Two Ridiculous Ideas

Two Ridiculous Ideas


Leonard Zwelling

A friend told me about these opinion pieces in The Wall Street Journal on March 19.

In the first by Heather Mac Donald, a Harvard law professor named Ronald Sullivan happens to be the faculty dean of Winthrop College, one of the twelve undergraduate residential houses at the school. Mr. Sullivan has joined the defense team for accused sexual predator and rapist Harvey Weinstein. It seems that the delicate students at Harvard think Mr. Sullivan’s efforts on behalf of a legitimate client entitled to a fair defense somehow interferes with their ability to avoid trauma. That’s right. Mr. Sullivan’s exercise of his rights to help Mr. Weinstein preserve his rights is offensive to the students and suggests to these future leaders of America that Mr. Sullivan is no longer worthy of his Harvard appointment. And what’s worse, Harvard is listening to these young fools. The Harvard Office for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response supported the student protest with cocoa. Winthrop House was vandalized with graffiti.

Harvard’s administration has lost its collective mind listening to these students. Mr. Sullivan is not endorsing what Mr. Weinstein may have done. He is supporting his right to a fair trial and a rigorous defense. These are American rights of which the students need to be reminded, obviously. If their sensitivities are offended by Mr. Sullivan’s involvement in Mr. Weinstein’s defense, they can go fly a kite or, as my Boston-born friend might say, they can fry ice.

Harvard is doing a “climate review” of the students in Winthrop. Give me a break. Go back to class, will you! No one is harmed by Mr. Sullivan’s work on behalf of Mr. Weinstein and frankly, it is none of the students’ business what Mr. Sullivan does as an attorney as long as it is legal.

In the second story Bill Hammond of the Empire Center criticizes the left leaning Democrats who suggest that health care become a completely non-profit business. Particularly, providers cannot profit. That would be doctors. I am not sure how they are to make a living if they are going to provide all their care for free. Many hospitals will have to close. Doctors could not lobby Congress under some Democratic proposals. According to Mr. Hammond this has been done with all the hospitals in the State of New York. The last for-profit hospital closed in New York in 2008. This has undermined the well being of hospitals in New York and reduced their quality.

These two ideas are a bit loony.

Like him or not, Harvey Weinstein deserves a vigorous defense just as all defendants do. Ungodly profits in the health industry, whether it is 8-figure surgeons, for-profit hospital palaces or half a million dollar drugs all need some scrutiny. But eliminating the profit motive in health care is not a recipe for innovation or for good care.

These ideas are ridiculous

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