Et Cetera …

City has been responsible

The city of Fairmont has suffered a dip in its credit rating, a product of greater concern in the municipal bond market, shaken by the looming bankruptcy in Detroit.

Fortunately, improvement bonds the city sold this week carried a decent rate of 2.96 percent, meaning the actual effect of the credit downgrade may not be that bad.

Fairmont, and many other cities in our region, have done an excellent job of managing their debt. They are not even close to being in the same class as irresponsible cities like Detroit.

GOP tackles waste

Kudos to congressional Republicans, who this week took on the waste and overreach of the federal government.

Republicans are saying no to President Obama’s desire to spend more and regulate more, and they are going one step further. They voted to cut the Environmental Protection Agency budget by 34 percent, and the national endowments for the arts and humanities by 50 percent.

It is all part of a broader philosophy to shrink government, including de-funding Obamacare, and get a handle on the nation’s obscene debt.

Defense remains vital

The seriousness of the federal budget and debt problems are apparent in the words of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who recently told the military’s civilian workforce that furloughs and pay cuts will probably extend into the future.

The Defense Department should not be immune from cuts and will have to prioritize its spending. But it is also fair to note that in the grand scheme of things, defending America is a proper function of the federal government. We hope the budget ax is not hitting the Pentagon in a way that cannot be managed.

Critics are off base

Rights do not proceed from law; they stem from existence. That is, your rights to life, liberty, property, and to defend these rights, are inherent, regardless of whether some government codifies them.

So when we hear clamorings for man-made prohibitions of these rights, such as by those who oppose “stand-your-ground” laws, we cannot agree. Stand-your-ground simply means that when you are threatened with great bodily harm, you do not have to flee in order to avoid having the criminal justice system attach blame to you. Instead, you can repel your attacker, with deadly force, if necessary. Aggressors should fear stand-your-ground. That is as it should be.