May 12, 2002
by Brian W. Peterson
What would we do without the California Legislature? How could we survive without the guidance of environmentalists? Oh how our lives would be meaningless without the Legislature taking care of our every need. Who else can protect us from ourselves?
Of course, the California Legislature is not the only government entity in America to follow junk science or commit itself to ill-informed pop culture. Its just that our legislature excels at such silliness.
Some governments have insisted on mandating advancements that do not yet exist. Last year the trend was for gun manufacturers to develop owner-specific guns before an arbitrary future date. No matter that the technology does not exist that would allow only one persons handprint to release a gun for use. Facts are irrelevant - the agenda is king.
This year, its hip to act on behalf of phantom global warming by insisting that auto manufacturers enact fuel mileage standards that the US Congress had the good sense to reject. Good sense and California Legislature are not two concepts that go hand-in-hand. Youll have a better chance of seeing Mike Tyson and Ross Im all ears Perot quietly hanging out together than seeing our legislature exhibiting common sense.
Environmentalists claimed during committee hearings that automakers only innovate when forced to by government. Automakers are bad guys to the enviro-nuts because they are private enterprise. Freedom is anathema to environmentalism.
Look at it in this perspective: the same people who advocate that they and their legislative comrades know best are the same people who place rats and birds on par with humans. That is how low they think of themselves. Well if they think that rats and birds are their equals, who are we to argue? It is difficult to test the IQ of a Kangaroo Rat, but it would probably be a close call. Perhaps they are equals with rats, but leave the rest of us out of it.
These pushy legislators and hygienically-challenged environmentalists believe that private enterprise only develops because of them. They ignore all of the advancements that have taken place - in the automobile industry and otherwise - without their wisdom.
But its not nice to make fun of the extreme Left. They cant help it. Their parents let them watch too many Oliver Stone movies when they were young (for the older generation, they were the ones with the Tiny Tim lunch boxes). Besides, its not that theyre domineering, arrogant, or even repressive; they are just overly confident that everyone else should act, look, smell, think like they do.
Dont get me wrong. I do believe that the extremists of the bunch are a lot of fun. Im not referring to your garden variety quasi-environmentalist who attends public demonstrations for the chance to see if Ted Danson is really as goofy as he seems. Im referring to the hardcore steer-the-rowboat-in-front-of-the-oncoming-oil-tanker-type. Those people are a trip.
The garden variety enviros are funny because of their hypocrisy. They drive their 8-cylinder BMWs to rallies decrying pollution but arent savvy enough to understand that the hardcore folks would like to ban everything bigger than a bicycle.
The hardcore types are fun because they are so committed to rolling back industrial progress. They have yet to catch on to the fact that without industrial progress, there would be no medicinal progress. Without medicinal progress, there would be higher mortality rates.
Uh oh. Maybe they do understand that. Maybe they would enjoy seeing Mike Tyson greet Ross Perot. Maybe its just better if the California Legislature taxes SUVs out of existence and sets unreasonably high fuel standards, rather than allowing the hardcore extremists have their way.
But it would be funny to watch one of the extremists steer their bicycle in front of my SUV. Now thats commitment to a cause.
Brian W. Peterson writes a political column for the Antelope Valley Press (circulation approximately 60,000) in Palmdale, California. He is a graduate of Oral Roberts University, where he majored in TV/Film. Brians weekly commentary and newspaper columns can be found at www.LifeAndLiberty.com.
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