Photo of the view from Magic Mountain in Cazadero, Sonoma.
Photo of the view from Magic Mountain in Cazadero, Sonoma.
I’d love to not care what the Church of England thinks about allowing women to become Bishops. But sadly it’s the established church of England and we allow Bishops to sit in the House of Lords (which needs a complete overhaul, that that’s a different blog post).
The Government’s position on the vote is to be “disappointed”:
A Downing Street spokesman said the prime minister thought there should be women bishops and was disappointed at the result of the vote, but that it was “a matter for the Church to decide”.
Nick Clegg is disappointing. Which Book of Prayer to use is a matter for the Church to decide. Excluding women from the upper management of the official state religion when those managers also play a role in Government is a travesty.
Unless we’re going to allow Jedi in the legislature it’s time to kick the Bishops out of the Lords. It’s also past time to disestablish the Church of England and have proper separation of Church and State in the UK.
A chair sits mysteriously on Bernal Hill. It later disappeared. Like the owls.
Following yesterday’s post on the California 2012 Propositions here’s a shorter post on how I’m planning to vote on the San Francisco (PDF) ballot initiatives:
A: City College Parcel Tax
Yes, happy to pay another $79 a year to support City College.
B: Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond
Yes, park improvements for a littler over $50 a year.
C: Housing Trust Fund
Yes, a modest amount of money to include affordable housing in a city that desperately needs it.
D: Consolidating Odd-Year Municipal Elections
Yes, because there are too many elections already.
E: Gross Receipts Tax
Yes, makes more sense than taxing payroll and doesn’t tax businesses until you’re over $1M in revenue (whereas the payroll tax hits pre-revenue startups).
F: Water and Environment Plan
No, this is a study on draining the Hetch Hetchy reservoir. Which is just crazy. I might not support building it today but it makes no sense to look at getting rid of it now. Plus that water is really nice.
G: Policy Opposing Corporate Personhood
Yes, because a San Francisco policy will totally reverse hundreds of years of legal precedent. More seriously, corporations are not people and while a policy won’t reverse the malign influence of unlimited corporate spending on elections it doesn’t hurt to whine about it a little.
My favorite proposition would be one to do away with propositions altogether. We need Legislative Service instead. But there is an election on Tuesday and a fresh slate of propositions for California and San Francisco that need to be decided. My thoughts on the statewide propositions are:
30: TEMPORARY TAXES TO FUND EDUCATION. GUARANTEED LOCAL PUBLIC SAFETY FUNDING. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.
Yes, grudgingly. I hate that Governor Brown has a knife to our throats on this one. If it passes then we get $6 billion of extra annual revenue, largely for education. If it fails then because the revenue is already in the budget we’re looking at further evisceration. The sales tax component is regressive, I prefer proposition 38’s more balanced income tax increases across the board. I actually like that the proposition 30 money hits the general fund – I hate measures that earmark money so specifically that there is no room for maneuver. So yes on 30 and no on 38.
The arguments against proposition 30 seem to be that it isn’t specifically earmarked (which I see as a plus) and that we shouldn’t be raising more money for education and public safety while also building out high speed rail. But as the 8th largest economy in the world California should be able to mange to improve public transport and education at the same time. Both are critical to long term growth and prosperity. There is also the argument that you can’t trust government with any money or decisions and that any problem can be handled by just reducing ‘waste’. I don’t really buy that and if you do you might be better off somewhere like Nevada.
31: STATE BUDGET. STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTION AMENDENT AND STATUTE.
No. ‘Local Action Plans’ would allow local government to circumvent state laws and this doesn’t seem like a great idea. Allowing the Governor to make budget cuts without the state legislature smells bad as well. Publishing bills in advance of a vote to help prevent pet projects and pork from being stuffed in sounds good, I wish it had been included as a separate proposition rather than lumped in here (in general Proposition 30 suffers from being too broad).
32: POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS BY PAYROLL DEDUCTION. CONTRIBUTIONS TO CANDIDATES. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
No. It’s just a naked attempt to stiff unions and further increase the corporate money stranglehold on US politics.
33: AUTO INSURANCE COMPANIES. PRICES BASED ON DRIVER’S HISTORY OF INSURANCE COVERAGE. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
No. This allows insurance companies to offer a discount based on how long you’ve been insured with another company but also allows them to punish you for a lapse in coverage. If you choose to be without a car for more than a few months you can get a large increase in coverage. It doesn’t seem that the pros outweigh the cons here and the fact that the proposition is funded by the chairman of Mercury further tips me towards a no vote.
34: DEATH PENALTY. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
Yes. I don’t care about the cost of the death penalty, or particularly in it’s effectiveness. I’m fundamentally opposed to the death penalty because I don’t think the state has any business taking life in cold blood. I also don’t think you can guarantee that you’re not executing someone who is innocent.
35: HUMAN TRAFFICKING. PENALTIES. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
No. Punishment for specific offenses shouldn’t be dictated by ballot initiative. Most of these crimes are Federal anyway and so any changes in CA law would have a minor impact (KQED reports 18 offenders in CA prison for trafficking). There is a provision expanding the definition of human trafficking to include copying child pornography… sounds great but you’ll probably end up doing 15 years hard time for backing up your teenager’s phone after they’ve been sexting.
36: THREE STRIKES LAW. REPEAT FELONY OFFENDERS. PENALTIES. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
Yes. As the law currently stands you can get life in prison for drug possession. The US really needs to stop throwing everyone in jail. Judges should have the latitude to make the sentence fit the crime and not be automatically forced to throw away the key. This proposition makes three strikes a little more humane – I’d rather see it done away with altogether but it’s a step in the right direction.
37: GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS. LABELING. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
Yes. Personally I don’t really care about eating GM food, but a lot of people care very deeply and it seems reasonable to provide this information. The main argument against is sinister special exemptions but these boil down to alcohol (not labeled the same way as food to start with) and animals that have been fed GM food but are not GM themselves.
38: TAX TO FUND EDUCATION AND EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
No. See 30, above.
39: TAX TREATMENT FOR MULTISTATE BUSINESSES. CLEAN ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY FUNDING. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
No. I’m not really sure which way of determining how to tax multi-state businesses is best. Allowing businesses to choose which method they use doesn’t seem the right way to go. If this proposition was just about changing the tax calculation I might be in favor, but unfortunately it also funnels around half of the additional revenue to a new outfit to spend on clean energy projects over five years. As the proposition is sponsored by one hedge fund manager you’ve got to believe that there is a hedge fund posed to benefit from the extra spending.
40: REDISTRICTING. STATE SENATE DISTRICTS. REFERENDUM.
Yes. Approves the outcome of the Citizens Redistricting Commission. The backers of the proposition have withdrawn support for it (Republicans trying to throw out the new districts), it’s only on the ballot because it can’t be removed – a yes vote in this case keeps things the same.
Perfectly well oiled comedy of errors.
Solid but somewhat routine Culture installment.
Solid Reacher installment.
Excellent collection of articles and a couple of short stories. Worth reading just for the Wired article on the technology and politics of submarine cables.
BBC News has a report today on a conference held by CERN to bring science and religion together around the origins of the universe. It has some choice quotes including:
"Science in isolation is great for producing stuff, but not so good for producing ideas"
From Andrew Pinsent, and from Canon Dr Gary Wilton that the likely discovery of the Higgs boson:
"raised lots of questions [about the origins of the Universe] that scientists alone can't answer ... They need to explore them with theologians and philosophers"
Let me get this straight.
A few highlights.
And after hundreds of years of theoretical and experimental physics it's somehow time to turn this one over to the pros?
Another quote from the conference, this time from Prof John Lennox:
"When Hawking argues, in support of his theory of spontaneous creation, that it was only necessary for 'the blue touch paper' to be lit to 'set the universe going', the question must be: where did this blue touch paper come from? And who lit it, if not God?"
Science may never have all the answers. It may not even be possible. But it's the only way to keep pushing back the boundaries. All the theologians have to offer is that they've discovered God, just outside the current resolution of our understanding. Ad nauseam. Bugger off.
Looking down the barrel of the Ordoñez Gun at the Presidio of San Francisco.
Photo of Bernal Heights Park as seen from Mount Davidson in San Francisco.
Epic Murakami, set in a maybe-alternate-universe version of 1984. There is a definite change in tone in the third book, hard to tell if this is the story of the change in translator but the story sags slightly before picking up the pace again at the end. Even without this it's a long and sprawling book which you'll love if you like Murakami's tone and unique characterization. I'm in the love camp.
Check out Field Trip on Google Play! https://t.co/EVGELuBe -- looks cool, automatically tells you when something interesting is near
Missing kids plan for 404 pages http://t.co/Z3B3v1QZ -- kind of creepy
Field Papers - http://t.co/QHIyzvPn - looks very cool. Via @RavenEllison #todo @myEN
Kids App Maker Duck Duck Moose Raises $7M Series A From Sequoia, Lightspeed & Others http://t.co/SaeXuzop -- well deserved
Crow Gyre http://t.co/jjLn3PtQ -- testing card approval
This Mind Blowing Video Does NOT Use Green Screen http://t.co/RkiyqmR3
San Francisco playground report card: http://t.co/shGKggA5 Precita Park gets an F :( #fb
Announcing Source Code Pro http://t.co/QpUUSO18 -- nice code font @myEN
ITHCWY: Crow Gyre http://t.co/kAM89GHF
Updated with more Endeavor pics: http://t.co/UIXy2xj5 #OV105 #spottheshuttle
Vernal Equinox 2012 in Catfood Earth http://t.co/UOHqwK3V via @CatfoodSoftware #equinox
ITHCWY: #OV105 http://t.co/m7Th3xMp
BBC News - Tom Daley 'abuse' tweet: Legal rethink on online rules http://t.co/ItA6wYFM -- only correct boundary is no boundary
Ridiculous / awesome: http://t.co/9Muup4tA
ITHCWY: Worst special TiVo offer ever http://t.co/rfTaeXn7
via @TheOnion - No One Murdered Because Of This Image http://t.co/Vilv9166
Check out Viva Fund Summer Campaign: http://t.co/XXwB9P1d via @razoo
5 of 5 stars to 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami http://t.co/T5u5ZiOB
ITHCWY: Earthquake Supply Co.: The last time we refreshed our earthquake supply kit was because of a smell. It… http://t.co/SlvpmlFO
ITHCWY: Like Debate?: I’ve just started work on a new project called Like Debate. It’s going to be a new type of… http://t.co/6Bj0YPxa
RT @LikeDebate: Getting Started - Like Debate is my attempt to build a new type of debate web site. The teaser page launched … http://t. ...
Ticked off: How stock market decimalization killed IPOs and ruined our economy http://t.co/P0CzpSQ2
Star Sighting: Invisible Obamas Seen Relaxing in Bernal Heights http://t.co/yLJkubYL #fb
Earth and WebCams announcement from http://t.co/YG0xtwCc: http://t.co/KlJfVs9j
ITHCWY: Catfood: Earth for Android: I’ve just released Catfood Earth for Android. It’s my second app created with… http://t.co/YGjxSkcb
ITHCWY: Guess? http://t.co/0hz03251
Export Google Fit Daily Steps, Weight and Distance to a Google Sheet
Accessing Printer Press ESC to cancel
Is it safe to open securedoc.html (Cisco Registered Envelope)?
Upgrading from word2vec to OpenAI
Migrating a C# Integration from GA3 to GA4
User scoped custom dimensions in Google Analytics 4 using gtag
Monitor page index status with Google Sheets, Apps Script and the Google Search Console API
Sending email via GMail in C#/.NET using SmtpClient
Reading and Writing Office 365 Excel from a Console app using the Microsoft.Graph C# Client API
10 Electoral College Votes Closer
Give your stupid niche kids app a useful name please!
Shipping a website in a day with Generative AI
3D Printing a Window Mount for a Google Nest Indoor Wired Gen 2 Camera