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About Paul R. Hollrah
Paul R. Hollrah is a freelance writer. He is a member of the Civil Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni at the University of Missouri - Columbia and a Senior Fellow at the Lincoln Heritage Institute. He currently resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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California Needs Stonemasons
Paul R. Hollrah
November 26, 2012
There is an old adage which says, “As California goes, so goes the nation.” Let us all hope and pray that the adage proves to be totally false. What is happening in California today should not happen to anyone, except perhaps to the liberals and Democrats who have created the mess.

In a July 29, 2012 piece titled, California: The Road Warrior is Here, Victor Davis Hanson draws a comparison between conditions in California today and those depicted in George Miller’s 1981 post-apocalyptic film, The Road Warrior, starring Mel Gibson. In the film, vicious tribal groups fight over the remnants of what had been a civilized society. As Hanson observes, “Survival went to the fittest – or at least those who could best scrounge together the artifacts of a long gone society somewhat resembling the present West.”

Viewers were led to believe that the reason for the dog-eat-dog world of The Road Warrior was “some sort of global war or perhaps nuclear holocaust that had destroyed the social fabric. Survivors were left with a memory of modern appetites but without the ability to reproduce the means to satisfy them...”

California, today, is only weeks, months... at most a year or two... away from duplicating the world of The Road Warrior. The difference is, no one will be left to speculate about what caused the demise of civilized society in California. There will be little doubt that civilized society was destroyed by far too many years of Democratic Party dominance of state and local government.

The only thing that makes the thought of California’s imminent demise even remotely attractive is the knowledge of what will happen when the welfare checks, the housing subsidies, the food stamps, and the Medicaid stop coming and the millions of have-nots decide it’s time to just take what they want. We can only hope that the major networks and Fox News will be there to record the upheaval in Beverly Hills when Bill Maher, Michael Moore, and the rest of the Hollywood elites are chased from their homes, stripped naked, tarred and feathered, and chased into the streets, while vicious mobs take up residence in their glitzy mansions.

As Hanson describes California of today, “I think we have nearly descended into Miller’s dark vision... The state deficit is at $16 billion. Stockton went bankrupt; Fresno is rumored to be next. Unemployment stays over 10% and in the Central Valley is more like 15%. Seven out of the last eleven new Californians went on Medicaid, which is about broke. A third of the nation’s welfare recipients are in California. In many areas, 40% of Central Valley high school students do not graduate – and do not work, if the latest crisis in finding $10 an hour agricultural workers is any indication.

“Our culprit out here was not the Bomb (and remember, Hiroshima looks a lot better today than does Detroit...). The condition is instead brought on by a perfect storm of events that have shred the veneer of sophisticated civilization. Add up the causes. One was the destruction of the California rural middle class. Manufacturing jobs, small family farms, and new businesses disappeared due to globalization, high taxes, and new regulations. A pyramidal society followed of a few absentee land barons and corporate grandees, and a mass of those on entitlements or working for government or employed at low-skilled service jobs. The guy with a viable 60 acres of almonds ceased to exist.

“Illegal immigration did its share. No society can successfully absorb some 6-7 million illegal aliens in less than two decades, the vast majority without English, legality, or education from the poorer provinces of Mexico, the arrivals subsidized by state entitlements while sending billions in remittances back to Mexico – all in a politicized climate where dissent is demonized as racism. This state of affairs is especially true when the host has given up on assimilation, integration, the melting pot, and basic requirements of lawful citizenship.”

In the face of all this, the people of California went to the polls on November 6 and elected a state Senate with a 27-13 Democratic supermajority, and a General Assembly with a 54-26 Democratic supermajority. They are committing political and economic suicide right before our eyes and in very short order they will get exactly what they deserve.

According to a November 8 article by John Smithton in the Sacramento Times, Democrats in the legislature will be introducing a number of new proposals in response to the state’s burgeoning fiscal problems. One of the most creative proposals is a bill that would impose heavy penalties on the real property and financial assets of wealthy Californians who attempt to leave the state... giving whole new meaning to the old saying, “you can’t take it with you.”

Of course, Governor “Moonbeam” Brown, quick to demonstrate the sort of courage that liberal Democrats are noted for, refused to say whether he would sign the bill into law. Instead, he suggested that a bill of such significance should be presented to the people for their approval in the form of a ballot proposition. If the parasitic masses are to finally “devour all the seed corn” on his watch, he sure as hell doesn’t want his fingerprints on it.

Of course! Why not ask the majority of Californians who are either illegal aliens, on welfare, or both, whether or not it’s a good idea to siphon off the assets of their wealthiest neighbors so that they can have what Barack Obama has told them is their “fair share” of someone else’s property? Who else would know better than they?

Then, of course, there’s the legislative proposal to create a new California state police auxiliary, to be called the State Team Action to Stem Income (STASI), described by Mr. Smithton as a statewide volunteer organization whose job it would be to identify and report on friends and neighbors who express a desire to leave California for greener pastures.

At first glance, one would have to say that Mr. Smithton is attempting to have a bit of fun with use. After all, who would be so dumb as to create an all-volunteer organization bearing the same acronym as the infamous East German secret police, who were far more brutal and sinister than either Hitler’s Gestapo or the Soviet KGB? Under normal circumstances, one would assume that Smithton was only making a very sick joke. But then, these are not normal circumstances and we are, after all, talking about liberals and Democrats. They are capable of almost anything.

Hanson takes note of the pro-Dream Act protests on the Fresno State University campus where the student body president has gone on a hunger strike, announcing that he is an illegal alien. Hanson asks, “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?”

He explains, “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 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.”

Hanson concludes, “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.”

Meanwhile, Governor “Moonbeam” is quoted as saying that it is his job to make sure that his state does not overspend and that he wants all residents to remain in the state voluntarily. On the other hand, he warns, “we can’t have those who helped build our great society move out of the state willy-nilly.”

Therein lies a very thinly-veiled threat which hard-working, productive Californians will ignore at their own peril. If they don’t remain in California to be devoured voluntarily, the time may soon come when they will be held captive to be devoured involuntarily.

The Berlin Wall is still fresh in the minds of most Americans over age thirty. It was not a figment of our imagination, so we should not be surprised when classified ads appear in newspapers and magazines seeking to hire large numbers of stonemasons for work on the California-Nevada state line. When we do, we will know that Barack Obama and Governor “Moonbeam” are happy. They’ve finally found the “shovel-ready” jobs that they have been promising.








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