Well, I’m glad I went to bed…

In a previous journal entry I wondered why nobody had yet called the election 281 to 257 in favor of GWB. For the record, I wasn’t saying they SHOULD have called it… I was wondering what I was missing as to why they HADN’T called it yet.

Well, it looks like my count at the time was as accurate as anybody else’s STILL is, so it’s a good thing I didn’t stay up for more results. Unless you live in a cave, or read my blog before reading important stuff, you know that the GOP has claimed victory, 286 to 252 (GW gained Nevada, which I thought he’d lose), and it’s going to take what looks like two weeks’ worth of counting (oh PLEASE no recounting, please oh please) before the Democrats allow that claim to be substantiated, or successfully refute it. Hey, who knows? There could be a huge bloc of Kerry votes in those uncounted 1%. If I were a voter in Iowa, New Mexico, or Ohio, I’d certainly want all those votes counted.

Now, as to where votes REALLY count: local measures! Here in Utah the Sales Tax bond I wanted to see defeated appears to be losing by a close margin. All three constitutional amendments passed: The Legislature can call itself into an impeachment session, Public universities can accept stock in private businesses spun off from their research, and (in the most controversial measure) marriage will only be between a man and a woman, with no other union allowed to have the same benefits as traditional marriages. I fully expect that last one to get challenged in Federal Court, where Utah attorneys will join attorneys from 10 other U.S. states wrangling the mess of State’s Rights vs Freedom of Religion. Whatever comes of that, I’m sure it won’t be boring.

The one place where I simply couldn’t find a candidate to vote for: Nuclear Waste Storage. SOMEBODY has to store this stuff. Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico are all great places for it. If we could agree to store it then maybe someday we could actually put nuclear plants in place to end our huge dependence on foreign oil. Oh, and lower the costs of energy, sparking a boom in a number of industries. But there was no candidate anywhere on the ballots who had come out publicly in favor of storing the stuff in Utah.

What this means is that I need to continue to be involved. I need to write the folks who were elected, and let them know that THIS Utah citizen is not spooked by irrational arguments about nukes.

*sigh*

I could have used a few hours more sleep. I’ll write my congressmen about THAT, too.

–Howard

16 thoughts on “Well, I’m glad I went to bed…”

    1. Yup. Just waded back in and figured that out. I edited my Journal appropriately.

      Wow. Nevada. When I looked at the vote earlier, the precinct count had Kerry a hair ahead, and now it’s a three-point spread in favor of Bush. Granted, those three points are only about 20,000 votes, but it’s still surprising.

      I guess it just goes to show that if there are enough votes uncounted, anything can still happen.

  1. UPDATE: Initiative 1 lost

    I checked with a different source of local news, and with 98.3% of the votes counted, Initiative 1 lost 450,000 votes to 366,000. That’s almost a 10.5% spread — pretty definitive.

    The results are fascinating. The ONLY county where it was a close race was Salt Lake County, where most of the money would have been spent — 159,524 to 158,667. It actually WON in Grand County, but less than 4,000 votes total were cast there. In Utah County where I live it was voted down 78,000 votes to 54,000 votes.

    Big surprise. When you try to add a Sales Tax for the whole state, but plan to spend all the money for it in one part of the state, the rest of the state will vote you down. Good on ’em.

  2. Blame the NIMBY*s

    The one place where I simply couldn’t find a candidate to vote for: Nuclear Waste Storage. SOMEBODY has to store this stuff. Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico are all great places for it. If we could agree to store it then maybe someday we could actually put nuclear plants in place to end our huge dependence on foreign oil. Oh, and lower the costs of energy, sparking a boom in a number of industries. But there was no candidate anywhere on the ballots who had come out publicly in favor of storing the stuff in Utah.

    I had an argument with a guy in college about us using chemical hazardous waste as fuel in certain manufactoring plants. If rate of combustion is managed correctly, you will have about 98% of your exhaust as water and carbon dioxide. The rest could be removed using stack scrubbers, etc. (You have a problem with C2O, then build a frigging algae pool and plant some tress, make dry ice and pellet gun cartridges with it, and stop drinking sodas.) Anyway, it would one way of actually consuming the hazardous material and reducing it to less toxic substances.

    The guy said, “But would you want it being trucked through your neighborhood?”

    I had to point out that it already WAS being trucked through our neighborhoods. A lot of corporations ship their wast to other states, while companies from other states, quietly ship there waste to here. It’s all smoke and mirrors. I would rather burn the stuff and get rid of it than bury it and let it haunt us later.

    But people are irresponsible wusses. They want it taken care of, but they don’t want to see it happen. Victorian sense of “unclean” shining through.

    *Not In My BackYard

    1. Re: Blame the NIMBY*s

      One SF author (IIRC, it’s Niven, but I’m not sure) says that our descendants will hate us for getting rid of nuclear waste where they can’t make use of it. He may well have a point.

      1. Re: Blame the NIMBY*s

        I do recall in his story “The Woman in Del Ray Crater” they had adopted the practice of dumping all nuclear waste into the same crater on the moon so that it could be easily found and harvested for future generations.

    2. Re: Blame the NIMBY*s

      *sigh*

      I’d much rather have a US designed nuclear plant in my back yard than almost any Coal, Oil, or Natural Gas plant, Excepting perhaps CFB coal plants. (I lived next to one for several years, they’re the cleanest coal plants I know of.)

      As far as putting all the nuclear material in the salt caves, hey, You can retrieve it from there for future generations. 🙂 Expect us to be digging it out of the ground in a few centuries ourselves if we last that long.

  3. If I’m not mistaken…

    The “Gay marriage” thing is an amendment to the state’s constitution, which puts it out of any court’s reach.

    1. Re: If I’m not mistaken…

      You’re mistaken. At least where I live.

      Constitutional amendments CAN be challanged in court. HOWEVER, it’s a HUGE uphill battle and one that will take a lot of time and money to fight. The question is if people will have enough of those two quantities to carry out this fight.

    2. Re: If I’m not mistaken…

      Not quite. The US Supreme Court can overrule a state’s constitution, if it finds that the provision in question violates the federal constitution. I note that there’s one way that that can be reached right now: Suppose a gay couple marries in Massachusetts and moves to, say, Oregon. Oregon, in accordance with the measure passed yesterday, refuses to recognize the marriage. The couple sues, arguing that Oregon’s refusal violates the Full Faith and Credit clause of the US Constitution. The US Supreme Court could strike down the measure. Whether it would or not is an open question. (Note that the federal so-called Defense of Marriage Act (defense from what, exactly?) would also fall by the wayside should that happen.)

      1. Re: If I’m not mistaken…

        Full Faith and Credit was weakened earlier this year (or was it last)…

        I don’t see the SC knocking them down. I just don’t see it.

        And just think… one, maybe two SC nominations these four years…

        Joy!!! 🙂

  4. So, being a right-leaning (or so it sounds, anyway) LDS, I’m assuming you were for the ammendment banning gay marriage?

    I’m curious about something, if you don’t mind my pestering for more details on your usually guarded opinions. =)

    What if we just let the churches define marriage as they each see fit, and only define in law the legal rights of unions? Would that be a reasonable compromise?

    I know it’s not likely to happen, but it strikes me as an area our founding fathers never would have thought to separate church from state (so it’s certianly not likely in our current political climate), but it seems to me that separating them here would solve the entire problem.

    I’m just curious what someone on the other side of this fence would think of that proposal, and specifically how said hypothetical person views the issue of separation of church and state.

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