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California wants to penalize those who follow the law when others dont
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The California Legislature can’t even balance a check book yet they have no problem telling the rest of us who aren’t in financial trouble and who follow the law how to live our lives.

The latest in laws penalizing law-abiding citizens is a measure by state Sen. Alan Lowenthal that just passed the upper house and is now headed for the Assembly. The Long Beach Democrat wants California to outlaw vendors such as restaurants and grocery stores from selling prepared food in Styrofoam containers.

He wants this done because some of those containers are illegally discarded along roadways and streets as litter. That foam container litter ultimately breaks down into small pieces that can make its way to the Pacific Ocean where it can be mistaken as food by some marine animals.

How could anyone object to such a noble goal? So what if it costs hundreds of Californians their jobs in the Styrofoam industry? They can find other employment. Who cares if 99 percent of the population that acts responsible and doesn’t litter will no longer have an as effective way to carry take-out food?

What’s important is demonstrating once again that all the legislature can do is pass meaningless laws such as those that make it illegal to litter that it is becoming crystal clear aren’t enforceable to any reasonable degree. When they can’t do is get  the social malcontents to follow the laws through fines and/or jail since they have never really been enforced due to inadequate funding for necessary manpower, they then use the failure to curb whatever perceived crime against society to justify punishing everyone else who follows the rules.

So what is the hardcore evidence that Styrofoam containers are leading to the wholesale slaughter of marine life? How many fish/mammals have died and what is that death rate out of every 100,000 of their species? No one likes the idea of even one living thing choking to death because some slob discarded a food container while driving down the road.

If that is the case and Lowenthal is truly concerned then maybe he might consider stepping up his crusade to protect wildlife from litter.

Ever notice used disposable diapers dumped alongside roads or even left next to picnic tables in parks or in landscaped areas of parking lots?

What if some poor bird pecks through it and contracts a disease? Can’t have that, can we? Perhaps Lowenthal will step up and try to outlaw disposable diapers statewide.

And what about the clowns who feed Cheetos to squirrels along hiking trails in state parks? Turning squirrels into junk food junkies is as good for their health as trying to choke them to death with Styrofoam. Perhaps Lowethal will push a couple of bills aimed at banning junk food in parks to protect squirrels against the folks who can’t resist ignoring the law and feeding wild animals junk food.

And if we’re worried about marine life safety, how can we forget pull tabs on soda and beer cans? Does anyone really think that everyone at the beach, boating or fishing always makes sure that they don’t get into the water? Lowenthal could save some fish by pushing for California to ban pull tabs on cans as some of them just might end up in the ocean and do harm to marine life.

Lowenthal can’t help himself. He’s a California Legislator. They’re part of a political sub-species prone to pass regulations and rules by the boatload that penalize those who act civilized because a relatively small handful of Californians don’t abide by basic laws such as not littering.

What Lowenthal and his colleagues do is really a ruse. It’s been that way for decades. Instead of committing resources to maintaining order with making sure appropriate punishment can and will incur, they divert resources to expanding the regulatory bureaucracy.

And when that doesn’t work and voters start to cry foul, they simply pass different versions of the same law with some doing things such as outlawing foam containers as a way to combat littering. If the basic law doesn’t work to regulate littering then penalize everyone.

But when push comes to shove all it does is take away freedom from responsible citizens while nothing gets done.

It’s the same with crimes against people such as murder. There really are only a handful of charges you need - first degree, second degree, manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter

Do we really need special circumstances for every imaginable evil act or do we need clear and full enforcement of consequences for those convicted on the basic charges?

In the world that Lowenthal circulates in, if the murder rate goes up on Saturday and Sunday, you tackle the problem not by funding more police, judges, and prisons as well as strengthening sentencing but by making it a felony to murder someone under special circumstances by killing them on weekends.