Knowing as a Right

While Flint residents now know that their water is no good, they still don’t know how exactly their water was contaminated— because exemptions to Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allow the governor and state legislators to keep that truth hidden.

During his State of the State address, Gov. Snyder announced that he would release his emails from 2014 and 2015 as a show of good faith and transparency. But this story began even before Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley signed a 2014 order forcing the city to drink harsh river water….

Via Flint’s Poisoned Children Deserve the Truth @ American Civil Liberties Union.

Watching, Irradiating

Despite these public privacy and health concerns, the NYPD doesn’t want those it protects and serves to know any details about the technology.

The department denied a Freedom of Information Law request by Grabell, who wanted information from the NYPD about any public health risks, the NYPD’s prior use of the vans, whether the department gets a warrant before it uses them, or how long the NYPD holds on to images the vans capture. The NYPD also won’t say how much the vans cost, though their reported price tag is steep — between $729,000 and $825,000 for each vehicle.

Via NYPD Says ‘Trust Us’ on Potentially Dangerous X-Ray Vans Roaming the Streets of New York @ ACLU.

Arguments Against Organ Sales Assume Too Much

People, especially those on the Left, often lazily argue against certain markets by asserting, without good evidence, that the market in question will be (behave as if it were) monopsonistic or monopolistic, and thus allow some to exploit others. (I’m looking at you, Marx. Read some real econ and take a shower while you’re at it.) Usually they have no evidence for this claim. But even in the uncommon cases where they do identify such monopsonies or monopolies, the solution isn’t obviously to forbid a market, but to do things to break up the monopsony or monopoly.

Via Of Course We Should Allow Kidney Sales @ BHL.

Mentally Ill Sent to Jail  

But after the Wilts applied for their son to enter a group home in York County, they faced a problem they didn’t expect: they were told he would be waiting for more than five months.

Only a month after joining the waiting list, despite the couple’s attempt to supervise their son as best they could, Jared Christopher Winters was arrested. Today he remains in jail; he’s one of the estimated 4,000 inmates in Pennsylvania’s county prison system, or 11 percent of the total, who are seriously mentally ill.

Via ‘I couldn’t stand the way I felt in my head’: Mentally ill man languishes in prison due to group home shortage @ PennLive.  

The End of Doom

Cancer rates are down in America. Lifespans are up all over. Food is more abundant. Poverty is in decline. Critical to this progress is technology. Ronald Bailey discusses how and why to keep that ingenuity coming in his new book, The End of Doom.

The Tragedy of Dr. Oz

Dr. Mehmet Oz is a cardiothoracic surgeon and vice chairman of the surgery department at Columbia University’s medical school. Most people know him, sadly, as a celebrity,  television star, or as a promoter of quack remedies. Other prominent physicians across America, at leading institutions, have had enough of the embarrassment that Oz’s sales pitches are…

Another of the Kronies: General Surgeon

A crony capitalist in the style of an action figure: the physician-fixer General Surgeon: See, previously: Cronyism So Blatant One Can Parody It as an Action-Figure Series and ‘The Kronies’ Are Back, Explaining Export-Import Bank Loan Subsidies. . 

Phoenix VA gave out millions in bonuses while vets died waiting for treatment

Newly released records show the Phoenix VA Health Care System paid out roughly $10 million in bonuses during the past three years, when some staff manipulated patient wait-time records to trigger bonuses as veterans died awaiting care. Bonus payouts increased significantly under Sharon Helman, who became director of the Phoenix VA in February 2012. She…

The rush to regulate costs lives

“For the WHO to suggest that e-cigarettes are as risky as other tobacco products would send an erroneous and bleak message to the millions of current e-cigarette users who have used them to quit smoking,” Robert West, a University College London researcher and a signatory of the letter, says in a statement. “It would discourage smokers…

First Do No Harm

How far will a doctor go to help the police? For at least one doctor in Tennessee, outside of both his oath and the U.S. Constitution: ….in Tennessee, a doctor was more than happy to help police obtain crack from an uncooperative suspect’s rectum with the help of muscle relaxers, a paralyzing agent and a…

Brandon Huber Did the Right Thing

I had not heard of Brandon Huber until yesterday, when I read an MSN story – and watched his YouTube video – exposing the unsanitary practices of a Golden Corral in Port Orange, Florida. (The restaurant has since fired its manager, and insists that they served none of the food in the video to Golden…

Meanwhile, the left is worried about flacking ObamaCare

Funny, but proponents don’t seem to be relying on the law’s own supposed strengths, anymore. Kevin Drum writes that “Republicans will be relentlessly exploiting Obamacare’s rollout problems during next year’s midterm elections.” If these rollout problems weren’t likely to be real problems, the left wouldn’t be so concerned about politics. Via Democrats Better Start Selling…

Baucus, Schumer, and Wyden

There’s a virtual, US Senate-composed firm of Democrats who are worried about ObamaCare. They’re likely to take on more partners, soon enough. Via Another Senate Democrat Frets About ObamaCare @ United Liberty.

A Debate Challenge About the Powers Under ObamaCare

The contention: States have the power to block major provisions of ObamaCare, including punitive taxes the law imposes on their employers and individual residents. That simple claim, backed by the statute’s clear language and legislative history, has riled many of the law’s supporters. Michael F. Cannon, director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute,…

Looking at the Forty-Years’ Drug War

Over at the Wall Street Journal, Nobel laureate in economics Gary Becker and Univ. of Chicago economist Kevin Murphy ask, “Have We Lost the War on Drugs?” Their answer is that we have, and what Richard Nixon began in 1971 has been a forty-years’ failure: President Richard Nixon declared a “war on drugs” in 1971.…

Happy 118th, Mr. Hazlitt

Henry Hazlitt, the noted libertarian economist and journalist, was born 118 years ago yesterday. Albeit belated, these anniversary wishes are gratefully offered. Hazlitt’s works were many and diverse, but I don’t think he’d object to a summary of his thinking as an emphasis, consistently, on considering carefully the actual consequences of economic policies. (To this…