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You and Mr. Farah are right, Jedi. Excellent post. We have a lot of illegal immigration in Texas as well, of course. Everything your source says about the exponential growth and the pressure it brings to bear on infrastructure applies to Texas as well as California. But we seem to be dealing with it somewhat more successfully. Much of the credit belongs to our former governor who now resides at 1600 Pensylvania Ave., Washington, D.C.

Howard Fineman of Newsweek, who must be reading this board, talks about this in a current column:

http://www.msnbc.com/news/580463.asp

He points out the differences in the basic philosophies between the two areas: "In the Texas view, Californians are risk-adverse [sic] enviro-wimps who designed a laughably bad auction system for the purchase of out-of-state power and should bear the consequences of their own stupidity--at whatever price they have to pay." Mr. Farah said it even better. Yellow Ribbons to both of them--I couldn't have said it better myself.

It's a shame that we have to paint California with such a broad brush, though, Jedi. It is actually mainly a couple of pockets of extremists in the densely populated areas of SoCal and NoCal which control the misguided policies out there. If one looks at the map of the results of the recent presidential election, it is clear that most of the land area of California contains a majority of right-thinking people:

http://www.geocities.com/statechurch/e2000map.jpg

It is unfortunate for California that so much of that pretty blue area on the map is uninhabitable mountains or desert.

They tried to deal with their immigration issues a few years back with the "Proposition 183" referendum--which the liberals turned into a national bleeding-heart, tear-jerk, hand-wringfest. It was so bad that people like Jack Kemp and Bill Bennett had to come out in opposition to Prop. 183. I still wonder if that whole effort wasn't just a Trojan Horse to put the Cal liberals in the position to demand federal aid for illegal immigrants.

There was another famously ill-conceived referendum in California back in the mid-70s, Jedi. "Proposition 13" I believe it was. It was a taxpayers revolt, but it focused on the wrong tax collector. Instead of telling the federal government that income taxes and death taxes were too high, Prop. 13 attacked State and local revenue sources that support roads and sewers and schools and firefighters and police. It was the right sentiment, but aimed at the wrong target. And 25 years later what do we have? That's right, federal politicians like Bill Clinton making hay out of phoney promises to put "100,000 policemen on the street" and Jim Jeffords of Vermont getting his nose out of joint over the level of federal funding for school teachers. Hell, there aren't but a few hundred school teachers in the whole State of Vermont, Jedi. Bill Gates could double all their salaraies out of his loose change. Jeffords is going Hollywood, just like Clinton and Algore, playing to an audience he doesn't even represent. Is this "taxation without representation" or the other way around? Either way it's bad business.

It is our sacred right to dislike taxes, Jedi, but going all the way back to the tree-climber Zaccheus we know that we have to live with them and a civil society has to collect them and make necessary expenditures. But there is an important maxim that I fear has been lost sight of: The least objectionable taxes are those that are collected and spent closest to home. Federal politicians who try to score by playing on the sentiment underlying that maxim are not to be trusted. [e.g. Clinton/Jefford/Algore/Lieberman] And those who pay respect to that maxim and seek to return power and resources to local hands are to be given our strong support. [e.g. "The American people have been overcharged. On their behalf, I'm here to ask for a refund." George W. Bush, January, 2001]

/s/ S.T.

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