Banning Stuff

It’s the sort of thing you hear from the National Rum Association: Booze doesn’t kill people. Drunk drivers kill people. Yet, we allow alcohol-related car crashes to kill around 10,000 people every year in the United States. Clearly, the time has come to do something. It’s time ban alcohol. It time to …




Huma Abedin used her unsecured private email account to make and discuss travel arrangements for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The Washington Examiner reports that emails obtained by Judicial Watch show that

Abedin emailed colleagues that she was “on a packed train” but offered to discuss the details of a trip to Russia on a call.

Another email shows Abedin used her private account to select a hotel for Clinton on an upcoming trip to Hanoi.

Now, who would be interested in the travel plans of a U. S. cabinet officer?

I’m Not Surprised

The Gentle Reader has probably heard the story of the boy who was taken into custody by police and suspended from school because the school bureaucrats thought his homemade electronic clock looked like a bomb. Popehat has a few good thoughts on the incident here.

I’m not surprised at the way the young man was treated. When my son was in the 8th grade, one of Will’s teachers had overloaded an extension cord powering equipment she was using for some sort of presentation. The cord caught fire. When my son saw the smoke, he pulled the cord out of the wall outlet, and then he stomped out the flames. The teacher wanted him suspended for disrupting her class.

Later that year, he was in a class being held in a large room with no natural light. Electrical work was being done in that part of the building, and the breaker panels had been left open. Someone switched off the lights, leaving my son’s class milling around in a dark space. Will went over and flipped a breaker to turn on a light which allowed the class to evacuate the space. The Principal wanted to expel him for fiddling with electrical stuff again. When I was called to the school office, I rather forcefully pointed out that my son had probably prevented the incident from becoming more serious. The Principal was adamant; a middle school kid shouldn’t have his hands in the breaker panel. I agreed but pointed out two things to the Principal. First, Will had an amateur radio license, and one of the exam sections includes questions on electrical safety. Could the Principal document having passed an exam on that topic? Second, the way the panels were left open was an OSHA violation. Should we drop the matter or should I make a phone call? My son had no further trouble.

Pushback is necessary. If it fails, perhaps we need to bring back tar and feathers.


Environmentalist Losers

David Harsanyi has an essay over at The Federalist titled Environmentalists Will Lose, And That’s Great News For Mankind. Taking a critique of a recent piece by Jonathan Chait as his starting point, Harsanyi debunks the idea that climate change is our biggest bugaboo since the Second World War. He points out that the significant improvements in living conditions around the world had been almost completely driven by market forces bringing the benefits of technology to an increasingly greater share of the world’s people and that command economies have stunted economic progress, holding billions in poverty.

Now, unlike coal, oil, gas, and market economics, an environmentalist has never lifted anyone out of poverty. But if you’re convinced that every wildfire and tornado is the fault of Koch Brothers, Ayn Rand and a recalcitrant GOP Congress, this moral structure probably makes some sense to you. If you believe the moral magnitude of climate change falls somewhere short of the killing of 70 million people (we don’t know the exact number World War II took), but is a more a pressing problem than mass hunger or disease or war, I can understand why you think doing nearly anything to stop it is okay. Like emulating one-party authoritarianism, for instance.

Not many people are going to volunteer for a life of poverty. The numbers are not on the environmentalists’ side.

Read the whole thing.

New! Improved! (Higher Prices!)

Investors Business Daily reports that enrollment in Obamacare health plans is shrinking as double-digit rate increases loom for 2016.

Obamacare is an example of politicians trying to repeal or amend laws over which they have no control, in this case, the Law of Supply and Demand and the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics. Pi can’t be legislated to be 3 exactly, and there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Or free heath care.