Peace and Equality Delayed

I helped my dad move the furniture around the house yesterday. He wanted to raise the cabinet that holds the TV, and suggested to cut off a third of the table to accommodate a smaller corner space. I do not doubt my father’s carpentry abilities, but I neither thought a sliced TV cabinet would look very good nor would it have any resale value. So, I suggested to prop the whole cabinet up with the wooden file cabinets that we have, shift the sofa chairs around, and now we have even more space that can be used to free up both the kitchen and the bedroom. Not bad for a days’ work.

In the afternoon, I went over to my second aunt’s place to take her grocery shopping. Afterwards, I spent several hours playing video games. Ah… silly me. Why continue to do such things? I should leave the video games to the kids and focus on other things like education and career development — those are the big-boy games.

The L.A. Times and The Economist report a halt in the peace talks for the Mideast. Israel launched an airstrike that killed a top PLA military officer. I wonder if Arafat is still held hostage (under house-arrest). Such a dilemma this situation is. Will I see peace over there in my lifetime? In my children’s lifetime?

On the education issue, California has a bill (Assembly Bill 3003) that would equalize the spending on students of public schools. Currently, school district budgets are determined by local real estate taxes. Therefore, more affluent communities would have more money to spend per student. AB 3003 would fill in the gap faced by poorer communities. Unfortunately, Republicans in the legislature are against the tax increase (was it 2%?) that is necessary to pay the costs. Democrats are unwilling to vote for the bill unless the whole package goes through. Moreover, this is election year for Gov. Gray Davis, and he has promised “no tax hikes.” Even if a tax increase does get through the legislature, the bill might just get vetoed and sent back to a majority Republican body.

Ever since I read Savage Inequalities, by Jonathan Kozol, I was disgusted by the way California’s schools are funded. Wishing for a more equal fiscal policy, AB 3003 appears to be a good cause. I wonder what I can do as a citizen to get the bill passed? First, however, I should read the bill and make sure I agree with it.

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