Californians May Get Chance to Vote on Dividing Their State

California voters may get to decide if they want to split their state into six parts.

The vote, if it occurs, won’t be on the ballot until November 2016. For those of you who aren’t counting ahead, that would be the next presidential election.

Supporters needed 808,000 signatures to put the question on the state ballot. They ended up with 1.3 million. I would guess that there will be numerous court challenges, including, perhaps federal court challenges, before this thing reaches a vote.

I would also imagine that the United States Congress may have a thought or two on the issue. So far as I know, there is no provision for states to draw their own boundary lines, not even if those boundaries are within their existing state lines.

The petition drive was backed by Timothy Draper, who the Post-Periodical calls a “Silicon Valley venture capitalist.” Mr Draper says that a large number of Californians do not feel represented by the current government.

That sounds reasonable to me. California is a huge state with several climates and what appears from the outside to be several cultural regions, as well. The way the state is represented in Congress it would appear that the people of California are all affluent urban liberals. Unless that’s true, there is a disconnect between governance and at least some of the people.

This whole thing could die in court quickly, or it might linger on through an election and into all sorts of federal questions. If that happens, and if California succeeds in dividing itself, I can see other states taking a shot at the same thing.

Here, from the Post Periodical, is a map of the proposed states into which California would be broken, along with their proposed names.

Six Californias 255x300

Photo source: Post Periodical

How Does It Feel to Vote for the President of the United States?

I voted. Did you? 

Were there long lines? Did you have any problems with the other votes on the ballot? Are you satisfied with the choices we had, or would you like something (as in someone) better next time around?

Let’s share our voting experiences in the comments section. Maybe we can inspire some someone somewhere who is thinking about not voting to go cast that ballot.

Today we are electing the next President of the United States of America.

That’s a pretty big deal.

This Came From the President of the United States? Part Two

That didn’t take long.

There is already a parody of the First Time ad that President Obama’s campaign put out.

The parody is titled, My First Time in a Sexist Ad and is put out by TokenLibertarianGirl, who evidently has 71 videos on YouTube. I haven’t watched any of her other videos, but I did look at their titles. Based on those, I am guessing that she’s a strong supporter of Governor Romney’s bid for the presidency.

I agree with the parody’s assertion that the Obama Campaign ad is sexist, and that it implies that women are only interested in laws that affect their reproductive capacities. The new political mantra from the Obama Campaign seems to be that all women really want is an abortion and a packet of birth control pills.

I don’t agree with a number of things the parody says. But I agree wholeheartedly with the primary contention of the parody that the President’s ad demeans and sexualizes women. I also think it is beneath the dignity of the office of President.

Here, if you’re interested, is My First Time in a Sexist Ad.

YouTube Preview Image

 

 

This Came From the President of the United States?

 

President Barack Obama, official portrait

In a new low for campaign ads, President Obama’s campaign released an ad in which actress Lena Dunham likens voting for Obama to losing her virginity.

The President’s campaign ad uses a juxtaposition of double entendres to create the impression that the actress is talking about sex.

“Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody.” she says. “You want it to be with a great guy. Somebody who cares about and understand women.

“Who cares about whether or not you get health insurance, specifically if you get birth control … you don’t want to do it with a guy who doesn’t think that gay people should never have beautiful and complicated weddings of the kind we see on Bravo and TLC.”

Further on she adds, “My first time voting was amazing. It was this line in the sand. Before, I was a girl. Now, I was a woman. I went to the polling station and pulled back the curtain. I voted for Barack Obama.”

In what appears to be an effort to heap sleaze on top of creepy, Obama for America Campaign Manager Jim Messina announced the ad by tweeting “Your first time voting is important. Trust @lenadunham — you are ready.”

I am not going to link to the ad and I don’t encourage you to go to it. I have no interest in pushing this. The ad is clever, and it does grab you at first. The actress does a good job and the production is good. However, it’s content is trashy and demeaning to women.

The idea for it is also copied from someone else’s work. According to a LifeSiteNews article, the ad concept appears to mimic an ad used by Vladimir Putin in his last campaign.

I watched it and thought: This came from the President of the United States?

 

The Search for Brad Pitt’s Spine

An elderly woman sent a letter to the editor in Springfield Missouri. The letter was published in the local newspaper.

That would — and should — have been the end of it. But the internet wolf pack locked onto this elderly woman and her little letter. They did this because she has a famous son. Brad Pitt’s name in a headline is always good for a few extra hits from the search engines. Driving up traffic to their web sites by whatever means is how these people make their money. It seems that the trashier they behave, the more money they make. So, the pack went on the hunt for Mrs Pitt.

I have not read Mrs Pitt’s letter. I don’t intend to. First, I am not from Springfield Missouri, so what an elderly woman writes in a letter to the editor of a local Springfield newspaper doesn’t matter to me. Second, I am not writing this post to comment on what she said. I don’t care what she said. I am writing this post to defend her right to say it.

Mrs Pitt has evidently run afoul of some of the internet sewer dwellers who seem to believe that anyone who says anything they disagree with is fair game for threats and character assassination. According to reports that I have read, this lady has been subjected to all manner of attack, up to and including death threats. She is evidently feeling besieged. The sewer dwellers have won their victory. They have effectively intimidated another person who disagrees with them into giving up the exercise of her right to free speech.

This isn’t anything new. Character assassination and verbal terror tactics have become the norm in what passes for public debate in this country. What is surprising is that Mr Pitt has responded to these attacks on his mother with silence.

Mr Pitt is a world-famous public figure who has not been shy about giving his opinion in other areas. His silence in this instance of the public trashing of his mother looks far too much like assent. What kind of man (or woman) would allow anyone to attack their mother this way and do nothing?

From what I’ve read, Mrs Pitt made some sort of comments about the current Presidential race and about same-sex marriage. Based on what I’ve read about her comments on the one hand and Mr Pitt’s stated views on politics and this social issue on the other, I am guessing that he does not agree with his mother’s viewpoint on these things.

My question is, What does that matter? She’s his mother. The issue isn’t whether or not they agree, it’s whether or not he’s man enough to stand up for his mother when she is being attacked and abused.

I don’t know of  a gay man — and I know several of them — who would sit by and let someone attack his mother like this. It wouldn’t matter what she had said.

I wish that both Mr Pitt and the responsible members of the gay community would take a stand against this kind of outrageous attack on people who are merely exercising their right to free speech. Mrs Pitt’s letter was published, presumably with her permission, in a newspaper. That makes everything she said open to equally public disagreement and debate. It does not open her or anyone else up for personal attacks, filthy name-calling and death threats.

I do not see how a movement that is based on working for the human rights of a group of people can justify advancing that work by attacking the human rights of other people.

I have no quarrel with homosexual people advocating for the things they believe. I also have no quarrel with them working within the electoral system and the courts in support of those beliefs. It doesn’t matter whether or not I agree with all their goals. That’s how we do things in this country.

The rights to petition the government, vote and organize, freedom of speech and access to the courts belong to every American. The Constitution applies to every single one of us; whether we are gay rights activists, or an elderly woman writing a letter to the editor in Springfield Missouri.

Anyone who tries to effect social change will encounter disagreement and resistance. If you can’t accept that and answer these disagreements, counter this resistance, in a civil and intelligent manner, then it makes it look like your cause is without real merit.

I hope that responsible leaders in this movement will make a statement of non-support when followers of their movement do something so wrong as these attacks on Mrs. Pitt. I think they should do this out of respect for the basic human rights of all people, including those who disagree with them, and also out of respect for their own movement and the things they say they believe.

As for Mr Pitt, my only advice to him is,  grow a spine.


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