Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

  • My CA 2010 Endorsements

    1. Research Methods

    One web site that I found particularly useful was California Choices. I had gotten started making a spreadsheet of various organizations’ endorsements when I came across it. I used it to narrow down groups that I like (and also groups that I specifically dislike) to see where they stand, and then I could click the links to read their arguments. If I see all the groups I like go one way and all the groups I dislike go another, then that makes it pretty easy. It’s when the groups I like disagree that I spend most of my time investigating, so to speak.

    Groups that I like are the ACLU (only the Northern California one is listed on the site, and interestingly, they don’t agree 100% with the other two CA chapters), League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, League of Women Voters, National Organization of Women, Courage Campaign, Equality California, NAACP, and AARP. And of course, I don’t weight them all equally. As a quick aside, if the EFF was endorsing anything, I’d care a lot about their opinions too, but as far as I could see, they don’t.

    Newspaper endorsements that I look at include the Union Tribune, SF Gate (not listed on the comparison site), Los Angeles Times, SF Bay Guardian, SF Chronicle, and San Jose Mercury News. I like to see what they say and hear their brief explanations, but I don’t “award points” for the endorsements.

    I also look at what all the political party endorsements are. Of course I do this because I can see what people of various ideological platforms go for, but also, getting to see how the smaller parties feel about matters of redistricting is a unique perspective, I feel. In that sense, I am counting on them to each be selfish.

    Also, another site to help you pick some candidates that have similar beliefs to you is Project Vote Smart’s VoteEasy. It only covers senate and house candidates, but I thought it was both fun and useful.

    2. My Candidate Endorsements

    Governor: Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown
    Lieutenant Governor: Gavin Newsom
    Secretary of State: Debra Bowen
    Controller: John Chiang
    Treasurer: Bill Lockyer
    Attorney General: Kamala D. Harris
    Insurance Commissioner: Dave Jones
    United States Senator: Susan A. Davis
    53rd District Representative: Susan A Davis
    State Senator 40th District: Juan Vargas
    Member of the State Assembly 79th District: Ben Hueso
    State Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tom Torlakson

    3. My Proposition Endorsements

    Prop 19: Yes
    Prop 20: No
    Prop 21: Yes
    Prop 22: No
    Prop 23: No
    Prop 24: Yes
    Prop 25: Yes
    Prop 26: No
    Prop 27: No

    Prop 20 and 27 were the most interesting for me. It seems like a lot of the groups that I like (specifically thinking of the ACLU) officially withheld a “no” endorsement for 27, but in their explanation of their official “neutral” position, seemed to say a lot of the same things as the groups that did actually come out and say “no” (specifically thinking of the League of Women Voters). Basically, it seems like they don’t like 20 for different reasons, but all want to see 27 not pass because they’re curious about the commission made by Prop 13 and want to see what it produces.

    Haven’t mailed my ballot in yet, but was planning on finishing up today. It’s the nonpartisan positions and local San Diego stuff that I still have to do.

    Make sure you vote at your local polling station on November 2nd, or if you vote by mail, make sure you send your ballot in time for it to arrive on or before voting day!

  • “Ethically Insufficient”

    I was flattered when people showed interest in “Good Atheists,” so I’ll upload the other two papers from my English Composition: Creative Persuasion & Argument class.

    The first paper is “Ethically Insufficient.” It’s an evaluative argument that highlights some moral problems with the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam).

    The second paper will be uploaded next week.

    Remember that you can change the text-viewing options at the top of the page to make it easier to read.

    I love hearing your thoughts, so please leave a comment after reading.

  • The Pirate Bay is A-OK.

    Anybody else remember when the recording industry embarrassed itself by getting Swedish police to raid all of the servers owned by The Pirate Bay and their host, only to (surprise!) not find anything illegal?

    When the site was back up two days later, they got a surge of new users, and their little intellectual property reform think tank (Piratbyrån) and political party (Piratpartiet) became wildly popular as symbols of privacy and liberty in the digital age enough that they’ve qualified for more than $100,000 for a youth political program and are expected by many to get multiple seats in their parliament. So it was basically the Streisand Effect times a million.

    Well, here we go again!

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  • I feel sorry for other plumbers.

    If I was made politically famous and artificially relevant like Joe the Plumber, I’d probably use the opportunity to ask important people about about things that I felt were pressing. The idea would be to do some good by highlighting important, complicated issues and getting to the bottom of them. And maybe that’s what Joe the Plumber’s intention is.

    But then again, he’s just come out and basically said, “I think the media should be banned from reporting on wars.” Hear it from his own lips for yourself at about 1:18 in the video, and when he explains, see if you can spot the flaws.

    Here’s the transcript in case you can’t believe your ears, along with the obvious problems I have with his explanation.

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  • Brief thoughts on the election.

    I’m pleased that Obama is going to be our next president, and I was also very happy to hear that Tanaka will be the next mayor of Coronado. However, I was disappointed that Prop 5 failed and that Prop 8 passed. I think that within a few decades, we will be embarassed about Prop 8 in particular.

    As for the youth voter turnout, I was a little sad to hear that it only went from 17% to 18%, but I think I know why. I believe that it’s still very confusing for college students, who are very often away from their counties and thus unable to vote on election day unless they re-registered, got absentee ballots in time, or knew to ask for a provisional ballot (which still might not even be enough to let them vote). I was an absentee voter myself, but I still got to see a lot of my peers realize on election day that they couldn’t vote. So I think it’s a lack of knowledge and fundamental convenience, not an abundance of apathy or laziness.

    Anyway, like I said over on Facebook already, I offer my congratulations to the winners, my condolences to the losers, and my respect to everybody willing to be civil and work together.