Big Government vs. Big Mac

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There's a serious effort in the New York city council to enact new laws limiting the amount of fast food restaurants that can serve certain zones. But the council's made an influential foe in Elizabeth M. Whelan, president of the American Council on Science and Health, who attacks the plan in the New York Sun.

While Big Government was enormously successful in combating infectious diseases with regulatory interventions—such as mandating water chlorination and vaccinations to prevent diseases like polio, diphtheria, and typhoid—in 2006 the greatest threats to the health of New Yorkers are chronic diseases, most of them lifestyle-related and not easily altered by laws.

"Mayor Bloomberg, M.D." and his colleagues on the City Council will not be successful in preventing obesity by restricting burger joints, taxing "junk food," and banning food advertising—all measures that are currently being considered here and in other parts of our fat land.

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  1. Look on the bright side: We can all start opening up Cheeseburger speakeasies and make a killing on the black market.

  2. The black angus market.

  3. Look on the bright side: We can all start opening up Cheeseburger speakeasies and make a killing on the black market.

    Using real butter with real sucrose with real cheese. And well-marbled beef.

    Man, I want a BBQ sandwich right now….

  4. I recommend mandatory treatment for corn syrup junkies.

  5. First they try to ban the Luther Burger, now this. Next thing you know, they are going to declare Manhattan an HFCS-free zone.

  6. Q: “what are you in here for?”

    A: “A double quarter pounder with cheese and extra onions.”

  7. In 1978 F. Paul Wilson wrote about this.

    The title of the story is Lipidleggin’

    It was considered SciFi.

  8. Guess the times really are a-changing. this whole hysteria brings to mind a report I read in the Daily News some 40 years ago. One of their reporters had just returned from Moscow and wrote how those Godless Communists were abusing the civil rights of their people in most personal matters. One thing that got him really mad — THOSE INHUMANE OPRESSORS DID NOT LET THEIR PEOPLE SMOKE IN MOVIE THEATERS. Enough to get ANY Republican mad. Now we seem to be following them, and praising ourselves for it.

  9. They’ll have to pry my cheesesteak out of my cold, dead, fat, greasy hands…

  10. And in related news….NYC Council members are now forming a committe to explore the possibility of making daily exercise a requirement.

  11. Reasons why I absolutely hate liberals. They are a real threat to freedoms. Which is a bigger threat to your freedom, some bureaucrat at NSA listening to a few of the billions of phone calls made everyday or these clowns who are determined to use the full force of government to control what you can eat. That is really the ultimate goal of this; to control what we can eat. These people scare the hell out of me.

  12. Captain Holly, stop that, stop that right now! I can’t take it!

  13. John, I’d like you to meet my friend, False Dichotomy.

    False, John. John, False.

  14. Yeah, the argument over whether there is any part of life inappropriate for a govt nanny to nose in is over. Now what’s left is arguments between rightwing nannystaters and leftwing nannystaters. They’ll wax and wane in power depending on the TV charisma of their politicians. Sometimes they’ll be coming for your birth control and porn. Other times they’ll want your ciggies and cheeseburgers.

  15. I saw an episode of The Glen Beck Show a week or so ago where he was in Pittsburgh and he ate a Primanti’s Sandwich. I guess this place is pretty well known in Pittsburgh…but it had Pastrami, Cheese, Coleslaw, French Fries, Tomatoes, and I think a fried egg. It probably weighed about five pounds.

    Man, I gotta get to Pittsburgh…

  16. Now that I’ve stopped drooling on the keyboard, my point was that there will probably be a no-knock raid on Primanti’s any day now.

  17. I wonder how this will affect other foods popular with New Yorkers (and usually eaten in a similar manner to “fast food” such as:
    – New York-style pizza
    – Coney Island hot dogs
    – Bagels (usually full of fat) loaded with cream cheese – though smoked salmon has Omega-3
    – Potato Knishes & Blintzes (not exactly diet fare)
    – almost anything eaten in Chinatown
    You see where I’m going here. The article was short on details but seemed to indicate the targets were almost exclusively burger & fries establishments.

    I don’t see this actually happening…the contitutional issues – and the potential for lawsuits – are astounding.

    Have any of these ass clowns been to a fast food place lately? Mickey Ds is pushing salads and bottled water and Arby’s is pushing cold cuts. The only one going in the opposite direction is Hardees – though Burger King does get points or the Smokehouse watchjobber with the onion rings and BBQ sauce.

  18. Why is it a false dichotomy? The bitch around here about Repbublicans among many seems to be the NSA anti-terrorism “wiretaps”. I don’t see any Republicans other than Bloomburg who support this kind of crap. I am just rather live with the NSA than having people tell me what I can and cannot eat.

  19. Reasons why I absolutely hate liberals. They are a real threat to freedoms.

    Yeah…good thing conservatives aren’t trying to outlaw stuff and tell people how to live while gutting contitutional protections. Oh wait…they are.

  20. Madpad,

    This is mostly a cultural thing. A way for liberal elites to instruct their inferiors in the ways of the world. Notice they never complain about the fat content of high end restaurants or Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. Only places like McDonalds and other places where poor (read inferior) people go.

  21. i’ve only had the “luck” to live in leftwing nannystateland ™.

    let’s recap – WA state.

    democrats criminalized online poker to make it a felony, the same as auto theft. yet, there are casinos on every block. hypocrisy much? they made it illegal to even LINK to a online poker site, as “facilitating” it. most pundits think the latter provision is unconstitututional btw. blatant violation of free speech. only a democrat could pass such a law.

    democrats made it illegal to smoke in ANY private business and WITHIN 25 ft of the business. i detest smoking with every fiber of my soul, but this is still bogus legislation. choice? of course not. you have no CHOICE

    democrats passed the Critical Areas Ordinance (google it) which is like Kelo on Steroids. frankly, it’s worse than Kelo, which is hard to imagine. all in the name of the ‘environment’

    in seattle, the city council now makes it a CRIME to dispose of recyclables in your trash. they also authorize trash workers to “search” your trash for recyclables. note that the WA supreme court doesn’t even let cops investigating CRIMES (real ones) search trash w.o a warrant.

    seattle city council also prohibits their cops from asking ANYBODY their residency status. even somebody under arrest for a felony.

    during an illegal immigrant march in seattle recently, the seattle police took in 3 males for “questioning” WITHOUT probable cause – because they were carrying firearms. LAWFULLY. with concealed weapons permits. but somebody tipped off the cops that these guys were “packing” (WA is a shall issue state btw due to its constitution – although dems try to strip this right every chance they get), and they were carrying anti-illegal immigration signs, at a frigging illegal immigration rights march, so that justified a mandatory ride to the precinct and detention that the cops claimed was not an arrest, but done to check them out for any safety concerns?!?!?!?

    when you add on the orwellian speech codes favored by the left, hate crime statutes (thoughtcrime anyone?), their attempts to ban military recruiters from all public campuses (choice again does not matter when it’s a choice to join the “homophobic militaryindustrial complex ™”), etc. etc.

    i’ll take rightwing nannystate over a leftwing nannystate anyday, although i would prefer neither.

  22. Madpad,

    I didn’t necessarily endorse Republicans. My point is that I think these types of things along with crap like DUI check points (in fairness favored by politicians of both parties it seems) infringes on my freedom a hell of a lot more than what the Republicans are doing. I doubt my phone will be tapped anytime soon or that I will want to have a gay marriage, but I very well may want to have a big mac someday.

  23. And in related news….NYC Council members are now forming a committe to explore the possibility of making daily exercise a requirement.

    First of all: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    Secondly, how are they to enforce this requirement? They’ll either have to test everybody on some regular basis (which will cost riduculous sums of $$$) or, what? I don’t know, install monitoring devices?

    When I was working for a paper outside of Pittsburgh, the borough council was given a presentation by these guys who install borough-wide WiFi.

    The men’s selling point?

    “It allows the borough to put wireless cameras anywhere you want. Installs in seconds.”

  24. Madpad,

    See the better examples given by whit.

  25. Look Whit, we all know that Democrats and the people who vote for them are totalitarian, racist, and vicious.

    But Democrats and Republicans are really the same party. The Republicans support a certain type of facism, like NSA wiretaps, while the Democrats support other types of facism, like the nannie state totalitarianism.

    There is no “right-wing” or “left-wing” facism. Both the left wing and the right wing are apparatus of the same political machine. The left-right tug of war is an illusion designed to keep you so blinded by your hatred of the Democrats that you are willing to support the Republicans (who are really one and the same as the Democrats).

    The whole Dem/Repub left/right tug of war is just another version of “tastes great/less filling”.

  26. I’d be content to say that cracking down on fast food won’t solve any problems if people don’t make good choices. You don’t need to be a medical researcher to realize that overindulgence will cause health problems, regardless of whether that overindulgence happens in a burger joint, an upscale restaurant, or the privacy of your own kitchen. I don’t see that we need to turn this into a battle over which party is worse.

    Those who wish to score partisan points are, of course, free to do so.

  27. Whit does have some good examples and well worth considering. None of this, of course, make conservatives “good” in my book.

    As an aside, regarding the police arresting the fellow for “packing”, I don’t think you can put that one all on liberals. While I don’t admire the liberal stance of trying to take away my gun rights, I have never met a police officer that wasn’t for gun control – usually the heavier the better.

    It is not unusual for me to hear of police officers hassling honest, law-abiding gun owners for the sin of merely doing what their permits allow them to do.

    I know there are exceptions, of course, and I’m not trying to indict cops as whole of anti-contitutional behavior. But it’s an open secret that police in general would just rather noone else but them be able to possess, let alone carry, a gun.

    I’ve I had to hold me breath every time I walked up to a car or knocked on a door, I might feel the same way.

  28. That’s “If I had to hold my breath…”

  29. ” I have never met a police officer that wasn’t for gun control – usually the heavier the better. ”

    really? i know several dozen cops. almost exclusively, they are against gun control. i live in a right to carry state, though. maybe all the pro gun control police only work in the gun control states. i do KNOW that statisically speaking the majority of cops do NOT support gun control. iirc, i read that in the FBI law enforcement journal. i also know that the IACP does support gun control, which suprises me not since police chiefs are politicians, not cops

    i also dispute the question begging above that NSA wiretapping is “fascism”.

    sorry. nice rhetoric though

  30. making daily exercise a requirement

    They used to have that at my high school.
    They called it “gym” class.
    How quaint.

  31. “Which is a bigger threat to your freedom, some bureaucrat at NSA listening to a few of the billions of phone calls made everyday or these clowns who are determined to use the full force of government to control what you can eat.”

    can’t we agree that both should choke on a deep-fried liberty patty?

  32. There’s a serious effort in the New York city council to enact new laws limiting the amount of fast food restaurants that can serve certain zones.

    This isn’t really a crackdown on fast food or the amount of it you can eat per se. It’s more like protectionism for whatever joints get left standing after they try to use zoning to limit fast food restaurant “concentration”. Oughtta be some long lines!

  33. where do u live madpad? i am in liberal seattle, and most cops i know TOTALLY think gun control is fascist and retarded

  34. Taktix – I was being facetious with my exercise requirement. It is scary that we live in an era that something like that can be believable.

    Anyway, regulating ‘fast food’ is a done deal in a decade?s time. I was naive a decade ago about banning smoking in private places, but the smoking bans have gone through very easily. This is not that big of a leap (a leap yes, but not a big one).

    Wait until they get Universal Health Care – then they will start to regulate the hell out of anything considered harmful. And yes, daily exercise could be a requirement. I can see the logic now….Hey, if I?m directly paying for that guy?s health care, I better vote to make sure his fat ass jogs every now and then.

  35. Taktix – I was being facetious with my exercise requirement. It is scary that we live in an era that something like that can be believable.

    Anyway, regulating ‘fast food’ is a done deal in a decade?s time. I was naive a decade ago about banning smoking in private places, but the smoking bans have gone through very easily. This is not that big of a leap (a leap yes, but not a big one).

    Wait until they get Universal Health Care – then they will start to regulate the hell out of anything considered harmful. And yes, daily exercise could be a requirement. I can see the logic now….Hey, if I?m directly paying for that guy?s health care, I better vote to make sure his fat ass jogs every now and then.

  36. Taktix – I was being facetious with my exercise requirement. It is scary that we live in an era that something like that can be believable.

    Anyway, regulating ‘fast food’ is a done deal in a decade’s time. I was naive a decade ago about attempts to ban smoking in private places, but the smoking bans have gone through very easily. This is not that big of a leap (a leap yes, but not a big one).

    Wait until they get Universal Health Care – then they will start to regulate the hell out of anything considered harmful. And yes, daily exercise could be a requirement. I can see the logic now….Hey, if I’m directly paying for that guy’s health care, I better vote to make sure his fat ass jogs every now and then.

  37. I have no idea how many times I hit the post button. sorry.

  38. Beth Whelan’s all wet if she thinks education would make a significant impact on obesity. I fuckin’ teach Nutrition (college course) and I’m obese! It’s about desire, not knowledge. Even after my recent heart attack I’ve lost some weight but now my appetite has rebounded.

    As to the relative proclivities of “left” and “right” (at least in the USA in this area), the “right”, and frequently populists, want to restrict behaviors of minorities, usually relatively small ones, but not the things that most people or large enough minorities want to do. The “left” wants to restrict the things that the majority or large enough minorities want to do, and to restrict them for their own ostensible benefit. Also, the “right” is willing to apply widespread criminal sanctions to both the behavers and their facilitators, while the “left” is usually content to criminalize the facilitators of the target behavior, applying only civil sanctions against the behavers themselves.

  39. i disagree

    imo, the right is more prone to want to protect people from others, whereas the left wants to protect people from themselves. either tendency can (and does) sometimes result in restrictions of civil liberties

    more importantly, imo, the left is far more prone to criminalizing thoughtcrimes ™

  40. i am in liberal seattle, and most cops i know TOTALLY think gun control is fascist and retarded

    Then why did they arrest the law-abiding citizesn for carrying guns with permits?

    This was your example, not mine. I sincerely doubt they picked them up because “liberals” on the street corner goaded them into it.

    As for your example of police being anti-gun control, what about all the police organizations that rallied behind the Brady bill and the assault weapons bans.

    Maybe we’re in a game of semantics. To most gun rights types, gun control means any restriction – even permitting. To others, such as myself, permitting is generally acceptable as long as a law-abiding citizen is allowed free and unfettered access. But it’s still gun control.

    It’s possible I over-stated police sentiments on the issue. But I imagine most police officers probably fall into the same camp I do as they have a vested interest in limiting the availability of guns to criminals. Doesn’t that translate into gun control?

  41. they took the guy in…

    wait for it…

    because their SUPERVISORS told them to do it.

    they took the men in under orders from a supervisor. this is the same type of supervisor who told the cops not to act when kris kime was being beaten to death during a race riot. political correctness run amok

    this is already documented…
    it was on supervisor’s orders

    and again, you miss the point

    the IACP rallied behind the brady bill

    the IACP does not represent COPS

    it represents POLICE CHIEFS – e.g. copocrat politicians

    please note that i already made that distinction

  42. washington state btw. does not require a permit to carry – only to carry concealed

    open carry does not require a permit

    limiting criminals gun access may or may not fall under “gun control” depending on how much of a semantical wank you want to employ

    fwiw, most cops i know support the right of non-felons to carry firearms on their persons

    by most reasonable metrics, this would place them firmly in the gun rights camp, not the gun control camp

    fwiw, i have also never heard of a cop being shot by somebody who was legally carrying a firearm

    this is not to say it doesn’t happen, but in all the cases i am aware of (i work in the court system, and am very up on case law and incidents) – cops are shot by felons (guys who are ALREADY felons) with guns.

  43. imo, the right is more prone to want to protect people from others, whereas the left wants to protect people from themselves. either tendency can (and does) sometimes result in restrictions of civil liberties

    I’ve never seen a liberty that a right-winger wouldn’t want banned if they thought they could get away with it..especially the religious ones.

    Trust me, if some kook could make it a religious issue, the right would be trying to ban fatty food just like they try to ban books, booze and dancing.

  44. Alright whit…you’ve convinced me. I’ll, of course do some checking, but you have successfully challenged my assumptions regarding police attitude toward gun control.

    How’s that for a thread on fatty food, eh?

  45. sweet, madpad. trust me on the cop thang. my n=many. cops are disgusted that people think IACP positions represent THEIR positions. they do not. i totally disagree with you on the relative threats of the left vs. right but i can’t win em all 🙂

  46. i totally disagree with you on the relative threats of the left vs. right but i can’t win em all

    I guess the northwestern right winger is a bit tamer than the southeastern variety. Don’t get me wrong…I’ll take a moderate repulican over just about any other candidate.

    But IMHO, while Left wingers are no picnic, Religious Conservatives downright dangerous. They are far more ruthless and self-oriented than any other kind of political animal.

  47. “Why is it a false dichotomy?”

    Because you offered a choice. You asked the following:

    “Which is a bigger threat to your freedom, some bureaucrat at NSA listening to a few of the billions of phone calls made everyday or these clowns who are determined to use the full force of government to control what you can eat.”

    From where I sit, they’re equally odious. Only a contemptible do-gooding fascist would attempt to regulate what the content of one’s meal is.

    Likewise, only an uber-paranoid, tinfoil hat statist would believe it necessary to spy on the communications of the citizens of a supposedly free nation.

  48. no, mediageek

    they are not just spying on the communications of free citizens.

    they are spying on those who are making phone calls to known al qaeda contacts outside the US boundaries. that’s a GOOD thing

    yout post is either disingenuous or a bold faced lie depending on how generous one is

  49. the right is more prone to want to protect people from others

    For some reason, I don’t think we’ll ever run out of “others”.

    Is it safe yet?

  50. Mediageek,

    So if someone comes over here from Afghanistan and calls back to a known Al Quada contact in Saudi Arabia, you are a tinfoil hat statist if you think maybe the government ought to be listening into that conversation? Moreover, only a tinfoil hat statist would think that the government ought to use computer algorythym to run through the billions of phone calls made every day in hopes of locating that call and others like it so that they can listen to it?

  51. “Why is it a false dichotomy?”

    Because you offered a choice.

    Is it a false dichotomy whenever a choice is offered?

    I can see it now…..”Would you like paper or plastic, mam?” “Hey now, there you go again with your false dichotomies…how do youexpect me to answer that?”

  52. It’s not a false dichotomy when a choice is offered, nor is it a false dichotomy when the two thing differ to the degree they do in the original example – the fact that the two choices were BOTH reprehensible to mediageek doesn’t make it a false dichotomy.

    It’s a false dichotomy when two things that should be mutually exclusive aren’t. For example:

    Dichotomy: Would you like paper OR plastic?

    False Dichotomy: Would you like paper OR would you like to ride a bike?

  53. Oops..I’m wrong. Glad I checked.

    False dichotomy is when anly 2 choices are offered and more choices are actually available.

    Paper OR plastic is a false dichotomy if say, wicker baskets are also offered.

  54. regardless of what everyone else says, you really are a pretty good guy, madpad. Its just a shame you are so damn liberal.

    (jokes)

  55. “they are not just spying on the communications of free citizens.”

    Um. DUH.

    “they are spying on those who are making phone calls to known al qaeda contacts outside the US boundaries. that’s a GOOD thing”

    Yes, but what isn’t a good thing is that they feel the need to spy on people who have nothing whatsoever to do with any form of terrorism. For reference please see the recent stories about the NSA tapping into and sorting through all of the internet traffic that travels through a central hub on, iirc, the west coast.

    “yout post is either disingenuous or a bold faced lie depending on how generous one is”

    Oooooh. Yet another false dichotomy.

  56. “So if someone comes over here from Afghanistan and calls back to a known Al Quada contact in Saudi Arabia, you are a tinfoil hat statist if you think maybe the government ought to be listening into that conversation? Moreover, only a tinfoil hat statist would think that the government ought to use computer algorythym to run through the billions of phone calls made every day in hopes of locating that call and others like it so that they can listen to it?”

    The bottom line is that the government should not be spying on the citizens of the USA unless they have reasonable suspicion and a warrant. The NSA sifting through all manner of cell/landline/internet communications in hopes of maybe finding something should be utterly offensive to anyone who cherishes liberty.

    But I guess you and whit will continue to make thinly-veiled accusations that I somehow support terrorists.

  57. As relates to John’s post…it’s not a false dichotomy because he specifically asks which of 2 are worse. He doesn’t infer that another option can’t be worse. Nor does he infer that there are only 2 bad things. He just posits that one has a greater impact on his freedoms and that’s merely a matter of opinion.

    In general, mediageek just plain didn’t like either one. But it’s not – as I read it anyway – a false dichotomy.

  58. What is with all this Right vs. Left bullshit? They are fucking nannystater facists regardless if they are Dems or Repubs (Ron Paul excluded). I don’t care if they want to restrict my right to carry a gun or restrict what I eat/drink/smoke. Either one is inexcusable!

  59. Kwix nails it.

  60. Want proof, let’s look at the Brady Bill shall we?
    Senate Votes
    House Votes

    If the Republicans had all voted to uphold the citizen’s right to the 2nd amendment this bill would have gone down in flames. But that, as they say, is history.

  61. thanks gramma. Backhanded compliments are my favorite kind.

    Sadly, I suffer from a malady common to free-thinking individuals everywhere. My liberal friends all call me conservative and my conservative friends all call me a liberal. That I have friends at all in these partisan times often strikes me as miraculous. I suspect I’m kept around largely for entertainment value. And a make a mean margarita.

    My wife and kids seem to genuinely like me though. And the dog. The dog’s cool to me, too.

  62. Kwix does, indeed, nail it

  63. I’m plenty against this sort of regulation, though I’m fine with imposing labelling and informational requirements on larger chain operations. But gee, what a surprise that the mesure is vocally opposed by an organization that specializes in defending the likes of large oil, chemical, pharma and processed-food companies against public-health-related charges and gets its funding largely from the likes of… the oil, chemical, pharma and processed-food industries.

    For a magazine and foundation that purport to occupy a phiosophically-based high ground, you folks certainly do pass along quite a bit of astroturfing without questioning it. A rightside from the New York Sun, no less.

  64. Regarding police officers and gun control:

    Several magazines published specifically for police offers have surveyed their readership on gun control. The trend was that most police officers who actually walked a beat on the street (the majority) tended to oppose gun control. However, higher-ranking officers such as police chiefs and commissioners were more likely to support gun control. (It has been noted that the latter tend to be more “political” and had incentives to publicly align themselves with their city mayors, who in big cities are more likely to be liberal Democrats.)

    I originally looked this info up some years ago and posted it on the now-defunct forum intellectualoutcastscafe.com. Right now I am having a hard time finding the info. So far I’ve turned up that Law Enforcement Technology did a survey of its readership (mostly cops) in 1991 and found that 75% opposed gun control. And every year some national association of police chiefs does a survey every year and the 2006 survey found that 90%+ of police chiefs “favor individual gun rights” but that’s a little vague for me. Another publication that did a survey was Southern something-or-other-related-to-police, but it might be culturally (because regionally) more biased against gun control than the country as a whole. That’s all I can find or remember right now.

    If I have time later, I’ll try to post some links. Although I am also handicapped by Reason’s “one link per post” rule.

  65. they took the guy in…
    wait for it…

    because their SUPERVISORS told them to do it.

    Just following orders, civilian, nothing wrong with that, now is there?

  66. Yeah, seriously! I’ve got two blond-haired blue eyed kids to feed! You expect me to NOT “just follow orders”?

    Now where are my flash grenades…

  67. stevo, great post. especially since it confirmed my memory and posting. 🙂

    you are right. it was not FBI Law Enforcement Journal that the article was in. It was Law Enforcement Technology.

    the results are also very common sense. *real* cops are against gun control – iow those who actually DO police work (and who also happen not to be spineless political appointees) realize that gun control hurts law abiding citizens, justice, and cops for that matter

    also note that this has zero to do with selfish interests so to speak, since cops can carry even in the most restrictive states pretty much anywhere “on their badge”, yet they support the right of the ‘average joe’ to carry a gun too.

    i think this is an underreported (and as seen in this thread) a misunderstood phenomenon. if there is ever a good piece of evidence that gun rights are good for law abiding citizens and bad for criminals, it is the fact that those that know the most about crime and criminals are NOT pro gun control

    it also belies the anti-gun leftists’ claims as being somehow for “power to the people”. there is nothing more disempowering to a citizen than taking away his ability to defend himself.

    not to mention that gun control disproportionately negatively affects – women (since they are physically weaker), blacks (since they are far more likely to be the victims of violent crime), etc.

    i also think the poster who had claimed that those against gay marriage “hate” gays might want to use that same “logic” against the left cause the left does not support the right of gays (or straights) to carry guns in self defense

    few things offer more of a deterrent to a gay basher, than a centerpunched .40 S&W jacketed hollowpoint (except maybe a .45 acp 🙂

  68. What is with all this Right vs. Left bullshit? They are fucking nannystater facists regardless if they are Dems or Repubs

    Agreed. “Power” seems to be a more reliable indicator of nanny-state tendencies than Left or Right. Proof: all my liberal friends here in NYC are more conservative than the average Democrat on city council. Is it any surprise that the desire to run the city correlates with the desire to run people’s lives?

  69. whit…you had me up to the gay bit. Then the ice started to crack around your hyperbole.

    In the end, the whole liberal-bashing plain doesn’t hold up to the similar – or equally bad – offenses on the right.

    Interesting attempt, though.

  70. John, the reason you’re taking heat is because you are inconsistent. You hate liberals for the same thing GOPers do. Most of us around here hate invasions of our privacy and government-knows-best attitudes, and we don’t see a whole lot of difference between Dems and GOPers. If Bill Clinton was behind the wiretapping, would you think it OK? Your posts seem to classify invasions of privacy and nanny-statism as acceptable as long as those promoting your particular point of view are the one’s doing it. That isn’t a belief system, that’s partisan hackery.

  71. i also think the poster who had claimed that those against gay marriage “hate” gays might want to use that same “logic” against the left cause the left does not support the right of gays (or straights) to carry guns in self defense

    At least “the left” (who are neither universal nor the only supporters of gun control) apply their desire to control guns to everyone equally. Unlike your discriminatory desire to control marriage.

  72. hey rhywun, try some READING COMPREHENSION

    i never said i didn’t support gay marriage.

    i said that many who did do not HATE gays

    duh

    and of course marriage discriminates. it discriminates also against polygamists, and people who want to marry their sister.

    the question is

    1) is it a legal discrimination (iow, is it constitutional to do so)
    2) is it good as a policy issue to do so (discriminate against incestuous marriages, gay marriages, polygamous/polyandrous marriages)

    those are legitimate questions.

    saying people who think marriage should be limited to monogamist “opposite sex” (i don’t believe men and women are “opposite) couples = “hate” is where the rhetoric gets stupid

    and the left does nto discriminate against everyon e equally vis a vis gun control

    for example, the rallying cry against “saturday night specials” was a rallying cry against INEXPENSIVE guns which clearly does not affect everyone equal. it singles out poor people, whom the left SUPPOSEDLY want to help

    and despite what somebody claimed above, i don’t think either the left/right or liberals/conservatives are blameless.

    i think they BOTH SUCK

    i just think that liberals, on average, tend to suck more – when it comes to civil liberties, rights, and freedoms.

    that is not just supported by the case law i have read, but by my personal experiences.

    “all politics is local”

    here in WA state
    1) internet gambling a felony
    2) smoking prohibited in all private businesses and 25 ft from same
    3) lap dances prohibited
    4) private property confiscated without compensation (at least kelo gives compensation) by the CAO
    5) unconstitutional “no free speech zones” during WTO
    6) hate crime laws
    7) criminalization of recycling laws

    are all LOCAL laws that affect me (potentially) and all were passed by liberals who want to control people’s personal lives.

    the nannystate sux.

  73. i never said i didn’t support gay marriage.

    Sorry if I inferred otherwise from your words. However, your continual insistence on equating gays with those who practice incest and polygamy speaks volumes.

  74. I suppose it could be true that not everyone that supports a ban on gay marriage hates gays. In much the same way that supporters of laws banning blacks from eating at the same restaurants and attending the same schools as whites did not hate black people. Just like the segregationists of the past, gay marriage ban supporters are only interested in protecting their beloved institutions from the ravages that will inevitably be inflicted upon them by a certain undesirable group of people. But it has nothing to do with hate, just a reasonable belief that not everyone deserves equal rights and equal treatment under the law.

  75. Whit & Rhywun,
    This whole marriage thing is pretty damn simple. Eliminate the government sponsorship of any form of marriage. Allow only civil unions, and then allow those for as many people as want to be involved. If your church rejects gay polygamous marriage the government has it covered. If my church enforces gay/mixed/polygamous marriage then the governemnent has me covered as well. No church, no problem, Uncle Sam will cover that civil union too! If you get married to more than one person at a time, maybe a discount for paperwork filing is in order but other than that the government should have ZERO say in any consentual relationship or transaction.

  76. whit,

    “in seattle, the city council now makes it a CRIME to dispose of recyclables in your trash. they also authorize trash workers to “search” your trash for recyclables. note that the WA supreme court doesn’t even let cops investigating CRIMES (real ones) search trash w.o a warrant.”

    I’ve been waiting for this to happen in San Francisco. I sure hope it doesn’t happen across the bay in Alameda County. The day someone is authorized to search my garbage on a weekly basis will be the day I say “enough” and get busy with a lawsuit against my local government.

    Well, I hope I’d have the gumption to do it…

  77. My point is that I think these types of things along with crap like DUI check points (in fairness favored by politicians of both parties it seems) infringes on my freedom a hell of a lot more than what the Republicans are doing. I doubt my phone will be tapped anytime soon or that I will want to have a gay marriage

    And I’m not black, so it’s no skin off my nose if the darkies can’t vote. Such laws didn’t infringe upon my freedom at all.

  78. madpad,

    “Trust me, if some kook could make it a religious issue, the right would be trying to ban fatty food just like they try to ban books, booze and dancing.”

    You bet they would. Isn’t gluttony a sin, after all?

    Probably what has stopped them so far is that if you take away drink, tobacco, dancing, and sex, there ain’t a whole lot remaining but food and general sloth to indulge yourself in…and most still need an outlet of some kind.

  79. This whole marriage thing is pretty damn simple. Eliminate the government sponsorship of any form of marriage.

    I’ve seen that point many times here, and it’s an attractive idea – but I don’t think it’s at all plausible. We all know that getting the state OUT of some business is a lot harder than getting it in. Therefore, this argument is still worth having.

  80. true, van. Those Southern Baptist conservatives do like their barbecue & sweet tea.

    BTW whit, regarding your feelings that liberals are better than conservatives on some nannystate issues you care about. Your list of issues included smoking & smokers rights.

    If you haven’t already seen it, check out Jacob Sollum’s latest post regarding today’s Surgeon General’s report. That’s the current surgeon general…appointed by a conservative. Seems he wants smoking outlawed where politically feasable.

    Personally, I could care less about smokers as long as they smoke at least 25 feet away from me (the 25 ft thing is a joke so laugh, dammit) and don’t give their welfare brats emphesema.

    But it helps me maintain my assertion that in their heart of hearts, conservatives are no better than liberals.

  81. the smoking thing is a matter of PRIVATE business. assume for the sake of argument that 2nd hand smoke is dangerous . SO WHAT? in a private business, if u don’t want the exposure – don’t go there, and don’t work there.

    a *real* libertarian respects the right of private business owners, and patrons to make their OWN decisions about these risks. a nannystate proponent does not

    a free market means that any business owner can CHOOSE to ban smoking, but the state won’t MAKE them do it. that’s the difference

    i don’t care if the surgeon general is repub or dem. that’s not the point. i said that repubs, IN general, are better with civil rights and liberties imo. i have also said they BOTH suck.

    “However, your continual insistence on equating gays with those who practice incest and polygamy speaks volumes.”

    you are lying. i never equated anybody. this is not about equting people, it’s about marraige. furthermore, do *you* have something AGAINST polygamy. why shouldn’t polygamists have “equal rights’ to marry? there is far more biological and historical basis for polygamy than there is for gay marriage, and at least as much EPClause claim.

    i never EQUATED anybody. gay marriage is not about how much gays are or aren’t like polygamists, or people who do incest (pwdi)

    but marriage discrimination discriminates against ALL 3 groups.

    so, it is instructive, especially if one is making an equal protection clause argument to determine which, if ANY of the marriage prohibitions is

    1) constitutional
    2) good policy

    *if* one accepts an EPC argument, then *clearly* polygamy is at least as legally required, if not MORE so, than gay marriage

    the primary difference is that polyamists don’t have a strong lobby and political advocacy

    on a historical and practical basis, there is clearly far mor precendent for polygAmy than gay marriage.

    as for incest, apart from the birth defects argument (which would be irrelevant among same sex couples or those with infertile members), similar arguments could be made

    i get very tired of those who SUPPOSEDLY view gay marriage as a right, and those who are against gay marriage as being ‘discriminatory’ against gays – then FAIL to apply similar standardds to polygamists and those who are pro incest

    it also amazes me the lack of reading comprehension.

    just because i am pro-chocie doesn’t mean i have personally had an abortion.

    similarly, just because i argue that many (most) anti-gay marriage folks are not “haters’ does not mean i am anti-gay marriage.

  82. oh btw. what makes you think the current surgeon general was appointed “by a conservative”

    if he was appointed by bush, he clearly was NOT appointed by a conservative.

    bush is not a conservative.

    he’s a right moderate with authoritarian tendencies.

  83. bush is not a conservative

    I hear that argument a lot…from conservatives. I see some merit in it. But since he ran as a conservative and millions of conservatives put him there (twice) AND most of his cabinet, staff and court picks are conservatives from my view all we’re arguing are points of style. Some of his decisions are plainly NOT conservative but in general, if it walks like a duck…

    In any case, you and I appear to agree they both suck so I say, let’s go get a beer. I’m drinking Fosters…how ’bout you?

  84. Police opinions on gun control, links…

    Links are getting harder to find, I think because the surveys are now around 15 years old. But here are some:

    (Having trouble posting a post with multiple links … remove spaces after the W’s.)

    www. io.com/~velte/cop-poll.htm

    www. ohioccw.org/index.php?option=com_kb&Itemid=57&page=articles&articleid=23

    mensnewsdaily.com/blog/kouri/2006/03/2006-police-chiefs-poll-terrorism-gun_02.html

    Site no longer available, but the Google cache is.

  85. i don’t care how he marketed himself.

    he is NOT a conservative

    reagan could claim that mantle.

    bush – i couldn’t veto a spending bill if my life depended on it – cannot.

    sure conservatives, in the large part voted for him. and liberals didn’t. that’s kind of irrelevant.

    conservatives will tend to vote for any candidate right of center, over one that is left of center. bush is most definitely right of center – he’s just not a conservative.

    similarly, clinton was left of center – but not a liberal.

    clinton was a left moderate (prodeath penalty, etc.)

    Kerry can certainly claim the mantle of liberal, although he ran from the label.

    i consider myself a right moderate, but i have a libertarian tendency, whereas bush has an authoritarian tendency. and he spends like a second wife with a platinum card.

    i am drinking a redhook ESB

    good on ya mate

  86. If you think Smoking bans are of the left wing creation, I offer this.

    NYC smoking ban was first brought to light by a Republican mayor. That was in effect until a Republican govenor signed a state wide smoking ban.

    In the state of Arkansas the new smoking ban was signed by a Republican govenor.
    Arkansas is attempting to ban smoking in your CAR!!! This is supported by their Republican govener.

    Neither side has a monopoly on creating laws that replaces your freedom to choose with government
    dictation.

    When we, as a society start arguing which side of government is restricing best, we are screwed and freedom becomes something we no longer defend.

  87. nobody said either side has a monopoly

    here we go with the strawmen again.

    i said, fwiw, that imo and ime, the left is worse.

    but they both suck

    again, and i have seen this time and again (living in dem run states), dems TEND to want to ‘protect us from ourselves’ whereas repubs spend more time with external enemies (real or contrived).

    in practical effect, ime, this makes the dems worse on a relative level of suckitude scale.

    sure, there are some republicans who support smoking bans. some also support gun control *(guiliani and ahnold come to mind), however it’s still primarily a left wing problem in the same way that despite the fact that SOME dems support gun rights, the oppositions to gun rights PRIMARILY come from the left

  88. i am drinking a redhook ESB

    Redhook…haven’t had one of those in a while.

    BTW, I see your TEND and raise you a TREND…as in conservatives have TENDed to be less ‘save us from ourselves” but now are TRENDing to become just as big a pain in the ass as the liberals. Saddest of all is that most self-identified conservatives have drifted along with the increasingly rationalized positions to the point that most don’t resemble a conservative of even 5 years ago.

    But as the drift to nannydom is by no means complete, I’ll enjoy the admittedly still modest differences…for the short time they’re likely to last.

    And I’ll pray. That makes me feel better. That and beer. And margaritas. Did I mention martinis? And kosher hotdogs. Which, interestingly enough, is pretty close to where I got on this bus yesterday.

  89. if u want to read about some truly chilling pc-nannystate thought control caselaw

    check out…

    http://www.thefire.org

    great case law cites

  90. whit…checked it out briefly. Very interesting. Thanks.

  91. i get very tired of those who SUPPOSEDLY view gay marriage as a right, and those who are against gay marriage as being ‘discriminatory’ against gays – then FAIL to apply similar standardds to polygamists and those who are pro incest

    You see anything that’s not monogomous and hetero as part of some ‘other’ category that has to be dealt with all at once. The world ain’t that simple.

  92. no, *i* don’t see it that way

    society does.

    see, there is this pesky little reality that the centuries old human created institution of marriage *has* previously previously included incestuous and polygamous marriages.

    those are not fundamental redefinitions of same. gay marriage *is*. that’s factual, not even debatable.

    so, at a minimum, *if* some are pushing gay marriage as an EPC/Rights issue, then we don’t deny those same rights to those who are discriminated against, but don’t happen to have the same Rosie odonnell friendly pressure groups.

    to paraphrase – apparently some are more equal than others (rolls eyes)

  93. oh also…

    by the op’s (moronic) “logic” that all who oppose gay marriage (like the democratic party platform does, but i digress) are “hateful”, then i hope same OP includes all those GAY PEOPLE who for many many years have argued in the advocate, the Village Voice, etc. that gays shouldn’t get married, nor should there be such a thing as “gay marriage” (one argument runs that marriage is a heteronormative institution that gays should not buy into). maybe those are “self hating gays” (rolls eyes… again)

    oh, the irony

  94. (rolls eyes) … (rolls eyes… again)

    Guess what? Random writers in The Advocate and The Village Voice don’t speak for all gays.

    But anyway, I give up – have it your way. From now on, when two of my gay friends tell me that they want the same recognition, rights, and responsibilities that man/woman unions have always enjoyed, I’ll tell them that their fight is meaningless unless it includes incest and polygamy. All or nothing!

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