Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Developing Ignorance

The North County Times did some great reporting during the Cunningham imbroglio, but boyo, they've got a winner as a regular opinion columnist, Michael D. Pattinson. The sad thing is that he's the president of a large builder in the North County, Barratt America, and seems woefully ignorant of anything but developing, even as he donates $100k to San Diego State University for education.

I say this because after reading a couple of his columns, well, frankly, he sounds like a smaller version of George W Bush, woefully out of touch with reality in his single minded drive to wallow in the filthy lucre at all costs.

Try this one on for size:

The result: Too many elections for too many elected officials doing too many things without our knowledge, let alone consent. That is the definition of tyranny.

Because the media fails to fully inform the electorate, because people in positions that make decisions that affect everyone in a community are elected officials, and thus responsible to the people, that becomes tyranny. Okay, sure, that makes sense. But wait, we find out the problem soon enough. The real problem:

Elected and non-elected officials are hiding behind a screen of too much government in every area of our lives. To build a home requires dozens of permits from every level of government. First-time home buyers are often stunned to learn that $100,000 and more of the price of their house comes from local, state and federal government fees, regulations and delays. So when people ask why housing prices are high or traffic so congested, the blame gets passed around like a pile of hot rocks.

I'd like to see that figure substantiated, but be that as it may, now I know why he so opposed to all those elected officials. They're in the way of his developments. And let me tell you, he's got a big one going on in the East County, Fanita Ranch, and that project has had all sorts of roadblocks and changes, as developers have tried to build a huge community with no regard to densities, roads, the environment, open spaces, quality of life, roads, you name it. And out of all that fighting the developer has provided a million dollars to improve a state highway, reduced the footprint, increased the open spaces and public facilities provided, and all thanks to all those damn elected officials.

But I think he forgot to mention that anywhere in his diatribes. But this last one is even better for it's cluelessness. It's all about illegal immigration, and who's to blame. And let me assure you, it isn't the people that hire those illegal aliens, nosiree.

However, there has to be a better solution than arresting business people while letting the people who do violate our laws run free. A solution better than putting American citizens in jail while illegal aliens sleep comfortably in their Escondido rentals.

Regardless of the law, regardless of the circumstances, his real outrage is directed solely at those who interfere with his building developments. Bottom line. Pattinson is a true example of the kind of people who really back BushCo, the blind businessmen who think that their activities are of paramount importance, that what they do is superior to what other people of a different mind might do, and damn any future negative impacts, a mindset that holds no value towards anything but the short term and the particulars of the business.

The kind of mentality that allows an Alberto "Abu" Gonzalez to parse the definitions of torture to make it an acceptable activity for the United States to indulge in because that was what Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld wanted, nevermind the laws and morality and human values that normal people hold.

In another column he rails against California's Coastal Commission, but one of the comments pretty well argues why the CC is so often an obstacle for the developers:

Coastal Lady wrote on August 23, 2006 12:57 AM:"The Coastal Commission is a welcomed protector of our coastal resources. If it were up to Pattinson and the Building Industry of America (BIA) our coastline would be lined with 12+ story buildings along our beaches with the public trying to figure out a way to get there. San Diego's beachfront looks more like those in Hawaii and we in north county do not want that on our beachfront. As for the Malkin acceptance vs Manchester, just look at the facts. Manchester wanted our amphitheater, community center, Betty's public parking lot on the Strand as well as Pacific Street, Mission Avenue, & Pier View Way along with our future parkland at El Corazon. How much was that worth to our future needs.... The Coastal Commission backed up the Citizens for the Preservation of Parks & Beaches of Oceanside and the citizens of Oceanside in their outcry to protect our beachfront. I will support the Coastal Commission over the BIA's personal financial interest any day. As far as the Coastal Commission driving up home prices in our coasal zone, what planet do you think we were born on Mr. Pattinson. It is the basic law of supply and demand. A lot of people like to live and be close to our most precious resource, The Ocean. Have you checked the real estate market lately. Basic law of supply and demand. Housing demand is down and out and so is your article of mistruths and lies. Long live the Coastal Commission to protect the people's access and right to our California coastline."

There are more values in life than just dollars. There are many things of value, or of necessity, like clean air and water, that government provides and protects for us all, and people like Pattison and Bush and Cheney simply have no conception of how that could be. All they know, or think they know, is money and power. But without all of the intangibles or unquantifiables that make up LIFE, that money and power would be useless. Yet, these people persist with their visions and actions and wars and developments. How foolhardy that makes them, I leave to your descriptions. I think it makes them pathetic, and contemptible for the uncompromising amongst us. Just something else we need to deal with in our daily lives.

1 comment:

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