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Moving Time

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Since we're not yet homeowners, I must admit that we move a lot. In fact, it's almost become an annual tradition. Sure, moving is a lot of work that many people dred. Especially those people who have three little kids who making moving all the more difficult. So I don't exactly look forward it. But if you rent, many times it becomes necessary. For example, when you live somewhere and the neighborhood kids take to starting brush fires in your backyard, it might be time to move! The good thing is that the more you do it, the better you become at all the little things like rounding up boxes at grocery stores, throwing away 1/2 of the crap that's accumulated since the last move, and backing a 20 foot rental truck into the driveway.

Due to a combination of factors (as if the brush fire wasn't enough), we felt moving time had once again arrived for the Briscoe family. So during the past few weeks we moved from Port Charlotte, FL to Lehigh Acres, FL. This is now in our 5th home in not-quite 5 years of marriage. However, at least this one didn't involve crossing a state line! We moved about 40 miles away from our former home and are already very familiar with our new area.

So I have high hopes for this one. We are renting a new 3 bedroom/2 bathroom/1 car garage duplex in a rural, unincorporated part of Lee County. The down-side is that we're a little further from the open water now. Might not get to see the Gulf and all its estuaries and inlets on an everyday basis anymore. But we're a lot closer to the much bigger city of Fort Myers now and all that comes with it. And we're still just 45 minutes or so from really nice beaches. Here's hoping for the best and, if not, we can always move again next year!

Make sure you check out my new additions to the Family Photo Album by clicking the link above or you can get to it right here.

In other family news, it's been a big month for Jimmy. He completed kindergarten and turned 6 years-old. Not sure which of these events made him beam more, but either way he is ready for summer break. Anna is still very much in her terrible 3's and Joe keeps getting bigger as he approaches two. All the kids helped make it a very happy father's day for me this year. Finally, here's a little something I recently wrote at a blog. Maybe it's a sign that fatherhood hasn't made my brain complete mush. Or maybe not!

A Populist Future for America?

I have come to believe popular referenda and constitutional amendments are the only way the “mainsteam” (those of us in the silent majority who are generally conservative by nature whether we realize it or not) can save our republic. Sure, I will concede that this has the potential for being a dangerous tool if used too frequently or in place of ordinary representative government. But on “hot button” issues, I also think it is the only way to reign in government.

Take for example, the gay marriage issue in California. The elected government (be it the courts, the legislature or the executive) has a will-of-the-people be damned attitude. They will say one thing at the time of election, and then do another thing after election. Same thing with immigration, gay marriage, abortion, energy policy, balanced budgets, etc. On all these issues, the people’s voice is not being reflected in our government. Whether it’s the Dems or the GOP, the Congress, president, or the courts, it’s just not being heard.

That’s because it’s not enough to say, “well the people can just throw them out during the next election.” Sometimes it’s not possible. And sometimes it’s too late. The damage is done. And often the damage by then is institutionalized and irreversible. In California the people have spoken over and over. They could not be more clear. But elected government in the modern age is tainted with money and corruption, including the judiciary, and will always be. Modern tools (media, bigtime fundraising, the strength of incumbency) make these forces even more insulated — especially the courts that are often insular by law!

So I think initiative and referenda, along with constitional amendments, are the only long-term hope for a conservative America having a real say in our government. Our politicians will always let us down. The past 15 years have proven it. In fact, most of our current harm was either caused by or reinforced by a Republican Congress and a Republican president!

The people of Ireland recently rejected a treaty to unify further the European Union. Their government then promptly announced it would work to find a way to get around the people's vote. This issue in Ireland is a great example for America. The people have spoken. And now the government will ignore them. And they will seek to make a change that once it’s done, waiting for the next election to “throw the bums out” won’t make a difference. It will be too late. They will have lost their sovereignty and it will be out of their own hands to get it back, short of outright revoltuion - hardly a good option for a conservative.

It’s time to trust the open will of the people more frequently, say I. It cannot possibly disappoint conservatives as much as our government does already.