A Trip to the Capitol

Today (2001/03/01) I had the pleasure to take my wife and son to the California state capitol. We accompanied a group of homeschooling families that are in Sacramento for the next couple days on group field trips. We took the capitol tour together and had the opportunity to watch a session of the state assembly. Though, admittedly, I am not very familiar with our states laws, I am a self-declared minimalist – I believe less government is better in almost every regard.

Sacramento, CA

I had the ‘pleasure’ all right. There were at least two bills on the table for vote today. One of which specified March second as the ‘Nationwide Reading Day’ (or something to that effect). Nationwide? From a bill in CA? Amazing. I didn’t know we had that authority. What’s more, I was impressed to see the number of ‘co-authors’ for the bill. The total number was in the realm of seventy. Yes seventy. No, you’re not reading that incorrectly, and yes, we only have seventy-nine assembly ‘persons’. You’ll have to excuse those three or four that did not coauthor – I’m sure it wasn’t by design. I think they were all deathly ill, attending to funerals or otherwise incapable of being there for the opportunity to co-sponsor such important legislation. Yes, that was sarcasm; but unfortunately, no, I’m not making it up.

It’s important legislation like this that keeps me up at night. And rightfully so.

And that’s not all. Special consideration was made for the individuals (and families of) that lost their lives in the driving incident in Santa Barbara last week. With all due respects, the respect and ‘moment of silence’ are perfectly satisfactory, but it should be understood that it is little more than political posturing – of course. Especially when this ‘moment of silence’ was followed quickly by statements about how we need to work harder on handgun regulation – where did that come from? It was an AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT. No weapons of any kind were involved. But some politicians obviously felt it necessary to take that opportunity to speak out about their need to stifle your second amendment rights: over an auto accident.

After some more ludicrous discussion, the assembly came to a discussion about colon cancer being the second largest cause of death nationally – or something to that extent. I wasn’t sure exactly what the point of this discussion was, since they brought up several means of detecting colon cancer and how ‘simple’ it was to remove, if found in time. Great. There was discussion about how the legislators should have an ‘awareness campaign’ within their districts, but I don’t think there was any political force behind it. If people don’t want to go to doctors are they going to force them? Does the assembly hope to author a bill that would require Californians to get a rectal exam every year? What was the point of this?

My concern in this is that within the short session today (it couldn’t have been more than an hour and ten minutes) they managed to bring up both firearm legislation and something to do with people dying from colon cancer. Why? I think they should instead spend their time and energy fighting the greater evil of our state: stupidity. I think that if you look back at each murder, accidental death and ‘near death experience’ throughout the world, much less the country or ‘tiny’ state of California, you’ll find that the number one cause of death and accidents is *stupidity*. Where is the drive to educate people on common sense, or to eliminate the widespread following that stupidity claims? In fact, stupidity is so abundant that several of the assembly ‘persons’ were obviously infected. Where is the call to arms against it now? I think you’ll hold your breath a long time if you wait for it.

Remember, you won’t always be in the majority.


Shawn K. Hall

Facing the Issue of Issues

I think we lose too much as a nation if we condescend to the socialist attitude of declaring our support in our government by itemizing what stance we will tolerate from our leaders on many issues. I’m of a mind that every one of these ‘issues’ was concocted to further separate this great country. How do we escape this? How do any of us look past the issues into the very heart of government? We must first understand what our government *was* founded on.

Does anyone argue that our government was intended to be unobtrusive? That our lives were meant to be free? That opposition to excessive taxation was at the very heart of the reasons our nation was formed?

Please, for the sake of our country, look past your differences on the many issues that each party sits on and into the heart of our nation. I’m not asking you to give up your faith, your views, nor any other thing; I’m asking you to not take issue with the issues.

Our nation was formed on the understanding that there are things greater than you or I; that some things not even government can take away; that every person is fundamentally equal; and that when it comes to government – small is the only way.

So why is it failing? Why are we suffering through this socialist regime? Why do we take two steps back for every step forward?

It’s the issues, dear reader. The very issues you hold so dear. Those issues tear us all apart.

For every issue you’ve got to choose a side. By doing so you’ve opted into a rude ‘democracy’ of sorts, that only few recognize for what it is: mob rule. Please don’t get me wrong, I have great enthusiasm for democracy – and it works well as long as it is not the sovereign rule. By placing any issue – especially those intended to be protected – in the hands of the ‘majority’ you’ve allowed the mob to decide the fate of all. Our constitutional republic lays out very specifically what rights are protected, and yet there is legislation authored every day that wanes these rights closer and closer to nil. How can any nation survive if the principles it was founded on are abandoned? How can we survive as a nation if we allow our representatives to perpetually whittle at the core of our freedom?

We’ve got a hydra in our midst now – the more government is ‘reduced’ the more it grows to replace the functions that it had terminated. And this never-ending cycle will continue, forever, and on – or until we all understand that there *is* something greater than the issues.

I have strong views; no, I have *very* strong views. I would like very much for everyone in the world to follow my views: eliminate abortion; enforce the death penalty; eliminate homosexual relations; eliminate the anti-christian bigotry throughout the country. And my position on these issues will not be swayed. Period. But there is something more important. Our country is suffering from something that in my profession (programming) is called ‘feature creep’. Our representatives are trying to please too many people by adding too much garbage – onerous regulations – that only inhibits our freedoms more and more.

You won’t always be in the majority; with *protected* rights at least you know that some things cannot be taken away. I want my country back! Are you interested in helping? Please subscribe.

Shawn K. Hall