Red State professor makes case for “New California”

This came to me via e-mail. The purported author appears to be a real guy but I notice he’s a professor at a university in a red state. That’s okay. I say, make him an honorary citizen… (Note: The version I received included telephone numbers and an address. I’d prefer to leave that information under his control.)

David J. Armor, Professor of Public Policy
School of Public Policy

Dear Red States:

We’re ticked off at the way you’ve treated California, and we’ve decided we’re leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we’re taking the other Blue States with us. In case you aren’t aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and the entire Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California. To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches. We get Elliot Spitzer. You get Ken Lay. We get the Statue of Liberty. You get OpryLand. We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom. We get Stanford. You get Ole’ Miss. We get 85 percent of America’s venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama. We get two-thirds of the tax revenue; you get to make the red states pay their fair share. Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition’s, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms. Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we’re going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they’re apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don’t care if you don’t show pictures of their children’s caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq, and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we’re not willing to spend our resources in Bush’s Quagmire.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country’s fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation’s fresh fruit, 95 percent of America’s quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners). 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools, plus Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT. With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you. Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we’re discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61 percent of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals than we lefties.

By the way, we’re taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico.


New California

The Country of New California

But the Red States have an answer, largely pointing out that the cities–with all their urban problems–are where Kerry got his votes; if we divide up the country by red counties and blue counties, we get a far different picture. Smart though this may be, it fails to account for the influence of big business since the Age of Industrialization in creating urban problems. After all, those jobs the red counties are getting are largely low wage jobs.

Bush flunks on science (yawn)

Okay, we already know about Bush’s attitude towards not just science, but empirical data of any kind which conflicts with his ideology.

“It’s disturbing,” Professor [Neal] Lane [at Rice University] told me. “This is the first time to the best of my knowledge through successive Republican and Democratic administrations, that the issue of scientific integrity has reared its head.”

What is a little bit new is the BBC carrying an article on the “furious bewilderment here in the universities and the higher levels of business at the chilly indifference – not to say hostility – of the Bush White House to science.” The article emphasizes that it isn’t just liberals and Democrats saying this:

Russell Train, an administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under Republican Presidents Nixon and Ford . . . says: “How radically we have moved away from regulation based on professional analysis of scientific data …to regulation controlled by the White House and driven by political considerations.”

Bush: We owe the dead more dead?

“Each of these men and women left grieving families and loved ones back home,” [President] Bush said here at the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. “Each of these heroes left a legacy that will allow generations of their fellow Americans to enjoy the blessings of liberty.”

Then he said he would not bow to growing pressure to withdraw troops immediately from Iraq: “We owe them something. We will finish the task that they gave their lives for.”

Excuse me, but just how does the killing in Iraq “allow generations of . . . Americans to enjoy the blessings of liberty?” And we owe the dead more dead?

“We’ll honor their sacrifice by staying on the offensive against the terrorists,” Bush said. By making Iraq into a terrorist recruiting camp?

“It pains me to hear that more people should die because those people have died,” said [Celeste Zappala of Philadelphia, a co-founder of the antiwar group Gold Star Families for Peace and the mother of a son who died in Iraq]. “That makes no sense. We can honor them by having an intelligent, honest policy.”

Indeed. If we honor the 1864 dead Americans by sending more into harm’s way, how shall we honor the tens or hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis? How shall we honor those whose homes have been flattened? How shall we honor those whose sewer systems have been destroyed?

Hagel compares Iraq to Vietnam

There are differences, says Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican from Nebraska, who, unlike Bush, actually served in Vietnam, where he “received two Purple Hearts and other military honors for his service,” but

“[W]e are locked into a bogged-down problem not unsimilar, dissimilar to where we were in Vietnam,” Hagel said. “The longer we stay, the more problems we’re going to have.”

Meanwhile, “[Army Chief of Staff] Gen. Peter Schoomaker said the Army is prepared for the ‘worst case’ in terms of the required level of troops in Iraq,” and is prepared to maintain current troop levels.

“I don’t know where he’s going to get these troops,” Hagel said. “There won’t be any National Guard left … no Army Reserve left … there is no way America is going to have 100,000 troops in Iraq, nor should it, in four years.”

Most Republicans are continuing to toe the Bush line–at least in public. But we’ve been hearing knowledgeable people with a military background warning that an extended involvement in Iraq would be troublesome for a while now.

Lecturing Islamic religious leaders

Did anyone tell the Pope he should stop the Irish Republican Army terrorists when they were active? Yet the Pope has lectured Muslim leaders on their “duty to help defeat terrorism and act as a bulwark against the ‘wave of cruel fanaticism’ that threatens all religions.”

It is becoming quite a fad. We say we will refrain from hating Islam, while continuing to persecute Muslims; of most recent note were reports that infants were being detained by airport security, because their names matched those on the “no fly” list. Then we lecture their religious leaders, many of whom have already issued fatwahs denouncing terrorism, that they should restrain their flock. But how many of these leaders truly are heard and respected by those who would commit terror? And if, as seems likely, these leaders should fail to persuade terrorists to stop, will we then condemn Islam as hopelessly inseparable from terrorism?