Observations From The Left Coast

 

“War Is Not The Solution!” announced her blue bumper sticker, though her aggressive maneuvers on I-5 in Los Angeles yesterday betrayed a philosophy that was more in keeping with the words “Allahu Akbar!” than anything even remotely peaceful.  She reminded me of the lady with the “Coexist” bumper sticker just south of Oakland a couple of days ago.  Such was her kind tolerance and happy coexistence that she cut me off on the interstate before opening her sunroof and tossing out some trash for the benefit of my truck, firmly establishing her credentials as a serenely tolerant, cheerfully coexisting environmentalist moon bat.   Come to think of it, she reminded me of a young lady in a church youth group many years ago who stuck a weed in her hair one day and announced to my Dad that she was a “flower child.” “Yes,” smiled Dad, “a blooming idiot.”

From time to time, I enjoy jotting down random thoughts for your consideration and, having spent the last week traveling up and down California like a yo-yo, soaking in the sights and listening to the news, a great number of impressions have formed.  So with your kind permission, or perhaps entirely without it, I’m going to unload a few: 

*  On the main Ricochet Podcast last October, Rob Long prefaced his question to me with the words, “Hi Dave, this is Rob Long in L.A.”  It sounded glamorous at the time, evoking images of luxurious accommodations, pristine buildings and streets and beverages all sparkling in the sun, shaded slightly by tall and dreamy palm trees under which sleek and beautiful cars breezed hither and yon, occasionally stopping to burp out a celebrity wearing oversized sunglasses that look like conjoined hockey pucks.  Hooey!  From Riverside to Long Beach, from South Gate up through I-5, the place was as ugly as homemade sin with a side order of smog.  Perhaps it’s just the warehouse area I as in, but the south side of town looked like Juarez with worse roads.  I had made tentative plans to visit Rob and Blue Yetti, but had to abandon the idea when it became apparent that parking the Ride of Pride in that area would be an invitation to trouble.  In the future, the words, “This is Rob Long in L.A.,” should be heard as a cry for help and we should take up a fund.

*  Having spent many hours in Los Angeles traffic over the last week, I’ve come to admire the ordered behavior of most of the drivers.  There’s no doubt that these people are in a rush, but they don’t appear to be on suicide missions, which distinguishes west coast drivers from those I encounter in the northeast.  For example, if I use my turn signal to indicate that my semi and I need to merge into traffic because, say, the merge lane is about to culminate in a concrete wall, all I need to do is coax the truck toward the white line just a bit and people will generally recognize the urgency of the situation and allow room so I can safely move over.  In the northeast, they take my turn signal and my gradual movement as an invitation to rush up and block the truck on general principle.  The traffic jams in L.A. are interminable, but the majority of the drivers have at least some sense of order and courtesy.

*  Except for motorcyclists. Before this week, I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen a motorcyclist ride between lanes of traffic, speeding along the line dividing the lanes.  This week, I’ve lost count of the number of these death-defying imbeciles speeding between cars and trucks on either side, avoiding a celestial dirt nap by mere inches.  At first, it seemed my heart would stop when the morons would speed along side me.  But after much reflection, if they don’t mind the prospect of being dismembered and splattered all over the highway, I don’t know why I should lose any sleep over it.  But if they make one scratch in the artwork on this truck…

*  This just in:  Never hang the towel you use to wipe off excess shaving cream next to the clean shirt you intend to wear that day.  Don’t ask. 

*  The Split Pea Soup at Andersen’s, between Sacramento and Bakersfield, is really good, though it seems like an awful lot of trouble to split up so many peas.  The Veal Cutlet Copenhagen isn’t so bad either.  And they serve Southern Comfort.  I didn’t want to leave. 

*  Even by truck stop standards, there are some scary looking characters that inhabit the truck stops in Ontario, California.  It looked like the cast of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video had all but taken over the place.

*  Dear Governor Brown:  Your roads are horrific.  Evel Knievel had smoother rides than this.  For the amount of taxes these people pay, they should be able to drive without losing their traction, wheels, suspension, patience, religion, and teeth on these treacherous roads.  Love, Dave 

*  P.S.  Having a 70 mph speed limit for cars and a 55 mph speed limit for trucks invites disaster.  I drive all over the country and have seen what happens when there are huge speed differentials like this.  Even Ohio got rid of dual speed limits.  We’re talking Ohio

*  Speaking of politicians, remember one of Marco Rubio’s greatest hits from 2009? “I will never support – never have and never will support – any effort to grant blanket, legalization amnesty to folks who have entered this country illegally.”  Or this? “I believe we must fix our immigration system by first securing the border, fixing the visa and entry process, and opposing amnesty in any form.”  It doesn’t exactly square with the behemoth he voted for this week, which grants legalization almost immediately while giving DHS ultimate say on securing the border some time in the future.  Is it me, or are politicians going native faster these days?

*  Remember that a politician’s honesty, like his virtue, is a commodity more precious than gold, which is why he serves it up so sparingly.  

*  I see that Hillary is to be awarded the Liberty Medal by Jeb Bush.  Even Fidel Castro couldn’t manage as much damage to American security or constitutional fidelity as this woman has wrought.  But Unfortunately, he’s in bad health, so Hillary will have to do.  Meanwhile, Jeb has evidently abandoned all reasonable expectation of a run for anything except a possible time slot on MSNBC.

*  So far they’ve done everything to Paula Deen short stoning the woman over regretful remarks she made almost 30 years ago, for which she has apologized repeatedly to every pair of ears she can find.  Meanwhile, former KKK member and Democratic Senator Robert Byrd has been praised ad infinitum, and practically everything in West Virginia that sits still for longer than five minutes is named after him.  And Alec Baldwin, who is equal parts reliably liberal and reliably cuckoo, two days ago launched a vile and filthy rant against a reporter with nary a serious repercussion.   There is no reasonable explanation for this outside of liberal dogma, which itself is unreasonable. 

*  Speaking of unreasonable dogma, Jimmy Carter, in his never-ending pursuit of eccentric silliness, compared the Catholic Church to Islam on the subject of women’s rights on the grounds that, after all, women can’t be priests.  Yes, and anyone who cannot distinguish between prohibitions in the clergy and, say, the execution by stoning of rape victims, has forfeited for all time any claim to rationality, though not the Liberty Medal, which Carter received in 1990. 

*  This annual right of summer we observe, as the nation hold vigil each June waiting to learn which of our rights the Supreme Court deigns to let us keep, is beyond tiresome. It is absurd. We are literally under the thumb of nine lawyers, the majority of whom have decided for us that marriage, as it has been understood through most of human history in most civilizations, is bigoted and hateful.  Anthony Kennedy’s language seals the deal in terms of jurisprudence so that honest differences of opinion on the matter are no longer acceptable.  There is only enlightenment versus hatred because, …well, …because Kennedy said so, and the rest of us are expected to fall dutifully in line.  

*  Meanwhile, there is a restlessness on the part of those of us who work in the productive sector, who embrace the values of our fathers and grandfathers, who honor our ancestors and cherish the nation’s founding principles, and who grow tired of being lectured, condescended to, and ordered about by those who take that which we earn and give it to those who did not earn it.  The disintegration of America is unfolding in front of us, leaving one to wonder what, exactly, the occupiers, the union bosses, the redistributionists, the utopians and the dependent class are going to do when they run out of other people’s money?   Always out front, perhaps California can pioneer that little paradox of paradise as well, that is if Detroit doesn’t beat them to it.  

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  1. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @JosephStanko
    Dave CarterFrom Riverside to Long Beach, from South Gate up through I-5, the place was as ugly as homemade sin with a side order of smog.

    Yup, that’s SoCal.  We Northern Californians are pretty snobby about it.  San Francisco politics are moonbat crazy, but with the ocean, the bay, the bridges, the city skyline and hills, and the surrounding foothills (with trees! not just dead weeds), one must admit the place is gorgeous.

    • #1
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    @CorneliusJuliusSebastian

    That was epic! And yes, everything in WV is named after the deceased racist Democrat Robert Byrd. Glaser are you in WV too? Coming to you live from Chas here.

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    @Foxfier

    I had the same reaction to motorcycles when we drove down to my grandma-in-law’s place in San Diego.  My dear husband assures me that it’s legal– or at least was when he lived down there.

    Being from extremely northern California, the subject never came up and we moved before I took any kind of driver’s ed.

    People are jerks while driving, just not suicidally so– there may be a connection between that letting-Mexican-shipping-companies-in thing, or maybe it’s just that anybody crazy enough to drive a truck in that area regularly is probably crazy to run you over.

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Inactive
    @GusMarvinson

    Yes Dave, Southern California is ugly. I live in Riverside and wish I was in Missouri again. I lived here for about ten minutes before I realized that the “golden hills” of California are just dead weeds and dirt.

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  5. Profile Photo Member
    @

    We have been going to Oregon on business quite a bit and I’ve really been amazed at all of the vagrants and beggars. We had them stumble right in front of our vehicle (4 lanes) twice, and hangout and accost us at grocery stores. Are there more in blue states or am I just used to rural living? I know it’s a problem of what to do with them, but I feel like I have a right not to squish them like gophers.

    In our smaller town the churches have organized so that all (on the highway) are approached and given aid if wanted, bus tickets, etc. so you know you really don’t have to give them money if you don’t want (not feel guilty, in other words). Also, there is an unofficial policy working of pushing them down the highway and out of town, plus they get pretty scarce once it starts getting cold (it gets very cold here). Maybe that’s it. Got that off of my chest.
    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Member
    @NathanielWright

    Dave,

    Had I but known you were in SoCal, I would have taken you out for a bite to eat. There are indeed areas that look like post-apocalyptic wastelands in the area – especially the I-5 as it goes through the shipping and industrial areas – but there are wonders to be seen as well. Wonders, I tell you. Many of those wonders lie between my beloved Glendale and @Gus’s Riverside.

    I’ll be commuting from Glendale to Riverside two to three times a week starting the academic year. @Gus is wrong to think that the hills of the desert are California’s “Golden Hills.” Those are in the Bay Area, and they are indeed Golden. The San Gabriels and Verdugos that I see from my window are also beautiful. One of the things I love about LA is how the environment shifts from Oxnard to Riverside. It’s quite striking.

    Take a drive on the 210 past La Canada when you leave – if you haven’t already left – and let us know when you are coming back.

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Inactive
    @ByronHoratio

    Why anyone would move to a slave state is beyond me. To hell with the California coast and the view. It’s nicer and freer in Valdeze or Anchorage.

    • #7
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    @DocJay

    Do you think someone has a picture of Justice Kennedy with a goat?

    PS California is fit for visiting only. 

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  9. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @DaveCarter

    Doc, it may depend on what the goat was wearing, but who am I to judge?

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    @BenjaminGlaser

    My youngest sister had the distinct pleasure of graduating from Robert C. Byrd High School and then attended a college whose science building is named after Robert C. and Irma Byrd. 

    My dad  used to work at a facility that that has the “Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope”. 

    Know what you mean Dave.

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DocJay
    Dave Carter: Doc, it may depend on what the goat was wearing, but who am I to judge? · 6 minutes ago

    Just remember to honk if you’re driving on I-80.    I’ll even let you park it right under my American flag and have my wife cook you something that will make you forget those veal cutlets.

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  12. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DocJay
    Benjamin Glaser: My youngest sister had the distinct pleasure of graduating from Robert C. Byrd High School and then attended a college whose science building is named after Robert C. and Irma Byrd. 

    My dad  used to work at a facility that that has the “Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope”. 

    Know what you mean Dave. · 0 minutes ago

    Welcome to West “by God” Virginia. 

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    @BenjaminGlaser

    Almost Heaven 

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Member
    @AaronMiller

    Palm trees are tacky, always and everywhere. They are God’s version of fuzzy dice.

    • #14
  15. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DCMcAllister

    You need to head back east, Dave, and breathe some sweet southern air.

    • #15
  16. Profile Photo Member
    @merumsal

    Hey, cut it out you L.A. h8rz!  There’s still quite a bit to like here.

    Now: Dave, you need to let us know when you can actually stop here so we Angelenos can show you the more genteel side of life in Southern California.

    Errr . . . you can park in my driveway, I think.

    • #16
  17. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DavidWilliamson

    As I recall, Rob lives in Venice Beach, which is hardly typical of CA as a whole. Ditto Peter in Palo Alto. They are kinda like Trojan Horses.

    As for Mr Rubio – I am done with him. As usual, I am more with Mrs Palin, about to change my registration to Independent. I have had enough with the  Mr Murphys of the Republican Party.

    I feel a deep despair for America. The problem is much greater than Mr Obama – the “Progressives” have taken over the education system, MSM, government bureaucracy – perhaps even the Republican party – to the point that it is hard to see how the Republic survives in the way the Founders intended.

    But this week I am in Nevada – Heaven on Earth. 

    So, all is not lost.

    • #17
  18. Profile Photo Thatcher
    @Percival
    Gus Marvinson: Yes Dave, Southern California is ugly. I live in Riverside and wish I was in Missouri again. I lived here for about ten minutes before I realized that the “golden hills” of California are just dead weeds and dirt. · 55 minutes ago

    That’s chapparal, Gus, which is Spanish for “dead weeds.”

    • #18
  19. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @DaveCarter
    merumsal: Hey, cut it out you L.A. h8rz!  There’s still quite a bit to like here.

    Now: Dave, you need to let us know when you can actually stop here so we Angelenos can show you the more genteel side of life in Southern California.

    Errr . . . you can park in my driveway, I think. · 12 hours ago

    But that’s the trick, isn’t it, finding a safe place to stop and park an 80 ft long vehicle?  Thus far, I’ve had to limit myself to the Fontana/Ontario area.  Everything else is small, crowded, and composed of dirt which, with one wind gust, will negate a $40 truck wash (if the thieves don’t steal the chrome and electronics first).  

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  20. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @DaveCarter
    I’malogger: On my weekly drive across the state I was watching out for the Ride of Pride, saw a several thousand trucks and a few of your company’s,  but not yours.  Even went past Andersen’s twice on Wed.

    I don’t think they allow 18 wheelers on any of the scenic roads out here, sorry.  Oh, they don’t have money to fix the roads, they are building a   high speed rail instead. …

    Yes, they limit us to certain “Trucks Only” routes along I-5.  I’m in Modesto at the moment and might be headed south,…though I honestly have no idea at this point, suspense being one of the selling points of this job.  

    • #20
  21. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @DaveCarter
    merumsal: Hey, cut it out you L.A. h8rz!  There’s still quite a bit to like here.

    Now: Dave, you need to let us know when you can actually stop here so we Angelenos can show you the more genteel side of life in Southern California.

    Errr . . . you can park in my driveway, I think. · 12 hours ago

    Excellent!!  Now, you’re driveway needs to be able to accommodate an 80,000 lb vehicle, approx 80 ft in length.  Also, I’ll need quite a bit of space to turn around the thing around so I can get out of your driveway.  Oh, one more thing.  The route to and from your driveway needs to be plenty large enough to maneuver said vehicle, with no legal restrictions and no tree branches or anything else lower than 13 ft 6 in.  Whaddaya say?  

    • #21
  22. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @DaveCarter
    Foxfier: I had the same reaction to motorcycles when we drove down to my grandma-in-law’s place in San Diego.  My dear husband assures me that it’s legal– or at least was when he lived down there. …

    You mean it’s legal for a motorcyclist to make his own lane between vehicles that are in actual lanes?  They don’t want people to get plastic bags for their groceries, but they allow that kind of madness?   Absolutely incredible…

    • #22
  23. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @DaveCarter
    PracticalMary: We have been going to Oregon on business quite a bit and I’ve really been amazed at all of the vagrants and beggars. We had them stumble right in front of our vehicle (4 lanes) twice, and hangout and accost us at grocery stores. Are there more in blue states or am I just used to rural living? I know it’s a problem of what to do with them, but I feel like I have a right not to squish them like gophers. …

    I think panhandles are largely a regional phenomenon, and they gravitate to regions where the weather and local authorities permit.  They love truck stops too, by the way.  Anymore, I’m tempted to hand them a slip of paper with the White House switchboard number on it. 

    • #23
  24. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @DaveCarter
    D.C. McAllister: You need to head back east, Dave, and breathe some sweet southern air. · 1 hour ago

    Oh, I’m homesick, trust me.  Been listening to a lot of zydeco music lately…

    • #24
  25. Profile Photo Inactive
    @ScottAbel

    The greater Los Angeles area made my newlywed and I think we had made a horrible mistake by coming to America for our honeymoon. Crumbling roads, crumbling, crap buildings – just a whole lot of mostly ugly.

    It would be better for the human race if someone just drops an atom bomb on Venice Beach. But, at least it was only the first of six locations we went in the country.

    But yeah, enjoy that, So. Cal. I’ll stay in Estonia.

    • #25
  26. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @Trink

    Always read your essays a few times trying to select my favorite lines out of the wealth of ‘crack-me-up’ offerings.

    Well. This sweet little old lady who takes bugs outside rather than moosh them – who just traveled via highways from Ohio to Cape Cod has to go with this one:

    “But after much reflection, if they don’t mind the prospect of being dismembered and splattered all over the highway, I don’t know why I should lose any sleep over it.  But if they make one scratch in the artwork on this truck…”

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  27. Profile Photo Member
    @DelMarDave

    “…The traffic jams in L.A. are interminable, but the majority of the drivers have at least some sense of order and courtesy.

    “*Except for motorcyclists. Before this week, I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen a motorcyclist ride between lanes of traffic, speeding along the line dividing the lanes…”

    Dave, this a rare example of the People’s Republic of California leaving a bit of wiggle room for people to be stupid:  It’s specifically legal for motorcyclists to lane-split.  I think it shows the power of the organ donation lobby.

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  28. Profile Photo Member
    @BobW

    On my weekly drive across the state I was watching out for the Ride of Pride, saw a several thousand trucks and a few of your company’s,  but not yours.  Even went past Andersen’s twice on Wed.

    I don’t think they allow 18 wheelers on any of the scenic roads out here, sorry.  Oh, they don’t have money to fix the roads, they are building a   high speed rail instead.

    Haven’t lived in L.A. in a while but there seems to be (or was) a realization that we are all in this together making it somewhat predictable and orderly if not pleasant  experience.  Still plenty of jerks though!  Motorcyclists are allowed to go between cars but not on the sides of the roads.  Making it tempting to ride them in order to get through the traffic, but at a high price I’ve observed.

    • #28
  29. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @ChrisCampion

    I’d really like the Byrd public building template to read like this:

    “Former Exalted Grand Cyclops Robert C. Byrd Insert Naming Opportunity Here

    Benjamin Glaser: My youngest sister had the distinct pleasure of graduating from Robert C. Byrd High School and then attended a college whose science building is named after Robert C. and Irma Byrd. 

    My dad  used to work at a facility that that has the “Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope”. 

    Know what you mean Dave. · 16 hours ago

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  30. Profile Photo Member
    @DelMarDave
    EstoniaKat: The greater Los Angeles area made my newlywed and I think we had made a horrible mistake by coming to America for our honeymoon. Crumbling roads, crumbling, crap buildings – just a whole lot of mostly ugly.

    It would be better for the human race if someone just drops an atom bomb on Venice Beach…

    But at least give Rob Long a heads-up to get out of town first!

    Hope you had fun in the other 5 locations. 

    All 4 eastern Baltic countries are high on my bucket list, along with Rumania and Albania.

    • #30

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