A government that deserves no respect

When this writer was much younger, he held a number of politicians in high regard. Now that this writer is much older, he holds all politicians in very low regard. This is so because this writer has watched and studied their legislative histories. Much to this writer’s horror it was discovered that legislators legislate for themselves in order to gain power and wealth. They have no regard or respect for the people. In fact they get upset, and resist the will of the people. Why the people tolerate such disrespect goes beyond this writers comprehension. Sure would like to hear from people through out our Tampa Bay community and the nation as to why this is the case. Is it a feeling of helplessness or what?

For example, the voters spoke loudly and clearly that we want smaller class sizes for the children of Florida. The state legislature and the governor do not think that’s a good idea. The governor wants to give voters a chance to reverse themselves. We do not need selfish politicians like Jeb Bush to give us a chance to reverse our vote. After all, it was the citizens who spoke and ordered the state to provide the resources for smaller class size. If voters wanted to reverse themselves, we the voters would do just that. For a change, the governor and legislature need to get busy and execute the peoples business as ordered.

All voters hear is how important children are to professional politicians. Which of course is just political spin; meaning just talk with no results. Now these politicians are faulting teachers for the poor test results of Florida children. Academically Florida children rank near the bottom of the ladder nationally. The governor now wants to tie teacher pay to how well children do on the statewide F-cat test. The problem is with the politicians and not the teachers. Politicians speaking for themselves will tell the public that money buys the best of everything. Except when it comes to the needs of children and the educators who labor to educate the states children. Florida educators rank near the bottom of the pay scale nationally. Forget the Southern states when comparing the pay scales. Instead compare Florida pay scale for teachers with the pay scale of Northern states. And take a look at how much money Florida allocates to education compared to the more successful Northern states.

Then tell those politicians to shut up and get about the peoples business or pay the consequences. This writer favors making them pay the consequences. By that this writer means, we the people need to create a government that serves the needs of the people, and not self serving professional goons. That’s the only way the Tampa Bay community, and the state will ever have a meaningful educational system to meet the needs of our children.

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Death with Dignity

John Locke in his Second Treatise of Government said, “where the law ends, tyranny begins.” We humans seem incapable of escaping tyrannical behavior unless governed by the law. So with our natural predisposition for arbitrary dominance, we surrender to the rule of law. Walk into any law library. You will soon discover how desperate society is to be controlled. Only the law can provide fairness throughout society.The problem for many is how to influence the law to ones personal advantage. To that end is the purpose of this posting.

For a practical example, this writer well discuss Gonzales, Atty. Gen. v Oregon. This case was chosen because it has some implications for the entire country. Secondly, it illustrates the danger of religious influence in government. Equally important is how non lawyers or ordinary people can influence the law.

Some years ago the people of Oreg an placed on the ballot for voters to decide whether they wanted the law to allow for doctor assisted euthanasia. On two separate occasions the voters said yes. For approximately eight years Oregon had a law known as “Death with Dignity Act.”

Then in November 2001, Attorney General Ashcroft issued a directive that said if doctors participated in doctor patient assisted suicide they could be criminally prosecuted.

Both the federal district court and the court of appeals upheld the Oregon law. Now the case will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

John Ashcroft, the former attorney general is the prime example of what occurs when religion and government mix. This is the government official who conducted prayer meetings in his office. He is a christian fundamentalists with an extreme right wing political religious agenda. Who as a lawyer should have known that it was legally wrong to bring his religion into the government work place because it violated the highest law of the land. The constitutional requirement for the separation of church and state. Religionists right extremists like Ashcroft are dangerous because they think that their religious beliefs supersede civil law. They then act upon their right religious extremism as if it’s the governing law of the land. It was upon such convictions that Ashcroft wrote his directive halting Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act. That is this writers opinion having observed the behavior of people like Ashcroft who hold extreme religious convictions.

People who are not lawyers can impact the courts by filing an Amicus brief which is known as a friend of the court brief. What people need to do is learn how to write such a brief. It requires following a format as established by the court which is learnable. However, it’s not any more complicated than writing university papers which require a certain standard writing formula. There is nothing stopping people from writing letters directly to judges stating their personal opinion as to why a court should rule a certain way on a issue of concern.

The nation remembers Terry Schiavo and how the religious right interfered with the desires of her husband. Death and dying should me a matter between family and their doctor. Religious superstition must be excluded from the process. That is what the Oregon, Supreme Court case is really about. It’s about a dangerous religious movement attempt to control dying from their religious perspective. We saw that same scenario play out unsuccessfully with Terry Schiavo. Let us hope the same scenario plays out in the Supreme Court.

This writer is available to teach the technique of writing an Amicus brief. Along with how to style a letter for the court. Also available to discuss personal legal concerns. All discussions protected through clergy privacy relationships.