The more I think about it, the more unlikely it seems that I’m going to end up staying here in S.D. While the weather is nice and I have some connections that would make it easier to find a job out here, I think I’m just sick and tired of most of the people here.
This is not to say I haven’t met cool people here. S.D. has far more cultured, liberal, progressive people here than you would think, despite the stranglehold the Republican Party and the military-industrial complex has had on it for most of the 20th century. And ironically, since it *is* a military town, the quagmire also known as the Iraq War has alienated a lot of soldiers, especially when the leading GOP politicians continue to spout outrageous lies about what its like over there. Keep digging that hole, Bush and Company. Let us know when you get to China.
But there are too many meth heads, too many racists, Neo-Nazis, and Klansmen, too many hookers and “massage parlors”, too many wife-beaters and child-abusers, too many of the worst kinds of humanity. While I have no problem whatsoever with moral vice, and I’m generally a very forgiving person, I have no patience for hypocrisy whatsoever. And, in the four years that I’ve spent here, I’ve quickly learned the following equation:
Republican = big fat hairy hypocrite
The other thing that has been irritating me a lot is that for some reason, Clear Channel has deigned it necessary to pull KLSD, the local Air America affiliate, off the air. This despite the high ratings the station is getting.
But I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was the pathetic response in San Diego County to the wildfires that started on Sunday, October 21st.
All told, there were 9 different fires in San Diego, although a few of them actually started on October 22nd or later. Meanwhile, in six other counties, there were a total of 14 different fires, five of them being in Los Angeles County.
Despite this distribution, the area of land burned and the number of homes destroyed in San Diego County far exceeded that of the six other counties combined.
|Location||Acres Burned||Homes Destroyed|
|San Diego County||369,396||1,681|
|L.A./O.C./Ventura/Santa Barbara/San Bernardino/Riverside Counties||148,346||289|
|Los Angeles County||104,186||2|
(Numbers derived from Cal Fire)
The discrepancy is very telling. After all, there isn’t very much difference in climate between the seven Southern California counties. We’re all suffering from the drought. We were all impacted by the Santa Ana winds.
So tell me why, more than a week out, three of the nine fires in S.D. County are still burning, with one of them only 70% contained? Of the two fires still burning in the other six counties, one was the result of arson, and the other is 97% contained.
Now, S.D. County is notorious for harboring all sorts of conservatives and liberterians—in other words, people who hate paying taxes. This translates into a real lack of community resources. S.D. County does not have a municipal hospital, for example, thereby foisting all the people who have no insurance on the local Children’s Hospital and the University of California. And S.D. County does not have a county fire department, either. Which means that when the outlying areas of the county start burning, there is no unified response. In the other six counties, fire fighters got to the respective locations pretty quickly, hampered mostly by terrain (as in Malibu, which is just a narrow strip of land between the mountains and the sea, and in Santiago Canyon, which consists of mostly mountainous, undeveloped land in Orange County, not to mention the fact that that fire was the result of arson, with the fire starting in three or more initial sites.) In contrast, in S.D. County, there were huge areas of fire that no fire fighters were available for, and in many cases, because of the poorly planned roadways built ramshackle by rapacious developers, even if there were fire fighters available, they couldn’t get into good position.
The things that pisses me off about this is that these very same conservatives and liberterians are the ones who bitch about welfare and illegal immigration and how people-of-color are mooching off the system, when, thanks to their unwillingness to contribute cold-hard cash to the government, the rest of the state, and the rest of the country (assuming that FEMA won’t completely fuck up again) is going to have to take care of their sorry asses.
Even before the fires, this was true. Case in point: UCSD Hillcrest, the de facto county hospital (which is, by the way, the regional burn center, and where all the burn victims pretty much ended up going), is a University of California institution. So guess what? Even if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, or if you live in L.A. (which, by the way, has exceedingly large numbers of people who consider themselves liberal and/or progressive), your tax dollars make their way to S.D. care of the UC Regents in order to pay for all the unfortunate uninsured folk who come our way because the people who actually live here couldn’t be bothered to contribute to the community and take care of their own.
And guess who funds the Cal Fire firefighters who had to come out and rescue San Diego County? That’s right, the liberal/progressive taxpayers of the other urban centers of California. Guess where a majority of the National Guardsmen who happened to not be in Iraq and were able to mobilize at minutes notice? That’s right, the S.F. Bay Area and L.A.
And of course, there are all the fire fighters who came from Northern California, and who came from other states in the country. So here they are getting all this help, and they don’t have to pay a single dime for it. Such crap.
So much for refusing handouts, huh?
The other thing that pissed me off were all those idiots who refused to evacuate despite repeated warnings to do so, to the point where the firefighters had to come rescue them instead of actually fighting fires. You’ve got to wonder how many more homes ended up burning because of these morons distracting the firefighters from their job. And these are the same people who have the gall to rag on the poor black folk who got stranded in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, many of whom had no transportation to get out even if they wanted to.
But the worst part of it all were all the stupid local politicians fellating each other (yeah, you, Duncan Hunter), taking credit for all the hard work of the firefighters and the volunteers. This, despite, axing all sorts of funding that would’ve hired more firefighters and bought more equipment, so that disasters like this wouldn’t escalate to such ridiculous proportions. (I’m talking to you, Governor Schwarzenegger. For better or for worse, California will continue to burn in a cyclic pattern, and there ain’t nothing we can do to stop it short of spraying Agent Orange on everything.)
Again, I have no problem with vice. Drugs, commercialized sex work, whatever. You’re all adults, do what you gotta do. In contrast, while I’m not a fan of corruption and greed, I realize that it’s extremely unlikely that these things will ever disappear. But when you exhibit all of these shitty things, and you hypocritically get on your high horse, and you have the audacity to call yourself “America’s Finest City”, you’re just asking for an ass-whooping from God Almighty. Think Sodom and Gomorrah, guys.
San Diego, I hardly knew ye. I can’t wait to get out of this fucking place.