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Steve Lunetta: Government needs common sense approach

Right About Now

Posted: September 10, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 10, 2012 2:00 a.m.

It’s been awhile since I saw my Uncle Earl. He was having some trouble pulling some stumps out of the yard, so I ambled over to his place to lend him a hand.

As I started to swing the mattock, Earl backed his ’73 F150, “Betsy”, up near the stump. After getting out his stump-pulling chain, our conversation commenced.

“Stumps have got to be one of the dumbest things ever invented,” he started. “We can work for an hour chopping all of the edge roots, but there is always the big tap root right in the center going straight down. That’s why we need old Betsy. She can pull these dumb things straight out of the ground.”

“I hear you, Unk. Sometimes it takes a little brute force and common sense to correct things that are not right,” I responded.

He hooked the chain around the big tap root and went on, “Take for example a bus that stops at a railroad crossing. In rural areas, this makes a lot of sense but in areas with automatic crossing guards, isn’t the stopping of the bus more of a traffic hazard? Also, makes you wonder how much time and money is wasted by this antiquated practice.”

“Earl, I’m sure there are lives saved because of this. I’ll bet there was an accident that could have been prevented” I observed.

“Just another example of a law that has been passed up by technology and time. This is something our legislators should be looking at. Another example is firemen.”

“What?” I was genuinely confused.

He went on, “Every time I pass by a rest home and emergency vehicles are present, we see the whole fire company there. Paramedic truck and the big fire engine. I understand that when an elderly person falls in the rest home that medical attention must be summoned, but why does the fire engine need to be there? If a minor incident happens at the home, a reasonable response is to send medical help only. That fire engine may be needed to save someone’s life or put out a fire.”

“It could also cut down on overtime and other expenses like fuel,” I observed.

“Now you are seeing it, my boy. Many of the things in government just don’t make sense. Many liberals and left-wing commie pinkos over think simple things and make them too complex. That is what causes waste and bad government.” Earl was on a roll.

He continued, “Think about the economy. When the economy is down, folks out of work, gas prices are up, and everyone is cutting back — is this the time to raise taxes? Our governor seems to think so. People are hurting, and he wants to add to their pain.”

“But, Earl,” I interrupted, “The state is hurting too. Their budgets are strapped and they don’t have any cash either.”

He was ready. “Look at our beloved state Parks Department. While they were crying ‘poverty’ and asking us to increase taxes, they had $54 million squirreled away in a secret account. The head of the department was also writing big checks to employees for dubious purposes. I suspect there is much more of this going on at the state level. How many other secrets are sitting out there in state government?”

This was beginning to make sense to me. “Gun it, Earl!” I yelled. The big stump cracked then moved.

“We need to send people to Sacramento who will clean up state government before asking for another dime from us. This is common sense. Also, instead of making new laws and slapping them on top of anachronistic older laws, they should look at what is currently on the books, clearing out the deadwood, and making our laws simple and clear.” Earl hit the gas one more time.

With a tremendous final crack, the stump lifted from the hole and came to a rest behind the huge Ford.

Earl exulted; “And that is how we clear out the deadwood. Now, we need to put something in place that makes sense and will benefit us all in the future. A guy like Scott Wilk will do that for us in the Assembly. A good man with common sense, Scott will be a great representative for us.”

I have to agree, Earl. I’m voting for Scott Wilk for Assembly.

Steve Lunetta is a resident of Placerita Canyon and really hates to pull out stumps. He has lots. He can be reached at



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