Scott Meyer Kinda Got Me

[Except for the middle-aged adjective]

Except for the "middle-aged" adjective. I'm pretty sure I can't pull that off any more.

And I only watched the episodes once.

Well, sometimes twice, if I fell asleep during the first viewing.

(That's panel one of Meyer's latest cartoon. If you recognized yourself there, you'll want to click over for the rest.)

Briefly noted:

  • Good advice J.D. Tucccille has some: If You Want Fewer Shootings, Ask Politicians To Back Off.

    Headlines feature grim reports of senseless violence, including the wounding of Ralph Yarl in Kansas City, Missouri, the killing of Kaylin Gillis in Hebron, New York, and shootings of Payton Washington and Heather Roth in Elgin, Texas, and of 6-year-old Kinsley White and her parents in Gaston County, North Carolina. We'll learn more in days to come, but the incidents seem the results of irrational fear and rage.

    These incidents feed the usual debates, with "reformers" promoting gun restrictions or criticizing "stand your ground" self-defense laws. But while the impulse to do something is understandable, these eruptions of violence come after decades of plummeting crime that coincided with increasing firearms ownership and eased laws. Something changed: us. Boosted by bad pandemic policies, already agitated Americans became nuttier and more prone to conflict. Politicians and laws can't fix that.

    "In an era of frequent mass shootings, Americans know all too well that tragedy lurks nearly everywhere: schools, churches, offices, grocery stores, movie theaters. But these three incidents in the span of just six days have deepened a gnawing sense that no place is truly safe," NBC News's Daniel Arkin reported this week. "The incidents have renewed and intensified calls for stricter gun control legislation" and "have also put scrutiny on 'stand your ground' self-defense laws."

    Tucccille notes that none of the incidents could conceivably been prevented if only we hadn't passed those pesky "stand your ground" laws.

    And he makes a compelling argument for what he sees as a major culprit: a pandemic policy that sent a bunch of marginal whack jobs totally off the rails.

    His bottom line is sobering, and won't be accepted by those looking for panaceas via new laws, controls, and regulations: "It took years to break our society; we'll be a long time making repairs."

  • Hey, kids, what time is it? At FEE, Cruz Marquis answers: It’s Time to Separate School and State.

    The state-run school system as it stands is a one-size-fits-all monstrosity which crowds out private alternatives and spreads socialistic and anti-Christian propaganda. It’s time to think bigger than Friedman’s school vouchers, it’s time to separate school from state.

    Cruz harps on the "anti-Christian" point a little too strongly for me, but that's not to say he's wrong. To (doubtless) repeat myself: we should erect a "wall of separation" between school and state. Similar to the one between church and state, and for the same reasons.

  • A somewhat less radical step is advocated by Robert S. Eitel and Jim Blew: A Plan to Close the Federal Department of Education.

    Cries to shutter the U.S. Department of Education have grown louder and more constant as the 2024 presidential race heats up. Announced and potential candidates are already on message: The department has devolved into a lobbying platform for a continuously more expensive and expansive federal role in support of a heavily unionized education system, with tragic results for the nation and its students.

    One difficulty in closing the Education Department is that the agency has become ingrained in the minds of policy-makers and the law. For more than 40 years, Congress has willingly assigned most K–12 and postsecondary funding and rulemaking initiatives to the department. With an $83 billion budget, a $1.6 trillion student-loan portfolio, 4,400 employees, and thousands of contractors, there is a lot to unravel, and it won’t happen overnight.

    But it is worth the effort to begin the unraveling. The department has grown into a multibillion-dollar regulatory behemoth that public-school unions, the higher-education lobby, far-left civil-rights groups, and their elected allies manipulate for their own purposes. The self-interests of these groups don’t align with the interests of students or taxpayers.

    It's a worthy goal. Probably won't happen.

  • Good question. And John Hinderaker asks it: Where Is That Manifesto?.

    On March 27, nearly a month ago, Audrey Hale murdered six people in a Nashville school before herself being killed by police. Like substantially all mass murderers, Hale was deeply troubled. Among other things, shortly before her rampage she decided that she was, or wanted to be, a man. Her murders came immediately before a national “Trans Day of Vengeance” that was promoted with violent imagery. And the trans movement has, in general, been radical and frequently violent.

    After Hale’s death, Nashville authorities announced that she had left behind a number of writings including a “manifesto.” It is reasonable to assume that these writings would shed some light on her motivations. I wrote here about Hale’s manifesto and the reasons why it is likely to be of public interest, notwithstanding the fact that the ravings of mass murderers should normally be given little attention.

    Hinderaker speculates the reason for keeping the "manifesto" under wraps is that it might illuminate things the "trans community" might not want illuminated. The "Democracy dies in darkness" Washington Post has yet to weigh in on the issue, but I suspect that motto only works one way.

Last Modified 2024-01-30 6:11 AM EDT