Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Land of the Living Dead

Once again I have returned to the land of the living after visiting California, where it is perpetually sunny and each day brings another influx of illegal aliens and sun worshipers. Why these people are drawn to this land of the dead – not only brain dead but morally dead as well – I have no idea. When you ask the answer is always the same – the weather. Every day is a beautiful day and you have the beach, the mountains, skiing, the desert, -- in short you have everything except a parking place. What no one is willing to admit is that while the beach is only minutes away there is no parking and if you are lucky enough to find a parking place the beach itself is filled with some pretty strange people and generally not a place to take your family – unless of course they have completed their sex education course with honors.

Then you have the mountains which are beautiful – but what goes unsaid is the end of the phrase which is – when you can see them. In the period of one week I did not see the mountains except once and even then they were only a shadow seen dimly through the brown muck which they call air. Of course the good news is that if you can actually get to the mountains then that same brown muck shields you from seeing the sprawl of houses, strip malls, and freeways. One of the challenges in getting to the mountains is the traffic. It is hard to imagine twelve lanes of cars going 10 miles an hour for miles and miles. The logical question is where are all of these people going? Naturally the answer is that they are 1) going home, which is only 100 or so miles from where they work, 2) they are going to the mountains or desert; 3) they are headed to the beach – but the fourth option is never mentioned and that is that most of them are looking for a parking place.

The traffic is terrible and it is that way virtually 24 hours a day. However, California is a state filled with enlightened people who generally feel they are smarter than the rest of kids so they have solutions for everything. Most of all they are the Nannies of the world so they feel that most of us are too stupid to make decisions for ourselves so they must take care of us. Consequently there are signs everywhere telling you about the dangerous chemicals in the buildings (janitorial supplies), alcohol is dangerous (no warnings about drugs though), and that coffee cups contain hot liquids. The signage is everywhere – but in English even though almost no one actually speaks English there anymore. My favorite traffic solution offered by the enlightened elite are the diamond lanes. As stated earlier the traffic is horrendous and moving at a walking pace. The brilliant solution offered by the state was to create special lanes for those people who have more than one person in the car thus reducing the capacity of the freeway by 25% . The intent was to encourage people to develop car pools but alas the law of unintended consequences took effect so the result was to create even greater traffic jams.

But remember this is California, the land of the liberal elite. This is the state that guarantees anyone who can sneak into the country Constitutional protections, welfare, free education, and free medical. This is a state where the homeless are subsidized with stipends – a state filled with people who feel and care for their fellow man and who are willing to protest at the drop of a liberal cause. However, the traffic is terrible which makes it difficult for these liberals to get to the place where they can protest the plight of the poor and downtrodden – so they have come up with the solution – TOLL LANES. Therefore, for the limousine elite they can use their personal money by buying their way around the traffic jams they caused for the poor and downtrodden so they can rush to the places where they can protest for the poor and downtrodden. The hypocrisy of this seems to escape them.

In spite of what most civilized people would consider drawbacks to living like this the reality is that people are flooding into California – many legally. The result is housing is hard to come by but you can still buy a 1940’s two bedroom one bath bungalow for – depending on location -- $500,000 to $900,000. Selling a house there is quite an experience because you simply place your house on the market and wait for the bidding to begin. No one ever reduces their price because they always expect someone to pay more than the asking price. So who would pay this kind of money for what most people would consider a shack or at best a starter home? The brain dead – that’s who – these are the people who feel that living in perpetual sunshine is more important than having quality. There is no doubt but that California is the home of the living dead – their brains have been cooked by all of that sun.

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