Posted by: Patrick Allen Foster | February 6, 2015

On Vaccination, Tennis, and Other Assorted Links for Friday

1. Jessica Flanigan lays out a libertarian case for mandatory vaccination:

Vaccine refusal, I argue, is morally similar to firing a weapon into the air and endangering innocent bystanders. By re-framing vaccine refusal as harmful and reckless conduct my aim is to shift the focus of the vaccine debate from non-vaccinators’ religious and refusal rights to everyone else’s rights against being infected with contagious illnesses. Religious freedom and rights of informed consent do not entitle non-vaccinators to harm innocent bystanders, and so coercive vaccination requirements are permissible for the sake of the potential victims of the anti-vaccine movement.

(See also this paper.)

2. Thoreau nails it: “There’s a certain sort of Republican who likes to talk about the problems of big government. The basic problem with these guys is that when you ask them for examples of how we could reduce the size of government, the best they can think of is hand-washing. Not the drug war, not mass surveillance, not the prison system, not police abusing suspects, not the bloated defense budget, but hand-washing.”

3. There is no “officer safety” exception to the Constitution.

4. On the recent history of men’s tennis: “Between July 2003, when Roger Federer won his first major title, and September 2013, when Rafa Nadal won his 13th, men’s tennis contested 42 Grand Slam tournaments. Thirty-eight of them were won by the same four players.”

5. Straightforward rules for being a courteous and responsible borrower of library books.

6. What really went wrong with the third season of the original series Star Trek.

7. Werner Herzog inspirational posters.

8. Why Gandhi is a trigger-happy nuclear maniac in Civilization.

9. One of the reasons RadioShack is going out of business: contemporary consumer electronics devices are not conducive to tinkering: “During RadioShack’s heyday in the 1980s, consumer electronics were still things you could fix with the right parts and some free time. Today? Good luck. Home-built radios might figure prominently in All the Light We Cannot See, but they’re far from a typical purchase. More complicated gadgets have also become harder to fidget with. Since 2008, Apple in particular has marketed high-end devices that are practically impossible to repair yourself.”

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