Milosz’s defection from Communist Poland resulted in exile, exile from history, from European civilization, from memory, and from the Northern landscapes of Poland and Lithuania to California, the uniquely American hybridized version of Botany Bay blended with the country of the Lotus-eaters, of chaparral desert and Pacific fog, of ahistoric imbecility and unbridled consumption, California which turns its back on history and civilization, yet preternaturally offers constant sharp glimpses of the dystopian future.
Cynthia L. Haven offers a nice appreciation of the exquisite character of Milosz’s fate: an exile as remote and barbarous as Ovid’s at Tomis on the Black Sea, yet deprived of tragedy by the plush privileges of an elite University appointment and all the wine shops, shopping malls, and restaurants of the most self-indulgent region of the New World.
She offers a nice quotation from the poet himself:
I did not choose California. It was given to me.
What can the wet north say to this scorched emptiness?
Grayish clay, dried-up creek beds,
Hills the color of straw, and the rocks assembled
Like Jurassic reptiles: for me this is
The Spirit of the Place.
Ms. Haven does a nice job of describing the ambivalence of the experience of California of the civilized man in exile, the fear of real assimilation, of being unable to do without one’s favorite restaurants, of growing weakly dependent on a Riviera-like climate, of becoming happily Californian.
Miłosz returned to Poland for good in 2000, coming back to California only as his wife was dying in a Berkeley hospital in 2002. At her funeral, he whispered to Hass, “I’m afraid this place will catch me.” The return to Poland allowed him to turn against the land that had alternately embraced and ignored him.
Hass told me in an interview shortly after Miłosz’s death: “I just think he had some years of bitter loneliness, and what came back to him, when he came here to California again, was that. The isolation. When he first came here, he didn’t much like California. Then you follow, in some of his writings, he’s become a Californian and is quite loyal to it. As soon as he got back to Poland, then he could hate and resent his time in California.” He couldn’t divide his loyalties—but the rest of us do it daily, teetering on the ambivalences that make up our relationship to our adopted home on the West Coast.
Milosz lived in Berkeley on the lower slopes of the mountains offering this view.
Is setting buildings afire in order to force a suspect to come out or be burned alive an appropriate police tactic? I come from a family which produced large numbers of police officers over several generations. I’m not a bleeding heart or soft on crime either. But I’m pretty skeptical of the practice of equipping police with incendiary tear gas grenades, making it possible for them to intentionally torch buildings and then (like Sheriff McMahon) feign no responsibility by blaming the tear gas for “accidentally” igniting a fire.
Those California police would obviously have been perfectly entitled to shoot Dorner dead to reduce him to possession when he continued to resist, but I think it is (a) cowardly and (b) dubiously legal for them to destroy private property and use arson in order to avoid waiting and exchanging more gunfire with a criminal.
——————————————— CBS News:
San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon… told reporters that the fire in the cabin where Christopher Dorner presumably died was not intentionally set by authorities. He said tear gas canisters fired into the cabin apparently set the blaze.
An alleged recording of police scanner audio transmissions strongly contradicts McMahon’s statement.
Responding to Texas Governor Rick Perry’s invitation to California businesses to move to Texas, where they can find “low taxes, predictable regulations, [a] fair legal system and [a] skilled workforce,” Jerry Brown sneered:
“Everybody with half a brain is coming to California.”
which does basically explain the political situation out there.
Sanctimonious Animal Rights advocates stage a protest in a Bay Area Supermarket. Lena Dunham’s confreres may not live the most well-balanced and responsible sort of lives, but that certainly never inhibits them from assuming all kinds of baseless authority to tell the rest of us how to live.
The saga now playing out in La Jolla Cove is the epitome of regulatory stupidity. In a rocky area by the cove once open to people but now fenced off for safety reasons, the feces of cormorants and seagulls just keeps piling up, generating a stench that can carry as far as a mile. Dry conditions, a hot summer and other factors have made this a gross everyday problem for the cove area, not an occasional annoyance.
So why can’t city work crews simply take care of the problem? Why can’t biodegradable cleaning products be used to make the stench disappear, as suggested by San Diego Councilwoman Sherri Lightner, who represents the area? Why can’t any reason or common sense come to the fore?
Because of complex environmental rules stemming from the cove’s designation as a state-protected “Area of Special Biological Significance.” Officials say it could take two years to get various state agencies to OK cleaning procedures.
The SF Chronicle reports that in the bluest quarters of the bluest state panic is setting in.
There’s no shortage of their kind in the politically bluest parts of California. Liberals so freaked out about the prospect of President Obama losing his re-election bid that they can’t sleep at night. Can’t talk about anything else. Can’t stop parsing the latest polls.
David Plouffe, one of President Obama’s top campaign strategists, has a word for supporters he feels are needlessly fretful: bed wetters.
“Oh, I think I’m worse than that,” Kay Edelman said.
For the past several weeks, the 60-year-old San Francisco resident has frequently bolted awake in the middle of the night, in “a panic attack,” she said. She darts for her computer and checks the latest polls. Some days she’s so distraught that she can’t exercise.
Every morning, she gets e-mails from friends who’ve been just as sleepless. Most are so tense, they can croak out only a few words. “Very anxious.” “Worried.”
“Nothing more needs to be said,” said Edelman, a retired educational administrator.
Emotional role reversal
In this most unpredictable of campaigns, an emotional role reversal is happening in California. Republicans, who hold no statewide offices and are only 30 percent of registered voters, are more upbeat and enthusiastic.
Liberals, on the other hand, keep checking the polls.
It’s unlikely that even Republican Mitt Romney’s immediate family members think he’ll win California. But a Public Policy Institute of California survey released last week shows that while Obama holds a 12-point lead among likely California voters, 70 percent of Republican voters in the state were more enthusiastic than usual about voting – a greater proportion than the 61 percent of Democrats who were more enthused.
For liberals, part of the problem is that neither of the presidential campaigns is active in California, conceding the state to Obama. That means liberals have little to do other than reinforce each other’s fears about the voting predilections of a voting species seldom seen in the Bay Area – non-Democrats.
“We’re seeing these polls and reading about all these ads, and hearing about all of these undecided voters that are in other states, but we feel that we can’t do anything about it,” said Pat Reilly, a longtime press spokeswoman for national and California organizations and politicians who lives in Berkeley. “You feel like you’re part of a fight, but you can’t see your opponent.”
Western Outdoor News: COMMISSION PRESIDENT CELEBRATES A SUCCESSFUL HUNT – California Fish and Game commissioner Dan W. Richards travelled deep into the wicked terrain of Idaho’s Flying B Ranch to fulfill a long-held goal. “It was the most physically exhausting hunt of my lifetime. Eight hours of cold weather hiking in very difficult terrain. I told the guides I appreciated the hard work. They were unbelievably professional, first class all the way,” he said. Richards said he took the big cat over iron sights using a Winchester Centennial lever action .45 carbine. Asked about California’s mountain lion moratorium, Richards didn’t hesitate. “I’m glad it’s legal in Idaho.”
The LA Times reports that the president of the California Fish and Game Commission has been successfully hounded out of office by the usual West Coast crowd of left-wing extremists for the outrage of legally taking a trophy mountain lion on a hunt in Idaho. Residents of California have been regularly stalked, occasionally mauled, and even killed and eaten by mountain lions in unprecedented numbers of incidents since hunting lions in the Golden State was banned by whacko-supported initiative in 1990.
The California Fish and Game Commission was created a century ago (1909) by sportsmen to manage and regulate the state’s wildlife resources. Its operations and programs are funded by license fees and taxes on sporting goods paid exclusively by hunters and fishermen.
But, in California today, the tyranny of the fruits-and-nuts supporters of the democrat party is so far-reaching, their intolerance and bigotry concerning other people’s lifestyles and convictions so great, that the president of the state Fish and Game Commission has been hounded out office by a six-month-long campaign of vilification based on his being guilty of legally hunting!
Daniel W. Richards was replaced as president of the California Fish and Game Commission on Wednesday, seven months after he sparked a storm of controversy by killing a mountain lion during a hunt in Idaho.
Although the kill was legal in Idaho, California has outlawed the hunting of mountain lions for decades. More than 40 state legislators called for Richards to resign in March, saying he showed poor judgment in killing the cougar when the practice is opposed by most Californians.
At the time, Richards defiantly refused to resign from the commission, saying he had done nothing improper. Even though the commission voted to elect Commissioner Jim Kellogg as president Wednesday, Richards plans to remain on the commission until his term expires in January. ...
[Michael] Sutton, an executive with the Audubon Society [who was at the same time elected Vice President of the Fish and Game Commission], said later that the killing of the lion and Richards’ comments defending it were factors in his decision to vote to replace Richards.
“It was pretty clear that Commissioner Richards had lost the confidence of the majority of the commission,” Sutton said. “Most of us feel it is inappropriate to use the presidency as a bully pulpit for your views.”
The president of the State Fish & Game Commission is supposed, in California, to be out of line when he uses his office to speak in favor of hunting.
The presidency and control of the commission will be passing out of the hands of the sportsmen who pay for it and into the hands of Environmentalist granola-crunching ideologues eager to implement new policies based on junk science, Animal Rights theories, and hostility to firearms and the field sports.
The LA Weekly describes the politics of the situation:
[A]lthough Fish and Game commissioners haven’t explained specifically why they decided to vote Richards down from his throne today, it was clearly a symbolic move to kill the human who killed the beast.
“The president of the commission should be someone who has the confidence of a majority of his peers,” Mike Sutton, vice president, told the Mercury News leading up to the vote.
Richards was playing the feisty right-wing ideologue at the beginning of this battle, but he has since became strangely resigned to his ousting.
He looked on as the commission changed its own internal election policy in May so that they might replace Richards. And today, a Fish and Game Commission spokesman tells us that Richards himself took part in the unanimous vote to elect Commissioner Jim Kellogg as his replacement.
The ex-prez, appointed by Arnold Schwarzenegger (surprise, surprise) in 2008, will remain on the commission until his term ends in six months. But from there, he tells the Mercury News: “I think there is a zero chance that Jerry Brown will appoint me, so it doesn’t matter what I think. He has his hands full with shoplifters and other thugs in the Legislature.”
Pretty morbid, right? Let this be a lesson for all trigger-happy Republicans who dare to dream of swimming against California’s blue tide: We’ll eat your grin for dinner.
Movies.com reports that even the later-era high-minded George Lucas can be moved to an act of revenge worthy of a full-fledged Sith Lord.
[F]or four decades Lucas has owned a large swath of land in Marin County in the North San Francisco Bay and has spent the past few years trying to transform the ranch on it into a massive, nearly 300,000 square foot, state-of-the-art movie studio complete with day care center, restaurant, gym and a 200-car garage. His neighbors, however, have rejected it every step of the way. Despite the promise of bringing $300 million worth of economic activity to the area, the already-well off neighbors are worried about years’ worth of construction activity and the additional foot traffic it will bring into their neighborhood once completed.
The local homeowners association has been such a thorn in Lucas’ side that he’s decided to abandon the studio construction entirely…
So what is George Lucas going to do with his property now that he’s tired of his rich neighbors putting up a not-in-my-backyard stink? He wants to transform the property into low-income housing, naturally, ending their official statement with this zinger, “If everyone feels that housing is less impactful on the land, then we are hoping that people who need it the most will benefit.”
The case of an Orange County woman severely burned after rocks collected last weekend from San Onofre State Beach ignited in her pocket has puzzled scientists, who say they’ve never seen anything like it and aren’t quite sure how it happened. ...
The 43-year-old San Clemente woman, who remained hospitalized Thursday with second- and third-degree burns, visited the northern San Diego County beach last Saturday with her family, authorities said. Her name has not been released.
Her children collected rocks, including two that were distinctive — one was large and a marbled gray; the other much smaller and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle green.
Both of the beach stones were streaked and flecked with bright orange.
The mother put the rocks in her right pocket and went home. Then they suddenly ignited.
Witnesses reported seeing flames coming from her shorts. She had second- and third-degree burns from her right knee to her right thigh, with second-degree burns on her hands. Her husband also had burns on his hands from trying to help her.
The Orange County Health Care Agency examined the two rocks, and tests revealed a “phosphorous substance” on the rocks, which now have been sent to a state laboratory for further testing, said Tricia Landquist, an agency spokeswoman.
That discovery, however, has only added to the mystery.
Scientists wondered: How does a chemical like phosphorus wind up on a Southern California beach? And why did a substance so volatile not burst into flames sooner?
California is a kind of laboratory in which the bacilli of modernity germinate and grow at a preternatural pace, giving the rest of us a glimpse of our own dystopian future.
Norman Rogers takes a shot at describing life in the particularly lush Petri dish that is Northern California’s Marin County.
The population of Marin is overwhelmingly white, Democrat, and financially well-off. In 2008, nearly 80% of the vote went to Obama. The main minority consists of Spanish-speaking immigrants who prosper by providing services such as gardening, house-cleaning, and child care. The going rate for babysitting is close to $20 an hour. Although official statistics say that the Hispanics have low incomes, those statistics are based on the assumption that landscapers and babysitters, often in the country illegally, carefully report their earnings to the government. ...
Marin is a refuge for upper-income people. It is a place where they can escape the crime and congestion of San Francisco or Oakland. Above all, it is a place where their children can escape the generously funded but abysmal public schools of San Francisco and other urban cities.
In Marin there are shared values, and it is expected that the residents will toe the line. One of those shared values is a kind of make-believe tolerance. The reality is that the inhabitants of Marin are just as conformist and narrow-minded as are the inhabitants of flyover small towns ridiculed by Hollywood or Ivy-League sociology professors. Deviations from expectations will usually generate silent disapproval rather than verbal correction. However, if you depart too far from expectations, you may experience vigorous disapproval. ...
Charles Murray, in his new book Coming Apart, points out that a new social class has been created due to the greater economic value of brains, a consequence of the impact of new technology. These workers tend to be in the high-tech industry or the financial industry. They have a privileged position and are isolated from the rest of America. They tend to marry each other, and they cluster in certain places like Marin County. Because their skills are in great demand, they are unacquainted with economic hardship. The idea that, for example, environmental goals have to be compromised for economic goals is foreign to them because such difficult compromises are not something they have had to face in their personal lives. Since they have led such charmed lives, they see no reason why everyone can’t have similar advantages. So Obama’s message that he is going to fix everything resonates with them. Many members of this new class went to universities where doctrinaire and anti-capitalist ideology is rampant. Thus, they lack historical perspective, or even basic historical knowledge.
Smart people lacking a solid education are susceptible to crackpot ideas, be they global warming, the evil of plastic bags, radio waves making people sick, or Steve Jobs’ theory of healing cancer with nutrition.
Santa Monica watch dealer defending his store against armed robbers killed five criminals in the course of four gunfights. Targeted for revenge by an LA gang, he finally gave up his storefront, but he still sells watches and does repairs by appointment and on-line.
There is naturally a special fascination for sportsmen in the prospect of trying for an example of particularly rare and beautiful game species.
The Paiute Cutthroat Trout survived in only a portion of a single remote stream in the High Sierras, Silver King Creek, (and transplants have been made to only handful of other locations), so Paiute Cutthroats do not grow to a very large size, but with respect to beauty and rarity, they inevitably rank at the top of the heap of potential trophies for the trout fisherman. I say potential, because it has not been legal to fish for Paiute Cutthroats for many decades. Occasionally, one is caught, photographed, and released with special permission by some writer or fisheries biologist.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday on the ironic situation in which environmentalist extremism on the part of two busybodies, has, for more than a decade, successfully blocked efforts by the California fish and game department to restore the rare Paiute Cutthroat to its original home range on the lower portion of Silver King Creek.
In 1912, a young shepherd named Joe Jaunsaras wanted to fish the fishless upper [portion of Silver King] [C]reek, historical records show, so he carried some Paiute trout up in a can. The fish still exist in that upper stretch of the creek.
He unwittingly saved the Paiute trout from extinction. ... State officials later put other trout species into the Paiute trout’s old home. The more-aggressive new fish ate some Paiute trout and hybridized with others. By the 1940s, Paiute trout were gone from the nine-mile stretch of creek.
There are now fewer than 2,000 adult Paiute trout… The fish has been classified as “threatened” on the federal Endangered Species List since 1975.
California’s fish and game department started working on plans to restore the Paiute trout to their old range in the 1990s.
Then Ms. Erman, the bug researcher, found out. At a water conference in Las Vegas around 2000, someone—she doesn’t remember who—mentioned a plan to use the rotenone toxin in Silver King Creek. Ms. Erman says she knew there were few studies on whether that would kill rare insects. She talked to others who were skeptical of using poisons in the wilderness.
Ms. Erman came to believe that angling enthusiasts were driving the plan at the expense of other species.
Mr. Somer of the state fish and game department says a recreational Paiute fishery could be a “benefit” of a successful restoration, though he says the creek may never open to fishing. ...
Ms. Erman joined forces with environmental lawyers, who in 2003 sued in federal court to stop the trout plan because of their concerns over using rotenone. The suit delayed the plan, but state officials got it back on track until Ms. Erman and her allies in 2004 successfully lobbied a water board near Silver King Creek to halt the plan. The state water board overturned the decision.
The following year Ms. Erman’s allies at Californians for Alternatives to Toxics filed new state and federal suits. They won a federal judgment forcing the state to modify the Paiute trout plan by doing more studies.
The trout plan was again on track in 2010, when the state and federal agencies completed final reports in preparation of poisoning the creek.
But a wet winter caused delays and the insect allies kept litigating. In September, U.S. District Judge Frank Damrell issued an injunction on the plan, in part because it “left native invertebrate species out of the balance.”
The plan, wrote the judge, was “failing to consider the potential extinction of native invertebrate species.”
Nancy Erman, a retired invertebrate researcher from the University of California-Davis, and Ann McCampbell, a Santa Fe, New Mexico physician who appears publicly representing the Multiple Chemical Sensitivities Task Force of New Mexico (a group comprised essentially of herself) are waging a campaign against the use of rotenone and antimycin, the piscicides that would be used to eliminate hybrid and competing trout species in order to allow the reintroduction to their native stretch of stream of one of the rarest and most beautiful trout species in the Western Hemisphere.
Erman and McCampbell, with inadvertent comedy, have actually successfully combined left-wing egalitarianism on the level of Natural Orders, essentially winning in court by accusing California of discrimination in favor of vertebrates (!) with their environmentalist fanatical opposition to chemical piscicides and their Puritan hostility to the field sport of angling.
All two million licensed California anglers and roughly 60,000,000 American anglers contribute money via license fees and excise taxes of equipment for fisheries management and have a legitimate interest in the perservation of the Paiute Cutthroat and the eventual creation over time of a highly restricted, catch-and-release fishery allowing Americans to interact with this rare and charismatic trout.
But our system of laws has become so sclerotic, so open to manipulation by cranks, extremists, and special interests that two malevolent old crackpots can impose their will against the desires and interests of millions upon millions.
Normal Americans, in this particular case, as in so many others, find themselves simply run right over by crazy people utilizing the enabling provisions of feel-good legislation, like the Endangered Species Act, which the majority allowed to be passed into law.
We need to modify and repeal that kind of enabling legislation and we need to pass laws applying some kind of scrutiny to the deceptive fund raising and the lobbying and litigating activities of radical fringe groups attempting to exercise extravagant kinds of power at the expense of ordinary people.
Peter Thiel is the billionaire co-founder of Paypal, a venture capitalist who placed a large bet on Facebook, and a hedge fund manager, who previously studied Analytic Philosophy at Stanford and founded that university’s conservative/libertarian paper, The Stanford Review.
Details describes Thiel’s latest bet: some start-up funding for a micro-state political alternative beginning as an office-park flotilla located directly off the coast of the socialist state of California.
Derisive laughter can be heard emanating from the Bay Area left, but Peter Thiel has an awfully good record of successful investment, and California’s taxes and regulatory policies have already driven a lot of businesses farther away in an in-land direction to Nevada and Arizona. If an off-shore domiciliary alternative could be created that was safe, convenient, and cutting-edge fashionable, it could very possibly be irresistible to many of the same kinds of people attracted to California in the first place.
Despite the innovations of the past quarter century, some of which have made him very, very wealthy, Thiel is unimpressed by how far we’ve come—technologically, politically, socially, financially, the works. The last successful American car company, he likes to note, was Jeep, founded in 1941. “And our cars aren’t moving any faster,” he says. The space-age future, as giddily envisioned in the fifties and sixties, has yet to arrive. ...
Thiel is the primary backer for an idea that takes big, audacious, and outlandish to a whole other level. Two hundred miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge, past that hazy-blue horizon where the Pacific meets the sky, is where Thiel foresees his boldest venture of all. Forget start-up companies. The next frontier is start-up countries. ...
Patri Friedman, a former Google engineer, the grandson of the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman… wants to establish new sovereign nations built on oil-rig-type platforms anchored in international waters—free from the regulation, laws, and moral suasion of any landlocked country. They’d be small city-states at first, although the aim is to have tens of millions of seasteading residents by 2050. Architectural plans for a prototype involve a movable, diesel-powered, 12,000-ton structure with room for 270 residents, with the idea that dozens—perhaps even hundreds—of these could be linked together. Friedman hopes to launch a flotilla of offices off the San Francisco coast next year; full-time settlement, he predicts, will follow in about seven years; and full diplomatic recognition by the United Nations, well, that’ll take some lawyers and time.
“The ultimate goal,” Friedman says, “is to open a frontier for experimenting with new ideas for government.” This translates into the founding of ideologically oriented micro-states on the high seas, a kind of floating petri dish for implementing policies that libertarians, stymied by indifference at the voting booths, have been unable to advance: no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons.
It’s a vivid, wild-eyed dream—think Burning Man as reimagined by Ayn Rand’s John Galt and steered out to sea by Captain Nemo—but Friedman and Thiel, aware of the long and tragicomic history of failed libertarian utopias, believe that entrepreneurial zeal sets this scheme apart. One potential model is something Friedman calls Appletopia: A corporation, such as Apple, “starts a country as a business. The more desirable the country, the more valuable the real estate,” Friedman says. When I ask if this wouldn’t amount to a shareholder dictatorship, he doesn’t flinch. “The way most dictatorships work now, they’re enforced on people who aren’t allowed to leave.” Appletopia, or any seasteading colony, would entail a more benevolent variety of dictatorship, similar to your cell-phone contract: You don’t like it, you leave. Citizenship as free agency, you might say. Or as Ken Howery, one of Thiel’s partners at the Founders Fund, puts it, “It’s almost like there’s a cartel of governments, and this is a way to force governments to compete in a free-market way.”
Some experts have scoffed at the legal and logistical practicalities of seasteading. Margaret Crawford, an expert on urban planning and a professor of architecture at Berkeley, calls it “a silly idea without any urban-planning implications whatsoever.” Other observers have mocked it outright, such as Slate’s Jacob Weisberg, who deemed it perhaps “the most elaborate effort ever devised by a group of computer nerds to get invited to an orgy.” Despite the naysayers, Thiel appears firmly committed to the idea; he has so far funneled $1.25 million to the Seasteading Institute. ...
If the seasteading movement goes forward as planned, Thiel won’t be one of its early citizens. For one thing, he’s not overly fond of boats… Thiel characterizes his interest as “theoretical.” But whether Thiel himself heads offshore or not, there’s a whole lot of passion underlying that theoretical interest. Thiel put forth his views on the subject in a 2009 essay for the Cato Institute, in which he flatly declared, “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.” He went on: “The great task for libertarians is to find an escape from politics in all its forms,” with the critical question being “how to escape not via politics but beyond it. Because there are no truly free places left in our world, I suspect that the mode for escape must involve some sort of new and hitherto untried process that leads us to some undiscovered country.
The 51st state should be named South California, says Jeff Stone, a Republican on the the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. But the proposed 13 southern California counties that would split off from the Golden State would not include Los Angeles.
Stone told the Times’ Phil Willon that the ommission is intentional and is part of a plan that would make for a new conservative Californian state.
“Los Angeles is purposely excluded because they have the same liberal policies that Sacramento does. The last thing I want to do is create a state that’s a carbon copy of what we have now,’’ Stone said.
“Los Angeles just enacted a ban on plastic grocery bags. That put three or four manufacturers out of business,’’ Stone, a pharmacist from Temecula, said.
Stone plans on formally proposing secession Tuesday during a meeting of the Board of Supervisors.
South California would encompass Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Tulare counties, totaling approximately 13 million people.
The proposed 51st state would be the fifth largest by population, more populous than Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania. South California would take nearly a third of the population away from California, making the Golden State the second-largest state after Texas.
The odd thing is: roughly the same thing happened 70 years ago. Four counties in Southern Oregon and three counties of Northern California, frustrated at the time by neglect of their interests by Sacramento & Eugene, wanted to secede and erect the new state of Jefferson.
They had gotten as far as issuing a declaration of independence, choosing a capitol (Yreka), and electing a governor when, Whoops!, along came the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Everyone was completely distracted by the entry of the United States into WWII, and the cause of the independence of the Cascades went a-begging.