Ahh, what a theme for the day:

WaPo – After the Governator, the Calculator. By George F. Will

The most ominous domestic event of the 1970s was the collapse of self-government in New York City, which before being put into receivership by the state was liberalism’s laboratory. Since then, California has been the slate on which liberalism boldly writes its recipe for decline — high taxes, heavy regulation, subservience to public employees unions and environmentalism that is simultaneously apocalyptic and chiliastic. …

There is no constitutional mechanism to do for California what the state of New York did for New York City in 1975 — transfer to an improvised authority responsibility for problems the political process cannot solve. …

If nominated, Campbell will face either the once-exotic but still canny Jerry Brown [speaking of the 70s -me], who will be 72 and perhaps familiar to a fault, or Gavin Newsom, 41, San Francisco’s dashing and evidently delusional mayor, whose campaign suggests that the bankrupt state’s biggest problem is its denial of same-sex marriage. If Campbell is nominated, he can win, but if Californians were sufficiently rational to nominate him, their state would not be shambolic.

The Times – The Age of Aquarius<br/> Only superficially do today’s social problems recall those of the 1970s

Bitter recession; a property crash; bank failures; terrorist threats; scares over non-renewable resources; an enfeebled Labour Government: it all seems so distant now. Yet this was Britain in the 1970s. …

In the Seventies there was a collapse of the postwar consensus of demand management and welfare provision. For the next 20 years, across the developed world, corporatist policies were jettisoned in favour of free-market reforms. Yet the reaction appears merely to have produced more of the same. The recent sharp rise in oil prices even recalls the economic conditions of 30 years ago: low growth combined with accelerating inflation, or “stagflation”.

And beware:

The superficial similarities between now and the 1970s are belied moreover by the immense cultural distance. The spirit of those times was embodied not only in conspiratorial politics and economic collapse. It also found expression in a bizarre craze for “psychic” spoon-bending, UFO cults and millennialist prophecy. Yet the world carried on, the close encounters receded and the cutlery proved more useful in its original state. The past is always with us, but the decade that taste and reason forgot need not be revisited.

Hah. What about Global Warming? The UFO-cult of our times?