Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Tag Archives: California Schools

Let’s Save California Now!

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media 

Just a handful of legislative acts might still save California. Here are 12 brief examples:

1. The Hetch Hetchy Smelt and Salmon Act

This so-called “Skip a Shower, Save a Smelt Act” would transfer control of the Hetch 800px-Flag_of_California.svgHetchy reservoir releases from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The legislation would dismantle sections of the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct west beyond the San Joaquin River, stop the present unnatural diversion of fresh water to San Francisco, and allow instead Hetch Hetchy fresh water to resume natural flows to the San Joaquin River — thus allowing the San Joaquin River and Tuolumne River to recover their salmon populations.

In addition, the transfers of fresh Hetch Hetchy water into the delta and beyond to the Pacific Ocean would preserve delta smelt populations.  To make up the losses, the law Read more →

The Bay Area’s 1 Percenters

If you’re hip and liberal, your kids don’t have to go to school with the gardener’s kids.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

Strip away the veneer of Silicon Valley, and it is mostly a paradox. Almost nothing is what it is professed to be. Ostensibly, communities like Menlo Park and Palo Alto are elite enclaves, where power couples can easily make $300,000 to $700,000 a year as mid-level Photo Credit: Chris Smart via Flickrdot.com managers.

But often these 1 percenter communities are façades of sorts. Beneath veneers of high-end living, there are lives of quiet 1-percent desperation. With new federal and California tax hikes, aggregate income-tax rates on dot.commers can easily exceed 50 percent of their gross income. And hip California 1 percenters do not enjoy superb roads and schools or a low-crime state in exchange for forking over half their income.

Housing gobbles much of the rest of their pay. A 1,300-square-foot cottage in Mountain View or Atherton can easily sell for $1.5 million, leaving the owners paying $5,000 to $6,000 on their mortgage and another $1,500 to $2,000 in property taxes each month. Add in the de rigueur Mercedes, BMW, or Lexus and the private-school tuition, and the apparently affluent turn out to have not all that much disposable income. Read more →

Medieval Liberals

Unlike classical liberals, the liberals of today hew to doctrine in the face of the evidence.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

A classical liberal was characteristically guided by disinterested logic and reason. He was open to gradual changes in society that were frowned upon by traditionalists in lockstep adherence to custom and protocol. The eight-hour work day, civil rights, and food- and drug-safety laws all grew out of classically liberal views. Government could press for moderate changes in the way society worked, within a conservative framework of revering the past, in order to pave the way for equality of opportunity in a safe and sane environment. Read more →

The Decline of College

by Victor Davis Hanson // Tribune Media Services 

For the last 70 years, American higher education was assumed to be the pathway to upper-mobility and a rich shared-learning experience.

Young Americans for four years took a common core of classes, learned to look at the world dispassionately, and gained the concrete knowledge to make informed arguments logically.

The result was a more skilled workforce and a competent democratic citizenry. That ideal may still be true at our flagship universities, with their enormous endowments and stellar world rankings.

Yet most elsewhere, something went terribly wrong with that model. Almost all the old campus protocols are now tragically outdated or antithetical to their original mission.

Tenure — virtual lifelong job security for full-time faculty after six years — was supposed to protect free speech on campus. How, then, did campus ideology become more monotonous than diverse, more intolerant of politically unpopular views than open-minded?

Read more →

Krugman’s California Dreaming

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

It is rare, even in the case of Paul Krugman, to read a column in which almost everything that is stated is either wrong or deliberately misleading. But his recent take on California’s renaissance is pure fantasy. Read more →

Five Days of Hope and Despair

by Victor Davis Hanson

PJ Media

Here is a brief travel log of five days amid 21st-century California. Read more →

From Affirmative Action to Diversity

by Victor Davis Hanson

Tribune Media Services

Sometime in the new millennium, “global warming” evolved into “climate change.” Read more →

The California Mordida

by Victor Davis Hanson

Tribune Media Services

California now works on the principle of the mordida, or “bite.” Its government assumes that it can take something extra from residents for the privilege of living in their special state. Read more →

Beautifully Medieval California

by Victor Davis Hanson

PJ Media

Gates Close at Dusk

At about dusk, I close two large metal gates to my driveways. The security lights come on, and I enjoy intramural life. Read more →

Bankrupt California

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

I thought of my fellow Californian Energy Secretary Steven Chu last week, when I paid $4.89 a gallon in Gilroy for regular gas — and had to wait in line to get it. The customers were in near revolt, but I wondered against what and whom. I mentioned to one exasperated motorist that there are estimated to be over 20 billion barrels of oil a few miles away, in newly found reserves off the California coast. He thought I was from Mars. Read more →

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