Reality Check #436 - Speaking Frankly
by Robert Nanninga
o the primary elections are over, the stage has been set for the general elections and I'm sure lawsuits are already in motion in response to one or more of the initiatives that passed. I have so much to say I don't where to start.
To begin with, Frank Sinatra is dead, bummer! If only Americans would show as much concern for the environment. We loose one species to extinction every day, yet society doesn't stop to shed a tear not even a pause. But let some aging poster child for bad behavior kick the bucket and bingo, flags are flying at half mast and we feel somewhat diminished. Pah-leeze.
The only thing diminished by Old Blue Eyes passing is that there is one less member of the generation the glamorized suicidal excess. Besides, if you really want to hear "New York, New York" done right, check out Liza, she rocks. And as for "My Way," I have two words: Sid Vicious. Don't get me wrong, Frank did contribute. He made music that people really liked, he won an Oscar and he helped bring Nancy into the world. His passing has also garnered more attention than India and Pakistan rattling their nuclear swords. I guess where Frank's passing sells soap and sport vehicles, the loss of biodiversity does not. It seems we have lost perspective.
Speaking of sword rattling, what is up with these dueling millionaires running for everything? Is this their answer to campaign finance reform? Now instead of special interests controlling politics, we get individual businessmen pushing Republicans and Democrats towards the new and improved Capitalist Party. In the California Voter Information Guide, only one of the major party candidates for senate mentioned the environment. Barbara Boxer is the incumbent with a 100 percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters. Of the major party candidates for governor, only three mentioned the environment: Democrats Gray Davis and Pia Jensen, and Republican Dennis Peron. Hopefully, you cast your vote for one of these candidates, I know I did. The primary is like a big chess game.
For those of you not buying into the Republican/Democrat monopoly on state and federal politics, we now have 5 months to get the word out on third party candidates. Imagine having a choice other than the status quo. The Natural Law party is worth knowing about. I know I'll be voting for Eric Bourdette. Personally, I endorse Green Party candidates. My motto is: "When in doubt, vote Green."
Speaking of monopolies, how many of you have heard that the Supreme Court upheld the media's right to deny third party candidates the right to participate in televised debates? In a nutshell, the crusty judges decided that free speech doesn't apply to everyone. Oh yeah, they also decided that the police can't be sued for fatalities resulting from high speed chases. Liberty and justice for all? I don't think so. As for the initiatives, what is going on? Although I support Initiative 222, I am still troubled. Like the Supreme Court ruling I mentioned earlier, once again we are giving police special status. So if a convenience store clerk gets shot in the line of duty, her killer gets a chance at parole, but a police officer's killer does not. This equates that the lives of police officers having more value than the rest of us. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems we are skipping politely into a police state.
Initiative 227 is totally unnecessary. Here is the way to assure people learn English: make all government forms in English only. That means ballots, driver tests, tax forms, SAT's, Medi-Cal forms everything. By the time a person wants to drive in the state, or work, he or she should be able to read and write English. Think of the money we would save by only having to print in one language. With such policy in place, kids could learn at their own pace with an incentive to master the language before they hit high school. People should be bilingual. I say, learn as many languages as possible. But considering that all traffic signs in California are in English, it would seem we already have an official language.
With spring comes renewal. Here in Southern California, the weather is perfect and it is easy to believe that you can save the world, or at least protect a small piece of it. With the primary election comes hope. Word is that the residents of Leucadia are talking about seceding from Encinitas. Talk about dismantling the master's house. Communities should be free to live outside of a capitalistic paradigm. The city of Arcata, California is the perfect case in point. For those of you that voted, Thank You. For those of you that didn't, all I can say is "Newt Gringrich."
|Robert Nanninga is an independent video producer, actor, vegan and an active member of the Green and environmental communities. His writings appear weekly in the Coast Times.|