Archive for the ‘California’ Category

Emotional Legislation

February 19, 2013

When rules, regulations, or laws are driven by emotions or idealism, very little thought is given to consequences. An emotional rush to enact legislation always results in something different than what was intended, causing more problems.

Denver is facing unintended consequences from Colorado’s recent Amendment 64 that legalized marijuana and is now considering opting out of that amendment. Some city council members say voters intended only to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, not to have pot stores in their neighborhoods. The police chief says there are a lot of safety issues involved and that crimes, such as burglaries, have increased since Amendment 64 passed. Imagine that.

The marijuana issue has become an emotional and political football, confusing legalization with decriminalization. That confusion, a deliberate tactic on the part of marijuana advocates, helped get Amendment 64 passed. Buyer’s remorse is already setting in, but it could have been prevented had voters and legislators been more observant and less emotional.

They should have looked at Los Angeles where marijuana dispensaries now outnumber Starbucks. California has been trying, and failing, to regulate medicinal marijuana which has been legal in the state since 1996. This out-of-control situation provides a lesson for other states, but emotional, feel-good legislation is deaf, dumb, and blind.

Current emotions are running high on gun control, with wingnuts on both sides of the aisle taking untenable stances and refusing compromise. The same can be said concerning comprehensive immigration reform where “reform” has become synonymous with “amnesty”, making the issue impossible to discuss rationally.

We are currently experiencing many negative, unintended consequences from Obamacare, an emotionally charged bill forced through Congress by an idealistic president. This, too, was legislated while ignoring lessons from European countries struggling to sustain liberal health care policies. Good intentions need rational analysis, not knee-jerk reactions.

President Obama’s fomenting of class warfare along with his myopic focus on social issues uses emotions for political gain. As long as emotions rule politics, resulting legislation will just be another burden passed onto the next generation. It is our responsibility to think before acting and elect leaders who do the same.

David J. Hentosh

When Rights are Wrong

December 13, 2012

Obsession over “rights” continues to grow with little consideration of responsibilities. Distorted perceptions concerning “rights” have become commonplace, demonstrated by the right to free speech being considered by many as immunity from any consequences from speaking their mind.

The list of perceived “rights” grows annually, from the European Union’s vacation “right” to a cellphone being considered a “right”. Now, we find Assemblyman Tom Ammiano in San Francisco introducing a “Homeless Persons’ Bill of Right” in response to the city’s recent attempt to restrict homeless behaviors.

This bill would protect the “right” of the homeless to sleep in public places, camp on city streets, urinate in public, panhandle, have access to bathrooms, showers, water and clean syringes, get welfare cash payments, and protect many other behaviors that the city has been trying to curtail. Treating these things as “rights” degrades the very concept of what a “right” is.

San Francisco currently spends over $200 million a year on the homeless, although little of that goes toward addressing the underlying causes. It is often called the “homeless capital of America” but has recently begun scaling back policies allowing homeless behavior many residents found to be offensive. Taking it to the limit is a common liberal trait and San Francisco, as liberal a city there is, seems to have reached a limit that Assemblyman Ammiano doesn’t like.

All rights come with responsibilities, but that has been sadly forgotten by a self-absorbed generation no longer concerned with the “common good”. Many feel-good, idealistic notions are being considered rights, being demanded as rights, and being granted – but that doesn’t make them right. These “rights” are wrong and the very concept of a right is being lost.

David J. Hentosh

All Right. Now I’m Confused

July 17, 2011

This week California Governor Jerry Brown (or Governor Moonbeam, as he’s often known) signed legislation guaranteeing that California school children learn about all the many gay, lesbian, transgender, and bi-sexual folks who have contributed to the nation’s historical events in some way.

Now, this confuses me. Because if we are supposed to treat GLTB folks like everyone else, then why are we singling them out? And if being gay, bisexual, lesbian or transgendered shouldn’t make any difference, why are we identifying sexual orientation? Who cares? If someone did something great, good for them. And if we have to identify a person’s sexual orientation, are we going to point out every straight person who did something great along the way too?

Hmm. I thought not.

From CNN.com:

Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown said Thursday he had signed a bill that will require public schools in the state to teach students about the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americas.

The bill, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, will also require teachers to provide instruction on the role of people with disabilities.

“History should be honest,” Brown said in a statement.

“This bill revises existing laws that prohibit discrimination in education and ensures that the important contributions of Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life are included in our history books. It represents an important step forward for our state, and I thank Senator Leno for his hard work on this historic legislation.”

Read the rest here.

aln

Supreme Court Opens Pandora’s Box in California

May 24, 2011

The sweeping social experiment that California has embraced over the years has now reached a peak that, conversely, could prove to be its bottom. Following a 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court, tens of thousands of prisoners in California are to be released due to overcrowding which the court says has caused “needless suffering and death”. There was no consideration given to the “suffering and death” of the victims of those prisoners.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy rationalized this move by saying the court had no choice because prison overcrowding has “fallen short of minimum constitutional requirements”. The ruling not only ignores the option of giving prisons more time to fix the problem, it ignores a federal law designed to limit the power of federal judges to release prisoners. It seems the notion of “Supreme” has gone to the heads of five judges.

Justice Antonin Scalia called the ruling “staggering” and “absurd”, predicting that “terrible things are sure to happen” because of it. That, obviously, is much too forward thinking for the majority of five who seem oblivious to any consequences. They are just proud to be so “progressive” and see no danger.

Proving to many that the ruling is absurd, the ACLU totally agreed with the judgment. The director of the ACLU national prison project said: “reducing the number of people in prison not only would save the state taxpayers half a billion annually, it would…lower recidivism rates and create safer communities”. Following this logic, communities would be even safer if all prisoners were released and the state could save all the money it spends on prisons – and there would be no recidivism because there would be no prisoners.

Pandora’s Box is now open in California and the social experiment is in full swing. The Supreme Court has given us a taste of its ideology that will surely surface again when illegal immigration comes before it and amnesty is granted. Some of those released prisoners will end up getting a double-dip of the Supreme Court’s idea of “justice for all”.

David J. Hentosh