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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Instead of spending my Sunday doing spreadsheets and reconciling last monthís bank statement (which I should get to one of these days real soon), I spent some time, between football games, a stock car race and a fairly compelling baseball game (with frequent checks of the Weather Channel), doing a little more research on the upcoming California election ballot. I admit I didnít get very far, but I decided to start at the top and work my way down.

Naturally, this being California and all, the first item on the ballot is Proposition 73. Its title, ďWaiting Period and Parental Notification Before Terminating Minorís Pregnancy,Ē doesnít even tell half the story.

For anyone who is pro-choice (and thatís most of us, despite what the anti-civil liberties wingnuts currently running the country would like us to believe), Proposition 73 is an insidious attempt to codify their definition of abortion as murder. Itís wrapped in a measure that deals with parental consent, but even if you believe that the government should get involved in family decisions, a yes vote here is a step toward outlawing all abortions for anyone of any age at any time. Donít let them tell you itís not, because thatís what itís really about.

Why does the governor of California hate teachers? In fact, why has Arnold Schwarzenegger declared war on the teachers in this state? Itís not as if anyone goes into teaching for the money, or because itís a soft, easy job. Most of the teachers Iíve ever known (even the bad ones) were dedicated to the education and well-being of the students in their charge. And the ones who werenít didnít last very long, so I donít see the need for Proposition 74, which has the title ďPublic School Teachers. Waiting Period for Permanent Status. Dismissal.Ē

Proposition 74 would make it harder for new teachers to become permanent employees and easier to fire them. In fact, it makes dismissal of teachers pretty much an arbitrary decision of their supervisors and the school board, without giving the teachers recourse to due process. Thereís even the odd chance (shudder!) that politics might play a role in teacher firings.

Itís not hard to fire bad teachers under the current system. We donít need to write a new law that would demean and diminish the good ones.

20 October 2005

Something happening skyward.

Okay, I admit I didnít get very far today with this project, but thereís still more than two weeks to go until election day. I waste enough time during the week that I shouldnít have any trouble getting through the rest of the propositions and getting my absentee ballot into the mail in plenty of time. It didnít take me long to figure these first two out.

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The two teams playing in this yearís World Series got there in part because they both had closers who were able to nail down leads that their outstanding starting pitching and timely hitting had given them. So when Bobby Jenks came into the ninth inning with the White Sox leading, 6-4, the last thing I expected to see was a two-out, two-run pinch single by Jose Vizcaino to tie it. And when Astros closer Brad Lidge came out in the bottom of the ninth with the score tied, I was as stunned as he was to see Scott Podsednik, who hadnít hit a home run all season, hit one out to give the White Sox a 7-6 win that sends the series to Houston with the Sox leading, 2-0.

For other journal recommendations, check out the links page.

One year ago: Estate
"If youíre flexible enough to make up the rules as you go along, you can probably eliminate some of the regrets that crop up later on."

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