Goodbye California

I really do believe we’ve come to the end of the road here in California. The small-time politicians in Sacramento have bickered us into near bankruptcy and it’s only a matter of time before we have no money left to fight over. The Governor of the State seems intent on dismantling the public education system; his education cuts have landed California at number 49 out of 50 states. The Los Angeles Wave reported in January of 2010 that Pell University  senior scholar Thomas G. Mortenson stated, “California is slipping toward educational and economic mediocrity…” At this point I’d say we’ve slipped. According to the same Wave report, as recently as 2007 California ranked 14th in the nation when it came to college educated members of the work force (over 25 years of age), a huge drop from 8th place in 1981. Since 1980, the state tax fund for education has dropped by 40%. So let’s be fair. It’s not all Arnold.

San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom is turning the streets of his town into parks where people can sit and drink coffee but no one can drive or park. Public transportation is coming to a standstill because of price hikes and pay cuts. All by himself, our Gavin is driving out the poor and making San Francisco a place for only the wealthy. Problem is, if the poor people can’t afford to live there and they can’t afford to travel to or around the city, who’s going to do all those nasty little jobs like scrubbing the floors in the mayor’s house? Mrs. Newsom? Who’s going to clean the toilets in the halls of the fabled San Francisco Stock Exchange? The brokers?

Good thing he dropped out of the governor’s race.

The City of Vallejo went bankrupt in 2008. There’s more violence in their streets now than in the streets of their close neighbor Richmond, CA. There aren’t enough police, firefighters or emergency workers to assist those people still living there.  In Salinas they look to be headed down the same road. There’s a gang war going on in those streets between the Norteños and the Sureños. These gang members shoot at each other with the usual collateral damage taking its toll on innocent bystanders and just to keep things interesting, they shoot at the cops as well.  At this point the city officials seem willing to let people die rather than admit that they can’t handle it and call in the National Guard.

It won’t be long before the gangs figure out how to organize themselves into a controlling force and take over the town. It might happen in Salinas, it might happen in Vallejo, hell! It might happen in Oakland. Get enough of these people together and the only force they won’t be able to stand against will be the US Army.

Armed insurrection?

You betcha!

And there sits Sacramento, arguing over bullshit while the State crumbles around them, warring over gay marriage and how else they can deny the citizens their civil rights. My personal favorite in the news right now is California State Senator Roy Ashburn (R), who was arrested on March 3, 2010 for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). The gentleman has apologized for his behavior. Of course he’s apologized, and yes, he’s sorry. He’s especially sorry that he – a well-known and oft quoted anti Gay Crusader – was arrested after leaving an establishment in Sacramento called Faces, a popular gay bar. Senator Ashburn’s male companion has not been identified. This should prove interesting.

Open carry permits for gun owners are available here in California. The Committees of Vigilance are forming up and down the coast and as usual there are plenty of loud mouths bellowing about how it makes them feel. On one news report, a woman claimed her right to freedom of speech to complain, “I don’t know whether these people are here to have coffee or to shoot everyone in the place!”  Hey! Jackass! If the gun is in plain sight, they’re there to have coffee. All these guns “in plain sight” make the poor dear nervous. Me? I feel safer knowing the citizenry is arming itself against the complete collapse of California’s infrastructure. If I’m going to remain a resident of California’s Central Coast, I can assure you, I’ll be armed as well.

A few months ago I suggested that California would be putting up closed signs at the various State borders.  It’s only gotten worse since I wrote those words. Don’t believe the television ads you see folks. There’s no money, there are no jobs, there is no education and you really don’t want to live here.

California is closed for business.

13 thoughts on “Goodbye California

  1. Ger

    Bravo! Living here is scary…the job market sucks wind (though it appears to be loosening up slightly), gangs are rising in power, and government pays more attention to scandal than to fixing things.

    The next chapter, after Arnold, should prove interesting. Well, at least we’ve got the scenic beauty of this state left. Wait a minute…aren’t we closing 200+ parks? Sigh.

  2. Ej

    Sadly our economy and political structure is falling away fast.
    I feel A Revolution is on the agenda if something don’t happen fast.

  3. Nigel Honeybone

    True, it’s unfortunate what’s happening in California, but the media down here gives us the impression that it’s not just California. It’s also old news, in a way, as California and Los Angeles has been long-described as ‘the new Babylon’. A common phrase down here whenever something tragic on the news happens in the US – “Only In America.”

    The answer? Do as you say – say ‘goodbye’ to California and move to somewhere safer and more stable. After all, it’s not as if you’re in a third-world country with no way out. Filmmakers and artists got out of Germany when they saw things going downhill in the 1930s.

    Move to Australia! Same size as mainland USA but with only a fraction of the population, about 22m compared to your 330m, tighter gun control, government-sponsored healthcare for everybody, and many other enticing things over here.

    Don’t get me wrong, every major city in the world has it’s loonies, but it’s statistically less likely to happen here. You know, Australia doesn’t produce any TV shows like Jerry Springer and Doctor Phil – Oh, Australian networks have tried, but they were all canceled before their first seasons were completed – you know why? We simply do not have the population to sustain such a show – we just don’t have that many bi-polar/depressed/loony/weirdo people down here.

  4. Lynda

    Nigel, your solution is amazingly tempting. If I didn’t have kids and grandkids here, I just might get myself a passport and an extended visa and head out there as soon as the ink is dry on the paperwork!

  5. Hart D. FIsher

    I hate to say it but your article is optimistic. California, much like the rest of the country, is broken. From the top to the bottom. You have an education system that is broken, 50% drop out rate in Los Angles. You have a prison system collapsing as we type, with the federal government seizing control over the medical side of the prison system because the state was incompetent, this lead to the FEDS seizing billions of dollars from the state. The highways are crumbling, and at times outright dangerous. You’ve small businesses taxed to extinction, you’ve got a silent tax rise with all goverment and city fees getting hiked through the ceiling.

    I mean, you can go on and on and on. It’s brutal.

    How about all the housing being built by the side of highways when it’s common knowledge it kills kids lungs, hell, your child already has a lung disadvantage if he/she is raised in southern california at all, let alone by the side of the highway.


  6. Jessie Post author

    Hart, I agree that it’s brutal. But in what way is my article optimistic? How does:

    “There’s no money, there are no jobs, there is no education and you really don’t want to live here.

    California is closed for business.”

    translate into optimism?

    Inquiring minds…

    And Nigel, I have several lovely friends down under. I would be very glad to move to Oz and live there amongst them.

  7. Virginia

    You think it sucks in Sacramento??? You should try living in Folsom!!!! NOW THAT SUCKS!!! We seem to have money to spend every year to tear up the same few damn roads in the wannabe, podunk town. Now we’ve contracted with an outside contractor to do the landscaping on all the medians and elsewhere to make the town look nice and make it drought … See resistant…seems that those hired gardeners are out there 6 days a week!!! I could bet they are getting paid some sort of overtime for that!!!

    We have entirely too many police for the size of this city! So many that they are extremely ticket happy here…they also like to have spur of the moment”surveys” (ie: DUI checkpoints…but not just that…for whatever infraction they see; readily armed with at least two massive tow trucks. this is not just on or near holidays like most police department are wont to do)…and they love to harass the people of color who live here and (thank god!) whose numbers are growing( I’m speaking of the people of color…I’m glad our numbers are growing here in Folsom !!)

    Folsom has turned into yuppie and nimby central and these people would rather have a Nordstroms than a WalMart here…they don’t want to have “undesirables” ((I have seen this word used in many an editorial and letters to the editor in the Folsom Telegraph(worst rag ever!) and the Sacramento Bee( not that great a rag either)coming in and mucking up their town .

    Now with the economy the way it is…who’s Beamers, Mercedes,Hummers, Jaguars, etc., do you see parked at The Dollar Store, WalMart,Grocery Outlet??? Those same self righteous,uppity yupsters who don’t want to commingle with the”undesirables”. They don’t want us around but they damn well want to have us around and the places we go and shop at when it’s all about them. They want us to be their cashier, their maid, their gardener, their whipping boy or girl.

    Education wise it’s just gotten worse here! The school district is closing down schools, making the kids take extra days off of school (a week off for President’s day???wtf???!!) They say due to budget cuts…maybe it’s like this throughout Cali, but I see more and more teachers in this school district who just don’t care, who do not take it upon themselves to be real teachers…they know NOTHING!!!

    Back in the day, our teachers had lives and families to take care of yet, they found the time to actually work for their pay…these were the men and women who truly deserved the type of pay today’s teachers receive. These teachers used to be at school way before any students arrived…they they worked on their plans for the class, they decorated the rooms, they were there to help if you needed to ask a question or needed a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen, they copied off their own lessons on the copier,they were rarely late to class, and they always acted and dressed appropriately as well as being fully knowledgeable on the subjects they were teaching…you rarely saw a teacher so much as glance at the teacher’s guide…they were in charge and you knew it!!! These men and women REALLY deserved the pay that today’s teachers get!!!

    Today’s teachers and the mucky-mucks who run the district (at least here) truly should be ashamed of themselves asking for pay raises when they don’t even do half the work a teacher should do…my god…they don’t even correct their own work!!! they have other children in class do it or parents to do it!!!

    One of my daughters even had to argue with a teacher because the teacher insisted that my daughter was wrong and that the person (a parent) who corrected her paper was right. Luckily, I told my daughter to insist on having the teacher recheck the paper herself and have my daughter demonstrate how she came up with her answer…needless to say, the teacher apologized to my daughter and changed her grade…methinks that the teacher didn’t care enough to recheck the papers…not all parents have teaching credentials, nor do their children…then why should they be allowed to correct homework ,quizzes and tests ???

    The kids are lucky if their teachers make it to the classroom 5 minutes before class starts! I’ve seen them running in to their classrooms carrying their Starbucks with them, yet if a child is as constantly late…all holy hell can break loose!!! I have not heard of a teacher being suspended or brought before the school board for being consistently late or absent.

    Things have changed a whole lot since I went to school and NOT for the better. Don’t get me wrong…we DO have some wonderful teachers who are very old school..I am friends with at least two, so while this may sound like a blanket statement it is not. the unfortunate thing is like everything else…it’s all about the money…it’s not so much about the education. All the district and the state want is for the kids butts to be in the seats and the money THAT brings, placed in their pockets.

    Anyway thanks for letting me vent, I feel so much better now.

  8. Bill

    I’m sick of both sides. They treat it as a game and the students and citizens are the pieces; to be moved here and there at the whim of the Big Players…
    One side uses the Students to ague for more power for the teachers union (as if it had anything to do with education; in fact it is a union, period; looking out for the good of it’s members). Bodies translate to power and so bad teachers, and yes there are bad teachers, are protected to keep the power the union wields. So, the Students lose. And extended out, so does each and every citizen of the State of California.
    The other side argues that the total problem is the Teachers Union and if it was broken all would be well with education in California.
    Truth is both sides are making a mint on the system as it is and the people be damned. This, too, is false. The union idea is good; the big, bloated, self-interest maw it has become is disgrace.
    Until both sides can agree on a fundamental change in the school system in the state and are willing to give up some power the People of California are all losers…

  9. Kent Hastings

    That’s why at least officially I moved to Nevada. But the times are tough here too because of the real estate crash and slow tourism business.

  10. jkat2000

    You hit on some good points…would you like to air your views on CTV…i’m really on your side though we’ve had our differences in the past…take action…be on one of my shows…i’d really love for you to express your POV on TV…trust me, there will be no rebutall on my show…contact me: (i am not your enemy…just seeking solutions)

  11. jkat2000

    Apologies to all that were offended by my postings – it started as a joke that got out of hand – really meant no harm to anybody

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