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Sunday, February 27, 2011 ISSUE #644

Protesters take on dictators, want freedom
Feb. 27, 2011

    COLUMBUS: The protests keep on going. Libya, Oman, Tunisia, Egypt... I saw a picture in the newspaper today of a poor little 6-year old girl holding up a big sign saying (in English), It’s About Freedom!                               

    On television there was another sign comparing the leader to Hitler. Qaddafi must really be hated. Of course he’s been a dictator for 35 years, he bombed a Pan American airplane killing all aboard, and he has stolen billions from his countrymen.

    Meanwhile, the debate here on government unions is hot on both sides. Paul Krugman, The New York Times, compared Madison to Baghdad in 2003. "It’s an attempt (by Governor Walker) to destroy the last major counterweight to the political power of corporations and the wealthy." Meanwhile, Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, compares private company unions to government unions, "The capitalist knows that when he negotiates with the union, if he gives away the store, he loses his shirt. In the public sector, the politicians who approve any deal have none of their own money at stake. On the contrary, the more favorably they dispose of union demands, the more likely they are to be the beneficiary of union largesse in the next election."

    Here’s a quiz for you... If you had ten guesses as to what company or organization has these four words as their tag line could you get it? We Make America Happen.  Is it perhaps Exxon, or the steel workers union, or ABC News, or Facebook, or BNSF Railway, or Goldman-Sachs, or Farm Bureau? No doubt it is something we absolutely could never do without. 

    Meanwhile in Washington, a government shutdown is staring us in the face. Can’t blame that on the unions. Republicans say they want to cut the federal budget. Democrats say they want to cut the budget, too, just not as much. They all say that no essential government services will be shut down, even temporarily. Employees who are needed to write Social Security checks, the military, air traffic controllers, for example, will be at work next week. On the other hand, if you are in Commerce or Labor or EPA or in many other departments, you could be deemed non-essential. Taxpayers might see that as a hint on where to cut permanently.

    Here’s one suggestion I received today: everybody receiving a government check takes a 10 percent cut for 2011. Everybody. Start with the President and Congress. Include the armed forces, firemen, teachers, professors, governors, city councils, contractors, and everything sold to governments. It wouldn’t be enough to eliminate the federal deficit, but it would sure help some states, counties and municipalities balance their budgets. Of course that’s a fantasy. No one in power would ever suggest such a common sense idea.

    Speaking of fantasies, The King’s Speech won the Oscar. The way things are going in the world, by next week the King may be overthrown.    

    Oh, those two signs mentioned at the top... one was in Ohio, the other in Wisconsin.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

    "Being Governor is sort of a thankless job, after the applause is over."
WA #599, June 17, 1934

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