Before you save the world with your groovy peace vibes, show us that you care for Californians who are forced to dodge dirty needles, human excrement, and heaps of rotting garbage as they tiptoe their way across Downtown Los Angeles. Or Venice Beach. Or San Francisco. Or Sacramento.
I was born and raised in California, and it was a wonderful place to grow up. Fabulous weather, beautiful landscape, abundant resources, California had it all. Then a terrible thing happened. The hippies came along, and everything went sideways. Even worse, they never outgrew their hippie phase, and now they’re running the state. Into the ground.
The drug-addled, Flower Power ethos that took root here in the ’60s made The Golden State an object of derision among non-Californians. We natives have sheepishly endured the mocking comments for decades. If you grew up here, you know, you heard it all the time. The Land of Fruits and Nuts. Hollyweird. For heaven’s sake, we elected a chief executive who was routinely referred to as “Governor Moonbeam” by the national press. Then, after almost thirty years of governors not called Moonbeam, California voters decided we were woefully short of space cadets in Sacramento, so they elected him to two more terms. No idea is too bad—or too bizarre—to not thrive in California, and just when you think our policy makers have, as they say in Hollyweird, “jumped the shark,” they find another, bigger, more ridiculous shark, slip on their Birkenstocks, and take the leap.
Our latest foray into childish, tie-dyed inanity comes courtesy of the California Assembly, who will vote next year on a Concurrent Resolution (ACR 108) that will declare California a—wait for it—Compassionate State! Wow! Unless your skull is filled with cannabis-infused pudding, you’re probably wondering what that means. The answer is: nothing. Absolutely nothing. (If your head is stuffed with cannabis-infused pudding, you probably think it’s “far out.” And you might be a member of the Assembly.)
For starters, a Concurrent Resolution isn’t a law. It doesn’t really change anything, and it doesn’t have to be signed by the governor, so, as a legislative act, it’s essentially meaningless. Which is easier than actually legislating. Even more meaningless is the substance of the resolution itself. They want to declare California a “Compassionate State”? Who cares? They might as well declare it an “Awesome Zone” for all the good it does. It’s just another excuse for the Democrats to signal their superior virtue by telling the world how much they care. Which is easier than actually caring. Because, truth be known, California’s political leadership doesn’t care. Not really. If they did, they’d do something to arrest the rapid decline in our quality of life.
ACR 108 begins, “WHEREAS, The Charter for Compassion, initiated by TED Prize winner Karen Armstrong, was unveiled at the United Nations in 2009 and carries forth the vision of creating a global civil society…” They’re worried about creating a global civil society? Maybe they could first show a little concern for making California society a bit more civil. (On a side note, I was under the impression that TED Talks were supposed to be shining examples of advanced intellect. The woman who conceived “The Charter for Compassion” won a TED prize?! If that’s the kind of empty-headed nonsense one can expect from a TED Talk video, I’ll pass, thanks. There’s deeper thinking on display in any given episode of Spongebob Squarepants.)
Before you save the world with your groovy peace vibes, show us that you care for Californians who are forced to dodge dirty needles, human excrement, and heaps of rotting garbage as they tiptoe their way across Downtown Los Angeles. Or Venice Beach. Or San Francisco. Or Sacramento. An estimated 130,000 homeless people live here (probably a low count), 60,000 in L.A. County alone, and they keep flooding in. They’re rapidly turning the state into a fetid, disease-ridden dump. We are literally washing tons—as in, thousands of pounds—of unprocessed feces into California waterways and the Pacific Ocean every day, thanks to our abundant homeless population, and what do the compassionate members of the California Assembly have to say about it? Squat. Which is appropriate, since that seems to be the only thing homeless people are good at.
How much do California legislators care about their own residents who lost their homes or even their lives in wildfires? Not enough to take steps to manage our overgrown, fuel-loaded forests, too much compassion for the planet to care about people. They’d rather just leave them without power every time the wind blows.
Nor do they care about working people in L.A. and the Bay Area—some earning a handsome living—who are still sleeping in their cars because of the prohibitive cost of housing. They find a place to park for the night, then go shower at their health club/gym each morning before work. Homeless, but without the public panhandling and defecation. The solution? Uh… they’ll get back to us on that. They have a world to save.
Where, exactly, is the compassion for Californians? We’re over-taxed and underserved in nearly every way imaginable. We have the sixth largest economy in the world, but the highest rate of poverty in the U.S. Our infrastructure—roads, dams, public utilities– is crumbling. Next year we begin residential water rationing, because we haven’t expanded our water system in decades, even as the population increased by more than sixty percent. People and businesses are leaving the state in droves, shrinking the tax base, while our future public pension obligations are underfunded to the tune of an estimated one trillion dollars. How does our legislature respond to this laundry list of challenges? By banning plastic shampoo bottles from hotel rooms and insuring that transgender persons can do their business in whatever restroom they desire. Unless, of course, they’re transgender homeless persons. They’ll just do their business in your driveway. Oh, and by declaring California a Compassionate State! That’ll fix everything.
California has become so brain-dead dopey that it’s now beyond mockery. Not even the late comedy legend George Carlin could parody what’s going on here. Those of us old enough to remember Carlin’s stand-up routine will recall one of his mainstay bits was “Al Sleet, The Hippy Dippy Weatherman,” a stoned-out weather anchor (“Forecast for tonight? Dark!”). It was funny at the time, because, as with much successful comedy, it was an absurd exaggeration. Wouldn’t work today. Not in California. The puerile mindlessness of the California legislature simply cannot be exaggerated. If Al Sleet were with us today, they’d make him Assembly Speaker. He’d be an upgrade.
- California’s Homeless Could Provide the Answer if the Cost of Our Economic Shutdown is Worth It - March 30, 2020
- Sonoma County Swings and Misses on Homeless Solution - January 14, 2020
- Declaring California a ‘Compassionate State’ – That’ll Fix Everything - November 10, 2019