Should California Secede?
July 21, 2003 5:24 PM   Subscribe

Dude. To hell with moving to Canada. I'm not giving up that easily. This may not be the best time to be a liberal, but why concede? Secede! With the 5th largest economy in the world, prodigious industry, a diverse population, rich natural resources, and a growing rift with the federal government, why is California sharing a budget with the unbeautiful when we could be enjoying our very own Republic? Is it for lack of leadership? Or lack of a clue?
posted by scarabic (82 comments total)
or you could just become the 13th Province of ... CANADA!
posted by carfilhiot at 5:32 PM on July 21, 2003

As long as it means Californians will stay in California, I'm all for it.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:39 PM on July 21, 2003

Hey, Crash: Ouch.
posted by squirrel at 5:41 PM on July 21, 2003

Present company excepted, of course.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:42 PM on July 21, 2003

Oregon will side with us, or we'll choke their rivers with our hippy dead!
posted by squirrel at 5:43 PM on July 21, 2003

i've been to california. i vote lack of clue.
posted by quonsar at 5:49 PM on July 21, 2003

Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700 (1869)(holding that a state may not unilaterally secede from the Union).
posted by monju_bosatsu at 5:50 PM on July 21, 2003

Well, I can't speak for California...but these folks believe that Texas should secede.
posted by dejah420 at 5:53 PM on July 21, 2003

we're in, dude! does your state, like have any money or jobs or anything? 'cause that would be sweet. regon is hungry and drunk and ready to crash on california's couch.

on preview:
shut up, monju. mellow harsher.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 5:55 PM on July 21, 2003

posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 5:56 PM on July 21, 2003

It's only a matter of time before Northern California is liberated.
posted by homunculus at 5:57 PM on July 21, 2003

Can't happen, of course, but it does have a certain appeal. What is the optimum size of a nation... our bodies are made of millions of tiny cells in order to preserve a reasonable surface area:volume ratio for each. Do similar forces work on political entities? I think there's a strong argument to be made that as long as your primary concern is your own citizens, state's like the US, the USSR and China are too big for their own good.

(I will conveniently ignore counterexaples like Brazil and Canada).
posted by gsteff at 6:01 PM on July 21, 2003

Er... verb tense error in that second to last sentence. I realize that the U.S.S.R. no longer exists.
posted by gsteff at 6:03 PM on July 21, 2003

74 U.S. 700 (1869)

OOOOOOO!! Look out! It's against federal law to secede!

lol - I confess to a bit of a troll with this thread, though I tried to incorporate some humor to keep it palatable. I just find this concept invigorating. It reminds me how much of a stake the Left has in America. I don't think I could ever give up my home state and move to Canada (an increasingly common threat/pipe dream amongst my lefty circles).

gsteff: "4"
posted by scarabic at 6:09 PM on July 21, 2003

For many years now I've thought CA would be better off on our own. Sadly, even if we could get away with it at the Federal level (highly unlikely), I don't think the folks out in the valley or behind the Orange curtain would allow it to happen. Too bad. Another thought I've often had is that things might be more agreeable to all if we split the state; the NorCal and SoCal outlooks are generally fairly radically different. But that won't happen either. *sigh*
posted by ehintz at 6:11 PM on July 21, 2003

OOOOOOO!! Look out! It's against federal law to secede!

Point taken. The real importance of the federal law is when a secession fails. Of course, if California succeded in seceding, the federal law would be moot, as California would then be a separate sovereign. It's the case of the failed secession where federal law is important, because it affects how the federal government would treat acts of the California legislature during the attempted seccession.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:15 PM on July 21, 2003

Didn't we have a war over this issue? It seems that the federal government is only willing to settle it by force.

I mean, if the majority of Californians want to secede, I'm all for it, leave the sacred union for all I care. That way when the next earthquake hits we won't have to pony up all that FEMA money. And that 20 billion dollars in Medicare that California soaked up (wasted)? Gone. Highway funds? Bye bye. Coastal defenses and military? Make your own. Free trade agreements with other countries? You'd have to write dozens of new ones. The other huge problem with secession for a state of California's size is not only their reliance on federal funds, but federal ownership of land in the state, which is vast. All mints, treasuries, consulates, parks and federal buildings of any kind would have to be returned to the state, but some sort of compensation would have to be worked out. It was over this exact issue, over Fort Sumter, that the North and South ultimately went to war.

I'm not against secession, but in order for it to work, it would have to take an incredible degree of logistical organization and intrepidity, not to mention sheer willpower on the part of its citizens. I think it could be a legitimate check on Federal power, but I doubt it will ever happen in a state of that size.
posted by insomnyuk at 6:17 PM on July 21, 2003

Check out the big brain of gsteff! Dude, that's why we need like a total um BRIDGE thing, so that Cali and Penn can hook up and jam without all these dittoheads playing captain buzz-kill. Oregon will be there, NY in the house, no doubt.

Or maybe a tunnel... or a WORMHOLE!
posted by squirrel at 6:20 PM on July 21, 2003

Insomnyuk: Sorry. The feds can keep their highway funds and FEMA cash. See, for every dollar the feds take, they give us back $.81, so we'd be better off keeping those dollars. Or, to illustrate a different way, per-capita we pay $7,662, and the feds spend $5,464. Not a terribly good deal in my estimation. Maybe we could use the extra $.19/tax dollar profit we'd show to buy up the federal lands. It's about a $36million/year profit based on the 2001 figures.

Mississippi and W.Virginia get up close to 2 for 1 on their tax dollars; we and New York are a big part of what makes that sweet (for them) deal possible.

On the whole though I agree; from a pragmatic standpoint we're too big and have too much inertia to pull it off.
posted by ehintz at 6:39 PM on July 21, 2003

Who cares? They'll be in the bottom of the Pacific Ocean soon enough...
posted by gyc at 7:54 PM on July 21, 2003

California Uber Alles!

The California State Flag still has the words 'California Republic' on it. I keep one in the house, ready for the day we return to sovereign status.

I have no doubt the UN and most of the world would recognize California if it came to secession. Sure we'd annex a bit of Nevada and Arizona for water rights, but the rest of the states would go along if we threatened to stop porn production in the San Fernando Valley.

A Union Army attempting to retake California would face shock troops of blond actress/models distracting them while Bear Flag troops counter-attacked.
posted by Argyle at 7:58 PM on July 21, 2003

The NYT just informed me that Fela Kuti was way ahead: "His house, painted yellow and encircled by barbed wire, was called the Kalakuta Republic, because, I was to discover, he took the position that he and his followers could no longer get along with Nigeria, and so had decided to secede."

If I wasn't so lazy I'd make a Fela post about the new exhibit and all.
posted by muckster at 7:59 PM on July 21, 2003

carfilhiot: good idea, but Canada has TEN provinces (and 3 territories). Unless you meant that California would split into three parts before joining us.

That would be ok as long as they had cool names.
posted by pooligan at 8:00 PM on July 21, 2003

Hmm. Let's see:

1. Smoking is practically criminal (though they're getting better with the wacky-tobaccy)

2. Situated on a major fault line.

3. Home of Nixon and Reagan.

4. Deregulated their energy companies, much to their later chagrin.

5. Home of some of the most overpriced real estate in the country.

6. L.A.

I think I'd still prefer Canada, even if it is colder.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:09 PM on July 21, 2003

well, first off california is moving UP not OUT, so in a few million years they'll closer to thier smog (or fog).

I say northern california should join up with new england and form the new state of folky-hipsvillesmith. where every town gets five streets named the same thing.
posted by NGnerd at 8:10 PM on July 21, 2003

As long as it means Californians will stay in California, I'm all for it.

If it weren't for all the fuckwads invading our territory, we'd never leave.
posted by G_Ask at 8:11 PM on July 21, 2003

But, Civil_Disobedient, Jack Vance lives in California! Jack Vance!

It's not all bad.
posted by interrobang at 8:26 PM on July 21, 2003

You'll be needing an Army. If for no other reason than if your not for us, your against us!

non-combatant my ass!
posted by cedar at 8:43 PM on July 21, 2003

Why Canada? Lots of Hispanics would prefer California to once again be part of Mexico. In fact, MEChA and the Aztlan Movement are race based organizations that propose to do just that (in the latter case, strongly anti-Semitic, too).
Funny that. You would think that high schools wouldn't be supporting racist organizations.
posted by kablam at 8:43 PM on July 21, 2003

California needs to do lunch with Cascadia and maybe work out a deal. (Cascadia was previously discussed here.)
posted by stonerose at 8:44 PM on July 21, 2003

Illinois fully and unequivocally supports California's drive for secession.

Would you like us to help out with a nice big fence?
posted by UncleFes at 8:49 PM on July 21, 2003

I've been suggesting for years that we push ya'll off in the ocean.
posted by nyxxxx at 9:00 PM on July 21, 2003

Now, nyxxx, that's just cold. May the ghost of Buddy Ebsen push you into a cement pond.
posted by squirrel at 9:23 PM on July 21, 2003

...and Neil Young had it RIGHT.
posted by squirrel at 9:24 PM on July 21, 2003

Didn't we already do this once?

In any case, as a fellow Oregonian, I fully support the of our two states. Just don't let Utah in.
posted by fatbobsmith at 9:42 PM on July 21, 2003

Screw the rest of you guys. I'm trying to get my county to secede from California, and my city to secede from my county, all so I can secede my house from my city and myself from my house. This is liberty!
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:54 PM on July 21, 2003

Thanks, fatbobsmith, that makes two Oregonians so far. Things look good. Now, would you and IJR please move to Portland and get those people on the bandwagon? Also, do you mind if Arnold is our first prime minister? Ron Wyden has already surpassed his karma quotient, sorry to report.

On preview: No, WolfDaddy, that's Downey.
posted by squirrel at 10:02 PM on July 21, 2003

Can extradite and convict Enron CEO, Ken Lay, at our own war crimes tribunal

And watching the Sasquatch executioner delimb him sure would be fun.
posted by homunculus at 10:09 PM on July 21, 2003

"But Florida is America's wang!"

This is apropos of nothing. I just like quoting Homer Simpson.
posted by SPrintF at 10:29 PM on July 21, 2003

With all this talk of secession, I call for a preemptive strike on California. Do you guys have any WMDs, or, better yet, oil?
posted by gyc at 11:01 PM on July 21, 2003

California should join up with Oregon and Washington and hook up with BC. Surround the desert-dwellers and maybe get New England to make a surprise attack on the eastern front. Not sure for what purpose, so long as it makes for good TV I guess.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:32 PM on July 21, 2003

Now that I think about it, Milwaukee's East Side is already a sovereign nation ran by some guy named ben, so I'm not even American anymore.

Go California though. There's part of me that thinks the country can only survive if it splits idealogically.
posted by drezdn at 11:35 PM on July 21, 2003

gyc - If patchoulli and tie-dye shirts are WMD, then yes...Oregon has them in droves and are exporting them to rogue terr'ist nations.
posted by fatbobsmith at 11:38 PM on July 21, 2003

damn coyote, see there's my idea in a nutshell --

california, oregon, washington secede to form the Pacific Republic, sign instant mutual defense pacts with Japan and Mexico, and hold Hollywood for ransom!

plus, we can find out what really goes on at all those super secret bases... until our alien overlords come out of the tunnel complexes, that is...
posted by badzen at 11:42 PM on July 21, 2003

california may be beautiful, people may love it there.. I'll have to see for myself, as there are cultural indicators that seem very grave - I will not discuss here however

Another possibility for me at least is Texas ^^

yes, the land of Bush

even better, that will scare away plenty of pricks

I would return to Austin
posted by firestorm at 11:49 PM on July 21, 2003

*gets out his orphan annie decoder ring to figure out what the hell firestorm is sayint*
posted by Space Coyote at 11:54 PM on July 21, 2003

Space Coyote: Slide it over so the "G" lines right up with the "6".

It's very simple. He's saying b... e... s... u... r... e... t... o... d... r... i... n... k... y... o... u... r... o... v... a... l... t... i... n... e....
posted by interrobang at 12:07 AM on July 22, 2003

I've been suggesting for years that we push ya'll off in the ocean.

And I've been wondering how many saws and jackhammers each Californian would need in order to free ourselves from the trainwreck that is the USA under the regime of Bush-boy.

I'm so down with the Cascadia movement.
posted by echolalia67 at 12:09 AM on July 22, 2003

Two words: Arizona Bay.

(Note: I have no opinion on this thread, really; I'm just surprised no one has brought this up yet.)
posted by nath at 12:23 AM on July 22, 2003

OK, so where you Californians going to get your water from then?
posted by salmacis at 12:34 AM on July 22, 2003

Dude, I say we follow the example of Quebec -- after umpteen failed votes on secession, they just decided to collectively seceed in their minds. This strikes me as a uniquely Californian approach. The National Assembly of California -- cool. I suggest new treasury notes (worth less than the Argentina peso, but lots more fun), with profiles of Jerry Brown, The Honorable Justice Rose Bird, Rodney King, Chuck Manson, and Lyle Alzado.

Our State Motto could be: Nobody Speaks Your Language Here, Homes
posted by Bixby23 at 2:33 AM on July 22, 2003

As another Illinois resident, I second UncleFes.
posted by hobbes at 2:48 AM on July 22, 2003

Salmacis, most of California's water (unlike that of most states) originates within its borders.
posted by shoos at 2:48 AM on July 22, 2003

posted by hobbes at 2:48 AM on July 22, 2003

Then can we get Northern Virginia to secede from the Rest of Virginia? I mean, they pretty much hate all of us, and there's already a West Virginia so there's precedent...
posted by JoanArkham at 4:23 AM on July 22, 2003

... they just decided to collectively seceed in their minds. This strikes me as a uniquely Californian approach.

Dude, if you, like, think you're free, then Brah, you are. It's all in your mind, Hodad.
posted by bwg at 4:41 AM on July 22, 2003

Ah, uhm, what's so wrong with New Madrid? Er, I mean Los Angeles?
posted by wackybrit at 4:50 AM on July 22, 2003

From Abraham Lincoln's inaugural address:

"Plainly, the central idea of secession, is the essence of anarchy."

Oh and make sure you keep Gray Davis.
posted by lumpenprole at 6:29 AM on July 22, 2003

Minnesota and Wisconsin have been wanting to sneak off together for years...
posted by COBRA! at 7:44 AM on July 22, 2003

Once another San Francisco, 1906 happens I expect Cali will be happy enough to be part of the big picture.

You guys are due for a whopper. It's not "if" it is coming, just simply "when", and every day is a gamble.

And when it does come, it will probably bankrupt every major insurance company in the US along with the federal government.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:09 AM on July 22, 2003

If California can secede, then can the rest of us kick out troublemaker states like Idaho and Florida?
posted by adamrice at 8:09 AM on July 22, 2003

Anyone ever read this California dreamin fantasy: Ecotopia, a novel about California and the Pacific northwest seceding and founding their own country. Its from the 70s so there is some pretty funny post-hippie drug culture/free love thrown in.
posted by pjgulliver at 8:13 AM on July 22, 2003

Well, good luck. California. We tried it here in South Carolina in December 1860. Didn't work out too well. Maybe if we hadn't also bombarded that US fort in Charleston harbor...
posted by alumshubby at 8:23 AM on July 22, 2003

Three words: Drop Federal Taxes.

California could easily be self sufficient, with its own supplies of power (wind, sun, water, oil), a fantastic agricultural base in the valley, the tech and eco-tourism in the north, and the hollywood and moron-tourism in the south. All we need to do is stop paying federal taxes, and pay about 2/3 as much to the California government instead, to start running a military.

The problem? The national guard is all over this state. Bush moved them out here when the dock-workers union was striking, and they haven't left. They're also still guarding Golden Gate, and I assume there are lots of landmarks in LA that need "special attention." They'd shoot our sorry asses before we could reclaim and organize our native soldiers from their federal units.
posted by zekinskia at 8:39 AM on July 22, 2003

While I also like Bill Hicks, I always thought it was a little presumptuous for a Texan to hype the sinking of half of California. I have no love for LA myself, but if anyone should be able to understand what it's like to have fair cities alongside foul cities, it ought to be someone from Austin. If there were a way to sink Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and El Paso into the Gulf, but spare Austin, I think it'd make as fine a plan as, if not finer than, cornholing LA.
posted by scarabic at 9:03 AM on July 22, 2003

Ynoxas, when we get our whopper, will Nashville help us out? Sure hope not. Mmm... whopper....
posted by squirrel at 10:45 AM on July 22, 2003

Hard Core heroes "Code of Honor" were all about California secession back in the 80's. I wonder if they are involved. I would love to see someone pull this off, and California is in a better position to do this than some landlocked state. I wish luck to all who need it.
posted by thirteen at 10:46 AM on July 22, 2003

Squirrel: Not following. If something on the order of the 1906 earthquake were to hit modern San Francisco, it would take more than a few truckloads of food and clothes to help fix anything. But I'm sure that particular charity (which I have donated goods to before) would attempt to help out.

And, I assume they could only help out if the New Canton of California didn't close its borders and require a passport to enter.

I'm sure you're being all witty and stuff but I just don't get what you're saying. You hope you don't get help?
posted by Ynoxas at 1:12 PM on July 22, 2003

Ynoxas, I think Squirrel is punching a giant-sized hole in what several people seem to be implying here: that California is disproportionately dependent on the rest of the country because of our vulnerability to earthquakes. The example of flooding in the south shows that CA is hardly alone in experiencing natural disasters. You've also got midwest tornadoes, southeast hurricanes, and northwest volcanoes on the same list of regional vulnerabilities. Chances are CA has the economic and industrial resources to handle our own problems. Can you say the same for drought-suffering grain belt states that rely on federal farm subsidies? Just ease up on the rhetoric about how y'all will be saving our sorry asses after the big'un. Read upward and you'll find you're not the first Hick to masturbate to the fantasy of CA going down in flames.
posted by scarabic at 1:28 PM on July 22, 2003

Oh, and for the record, Bill Hicks is now dead. But LA is still there.
posted by scarabic at 1:29 PM on July 22, 2003

I kid Nashville because I love, Ynoxas. I was there a few years ago when my brother married his southern belle--joyless, dry, Southern Baptist drudgery, that). Being a San Franciscan, I thought I should compare Nashville barbecue to our outstanding Bay Area product. Turns out me and my gal were none to welcome in the barbecue-infused neighborhood of town. Color me naive: I was just there for the food, but I got a regional lesson in contemporary segregation. We got glared out of every place we tried until we wound up at the hospital cafeteria: delicious white beans, greens and corn bread served with a grunt--which, mind you, beats a glare. There remains an enormous cultural gulf between the coasts and the middle (esp. southern) states. I was poking fun at Nashville in exchange for what looked to me like schadenfreude at our faultline situation. Good luck with your racism and fundamentalism: your whopper is already in the White House.
posted by squirrel at 1:39 PM on July 22, 2003

And hey! Don't forget the pot! If California secedes, we can legalize and tax our weed, thereby crushing our economic woes and making us the largest economy in the world as everyone lines up to buy Humboldt County's Finest.

...and I liked Ecotopia. The free love/war game parts were wacky, but why not make smaller, more walkable cities and the biodegradable vegetable plastic?
posted by RakDaddy at 3:03 PM on July 22, 2003

Ynoxas: If something on the order of the 1906 earthquake were to hit modern San Francisco, it would take more than a few truckloads of food and clothes to help fix anything.

Ynoxas, you ignorant slut.

1906 pretty much razed the city. One of the reasons was that they built with bricks - they don't have any give and they simply crumble. Now, most buildings have been built with earthquakes in mind. The damage of the 1989 quake was but a mere flesh wound in comparison to the 1906 quake, largely due to better construction.

Other than a couple of pre-1906 buildings downtown, parts of the Marina district (north of Lombard street), a chunk of the Bay Bridge and part of a freeway, most of us had a little bit of home repair to do and a couple of days off from work. Even if we had another earthquake of 1906 magnitude, the damage would still be minimal in comparison.

And earthquakes of that magnitude (either of the 1906 or 1989) are really pretty rare here in NorCali - 83 years between 'em. Can't say that about tornados, floods, and hurricanes, can you?

And whatever tornados, floods and hurricanes collectively take up in FEMA funds over time has got to be way more than earthquakes - after all, tornados, floods, and hurricanes happen on a yearly basis. I should be bitching about having to pay for all of y'alls natural disasters.

Now, where's my jackhammer?
posted by echolalia67 at 7:16 PM on July 22, 2003

Squirrel and Scarabic, you are why most southerners dislike "outsiders". Because so many of you condescend and act like jackasses.

I am not generalizing or stereotyping talking about the geology of California. There has been in recent history, and is likely to be another, catastrophic earthquake in the San Francisco region.

This is fact.

Whereas you two just enjoy typical elitist guffawing behavior, looking down your nose at those who *CHOOSE* to live somewhere other than where you do. Not everyone wants to live where you do, okay? I know you find that hard to believe, but trust me, it is true.

If you cannot see the difference in a tornado destroying some mobile homes in Alabama, and the entire city of San Francisco lying in smoking ruins, I cannot help you with that.

Read upward and you'll find you're not the first Hick to masturbate to the fantasy of CA going down in flames.

First, if I am a hick then you are an asshole. Second, I would not take any pleasure in this happening. In fact, I sincerely hope it never occurs, at least in my lifetime.

It has nothing to do with "bailing you out" it has to do with the financial hardship that will be put upon the nation. Ignoring the federal government, consider the insurers. There will be no way they can cover all the claims if a catastrophe occurs. The likely result will be Californians being denied payments, as well as others in the nation loosing policies and benefits they have. I sure hope everyone cashes out the value of those life insurance polices before the big one hits.

Two big buildings in NY were destroyed and look at the financial and fiscal havoc it caused. If you think an entire major US city, especially a financial hub, being massively damaged would not cause SERIOUS repercussions throughout the entire US then you are a moron.

Put another way, it would in fact be much more of a blow to the US if SF were leveled than if Nashville were leveled. Major differences in the type of commerce, industry, and land values.

Squirrel: there is quite possibly noone on Mefi who is less satisfied with Mr. Bush than myself, and I realize that's saying a lot. You also absolutely puzzle me with your BBQ story. I'm not sure of your race, because many of the great BBQ establishments in both Nashville and Memphis are black-oriented. If you are saying you were eyeballed out of many restaurants in Nashville because you are a minority you are either lying or have some sort of social disorder. Maybe because you are an out of towner you mistake interest for scorn. I realize in most large cities people don't even look at each other, that's not the rule generally in the south. If you had been in the rural areas, sure, maybe you got an eyeball or a dirty look. In Metropolitan Nashville? I do not believe you. Nashville is 25% black as opposed to San Fran being 8% black. Nashville is a long way from being "lilly white".

America is more than just its coasts.

Echolallalala74: eat my shorts. The 1906 earthquake was approximately a 7.8. The 1989 earthquake was 7.0. By the account I am reading 7.8 releases 16x more energy than 7.0. In 1989 there was severe shaking for 15 seconds. A 1906 type earthquake will have severe shaking for 45-60 seconds. Comparing the two is silly.

If you seriously think a 7.8 or greater earthquake hitting the San Francisco area would result in "minimal" damage you, too, are a moron.

posted by Ynoxas at 8:11 PM on July 22, 2003

Darn Tootin', Ynoxas! Firstly, I was just flipping shit to be fun. I'm sorry if I went over your line. Second, I'm white, and not a liar (well, largely) and I really did get some attitude for being in what several bonafide Nashville residents later referred to as a black neighborhood. My point was that y'all still have a purdy big racial divide down there, even if your ratio is higher than ours. I shouldn't have gloried in it, but I was tit-fer-tatting on the earthquake thing.
posted by squirrel at 8:43 PM on July 22, 2003

Assholes! Outsiders! Morons! Oh my!

Okay, Ynoxas, I don't mean to be an asshole. When I said "Hick" I capitalized it intentionally, in reference to Bill Hicks, a Texas comedian who had a famous bit about how LA was bound to break off into the ocean any day now. There was some talk of him earlier in this thread (aka Arizona Bay).

We get a lot of earthquake doomsaying from "out of towners" as you say, and to be honest, y'all are more afraid of earthquakes than we are. As others have said, major earthquakes are infrequent, and we guard against their damage with strict building codes and intelligent architecture. We are incredibly much better prepared for large earthquakes than we were in 1906, thanks in no small part to the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. So if you're waiting around for SF to be reduced to rubble, you may be waiting a while.

Anyway, didn't mean to dis you, just your earthquake doomsaying. SF, like many big cities, is full of incomers from all over. We don't really have this concept of "outsider" which you meantion. Life is better without it, IMO. You should come visit.
posted by scarabic at 10:40 PM on July 22, 2003

While I also like Bill Hicks, I always thought it was a little presumptuous for a Texan to hype the sinking of half of California. I have no love for LA myself, but if anyone should be able to understand what it's like to have fair cities alongside foul cities, it ought to be someone from Austin.

Bill Hicks was actually from Houston. I live there now, and while the city has its problems (the air sucks, and it's not as cool as Austin by any means), it's still much better than where I come from. He actually does a bit in one of his newest CDs (one of the ones that came out last year-- it seems weird to mention "newest CDs" about a guy who's been dead for 9 1/2 years) about how much cheaper real estate / apartment space is in Houston than New York, so I don't think he was totally against some of those other Texas cities.

I always got the impression he hated much of what LA represented-- sort of like Woody Allen in Annie Hall, but much more profane.

Oh, and for the record, Bill Hicks is now dead.

I know, I know. *sniff* Don't remind me...

(It's always worried me-- I've considered trying to go into comedy, but two of my favorite comedians, also from Houston-- Hicks and Sam Kinison-- both died of unnatural causes in their early 30s. Of course, Hicks did bits about smoking-- "I'll smoke, I'll get the tumors, I'll die"-- and he did, of pancreatic cancer. Kinison had a drunk driving bit-- "We don't want to drive drunk, but how else are we supposed to get our fucking car back to the house?"-- and he was killed by a drunk driver. Maybe if I avoided making jokes about things that kill people. I don't know. Okay, that was quite a long derail. Back to topic...)

If California secedes, we can legalize and tax our weed, thereby crushing our economic woes and making us the largest economy in the world as everyone lines up to buy Humboldt County's Finest.

If this happens I'm moving out west. No question.
posted by nath at 2:26 AM on July 23, 2003

Ynoxas:Echolallalala74: eat my shorts.

Oooh, Saxony aren't you the witty one - did you learn how to spell from Ted Nugent or something?

I stand by my statement. An earthquake of 1906 proportions will not cause the level of damage that the '06 quake did. Better construction, strict building codes, etc..

It also depends a bit on where you live. A quote from the link:
"Surveys of liquefaction (a phenomenon in which sand saturated with groundwater temporarily behaves like quicksand when strongly shaken) occurrences revealed that the most heavily impacted sites are in areas of fill along the margins of San Francisco and Oakland, and along the flood plains of the Pajaro and Salinas Rivers east and south of Santa Cruz."

The folks in the Marina district will probably be the worst hit in the next one - it's built on a land fill. That was the area that got the most media attention because it had the most spectacular damage. Other neighborhoods are built on bedrock and did not experience much more than broken dishes and cracked plaster. My neighborhood will probably get quite a bit of damage because it's built on a creek bed, but my building was reinforced after the 1989 to withstand another big one. The worst damage to the building was to the front stairs (brick, unfortunately). I feel quite confident that I'll come out smelling like a rose.

Also, there are different types of quakes. I don't know which of the scientific names refer to which type, but they are commonly referred to as "shakers" and "rollers". In my experience, a shaker is more violent and causes more damage than a roller.

Also, Ynoxas 1989 was not just 15 seconds of shake. We had aftershocks for about a month after, several a day, and many of them were pretty damn big. Yet we didn't experience signifigant additional damage after the first one. Funny, that.

I know it must give folks of your ilk great pleasure to imagine a California chastened by a devastating earthquake, crawling on it's belly, pleading to be a part of Nascar Nation and give up it's artisan cheese eating ways - but it just ain't going to happen.

Thank you, come again
posted by echolalia67 at 12:30 PM on July 24, 2003


First, Ted Nugent neither spells his name backwards, nor is from Tennessee (he's a Michiganer). So whatever comparison you are trying to make is lost.

If you'd actually read my post instead of trying to peer up your own rectum you'd see that I said above I hope this never happens. Ever. Especially not while I'm alive. I guess that anyone, anywhere, even in California, who worries or is concerned that a major earthquake could strike that person must necessarily WANT it to happen? What an utterly juvenile reasoning attempt.

Also, from your posting above it seems even though you live where earthquakes occur, you know very little about them. You do realize the 15 vs 45 second analysis has to do with CONTINUOUS shaking, no? Aftershocks have nothing to do with it. Surely even you realize that if you shake a building violently for 15 seconds versus shaking a building violently for 45 seconds you will likely have different results?

Aftershocks are also generally MUCH less in severity and duration than the original quake, usually the strongest of which are at least one order of magnitude less on the Richter scale. Your ignorance of how earthquakes work is almost frightening for a resident.

And, I am not a geologist, but the assessment that a 7.8 (1906) would release 16x (that's sixteen times, in case you are symbolically challenged) more energy than a 7.0 (1989) seems like it would speak volumes to anyone, except you apparently.

So, something shaking 16x as hard (as measured by a seismograph) for 3 - 4 times as long, you don't think it would result in any more damage?

If you can't do any better than that just don't try.

Read this helpful flyer from the USGS.

Choice quotes:

"It was a moderately big one, certainly destructive to some parts of the Bay Area, but nowhere near the size of the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906. "

"The epicenter of the October 1989 quake was in a sparsely populated area. The next one, according to the study, will likely be centered in a more populated area."

"Because the next one is expected to strike closer to an urban area, it will cause much more damage.
posted by Ynoxas at 10:35 PM on July 24, 2003

Saxony: I was referring to your deliberate mis-spelling of my user id. The fact that you could not discern that (I mean, come on you did go out of the way to mangle it didn't, you) only confirms what I suspected: you like to stir the pot for no good reason. I was also using the Nuge reference to refer to the "I'm right, you're wrong, period" vibe of each of your posts in this thread

What I initially responded to was the smug tone of this statement:
Once another San Francisco, 1906 happens I expect Cali will be happy enough to be part of the big picture.

You guys are due for a whopper. It's not "if" it is coming, just simply "when", and every day is a gamble.

And when it does come, it will probably bankrupt every major insurance company in the US along with the federal government.

No self-satisfied gloating tone there. It's just a few shades more subtle than the "God's punishing you for all of your immorality" trolling I read in the newspapers after the 1989 quake. If that's the case, then God's punishing the mid-west and south for sins I've never even heard of, never mind committed.

And, I am not a geologist, but the assessment that a 7.8 (1906) would release 16x (that's sixteen times, in case you are symbolically challenged) more energy than a 7.0 (1989) seems like it would speak volumes to anyone, except you apparently.

If you were a geologist you would know that differences in the types of tectonic plate movements and what kind of land a structure is built on makes a huge difference in the level of damage that occurs. And the aftershocks were not small, a good many of them were 6.0 +and occurred several times a day for about a month. We're talking about cumulative stress damage. The big shake might loosen the jar, but the aftershocks are what gets the lid off.

And pet, remember that stricter building codes and advances in the materials used for building ensures that the damage caused by a 1906 strength quake will be far less than what occurred in 1906. I didn't say no damage, just that the damage would be minimal IN COMPARISON to 1906. Perhaps I was being too subtle.

You, Yxonas, are why so many NorCali's regard southerners as chauvinistic, mean-spirited, green-eyed monster-ettes who, intoxicated with their own self-righteousness, would like nothing better than to see us slide into the ocean so that they can crow about God's righteous vengance and their favored status with Him. I, however, know the difference - I've been to the south and have aways found the southerners to be friendly, witty and all around "live and let live" good eggs. Can you say the same, that you've visited the area and made friendly with the native flora and fauna? Obviously not.

And "eat my shorts"? "Trying to peer up your own rectum"? What's with the butt obsession, pal? The worst I said about you was a lame SNL circa 1975 reference.
posted by echolalia67 at 4:06 PM on July 26, 2003

Oh, and it was a 7.1, not a 7.0 quake in 1989.
posted by echolalia67 at 4:25 PM on July 26, 2003

Oh, and it was a 7.1, not a 7.0 quake in 1989.

Well, according to this site (the USGS) it was a 6.9, and according to this site (your own city museum?) it was a ~7.0. Whether it is 6.9 or 7.0 or 7.1 it is still less than 7.8. And considering the way the Richter scale measures, that still equates to a massive difference. If you don't like my usage of the description "nowhere near as powerful as the 1906" take it up with the USGS, not me.

No self-satisfied gloating tone there.

Actually, there wasn't. Maybe this can all be attributed to you sensing a "feeling" that wasn't there. If you knew me at all you would know it is more out of concern, both for your welfare and everyone else's, including my own. Gloating is so far from my perspective that it is comical. Its gloating in the same sense that a worried parent tells their child to be careful crossing the street, because sometimes people get hit by cars. The parent would likely take no joy in that happening.

And no I don't think I'm your daddy, before you misunderstand or misrepresent something I say again.

"God's punishing you for all of your immorality" trolling I read in the newspapers after the 1989 quake.

That wasn't me. I don't think God or morality has anything to do with it. A major city was built upon a major fault. Damage has, and will, occur. It REALLY IS that simple.

USGS predicts 67% chance of a 6.7 or greater earthquake affecting San Francisco Bay Region within next 30 years.

So, I stand by my statement above. You guys are due for a whopper, according to the people that think about this stuff full time for the government. Again, if you don't like it or agree take it up with the USGS.

Also, for the last time, will you please exert the tiniest effort to see that I don't "wish" or "hope" this on you, in fact quite the opposite. I hope the day the "big one" hits, that everyone in SF went to a nice picnic out of town.

You sound to me like you have completely bought into some marketing bullshit about how your new super-spiffy building modification is earthquake proof and that a 8.0 earthquake could strike and you would only have to pick up the odd broken dish. I truly, truly, TRULY hope that is the case. I would be delighted if a 7 or larger quake registered a broken dish as the only damage city wide.

don't' you get it? I don't *WANT* anything to happen, that was my whole point. I am *AFRAID* of the repercussions (heh) of a major quake in SF. I don't want anyone to be hurt. I don't want an entire sector of our economy destroyed. I don't want the state and federal governments to be burdened with rebuilding.

You, Yxonas, are why so many NorCali's regard southerners as chauvinistic, mean-spirited, green-eyed monster-ettes who, intoxicated with their own self-righteousness,

This I find the most amusing.

Chauvinistic? How in the world was I chauvinistic? Just because you're a woman and I disagree with you? Weak.

Mean-Spirited? That one does not even compute. Southerners are usually ridiculed by others because they are too friendly.

Green-eyed? See, this is the one that galls me most of all. I live where I do because I choose to. As I said to the posters above, even though this may shock you, there are people who do not want to live in San Fran. Apparently, according to the census bureau, more people are moving out instead of in, so SF is most likely not the end-all destination of all peoples.

Jealous? Yes. Sure. I'm jealous of a state with obscene property rates, mudslides, wildfires, earthquakes, power crisis, and a government in such disarray they are having to recall their own governor. Do you know if I can rent a moving van today?

You like where you live? Fine. Stay there. Californians, and San Francisco residents in particular, seem to treat residency like it is some sort of special privilege, like you have to get nominated to join or something. You don't have to win some sort of essay contest or be the 12th caller.

As far as being self-rightous, I think pretty much all people of any age/race/sex/geography fall into this category. By any comparison you are certainly being as much as (if not moreso than) I.

The data is there. It is coming. It will be bad. It will break stuff. I hope it is 400 years away. If it is soon, I hope you are not at home.
posted by Ynoxas at 11:46 PM on July 26, 2003

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