Tagged: california

California Gold

If I’m ever low or feeling out of sorts, I just watch this clip of Huell Howser and a dog that eats avocados. Huell Howser, though a transplant, is definitely some California Gold. His enthusiasm for this state and its wonders is infectious.

So he goes to an avocado farm, and the most “amaaaaaaaaaaaaazing” thing is a dog that eats avocados. I love it. It’s hilarious to me because I have begun using avocados as a litmus test with people. “Do you like avocados? If so, we can hang.” OK, that’s a bit much. I like people who don’t like avocados, but it does make my head scratch. Yeah, they’re middle class and a bit over-exposed, but they are California gold for sure.

election crazy

Election crazy, originally uploaded by kendrak.

this was me going insane at 6:30 tonight after being up for 14 hours and running on nothing but adrenaline. i was in the bubble of my precinct all day, so i didn’t really see what was going on. as soon as i announced the polls to be closed at 8pm, the janitors at the school started shouting “OBAMA!” they carried on intermittently for the next hour until i dropped off our ballots. it was weird.

i’m mostly bummed about prop 8. if i know you were opposed to prop 8, expect incoherent phone calls from me soon to complain about how you hate humans. seriously. i’m happy that bush is gone and that palin can’t ruin my uterus, but i really think that human rights took a hit tonight and it makes me want to hit people.

i need water and sleep. i’ll blog about my day at the polls tomorrow.

Gay marriage and my rights to a civil union

California Attorney General Jerry Brown created a good stir this week when he changed the wording of Proposition 8. Previously it “had been described as a measure to limit marriage between a man and a woman.” Now, it states “the initiative as a constitutional change to eliminate the right of same sex couples to marry.”

Prop. 8 backers are now going to sue over the change. Am I surprised? No. Am I annoyed? Deeply. I really want to see Prop. 8 fail. I applaud Brown for making the issue explicitly about civil rights- it’s not about protecting straight marriages, it’s about denying people the right to marry. Fundamentally that is wrong, and I would hate to see the state constitution explicitly diminish any groups civil rights. It also upsets me because it would retain a largely religious definition of marriage that isn’t entirely based on reason. Not exactly separation of church and state. So the will of the majority (and their beliefs) get to impinge on a minority. Fantastic. On the flip side, I know people who will claim their beliefs against gay marriage have nothing to do with religion, rather they’re “not natural” and ignore “procreation”. Hmm, so does that mean only people willing to have kids can be married? And what about gay couples who adopt or have a child? Really a marriage is just a contract between two people and society. This idea of a contract was central to women’s liberation in Victorian Britain, and it’s something that I think people can’t ignore. Why do gays want to be married? They want all the security provided through the marriage contract. How is that going to harm heterosexual marriage?

If there was a true state contract, removed from any cultural or religious values, allowing couples to enter a strictly civil union, then I would be for it. California has the Domestic Partnership law, which grants same sex couples and straight couples where one member is over the age of 62 a contract that allows them to most of the rights of marriage. What about straight couples where both members are under the age of 62? Oh, we can get married. What if we’re opposed to marriage because it’s definitions are bigoted and tied to religious beliefs? Then you’re screwed.

I’ve been entertaining the idea of a civil union for years now, and I can’t do it. Of course I’m too stubborn to cave in to the terrible definition of marriage we have today- I’d rather not compromise my values. (This might not be fair to my other half.) Will the world end because of this? No. Is it silly? Yes. I’m starting to feel that I might have to fight for my right to domestic partnership if Prop. 8 passes, because then I surely wouldn’t want to be married in the state of California.

unfit to teach?

here’s another gem from sf gate. did you hear about the new ruling about home schooling in california? the court of appeals said people who home school need credentials.

Michael Smith, president of the Home School Legal Defense Association, said the ruling would effectively ban homeschooling in the state.

“California is now on the path to being the only state to deny the vast majority of homeschooling parents their fundamental right to teach their own children at home,” he said in a statement.

But Leslie Heimov, executive director of the Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles, which represented the Longs’ two children in the case, said the ruling did not change the law.

“They just affirmed that the current California law, which has been unchanged since the last time it was ruled on in the 1950s, is that children have to be educated in a public school, an accredited private school, or with an accredited tutor,” she said. “If they want to send them to a private Christian school, they can, but they have to actually go to the school and be taught by teachers.”

Heimov said her organization’s chief concern was not the quality of the children’s education, but their “being in a place daily where they would be observed by people who had a duty to ensure their ongoing safety.”

my opinion? i actually don’t really care. i think there needs to be some mechanism to enforce standards for home schooling, but that’s not to say that all kids who are being taught at home are being neglected or anything like that. it’s a choice, and if parents take it seriously and do a good job, more power to them. (i am a proud graduate of the california public school system from k-12, and my university degree.) the only reason i posted this, is because once again, the comments at “the gate” are amusing. this time the home school zealots come out to to rally the troops. it sort of a snoozefest, and makes me sort of dislike their cause, but i guess i just like reading personal accounts.

quackenbush shoots a man

quckenbush- still looks dull.
it’s been reported that former california insurance commissioner chuck quackenbusch is now a sheriff’s deputy in florida and shot a man with a taser. it’s a little amusing to me (not that a man was shot) because i love that quackenbush, who fled california after corruption allegations, resurfaces for something like this. of course growing up in the state capitol, i always knew this guy was a sleaze ball. he still looks white bread.
[tags]chuck quackenbush[/tags]


it’s been almost 24 hours since the polls closed here and probably closer to 24 hours since the media proclaimed clintonthe winner in california. i was planning on rushing home and giving a big blog post about my day at the polls, but i was cranky, tired, and frothing at the mouth about the whole electoral process. the fact that they were reporting clinton winning this state before i had a chance to deliver my ballots was just a great way to cap off the day. it made me wonder if i had just wasted the previous 14 hours and that none of my precinct’s votes mattered.

yesterday just showed to me how poor voter outreach has been in the state of california. my precinct wasn’t beset with all the problems of some other precincts in alameda county, but things definitely could have been smoother. the biggest issue i saw was a lack of knowledge in the electorate of rules for voting in a primary. california’s weird “modified closed primary” only added to the problems. lots of people were upset that they were registered with one party and therefore unable to vote in another party’s primary. many people registered as green wanted to vote democratic. i tried to explain to them, as nicely as possible, that in primaries you get the ballot of the party you registered (if registered partisan), but many seemed confused.

“i voted democratic in 2006, doesn’t that count?” i tried to explain that in general elections (like the 2006 midterm), you can vote for anybody regardless of your party affiliation. “but i voted for feinstein.” that’s great, you’re still registered green! actually, the saddest cases to me were the people who registered as american independents but probably wanted decline-to-state/non-partisan. we’d give them the a.i. ballot and they would ask if they could vote for the democrats. i tried to explain that in california there is the independent party, and that’s how they registered, but that seemed to confuse them more. in the end, for anybody who was dead set on voting in the primary but lacked proper party affiliation (or lack thereof), i gave them provisional ballots. at least that way their votes on the propositions and local measures will count.

i think a lot of the problems people had stemmed from a lack of knowledge about the system, which the state (or at least the county) should have taken some steps to correct. the secretary of state’s website made sense if you’re pretty familiar with election terminology, but the average voter isn’t, nor are they going to take the time to sift through pages to find their answer. that’s assuming they would take the time to look on the website. most likely they will search the internet and find misinformation in some random person’s blog, and then tell their friends, and the whole cycle continues. i know from working in libraries that just having information around doesn’t mean people will find or read it. i wish the state did a big more than just print the party affiliation abbreviation on the back of your sample ballot in the midst of a page full of text. perhaps if they made it easier for lazy people to double check their registration and possibly change it.

i have more to talk about, but i’ll do it tomorrow.