Should San Jose Have its Own Navy?

Should San Jose have its own Navy to protect and defend Alviso? Ask that question to most people and they would respond, “Of course not,” and add, “Are you crazy?” 

Most people would agree that the City of San Jose doesn’t need a Navy, but what about having our own State Department? We could be like Berkeley, and issue policy declarations for the rest of the world to follow and obey.

The San Jose City Council’s unilateral call to boycott the State of Arizona over the immigration issue is a bit like one principality declaring economic war over another. Give me a break.

Never mind the fact that Arizona’s new law has yet to be implemented. Furthermore, never mind the fact that the courts (at every level) have yet to render their judgment.

What if the courts find the law to be Constitutional? So what? Let’s challenge Arizona on this issue despite all logic. By the way, when did the San Jose City Council receive their direction from the citizens of San Jose on this issue?

For the city to confront the State of Arizona and its people on this question is a decision that should be made not by a dozen, free-lancing local politicians, but by the people of San Jose as a whole. Economic boycotts can backfire.

Often times, you end up hurting the very same people that you were trying to champion. How many Arizona families will see their incomes reduced or eliminated just so the members of the San Jose City Council can make a political statement?

The San Jose City Council should place the question of the Arizona boycott on the November ballot. Let the people of San Jose, not the politicians, decide whether or not to pick a fight with the people of Arizona.

(Note: The San Jose City Council pulled the teeth from the Arizona boycott at last Tuesday’s meeting. They decided instead to denounce Arizona and restrict city employees from traveling to the state on city business.)


  1. One good boycott deserves another.  Do your shopping and other errands in cities adjacent to San Jose – Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Campbell, etc.  Denying SJ the sales tax is consumerism at its zenith.

    • Mr. Howe’s suggestion is a valuable insight.  If those of us, who would like to see us focus on municipal problems & solutions, would simply make all big-ticket purchases (refrigerators, cars, mattresses, home repair materials, garden & landscaping equipment) at the pleasant and helpful companies located all around San Jose’s borders, it would reduce the capacity of these troublesome city council members by reducing the sales tax remedies available for them to waste.

      Perhaps anyone taking this step could send a copy of their receipt to City Clerk, City Hall, San Jose.

  2. The problem with the San Jose City Council imposing a boycott on Arizona is simply that the council doesn’t have enough seriousness and gravitas.

    I suggest that they first establish their bona fides by wearing togas and laural wreathe crowns.

  3. Ironically, the same city council and mayor that are saying they will not do business with Arizona, is the same city council and mayor that just spent millions of dollars for land for a baseball stadium. Does the city council not realize that spring training is in Arizona, as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks? Also, is the city council going to cut ties with HP Arena and the Sharks, since they travel to Arizona to play the Phoenix Coyotes? How come they don’t have the balls to pass on this?

  4. Can the readers of San Jose vote on columnists?

    How about a decision for us to boycott all businesss that support
    space for Whitey Campbell?

  5. So Madison Nguyen pushed this piece forward? I had supported her during her recall election, but now because of her very misguided AZ boycott effort, I will not support her. This was a blatant abuse of power by a council member on a resolution that had zero effect and impact on SJ taxpayers.

    Aside from the AZ law being constitutional since it mimics Federal law, this piece of symbolic trashly legislation was solely an attempt to not let SF, Berkeley and other crazy CA cities get all the attention with their own trashy legislation. We have successfully lowered the bar to those citys’ level, thanks to Madison. No doubt countless city staff hours were spent researching information to back up this no-bang-for-the-buck piece.

    Furthermore, SJ can ill afford any retaliatory calls for boycotts or sanctions from those that disagree with the Council’s stand against AZ.

  6. Here’s a question for all the pro-SB1070 folks:

    Do you hate illegal immigration enough to institute national I.D.?

    SB1070 is just part of America’s long tradition of cycles of anti immigrant hysteria whenever there are economic downturns. Politicians try to capitalize on the support they can get from millions of workers who are facing unemployment and loss of savings by offering to pass racist laws to save them from having to compete against cheap immigrant labor.

    But if the cost of keeping SB1070 or other “papers please” laws on the books is to institute national ID so that white people are stopped and asked for their papers too, is it worth it to you?

    • > Here’s a question for all the pro-SB1070 folks:

      > Do you hate illegal immigration enough to institute national I.D.?

      Oh, wow!  The old “complex question” trick.

      “Have you stopped beating your wife?”

      Stop being stupid. Enforcing the law does not require “hating” anyone or instituting a national I.D.

      Then again, maybe you’re right.  The reason the IRS makes me pay taxes is because they hate me.

    • SB 1070 does NOT allow cops to stop people just to ask for their papers.  That misrepresentation has been bandied about by virtually every newspaper, radio talk show or TV coverage, including our very own cop hater Sean Webby of the Murky News.  Unless all of these people are idots, one can only believe that they have done this wilfully in order to mislead the public.

      SB1070 requires that there first be a legal stop based on probable cause that another law has been violated; e.g. speeding, running a red light, expired license tags, etc.

      Thereafter, there must be additional probable cause to believe the person stopped is not here legally; such as little or no English ability, no drivers license or ID, etc.

      We are awash in tens of millions of illegal immigrants who utilize more than their share of limited public resources.  There isn’t enough money to go around for people who were born here or came here legally, and the courts won’t let anyone refuse to provide the services to the illegals.  So, the only solutions left are to raise taxes to pay for more illegals public services or give them back to Presidente Calderon and let him deal with them.

    • Guess what downtownster? I (a white guy) was pulled over by the police last month. He strolled up to my car and demanded to see (drumroll please)…..MY PAPERS!

      • Exactly.  Everyone has to show their ID and such when they interact with a cop.  In Arizona, if you don’t have any documentation to prove you are a citizen, you may be charged with a misdemeanor.  And if it turns out you didn’t just leave your wallet at home, then you’ll presumably be convicted of being in the state of Arizona during an otherwise unlawful stay in the USA.  I fail to see how that is a problem.

  7. I think San Jose should have it’s own navy. 

    How else are we supposed to enforce the ban on Happy Meals and keep them from being sold on the black market by unscrupulous McDonald’s franchisee’s?

      • And instead of having a fireworks show or repealing the fireworks ban you could just have artillery pound areas of blight saving the city millions in demolition costs that redevelopment money would go towards. Take it one step further and get federal funding for historical preservation by re-commissioning the mothball fleet into service.

    • > I think San Jose should have it’s own navy.

      I think this will inevitably cause some very messy problems of protocol.

      For example, will city council members wear their admiral’s uniforms over their togas or under them?

      Will council members be able to carry their swords through the metal detectors and wear them during council meetings?

      Will the city’s battle fleet be allowed to fire twenty-one gun salutes within one thousand feet of a school?  After all, a battleship is technically a “firearm”, isn’t it?

      Tough issues, and I’m not sure that our politicians are up to them.

      • You raise some very good points Laser.

        With a navy, San Jose city council can walk softly and carry a big stick. 

        That way, if like Fremont gets all uppity trying to lure the A’s to Fremont.  All we’d have to do is deploy San Jose’s fleet, impose a naval blockade on Fremont, and BAM!  Next thing you know, the A’s are in San Jose.

  8. Come on Pete. Cut the city council some slack wouldja?
    Even Barack Obama’s handpicked Attorney General “hasn’t had a chance” (his words) to read Arizona’s new law. Until he and our local grandstanding politicians “get a chance” to read those 10 long, boring pages it’s completely understandable that they mimic whatever they’ve read in the editorial page of the local leftist newspaper.
    How else do you expect our councilmembers to advance their political careers other than by pandering to the ovine masses?

  9. Geeze! Give me a break!

    Doesn’t Metro have editors who check for (obvious) factual errors before publication? If so, would somebody slap him/her upside the head and wake him/her up?

    This article, and much of the resulting commentary, is based on a false premise. The SJ city council DID NOT vote in favor of an economic boycott of AZ businesses, as Pete misrepresents. 

    When it came up for a vote on Tuesday the council specifically REFUSED to endorse a boycott of AZ businesses, with Reed saying he did not want to cause economic harm to the people of Arizona. Instead the council, a majority of whom oppose the law, voted a resolution to “denounce” the law. Why was this not mentioned? Did Pete even attend the meeting that he is ranting about?

    Somehow, Pete overlooked well-publicized facts that are a matter of public record and instead tells us the council issued a “…unilateral call to boycott the State of Arizona over the immigration issue…” Not true.

    I have a question as to why this article was published on Thursday, TWO DAYS AFTER THE COUNCIL VOTE? Perhaps Pete, or somebody down at Metro, can explain why such a factually inaccurate article got posted on SJI.

    Note: This is not commentary on the merits of the AZ law.  It is, however, a commentary on fact-based journalism.

    • Reader:
      If you go to the city council agenda for 6/8/10, you’ll find a Memorandum signed by Councilmembers Nguyen, Liccardo, Herrera, and Kalra that directs the City Manager to, among other things, “Draft a measure for consideration by the City Council to the extent practicable…to refrain from entering into any new or amended City contracts to purchase goods or services from any company that is headquartered in Arizona.”

      In addition, if you re-read my post, you’ll see a postcript at the bottom that indicates that the council “pulled the teeth” on the boycott, choosing only to denounce Arizona and restrict city employee travel to the state.

      • Pete, you can’t be serious. I would hope that as a journalist you understand the fundamental difference between an agenda memo (which is a suggestion to be debated) and the final vote!

        You blew it, plain and simple. It’s obvious that you did not properly research the story and published an article based on a flawed premise. A hastily added postscript does not change the fact that every word of the original article was predicated on your false assumption. The city council did not boycott the state of Arizona. Yet you excoriate them for supposedly doing so. (You also fail to apologize for raking them over the coals for approving the supposed boycott!)

        I wonder if you took any of the basic steps that us readers expect of a news reporter. Did you actually attend the meeting that you reported on? Did you watch it on the City Channel? Did you pull the minutes and see the final 9-2 vote? Did you interview any city council members after their vote? Did you do ANY basic journalistic due diligence before publishing a politically-charged rant, falsely accusing councilmembers of an action they did not take? (Did you even bother to read next-day coverage by other media, all of which got the story right?) Your article indicates, rather strongly, that you failed to take the basic steps that reporters learn in Journalism 1A. Shame or lame, take your pick.

        Next time, Pete, please take the time to properly research an article before you start banging away at the keyboard with oh-so-strong opinions.

        Kathleen: You are correct that Reed’s main stated objection to the boycott was that his belief that it could be a violation of the Interstate Commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution, but he also made a strong point about not wanting to cause economic harm to individuals in AZ. He also made those comments on the news. Interestingly, he said he believes the AZ law is, in fact, unconstitutional. That is why he, and 9 other councilmembers, voted to “denounce” the AZ law, but with no economic boycott of AZ businesses. (Also, they didn’t want to lose $14 million in garbage contract $$, which suggests that you are right about ethics for $ale.)

        I am, however, glad that SOMEBODY is paying attention to what the city council REALLY did last Tuesday!

      • Wow, Liccardo and Kalra must both really want to be the next Mayor, to pander so shamelessly.

        (Contrary to opinions I’ve seen expressed at the Mercury News, I don’t think anyone plans on electing Madison Nguyen as Mayor anytime in the future,* nor do I see Rose Herrera as likely to garner much support in such an endeavour.)

        *She could probably get the same 41 percent of the vote that Cindy Chavez got in the run-off…assuming she made it to the run-off.

    • > I have a question as to why this article was published on Thursday, TWO DAYS AFTER THE COUNCIL VOTE? Perhaps Pete, or somebody down at Metro, can explain why such a factually inaccurate article got posted on SJI.

      Let me take a stab at this for the Metro.

      Ever since the beginning of the Obama era, I have noticed that “facts” seem to have an expiration date.

      At one time, it was a “fact” that Obama would not raise taxes on families making less than $250K.  That fact seems to have expired with the signing of ObamaCare.

      So, maybe the “facts” about the City Council’s Arizona resolution expired by the time the Metro got around to publishing them, and so the Metro opened up a can of new facts.

    • When SJ Inside got folden into the Metro newspaper group the blog changed some with staff writers contributing some posts but the majority of columns continue to come from volunteer columnists.  Seems like this was just Mr. Campbell sharing his take on the issue and provoking discussion.

      Blogging should not be confused with journalism.  The trappings of journalism can lend some false credibility when it is undeserved.  But it also opens up reporting from new perspectives and that is a good thing.  Some stories or perspectives just wouldn’t fly in the mainstream (or even weekly alternative, aspiring to be mainstream)press.

      Have you been to a council meeting that you weren’t paid for?  Its a long and painful thing.  I can understand how a citizen could have an opinion without sitting through marathon meetings and I’m okay that its a little inaccurate.  Even putting the matter on the Agenda is election year PC-vote pandering crap and diminishes the stature of the council.

      BTW – The INS had highway checkpoints on HWY 90, 80 and 10 in South Arizona in 2001/2002 when I was stationed at Ft. Huachuca, and it was a casual inspection (license, registration, reason for visiting if not from USA).  I’m guessing that under the new administration, enforcement is more relaxed and so the folks in AZ stepped up to see that local enforcement provided the coverage so as not to allow a de-facto amnesty situation to occur (decriminalizing illegal immigration as the first step).  I’m looking at wealthy nations I can visit and overstay my visa at right now as I make vacation plans for the coming year.  I’m sure France, UK, Sweden, China, Japan and other developed nations will happily welcome me with social programs and services to help me adjusted for an extended stay.

      • “Blogging should not be confused with journalism.”

        In general I would agree with you, and could point to Campbell’s article as proof.

        But when the blog is sponsored by a local newspaper it takes on a mantel of authority absent from the average “I’m Some InterNut With An Opinion” blog. Metro can’t have it both ways: serious journalists one day and “gosh, we’re just bloggers” the next. By any journalistic standard, Pete’s article was a pretty major screw up. 

        I also do not subscribe to the idea that bloggers, by virtue of not being journalists, are immune from responsibility for their words. This becomes especially true when those words portray others in a false light.

        The sad fact is that many people do not make a distinction between blogs and journalism. Did you notice how many people initially responded to this blog as if it were factual before the errors were pointed out? With publication comes responsibility. Bloggers do not get a pass on truth. Blogs are a great way to express opinion and generate discussion. But to be credible, the blogger can’t pull his facts out of his hat, or wherever.

        And yes, I have been to many city council meetings gavel-to-gavel. You are right, they can be mind-numbing. But that’s no excuse for misreporting the portion of the meeting that was quite lively. I suspect Campbell was nowhere near City Hall last Tuesday.

        • Reader:
          You talk tough, yet don’t sign your name to your posts.  You take shots at me for playing loose with the truth, yet do not provide any examples.  If the council voted to ban city employees from traveling to Arizona and prohibit funding accordingly, I call that a “boycott.”  You can call it a travel ban, a protest, or whatever else you’d like. 

          Not that it matters, but you missed the point of my article…that the people of San Jose should make this call, not 11 politicians.

        • Pete,

          Dress it up any way you’d like but the City Council specifically REJECTED the proposal to boycott businesses in the state of Arizona. Yet your article blasts them for supposedly doing so and suggests that there be a citywide referendum. (The travel ban, btw, is toothless. With frozen travel budgets and no plans to go there anyway, it’s like having a travel ban to Neptune.)

          You asked for examples of your “playing loose with the truth.” OK but remember, you asked: 

          “The San Jose City Council’s unilateral call to boycott the State of Arizona…” (That DID NOT happen.)

          “Economic boycotts can backfire.” (Boycott? What boycott? The next time the SJ cops light up some guy up with a taser you can be sure that AZ-based Taser Co. got a nice fat check from San Jose!)

          And my favorite: “How many Arizona families will see their incomes reduced or eliminated just so the members of the San Jose City Council can make a political statement?” (Here’s your answer: 0.)

          To sum it up Pete, TWO DAYS AFTER the City Council voted AGAINST the proposed boycott, you published an article taking them to task for supposedly passing the proposal. The brief two-sentence postscript at the end does not change the strongly critical, and largely inaccurate, words in the paragraphs preceding it. 

          The postscript is kind of weird because it calls into question everything preceding it. (“Oops, never mind!”) It also looks to have been tacked on AFTER you wrote the original article which, in turn, appears to have been written prior to the council’s vote. Assuming this scenario is at least somewhat correct (because I would hope that you did not deliberately write a false article), don’t you think that in the 2 days between the vote and publication you should have updated the article so readers would not be left with the wrong impression of the city council vote? 

          Beyond this dispute, Pete I appreciate that you look into local issues and share your point of view with passion and intensity. If my criticism has pissed you off just understand that this Reader takes exception to seeing people, even creepy politicians, unfairly tarred and feathered.

    • Extra, Extra Read All About It! Ethics for sale to the highest bidder!

      I disagree. I watched the entire Council Meeting. The Mayor refused to support a boycott based on money, but denounced the AZ law because he thinks it may be unconstitutional.

      Madison took out the boycott from her motion, only because she was made aware that the City would loose 14 plus million dollars from AZ business contracts.

      You see it come downs to money, yet again. If the City Council honestly thought the law was hurting people, and they wanted to protect them, then no amount of money would stop them from taking a stand on what they deem to be a Civil Rights issue.

      On a side note: I noticed no one in the media printed “Rev. Moore’s” racist comment to the Mayor and Council. He said something to the affect that only “white” people in the Council Chamber were against the boycott. Priceless!!! given “white people” on the Council pushed for a boycott in the first place…UGH~

      • > On a side note: I noticed no one in the media printed “Rev. Moore’s” racist comment to the Mayor and Council. He said something to the affect that only “white” people in the Council Chamber were against the boycott. Priceless!!! given “white people” on the Council pushed for a boycott in the first place…UGH~

        I’m curious.  And how did the Mayor and council react?

        Did the mayor immediately jump out of his chair and suspend the proceedings and declare that he would not allow the council’s proceedings to become a forum for bigotry and racism?

        Did the council members leap to their feet and each demand a chance to make impassioned statements of how vehemently they objected to racism?

        Did each council member recite some maudlin personal experience about how they PERSONALLY confronted racism, dealt with it, and were a changed person as a result of the experience?

        Did each council member top the last council memeber’s fiery and passionate life changing account of how they fought against racism?

        Didn’t think so.

        I presume that they just went ahead with business.

      • The Big Dumb White Working Class makes a good point.  The media gives passes to some, but not all bigots.  Did you hear Assemblyman Fong criticized for labeling a city official with “white boy”?  Did you hear former Alum Rock superintendent Aceves criticized for publicly stating his intent to purge the “old Anglo white teachers” under his control?  This is especially odd because they both stood for election this month, and not a peep from the usual suspects who pretend to uphold civility and eschew racially-tainted name-calling.

        • > Did you hear former Alum Rock superintendent Aceves criticized for publicly stating his intent to purge the “old Anglo white teachers” under his control?

          Larry Aceves said that?!!!!

          The Larry Aceves endorsed by Joseph DiSalvo?!!!

          THAT Larry Aceves?!!!

          What a pig!

          And what did the fat, lazy, greedy slugs over at the California Teachers Association have to say about this?




          I would say that the “old Anglo white teachers” need to take the CTA to court for lack of representation and turn their pockets inside out.

      • As we all know, if a significant number of White people support a political position, it is automatically suspect.  If primarily White people support it, then its basically Fascism Redux.  I belong to a race of miscreants, apparently.

    • You know something?  This guy’s right.  I read that in Mercury, or saw it on KNTV, or whatnot.  What with all the brouhaha generated in this thread, it never occurred to me that the City Council explicitly rejected a Los Angeles-style, full-scale boycott of Arizona.  Municipal employees are merely barred from attending conferences and other functions in Arizona, on the city’s dime (which would be a good idea, regardless, one suspects), but the City of San Jose is not participating in any formal boycott of goods & services from Arizona.  I’m afraid Mr. Campbell seems to have dropped the journalistic ball on this one.

      • I guess you didn’t read the last paragraph of my post either.  And by the way, if city employees are not permitted to travel to Arizona on city business, what word other than “boycott” would one use to describe that action?

  10. Of course San Jose should have it’s own Navy. We could then overtake Santa Clara and Sunnyvale by way of the Bay and sneak in through the protected wetlands. Then we could overtake the big business of these cities to improve our own taxbase, since our city leaders are inept at doing such.

  11. San Jose needs to immediately start work on the USS Cannabis Club with Rear Admiral Pierluigi Oliverio at the helm to guard our primary industry.

  12. “One good boycott deserves another.  Do your shopping and other errands in cities adjacent to San Jose – Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Campbell, etc.  Denying SJ the sales tax is consumerism at its zenith.”

    This makes a lot of sense.  Local politicians should not concern themselves with the local politics of other states…especially when the intent of a law is to uphold current law.

    here’s a thought…has the San Jose city council thought about a travel ban on Mexico since the Mexican immigration law is quite harsh and does allow for racial profiling as the primary reason to make a stop?  That’s right…if you are white, black, Asian, etc…they can stop you just for that and ask for your papers.