Welch Dissents on Dissent

Matt Welch puts the lie to claims of post-September 11 stifling of dissent.

I suppose it must have been very hard for leftist intellectuals to see the galvanizing effect of September 11's wake-up call on much of the public who were previously content to go along with their ideas. The rapid resurgence of some remnants of the true spirit of the American people — the righteous anger, the self-confidence, the unapologetic assertion of their right to live lives free from the threat of being bombed where they live and work, and most especially the increased willingness to declare things good or bad, black or white — this must have been quite a disappointing shock to the hardcore left, who perhaps thought they'd been more successful at wiping out these elements. It's no excuse, but I suppose it does make more understandable their attempted conflation of the unpopularity of their opinions with the suppression of them. I guess if they can't be winning the war of ideas, they at least want to have that attractive dissident cached.

Light Switch

The next time my blogging stops unexpectedly it may be a blackout and not laziness that's to blame. Ontario's bungled attempt at some measure of electricity deregulation came to a screeching halt yesterday when our ("conservative"!) premier, Ernie Eves, alarmed by a public outcry over higher electricity bills, did an about face and imposed a price cap (more here). The effect of this cap is predictable to anyone with an elementary grasp of economics: having less incentive to reduce consumption, customers will increase their demand for power. But there isn't an unlimited supply of this commodity. Indeed, there's a shortage, due to private generators' fears of getting into a market whose ground rules — changeable at whim by the government — are so unpredictable. So, there will be power shortages. And, where the government compensates the utilities for increased generation costs, a hefty bill to taxpayers to boot.

While I'm predicting sure things, here's two more: (1) As with California, all the negative consequences of this short-sighted, ham-fisted government interference will be blamed on "deregulation." (2) I won't be voting for Ernie Eves in the next election.