Thursday, July 10, 2008

Welcome to Nanny State Nation

Whether you love it, hate it, or have never thought about it, chances are some politician wants to ban it. "Welcome to the Nanny State Nation," says reason.tv host Drew Carey. "Where the government minds your own business."

Saggy pants, fire places, plastic bags, light bulbs, poker—it's all been banned somewhere. Same with owning swine or fowl, feeding pigeons, owning pit bulls, and chomping on trans fats, a naughty little substance that makes food taste better.

Carey wonders when so many of us turned into "ban-happy busybodies," and compliments the British on their more civilized approach to bans.

Watch the video on Reason.tv.

22 Comments:

At 7/10/2008 1:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doctors are calling for a ban on long pointed kitchen knives to reduce deaths from stabbing.

It's a slippery slope and grandma's knitting needles are next for sure!

 
At 7/10/2008 7:10 AM, Anonymous Machiavelli999 said...

Because we just don't care and many of us think government making these restrictions is normal.

 
At 7/10/2008 7:27 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> Carey wonders when so many of us turned into "ban-happy busybodies," and compliments the British on their more civilized approach to bans.

Yeah? Like this one, below, perhaps? Or not:
British Medical Assn. Urges Censors Consider Positive Smoking Portrayals

Basically, they want to require any movie which doesn't put a clearly negative spin on smoking (i.e., ugly people hacking and coughing only, people dying from lung cancer due to cigs, etc.) to put a "special warning notice" at the beginning of the movie.

My response, simply put:

What HOLE have you been buried in for the last 40 flinkin' YEARS that you might be unaware of the fact that smoking is almost certainly bad for you and that you should probably not do it? That you are so utterly, abysmally CLUELESS about that fact such that you need this kind of handholding CRAP to make SURE you know this?

This just shows that Intelligence (which anyone with an MD certainly has) does not translate into the same as Wisdom (which anyone who promotes crap like this is clearly lacking).

Idiots.

 
At 7/10/2008 7:29 AM, Blogger Sophist said...

The ultimate ban is the ban of governments.

Goverments for the most part tend to become teams financed by special interests groups and no lionger reflect the will of those who vote for them.

This is especially true in Europe because there are no checks and bal;ances to the extend there are in US.

In some European and Asian countries, governments act like gangs, they pass overnight laws to benefit sponsors, they jail competitors of their sponsors for ridiculus reasons, they want to fully control economy and wealth.

How does the US expect globalization to work when there is such worldwide corruption in place?

 
At 7/10/2008 8:29 AM, Anonymous Lars said...

Wait for the ban on conservative Blogs and talk radio shows.
Maybe we can ban Congress first.

 
At 7/10/2008 8:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the ultimate ban is the ban of governments"

There are very necessary functions of government including defense, law enforcement, and currency issuance/stabilization.

Are you trying to perody conservatism or are you actually proposing anarchy as an realistic alternative to the democratic system? Historically, there are very few examples of bloodless revolutions.

You know best.

 
At 7/10/2008 9:07 AM, Blogger Sophist said...

anon:

you are not ready for anarchy. You need someone to protect you, police you and stabilize your currency.

 
At 7/10/2008 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right. I am not yet ready to live like folks do in Angola, Sudan, and Somalia. Just not into genocide, death squads, spiraling inflation, poverty, starvation, and the destruction of all infrastructure. No accounting for taste.

How is anarchy better than democracy? How does it improve living conditions, create peace, ensure adequate medical care, provide a social safety net, maintain adequate infrastructure, negotiate trade agreements, provide clean drinking water, protect against environmental degradation, provide rule of law and property rights, etc? How does it in fact address any of the needs of society or of the citizen?

Doesn't a solution generally represent an improvement from the status quo? Isn't anarchy as a solution to the occasional problem with government corruption like using a nuclear warhead to fight a bout of gypsy moths?

On the subject of bans, perhaps a ban on ad hominem might be more germaine to this blog.

 
At 7/10/2008 10:52 AM, Anonymous The Masked Millionaire said...

We need a ban on Gummy Bears. They are really bad for your teeth.

The Masked Millionaire

 
At 7/10/2008 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Masked Millionaire,

Some levity is definitely appreciated.

 
At 7/10/2008 12:34 PM, Blogger randian said...

He compliments the British on their civilized approach to bans? Is he insane? The British have the ultimate nanny-state government.

 
At 7/10/2008 1:11 PM, Blogger Sophist said...

anon buffled:

"How is anarchy better than democracy?"

Anarchy is the ultimate democracy.

anon whispered:

"How does it in fact address any of the needs of society or of the citizen? "

Yep, you asking because you need someone to pick up your garbage, make sure you drive safely and sober, provide funds when you fail to perform, etc.

I do not need such services. I recycle everything, do not drink, as a matter of fact I do not drive.

YET I HAVE TO PAY THROUGH TAXES BECAUSE YOU NEED THEM. I PAY FOR YOU TO MISBEHAVE AND CALL YOURSELF A DEMOCRAT.

 
At 7/10/2008 3:05 PM, Anonymous alex said...

"Wait for the ban on conservative Blogs and talk radio shows."

Oh, that one is already being attempted. Reference the extremely Orwellian-named "Fairness Doctrine."

 
At 7/10/2008 3:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sophist,

I think they also offer anger management counselling.

It is amazing that no matter how one tries...nothing can illicit a reasoned argument. It's all sneers, innuendo, terse remarks, claims without any reasoned argument to support.

Example:

"Anarchy is the ultimate democracy."

If you wish to prove that anarchy is better, simply provide an example of a successful anarchical society. You have the entire globe and all recorded human history at your disposal.

How difficult is it when I even supply you with the suggestions to help you support your argument?

Rather than having a hissy fit at every person who disagree with you or asks a few questions about your pet theories, you could just study formal argumentation. It isn't rocket science.

 
At 7/10/2008 8:19 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Well folks maybe a dose of the good, ole anarchy shouldn't be tossed off thoughtlessly...

Am I talking about full fledged, 'shoot 'em down in the streets and let the gutters run red with blood' type of anarchy?

No, not really though there are times where it just might feel good for a minute or two...

Consider the following two and I'm sure you all have similer anecdotal info yourselves: Atlanta Stripped of 'Men at Work' Signs After Complaints of Bias

Political correctness rules the road in Atlanta — which is replacing all its "Men at Work" signs with gender-neutral ones after a women's magazine editor complained of bias.

Just how much is this costing the local taxpayers?

This one I posted once already but its really a dose of excessive government that almost cries out for anarchy: One New Crime a Week

Congress has been creating one new crime a week.

 
At 7/11/2008 6:01 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> You're right. I am not yet ready to live like folks do in Angola, Sudan, and Somalia.

Or notable segments of Pakistan.

> Goverments for the most part tend to become teams financed by special interests groups and no lionger reflect the will of those who vote for them.

This is especially true in Europe because there are no checks and balances to the extent there are in US.


I don't know who he's quoting, but it's someone with a clue.

But don't worry, we're chipping away at those C&Bs here, too. It's just a matter of time until we give up the lynchpin element -- probably guns but other things might also begin the deluge.

> How is anarchy better than democracy? How does it improve living conditions, create peace, ensure adequate medical care, provide a social safety net, maintain adequate infrastructure, negotiate trade agreements, provide clean drinking water, protect against environmental degradation, provide rule of law and property rights, etc? How does it in fact address any of the needs of society or of the citizen?

LOL, while I agree with you that government is a necessary evil, much of what you consider necessary isn't. In particular, these: How does it improve living conditions, create peace, ensure adequate medical care, provide a social safety net, fail the "necessary" test, since pretty much every one of them was "invented" in the last century as an additional thing for the government to do. Some of your other suggestions are, mind you, quite within the bounds of government, but even there: provide clean drinking water, protect against environmental degradation
are both dubious. The former can be done by private companies, for sure (probably better), and the latter is best limited to protection of property rights, rather than some nice grand banner to stick all manner of things onto, as it inevitably becomes in the hands of a bureacracy (I assume I know what you mean, but, in the hands of a politician, it gets perverted very quickly into something else entirely)

I think whenever it's time to redo it all, one lesson to be learned is to make it an explicitly limited government with specified powers, and all additional powers must pass by the people in order to be granted.

 
At 7/11/2008 6:03 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> We need a ban on Gummy Bears.

NNNNNoooooooooooooo!!!!

Gummy Bears are LIFE ITSELF!!!


You Philistine Schweinhund!!!

:oP

.

 
At 7/11/2008 6:54 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

As far as democracy vs. anarchy, that's the other axis of politics, running from totalitarianism to anarchy.

"Libertarianism" (small-l, though I capitalized it there by grammatical rules) is probably as close as you can reasonably get to as a sustainable system. True anarchy tends towards a small, persuasive collective (either physical coercion or psychological coercion, ala Hitler) gaining power over a larger collective, and then extending that to pervert the anarchy into a defacto totalitarianism. Minimal government does act to subdue such excesses by providing assistance to the minority and the individuals, which seek to deny the power of the majority over them.

The key arguments (wars have been fought over this) are "what are the proper spheres of government"?

The "classes" in Starship Troopers (as well as the similar ones in Gerrold's War Against The Chtorr series) are a good starting point for these questions. RAH and Gerrold both frame quite a few interesting questions about the functions of government and where the real issues lie. Regardless of whether or not you agree with their answers, the questions themselves are worthy of deep consideration.

 
At 7/11/2008 7:13 AM, Blogger Darryl said...

RE: Juandos @ 8:19pm
Nice point about the "Men Working" road signs. Phil Gramm is right...we have become a nation of "whiners"

 
At 7/11/2008 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obloodyhell,

You make some excellent points and I heartily agree that the scope of government should be limited. I also concede to your argument that the some of the government services that I outlined have only become part of government delivery in the last 100 years and so cannot be deemed "necessary.

I agree with Juandos and Drew Carey that government can at times be downright frustrating in its arbitrary attempts at intrusion. I would further cite Kelo vs. City of New London as an example of the danger to freedom.

I can concede to the better argument.

Sophist's original post can most charitably described as a Joe Canadian rant. He suggested that Europe suffered from pervasive government corruption to the extent that government itself should be banned.

He did not even prove the existence of a problem, let alone a problem of sufficient magnitude to justify such a radical solution. "We got trouble in River City" only works as an argument in the Music Man.

I must confess to being frustrated that a seemingly educated, literate person keeps presenting arguments that are clearly below his/her intellectual abilities. Unless I am debating with a Darlek, expecting claims to be supported by evidence and lines of reasoning to be properly considered does not seem to be altogether unreasonable.

It is not the man that I attack but style of argumentation. If he/she presents a well-reasoned argument and well-supported argument, I will be most glad to concede the point.

It is ideas that are the ultimate goal and the very excitement that they generate.

To aspire beyond mere petty dogmatisms and ad hominem invective is perhaps idealistic but human history seems to confirm that mankind does just that... strive for the better idea, the more eloquent structure, the more efficient machine. It is what sets us apart from the other species on this planet.

I desire sophist to live up to his name. Is that such an inconceivable idea?

 
At 7/12/2008 6:14 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> I desire sophist to live up to his name.

Oh, but he does, most certainly:

Senses 1b & 2.

 
At 7/13/2008 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obloodyhell,

It was really the ancient art of argumentation as practiced by the sophists rather than later connotation with the specious reasoning I had in mind.

It doesn't look like sophist will graduate beyond his left-leaning education. I do tire of arguments based upon victim impact statements, attempts to discredit your opponent, the use of exaggerated comparisons (my favorite was a philosophy professor who compared prayer day in the U.S. to a stoning in the middle east - his logic (obviously a term I am using rather loosely) seemed to be that evangelical religion leads to intolerance and hatred, and what's more intolerant than a stoning in the middle east).

 

Post a Comment

<< Home