Jump to content

How Arnold Schwarzenegger's California dream soured


WestVirginiaRebel

Recommended Posts

WestVirginiaRebel
How-Arnold-Schwarzeneggers-California-dream-soured.html
UK Telegraph:

It is only an uncredited cameo performance but there is no mistaking the physique or accent of the mercenary muscling in on a rival's patch in the new testosterone-fuelled film, The Expendables.

And Arnold Schwarzenegger clearly enjoyed his return, albeit brief, to the celluloid world -alongside Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis - as he approaches the end of a seven-year Hollywood hiatus running California.

At the star-studded Los Angeles premiere, he roared with laughter at the on-screen exchange between the characters played by the three ageing action-men. When Willis wonders what's wrong with Schwarzenegger, Stallone retorts: "He wants to be President."

Such was Mr Schwarzenegger's popularity when he was re-elected in a landslide as Republican governor of California in 2006 that there was talk of changing the law to allow a foreign-born US citizen to run for president.

But the buzz about "Arnie's law" seems an eternity ago, even by the fickle standards of politics. And the 63-year-old Austrian-born bodybuilder and actor will leave office in January with his approval ratings mired below 30 per cent, and pondering the next act of his larger-than-life story.

Californian film-goers who turned out for the opening on Friday evening of The Expendables were reminded of the woes of the state and its chief executive. Public sector unions organised demonstrations outside cinemas to protest at his plans to force 150,000 state workers to take off three unpaid days a month after he proclaimed a "financial state of emergency".

California is a state in crisis. It has a deficit in its finances of nearly $20 billion an d rising and has stumbled along for 45 days without a budget as Mr Schwarzenegger insists on spending cuts but no tax increases - a policy resolutely resisted by his Democratic foes in the legislature.

State officials have warned that they may be forced to issue IOUs to contractors before the end of the month. Unemployment is above 12 per cent, hundreds of thousands of mortaged homes have been repossessed or are under threat of repossession, the school system is on its knees and the highways are literally falling apart - even on the Governor's own doorstep.

The potholes along the edge of Wilshire Boulevard - the famous artery that runs 16 miles from the Pacific beach community of Santa Monica, where Mr Schwarzenegger lives with his wife Maria Shriver and their children, to central Los Angeles - are so bad that motorists refuse to use the inside lane. "It's like driving in the Third World," lamented one of his neighbours.

In another sign of California's sorry times, the bohemian playground of Venice Beach, where the newly-arrived Mr Schwarzenegger first pumped iron and partied in the early 1970s, will soon launch a "safe parking" scheme for the rising number of homeless who are now living in their cars and vans. The programme will provide portable bathrooms, showers and rubbish facilities in the protection of designated overnight parking areas for these car communities.

The Californian dream has faded, if not died, on this governor's watch. That matters for the rest of the world - if it was a country, the 37 million residents of America's most populous state would be in the G8 grouping of the eight richest economies. And it also matters deeply to the American psyche.

For the Golden State has long embodied the American spirit of hope, aspiration and achievement. It is the ultimate can-do frontier, home to the dream factory of Hollywood and the innovation and technology nucleus of Silicon Valley.

And Mr Schwarzenegger also epitomised that dream. He arrived as a near-penniless immigrant, made his name as the world's top bodybuilder, amassed a fortune in businesses ranging from brick-laying to mail-order catalogues and then overcame that accent and the many sceptics to become the star of blockbusters such as Conan the Barbarian and the Terminator franchise.

But for an actor, his political timing has been lamentable as he has ended up running the show during America's great economic and housing meltdown.

That crisis has left California broke, the prime example of a state that lived wildly beyond its means - most outrageously, running up an eye-watering $500 billion shortfall in lavishly generous worker pension commitments.

"We are on the verge of becoming a failed state," is the blunt conclusion of Kevin Starr, the state librarian emeritus and author of an acclaimed seven-volume history of California.
________

Arnold had the misfortune of coming in at the tail end of a process that began about a decade and a half ago. His greatest legacy may be that he can say that at least he tried.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

n another sign of California's sorry times, the bohemian playground of Venice Beach, where the newly-arrived Mr Schwarzenegger first pumped iron and partied in the early 1970s, will soon launch a "safe parking" scheme for the rising number of homeless who are now living in their cars and vans. The programme will provide portable bathrooms, showers and rubbish facilities in the protection of designated overnight parking areas for these car communities.

 

What could possibly go wrong?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the Golden State has long embodied the American spirit of hope, aspiration and achievement. It is the ultimate can-do frontier, home to the dream factory of Hollywood and the innovation and technology nucleus of Silicon Valley.

 

It is also the ultimate drug capitol of America, does anybody remember the Haight-Ashbury(aka the Hashbury) in the '60s? It's also the most out of control spending liberal legislature this side of the RATS in DC with public unions draining the state funds.

 

I worked for a couple of months at the census bureau down here in LA, but I'd love to see how many people have left California in the past 10 years over the taxes, regulations, and overall liberal nuttiness, and if they'll try to use illegals to keep districts they should lose from the loss of population.

 

It's already been accepted that Louisiana will lose a district due to Katrina and Rita, so we'll lose a little influence in Congress. Let's let CA feel a little of that pain. They could start by getting rid of any district based in a sanctuary city, like San Francisco, which just happens to be Pelosi's district. B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • 1709465904
×
×
  • Create New...