Monday, June 04, 2007

The Nanny State

This weekend, I read an advanced copy (sent to Glenn and pilfered by me) of David Harsanyi's Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists, and other Boneheaded Bureaucrats are Turning America into a Nation of Children. A general book description is as follows:

In the name of health, safety, decency, and good intentions, ever-vigilant politicians, bureaucrats, and social activists are dictating what we eat, where we smoke, what we watch and read. Why do bureaucrats know what’s better for us than we do? Have they overstepped their bounds in dictating our behavior through legislation? Are their restrictive measures essential to our health and safety—or exercises in political expediency? Girl Scout cookies, swing sets, cigarettes, alcohol, and gay authors are all in their sights. Nanny State raises a host of questions about the motives and influence of the playground police, food-fascists, anti-porn crusaders, and other “nannies” popping up all over America.

Nanny State provides a rubric for viewing the debate about the size and scope of the state. Drawing on dozens of examples, Harsanyi offers a convincing argument that government intervention in its citizens’ private lives not only denies us freedom of choice, but also erodes our national character by promoting a culture of victimhood and dependence.


In so many ways, the state has become the babysitter and infantilizer of all of us, even adults and the most depressing part to me is that we are allowing it, bit by bit, every time we give the state more and more authority in the form of petty laws that control the lives of countless citizens in ways that take away personal autonomy while at the same time, doing little to prevent or severely punish those who are truly violent. Rebecca Hagelin, the vice president of the Heritage Foundation pointed out in 2003 that "America started out with three federal laws--treason, counterfeiting and piracy. In 1998, the American Bar Association counted more than 3,300 separate federal criminal offenses on the books--more than 40 percent of which had been enacted in just the past 30 years..."

It may be too much to expect that this book will turn things around, but Harsanyi does a good job of getting his readers to at least start thinking about the larger issues of state intrusion. So maybe the next time a politician wants to pass a new law requiring yet one more nanny state regulation, the voters will make it more expensive to politicians who seek to tyrannize us for "our own good."

134 Comments:

Blogger Myrtle Hocklemeier said...

Or maybe it takes a nation of children to support the efforts of nanny-staters to begin with. Chicken or egg?

Is the root of this simply risk-aversion? Anxiety? What demographic group do people who support nannyism belong to?

9:00 AM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Myrtle; I think the people are to blame as much as the state. For example, here in Ohio, the voters recently passed a smoking ban in pretty much all indoor locations, including bars. Now, I'm not that bothered by the fact that there will be no smoke in bars, but I am bothered by the fact that so many of my fellow citizens find it perfectly acceptable to tell business owners how to run their businesses (and pretty much forced some of them to lose money).

The girlfriend of a friend of mine even has the tattle number saved on her cell phone, just in case she sees anyone smoking in a bar anywhere. I find that sad. Of course, she could just leave the bar...

Rizzo

9:49 AM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous brian said...

Rizzo - but if she left, she wouldn't get to feel morally superior.

And that's what this is all about. The nanny-stater's mindset is "I know whats best for you, so just shut up and listen to your betters like a good little boy".

It's enough to make a guy take up smoking.

11:07 AM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous CaptDMO said...

New Hampshire-
seat belt law- defeated again
real ID- defeated
firearms restrictions-defeated again
Smoking bars and resturants-um, not so much.
Public vote on homosexual "union"
um, not so much
Public vote on "adequate" education,
um, not so much

And what does Harsanyi imply with the casual addition of "...and gay authors"
Homosexuals? Agenda based content?
Kind of non-sequitur in contrast to the other items, as well as jumping on the bandwagon of other , more traditional complaints concerning Nanny Stateism

11:37 AM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

As long as they don't outlaw jai alai and masturbation, I'll be just fine.

11:52 AM, June 04, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

I agree with Brian. That know what's best for me, better than I do. Especially what to do with my money.

12:13 PM, June 04, 2007  
Blogger tomcal said...

Once all vices and risky behaviour have been outlawed, the remaining cause of injury and death will be determined to be birth.

At this point, giving birth or participating in any act which leads to birth will be deemed to be murder.

In my experience, being born leads to death almost 100% of the time.

1:35 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

Hey, problem solved! Good work, TC.

Next topic, please...

1:40 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous HKL said...

Smoking (with corrected spelling)

Ah yes, the smoking issue again. My wife & I gave up bars years ago, due to the immediate effect on our health problems, not some distant worry about cancer. We were raised around smoke, but as adults doen't deal well with it. It's actually embarrassing to us to have health problems because of smoke.

We can do without the dancing we loved, but when we go to eat, must we be forced to endure smoke? You are welcome to smoke, just not in everyone's face. It does do immediate harm to some of us. We become nauseated immediately, my wife's asthma becomes severe. Smokers need to get past their selfishness, but alas they are as usual, clueless. Smokers reek, as well as does anyone's hair and clothes when around smokers. Smokers throw their cigarette butts anywhere and everywhere. A smoker’s vehicle smells like a stench pit. Wonderful habit, and you are welcome to it, just not in my face. It is you that doesn't have the right.

2:16 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous Andrew Zalotocky said...

I recommend that you take a look at The Welfare State We're In by James Bartholomew (associated blog here). It's about the enormous damage that the welfare state has done to British society, and it has much to say on how state intrusion infantilizes people and destroys their autonomy.

3:49 PM, June 04, 2007  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

I'm with brian, too. Maybe I'll take up pipe.

3:57 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

hkl

Are you concerned about the precedent smoking bans set? The powers that be have eliminated one vice that happens to be a pet peeve of yours. How will you feel when they come after something you enjoy, banning it in the name of public health?

OK, maybe you're a good citizen who's willing to sacrifice a few pleasure for the common good. That's admirable. Question is, where does it end? When we ban drinking and dancing in bars?

How's that quotation go? "The same government that can give you anything you want can take away everything you have."

I think that's what people are on about...

4:07 PM, June 04, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

hkl -- I happen to agree with you on no smoking in shared and public places. I frequently smoke a cigar, but do it at home, in the privacy of my office.

What I find offensive are the overbearing rules, as what happened in Kansas City. A cigar store/smoking lounge closed because it was a "public" place, so couldn't allow smoking. WTF.

Restaurants which had set aside a room for smokers or (since they are private establishments) allowed smoking, can't now. Why?

Hit them where it hurts if somehow it offends you someone "back there" is smoking and leave, taking your money with you.

4:09 PM, June 04, 2007  
Blogger GeorgeH said...

Smoking in 'public' places is an issue to be decided by the owner alone.
We have no more right to tell him what to do on his property than we do to tell you what you may do in your bedroom.

If you do not like the owners policy, don't patronize him or work for him. If enough people agree with you, maybe he will change, or maybe he will go busted and the new owner will change the policy.

5:56 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm 44 years old and have watched this nanny state progress little by little.

When was the last time you heard someone use the word 'petty?' Don't hear that word used anymore, do you? That is because everyone has become petty, or I should say pettiness has become the norm, and 'nanniness' is pettiness-

pet·ty
–adjective, -ti·er, -ti·est.
1. of little or no importance or consequence: petty grievances.
2. of lesser or secondary importance, merit, etc.; minor: petty considerations.
3. having or showing narrow ideas, interests, etc.: petty minds.
4. mean or ungenerous in small or trifling things: a petty person.
5. showing or caused by meanness of spirit: a petty revenge.
6. of secondary rank, esp. in relation to others of the same class or kind: petty states; a petty tyrant.

Pettiness is a backdoor to power over others- a tool used by those who do not have anything better to do, i.e., those who do not contribute anything real to society or the world.

This is our new economy- gone is our industialized economy & many people and elements are to blame.. but WHO are typically nannies? That's right.. women. Another horrid side effect of feminism- thanks ladies.

6:10 PM, June 04, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

Here is the problem with smoking. If you put 100 people in a room and let them all decide whether smoking is good or bad, and 99 think it is bad but one person chooses to light up, well then everyone gets to breathe cigarette smoke.

Many people don't like smoking, and each state gets to decided whether they want it or don't want it. Apparently people don't want it because state governments are making these antismoking laws and nobody is challenging them. I guess if you don't like a state's right to choose smoking or not, then you need to change what a state government gets to do or not to do.

6:38 PM, June 04, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

I'm agreeing with Brian, as I still do. But I was not talking about smoking.

But I will now, if no one minds.

I smoked cigarettes for 41 of my 54 years. I recommend people believe what is said about long term cigarette smoking. It is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, extremely bad for your health. I knew it for years, and lived in denial. But not any more.

If you smoke, quit. If you are thinking about smoking, you're a dumb ass. Like me.

Once you do quit for a while, you will fully understand what others are talking about. It stinks. Makes you stink, your clothes stink, your house, car stink.

And don't wait too long.

7:13 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As offensive as smoking is, I'll take a CHAIN SMOKER anyday over a nanny-ish finger pointing PC monger constantly trying to micromanage my every move.. something FAR more offensive.. and you know who you are.

7:18 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous 1charlie2 said...

Well, I am an ex-smoker, from a loong time ago. One who never tossed his butts around. And one who sees enough Starbucks cups littering the sidewalk to not single out smokers :(

I quit so long ago I wrinkle my nose when I smell cigarette smoke now. Not only do I not have cravings, I am repulsed by the smell.

And I'm a health Nazi when it comes to my kids.

But . . . I'd rather vote with my feet and wallet, and choose establishments that meet my criteria. If I don't like what establishment "X" does, I simply don't go there.

Most movies and "popular culture" is anathema to me. I consider it much more toxic than the occasional 2nd hand smoke for my kids. So we see perhaps 1 movie in the cinema per year.

I don't need the State to "protect" me from my free will. Nor do I wish to authorize them to do so.

Sadly, it has usurped that power. And too few objected.

Sorry, Anon, I don't agree it was the ladies. Plenty of "nanny-staters" among the men as well.

Oh, and cham, repectfully, no one "put me" into a room with a smoker.

If it's not my room, and no one is holding a gun on me, I can take myself, my family, and my business elsewhere. If enough people really cared about this, the free market would do what the government felt compelled to do. It's precisely because enough people don't care that Nanny felt compelled to step in.

I do sympathize -- and we avoided a few restaurants with inadequate ventilation before the nicotine Nazis emerged and decided for us. Which I deeply object to -- it eliminates free market forces.

I do want protection from hazards I cannot see/smell/detect. If there's gamma radiation in Wendys, by golly, warn me. But I think I can smell a Marlboro from quite a ways off.

7:30 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you see the recent headline in the UK? If smokers in the UK keep smoking the national health service won't provide them with certain operations. (I don't know which ones, the link vanished from the Drudge Report before I could read it. If anyone can find it please post it.)

That's one of the big dangers with socialized medicine - since the state is paying for your healthcare, your body and your whole life suddenly become everyone's business. You think the nanny state in the US is bad now, just wait and see what happens if they have exclusively socialized medicine here.

7:38 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Sorry, Anon, I don't agree it was the ladies. Plenty of "nanny-staters" among the men as well."

Oh, I know- can you say 'emasculated' & 'hen-pecked?' & who is denegrating men in this state in this nanny-ish society? Keeps coming back to point A, doesn't it? You know who the real culprits are, you just have to say the PC BS- just more hen-pecking.

7:39 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1charlie2-

I do want protection from hazards I cannot see/smell/detect.

In a scenario like that there is little to prevent them from lying to you and using that as an excuse to take your property and rights away.

7:54 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous Flan said...

It started with the 18th amendment. And it won't end until the repeal of the 19th amendment.

Flan

8:29 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous The Anchoress said...

I dislike smoking as much as the next person but I also dislike the state denying a business owner - as a pub or bar or restaurant owner - the choice of serving a smoking clientele if he chooses.

If I owned a pub and wished to serve both smokers and non, I should think a notice at the door to that effect - and a willingness to make suitable non-smoking recommendations to anyone asking - would be sufficient to serve the needs and concerns of all, and really should be the limit of what the gov't should expect of me.

I'm surprised that Chistopher Hitchens has not made more of a fuss about this issue, actually. He'd be more entertaining about it than his doth-potest-too-much Grand Atheism Tour, and I'd frankly suspend my own distaste for smokey environs to sit beside him and watch him down a few gins and smoke a few coffin nails while waxing eloquent on any one of several issues.

8:55 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

That's a good point. Worked great with alcohol. Now we've got a war on drugs costing billions of dollars a year. What the hell, let's try a war on smoking.

I live in Virginia - tobacco capital of the nation. If I play my cards right, I could find a smoking ban very profitable...

8:58 PM, June 04, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

GeorgeH :

"Smoking in 'public' places is an issue to be decided by the owner alone."

Not sure if you were referring to my post, but let me clarify anyway. I italicized those words to try to indicate I meant places like government buildings and other communal property. Not just a place accessable to the public.

And, to be a tad more explicit, I mean indoor facilities.

A restaurant is not a public place in that sense, it is a private business.

I get chapped by those who think that just because they can walk into a business, they have some right to impose their norms.

10:14 PM, June 04, 2007  
Blogger gs said...

anonymous@6:10 PM asks: When was the last time you heard someone use the word 'petty?'

Probably several years after I last heard the expression 'It's a free country.' I'm not sure whether a 44-year-old like anonymous experienced how commonplace that saying used to be.

As indicated by its variant 'free, white and 21', the saying did not apply to many Americans. If I could move back to 1957, no way would I do it.

But if offered an opportunity in 2017 (presuming I'll still be around) to return to 2007, I wonder what I'd say.

11:08 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous triticale said...

HKL must be homeopathically sensitive if he cannot enjoy dining out due to tobacco smoke. My wee wifey and I don't smoke (at least not anything we dare smoke where strangers might see us) but we make a practice of requesting the smoking section in restaurants. On rare occasions there is a faint aroma in the background, but usually we have the section and the waitress almost to ourselves.

11:40 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Doc Helen
RE: It's Actually....

...MUCH worse.

Look at this report from Britain...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=459574&in_page_id=1770

So, if people who smoke, under British law and their National Health Service, are arbitrarily told they will not receive surgical help. They are being, for all intents and purposes, told to "sod off", or, as we Americans might say, FOAD.

And this is the sort of health care system that Hillary and Obama want to implement here.

Yes. One can call it a 'nanny state', but a 'nanny' is not a blood relation. A 'nanny' can leave at any time they want to. They have no obligation to a child; to stay with it through all it's growth. They are a hireling.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Hillary is wrong. It takes a 'Family' to raise a child.]

P.S. Everytime I hear someone say, "It takes a village....", I'm reminded of The Village from that 60s show with Patrick McGoohan; The Prisoner.

3:54 AM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: triticale
RE: HKL's 'Problem'

"HKL must be homeopathically sensitive if he cannot enjoy dining out due to tobacco smoke." -- triticale

As HKL doesn't identify the symptoms of the 'problem' he and his spouse have with smoke, we cannot be certain it is a homeopathic issue.

An alternative is that he and his spouse are 'reformed smokers'; in one capacity or another. And there is no worse antagonist of anything than a 'reformed' one.

RE: Endurance

"We can do without the dancing we loved, but when we go to eat, must we be forced to endure smoke?" -- HKL

There are any number of ways that this could be dealt with in a fair and equitable manner.

The one that every politician or politically correct smoking prohibitionist overlooks is installing a proper ventilation system and setting smokers in the down-stream end of said ventilation flow.

Inspectors could regularly check to see that the system is installed, working and that smokers are seated in the proper section.

But NOOOOOoooo. Can't have that. Doesn't achieve their ultimate goal of deciding for people what is best for them. No 'power trip', self-gratification.

What a bunch of maroons.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[He who hates vice, hates mankind.]

4:07 AM, June 05, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

Chuck -- Love the last line. Will be using it in the future. Yours or a reference?

9:17 AM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Oligonicella
RE: Tagline

"Yours or a reference?" -- Oligonicella

An unknown source.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[I hate quotations. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson]

10:12 AM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

I believe hkl mentioned asthma. I sympathize, being a wheezer myself. My solution - take your meds and avoid smoky places.

11:33 AM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you put 100 people in a room and let them all decide whether smoking is good or bad

This kind of misses the point though: it shouldn't be up to the 100 people, anyway; it should be up to the owner of the room. If the owner prefers the 1 smoker to the 99 others, then that's his/her choice. And he/she will suffer (or benefit, as the case may be) financially as a result.

Not to get off topic, but since asthma was brought up: Ironically, I had asthma growing up, but it actually went away in my early 20's, about the time I was spending much more time in smoky bars. Actually, I kind of think asthma is highly psychosomatic. My father had asthma and he basically told me and my brother we had it too (he's a bit of a hypochondriac). My sister, however, was never told this and never had asthma. My asthma ended when I decided I didn't really have it. My brother, who is a year older, still has it. Sort of strange, but there it is.

Rizzo

11:49 AM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: bugs and HKL
RE: Asthma, Eh?

"I believe hkl mentioned asthma. I sympathize, being a wheezer myself. My solution - take your meds and avoid smoky places." -- Bugs

I recommend taking a SERIOUS look into homeopathic techniques. I've found them highly effective against all kinds of ailments that the AMA doesn't seem to be able to cope with very well.

Indeed. Last month I put down an acute attack of gout in 15 minutes, after identifying the symptoms properly; stitching/tearing pain in knuckle behind big toe of right foot, splotchy white coating on tongue (Kali carbonicum).

In January I put down another such attack; stitching/tearing pain in knuckle behind big toe of right foot, chills (Lycopodium).

Good luck,

Chuck(le)
[Diagnosis: A doctor's forecast of disease based on a patient's pulse & purse. -- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary]

12:21 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

Thanks for the advice. I've found a regimen that works pretty well, so I'll stick with it.

Based on my own experience, I tend to agree with Rizzo about the psychological aspects of asthma. Temperament and childhood stress have something to do with it. However, so can early exposure to solvents and other lung irritants. And heredity, of course. It's complicated.

I do know that my symptoms improved after psychiatric therapy and overall de-stressing of my lifestyle.

12:58 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous anjali said...

Ah, homeopathy. The hypochondriac's best friend.

http://skepdic.com/homeo.html

1:39 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, we have the technology, to allow smoking in a room with a filter. Why isn't there a loophole for restauranteurs and bar owners who are willing to pay to buy/maintain that equipment?

3:55 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

One of my favorite quotes from Denis Leary (aka Edgar Friendly in Demolition Man:

"...I like to think; I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech and freedom of choice. I'm the kind of guy likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder - "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecued ribs with the side order of gravy fries?" I WANT high cholesterol. I wanna eat bacon and butter and BUCKETS of cheese, okay? I want to smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section. I want to run through the streets naked with green jello all over my body reading playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly might feel the need to, okay, pal? I've SEEN the future. Do you know what it is? It's a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing "I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiener."

Inspiring.

4:05 PM, June 05, 2007  
Blogger knoxwhirled said...

Love the Leary quote.

If the government doesn't like cigarettes, the first thing I expect it to do is to stop taking tax $$$ from cigarette sales... not likely to happen.

Remember when they told us to use margarine instead of butter? Now they're saying just the opposite. There are bureaucrats whose job description is to come up with a new health hazard, and I'm convinced they'll make them up if they have to. Just pray that your guilty pleasure isn't one of them.

5:26 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: anjali
RE: [OT] Homeopathy

"Ah, homeopathy. The hypochondriac's best friend." -- anjali

You don't have to try it, anjali. Not my problem, but yours.

Then again, I doubt if you've had the fun of experiencing something that feels like nails being driven through your foot either.

I got my gout from my Father. Call it a 'birthday' gift.

I know it works from experience. And it doesn't always work with the first materia medica I take. And, as my experience this year demonstrates, it's not a placebo affect.

However, here's a little experiment you can perform on yourself...if you have the courage for it.

[1] Buy a bottle of cantharis, 6X to 30C 'miracle dilution' should work.
[2] Bring your oven to 400°F.
[3] Put a stainless steel skillet or pan in the over.
[4] Bake the skillet at 400°F for one hour.
[5] Remove the skillet from the oven and put it on the top of the stove.....USING YOUR BARE HANDS.
[6] After you've stopped dancing around the room and screaming obscenites, take four tablets of cantharis of the 'miracle dilution' you've purchase. The process is to put them UNDER your tongue and let them dissolve on their own. Do NOT swollow them.

The pain should go away in about 15-20 minutes. If the pain returns, take another dose. That's what I experienced after a severe burn experience when someone at a church dinner put a stainless steel pan fresh out of the oven in front of me to serve from without telling me where it had immediately come from.

Then again, get a vial of cantharis for yourself anyway. Especially if you cook a lot. I would expect you might have a serious burn every now and then. Keep it in the kitchen.

As for the latter day flat-earth society, a.k.a. Skeptics. I've discussed homeopathy with local guru from the Air Force Academy a year ago. At a Mensa meeting.

I gave him, and other such skeptics, a vial each.

Hope that helps.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[There is none so blind as they who will not even look.]

P.S. Another affect of cantharis, there is considerably less scar tissue. How's that fit into the 'placebo affect'?

5:45 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Dr. Helen, et al.
RE: Almost On Que

As I was describing how the [in]famous British National Health Service (NHS) is going to be telling smokers that if they need surgery, they need to go to America....

...now we have Instapundit reporting that the NHS is going to start going after people who drink wine....

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article1884492.ece

This, in spite of all the evidence that has come out over the last decade about how drinking wine is good for you.

I'll bet you that the skeptics of England are going to toe the politically correct line on that topic too.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. -- George Bernard Shaw]

The point being that the drunk IS, usually, happier anyway. This, despite what skeptics 'believe'.

5:51 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: anjali
RE: [OT] Homeopathy, Addendum

Oh. Yes. Lest I forget.

If bird flu DOES go ballistic, I'll see YOU in the morgue, should you contract it.

I'll be taking Aconite or something else. As, it was what helped people survive it in the 1918 pandemic.

You, with the AMA, have nothing that will deal, effectively, with a viral infection.

On the other hand, I've been able to put down viral infections fairly effectively over the last 20 years; if I can (1) properly identify the symptoms I'm experiencing, (2) match them against a materia medica and (3) have said materia medica available.

See you 'later'....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Death: Chilled out to room temp.]

5:55 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

chuck pelto-

The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. -- George Bernard Shaw

I realize Shaw is a respected writer, but you realize he was a Fabian socialist who said he would execute people that wouldn't go along with his socialist schemes if he came to power, right?

12:42 AM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey if anyone would like to see what America will be like in the future just take a look at the U.K. and the future for them is not looking good.

The Nanny State. It continues it's creeping invasion of our daily lives by people without a life trying to tell others how to live theirs.

Viva La Revolution!

8:49 AM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Anonymous
RE: The British Nanny State Example & George Bernard Shaw

"Hey if anyone would like to see what America will be like in the future just take a look at the U.K. and the future for them is not looking good." -- anonymous

Thanks to someone else who calls themselves "anonymous" pointed out that GBS was a Fabian Society member and says he had murderous intentions for the masses. Funny approach to Socialism. Don't you think?

At any rate, further searching on the web indicates that a LOT of Fabian Society members were interested in depopulation, according to some of the reports discovered.

What I find particularly interesting is that the British Labour Party was founded in the early 20th Century by Fabian Society adherents. The report is that much of their organizational documents were rooted in Fabian Society doctrine.

Could it be that the Labour Party is attempting to implement their population reduction p[r]ogramme? Via the NHS? Culling the politically incorrect via denial of medical services that THEY control?

I think I'll watch V for Vendetta again, tonight.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives. -- President James Madison [Notes on Virginia]]

9:38 AM, June 06, 2007  
Blogger Kev said...

"There are bureaucrats whose job description is to come up with a new health hazard, and I'm convinced they'll make them up if they have to. Just pray that your guilty pleasure isn't one of them."

Not to go too OT, but this is precisely why, in addition to term limits for Congress, there needs to be a 10-year limit on working for the government (with the obvious exception for military personnel and maybe Postal Service workers). People should actually be required to earn an honest living instead of suckling at the government teat for the duration of their careers.

Term limits for bureaucrats!!

10:17 AM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous dpt said...

"...counted more than 3,300 separate federal criminal offenses on the books--more than 40 percent of which had been enacted in just the past 30 years..."

More evidence that we need to go to part-time legislators and even Congress critters.

10:35 AM, June 06, 2007  
Blogger Fen said...

Apparently people don't want it because state governments are making these antismoking laws and nobody is challenging them. I guess if you don't like a state's right to choose smoking or not, then you need to change what a state government gets to do or not to do.

Well yeah, but if smoking is so bad for everyone's health, why don't the people [through their state legislature] make it illegal? Something to do with taxes perhaps? Seems hypocritical.

10:37 AM, June 06, 2007  
Blogger knoxwhirled said...

I am definitely for term limits for Congress. I used to feel like, "well, if I want to vote for someone 10 times in a row, I should be able to." Unfortunately, our representatives have proven repeatedly that they just can't handle that responsibilty. 2 terms and they get the boot.

10:42 AM, June 06, 2007  
Blogger Dewave said...

government intervention in its citizens’ private lives not only denies us freedom of choice, but also erodes our national character by promoting a culture of victimhood and dependence.

Precisely so. Precisely so.

The less government intrusion and involvement with our daily lives, the better.

I'd far rather share a bar with a smoker than a PC control freak who thinks he can tell me how to live my life.

10:50 AM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

chuck pelto-

Could it be that the Labour Party is attempting to implement their population reduction p[r]ogramme? Via the NHS? Culling the politically incorrect via denial of medical services that THEY control?

Trying to stop people from drinking red wine would seem to be an initiative like this. Red wine is a big part of the French Paradox/Mediterranean Diet that seems to have people living longer.

11:01 AM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Trying to stop people from drinking red wine would seem to be an initiative like this. Red wine is a big part of the French Paradox/Mediterranean Diet that seems to have people living longer."

Actually later studies determined that it is something in the tannin that goes into red wine that is of benefit. Big Alcohol glomed onto that report to promote the idea that drinking is good for you. It's not. Alcohol is toxic, no two ways about it. By the way, I drink and occasionally smoke and I am deadset against the nanny state and the Neo-Prohibitionists. But facts are facts.

11:38 AM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: anonymous
RE: Indicators

"Trying to stop people from drinking red wine would seem to be an initiative like this. Red wine is a big part of the French Paradox/Mediterranean Diet that seems to have people living longer." -- anonymous

As any Army intell staff puke will tell you, this is something of an 'indicator' as to what is going on.

They, the Labour Party, won't admit to it, but with a Socialist agenda they will selectively target groups that they don't approve of. This latest twist, with the report that the British National Health Service [Note: Apparently something of a clever misnomer, that.] is considering denying surgery to anyone who smokes is something straight out of Orwell, as I see it.

And, as I pointed out above, its the sort of approach to medicine that Hillary and Obama seem to be wanting to establish here.

If this goes on to its logical conclusion, we'll see Larry Nivenish organ harvesting, as is apparently going on in Communist China, in the not-too-distant future.

After all, if the smoker dies because of the NHS refusal to provide necessary surgical support, why let all their good organs go to waste?

I believe it stems from a lack of respect for human life; in all its forms. And, if the reports of the allegedly bloody-minded Fabian Society are correct, and they have transfered their philosophy to their political arm, i.e., the Labour Party, it is only to be expected.

But, hey, even the InstaPundit is in favor of harvesting stem cells from 'murdered' fetuses. So, it would seem we're not too far behind these bloody-minded Brits.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[No man's life, liberty or fortune is safe while our legislature is in session. -- Benjamin Franklin]

11:43 AM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Another 'anonymous'
RE: Actually...

"Actually later studies determined that it is something in the tannin that goes into red wine that is of benefit." Another 'anonymous'

...it's more than tannins in red wine.

There is also something called resveratrol too. See....

http://www.betterhumans.com/News/News/tabid/61/News/390/Default.aspx

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,226821,00.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/16/AR2006111600705.html

But not only that. It also appears that alcohol itself is beneficial. See...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,144910,00.html

http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Wine+and+health

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,197205,00.html

So, reconsider you observation.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Alcohol! The last gift of the relenting gods. The simple word that makes life's crossword puzzle easier to elucidate. - Lennie Lower]

P.S. I wonder if the latter-day flat-earthers, a.k.a. Skeptics, are accepting this yet....

11:49 AM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't want to get into an argument about whether alcohol is good for you or not. I think those studies purporting to say so are subjective and I strongly suspect paid for by Big Alcohol. Drinking is politically correct, while smoking is not. Don't kid yourself, they are both vices. Drink all you want, it's ok with me. But we are getting off topic. If they can ban smoking in bars, they can ban drinking alcohol as well. After all, a bar is a Public Place. WHO has just announced an anti-drinking campaign, citing statistics just like they did with anti-smoking. And notice how "alcohol free zones" are proliferating. Like an above poster said, the ideas of pettiness and "it's a free country" are rapidly dropping out of our culture. That movie "Demolition Man" is not so unreal anymore.

12:19 PM, June 06, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

kev 10:17AM

As long as bureaucrats have permanent positions, we'll never see the end of the welfare state. No welfare, no bureaucrats to handle the paperwork, find and sign new recipients, etc. I don't think they want to lose their cushy jobs giving away taxpayer's money, either.

fen 10:37AM

As one who spent years with Phillip Morris and R.J. Reynolds manufacturing plants as customers, both companies gave an incredible amount of money in taxes to the government. With the current lawsuits, the amount being given now is literally obscene. And I do not think anything but a particle of that money is actually reaching people claiming to have contracted a cancer from smoking.

It doesn't take 20/20 to see that the Gov't doesn't really want to shut down tobacco companies. Hell, what a cash cow! Same with alcohol. You just bad mouth it, tell people how bad it is for them, and keep raking in the money.

12:30 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're against bans on smoking, you better be against the ADA and accomodating wheelchairs in public. The same logic supports both policies. Some people can't be around smoke for health reasons. Some people can't make it up stairs in the wheelchairs they're in. Letting the owner of the space decide on smoking is like letting them decide on ramps -- they won't want to spend the money, so asthmatics and folks in wheelchairs will be excluded.

Ok, maybe some owners will put in ramps, but many won't, and so folks in wheelchairs (and others who walk poorly but aren't in chairs) will be excluded from that part of the world.

1:18 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well some people are concerned about their safety and don't want to increase their risk to violence so lets ban drinking alcohol in bars. I know some alcoholics who can't go to bars because they may be too tempted to drink so why should they be excluded? In your way of thinking, anything that's not good for you is bad, hence, should be banned. Smoking, alcohol, red meat, salt, sugar, tranfats, fatty foods, and anything too spicy. Plus, let's ban sexual harassment in bars. I see girls getting unwanted attention in bars all the time. That kind of thing would never be allowed in a corporate environment, why should it be allowed in a bar? Sheesh. I don't know why we are fighting the Taliban, we ought to hire them as Health Police.

1:38 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Gek said...

Agreed, bans on smoking, wheelchair ramps; etc.

Some restaurants still serve food that has been in contact with peanut oil, wheat gluten, seafood, or other possible allergens.

These places need to be shut down as well. Since we need to prevent any possible public contact with allergens, shutting down any restaurant that might provide allergen-based food would be a good start.

Oh, and it would be nanny-state too; wouldn't it?

1:39 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous 11:38-

Actually later studies determined that it is something in the tannin that goes into red wine that is of benefit. Big Alcohol glomed onto that report to promote the idea that drinking is good for you. It's not. Alcohol is toxic, no two ways about it. By the way, I drink and occasionally smoke and I am deadset against the nanny state and the Neo-Prohibitionists. But facts are facts.

Well there are other effects as well - a blood thinner, like aspirin. And there is another compound besides the tannins called resveratrol that is believed to encourage longevity. And those studies that suggest moderate drinkers outlive both teetotalers and heavy drinkers.

So that's the thing - the facts about many things are still being debated and discovered. That's why the nanny-staters have to be limited to persuasion in their attempts to run other people's lives. They can lecture and provide information all they want (funded by their own money, not money taken from others), but they have to be stopped short of coercion and trying to force their opinions on others.

2:12 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: All
RE: Alcohol Arguments Aside...

...I find it 'interesting' that the PC Brits, as reported in the article I cited (above), are targeting Middle-Class wine drinkers.

"Middle-class wine drinkers will be the focus of government plans to make drunkenness as socially unacceptable as smoking, The Times has learnt." -- article [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article1884492.ece]

Why just them? Why not all who drink alcohol in any form?

What about the working-class? Or the upper-class?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[For the rest of us who are not politicians, the less power a politician has, the better—the less we have to fear from him. -- Gyorgy Konrad]

2:34 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

I'm an asthmatic, and I don't give a crap if people smoke in restaurants or not. I don't need the ADA to protect me from evil, selfish business owners. All I need is the freedom to take my business elsewhere.

ADA for asthmatics, huh? Sounds like requirements creep to me.

2:38 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: All
RE: Alcohol Arguments Aside, Addendum

Answering my own question about why just the middle-class drinkers....

It's probably the Labour Party targeting the middle-class because they are more likely to be 'conservative' than the other two classes; working and upper.

Meanwhile the working-class are being bought off by the Labour Party with nanny-state policies. And the upper-class are the ones running the show. A political party wouldn't be smart to target their base.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul. -- George Bernard Shaw]

3:11 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

P.S. I wonder what they'll do when there are no more Peters to rob.

The Romans found out...the hard way...when they succeeded at that.

3:12 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Craig said...

Want a couple examples of nanny statism? Try here in Washington state where the legislature passed these laws:

A child must be in a car seat or booster seat to ride in a car until they are 8 years old.

A child under the age of 13 is not allowed to ride in the front passenger seat of the car unless there are no other seats available.

You also can't talk on a cell phone if you're holding it while driving a car.

I'm quite sure that sometime soon they'll pass a law dictating the angle you can turn your head to talk to someone else in the car. And the governor signed each of these into law. Sheeeesh.

3:52 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Craig
RE: Some Rules....

"A child under the age of 13 is not allowed to ride in the front passenger seat of the car unless there are no other seats available.

You also can't talk on a cell phone if you're holding it while driving a car." -- Craig

...make sense. And there is evidence to support them.

In item #1 (above), an airbag deployment can crush the rib-cage of small children and frail adults.

I believe that a 64-year old woman was the first victim of the spiffy, new airbags. Crushed her. She'd have survived the accident if it weren't for the spiffy, new airbag safety devices.

For item #2 (above), you should not, repeat NOT, be driving and talking on a cell phone at the same time.

There's an attorney in New York doing hard time for doing such. She was driving home one night and dictating on her cell phone and thought she hit a deer. She just kept on driving, as her car had not been seriously damaged by the side-swiping accident.

Next morning she discovered she had hit something. A 'dear' instead of a 'deer'. One dead child who had been riding a bicycle on the side of the road.

Not so sure about your time about 8 year olds must ride in car-seats, instead of buckled in like more mature people.

Hope that helps.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[You mean well, Watson. Shall I demonstrate your own ignorance? -- Sherlock Holmes]

4:13 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Pickles said...

As a smoker who lives in Ohio, just a few comments:

- My boyfriend and I (we both smoke, and both have deadlines for quitting) definitely go out less. We used to eat out quite a bit. Now, we get it to go, if we go at all. So yeah, restaurants have lost at least some business, because I know we're not the only ones. And the restaurants that were non-smoking before that have lost what may have been a selling point on choosing them over a restaurant that allowed smoking, so I wouldn't be surprised if *they've* lost some business, too.

- It's also much worse than stated. They also have issues with smoking outside in public areas. As I understood it, the original law meant that you could be the only person in a public park and be fined for having a lit cigarette. However, apparently Ohio didn't expect it to pass, so they didn't have any enforcement plans ready. It's my understanding that the law as passed has now changed, meaning that the referendum we voted for or against is not the same as the actual law enacted. I'm not sure what the final law ended up being, though, because I've been out of town a lot lately - but I got yelled at by a security guard in Ohio a week ago for smoking in an outdoor area with no one else around, that wasn't by a door or open window. I was sent to the smoking "zone" instead. And I have to wonder if the changes that were made to the law were legal, since the issue (including the details that have since changed) was supposed to be decided by vote.

5:16 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Pickles
RE: It's Really Much Worse

"As I understood it, the original law meant that you could be the only person in a public park and be fined for having a lit cigarette." -- Pickles

Over the last 12 months, I've noticed items in the 'press' where people have been sued for smoking in their own residence. Said residence being an apartment.

See...

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003526616_smoking16m.html

Regards,

Chuck(le)

5:21 PM, June 06, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

Given the choice of sharing a space with a smoker or a PC control freak, I'll take the control freak. I have no problems telling somebody to STFU but a heck of a problem trying to be a one-woman air purifier.

7:49 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Cham
RE: Tell the Government Man to STFU

"I have no problems telling somebody to STFU but a heck of a problem trying to be a one-woman air purifier." -- Cham

I'd like to see you try. Especially if you are 'unarmed'.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Among other evils which being unarmed brings you, it causes you to be despised. -- Niccolo Machiavelli]

P.S. This is ESPECIALLY true of any government; or representative thereof.

8:04 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

P.S. Maybe someone should drop your name into the ears of the DEA as a drug dealer.

Let's see what happens when you tell the guys in black-suits and ski-masks breaking down your door to "STFU".

8:06 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

P.P.P.S. Hey!

Ever see a movie by Terry Gilliam titled Brazil?

Maybe you should watch it....SOON.

8:18 PM, June 06, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

FYI, I don't have a problem with my state and local governments. They aren't perfect but they do right by me.

8:39 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Cham
RE: Avoidance

Why don't you answer the proposed scenario?

I'm waiting for you to tell some DEA-inspired government rep to, "STFU!" Even as they are pointing a 9mm automatic submachine gun at you.

Go on. I dare you....

Regards,

Chuck(le)

9:13 PM, June 06, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

Why would a DEA-inspired government rep (whatever that is?) point a submachine gun at me? The scenario is ridiculous.

9:21 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So is chuck(le).

9:29 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Cham
RE: Ridiculous, Indeed....

"Why would a DEA-inspired government rep (whatever that is?) point a submachine gun at me? The scenario is ridiculous." -- Cham

Hardly. Rather, it's more likely to happen than you, obviously, think.

For instance....

http://www.slate.com/id/2139458/

All someone needs to do is drop your name into some DEA agent's ear.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. When's the last time you watched V for Vendetta?

10:02 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

P.P.S. Care to try a little 'experiment'?

What's your REAL name and address?

10:10 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smokers brought the law down on themselves when they took the cigarette companies to court. If smokers couldn't tell from the first puff that smoking wasn't a healthy activity, or from the first craving that it was an addictive product, then SOMEBODY has to look after the poor fools. And the only one big enough to do this is the government.
Americans want everyone ELSE to exhibit personal responsibility. But if I burn myself by placing a cup of hot coffee between my legs while driving my car, that must be the coffee maker's fault. Or maybe I should blame the automaker. Or possibly the city, for paving the roads. Or the state, for giving me a drivers license in the first place...

4:35 AM, June 07, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

These two threads about nanny are interestingly related in that they both touch on the state's ability to prosecute without cause.

Cham -- A man who grew violets was gunned down by DEA storming his house, yes you just might look down a barrel for no reason, or at least a reason you would find horrifying. The reason he was murdered? He purchased grow lights.

Some PA deciding to run with charges that were obviously not worthy? This, where a substitute teacher was sentenced to forty years for a school's poorly blocked computer showing pop-up porn.

Frank Zappa - "It can't happen here." Sung with heavy sarcasm.

8:07 AM, June 07, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are such a fearful "man" olgy.

You're afraid the girl scouts knocking on your door to sell you cookies are gunning there way in to get you.

Stay off those porn sites and you won't get the pop-ups and be so paranoid.

12:31 PM, June 07, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

From an AC. Precious.

4:41 PM, June 07, 2007  
Anonymous TMink said...

Anon at 4:35 wrote: "Smokers brought the law down on themselves when they took the cigarette companies to court."

Interesting point. Did any of those suits win? I did not keep up with them. In terms of this thread, they were suing because the tobacco companies were not nannying them enough!

Trey

1:08 AM, June 08, 2007  
Anonymous TMink said...

Olig, the drug war is replete with such stories. And it is also about the state moving into nanny territory. Good points.

Trey

1:11 AM, June 08, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

Re: taking the tobacco companies to court.

This is another aspect of the smoking ban - guys like Bloomberg think they're protecting the Little Guy from Big Tobacco (one of the many "Bigs" that want to stamp out democracy and rule the world.) A few expensive class-action settlements, some more draconian smoking bans, and soon Big Tobacco will be fored out of business. Another evil, capitalist, Republican ogre slain. I can almost see Utopia shining on the horizon...

I think some of the class action suits were won, and part of the proceeds went to fund those, not anti-smoking, but anti-tobacco-company commercials you see on TV once in a while. You know - the ones that usually feature some creative-looking Gen-Xers doing subversive-looking street theater to illustrate how Big Tobacco makes its profits over the rotting corpses of millions of innocent smokers who were fooled into starting the habit by deceptive advertising and hooked by extra nicotine pumped into their cigs for the specific purpose turning them into helpless addicts. There's usually a crowd of clueless passers-by standing around with their mouths agape, scarcely able to comprehend the depth of Big Tobacco's perfidy.

For what it's worth, this has been going on pretty much forever. See this page.

12:09 PM, June 08, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

In all the decades I smoked, I never lit up in the house or car of a friend or acquaintance who did not smoke. It's not my house, or car. Even when it was, I went outside, out of respect for another who did not like, or could not handle, smoke.

As with anything else, my rights have to end where and when they infringe on another's in such an instance. One should not need a law to make him courteous. I would also expect the same of another were the table turned.

12:13 PM, June 08, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

BR

Depending on social customs - like courtesy - is too risky for control freaks. They need to have everything on a sound ideological and legal footing with appropriate penalties for non-compliance. Otherwise...well, people might do whatever they want...

12:34 PM, June 08, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

During part of the the processing of tobacco for consumption, the tar and nicotine are actually removed.

The black liquor is added back in during another stage of the process, before being packed into cigarettes.

Without the nicotine, one would not form the habit. It's akin to standing in a burning house and taking in the smoke. Nicotine is a very sneaky drug. You don't know you are "high" on it. There is no real euphoria associated with it. But you sure know when you need another fix.

If you have noticed, "big tobacco" has been diversifying for years, getting into foods and soft drinks, even alcohol. So I suppose some day tobacco will be banned in this country, once big tobacco can safely continue on in other endeavors. Meanwhile, there will be less people needing social security because of smoking, something that may possibly be actively taken into account.

I am not against big business, don't get me wrong. But I believe tobacco companies are fully aware of nicotine's affect on those who partake. Otherwise, why put it back in after it has been taken out? That's another step in manufacturing, that costs money to do.

6:38 PM, June 08, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

BR

You have more experience with the cigs than I do, so I'll take your word for it.

I always thought that getting the nicotine fix was the whole point of smoking in the first place. In which case, taking out the nicotine out of tobacco would be like taking the alcohol out of bourbon. Without it, what's the point of consuming the stuff? And alcohol is addictive, too.

Anyway, since the gov can limit the percentage of alcohol in beverages, is there any way they could do the same for nicotine in tobacco? Or would that just make people smoke more cigarettes to get the same effect?

Just thinking of something other than an out-and-out ban - which seems way to intrusive. And anti-business. "Big Tobacco" employs people and pays taxes, too.

9:30 PM, June 08, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Bugs
RE: The 'Fix'

"I always thought that getting the nicotine fix was the whole point of smoking in the first place." -- Bugs

You should sit on a 'jump'; 64 paratroopers with a one-way ticket on a C130.

Wheels up and the tension is so thick you can hardly see through it. Partially because half of the jumpers have gone to sleep from it and the other half have lit up.

[Note: Usually we had 10% casualties on each jump; the vast majority being bad sprains and broken bones. However, occasionally someone had something much worse; total malfunction of parachute, slamming a tree, or landing on some form of nasty wildlife, e.g., a rattlesnake. Even had one guy leave half of his head inside the aircraft while exiting the door.]

I took up smoking a pipe because I just could not get to sleep. I found it 'relaxing'. Probably due to the oxygen depravation. But it worked and I wasn't so nervous when the doors came up and you couldn't hear yourself think for the roar of the engines.

I no longer jump out of perfectly good airplanes if flight. Too expensive as a hobby that's not subsidized by our rich Uncle Sam. But I do smoke; pipes and cigars. No inhalants. I still find it relaxing; post-parandle or with coffee in the morning in the woods [keeps the skeeters away].

So, aside from the nicotine fix, there is something more at play here.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Every man thinks meanly of himself for never having been a soldier, or a sailor with hard duty at sea. -- Samuel Johnson]

1:44 PM, June 09, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: All
RE: Cham & Ignorance

Cham, apparently, has not followed the case of the little old lady in Atlanta who was gunned down while defending herself against a home-invasion conducted by the drug-crime police....

....all because of either a 'bad address' or reading an address 'badly'.

Then the police tried to cover up their criminal act by (1) filing false reports and (2) trying to get an 'informant' to corroborate their false reports.

This, as I see it, is a prima facia example of the 'nanny state' at its logical conclusion.

When the 'nanny', i.e., the 'hireling', or as I like to refer to them, the 'mercenary', does wrong they will do whatever it takes, in order to make themselves look like they were doing 'right'.

Regards,

Chuck(le)

P.S. In my considered opinion, vis-a-vis 'Stand Your Ground' laws....

.....any police officer who is injured, i.e., SHOT, while conducting a no-knock raid on an innocent's house, got what he deserved....even if he was not the one who 'fingered' the 'objective'.

As for the one who did 'finger'the wrong 'objective'....

....he does the long course in prison for negligent homicide, should ANYONE die in the misinformed raid.

P.P.S. We pay our government agents for law enforcement MUCH more than we pay our soldiers in combat. One would think we'd get better performance than we seem to be getting.

2:07 PM, June 09, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: All
RE: Root Cause Analysis

I'll wager dollars against donuts that all of these examples of 'nanny state' mentality, the fallacy thereof and comenserate problems thereof, can be traced, via Root Cause Analysis, i.e., Hisakawa Diagrams, back to a lack of understand that there IS a God. And He IS going to do an After Action Review, when all is said and done.

Seriously....

....look at these cretins.

Would ANY of them do the nefarious things they do if they actually APPRECIATED this concept? I don't care what political party they salute; Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, Constitutional, Nazi, Satanist.

If they had a 'clue' about the reality around them...that it goes on beyond their own life-span, would they REALLY do these sorts of things? Would Cunningham? Would DeLay? Would Jefferson? Would ANY of us?

Would the Instapundit REALLY call for harvesting stem cells from babies if he appreciated that such a call would result in a terrible punishment? In his 'heart of hearts'?

Makes you think....I should hope....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
["God is dead." -- Nietzsche (c. 1895)

"Nietzsche is dead." -- God (c. Today)]

6:29 PM, June 09, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

bugs..

The nicotine fix is the reason. The tar and nicotine taken out during stages of the processing IS put back in.

In lower tar and nicotine cigarettes ,i.e. lite, ultra-lite types, they just put less back in.

Also, various brand names also put things like licorice, chocolate, cherry, and other flavorings in there cigarettes, pipe tobacco, and (some) cigars to "enhance" the smell and taste to smokers.

6:36 PM, June 09, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

c'mon, chuck.....

You know full well the entire universe came into being from a bang.

There was nothing, then everything.
And you and I are indeed a monkey's uncle.

As science continues to create, it is now possible to create something from nothing. And don't forget string theory.

The first PhD was handed to a graduate by a person who did not have a PhD himself.

6:47 PM, June 09, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: BR549
RE: The BIG Bang

"You know full well the entire universe came into being from a bang." -- BR549

Aaaaah.....Yeeeessssssssss....

....the 'Big Bang'! Such sexual innuendo. Eh?


"As science continues to create, it is now possible to create something from nothing. And don't forget string theory." -- BR549

Babble on, Babylon....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. What are you 'on' right now?

7:47 PM, June 09, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

charlie..

The post was entirely tongue in cheek. I see you you caught that right away.

7:45 AM, June 10, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

Those who require the threat of eternal punishment are not moral, just fearful.

Those who do the moral thing simply because it is the moral thing are the ones with actual ethics.

8:29 AM, June 10, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

oligonicella.....

Perhaps. And the same can be said about people who simply obey laws.

There are many, hopefully, the majority of people on this planet, who simply live by the golden rule as much as possible, because it is the right thing to do.

And that being the case, from where do these morals and ethics arise? Are they naturally supplanted in our brains at birth? Or are they taught, maybe absorbed? Or is it because some sort of fear of punishment is instilled at the same time?

There are thousands of laws on the books at county, city, state and federal levels. New ones are made annually. None of us know a fraction of them, and as such are probably at odds with ordinances, laws, rules and regulations of some sort at each and every turn.

Leaving the ones out that pertain to God, for the sake of argument, the 8 commandments still cover about all the laws that continue to be written. I find the simplicity fascinating.

9:14 AM, June 10, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

They arise from intelligent thought, where else?

I'll reduce it to one. Do to others what you would have them do to you.

I find that simplicity facinating.

1:43 PM, June 10, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Oligonicella
RE: The 'Ethical'

"Those who do the moral thing simply because it is the moral thing are the ones with actual ethics." -- Oligonicella

By what 'standard' do you evaluate what is 'ethical'?

Muslims kill their women if they have a mind to. And they think that is 'ethical'.

However, allow me to cite something from an Old Book I use as a standard....

"For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:" -- Romans 2:14

So, I see nothing wrong with your comment. After all, it's written that way.

RE: The Golden Rule

"I'll reduce it to one. Do to others what you would have them do to you." -- Oligonicella

Gee....where have I read THAT before?

Maybe something about "Love thy neighbor as thyself"? I think some Wag said something like that about 2000 years ago.

"And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." -- Matthew 22:39

RE: Fear?

"Those who require the threat of eternal punishment are not moral, just fearful." -- Oligonicella

Perhaps.

But then again....

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." -- Proverbs 1:7

Sometimes people can be as stubborn as a mule. And, like a mule, they need a swift whop upside the head, just to get their attention.

And, yes, fear can be a great motivator for people who do not, naturally, have an internal standard of 'ethics' that's aligned properly with those of God.

Don't you think?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Neighbor, n., One whom we are required to love, but does their utmost to make us disobedient. -- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary]

2:59 PM, June 10, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Oligonicella
RE: But Still....

....and all....

....'if' there IS an entity, such as the God of the Jews and Christians, what does that mean for those who do not accept that ideal?

Personally. Based on my lifetime of experiences, which includes things like being saved from immediate termination because I called out for help and seeing things happening around me that correlate well with things written in that Old Book, I'm convinced.

As a matter of fact, I've proven it, at least to myself and some associates. But that delves into things the Army taught me [Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB)] as applied to the Old Book and events in the 1990-91 time frame.

And I've won a LOT of bets based on my understanding.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The most simple-minded way of proving a systems effectiveness is the ability to win bets based on it.]

3:23 PM, June 10, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

Chuck --

"Muslims kill their women if they have a mind to. And they think that is 'ethical'."

By the ethics of God. Interesting, that. My standards are higher.



"For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:"

For when the Hebrews, which had seen the laws of other nations, decided to codify those laws for themselves, having no writing thereto, they codified that which was logical on it's surface to conform to their religion.

And?


Golden Rule.

'Gee....where have I read THAT before?'

Don't know, it's older than the Bible. Hammarubi? Maybe the Summerian writings?


"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction."

Circular logic. Wisdom and instruction predates the biblical lord by a long shot.



'Sometimes people can be as stubborn as a mule. And, like a mule, they need a swift whop upside the head, just to get their attention.'

Yes. That's the reason I like to argue with those who are too stubborn to admit their holy books are nothing more than codification of pre-existing ethics derived from intellectual thought about what it takes to live prosperously and peacefully.


"And, yes, fear can be a great motivator for people who do not, naturally, have an internal standard of 'ethics' that's aligned properly with those of God.

Don't you think?"

Not really. I don't want anyone killing every last man, woman, child, dog and livestock of those from another religion and salting the earth.

9:53 AM, June 11, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Oligonicella
RE: Actually....

"Muslims kill their women if they have a mind to. And they think that is 'ethical'." -- Chuck to Oligonicella

"By the ethics of God. Interesting, that. My standards are higher." -- Oligonicella to Chuck, in reply

Oli. Can I call you Oli?

Allah is not God. They are, as far as I can discern from opposite 'camps'. And therein may lie your confusion.

And, as for YOUR 'standards'....where are those written. I'd like to see them.

RE: Holy Writ

"Yes. That's the reason I like to argue with those who are too stubborn to admit their holy books are nothing more than codification of pre-existing ethics derived from intellectual thought about what it takes to live prosperously and peacefully." -- Oli

REALLY??!?!?!

Interesting.

Care to explain away prophecy for me?

For example, how can a man of the First Century name the town of a runaway nuclear reactor? Or state, precisely, the time between the starts of Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM? And how about them 'locust'? Eh? Who knew of a locust that doesn't eat grass, but their flight sounds like many chariots rushing to battle? [Hint: Ever participate in a battalion mass air assault? I have. Sounds like you're in the middle of the Ben Hur chariot race....]

I look forward to your reply....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Coincidence, n., When God works a miracle and doesn't get the credit.]

11:10 AM, June 11, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

Olig is preferred, but what hey.

No. Allah and God are the same. They have the same origins. You may not like a faction, but their history only diverges recently.

I'll list them as needed. Here's one; if a woman finds she wishes to leave you, you may not beat, whip or stone her to change her mind. That includes a rod the width of your thumb.


"Care to explain away prophecy for me?"

Back referencing.

"For example,..."

Might be easier to address individual examples if you actually provided the prophecies instead of the leapt to conclusions.

[Miracle, n. When people can't recognize coincidence or natural occurrence.]

11:50 AM, June 11, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Oligonicella
RE: The Same? Hardly...

"No. Allah and God are the same. They have the same origins. You may not like a faction, but their history only diverges recently." -- Olig

...or maybe you can explain how, in one holy writ, God says, "Those who bless you, I shall bless and those who curse you I shall curse." That's God speaking to Abraham.

And then we have in the other camps holy writ, Mohammed cursing the children of Abraham.

That's just ONE example.

RE: Prophecy

"Back referencing." -- Olig

Really? From the First Century to the Twentieth? VERY INTERESTING...how was it done, considering it's been in writing since...say the King James version?

Who was the time traveler who went back and re-wrote Revelation?

And as for the prophecies....

Read Revelation 8 and 9. Then get back with me on HOW they back referenced Chernobyl and Gulf War 1.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Imitation is the highest form of flattery.]

2:07 PM, June 11, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

P.S. Where can I read your 'higher standard'? Or do you just kinda make it up as you go along.

If it's REALLY so much better than some other holy writ, mayhap you should start your own religion. Just like all the other atheists.

[Atheist creed: I am the lord my god. Thou shalt have no other god before 'ME'.]

2:09 PM, June 11, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

"That's just ONE example."

Indeed. One example of many contradictions in the bible and its offspring.

R8&9 -- I don't have to get back to you on HOW they back ref Cher & GWI because they don't refer to them. Your assertions don't cut it.

You were very specific. How about you cut and paste the passages that "name the town of a runaway nuclear reactor" and "state, precisely, the time between the starts of Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM"?

Remember, the passages must be explicitly correct. No interpretations.

Wikipedia has a good page devoted to Rev and discusses the various interpretations.


My stance is that men developed ethics long before any extant religions were invented and that's supported by archeological findings.

I share many of these points of ethics.

I find it interesting the commands neglect "thou shalt not lie", bearing false witness being only a subset.

"Atheist creed..."

Self-contradictory snark as atheists don't believe in gods.



PS. To anyone stumbling on this little tête-à-tête, it should be pretty obvious this thread jumped shark a while ago anyway.

3:15 PM, June 11, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Oligonicella
RE: Avoidance Syndrome

"Remember, the passages must be explicitly correct. No interpretations." -- Olig

What a bunch of hooey. As if a man of the First Century can describe to his contemporaries an advanced technology such as a nuclear reactor or an attack helicopter.

Oh well. I expected nothing better from you. You or 99.9% of the other atheists I've encountered over the last 17 years.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Stupid, n., Ignorant and proud of it.]

P.S. See you on the thread up the hall from here.

3:34 PM, June 11, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

That's not what I asked you to do, oh avoiding one. I asked you to "name the town of a runaway nuclear reactor" and "state, precisely, the time between the starts of Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM".

Nothing in there about describing an advanced tech. Just name the town and give the time span precisely. You're the one who said it was there, I quoted you.

"[...]"

Please don't post descriptions of yourself. It's vain.

4:31 PM, June 11, 2007  
Anonymous TMink said...

I enjoy Olig's posts. His religious beliefs, or lack, are not an indicator of his intelligence or morals in my book. I judge him by his posts, at least in this context, and that is enough for me.

Honestly, I had forgotten that he is atheist. He has been very tolerant of my beliefs, it seems that I should extend the same courtesy to him. While he and I disagree on some matters, I hope to do so as his friend, and in a polite, respectful manner.

I do not always do that on here, to my embarassment. But as a Christian, I feel called to do so. I hope you guys will too.

Trey

12:54 PM, June 12, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

I think most of our laws, moral principles, etc., are elaborations on our basic social instincts. The Golden Rule probably arose from mutual grooming behavior among our primate ancestors. Abstracted and then attributed to a deity, even something as mundane as picking fleas can become the Law of the Universe.

If I had to pick a moral principle that clearly differentiates us from chimpanzees, I think it would be: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

As far as I know, apes don't sacrifice their lives for each other. The idea - feeling - that another person's life might be as valuable as or more valuable than your own, I think is unique to the human mind.

Whether that's a good thing or not - who knows? The people who benefit from it certainly seem to think so.

1:24 PM, June 12, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

bugs -- Chimps engage in interterritorial conflict. They have been observed fighting and one chimp will indeed throw itself onto an enemy pounding his brother. Root basis for that phrase, perhaps.

Trey -- Back at'cha.

2:14 PM, June 12, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

o -- For some reason, I felt like I had to give humans the benefit of the doubt.

3:58 PM, June 12, 2007  
Blogger Sid The Sexist said...

The real issue here isn't public safety, but tyrannical control of the population. It happens when a society goes into decay. Here's the scenario as written by Alexander Tyler:

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship.

The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage."

What can I say?

Sid

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