California is falling to pieces but its administrators are far too busy banning luxury foods to care. The state is failing to educate its kids, cannot house its prisoners or pay its bills; what was once the most vibrant and forward-looking state in the country has become a dismal failure — a social catastrophe that is a drag on the whole country’s performance.
It’s pathetic. A law passed in 2004 that bans foie gras across the state will come into effect on July 1. Animal protection agencies and their allies in the government ganged up and convinced their fellow Californians that this was the most important issue of the day. Geese and ducks, those poor birds and their tasty livers, fattened up and slaughtered to grace the tables at upscale restaurants, that’s just too much for a good Californian to have on his conscience. The animal activists really came out for this one. “People are allowed to eat food, not allowed to torture it first” — the president of the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “How would you like to have a tube crammed down your throat and corn forced down it? It’s very inhumane” — the chairman of the California Democratic Party.
Congratulations California, your elected representatives don’t have time for the state’s real problems. They are busy — banning foie gras because its method of production involves cruelty to geese.
Who cares that the budget in California is such a catastrophe that the state has had to pay its obligations with scrip and delay tax refunds? Who cares that the state’s public schools are both some of the most expensive and poorest performing in the whole country? Who cares that employee pension funds are tens of billions short? That major cities face bankruptcy? That the once great public university system in California is on a one way trip to nowhere?
Such trivial concerns pale in the minds of California solons and administrators beside the terrible, terrible news that somebody somewhere is mistreating a goose.
This law is faddish, foppish, and terminally unserious. Jesus criticized foolish people of his time because they “tithed mint and dill and cumin” and neglected their serious moral duties. That is what California is doing, and its governing class has become both a laughingstock and a disgrace. The state’s powers that be are totally blind to the unmet economic and social needs of the vast majority of Californians. Instead they pander to the whims of upper middle class do-gooders, narcissistic trustifarians and addled show biz bigshots who keep looking for marginal issues to turn into moral crusades.