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Happy Freedom Day




Here's how hundreds of people are spending the 4th of July on Calafia Beach in So. California. It's almost a perfect day. Warm weather, no clouds, a light breeze, and not much surf (good for the little kids). In fact, it's the best beach day of the summer so far.

One thing marred our experience this year, however. Calafia Beach was taken over by the State Park system a few years ago, and this year, for the first time, the park rangers were out in force, even though we've never had problems before. Four burly rangers with billy clubs, pistols, and beer bellies were scrutinizing everyone as they crossed the railroad tracks to go down to the beach. They weren't looking for terrorists or bombs, though. They were looking for that most fearsome of all substances, alcohol. It reminded me of TSA and airport searches, as pretty young moms with their kids in tow had to open up their bags and coolers and any can or bottle they were carrying was subject to inspection.

Woe to those who were looking forward to relaxing on the sand and drinking a beer. The mere possession of alcohol turns you into a criminal, since even if only one person in a few hundred can't handle their beers every now and then, why then everyone must go without. Possession of alcohol is treated the same as reckless and illegal behavior.

The Nanny State can quickly become the Police State if we aren't careful, and I'm agin' it.

Changing the subject, I should add that former President Nixon's Western White House is nestled among the trees at the end of point at the upper left hand corner of the picture. It's now owned by a friend of the Nixon family who is also the owner of the famed Roger's Gardens nursery in Newport Beach. The trail at the bottom left of the picture was paid for in large part by the California Coastal Conservancy, and extends from Calafia Beach to the San Clemente train station, about 2.25 miles northwest. It's probably the best use of taxpayer funds in this area that I'm aware of, and we take plenty of its advantage.

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