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The State of Northern California, Starring Los Angeles

Jul 11, 2011

I don't want to appear out of step with rational people – it's so hard to regain people's trust once they suspect you've gone off the rails – but that doesn't mean that I don't endorse Riverside County Supervisor Jeff  Stone's suggestion last week to partition California into two states. 

The beauty of this two-state idea is the epic gerrymander that would force Northern California to take Los Angeles-- a magnet for entertainment types, Beverly Hills matrons, hiphop artists with jewelry in their teeth and people who speak foreign languages, among other annoyances--as its new capitol. For its part, the new State of Southern California would include up to 13 counties, including Riverside, Orange and San Diego

The motivation? "Our taxes are too high, our schools don't educate our children well enough, unions and other special interests have more clout in the Legislature than the general public," Stone said in a statement.

Speaking as the self-appointed representative for Los Angeles, I'm willing to strike a deal with Supervisor Stone, as long as he meets the following demands:

1. I want a redwood grove immediately transported to Edwards Air Force Base, located in the desert region in northernmost L.A. County.  If we arrange all the redwood trees in a giant circle, they can make a convenient target for incoming spacecraft.

2. I want giant fog-making machinery, so clouds can drift poetically over the LA in the afternoon, just before the evening gets that oceanfront chill. (Believe me, they'll never miss the fog in Tiburon.) 

3. Move Malibu to Eureka, so we don't have to deal with people who challenge us as we wade waist-deep across their "private" beach waters.  Granted, such people are a tiny minority of the good people of Malibu, but relocating them northwards improves the chances they will be eaten by sharks.  

4. Move the Golden Gate bridge to Long Beach, which could serve as a wonderful "image piece" to celebrate that city's industrial waterfront.  

5. Move Santa Monica to a site just outside Pleasanton –they're roughly in the same demographic and median household income, so they should get along-- while bringing Big Sur and Point Lobos Reserve to the area to the Santa Monica Bay, so I don't have to drive so far to visit my favorite parts of Northern  California. 

6. To keep undesirables out of the new State of Northern California, a barrier fence can be built along the borders of the two states, to keep Southerners from attempting to infiltrate our citadel of affluence and scenic shorelines. Travelers attempting to enter Northern California would be stopped at checkpoints. Those lacking special work visas would be turned away.

7. In recognition of the region's emerging majority population, Spanish becomes the official language of the new State of Southern California. 

I‘m prepared to deal, Supervisor Stone. And I'll make a special offer: if you and I can come to an agreement before Labor Day, I'll throw in Kern County, as a kind of goodwill gift, or "lagniappe," as such gifts are known in Louisiana.  Think it over. Lunch is my treat. We'll have Humboldt fog for the cheese course.

--Morris Newman