Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

NOTE The views I express on this site are mine and mine alone. Nothing I say should be construed as being "official" or the views of any group, whether I've been a member of that group or not. The advertisings on this page are from Google, and do not constitute an endorsement on my part.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I Voted:

1 Democrat,
1 Unafilliated
2 Libertarians
9 Republicans
1 State Ballot Initiative
1 Judge

6 District Judges
2 County Judges
3 City Judges
4 State Ballot Initiatives
2 County Initiatives
2 City Initiatives
1 School district Initiative

I voted FOR people, not against them, except for judges. They're a special case, as I describe below. In each case, I chose the person I felt would do the best job I was hiring them to do. That's what voting is - choosing someone to act as your representative, whether it's at the federal, state, or local level. Why should you have different standards for hiring a building contractor, janitor, or auto mechanic than you do for someone to represent what you believe is right? We're not electing gods, we're electing representatives. I believe the people I voted for will do a better job of doing what I think is right about a dozen or so different issues than the other people that were on the ballot. I'm an "unafilliated" or "Independent" voter, meaning that I don't belong to either major party or any of the minor ones. As I say in my email signature, "People belong to political parties to make sure their scoundrel gets elected, instead of the other party's scoundrel."

I also believe that appointing judges for life is a bad bag, and needs to be changed. Many things can happen during the life of a person, and even basic ideas that underpin their ideological foundation may change. If judges consistently ruled to the best of their ability to uphold the Constitution and the laws that applied to their judiciary roles, there wouldn't be a problem. Alas, judges are human, and bring a lot of baggage with them to the bench. We need a faster, easier way to rid ourselves of bad judges other than impeaching them, which is almost impossible to do. A limited term appointment would allow us to end the kind of stupidity that plays out regularly in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, for instance, as well as ridding ourselves of patisan judges wherever they may be. Good judges, who have shown their willingness to uphold both good laws and the Constitution, can be offered an additional term. The best can be "promoted" up the judicial ladder. Also, knowing that they are appointed for a limited time, and that their reappointment will be based on how well they've followed both the letter and the spirit of the law, may place some constraints on judicial legislating. We can only hope...

I ALWAYS vote "NO" on retaining judges, unless I have first-hand knowledge of a judge's behavior that will alter that vote. Most of what I've seen of judges in Colorado Springs has not been all that laudatory, although many of the local judges aren't "bad". I just don't consider any of them, except one, GOOD enough to retain. There is a very good chance that removing one or more of them, and replacing them with others, will have a salutory effect on ALL judges in the local area.

Voting against the State referendums, whether to alter the Colorado Constitution or for adding taxes, was an easy choice. Colorado approved, by an overwhelming majority, to impose growth restrictions on taxation through a ballot initiative called the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, or TABOR. Virtually every spending bill that's been added to the ballot for the last ten years, ever since TABOR passed, has also tried to get around the TABOR limitations. The electorate has consistently voted down these spending bills, yet the people proposing them never stop. It's a shame, really, because two or three of the initiatives would have passed, if the wording hadn't also indicated an attempt to either nullify or allow exemption from TABOR. The State of Colorado has legitimate needs that are not being met because the politicians try to work against the will of the people, instead of with it.

Today is a red-letter day for our family. Today, our brain-injured son, Joe, went to the polls for the first time in his 30 years of life. He needed help understanding some of the ballot initiatives (so did I, but I had the Internet...), but otherwise, he did well, without coaching. Also today, our 19-year-old daughter voted for the first time, along with her mom. One family, four CONSERVATIVE votes!


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