Issues & Insights
Henri Bergius

California: Here Be Monsters

Before California slips into the ocean after a massive earthquake, as some predicted decades ago that it would, it looks like it will first become America’s very own undeveloped nation.

California has endured its share of Old Testament calamities in the modern world. Yet at times it seems that it will surely succumb to disasters created by its own hand.

There are real monsters loose in the streets. Rats, “an army” of them “millions strong,” reports KOMO News, have “overthrown” Los Angeles. Not long ago, “officials briefly closed part of City Hall after reporting that rodents had invaded the building,” said California Healthline.

“And where there are rats,” says KOMO reporter Eric Johnson, “there is disease.”

Norway rats and roof rats, neither native to California, carry infected fleas and spread typhus, a disease “that ravaged populations in the Middle Ages” and has now “flared” in Los Angeles. There were a record 124 cases there in 2018, according to the California Department of Public Health.

“A medieval disease,” explains Gov. Gavin Newsom. “In California. In 2019.”

Maybe the rats were attracted to the “garbage mountain” that has bloomed in the city and produced quite a few unflattering, but deserving, comments.

Hepatitis A, which is spread through feces, and can be prevented through healthy hygiene and modern sanitation, is also enjoying an afterlife, sickening more than 1,000 in Southern California, which includes San Diego, in the last two years.

It’s been suggested by one physician that the bubonic plague is lurking somewhere in all this.

Native Victor Davis Hanson has designated California as “America’s first Third-World state,” noting in National Review that “Third World” is no longer a “geographical term of the old Cold War” but now “simply denotes poor failed states all over the globe of all races and religions.” That description well fits Los Angeles, the second largest municipality in the country and “the city that gave us the modern freeway system.” Yet today, Hanson reminds us, it resembles “Justinian’s sixth-century Constantinople.”

Vodkapundit Stephen Green has expressed similar thoughts. He believes California is turning into a “Third World Hell Hole.

“In your typical Third-World megalopolis,” writes Green, “basic city functions fall into disrepair, while once-eradicated diseases run rampant — and the local bigwig boasts about saving the world.

“Los Angeles is quickly becoming a typical Third-World megalopolis,” adds Green, “and the rest of the state isn’t far behind.”

Los Angeles is overbrimming with its owns problems and probably doesn’t care much about San Francisco. But the City by the Bay, too, has regressed to another time. Human feces and urine litter the streets and sidewalks. The city’s public spaces are also dumping grounds for used hypodermic needles.

Both cities have enormous homelessness issues to contend with. The homeless population has grown by 16% in Los Angeles and 12% in Los Angeles County over last year. San Francisco’s homeless population jumped 17% in the last two years.

At the same time, Santa Clara’s homeless population climbed by 31% and Alameda’s spiked 43%. In mostly rural Kern County, the number of homeless rose 64% over two years, and in affluent Orange County, there are 43% more homeless.

Though it makes up only about 12% of the nation’s population, as much as one-quarter of the country’s homeless were found in California a year ago. Given the increases listed above, there’s every reason to think that portion is even higher now.

Other difficulties piling up on Californians are housing prices so high that many families have little to nothing left over each month after making their mortgage or rent payments; a tax burden so heavy and so punitive that it drives people out; and state and local governments so hostile toward businesses, they’re leaving, too (if they can make the state line before their moving vans are torn apart by the crumbling California roads).

Another increase in motor fuel taxes is making gasoline prices unbearable; public education, once the nation’s best is now in decline, while crime is on the rise, and a summer of blackouts is on its way. Tyrannical policymakers are bent in stealing consumer choices by banning all plastics, automobiles that run on gasoline and diesel, paper receipts, and electricity that isn’t generated by the sun and the wind.

Legend tells us ancient cartographers wrote “Here Be Dragons” or “Here Be Monsters” on their maps to mark the dangers they suspected prowled uncharted waters Not so, says the Atlantic. But the Hunt-Lenox Globe, cobbled together around 1510, does carry such a warning.

Modern travelers could use similar advice. Their cell phone maps and GPS systems should point out that “here be monsters” as they approach California.

Alternatively, the State Department could issue travel advisories for those headed to California, as Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw has so cleverly suggested it should for those going to Baltimore and Chicago.

But it’s not the visitors who are at the greatest risk in California. It’s those who live there and are not among the small core of coastal wealthy elitists who can insulate themselves from the deteriorating conditions. They know where the monsters are because they see them every day.

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J. Frank Bullitt

J. Frank Bullitt has been writing professionally since 1986. After covering local news for years, and putting in some time in Washington, D.C., he began writing opinions in 1998, covering a wide variety of domestic and international topics from a limited-government point of view.


    • Myopic. It takes the states around them to supply the power used by CA, which increases the cost to all users on the West coast. CA is a tick, sucking those states dry, and displacing a lot of it’s “carbon footprint” to those states. Also, the fantastic income of Hollywood is DIRECTLY dependent on all other states and nation’s ‘goodwill.’ Believe me, you are feeling the pinch from your arrogant ways at the box office. Check MegaFlops. By looking at only part of the economic picture, you can make a case about other states, but that makes no difference when you are destroying your own. The ‘moocher/taker states, targets which data it uses and does not take into account how CA abuses the rest of the nation by impoverishing its farmers and destroying any respect for its ballot box. Illegals voting is treacherous treason against the whole nation.

    • Your complaint falls on its face when confronted with the facts.. Here’s what California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office said:In January 2017: by several measures California is, indeed, a donor state, but just barely. It receives $0.99 in federal expenditures per dollar of taxes paid, which is below the national average return for states of $1.22 per dollar paid, according to its review of a 2015 New York Comptroller study.

      “The LAO also cites figures from a March 2016 report by the Pew Charitable Trusts. It found the federal government spent nearly $356 billion in California in fiscal year 2014, for salaries and wages, grants, contracts, retirement benefits and other benefits. That same year, California paid about $369 billion in total federal tax — or about $13 billion more than it received — according to the Internal Revenue Service Data Book, 2014.”

      $13 billion shortfall in a trillion dollar economy? A drop in the bucket.

      In short, Cali doesn’t get back as much as some states do, but it isn’t being bled dry by other states.

      Better file that in the Sorry Excuse bin.

    • It must be nice to be ignorant. See, there’s this thing called the Federal Deficit. It’s a really big number, and it is how much money the government spends that it doesn’t actually have.

      The result is that EVERY state gets more money than they collect in taxes.

      If your honest, considered position is that the thing causing all these problems in California is other states stealing their tax money, well, it says no name-calling here, and no vulgar language.

      I guess I’ll just have to opine that you are neither a deep thinker nor a shallow thinker. But you would seem to provide direct evidence of the decline of education in California.

    • California has placed itself in a Catch-22. Make the cost of living (including state and local taxes) high and salaries have to be high to compensate. But that means that those inflated salaries get bitten extra hard by federal income taxes and, more recently, by limits on federal-tax deductions for state taxes—hence the moocher states problem.

    • It must be nice to conveniently pretend to forget that California wasted billions on a high speed train that ended up being canceled. That’s a lot of money that could’ve probably cleared a lot of needles, poop, and housed some homeless folks…several times over.

      But, hey, gotta have that choo-choo.

      Heh…the height of irony: Folks that call for wealth redistribution don’t like wealth distribution. Mind. Blown.

    • Please, oh please, on behalf of the “moocher/taker states” form your own country and have at it. You can do it, you can be paradise! And you won’t have to tolerate having Donald Trump as your President.

      Do it.

    • No one but Leftists in Sacramento are to blame for feces, needles and trash being common on the streets. Yes, most homeless prefer to be in a warm weather state, but welcoming vagrancy by supporting policies that reward the vagrants is a sure fire way to get more of the same. California may be a paradise for a poor illegal immigrant from Mexico City, but to most Americans, it is a veritable s*** hole run by mentally ill leftists.

  • Leftist “leadership” in the “sanctuary state”–what could go wrong?

  • I knew the beauty of California decades ago. It is sad to see what leftist politicians have done to that once glorious state.

  • Kern County isn’t all that rural any more Bakersfield has over 400,000 people! I couldn’t believe it either.

  • Congested, bad air, poor water, SFO IS A NIGHTMARE( did I mention Gavin Newsom was the mayor?)
    Newsom is a platitudinal, egotistic, narcissistic enoch.
    Spend it away with no plan to make it better.

  • Hah! This article is filled with lies! I live in California. A very prosperous and gorgeous state! Bizarre at how jealous everyone is of our largest economy in the US and 5th largest in the world.

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