Sunday, October 31, 2010


So I met Meg Whitman yesterday. It was a pretty small rally at a processing plant between Sacramento an Natomas. There were over a hundred people there. After the rally, lots of people were getting autographs, shaking Meg's hand, and sharing their enthusiasm. Meg was really nice, spending a good half hour just talking to people one on one and taking pictures with her. I handed Griff, Meg's husband, my camera so he could take a picture of Meg and I. Meg put her arm around me and smiled for the camera as Griff struggled to figure out how to push a single button.

I was standing there thinking, "Really? It's just a simple camera." Then he thought he had to back way up, so he did. And I was getting a little irritated. Just take the damn picture already! Other people were staring, waiting for their turn. Finally, the little red light flashes, and there... I got a picture next to Meg. She looked great. I looked really irritated and with half closed eyes. Damn it! What's wrong with me? Why couldn't I just relax and smile and be patient? Oh well. I'm a little bummed the picture didn't turn out well and a little irritated at myself for being irritated. I normally have a lot of patience, but when too many people are staring at me and I feel uncomfortable... well, anyways.

There's a lot at stake in this election. I've talked enough about Meg vs Jerry. Let's talk about the scariest thing on the California ballot - Prop 25. The spin: Prop 25 makes it so that the members of the State Legislature do not get paid their salary for each day that the budget is late. And the days of lost wages cannot be recovered. Sounds great, right? Oh, and by the way, it also makes it so the State Legislators only need a simple majority to pass the budget, instead of the 2/3rds vote. But don't you worry your pretty little heads about that part.

So the Democrats have controlled the State Legislature for the last 40 years. Regardless of what you might think of Republicans, I think all voices should be heard. The Dems are pushing Prop 25 pretty hard, because it would completely take Republicans out of the equation and mean that we, the Minority party in California, would no longer have a voice and that the Dems can do to us whatever they want. The mob should not rule. This Proposition would greatly aid in the decline of California.

Remember, we have one of the highest dollars per student education cost in the world, one of the lowest test scores of industrialized countries in the world, one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, the second highest sales tax in the country, and one of the highest state taxes in the country. Despite being one of the most resource intensive areas in the world, California is the shining, crowning achievement of failure on almost every measurable front. The central valley provides 20% of the food consumed by the rest of the country. We have redwoods and logging fields in the north, oil wells in the south, gold in the eastern mountains, and to the west, ports that trade goods from around the world.

My point is that California might be chugging along, struggling through the recession like the other states with half the resources and opportunities, but we should be leading the county. We're trailing behind. We need to radically change the direction we're on.

In either case, it's baffling that the Governor and jr Senate Seat is close at all. I don't get what there is about Boxer and Brown that there is to get excited about. This notion that Meg and Carly are only running to make their billionaire buddies rich... hmm. Rich people are going to get rich either way. If you took all the money in the world away from everyone, then gave it all back, evenly distributed: the formerly rich would be rich again, the formerly poor would be poor again, and the middle class would stay the same. This is fundamentally why I will always disagree with Moderate to Liberal Democrats. Lower expectations leads to lower results. Baby people long enough and they will eventually need to be babied. If you're so mad that rich people keep getting richer, then go to school, get a degree in business and go out and do the same. But don't sit there with your degree in something unmarketable like Philosophy or something, whining about people that have things you're too lazy to work for. Hey, I have a degree in Anthropology. I didn't do myself any favors either. But I'm not going to whine about it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Last Debate

Considering the dismal showing Meg made against Steve Poizner in the debate before the primary, she's gotten considerably better. She stumbled a few places against Jerry Brown last night, but did well over all. She was clear and articulate which contrasted against Brown who got off on tangents and bordered on incoherent a few times. I'm not going to waste time bringing up the same talking points they'd said before. When they get into "did he raise taxes according to this source or cut taxes according to this source," I just start to ignore it. I mean, a politician can do nothing except pass a bill that directly lowers taxes, but have taxes still go up due to several other factors. That's why they can both be right about his record.

Let's start with what Meg did well. She dodged the Sarah Palin question. When asked if Palin would campaign for her, Meg said she would do her own campaigning. She was careful not to offend conservatives who favor Palin, at the same time, not aligning herself with a figure that's not all that popular with many independent California swing voters that Meg needs.

Meg had a great line criticizing Brown's promise to cut the Governor's, already tiny, budget by 10%, saying if that's Brown's big plan, California is in trouble. Brown was flat out stumped by that.

Where she stumbled. Brown made the irresponsible excuse that one of his staffers referring to Whitman as a whore is the same thing as Pete Wilson calling the State Legislators a bunch of whores. It's not the same thing, which Meg pointed out. But she didn't articulate why, instead making it seem like it's ok for her "side" to do it, but not Brown's. But here's why it's different. It's like if you called me(a white person) the N word, it's a whole lot different than using that word to refer to a black person. Why? Because the word is a weapon designed to tell a minority they're not good enough to compete with a member of the majority. It's an offensive term used in an effort to "keep women in their place." I don't like it when Conservative women are called that and I don't like it when someone I strongly disagree with like Nancy Pelosi is called that. Not cool.

But let's be adults here. People say all kinds of offensive crap behind closed doors. And it's also not fair that the leaked message got out in the first place, nor does it reflect on Brown. It's childish to think that Brown should seriously fire the staffer who said it. But my point is, it's not on the same level as what Pete Wilson once said, 15 years ago, about a group of mostly men who he felt was in the pocket of unions(which is why he called them whores). The word whores, was, in this case, not used as a weapon. This is a massive difference.

Also, Meg should not have interrupted Brown when he stumbled about having the backing of sheriffs. Meg stopped him to say Brown meant to say he was in their back pocket. It wasn't funny. It came off as childish.

For being a career politician, Brown surprisingly stumbled a lot and was fairly inarticulate. I was able to follow the points he made because I've been keeping an eye on things and I know the context. But I can imagine independents who only watched this one debate would have to conclude Meg was more polished. But for the most part, I liked what Brown had to say, though you certainly have to question if it's all talk or not. By that, I mean, for all of his talk about living within our means, and being a fiscal conservative, he then went on to praise the incredibly irresponsible and wasteful government spending of Obama's "Stimulus" bill. I just took that as meaning that Brown didn't actually mean anything he said about being responsible.

But, the biggest mistake Brown made was missing the opportunity to hit Meg in the one spot she's very vulnerable--to tie her to our current Republican Governor. He brought this up, passingly, in the last debate. And it was a great point, but he wasn't all that clear about it. Ok, so this is what I'm talking about. Arnold Schwarzenegger was a political outsider too. He looked at the unions, saw the corruption and how they're bleeding the state dry, and went after them. Corrupt organizations didn't get that way by playing nice. They fought back and the idiot voters in California sided with them, and rejected Schwarzenegger's Special Election propositions which is why we're in the budget mess we're in. Many of us California Republicans are disillusioned after sending the Terminator in against the Democrat Controlled State Legislators and seeing him come back in pieces. What is it that makes us think Meg is going to be any tougher?

At least Brown speaks the same language as his fellow Democrats and can possibly work with them better. After all, politicians are more likely to compromise with their allies than with their enemies. Now Brown made this point during the debate last night, but not in comparison with how Schwarzenegger has struggled. And of course, we've seen the disaster of the Obama administration when a Socialist President has a super majority in Congress to rubber stamp whatever he wants. Although Brown talks the talk of being a fiscal conservative, we have no reason to believe that's what he'll be after the election.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


So Obama is hitting the campaign trail hard, trying to pin the bad economy on those evil Republicans who keep blocking everything he's trying to do. Let me point out something. When the Republicans lost control of Congress in the end of 2006, unemployment was at 4.6%. After a year of Democrat control of Congress, the Great Recession hit. Another year of Democrat control after that and unemployment had doubled. Now with four years of Democrat control of Congress and two years of Democrat control of the White House, and the unemployment rate has tripled. Some would say it's even quadrupled if you count in the unreported people that stopped looking for work.

Now, you might say, well, Congress doesn't really have that much control over the economy. It's all in the White House and you can't expect Obama to clean up 8 years of Bush's mess in just 2 years.

But during the last two years of Bush's presidency when the Democrats controlled Congress, you never heard Bush blaming the recession on the Democrat majority. But you do hear Obama constantly blaming the recession on the Republican minority. The Republicans have 0 power right now. How idiotic is it to blame someone that can't do anything?

I still have to laugh at all the Bush haters that wanted change, and got, in Obama, Bush 2.0. I'm amazed at the idiots that want to blame Bush for the economy, but have no idea what he did to damage it. I know I've said this before, but people always say that Bush passed unsustainable tax breaks for the rich and started two unfunded wars. Well, those two things can certainly lead to budget deficits. No question there. But aren't people smart enough to see how budget deficits have nothing to do with causing a bad economy? What difference does it make to me if our government goes broke? How could that possibly hurt the economy? Sure, sure, a broke government means higher taxes later, but until that happens, there's currently no correlation between these two things. The government is broke because the economy is bad, not the other way around. If the housing market bubble didn't burst, the economy would still be going strong, meaning more people with high paying jobs paying taxes and thus, the government wouldn't have gone broke.

Saying the economy is bad because of 8 years of Bush is just plain idiotic. Now, if you want to argue that Bush caused the housing market to crash because of deregulation, that's a better argument. Deregulation isn't something you can pin on just Bush though. Mistakes were made. Economists gave bad advice. And that's that. This childish finger pointing needs to stop.

Speaking of childish, I've been thinking about the bizarre stereo typing the mainstream media and other Hollywood elites have been doing about the Tea Party. I just don't understand the hate against the Tea Party, Palin, Fox News, Glenn Beck, etc. Then it occurred to me. It's like, I finally figured out what people on the left were saying. They actually believe this is new. They actually believe all this time that they've been Moderates, and that Fox News, Beck, and Palin have whipped up a bunch of gullible, racist rednecks into hating Obama just because he's black and that these Conservatives have created the Tea Party movement out of thin air.

I went to my first large Tea Party rally a couple weeks ago. There were about a thousand people there, I guess. It wasn't terribly exciting, but I was glad I went. I was struck by how incredibly nice people were. No one bumped me or made any contact with me. Even when I stood in front of the stage, everyone was polite and respectful. It's true that there were very, very few minorities there. I only saw a couple african americans and maybe a couple hispanics. One of the speakers was an african american woman and people cheered just as much for her as any of the others.

I know racism. In college, I've taken the following classes: Ethnic America, Ethnic Minorities in America, The Psychology of Racial Discrimination, Anthropology of Women Cross Culturally, and many other culture classes on my way to getting a BA in Anthropology. I know racism. There was none of it at that Tea Party rally. Also no trash on the ground after it was over. And yes, I took tons of pictures. The grounds were spotless.

So why does this ridiculous racism charge keep coming up? CIS recently had an episode where the villain was a member of the Tea Party who killed a cop. Tonight, watching a 20/20 episode about Islamophobia, they talked about radicals in the media that spread irrational fear of Muslims and showed a clip of Glenn Beck--despite the fact Beck has strongly condemned Islamophobia and encouraged peace with Islam.

Well, us conservatives are used to the Liberal Mainstream media distorting things. The media always depicts us Republicans as villains and the Dems as the good guys. For decades, the Conservative market had been a massive, untapped group of consumers. The biggest question I have of Fox News is what took you so long? Those of us on the right that have gone so long only hearing from the left, we see Fox as something that finally represents the other side. Fox is not fair and balanced. Fox certainly caters to the Right, and that's fine as long as people who watch Fox are responsible and try and get a mix of both sides as I try and do.

But for those on the left who've grown up listening to the Liberal Mainstream media and Hollywood and thinking it represented the "moderate" side of things, Fox News is a big shock. To them, when they see Conservatives, who've been there all this time as part of the silent majority, suddenly rise up, they flat out don't understand it. They've been listening to Liberals for so long, they don't know any different, so they don't understand the Tea Party movement. I can just imagine the confusion as they think, "Well, if you're not a bunch of racists, what the hell is your problem with Obama anyways? I don't understand. He's trying! Why do you oppose him so much?"

And to be honest, if Liberals and the Liberals-who-think-they're-moderates could actually reach that point of asking us that question and listening instead of calling us names or accusing us of being mindless koolaid drinking zombies that follow around Glenn Back because we believe everything Fox tells us, that would be a miracle.