Wednesday, October 31, 2012

2:51 am

I heard sobs coming from the street outside. I actually couldn't tell if it was crying or laughing. It was a rhythmic repetition of guttural utterances I could not distinctively discern.Then she cried words. 
Again I tried to resentfully write it off as just some drunk chick in the street at 2am. 

But then in between the downpour of her heaving I heard the words:

"It's not even fair".
"Why did he leave me?!"
"I don't want to believe it, it's not happening!"
"He said we'd be together forever... I guess not." 
"He's just gone!"
"I'm going to kill myself and write his name in my blood so for the rest of his life he can know that he killed me".
I'm going to kill myself".

The whole thing lasted for 20 minutes. There was a man she knew who was trying to calm her down and reassure her, but it wasn't really working. All I could think to do was pray to God and ask Him to look out for her. 

Then I thought: This is why people need God. Humanity is too flaky and inconsistent. God never fails people and He never leaves. 

Then I thought: These are really Christian thoughts that would make any other person roll their eyes and walk away. 

Then I thought: I can't help that the truth sounds like a Christian Hallmark Card. And in fact, here we are listening to a woman who wants to end her existence and her life for some guy just because he left her -as if that's never happened before and because it's happened now she can clearly have no reason to carry on.You can say "looking to God for strength and support during hard times" sounds stupid -but without God or this line of reasoning what the hell are you left with? 

"Go to bed. Nobody cares". 

So with these concluding thoughts I decided that I only had about 3 hours -more like 2 -until I had to wake up and get ready for Toastmasters/work/Halloween. 

Then I felt guilty about trying to brush off what had just happened. So I thought: This is life. It's moving forward with or without you and if you attach yourself to too many things, the wrong kind of moments, or the wrong kind of people, you'll end up wasting your energy and your focus and your life on an emptiness that brings you nothing because it is nothing. 

Concluding thought that followed before I nodded off: Never get to high on the high and never get to low on the lows.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Absolution


Reasons I believe the Apocalypse is coming soon:
1.      The Suicide of Amanda Todd –and many other teens who have died the same.
2.      Elizabeth Escalona’s brutal beating of her daughter.
3.      Catarina Migliorini selling her virginity “for charity"

Contrary to popular belief the end of the world has been foretold to occur on an “ordinary day”. The times will be flawed, violent, and vain –but the conditions won’t necessarily be as devastating as many people believe. It will be the destruction of souls rather than the planet that will signal the “end of times”. 

Granted there are currently more issues going on in the world with wars, deforestation, poverty… but there have always been those things. What really makes me concerned now is how close to home the degradation of humanity is getting. Countries and societies will always have shared issues and conflicts as a whole –but when individual lives start to fray beyond recognition you know the worlds turned into something else. 

On a personal note: 2 of my unmarried friends under the age of 21 have had pregnancy scares. My 24 year old friend is concerned that she needs to have a baby in order to keep her boyfriend’s interest since he had a daughter with his ex-girlfriend. Both are living with their parents. My other 24 year old friend just found out her husband has been having an emotional affair for the past 9 months despite the fact they’ve been together for 3 years and have a 1 year old daughter together. And the list goes on…

But right now I’d like to focus on 3 news stories that illustrate this point and try to find out WHY all this is happening. 

1.      The Suicide of Amanda Todd

Teens have been committing suicide at an alarming rate these days. It’s almost like it’s a popular trend. Youtube is flooded with kids showing note cards of stories of the suffering they’ve been enduring at the hand of bullies. Teens are already prone to suicide due to hormones, stress from school, instincts towards independence while living under the house and rules of parental authorities, drugs/alcohol/sex… Bullying is the cherry that completes the Sunday and pushes people over the edge. 

The case of Amanda Todd is distinctly unique though. While most teens are bullied for being weak, gay, or suspected of being gay Amanda was bullied mostly on Facebook and for her sexual activities.
Amanda Todd was an “attractive” 13 year old girl. Some boys on Facebook kept complemented her and convinced her through flattery to show them images of herself naked on Facebook. She messaged them the photos and the pictures ended up in the hands of bully #1. Bully #1 threatened to show every one of Amanda’s contacts her naked photos if she did not send him a video of her performing sexual activities. She never answered him back and a few days before Christmas everyone on Facebook who was associated with Amanda was sent her naked photos –including her parents.
For me, at this point, I don’t know why the parents didn’t sue Bully #1 for eliciting what I would call in court “child pornography” and take their daughter to a safe place where she would not be exploited for her mistake. Instead the family just moved to another state. 

At a new school she met a boy who convinced Amanda that he liked her. When the boys girlfriend went away he invited Amanda over and they had sex. Afterwards the girlfriend found out and she, her friends, and the boy beat Amanda at the school and left her unconscious in a ditch until her dad found her and took her home. Amanda –who had been depressed throughout her ordeals and had been cutting herself and contemplating suicide- attempted to drink a bottle of bleach. She was then sent to the hospital to get her stomach pumped. She survived, her parents moved again, and the kids at her school continued to harass her on Facebook and say over and over how they wish she would just “die already”. 

At this point I’m wondering 3 things: 1.Why did Amanda continue using Facebook when clearly it wasn’t exactly a fun social site to be on, 2. Why didn’t it dawn on her parents to block her from that site and 3. Despite her parents attempt to send Amanda to therapy, why didn’t it occur to them that moving from state to state was not going to make the issues go away? Idiots.
Amanda posted a video on Youtube with her cue cards sharing her story and one week later she committed suicide. 

This series of events shows how radically our society has shifted. When a 13 year old girl can post naked photos, sleep with a guy, get beat up, and commit suicide –you know something’s gone wrong. Part of the problem is social media –mostly the adult content that’s shown to young generations like Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries, and so on. I’d say parents should step up and take more control. When did they get so passive and disinterested in their kids’ lives? It’s their job to make sure their kids are looked after and taken care of physically and mentally. 

The other problem is the fact that most teens are sexually savvy at earlier and earlier ages. There’s a reason it’s considered rape for a teen to have sex with someone older. Teens are na├»ve –especially because they go out of their way to believe that they aren’t. Teens aren’t exactly known for being the wisest group of people. Teen pregnancy is enough of an issue, let alone a bunch of kids running around playing adult with elicit affairs and sexual “drama”. 

The other issue is violence. Teens are emotional rollercoasters as is and when they get angsty and pissed off AND they group up it’s surprising if murder doesn’t occur –and often it does. In music videos and songs –when a girl cheats with another girl’s boyfriend the cheating girl is often beaten up or with anthem like vengeance that is “just” and “well deserved”. People almost root for it to happen. “She’s getting what she deserves”. 

My point is: At this point if people can’t even manage to live past the age of 13-16 what hope does this young generation actually have? 

Are kids are screwed. Future generations are basically screwed. Our future is looking pretty bleak in terms of human survival and integrity. 

2.      Elizabeth Escalona’s cruel beating of her daughter during a failed attempt of potty training.

Escalona’s lawyer defended her actions saying she was “the product of a broken home, abuse and a childhood that included illegal drugs and hanging out with gang members”. So already, this 23 year old woman had not exactly been having a good time in life. At 23 Escalona was a mother of 5 kids (and then a new born after the attack). I keep repeating the age 23 because she’s one year younger than me (although she looked like she was in her mid-30s in her pictures). 

When Escalona’s 2 year old daughter Jocelyn had potty training problems, Escalona snapped and kicked her daughter in the stomach, beat her with a milk jug, and super glued her hands to the wall –in front of her other children who later testified in court. Her daughter was taken to the hospital after lapsing into a coma and was found to have bleeding in her brain, a fractured rib, bruises, bite marks, and white paint chips from the apartment walls on the palms of her bleeding hands. Jocelyn came out of her coma after a couple days and is doing better now.

Escalona was sentenced to 99 years in prison. The judge said in court, "On Sept. 7, 2011, you savagely beat your child to the edge of death, for this you must be punished." According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, about 2,100 inmates are serving prison sentences for felony injury offenses involving a child, elderly or disabled victim. A lot of people felt that the sentence was a little “too harsh” –but the media followed this case and most parents were horrified by the brutality used against a mother’s own 2 year old girl. One person argued that “if a stranger had beaten Jocelyn the same way, no one would hesitate to give that person life in prison.”

Well it looks like the Young Adults in this country who do make it past their teens are then screwed because their teen years were screwed up –as often everyone’s are. The problem is really finding a solution to help teens overcome these issues instead of continuing on a downward cycle after their messed-up years of youth. Where is the solution? Many philosophers, spiritual leaders, visionaries, and therapists have millions of written works that could give greater insight and enlightenment to people –the only real tool that could help them overcome that which they have not been able to concur on their own. If you’re lost in a forest who do you call –someone who’s in the woods with you or someone who has a higher line of site overlooking beyond the woods who can see where you are and where the road you want to be down is? 

But this solution is rationally impractical since the teens and young adults who find themselves in these issues of derailment do not turn to “wisdom” or “guidance” but instead seek refuge in drugs, sex, violence, alcohol, vanity, sloth… whatever. 

It is not just that the livelihood of the individual is dying –it’s the rate and the means by which it is slowly sinking further and further into the abyss. 

3.      Catarina Migliorini auctioned off and sold her virginity For $780,000.

Catarina is a tan, voluptuous 20-year-old college girl from Brazil. For that reason alone she would be desirable by any man’s standard. Over the past few weeks her “prized possession” was up for grabs and was taken by a man from Japan named “Natsu”. There were 5 other interested parties whose bids were in the $100,000s but Natsu’s took the cake with $780,000.

Catarina has told the media that she will donate 90% of the money to her local community with charities that will build homes. (Although I don’t know what charity would want to be associated with money gained from the prostitution of a virgin).Whether the donation to charity itself actually happens or not remains to be seen. The auctioning of her virginity is also a part of a documentary that has been going for the past 2 years. As far as the details of the inevitable encounter are concerned –the act will not be filmed but there will be before and after interviews of both people. 

To avoid jail time for prostitution, Natsu and Catarina will be joining the “mile-high club” on a private jet between Australia and the U.S. Natsu of course will be checked for sexually transmitted diseases prior, Catarina will be checked to make sure her “purity” is in check, and Natsu will also have to wear a condom –as stipulated in the contract. 

In Catarina’s words in defense of her activities, she states: "If you only do it once in your life then you are not a prostitute, just like if you take one amazing photograph it does not automatically make you a photographer." The auction is just business, I'm a romantic girl at heart and believe in love. But this will make a big difference to my area."

Issues with this go beyond moral issues concerning Prostitution and Pre-marital sex. It’s about the precedent being set. The internet is making it easier and easier for women to “get popular and wealthy” from displaying sexual behavior –which in turn is making their desire to do so increase.
The problem with this ultimately is how/when/or even if you can say: This is Wrong. Many would argue that she is “of age” and can decide what to do with her body and is technically not doing something illegal. True. 

And that’s it. If that’s the only reasoning we can use as a society that’s it. That’s where we’re at now.
It’s convenient indifference. As long as you don’t physically hurt yourself or anybody else –do what you want. I don’t care. Nobody is taking responsibility for their lives and nobody else is making them. Nobody else is stepping in. No one is telling them “No”. We live in a society of “whatever” and “do what you want” and “it’s not my concern” and “it’s that person’s problem not mine”. This is not compassion. There’s no grace to this line of thought. There’s no concern for the wellbeing of others. It’s easy. It’s simple. It’s uncomplicated. It’s apathy. 

And when nobody cares and nobody feels cared for then why should any of it matter. If anything goes as long as we stay in the grayish confines of the line, why NOT do whatever? 

It all comes down to the Absolute. When morality is relative there is no morality. What you say is right is right by you and what I say is right is right by me. But rape, murder, and other obvious crimes like stealing are things we can all agree are bad. But with these “lesser issues”… that’s up to you not me. And yet it’s also my views and beliefs and actions of whatever whatever whatever...

It’s hard to state what is and isn’t wrong and what is and isn’t right if there isn’t a common ground that we agree to stand on together. It’s the chaos of an invisible social matrix. And yet despite our lack of moral standing people still find ways to  judge others. If you were a complete stranger who said “I like cheating with married men” the response of most people would be an awkward turn of the head and a disconcerting look of disapproval. If it was your husband on the other hand, you’d have a little bit more of a reaction. 

If it were your daughter who sold her virginity to a stranger for money. If it were your sister who was beaten by her mother. If it was your niece who committed suicide. Then there’d be a reaction.
Despite all of our technology and knowledge we still fail as a people to see how interwoven are lives are. How deeply impactful the actions of others ripple out to the people round them. How can we pretend we aren’t affected by this? When did it become “just another teen suicide”? Lump in in that category with all the other cases like it and move on. 

This is why the world will end soon. Not because our society is worse than others –the Inquisitions were pretty bad. But unlike any other century before it we live in one of the only times when man has the freedom to choose his own way with as little moral restraint as there has ever been. You HAD to marry by the age of 13 if you were a girl in the 1600s. You were put to death or ostracized for having an affair. You were arrested for being gay. You were shunned and disowned for getting an abortion. Whatever the government decided was moral on the basis of religion was FORCED upon people. They essentially had their God-given free will taken from them like an infant being toddler a cookie.

But not anymore. Now we’re free to choose. Now we are free to act for or against God on our own accord. Now God has a fair chance to see who will honestly choose to follow Him because they genuinely choose to and who will go their own way and disregard Him. If ever there was a time it was easy to see who was with God and who was against Him –it is now. 

And that’s why the world will end soon. And I’m ok with that.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Iterating Iterations

Iterations are Irritating. But every time I go back to update images and designs previously conceived to be good -they end up looking like crap compared to the new ones. Dangs.

Behold the evolution of the GUI:

Concept: This display would basically go in car where the radio would be and it would display audio settings, dvd settings, and temperature settings. This initial design looks like crap. It is actually a 2nd iteration. I added more color. I probably burned the original one. Thankfully...

I spoke too soon... I found the original. Oh God the font!!!

Here's Iteration #3: I added more coherent color and went with an overall "theme" of blue and red -cold v. hot.


Then they didn't like how "plain" it was and said it needed more depth. They also said they preferred the blue.


Then they said it needed to look more like a smart phone with more colorful backgrounds, transparency, and better graphics...



I thought the last one was pretty frikkin glorious. The colors are beautiful and the background is an amazing mountain shot... But they said the background was distracting and needed more gradient color and pattern design.

So now...

I think it's pretty.I think it's snazzy. Yah. I'm probably going to have to do 12 more iterations on it, but at least it's better than it was. This thing has gone through about 9 lives now. It keeps evolving through reincariteration.



Monday, October 15, 2012

Dear Future Me

As of this moment it is October 15th (2 weeks before Halloween). You are sitting at your desk at work. You're sort of bored trying to figure out what to do because 1. The work you needed to do has been done and 2. the work you haven't finished is pending because it needs other people's input.

Despite this today has been rather productive for the 3 hours you've been conscious enough to enjoy it. You updated the TM schedule. Good job. You out up 2 more "art pieces" on your gallery cubicle wall. Nicely done. You added 3 new slideshow pictures to your rotating display wallpaper screen. Like a pro. You used Google maps to tour France, Mt. Rushmore, and Lake Tahoe. (France was weird -out door toilets? Really? And why is there traffic with all the moped-scooter-bicycles? Mt. Rushmore you are too far from the road. Get closer. Tahoe... you're as classy as always :) 

Yes... today has been very productive so far.

I think I have old person tendencies. I want the text I read to be REALLY BIG. I want to go to bed early. Let's keep social gatherings short -no longer than 3 hours. I just want to stay at home, draw, and watch my favorite TV shows.

Now that I'm done complaining as old people like me are prone to do... it's time to talk about Jos.

My friend Jos is throwing on an event next year for 200 entrepreneur women. I'm her "logistical coordinator" -who had her title changed to "project manager?... something manager" because Jos wanted me to have a more legit title. So Jos and I have been meeting twice during each week after work and on Sundays from 11am-3pm. We've been planning our plans, working on promotional material, looking at possible venues, planning our budget, scheduling speakers, trying to put our website together... it's a large project for just 2 people who've never thrown on an event before.

Currently you're a little overwhelmed by work, the women's event project, and Toastmasters but you're still writing this which indicates to me that either you have crappy time management skills and are prone to procrastination or you've got you're sh*t together and aren't that worried. Considering how much you've accomplished in the last 3 hours and where you're at with your ongoing projects I'd say you're pretty on top of things. You've/I've always been good at multitasking.

Lastly I'd like to mention family relations. They were a little rocky there for a little bit... But something happened in the past week. I just let go. I didn't "try" to let go... I just let go. It's like the tension and resentment wasn't there towards my step-mom. I feel really close to both of my sisters right now and my dad and my mom + Dean. And my Aunts who've been visiting. I don't know, it's like you just embrace people without thinking or trying and they open up to you. Just relax and don't worry and it's all good.

Oh yah and by the way you're Table Topics Master in 3 weeks start writing up some questions for that meeting...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Props to Me for This


Props: Basic Overview:  


–Let’s be honest here, I’m not going to do further research on this topic and neither would most people. This is your soap box. If you can’t provide legitimate reasons for or against a prop in this space, you’ve lost my vote in your favor. This shouldn’t be like an episode of LOST where I end up with more questions than answers after reading your written retort. 

Prop 30: Temporary taxes to fund education. Guaranteed local public safety funding. Initiative constitutional amendment.

What it does: 

1.      Increases taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years.
2.      Increases sales taxes by ¼ cent for four years, to fund schools.
3.      Guarantees public safety realignment funding.
4.      Fiscal Impact: Increased state tax revenues averaging about $6 billion annually over the next few years.
5.      Revenues available for funding state budget. In 2012–13, planned spending reductions, primarily to education programs, would not occur.

PRO: Taxes people earning above $250,000 to temporarily pay more taxes so schools don’t have to suffer budget cuts.

CON: This raises sales taxes and we’ll never know where the money actually goes. 

Prop 31: State Budget. State and local government. Initiative constitutional amendment and statute.

1.      Establishes two-year state budget.
2.      Sets rules for offsetting new expenditures, and Governor budget cuts in fiscal emergencies.
3.      Local governments can alter application of laws governing state-funded programs.
4.      Fiscal Impact: Decreased state sales tax revenues of $200 million annually, with corresponding increases of funding to local governments. Other, potentially more significant changes in state and local budgets, depending on future decisions by public officials.

PRO: Local governments (a.k.a. the citizens) will be able to see what the government is up to financially behind closed doors. There will be more fiscal accountability and more transparency with the government’s spending. It will require governments to report results before spending more money. 

CON: Proposition 31 is a flawed initiative. It will cause expensive, conflicting provisions into the Constitution, causing lawsuits, confusion, and cost. 

(From what I’ve seen these people don’t have any concrete evidence for their concerns and they brought in the “stand with the village people, teachers, orphans, Santa Claus, police, and fire men” language –which makes me doubt them even more. The real people of the village they mention would have had a more concise response with a lot more validity to what they were saying. They also say this prop threatens: “public health, the environment, prevents future increases in funding for schools, and blocks tax cuts”. I’m sure it also threatens Little Orphan Annie, NASA, Cancer Survivors, and United Nations.) 

Prop 32: Political contributions by payroll deduction. Contributions to candidates. Initiative statute.

What it does: 

1.      Prohibits unions from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes.
2.      Applies same use prohibition to payroll deductions, if any, by corporations or government contractors.
3.      Prohibits union and corporate contributions to candidates and their committees.
4.      Prohibits government contractor contributions to elected officers or their committees.
5.      Fiscal Impact: Increased costs to state and local government, potentially exceeding $1 million annually, to implement and enforce the measure’s requirements.     

PRO: Unions and corporations could not use money deducted from an employee’s paycheck for political purposes. Unions, corporations, and government contractors would be subject to additional campaign finance restrictions. It cuts the money tie between special interests and politicians to the full extent constitutionally allowed. Bans contributions from corporations And unions to politicians. Prohibits contributions from government contractors. Stops payroll withholding for politics, making ALL contributions voluntary. No loopholes, no exemptions. 

CON: Prop. 32 isn’t reform—it exempts business Super PACs and thousands of big businesses from its provisions, at the same time applying restrictions on working people and their unions. It’s unfair, unbalanced, and won’t take money out of politics. Unions shouldn’t have their power stripped just so major corporations can get their hands kept from reaching into the cookie jar.

Prop 33: Auto insurance companies. Prices based on driver’s history of insurance coverage. Initiative statute.

What it does:

1.      Changes current law to allow insurance companies to set prices based on whether the driver previously carried auto insurance with any insurance company.
2.      Allows proportional discount for drivers with some prior coverage.
3.      Allows increased cost for drivers without history of continuous coverage.
4.      Fiscal Impact: Probably no significant fiscal effect on state insurance premium tax revenues.

PRO: Insurance companies could offer new customers a discount on automobile insurance 
premiums based on the number of years in the previous five years that the customer was insured. Basically Californians with car insurance earn a discount for following the law. Normally if you switch companies you lose this discount. Proposition 33 allows you the freedom to change insurance companies and keep your discount. Proposition 33 makes insurance companies compete, helps lower rates, and will insure more drivers are insured.

CON: Proposition 33 is another deceptive insurance company trick. Insurance companies spent millions to pass a similar law in 2010—voters defeated it. Proposition 33 allows auto insurers to raise premiums on responsible drivers up to $1,000, unfairly punishing people who stopped driving for legitimate reasons. 

(How would premiums be raised if they were responsible and they did have coverage? This argument seems counter-intuitive in its reasoning. Why would insurance companies purposely support a bill that would by law lower rates for those covered prior to signing up with a new insurance company?)

Prop 34: Death Penalty. Initiative statute.

(Holy Sh*t. We just went from “how to best manage government spending” to “should take the life of murderers”. Heavy. Wait, this Repeals the death penalty? Then why don’t they title it: “Repeal Death Penalty”?) 

What it does: 

1.      Repeals death penalty and replaces it with life imprisonment without possibility of parole.
2.      Applies retroactively to existing death sentences.
3.      Directs $100 million to law enforcement agencies for investigations of homicide and rape cases.
4.      Fiscal Impact: Ongoing state and county criminal justice savings of about $130 million annually within a few years, which could vary by tens of millions of dollars. One-time state costs of $100 million for local law enforcement grants.

PRO: It has been proven before that “criminals” have been executed that were later found to be innocent. What happened to the phrase: It is better to set 10 murderers free than to take the life of one innocent man. There is has also been recent evidence presented that suggests lethal injection may in fact be inhumane and cruel do to the uncertainty of whether or not the chemicals injected before the lethal injection actually make the criminal unconscious during the lethal injection. 

CON: California is broke. It would cost taxpayers $100 million over four years and many millions more, long term. Taxpayers would pay at least $50,000 annually, giving lifetime healthcare and imprisonment to killers who tortured, raped, and murdered children, cops, mothers and fathers. 
  
Prop 35: Human trafficking. Penalties. Initiative statute.

What it does:

1.      Increases prison sentences and fines for human trafficking convictions.
2.      Requires convicted human traffickers to register as sex offenders.
3.      Requires registered sex offenders to disclose Internet activities and identities.
4.      Fiscal Impact: Costs of a few million dollars annually to state and local governments for addressing human trafficking offenses. Potential increased annual fine revenue of a similar amount, dedicated primarily for human trafficking victims.

PRO: “Human Trafficking” is just a nice way of saying “Enslaved Prostitution” –usually of women and children. Traffickers force women and children to sell their bodies on the streets and online. Prop. 35 fights back, with tougher sentencing, help for victims, protections for children online. Trafficking survivors; children’s and victims’ advocates urge: YES on 35. We need longer prison sentences and larger fines for committing human trafficking crimes. 

CON: Proposition 35 actually threatens many innocent people “My son, who served our country in the military and now attends college, could be labeled a human trafficker and have to register as a sex offender if I support him with money I earn providing erotic services.”—Maxine Doogan. Please Vote No.

(What “erotic services” are you providing exactly. If they are legal services why would this bill have anything to do with you? And EVEN if this bill did impact you as an individual in a that rare and very random circumstance does that mean the greater whole of this country has to run the risk of more human traffickers being on the streets?)

Prop 36: Three strikes law. Repeat felony offenders. Penalties. Initiative statute.

What it does: 

1.      Revises law to impose life sentence only when new felony conviction is serious or violent.
2.      May authorize re-sentencing if third strike conviction was not serious or violent.
3.      Fiscal Impact: Ongoing state correctional savings of around $70 million annually, with even greater savings (up to $90 million) over the next couple of decades. These savings could vary significantly depending on future state actions.

PRO: Repeat offenders of serious or violent crimes get life in prison. Nonviolent offenders get twice the ordinary prison sentence. Saves over $100,000,000 annually and ensures rapists, murderers, and other dangerous criminals stay in prison for life. Some criminal offenders with two prior serious or violent felony convictions who commit certain non-serious, non-violent felonies would be sentenced to shorter terms in state prison. In addition, some offenders with two prior serious or violent felony convictions who are currently serving life sentences for many non-serious, non-violent felony convictions could be resentenced to shorter prison terms.

(Firstly your claims are kind of contradictory about the lesser felonies. Secondly, how do you get a life sentence for “many” non-serious, non-violent convictions? They should give better examples of what kinds of crimes these are exactly. I want to make sure people who don’t deserve longer stays in prison aren’t kept in there beyond a reasonable amount of time.) 

CON: Proposition 36 will release dangerous criminals from prison who were sentenced to life terms because of their long criminal history. The initiative is so flawed some of these felons will be released without any supervision! Join California’s Sheriffs, Police, Prosecutors, and crime victims groups in voting No on Proposition 36.

(Now I’m really confused. How can a bill be doing the exact opposite of what it literally has written out in front of you. Are you sure you guys aren’t just being paranoid? “The bill says it will give rapists and murderers life in prison, but what it’ll really do is free them all!!! And give them a coupon to shop at any convenience store of their choosing.”) 

Prop 37: Genetically engineered foods. Labeling. Initiative statute.

What it does: 

1.      Requires labeling of food sold to consumers made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways.
2.      Prohibits marketing such food, or other processed food, as “natural.”
3.      Provides exemptions.
4.      Fiscal Impact: Increased annual state costs from a few hundred thousand dollars to over $1 million to regulate the labeling of genetically engineered foods. Additional, but likely not significant, governmental costs to address violations under the measure.

PRO: Proposition 37 gives us the right to know what is in the food we eat and feed to our families. It simply requires labeling of food produced using genetic engineering, so we can choose whether to buy those products or not. We have a right to know.

(For those on the side of Genetically Modified veggies and fruits, this prop begin passed means the price of GM plants will go down –which means more people will end up buying cheaper fruits and veggies. You’re talking to a country that consumes fries linked to cancer and soda linked to diabetes. Something tells me our nation is willing to “take the hit” to save some money. For those against GM plants –congratulations, I have a feeling your prop will pass. That’ll teach people to modify plant DNA so plants can naturally defend themselves from bugs instead of lacing everything with harmful pesticides like we do now!)

CON: Prop. 37 is a deceptive, deeply flawed food labeling scheme, full of special-interest exemptions and loopholes. Prop. 37 would: create new government bureaucracy costing taxpayers millions, authorize expensive shakedown lawsuits against farmers and small businesses, and increase family grocery bills by hundreds of dollars per year.

(Food labeling scheme? Yes those tricky food labelers trying to swindle society! It would create a new government bureau –like the Men in Black only they would be the Men in green and they would arrest any suspicious looking tomatoes or fruit that appeared “out of the norm”. These people should write soap operas –maybe then people would actually start watching them.)

Prop 38: Tax to fund education and early childhood programs. Initiative statute.

What it does: 

1.      Increases taxes on earnings using sliding scale, for twelve years.
2.      Revenues go to K–12 schools and early childhood programs, and for four years to repaying state debt.
3.      Fiscal Impact: Increased state tax revenues for 12 years—roughly $10 billion annually in initial years, tending to grow over time.
4.      Funds used for schools, child care, and preschool, as well as providing savings on state debt payments. 

PRO: Helps schools in the ways stated in the prop. This Prop prevents Sacramento politicians from touching the money. Spending decisions are made locally with community input and strong accountability requirements, including independent audits.

(I think the biggest fear is where they money will go. You hand it off to the government and it seems like we never see what happens to it. And doesn’t it suck that politicians don’t seem to generally care or try to raise funds normally throughout the year so we all just end up paying large lump sums through taxes that end up God knows where…)

CON: If you earn $17,346 per year in taxable income, your taxes increase. Total of $120 BILLION in higher taxes. No requirements to improve student performance. Can’t be changed for 12 years even for fraud. Damages small business. Kills jobs. Educators, taxpayers and businesses say No on 38.

(Firstly: How would you require the government to “improve student performance”? Is the government going to start executing kids who get less than a “B-“? Will the government give out cheat sheets? Government just funds schools it doesn’t run them. As for the taxes –where did you think the money would come from? If you don’t pay taxes that go to schools parents will end up paying out of pocket for all school supplies like they are now. Either we pay as a nation for the embitterment of our future generation or we make parents pay on their own out of pocket. Secondly: How does it “kill jobs”? What does this bill have to do with jobs –other than people are paying taxes they will inevitably pay anyway? You may as well say this bill negatively impacts the environment because more school funding = more trees being cut down for paper to make notebooks and pencils.)

Why don’t we just pass a bill that lets Americans vote American Idol-style on where the current taxes go? Then we wouldn’t have to raise taxes because the amount we already pay would be spent more wisely. 

Prop 39: Tax treatment for multistate businesses. Clean energy and energy efficiency funding. Initiative statute.

What it does: 

1.      Requires multistate businesses to pay income taxes based on percentage of their sales in California.
2.      Multistate businesses would no longer be able to choose the method for determining their state taxable income that is most advantageous for them.
3.      Some multistate businesses would have to pay more corporate income taxes due to this change.
4.      Dedicates revenues for five years to clean/efficient energy projects.
5.      Fiscal Impact: Increased state revenues of $1 billion annually, with half of the revenues over the next five years spent on energy efficiency projects. Of the remaining revenues, a significant portion likely would be spent on schools.

PRO: YES on 39 CLOSES UNFAIR TAX LOOPHOLE letting OUT-OF-STATE CORPORATIONS avoid taxes by keeping jobs out of California. Closing the loophole protects local jobs and provides $1 BILLION to California. Funds used for job-creating energy efficiency projects at schools and for deficit reduction. YES on 39—CLOSE THE LOOPHOLE.

(WAY TO BE EXCITED!!!! AREN’T CAPSLOCKS FUN :0 !!!)

CON: Proposition 39 is a massive $1 billion tax increase on California job creators that employ tens of thousands of middle class workers. It’s a recipe for waste and corruption, giving Sacramento politicians a blank check to spend billions without real accountability. California is billions in debt; Prop 39 makes it worse.

(Well if the “job creators” are then sending those jobs out of state then shouldn’t they be called “job creators who create jobs that are of no benefit to Californians because they are out of this state”?) 

Prop 40: Redistricting. State senate districts. Referendum.

What it does: 

1.      A “Yes” vote approves and a “No” vote rejects: new State Senate districts drawn by the Citizens Redistricting Commission.
2.      If rejected, districts will be adjusted by officials supervised by the California Supreme Court.
3.      Fiscal Impact: Approving the referendum would have no fiscal impact on the state and local governments.
4.      Rejecting the referendum would result in a one-time cost of about $1 million to the state and counties.

Alright, one question: Who the heck is the “Citizens Redistricting Commission”? 

PRO: Yes on 40 protects the State Senate maps drawn by the voter-approved Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. Yes on 40 upholds the will of California voters to hold politicians accountable by keeping them out of the redistricting process. Good government groups, seniors, businesses and taxpayers recommend “Yes on 40.”

(Ok second question: how does this bill keep politicians out of the redistricting process? I need details people!)

CON: As sponsors of Proposition 40, our intention was to overturn the commission’s State Senate districts for 2012. However, due to the State Supreme Court’s ruling that kept these districts in place for 2012, we have suspended our campaign and no longer seek a NO vote.

(What happened? Ok all I got from that is the supporters of Prop 40 no longer seek a vote against it… Yah cause that makes sense. Either way, there’s no “NO” vote here so I guess I’ll go with “Yes”? I wish “Maybe” were an option.) 

Well this was the first 10 pages of the 144 page PDF. Let’s fast forward to Page 79 so we can check out the nominees for Best Politician. 

Just for the record: A U.S. Senator:

• Serves as one of two Senators who represent California’s interests in the U.S. Congress.
• Proposes and votes on new national laws.
• Votes on confirming federal judges, U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and many high-level presidential appointments to civilian and military positions.

Each candidate has about 3 paragraphs worth of their “who I am and what I promise to do with my time in office” speech. Since it’s all drivel for the most part and not exactly reliable since it’s coming from someone self-nominating themselves in writing I’ll just list the nominees and leave you take pick the candidate. 

Nominee #1 DIANNE FEINSTEIN –Democrat 

Nominee #2 ELIZABETH EMKEN –Republican