and the
Citizens Economic Research Foundation

Barbara's Column
November #3

Thoughts on the governor, Legislature and warrior class
by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Friday, November 16, 2007

Some funny things happened on the way to my writing my column.

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 4:30 p.m.

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 was inappropriate.

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.