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Red vs. Blue

Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2008-11-03 06:00:43

Election Day

Thanks to Mike Corse, for writing today's strip about tomorrow's election, and for bringing Dave and "The Queen's English" back to the strip, albeit just for today.

Most of you are aware which camp I sit in: Xbox 360. To this point, it has more exclusives I want to play, as well as (generally speaking) better versions of cross platform titles than the PlayStation 3, combined with a vastly superior online interface. I sat down to power through Fallout 3 in order to review it, but my 360 wouldn't power up. Yep, Red Ring of Death. I was going to wait until the new Jasper chipset 360s are available to get an Xbox 360 Elite, but I need to go purchase it when stores open.

This'll be my fourth Xbox 360. Fucking Microsoft. If they'd just get the hardware right, they'd rule the videogame world.

Barring a celestial alignment for McCain, or a sudden emergence of racism at the polls, it would appear that Obama has this one locked up. He'll be the most inexperienced President we've ever had, but at least he's fairly intelligent. That's an upgrade from our current executive by several orders of magnitude. I expect Obama to have a rough first term as he fights to learn the ins and outs of the office and to overcome his political naivety, but should he survive it politically, a guy like that has ample potential to leave a strongly positive legacy in his second term.

I'd rather talk about more local matters whose outcomes are still very much in doubt. Here in California, we have a system of ballot propositions for amending state law. There are two ways this can occur. The first is sensible: the state legislature proposes the change, and if signed by the governor, is presented to voters at the next statewide election. The second method doesn't make a lick of sense to me. The general public may submit the initiative, as long as it's accompanied by a smattering of signatures.

In the first, our state legislators are doing the job we elected them to do: enacting legislation to benefit their constituents. They possess intimate knowledge of the issues at hand, and are well situated to make informed policy decisions. In the second, any yahoo with an agenda can get the ball rolling on confusing initiatives that inordinately benefit the few. A private corporation could start a group called "Coalition of California Parents" and launch a proposition that calls for the floating of government bonds to pay for "The Protection of Childrens' Rights To Not Be Molested" that does nothing of the sort, but ends up putting billions of dollars into their coffers. Nobody of value is going to say, "Naw, those kids have it coming. Screw them. Literally." The useless and expensive proposition would stand a good chance of passing. It's confusing and deliberately misleading.

For those of you who consider that example ridiculous, it may be what's happening with Proposition 3. It calls for taxpayer money to upgrade childrens' hospitals, but it's fuzzy to me if this is necessary, since a similar proposition already passed not too long ago. Clearly contractors and the private hospitals receiving the funds stand to benefit. They've already spent several million dollars worth of television commercials, with Jamie Lee Curtis beseeching us for compassion toward children. Well, yeah - I'm all for kids not dying of leukemia, but I honestly can't tell if Prop 3 will efficiently help or not. The state is already massively in the red, and any outlays need to be spent effectively. If they already have unspent funds kicking around from that last proposition...

Staring at the other California propositions on tomorrow's ballot further hurts my head. Take Proposition 7, a renewable energy initiative. It sounds terrific: California once again takes the global lead in fighting global warming, attracting high-tech corporations to do business, creating thousands of well paying jobs, and seizing the ethical leadership of an important platform. But a cursory look informs me that both parties and leading environmental groups oppose it. The measure is backed by an Arizona billionaire who spent over $7 million on pushing it. WTF? It'd be difficult to find anyone to cheer FOR global warming - but if enough well-intentioned voters are suckered in into punching "yes" for this measure, we'll be screwing ourselves right in the ass. As far as I can tell, we'll have higher electric bills without any meaningful advancement in clean energy technology, and smaller innovative energy companies will be driven out of business.

Proposition 8 is just a waste of time and money. It's been getting national (even global) news coverage because of its topic. If passed, California will once again define marriage as existing only between a man and a woman. As a Christian, that concept suits me just fine, but it is NOT the function of our government to legislate morality. The state should merely govern the laws that address the specifics of a civil union (taxation, inheritance, etc.). If a homosexual couple wishes to be joined in such a union, and call it a marriage, that's absolutely no skin off my back. The religious right is rallying around this measure in a spirit of hatred and condemnation. That is NOT what Christ taught, and doesn't have any place in our government in any case. What chafes me most is that Prop 8 is just as likely as its predecessor to be stricken down as unconstitutional by our state Supreme Court, even if it should pass. What a fucking waste of our valuable resources. Emotions naturally run high over this topic, but at its core, it's essentially a battle over nothing more than semantics. It's just noisy static, with appeals to scare tactics over reason and compassion.

What I'm trying to get at, is that unless you fully understand the issues and context driving any of these propositions, your default vote should be no. For my fellow Californians, this is a dialogue I should've started on the forums weeks ago in order to figure out what to punch tomorrow, but if anyone asks I'll slap up my voting picks, and perhaps we'll have some time to briefly discuss them today.

Now Playing - Staring Contest With The Red Ring of Death (360)
Xbox Live/PSN/Company of Heroes Gamertag - Vawce

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