Jim's Blog Ramblings about novels, comics, programming, and other geek topics


California Proposition 8: Field Poll Survey Results

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The Field Poll just published their findings on California Proposition 8. This proposition is probably the most well known and popular on the ballot this year. Field Poll Release #2292 summaries their findings as:

In its final pre-election survey, The Field Poll shows the No-side continuing to prevail over the Yes-side but by a narrower margin  than previously.  The poll, completed one week before the election, shows 49% of likely voters voting No, 44% on the Yes side and 7 undecided.

-- Field Poll #2292, October 31, 2008


San Diego Voter Registration By Party Changes

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San Diego County is one of the top republican counties in California. However, the county is seemingly shifting more democratic and more independent and away from the republican party. The San Diego Union Tribune reports that the allocation of voters changing:

The ranks of Democrats countywide have swelled by nearly 104,000 registered voters since December, all but eliminating the 24-year advantage held by Republicans.

-- Craig Gustafson, San Diego Union Tribune [1]


Sorting items using ASP.NET AJAX Toolkit ReorderList control

A common issue that I find myself falling into is how to sort things such as categories. I could sort them alphabetically or by child record counts, but most often my system owners (who I'm developing my web applications for) want to be able to reorder the categories to match either the process flow or priorities.

This can easily be done by adding a new field to the database record to store the sort order precedence and a new textbox on the web form to edit/add new category records. However, editing one category at a time in a web form leads to a bit of confusion since it's easy to forget whether the category should be #3 or #4. They want something more visual. And that's where the AJAX Toolkit ReorderList control comes in.


The Failure of Electronic Voting Systems

Rob Conery (of SubSonic and Microsoft MVC projects) wrote a very interesting article a few weeks ago titled, "Hacking Your Vote". He summarizes the various electronic voting systems, their bugs, and their designs.

As a software engineer, I find it utterly amazing that a $50 million dollar Diebold system was designed using a Microsoft Access database -- an unsecured Microsoft database. Rob also shows some screenshots of Diebold's database on his blog entry.


Income Distribution and Poverty in the United States

I found this report very interesting since I really wasn't too aware of the organization or findings. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released a study titled "Growing Unequal? Income Distribution and Poverty in OECD Countries."

Why is the gap between rich and poor growing?
In most countries the gap is growing because rich households have done significantly better than middle-class and poor households. Changes in the structure of the population and in the labour market over the past 20 years have contributed greatly to this rise in inequality.

-- Key Findings of Growing Unequal

After reading through the country summary (available in PDF format, see links at bottom of article), I was really surprised at the findings. Nearly everyone considers the United States one of the wealthiest and least poor modern countries. However, only Mexico and Turkey has a greater gap in inequality and higher poverty rates (within the OECD countries).


Anthology San Diego – Nicole Henry

Last night, I attended a Nicole Henry jazz performance at a local jazz venue. It was a weekday night and the venue wasn't nearly as crowded as the last time I was there.

Her performance and the band's performance were both great. Nicole has a great voice and vocal range. I'm not much of a music critic nor have I had any musical training, but it seems like I'm liking jazz a lot more now than I did before.


Presidential Election 2008

Now that I've finished my local (San Diego) and state (California) ballot proposition blog entries, I can move onto the presidential election debate. Hopefully, this will be one of the last political posts of the political season and I can get back to random, technology, and programming blogging...

Note: You can read my state and local proposition blogs by clicking on the local politics categories on the side of the page.

For the record, I've been able to vote in four presidential elections since I turned 18 (1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004). I was a bit young and unconcerned with politics in my first two elections (1992 and 1996). I was deployed overseas somewhere in the Arabian Gulf region during the 1996 election and I was a little bit busy and still a bit unconcerned. I did vote in the last two presidential elections, but I didn't vote for Democrat or Republican. One year, I voted for an independent (err... I mean someone that wasn't a Republican or Democrat) and most recent election I just wrote in my vote for 'none of the above'.


San Diego General Election 2008 Propositions

There will be 5 (if you live within the city limits) local propositions on the San Diego ballot. Since these are fairly easy to understand, I'll summarize all of them and my opinions in a single blog entry rather than 5 separate blog entries.


California Proposition Ballot Summary

Here's how I'm planning on voting for the California Propositions compared with the California state parties recommendations.

  Me Cal Dems Cal Reps
Prop 1A - High Speed Rail Yes Yes No
Prop 2 - Treatment of Farm Animals Yes Yes No
Prop 3 - Children's Hospital Bond No Yes No
Prop 4 - Waiting Period & Parental Notification No No Yes
Prop 5 - Nonviolent Drug Offenses No Yes No
Prop 6 - Police & Law Enforcement Funding No No Yes
Prop 7 - Renewable Energy Generation No No No
Prop 8 - Eliminates Rights of Same-Sex Marriages No No Yes
Prop 9 - Victims' Rights No No Yes
Prop 10 - Alternative Fuel Vehicles & Renewable Energy No Neutral No
Prop 11 - Redistricting Yes No Neutral
Prop 12 - Veteran's Bond Act of 2008 Yes Yes Yes

Just for fun, here's how I lined up with the state parties this year:

  Agree With Disagree With
California Democratic Party 8 / 11 (73 %) 3 / 11 (27 %)
California Republican Party 5 / 11 (45 %) 6 / 11 (54 %)

California Proposition 12 – Veterans’ Bond Act of 2008


Official Summary

  • This act provides for a bond issue of nine hundred million dollars ($900,000,000) to provide loans to California veterans to purchase farms and homes.
  • Appropriates money from the state General Fund to pay off the bonds, if loan payments from participating veterans are insufficient for that purpose.