Nothing weighing less than 8 ounces should be eligible for the endangered species list. Snail darters, sand dune lizards and delta smelts shouldn’t make the cut. This trio of “endangered” species managed to nearly stop the construction of a major dam in Tennessee, is about to stop oil drilling in Texas and has crippled the farming industry in California.
These are dubious species to protect — the snail darter wasn’t even known to exist until anti-growth activist began scouring rural Tennessee in the early 1970s looking for any reason to stop the Tellico Dam. Allowing agenda-driven activists to define what is or isn’t endangered is borderline insanity. Save the whales, save the elephants and save the tigers. Saving things that most sane people would consider pests? Not so much.
No one should be allowed to run for federal office until they’ve spent at least two years working in the private sector. Working as an academic, a community organizer, a non-profit staffer or a prosecutor wouldn’t count. People would have to have held a real job with a company that is not in any way funded by taxpayer dollars — a company with a payroll, customers and a profit and loss statement and that has to deal with OSHA, the EPA, the IRS, etc. Anyone who has served in the military and spent at least two years in a combat zone would be exempt.
George McGovern, the former senator and presidential candidate, opened a bed and breakfast after retiring from a lifetime of “public service.” He was bankrupt in less than a year. Later he famously said:
In retrospect, I wish I had known more about the hazards and difficulties of such a business. … I wish that during the years I was in public office I had this firsthand experience about the difficulties business people face every day. That knowledge would have made me a better senator and a more understanding presidential contender. … To create job opportunities, we need entrepreneurs who will risk their capital against an expected payoff. Too often, however, public policy does not consider whether we are choking off those opportunities.
Unfortunately this epiphany occurred after McGovern had spent years piling rules and regulations on his fellow citizens. The country would be a better place if he had acquired private sector experience before going into politics.
The draft should be reinstituted. Our country suffered when we moved to an all-volunteer army. Having Harvard elitists fight alongside good old boys from Tennessee, cowboys from Wyoming and surfers from California was good for society — it helped people understand their fellow citizens. Despite some of the nonsense Kerry spouted after he returned from Vietnam, when the Swift Boat story broke, many of the men who had served with Kerry were willing to vouch for him. Serving together in the military builds those kinds of bonds. Without this intermingling of the classes, America is becoming more and more like 19th-century England, a country where the nobles never mix with the peasants.
Courts should focus on protecting the rights of citizens instead of on protecting the rights of criminals. Today we have military veterans who’ve risked their lives for their county living in cardboard boxes under bridges while murders, rapists and drug dealers not only get three hots and a cot but also cable TV, porn and conjugal visits. In California, they can also petition to have the state fund their $50,000 sex change operations.
Too often, honest citizens are victimized twice. First they are abused by thugs. Then they are abused by the authorities, who are more concerned about avoiding being sued by the criminals than they are about actually protecting the people who pay their salaries.