Those of you who know me and/or have read my memoir, “Love Me When I’m Gone,” know my story, how I ended up here in Los Angeles, and how unhappy this place makes me. For those of you who don’t, here’s a quick refresher:
I was born in Florida, lived there for a few years until Air Florida went under and my dad got a job flying for Southwest Airlines. I spent the next 20+ years of my life in the state that God blessed, Texas, and only left when it was required for my service in the Army (I left for Infantry Basic Training at Ft. Benning, GA, a month after I graduated from Texas State University).
When it was time to leave the Army I was living in Colorado with the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), with nothing really holding me there except the Army and my brothers, but Cindy had an entire acting career flourishing here in Los Angeles. I moved here with some hesitation, but with most of the opportunities for us being here, it was the smart move….so I thought.
At this point in my life I’ve lived in Texas, France, Germany, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and California, and have spent significant time in Italy, Austria, Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq. I’d say I have a pretty well-rounded view of the world at large, and have recently found that although I consider the United States of America the greatest nation our civilization has every known, I believe that California is determined to make itself the worst, veritably unlivable for any decent, hard-working, tax-paying, law-abiding citizens, and only welcoming criminals, welfare cases and politicians, catering to their every need and alienating the productive.
At first we had to live here because of my wife’s profession; you don’t have to know much about movies to know what Hollywood is. But, the true fact of the matter is that the only real accomplishment that the inept California politicians can really put to their name is that they successfully ran Hollywood out of Hollywood.
You see, even though movie stars are the most liberal and avid supporters of President Obama and his ever-increasing taxes, when it comes time for them to put their money where their mouth is, they run immediately for the state that is giving them the highest tax breaks; because California actually practices the ultra-leftist policies which they publicly support, it cannot afford to give any of the tax breaks that other states and nations can.
Because of my wife’s profession we have a large number of very good friends who are movie and TV producers, stunt men, actors, writers, etc. The majority of them have second homes or condos in places like Toronto, New Orleans or Puerto Rico now because they are only in Los Angeles for casting…once it’s time to film (and hire crew and pay taxes), they are off before the first check is drafted.
As a true conservative, this has infuriated me to no end; I heard a saying once that “Democrats are lawyers, Republicans are Businessmen.” I never put much faith in that saying until I moved here, and found that California politicians make the absolute wrong business decision at every single chance, and now I whole heartedly believe it.
This has led to a domino-effect in the State, and it’s getting worse and worse. As the movies began to leave and take hundreds of millions of dollars a year away from the state (not just the cost of the movie, but the hotels the actors and crew stay in, meals they eat, gas they pump, booze they drink, etc), the state started to feel the squeeze. As I’ve learned, large, poorly-run organizations like California can’t stand the squeeze for very long, and have to find someone else to pass it along to.
So California decided to put the squeeze on every person who actually earned a paycheck…..which was already less than 50% of the state. California has more unemployed/welfare recipients than workers, and so instead of changing this dynamic, they chose to just squeeze the workers and corporations which hire them.
As a knock-on effect, many corporations, smart enough to be truly forward-thinking and know what the outcome of this would be, left the state. Smart states like Texas, rated the best state in the nation for business for several years running, have been actively courting these businesses, successfully landing most of them.
Governor Jerry Brown, an ultra-liberal, proven inept democrat who is helping to sink the California ship, was quoted last week as saying to Governor Rick Perry that “people will always go where things happened in the past” about their state woo-ing California businesses. Is it no surprise that he doesn’t understand that there’s a difference between where things USED to happen and where they ARE happening today?
But, we stayed. As the squeeze of taxes forced more businesses and people forming the tax base out of the state, the social services started to decline. As the place with some of the highest taxes in the nation, we have arguably the worse police and fire departments that are constantly being de-funded and outsourced (a drunk driver ran into Adam Carolla’s house a few weeks ago and the LAPD wouldn’t even send a cruiser out….to a man who pays a huge amount of taxes every year and employs quite a few people, no service whatsoever).
The public school system has become virtually unusable, only acceptable to people who’s children don’t speak English, who are happy because it’s better than the 3rd world nation they immigrated from, and decide daily that rather than strive for excellence, the school system should be dumbed down and forced to accommodate their kids who aren’t used to education and who’s parents offer no assistance.
A bill was proposed in California last year that would have made it easier for immigrants here on student visas who graduated from California Universities to be granted easier access to visa’s and green cards if they received high-science degrees like medicine, engineering, physics, etc. It was struck down by the ultra-leftists who said it would be too much of an advantage over others who would come here exclusively for welfare and free benefits. Seriously, the wrong choice at every turn.
In spite of all this, in spite of crime and unemployment spiking, the home prices staying at a median prices around $500,000 even though unemployment is above 20% and median income is below $50,000, we stayed. But the California Leftist politicians have outdone themselves, and if they pass the most recent bill proposed, this camels back is about to break.
California has proposed some the most draconian, leftist, un-American gun legislation that our nation has ever seen. It seems as if they completely forgot that The Second Amendment grants American citizens the right to bear arms, even though it is clearly stated that right “shall not be infringed.”
I don’t have time to explain it without getting extremely angry and possibly turning into the Hulk; don’t take my word for how far off the beaten path these lunatics have gone, read it here:
Sorry California, but that’s the final straw. Governor Rick Perry, if this legislation passes, you’ve got another family of Texans coming back home to the promised land. I am a man of quotes, and one of my favorites is that “anyone who forgets history is doomed to repeat it.”
If you look into the not-so-distant history, look into the timeline of what has happened every single time a populace has been disarmed. Shortly after Turkey disarmed its citizens, the Armenians were massacred in an act of genocide. The same happened in China, Cambodia, Nazi Germany, Africa, and every known instance of a populace being disarmed. The left can call me crazy and say i’m overreacting, but all I’m doing is pointing to history. As a fan of statistical analysis, I love the idea that on a long enough timeline, you can find the trends in anything…….
This is the final straw California, and I know my family won’t be alone. I know that you won’t be going through South Central Los Angeles, Oakland or Fresno taking guns away from the gang bangers and criminals. You’ll come to take them from the law-abiding citizens who you don’t think will put up a fight, while at the same time you leave the criminals armed and reduce your Police force to the point where we can’t expect any assistance, even at a lengthy response time (it took 5 days after our house was robbed to get a detective out here).
You will soon reap what you sow, and the hole you are digging is getting extremely deep. If you pass this law, it will be the sign that there is no saving you, and with an ROI (return on investment) so low for what we pay in the highest tax rates in the nation, you’ve been pushing it for a long time.
Even Joe Biden has been caught on camera admitting that these gun laws WILL NOT prevent another Sandy Hook, WILL NOT reduce violent crimes, and WILL NOT reduce gun-associated homicides or violent crimes. If you are trying to get the citizens who pay your tax base and keep this state running to leave, there are much easier ways to do it.
Don’t believe me, listen to good old Joe here:
The ball’s in your court; since the entire political class and most of the lunatics in this state are Dems and Leftists, I’m pretty sure I know what will happen if it comes up for a vote. Thankfully I have a great friend in Austin who has a house ready for my family and I to move in. Your move California.
Author Robert Patrick Lewis will be on KXYL News Talk in Brownwood, Texas at 0610 PST/0810 CST Friday, October 19th to talk with host Brian Wade about the realities of coming home from wars in the middle east, how USA Cares is helping those veterans and active duty soldiers coming home, and his new book “Love Me When I’m Gone,” on shelves in November.