One of the subjects I’ve devoted some time to here over the past few years has been the subject of regulations. As I pointed out earlier this year, there are reasons we have regulations. Most often, those reasons are remembered when … they aren’t followed, enforced, or not there to begin with. According to conservatives, regulations are “unnecessary” and the “free market” will behave properly or correct itself if left alone, all evidence from the past and present to the contrary.
One problems I have with conservatives is that they’ve turned the debate into defending the need for them in the first place. I’d rather have a much different conversation.
Filed under Parks, Politics
Bob Cesca has a great post up about the right-wing politicians and pundits, and their relation to Las Vegas shootings and the Atlanta courthouse shooting.
Did they really believe they could talk like this for so long and at such an urgent fever-pitch, encouraging armed revolution and Second Amendment solutions, and believe that no one would act upon the nonstop join-or-die hype? It’s not just Alex Jones, either. We’re also told by our elected leaders — those we’ve tasked with passing laws and safeguarding our liberty — that we should take up arms against domestic enemies.
To judge by their scramble to paint the shooters as “socialists” and to point the finger anywhere else but at themselves, the answer is “Yes, yes they did believe that.”
It’s been a while since I wrote a post here, because work has been … intense … the past month and a half. While starting work in the field during the summer always decreases my posting frequency, this year has been more problematic than others. There’s a corollary to Murphy’s Law which says “Murphy was an optimist.” That’s been the applicable statement this year, as things that shouldn’t have “gone wrong” did, and things that were supposed to have been ready … weren’t. Add in a new assistant to be trained, along with an unexpected budget cut meaning we couldn’t hire a much-needed additional person, and things have been … busy. I have been trying to keep up with the news, with variable success. With that variability comes some opinions.
As I’ve stated in the past, I’m a pragmatic liberal. Some of that pragmatism comes from my experiences in various situations, while the rest of it comes from my background in science. Get involved in enough projects that end up being of the “up to your ass in alligators” type, finding out that the plans you were given won’t work or don’t do what they were supposed to, and you become a fan of “what works.” From the sciences, it was the times spent coming up with a great hypothesis, only to have the actual experimental data totally destroy it. The result is that I tend to be not quite cynical, but definitely willing to question things. I want to see the data, and I want to see if or how something works. If the data doesn’t back it up, or it’s not working, I’m willing to chuck it and go with something else. The opposite to that is … faith.
I’ve been interested in history for a good part of my life. Besides taking history courses in school and reading on my own, there were also history lessons imbedded in many of my other classes. That’s why I understand that regulations are necessary. There were reasons we have antitrust acts. There were reasons why we regulate food, drugs, and cosmetics. There were reasons we have banking and financial regulations. There were reasons why we have environmental regulations. There were reasons we have building codes, fire regulations, occupational safety regulations, and a host of others. The reasons? Large numbers of very painful lessons that were taught before those regulations came to be.