One mans thought

The Demise of California as Viewed by a Retired Professor in California

by Victor Davis Hansen – Thanks Eric and Tom G, brilliant minds

The last three weeks I have traveled about, taking the pulse of the more forgotten areas of central California. I wanted to witness, even if superficially, what is happening to a state that has the highest sales and income taxes, the most lavish entitlements, the near-worst public schools (based on federal test scores), and the largest number of illegals in the nation, along with an over-regulated private sector, a stagnant and shrinking manufacturing base, and an elite environmental ethos that restricts commerce and productivity without curbing consumption.

During this unscientific experiment, three times a week I rode a bike on a 20-mile trip over various rural roads in southwestern Fresno County. I also drove my car over to the coast to work, on various routes through towns like San Joaquin, Mendota, and Firebaugh. And near my home I have been driving, shopping, and touring by intent the rather segregated and impoverished areas of Caruthers, Fowler, Laton, Orange Cove, Parlier, and Selma. My own farmhouse is now in an area of abject poverty and almost no ethnic diversity; the closest elementary school (my alma mater, two miles away) is 94 percent Hispanic and 1 percent white, and well below federal testing norms in math and English.

Here are some general observations about what I saw (other than that the rural roads of California are fast turning into rubble, poorly maintained and reverting to what I remember seeing long ago in the rural South). First, remember that these areas are the ground zero, so to speak, of 20 years of illegal immigration. There has been a general depression in farming – to such an extent that the 20 to100 acre tree and vine farmer, the erstwhile backbone of the old rural California, for all practical purposes has ceased to exist.

On the western side of the Central Valley, the effects of arbitrary cutoffs in irrigation water have idled tens of thousands of acres of prime agricultural land, leaving thousands unemployed. Manufacturing plants in the towns in these areas – which used to make harvesters, hydraulic lifts, trailers, food-processing equipment – have shut down. Unemployment runs between 15 and 20 percent.

Many of the rural trailer-house compounds I saw appear no different from what I have seen in the Third World. There is a Caribbean look to the junked cars, electric wires crisscrossing between various outbuildings, plastic tarps substituting for replacement shingles, lean-tos cobbled together as auxiliary housing, pit bulls unleashed, and geese, goats, and chickens roaming around yards. The public hears about all sorts of tough California regulations that stymie business – rigid zoning laws, strict building codes, and constant inspections – but none of that applies out here. The more California regulates, the more it does not regulate. Its public employees prefer to go after misdemeanors in the upscale areas to justify our expensive oversight industry, while ignoring the felonies in the downtrodden areas, which are becoming feral and beyond the ability of any inspector to do anything. Many of the rented-out shacks and stationary Winnebago’s are on former small farms – the vineyards overgrown with weeds, or torn out with the ground lying fallow.

California coastal elites worry about the water available to a three-inch smelt in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, but they have no interest in the epidemic dumping of trash, furniture, and toxic substances throughout California’s rural hinterland. Yesterday, for example, I rode my bike by a stopped van just as the occupants tossed seven plastic bags of raw refuse onto the side of the road. I rode up near their bumper and said in my broken Spanish not to throw garbage onto the public road. But there were three of them, and one of me. So I was lucky to be sworn at only. I note in passing that I would not drive into Mexico and, as a guest, dare to pull over and throw seven bags of trash into the environment of my host.

In fact, trash piles are commonplace out here – composed of everything from half-empty paint cans and children’s plastic toys to diapers and moldy food. I have never seen a rural sheriff cite a litterer, or witnessed state EPA workers cleaning up these unauthorized wastelands. So I would suggest to Bay Area scientists that the environment is taking a much harder beating down here in central California than it is in the Delta. Perhaps before we cut off more irrigation water to the west side of the valley, we might invest some green dollars into cleaning up the dangerous garbage that now litters the outskirts of our rural communities.

We hear about the tough small-business regulations that have driven residents out of the state, at the rate of 2,000 to 3,000 a week. But from my unscientific observations these past weeks, it seems rather easy to open a small business in California without any oversight at all, or at least what I might call a “counter business.” I counted eleven mobile hot-kitchen trucks that simply park by the side of the road, spread about some plastic chairs, pull down a tarp canopy, and, presto, become mini-restaurants. There are no “facilities” such as toilets or washrooms. But I do frequently see lard trails on the isolated roads I bike on, where trucks apparently have simply opened their draining tanks and sped on, leaving a slick of cooking fats and oils. Crows and ground squirrels love them; they can be seen from a distance mysteriously occupied in the middle of the road.

At crossroads, peddlers in a counter-California economy sell almost anything. Here is what I noticed at an intersection on the west side last week: shovels, rakes, hoes, gas pumps, lawnmowers, edgers, blowers, jackets, gloves, and caps. The merchandise was all new. I doubt whether high-tax California sales taxes or income taxes were paid on any of these stop-and-go transactions.

In two supermarkets 50 miles apart, I was the only one in line who did not pay with a social-service plastic card. But I did not see any relationship between the use of the card and poverty as we once knew it: The electrical appurtenances owned by the users and the cars into which the groceries were loaded were indistinguishable from those of the upper middle class: late-model Camry’s, Accords, or Taurus’s, iPhones, Bluetooths, Blackberries, and everything bought with public-assistance. Does the $40 million a day from Washington explain this?

Over a hundred-mile stretch, when I stopped in San Joaquin for a bottled water, or drove through Orange Cove, or got gas in Parlier, or went to a corner market in southwestern Selma, my home town, I was the only non-Hispanic – there were no Asians, no blacks, no other whites. We may speak of the richness of “diversity,” but those who cherish that ideal simply have no idea that there are now countless inland communities that have become apartheid societies, where Spanish is the language, the schools are not at all diverse, and the federal government is the source of income. I do not editorialize, but I note these vast transformations over the last 20 years that are the wages of unchecked illegal immigration from Mexico, a vast expansion of California’s entitlements and taxes, the flight of the upper middle class out of state, the deliberate effort not to tap natural resources, the downsizing in manufacturing and agriculture, and the departure of whites, blacks, and Asians from these small towns to more racially diverse and upscale areas.

Fresno’s California State University campus is embroiled in controversy over the student body president’s announcing that he is an illegal, with all the requisite protests in favor of the DREAM Act. I won’t comment on the legislation per se, but again only note the anomaly. I taught at CSUF for 21 years. I think it fair to say that the predominant theme of the Chicano and Latin American Studies program’s sizable curriculum was a fuzzy American culpability. By that I mean that students in those classes heard of the sins of America more often than its attractions. In my home town, Mexican flag decals on car windows are far more common than their American counterparts. I note this because hundreds of students here illegally are now terrified of being deported to Mexico. I can understand that, given the chaos in Mexico. But if one were to consider the classes that deal with Mexico at the university, or the visible displays of national chauvinism, then one might conclude that Mexico is a far more attractive place than the United States. So there is a surreal nature to these protests: “Please do not send me back to the culture I praise; please let me stay in the culture that I deprecate.”

How odd – to paraphrase what Critias once said of ancient Sparta – that California is at once both the nation’s least free and most free state, the most repressed and the wildest. 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, the ticks of which are getting louder.

Wake up

Ronald Baker: I was on the Southern Border Shooting Team. During research, I found is that our Officers are not properly debriefed afterwards. The same applies here. First thanks for going. Many chose not to and fled the country. But my point is still valid. Once I discovered how traumatic it can be, I did some reached and found a great book called ” A Force Under Pressure “. By Doctor Lawrence Blum. It’s more about Law Enforcement and taken a life. I know there are other related to Viet Nam. Google it. My father in law is 83 and had One tour in Korea and two in Viet Nam and still has nightmares. It’s worth a try. Good luck man, sorry. Oh and you might want to check out my web site, I’m almost positive endica could help you sleep better and avoid some of your night terrors. I can’t think of a medical marijauna Doctor who would not give you a prescription. And yes I too being a ” Drug Expert “. Backed by the National Association of Chiefs of Police, had feelings of being a bit Hippocratical, but through continual education, I’ve evolved. God bless man.

It’s not hard to do the research. It’s all over the media. When ML slams the women, well! Then she’s gotta go. Our Government is corrupt, and if the don’t believe me, read the book, “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” by Jack Herer, which explains the extent our leaders (LOL)went to demonize the hemp plant.

Return to Hemp Reports
Hemp and Marijuana:
Myths & Realities
by David P. West, Ph.D.
for the North American Industrial Hemp Council
About the Author: Dr. West holds a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding from the University of Minnesota and has spent 18 years as a commercial corn breeder. Since 1993 he has served as an advisor to the emerging hemp industry regarding industrial hemp germplasm. His work, “Fiber Wars: the Extinction of Kentucky Hemp” (1994), a pioneering discussion of the functional difference between hemp and marijuana, and his other writings on hemp and agriculture are available online (CLICK HERE).
Dr. West can be contacted by email at:
The complete text of this report is available on the NAIHC website.
This report is the first in a series of white papers produced by:
North American Industrial Hemp Council
Post Office Box 259329
Madison, Wisconsin 53725-9329
Tel: (608) 835-0428
Hemp and Marijuana
Myths & Realities
Surely no member of the vegetable kingdom has ever been more misunderstood than hemp. For too many years, emotion-not reason-has guided our policy toward this crop. And nowhere have emotions run hotter than in the debate over the distinction between industrial hemp and marijuana. This paper is intended to inform that debate by offering scientific evidence, so that farmers, policymakers, manufacturers, and the general public can distinguish between myth and reality.
Botanically, the genus Cannabis is composed of several variants. Although there has been a long-standing debate among taxonomists about how to classify these variants into species, applied plant breeders generally embrace a biochemical method to classify variants along utilitarian lines. Cannabis is the only plant genus that contains the unique class of molecular compounds called cannabinoids. Many cannabinoids have been identified, but two preponderate: THC, which is the psychoactive ingredient of Cannabis, and CBD, which is an antipsychoactive ingredient. One type of Cannabis is high in the psychoactive

I see that yellow journalism is still alive. There will always be someone attempting to demonize the hemp/marijuana plant.
It would be nice to know what John Berry’s of Redlands regional chair of citizens against legalizing marijuana back ground. Is he part of the pharmaceutical industry as Senator Jeff stone? Or is he of the alcohol industry who is losing money to marijuana.
The press enterprise editorial board recently imply that flog report from the Washington University school of medicine St. Louis indicated legalization wouldn’t harm California teams of voters prove that don’t use marijuana in November. Obviously does not agree with that you came up with a variety of different Statistic. With no backing.
Obviously he has ignored President Nixon’s report commissioned, the Schaeffer report. Which claims it should be decriminalized. There’s also the Jamaican report, Canada has one multiple countries have reports that all indicate marijuana should be decriminalized.
It’s hard to change old people’s minds when they made them up.
I find it interesting though that the press enterprise allowed this to be posted in the paper under the opinion section. Yellow journalism is still alive and still demonizing a God-given plant. Mr. Barry and I use that term lightly, Should read; ” The Emperor Wears No Clothes” by Jack Herer or at lease do some research on the topic.
There are many books and records available for your enjoyment.
Like my mom use to tell me” Opinions are like ass holes and everyone has one.” Thank God intelligent people don’t buy into you Crap.

|OK America everyone sit back and relax. Sitdown in your favorite lounge chair. Log on to reality. We must write our political officials and send them a copy of this, the Schaeffer report, the Jamaican report,  Canada’s report, there are so many it’s a new rule, Government must spend our tax dollars on things they already know. (Creed)  We must wake them up and tell them we are sick and tired of their lies and their deceptions.    You’re being controlled by the lobbyist for your own personal greed and were sick of it. They’ve got us hooked on petroleum which is continually rising for the greed. They continually cut down our trees by destroying the Amazon when the same thing can be done with the hemp plant.   The alcohol industry has been controlling our country regardless of how horrible it is for our bodies. But it’ still legal. Open up your eyes.  Unchainthetree.  Com on WordPress.comOh yeah!  The American government has known Hemp/cannabis/ marijuana/ Whatever you want to call it, it cures cancer and they’ve known for 80 years. Google it.