A Lament for California

With all of the recent news about squalid homeless encampments, mismanaged utilities, gun-grabbing Democrat politicians, a potentially bankrupt public employee pension fund, and wildfires in California, I thought that it would be apropos to post a personal lament. This is a largely autobiographical commentary on the sad fall of the state of my birth, since the 1960s. But first, let me look back a bit further in time:

Our Pioneer Roots

The Rawles family came to California in 1856, via covered wagon. My great-great grandfather, Joseph Rawles, was a fifth generation American of English extraction who was born in Ohio. He was a horse breeder. Seeing that Ohio becoming too populous, he decided to move west, bringing with him 50 head of horses. He settled his family near the tiny hamlets of Philo and Boonville, nestled in the Anderson Valley of the Coast Range, in Mendocino County. There, they first raised horses, and then during the Civil War they transitioned to raising sheep. By the 1870s, his two eldest sons owned more than 6,000 contiguous acres. And by the year 1900, they had flocks numbering more than 5,000 Merino sheep. They made a good living at selling wool and redwood timber. At that time California had a small and unpretentious government, with very little regulation of people’s lives and livelihoods.

By the time I was born, in 1960, various branches of the family had scattered throughout northern California. I was raised in the suburban town of Livermore, at the eastern fringe of the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1960, Livermore’s population was around 16,000. As of 2019, it is now close to 87,000.  But in the 1960s, it was quite pleasant small town with some brown smog that crept in from Hayward and Oakland, but very little crime or traffic. The public schools were good and people generally got along very well. My school classmates were mostly the children of Lawrence Radiation Laboratory employees (like me), or the children of ranchers and wine grape growers. (With surnames like Wente and Concannon.)

In the California where I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, it still very much the traditional conservative bedrock culture, where most people owned guns and went to church on Sundays. Kids like me went out in the hills around town and shot jackrabbits with our .22s. Nobody blinked an eye when they saw 14 year-olds on bikes with .22 rifles slung across our backs. (See the book Suburbia, by Bill Owens. Nearly all of those photos were taken in Livermore, from around 1968 to 1972. The cover photo from that book tops this article.)

The Flower Power Generation

Everyone could see that California was already changing rapidly by the 1960s. The influx of defense industry workers who had arrived to work for companies like Lockheed and the Kaiser shipyards in the 1940s had changed the state’s demographics. Democrats were beginning to hold more and more offices at the city, county, and even state level. California was becoming a west coast state with an east coast mentality. The new  arrivals brought their eastern liberal attitudes and politics with them. The 1960s hippies grew up and took positions of power. This meant that big government buzzwords like “planning”, “affirmative action”, and “urban renewal” became ascendant. Frequent bomb threats by anti-war protestors began to disrupt the schools. The higher population density made legislators feel justified in instituting building codes, smog controls, mosquito abatement, and a plethora of other regulations, licenses, fees, “services”, and “programs.”

My first abrasion with the nouveau California laws came in 1973, when as a 13-year-old, I was forced to queue up to register my bicycle, have a serialized City of Livermore bike license sticker applied, and its frame stamped with the city’s Atomic symbol. (With a fee for the privilege, of course.) Failure to do so would have been punishable with seizure of the bicycle and a hefty fine, before it could be returned to the owner.  Even though I had never heard of even one of my classmates getting their bike stolen, this was promoted as a “crime-fighting” measure. But in retrospect, I can see that it was all about generating revenue and imposing control.

Even in the 1970s and 1980s, the majority of Californians respected the right to keep and bear arms. Some of the best gunsmiths in the country had their shops in L.A. and San Francisco. For example, I had some trigger work done on my first M1911 by the great F. Bob Chow. And one of the best gun shops in the country was the San Francisco Gun Exchange. It had an amazing inventory. Gone. High Bridge Arms–San Francisco’s last gun shop (founded by Bob Chow) closed its doors in 2015. Gone. And even Weatherby Inc. recently packed up and moved to Sheridan, Wyoming

Then Came The Gun Laws

In 1967, the Black Panthers had marched armed through the state capitol rotunda and halls. Almost immediately, the California legislature banned open carry of loaded firearms. That law was signed by then-Governor Ronald Reagan. Later, it was expanded to ban the open carry of unloaded handguns, and most recently, even to unloaded long guns.

By the time I was in college in the 1980s, California had substantially more crime, traffic, and rampant illegal use of marijuana and cocaine. My college dormitory building at San Jose State University reeked of “Mary Jane”, especially on weekends. Liberalism was also rampant. Homosexuality was becoming accepted as a “lifestyle choice.” My classmates in the Journalism program were overwhelmingly liberal, and I was belittled and marginalized as the “token conservative.” It was only in my Army ROTC classes that I felt like I was among more conservatives than liberals. I was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in 1983 (by then-President Ronald Reagan), and graduated in December of 1984. I left the state in early 1985 for active duty, but then returned to serve as an Army Reserve officer, with an ASA (Intelligence Corps) unit.

By the late 1980s, I considered life in California just barely tolerable. I married in 1987, and that distracted me from the creeping socialism, apathy, and ongoing social decline that surrounded us. In September of 1987, my young bride started a job as an elementary school teacher with the Fremont School District. Since concealed carry permits were almost unobtainable in the populous counties, she decided to carry a pistol daily, in defiance of the law. Every day that she taught school, she carried a stainless steel Colt Mustang +II .380 ACP pistol and two spare loaded magazines in a hidden compartment of her oversize shoulder bag. Thankfully, she never had to use it. But it was reassuring knowing that she had it, and that she practiced with it fairly regularly.

Meanwhile, I worked as a journalist with Defense Electronics magazine, and later as technical writer for a  variety of defense contractors and high tech companies, commuting across the Dumbarton Bridge five or six days a week. I had to get up at 4:45 a.m. to beat the traffic across the bridge. I regularly worked 12 hour days, returning home to our rental house in Fremont, only after the traffic died down. The property crime, the commute traffic, and the city lights that drowned out any view of the stars were becoming wearisome. The bridge tolls were ratcheting up. “Diamond Lanes” were being added to freeways. And there was already talk of creating what is now known as the FastTrack transponder road toll system.

The average car registration jumped up to around $120 per year. Landfill fees doubled. The California Redemption Value (CRV) added 5 cents to the cost of bottled beverages. Property taxes were also accelerating for any houses that were not “grandfathered” under Proposition 13. My annual deer hunting in Mendocino County–very close to the original Rawles Ranch–was becoming frustrating. The rapidly-growing Mountain Lion population was cleaning out the blacktail deer herds. This was because the California legislature had passed a blanket prohibition on all Mountain Lion hunting and trapping. Gradually, California was becoming a less and less fun place to live. It was getting oppressive, and I was feeling miserable.

In 1989, a mentally-deranged drifter shot up a schoolyard in Stockton, California, with a semi-auto AK-47, killing five children, ages 6 to 10. He also wounded 29 other students and one teacher. Later that same year, the California legislature banned most semi-auto rifles with detachable magazines, and new manufacture or import into California of magazines holding more than 10 rounds, under the misnomer “Assault Weapons.” (The Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989.) Much of the wording of this law was copied in the Federal 1994 Assault Weapons Ban (AWB).  That law was signed by President Bill Clinton. That odious law was in force until it sunsetted, in 2004.

California banned any new private manufacture, purchase, sale, or importation of magazines holding more than 10 cartridges, in 1999. So, even after the Federal AWB sunsetted, California’s magazine ban remained in force. And so did California’s state-level AWB. The civilian disarmament laws keep creeping forward.  Absurdities like blocked thumbhole stocks and “Bullet Button” magazine releases became required. And most folks stopped bringing their grandfathered 20-round and 30-round magazines to rifle ranges, for fear of being arrested. Most recently, a California law was enacted that mandates background checks for purchases of ammunition. And in two years, that will be expanded to include background checks before the purchase of 80% complete receiver chunks of metal!

In 1990, I bought my first ranch in Idaho–a house on 40 acres, for $29,000. We were thrilled to move out of California and take up a fairly self-sufficient way of living. I thought that I was escaping California’s Assault Weapons Control Act. But I was alarmed to see that a California-style AWB become law, nationwide, just four years later. From Idaho, I ran a home-based business and profited from my stockpile of “pre-ban” magazines–mainly  M1 Carbine, AR-15, HK, and FN-FAL magazines. My only regret was that I hadn’t put my entire life savings into such magazines, before the ban. During the 1994-to-2004 ban, a pre-ban 17-round plastic Glock sold for as much as $90. The law of supply and demand does some curious things, when legislatures are in session.

Ongoing Decrepitude

California’s slow slide into a socialist morass has continued from the 1960s, to today. More and more liberals have moved in. Democrat politicians are now deeply entrenched, with secure Democrat majority voting blocs.  Democrats now control the California State Assembly, the California State Senate, and the California Governorship. There is no end to that in sight. California’s two U.S. Senators are both hard-left Democrat women. They are assured a lifetime of re-election if they simply refrain from murdering any of their staff members. With any lesser offenses, they’d probably be re-elected.

The poster child of entrenched Democrats is Fortney “Pete” Stark, who nominally “represented” the eastern Bay Area. He was a U.S. Congresscritter from 1973 to 2013. After his 40 years in office and surviving three re-discricting arrangements, he was succeeded by fellow Democrat Eric Swallwell, who is even more liberal than Stark. Swallwell recently became famous for none-too-subtly threatening to use nuclear weapons on  American gun onwers.

Crumbling Infrastructure

California has the largest tax base of any state in the nation–with quite high income taxes, sales taxes, and fuel taxes. But despite these criminally high tax rates, California is now famous for its crumbling freeways, decrepit bridges (despite $3 to $7 bridge tolls), 20+ cents per kilowatt hour power bills, high tap water bills, and taxes that have boosted gasoline prices to $4+ per gallon. There are restrictions on wood home heating stoves, hundreds of gun control laws, and bi-annual smog inspections for cars. Many older cars can be re-registered only after paying hundreds of dollars in “attempted” smog control remediation. And then there are the leaky water mains, the leaky natural gas pipes, and leaky dams.

The state is becoming over-run with illegal aliens. The state legislature granted them driver’s licenses. And now there is talk of illegals being appointed to state boards and commissions–all for the sake of “fair representation.” In California’s larger cities, the streets are strewn with human feces and hypodermic syringes. Rats now breed in piles of uncollected trash. Homeless mental patients wander through neighborhoods shouting obscenities, there is public nudity, burgeoning homeless encampments, legalized recreational marijuana… The list goes on and on. Despite all of these problems, the legislature seems intent on providing free health care to illegal aliens, and taxpayer funding of huge Green Energy boondoggles. Not just millions but billions of California taxpayer dollars have been wasted. Talk radio show host Michael Savage refers to San Francisco as “Sodom By The Sea.” Unfortunately, his jab is not just hyperbole.

All in all, California is now just a dim reflection of the paradise that it once was, in its golden years as The Golden State. Even the once ultra-conservative Orange County has a majority of Democrats. I’m sad to say it, but California is now a lost cause. I mourn for the loss of the California of my youth.

For any of you reading this who still live in Commiefornia, I urge you to move to less populous interior states.  Do so soon, before the newly-expanded Red Flag law is used as a weapon against you, by one of your anti-gun leftist neighbors. Just the sight of a gun case could set them off. It is time to flee the Tranny-Loving  Tyranny. But please, don’t bring any Big Government pretensions with you! Remember that you are escaping the liberal morass of California. If you move the American Redoubt, then don’t expect your neighbors to change. Rather, you should adapt to their culture and their preferred small scale of government and love of liberty.

California is often called the nation’s Bellwether State, for politics, morality, popular culture, and lifestyle. If that continues, may God help us! – JWR



    1. Yancey w,

      What really annoys me about the preparedness scene is the inane comments from some people from time to time and the attitudes that underlie them. Anyone who reads this blog is almost, by definition, not part of the Big Government/Liberal/Nanny State mindset. Those people are reading the Huffington Post and Daily Beast.

      I am reminded of a scene in “The Patriot.” Mel Gibson opens a tavern door and sees a rowdy, boisterous crowd within. He yells, “God save King George!” and quickly closes the door–a split-second before several people throw Bowie-type knives that stick in the door. Mel’s friend says, “These are not the kind of people we need!” Mel responds, “These are EXACTLY the kind of people we need!”

      To paint with the broad brush you do would have applied to JWR in earlier times. While I will grant you that many people who are leaving California now are doing so for economic reasons, such as the chance to own their own homes, there is a substantial number of émigrés who are simply sick and tired of the politics here, and who would provide political help to other conservatives when they arrive at their new state.

      These people are EXACTLY the kind of people you need.

      1. Survivormann99
        I live in Texas and must strongly disagree with you on the type of people coming here from mexifornia! The liberals are spreading faster than their wildfires and no one is trying to put them out. Austin is fast becoming the San Francisco of Texas with all the homeless people, drug addicts, and others polluting what was once a wonderful city. I was stationed there in the mid seventies and the seeds of liberals were already being sewn. The locals would protest the noise of the F 4s but lined up to see the space shuttle when it stopped over at Bergstrom AFB. All this was due to the influx of techies from California when TI began making Austin the Silicon Valley of Texas. I’d rather see a wall between Texas and California than between Texas and Mexico! Just as an aside, I was born at Travis AFB, Sacramento and have tried to hide that fact my entire life. Once the gold was all mined out we should have given it back to Mexico!

        1. Michael,

          In October or early November 2016, Breitbart reported that a poll showed that Ted Cruz had more support from non-native Texans than from native Texans. Explain. (And, BTW, I donated money to his campaign.)

          About your being born in Sacramento, when I was stationed at El Toro MCAS, I heard about Texans who would send their wives back home to momma late in their pregnancy in order to make sure that after their baby was born, the birth certificate “read right.”

          I will give you this. Texans, in my humble opinion, are the proudest of their state than any other people I have met anywhere. Period. End of sentence.

          I am concerned about Texas becoming a purple state in the next decade, because that does not bode well for the country and conservatives in general.

      1. I’m almost in lockstep the same situation as JWR. Same age, married in the late ’80s, native Californian, etc. Almost moved to Idaho in the early ’90s but for the lack of money to make the trip and the lack of a job waiting for me up there. So here I’ve remained. I’ve raised my children to adulthood, built up a career, paid off my mortgage, been active with my local church, etc.

        But it’s finally time to go. I wish I had made the move to ID ten years ago before the real estate prices shot up, but again…I have a stable, good paying job here in CA and a very short commute that makes my friends envious (little or no freeway drive time).

        That being said, I agree with JWR that CA is, sadly, beyond saving, though I’ve held out hopes for a turnaround for many years. I therefore began planning for our eventual move to the Redoubt four years ago and have been following the financial plan faithfully. If all goes well, we’ll be able to leave CA behind in four more years from now, with enough money to allow us to buy what we want, and a healthy income (self employed, NOT a public pension plan, which the public here is waking up to and seeing as a debacle).

        We’re very conservative, God fearing, gun owning folks who are becoming outliers in our own home towns. The writing’s on the wall. One day soon we’ll be gone as well, and sadly shake the dust off from our feet.

  1. Being a Floridian for 50+ years, I see this state changing also.
    Always a Republican state, the last election went just about 50/50.
    Next election is predicted to go Democratic, due to the increasingly growing population of . . . .
    The slide continues.

    1. I have to agree WarVet….I was born in FL and have lived here for 52 years. I am seeing our great state fall to the same level as CA, NY, MA, NJ, etc. TX is not far behind. They flee their F’ed up state only to bring thier politics with them, it is a cancer! I think I can hold on for another 30 years but I may have to look for an exit strategy before than depending on how fast life erodes under democrat rule. I also believe that we just witnessed our last Conservative Governor elected in FL. Not that it really matters as almost all the S. FL Republicans vote as Liberals anyway. May God help our great State…

      1. Florida came close to passing mandatory E verify a few years ago. What stopped it was a powerful GOP state senator who is also a millionaire blueberry farmer who has stated publicly he needs illegals to pick his berries as locals do not have the skills. of course, you can go on YouTube and find a half a dozen videos on mechanized blueberry picking machines. I do not hate immigrants, they just want to take our jobs or country, I do hate those in power who are making that happen. Almost all of the GOP is as bad as the Donks on immigration. We live in an occupied country.

  2. Excellent read. I’ve often thought California was awesome back in the day. If it was run like Idaho, Wyoming, even Florida or Texas I’d move there in a second. Geographically it has it all – mountains, forests, beaches, desert, cold and warm weather. It’s just a shame liberals ruined it.

  3. And also human excrement in every alley and between parked cars in LA, and tent cities 50 BLOCKS DEEP cops don’t go there anymore.
    Cannabalism is suspected buy some.

  4. JWR: Reading your article I could “feel” the tears forming in your eyes. I would also say that you can apply California’s problems to a lot of other formerly wonderful areas of the country.

    I would also say that California’s demise is not an accident. There are forces working to undermine the whole country and states like Idaho are on their list. I would be interested to know how much change you have seen in Idaho since you’ve been there. Perhaps that would be a good follow-up article.

    I can tell you Alaska deteriorated significantly after the oil money brought in the greedy, self serving liberals. And once their laws and policies are imbedded it is difficult to “go back”. Ask President Trump.

    Keep Idaho red … I am on my way.

  5. Hmm, the current governor of Calif recently ( some months ago ) signed into law a bill banning the trapping and killing of any and all fur bearing animals, now he has signed into law a bill banning and out lawing the possession, manufactioning, and sale of any products made of leather ( my understanding ). Hmm, wonder how many jobs are going to be lost to this type of legislation? And I wonder how many barrels of oil will be used to make pleveather products to replace the real thing. My understanding that oil doesn’t degrade though nature like leather does. ( just saying ). But he doesn’t seem to car worry or care about the homeless problem that they have.

  6. Jim,

    Thank you for A Lament for CA and for the Survivalblog website and your books.

    How did your great, great grandfather Joseph Rawles manage to bring 50 horses with him all the way across the county, over the mountains with everything else they needed? What a story that must be by itself!

  7. Excellent essay. I hope it will reach a wide audience; it’s a historical summary that needs to be heard and understood by all Americans. Something very dark has crept up upon us, and indeed, California has been the bellwether of it. If it doesn’t stop it will destroy us all, forever.

  8. How terribly sad to read the official obituary of what was once my home state. I was born in California a decade earlier than the author and watched the persistent decay of that once idyllic place over the past decades. In the end, I too came to the conclusion that it was a lost cause and packed up my things to relocate to the American Redoubt in 2016. I finally accepted that there are worse things than cold snowy weather!

    I have been so pleasantly surprised by the blessed feeling of living in a place where most of the population revels in freedom and civility. My neighbors are salt of the earth, helping whenever needed and politely respecting my privacy otherwise. My local sheriff laughed at me when I first moved here and inquired about what steps I had to take to obtain a concealed carry license; he said, “We go by the Constitution up here. You can conceal carry without a license.” In California it had taken me 13 months of forms, background checks, and interviews to get my CCW, and it was by no means certain that it would be granted. Up here, our God given rights are recognized automatically.

    As JWR mentioned, please don’t put off your move if you have already decided to live in the American Redoubt. The ‘booming’ US economy could go sideways overnight. The value of your California home could plummet; it has happened before rather recently.

    And if you have a fear of cold winters, I recommend you come up here and check it out for yourself. I flew up here several years ago in the month of January for a reality check, and was amazed at the pristine beauty of the snow covered landscape, the friendly joviality of the people living here, and the unbelievably fresh smell of the forested air. You do get used to the winters, and the payoff is you get to live in one of the greatest places left in the world.

  9. Just. Getting. Started.

    This is what collapse looks like and it’s not going to slow down from here. One cannot build their future upon hopes and dreams, no matter how much the Liberals want to sell you that plan. Everyone here should take a few moments, close their eyes and truly try and visualize what 2040 is going to look like. Do you have an image in your mind? Pretty horrendous I imagine. Now do everything in your power to protect your family from that future.


  10. Couldn’t agree more with the author. My family left California in 67 when I was still a child. My folks were drawn there for the abundant hunting, fishing, and outdoor lifestyle. Gone is the “can do” pioneering spirit that made this country great only to be replaced with the “what can government give me” attitude. If California is the bellwether for the nation we’re in trouble; I can’t think of anywhere on earth to escape to.

  11. Great title picture for the article. I was born in ’57 and remember things almost the same as you James. That looks like a Sunbeam Tiger “Get Smart” car in the garage and a Schwinn Stingray bike on the left. Good times indeed. If you think California is bad Massachusetts is the same except it is too cold for homeless encampments. I would leave in a minute. I have been to the Redoubt several times and would move. Unfortunately the lady of the house does not want to leave family. New England is strange. VT, NH, and ME are Constitutional Carry States and MA, CT, and RI are may issue and very restrictive.

  12. Great article. Thank you for sharing a perspective on the chronological decay of what was America’s golden standard for lifestyle and economic prosperity – short lived as it was. Thankful that we have the Redoubt as a safe haven for the like minded realists of the day.

  13. You reference a California law “that mandates background checks for purchases of ammunition. And in two years, that will be expanded to include background checks before the purchase of nearly any gun part!”.

    What law is this?

    1. Actually, two separate laws. The ammo law is already in effect. The gun parts law was just signed two weeks ago by Governor Newsom (Nuisance.) That was one of 15 new anti-gun laws that he signed that day.

      1. Jim-

        The “precursor parts” bill was nerfed before passage and it now only covers 80% receivers. Still doesn’t make it any less objectionable, but it’s not as bad as it was.

  14. JWR,

    You have described the demise of the Golden State to a “T.”

    The tipping point came around 1994 with California Proposition 187 (known as the Save Our State initiative). It was a ballot initiative to establish a state-run citizenship screening system and prohibit illegal immigrants from using non-emergency health care, education, and other services here. The voters approved it. The California Supreme Court found it unconstitutional.

    Since then, a deluge of foreign immigrants, both legal and illegal, has tipped the political balance. Now, 1/3 of all immigrants to this country wind up here. It has changed the political landscape in so many ways–and not for the good. Far too many of them arrive here looking for government services. While they (hopefully) can’t vote until they obtain citizenship, they have their influence on elections and they help politicians who provide programs and services for them.

    While it will never happen, what we actually need in the way of immigration in California is an influx of former Rhodesian and South African farmers who are hard working, self-reliant and rugged individualists. I can completely get onboard with that idea. Maybe if things continue to deteriorate in South Africa, a door will be opened for them. I won’t be holding my breath, however.

  15. If you folks continue to see what’s happening in CA as “someone else’s problem,” you’ll soon see it become yours. Look at what’s happened to Oregon and Washington. If you don’t think Texas and Florida will go blue, then you’d better cut back on the dope. Millions of Conservative voices in California have been silenced by the screaming, whining, violent Left. One only take in the daily news to see that this tactic is being deployed at the federal level. Allow this to happen, and you’ll be going through background checks for ammo and gun parts in Montana and Idaho.

    …Instead of throwing millions of like-minded Americans under the bus, how about helping us out. The California legislature regularly wipes its collective butt with the Constitution, and we’re powerless to do anything about it without outside help.
    What’s unconstitutional in one state is unconstitutional in all. Illegal aliens? Coming to a neighborhood… and polling place… near you if you don’t do something at the federal level about Sacramento’s “COOOME AAAND GIT IT!” attitude.

    We, the MILLIONS of Conservatives in California don’t need your ridicule or your lamentations. We need your HELP!

    1. Tom MacGyver: What part of lost cause don’t you understand? The people of California voted in what is happening. There is NO HELP for California. Move your family to a free state. Here in Louisiana we have all the standard capacity magazines that we want. Semi autos too. Suppressors are legal here. Taxes are low. We did not allow the leftists to take over here. That cr*p will not happen here.

      1. All I can say is that if you folks don’t lend a hand, this “cr*p,” as you put it, will creep to your state… just the way it crept into California… …or are you too young to remember just HOW RED California used to be?…

        Oh; and good luck with your suppressors and standard-capacity magazines when the loony Left federalizes what’s been going on out here…

    2. @Tom

      I’ve always waited for someone in California to pull a Cliven Bundy when he called for the militia to swoop down on Nevada law enforcement to save his ranch 4 years ago. Guess what? IT WORKED!!! The NHP and state police went back to their doughnut shops and departments.


      I will not ever state if I was at the Bundy Ranch decked out in camo and assault rifle in tow (wink! wink!) but I will say I will be in California in a heart beat when the call comes!

  16. Dear Jim, Fantastic historical article, too bad the Left will never read it or agree. I live in the BLUE high cost state of Connecticut, born 1942 and raised on a farm. The ONE place that is forgotten, that the people do NOT like “revenuers/govt.” are TOUGH, love the 2nd Amendment, and FEW from Red or Blue states move there is West Virginia. Settled in the 1800’s by Scot/Irish, crofters and illiterates that hated England, and landed in Virginia, and disliked by the Tidewater snobs of VA, they walked WEST. Kept going until they found the mountains of what would become WV. They are very clannish, and to this day, their ORAL history goes back generations. They are very related to each other. They are very religious and church goers. They are very helpful and a big gun/hunting culture. Yes, there are drugs, and crimes, but if they LIKE you, they usually will help. I was a middle aged lady who left Ct to move to WV because I wanted SPACE, and NO neighbors, and an inexpensive place to live. I love the 4 seasons. They were welcoming to the “crazy cat lady on the hill”, and I trusted my neighbors from the git go! But, if you do them dirty in a hand shake deal, or worse, they will shun you, or perhaps even get even. There is little zoning, and many Christian schools. Indeed the TOP school in ruined CT scored more than 200 points BELOW the top Christian school in Parkersburg , WV. I have worked there part time. To this day, while there is a drug problem, but every state has that, there is a strong work ethic and bond going back generations between families. Very Christian and home schooling is there. Little zoning and if the local elected Sheriff ticks off too many people, he better watch his back. In fact, the most decorated and least injured killed per state WWII men was West Virginia. Think of Chuck Yeager. from WV, first man to break the sound barrier. It voted Democratic UNTIL Obama killed the coal industry. This ticked off the folks and NOW it votes Republican. The current governor Jim Justice is the richest man in WV. Yes, I have been back in CT since 2001 due to circumstances beyond my control, but to my dying day (I am almost 77) I wish I was in the West Virginia, THE FORGOTTEN STATE. Property is inexpensive, and $1 in Ct you need $1.15, but only 92 cents in WV. Housing and rents are LOW, and people friendly, but do NOT cross them. They are most Old Testament – remember the HATFIELD AND MCCOYS – that still is in them. Proud people, and those of certain religions who HATE Christians are very much in the minority. Due land is so hilly, that you will NOT see a lot of Migrants and Illegals shoved into the state. You will NOT find Sanctuary cities. You will find friendly people. Lots of data on line, or the worse and best towns and counties to live in.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly with hl! My ancestors hail from the mountains of WV and what you say about the residents is so very true! West Virginians are clannish and this has transpired from the old days when their hills and hollers were cut-off from the outside world due to the remote locale and limited travel in the mountain terrain. The clans became self-reliant and resilient through their isolation. Although I married a Pennsylvania Dutch man, I long to live in the WV mountains. That PA Dutch man and I have, however, successfully created our own clan here in PA and we have each others backs. We’ll have yours, too, if you’re ‘good people’.

  17. I abandoned California in 1998.
    I was a traveling Physical Therapist, working short-term contracts in idaho-Washington-California-Arizona at hospitals and clinics.

    Then California voters raised my fees (“IT’S NOT A TAX!” (quote)) and permits (“IT’S NOT PERMISSION!” (quote)) to a level EXCEEDING MY INCOME. Huh?

    TheGovernmentAgents in California wanted me to work for free. Nope. Bad idea.


    My acquaintance Eileen was employed as a ‘manager’ at one of the penitentiaries near Sacramento.
    “How many people in your department?” I naively asked.
    She laughed as she explained she had no department and zero employees. She somehow ‘managed’ to earn us$160,000 annually.
    And that was in 1989.
    In 1990 at 50-years old, she retired after thirty-two years at 100% (one-hundred percent) of her salary.
    In 2019, she is still going strong.


    1994, my buddy Greg in Redding retired from California Highway Patrol after thirty-four years of patrolling a desk… us$19,000 a month.
    He finally died in 2017.
    I often heard him joke “I don’t know where this money is coming from!”.


    We own a nice 3/2 rental home in a nice area of Sacramento.
    Real estate taxes are paid monthly because nobody can afford the bi-annual bite.


    Speaking of ‘leaky dams’, we had a farm near Folsom California.
    In 1960, the proposed Folsom dam sounded like a good idea, one of those ‘a-good-idea-at-the-time’ ideas, to reduce all that non-existent flooding.
    One problem == silt.
    The last time I visited Folsom reservoir was August 2007, and silt reduced the holding capacity by probably 99% (ninety-nine percent), a trickle down the middle.
    Long-closed to boating, we could walk across the former steep wide canyon… now a flat desert filled-in by silt.


    My relatives live in the mountains east of Sacramento.
    The meme “This is fine…” describes them to a ‘T’.


    One symptom of over-population == traffic jams.
    And ‘traffic reporters’ as a profession.


    But alert California law-makers have TheSolution© == out-law plastic straws.
    For the environment.

  18. @BGF – yes I always said look at 2060 and see American liberty all gone.
    @JWR – Thank you for our sentiments.

    You forgot…
    Prop 65 – Everyone in every state sees this on all boxes of merchandise “WE in California believe that the contents in this box will cause cancer sometime in the future.” That’s all I want to see is the California plug on my boxes I purchase in my new state after California ran us out.
    No concealed carry almost anywhere
    Highest consumer CC debt per capita
    High state debt
    A run on the 1A and 2A – free speech and guns
    Check points like in communist countries between states. That Nevada border check [returning from] Las Vegas scares me.
    Signs everywhere with the penal code on it “No, don’t do that, no not that either, you have no freedoms here in the Golden State”
    CA used to be the highest divorced state until they had SHACK UP laws implemented now no one gets married and fornication is rampant. There’s no marriage to report nor a divorce without a legal marriage… So there goes the divorce stat if you no long postulate legal marriages.
    Gay communities galore with naked men dancing on tax payer funded fire trucks during parades.
    Marijuana is a replacement for the founding Fathers’ crop of tobacco. Now they can say they abolished slavery by abolishing tobacco whilst ramping up their founding Feminist crop of mary-jane
    China owns most of the property by a foreign entity. In fact, the Long Beach port is now owned by China – scary.
    Good point on Green Boondoggles but you forgot about Forest Fires as both are sucking FEDERAL tax dollars from all 50 state tax payers into California to pay for their high PENSION FUNDS. Look at the money when an influx of FED dollars arrive. It goes to their sinacures/retirements.

    We’re glad we’re out.
    God bless…

    FACT: We’ve taken California’s star off the American flag and fly it with 49 stars.

    1. I just bought some furniture that needed assembling. I was careful to buy furniture made with real wood, not sawdust and glue (MDF/particle board). Imagine my surprise when I saw California Prop. 65 stickers on the underside of each piece of furniture saying “cutting, milling and sanding wood creates dust that is known to the State of California to cause cancer.” I keep wondering why the stickers are there since the wood has already been cut, milled and sanded and the table I was assembling today was made in Malaysia! Really not anywhere near any part of California. I just don’t see any logic in requiring those stickers. It’s a little late to be warning people if the furniture is already constructed and finished and all the purchaser needs to do is screw bolts into threaded sockets. But apparently the “Powers that Be” in the State of California are all-knowing, all-seeing and all-powerful, even more-so than “The Great and Powerful Oz.” Yeesh!

      And THAT is why I will never move to California and it is very doubtful I will ever visit there again, either.

  19. Here is the thing: It isn’t going to get better. California will get worse and Montana and Idaho will get worse and if you are young enough you will live to see the entire country become more line Venezuela or Russia. The elite/politicians are doing everything they can to make sure this happens. Why? Because America is a “plum” to be picked. There is simply no other place with so much wealth waiting to be taken. And a “diverse” population is a divided population where no decent honest person who wanted to return us to the nation envisioned by our founders could ever get elected. The only people who can get elected will be those bought and paid for by the teachers unions or the black lives matters group or Soros. And they will do the bidding of their masters or be kicked out (or even impeached). So your choices are to either convince most/all thinking Americans do elect good people OR to make the best of your time left in a dying country until it collapses or devolves into a civil war.

  20. War Vet and chip in NWFL,

    As a native Floridian for more than 50 years, I couldn’t agree with you two more.
    It is heart breaking to witness, and I truly feel for JWR and all California conservatives.
    Leaving behind family, friends, and heritage is very difficult.

    In 2012, my wife and I saw the writing on the wall, and voted with our feet to the Redoubt.
    As we watch Florida continue to decline, we know we made the right decision.

    Also, every former Californian we’ve met here has been extremely conservative.
    And echoing one of the posts above referencing the bar scene in The Patriot, we are the kind of people the Redoubt needs. We’ve “lost” our home once, we will not let it happen again.

    1. J&M, As I said, I don’t know how long I will hold out here in FL. I’m pretty embeded, between my professional practice, real estate, family and friends I don’t know if I can ever actually leave…but it is nice to know that I would be welcome in the Redoubt by like minded people.

      1. Same here. Lived here..NM…70+ years. Take 4 years to move and set up again. Can’t afford to waste the time. California learned all their liberal ways from NM.
        Santa Fe reeks of socialism.

        1. Grew up spending summers in Albuquerque, and live in Hobbs (other end of the state) for 30 years. It aint just Santa Fe that reeks of Reds, neighbor. This end of the state has deteriorated precipitously, just in the last ten years. Unfortunately as another has stated, my own “Mrs Master Sergeant” refuses utterly to leave, and sadly gets more feminist hourly. I am seriously afraid I’m going to have to fight my way out on foot, and alone, *after* the collapse due to that.

          God grant this old man the strength to do so.

  21. Mr. Rawles, very nice essay, a peak into your personal life that speaks volumes. You are right, may God help us!
    Though I believe God has put you exactly where you need to be at this point in time, and has tested you for this time throughout your “previous” life. Also believe that God is in fact now helping us. He gave us the tools with which to help ourselves, if we pay attention, do not give up faith in Him, or abandon the principles He has laid down through His laws.

  22. The State of Jefferson needs to secede NOW! Also the State of East California (or whatever they decide to call themselves) needs to secede NOW! What a difference that would make.

    The same would apply to the State of Liberty seceding from Washington state, or what could be called East Oregon (or whatever they choose to call themselves) seceding from the State of Oregon.

    There are not enough states in this country. Another 20 or 30 states would make a major difference in the sad direction the good old USA is heading. Too many individual states have their own version of “flyover country”. Michigan, Florida, New York, even Texas needs to subdivide before it’s too late. Look at your state; how would you split up your state to make it fit the local political demographics.

    This has ZERO to do with race, or national origin, or the religious divide, or even sexual orientation. This has to do with those who believe in individual liberty and those who don’t. This has to do with those of us who just want to be left alone and those who desire power over every aspect of the lives of those who just want to be left alone, the interventionists as opposed to those people who are non-interventionists.

    Take a hard, critical, look at your politicians. It doesn’t matter if it is local, county, state or federal, take that hard look. Do these people seek power over you, your life, the lives of your family and your friends? Do they seek power for power’s sake? Do the words they say actually match the actions they take? If words and actions don’t match, the words are a lie! Do they talk support of the 2nd Amendment while voting for “common sense” gun control? That is one of my few problems with Trump. Do they put their constituents ahead of their political party, or their political party ahead of their constituents? Who’s side are they really on? What are you going to do about it?

    Do you have any representation in your local, county, state, or federal government? I don’t, but that’s on me, it’s past time to move. What about you?

    1. Before any part of a state is able to secede and form a separate state, it requires the approval of the state that is losing the territory and the federal government. Kentucky County, for example, was separated from Virginia by agreement and was admitted to the union as a separate state.

      West Virginia became a separate state in the Civil War only because of political chicanery. When asked if admitting it to the Union as a separate state was unconstitutional, Thaddeus Stevens replied, “Of course it’s unconstitutional, but it is necessary.”

      When admitted into the union, Texas retained the right to be divided into four additional states for a total of five. The annexation agreement with Texas permits the formation of four new states from its territory, for a total of five states. The approval of the Texas legislature and the federal government would be required to do this. (Fat chance that Texas will want to divide itself!)

      Conservative separatist movements spring up from time to time. They are wasted efforts. No state in the modern era is going to want to give up territory and tax base. Those people on the liberal end of the political spectrum won’t allow two new conservative senators to be added to Congress. To be fair, in the same vein, Republicans will never allow D.C. or Puerto Rico to be granted statehood status.

      So Jefferson, Liberty, East Carolina, etc.? Just someone’s pipe dream.

      1. When asked if admitting it to the Union as a separate state was unconstitutional, Thaddeus Stevens replied, “Of course it’s unconstitutional, but it is necessary.”

        Because it was unconstitutional, now makes it legal. We now have (unconstitutional) constitutional precedent. Neither Washington nor California nor Oregon need be asked, just do it. Do it while Republicans hold the senate. It will be the senate that must give approval, not the house. I’d have to look, but I believe it is a simple majority in the senate. It would be to the advantage of the Republicans to create more states. The Democrats want to pack the Supreme Court, the Republicans should pack the senate while they have the power to do so.

        You are correct, Texas won’t let it happen and I suspect the people of Texas won’t vote for it. Proud nationalists those Texians. Texas should just secede, period. It’s economy would make it automatically a G-20 nation. It’s at least the 12th largest economy on the planet.

        Washington DC can’t become a state without a constitutional amendment as the district is specifically written into the constitution. DC will never become a state. I don’t think 38 states would ratify such an amendment. Besides it would give that one state way too much power. Hence it’s constitutional segregation and restriction from becoming a state.

        As for Puerto Rico: Cut it loose. Make it become an independent nation. Territorial status needs to end and statehood should be out of the question. The same goes for the rest of our territories. Take out 100 year leases on our military facilities, it would be cheaper than what we are doing now. Since all of that would fall on the Senate, it needs to happen while Republicans are running the show.

        If the situation favored the Democrats and allowed them to pack the senate they would jump at the chance. I wish the Republicans were as unified and as aggressive as the Democrats are.

        1. “New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.”

          –Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1

          1. The Constitution does not say anything about it being “a permanent union,” simply a “more perfect union.” It is silent about the right to secession. The 10th Amendment reserves to the states any power not delegated to the federal government.

            Virginia and New York, in particular, when ratifying the the Constitution, reserved the right to withdraw from the Union if what they determined that the national government had turned tyrannical.

            Eleven Southern states had an excellent legal argument to support their right of secession. The Northern states, however, were primarily motivated by the fact that, without the massive tax revenue provided by Southern cotton, the national government was facing financial ruin.

            Lincoln disingenuously proclaimed (to those dullards who had not the matter through) that he was fighting to preserve “the government of the people, by the people and for the people.” The problem was that Southerners, by that time, already had such a government. It sat in Richmond, and they resented being forced at the point of a bayonet to be part of Lincoln’s.

            Unfortunately (and fortunately), the issue was decided on a battlefield, not in a courtroom. While I recognize that Southerners had a better legal argument, I have no interest in seeing a Southern Canada in existence today.

            Personally, I would not want to see one drop of blood spilled if a state wanted to secede. I doubt that a great many Americans would.

          2. @Survivormann99

            Does the Constitution say anything About the Right to infamously attack Union soldiers?

            The 11 states didn´t withdraw in rightful secession, they infamously withdraw with violence.
            That was not only a crime, but mistake.
            The southerners had no goverment by the People, for the People – the slaves had no Right to vote – no no Right of freedom to pusue happiness…

          3. ThoDan,

            If you say that the Southern states had no right to secede from the Union, that is your opinion. You will have to present some legal evidence for that position, however.

            Please explain how 13 colonies had the right to rip themselves from the breast of the mother country that created them in the first place if a state did not have the right to sever its bonds from a sister state that was its equal.

            The Southern states seceded from the Union and became a separate nation. A nation has the right to defend its territories and to eject foreign troops–with force.

            While I will grant you that it was a mistake to fire on Fort Sumter, it was because it gave the Union a propaganda victory that helped prevent Britain and France, in large part, from recognizing the Confederacy.

            Slavery was a moral abomination. Yet, if you were born in South Carolina in 1830, you would regard it as simply being the way the world was. It was even accepted in the Bible, e.g., “Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them…”

            Southerners did not allow slaves to vote, but if that did not mean that Southerners did not have a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” then the North did not have one either. In 1861, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, and Delaware were slave states. When West Virginia was admitted to the union in June 1863, it was admitted as a slave state. Slaves in loyal Union states did not have the right to vote. Not one slave in loyal Union states was freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. Explain.

            As you might suspect, I have studied the issue a bit longer than you have. I am very satisfied that the South lost the Civil War, but I stoutly defend its legal right to secede when it did.

            One last thought. I mentioned in one of my comments today that the prime motivation of the North was to maintain its tax revenues that were related to Southern cotton. An equal, if not even greater motivator for the North, was to preserve its Southern markets. Without tariffs, Northern industries could not compete with British and other European imports. If the South formed its own country, there would have been no more tariffs paid to the federal treasury for goods sold in the South after English imports began flowing through Southern ports. The damage to federal revenues and Northern industry would have been of apocalyptic proportions.

            People always tend to vote their pocketbooks. The 1860s were no exception–on either side.

          4. I didn´t say they had no Right or a Right to secede, i said they had no Right to infamously attack the soldiers at Fort Sumter, that attack was also not only infamously but a stupid mistake in the best Tradition of Talleyrand.

            I didn´t also say that the North was automatically much better, but at least 29 states had the ethic higher Ground to the south.
            My interest in the ACW is the individual soldier, the unprepared citicen soldier in contrast to the citicen soldier of europe who served either in a professional army or was drafted and trained in Peace time.

          5. ThoDan,

            I expect that this exchange has devolved to one in which only you and I are interested. Most readers probably couldn’t care less about our historical opinions.

            You said the South “had no Right to infamously attack the soldiers at Fort Sumter.” If you accept the legal right of a state to secede, by April, 1861, in the seceded Southern states the U.S. Constitution no longer applied. It was a constitution of a foreign country. The Southern forces had laid siege to Fort Sumter for weeks and they were told to leave. An ultimatum was delivered. It was hardly a surprise attack. The soldiers were simply pawns in the game, as soldiers often are. Countries pursue national their national interests, and soldiers’ lives are the coin with which victories are purchased. (Yet, not one federal soldier was killed by Confederates during the fighting at Fort Sumter.)

            I agree that firing on Fort Sumter was a mistake because it was an additional reason for the pro-Northern populations of Europe to side with the North. It also galvanized Northern opinion in Lincoln’s effort to suppress the rebellion. Yet, you would be applying 21st Century values if you claim that the South should have simply allowed the continued federal military presence in the middle of one of the busiest ports in the South. By refusing to leave, the federal troops served as an insult to Southern sovereignty. As a result, as John Wayne said, “A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.”

            If the South had used a 20th Century approach, passive resistance such as was used by Gandhi and Martin Luther King decades later may have stymied the North and caused it to toss in the towel. Imagine if several hundred thousand Southerners went out and lay down in front of federal facilities, and if they barred the way for federal revenue to be physically transported to Washington, New York, etc. What would Lincoln have done then? Start shooting Southern civilians? I don’t think so.

            It would be preposterous for anyone to have expected this to happen in 1861. In 2020? I am not so sure.

            About my earlier comment in which I said that if Trump is removed from office on the basis of the flimsy evidence produced so far “There will be blood,” my comment should not be interpreted as an indication that I am encouraging this. Given the Leftist violence so far and the hardened political division that currently exists in the country, I am simply predicting this.

            If Chile, the most prosperous country in South America, can wake up one morning and be at peace and, by the end of the day, be turned into a nation in chaos, just as we saw last week, I believe that America is capable or proceeding down its own rocky road under the right circumstances. It’s the human condition.

          6. No, i didn´t meant they should´ve allowed that eternally but should ´ve tried a peaceful solution before starting hostilities, but if the US Constitution no longer applied, then the same constitution did not give Virginia the Right to ´ve a say in secession of WV from Virginia.

            I don´t think the constitution did nor should gibe any state the Right to secede and ´ve to agree to matters of the US, especially not while waging war against the same.

            Maybe i was to harsh but i consider it deeply dishonorable to open fire on soldiers who took once an oath to protect you

          7. ThoDan,

            You wrote, “Maybe i was to harsh but i consider it deeply dishonorable to open fire on soldiers who took once an oath to protect you.” Don’t be so hard on the men at Lexington Green or the patriots at Yorktown. I believe that they were honorable men.

      2. In the legal sense, I would agree with you. In the physical realm, it’s just a matter of time. World history is thick with examples of nations that hit “the wall” of too many issues to hold together. Then….. enough angry citizens (in USA’s case, with firearms) will do what they do. “These United States” that we live in is/are certainly susceptible to fracturing like any other nation in the history of this earth. Build a solid “zip code” family / team!

  23. Jim’s article leaves me breathless. How did we get into such an absurd situation? I’m so sad for not only California, but the entire country.

    My only conclusion is that the people sponsoring the bills and voting in favor of them are just stupid. No one could honestly believed such over-regulation could be a good thing. It seems like there’s a bill for every single little tiny thing, every part of life.

    My farm is in a small, wonderfully unrestricted, conservative, friendly, sane county, it’s like a throwback to the 50’s. The golden age of my childhood. We are so happy there. They are my people.

    I keep reading over and over that California and other states are lost causes. Is there no solution short of economic collapse which would bring about a reset like “Patriots” or Kunstler’s “World Made By Hand?”

    Final thought: NEVER buy property in an HOA or a county that requires permits and inspections. You will always regret the intrusion of the HOA and reputable builders already know code and will build to it.

    1. HOA? Ain’t that the truth. I recall my mother getting upset back in the mid-’80s because the HOA fees for the suburban home I grew up in were raised to $23 per month.

      That was 35 years ago. Someone who lives in that home tract today recently told me it’s now over $350 per month. PER MONTH!

  24. ” I mourn for the loss of the California of my youth.”

    I was born and raised in Monterey County about the same time. My father had a hand in the planning and construction of the San Antonio and Nacienmento dams. We later had the remains of a once huge, and now historic ranch, the first ranch established in the area in 1864. It is located within Fort Hunter Liggett. My Grandfather retired to Paradise, California. We later moved to Montana.

    There is more to this story, but I too witness the decline of California. No longer able to tolerate the insanity there, left a good government job, and beautiful rural property in Southern California early, and returned to Montana about 2006. The timing could not have been better. It was bad in 2006. I could see and feel it spiritually coming. California in the 1960’s and 70’s was very nice. I was forced to leave Montana for California, yet I did return as I promised myself. Although California born, It’s odd that I am more conservative and freedom loving than most Montanans.

    We’ve got to hold the line somewhere. I believe the maniacs are going to successfully impeach Trump, and physically remove him.

    1. If Trump is impeached that is my flash point…
      For those of you that have a flash point remember that America is the only country that allows a Revolution legally. The Founding Fathers use firearms on three entities….
      1) Federal judges of the their day
      2) Law enforcement (British)
      3) Lawmakers

      God bless!

        1. [Some unkind words deleted by the Editor.]

          The Declaration of Independence is the very first governing law of the US government and still is today.

          “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them,”

          We are commanded by law to dissolve political bonds over the course of human events of not being in alignment with our Christian morals.

          Once the shooting starts I believe “nothing to see here” would be postulating the Founders when they fired the the first shot. Shoot and move until the bonds are dissolved from tyranny (liberal antichrist rule) or be shot dead trying. If it takes a lifetime of gunfights the Founding Fathers were prepared to go the distance. Going in front of a British judge they were never going to do unless in a casket.

          Make sense sir?

          1. JD, you apparently want to shoot the messenger. The Declaration of Independence represents moral law. The Supreme Court has never ruled that it was a legal precedent in rendering a decision. The Constitution trumps the Declaration of Independence.

            Those in power only, in the rarest of circumstances, give up power. Anyone can attempt to “sever bonds.” Doing so with violence and successfully explaining your right to do so is a different matter entirely.

            If you feel differently and believe that you can argue a successful case to a judge, go ahead. I’ll watch. Timothy McVeigh tried it. It did not end well.

            As with all matters, people want what they want. If the law is on their side, they argue the law. If morality is on their side (or if their self-interest conflicts with the law) they argue morality.

            If no compelling new evidence is produced in the current impeachment process, and in the unlikely event that the Senate actually removes Donald Trump as President, I believe that it is likely that there will be a rising up in this country by people who believe that, while the process may have been “constitutional,” it was an abuse of power. If that happens, the title of a Daniel Day Lewis movie comes to mind, “There Will Be Blood.”

          2. For ThoDan and others: The mechanism for secession is the 10th amendment.

            “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

            Our bill of rights are negative rights for the general government. The tenth amendment is a negative right for the general government. It basically says “if we the states don’t tell you (the general government) you can do a thing, you can’t.” Hence, the phrases “Congress shall make no law…” and “… shall not be infringed”.

            Conversely, our bill of rights are also positive rights, not only for we the people, but also for we the states. In the tenth amendment it basically says “if we the states don’t tell us, we the states, we can’t, then we can.” There is no place in our constitution that creates a permanent union. There is no place that says we the states can’t leave, not before our “civil war”, nor since. The dictator Lincoln’s war was a gross violation of the constitution he swore an oath to uphold.

            As for the separation of parts of states from there home states: It may be “unconstitutional” but legal precedent has already been set with West Virginia. Either permission from the parent state is legally unnecessary or West Virginia is no longer a state, and never has been. I think West Virginians would have a lot to say about that, and not in a good way. “Them’s fightin’ words!” comes to mind.

          3. @Charles K.

            Mechanism or procedure, not Right or authority and btw Show me where the states have the Right to murder infamously for this Right.

            Virginia was not a lawful part of the union ath tis Moment, so the Right to´ve anything to say was forfeited

          4. @JD,

            Survivorman is correct. While the two documents (DOI and USC) are inseparable, they are distinct from one another. Whenever any idea is “incorporated” into a legal entity, you must have a Mission Statement (why it will be done) and an Articles of Incorporation (how it will be done). The DOI is the statement, and the USC is the blueprint.

            Therefore, the text of the DOI is considered the moral side of the coin, while the USC is enforceable legal side. They both require each other to make the whole.

  25. James,
    I could be your older, (by 2 years) brother. Only I grew up in th San Diego suburbs.
    I left in 1980 chasing a job in Oregon. Also ROTC. Heck, I even worked for Lawrence Livermore Labs in ‘79.
    I plan on moving to Idaho within the next 3 years due to Oregon’s increasing California attitude.
    Keep up the good work.


  26. moved with parents to Los Angeles! in the early 50’s. Believe it or not, it was nice then. A good place to grow up. Moved to Sacramento in 1976 – thought of it as “country” back then. We got a place north of there in Brownsville and planned to retire there. Family situations made us change our minds and we moved to the redoubt in 2008. I’m so glad we did. I just read where insurance companies in California are cancelling insurance or raising their rates astronomically wherever they feel there is a risk. So folks can’t sell their houses and are dropping prices. One more reason California is not what it once was.

  27. I was born in Southern California in 1955. Dad was a GI Bill vet of WWII, working at Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach; Mom a waitress in a coffee shop near the plant.

    My dad and grandpa built two houses for their families on Rose Ave., just off of Pico. Grandma and Grandpa were in “the little house” in back, and helped raise me. My sister lived in Venice Beach, in an Arts and Crafts style bungalow. We would visit the beach often. The canals were filled with water and boats.

    One of my earliest memories was standing on the bench seat of my mom’s 1949 Plymouth coupe as we drove up Overland hill and passed the construction of what would become the San Bernardino Interstate 10 freeway.

    I have vivid images of downtown, including the three cartoon heads of the Pep Boys, Flying A gasoline stations and the black and pink tiles of the Vic Tanny’s gymnasium. The art deco Sears building had gongs that would ring to signal managers and other store personnel. J.J. Newberry’s had a cafeteria where we would get lunch, including the best marshmallow-candied sweet potato casserole in the world.

    In 1960 we moved to Orange County, to an Eichler tract house in Garden Grove. It looked like the house Rob and Laura Petrie lived in. The tract backed up to orange groves and a strawberry field run by Japanese farmers. On a warm spring evening, your head would spin with the scent of orange blossoms.

    I had a Schwinn “Tiger” boy’s bicycle with a two-speed coaster brake and a generator for the headlight. Boy’s bikes had a top bar on the frame, Girl’s models were open to make room for their skirts. I rode everywhere. I didn’t have to come in until the streetlights came on.

    We would go to Disneyland just to have lunch and peoplewatch, or go to the heliport and watch the big silver Sikorsky helicopter taking visitors to and from LAX.

    As a teenager I drove my used green Volkswagen beetle to Huntington Beach and parked on the side of the road to have an open fire on the sand with my group of friends. On Fridays, we’d stay all night talking, napping and making out. We just had to call home first and let the parents know.

    As highschool seniors we could come and go on campus at lunchtime, and we’d often drive to Denny’s, Bob’s Big Boy, Norm’s or any of a dozen “Googie” style restaurants. I loved the “futuristic” look, the sputniks and boomerangs, formica and huge panes of glass floating in stone and tropical gardens. A “Googie” coffee shop was said to be a place where Fred Flintstone and George Jetson could meet for a sandwich. They defined our Southern California car culture.

    I left Southern California in the 70s to join the Navy. With all the schools, special training and a great career, I was gone a long time. I came back in the 90s and saw what had happened to it- saw what California had become.

    The final straw was taking my wife and kids to the Madonna Inn outside Lompoc. It was wild horse country. Grapes and almond groves nestled among the dry hot foothills of the Central Valley. Steinbeck country. I looked out from the balcony of the Madonna’s dining room and saw a K Mart anchoring the strip mall that had taken over the horse pastures and a housing tract crawling up the mountainside.

    Everything that I had seen my home state become coagulated then. No clap of thunder, no light from the heavens, just a cold clot and a resolve. We left California, never to return.

    I have gone back a couple of times, met with old friends and sweethearts and once for a highschool reunion. I guess it was to reassure myself that I made the right decision to leave. I did.

    California is a s**t hole now, and it is lost. There can never be any going back. And that’s not just a “seasoned” old man reminiscing about his lost childhood. California has been infected and destroyed past any point of salvage.

    The destruction was and is intentional. Good people looked the other way, were “tolerant” and “inclusive” and let their lifestyles and homes be taken from them and destroyed.

    It can happen anywhere. We don’t need to go into the politics or ideology or human nature. Everyone who reads this blog understands. I just want the folks here, in the Redoubt, where we make our home now, I just want to put out a heads up to you all.

    We can see the signs- the construction, the boutiquing, the touristizing, the calls for “vibrancy “ and “diversity.” They always look the same. They always start “for our good.” And they always lead to the same outcomes.

    Don’t let it happen. Don’t blink.

    And to you folks coming here, from California and all the other places that you see dying, you’re welcome here, but on this place’s terms. The terms that make it an attractive haven. Don’t bring the attitudes and ideologies that have destroyed the places you’re fleeing.

    Come with your hearts as open as ours are and you’ll be welcome. That’s why it’s called a redoubt!

    1. Gene Blister, thanks for an excellent piece. My parents moved us kids to southern California in 1960, and looking back as an older person, it did change rapidly.

      Do you or anyone who reads this believe that as cities and states grow in population that they just automatically become more liberal? For an example, it is easy to allow people in small rural areas rights to carry firearms, but somehow when you magnify the size of the population the lawmakers get more fearful of people walking around carrying firearms, so they restrict that freedom. Of course, with population growth comes crime.

      I can understand Idaho folks, native folks, wanting to keep their populations limited for that reason, but when they reject individuals on the basis of which state they come from, I think that is an error and a misguided prejudice. Unfortunately, Rush Limbaugh believes in the theory of blue staters migrating being the problem when it may have more to do with population growth. I do like him, by the way.

  28. On the bright side, CA has the fifth largest economy in the world, and is home to over a million millionaires. I haven’t lived in Commiefornia since the 80’s, but CA-based companies have paid a lot of my bills.

  29. Very interesting essay; one that perhaps every reader can relate to. You can run but ultimately can’s avoid the math. Add the hordes of illegal aliens plus the 3.3 million government-indoctrinated Bolsheviks cranked out each year. Substract the real Americans with traditional values and conservative beliefs who die each year. Even the American Redoubt will eventually be lost.

    Secession anyone? Yea, that’s too radical…

  30. Also watch how they can ignore the obvious – the feces, the homeless, the crony corruption. The utter systemic failure.

    Roach Motel 6 where they will leave the lights off and you check in but not out.

  31. My dear friends, are you aware Senator Ocasio Cortez’s Mother has recently moved to central Florida? Why? It is not the weather as is many times believed. It is taxes! All Liberals believe, what is mine is mine but what is yours is mine as well. I have lived in central Florida for many years. Not far from Ms’s Cortez’s Mother’s home. Since the Cuban Missle crisis. We ran home from school every Wednesday. I believe, so we could die at home. We did not practice duck and cover. Orlando’s McCoy with the B52s were ground zero. Very close. The Orange Groves have turned into housing developments. Water in the lakes is always low. Unless we have hurricanes and then many houses and apartments are under water. Built on old lake bottoms. No place is the same any more. Trying to hold back the tide. We have bought a house in Northern Georgia. For our children and grand children. Stocked with a few family heirlooms. They may someday find useful. Bonnie chance mon ami.

  32. There was no Republican Party in Florida until, Barry Goldwater. I remember bumper stickers that said, Drive Carefully the life you save may be a Republican. When I turned 18 I asked my father what was the difference between Democrat and a Republican. He told me a Democrat was for the people, a Republican was for business. I stayed a Democrat for many years until they left me. These were the days of my youth. The Klan had a booth at the county fair. Very dark days. We are very fortunate to have them in our distant past. May they never be repeated.

  33. Excellent article.
    Thank you Mr. Rawles, for your service to the greatest cause, Liberty.
    Liberty never loses the war, just some battles in between.
    Our victory and cause is holy and guaranteed.

  34. Lots of great input. My experience is that California’s current liberal control has arisen almost entirely from judicial activism. Even as a young boy (born in 1960) not able to vote I saw countless good ballot measures overturned by the liberal stacked 9th Circuit Court. To this day I have a deep sadness because I cannot live in what was formerly the greatest state in the union. I refer to the “golden state” now as the “tarnished state.” I saw the handwriting on the wall and left when I was 20 years old to never return. So sad.

  35. I am still a Californian. Born and raised here. But I have left the cities and suburbs of the state for a small rural town in upper Northern California. Here there is a community where people know each other, gather at the local volunteer fire halls and coffee shops. There is open land with cattle and hay growing in the fields. It feels like we’re a million miles from the California people speak ill of. There may come a day when that changes but I don’t think it will happen in my lifetime. If it does, I’ll most likely put up a fight for my land and that will be it. I’ve lived a good life.

  36. James your description of time through history of California is excellent. I lived through many of the major events that have destroyed the state.

    One major theme that is a constant in the loss of freedom is the death of the rule of law. It really doesn’t apply anymore.

    I voted for every conservatived and freedom ballot measures only to be over-ruled by some court.
    This is similar to a virus that has infected a great deal of the US.

    We see it now with the coup against the President, totally corrupt at every level.

    All one can do is pray for God’s plan to come soon.

    1. Yes, praying for God’s plan to come soon is THE ONLY ANSWER.
      And come it will, and come soon it will.
      But it’ll only come after the collapse (define this any way you want) of America.
      12-14 years.

  37. A successful EMP attack on America would get rid of 90 percent of the California liberals in about a year’s time. Then maybe the liberal/conservative ratio will drastically change. An EMP attack would also cleanse other liberal cities. Just a thought.

    1. …as well as wipe out many conservatives and others not deserving such a fate. No thanks. Your comment is simply the right-wing version of what the Left says they want to happen to us.

      1. Where in my post did I say that I wanted an EMP attack on America? I simply stated that such an attack would have the affect on the population as explained. Yes I realize the right wingers and patriots and little old ladies would also perish. Come on man, really?

    2. I never said that I wanted there to be an EMP attack in America. I just simply stated a fact about what would happen if an EMP attack did happen. You know, kind of like when you posted this…..”If no compelling new evidence is produced in the current impeachment process, and in the unlikely event that the Senate actually removes Donald Trump as President, I believe that it is likely that there will be a rising up in this country by people who believe that, while the process may have been “constitutional,” it was an abuse of power. If that happens, the title of a Daniel Day Lewis movie comes to mind, “There Will Be Blood.” Now even I am smart enough to understand your statement and even I realize that you don’t really want “There to be Blood,” You don’t do you?

  38. Folks especially in Florida. All of these musings are true. But we need to ensure we all vote, in person so our absentee ballot can’t be tampered with, and we need to articulate strong views on the best candidate for the values we espouse here.

    Will leave it to each reader to make their own private decision. But two thoughts. 1. Congress reads their own mail. Write to them. 2. We need to get out the vote for 2020 before this becomes game over for other states besides the people’s republic of California.

    Stay well.

  39. Thank you for the history and perspective about CA. I’m about the same age, but I grew up sheltered in the Midwest, a place I wish I still lived. When I look at CA I see some of what you see, but I also see parts a bit different.

    To me CA is a victim of its own success. Sure it has problems with drugs and homelessness, but so does the rest of the country. If I was going to pick a place to be homeless CA would be good place because of the fair weather, weather that attracts too many people period. The state economy is bigger than all but four countries in the world. It’s a place of wealth, jobs, and capitalism doing what it does best. At the same time it has too many people for the capacity of the land which drives up prices leading to more homelessness or building in the wrong places. The mountains, where and when the rain falls, water or lack there-of, the deserts, the earthquakes, the pollution from so many people, etc all cause problems. It reminds me of the Midwest where people build houses in flood plains without levees, buy flood insurance, and in the old days made a claim every 10 years or less. It rarely ends well in flood plains, and too much of CA seems to be in the same situation. The one difference, in the Midwest there is higher ground to build on but I’m not sure if CA has suitable land, hence too many people for the land. As to mental patients, drugs, homelessness, crumbling infrastructure, hunger, underfunded pension (public and private), and all the problems, I see those all across the country. To me you are describing large portions of the country. I suspect CA water is expensive because there isn’t much of it and they have to transport it long distances which costs money. Their electricity market and prices would need pages to explain and explore. I have been curious where all their tax money is going. That’s up the residents to figure out and monitor. I haven’t researched why the state burns so much and what different policies might be able to do. I have a list of places to visit before they flood, burn, melt, fall into the ocean or disappear. Looks like I need to add CA to the list.

    As for marijuana, I’ve been around stoned people and drunk people, and I’ve read about each. If I had to pick I would rather be around stoned people than drunk people. Alcohol is involved with thousands of gun deaths, gun assaults, bar fights, fights in general, and thousands killed in automobiles. Everyone I’ve seen or heard about who is stoned seems mellow. I don’t partake in either as neither is good for your body, but the country is wasting billions criminalizing marijuana and I can think of better uses for that money.

    As for their efforts to clean up the air (more efficient stoves, cleaner burning cars, renewable energy). The air belongs to everyone. Many people believe they have a right to breath clean air. It’s not easy to find clean air in many parts of the country. Our advanced society fills the air and water with pollution, fossil fuel combustion by products, poisons, cancer causing chemicals, etc as part of the production and consumption process. Costs of our material lifestyle that are not in product prices. To many, those regulations are just trying to reduce and limit the harmful byproducts (not tyranny) while still receiving the benefits of production.

    As to the “green energy boondoggle” fossil fuels are heavily subsidized and have significant costs to the economy that are not in the price of the fuel and thus not paid by the entity burning the fuel. Renewable energy has fewer subsidies and fewer costs to the general economy. Renewable energy is winning competitive contracts to provide KWs at a price/ kW, contracts that have no sourcing requirements or restrictions, thus beating fossil fuels based on costs. Countries and states that switch to renewable sources will have a competitive advantage over time through a lower total costs for energy. This article describes recent experiences and costs. https://www.forbes.com/sites/dominicdudley/2019/05/29/renewable-energy-costs-tumble/#295f5844e8cehis This article has a nice table showing costs, a little out of date though. The table does a good job of showing the variability of costs. Note that wind has the potential to beat all sources of electricity. https://energyinnovation.org/2018/01/22/renewable-energy-levelized-cost-of-energy-already-cheaper-than-fossil-fuels-and-prices-keep-plunging/ As a side note, I’ve read of gas combined cycle plants that can achieve 60% efficiency which is phenomenal, while the most efficient US coal plant only runs at 42% efficiency, and the fleet average is 37.4%.

    The best advice was near the end when you said to MOVE. If one doesn’t like the conditions or people where you live, and you can’t fix it at the voting booth or through social institutions, vote with your feet and move. I’m working on retiring to a lower tax and more gun friendly state.

    1. Don,
      I agree to a lot of your perspective. The whole country has a stewardship issue. Just because we can, does not mean we should. I think California is trying to mandate by force, what people will not do willingly.
      If we will not submit to an infallible God willingly, we WILL submit to fallible man by force.
      You see the “LAWS” being passed and do not see the funds being spent properly because “Godless man” is running things.
      If we want freedom, we have to take responsibility for it. We have to live willingly listening to our conscience and do what is right, rather than what is self serving.

      California is suffering from Godlessness and is being given over to fallible man by force. Thus we see the fallible results of decay and decadence.

      I ask these questions of myself regularly to keep my heart right. Am I preparing or making decisions out of rebellion and selfishness? Or am I living to do what is right?

      1. At the country level I totally agree about the lack of stewardship. That’s such a perfect word for what’s missing. At the individual level I think the country has tens of millions if not more who take stewardship seriously and try, but they are partially stymied. Too few politicians take stewardship seriously, generally voting in their own and that of their elitist donors best interests. Corporate America is only interested in profits, not stewardship. We have become so disconnected from the land and the ability to individually make and grow what we need to survive. Most of us specialize in a skill and use the proceeds to purchase the food and other goods we need from other who have also specialized. This disconnects us from the production processes and their affects on God’s creation and allows corporations to abuse the creation, privatize profits and socialize costs.

  40. I grew up in Fremont in the 70’s as well. It was a different time then and even into the 80’s that I enjoyed living there. It was a simple time and a healthy place to be. I actually spent a little time in Pleasanton as well. Had an uncle who retired from Lawrence Livermore Labs, I got to go there once when I was around 8 or 9 years old. I got to see the Sheeva (sp) Laser. And some of the very first computer systems. I left for southern cal shortly after the Loma Prieta, and got to ride the Sylmar and Northridge quakes as well. Got to enjoy the Rodney King riots up close and personal and moved to Idaho shortly after the attack on the world trade center. I really miss the smell of the ocean and the beautiful socal beaches. But I am content to live out my days here at home. I have great memories of what it was like back then but I know also that it is gone forever. I had the chance to meet Mr Rawles at a function at that (now gone) navy base near Pond O’rielle a few years back. I regret not saying hi now 🙂

  41. Lest we forget, Obama tried to infect the Republican/conservative leaning areas of the country by importing “migrants” into their areas, no doubt with the intention of watering down the conservative vote over time. There is no doubt in my mind that the next liberal Democrat president will do the same. But, it’s okay because it is “for our own good.”

  42. Though small, Maryland is doing its best to become like California. 10 round mags is the rule of the day and we barely skinned by a total ban on AR’s. My folks live down south so you know when I go to visit I buy quite a lot to bring back home.

  43. Born (’59) and raised. My childhood memories were heaven. Orange groves for miles with the heavenly scent of orange blossoms. The beaches were pristine and even now, here in the Redoubt, I miss the smells and sounds of the ocean, burying my toes in the sand. Later moved from SoCal to the greater S.F. Bay Area, raised my children in Sunnyvale, before it became a tech hub. Apricot trees everywhere and had so much fun making apricot liqueur, dried apricots, apricot jam, apricot cobbler… Got a job in high tech, lived in Pleasanton and Livermore before they expanded. Still have acquaintances who own a small Livermore cattle ranch. San Francisco was a gorgeous place to visit and eat delicious seafood and sourdough bread. Haven’t been there in 15 years – it’s been ruined. I had a stingray bike too! We’d play outside until it was dark, never worried about anything. I never saw a homeless person growing up. Dad had several rifles and it wasn’t a big deal; we camped a lot during the summer, went skiing in the winter. Dad was an engineer, and mom a school teacher once we were all school age. It was the most idyllic childhood a kid could have. Everyone went to church on Sunday, even if we went to different churches, it was just part of our culture. We said the pledge of Allegiance every school day morning and prayers were said during morning assemblies. There was an understanding amongst all that there was right and wrong, good and evil. I live now in the middle of nowhere in Idaho, as do other former Californians. We are all so grateful for the respite, so in love with the beautiful scenery, learning to live in snow country, so happy to be out of the rat race, far away from the crime, high taxes, ridiculous energy and water costs, horrible commutes on the freeways. I heard or read that there are 10 million illegal aliens in California now. For those of you who don’t know, we voted, and voted, and voted. Our votes didn’t count. I don’t even know anyone who voted for the current governor who is in process of being recalled. The vote harvesting is widespread. Pelosi calls that a “ground game”. I call it theft. If you have a gun in your safe that doesn’t meet current laws, you’re automatically deemed a felon, without having broken a single law. I pray California can be saved. There are many still there who are trying like heck to turn the state around. I too think the state is a lost cause and I encourage any like-minded who remain to get out. Please welcome the transplants, we are with you (WRWY). Thanks for the memories JWR!

  44. Its interesting living in a very rural interior county in California. It’s like we are in a bubble of libertarianism, the predominant industry is agriculture, the “big” city us a town of less than 90,000 people, there is a very large city a county over where people go to work or shop, or catch an entertainment on the weekend. People here are more likely to attend a church than not.

    I was speaking with the sheriff last night at a fundraiser and he just isn’t enforcing any of the silly gun laws here. I have spoken with the district attorney and he won’t either except as a tack on to other more violent charges.

    The people here are generous, I know my neighbors. Yes the average income is very low and the cost of living is middling.

    Property taxes are somewhat low due to prop 13 and the bubble bursting in 2008. Gas prices are ridiculous! So we purchase fuel for the farm annually when prices are lowest.

    The bay area and southern California are like they are their own state. It really is a tale of two Californias. Yes we feel the weight of their regulations but most of the silliness is not enforced thankfully.

  45. Sadly, the great state of Texas is not far behind. We have a huge influx of illegal aliens and a huge influx of non-liberty minded Californians our Govenor is importing in droves. Our legislature is even contemplating red flag style laws and other gun control laws. Big government is growing and try and we might, it’s not going away. I’m going to stay in Texas as long as I can, but I see a move to the redoubt before long.

  46. Just moved to Boise this summer hoping I finally found my place in the American Redoubt! Unfortunately it is overrun with Californians. Some good, although most are very bad, liberal, gun hating Californians with a lot of money! This does not help the redoubt in any way. I’m fearful that they will take over Idaho’s populous counties and make some drastic changes here. Praying that never happens.

  47. JWR, you painted a lovely picture of a California that I will never experience. I guess I was born too late. (Interestingly, a lovely and warm lady I know also said that about me. That’s too bad, because if it wasn’t for the 30 year age gap, I would marry her, even though prepping isn’t her thing. But I digress.)

    I was born in Canada and lived my first 10 years of life there. Then we moved to California; my American mother was sick of the snow and wanted to return to her home. I thought everything was hunky-dory through the 1990s, when I went through high school and my undergraduate years. Universities had some political correctness in those days, but it wasn’t full throttle insane like it is now. There was none of this transgender stuff. There was some grumbling when President George W. Bush was elected, but nobody was calling for open resistance. There was no Antifa. There were no road diets. Now there are more people, and road diets, and crummy roads, so we’re all going crazy from the traffic. Law enforcement morale is in the cellar. (I used to work in a non-sworn capacity for a large municipal law enforcement agency; I heard the talk in the break room.) There were differences and sometimes misunderstandings between men and women, but there wasn’t any man-hating #MeToo. Liberalism once stood for giving working people a fairer break against greedy corporations; now it’s about hating anyone who is a heterosexual male of European descent, and liberals are in bed with corporations too. (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple – these are not mom-and-pop enterprises.)

    The homeless crisis is truly out of control. I’ve even seen tents pitched in my area – I never saw that when I was a child or a youngster. (I’ll be 40 this month!!) Perhaps some of these people just need a hand up and they’ll go back to living in an apartment and holding a regular job, but then there are those who just plain won’t work, or who are too crazy or violent to hold a job. (I once saw a man, tattooed all over, wearing raggy sweatpants pulled down to his knees, panhandling at a freeway exit. Who wants to hire or house that?) I wish that those who want us to be more open to the homeless would do it themselves. Somehow, I don’t think that celebrities will take any of these smelly raving loons into their swank mansions. People voted for a county measure that is supposed to address this. I voted no because I didn’t see that it would make a difference. Some of the homeless may be from New York City. Thanks a lot, Mayor de Blasio!

    Some of the freeways are being repaired, but yes, a lot of the infrastructure is crummy. The state government just wants to pass laws, laws, laws all the time, most of which are just about virtue-signaling – and taxing and annoying citizens to death. Electricity is extortionately expensive; I cringe whenever the electric bill comes. However, during the summer, sometimes a fan just isn’t enough for staying cool to sleep. (I never run the air conditioner during the day.) And yes, the price of gasoline is just awful. I visited family in New Mexico about a month ago and thought that I had died and gone to Heaven when I saw gasoline selling for $2.49 per gallon.
    Believe me, I’d love to move out. But I have to kick that down the road a little longer. I just started a new job which comes with a substantial jump in pay. That will put me in a much better negotiating position when I move out of Crowdedfornia at last. In the meantime, I’ll continue prepping and saving money to buy my dream homestead.

  48. Left Cali in 2011 for rural Appalachia. Never looked back, can’t believe I wasted productive years of my life there. I now have land, water, livestock, and about as much freedom as we have left in the FUSA.

  49. Thanks for the great article! I also grew up in Livermore in the 60’s. I too mourn for the loss of the California of my youth. I had had enough by 1995 and moved to New Mexico. It started turning into a nanny state in the 80’s and went downhill from there. Too many people, too many laws. The one law that really irked me was the passage of the motorcycle helmet law in 1990. My kids used to ride in the back of my truck to the county park (and they survived). Now you can’t even put your dog in the back of your truck without it being strapped in. I could list a hundred ludicrous laws and regulations but I’m sure all of your readers get the point. At least I have fond memories of growing up in California. BTW, this is the first article I have seen on your blog with over 100 comments!

  50. Okie parents, whole Okie family went to CA in WWII for jobs. Dad came home from USAAF glider piloting, wounded but alive. Got a BS from CAL Bizzerkley in 48, married same yr to his HS sweetie(in OK!), worked in Oakland where I was borned in ’49 at Peralta Hosp on “pill hill”. Nascent fambly went to NJ for job, later coming back x country to the target land: CA, where his bro, sis, and Mom were living, but, we got Shanghied by wife’s family and stayed in OK(Tulsa). Great place to be a kid in suburban Tulsa in 50’s and 60s. As provincal yokels we were able to do x country fambly car vacas to LA(Uncle) and Bay Area(Gramma and Aunt, and Mom’s fambly) in 50’s and 60’s. Then LA was so cool, Huntington beach, skate boards, real Mex food, real mexics and Chinese, Nisei, etc.
    Bay area was elegant: SF with truly fine dining, dress up for dinner, coats and ties required(OMG), China town mysterys and heavenly foods, fogs, bridges, seafoods at the wharf, CRABS!! Vistas from the TOTM, the Pacific, Seal Rock, wine country, pea soup at Marysville in the valley. Wente wines by the case for dry OK imbibing later.
    Times changed, Not much contact w LA(Uncle ran off with a Mex-Chinee chick from work), in Bay Area noted shut down of older good restos, more panhandlers, decreased service at the wharf, more f..ing people. Drove thru Haight-Ashbury in ’67 the “summer of love” to my great embarrassment with my Gramma and Mom/Dad kibitzing about the freaks.
    Stationed in Oakland(Hospital) in early 80’s, too busy for much sight seeing, but still could buy a 1911 in a local San Leandro gun store, a shotgun, and lots of ammo. Years later on, few brief stopovers in SF and LA getting back to WestPac, only noticed the brown smog and too many people.
    As a native “Prune Picker”, I am proud to claim CA as my birth state, but not today willing to ackno0wledge any affiliation with the sh?t hole it has become; same with the Tacoma,WA area. Now I live in PI and am really happy in my old age.

  51. California doesn’t have a “corner” on the socialist lifestyle, it just has more publicity. Other states and places are having the same problems. Many times, those problems are blamed on Californian immigrants but in too many cases simple economics are to blame.

    I live in Portland, about 8 miles from the house I was born in. My parents couldn’t afford a trip to the hospital so Grandma handled the delivery and whatever paperwork was required in 1934. (Yep, I’m 85 years old!) We moved around the state for a few years until settling down on three acres of brushy woodland where dad built a house and filled it with two more kids. We lived there for eleven years while the countryside became more urban. We moved to the coast and then to Central Oregon with dad always following jobs.

    Life changed – as did the world around us. I spent six years in the Seabees and married the girl across the street. My dad, a lifelong smoker died at the ripe old age of fifty of heart disease. I left the Navy but there were no jobs for me in Oregon, so I took my young family to Oxnard, California and a job as a surveyor for the State.

    I remember walking into a supermarket in Thousand Oaks with a gun on my belt. No one noticed – and that was in 1964! Another time the job took me onto the Ventura County Honor Farm. I tried to turn my gun in at the gate but the inmate on duty at the time didn’t think it was a good idea. I didn’t even realize he was a prisoner! I eventually tracked the warden down in the barber shop. He took my gun, thanked me and handed it to the inmate/barber who was shaving him. It was still there when I finished working. Neither of those things could possibly happen now without a full-scale mobilization of a SWAT team!

    A few years later I moved back to Oregon where I remembered riding the school bus with a rifle in my hands. I kept it in my locker until Shop Class when I’d take it apart, make some improvement and then take it back to my locker and home. We can’t do anything like that anymore.

    In school I hated history! Now I soak it up like a dried sponge at a coffee spill. Aside from Religion, it is probably the most valuable subject a student can study. All those things that have happened to get us to where we are have happened many times before and will happen again. . . and again, and again and . . .

    Oregon is well on the way to becoming as socialist as is California as is Washington and Montana and Idaho and Colorado and all the rest. Some are further down that slippery slope than others but we’re all headed that way.

    Yes, there will be blood. Probably not mine – I’m too old – but God help my grandkids.

  52. Sophie in Texas
    What a sad day to read your obituary of California. I too was born in Lodi (1963), but fortunately was raised in the Pacific Northwest. After having kids, I lived in the Bay to make the big bucks, but left for good and moved to Texas almost 20 years ago.
    Thank God I did!

    Yes we have illegals and Democrats swear they will turn Texas blue, but no one talks about yesteryear’s illegals that after a few generations start voting conservative like their neighbors… Most are very pro-life, pro-religion and many don’t like illegals any more than the rest of us.

    What Texans have over other states is a true life of God, Country and Family (not necessarily in that order) mentality that binds the people. The pull yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps, teach-our-children-by-example and pray-over-our-meal-at-the-local-diner kind of people that don’t leave home without their guns.

    We all have to decide where to make our stand. There are all sorts of reasons where to relocate. When it comes right down to it’s your neighbor to the left and the right. Will they stand up with you or for you? Will they follow God’s laws or mans?

    Do what you can where you are right now. Without fail teach your children right and wrong so others can’t instill their version of morality. Read the bible to your kids so they wouldn’t be fooled by future events. Push them to date and marry like-minded spouses. Get out of debt. Own your house free and clear. Grow a garden. Learn to live below your means. Move to the country. Attend church. Start your own company. Get new income streams. Teach your kids current events at the dinner table. Get involved in local politics, which is your first line of defense. Do what’s in your power NOW.

    The CA of times past you lament still exist in Texas. We pray for our nation and vote, but we still put contingency plans in place so that our children, grandchildren and future generations will still live free.

    God Bless you and yours!

  53. Gosh, you really depressed me with this truthful post. Even though I still live in a rare Red California county, where we are still “shall issue” CCW, we feel the encroaching liberal defilement. What a glorious state we were. I grew up close to your timeline. We surfed our days away, paid little attention to politics and had no clue, really. I wish I had, not that it would have mattered. We are all picking sides now in this country. Time to segregate. I’ll be with you next year – before election time. And to anyone who says not to move “here” – I’ll move where ever I darn well please. I don’t need your invitation, nor your permission.

  54. Thank you, Mr. Rawles, for showing Red Staters and freedom lovers everywhere that some fleeing Californians actually improve the freedom of the states, like you have done for Idaho.

    As for me soon to be leaving CA, I have to admit that based on the negativity directed toward expatriating Californians, it would be better for me to move to Nevada for just long enough to obtain car plates, and then move from there to Idaho, etc. Not a hostile word will be forthcoming thanks to non-Cali car plates.

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