"Some human beings enjoy doing it. Shouldn't that be our principle?"


Here's a bracing embrace (?!?) of individual freedom that should start the heart (?!?) of any patriot on a damp, chilly morning (where I'm calling from, at least), very soon after the idiotic anti-online gambling bill passed:

"If an adult in this country, with his or her own money, wants to engage in an activity that harms no one, how dare we prohibit it because it doesn't add to the GDP or it has no macroeconomic benefit. Are we all to take home calculators and, until we have satisfied the gentleman from Iowa that we are being socially useful, we abstain from recreational activities that we choose?… People have said, What is the value of gambling ? Here is the value. Some human beings enjoy doing it. Shouldn't that be our principle? If individuals like doing something and they harm no one, we will allow them to do it, even if other people disapprove of what they do."

Quick quiz: Who said that (it's from July 11)?

Hint number one: It's a member of Congress.

Hint number two: It's a Democrat.

Hint number three: It was posted at a conservative website.

The answer: It's Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) talking back to Rep. Jim Leach, one of the main forces behind the prohibtionist anti-gambling legislation that passed last week.

Via Andrew Stuttaford at National Review (of all places), via Glenn Greenwald's Unclaimed Territory, via Jason Soneshein's Leave Us Alone!: Somewhere Between Liberal and Libertarian.