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Jon Fleischman

Jon is the elected Vice Chairman, South of the California Republican Party.


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Today's Commentary on the News


California's Cell Phone Ban For Drivers Mocks America's Birthday


by Jon Fleischman - Publisher (bio) (email)

7-1-2008 8:19 am

This Friday is our nation's birthday -- Independence Day.  What a great tradition, a day of the year set aside to remember our nation's birth, and to thank God for the blessings of freedom and liberty that exist in America due to the sacrifice (many with their lives) of our founding fathers. 

It is particularly disturbing that on the very week of America's birthday, here in California the liberty of our drivers has now been eroded with the latest edict from our ever-growing Nanny State.  Yes, politicians in Sacramento, intent to legislate on every aspect of the lives of their constituents have now banned the use of cell-phones by drivers of automobiles (unless we use the hands-free gizmo we always forget to have with us).  If this legislation were an award winning movie, it would be entitled, "We think you are too stupid to make decisions for yourself," and the award for best actor would clearly go to liberal Democrat legislator Joe Simitian, who authored this terrible legislation, centered around the idea that there truly must be a law about everything.

Unfortunately, there are some "best supporting actor" awards that belong to Republicans, which is a shame.  That this legislation would not have become law but for Republican votes is a sad statement -- it erodes the distinction between the two parties -- Democrats for big government, Republicans for individual liberty and responsibility.  Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed this bill into law, and Republican State Senator Sam Aanestad gets co-billing in the "nanny stater" column... Five Democrats in the Senate opposed this bill, which meant it was dead if Republicans voted no, or didn't vote.  Aanestad provided that one vote.  As for the Assembly, feel free to send these GOPers your bill for your hands-free device (though the bill would have passed the Assembly without any Republican votes) - Lynn Duacher, Bill Emmerson, Bonnie Garcia, Shirley Horton, and Kieth Richman. 

A note to these Republicans: legislating against stupidity is unfair to the non-stupid.  The reality is that there are a lot of things that people intuitively should not do.  But there should not be laws created by government making every one of those stupid acts illegal.  Individual drivers should be deciding whether it is safe to use a phone while driving.  This decision should not be made for them by Big Brother.

Anyways, to commemorate the last day before the implementation of Simitian's bill, I took the photo you see in this post.  As you can see from the speedometer, I'm driving on the freeway as I use on hand to operate the camera in my cell phone, taking a photo of my other hand which is both navigating the car, and holding my container of ice cream.  Guess what?  If I took that photo today, I would be breaking the law.  Then again, I am sure that some enterprising "nanny stater" will see this photo and author a bill to ban eating ice cream while driving.  Maybe my friend, Republican Bill Maze who has authored a bill to ban having your pet on your lap when you drive, might take it as an amendment.  A very unfriendly one.

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