Carnival of the Vanities CXXI

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It's taken me almost a week to get through the 121st Carnival of the Vanities at Multiple Mentality. I think I counted something like 52 posts in it. I guess it's a good thing I forgot to send in a post for the Christian Carnival last week. I couldn't decide which of two posts to submit or if I should write a third. I decided not to write a third because I was putting so much into my new Clarence Thomas series. By the time I got through my second Clarence Thomas post that night (posted the next morning), I'd simply forgotten about the Christian Carnival. Oh, well. I think this makes the third I'm not in out of the 52 Christian Carnivals so far. Anyway, it meant I didn't have to do my usual roundup of highlights from that. I don't link to carnivals I'm not in, since my purpose of linking to a carnival is to return the favor from getting a link out of it myself. The links to reciprocate lose significance if I do it with carnivals that don't link to me.

My Armstrong Williams Fallout is part of this week's festivities, and I've selected three other entries to highlight.

Libertarian Girl offers an idea I kind of like. Breast implants have a negative enough impact on society (both for the people who get them and to other women who will be compared with them), that it's ok to discourage them, but people should be free to get them if they want it badly enough. She proposes a $4000 tax on each breast implant operation. These things are so frivolous that I don't have any problem taxing them. Maybe this is the way for compassionate conservatives to balance the budget while keeping expenditures high for compassionate conservative social programs while cutting ordinary taxes. Tax harmful things that are completely frivolous anyway. It's an idea worth thinking about, anyway.

Bird's Eye View wonders if any of this huge amount of money directed toward tsunami relief is going to be used to address the more lasting problems in most of the areas damaged by this, or if they'll just slip back into poverty after repairs are made.

Coyote Blog presents a novel (to me, anyway) argument for school choice. It would allow us to have schools tailor-made to how parents want to educate their children. Thus it's not just about the quality of education but about the content. Then it comes down to whether the liberal orthodoxy in the education establishment is willing to allow parents with different preferences to educate their children the way they would choose, or if the liberal orthodoxy are the only ones with that option, forcing it onto all others. "In other words, are you OK if Bob Jones high school or Adam Smith high school exist, as long as Greenpeace high school exists as well? Or do you want to make everyone go to Greenpeace high school exclusively?"

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