California Propositions

EDIT: After much deliberation, I have decided that NO on Prop 10 is the way to go. Theoretically the proposition stands for a good cause and though I do believe it will take a really rich entity to jump start the alternative energy movement, this is not the way to do it. The bill is flawed in that it benefits T Boone Pickens unfairly and does not help California citizens directly.

This is the first year I am going to be voting in California and I am psyched because I get to vote on all these wonderful ballot initiatives. (Though I would have liked to have voted in NYC once more if only to vote against a third term for Bloomberg). On most of the ballot initiatives in California I have a clear cut decision but there are a couple that boggle my mind — in particular Proposition 10.

Proposition 10 is a measure to give tax incentives to alternative energy and higher efficiency vehicles. The problem is that I keep reading that the measure favors T. Boone Pickens and his fleet of commercial natural gas-run trucks. For me the jury is still out on T. Boone Pickens. I have been thinking that we need one of these good ol’ boy oil men to take the lead on alternative energy and he seems to be the one doing it. And he seems to be unabashed in his motivation — he wants to make money. But is that necessarily a bad thing? If he makes money doing this, won’t it give incentive to more bad companies to do good stuff? I am not sure. He is supposed to be on 60 Minutes tonight, so I am going to check it out and probably be equally confused. To make matters more annoying, I just learned that he funded the anti-Kerry Swift Boat attack ads.

If people are curious, here is my “uninformed indecisive voter” voter guide for California 2008:

* Maybe on Proposition 1. Authorizes development of high speed trains from San Francisco to LA, Fresno and San Jose.

I like high speed trains. I like trains in general. I remember riding the Amtrack Northeast corridor to get back and forth from Providence to New York during college. Back then, they used to have a smoking car. There is something romantically American about riding the rails. The problem with Prop 1 though is that it costs a lot of money, doesn’t guarantee that these high speed trains are actually going to get made, the need for inter-city travel in California is not necessarily that high on my list of priorities.

* Yes on Proposition 2. Requires that farm animals be able to fully extend their limbs, wings, lie down, stand up and turn around.

I love animals. I was a vegan for almost a decade I loved them so much. Now I love to eat them again. But if I am going to eat them I think we should at least give them the dignity of living a normal animal life.

* Yes on Proposition 3. Authorizes $980M for children’s hospitals.

I also love children. And I think more children’s hospitals are a good thing.

* No on Proposition 4. Prohibits minors from getting abortions without parental notification.

This is one of the cut and dry ones for me. I think those that are for this measure are either naive or ignorant. Abortion is such a difficult decision to make and putting a measure like this forward only makes it more difficult. Forcing underage girls who are in a terrible position already to then have to possibly get legal consent from parents (who may have a hand in putting her in this position or may actually do harm to her) is ridiculous. When people argue in favor of this, I tend to hear them talk in terms of some idal fantasy world where everyone has two loving parents that will help and support them; this is not the world we live in.

* Yes on Proposition 5. $460M to expand and improve drug treatment centers.

I have a friend who is an addiction specialist in California and he said to vote yes on this. That’s all I need.

* No on Proposition 6. $965M for police and revisions to about 30 California criminal laws.

I am against funding more jails and law enforcement. We have built a country on punishment rather than rehabilitation. Why do we have a quarter of the world’s prisoners when we have less than 5% of the world’s population? Is it because Americans are in general more criminally inclined? I doubt it.

* No on Proposition 7. A problematic renewable enegy initiative.

Everywhere I look it seems like this is a badly written measure that will actually do more harm than good.

* No on Proposition 8. A proposal to end gay marriage in California.

This is another clear cut choice for me. It actually falls under the category of “waste of time” measures for me. Why do people give a crap if gay people get married? Who the fuck cares!? Let them get married. Let them file joint tax returns and visit one another in the hospital. How does this effect straight people? It truly annoys me that this is the big toss up battle on the measures. There is no money involved. No pork attached. No special interest. It’s just love. Let love love goddamnit!

* No on Proposition 9. A redundant victim’s rights proposal that gives pork to the pigs.

See Proposition 5.

* NO on Proposition 10. Tax incentives for more alternative fuel vehicles and renewable energy.

See top.

* Undecided on Proposition 11 (though leaning on No). Redistricting measure.

I need more information. Redistricting seems to be a game that politicians play to stay in power. I am just unsure of who benefits from this.

* Undecided on Proposition 2. $900M for veterans’ homes and farms.

I need more info on this one too. I think my brain is just too full after the first ten. I would like a proposition to limit propositions.

If people have opinions to help me, please comment.


6 thoughts on “

  1. I doubt my relatively small comments will help you but I would like to add this:Prop 6:  I think that we may have a quarter (I really don’t know the statistics) of the world’s prisoners because in general we DON’T execute as readily as other countries do.  I remember that an official from some Muslim (please correct me if I’m wrong) country said that his country did not have homosexuals;  that’s because they execute them.Prop 8:  Thanks for the “No”.  Attempted to prohibit one group from enjoying the same rights as other groups is nothing more than ignorance which breeds fear which breeds hate.  I like that Connecticut said that even giving same-sex couples separate but equal rights was unconstitutional. …that similar solutions applied to Blacks and women in the past have been too problematic and met with more discrimination.

  2. This post reminded me that Election day is coming up in California….!  Guess we should all start looking through all  these propositions!  I myself was only familiar with Props 4 (voting no), 8 (voting no)  & 5 (voting yes).  And I actually thought the trains DID run from S.F. to San Jose…….woops. 

  3. a new parent myself, i’m torn on prop 4..on the one hand, i wholeheartedly agree w/ a woman’s right to choose (b/c like you said, it’s a very tough decision for any woman to make, regardless of age, and regardless of what those freakin’ right wingers say about “loose” women using it as a form of birth control) but as a parent, i would want to be notified if my daughter were to obtain an abortion b/c i’d want her to know that i’m there for her, even if i don’t agree w/ her 100%

  4. I don’t live in California, so I don’t know very much about most of the propositions.  Because of that, I don’t know that I agree with you on every issue.  I do think it’s great that you’ve out so much thought into it.  And educated voter is a very good thing.  I’d be leaning towards yes on Prop 2, but I guess it depends on how the money is spent.I will say that I couldn’t agree with you more about Proposition 8, that crap the Yes people are pulling needs to have stopped yesterday.  Have you heard one group is trying to force businesses that gave money to the No people to give equal amounts to them by threatening boycotts?  Asswipés all. @tw22786 – I think the problem with parental notification laws isn’t the teenager that’s being a teenager and is afraid of telling her parents because she thinks they’ll yell at her or worse be disappointed in her.  The problem is with teenagers who don’t have such a great home life. 

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