I would like to apply that same principle to California. For years California was the state everyone wanted to move to, now it is the state everyone wants to move away from. By July 2009, California was the biggest population loser of the 50 states, with a negative loss of 98,798 residents. (In 2006 the population dipped by 313,081.)

So what has California gone and done now? Well, apparently the state believes it is filled with crooks and criminals who have registered their street rods (and other modified cars) erroneously-by accident or on purpose. The state has enacted a one-year amnesty program to correct these previously misguided attempts. (More later in the issue.) In the state's wisdom, the way out for many hot rodders will be to literally spend thousands of dollars on sales tax and registration fees in order to become compliant and not in the crosshairs of the state's legal system. Did you think it would be any other way? Ironically it was because of the state's lack of data and confusion that got us here in the first place.

I have found myself speaking to various car clubs trying to help rodders navigate these muddy and very dangerous waters and believe me when I say dangerous.

One last parting shot: The state has for the last 37 years conducted voluntary roadside smog checks. According to Angelo Sardo of the Bureau of Automotive Repair, "It's totally at random." There is no pass or fail and no cars are being towed. But it begs the question, "Where does the data go that is gathered?"

There isn't a day that goes by that I ask myself, "Would you want to live somewhere else?" In the past the answer was always a resounding, "No!" It is becoming increasingly difficult to say that in light of the most recent attacks by the state on my hobby.