Opinion

Biden to ban good showers and other commentary

Libertarian: Biden To Ban Good Showers

President Biden is reversing a “Trump administration rule that eased restrictions on the pleasing flow of multiheaded showers,” laments Reason’s Christian Britschgi. A 1992 law “imposed a host of convenience-crushing” regulations on appliances, including a water-output cap of 2.5 gallons per minute on individual showerheads. Former President Barack Obama applied the limit to multiheaded units as well, but Team Trump nixed the expansion last December. Now Biden is moving to “undo” this “win for individual liberty.” An Energy Department spokesman says this will let consumers “purchase showerheads that conserve water.” Yet people could buy water-saving showerheads under the Trump rule — “the Biden administration would just force them to do so.”

Conservative: How To Reach the Un-Vaxxed

Data show that the nearly 80 million unvaccinated Americans have “complex and heterogeneous” motivations, The New York Times’ Ross Douthat observes, contra beliefs that they’re mainly Fox News-deluded anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists. So “heavy-handed” censorship and mandates won’t work. “Censoring the Internet will have little effect if many of the vaccine-hesitant are disconnected rather than very online, or drawing on personal experience rather than anti-vaxxer memes.” And mandates “might alienate not just Fox viewers, but also part of the political middle.” The “civically healthy” way: “a more patient approach” combining “local outreach, public-health guidance that consistently promises normalcy as a benefit of vaccination (and doesn’t withdraw it arbitrarily) and actually arguing with skeptics.”

Education beat: Teach Equality, Not CRT

“How our kids learn our history will, inevitably, shape how they behave when they take on the responsibilities of citizenship when they are adults,” notes Richard Samuelson at RealClearPolitics. Critical race theory follows “a simplified ‘whites are bad’ and ‘minorities good’ line,” but replacing “the stigmatization of blacks with stigmatization of whites is unlikely to work.” For young children, who “have yet to learn US history” at all, “teaching Americans to be proud of their country, even as they seek to improve it, is much more likely to bear fruit.” The best strategy is to “focus on our common ­humanity and citizenship in earlier years and to bring in the tensions ­between national and racial and ethnic identities later on.” But “many of our professional educators are … sustaining racial separation” instead.

From the left: Progressives Need Free Speech

“The left’s new enthusiasm for getting bad books taken off the shelves is a mistake” that forgets the left’s own interest in “as broad a discourse as possible,” warns Katha Pollitt at Dissent. When Republicans, who “are far keener than Democrats to ban from school libraries books they don’t like,” have the upper hand, free speech is what gives leftists the space to promote “unpopular positions in unfriendly places.” Removing a book, such as #MeToo-accused writer Blake Bailey’s Philip Roth biography, is really about not trusting people to weigh evidence.” And the question of “who decides what is permissible and what is beyond the pale” ultimately “comes down to who has more power.” Embracing free speech “means living with insults and stupidity and even, sometimes, evil and pain.” But it puts your enemy “in the same position,” which “may be as good as it gets.”

Border watch: It’s Getting Worse

“The Border Patrol reported the most action in 21 years in June,” ­reports Stephen Dinan at The Washington Times. “Agents recorded 178,416 arrests, defying Homeland Security officials’ public predictions that activity at the border would cool off in the summer.” That includes a renewed “surge of illegal immigrant children,” such that “the Border ­Patrol had more than 1,400 in its custody as of Sunday night, the highest number in nearly three months.” Plus: “Deaths of migrants are up,” ­despite “a record-setting year of Border Patrol rescues,” while “seizures of the dangerous synthetic opioid fentanyl have set a record,” and “experts say the seizure number indicates that the amount of drugs getting through the border is also up.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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