Monday, November 06, 2006

My Civic Duty

If you're voting in KC and haven't taken the time to look at some of the things that are showing up on your ballot tomorrow, here's a brief and non-encompassing overview of some of the issues:

Amendment 2 allows for research on stem cells taken from fertilized eggs only if they are left over from in vitro fertilization and are donated by the couple who produced them. Scientists would be prohibited from fertilizing a human egg solely for research purposes. However – and here's the major sticking point (you know, other than that pesky "cells are life" thing): Stem cells can also be created in the laboratory through somatic cell nuclear transfer, where the nucleus of a body cell is placed into an egg. Basically "cloning", as this cell starts to divide and begin to create a "new human". Of course, this would never actually happen because they wouldn't let the cells grow into a human. You'd need to implant them into a woman's uterus to do so.

All scientists are doing is growing a bunch of the donated person's cells in a dish. Those cells have the potential to become others, but never a whole human. Amendment 2 makes it illegal to implant these cells into a uterus, thus prohibiting cloning.

Currently, there is no law prohibiting cloning.

So, those billboards up everywhere that say "Vote No On 2, Stop Human Cloning" would be doing exactly the opposite of that. Voting yes on 2 bans cloning. Interesting, eh? Glad we're all informed.

Passing 2 would also make it illegal to pay women to donate eggs beyond reimbursing expenses and compensation paid by fertility clinics. Anyone doing stem cell research would also have to develop an oversight board, adopt ethical standards, and receive certification that the research is complying with federal law.

Lookit all them rules protecting us from evils! It's not tricky. It's a very well written proposal.

Amendment 3 adds four cents to the cost of every cigarette. I don't even care where that money goes. Here's my opinion, plain and simple: Don't smoke. Here's a great incentive not to. And don't talk to me about tobacco farmers and blah blah blah, boo hoo. They can grow something else, can't they? Oh, but they won't make as much money? Tell them to invest in oil. We've got nowhere to go but up.

Proposition B will raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.50. This I know nothing about and don't really have a strong opinion on either way, now that I'm not making minimum wage. Yes, I'm like that. I don't know what effect this will have on the economy. But the cynical side of me suspects all that money will go right back into cigarettes. So, why not? If we have more money, we spend more money, right? Seems it'd be good for the market. However… will people get laid off when businesses can no longer pay their employees? What the hell do I know about it? I've never had an econ class. However, there is apparently a sentence in there that would increase the wage every year to account for inflation. Something to think about. You pass the proposition, you pass all of it.

Question 1 wants to charge businesses for fire code inspections and create some sort of city revenue. I'm thinking that's not a good idea. What if people don't have the money to pay it? Answer: they forgo the inspection entirely. That doesn't seem safe. Shouldn't this be a basic public service? Isn't this what taxes are supposed to be used for? Although, as a city employee, I think I'm supposed to be in favor of this proposal. More money for me and all that.

Question 2 is to extend our 3/8 cent transportation tax for another 25 years in order to build a light rail system, reroute all our car traffic around the green parks, and obtain a green fleet of shuttles. But get this! The money is also supposed to go towards an aerial gondola tram system. Excuse me? Aerial gondola tram system? WTF is that? Is it like a monorail? A cable car? Who made up that term? Because it's stupid. Yeah, I said it. Stupid. Although, good public transportation is likely a good thing. But I won't be taking it. Take that! I will spend insane amounts of money on gas simply because I've had enough public transportation to last me a lifetime. Yes, I know people do it more often than I have in the past. But my tolerance for public transportation is low, especially when inefficient and non-time saving.

So, I'll be at the polls tomorrow voting on these issues and for candidates that have been slinging mud at each other for a month on television ads. Thank goodness it's almost over. I'm starting to hate all of them.

And, I would just like to also state that it's about time government officials start giving us hope and stop spreading fear.

End Blog.

No comments: