What is wrong with Nebraska?

The headlines in the Associated Press read "Neb. parents rush to leave kids before law changes." The sad part is, the headline actually means that parents from Nebraska and states within driving distance are abandoning children, uh, with abandon, in efforts to abuse a loophole in the state's safe haven policies. The AP followed up when Nebraska legislators closed the loophole with a 30-day age maximum for drop-offs, but how did someone in the legislature not notice the loophole in the first place? Especially if people stupid enough to abandon their teenaged children were smart enough to notice the loophole. One would hope the state government were smarter than that.

The law also didn't say that abandoned kids could only be residents of Nebraska, and so a handful of parents actually carted their kids from other states to get rid of their pesky children. Can you imagine how awkward the car ride from, like, Iowa must have been? Does a parent have to drug the kid to get them to willingly be carted to be abandoned? Is there a Chuck-E-Cheese near the hospital to entice them, or what?

Sheesh. I do not want to go to their house for Thanksgiving. Speaking of which, I cannot wait for Thanksgiving.


On, you know, voting.

An audibly elderly Yes on 8 phone bank caller apologized today to my roommate for her views after he mentioned his homosexuality. Why she apologized is beyond us-- if you put forth the effort to volunteer your time calling in support of a particular proposition, why apologize to someone directly targeted in that proposition? For that matter, who did this woman think she was calling-- like-minded individuals for a cup of tea?

I can't imagine how a conversation between me and a Prop 8 supporter would go, not because I am avidly against it, but because of what it means to even put Prop 8 on the ballot.

But I don't need to climb on a soapbox about Prop 8, especially not while living in a liberal bubble writing on a blog likely read by reasonable people who may not believe in gay marriage but who believe it shouldn't be constitutionally forbidden, either.

But in the spirit of standing up for my beliefs and not apologizing for them, I've decided to list my decisions for the state-wide propositions. It's also convenient since I will probably forget how I voted in this election after tomorrow morning, owing in part to the vast extent of California propositions and even vaster extent of Alameda County ballot measures.

So here we go. My unsolicited proposition choices for the 2008 general election:

1A: Yes
2: No
3: Yes
4: No
5: Yes
6: No
7: No
8: No
9: No
10: No
11: No
12: Yes

And some explication:
1A: Folks tell me 1A is expensive and won't do anything in any reasonable time period, and while that's probably accurate, 1A gets the ball rolling for something that our kids can pay for later. We know that public transportation in this large state is unnecessarily absent. Something like 1A was on the ballot last election and failed probably because of NIMBY impulses against increased train traffic in towns quieted by the slower pace of freight trains. That's a lame reason to vote against a lot of things, among them public transportation and the UC's sports facility construction at Memorial Stadium (where the Panoramic Way residents supported the Tree People merely because they didn't want construction noise).

2: The eggs I eat are already pretty happy and free range and kinda local and stuff. Those are probably better-selling anyway. That aside, if it's an issue about animal cruelty in our food animals, making California a safe haven for our chickens won't solve the problem; it only moves it to other states or countries where standards are lower and costs of transport and demand are higher. A parallel: Maquiladoras in Mexico were/are an easy way for American companies to avoid accountability for environmental impact and gain cheap and abusable labor-- does that make it any more ethical to say that environmental regulations and labor laws have improved the quality of life for those in America whose jobs were lost? (Also, the whole point of veal is that the calves can't move around, whether or not one believes they should have the right to.)

3: I don't really care, but it makes me feel like a better person to support children's hospitals. I'm sure I could find something terribly wrong with the written proposition, but I'm too tired to bother.

4: No question.

5: It's nice to see something.

6: Eh. Seems a bit much.

7: Researchers barely know what "renewable" energy even means, and the government shouldn't be forcing utilities to follow certain timelines dependent upon uncertain technological advances.

8: Shouldn't even be on the ballot; government shouldn't even be involved in the issue.

9: Potential costs outweigh potential benefits.

10: Why is the government/us in the long run helping us buy a Prius?

11: Ugh. More bureaucracy. No, thanks.

12: Veterans have seriously gotten the shaft lately. "Farms" or "home aid" sort of sticks out as an awkward moment, but maybe those are refreshing changes from the battlefields?