Saturday, October 24, 2020

Favoring the children of prominent people

        A few weeks ago I took a trip to the beach. It was depressing near the Santa Monica pier, which has turned into a homeless enclave. Here’s a man sleeping, here’s another man sleeping, and here’s one folding up his tent. The expressions on their faces were heartbreaking, a mix of bewilderment, anger and worry. It’s a testament to the city’s privileged leadership. I could just see Mayor Eric Garcetti talking to one of the homeless: 

Sorry dude, you were born to the wrong person. My dad's Gil Garcetti. He was politically connected, so I get to be mayor. Your parents were nobodies, so you’re a bum. You never heard of my dad Gil? How dare you? He rose to prominence by hogging the camera after his office botched the O.J. Simpson murder trial. So I live like a king, and you live like this.

Who am I kidding; Mr. Garcetti would never lower himself to talk to a homeless person. He reportedly wastes $30 million of city funds each year to harass the homeless, and he compared them to horseshit.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Old tale; new tactics, victims and weapons

       When I was in law school, a Chinese LL.M. student introduced me to the Opium Wars. Back the 1700s and 1800s, the British empire made a fortune by selling opium to Chinese. Seeing all the death and waste it caused, a succession of Chinese administrators tried to restrict the drug starting in 1729, with no luck. Eventually, in 1839, the Daoguang Emperor put his foot down, naively thinking he could finally rid his country of the drug. No, the British attacked and after a series of victories, they forced him to continue allowing the import of opium for decades. This chain of events had a devastating impact on China, one that will likely haunt its memories forever.