Tuesday, November 2, 2010

One Final Idea

Even though the election is over and the votes have been tallied. There is one final issue that truly supports all of the third parties, and I hope all of the United States.
Earlier this year, I heard about possible legislation that was designed to end all political parties and instead make elections based upon the candidates positions in which the best are elected into office. I agree strongly with this position because it allows the people's voices to truly be heard, and it makes at least one label disappear off of political elections. Maybe now people won't vote solely off of party lines, and instead vote on what they feel is the reasonable solution. With such an election there would be no third parties, so everyone can have a legitimate change of having their candidate voted into office. In office, there would not be divides to support parties, and no "mavericks" because they decided to go against their party. Instead, issues would most likely be solved by moderate groups, legitimate compromises have a higher probability of occurring, and debates before the election would talk more about the issues and less "I'm a democrat/republican, so vote for me!" Support for this movement goes all the way back to George Washington's presidency, during which he implored the country to not become divided into political parties.
Without political parties the nation can return to a place where everyone's voice can truly be heard and represented by those in office, and we can end this cycle of neither party being successful in office. In case anyone hasn't noticed, being too extreme on ideals only makes the situation worse, and compromise and moderation are at the basis of democracy. We need to end the idea that the only two positions are big government and small government, and social control or freedoms, and instead find the happy medium that gives the best rights to all of the people to ensure our ever famous ideal of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It's the Thought That Counts

Although the Green Party lost this election by a quite a few votes, I have no regrets in choosing to be so responsible and respectful of this earth. As it had been said in class, independent parties are in the race not to win elections, but to evoke thought about the way the big boy Democrats and Republicans do things. We're here to say that we are tired of the way politics is being handled by both the right and the left. We're tired of the old way of thinking and the old way of doing things.

Our world is in a place it has never been before. Turbulent change is happening every day in every aspect of life. Politics is becoming a muddled down, corrupt entity where money rules all. Social ideas are expanding rapidly, with new thoughts and open beliefs about the way people live their lives. Society is experiencing a shift in power from the old to the new. Our parents' and elders' ideas are slowly fading away while a new generation takes center stage in a time when synergy and constructive thought is the key to the future of the world.

In short, the world desires a new type of leadership. A goodbye from the heirarchy we see in our current politics and a hello to the acceptance of ideas and thoughts where everyone and everything gets a chance to be heard, including our mother earth. The next generation leaders will not be great speakers but great listeners. They will not have simple plans to fix things but will have open ears, eyes, and hearts to the arguments of every side of the spectrum and come up with compromises on how to most effectively solve problems. Last and most importantly, the idea of wealth will no longer be grand estates, corporate jobs, and nice cars. Wealth will be the ability to breath the air, to go outside and to use our noses to smell the fresh air which will be so rare and so close to extinction. The best riches in the world will be those that are green.

If we do not work together to change our ways, humanity will eventually collapse. The Green Party is only trying to espress this urgent message.

Congratulations to Jerry Brown for winning the gubernatorial seat. I applaud his policies on green technology and innovation and social acceptance. I wish him the best of luck in office and hope that he carries out his duty with more politics on his mind. I hope he listened to the Green Party's message and realizes how important it truly is.
If he did, we did our job as a party.
If he didn't, we might just have to wait until the next election to try to wake up the people of the earth.

This is Cody Schaaf saying goodbye for the Green Party.

It's a good day to be a Democrat

In a very close race today, Jerry Brown was elected governor of the state of California, and Barbara Boxer kept her seat as senator of California. Republican candidates Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina just trailed them, and from the third party gubernatorial candidates, Libertarian Dale Ogden took the largest chunk, coming right behind Ms. Whitman, while Laura Wells and Chuck DeVore came in third and fourth respectively.

Out of all the candidates who ran this year, it was very obvious to me that the two candidates with a clear plan for California's future are Mr. Jerry Brown and Ms. Barbara Boxer. So, naturally, I was very pleased to hear the election results.

Regarding the propositions, Prop 20, the redrawing of congressional district boundaries, was passed, and Proposition 27 failed. Proposition 23, suspending the Global Warming Act of 2006, also failed, much to the delight of the Green Party. Proposition 19 legalizing marijuana passed as well, so now if you'd like, you can celebrate another great day in California by smoking some pot, and the cops won't come after you.

Fate seemed to be smiling on the Democratic Party today, as everything pretty much leaned in our favor. Congratulations to Governor Brown and Senator Boxer, and I anticipate good days in California up ahead under Democratic administration.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Doing the Little Things

We all know that the Green Party is pro-Environment, but most people then label them as tree-huggers or extremists and discount them for having crazy ideas. However, the reason why the green party tries to stay so grass-roots in their campaigning is not because the style sounds greener, but its because we truly believe that every individual doing something small can create a huge difference, and each individual should be listened to for any good ideas. That being said, it is not a requirement of the party to believe that Global Warming is real, but rather our goal is to have everyone take notice that humans are effecting the environment in some way. Regardless of your belief about climate change, there must be some spark of recognition that we are negatively effecting the environment. We only want every person to do small things that help out. This is why we cannot pass Proposition 23. Those for passing Prop 23 consider progress as regressing back into the industrial revolution and the sight of smokestacks spewing black gas into the air is a sign of progress. However, this means that they feel that making our country more like China, where the air is so poor quality and thick that you could almost cut it with a knife, is the best symbol for progress even though our nation has already been through this part of our economic growth. Thus, the best showing of progress is technological progression, and technological progression means better efficiency, which means better environmental protection. Thus, maintaining environmental protection and furthering technology in any industry that we can, instead of maintaining not just the status quo, but a reactionary position, is truly the best position for our economy. This will prove we are still the forward moving nation we always have been and California will lead this forward movement as the best state in the greatest nation. We need to focus on forward progression, and this progression needs to come in the form of helping the environment and making the world a better place to live for all living things.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Money Money Money

With today’s pessimistic views of the government, people have been ranting about voting for the “lesser of two evils” in this election. It’s deafening listening to all these people droning on and begging for a “none of the above” option on the ballot because neither Jerry Brown nor Meg Whitman could possibly solve our problems, right? Wrong. In preparation for the big election next week, the Democrat and Republican parties held conventions to parade their candidates in front of enthusiastic supporters. The parties reiterated the beliefs and policies that they wish to bring to Sacramento. And after listening to the Gubernatorial candidates from both parties, I can honestly say that I am giving this one to the republicans. Meg Whitman is not just the lesser of two evils – her plans actually make sense and just may be successful enough to revitalize California’s economy and make it a thriving state once more.
Now the most important issue during this election centers around the future of the economy. After all, everything comes down to money. All of the restrictions and regulations placed on businesses are choking the life out of the economy. Why do businesses stay in California when there are places that have a more favorable business climate? The answer is that they don’t. The businesses are running out of California to places where they can actually make a profit. The solution to this problem would be to make it so the businesses DON’T want to leave California. Whitman advocates for more tax cuts and less regulations on business. The small business start up tax prevents the growth of new businesses and the factory tax is preventing manufacturing jobs from being created in California. I could not have put it better than when Ms. Whitman said, “Excessive taxation starves the economy.” Cutting these taxes can create jobs and grow businesses; this is the double whammy of reforms that can get California back on track. It is a lot more effective for the government to help businesses create jobs than to create jobs from thin air. Installing a high-speed rail way would be mighty convenient, but those employees still have to get paid, and it is not the taxpayers’ job to provide the money when these funds could be better used else where. We should let the businesses that can afford to pay more salaries create the jobs, so the government has more money for other services that will benefit all of the taxpayers.
Remaining stagnant in the ever-changing world is proving to be disastrous for every aspect of the government. We need to change California for the better and making targeted tax cuts will foster job growth and can spark the change that we need. The conservative side of this issue has it right. We should be pleasing the businesses because it might be a hard pill to swallow, but the fact is that our economy depends on them and we would do well to not drive them away or smother them with regulations.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Realistic Take on the Issues

The Tea Party has something to say. This past week has seen a lot of action on the political spectrum and it's about time someone offered a realistic, approachable stance on things. The Tea Party is often accused as being outlandish and too right wing, only focusing on taxes and a dislike for Obama, but as Senator Campbell stated today, the Tea Party is really just a "grassroots" party. We represent a large faction of Americans and it's about time someone listened to us.
Starting at the earliest event, it's important to look at the Governor debates. One of the first topics discussed that peaked the Tea Party's interest was the idea of solving the very apparent unemployment crisis in California. It's a nice notion to talk about starting renewable energy and finding alternative sources of energy to supply our need for jobs, but its not realistic. If we want to solve the job crisis before things get rapidly worse, we need to do what's right, such as lowering the taxes that are crippling businesses. In alleviating these heavy taxes, a burden will be lifted from businesses and the atmosphere for creating jobs can only increase. Another topic the Tea Party is in strong opposition to is Prop 19. These liberal, left wing ideas proposed by the Democrats, Green party, and Libertarians are a strong proponent for a lack of care for the people of California. How could anyone ever elect a governor that supports the use of recreational drugs that ruin lives and minds? How is it in any way just to think that, "Well, since things like alcohol and tobacco are legal, why not legalize another abusive substance?" It may be popular and trendy to the youth and many others in California to legalize marijuana, but that doesn't make it right. The tea party doesn't want to get votes if it means de-moralizing Californians. As well, prop 23 was a hot-button issue. Governor Ogden stated that we "can't sacrifice our environment for our own well being." Again, it may be a real noble idea to Libertarians in thinking we can save our environment and let our people suffer in unemployment, but the Tea Party cares about the people first. We've made our problems, now we have to face them, not focus on "hip" and popular issues. The short term needs to be fixed before we can even begin to answer long term issues. There will be no one to care for the environment if there are no people supported by a strong Californian economy. The next topic is abortion. In reality, allowing abortions as long as America has been is truly an act of out right genocide. With 50 million infants dead since Roe v. Wade, there is no denying the immorality of pro-choice advocates. The Tea Party does recognize a woman's right to her own body, but the Tea Party does not advocate murder. If a woman has found herself in a situation she thinks she can't handle, killing a child is not a viable answer to getting rid of the problem. To go on briefly to the next two topics, immigration and same-sex marriage, the Tea Party is more liberal than perceived. We are for same-sex marriage, as well as legal immigration. It seems almost immature of Republicans to feel it necessary that two homosexuals in love can't be "married", but must have a "civil union". To demean these two people in love by giving them all the same rights as married people, but giving no justifiable reason as to why they can't hold the same title is just ignorant and upholding traditions for the sake of keeping these traditions. Considering the rates of divorce and cheating, even of public officials, it seems heterosexuals have already ruined the sanctity of marriage.
The next major event was the Senatorial debates. Even though the Tea Party feels somewhat disillusion by both the Democratic and Republican issues, there were certain topics that were of interest. One major issue is tax cuts. It seemed that both Boxer and Fiorina didn't give solid answers to this. Luckily, Fiorina mentioned eliminating capital and death taxes. Boxer, on the other hand was more quick to mention the idea of only giving tax cuts to small businesses. The Tea Party is in strong favor of tax cuts across the board. As the Republican candidate stated, you can't give privileges to some and not others. There is a bias that's rising against the rich and big businesses, and the Tea Party doesn't like it. We rely on these companies for a strong job atmosphere and economic stability. Therefore, all businesses need to see tax cuts. Again, the topic of same-sex marriage was brought up. In this case, Fiorina made the point that sexual orientation is completely different from race or ethnicity. It may seem this way on the outside, but in reality its not the case. The Tea Party believes that America is continuously faced with greater challenges of tolerance. When African Americans were segregated and abused by white Americans, people had to learn to overcome hundreds of years of seeing people based on color. Today, many Americans have overcome issues with race relations, but now must look at people on a deeper level. The psychological aspect of someones sexual orientation is much more difficult for people to understand. To this sentiment, it will only be a matter of time before people realize the equality homosexuals deserve, just as the majority of Americans realized the equality African Americans deserved. The final issue of the debates that the Tea Party would like to comment on is the war on terror. Boxer referred to America as a "crutch" for Iraq, and we should let them learn to stand on their own. It is a good idea to allow Iraq to stand on their own, but only once they are ready to do so. Iraq still needs considerable aid and it would be destructive to the people of Iraq if we suddenly diminished our presence there. We're at a point where we have made our bed, and now we have to lie in it. It may not be ideal, or the prettiest solution, but it is the only realistic option at this stage.
Overall, the Tea Party has a wide range of views beyond just strict tax cuts. That may be our basis, but that is because the other pressing issues can only be confronted if we have a strong economic system to rely on. Once California businesses can prosper, then people can become employed again, and the culture prosperity of our state can grow, such as allowing same-sex marriage and keeping marijuana the illegal substance it is.


From the minute congressman John Campbell started speaking yesterday, I knew he was one of the most sensible and well-rounded republicans I've ever come across. He had original, fresh ideas which, despite being somewhat conservative, were practical and rational. His thoughts on withdrawal from Afghanistan due to costly and uneffective practices, the social security/ medicare payment issues, and the healthy partisan competition in congress were all intriguing and interesting, something you don't usually see in the republican party. However, I do belive his excellent speaking skills made his ideas sound good any way he put them. If the Dwayne Roberts could talk like Mr. Campbell, the world wouldn't have a problem with global warming. All jokes aside, though, I did find one thing Mr. Campbell did not impress me with. And, to be honest, that one thing in the reason why I strongly disagree with the right side and with politics in general.

Money. It makes the world go around, right? It's what we strive for most and what makes us (most of us) happy. Politics, then, i guess, is about making the most money for the richest, most powerful nation on this planet. All this talk about deregulation of business and lifting taxes and decreasing spending is all a ploy to get the rich richer and to keep the "American Dream" alive and well. Accordingly, every issue Mr. Campbell spoke about was rooted in how we could profit from it or how we could save money.

Now, I'm not saying money isn't important. It indeed is and is a necessary evil in this world. But, money isn't everything, no matter what the republicans say. Doesn't the place we live add up to something? Isn't the way we treat others something as important as profits and capitalism? Is being the richest nation on earth a symbol of status, or a symbol of greed?

I want to see politics start working for the people again; not for the people's money. America is lost in a capitalistic fever where life is a never-ending race to an unreachable finish line of perfects. We want the perfect business environments, the perfect unemployment rates, the perfect jobs, the perfect paychecks and the perfect way to spend our hard earned cash. The sad reality is that nothing in this life is perfect. Let's embrace it instead of killing our earth, it's people, and it's soul in the race to be the best. Let's return to simpler ways and use the earth we were given in the way it was intended to be used. Go green if you want humanity to realize what's really important in this life.

Confused, Outrageous, and Deceptive

The October 20, 2010 debate gave the people of California a look at the potential governors in this election. And what an interesting look it was. One must question whether most of our potential governors even know their own positions on issues that are considered crises in California; if they don’t know their issues, how are they supposed to solve them?
Let’s begin with our wish-washy Libertarian, Mr. Ogden. His policies seemed to be logical, generally following the typical Libertarian stance on things. Less government regulation of business, giving people the choice to put whatever they want into their bodies, freedom of choice in regards to abortion, and the like. However, some interesting points came up when Mr. Ogden was discussing Proposition 23. He initially took a stance in favor of the proposition, stating that green restrictions are really restricting commerce and business and that we must focus on the economic challenges that face California. Why then, Mr. Ogden, did you end with the puzzling statement, “We cannot sacrifice our environment for the sake of our own well being.”? What is it that you support? Are we to believe that you are against Proposition 23, that the environment comes first? Mr. Ogden cannot seem to make up his mind.
And what could be worse than the egregious double-speak of Mr. Ogden? Nothing less than outrageous comments put out by the Green candidate, a Ms. Laura Wells. The recent jailbird made a very interesting statement regarding Proposition 19 and marijuana: “Marijuana can only help us.” Hmmm, let’s examine the effects of the so called harmless drug. “The marijuana available today is much more potent than that of the past…we’ve seen an upswing in the number of emergency room admissions related to marijuana use,” says Cynthia J. Mears, D.O., a specialist at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. In addition, marijuana use can affect learning abilities by impairing the hippocampus, the brain’s memory center, according to Nora Volkow, M.D., director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Marijuana also has psychiatric effects, including amotivational syndrome, which basically results in an extreme loss of interest in activities, creating what is commonly known as “burn-outs.” Furthermore, marijuana is an addictive drug. Repetitive use of marijuana inhibits the brain’s production of endogenous cannabinoids, naturally occurring chemicals that help the body deal with stress. When one is not under the influence of marijuana, and is no longer able to produce endogenous cannabinoids, they are much more susceptible to stress, and therefore likely to smoke more, creating a never-ending cycle of abuse. So, it seems that Ms. Wells believes that damaging the brain, creating a workforce of burnouts at a time when our state needs innovative thinking, and facilitating the formation of addictions will help California. I believe that she needs to rethink.
But Ms. Wells does not stop at marijuana, oh no, the outrageous comments only continue. The ever shocking Ms. Wells backs a platform that supports same-sex marriage, and that’s all fine and dandy. However, while elaborating on her views, Ms. Wells let slip a more radical initiative: “People can do whatever they want.” Really Ms. Wells, whatever they want? So, people should be allowed to commit mass murders, to involve themselves in hate crimes, even to damage the environment if they so wish? What it appears is that our radical Green Party candidate is really not in favor of anything about the Californian government, but rather an anarchist that wants to eliminate all order. Is this the woman California wants to elect? One who will destroy all hopes of ever recovering our state? I think not.
Of course, we cannot forget our dear Democrat, Mr. Jerry Brown, up for another reign in Sacramento. Mr. Brown repeatedly stated in the debate how firm he was going to be in regards to the economy of California, just like he was in his first try as governor. He knows how to handle a budget, and he won’t let any politicians get their way around his regulations. However, considering Mr. Brown’s record, what is his true motivation for keeping a tight fist clenched around the government’s wallet? Could it possibly be that he wants all the money for himself? History seems to imply that it is. When he was governor, he may have gotten a budget in, but he also managed to increase spending in Sacramento by 120%. Additionally, he gave his staff an 8% pay raise as well as letting the Legislature increase its own pay by 10%. And Californians think that somehow Mr. Brown has changed his ways. Let me tell you, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Dear old Mr. Brown is the same as always; as Attorney General, he recklessly spent $230,000 of taxpayer money to redecorate his office. According to Mr. Brown, a fancy new desk lamp is worth stealing from public education.
How can Californians trust these left-wing candidates? The answer is, they can’t.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Not So Crazy After All

The green party: the extreme liberal hippies who only care about smoking pot and holding hands in an impractically idealistic society. Or so you thought.

Dwayne Roberts, green party candidate for U.S. Senate, spoke today on the issues he was running on and the general sentiment of the green party on the current political situation. Although, at first, you may have thought he was underdressed, in my opinion, he redeemed himself quite well with the poignant points he made concerning the federal issues rocking our nation.

Robert made it clear that he was about getting to the core of the issues, not finding ways to get around them. This was especially prevalent in his argument for the legalization of marijuana, as he described how the drug war could be stopped once and for all and how the high tax revenue could help us get out of our massive debts. He also pointed out that industrial hemp can be used to stimulate hundreds of other industries in our nation and made it clear that racism and class barriers are at the root of the marijuana issue.

Along with pot, he expressed his hopes for a universal medicare system similar to that of Britain’s, immediate withdrawal of troops, and the halt of using nuclear energy to power America. In all, his arguments made sense and were quite rational. I especially enjoyed his description of why the U.S. has troops in the middle east: for oil and power. He made it clear that no matter what the big parties say, they are puppets of big business interests and are virtually the same. It's time that we start considering third parties and the significant issues they often bring up, as he also mentioned.

The green party, although small, has a serious and practical method to saving this nation from the people that control it and us. It's time we consider what makes sense and what helps our nation to respect the planet and other people's rights. Take the green party seriously and remember that, unlike the Democrats and the Republicans, we care about you, this country, and this earth.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

This week we all had the privilege of seeing libertarian chairman of Orange County Bob Booth speak for us and help elucidate various party platforms and its position on the political spectrum. We are all thankful for his visit, and he answered all of our questions honestly and both to his party and his personal beliefs. He demonstrated the interesting libertarian view of a political diamond, showing that liberals and conservatives merely are a different areas of more government participation. Overall, all of his views provided interesting insight into a party that in not well known, and probably misunderstood.
Furthermore, his foreign policy proved to be very agreeable. He proposed an interesting view that "when goods cross borders, troops don't", so he was in favor of maintaining peace and pushing trade with all nations as a way to keep all economies healthy. However, he wanted to eliminate tariffs as well to bolster trade, and he wanted to both decimate the taxes to start a new business and the taxes collected from trade. Thus, this portion of his economic plan seemed slightly idealistic because even if he planned on severely lowering the size of government, taxes will be so limited that even the limited government will receive too little funding so they can protect the people from force and fraud, as is their government plan. This plan would destroy local businesses because people overseas usually produce things much more cheaply. Also, to cut costs, companies here will use as many techniques as possible to create their products as cheaply as possible regardless of the environment because there will be no regulations. This position seems too harmful to both the United States and the world to be supported wholeheartedly.
Both his immigration and drug policies seemed to be idealistic, but potentially remarkable. Immigration was more realistic, and he expressed his feeling that lowering the limitation and obstacles to get inside of the country was necessary so not as many people would enter illegally. This position is very agreeable. However, his drug policy seemed brilliant but impossible to effectively implement. He planned on privatizing drug manufacturing so Mexican drug lords and sellers within the U.S. would not have anybody to sell to. However, these drugs would need extensive testing for their safety, and they would be relatively weak for the addicted users. Thus, they would go back to the dangerous counterparts, so such a plan is not likely to work. It sounds fantastic, and I would support it because it seems like a much safer alternative to all other options, but it seems to lack any realism behind it.
Finally, my absolute biggest complaint against the libertarian view was when Mr. Booth claimed that private industries are better to the environment than the government. This is preposterous because national parks are evidence of the government's effectiveness, and factories billowing smoke into the air show industry's effects. If environment protection became an absolutely private industry, then the biggest profit making industries will take over and horrendously destroy what we have left of the Earth.
Overall, Mr. Booth was an interesting speaker for an interesting party that has as many valid points as it does disagreeable and idealistic plans. If the Libertarian party showed more empathy for the environment and demonstrated a will to compromise on some issues so they don't appear too idealistic, then they would seem to be a very agreeable party and one that could become a true contender in future elections.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Boxer K.O.'s Fiorina

Today was the much anticipated senatorial debate between incumbent Barbara Boxer and Republican challenger Carly Fiorina. Unlike the mild-mannered gubernatorial debates of two days ago, the heat turned up between both of these candidates as they discussed hot topics both at home and abroad.

Right from the get go, Boxer and Fiorina butted heads in disagreement about the economy. They first discussed the necessity of the nearly $800 million stimulus package passed last year and were posed the question if they would support the passage of a second stimulus plan. Senator Boxer viewed the first one as extremely beneficial and asserted that it stopped our economic decline. She supports a second stimulus to help boost our economy and also emphasized that she wishes to create more jobs to stabilize our economy for the long run. Fiorina stated that the first stimulus was "somewhat necessary" and that "a second one is pushing it", reasoning that doing so is "giving welfare to business". She highlighted the need for tax cuts, especially elimination of the death tax. I disagree with the estate tax as well, but the way Ms. Fiorina harped on and on about it was a tad unnecessary in my opinion. What's really important right now is the creation of jobs, just as Ms. Boxer repeated time and time again in her speeches.

Boxer pointed out that Fiorina cut thousands upon thousands of jobs and shipped them overseas as CEO of HP, which I still find absolutely detestable, coupled with the fact that she tripled her own salary as Californians were losing jobs. Fiorina rebutted by bringing up the 1992 House banking scandal, which, of course, is an event that our young high school audience could most definitely relate to. After Rubbergate, as it was called, Senator Boxer did admit that she didn't pay enough attention to her House bank account, which I am not saying is excusable, but it is still admirable of her to admit her mistake, considering the politicians that have tried to worm their way out of scandals. From acquaintances I have that worked at HP, I have been told that when Fiorina was fired in 2005, employees literally danced in the aisles and sang, "Ding dong, the witch is dead!"

Regarding the Bush tax cuts, Boxer said that they were "unfairly given out" and that tax cuts should not be given to the well off, but to those that actually need them. Fiorina argued that small businesses are benefited by tax cuts and that her main concern was creating a safe economic environment for America again, with less regulations. The U.S. deficit is only growing larger and larger, even as you read these words. This frightening debt clock is very eye-opening and more than enough to spur anyone to action. Barbara Boxer was very honest and recognized that it is not the most pleasant state to be in, but it is a "necessary evil". She explained that "things must be spent in order to be gained", which is so true. We can't expect to just magically fix all our problems without sacrificing something. She did acknowledge that it was going to be a "slow and painful" process but reassured doubters that "the plans we make today will benefit us in the future".

It was in Fiorina's rebuttal where she made a sharp jab at Boxer (as well as the Democratic Party as a whole) that she disregarded the question at hand and simply stated that the process has been slow and painful because Boxer is in office. She referred to the Democrat Party's slogan, "Change that matters", and asked "what does it matter" if there is no change happening, accusing Boxer of neither fighting for California nor change. I personally disliked Ms. Fiorina's rebuttal, as it had no substance behind it and was nothing more than groundless words with no examples to support her. It also showed her knowledge of her opponent when she mentioned that Boxer has been in office for eight long years, when in fact the senator has been in office for twenty-eight. Ms. Boxer took the blow quite elegantly, firing back that she had not been elected off a whim, and unlike Fiorina, she was not shipping off jobs and livelihoods to other places. Barbara Boxer is actually working to create jobs at home to help us get back on the right track.

After an extensive discussion on the American economy, the questions moved on to same-sex marriage. Fiorina opened the topic by affirming that she personally believes that that marriage is between a man and a woman and that she believes in civil unions with "equal rights", assuring us that they will not "discriminate", when in actuality the fact that she supports giving the union between two males or two females a entirely different name when they are just in love as any heterosexual couple is absolutely ridiculous and completely unequal and discriminatory. Boxer came back with a strong rebuttal to Fiorina's remark that marriage is "commonly known as" a union between a male and female by turning the idea on its head and asking "should we keep it the same" and keep the status quo? In the past, women were massively inferior to men, and blacks were slaves, but we still do not keep up with this tradition today. She ended her rebuttal with oft quoted phrase from the Declaration of Independence that "all men are created equal", firmly stating that all Americans, regardless of orientation should be treated "equal, fair, and the same", which I wholeheartedly agree with. Fiorina feebly struck back, once again reassuring the audience that a civil union is "similar" with the "same rights", remarking that it isn't "much more different".

Ms. Fiorina, let me just say that there are over 1,000 different benefits that the United States provides for couples in heterosexual marriages that you take for granted and are not necessarily ensured in civil unions. Some of these include domestic violence protection, sick leave to take care of your partner, assumption of your spouse's pension, veterans' discounts, social security survivor benefits, insurance breaks, and tax breaks.

This is my personal stance on gay marriage. As Senator Boxer said, all men and women are created equal, under the Declaration of Independence. Regardless of whether you are homosexual, bisexual, or any other orientation, you are still a person and thus you deserve the same rights as a heterosexual. Homosexuals are not a different species of animal or something; they're people, too. If we're all the same on the inside, shouldn't we all have the same rights as well? I personally define marriage as a union between two people, contractual and under the law. Does love change just because two people are the same gender and want to be together?

Boxer ended the discussion by commenting that Fiorina's stance reminded her of the days of Plessy v. Ferguson, when segregation was legal as long as facilities were "separate but equal". She pointed out that civil unions and marriages were two different things that were most definitely not the same. Separating how homosexuals may marry in an entirely different process but claiming that it is equal to a heterosexual marriage is just wrong and discriminatory. She finished strong and asserted that if we're all equal regardless of who we love, "call it a marriage", which prompted fervent applause from the audience.

From there, we moved on to the topic of immigration. Boxer started off with the fact that the United States is a country of immigrants and that "no one can say they're strictly American" (except for Native Americans). This belief has held true ever since the early days of our founding fathers, as immigrants are an important contribution to our society. She also raised the point that the money that it costs to deport immigrants is more than the funds necessary to keep them here. Fiorina stated that our "trust in government" has been "eroded" by current policy, as immigrants are taking jobs and not paying taxes. She acknowledged that workers do contribute to the economy but that more technology should be used to strengthen our borders. Fiorina reaffirmed her support of a visa program and temporary work program, where they would get paid and licensed, and then leave. She ended by saying that she didn't want to deny anyone the American Dream, but the way in which she talked about immigrants coming to get money and then leaving to go back to their home country doesn't exactly sound like the American Dream to me. I envision it to be a fresh start where everyone has the chance to move up social classes and improve their life overall, working in America to pursue one's greatest dreams.

When Fiorina confirmed her support of the Arizona immigration law, I had to hold back a snort. The fact that immigrants are required to their registration documents at all times is one thing, but the fact that police must question people if there's reason to suspect they're in the U.S. illegally is the part of the legislation that concerns me. I am positive that the law will foster racial profiling, as most police officers don't have enough training to look past race while investigating a person's legal status. Any Latino exhibiting dubious behavior might be stopped by a police officer for the suspicion of immigrating illegally from Mexico even though they may be perfectly legal American citizens.

Senator Boxer agreed with Fiorina's proposition of a temporary work and visa program and said that it was "a step in the right direction" but also pointed out that the solution was "not permanent" and "almost too tempting", which I agree with. If you allow people the move here to work temporarily and then ship them back to where they came from, it's like teasing them and giving them only a taste of the life that they could have. There will probably be a number of them that are tempted to cross the border again. Fiorina replied by saying that if the paperwork is done, and they apply for a green card, then it's perfectly fine. Boxer proposed a more permanent solution by advocating a revision of the "very difficult and strenuous" application process for citizenship.

From there, we moved on to the War on Terror. Boxer expressed her desire to withdraw our troops and "reduce our presence" at the best possible time, perhaps after the next Iraqi election. She defined us as "facilitators", not "occupiers" and emphasized that we need to "clearly articulate an exit strategy", as "we don't have a right to be there". Fiorina rebutted and said that while she agreed that troops need to be withdrawn, our presence in Iraq is "not necessarily a bad thing". She added that the world knows us for our "military presence" and that it is up to Iraq to decide when they do not need us anymore, as we are being used as a security force. Senator Boxer disagreed and remarked that leaving it up to the Iraqi people was not the way to go while adding that we are always defending other nations. "We cannot always be the crutch," she said, which is quite true. We cannot hold the hand of other nations and lead them along forever. Fiorina had mentioned that we are known as a "world policing force" of sorts and Boxer simply asked "Why? Why do we meddle?"

It was here that Fiorina took another uncalled for jab at Boxer, calling her "narrow-minded", for reasons I'm not entirely sure. While I will not mention Fiorina's previous bigoted remarks about same-sex marriage (oops, did I just say that?), I do not think that Senator Boxer is at all being narrow-minded about the situation in Iraq. If she was, she would be insisting that all troops must be withdrawn right now because we shouldn't be there and any other solution is completely wrong. Ms. Boxer has analyzed the situation and decided that our time in Iraq is coming to an end, so we should start pulling out as we see fit. It's not as if she did not consider the advantages and disadvantages of both sides.

China, in recent years, has been flourishing in its economy and is ranked second in the world behind the United States. Ms. Boxer reiterated her belief from previous discussion on the economy that the United States needs to focus at home and new jobs need to be created in California. Fiorina, on the other hand, asserted that China is the leading economic power in the world and that we should follow their example. (As expected from someone who shipped thousands of jobs there...) She parroted Boxer and said that we need to focus on jobs but also added that regulations are too strict and that we need to create a favorable business climate. Senator Boxer agreed with Fiorina and also expressed her desire to punish businesses that ship jobs overseas and give incentives to those that keep jobs here and "keep American money here".

The debate ended on a fairly civil note with the issue of nuclear power in Iran. The two candidates simply threw the ball back and forth, agreeing that such power in the hands of Iran is dangerous. Fiorina said that negotiation has not been making progress and that Iran has been defying international protocol, so we must take a "staunch stance" and "pressure [Iran] diplomatically and internationally". Boxer emphasized the need for sanctions on Iran to "better protect ourselves" and affirmed that the United States backs the actions of the United Nations regarding nuclear proliferation. She also proposed legislation be passed to punish companies that are benefiting from helping Iran with the expansion of nuclear energy. And I will just add that while Boxer was working to extend sanctions on the nation, Fiorina was presiding as CEO of a company that was using intermediary shell companies to bypass laws preventing sales to Iran.

There are many that support Carly Fiorina to be the next California senator; Karl Rove and Sarah Palin are just two of those many. I, however, do not. As Republican House representative Tom Campbell said, "California voters are not buying that a failed CEO can be an effective U.S. Senator." I don't buy into it at all. Even Tea Party gubernatorial candidate Chuck DeVore does not think Fiorina would be a good senator, considering that she has been "silent on all of California's major political battles of the past decade". He has also said that "Fiorina will do what she always does: deny knowledge despite having been a famously micromanaging and bottom-line-oriented CEO. Now that she aspires to Constitutional high office, she owes Californians -- and herself -- something more. It's the one thing we have yet to see when she addresses her rocky and increasingly questionable corporate past: honesty." As The Economist commented earlier this year, "her grasp of governance issues is superficial".

All in all, it was a brilliant debate that showed where each candidate stood on the issues. I feel that it definitely showed that Carly Fiorina is not the right choice for California. Boxer dominated each topic with clear rhetoric and decisive solutions and came out the obvious winner in this ring fight.

Boxer 1, Fiorina 0.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Libertarians - Don't YOU want liberty for California?

Libertarians - quite literally, the people of liberty. Just the name evokes powerful emotions in everyday Americans. Why? What was this country built on, I ask? LIBERTY, I respond. How anyone joins any other party, well, the reason escapes my ability to fathom such.

When I strolled about the streets of Mission Viejo, discussing politics with the various wandering citizens as I always do on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, I found many a confused voter who couldn’t quite tell me what Libertarians are all about. I scoffed at more than one person that night, for our very base is found in the name. Liberty. We are the party that professes liberty in all aspects of life, whether it be economic, political, or social. There is nothing more important than our right to freedom, our right to choose, and our right to decide for ourselves what is right for each one of us. Intrusive government agencies and legislation only contradicts what our founding fathers intended for the generations of Americans that were to come after them.

However, despite my own passionate feelings about such a magnificent piece of American politics, I am aware that some have unfortunately placed the Libertarians in a less… reverent light. Thankfully, due to our American freedom of expression, our freedom of association, and our freedom of speech, the esteemed and dashing Dale Ogden gallantly represents the Libertarian party in the 2010 election for the governor of California.

Now, who is Dale Ogden, you say? Let’s take a look, in a little segment I like to fondly refer to as Inspector America: A Closer Look.

Dale Ogden is no stranger to hard work or the plight of the working man. In fact, he began his first career as a high school math teacher, and through his life has also worked in the insurance and accounting industries. He met the love of his life, Colleen Ogden, in Southern California, and has been married to her for over 21 years, and also has a son, Dale Jr. He has been active in politics for over 15 years, and is no stranger to the government of California.

Now, I’m sure that all my readers were viewed each riveting Meet the Candidate show on October 19th. Meg Whitman, gubernatorial candidate, and Carly Fiorina bared their faces on the Bill O’Reilly Show, spouting their usual right-wing propaganda, while the respectable Ms. Laura Wells from the Green Party appeared on the Daily Show, and the Democrats made their usual rounds on the Troy Ritchie Experience with Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer. Heck, it was a real party that night when even the Tea Party introduced their candidate, Chuck DeVore, on the George Lopez Show. But the most important show to watch that night was none other than Larry King Live, hosted by Larry King, undoubtedly live, where the Libertarians had a rousing introduction. Ogden spoke a few words about the Libertarian platform, particularly about his plans for the economy and our view on the illegal immigrant issue. Perhaps the most memorable part was the recitation of the notable party motto: Stay out of my pants, stay out of my pockets. And that is exactly what the Libertarians plan to do should Ogden be elected governor.

Also, the Libertarians made another appearance at the Gubernatorial Debate today, where a variety of subjects were discussed, from the controversial Proposition 19 to abortion and illegal immigration. While there is plenty to say about the commentary of the Democrats, Republicans, Greens, and Tea Party members, I want to focus on the words of our beloved candidate, “the Liberator”.

First, the official debate was hosted and monitored by the League of Women Voters, presided over by their president, Minh-Minh Dang-Tran. The first question asked candidates how they proposed to lower the current employment rate in California, a devastating 12.5%. Ogden responded with his proposition that we turn to Texas for figurative guidance. Texas has a premier business environment, and a 1/3rd lower unemployment rate. In order for Californian financial success, we must model our business environment off Texas, where governmental regulations to businesses are minimal. Moreover, he pledged to use the line-item veto to counter the liberal legislation at Sacramento that tries to further strangle our businesses. To be honest, this is exactly what we need. Taxes are simply rampant in California, and entrepreneurs are snipped at the bud of ingenuity when they try to start up shop. After all, why start a business in Los Angeles when you can start in Dallas and pay thousands, if not millions less for doing so? And the continual attempt of the state government to control business is only hurting us more, which necessitates the need for the line item veto. Republican candidate Meg Whitman put it perfectly when she said, “businesses help the economy, not government.” At least she got one thing right; although her billions made with her questionable dealings with Goldman Sachs no doubt swayed her opinion.

The debate then turned to Proposition 19, where voters are initiating a vote calling for the decriminalization, and therefore legalization, of marijuana. While the Tea Party and Republicans took a negative stance on the subject as a whole, and the Democrats liking the idea but not the legislation, Ogden reminded us all that the crime of the possession of marijuana is a “victimless crime,” and that Californians should have the freedom to smoke it if they so choose so. After all, it is our lives that we’re supposedly ruining, isn’t it?

Later discussed was Proposition 23, which calls for the suspension of implementation of the Air Pollution Control Law, otherwise referred to as AB32, until the unemployment rate drops to 5.5% for a full year. The Libertarian supports this proposition because it proposed the suspension of additional governmental regulations, which is almost always positive, and it will help stimulate economic prosperity here in California.

Other discussed topics were abortion, same sex marriage, and immigration. Abortion and same-sex marriage are easy topics for Libertarians, because they deal with social rights, which the Libertarians support fully and wholeheartedly. On abortion, Ogden states that abortion should be “safe, rare, and legal,” in that women deserve to keep themselves safe, and while it should be legal, it should also be a rare occurrence. Women, being members of the human race, are subject to all the rights that men receive as well, and have the right to decide what is to be within their body. However, that does not mean that we should be aborting at the last moment. The Libertarian Party supports the decision of Roe v. Wade, where women can get an abortion in the first two trimesters, but are otherwise responsible for carrying the child to term.

The Libertarian Party thus far has exhibited an extremely solid and rational platform, and is quite the favorable party, at least in comparison to some. These debates can leave some to wonder just what’s in that tea that the extreme right is drinking.

As we prepare for the guest speech by Congressman Bob Booth tomorrow and the Senatorial Debate on Friday, remember which party is the true party of America - the party that stands not for just our freedom, but for yours as well.

What Just Happened?

Welcome to the 2010 gubernatorial debate, featuring candidates from the Democratic, Republican, Green, Libertarian, and Tea parties. Here's what happened.
Candidates tackled all the propositional issues, as well as immigration, abortion, and same sex marriages.
Perhaps the most dissent among the candidates came in the form of legalizing marijuana, a.k.a Prop 19.
Leading the way in favor of this proposition was candidate Laura Wells from the green party. Wells was quick to let everyone know that "marijuana is the same as alcohol and tobacco," and asking "if those two substances are legal, why shouldn't marijuana be too?" Good question Ms. Wells, but before we answer the question lets look at some of the facts.
1. The prohibition of Alcohol in the 1920's and 30's caused much more illegal activity and was, in short, a disaster.
This fact, used by Wells to make her point, was such a disaster for one big reason. It ws the government taking away something it had already given; causing a much larger and more negative reaction than of the marijuana situation.
2. The proposition, as it currently stands written, is horribly under thought.
How can we as a state be completely for, or even against, a proposition that puts into the hands local governments the amounts that can be distributed, even allowing them to grant special permission for larger amounts to people. How can we use one vote to put so many different laws into action, not even sure what the law says in different parts of the state. Although Wells claims all will be well once a committee looks it over, but then why vote at all? If what we vote for isn't what is being enacted, what's the point?
Another point of debate was the issue of the same-sex marriage "Prop 8" being overturned less than a year after being approved by the majority of California voters.
While most of the candidates had no problem stating that, "government shouldn't control same sex marriages."(Jerry Brown) and more opinionated statements such as Wells' comment," I'm happy it was repealed," and Ogden's, "same-sex marriage is a step towards happiness." They all failed to address the real problem, a judge being able to singlehandedly(and repeatedly) overturn a law passed by hundreds of thousands of voters. If one judge can destroy our democratic process on this issue, what's next? The person who can answer me how can possibly keep the democratic process in tact, that person will have my vote.

Rationing Rationality

Today's gubernatorial debate revealed some hot smoking rhetoric from every candidate, but with every candidate and every election every voter must remain rational and realize that not every candidate can maintain every policy. Thus, each point given can very easily not happen while the new governor is in office, but each policy will have a compromise and the middle will likely succeed as opposed to the severe right or the severe left. That being said, sometimes the most logical points may not be in the middle, but rather find support in both extremes.
Ms. Wells laid out all of her ideas clearly, and she revealed her strength as a candidate as she spoke. For example, she demonstrated a tight fiscal policy by showing that she refuses to use money from corporations in her campaign. Thus, she knows how to hold a campaign without excessive spending, so she will most likely be efficient in office with monetary policy. Also, her care for the environment in the green platform, and her acknowledgment that the green sector of jobs is the best area for economic expansion seems to be the most rational solution. The only complaint that other parties could give against this expansion is that it currently only holds 3% of jobs. However, this is one of the most ridiculous arguments of all because if we expand the green sector, then it will become more than 3%. I know, it's crazy. Also, starting with such a small portion of the job market allows for greater expansion than trying to expand a bloating manufacturing sector. Sorry, Ms. Whitman.
Jerry Brown was also commendable in his discussion, but his disagreement of prop 19 is questionable because it would be a quick access to tax revenue while the green sector jobs can be opened for long term improvements, both in the economy, energy dependence, and mother Earth. Even if the bill is written imperfectly, it is a good stepping stone that can be updated to improve its flaws.
Mr. Ogden was mostly agreeable, but his lack of concern for the environment and its affairs concerns me. The environment is much like the economy, it heals very slowly, but it can be destroyed in an instant. California has such a wonderful ecology, and ignoring this seems to make Jerry Brown's analogy far too true. Also, why can't small business regulations be diminished while maintaining an appreciation for the environment? The candidates seem to be making this argument limited to only one or the other, but they should be able to be separate issues.
Mr. Devore lived up to the tea party's frightening out-dated policies. On almost all social issues, he seemed to try to transport the United States back to the 1950's, except for the extraordinarily surprising (and rational) support for gay marriage. This is even more surprising considering his fellow party member Carl Paladino's words on the subject: "I don't want (children) to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option." Furthermore, his fiscal promise of slashing taxes and all government involvement in business is a terrible idea because irresponsible businessmen and their speculation are what put this nation into much of the financial trouble it is in today. Also, saying that prop 19 will increase traffic accidents is just fear for a needed social change, and absolutely nothing more.
Ms. Whitman echoed many similar policies as the Mr. Devore, but thankfully was not quite as extreme. I can actually agree with the fiscal policy of reducing the "red tape" needed to start a small business, but there must be a small bit of red tape to protect the environment from these businesses. Thus, regulation is needed, and a moderate approach could definitely be the answer, and it should satisfy all parties enough.
Overall, all I can hope for is that not only can change and improvements be said, but that they actually happen, and even more importantly, actually work. Also, voters need to stop ignoring the grassroots parties because the green party has been calling for environmental reform for a very long time, and ever since there has only been more and more need and concern for environmental reform. Now that concern is increasing, voters should try something new and vote for the candidate that will help the green we live on and the green in our pockets.

The Great Debate

Good job once again to all the candidates who debated today. It takes guts to go up there and improv such difficult questions. However, since it is their job to know the facts and be able to quickly react to tough questions, I thought I'd ask a few more just for fun.

Let's start with one of the most significant issues: unemployment. Whitman, Devore, and Ogden argued that green job creation was not the solution as it took too much time to grow and was inefficient. Instead, they pushed for less regulations and a more friendly business environment. Although I am no economist, I don't think the reason we have such high employment is because of government regulations. It's because of the unregulated and out of control "business friendly environment" we had a few years ago that our economy is in such a bad place. Over-investing caused by selfish businessmen who weren't being looked after are the culprits of this recession. Thus, I see it completely illogical to further loosen the reigns on business even if it does mean we get a few jobs in the process. In the long run, our economy will end up back in the hole it's in right now. That said, lets try something new. Let's get off of our foreign oil addiction and start really investing in new energy sources and put people to work retrofitting millions of solar panels and alternative energy sources. Because, let's face it. There would be no business to do if we destroyed our planet and it's resources.

I don't even know where to begin with the right side when it comes to prop 23. I loved Mr. Brown's metaphor today that postponing the global warming act is like beating your wife when you're sad and suddenly stopping when you're happy. Do these conservatives not understand that if we repeal the global warming bill it will never get passed? If this happens, every time we try to push ourselves to find new energy sources and get away from our toxic and polluting lifestyles, we will simply say, “It can wait until next year." Putting off our disrespect of the planet is something I, and the rest of the people with hearts on this planet, will see as blasphemous. Yes, it will be hard to stop our oil dependency and yes, we will suffer for a long time. But Ms. Whitman's statements today that, "we need to put ourselves before the environment," and "the planet can bounce back from pollution," are tragically false. It is all we have and our lives and futures depend on a clean and useful place to live. Wake up conservatives; life isn't all about making money and being successful.

My last hot topic, immigration, is always a hard call. Illegal immigrants are people who simply want better lives. I almost laughed aloud the other day when Mr. Devore stated his concern that terrorists in the form of illegal immigrants are going to soon attack LA and San Francisco if we don't do something about them. Someone needs to see a therapist about their fear issues. And again today, Mr. Devore stated that he is fine with immigrants as long as they come here legally. I would like to see Devore, himself, try to come into this country legally from Mexico. Here's a website that shows the steps and eligibility requirements needed to obtain a green card:http://foreignborn.com/visas_imm/immigrant_visas/employment_immigration/1employment_immigration.htm If I were to post the steps on this blog, the server might jam up with information overload. Needless to say, there needs to be a better way to offer America's opportunities to every person of every nationality.

Go green if you want to change the fouled up nation we are currently living in. If you want to be healthier, more respectful, and more rational, vote Green on November 2. Vote Wells.

The Sound of Silence

Today marked the first of many debates in the California 2010 election. While all candidates performed admirably, the debate also provided an opportunity for candidates to betray flaws in both their own logic and in their respective parties' platforms. In particular, the issue of the legalization of marijuana proved to be, as expected, an issue of both controversy and pertinence.

When faced with the topic of Proposition 19, all three socially liberal parties (Democrats, Greens, and Libertarians) took stances in favor of legalization. In response, and much to no one's surprise, the Tea Party's Chuck DeVore took a heavily anti-legalization position, citing drunk driving accidents and DUIs as allegedly incontestable evidence against Prop 19. However, I'd like to raise a point -- Mr. DeVore's logic here is flawed. His argument against the legalization of marijuana appears to lean heavily on the tragic number of alcohol-related traffic accidents and deaths, but the conclusion he reaches from this information (that marijuana needs to stay illegal) doesn't logically follow. Mr. DeVore, might I remind you that the logical action to take against drunk driving would be to restrict alcohol? But no, that would be another expansion of the same government powers that you so fervently claim to stand against. Citing DUIs as a reason to vote no on Prop 19 is like saying that people get hurt playing hockey, so they shouldn't play baseball. It's a non sequitur.

While I'm on the subject of social policy, I have another bone to pick with the Tea Party platform. The Tea Partiers like to tell people that they remain silent on social issues out of respect for individual civil liberties (i.e. same-sex marriage), but what about those other civil freedoms like the right to smoke marijuana or to have an abortion? The official Tea Party mantra is "fiscal responsibility, limited government, and free markets;" it is here that I'd like to point out the convenient lack of any substantial stance on pressing social issues from the Tea Party platform. Meanwhile, Chuck DeVore stood on stage demanding government restriction on birth control, on immigration, and on personal freedoms. They like to present themselves to be great advocates of smaller, less intrusive government, but they support the government alienation of the most unalienable of rights: the right to choose.

The Gubernatorial Debate, or lack thereof

Whatever it was that we witnessed today, it should be noted that it was most certainly NOT a debate. A debate is defined as a formal method of argument between two or more parties. The only part of this loose definition that we saw today was the presence of two of more parties, five to be exact. What today's event lacked, however, was any sort of competition between the gubernatorial candidates for the hearts and minds of the audience.

Senior statesman, Jerry Brown, was the most impressive of the lot, clarifying his plans for the economic recovery of California. His complex and all-encompassing fiscal agenda includes public work projects to broaden the green energy industry in our state, which would both decrease our dependence on foreign oil as well as put hundreds of thousands of Californians back to work. Brown also voiced strong opposition to Prop. 23 which he called criminal, and described as an attempt by big oil to increase its profit margin at the detriment of our environment. In addition, he reaffirmed his opinion that Prop. 8 passed in 2008 was unjust saying that limiting marriage rights is "not the government's job" and "personal liberties of all people should be upheld." As unpopular to his base as it might be, Brown even clarified his stance on Prop. 19. He made it very clear that he is not against the future decriminalization and even legalization of marijuana, but he called the current proposition "very poorly written". He claimed that it would grant every district in California the power to write and enforce its own legislation in regards to marijuana. Brown also stated his solidarity with the growing population of Mexican immigrants who "came to California to seek the American Dream", saying he absolutely supports an accessible path to citizenship for this essential element of our economy.

Republican candidate, and political outsider, Meg Whitman expressed a very different opinion about the right way to revitalize California's devastated economy. She claimed that it is "not the government's business to create jobs" and asserted an interest in cutting factory taxes in order to give California a more favorable business climate. Contrary to her only major opponent, Jerry Brown, she voiced her support for Prop. 23 saying that "now is not the time" to worry about the environment. Whitman also made plain her stance on abortion which seems not unlike those of most of her opponents. She said that abortions should only be allowed in very specific cases such as rape or incest, and that parental notification and permission should be required before the procedure can take place. Unlike most of her opponents, however, she voiced a strong support for Prop. 8 and the "sacred characteristics of marriage" that it supposedly protects. As if it made her opinion any less ignorant or bigoted, she also reaffirmed a support of civil unions for same-sex couples.
Laura Wells, the Green Party candidate, did an excellent job of highlighting the differences between her party's platform and that of her fellow liberal candidate, Jerry Brown. She made it clear that she and her party stand firmly in support of Prop. 19 which would both decriminalize the victimless crime of smoking marijuana, as well as yield California a new and enormous source of tax revenue. Wells's positions on Prop. 23, Prop. 8, and the issue of abortion differed little from Brown's. She called Prop. 8 "an abomination" and in opposition to Prop. 23 even added an anecdote of a young boy suffering from asthma caused by the pollution emitted from factories in Huntington Beach. In support of a woman's right to choose, she said that forcing a woman to give birth to an unwanted baby would not give the baby a healthy or loving environment to grow up in.

Perhaps the least impressive of the candidates was Chuck DeVore of the new and controversial Tea Party. He stated that the legalization of marijuana would cause the number of automobile accidents to double, a claim that is both unfounded as well as proven absolutely incorrect by several studies done by the federal government of New Zealand as well as the Stanford University science department Both organizations independently found "no correlation between marijuana consumption and an increase in automobile accidents." In addition, he isolated himself from the other more moderate candidates by asserting the radical opposition to a woman's right to have an abortion under any circumstance. One of the only redeeming qualities, whether consistent with his party's position or not, was DeVore's surprising support for gay marriage.

Little known candidate from the Libertarian Party, Dale Ogden, was very impressive in rhetoric if not in supplying pragmatic solutions for California's many and very real problems. Similarly to Whitman, he asserted a firm support for less government regulation of corporations and an interest in transforming California's business climate to one comparable to that of Texas. He even went as far as stating his intention to utilize the rarely used line-item veto which would allow him as governor to unilaterally abolish any legislation he felt was detrimental to the health and success of California's private sector. Ogden remained consistent with his party's underlying purpose of pushing for less government across the board by also reaffirming his support for gay marriage, a woman's right to choose, and the legalization of marijuana. He poignantly called the repeal of Prop. 8 a "step toward freedom" and eloquently stated that "if the military can support openly gay troops, then California can support gay marriage". In regards to abortions, Ogden stated that they should "safe, rare, and legal", reaffirming his support for the policy yielded by the supreme court case Roe V. Wade. Regarding the legalization of marijuana, he called its consumption a "victimless crime" and recognized the sizable amount of tax revenue it could produce. In addition to his positions on gay marriage, abortion, and marijuana legislation, Ogden also agreed with his liberal opponents on the illegal immigration issue. He went as far as calling California's current immigration policy "inhumane and disgusting" and voiced a clear approval for "amnesty and citizenship" for these workers. Unlike his liberal opponents, however, Ogden proclaimed his support for Prop. 23. He declared that the restrictions it placed on business and commerce were unjustifiable.

Whether it was because the candidates know that they're unlikely to sway any audience members-who have already committed much time and effort to their own party-or simply because of a general squeamish unwillingness to single out any of their opponents, we did not witness any attacks on any candidates today. Although they all did an excellent job of clarifying their positions on the various issues mentioned, it was very clear that the audience was largely disappointed with the lack of differentiating done between the candidates. One can only hope that as they proceed with their campaigns, at least a few of them can muster up the "cojones" to go after their political opponents in the bid for Governor.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

And so it begins!

Today, the candidates for California governor officially announced that they were in the race. Those vying for the position include former CEO and president of eBay Republican Meg Whitman, former California governor and current attorney general Democrat Jerry Brown, Green Party member Laura Wells, Libertarian Dale Ogden, and Tea Party member Chuck DeVore.

In addition, current incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer is running for reelection to maintain her office as California senator. Her opponent is businesswoman and Republican Carly Fiorina.

Both Republican candidates discussed the economy and immigration, promising to cut taxes to help create jobs. Whitman wished to create temporary agricultural worker programs and to verify the status of workers, and Fiorina proposed that work and visa programs were created.

The Democrats discussed a variety of hot topic issues as well. Jerry Brown talked extensively about reforming the economy, remarking that "we are entering an era of limits" and listing off nine things he wants to do to fix the budget. Senator Boxer emphasized the need for new and clean energy as well as touching on the need for affordable health care for all.

Ms. Wells spoke fervently against Proposition 23, which would suspend the Global Warming Act of 2006. She also stressed her long record of public service as well as stating that the Green Party will not take large donations from corporations, even if it will set them at a disadvantage.

Mr. Ogden represented the Libertarian Party and quipped that they wanted the government to "stay out of their pants, and stay out of their pockets". He promised to downsize state agencies and roll back spending if elected.

Lastly, Chuck DeVore expressed a similar policy to Ogden, opposing all kinds of taxes and wishing to lessen the government. He asserted that should he be elected there would be no mismanagement in Sacramento.

One underlying theme that all candidates discussed was, of course, the state of the economy and what they would do to fix it. All the candidates pretty much touched on reducing spending or cutting taxes, but Jerry Brown showed his preparation for the issue by discussing nine points that he wished to do as governor, including cutting his own salary as well as removing redundant government offices. Some of the things he plans to do to improve the economy include reducing government spending, collecting unpaid taxes, reforming the budget process, and cleaning up federal money left on the table. People have accused him of not having a plan for California, when clearly, Mr. Brown is more than prepared, having 35 years of experience under his belt. It is very apparent that he is dedicated to serving California if he is willing to put less money in his own pocket. In my opinion, he's the right choice for governor.

So who caught your attention as the candidate to beat? Who do you think has the best policy for California?

Why I Choose Green...

Meet the candidates today was fun, entertaining, and interesting. Good job and good luck to all of the candidates who are running. In advance, though, I must warn you that I may upset some of you who hold views that I oppose.

Today, the republicans and tea party-ists (who are pretty much extremist republicans who need to feel special by creating their own party) brought up issues in which they promised unoriginal and unobtainable changes which we have been hearing for years: less taxes, more jobs, less regulations in major industries, tighter borders, and less social welfare programs. Not only are they greedy, ignorant, selfish, and entitled, but there has not been a single republican in office recently that has actually been able to carry out their plan to make the United States the most brainless and corrupt nation in the world. Either the father, the son, or the holy spirit hasn't followed through yet, or they're doing something wrong.

I'm hoping it's the latter of the two.

In a land far, far away from the right winged, Christian conservatives sits the green party. The party that doesn't accept corporate donations in an effort to keep politics clean, fair, and in the people's hands. The party that understands that the air we breathe and the place we live is more important than the stock portfolios we hold. The party that advocates social justice and equality for all, and not just for middle-class whites. The party that realizes that it is time to make the government work for the people and not for the politicians. The party that believes that the future is just as important as the now. The party that can give America the wake up call it needs.

I choose green because I know that this earth is the only thing we have and that protecting it is most important thing we can do to ensure a better life. If you disagree with me, fire away. I just hope that in the end, we can all get along.

Well That's Something We Should Have to Remedy, Isn't It?

How do we fix the California education system? It's obvious that it's in dire need of fixing; but what's not obvious is what that fix is. Every gubernatorial candidate boasts of a government-led plan that, if elected, they will wield like Mjolnir to crush inefficient spending, low test scores, and expensive higher education. What none of these would-be Thors realize is that their solutions are actually the problem. In the words of Republican candidate Meg Whitman, the solution lies in directing "more money to the classroom," and every other candidate seems to concur. Libertarian Dale Ogden, however, understands the true nature of the beast. The cure for California's ailing education system is not in the form of government spending or, as Jerry Brown suggests, a persistent, "systematic approach." The flaw behind all of these myriad government policies is painfully obvious -- they're government policies. The true solution to fixing Californian education consists of nothing less than retroaction: as Ogden phrases it, "[getting] the State out of education." It consists of streamlining the education system at the state level by leaving the allocations of funds and resources to city and county legislatures. It consists of eliminating duplicative agencies and funding programs, as well as the multitudinous administrators assigned to said agencies. It consists of decentralizing the education system. But, ultimately, it consists of freedom. Freedom of parents to choose where they send their kids to school (no more gerrymandering of the school district lines); freedom of educators and students to mature, learn, apply, and act; and, most importantly, freedom of the people to choose a better future for themselves.

Jackson Reimers

Friday, October 15, 2010


Have fun. Keep it clean. Don't get personal. Print up your posts for your evidence that you will eventually turn in.