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A Tale of Two (Giant) Cities

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Coping with sporadic stints of volunteer file clerk typist duties for the Marina (del Rey) Tenants Association down in the Los Angeles, while simultaneously trying to "get a handle" on some unfamiliar new topics in the San Francisco bay area caused a "Eureka!" moment for the World's Laziest Journalist when a paradigm for all the diverse issues began to form.

 

During hard times what's not to like about a sure-fire way to make a new fortune, reelect incumbents and bilk voters?   Is there a common thread here connecting the long battle in the L. A. area with the new issues in the San Francisco Bay area?   What if you can get politicians to give you free land for your business, get them to build the building where you will conduct your new enterprise, get some tax breaks thrown in if you can, and then soak the voters for as much of the money in their bank accounts as you possibly can?   Wouldn't you then feel obligated to use some of that loot, to subsidize the reelections of the politicians who handed you that windfall license to steal?   Could Liberal pundits please call such campaign contributions "tithing" and not make snide remarks comparing the cash donations to "kick backs"?

 

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We noticed this possible pattern recently after being asked if we could help the Marina Tenants Association write up an annotated report on the long close relation ship between real estate developers and various members of the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors to be submitted to the new California Attorney General.

 

Baseball fans in San Francisco are upset because the baseball team seems to be asking a city in the South Bay area to get some land, build a new baseball stadium, and then let the Giants baseball team move-in and charge more money for seats and season tickets.   The fans for that baseball team think they are being exploited.

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The folks urging government expenditures to lure the America's Cup boat races to the San Francisco Bay Area seem to be asking for the rights to develop various Piers after the city gives them the real estate.   In return for the added recession era municipal expenditures such as additional traffic control and police work, the locals will (if they can't use a helicopter, airplane, or yacht to get close up views of the competition) get the chance to buy expensive binoculars and telescopes, and thus boost some local businesses, if they want to try to get a glimpse of the race participants doing their high speed version of the Sunday duffers roaming about the bay.

 

Didn't George W. Bush exploit his close connection with and access to the occupant of the White House to get land via eminent domain?   Then didn't he get the citizens of Texas to subsidize building a stadium on that land?   At that point, didn't he help (in exchange for a bit of stock?) a group of businessmen buy a baseball team and move it into that very stadium?   Eventually didn't he sell his share of that team and make a tidy profit?

 

If you see a familiar pattern in these random examples of self made fortunes, then perhaps you need to consider seeking professional help to break you of this terrible propensity toward conspiracy theory lunacy.

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Back to MTA problem.   The invitation/challenge arrived when we were trying to "digest" a vast quantity of information of, by, and about the Beat Generation writers as part of the preparations for doing a column about a new book focusing on an assortment of relevant topics.

 

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BP graduated from college in the mid sixties (at the bottom of the class?) He told his draft board that Vietnam could be won without his participation. He is still appologizing for that mistake. He received his fist photo lesson from a future (more...)
 

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