July 18, 2014

Are 12 Senators better than 2?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:29 pm

crop lifeguard station

An initiative that qualified to be on the ballot in California this fall will get little, if any, coverage in the national media which is operating on reduced staff status because of austerity budgets. In the era of the “smaller is better” philosophy becoming ubiquitous in the political arena conservatives will be obliged to ridicule the idea of dividing (like the loaves and fishes shtick) the California state government up into six groups. The conservatives will be quick to remind voters that mom and pop businesses will need to print new stationary if the change is approved and therefore the little guy can save a few bucks if he (and his wife since women got the vote) defeats this change which is bound t be labeled as just another nutty California idea.

California sends a large contingent of representatives to Congress along with two Senators. If the change is approved, there would be twelve Senators representing the same geographical area that now gets only two.

Isn’t California always depicted as a “stronghold” for the Democratic Party? Obviously if one of the new states included Orange County, they wouldn’t send Democrats to the Senate, but statistics for the whole of California tend to indicate that over the long haul, most of the new Senators would be Democrats thus urging small business owners to save a few bucks and staying with their old stationary would be an economically appealing way to let selfishness determine a difficult and complex issue.

On Wednesday, July 17, 2014, the San Francisco Chronicle, which was once owned by Presidential hopeful William Randolph Hearst, was featuring a story headlined “State of confusion over 6 Californias” on its front page.

Conservative media owners are not going to let the voters become convinced that California needs more Senators than Delaware or Rhode Island, so don’t waste any money betting on the measure passing.

Initially, Berkeley and Venice Beach may seem like identical twins separated at birth but don’t jump to any conclusions before you take a closer look. Political activists in the Venice Beach area are very concerned with the activities of the California Coastal Commission, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, and the effect global warming will have on raising the tide line. Berkeley has other issues to concern political activists. The Coastal Commission is ignored in Berkeley as an irrelevant diversion. UCB students can vote for a politician who wants to be a Berkeley City Council representative. Decisions regarding the University have a large influence on local residents in Berkeley. Folks in the Venice Beach area let the schools (such as Pepperdine, UCLA, Santa Monica College, and USC) tend to their own business.

Sports fans in the San Francisco Bay area are very different from sports fans in Southern California.

Conservatives who believe less government is best, will want to maintain the status quo so that the huge state has only one government entity to worry about shorelines, forests, prisons, highways and the state parks.

People from outside the area (such as the ones that work on the staff at the New York Times) would do well to skim through Curt Gentry’s book, “The Late Great State of California,” and Jon Winokur’s collection of quotes about the vast and very diversified state (“The War between the State”) before they sit down to write (ex cathedra) an editorial telling California voters what to think on this complex issue.

Literature from California is as diverse as the people and geography. Many critics consider “Grapes of Wrath” to be the greatest novel written in America. Mystery novelist established a cottage industry genre based on a lone detective. Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade worked in San Francisco; Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe worked in L. A. County.

A driver can leave San Diego head North and after a full day of driving still be in California. People who live at Lake Tahoe refer to going shopping as “go into the City.” It takes (if memory serves) about four hours to get from the casinos to the cable cars.

Music in Cali is also very diverse. The L. A. sound is best exemplified by the Doors and the San Francisco sound means “crank up the Jefferson Airplane.” What country music fan doesn’t think Bakersfield and Buck Owens are synonymous? Doesn’t Merle “Oakie from Muskogee” Haggard live somewhere in California? In Santa Monica an apartment house once owned by Lawrence Welk dominates the skyline.

Ansel Adams was born and raised in San Francisco.

Didn’t Clint Eastwood become mayor of Monterey? Didn’t Sonny Bono wind up as a Congressman from So Cal? Wasn’t Richard Nixon born and raised in Southern California? St. Ronald Reagan changed American politics starting with his manipulation of the protesters at Berkeley. They were a convenient foothold for his climb to the White House.

Innovation and growth are important when it comes to the people known as corporations, but as far as administering the services needed by the voters in California the conservatives will dust off the references to the wishes of the founding fathers and stress that a lot of expenses for new stationary can be avoided with a “No” vote in November.

If less is more, maybe political activists from California should urge the consolidation of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia into one state?

Dividing California could have dire repercussions. Are there ten local politicians in Delaware or Rhode Island who wouldn’t be glad to become a repetitive in the United States Senate?   If a state is so small that it gets only one Congressional district doesn’t it make sense to divide it into six smaller states so that the same geographical area will suddenly have six people in Congress?

The media in New York can’t completely ignore this developing political story because the conservative media owners will want to stifle innovation at the git-go and sending a top notch reporter to cover the bowl of granola aspect of the story will be as good as giving them a big cash Christmas bonus.

People in flyover country (such as Concordia Kansas) love the jokes that make fun of California such as: Why is Los Angeles like a bowl of granola? (It’s all nuts, fruits, andf flakes!)

Since California would (most likely) fit into the Southwest corner of the W. A. (AKA Western Australia), it might be best to quash this break it into smaller pieces political trend right here and now before the voters in Kalgoorlie start to get some strange ideas from America.

[Note from the photo editor: we dug into the archives to find some photos from the Venice Beach area and some tourist type pictures from Frisco to illustrate the point that both areas are far apart physically and (upon closer inspection) politically too.]

William Hjortsberg has written: “The future remains an unwritten book, its cryptic pages blank, and no crystal ball wizard, palm reader or Tarot deck manipulator can accurately provide a sneak preview of what’s coming in the next chapter.”

The disk jockey will play the Doors “L. A. Woman,” the Jefferson Airplane’s “Plastic Fantastic Lover,” and the CCR (from “near” Berkeley) song, “Run Through the Jungle.” We have to go see where the Buffalo Springfield is playing this weekend.   Have a “Point Break” type week.

crop of SF heart


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