Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Without a doubt I am supportive of humanitarian aide, but it does not make one ounce of sense to spend public money to assist individuals who make bad decisions. This issue comes to our attention almost daily, and it is the top of the news as the California wild fires blaze across the western mountains, as they do yearly.

I cannot think of anything worse than losing your home and all your possessions. Your Commander, however, is vehemently opposed to providing taxpayer supported money to bail-out individuals who make unwarranted or just plain dumb judgments, and then expect the government to bail them out. It is well established that wild fires occur annually across the west, and the situation is significantly worse when there are dry seasons. When someone builds their home on a mountain top or in a canyon, they are in danger of losing their home to wild fires. Don’t you wonder if they considered the statistical danger of building in those locations? When you build in a dangerous location just what is the justification for the government to provide funds to rebuild those homes on the same site?

I believe that both state and federal governments hold some responsibility for permitting the homes to be built in those fire susceptible locations, and they also hold some responsibility for bowing to special interests that prevent proper management of the forests. Trees and shrubs should not be permitted to grow close to the homes; underbrush should allowed to be cleared; but environmentalist influences have obstructed common sense actions. It is only a matter of time before some lawyer files a law suit against the Forest Service or the Sierra Club for causing the loss of the homes.

We once lived along the Atlantic Ocean in the lovely Key Colony complex on Key Biscayne, Florida. One year the weather was very bad, and there was substantial beach erosion. Shortly thereafter the federal government spent millions of dollars to dredge sand from off-shore and pump it back to restore the beach in front of our building. The next year the bad weather returned, and the beach eroded again, and the millions of dollars originally spent was a total waste. Guess what? The federal government replenished the beach again! If you choose to live close to shore, it stands to reason beach erosion will occur, and thus you should not expect to automatically receive federal support. Private insurance is the answer, not a public handout.

The same is true of the massive expenditures in New Orleans. The city is below sea level, and will flood every time there is an unusually severe hurricane. It happened with Katrina four years ago, and it will happen again. Why should public dollars be spent to rebuild a city that will flood again?

Humanitarian support is one thing, but wasteful expenditures to satisfy voters who make foolish judgments are something else. I do not support propping up individuals who cannot exercise common sense. If one elects to build for a great view of the mountains or the sea shore and you lose your home, then that is the price of the view. If you choose to rebuild, do it with your own money or find someone who will insure your property. Really it is just that simple, and why do you deserve to be entitled to a government handout for your lack of common sense? No wonder we have massive federal debt, because we continue to throw good money after bad.

It has been a long time since politics and common sense co-existed in our land. When we look at our history, common sense and politics has not worked hand in hand since our Founding Fathers wrote our Constitution and look where that has gotten us in the years that have followed.


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