Friday, January 1, 2016

Goodbye to 2015

George Will reviews 2015.

E.B. White reportedly said “the most beautiful sound in America” is “the tinkle of ice at twilight.” In 2015’s twilight, fortify yourself with something 90 proof as you remember this year in which:
We learned that a dismal threshold has been passed. The value of property that police departments seized through civil asset forfeiture — usually without accusing, let alone convicting, the property owners of a crime — exceeded the value of property stolen by nongovernment burglars. The attorney general of New York, which reaps billions from gambling — casinos, off-track betting, the state lottery — moved to extinguish (competition from) fantasy footballbecause it is gambling. Florida police raided a mahjong game played by four women aged between 87 and 95 because they allegedly were playing the game for money. A Michigan woman was fingerprinted, had her mug shot taken and was jailed until released on bond because she was late in renewing the $10 license for her dog. New Jersey police arrested a 72-year-old retired teacher, chained his hands and feet to a bench and charged him with illegally carrying a firearm — a 300-year-old flintlock pistol (with no powder, flint or ball) he purchased from an antique dealer.
The University of Georgia said sexual consent must be “voluntary, sober, imaginative, enthusiastic, creative, wanted, informed, mutual, honest.” Imaginative consent? Connecting climate change to sex, the National Bureau of Economic Research warned that hot weather leads to diminished sexual activity. Elsewhere in “settled science,” the government’s dietary rules were revised, somewhat rehabilitating red meat, sodium, eggs and other good stuff. Undaunted, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee produced a 571-page report calling for “bold action” and “dramatic paradigm shifts” until mother-hen government yet again says, “Well, never mind.” Since federal food police dictated changes in school lunch programs, food tossed in the trash is up 56 percent, salt shakers are being smuggled into schools, and there are black markets in potato chips.

Read the rest here.

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