Insomnia Log

This is what keeps me awake at night???

Who needs sleep? (well you’re never gonna get it)
Who needs sleep? (tell me what’s that for)
Who needs sleep? (be happy with what you’re getting,
There’s a guy who’s been awake since the second world war)

-- words and music by Steven Page & Ed Robertson

Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States

Everything you need to know about me can be found in my posts

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Bush Lied, People Sighed

So, President Bush told us that he was going to keep on Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense, while all along he was going to fire him. Isn't that just another lie to add to his resume?

I hate to admit it, but I actually support the president on this. It doesn't happen often, but I need to say so when I do.

Think about it this way. What CEO of any American company would be able to keep his job if he went and blabbed about every decision or potential decision before its time? What kind of respect would you give to any manager that announced that he was thinking about firing one of his employees? Especially if he hadn't yet lined up the replacement?

Let's get over this and get on to the big issues.


Friday, November 17, 2006

It's the Babies, Stupid

Alright, alright, I admit it. I don't know what I'm talking about. But that doesn't make my argument any less valid.

It boils down to this: There is a law in Oklahoma that deals with gays, adoption, and couples. For that very reason alone it must be a bad law, and the court in Denver needs to do the right thing and toss it out.

And if you're gay or thinking about becoming gay and if you are adopted or thinking about being adopted, you may want to consider whether Oklahoma is the best place to plan your summer vacation.

Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
- Mark Twain

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Babies Go Marching Two By Two

Ok, so "apparently" I still didn't get it right. I've been told that the state of Oklahoma didn't ban adoption of gay babies and they didn't ban the adoption of same-sex babies.

The Okies have mastered the art of subtle nuance. The actual law is a prohibition on same-sex couple adoption.

I can't believe that anybody would object to adopting two brothers or two sisters. I'm sure I saw it on TV. The real crime is breaking up families. And, what -- if they are a brother and a sister you can adopt them, but just because they happen, purely through genetics, to be the same gender, they can't both be adopted by the same parents.

Well, here's the real crime. Lawmakers in Oklahoma, claiming to be family friendly, are actually breaking up families. How can they sleep at night? If the 10th U.S. Circuit Court doesn't find that this law is unconstitutional, then those judges never had a brother!

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Correction: Baby Semantics

Ok, I've been "told" that I was wrong, that Oklahoma has not banned the adoption of gay babies. Rather, they have banned same-sex adoption.

Seems like semantics to me. And in any case, my arguments are still relevant. Why does the government of Oklahoma think they have to right to prevent you from adopting a same-sex baby?

Is there anything all that bad if a man adopts a baby boy or a woman adopts a baby girl? It may not be for everybody, but all of the research shows that children with a same-sex parent grow up just as well-adjusted as children with an opposite-sex parent.

So, my point stands. Same-sex adoption should not be illegal in Oklahoma and same-sex children adopted in other states should not be taken away when the same-sex parent takes the child to Oklahoma.

It's a scandal. It's an outrage.
It's a problem we must solve.
We gotta start a revolution!

All right, boys. Revolve!

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What About the Babies?

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver is hearing a case related to gay adoption. It seems that there is/was a law in Oklahoma banning gay adoption, and a federal judge there declared the law unconstitutional.

What I want to know: If the law is upheld, who will take care of all those gay babies in Oklahoma? Don't gay babies have the same rights to have parents that straight babies have?

In fact, the Oklahoma law takes the anti-gay adoption idea to the next step. They don't just ban the adoption of gay babies in that state. If a couple adopts a gay baby in another state and then visits Oklahoma, that adoption will not be recognized, and the gay baby will be taken from the ex-parents. Although it has not been reported, I assume that the baby will then be sent to the official gay orphanage in Oklahoma City.

If you've adopted a gay baby, I urge you to stay out of the Sooner State, or you could be childless sooner than you think!

Remember, there may be a debate over whether homosexuality is a choice that gay babies have made or if they were born that way. But still, can't all agree that they deserve parents too?

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

How'd I do?

The election is over, the votes are (mostly) counted, and it's time to take stock of how well my recommendations did.

Overall, I recommended a NO vote on 13 issues. Seven of these passed and six failed. I recommended a YES vote on 7 issues. Of these, four went down and three passed. I suppose a monkey throwing darts in a pub would've done better, but I'm sure the monkey wouldn't have felt so smug.

My biggest disappointment? Not being chosen to attend CNN's bloggers' party on election night. I blame this totally on my not self-identifying as either liberal or conservative. However, the fact that I admit to living in Boulder should be good enough for them.

The biggest positive? I learned that if you actually put something on your site that people are interested in they will find it. On Monday and Tuesday of this week, I had more hits than in the entire previous history of my site.

Some thoughts on specific races:

The voters wisely rejected three of the biggest insults to our system of government, Amendments 38, 39, and 40. Unfortunately, they did not reject the fourth insult, Amendment 41, the so-called ethics in government amendment. This change to our state constitution prohibits almost any gift to almost any government employee. The supporters claimed that the preamble's statement of the purpose of the law overrode the actual language in the measure. I'm eager to see either another election or a court case to clarify that we will not be penalizing government employees with no influence for gifts that are not meant to influence public policy.

Amendment 42 passed, putting an increase to the minimum wage in our constitution. Interestingly, this was probably a symbolic measure, given the new democratic control of the state government and the U.S. Congress.

We once again showed that we are not ready to recognize the rights of gays in passing Amendment 43 (defining marriage as between a man and a woman and declaring the invalidity of gay unions) and rejecting Referendum I (domestic partnerships.) The only consolation is that this has no affect, other than emotional, since the definition of marriage already exists in both state and federal law.

Was anybody surprised that Amendment 44 (legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana) failed? Although I voted for it, I admit it was a bit silly, given that possession would still be a federal violation, and it would also still be a crime to grow or sell pot making it about impossible to actually obtain your legal reefer.

Referendum E, property tax relief for disabled veterans, passed easily. As I argued, this is a federal issue that we should not have to solve at the state level, and it only helps a small percentage of disabled vets, but I guess I can't begrudge a few vets this small benefit.

I was kind of puzzled that Referendum F, adjusting recall deadlines, went down. It seemed to me to be a simple case of adjusting the deadlines to fit with reality. But I guess people felt nervous that someone was trying to take advantage of them.

Referendum H, eliminating the state income tax deduction for wages for undocumented workers, passed narrowly, and I voted for it. However, I don't see it being more than symbolic, as few employers are liable to actually admit they hire undocumented workers.

Referendum J went down, mirroring Amendment 39. Voters wisely determined that these were just sneaky ways to cut school spending.

Referendum K passed, mandating the state to file a lawsuit against the federal government to enforce immigration laws. As I stated, this is nothing more than a waste of money, and makes people feels like they did something on the issue.

Local Issues:

Boulder County Issue 1A, Transit and Trails tax, went down. Too bad. We have good trails and transit here, but there is lots of room for improvement and providing leadership for the rest of the country. I hope the county commissioners make good on their promise to try and fund as much of this as possible without this new tax.

Boulder Issue 201 passed, allowing the fire training center to proceed. Let's hope the city can make good on their promises to do it right this time.

Issue 202 also passed, allowing the city to set a national standard for dealing with the issue of climate change.

Boulder citizen initiatives 2A and 2B both were flawed and both went down. Does it say something that of the nine citizen initiatives on the state and local ballot I only voted for one (and that in spite of its flaws)? There's obviously a reason we have a representative democracy.

Boulder Valley School District got its massive capital funding bond issue passed. I hope they make wise us of this money, because I can't see them passing another bond issue for quite a while unless they do exactly what they promised on this one, for the amount of money they promised, in a timely manner.

To everybody reading this, I hope you voted, and thanks for indulging my rants!

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Ballot Summary and Recommendations

Summary of my recommendations (so far) for this November's election. Follow the links to see my analysis of each issue. Check back between now and November 7 for more.

When in doubt, vote No!

State of Colorado Proposals:

Boulder County Measures:

City of Boulder Measures:

Boulder Valley School District Measure:

  • NO on Issue 3A: Facilities Improvement Bond

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Correction, Sort Of

Yesterday, I reported that the Boulder Daily Camera's sample ballot had a number of errors, some of which might even inadvertently affect the way people vote. Well, what do you know, today the Camera republished the section, with every single one of the errors I reported fixed. However, they did not state why they republished it, nor did they say that they were changing anything.

Go figure.

Anyway, make sure you vote, but even more important make sure you know what you're voting for!

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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Sample Ballot Caution

I was using the Quick Reference page of the Daily Camera's Voter Guide to mark my voting selections, to create a cheat sheet to bring with me when I voted the other day. That is a very good idea, by the way. Even having my planned votes right in front of me, and even with no line because I voted early at an off hour, it still took me 25 minutes start to finish. There will be long lines on election day!

When marking my selection, I noticed some serious errors in the publication. Some of these errors were serious enough that, had I not spent hours reviewing all of the issues, I could easily have marked the ballot contrary to my own intentions.

Errors include:
  • The abbreviation for every party except Republican is defined. Probably not going to confuse many people, but it sure gives people who think the Camera has a liberal bias something to whine about.

  • House District 4 is labeled as District 2. This means that District 2 is listed twice (once correctly.) For someone who is using this guide to plan their votes, this could lead to researching and planning to vote for one candidate, but being presented with a different choice on election day.

  • Amendment 38, possibly the most dangerous item on the ballot is described as "limiting initiative language". In fact, this issue would make petitions easier, not limit them. If someone has seen enough ads to be aware of this issue and have an opinion but relies on this title instead of reading the description, it could lead to casting an unintended vote.

  • The worst error is on Amendment 43. The camera labels this one "domestic partnerships", while in fact this amendment would limits marriage to a union between a man and a woman. In fact, there is another issue, Referendum I, which does deal with domestic partnerships. Unfortunately, people who vote for Amendment 43 will largely vote against Referendum I and vice versa. If someone fills out this sample ballot based on the ballot title given by the Camera, they are likely to vote exactly opposite to their intentions.

  • The Camera labels Referendum E as "extending property tax exemptions for seniors." In fact, this measure would provide property tax reductions for disabled veterans. Another case of a description that has nothing to do with the actual measure, and potentially leads people to misvote.
The State of Colorado provides perfectly acceptable and politically neutral titles for every one of these issues in its Blue Book. I don't understand why the Camera couldn't have used them.

In fact, this document, with these errors, was published last month. I sent them a letter identifying the problems on October 28. However, as of today, November 4, the Voter Guide is still posted on their website with every single one of the same errors, and no correction has been published.

Is this going to turn into Boulder's "butterfly ballot"?

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