Three up and Three down

1. Political Theater

As a political-operative-type person with absolutely no skin in the San Jose District 8 City Council race, I must admit that I’m getting the popcorn ready and melting some butter. That sucker is gonna be Must See TV. All signals indicate labor factions—and one of my fellow bloggers—are coalescing around upstart Jimmy Nguyen, while incumbent Rose Herrera is surely replenishing her war chest for the fight ahead. A couple poor interns will be stuck in dark, lonely cubicles, digging up dirt on each other’s bosses. Welcome to San Jose! Did we mention the convenient airport?

As mentioned previously in this space, there will also be a barn burner for the new State Senate District 15, which straddles the width of the valley and incorporates much of San Jose. Last weekend, Assemblyman Jim Beall took home 65 percent of the vote in a California Democratic Party endorsement caucus, giving him the Party’s stamp of approval over fellow Dem and former Assemblyman Joe Coto. I’m on record saying an endorsement in this race is a massive waste of Party time and treasure, but I’ll say it again: An endorsement in this race is a massive waste of Party time and treasure.

2. Just the tax, ma’am.

Unlike Michelle Malkin, I’ve got no problem with the so-called “Nanny State”. It’s a necessary evil, a byproduct of the general malaise we seem to have adopted as a species. Humans are slow to respond to the very real dangers we ourselves facilitate, and it stands to do us real harm one of these days. Sad as it may seem, we need a little push down the path of survival.

I also take very little issue with so-called “vice” taxes. I believe we have the right to enjoy ourselves in whatever way we choose, provided we’re not hurting anybody else. But as Elizabeth Warren would say, part of that social contract is a small surcharge on potentially damaging goods—alcohol, cigarettes, Dodgers tickets, etc.—which can in turn be used to pay for our schools, roads, cops, firefighters, libraries, parks, and what not. And if an additional tax convinces casual abusers of these “vices” to give them up before they become an addiction, that’s the icing on my socialist cake. 

But there’s an exception to every rule...

The intent behind Plan Bay Area’s “mileage tax” proposal is to get us out of our cars. This is inherently a good thing and something we all should be doing. But all the good intentions in the world can’t excuse another regressive tax that hurts the working class. And I don’t know about you, but I’m none too keen on the government peeking at my odometer. While they’re at it, why don’t they tax the minutes I spend watching Jersey Shore? (And please don’t tell anybody!)

3. Dude, what’s up with that?

One day, former Palo Alto Mayor Sid Espinosa announces he’s forgoing a second term on the Palo Alto City Council. The next day, current Mayor Yiaway Yeh says he’s stepping aside as well. It’s kind of disturbing when two bright, young leaders decide that public service isn’t the best application of their talents. It’s even more disturbing when they represent the only minority voices on an already very white City Council, and there isn’t exactly a line of non-white faces to replace them. (Full disclosure: I’m white.)

That said, I’m sure both gentlemen have their reasons, and I wish them well in whatever endeavors they pursue. At least they won’t have to deal with angry bees anymore.

Peter Allen is an amateur blogger and a professional rabble rouser, born and raised in San Jose. He is currently working on the campaign of Robert Braunstein, who is seeking San Jose’s District 10 City Council seat.


  1. > Peter Allen is an amateur blogger and a professional rabble rouser, born and raised in San Jose. He is currently working on the campaign of Robert Braunstein, who is seeking San Jose’s District 10 City Council seat.


    Why would a big taxer, socialist, nanny-stater feel at home in the Robert Braunstein campaign?

    Maybe “Birds of a feather etc etc etc”?

    • The airport is a great thing that will help business in San Jose and result in more tax revenue. Of course that money could have gone to supplemental pension benefits.

  2. The Airport is a good thing. its just NOTa good thing to tell the public that its self sufficient , and then the city has to give them 790 million dollars.

    that money could also go to help the educate people like you. Pension reform is needed NO ONE DENIES IT! But do some research(or learn to read) This City is not in crisis because of Pensions.It is in trouble because the City stopped making its payments when things were good , and also from years of Mismanagement of this City. It just so happens that The Mayor chose to Scape Goat city employees for all the Citys woes , and most residents couldnt be bothered to do any kind of research, its much easier to just “follow along”

  3. “It’s even more disturbing when they represent the only minority voices on an already very white City Council, and there isn’t exactly a line of non-white faces to replace them. (Full disclosure: I’m white.)”

    This is a good example of the contemporary meaning of the lyrics to South Pacific:

    “You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear.
    You’ve got to be taught from year to year.
    It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear.
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.”

    While we hesitate to comment on Palo Alto matters, a look at the “very white” city council there reveals a whole lot of ethnic, national origin, age, education, religion, and gender diversity.  Only a person carefully taught to see all the diverse white Americans as of one identical type…clones if you will…would fail to note the vast differences among and between (for example) the Irish, the Germans, the Slavs, the Greeks, the Italians, the Spanish, and the Portuguese. 

    And contrary to the anti-white narrative, those richly-textured differences have continued into American life to lend depth and distinction to white American diversity.

    Peter Allen may simply be following in the footsteps of President Obama who characterized his own grandmother as “a typical white person” two days after his grand speech on race as a candidate for the presidency in 2008.  Just as Allen was taught, so was President Obama, neither one can see all the wonderful diversity within the white American population.

    This is strange and must reflect doctrines carefully taught in school because the differences among and between the diverse white Americans are so striking to the eye and ear that someone somehow persuaded Allen and Obama along the lines of, “Who are you going to believe…your own eyes & ears or the anti-white narrative?”

    • You’re mad that Peter referred to the City Council as “very white” without failing to comment on how diversely white they are? You’re railing against the “anti-white narrative”? You’re accusing President Obama of unable to understand white people?

      I’m white, but it really bothers me when I see other white people with a victim complex acting like society is designed to screw white people. Did you know that in California, those murderers who kill a white person are almost four times as likely to receive the death penalty as those who kill Hispanics? And yet you believe an “anti-white narrative” exists in America.

      • Black Congressional Caucus, Miss Black America,
        The National Black Pastors Association, The NAACP, The National Federation of Black Political Scientists, BET, Black History month. Howard University.

        • Are you suggesting that there should be a White Congressional Caucus, Miss White America, and the National White Pastors Association? Last I checked, there’s a French Caucus, there’s a German-american Caucus. African Americans cannot identify with the culture of their nation of origin so easily; 200 years of slavery erased that sort of connection. Black organizations exist to help foster an identity for the black community, as well as to try to advance the status of the black community as a whole, a community which is much poorer and worse off than the “Minority” White Community, and so groups like the NAACP are necessary. It is America’s black community attempting to band together. Neither of these two cultural and socioeconomic factors exist for the White American community, and historically American organizations based solely around having white skin have only hurt racial unity. That is why I would object to a Miss White America, but not a Miss Black America or a Miss German-America.

        • There are only 725 inmates on death row right now. The pool of case studies isn’t large enough that they can control every characteristic of a convict. It’s not like there are giant groups of white European immigrants getting tried for murder in California, so how do you think we’re going to control for citizenship?

          I’m assuming that you didn’t read the study, or else you might have known the answer to your questions. I’m guessing that you’re just naming arbitrary factors to try to prove the study is flawed because you’d already decided that it is.

          While were conversing, I’d like to reiterate a question that I asked you previously which you did not respond to. on the June 11 article “Three up and Three down”. You said that Jimmy Nguyen had voted for Bush, and I asked if you could provide a link to substantiate your claim. It’s not that I automatically assume that this is untrue, but I’d like to know where you got your information from.

      • Thanks, Dakota, for your candid response.  We did not speak in anger, we did not rail, we did not accuse President Obama of anything.  We wrote calmly in a reasoned way and merely quoted Obama’s own words about his own grandmother as typical of a very large ethnic group.

        This is a good teachable moment, however, to teach you the difference between discrimination and defamation.  You discussed a kind of discrimination in criminal prosecutions.  We discussed a kind of defamation that media and universities promote in promoting the idea that the diverse white American peoples as neither diverse nor American, as far as that goes.

        Thanks for giving us the opportunity to teach a little about the differences in society and the different kinds of problems facing different peoples.

        • You did not “merely quote” Obama- You cited three words of his as evidence that he was taught not to “see all the wonderful diversity within the white American population”. When you say he was taught that, who do you think taught him? The white family that raised him? If Obama were not half-black, nobody would be accusing him of not understanding white people.

        • Might I add that, while I appreciate your civility, claiming that America’s university system teaches that white people are not American is not true no matter how cordial you are.

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