Thursday, November 03, 2005

This Blog's Official Ballot Endorsements (free of charge)

Because the world would be a much better place if everyone voted exactly like me.

California Initiatives

73 - Abortion parental notification. No. Because the decision should be made by elected officials.
74 - Weaken teacher tenure. No. Because the decision should be made by elected officials.
75 - Fuck the Unions Act. No. Because the decision should be made by elected officials or the courts.
76 - Spending Cap. No. Because budgetary decisions should be made by the legislature and governor.
77 - Redistricting. Yes. Because the only issues voters should get to vote on directly are process questions -- term limits, redistricting, campaign finance, etc. -- that should not be decided by elected officials due to conflicts of interest. Prop 77 is pretty poorly drafted, but besides public financing of campaigns, few acts would improve the political system more effectively than to take district-drawing out of the hands of political hacks. Competitive districts would make legislators care about their constituents again. Prop. 77 is flawed, but it's still much better than what we have now. Gerrymandering sucks -- whether Dems have the edge or not. On the "not" front, see also Ohio Issue 4.
78- Pharma-subsidies. No. Because the decision should be made by elected officials.
79- Low cost drugs. No. Because the decision should be made by elected officials.
80-Electricity re-regulation. No. Because the decision should be made by elected officials.

Also, it's not on the official ballot, but if you happen upon Prop 1000 - No More Initiatives Will Ever Be on the Ballot Ever Again Ever, VOTE YES!

If I were to live in Virginia I'd vote for Tom Kaine for Governor, if only because some lefty crybabies went way too far. If I were to live in Jersey....who am I kidding, I'd never step foot in Jersey! [rimshot] New York, I guess the RINO Bloomberg isn't so bad. Everyone else is voting for him, and who wants to swing with a loser?

Village Voice/New Times merger

The long-gestating merger between the two major alternative weekly conglomerates have finally gone through. What does it mean for devoted fans of lefty weekly rags? And for their staff, some of whom are friends and readers of this blog? The unpredictable Marc Cooper provides this informative and convincing analysis of what's at stake. His take is firmly rooted in reality -- in the actual conditions of the business.

With the emergence of digital information technology, many industries are struggling. Newspaper circulation have been in decline. Cooper alludes to the detrimental effect that Craig's List had on the alt-weeklies. Just as some lament of the distribution crisis facing super-hifalutin art cinema, others lament the inhospitable conditions facing traditional journalism.

We are all attached to certain institutions. My ex-girlfriend used to worry that I'd kill myself diving into a BART track for a discarded NY Times. That's how much I love newspapers. But things change. Like the travel agent racket, various long-standing industries and institutions will continue to change or die. Digital technology has enhanced the ease of consuming information and art while simultaneously diminishing the consumer's patience for long, rigorous works. The changes in the print media reflect overall changes in information consumption. The trade-off yields a net benefit, I think, but the cost of technological change should be acknowledged.