Saturday, December 20, 2008

Do as I say, not as I do...

About 40 years ago, Arlo Guthrie blasted his draft board for questioning whether or not he was moral enough to kill people after having been accused of littering. I always thought he raised a valid point, although I still didn't think it excused his littering.

A couple of recent events remind me of Arlo's plight. Illinois Governor Blagojevich has been accused and all but convicted of planning to sell Barak Obama's Senate seat for an undetermined amount of money or favor. A despicable abuse of power, no doubt, and deserving of all of the wrath other officials are heaping on it. But I recall a couple of months ago when 58 members of the House of Representatives turned down an ill-advised bail-out of Wall Street, only to change their votes when offered $130 billion.

I wondered at the time if a Senator cost more than a Representative. Apparently we'll have to wait a little longer for an answer now.

We're also witnessing the prosecution by the government of Bernard Madoff, a con man who bilked investors out of billions of dollars in an elaborate Ponzi scheme, where Madoff used money from current investors to pay previous investors. The plan bears a striking resemblance to the government's Social Security plan, except that under Madoff's scheme, people were not forced to participate.

Still, fraud is fraud, and I hope Madoff is vigorously prosecuted. In fact, I'd be tickled if they went after everybody that commits this type of crime.

I realize that there are a few duties that we should grant to government instead of to individuals.

But there are also some actions that need to be prosecuted, regardless of who or what is guilty of instigating them.

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