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Bath County News - Outlook
Owingsville, Kentucky
December 12, 2002     Bath County News - Outlook
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December 12, 2002

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Oi ; 3! i, !/ii i ii!iiiii;xidC!ii!!id;iizi!!!!iiii;iiiii!!i!ii!!1iiiiiiiiiiiiiii:!!!! iiikill I:FI iiiiiXiil kY]&x!;diiiii{kii:!ii uil XilXiiiiiiiiii icia , Jud I Philosophy Since the November elections, there has been considera'ble talk in the press and among politicians about the appointment and confirmation of "conservative judges" to the federal judiciary. This raises an interesting question - to what extent should judicial philosophy be a factor in qualifying one to be a judge? There are many options: liberal, conservative, activist, non-activist, strict constructionist, pragmatist. The problem with these labels is that they fail to address the most important issue of all in addressing a judge's qualifications: Is he or she fair? Anymore, at least at the federal level, political pigeonholing seems to characterize most judicial nominations. This has been especially true since the confirmation hearings involving Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas. The public seems to almost expect this - that who becomes judges is the result of a political, result-driven process. Of course, it should be pointed out that all federalj udicial appointments are for life. In Kentucky however state judges must face reelection at regular intervals. For district judges this is every four years. For circuit and appellate judges it is every eight years. It seems to me however that the best way to evaluate a judge at either the state or federal level is to consider whether he or she is or will be fair, evenhanded, and principled without regard to what political constituency may benefit or suffer from a case's outcome. Justice would be better served if judges were evaluated more on that basis than on the basis of political labels. In my view, aproper "judicial philosophy" is nothing more complicated than to decide each case with impartiality, according to established legal principles, using logic and appropriate policies underlying the relevant law to fill the gaps. This approach helps guarantee that decisions are principled, and not a judge's personal political views or philosophy. This is based on a belief that justice should be objective and evenhanded. Anyone who comes before a judge should know that the case will be evaluated fairly on its own legal merits - regardless whether the party or the conduct at issue happens to hold a favored position in the judge's personal value system. Obviously, no judge lives in a vacuum. We all have our values. But a judge can be aware of his or her predominant biases and should - by a deliberate act of will - seek to isolate personal ideology from the decision making process. Federal appellate judge David Ebel has written, "Justice is compromised whenever she peeks under her blindfold, whether it is to notice race or other personal characteristics irrelevant to the case." It is also compromised when it attempts to tract the political or social views of a judge. Let me give an example. Judge Ebel expressed his personal view against the death penalty before he took the bench. Yet out of four vote s involving the death penalty, he upheld the sentence three times. Once he voted to reverse. Each decision was determined by an analysis of prevailing legal principles, not his own personal views. It is improper for judges to have apolitical or social agenda. Their task is to decide actual cases, specific controversies between parties in an unbiased way. The quickest way for the legal system to lose the public's confidence is to have biased judges. Ultimately, it is the process that is important in the legal system. As former Supreme Court Justice Byran White once said, "If there is one thing important to the judicial system, it's the notion that you are going to get a square deal with the judge." Let's hope that in the coming year the judges who are nominated and confirmed to the federal bench are capable of delivering a square deal to all who come before them. COPYRIGHT @ 2002 WILLIAM B. MAINS IZ.,It. She made him a millionaire after the marriage, but before the union, he was a Things a man learns after a while of being married: Married life is very frustrating. In the first year of marriage, the man speaks and the woman listens. In the second year, the woman speaks and the man listens. In the third year, they both speak and the neighbors listen. After a quarrel, a wife said to her husband, "You know, I was a fool when I married you." And the hus- band replied, "Yes, dear, but I was in love and didn't notice it." It doesn't matter how often a married man changes his job, he still ends up with the same boss. A man inserted an 'ad' in the classifieds: "Wife wanted." Next day he received a hundred letters. They all said the same thing: "You can have mine." When aman opens the door of his car for his wife, you can be sure of one thing: either the car is new or the wife is. A perfect wife is one who helps the husband with the dishes. A woman was telling her friend, "It is I who made my husband a million- aire." "And what was he before you mar- fled him." Asked the friend. The woman replied, "A multi-million- aire." A man said his credit card was stolen but he decided not to report it because the thief was spending less than his wife did. A couple was having a discussion about family finances. Finally the husband exploded, "If it weren't for my money, the house wouldn't be here!" The wife replied, "My dear, if it weren't for your money I wouldn't be here." eooKMooo A man and a woman who have never met before find themselves as- signed to the same sleeping room on a transcontinental train. After the initial embarrassment and uneasiness, they both go to sleep. The man in the upper berth, and the woman in the lower berth. In the middle of the night the man leans over, wakes the woman and says, 'Tm sorry to bother you, but I'm awfully cold and I was wondering if you could possibly reach over and get me another blanket?" The woman leans out and, with a glint in her eye says, "I have a better idea, just for tonight, let's pretend that we are married." The man happily says, "OK. AWE- SOME" The woman says "GOOD ..... Get your own blanket." eoeooKMooo A man approached a sheep farmer and said, "If I tell you how many sheep you have down in the valley, can I keep one?" The farmer glanced at the vast field of sheep, eyed the stranger carefully, snickered, and then accepted the bet. The stranger looked carefully across the rolling hills, scan- ning it left and right, then said,"5,279." ....... Holy Cow!" the startled farmer exclaimed. "How did you do that?" "Well, I'd rather not say," answered the man. "Now can I have my sheep?" The farmer sighed, "A deal is a deal, I guess." The strangerpicked out an animal and began to lead it away. The farmer watched in silence for a moment, then called after the man. "Wait! If I can guess where you are from, will you give me back my ani- mal?" "Fair en0ugh," the man agreed with a grin. "You're from New York," guessed the farmer. Instantly the stranger's smile turned to a frown. "How did you know?" Well I'd rather not sa answered. "Now can I have my back?" ooKMeoe Stevie Wonder and are in a bar. Woods turns to and says: How is the sin going?" Stevie Wonder re too bad! How's the golf?." Woods replies: "Not too bad, had some problems with but I think l've got that fight Stevie Wonder says: "I that when my swing goes need to stop playing for a not think aboutit. Then I play, it seems to be all fight. Tiger Woods says:' "You golf'?" I've beeh playing tbr years?' And Woods ,s: "But, you 'blind. Howcan you blind?" Wonder replies: "I get caddy to stand in the middle fairway and call to me. I listen forl sound of his voice and play the towards him. Then, when I get where the ball lands to the green or farther the fairway and again I play the towards his voice." "But, how do you putt?", as v "I etnal Woods. "Well," says Ste ie, g , caddy to lean down in front ofthehO --Turn to next page From the files of "RUSS METZ", 1919-1996 Feel Fidgety? Tell you what I a little consideration For the man who has everything, I highly recommend a fidget stone. This beautiful object of art is another step toward soothing th savage nature of the nervous male in this affluent society. In other words, it is about the most useless thing a fellow can have and no one should be without one. The fidget stone now comes in jade from a posh New York jewelry store and brings a fidgety $9.50. The stone has a groove in it to fit your thumb and the idea is just fiddle with it and feel euphoria set in. Claimed to be prettier than pills, more fun than a massage and as soothing as a lullaby, this good fortune stone of the Orient. Like the swagger stick, the fidget stone is a status symbol for those too proud to whittle and too scared to crack knuckles. For therapeutic value, it will never replace the buckeye. And you're not likely to see any old-timer trade his copper wristband for one of these stones. Whoever heard of a fidget stone curing rheumat- ics? Inflation has brought forth the fidget stone as a pagan image of man's prosperous stature. For years, he did not need a rock to rub to remind himself and others of his station in life. He had coins made of real silver that, when dropped against another, would give off a most reassuring sound. Those days a fellow could stand on the corner and jingle the coins in his pocket loud enough for the girls to hear and he was assured to be looked upon as a man of the world. Now pull one of those pieces of crazy crockery on the girls and they are likely to scream for a cop. Still, I recommend the fidget stone. Even if it fails as a tranquilizer, you can always use it as a sinker to make the fish nervous, or put some chicken feathers on it and take it with you to the next neighborhood orgy. A fidget stone is bound to set you apart from the crowd. -RM- Next time a photographer wants to take your picture, show a little consideration toward the chap, because he represents what must be at least the second oldest profession. It is perfectly obvious that a photographer was present at the Last Supper because in any representation I have seen, you can just hear the shutterbug comment: "All you fellows who want to be in the picture get on the other side of the table." -RM- Some people may have been appalled last week when news came out of Saigon that the 4th Infantry Command has been enforcing a "salute or fight" decree. This meant the GI's could either show proper respect to the brass with a military salute or start rolling up their artillery. The time honored threat of shape up or ship out obviously wouldn't be too effective over there. Too few ships heading in this RUSS METZ direction to handle the trade it might create. If you think this is a strange strategy, you have never served in the armed forces. I imagine even General George Washington might have handed down an edict or two to his forces at Valley Forge such as: no salute, no stove wood, or snap to or the snowball squad for you. The penalty for failure to salute an officer has fit the occasion all through history. At the tail end of World War II, when I was making time waiting for the day they could get along without me, I was honored by being named to the Saluteless Slob Squad. A major claimed I did not hand him a highball one dark evening on a street in Montgomery, Ala. You don't argue with mean majors. Next day my name appeared on the honor roll, honor guard and pallbearer for the body of a captain, returned home for burial. The whole military escort was made up of foul ups, including a shavetail who smelled like a distillery, non-saluters and chaplain, who had never read the GI burial rites. Even shanghied troops have the common decency of respect for the dead and we buried him like seasoned undertak" ers. And, not particularly wanting to become a full-time funeral attendant, I managed to salute everything that moved after that. The Army had a special knack for making a believer out of you. During the Black Hawk War, Capt. Abe Lincoln was one of the first of his country to be arraigned for unmilitary conduct. He had fired a gun "within the limits" and had his sword taken from him. When some of his troops stole a batCh of liquor, got drunk and became pretty unsoldierly soldierS, Abe was on the carpet again. This time they made him wear Wooden sword for two days. When Abe became Commander in Chief, he knew all the shortcomings of soldiers. During the Civil War when Gen MeClellan was employing his usual waiting campaign, Lin coin put Gen. Hooker in charge of the army. In order to the impression of a big wheel by running around in circleS, Hooker reported his movements in dispatch headed, "Head" quarters in the Saddle." "The trouble with Hooker," Lincoln remarked, "is he's got his headquarters where his hindquarters ought to be. -RM- In one part of ancient Greece, it long was the custom, when a man proposed a law in the popular assembly, he did on a platform with a rope around his neck. If the law passed, they removed the rope. If it failed removed the platform. -RM- The Davenport held the twain. Fair damsel and her handsome swain. He and She But hark, a foot upon the stairs! And Mother found them sitting there; He and She. Onward, Upward