Archive for November, 2008|Monthly archive page

Grinch Slapped!

One fish two fish – red fish sue fish.

LouWhoVille is no more.  The city of Louisville, Kentucky, was planning to use “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” as part of its annual Christmas display.  But that came to a stop when they received a cease-and-desist letter from Dr. Seuss.   I kid you not, SHAM I am.

This year grinchy lawyer Barbara J. Orr, representing Dr. Seuss Enterprises, sent the cease-and-desist letter demanding that the city of Louisville, KY, could not would not in a box, and could not would not with a fox – without permission. 

Copywrong or copyright, it doesn’t seem to harm the image in any way.  In my opinion, this could be seen as free advertising and might boost sells in this otherwise bust economy.   Spirits are low enough this year.  I don’t condone copyright infringement, but they aren’t selling anything. 

You’re a mean one, Dr. Seuss!

“If you never did, you should.  These things are fun and fun is good!”

-Dr. Seuss (1904 – 1991)

 

Happy Holidays!

SHAMerica

Prop 8: Response to a Comment

This was a comment to my previous post PROP 8 from “Anonymous” that I’d like to specifically address as a post:

there’s actually nothing in the constitution that says church and state are separate. it just says that the government can’t recognize one/any official religion.

also, churches are tax exempt because they benefit society. the government has an interest in making sure they can use their money to benefit the poor and the needy and organize programs to help people.

there are many non-religious arguments for prop 8.

anyways, no matter what you believe you don’t want the church’s to have to pay taxes. This means they’ll be able to endorse candidates and be more involved in politics. also, it means less money to help people.

——-

SHAMERICA says:

Actually, your argument regarding the words contained in our 1st Amendment is a common misstatement made by those who cite it without comprehension of it’s intent.  And it doesn’t just say the government can’t recognize one/any official religion.  It certainly wasn’t taught to be that simple in the very basic high school civics course.

The legal intent was to build a wall between church and State, as further supported by Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists where he made this specific reference.  Recall Jefferson was a major influence of the U.S. Constitution, though he did not contribute to writing it.

There is also Everson vs Board of Education that carefully expresses those important clauses we all remember and learned about in civics:  Establishment and Free Exercise and also references the intent of those clauses to keep church and State separate.

I agree that religious organizations should remain tax exempt for the very reasons you indicate.  They are held to specific requirements and can lose tax exemption for actions such as:  attempting to influence passage of legislation or promoting ideas which contradict public policies (like desegregation, discrimination, etc).  Some religious organizations have arguably violated these or blurred interpretation of them with the recent Prop 8 campaigns.

Honestly, I have yet to hear any solid non-religious arguments for banning same-sex marriage.  It takes away opportunities from a specific group of people.  That in itself is discrimination.  If any citizen cannot have the same rights as the next citizen, that is discrimination.  

This is a hot topic.  Interracial marriage.  Suffrage.  Foreign born citizens owning land.  These are only a few historically hot topics that endured controversy and redefinition before they ended up as we know them today – nondiscriminatory equal rights.

Thank you for posting.

Shamerica

 

Obama IS Next President

Congratulations America for doing what you do best:  VOTING! 

Looking forward to moving in a new and hopeful direction!

California Voter Guide

Polls open in 24 hours.  

The most important right as a citizen is to vote. 

No matter how you vote, if you are over 18 and an American citizen, you OWE it to yourself to vote.  This is your land and your government.  Whether we like the results or not, you should not ignore your fundamental duty!  flag-21

These are my recommendations for the California initiatives.  You will either agree or disagree, or change your mind from one to the other based on what I write or make you seek out additional information – which is the best.  If you cannot have a level-headed discussion with friends and family, write it here.

Prop 1A:  High Speed Rail Bonds.  YES.  We have already outgrown our infrastructure.  We will continue to grow sooner or later.  It’s time to work on alternative transportation. $9.95 billion in bonds.

Prop 2:  Standards For Confining Farm Animals.  YES.  This is a simple initiative to treat farm animals like pregnant pigs, calves raised for veal, and egg-laying hens, humanely.  It is SICK that anyone finds it acceptable to not allow these animals to fully extend their limbs/wings or be able to lie down, stand up, and turn around all of their lives.   Even sicker is the fact that people find food from these confined animals acceptable as well!  Opponents allege increased salmonella and bird flu from eggs coming from Mexico and out-of-state and increased costs to farmers.  Here’s a simple recommendation:  Only buy California eggs.  As simple as the theory of supply and demand.  The farmers have until 2015 to comply, which is plenty of time to spend the money in upgrades.  If it puts them out of business, then I question their ethics in the first place.  Abuse is unacceptable in any form and certainly has no place on my dinner table.

Prop 3:  Children’s Hospital Bond Act.  NO.  Another $750 million in bonds.  Go back and look at 2004’s Prop 61 that authorized the sale of $1 billion in bonds that apparently remain unspent today.  What happened there?  Time to organize the existing funds accordingly.  Then if there isn’t enough, come back and ask for more.  

Prop 4:  Waiting Period For Parental Notification Before Termination Of A Minor’s Pregnancy.  NO.  This will only force illegal or out-of-state abortions and a likely increase in abandoned infants.  This isn’t the right measure to involve parents. 

Prop. 5:  Nonviolent Drug Offenses.  Sentencing.  Parole and Rehabilitation.  YES.  Keyword:  nonviolent.   It provides for rehab before and after prison time.  Opponents allege there is a loophole for violent criminals to escape prosecution.   I haven’t seen that but if there is, I don’t doubt the law would go through the courts to close any loopholes.   Opponents also allege sentencing for meth dealers would be reduced.  Prop 6 should take care of that.

Prop 6:   Police And Law Enforcement Funding.  Criminal Penalties and Laws.  YES.   There it is:  Sentencing increased for such things as meth sales (see Prop 5).  Opponents allege $1 billion will  be taken from schools, health care, fire protection, and proven public safety programs, empty argument.  Funding will actually come from the General Fund but any budgets or existing bonds for the schools would not be affected.

Prop 7:  Renewable Energy Generation.  YES.  Requires government-owned utilities to generate 20% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2010, 40% by 2020, and 50% by 2025.  Currently the standard of 20% applies only to private corporations (way to stick it to them – totally unfair).  Opponents allege this would lead to higher electricity costs and potential for another energy crisis.  We have to start somewhere.  Like anything, costs may increase, but eventually will decrease as clean energy becomes the norm.  It’s rather convenient for opponents to say this isn’t the time because of the economy.  It’s highly suspect that gas prices are falling as we head into our election, which may give people a false sense that we don’t need to start changing our habits after all.  If not now, when is the time?

Prop 8:  Eliminates Rights of Same-Sex Couples To Marry.  NO.  If you’ve seen my first blog, or the blog before this, you will know where I stand.  More “it’s about the children” ads popping up.  This is a pure and simple discriminatory initiative to amend the California constitution.  It’s only about equal rights.  Hell,  if they stop gays from marrying, what’s next, repealing the rights of blacks and women to vote?  FYI – apparently ProtectMarriage.com does not allow anyone to comment or blog on it’s blog:  http://www.protectmarriage.com/blog/  Guess they don’t want to hear how they are for inequality and discrimination. 

Prop 9:  Criminal Justice System.  Victims Rights.  Parole.  YES.  Requires notification to victims and opportunity for input during processes such as bail, pleas, sentencing, and parole.  Considers victim safety for bail and parole.  Opponents allege current statutes already protect victim rights.  If that’s true, why do we need this one? 

Prop 10: Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Renewable Energy.  NO.  This title comes off like Prop 7 in the use of the term “renewable energy” but is not that at all.  It call for rebates to consumers to purchase clean, alternative fuel vehicles, increases grants to universities to develop cheaper alternatives to gasoline.  Leave it up to the private corporations already researching and developing alternative fuels and save the $5 billion in bonds.  

Prop 11:  Redistricting.  NO.  Takes it out of hands of our elected legislators and puts it into a 14 person commission made up of California voters.  These voters are not elected, nor will there be any audit for their processes.  So where do they come from and where’s the accountability.  Not sure this is worth amending our California constitution, but rather, revisit the process.  Seems opportunistic for corruption.

Prop 12:  Veterans’ Bond Act of 2008.  YES.   Replenishes Cal-Vet home loan program.  Veterans are doing a job for our country whether I agree with war or not.  They volunteer to defend our country.  They deserve some type of benefit whether they ever see combat or not.  Fact is, many get benefits and perks through their employers, so why shouldn’t a veteran – who unselfishly works for our country – not be entitled to benefits for doing that job as well.  Opponents suggest citizens insist this program be limited to the most needy and deserving veterans such as those injured in combat.  I disagree.

Prop A:  City of Los Angeles Special Gang and Youth Violence Prevention, After-School and Job Training Programs Tax.   YES.  Seems like a no-brainer.  Annual $36 special tax on each real property parcel and allows for Low Income and Lifeline Rate reductions.   Good for Los Angeles.  No skin off my back.

Prop B:  Update of Low Rent Housing Authorization.  NO.  Enables the City to receive State funds for the development of previously approved affordable housing units within the City’s zoning and land-use laws.  Does not tax residents or increase the number of allowable units in any area.  Will not change land-use or zoning laws.  Does allow access to previously provided funds of $2.8 billion under Prop 1C.  Opponents say current aging and neglected infrastructure cannot support this.  This needs to be addressed as part of the package to get my vote.

And that concludes my recommendations.

PLEASE VOTE!

Shamerica