Posts Tagged ‘Jon Stewart’

Non-Partisan Voter Information for California Elections

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Elections are only two days away, which means that campus is as apathetic as ever. Why should you vote? Well, there’s that whole civic duty thing. Then there’s the fact that these elections are important because they could affect the whole balance of national and state politics. Then there’s the fact that, somewhere in the United States, this crazy person, or this crazy person, or this crazy person, this crazy person, or even this crazy person could, or even very well might, be elected. And then there’s because P. Diddy tells you to.

This is a gratuitous picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

California elections are particularly interesting because of the propositions system, which allows for voters to pass laws with a simple majority. Just as in elections past, this upcoming ballot features a wide range of interesting propositions. In the spirit of making sure voters are informed, Stanford in Government (SIG) has published a non-partisan voter guide to help California voters navigate the murky and horribly-worded propositions when they prepare to vote. Here is the information on some of the most important propositions:

Proposition 19
Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010
Summary: Would allow people 21 years old or older to possess, cultivate, or transport marijuana for personal use. Local governments would have authority to regulate and tax commercial production and sale of marijuana to people 21 years old or older. Would prohibit people from possessing marijuana on school grounds, using it in public, smoking it while minors are present, or providing it to anyone under 21 years old. Current prohibitions against driving while impaired would be maintained.

Pro: Supporters say that Proposition 19 will save the state money currently spent in enforcing the failed laws against marijuana growth and use. They say that Proposition 19 will effectively end the violent drug market created by marijuana prohibition. Proponents argue that marijuana arrests have cost the state millions of dollars in police, prosecution, and prison costs. They argue that taxing the sale of marijuana could bring in large sums to help the state during current budget deficits.
Con: Opponents say that Proposition 19 is a flawed measure that loosens penalties for driving or working under the influence of marijuana. They believe that legalized marijuana will have public costs larger than any amount of revenue brought in by the drug. Many opponents believe that marijuana is a “gateway” drug and will lead users to more dangerous drugs like heroin or cocaine.
Also see here for a debate on Prop. 19.

Proposition 20
Congressional district lines to be re-drawn by a committee
(more…)

Show Me Your Papers!

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

If you’ve been keeping up with current events, you’ve probably heard about the new immigration bill passed in Arizona. It’s being referred to as the toughest measure against illegal immigration yet. The law allows police offers to ask a person for their documents if they have “reasonable suspicion” that that person is an illegal alien. Racial profiling much?  Jon Stewart has put his two cents in on the law. Immigration is obviously a much debated issue throughout the rest of the country as well. Tim James, a gubernatorial candidate in the state of Alabama, has made it a significant part of his platform, too:

embedded by Embedded Video

Note the heartfelt musical accompaniment, his reflective glance toward the ground before asking if it makes sense to you, and his declaration that “This is Alabama. We speak English”. I thought that it was a parody of some kind.

As for the Arizona issue, it will continue to be the subject of heated debate. A number of rights groups have criticized the law. Police Officer Martin H. Escobar of Tucson is pursuing a lawsuit, citing that there are no means of identifying the immigration status of individuals without using race-based criteria. In any event, it’s a hot issue that we should definitely keep up with.