California: The Catch-22 State

And people wonder why this state is a mess. First up, from one of Ace's co-bloggers, "California Dumbassery:"

Soooo, it's not OK to use plastic bags at the grocery store, but it's just fine to require folks like bartenders to wear single use rubber gloves when handling food or in contact with food handling surfaces. I guess washing hands wasn't good enough so landfills will see a large increase in rubber gloves instead. Genius move from the so-called save the planet crowd.

Meanwhile, found in the latest of Kate McMillan's voluminous "O, Sweet Saint Of San Andreas" files at Small Dead Animals, "Drought or not, brown lawns bring HOA fines," at the San Francisco Chronicle:

Jerry Brown may have declared a drought emergency statewide and called for rationing, but that didn’t stop a homeowners association in San Lorenzo from fining residents for having dead lawns, KTVU reported.

John Glisar, 55, told the station he doesn’t want to water his lawn, but faces fines of between $100 to $1,000 if he doesn’t after receiving a second warning from the San Lorenzo Village Homes Association.

And of course, as Victor Davis Hanson frequently writes, particularly at his PJM column, Catch-22s are built into the disparity of the lifestyles between high-flying lifestyles of California's elites and the rest of the state:

I worry though not about the way we look or talk, but rather about the use of the land. It no longer grows people, or produces for the nation a 5% minority of self-reliant, cranky and autonomous citizens, who do not worry much about things like tanning booths, plastic surgery, Botox, male jewelry, tattoos, rap music, waxed-off body hair, or social media. I think our impoverished society reflects that fact of agrarian loss, in the sense that never have so many had so much and complained that they had so little while being so dependent on government — and yet they are so whiney and angry over their lack of independence. The entitlement state is the flame, the recipients the moths. The latter zero in on the glow and then, transfixed by the buzz, are consumed by acquiring what they were hypnotized by.

Out here is the antithesis of where I work in Silicon Valley. Each week I leave at sunbreak, and slowly enter a world of Pajama boys in BMWs and Lexuses, with $500 shades and rolling stops at intersections as they frown and speed off to the next deal. Somehow these techies assume voting for Barack Obama means that they are liberal. They are not. By proclaiming that they are progressive, they feel good about themselves and do not have to worry about why their janitorial staffs are not unionized, or why no one but they can buy a house, or why they oppose affordable housing construction along the 280 corridor, or why they fear the public schools as if they were the bubonic plague. Their businesses don’t create many jobs in the area; they don’t live among the Other; they seek to get out of paying income tax as they praise higher taxes; and they use money to ensure their own apartheid. And so they are “liberal.”

No wonder millionaires like Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, and Barbara Boxer represent such a culture. How odd that the power, the water, the food, the lumber, and the minerals that fuel Silicon Valley all come from distant invisible people, the uncool who are overregulated, overtaxed, and over-blamed by those they never see.

Every six months or so I crawl under the house to check the wiring, plumbing, foundation, and assorted repair work. I did it last week. In the dirt is the weird detritus of 140 years: some square nails, a strange, ancient rusted pipe wrench, 1930s newspaper stuffed into some sort of mouse hole, penciled-in runes of weird numbers and notes scrawled on the redwood beams by some unknown carpenter, a fossilized carcass of a long dead cat, a few rat skulls and ribs.  It is also sort of like archaeology, trying to sort out the layers of improvements per good farming years: the foundation raised on redwood beams after the boom of World War I, the metal conduit wiring installed in the 1940s when raisins were again high, the heating ducts put in during the brief boom of the early 1980s, and so on.

Is there a future to any of this? 

Sadly, that's a question that I doubt Jerry Brown -- nor anyone else in Sacramento -- ever ponders.

But how ugly will the end be?

Related: "And let's remember this invitation the next time Hollywood and its subservient media try to tell us -- as a friend of mine so aptly put it -- 'that the sh*t we show in the movies has NO EFFECT WHATSOEVER on anybody’s behavior.'"

Oh, and speaking of Catch-22:

Straight out of the Book of Saul.