Firing On Cars With California License Plates

Targeting The GreenbackA conservative blogger, Bill Whittle, at a Tea Party rally this week advocated that Texans should open fire on any vehicles with a California license plate to prevent refugees escaping the collapse of the California economy and/or zombie apocalypse from settling in the “no tax, low reg” hell hole known as Texas. I see one serious flaw. Since the California GOP has more in common with the spotted owl than one-sixth of the U.S. population, these “refugees” are probably fellow Tea Party members.

If Texas wants to execute their own, by all means, let them.

When my father and I drove up to Boise, Idaho, to bury my mother’s ashes with her parents in 2004, our future Tea Party-leaning relatives teased us about driving a car with a California license plate, as Californians got blamed for high real estate prices, drug dealers and drive by shootings.

High real estate prices I understood too well. If my parents had kept the house they paid $32,000 USD in the 1960’s until they retired in the 1990’s, they would have walked away with a million bucks to buy a similar house in the boondocks of California or a palatial mansion in a western state. Unfortunately, they had a failed divorced and filed for bankruptcy in the 1970’s. My father was quite certain that monthly rents would never go above $400 per month, when San Jose was still a bedroom community to San Francisco and Silicon Valley haven’t yet spawned enough millionaires to drive real estate prices through the roof.

As for the drug dealers and drive by shootings, the finger pointing wasn’t justified.

Most of my father’s side of the family smuggled something for a profit throughout the years. My father and his brothers smuggled untaxed cigarettes from Oregon through Nevada to sell to construction workers in Southern California from the trunk of their car in the 1950’s. A distant cousin smuggled cocaine from Cuba to Florida until the Coast Guard caught him in the 1990’s. As for the smuggling of meth, heroin and prescription drugs to the local white trailer trash, you don’t mention that in polite company.

No one shot at us while we drove around with a California license plate. When my father did a California rolling stop at a four-way intersection, car horns from three different directions blasted us. My father looked in the rearview mirror with surprise.

“I was born in Idaho,” he said. “I’m not from California.”

As for California today, the economic collapse and/or zombie apocalypse is nowhere on the horizon. The 2014 budget is projecting to have a multi-billion-dollar budget surplus. If Governor Jerry Brown can hold the line on Democratic spending proposals, reducing the state debt will happen. A severe drought might be the most serious threat to the state, imposing widespread water conservation as many reservoirs are at their lowest levels in decades. Droughts, like earthquakes, come and go all the time.

Rather than worrying about Californians coming to Texas, maybe Texans should worry about their own problems that require a functional state government to fix.