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Monday, August 18, 2003

As far as the California recall election goes, I'm of two minds. That shouldn't be a surprise, since I'm of at least two minds regarding almost everything. I can be all four seasons in one day, if the day is long enough.

I'm not of two minds about the recall itself. I'm against it, and not because I think Gray Davis is a good governor. As a governor, I think he's a great fund raiser. That seems to be his primary asset, and it has served him well. Less than a year ago he was reelected, and now his poll numbers are on the negative side. He's such a lame duck that he should be plucked, stuffed, cooked and carved.

Nevertheless, I'm sickened by the whole recall process and I'll be voting against it. I don't believe it should be as easy to remove a legally elected state officer as it has been for these people so far. Yes, everything they've done is correct according to the state constitution. But that doesn't make it right. As chaotic as it is now in Sacramento, it will only get worse if a new administration has to take over in two months.

It's absolutely on principle that I'm voting no on the recall. I would do the same if the process had been used against a Republican, although it's hard to imagine anyone more despicable than the current governor, no matter what their political party. If Davis had committed crimes for which he could be impeached and convicted, I'd be happy to help remove him.

But I think the current signature-gathering process is more than a bit whimsical and entirely cynical. It's just too easy to get people to sign on to an idea as they're entering the supermarket. Do they think it through before they scribble their names on the petition? Obviously not. They're more invested in their grocery lists than the professional "volunteers" standing between them and the electric doors.

Although millions of Californians voted for Gray Davis last November, I can proudly affirm that I was not one of them. As you know (heh), I voted for the Green Party candidate, Peter Camejo. By all rights, I should be voting for him again. His is one of the 647 names on the recall ballot. If the recall passes, someone has to take over. Why not the same candidate I thought was so wonderful last year?

Well, I might indeed vote for Camejo. But there's a case to be made for voting for Cruz Bustamante, the state's current lieutenant governor. He's also a replacement candidate, although like me, he opposes the recall itself. If Davis were to leave office for any other reason, Bustamante would succeed him by law. Although the two men are not political allies, there would be a kind of continuity that would make the transition smoother.

So I'm considering the possibility of voting for Bustamante for exactly that reason. It's been argued by Democrats that a vote for anyone besides Bustamante is as good as a vote in favor of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and that anyone on the left side of the spectrum should consider that a good enough reason to elect him. That's definitely not the reason I would vote for Bustamante, if I choose to do so. If anything, my vote for him would be another protest against the recall itself, and in favor of constitutional succession.

14 August 2003

Fields, trees and clouds. Looking east from my yard.

That's where I stand now — squarely on the fence. I've thought it through, but that hasn't helped me make a decision. I can see strong arguments for voting for either Camejo or Bustamante, and I share both opinions about equally. That makes it a wee bit difficult to make up my mind, but I still have fifty days. You know how I am with deadlines.

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Thirty years after it was made, Soylent Green seems less dated than some movies that came out last year. The least likely thing about it is Charlton Heston as a spokesman for environmental caretaking. Everything else is closer to reality now than it was in 1973. A soulless society run by corporations interested in controlling an overpopulated world for their own benefit? I'm not sure we have to wait until 2022 to see that.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Georgia On My Mind
"I don't need rotting carcasses amongst the hollyhocks. That's just disgusting."

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