February 18, 2011
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In one of the articles about the ongoing protests in Wisconsin, it was mentioned that protesters were not only at the capital building, but also at the governor’s house. Seeing that reminded me of incidents reported after AIG gave their executives bonuses, and protesters loaded vans and set up shop outside the residences of AIG employees and executives in an effort to guilt them into returning the bonus money.
Other reports of people protesting at (and doing damage to) politician’s homes, as well as unions and other organizations handing out flyers with home addresses of protest targets are readily available on the web. Which made me wonder: is that taking things too far?
Lets acknowledge that there is a right to assemble. There is also freedom of speech. But is such style of protest really a peaceful move? I would say no. When you show up at someone’s residence, it is by default an attempt at intimidation. “We know where you live!” is the message given by such actions. I say its taking things too far. Besides, how would these protesters respond if the person being targeted responded by hiring security to come in and create an opposing show of force? What if counter-protesters showed up at the houses of the protesters? I can hear the howls of…well, of protest.
December 6, 2010
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Upon further review of the Debt Commission report that got shot down last week, I found something interesting that most of us don’t even realize.
Budgets in Washington tend to factor in an automatic annual increase in spending. In other words, every year the amount spent on a given program goes up regardless of necessity–and trust me, we all know that an organization will find a way to spend the money in order to avoid a budget cut. Anyway, when the debt commission spoke of spending “cuts,” there was outrage from both sides (depending on the program to get the cut). But it turns out there were smoke and mirrors involved. The commission did not recommend actual cuts. What they did recommend was a reduction of the annual budget increases. In other words, they said “instead of programs x, y, and z getting automatic annual increases of 3%, lets just allow them to increase 2%.”
Translation: they couldn’t find actual spending cuts to be made! No reductions in spending. No freezes in spending. Just a slowdown in growth. Just wow.
I wish I could operate my home budget the way these folks run Washington!