Wednesday, August 26, 2015
I remember it like it was yesterday. My first trip to California!
I loved California before I had ever visited there. I recall my monthly treks to the local bus station where I'd peruse the racks of just-arrived magazines looking for the latest edition of "Hot Rod." Fast cars. Hot babes. The Beach Boys. Wonderful weather. I mean, I lived in the nasty weather wasteland of Northwestern Missouri. Missouri, where's there's two and one-half seasons; awful winter and a couple of weeks of spring, and insufferable summer and a couple of weeks of fall. So back to California...what's not to like?
So I get up very early and head toward Lambert Field, St. Louis' international airport. It was the dead of winter. An ice storm was swirling all around me. Snow drifts piled six feet high on both sides of the road. It was still dark, as I had to be at the airport by not later than 6:45 a.m. in order to make my early flight. Slipping and sliding all over the place. Lucky to make it to the indoor parking garage with my life. I got my luggage and schlepped toward the concourse, glasses fogged over and sweating bullets through my heavy winter jacket. TWA was to wing me off for my first visit to the Land of Fruits and Nuts. I couldn't wait!
We arrived mid-morning at LAX. I made my way anxiously up the plane's narrow aisle and toward the door. I stepped out onto the roll-up gangway and looked all around me. There it was! Palm trees swaying! Breezes blowing! It was about 7 degrees when I left St. Louis. It was about 78 when I landed. Bright sunshine, hazy mid-morning vistas, warm weather in the middle of January. God, how I loved this place!
That was then. This is now...
Over the past thirty years the guys who we paid via our taxes to go to law school, and then to go to work in Sacramento for the lawmakers as aides, and who then ran for their bosses' offices when they termed-out, have managed to so screw up this once-Golden State that it's scarcely recognizable. These bozos who have never had a paying, private-sector job have passed dumbass law after law, the sum total of which have so weakened our Place in the Sun that it may be too late to ever resurrect it. Taxes? The highest in the nation. The business climate stultifying. Company after company packing up and leaving for greener pastures. And there are damn few pastures these days that aren't greener. Much, much greener.
Over the past few years we've lost more than 250 major corporations to Utah, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and, most of all, Texas. Toyota, which had been ensconced in Torrance, CA for more than 60 years, folded its tent last year and moved to Plano, TX. It took more than 3,500 jobs with it. Imagine, California, where the car culture started, managed to shoo away one of the world's preeminent car companies. What did our aging Governor say upon hearing about that defection? "Screw them. We don't need them. Good riddance." Nice.
Andy Puzder, CEO of Carls' Jr., which has built more than 900 stores in California, has stated he'll not build another one in CA. In the course of the past three years he's built more than 60 of these iconic burger establishments in Texas. Why? According to him, it takes more than three years and a $1 Million dollars to get all the necessary approvals to open in CA. Environmental impact studies, labor bypasses, palms greased, etc. In Texas? Three months and $30,000 per store. When you're this anti-business, business becomes anti-California.
California's personal income tax rate is now the highest in the land at 62.5%. Admittedly you're in the upper income brackets to be so miserably treated by your state government here, but when you consider that there's no personal income tax in Texas or Nevada, and a really small tax bite in NM or UT or AZ, you'd have to really love California to stay here. Think about it. Add the 39.5% Federal, plus State, plus local taxes and there is damn little left to take home to feed Natasha and the little kiddies. Buuuuut, move to almost anywhere else and your problems go away. However, each time a Californian makes the decision to take this step, it gets much, much worse for those left behind...
But it's not just what our state does to you personally. How about what the various city and county governments do to you also? Some examples which are sure to give you apoplexy. The City of Santa Monica has decided that you must provide your employees complete health insurance, for them and their families, if you hang out your shingle there. Oh, and you must provide them with paid maternity leave. And paid time off. And, you have to pay them a minimum of $15.00 an hour. But what if you're just a motel and your employees are the maids who make the beds? Or, you're a little restaurant and your employees are the waiters and waitresses who deliver the food? Beginner jobs for beginner workers. Matters not. They're employees, and they get primo treatment. And you, sucker, are just the employer. Of course, it also means there are no "happy meals" at your local MickeyD's, because the franchise owner is busy preparing his bankruptcy papers.
Let's move up to San Francisco. Generally considered one of the most beautiful cities in America, SFO has been turned into a toilet by the homeless vagrants this "progressive" town has decided to embrace instead of its tourists. Just this past week a three-story metal phone pole collapsed on a car near Pier 39 and nearly killed a couple of tourists. Why? Turns out the urine deposited daily thereon by vagrants had so corroded it that it could no longer stand on its own. Think about it; homeless "residents" peeing on a steel phone pole could kill its tourists. I'm not making this up! The last time I was there I was nearly run over by a naked bicycle rider who was careening down the sidewalk toward me. I screamed at him. He screamed at ME! And I became worried that I'd get arrested for harassing a local example of their wildlife.
But in San Fran the ruling fathers and mothers and "others" (and God knows there are plenty of "others") have decided that they identify more with the animals than they do their owners. In fact, they don't consider that animals have "owners." So they voted to outlaw the sale of pets within the County of San Francisco. No doggies, no kitties, not even little fishies. Want a pet in San Fran? You've got to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County to buy one. But, you may ask, doesn't the Ruling Class there know that they're foregoing the tax revenue from the sale of these animals? And don't they know that they'll put the businesses that used to sell these cats and dogs out of business? Yes, they do. And they don't care. The last stats I read show at least 3,500 jobs will be lost at Petco and the other pet stores across their once-fair city. Too bad, so sad...
And speaking of San Francisco, it's one of many California cities that have decided to willfully disregard Federal law and declare themselves "sanctuary cities." What's that, you ask? It's a city that chooses not to honor the Feds when they ask that a detainer be placed on illegal alien immigrants when they've finished their sentence for a local crime that got them busted. So, a thief, a drug dealer, a rapist, a murderer gets caught and charged, and maybe sentenced. Or maybe just kicked from the system and turned loose, Scot free. But wait, aren't they supposed to be under a detainer? Yes, they are. But "we know better than you, and we don't care" places like L.A. and SFO and Santa Monica and Santa Cruz, and San Diego, just ignore ICE and turn them loose. Loose to commit many other and even more egregious crimes.
Did you hear about Kate Steinle, the beautiful young lady who was shot dead by an illegal on the Embarcadero in San Fran? No? You mean the Lap Dog Media didn't cover it? No, for the most part, they didn't. He had been arrested seven times and deported five. Back again, he was. Arrested, charged and released; detainer not honored. Four days later, under the spell of meth and pot and who-knows-what, he "found" a gun and shot Kate Steinle. Too bad. The Libbies who run this state wring their hands and do nothing. They really need guys like this one to vote for them in the next election, so nothing will be done. That's one of the reasons our state is rapidly becoming a toilet.
The City of Montclair, located just east of L.A in the San Gabriel Valley, just voted to put two illegal aliens on their City Council as advisers. Yes, they did. Not kidding here. How can they do that? Yes, how?
There are 92 counties in California. 82 of them are nowhere near the ocean. They are inland, away from the salt air, and away from the movie stars and commie pinko dumbass liberal weenies. These are the "normal" people. This is where you wave and they wave back. This is where you saunter into your local sheriff's office and ask for a concealed carry weapons permit and he says, "sure!" You give him $25.00 to cover the background check (you know, the ones the gun-grabbing Left says we really need but don't have) and you walk out with a permit. That's because their sheriffs can actually read the 2nd Amendment and realize that "...the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" means exactly what it says. The counties near the ocean? Not a chance, Pilgrim. Oh, except if you're Jane Fonda or Charlise Theron or Rosie O'Donnell and have an armed bodyguard.
The City of Lost Angeles just voted to make it a misdemeanor to keep a gun in your house without it being locked up not only in a safe, but also with a locked trigger guard so you can't discharge it accidentally. Or intentionally, one presumes. Oh, and LA just voted also to outlaw ammunition magazines that hold more than ten rounds. Of course, you can buy magazines that hold up to 50 rounds in any of the neighboring states, so wouldn't a burglar simply buy a few of these mags in NV or NM or UT or AZ and then bring them into CA to do their mayhem? Of course they would. And they do. But the leaders in CA must be working for the Thieves United Union. Might as well put a sign in your front yard saying, "Come on in burglars! I won't be able to access my gun for quite awhile, and if I do, it will only have ten rounds in it, so it's safe here for Bad Guys..."
Just finished watching a TV commercial reminding me that I can make application for a free "Obamaphone." Yes, my friends, I can get a free cell phone, with 250 minutes a month, free, by simply asking for it. Free! Did I mention that it is free? Thank you California. One can only presume that this "free" phone is to entice the low information voters to vote for the people who redistributed the wealth from the "Makers" to the "Takers" to pay for it. Shameful.
And you've heard California is in a drought? Sure you have. The Alphabet Media would have reported that fact. Yes, 80% of the water is used by commercial agriculture, and 20% by residential rate-payers. Yet, the residential customers have had their water cut back by 25%. No cutbacks for agriculture. But there's a bait fish in the Hetch Hetchy Dam area, located near Sacramento, that must, MUST be kept alive and well, so a big chunk of our water is being diverted to the Delta Smelt's locale. This two-inch fish gets water, which then flows directly out to the ocean, unimpeded. Does this make sense to you?
And then, finally, there's Senate Bill 350. Called the "California Gas Restriction Act of 2015," this little piece of legislative insanity intends, if passed, and it probably will, to reduce the amount of gas and diesel used in California by 50% over the next 15 years. 50%! Why? One assumes it is to further clean our spoiled atmosphere of the nasty pollutants that we drivers are creating each time we fire up the family truckster and head on off to work. Point to Ponder: The stuff coming out of the back of your CA-compliant car is more than 1,000 times cleaner than it was back in 1973 when catalytic converters were first employed. Think about that, kiddies. A 50% reduction! Just how the hell do they expect the 40+ million residents of this failed Utopian experiment to get to work? I'm guessing they don't. I'm guessing they don't care. After all, they don't have to work. They're permanently employed in Sacrascrewyou conjuring up bullshit laws like this one...
Our civil-servant-for-life Governor Jerry Brown, a failed Jesuit priest who has never, ever had a real, paying, private-sector job, but has been employed continually by one group of taxpayers or another for his entire adult life, has decided that "Global Warming," or "Climate Change," or "Climate Chaos," or "Climate Something-or-Other," is very, very real. So real, in fact, that good ol' Jer wants us to tax ourselves into oblivion trying to combat it, despite the fact that we Californians are but a tiny fraction of the earth's population, and the other residents of our Blue Marble are polluting at a furious rate. Jerry is so fanatical about this that he has stated, publicly, that if you don't believe in this load of horsepucky you should be sent to a reeducation camp. Kim Jung the Un, are you paying attention? You could learn from this bozo. For those of you who are lucky enough to live somewhere besides Californis, thank your lucky stars. You won't have to put up with this dumbass and his "sky-is-falling" nonsense. The rest of us will be taxed until we drop trying to fight a nonexistent bogeyman while China and India are opening up a new coal-fired electric plant every ten days. Presumably, Jerry is under the impression there's a sixty thousand foot Plexiglas wall stretching from our borders up to the Ionosphere, keeping out the crap in the air that China and India are putting there. Hey Jer! The Earth spins on it axis! Their crap-in-the-air will be our crap-in-the-air in a week! Wrap your libbie arms around that fact!
Can we claw our way back from this mess? Perhaps. I'm not optimistic, but it's possible. I'll keep my fingers crossed, and hopefully you will as well. I have to live here because my kids do, and their kids do as well, and my wife won't leave them behind. I keep telling her that there's airplanes we could get on or they could get on, so moving a few hundred miles away would not be the end of the world. But she's not buying. And as I've said before, I'm too damn old to break in a new wife. So, let's all say a prayer and hopefully God will smile on us. There's so very, very much to lose if our prayers aren't answered...