Thingish Things

Kooky California Strikes Again

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Jul• 12•11

Concord High

It is bewildering to contemplate the mindset of California legislators.  They make New York officials sound sober by comparison.

San Francisco legislators, in Grinch-like fashion, banned “Happy Meals” in restaurants recently and will soon join Santa Monica in voting to prohibit the 6,000 year-old medical procedure and Jewish cultural ceremony, circumcision.  There is no religious exemption in the bill.  The state is planning to require drivers to blow into straws in moving vehicles to keep them operating.  Now, neighboring Concord, CA is considering a novel approach to reduce truancy. It plans to fine public school students and their parents up to $500 per day for playing hooky.

It is amazing how far afield California has wandered from the traditional notion of American government. It has already trodden on the rights of private businesses to freely market themselves — freedom of religion is next — so it is only natural that Concord would contemplate charging students not to attend school, which is effectively what it would be doing. 

There are lots of problems with this idea. Here is the most obvious: When the kids don’t pay, what is Concord going to do, suspend them? Or will they not allow them to graduate — the disengaged students they are hoping to matriculate? What other barriers to attendance can Concord construct?  

If it’s money they are after, Concord might be better off lowering the price of a day off.  If the city knocked it down to, say, $10, even good students might be willing to buy a few days off a year.  At $1 per day (Dollar Thursday’s?) the city could probably clear out all but the AV squad.  It could make a small fortune.

The bottom line is that government cannot make students who do not want to learn learn. Ridiculous ideas like fining recalcitrant students — fining their parents, disproportionately poor ones — only make that reality farcical as the law would be patently unenforceable. All it would do is create another California bureaucracy, which maybe is what the bill’s sponsor is after, Golden State style.   

California has got to get it together.

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  1. […] has a LOT of problems.  And new laws like this one – or the ones banning circumcisions and happy meals – eerily […]

  2. […] – Dec• 05•11 Been meaning to include this tidbit as a follow up to a couple of rants about San Francisco/California politics. While the Golden State sinks deeper and deeper into […]

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