Monday, November 3, 2008

Election 2008 and dit-dit-dit

I always have good conversation with my friends George and Monica, as we did yesterday at brunch in Berkeley. It is George's opinion that the difference between Republican supporters and those that are not is the difference between a "dit-dit-dit" person and a person who understands nuances. To keep this short, my take on the dit-dit-dit person is that they are more likely to follow, and then parrot word for word, Republican talking points rather than critically analyze what they are hearing and decide whether it's bullshit or not. Take the idea that Obama is a socialist. In my opinion anyone who actually listens to Obama and knows the institutions and programs of our government will identify that as bullshit. Joe the Plumber, for example, rejects Social Security; saying it is forced retirement planning, blah, blah, blah, all the typical Republican talking points. But, I'll bet my social security check that he will have to depend on social security when he retires and he will be very thankful for it; mostly because he's too stupid to intelligently invest in his own retirement plan. But, for now, he's been sold on the bullshit and he is incapable of thinking beyond that. His mind is made up. He is a dit-dit-dit. The fact is that our government programs, in a Democratic Republic, is a mix of socialist and libertarian programs. The nuance is on what is good for the public and what is not; or at least that balance is what we should attempt to achieve. The dit-dit-dit person doesn't get that and the result is that they vote against their own interests.

I consider myself a nuance person, but that presents problems too since, given a deadline, I'm sometimes incapable of making up my mind. On this 3rd day of November 2008, one day before election day, I am still unclear about most of the local political candidates and the propositions we are voting for, even though I've already sent my absentee ballot. And, I tried to do my research. For example, I have no good knowledge about those running for the Castro Valley Unified School District Governing Board. Are they religious nuts who will try to have our schools teach creationism, or will they do a good job of getting good books to teach. I have no clue, so I sent a guess. And, my knowledge of the propositions is just as bad. Proposition 1A, for example, proposes a fast rail system to Los Angeles; is that a boondoggle, or will it really benefit the state and passengers? I don't know. I voted against it because I heard or read that it was a corporate boondoggle but I don't really know whether that's bullshit or not. I'll bet that as many as 99% of Alameda County's citizens are just as dumb about most of the ballot as I am. If true, then the dit-dit-dit person will prevail with the natural jump to the conclusion that the fast rail system will be good for California. Who doesn't want a glamorous bullet train? My questions are: 1) How in hell is a state in debt going to pay off $19.4 billion without raising taxes? 2) What's wrong with taking a plane? and 3) What is going to be the court costs associated with getting easements, environmental impact allowances and dislocation of property owners to get the damn thing built? In my opinion those are the nuances that most people won't think about. It will cost more than $19 billion. If the new bay bridge cost over $5.487 billion to cover a distance of 1.2 miles from Oakland to San Francisco, how much will a new rail system cost per mile to Los Angeles? Too much in my nuanced mind. Take a plane my rail-riding friends or, better yet, tele-commute.

What I dislike about propositions on the ballot is that most are funded by out-of-state sponsors, voters don't know diddly squat about them and, equally important, they take our legislators off the hook for doing their job; i.e., passing legislation that is good for California. The average citizen knows nothing of the real impact of these propositions on their lives. If a project or program is good for California, why don't our legislators write it up and then figure out how to pay for it in an affordable way that is good for the public?

Proposition 8 is a biggie this year. It will change California's Constitution to outlaw gay marriage. Do you notice my nuance on the constitution rather than on gay marriage? I particularly like the fact that Diane Feinstein is against prop 8. I do not believe that she particularly agrees with the gay lifestyle, but she is opposed to a constitutional amendment. Me too. The lifestyle a person chooses, as long as it doesn't interfere with my choice and doesn't break the law, is none of my business. There is no evidence that a gay marriage has ever caused a straight marriage to self-destruct; that is always decided by the two directly involved in the marriage. There is no evidence that a gay lifestyle leads any straight person into the same lifestyle. Plus, I can say with absolute surety that no gay marriage has ever affected or interfered with my choices.

To add another nuance, it could be that the gay lifestyle is our fault anyway and we may prove it through science someday. Take, for example, the question of what is it that makes a person of the same sex attractive; the trans-gender question which usually ends up as a gay lifestyle. I, being a male, find women attractive and it is known in science that attraction between two people is a chemical reaction. So, in that regard, my little chemical engine is firing on all eight. I read an article several months ago in Newsweek about a scientific study of the testosterone and hormone imbalance that occurs in new born babies in the womb and even after birth in spite of the formation, or lack of, the specific appendage that determines sex. The article said that, while the body parts have been formed, the chemical balance is in complete indecision and each chemical, the testosterone and hormone, is rushing to be dominant. In other words the sex of a person is not final until the chemical war is won. It is the chemical balance or imbalance during those first seconds, minutes, hours and days of life that also decides how many arms, legs and heads we, and every form of life on earth, have. It is a known fact that pesticides and other chemicals we spew into our environment affect all manner of life on this planet; take the many legged frogs that we find. Do we, in our arrogance, believe that human life is not affected too? If so, then you are worse than dit-dit-dit. You are a fool.

It is known that prop 8 is supported mostly from out-of-state money; the James Dobsons in our country and organizations such as Focus on the Family, the bible-thumpers. I guess I'm a dual thinker depending on the subject. I'm a dit-dit-dit on the constitution, especially the one that affects me the most, and a nuancer on myth that bible-thumpers want me to believe about lifestyles. It's not the bible that I reject; it's the thumpers, especially those thumpers from out-of-state. How dare James Dobson and Focus on the Family, located in Colorado, collect millions to inject into California politics to change our constitution. It is they who are limiting my right to choose.

I found reason to vote for only three propositions; the farm animals (for healthier food), the children's hospital upgrades and the veterans housing. The first two saves lives and the vets pay for the last. All of the others were deceptive con jobs for the dit-dit-dits in my opinion.

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