Cali Crazy: A Texan’s take on the Golden State—part 5—Making us better citizens: one lightbulb and gun law at a time

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I’ve noticed something about California lawmakers: They don’t trust us citizens to be good people on our own. So they create laws to help us become better people … with their help.

As a doofus Texan, do I need the enlightened folks in Sacramento to help me be a better person? Nope. When it comes to lightbulbs and handguns, I need a nanny state like I need a hole in the head.

Take the legislative push to help Californians use less energy, for instance. If you add floodlights to the outside of your home, by law they must have motion sensors that kick them on when the neighbor’s cat triggers them at 3 a.m.

Why can’t you just leave them turned off when you go to bed, you ask? Because this is much too commonsensical. You see most Californians can’t be trusted to turn off their floodlights before turning in.

The folks in Sacramento know this right well, which is why they created a law to help mitigate our thoughtlessness.

However, if you buy newer, more efficient LED floodlights, you don’t need a motion sensor built in. It’s kind of a carrot, you see—do the right thing, and buy an energy efficient LED floodlight, and it doesn’t matter that you’re still likely to leave your floodlight on. This way, thoughtlessly burning it all night uses much less energy.

I have LEDs because they use a fraction of the energy fluorescents and incandescents use. It’s smart and cheaper. Do I need a law to be wise and thrifty? Do you?

Guns Guns GUNS!

The handling of the “gun issue” in California is the mother of all efforts to make us citizens better people. And here’s an irony—once a part of the Old West where saloon disputes were solved with revolvers on main street, California has become an overprotective, hyper-legislative wuss of a state.

Texas is the rootinest tootinest shootinest hombre east and north of the Rio Grande. And for some reason, I take a heap of pride in this distinction. Mostly for this reason—through all its bluster, Texas runs on common sense.

Funny thing is that for years as a Texas resident, I didn’t give a hoot about owning a gun. But after moving to California and experiencing the angst and annoyance many Northern Californians felt during the Obama years, I now exercise my Second Amendment rights with grit and gusto.

You see when a silly pseudo-Old West state like California tries to force itself on me for my own protection, I’m likely to protect myself from it. It’s called Freedom, and it’s mighty scarce ’round here.

A matter of trust

It all boils down to this: California lawmakers, many of them hailing from the Northeast either directly or one or two generations removed, don’t trust their citizens—or anyone for that matter—to do the right thing. This goes for energy use and for self and/or property protection.

In the case of firearms, these Yankee know-it-alls think California citizens don’t need those dangerous, treacherous things. Do you know how many people guns kill people in California annually? A big, fat zero. Criminals kill people…with guns.

Not sure the folks in “Sac” as they call the Cali capitol ’round here understand something elementary about guns: They need a finger to trigger them. Otherwise, they’re just pieces of steel or alloy. And limiting their magazines to 10 rounds won’t do a thing.

You see, it’s not like bad people are gonna abide by the law and make sure their magazines are legal capacity. They don’t follow the rules in getting weapons; why would they give two shakes about a 10-round magazine limit?

Logical state: Criminals will always have and use guns.
Logical measure: Allow more good guys and girls to have guns.
Logical conclusion: Good can more effectively combat evil.

Update: Well, what do you know? This happened in Texas on Wednesday, May 3, 2017—just three days before this post: 

Police: ‘Good Samaritan’ kills active shooter in Texas sports bar

Good guy with gun stops bad guy with gun and saves others.
Yeehaw!

Trusting citizens

In the rare instance a background-checked and trained conceal carry licensed citizen can use his or her weapon to protect others and him or herself, the 10-round limit gives the criminal the advantage in a firefight.

Here’s an idea: Instead of forcing citizens to carry more magazines (which negates concealment, by the way), why not let conceal carry permit holders use magazines that hold as many rounds as the handgun can manage?

Level the playing field between good guy and bad guy, right? Common sense? Nope.

California lawmakers don’t consider this commonsensical; they think it’s dangerous. Why? The answer brings us back to an earlier point: If they don’t trust us to turn off floodlights, why would they trust us with guns?

The truth is they would like to forbid gun ownership in California … period. It’s that simple. They think citizens who want to own and use guns shouldn’t.

Their legislative message is this: Don’t be a right-wing, gun-crazy nutjob. That’s what Texans are for.

Cali Crazy: A Texan’s take on the Golden State—part 4—Speed humps, crosswalks and men at work.

Californians

The way Californians see traffic and pedestrians is a funny thing. It’s like the way they look at guns and people—instead of teaching humans to handle cars and firearms with care and common sense, they discriminate against the very things that can’t learn a thing—vehicles.

Take this crosswalk conundrum, for instance. What makes more sense—requiring a driver to stop a 7,000-plus pound pickup truck for a lone pedestrian waiting at a crosswalk or for the pedestrian to wait ’til the coast is clear and cross without the danger of another driver in the far lane running ’em over?

It’s about momentum … and physics

Is it me, or don’t it seem like human nature to wanna keep the momentum going in a vehicle rather than stopping for someone who should have sense enough to cross when it’s safe? Humans can stop on a dime, but vehicles take a lot more coin to come to a halt.

By now, you where this is going … things are done a whole lot different in Texas.

It’s more like the Old West there than it is in the Old West here. Texans decide for themselves when to cross the road based on their trusty eyeballs. In California, people rely on laws that establish bipedal supremacy instead of using their noggins.

Californians

Speed humps? Follow me, Californians.

Then there are these silly California “speed humps.” Speed humps? Those are what you see at a dog park. Where I come from, speed humps are called speed BUMPS. But either way, they’re just as annoying. These pesky little mounds of asphalt not only slow you down, they really exercise your pedal patience.

In Texas, you might find a couple of ’em in a strip mall parking lot. But in some parts of California, they’re placed every 30 feet or so. I dunno—maybe the powers that be think the more you annoy drivers, the safer they drive.

And then you got the “Follow Me” escort trucks that state lawmakers think are necessary to “Pilot” people safely past men (and women) at work on roads, bridges and, in the Sierra Nevada, piles of fallen rock. Here’s a Texas tip—use a few traffic cones and put the guys or girls holding STOP signs to work to make things go faster.

Californians
I can see this road work system making sense on two-lane roads, but they seem to employ it for just about any road. And most times, there are four or five workers loitering around watching two people do the work, anyways. They must be unionized.

Too much of a good thing

Public safety is paramount around here. It takes precedence over—like so many other things in California—good sense and personal responsibility. Maybe this stuff is another way the smart folks in Sacramento protect us from ourselves.

Where I come from, people protect themselves by making smart pedestrian and traffic decisions. It’s like how we teach our kids: “Wait ’til there are no cars comin’, Tommy, then cross the road.” The only laws we need are the laws of physics—big, heavy machines take a lot longer to stop than itty-bitty people.

So, let ’em blow by, and go when it’s clear.

Cali Crazy: A Texan’s take on the Golden State—part 3—Holy Holisticism, Batman!

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Talk about crazy. California is blazing the crazy trail with every holistic “remedy” under the sun. Jeepers, Batman—it’s like there are snake oil salesmen on every corner of every city and town in this gorgeous, zany, backward-from-frontward Golden State!

Oil pulling. Essential oil therapy. Urine drinking. Sun gazing. TriVibamins (something to do with “Light Particle Gatekeepers”). It’s all so bewildering to this Texan. Call me simple, but this stuff just don’t add up.

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What ever happened to going to the doctor once a year, having your blood analyzed, eating your veggies and taking a couple of vitamins here and there … and just workin’ hard and livin’ right?

Not sure what to make of all this holisticism. But people around here seem to swear by it. My dentist wife’s patients tell her all about it; and she smiles and listens and helps them keep their mouths healthy.

Snake oil crazy

Take this oil pulling. From what I can tell, you swish a tablespoon of oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for 20 minutes. This supposedly draws out toxins in your body and improves oral and overall health.

Image my copyright protected.

Toxins? Isn’t that what a snakebite’ll give ya? Or spider venom? Shoot—if a wasp stings me, I plaster some cold mud on it like my dad showed me. Does that draw out toxins?

Essential oil therapy, huh. Kinda sounds like what happens to my hair while I sleep: The little Italian grease monkeys come out and pump away. Come morning … all natural mousse. It works so well my wife says I look like a Who from Whoville.

A taste’ll teach ya

I drank my urine once. By accident. I peed in my water bottle on a road trip and then forgot and took a swig. At first I thought it was old, warmish sour lemonade. Then it hit me. The only health benefit I got out of it was to aid my memory so as to never drink my pee again.

Sun gazing? No need for a Texan’s take on this one besides this humble piece of advice: It’s pretty dumb to stare at the sun. Nuff said.

crazy

My wife and I ran into the TriVibamin thing at a hot springs resort in a little nearby town that’s even smaller than ours. From what I can tell it has something to do with vibrating the atoms in vitamins. So … Viba- and -amin … vibrating vitamins. Get it? Nope.

Shake it up

“Because Your Energy, Vitality & Good Heath Depend Upon The Light Particles You Absorb” is what a brochure says about TriVibamins.

If light and vibration are good for you, I must’ve really benefitted from riding shotgun in a friend’s old rattling pickup during all those scorching-hot Texas summer high school days.

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David Kozlowski, Old Ford Chevy Chevrolet Pickup Truck Blue Red Rust, Jacksboro, Texas Feed Mill. All rights reserved.

This Texan just doesn’t get why eating right and exercising and common sense preventives don’t do the trick for these crazy Californians. It’s like they’re always looking for something new and nutty when the tried-and-true works every time.

This holistic stuff is kinda like a religion around here. Takes more faith than most, too.

Maybe I should start pushing something just fresh enough to believe in. Like pleasingly packaged bovine excrement that when sniffed vigorously for 20 minutes is sure to purge all toxins and every last scrap of common sense.

Sound crazy enough to sell? In California, it just might.

For more Cali Crazy Texan takes on the Golden State, part five is in the works. Stay tuned.

Cali Crazy: A Texan’s take on the Golden State—the Intro

crazy

As a Texan, my take on California is based, in part, on movies, music and murders—Dirty Harry, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Beach Boys, the Manson family and O.J. Simpson.

It’s a perception of palm trees, glitz, glamour, surf spray, blood red sandy sunsets, optimism, money and movie stars. All of which is funny because the little Sierra Nevada town to which I came and settled has none of these elements.

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All kinds of crazy

What it does have are chilly lakes, river and creeks, colossal ponderosa pines, boulder-strewn mountains, a rustic Old West main street, cabins, cottages, trailer homes, covert marijuana operations, county fairs and farmers’ markets, meth mouths and a ubiquitous hippy vibe.

Its denizens are a curious mixture of gun-toters, hunters and fishers, mellowed radicals, old-guardians and libertarians, cowboys and wine connoisseurs, big-city expatriates and small-town burn-outs. One can find equal numbers of 2nd Amendment activists and gun control enthusiasts, good ‘ol boy beer guzzlers and potheads. It’s a place where everyone can fit in—as long as they fit in within their own groups.

crazy

And along comes the Texan, who talks like a Midwesterner and thinks like a Texan and laughs at the funny stuff going on all around him as he encounters big-government, big-idea California head-on and realizes he’s all the way in when he gets his driver’s license and marries a mountain girl. This new California life means higher taxes, better weather, more expensive gas, more personal freedom and less social responsibility.

My Cali now

This California is now my California. But I can still look at it my way: through the eyes and prejudices of a Texan. Big, bold, beautiful, bloated and kinda nutty—in good and bad ways. Cali Crazy is my take on California; and I’m sticking with it. Yeehaw, baby—let’s ride.

For more Cali Crazy Texan takes on the Golden State, here’s part one: Cali Crazy: A Texan’s take on the Golden State—part 1—Suspicious minds