Letter From California
03/26/09 0413.44 pst
San Jose, California
After a two-week clear’n cold dry spell that burst out the plum trees and yanked daffodils from their slumber a late chilly blast of storm dusted Mt. Hamilton with snow on Sunday, finally to fade only yesterday in the cool breezes and gradually warming California sun. Orchards are stirring everywhere, fortunes in strawberries are swelling around Salinas, grape vines being fed and the whole state looking forward to late summer nights, salty sweat, swimsuits and the heated energy of summer. Winter and Fall are tolerable times, to be sure, but California is never really itself until the endless days of sunshine of April through September.
The beaming rays of sun, the swelling violins of glory to accompany bursting orchard bloom, the happy sight of modern California Americans industriously scurrying forth to gleaming metropolises among waving fields of fragrant clover gets the inevitable rrrrrrrrrrrrr—rrr!! rip to the broken record of continuing erosion of a functional state government. The story never basically changes, but what can you do? I get a tan.
One latest tiny example is that in the slow strangle to starve the State the Employment Development office was gutted in staff, so there was nobody to answer the phone. Tens of thousands of calls came into the office from little people with any kind of possible problem or question and always got nothing but a recording.
For better or worse the powers that be decided a recording was preferable than a busy signal and signed a contract with the provider for .05 a pop. There were so many recordings spit out the bill came to $4.5 million dollars.
A story of human perfidy, perhaps, but to me much more disturbing in the knowledge our people were left hanging with no answers when they were often frantically trying to allay fear they could meet duty to their families. I suppose the cretins who refuse to fund our state have never looked into the eyes of their children and wonder where food money was coming that week, to know the creeping panic of failure in a Republic of no bailouts, not for them, just more bills.
The day comes ever closer when Judicial takes over administration of California prisons because Executive and Legislature have completely demonstrated over 25 years they’re total failures who cannot do it, it won’t be tolerated under the United States and California constitutions.
Our budget funhouse election is coming up soon, dday at Calitics is sternly disapproving for not knowing the date but I don’t like to think about it, I still find it hard to believe California has to get voter approval for a budget that’s $8 billion short anyway after a nightmare of an endless process, what an embarrassing disgrace. No one has any idea if the voters are going to approve this travesty, even I don’t know yet if I’m going to vote for it, although I probably will, whatever disgrace this legislative barf put before me in the voting booth represents the alternative has got to be far worse, if that were somehow possible, no sane person ever wants to send Sacramento back to the drawing board after last year.
I’m spending the day trenching and installing ¾ “ pvc, thinking about a 5-station pump manifold and hoping I get it right, dern it those remote battery switches are costly. The rose garden is busting out, gladiolas rising like swords on the upper border, California poppies waving in the breeze to cooing doves as I ache my back in the warming sun.
Gimme Shelter, President Obama replied last year to one his random great songs of all time. Keeping our small tasks firmly before us in the knowledge duty done well every day is really the only answer, Californians are least extremely grateful we have such a wise and earnest man to lead us in DC as a new Spring rolls in, the hope of new life implacably undeniable.