Saturday, November 08, 2008

Two Wolves and a Lamb.....

I'm watching the tv news coverage of an estimated 1200 demonstrators protesting against the referendum to change the impossibly complex California state Constitution to require that marriage be only between one man and one woman. While I don't think government has any role to play in this area, other than possibly as an arbiter regarding the contractual issues involved in a marriage, I see the traditionalists' point. I also wonder what possible difference it could make to me who or how many get married. I just don't think it's a government issue. I voted against the measure.

But, taking it a step or two from there, don't most of us accept the notion that the majority rules?

Well, I certainly don't, but nearly everyone else seems least until they lose.

One wonders why, as vehemently as most folks stand in favor of pure democracy against all reason, can't accept the verdict of the statewide vote.

For bond initiatives and other tax increases, and referenda that have predictable costs, I have a suggestion: Stalag California is the home of many thousands of software wizards, among whom there should be some that can do this. That is, develop software that tells our beloved franchise tax board who votes yes on these costly referenda. They should bill them and only them. Seems like it would be a relatively simple thing.

That way, the bullet train from Campo to Crescent City, to be paid for by a 1/2% addition to the sales tax, should be paid only by those who vote yes on the measure.

It's only fair.

It would make democracy an even more beautiful thing.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California


Kent C said...

I voted for the issue (restricting to male/female) when it was brought up in Ohio but only for pragmatic reasons - it would draw more liberals into the state ;-)

As for majorities ruling, it isn't that simple now. If some leftist group is truly offended then there seems to be ways around that. It's like when a school levy doesn't pass in Nov., one can expect it to be brought up again in Feb., May, August and the next Nov. and on - each time slicing off some aspect that makes the kids, the parents, or the grandparents angry until they say 'uncle'.

We defeated issues (twice!) to not build a 'seagate center' (convention) and a ballpark and the county commissioners just built them anyway. COSI - some science park was defeated twice and brought back on the ballot in Nov. and passed by 53% to 47%. No one goes there. They have school field trips that are probably paid for by school taxes, and the kids are as bored as taking them to a museum but of course they get out of classes for the day!

The end is near... none of the bailouts have worked but they continue to bail.

The Wine Commonsewer said...

There are some things that one should not be allowed to vote on at all.

I like your idea of only the Yes people having to pay for the bond.

Of all the electoral disappointments, I have to say that the Hi Speed Train Robbery initiative got me down the most.

I just don't get it. The state cannot even take care of the roads. If there was a demand for hi speed rail from LA to the Bay Area someone would have built the dam thing.

Even my cousin, who is sharp as anyone walking around, voted for the dang thing.

20 billion in the hole and you vote to up that by half. For something that will not work, will cost twice as much, and whose proponents engaged in rank hyperbole to sell it.

It will not be a high speed train because it'll be running on freight train tracks part of the time and that, by definition, means chugging.

Lisa says that none of that matters, people just want the train. They don't care about more taxes, budgets, good sense, or anything else. They just want a train.

Col. Hogan said...


They do that here, too. Seems like we have a highway bond issue and a school bond issue every two years--yet they both continue to deteriorate.

Now, as you know, they're preparing to bail the auto corps(e) out, without acknowledging that, as with the railroads, over regulation is what's destroying them.

Col. Hogan said...


I can remember when the railroads, though heavily regulated even then, were a top investment, because they hauled heavy freight efficiently and had a great passenger network. The particularly heavy regulation load was part of the cause of the railroads desires to abandon the passenger network.

Since the feds didn't want to see passenger trains go away, they nationalized all the railroads' passenger lines into one: Amtrak.

Had none of that happened, I'm sure we'd have high speed passenger trains nationwide before now. Or, passenger rail service would've become obsolete legitimately.

The bullet train envisioned by Stalag California politicians, for which we've just been ripped off, will probably never happen. If it does, as you say, it won't be particularly fast and it won't be running for many, many years.

And, it'll cost far more than they're telling us.

And, they'll extend the thugs from TSA to cover it--old ladies won't be able to knit on the train, nor will I be able to carry my trusty .45 (I've always wanted to be able to shoot outlaws from the window of a train!).

The Wine Commonsewer said...

I've always wanted to be able to shoot outlaws from the window of a train!

Yeeee hah!