Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I voted today, but I’m not sure why.

Hold on.

Before you consider me an unpatriotic lout who is shirking his civic duty, let me explain.

This was a primary election day in Florida, and I’m actually registered as a member of a party I rarely support, so I really couldn’t care less who is nominated. I’m likely -- but not always -- going to vote for the other party’s candidate in November.

But when I picked up my ballot, it seemed about half of it was filled with names of people running for nominations as judges.

I have no idea who is a good judge and who is a bad judge, and I don’t trust the local newspaper to tell me either. (I used to work there. The editorial board folks generally were nice when I was there, but many were plain stupid and way away from my thinking.)

So I was kind of wasting my time -- except for two things that did make the trip worthwhile.

One is I learned that one of the candidates for county mayor is a person I used to deal with back in the late 1990s when I was still in the newspaper business. He was a guy who had been in a bad accident and was now confined in a wheelchair.

He had become active, which is understating the case, in promoting changes in laws to accommodate those in wheelchairs or with other disabilities. (I’m not sorry if use of that term offends anyone; this p.c. stuff about calling them “handi-capable” people is simply stupid.)

He was even more active, again, understating the case, in seeing that the present laws are enforced, to the point that he actually hurt his own case with his belligerent approach.

He once called me up and said that the county was trying to kill people like him because of where they had put some access ramps to bus stops. And he was serious.

He was amusing for a while, but then generally became a handicap (sorry) to his own cause.

So naturally I voted for him.

The other vote was to determine if the Miami-Dade County ban on pit bulls should be repealed.

I have mixed feelings on this.

A pit bull in my neighborhood got loose once while my wife was walking our Pekingese and damn near killed the Peke. Fortunately, the big dog did not attack my wife, and the Peke survived, despite some very bad injuries, only because the owner heard the commotion and came outside to pull his dog off of ours.

So I don’t like pit bulls.

But on the other hand, the reason they are a problem is because of the training they get from humans. They can be trained as fighters and often are, but they also can be gentle.

If I remember correctly, the dog in the “Spanky and Our Gang” comedies is a pit bull, or a pit bull mix. (Not sure that there is a pure breed called a pit bull.)

Also, my son had one, and she was pretty friendly. Once when I had stopped by on a trip he wanted to throw a scare into our cats, which were in a travel kennel in the car. But when he took his dog to the kennel, it was the dog that was scared and wanted to get away.

I thought it was a riot. He didn’t see the humor.

When it came down to it, I had to vote on keeping the ban, because I have little hope that the humans will change their ways.

Patriotic duty fulfilled.

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