Rants and Raves

On SJI’s weekly open forum, comments on any topic are welcome. What’s on your mind?

41 Comments

  1. Call me a sexist anti-intellectual knuckle dragging Neanderthal, but I don’t think female Harvard educated university professors should be allowed to have access to handguns.

    If Professor Bishop had joined the NRA, she would have learned that shooting faculty members out of season is illegal.

    Plus, it’s just not manly.  They’re fat, slow, and have no survival instincts. And they’re not even good to eat.

  2. The effort to put a stadium in Downtown San Jose, which will help the local economy is being fought by a committee funded by the Giants.

    Shame on them.

    It is also appears that people in Nob Hill are putting together fundraisers to bail Mayor Gavin Newsom out by using the money from San Francisco to defeat the 49ers Stadium in Santa Clara.

    Interestingly, Debbie Bress, a person who boasted about receiving money from Sun Microsystems in 1998 has reappeared on the scene in Santa Clara.  She appears to have hijacked a website called SAVE SANTA CLARA, which began as a nativist website which attacked Silicon Valley CEOs for hiring Chinese and Indo Americans.  Its publisher, Robert E. Smith, talked about visiting the homes of CEOs and Mayor Chuck Reed, one of the most trusted elected officials in the Valley, and causing disturbances.  Now, Bress, whom, according to the Metro has had issues concerning harassing public officials and private citizens, is spending money which she claims is from San Francisco based groups.

    I have a good piece of agricultural land in the Southern area of our valley.  It is said that San Francisco bigwigs cannot spend money to help our area, instead they are pledging 640,000 from a variety of political committees and business leaders to defeat the Santa Clara stadium.

    • A lot of politics is just about money.

      Campaign committee are organized by people who stand to gain or lose based on a ballot measure (or the election of flexible candidates.)  That’s just the way it is in our system.

      Our jobs as voters is to not believe very much political dialogue, especially direct mail, but to undertake to educate ourselves before casting a vote.  If they measure is written in such a confusing way that you can’t figure it out, just vote no.  Its safer.

      As far as Giants and SF business interests trying to hold on to the 49ers, I don’t know whether its that big of a deal.  If people want to approve a complex financial deal that may or may not increase local economic activity, that’s their choice.  I’m not a big fan of public subsidies and think sports teams and others are playing us like chumps to underwrite their profit margins.

      Political Action can also be profitable.  One can become a professional activist and be paid to stir the pot.  I believe some cities (SJ) have some kind of reforms that require people to be registered as lobbyists, but I doubt people really follow the rules.  Keeping off the councilmembers calender by shoehorning your visit with someone else’s allows you to talk shop and drop of a contribution without showing up on the radar.  I noticed this happening while visiting City Hall’s top floor and comparing the number of people visiting a council member with their public calender.

      It sounds like you are in favor of a publicly built baseball only stadium located in or near downtown.  It also sounds like you are convinced that having the stadium would be an economic benefit.  Consider also the opportunity cost of the public investment ($100-400 million) and what could be done with that instead.  Would there be a higher return on investment with some other development?  How many days out of the year would the stadium generate economic activity?  How much would it impact quality of life (traffic, parking nightmares, transit overloads)?

      • <It sounds like you are in favor of a publicly built baseball only stadium located in or near downtown.>

        Please, stop fabricating facts.  The stadium will be privately funded and built.  Now you can try to make the point about opportunity cost, but what exactly should be done with that land?  More empty high-rise condos?  If there’s one thing this city has plenty of, it’s land.

        The Shark Tank was good for San Jose, and the A’s stadium will be good for San Jose as well.

  3. Mayor McEnery – “How do a few politically connected mega-nightclubs, with their hand-picked lobbyists, put thousands of alcohol-infused young men on a collision course with our police? And why let clubs that generate hundreds of calls for service each year, stripping the city’s neighborhoods of cops, be subsidized by everyone else?”

    Answer – City subsidized Downtown Association controlled by club owners and those benefiting from club business

    Downtown Clubs should pay for 100’s police calls for service and extra police costs = $ 1 million or more year since their city services costs are 2 times their taxes paid not neighborhood taxes and safety

    Neighborhoods police officers and reduced safety should not subsidize Downtown Clubs and police officers should get “combat pay ” for Downtown dangerous Entertainment District

  4. YOU sir, are a sexist anti-intellectual knuckle dragging Neanderthal.
    Harvard educated university professors AND Harvard educated community organizers are obviously far better suited to jobs as postal workers.

    • John,
      I have no ties to postal workers or the United States Postal Service. Say what you want about postal workers but I think it is pretty incredible that for 44 cents a letter can be mailed coast to coast or Hawaii/Alaska in just a few days and with a high degree of accuracy. Our local postal worker is very friendly and helps keep an eye on our neighborhood. I have a lot more respect for most postal workers than ultra liberal college professors. I don’t see the constant need by our society to rip on postal workers.

      • I’m OK with postal workers too. Just making the obligatory observation that they are the more traditional candidate to become disgruntled, get a gun, and go shoot up the workplace. Hence the expression “going postal”. But it is just a parody of a joke really- no harm intended. Don’t expect the teasing to subside anytime soon. This humor genre will be kept alive as long as “Seinfeld” reruns- with Newman launching into his demented rants about the hardships of being a mailman- continue to air.

  5. Since last January, passenger traffic through SJC is down 4.5%.  Down 23% total over the past two years.  Will things improve for our “International” airport once Terminal B is up and running?  Perhaps, but I don’t think we’ll ever get to the levels envisioned by our airport leaders.  Just think, if SJC were to somehow loose its Mexicana flight to Guadalajara, we would go back to having simply a MUNICIPAL airport.  The case may build over the next decade to finally decommission the “albatross” around San Jose’s development neck.

      • SL,
        It’s not being cynical, it’s being realistic.  I stated that when terminal B opens that traffic should pick up at Mineta.  The economy picking up should help to.  And yes, it would be great if Volaris stepped to the plate and a trans-Pacific flight returned (Japan, Taiwan, India).  But IMHO I don’t think we’ll ever get to the 17 million passengers per year currently envisioned; heck, 10 million would be nice.  But looking toward the future, is it worth having this level of air service, which effectively sacrifices a large swath of central San Jose (and the Mineta site itself) for money-making development?  Just my opinion, but I say no.

        By the way, key word in your post: Hopefully.  Happy V-Day all!

    • The last two years include the worst conditions in the American economy since the Great Depression.  Your numbers are meaningless unless you compare them to other airports.

      • Facts thou want, facts thou shall recieve:

        Year to date passenger traffic US airports as of 10/09 (updated on 1/21/10):

        1) Atlanta +2.1%
        2) Chicago +10.3%
        3) Los Angeles +7.1%
        4) Dallas/FW +2.5%
        5) Denver +2.4%
        6) New York JFK +6.4%
        7) Las Vegas +9.4%
        8) Houston +5.3%
        9) Phoenix +6.6%
        10) SFO +0.7%

        Source “Airports Council International.”

        San Jose’s passenger levels were dropping even before the economy tanked in September of 08.  Seems as if we’ve never fully recovered from 9/11 either. Doesn’t help that our airport is subpar compared to other major US airports.  Current expansion may help a little, “hopefully.” Anyhow, good to see that my numbers have meaning again; I’ll be able to sleep easier tonight.

    • One-Issue-Pony

      Why is the Airport such a big issue for you?  Is there nothing else in SJ worth looking at or talking about?  I sat under the flight path for High School classes and it was a nuisance, but that’s it.  The value of having a local airport far outweigh the minor costs.

      The height limit isn’t even that big of a deal, you can build taller on the East Side of downtown if you really want tall vacant towers.

      • Calm down Blair,

        That’s why this is called the “Rants and Rave” thread: we can discuss any ideas, issues regarding our city and Silicon Valley.  Others have as their “big issue” education reform, downtown clubs, postal workers, the Mercury News, etc etc.  The airport is just one of many topics I like to discuss every now and then.  That is all.

      • One-Issue-Pony Why is the Airport such a big issue for you?

        I cannot speak for Mr. Tony, but I can say this on my own.

        It is funny how when one person’s sacred cow is gored, they result to irrelevant attacks. 

        When I see these types of nonsensical rhetorical questions posed by airport supporters, it makes me realize the “Close The Airport” movement is gaining traction.  While they will never admit it, even an airport supporter realizes SJI is a boondoggle, and a dead weight dragging down San Jose.  Since they realize the truth, even if they cannot admit the truth, they result to attacking the messenger, rather than the message.

        One point that needs to be made clear is most, if not all, airport supporters justify the airport in terms of what it does for them.  Basically, their entire justification is they like the airport.  To hell with anybody else, to hell with society.  All that matters is what is good for them.

        While there is nothing wrong with this position on things practiced in the privacy of their own home, and with things that do not negatively affect anyone else, this position is completely wrong for public policy.  San Jose International is a tremendous negative “asset” to our city, and the surrounding county.  Its existence has ruined life for tens-of thousands of people on a daily basis, and it provides little in return for the destruction it causes.

        As has been repeatedly pointed out, it’s actual, measurable direct revenue is nearly non-existent.  Only by using voodoo economic numbers of induced and indirect revenue can it appear to be generating revenue.  The funny part is the airport could be closed, the 1000+ acres redeveloped in a positive manner, and new voodoo economic numbers generated that dwarf any airport numbers.

        That is not even including a better, redeveloped, more livable downtown, and using all the land north and south of the airport that is off-limits due to being in an airport safety zone.

        Without a doubt, SJI is a loser if one has an open mind, and sticks with the facts.

        The sooner we close SJI, the sooner San Jose can start to become a real, livable city.

    • I notice start up companies that have founders that are of certain nationality tend to hire those that have the same background. Chinese, Indian, Israeli, Iranian, Taiwanese etc….

      • Yes.  I work in high-tech and see this all over.  Indian startups hire Indians, Chinese hire Chinese, etc.  Ironically, the argument used by American companies for needing H-1B employees is “we want the best, irrespective of race, nationality, etc”.  So, after bringing the H-1Bs over, and letting them get their green card, these individuals turn around and use American resources as a method to provide jobs for their own country. 

        How much longer are we going to tolerate this crap?

    • Could you explain, please, where in that article you see that “there are too many white people working in Silcon Valley and they’re not losing their jobs fast enough”?

      Instead, the article reports that employment in SV does not fairly reflect the ethnic makeup of the general population, partly due to the hiring of foreign nationals.

      • > Could you explain, please, where in that article you see that “there are too many white people working in Silcon Valley and they’re not losing their jobs fast enough”?

        No.  I could not explain it to you.

        I would first have to teach you inferential and deductive reasoning.

        • Try me. I’m a quick learner. smile

          But for real. I assume you’re going off statements in the article such as this:

          “… the disparity is only growing worse.”

          This clause seems to imply an attitude, or an opinion. But if you look at the whole sentence:

          “The unique diversity of Silicon Valley is not reflected in the region’s tech workplaces — and the disparity is only growing worse.”

          The article is simply pointing out that SV businesses do not have workforces that don’t employ people in similar ethnic percentages as the region as a whole. Is that a liberal bias? The alternative is to say, “We live in a diverse region. But white people should still be the majority in this industry.” Is this just?

          Will you take me up on my challenge to explain where you see the bias? Or will you admit your own?

        • Why do you feel it necessary to attack me personally when we’re simply having a conversation with differing viewpoints? I’m only interested in continuing the analysis of the newspaper article. If you are no longer interested in that, just please be polite about it. Thank you.

    • It’s important to note which writers at the Mercury News twist certain facts & labels to make them conform to their own ideological blinders.

      The writer in the piece referred to above is Mike Swift, and he is profoundly biased.  It showed up most clearly in a similar “diversity” story which characterized American Latinos leaving California as part of a “Latino diaspora” and which characterized white Americans leaving California as part of a “white flight.”  This dual labeling was accomplished in the same paragraph.

      So, know the writer.

      • Perhaps you’re right about the writer in that other article, but let’s stick to this particular article you cited as “knee[ing] the white working class in the groin.” Where, specifically, is the article doing that? Please cite the words. Otherwise, I’m afraid, your accusations are empty. smile

        • As an aside to this debate, I liked how some of the comments to the Merc article challenged the newspaper to publish staff statistics documenting it’s own ethnic diversity.

          My guess is there is much less diversity at the Merc than at the companies that they are criticizing.

        • You said, “My guess is there is much less diversity at the Merc than at the companies that they are criticizing.” I’d wager you’re 100% right about that!

        • Christian, I think you are right!! I clicked on your link, and out of the 40 or so columnists for the Mercury where you could actually see their pictures with names, it looks like about 32 are white. Oh my God, say it ain’t so, the Mercury is obviously racist in who they allow to be columnists. Where are Coto and Fong leading the cry for an investigation? Where is affirmative action at the Mercury? Where is La Raza and the NAACP?

    • “SF” in replying to this thread says, “…the article reports that employment in SV does not fairly reflect the ethnic makeup of the general population.”

      The fact is that Diversity is measured by employment figures that reflect the proportions of the available qualified workers in the region.

      Let me repeat, Diversity at each level of employment seeks to have the same proportions of the available qualified workers in the region, not the overall population.

      If demographic A is a young demographic such that many do not have employment experience, and demographic B is an older demographic such that many have a range of employment experiences, the quest for Diversity does not rely on raw overall figures, or as SF believes, “the ethnic makeup of the general population.”

      Think about it, generally a school principal will have teaching experience, and a school superintendent will often have school principal experience.  A young demographic cannot be said to be disadvantaged in the way that Mike Swift and “SF” believe unless its employment at each level of work fails to represent the proportions of the available qualified workers.

      Mick Swift and “SF” will be telling us next that company CEOs should be chosen by lottery by everyone living in the region, instead of requiring 20-25 years experience in an industry.

      Sorry guys, Diversity is fine, but chose your words more carefully to make a more realistic picture.

      PS: This demographic data is sold by research companies to cities and companies alike.

      • Now THIS is sound argumentation, based on facts and definitions rather than bias. A far cry from the original posts that simply called the Merc “bigoted” without backing data.

        And it’s true that diversity in employment is based on the qualified employment pool, and not the general population – I was misleading in my own posts. I think you’d agree, though, that the IDEAL would be for companies to hire mostly locally, right? That is, it would be best if our whole (or most of our) local population were qualified for local jobs? That way we could avoid having to import workers from outside the region.

        The article fairly points that out as one of the problems: “Other reasons include … a weak pipeline of homegrown candidates.” We should work to populate that pipeline with people of the varying backgrounds our region boasts. No?

  6. The bigoted liberal Murky News twists story again to blame businesses who are victims of Teachers Union controlled California education system that does not turn out math, science and engineering graduates to meet Silicon Valley and business demands.

    Union work rules, bloated administration, too many political run school districts and not wanting to tie yearly student performance improvement to teachers evaluations are the problem.

    If public schools and universities were under same consumer protection laws as businesses they would be charged for gross consumer FRAUD for poor quality of education and graduates with no in-demand work skills

    Worst Public Education Consumer Fraud is not telling students and families who pay large fees and taxes for education that most courses or degrees have little or no business demand. 

    Most Grads are only qualified to work at minimum wage or manual jobs until they spend a year or more at low wage jobs or spend more time and money to get required in-demand skills at technical or trade schools at very profitable for profit schools

    • Educational Reform.

      Every small school district should contract with a central office for superintendent and human resources functions.  This would eliminate overhead during a time of scarce resources.

      New teachers could be nurtured with scholarships, rewarding some of the best students with scholarships to get a BA/BS and teaching credential and return to teach in the district.

      Public Schools could also compete as well as cooperate with more flexibility for students to cross district lines and seek magnet schools and specialty programs in higher performing schools.

      A key point in competition and this kind of freedom is that you have to be willing to let some fail even as others succeed.  Close the worst performing schools and layoff the staff and turn it over to a better performing district or school to reopen as a charter school campus.

  7. The Amy Bishop triple faculti-cide raises the serious question:

    “Are Democrats dangerous?”

    http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/9390

    “However, politics [i.e. Democrat politics] 24 years ago may have set the stage for this Tenure Massacre.

    Another Boston Herald story reported: “Braintree police Chief Paul Frazier has said officers on duty claim they were forced by retired former Chief John Polio to let Bishop, whose mother was a member of the police personnel board, go. Polio denies that and said then-District Attorney William Delahunt investigated the case and ruled it an accident.”

    Our cyber-buddy at the Boston Herald, Jules Crittenden, laid into Delahunt, now a Democratic congressman, for not pursuing her fratricide in 1986

    Wrote Crittenden: “The terrible news from Alabama, and the revelation that it apparently could have been stopped dead 24 years ago but for Massachusetts has a tiresomely familiar ring to it. Whether it’s the rampant hackery, liberal do-goodism or cronyism, they just keep letting criminals go so they can do it again. Killers and rapists.”

    Ah yes, the Land of Willie Horton.

    Oh, did I mention that she held Tom Pettigrew, then 22, hostage after killing her brother? It’s in that second Boston Herald story.

    Ah, but nothing to see here. A killing. A kidnapping. A Democrat.”

    And commenter brooklyn observes:

    “Like numerous Democrat Partisans these days, many have embraced a fashion of a very closed mind, buying a conception that all others who are not a Democrat are a lesser form of human existence. It reminds one, of the past ugly moments in history, were such bigotry and bias was crafted into horrific movements, much like the Militant Radicals we see coming from the ME today.”

    . . .

    “It was all too much for the Democrat who embraced a lofty conception they know and are better than others. They grew bitter and angry. Some seem to have completely lost their minds. . . .”

    . . .

    “Many Democrats these days display a lack of decency for others, and often this lack of empathy, compassion, respect, etc., turns the political environment into realms of hatred.”

  8. Looks like nobody wants to host the American Renaissance 2010 conference.  It appears that the more light you shed upon them, the less acceptable their racially charged message becomes.

    http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2010/02/15/american-renaissance-conference-cancelled/

    I wonder what our own SJI AmRen sympathizers will do without their star-studded event? 

    They’ll probably spend their extra time looking through school textbooks for mean words about white European people.  smile

    • More evidence, if any more is needed, of the invidious campaign of anti-white bigotry that masquerades as “tolerance”.

      There is no piece of vermin more racially divisive, more dishonest, more defamatory, more hate filled, and more provocative than Morris Dees and his shamsters at the so-called “Southern Poverty Law Center”. 

      Dees is nothing more than a race-mongering fund raiser.  His main employment seems to be sending out mendacious and fanastic fund-raising letters to guilty white liberals and collect tens of millions of dollars of “guilt money”.

      http://www.thesocialcontract.com/answering_our_critics/art_morris_dees_fact_sheet.html

      > “Today, the SPLC’s treasury bulges with $120 million, and it spends twice as much on fund-raising-$5.76 million last year-as it does on legal services for victims of civil rights abuses…

      > “What is the Southern Poverty Law Center doing…? Mostly making money…