By Katy Grimes,
California was once a thriving two party state. We replaced it with the current one party state, one party rule. Scholar and Central Valley resident Victor Davis Hanson calls California “America’s First Third-World State.”
“‘Third World’ has come to transcend geography, politics, and ethnicity,” Hanson said. “It simply denotes poor failed states all over the globe of all races and religions.”
“Baltimore is just a City,” an astute friend recently told me. Come to California for the Full Monty. “We currently have the near-perfect State, the place Venezuela wanted to be.”
California is abundant in natural resources: water, oil and natural gas, seafood, timber and minerals, yet many of these natural resources have already been or are being regulated out of existence, or regulated to be off limits. “We have so much oil it oozes between our toes in many places, but our leaders shun it,” my friend said. We once had the greatest schools, now ranked 48th in the nation.
California once had the greatest transportation, bridges, roads and highways. We even invented the word “freeway.” Today those roads and highways are pitted, pockmarked, and crumbling, and once-beautiful bridges need structural repairs and deferred maintenance.
California once had the greatest entertainment… Well, enough said.
California is Now Turning on Itself
California is now turning on itself. “Third World symptomologies are predictably corrupt government, unequal or nonexistent applicability of the law, two rather than three classes, and the return of medieval diseases,” Hanson says. “Third World nations suffer from high taxes and poor social services, premodern infrastructure and utilities, poor transportation, tribalism, gangs, and lack of security.”
The Golden State once had abundant and convenient clean water. The elder Gov. Brown, former Governor Pat Brown (Jerry’s father), made sure of this by authorizing the State Water Project and the California Aqueduct, the amazing water delivery system, consisting of 701 miles of canals, reservoirs, pumping stations and power plants, carrying water more than 400 miles. Pat Brown was California Governor 1959-1967.
In his first inaugural address on Jan. 5, 1959, Pat Brown said:
“Development of our water resources is crucial to every segment of our state — the ranchers in our mountain areas, the farmers who make California the nation’s leading agricultural producer and the homeowners in our population, which will grow to 20 million by 1970. No problem has occupied more of my time in the weeks since election than water. Striking progress has been made. I can tell you now that I will soon present a water program, which is rational, realistic and responsive to the needs of all the people of the state.”
His son, former Gov. Jerry Brown (1975-1983 and 2011-2018), abandoned building infrastructure projects necessary to the growing population. In fact, California hasn’t significantly invested in water storage since the 1959. The federal government started building the New Melones Dam in 1966, and completed it in 1979, when Jerry Brown was governor the first time around. “This is an era of limits and we all had better get used to it,” Brown said upon being elected governor in 1975, embracing the “small is beautiful” way of thinking. Since then, California’s population has doubled, as have environmental demands.
The last state-built dam was Oroville Dam, begun as part of Pat Brown’s State Water Project in 1961, completed in 1967.
Gov. Jerry Brown drove this home when he signed legislation in 2018 to impose water rationing on the state’s residents of 55 gallons per person, per day by 2020, and 50 gallons by 2050. California’s last drought, five years long, ended in 2017. The California winter of 2019 brought 200 percent of average rains and snowpack, yet Brown held firm on his water-rationing plan.
Now, the state’s thought leaders and hidden unelected bureaucrats refuse to provide clean drinking water systems to people living in parts of the Central Valley. Additionally, the California State Water Resources Control Board and their reliable environmentalist brothers are scheming to cut the water almond farmers need and count on.
California’s elected and unelected leaders place fish above humans in the ongoing water war games.
The threat to almond growers is real. And it is being pushed by environmental lobbyists “advocating for dam removal and preservation of native species,” according to a recent Sacramento Bee article. “Senior policy adviser at Sacramento-based nonprofit Friends of the River, Ron Stork” has decided there are too many almond farmers in California. He’s down with the State Water Resources Control Board’s unimpaired flows decision, which would increase the flow of the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers to 40 percent to provide more water flow for fish – specifically, Chinook salmon. As for almonds, Stork says, “There’s nothing the matter with almonds – I like eating almonds, they smell good. But you can only grow so many.”
The Bee reports that for environmentalist Ron Stork, this State Water Resources Control Board plan of more water for fish represents hope.
Rather than require the State Water Resources Control Board to order the more than $35 billion in water bonds approved by voters actually be spent on safe drinking water, water storage, flood management, water recycling, drought preparedness, ecosystem and watershed protection and groundwater sustainability as they were approved, Gov. Jerry Brown chose to impose water rationing on the state’s residents.
Yet urban water use is less than 10 percent of total water usage in California. The state allows approximately 50 percent of water to flow to the Pacific Ocean for fish populations; of the second 50 percent, 40 percent is used by agriculture, and 10 percent is for urban use. Rationing households will have no impact on water savings.
Last year, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to help the federally-operated Central Valley Project and the California State Water Project in California, the Klamath Irrigation Project in Oregon and California and the Columbia River Basin system in the Pacific Northwest.
“We will resolve the issues blocking the completion of the Central Valley project,” Trump said. “I hope you enjoy the water that you’re going to have.”
“The President’s announcement is an immense relief for the farmers and families of the San Joaquin Valley and communities across California,” said Rep. Tom McClintock. “Due to the actions of environmental extremists and overzealous bureaucrats, California has been suffering from a years-long water crisis that has wreaked havoc in Central Valley farming communities that feed tens of millions of Americans. Productive land has gone fallow and farmworkers have lost their jobs. Communities across California have also been devastated as senseless government regulations have mandated that billions of gallons of water be flushed out to the ocean and wasted.”
Except the reaction from California’s Democrats was to further restrict water to those in the state who need it most.
Much the same is happening with energy. Under the guise of wildfire safety, most of the state’s energy providers notified ratepayers earlier in the year that power would be suspended during “high winds.” In Sacramento, the local electricity utility, SMUD, announced a tiered rate system, zinging ratepayers with rates 40 percent higher weekdays, 5:00 tp 8:00 p.m, just in time for families to et home from work and beginning the family evening activities, such as cooking dinner, doing laundry, baths and showers, homework on computers, television, and the like.
Democrat politicians and the energy providers are mum about the strain put upon them by the Democrat-dominated Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown’s renewable energy mandates. Apparently 33 percent renewable energy wasn’t enough. In 2015, the Legislature expedited a new mandate: the reduction of 50 percent in the use of petroleum-based fuels, 50 percent reduction in energy use by existing buildings and increases the Renewable Portfolio Standard from 33 percent renewables to 50 percent — notably as California is well on track to meet the 2020 goal. This was passed because of the “threat of climate change,” but provided no verifiable data, and never broached what California can do alone if indeed climate change is the scourge of the entire world.
In 2015 I explained, “Without the massive government subsidies on solar and wind, solar and wind plants will close; few can exist without government subsidies. Economists and energy experts say California’s energy prices, already the highest in the nation, will spike because of mandated renewable energy requirements.” Autos, trains, planes, and ships all need petroleum fuels. Electric vehicles are a ruse because the electricity to power them has to be generated from traditional methods, despite the push for alternative energy vehicles. No Democrats have ever acknowledged this, and few in the media will even ask the question.
Notably, about the left’s precious Toyota Prius: “The nickel contained in Prius’ battery is mined and smelted at a plant in Ontario that has caused so much environmental damage to the surrounding environment that NASA has used the ‘dead zone’ around the plant to test moon rovers.”
California was once and could be again one of the richest places on Earth, not just monetarily, but in quality of life, liberty and the pursuit of sunny happiness. But it takes tremendous awareness and the willingness to speak up, which is really very simple. Too many wither when confronted. My astute friend said, “Do it often and loudly.”
Katy Grimes, the Editor of the California Globe, is a long-time Investigative Journalist covering the California State Capitol, and the co-author of California’s War Against Donald Trump: Who Wins? Who Loses?