Category Archives: politics

my voting slate

I held a proposition party last night. For those who are not familiar with this, it’s an event where i gather American friends to discuss the different propositions in California so that we can all be collectively informed. I’ve found that i often don’t agree with the suggestions of major organizations but that i’m very politically opinionated. By bringing my friends together, we can split the research and educate each other. Plus, it’s a good excuse for some wine.

I’ve decided to post my intended ballot here. If you violently disagree with something that i’ve listed, please comment and explain why (i’m happy to be convinced to vote otherwise). For those who tend to just vote whatever someone else says, you’re welcome to use this. ::grin:: Although i’ve done the research for Los Angeles, i have to vote in San Francisco due to *#$&! voter registration fuckups. Thus, i’m including the propositions in both cities.

State Propositions:

  • Proposition 1A: NO. Transportation Funding Protection. While money is needed for transportation projects, the uses here are too narrowly defined. Legislators should make decisions about the best allocation of these resources; they have more information than we do.
  • Proposition 1B: NO. Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, and Port Security Bond Act. This is too focused on freeways, suburban sprawl, and moral panics; there is too little focus on public transit for such an expensive bond. Plus, it’s a bond measure.
  • Proposition 1C: YES. Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund. While this is a bond measure, it focuses on low-income groups that desperately need housing help (battered women, disabled, senior citizens) and there’s no other good way that these groups will be helped.
  • Proposition 1D: YES. Kindergarten-University Public Education. Again, sucks to be a bond but schools are in desperate need of repair and damn thee Prop 13.
  • Proposition 1E: Yes. Disaster Preparedness and Flood Prevention. Again, more sucking on the bond part but we also know that the federal government is not going to repair CA levees and while this doesn’t solve the problem, it definitely helps. Not great, but better than nothing.
  • Proposition 83: NO NO NO NO NO NO NO…. FUCKING HELL NO! Sex Offenders. ::grumble::
  • Proposition 84: ? Water Quality, Safety and Supply. I don’t know where to go on this – it helps central valley in the near-term but is unsustainable.
  • Proposition 85: NO GAAAAH NO NO NO NO NO… BAD BAD BAD! Anti-Choice, Anti-Youth Waiting Period and Parental Notification. I can’t believe this is up again. On top of all of the fucked up aspects of this legislation, one key side effect is that it will drastically increase parental child abuse. Bad bad bad.
  • Proposition 86: YES. Tax on Cigarettes. While i don’t like how this tax will be leveraged primarily on poor people who addictions, i do support cig taxes that channel their money into medical programs instead of advertising programs. I also think that a drastically huge tax will shock some people into quitting.
  • Proposition 87: YES. Alternative Energy. While the market will force companies into thinking about alternative energy, this will help fund more basic research. I wish we could tax foreign oil too but that’s a federal issue.
  • Proposition 88: NO. Education Funding. It breaks my heart to say no to this but it’s too vague to be useful.
  • Proposition 89: YES. Political Campaigns, Public Financing. I’m all down with limiting corporations and taxing them when it comes to their power over political campaigns.
  • Proposition 90: NO. Government Acquisition, Regulation of Private Property. This is a false eminent domain issue that would give developers far too much control over environmental and other local initiatives about what is best for a town.

San Francisco:

  • Proposition A: Yes. School Bonds. I hate bond but damn thee Prop 13. Plus, all reports say that this has been working since the pass of the original bond measure.
  • Proposition B: ?. Telecommuting for Board of Supervisors. I don’t get it – it seems pointless and a waste of a proposition.
  • Proposition C: Yes. Salaries of Top City Officials. Seems appropriate.
  • Proposition D: Yes. Privacy of Personal Information. Duh – don’t sell personal info just cuz you have access.
  • Proposition E: ?. Downtown Parking Tax. It’d be great to lower cars but i’m not sure how this will be spent or who this will hurt.
  • Proposition F: Yes. Paid Sick Leave Requirement. Quality of life issue – when are we going to learn from Europe?
  • Proposition G: ?. Limitations on Chain Stores. On one hand, i hate chain store takeover of SF; on the other, i’m not sure if this is the best thing for people given that many people can’t afford boutiques and the indie restaurants that pop up. I’m leaning yes because of my poshy views but i don’t know if this is the best approach.
  • Proposition H: Yes. Relocation Expenses for No Fault Tenant Eviction. Helps those who are required to move cuz it’s god-awfully hard to do in SF as a poor person; especially helps seniors.
  • Proposition I: ?. Make the Mayor Meet with City Council “On The Record.” I love transparency but this is a catfight proposition concerning Gavin and i’m not sure this is the way to do this.
  • Proposition J: YES. Impeach Bush/Cheney. Policy statement….
  • Proposition K: ?. Seniors and Disabled Housing Protections. Always good to do, but there’s not much substance.

Los Angeles:

  • Proposition H: ?. Affordable Housing Bond. On one hand, want to help people who cannot afford to buy houses but it’s a huge bond and it doesn’t address the root causes of lack of housing. Leaning yes but feel icky since the building developers love it.
  • Proposition J: Yes. Regional Fire Stations. Helps correct a dumb problem with Prop F from a while ago.
  • Proposition R: No. Councilmember Term Limits. While i’m not convinced that term limits are the best thing, i hate anti-term limit propositions written by the people affected by them. I would’ve been more inclined if this didn’t count for anyone currently in the council out of principle. Plus, i hate that there are all of these ethical bits tacked on to make people vote for it; that’s illegal.

Anyhow, this is my general take after doing some research. Any thoughts or suggestions? I should note that i have no qualms about not voting on a proposition that i don’t have a good yes/no about. It took me a long time to learn that this is not a scan-tron and that it’s AOK to choose not to vote on a particular measure. It takes some undoing given my academic tendencies to think that there has to be an answer but i’m finally OK with it.

Finally, please please please vote NO NO NO NO NO on Propositions 83 and 85. And then vote NO again. And convince everyone you know to vote NO. Please. ::grumble::grumble::grumble:: stupid propositions.

guess who can’t vote in LA?

Gaaaah! So, check this one out. I moved to Los Angeles. When i did so, i changed my driver license and changed my registration. I never received anything so three weeks ago, i registered to vote again by filling out the form online, getting the paper thing that they send you with everything filled out and sending it back. Still, nothing. So i called the Secretary of State hotline who told me to call LA County. I called them and they told me that i improperly reregistered to vote when i moved back to LA. I was like, move back to LA? I didn’t move back – i just moved here. They then proceeded to tell me that i lived in some address in Long Beach and that the registration material they sent there bounced so i was not registered. I was like, i never lived in Long Beach, and they were like, says here you did. I said this did not make sense, that couldn’t be me. She responded by yelling at me that i was in the books under Long Beach. I asked if there was any way we could fix this and she said that i should send in another application or go to the DMV. I said that it was after October 23. She told me that was my problem, that i couldn’t vote in this election because i didn’t send in an application. I told her i did send in an application and that i even went through the process online so they’d have me recorded there. She said they didn’t. By this point, she was yelling at me and i was in tears so i hung up on her.

I called back to the Secretar of State (still crying) and the guy there said that the local jurisdictions have control over this so there’s nothing that he could do except that i could file a complaint. Damn right i want to file a complaint. I can’t even imagine what the Bob Smith’s of the world go through with people telling them they are someone else.

Luckily, i called up SF and i’m still on the books there (even though they didn’t send anything to my old house according to the people who live there who i asked last week). So i just need to fax in an absentee request and i can vote in SF. This pisses me off since i want to vote on local ballot measures but at least i can vote against the evil state measures.

But WTF? Anyone who knows me knows how obsessed i am with voting. Hell, in 2004, i flew my ass to SF to vote and then flew immediately back because i hadn’t received my absentee ballot. I drag everyone i know into registering. I register multiple times each election just to make sure i’m registered. Imagine the people who aren’t nearly as obsessive. How many people aren’t going to be able to vote because the city thinks they are someone else? How many people are not going to be able to vote because the city just didn’t receive their registration? How many people aren’t going to vote because when they tried to correct their registration the city’s reps yelled at them? Why does it have to be this hard to vote? The city certainly has no trouble finding me when it comes to taxes. In fact, every city i ever lived in finds me tax time. Gaaaaaah!

Prop 83: Sex Offenders is not what it seems. SAY NO!

California Proposition 83: Sex Offenders (“Jessica’s Law”) is an example of a terrible law that will pass because of good framing (who on earth is in favor of sex offenders?). I don’t believe that i can stop it from passing, but i want to beg anyone who can listen to please please please Vote NO on 83. Please continue on to read why; it’s really important.

On the outset, the law seems like a good thing. It would increase the length and severity of penalties for specified sex offenses, eliminate early releases, and extend parole. Here’s where things get tricky.. It would also require GPS devices for registered sex offenders (per Meghan’s Law) for the rest of their lives. It would also limit sex offenders from living within 2000 feet of any school or park. Again, these might not seem so bad, but here are some reasons for which they are:

  • Not all sex offenders are child molesters. Included on the list of registered sex offenders are: adults who rape adults (including domestic rape), people who commit sodomy (often used to go after gay men), people who engage in oral sex (including consensual oral sex and oral sex while in jail), and people who commit statutory rape. While rape is horrific, this punishment does nothing to prevent it from happening, but it punishes many in the process.
  • Schwarzenegger recently signed laws that expand the penalty for child rape and calls for the electronic tracking of high-risk sex offenders (i.e. child rapists) while on parole. The new laws even ban sex offenders from loitering around schools and parks which is much more effective than banning them from living close to a school. In other words, the meat of this bill has been signed in and the bill only expands it for all sex offenders over all time (even if they have done nothing wrong in 20 years). (see OC Register)
  • All of San Francisco is within 2000 feet of a school or park; most of Los Angeles is. This means that sex offenders cannot live in major metropolitan regions. This exports the problem to rural regions where there are less resources to handle cases. This also means that offenders will have a much harder time getting jobs and homes which means they are likely to commit violent acts again (remember: rape is not about sex; it’s about power). Syphoning perverts to suburban and rural regions (where most children live) does not do anything to help children. (see: CALCASA)
  • Residency restrictions do nothing to stop the 80-90% of cases where children are raped in their own homes. Furthermore, it reduces the likelihood that they will be reported. (see CJCJ)
  • The vast majority of rapists are known to their victims; this reduces the likelihood that domestic rape will be reported.
  • 86% of sex offenders are never reported; this will make sure that even more go unreported. (see: CALCASA)
  • Very few child molesters pick their victims from schools/parks and of those who do, it is almost never what they do the second time. Furthermore, keeping them from living near parks/schools has never actually stopped those that do.
  • A very common tactic of predators is that they marry single mothers to go after their children. This does absolutely nothing to stop this (nor would banning marriage).
  • This will cost the State upwards of $100M a year; this money could be better spent on prosecuting sick fucks who are found out (only a small fraction are actually prosecuted due to lack of funds).
  • GPS companies are rallying for it – they will make millions.
  • GPS does not work in BART. It does not work in parking garages. It doesn’t even work reliably in malls. There are other location-based technologies that could do the same job with more accuracy and reliability (such as mobile phone positioning), but Prop 83 only specifies GPS. (Tx Liz)
  • Those who want to get out of these devices will have an easy time – they can pound them, cut them, destroy them. They cost $3500 a piece and must be replaced every 6 months because they break so easily.
  • Many towns have laws regarding sex offenders that make sense for their towns; this overrides them in a one-size-fits all way that is not helpful for anyone and it takes agency away from local neighborhoods to deal with risks in their area.

This law does not make people safer; it only makes them feel safer.

I’m all in favor of doing things to stop crimes against children, but let’s use our money and efforts to do something that will actually prevent crimes rather than something that will make us feel like something is being done. Let’s make sure we prosecute these men (and jail them for a long long time); let’s make sure we educate young people to come forward. Let’s separate high risk (likely to repeat) sex offenders from one-time sex offenders.

Don’t get me wrong – i’m not in favor of child molesters and i’m all too familiar with the experience of rape. I’ve spent a good chunk of my life trying to stop violence against women and girls; i want to see real action, not politics when it comes to this issue. This is a terrible terrible terrible law that will not prevent crimes, but will cost the State money that could be used to really address this problem. The problem is that it’s passing 7:1. Please, if there’s any chance in hell of stopping this, please help me do so.

More Information:

For a fantastic panel discussion on Prop 83, please listen to NPR’s The Forum.

Many organizations are opposed to Prop 83, including the California Coalition on Sex Offending, Progressive Christians Uniting, Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, various queer organizations, the ACLU, the Criminal Legal Justice Foundation, the Santa Cruz Commission to Prevent Violence Against Women, the Los Angeles Times, the Orange County Register, and the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA). Check out CALCASA’s blog

“Not Ready to Make Nice”

Forgive, sounds good
Forget, I’m not sure I could
They say time heals everything
But I’m still waiting

I’m through with doubt
There’s nothing left for me to figure out
I’ve paid a price
And I’ll keep paying

I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should

I know you said
Can’t you just get over it
It turned my whole world around
And I kind of like it

(The Dixie Chicks)

why i oppose HR 4437

When i posted about the teen walkout, i wanted to highlight how excited i am that students are speaking out for something that they believe, for something that they know is wrong. Embedded in my post was my disdain for HR 4437, but i did not fully articulate my own views. The comments that followed made it clear that i need to explain why i oppose HR 4437.

The status of undocumented workers in this country is very tricky. Over the years, we have looked the other way as immigrants enter our country illegally and work doing the most grueling labor that no citizen will do. We have turned a blind eye because our economy depends on that cheap labor. Some employers have taken this to a new level and slavery in this country is at an all-time high. The abuse of immigrants is atrocious. There are no labor laws to protect them, no social security, no social services. In most places where undocumented workers live and work, there is a social contract: behave, work hard, and no one will turn you in. Undocumented workers stay because, even with these atrocious work conditions, their lives are better here than where they came from; their opportunity is greater.

Our approach is not sustainable, nor is it morally just. Thus, the question emerges: what do we do about the 20 MILLION illegal aliens living in the United States? This question is both a moral and a practical question.

Many of these people have been living in the United States for decades. They no longer have homes in their country of origin. They have children who are citizens of America. They have obeyed the laws, paid taxes and worked harder than most of us can imagine. There is nothing morally just about treating these individuals as criminals and expelling them. They have done their time, they have paid their dues. And we have always treated them like the trash of the earth.

Some people argue that these people don’t deserve to stay because they did not get visas, did not follow the rules and that it is unfair to legal immigrants. Unfortunately, this argument misses the class dynamic that is critical to the story of undocumented workers. The American visa system is set up to welcome wealthy, educated individuals into white collar jobs. Take a look at how many people get visas to work on farms, in meat packing factories or as janitors. These are not the visas that we offer; most undocumented workers are not eligible for the visas we do offer.

Once an individual is in the United States illegally, it is very difficult for them to begin the process to become a citizen. You cannot apply for a green card if you are here illegally. Thus, there are people who have been here for 20 years and have not taken the steps to become citizens; they have simply worked hard to remain undetected because they do not know of a better way.

HR 4437 is not the answer. While the adjustments to penalties for child abuse and other atrocious acts are logical, what makes HR 4437 problematic is actually its adjustments to employment. By requiring mandatory employment identification, people who have been working in this country for decades will be forced out of jobs with no recourse. This section aims to starve out the population, to force law abiding undocumented workers to leave. Certainly, there will be an even darker underground and many desperate undocumented workers will be forced to turn to more dangerous work in an attempt to stay in the country. There is no doubt this will also increase gang activity and other illegal activities. Racial tensions will rise and violence will erupt, all because of desperation.

I can respect that we need to move to an above ground market, but we cannot turn our backs on those who have been working hard for years. We need to provide ways in which law abiding undocumented workers can come forward without fear of expulsion and apply for citizenship and visas. As we move towards an above-ground system, we need to temporarily forgive undocumented workers for certain crimes committed out of desperation to stay in the past (such as social security number fraud).

I am also very concerned about the sections on “gangs.” What is the legal definition of a gang? It worries me greatly that people can be deported or refused admission for presumed association with gangs. It also worries me that the Attorney General can designate any group or association as a street gang. (Why do i have a sneaking suspicion that i would be considered a gang member for my affiliation with Burning Man?) I completely understand why the government wants to deport people for illegal activities, but i worry about the guilty until proven innocent framing of this section of HR 4437. And i really worry about the guilt through association implications. Didn’t we learn anything from the McCarthy era?

People ask why it is so significant that teens walked out. These teens are legal; they are citizens. They are speaking out for a population that is silenced, a population that cannot be visible. They are doing so on school hours because that makes the most impact. Even with the knowledge that they will be fined and given detention, they walked out. Frustrated teachers argued that this is foolish, that their parents came here to give them an education and they aren’t even trying. While these teachers have the best intentions, students have a better grasp on reality. They know that their parents are at risk of being deported. They know that they are mostly not eligible for good jobs that depend on an education; they are going to do the kinds of work their parents do. They are living a working class reality and are completely alienated from it. It is the saddest aspect of our failed education system and our unacknowledged class hierarchy.

Unfortunately, this political regime is doing an amazing job of approaching world politics with brute force and xenophobia. HR 4437 is no different. No wonder the world hates us. I am glad people are thinking about how to handle undocumented workers; i just wish that folks would have more compassion and understanding of the dynamics and lives of people who have worked fucking hard to fatten our privileged asses. Most undocumented workers are not criminals and they should not be treated as such. They are good people, trying really hard to make their lives and the lives of their families better.

On a personal note, i spoke with a neighbor about this bill. She’s been here illegally for almost a decade; she has two small children that she works hard to support. When i brought it up, her eyes got wide with fear. I told her not to worry, that i am on her side; this gave her much relief. It is clear that she’s very scared. She told me she didn’t understand this bill. She pays taxes, she works hard, she obeys laws, she is trying really hard. She doesn’t know what to do. I wish i could tell her not to worry, that everything will be OK. But i have to admit that i’ve lost faith in the humanity of this country.

should i participate in a government panel?

I’m torn and i need some advice. I was asked to be on a panel at an upcoming CIA conference “with the objective of providing extensive insight into how terrorists can and likely will use cyberspace for influence purposes.” They want to understand how blogs and Friendster work. They seem to be running a series of conferences, including a cyber one, one with religious and non-profit groups, one with advertising and PR groups, and one with entertainment and gaming folks… all to get “insight” from experts to understand the terrorist schtuff.

My first inclination is to object on moral grounds. I am violently opposed to PATRIOT and how the government and military are using technology to track civilians under the umbrella of finding terrorists. I object to the culture of fear being perpetuated and the “if you aren’t with us, you’re against us” attitude. I have major systemic issues with our government and its exploitation of power. Major issues.

Of course, part of me wonders if i can learn from these folks and use this platform to change people’s minds (or maybe be a little bit subversive). The audience is purportedly “group of between 40 and 50 high level intelligence managers and policy analysts from the Central Intelligence Agency, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Intelligence Agency, U.S. Strategic Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, Office of Naval Intelligence, and various other unified military commands.”

I’m also worried because the terrorists make sense to me in the same way that punks who steal and kids who blow up schools make sense. These groups feel as though they will never have agency within the system because the systemic hegemony is too oppressive. They seek to overthrow the oppressor through brute force, to disrupt the system from its core and rattle the foundations that blind everyone to the problems of the system. Of course, in every case, the system does a good job in keeping the mainstream blinders on so that these acts are only ever seen as wrong instead of as attempts to wake up the mass zombie culture. I don’t support these groups’ violence and i think machismo clouds the efforts to make change. But it’s the same attitudes that make Fakesters and goths utterly lovable to me – same concept, no violence.

Given this perspective, i’m worried that there’s no way that i could ever change the minds of military folks because the core values are so different. I’m worried that my efforts to influence will simply be repurposed and manipulated, no matter what i do. I’m worried that i will become a tool of the kinds of oppression that i loathe and the lack of understanding that angers me. I don’t want to eliminate terrorism by force; i want to see a cultural change that makes it unnecessary and unvalued. But is there any way that i can do that by participating? I’m not sure…

Anyhow, i’m torn. Thoughts? Perspectives?

It’s funny… i sat in traffic on the Bay Bridge for an hour last night and i kept reading the bumper sticker in front of me. “Join the army and go to exotic distant lands so you can meet exciting new people and then kill them.” ::sigh:: I don’t want to be that anthropologist that helps the colonial empire destroy the world and abuse its privileges.

favorite non-profits/foundations?

Call it tithing or call it tax-savings, i’m a strong believer that privileged people should give a portion of their income to support causes that make the world a better place. For this reason, i can’t help but smile at 10 over 100 which asks people to promise to give 10% of what they make over $100K. (Of course, personally, i think that those who make over $100K should be giving a percentage of their total income, not just what they make over $100K. And i think that many of us who don’t make $100K should still be giving back. Also, i prefer to make a promise to myself than promise a website. But still, it’s a good idea and one that i support.)

In my donation, i always ask not to receive any newsletters or other junk mail and i ask not to have my name sold. Email is fine, but i don’t want to be supporting the postal service or the paper mills with my donation. Of course, few organizations listen. At the end of each year, i re-evaluate the organizations i give to and donate again to those who sent me nothing over the year and send nothing to those who sent me stamps, packets, or other crap.

I am looking for some new organizations (and particularly foundations) that i should be considering. I am looking for 501(c)3 organizations that will not send me junk mail. I am particularly fond of organizations/foundations that work on both local and global scales, feminist and anti-racism organizations, youth-positive organizations, and environmental organizations. I am not interested in supporting religious organizations or any organization that permits discrimination of any kind (most notably on the basis of gender identity or sexuality). Do you have any that you recommend?

Already on my list of awesome organizations are:
Goma Student Fund
City at Peace

election day: analysis of California Proposition 73

hold me down
i am floating away
into the overcast skies
over my home town
on election day — Ani

When the election results started pouring in tonight, i was in a state of horror. Initially, it looked like Proposition 73 was going to pass. Thankfully, with most of the returns in, it looks like it will die a well-deserved death.

Some folks have asked why i am so obsessed with Proposition 73 and i feel the need to articulate the problems that emerge because of it. First, take a look at the propaganda:

There are some amazing linguistic messages there: protect vs. safety, right vs. responsibility. The Yes folks give parents ultimate power while the No folks are invested in youth agency. The imagery from the Yes folks is directly targeted as parents and speaks past youth, never inviting them to participate in a dialogue about this proposition. The Yes folks are speaking a protectionist rhetoric while the No folks are speaking the language of respect. Protectionist rhetoric comes from a place of ageism, a belief that there is a clear division between adults and youth: adults know what they’re doing; youth do not.

Unfortunately, ageism is one of the least acknowledged forms of oppression in this society. As a society, we’re pretty shitty to our youngest and oldest members, thinking them too stupid to deserve agency. These groups often have no voice, no power. Adults will never go back to being youth and they can’t see life from a youth’s perspective. Instead, they project their own needs onto youth. They create hazing rituals following the “we did this, you should too” mentality. Why do we try to strip those we have power over of any agency?

As with most political propaganda, the problems are not addressed. The target market for the Yes folks is clearly middle-upper class parents. Yet, the effects of this proposition would place undue burden on poor or working class teens, abandoned and abused teens. I think back to the time that i spent hanging out with teens on Haight. Many of them came from abused families and found the street to be safer. Unfortunately, these are teens are quite susceptible to rape and unwanted pregnancies. Can you imagine them needing permission from parents?

There is no doubt that parents should know, but this does not mean the government should mandate it. Parents need to earn the respect of their children, not demand obedience. Parents are informed when parents engender a trusting relationship. But when parents don’t, teens should be able to turn to those that they do trust. This is not to say that there aren’t fucked up stories… the Yes folks certainly highlight them. But what they don’t highlight is what the consequences would be on abused youth. And sadly, there are far more abused youth getting pregnant in this state than sad stories like Holly Patterson (who wouldn’t be covered under Prop 73 anyhow since she was 18).

I’m actively pro-choice, but this doesn’t mean that i like abortions or want to see youth getting them. I want to structure a society where youth don’t have to face that choice, but if they do, they have one to make. I want to see parents be supportive and trying to build a meaningful relationship with their children based on trust and respect. I don’t want to see oppression and regulation, ageism and condescension – this destroys our society. And it pains me that people don’t realize this.

Of course, Lakoff has gotten far too deep inside my head. I know the response… good kids don’t get into those situations… good parents make their children behave… the world is evil and a good parent has to protect his kids… you can’t solve a sin with a bigger sin… God, it makes me angry. I wish Dobson a good long painful spanking.

pre-election party

One of my favorite things to do each year is to throw a pre-election party where friends gather to discuss different candidates and propositions (because we live in California). It’s a good excuse to hang out with friends, drink some wine and inform each other about the upcoming election. Each person takes a candidate or a proposition and researches the pros/cons and which organizations/people are supporting or opposing them/it. I’m a strong believer that every citizen in this country has a responsibility to inform themselves and vote.

Last night, i threw one such party and we had a blast discussing all of the wacky Schwarzenegger propositions. It’s a scary election in California because it’s a special propositions election and i fear that a lot of people won’t turn out to vote. If you live in California, please plan on voting on November 8 – there are some serious measures that could have long-term impact and i fear that many won’t turn out.

Here are a few that i’d like to highlight:

NO on Proposition 73 (Parental notification for minors seeking an abortion) – this is another horrifying move by the Republican party to engage in anti-choice tactics by peeling away freedoms. It is a condescending ageist proposition framed as protectionist.

NO on Proposition 75 (Public union dues) – this is an anti-union proposition intended to weaken unions by adding bureaucratic layers under the guise of giving union members choice (which they already have). Unions are the one group who can stand up to big business and vested interests want to stop them.

NO on Proposition 78; YES on Proposition 79 (Prescription drug discounts) – these are competing propositions with the former being backed by the pharms and the latter being backed by every consumer group. Prop 79 requires pharms to help offset costs for low-income citizens in order to do business in California. 78 looks good, but there is nothing that mandates participation by pharms and could end up costing California millions of dollars to set up nothing.