Category Archives: Politics

I am holding this post hostage

Hopefully this’ll force me to write a real post to replace this. :)

California’s Prop 29 first came to my attention in one of the many petition activist emails I receive. It mentioned new legislation on the upcoming ballot, which the tobacco companies oppose. Easy enough, I thought. I’ll just vote against big tobacco, no deep soul-searching required there.

Wrong! Commercials started coming out on TV about Prop 29. The first one I saw had me guffawing. Prop 29 doesn’t put any money toward cancer research? Prop 29 doesn’t do this, it doesn’t do that. It just doesn’t go far enough, so it just shouldn’t be enacted at all!

But another commercial made me pause. Not because of what the official-looking doctor on the screen was saying, but because on the bottom of the screen it stated that the L.A. Times opposed the proposition. I’d never thought that anyone other than those with political or financial motives would oppose it.

I tracked down the Op-Ed piece (sorry, too lazy to find the page again) and it basically said that Prop 29 is flawed. California gets all these taxes and instead of putting it in the general fund, where it’s severely needed, it goes toward this whole new infrastructure where the people on the board can decide to send the money out of state. Additionally, it’s estimated that these taxes will decrease each year, as people quite smoking because of the higher expense.

At this point I wavered between my options: Yes or No? I’m not a fan of creating more bureacracy, and California could really use the money for things other than battling smoking. (People should just stop killing themselves and not smoke, simple as that, right?) And the decrease in taxes, if there’ll be less and less money going toward it, then why bother at all? Yet, I couldn’t bring myself to agree to vote with the tobacco companies.

But then the No on Prop 29 camp released another commercial, saying California’s tax dollars will be sent out of state, instead of creating jobs here, in-state. That argument never holds with me. (I am no statist! State elitist? … I don’t know.) I don’t care which state gets the jobs, as long as there are jobs being created. And calling them California’s tax dollars? The money came from people who smoke; it’s not my money.

So I took a step back and looked at the big picture: smokers will be paying money to … “fund cancer research, smoking reduction programs, and tobacco law enforcement.” (Ballotpedia on Prop 29) I’m fine with that! Count me in as a Yes vote!

And this way I won’t agree with any tobacco companies! ;)

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Bush letter

All right, here it is. The long-awaited (ha ha) entry on the letter I got from Bush/the White House.

letter from Bush I came home from work one day last August and found this manila folder in my place at the dining room table—the usual way my mom sorts and doles out our mail—addressed to me, from the White House. For a split second I thought, Oh no, one of the petitions I signed must have pissed off someone and now I’m on the FBI’s list!

Mum and C came up to me ’cause they were wondering what in the world the White House could be sending to me. I told them it must have been a response to some petition that I’d signed online. Opened it up and yup, the letter was about preserving our oceans.

I guess the White House does keep track of e-mails it gets ’cause I couldn’t recall recently signing a petition to Bush about oceans and figured I must have been on some list. Either that or bureaucracy is really really slow and it took many months to send my letter.

I’m inclined to believe the latter because the letter was about something that Bush had done to Save Our Oceans back in June. What was this action that he took to ensure that our oceans would be around for generations to come? Why he declared June 2008 as National Oceans Month! Yes sir, he took action that was not at all proactive and then decided to spend $1.17 telling me about it months later!

See, that’s the real kicker. If I’d received an e-mail from the White House (even months after the fact) I would not be as annoyed as I am right now. (Which honestly isn’t all that much on the annoyed scale. Maybe a little miffed. But I thought this was … unique … and should be commented on.) I’m used to getting “Due to the large volume of e-mail received, the White House cannot respond to every message” auto-responses.

But this time, someone(s?) in D.C. thought it was worth $1.17 to inform me of past acts of “preservation” which I am concerned about? The petitions I sign usually get somewhere around 5,000–20,000 signatures, but let’s assume an absolute average of 10,000. If I got a letter, doesn’t that mean that 9,999 other people also got the same letter? The White House wanted to spend $11,700 sending out information when they could have sent out e-mails?

Or even just send it in a regular business envelope. Why spend a whole $1.17 when postage was about $0.43? Just so I get a flat piece of paper that hasn’t been folded? And I’m sure even the feds can get discounts from the post office if they’re sending out enough pieces of mail—$0.27, right? They spent basically three times more so I get a fancy, special letter about Bush tooting his own horn.

How many meals can $11,700 cover? How many doctor visits? I know the U.S. has a budget in the billions, but come on, every little bit helps!—Oh wait, no, we’re now $10 trillion in debt, so a few measly thousand doesn’t count for much there. Thanks, Bush.

Bush and moral values

When respondents were asked to pick the one issue that mattered most in choosing a president, “moral values” ranked first at 22 percent, surpassing the economy (20 percent), terrorism (19 percent) and Iraq (15 percent).

Above from an old article I posted here November 2004 (Election Reinforces U.S. Religious Divide).

Those assembled [at “impeachment headquarters”] cited various Bush actions or policies, including “lies that led the U.S. into war.”

They also said that Bush-Cheney policies precipitated torture, illegal spying on American citizens, and the curtailment of privacy and civil rights in the name of fighting terrorism.

The latest irritant was the president’s decision to commute the prison sentence of former Cheney aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, whom a jury convicted of obstructing justice.

From an article in the L.A. Times today (A Place to Push Impeachment). But of course what’s in the first and second paragraphs aren’t immoral, those actions were meant to protect good God-fearing Christians from heathen-induced suffering.

And the third paragraph? Who really knows what’s going on there? It doesn’t impact most of Americans’ daily life, so of course it’s of no consequence. Just like Nixon being pardoned didn’t hurt anyone in the 70s.

elections

I didn’t vote this election. I feel so bad. But I wasn’t at home today, or even the weekend before last, which is when my family went to vote touchscreen. This is the first election where I haven’t voted!! It’s a blot on my good record! (Well okay I missed a local election for my city which I didn’t know about, but I wasn’t there for that election either, and no one outside of the city would really care about the outcome anyway. *grin*)

I didn’t go the absentee ballot route because when I was home the October 13 weekend, my family still hadn’t received our sample ballots, and I had no idea how else to get an absentee ballot any other way. Other than um, going down to some L.A. County office and proving who I am and the whole shebang. Even if I could have found a way to get one, I didn’t really feel like checking the mail every day (we only look in the mailbox once or twice a month; and by “we” I mean my brother or his friend), nor did I feel like having to get to the post office and sending it back through the mail.

So now I guess I don’t have a right to complain about Schwarzeneggar still being the governator. *grin* I don’t know. I guess I’m just ignorant, but I didn’t think he did that bad of a job. Better than Gray Davis anyway. *furtive glance* Plus, I definitely probably maybe wouldn’t have liked Angelides any better than Arnold. Yes, he’s democrat, but he was destroying wetlands! (/End propaganda.) Mum also said something or other about him not thinking about some group or other, maybe involving businesses and taxes or something. Whatever. I voted for Steve Westly anyway. grrrs.

My brother keeps bringing up the fact that when I graduate college I’ll have Arnold’s signature on my diploma. Oh yeah, that’s a great reason to elect him as head of California.

Kerry joke

I don’t know about you, but I thought the original joke was pretty funny:

[John] Kerry’s office said … he had intended to say, “Do you know where you end up if you don’t study, if you aren’t smart, if you’re intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq. Just ask President Bush.”
article

Too bad he messed it up.

But at least he apologized for the messed up part of it. (I read an article about an hour ago where he wouldn’t apologize.)

I’m running a bit too late to really write what I think about it. Plus I didn’t get enough sleep and my head is at that stage right before I might possibly get a headache if I make a wrong move.