Nanny State

"Not Every Human Problem Deserves a Law"


California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has been dropping some surprisingly sweet vetos recently, including nixing a bipartisan bill which would have imposed a $25 fine for kids who ski or snowboard without a helmet.

Here's his pithy veto letter:


Brown has also vetoed new rules for paid signature gatherers (I blogged about the bill here):

"If it is acceptable to force paid signature gatherers to place identifying badges on their chests, will similar requirements soon be placed on paid campaign workers? I choose not to go down this slippery slope where the state decides what citizens must wear when petitioning their government"

And he killed another bill increasing penalties for texting or calling without a hands-free device while driving.

More Reason on Brown's unexpectedly pleasing vetostravaganza here.

Via the expectedly pleasing Walter Olson.

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    1. Cool! Maybe I will move to The Golden State.


  1. Nice sentiment, but nowhere near as great as the Barbarian’s awesome veto letter for A.B. 1176.

    Brown’s letter spells out Thw ceic. What does that even mean?

  2. I may be missing something, but he’s turning out to be one of the best governors in the country. Who’d have thought?

    1. When he does things like this, I start wondering if he’s been replaced with a space alien and the real Jerry Brown is being held captive in some sort of hideous alien prison.

      Then, of course, comes the question of whether we would need to do anything about this if he were.

  3. If he vetos mandatory THUDGUARD I will be flipping burgers.

  4. Governor Moonbeam? Is that you?

  5. I typically find myself on the anti-law side, but I cannot say I am opposed to a ban on texting while driving.

    1. I prefer non-coercive methods, like screaming “BITCH, GET OFF THE FUCKING PHONE!” at passing drivers.

      1. Where is the like button for the previous comment?

    2. On whose roads?

    3. How about we just make reckless driving illegal? What’s that? You say we already do? Huh.

      1. Do you have a problem defining texting while driving as a reckless behavior? Are all the possible ways to be reckless already spelled out in the law?

        1. For instance, what about engaging in the act of love while driving? From my reading of California law, this dangerous activity is completely legal, nay, sanctioned by the state.

          1. What about just making drive throughs illegal? Think of all the “distracted driving” that takes place after commuters go through one of those and are eating their icky fast food. Hey, that would improve public safety and public health! It’s the perfect law!

            1. You support a vague law like the ill-defined reckless driving, yet balk at a law defining a particular behavior as reckless. Curious.

              1. That’s not all that ill-defined. How do the police make DUI arrests? Checkpoints, and pulling over reckless drivers.

                Needless to say, I don’t support DWT (driving-while-texting) checkpoints.

              2. That’s not all that ill-defined. How do the police make DUI arrests? Checkpoints, and pulling over reckless drivers.

                Needless to say, I don’t support DWT (driving-while-texting) checkpoints.

            2. What about listening to Teaching Company lectures? If you concentrate on those, you might not pay adequate attention to the road! And some of those lectures are unmutual, too, leading to dangerous votes come election time, which could result in poorer roads and, yes, more accidents!

          2. Hey, SOMEBODY has to create some new Californians, to replace everyone who’s leaving.

            1. No, it’s too perilous.

          3. That’s already illegal under section 314 of the California Penal Code, and is therefore unnecessary.

    4. I don’t “drive” my car anymore.

      Of course if the cops ever knew this I would get a much larger ticket then one for texting.

      Just wear sunglasses and keep the phone below window view.

      1. This is part of the reason that texting bans may actually cause more accidents. People make an effort to hide the phone, diverting more attention away from the road.

        1. same with drinking, much safer to be willing to drive 20 when shitfaced than pretending to be able to drive 70

    5. You should be glad to hear that there are already huge fines on texting/using phones while driving. For first time offenders I believe the fine $149 and there after I’m pretty sure it doubles. He was just opposed to increasing them even more, I guess.

    6. Harsher penalties for causing damage and mayhem, instead of completely harmless, but risky behavior?

  6. Uh, nice try, but cognitive dissonance is not Jerry Brown’s problem. The same day he wrote that “not every human problem deserves a law,” he signed SB 332 into law. Apparently second-hand smoke is one of the human problems that deserves a law.

    1. Well, it is California.

      1. And while you have a point about all of the other property rights that CA doesn’t respect, landlords should have the authority to forbid smoking in their properties (though I think they are assholes for doing so).

        1. Why are they assholes? I would not want someone smoking on my property. I don’t want to clean up that hideous smell. Sometimes it’s almost impossible to get rid of.

        2. Oh, I agree that landlords should be free to ban smoking on their property. If California believed that property rights were legitimate claims, then there would be no need for the law.

    2. sb 332 is perfectly inline with brown’s stealth-libertarian streak: it expands the power of a property owner to do what he wants with his property.

      i do think we should be checking his brain for a tapeworm, however.

  7. Apparently Brown is at least partially living in reality, which makes him infinitely better than the crew of imbeciles in the CA legislature.

  8. Jerry Brown’s a weirdo

  9. Uber Alles leans libertarian?!?!

    Who ever could have foreseen this?

    1. Only if being a complete shill for organized labor is consistent with libertarianism.

    2. Its California. I’m pretty sure the Chinese Politburo is the only authority NOT to the libertarian side of the spectrum of California’s State Congress.

  10. Now texting while ski boarding without a helmet is a problem requiring immediate attention by the Feds.

  11. “Not every human problem deserves a law”

    I admit, I’m moderately impressed. The fact that this idea is being floated in *California*? (begins golf clapping) While I’m sure the brief moment of sanity will not last, and that California will continue on its merry way of trying to Childproof The Planet, at least someone put this on paper for posterity.

    as a side note: Fucking *ski helmets*? What a gang of pussies.

    OK, I admit, when I learned to ski (mostly on northeastern mountains that had more ice&rock; than snow), I banged myself up pretty bad on many many occasions (concussion, torn ligaments, various major contusions/lacerations, chipped teeth, broken fingers/ wrist /collarbone)

    …but dammit, concussions *build character*!!

    I’d want to do to my kids what my parents did to me = buy a used set of late 1970s racing skis a foot too tall and impossible for a kid to turn, and say, “you’ll eventually grow into them… if you live” It saves a lot of money on ski-lessons if the only choice is to Learn Quickly or Die.

    1. …but dammit, concussions *build character*!!

      Or kill your ass. As Sunny Bono learned. Don’t really care if other people wear helmets, but you’re not getting me anywhere near skis without some head protection.

      1. For me, it depends on where I ski. Light, fluffy snow in CO? A nice ski cap will do just fine. Hard pack and ice in the midwest? Yeah, a helmet will be on my head, especially if snowboarding. Either way, leave the choice to me!

        1. Aelhues, Indeed the choice is yours. However, the logic you described that led you to your choice is flawed. I got in 25 resort days and a hand full of backcountry days on my snowboard in CO and would never ride without a helmet. The trees , rocks, and the snow on the groomers are nothing short of changer your life hard.

        2. “Either way, leave the choice to me!” Exactly…leave these types of choices to us.

  12. Well, to be fair, Brown probably doesn’t want to upset all the family child care providers in the state, whom he wants to unionize. They’d hate paying these kinds of fines.

  13. The Terminator probably would have signed every one of those bills.

  14. All the harassment and DV legislation deserves the same treatment. Time to do away with legislated social oppression.

    1. Lizardo, just because you’re intelligent enough to take care of yourself doesn’t allow for a lack of compassion for those of us without the where-with-all to take care of ourselves! I personally need the US government to specifically define everything I can and can’t do. I’m not smart enough to figure that sort of thing on my own. I also love programs and mandates that will take care of me in every aspect in my life. Thanks Big Daddy Government for saving me from myself! I’m a mess, I know.

  15. A pleasent surprise from Mr. Brown…

  16. An interesting book would be study on the history behind many of these types of laws; I would be interested to know the legislative process and thinking (if any) behind them. I know of at least proposed law against bike riding here in Minnesota that was triggerred by a traffic accident.

  17. The Iranian Transactions Regulations Practice Guide ( is the first ever practice guide wholly devoted to a specific U.S. economic sanctions program.

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