I check Drudge Report regularly, because it’s an efficient way to learn about important news stories. I’m not thrilled with his choices at times in terms of freak-show stories, or hyperbolic headlines, but overall I find his site valuable.
I was not pleased at his choice of stories to kick off 2011, however. In particular, he placed at the top of the page, on New Year’s Day, this story, announcing the fact that 725 new laws go into effect in California this year, and briefly describing some of them. (Note that I could not even bring myself to read the article until today. I gather that Drudge lives somewhere in the east, so perhaps he was unaware of the demoralizing effect his headline would have on us Californians. Or maybe he’s a sadist.) Here are a few of the worst pieces of legislation, taken from the article:
AB 119 prevents insurance companies from charging different rates for men and women for identical coverage.
In other words, California is adding insult to injury — i.e., Obamacare — and doing its part to make sure insurance companies cannot profitably do business in our state. If we had a free market in health insurance (hey, a girl can fantasize), the insurance rates for men and women would depend on how much it actually costs to provide health care to each. California politicians have decided that men must subsidize women and, in the process, everyone must pay the extra cost of ensuring compliance with yet another piece of legislation.
SB 782 prevents landlords from evicting tenants who are victims of domestic or sexual abuse or stalking.
Can’t pay your rent this month? Just tell your landlord that you are the victim of domestic or sexual abuse or stalking. I wonder what genius decided that landlords should not only be good property managers, but also savvy social workers.
SB 1317 allows the state to slap parents with a $2,000 fine if their K-8 child misses more than 10 percent of the school year without a valid excuse. It also allows the state to punish parents with up to a year in prison for the misdemeanor.
We want to make sure your kids are properly indoctrinated and conditioned to obey authority. I wonder what constitutes a “valid” excuse and who gets to decide. Probably a new bureaucracy will be necessary. Your tax dollars at work!
Speaking of obeying authority, a Facebook friend of mine recently shared a link to a video by a teen band that calls themselves “X-TReMe PoWeR.” The song was called “Respect & Obey Authority,” and, while the “band” has now closed down their YouTube account, so that the link to the video no longer works, the description of the video has been preserved for all eternity on my friend’s Facebook page: “This is West Coast Believers Kid’s band called X-TReMe PoWeR. It was our second song and we made up the lyrics and put it all together through garage band. It’s all about respecting and obeying your teachers, your parents, and Jesus! Hope you like this one too!”
Yes, I watched the video — the entire video — so I can vouch for the fact that it existed and was just as described above. Worse, in fact. And if you don’t believe me, I refer you to this “visual review” over at Salon.com. Those kids obviously were not missing too much school.
UPDATE: I managed to find the video! Someone I guess downloaded it and reposted in on YouTube. See it here, before this one’s taken down, too.
AB 715 makes a change to the California Green Building Standards code. The change will require new California buildings to be energy efficient.
Because we don’t need any stinking new buildings in California anyway. We like the old ones just fine, and we don’t mind if we drive even more business out of the state, either.
AB 97 bans the use of trans-fats in food facilities.
Ha! We beat New York! In New York the trans-fat ban applied to a mere city. We got the ENTIRE STATE bending to our politicians’ culinary dictates.
There is one piece of legislation that appears to be a step in the right direction (towards more freedom):
SB 1449 makes the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana an infraction with a penalty of a $100 fine.
No more going to jail for possessing small amounts of marijuana. It’s the least the politicians could do, because, between all the new legislation, plus the fact that we are now going to have Gerry Brown as our governor, marijuana could come in handy to ease Californians’ pain. That or a stiff drink.