I am frantically trying to get both the boat and the butcher shop ready for the arrival of my friends from California a week from today. Now to politics: I was questioned last time about my concern over how judges in Alaska are selected (as an aside, Operator101, if I don't know you, I would enjoy debating you: you have a keen mind). I think that lawyer Gerry Spence, a personal hero of mine, has it right. Quite simply judges should be drafted. No more elections where people have to sell their souls to get elected and stay in office. No more politics. Simply, the name of every qualified lawyer would be in the hat to be a judge. As judges were needed the presiding judge would draw a name and that lawyer would become a judge for, say, a year. No excuses. Just like jury duty. The lawyer/judge would be paid an appropriate amount. I have yet to find any flaw with this system. First, I do not believe that the collective intelligence of the bench is greater than that of the bar. Second, at least when we got "bad" judges we would not be stuck with them for life (as in the federal system and, effectively, states with the "Missouri system" like Alaska). Third, maybe the judges would remember that, very soon, they would be lawyers again. So, mistreat me now and I'l be seeing you real soon asshole! Fourth, the diversity of judges would increase dramatically. Maybe lawyers who were not prosecutors or corporate lawyers might be judges. Finally, I believe that, because the lawyers would be drafted, they would not be power seekers. Gerry Spence writes about how most judges (yes MOST) are addicted to Power. Whether it is to corporate America or the Prosecutors, most judges are tools of oppression. Gerry Spence goes to say that there is "something wrong" with most judges. So, for what it is worth, I agree with Gerry: let's draft our judges.
P.S. A belated happy solstice. It is with very mixed emotion that I took this picture at midnight last night. I love the summer with its endless light. But I miss the winter and the coziness of the early dark.