‘California’ Archive

The ‘Single Family or Bust’ People Will Probably Leave Southern California, No Matter What Land Use Policy We Now Follow September 15, 2016 No Comments

A lot of people, especially families with children, would prefer a single-family home.  Of course they would, and I’m not going to find fault with that lifestyle as long as it’s not forced on everyone.  Perhaps they should be required to pay the full cost of maintaining the costly infrastructure it takes to maintain single-family […]

Where in Southern California Could We Fit New Suburbs? December 10, 2014 No Comments

People like Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox have argued, to some extent rightly, that the majority of Americans prefer a suburban environment; and even the younger Millennial generation, willing to live in more urban places during their single and cohabiting years, hope to raise their children in a more suburban environment.  Some have argued, in this […]

What Kevin Starr Doesn’t Get About Small Towns July 9, 2014 No Comments

I have been enjoying Kevin Starr’s volume in his cultural history series, Golden Dreams: California in an Age of Abundance, 1950-1963.  It is a period of which I have some living memory, and I have heard of, or met, in my childhood a number of the characters in this book.  But I’m afraid he doesn’t […]

June Gloom All Year Round March 24, 2014 No Comments

Joel Kotkin has got a post up, partially entitled, “Coastal Cities are Old News – It’s the Sunbelt that’s Booming.”  In it, he declares, “people seem to, once again, be streaming toward the expanse of warm-weather states extending from the southeastern seaboard to Phoenix.” Now wait a minute.  When the term ‘Sunbelt’ was coined, by […]

After a Century, Why is the San Francisco Bay Area Kicking our Butt Now? February 2, 2014 No Comments

I was young in the early Sixties, when the cultural rivalry between Los Angeles and San Francisco was strong and active. Jack Smith, for Los Angeles, and Herb Caen, for San Francisco, used to feud regularly in their newspaper columns and entertain the public with the North-South rivalry. Los Angeles, since about the time of […]

California Law and Sex Partner Switch April 17, 2013 No Comments

This is a strange story. A man got a woman to sleep with him by pretending [in the dark, I suppose] to be her boy friend. Now apparently if you impersonate a husband in this way, it is rape under California law, but not to impersonate a boyfriend. The judges recommended that the legislature fix […]

California, Sea Otters, and the Russians April 10, 2013 No Comments

Interestingly enough, the reason that sea otters remain a threatened species even today is because the Russians, when they occupied the Fort Ross enclave from 1812 to 1841, they nearly exterminated them. In response to: “End of ‘no otter’ zone will allow sea mammals to roam” by Sandy Mazza at DailyBulletin.com

Last Call in California March 20, 2013 2 Comments

Huh? It would make a lot more sense, automobile-dependent as California still is, to keep the alcohol closing hour at 2 a.m. and insist that Starbucks and other coffee houses stay open till 4 a.m. If I went pub-crawling in a place I had to drive home from, I’d like [for the safety of the […]

Is Hawai’i the Bellwether for California? February 20, 2013 1 Comment

California used to consider itself the leading state and the bellwether for the entire country.  Now that the entrepreneurial initiative has mostly switched to Texas and other such places, and Texas’s infrastructure has pulled ahead of California’s in its quality [I lived in Texas in the 1970s, and it was not so then!], California is, […]

Driver’s Licenses for the Undocumented January 26, 2013 1 Comment

I actually favor the issuance of driver’s licenses to the undocumented.  They, however, should be of a distinctive marking.  But it gives us some control.  If an illegal immigrant drives without insurance, or if he attempts to apply the Fifth Amendment to auto accidents, where it does not apply (i.e., leaving the scene) then his […]

On the Inhabitants of LA and CA December 24, 2012 No Comments

From Derek Sivers, one of the best descriptions of Los Angeles life I’ve ever read, and a lot of it applies to Orange County, even though the OC is not so much a center of the entertainment industry.  [Before the crash of 1990; The Industry in Orange County was real estate development; it was to […]

California Steps Up Its Oil Drilling December 21, 2012 1 Comment

People don”t associate California with the oil business nowadays, but anyone who has ever driven through Huntington Beach, Brea, Bakersfield, or a host of other places should know better.  There was a time in the early 20th century when California”s oil industry rivaled that of Texas or Oklahoma, and it was not so much environmentalism […]

L.A. vs San Francisco: Who Runs California? June 14, 2012 No Comments

Zócalo wonders why the Bay Area, with half the population of the Los Angeles Basin, tends to dominate the state politically.  I don’t have a theory about that, but I have several suggestions. 1.  A lot of Southern Californians are immigrants, and either haven’t registered to vote, or aren’t from cultures like the African-American and the […]

Three Californias? Integrating a Couple of Recent Proposals April 5, 2012 No Comments

It has often been proposed to split California into two states.  In the past, these proposals generally agreed on dividing Northern California from Southern California; the cultural differential between the two was strong in the Kennedy years.  The reader may go to iTunes and check out Dick Dale’s instrumental version of  “Misirlou,” an iconic anthem for […]

The Migrations of California April 3, 2012 No Comments

We have been accustomed recently to think of California as a place people migrate out of to the rest of the United States and that receives immigrants from abroad.  But apparently there are levels.  The Bay Area is so much more expensive than So Cal that Bay Area folks move to Los Angeles and San […]

Observations on California’s Political Geography March 24, 2012 5 Comments

A recent series of political maps from PPIC, Public Policy Institute of California, provides some fascinating information. One of the maps inflates or shrinks the various regions according to population; it makes clear why the Democratic Party dominates the state, largely because they dominate two large urban regions. But the fourth map and the auxiliary […]

Peter Schrag’s Disillusionment February 6, 2012 No Comments

Peter Schrag is very much a man of the left, so it is nice to see him getting disillusioned with the teachers’ union establishment. Related: “AWOL At The Kvetching” by Peter Schrag at California Progress Report

Proposition 13 — The Good and Bad February 5, 2012 1 Comment

As I”ve said before, the famous part of Proposition 13 – the part that protected existing homeowners from being gouged by their own rising home values – should be kept.  Large cash taxes, when cash or liquid assets are not changing hands, are destabilizing and force the unnecessary sale of homes.  For most people, their […]

‘The End’ of Redevelopment Agencies December 30, 2011 1 Comment

The best news of a rather dreary year. Redevelopment has done a few good things, like gaslamps, but they could as easily be done through Business Improvement Districts or the city treasuries, which are more directly accountable to the electorate. Also, a defeat on one front for the ‘patrimonialism’ as I have mentioned in some […]

How To Talk About Abortion in California: Accentuate The Positive August 16, 2011 No Comments

I think it’s OK to be pro-life in California politics.  I am not planning to run for office. The notorious Oscar Wilde is rumored to have said, “The problem with socialism is that it will take up too many evenings;” and I’ve found that the same is true, in our society that is oriented to […]

Bakersfield Freeway July 13, 2011 No Comments

I think they ought to move Route 58 to Stockdale Highway and not Rosedale.  Stockdale comes in where 58 meets 99, and it goes straight to the I-5.  Rosedale, the current numbered route, takes a pronounced jog. Related: “Future Freeway Route Through Bakersfield Gets Update” by Gretchen Wenner at Bakersfield.com

A $300 Idea That is Priceless May 13, 2011 No Comments

$300 for the house, and, here in California, $1,999,700 for the land it occupies. There’s the real problem. Related: “A $300 idea that is priceless”  by The Economist  

L.C.B. says Brown’s Redevelopment Plan is Illegal May 4, 2011 1 Comment

I was tempted to say horrible things about Legislative Counsel, but if the money were to go into the cities’ regular budget instead of the redevelopment slush fund, I would have no problem with that. Related “Legislative counsel says Brown’s redevelopment plan illegal” by Kevin Yamamura at SacBee.com

Will Riverside, Fresno, and Bakersfield Become Civilized? April 21, 2011 No Comments

Joel Kotkin and William Frey, in their article “The Third California,” speculate that as Coastal California prices itself out of the market, Inland California may become a more civilized and upscale region.  In fact, the crash and the wave of foreclosures hit Inland California the hardest, while making the coast [much to the discomfiture of existing homeowners, […]

California Republicans Are Crazy. Like a Fox. April 5, 2011 No Comments

David Atkins of Calitics on the left suggests that for the Republican Establishment, the magic 34% in one house of the legislature is enough, under the California Constitution, to achieve their purposes.  Warning: Calitics is too far to the left even for me:  they are supporters of public sector unions, as well as being social […]

Somebody Must Like Irvine March 24, 2011 No Comments

Jerry Sullivan in Irvine, By Design points out that Irvine is not that different from what the hipster gentrifiers of places like Echo Park would do if they had full control! I need to correct an error. Don Bren does not deserve all the praise, or blame, for what Irvine is. He became sole owner […]

Californians Need to Suffer More February 28, 2011 No Comments

A good article by Greenhut on the pensions crisis, but I find it rather amusing that a Libertarian wants people to suffer.  Generally I thought it was we heartless social conservatives who wanted people to suffer! Related: “Steven Greenhut: Californians need to suffer more” by Steve Greenhut at OCRegister.com

You’ve Seen Dan Morain’s Article… February 24, 2011 1 Comment

You’ve seen Dan Morain’s article. For those of you who are interested, here’s the link to the actual answers I wrote!  And you’ll get to find out what NTSEBREE and NESEBREE are. Related: “Howard Ahmanson, now a conservative Democrat, holds forth” by Dan Morain at The Swarm Blog/Sacbee.com

Dan Morain: Unlikely Ally for Brown’s Big Fight February 23, 2011 No Comments

I get some notoriety for cutting across political lines on behalf of an important social justice issue. Related: “Dan Morain: Unlikely ally for Brown’s big fight” by Dan Morain at Sacbee.com

Leroy Grannis February 21, 2011 1 Comment

Leroy Grannis, famous surf photographer, was my ninth cousin or something like that. I wonder whether that explains anything about me, at least my current passion for stand up paddleboarding. I didn’t surf, but it was so much part of the culture in my youth – and I’m old enough to remember the Dick Dale […]

Cal-EITC and Gasoline Tax February 15, 2011 1 Comment

I don’t know whether the state can afford it at the moment, but a Cal-EITC would be a good and civilized thing to have. If we institute a higher gasoline or carbon tax, especially, which I do advocate, common decency requires that we balance it with a Cal-EITC that would be enough to cover the […]

I Like Some Taxes Less Than Others, Notes on the California Situation February 3, 2011 1 Comment

Originally the Republicans were going to be totally obstructive and try to keep the necessary ballot initiatives for the special election regarding taxes from going to the public at all.  Now Mimi Walters, who had been the Republican candidate for Treasurer in the last election, says she might consider voting to put the initiatives on […]

Partido de Accion Nacional Norte November 24, 2010 No Comments

My suggestion: Shut down the Republican Party in California for four years, then launch a new political party to be called Partido de Accion Nacional Norte (PAN Norte). Depending on what position this party decided to take, I could probably even join it. The Mexican PAN is pretty good for a Mexican political party. Meanwhile, […]