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07:34pm 29/08/2003
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A nice little article....   
02:39pm 18/08/2003
  It's Democracy, Stupid; The people want to vote

by Marc Cooper, LA Weekly
August 17th, 2003

It's Democracy, Stupid; The people want to vote
LA Weekly, August 15-21 2003

By Marc Cooper

It's time to tune out the bleating elites and vacant talking heads whose doomsday warnings about these exciting times raise questions about their sanity. They need to spend more time with their de Tocqueville, who could have warned them that here in America nothing is more chaotic than democracy itself. Let's debunk five myths about the recall.

Myth No. 1: The recall election is a circus.

It's a circus only to the degree that cynical, shallow media make it so. Especially the electronic media in which the ringmasters are the TV news directors -- a species that wouldn't recognize a "serious" election if it fell on their empty heads. We're now going to get civics lectures from a bunch of ratings whores who long ago traded in their Sacramento bureaus for freeway telecopters?

Every election cycle attracts marginal and aberrant candidates, and the media usually ignore them after the one or two initial and totally predictable soft features. Angelyne, Gary Coleman, Larry Flynt et al. loom so large in this election only because the telephoto lenses remain so tightly locked onto them.

The L.A. Times (and other major metros) has also helped promote the circus theme, giving undue attention to the carnival candidates. A strange twist, as this is the same Times that barred Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader from the presidential debate it organized during the 2000 campaign. Times management argued at the time that Nader wasn't a serious enough candidate to warrant inclusion. Nader's mistake, apparently, was to not have Gary Coleman chauffer him down to Spring Street in Agelyne's pink Vette.

Myth No. 2: The recall election will throw the state into chaos.

Whenever encrusted elites lose control of one of their processes, they always warn of chaos, catastrophe and dire consequences. Only they are wise enough to guide our lives. Nothing strikes so much fear into their manipulative little hearts as when the hoi polloi spin out of control --out of their control.

An election in which pliant, predictable candidates are handpicked in backrooms and bankrolled by special interests, in which the victor comes to power through a $75 million campaign of slash-and-burn TV ads with a record-low turnout, well, thats just one more serious and orderly round of balloting, were supposed to believe. But let just any dumb bastard citizen off the street run for office, totally beyond the reach of the party and lobbyist elites, and that is a sure sign that California is sliding into the sea. What has the establishment so panicked about this election is hardly the threat of chaos. It's rather the unpredictability of the process and its outcome. Imagine electing some candidate that hasn't already been bought and paid for. The horror, the horror.

We're told the recall is a hijacking, a coup, the illegitimate overturning of a legitimate election; ultimately, we're warned, this is the unwashed and witless electorate running riot. Pundits beware: This "circus" election is likely to generate a bigger turnout than last year's "official" contest. A staggering 90 percent of voters say they plan to cast ballots on October 7. In a recent Gallup Poll, almost 70 percent of likely voters said they want to oust Gray Davis.

Those who continue to insist this recall is a sham perhaps ought to take the advice Bertolt Brecht once gave the East German regime: Maybe the government should dismiss the people and elect a new one?

The latest apocalyptic warning from the panicked elites is that with more than 100 names on the ballot, it could take 10 minutes (!) for a voter to go through and maybe 40 hours for some small counties to tally. As a reporter, I've been to more than one country where people braved jail and gunfire in order to vote, or even to just suggest an election should be held. Somehow I think the republic will survive if a lengthy ballot makes a few Californians late to Pilates classes on Election Day.

Myth No. 3: Organized labor is the force behind progressive politics.

It could be and should be. But it isn't. Ask just about any group of frontline union organizers --those 60-hour-a-week troops who actually pick up the authorization cards -- what they think of Gray Davis and they'll start to gag. In private conversation, even the labor bosses openly disdain Davis. These are the same folks, after all, who every couple of years mumble the same pie-eyed gibberish about "taking back the Democratic Party."

Yeah, yeah, yeah. But when served up the golden opportunity to dump a Lite Democrat like Davis (one who had to be threatened with hunger strikes before he signed pro-UFW legislation) and actually take a stab at remolding the party, the labor hierarchy still refuses to make the break. Instead, County Federation chief Miguel Contreras threatens that he will sink any Democrat who breaks ranks in labor's defense of Davis. If only Contreras and the rest of Big Labor had been half that tough with the weenie governor during his first four years. Instead they now circle the wagons around Davis and begin their ritual moaning about right-wing conspiracies. It's boring. And disheartening.

What spectacular evidence of the political bankruptcy of the Democratic Party. Now all those "progressive" labor Democrats can spend the next eight weeks arguing over whether just to vote no on the recall or also vote affirmatively for Cruz Bustamante, the soporific darling of the anti-labor Indian casino lobby and dogged booster of the conservative Joe Lieberman. These self-styled progs are now reduced to almost comical blackmail: Support the most conservative and sluglike Democrat -- Bustamante -- or be accused of "spoiling." Spoiling what?

Myth No. 4: The Green Party is a viable alternative.

This should be a historic opportunity for Green candidate Peter Camejo, who got 5 percent of the vote in last year's gubernatorial election.


Camejo has pushed marijuana legalization and instant-runoff voting to the top of his agenda. These might be cutting-edge issues along the Venice boardwalk or in the UC Santa Cruz dorms, but they are not even remotely now on the minds of most California voters. The Greens' preference for talking to themselves rather than to others destines the party to soon wash up and splinter like the Peace and Freedom folks. Eventually the California Greens will be meeting in one guy's house with different sectarian groups caucusing in the living room and dining room.

Myth No. 5: An independent governor couldn't govern.

Nonsense. Only a populist independent could break up the special-interest logjam in Sacramento. That's why I'm pulling for Arianna, the most progressive candidate with the broadest appeal. When it comes to solving the state's economic crisis, the most Arnold has offered is that he will make sure all Californians have '"fantastic jobs." Right.

And Bustamante panders by vowing to roll back auto-registration fees.

Only Arianna has addressed the 900-pound gorilla of California politics: Proposition 13. Her number-one campaign vow is to start collecting fair --that is, radically increased -- taxes on commercial (not residential) property. She says if elected, she would take that proposal, along with measures for public financing of elections, and a guarantee of universal health care and adequate education, to the Legislature. If, as expected, the Legislature balks, Huffington says she would place the whole package before the voters as a set of ballot initiatives and would use her bully pulpit as governor to push for their approval. That's a serious, responsible and plausible outline for deep reform. The only one on that very long ballot. But beware: To be successful, it would require actually trusting the voters.
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12:52pm 17/08/2003
  Arianna's Stand on the Issues

On Balancing California's Budget

Arianna will unveil a detailed plan to balance California's budget in early September. She has already announced that she plans to close corporate tax loopholes and tax shelters, making sure that big businesses carry their fair share of the tax burden.

She has also called for an end to the insufficient assessment of commercial property. She intends to reverse the trend that has seen an increase in the property tax burden placed on homeowners, and a decrease in the share paid by corporations. They used to provide 14% of our state's tax revenue. Today they provide only 8%.

Arianna has also said that she would cut the state's bloated prison budget, which has grown a whopping 650% over the past twenty years. She would start by rolling back the $1 billion pay raise for prison guards signed into law by Gray Davis in 2002. We need to invest in schools, not jails — books, not bars.

On Abortion Rights

Arianna is strongly pro-choice. She believes that it is a woman's right to choose whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term.

On the Death Penalty

Arianna supports a moratorium on capital punishment. She believes that the shocking level of racial disparity in the sentencing process, along with the large number of factually innocent people who have been sentenced to death, demand that the state implement a moratorium on all executions.

On the Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry

Arianna strongly supports same-sex unions with full rights. She believes that the equal protection clause of the constitution applies to everyone, not just heterosexuals — and that the rights and privileges of marriage should not be denied to same-sex couples.

On Protecting California's Environment

Arianna will champion a sane energy policy that protects the environment, stresses fuel efficiency, and invests in clean and renewable energy. As governor, she will make sure that the state government uses clean and renewable energy as much as possible. Continued reliance on petroleum and fossil fuels is one of the chief dangers facing California today.

On Labor Unions

Arianna supports workers' rights, especially the right to organize. She supports local living wage ordinances. And, as governor, she will fight to protect the 8-hour work day and 40-hour work week that are so essential in keeping families strong.

On Affirmative Action, and Proposition 54 (Ward Connerly's So-Called "Racial Privacy Initiative")

Arianna supports affirmative action wholeheartedly. She believes that racism continues to play a powerful role in this country, and that affirmative action helps to level the playing field so that everyone can compete fairly.

Arianna opposes Proposition 54. This is not a "Racial Privacy Initiative" — it's a Racist Gag Order that would end up preventing the state from fighting against racism. Prop 54 would prohibit the state from collecting racial data. This would allow government agencies to get away with racial discrimination without leaving paper trail. It would also mask the particular needs and problems of different communities — like the prevalence of sickle cell anemia among African-Americans.

On Immigration

Arianna supports immigrant rights. As a Greek immigrant herself — one of the 9 million Californians who weren't born in this country — she knows first-hand the difficulties that immigrants face. Arianna supports the push to provide immigrants with driver's licenses.
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08:32pm 09/08/2003
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OH MY GOD....   
09:38am 19/06/2003
Magic Number18
PersonalityProcrastinator (If The Apathy Doesn't Kill Me)
Likely To WinAnother Gold Star
Me - In A WordDevious
Brought to you by MemeJack

Ok this is soo weird because my favorite color is green, i stive to be a screenwriter, i'm straigh (i swear i am), and i carry the number 18 on my keys! ok just thought that was strange.
05:50pm 08/06/2003
  Well my birthday passed the other day. I'm 20 now, which is like being 19 except that you realize that you've been alive for two decades. I personally think that's a lot. I got some dvds, some music, some cash, some clothes, and i love all of it. I would have liked a little more on my b-day (by more I mean sex, but hey its all good). Hmm what else? I've been using my CC name a lot lately. I updated my website too.

I've had soo much time on my hands lately. I'm done with school, but everyone is sooo busy studying for finals. So i'm just chillin downloading music. I think I'm gonnna start writing another screenplay. I'm thinking about entering the Zoetrope Studios screenwriting contest. Zoetrope Studios is the brainchild of the Coppola family. The top ten scripts are read by Francis Ford Coppola and he decides the winner. That'd be sooo cool. but i shouldnt count my chickens before they hatch. i dont even have an idea for a movie. i'm sure i'll think of something. ciao for now
another Isla Vista weekend....   
01:24am 03/06/2003
  this past weekend was a differnt one. All the UCSB NAKs and their alumni had their annual honorarium where they give out awards and stuff. So it was mad parties. I ended up on the beach at 5 in the morning drunk off my ass still partying with juan's bros from San Diego. Santi and Edgar are off the hook. I'm home for right now.  
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11:12am 23/05/2003
  i hate learning the limitations of friends. they suck.  
08:52pm 02/05/2003
  ug·ly ( P ): adj. ug·li·er, ug·li·est
Displeasing to the eye; unsightly
Ok I'm back   
09:47am 01/05/2003
mood: okay
Well since my last entry things have gotten a little bit better.

I no longer feel the division between my NAK roommates and myself. They really treat me like I am "one of them" and this really doesnt make a difference in that "oh i want to be a NAK" kind of way...because at this point I'm indifferent to joining. I just feel a lot closer to them in the way that I can refer to them as my friends instead of Juan's. I am still very aware that I'm not a NAK because certain events that they do are bro's only (some of which, however, they let me join in anyway). They refer to me as the honorary bro and it does make me feel good, I cant lie. But I do feel obligated to join NAK when I attend UCSB. It would just be wrong of me to get all the benefits of being a NAK and never join the organization.

Rooming with Juan has definately had its ups and downs. For the most part I think we have everything worked out. Our friendship is strange though. Its weird to see how he is when he's not just hanging out. At first when he was just studying or when he would be on the computer or in the room I would think he was mad at me or something because he's so quiet and solitary. But I've pretty much learned that thats how he is when he's not feeling the hanging out persona.

I've cut back on drinking a whole lot. I dont like how I get when I get really f*cked up, and I hate not remembering what I did the night before.... and I really hate cleaning up throw up. So I've taken the initiative to lay low with the alcohol. I still drink, but I dont get drunk.... well when its just me and the guys I do, but in public I'm shooting for the buzz and thats it.

I havent really talked or hung out with Melissa all that much. I hate to say it, but I feel really betrayed by her. The way I feel about it is this: she didnt call or want to hang out when she was with Mike, but as soon as they broke up she has the nerve to bug me about visiting up here? I dont really want her coming up here. Kristal on the other hand I would love to have visit, but I dont think she will. She just wouldnt be down. Kristal is one of my all time favorite people.

Side note: I really need to hang out with flem. I still havent met Miles and I havent talked to or seen flem since she graduated. I hope she's doing well.

Alodiah...I havent chatted much with you in a while either. I'm really sorry that you werent able to make it up here for the Tori Amos concert. We have to hang out again sometime.

Celeste: I'm really glad that you're finding so much fulfillment in religion. I'm not saying that you're life before was unfulfilling, because i dont know if it was. All I'm saying is that I'm glad that you seem happy. I hope everything works out with you.

Cindy: Congrats on getting out of mt sac. I'm really proud of you. What school are you transferring to? Good luck with all your endeavors.

hmm....I dont know what else to say really. I know...I'll give my weekend schedule for the next few weeks.

this weekend: going home coming back on sunday
next weekend: going home, coming back on monday
16th-18: Going to b-day dinner for Joy's b-day in Riverside. Staying with Luis' family for the remainder of the weekend.
23rd-25th: Going to Joy's b-day party at some country club, and then going home for the remainder of the weekend.
30th: NAK party and honorarium weekend. I'm not sure if I'll stay in SB that weekend.
June 6th: my b-day!!!!! please send email to mcschavez@hotmail.com to learn where you can send a gift.
June 13th-15th: dad's b-day....must go home.
June 20th-22nd: Mom's b-day and Father's day... must go home.
June 26th-29th: Going to VEGAS BABY!!! Staying at the Sahara the first night and then moving to the Mirage for the 2nd and 3rd night. My cronies: Juan, Luis, and Derrick.
Jully 9th: Warped Tour in Ventura.

That's my schedule for the next month and a half....actually the next 2 months. WOW

Ok Thats all for now....ciao.
Its been a long while.....   
09:43am 01/05/2003
  Well I havent written in this thing in forever so I've decided to end all that and make an entry that's worth the wait...

Wait hang on a second.... I have to check and see when my last entry was...
08:12pm 27/02/2003
  my feelings are hurt  
11:16pm 12/02/2003
mood: sick
Have you ever wondered why we pronounce wednesday: wensday? I mean of course we did when we were little and stuff but how many of us have actually questioned it being the fine young adults that we are now?...

I heard today that Paula may have been involved in some hot lesbian action back in the day. interesting...

I kind of wish that my journal was private, but able to be viewed by my friends, but only some of them. Actually i wish that only a few people werent allowed to read it...

I'm not sure if i'm going home this weekend. I'm not really sure if I'm feeling it. I went home this past weekend and it was goodtimes, but i'm not so sure if i wanna go home this weekend as well...

Melissa is sad. I dont think i'm at liberty to say why, but i hope she feels better in a few days...

Juan's doing pretty good. He's been really busy with school and NAK and other things...

I'm sick. I have a snotted up nose, a headache, and a sore throat...

Hot Pockets are one of the best foods ever for people of my age and stature...

I'm poor...

My roommates are all cool I guess. Definate separation though...

I need to get a job...

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I'm just a bill..   
04:54pm 07/02/2003
  I hate feeling so lonely up here. nobody really understands where i am coming from. i'm rooming with juan now. i feel more comfortable around him so its a good thing. i just wish i was a NAK or that they werent so that there wouldnt be a division.  
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11:13pm 01/02/2003
  so much for a fresh start :(  
Another Update   
05:14pm 30/01/2003
mood: lonely
Well here i am at the abrego house bored off my ass once again. Have you ever been poor? I really dont recommend it at all. All that really happens is you sit around all day doing things that are free. The only problem with this is THERE ISNT ANYTHING TO DO THAT IS WORTH DOING THAT IS FREE!!! Juan and his bros are going bowling tonight so I'll either go to Gol's to watch Friends or just sit here and watch it by myself. I should be sooo excited that this weekend is here, but all it really means for me is that I get to watch people go out and spend money. I wish I got a fat check in the mail. Nope. I have to deal with what my parents give me, which I'm not complaining about because I know they're trying to help with as much as they possibly can. It just kind of suxx to feel like the poor kid. The sad thing is that this is how its going to be until I get a job. Well the search for a job isnt as easy as I thought it would be. Very few places are hiring around here. So I'll just have to see what happens with that.

My schooling is good stuff. I love going to all of my classes, especially my film classes. I had to fork out a good portion of cash for some DV tapes, some Zip Disks, and a decent pair of Headphones. My school is really nice. I love the way it looks and i love the way i dont know anybody. its kind of like a fresh start.

My living situation could be better. I actually miss my family. Its really lonely in this city. I kind of keep heearing Leugim in the back of my head saying "Where ever you go, there you are". Him and his damn proverbs. I see Juan everyday, but we dont really get to hang out until the weekends because he's really busy with NAK and with his schooling. I was supposed to go to dinner with him and Jorge tomorrow, but my bank account doesnt allow for frivolous spending. Saturday there will be a party so that should be pretty fun. Other than Saturday I have nothing really to look forward to for this weekend. I dont blame Juan at all for any of this, I knew coming into the house that we wouldnt get to hang out as much as I'd like to. I just wish it wasnt that way and that we could hang out more often. he's not the only one i talk to up here or anything, he's just the only one i really want to hang out with. Some other people here have said and did some pretty shady shit, so i'm not to sure on who exactly i can call my friend. Only time will tell. Well I guess I'll go now. Ciao for now.
here we go....   
03:30pm 15/01/2003
  Well i'm in my new residence at the Abrego house in SB. It's kind of weird that I'm actually here though because i remember back in october when juan first brought up the idea of me moving in with him and his bros. For the most part I'm really happy I'm here. I've had nothing but time to kill since I've been here because school doesnt start until the 21st for me. I dont really know what to do with myself since everyone in the house is already in school. I've kind of bonded with a few people who I didnt really talk to before I moved up here so that makes me feel a bit more comfortable here. My roommate is really cool. He's already graduated so he has a lot of free time as well.

It doesnt feel like this is my home yet. I feel like I'm just visiting or something. My home back in West Covina doesnt feel to much like home either though. I'm without a home for now. I dont feel alone or anything, just without a home. Juan is kind of sad and thats a whole different topic. I'll be back in a bit, i'm gonna go drive jason to work.
11:07am 08/12/2002
  I'm gonna get my bed from Ikea! I'm pretty happy right about now....i have to go get changed.  
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doo bee doo   
06:44pm 06/12/2002
Final Entry   
07:19pm 29/11/2002
  Well i think i'm done with the whole livejournal thing. it really serves no purpose and to be honest it brings me to a place where i dont like to be. Thanx alodiah for the talk and stuff...i'm just done with this point in my life...i dont want to be stagnant anymore. Its time for some changes.