I'm late to the Robin Williams sobfest. He and I were born just
a few months apart. Not that it matters: it's just a coincidence
that hit me.
I was tempted to thank the Lord for not making me rich, famous, talented, and hilarious; but that's way too flip. (Albeit not inaccurate.)
Instead I thought back to another famous suicide brought on by depression: David Foster Wallace. Like Robin Williams, DFW was brilliant, even inspiring. (Example: text, YouTube audio.) Plenty of friends, legions of fans. Like Robin Williams, he had full knowledge of his inner demons: he had been battling them for years with an array of drugs and therapies. "Get professional help"? Friends, they got it all.
And that last thing is really the scary part for me: a battle that takes place entirely between your ears between the forces of life and self-destruction. You know exactly what's going on.
And yet, still, the wrong side wins.
I blogged this New Yorker article by D.T. Max when it was published in 2009; it details DFW's long struggle, ultimately lost. Recommended.
Michael Gerson, the columnist that replaced George F.
Will at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, continues to inspire. More
specifically, he inspires folks like Donald J. Boudreaux
to make wicked fun of him.
Michael Gerson mocks Sen. Rand Paul’s “belief in a minimal state” in part because, in Mr. Gerson’s estimation, such a state would be “incapable of addressing poverty and stalled mobility.” (“Rand Paul is no Jack Kemp,” Aug. 19). What a curious argument given that the very poverty and stalled mobility that Mr. Gerson laments and claims to be incurable in a society with a minimal state actually exist with our current engorged state - a state that for 80 years now has operated New Deal programs, and for 50 years now has practiced Great Society social engineering.
I wouldn't blame the current troubles in Ferguson, MO on George F. Will's absence from St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but it certainly didn't help.
A small but vital point is made by David Boaz at
Cato: the MSM is (way too often) content to echo uncritically
the calls for increased government spending coming from the interest
groups that would benefit from increased government spending.
Case in point: a recent article on Marketplace Radio
calling for water infrastructure spending.
That’s the whole story. And maybe them’s the facts, though Chris Edwards would beg to differ. But the information comes entirely from the National League of Cities, speaking for cities that want more money, and the American Society of Civil Engineers, the people who would be called on to design and build new or improved infrastructure. Journalists shouldn’t rely entirely on the oil industry for the facts on the Keystone pipeline, or the teachers union for the facts about education, and they shouldn’t rely entirely on civil engineers or asphalt manufacturers for the facts on infrastructure.
The most frustrating mode of media bias is its selective skepticism.
As pointed out here earlier this month
New Hampshire's junior US Senator, Kelly Ayotte, is a co-sponsor
of the “Campus Safety and Accountability Act”, alleged to "address
sexual assault at colleges." This legislation is "problematic", which
is my cute diplomatic way of saying "dreadful".
The Washington Examiner's Ashe Schowe asked the sponsors six questions:
What protections will be in place to make sure the annually reported
statistics won’t lead to more convictions based on political
How will the student surveys solve the problem, instead of being used
for political purposes?
Who will have more authority, the colleges or local law enforcement?
Will there be “support services” for the accused?
Who will pay for campus personnel training?
Will the government detail a “uniform campus-wide process” for dealing
with claims of sexual assault?
Kelly (I call her Kelly, that's how she signs her e-mail to me) had her spokesdroid, Liz Johnson, reply to Ms. Schow last week. It is "boilerplate", which is my cute diplomatic way of saying "unresponsive and evasive obfuscation." But read it yourself.
The invaluable KC Johnson analyzes the response from Kelly's office and that of the other GOP senators. Good point here:
Ayotte’s spokesperson used revealing language in another respect. “Campus sexual assault,” she remarked, “is a serious and disturbing crime.” This statement might be deemed a Kinsley gaffe (“when a politician inadvertently tells the truth”). Everyone knows that sexual assault is a “crime,” as the spokesperson admitted. But the fiction behind the efforts of OCR, the McCaskill bill co-sponsors, and the anti-due process activists is that colleges are investigating not crimes but violations of college procedures, and therefore the school has no obligation to provide meaningful due process. At least Ayotte has admitted this isn’t true. The New Hampshire senator should now say which other “crimes” she believes college administrators, rather than law enforcement officials, are competent to investigate and prosecute—and how many other pieces of legislation she plans to co-sponsor to bring about this development.
I would write Kelly myself, but my guess is she has a similar "boilerplate" response all ready in place.
- What protections will be in place to make sure the annually reported statistics won’t lead to more convictions based on political correctness?