Saturday, October 17, 2015

Civil War in Texas

Civil War in Texas
A Strange Strange Attractor

I had decided to take a break from political commentating, but unusual changes are in the air.

Southern California has 20 million people whose water supply will vanish in about 6 months.  This number was determined by an independent company using state of the art equipment.  This study was initiated by Governor Brown and he made the results public.  The effected public ignored the report initially, but recently some districts have reduced their water consumption by 30 to 40%.  Optimism rose, but these number are meaningless when there is only 6 months of water remaining.  A decade ago these conservation measures would have made a difference.  It is my contention that Californians think of the drought like they think of earthquake: a short period of inconvenience because there is little damage since the building codes have made most important structures “earthquake proof”.

The core issue is one that is the curse of this country: rich vs poor.  The water usage restrictions have not been applied to agriculture because The rich and powerful own all of the highly profitable desert made vital by irrigation.  The now super rich who own the desert land that they purchased for a pittance decades ago, have grown enormously richer and politically powerful, riding on the backs of poor Latinos and water from the giant damns in Arizona and Nevada.  This drama was superbly portrayed in the movie “Chinatown”, one of Jack Nickolson’s finest performances.  The movie is portrayed as being in an earlier era perhaps pre-WWII> jest of the plot is that the rich landowners were willing to kill to gain control of the water. Nothing has changed.  Gov Brown has done an admiral job trying to manage an impossible situation, but confronting the rich and powerful, and wrestling control of the water from them is a dangerous task.  It would take a Referindum (90% of California’s State income is earmarked by the Referinums and the Governor actually has only a tiny (considering that California has the 5th largest economy in the world) amount of money to use to solve problems as exemplified by this drought.

The super rich will do ANYTHING to defeat such a referendum, and they will do many things to drag the process out over time.  Even if their “ownership” of the water were taken away, there is a host of nefarious acts they can use to “punish” those who led the rebellion that stripped them of the life blood that fuels their ever growing fortunes.  Besides, in terms of saving the residents, it would come far too late, as only 6 months of water remain.  Futhermore, it is too late to do anything that would benefit the masses and give them any viable option other than to migrate, which is by far their best option even though the public hasn’t figured that out yet.

So, Brown is frozen.  Fearful of making any recommendation as to what people should do.  He is especially wary of migration as that would threaten the labor force for the wealthy land owners. 

Unlike earthquakes, drought of the current magnitude is a slow grinding, but deadly affair.  As a result few are making plans to leave.  However, a real estate agent, who handled our re-fi, told us today that the Californians are already arriving at a rate of 100/day.  That small number, which will grow grow grow as the dry date gets nearer.  All the real estate and motel rooms will be taken long before the mass of Californians arrive.

Why Texas?  Texas has everything these desperate migrators need:
1)   water
2)   jobs due to a booming economy
3)   a high growth rate (Austin has been the fastest growing large city 2.5 million, in the country for over a decade)
4)   three of the 10 largest cities in the country (Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth and San Antonio)
5)   Size which gives it room to grow and easily accommodate 3 times the current population of 26.5 million. 
6)   There are two other regions that ample water, the lower Great Lakes and the Southeast. But both those areas have high unemployment rates, depressed economies, and no available housing.  They also have no political clout in Washington DC, and for the weary migrants to continue for another 1000 miles will be repugnant.  It is my opinion that they will make their stand and demand what they deserve in Texas.  Texas importance guarantees that they will be heard all across the nation.

But there is a Texas size problem.  The Governor and the Legislature are controlled by the Tea Party, which would like to just ignore the migrants and let them die.  Think I’m kidding?  Read the Tea Party platform and their voting record.

Let’s walk through a very conservative scenario.  Assume only 5 million (25% of those who will loose their water supply), after an dangerous and arduous journey (the two interstates will be like parking lots with the enormous volume of traffic and averaging 10 mph or less) will render the migrants furious.  No government agency at any level, and no NGO (non government organization) even has a plan to make a plan to help this mass of people).  Summary: America will fail its first encounter with migration due to Global Warming MISERABLY.

The cities of Texas will have unwelcome hoards of homeless people.  5 million divided by 4, means over one million per city.  There has been no thought or planning for this aspect either.  The State Capitol will certainly attract a couple of million people demanding that the Radical Right Wing government render some aid, and they have a right to it: certainly food, clothing and shelter.  These are not ordinary homeless people, but people with high tech and other skills.  The Tea Party, whose operating tactics include: never compromise and never change your mind.  The Government will be frozen, and the rage will escalate.  Among the migrators will be thousands of Texans demanding action to get these homeless off the streets.

Austin’s mayor, with a reputation of being a hard line right winger, will either panic or succumb to the pressure from the Legislature and support from the Governor, will likely order law enforcement “to clear the streets and use lethal force if necessary”.  If the local law enforcement gets suckered into carrying out this cruel, sordid and vicious order, they will find that many of the demonstrators are well armed and include a large number of vets.  The police will be outnumbered and under armed.  The police will be killed in large numbers.

Can you hear the explosion when innocent people demanding water to sustain the lives of themselves and their families, are fired upon!  The streets will be clogged with people and their will be no escape.

If the mayor calls in reinforcements from the national guard, Obama, a cool head that never panics, will send the active army form Fort Hood (only an hour away).  Their instructions will be to protect the citizens from the police.

Cars: every road between the Pacific Ocean to Houston will be litered with vehicles.  Break downs, running out of gas etc. they will be abandoned where they are, but they obstruct traffic and are a safety hazard.  The locals will resent having these abandoned vehicles clog EVERY road.  Economics will suffer because of the difficulty in moving stuff around.  Bulldozing them into a pit might be the only short term solution, but will cause problems later.  AND this migration will drag out for at least 3 years.  The small towns will not have the money to do this, so funding will have to come from somewhere else.  This is an example how the lack of planning will make thing much worse.

Theft: if you and your wife and three children are dying of dehydration, would you steal water to keep the alive?  I know I would.  But locals will have no empathy, and will shoot to kill those “damn Californians.”  Other forms of resentment will likely give birth to vigalantee groups the with the threat of force, armed with shotguns, keep migrants out of their towns.  This will psychologically devastating to the migrants.  “Why do they hate us.?

Families with children who have never experienced and difficulty will provoke painful arguments ultimately told to “shut the fuck up”.  Adolescents, in that phase that they feel they will live forever and know everything, will just get out of the car, and become someone else’s problem, and a big one at that.

The 2016 elections will result in the fastest 180 degree change in power in the history of this country.  In addition the uprising will spread to other cities as the public wakes up to the decades of abuse and neglect dished out by the GOP.

Who would have ever guessed that the Strange Attractor (a term from Chaos Theory), that started a massive reconstruction of the Federal Government, would be a drought in California.

A gentleman and a scholar

Austin, Texas