Discussion in 'Legal and Activism' started by JTJ, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    I found this very interesting to read and consider....

    CALIFORNIA'S PARADOX ... read it and weep BUT read it you must.!

    This is an article from Victor Davis Hansen, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University ...

    The last three weeks I have traveled about, taking the pulse of the more forgotten areas of central California. I wanted to witness, even if superficially, what is happening to a state that has the highest sales and income taxes, the most lavish entitlements, the near-worst public schools (based on federal test scores), and the largest number of illegal aliens in the nation, along with an overregulated private sector, a stagnant and shrinking manufacturing base, and an elite environmental ethos that restricts commerce and productivity without curbing consumption.

    During this unscientific experiment, three times a week I rode a bike on a 20-mile trip over various rural roads in southwestern Fresno County. I also drove my car over to the coast to work, on various routes through towns like San Joaquin, Mendota, and Firebaugh. And near my home I have been driving, shopping, and touring by intent the rather segregated and impoverished areas of Caruthers, Fowler, Laton, Orange Cove, Parlier, and Selma. My own farmhouse is now in an area of abject poverty and almost no ethnic diversity; the closest elementary school (my alma mater, two miles away) is 94 percent Hispanic and 1 percent white, and well below federal testing norms in math and English.

    Here are some general observations about what I saw (other than that the rural roads of California are fast turning into rubble, poorly maintained and reverting to what I remember seeing long ago in the rural South). First, remember that these areas are the ground zero, so to speak, of 20 years of illegal immigration. There has been a general depression in farming - to such an extent that the 20 - to - 100 acre tree and vine farmer, the erstwhile backbone of the old rural California, for all practical purposes has ceased to exist.

    On the western side of the Central Valley, the effects of arbitrary cutoffs in federal irrigation water have idled tens of thousands of acres of prime agricultural land, leaving thousands unemployed. Manufacturing plants in the towns in these areas - which used to make harvesters, hydraulic lifts, trailers, food-processing equipment - have largely shut down; their production has been shipped off overseas or south of the border. Agriculture itself - from almonds to raisins - has increasingly become corporatized and mechanized, cutting by half the number of farm workers needed. So unemployment runs somewhere between 15 and 20 percent.

    Many of the rural trailer-house compounds I saw appear to the naked eye no different from what I have seen in the Third World. There is a Caribbean look to the junked cars, electric wires crisscrossing between various outbuildings, plastic tarps substituting for replacement shingles, lean-tos cobbled together as auxiliary housing, pit bulls unleashed, and geese, goats, and chickens roaming around the yards. The public hears about all sorts of tough California regulations that stymie business - rigid zoning laws, strict building codes, constant inspections - but apparently none of that applies out here.

    It is almost as if the more California regulates, the more it does not regulate. Its public employees prefer to go after misdemeanors in the upscale areas to justify our expensive oversight industry, while ignoring the felonies in the downtrodden areas, which are becoming feral and beyond the ability of any inspector to do anything but feel irrelevant. But in the regulators' defense, where would one get the money to redo an ad hoc trailer park with a spider web of illegal bare wires?

    Many of the rented-out rural shacks and stationary Winnebagos are on former small farms - the vineyards overgrown with weeds, or torn out with the ground lying fallow. I pass on the cultural consequences to communities from the loss of thousands of small farming families. I don't think I can remember another time when so many acres in the eastern part of the valley have gone out of production, even though farm prices have recently rebounded. Apparently it is simply not worth the gamble of investing $7,000 to $10,000 an acre in a new orchard or vineyard. What an anomaly - with suddenly soaring farm prices, still we have thousands of acres in the world's richest agricultural belt, with available water on the east side of the valley and plentiful labor, gone idle or in disuse. Is credit frozen? Are there simply no more farmers? Are the schools so bad as to scare away potential agricultural entrepreneurs? Or are we all terrified by the national debt and uncertain future?

    California coastal elites may worry about the oxygen content of water available to a three-inch smelt in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, but they seem to have no interest in the epidemic dumping of trash, furniture, and often toxic substances throughout California 's rural hinterland. Yesterday, for example, I rode my bike by a stopped van just as the occupants tossed seven plastic bags of raw refuse onto the side of the road. I rode up near their bumper and said in my broken Spanish not to throw garbage onto the public road. But there were three of them, and one of me. So I was lucky to be sworn at only. I note in passing that I would not drive into Mexico and, as a guest, dare to pull over and throw seven bags of trash into the environment of my host.

    In fact, trash piles are commonplace out here - composed of everything from half-empty paint cans and children's plastic toys to diapers and moldy food. I have never seen a rural sheriff cite a litterer, or witnessed state EPA workers cleaning up these unauthorized wastelands. So I would suggest to Bay Area scientists that the environment is taking a much harder beating down here in central California than it is in the Delta. Perhaps before we cut off more irrigation water to the west side of the valley, we might invest some green dollars into cleaning up the unsightly and sometimes dangerous garbage that now litters the outskirts of our rural communities.

    We hear about the tough small-business regulations that have driven residents out of the state, at the rate of 2,000 to 3,000 a week. But from my unscientific observations these past weeks, it seems rather easy to open a small business in California without any oversight at all, or at least what I might call a "counter business." I counted eleven mobile hot-kitchen trucks that simply park by the side of the road, spread about some plastic chairs, pull down a tarp canopy, and, presto, become mini-restaurants. There are no "facilities" such as toilets or washrooms. But I do frequently see lard trails on the isolated roads I bike on, where trucks apparently have simply opened their draining tanks and sped on, leaving a slick of cooking fats and oils. Crows and ground squirrels love them; they can be seen from a distance mysteriously occupied in the middle of the road.

    At crossroads, peddlers in a counter-California economy sell almost anything. Here is what I noticed at an intersection on the west side last week: shovels, rakes, hoes, gas pumps, lawnmowers, edgers, blowers, jackets, gloves, and caps. The merchandise was all new. I doubt whether in high-tax California sales taxes or income taxes were paid on any of these stop-and-go transactions.

    In two supermarkets 50 miles apart, I was the only one in line who did not pay with a social-service plastic card (gone are the days when "food stamps" were embarrassing bulky coupons). But I did not see any relationship between the use of the card and poverty as we once knew it: The electrical appurtenances owned by the user and the car into which the groceries were loaded were indistinguishable from those of the upper middle class.

    By that I mean that most consumers drove late-model Camrys, Accords, or Tauruses, had iPhones, Bluetooths, or BlackBerries, and bought everything in the store with public-assistance credit. This seemed a world apart from the trailers I had just ridden by the day before. I don't editorialize here on the logic or morality of any of this, but I note only that there are vast numbers of people who apparently are not working, are on public food assistance, and enjoy the technological veneer of the middle class. California has a consumer market surely, but often no apparent source of income. Does the $40 million a day supplement to unemployment benefits from Washington explain some of this?

    Do diversity concerns, as in lack of diversity, work both ways? Over a hundred-mile stretch, when I stopped in San Joaquin for a bottled water, or drove through Orange Cove, or got gas in Parlier, or went to a corner market in southwestern Selma, my home town, I was the only non-Hispanic - there were no Asians, no blacks, no other whites. We may speak of the richness of "diversity," but those who cherish that ideal simply have no idea that there are now countless inland communities that have become near-apartheid societies, where Spanish is the first language, the schools are not at all diverse, and the federal and state governments are either the main employers or at least the chief sources of income - whether through emergency rooms, rural health clinics, public schools, or social-service offices. An observer from Mars might conclude that our elites and masses have given up on the ideal of integration and assimilation, perhaps in the wake of the arrival of 11 to 15 million illegal aliens.

    Again, I do not editorialize, but I note these vast transformations over the last 20 years that are the paradoxical wages of unchecked illegal immigration from Mexico, a vast expansion of California's entitlements and taxes, the flight of the upper middle class out of state, the deliberate effort not to tap natural resources, the downsizing in manufacturing and agriculture, and the departure of whites, blacks, and Asians from many of these small towns to more racially diverse and upscale areas of California.

    Fresno's California State University campus is embroiled in controversy over the student body president's announcing that he is an illegal alien, with all the requisite protests in favor of the DREAM Act. I won't comment on the legislation per se, but again only note the anomaly. I taught at CSUF for 21 years. I think it fair to say that the predominant theme of the Chicano and Latin American Studies program's sizable curriculum was a fuzzy American culpability. By that I mean that students in those classes heard of the sins of America more often than its attractions. In my home town, Mexican flag decals on car windows are far more common than their American counterparts.

    I note this because hundreds of students here illegally are now terrified of being deported to Mexico. I can understand that, given the chaos in Mexico and their own long residency in the United States. But here is what still confuses me: If one were to consider the classes that deal with Mexico at the university, or the visible displays of national chauvinism, then one might conclude that Mexico is a far more attractive and moral place than the United States.

    So there is a surreal nature to these protests: something like, "Please do not send me back to the culture I nostalgically praise; please let me stay in the culture that I ignore or deprecate." I think the DREAM Act protestors might have been far more successful in winning public opinion had they stopped blaming the U.S. for suggesting that they might have to leave at some point, and instead explained why, in fact, they want to stay. What it is about America that makes a youth of 21 go on a hunger strike or demonstrate to be allowed to remain in this country rather than return to the place of his birth?

    I think I know the answer to this paradox. Missing entirely in the above description is the attitude of the host, which by any historical standard can only be termed "indifferent." California does not care whether one broke the law to arrive here or continues to break it by staying. It asks nothing of the illegal immigrant - no proficiency in English, no acquaintance with American history and values, no proof of income, no record of education or skills. It does provide all the public assistance that it can afford (and more that it borrows for), and apparently waives enforcement of most of California 's burdensome regulations and civic statutes that increasingly have plagued productive citizens to the point of driving them out. How odd that we over regulate those who are citizens and have capital to the point of banishing them from the state, but do not regulate those who are aliens and without capital to the point of encouraging millions more to follow in their footsteps. How odd - to paraphrase what Critias once said of ancient Sparta - that California is at once both the nation's most unfree and most free state, the most repressed and the wildest.

    Hundreds of thousands sense all that and vote accordingly with their feet, both into and out of California - and the result is a sort of social, cultural, economic, and political time-bomb, whose ticks are getting louder.

    Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, the editor of Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome, and the author of The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern.

    I will forward it along, with a sincere hope that all who receive it also read it very carefully.
    The report paints a picture of a tragedy that has been building exponentially, and is now very close to being out of control and beyond recovery, given that it is not already there.
    Be careful, what happens in California usually seeps into other States. It is called “Californication” and we don’t need it!!!
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011
  2. bkt

    bkt New Member

    Hansen is probably my favorite writer these days. Pay attention to what he writes, and, if you can, catch his interviews on Uncommon Knowledge.

    New York has similar issues as California, but many of the wild are homegrown. We do have a hefty illegal alien population, but no where near as bad as CA. Much of the wild is in urban areas; the hinterlands of NY may be poor, but they tend not to be lawless.

    Here's some good(?) news: our overspending will force us all to deal with the problems in CA, NY and elsewhere. We're dead broke, but some politicians made promises to others that we taxpayers can't keep.

  3. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

    He really captured one of the most major problems in CA. It's like the center of a spider web, many other of CA's problems stem from it.

    JTJ, just a suggestion, but it would be much easier to read the article if you would go back and separate the paragraphs. Many times when I see a post that is one long paragraph like that, I don't even attempt to read it. My old eyes just have too much trouble.
    It just so happens that I'm a big Victor Davis Hansen fan, and that's what caught my eye.
  4. gregs887

    gregs887 New Member

    Much easier to read. Good post.
  5. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

    Your observations are a sad commentary on decades of leftist elitism, multi culturalism, and political correctness.

    The great fear, and the next great evil, will be the Federal Bail of Kalifornia...

    We must all pressure the new conservative House majority to STOP this from happening.

    If CA can not lead, it must be allowed to fall. Otherwise every state will look to DC rather that make the tough decisions. Should that reality come to pass, the America we know is doomed.

  6. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    the turning point to hell was when FDR took the oath of office. at that point it signed doom for america. either these socialist scum drop out and let the grown ups deal with the mess or the whole thing folds. im happy either way. the current system is corrupt and evil. either it gets fixed like what gov. walker is trying to do in wisconsin or it fails like schwartzennegar in ca.

    something is going to change and im afraid if the liberals dont back down from their idiocy lots of people all over this country are gonna bleed real blood. i have no doubt obama will call for troops to open fire on protesters when it starts getting really bad.

    i truly believe democrats are willing to kill people to keep their taxpayer paid unions going.
  7. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

    Calm down John M

    The only "troops" that could be used are the National Guard and they are no match for the citizenry for 2 reason...

    1. Half of them would not follow any such order
    2. The half that would engage are the younger, less experienced members

    Also, should such a Constitutional tragedy occur I strongly believe that the majority of Active duty military commanders would deploy there troops against the Guard and a corrupt Administration before they would sit back and watch the country tear itself apart.

    At the end of the day, liberties final protector is not elected officials or ever the constitution. It's the willingness of good men, both civilian and military, to stand up and do the right thing.

    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  8. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

    Reminds me of some of the depictions from "Atlas Shrugged." There has been an exodus of businesses from CA for decades. Why would any business stay that had the means to leave?
  9. AcidFlashGordon

    AcidFlashGordon New Member

    Businesses will continue to leave the Peoples' Яepublik of Kalifornia in droves and there really isn't anything that state can do about it. Hell, Ahnold came to Nevada and offered to personally help any business that relocated back to his state. He got 1 (ONE) taker and they had already decided to move before he came here to make his speech.
  10. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member Supporter

    It's not only CA. There is a grocery store in Lawton that i go to because they stock a couple items that the other stores do not have. It's not unusual to stand in line and watch as 6-10 customers pay with their welfare cards.
  11. Durangokid

    Durangokid New Member

    I recall as a youth in the 1950s visiting California. One uncle was a cattle rancher in central califorina the other a retired FBI agent in Long Beach. What a wonderful beautiful place. The ranch was over taken by urban sprawl in the 1970s. While flying over the area in the 1980s I could not find where it was. Old Trls. and shacks had repalced the long grass range. If Americans ever wonder what happens under socialism needs only to look at the West Coast.
  12. skullcrusher

    skullcrusher New Member

    a/k/a diversity? Just noticing that you are using a term that the White Supremacists use. I wonder why you chose that term.
  13. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

    You can't do anything unless your rich or illegal or both.

    Out side of my home town of Corning CA a man planted thousands of acres of trees to harvest for paper and pulp. When it came time to start harvesting he was slapped with an injunction all the envirowackos said it was now a thriving wildlife habitat and that he could not just come and clear cut sections of it. It was a battle for a few years before he was allowed to do with his land what he wanted to do. There was a local farmer that lost an entire crop he planted because he could not spray for insects because of a mud puddle had a rare endangered shrimp that lived in it. He ended up having to sell it off to the local Indian tribe so they could build their casino.

    It is so sad to see all the destruction that goes on in CA when it is the most beautiful state of them all. Where else can you ski in the morning and surf in the evening if you really wanted to. My brother works for one of them large corporate farms. I am sure if you eat walnuts or anything with walnuts you have had some of their walnuts. They have hundreds of thousands of acres all over CA growing walnuts. He works 6 days a week 10 hours a day because in CA that is a normal work week for a farm hand. He pulls even more time when it is harvest season more like 7 days a week 16 to 18 hours a day.
  14. easterner123

    easterner123 New Member

    My Advice

    If you have the misfortune to live in CA, you should try to leave. That state is a sinking ship. Jump off while you still can
  15. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

    I really hate when people say this.

    It is not as easy as throwing the kids in the back of the volare station wagon and taking off to wally world. You know people have jobs bills family....

    My entire family lives in California.
  16. easterner123

    easterner123 New Member

    Very Good Point. I apologize for a probably misguided view, but aside from the women I have not heard many good things about CA, but as my tag says, I'm on the opposite coast so I wouldn't know.
  17. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

    Ever heard of a Redwood?

    Lets see Great hunting and fishing. Plenty of forest to play in if you watch it and get stumble upon a pot farm and get shot.

    You have everything from Surfing to snow skiing.

    Worlds largest Earth Filled dam (Oroville dam)

    Shasta Caverns

    Friendly people (Out side of the major cities)

    If you have eaten a strawberry it has an 80% chance of coming from Ca. every had a prune? Walnuts, almonds, and tons of other stuff.

    Amazing water falls (Burney Falls)

    Shoot there are some really neat thing to see in San Francisco (It is more than ghay people you know).

    Sutters Fort, Sutters Mill (Where the 1894 gold rush started)

    Death Valley

    It is amazing that I could take you places where you could go 2 months and not see another person unless you wanted to.

    The missions they are amazing.

    Sacramento has an amazing Train museum.

    One of the best gunsmithing schools in the country is located in Susanville CA. Along with Hurlong Army base.

    That is just stuff I can throw out there off the top of my head.

    It is not the true Californians that want all the crap that is happening.

    You can drive down Main St in my home town and wave to people and they smile and wave back.

    Oh and a place where Ansel Adams did some of his best work. Yosemite Valley.

    Just saying there is a lot more to California than Baywatch and ghay people.
  18. pandamonium

    pandamonium New Member

    I have been to Cali one time in my life( born and raised east-coaster), there is no doubt it is a beautiful part of the country. The sad thing is, the Liberal government is KILLING the state. Granted many states are in the same boat, like mine, but I think the Cali sheeple-in-charge types will never admit they effed it all up! Denial is a wonderful thing, just ask ANY Lib!
  19. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    I was pretty much raised in California and it was a great place to live 50 years ago. I lived in the West LA area and there were open fields 60 years ago. I used to ride my bicycle 12 miles to Playa Del Ray to go fishing off the jetties. Now it is wall to wall people.
    When CA voted to elect their State Senators by population instead of by county, it was the end. CA ceased to be a Democratic Republic and became a Democracy. No Democracy has ever survived. As soon as the people realize they can vote themselves a free lunch, it is over. There is no way CA can maintain the level of entitlements that are currently on the books and they are trying to get more. The well is dry and no one wants to believe it.
  20. Mema

    Mema New Member

    I want to thank all of those who defended California and gave reasons why those of us who live would like to stay and leave at the same time.

    Where I live in the High Desert, I am 4 hours from the river, 2 hours from ski resorts, about 3 hours from the ocean. Within hours I can do anything that I want to do, If I could afford it.

    With all of the illegal aliens in this state those of us who want to leave because of that and the stupid gun laws cannot because the illegal aliens are taking the jobs and money that should go to us.

    Most of the time when you go to a state building the predominate languages spoken is Spanish/Hispanic. My grandson goes to a school where he is a minority because he is white. In addition, he attends a school that is near a location that is called Felony Flats. I am sure the name explains it all.

    The Democrats are ruining this state and while many of the people that I know are Republicans and don't vote for those idiots it does not make a differences because there are not enough of us to overrule them.

    Sorry about that I usually do not rant like that.

    Anyhow you get the idea.