Wednesday, November 08, 2006


The results are in, and the public voted for a change. Top among the reasons for voting as they did, the public cited the war in Iraq, terrorism, and corruption. That's right, we voted to throw the bums out. Good for us!

Voting for a change is effective only when there's a valid choice, however. Some areas of the U.S. had lots of choice; some didn't. I happen to live in Hamilton County, Indiana, one of the most Republican areas of the entire country. As happens most every election day, I found myself very pissed off when I realized that many of the offices on the ballot presented no choice at all -- only Republicans were running. In particular, there wasn't a single Democrat on my ballot for county sheriff, court clerk, recorder, coroner, assessor, or commissioner. There was also no Democrat on the ballot opposite Senator Richard Lugar, and only a token opposition to Congressman Dan Burton. In other words, for well over half the offices on the ballot, I had no choice but to vote Republican. Maybe it's time for me to move.

Across the country, though, there was more of a choice, and people in general voted against the Republican incumbents. This is a good thing. The country is a in a real mess, and while the Executive branch is chiefly responsible, the Congress is to blame for letting it happen. When the bums and scoundrels are too much in the pocket of the President, it's time to change staff. Which is exactly what happened yesterday.

The good news is, a fresh Congress will provide the necessary checks and balances on an Executive branch used to unfettered and unquestioned power. Even better news is that it looks as if everything happened on the up and up; the wave was so big that the ruling party couldn't steal it this time.

It's definitely time for a change. Get ready for an interesting two years.

But that's just my opinion; reasonable minds may disagree.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Tuesday is election day. It's important that you exercise your right to vote. It will be disappointing to see half the electorate not exercise this right; it essentially means that half the populace doesn't care enough about our democracy to play their part.

I understand why some people don't vote. I've encountered lots of folks, both young and old, who are totally disillusioned with the process. Some of these folks view all politicians as corrupt, or feel their vote doesn't count, or are convinced that money and privilege provide power, no matter what the vote results. Maybe some or all of these views are valid, but you still have to try. That's our duty.

If you don't vote on Tuesday, you forfeit all right to complain about the way things are run. Don't like what's happening in Iraq? Think we need health care reform? Concerned that your taxes are too high? Hate the way your local schools are run? Then quit complaining and go vote. It's the only opportunity you have to make your voice heard -- unless you're a lobbyist with big bucks to donate, of course.

So get out and vote on Tuesday. No matter which side you vote for, your voice is important. Don't squander your opportunity to instigate change -- and, slowly but surely, work towards a better way.

But that's just my opinion; reasonable minds may disagree. (But if you want to disagree, you better vote!)