For several years, Minnesota required that vehicles pass an emissions test before they could be licensed. It was a simple enough process for most of us, but I know it irked many. They grumbled about the small fee and the trouble of having to drive to a testing station. But the air got cleaner.

When Jesse Ventura was governor, he lifted the requirement.

Why? Because it had worked. The air was cleaner, he argued, so the emissions testing program has done its job. Now we can stop testing.

Uh, yeah. Right. Not the conclusion I had reached. I would rather say that the program was working rather than that it had worked, and so we should have kept it going. But it was a popular decision, and now we can just go on polluting. Yay for us.

My four year old has had a cough for several weeks. A persistent, non-productive cough that sometimes interferes with his sleep. He never coughs when we bring him to the doctor, of course, so they can’t verify or attempt a decent diagnosis. As an experiment, we’re trying a non-dairy diet. Within a day after starting, his cough had stopped. It’s been several days now, and he hasn’t coughed once.

The first day, he said to us, “See? It worked. I’m not coughing. May I please have some milk now?”

It’s working, kiddo, let’s stick with it awhile longer.

He understood.