Saturday, April 18, 2009

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff 23

A Real Stick in the Pie
Many of us--myself included--probably have fond memories of our grandmother baking our favorite pie. The sweet aroma of freshly baked fruit would fill the kitchen, and remind me that I was going to have to eat my broccoli that night. But if my grandmother had tried to sell one of those wonderful pies, she might get thrown in the slammer. Via FA/RM:

On the first Friday of Lent, an elderly female parishioner of St. Cecilia Catholic Church began unwrapping pies at the church. That's when the trouble started.

A state inspector, there for an annual checkup on the church's kitchen, spied the desserts. After it was determined that the pies were home-baked, the inspector decreed they couldn't be sold.

The problem is the pies are illegal in Pennsylvania. Under the state's food-safety
code, facilities that provide food at four or more events in a year require at least a temporary eating and drinking license, and food has to be prepared in a state-inspected kitchen. Many churches have six fish fries a year, on Fridays during Lent. St. Cecilia's has always complied with having its kitchen licensed, so food made there is fine to serve. But homemade goods don't make the cut.
I am sure that the citizens of Pennsylvania sleep much better at night knowing that their grandmother can't go around selling pies.

Think There is an Agenda Here?
A recent Rasmussen poll found that 53% of Americans believe that capitalism is superior to socialism, while 20% favored socialism. But here is the headline for the New York Daily News article: "Many Americans prefer socialism to capitalism, new poll finds".

By a margin of more than 2.5:1 Americans prefer capitalism to socialism, but that isn't worthy of a headline. Instead, we are told that "many" Americans prefer socialism. It is pretty clear what message the News is trying to send--Americans would have no qualms if we turned into a socialist nation.

And Speaking of Short, Evil Men
Robert Reich, the height challenged former Treasury Secretary, unleashed another of his missives on Tax Day. Since America has one of the lowest tax rates in the world, "right-wing Republicans, kooks, and demagogues" have nothing to complain about. The fact that an individual has a moral right to the money he earns is missed on Reich, who offers us the following "wisdom":

We have a patriotic duty to pay taxes... President Teddy Roosevelt made the case in 1906 when he argued in favor of continuing the inheritance tax. "The man of great wealth owes a particular obligation to the state because he derives special advantages from the mere existence of government."

In other words, altruism is our patriotic duty. We have a moral responsibility to sacrifice for the government, and the greater our productivity the greater the sacrifice. And what "special advantage" is Roosevelt speaking to? In a free society--that is, one in which government cannot dispense special favors--the wealthy have no advantage over the poor. Each is free to rise as far as his talent and ambition will take him. Of course Reich, like Roosevelt, is not interested in individual freedom.

In recent weeks I have seen numerous members of the angry left make reference to "teabagging". I could tell that this was a pejorative term aimed at those participating in Tea Parties, but I did not know the term prior to visiting the Urban Dictionary. Suffice it to say, those using the term are juvenile.

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