By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
As of this writing, there are 16 wildfires raging in California, and all of them tragically affect everything from life to the environment to the economy. The reason why I am singling out the Carr Fire is purely egocentric: I have several friends with whom I went to theological school in Seattle who now live in Redding, including the woman I consider to be my spiritual mom. She is in her 80s, and while I think I would have been informed by now if she was in trouble, the Carr fire has been a reminder that everything tangible we have worked for can, in a moment, literally go up in smoke. It is also an admonition to build the things that cannot be stolen by thieves or destroyed by fire – relationships, personal growth, and “the things that are above.”
I don’t want to get political when it comes to something as monstrous as a wildfire, nevertheless juxtaposed against the emergencies caused by the blaze is a genuine cry on the part of a frightening number of Californians to secede from the Union. It is being called “Calexit.” Here is what would happen if they achieve their first goal of getting upwards of 365,000 signatures to get on the ballot. There would be a creation of what is being called an “Autonomous Native Nation,” which means that all federal lands would be turned over to Native Americans. As Calexit co-founder Louis J. Marinelli said on July 31, “Why not do something to right some of the wrongs of the past to the Native American people, and give them back their land?” Sounds naively noble, but my first question is, “What does La Raza think about that prospect, seeing as their claim is that the nation that supposedly has first dibs on California is Mexico? Would they counter-propose a “Mexit?” If so, Mexico would then be responsible for managing a republic that will not allow dry brush to be trimmed because it might harm the environment, and the current infernos are proof positive of just how well that would work.
The federal land that would be given back is at present time populated by Californians who are more conservative, and, no joke, Calexit co-founder Marcus Ruiz Evans stated that the proposed Autonomous Native Nation would create a “buffer zone between Donald Trump’s America and the new independent California Republic.” Donald Trump’s America? What does that mean? According to their polls, aren’t there huge parts of the population that despise the man and are working around the clock to get him impeached? I know that the president is really good with real estate, but when did POTUS purchase the U.S.?
Here is my favorite part: Marinelli told FOX News that the plan wouldn’t be “unduly disruptive to Californians.” Which ones? The ones on the coast who won’t have anyone to help them fight their wildfires? The ones on the coast who are in no position to protect themselves from any type of invasion? The ones who need disaster relief when there is an earthquake? How about the ones who are affected by an EMP or a solar event?
All I can say is, I am glad that my friends in Redding have every possible firefighter and first responder in the entire state of California and from elsewhere putting themselves in harm’s way to save them, their animals, and their homes. I am hoping that the Calexit folks will themselves exit Cal, and allow the free market to invest in highly successful Israeli-style desalination systems that will produce enough water from the ocean to put out these fires for good. Maybe they’ll even cut back some dry stuff while they’re at it.