Meet the Richerals

That Hillary and her enablers (do we remember James Carville: “Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you'll find”?) engaged in classic "war against women" defamations is, I agree, ancient history.

But ancient history certainly becomes once more contemporary fact if Ms. Clinton runs a war against the "war on women" that not long ago tarred Mitt Romney as a sexist for woodenly looking through biographies to find suitable female appointees. (As an after-thought: Is Al Gore also a warrior in the war against the "war on women"? If so, how did he get himself into a similarly exploitive scenario with a masseuse that was Clintonian to the core?)

What goes through the mind of the Bay Area biologist, Sierra Club activist, or naturalist lawyer who lobbies his legislators, who sues in federal and state court, and who galvanizes the powerful to divert millions of acre feet of irrigation water from farms to his delta to oxygenate a baitfish, or to introduce salmon in rivers that haven’t seen them in eons? After all, that gambit requires manmade reservoirs to store irrigation water to divert it to keep the rivers running unnaturally all year, when they would otherwise go dry. Is that irony, or is it supposed to be “payback’s a bitch"?

Distant Hetch Hetchy reservoir supplies most of the residential water of the otherwise quite unnatural and unsustainable arid Bay Area hills. Without Hetch Hetchy the barren expanse surrounding San Francisco, without adequate aquifers, would have no lawns, and indeed no majestic houses at all. The early explorers write movingly that the coastal corridor south of Napa is as beautiful as it is dry and without water -- and thus mostly uninhabitable for large populations. Indeed, the usual villains of the current green religion are the early turn-of the-century water buccaneers, the Mulhollands and Pinchots. In the case of the former, Owens Valley gymnastics allowed current greens in verdant Beverly Hills and Brentwood to deplore manmade dams and canals, and things, in the case of the latter, like Hetch Hetchy’s Sierra water diversions from once salmon-rich rivers.

So, perhaps the Bay Area richeral thinks: “The smelt and salmon need help. I don’t need to wash my Audi. I can shower every other day. Presto! I will give the fish my Hetch Hetchy water. After all, I live a more unnatural existence, a more vulnerable existence, a more unsustainable existence than even the West Side almond grower. And while I can move to telecommute from Stockton or Modesto, the farmer cannot move his almond trees elsewhere. Do I really need that water-gulping Japanese maple or bougainvillea outside the library window? Therefore, I will back my convictions by returning to the river my own unnatural Sierra water, not someone else’s.”

Or instead, perhaps the green richeral thinks: “I am devoted to Mother Earth and if I live an unnatural existence based on vast water transfers and uses of electrical power to carve out a home in a naturally arid, barren landscape, I deserve exemption because I am on the right side, and I feel for nature. The crusaders of our green gods need earthly paradise time if they are going to free the polluted holy lands from the carbon infidels.”

From the Google-only bus that bypasses the heralded “public mass transit” to pick up the richeral in his overpriced, Hetch Hetchy-fed San Francisco Victorian, to the tony private academies that richerals’ kids attend, to the Mexican national help that cleans the floors and watches the toddlers before going home to the crammed garage in Redwood City, to the big money that always seems to find exemption from the redistributionist tentacles -- such hypocrisy and self-righteousness sermonizing have done more harm to the culture and social fabric of the U.S. than any ideology of the last half-century.

(Artwork by