Thursday, October 28, 2004

Propositions for California

Looking at the next proposition concerning gambling let's ponder proposition 68. When examined we find it is supported by gambling interests in our state which are not tribal. Race tracks and card rooms totalling some 16 non-tribal entities would like to be allowed to operate 30,000 slot machines. In exchange, they would agree to pay 1/3 the revenue to a fund they create called the Gaming Revenue Trust Fund.

It doesn't sound like an idea we can trust. Increased gaming benefits no one except those who operate the facilities.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

What's a caring family to do?

This election is about more than just who will be our president or senator or even assembly member. There are several propositions which are important. We who care about our families and in reflection, the world, need to spend serious time thinking about and if possible, researching the choices. It is easy to simply watch the commercials and come to a conclusions, but let's deal with some reality. Commercials are advertisements, they are selling a product, whatever proposition they want to us to choose. Advertisements always present whatever product in it's best possible light, but that doesn't mean it is the right product for us. So we need the discerning eye of a consumer.

Let's look at Proposition 70. It states that in exchange for paying "their fair share" or 8.87% tax (which is what corporations pay) tribes would receive the right to a new 99 year compact with almost limitless gambling in scope and size. They would be able to include roulette and craps games, which are currently illegal in California. If these tribes lose their gambling monopoly they would no longer make even these payments. If you want to see a more complete rundown visit California Family a new website sponsored by Focus on the family.

If you are still pondering the presidential dilemma, check these websites for info pertaining to families. Family, Republicans, and The Union Leader

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Why is this vote important to California Families?

In this weeklong saga devoted to understanding the value of this vote, today I focus on the differences between the Democratic Party and the Republican party. To some, it might sound like a deeply long and complicated topic to address in this short format, but please allow me to cut to the chase. You see, I was once a democrat. I proudly went to the ballot box and cast my first presidential vote for President Bill Clinton. How excited I was to see someone for whom I voted become the President. In fascinated curiosity, I watched the election process. I listened (for the first time) to the news inform me concerning the development of the cabinet. I saw as appointee after appointee was rejected by the Congress due to illegal activities. I wondered if this was normal. Then I saw item after item accusing our president's wife of illegal activities. Then, our president himself was accused. He calmly addressed the country with what many consider his charming demeanor and he pushed aside these seemingly silly accusations. There were accusations by many women who said he was inappropriate toward them within the office. OF PRESIDENT. Trying to stay on the side of "my guy" I waited, assuming, of course, the National Organization of Women would check into the accusations. They didn't. No one looked into it on the Democrat side. They just smiled because he was also "their guy".

I saw very brave people, who wanted to seek the truth, push and push the issue. Each Republican who was brave enough to step up and go against this President was soundly attacked and taken out in the next election process, as we knew they would. Meanwhile, I saw republicans who when accused of wrong doing even had their peers (fellow republicans) state their actions inappropriate. I saw people who stepped down from leadership because they did not want skeletons in their closets to interfere with the work of leading our country. This was not what I saw from the Dems.

As a result, I became a republican. But I still wanted to vote only for the person not the party. I thought voting for the party was checking your brain at the door. But I also watched people with seemingly high ideals fall in line with whatever the party said and did. I saw government is not one man or woman against they system but one team vs. The other team. When a new quarterback comes in, he is still part of the team and must work with the team or get sacked by the opposition. Even a strong running back must have other teammates running block to be sure the catch is made. It is for this reason that many a superstar basketball player is on the LA Clippers, but that doesn't make it a great team.

I realized that one must look at what the team says if you want to know how best to vote. What does the team do in practice? How does the team conduct itself when times are difficult?

This year, I am not trying to be an ostrich with it's head in the sand. I am voting for the team I respect and want to see lead. I will watch this team. If by some chance this team is dishonorable, I will rethink my position. But for now, I have clearly seen the dishonorable actions of the Democratic Party who will stop at nothing to defend one supreme court ruling. Holding up judge appointees so that they do not even receive a vote is quite simply dishonorable to us the people and certainly to those appointees.

As I look at our California ballot, I look at the Republican who are running. Each a person, to the best of my knowledge, who has integrity and good judgment. They are part of the team I support.
Howard "Buck" McKeon, Bill Jones, Tom McClintock, George Runner....

I even decided to find out which judges my team supports. Not knowing their rulings or the way they carry themselves, I am trusting my team to tell me what they think. It isn't a perfect method, but our system is not a perfect system either.

(by the way, the whole time I have been writing this, my 4 year old daughter has been at my feet singing and playing and all she asked is she be allowed to type her name here it is.....RACHEL...isn't that neat!)

Monday, October 25, 2004

Why is Bush right for California?

I was born in Hayward, California up in NoCal and at the age of 10 moved to Arizona. Then, approximately 10 years ago I returned to California. Now I live in SoCal (southern California). While I was attending school here, our schools were literally the best in the nation. Our teachers were lauded across the country and the model set forth by California was one to be followed. In fact, when I moved to Arizona, I was less than impressed with the level of teaching. I had previously been challenged more and learned much more. I spent my jr. high and high school academic years in Arizona. All the while, I was thinking California had a stronger system.

After graduating college, I became a substitute teacher in Arizona. I saw first hand many of the teaching practices and organizational arrangements. I also grew closer to my aunt who is an accomplished teacher of Spanish and music and who later became a private school superintendent. Yet, I thought California is probably better. I did think that until I moved back.

I have spent the past 10 years working in Jr. high, high school and finally children's ministry. I have seen the results of California education for this generation. I have been less than impressed. Until...

President Bush passed No Child Left Behind. I watched families and teachers who had previously let their children slide by with whatever they did on the presupposition that we didn't want to inhibit their creativity. Many could barely read. Many had told me and show me their grade reports which indicated repeated failures, yet they moved to the next grade.

California needs someone to hold its leaders, educators and bureaucrats accountable for the education our children receive. Currently California is one of the lowest achieving school systems in the country. I know we are capable of more.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

A day to breathe

"This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24

Yesterday I wrote with much intensity concerning the upcoming election and vote we all face. Obviously, I consider this an important issue as a person, a Californian, and as a Christian. But there is yet a more important issue in our lives.

Each day has many stresses in it all tugging and pulling at the imaginary time capsule that is our life. Only so many grains will fit and yet more and more try or desire to fit into our lives. Knowing that it is important to be in the world God placed us and yet not of this world, we must keep everything in perspective.

As I mentioned, I plan to write about why various parts of this vote are important to our families. However, today I think we need a collective breath of fresh air. Everyone is working so hard to show their way or person is the right one. The reality is whoever serves us in our government will not be perfect, will not fully satisfy all the longings we have to see things done correctly. We want it to happen, but it won't. Because no matter what they do, these candidates and law writers will not be God. They will not know for certain the absolute right path to take. They will slip, they will fall.

We must, in the midst of what I believe is and important election, keep perspective. Only God is God. Only He really knows the right course for our country, our state and our families. This is His day, as is each one created by Him.

Let us pause.....

and REJOICE in it....

imperfect though we may be, perfection is there for us to see in Christ Jesus, to learn from and enjoy.

Have a blessed day!