"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wMonday, November 08, 2004

ARNOLD: That, in a word, is historian Kevin Starr's answer for what ails California. I had a review in the New York Post this Sunday of his new book:

IS California doomed? That, put ting it baldly, is the question that drove historian Kevin Starr to write this long, detail-rich book about the future of what I've taken to calling the tarnished state.

Starr explains in the introduction, "I became fascinated as the 1980s turned into the 1990s by the possibility — even probability — that California had gone seriously awry."

Gang warfare and the Los Angeles riots dominated the news, and the racial tension was so thick that you could cut it with a knife, if it didn't cut you first. The legislature hiked taxes to deal with a towering deficit, which encouraged the rich to flee the state in massive numbers. The tax exiles were more than replaced, numerically, by poor Mexican immigrants.

All of this prompted a backlash in the form of Proposition 187, a measure to deny education and basic services to illegal immigrants. The voter-driven initiative passed overwhelmingly in the face of charges that it was motivated by xenophobia. [more]

posted by Jeremy at 1:14 AM