New Year's reading: Gun control, college cheating, single-payer insurance | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's reading: Gun control, college cheating, single-payer insurance

Posted By on Wed, Jan 1, 2014 at 9:13 AM

I commend several articles after a quick flip through today's New York Times:

* GUN CONTROL: The gun nuts of Arkansas would have you believe the 2nd Amendment prohibits any manner of regulation of firearms. They're wrong, of course, Even Antonin Scalia says so. Just the same, a useful reminder from New York, where a federal judge has upheld gun control legislation passed after the Connecticut school slaughter. The judge said the expanded ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines furthered public safety. He did strike down as arbitrary prohibition on loading more than seven rounds into a magazine.

* ACADEMIC CHEATING AT CHAPEL HILL THAT AIDED ATHLETES: A former UNC professor has been indicted for fraud over allegations of sham courses that overwhelmingly aided athletes in football and basketball at UNC. One summer course, Blacks in North Carolina, enrolled 19 students, 18 of them football players and one a former player. It seems doubtful the students learned anything, though they earned grades that helped keep them eligible for sports. One question: Did others really not know about rampant abuses centered in one department? 

* OBAMACARE VS. SINGLE PAYER: Michael Moore writes an op-ed in which he admits the words that liberals dare not say lest they lend comfort to Republicans. Obamacare "is awful."  Moore and I and others have been down this road before. Obamacare is nothing more than a make-insurance-companies-rich scheme dreamed up originally by the conservative Heritage Foundation. A single-payer public option plan would have been far superior. But we don't have that and Moore offers some suggestions for improving on the plan we do have, which he writes is a godsend for many. And he notes Vermont has a single-payer experiment underway that is worth watching.


* SHERIDAN PRISON BABY MAKES GOOD: And if you missed this story mentioned by a reader earlier, here's another feel-good story, from the Tennessean in Nashville, about Cody Stothers, 22, a Sheridan, Ark., native who was born in a prison hospital, raised by a disabled grandmother but heading now to M.D./Ph.D. program at Vanderbilt in part thanks to a program begun by Vanderbilt prof Billy Hudson, another Sheridan native, that put computers on school buses to make riding time more valuable for rural kids.

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