Ron Paul

Don't You Go Using the Phrase "Nanny State"! Think of the Children!

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A telling exchange in that New York Times interview with Rand Paul that Jesse Walker linked to below:

You shall not behave in an erring manner

Mainstream Republicans seem concerned that their party is being taken over by "angry white guys," as Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina senator, said. He doesn't want you to hijack the Republican Party.

I think this quote you are reading is about my father and not me.

But in light of your distrust of the federal government, where are you on an issue like seat belts? Federal legislation requiring people to wear seat belts could obviously save lives.

I think the federal government shouldn't be involved. I don't want to live in a nanny state where people are telling me where I can go and what I can do.

You shouldn't trivialize issues of health and safety by calling them nanny issues.

The question is, do you want to live in a nanny state where the government tells you what you can eat, where you can smoke, where you can live, what you can do, or would you rather have some freedom, and freedom means that things aren't perfect?

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  1. Is that reporter total-Stalinist?

    1. One of the “safest” things that could happen in this country (that is saves the most lives) would be to take every person who works at the NYT and torture them for weeks before aborting them.

      Safety First!

  2. You shouldn’t trivialize issues of health and safety by calling them nanny issues.

    You shouldn’t highlight nanny issues by calling them issues of health and safety.

    1. I think what the interviewer meant was “You shouldn’t trivialize issues of health and safety by calling them nanny issues and expect to be taken seriously.”

      1. I really wish reason would upgrade its troll. This one sucks.

        1. I never understood why elfen safety laws apply to me. I’m a man, gosh darnit.

          1. Don’t you mean elven?

    2. Dang…you got punked!

  3. You shouldn’t trivialize issues of health and safety by calling them nanny issues.

    You shouldn’t trivialize basic liberties, such the right to be left the hell alone unless I am harming you, by calling them health and safety issues.

    NYT edit:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    Fixed!

    1. You forgot to cross out “the general” before the world “welfare”.

      1. We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union an all-power central government, establish Justice Control, insure domestic Tranquility health and safety, provide for the common defence military-industrial complex, promote the general Welfare State, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to take unfathomable amounts of debt on ourselves and our Posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

  4. When America fall down and go boom, who will put the band aid on our ouchy and kiss us?

  5. I’ve never seen an interviewer nag his interviewee before. AWESOME

    1. You’ve never watched MSNBC?

      1. Don’t slander me thus.

        1. I’m not really a journalist, but I do play one on TV.

        2. Hey, just sayin’…

        3. It’s OK. We’re not really journalists here at Your Place For Politics??.

          1. Hey, Warty, since you were absent, I left a haiku on the poetry thread in your honor…

            1. It’s magnificent.

              1. where you gone for three days?

  6. Hey Debbie,

    Do you let your opinions, however poorly thought out, color all of your “journalism” pieces?

    BTW, “Wear your seat belt” is just as nannyish as “Don’t run with the scissors”.

    1. Someday, J sub D, when you’re more mature, you’ll appreciate what I’ve done for you.

      1. Debbie, how was Dallas?

        1. Is this black Debbie, or regular Debbie?

    2. So, maybe there should be a law against running with scissors?

      1. No, just a requirement that each pair of scissors is chained to a large 200 lb anvil. That should keep people from running with them.

        1. The chain could pose as choking hazard. Better to ban the chains AND the scissors.

          1. I have a compromise solution. Highly trained government agents will apply the chains to children’s ankles, following all appropriate safety protocols.

            Now pay me.

            1. Interesting solution. Isn’t that modus operandi of “humane” slav…err progressive thought?

          2. Ban the anvil too. Someone might crack their head open on it.

      2. Just require removal of all sharp edges and points before they can be sold. We’ll also have to monitor yard sales to ensure no unsafe scissors are sold.

        1. CLOSE THE YARD SALE LOOPHOLE NOW!

  7. Silly me, I thought an interviewer was supposed to ask questions, not voice his or her own opinions. I guess that’s why I never made it in journalism. Note that there are 4 statements by the interviewer in that snippet, and only one question.

    1. What’s even funnier is that modern journalists tend to err on the side of excessively deferring to interview subjects, lest they appear to be taking sides on issues that are in political dispute.

      What happened in this interview is that this asshole thinks it’s so beyond dispute that the federal government should micromanage all issues related to “health and safety” that they don’t feel like they are violating any journalistic boundaries by being adversarial about it, and they think they are enhancing the interview by examining the subject “bizarre” and therefore newsworthy viewpoint.

      1. But…but if we don’t fawn and fellate our interviewees, we won’t get invited to those swanky cocktail parties and lose our scoops! We’ll starve in obscurity!

  8. “Journalism” is such an old-fashioned word. We are truth-tellers. If you are unworthy, that’s your problem.

  9. As a libertarian, did your father grant you great liberty to do what you wanted in your childhood?

    The kind of funny thing is that there’s a difference between the government and a family. A family can be a complete dictatorship.

    WTF kind of dumb ass question is that?

    However, there is a case to be made for “free range kids”

    1. FTL: Something’s been niggling at me for years

      Is there no *end* to the racism on this site?

    2. Not the least of which is free-range parents ;^)

    3. Actually it’s a good question and a very dumb answer. Why is it okay for your parents to deny you liberty?

      1. Because children are not expected to be responsible people yet, knowing the full consequences of their actions.

        1. But nobody knows the full consequences of any action. If they did, nobody would make mistakes.

          1. But nobody knows the full consequences of any action.

            Do you know the consequences of making assertions that can’t be proven? Here’s a hint: it rhymes with TROLL.

          2. If nobody knows the consequences, then why do statists want to create laws based on what they imagine the consequences to be?

            1. Nobody knows the full consequences of any given action thus we rely on the collective wisdom of others. Drunk drivers don’t intend to go out and kill people, but we know that a consequence of drinking is motor impairment so it is outlawed.

              1. Exactly. No one knows the FULL consequences. So you don’t see how a person’s life is utterly ruined by a DWI because they had one drink too many but were still sober enough to drive. This applies to all these nanny laws. Like the guy that just got sentenced to years in prison for having a DRAWING of a fifteen year old naked. Go read the Brickbats section for other examples. By attempting to eliminate all dangers, government itself becomes a danger.

      2. Kids should be forced to earn their keep out on the open market just like everyone else.

      3. There are no children in Libertopia. It’s one of those phenomena they have to fudge out of existence to make things work properly.

        1. But with no children, how will libertarians engage in one of their favorite pastimes: complaining about parents?

        2. Your inability to distinguish between government and parents is exactly the problem.

          1. And I’m saying the whole scheme of personal responsibility and getting rewarded via hard work breaks down when you recognize that children exist.

            Why is it right for the child of poor parents to have fewer opportunities in the world than the child of rich parents? How does that mere difference in luck fit into the personal responsibility/success via hard work equation? It doesn’t. This is why libertarian philosophies consistently forget that children exist.

            As the lady said, it takes a village.

            1. Personally I look at children as a form of capital, to be invested in and produce dividends later on. Even the child of poor parents can benefit from an investment of time and resources, unless of course the state is the primary investor. Then you’re looking at a depreciating, toxic asset.

            2. Nobody denies that luck is a factor. We just don’t use it as an excuse to rob people who had nothing to do with it.

            3. This is why libertarian philosophies consistently forget that children exist.

              Citation needed?

            4. If you are poor, you should not be procreating until you can afford to care for yourself and any children you choose to have. If you cannot care for yourself and you own children, do not expect me to take away from my own family to support you.

              1. And the completely innocent children should be forced to pay for the irresponsibility of their parents?

                1. It makes more sense for other people’s children to bear the costs?

                  1. Jordan,

                    It makes sense for there to be some minimal level of protection for children so that society doesn’t function as a hereditary plutocracy, thus negating any moral superiority you claim for your system based on hard work and entrepreneurship and such.

                2. Tony, I am not responsible for other people’s children even if I give generously to children’s charities because I care about the success of children that are not my own. I like all people to not only live and be healthy, wealthy, and wise, but also free. But, let’s face it. If Parent A is too fucking stupid to put their kid in a car seat without a law requiring them to do so, no amount of charity (or government demands) are going to save that kid from his idiot parents. I’ll give money of my own free will to provide car seats for poor drivers with kids if I want, but I don’t want to pay for police to follow them around making sure they use it, or to fine them if they fail to do so. If they don’t care about the well-being of their own children, those kids are going to suffer to some degree no matter what.

              2. Right on, Nick.

                I don’t know why Tony seems to think that the playing field should be leveled for each generation. People should be left to their own devices and they and their progeny can reap the rewards or suffer the consequences of their own actions. It might not seem fair, but it is certainly more just than what Tony would propose.

                1. Thomas,

                  It’s “just” for children to pay for the crimes or irresponsibility of their parents? I think we can do a little better than the Old Testament when it comes to justice.

                  1. Justice doesn’t enter into it. What fucking self-righteousness to presume you know what is and is not just. No one knows what true and absolute justice is, and that’s why it cannot be legislated. All attempts at ‘justice’ lead eventually to further ‘injustices’ elsewhere. Liberals talk a lot about ‘interconnectivity’, but they don’t undersand the concept past the surface. Yes, we are all interconnected, but it a way too deep to be controlled by any one individual or group.

                    1. What fucking self-righteousness to presume you know what is and is not just.

                      Well, I have read Plato. What is this weird rant? Government can’t ever approach justice, it’s for the justice fairies to know? Justice doesn’t have to be and can’t be perfectly true and absolute, but not even trying is the worst possible world, the obviously least just world.

                  2. Tony, so you don’t think that poor children should “pay for the crimes or irresponsibility of their parents,” but you have no problem with the children of rich people being made to pay for the actions of their parents, who generated the wealth? So there’s no problem with stealing money and property from the next generation as punishment for the success of their parents?

                    You either are a really piss poor troll or just a pathetically dumb fuck.

                    Or perhaps you’re both.

                    1. He’s just just an American-style phony liberal with a lot of time on his hands, which explains why he’s “both”.

                    2. You know there is a difference between rich people and poor people. Like, the amount of money they have. And there’s no obvious reason that disparity is fair, right, or economically healthy. Taxing rich people is not oppressing them. An economic system based on principles that inevitably lead to more poverty is a form of oppression, however.

                  3. I don’t know which is worse: the patheticly lame “for the children” argument or the bogus “racism” attack. They’re both ridiculous and getting very, very old.

                    I’m no fan of kids paying for the irresponsibility of their parents either.

                    But the US government seems to love the idea. I’ve been paying for the irresponsibility of FDR through Johnson for the past thirty years. My kids are going to pay for the irresponsibility of Bush/Obama for the rest of their lives.

      4. No, I think it was a dumb question because he was trying to bait him. And it was an excellent answer. If you want to tell your kids what to do, or not do, fine. Just don’t use the government to force me to tell my kids what to do. Children don’t have rights, at least, not the same rights that adults do. Which rights, and at what age, is open for debate. The bottom line is, parents need to make decisions based on their beliefs, and individual circumstances based on the child’s level of responsibility and knowledge. And most certainly, the government should not force adults to do or not do based on what children can or can’t do.

      5. My parents don’t deny me liberty and never did.

        What they did was feed me. And demand that as long as they were feeding me, I comply with their rules in return.

        If I wanted to feed my own fucking self, I could have defied any of their dictates that I chose simply by walking out the door.

        Parents are actually much less like dictators than they are like employers. Anyone who doesn’t like their parents’ rules is at liberty to get the fuck out and find parents with rules that are more congenial. And to find their own damn food and shelter. Until you’re willing to do that, shut the fuck up and do what the person feeding and sheltering you tells you to do.

        1. “I pay the fucking freight!” – Dad

          1. “And turn off the fucking light while you’re at it!” – dad (and me when I realized I had grown up to be my dad)

            1. “My boy was like me, yeah….My boy was just like meeee”

              (Chorus)

        2. What they did was feed me. And demand that as long as they were feeding me, I comply with their rules in return

          Parent/child relationships are just like any other human interaction: they rely on the mutually beneficial exchange of good and services. The parents provide food, shelter, and education, while the children provide the parents with the hope that their genes (and possibly their value system) will survive into the future.

        3. That’s not true. A 13,16, or even 17 year old who decides they wish to leave can be forcibly returned at the whim of their parents, not to mention how the government actively prevents people under 18 from doing many of the things necessary for them to take care of themselves.

          In all honesty, it’s personal responsibility of a stripe many don’t mention.

          Pregnancy is one potential outcome from having sex; thus by having sex you choose to assume the responsibilities that go with pregnancy INCLUDING having to provide for a child who cannot take care of themselves either because of inexperience or legal barriers. So, providing food, clothing, shelter is your duty and you technically deserve no thanks for it, nor are you justified in using it as leverage in any argument.

          While it’s true that parents are occasionally held to some minimal to moderate degree of financial responsibility should their kid do something wrong, it doesn’t change that the parent initiated the chain of events.

          Obviously there is some nuance to this and emotional attachment, etc. But the idea that kids can just leave if they don’t like it or that providing food/shelter/clothing justifies controlling the recipient is bullshit.

          Your kids are not roommates, they did not choose to live with you and cannot easily leave and YOU are the one who put them in this situation.

          At best, the relationship is more analogous to a marriage (dissolution/divorce aside) or other partnership wherein both sides should prepare to compromise if necessary.

          1. Everything you just wrote deserves a great big “Go fuck yourself!” as a response.

            Persons in a position of dependence have no expectation of independence.

            The original question was whether having to obey parents constitutes an infringement upon liberty. If your argument is, “If they leave, the state will bring them back” has absolutely nothing to do with whether the parents are infringing on their liberty.

            If you are taking money or sustenance from me and I tell you to do something, you can either do it or get the fuck out. Period. And if I present you with that option and you don’t like it, your discomfort is not the result of a loss of liberty. It arises from the loss of patronage, and not the loss of liberty. They aren’t the same thing.

            And if the state impedes my ability to offer you that choice, I will find some other way to make you wish I still had it.

            1. Everything you wrote deserves a double helping.

              So a soldier conscripted into the army against his/her will is not being subject to an infringment of liberty by their commanding officer or the person who conscripted them, because a different entity who will be the one arresting them and dragging them back should they choose to leave?

              In theory, parents are free to bring kids into the world, demand obedience from, completely ignore that they brought kids into a world where they cannot really leave or achieve a reasonable level of independence and somehow the parent’s rules cannot be construed as an infringement of liberty?

              Your sustenance is a requirement of bringing kids into this world. If you don’t like how they treat you while receiving it and think the it’s wrong that you can’t stop it, well that’s your fault. You shouldn’t have had kids. It’s all about personal responsibility.

    4. My social studies teacher said (when we tried to run a classroom based on majority vote) “this is not a democracy it is a benevolent dictatorship.”

      1. My precal teacher said the same thing, just without the ‘benevolent’ part.

    5. Just for the record, the idea of free-range parenting is NOT to just grant kids liberty to do whatever they want.

      1. Of course not. It’s about not overprotecting children to the point where they’re not allowed to walk to the corner grocery store to get a gallon of milk (and a pack of smokes), and building responsibility and trust in children.

        1. I just wanted to make that clarification for those who were too lazy to follow your link. My wife is a big fan of the book/website (and I of the general philosophy, though I usually only read it when she sends me a link to a specific post) and though our daughter is only 3 1/2 right now, my firsthand parenting observations only further support the whole idea.

      2. EXACTLY. It is a response to the pussification of America. There is no good playground equipment anymore. The awesome stuff that I played on as a kid is no more…. My 2 year old plays on foam padded, ergonomically correct bullshit while an army of whining moms stand around with Purell and complain about allergies…

    6. However, there is a case to be made for “free range kids”

      That they are tastier than bland pen-fed kids?

  10. Paul totally took Solomon to school, but she’s too dumb to realize it.

    1. You shouldn’t trivialize school issues.

    2. You shouldn’t trivialize people who are dumb.

  11. That (regular) interview feature is supposed to have a somewhat confrontational, condescending tone – it’s been that way for years.

      1. Yeah, it runs in their sunday magazine, so it’s not to be taken so seriously and has an obvious shtick.

  12. Paul totally took Solomon to school, but she’s too dumb to realize it.

    Neither will anyone else who’s not already at the school. I hate metaphors.

    “Gutsy journalist speaks truth to teabagging Palin-American,” etc.

  13. Dr. Paul did a fine job of answering that snotty little twat’s digs. I mean, come on:

    “What about five minutes? You haven’t even served in government for five minutes. “

    Well, Chris Dodd, Charlie Schumer, Barney Frank, and Charlie Rangel all have decades on the taxpayer’s payroll, does that mean they’re able to tell their ass from their elbow? Fuck, no!

    -jcr

  14. Hmm.. Seems she’s got a reputation for dodgy editing:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..66969.html

    What a bitch.

    -jcr

    1. Interesting huffpo article. I hate conducting Q&A-style interviews. (They seem a rather lazy style of journalism, already one of the laziest of all professions.)

    2. And of course the first comment on the HuffPost site is about how O’Reilly does the same thing. It’s like a fucking reflex with those people.

  15. I think the that fact that so many people were not wearing seat belts before there were laws requiring it more or less proves that Americans do in fact need a “nanny state”.

    1. A+. How to be a successful troll on a libertarian website.

      If that one doesn’t get some responses, I don’t know what will.

    2. I must disagree. This trolling deserves a C- at best. Scotch’s act is wearing thin in a hurry.

      1. do not feed the troll

        1. emotion.

        2. Ignoring the troll is never going to happen. So resign yourself to his stupidly talking about how awesome controlling people is until he bores himself.

          1. A political blog can’t ignore a good troll for the same reason an inflated balloon cannot ignore a pin….

            1. Unfortunately, you’re not a good troll. Zing!

            2. not sure I understand the analogy – are you the bubble or the little prick?

            3. And that is the comment that finally get Scotch into my incif file…buh bye

    3. I don’t have time to find the study right now, but I seem to recall reading one about how crashes increased after the laws were inacted, ostensibly due to the feeling of security they gave. People sped more and were more reckless. Also, whether or not people need a nanny does not mean that government should be a nanny.

    4. No, we really don’t. My wearing a seatbelt does not change how I operate my vehicle, how safely I drive or how courteous I am on the road. It doesn’t have any effect on anyone but my own self.

      And before you claim the state will pay my medical — I have insurance. At least, until ObamaCare makes my HSA illegal.

      1. It’s auto insurance, not health.

        1. Have that, too.

  16. The left ate that interview up like popcorn at the movies. Over at the Huffington Post the discussion was primarily about what an idiot Paul is for not knowing that seat belts save lives and for being against wearing seat belts. That really describes how they understand the world and see the issues. If you are against a federal law mandating the wearing of seat belts, you are against wearing seat belts and pro-death.

    Similar logic applies to all of their issues. If you oppose laws against smoking, you are advocating that everyone smoke. If you oppose a public-run healthcare system, you are against people being healthy. And heaven forbid you should even think of removing laws against marijuana use, because that is clearly advocating that everyone become heroin addicts.

    1. The left doesn’t own that logic.

      There was a time when some on the right thought listend to heavy metal music was pro-satan.

      If oppose laws against abortion, you are advocating abortions for all.

      If you were against the War On Terror, you are aiding the enemy.

      Left or right, people will do and say almost anything to promote their agenda.

      1. Left or right, people will do and say almost anything to promote their agenda.

        Kind of like, “If you favor seat belt laws, you want the government to control every possible aspect of your life.”?

        1. It sounds ridiculous, and yet it’s true more often than not.

        2. The analogous conditional would be, “If you oppose seat belt laws, then you must want no one to wear seat belts…”

        3. The analogous conditional would be, “If you oppose seat belt laws, then you must want no one to wear seat belts…”

      2. “If oppose laws against abortion, you are advocating abortions for all.”

        Pro-choice libertarians fall for that little fallacy about pro-life libertarians also.

  17. Since seat belt laws have been passed, people might have been driving more recklessly.

  18. Re the sign: the next time Matt Welch goes to the beach I will show up with my 14-speaker boom box and play Wagner’s Seigfried really, really loud. Also, I will hiss and holler at Matt a lot, which I do all the time anyway.

    1. SHUT THE FUCK UP VANNEMAN

    2. The ordinance on the sign also prohibits “erring manner.” You’re going to jail, Vanneman.

    3. Whistling or hissing in a non-boistrous, truthful manner is still cool, though.

    4. Yeah Alan. We need to codify good manners and basic respect for others covering all possible social interactions into law immediately.

      I don’t see how western civilization survived this long without it.

      Are you really naive enough to believe that ordinance has any effect whatsaoever on the ill-mannered boobs that we all run into on a regular basis?

      “Turn down that boom box or I’m gonna go tell teacher a cop!”

      1. We need to codify good manners and basic respect for others covering all possible social interactions into law immediately

        To be fair, this has been the default most of the time for western, eastern and pretty much every other civilization throughout history.

        You can see relics of it right here in the US of A in those ‘weird state laws’ websites.

      2. As any true libertarian knows, what is needed is not an ordinance, but rather ordnance. Nothing buys silence like a .45.

        1. That’s small arms, not ordnance, you obnoxious fucking prick. Choke on said .45, fuckdick.

        2. Why waste perfectly good ammo when a punch in the face will accomplish the same thing?

          1. “”JW|4.5.10 @ 11:50AM|#
            Why waste perfectly good ammo when a punch in the face will accomplish the same thing?””

            Hands are much more delicate than lead

        3. Most amusing. By the way, I require your attention.

        4. Most amusing. By the way, I require your attention.

          1. Did anyone else just hear something twice? It must have been the wind…

    5. If I may interject, sir, there is an issue of impropriety that must be adressed.

    6. I don’t go to the types of beaches that Alan Vanneman frequents.

      1. No big thing, Matt. Guidos are always welcome at the Hamptons. Just lose the pinky ring and use my name.

        1. As I look through my gossamer and gape, an issue with I doth take.

    7. Problem is solved by private beaches.

      1. Why do you hate us great unwashed hillbillies, ya uppity snob! We got every right to trapse these here american beaches!

  19. INTERVIEW HAS BEEN CONDENSED AND EDITED.

    He must have owned her worse than we thought.

    1. See, a journalist friend of mine thought that she might have been even snippier and less professional than we thought.

    2. INTERVIEW HAS BEEN EDITED.

      All hail NYT journalistic standards!

      INTERVIEWER HAS BEEN CONDESCENDING

      Oh, never mind.

  20. Strange interview, where the interviewer scolds the interviewee. I mean, that question about nanny issues wasn’t even a question.

    What they should’ve asked him is whether he hates Jews like his dad.

    1. Well, assuming he does, he would at least have one thing in common with President Obama.

    2. Anti-Semitism is a rather odd charge against a guy whose major influences were Jewish. You know, Mises, Rothbard, and Friedman … all Jews. He also worships a Jew as God.

  21. Having a decreased risk of death = more freedom.

    Not the adolescent, “mooooom leave me aloooone” type of freedom you guys like here, but still.

    1. I vote to free Tony by encasing him in a protective plastic bubble for all eternity.

      1. So. Much. Yes.

      2. We should all vote on his air supply too. Don’t worry Tony, it’s democracy in action!

        1. Then I vote for their soft ass shit to play over and over inside his bubble.

      3. Only if we shove shit down this throat first.

    2. Come on Tony, cut the Reasonoids some slack. They didn’t ask to be born, you know?

    3. Having a decreased risk of death = more freedom.

      Okay, then we’ll pass a law forbidding you from leaving your house. Also, you’ll be required to eat nothing but baby food because solid food increases your risk of choking.

      1. In Libertopia, it’s hard to watch classic movies because there is no shade of gray…

        1. There is no gray here:

          Having a decreased risk of death = more freedom.

          1. Scotch can have a bubble, too!

            1. Scotch Hamilton does not live in a black/white world like you Reasonoids.

              1. Scotch lives in a rainbow world! But there’s room in your bubble for your unicorn, Scotch, so don’t fret, little buddy!

                1. Citizen Nothing, you do realize that you are proving my point, right?

                  1. That’s right! Every color of the fucking rainbow AND A UNICORN! In the bubble, now!

                  2. That you like erecting strawmen, Scotch?

              2. In other words, Scotch wants to express or endorse principles when arguing for a point of his, but does not want to be held accountable for the actual application of those principles.

                That means that to him, it’s perfectly OK to advance an argument claiming that the government has the right and moral authority to act to save people from their own poor decisions, but then to turn around and deny that very principle when someone applies it to justify using that same power to control his own actions or decision.

                News flash, asshole – a situation has “shades of gray” if the moral principles involved aren’t clear, or if the moral actors involved both have sketchy moral bases for their actions. In THOSE circumstances, it can be difficult to determine the right course of action to take. “Shades of grey” does NOT apply when you articulate a clear moral or political principle, but then are too hypocritical or dishonest to allow that principle to be applied to you. That’s just douchebaggery, and has nothing to do with complexity AT ALL. Other than the many complex ways in which you are a douchebag.

                1. @Fluffy: I think I love you.

                  Poor Scotch is one of those nuanced people. We poor folks are too much about that common sense thing to understand such a fucking visionary. His shades of gray argument is pure, unadulterated brilliance, and just as soon as we stop taking responsibility for ourselves, our cash and our safety, we’ll understand how free we are when we get our allowance from our Beneficial Overlords.

                2. Fluffy and Quagmire (did you guys hear his rant about Brian last night?) are my new heroes.

                3. Well said, Fluffy.

    4. Yes. They should get rid of that type of freedom and go back to throwing homosexual deviants like Tony in prison, where they belong, as they clearly represent a danger to society, spreading HIV through unsafe sex.

      Tony, you’ve changed my mind. I will now work for the kind of society you want- one where you can be beaten and raped by murderers on a daily basis because of your lifestyle.

    5. So, you won’t object if we induce a coma in you and keep you hooked up to a feeding tube in a bed for the next 50 years? You’d have a decreased risk of death that way, and more freedom.

      1. It’s all about a positive trade-off. Being forced to wear a seatbelt (or more to the point, forcing you to make your children to wear them) is an imposition on your freedom. But a small one compared to the imposition on freedom that is being ejected through a windshield and smeared all over the road.

        1. I hope you don’t mind if we ban skiing or rock-climbing then.

        2. Actually if you drive your car on a privately owned road you are not required to wear a seatbelt. So by driving on the public streets you are consenting to the rules, one of which is that a seat belt must be worn.

          So really there is no impact on your Freedom since nobody is putting a gun to your head and forcing you to drive on public property.

          1. You don’t sign away your rights upon entering public property.

            1. Who said that you did? But you must follow the public’s rules when in pubic spaces just like you must follow your neighbor’s rules when you’re on his property…

              1. My CAR is not a PUBLIC SPACE. The interior of my car is not a public space — I am not obligated to share it with anyone else, and no one else should be obligated to tell me what to wear while I’m in it.

                By your logic, Scotch, people should be allowed to hop into my vehicle anytime because it’s a ‘public space’. We all know what most call that:

                Grand theft auto.

                I consent to the rules of operation in terms of things that can affect public safety. What I wear inside of my car doesn’t matter.

        3. No, most states require adults to wear seatbelts, not just children.

          So let me ask, since I live in a logically inconsistent state. What logic is there to in requiring me to wear a seatbelt in a car, but not a helmet on a motorcycle?

          1. Actually, to be consistent, shouldn’t they just ban motorcycles?

        4. Why force people? Why not just say, “it’s a good idea for everyone to wear seatbelts so they don’t die an untimely, violent death.” Then, when people decide for themselves with the information at hand, everyone is free and informed.

          Smoking has decreased in this country, not due to laws banning it, but due to pressure from an educated society of it’s dangers paired with some people giving “that look.”

          1. This. (what Nick said) Not that I have any particular objection to seatbelt laws.

          2. Smoking is reduced in this country because we’re being taxed to death for buying a legal product so we can pay for everyone else’s healthcare, or into tapped general funds.

            Fuck “that look.” If they get to eat twinkies and weigh five hundred fucking pounds, then they sure don’t get to give me any look.

            1. You don’t have to like “that look” and “that look” can’t make you stop smoking, but taxes haven’t kept people from smoking despite what the dipshits at the NYTimes tell you. All the taxes have done is make people who want to smoke poorer.

              1. And fund a whole bunch more bullshit government programs, rather than the healthcare it was supposedly going to pay for when we all die of lung cancer. Didn’t buy that anyway, but that was the justification they used on raising taxes on cigarettes again and again.

                Taxes going up did cut smoking rates — mostly, because I know people who quit when it became cost prohibitive. It doesn’t actually force us to quit, but it does make it a harder habit to keep. In a small town in Maine, it went from about 90% of adults to 25% who smoked, according to the residents, when the taxes were added up to ‘ridiculous’.

                It’s a softer tyranny than an outright ban. It’s still far from the free market model — in fact, it’s about the polar opposite.

        5. You really don’t get the concept of the individual, do you?

          How can I hurt anyone but myself if I don’t wear a seatbelt?

          Do I own my own body, and if so, shouldn’t I be able to decide for myself whether I put it at risk?

          How is that decision anyone else’s business but mine?

          I realize that I’m feeding the trolls, but that some people can’t grasp this basic concept really really confuses me.

          Do you just sit around your house waiting to be told what to do by your betters? And if not, then how can you deny that you ultimately aren’t responsible for yourself?

          Jeez, I figured this shit out years ago with just a little thoughtful self-reflection.

          You’re not being clever with your little condescending snipes, you’re just showing how unseriousness you are about your own very existence.

    6. Having a decreased risk of death = more freedom.

      Nay, Tony, you comprehend not the Iron Law:

      You aren’t free unless you are free to be wrong.

      1. Agreed as long as your ineptitude doesn’t impose a cost on me.

        Of course there is a perhaps more fundamental law: you aren’t free unless you’re alive.

        1. Well then it’s your lucky month, Ton! We’re about fifty trillion miles closer to universal health care; pretty soon, you’ll be able to make a legitimate argument centered on the cost to you of all the stupid things I may or may not do.

          Control away!

        2. Should you be forced to be celibate, since it reduces your risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, condoms not being 100% effective? I mean, you’re not procreating, so really there is no reason for you to be allowed to have sex.

        3. It’s all about positive tradeoffs. We need helmet laws for ALL motor vehicles.

          1. Reduce the speed limit on interstate highways to 20 mph while you’re at it.

        4. Exactly how, in detail, does my not wearing a seatbelt impose a cost on you?

          C’mon, bring me some numbers here. I have my own insurance, both auto and health, I drive safely, have never had an accident and am courteous on the road.

          Tell me, Tony. Tell me, please, how exactly, preferably with charts, my not wearing a seatbelt imposes anything on you.

          1. Actually I’ll grant that it doesn’t (if we ignore the taxpayer funded services that scrape your entrails off the highway, of course).

            But the state does have a stake and a mandate to do what it can to ensure people’s safety to a reasonable degree. A lot of people die in cars in this country. A lot fewer do so if they wear seatbelts. It’s not an unreasonable imposition for the state to tell you to wear them while you’re using its roads.

            1. But the state does have a stake and a mandate to do what it can to ensure people’s safety to a reasonable degree.

              This is 99.999% wrong.

              1. West Texas Boy, Tony is not wrong about the state having a stake in health and safety. His statement should be wrong, but it is not wrong.

                The State needs you to pay taxes. Your productivity and your ability to pay tax requires that you be safe and healthy. If you are require medical services, you either directly or indirectly increase the costs of the State. (Even if you pay for your own medical services, you increase the demand for such services and thereby increase prices.)

                The State indeed does have a stake in ensuring your health and safety, just like a Southern slaveholder had a stake in the health and safety of his slaves.

                Folks like Tony are just modern Uncle Toms. They love their masters.

            2. the state does have a stake and a mandate to do what it can to ensure people’s safety to a reasonable degree

              According to who?

              1. The US Constitution, for one.

                I presume you’re okay with having armed forces, even though the threat of foreign invasion is somewhat less than imminent.

            3. I pay taxes too. I pay gasoline taxes, federal taxes, state taxes, local taxes, and I have certainly paid more than enough in my lifetime that if they have to scrape me off a road, they still make a net profit.

              Still no imposition on you.

              A lot of people do die in cars. Fewer do wearing seatbelts. Making a law that you have to wear one, however, is still an *unnecessary* imposition, and basically the entire thing was cooked up to guarantee revenue from non-compliance tickets.

              And finally: Those are *my* damn roads. Again, I pay taxes. I’m not using the State’s roads, Tony. I’m using my roads, the ones I pay for through taxes.

              Why can’t I, and whomever else chooses to, refuse to wear a seatbelt inside of their private property (and the inside of a car is private property), where it does not impose on anyone else, when they pay for those roads with every single gallon of gas they buy?

            4. Tony obviously hates poor people. My wife drives an old used car. She failed inspection because her seatbelt did not retract properly. Since nobody makes her seatbelt anymore, I had to take several days off work climbing up on stacked, bloodstained salvage cars to eventually find what I assumed was a matching seatbelt (turned out even that was different.) We ended up finally finding one online for $200. Just an anecdote, amongst millions of likely anecdotes about poor people with crappy cars failing inspections and wasting time and money trying to comply with stupid government nanny regulations.

              1. I’m for more public transportation.

                1. Ah so you’re letting your regressive asshole side shine through. So you would like it if the government priced poor people out of their cars and thus create major inconveniences and lost job opportunities that rich people don’t have to worry about? I also suppose you ride the bus every day to and from work? Or are you just a motherfucking hypocrite?

                  1. By the way, does the public transportation in your area have seatbelts? Over here it sure doesn’t.

        5. Just because you’re alive doesn’t make you free. And the less free you are, the more your life is at risk from your oppressors.

          1. Right – by Tony’s definition, all the living people in North Korea are “free”.

        6. That’s ridiculous Tony, freedom is not about increasing the limits of what is physically possible for you to do, it is about increasing what you can do within the limits of the physically possible. If the government could decrease gravity, it wouldn’t be giving you more freedom.

          A sick man has the exact same liberties as a healthy man; the fact that the sick man has more physical limits doesn’t change that fact. Freedom is what you are allowed to do, not what you can do.

    7. Having a decreased risk of death = more freedom.

      So if we lock you up in a padded cage, and feed you only low-salt, non-trans-fat, healthy vegan meals, and force you to run on a treadmill for an hour a day, and keep you away from all human contact so you can’t catch any diseases, you will be more free?

      Freedom is identical to solitary prison confinement? Srsly?

  22. Seatbelts? BAH!

    If cars had broken bottles glued to the dash, and seat belts were prohibited, THAT might induce people to drive more cautiously.

    1. Dude, you’re driving five miles per hour! We’ll never get there!

  23. One thing I’ve found is that nanny staters really really hate hearing that phrase. That’s why I have a bumper sticker that says: /NANNY STATE

    (picture the above in the HTML brackets). FTG.

    1. You mean like this: </NANNY STATE>?

  24. I presume you anti-nanny-state crusaders still want me to pay for the service of scraping your mangled corpses off the highway.

    1. But in Libertopia the highways are all owned by the ruling class and they’ve already contracted with a private firm that hires people at 50 cent an hour to clean up such accidents. It is paid for with your $500 month road use fee, which you freely choose to pay since the other option is to starve to death because you can’t get to work.

      Freedom, you know?

      1. Wouldn’t this be a good thing, enviromentally? We could have small hubs of business and industry within walking and biking distances of where everyone lives. Plus the government sponsorship of the auto and petroleum indistries could end, resulting in less taxes.

    2. Here’s a little secret: I would wear my seatbelt regardless of whether or not nannies like you made it a requirement. Don’t tell anyone. Cyto’s post at 10:30 really had you pegged. And I already pay taxes for highway maintenance and emergency services.

      1. Here’s a little secret: I would wear my seatbelt regardless of whether or not nannies like you made it a requirement. Don’t tell anyone.

        I’m sure that’s true, but that’s true in part because it has been a requirement for a while now. I remember as child a lot of responsible adults did not wear seatbelts because they just weren’t emphasized that much.

        We probably are at the point were we could repeal seat belt laws for adults and it would not mean a significant decrease in usage. In other words, the law worked.

        1. I’m sure that’s true, but that’s true in part because it has been a requirement for a while now.

          I was wearing a seatbelt long before it was The Law.

          1. As was I, but if not for evil gummit your car may not have had a seat belt in it at all.

            1. I doubt it, but you’re probably right when it comes to air bags.

              1. sage, per your link:

                An American inventor, John Wenrick, a retired industrial engineer, designed the original safety cushion for automotive use in 1952 at his kitchen table.

                Automakers have been researching airbags since at least the mid-fifties.

                Some safety improvements (like shatter reistant glass and laminated windshields were introduced with no government mandate at all.

                The lack of cars with features like seatbelts was due to consumers rejecting the extra costs not the evil capitalist carmakers who offered every available safety feature as an option at extra cost.

            2. You could get seat belts in cars years before the government rquired them. years, in fact, before anyone even suggested that the government require them.

            3. “if not for evil gummit your car may not have had a seat belt in it at all”

              Absolute bullshit. Ever hear of Underwriters Laboratories?

              Government is counterproductive to technological progress.

          2. As was I. KY was one of the last states to pass a seat belt law and it was well after I got my license.

        2. I don’t give a shit whether it “worked” or not. The ends don’t justify the means.

          1. Actually, they do. Many lives have been saved, many injuries have been lessened or avoided at no real cost to anybody, since putting on a seatbelt does not cost you anything in terms of time or money.

            1. Freedom = time + money. Got it. So, segregation wasn’t violating anyone’s liberty.

            2. Seat belts are very expensive, especially if you’re poor and driving an older used car. They don’t make seatbelts beyond 10 years of production. So you support regressively taxing the poor?

    3. No, I can put a snowplow on my Blazer.

    4. I pay taxes too. I pay for my own services. So, wanna try again?

      1. +1

  25. There is no freedom greater than freedom from responsibility.

    Right, Tony?

    1. Responsibilities like paying taxes?

      1. Don’t worry, Tone. Your bubble will be equipped with a slot in which to slide your government-mandated remittances. You’ll still be doing your part.

    2. Can’t speak for Tony, but it is actually nice to not have to be personally responsible for everything…I mean, there are only 24 hours in a day and I don’t really want to have to perform a health inspection of every resturant I eat at…

      1. It’s almost like you value that information. Why, nobody would ever be willing to sell you that information. No, of course not.

        1. Right, we could let the resturant industry regulate itself! Or let privately owned businesses, let’s call them “health rating agencies” could tell us how safe resturants are!

          It worked soooooo well for the banking industry, why not try it elsewhere?

          1. Will you give me $1000 for every banking industry regulation – pre Obama, I can come up with?

            1. I like you.

            2. Heck, I’ll do it for $1/reg and still make out like a bandit.

          2. Most costly and inefficient industries in America, and yet the most highly regulated are….?

            If you said health care, health insurance, and banking/finance you win freedom from Scotch and Tony. Congratulations!

          3. And yet household appliance electrical fires are a thing of the past due to UL. Gosh, all that government coercion that happened to make everyone get their appliances UL listed. Just like the boiler explosions went away because of government! The heavy hand of government came in and told everyone they must follow ASME pressure vessel codes!

            Oh, wait, that’s not how it happened at all. Compliance with UL and ASME is strictly voluntary, isn’t it? Damn, however does the world go on when no government agency regulates the electrical safety of household appliances or pressure vessels? A true mystery, isn’t it?

            1. My roof no longer leaks, all thanks to Mr. Federal Roof Inspector!

          4. Kosher. Halal. Google. Dateline ABC. All market solutions to industry safety.

          5. Clearly you are deeply informed of banking regulations.

            Please post your scores on the FINRA Series 7, 63, 86 & 87

          6. It’s not like restaurants have any interest in repeat customers, so why would they care about such petty things like sanitation? They just care about making that first sale even if it gives you food poisoning.

        2. Hell, people are willing to pass on information like cleanliness of restaurants for free on the internet. Its not even that hard to step in a government-approved health inspected restaurant and determine “this is a fucking filthy dive” and leave.

          Pretty much every inspection ordinance I have had experience with has been completely useless to determine actual safety.

      2. News Flash: “Mom’s Kitchen” is not a restaurant.

      3. And in Libertopia, of course, Scotch would have to cook his own meal, grow the food used in the meal, construct the plow used to grow the food, and so on. He’s gonna be one busy dude, come the revolution.

        1. Yeah, I don’t know any libertarians who believe in division of labor.

          1. Exactly, sage!
            The fucker is going to be busy 24-motherfucking-hours-a-day!
            No wonder he’s scared shitless.

            1. I wonder how he’ll chisel his own toilet out of a block of porcelain. More likely he’ll go in the woods.

              1. Only if the gummint first tells him it’s safe to do so.

  26. Hey, the Ohio Statehouse (the state Capitol Building) is getting ready to ban bare feet there. Why? Because, as their Executive Director said, they have bricks with sharp edges there that could cut bare feet.

    Not likely. I’ve seen those bricks. Now, they are a danger to women wearing high heels, but somehow these places never enact a ban on high heels.

    Just more of the nanny state in action. And an uninformed nanny state at that.

    If anybody wants to write them letters/emails, go here.

  27. Why does the Ohio Statehouse hate hippies and hillbillies?

    1. hippies and hillbillies

      Hey, I’m neither of those, but I hate wearing shoes.

  28. you anti-nanny-state crusaders still want me to pay for the service of scraping your mangled corpses off the highway.

    Think of all the money we’ll save, in the long run, on health care. Look at the big picture.

  29. Good answer. I’m gonna take off my seatbelt and send Tony an invoice for the savings.

  30. Why does the Ohio Statehouse hate hippies and hillbillies?

    The next thing you know, they’ll ban straw hats and corn cob pipes.

  31. So are Tony and Scotch claiming that they are too goddammed stupid to buckle up unless forced to under penalty of law?
    Quick, someone pass a law against jumping off tall buildings!
    Oh, wait. Don’t!!!!

    1. Sometimes it’s helpful to look at things from a macro perspective. Seat belt laws save x amount of lives. That’s all there is to it. Massive increase in the total amount of liberty (for all those people still living) at the cost of a trivial amount of individual liberty.

      1. Watch out where those assumptions are leading you, buddy.

      2. What about the freedom to die as you choose? Or hell, to live as you choose?

        1. How many people choose to die in a car wreck?

          Look, I get that forcing people to wear seatbelts is an imposition, and that it’s not justifiable because of social costs (at least at first glance). But I do know that wearing a seatbelt is not a horrendous loss of liberty, and that such laws save lives.

          Any time you can forgo a trivial liberty in order to achieve a much larger amount of real liberty is a good tradeoff.

          1. Gosh, you’d think that those lives would be worth more to the owner than to you, Tony.

            Good thing we have you around to do cost-benefit analysis for everyone.

            1. Until the day a seatbelt saves your life, it will be nothing but an annoyance.

              People tend to underestimate their own susceptibility to risk. Most people also think they’re above average intelligence. I’m not saying government needs to bottle feed us for our entire lives, but requiring cars to have safety features and requiring people to use them is a pretty good use of its powers.

              1. Did you hear that whooshing sound Tony? Yes, the one over your head.

              2. The world according to Tony:

                State enforced seatbelt law (sunny field with bunnies) vs. You will never under any circumstances put on a seatbelt and/or you actually just want to die.

          2. I choose to wear my seatbelt because I feel safer and more comfortable wearing it. My best friend insists to this day that he survived a car wreck by not wearing his seatbelt, so not only did he violate the law but he would argue the law, if followed, may have caused his death. In other words, YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR EVERYONE!!!

      3. There are people who have been pulled over for not wearing their seatbelt who have been arrested, tased, gotten into disputes with police officers, lost their drivers’ licenses and ability to earn a living, etc.

        I’m sure it’s a “trivial” loss of liberty if you aren’t one of the people this happens to, but it’s not “trivial” if you are.

        Every single enforcement encounter between agents of the law and citizens has the potential to end in death. Every single enforcement encounter between agents of the law and citizens has the potential to vastly negatively impact the future prospects of the citizen.

        It is never trivial. It’s only trivial because you don’t give a shit.

        Being required to refrain from smoking marijuana is also a trivial imposition on liberty. There are lots of other intoxicants out there that are legal. But the carnage that has been wreaked on the lives of millions of citizens as a result of the pot laws should be obvious to everyone. How trivial do you think the victims of that law found the imposition on their liberty?

        1. All it is an excuse to pull people over and harass them. And it is racist as hell in its application. Racist and against poor people. I mostly wear my seatbelt but some times forget. I am an upper middle class white guy with a nice car. I have never been pulled over for not having a seatbelt. I bet I never will. Change my looks and give me a crappy car and I wouldn’t go ten blocks without being pulled over for it.

          Make everyone a criminal then the police have absolute and arbitrary authority.

        2. The drug war imposes great costs to individual liberty with no virtually no payoff. The comparison isn’t apt. Of course the penalty for not wearing a seatbelt should be relatively minor, and I’m no more in favor of draconian punishments for this than you are. What’s not trivial are the numbers of lives saved since the invention of seatbelts.

          1. Tony knows what is best for us. Seatbelt mandates good, drug prohibition bad. Got it. Please provide a comprehensive list to me by 4:30 EDT so I don’t die on the way home from work today.

          2. “Of course the penalty for not wearing a seatbelt should be relatively minor”

            Fluffy just explained the ways it isn’t a trivial loss to individual liberty, you dumb fuck.

    2. Quick, someone pass a law against jumping off tall buildings!
      Oh, wait. Don’t!!!!

      I do believe it’s against the law in NYC o jump off of building and bridges, and if you survive (whether or not your a BASE jumper) you will be prosecuted.

      1. Well, I guess they’re safe, then.

      2. Actually this law would make a lot more sense because of the potential harmful endangerment to others on the ground below. You can’t necessarily control where you fall, and your suicide could inadvertantly kill an innocent bystander.

  32. “Federal legislation requiring people to wear seat belts could obviously save lives.”

    Federal legislation banning cars could obviously save more lives. Why do you hate children?

  33. *sigh*

    A decreased risk of death is a fine thing; hell, I don’t really have that much of a problem with seatbelt laws. It’s not really on my radar screen. But, I wouldn’t consider them to be an enhancer of freedom, more like an attempt to ensure public safety. A perfectly legitimate function, but not the same thing as enhancing freedom. We could have a discussion about whether or not it has enhanced safety, but that’s a whole ‘nother issue.

    On the issues of taxes, I find myself having to agree with Tony in the current financial situation. We can talk about cutting taxes when the debt is paid and the deficits closed. Even then, we need to talk about spending cuts before tax cuts.

    But, really, things like seatbelt laws; taxes; and even the Fed aren’t on my radar screen. Ending the wars; demobilizing our military; shutting down foreign bases; and cutting our military for pure defense. These are my current priorities. After that, ending the PATRIOT Act; restoring civil liberties; and giving the detained a fair trial is next. Since the aforementioned is going to take a long time, I don’t expect that I’ll be getting to taxes until a couple decades from now.

    Again Tony, I’m still open to emails from you. You seem pretty sharp.

    1. “A decreased risk of death is a fine thing; hell, I don’t really have that much of a problem with seatbelt laws. It’s not really on my radar screen. But, I wouldn’t consider them to be an enhancer of freedom, more like an attempt to ensure public safety. A perfectly legitimate function, but not the same thing as enhancing freedom. We could have a discussion about whether or not it has enhanced safety, but that’s a whole ‘nother issue.”

      Because nothing says freedom like giving the state another reason to pull you over and fine you.

      1. A trivial thing. More dangerous is an unaccountable government that detains “terrorists” without trial or charge. A great threat to individual liberty.

        1. One can be against both…

          1. I am not denying that. However, a sense of priorities is critical. Since I agree with Rothbard that war and peace is the key to the libertarian question, that is what sets my priorites.

        2. It is a question of quantity and ubiquity. The government detains maybe a few hundred people in the name of terrorism, and most but not all of them are actually terrorists. In contrast tens of millions of people are subjected to this kind of nonsense every day. The nonsense and liberty restricting policies you so love directly and adversely affect the lives of every American.

          Look at it this way, which is worse, the negligible chance that the NSA will listen to your phone call or the certainty that some well intentioned do gooder will tell you, how you can drive, what safety precautions you must take, and attempt to regulate and control nearly every other aspect of your life?

          1. Yet another ‘libertarian’ who doesn’t give a shit about the murder of Iraqis.

            Besides, whether or not they are terrorists are irrelevant. The point is that they were denied their right to due process. A grave injustice; everything else is small potatoes compared to that. I’ll tolerate the safety laws and whatnot; it’s doesn’t keep me up at night like the knowledge that there is warrantless wiretapping; false imprisonment; and wasteful wars.

            1. Liberals cared so much about Iraqis when Saddam was murdering 10,000 of them a month.

              Regardless, you point is completely irrational. Even if the detaining of terrorist suspect were an evil, that doesn’t excuse the evils that are inflicted upon us every day by people like you. One has nothing to do with the other.

              1. My point is not irrational. The two are related, but one is worse than the other. Seatbelt laws are, at worst, a nuisance. Detaining without trial or charge is pure evil. Yes, Saddam was murdering his own people; but, the right thing to do WAS TO STAY OUT OF IT.

                I take it back, you aren’t a libertarian; you’re just a warmongering conservative warhawk.

                1. That is right I am a warmonger. You just make yourself look stupid when you engage in invective. This is not a thread about terrorism or Iraq. And I am not going to let you highjack it by dignifying you with a response. The thread was about the evils of public safety laws. And your only justification for them is to scream about warrantless detention as if the existence of such a thing so how justifies any other odious action by the government. That is not argument.

                  1. I’d say that once we’ve eliminated habeus corpus, bitching about seatbelt laws is rather silly.

            2. Gotta defend John here, even though he and I are on opposite sides of the War on Terror issues:

              Every successful application of nanny state law makes the next application more likely.

              When they wanted to ban alcohol, it took a Constitutional amendment to do it. They needed to pass an amendment because they knew they didn’t rightfully have the power to do what they wanted to do.

              When they wanted to ban marijuana, they didn’t feel like taking the trouble to pass an amendment, so at first they just passed a huge tax on it and then refused to issue the tax stamps. They used a tax scam because they knew they didn’t rightfully have the power to do what they wanted to do.

              But now it’s a century later, and people are so used to being controlled that they don’t even bother to use legal subterfuges any more. They don’t even bother to ask themselves if they possess the power. They just assume they do, and pass whatever nonsense they can think of. That’s why we at the point where NY state legislators think they have the power to ban the use of salt in cooking.

              1. Even if I grant the reality of the slippery slope you invoke, still, it’s kinda hard to argue against nanny state laws when you’re okay with trashing the bill of rights.

                1. OK, then argue with those of us who don’t want the Bill of Rights to be trashed and hate nanny laws. If you can’t argue on the single issue and have to resort to changing the subject, or saying which is less worse, then you’re argument fails and you should concede the point.

                  1. I was arguing with John, who can’t seem to see why indefinite detention, warrantless searches, and torture are anti-liberty.

                    But anyway, I’m actually against a lot of nanny state laws. It comes down to specifics with me. I’m more inclined to support them when it comes to operating dangerous machines on public property around lots of other people than in other cases.

                    However, it would be wrong to ignore the fact that even my choosing to be unhealthy or unsafe can and does have social costs. Your bacon cheeseburger habit means my health costs are higher. Even so, I’m in favor of giving you a freebie in the spirit of individual choice.

                    1. O thank you, wise one. A freebie!

                    2. “”Even so, I’m in favor of giving you a freebie in the spirit of individual choice.””

                      How gracious of you. I am free insofar as you are willing to kindly permit me to be so?

                    3. I’m willing to subsidize your bad habits to some degree in the name of personal choice, yes. I’m willing to have higher medical costs because you smoke, drink, and eat cheeseburgers.

                    4. Once again, thank you! What ever would we do without your benevolence?

                      Just tell me one thing: If I like my healthcare plan, can I keep my healthcare plan?

                    5. And “subsidize”, just awesome. So when you don’t tax something it’s a subsidy. I can see how you got to be so smug. Every day you’re subsidizing so much freedom!

          2. One wonders why the philosophers of liberty spent so much time on the rights of the accused and so little on the rights of people to get turned into roadkill if by god that’s what they want. Jesus Christ man, you’re dismissing the freakin bill of rights and then trying to lecture other people about being liberty killers?

            1. One only wonders that if you are stupid and know nothing of history. Such nanny state laws that you love so much are the product of the totalitarian 20th Century. They didn’t ponder those questions because they never dreamed anyone would be stupid enough to try such a thing. Sadly, the 20th Century proved them wrong.

              And further in the 20th Century lots of philosophers have pondered the issue. It is called positive rights, which of course is what we are debating now you moron.

              1. Take another look at that history you’re lecturing me about… I’d say there were a few bigger impositions on individual liberty in the 18th century than seatbelt laws.

    2. Again Tony, I’m still open to emails from you. You seem pretty sharp.

      NOT SURE IF SERIOUS

      1. Deadly serious. Tony has proven to be a smart guy. Look, the fact he has a different point-of-view doesn’t make him bad. He just has a different point of view. I think if Tony and I could talk, we would learn a lot from each other.

        I’m sort of taking a cue from Hayek here; he was open to lots of POVs, and his work benefited as a result.

        1. I think if Tony and I could talk, someone would end up losing teeth.

        2. Yeah, it’s clear that Tony is the smartest guy he knows.

        3. Tony has proven to be a smart guy.

          Conclusion: Tristan is Tony’s sockpuppet. It sounds improbable, I admit, but when you have eliminated the impossible…

      2. I think George said the same thing to Lenny just before, well, you know…

        1. Tony does say onteresting stuff every now and then.

          1. *interesting. I can’t type anymore.

            1. No, you had it right the first time.

              1. onteresting |?ont(?)risti ng; ?ont??resti ng |

                adj. faceplant-inducing

    3. I agree with this. I think public safety is legitimately in the scope of government. But by framing it as a freedom issue I’m trying to say that there is more to freedom than just being left alone. A lot of people here would consider a guy on a deserted island more free than someone living in a state that imposes some restrictions on him. Only in the shallowest sense is that true. The whole point of having a society is that we all sacrifice trivial freedoms in exchange for access to greater ones.

      1. By that logic Tony, a child or someone in prison who has no worries about their safety or well being is the most free of all. I will take the adult freedom and the responsibility that goes with it over your liberal childish freedom any day.

        1. Don’t be casual with the word liberal. I’m more partial to it’s European definition. Again, it’s not about freedom; he was framing it as a freedom question to make a point. It’s about public safety. Don’t strawman your opponents, and maybe they won’t strawman you.

          1. I am not strawmanning him at all. If security and safety are the measure of freedom, then prisoners and children, by virtue of having the most security and safety, are the most free of all. If his concept of freedom wasn’t so flawed, it wouldn’t lead to such an absurd result.

          2. Who needs strawmen to attack the arguments of anybody who makes a statement like “Having a decreased risk of death = more freedom.”? I can’t make that position more facially absurd if I try.

        2. John you just got done defending the suspension of basic, ironclad, universally acknowledged rights of the accused and the rights of people to be free of relentless searches in your support of the war on terra. Don’t lecture me about freedom.

          Say, would you support seatbelt laws if they only applied to swarthy-looking Muslims?

          1. warrantless* searches

          2. Sorry Tony, just like yesterday and the day before, attacking the messenger is not a rationally valid form of argument. Try again there sparky.

            1. Hypocrisy is the issue here. I’m a libertarian, you’re just a conservative in disguise.

              1. You are libertarian who thinks that the government has a right to regulate for “our own safety”. Yeah that makes sense.

                And claiming “hypocrisy” is just another way of attacking the messenger. Even if you were right and I cared nothing about the civil liberties of whatever other I didn’t like (which you are not), that says nothing about the validity of the argument I am making here. The argument stands on its own outside the speaker. If an alcoholic told you that you shouldn’t drink a bottle of gin every day before breakfast, he would be a hypocrite for saying so. But that fact wouldn’t make drinking the gin any better of an idea.

                It amazes me how liberals on these threads don’t get basic logic. I guess it comes from living in an environment where no one ever questions you. It makes you intellectually lazy.

                1. You are libertarian who thinks that the government has a right to regulate for “our own safety”. Yeah that makes sense.

                  John, are you drunk? Isn’t rounding up terror suspects done for “our own safety”? You’re willing to sacrifice fundamental principles of freedom and basic checks on government power for this cause. Talking about seatbelt laws seems pretty nitpicky for a person so nonchalant about dismissing basic constitutional rights.

                  1. Exactly so Tony.

                    He is putting words in my mouth. I never said I AGREED the seatbelt laws. I was just pointing out that it was arguably a legitimate function. The crux of my argument is that the War on Terror and it’s attacks on freedom are a bigger deal.

                  2. Tony,

                    Do you know how to do anything but scream hypocrisy? Can you actually make a case for such laws beyond yelling about some other completely unrelated topic? No you can’t, which is why you are a troll and Sugar free was right not to bother with this thread.

                    1. Stop being such a hypocritical Republican apologist and maybe people won’t call you one. You made the case that seatbelt laws are a greater imposition on freedom than war on terra laws. That is the topic at hand, is it not? I’m saying you’re a Republican fellating hypocrite for your stance. If that’s out of bounds then tough titties.

      2. I’m really serious about talking to you; you seem pretty smart.

        1. Tony, I mean it. I… I think we should meet. I know a nice little quiet bar, not far from my apartment. You’re smart and I… just need you to regulate me. Oh, God – regulate me, Tony!

      3. Serious question. In your opinion, what are the greater freedoms that we get access to in society by virtue of giving up small ones? Not benefits or conveniences or preferred standard of living etc – but freedoms. Likely follow up question: what is your definition of freedom?

        1. question to tony – in case it wasn’t clear…

        2. I probably do define freedom more broadly than you. The freedom not to die in a massive pileup in an intersection, to me, is much greater than the freedom not to have to obey traffic signals.

          The freedom we gain from having our lives and property protected by police, fire, and armed forces is well worth the sacrifice made in taxes to pay for them.

          Freedom means more than being left alone. It means being able to function and prosper without undue impositions–that could be from government, yes, but it can also be from other people or corporations or nature itself. I believe in maximizing individual liberty. But that takes a more complex calculus than just “less government.”

          1. In principle, I can see some justification for where your philosophy takes you. I just dont think your definition of freedom is the right justification. Freedom in the sense you use it seems very different from mine – and not just because it’s “broader”. Sugarfree coke is not “freer” coke – it simply has sugar absent from the ingredients. You seem to use freedom in a similar sense – like an antonym for presence. You talk about freedom from want, freedom from danger, etc as being freedom. I don’t think of “freedom” as the “absence of government” – rather, I see it as the hallmark of a society where members value and respect one anothers choices more than they do some marginal benefit that could possible be gotten by restricting them.

            1. All of the marginal benefit that Stephen D. wants can be accomplished without coercion anyway.

              1. point being, in a free society, no one even tries out of respect.

          2. Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master.

          3. If you actually defined freedom that way, why don’t you advocate putting everyone in permanent comas or cryogenic states? That would give us the most “freedom” from the forces of nature and other individuals, after all.

            The truth is that you don’t actually have a clear definition of freedom, nor do you value it above all. You just want a mixture of liberty and control, with a ratio determined by whatever makes the most “sense” to you.

            1. Well whatever freedom is, it probably doesn’t include being forced into comas. The question is what are you free to do, and should everyone be free to do certain things in a just society? Sure, people should be free to take risks with their lives. But you can see how quickly that can start to infringe on the liberties of others.

              You also “just want a mixture of liberty and control, with a ratio determined by whatever makes the most ‘sense’ to you.” Your ratio is just different from mine. I think we both acknowledge that for freedom to mean anything there needs to be some measure of control, since anarchy or freedom from government is just that. It’s not freedom from anything else.

              1. If you defined liberty like a libertarian does, there would be virtually no conflict between one person’s liberty and another’s. My liberty ends where your liberty begins. So I could see where the conflict is if you define liberty as what is physically possible for one to do. But this is simply a wrong definition, so I’m not surprised that it creates a conflict. Liberty is what you are allowed to do, and I’m saying you should be allowed to do whatever you want as long as you aren’t disallowing someone from doing what they want (coercement). The problem lies not in imposing “costs” on others, but in imposing authority on others.

                And no, I don’t want a mix. Maximum liberty to zero control is not a ratio. Freedom means that no one has coercive control over anyone else, which is what libertarians advocate. I haven’t and never will admit that control is necessary for freedom.

      4. Freedom is what you are allowed to do, not what you can do, Tony. Superman isn’t more free than a normal citizen of the United States. A man on a deserted island will always be more free than a person regulated by the state, since the man on the island could attempt any action without being stopped by some authority. Even if the citizen could physically do more than the man on the island, he is allowed to do less.

        How long have you been arguing with libertarians? And you still haven’t picked up the basics of the meaning of freedom?

        1. Your definition of freedom is pointless if it concludes that the deserted island man is more free.

          Government is not the only thing that subtracts from freedom. What you are allowed to do and what you can do are the same thing. Nature can impede freedom at least as much as government. And government, by forbidding certain minor liberties, creates order that can ideally significantly increase individuals’ ability to act freely.

          1. “Your definition of freedom is pointless if it concludes that the deserted island man is more free.”

            And by pointless you mean it doesn’t allow you to come to the conclusion that you like. Too bad!

            “Government is not the only thing that subtracts from freedom.”

            Yes, I never said the opposite. If there was a second man on the island imposing his will on the first man, he would be less free.

            “What you are allowed to do and what you can do are the same thing.”

            So you’re saying it’s impossible for me to break the law, do what I’m not allowed to do? Because I could have sworn I saw some people doing just that on last night’s episode of COPS.

            You’re just utterly and obviously wrong on this one, Tony.

            “Nature can impede freedom at least as much as government.”

            No. It, can’t. Nature can make it so that you can’t physically do certain things. It can’t tell you that you aren’t allowed to do certain things that you can physically do. Only sentient, intelligent creatures can do that.

            “And government, by forbidding certain minor liberties, creates order that can ideally significantly increase individuals’ ability to act freely.”

            The only way government can increase freedom is by protecting it’s citizens from those who seek to coerce them, and it would have to be using less coercion in the process. This seems plausible, although it would be better if the government could do it without any coercion at all in a completely voluntary society, an anarchy.

            But you aren’t even talking about stopping coercion, you just want the government to try to increase safety and health. This is NOT the same thing as increasing freedom. The government might be increasing what you can physically do through these measures, but it is certainly decreasing what you are allowed to do. I hope you can see this difference. If you can’t, there is really no point in continuing this discussion, since your definition of freedom is idiotic.

  34. “You shouldn’t trivialize issues of health and safety by calling them nanny issues.”

    Classic man. You couldn’t write a better parody of the New York Times mindset if you tried.

  35. Seat belt laws save x amount of lives.

    [citation needed]

    Massive increase in the total amount of liberty (for all those people still living) at the cost of a trivial amount of individual liberty.

    Ends-justifies-the-means utilitarianism. Is there nothing it can’t justify?

    1. Shouldn’t we be looking at the number of lives “created or saved” by seatbelt laws?

      1. Sex in the car is awkward enough; sex in the car with seatbelts on is most likely statistically insignificant.

      2. This is outstanding. I have never been more attracted to you.

  36. The antics (and logic-processes) of Tony and Scotch remind me a bit of my mischievous four-year-old twins.
    It’s kinda cute, until one remembers that unlike Katey and Charlie, Tony and Scotch probably aren’t preschoolers. (And that Tony thinks Obama is his momma, but that’s a whole ‘nother problem, as they say.)

  37. as long as your ineptitude doesn’t impose a cost on me.

    Umm, Tony-

  38. I will say this: if Freedom is the thing that you value above all others, then it would make sense that you’d be against “nanny” laws.

    Perhaps the disconnect between Libertarians and the rest of humanity is that while we consider freedom to be important, it’s not so important that it trumps everything else.

    1. My favorite everything else is a tossup between the Virginia law against driving without shoes and the Virginia law against blowjobs.

      1. There is no Virginia law against driving without shoes. Pure myth.

        1. touche, blowjobs win.

          1. There also is no (enforceable) Virginia law against blowjobs, as long as it’s between consenting adults.

    2. Segregating libertarians as being separate from humanity is…well, it just rubs me the wrong way.

      Forgive the hyperbole, it has a sort of dehumanizing effect.

    3. I equally value freedom and justice.

      To not be a libertarian, you have to not care about either.

      But I suppose you could just now reply, “Well, we consider freedom and justice to be important, but not all THAT important!” or whatever the next arrow in the quiver is.

      How do nanny state laws violate justice?

      Well, as an example:

      I am thin and have low blood pressure and cholesterol. Always have. There is nothing I can eat, and no quantity in which I can eat it, that will make me fat or give me high cholesterol.

      Therefore, the nanny state laws banning the use of transfats in food preparation aren’t helping me or enhancing my safety in even the slightest degree.

      This means that the nanny state has criminalized a set of potential economic transactions [between a baker and me, say] that produce benefits for both parties and harms for neither party.

      Any law that criminalizes conduct that is beneficial and not harmful, and that does so without regard for the individual circumstances involved, is unjust.

      Liberty and justice are opposite sides of one coin.

  39. A trivial thing. More dangerous is an unaccountable government that detains “terrorists” without trial or charge. A great threat to individual liberty.

    Remind me; how does a government get to the point of assuming limitless power?

  40. Remind me; how does a government get to the point of assuming limitless power?

    It doesn’t.

    1. Here, we must disagree. I think it can, and it has with this whole war.

  41. How many lives we could create or save if the melanin lacking amongst us were made to stay indoors between 10am and 3pm everyday?

    Think of the health care costs, the wasted resources on sun block before you indulge in such trivialities as liberty and that anachronistic word, ‘freedom’, if you truly do care about maintaining a healthy society.

  42. You guys have fun eating your Tardscicles all day. The moron trolls are ruining this place. DON’T FEED THEM.

    I’m done for the day. The backyard’s no fun when someone keeps letting dogs take a shit in it.

    1. I though we were working to keep them contained on this thread.

    2. Scott Hamilton was the first time I started thinking it would be nice if H&R was moderated.

      1. In otherwords, dictatorship.

      2. Dammit, I wasn’t thinking of adding moderators until the trolls cost us SugarFree for the day. Not a fair trade!

        1. I have always opposed H&R being moderated. But it became obvious in less than a day that new breed of trolls are here to spread grief and only grief.

          1. You’re right, it is quite rude to force oneself into a circle jerk to which one wasn’t invited.

            1. Who said we didn’t invite you? Nonsense! We’ve needed a good mop-boy for a while now.

              1. Tony, you’ll always be welcome. I can’t say that for every troll we’ve ever had or the trolls we’ve had recently or the Trolls of the Future.

                1. You go to H&R with the trolls you have, not the trolls you wish you had or the trolls you will have in the future.

            2. We’ll always need Tony to hold the cookie.

  43. The other thing that Tony and Tristen do not understand is that justice like anything else is a commodity. We only have so much of it. Think of it this way, if the government only had to enforce one law, say murder, and put all of its efforts in just enforcing that one law, the chances of it getting justice in each individual case would be pretty high. Gradually, as the government enforces more and more laws, the chances of doing justice in a particular case goes down. You can only hire so many prosecutors, so many cops. And as you hire more they quality of the average one goes down. And as you enforce more laws they have less time to spend on any individual case. In addition, as you create more and more laws, you make more people criminals and overall respect for the law goes down.

    Do gooders like Tony and Tristen live in this fantasy world where law enforcement and justice is an infinite commodity with no drawbacks or limits. And sadly, reality doesn’t fit that fantasy.

    1. *sigh* I am not in opposition to you. I just have different priorities. I never said I was in favor of the laws; I was just saying that it was an attempt to ensure safety, not whether or not I agreed with it.

      Don’t strawman me.

      1. Whenever and argument goes over your head, you just say it is a straw man of you. The point is that regardless of what the justification for a law is, it uses up the finite supply of justice that can effectively be administered by the state. So, you better have a pretty damned good reason for enacting it.

        1. Look, I agree that there is a finite supply. We’re talking from two different places. We just seem to have different priorities.

        2. But since you’re in favor of restricting some of that “finite supply of justice” from people, you know, accused of crimes by the government, surely there’s plenty to go around to punish seatbelt offenders.

          1. Yes Tony because seat belt offenders are so high on the list of social menaces.

  44. Scotch’s list of important things

    #1) The Little People
    #2) The rest of the People (except for C.E.O.s)
    #3) The collected works of Barry Manilow
    #4) The Food and Drug Administration.
    #5) Punishing my enemies.
    #6) Punishing my friend Tom’s enemies.
    #7) Hallmark Mother’s Day cards.
    #8) A really good War Su Gai, not that shit they serve at China Kitchen down the street.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    #117) Freedom

    1. (@ this: “Perhaps the disconnect between Libertarians and the rest of humanity is that while we consider freedom to be important, it’s not so important that it trumps everything else.”)

  45. All it takes for people who claim they value freedom but actually don’t is for one of the freedoms they value to be removed. Recent national developments in health care ought to provide ample evidence of this in the near future.

  46. God damn, what a fucking dumb obnoxious interviewer. The third question comment is “What about five minutes? You haven’t even served in government for five minutes”. This shit isn’t journalism, its a good reason to wish for some dead “journalists”.

  47. “As the lady said, it takes a village.”

    That village is the government. You are the child.

    P.J. O’Rourke

  48. That wasnt an interview; it was an interrogation.

    I’m surprised they didnt ask, “how racist are you?”

    They got away with the “you are an angry person” line anyway

  49. I’m done for the day. The backyard’s no fun when someone keeps letting dogs take a shit in it.

    Gresham’s Law in action.

  50. I would point out that Tony’s “freedom from dying in a car crash” is actually freedom from the consequences of his own decisions.

    If he doesn’t wear a seatbelt, that’s his choice. If his choice leads to him dying in a car crash, that’s a consequence of his own decision.

    So, no, I don’t accept his definition of freedom. Freedom isn’t being free from the consequences of your decisions; its being free to make your own decisions and live with the consequences.

    You aren’t free unless you are free to be wrong.

  51. Free to be, you and me!

  52. Seat belts were an available optional extra or as an after market add-on from at least the mid-1950s.

    The first article I read advocating the use of seat belts was in Boy’s Life in 1962. IIANM Popular Mechanics ran similar articles before then.

    Contrary to what Tony and Scotch Hamilton are suggesting there neve was a conpspiracy by evil capitalist automakers and heartless libertarians to prevent Americans from using seatbelts.

    They’ve been available to anyone wanting to use them for a long time.

    1. Nobody claimed a conspiracy. But as with many safety features in many products, surely they’d be a lot less without government requiring them, and there’s no guarantee even a minimum acceptable standard would emerge from market forces alone.

      1. Once again, ASME Pressure Vessel Codes
        and UL. How safe is your lamp, Tony? The .gov didn’t have a damn thing to do with that. How safe are compressed air cylinders? Pretty damn safe, and the .gov had nothing to do with that, either.

        You’re factually wrong in your assertion that government regulation drives safety. Most government safety regulation is derived from industry best practice. IOW, what people were already doing before the government codified it. And once it’s codified, innovation stops because you can’t do things a better safer way if it doesn’t meet or conflicts with code.

        1. Complying with pressure vessel codes and inspections has a lot to do with whether your insurance carrier will keep your policy in force. The toughest boiler inspectors are the ones working for insurance companies.

          Keeping your insurance coverage in effect is pretty important in keeping you banker and other financial partners happy.

          And then, of course, keeping you boilers from exploding is pretty much a prerequisite for staying in business.

      2. Tony, the devices on the market today were all developed by private industry. The only government action has been to mandate their installation on vehicles before consumers indicated any real desire for them.

        As to you objection to being accused of believing in a conspiracy, hardly anyone here contests the claim that seatbelts lead to higher rates of survivability in accidents either.

        1. I don’t expect consumers to always demand things that will increase their safety, let alone make rational decisions at all times in ways that will lead to a greater common good. We don’t run policy by capitalism for the same reason we’re not a direct democracy.

          1. WTF? Have you ever read anything by Hayek at all? Have you been paying attention to anything on this site at all? Because if you have, you wouldn’t be making such a stupid comment.

          2. Tony, the “common good” and what you think is good are not necessarily the same thing.

            Statists like you seem to have a real problem with that concept.

  53. Most government safety regulation is derived from industry best practice.

    IOW, pretty much the same standard that will be applied by the courts to pay restitution to people harmed by people who don’t use best practices.

    So, we can conclude that

    (1) Safety standards are developed outside of regulatory agencies.

    (2) People who don’t meet them are held liable for harm caused outside of regulatory agencies.

    What is the net gain, again, from the billions spent on “safety regulation”? I’ll need a citation, please.

  54. How many times can “strawman” be used in one blog comment section?

    “Don’t strawman me, bro!”

    (sigh)

  55. Tony,
    The only rational argument you have besides unrelatedly pointing out John’s hypocrisy on foreign policy is that harmful endangerment is a violation of the rights of others. I think most libertarians would agree with you on this. However, the choice not to wear a seatbelt is not a harmful endangerment of others – unlike driving recklessly, jumping off a skyscraper onto a crowded street or even yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. Getting drunk and taking drugs is not inherently endangering others either, unless one loses self-control, in which case one must be fully self-responsible.

    Here’s my question to you: would you not support banning radios, cell phones and CD players in cars? What about banning small children from riding in cars without a second adult due to the potential distraction to the driver that could cause an accident? What about adjusting your air conditioning, heater, windows or seat while in motion? What if you get caught by a cop taking your eyes off the road ahead of you? Wouldn’t banning these things be a relatively minor utilitarian tradeoff in lost liberty for the potential risk of fatality caused by these actions? Moreover, these actions are ALL riskier to other drivers than not wearing a seatbelt.

    1. Well, I’m for public transportation and minimizing the use of the car in society.

      But as that’s a pipe dream for now, I will say that I’m closer to ambivalent on seatbelt laws than I’ve been arguing, precisely because it doesn’t obviously impose on anyone’s life but your own.

      I do think that if it can be shown scientifically that such laws dramatically reduce deaths, then the tradeoff is pretty good.

      1. Public buses and trains usually don’t have seatbelts, in case you forgot. Public transportation almost always runs deficits. For them to charge rates that would bring in profits, they would have to set the prices higher than most poor people can afford. Since cars would be too expensive for poor people what with the regressive gas taxes and regressive car inspections, I guess poor people get to walk to work every day. Is that what you want?

        1. I highly doubt that in any universe it is cheaper for the poor to own a car apiece than it is for them to take public transportation.

          It works just fine on the east coast of this country and throughout Europe and elsewhere.

          1. That’s probably true in the short term, although one can generally buy a working car for about the price of a year long pass, and ignoring gas taxes, inspection/registration costs, government mandated repairs and emissions system updates, over the long term gas would probably be less than the annual pass, so could end up breaking even over the long term, depending on repairs, distance travelled, etc.

            Don’t get me wrong, public transportation is a valid action of local government, although I despise the typical monopoly power the government grants itself and it completely depends on context as to whether it is a worthwhile expenditure. But, as a progressive I find the concept that the government should artificially price the poor out of the car ownership market and seriously inconvenience their lives in order to encourage public transportation and reduce carbon emissions abhorrent. The fact is this is one of many, many cases where the government prevents poor people from progressing on their own.

            1. Moreover, in many cases it is possible to sell a used car at or near the price you bought it if you take care of it. So potentially driving a car COULD be cheaper in the long run. Completely depends on the circumstances.

    2. And the same would go for cell phones. We are allowed to collectively decide through our government to protect us from ourselves.

      I don’t think babies should ever be allowed to leave the house, however.

      1. LOL! Geez, Tony, do you really want me to hide my children away and never take them out to a playground?

        1. Not until they’ve learned manners.

  56. Why isn’t anyone concerned that Deborah Solomon has had a stick up her ass for so long? Shouldn’t we be making a law against that?

  57. News reporters are natural allies of nanny-statists for the same reason they are natural allies of anybody else who says there’s a crisis/emergency: Emergencies, even phony ones, sell papers and TV ads.

    Perhaps all news media should be required to display the preceding as a warning on page one. 🙂

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