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California: It’s Ban-tastic!


California is the land of beautiful beaches, majestic mountains and wonderful weather. We have Yosemite, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Disneyland. California is certainly a nice place to visit, but if you’re a lover of liberty, you wouldn’t want to live here.

By Felicia Willson
Follow Felicia on Twitter @willsonwoman

Spectacular views are great, but they are not what impacts the reality of one’s day-to-day. The reality here in the golden state is the long arm of government reaching into our lives on a banning spree in the name of public health – a.k.a., we know better than you – or as a sacrifice to the gods of our state sanctioned religion, environmentalism.

The most recent ban is reflective of the latter. On September 30th Governor Jerry Brown signed SB270. Starting July 2015 all California grocery stores will be forced to phase out plastic bags and impose a ten cent charge on paper ones. The goal is to encourage consumers to employ canvas reusable bags to schlep around their leaky, raw chicken. I’ve worked in a grocery store, I’ve seen (and smelled) those reusable bags – some of them should not be handled without a hazmat suit. Our new state motto: Eureka! There’s salmonella in them thar’ bags.

In his signing statement Governor Brown said, “…it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself.” But one of our environmentalist archbishops, Leslie Tamminen, director of Seventh Generation Advisors, thought it might sit better if she cloaked the ban as a tax break, “A state plastic bag ban saves taxpayers huge amounts of money spent on litter cleanup…” Then I shall be counting the days until I get my massive tax refund from the State of California. Sadly, I have a feeling I don’t have enough days left in my life to count that high.

The rivers, lakes and oceans may breathe easy, however the workers at manufacturing plants will suffer stress as they idle in the unemployment line. Lee Califf, Executive director of the trade group, American Progressive Bag Alliance said “If this law were allowed to go into effect, it would jeopardize thousands of California manufacturing jobs…” No need to worry, Lee, the bill includes $2 million in loans for manufacturers to shift their operations to make reusable bags. What business doesn’t want forced stoppage of a profitable endeavor in favor of taking on debt to pursue an avenue that may not prove successful? It’s the American dream!

California ranks 44th in the nation with an unemployment rate of 7.4%. The Tax Foundation ranks it 48th in business friendliness, and businesses have been actively fleeing the state in order to escape its excessive regulations, a complex tax system and high tax rates. In an atmosphere such as this, wise men would consider ways to bring business back rather than purposely threatening the existence of successful industry. Alas, the fools are aiming for a ranking of 50 – it’s higher than 48!

Despite my criticism, I do see an economic opportunity. I plan to traffic plastic bags across state lines and sell them here in Los Angeles. Paper bags are going for 10 cents a pop, I figure I can get double that for plastic – especially in apartment laden L.A. where residents do not have yards for their dogs. I go on daily 3-5 mile runs, passing dozens of apartment buildings… 20 cents a bag, 50 per dog owner, 10 owners a building, 20 buildings… I’m looking at $2000 just by making a few stops along my route. Lemons into lemonade.

Unfortunately, not all lemons are fit for lemonade. Some are inherently rotten, despicable, and unconstitutional. I neglected to mention the third category of banning: annihilate Christianity. Last month in the city of Temecula, Springs Charter Schools banned books by Christian authors in their library. When sent a cease and desist letter from Pacific Justice Institute, a religious freedom litigation organization, Superintendent Kathleen Hermsmeyer replied with, “We . . . do not allow sectarian materials on our state-authorized lending shelves.” They better ban the Constitution too, they wouldn’t want students reading and citing that pesky First Amendment.

In the “we know better than you” category the city of Burbank passed a bill in 2010 banning smoking on all pedestrian areas accessible to the general public. It also includes private balconies and patios. A violation for smoking on my “accessible” second story balcony could cost me up to $500. In 2013, Burbank’s neighbor, Glendale, took it a step further banning smoking in all new residential apartment units, and gave private citizens the right to sue smokers who violate the law. “Can I borrow a cup of sugar” has been replaced with “you’ve been served.”

Here’s another “you’re too stupid to make your own decision.” In 2007 California banned junk food in schools. It has been said, “As California goes, so goes the nation.” That appears to be true because this year the USDA officially banned junk food from the nation’s schools. Perhaps they should have read the “Competitive Food Sales in Schools and Childhood Obesity: A Longitudinal Study” published in Sociology of Education. It concluded that there is no correlation between obesity and junk food in schools.

It pains me to write a condemnation of the state that has been my home for my entire life. I love the beauty of California and much of what it has to offer. However, the leftist agenda has put environment before people and government control above individual liberty. I fear my days here are numbered. I don’t want to leave, but I’m a Christian conservative smoker who loves Twinkies and collects plastic bags. So soon, I am sure the state of California will draft a bill banning me.

Follow Felicia on Twitter @willsonwoman




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Rodney Lee Conover

Rodney Lee Conover is a writer, producer and Senior Editor at

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