Nanny State

Two Anti-Choice Parties

We should use law to punish those who harm others, not to micromanage their lives.

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Democrats often call themselves "pro-choice." Republicans defend "freedom". Unfortunately, neither party really believes in letting individuals do what we want.

When Democrats say they are "pro-choice," they are talking about abortion. Some act as if a right to legal abortion is the most important freedom in America. But Democrats aren't very enthusiastic about other kinds of choice. They don't want you to have the right to choose your kids' school, work without joining a union, buy a gun, pay people whatever you contract to pay them if they choose to work for you, buy things you want to buy without regulations constantly interfering and so on. Liberals, such as my Fox colleague Alan Colmes, say individualism is not enough.

"'Collective,' sounds like communism," says Colmes on my TV show this week (yes, Alan, it does), "but we do work and live in a society where there is a collective well-being."

He thinks I should be grateful for regulations that limit access to guns and that force people to negotiate via labor unions instead of individual contracts. But if we were really grateful, it wouldn't be necessary to force us to abide by those rules.

I want to try doing things my own way. I should be able to. As long as I don't harm someone else's body or property.

Democrats constantly increase limits on individual choice. President Obama won't let people work in unpaid internships, and health officials in liberal cities ban trans fats from restaurants.I like the way Sen. Rand Paul (R.-Ken.) summarized liberals' love of crushing choice:

"It's light bulbs. It's toilets. It's cars. You name it. Your freedom of choice is gone. For a party that says they are the pro-choice party, this is the most anti-choice administration we've seen in a lifetime."

Republicans have their own list of ways in which they want to control us. Many are not just anti-abortion (as is Sen. Paul); they're also anti-gay marriage, anti-drugs, anti-gambling and, in a few cases, anti-free speech.

Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, says most of these rules are needed to protect society as a whole. When I challenge the war on drugs, asking, "Don't I own my own body?" he answers, "It is your body, John, but the consequences are paid for by the broader society."

For example, when he was a police officer, Perkins "had to go into homes [such as in] one case where there was an infant that was on the mother's body, and the mother was dead from an overdose. I had to wait for child protection to come. And that child became a ward of the state, which we all pay for."

The neglect of that child is a terrible thing, but where does this logic lead? I asked him if he'd ban alcohol and cigarettes, since those kill far more people. He said, "We restrict who can buy cigarettes, who can use them."

But we impose those restrictions only on children. Adults are free to smoke. Adults should be free to do anything we damn well want to do—as long as we don't directly harm others.

Perkins worries that controlled substances can be habit-forming. I worry more about people becoming habituated to being controlled.

I wonder just how many things social conservatives would outlaw if they thought the public would accept the bans. Perkins doesn't approve of gambling, gay marriage, plural marriage, sex work or making a political statement by burning a flag.

And some of those things harm people. But we should use law to punish those who harm others, not to micromanage their lives.

Meanwhile, liberals keep adding new things to their own list of items to control: wages, hate speech, high-interest loans, plastic shopping bags, large cars, health care, e-cigarettes, Uber, AirBnB, and more.

One choice America needs urgently is an alternative to politicians who constantly want to ban more things.

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179 responses to “Two Anti-Choice Parties

  1. They’re pissed off about a school board plan to emphasize patriotism, free markets, American exceptionalism and the like?basically, a conservative view of U.S. history

    Free markets is the one thing on that list, that although really really scary, is not a conservative view. It’s a libertarian view.

    1. And doesn’t it sound kind of out of place in that list?

  2. Cars kill far more people than drugs, often leaving orphans behind. Should we ban cars? Oh, right, we control who can drive. As if legalizing drugs would mean free drugs for all, rather than age restrictions similar to tobacco and alcohol. What a silly line of reasoning.

    1. What if she had never dine drugs, the woke up one morning and decided to slit her wrists? Would that kid be any less a ward of the state? Would he be cheaper for the tax payers because of how his mom died? This is insanity wrapped in retardation.

      1. Then the politicians would be calling for a ban on razor blades. We’ll all be laser-ing our body hair soon.

    2. “Should we ban cars? ”

      Of course not! But we should be aware of the history and that cars have been made the default method of transportation NOT by the free market, but by lobbying, pressure, etc. to build roads and infrastructure, etc.

      Read the story of Carl Fischer for just some of how the Big Bad Gubment made it so cars could sell and travel:
      http://www.amazon.com/The-Pace…..1882897218

      These articles and so-called debates here border on the infantile. Rand’s statement that we lost freedom because a car or toilet is efficiently and safely designed is total crap.

      We DO lose freedom when the gubment snoops too much and when it enters a constant state of War and Homeland Security.

      Let’s separate the realities from the made-up BS…then perhaps we can have a real conversation.

      NO, it’s not the same to force a preggy women to have a baby from rape, accidents, etc. (yes, Rand Paul is big on this one) and have a car be safely designed. These pundits need to go back and watch Sesame Street “Which of these things is not like the other” episode.

      1. Rand’s statement that we lost freedom because a car or toilet is efficiently and safely designed is total crap

        .

        Christ you are ignorant.

        1. Agreed, that is a completely vacuous criticism. Nobody ever said a toilet should be designed in a particular way. I believe the operative rant was in the energy committee hearing when he first joined the Senate.

          On the topic of toilets and light bulbs he said “try to persuade us by argument, but don’t throw us in jail if we don’t agree with your choices”.

          and my favorite “I don’t need the government to tell me how to buy a toilet”

          *quotes are paraphrased – it has been a couple of years and I didn’t bother to hire a stenographer.

      2. 1) Other than the word “car”, what does this have to do with my original post?

        2) Are you actually arguing that we should end public financing of highways and roads?

        3) I absolutely agree with you that the abuses born out of perpetual war and safety regulations are different in degree. That doesn’t necessarily** make them qualitatively different.

        **Just to be clear, my libertarian self doesn’t get too upset about safety regulations in theory, but in practice almost every BS regulation is justified on the grounds of protecting someone, and there are a lot of BS regulations.

        1. Case in point. If an employee brings in a respirator to use voluntarily (after the company has determined that one is not required) the company must have that employee undergo medical screening. If he ends up passing out because of a condition he had, the company is held responsible even though they told the employee he didn’t need to wear a respirator. Also, OSHA cannot enforce it’s regulations on individual employees. It’s designed to be used as a weapon against an employer by unions.

      3. You are right in one thing, that govt interfered in the market and made cars more desirable. However, that’s about all you get right.

        Rand’s statement that we lost freedom because a car or toilet is efficiently and safely designed is total crap.

        It’s not how it’s designed, but that if you do anything else, govt force of arms is used against you. And that’s anti-choice.

        NO, it’s not the same to force a preggy women to have a baby from rape, accidents, etc.

        I didn’t know that protecting the rights of live human beings was suspended when they were created by an act of evil. I fail to see how the rape of one person makes the murder of another ok…

        If I make abortion illegal (let’s say, for the sake of argument, in all cases), then I’m not using force to make a woman have a baby. I’m using force to prevent a murder, which is a violation of NAP.

        (This is where we get into a 20 post argument as to whether a live human being is a “person”.)

        1. He’s not even right about the road/car dynamic. There were paved roads in cities before cars. There were a few paved roads between them too. A paved road is better than a dirt one for every form of wheeled transportation. People like cars because they are fast and comfortable. More people buying cars means more people wanting paved roads. But if the population exploded like it did in the late 19th early 20th centuries but the automobile didn’t exist, there would still be road paving on a massive scale because there would be all these people riding their wagons, etc. everywhere. Granted automobiles made this process accelerate because it enabled more rapid wealth creation. But to suggest that cars were somehow shoved onto the public is silly. Americans love cars and demand them.

          1. Ok, you’re not wrong, but the govt did subsidize cars by stealing property and tax the people (steal more property) to build more roads than the market would have supplied. This lead to the supremacy of the car in the US.

            That all being said, the US would have mostly favored the auto instead of mass transport (compared to most highly developed countries) due to the fact that we’re a continent wide instead of being a tiny European country.

            1. There are so many typos in there. I should really stop trying to post when I’m in a hurry…

            2. “but the govt did subsidize cars by stealing property and tax the people (steal more property) to build more roads”

              Read the book – or let’s be accurate!

              The Kochs of the time (car, gasoline and auto parts makers including Fisher) lobbied and bought the government in order to have VASTLY more money spent on roads, which created the real market for the cars. Lots of other stories also – the state of RI was once crisscrossed by Electric Trollies – but the car companies (again, the Koch example, paying off the gubment) made sure they went away in favor of the Bus (made by GM, etc.). The reasoning…or at least the results – were clear. That is, cars can drive over bus routes but not over train, light rail or dedicated trolley routes. Also, buses were dirty and smelly and made people want cars. The problem was that most working people simply could not afford them! And so some of it continues today. Many wage slaves cannot afford a car and insurance – those combined with work cloths, food, etc. end up taking a vast portion of the work wages.

              American is a car-based nation due to Big Business making sure it is/was. If we would have invested some of those trillions in rail networks such as Europe has, we’d be proud of being able to get from NYC to Hilton Head in 6 hours (it takes longer by plane even when all the waiting time is figured in).

              Of course we love cars. You can screw, drink and smoke weed in them easier than trains!

              1. The Kochs of the time

                You mean the Soroses of our time? I fail to see how these kinds of meaningless accusations help us attain understanding…

                American is a car-based nation due to Big Business making sure it is/was.

                Through govt force-of-arms. The problem wasn’t the lobbying, it was the violation of our rights done by force-of-arms.

                If we would have invested some of those trillions in rail networks such as Europe has, we’d be proud of being able to get from NYC to Hilton Head in 6 hours

                No, you couldn’t. That’s because the US is 3000 miles (5000 km) wide and there is (and would be in our counter-factual musings) huge gaps of “fly over” country in the middle where no sane person (corporation) would put a high speed rail. Why not? Because it would cost way too much to buy without eminent domain let alone build and maintain.

                The Euros get away with it because they steal the money to build it and the property they build it on. But even then they even have to bow to market pressure and build it on dense enough areas so they’ll be enough passengers throughout.

                You fail at economics. You also fail at comprehending property rights.

                1. “Why not? Because it would cost way too much to buy without eminent domain let alone build and maintain.”

                  Might I point you to the size of the interstate and road corridors?

                  As far as size, you know very well that the vast majority of automobile trips are short range – in fact, 98% are less than 30 miles!

                  You may be correct about Chinese, Indonesians and many others “stealing” the money to build them – however that’s the exact thing we did and still do.

                  Which means you agree with my point. NONE of the systems we enjoy today were created by the free market. None of them. “Free Markets” is nothing but an infantile talking point – about like saying “the sun comes up in the morning” or “we breath air”.

                  Complexity doesn’t seem to be the realm of many libertarians. As long as they can yell talking points they seem contented.

                  1. NONE of the systems we enjoy today were created by the free market.

                    That’s true.

                    “Free Markets” is nothing but an infantile talking point – about like saying “the sun comes up in the morning” or “we breath air”.

                    That’s not. While evil may have been done in the past, it doesn’t mean that we should continue to do it in the future.

                  2. You truly are an idiot.

                    Just because something wasn’t created by the free market, doesn’t mean it (or an equivalent or better) substitute wouldn’t have been created by it.

                    Yes, government AND the market can both create stuff. The difference is, the market creates stuff more efficiently than the government can, i.e. provides a better product for less, and doesn’t need to steal the money to do so.

                    1. ” government AND the market can both create stuff. The difference is, the market creates stuff more efficiently than the government can”

                      Actually, any fact-based debate, of which few seem to be located in this locale, would show that Gubment working along with Biz would end up with the better results than either working alone.

                      Just heard a piece on the radio about a big problem in health care with antibiotic resistant diseases. The Gubment guy said no solutions are pending from all the Big Businesses because there is no money in it (most of the drugs end up just sitting on a shelf waiting – in care -not being used up in vast quantities).

                      Given business alone – what would happen is that we’d wait until millions got sicker and THEN, for a very high price, the industry may develop something expensive which would do the job.

                      In many fields the wants/needs of the free market and those of Society and People are at polar opposites – health care being the best example. It’s already been proven that some hospitals with the worst records make the most money per patient!

                      Which gets back to the point as to why Talking Points are not enough to solve the world’s problems. Luckily, except for some fringe elements, most people understand this.

        2. I would argue that government didn’t make cars more desirable. They didn’t invent air bags and roll cages. Some people don’t want those things. Manufacturers and engineers responding to market demands made those things. The govt just limited choices. So really, govt actually limited the desirability of cars. Maybe i prefer high fuel efficiency and i’d be happy to trade the safety of a roll cage for a good deal of extra cash in my pocket. Too bad. Uncle Sam chose for me to pick the safe car.

          1. “They didn’t invent air bags and roll cages. Some people don’t want those things”

            Those same people probably happily sue the car companies when they are horribly injured…..or would decline to pay 2X the insurance rate…or would cry when a loved one was killed or horribly maimed, etc. etc.

            Your example is a perfect example of the “foolish libertarianism”, which seems to rely on the fact that society and the police don’t have to scrape you off the road because it was your choice!

            We do have to scrape you and your loved ones up – and as long as we have to do this, we insist that the best available technology be used to keep you and your loved ones safe. Fuck it if you don’t like it….if that’s your idea of freedom, you need to get out more.

            My son was 20 when he slipped on some ice nearby and ran the car dead straight into a telephone pole. Luckily, Nader and Big Bad Gubment had forced the care to have air bags so he walked away. I dare you to say you would have accepted having your own kin dead or in a wheelchair because you wanted a bit less of a cage (the crush zone helped in addition to the air bags).

            1. Craig

              Why is it you friggin lib-tards just have to use the Government as Mommy and Daddy?

              Grown ups can a should figure out what is best for them and their lives.

              Believing the “Government Regulations” did a thing to “save” your boy when he ran out of talent and smashed up his car is a bigger joke than you believing you have the right to tell any of us how to live or think.

              So screw off.

              1. You want a government that doesn’t govern?

              2. “Grown ups can a should figure out what is best for them and their lives.”

                That’s a completely ridiculous talking point.

                Our system of “free market” capitalism makes it quite easy to fool people….as an example, we are the only civilized country which allows Direct to Consumer drug advertising. If those 100’s of billions spent doing that didn’t convince folks to so what they OTHERWISE MIGHT NOT, then why do they spend it?

                They spend it to put $$$ in their pockets, period. Because you can’t fool all the people, but you can certainly fool most…or at least enough of them.

                Even if we gloss over basic intelligence, we still get to the next level. Expecting each and every consumer to understand the statistics and issues behind each and every decision they make – when billions are being spent to convince they the WRONG ways, is downright foolish.

                How much is spent to market junk food compared to how much is spent to teach people to eat right? How much is spent teaching people how to handle stress as opposed to the amount spent peddling SSRI’s and other drugs?

                We know that the majority of “killer diseases” in this country are caused by lifestyle – please give me one reason why billion dollar companies that help fix these diseases after the fact should instead spend their money tell people how to simply avoid them?

                And that, my friend, is the role of government. Quite simple, really.

                1. “That’s a completely ridiculous talking point.”

                  No it really isn’t.

                  As an Adult you and you alone are 100% responsible for your life choices and outcomes.

                  So if your too dumb or cheap to be safe that’s on you, calling for the Government to “lead” you from cradle to grave is not what this country was built on.

                  Also if your actions hurt some one you are responsible for that. So all this deception in “marketing” that cause this needs to be addressed, we have laws in place but your “friends” with in the Government have been in bed with business for so long both sides are untouchable.

                  But I know Progressives just love to double down on stupid and ask the Government to “fix” problems that the Government created in the first place.

                  Try some personal responsibility for a while you may like, but then Progressive teaching is hard to repair.

            2. I don’t have a problem with the government having a media outlet advising people to make good lifestyle choices. It’s when they start banning the “bad lifestyle” stuff (pot, prostitution, gambling, Super Big Gulps) that gets me enraged.

              You can convince me life would be better if I don’t ingest a particular substance. But don’t throw me in jail if I ingest that substance anyway.

              1. “Super Big Gulps”

                If this actually enrages you, you may need therapy.

            3. Um… yes. It does. When some nanny-state government dictates how big a drink container can be and businesses lose lots of money to get in compliance, that grinds my gears. We’re not killing people by selling 64-ounce drinks. And many of these places have plenty of healthier alternatives to put in those cups (look up QuikTrip sometime).

      4. Just having your own little debate with yourself there, ain’t ya craiginmass?

    3. “rather than age restrictions similar to tobacco and alcohol.”

      Libertarians favour arbitrary age restrictions? It doesn’t strike me as a pro-choice stance.

      1. I was speaking more about the practical reality. But I really shouldn’t need to point out that libertarians generally accept a need to treat children differently than adults. And unless you want a police officer or judge deciding in every case when a person stops being a child and starts being an adult, I don’t see any alternative to choosing an arbitrary age for legal adulthood.

        1. “17” – Chef

        2. “And unless you want a police officer or judge deciding in every case when a person stops being a child and starts being an adult”

          That might not be a bad idea. It’s a thorny issue. In many ways the adults of our culture are becoming infantilized. (Obamacare to name one aspect that Reason disapproves of, instant gratification to name another which Reason promotes.) I also think that the voices of children, given that they are going to be around longer than the rest of us, deserve a stronger presence in our society, more than simply chattels of their parents or wards of the state.

          1. They become infantilized because they’re unable to experience and learn from certain things that have been banned from them until they reach a certain age. Maybe if they knew about the liquor (and tried it) at 15-16 under parental supervision, they’d be less prone to more damaging college alcohol stunts.

      2. I think we’d favor a universal “age of permission” that doesn’t vary by issue. No more of this “old enough to fight in the army but not to drink” shit. Once you turn, maybe, 16 or 17, then you can drink, gamble, smoke, vote, do whatever. Some of those things should require a safety awareness course (like for alcohol or drugs) before you can ingest them. But I’d rather have that than an outright ban or a hodgepodge of age limits.

    4. According to the leftists I encounter on the internet, deaths by cars and guns are totally not comparable because cars weren’t designed to kill people. A better example of how it’s all about the FEELZ is hard to find.

      1. “deaths by cars and guns are totally not comparable because cars weren’t designed to kill people.”

        Well, again “which of these things is not like the other”?

        100% of Americans use cars in ways that they simply could not get along without. Also, they may be safer than walking or a bike, so comparisons matter.

        Cars, in that sense, are like solar radiation. A bunch of us get cancer from background radiation. Is that “bad? Or something we accept because we agree that it’s part of life? (we could wear lead or other protective clothing).

        Arming up (and I have nothing against one owning a gun) is statistically proven to make each person in that household MORE likely to be hurt or killed.

        Again, there is a difference, but libertarians smoking dope and debating how to fix the world at 2am aren’t going to see it.

        1. Arming up (and I have nothing against one owning a gun) is statistically proven to make each person in that household MORE likely to be hurt or killed.

          You also fail at correlation vs causation.

          1. “You also fail at correlation vs causation.”

            And you fail at statistics and math.

            Talking points do not negate reality…over millions and millions of people….

            Can a gun make ONE person safer – either anecdotally or in reality? Of course But equating millions of guns over the population with millions of cars is a silly discussion. Your leftie friends are ignorant even discuss it with you.

            Maybe you should discuss vaccines or flu shots with them instead – more relevant.

            1. Craig your talking points are not any better than ours

              So drop the mask and go for full control of every part of everyone’s life so we actually see what you really are.

            2. And you fail at statistics and math.

              Actually, I scored very well at them. The govt university I went to had to score me more than 100% in math so they could curve the grades for the public schooled people.

              Can a gun make ONE person safer – either anecdotally or in reality? Of course

              An object usually has a hard time doing anything by itself. A firearm and the knowledge/willingness to use it has made lots of people safer. Ask anyone who’s been shot at in combat.

              But equating millions of guns over the population with millions of cars is a silly discussion.

              It’s an argument designed to point out how ridiculous part of the gun ban argument is, that “it’s unsafe so we should ban it” (or “if it saves one child”).

              Do I need a gun? Not really. Do I need a car? Not really. Do I want both? Yes.

              Is one designed to take a life? Yes. Does that matter at all? No. A spear is designed to take a life (so are many knives) and few argue we should ban these things. But that’s not the point; it doesn’t matter why it was made, it matters what the person uses it for. A pillow can be used to sleep on or strangle. An AR-15 can be used to shoot lots of cans (prairie dogs, deer, etc) or to kill a person. The object isn’t good or bad by itself.

        2. Living around other human beings is part of life if we don’t live alone on a desert island. If you are going to live around other humans you have to realistic about human nature which actually hasn’t changed in any significant way in the thousands of years of recorded history. “Arming up” as you put is just understanding and accepting the risks and responsibilities that are involved with living around other people, a minority of which have no desire or intentions of respecting the person or property of others unless deterred by force.

          1. Also bear in mind that the really bad apples are always drawn to jobs where they have a monopoly on force and the illusion of authoritah.

          2. “”Arming up” as you put is just understanding and accepting the risks and responsibilities that are involved with living around other people”

            Right – and statistics and math show that people, when trusted with this responsibility, don’t uphold it – which is why it’s statistically more dangerous to own arms.

            In Libertarian Utopian La-La land, each person would be a engineer, doctor and scientists in every different field (so they could decide, for example, whether to wear a helmet or take a prescription drug or fly in a plane) and also there would be no domestic violence, violent drunks, mental illness, irresponsible people, etc……

            But since we have ALL of them…..and since many people can become one or more of them even without foresight or intention, that’s why owning a gun is more dangerous than not.

            Let’s not argue simple facts. Owning a gun is not like owning a car…except they are both made from metal. Saying a car is optional in US Society is also suspect…fact is, you generally cannot survive without one.

            1. There’s plenty of everyday household items that can kill you if utilized in a certain way. A gun is the least of your worries.

              Throw statistics at me all you want. It’s part of having free speech and freedom of the press, after all. But don’t go making laws banning people from owning guns. We set a dangerous precedent once only outlaws or “the authorities” can possess firearms.

              1. “But don’t go making laws banning people from owning guns”

                I didn’t think the article or conversation was about that. However, speaking of the point, there are 9 dead in a tiny town in FL (450 total population) in just the last 2 months…..all because of the “freedoms” of little or no regulation.

                Cars are extremely heavily regulation, trackable, etc,

  3. They’re pissed off about a school board plan to emphasize patriotism, free markets, American exceptionalism and the like?basically, a conservative view of U.S. history

    Free markets is the one thing on that list, that although really really scary, is not a conservative view. It’s a libertarian view.

    1. No matter how many times you try, you are still commenting on the wrong article.

    2. “Free markets is the one thing on that list, that although really really scary, is not a conservative view. It’s a libertarian view.”

      You mean a two work slogan and talking point is a libertarian view?

      That’s quite simplistic…but I guess when “statists and bad” is the other big libertarian view, it makes some warped sense.

      1. Please try to make your trolling a bit more intelligent sounding.

        1. Smart is hard for Bitches that troll with “feelings”

  4. I saw this on the cover of our local newspaper yesterday:

    http://archive.desmoinesregist…..ce-victims

    Apparently, the fight to end domestic violence and the war against women has a new tool – GPS tracking to anyone with a restraining order…

    1. Big Brother loves you!

    2. There was a discussion about the NFL and domestic violence on NPR this morning. One of the guests said that any form of domestic violence should come with an automatic lifetime ban from the NFL. Someone brought up the point that if a salesman or police officer is convicted of domestic violence, then after they serve their criminal punishment, they can still be a salesman or a police officer, so do we really want to deny someone their livelihood by banning them for life?

      The response was an affirmative yes, because think of the victims.

      This guest included directing foul language at a spouse or child as domestic violence, and was pretty clear that she thought all domestic violence should be treated in the same way.

      I can’t help but think people like that actually hurt the cause more than help it.

      1. They’re so blind to the reality of gradients that they relish in throwing the baby out with the bathwater. See, yelling a bit too loud because you’re pissed at your kid one time is evil, just like throwing your kid down a flight of stairs and kicking them until they bleed. This is the same emotional tactic used by the rapemonger feminists. See, rape is bad, so two drunk coeds going at it is the same as a man raping a woman in a dark alley at knife point. There is no room for common sense, no room for leniency. This is zero tolerance culture, where anything that fits in their definition of an emotionally charged word is exactly the same as the worst, most heinous manifestation.

        1. I was trying to take her points in the most gracious way possible. But she really did make it sound like swearing and yelling really badly at someone was domestic violence in her eyes. And I can certainly accept a definition of domestic abuse that includes verbal abuse. But she also made it clear that one instance of abuse is all it should take to drop the ban hammer, and the reasons for the abuse don’t matter. So I can’t see any other option for her but to classify getting mad, losing your temper, swearing, and saying some nasty things before storming off as domestic abuse worthy of pretty severe social ostracization.

        2. “so two drunk coeds going at it is the same as a man raping a woman in a dark alley at knife point.”

          I think you misunderstand. The culture does not see these two incidents as being the same. The one which occurs at knife point is much more serious. You’d be hard-pressed to find many who think otherwise.

          1. Try telling that to the folks who intentionally conflate the two. They seem more than happy to ride the “rape is rape” bandwagon all the way home.

            1. “Try telling that to the folks who intentionally conflate the two”

              Surely you support the choice of these folks to define rape as they see fit, whether you agree or not. You were making a point about ‘the culture’ which I don’t believe would fit with these folks of yours.

              All that aside for the moment, I think the culture is changing and becoming less tolerant of violence toward women. I don’t see this as a bad or regrettable turn of affairs.

              1. “Surely you support the choice of these folks to define rape as they see fit, ”

                Go check out tumbler’s rapemonger feminists and come back to this quote. you’ll retract it real quick

                1. “you’ll retract it real quick”

                  I won’t because I know that with any issue you’ll find people who take extreme views on it. Not much we can do about that. Take comfort in the fact that no, society generally doesn’t view the two daters and the knife wielder as equal.

                  1. Society and government are not the same thing.

  5. Speaking of not respecting people’s choices, but has anyone else seen this ad?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTj4I9WUggw
    Second hand smoke is now apparently so harmful that just seeing it bad.

    There is a pathetic follow-up that I can’t seem to find that basically apologizes to celebreties for calling them out, but says, really, they should think before paparazzi take pictures of them and post them without their permission.

    1. Speaking of not respecting people’s choices, but has anyone else seen this ad?

      Dude, trigger warning!

      I got tired of the truth.com commercials when they started spewing scary half-truths snowballed into scary lies;

      Fact #271

      There is more smoking in TV shows rated TV-PG than in TV shows with a TV-14 rating. In other words, smoking is more prevalent on shows that aim to reach younger viewers. Hmm.

      Fact #266

      E-cigarettes have had some quality-control issues. Plus, most e-cigs contain addictive nicotine, and carcinogens have been found in some e-cig vapor. How about we get some more research and regulation up in here?

      1. I got tired of the truth.com commercials when I realized that tobacco companies are legally prohibited from airing any kind of rebuttal.

        I have little to no respect for any anti-smoking campaign that doesn’t at least offer e-cigs as a viable alternative. I’d bet good money that the “truth” campaign never makes that endorsement.

        I’m also thinking of the decision by CVS to get rid of all their tobacco products (OK, their choice) and replace it with anti-smoking aids and info. If they don’t include e-cigs, then I can’t take them seriously.

        1. CVS doesn’t have CVS brand e-cigs but they do have CVS brand patches and gum. I think that’s part of the explanation.

  6. There is a remedy; one that almost all have forgotten. It’s called law:common. Is there another (wo)man making a claim that they’ve been harmed or injured? No? Then there’s no case.
    Of course, a contract makes its own law.

  7. Have I mentioned I like Stossel?

  8. “One choice America needs urgently is an alternative to politicians who constantly want to ban more things.”

    The proliferation of laws and regulations is systemic, a law of nature. It can’t be overridden by simply choosing an alternative politician. A third party, the Libertarians, gaining power would inevitably end up adding their own laws and regulations.

  9. Why does Stossel’s post always bring out our worst trolls?

    1. Why does Stossel’s post always bring out our worst trolls?

      CUZ I SEEN ‘EEM AWN TH TEEVEE AN’ I DON LAHK ‘EEM GIMME HUCKABEE HE’S A GOOD OL BOA!!11!

  10. This is a great article and I agree with it completely, but there is a problem here that is preventing people from understanding these otherwise simple concepts. The problem is not the political party ideology, but rather the devotion to party that blinds folks to these basic truths. You see, every damn time you explain something to someone and it contradicts their parties stance on the topic, they feel this ping in their head, like you’ve just told them that their child is an ugly moron. Yes, this is irrational, but unfortunately, too many people are so hard wired to love their group, that they cannot properly think through their cognitive dissonance. People have been trained to be loyal to their party. its the same thing with professional sports, except our fucking liberty is at the mercy of these drooling zombies.

    1. i think a major part of this is voting. When you vote, you take responsibility for what the guy you voted for does. You are invested in that politician now so it’s very hard to turn your back for a lot of people because the consequences can be pretty severe. that makes it harder for people to just say, “Well, crap! Shouldn’t have voted for THAT guy.” Then comes confirmation bias.

      1. Voting just adds another layer of reinforcement to the love-your-party-no-matter-what training program. Not only must you love your party, you must also occasionally prove your love. It’s like getting married to the party every two years or so.

  11. “‘Collective,’ sounds like communism,” says Colmes on my TV show this week (yes, Alan, it does), “but we do work and live in a society where there is a collective well-being.”

    Since the notion of a collective BEING is absurd, then it is equally absurd to talk about a collective well-being. What Alan is insinuating is that everybody else’s happiness depends on the happiness of a single welfare recipient and that we should be grateful for that.

    Fuck you, Alan Colmes.

    1. This has always confused me, too. Maybe craiginmass or one of our other residents progressives/liberals could expand on it for me? I’m honestly curious.

      I can totally understand talking about the well-being/rights/whatever of some fraction of the population in an aggregate sense, but we are still talking about a group of individuals. And yet that doesn’t seem to be how Colmes and others talk about it. They seem to have in mind something qualitatively different.

      1. Collective well-being is a utilitarian ethic that inevitably leads to centralization of power. Utilitarianism depends on acceptance of a determination of value which is difficult because values are subjective. So at some point, a central authority is required to decide what the value of the collective will be. Can’t just vote and majority rule without some central authority to impose the will of the majority onto the minority. The left loves that stuff. So does the right, in reality. They’re just not as up front about it.

      2. Hmmm..anything Colmes or Stossel or these A-Holes say or do is suspect in the first place…so I’m not sure what you need explained to you.

        If the idea of a progressive (meaning moving forward toward humanistic goals) civil society is foreign to you, I’d suggest starting back in Greek times or before and going up to the present day in western countries.

        We all agree about certain “rights” as well as strengths achieved due to sticking together (aggregate).

        But, again, saying that Colmes and friend have something “in mind” assumed they have minds. They don’t. They sold out long ago to be paid shills for something or another.

        1. Obligatory Coolidge:

          “About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.”

          You are not moving forward, you are moving backward. Feudalism is your end goal, you are just too stupid or too dishonest to admit it.

          1. “If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions.”

            Old Calvin was a neighbor here…..been by his houses many a time.

            These words are, once again, nothing but a talking point. As you well know, writing them down did absolutely NOTHING to create equality for black folks and many others.

            How the heck can you call it final when Women could not vote? That’s not consent of the people.

            So to be clear, progressives look to put many of those ideas into both law and the common daily experience.

            One would think you’d find that useful instead of just placing a poster on the wall and hiding behind it.

            1. Indeed, writing is not magical. It is actions that matter, and if we are to judge by yours, freedom and equality are not in fact your principles at all. Hence, you are regressive, not progressive. At every turn, you seek to restrict freedom and enshrine inequality. So again you are either too stupid or too dishonest to recognize it.

              1. “and if we are to judge by yours, freedom and equality are not in fact your principles at all. ”

                You must have super powers to reach through light and electrical impulses and KNOW a man!

                You should run for office…or maybe join Rand’s staff.

                It sounds like your take would be that “forcing” white people to go to school or use bathrooms with black people is “regressive”….and restricts the freedoms of those white folks.

                If that’s your point, I fully agree. We disagree. Human rights and equality trumps your right to have a segregated public loo.

    2. “Since the notion of a collective BEING is absurd”

      Like the company or corporation?

      1. False equivalence.
        The “Collective well-being” means everyone–you joined by being born.
        Companies and corporations are voluntary associations that actually share common goals and ideals.

        1. The Old Mexican stated that the idea of a collective being was absurd:

          “Since the notion of a collective BEING is absurd…”

          Maybe he thinks that companies and corporations are not absurd. I think a family or a nation or a company is something more than merely a collection of individuals and also that whether one has joined such a group voluntarily or not doesn’t really have any bearing on the question of collective well-being.

          1. I think a family or a nation or a company is something more than merely a collection of individuals

            Unless there is magic afoot, that is all they are.

            and also that whether one has joined such a group voluntarily or not doesn’t really have any bearing on the question of collective well-being

            Then you are begging the question. I decide my own well-being, not you. If you force me to participate in your group, you have already degraded my well-being. Thus your talk of “collective well-being” must inherently exclude mine, and therefore not be collective by definition.

            1. “Unless there is magic afoot, that is all they are.”

              But there is magic afoot. The magic that transforms a group of individuals into something more than a group of individuals. People who understand this best are probably sports coaches or military leaders. They also understand that sacrifice of an individual is sometimes called for. You may not approve, but it’s there.

              1. Is there a difference between perception and reality?

                1. To us laymen there is. If you are a physicist or a sociologist, the difference is murkier and problematic.

                  1. You are as slimy as ever, mtrueman, I’ll give you that.

                    1. You ask a question. Honestly, I don’t see what you’re driving at but try to answer in all sincerity. You apparently are not satisfied with my answer and see fit to insult me. Anywhere else, this behaviour of yours would be seen as rude and offensive. I’m prepared however to let it slide.

              2. mtrueman:

                But there is magic afoot. The magic that transforms a group of individuals into something more than a group of individuals.

                What is this magic, and how does it work, objectively?

                And, how many of your beliefs require invoking magic?

                1. “What is this magic, and how does it work, objectively?”

                  Haven’t thought that much about it, but it might be similar to the quality of charisma – that also lets us act against our individual interests for the collective well being. Love, too.

                  “And, how many of your beliefs require invoking magic?”

                  A few I suppose. The irrational, the ineffable, where would we be without magic?

                  1. mtrueman:

                    The irrational, the ineffable, where would we be without magic?

                    Rational.

                    1. “Rational.”

                      Unfortunately that only takes you so far. Many of the greatest scientific breakthroughs see their genesis in dreams, reveries, drug induced euphorias etc. The rational part of the process is drudge work in comparison.

                    2. And many scientific breakthroughs have been achieved by rational exploration of the universe, which many scientists immensely enjoy. Would you tell them that it’s really drudge work, and they should try LSD instead to inspire their next breakthrough? That by relying on rationality, they were limiting themselves?

                      A scientist might entertain an irrational thought, and then, using reason, learn something rational. However, I doubt he would look at a group of people coordinating their actions and conclude “they are more now, by magic.”

                      No, groups of people coordinating their actions can achieve things that groups of individuals acting in an uncoordinated manner. You can show this through game theory, experiments, and historical observation. It’s not “magic”.

                    3. A conceptual leap is irrational by definition. Pretty much all my friends in IT indulged in lsd. Unlike Mullis or Crick, none of them won a Nobel.

                      “That by relying on rationality, they were limiting themselves?”

                      Of course. Limiting themselves to the constraints of logic and the syllogism. It’s a simple and pedestrian methodology, a strait jacket. None of the greatest thinkers relied on the rational. The rational comes into play with the drudergy and post facto explanations for the rubes.

                    4. Pretty much all my friends in IT indulged in lsd.

                      Come on, let’s admit it: you indulge in LSD.

                      And working in IT does not equal scientific breakthroughs.

                      Of course. Limiting themselves to the constraints of logic and the syllogism. It’s a simple and pedestrian methodology, a strait jacket. None of the greatest thinkers relied on the rational. The rational comes into play with the drudergy and post facto explanations for the rubes.

                      So Einstein and Stephen Hawking never relied on the rational? Funny how all their published work has all that math in it.

                      You’re just making up bull shit now.

                    5. “So Einstein and Stephen Hawking never relied on the rational?”

                      As I said, many scientific breakthroughs and conceptual leaps were irrational. All those pages of math come into play as post facto justification. The fun part, the part that wins you the Nobel, was irrational.

                    6. mtrueman:

                      As I said, many scientific breakthroughs and conceptual leaps were irrational…The fun part, the part that wins you the Nobel, was irrational.

                      This is from all your experience in discovering scientific breakthroughs and winning Nobel prizes? Or your extensive studies of all scientific breakthroughs?

                      Again, you’re making up bull shit about subjects you don’t know anything about.

                      I’m sorry, but as this drags on, I’m finding your thoughts very puerile and simplistic. I know that you find your opinions fascinating, but they strike me as careless and thoughtless. It’s like your trying to share thoughts with us that you think are very deep, but they’re actually very shallow (For example, not being able to imagine now voluntary and involuntary relationships could impact collective well-being…really?)

                      Sorry, but science is rational, and your claim that scientific breakthroughs are irrational is a self-contradiction. Despite your attempts to explain how to win Nobel prizes, I really don’t believe that you understand science and discovery at all. Reading your posts is like watching someone play tennis with their shoe laces tied, holding the racket the wrong way, all while explaining how to beat records in the sport. If you understand that so well, why is your game so off?

                      In short, I think you’re underestimating the ability of your audience to spot bull shit, and I don’t have more time to waste on obtuseness, intentional or unintentional.

                    7. “This is from all your experience in discovering scientific breakthroughs and winning Nobel prizes? Or your extensive studies of all scientific breakthroughs?”

                      My extensive studies.

                      “Sorry, but science is rational, and your claim that scientific breakthroughs are irrational is a self-contradiction. ”

                      Science is a method. There’s no method to conceptual leaps or scientific breakthrough. I’ve already pointed out to you several times that these breakthroughs come in dreams, reveries and drug induced euphorias. They don’t happen as a result of applying some rationalistic formula.

                      Sorry you are bored. Write more about tennis if that pleases you. I won’t think less of you for it.

            2. mtrueman:

              that whether one has joined such a group voluntarily or not doesn’t really have any bearing on the question of collective well-being.

              So, whether or not we have a military composed of volunteers (voluntary) or a massive draft (involuntary) has no bearing on the question of collective well-being?

              I would think it could have bearing on the question of actual well-being.

              1. “So, whether or not we have a military composed of volunteers (voluntary) or a massive draft (involuntary) has no bearing on the question of collective well-being?”

                I imagine a drill instructor in the military charged with whipping a bunch of men into a military unit would approach a group volunteers in much the same way as a group of conscripts. Time and time again I’ve heard that soldiers don’t fight for themselves, their country, or their beliefs. They fight for their buddies. Their willingness to set aside personal well-being and sacrifice themselves for their buddies reflects the collective well being of the unit.

                1. That’s not answering the question. Well-being is not defined by whether or not a drill instructor would do something different, and it isn’t defined by stories you’ve heard on the history channel, or in fictionalized war movies.

                  Some nine million Americans, one-third of those who reached draft age, donned uniforms during the Vietnam War. An unprecedented number of these servicemen expressed displeasure with military life through traditional means. At least 1,500,000 went AWOL (absent without leave), and roughly 500,000 deserted.

                  Desertion does not equal “fighting for your buddies.”

                  For another example, let’s look at the collective well-being of two couples: one is having consensual sex, and, in the other couple, one is raping the other. Do you think, in this case, whether or not their coupling is voluntary has no bearing on collective well-being?

                  1. merely a collection of individuals and also that whether one has joined such a group voluntarily or not doesn’t really have any bearing on the question of collective well-being.

                    Or, for a closer example, take North Korea. Citizens can’t leave North Korea, so they can’t even voluntarily leave their country. Do you think that has no bearing on their collective well-being? Their inability to leave is directly tied to their suffering under authoritarian communism. Otherwise, it would be practically an empty country, and everyone who was there or left would be very collectively better off.

                    Saying that the voluntary choice to be in such relationships has no bearing on collective well-being is careless. Have you actually given the matter serious thought? It doesn’t seem so. It sounds very flippant.

                    1. “Citizens can’t leave North Korea, so they can’t even voluntarily leave their country”

                      But they can and do.

                      Let’s consider a potential escapee who has the chance to sneak out to the land of opportunity in the south where wealth and riches await him. Only our friend has a family and he knows that his family will bear the brunt of the reprisals against him. With regret, he decides to cancel his escape, and continue his miserable life in the north even though it is exactly opposite of his own interests.

                      Voluntary membership in a collective, the family in this case, can lead to anti-self interest choices just as coerced membership collectives can.

                    2. mtrueman:

                      But they can and do.

                      Let’s consider a potential escapee who has the chance to sneak out to the land of opportunity in the south where wealth and riches await him. Only our friend has a family and he knows that his family will bear the brunt of the reprisals against him. With regret, he decides to cancel his escape, and continue his miserable life in the north even though it is exactly opposite of his own interests.

                      Staying in North Korea because your family will be executed does not equal “voluntary”, and you’re definitely grasping at straws now.

                    3. Presumably our North Korean friend entered into the family relationship voluntarily. Now he finds it is causing him to make decisions that run contrary to his best interests.

                    4. mtrueman:

                      Presumably our North Korean friend entered into the family relationship voluntarily. Now he finds it is causing him to make decisions that run contrary to his best interests.

                      No, the violent, coercive state is causing him to make decisions that run contrary to his best interest.

                      Let’s keep the violent state, but remove the family. He’s still under threat of arrest and imprisonment/death if he tries to leave. Therefore, he’s not free to leave peacefully. He is only free to attempt to flee in fear of pursuit and capture. This is not in his best interest.

                      On the other hand, keep the family, remove the violent state. Oh, look: he can act in his own best interest and his family’s.

                      Blaming a voluntary decision to have a family is just blaming the victim. You might as well blame a bunch of hostages for voluntarily being in the wrong place as the wrong time. That’s not how it works.

                    5. “Staying in North Korea because your family will be executed does not equal “voluntary”, and you’re definitely grasping at straws now.”

                      How about leaving North Korea in spite of threats to your family? Does that also not equal voluntary?

                  2. There have been plenty of examples of conscripted armies not falling apart like the US in Vietnam. The US cause was unjust and the soldiers knew it.

                    I’d say the raping couple was dysfunctional and unhealthy.

                    I figure in any collectivity individuals are called upon to sacrifice themselves for the group. Voluntary groups are nothing different from coerced groups in this regard. Being a member of a voluntary group does not mean that you won’t be asked to act against your own individual interests.

                    1. I figure in any collectivity individuals are called upon to sacrifice themselves for the group. Voluntary groups are nothing different from coerced groups in this regard.

                      Wrong. There are voluntary associations in which no one is called upon to sacrifice themselves. I don’t remember a friend ever asking me to sacrifice myself.

                      In a voluntary group, individuals who are called upon to sacrifice themselves for the group can choose to disassociate instead. In an involuntary group, disassociation is not an option. That’s makes both concepts of association very different by definition, and it’s clearly obvious.

                      I’m sorry, but you’re not grasping the facts and true nature of what you’re saying, and I think you’re doing so deliberately. I’ve clearly established that voluntary relationships are very different from involuntary relationships, in ways that definitely have a bearing on collective well-being. If you want to be intentionally obtuse, then enjoy that, but I’m not sure what the point is.

                    2. “I don’t remember a friend ever asking me to sacrifice myself.”

                      I’ve put myself out for friends and friends have done the same for me. Maybe it’s because we have different friends that we disagree.

                      “In a voluntary group, individuals who are called upon to sacrifice themselves for the group can choose to disassociate instead.’

                      Or they can choose not to disassociate and remain in the group despite loss of individual advantage, as many do. And as you pointed out, coerced group members can also opt out, as they did in droves in Vietnam.

                      If your point is that voluntary groups are more pleasant, enthusiastic and righteous than coerced ones, I agree. My point is that in both cases, coerced and voluntary, the same dynamics are at work when it comes to the question of what makes a group effective – the ‘group well being.’ Such an effective group, voluntary or coerced, must have members who are willing to sacrifice themselves to fulfill the group goals.

                    3. I’ve put myself out for friends and friends have done the same for me. Maybe it’s because we have different friends that we disagree.

                      Putting yourself out does not equal sacrificing yourself. It may be sacrificing your time, effort, and/or money, but not yourself.

                      How many friends have you asked to die for you?

                      And as you pointed out, coerced group members can also opt out, as they did in droves in Vietnam.

                      Yes, but it’s still coercion. That’s like saying that, if a hostage taker points a gun at your head and tells you to open a safe or he’ll kill you, that you have a choice, and it’s voluntary. Not really. You’re free to choose to open the safe and live, or refuse and die, but you’re not free to refuse and live. At a minimum, you’re free to refuse and to try to dodge bullets simultaneously, just like a draft dodger is free to refuse the draft and go into hiding. He’s not free to dodge the draft and have life go on more-or-less as before. That’s not having a free choice to opt-out, and it makes it very different from a voluntary arrangement, in ways that are obvious.

                      If your point is that voluntary groups are more pleasant, enthusiastic and righteous than coerced ones, I agree.

                      Thanks for conceding the point. Pleasantness, enthusiasm, and righteousness is very relevant to collective well-being.

                    4. I didn’t mean to imply that my friends have asked me to die on their behalf. They haven’t. Yet.

                      “Yes, but it’s still coercion.”

                      Let’s say you were diagnosed with a deadly, painful disease. You can choose to dull the pain and the mind with drugs or take no drugs, and abide the pain with a sharp mind. The choice of no drugs and no pain is not on the table. Does this mean you are not free to decide? Not sure what you’re driving at here.

                      “Pleasantness, enthusiasm, and righteousness is very relevant to collective well-being.”

                      All these are relevant to individual well being. Even the most punitive, repressive collectivities can still function effectively, ie retain their ‘collective well being’ ie induce in their members the willingness to sacrifice their own interests for the sake of the collective.

                    5. mtrueman:

                      The choice of no drugs and no pain is not on the table. Does this mean you are not free to decide?

                      Uh…. it means you’re not free to decide to have no drugs and no pain. Isn’t that obvious?

                    6. But you are free to choose between the other options? It seems you don’t disagree.

                    7. Such an effective group, voluntary or coerced, must have members who are willing to sacrifice themselves to fulfill the group goals.

                      Not really, or perhaps we don’t look at it in the same way. For example, if I form a group for mutual benefit, in what way is one of us sacrificing themselves for the other?

                      Let’s say I live in a farming village and we need to defend the town from a barbaric horde. So, we all coordinate and build walls and take turns on watch. When I serve on watch, am I “sacrificing myself” for the group? Or, am I acting in my own best interest? After all, if I don’t stand watch, there’s one less man doing it, leading to less effective defense, which could result in my own death, as well as everyone else’s. It’s not like I’m acting without self-interest in defending my town. And, with walls and a strong watch, it could be that the barbaric horde skips us and goes to the next town, requiring no one to sacrifice their lives for the group. How is that not in my self-interest?

                      But, let’s suppose the horde does come, and one defender dies. Did he “sacrifice himself” so that the group could live? If he didn’t fight, he would have been slaughtered anyway. So, how, in choosing to fight, did he sacrifice himself? Instead, it sounds like he acted in the best manner for self-preservation by resisting being slaughtered, and in a more effective manner by coordinating with others. How is that not acting in one’s own self-interest?

                    8. “For example, if I form a group for mutual benefit, in what way is one of us sacrificing themselves for the other?”

                      Maybe they don’t, but if the group is big enough and long lasting enough there are bound to arise issues or circumstances where members self-interests conflict. Isn’t that what politics is all about?

                    9. mtrueman:

                      There have been plenty of examples of conscripted armies not falling apart like the US in Vietnam. The US cause was unjust and the soldiers knew it.

                      Ah, but you’re missing how the point relates to your thesis, by trying to compare it to another war, with other people, under different circumstances. You’re claiming that voluntary and involuntary association has no bearing on collective well-being. A positive example can’t save that theory from a counter-example.

                      You assert that the US cause was unjust and all the soldiers knew it, drafted and volunteers. You also think that the drafted and the volunteers had the same drill instruction, and that they would both “fight for their brothers” as all the war films have taught you. So, I assume, then, that the volunteers went AWOL and deserted (as opposed to fighting for their Band of Brothers TM) at the same rate as the drafted. Is that the case? I don’t think so. It appears that voluntary and involuntary association have a great deal to do with collective well-being.

                      Furthermore, the draft allowed the state to order an additional 2 million to service and encouraged millions more to volunteer (better than getting drafted). The draft enabled 648,500 additional servicemen to Vietnam, and an additional 17,725 combat deaths. If the war was so unjust, then how can you claim that voluntary association has no bearing on collective well-being? Apparently, it would have been the same without a draft.

                    10. “So, I assume, then, that the volunteers went AWOL and deserted (as opposed to fighting for their Band of Brothers TM) at the same rate as the drafted. Is that the case? I don’t think so.”

                      It might well be the case. Those who volunteered may have been inclined to do so out of idealistic notions of helping Vietnamese and making their lives better. Draftees would not have been burdened by this mental baggage. Your mistake is to boil the whole thing down to voluntary vs. coerced service. It’s an important consideration, I admit, but not the only one by a long shot. Humans are complex. They change and adapt. Stockholm syndrome: coerced on Monday, volunteer on Friday.

                    11. “Your mistake is to boil the whole thing down to voluntary vs. coerced service. It’s an important consideration, I admit, but not the only one by a long shot. Humans are complex. They change and adapt.”

                      I never claimed that collective well-being boils down to voluntary vs. coerced service. Rather that you were incorrect in asserting that collective well-being had nothing to do with voluntary vs. coerced membership. Thanks for admitting that it is important and conceding the point. In the future, if you’ll be less obtuse, we can save time and page real estate.

                    12. I think you are confusing group psychology with individual psychology. Different dynamics at work.

                    13. mtrueman:

                      I think you are confusing group psychology with individual psychology. Different dynamics at work.

                      I think you’re trying to save face by making vague criticisms that really don’t address the issue at hand, i..e., figuring out how the statement:

                      I think a family or a nation or a company is something more than merely a collection of individuals and also that whether one has joined such a group voluntarily or not doesn’t really have any bearing on the question of collective well-being.

                      becomes true after you’ve conceded multiple times that it must be false. I haven’t invoked group or individual psychology to do this. I’ve just pointed out the numerous, obvious counter-examples to the claim.

                      Sorry, but you’re intentional obfuscation and obtuseness is boring me now. If you don’t have anything more clever to share, then I bid you good day until next time.

                    14. A group is a group. It remains a group whether its members joined voluntarily or were coerced into joining. You can judge the effectiveness of the group without having to look into the moods and feelings of its members.

      2. Corporations exist to serve the interests of their owners and their customers. Those are real and identifiable groups of people, with no pretension of universality.

        1. “Those are real and identifiable groups of people, with no pretension of universality.”

          You could say the same of the nation state and its citizens.

          1. The nation state serves the interests of all its citizens?

            1. Not necessarily, but then what collectivity does? Are you implying that every action taken by a company serves the interests of all its customers and owners? I agree that owners and customers are individuals and have their own interests, and these are sometimes in conflict with each other. To assume otherwise is to do a disservice to their individuality.

              1. So then “collective well-being” is not a thing, yes?

                1. No more than individual well-being. Collective being or collective well-being has the disadvantage of being vaguer and more amorphous. I think that was what the Old Mexican had in mind. Until he answers our questions, all we can do is guess.

                  1. If an individual is not fit to judge his own well-being, then how can he possibly be fit to judge the well-being of others?

                    I’m pretty sure that Old Mex was not calling collective well-being “vague and amorphous” but rather entirely and completely bullshit.

                    Of course, you would never take such a definitive position on anything, because that would involve intellectual rigor.

                    1. “Of course, you would never take such a definitive position on anything, because that would involve intellectual rigor.”

                      Happy to concede that the Old Mexican is my superior in all things. But you should read his post again.

                    2. “I’m pretty sure that Old Mex was not calling collective well-being “vague and amorphous” but rather entirely and completely bullshit.”

                      Maybe so. Until we hear from Old Mex himself, all we can do is speculate.

                      Vague and amorphous is accurate. Consider the collectivity of French speakers – those who speak French. Where exactly does this thing begin and end? There’s always going to be different and contentious ideas about this. What’s good for ‘us French speakers?’ Lot’s of contention there, but also some broad agreement.

  12. Lynchpin, this is false…

    ‘Someone brought up the point that if a salesman or police officer is convicted of domestic violence, then after they serve their criminal punishment, they can still be a salesman or a police officer, so do we really want to deny someone their livelihood by banning them for life?’
    Under federal law and in most cases state law in almost all cases a conviction of a domestic violence crime result in immediate termination of any right to carry a firearm on or off duty. Most agencies require officers to carry firearms and such convictions by policy result in immediate termination.
    No criminal conviction is needed. If a domestic violence protection order restraining order or no contact order is issued based on preponderance of the evidence at a civil hearing by a judge with no right to an attorney free of charge or jury trial, The officer will lose the right to Carry or possess a firearm ? lose their job. Lynchpin, correct yourself

    1. I was quoting the caller, but I was suspicious of that one myself. The larger point still stands.

      1. I agree on the larger point, but i respect your ability to admit error in whst you posted, if by attribution

        Cheers

    2. These are facts and contrary to linchpins quote.
      For what it’s worth I of course disagree that a conviction of any domestic violence crime should automatically lead to expulsion from the NFL.
      That’s tangential to the fact that as usual when it comes to law and specifically Law regarding policework the average reasonoid is shockingly ignorant.As I have oft and especially when it comes to an innocent man the war on domestic violence is more injurious to Civil Liberties than the war on drugs. For example arrestees are routinely ejected from their homes for weeks or more due to Instant no contact orders based on at best a mere probable cause arrest for domestic violence. This is true often even against the alleged victim’s request

  13. Note also that these provisions have applied retroactively contrary to constitutional protections against retroactive laws. Just as officers routinely are subjected to de facto double jeopardy when it comes to federal and state trials for the same underlying act if different technical crimes eg rodney king (The double jeopardy was one even though the underlying act by the officers was also wrong).
    When these firearms restrictions were passed as part of VAWA, they applied retroactively and many police officers and others in positions that required firearms Carry were thus terminated.

    Anybody who had previously pled guilty under some sort of plea agreement etc to any minor domestic violence conviction years ago, now had their ability to carry a firearm stripped retroactively once the law was passed and they could no longer carry a gun on or off duty.

    It’s clearly retroactive but since these provisions weren’t considered jeopardy or punishment but were considered administrative they were found to be constitutional

    1. While I disagree with any punitive measure being imposed pre-conviction, I wholeheartedly support barring the continued employment of any officer whose been convicted of any crime involving the use of violence or deceit.

      Law enforcement requires the judicious use of force on occasion and any form of violence wrongfully employed is indicative of a lack of judgement as to when force is appropriate. Likewise, theft and fraud. If a cop can’t abide by these prohibitions, he shouldn’t be a cop.

      Any and every retro active application of any law is patently unfair and should never be upheld.

      Because we have so many nonsensical laws, there are many which shouldn’t preclude employment as a police officer, but most or all of these shouldn’t result in sanctions against anyone, for that matter (I.E. dui or possession of anything)

      1. BTW, I’m pretty sure that misdo domestic gun restrictions are time-limited in CA and it’s fairly short. TRO’s are for the duration of the order and I think misdo convictions are for around 5 years ( don’t quote me) while felonies are for life.

        1. Some of these domestic violence convictions are for something as minor as a simple push or shove with no injuries. In my experience with police suspects prosecutors will sometimes press charges on these types of cases less likely so with non-police suspects. In my entire career I’ve seen two trials for so-called pushy shovey DV’s and both were with cops suspects. In every non-cop incident I’ve seen and/or documented and there have been dozens there has never been an attempted prosecution.
          The point is that many pled no contest or guilty to the domestic violence charges specifically based upon the agreement where they were able to keep their job usually with a one or two year probation. With no other incidents and things like that and most of these were minor with no injuries which is why they got Sweetheart plea deals.
          Then years after they pled guilty these new firearms restrictions retroactively applied and they just lost their jobs automatically and this is the height of the kind of injustice that results from retroactively applied justice.

  14. Is this the article where right-wingers conflate personal and corporate freedom of action? Some might say, john, that “regulations constantly interfering” is “us[ing] the law to punish those who harm others” when it comes to things like OSHA, Clean Air, Clean Water, and RCRA regulations.

    1. You are missing the point. These regulations assume you are going to harm someone and then allow regulators and police to violate your property, person or business before you’ve actually harmed anyone. Punishment should be levied only when harm is done, not prior. The other problem is that these regulations continue to expand and become ever more burdensome so now you are at a point where people are afraid to even do anything lest they violate a regulation.

      1. Not to mention that the regulators often have no clue about the field or technology they’re supposed to control, as in the recent GM case.

    2. I am a safety coordinator, so i can say from experience that at least the OSHA point is false. the company is held responsible if an employee violates an OSHA regulation even if the company did everything right as far as their safety program is concerned. OSHA cannot enforce safety regulations on individual employees. This is because OSHA was born out of lobbying by labor unions, so any negative effect such as fines are legally directed towards the company. Employment is also a voluntary contract which you can quit at any time.

    3. Are you claiming it was legal to harm other people before the regulatory state?

      1. “Are you claiming it was legal to harm other people before the regulatory state?”

        Well, it was MUCH cheaper.

        Tell you what. Read the history of coal mining in this country and then we’ll talk more.

        1. Of course, there is only one correct interpretation on “the history of coal mining in this country” so naturally anyone who “reads” it will reach the same conclusions as you.

          In practice, the history of any industry in this country prior to the modern regulatory state is replete with examples of all kinds of things we find abhorrent to our modern tastes. This much is true.

          Yet that only establishes correlation, not causation. The “safety” of the employee is a luxury afforded by a level of affluence that was not possible before the industry was well established. If the kind of regulations now imposed on industries had been imposed from day one, the industries would never have existed.

          It takes decades of perilous coal mining conditions just so that everybody can be wealthy enough to quibble about coal mining safety. The regulators who come along leech from the productivity of others in order to provide an appearance of responsibility. Yet they contributed nothing to the effort except violence.

          No one can say that workplace “safety” as it exists now would have come into being on its own; that is a counterfactual. What can be said unequivocally is that workplace “safety” cannot exist without affluence, and so the only ones responsible for its existence are those who suffered without it to make it possible.

          1. “The “safety” of the employee is a luxury afforded by a level of affluence that was not possible before the industry was well established.”

            This is totally untrue.

            Here is a local Summer Cottage (3 months or less per year) used by a Coal Baron at the same time period when my ancestors were being worked to death in mines in PA.

            http://bit.ly/1pdyyJh

            Whilst they were murdering their employees and raising the fees for rent and the company store:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lattimer_massacre

            …the libertarian bosses were summering in Newport or Europe.

            At the very minimum, get your facts straight. Conditions, poverty, disease, death, lack of pensions, etc. were due to the selfishness of the Coal and Robber Barons, not because it was impossible to provide them.

            On the other hand, you could argue the “Wal-Mart” logic that the consumer got to buy their coal for a couple pennies per ton less – coal tainted by blood.

            1. Here is a local Summer Cottage (3 months or less per year) used by a Coal Baron at the same time period when my ancestors were being worked to death in mines in PA.

              The affluence of one is not the same as the affluence of all. In what way does the construction of that house cause the death of coal miners?

              Whilst they were murdering their employees

              “They” meaning the sheriff and his deputies, aka agents of the government?

              the libertarian bosses were summering in Newport or Europe.

              Find an industrialist who was a libertarian. Most were progressives, and some were apolitical.

              Conditions, poverty, disease, death, lack of pensions, etc. were due to the selfishness of the Coal and Robber Barons, not because it was impossible to provide them.

              First, you have not proved that the provision was possible. A fancy house does not cure disease, prevent death, or alleviate the general poverty. What good is lots of money if no amount of it can buy the medicine you need because it doesn’t yet exist?

              Second, you seem to be comparing 1890 to the present day, rather than the earlier part of the 19th century. I’m failing to understand how dying in a mine is so much worse than being trampled by a horse or dying of starvation.

        2. First of all, if there is an accident in a coal mine and it was caused by negligence of some kind, the mining company can and will be held accountable. You don’t need a regulation to hold them accountable for harm done. Secondly, coal mining is inherently dangerous. Everybody who goes into a mine is keenly aware of the dangers and have no obligation to work there if they don’t want to. Finally, coal mining companies have a vested interest in preventing accidents. No company wants to lose money, coal or employees. Do some people make bad, unsafe decisions in companies? Yes. Do regulations prevent them from making those choices? Nope, CONSEQUENCES above all else prevent accidents, not regulations. Nobody goes into a coal mine they believe to be unsafe.

          1. Nope, CONSEQUENCES above all else prevent accidents, not regulations.

            Well, regulations can impose consequences, such as fines. But those consequences are always artificial. If people are dying in mines and it’s not affecting the company’s bottom line, then the real takeaway is that people don’t actually care. If the employees cared about their lives more than their income, they’d quit. If the customers cared about the dead miners more than heating their homes, they’d stop buying coal.

            Regulation is the product of a coalition between the pretentious and the violent. It is the cowardly knight and the common thug uniting for mutual benefit against the interests of the rest of us.

            1. Regulatory consequences are a predictable expense. Real consequences, such as an accident are an unknown cost that companies and employees actively seek to avoid.

              1. I would disagree. Many “real” consequences are quite predictable (known defect in 1/1000 cars kills 100 people in a run of 100000 cars, families sue), and many regulatory consequences are quite unpredictable (new bureaucrat at the office, change in enforcement priorities, etc). I would say a more accurate formulation is that if the probability times the cost is high enough, a company will avoid it, and if it is low enough, a company will pay the cost. Real and regulatory consequences fall into both categories.

              2. “that companies and employees actively seek to avoid.”

                Only if that accident costs them money!
                http://adamfowlersopinion.file…..lities.jpg

                I can assure you that the Coal Barons were MUCH wealthier when MORE accidents happened and more people were killed. So it’s profitable to kill people.

                1. I can assure you that the Coal Barons were MUCH wealthier when MORE accidents happened and more people were killed. So it’s profitable to kill people.

                  The richest man alive in 1890 would still die of typhoid if he contracted it, while the poorest man alive in the US today could get it cured in a few weeks with antibiotics.

                  Money is not wealth.

                  1. “The richest man alive in 1890 would still die of typhoid if he contracted it, while the poorest man alive in the US today could get it cured in a few weeks with antibiotics.

                    Money is not wealth.”

                    That has to be the worst debate point of ALL TIME.

                    Or, more accurately, would be the worst if is was not for the fact that we are a libertarian site…..where you have lots of competition.

                    Try addressing the point. The point is that the Coal Barons didn’t give a shit about the workers. There were plenty more where those came from.

                    Period.

                    Funny…when Free Markets don’t work out, you fellas trot out brilliant excuses like “causation is not correlation” or, “but the sun sets each night”.

                    You’ve now degraded the convo to me wondering what the meaning of is is. What is is? Until we settle that problems, these more complex debates are fruitless.

                    1. So you do not understand what money or wealth are, but you feel fit to stand in judgment of others regarding those things?

                      The average coal executive didn’t give much of a care for the average coal worker. And the average politician doesn’t give much of a care for the average voter.

                      The question at hand was what role did the government play in improving safety, and the answer is still “none”.

          2. Hmmm……

            http://adamfowlersopinion.file…..lities.jpg

            Looks to me like REGULATION cut the death rate by 10X or more. The basic consequences were always there….just that the gubment and unions finally FORCED the owners to act like human beings.

            1. Yes, thugs with guns forced the mines to be safer, they just took 100 years to get around to really meaning it.

            2. headinass. you are just posting a graph and attaching your opinion to it. Never mind that though. I’m sure the people who made that graph took into account coal usage from steel mills,foundries,trains,and the fact that historically many people used coal to heat their homes.
              I am also sure they took into account newer mining methods, and technological improvements that made coal mining safer.

              Turd.Burglar.

              1. Notice the steep decline about 1970.

                Guess why? Yep, Big Bad Gubment Regulation:

                “The Coal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1969, generally referred to as the Coal Act, was more comprehensive and more stringent than any previous federal legislation governing the mining industry.[10] The Coal Act included surface as well as underground coal mines within its scope, required two annual inspections of every surface coal mine and four at every underground coal mine, and dramatically increased federal enforcement powers in coal mines. The Coal Act also required monetary penalties for all violations, and established criminal penalties for knowing and willful violations. The safety standards for all coal mines were strengthened, and health standards were adopted. The Coal Act included specific procedures for the development of improved mandatory health and safety standards, and provided compensation for miners who were totally and permanently disabled by the progressive respiratory disease caused by the inhalation of fine coal dust pneumoconiosis or “black lung.”

                1. You have not refuted the fundamental assertion that wealth enables safety. Yes you can bash heads to get what you want, but nothing is free. If the regs existed in 1890 the same as they did in 1970 there would be no coal mining industry to speak of. And even so we were treated to the energy crisis of the 1970s, so clearly there was a cost. Are you going to take responsibility for all the people who died from the lack of heat the world over?

                2. This is one of those times where a statist notices that we’ve been regulating for 100 years and assumes that all progress must be because of regulations.

                  The only reason a mine is safer now is because government makes it so. The idea that an employer would need to provide safety to employees, or pay for that matter, in order to complete with other employers who may be providing safety and more money, never happens.

                  It’s essentially the same reason why your cellphone doesn’t blow up and take your head off. It’s not because there are people out there who’ve figured out how to make one that doesn’t do that. No, it’s because the government forces them to.

                  I’m pretty sure coal mining operations really couldn’t care less if a coal mine collapses and kills all the workers. After all, collapsed mines that may be unusable/inoperable indefinitely, and having to rehire and move new employees to a new mine, is what making money is all about in the coal mining business.

                  I’m sure any corporation would love it if all their employees immediately died. Imagine the profits!

                  1. Even if you dogmatically and stupidly dismiss any positive benefit of regulations designed specifically to produce the outcome that happened, you can’t say it did any arm.

                  2. “The only reason a mine is safer now is because government makes it so”

                    Why not look at present examples which are more obvious – like the NFL or boxing, etc.??

                    If the NFL – or the coal mines – can get enough bodies who agree to become fucked up for life for a certain amount of cash, that’s the “free market” at work. Without gubment interference (as well as other sane forces), they wouldn’t change anything. We’d probably be watching them feed muslims to the lions (we’d have to find poor ones and offer big bucks or a needed medical operation to their families)…..

                    I’m 100% certain that without gubment regs folks would be selling their kidneys and other organs on eBay.

                    No one is claiming the gubment is the salvation – but it’s just plain ignorant to not see the role of gubment in keeping some things from getting too “free market”.

                    1. craiginmass:

                      Why not look at present examples which are more obvious – like the NFL or boxing, etc.??

                      Because when I consider free market victims, the first people that come to mind are professional athletes, who make a good living playing a sport they love in front of crowds of adoring fans. Thank god the government is there to protect them.

                      We’d probably be watching them feed muslims to the lions (we’d have to find poor ones and offer big bucks or a needed medical operation to their families)

                      This is my favorite argument against free markets: we can’t let markets be too free because I’m sure some hypothetical imaginary hobgoblin that lives in my head would immediately become a reality.

                      Some life insurance policies cover death by suicide. Is that too free market for you, too? I mean, someone could kill themselves to get their families an insurance claim. Horror! At least they’re not feeding themselves to lions.

                      I’m 100% certain that without gubment regs folks would be selling their kidneys and other organs on eBay.

                      Yeah, and there’s a shortage of kidneys, while people die waiting on the kidney donor list. This is what happens in a market where there’s a price ceiling of $0: you create a shortage. This is an example of how markets come in to play, even as you try to hand-wave them away by regs.

                3. !970 when the steel industry in the U.S finally went under. Less demand for steel means less demand for coal. Which means less people working in the mines.
                  You could make a good argument about union negotiation’s, or a government mandate requiring the wearing of respirators that saved miners lives.
                  You don’t do that though. You froth at the mouth like an overheated cappuccino machine,and act like an immature, insulting asshole. This is why you get the “Unflushable Award”.

                  1. Also “government” not “gubment” did not even invent the respirators that save miners lives.

  15. Speaking of e-cigarettes they have made it pretty clear that for many politicians anti cig law was about control not about Public Safety. In many cases they have extended cigarette bans allegedly based on concerns about secondhand smoke to apply also to e-cigarette even though there is no second hand smoke concern. Many have at least tacitly admitted hypocrisy in these cases. I may disagree with many reason Reasonoids in that I believe there is legitimacy in banning of cigarette smoking in certain public buildings like courthouses or libraries etc, but that a device such as an Evig that has no concern to bystanders should not be subject to such bans

    1. It is always about control and money, nothing else. If politicians or the government says it is about anything else they are lying.

  16. “It is your body, John, but the consequences are paid for by the broader society.”
    —————————-
    Bloomberg on Big Gulps?

  17. “Meanwhile, liberals keep adding new things to their own list of items to control…”

    They are not liberals, John. They are leftists and are anti-liberty, which is hy they want government control over every aspect of your life (not theirs).

  18. Stossel come on man. You write this like the Republicans and Democrats are equally statist. I’m sure we both agree that the Republicans are far far less statist. Republicans are starting to change on drugs and gay marriage and abortion is not a freedom issue.. its an “is this considered murder?” issue.

    1. Sorry, I think the, “but the other side is worse” argument to be an unhelpful tangent. Ranking like that is both pathetic and petty, even for the “winner”.

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