Just digested a pretty interesting look at the sorry state of affairs in Californey right now. Excerpt:
Before the social-media era, California boasted a remarkably diverse economy, with a job base that included many high-paying blue-collar and white-collar jobs. Climate policies, as even some green groups admit, have made these gaps wider. Due largely to overly restrictive land-use regulations, some tied to the state’s obsession with climate change, total residential building permits per 1,000 population were 40 percent below the national average in 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Soaring energy prices, also brought on by green policies, have kept industrial job creation well below national averages.
Even as the state mints large numbers of new billionaires, conditions for the working class deteriorate. Over the past decade, the California economy has been divided, Janus-like, between a rising innovation economy, based largely in the Bay Area, and the overall state economy, where 85 percent of all new jobs pay below the median income of $66,000, and 40 percent under $40,000. Middle-income jobs actually declined; for every high-end job, the state created five low-wage ones.
Even with the recent Silicon Valley boom, growth in high-wage jobs has been faster in competitor states such as Texas, Utah, Colorado, and Washington. For those without a college education, as even the New York Times notes, California does worse than virtually anywhere else in the country. State politicians, of course, talk about the promise of “green jobs,” but the reality is that they generally are less permanent, pay less, and are far less unionized than established blue-collar work.
California may be suffering from the delusions of its ruling class, but it still contains what may be the greatest collection of creative talent ever assembled in one place, extending from Silicon Valley to Hollywood, in technology, space, culture, design, and ways of eating and living. Many among those of us who settled here do not want to see ourselves or our offspring forced out of the state, ending up as dejected exiles, like Russian nobility dreaming of past glories.
Some on the right might like to see California collapse and prove the dunderheadedness of modern progressivism. But America needs our state’s sometimes wacky creativity just as it needs the stolidity of the heartland, the raw ambition of Texas, and a rapidly changing South working to unravel its racially troubled past. Ultimately, though, this is not the nation’s fight. California can be saved only by Californians.
See, this is where we part ways. Maybe California needs to be saved by Californians, but California’s nutballery affects the whole country. How? Because of the very exodus of Californians described in this article. They turned my own former home of Colorado into California Lite – hell, the current Governor of Colorado is from California. They’re working on doing the same to Arizona, Nevada and even Texas. They move to more prosperous areas, fleeing the mountain of suck California has become for the middle class, then promptly vote for precisely the same kind of politicians that turned California into a mountain of suck for the middle class. Fortunately the Alaska winters seem to be too much for Californians, so we’re safe – for the time being.
Count me in with the folks who would like to see California collapse. It would certainly hurt the whole country for a while, but maybe then the majority of California voters would take a hard look in the mirror.
The one hopeful data point in all this is the fact that “minority” voters are increasingly starting to reject “progressive” policies. The great irony of all this is that most self-styled “progressives” have a distinct pallor to them, and while they try (endlessly, tiresomely, annoyingly, stridently) to frame themselves as champions of the downtrodden, they seem to scrupulously avoid any real contact with those selfsame downtrodden.
There is an old saying in politics: “As California goes, so goes the nation,” although that term was coined when California was still electing the occasional Republican in the state government. One might note, in fact, that as recently as 1988 California’s electoral votes went to a Republican Presidential candidate. These days, I’m hoping for more of a “As California slowly, painfully comes to their senses, maybe the other blue states will follow suit.”
Then again, maybe not – see my Grandpa’s admonition above. Nobody ever went broke betting on the stupidity of the American electorate.
This is about a week old, but I just stumbled across it; this is a pretty good piece from the New York Post‘s Glenn H. Reynolds. How to beat the woke: Never apologize! Excerpt:
Americans hate woke culture, as I noted in these pages not too long ago. Black, white, Republican and Democrat, a large majority of Americans oppose it. Even people like former President Barack Obama, Bill Maher and ultra-liberal comedienne Sarah Silverman hate it (Maher calls it “Stalinist”).
But it keeps going. Why is that? And what can you do about it — especially if you or someone you are close to comes under attack? In short, it keeps going because it’s easy and fun — and you have to make it less so.
Lesson one: Don’t panic — and don’t give in. Ian Prior, of Loudoun County, Va., publishes The Daily Malarkey, an Internet humor site that goes after what he calls the “Chardonnay Antifa.” As he recently recounted to Fox News, after he published an op-ed attacking political correctness, he found himself on the sharp end of woke attacks led by a group of teachers, administrators and woke citizens.
According to news reports, the Loudoun Stalinists put together a list of people opposing their policies and planned to “hack” them, “expose” them and “infiltrate” them. Did Prior chicken out?
No. He called them out, he mocked them, and he made sure the whole thing got as much attention as possible. Now there’s a criminal investigation into the group. The publicity not only generated blowback against the people who targeted him, it also brought in lots of new subscribers to The Daily Malarkey. Win-win.
Here’s the onion:
University and corporate bosses give into the woke because it’s painless and easier than fighting them. Make it painful and difficult instead, and they’ll change their ways. Take this to heart. The sane can win.
There are three lessons in beating the “woke,” and they are all worth taking to heart. To summarize them:
- Don’t panic.
- Stick together.
- Make it hard for people to go along with “woke” horseshit.
Apologizing to these assholes is a tacit admission of guilt. Never do it. I remember some years back, a city council member somewhere (I don’t remember the details and frankly can’t be arsed to look it up) was forced to apologize for using the word “niggardly” in a meeting, as someone with apparently poor knowledge of English took it as a racial slur. Hint: It isn’t. “Niggardly” is a perfectly good word, deriving from the Middle English “nigard,” meaning one who is stingy or miserly. That word in turn probably derives from the Old Norse word hnǫggr. It is in no way related to the infamous “N-word” which derives from the Spanish word for black, which is “negro.”
No one should apologize for someone else’s ignorance. No one should apologize for someone else’s intolerance. No one should apologize for voicing their own opinion. Never apologize to the “woke” assholes for voicing an honest opinion honestly arrived at. Never. Apologize.
This is a culture war. If we’re going to win it, there are going to be times to set our polite impulses aside.
Later today, after I take care of some work chores, we’ll be loading our cargo trailer, packing up all of our remaining office equipment and supplies as well as what firearms and ammo I still have remaining in Colorado. In fact, we’ll be packing truck and trailer with probably a third to half of all the stuff we’ll be hauling from Colorado up to the Great Land.
Next, posts: Tomorrow we’ll have the Saturday Gingermageddon as usual. Next week, instead of placeholders while we’re on the road, I’ll probably post some photos of random, interesting scenery along the 3.200 mile trip. Normal posts should resume on either April 1 or April 2, unless we encounter some difficulty along the way.
Mrs. Animal and I always enjoy road trips. We have taken a lot of them together over the last thirty years or so, and we inevitably end up talking, planning and laughing the entire trip, just like a couple of kids. I guess we just enjoy being together, even (especially) after all this time, and given that this road trip is the penultimate act in the culmination of our twenty-plus year plans, it’s going to be even more fun.
And, of course, there’s the trip itself. About half of the drive is on the Alaska-Canada Highway itself, which we’ve wanted to drive for years. Problem is this: Canada is hurrying people through right now because of the ‘rona, so no time for sightseeing, and frankly this isn’t the best time for that anyway, not to mention we’ll be towing a trailer and have a canoe tied atop the truck, so not the best vehicle configuration, either. Not to worry; we have plenty of time, and we’ll plan to make the drive again sometime when we have time to sight-see.
Speaking of that drive, here’s how the itinerary looks, for any of you True Believers that might be curious as to how this works:
Day 1: Denver, Colorado to Shelby, Montana. Shelby is about twenty miles south of the Coutts, Alberta entry station into Canada. So in the morning we’ll want to get an early start to deal with the bureaucracy at the border.
Day 2: Shelby, Montana to Dawson Creek, British Columbia. Dawson Creek is where the Alaska Highway proper begins. I’ve done some reading about the town, and it seems like it would be a hell of a fun place to spend a few days, once the Kung Flu panic dies down.
Day 3: Dawson Creek, British Columbia to Watson Lake, Yukon Territory. This is where gas stations and so forth get thin on the ground, so it’s prudent to keep the tank topped up.
Day 4: Watson Lake, Yukon Territory to Tok, Alaska. Tok is where we leave the Alaska Highway, which continues (officially) to Delta Junction, while the highway continues up to Fairbanks. Now we’re back into the States, and officially into the Great Land!
It’s going to be interesting and exciting! Mrs. Animal will still have to fly back to Colorado to meet the movers to load the remaining stuff for the trip north, then to arrange for the Colorado house to be cleaned up and sold. Denver real estate is crazy right now, so we expect to do well on that deal. But when that’s done, she comes home, and we settle into our rural Alaska home for good.
So, stand by for news from the road!
I first read this last week, but it took me a little while to digest. Excerpt:
The parents in the backyard say that for every one of them, there are many more, too afraid to speak up. “I’ve talked to at least five couples who say: I get it. I think the way you do. I just don’t want the controversy right now,” related one mother. They are all eager for their story to be told—but not a single one would let me use their name. They worry about losing their jobs or hurting their children if their opposition to this ideology were known.
“The school can ask you to leave for any reason,” said one mother at Brentwood, another Los Angeles prep school. “Then you’ll be blacklisted from all the private schools and you’ll be known as a racist, which is worse than being called a murderer.”
One private school parent, born in a Communist nation, tells me: “I came to this country escaping the very same fear of retaliation that now my own child feels.” Another joked: “We need to feed our families. Oh, and pay $50,000 a year to have our children get indoctrinated.” A teacher in New York City put it most concisely: “To speak against this is to put all of your moral capital at risk.”
Parents who have spoken out against this ideology, even in private ways, say it hasn’t gone over well. “I had a conversation with a friend, and I asked him: ‘Is there anything about this movement we should question?’” said a father with children in two prep schools in Manhattan. “And he said: ‘Dude, that’s dangerous ground you’re on in our friendship.’ I’ve had enough of those conversations to know what happens.”
That fear is shared, deeply, by the children. For them, it’s not just the fear of getting a bad grade or getting turned down for a college recommendation, though that fear is potent. It’s the fear of social shaming. “If you publish my name, it would ruin my life. People would attack me for even questioning this ideology. I don’t even want people knowing I’m a capitalist,” a student at the Fieldston School in New York City told me, in a comment echoed by other students I spoke with. (Fieldston declined to comment for this article.) “The kids are scared of other kids,” says one Harvard-Westlake mother.
What does that read like to you? To me it reads like the results of bullying, which I had thought was verboten in this modern era.
But to what else do you attribute these parents’ nervousness?
Here’s where I think these folks go wrong. When I was a kid, bullies never lasted too long, because sooner or later they ran into a kid that was bigger and tougher than they were, and got their asses kicked, which usually put an end to the bullying. That’s what needs to happen here, I think; these parents need to stand up to the assholes determining the curricula at these schools, demand that the schools react to their customers – the parents – and cease and desist the racist horseshit, forthwith.
Of course, the other side of that is that the majority of parents in this area may want this racist horseshit. What’s the answer then?
Pull your kids out of those damned schools.
I don’t give a rat’s ass if that will make it harder for Little Precious to get into that Ivy League school that will grease the skids for a life of indolent, upper-level government service. Hell, you think these kids are being fed horseshit now? Wait until they get to Harvard or Yale.
Your kids would be better off if you kept them home and, for what you’re spending for this private school, hire a tutor. Or why not have that group of oh-so-concerned parents here chip in and hire several tutors, for a wide range of subjects?
I understand that these folks are feeling put-upon because their kids are being taught racist horseshit that flies in the face of their parents’ evidently right-of-center views. So, fine – quit your damn whining and do something about it! Remember that fine old American can-do tradition? That good old American ingenuity? Try to rediscover some of that, grow some huevos, and abandon that awful, failing education bureaucracy. Frankly, at this juncture, that’s really the only option.
We’re in a time where any chance at national unity seems to be fading away. This (and, as always, please do read it all) article is just one more piece of evidence of that. May as well acknowledge it, accept it as inevitable and start figuring how to deal with it.
National treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson brings us this gem – Hitting Woke Herd Immunity? Excerpts, with my comments, follow:
There are tens of millions of Americans who either have been stung, or turned off, by McCarthyite wokeness (and thus have anti-wokeness antibodies). More have been vaccinated from its latest virulent strains by their own values of judging people as individuals, not as racial or gender collectives. So lots of Americans have developed peremptory defenses against it. The result is that daily there are ever-fewer who are susceptible to the woke pandemic. And it will thus begin to fade out—even as the virus desperately seeks to mutate and go after more institutions.
Peak wokeness is nearing also because if it continued in its present incarnation, then the United States as we know would cease to exist—in the sense that 1692-93 Salem or 1793-94 Paris could not have continued apace without destroying society. Woke leftism exists to destroy and tear down, not to unite and build. It is not designed to play down and heal racial differences, but to accentuate and capitalize on them.
Dr. Hanson, who I admire a great deal, is a little too optimistic here. He is spot-on about woke leftism; it is manifestly a force of disunity, not unity. But I wonder about the fade-out; the people pushing woke leftism want disunity, and won’t be easily dissuaded. In fact, I don’t think they can be dissuaded at all; they will, instead, have to be defeated. We can hope that can still be done at the ballot box, but there are other methods. It would be great, of course, if we could hang them from their own woke petards. However:
The operating assumption is that the uncovered sins of the progressive are aberrations and not windows into their dark souls. Or perhaps woke leftism works on the same principle as carbon credits: the more you act progressively, the more pluses you have when minuses are summed up.
Most who have claims of being non-white are likely to find partial vaccination from the woke mob. Those who are independently wealthy or successfully self-employed likewise have some immunity. Then there are the defiant, the proverbial “Don’t Tread on Me” folks, who will fight, and thus encourage the zombie walkers to detour around them.
The only consistent pattern of woke punishment is the shared logic of the lions and water buffalos at the ford—devour the sacrificial, single, and vulnerable while avoiding the robust herd with retaliatory horns.
Dr. Hanson, you misspelled “guns.”
The first paragraph in this excerpt, though, is key. There are no principles involved in woke leftism; it’s all about The Side. If the recent allegations about New York Governor Andrew Dice Cuomo had instead come to light about Florida Governor Ron De Santis, there would have been hell to pay – but the foot-dragging over the Cuomo story from the legacy media has been obvious and pathetic.
Of course, if you read the rhetoric coming from the woke left, it’s common to see them wishing ruin and death on those who oppose them, which is hardly a new thing among leftists from Stalin to Pol Pot. But here, at least for now, the non-woke who would presumably be the targets of the woke left have one big advantage that victims of previous dictators did not.
Predicating wokism on race is a tricky business, even if one could define and identify race, quantify its role in determining class status, and convince millions that it is moral to judge people by how they look.
Like the Salem witch trials and the McCarthyite hysteria, when wokism fades, we are likely to see its real catalysts revealed. And they will not be found to be misplaced idealism, nor heartfelt desire for a more ecumenical society, but mostly the age-old, narcissistic destructive road to career enhancement, fueled by customary ancient fears, envies, and hatreds.
We can hope, of course, that all of that comes to light. But unless I miss my guess, things are going to get worse before they get better.
Read the entire article, by all means. I find that Dr. Hanson’s work is always worth the time, always worth the consideration, always worth a bit of reflection, even on those (rare) occasions when I disagree with him.