The following comes from Jon Carroll's column today where he also gives a tribute to John Updike.
Jon Carroll: In other news: Yes We Can: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, speaking at a recent convocation of journalists, made a startling and, let's face it, heartening proposal: He said his government would give plots of land to thousands of journalists for a nominal price or perhaps even free. There was some thought that the journalists, in return, would report more stories about the progress of the al-Maliki government, although no direct quid pro quo was suggested.
I, for one, would be utterly uninfluenced if the Obama government were to give me a nice house in West Marin. I'd be the same unbiased, courageous, hard-hitting, often silly and frequently unreliable columnist I've always been. Plus, I'd have a second home. Reportedly, the Iraqi journalists were unsurprised by the offer and thought that a free plot of land was only their due. They work hard for the money, and the money ain't that good.
Look, there are all sorts of homes standing empty in Fairfield and Stockton and Hayward. They're not doing anybody any good, and they're dragging down property values. You'd think the banks, what with getting all that bailout money, would be easing up on credit requirements, but of course they're not - they're paying down their own debt, buying planes and acquiring each other.
The homes are there. Wouldn't you be proud to say that you had a journalist in your neighborhood? We're bookish types, mostly, and PTA stalwarts; most of us haven't made meth in years. Please, urge your representative to support Homes for Journos, a great cause for a great country.