The latest mass shooting shooting occurred in San Bernardino, which is part of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. This is a part of Southern California called the Inland Empire. It has long been known as a hot, dry area quite a ways inland from LA.
Out there in Inland Empire cities like Redlands, Riverside and San Berdoo as it is known locally one encounters some of the worst smog in the LA Basin. A lot of the smog produced in the area is apparently funneled back into the Inland Empire with onshore winds back into what amounts to basins surrounded by mountains.
The smog is so bad out there that you can actually see the smog particles floating in the air, you can taste the smog, feel it stinging your eyes and even feel it in your stomach where it gives you a stomachache after you swallow it. I know that all sounds nuts, but you can go out there yourselves and experience it if you do not believe me.
Supposedly LA’s smog has cleaned up quite a bit since I left in 1990. I am uncertain how much it has really cleaned up, and I would have to see it to believe it.
The area is very hot in the summer and pretty hot year-round for that matter. It was traditionally the home of very rightwing, redneck, working class Whites who often wore leather and rode motorcycles. There is also a fairly large White Trash element. Why these Whites are so rightwing is a mystery.
In the last 20 years, San Berdoo has gone from 20% to 70% Hispanic, so it is now one more of the many Hispanic cities in California. The Inland Empire is not a very attractive place, but there are some nice homes out by Redlands. It’s too hot to grow much of anything out there, but the region is a traditional citrus growing region for a long time now. Much of the citrus has been displaced by housing following a traditional pattern in Southern California for 50 years now.
The city of San Berdoo itself is a bit different from the other cities in the Empire, as it is at the far eastern edge of the inland valleys, and high mountains called the San Bernardino Mountains loom up all around the town.