Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wow, it is truly amazing. We did it! Obama is in! I truly believe that Obama represents a new hope for our country. Throughout his campaign, he demonstrated an even, logical approach to dealing with problems that will serve him well in the white house.

What a refreshing turn of events to have a person of great intellect and compassion in control. I am looking forward to watching him turn this country in a different direction. I believe that the next four years will result in more than a change in the economy and the wars, but in the attitude of the country as a whole.

Just the results of this election should remind us that good can win if enough people stand up and make it their priority. I reminds us that a government is not "to the people" or even "for the people", it's "by the people", and the people make the difference.

If you notice, this was not a complacent election. The people participated. Just think, if the people continue to participate, continue to stay informed, and keep an eye on things, we may never get into another economic and international quagmire.

It may be too much to hope for. Face it, what we really want is the government to run itself while we deal with the issues in our own lives. Yet never in most our life times has the link to what is happening in our government and what is happening in our lives become so apparent and on so many levels.

From seeing our citizens shipped off to a purposeless war, to the loss of jobs, high prices, bankruptcies, foreclosures, failing health care system, failing educational system, crumbling infrastructure, environmental destruction, homelessness, unjust legal system, and failing economy, just to name a few... It should be clear that we cannot sit back and let our government run on autopilot and elect the guy with the best slogan.

Our complacency has enabled greed to rule and has given power to those for their own personal ambitions to the detriment of the people. Now that we're beginning to wake up, we need to look not only to Washington, but in our own back yards. What is happening in your own city, county and state? This is where corruption starts, and by the time corrupt officials work their way to Washington, they are expert thieves stealing the hopes and dreams of the people they are there to represent.

If we show the same interest and scrutiny in the local elected officials, that we did in this presidential election, our government would never get away from us again.

I point this out because, here in California, we may have made the right presidential choice, but we blew it big and dropped the ball when it came to state issues.

1) We allowed out of state religious interests to funnel enough money and poisonous rhetoric to convince voters to pass an amendment banning gay marriage. It's amazing that in this state where we have such a high number of educated and fair minded people, that 51% of us were gullible enough to buy into the notion that government has the mandate to legislate a religious institution and that our citizens should not be equal under the law. Both notions are patently federally unconstitutional.

2) With our educational system in worse shape than it has have ever been in, we decided to sink the first round of funding of over 9 Billion dollars in bonds into a really fast train to go from San Francisco to L.A.. And what's worse, that 9 Billion doesn't buy us the train, it buys us a project that isn't even required to produce a train, fast or otherwise. Not that getting between San Francisco and L.A. was a big problem, between that roads, trains, planes, and buses that join the two cities. I guess that we were in love with the idea that we might someday be able to get from San Fran to LA in less time than it takes most folks in San Francisco and LA to drive to work in the morning.

3) But meanwhile, we decided it's much better to house non-violent drug users in prisons for lengthy sentences, than to spend less money, providing them with rehab.

4) But hey, we aren't bad people, we voted that livestock must have roomier accommodations.

5) And we gave Billions more to fund privately owned childrens' hospitals, or perhaps I should say, hospitals that treat children, (which is all of them, right?) which increases the number of hospitals that qualify for the funding. Well, maybe this time, they actually can give away the money, because they haven't been able to dole out all of the money from when we passed this measure the first time a few years ago.

I guess the chickens were the winners in the state.

Well, if I get caught a with a joint and get charged with terrorism and go to jail for the next 30 years, by the time I get out, there may be a speedy train that I couldn't afford to ride that could take me from San Francisco to LA, or maybe just a nice expensive plan for one. And gays and I will share the distinction of being lesser citizens under the law.

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