Charity Or Robbery?

Imagine you are standing on a street corner when an urban outdoorsman approaches and asks you for money to buy food. Being in a generous mood, you give him a five-spot, and then watch in dismay as he makes a bee-line for the convenience store, buys a pint of Mad Dog and downs it. When he again approaches you asking for food money, would you believe him?

Now imagine the bum has control of your wallet – in fact your entire income – and can take whatever he wants. Your only option is to walk to another street corner with a different bum – but only every 4 years. You can only hope the new bum will be more thrifty than the old one.

Now imagine the federal government. The problem is that Congress has spent far too much for far too long on things that provide little or no benefit. The solution absolutely cannot be to give them more money.

Reuters’ Slant

Generally, I like Reuters for their world coverage. I’ve found that their view of American politics usually has a leftward slant, however. Here is a fine example.

Buried all the way at the bottom, 3rd paragraph from the end, is this nugget: “Asked about Obama’s handling of his job, 27 percent of veterans approved, and 37 percent disapproved, with the rest undecided.”

Just 2 out of 7 veterans quoted in the article said they will vote for Obama, and one of those was rather hedged: “If no one else can get their act together, I’ll vote for that Democrat”.

Perhaps Reuters is using a nuanced meaning of the word “favor”.

Rock and Roll Hall of Lame

In what may or may not become an annual event, I’d like to mark the R&RHOF induction with a list of worthy musicians who are NOT enshrined therein. In no particular order:

Jethro Tull
Boston
Bon Jovi
The Cars
ELO
The Steve Miller Band
Stevie Ray Vaughn
Kansas
Styx
Ted Nugent
Rush
Iron Maiden
Deep Purple
Judas Priest
Def Leppard
Motley Crue
Motorhead
Kiss
Joan Jett
Heart
Blue Oyster Cult
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Free
Bad Company

And this is why, despite working in Cleveland and living only minutes away, I have not toured the Hall. And won’t.

The Cos should stick to Jello

Bill Cosby, whom I admire and respect, had this to say:

“Without a gun, I don’t see Mr. Zimmerman approaching Trayvon by himself,” Mr. Cosby explained. “The power-of-the-gun mentality had him unafraid to confront someone. Even police call for backup in similar situations.

“When you carry a gun, you mean to harm somebody, kill somebody,” he said.

So the first sentence gives an idea of the reason guns, and weapons in general, were invented. Zimmerman would not confront Martin… why? Because he was physically inferior? Shorter? Not black? There is a reason why people said “God made man, Sam Colt made them equal.” Bill purports to know that Zimmerman was unafraid, which I doubt. And finally, police call for backup, but don’t sit around and wait for it to get there.

The second paragraph is even more egregious. I’ve carried a gun as a police officer and as a civilian, and I have NEVER meant to harm anyone, nor kill them. I simply demand to be let alone. Period. As a cop, I would have taken action to protect others. As a civilian, I will only protect myself or my family. But there has never been an intent or desire to harm another. Cos could not be more wrong.

Quote of the Day

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

– Frederick Douglass

Neptunus Lex

It seems somewhat strange to consider someone you’ve never met to be your friend, yet that’s exactly what I consider Carroll Lefon, AKA NeptunusLex to be. My friend.

When you’ve spent eight years reading another person’s diary, or at least the bits he chooses to share, you feel you know the man. It seems strange that I know more about him, his family and his interests than I do about any of my neighbors, but in Lex’s case, there was such a great deal to know. He set the bar very high for himself, and makes an exemplary figure to emulate. And again, that feels strange: emulate someone you’ve never met? But we do that all the time, don’t we? Celebrities, athletes, perhaps even politicians are seen as role models. Well, Lex is one of mine. He is simultaneously one of the reasons I started this blog and one of the reasons I stopped – I can’t come close to his way with words. I felt honored when he linked to my previous blog on his page, even though it was only in reciprocation.

I won’t try to describe Lex here, go read his blog. Anyone can know him as I do, and be better for it. But I lost a friend this week, and it feels strange.

Ave atque vale, frater.

The System IS The Game.

At a cursory glance, this seems like a good thing. The government wants to increase the number of welfare recipients who are working. Seems like a good idea, right? One should have to make some effort to receive public assistance, no? But read closer: Ohio’s brilliant scheme to attain this goal is not to make welfare recipients get jobs, rather, they plan to give $10 welfare payments to people who are receiving food stamps, have jobs, and are not currently receiving welfare. Presto! Instant working welfare recipients. Unfortunately, they also create a bunch more welfare recipients. And the feds blessed this? Incompetence at every level!

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