The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Yeah, I made up that word...

Did you know there's an election this year? Yeah, it was a surprise to me too. That was a fib... I am, of course, acutely aware of the upcoming election. But, before that important election in November, we have primary elections to deal with. It amazes me sometimes how many people line up to get what I would call a PITA job that paid below average wages. I am amazed because I never once in my life considered strongly any job that required I dress in a suit. I don't even own a suit.

A year or two ago, our long time county tax assessor passed away unexpectedly. Ten people paid the filing fees to get that job. And bought lots of yard signs, went to meetings, bragged about their accomplishments, and generally made nuisances of themselves. One man even resigned his seat on the county commission to run for the job. Then I found out how much a tax assessor made each year. Wouldn't you give up a $32k a year job for one that paid 6 figures? I was almost tempted to run myself.

Most seem to run on the concept of doing just what the late tax assessor did. After all, nobody disliked him; taxes here are low compared to most other places, he educated us on ways to avoid unnecessary taxes, warned us of tax increases coming and how to avoid some of the impact, and so on. We liked our tax man.

But now we have something a little more problematic. Our local state representative has been term-limited out and she is trying for a "promotion" to local state senator. Our district has been redrawn to boot, making the demographics change... but only slightly. We are still mostly old, mostly white, mostly Republican, and mostly set in our ways. You hardly ever hear of a Democrat running for office here. Yet, there is one:

Drake (first name Crystal), who described herself as a conservative Democrat, a wife married 33 years, a mother and a grandmother, began by saying she felt voting across straight party lines was part of what's wrong in government today.

"My mom was one of those people," she said. "She looked at her ballot, Democrat, Democrat, Democrat; she didn't even read the names. And God love her, there are still a lot of people I know who do that."

She told straight-ticket voters, it was OK to change their mind, "because it proves that you still have one." Her point was some elected officials just vote the way their party leaders tell them to.

As a teacher, she taught American Government at Moore Haven High School for more than 10 years. She taught about the parties and what the founders envisioned for the country.

"It definitely was not a place where you just were a puppet on a string," she said.

She is an advocate of agriculture, business development and children's education, she said. When tourism is down, agriculture is what runs this state, she said. She felt the FCAT was taking education in the wrong direction.

"We are spending so much time preparing kids for a test that we are not teaching the essence of what a test is all about and that's how to solve problems and think critically," she said.

Attracting high-skill and high-wage jobs is her priority.

Her opening line expresses something which annoys the heck out of me. It is how political parties retain power. Parties change over time, their leaders change, the interest groups within the parties change, younger people take over for retiring older people, and so on. The platforms stay the same (or similar) but how to reach the stated goals (and what those goals mean) change... slowly... over long time periods... so that a political party today may look entirely different than it did 30-40-50 years ago.

And, yet, her mother (and so many others) routinely votes along party lines. Regardless. And then often wonders what is wrong with government these days.


Tom Sightings said...

I love your new word. As a ticket splitter myself, though, I have to confess that half the time I have no idea who I'm voting for, esp. when it gets down to the judges and tax collectors at the bottom of the ticket . . .   so maybe following your party line is not all that bad an idea. Besides, I'm still living down voting for Ross Perot in 1992.

Douglas4517 said...

 You don't think that maybe it just means you ought to learn who all is going to be on a ballot then?

Now, when it comes to judges... those are usually retention votes. I just naturally vote "No" on those. I figure it doesn't much matter since judges always get retained unless someone manages to find a cache of child porn on their computers.