Queries on curiosities in the news....
-- In enthusiastically supporting the kooky health-care measure approved by Madame Pelosi's House Democrats, how can the gargantuan AARP - so often cited blandly as an advocate for senior citizens - be anything but a hard-left lobby?
-- Which does contemporary American culture value more - merit or celebrity?
-- Hugo Chavez' Venezuela has become a center for the transshipment of narcotics throughout the hemisphere. Is it any wonder Chavez seeks the re-installation of his disciple Manuel Zelaya, the ousted president of Honduras, to establish Honduras as Central America's leading narco-state?
-- So why does the Obama administration side with Fidel Castro, Chavez, and other Latin chavistas in backing Zelaya - camped out a la Cindy Sheehan in Nicaragua next to the Honduran border? And why do Obama and his Democrats refuse to approve the free trade agreement with Colombia - America's foremost friend south of the border, and an effective fighter of drug lords and chavista guerrillas?
-- DOES Michelle Obama truly need a record-setting 20 - that's twenty - taxpayer-funded staffers, facilitators, and ladies-in-waiting to serve her every social need?
-- And here's one: How is it that her husband could travel abroad apologizing for America, but - in the Gates-Crowley hoo-ha - not summon the moxie to apologize for unpresidential comments about a policeman (Obama said the Cambridge cop "acted stupidly") simply doing his job?
-- Given that higher minimum pay hurts younger and less-skilled workers most, how will the new minimum wage (raised in July to $7.25 per hour) help teenage unemployment - which in June had risen to 24 percent from 15 percent in July, 2007?
-- CHARLES Rangel, head of the House Ways and Means Committee, terms imposing a 5.4 percentage point income tax surcharge "the moral thing to do." But does Congressman Rangel fully understand what morality (let alone legality) is - given that the House Ethics Committee is investigating him on six separate instances of under-reporting his income, hence under-paying his taxes?
-- Is it possible to believe anything the Iranian government says about its nuclear ambitions, now that it has tortured anti-government protesters - some of them to death?
-- If insurance "exchanges" - government and non-profit consortiums - failed during a 1993-2006 California experiment, why is Congress now considering creating them for the nation?
Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.
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