Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Some people blame the oil platforms for the tar on the beach when it is all natural seepage.

Some people blame the oil platforms for the tar on the beach when it is all natural seepage.

There are a handful of topics that really bother me when the government starts to consider them. Recently the California state legislation is considering taking away the autonomy of the University of California and placing it under direct control of the legislature.

Now this appears to me to be one very large bid idea. The University of California is one of the most respected and recognized university systems in the world, when I was talking with professors are other schools for graduate programs most if not all had been to UC Santa Barbara for some conference or another, ant this is just one of the campuses. I have gone through the California public school system from kindergarten through a BS in Physics and I can say that some parts definitely need improvement. However one of these is not the UC (I am looking at you standardized testing).

The Regents may make some decisions that I disagree with and some that I fully encourage, but by being autonomous they can make controversial decisions (such as operating Los Alamos National Laboratory). And as long as they remain autonomous they can keep making decisions, if they were run by a legislature that take months to agree on a budget then the Universities would have a larger budget problem.

I hope that these amendments to remove the UC autonomy do not pass and encourage everyone who lives in California to write to their assembly-person about the issue.

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I have always called these buckyballs, I don't think that is right.

I have always called these buckyballs, I don't think they are called that.

I watched the final of the presidential debates last night. I also sent in my absentee ballot (admittedly before the debate).

I also do not watch network television or really much television aside from Comedy Central (Daily Show is my best source of news). In a sense I am now outside the election season.

By proxy I have heard about the attack ads, the accusatory writings and the tiny niggling details that saturate the news networks. But I have not seen any of them.

There are also all of the automated callings, or the polls. I have missed out on the those as well since I only have a cell phone.

To top it off I live in a relatively uncontested state (some people don’t vote because of this, that makes me cringe).

I sort of feel left out.

Now I just want the election to be over.

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a political pole.

On left: a political pole.

It seems that every day in the news is an article or report on how McCain and Obama are faring in the most recent poll. The news is about how a recent event effected some subgroup of voters and changed their opinion of a candidate by 2.5%, with a margin of error of 3%. Polls are all good and fine if one has to fill a full day of news reporting when there is only, say, a quarter of a day of news available.

Part of me feels that political polling is flawed in its current form. Namely that it is done (maybe not all polling) by calling home phone numbers from either voter registry or picked out of a phone book and asking the important questions (like how do flag pins make you feel?). Alright so they call home phones, thats fine, it is probably around dinner or during The Daily Show. Except recently there has been a surge of political activism in my generation, okay maybe it is more of a removal of apathy instead of activism, and I feel that we are not represented in the polling system.

Why are we not being represented? Well it is because active voters under, say, 25, do not have their own land line phone numbers. If we are in college then all we have is our cell phone (or mobile for international readers) either under our own plans or as part of our parents. After we finish college and move out to apartments, or back home, likely we would use our mobile phones more and might not have a land line installed or activated. So when pollsters call around asking us about our views we get missed since they do not call cell phones.

For this election season I won’t be looking at any of the polls. Except for the last one.

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