For an exercise in futility, log onto the Amtrak Web site and reserve a seat on the Coast Starlight train, which will take you from Emeryville, California straight into Los Angeles’ Union Station. To the tune of about fifty bucks one-way, you can chug your way down the coast to sunny southern California in only 12 hours and 40 minutes.

The idea behind the proposition is fine: a family should have good communication, especially about pregnancy, and this communication should promote good decision making in young adults, still maturing and looking for the wisdom and guidance of older, informed parents.

Minors have long been required to gain consent before they can do certain things, such as getting a body piercing or choosing to drop out of high school. These sort of parental co-singings have been implemented because it is generally held to be true that a child cannot always make an informed and responsible decision on his or her own, and thus the consent of the person taking care of this child is deemed necessary.

Proposition 10 is hardly the giant paving stone on the road to energy independence which its proponents make it out to be. In fact, it doesn’t even belong on the road to hell, because the intentions behind it are so dubious at best. The plan is the brainchild of Texas oil man T. Boone Pickens, who only recently began gracing the airwaves with constant and apparently selfless advocacy for wind power. This bill makes it clear that his advocacy for wind was anything but selfless.

It should be obvious, given the ballooning price of gas, the pervasive feeling of economic uncertainty and the necessity of finding independence from brutal foreign regimes that some sort of alternative energy package is needed to both calm the economy and move America into the next generation of energy production. This bill will work admirably on both fronts, as the approach it takes creates a perfect incentive structure with which to allow market mechanisms to solve this crisis.

California already has adequate laws to address victim’s rights. Prop. 9 is unnecessary, redundant and will waste taxpayer money by duplicating existing state programs. The “Victims’ Bill of Rights”, which placed victims’ rights into the Constitution, was passed in 1982. Other progress has been made to ensure the safety of victims in the “Three Strikes Law.” This new amendment would only provide trivial changes to the existing law and would not help to rehabilitate criminals and would detract from state funding to schools and crime prevention programs.

Voting “yes” on Proposition 9 would expand the constitutional rights of crime victims to equal those already granted by the state to criminals. By preventing the release of personal and confidential records to criminal defendants and forcing judges to consider the safety of victims and their family’s when making bail decisions for the accused, victims would be more secure against retributive acts by criminals. Proposition 9 would allow victims (with an expanded role given to family members) to participate in any public criminal proceedings.