Observations on Compulsory Schooling

Walking back from the bus stop, No. 2 Son, who is only just 10, looked thoughtful. A few steps later, he remarked, “School is slavery.”

“It isn’t,” I replied.

“School is like slavery.”

“How so?”

“You are ripped away from your family.”

“But at the end of the school day you come home.”

“That’s true.”

He turned to his friends who were walking alongside: “School is like prison.”

“What? What do you mean?”

“You are forced to go there and you cannot leave.”

Electronic Medical Records

On Marketplace this morning, they mentioned that Obama wants electronic medical records.

  1. Why is it any of Obama’s damn business?
  2. I haven’t noticed a reduction in paperwork as a result of computing.
  3. There are normal computing issues magnified by the sensitivity of the data.

Earlier some doctor interviewed on another NPR program said he would love medical records, and that they would save him money — and that the government should pay for them because the tools are too expensive.

Excuse me?

If they are too expensive for you to buy in order to reduce your costs then they are not saving you money. The only way the cost-benefit analysis comes out in your favor is if you don’t have to pay for it.

And so I view this, like many other things, as simply yet another power grab.

Speaking of Hate

I really hate that the rhetoric of liberty is perverted in the service of illiberal causes. And I hate this not just because of the hypocrisy of it. I hate this because now that the language of liberty is indeliably associated with those wishing to deny liberty to others, it is relatively simple for all who wish to deny liberty to others to argue that it is in fact those who wish to defend liberty who are in reality attempting to suppress it.

For example, it is well-known that the Ku Klux Klan would deny liberty to blacks, Jews, and Catholics, among others. Yet in rallying people to their cause, they speak of defending their freedoms. Now any who would defend liberty can be discounted as fellow travelers, tarred by association.

This rhetorical identification allows those who would expand their power at the expense of liberty greater discretion. You don’t really want to be like them, do you?

What, Me Worry? I’ve Done Nothing Wrong.

One thing I’ve never quite understood is how advocates for expansive government power never quite seem able to imagine themselves as being on the unpleasant receiving end of that power.

Take, for example, Michelle Malkin, who has been a vocal and enthusiastic proponent of the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act but is now, finally, concerned that her liberty might be at risk. I’m not alone in seeing the irony in this.

It would, however, be a crying shame if the people whose party was until recently the token opposition conveniently forgot their defense of liberty now that they are in power.