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CA vs TX -- which shall it be?

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In the interests of advising the Mexican government, which is reportedly
considering sueing in the World Court to get back one of either Texas or
California but is undecided on which one, Stan advises Gerald (satisfied by
bagels and spread), to:

"... leave San Francisco, and maybe that bad taste will improve!  At least
you won't have to pay for those highly-publicized free sex change operations
for city employees.  In North Texas, we don't have unions, or
English-speaking construction workers, or plan-checkers, or smoke stack
industries, or state income taxes, or Democrats, or ..."

Having lived for a year in Dallas (just down the road from Stan's office), I
can vouch for SOME of what he says:

1.  No trace of unions, but we actually had some very good English-speaking
construction workers make some improvements on our home there.

2.  Plan-checkers (at least in the sense we are used to them here in
California) don't exist, but then they don't have earthquakes and they do
things, "... the Texas way" (I don't want to be negative but I do seem to
recall the rear end of a Highland Park City Hall parking structure
collapsing into a creek and a truck falling through a structural slab in
Houston during the year that we were there).

3.  Folks in Dallas do seem to have kept the smoke stack industries out of
town.  But hold your breath further south, Houston having passed L.A. to
become the smoggiest city in the country last year (CNN reported that
Houston's pollution comes from oil refineries, petrochemical plants and
cargo ships).

4.  Having just filed our return and seen the benefits of assigning as much
of our income as possible to the first (Texas) third rather than the
remainder (California) of the year, I must support Stan's assertion that
there is a perceptible difference between a tax rate of 0% and one of about
8%.  On the other hand, I hear that the Texas state government is broke.

5.  As to Democrats, I must say we didn't meet many folks who admitted to
that party afilliation while we were living in Dallas, and there are
certainly two less in the state since my wife and I came back to California.
If Stan had known we were potential Gore supporters I'm sure he would never
have supported my applications for a Texas P.E. or membership in SEAoT --
now that I've "come out" I'll probably be hearing from the board ....

I don't know anything about the sex-change stuff in San Francisco even
though I spent four years at Berkeley (engineering undergrads at Cal never
have much time to look up from their books anyway), and am in fact a little
concerned that Stan has such a familiarity with the issue.  I will be up
there in a couple of weeks for a family event however and will look into it
for him.

There is something to be said for Stan's extolling of Dallas reasonable
property values, certainly our income bought us a lot more house in Dallas
than it would have back in Los Angeles.

But in the end, both my parents were born in California, both my wife and I
grew up here, and while I found even suburban Detroit (where we lived for
six months before Dallas) to be surprisingly livable, and although I thought
Dallas a fine place and would still be happily living there if career
opportunities hadn't given us the opportunity to return to our roots -- the
bottom line is there's no place like California.  Don't try surfing in the
morning and skiing in the afternoon in Dallas, and just look at the faces of
the people in snowbound Detroit as they watch the telecast of the Rose
Parade going on under sunny blue skies.  We've got earthquakes, but I
consider those business development and prefer them to sitting around
listening to Tornado warnings.  Plus we don't have to buy hail insurance for
our cars here (I'm serious, the leasing company made us get it in Dallas).

So far as the President Fox goes however, I would advise him to listen to
Stan.  Take Texas.  Start in San Antonio.  They've got a run-down old
building there called the Alamo in which the invest a lot of significance.
A couple of hundred Mexican troops could take the place in a weekend and the
rest of the State would fold up like a house of cards.

Or maybe not ....

Smiling Drew Norman
Pasadena, California

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