So What's the Problem?
I got a lot of good feedback about my rant on Chase and United. It just goes to show you that nothing is free and nothing is as it seems. I still haven't gotten my miles. What bastards!
This column is a bit long, but you guys should really read it. This is serious stuff, but in my tradition, you'll get a chuckle out of it and learn something simultaneously. Maybe you won't watch Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert's communist comedy hours anymore. This is my hope.
Anyway, onto more important things. We have an immensely important mid-term election coming up in November. Since I turned 18, I've voted 3 times. I signed the petition to recall Gray "Red" Davis, the guy who wanted to give illegal immigrants driver's licenses, and due to fiscal irresponsibility, ran the state into the ground. Then I subsequently voted for Arnold. I admit, not voting for Gary Coleman or the meat packer from Coalinga was tough, but I made the right decision in voting for the muscle-bound action film star from Austria with Nazi heritage.
The second time I voted was in the hotly-contested Presidential Race of 2004, in which Dubya showed how the country really felt about John Kerry's hot air campaign. Man, we had a great election party. We went through 3 kegs, and lasted until 4:45am waiting for it to become official. It felt sweet to get up for class the next day at 3:00pm and blaring "We Are the Champions" down the street in Athens. Alas, I digress.
This is the third time I voted (via absentee because I thought I'd be in Ireland, but I'm not because of those fuckers from Chase and United).
Contrary to the average, complacent American voter's views, this is a pivotal election. Maybe you're not electing the president, but you could be indirectly electing the third in command if, God forbid, something happens to Dubya and Tricky Dick, Jr.
For California voters, there are many important things to vote on. Technically, the gubenitorial race must be decided, but that Greek sleaze Angelides doesn't stand a chance against Arnold. It's pretty much over.
----A little sidebar, if I may---
What a brilliantly run campaign by Schwarzenegger and company. All he did was defy Bush regarding the National Guard on the border, make sure never to be in the same area code as the President, sign a couple of stem-cell bills, and be as non-confrontational as possible. Political lip-service to the left. That's all it took. He was such a model moderate, that all Angelides could do was yell and scream and stomp his wingtips about Iraq, which doesn't affect California as a state directly. Brilliantly run. But, back to the main point.
There are a few propositions to be voted on that are very important. I can't and won't go through each one, but I'll go through the ones that I feel strongly about.
Proposition 1A is a transportation measure. It prohibits the use of gas taxes for anything other than the construction and upkeep of our highways and infrastructure. This is a no-brainer yes vote.
Proposition 1B builds on Prop 1A. It establishes a 19.8 billion dollar bond to upgrade highways and alleviate the traffic congestion of our decrepit infrastructure. The fiscal impact will be a relatively heavy one, with the bond's principal and interest resulting in a 38 billion bill in ten years. This one is really necessary though.
I've been to a few states in my day. The only region of the country that I can say that I haven't been to is the Northwest and Northern Plains. What I can say is that CALIFORNIA HAS THE WORST FUCKING ROADS IN THIS ENTIRE COUNTRY.
I HAVE NEVER SEEN AS MANY POTHOLES ON INTERSTATES AND CRACKS ON MAIN THOROUGHFARES THAN IN THIS STATE. IT MAKES ME SICK, AND IT'S GOING TO SHORTEN THE LIVES OF ALL OF OUR CARS. It is truly pathetic, and it's an embarrassment.
YES ON 1A, YES ON 1B. I don't care what it costs.
Proposition 83 is another one that I feel very strongly about. It establishes harsher laws for pieces of human garbage, otherwise known as sex offenders and sexual predators. If the proposition passes, these degenerate scumbags will be required to wear GPS ankle bracelets for life, be forbidden to live within 2000 feet of parks and schools, and also opens the door for harsher prison sentences. It does fall short on direct language about the length of prison sentences though.
I my opinion, a first felony conviction should bring a sentence of no less than 25 years to life in State Prison where they will be raped by large black, Hispanic, and racist white men daily. The punishment should fit the crime.
We're not talking about Islamic "eye for an eye" law here, we're talking about severely punishing the worst criminal offenders. If you rape a woman, if you molest a child, if you distribute child pornography, you should be forced to spend at least a third of your worthless life in prison. Your victims are in prison for the rest of their lives as a result of being victimized. These events traumatize people and ruin them. People who take that from them by committing a sex crime should be punished as severely as the statute allows.
Proposition 83 is a start.
Prop 85 is also very important to me. I am not a parent. I will admit that. I have never had to deal with an unwanted pregnancy, I will admit that as well. However, just because I've never been there, doesn't mean that I don't know what's wrong and what's right. Prop 85 establishes laws that require minors who seek an abortion must notify a parent or guardian and receive consent. It also makes "physicians" who kill unborn children for a living, liable monetarily for violating the parental consent requirement and/or the 48 hour window that must be adhered to.
If my daughter was pregnant and seeking an abortion, I'd damn well want to know about it. Obviously I would forbid such immoral actions first and foremost, and secondly I would beat the living tar out of the little bastard who couldn't keep his pants on in the first place.
These reactions are fairly typical for most parents in this situation, which is why liberals think that minors should be able to just get these procedures done without parental consent and/or notification. It's a tough situation, but it's a no-brainer as well. That's a big yes on Prop 85 for me.
This next one is horrible. Unbelievable, I think. Prop 86 would raise taxes on cigarettes by $2.60 a pack! Is that ridiculous or what? Look, smoking is not good for you, we know this, but this proposition is bordering on criminal. Making a pack of smokes cost $7 dollars is heinous. People should be able to smoke if they want to. It's not illegal, but it shouldn't be made unaffordable instead. Next thing you know the state will force you to eat your broccoli!
I'm not a regular smoker, I buy them for road trips, camping trips, and once in a while when I'm drunk or stressed. I think this walks a fine line between an increase in tax revenue and a civil rights violation. We already can't smoke in the dirtiest of beer-soaked taverns and bowling alleys. In Santa Monica, you can't even smoke while walking down the street. This is absurd! If people want to smoke, they should be able to, without paying exorbitant fees.
The worst part about this proposition, is that this tax would first and foremost fund hospital emergency rooms. How is that bad you ask? Well I'll tell you. The reason that hospital emergency rooms are all in debt and need state assistance is because they are forced by law to treat everyone who walks through their doors even if they have no way to pay their bills. Do you see how this could cause a problem? Let's look at a scenario here:
A hospital in Salinas or East Los Angeles has an emergency room. Let's say they get one woman in per week who requires an emergency cesarean section, one stabbing victim, and 5 people per week who need stitches to seal up street gang-induced wounds. Well, let's also say that the C-section costs $1000.00, the stab wound vic costs $3,000.00 and the five gangbangers' head wounds cost $200.00 apiece to stitch up. Well that comes out to $5,000.00 per week. If each of these people don't speak English, are not here legally, and have no way of paying back these hospital bills, the hospital really has no recourse. Sure they'll send out collection agencies at their own expense, but how do you get any money out of people that you can't find? Simple. You can't. They don't have driver's licenses (thank God) and they're not in the system. So this hypothetical hospital in Salinas or East L.A. gets stuck with $5,000 a week, $20,000 a month, and $240,000 a year in uncollectable debt. The real numbers are probably at least 10 times that.
In turn, anyone who would like to buy cigarettes has to pay $7.00 a pack so that the State has a way to pay some of these hospitals' debts. That, my friends, is bullshit. The state should stitch up the bleeding wound on the border first and then they can talk to me about a cigarette tax.
Fuck proposition 86.
That brings us to Proposition 87. You've seen the commercials, you've heard the wacko Hollywood leftists. You've heard Al "I Invented the Internet, Global Warming" Gore, and you've also seen the ads against it. Well I hope that I can sort this out for you.
Obvioulsy, I am against proposition 87. This Proposition would establish a panel (a group of environmental nuts, scientists, talking heads backed by liberal lobbying groups and maybe one or two moderate individuals to round it out), that would research and attempt to come up with cheaper, cleaner energy solutions for California.
They would receive 4 billion dollars to spend as they please, and would attempt pass off those costs on companies like Chevron who extract and refine oil in California by taxing them for each barrel produced. Then they threw in a little clause that tries to prevent the oil companies from passing that tax on to consumers at the gas pump.
I'd like to see them try to strong-arm the oil companies and prevent them from somehow passing on the cost to consumers... Fat chance.
Regardless, the thing that really bugs me about Prop 87 is that there really, honest to God is no accountability or requirement of results. They could blow 3 billion on porno, spend the other billion on booze and blow, and try to come up with harebrained schemes involving used cooking oil and atomic particles in their spare time. The outcome would be considered acceptable. As long as they tried.
Well I am here to say, that that is not acceptable. In fact, that is unacceptable! Their intentions are good. Yes, we should cut down on fossil fuels and our carbon output, but this isn't going to solve shit! What do they hope to accomplish here? They're all going to put their heads together and make a hydrogen fuel cell car with zero emissions? Who are they to do such a thing? In addition, this deal is a little too "buddy-buddy" if you know what I mean. What's to stop this panel from investing a billion in some Silicon Valley company and them owning stock in it? The rats and liberal lobbying scum will fight tooth and nail to get their hands on that 4 billion.
In conclusion, Prop 87 is the wrong way to go about fixing pollution and foreign oil dependence. You can't strong-arm the oil companies into funding your little global warming club. The consumers will suffer. They're already suffering, and there's no way in hell that you can force Exxon Mobil, Chevron Texaco and the rest of them from passing on a bullshit tax to the working public. It's like tax laundering. You don't directly add a tax to California taxpayers' lists, but you tax producers of commodities that can always find a way to sneak it in at the pumps.
Other than propositions and initiatives, all Americans have a big choice to make this November. Many Congressional districts are up for grabs. Unfortunately, people are taking out their frustrations with the Iraq mess on their Congressmen and women. I agree that Congressmen and women must be held to account for problems in the government, but this is not the way to go.
Let's pretend Iraq doesn't exist for a minute. If you were to tell me that the Dow Jones is at an all-time high, the economy is strong, more people own their homes than ever before, that gas is just over $2.00 a gallon, and we haven't sustained a terrorist attack on our soil since 9/11, I'd think whoever is in the government is doing a good job.
Unfortunately, we live in an instant gratification society. I'm guilty of it too. When the new Dierks Bentley song comes out on the radio, and the CD isn't out yet, I just download it from iTunes in a matter of seconds.
But we're talking about our country's future here. Our way of life is at stake. The country is not an iPod. You can't just delete and download new politicians and new parties on a whim because you already listened to them once or twice. There are serious consequences. You really have to look deep down into the issues, and weigh out the pros and cons when voting.
Incumbent Republicans all over the country are in danger of losing their districts to Secular Progressives masquerading as Democrats. Michael J. Fox didn't take his Parkinson's meds and flopped around like a beached halibut during a TV spot endorsing a liberal in Missouri, and on top of it, it played during the World Series! The House is truly up for grabs, and if the Democrats take it, there will be hell to pay.
If the Dems take the House, that means we'll have a new Speaker of the House; Nancy Pelosi. This is not something that should happen. She stands firmly against everything traditional in this country, and she'd turn us into France if she could.
It's not so much her as an individual that I hate and despise, it's their movement. Bill O'Reilly has dubbed these people Secular Progressives and I can think of no term that describes them better. Their whole basis is change. Everything that is and was must be changed. They stand for the following things without wavering, and this is not an exaggeration:
1) Immediate withdrawal from Iraq, stability or no stability
2) No restrictions on abortions
3) Open border with Mexico
4) Amnesty for all illegals currently in this country
5) Geneva conventions, American Civil Rights, civilian courts, and no coercive interrogation policies for suspected Islamic terrorists
6) The complete abolition of any aspect of religion in public
7) The removal of the words "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and the words "In God we trust" on our currency
8) Increased government spending on social programs for lazy people who refuse to get a job and/or learn how to speak English
9) Lenient sentencing on sex offenders
10) Legalized gay marriage, and marital rights to non-traditional households
11) Some (not all) of these people would also like to legalize drugs and narcotics, just like the Netherlands
I'm not joking about any of this. And yes, it is absurd.
THIS IS WHAT WE'RE DEALING WITH! THESE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT NANCY PELOSI REPRESENT.
These are the so-called "San Francisco Values" that we must keep from taking hold in our great country.
Yes, we've made mistakes. Iraq is currently a mess, but our intentions were good. That doesn't make the result acceptable, but would we really be better off with people in office who believe in the eleven things that I listed above?
You need to think good and hard about that. I wish I was exaggerating, but I'm not. The political divide between Right and Left (or Right and Wrong) is larger than ever before. Just look what happend to Senator Joe Liebermann in Connecticut. As a moderate Democrat, he supported Iraq, and as a Jewish man, he stuck up for our unwavering support for Israel. His party abandoned him for a Left-wing anti-war loon, and have all but tar and feathered him in downtown Hartford. That's today's Democratic Party. The Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean, Phil Angelides, Ted Kennedy, ACLU Party.
That's one party I'd never attend; and neither should you.