We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
No longer is it the Golden State. I hitched out to California the summer after graduating from high school. When I was in a city park in LA, an elderly woman said to me, "This is God's country." Maybe it once was, but no more.
Californians, both the losers and beneficiaries of these unspoken rules, have lost confidence in the equal application of the law and indeed the idea of transparent and meritocratic government.
Cynicism is rampant. Law-abiding Californians do whatever is necessary not to come to the attention of any authorities, whose desperate need for both revenue and perceived social justice (150,000 households in a state of 40 million residents pay about 50 percent of California income tax revenue) is carnivorous.
A cynical neighbor once summed up the counter-intuitive rules to me: if you are in a car collision, hope that you are hit by, rather than hit an illegal alien. If someone breaks into your home and you are forced to use a firearm, hope that you are wounded nonlethally in the exchange, at least more severely than is the intruder. And if you are cited by an agency, hope it is for growing an acre of marijuana rather than having a two-foot puddle on your farm classified as an inland waterway.
I could add a fourth: it is always legally safer to allow your dog to be devoured by a stray pit-bull than to shoot the pit-bull to save your dog.
In the former case, neither the owner nor the state ever appears; in the latter both sometimes do.
What VDH did not get to is the filth that California allows. In order to be welcoming to the homeless and illegals, it does not prosecute people for pooping in the open. Thankfully, an enterprising young lady has a poop map to help San Franciscans navigate their walk through town.
I used to view California similarly to NYC - a great place to visit for a short time. Many parts of California, particularly, San Francisco, are beautiful, but the people who live there and run the place apparently believe that will always be the case because they seem to think there's nothing they can do to destroy it.
I live in San Francisco, and can tell you that the situation is out of control. We have a train system called "BART" and every time you get on, you have to check to see if there's any black people on your car. If there is, you have to move to another car. It's that bad. They play music out-loud, smoke pot, eat, litter, panhandle, and generally create havoc. There was a news report on TV tonight about this, and the Police Commissioner said that he can't do anything.
And allow me to comment on the quoted article: There is no "need" for more revenue in California. In fact, taxes are already much too high. I pay ten dollars for a pack of cigarettes that used to cost two dollars.
For starters, the State of California must stop offering free medical care to illegal aliens; and further, it needs to reduce spending by 15%. Eventually the homeless, the illegals, and the gangbangers will all have to be rounded-up, and sent to the farm.
Reminds me of my trip there 5-6yrs ago, visited Mono Lake enroute to Tahoe and a group of people were being instructed in German when a uniform came up and asked if they were a tour group. Spkr replied in good English, no just a family visiting.
Ranger said tour groups had to register and pay fee and asked several times if this was a tour group, finally desisting and letting
the small group go. Maybe not a ranger but rep from this group: http://www.monolake.org/trips/custom
Any place where I have to step around human feces or syringes, and where the city is forced to slop down the streets with bleach from time to time to fight the communicable diseases, is a place that doesn't offer enough to attract my tourist dollar. Call me crazy.
California has its beautiful aspects but these natural treasures are far eclipsed by the malfeasance of its management, who apparently can no longer be voted out of power.
"That's the thing I like about San Francisco: if you smoke they'll give you a $100 ticket; if you smoke while taking a dump, shooting heroin, and gibbering about Martians they'll offer you free meals and lodging"
(Pro-tip: Do it in drag and they'll comp you a suite.)