Gov’t idiocy at work, FDA’s dumb plan on smokes and other commentary



From the right: Gov’t Idiocy at Work

“Cities are rapidly inventing new job titles,” reports City Journal’s Steven Malanga, and the “hottest (pun intended)” is “chief heat officer” — whose task is to “enumerate the impact of heat on the local population” and “seek ways to mitigate it.” One popular idea among CHOs: plant trees to boost shade. And one term “you’re unlikely to hear” from them: “air conditioning,” though “warm-weather-related deaths dropped precipitously over the last century” thanks to AC. The problem: “Air conditioning demands electricity” often powered by fossil fuels or nuclear energy, “two unseemly phrases” in government circles. Yet “the biggest threat” is the loss of AC due to rising prices and outages made more likely by government climate actions. Don’t worry: “Your local CHO is coming soon to plant more trees.”

Libertarian: FDA’s Dumb Plan on Smokes

The Food and Drug Administration “wants to prevent smoking-related deaths by making cigarettes less appealing,” notes Reason’s Jacob Sullum. It “plans to ban menthol cigarettes and limit nicotine content” even as it’s “determined to make vaping products, the most promising harm-reducing alternative to cigarettes, less appealing to smokers.” Its policies contain a “condescending assumption that African Americans are helpless to resist menthol’s minty coolness” and “would spur black-market activity” while encouraging smokers “to smoke more”; its vaping stand “is hard to reconcile with its acknowledgment that vaping has great potential to reduce smoking-related disease and death.” Seems the FDA “learned nothing from the country’s unhappy experience with the war on drugs.”

Conservative: Germany Says the F-Word — Fracking

“Germany’s energy crisis is a crisis of choice, or rather a crisis of two choices, the second following directly from the first,” explains The Wall Street Journal’s Joseph C. Sternberg. The Ukraine war already has it rethinking the second choice, to rely on Russia for natural-gas imports. “But Germany is as dependent as it is on foreign fuel only because of the first decision Berlin made: not to tap the country’s substantial domestic gas reserves,” put off-limits by the 2017 ban “on dubious safety grounds” of “the fracking techniques that could reach most of Germany’s gas.” Polling shows just 27% support, though “‘only’ 56% of respondents opposed fracking outright, with the remaining 17% undecided. This after voters have been bombarded for years with antifracking messages.” In fact, Germany’s “perceived resource poverty is more a form of learned helplessness than a geological reality.”

Pundit: My Stealthy, Sexist CNN Suspension

“It came to my attention in July that I had been punished under old CNN leadership — kept off air since January,” writes Mary Katharine Ham at her MK Hammer Time Substack, “for tweeting about Jeffrey Toobin,” who’d left his webcam on while masturbating during a video call with colleagues. “I was never informed of my punishment until it was rescinded recently by new management,” and Toobin “was off air for eight months; I was off for seven. One month was the difference between punishment for” his repugnant action “versus commenting on the inadvisability of” masturbating “at work.” Oh, and: “I was also told I wasn’t informed of the network’s displeasure because I had just had a baby and someone in the old leadership thought I might be a ‘loose cannon.’”

Culture desk: Must You Tip Everyone?

“Everyone wants a tip now. Do you have to give them one?” asks Recode’s Sara Morrison. “Tipflation is everywhere,” with tips “requested at automatic car washes,” for retail purchases, “even for smoothie-making robots, usually through those touchscreen tablets a lot of businesses use.” Thanks to “social pressure” and “a pandemic that accelerated the adoption of contactless digital payment methods, those tablets have become ubiquitous, and so have the tip requests.” Research finds “just the act of asking people to leave a tip can be enough to push some people into doing so.” After all, we all want “to avoid the awkwardness and the guilt of” declining. But take it from the expert: Lizzie Post, Emily Post’s great-great-grandchild, says “there’s nothing wrong with saying no.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board



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