Saturday, October 28, 2006

Out of Town

I will be out of town for a good five days to attend a funeral in the great land of Utah. I shall return shortly.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Just Say No to Bonds!

I probably should clear up why I am opposed to prop 1B, since I had an argument with my mother about what exactly the measure means. She claimed that it was not a “new tax”, and just a bond related fund. Bonds are bought by individuals and are not a direct all-encompassing tax per say. That does not mean prop 1B is a good idea, and it doesn’t mean it won’t cost us money down the line. Let me explain.

A bond is an IOU from the government, backed by the taxing power of the state. By definition, a bond is deficit spending and it allows politicians to spend tax money that they have not yet collected in taxes. Legally, the repayment of bonds has priority over all other state spending and federal law does not permit states to file bankruptcy. Once bonds are issued, they must be repaid with interest according to their terms, regardless of whatever other emergencies may arise in the future.

Generally, bonds more than double the cost of public works, due to the compounding of interest, plus the fees charged by bond traders, bond attorneys, and other middlemen. Thus, bonds are the most expensive way of paying for government projects. A pay-as-you-go approach is not only more fiscally responsible, it prevents the current generation from mortgaging the future of the generations to come.

Therefore, all these bonds the State plans to sell to fund transportation programs are just one big IOU that we will have to pay back with interest. Doesn’t sound like a sound plan to me.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

November Elections, and Chimps!

Almost time for the midterm elections! Are you as excited as I am?

Wait! Where are you going? What’s that; you don’t care what I think about the ballot issues in California? Well isn’t that rotten peaches!

Ok fine, I will bring in a guest blogger today. An individual we all can trust to give us the skinny on this important election. It is my pleasure to introduce, Detective Chimp!

For those of you who do not know, Detective Chimp is quite the egg-head. He is a member of MENSA and solves supernatural related mysteries. So he knows his stuff boys and girls.

Detective Chimp and I will give you our personal picks as well as our expected results for all major offices and measures. Detective Chimp, please ready the coffee. It is going to be a long morning…

Roland’s Pick – Art Olivier (Libertarian)
Detective Chimp – Peter Camejo (Green)
Expected Winner – Arnold Schwarzenegger (Republican)

Roland: I don’t think there is any doubt that Arnold Schwarzenegger will win this election with a double digit lead. I really don’t care for the Democratic candidate (Phil Angelides), but Arnold gets under my skin for other reasons, and I just won’t vote for him. Arnold is what American politics will be in another 20 years: a celebrity reality show with even less substance then what currently subsists. Sot his year I am voting for a third party, and it was a close toss up between the Libertarian and the Green candidate.

The truth is, I would have easily given my vote to Art Olivier if he didn’t spend half his time railing against illegal immigration. Yes, it is a major issue, but it doesn’t seem like the “right” position for a Libertarian. Camejo is a charismatic fellow, and while I don’t agree with a lot of his tax increases for government programs, I do have sympathy for his instant run-off voting proposition. At the end of the day, my fiscal side wins out, and Art gets the vote even with my reservations. (My father is a big supporter of Camejo’s campaign, and will be voting for him however.)

Detective Chimp: I will give my vote to Camejo. I feel his Green background will allow him to spiritually connect to mother earth, and that power may come in handy if the Spectre attacks us again.

Roland: …makes…sense…

Lieutenant Governor
Roland’s Pick – Lynnette Shaw (Libertarian)
Detective Chimp – Lynnette Shaw
Expected Winner – Tom McClintock (Republican)

Roland: Yet another third party candidate for me, and this one I can throw my full support behind. Lynnette is campaigning on one major issue: the legalization of marijuana. This is an issue I feel strongly about.

Now before you start making assumptions about my character, I want to make it clear that I am not a user of the drug. I have used it on a handful of occasions in my college days, but it was never my hobby of choice. I do feel it is completely ridiculous to make a substance illegal to adults, especially when it is no more harmful to ones health then alcohol. The amount of money and time we spend criminalizing it is one of the stupidest things currently going on in the United States. Let me remind you that alcohol did not make Al Capone in the 20s, prohibition did. So let us cut the bullshit and end this failed policy.

Detective Chimp: I am voting for Shaw simply because I do enjoy smoking the herb, and I plan to do so immediately after this cup of coffee. It would be splendid if the local authorities did not routinely detain me for possession. Seeing as how I have spent the last month on Earth-2, I must admit that not a single candidate for this office jogs my memory, so a pro-drug candidate sounds fair enough.

Roland: Ok Detective, let us move on to some of the more divisive ballot measures. Your coffee cup is looking a bit empty, and I would prefer you maintain an intellectual mindset during this discussion. So if you could not “hit that” right now, that would be swell.

Detective Chimp: Brilliant!

Proposition 1B Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, and Port Security
Should the state sell $19.9 billion in general obligation bonds to fund state and local transportation improvement projects to relieve congestion, improve movement of goods, improve air quality, and enhance safety and security of the transportation system?

Roland – No
Detective Chimp – Yes
Expected Result – Yes

Roland: California spends too much money, it is that simple. The reason we recently feel on hard financial times is because we spend money on projects that we simply can not support. As much as I would like to relieve congestion, it is more important to trim off extra spending for the next 10 years so that we can get our house in order.

Detective Chimp: I am assuming these transportation improvements will also include fixing intergalactic worm holes, many of which need serious work. Just last year I was stranded in the Land of the Lost due to a poorly maintained outlet, and I would prefer to not have that happen again. I also don’t pay taxes, since I am a chimp.

Roland: You communist! It is ok to raise taxes as long as it isn’t you paying them huh? Wait a minute, how are you able to vote? Last time I checked, chimps did not have the right to do so.

Detective Chimp: Please Roland. I have a genius level IQ. I have battled Green Lantern and Captain Marvel, do you really think it is that difficult to trick the retired old women who work the polling station?

Roland: Hmmm, I didn’t think about that. It is good to know just about anyone, and anything for that matter, can vote in California elections.

Detective Chimp: It is truly God’s country!

Proposition 83 Sex Offenders. Sexually Violent Predators. Punishment, Residence Restrictions and Monitoring
Should California amend existing laws relating to violent and habitual sex offenders and child molesters to increase penalties and monitoring?

Roland: Yes
Detective Chimp: Yes
Expected Result: Yes

Roland: Seems a no-brainer to me. Most child molesters are folks who can not reform, and I would rather we keep better tabs on them rather than simply hoping they don’t fall back into old habits. We can not complain about the crime in our neighborhoods and then not take the steps necessary in protecting them.

Detective Chimp: I agree. Unless of course the sex offender is a beautiful human woman who fancies males of the chimp persuasion. They should be given a medal.

Roland: That is a mental image I will never be able to remove. I will be sending you my mental counseling bills.

Proposition 85 Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor's Pregnancy
Should the California Constitution be amended to require notification of the parent or legal guardian of an un-emancipated pregnant minor at least 48 hours before performing an abortion?

Roland: Yes
Detective Chimp: No
Expected Result: Yes

Roland: I personally do not feel an underage individual can completely comprehend the importance of pregnancy and for that matter, the abortion of an unborn child. Within our society, children of a certain age are not expected to comprehend the complexity of the world like adults are. It is the reason we place juveniles in separate courts and have them serve out lesser punishments. I think we have to extend this line of reasoning to the issue of parental notification concerning abortion.

Detective Chimp: Since abortion is strictly prohibited in Chimp society, I don’t clearly understand the issue. What if the underage girl is carrying a demon spawn, are they allowed to abort in that situation?

Roland: Uh, I am not too familiar with demon spawn abortions. You may want to look into that.

In Conclusion

Roland: There are a number of other important measures appearing on the November ballot, but now that Detective Chimp is preoccupied with chasing my cat around the living room, I think it is best we call it a day. Any concluding comments Detective?

Detective Chimp: I would like to remind all potential voters that it does not matter the specific candidate you vote for, I have discovered they are all Skrull imposters. They have developed an intricate plan to undermine the American electoral system and turn every citizen into dejected critics. Once this is achieved, they will easily invade earth and make all homo-sapiens their slaves.

Roland: Really? I am surprised no one is talking about this. Thanks again liberal media!

Monday, October 23, 2006

“Misery is the River of the World”

Well, this was some unexpected “news”.
Scarlett Johansson and Lindsay Lohan are about to have something in common.

Scarlett, I am told, has signed a deal to make her first record. "Scarlett Sings Tom Waits" is being recorded now and through the winter, with a possible release next spring from Rhino Records' recently reactivated Atco label. The eventual release date will be coordinated with Johansson's movie schedule.

I must say, I am intrigued. I love Tom Waits with a passion, and hearing Johansson record a whole record of his songs should at least be…..interesting.