25 July 2009

Uncommon Commentary #65

One of the keys to the highly effective law-enforcement aid called profiling is the fact that a disproportionate number of crimes in this country are committed by Blacks; hence the squawk over "racial profiling." Race, however, is just one element in the composition of a profile of a criminal; an even more disproportionate number of crimes are perpetrated by men, which means that the word "profiling," the object of such obloquy when preceded by "racial," could just as easily have "gender" affixed to it (although that word is really a grammatical term only, having nothing to do with the human sexes). It's not "racial profiling," but simply profiling.

18 July 2009

Miscellaneous Musing #15

Does this make sense to you? In 1853, part of Oregon was organized as a separate territory, which its inhabitants proposed to call Columbia, after the River; the US Congress rejected the name, for fear of confusion with the District of Columbia. (It’s bad enough to have so much confusion in the District, specifically the Capitol.) The denizens therefore chose a new name, which the Congress accepted: Washington, which was already being used for the city that occupies the District of Columbia. In my opinion, this is so inane that one would expect it to have happened in our century.

01 July 2009

Uncommon Commentary #64

Access to health services indeed ought to be universal, but not socialized. I propose that the care of the ill be restored to those to whom it was entrusted originally: the religious. MediƦval hospitals were ministries, which relied upon not fees but donations; naturally, medicine has changed considerably since the Middle Ages (although even the use of leeches and that of maggots are making a comeback), but, even in this country, there is still at least one medical institution (the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital) that qualifies as charitable, and so I'll bet that the rest could also survive without charging their patients.