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Sunday, August 27, 2006

smokescreen?

The lawyer quoted in the Sun Post said something to the effect that these anti-tax types often drag out this line from measures and initiatives to produce a "smokescreen."

First of all, I'm happy to be associated with the so called "anti-tax crowd" and I know this lawyer doesn't know me very well. And I fully accept that in political debate today, "smokescreen" is pretty much the order of the day. So the comments aren't unexpected. However, I don't do "smokescreen!" We don't have a "win at any cost" attitude. I figure that if the facts are on the table, the way people vote is the way they vote and that's it.

But regarding the issue at hand, the lawyer claims that "all these laws have similar language" -- nothing unusual here! So I took at look at a few similar measures. I didn't find any that had that kind of "amendment text." However, I should point out I didn't look at a very large sample.

Then this morning, who is on the TV but this guy, Peter Schrag, the author of California: America's High-Stakes Experiment. It was just a 15 minute interview that C-SPAN fits between shows. He was asked about his view of the initiative process. He replied that in his view, they are generally bad because they are ad-hoc lawmaking and can only be changed by another vote, except if they contain provision for their own ammendment, which they rarely do.

Schrag was the editor of the Modesto Bee's opinion page and when asked how long he'd been studying California politics he replied "45 years!" (I think)

Well, if he says these "ammendment provisions" are rare, that's good enough for me. So much for the theory that "these anti-tax types always say that."

Friday, August 25, 2006

Stockton fights crime with propaganda


Others are glad to see the city and Police Department doing something,
regardless of whether it works.

Note that this is the same Stockton that we are being told we should emulate. Stockton passed a special "safety tax" a few years ago. The new tax promised to hire new police officers, etc, etc.

The result? From the same article:

Stockton had the highest violent crime rate in the state ... and is among Central Valley cities with high car theft and robbery rates.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Der Untergang

Since we are just getting started with a new "blog" I figured I should log the events of the day or something.

Today, I got a chance to screen Der Untergang (The Downfall). Are you feeling a little too happy these days? Well this is the movie for you. This is the story told by Traudl Junge. Who is Traudl Junge you ask? Oh, just Hitler's secretary. And this is the uplifting tale of ... let me get this right from the review ... "the Nazi dictator's final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII." O what a joy!

It is good film, if you are into historical details, but be warned that if you do choose to watch it, this is the most depressing movie ever.

The film sort of made me think of what it would be like if there was a camera at one of those closed session meetings of the Manteca City Council. But maybe that's just me.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Welcome

Welcome to Manteca Live!
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