I gotta ask - what the fuck are these people thinking? snippet: California may face the nations largest budget deficit at $16 billion. It may struggle with the nations second-highest unemployment rate at 10.6 percent. It will soon vote whether to levy the nations highest income and sales taxes, as if to encourage others to join the 2,000-plus high earners who are leaving the state each week. The new taxes will be our way of saying, Good riddance. And if California is home to one-third of the nations welfare recipients and the largest number of illegal aliens, it is nonetheless apparently happy and thus solidly for Obama, by a +24 percent margin in the latest Field poll. The unemployment rate in my hometown is 16 percent, the per capita income is $16,000 and I havent seen a Romney sticker yet. California has the nations highest gas taxes and fuel prices, and the tightest supplies and reputedly one of the worst-maintained infrastructures, with out-of-date, overcrowded, and poorly maintained freeways. When I head home each week from Palo Alto, I feel like an Odysseus fighting modern-day Lotus Eaters, Cyclopes, and Laestrygonians to reach Ithaka, wondering what obstacle will sidetrack me this trip huge potholes, entire sections of the freeway reduced to one lane, or various poorly marked detours? If the nations highest gas taxes give us all that, what might the lowest bring? This one is really puzzling, how can you be more idiotic than this? - Wiseacre snippet: Although the state is facing a $16 billion annual budgetary shortfall, Governor Brown is determined to press ahead with high-speed rail estimated to cost eventually over $200 billion. Such is his zeal that he intends to override the environmental lawsuits that usually stymie private projects for years. The line is scheduled to pass a few miles from my farm, its first link connecting Fresno and Corcoran, home to the state prison that houses Charles Manson. Yet a money-losing Amtrak line already connects Fresno and Corcoran. I often ride my bike near the tracks and notice the half-empty cars that zoom by. Most farmers here are perplexed about why the state would wish to borrow billions and destroy thousands of acres of prime farm land to duplicate this little-traveled link. Support for high-speed rail is strongest in the San Francisco Bay Area, but there is no support for beginning the project where the noise and dirty reality might be too close to home for green utopians. snippet: California schools rate among the nations lowest in math and English, but our shrinking numbers of teachers are among the countrys highest paid. One-third of the nations welfare recipients live in California, and 8 out of the last 11 million people added to the California population are enrolled in Medicaid, but we are also the most generous state in sending remittances to foreign countries we contribute a third to a half of the estimated $50 billion that leaves the U.S. each year for Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America. It is puzzling in the small towns of the San Joaquin Valley to see both federal and state medical centers and nearby offices that specialize in cash transfers to Mexico. But no one seems to see any disconnect between the public need for free health care and the private desire to send money to Mexico. California has built the nations largest prison system, but there is no room left in either state or county facilities for an increasing number of dangerous felons. The same day last week that I emptied my wallet for gas, my 15-hp ag irrigation pump simply quit during the night. Nocturnal copper-wire thieves had come into the vineyard and yanked out the electrical conduit. Thats the third theft of pump wire Ive had this year and it costs $1,500 each time to repair the damage. Im told that Mexican national gangs go down to Los Angeles with their stolen copper to sell it to mobile recyclers. No one calls the sheriff any more. Instead, we swap stories about protective wire cages, spikes, cameras, lights, and booby traps. Barack Obama once thundered, Rich people are all for nonviolence. . . . They dont want people taking their stuff. I plead guilty to his writ, at least for a while longer. But I dont agree that copper conduit is mere stuff or that stealing it counts as social protest or that the thieves are necessarily poor. The criminals have a sophisticated modus operandi, with lookouts who drive around and report by cell phone when the coast is clear green-lighting comrade thieves who in a matter of minutes ride into the farm alleyways on bicycles, cut and pull the wire, and pedal out with little noise and no headlights. Two nights ago, when I returned to my farmhouse, an odd couple was sitting in a car each one on a cell phone next to my mailbox. They claimed they did not speak English, but after some harsh words they left surprised and angry that I had dared to ask them to leave my property. Its a veritable war these days in rural central California as copper-wire thieves, gangs, drug lords, and fencers run amuck in a bankrupt state that can no longer afford to keep its felons incarcerated. President Obama soars with talk of amnesty and the DREAM Act. But if we are going to waive federal statutes for each illegal alien who we feel may some day become a neurosurgeon or an experimental chemist, cant we at least enforce the law against those not in school and up to no good in the here and now, like the two sitting in my driveway phoning directions for local thieves to yank out copper wire? Bankrupt California - Victor Davis Hanson - National Review Online So glad I don't live there. I can readily understand why so many are leaving. Have to wonder how long this nonsense can go on.