A long time ago San Diegans were told that they could have only two of three things in life: exceptional weather, a world class zoo with pandas, or a world class newspaper. If you haven't figured out which ones we selected, here is a hint: on Sunday I will be having brunch on a restaurant outdoor patio before going to the zoo to watch pandas acting adorably.

Sorry, world class newspaper. Maybe next time.

In the meantime we have as a "newspaper"  the San Diego Union-Tribune or, as it called the 'UT' or mostly  'the Pennysaver with Family Circle'. At one time the UT aspired to the low end of the mediocrity scale and was quite successful in that regard, but then newspapers started dying off, and the publisher who had no interest in the paper sold it and then it was sold again to local homo-hater, sleazeball, monstrosity developer Doug "Papa Doug*" Manchester who has turned the once-never-venerable newspaper into a combination developers newsletter/World Net Daily  but with a sports section. Having assumed the captains chair, Manchester then introduced novel ideas such as using the front page for editorials endorsing candidates who lose anyway and for turning part of the UT building into a garage for his bitchin' Camaros so his employees can pose on them during lunch hour while wearing daisy dukes and tube tops. Hawt.

Recently Papa Doug has taken time out from cheerleading for a new football stadium that will cost the local taxpayers upwards of around $300 to 500 million (the same taxpayers who were awarded the NFL's first blacked-out game of the year this past Sunday because the Chargers were 5000 seats short of a sell-out, so yeah, let's give a franchise worth close to a billion dollars a helping hand) to take a stand for those poor beleaguered taxpayers (and the businesses those taxpayers subsidize) who are being kept down by The Man and The State.  So what's  his plan?

Make a new state:

It may not be necessary to destroy California in order to fix it. But it may be necessary to cut it in two, carving out a 51st state of New California where taxes are low, regulations are few and where politicians are not the lap dogs of the public-employee labor unions.

I am intrigued, do go on....

In the far northern reaches of the state, counties along the border with Oregon have been in various degrees of secessionist activism since 1941, clamoring for the new state of Jefferson. As recently as September, the Modoc County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 in support of the new state. That followed a 4-1 vote in August by the Board of Supervisors in neighboring Siskiyou County to do the same. Officials have said that if they can get 10 more counties to join the effort, they will formally appeal to the Legislature for statehood.

Another idea floated among secessionist proponents is for a smaller 51st state that would only take in the counties of San Diego, Riverside, Imperial and San Bernardino.

Can I just add here, that Riverside, Imperial, and San Bernardino counties are the counties that no one would ever ask out on a date. Not even with the promise of a tender and loving hand job at the end of the evening.

Regardless of which counties might ultimately be included, The U-T San Diego ownership thinks secessionist proponents are onto something. In the end, New California ought to include any counties seeking a new beginning without the tax and regulatory burdens and the Nanny State mentality of the existing California — and that could end up being just about the entire state other than the coastal strip from Los Angeles through Mendocino or Humboldt counties, along with Sacramento.

Since early June, the U-T’s Fixing California project has published nearly three dozen commentaries and staff editorials exploring the many problems burdening California. Together, they make a mockery of the head-in-the-sand claims by the state’s dominant leadership that California has turned the corner on the Great Recession and is now an economic model for the rest of the nation.

We believe that virtually all of those problems stem from a state tax structure that is horribly out of whack, a regulatory culture that is anti-business and a strong impediment to economic growth [ED: Uh, yup, Horrible] , and the chokehold over state government and politics by organized labor.

We believe that a state unshackled from those burdens would flourish, with existing business and industry encouraged to expand and new businesses encouraged to start up. Jobs and tax revenues would grow as never before, benefiting the new state government as well as all local governments.

...and here comes their proposal/manifesto/thing scrawled on the inside of the garage door in red Sharpie for a Libertarian Paradise that can be summed up as: rules and regulations, who needs them, open up the door.

A Constitution for New California

• A part-time legislature with strict term limits.

• Governor required to propose, and the legislature required to approve, a budget certified as balanced by an independent state auditor.

• Prohibition on traditional pensions for all government workers, instead providing 401(k)-style retirement plans and Social Security.

• No state tax on personal income.

• Low tax rates on business.

• Strict limits on the power of state and local regulatory agencies. All regulations must be justified through an accounting of costs and benefits and all regulations would sunset after five years.

• Prohibition on mandatory membership of state and local government employees in public-employee unions. Prohibition on automatic payroll deduction of union dues from members’ paychecks. And a prohibition on unions using members’ dues for political purposes without members’ expressed consent.

• Encourage the development of all energy resources — nuclear, renewables such as wind and solar, and fossil fuels, including “fracking” of oil and gas reserves.

• Prohibition on tenure for public school teachers in the K-12 system. Teacher pay based in part on student performance, which would be based in part on standardized testing.

• Encourage educational choice, including expanded public charter schools and voucher programs for private and parochial schools.

The only thing that seems to keep Manchester & Co. from calling for complete secession from the Union Of Black Kenyan Socialist States is the almost $25 billion federal dollars (from beleaguered taxpayers) pumped into the region which accounts for 22% of the employment. After blowing up the local economy, destroying our underground water supply with fracking, and under the leadership of our new Paper-Owning Developer Papa Overlords, we'd probably become Mogadishu.

But with a better climate and pandas.

Who really are adorable and quite tasty too which you will learn after the food riots come...

*True fact: Doug Manchester signs checks from the UT  with "Papa Doug". Also, that is what UT employes are supposed to call him. Creepy, right? I know...