January 27, 2009

At the Bald-Headed Man Café...


... you can bare your soul.


Squints said...


Ann Althouse said...

LOL. Blame the iPhone. That's a latte... with foam that the barista apologized for.

muddimo said...

Dang, I was thinking Guiness too. I could almost taste it!

George M. Spencer said...

Roby Lakatos, the Devil's Fiddler.

With cimbalom.

Check him out.

Patm said...

Damn it now I WANT a Guinness!

Simon said...

This is kind of cool to see.

MadisonMan said...

I hope Bald Man has a hat to wear when he goes outside.

Jeremy said...

The overhead ducting/lighting thing looks like you've got a finger in the picture and you're pointing to the top of the man's dome.

traditionalguy said...

Get er done, Professor. It's only Tuesday and there are miles to go until TGIF. Don't forget to feed the Ferrari more than lattes.

Chip Ahoy said...

My soul said, "Get some clothes on! And have yourself a sandwich."

Anonymous said...

A charming moment, but how long do you think it will be before one of the usual suspects shows up complaining that Althouse is really drinking Guinness on Tuesday afternoon (latte, my eye!) and taking pictures of people and putting them up on the internet without permission?

Reminds me of my Tuesday afternoon meeting, where the same people say the same things and have the same interactions they've had (myself included) for 15 years.

People complain about the January blahs, but just think! Groundhog Day's right around the corner!

Moose said...

So, you sneak around restaurants taking people's pictures without them knowing it?

Do you ask them afterwards if they want their pictures on your website?

Not a legality I'm sure - just good manners..

Alan said...

If that were a Guinness, the bartender hadn't a clue how to pour it.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I have Guinness sitting in the fridge right now. God, I wish I could get rid of it. Some misguided friend brought it over because Guinness is their favorite beer. But everyone else I know are either professional alcoholics or people who wear a Guinness jacket they bought at the Guinness museum at the Guinness brewery. And they'll only drink it from the tap.

It's just nitrogen bubbles people!

traditionalguy said...

Does your cellphone camera pick up penumbras of privacy coming off bald heads? If so this guy left his at home today. You might at least offer to pay for his order, and tell him he's been selected at random to recieve the caffeine-a-holics special complete with free photo posting on a website for known insomniacs.

sonicfrog said...

♫ I say these words to ring in your ears
I want these words to sing to your soul
To wrap around your eyes like a glimpse of tomorrow
Today our joy outweighs all our sorrow

I will bare my soul to you, and do anything you ask me
I'll bare my soul to you, this is the best that I can do
I'll bare my soul to you... ♫

Simon might know who this is from.

Ann Althouse said...

Don't you think the spoon is a giveaway?

In any case, I have never once in my entire life taken a drink before class. I can't even imagine being tempted to do that. And, obviously, I don't use any sort of drugs. I drink coffee!

dannyboy said...

In any case, I have never once in my entire life taken a drink before class. I can't even imagine being tempted to do that.

And here I was thinking you're a wild thing. A artsy liberal, live on the edge take no prisoners type of lady.

I don't know you anymore.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Noting the frequent cafe pictures, I have to commend Professor Althouse for doing her civic duty and propping up the cafe economy in these hard times.

What a patriot!

Ann Althouse said...

Actually, that's not an iPhone pic.

Anonymous said...

Hey, moose, were you at my Tuesday afternoon R&D meeting?

It's always Groundhog Day there, too!

john said...

Simon said - This is kind of cool to see.

Simon, don't get started again. Last time was not good for your health.

Ya know, the Gov Palin should be taking an evening con-law class if she's really aiming for 2012. Ann could teach her, kind of an online class here on her blog. This way the Gov could reap the benefit of this huge and educated (ie opinionated) group of commenters.

I don't know if the credits would be transferable.

Anonymous said...

RE: Perennial theme of Althouse being a drunk, I, too, have adopted J. Lohr as my house cab. For the money, it's about the best, most consistent California cabernet. Their Merlot isn't bad, either.

I suffered for the love of J.Lohr the other day. My favorite liquor store was out of it because of inventory. They sold me a bottle of Grayson Cellars 2006 cabernet for the same price. Also from Paso Robles. Not bad, but heavy on the fruit. Drinking some right now w/a very late dinner, and raising a toast to Althouse. Salut!

Zachary Sire said...

It will be fun to watch Palin get dragged through the mud and humiliated all over again, and then lose all over again, for a second time. I say this only because she obviously and willfully is putting herself in this position. Have fun, lady.

john said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john said...

Zach - You won't have to wait that long. The One is going to be a barrel of laughs in the next few weeks.

And the Geithner tax jokes are cranking up too.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Zach, here's some REAL mud draggin'.

john said...


What do you recommend to get the taste of leaves and mud out of your mouth?

Anonymous said...

John, I'd wash those out with about a litre and a half of a nice Pinot Grigio. If it's too cold for that, try a bottle or two of a nice, tannic, Rioja red. Goes well with twigs and sticks.

BTW, I just looked it up in the OED, and they capitalize "Cabernet." Thought you should know that. Us ex-Californians try to be breezy and say, "cab," but that properly only refers to the hired vehicle. Sorry for my ill-usage above.

Simon said...

Theo Boehm said...
"RE: Perennial theme of Althouse being a drunk, I, too, have adopted J. Lohr as my house cab. For the money, it's about the best, most consistent California cabernet."

House red chez Dodd? Blackstone. ;) I do like the J. Lohr, too - it's a good price, it's very satisfying, and I don't have to go far out of my way to get a bottle.

John, as some here know, that's literally true (I'm still taking the pills), but it wasn't Palin herself that was the problem. Largely it was the behavior of certain subhuman pieces of garbage vis-à-vis Palin (ably exemplified by Zach's comment above), and seriousness of the times compared to the unseriousness with which the election was being taken, as the result attests. Anyhoo, I think that all the candidates would benefit from a conlaw refresher, although a couple of overheated bits of cant aside, nothing made me think Palin was unusually problematic in that regard. The only candidate who talked about the Constitution who wasn't an obvious nutbar was Fred, and he went nowhere, alas. Still, better Palin than the kind of aggressive cluelessness of a Biden, for example, or Obama's gossamer lip service.

Simon said...

Although tonight, I'm not drinking wine - I've grown quite fond of Michelob over the last few years, and am induling while gazing out at falling snow. It's all very pretty.

john said...


I was thinking of an '02 Chateauneuf du Plop. Too heady?

Anonymous said...

Groan, John, just groaaann!

Speaking of ex-Californians, I read something online today about why everybody is leaving California. Can't find it, as I was eating a ham sandwich at the time. Anyway, according to what I read, California is just about at the event horizon of a black hole of taxes and social chaos. I could have told you that when I left 28 years ago. Massachusetts is much better run, believe it or not. Weather sucks big time, though.

So, how about it, DBQ, and all you other Californians who stayed? Is it really about to dissolve in chaos? Is there really a coup d'etat by your Secretary of State against Gov Ahnald? What gives?

Anonymous said...

BTW I follow Gov Schwarzenegger on Twitter. He comes on and makes cryptic complaints. Makes it sound like frogs and locusts are next, not to mention Maria Shriver.

Beth said...


get rid of that Guiness by cooking with it. Make a nice beef stew, and use Guiness in it. Or marinate steaks before grilling in Guiness with some herbs and garlic. Is it in a can? Then make beer-can chicken.

Or MAN UP and drink it for breakfast.

Sorry. I couldn't help that.

TitusBiosurgicalNeeds said...

OK, I had a very high level strategic meeting with our Ad Agency today and I have a question for all of you.

What do you think the number one source is for employers today in attracting talent to their organization? 70% of passive and or active job seekers are found by employers how?

Anonymous said...

Oooh, I remember a recipe for Brussels sprouts right here on Althouse recently that uses Guinness. I think it was Bruce Hayden's.

Basically you braise your steamed Brussels sprouts in butter with maybe some marjoram (I'd add a few sliced shallots and crumbled bacon pieces), and deglaze the pan with Guinness.

Go ahead and improvise, as I'm quoting from memory, but the deglazing with Guinness got my attention.

I'm saying nothing about breakfast....

TitusBiosurgicalNeeds said...

OK, no one is going to play my game.

The answer is Social Networking Sites. Examples are Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Ask, Indeed, Simply Hired.

Monster, HotJobs, Myspace are dead-fyi.

And 75% of job seekers are seeking jobs on handheld devices.

Times are changing people.

Anonymous said...

They go on the Astral Plane, Titus, and hire the dead.
Worked for me. I had a dead guy in my department for several years. He was OK as long as you didn't stand next to him in the washroom. Weird not seeing him in the mirror and all.

Anonymous said...

Whose hand is holding whose device?

Zachary Sire said...

California is a disaster. Teachers are being laid off and/or having their salaries reduced, funding is being cut from schools, and, haha, no one is getting their state tax refunds. There is a "freeze" on refunds. What if we all just said we are "freezing" having taxes taken out of our paychecks? Still I was able to find a job last month, and was even given a Christmas bonus. I work for a great company and most of my work is online, so I feel secure, for now.

blake said...

So, how about it, DBQ, and all you other Californians who stayed? Is it really about to dissolve in chaos? Is there really a coup d'etat by your Secretary of State against Gov Ahnald? What gives?

Who knows? It's hard to imagine a more incompetent bunchaboobs than we have running the place, but we also have a populous happily voting in more, more, more.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I was reading that Gov Schwarzenegger wanted to furlough state employees for, what, something like three days over some period of time, but the Secretary of State, I believe, refused to obey his order, and froze tax refunds, instead, precipitating a California Constitutional crisis.

I admit I'm a little hazy on details and can't be bothered to find it right now, but it sounds about like I expected. State employees protected at all costs!

Jason (the commenter) said...

Or MAN UP and drink it for breakfast.

Yes, I can drink it Wisconsin style, with a spoon. Another one of their quaint customs, like hunting ducks with snowmobiles.

Anonymous said...

Around here, they just cut the state aid to cities and towns, and Gov. Patrick continues his Ponce-de-Leon-like quest to install Indian casinos, which he hopes will be the Fountain of Cash he has been seeking

Just what you'd expect from a Progressive, African-American, Obamaesque Governor: Something to protect the little guy. An Indian casino!

Simon said...

I must admit that my impression of California's troubles is a bunch of liberals whining about the grave they've dug for themselves, despite the present governor's valiant attempts to rescue them. Is that impression wrong, and why?

blake said...


Just so. I presume, of course, if they're freezing returns, I can hold off paying them as well?


The problem with Arnold is that he's caved. He hasn't stayed true to the fiscal responsibility he was elected for.

It's not entirely his fault, of course, since I believe it's pretty much impossible (by law) to be fiscally responsible here. But he's done more playing ball, and sounds more and more like a big state guy as time passes.

Zachary Sire said...

Simon, it's not liberal whining (your summation of every problem), but rather over-population, the effects of the national/global economy as a whole, sheer incompetence on the part of lawmakers and citizens alike, and sadly, illegal immigration. As much right as I believe so many of these people have to be here, they are killing the state. And I just read today that for the first time ever, migrant workers are cutting back on the amount of funds they are sending home to Mexico. Jesus Christ.

Zachary Sire said...

I love Mexicans, by the way. And I support full amnesty. But again, Jesus Christ, there are a lot of 'em.

TitusBiosurgicalNeeds said...

I am in Cambridge tonight Theo. Where do you live in Mass?

I love Patrick, he is hot.

What is going on in Mass and California is going on in most every state now, well maybe except Wyoming, which has the lowest unemployment.

TitusBiosurgicalNeeds said...

Mexicans multiply fast Zach. I hope that didn't sound racist but it is true.

Theo, what do you do for a living in Mass? Are you a born and raised Masshole? My sense is no-not brash enough.

blake said...

That's interesting, Zeeps.

So your position is that Mexicans have a right to be here, even if it kills the state?

Not being snarky, here: I think immigration (not just from Mexico but all points south) is largely good but probably needs to be controlled.

Back in the '90s, when I had a sick kid in the hospital, there was a Mexican woman who had come here illegally to get care for her son (who had been brain-injured by meningitis that had gone misdiagnosed in her home village).

I couldn't fault her but I can't see how super-high quality medical care--which cost me tens of thousands of dollars--being given away free to illegals is a sustainable practice.

TitusBiosurgicalNeeds said...

My company is based in Cambridge. I love Cambridge. So fabulous. I am looking out over Harvard Square right now. Beautiful, but they are supposed to get 10 inches of snow tonight.

My spent my youth in Boston and still love it. One of those most beautiful cities in the country. And a walkable city-love that.

I went to Sage for dindin tonight. Delish. Although, the South End has now been taken over by yuppies. The fags all left. Now I hear the fags are in Dorchester, Jamica Plain, Chelsea, South Boston. When I lived in Boston you would never find a fag in South Boston.

Zachary Sire said...

Blake, I am utterly conflicted about illegal immigration and want them to all stay, but all leave. I would be a horrible politician.

blake said...

lol, fair 'nuff, ZPS.

It's not an easy question.

Kev said...

Blake, ZPS: With unemployment rising the way that it is, won't we soon be getting to the point that people here will actually need all those jobs currently being done by illegals? I can see that whole "jobs Americans refuse to do" argument being blown out of the water pretty soon.

Simon said...

blake said...
"The problem with Arnold is that he's caved. He hasn't stayed true to the fiscal responsibility he was elected for. ¶ It's not entirely his fault, of course, since I believe it's pretty much impossible (by law) to be fiscally responsible here. "

That's what I was driving at. To my mind (to borrow from Holmes) if the people of California want to go to hell, the Governor can only stomp on the brakes until the thing goes over the cliff, after which point it's fruitless. I remember a couple of years ago he tried to push a couple of initiatives through, and Californians told him to go fuck themselves (sic.). *shrug*

Zachary Paul Sire said...
"Simon, it's not liberal whining (your summation of every problem)"

As a careful reading of my comment will show, I did not attribute California's problems to liberal whining; I noted that my impression attribute's California's problems to the grave California's liberal majority has dug for the state, and observed that they are now whining about it while showing no intellectual capacity to move beyond the gravedigging dogma of liberalism.

"but rather over-population, the effects of the national/global economy as a whole, sheer incompetence on the part of lawmakers and citizens alike, and sadly, illegal immigration. As much right as I believe so many of these people have to be here, they are killing the state."

There's hope for you yet, Zach. And if they're killing one state in microcosm, what will happen in gross? Much the same thing. I seem to remember that your last Republican governor tried to warn you, but nooooo... Liberals knew better, and now you're realizing that (gulp) ya didn't. There are some very, very strong arguments to be made for liberalizing immigration law. By contrast, there's very little to be said for rewarding illegal behavior, for not cracking down on border security, and for not removing those illegals who are already here who don't regularize themselves.

Simon said...

My own impression is that we should make it much harder for people to come here illegally, and much easier for people to come here legally. I'm even willing to accept a form of amnesty in the sense that the people who are now here illegally should be allowed to return home and apply to come here legally under the new system without being prejudiced by their erstwhile status. What I can't accept - and what I think most Americans can't accept, quite rightly - is an amnesty that rewards illegality by allowing in situ path to citizenship.

Simon said...

Which is to say, I think Tom Tancredo is nuts, but John McCain is just as nuts on this issue.

Wince said...

What is going on in Mass and California is going on in most every state now, well maybe except Wyoming, which has the lowest unemployment.

Not as bad in Mass, yet. I don't think there was the over supply of new real estate development to the extent it happened elsewhere in the country. Partly because of zoning restrictions and lack of available land.

blake said...

Well, Kev, I don't claim to understand the pro-illegal immigration arguments.

During the last big, heated debate, I noted that the anti-illegal side made a ton of great arguments. Like, I don't get the "jobs Americans won't do" argument since that basically penalizes America's poorest workers.

That seems sort of nasty. But I don't hear the Dems taking that up.

The only really committed argument I heard was that the anti-illegal immigration types were really just racist anti-immigration types.

Unfair and unfounded. I think Simon is basically right: Make it much easier to get her legally and much harder to get here (or stay here) illegally.

But our *((*@# government can't even do that without (*(@(*&#ing it up.

TitusBiosurgicalNeeds said...

I would want the hot latins to stay but not the not hot ones-they can go home.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TitusBiosurgicalNeeds said...

The Brazillans have to stay. They are hot.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Can't we divide California into several states of more manageable size?

Anonymous said...

Titus, I'm in one of the tonier western Boston 'burbs—you know, the one that rhymes with "I'm bored." I live 100 yards or so from the line of march of the Minuteman on their way to the North Bridge in April of '75. I drive by Sleepy Hollow Cemetery every day on my way to work, and can wave to the Ghost of Louisa May Alcott when she tries to cross Monument St. on her way to breakfast at the Inn on the corner. My youngest son goes to school in Cambridge, however. He's a choirboy at the Boston Archdiocesan Choir School at St. Paul's in Harvard Square.

Regarding Immigrants and California, my relationship with Mexicans is a little more personal and nuanced than most other white Californians.

I am half-Spanish, my maternal grandparents being from Spain. One of my aunts married a Mexican guy, to the shame of my Spanish grandfather who disowned her. You see, things are often complicated on the 'Hispanic' side of the fence, riven as we are by racial and class divisions. Spaniards tend to be among the most ethnically-conscious, racist bastards on the planet. No sangre limpia for my Mexican-American cousins! You may also have read recent news reports about how Spaniards are both the most anti-Semitic and anti-Moslem Europeans. No surprise there!

Anyway, I grew up bilingual in Southern California, the weird thing being that my Mexican-American relatives were rich as Croesus, while we lived in a tract house in nondescript suburb-land. If you're from Southern California, you may recall Phil & Jim's, the chain of TV and appliance stores. My cousin owned that.

My Mexican-American relatives came from a family of relatively well-off landowners in Mexico, who were run out in the Revolution in the pre-WWI years, and proceeded to reestablish themselves in California. In this, they resemble the Cuban upper classes who wound up in Miami. They also have had similar political views— very conservative, both socially and fiscally. My cousins LOVED Ronald Reagan.

So, my family from Mexico has had almost nothing in common with the vast hordes of migrant laborers flooding into this country. I've run into descendants of the Lugo, Sepulveda and de la Guerra families, who were incensed at being thought of in any way connected with those pouring across the border. My point is that the sociology of Mexico has been mirrored in this country. It would be nice if we had more people like my educated, hard-working, successful cousins. The reality is that we have who we have, and, frankly, I have no answer to the immigration issue, or any of the other problems that bedevil California, except to do what I did, and vote with my feet.

When I first moved to Massachusetts, I was introduced to Thomas Boylston Adams (yes, of those Adamses.) He could tell instantly by my accent that I was Not From Around Here, so he asked where I came from. I replied, "California," and he said, "Ah, California! I hear it nice out there, but it's so far from the United States."

Aztlán anyone?

TitusBiosurgicalNeeds said...

Love Concord.

And Weston and Harvard and Newton and Brookline and Lincoln and Sudbury and Belmont and Stowe and Arlington and all those western suburbs. They are so fabulous. I get my "burys" mixed up though. Sudbury and Shrewsbury and Newbury and Newburyport and Amesbury and Tewksbury and so many "burys". I know Newburyport is north-another fabulous city and Portsmouth-fabulous

MetroWest is Fabulous!

TitusBiosurgicalNeeds said...

Don't care for Waltham and Burlington and Wilmington and Reading and Saugus and Stoneham and some of those northwest cities.

Love Melrose and Wakefield though too.

Poor Brandeis losing their postwar art collection. What a shame. Who will buy the Warhols and DeKoonigs and Johns and all the other great works?

TitusBiosurgicalNeeds said...

I love the North Shore and MetroWest but don't care for the South Shore...until I get to the Cape-Heaven.

Oh and Beverly Farms (John Updike rest his soul), Manchester By The Sea, even Salem, Marblehead, Swampscott, Danvers.

TitusBiosurgicalNeeds said...

Well you do know Theo Bostonians believe they are the Hub or Center of the Universe.

chuck b. said...

California is a place of booms and busts and it always has been. People love to hate, but they don't get it. This current situation...it's whatever. We'll be the first in to the Depression and we'll be the first out. And we won't go as deep in to it as the rest of you will.

Okay, clicked into the Twitter feed and I can't help think "annal thouse" is a terrible name.

chuck b. said...

And you have my blessing to cut California in half. (LA can have Bakersfield.)

In exchange lets consolidate all the ridiculously small eastern states (Delaware? Rhode Island? why on earth do we need these places?) and depopulated midwest. Do we really need two Dakotas? And what is the point of Nebraska?

ricpic said...


Have a drink, then have another,
And this above all --
That Mexicans inundate us,
Of this do not think.

Apple Fanboy Dude said...

Where's the iPhone tag? ;-)

Hoosier Daddy said...

Blake, I am utterly conflicted about illegal immigration and want them to all stay, but all leave.

There's classic leftism in a nutshell. I want my cake and eat it too as long as it doesn't cause problems for ME.

No one has a right to come to the US Zach. It's not a constitutional, natural or human right.

Anonymous said...

As I implied in my last comment, I, too, am conflicted about immigration, but not because I'm a 'liberal' in the sense I think Hoosier Daddy means, but because I have deeper connections to Mexico and Mexican culture than most 'Anglos.' (a laughable term for me, because I don't have a drop of Anglo-Saxon blood in my veins)

Also, as I tried to imply, Mexico has ancient, enormous and deep social problems that it is exporting to the US. The gap between the 3rd world immigrants illegally crossing our border and the upper classes in Mexico is as large as you will find anywhere, and the Mexican elite is very content to use the US as a safety valve.

One of my cousins is a 1st-grade teacher in rural San Diego county. Ethnically, she is white-bread Irish- and Scots-Irish American. But her Spanish is better than mine. She sounds completely Mexican. Why? Because she HAS to communicate with her students, ALL of whom for at least the past 10 years have been the children on Mexican migrants. Many of them have never even SEEN a book. I think a lot of Americans have no idea about the degraded human level at which some of these people live. Call me a 'liberal,' but as a Christian, as someone who has great sympathy with Mexican people, and simply as a human being, it is hard to see this situation and smugly content myself with a policy of throwing immigrants out and building higher walls.

For better or worse, the US is deeply entwined with Mexico. We have to find mutual solutions to the problems on both sides of the border, or, as I also implied by my 'Aztlán' crack, things will ultimately devolve to the moving of that border.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Call me a 'liberal,' but as a Christian, as someone who has great sympathy with Mexican people, and simply as a human being, it is hard to see this situation and smugly content myself with a policy of throwing immigrants out and building higher walls.

Well for me it's difficult to be smugly content with allowing unfettered immigration into this country when we are already insolvent as a nation. A mutual solution isn't going to happen as long as Mexico is content with exporting thier unwashed and can slam us as 'racist' should we dare suggest they work on their problem.
Oh and the American left is also smugly content with leveling the racist tag and simply demand we take these poor folks in. As long as they aren't living next to them of course.

Theo I have deep ties to my Polish heritage too but I don't suggest in any sense that we import all the poor destitute Poles to the US so they can have a better life. There is a process and they should have to go through it just like everyone else.

Sixty Grit said...

A drunk illegal unlicensed uninsured Mexican just caused a huge accident here - one man may die as a result of his injuries. The driver has been here 2 years, speaks no English, disregards all of our traffic laws and somehow, the little brown bastard should be given medical treatment and the best legal representation we can provide.

I think lynching is too kind.

Anonymous said...

"you can bare your soul"

that's interesting cause a sculpture on campus here called soul (with artistic roots in the russian/american situation of the late 80s) just grew a beard overnight. He's lean and muscular and now has a beard. Who could ask for more? Plus he's keeping his feet grounded on mother/matter earth.

Anonymous said...

Hoosier Daddy: I agree there's a process, and it should be followed. Being of 'a certain age,' one of the main things I most hate about the past 30 or 40 years is the creeping, widespread illegality that is so accepted in our culture.

It started with drugs, it spread to traffic laws with the widespread disregard of Nixon's 55 MPH speed limit (so that now EVERYBODY drives like crazed Boston or New York drivers), and it's obviously been a way of life in immigration for the same period.

I will tell you, MY Mexican relatives immigrated quite legally, thank you, partly because the United Stated enforced its laws in those days, and partly because, to many desperate immigrants in the past, the United States represented a country of laws, unlike the chaos they were escaping, and the last thing they wanted to do was disrespect the very thing that attracted them here. I think this held true especially for middle-class migrants, such as my Mexican relatives, or the grandparents of a friend who fled the hyperinflation disaster in Germany at about the same time in the early 1920's.

Unlike many countries, there is no blood or ethnic basis to the United States, despite what some mistakenly argue. It is founded on Enlightenment principles, especially the rule of law, that transcend accidents of blood or birth. Thus, it is vitally important for the citizens of the US to KEEP those laws, in the full meaning of that word, or ultimately all will be lost. That is the point behind my quote from Thomas Boylston Adams, and my Aztlán remark.

California, to Adams, represented essential lawlessness, beginning with its acquisition, and continuing with the chaos on the border, not to mention its cultural influence. We can argue about the wisdom of the Mexican War, which Adams was still fulminating against in the 1970's, but the toleration of widespread illegality at the border represents an ongoing and direct challenge to the very notion of the United States. That has nothing to do with whether you or I like or approve of Mexicans, the Spanish language, etc., and everything to do with whether present-day Americans are willing or able to preserve the essential nature of the United States as a nation of laws.

That doesn't mean we must lock the border shut, but that we must look at the problems realistically , and from the perspective of legal order, or, as I fear, the problems of Mexico will become our problems ever after.

Beth said...

I'm with the "make legal immigration easier" crowd; illegal immigration is a tragedy, not a good thing. I emphathize with the immigrants I see here in the NOLA area - they're extremely hard working. But they're also vulnerable. They're referred to as "walking ATMs" because they can't open bank accounts. They don't report the muggings they endure so we're all further compromised by street crime. We're about to cut $2 billion (!!!!) dollars from the state budget, and most of that will come from health and higher education. Illegal immigrants do contribute to the tax base, at least through sales taxes and some even pay social security, as a lot of them use fake SS numbers - so they contribute to SS without a hope of getting it back. But in the end, it's a lose-lose situation.

On the other hand, we haven't significantly reformed our immigration and work permit policies since way back, and the system we have now doesn't really serve our economy or allow for reasonable influx of new Americans.

But is there a "the poor you have with you always" angle to this? Will increasing legal immigration, particularly for skilled workers, do anything to stem the flow of people who pretty much see the U.S. borders as abstract ideas, since their families have traveled the same territory for thousands of years? And with Mexico becoming more and more of a drug oligarchy, can our enforcement efforts be effective?

sonicfrog said...

Oh man, this thread is all over the place. Where to begin....

(I apologize in advance, this is WAY longer than I expected)

FCAI, should all people who kill someone while driving drunk be lynched, or just illegal aliens? This is like the hate crimes issue. Why should someone who murders my mate during a robbery get a lighter sentence than someone who murders my mate because he's gay. My mate is still dead. Gone forever. And yes, I've had very good reason to think about this. I have had someone I loved bashed to death - still unsolved.

(don't know why I started there?)

On California.

First Arnold. Yes, Anry started out OK.

In 2005 he tried to pass two propositions, one for redistricting, and another that would give the Gov mid year budget review, which, if passed would have gone a long way to start straightening this mess out. BUT at the same time, he supported two props that were useless in any political sense. One dealt with restricting the way unions could misspend member dues, the other increased teacher tenure from three to five years.

These props were not only useless, but they stirred up a HUGE backlash. The unions, probably more politically powerful in California than in any other state, did not take this lying down. They spent in excess of $100 mil (funny how that seems like such a small number now) to defeat not only the two anti-union propositions, but the others as well. Though the unions heavily mortgaged their property assets (we'll be hearing about the unions needing a bailout soon I suspect) they trounced the Governator.

Why did he take on the unions... beats me. There was a already a law that allowed union members to voluntarily withhold dues that would be spent politically, and the other? There was absolutely NO public outcry concerning the length of teacher tenure. Sad thing is, that if Arny would have resisted taking on the unions, the more important props almost certainly would have passed and we might not be in the current mess.

After the humiliating defeat of all four props., Arny fired his conservative staffers and consultants, who deserved to be fired, and replaced them with liberal Democrats. The new Arnold vowed to work with the Democrats in the name of bipartisanship. Four years later, state spending has increased 40% over Grey Davis's tenure, the Gov. Arny replace via recall, if you recall. And why did Arny replace Davis.... Overspending!!!

Now, a look at the future.

As some of you know, I live in Fresno. California's San Joaquin Valley contains some of the richest soil in the nation. Agriculture is King! (25% of the nations total output, according to wiki) This area is one-third of the state. The climate of California is classified as Mediterranean, which means we get all our rain during the winter months, November through April, and nothing of any measure for the entire, very hot, summer season. Keep in mind we have good rain years, where we meet or exceed the average rainfall totals of 15 to 27 inches of rain, depending on which part of the state you're in, and we have bad years, where rainfall is less. If we have more than two years where rainfall totals fall short of normal, we are said to be in drought conditions. The Sierra Nevada Mountain range, just east of here, stores much of the precipitation that falls in this region, in the form of snow. God bless the Sierra Nevada's. Without this geologic blessing, not only would we not have enough water to survive, but this is where the 49'er gold came from.

The water supply for California residents, businesses and agriculture, comes from that stored either behind dams, or in ground aquifers. Many in the Valley rely on aquifers, but the problem with this is that, unlike dams, aquifers take a long time to replenish and in drought conditions wells that tap into this natural water storage storage system run dry.

Now, as many of you outside the state are finding out, the state's politicians are heavily influenced by the environmental lobby, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I'm all for cleaner everything. But here's where it gets extremely stupid. As I stated, Calif has to store it's water behind dams to meet the demands of the population. Because of environmental concerns, we have not built a new dam since the 40's. The population of the state has grown a bit.... from 7 million in 1940 to 37 million today. WOW. The population of Los Angeles, in the same time period has grown from 1.5 mil to 4 mil. So-Cal'ers are very much against the notion of building more dams to capture their water. So where do they get the water they need?, Yep, you guessed it. From the San Joaquin Valley storage.

To make things worse for the San Joaquin Valley, and the local farming communities in the Central Valley, environmental groups successfully sued the state to reopen the waterflow to the San Joaqin river year round, in order to try and revive the habitat for a species of salmon that used to spawn in the river. Nevermind that the salmon currently spawn somewhere else, and no one is sure if the salmon will even come back. Regardless, this means that Milerton Dam just outside of Fresno, which feeds the San Joaquin River, will have much less water that in previous years.

Did I mention that this winter our rainfall totals are currently below average, and we are heading into our third year of drought conditions.

Here are the results of the failure of the state's politicians in this matter. Last summer, several small farming communities had to rely on bottled water to drink AND BATHE because the wells that supplied their water went dry. Yes, these are whole towns. One of my customers runs an ag spraying company that provides services to many farms on the west side of the valley. Two of their largest customers went out of business last year due to lack of water. One customer tried to survive by drilling a new well. The first one was dry. The second did hit a source of water. But the farmer, after spending a million a piece to drill each well, had no money left to pay his employees and went belly up. This is getting bad enough that it's starting to make the news. This news article is candy-coating the situation. My customer normally has lost of work at this time of year for growing prep. This year she has nothing.

Oh, did I forget to mention that farmers in the San Joaquin are required to spray their dirt roads with water on a regular basis to help keep dust particles out of the air. Air quality rules!

The state has completely neglected it's responsibility to maintain and expand the water infrastructure to meet the needs of the people. We have been trying for over fifty years to get the state to invest in water storage, build more dams, improve the canal system that moves water across the state, but have had absolutely no success. The politicians are paralyzed with fear of ticking some or other special interest group off. As with the financial system, the water system is going bankrupt.

Many people see where things are going. Those with the means to do so, are leaving this state. The term "Oakie" refers to Mid Westerners who fled to California during the dust bowl. Wouldn't it be ironic if , 80 years later, people make fun of the "Calies" who left the state at the end of this decade, at the end of the California dream.

Anonymous said...

Hey sonic,

I didn't know you're in Fresno! My uncle was a longtime game warden in Tulare, and my (female) cousin is doing the same thing, the first father-daughter game wardens in California history.

Other family members live in the area as well, including Fresno.

Many years ago, I also almost got a high school band director job in Fresno. But then I had to make the decision, do I move to the pretty suburbs of Boston and work for a world-famous flute company (can't tell you the name on the internet, sorry), or do I buy a condo in Fresno and cast my lot with things such as keeping the pep band from falling out of the bleachers during basketball games, because they're all so stoned?

Some decisions just seem to make themselves.

Your friend,
Theo "Calie" Boehm

Sixty Grit said...

Yep, start with the illegals, we'll lynch citizen drunk drivers later.