Although the media likes to remind us of Governor Jerry Brown's days as a Jesuit Seminarian, he seems not to have understood one of the Jesuits' teachings: that of the Social Doctrine's Principle of Subsidiarity.
That principle can be applied to employee/business relations or local citizens groups attempting to improve their community, or parents working to make improvements in their child's school or health care. If that route doesn't work, then take the next step up the ladder of authority while always trying to keep it as local as possible.
“This is why Pope John Paul II took the “social assistance state” to task in his 1991 encyclical Centesimus Annus. The Pontiff wrote that the Welfare State was contradicting the principle of subsidiarity by intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility. This “leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending.”
Year one of the 2013-2014 legislative term focused on budgetary goals to fund the state's business. Much of this term's second year has focused on a broad based, generalized mandated (one might say forced) change in the relationship between the state, industry, community, schools and families and delivery of health care. In other words, here's where a great deal of your tax dollars will be spent.
The special interests lobbying in those categories have jumped over the local principles right into the waiting arms of the state and the embrace of Jerry Brown.
As an example...Sen. Lois Wolk, (D) has an aide in her office who has a small child apparently still in diapers. This Aide was dissatisfied with what she saw as an insufficient number of diaper changing tables in public access buildings such as restaurants and department stores.
She asked her boss, so she stated in a phone conversation, to write up a bill requiring the placement of diaper changing stations on every floor in every public building in the state in both the mens' and womens' restrooms. This delighted the LGBT lobby. The bill is now sitting on the Governor's desk awaiting his signature; almost every legislator having voted on it, thereby, taking time away from really important state activities. This woman didn't first go to the managers of the public buildings or the Boards of local companies, which she might frequent, to ask them to provide more adequate facilities for young moms in her community. SB1358, Diaper Changing Stations.
Nor did Lorena Gonzalez with her diapers as a special needs category within the children with special needs programs. This bill would, if moved forward, require facilities providing services such as First Five and possibly private day care homes, to provide diapers, paid for with CalWorks dollars, for lower-income working Moms because they can't afford to buy them, therefore they will have to stay home, the child with be diaperless and fail high school due to the emotional distress of an undiapered infant bottom. AB1516, CalWorks, Special Needs: Supportive Services.
The state may well become the largest purchaser of contraceptives (SB1053, Holly Mitchell, Contraceptives, for all and especially abortions for Catholic facility employees) and diapers.
Further, the LGBT community has approached the legislators to author bills creating new birth and death certificate forms accommodating their personal needs for proper identification as to their current gender status. These forms, especially the birth certificates will be more supportive of the (adoptive) parents than of authenticating the ID of the infant to be adopted. This will require several thousands of tax payer dollars to change the forms, but their gender needs are more important than curing cancer or other annoying illnesses. But, that's okay, Jerry's the Governor and he's here to help. After all, as he said in more than one interview, he was once Mayor of Oakland.
Of course, there are far more serious changes to the global life of our state's residents required to be wrought through legislation that give much greater meaning to the word CARE contained within the Affordable Care Act than one ever could have imagined.
These next bills are only a small part of what the state desires to see as the well developed neighborhood, aka community, aka state, of the future.
Public/Private partnerships are to community life what Common Core educational standards are to education and medical homes are to health care....centralized government, environmentally safe, globally distributed through systematized processes for living the good community life, according to best practices.
With all of this governmental involvement in family life, business, education and health care comes a whole new set of meanings to words. For instance the word “environment” doesn't just refer to snail darters and grasslands. In health care and education it means the rules, ethics and morals of social interaction in the classroom and the school and community clinic exam room. It means employing mental health counselors and developing campus “Friendship” clubs and territorial rights claiming in the school buildings.
Safety and health in governmentalese refers not so much to being attacked while walking at 3:00 AM in college campuses (there is a bill to reduce penalties for rapists on campus) or being forced to get your child vaccinated with 20 or more latest fad vaccines, (Asm R. Pan has ab357 Medi-Cal Children's Health advisory Panel for every child in the state and AB 1559, for yet another newborn test to seek a very rare chromasomol anomaly) Safety is also avoiodance techniques against potential bullying classmates which means using classroom time and teacher training time for anti-bullying training; and promoting involvement in community “space claiming” time in after-school and weekend programs such as community blight clearance. See listings for Defending Childhood Initiatives, or, Teaching Without Violence. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website to learn why its “necessary” to develop “systemic processes” to forge public sector partnerships to “change the community.” Were you aware that the CDC has now added prevention to its title?
These sites will show you exactly who and what Hillary Clinton meant when she uttered those prophetic words: “It takes a village to raise a child.” I might add: it also takes a village to bring about the proper dying process for the child now grown old. Another bill will authorize the under 21 age group of patients to complete DNR or POLST forms claiming only palliative Hospice Care.
To forge these changes requires creation of new tactics employing the environment-health and safety and behavior techniques delivered by classroom teachers trained by professional counselors and community interest groups through social and emotional learning experiences in school and in after-school programs. This has nothing to do with academic learning. The school is now a processing center for entry into community life.
And, where do we start this community life? In mandated preschool for 3 to 5 year olds. Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan's bill AB1444, Elementary Education: Kindergarten. Her bill will require Kindergarten as a prerequisite to entry into First Grade.
This, of course, will be only the first step to expanding to pre-Kindergarten which was tried in the last term. The eternal mantra of those who lobby for this is the guaranteed failure of the child to thrive and be employable as an adult otherwise. This new adult will also be overweight and a druggie because he/she didn't get proper nutrition at home.
There is Sen. Darrell Steinberg's SB 837, Early Childhood Education: Professional Development. Provides in the 2014 Budget Act Grants for development of stipends for teachers in transitional kindergarten programs and requires any school or Charter school offering Kindergarten to require also Pre-K. Planned Parenthood Mar Monte was one of the principle supporters. This bill is still pending further hearings.
Oh, the child didn't get the proper socialization in Kindergarten? Then what we need is Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson's After School: distinguished After School Health Program- DASH. Isn't that cute? Dash, it's meant to imply that the students may be involved in physical activity in properly designed after school activities.
This is being sold as a Health and Safety program to keep the kids under someone's well-trained watchful eye, certainly not the mother's, after school. The YMCA us the sponsor of the bill. This is really expensive, to the taxpayer, baby-sitting. It is also yet another opportunity for special interest groups to gain access to your child/grandchild instilling into their minds, hearts and souls, a new ethic of life for the worker of the world. Maybe one of their physical activities will be walking to the school clinic for birth control pills.
How about Sen. Fran Pavley's SB 923, Educational Apprenticeship Innovation Act: Ed Prize. This will turn high school students from well-knit communities into competitors for prize money for college Career Path apprenticeships within the community, dependent upon their ability to meet the requirements for further investment in STEM education. (Science, Technology, Economics and Math).
All of these bills, except for SB 837, are sitting on the Governor's desk. A decision to sign, veto or let stand must be reached by October 1 – 30 days after being sent to the Governor.
Please consider contacting the Governor's office to urge a VETO on these bills.
Spero columnist Camille Giglio is a resident of California and also writes for the California Right to Life Committee.
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