Vern on the 17 Propositions.




vern smoking in hoopdieThis is last minute, I know. I’ve been busy, you know. I’m sharing this because some people seem to care what I think. Mind you, I’m not smarter than most people, just a little bit funnier than some.

Most important ones first: YES on 57, 64, 62, 55, 61, 67, 54… and NO on 51, 65, and 66.

First, fun fact, in case you didn’t know: WHY are there so many propositions this year? Because so few of us voted two years ago, which drastically lowered the threshold for how many signatures it took to qualify these things. Going off that, and going off the expected RECORD turnout tomorrow, I would expect far fewer of these things in 2018, in’shallah.

First thing you acquire, reading all these arguments pro and con (besides learning to laugh at “Don’t be fooled by the other side’s scare tactics”) is a sense of WHO IS BULLSHITTING YOU. Or who is bullshitting you the most. When a measure seems like a reform, and it’s a reform of a very powerful interest group like big pharma or insurance or guns, and they raise a hue and cry like a stuck pig, and we are suddenly deluged by mailers and surrounded by billboards featuring sad-eyed children or veterans who will be harmed by this reform – fuck that noise, it must be a good reform!

51 I say NO. I support some school bonds locally, with a lot of controls. I don’t trust the state to take out huge bonds and make our kids pay decades of interest to Wall Street leeches. This looks to be pushed by the construction industry, the same miscreants who try to foist Poseidon, freeway toll lanes, and every crooked project in Anaheim, down our throats. Yes on 55 should be good enough for our schools. Jerry Brown worked hard to balance our budget and I agree with him when he calls 51 a “wall of debt.”

52 (Medi-Cal hospital fee program) looks harmless enough, keeping a program going that’s been working fine, but has had to be continually renewed during which junctures it’s always threatened with some corruption. So let’s enshrine it with a YES and let the legislature work on other shit.

53 (big bonds have to be approved by voters) I was skeptical remembering the phrase “ballot box budgeting” and how it ties the legislature’s hands … and I wasn’t sure, I do always have this tendency to more democracy, but the public is so easily fooled by big-money campaigns … but then of course legislators are always getting influenced by lobbyists and campaign cash … so I wasn’t sure, but Greg Diamond says “YES but it needs to be fixed,” which sounds like he’s studied it more than I have time to, so I’ll go with Greg’s judgment here and say YES. (I hope he’s right that it can be “fixed.”

54 YES looks like a no-brainer. Give the public print/internet notice of any bill before voting on it, along with a couple other good transparency things. Who could be against this? Let’s see… oh, it’s just some weenies. They’re mad that Munger is behind it. I guess he’s Idi Amin to some insiders.

55 YES, we’ve been fine since Prop 30, it was painless, our economy has grown, and we don’t want to see any CUTS to education, so let’s make that Prop-30 arc of justice LONG!

56 tax on cigarettes raised by $2 a pack? I smoke a little, a pack’ll last me a week or two. I thought, “Well, if this $2 is going to something good then maybe, but not if it is just going to ads to tell me not to smoke, that’s just offensive, forcing me to pay for something like that!” So I looked into it, and it IS going into ads to tell me not to smoke, so “NO!!” Just more big brother kicking us smokers because we’re a minority (and of course big brother is really just a bunch of busybodies trying to use the government to make other people behave the way they want – don’t be one of those busybodies!)

57 – biggest YES! I know fine young men who made a mistake here or there, as teenagers, who will be stuck in prison for many more years than they should be if this doesn’t pass. I wrote at length about one of them – google “Jesus Aguirre Appeal Filed.” As they say, ““Don’t be fooled by the other side’s scare tactics!” – this doesn’t AUTOMATICALLY free anyone, it’s still up to judges and parole boards, but it’s a good chipping away at the three strikes and mandatory minimum laws that overcrowd our prisons and ruin the lives of millions. Run! Go vote yes on it now!

58 – English proficiency – YES. The opponents are fuckwits.

59 – I know, I know, it’s only a gesture, and beneath some people’s dignity, but Citizens United IS THAT BAD. Think of it as California’s cri-de-couer. (That’s pretentious for “cry from the heart.”) Vote yes so that legislators and the Supremes will know that the largest state finds that decision DEPLORABLE.

60 – Make porn stars wear condoms? Are you joking? NO. Seems to defeat the whole purpose of porn. Must have been written by people that hate porn. Once again, BUSYBODIES trying to make government Big Brother to ruin other people’s harmless fun.

61 – Oh, THIS one has got the drug companies all in a lather, so I can’t wait to say YES. If any industry needed to be played hardball with, well there are several, but for sure Big Pharma. If Obamacare were not watered down to just-barely-worthwhile, if we had the single-payer system every intelligent country has, we would be bargaining for all drugs in bulk – but the drug companies have both Parties by the balls and have made that illegal. They will lie that they need all that extra profit to do research and development but BULLSHIT, they use it all on marketing and advertising. Listen to how they cry. See the sad-eyed veteran on the billboard – you are going to hurt him if you vote yes. Fuck that noise. That there is a paid actor. Vote YES on 61.

62 – to the Olivia Newton-John song, “Let’s get civilized…” YES to abolishing the death penalty.

63 – Ya know, California is already a leader in gun control, and these mass shootings are overwhelmingly in other states. Ryan Cantor makes good arguments against it, I resent that retired cops are exempted from the law. But then I hate to be on the same side as the NRA. You know what, I’m gonna leave this blank.

64 – I’ve always noted that progress in marijuana justice takes forever to happen because pot smokers are so paranoid. There’s way too much to write about the pros and cons of this one, but it really looks to me like the cons are outweighed by the pros and this is a major step forward for freedom and justice. Don’t get mad at me Paul. YES.

65 – Oh, go to hell. This is just here to confuse us with 67. “One of the most disingenuous ballot measures in state history,” says the San Jose Mercury News aptly. Who is here suddenly pretending to be all concerned about the environment? Consult The Graduate: “One word: Plastics.” One word. NO.

66 – NO. At the same time as most of us are trying to repeal the death penalty, these ghouls are trying to make it easier to kill more people. Hey, I have an idea – you guys drop dead instead.

67 – YES. Huntington Beach cheers! (I mean, the people AND the beach AND the sealife.) Chris Epting finally goes round the bend, has lost the world to enviro-thugs! Let’s make single-use plastic bags as obsolete as the rotary phone, something we have to describe to our grandkids, as we explain what the hell we were thinking when we declaimed the famous Ode:

O Plastic Bag! O Freedom’s flighty Phantasm,
The very Phlegm of Liberty’s rattling Cough!
I see thee wafting o’er my cherish’d Shores,
Jerk’d left and right on the capricious Breeze,
And lo my Patriot Heart with Fervor swells.

O Bag! The sullen Libtard may decry thee,
Envirothugs may wail, I still sport Wood;
Yes I caress mine uncloth’d Chest with thee
And cast thee to the wild untether’d wind –
A Dagger to Agenda 21!

Ye Plastic Bags! Ye mighty Multitude –
Thou and thy Kind, amphibious and bold!
Gull, Turtle, Fish shall love Thee as I do,
And at long last the Earth shall find Repose,
Ensconced in billowing folds of Plastic Bags!
So that’s

YES on 52,53,54,55,57,58,59,61,62,64, and 67.

NO on 51,56,60,65,66.

Unsure on 63.
Okay, let me know what I’m wrong about, you may very well be right!

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official political troubadour of Anaheim and most other OC towns. Regularly makes solo performances, sometimes with his savage-jazz band The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.