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That California Mind-Set
By Ernest Stewart

Day after day, more people come to L.A..
Don't you tell anybody, the whole place's slipping away.
Where can we go, when there's no San Francisco?
Better get ready to tie up the boat in Idaho!

Do you know the swim?
You better learn quick Jim!
Those who don't know the swim, you better sing the hymn!
Day After Day ~~~ Shango

The trouble with the California mind-set is that it's contagious. It spreads like wildfire, which, sad to say, is exactly what's happening now! The "Valley Fire" roared to life over the weekend, about 115 miles west of Sacramento. Within a few hours, it quickly spread to 50,000 acres. It's gobbled up over 1,000 houses and as many other buildings, and is likely to burn down thousands more before it's over! It's currently at 65,000 acres with only 5% containment; and it's not the largest fire currently raging! The Butte Fire is over 72,000 acres; and they're just two of 13 major fires currently burning in California! Who would build towns in the deep forest where forest fires are a way of life for most of the state? Considering most of the trees in California are firs, pines and ceders, whose seed pods or cones can only be open and spread by fire!

It's the same mind set that made the sleepy little village of Los Angeles a mega-city, with a 2014 census estimate of a population of about 18.5 million in the middle of a desert! What far-thinking Bozos could design such a disaster waiting to happen and convince people to live there? I talk about this phenomena from time to time in my book Uncle Ernie's Hollywood Daze. I wasn't long living in LA when I figured out that the only folks who weren't just a wee bit insane were the folks that had newly arrived from back East!

An example might be of a friend who lived up in Hollywoodland, a subdivision built just before the war. My friend lived just below the "Hollywood" sign at the end of the second highest street. While his house was set on solid ground, the highest street which towered above his backyard and pool only had just a bit of the front section sitting on land (as my house in Malibu did), while most of the home rested on stilts about 100 feet above! With that California mind-set clear as day for all to see. With their penchant for earthquakes, something that averaged about once a month while I lived there; well, it's just a matter of time....

Speaking of that very same mind-set, would rational human beings build a nuclear power plant right atop a major fault line with an oceanview? Just like they did in Japan, they did it in California; and what could go wrong with that? Well, you may have noticed that your tunafish sandwiches now glow in the dark! Since the 2011 earthquake in Japan where the Fukushima plant went nova, every tuna fish caught in the Pacific Ocean has tested positive for radiation poisoning, every one! Bon appetit, ya'll.

Another example might be the former rocky beach in Malibu where I used to live. It had stood this way for eons before real estate developers happened by. Who wouldn't want a nice sandy beach, because no one was buying up this ocean front property as a rock pile. When I lived there, it was wall-to-wall houses and condos. Before they came along and carved the room out for the Pacific Coast Highway, the 500 foot cliff across the street came down close to the water-line and deposited all those rocks on the beach! Not to be outdone, they'd built mansions on the top of those cliffs in the desert that lay above. While I lived, there the cliff would occasionally drop a few tons of boulders down on the PCH, closing it to traffic for a week or so. Just after I moved, two things happened that I had feared while living there.

One: All the manisions up above Malibu, on the cliffs, all caught fire and burned to the ground. There's that building in a desert thingie again!

Two: All that lovely sand on the beach got sucked out by a passing hurricane that was hundreds of mile offshore and returned to its former pristine state of having to climb over mountains to get to the ocean!

Fortunately, they have Governor Moonbeam in command (as they did when I lived there). So, once again, what could go wrong?


10-18-1949 ~ 09-13-2015
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(c) 2015 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and for 13 years was the managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.

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Issues & Alibis Vol 15 # 38 (c) 09/18/2015