Modern liberalism is all about “rights”—rights to health care, right to a job, right to food, the right to more rights, and so forth. You know the drill. Of course, these kind of liberal “rights” aren’t rights at all properly understood; they are benefits that require the state to tax or expropriate someone’s property to provide the “right” to someone else.
Right now the California state legislature is poised to pass a “Homeless Bill of Rights,” that will install extra protections for vagrants against the increasing number of local city ordinances that have attempted to crack down on the typical behavior and neighborhood-degrading tendencies of those we romantically refer to as “the homeless.” Here’s how the Sacramento Bee reports it:
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, framed Assembly Bill 5 as an attempt to create a statewide baseline of homeless civil rights, citing a proliferation of municipal ordinances cracking down on behavior like lying or sleeping on the sidewalk as examples of the “criminalization of poor people.”
“Today numerous laws infringe on poor peoples’ ability to exist in public space, to acquire housing, employment and basic services and to equal protection under the laws,” Ammiano said at a Tuesday morning hearing.
Ammiano’s legislation faced a backlash from critics who said the bill would sanction behavior like urinating in public while exposing businesses to new litigation, undercutting the will of voters who had passed local ordinances and handcuffing city-level efforts to deal with homelessness. The California Chamber of Commerce included AB 5 on its annual list of “job killers” because it imposes “costly and unreasonable mandates on employers.”
But imposing “costly and unreasonable mandates on employers” is what liberalism is all about these days. Keep in mind that the California legislature is now two-thirds controlled by Democrats, which means Republicans can’t block anything. If I was a Republican legislator, I think I’d tape my “No” button down in the chamber and hit the road going around the state raising hell.
Footnote: Ammiano is one of the bigger loons in California politics, and that’s saying something. Perhaps Gov. Ah-nold’s only fine moment in office was his veto message of an Ammiano bill, which, a number of people noted, contained an acrostic message to Ammanio. “My goodness. What a coincidence,” said a Schwarzenegger spokesman when this was pointed out. “I suppose when you do so many vetoes, something like this is bound to happen.” Here’s the facsimile for you to work out on your own.