Thursday, August 13, 2009

Speak softly, listen loudly

We tax all the others and pass the revenue on to you

In my July 7 half-year retrospective column, in the "jury's still out" section, I recalled my May 19 prediction, to wit: Just as we're going to get mileage taxes plus gas taxes to make up for better fuel economies, we'll surely hear a push to tax pot, and is it such a leap to then tax all forms of now-illegal products? (May 19).

Sure enough, CNN reported on July 22 "Oakland, California, passes landmark marijuana tax". Jury isn't out any more.

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Busing, 2009. Some of our elected reps are busing loads of supporters to their town hall meetings (and who's paying for that?) and waiving the first-come, first-served rules they apply to people who just show up according to the announcements. That creates the image of support where little real support exists. The prez is doing it and having little girls shill as random attendees as well. Others among our reps are doing it, too. Few reliable reports from the loyal opposition, but that doesn't mean it ain't happening. C'mon prez and any other bozos doing this, isn't that beneath you?

This just in: Busing is supposed to correct inequalities between equally qualified groups who have suffered discrimination, not create inequalities between equally qualified groups with different opinions who have not.

This is the political equivalent of busing in out-of-town police to put down Dr. King's march across Selma Bridge on Bloody Sunday in 1965. It is the complete abandonment of dialog in favor of the politics of brute strength in upholding an entrenched establishment. No police dogs... yet. "Ax Handle" Maddox would feel right at home. Feels more than a little bit like ballot box stuffing, too.

Note to pols: Speak softly, listen loudly, give your constituents as much of your time as they need. There is no need to restrict your meetings to an hour. If your ideas have merit you will prevail. If they don't, you have to go. That's essentially the premise they all initially ran on anyway, isn't it? Time to apply it.

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Did you see Hilary bristle when someone asked her what her husband would do? Something about not being able to channel Bill. But Bill went to North Korea and saved two of Al Gore's employees from certain death in a forced labor camp. Gotta give it up for that. Nice job. But why Bill? More gravitas than our SecState? Obama was too busy? Hilary was, what, doing something more important? No one is minding the American foreign policy store and the neighborhood kids are vandalizing it.

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You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot lift the wage-earner by tearing down the wage-payer. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot keep people out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves. -- William Boetcker

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