October 2006

Proposition 87, alternative energy research, production, incentives. Tax on California oil:

YES VOTE: California oil would be taxed to pay for alternative energy research and incentives. The measure states that producers would not be allowed to pass on the cost of this severance tax to consumers through increased costs for oil, gasoline, or diesel fuel.

NO VOTE: No change.

MY TAKE: Meh, why not? I’m bothered by the fact that the types of alternative energy to be researched is not identified, but I figure the more oil costs the less people will use it. Probably won’t happen though.

Also, you can register to vote now on myspace. I think the deadline for California voters already passed for this election, but register now so you’ll be ready for next election.

PS I signed up for the run to feed the hungry today and am trying to raise some extra cash for the Sacramento food bank. If you’d like to donate to them click here.


Today’s election tutorial is on Proposition 86, tax on cigarettes.

YES VOTE: This initiative would add $2.60 to each pack of cigarettes, raising the price to nearly $7 per pack. The money wouldn’t go to smoking cessation programs, but to prevention programs and tobacco-related disease research.

NO VOTE: No change. The current prevention programs under proposition 99 (passed in 1988) would remain exactly as is.

MY TAKE: Personally, I feel like this is the government trying to put tobacco companies out of business. I’m not a smoker, nor will I ever be. Mostly I don’t smoke because it could kill me, but also because it’s a disgusting habit. It encourages littering and it makes my hair smell bad. And I KNOW this. So does every other American because prevention has been going on since the early 80’s.

I’ve been reading about lung cancer and emphysema since I was in the third grade. I attended yearly assembly meetings where they showed us pictures of blackened lungs. I’ve been around for the tobacco trials, the lame truth commercials and the tax a few years back that double the price of a pack of cigarettes. If I still choose to smoke it’s my own fault if I die from it. Adding more taxes to the price of cigarettes isn’t going to keep anyone from smoking who would have otherwise picked up a light. This initiative and these programs are overkill.

In similarly related news:

Last night I saw Thank You For Smoking and thought it was really good. I liked that it wasn’t just some lame documentary. It pointed out some interesting things about the tobacco industry while still being humorous and had a real story line.

Also, it looks like they’re making Fast Food Nation into a movie. I loved the book and I just hope the movie doesn’t ruin the premise.

If someone in your family gets cancer you’d think someone would mention it. Not my family though. Nope, sure didn’t know and probably wouldn’t have if I hadn’t mentioned to my mom today that I was planning to visit my grandma for Thanksgiving.

Me: “Yeah, I think this year I’m going to go out to Arizona for Thanksgiving and visit grandma.”

Mom: “Oh. Well, that’s good. She just finished her chemo so she should be doing alright by then.”

Me: “What?!?! Chemo?!?! What are you talking about?”

Mom: “Yeah, grandma has breast cancer. She had to have a mastectomy a few months ago and she’s been doing chemo all summer.”

Who doesn’t tell you when your grandma has a potentially life threatening disease AND gets surgery for it?!?! I’m super sad right now, especially because now when I call to tell her I’m coming to visit I know she’ll think it’s a pity visit when it’s SO not. Well, maybe she won’t think that because she and I have always been close and I’ve been saying I was coming out for awhile. But still!

I am DEF going to Arizona for Thanksgiving now. No matter what! My grandma is one of my most favorite people in the world and I’ll be devastated if something happens to her.

This isn’t the best picture, but it’s the only picture I have of her on my computer (the rest are on film and are at my home in CA).

I still can’t believe no one has mentioned it to me before today.

Worse still, apparently it runs in my family. My grandmother’s mother also had breast cancer and here I’ve been telling my doctors for years that I have no family history of anything. My dad’s father died of cancer a few years ago (this is my dad’s mother) I wonder how my dad is doing.

I guess I better start paying more attention to the recomended self-checks. This sucks all around.

Click for info on breast cancer

Time to discuss Proposition 85, which I have to tell you is on a topic I’m not exactly thrilled to be discussing AGAIN. I do believe last year’s election had the same issue on the ballot, only as Proposition 73. In fact, if you check out the two links this year’s description looks as though it’s just been cut and pasted from last year’s.

Oh, what’s the issue? You ask.

Abortion, of course. But only one little piece of abortion. They figure if they can chip away at Roe v. Wade piece by piece we won’t notice. OR if they keep putting the EXACT SAME initiative on the ballot after we’ve alredy voted NO, we won’t notice. And as much as I hate bringing up this subject because it gets so many people so upset, my hand has been forced. So here we go:

YES VOTE: Parents will be notified 48 hours in advance of their daughter trying to get an abortion, except if a major medical condition exists requiring immediate action. Minors can, however, go to court and ask the court’s permission to have an abortion sans parental consent.

NO VOTE: Roe v. Wade stays intact. No change.

MY TAKE: Look at the analysis background. This law was passed in 1987 and was later found to be unconstitutional and thrown out. Since then they’ve been trying to get it signed back into law so they can have it thrown out again. Seems like a lot of wasted energy to me.

As for the actual law, I’m conflicted. Even if a minor has the gumption to go to a court of law to seek permission to subvert the parental permission clause, I doubt it would get through our court system before the child is born. I don’t think abortion is an answer to an unwanted pregnancy, but then I’ve never been pregnant so who am I to say. All I CAN say is I think it’s a lot of emotional stress and I think most children would want the support of their parents in either decision (keeping or aborting). However, I find this to be highly unlikely in many cases in puritan America.

I guess the religious right is just hoping we’ll get sick of them forcing a vote on this issue and finally give in. They may be right.

How did I go from having nothing to blog about to having enough subjects to fill a number of blogs? Today’s proposition isn’t one of the really controversial ones so I thought I’d throw in a few other topics for discussion…

Disappointment of the week: On Tuesday Bill Bryson released a new book. Learning this I immediately looked to see if there were any author events in my area (because that’s what a new book means). I was ecstatic when I saw one for San Francisco. That quickly wore off when I saw that it was sold out. Once again I’ll be missing out on seeing one of my most favorite authors.

Lodi on the map: Last night I was watching Top Chef after Project Runway (which was disappointment no. 2 this week) and saw that one of the chef’s is from Lodi’s Wine and Roses. Very cool. The show would have been a bomb if I didn’t have someone to root for.

Another nervousbreakdown: Hope you guys are getting a chance to explore this site. Most of the other bloggers are WAY more interesting than me, but I have some stuff to say too. Oh, and if you have a comment on those blogs please leave it there instead of on here. That way the publisher knows you’re reading my stuff. Thanks!

And now for our daily election lesson: Proposition 84

YES VOTE: This initiative allows the state to sell $5.4 billion in general obligation bonds for safe drinking water, water quality, and water supply; flood control; natural resource protection; and park improvements. The money would go to various state agencies or be allocated for loans and grants, primarily to local agencies and nonprofit organizations.

NO VOTE: Opponents of this bond say water quality and waterways will be improved through Proposition 1E (flood prevention). A no vote would mean no bond and no changes, especially if both this and 1E are voted down.

MY TAKE: Again, I feel they’ve tried to find a solution for a number of problems with one single law. The problem most people will have is that they agree with some of this but not all of it. I recommend taking a look at the link I provided because it has a breakdown of how the money will be spent. $5 billion is a lot of money to give over to the bureaucracy. However, a lot of the waterways they are looking at improving and cleaning up are in my area, namely the Delta and San Joaquin waterways. Not only are these areas near me, but they provide water for most of the state. That sounds good to me.

It’s another big election and I hope you’re all registered to vote. For those of you who are, it’s time again for my tutorials on the issues. I know few of us actually pay any attention to what the media has to say about the election so I’m providing you with the links and information you need to make an informed decision. Feel free to discuss the issues among yourselves.

Today we’re starting off with Proposition 83: The sex offenders punishment, residence restrictions and montioring initiative.

YES VOTE: Increases penalties for violent and habitual sex offenders and child molesters. Prohibits registered sex offenders from residing within 2,000 feet of any school or park.
Requires lifetime Global Positioning System monitoring of felony registered sex offenders. Expands definition of a sexually violent predator. Changes current two-year involuntary civil commitment for a sexually violent predator to an indeterminate commitment, subject to annual review by the Director of Mental Health and subsequent ability of sexually violent predator to petition court for sexually violent predator’s conditional release or unconditional discharge. And a fiscal impact of hundreds of millions of dollars.

NO VOTE: Current laws remain in effect, potentially saving the state millions upon millions of dollars.

MY TAKE: Once someone is released from jail they should be able to live as free as any of us. If we think these people are going to continue criminal activity or should be watched for longer periods then we should increase the minimum sentence, not try to set up monitoring systems for them once they’re set free. This law is far too involved to be effective. The state will spend millions trying to enforce an unenforceable law.

Wow, the fourth Harry Potter book looked so daunting but it took me less than a week to read. For a series I was totally against reading, I sure have become rather enthralled. The books are so easy to read and fun too.

What I like about the Harry Potter series is that it allows me to use my imagination in a way I can’t remember doing since I was a kid. The books aren’t too childish so as to make me cringe. They’re simply imaginitive and entertaining. They allow for an escape from reality that most books don’t allow.

Not to say that I don’t enjoy other books. I just don’t get lost in them the way I have done with these books. I’m SO looking forward to the next one. And yes, I do realize I’m behind the times but I’m glad for it. I get to enjoy them without the hype.

PS If anyone has number five I’d be super happy to not have to buy it…

PPS Is anyone else ever really sad when they finish a really good book? Sometimes I just wish they wouldn’t end because I’m having so much fun reading them.

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