Ross Mackenzie

Takes on items in the news -- mostly about Barack Obama and his administration....

--Will the President's passivity regarding Libya -- his refusal at least to declare a no-fly zone so those hungering to rid the place of mean-street Qaddafi might compete in a fair fight -- rank among his greatest failings of all?

--Celebrity shootings often lead to demands from the usual suspects that guns be banned, or private ownership by the law-abiding proscribed, or gun shows de-loopholed, or ammunition controlled -- or whatever. The generally better response is stricter enforcement of multiple laws already on the books. So it's a pleasant surprise to learn, in the aftermath of the nuclear facility meltdowns in Japan, that President Obama is batting away pleas for the feds to freeze U.S. nuclear power-generation plants at their current number.

--Speaking of the usual suspects, who can be surprised at the leftist views of the two (now) former muckety-mucks at National Public Radio? Really. Scratch a moderate's veneer and too often you'll find a leftist. One at NPR termed Teapartiers racists; he conceded NPR "would be better off in the long run without federal funding." The other fired Juan Williams for comments made on Fox News about feeling nervous in the company of garbed Muslims on airplanes. Time's up. Game's over. Good-bye.

--Yet the linchpin issue regarding NPR is not so much its deep-running leftism (all networks except Fox are leftist) as its subsidization by the taxpayers. In a highly competitive media environment, what on earth is the defensible purpose of government radio or TV? Said South Carolina's Sen. Jim DeMint, perceptively: "The issue about taxpayers funding public broadcasting isn't about who gets hired or fired. It's about two simple facts: We can't afford it and they don't need it." Government-funded networks have little legitimate role in a free society.

--And who is surprised at the views of Hillary Clinton's State Department spokesman for describing the detention conditions of Bradley Manning, a top Wikileaks suspect (housed at the Quantico, Virginia, Marine base), as "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid"? Could the ideology of the (now) departed spokesman be similar to the one that, for instance, blamed Teapartiers and Sarah Palin for the shootings in Tucson?

--As the manned space program concludes, by direction of the president of the United States, the space shuttle Discovery has made its final flight. With man once poised to leap beyond the beyond, Americans now will be confined to near-Earth orbit. The next strides on the Moon and other extraterrestrial orbs likely will be taken by...Chinese.

Ross Mackenzie

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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