Government Continues Attack on Civil Liberty

The remnant of Dolly will be moving across the region on Wednesday night. A few strong storms are possible but not necessarily probable. The updated SPC OUTLOOK has a slight risk just to our west. There will probably be a fair amount of lightning and some of the storms coming out of Missouri have had a history of hail and they were rambunctious enough for the SPC to issue a Tornado Watch well to our west. However, it’s not enough for me to come in to work as we suspect the greatest problem with this may be the amount of rain we get. You can just feel the heavy moisture content. This morning it reminded me of my grandparents house on Mobile Bay. Sorta had the same smell…but maybe that was the barn. Nevertheless, it was enough for me to put the goats, the horses and the donkey in the barn for the night. I can’t afford to get those guys mad at me and I don’t think they take too well to lightning and I’m sure they wouldn’t appreciate getting dumped on with rain. I hope the rain helps my baby tree named Horton. I’m sure kelsaroo the hydrangia wil be happy too.

LA Considers Banning Fast Food Establishments in Lower Income Neighborhood. While it’s often unpopular, I have from time to time opined about how we are relinquishing our freedoms under the guise of good intentions. I suppose it’s the Libertarian in me that flares up from time to time. No, I’m not talking about Federal efforts to fight terrorism and work toward better security for the nation. I”m talking about little things…and those little things are now becoming big things and may even get bigger and more intrusive. Already we’ve had governments taking people’s homes so that they can increase the tax revenues. If the government thinks that your home would make a good place for a shopping mall, they can take it. All of this starts with our willingness to allow restrictive laws on relatively minor issues and nos the government is grabbing for more. So far, we have let them and soon we may not be able to stop them.

Many states have made it mandatory to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. The excuse from most people is that they don’t want to pay for, or have their insurance premiums go up, when some gets in a wreck when they aren’t wearing a helmet. I suspect though that people who don’t wear helmets probably result in lower hospital costs because they are more likely to die and not be in the hospital at all. Same thing for seatbelts.

I’ve always worn a seatbelt and always will. I think it’s stupid not to wear a helmet on a motorcycle or go seatbeltless in a car. If you don’t wear a seatbelt, the odds increase that you die and stay off the healthcare roles altogether. But, it’s a small infringement on our freedoms under the shroud of public good. Same thing with smoking.

All of the bans go up all over the place. I don’t smoke and never have. But, if an owner of a bar wants to allow adults to use a legal product in his establishment, then he should not be forced to prevent his patrons from using the product. If it is so dangerous and so unhealthful, then the government should ban them altogether. But…they don’t. Why? Because so many states rely on taxes from the tobacco industry. It’s such hypocrisy. On the one hand, they sue the tobacco companies but on the other, they welcome the tax revenue. They prevent law abiding bar owners from allowing people to use a legal product and also require them to enforce the law. Yet, they still need desperately the taxes collected. If the public is so in favor of a smoke-free environment, then they could let the free market decide. My guess is that the smoke free bars would go out of business and the smoking bars would flourish. Just imagine if the tobacco companies decided the cost of doing business was too high in the US and they stopped selling their products in the United States. Then the states would be suing to force them to sell those products because every state would have a huge budget shortfall…and a substantially large angry portion of the electorate. the way, statistics show that smokers have more health related issues…but they also show that they die younger…again…off the healthcare rolls altogether.

I think that all of these relatively minor surrenderings of our liberty will lead the government to reach even farther. There have been some localities that have tried to make it illegal for someone to smoke in the privacy of his own home! Remember a couple of years ago when New London, CT used eminent domain to toss people from their perfectly good and safe homes to make way for a commercial establishment? The Connecticut Supreme Court said it was for the public good because it would stimulate the local economy. It seems like a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. These guys didn’t search, they just seized law abiding private homeowners property altogether. And once New London was able to ge away with it, other cities soon followed. This story got the attention of 60 Minutes , but the American people remain silent.

Now, Los Angeles will vote soon on a measure that would ban any further construction of fast food establishments in a neighborhood that is largely less affluent. The rich neighborhoods can continue to welcome new business with open arms whereas the poor are deemed unworthy of making choices on their own. What is next?

You know, if you really want to get down to it, the Global Warming issue has its base in population. If there were still about 2 billion people on the planet instead of the over 6 billion today, then the pollution and carbon emissions would be greatly reduced. If we keep on this path, then is it not totally unreasonable for one to think that some day the government would limit the number of babies a family could have? Sound far fetched? China does it today and here is a student from the University of Pittsburgh that thinks China’s one child per family rule is “sensible.”

Just some things to think about. For the record, I think the greatest danger to our losing our liberty is through the prism of good intentions and I think we are closer than many people care to think.

Here is the LA Times Story


One Response

  1. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

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