Category 6. Various Issues

Technology, Privacy and Freedom

Not long ago, the Beloved and I took a three-day trip to visit our older son and daughter-in-law in New Orleans. We flew from LaGuardia.

As we have long been accustomed to doing when leaving for short trips, we drove to the airport rather than use a taxi or car service. Big mistake: we had forgotten that the enormous old parking garage near the main terminal has been temporarily torn down as part of rebuilding the airport.

We were directed to park in a remote area that I had never seen before. As we awaited the bus that would take us through the construction mess and back to the terminal, I noticed a sign announcing that cash would not be accepted for payment on retrieving our car.

I wondered out loud to the Beloved if it was illegal for the Port Authority to refuse to accept cash: it say...

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Environmental Elitists

Today’s ecological movement is profoundly elitist. It’s not about conservation anymore, or clean air; it’s about power over you and me.

Let’s start by considering the opposition to fracking:

The hydraulic fracturing revolution has been hugely beneficial to our country (well, apart from the fact that it arguably, and if so ironically, provided the economic boost that enabled our anti-fossil-fuels – and otherwise feckless – President to be reelected), but environmentalists, crony capitalists and some of our nation’s most determined enemies are fighting it tooth and claw. Even Andy Cuomo won’t allow it; he wants to run for President someday, and he knows who gives to Democrats.

Over the last five or six years, as fracking technology has allowed lots of old wells to come back on line,...

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Why So Many Leading Democrats Hate Charter Schools

The moral bankruptcy of much of the Democratic Party’s leadership is nowhere more obvious than in their aversion to charter schools. Democrats hold themselves out as representing the little guy, but many do lasting damage to the very people in whose interests they claim to speak by attempting to strangle the charter school movement. The reason many office-holding Democrats oppose charter schools is quite simple: such schools may be in the best interests of children who would otherwise be stuck in abysmal unionized (and effectively union-run) public  schools, but they are manifestly disadvantageous to the teachers’ unions that are the Democrats’ most important contributors and volunteers.

When Waiting for Superman was released to considerable acclaim by Davis Guggenheim, who had also...

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Minimum Wage Laws

Minimum and living wage laws are immoral, because they deprive individuals of the freedom to make their own decisions. They are also counter-productive for society as a whole because they raise unemployment and foster dependency among the poor.

Such laws hurt the poor, while – strangely – helping comfortable progressives feel better about themselves. Somehow, the latter have convinced themselves that by giving away other people’s money, they have performed a noble deed, but they have not. Quite the contrary, in fact.

Few minimum wage law advocates pause to consider the effect of such laws on those who don’t have work but would be willing to work for less than the laws require.

If I am willing to employ another for $10 an hour to perform a particular task, and he is willing to perf...

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Difficult Choices

I sometimes ride my bicycle on a strikingly lovely road in a pretty town on Connecticut’s coast. The road has a long hill that I generally find myself riding up – so I ride slowly and have time to think. Most of the way to the top on the right sits a well-kept, prosperous-looking house that for years had a Jeep in the driveway with an attached, bright yellow snow plow; on the plow, prominently painted in black, were the words “Impeach Bush/Torture Cheney”.

I wonder about the attitudes, and the person, behind that slogan.

Presumably, the owner of the Jeep – and home – thought that President Bush was overstepping the line with the Patriot Act and the prison at Guantanamo Bay; as to Vice President Cheney, I guess he thought that the use of water boarding on three detainees was so horr...

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Terrorism and Radical Islam

One of my sisters lives in the Back Bay, quite close to the marathon’s finish line. She and my mother, who still lives in the suburbs near where we grew up, were discomfited by last week’s attacks. My sister hurt her knee in a fall during the lockdown and was unable to see a doctor for several days because she wasn’t allowed to leave her home. My mother spent those days dwelling on the many times in years past that she had watched one of my brothers participate in the race, and worrying about my sister’s knee; I spoke with her two nights ago and she still sounded tired and sad. The attack on innocents at the marathon struck deep chords in my family, in Boston, and in the nation as a whole.

In a sense, the terrorists chose their target very well...

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