Cal­i­for­nia’s gas prices

Lodi News-Sentinel - - OPINION - STEVE HANSEN Steve Hansen is as Lodi writer and satirist.

De­spite nu­mer­ous com­plaints by res­i­dents, Har­ley Road­rash, direc­tor of the Cal­i­for­nia High­ways and By­ways Com­mis­sion, be­lieves prices are jus­ti­fied.

“We need to stop cli­mate change. Mak­ing ev­ery­one in our state pay $1.60 more per gal­lon than the na­tional av­er­age is a good start,” he told a group of re­porters. “The ex­tra money is also mak­ing a big dif­fer­ence in the qual­ity of our road­ways.”

But one trou­ble­mak­ing jour­nal­ist ques­tioned the direc­tor’s state­ment by point­ing out Cal­i­for­nia has some of the worst road con­di­tions in the coun­try.

“The more beat up and con­gested our roads are, the less peo­ple will drive on them. It’s the same kind of logic used when we give peo­ple smaller refuse cans in or­der to cre­ate less trash.” Road­rash replied. “Both are im­por­tant parts of our over­all cli­mate change strat­egy.”

The direc­tor con­tin­ued by ask­ing the same news­man if he would pre­fer tax rev­enues spent on high­ways, or on free health care for il­le­gals, along with su­per trains that go nowhere?

But be­fore the re­porter could re­spond, Road­rash an­swered his own ques­tion by stat­ing, “Ob­vi­ously, only a cold-hearted, de­plorable, cli­mate de­nier could choose roads.”

Pres­i­dent wins court de­ci­sion

In an 18-12 Supreme Court de­ci­sion, the pres­i­dent of a small coun­try called To­hubohu, has won the right to use funds from ex­ist­ing non­re­lated pro­grams to build a gi­gan­tic stone wall cas­tle.

The trans­fer of money is ex­pected to hurt im­por­tant gov­ern­ment projects, such as cre­at­ing a 1,000 smart uses for gar­den snails, study­ing the ef­fec­tive­ness of ferret fur in whoopee cush­ions and restor­ing “My Mother the Car” reruns.

The vote went along party lines, even though jus­tices are non-par­ti­san.

Not ev­ery­one is happy with the de­ci­sion. Sen. Stroppy Wrath wrote on his so­cial me­dia ac­count that it is a sad day for the coun­try and democ­racy. He be­lieves tax­payer funds should never be used to pro­tect the coun­try but only for build­ing fortresses in other lands.

“Ar­ti­fi­cial bar­ri­ers never work,” he said. “As a good ex­am­ple, there is no rea­son to lock your car or house. If some­one wants to break in, they’ll cer­tainly find a way.”

But de­spite crit­i­cism, the pres­i­dent still cel­e­brated his vic­tory. “I don’t care what naysay­ers im­ply about walls not work­ing,” he said. “They cer­tainly come in handy in my house when nosey kids get cu­ri­ous about what was hap­pen­ing in the master bed­room.”

Guilty un­til proven in­no­cent

A new stan­dard of jus­tice has been ap­proved by the U.S. Congress. Leg­is­la­tion has re­versed the con­cept that the ac­cused is in­no­cent un­til proven guilty.

“I don’t know how things got so messed up in this coun­try with all that in­no­cent first stuff,” said Con­gress­man Andy Shys­ter. “It’s sure a lot eas­ier to ‘get’ some­one by mak­ing them prove they didn’t do some­thing.”

The con­gress­man pointed out that the In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice has used this sys­tem for years with un­ques­tioned suc­cess. He and many of his col­leagues be­lieve the same should ap­ply to the en­tire ju­di­cial sys­tem.

But Pro­fes­sor Ace Bar­ris­ter of the Ser­pen­tine School of Law strongly dis­agrees.

“It is this kind of think­ing that to­tal­i­tar­ian and evil dic­ta­to­rial coun­tries are built upon,” he told news an­chor, Slick Wig. “For jus­tice and fair­ness, the bur­den of proof must lie with the gov­ern­ment and not with the ac­cused.”

Yet Shys­ter ar­gues this is noth­ing but old school think­ing. He and his party mem­bers have been try­ing to in­dict their po­lit­i­cal en­e­mies with in­nu­endo and hearsay for years and con­tend the new stan­dard is re­ally the only way con­vic­tions can be ac­com­plished.

“Jus­tice should be based not on what a bunch of silly facts prove or don’t prove, but on what one be­lieves is true.” he said. “This was cer­tainly my old man’s stan­dard of guilt when I was a kid, and it worked just fine for him. So why not put it in play for ev­ery­one?”

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