Sunday, January 01, 2006

Purpose

The point of this blog is to deflate the stuffy, provincial, self-congratulatory mystique that permeates Bainbridge Island.

Bainbridge Island was, once upon a time, a nice place to live. It was a community with its own identity in the Westsound region. Then, the 1980s came along - and the Californians - LOTS OF CALIFORNIANS.

Prices escalated due to the importation of gobs of home equity money from the seemingly inexhaustable California Real Estate escalator. That happened right up until 1990, when the California RE escalator stopped. California sneezed and BI caught the flu.

Prices were fairly flat until the next California expansion in the mid-late '90s, when BI piggybacked on the inflation of California. Seattle grew on its own, with the dot.bomb industry, but that came to a crashing halt in 2001-02. A buyer's market started to set in, but the Federal Reserve spiked the punch bowl, and the past few years has been nothing short of breathtaking in the appreciation of Island RE.

Bainbridge Island carries the reputation of a place with a lot of money, and as far as home equity goes, the reputation is well deserved. As far as income goes, that is another matter.

BI income ranks 24th of the 522 ranked areas in Washington. Not #1, or #2, or #3. Median income of all households on BI is just a hair over $70,000/year. Not bad by Kitsap County standards, but it is a far cry from the cities that many Islanders like to compare themselves (La Jolla, Hillsborough, Martha's Vinyard, etc.) Keep in mind this data is from the 2000 census, and was a snapshot at the HEIGHT of the dot.bomb/internet bubble. Since this time the internet and dot.bomb money has vanished, but BI has to have one of the hightst Real Estate agent ratios in the entire nation. It seems that just about everyone who has moved to the island is schlepping real estate, or building spec homes. I will attempt to get some hard numbers as to how many builders and sales agents populate the island.

My guess as to how the money gets flashed around Bainbridge Island has everything to do with home equity extraction. If your household income is $70K/year, and you get another $100K in home equity, that's alot of cash to throw around. One little problem is that $100K/yr has to be paid back - either by selling and walking away with nothing, or by servicing the debt on the remaining $70K. Banks are persnickety in that way.

Distorting the housing market was the minor issue with the influx of Californians. Pushing the Puget Sound region, and Bainbridge Island in particular, to the far, moonbat left is the worst legacy of the Californians. The hippies got crowded out of California, so they moved to the forested solitude of Bainbridge Island, and brought their stupid politics with them. Island politics are laughable, even by Leftist standards. This blog will explore this phenomenon as we progress.

Keep it dignified. Don't post things that you would be ashamed to have attached to your name. Tongue-in-cheek is expected. Spirited comments are encouraged. Occasional bruising is OK, but at the end of the day, don't hold a grudge. If you are a hip-n-trendy, uber-chic, see-and-be-seen, California ex-pat Neo-berry, bring it on. I'd love to hear from you. The purpose is to deflate egos, so don't get yours all inflated in the process. Have fun.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Honestly, this CA- bashing has got to stop. I've lived all over the world and never seen a group of people so bigoted as the PNW.
The reason prices went up here is because the region is "economically healthy". Why is it "economically healthy"? Çuz of companies like Boeing (was Mr. Boeing a Californian?, Microsoft (is Bill from Ca?), all the US military installations (blame those on the Californians?), etc.
I watched the house prices being bid up astronomically here in Seattle late 90's. Most of it was tech money, Microsoftees born & bred in Seattle.
You guys want your cake and eat it too- booming economy and idyllic small town atmosphere. Not gonna happen. Get serious, get real, take a look at yourself and the situation you have created.

Eleua said...

The only things said about Californians were:

1. There were quite a few of them that moved to the PNW, and BI in specific. (neutural statement of fact)

2. These Californians had gobs of home equity money to spend on houses. (neutural statement of fact)

3. The combo of #1 and #2 make the PNW, and BI in specific, vulnerable to the California economy.

4. Hippies left California and migrated north, and pushed the politics to the left. (biased statement of opinion based upon observation)

The blog did state that the PNW had its own economic boom (dot.bomb), and that was partially responsible for the RE boom.

Microsoft is a 90 min commute (ideal conditions) from BI. Boeing has been in decline (at least in PNW manufacturing) for the entire time this blog covers. Military spending is not significant in the top end of BI real estate, as most live in Silverdale, Bremerton, and Poulsbo.

If you want some fun with the Californian issue, try this:

Go to KZOK and type CALIFORNIANS LEAVIN in the search block. Click on your download speed. Sit back, enjoy.

marin_explorer said...

Eleua-

I would agree with the first respondent: California takes in inordinate share of blame for the growth pangs in Washington. When I moved to WA in the early 70's, California was then an easy target for whatever problems the older generation saw, and it appears no different today. Remember--there are WA speculators driving up your home prices as well. I'd want to see specific stats before laying all the blame on California's door.

I understand your frustration at home affordability being affected by outside investors and retirees. California is experiencing the exact same thing. Buyers are flocking here from within California and outside. I'm sure even the wealthy of WA buy vacation homes in CA. Over the past 5 years, we've seen our local homes go up by 250%. This pretty much kills our interest in buying a new home in our town.

The real estate bubble is a national, if not international problem. It's not just another plague from California. Local governments, even those in WA, have a vested interest in the bubble because of the tax revenues. The real challenge I see is for WA to effectively manage its growth, and not inflame local real estate markets for short-term gain.

In closing: consider the original Washington natives, and how they must have felt when we took their "real estate," forever changing their way of life. I guess change is inevitable, eh?

Eleua said...

No one is saying that there are not other factors in Washington's growth. My point is that California equity money is the major player in this market. It is also the case in Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Montana, New Mexico, Idaho, and Hawaii.

I had a conversation with a fellow Braindead Island resident who was thinking of moving to the Dallas area (his wife is from the mid-West). I told him about the town I just moved from with a lower crime rate, 50% higher median income, better schools, and home prices right at $200K for a 3000sf brick starter mansion.

He wondered why BI had such high prices with a median income at $70K, whereas Highland Village had cheap homes at $102K income. I said it was the California equity money.

Go to JLS or Windermere on BI and ask a realtor about her clients. They are almost all Californians with gobs of equity money (chances are the agent is a Californian). Go to Remax or Ebby in Highland Village, and ask the same question. No California equity money in sight...

That is the difference.

When the California Monopoly Money dries up, BI real estate will be supported like an anvil sitting on rice paper.

Anonymous said...

Just my observation: plenty of Seattle workers live on Bainbridge, contributing to the growth pains. It's been a celebrated commuter town for years--why don't you mention that? I also suggest you research the level of speculation engaged by people in Seattle and elswhere in the state. It certainly exists, and is present on BI. Incidentally, sticking the problem on California supports your argument like rice paper under an anvil, for reasons provided below.

The "monopoly money" you refer to is everywhere, due to the Fed/Banks supplying easy money, and fueling the speculative run. This was caused by money policy, not by California. There are plenty of sites like this one which give ample proof of causes to this real estate bubble.

Perhaps this blog chooses to isolate California as the sole cause of this problem. It's certainly a contributing factor, but having such a narrow focus will only limit the blog's usefulness to readers, being only as persuasive as half-truths generally are. Unless you happen to fancy the notion that California is once again to blame. I hope you find the larger story here.

Eleua said...

I guess my posts are not clear.

I have said that California is "the major player," not the sole source of the problem. Yes, plenty of Washington residents (mostly x-Cal) are speculating. My point is this:

California equity money is not to be found in suburban Dallas. It simply isn't there. In suburban Seattle, it is THE MAIN DRIVER in the runup in prices.

Take away the California equity money and BI sinks like a stone (Arid-zona, Nevada, Oregon, Tader-ho, Montana, and Hawaii would also do the same).

Take away the California equity money and Dallas wouldn't even notice.

I've been watching the growth of BI since the mid-80s. It is California driven. Those "Seattle commuters" are a mix of everyone living on the island. The bulk of which are x-Cal.

The point of the blog is not to bag on Californians. The point is to show that California equity money is the driver of the market, and that people on the island believe their own PR when it comes to how sophisticated they are.

Ask any RE agent what percentage of the buyers on the island are out-of-state. Ask her what percentage of those are from California.

marin_explorer said...

"I've been watching the growth of BI since the mid-80s. It is California driven. "

Well, I personally find some of the objections given by others as valid. I think the problem is more complex than you portray it.

It's pretty obvious you've discovered the true cause of BI's growing pains. Now what? Tell Californians they're not welcome? Or perhaps throw more subtle, yet disdainful, hints to anyone suspected to be part of the cause? It's not just the pompous, moneyed Californians who ruin the neighborhood. It's also the bitter, evil-eyed, "natives" who cannot stomach a single "outsider" living among them. Funny thing is, if you're not a real native, you're all outsiders.

Eleua said...

I don't get it.

All I said was that x-Cal money was the biggest player in the market. That is no more of a pejorative than saying "the biggest reason we have alot of trees is the abundance of rain."

Californians have every right to buy and bid up properties.

The only negative thing I said about Californians is the x-hippie crowd moved the politics further to the left. Washington had its own moonbat contingent, which was energized by their moonbat brethren from the south.

As far as "blaming" x-Cals...I don't "blame" them for everything. I just pointed out they are the biggest driver in the local economy. If their money dries up, the river of tears from RE agents, builders, and home sellers will cause a flood.

Eleua said...

I will say that it is unique to x-Cal to come here and build a Mission style home, and then sell it when they can't stomach the long, dark, wet winter.

marin_explorer said...

Well, my apologies if I jumped to conclusions, but just from reading your "Purpose", it's not hard to sense an attitude towards California.

"I just pointed out they are the biggest driver in the local economy."

California...really? Well, perhaps it plays a part. But the skeptic in me wants concrete evidence, not just "my realtor told me so". More hard information may point to the complexity of the problem. Is it just California money that has overbuilt Pt. Townsend, Sequim, Poulsbo, Bellevue, Sammamish, Snoqualmie, etc? There are plenty of lifeslong Seattle residents that hope to score on real estate...within their own state:
http://tinyurl.com/9vrfy

Don't get me wrong: I simply hate what the housing bubble has done to people's standard of living and the local communities it affects. It really screws up the structure of society. I grew up on the sound near Vashon, and visiting last fall I was rather shocked by the over-development and presence of money everywhere. Washington is getting uglified really fast. I think Washington will recover, but it's going to hit some homeowners hard who overextended themselves just to "get in". I could care less about investors who get deservedly burned. I also worry about the economic downside when building activity and equity-based consumption slows down. It won't only hurt people on BI or Seattle; it's going to hurt all down the west coast.

Eleua said...

Agreed.

The housing bubble is the biggest misallocation of resources in my lifetime. When it unwinds, the entire West Coast, from BC to Baja, will be a complete mess. Even Bainbridge Island will be a mess (contrary to what Islanders think). The implosion of California RE will be the cause. All the new residents and investors will discover that without x-Cal equity money, the local economy can't support these prices.

My math models show a 2/3 to 3/4 drop in home values in our area by 2010. So far? Just laughter at that prediction.

When BI residents are losing $5000/mo on their homes, they are going to feel very humble.

S Crow said...

Fact: 71% of our entire PURCHASE transaction closings were 100% financed....not a dime down of borrowers own money, with closing costs rolled into the loan. I would guess that most really had no substantial funds to start with, but that is just one persons observation/opinion.

Although we primarily serve Snohomish County residents and are a small player in the market, to me it is a telling statistic. If the title companies that dominate the market reported their finding and were within 5% +,- of our statistics, it should tell you that if the Puget Sound region does experience a "soft-landing" (say under %5 price drop )then 71/100 people (from our statistics) will be underwater in their mortgage. Most of these 100% folks were sold some variation of a hybrid ARM, and a good chuck have pre-payment penalties. Many already have high consumer debt outside of the mortgage itself. I don't think our area will crash and I think your estimate may be a bit harsh, but I do think that we are ripe for an adjustment. Who knows how much? I don't know.

One interesting thing to note: If local title companies start laying people off,for example by closing an entire title-unit, then you know the market has clearly shifted.

T. Kane
co-owner
Legacy Escrow Service, Inc.
Everett, Wa.

www.legacyescrow.net

Dukes said...

FWIW - My bro-in-law works in a downtown Kirkland real estate office. The majority of his clients are implants from CALIFORNIA!

I agree with the author of this blog. Also, they just got two new agents, both of them left San Bernadino and are now schlepping properties up here. They commented how much 'easier' it is up here for them. So, my guess is that more will follow.

People are dense up here, too smart for their own good, or at least they think so. They don't know to recognize a trend when they see it right in front of their faces. I predict as others have predicted that the spigot will slowly run dry up here as more and more Californians can't get out of existing properties.

Rob Dawg said...

I'd like to see a specific example of the house you think will drop by 75% and the time frame and all the assumptions as to inflation, etc. Have you priced lumber and labor? Even in a depression you are talking about numbers far below replacement value. A house that doubled in price only needs a 50% decline to return to that price. the idea of half the price we saw in 1995 seems excessive.

Eleua said...

Replacement value has NOTHING to do with the sales price in a glut! Repeat that over and over until you understand.

Farmers routinely dump crops below what it costs them to produce them. Airlines have been selling dollars for 90 cents for half a decade.

When "replacement value" exceeds price, houses will still sell below that line, but new construction will stop.

When you are forced to sell, you do not consider replacement value. You only consider the highest price you can command, which has NOTHING to do with replacement value. Homes in North Texas sold below "replacement value" for years and years. In many cases it was significantly below replacement value.

The economy was fundmentally sound in the mid-90s, rates were steady or on the decline, and the previous runup was 6 years prior. The coming economy will be one of rising interest rates, rising inflation, and a rapidly deteriorating labor market. Factor in that 77,000,000 Mouseketeers are going to retire, and shed the McMansion (2/3 of Boomers believe they will fund the bulk of their retirement with the sale of their home), and you have the makings of a mess.

Creative financing is about to come to a halt, and the 40% of the SFH sales, which are not owner-occupied will come back to market with alacrity.

With regard to Bainbridge Island...just how many condos can the market absorb? How much longer will people put their HS kids in a HS that is overcrowded by a factor of 2.0? Ferry toll hikes and higher property tax assessments will weigh on peoples' ability to pay for a BI "dream house." The ferry (the lifeline of the island) will become even more clogged as the condos, new construction, and all the development in the North Kitsap region all try to cram on the same boat.

Labor will be cheaper by the year. Lumber will crash in price as China and the US move into recession.

I did give an example of what would move that amount. The pricier properties will move down the most, and I think by the end of the decade we will have seen the worst.

6 years to the day, I was fielding questions just like this about Internuts and the NAZ. EVERYONE said it would never go below 4000 in a correction. Even the bears would not commit to going below 3000. It went to 800, and trades for 2000+/- today. The highest flyers were the biggest casualties. People could buy 50% on margin with the NAZ. With real estate, they buy 80-110% on margin. Ponder that.

Go ahead. Tell me how Bainbridge is special. Tell me how real estate speculators are immune to the same punishment NAZ speculators experienced.

In generic, owners of today's $700K house on BI will kiss my a-- to buy their home for $250K by 2010. My guess is that it will go below $200K. I will grant that the deteriorating dollar will inflate the perceived value of RE, but we will be paying $5 for a loaf of bread, and $7 for gas. The higher inflation is, the higher interest rates will be, and that will crush prices, as RE is purchased with borrowed money in a leveraged manner.

Thanks for your response.

Anonymous said...

You sure seem to know what you're talking about. I'm impressed with all those facts and your reasoned logic. However..things will be changing fast and are now, read Ray Kurzweil... making assumptions and predictions based on today's reality is not realistic. Things change yes but usually not how we think, especially if we think we KNOW. Remember the efficient market. Fun to watch the debate though. bye bye

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see that there are still a few other rational people left on Braindead Island. It gets depressing at times watching the island lurch to ever greater levels of lunacy.

I agree that it is unfair to blame California ex-pats. For every erstwhile Californian who brought the California mindset with him, there's one who's been desperately trying to escape that mindset. So, let's put the blame where it belongs: those individuals who have "the California mindset". Such individuals, while associated with Californians, are not necessarily from California; nor are all Californians afflicted with the California mindset.

So, what is the California mindset? Several previous posters have touched upon the hippie/loony-Left. That's a part of it. The lust for ridiculous McMansions and a speculative attitude towards real estate is another. Neglect of one's children is yet another; if you don't know where your 14-year-old is at 1AM, you have a problem. Belief that, somehow, Bainbridge is "special" and immune from the processes which affect every other community in the world is yet another.

The denial of reality is unbelievable. There's nothing for the kids to do here. Yet most parents think that their kids are little versions of themselves with the same interests, desires, and needs; and that therefore nothing needs to be done. Drugs and alcohol are out of control. Fortunately, it seems that most of the kids manage to turn out alright in spite of their parents; but sooner or later something bad is going to happen at BHS. Then they're all going to say "nobody could have predicted it." Well, I'm predicting it! A few island liberals see this train wreck developing and are trying to do something to stop it -- I'll give them credit for that much. But they aren't succeeding.

The self-congratulation about the BHS test scores ignores the small detail that they should be higher. Much higher. Ask yourselves: why is it that kids who were homeschooled by untrained parents regularly kick the butt of BHS' pride and joy on test scores, college admissions, and subsequent performance in college. And most of these homeschooling parents are of the "religious Right" that the island elite love to mock (me, I'm an Atheist and have no particular sympathy for evangelicals -- but I recognize accomplishment when I see it).

As for whether or not a real estate correction happens, it all depends. There is an abundant supply of loonie Leftists who desire to create their own isolated Utopia -- and Bainbridge is just the right size for that effort. That may suffice to support the bubble. The question is whether they can support the tax structure that necessarily results. As matters stand, there isn't much productive going on within the island; and what little there is has been packing up and moving. Most of Winslow Way consists of pretty little shops (or should I say "shoppes") selling pretty scented candles and what some people call "art".

My prediction: even with a correction, the island will continue to attracted Hollywood has-beens and especially lawyers. While hubby is in Seattle working out his latest legal pleadings to separate some schmuck from his hard-earned money, island trophy-wife will stay at home (with the occasional trip on the 11:30AM ferry to Seattle, also known as the "trophy wife run"), wear her imitation peasant garb, and live a life of quiet desperation and Valium.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and when the island lawyer divorces his trophy wife for a younger woman, ex-wife will live in a nice little island condo. With her cats. Lots of cats.

And when her kid rolls the SUV yet again, she'll go to the bakery to get her mocha and pie, and talk about "the wonderful sense of community" as if that makes it all better.

Eleua said...

Oh, and when the island lawyer divorces his trophy wife for a younger woman, ex-wife will live in a nice little island condo. With her cats. Lots of cats.


You nailed it. Cats...lots of cats. She will also be protesting in front of the Town and Country.

Anonymous said...

Amazing. Cathy Nickum actually wrote a column in the Review admitting that intolerance is alive and well on the island, and that all this stuff about "diversity" is a pile of hypocrisy.

Of course, she had to take a dig at neo-conservatives (who have nothing to do with the racist group that sent her that offensive article). Nevertheless, any small step towards rationality, even grossly hampered with ideological limitations, is still to be welcomed.

Eleua said...

I find that places such as BI are have two faces. The public face is a very hip-n-trendy, PC, cam't-we-all-just-get-along? attitude. These are people that trip all over themselves to get their "I'm Not A Racist" merit badge. They will write long letters to the editor in support of how a black/hispanic girl can be Miss Viking Fest, and there is nothing even remotely out of place for that.

Privately (and I've had these conversations), they bristle when a black family moves into the area, or when they see a collection of Mexican day laborers loitering about. They hate affirmative action when their kids become college age. They resent taxes that support the urban welfare programs.

The social pressure to be PC is very strong. You can lose your job if your boss needs his "I'm Not A Racist" merit badge, and you just wrote a letter to the editor denouncing any part of the liberal, multi-cultural platform.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your comments about BI being two-faced.

BI is, without a doubt, the most stuck-up and racist place that I've encountered, and it's getting worse. They don't have a clue, yet it doesn't stop them from preaching from on high. They may have a "Black friend" but they certainly don't want a Black family living in their neighborhood.

I doubt that any of them have ever lived in a predominantly Black or Hispanic neighborhood. I've done both. In fact, I am a native speaker of northeast US Black dialect, and even after 40 years can still speak it fluently (there's more to it than imitating rap music!). Blacks and Mexicans don't scare me nearly as much as liberals do.

The real reason why they don't want a bridge connecting the island to Bremerton; they're afraid that it would allow "those people" easy access to the island and then it wouldn't be "safe" any more. Which is all the more reason why the bridge should be built; to put an end to Fortress Bainbridge.

By the way, I met Miss Viking Fest and her court. She's a damn pretty (and sweet!) girl. It's no wonder that she won. I feel sorry that she has to endure the taunts of the nazis on the one hand and the condescension of the PCers on the other (the latter, to my mind, being far worse). The fact that she's coped with it with dignity and grace only proves that they made the right choice. In any case, the whole foofaraw about Viking Fest misses the point; it's Poulsbo's annual community festival. Poulsbo has its Norway kitsch, but that's the only thing "Viking" about it.

Anonymous said...

Point to ponder, from P.J. O'Rourke. I think that it sums up the Bainbridge Island zeitgeist:

At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill disciplined, despotic, and useless. Liberalism is the philosophy of sniveling brats.

Eleua said...

Sometimes I just have to laugh at the pretention that hangs in the air. When we sold our place, we went about looking at rentals. One place on Point Monroe was for rent and the owner lived right across the street. I went over to introduce myself and she introduced herself as "Dr. Imsosmart." I thought this was a bit odd, that someone would use a professional title in a very informal social setting, so I replied, "Commander Eleua, nice to meet you."

The look on her face was priceless.

Apparently, she was some sort of behavioral psychoanalyst expert, or some such BS. She said the DHS is paying her money to tell them that people act differently when they are trying to carry a bomb onto an airplane. I was thinking that it isn't very impressive to come up with that conclusion, but it is impressive that she got someone to pay her for it.

I'm old enough to remember when BI was dominated by normal people.

Eleua said...

As far as Miss Viking Fest goes...

I really don't care if she is black, provided it is a community festival, rather than a Norwegian festival. If it is Norsk in nature, then we should stick as close as practical to the whole Norway theme.

Otherwise, bring in Mariachi bands, have a kimono parade, Tae Kwon Do demos, soul food, bride burnings, etc.

I find it laughable that the local fishwrap saw fit to run two consecutive, front page, above the fold articles about how some people from out of state, wrote letters of opinion to the board, that differed from their thinking. That's front page news in a city that has the highest crime rate in the state.

Then, another front page story on how three guys - THREE GUYS - THREE INDIVIDUALS OUT OF 21,000 -wore Nazi emblems and passed out biz cards.

What a joke. I could understand if there was a history of lynchings and cross burnings in NK. I could understand if 1000 Nazis marched in Poulsbo. I could understand if there was a death threat.

Nahh, just a bunch of people trying to get their "I'm not a racist!" merit badge.

If you want real racial vitriol, put Sonja Johannsen, a 5'10" 125# red head at the start of a MLK parade. Riots, burnings, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson...

Anonymous said...

By your argument, white people should not be allowed to participate in Braindead Island's moti-tuki on New Years in the name of "sticking as close as practical to the whole Japanese theme." Not that the BI event has particularly much in common with the Japanese osyougatu. I have yet to see on BI a hamaya, a jinja (although there seems to be a Nitiren sect temple here) where proper greeting to the gods can be made, young couples going in kimono at midnight to ring the temple bell, or any of the myriad other activities I associate with osyougatu in Japan.

The point is, Viking Fest is a community festival. There is one small "Viking village" area where the local SCA types demonstrate crafts and armaments of that time. The rest of it is pure USA community festival that can be found anywhere. There are fewer vendor booths (and no political booths) at Viking Fest than the BI 4th of July; but there is a real midway with several games and rides. All in all much better than BI's 4th of July.

Incidentally, the good people of Poulsbo did not want the nazis (who came from Tacoma) there. Said nazis had to have police protection to escort them back to their cars. Had the cops not been there, the punks probably would have been shot.

One other thing; I've been to Norway. Those who expect it to be a bastion of "Nordic" purity will be disappointed. About 8% of the modern population is non-white. What's more, Norwegians definitely do not like nazis. To this day, the tyskerunger (the "lebensborn" offspring of German occupation personnel and traitorous Norwegian mothers) are actively discriminated against in Norway. Norway is second only to the US in the western world in its per-capita ownership of firearms, and its population is probably the most pro-US after the Poles.

Personally, I think that "ethnic pride" is highly overrated. So a bunch of Norwegians settled in Liberty Bay and helped start a town which does Nordic-kitsch to bring in the tourists. Big deal. That doesn't mean that people who aren't of Norwegian ancestry are second-class citizens, or that a beautiful girl is ineligible to be the local festival queen for that reason.

America is a place where a black girl can be queen of Viking Fest, or (for that matter) where a white boy can play the blues. That notion horrifies nazis...and it also horrifies liberals who preserve "ethnic identity." Too bad. We're a melting pot, and if the nazis and liberals can't deal with that they can just go and whimper in their beer (or, in the case of BI liberals, in their white wine and brie).

Eleua said...

Like I said...


I really don't care if she is black, provided it is a community festival, rather than a Norwegian festival. If it is Norsk in nature, then we should stick as close as practical to the whole Norway theme.


IF you are going to have ethnic based community celebrations, try to keep to the ethnicity of the celebration. If it is a community celebration with an ethnic "kitsch" then so be it.

No one said Norway is ethnic purity. Norwegians hate nazis. I guess if your country is burned to the ground in 1940, it sticks with you.

My only point is the faux outrage at people expressing a dissenting opinion with the MVF celebration. Most think choosing an African to represent Norwegian culture is a bit odd, but not worth arguing over. Public pronouncements are mostly of the "I'm not a racist!" variety, as social pressure to pay for past sins you did not commit, in order to appease PC gods is pretty strong.

The local fishwrap ran another letter-to-the-editor on the whole MVF flap. That brings us to almost 4 weeks of people beating their chests over a handful of people expressing an unpopular opinion in letters to a private organization.

Kitsap Bank on Wheaton Way was knocked off yesterday, which is a pretty serious felony. I'll bet there is absolutely no community outrage over this.

It's all a sense of proportion.

Anonymous said...

Kitsap's reaction to Miss Viking Fest is starting to make our community look like South Park.

How easy is it for people to be whipped into a lather?

Anonymous said...

The whole notion of "choosing an African to represent Norwegian culture" turns over the debate to the nazi cretins on the one hand and the politically correct liberal cretins on the other hand.

The moment that you recognize that Poulsbo picked a very attractive (and sweet) American girl as the queen of an American community festival is the moment that you deflate both sets of cretins.

The reason why Braindead Island is so race-obsessed is that it is full of upper-middle white boys and girls who moved here to get away from minorities. They're all for rioting for race in the city, as long as it isn't in their safe little community. National Lampoon parodied this attitude quite well in Pull the Trigroes.

I find it somewhat Kafkaesque to be lectured about racism by lily-white Braindead Islanders, given that I am of mixed-race ancestry (don't look it) and I've been married to a woman of another race for nearly 20 years.

Then there's the little comedy that goes on between the Olson/Dumbrowski duo and the local Japanese-descent community. Both sides are deeply enmeshed in historical denial. They deserve each other.

Eleua said...

I guess there should be no such thing as an ethnic celebration, if it means that only Nazis and PC libs can benefit.

Ask yourself, what would happen if an obvious Nordic lass represented some sort of Black cultural festival?

Riots. Sharpton. Jackson. National media exposure. Expose journalism. Boycotts.

I'm sure Miss Viking Fest was the best Miss Viking Fest since the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066. I am honored to live in the same county.

I don't care if you, or anyone, is mixed race. It does not give any more moral authority than someone who is not. The fact that many want to stay away from multi-ethnic wonderlands should be self evident from the enormous social pathology that seems to follow Africans and Hispanics. For this, I do not fault Bainbridge Isl residents.

I only think it is rotten when they turn PC and think that multiculturalism is ok, just as long as it is NIMBY. Such is the mindset of the self-congratulatory Left.

If Viking Fest is an "American community celebration" then advertise it as such. If it is a Nordic heritage celebration (bunads, flags, Norway Constitution Day, SoN, etc), then try to respect that culture.

Isn't that what the whole multicultural movement is all about? Or is multiculturalism just a battering ram for non-Euro cultures to stick it to 'da man?

The fact the whole argument was framed in "white supremacism" and the PC culture strangled all dissent practically ensured the Nazis would be the only voice of opposition. Legitimate dissent was quashed by the PC machine.

As far as Nazis go...Norwegians are probably third in line to have a legitimate beef with the Nazi movement (behind Jews and Slavs).

Perhaps we could move this over to my Taboo Topic blog.

Thanks.
E

Anonymous said...

If Viking Fest is an "American community celebration" then advertise it as such. If it is a Nordic heritage celebration (bunads, flags, Norway Constitution Day, SoN, etc), then try to respect that culture.

The problem with this position is that it surrenders to the nazis and the PC machine. That attitude is used to ban teams from using name or mascots that can be construed to refer to the aboriginal American population. It's also what's used to shut down the Boy Scouts; although sadly BSA did an excellent job of self-destruction in the 1980s.

Some things are worth fighting over and some thing are not. A naive view of "race" vis a vis "heritage" is not worth fighting over. There's been far more "racial mixing" throughout history than anyone has been willing to acknowledge; "race" itself has been thoroughly debunked as an unscientific concept.

Put another way, if a spaniel loves to jumps into water and retrieves ducks efficiently and effectively, it is in no way inferior to a labrador retriever for a duck hunter.

Don't kid yourself. I am not an advocate of multiculturalism. I desire its destruction, and especially that of the ghettos that it creates.

For the most part, all of the old cultures suck. This includes, but is not limited to(!), European culture. Every American (including the Indians and Eskimos!) has ancestors who left the beloved motherland because the beloved motherland and its culture sucked.

Braindead Island is rapidly becoming a clueless far-left anti-gun anti-American lily-white ghetto, complete with its own little plastic notions of "foreign culture". The same twats that pass around a doctored photo of President Bush purportedly reading a child's book upside down, had no problem with hanging Chinese New Years banners upside down in their store window.

Multiculturalism is not unity. It's the far-Left's way is perpetuating discrimination. But so is the far-Right's agenda of "preserving heritage". A pox on both their houses.