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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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California's nanny state

Uploaded: Jan 12, 2012
The nanny state of California continues to expand government's reach into our lives.
Gov. Brown showed some common sense with vetoes last fall on over-reaching legislation, but still went along with a too much.
Among them, the requirement that children be must use car seats until they're 4feet, 9 inches tall or 8 years old instead of the previous requirement for 60 pounds and 6 years old. Some well-intentioned researchers had decided that the previous standards did not work as well as intended so a modification was necessary.
How this played with parents and kids—who cares.
Somehow our mothering legislators need to tune into the reality of life—there is risk in living. Stuff happens. Bad stuff happens and government—unless it's going to swaddle each of us in bubble wrap from birth—cannot prevent it.
Certainly, there are some appropriate safeguards, but let's stop over-reaching.
As to over-reaching, consider Democrat Assemblywoman's Fiona Ma's bill, AB 183, that passed both houses and received the governor's signature.
It eliminated the choice of using self-service checkouts at supermarkets and other stores if we want to purchase wine or other alcohol.
The goal was to limit sales to under-age minors.
I'm a bit confused about that. When I purchase goods at the Livermore Costco, I have routinely used the self-service checkouts. They tend to be much quicker (same goes for Safeway, Raley's and Home Depot) and I'd rather have control of my own checkout than wait in line.
Prior to Jan. 1, if I was buying alcohol at Costco, it took an authorization from a staff member before I could proceed—thus the opportunity to check identification if necessary.
Just why that safeguard is not sufficient is a valid question for Assemblywoman Ma, the governor and the others who voted for this unnecessary legislation.
My suspicious side might also ask—particularly when it comes to unionized grocery chains—if this wasn't as much a job-protection measure for members running normal check stands as it was to ban sales to minors.
I cannot understand why any and all self-checkout computers could not be programmed such as Costco's were to require an authorization from a staff member before alcohol could be purchased.

SWITCHING GEARS entirely—if you have a used warm coat or blanket in good condition, drop it off at Northern California Brokers, 349 Main St., suite 202 (above Tully's).
Bob and Deb Cilk are running their 13th annual campaign to provide warm clothing directly to folks who need it.

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