Here’s a sharp Cal Watchdog analysis by one “Chris Reed” of how Orange County’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy was so unique that it doesn’t offer much in the way of lessons for local governments now considering bankruptcy — but that the aftermath of Orange County’s quick recovery from bankruptcy offers painful lessons for voters dumb enough to believe their leaders have a learning curve:
The pepper-spraying of the passive UC Davis students last month was a stomach-turning abuse of police authority, which I think is far more common than most Americans believe. Cellphone videos turn up daily showing people with authority acting badly, and the UC Davis cops deserve strong punishment. That said, the proliferation of investigations into an incident that was caught on tape and that involved a handful of officers and their bosses has become a self-parody of the labored, bureaucratic way that liberal institutions fall all over themselves to send out the loudest possible message: We care about this very very much and we’re just going to keep throwing money and resources at this until you understand we care about this very very much!
Forcing an individual to spend one year, two years, three years, whatever, of their lives doing something they don’t want to do should be something that’s close to unthinkable in a free society — except if the individual being coerced is a criminal being punished for a significant crime.
Nevertheless, since the draft was abolished in the early 1970s, the U.S. has with clockwork regularity been beset with calls for compulsory service for young people coming from old people. Here we go again:
Back at my old blog, I had fun going back and forth with the Calbuzz guys. They were simply better writers than anyone else on their side of the political aisle, and funny, too. I read them every day. But something about the broad conclusion reached by tens of millions of Americans that Barack Obama has been a mediocre president or worse has driven them around the bend. This translates all the time into the argument that amounts to, “If he’s unpopular, his critics are bad people.” Really? It’s that simple, huh? They’re all driven by rotten motives, not their honest perception of the state of America after nearly three years of this administration?
To people who are unfamiliar with my views, I thought this would help orient you: an America’s Finest Blog item from Oct. 4, 2007.