and the
Citizens Economic Research Foundation

Barbara's Column
June #3

Questions of the week
© by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Monday, June 13, 2005

How come towns have strict leash laws for golden retrievers, but coyotes are allowed to run around and attack cats, terriers and Ė you know it will happen eventually Ė small children.

I like coyotes, in their place, but when did they become more politically correct than poodles and kids?

Iíve read in recent news articles that federal law prohibits killing or trapping coyotes. This is not accurate. The law that prohibits trapping them is the Massachusetts law that voters created in 1996, which I voted for, my partner Chip voted against, and I will never hear the end of. But nasty leghold traps aside, why canít we shoot them when they threaten our pets?

Teenage boys have been expelled from Milton Academy and charged with having sex with a minor because they accepted oral sex from a 15 year old female classmate. But didnít the former President of the United States say that oral sex isnít sex? How come the boys could go to jail, while President Clinton becomes a revered elder statesman? He should have been impeached, not just for perjury, but for contributing to the delinquency of thousands of minors.

First they came for the medical marijuana, then they come for the Oxycontin.

I ask myself this question a lot, and here it is again: has the world gone mad? Some state lawmakers, encouraged by the usually rational 9th District Congressman Stephen Lynch, want to ban Oxycontin for everyone in severe pain because some people abuse the drug and become addicted.

Since alcohol destroys more lives than Oxycontin, should we be trying Prohibition again? It worked so well the first time...

Why canít any substance be prescribed by doctors, in their best medical judgment, no matter who is going to be dumb enough to take it recreationally and ruin their lives? Why canít we just hold all people over twelve responsible for their actions? Get me a bumper sticker: "Your addiction is not my fault."

Speaking of personal responsibility, two young men were revving the engine of an SUV and drove it through a fence and into a swimming pool. Why do some people call this an accident? And why do some people blame the SUV?

Across the nation, John Kerry supporters are still complaining that some citizens did not get a chance to vote for him because of various electoral anomalies. In Massachusetts, voters who actually do get to vote on ballot questions are ignored and their decisions dismissed. And the interesting thing is, the same people who complain about the first item think the second item is just fine. Does this make sense to you?

Massachusetts House members refused to restore the 5 percent income tax rate demanded by the voters, and instead voted to a study to assess the impact of the revenue loss. Then they voted for impact-unstudied pork projects. My question is, why do we keep electing these people?

But of course I ask that about Marblehead selectmen, too, after voters returned all the incumbents who wanted the trash fee that the voters rejected. Do voters ever connect the people they elect with the political actions they deplore?

I know it doesnít work the other way, because even though the majority of voters agree with Governor Romney on most issues, a recent poll has them choosing a Democrat instead just for "a change." My question is: what!?

At least our North Shore communities arenít giving clean needles to illegal drug users, like the town of Westport just began to do. And state legislators, fearing a roll call vote, decided not to give taxpayer-subsidized in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. Have advocates of these things finally looked up the word "illegal" in a dictionary?

However, I like legal immigrants, who do so many of the jobs that need doing. Do you think the Americans who want to have a moratorium on immigration would also support a moratorium on their unemployment benefits, so there will be enough workers to clean our homes, take care of our lawns, and serve our fast food?

On the national scene, the big story is Republicans wanting to stop the use of the Senate filibuster to prevent a vote on presidential judicial nominees. I understand that the filibuster is a valuable tool for minority-party legislators, but the way itís being used now could prevent anyone ever replacing a retired Supreme Court Judge. When did "advise and consent" become "blockade until our guy is in the White House"?

Democrats have been busy criticizing every Republican suggestion for dealing with the coming Social Security crisis. Maybe theyíll come up with an idea of their own sometime. Ya think?

Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. Her syndicated columns appear weekly in the Salem News, Newburyport Times, Gloucester Times, (Lawrence) Eagle-Tribune, and Lowell Sun; bi-weekly in the Tinytown Gazette; and occasionally in the Providence Journal and other newspapers.