in a unique situation here. Almost every household, every state, every county and local government in the country is feeling the effect of a nationwide near-depression brought on by the banking crisis. And in California, it is grossly compunded by a state budget train-wreck brought on by dysfunctional budget processes.
Here is the cruel irony. Demand for government services increases when unemployment rises, as people lose their jobs, houses, cars, health insurance, etc. But without a robust rainy-day fund, public services are least available when the public most needs them!
You work hard, you pay your taxes, you deserve to be able to count on help if and when you need it, and you deserve safe streets and decent schools in any economy.
Trouble is, to buy votes, state politicians like to cut taxes and raise spending when times are good -- and since state governments aren't allowed to run deficits, they're consequently forced to raise taxes and cut services when times are bad. This is the exact OPPOSITE of sound macroeconomic policy. It inflates ominous bubbles in boom times, and magnifies peoples' pain in bust times.
Good rainy-day legislation would require that surpluses be set aside for bad times. It would limit irresponsible tax cuts and spending expansions, and reduce the need for painful tax hikes and service cuts. It's common sense and good economics. Up in the Legislature, it would make liberals and conservatives alike behave like responsible adults.
Of course, first we, the voters, would have to act like responsible adults and pass such a thing. I am not optimistic.
On County Budget Bloodbath
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.