Compound Questions

David and I took our three kids to Harbor Place in Baltimore to ride their carousel, a restored 1912 model largely built with wood. Unlike more modern models, it had no seat belts. Although none of the children appeared in any danger of falling off — the owner charged nothing for a parent to stand near children to make sure they don’t slip off — it is hard to imagine anyone building a carousel that way in this lawsuit-sodden era.

After we put the kids in bed I checked my email. 78 pieces of spam in six hours, including one of those fake eBay emails that have been in the news. Also an interesting missive from Ed Haislmaier, recommending a John Stossel “Give Me a Break” piece for the blog:

Wind farms are popular in Europe and California, and environmentalists like them because they are a relatively clean way to produce electricity. It’s a reason Jim Gordon proposes to install 130 wind turbines 6 1⁄2 miles off the coast of Cape Cod.

But there’s a problem.

Although the Natural Resources Defense Council, and its attorney, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., support wind power (Kennedy says he’s “strongly in favor of wind-energy production at sea,”) Kennedy doesn’t want a wind farm on Nantucket Sound, where his family might see it from their elegant compound in Hyannis Port.

You can’t please environmentalists, in my opinion. We can’t drill for oil in a tiny barren portion of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, according to them, because drilling would spoil an area unsullied by humans (Eskimos apparently don’t count). But nor can windmills be placed in Nantucket Sound because people might see them.

I wonder if Stossel has actually been to the Kennedy place in Hyannis Port or if he’s just assuming it is elegant. The Kennedy compound in Florida was a dive. And, why do we call houses that Kennedys own “compounds”?

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