Wednesday, 11 March 2009

The End of Marriages, As We Know It

Proposition 8 opponents received permission Tuesday from the California Secretary of State's office to begin collecting petition signatures toward a repeal of the state's same-sex marriage ban.

The initiative would side step the issue of same-sex marriage by making all couples eligible for marriage benefits regardless of their sexual orientation. If approved, the initiative would strike the word "marriage" from all state laws and replace it with the term "domestic partnership."

The measure would also repeal Proposition 8, California's constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

In the past forty-eight hours....things have heated up in California. A measure has been drawn up and submitted to the State Attorney General (Jerry Brown)...which challenges the validity of Proposition 8. If the proponents of the measure (Kaelan Housewright and Ali Shams) gathers 695k singatures....then it goes to a state vote.

The read of the summary?

Basically....substitute domestic partnership for marriage in California law. Yep...no more marriages...just civil unions for everyone.

Its the shotgun blast scheme...if we can't have marriage...then no one can.

The amusing part of this initiative would be that "marriage" gets replaced throughout state law with the term "domestic partnership". It would apply to all couples...regardless of sexual orientation

I sat there laughing over the scheme. Its basically putting this entire Proposition Eight mess into turbo-power. From this point on....its a us-versus-them situation.

Anyone that wanted to be "really married" in California....would have to drive across the border into Oregon, Arizona or Nevada....to get the right kind of marriage. How much would this matter? I'm going to make a simple guess here....six out of ten couples will likely come to this state of mind. Why get married in California....if you aren't married?

Will they get the 695k signatures? Yes. I have no doubt. But the necessary votes to carry it in an election? Thats too hard to judge. I think the state mentality is reaching a point where the public is tired of the debate on either direction. There is no end to this debate....it simply goes to the next level.

How many folks in California are pro-gay? In actuality...I'd take a guess of 33 percent. How many are anti-gay? Around 33 percent. The remaining 33 percent really are passers in the night, and would shift their judgment five times a day.

So the nuke has been dropped...and marriage is likely coming to an end.

How To Lose $50 Million in One Year

The San Fransisco Chronicle has admitted now that they lost around $50 million last year. And they also see few if any options in surviving this year. They need someone to buy them out....but its very unlikely.

So how would you lose $50 million? You could just give away every single paper you print for the year....with no income from the customer.....but then you'd likely lose $100 million. So that would only take care of half of the problem.

Without alot of data, which they really don't want to share....we are left to wonder and speculate.

So my vision of how this works. You have a city new department with an editor, an assistant, and twenty reporters, and three photographers.

The editor? You are likely paying a yearly salary of $340k a year. Toss in $80k for various benefits, the leased car, and the company credit card to buy meals for big-wigs in the city. The assistant is likely making $240k, with another $50k in various benefits. The senior reporter? He's likely making around $220-250k. Half of the rest of the team is making $120-180k. The three photographers? The senior guy is likely pulling in $100k, and the other two around $75k. No one from this entire group makes less than $40k a year in San Fransisco.

Then go to the advertising group....same story. The printing group? Same story. The state and national news team? Same story.

Every year, you toss out a three to six percent pay raise, and people stayed. The guy might have started out in 1988 with $28k....but he's moved up every single year. Do the math....five percent a year....is a pretty hefty deal after thirty years.

Toss in the medical coverage, the 401K deal, and trips to conventions. Then you toss in the special wine & dine deals where you spent $70k on some dinner deal for 100 guests downtown.

So the newspaper has been working real hard to burden itself with loans from the bank, and employees who were twice as expensive as they could truly pay.

Somewhere along the way....TV and the lean of the paper got to be too much....and some folks just quit their subscription. Life became simple. They went to USA Today for plain vanilla news.

The chance of surviving? I think less than twenty percent. This is the concept that almost all of these papers used.....hiring 'experts' and then giving out six percent pay raises on a continual basis. After twenty years.....you simply can't keep up the act. The paper squeezed itself into a bad situation.