Mortal danger is an effective antidote for fixed ideas.

That’s this morning’s Quote of the Day. It’s by Erwin Rommel, and it’s usually seen as an exhortation to bravery. More often, it is, in fact, a description of the cause of cowardice.

Too many folks have fixed ideas about such things as freedom of expression until the threat of firebombs or Kalashnikovs becomes real. Too many writers, editors, and publishers collapse when faced violence. (Some will cave in to a bogus lawsuit.)

The important question is not whether Charlie Hebdo has conducted itself with good manners or in good taste or whether or not “they had it coming to ‘em.” The question is whether the heckler’s veto should be allowed to include Molotov cocktails and full metal jacket ammunition.

loaded magazineRommel also observed that in a man-to-man fight the winner is he who has one more round in his magazine. In this this fight between cultures, it may get down to which has the  last brave man. While they attack with a 7th-century mindset and beheadings, we should be responding with modern free expression—and laser-guided bombs.


How the Government Saves Us Money

As a part of the $2,500 a year that Obamacare was supposedly going to save each family, the “Affordable Care Act” mandates that all Americans have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. In 2014, the penalties were 1% of your household income or $95 per person—whichever was greater. In 2015, those penalties ramp up significantly to 2% of total household income, or $325 per person.

De Blasio and the Cops

Mayor Bill De Blasio and the fact that the voters of New York would elect him as their mayor are two of the reasons why I wouldn’t want to live in that city. He’s a bad mayor, and he probably deserves all the scorn he is receiving from members of the New York Police Department.

OTOH, the cops are public employees sworn to do a particular job. The New York Post reports that the police seem to be engaging in a work “slowdown.” Arrests are down by two-thirds. I doubt that crime is down by a corresponding amount. If they are engaging in a quasi-strike to get back at the mayor, they are doing the wrong thing. As FDR said,

A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the operations of government until their demands are satisfied. Such action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.

The cops should shame the mayor by doing their jobs well, by doing them better than he does his. Who know? If the do a good enough job of getting the bad guys off the streets, the public make take notice of their example and turn the idiot out of Gracie Mansion.