My humble opinion on
October 7, 2001
It's finally happened. President Bush
authorized military strikes against terrorist camps, air bases, and the
Taliban headquarters in Afghanistan. The attacks should last a few days,
according to the Pentagon. The Taliban claims that Osama bin Laden has
survived the first wave and vows revenge.
There is not a lot of information yet
as I write this, so I'll just say that I think Bush is doing the right
thing. Bin Laden and anyone who cooperates with him in any way deserve
death. I hope our brave men and women in the military deliver it.
The peaceniks are back.
They've been gone for a while, since
the world has been relatively quiet. But the 9-11 terrorist attack has
brought them out again, and they're quite amusing.
Take, for example, Alice Walker's
In a war on Afghanistan,
Osama bin Laden will either be left alive, while thousands of impoverished,
frightened people are bombed into oblivion around him, or he will be
killed in a bombing attack for which he seems quite prepared. But what
would happen to his cool armor if he could be reminded of all the
good, nonviolent things he has done? Further, what would happen to him
if he could be brought to understand the preciousness of the lives he
has destroyed? I firmly believe the only punishment that works is
Heaven help me, but I think I
understand Ms. Walker's point of view. She evidently believes that all
people are inherently good, but some make mistakes and do bad things,
and if they could only be reasoned with, be shown that what they did was
wrong but that doesn't make them bad people, they'll repent of their
sin. They will "understand the preciousness" of human life,
consume themselves with guilt, and forever forswear their bad
I understand the appeal of this philosophy
but it's woefully naive. Evil does exist in this world, and too many
people choose to practice it. They care about other people only to the
extent they can be used to achieve the evildoers' ends. Love means
nothing to them, and it is certainly no punishment. Does Ms. Walker
really think that bin Laden and those like him were moved or swayed by
the anguish and tears of the survivors? Of course not - they thrived off
it. Such people long ago forfeited whatever right to life they once
possessed. That's how they should be punished.
Bush proposes tax cuts
President Bush called on Congress to
pass $60 billion worth of tax cuts in an effort to stimulate the
economy. Democrats, the vast majority of whom whine and wail at the
thought of the American people keeping more of their own money, rejected
the idea and instead called for yet more government spending, as if $2
trillion of government spending is not enough.
"Congress doesn't need to spend
any more money," Bush responded. "What they need to do is cut
Amen to that. But don't count Senate
Majority Leader Tom Daschle as part of the choir. "Unfortunately, I
fear that some of the more extreme voices in Congress are now pressuring
the administration to take a more divisive approach to the stimulus
legislation," he quivered.
The Democrats are now reverting back
to their partisan form. Since they don't like tax cuts, a proposal to
cut taxes is immediately demonized as partisan. At the same time, they
push for their own pet ideas, such as raising the minimum wage, which in
itself is divisive.
That's the Democrat definition of
bipartisanship. Agree with us, or else. How intolerant.
Arizona budget follies
My home state of Arizona is facing a
budget crunch. Governor Jane Hull claims the government deficit could be
as high as $1.6 billion by next year. The Legislature will meet in a
special session starting November 13 to decide what to cut.
One thing is certain: they'll
certainly be comfortable in the Capitol building. That's because the
Arizona House of Representatives is shelling out $400,000 on swanky new
furniture. The state Senate is spending an additional $270,000 for new
The furniture is coming from an
upscale furniture store. Leather sofas cost nearly $5,500 each. Desks
cost over $1,200. Leather chairs rang up for nearly $700.
Wasteful? Of course, since fine
leather sofas can be had for as little as $1,000. But not everyone
thinks so. "It's an investment in the future," said House
Majority Whip Robert Blendu. "For once, we're not buying junk. I
don't see the waste. We're going to be cutting as much as every state
"I think we've been very
frugal," piped in Senate President Randall Gnant.
Yet more spending on education
Congress and President Bush have
reached an agreement on spending levels for next year's budget. Included
is a $4 billion education hike, which will boost education spending to a
whopping $48.5 billion in 2002.
We've been spending hundreds of
billions on education for years and gotten little in return. So, spending more money
must be the answer.
Clinton disbarred from Supreme
Last Monday, the Supreme Court
suspended former President Clinton from practicing law before the
Supreme Court. The court gave no reason for its action, but the deal
Clinton signed with the independent counsel shortly before leaving
office, in which he accepted a five-year suspension of his license to
practice law in Arkansas, seems to have been the cause.
The move is largely symbolic, since
Clinton probably never would have appeared before the Supreme Court, or
even practiced law. He's busy making speeches and writing a book.
But it is gratifying that at least one
responsible party to recognized Clinton's unlawful behavior, and
actually did something about it.
Firestone recalls more tires
Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. is
recalling up to 3.5 million more tires.
Everyone seems to have a Firestone
tire story, so here's mine.
It was May 2000. My wife and I had
purchased a Ford Explorer Sport a few months before and were taking it
on its first camping trip. Twenty miles on a dirt road, just four miles
from the campground, both tires on the passenger side blew
Since we didn't have a cell phone at
the time, we had to wait until someone drove by who did. We called AAA,
and they sent a tow truck from the nearest town, about two hours away.
The truck arrived, drove us to Payson,
dropped the truck off at Big O Tire, and us at the local Day's
The next day, we replaced the two
blown tires. The mechanics found no puncture points. The tread had just
peeled away. The big recall, unknown to us, was just a few months in the
So we paid for two new tires, and
after the towing, the hotel, and everything else, our wonderful camping
trip cost us over $500. Even worse, when the Firestone recall finally
hit, our tires supposedly weren't included.
Is it too late for a refund?