If you can't understand why a libertarian is against your program, start with the possibility that they might not think it is a true public good. That way you don't need to jump straight to the ludicrous conclusion that opposing your new boondoggle means they logically must also want to rip down the guard rails on the highway.
Look, Miss Gault: we already know you're an inconsistent Objectivist. We know this because you're an Objectivist.
Sure, you love road signs, merchantability laws, and the invasion of small countries when you perceive them to be necessary for the continued protection of the fruits of your superiority, or the production of iPhones. You want a medal for that? As well give Jonah Goldberg a D.S.C. for having something better to do than back up his fighting words about Iraq/Afghanistan/Iran/Syria/Yemen/Hollywood. This is precisely the point: you get to argue that whatever government activity you don't like violates the universal assurances given by some tenth-rate novelist, secure in you knowledge that rational people will protect you from the loss of any personal benefits, or the imminent advance of real chaos. When you do happen to get called on it--meaning when you do bother to respond---it's "Why, of course I'm not opposed to stop lights!" despite the fact that either a) you are; or b) you managed to reach middle-age, or approximately fifteen years after sensible people have tossed Atlas Shrugged on the kindling pile, without it ever occurring to you that everyone believes exactly the same about himself, the only distinction being where one imagines "the necessary public good" to end: stoplights, security regulation, universal healthcare, or free iPhones. Choose one. Although I must say that the idea that libertarians make decisions based on the public good--implying that in the future you'll be arguing facts, rather than blessing your readership with the benefits of your metaphysical certainties and your grand-mama's Roosevelt hatreds--sounds promising.
Mr. Brooks: we have suggested before than when these Sociology 101 spells hit you lie down with a cold compress. This is for your good as well as ours. But please, for God's sake, stay th' fuck away from sports! which includes rowing, polo, croquet, usury, and any other athletic diversions of your class. If you need to know why, have someone lash you to the four-poster this weekend and read aloud every word George Eff Will has ever written about baseball.
Shriver the word cop is every bit the oppressor that he imagines Emanuel to be.
Finally! Someone brave enough to take on the PC police for only the 400 millionth time since Slate made the internets worth reading.
No decent person—not even Rahm Emanuel—wants to deny the marginalized their dignity.
It's not his fault that most people believe this is best accomplished by not denying them their dignity.
All right-thinking parents discourage their children from grossly misusing the word. But declaring every conversational use of retarded and beating up on public figures who use it colloquially won't bring new dignity to the people upon whose behalf Shriver advocates. Instead of normalizing attitudes and perceptions, Shriver's scolding tactics shove everybody outside his circle into a crouch, begging for his forgiveness.
Well, only because Shriver was obligated, in this PR world, to accept an apology (for a slight that wasn't aimed at him, but at people who received no apology); we'd be much better off if this sort of thing engendered the opprobrium of everybody who didn't work at Slate rather than some phony mea culpa played out for the Press. But the apology isn't at fault. The real crime is that because he issues an apology he's automatically absolved of being a first-rate asshole while, conversely, some id*ot on the internet is allowed to claim the whole thing is a big tsimmes cooked up by the professionally aggrieved. (Meanwhile, Sarah Palin, whose only contribution to the disabled is lugging her Down's Syndrome baby around as a Right-to-Life trophy, gets a mere mention, despite the fact that her Facebook intervention was purely political and self-serving.)
The point that seems to have been lost in all this is that the President's Chief of Staff called someone a retard. Not only would I not allow a child of ten to use the term; if he was still using it after age twelve I'd have him locked away for good, not because it's rude, but because he was obviously a hopelessly perpetual juvenile and the market's already flooded. Rahm Emanuel is fifty.