turbans at the annex: serious business

Our local lame bar, Pierce Street Annex, has revised their policies to allow turbans in the bar, after a Sikh complained and asked for an apology.

The article says: “Sanjum Paul Singh Samagh, 24, accompanied friends to the Pierce Street Annex bar last year, only to be turned away because his turban was deemed to conflict with a rule prohibiting hats.”

Good, he can enter with his turban now.

What’s not mentioned is why bars ban hats: it’s to keep out black guys. American black guys almost always wear a hat going out at night. It’s an old, known technique for keeping their presence to a minimum. It’s similar to gay bars banning open-toed shoes “for safety” to keep down the number of women who show up to dance with gay guys.

For some time now, Pierce Street has been a destination for black guys from Riverside County who drive out here to be in Newport/Mesa instead of Riverside. I guess the management decided there were too many of them.

Bars are just a disaster in Southern California. Everyone drives home, and a bar can’t make money unless you have at least two drinks, so the entire business relies on drunk driving. And then they make desperate attempts to keep a money-making “demographic” in the bar, which they can only achieve by violating discrimination laws and acting like assholes.

I liked the bars in SF and NY, where you could walk home if you wanted. I bet they have similar issues with the “mix of the crowd” though.

This is the most ridiculous article about “immigration”


Wider immigration net catches legal residents
Non-citizens accused of crimes are being affected by broader local enforcement of law.

She hails from a well-to-do family with a hilltop home in Orange. She’s a mother of two who made a decent living in cosmetology and studied in college to be a teacher.

Sharon Denise Lee might not be the sort of person people had in mind when local law enforcement bolstered immigration screening efforts in recent months.

But the 46-year-old, who came to the United States from England when she was 19, now sits in county jail, awaiting deportation because of several run-ins with the law, including commercial burglary and possession of drug paraphernalia.

but wait there’s more!

Election notice: Costa Mesa, CA

Attention all who are eligible to vote in Costa Mesa:

Your city council election is of international importance.

Please vote for Garlich and Scheafer and against Mansoor and Leece.

The choice is between typical Costa Mesa small-business conservatives, who are concerned with things like where to put roads and how many more athletic fields the city might need, and insane power-hungry racist demagogues who hang around with Minutemen and white supremacists and want to wage war on Mexicans.

Garlich and Scheafer are backed by the police and fire departments, the newspaper, the ex chiefs of the police and fire departments, and business people all over town. Mansoor and Leece are backed by Minutemen nuts, local neo-nazi Martin Millard, and lots of dubious out-of-town money.

Please vote. I don’t need a race war in the town next door. Thanks.

What Would Amos Say?

Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks’ wares. […] The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Since the cost was infinite, the possibilities of using and spending it are infinite. What would grace be if it were not cheap? — Diedrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

apostle to the dudes

From the Register article I cited yesterday about the “SWAT Team” kids preaching on the beach. Photo credit to Andy Templeton for this excellent piece of photojournalism. The other pics with the article are good also.

The perfectly scrubbed whiteness of these people — even when they’re not white — is alarming. They exist in a perfect bubble of privilege and cultural isolation. Their friends and family are all like them. Their ideal world is a kind of 1903 Tennesse where everyone is inexplicably 2006 “cool”: chastity, whiteness, conservative politics, extreme sports, rock ‘n’ roll music, TV, great new snacks, and women in their place, obediently following behind their husbands even while surfing some massive waves.

The place where dogmatic evangelical religion and cluelessly neotenized teenage privilege meet is the best-gilded turd you’ll ever see. But you’ll smell it, too. Smell is pretty strong around these parts.


Someone decided to get really, really high and shoot at people in an alley over off Baker & Fairview in Costa Mesa the other day. Killed one guy, hurt a few others. The victims appear to be nice local boys without any known criminal connections. Everyone involved was of Mexican ancestry. Everyone who knew the victims is shocked and saddened; there are little memorials on the street and the people at the surf shop where the dead guy worked are really down. It’s a bad day for the city and for my city, too; we’re so close. But here’s what Costa Mesa’s crypto-Nazi Mayor had to say:

“When you have job centers, soup kitchens and a high concentration of downscale rental units, it drives the city down,” Mayor Allan Mansoor said. “I favor a multi-faceted approach including stronger gang enforcement and overlay zone revitalization, and I also think a social worker holding the hand of a hardened gang member has not worked in other cities.”

Allan, it’s time to go. Maybe rural Arizona would be good for you, or that Pennsylvania town that just passed the “no Mexicans allowed” law. Running the Mexicans and the poor out of town is a solution to a problem no one has but you. What we wanted to hear was “Murder is the most serious of crimes and we’re lucky it’s rare here in Costa Mesa. We will bring these guys to justice and we will all work together for a safer city.” Just in case you have a pen handy, you might want to write that down.

And while we’re at it, I’ve been looking over the manifest for the Mayflower here and I see Smith and Standish and Johnson and Grey… Mansoor? No, no Mansoor. How odd. I was just reading the other day about how people with names like “Mansoor” are involved in all sorts of terroristical activities. Maybe we need to overlay zone revitalize about that.



Dear angry white people

I have read and heard the most amazing nonsense about the immigration issue lately. Some of it comes from otherwise sane people I respect. Once again I’m reminded of the power of xenophobia, nativism, and bigotry.

  1. I have no problem with legal immigration. But these people are breaking the law! We shouldn’t reward law-breaking! The law needs to be enforced and they have no business saying otherwise. I’m not a bigot, though! We just have to enforce those LAWS.

    The laws as they currently stand are unjust, unworkable, unenforceable, and unrealistic. First of all, Mexico is a very poor country and this is not an accident. We made them poor. We stole their land by force many times. We steal their water. We control their economy and their political leadership with money and force to prevent them from competing with our industries. We practice mercantile economic policies on them just the way the British did to us in the 18th century. This makes the border a sharp line between rich and poor.

    People on the poor side of that line can feed their families and survive if they get across the line, and the people on the rich side of the line are more than willing to employ them at a discounted rate. Look at yourself and ask: would you break another country’s immigration law to feed your family? Or would you say “no, kids, we’re not going to eat regularly because it would be wrong to break this other country’s immigration law, even though they stole our land and our wealth.” That was easy, wasn’t it?

    We have a necessarily porous border and a huge demand for unskilled labor. Allowing Mexican guest workers across is in the best interest of almost everybody. The only reason that immigration is restricted is that white Americans fear Spanish-speaking brown people. That is not enough of a reason to keep this laughable pretense going.

    The only people I think have a legitimate reason to oppose a guest worker program are low-skilled American citizen workers. A two-tiered wage system or just an influx of workers is a disaster for them, and I do not know how to solve that problem. Interestingly I hear almost nothing from them in the mainstream news, probably because it’s not okay to discuss unions, the plight of American low-skilled labor, etc. in the current phalangist political environment.

    People who talk like this apparently believe that the LAWS were handed down by Moses, are just, and must not be changed, and that agitation to change said laws that includes civil disobedience is a priori wicked and criminal. If you’ll open a history book, you’ll find that in the 1950s and 1960s American citizens who were being oppressed on the basis of their ethnicity staged marches, demonstrations, and acts of civil disobedience in violation of law that resulted in a gigantic change in our laws for the better. Those people broke the law and marched proudly into jail and today you and I are the better for it.

    If the speed limit was 25 miles per hour everywhere and people had to crawl along or risk a ticket, you’d want that law changed. And if ten thousand people got on the road one morning and all drove 35 miles per hour to prove the point, I bet you’d applaud. The laws are only as good as we decide they are. This law stinks; don’t hide behind it.

  2. I can’t stand those people waving Mexican flags and singing and talking in Spanish. If they want to be American they should wave American flags and sing and talk in English! Otherwise they should go back to Mexico! Why, I couldn’t just go down to Mexico and act that way, why should they think they can do that here?

    My great++ grandfather arrived in this country in 1750 as an indentured laborer before it was a country. He didn’t speak the language, but he worked free of his bond and fought in the Revolution. He was German and died a German with citizenship in a new country. On the other side, my relatives arrived in the 1890s also from Germany and spoke German up through the 1920s. They were farmers and owned a store and were pillars of the community. They were very German their whole lives.

    Every day I see people with Swedish or Irish or Brazilian or a hundred other nationalities’ badges on their cars. We celebrate days for ethnicities: Columbus Day, St. Patrick’s Day. The flags of foreign countries are waved and foreign languages are spoken and everyone has a great time participating in other Americans’ heritage. These celebrations, many of which occur in cities with a large population from some particular place, are a bland everyday reality here that hardly anyone questions. Your schoolkid comes home and tells you she learned how to make Swedish pancakes today or that people from Scotland eat haggis on Robbie Burns day but they just read a poem at school. This is not a threat.

    If people from Mexico wave their flag and march down your street singing and talking in Spanish, deal with it. When I lived in France, our French neighbors invited us over for a Fourth of July dinner. When I lived in Italy, the cool kids were wearing American flag t-shirts that summer. It’s not a big deal, folks. This country has no official language, and anyone can use any language they want for any damn thing they please. If you get lost in some parts of Nevada and Utah the people you hail for directions will know only Basque. Guess what? That’s their right, citizens or not.

    If you have a distaste for Mexican people or the Mexican flag or the Spanish language, keep it to yourself. They’re here, and they’re here to work and to share society with you just like the Irish, the Italians, the Russian Jews, the Basques, the Koreans, and us German-American mutts. They’re doing it to survive just the way you would, and their polite and well-organized demonstrations lately have said exactly what I would say if I were in their shoes: We’re here, we’re not going away, and we want to be good neighbors. Don’t call us criminals for doing what you’d do yourself.