Last week, while reading about an insolvent California’s insistence on going ahead with the first leg of a proposed high-speed rail line (total cost of the system: an estimated $100-$300 billion), I heard the following story on a local ABC news affiliate about a nearby low-Sierra lake:
Monday, August 20, 2012
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — Acts of vandalism have forced officials to shut down a popular campsite in Fresno County. The Pine Flat Campground located below the Pine Flat Dam on Trimmer Springs Road is closed indefinitely. Nearby Winton Park remains open but things aren’t looking much better there. Vandals tagged rocks, barbeques, and even trees with graffiti. “It was horrible. It didn’t look like nature. It looked like a nightmare,” said visitor Jose Zarate of Fresno.
Unfair to the Vandals
You can read the rest of story at KFSN’s Website; additional news items detailed similar stories at other local lakes — a veritable Vandal assault on the vestiges of civilization (actually, that allusion is unfair to the Vandals): copper wire stripped out of power conduits, toilets and sinks ripped out of bathrooms, and, yes, more gang graffiti painted on trees.
I think the latter horror is what earned the local media attention. Destroying public property, assaulting other campers, closing down recreation sites are one thing — but graffiti on trees? That’s an insult that no liberal can stomach. In the grand struggle of environmental correctness versus multiculturalism, green wins every time. (Why do a few liberals oppose illegal immigration? Because of worries about environmental damage along the border.)
The Tipping Point
I have a hard time timing car trips to Los Angeles because a large section of the 99 state “freeway,” north of Kingsburg, is still (after a half-century) two lanes, potholed, and crammed with traffic. But the rub is that the traffic is of a strange sort, one characterized by an inordinate number of drivers with loose brush, tools, appliances — almost anything — not secured in flat-bed pickups or piled too high in pickups and trailers. The debris commonly flies out on the road, causes an accident, and shuts down California’s main interior north-south lateral for several hours.
What is the common theme here?
When the liberal mind cannot cope with the concrete ramifications of its own ideology, it seeks a sort of tokenism. Unable to ensure that trees are not defaced? An ancient highway is not upgraded? Presto, zoom ahead to space-age high-speed rail, as if the conditions that created sprayed trees and mattresses lying among the pot-holes will not easily migrate to high-speed rail. That is, within 10 years I have no doubt that the Fresno-Corcoran (“rail to nowhere”) link will be periodically closed due to stripped copper wire conduit, mattresses thrown over the fence onto the tracks, and the general inability of the state to service the system due to the sort of daily vandalism seen at our local campgrounds.
If one third of the nation’s welfare population resides in California, and if seven million of the last ten million Californians added to the state population are now on Medicaid, and if Californians, as it is estimated, send approximately $10 billion a year in remittances to Mexico and Latin America, then something has to give. And the remedy for that something that gives is either teaching youth not to spray paint pine trees, or hiring unemployed ex-gang-bangers to pressure wash the graffiti off pine trees — or moving to a kinder, gentler Santa Cruz or Newport, feeling good on the beach, watching the sunset each evening, and cursing those evil conservatives who want to poison the 3-inch delta smelt and keep foie gras legal in California.