Alas, though, it’s not just liberalsnwho want to centralize power in D.C.nMy principal complaint about the neoconservativesnthat some of my Chroniclesncolleagues have been bashing withnsuch gusto lately is their enthusiasm fornfederal solutions to problems. Sure,nthey’re real problems, but so is thenmetastasis of federal intrusion, especiallynsince half the time it wouldn’tnwork right anyway.nChester Finn, late of the USDOE,nhas said a lot of smart things aboutneducation, for example, but he said anmonumentally dumb one when hencalled recently for a national curriculum.nPrinciples aside, he needs to reflectnthat such an innovation could asnwell be used for experiments in multiculturalnempowerment as for the sortnof little civics lessons he has in mind —nand it undoubtedly would be, as soonnas the Democrats won a presidentialnelection.nNeocons may be especially unreliablenon this score, but they’re not alone.nAs I write, for instance, my state’snsenior senator is calling for a federalnlaw to punish HIV-infected healthcarenworkers who knowingly treat patients.nNow, that might fnake a prettyngood state law. We could pass it innNorth Carolina, our HIV-positive doctorsnand dentists could move to statesnthat hadn’t passed it, and — well, we’dnsee, wouldn’t we? But I can’t begin tonimagine why Senator Helms thinks thisnis an appropriate subject for federalnregulation. There must be somethingnin the water in Washington.nThat would also explain why, whennRepresentative Henry Hyde of Illinoisngot annoyed at attempts by the SensitivitynPolice to ban “hate speech” onnsome of our more fashionable campuses,nhe jettisoned his limited-governmentnprinciples and introduced a billnthat would forbid private colleges andnuniversities to interfere with studentnspeech.n, That idea stinks to begin with. Conservativesnshould have better things tondo than protecting students’ rights toncall each other “nigger” and “faggot.”nSometimes colleges and universitiesnought to regulate what their undergraduatesnsay. My ideal college wouldnthrow students out if they didn’t behavenlike ladies and gentlemen, andncalling each other hateful names wouldndo it. (Of course, so would occupyingnthe dean’s office or disrupting Republicannpoliticians’ speeches — even HenrynHyde’s.)nBut the important, apparently forgottennpoint is that these are private,nvoluntary institutions we’re talkingnabout. What they do in this respect —neven when they do stupid, wrongheadednthings — should be no business ofnthe government’s. Religious schoolsnshould be allowed to forbid blasphemy,nif they want to, and if Duke wants tonbecome the Bob Jones of the left, it’snentitled. It’s a free country, as we usednto say (back when we also said “soundnas a dollar”).n* * *nWe decentralists can take comfort fromnthe fact that, however futile and unavailingnour views may seem to be,ntime is really on our side. I attribute mynsunny and equable temperament tonthat. Come what may from Washington,nI’m calm. Grants for performancenartists, pay raises for Congressmen,nminority set-asides, New WorldnOrders — none of this discourages orndepresses me. Whatever detestablenenormities our would-be leaders visitnupon us, I comfort myself by reflectingnon a simple truth:nAnything that tends to bring thenfederal government into disrepute isn’tnall bad.n]ohn Shelton Reed wants to re-ratifynthe Tenth Amendment, adding thenwords “and this time we really meannLetter FromnNew Yorknby Murray N. RothbardnThe Long Hot SummernJuly 18, 1991. The temperature was 99ndegrees, the hottest day since the summernof 1988. The humidity, as usual,nwas stratospheric (undoubtedly the reasonnthey stopped broadcasting thenTemperature Humidity Index yearsnago). The hitherto unknown Coalitionnfor Black and Hispanic Jobs at the Portnof New York Authority decided that thisnwas the time to strike. The Coalition, inna commando raid, drove up some hugennnVntrucks and blockaded the routes in andnout of Kennedy Airport on the afternoonnof the 18th, tying up traffic for upnto five hours. Cars overheated, tempersnwere even more explosive. The nightlynTV news broadcasts, as ever an exercisenin political correctness, televised somenremarkably calm and gentle NewnYorkers: “Gee, I’m sympathetic withntheir aims, but not when I have to sitnhere and swelter for five hours.” Yeah,nsure. And, as we like to say in NewnYork, if you believe that was the typicalnreaction I have a bridge across the EastnRiver I’m willing to sell you for a fewnhundred dollars in cash.nEvery summer New York goes anothernfew steps down the road to perdition.nEvery summer the city gets hotternin every which way. In contrast to thenwinter, when the cold keeps what isneuphemistically known as “the community”noff the streets, summer is the timenfor Street Life. As a result, this year, farnmore people have been shot by randomnviolence. You have to understand: thesenshootings are not malicious, just thenresult of high spirits, part of New Yorknself-expression and “street culture,”nwhich entails shooting off rounds ofngunshots into the air, some of which areninconsiderate enough to pour into randomnwindows and injure people inside.nThere were no official race riots thisnyear or boycotts of Korean grocers (atnleast not as of this writing), but everyonenadmits that racial incidents have beennescalating. Violence was also stimulated,nas elsewhere in the country, bynshowings of the movie Boyz N thenHood. Apparently showings of streetngang violence in Los Angeles stimulatenthe youthful lads in the audience toninstantaneous emulation, shooting off’nrounds of gunfire in the theater, whichninjured several of the patrons of thenmovie in the once highly touted FultonnStreet mall that was supposed to helpnredeem downtown Brooklyn. (Interestinglynenough, no one ever presumes tonadvocate gun control as a cure for NewnYork violence. Since New York has onenof the strictest gun control laws in thencountry, such a suggested cure wouldnbe laughed out of court.)nBut while violence gets publicity, itnreally touches only a small minority ofnNew Yorkers. The real problem ofnNew York living is what is laughinglynreferred to as the “quality of life,”nwhich in effect means continuous has-nOCTOBER 1991/45n