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California Screamin' - Corruption, Deception, and Disillusionment in the "Gilded" State

Updated on August 27, 2015
Me and some of my homies strolling down a SoCal beach in happier, more carefree California times.
Me and some of my homies strolling down a SoCal beach in happier, more carefree California times. | Source

I've lived in California for over 30 years now. By the grace of God and by robbing Peter to pay Paul I've managed to maintain home ownership here, but I've always felt like a foster child; I've never considered that the Golden State belongs to me, I've never embraced the kelp clogged shores of the Pacific as home. Unless you are extraordinarily wealthy, California is only temporarily borrowed from the bank, never quite bought and paid for. 50 percent of "homeowners" in Southern California are so desperate that they rent out rooms to people who are not family members in order to keep themselves afloat.

My wife asks me "Why are you broke all the time? Do you have a mistress?"

"Yes I do," I confess. "Her name is California, and she's a damn demanding bitch that takes everything I have, and then some."

California is a study in contrasts and contradictions. It is the land of the endless summer that will burst into flames with a stray spark from an ill maintained power line blown over in a raging Santa Ana wind. Its sparkling ocean front boasts pristine beaches that buzz with surfers and beach blanket bingo revelers. When the tourists are gone, however, those same beaches buzz with thousands of flies feasting on the stinking piles of rotting kelp that the California current washes in. It is home to sparkling Hollywood Tinseltown glitter where spoiled stars like Justin Bieber drive at freeway speeds through their plush neighborhoods, egging their neighbor's houses, or beat up rehab clinic staffers like Lindsay Lohan.

Just a dash down the freeway from Hollywood, Los Angeles' towering skyscrapers look shiny and glitzy enough from a distance, but if you make the mistake of driving in among them it's like a scene from the zombie apocalypse; a place where the shopkeepers literally roll up their storefronts at night and leave the streets to the mercy of intimidating and belligerent vagrants. 400 miles up the coast from there lies San Jose; if you know the way, California's third largest city. This sprawling metropolitan industrial park is headquarters for brilliant Silicon Valley magnates, and also boasts one of the highest homeless populations in the country. In short, California is a solid blue state whose liberal politicians pander to the votes of the poor and dispossessed, yet those same liberal policies bilk the working man dry and siphon the life's blood of the lower classes into the greedy pockets of billionaires. It's an institutionalized system of corruption symbolized by the stern, prissy, shiny head of Governor Jerry Brown himself, who typifies everything that is wrong in this one party state - and this coming from a guy who by no means thinks Republicans are the answer either.

One night my son and I were having a conversation about this subject of the California dichotomy when, as usual, he said something incredibly wise beyond his 23 years. "it's not the Golden State," he said, "It's the Gilded State. It's not really made of gold, it's just a gold plated pile of crap." A little harsh, I admit, but it sort of captures the essence of what's been on my mind lately.

Anybody up for a walk among the fly infested kelp piles on a sunny SoCal beach?
Anybody up for a walk among the fly infested kelp piles on a sunny SoCal beach? | Source

Orwellian Overtones

California is the third biggest state in land area, at about 163,707 square miles, although one source said 163,696 square miles. I guess one little slip of the San Andreas fault and 11 square miles drop off into the ocean just like that. California is so huge it can afford to shave a few square miles here and there, but despite this boundless space filled with inaccessible mountains, boundless forests, and remote, hostile deserts into which a disgruntled free spirit could easily disappear, California is the ultimate government controlled nanny state, with Big Brother seeming to watch everybody, everywhere.

Recently I stepped out to the drugstore at about 10:30 in the PM. As I backed into the street, I saw my neighbor across the way washing his car by the marginal light of the First Quarter moon. It seemed to me he was doing his best to be responsible and not let any of that precious H2O of our parched, drought stricken land go running down the gutter, but when he saw me he went slinking back into the darkness behind his car, from which his weak moon shadow with a condemning hose shadow held guiltily in hand was cast clearly against his garage door.

The drought has turned into a red scare in which neighbors turn upon neighbors over decimal places on the water meter, but this is just one symptom of a chronic disease known as nanny-state-itis. When they choose to be, the nannies in Sacramento are unrelenting in their enforcement of our libraries full of state laws, and a third grader can't so much as set up a lemonade stand without some politician's express permission, a few bribes, and the requisite piles of paperwork and permits. People working crappy, low wage jobs like security guard are required to pay exorbitant fees and complete seemingly endless hours of training before obtaining the privilege to work for barely above minimum wage.

The state of California is so nanny that it has created an entire industry of board certified nannies to proliferate the booming business. To cite one example that literally hits home for me, in the past few years residential day care facilities operating out of single family homes have been given legal sanction to to accept up to 14 children at a time. I enjoy the sound of kids playing as much as the next guy, but the noise from the 14 disgruntled, screaming children at the daycare next door banging plastic bats against my fence and on random metal objects is neither a pleasant or a restful one. This change in the day care laws means that my neighborhood is now zoned for business and I have to compete for a parking place with day care staff and parents zipping in and out to pick up and drop off their kiddies at all hours. Of course, the bureaucratic machine that gladly accepts the high fees to operate these facilities rarely lives up to its obligation to police them, so whether the children there are actually safer and better cared for under this new law seems a dubious proposition at best.

Do all these multiple layers of Nanny bureaucracy actually benefit the working man? Nope, here in the Golden State worker's paradise we continue to toil away for $9 an hour minimum wage, while those pot-smoking libertarians up the coast in Seattle rake in a much more generous $15.

Big Brother has a little more hair than Governor Jerry Brown, but they are both pretty good at watching you here in California.
Big Brother has a little more hair than Governor Jerry Brown, but they are both pretty good at watching you here in California. | Source

Car-less and Friendless

A couple of weeks ago my Honda Civic finally gave up the ghost, the water pump blowing up in a spray of rust colored rain. Because I've either been taking the bus or hoofing it since then, I'm discovering the cruel implications of car-lessness in Southern California. In SoCal without a car, distances between civilized outposts are as vast as the empty expanses between waterholes in the Sahara, so I'm thinking about getting a camel to save on gas. Bedroom community suburbs are deliberately built dozens of miles away from the sketchy warehouse and office districts where people work, and for this reason being without a car in Southern California is a lonely as being exiled to Elba. Commuters dominate the polling places and politics, meaning that public transportation remains underfunded, expensive, inefficient, and shuts down way too early. Furthermore, there is a serious social stigma associated with being "afoot" here. Telling people you have no car is like telling people you have a contagious disease; folks immediately shuffle off to the other side of the room, lest your dangerous toxins drift their way. Even the suggestion to go for a walk in California gets you strange looks, like farting in an elevator. Carpooling is viewed as an embarrassing temporary expediency at best. The narcissism that characterizes Socal-ites who ceaselessly flood Facebook with selfies from about the age of three up dictate that I must be alone in my isolated metal and glass shell with my best friend (me) as I drive to work. So there I sit in my backyard on a Sunday afternoon, a lonely Socal castaway mumbling to a volleyball as others cruise the freeways in search of the fun in the sun that is mandated by the California Constitution, zipping along in sparkling automobiles that are more an extension of one's narcissistic aura than efficient transportation devices.

This is a picture of me without a car in Southern California.
This is a picture of me without a car in Southern California. | Source

Jam to the Chili Peppers to ease your pain at the pump

California gas prices on a good day.
California gas prices on a good day. | Source

Petroleum Profanations

Of course, even if I had fellow California resident Jay Leno's fleet of cars at my disposal I wouldn't get far if I couldn't afford gas to put in them. While the rest of the country basks in the blessing of low gas prices sparked by oil per barrel costs that have dipped below $40, California's residents continue to be financially strangled by gas prices that are still only slightly less than four dollars per gallon.

The answers given for this disparity are clever and varied, but basically amount to the unpleasant reality that in a state where the long distance commute is a fact of life, the oil companies squeeze us hard because they know we have no choice but to pay. In this quest to gouge California residents big oil seems to be joined in unholy alliance with a corrupt state government that pretends to protect the consumer, but in reality has created an intricate, unbreakable web of regulation, collusion, and taxes that ensures the price at our pump will never drop significantly, no matter how much oil the Saudis pump.

Californians perpetually wince in pain at the friendly neighborhood fillin' station as the heinous compact between nanny bureaucrats and billionaire oil barons squeezes them harder than a Kung Fu grip on a gas pump handle. In the 1990s oil company tycoons reduced the state's petroleum processing capacity from 30 to 11 refineries. Many accused them of doing this deliberately to keep gas prices inflated, but quite conveniently no collusion could ever be proven. The end result, however, is that Chevron and Tesoro Corp now control over half of the state's refining capacity and can pretty much fix prices where they want to, with no significant competition from any of those pesky little guys.

Just as California's legendary Napa valley offers a range of vintages ranging from two buck chuck whino rotgut to pricey premium grape, so California mandates a "summer blend" of gasoline that is ostensibly designed to reduce evaporation, but I suspect was really created to reduce the net worth of those of us forced to purchase it during the annual "switchover," when pump prices soar so high they produce nosebleed. Another factor responsible for California commuter gas pump hemorrhaging is the pompous isolation that this state has sealed itself off with when it comes to petroleum imports. Although California won't be an actual geographical island for another 60 million years, it has curiously behaved like one in the realm of gas production by severing all oil pipelines to other states. Therefore, when oil is scarce in the "gilded" state it has to be trucked in from afar at a much higher price than a pipeline system would entail. And oh yeah, silly me, I almost forgot to mention another important reason for high gas prices, which is that Californians also pay the highest gasoline tax of any state. At one point New York passed us but the state legislators got busy passing more laws to retain the top spot, as a point of California pride.

Do you think that California's inhabitants deserve their fate as the consequence of their unbounded hubris?

See results
Meanwhile, the SoCal Sun picks the pockets of the unwitting Californians basking in its relentless rays.
Meanwhile, the SoCal Sun picks the pockets of the unwitting Californians basking in its relentless rays. | Source

The Price of Sunshine

If I sound jaded and cynical, it's because I am. My California dreaming has become a nightmare. The cooling layer of the California current is too expensive, and I can't afford it anymore. Besides that, the cold ocean waters that give Southern California its legendary mild climate have been warming up over the past several years and they are not worth the money anymore. Last autumn historic high temperatures, 5 to 6 degrees above average, were reported along the coast. One scientist said that the refrigerator has broken and nobody knows why. The busted fridge means that tropical ocean species such as sea butterflies and hammerhead sharks have been spotted in the ocean. To sum it up, we are turning into Florida. All this, and real estate prices and rents are still ridiculous and unobtainable for many, which is probably why 3 out of the top 5 largest homeless populations in the United States belong to California cities.

I've been your Palm Tree Postman reporting from the boot heel of Southern California, and to tell you the truth I've felt pretty damn smug about it. But unless I decide that working until I am 80 and then dropping dead sounds like a good idea, I probably won't be staying in California. There will never be any hope of paying off my mortgage unless I rent out all of the spare rooms in my house, and then the level of peace I have within the four walls of my home will be no greater than that of the madhouse daycare next door when the kiddies are bouncing off the walls at high tide blood sugar. Your Palm Tree Postman may be moving out to slightly warmer climes in the near future, depending which way the fickle whims of fate turn. Like that ocean breeze that cools me every evening, my California smugness is also too expensive a commodity for me to afford.

In this article I've been talking about the clashing contrasts between pristine Golden State beauty and defiled Gilded State ugliness. Although I've been in this state for 31 years now, I think there is somebody better qualified to speak on the subject than I am, and this is the quintessential Californian, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck. I've been quoting his novel Cannery Row quite a bit lately, but I'll leave you with another gilded nugget from that book. It speaks specifically of the town of Monterey, California, but the contrasts of Gilded State life that it paints can be extrapolated to the state as a whole without too much of a stretch of the imagination. So now here's Johnny.


"[Cannery Row's] inhabitants are, as the man once said, 'whores, pimps, gamblers, and sons of bitches,' by which he meant everybody. Had the man looked through another peephole he might have said, 'saints and angels and martyrs and holy men,' and he would have meant the same thing.”

— John Steinbeck - Cannery Row

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    • profile image

      Ankurpatel1397 21 months ago

      Nice hub mel

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 21 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Mel, this was a very interesting commentary on the struggles of life in California. Truth is I can relate to a lot of it from what is happening in some states in my own country. Once owning a home in this country was what every Australian aspired to. It was called the "Great Aussie Dream"...now very few average Australians can afford to buy there own home. Average house prices in Sydney is around $1.5 million for instance. Very interesting hub. Good luck if you decide to relocate.

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      Old Poolman 21 months ago

      Plenty of room for you in Arizona Mel and we would love to have you.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 21 months ago from Queensland Australia

      You can always make it a big move Mel, and move down under. We have a very reasonably priced property for sale and you can put in a tender for the local mail carrier's job. :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I won't go so far as to say Californians deserve their fate, but the Piper has to be paid eventually and it appears that payment is due now. I applaud you for lasting 30 years there. That's about 30 more than I could have handled. By the way, you are an excellent writer.

    • Eldon Arsenaux profile image

      Eldon Arsenaux 21 months ago from Cooley, Texas

      Man Mel, what a drag you dropped from your mail bag! Tell ya, if you move to Texas you'll have to handle the heat, but buddy, it's A-ford-able. Besides, we've got the best barbecue. But, there're plenty of Californians here already, so maybe Alaska's your best bet. The sunshine up there can't kill you.

      Happy to hear it's not all sunshine and pina coladas. My Uncle lives in Sunnyvale, and is always droning on about Techland, beautiful beaches, and all sorts of Monday merrymaking. I swear, the way he paints it, he's the King Bee of the great California Wine Hive. (he sniffs and snorts wine wafts up his nose incessantly)

      Kids come from all over the county to bask in California's fame. (I admit I enjoyed my stay) They castaway their cares to get there, thinking it'll be a land of fruit feasts.

      My favorite line: "madhouse daycare next door when the kiddies are bouncing off the walls at high tide blood sugar", Boy Howdy! did I chuckle. Do you have any non-fiction compilations, or current novels in the work? I'm sure we'd all dig 'em.

      Dug this Hub!

      -E.G.A.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 21 months ago from Oklahoma

      Depressing, cynical, but so well written. I'm not just blowing smoke. In my opinion this is the best I've read from you, and I always enjoy your writing very much.

      It's so hard for me to comprehend being able to enjoy myself living somewhere where home ownership is an allusion for almost everybody.

      Try your best to keep your head up.

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      Old Poolman 21 months ago

      At this late stage in my life I'm not convinced that home ownership is truly the American Dream that it was stated to be. My home is paid for but like me is also showing some signs of age. When I have been gone for awhile and return home I greet my wife and then ask her "What broke today?"

      It would be easier just to call my landlord and tell him to come fix the broken stuff.

      Mel, I left California over 20 years ago for the very reasons you describe in your hub. Can they not see what is happening, and going to happen in their own state?

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 21 months ago from San Diego California

      I am sorry to hear about the Aussie dream being so brutally crushed Jodah. 1.5 million is astronomical. Sometimes I wish the US was a commonwealth country, because I would love to give it a go in Australia. As it is, you'd just have one more unemployed, homeless mailman on your hands. Thanks for reading.

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      Mel Carriere 21 months ago from San Diego California

      The "what broke today honey?" phenomenon is exactly why I can't afford to live here anymore, Poolman. Yeah I can barely pull off the mortgage and bills, maybe, but then something breaks and the bank account leaks dry along with the bad plumbing. California is a strange place, where our ruling party claims to protect the working man but has created conditions in which the corporate pocket pickers run amok and trample us. Thanks for reading. As for Arizona, been there done that, and I don't think extreme heat will be good for this aging mailman. I'm actually thinking of going back home to Albuquerque, which is about 15 degrees or so cooler on average than what we used to get in Mesa, where I spent a few years growing up.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 21 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you E.G.A. I'm really glad you liked it. Maybe I do my best work when I'm under stress. As a matter of fact I am slowly working on a novel, and I've written a couple short stories, but these are a long time away from seeing the light of day.

      I was actually born in the forgotten armpit of Texas, by the way, in a little out of the way place called El Paso. I still have my Lone Star state certification document they gave me at birth, and I display it proudly. But I don't think Texas will be for me, I'm thinking of going back to Albuquerque, where I have lots of family.

      I'm glad your wine-snorting uncle is happy here in California. Northern Cal is a completely different animal than down here, perhaps a little more commuter friendly, but even more expensive. Thanks for reading.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 21 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Larry for those nice words. When I go off on a rant like this, sometimes weird stuff just pours out. Although there is no doubt that the California climate is beyond compare, even though it's going to hit the 90s today, which used to be extreme in summer but now is par for the course - the financial burden becomes unbearable at times. I think if I could just have a place I could pay off someday and not worry about a mortgage payment I wouldn't mind a little more heat, as long as I can take refuge in the evening in a home with an air conditioner. I appreciate you dropping by.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 21 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Ankurpatel for dropping by and reading. I appreciate the comment.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 21 months ago

      Mel - Albuquerque is a great choice. The very best thing about Albuquerque is very few people can spell it so they don't go there.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 21 months ago from San Diego California

      Bill, coming from the beloved mentor of many a writer here on Hub Pages those words mean a lot to me. I'm afraid the Piper indeed has to be paid or, to use an expression that urban gentleman farmers like you might be partial to, the chickens have come home to roost. Thanks for reading, my friend.

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      Mel Carriere 21 months ago from San Diego California

      Poolman, you made me laugh because the official name of Albuquerque is actually misspelled. Somebody left out the extra 'r' in Alburquerque when they wrote it on a map, and the people just decided to leave it that way rather than change the maps all over again.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 21 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      I don't think I laughed so hard all this week. Coming from a fellow -Californian- your hub was funny and sadly, true. Homeowners renting out rooms to strangers just to hold on to their homes; and, not having a car in California feels like disease- true. The buses and trains are so expensive and the price of gas is crazy. I have been thinking of leaving California for a long time but most people who were born here- like me- and leave, always want to come back.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 21 months ago

      Mel - That is a piece of history I didn't know, thanks for sharing. I used to do a lot of work in New Mexico and always stayed in Albuquerque. Heck I would consider living there myself if I had to move.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 21 months ago from San Diego California

      Dana Tate your are absolutely right. Everybody I know who has left the Gilded State always regrets it and wants to go back. The problem is that people forget all of the bad things about the place once the scars have healed over. I'm glad I could make you laugh. It's important to make light of our misfortunes, don't you think, so they don't seem so bad. Thanks for reading.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 21 months ago from San Diego California

      Poolman I don't think "Breaking Bad" Albuquerque is a good place to raise kids, but my kids are adults now so I don't worry about that anymore, and California certainly did a fine job of corrupting them too. The ABQ will not be a bad place to land, I don't think. Thanks again.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 21 months ago

      Well Mel, there are always those great chilies down in Hatch to think about. No I would not want to raise a family there either, but it is OK for us old farts.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 21 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Great writing and an interesting hub, as always, Mel. Thank you very much for the education!

    • Gary Malmberg profile image

      Gary Malmberg 21 months ago from Concon, Chile

      Mel, as envious as I am over your perfect climate, I would never consider a move to Cali.Out of control for years and it's only going to get worse. Thank God you have a job with location flexibility. Depressing to read, but beautifully written. I'm sharing this one with friends. The story needs to be shouted.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 21 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Linda for dropping by with the nice words. It means a lot right now to boost me up when, among other things, California has been a big confidence killer for me.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 21 months ago from San Diego California

      Gary I'm sure you are very happy where you are, probably living the relatively simple, uncomplicated life in Chile, where you can easily connect with the outside world over the miracle of the Internet if you need to. I envy your existence and wouldn't mind doing it myself. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the nice words.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 21 months ago from Texas

      Mel, my family use to live in Long Beach, and we could not afford it then, much less now.

      You are welcome to move to Texas, but the price of everything is rising here also.

      I love your son's quote about the gilded state.

      Very interesting and will share

      Blessings friend.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 21 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you for your visit and the blessings Shyron, they are much needed. I think prices are rising in Texas because Californians are following their jobs there. Blessings back.

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      Pat Mills 21 months ago from East Chicago, Indiana

      At least I can concede never being able to afford living in California, and fortunate enough to not have to house a stranger to pay the mortgage. However, living in Indiana only offers a warm climate at this time of year, but I'm used to living as a yeti once the leaves fall from the trees. The late Mike Royko called Gov. Brown "Governor Moonbeam." Apparently, Brown found his, and declared the heck with the rest of the state.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 21 months ago from San Diego California

      Moonbeam treats us like his children Mills P and frequently chastises us via the airwaves like the unloved foster kids we are are, here in the giant California daycare state. None of the kiddies are allowed to speak out of turn, and are told literally to "shut up" unless they've studied the problem for a million hours, like he has. His glowing headed eminence has now created an election system in which the ruling party can take first and second place in the primaries, and hence run unopposed in the general election, like they do in China. I'm no republican for sure, but he typifies all of the arrogance that irks me about this place. Thanks for reading!

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 21 months ago from Mississauga, ON

      Californians have just passed the bill that gray wolves are a protected wildlife in the state. This is good enough for me to show that Californians are way better than the residents of some other northwestern and northern prairie states.

      Californians have the most beautiful national parks in your state. You guys have over-populated the state, but you have also ensured that our natural heritage gets transferred to our next generations safely and soundly.

      Wells done on these two accounts at least :-)

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 21 months ago from San Diego California

      Suhail, I suppose this is a noble enough intention, but I don't know why we would need to protect the gray wolves when there aren't any of them living here, to the best of my knowledge. I like gray wolves as much as the next guy, but you've given me a good example of how the law-happy inhabitants of the capitol rotunda like to pass legislation that isn't really necessary. I agree that we do have some beautiful national parks, especially Sequoia. I was really impressed by those massive trees. I liked Death Valley too. Thanks for reading and providing some much needed counterpoint.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 21 months ago from Mississauga, ON

      Mel,

      You needed the law because the gray wolves have finally made it to the northern California. There was a lone wanderer two years ago and now there is one pack that has taken permanent residence there.

      California is being promoted as the conservation leader in protection of large carnivores.

      Unfortunately, the size and economy of the state is such that it will have to be counted as net income sharer with some red states. Hence, there will always be a pressure on its residents to provide more and more so that the status of the state as a net giver remains intact.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 21 months ago from San Diego California

      That's good information to know Suhail. Long live the gray wolves. I've seen them in Yellowstone, actually. My response to your comment was made mostly tongue in cheek.

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      Sheila Brown 21 months ago from Southern Oklahoma

      California is one place I would love to visit, but would never want to live there. One of hubby's brothers lived there for almost 30 years. He sold his house, for a killing, and moved to Houston where he built the house of his dreams on the proceeds. I think I will remain on my little acreage in Oklahoma and just visit California. I may have to deal with tornadoes, but I don't have to worry about falling off into the ocean. :)

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 21 months ago from San Diego California

      You sound happy there on your place there in Oklahoma Sheila, surrounded by tour deer and your birds. Thanks for reading!

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      stella vadakin 21 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Mel, I wanted to go to San Diego, as my Uncle lives there and I miss the family. I knew I would not be able to afford it. I have my home here and the taxes are the cheapest place in Florida. I will take hot over snow anytime. I also like no water bill. Think about Fl. Great read, Stella

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 21 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Stella. Our climate here is getting closer to Florida all the time, so if you are happy there why uproot yourself? Thanks for reading!

    • Farawaytree profile image

      Michelle Zunter 20 months ago from California

      Really great article! As a California resident myself, I thought it was a perfect commentary.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 20 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Farawaytree. You can't really understand the gilded state unless you've lived here. Thanks for dropping in.

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      Missy Smith 19 months ago from Florida

      Wow! I must say Mel, I had a totally different outlook to California until I read this. I mean, I never wanted to live there, but somewhere in my mind, I thought there had to be something better there than we had in this other sunshine state I call home ( Florida).

      My daughter was thinking of USC when she graduates, I wasn't really thrilled, and I'm certainly less thrilled now. I will be swaying her mind from this location.

      It's kind of sad about how common people come to Hollywood, make it, and then end up being unable to deal with the pressures. Little Justin Bieber is one of those. He wasn't rich before Usher discovered him, but he certainly was a normal kid, unlike now. It's just sad they don't even relate to being human anymore.

      I couldn't help but laugh at your reference, the "Nanny State" and your neighbor sneaking to wash his car at 10:30 at night. That was hilarious!! I found a lot of this article funny, but in a serious way. Like your son saying, it wasn't the golden state; it is the gilded state, a gold-plated pile of crap. That was a brilliant observation for real!! Lol...

      All in all, I thought this was a very informative article. You displayed it in a comical, but serious sarcastic way that grabs the reader's attention. I enjoyed it. :)

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 19 months ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Missy Smith. No doubt USC is a great school, but it lies within one of the worst neighborhoods in Los Angeles. As for Florida, well, SoCal is now the new Florida. Our cool California current is now practically boiling. I just heard that one of our local beaches was closed for sharks. I didn't know you could close oceans because there are fish living in them, so it smells fishy to me. Here in San Diego we are currently in a heat wave with consecutive 100 degree days, and my air conditioner is broken. You can imagine my surly mood. Thanks for reading!

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