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Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone.

Frederic Bastiat


Why Charlie Rose is an embarrassment to CBS

Recently CBS 60 Minutes' Charlie Rose interviewed Bashir al-Assad. President of Syria. If you watch the replay of that interview on their web site, Assad responding to a question about support for ISIS by the Syrian people by saying, “They have lost. Except the very ideological people who have Wahhabi state of mind and ideology.” Rose (or the editor) then moves on to an unrelated question about civilian casualties without follow up to the ideology of Wahhabism.

My immediate reaction while watching this is that Rose has no clue what Wahhabism is all about. Later Asad (not Rose) brings up the Saudis and Wahhabism again.

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Stupid Public Servants!

Recently a friend observed that I seemed unusually pleased at the effects of some bad outcome in our political system. I simply responded that I very much enjoy seeing stupid people visited by the consequences of their actions. And by people, I mean most of the people in this country.

Case in point. Today I listened to a report about the bankruptcy in Detroit*. After years of screwing their tax payers and borrowing beyond their limits the crows are coming home to roost. On NPR's Here and Now, they interviewed a former police officer who is now retired. It seems this officer who only receives and early pension of 50K a year might find her pension in jeopardy since the city of Detroit cannot pay all of their bloated pension benefits. She is in a bad position, as her husband, also a former police officer who gets a slightly smaller pension. She complains that a potential reduction in her and her husband's pension will really hurt (two people living on slightly less than 100K in the Detroit suburbs must be tough these days).

One can only listen to this former “public servant” explain that their union negotiated this agreement fair and square and the city should stand behind their commitment. When asked how the city of Detroit should address their budgetary problems she had no response at all - none - nada. Obviously a real deep thinker just like the hapless citizens she routinely deprived of their rights when she actually worked for a living. She pointed out that she's not old enough to get social security so what is she to do? My first thought...go out and get a freaking job lady! And kick your husband in the butt to do the same like most of us have to do.

Honestly, I think we should cut the pensions of these public servants 100%. That will reduce the burden to the taxpayers who are subsidizing these lazy former police officers. Maybe when they know what real pain is, they will learn not to repeat the mistakes of the past and urge their unions to gouge their employers who are the taxpayers. * If you cannot find the story at the link search for “Detroit’s City Retirees Worry Pensions Won’t Be Paid” on July 19, 2013.

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Well Meaning But Flawed

Libertarianism: the radical idea that other people are not your property!

I was recently sent an email from a local businessman who railed against the anti-business mentality of the current Democratic administration. He described in some detail how Barack Obama doesn't have a clue as to how businesses create things including jobs. No argument there. He details the utter incompetence of agencies like the IRS, the gross misapplication of unemployment benefits and of course our favorite non-government, government agency, the U.S. Postal service (made private by Republican Richard Nixon of course). I'm sure he could have made a longer list but brevity is after all a virtue. He goes on to show how we spend more than we take in and how a private family doing the same thing would quickly go belly up. Again, he's just talking about what constitutes responsible behavior. He then concludes that the solution is to elect a select group of conservative tea party folks with business experience or at least business knowledge and who presumably, along with others of like mind, will put the country on the right track.

While well meaning, let me address each of these points in some detail.

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Pseudo Entertainers

It still holds true that man is most uniquely human when he turns obstacles into opportunities.

-- Eric Hoffer

Recently former judge Andrew Napolitano paid Jon Stewart on the Daily Show a visit to promote his book, It Is Dangerous to Be Right When the Government Is Wrong: The Case for Personal Freedom. Pseudo libertarian Napolitano and bona fide liberal Stewart immediately got into it. In an out of body moment, Napolitano started listing the natural rights that we all have and stated that we have the right to murder, which government then properly acts to restrict (even though he was using that to oddly make the point that government is an evil institution). For the whole sorry show in which this interview takes place, you can watch it here.

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