George Takei Wonders What Happened To The Republicans Who Are Against Big Government

Hey GOP, Lt. Sulu has some questions for you.

Star Trek’s George Takei, who in recent years has made a name for himself as an outspoken advocate for gay rights and protector of the legacy of the World War II internment of Japanese-Americans (including a young man named George Takei, by the way), has an interesting post at his blog  sharing his thoughts regarding the current state of the Republican Party:

At their core, Republicans are for smaller government. That means LESS governmental intrusion into our lives, our affairs, our money. Consistently applied, this is a sound and important philosophy that acts as a counterweight to wasteful government spending, excessive taxation, and Big Brother intrusiveness. It is a “live and let live” attitude. Good people may disagree respectfully whether more or less government is needed in areas such as healthcare and education, whether a larger military or more international intervention is needed, and whether we should cut taxes on the wealthy or raise them. I personally can completely understand the economic rationales behind the GOP platform, even if I don’t think we should retry them right now.

What I simply can’t understand is why the GOP ignores the gorilla in their tent when it comes to social issues. For a party that prides itself on less government intrusion, it sure seems busy these days telling women and LGBT persons what they can and cannot do. This is not only inconsistent, it is a poor strategy for keeping the party strong, growing, and current. If religious fundamentalists want to push their extremist agendas, they should do it in some other party, so that I don’t have sit there in awkward conversations with my Republican friends, secretly wondering how they can continue to pander to such drivel.

(…)

It’s time for true Republicans to regain control of their party. For Republicans who believe in a woman’s right to choose not to have to pretend that they don’t. For those who believe that two people who love each other should be allowed to get married, who the hell cares, to say so. And for those who would like to see more Ron Pauls and fewer Mike Huckabees to stand up and say, “Actually, WE’RE the real Republicans. Now get off our lawn.”

Takei begins the post by admitting the not surprising fact that he is a Democrat. Given his positions on issues like same-sex marriage, I would be surprised if he weren’t. At the same time, though, he says that he doesn’t forget that it was a Democrat, Franklin Roosevelt, who put him and his family in an internment camp without just cause, and points out that this act was an example of Big Government at its worst.  Which is perhaps why he finds the GOP’s position on social issues so puzzling.

As for the merits of the post, he’s absolutely right. The Republican Party likes to think of itself as the party of small government and individual liberty, but once you peel back the layers and look at what they actually advocate on a number of issues, you realize how much of a lie that actually is. Takei concentrates on social issues because that is an area of concern to him, and it is indeed the case that the Republican position on same-sex marriage is a sad affront to individual liberty. If the party at least held the opinion that gay and lesbian couples should have the right to the same rights as married couples through something akin to civil unions, then perhaps their opposition to same-sex “marriage” wouldn’t be so offensive. As I noted during the Republican convention, though, the GOP’s Platform Committee overwhelmingly rejected a plank that would have endorsed civil unions. Add to that the party’s bizarre position on abortion, which would effectively ban the procedure under all circumstances for every woman in the United States, and it’s hard to consider the GOP’s claim to be a party of small government and individual liberty as anything but a lie.

Going beyond social issues, though, Republicans have demonstrated through policy and practice in other areas that their commitment to less intrusive government is, in reality, little more than lip service. As I noted during the GOP Convention, the party platform includes a call for a crackdown on adult pornography for no other apparent reason other than the fact that social conservatives don’t like. In the area of civil liberties, it was a Republican President and Congress who gave us, overwhelmingly and with little serious debate, the PATRIOT Act, one of the most serious eviscerations of 4th Amendment rights in history. It was a Republican President who authorized warrantless wiretapping of American citizens in the name of “national security,” and it was a Republican President who authorized torture in the name of “national security.” These are not the actions of a party that believes in limited government and individual liberty.

None of this is to say that the Democrats are any better, of course, especially in the area of civil liberties where, int he wake of the War On Terror, they have become as bad as the GOP. It was, after all, a Democrat who authorized the assassination of an American citizen, and his son, without due process of law or a trial.

Takei, however, is talking about the GOP, and his words are well founded. Republicans would be wise to listen to him.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Gender Issues, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. PJ says:

    There’s a candidate running in this election for those Republicans who want a small government, individual liberties, and are fiscally conservative.

    I believe his name is Gary Johnson.

  2. Modulo Myself says:

    Maybe we should be honest and say that aspiring to an 18th century ideal of limited government can mean anything one wants in 2012. This is why it’s so popular, and this is also why it’s so meaningless. After all, it’s highly possible that the entire government could be shrunk to what it resembled in 1789 without any meaningful change at all in the lives of modern individuals.

  3. Al says:

    @PJ:

    Are you crazy!? Voting for Gary Johnson completely ignores the realities of electoral math! And isn’t electoral math what democracy is all about?

    @Modulo Myself:

    You should probably read up more on what day to day life was like in the 1790’s.

  4. Modulo Myself says:

    @Al:

    I don’t understand what you are trying to say.

  5. michael reynolds says:

    1968. The Southern Strategy. The GOP sold its soul to the Confederacy. The party has never recovered. It has not been a conservative party since.

    Since 1968 the GOP has believed that government had a right to treat some Americans as second-class citizens on the basis of skin color, and then on the basis of gender, and then on the basis of sexual orientation. They believed that government had no obligation to defend the rights of American citizens if those citizens were the “wrong” color, gender or orientation.

    The poison spread within the GOP system. Racism came to include immigrant-bashing. Only then did a few Republicans begin to notice that the party was cutting its own throat. Not, mind you, that it was wrong, not that it wasn’t small ‘c’ conservative. No, they just noticed that their obsessive hatred of all things different was costing them political power. It’s not philosophy still less morality that has finally gained some attention within the GOP: it’s demographics.

  6. @Al:

    Are you crazy!? Voting for Gary Johnson completely ignores the realities of electoral math! And isn’t electoral math what democracy is all about?

    Unless you believe yourself to be in posession of magical mind control powers that cause thousands of people to change their vote based on how you cast yours, the winner in November is going to be the same person whether you vote for Romney, Obama, or a hole in the ground.

    The realities of electoral math is that your vote has no effect on the outcome; if that’s your primary reason for voting, you might as well stay home because you’re wasting your time.

  7. superdestroyer says:

    Mr, Takei is just making the case that the U.S. will soon be a one-party -state. The percentage of the population that will ever vote for a small government party is well below 50%. So the Karl Rove, Jeb Bush, Jon Huntsman wing of the party along with the adivsors of Romney advocate for a big spending, large, heavily regulating government and believe that politics is over who benefits and who pays. They advocate for compassionate big government Republicanism because there are not enough small government voters to sustain

    Of course, what the cheap labor, big government Republicans refuse to acknowledge is that there course of action also leads to failures. The core groups of the Democrats party are much larger than the core groups of the Republican Party. The core groups in the Democratic Party are also growing relative to the groups in the Republican Party.

    What Mr. Takei should see what the future looks like since he lives in the one-party-state of California: very high taxes, a white population that is shrinking, a small cohort of elite rich and a massive cohort of third-word poor. My guess is that in a few years, people like Mr. Takei will be looking for places to live in the world other than the U.S.

  8. superdestroyer says:

    @PJ:

    The lack of support for small government and Mr. Johnson shows that the U.S. does not really need two political parties.

    Image all of the Ivy League students who want to be big wheels in politics facing the prospect that the future of politics is being the tax collector for the entitlement state.

  9. Moosebreath says:

    “George Takei Wonders What Happened To The Republicans Who Are Against Big Government”

    Republicans are not against big government. They just want it to do different things than Democrats do. It is always a sign of progress when a Republican-leaning Libertarian acknowledges this.

  10. People have been plotting social and economic freedoms on two axes for a long time. When you’ve got a two party system you’ve got to divide that map somehow.

    The American system, to have one party each own one freedom is pretty strange.

  11. al-Ameda says:

    I wonder how limited a government can be that deigns to govern 310 million people?

    Americans do not want to honestly and rationally discuss big Government. People do not now want to pay for the government we have. We’re just not honest about this.

    Polls and surveys consistently show that the American people hypothetically want to cut the budget and somehow reduce the scope of Big Government but when it comes to details and the big ticket items like Social Security, Medicare, and Defense, everyone wants to cut someone else’s benefits, not their own.

  12. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    What Mr. Takei should see what the future looks like since he lives in the one-party-state of California: very high taxes, a white population that is shrinking, a small cohort of elite rich and a massive cohort of third-word poor. My guess is that in a few years, people like Mr. Takei will be looking for places to live in the world other than the U.S.

    I thought you might enjoy this. It’s the view of the post-apocalyptic wasteland of liberal, one-party, San Francisco, taken from my deck in the howling, dog-eat-dog devastation that is liberal, one-party Marin County.

    Please, won’t someone save me? Won’t someone take me to good, conservative Alabama? I can’t live like this anymore. Must. . . get. . . to . . . Utah.

  13. Al says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Uh…. Swing states! Water carrying! A vote for Johnson is a vote for Romney!

  14. @Modulo Myself:

    After all, it’s highly possible that the entire government could be shrunk to what it resembled in 1789 without any meaningful change at all in the lives of modern individuals.

    @Modulo Myself:

    I don’t understand what you are trying to say

    Here are some guess as to what Al was trying to say:

    In 1789 the following was true:

    1. Slavery was legal.

    2. Women could not vote.

    3. In many locales, even white men were denied the right to vote due to the lack of adequate property.

    4. In a handful of New England states, there were still official state-funded churches.

    Those four alone rather substantially would negatively impact modern sensibilities and notions of basic political rights.

    Beyond that, there are a host of things that government does now that are rather needed (e.g., regulation of the electromagnetic spectrum, maintenance of the international highway system, border control, and a standing military with global reach) that do not at all comport with the size and scope of government in 1789.

  15. @michael reynolds: I am not sure how you stand it.

  16. anjin-san says:

    Please, won’t someone save me?

    Don’t know if I can save you, but I am up for brunch at Sam’s.

  17. @superdestroyer:

    What Mr. Takei should see what the future looks like since he lives in the one-party-state of California: very high taxes, a white population that is shrinking, a small cohort of elite rich and a massive cohort of third-word poor. My guess is that in a few years, people like Mr. Takei will be looking for places to live in the world other than the U.S.

    Um. I live in California. As I drove along PCH in my Prius I noticed a Jaguar XKR and a Ferrari side by side at a traffic light. My personal best in that stretch was 125 MPH (in my pre-Prius days). I would have liked to know what happened next.

    That is California, sir.

  18. michael reynolds says:

    @anjin-san:
    We should do that when I get this book done. I didn’t even know Sam’s did brunch. I sometimes catch breakfast at that little place whose name I forget with the tables outside.

  19. al-Ameda says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I thought you might enjoy this. It’s the view of the post-apocalyptic wasteland of liberal, one-party, San Francisco, taken from my deck in the howling, dog-eat-dog devastation that is liberal, one-party Marin County.

    Comrade, the People’s Republic of Tiburon. I believe that Michael Savage lives in Belvedere or Tiburon, not sure which. I grew up in the People’s Republic of San Anselmo, which now votes over 80% Democratic.

  20. (In the old days Ferraris were not a dime a dozen. California isn’t perfect but the “elite” portion isn’t really shrinking. There is a lot of wealth being generated in the top 10%. And, given their driving habits, it’s fair to guess that they can afford a little more tax.)

  21. Modulo Myself says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    What I was trying to get at was that the dream of an 18th century limited government coming to 2012 might not do anything to change what just and fair people, in general, find oppressive or distasteful. The scale and inefficiency of government would live on in some other form, but with much less accountability.

    If you take the limited government people at their word, they aren’t longing for a racially-oppressive patriarchal theocracy, but that’s if you listen only to certain of their words.

  22. al-Ameda says:

    @anjin-san:
    Sam’s always has good looking waitresses.

  23. JKB says:

    Well, logic tells us that those who believe in small, unobtrusive government aren’t the ones who go into government. This is changing but will be a persistent fight. It is a hard sell to a nation of whores easily bought with subsidy and special projects. Those of both parties seeking their fortune in government, legally or illegally, aren’t going to be the ones who want government to leave people alone. Which is why we see the very hostile reaction to the Tea Party members by the establishment of both parties. The very thought of congress, the state legislature or city hall doing less rather than more is abhorrent to them since that is how they make their living.

    More important than the Republican party getting back to small government is to undermine the establishment in the capitals, break some rice bowls and disrupt the wealth transfers. If we had a free media that would be easier but we have the internet and we have the most important element, the coming failed welfare state.

  24. anjin-san says:

    Ah yes, the hell that is California. If I did not have a project with a brutal deadline, I would have started the day at the Ferry Building in SF with a caramelized waffle & and cappuccino @ Blue Bottle and enjoyed the view of the bay. From there, lunch Red’s Java House, and finally, AT&T Park to watch the Giants and the Dodgers go at it. The walk down the Embarcadero is one of the finest in the world.

    Well, I am working today, but that is my routine when I catch a game. Super, enjoy this photo of THE HELL THAT IS CALIFORNIA
    Feel free to share similar images from your neighborhood.

  25. @JKB:

    Are the Teas actually ready to cut defense?

    I remember that they famously complained that Obama was too fiscally conservative and that he should not cut NASA.

  26. michael reynolds says:

    @al-Ameda:
    San Anselmo is where the hair-possessing members of the family go to get said hair cut. Also, a nice little French bistro there, at least one good coffee shop, and of course, this place.

    Lot a greenie lefty hippies on bikes, too. @John Personna’s kind of people. Nevertheless, totally on the edge of destruction once @superdestroyer’s nightmare vision is fully realized.

  27. Steve Z says:

    In defense of pro-life libertarians, I think there are many small government conservatives who are pro-life. For me, there is a huge distinction between gay marriage and abortion. Their only similarity in my mind is that they are considered social issues.

    However, the abortion issue is, and always will be, about the question of when does life begin. If one believes life begins a conception, or some other time before birth, then it is perfectly rationale for even small government conservatives to advocate government intervention. Certainly small government conservatives have never advocated against the police power in cases where one citizen infringes on the rights of another. While some may differ on when life begins, it is not an illogical position for small government conservatives to be pro-life without it being considered an intrusion on “women’s reproductive rights.”

    On the other hand, gay marriage and gay rights is an area where conservatives fail to live up to their mantra, no doubt. These are consenting adults making decisions for themselves.

    But as a pro-life, pro-gay marriage conservative, I am constantly bothered by the lumping of these two issues together as “social issues” without any intellectual parsing of the difference between the two.

  28. anjin-san says:

    @ john personna

    You should come out to the track sometime. Let me know if you are interested – 125 is fast, but things get very interesting when you are doing over a buck fifty…

  29. @anjin-san:

    As I drove down PCH for my mountain bike ride I was distracted by the ladies running and (as I mentioned) the Ferraris. It’s a socialist hell hole, as everyone knows.

  30. @anjin-san:

    Thank you, that’s a neat invitation, but I’ve kind of hung up my spurs. And 25 on a mountain bike can be plenty scary for me.

  31. anjin-san says:

    This is more or less the view I had from the living room when I lived in the gulag sometimes known as San Anselmo.

  32. Modulo Myself says:

    I’m in the lefty hell-zone of NYC. If I wasn’t spending the day writing (and not-writing), I would have had ridden my bike from my hellish neighborhood in Ft Greene to the beach at Ft Tilden, nicknamed the Hipster Riviera for the general allowance of topless bathing. It’s a good thirty mile ride of fun, on a government financed bike lane.

  33. anjin-san says:

    On a somewhat more serious note, I still remember Bill O’Reilly’s comment about San Francisco: “And if Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we’re not going to do anything about it. We’re going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead..”

    Country first, eh?

  34. anjin-san says:

    @ Modulo Myself

    this Hipster Riviera sounds cool. We should hold some meetings of the Obammunard there…

  35. michael reynolds says:

    @anjin-san:
    If you can see Mt. Tam you’re a communist. This is well-established.

  36. michael reynolds says:

    @john personna:
    I used to walk trails there with my hippie girlfriend many, many years ago. They still had pterodactyls up there.

  37. ratufa says:

    Well, duh. Our major political parties are coalitions of interest groups. These groups support their chosen party not because the party is in lockstep with their views, but because they believe the party better reflects their views and provides them with more influence than the other party. In turn, parties will go through various contortions and give out contradictory messages in order to keep their coalition together, which may not be easy since these groups often have conflicting interests.

    The Republican coalition includes (among others) defense & foreign policy hawks, evangelicals, social order conservatives, some number of libertarians, and a large chunk of our business classes. Given the relative numbers of these groups, it’s fair to say that the Republican Party is not a predominantly libertarian party, nor is there any rational reason to believe that it would be. If you are naive enough to think it should be libertarian on the grounds that the GOP claims to be the party of small government and individual liberty, I have other news for you: Contrary to what you see on TV, polar bears don’t really drink Coca-Cola.

  38. george says:

    I thought they were just pining for the Fjords …

  39. Ernieyeball says:

    I lived in San Francisco for a year and left in the summer of 1975.
    I regret it to this day…but there was this girl who didn’t like the fog…that should’ve told me something.

  40. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Life is always good for the elite and Marin county is a good example of Elizabeth Warrne’s theory that people are spending a lot of money buying good neighborhood and good schools.

    And if you look at academic performance, California performs below average for white students in the public schools. http://nationsreportcard.gov/science_2009/g8_state.asp?subtab_id=Tab_4&tab_id=tab1#tabsContainer

    Once again, Takei does not care about the schools and definitely does not care about the middle class who have to send their children to public schools. Of course , no matter how bad teh schools are, California will keep re-electing liberal Democrats.

    I also doubt that Mr. Takei cares about the unemployment rate that has been above the national rate since 1990. http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=z1ebjpgk2654c1_&met_y=unemployment_rate&idim=state:ST060000&fdim_y=seasonality:S&dl=en&hl=en&q=unemployment+rate+california#!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=unemployment_rate&fdim_y=seasonality:S&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=country&idim=state:ST060000&idim=country:US&ifdim=country&hl=en_US&dl=en&ind=false

    As the demographics of California today become the national demographics tomorrow, the middle class will face the same problems. A great place for the elite and a lousy place for everyone else.

  41. al-Ameda says:

    @john personna:

    As I drove down PCH for my mountain bike ride I was distracted by the ladies running and (as I mentioned) the Ferraris. It’s a socialist hell hole, as everyone knows.

    The mean streets of Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades – it’s a shame the ‘Open Carry’ they have there is for Water Bottles, and not for handguns. Be careful John.

  42. @superdestroyer:

    I just watched a nice little California State Parks thing on TV. Lots of rainbow people out there doing volunteer work on trail days. Sunshine. Smiles.

    Your racial fear is so weird, especially given state GDP.

  43. al-Ameda says:

    @anjin-san:

    This is more or less the view I had from the living room when I lived in the gulag sometimes known as San Anselmo.

    Old San Anselmo – in the area of the seminary – is just beautiful, and the best weather in Marin County too. But it is a facade, all is not well comrade, People in San Anselmo are oppressed by the multitude of lifestyle choices they have.

  44. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Yes, super, you have cleverly discovered that life is good for people who make lots of money. Kudos. In fact, this will shock you, but having money is good pretty much anywhere.

    But of course that’s not where you started, is it? Takei makes a very nice living, I’m sure. And you began by predicting he’d be forced out of the state by taxes and brown people.

    I’ll admit the taxes are high. They’re much lower in, say, Lubbock Texas.

    If they doubled my state taxes? I would still live here rather than Texas. Have you been in Texas in August? Have you been to Lubbock?

    California is the the greatest state by such a wide margin no one else is in second place. We are #1 through #5. Fact.

    We have the best weather on earth. Literally, on the entire earth. We have ocean, we have mountains, we have deserts and we have redwood forests, baby. We have Hollywood and Silicon Valley and we still have some of the most productive agriculture anywhere. We even grow some of the best weed. We could buy about ten other states. Hell, we could buy entire countries.

    So, I don’t know how life is there in your all white Arkansas trailer park meth lab (maybe I’m making that up) but the fact is it’s pretty damned good here in CA. Even a poor kid in Compton can get to the beach.

  45. superdestroyer says:

    @john personna:

    The stae GDP is strong because of the elite. Like I have said many times, being an elite is a good thing. The question is about the middle class. They are the ones in the queue waiting for college classes. They are the ones in the lousy public schools. They are the ones going broke trying to afford living in a good neighborhood.

    I guess Elizabeth Warren was wrong when she pointed out that the middle class are going broke trying to avoid poor people.

  46. al-Ameda says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    I’m in the lefty hell-zone of NYC. If I wasn’t spending the day writing (and not-writing), I would have had ridden my bike from my hellish neighborhood in Ft Greene to the beach at Ft Tilden, nicknamed the Hipster Riviera for the general allowance of topless bathing. It’s a good thirty mile ride of fun, on a government financed bike lane.

    Fort Greene is a great neighborhood. A good friend of mine lived there for 3 years – on Lafayette near Washington, not far from Pratt, an easy walk down to Ft Green. All kinds of stuff going on. One of the best places in NYC I’ve seen.

    That said, don’t you find vibrant lefty neighborhoods to be oppressive?

  47. anjin-san says:

    California is the the greatest state by such a wide margin no one else is in second place.

    The conservate portrayal of California is always good for laughs. I’ve lived here all of my 53 years. No matter where I travel to amongst the most desirable destinations on earth, the bay area always looks fantastic as my plane descends. I wake up every day, and am happy to be where I am. (overdue for some time in Paris though) I’ve spent almost all of the last 10 years either working at great jobs within 5 miles of my home or from my home office.

    Still waiting for super to show up some photos of the better place that he inhabits.

  48. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Sorry, no. Here’s what you said:

    My guess is that in a few years, people like Mr. Takei will be looking for places to live in the world other than the U.S.

    In other words, that the “elite” would have no choice but to flee the state. Now you’re trying to switch to an entirely different argument. Because your first argument got all blowed up and stuff.

    Now, suddenly, you want to talk about economic stratification. Middle class hardship.

    Well, yes, the middle class, and the working class, and the poor are having a hell of a hard time. We’re in the middle of a recession bequeathed, as it happens, by rich white people in Washington and New York. And we just popped a housing bubble caused largely by the fact that everyone wanted to come live in LA or the Bay Area. See, if people really didn’t want to be here, the housing prices would not have kept going up. Which is kind of the opposite of your whole, flee California! line.

    So, why don’t you decide on just which pathway you want to take to your inevitable racist bullsh!t? Is it that the rich are being forced out of California? Or is it that middle-class people don’t like to live in poor areas? (Duh.) Is it just brownness period? Figure it out and get back to me.

  49. al-Ameda says:

    @anjin-san:

    The conservate portrayal of California is always good for laughs. I’ve lived here all of my 53 years. No matter where I travel to amongst the most desirable destinations on earth, the bay area always looks fantastic as my plane descends.

    Seriously, whenever I fly home from … anywhere … the descent into the Bay Area at dusk is still one of the most beautiful sights anywhere – the silhouette of the hills and coastal mountains, the bay, the shimmering lights of the city – it is always beautiful. Or coming through the Waldo Tunnel and seeing the Golden Gate Bridge on a sunny clear day, or a sliver of fog passing over the bridge at road level with the towers clear of the fog? – I never get tired of it.

  50. Tsar Nicholas says:

    I miss getting lit up and watching Star Trek. Sigh.

    What’s sorta funny about Takei’s rant is that on at least two separate occasions he answers his own rhetorical questions and separately from that, with the Paul-Huckabee thing, not only does he jump the shark tank he does so with a double twist and a half gainer.

    The thumpers won’t run under their own party umbrella for the same reasons the lunatic left won’t run for office as their own party. It’s a two-party system. End of story.

    The GOP no more can afford to jettison the thumpers as much as the Democrats could afford to jettison their various wingnut blocs. These are political parties, not grad school debating clubs. The objective is to win elections and to win elections every vote counts. Ergo sometimes you have to pander and sometimes you have to whore out. Nature of the beast.

  51. stonetools says:

    For a long time now, conservatives have been saying that California would collapse. I keep waiting for it to fall apart. Mean while, California just keeps keeping on. The same with New York City.
    Who knows, maybe conservatives are just full of sh*t.

  52. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @al-Ameda: @al-Ameda: Sign me up…. And my wife, god forbid she would think I was looking at another woman w/o her being there.

  53. anjin-san says:

    For a long time now, conservatives have been saying that California would collapse.

    Well, they have also been telling us that the French, English, and Canadian health care systems are “on the verge of collapse” – since 1980.

  54. An Interested Party says:

    I miss getting lit up and watching Star Trek.

    You should still watch Star Trek…I mean, considering the things you have written and posted here, it’s quite obvious you still get lit up…

  55. michael reynolds says:

    Things have been on the verge of collapse since I was born. I’ve never lived a year when we weren’t under imminent threat of one catastrophe or another. Remember when the Arabs were going to buy up the whole country? Remember when the Japanese ditto? And the Chinese?

    I’m still waiting for the inevitable famine that would strike the world in. . . 1975. And the inevitable nuclear holocaust. The collapse of the west in the face of communism. And of course the race war, the hyperinflation, the deflation, the smallpox and the swine flu(s) and the terrorist bombs in every mall that would bring down the jackboot of oppression. Those are just the ones I recall off the top of my head. There were many, many more.

    How about the credit downgrade that would raise interest rates and bankrupt us all? We pay how much to borrow now? Pretty much nothing? Uh, yeah.

    Now it’s the Euro. Sweet Jesus save us, the Euro is doomed. And yet, the Euro is at 1.28, about where it was last April.

    I’m not saying none of it could ever happen. I’m not saying we don’t have to be vigilant. But in two years I expect I’ll be able to celebrate six decades of Terrifying Inevitable Sh!tstorms That Never Happened.

  56. al-Ameda says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    I miss getting lit up and watching Star Trek. Sigh.

    I pretty much avoided Star Trek, however I do miss smoking weed and listening to Traffic’s Low Spark of High Heeled Boys, The Allman Brothers Live at Fillmore East, Miles Davis Bitches Brew, and John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme.

  57. bk says:

    @superdestroyer:

    What Mr. Takei should see what the future looks like since he lives in the one-party-state of California:

    My theory, which is usually correct, is that people who post comments like this about places California or New York City have never lived there.

  58. michael reynolds says:

    @bk:

    They’re the same people who think France is some version of the USSR under Stalin. People need to get out more.

  59. Neil Hudelson says:

    Wow, I didn’t know there were so many commentors in the SF bay area. My work frequently takes me out to that area (usually Palo Alto and the like, but often San Francisco).

    I will ask for restaurant and jazz bar recommendations next time I’m out.

  60. Al says:

    Man, if you all like San Francisco so much you should check out San Diego sometime. They’re a lot alike except that down here it’s actually warm.

  61. My main two objections to CA are that it is expensive and crowded–both of which don’t exactly make superdestroyer’s case, now do they?

    (And I have lived there: Orange County (Mission Viejo) in the late 1980s. I finished HS out there and did my undergrad at UCI and still have family in OC and in LA.)

    I wonder where superdestroyer lives.

  62. michael reynolds says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Anjin-San knows basically everything about Bay Area restaurants. I’m a relative newbie here.

  63. michael reynolds says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    Well, up here in the north bay it’s not crowded, but expensive? Oh yeah.

    I lived in the OC for a couple years. Irvine. I loved it despite the rather conservative politics. But the family wanted to go north.

  64. Al says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Whoa. We were neighbors. I grew up in Mission Viejo and moved out in 1990 to go to school down here.

  65. Ernieyeball says:

    @michael reynolds: I can’t count how many times in the last 50 years I heard that Social Security would be broke long before I could ever draw out a dime.
    There is a Direct Deposit into my checking account every month since I signed up in January and I am glad to get it!

  66. anjin-san says:

    @ Neil Hudelson:

    The first place to check out is Yoshi’s – good jazz and good food. One in SF & one in the east bay.

  67. anjin-san says:

    I really, really want super to see this film…

    Mooz-Lum

  68. Speaking of things Republicans oppose …

    We estimate that the American Jobs Act (AJA), if enacted, would give a significant boost to GDP and employment over the near-term

    -Boost the level of GDP by 1.3% by the end of 2012, and by 0.2% by the end of 2013.

    -Raise nonfarm establishment employment by 1.3 million by the end of 2012 and 0.8 million by the end of 2013, relative to the baseline

    As Krugman notes, it was more important to defeat the President.

  69. @Al: Funny. It’s a small internet, after all.

    I left in 1990 as well to head to Texas for grad school.

    Did you attend CVHS or MVHS?

  70. Al says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    CVHS. Then we moved across town and I went to THHS.

  71. al-Ameda says:

    @michael reynolds:
    @anjin-san:

    Have you guys tried Cafe Sol in San Rafael?
    Puerto Rican, good food, very casual style, communal shared tables (sorry about the commie thing), and good prices. Lime green colored building, on Third, not far from the transit hub at Heatherton.

  72. michael reynolds says:

    @al-Ameda:
    I’ve driven by the place about two dozen times always with, “We should try that place.”

  73. anjin-san says:

    Cafe Sol in San Rafael?

    Every time I drive by there is a line out the door & I think “I have to try this place”. I usually hit Falafel Hut or San Rafel Joe’s, but it’s time to try something different.

  74. Ernieyeball says:

    Last August I spent a day in The City for the first time in 20 years.
    Looked for P J’s on Irving (seafood). It was gone.
    Could not find the Owl and Monkey in that same neighborhood.
    And…Doggie Diner RIP!!!

  75. @Al: I graduated from CVHS in 1986. You may have been there at least part of the same time as my sister.

  76. Ernieyeball says:

    Also had a meal and a drink or two at Breen’s in the year I lived in SF.
    The wall across from the bar had huge photos of sporting events.
    Boxing? Baseball? Football?
    A fading memory is a cruel thing.

    http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=00BtNE

  77. anjin-san says:

    @ Ernieyball

    Many years ago, my fathers office was next door to Doggie Diner on Geary. We did not go there often, preferring Hamburger Haven over on Clement. (It’s still there).

    Here is a nice Doggie Diner link:

    http://byteboy.wordpress.com/category/doggie-diner/

    The one I really have fond memories of is Zim’s – a Zimburger was a big deal. A visit Mel’s Drive-In was always big fun too.

  78. Ernieyeball says:

    I think I remember a Doggie Diner across from the Zoo near the end of the L Taraval Muni Streetcar line. I stayed nearby while I was looking for a place to live.

  79. Barry says:

    “None of this is to say that the Democrats are any better, of course, especially in the area of civil liberties where, int he wake of the War On Terror, they have become as bad as the GOP. It was, after all, a Democrat who authorized the assassination of an American citizen, and his son, without due process of law or a trial.”

    I’d agree on the Democratic Party getting closer to being as bad as the GOP, but anybody who claims ‘as bad as’ is simply lying.

  80. grumpy realist says:

    My problem is that the weather in California is too good. Would go out and visit my boyfriend when he was a grad student at Stanford. After a week of relentless blue skies I was always looking for a table to duck under or something: This Fantastic Weather Can’t Be Normal. Something Will Happen To Make Up For It. Something Big.

    Now am in Chicago, with wind, snow, wind, rain, and more wind. Yah. I need to live in places with snow and rain, sorry.

  81. al-Ameda says:

    @Ernieyeball: I loved the Doggie Diner out in the Sunset. I remember when some people out there objected to the placement and size of the doggie sign, an agreement was reaced to placate the neighbors – which the Diner then violated as soon as a a little time passed. Good times

  82. Ernieyeball says:

    Thanks for the history. I was unaware of the sign fracas.
    With some folks their taste is in their mouth!