Sunday, September 18, 2011

San Joaquin Valley's New Crime Wave

From the local TV news: "Thieves Make Off With Vineyard's Irrigation System":
MODESTO (CBS13) — Thieves crushed a grape crop when they took off with the tools that help a local vineyard to grow.

Grape grower Frank Rashid was on track for a record-breaking year.

“See how beautiful?” said Rashid, gesturing toward his grapes.

But in an instant, thieves crippled all of his hard work.

“A lot of trouble for me, [and] the grapes; I can lose the crop, you know,” said Rashid.

Bad guys stole the grape irrigation system worth more than $10,000. And now, his petite syrah grapes are starting to shrivel away.

Rashid says someone walked on to the 14-acre family vineyard over the weekend and went straight for the pair of tanks.

Each tank has a pump.

“And we have here a flush controller,” said Rashid.

A valve and a motor, and that’s not all.

“These parts would hold the filter pressure pump, and they took it out,” said Rashid.

In his 12 years of growing grapes, Rashid has never been hit by thieves. He believes the criminals will cash in his equipment as scrap metal. He plans to install a fence — and even cameras — to protect his crop.

“It’s not just hurting me, it’s hurting the winery, everybody,” said Rashid.

With his livelihood and his business on the line, Rashid hopes to replace the irrigation system by the end of the week. If it’s not installed in time, he fears the crop will be completely destroyed in one week.
If illegal aliens are “doing the jobs Americans won’t do”, so we are told ad nauseum, they are also stealing the pumps Americans won’t steal.

Of course the liberal Demunist Commiecrats and their media apparatchiks will claim it is "racism" to claim illegal aliens, or their former anchor baby now teenage children, did this. But who else besides Mr. Rashid would know about his irrigration system? It would likely be young men without authority in their lives, and it would have to be someone who knows someone working the property, and black inner city youth didn't drive out there, and white or asian suburbanites didn't either.White rural youth? Possibly, but they would be too busy working on, or guarding, their own family farms. Think about who the thieves might be, and how they got there.

And President Obama mocks those who want more sensible border policies with tales of moats and alligators.

And this sort of theft has increased up and down the San Joaquin Valley. What has changed over time? A "multicultural" education system that condones this crime, and an influx of rootless single men, who are the most likely to engage in thieving. Victor Davis Hanson explains:
...readying oneself for the next break-in — so our inland “California Corridor” has become (a way of life for farmers) from Bakersfield to Sacramento.

More specifically, I have been on the lookout around my farm for a predatory, nearly new, grey/silver Toyota truck that drives in and then speeds out — always a day or so before the nocturnal theft. He’s clever, this caser — and audacious too, like a wily Sherman tank prowling through the hedgerows. (Why, if poor, is he not home growing a tomato garden or scouring the roadside for the ubiquitous tossed aluminum cans and plastic bottles?)

On three separate occasions from June to August, I have had copper wire stripped out of pumps, the barn ransacked, and the two locks pried off the shop and various things stolen. (Why did they steal buckets of 1900 antique bolts and square nails and leave alone a drill press and grinder? Ease of recycling? Ignorance?)

When Metal Grows Legs

One of the stranger things in the California Corridor is to periodically walk around a barnyard and notice: “Hmm, that set of rusted furrowers is gone? Hmmm, what happened to those sections of 2-inch pipe? Hmmm, didn’t I have an old compressor next to the shed? Have I got dementia, or wasn’t there once upon a time three metal ladders leaning against the shop?” It is as if they became animate, grew legs, and quietly walked off in the sunset.

Hippo Regius

Twice I ran into the barnyard to see the truck, with its two gangbanger youths, peel off in clouds of dust. (And, yes, as a CSU ex-professor, I know the party line: the dominant culture neglects/exploits/oppresses/fill in the blanks the “other” to such a degree that he sometimes must lash out, or, on occasion, to find validation, might just do something illegal like steal buckets of antique nails, or illogical, like in poverty buying a new truck, and thus so disturbs/finally wins the attention of those with privilege and their self-constructed norms. Been there and heard that for thirty years).

The Toyota is always around when theft occurs, and always speeding off when anyone spots it. Rural California is also like North Africa circa 420 AD: the few family farms left are mostly fenced or walled, the dogs large, the owners armed — trying to survive against organized Vandal attacks. All we need are mosaics in the courtyard portraying happier times as a testament to future archeologists. Maybe a “Cave Canem!” on the doorstep.

I know of no neighboring farm that has not been broken into or fought/scared off such intruders. 
Then and Now

So it is that in 1935 poor people scraped and saved to cast a bronze plaque for their Depression-era new city hall, and in 2011 rather more affluent people ripped it off to melt it down for a layaway payment on some chrome rims or another round of meth.
Jaws on Wheels

Seven days ago, I left to teach here at Hillsdale for my month vacation. My son, back home on the farm — he often rushes out armed when trucks come into the driveway at night — called. He mentioned in passing that the Toyota was back, Jaws-like circling around the farm in short bursts of speed to see if anyone was there. (The modus operandi (for these thieves) in the rural California hinterlands is to drive into a farm, check if anyone comes out, if so, either peel out or even stay put to “inquire” about a “rental” or “work.” If no one comes out, then break a window, grab a TV or computer and speed off. Also: Please do not suggest, “call the sheriff”; I have, and even “filled out a report” over the phone, no less. Enough said. And yes, I probably should sell the 140-year-old farm and move away, but also probably won’t. Why leave and give in to barbarism? There are still far more good than lawless people in the valley.)

Stealing Up For a Truck?

My point in this long excursus? Note the description “late-model Toyota.” I think it is a Tacoma, maybe 2009-11, so not a cheap truck by any means.

Earlier another youth drove in without seeing me mowing the lawn. I ran up; startled he stammered, “Hey, mister, I’m only looking for scrap metal to buy.” (What is it with the national epidemic with good wire or scrap metal?)
Obamunist inflation in commodity prices, partly.
I’ll pass on his shoulder to finger sleeve tattoos, the ink drops under the eyes, the shaved head, wife-beater T-shirt, the inked-in but impressive religious icon tattooed on the neck, and the whole nine yards. As I wrote earlier, I immediately noticed brand new hot-water tanks, still in their labeled cardboard containers, in the bed of his truck. They seemed very “metal” to me, but not very “scrap.” Words were exchanged and he backed out.

Here’s the point: he too drove a brand new truck, this one a custom-painted fire-engine red Dodge, hopped up, with an expensive stereo blaring.

Chrome-rimmed Poverty?

Where are we going with this?

Yes, I confess once more to the same destination as the flash mobs and the London riots. What we think in the West now as too little is far too much. Both these thieves could trade in their multi-thousand-dollar trucks for cash to buy food, rather than steal the property of others and cause mayhem to make their payments. Heck, the rims alone are worth $1000.

(Thieves and gangbangers create a climate of general fear; they ruin the sense of tranquility, and they betray 150 years of collective labor of the now dead to create civilization from near nothing. Shame on them. Americans should not need to have armored rural mail boxes.) To suggest that they could do without the trucks or go without the dole, is not — channeling the president’s most recent speech warning against anti-government zealots — the same as wanting children to suffer from mercury poisoning or to render us helpless against the healthcare industry or to destroy government and want to start over from scratch.
Subsidizing Stasis

Maybe it is a fine and noble thing that the Obama administration vastly extended unemployment insurance. And, bravo, that nearly 50 million are now on food stamps. But a tragic voice from the past warns us that the more we diminish human incentives and guarantee a sort of cushioned permanent poverty, two things result: one, fewer people scramble to find productive work; and, two, envy sharpens as they begin to turn on their benefactors as being cheap, or mean-spirited in never giving quite enough to ensure parity with “them.” A cherry-red new truck or silver Toyota is never quite what others might have.


The problem with those who invaded my farm this summer was not poverty, but too much — at least in the sense of driving late-model trucks as they sought to destroy the lives and tranquility of others to get things that, by the very fact of their mode of transportation, they did not need. For the last two years, I have witnessed two constants: late-model cars in the valley shopping centers, an epidemic of obesity apparent to the naked eye, majorities on plastic food stamp debt cards, without apparent work in mid-morning, and a general unhappiness in the check-out lines that the government, state, city, etc. is not doing enough for them. All that is coupled with a media message of a cruel, heartless society that needs to do more for its oppressed — and a popular culture that damns any so witless and heartless for pointing the contradictions out.

Welfare on Top and Bottom

The welfare state, aside from being broke, is eroding initiative and warping reality — both for the elite at the top, like the executives who just milked a half-trillion dollars in sweetheart loans from some idiotic “green” bureaucrat, to the late-model truck drivers robbing productive farms to pay for their stereos and hydraulic-lifters.

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