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Papercrete and Judicial Activism:

The papercrete mixer spent the last couple of weeks (or possibly a little less) in an inoperable state. A treasure hunt in the auto junk yard yesterday has got it back in shape to mix up some slurry. If all goes according to plan, I’ll put my new centrifugal pump to use today.

The papercrete is drying very slowly in the humid climate of Northwest Arkansas. One of the supposed advantages of working with papercrete is that the blocks weigh far less than one would expect based on the size. Well, my blocks remain back-breakingly heavy weeks after I cast them, so I’ve decided to switch construction modes. I had been casting blocks on the ground and stacking them under our metal carport to dry. Once dry, I planned to stack them and mortar them together with fresh papercrete slurry. Given that they don’t seem to be drying to a manageable weight in a reasonable span of time, I’ve decided to construct some slip forms and cast the walls in situ ("in place").




I voted yesterday. I registered to vote in Arkansas as an independent, and in Arkansas's open primary I had the choice of a Democratic or Republican ballot. While I felt loathe to choose either ballot and cast myself as a Republican or a Democrat even for a day, I took the Democratic ballot. I did so because it allowed me to cast a vote for Dennis Kucinich and because I wasn’t familiar with any of the Republican candidates seeking state office and had no basis for deciding which one to support. I’m not saying that I had no access to that information; just that I hadn’t sought it out by the time I went to vote.

I left most of the ballot choices blank for the same reason I didn’t take a Republican ballot. I did cast a vote for a candidate running to unseat a local district judge. I chose my candidate, Kent Crow, on the basis of his bio in the Lovely County Citizen which included the following:

Crow believes he would be an activist judge. "What is legal is not always right. Sometimes from the bench we need more of what is right. Being an activist is not a safe thing to be, you open yourself to criticism. The more courageous judges are able to make decisions based on laws, facts and upholding our societal values."

(…)

"An activist judge interacts with the community. He doesn’t just preside over cases and then go home. It’s important that people understand that."

Crow also favors some adaptation of drug courts. “You have to realize you can’t just keep building more jails to put people in. Obviously that’s not the solution. We have to look at other programs. Judges are given wide discretion. Each offender must be looked at as an individual and the judge must decide what would best serve society and the individual."


According to the Citizen, the district judge will mostly hear cases involving “misdemeanor, traffic and small claims cases in their respective districts.” That means that if he wins, Kent Crow will not have the option of acting on his Drug War reform rhetoric, but I still wanted to reward him for stating his opinion on the topic in public.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
weev
May. 19th, 2004 08:42 am (UTC)
Didn't realize you lived in northwest Arkansas. I used to live in Fayetteville.
kmo
May. 19th, 2004 06:13 pm (UTC)
I used to live in Fayetteville.
I was born in Fayetteville, but I have no memory of living there. My family moved to St. Louis when I was about three. I moved around a lot as a kid, and then again as an adult. I moved here from Australia a little less than a year ago.
davidkevin
May. 21st, 2004 12:53 am (UTC)

> I registered to vote in Arkansas as an independent, and in Arkansas's open
> primary I had the choice of a Democratic or Republican ballot. While I felt
> loathe to choose either ballot and cast myself as a Republican or a Democrat
> even for a day, I took the Democratic ballot.


As you may remember, in Missouri no party affiliation is requested at registration. You don't declare such until you actually get to your polling place on primary day: you then tell the election judges whether you want a Democrat, Libertarian, Republican, or (for those who only want to vote on tax increases, bond issues, and referenda) the occasional non-partisan ballot.

I have added kmo and crealm to my Friend-list. If after looking at my journal you wish to reciprocate, cool. If not, I understand, no problem.

kmo
May. 21st, 2004 06:26 am (UTC)
Hi
I've added you to the friends list of my kmo account. All the friends listed in my crealm account are other comics journals.

I recognize your user pic from the Libertarianism community. I haven't been to a sci fi convention in years, but I used to attend one in Kansas City every year.

I notice you list many specific sci fi authors among your interests but not Gene Wolfe. If you have not yet read The Book of the New Sun, one of life's most exquisite pleasures awaits you. It's published in two volumes: Shadow & Claw, and Sword & Citadel.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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