Every month another story emerges from California that makes out-of-staters think, “Now will those Democrat voters get it?” Then the state sends another batch of leftists to Sacramento to pass more job-killing, life-denying restrictions on their everyday activities. But the current crisis isn’t merely bad economic theory or social justice activism; a state filled with rivers, lakes and bordering an ocean is running out of water.
I ask again: Now will they get it?
I drive on the 99 freeway past Kingsburg on the way to Visalia. It is a road-warrior maze of construction and detours. The construction hazards are of the sort that would earn any private contractor a lawsuit. (How do you sue Caltrans — and why is it that four or five men always seem to be standing around one who is working?) Only recently has the state decided to upgrade the fossilized two-lane 99 into an interstate freeway of three lanes. But the construction is slow and seemingly endless. Could we not have a simple state rule: “no high-speed rail corridors until the 101, 99, and I-5 are three-lane freeways, and the neglected Amtrak line achieves profitable ridership?” It is almost as if California answers back: “I am too bewildered by your premodern challenges, so I will take psychological refuge in my postmodern fantasies.”
—Victor Davis Hanson, “Goodnight, California.”
“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”
That last quote actually does worry the left; a local Bay Area “artisanal” glassblower advertises on her storefront window that her products are “sustainably made” — as if the planet is facing a looming sand shortage.