WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?
I thought that’s what I would hear, when I attended last week’s gathering for local religious leaders’ take on “the moral issues” surrounding LV, at the Unitarian Universalist church, organized by former mayor Rev. Jim Conn through the Santa Monica branch of CLUE (Clergy and Laity United for Economic … Justice — wait, what happened to the Justice in CLUE?). I thought I would hear stories from the Bible that would attempt to support this ostensibly religious social justice organization’s vigorous opposition to LUVE.
Personally, I think the Big J, from what I know about Him, if He were to come back now, would be going door to door to support LV, this very democratic initiative to take back for the people, from the moneychangers … uh, developers, control of our fair city, lest it become a tall concrete and steel monument to their monumental greed.
But, no Testament stories, old or new, from the Christian and Jewish clergy speaking, or even much from Rev. Conn except brief closing remarks. Just preaching that religious teaching compels us to care for those less fortunate than ourselves (as does atheist, human compassion, I might add). Duh-uh. But, even if it means destroying, with too many too large and too tall buildings, the character that Santa Monica has been known for world wide, for nearly a century and a half?
Preaching to the choir, I would say, because all the Yes on LV people I know are equally passionate to find a solution to our gentrifying de-diversification housing affordability crisis, but not desperate beyond logic and good sense, and compassion for the people who already live here.
So here’s what it boils down to, another of those simplifications of a complex problem that brings to bear very good ideas and principles — that really have nothing to do with it. I actually heard it said that night: We lost the state’s redevelopment money, so where else are we going to get affordable housing except from the kindness of developers, who will promise to build a handful “affordable units” if you let them build their gargantua, say, in the middle of your Downtown.
A deal with the devil, I say. And so short-sighted. Really? Turn lovely Santa Monica into Miami Beach for a few “affordables”? That’s like choosing suicide because your boyfriend left you and you lost your job, the same day. It can’t be undone, your family and friends and especially your dog will be distraught, and you’ll likely leave an icky mess for someone else to clean up. No matter how dark it looks, tomorrow offers some new unforeseen possibility to have a new boyfriend and job and a great life.
Here’s a possibility for real low-cost housing. Instead of the $345 million for SMC (on top of the billion or so we’ve already floated them), let’s make that bond measure for low-cost housing. With no federal or state money involved, we could probably do radical things.
TRUMP COULD CAUSE A CHAIN REACTION
My fellow Daily Press columnist Jack Neworth has a lot to say about Donald Trump, finding the humor while being appropriately appalled, so I won’t add much here. Just one thing. The most important thing.
Frightened as I’ve progressively become that the American voting public seems to be much, much more uninformed, misinformed, bigoted, gullible, low-minded and just plain stupid than I previously thought, and really could put that circus shyster in the Oval Office, I offer just one issue, one argument, for you to offer your friends, acquaintances and crazy uncles who may be considering voting for the reality TV star. And I don’t care how much they hate Hillary.
The CBS news show “60 Minutes” began a series last Sunday called “The New Cold War,” about the ease with which all human life on our planet could be doomed within a matter of minutes. One unfortunate decision, one push of “the button.” The nuclear holocaust bugaboo of the ‘50s and ‘60s, with school kids practicing duck and cover and their parents digging (useless) fallout shelters, never really went away. The U.S. alone now has enough nuclear warheads fired up, ready to go, to destroy the world three times over.
The real danger of a Trump presidency is not what he might do to our country, but to the entire planet. Put aside all the issues of bigotry, misogyny, ego, willful ignorance, aggression, brinksmanship, inexperience, admiration of dictators, personal massive indebtedness to China, questionable family life, illegal business practices, squashing free speech, inflammatory language urging violence, bribery, considering himself not subject to the rules (even our Constitution), anger, authoritarianism, demagoguery, the pathological lying and so much more.
The real danger is his temperament, and that button. Those codes. Many think he’s
unhinged. Trust me, believe me, he is, big time. Big time. An extreme narcissist,
a sociopath lacking compassion or empathy, willing to take big risks to win big and inflate his reputation. Unwilling to examine his beliefs or ever back down.
So far, except for W’s dalliance with bunker busters, every President since Hiroshima has shown the utmost aversion. But Trump asked — three times — during a top-level security briefing, about nuclear weapons: “If we have them, why can’t we use them?” He has told us he would blow small Iranian boats out of the water if their sailors made “gestures” at our sailors — an act of war that could easily escalate to armageddon. Over gestures.
Be afraid. Be very afraid. I’m serious. Get everyone you know to vote for Hillary like their lives depend upon it, because they do.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “I am a showman by profession…and all the gilding shall make nothing else of me.” — Donald Trump… oops, my mistake: P.T. Barnum
By CHARLES ANDREWS
Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 30 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at firstname.lastname@example.org