When I first heard that /news/archives.asp?ARCHIVE_ID=1WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah
was planning to move the newspaper’s daily operations office to the
Oregon wilderness, I thought perhaps he might be “misguided.” To me, it
just made more sense to leave the office in Sacramento — capitol of the
most populous state in the Union where he and the staff surely could
more easily access the “nerve center” of the news industry. I live in a
state capitol and there are definite advantages to this line of
However, as is most often the case, I was wrong, and Joe was right.
A news article published last
Sunday in the Sacramento Bee clarifies Joe’s decision to me in a way no
labored explanation could.
According to the report, a whopping 1,054 new laws will take
effect in California, compliments of the “Socialists are Us” party
presently presiding over the state. Yes, Gov. Gray Davis — who has
recently proclaimed his first year in office to be a “huge success” —
and the Democrat-controlled state Legislature have treated California
residents to so many new laws virtually every aspect of every
citizen’s life will be affected.
“Like a Santa Claus for civics teachers, Gov. Gray Davis signed — or
allowed to become law — a mountain of 1,054 bills sent to him by the
state Legislature,” the Bee reported.
Boy, I’ll just bet Davis and Co. are so proud of themselves
they can hardly stand it. And California residents can rest easy
knowing that their leaders obviously don’t think ordinary citizens have
the mental capacity to run their own lives. So much so, in fact,
that the California Socialist Party (read Democrats, as usual)
has removed all vestiges of decision-making from the lives of
dumbed-down, ignorant and incapable Californians.
Or so it would seem, anyway.
If you doubt that, consider the following short list of new
laws scheduled to take effect in a couple of days (my emphasis
added as I felt necessary):
- One new law requires employers to allow workers to use
up to half their sick days to care for ill children, parents or spouses.
The legislation mostly affects private industry, because many public
employee contracts already include short-term family leave provisions.
- New laws clarifying that other drivers don’t have to stop for
school bus red lights if they are driving on the opposite side of a
divided road or a road with two or more lanes in each direction. The
same law adds several exemptions to the rule requiring school bus
drivers to flash red lights when pupils are entering or leaving the
vehicle. The red light rule will be waived when the bus is legally
parked, when the bus is disabled, when pupils requiring assistance are
boarding, when the road is icy or snowy, or when the bus is completely
off the main road.
- A law requiring gas stations to provide free air and
water to motorists who buy gas.
- A law prohibiting motorists from using hand signals to
indicate turns or stops if their car is equipped with working signals.
- One major new law requires payment of overtime in
California after an eight-hour workday rather than after a 40-hour week.
There are exceptions to the new law, including provisions to let some
workers continue a four-day, 10-hour schedule without being paid
overtime, allow employees to work up to 11 hours in one day without
triggering daily overtime to make up for personal time off in the same
workweek, and to let an individual firm’s employees approve an
alternative work schedule by a two-thirds, secret-ballot vote. The
measure also does not extend the eight-hour day to long-exempt
agricultural employees or to public employees. Note: In short, this
law is less than worthless, which makes me wonder why Californians put
up with a Legislature that wastes so much time and resources on a
“major” piece of largely worthless law. And what’s this “secret ballot”
- Still another measure signed by Davis prohibits employers
from firing workers over age 40 — or refusing to hire them — simply
because a younger person would do the same job for less money (now
that’s going to be easy to enforce).
There are more, of course — over a thousand more — but
you get the drift.
Ironically, few Americans dispute the need for some laws.
Without them a society would quickly degenerate into anarchy.
But come on. Davis and Co.’s prescription for how to govern is more
endemic of a Hitler, Mao or Stalin, not a Washington or Madison. The
Founders’ original principle of few and finite sets of
laws is being completely ignored as this republic enters the new
millennium, in California and beyond.
Our Founding Fathers believed, correctly, that a free people demand
autonomy, not regulation. They foresaw, correctly, that this nation
would prosper with minimal government intervention but would
lapse into decay with overburdening micromanagement.
Then there are practical implications of having so many laws on the
books. How are law enforcement officials and our courts supposed to
keep up with thousands of new laws every year? Furthermore, did you
ever wonder why the law in general is often applied in an arbitrary and
capricious manner? Does the term exemption mean anything to you?
Well, it sure means something to lawyers, judges and law enforcement
agencies — such exemptions often give officials the latitude to decide
on their own how a law should be applied or what it actually means.
But what good is that? If the aim of new laws is to get compliance,
shouldn’t they be simple, easy to comprehend, straightforward and above
all — rare?
One final observation. If Gov. Davis considers passing over a
thousand new laws a “huge success,” I’d hate to see what he considers a
failure. I’d also hate to see how many new laws he and his socialist
co-conspirators in the state Assembly can concoct during his
remaining three years in office. Doesn’t look good to me.
The lesson voters in all states should learn here is one they
should take to the polls with them next November when it’s time to
choose a new president and new congressional members: “He (or she) who
wears the hat of big government should be sent home in defeat.”
Needless to say, Joe, please accept my apology for questioning your
judgement. I understand now.