Former President of the California Republican Assembly; Publisher, California Political News and ViewsFormer President of the California Republican Assembly; Publisher, California Political News and Views
FROM Stephen Frank
Propositions 5 and 6: Law and Order Proposition 5 on the November ballot, which deals with the criminal justice system, would allocate $460 million a year to improve and expand treatment programs for drug crimes and other offenses. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst says it would also save a one-time expenditure of $2.5 billion. Proponents call it the "Nonviolent Offender Rehabilitation Act." Opponents call it the "Drug Dealers' Bill of Rights." Proposition 6 would allocate $965 million a year for law enforcement statewide, create many new crimes and increase penalties, many focused on gangs. Though it would not raise taxes, the non-partisan Legislative Analyst says the additional cost could include $500 million for increased prison construction.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.