Harry Reasoner’s blessing

… to every one of you.

Some unknown cause made me think, this New Year’s Eve, about my favorite television newsman, the aptly-named Harry Reasoner. To my early-adolescent mind, he seemed to embody all of the civilized virtues: calm, good nature, and clear vision. On New Year’s Eve, it was his custom to sign off with an old Scottish prayer:

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

And with that, let me offer the very warmest of New Year’s greetings to the entire Reality-Based Community. Yes, if you read the papers, you might think that the Mayans, or at least their nuttier modern interpreters, were on to something about the world ending in 2012. But hope is still a virtue – especially when it balances “pessimism of the intellect” with “optimism of the will” – and despair the one uncorrectable vice.

Cheer up! Things could be worse. They probably will be, unless we work hard to prevent it.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

2 thoughts on “Harry Reasoner’s blessing”

  1. Happy New Year to all. Really try to love your neighbor and even your enemy. It’s the good thing, and the powerful thing to do.

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