Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Illegal Status

This is an actual letter by Iowan resident Donald Ruppert to Senator Tom Harkin. This brillaint piece deserves to be posted for all to see.

Dear Senator Harkin,

As a native Iowan and excellent customer of the Internal Revenue Service, I am writing to ask for your assistance. I have contacted the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to determine the process for becoming an illegal alien and they referred me to you.

My primary reason for wishing to change my status from U.S. Citizen to illegal alien stems from the bill which was recently passed by the Senate and for which you voted. If my understanding of this bill's provisions is accurate, as an illegal alien who has been in the United States for five years, all I need to do to become a citizen is to pay a $2,000 fine and income taxes for three of the last five years. I know a good deal when I see one and I am anxious to get the process started before everyone figures it out.

Simply put, those of us who have been here legally have had to pay taxes every year so I'm excited about the prospect of avoiding two years of taxes in return for paying a $2,000 fine. Is there any way that I can apply to be illegal retroactively? This would yield an excellent result for me and my family because we paid heavy taxes in 2004 and 2005.

Additionally, as an illegal alien I could begin using the local emergency room as my primary health care provider. Once I have stopped paying premiums for medical insurance, my accountant figures I could save almost $10,000 a year.

Another benefit in gaining illegal status would be that my daughter would receive preferential treatment relative to her law school applications, as well as "in-state" tuition rates for many colleges throughout the United States for my son.

Lastly, I understand that illegal status would relieve me of the burden of renewing my driver's license and making those burdensome car insurance premiums. This is very important to me given that I still have college age children driving my car.

If you would provide me with an outline of the process to become illegal (retroactively if possible) and copies of the necessary forms, I would be most appreciative.

Thank you for your assistance.

Your Loyal Constituent,

Donald Ruppert
Burlington, IA

Seems Ruppert has the right idea. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.


The Affordable Housing Myth and Blaming the Condo Conversion Bogeyman

The Los Angeles City Council has been looking at the issue of condo conversions / tenant relocation costs and affordable housing.

Condo conversions provide entry-level property ownership opportunities. It is a shame these opportunities will be less available in the future.

Paying $9000 to relocate an individual and $19,000 to relocate a family is exorbitant. Tenants could turn "relocation" into a profession, moving into a building likely to be slated for conversion and getting paid handsomely to move.

The lack of affordable housing is a myth; I am baffled when affordable housing advocates and others talk like there is a serious problem. It is not my experience as a Realtor for the past 20 years. Sure, it is expensive to live in Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey or West Hollywood, but those with low or moderate income cannot expect to live in the most affluent areas.

I think the affordable housing myth has developed from an entitlement mentality. Some people seem to think they are entitled to live in million dollar plus neighborhoods regardless of their ability to pay the prices in those areas. I am offended by this perspective. First time buyers and low to moderate income renters should expect to compromise a little on area. Over time, the person will most likely be able to move to a more desirable location, and up and up and up. My clients do this all the time. They start out small. After a few years, most are living in prestigious neighborhoods.

My 20 year old daughter is looking for a place around $700 - $800 per month right now, and there are plenty of singles, one bedrooms and guest houses that fit this description. Utilities are often included.

I recently rented my Valley Glen 5 bedroom house for $1700 per month (about $300 per bedroom). I rent my 4 bedroom Sherman Oaks home for $2300 per month (about $600 per bedroom). There are many affordable homes in the Valley (and many with rentable guest houses) that sell in the $400,00 - $500,000 range.

Affordable housing advocates and entitlement-minded tenants often tell me, "Well, I don't like the Valley. I don't want to live in the Valley." This answer is not likely to win friends and influence people, especially those who have worked hard to get where they are today.

Those who have worked hard and sacrificed do not want to subsidize others to live in multi-million dollar Westside communities.

I say a short drive over the hill is in order. The Valley is an excellent place to live! It has less traffic, better parking and family-oriented communities (a benefit that high-rise sections of the Westside lack). I would not move to the Westside even if I could afford to do so..


The Value of a Diamond is Relative

And the relative is dad.

Maybe you can’t afford a diamond, but someday you can be a diamond.

According to Reuters, a woman in Germany asked the court to allow her to transform her dead father into a diamond. Ashes (even human ones) can be pressed, heated and made into synthetic diamonds, a process that has existed since the mid-1950’s.

The court would have agreed, but did not feel there was proof that her father wanted to be a precious stone.

It’s comforting to know that a diamond can be a girl’s best friend. Literally.