5-11-13 Hodgepodge

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Cure Worse than the Disease

Helene Goldberg's preview of a book about the left's latest excuse to meddle -- I mean the anti-bullying crusade -- makes several worthwhile points. Among them is the following, which she quotes from Sticks and Stones author Emily Bazelon:

If real change can and has come from a concerted effort to stop bullying, there's also a risk that a search for solutions will end up doing more harm than good. By prying too far into the lives of teenagers, we impinge on the freedom they need to grow. We stifle development when we shut down unstructured play at recess, for example, or censor every word online, in the name of safeguarding them from each other. We risk raising kids who don't know how to solve problems on their own, withstand adversity, or bounce back from the harsh trials life inevitably brings. [bold added]
In recent years, I have come to see almost every cause of the left -- in so far as it is an attempt to replace individual judgement and initiative with some government-enforced outcome -- as similarly undercutting independence.

Weekend Reading

"[B]ecause abortion is a right, the government's circumscription of it is tantamount to nullification of that right and a physician's right to practice medicine is similarly curtailed." -- Amesh Adalja, in "When Abortion Rights are Restricted, Gruesome, Gosnell-Style Black Markets Arise", at Forbes

"By making it harder (if not nearly impossible) for the government to regulate gun possession and transfers, his development could move the government to instead (properly) focus its efforts on punishing gun misuse." -- Paul Hsieh, in "Why 3D-Printed Untraceable Guns Could be Good for America", at Forbes

"If you respect the one you love, their point of view should matter." -- Michael Hurd, in "Is Arguing Healthy?" at The Delaware Wave

"Believing that other people make you feel a certain way is a denial of personal responsibility; a surrender to the false view that you're not responsible for the workings of your own mind." -- Michael Hurd, in "What Makes You Mad?", at The Delaware Coast Press

"[J]ust as the flattered, puffed-up student gets a painful dose of reality after graduation, so the economy gets it when the never-liquidated errors finally bring about the inevitable crash." -- Harry Binswanger, in "By Eliminating Failure, the Government Robs us of Success", at Forbes

Government-Funded Exuberance

The Binswanger piece linked above offers the following insight on the phenomenon that a government official once called "irrational exuberance":
[S]omething does change, psychologically, in the boom preceding a crash. The change is not an increased desire for wealth. Nor is it that people become fixated on the short range. What changes is people's assessment of risk. People do not become more greedy, they become over-optimistic. Seeing stocks and real-estate go up and up, they imagine that this is the new normal and that a decline in prices is not in the cards. [bold added]
I found this piece quite valuable for making several connections like this.

Thief Schooled by Old Man

I always enjoy stories like this: "I give him three good rights -- I caught him right in the face. He went down and he never got up again."


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