Altered States

Urban Calif661For the record, I know that there will never be a State of Jefferson, or six Californias, or any other configuration of counties or regions. I don’t think there are many folks who actually believe in that fantasy. There are just too many obstacles, starting with the legislature, congress, and the majority of urban voters who like to think of rural California as their personal playground. But the Golden State is and always has been the realm of dreamers, so why not indulge a little?

The majority elitists poo-poo the very concept as a waste of time, a diversion from the mountain of problems that we Californians face in the 21st Century. Drought, wildfires, pollution, crumbling infrastructure…these are things that can only be solved by cooperation and consensus. Some of my fellow bloggers have gone so far to say that we should not even mention the “s” word. It’s just too… stupid.

Maybe so, but our fledgling revolution can serve a purpose, if for no other reason than to get the attention of our coastal neighbors. In that regard it has been a great success. Reading the letters sections of our metropolitan newspapers and websites has been very enlightening…

“Where do these hillbillies think the money for their roads and schools comes from? Without us they’d be living in third world conditions. Go ahead, dumbasses, secede! But don’t come crying to us when you have to shovel snow off your streets by hand.”

“Here’s some names for the new states… Calabama. Louisifornia. West Appalachia. LOL” 

Yes…We thank you, coast people. We know that without you, we wouldn’t know the luxury of shoes. We dimly comprehend your superior wisdom in all things regulatory. It is hard at times, but we understand that your relentless oversight is necessary to protect us from ourselves.


As a native of rural CA, I have witnessed firsthand the plight of rural counties over the past four decades. I have sat through countless local government meetings and felt their frustration as they are bombarded with mandates that may make sense in cities, but have little relevance out here in the sticks. The Democrats like to chant their “keep the government out of my bedroom” mantra, but they certainly don’t feel that way about the rest of the house. They complain about what you put in your kitchen (sugar drinks, GMOs, gluten, red meat, junk food) your bathroom ( mandated politically correct low flush toilets) your garage (herbicides, pesticides, petroleum products) and the attic ( expensive government approved sprinkler system).   A good portion of our locally elected representatives’ day is spent attempting to conform to the dictates of Sacramento. The rest of the time is spent trying to suck money out of The Big Cow.

Eventually, The Big Cow comes through. I’m happy that they put up some funds for our dandy new freeway interchange. It will save me valuable minutes, especially if I’m trying to get to the hospital. At my age every minute counts, and I’m surrounded by thousands of others like me. Most live on pensions and Social Security, guaranteed by the government. So yeah, we’re udder addicts. We aren’t going to get rid of government, and we shouldn’t want to.

But it doesn’t mean we need to be treated like the red county stepchild.  That’s where the secession movement could have made a difference. If the Boards of Supervisors of the rural counties had united and adopted a realistic petition of grievances, the public opinion might have swayed the The Big Cow. We don’t need to be an independent state, we just need to have a voice in this one. Instead, the north and east remain dysfunctional and divided. The movement is made to look like a half-hearted resurrection of the Confederacy and dismissed as a Tea Party wet dream.

And so we’ll continue to be the butt-end  of the secession joke; the urchin standing there with an empty bowl asking, please sir, could I have some more? Maybe the bureaucrats be more generous if we shut up and go with the program. They’ll call it compromise, but nine times out of ten we’ll be the ones doing the compromising. There’s only one way to get any more juice. Suck harder.


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24 Responses to Altered States

  1. george rebane says:

    Whether SoJ will come to pass is a topic of its own, and its chances indeed do sit somewhere between slim and none. But currently there is no other coherent and publicized movement that communicates the raw fact that so many Californians occupying such a large portion of the state are TOTALLY UNREPRESENTED in the state’s legislature that is hell bent on turning California into the Peoples Republic of Azetlan. And there is no reasonable hope that this situation will change in any foreseeable future. So the State of Jefferson with its clumsily concocted flag and seal will have to serve in the interval until someone comes up with a better means to get the attention of Sacramento and the coastal counties. To bend over and spread ’em is no longer an alternative. (I have argued and will continue to argue these same points on RR.)

  2. Rural areas used to have more clout in Sacramento when state senators were apportioned based on real estate rather than people, but the state Supreme Court put an end to that.

    It’s not clear to me why it’s okay for federal senators to represent real estate but it’s not for their state counterparts. Probably those lefties on the coast stacking the courts in their favor.

  3. Russ Steele says:

    The core issues is lack of representation in Sacramento, and those who are making decisions for all of us do not understand life in rural communities. That is not going to change any time soon, especially with the weak leadership we have in the Counties government across the region.

  4. Brad says:

    Is it the coasties or those kleptocrats in Sack-o-tomatoes who are misrepresenting the hillbillies?
    Don’t forget whose idea it was to split the state like a Miner Moe’s pizza. Anyone who would name a state after an industrial park is a few fries short of a Happy Meal.

  5. stevefrisch says:

    There sure seems to be a lot of griping here about the Reynolds v. Sims decision in 1964 that upheld the Constitutional principle of one person one vote.

    At the time of the Reynolds decision there was one county in California, Los Angeles County, with 6 million people, which had one member in the California State Senate, as did the 14,000 people of one rural county (428 times more).

    I must point out that should there ever be a State of Jefferson they will also be bound by the Reynolds decision, and the federal law will supersede any state law on proportional representation.

    Here is a map of the California State Senate Districts before the Reynolds decision. I am wondering who wants to defend this map as an example of ‘proportional representation.’?

    There are clearly flaws in how rural California is represented today, but as Bob said above:

    “If the Boards of Supervisors of the rural counties had united and adopted a realistic petition of grievances, the public opinion might have swayed the The Big Cow. We don’t need to be an independent state, we just need to have a voice in this one.”

    I am all for the Sierra Nevada region, and other rural regions, having a larger voice. Perhaps if we could stop our petty bickering, end our inability to work together on common values and goals, and avoid hair brained schemes that are not thoroughly thought out, we could accomplish something.

    My guess is that in the ‘conservatarian’ wet dream of ‘statehood’ that Bob referenced one of the conditions of statehood would be following existing SCOTUS decisions, meaning we would still have ‘one person one vote’, federal primacy in land planning on federal lands, and federal gun laws.

    Sorry Charlie.

    • So why doesn’t California have 10 senators instead of a paltry two?

      Because in the spirit of compromise (remember that concept?), the Founding Fathers created a two-house national legislature that would serve the interests of the big states (the House) and the small states (the Senate).

      If it’s good enough for the feds, it’s good enough for California.

      • stevefrisch says:

        George, the reason California does not have 10 Senators instead of 2 is that the number of Senators per state admitted to the Union is specifically enumerated in the Constitution.

        Such a specific enumeration of was not included for members of the House of Representatives or for state legislative bodies. Thus when the reapportionment of legislative districts was challenged the SCOTUS ruled that they did not enjoy the Senate’s standard. They ruled that districts for the United States House of Representatives, and for the legislative districts of both houses of state legislatures, had to contain roughly equal populations, and required redistricting to meet this standard.

        The process to create geographically rather than population based legislative districts would be to write an Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, have it passed by 3/4 ths of the states, then write individual state laws to re-apportion legislative districts.

        Creating a new state will do nothing to address this issue because when the new state joins the Union it would be doing so under existing law.

        • rlcrabb says:

          The Jefferson movement is an exercise in futility. In the end the progressives will win. They’ll get everything they want because there is little incentive for conservatives to move here and as Steve and his friends like to point out, the old ones are dying out. Most of the wildlands will be gobbled up by the government, except for the estates of Silicon Valley CEOs. The rest will be herded into the towns where they will live in govt. subsidized housing. It will be too expensive for most to buy, much like the coast counties already are. Because of the reliance on subsidies, the poor folk will vote reliably for the status quo out of fear of being cut off. They will call it democracy, but it won’t be anything like the freedom my generation enjoyed. Not ever having known it, they won’t miss it at all. That’s progress for you.

          • rlcrabb says:

            Once again our reliably elitist blogger points out why the hillbillies should be expunged from California so it can be gentrified by a better class of people…

          • rlcrabb says:

            What was I saying about pushing people out of their homes? Oh yeah…

          • rlcrabb says:

            And once again (it’s hard to keep up) the SFR spin machine is in high gear, gushing over the Tesla move to Reno.
            The point is, if Tesla had tried to build that plant on the California side of the border, enviros would be trampled in the stampede to stop the thing at all costs, on top of the tribute they would already owe to the California permitting slush fund. There’s the hypocrisy. They’ll gladly let Nevada pony up the bait money, and then cast their net to reel in the tourist dollars.
            I guess you could call it “externalizing the evil of manufacturing while reaping the benefits it provides.” Pure California logic.

          • stevefrisch says:

            Yeah, you are just proving you don’t know sh*# about the economy on the east side of the Sierra by falling into the nonsense ‘tourism’ and ‘fries with that’ meme. For a guy with a sharp pen you sure seem to be captured by a dismal humor.

          • rlcrabb says:

            No, it’s just that for the last thirty-odd years I’ve watched this dance. As a California homeowner, I really ought to embrace your point of view. As long as I can hold on to my piece of paradise, the richer I become, and screw the rest of the schmucks. California is increasingly becoming a bastion of the rich and privleged. Just ask the thousands who are being shoved out of San Francisco by speculators. Just ask the people who would love to own a home here, but can’t afford the $20K+ just for the permits, not to mention the added $20K for a sprinkler system. Next year we will be hit with a gas tax, (even though Californians already conserve more energy than any other state.) a PG&E hike, (Yeah. Fine them billions, stash the money into the general fund.) and who knows how much to fund a new water bureaucracy. (And yes, I understand that we have to tighten up that leaky system, but who will bear the brunt of the bill?)
            Yeah, I ought to just shut up and go with the program. I got mine, at least until Sacramento can figure out a way around Prop 13 to force me out of it.

          • rlcrabb says:

            It’s like the comment I saw at SFR that said Nevada County isn’t “Little Marin.” It’s not, but that’s the ultimate goal, isn’t it?

  6. I don’t think the state of Jefferson has much chance, but because it’s causing a disgruntled stir it’s also drawing attention to the fact rural areas do t have any representation in our present state of affairs. We’re just taxable numbers. Okay there’s something else that those intellectual genius’ don’t realize. That’s why historians refer to those in cities as locusts. Swarming locusts consume everything necessary for life. Those dumb hillbillies feed civilization, and supply it with all the resources it needs to build every material thing we take for granted.

    • Ben Emery says:

      Do you think the lack of representation in Sacramento has anything to do with the type of reps we continue to send to the capital? Maybe we need to start looking at some candidates who want to represent good governance for rural California instead of the interests of the Republican Party and their future in the party for a change. The answer isn’t sending Democratic Party reps either. We might get more in the form of representation in a narrow selfish way but overall in the big picture it would be bad news.

  7. Mr. Bubba is a big fan of ecotourism (we need our own zip line!), another service industry offering low-pay service jobs, creating the kind of economy that attracts…well, the likes of Dollar General.

    Now I see “quotes” and his acolytes are pushing the idea that Testa’s decision to locate its battery plant in Nevada is actually good for the Sierra Nevada region. These are geniuses who are telling Nevada County how to build its economy. Lucky us.

  8. Barry Pruett says:

    I take that back George. The only people readings the ridiculous posts over there are high information folks who the the ridiculousness.

  9. Barry Pruett says:

    Should be…”high information folks that see the ridiculousness.” I type poorly on the Smartphone!

  10. rlcrabb says:

    I guess I’m not the only one who sees the glass as half empty, with east California in the empty half.

  11. rlcrabb says:

    They are talking about an alternative gas tax here, or perhaps another one on top of the current tax. Like I have said, they’ll never have enough…

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