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Steven Greenhut is senior editorial writer and columnist for the Orange County Register in Santa Ana, California, and the author of Abuse of Power: How the Government Misuses Eminent Domain (2004).
Today, most Americans consider themselves residents of the freest country that has ever graced the earth, yet they are about as committed to property rights as they are to limited government, states’ rights, avoiding empire, and many other principles for which the Founding Fathers stood.
Immigration is like so many other political issues in modern America: The official debate is quashed by political correctness, so the real issues fester under the surface while politicians deal in platitudes.
The death on April 25 at the age of 89 of Jane Jacobs, author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities and several other books, has already set off a debate over her legacy.
In a sane world, the sight of more than a half-million immigrants—many of them illegal—flooding the streets of downtown Los Angeles and waving Mexican flags would have been something of a wake-up call for Southern Californians. It wasn’t.
Years ago, a Christian evangelist friend of mine complained about doing the Lord’s work in the South. Everyone is a Christian there, he lamented, whether or not they really are one.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s slate of fairly modest governmental reforms went down to stinging defeat on November 8, 2005, leading Californians to ponder a future in which their flawed celebrity governor has little power and the public-sector unions—the targets of most of the governor’s failed initiatives—are more brazen than ever.
The L.A. Mayoral election has been misunderstood and misrepresented by the national media, which rarely understands the consequences of events taking place in California, a state that functions more like a separate nation.
Stem cells have taken center stage in California. In November 2004, California’s voters approved, with 59 percent of the vote, a measure that would spend three billion dollars in borrowed state funds to pay for research that requires the destruction of human embryos.
When Americans debate the merits of Wal-Mart, the discussions often become contentious, centering on whether this megaretailer is a corporate predator that drives wages down and Main Street businesses into ruin or is a corporate good guy because it offers decent jobs to the jobless and low prices to consumers.
California conservatives know that the unexpectedly convincing victory of actor Arnold Schwarzenegger in the October 7 recall race cannot possibly result in any serious changes in the governance of this increasingly nutty state, yet most people I talk to are quietly pleased at the turn of events.
What, no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? This development has resulted in the sort of newsroom hand-wringing that one usually finds only when a reporter for the nation’s most prestigious newspaper is caught fabricating quotations in scores of news stories.
It may not be the start of the Great Middle American Revolution, but the reaction of residents in Lima, Ohio, to a heavy-handed public housing plan shows that some Americans are still willing to stand up for their communities.
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