New at Reason

In the cover story from our May issue, Jacob Sullum looks at the totalitarian implications of an imperial public health movement.

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  • ||

    That's all well and good, but how about this for a topic:

    NEWS ALERT
    from The Wall Street Journal

    May 17, 2007
    Key senators and the White House reached agreement on an immigration overhaul that would grant quick legal status to millions of illegal immigrants already in the U.S. and fortify the border. The breakthrough came when negotiators struck a bargain on a "point system" that would for the first time prioritize immigrants' education and skill level over family connections.

  • tros||

    White medicine makes you feel good now, bad later. Indian medicine makes you feel bad now, good later. "Government Healthcare" is an oxymoron. These people are insects that are going to consume this entire planet if we don't do something about it. By "we" I mean networked communities of sane people.

    I would like to propose some solutions to various real epidemics that this country deals with:

    1. Tobacco use, lung cancer, and cancer in general can be cured by targetted cannabinoid therapy. The potential is there. Smoking or even vaporizing cannabis is not enough. This something that biotechnologies would be pursuing if their executives weren't overfed bigots.

    2. Alcohol abuse and domestic violence. LSD is a proven cure for alcoholism. AA is just another lifeless shell of some dead person's spiritual experience. The guy who started AA used LSD in psychotherapy and liked it. Alcohol is scientifically proven to destroy the frontal lobe of the brain and make you stupid if you take high doses. This is the cause of the retard epidemic.

    3. Fear, racism, and homophobia. Psilocybin is used to treat the fear of death in terminally ill patients. "Recreational" uses of psilocybin in physically healthy humans do exactly the same thing, namely to reduce the sometimes overwhelming fear of mortality. Bigotry comes from fear of the unfamiliar, and psilocybin is the only way that human beings will ever recognize that there is only one race.

    The only way we will pacify the middle east is to set an example against religious fundamentalism. I believe in the No State Solution.

    Fascism comes from individual pathology. This is a public health problem that is reaching epidemic proportions.

    "That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned: That until there are no longer first-class and second class citizens of any nation; That until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes; That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race; That until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained."

    - Haile Selassie I

  • Dead Flag Blues||

    The car's on fire and there's no driver at the wheel
    And the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides
    And a dark wind blows
    The government is corrupt
    And we're on so many drugs
    With the radio on and the curtains drawn

    We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine
    And the machine is bleeding to death

  • Honest T||

    equates choices with diseases, disguises moralizing as science, and casts meddling as medicine

    Although I have been one of Sullum's harshest critics in the past, the quote above totally rocks.

    You go, JS.

  • ||

    I still can't understand how my state gov't (Washington) can allow people to climb our fantastic mountain ranges at will, yet require them under penalty of law to wear a seatbelt while driving to said mountain ranges. And I think it obvious that mountaineering is more dangerous than driving without a seatbelt.

    C'mon, folks--the only reason they haven't made mountaineering illegal yet is because it either:
    1. Hasn't occurred to them (yet)

    or

    2. Wouldn't be profitable.

  • Robert||

    "I still can't understand how my state gov't (Washington) can allow people to climb our fantastic mountain ranges at will, yet require them under penalty of law to wear a seatbelt while driving to said mountain ranges. And I think it obvious that mountaineering is more dangerous than driving without a seatbelt."

    I can understand very well. It's because the only alternative to mountain climbing is no mtn. climbing, while driving with a seat belt is a close substitute for driving without one. Therefore disallowing mtn. climbing would be considered a more severe restriction on liberty than is disallowing driving without a seat belt. Also, Washington made the road, which they could consider driving on to be a privilege, but Washington did not make the mtn.

    There are a lot harder ones to figure than this.

  • ||

    Umm . . . I think you may be missing the point here, Robert. I don't think the folks in Olympia are making laws based upon how much liberty would be restricted.

    My point is simply that it's inconsistent and illogical to not allow an adult to determine for themselves how much they want to expose themselves to danger while driving a car while at the same time imposing no such restrictions on another potentially dangerous activity, like mountain climbing.

    And not to nitpick, but the Feds (our taxes) and the state (our taxes) paid for the roads.

  • Edward||

    Matthew

    Have some balls. Defy the law and don't wear your seatbelt. Live free. Drive recklessly. Smoke.

  • ||

    tros wrote:
    "Government Healthcare" is an oxymoron.

    Not true.

    The more "government healthcare," the healthier the government becomes -- unless you count OBESITY.

  • Ray||

    I've finally read an article that I really do agree with. It makes sense. I have thought this for many years. Why do I need a law to tell me something I should already know. Yes, I know the world is full of stupid people and I am one of them. I have made bad decision over and over again during my last 30 years of life, but they were my bad decisions. This article also brings up the grey area surrounding the level to which I expect the government to protect me for other peoples stupid decisions. I for one do not see a need for me to be the one to encounter someone who made the horrible decision to drink and drive. I count on my tax dollars to pay officers to police those sorts of people and provide consequences for their bad decisions. No one is preventing people from drinking and driving, but our government thinks it is ok to make the choice for us on whether or not our kids should be watching certain TV shows or forcing me to buy car insurance or pay them a premium if I dont. Thats the kind of stuff that I still think I should have the freedom to make a choice on, paying for the freedom is not freedom to me. The governement spends so much time regulating the population when they should spend more time regulating the corporations that run our government. When you give a entity that has no human attributes "accountability" the people that run the corporate entities will never do the right thing. Especially as long as the corporations run the government.

  • Robert||

    "I don't think the folks in Olympia are making laws based upon how much liberty would be restricted."

    Maybe not directly and certainly not exclusively, but indirectly and in part. There would be a lot more opposition to, and less support for, a ban on mountaineering for that reason. Mtn. climbers would be much more put out by a complete ban than are motorists by a mere requirement to wear seat belts.

    "And not to nitpick, but the Feds (our taxes) and the state (our taxes) paid for the roads."

    Either way, it's Washington (in your case).

  • ||

    Sullum once again affirms the Michael Kinsley analysis that the main concern of libertarianism is to protect the right to kill yourself.

  • ||

    It seems more than a coincidence that the increasing blandness of the cultural landscape and the eradication of smoking have proceeded together.

    In the aweseome book I recommend all of you read: "Cigarettes are Sublime", the author analyzes Italo Svevo's The Confessions of Zeno, concluding that living itself was a sort of illness that could only be cured by death, and that taken in that light cigarettes were, to a certain extent, curative. The lack of any significant retort to the efforts to stamp out smoking are indicative of our age's inability to articulate anything a human could aspire to loftier than the accumulation of wealth and health.

  • ||

    Sullum once again affirms the Michael Kinsley analysis that the main concern of libertarianism is to protect the right to kill yourself.

    Where as the main concern of Socialism is to give the power of death strictly to the government.

    You would rather rather see your kids gunned down by an overzealous SWAT team, rather than endanger their lives by smoking pot.

  • ||

    I couldn't have said it better myself.

  • ||

    I'm so happy you're so smart. 80% of the people on earth woke up this morning & wondered what ater to drink. Most dont even have birth certificates - forget about social security numbers. Hey we didnt either 75 yrs ago.
    Your way just isnt working. Shortsightedness, carelessness, weak will is a direct threat to my well being. Please help me wipe the asses of 30 yr olds amputated because of diet & diabetes. Thank you mommy for the sugar rush when I was 2. How do you think I feel knowing black on black violence is rampant & worsening. Visit our jails in NYC & drop in centers to get a whiff on black youths first smell of welfare. Better than being tortured by their mothers. Where did you thi8nk the behavior originates. I only read the first page of your 8 pages. Sorry for the anger but sometimes the only response to an outrageous situation is to be outraged. Are you ready for truth Mr Sullen roger

  • ||

    No need to form up outside for regimented exercise, the telescreen will rat you out...

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