Some funny things happened on the way to my writing
Last Sunday at Citizens for Limited Taxation's annual brunch, someone
asked me, before the program began, to talk about the relationship
between Governor Patrick and the Legislature.
Because the program was tightly scheduled, I couldn't fit it in, so
thought I'd do it here, in order to seem responsive to a request. By the
way, CLT gave its annual Warren T. Brookes award to Robert Kelly, for
his new book "The National Debt of the United States, 1941 to 2006." I
mention this here because it's local news, Bob Kelly being a Peabody
resident and Eagle-Tribune columnist, and the late Warren Brookes having
begun his own economic writing career from Marblehead.
Instead of starting my own column on Monday evening, I watched "Remember
Us," the special documentary created by New England Cable News about our
region's service men and women who have lost their lives in Iraq and
Afghanistan. If you missed the hour-long special, it airs again on
Sunday at 10:30 a.m., and most appropriately, on Thanksgiving Day at
It would have been wrong to not watch this show, which reminds us that
it's our lives and choices that will determine if their sacrifice was
worth it. It made me think that I should write, again about how our
warrior class is entitled to the best battle support and family services
possible, and that these government expenditures must be the top
priority of the federal budget - after of course the contractual
requirement to pay the outrageous interest on the national debt (see Bob
Kelly, above), who writes that it isn't the military expenditures that
drive the annual deficits.
It's not just a matter of fairness to military personnel, it's a matter
of national survival; we must encourage our best citizens to enlist to
protect us and our freedom. That seems so obvious that I decided not to
belabor the point again right now.
Tuesday morning did not begin well, with both my Boston newspapers
soaking wet on the front path. While they dried, I got caught up in talk
radio: Avi Nelson was on 'RKO, talking about deer hunting season. He had
a story about a Minnesota woman who shot a rare albino deer on Saturday.
One Mary Rakotz got the 6-point buck on Saturday and said it was
thrilling to see the rare animal, but 100 times more exciting to be able
to actually take it home.
Avi thought she could have shot a good photo to take home and hang on
the wall, rather than destroy a rare and beautiful creature. But he went
on from there to similar statements about deer hunting in general. Women
callers agreed with him, men tried to explain the appeal of hunting. As
a woman who agrees about the albino, but understands the hunting thing,
I tried calling in, but the lines were busy.
I would have said that in western Pennsylvania, hunting is a primeval
male bonding ritual that is passed on from father to son (and now
perhaps, though not in my youth, to daughters who weren't traumatized
when viewing "Bambi"). I grew up thinking that the opening day of
hunting season in my Catholic hometown was a semi "holy day of
obligation," because the boys didn't have school and the girls spent the
day doing art.
The hunters I knew were a lot like the military warriors I met years
later; men who understand something that liberals, male or female, do
not, which is: there are worse things than killing, and, free men have a
proper, ascendant role in the natural order.
There is also a need to cull the herd, to prevent starvation and
disease. All this is not to say that we shouldn't deplore the city guys
who take their brand new guns and beer to the woods, where they wound
deer and shoot each other, cows and large dogs.
Getting nowhere with my column, I went to the post office. Listened in
the car to 'TKK, learned from the Eagan/Braude show that I'd missed
morning host Michael Graham's expose of the Winchester school principal
who canceled a classroom trip to a Stoneham Theatre production of
"Miracle on 34th Street" because a parent complained that the content
OK, quickly: to answer the question, the governor and Legislature seem
to be getting along fine, from a taxpayer's point of view. The governor
comes up with nutty spending plans, and the legislative leadership says
no. All is well.
Now it seems we must set aside serious discussion of state and federal
issues, budgets, deficits and the war for the duration of the coming
silly season. All too soon each year, we enter the Season of Joy, when
the joyless complain about any celebration of the birth of a tiny baby
who represents peace, love and the laughter of children.
And the rest of us are left to wonder for how much longer our
increasingly foolish, politically correct, debt-ridden country will be
worth the sacrifices of our valiant warrior class.
Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens
for Limited Taxation. Her column appears weekly in the Salem News and
Eagle Tribune, and often in the Newburyport Times, Gloucester Times, and
Lowell Sun; bi-weekly in the Tinytown Gazette; and occasionally in the
Providence (RI) Journal and other newspapers.