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Hello RedStaters, and welcome to today’s Water Cooler – always an Open Thread.

California – One Size Does NOT Fit All

There are still many good and great things in and about California.  For the conservatives like myself, we cringe at the label “Californians”, usually negatively-applied – we don’t fit your mold.

As I grew up, I knew that California was great.  Amazing environmental diversity, 1/7 of the economy of the entire country, exporting food to our country and the world, gold country, wine, the innovation of our aerospace and computer industries – the list goes on and on.  I grew up in the a rural area, with lots of space to roam, nice neighbors and community, the Milky Way splashed across the sky at night, F4 Phantoms blasting around the skies by day.

After spending virtually all of my consciously-remembered life here (with tiny excursions to Arizona or Nevada) I went to college on the Ice Coast, as far from home as possible in so many ways!  My new friends and acquaintances would refer to California as the land of Fruits and Nuts.  I don’t think we had truly earned it yet (we had put Reagan in the white house, our schools and infrastructure were in great shape, and the cancers of Feinstein, Boxer, Pelosi et al were not yet metastasized into the larger State or Country).

But now it’s undeniable.  California overall is a drag on not only itself but the continued viability of the United States as a Constitutional Republic, both due to the internal effects of progressivism and the wider effects of the progressives themselves spreading themselves all over the western US.

For now, I live in one of the reddest parts of the state, a red county.  I wonder whether and how much of the state can be saved; and how the country could best be protected from California’s toxic side effects.  Self-preservation or that for my immediate family is certainly doable – we could leave.  But really – the conservatives didn’t make the problems – and should we cede the country’s best geography to those destroying the state?  Unfair!  Sad!

We as conservatives next dream of staying, but protecting ourselves from the messed up parts.  Where I am you see the bumper stickers “State of Jefferson“.  This means different things to different people, but generally a chunk of northern California and a chunk of southern Oregon have a wild fling, consummate the relationship, and give birth to the 51st state, “Jefferson”.  Of all the proposals to break up California, this is one of the few that would meet my criteria – (1) help me, (2) without screwing the US.  I figure this way we may not tip the balance of the California delegation to the House of Representatives, but at least we’ll go from 2 dependable nuts in the US Senate to 2 and 2.  So I can live in something other than a communist utopia, and you can see a reduced California warping of the US Senate.

Intersection of Gunnuttery and Wingnuttery?

A new day is dawning on our way to “Star Wars”, or maybe a sentient “SkyNet” – not sure which destination we will reach first…

Rather than spewing some quantity of mass at high velocity to destroy things with kinetic energy E=MV^2, soon we might just use light…  The latest destruction of aerial drones in a test environment can be found here: US Army Athena Laser

It’s … good.  I guess.  But there is just something a lot more satisfying about E=MV^2.

Daily Audio Bible

Many of us try to stay in the Word as an essential of our life.  There are many ways that people go about this, but one that my wife and I became aware of and have found very useful is the “Daily Audio Bible“.  Everyday for more than 10 years, Brian Hardin has followed a “bible in a year” template that goes through 4 sections of the bible each day, an Old Testament reading, a New Testament Reading, a passage from the Psalms, and a few verses of Proverbs.  It is a great format that comes across as a balanced meal.  In a year you will go through each of those sections completely, with Psalms being covered fully twice (a six month cycle).  Brian records the passages read aloud, usually by him, occasionally by a guest reader.  He follows this with some analysis of the readings, and then closes with community prayer requests or praises that come in from all over the world.  Give it a shot, either for own interest, or so that you know about it and can recommend it to others who may benefit from it even if it is not your thing.

I use the iPhone app, but all you really need is a browser.  I have even used the app to download days that I can then listen to while traveling where I might not have access to the internet.

And as a special treat, he travels to do live events around the country – I will be able to catch him live this weekend on both Saturday and Sunday.  Last year I thoroughly enjoyed his visit.

Prayer

Let’s keep all those affected by the hurricanes in our prayers.  After the non-stop media exposure around Harvey, Irma, Jose, and now Maria, we may be susceptible to hurricane fatigue – but let’s remember that these hurricanes are all too real for all too many people.  I’m thinking right now about Puerto Rico and the incredible devastation they have just endured as a prime example.  The entire US territory was slammed and was without power.  The political concerns and jousting pale in comparison, do they not?