Showing posts with label California travel ban. Show all posts
Showing posts with label California travel ban. Show all posts

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Harvey Weinstein, the Napa-Sonoma Wildfires, and California's Travel Ban: Greetings from Flyover Country


Awhile back I wrote about California's legislative travel ban, which bars state-funded travel to states that passed so-called unprogessive legislation. Eight states are now on that list, including Texas and North Carolina.

At the time I wrote, I considered California's travel ban to be arrogant, self-righteous, and gratuitous. But that was before the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the Napa-Sonoma wildfires. Now I consider the travel ban to be pathetic.

People who live in flyover country have grown accustomed to being reprimanded by the California entertainment elites--all those beautiful people who are so cool and sensitive. We've endured public scoldings from the California legislature, which passed a law that bars state-funded travel to eight of California's sister states.

And now we find that Hollywood, the capital of coolness, has been enabling a sexual predator and accused rapist for decades. Everyone in the movie business knew Harvey Weinstein was preying on vulnerable women. His own company knew; in fact Harvey's employment contract contained a clause obligating Weinstein to reimburse his employer for future sexual abuse lawsuits (he had already settled with eight accusers) and to pay escalating penalties for future sexual assault complaints.

And then came the Napa-Sonoma wildfires, which have killed at least 40 people and scorched 350 square miles of the California wine country. Firefighters are pouring in from all over the United States to help fight these fires--including firefighters from North Carolina, which is under California's travel ban.

Do you think the California legislature will bar North Carolina fire crews from tackling the blaze in the Napa Valley? No, of course not. California's politicians want all the help the state can get to put out the deadliest wildfire in California history--even help from insensitive North Carolinians.

Do you think Hollywood will ask the folks in flyover country to boycott all the  movies associated with Harvey Weinstein? No. The movie industry depends on the rubes to buy movie tickets and $10 popcorn. Puh-leeze buy a ticket to see all the movies Harvey Weinstein and his cronies vomited into American culture.

Do you think any of Hollywood's supercilious, pompous asses will apologize to middle America for all the judgmental lectures they delivered while they covered up the Weinstein scandal? No, I don't think so.

But it is not my purpose to scold Hollywood or California politicians now that the Golden State's hypocrisy has been exposed. I don't wish to descend to the level of Alex Baldwin.

No, I wish to evoke the spirit of Woody Guthrie, the great folk singer and Dust Bowl refugee who migrated to California during the Great Depression, back in the days when California state troopers turned Okies away at the state border.
"This land is your land," Guthrie sang. "this land is my land.


From the California to the New York island
From the Redwood Forest
To the Gulf Stream watersThis land was made for you and me.



So this is my message to California:

We, the people of flyover country, grieve for you as you battle the Napa-Sonoma wildfires, and fire crews from all over America will come to help. We'll even continue watching the retched movies that Hollywood grinds out ever year.

But here's the thing: This land is not just your land. It's our land. It was a land made for all of us. So let's all be a little more tolerant toward one another.









Tuesday, June 27, 2017

California bans state-funded travel to Texas. Frankly, my dear, Texans don't give a damn.

In a fit of governmental lunacy, the California legislature passed a law last year banning government-funded travel to any state that discriminates against LGBT people.  As of this week, eight states are on California's travel-ban list: Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas. 

As a former Texan who is proud to have received a law degree from the state's flagship university, I feel quite confident in saying that Texans don't give a damn.  Ken Paxton, the Texas Attorney General, jokingly remarked that California probably imposed the travel ban to reduce the number of Californians who visit Texas and decide to relocate. 

In fact, 600,000 Californians moved to Texas over the last decade, while only 350,000 Texans moved to California. Between 2009 and 2014, California suffered a net population loss of nearly 1 million people; and Texas absorbed more California emigrants than any other state.

California's travel ban is a display of cultural arrogance equal to that displayed by the British Empire toward India during the days of the Raj. Texas, after all, is not a cultural backwater. It has the nation's second largest economy, and its cities are as culturally diverse as Los Angeles. Houston, which will soon pass Chicago to become the nation's third largest city, has a thriving gay community and even elected a lesbian mayor. 

As of now, California's travel ban only applies to eight states; but there will surely be more. Kentucky, for example, was put on the travel-ban list because it passed a religious freedom statute. But 19 other states have adopted similar laws. Why single out Kentucky?

Let's face it. In the eyes of California's progressive politicians, the entire country is benighted compared to the Golden State. Why doesn't California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who put Texas on the travel-ban list, make a clean sweep and ban state-funded travel anywhere in the United States except Boston and New York City?

No one in California wants to visit flyover country anyway, and people in flyover country will do just fine even if they receive fewer visitors from California.


Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn if you don't want to visit Texas.


References

John Daniel Davidson. California's travel ban messes with Texas. The Federalist, June 27, 2017.

Phillip Reese. Roughly 5 million people left California in the last decade. See where they went. Sacramento Bee, 2017.