Monday, October 27, 2008

The penguin's ballot

This is four pages of ballot. So here we go, my endorsements:

  • President: Barack Obama/Joe Biden. Duh.
  • U.S. Representative, District 15, California: Mike Honda(D).
  • State Senator, District 13: Elaine Alquist(D).
  • State Assembly, District 22: Paul Fong(D).
  • Judge of the Superior Court, Office Number 8: I dislike the notion of a prosecutor as a judge. We don't need judges who go into office with the preconceived notion that all defendants are guilty. Thus I endorse Diane Ritchie for this office.
The next offices on the ballot are various community college and school district offices. By and large I agree with the direction and policies of these districts, and thus voted for the incumbents. <

Finally: The City of Santa Clara. I detest, destest, DETEST the fact that the current City Council voted to build a stadium for the San Francisco 49'ers. This is a boondoggle of the first order and they ought to all be tossed out on their kiesters. Except... except...

Goddamn it, their opponents this election are all a bunch of fucking *FLAKES*! And I'm judging this by their own candidate statements in the voting pamphlet, not by what the incumbents are saying about them.

Sigh. So for City Council Seat 3, Seat 4, Seat 6, and Seat 7, I recommend voting for the incumbent. Damn I hate having to make that recommendation. But given that their opponents (for those who have opponents) are fucking idiots (and again I'm judging this by their own candidate statements) who haven't a fucking clue, there isn't much choice for me here. So I'll hold my nose and vote for the incumbent, then bend their ear next time they talk about that goddamned stadium again. Sigh!

And that was the end of the local offices. Now for the state measures:

  • 1A High-Speed Passenger Train Bond: I'm voting YES. This would eventually be a substitute for taking a jet from San Francisco to Los Angeles. This is a long-term investment in the state's transportation infrastructure. We're running out of fossil fuels, and when the fossil fuels go, so will jet travel -- jet travel relies on the high energy density of fossil fuels. You simply can't replace JP-1 with electric energy cells, they're too heavy, and of course you can't run wires in mid-air to carry electricity to them in some other way. Trains, on the other hand, are the most energy-efficient means to travel. For the future, I'm voting 1A.
  • 2: The PETA amendment. Voting *NO*. I don't want more expensive eggs and chickens, which is what this initiative will do. If PETA wants them, let PETA buy them.
  • 3: Children's Hospitals: No opinion. The state can't afford this, but it seems damned hard to vote against children's hospitals. Sigh.
  • 4. Waiting period and parental notification for teen pregnancies: Not no, but *HELL* no. We don't need more teenage mothers.
  • 5. Drug offender rehabilitation initiative: Vote *NO*. It'll cost $2.5 billion dollars to implement, and does nothing about the fact that our drug laws are idiotic in the first place.
  • 6. The "Cops are more valuable than any other workers" initiative. Bullshit. Cops should get no more priority for state funding than any other government employee. A cop is more important than a nurse at a county hospital? A cop is more important than a social worker supervising foster homes to make sure that foster kids aren't being abused? Vote *NO*.
  • 7. The "let's punish our government-owned utilities" Initiative. This one was put on the ballot by PG&E and Edison Electric, which are peeved that city-owned utilities like Santa Clara Muncipal Utilities and Los Angeles Water & Power can provide electricity for cheaper than the "more efficient" private utilities. Well fuck PG&E. Vote *NO*. We don't need PG&E telling us how to run our electric utility company here in Santa Clara, and I doubt the Angelites want PG&E telling them how to run *their* utility either.
  • 8. The "Let's enshrine bigotry into the State Constitution" initiative. Not no, but *HELL* no. If it was possible to vote no with exclamation points, I would be doing so on this vile piece of shit initiative.
  • 9. "Victim's Rights" uhm... no. The justice system isn't about victims, and it isn't about rights. It is about enforcement of the law. It is about justice. Putting an alleged victim (and remember, the victim is *alleged*, the jury finds the defendant guilty of breaking a law, the jury makes no judgement about who is a victim or not) into the jury box is inherently prejudicial and turns the so-called "justice" system into a travesty. We already have probably-innocent men being executed by the State. We don't need more of them because of imaginary "victim's rights" enshrined into state law. Vote *NO*.
  • 10. Alternative fuel vehicles: No. This is an area where the free market works better than government. Government should fund R&D, not purchase of vehicles. Vote *NO*.
  • 11. Redistricting: Well. I doubt that this will work better than the current system, but I fail to see how it could be worse. And *maybe* it'll be better. So vote however you want on it, but I'll go ahead and vote Yes.
  • 12. Veteran's Bond Act of 2008: The state issues these bonds, then pays them back with the proceeds of loaning the funds to veterans to buy homes and farms. So this bond issue doesn't actually cost the state anything, this ballot issue is just legal bullshit to keep the Republican law-beasts happy. Vote YES.
There are four Santa Clara County initiatives on my ballot:
  • Issue A: Make the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center seismically safe so poor people don't die when the next earthquake hits: Vote *YES*. Otherwise either poor people will die due to lack of hospital beds when the hospital is forcibly closed, or will die when the hospital collapses during the next earthquake. Really, this shouldn't even be a question that needs asking unless you are some sadistic motherfucker who likes killing poor people for fun, in which case, fuck you.
  • Issue B: BART operation tax: This gets collected only if/when BART is operating within Santa Clara County. Now, mind you, I despise BART. We don't need BART. What we need is a CALTRAIN extension to BART Fremont or Warm Springs, which could be easily done either by upgrading the old Western Pacific heavy rail line (albeit that will be a bit slower than BART due to all the at-grade crossings) or by double or triple-tracking the old Southern Pacific Alviso line (except through the wetlands) and extending a spur to meet up with BART, which would actually be just as fast as BART. But neither of those alternatives are getting support from the stubborn city counsellors of San Jose, who want their subway, goddamn it, even if it will cost billions of dollars to build the goddamned thing, because everybody knows that a city isn't a real city unless it has a goddamned subway. Well. I'd say fuck'em with a spoon, but BART *is* buildable, and *would* finish the ring of high speed transit around the Bay, so... well. BART will get built. Too many people with their hands stuck out here. Vote *YES* on this damned thing so that VTA has the funds to operate BART once it gets built, otherwise VTA will get stuck with funding operating costs out of current transit funds and basically have to shut down the whole damned bus system to fund the operating costs of this white elephant. Remember, it doesn't get collected unless BART gets built. Sigh. I *HATE* these "lesser of two evils" bullshit items...
  • Measures C, D: Just vote NO. These don't do a damned thing that's useful. I detest the fact that they even exist on the ballot. They're a complete waste of time.
And that's this mega-big ballot. Remember, folks: Penguins are smart. So listen to your penguin overlord and vote smart too!

-- Badtux the Voting Penguin


  1. You lucky bastard! We got an absentee ballot with president and congressperson on it. That's all. Exiles don't get a say in Cali issues.

    To my shame, I voted for the Dems in both, instead of Green, as my heart told me. Mrs. Bukko made me.

    She said it's important for the O-man to get as much of a vote as he can, even in safely blue states like CA, to counterbalance the cheating. And Jackie Spier, the replacement for ol' concentration camp Lantos, bled at Jonestown, so she deserves our ballots, Mrs. Bukko sez. I feel guilty already.

  2. Your recommendations mirror a lot of mine. I think I'll sit down with my absentee ballot and make mine tonight. Fun that we live in the same county, though I am insanely jealous of your utility bill. Fucking San Jose. I should run for city council, just to push for our own MUD.

  3. are a multi-colored can you not support the extra few pennies for your eggs and sleep well at night knowing that our food supply can at least sit down or stretch out before they get gutted. I cramp up just thinking about it..

  4. They're food. Let's not anthropomorphize animals with brains the size of, err, chickens, dude. Their whole purpose is to be killed for my protein needs. As long as the meat arrives at my table safe to eat, I don't give a sh*t what conditions they're kept in while they're being raised to the point where they're ready to be sent to the great chicken coop in the sky...

    - Badtux the Carnivorous Penguin

  5. Bad karma, BadTux. Listen to your higher voice, not your inner carnivore. People once would have made the same argument about human slaves (minus the eating part.) Future generations will look back at us mass meat-eaters with the same horror as we do at the millenia of slave-owners.

  6. I've already voted by absentee ballot, and my choices mostly coincide with yours, but we're far apart on Prop 2.

    The notion that food animals somehow don't deserve humane treatment is downright archaic. It isn't anthropomorphic to think that animals should be allowed to move their bodies and establish whatever their normal social relationships are. People complain that "cage free" hens aren't really "free range" because they tend to live their lives in large sheds. But they do get to move around, squabble, and establish social relationships within their flock. It wouldn't be my kind of life, but then, I'm not a hen. Likewise, keeping a calf locked into a little stall all its life, so that it can't move freely, just so that its meat will be tender, is equally inhumane.

    Everybody dies; we're all food at some point. Failing to raise and slaughter our food humanely lessens our own humanity. Don't drag PETA into this; they'd much prefer we not eat animal products at all. This is about humane treatment of food animals, period.

    And it's not going to kill you to pay an extra buck for a chicken or a dozen eggs, which is what it will come down to when the farmers sort themselves out.

    Now, if we could just bring the working conditions for humans in the big chicken slaughterhouses up to something humane...

  7. It's food. We kill and eat it. "Humane" treatment of an animal we kill and eat is an oxymoron. The critter owes its very existence to the fact that we are growing it in order to kill and eat it. I think some folks have just watched a few too many Loony Tunes cartoons and think, like, chickens have feelings or something. They're birds. With bird brains. Damned things are so f*cking stupid that they'll run right into a fox's mouth when a fox comes to raid the chicken coop.

    Having lived on a farm, I just gotta shake my head at all these city slickers whining about humane treatment of food. Look, you go out there and grab a chicken and wring its stupid little chicken neck until it's dead, then you chop its head off and gut it and toss it in your stewpot. That's what you do with chickens. "Humane"? Puh-LEEZE. It's food.

    And while I can certainly afford to pay a bit more for chicken and eggs, it's going to hit the lower classes hard, because chicken and eggs are two of their main sources of protein. So they're going to have to substitute lower-protein foods, which are going to wreck their diets even more than they're already wrecked. Since when did f*cking birds become more important than human beings?!

    - Badtux the Humane(to humans) Penguin


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