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Sailing around the Horn of Crazy

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

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Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a “request for proposals,” better known in governmentspeak as RFPs, to create six drone test sites around the country. There's talk of a market-fueled multibillion-dollar civilian drone industry for a variety of applications. The FAA also has posted a draft plan designed to ensure the “privacy” of the civilian population. Right. You can bet that civilian population won't even bother with reviewing that plan. It's already calculating what kind of rifle, scope and ammunition it will need to ensure that privacy. ...

Ken James, the police chief of Emeryville, Calif., says it's a “myth” that a gun is a “defensive weapon.” Do you think that more than a few folks who have thwarted attacks by gun-wielding criminals might just disagree a teensy-weensy bit? ...

House Bill 545, just introduced in the Missouri General Assembly, not only would outlaw the sale of “assault weapons” — semiautomatic rifles and pistols that mimic the stylings of fully automatic military weapons and have magazine capacity of more than 10 rounds — but would compel current owners to, within 90 days, render them inoperable, surrender such weapons and magazines to the state for destruction or remove them from the state. Never mind that not only is the Missouri Constitution ( Article I, Section 23) crystal clear in the right of Show Me State residents to keep and bear arms, it forbids (as does the Pennsylvania Constitution) the state from even questioning that right. Anybody care to wager that law-abiding, Constitution-protected Missouri gun owners will show something in particular if the Missouri Gun Police ever start making their rounds? ...

All the evidence one needs to affirm that the Obama administration is filled with unleavened idiots (i.e., government human drones incapable of rising to the truth) can be found in its tragically ignorant economic proposals of last week. Topping the list is a diktat that the federal minimum wage should rise to $9 an hour. It will reduce entry-level employment opportunities for young workers by the tens of thousands and force many businesses that operate on the thinnest of margins — think restaurants — to lay off workers. The “proof” the White House cites to the contrary has been thoroughly discredited, repeatedly. Talk about sailing around the Horn of Crazy. ...

A close second on the Idiot List is President Obama's proposal for universal preschool for 4-year-olds. Pay no attention to the federal government's own conclusions about the utter failure of Head Start to provide any lasting cognitive benefits — a failure whose cost is measured in billions of wasted taxpayer dollars and counting. What the president actually is proposing is a massive expansion of what should be called the Federal Babysitting & Indoctrination Service. As per usual, don't expect the seeds of critical-thinking skills to be sown but do expect in 15 years or so another bumper harvest of a new entitlement generation. ...

Obamanomics has been such a “success story” — all together now: “AHEM!” — that the number of those living in the country on the food stamp rolls has risen from 31,939,110 when Barack Obama first took office in January 2009 to 46,815,916 as of November 2012, the most recent data available, reports That's an increase of nearly 15 million during the Obama “recovery,” or just under 47 percent. ...

A Montgomery County state senator gets it half right in his call to legalize the sale and use of marijuana. Democrat Daylin Leach says marijuana should be made available to adults at state liquor stores. And, of course, it would be taxed. Actually the better idea would be to let private enterprise prevail. There's no reason for marijuana not to be sold everywhere that wine, distilled spirits and beer are sold under Gov. Tom Corbett's liquor privatization plan — or your friendly neighborhood hookah shop, for that matter.

Colin McNickle is Trib Total Media's director of editorial pages (412-320-7836 or

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