Light Shines from New Haven
I would like to thank Eliana Johnson for her tribute to Donald Kagan as he announced his retirement (“Donald Kagan’s Last Lecture,” May 20). His departure might seem an irreparable loss to Yale and our entire nation, but, thanks to the generosity of Open Yale Courses, Professor Kagan’s incomparable “Introduction to Ancient Greek History” lives on(line) and is available to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Et lux in tenebris lucet!
Understanding the Nanny State
In her review of The Food Police (“Big Brother at Your Table,” May 20), Julie Gunlock discusses many of the problems with progressive attempts to control what everyone eats. But I have two important points to add:
1. The drug wars, including Prohibition, set a precedent for controlling what people put in their bodies. From marijuana to tobacco to sugar is a perfectly natural and consistent progressive progression.
2. Even if every person’s health is the business of progressive government, whatever progressive harassment occurs will probably be Procrustean: the same dietary rules for everyone. This obliviousness to individuality (e.g., some people benefit from alcohol, others are hurt) is no way to approach the problem.
More Equal Than Thou
I believe the perfect epigraph to Mark Steyn’s “Michael Poppins” (May 6) would be these lines from a poem by Boris Slutsky, though I am afraid my amateur translation does not give it the strength of the original Russian:
We won’t point fingers,
But how many remember nowadays:
One who wants to preach to people
Shouldn’t live in more luxury than they.
Actually, these lines could refer to most liberal masterminds.
Two details regarding the 2009 Pittsburgh police shootings were misreported in The Week (May 20). Robert Andrew Poplawski murdered three officers, not two, and he did not murder his mother.