Tuesday, May 29, 2012

IJ Helps Caveman Blogger Fight for Free Speech


The Institute for Justice asks a very important question: "Can the government throw you in jail for offering advice on the Internet about what food people should buy at the grocery store?"

"That is exactly the claim made by the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition. In December 2011, diabetic blogger Steve Cooksey started a Dear Abby-style advice column on his popular blog (www.diabetes-warrior.net) to answer reader questions. One month later, the State Board informed Steve that he could not give readers advice on diet, whether for free or for compensation, because doing so constituted the unlicensed, and thus criminal, practice of dietetics. The State Board also told Steve that his private emails and telephone calls with readers and friends were illegal, as was his paid life-coaching service. The State Board went through Steve's writings with a red pen, indicating what he may and may not say without a government-issued license."

"But the First Amendment does not allow the government to ban people from sharing ordinary advice about diet, or scrub the Internet—from blogs to Facebook to Twitter—of speech the government does not like. North Carolina can no more force Steve to become a licensed dietitian than it could require Dear Abby to become a licensed psychologist."

"That is why on May 30, 2012, Steve Cooksey joined the Institute for Justice in filing a major free speech lawsuit against the State Board in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division. This lawsuit seeks to answer one of the most important unresolved questions in First Amendment law: When does the government's power to license occupations trump free speech?"

Watch video above for more information.  

109 Comments:

At 5/29/2012 9:08 AM, Blogger Krishnan said...

Everytime I read a case taken up by the Institute for Justice - my first reaction used to be - "Naah ... cannot be true" - because it is so incredible. Today, my reaction is one of intense sadness - on what we have become as a nation - conceived in liberty and to allow people to pursue their happiness. The word "tyranny" is often abused - but fits.

We are indeed living in a world of "soft tyranny" (as someone said) - where through the years, Government has chipped away at many of our liberties and we seem powerless to stop the monster. Yes, we may win a case here or there - but like weeds, these restrictions keep propping up because GOVERNMENT knows that they have unlimited power to impose their authority on others (i.e. a few people grab onto power so they can abuse the rest of us)

 
At 5/29/2012 9:30 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Hmmm, I wonder what the Institute for Justice can do for people like Patrick Frey and Erick Erickson?

 
At 5/29/2012 9:33 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

well every time I read something like this - before I make up my mind, I want to find at least one other source and/or a response from the accused:

http://www.ncbdn.org/file_a_complaint/recent_press_inquiry/

so this is yet another trumped up propaganda piece designed explicitly to produce yet another wedge issue to be exploited by those whose motivations are essentially anti-govt crusaders...

the "intense sadness" is more akin to faux crocodile tears than anything of real merit.

Why do you folks do this? What is your real point?

 
At 5/29/2012 9:41 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

krishnan-

i could not agree more. the tax code looks to be one of the key avenues of attack at the moment.

look at what is happening to oaksterdam, a pot dispensary etc in california.

they have obeyed all state laws, but the feds through the IRS are now attacking them through the tax code.

the claim is literally that they are not allowed to deduct rent, salaries, and insurance from their revenues before reporting profits, a practice followed by every single company in the US.

to describe it as selective harassment falls so short it's hard to know where to start.

leaving aside the issue of drug legalization for a moment, i don;t see how anyone no matter what side of that issue they are on can support going after a group using these tactics. it's pure thuggery.

of course, this pales in comparison to the seizure laws around drugs that violate the constitution so dramatically.

coyote had some good links on this the other day:

http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2012/05/asset-forfeiture.html

the shocking thing is that they skirt the constitution by not charging you, but charging your property, which is guilty until proven innocent and can be seized and sold without anything that resembles due process.

local police agencies get to keep much of the money they acquire in this way leading them to outrageous acts of kleptocracy. at least in mexico, they admit they are sticking you up and shaking you down.

 
At 5/29/2012 10:07 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Everytime I read a case taken up by the Institute for Justice - my first reaction used to be - "Naah ... cannot be true" - because it is so incredible. Today, my reaction is one of intense sadness - on what we have become as a nation - conceived in liberty and to allow people to pursue their happiness. The word "tyranny" is often abused - but fits.

Given the fact that most Americans now see little trouble with bureaucrats regulating how much water must flow through your shower head or limit the volume of water in your tank I doubt that the US is anywhere as free as the cheerleaders claim it to be.

 
At 5/29/2012 10:26 AM, Blogger Ken said...

Larry G,

Your link doesn't prove that this is "trumped up propaganda". In fact, it shows just how insidiously creative government bureaucrats are at side stepping the constitution and stepping on the rights of citizens.

The whole purpose of licensing is to raise barriers to entry. This particular license is also to silence any dissent from the government approved diet. The best way to keep people from knowing the fraud that passes as nutritional advice from government is to silence those who disagree with it and are able to provide proof that the officially approved diet is at the heart of much the diet caused health problems in the country.

 
At 5/29/2012 10:31 AM, Blogger Moe said...

Seems to me this guy is just as qualified (if not more) to give diet advice to diabetics as Jim Cramer is to give people investing advice.

 
At 5/29/2012 10:39 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

When you dine in a North Carolina restaurant, be sure to ask the server if they are a Registered Dietician. If so, then feel free to ask what that Registered Dietician recommends on the menu.

BTW, can anyone recommend a good Southern food restaurant in Charlotte?

 
At 5/29/2012 10:42 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

moe-

LOL.

i'd take nutrition advice from chris christie before i took investment advice from jim cramer.

"‘Bear Stearns is fine.’
— Jim Cramer, March 11, 2008"

start watching at 2.20

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-march-9-2009/in-cramer-we-trust

how to lose 95% in 8 weeks, then lie about it afterward.

 
At 5/29/2012 10:45 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

buddy-

it's not exactly classic southern, but i had a great meal at "halcyon" in charlotte.

 
At 5/29/2012 10:49 AM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Moe: Or just as qualified as Suzie Orman.

 
At 5/29/2012 10:59 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

morgan, thanks.

Halcyon looks great and apprciate the fact it is easy to walk to in downtown.

 
At 5/29/2012 11:13 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

buddy-

np.

have some chicken fried quail for me.

oops.

was that dietary advice?

good thing i'm out of state.

 
At 5/29/2012 11:21 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Let's assume, just for the moment, that this story is being blown way out of proportion. This is an overreaction by us commentators, the IJ, and what's-his-name involved.

Given this, I believe the outrage is still justified. Read the government's case. This entire snowball got rolling because someone complained he didn't have a license. It's not that he was giving bad advice. It's not that someone got sick from his advice. It's the fact he didn't have a license. If the case was that he was giving bad advice (like eating chicken-fried quail :-P ), then I could see a case the government could be making about him harming the public good. But, from all accounts, what we have here is a guy giving advice and providing a public service. The government wants to punish a value-adding member of society here just because he doesn't have a piece of paper.

 
At 5/29/2012 11:39 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

jon-

1. do not under-estimate the health benefits of chicken fried quail.

2. i'd take that a step further and say that not only is the government punishing someone productive, but it is usurping the liberty of all citizens to engage in voluntary transactions. this harms everyone, not just the caveman.

it harms anyone else seeking to provide advice. it harms every person seeking advice as it reduces the number of provides and increases prices by enforcing a guild system.

if the government wants to create a credential for nutritionists, doctors, lawyers, barbers, or dog walkers, i'm fine with that. but when they REQUIRE it to do such things, then it is deeply harmful.

of course, they call it "public welfare and safety" but the assumption here is that i am too stupid to shop on my own and decide whose advice to solicit or whether or not a credential matters.

this is exactly how these guilds take over industries and extract monopoly profits: in the trojan horse of safety.

clearly, it would be far too dangerous for me to determine who is qualified to drive me to the airport or cut my hair, suggest a meal plan, or decorate my home. thank god these publicly minded business people are there to protect me.

 
At 5/29/2012 1:45 PM, Blogger Marko said...

We are considering taking care of kids in our home (along with our own kids) for money. Apparently if we have 5 or more kids, then we need to go through a massive amount of bureaucracy and licensing, including my wife needing 3 credit hours in "childhood development" classes, and some kind of notification to empty lot owners in the area and 12 government application forms, criminal background checks, credit reports and who knows what else. Fewer than 5 kids and it is fine if we are axe murdering maniacs (we are not). Yeah, that makes sense.

 
At 5/29/2012 2:16 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

discount brain surgery - " don't get ripped off by those high-priced surgeons when our team of crack surgeons is careful and competent even though the price is cheap".

next to a Lemonade stand: " brake jobs, 25 cents per wheel... satisfaction guaranteed - we put your old pads back on if you are not satisfied".

Laser Eye Surgery - why pay twice what we charge. Our highly practiced surgeons did not waste money taking overpriced courses on laser surgery... every single one of our surgeons has at 1000 hours of viewing laser surgery videos....

:-)

 
At 5/29/2012 2:36 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

that's a very weak argument.

would you really choose a surgeon just on price? i doubt it.

is that how you chose an auto mechanic or a landscaper or a babysitter?

i doubt it.

if you feel that government accreditation is important, you are free to choose a provider that has voluntarily gotten it.

why require me to do the same if i disagree?

your whole argument seems to be based on "people are too stupid to make their own choices and need a nanny state to protect them from themselves".

 
At 5/29/2012 2:47 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

would you really choose a surgeon just on price? i doubt it.

of course not but how would you know of his qualifications ?

is that how you chose an auto mechanic or a landscaper or a babysitter?

landscapers/baby sitters.. how would you know ?

on auto mechanic.. I bet most folks just go to a business that offers brake jobs and looks at price... and never ask about qualifications but again, even if they did.. would they even know if the provided credentials meant anything or not?

"if you feel that government accreditation is important, you are free to choose a provider that has voluntarily gotten it."

I 'get' what you're saying here about the govt.. I do... but who is the arbiter of what has to be disclosed (and not) and what the criteria is for the stated credentials?

Would it be okay with you if a guy could get "credentialed" to do your brake job by watching video lectures?


why require me to do the same if i disagree?

I think that's a good point but how do we actually decide on what the rule itself is or is not?

do we have no rules at all and let each person figure it out even if there are no disclosure rules and the business can essentially lie to you about qualifications?

A piece of paper that says "John Doe" is certified to have completed the "How to do brakes" video lecture"?

"your whole argument seems to be based on "people are too stupid to make their own choices and need a nanny state to protect them from themselves". "

not stupid - ignorant - and they know it and they want govt to require standards...promulgated by people who DO KNOW.

 
At 5/29/2012 3:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Anyone who has done serious athletic training knows that you have to take all the advice you can find and then figure out which works with your structure and metabolism. Very serious, educated people can provide worthless information for my body while it may work for others.

The first thing that struck me with this story is how much 'advice licensing' is enforced, but every night on NC TV stations, there are countless "medical" scams running during commercial breaks...I don't mean that the products simply don't work... they are not only worthless but the companies refuse to stop billing your credit card after you cancel. I'd bet it's harder to find out what NC is doing about that kind of open theft occurring daily than it is a licensing issue.

 
At 5/29/2012 3:18 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

you look at price and lots of other things.

i did not choose the cheapest painter for my house nor the cheapest guy to put tires on my cars and do the alignment.

i looked at their qualifications.

i do the same thing with doctors. lots of docs that are board certified are still quacks i would not let near me. you seriously just ask if a doc has a diploma and board certification and leave it at that?

i doubt it.

you ask for referrals from someone you trust. you look at their website for credentials. you read reviews.

i trust that far more than i trust some foolish federal or state certification.

the arbiter of what has to be disclosed is you. how much info do you need to trust a car mechanic? you decide.

if they have been sued etc, you can see all that. the better biz bureau and numerous other reputational agencies exist for precisely this reason.

businesses are not allowed to lie. that's called false advertising and is actionable. we have courts for that.

claiming you went to ucsf med and are board certified and having that not be true is illegal. that's misrepresentation under contract law.

you could do that now. few do. you go to jail.

again, your whole argument misses the issue. if there is a voluntary accreditation and you feel ignorant, then use it. make you decision based upon that. you are not harmed by giving me the ability to make other choices if i think i am not ignorant.

why force me to use a credential you think is important, but that i may find irrelevant?

isn't that just you saying i cannot be trusted with the choice and taking away my freedom to engage in voluntary commerce "for my own good"?

 
At 5/29/2012 3:18 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

I can't wait until mothers are hauled into court for dispensing advice without a license in psychotherapy. Good Lord, there are people on the internet who give away their recipes for free on blogs as well.

 
At 5/29/2012 3:55 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

methinks-

i am still suing my mom over that.

 
At 5/29/2012 6:06 PM, Blogger Ken said...

Larry G,

Would it be okay with you if a guy could get "credentialed" to do your brake job by watching video lectures?

This is exactly how I learned to changed the breaks on my car.

 
At 5/29/2012 7:18 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Buddy: "BTW, can anyone recommend a good Southern food restaurant in Charlotte?"

Well, I could, but I won't now after reading this post. :)

 
At 5/29/2012 7:31 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I 'get' what you're saying here about the govt.. I do... but who is the arbiter of what has to be disclosed (and not) and what the criteria is for the stated credentials?"

I am.

I can decide what providers I select based on the assurances I feel are important.

For instance, my trusted neighbor's recommendation is worth more to me than a wall covered with certicicates.

 
At 5/29/2012 8:06 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" why force me to use a credential you think is important, but that i may find irrelevant?

isn't that just you saying i cannot be trusted with the choice and taking away my freedom to engage in voluntary commerce "for my own good"? "

no... you're thinking that it's a govt bureaucrat that wants these standards but it's people....

you'd have to admit, at the least, that you'd not really know how valid a given voluntary credential is or is not and even if you found out.. unless you have lots of money and time and can actually prove economic damage to yourself - it's not an easy thing to do.

that's why people want the govt involved.

you think that people don't want the govt involved and that the govt is forcing themselves on people?

I think most people KNOW that they really do not know enough about what should be in (or not in) a credential... and rely on other experts to determine that..

but they do want those other experts to do it.. so they can be better informed.

make a distinction between being 'stupid' or 'ignorant'.

Ignorant means that you don't know and most of us realize there is too much for us to know all of it for everything - so we want experts in those fields to help define standards.

Whether it's a doctor or the mechanic messing with your electronic stability control or even the termite guy applying pesticides in and around your house where pets and kids play.

You cannot possibly know ALL of these things, right?

so most people are like that and most people WANT standards and they want standards they can trust and are not just developed incestuously by the same people doing the work.

but govt is not "forcing" these things on people.. Most people WANT IT.

 
At 5/29/2012 8:17 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"of course not but how would you know of his qualifications ?"...

Do what larry g does, go to wikipedia...

 
At 5/29/2012 9:06 PM, Blogger Ken said...

Larry G,

so most people are like that and most people WANT standards and they want standards they can trust and are not just developed incestuously by the same people doing the work.

This doesn't meant the government should be involved. Private credentials are far more reliable than government enforced credentials. This nutritional licensing is a perfect example. The government "experts" got it spectacularly wrong and are enforcing, through government force, a harmful credential.

If a private credential was revealed to be as wrong as the government credential, they would be discredited and defunct. The government? Not to fear. They'll simply lock up anyone that contradicts what they are saying. For the good of everyone else, of course.

 
At 5/29/2012 9:16 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"so most people are like that and most people WANT standards and they want standards they can trust and are not just developed incestuously by the same people doing the work."

People who want mandatory certification are people who believe the BS spouted by those who gain by excluding new entrants to their business. Million dollar taxi meallions in NYC don't protect consumers, they protect large taxi companies. Requiring my barber to spend thousands on schooling and a certification don't prevent me from getting bad haircuts.

A brake shop that's been in business at the same location for 10 years and has a lot full of cars waiting to be worked on is a better indicator than any certificate you can imagine.

To think that people are demanding accreditation of service providers is naive. It is the providers themselves demanding it to limit competition.

How do you suppose businesses succeeded and thrived before government was involved?

 
At 5/29/2012 9:23 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"you'd have to admit, at the least, that you'd not really know how valid a given voluntary credential is or is not and even if you found out.."

There is no difference between a voluntary certification and a mandated one, as regards competence. If you think one or the other is important, then they are. If you don't, then they aren't.

"unless you have lots of money and time and can actually prove economic damage to yourself - it's not an easy thing to do."

While that has no bearing on certification, it is an easy thing to do. Small claims will handle your case up to $5k, or whatever it is now. That will also be your remedy against a certified provider.

 
At 5/29/2012 9:27 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"so most people are like that and most people WANT standards and they want standards they can trust and are not just developed incestuously by the same people doing the work."

LOL who do you think is qualified to set standards if not the people who do the work? Who do you think lobbies for regs and barriers to entry?

"but govt is not "forcing" these things on people.. Most people WANT IT."

"Most people" then, are forcing mandatory certification on those who do not want it.

 
At 5/29/2012 10:07 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

People want the standards. They elect those who promise to enact standards. They toss out those who won't support regulation.

no one can know everything about everything and so they want something they can trust and I know this sounds crazy but many folks do trust the govt.

"This doesn't meant the government should be involved. Private credentials are far more reliable than government enforced credentials."

Some believe that but many more do not.

" This nutritional licensing is a perfect example. The government "experts" got it spectacularly wrong and are enforcing, through government force, a harmful credential. "

maybe... but the overall process is pretty
much supported by most people.

more than a few people subscribe to the validity of the phrase - " you need a license to practice". - if what is being practiced has the potential to harm.

"If a private credential was revealed to be as wrong as the government credential, they would be discredited and defunct. The government? Not to fear. They'll simply lock up anyone that contradicts what they are saying. "

Oh GMAFB... everytime... you guys go from "regulation is bad" to " the govt will lock you up".

regulations are routinely changed, upgraded, even done away... but you'll never end up with zero regulation.

People WANT regulation. It's NOT some nefarious scheme foisted on people who don't want it by govt bureaucrats and it's done through the collective voices of people in elections.

A majority of people trust the govt more than they trust self-regulation.

ya'll are in the MINORITY... on this.

and you live in a country where the majority pretty much rules on issues like this especially since these kinds of regs/standards are Constitutional.

these little right-wing "outrages" almost always turn out to be short on the relevant facts, cherry-pick and portray in a way that is not totally honest.

And in the end, I feel that approach, totally undercuts the goal.

 
At 5/30/2012 7:15 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

To think that people are demanding accreditation of service providers is naive. It is the providers themselves demanding it to limit competition.

People like Larry are totally clueless when they argue for democratic populism. They somehow believe that such a system protects the poor who make up the majority but in fact it only allows oligarchical rule because the ruling elite requires money to gain power in the first place and on that front the consumers are outgunned. It is very profitable for the big producers or 'professional' or service organizations to trade contributions to candidates for protection from competition. If the consumers get screwed that is too bad for them.

 
At 5/30/2012 7:46 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

ya'll get confused between someone who is advocating for something like this and someone who is merely dealing with the reality of what many people want.

If you want me to AGREE with you on the issue of the providers getting the "rules"... I AGREE and here's a particularly egregious example NOT done by a loony liberal state but by none other than Louisiana:

"Louisiana monks go to court to sell their caskets"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/louisiana-monks-go-to-court-to-sell-their-caskets/2012/05/29/gJQA7VMK0U_story_2.html?sub=AR

 
At 5/30/2012 10:17 AM, Blogger Ken said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 5/30/2012 10:18 AM, Blogger Ken said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 5/30/2012 10:19 AM, Blogger Ken said...

regulations are routinely... done away

"Done away"? Ha! Is this why the federal registry increases every year? The main problem, though, is that the government enacts a regulation. That regulation turns out to cause more problems that it solved. The solution? More regulation to fix problems regulation created.

People WANT regulation.

Are you sure? Additionally, people are routinely wrong, even voters, even the majority of voters. The point isn't what's popular. The point is being right.

It's NOT some nefarious scheme foisted on people who don't want it by govt bureaucrats

Of course it is. Guranteed, if you put each individual regulation to popular vote, nearly all would fail to get a majority. Most regulation are not voted on, but simply enacted by a bureaucrat, not because it's harmful in general, but because he personally doesn't like it.

and it's done through the collective voices of people in elections.

Wrong. This is so naive, I can't believe you even think this.

A majority of people trust the govt more than they trust self-regulation.

This is false. Do you just project your beliefs onto everyone else?

ya'll are in the MINORITY... on this.

Again, simple projection.

and you live in a country where the majority pretty much rules on issues like this especially since these kinds of regs/standards are Constitutional.

This is wrong. Even on the national stage, only about 65% of voters vote, meaning that routinely between 35-40% of voters determine national elections. At the local level, turnout is abysmal, with many places lower than 10% voter turn out, meaning that 5-6% of voters determine local elections.

This is also why a vocal minority can be very powerful, particuarly in local elections.

 
At 5/30/2012 1:25 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Here, try this. remove all the traffic lights and see how many folks say "thank God" and say, "let's get rid of even more regs".

Octane will be whatever the companies want to put in it and they won't tell you.

anyone will walk through airport "security"...

your tires will be whatever the manufacturer decides they will be with no disclosure...

your electricity will be whatever they want to charge you and it will be whatever voltage they happen to decide to provide.. and of course, you won't know what it is or when they vary it.

your dentist will buy his x-ray machine from China and never have it checked or calibrated but he'll have a "certificate" saying it's in good repair...

People notice regs they don't like but they take for granted all the ones that protect them.

 
At 5/30/2012 1:39 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Larry,

I think it was Jim Murphy who made the point, 'how do you make the leap from less regulation to no regulation....?'
I understand that's how people typically argue (by stretching points to the extreme) but I think people here are being very specific.
In that light, would you make an apples to apples comparison to a guy dishing out diet advice that worked for him and eliminating airport security or consumer disclosure? I don't think you would.

Oddly, regarding your first example, I read a story about eliminating traffic lights in the UK and putting in traffic circles...the traffic flows much faster and there are far fewer accidents.

Of course people notice regs they don't like...what is wrong with getting rid of stupid crap and keeping the good regs? It really doesn't have to be one or the other.

 
At 5/30/2012 1:51 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I think it was Jim Murphy who made the point, 'how do you make the leap from less regulation to no regulation....?'

My name's Jon, not Jim :-P

Larry-

I'll give you the argument regarding traffic lights. I could nitpick, but it would really be conducive.

Regarding airport security, I think that's a nonsensical argument. I didn't like it when the Bush Administration used it and I don't like it now. The mere fact that there has only been one terrorist-related plane incident in our history does not prove the regulation works. We have far less invasive safety regulations regarding buses, subways, trains, taxis, etc., but those do not get hijacked or exploded. Besides, how many terrorist attacks have the TSA really stopped? The Underwear Bomber got through. The Shoe Bomber got through. That particular regulation is probably not the best to tout.

As far as the manufacturer examples you brought up, let me ask you this: why would a company make a bad product? The implicit argument that is being made is without these regulations, the safety of these products would be compromised. I ask "why?" If you are Goodyear, where your income depends on people willingly giving you money, why would you put out a product that puts them at risk? That is the ultimate form of killing the golden goose. Same goes with the dentist. Would there be some who try to cut corners? Sure, but you get them even with the regulations. Ultimately, a company relies on its reputation, its brand, to keep customers. Why would they risk that?

I will conditionally concede the point on utilities. You are right, but not for the reason you state. Utilities need to be locally controlled monopolies. Otherwise, we'd need infrastructure for each company.

 
At 5/30/2012 3:00 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

actually I agree about the roundabouts (which are different critters from circles) but both of them have their own set of "regulations".

they are not "regulation-free"

I'm ALL FOR getting rid of the "stupid crap"...but I just point out that the definition is sometimes not universally agreed to.

One guy's "stupid crap" regulation is another guys' (notice that I DID PUNCTUATE the apostrophe correct?) ... ..anyhow..is another guys' "must have" reg.

"diet advice" can harm you. While I agree that people should be using their brains rather than relying on a nanny-state "protector".... I can see how someone would look at that and file a complaint..

and as the agency reported:

http://www.ncbdn.org/file_a_complaint/recent_press_inquiry/

they dismissed it....pretty much out of hand... but the propagandists in various blogs chose to paint a different picture ....

 
At 5/30/2012 3:11 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Reading the regulation, Larry, you don't find it to be very vague?

From the website:

"[U]nless a person is otherwise exempt, a license is required to provide nutrition care services, which is defined as:

• Assessing the nutritional needs of individuals and groups, and determining resources and constraints in the practice setting.
• Establishing priorities, goals, and objectives that meet nutritional needs and are consistent with available resources and constraints.
• Providing nutrition counseling in health and disease.
• Developing, implementing, and managing nutrition care systems.


The first bullet point I can understand.

Numbers 2,3,4 seems pretty vague, no? Depending on the interpretation, if a work out buddy says "let's lose 10 pounds by going to the gym and drinking protein shakes", could that be construed as "establishing goals based on nutritional needs?"

Or saying "diabetics can avoid bad sugar by eating these simple foods," is that providing nutritional consulting?

I mean, where does is the line between "friendly advice" and "consulting?"

Hell, this regulation would make more sense if money changed hands, but it doesn't. This is a blog. Maybe we should prosecute Jim Kramer for saying Bear Sterns was fine two days before they collapsed. You'd have a better case there because Kramer pretends to be a stock expert. This guy just writes a blog, an op-ed piece.

 
At 5/30/2012 3:15 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I guess what I am asking is: where did he cross the line to the point where legal action is necessary?

 
At 5/30/2012 3:16 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Here, try this. remove all the traffic lights and see how many folks say "thank God" and say, "let's get rid of even more regs".

Octane will be whatever the companies want to put in it and they won't tell you.

anyone will walk through airport "security"...
"

As usual, you are missing the point, or are refusing to acknowledge it.

You are confusing standards with regulation.

How about if the airlines, private businesses, decide who can get on their planes?

 
At 5/30/2012 3:23 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"My name's Jon, not Jim :-P"

So it WASN'T Jim Murphy that made the point?

:)

 
At 5/30/2012 3:32 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"and as the agency reported:

http://www.ncbdn.org/file_a_complaint/recent_press_inquiry/

they dismissed it....pretty much out of hand... but the propagandists in various blogs chose to paint a different picture ....
"

Do you suppose it's possible that the NCBD/N rethought their position after finding that the supposedly defenseless blogger had serious legal firepower on his side? It seems highly unusual for a state agency to defend it's image publicly as was done in this case.

 
At 5/30/2012 3:36 PM, Blogger Mike said...

First, I'm sorry, Jon!!!
I think I have a problem wrapping my head around you sharing the same name with the other Jon that posts here :)

Second, Larry..." I can see how someone would look at that and file a complaint.."

Really?? Well, I can see how a licensed dietician would see that and file a complaint. Gotta keep the regulation monopoly safe...
Funny thing about this topic is (in my experience) for high performance diet and athletics I wouldn't go to a doctor or the standard, licensed trainer. I have never found them NOT to be way behind the curve. This is actually a good example of how regulation saves nobody and actually hinders progress.

 
At 5/30/2012 5:35 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Mike - did you read this;

http://www.ncbdn.org/file_a_complaint/recent_press_inquiry/

what is wrong with this?

 
At 5/30/2012 6:52 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Octane will be whatever the companies want to put in it and they won't tell you.

anyone will walk through airport "security"...

your tires will be whatever the manufacturer decides they will be with no disclosure...

your electricity will be whatever they want to charge you and it will be whatever voltage they happen to decide to provide.. and of course, you won't know what it is or when they vary it.

your dentist will buy his x-ray machine from China and never have it checked or calibrated but he'll have a "certificate" saying it's in good repair...
"

larry g still proving he's yet to figure out how free markets work...

 
At 5/30/2012 7:35 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" larry g still proving he's yet to figure out how free markets work.."

you mean "are supposed to work - in theory", right?

for your "free market" to work, you have to convince a crap-load of people, not just me and your track record on doing that... well... guy.. it sucks big...

you're all talk and no do.

 
At 5/31/2012 5:40 AM, OpenID technispac said...

jusice difficult to get

 
At 5/31/2012 5:43 AM, OpenID technispac said...

Nice article

 
At 5/31/2012 10:20 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

the whole point of rights is to defend minorities.

once more, you seems to be retreating being the mask of "tyranny of the majority" to attempt to justify that which you cannot defend from first principles.

let us say you are the minority on this thread.

can and should we be able to vote to silence you? if 6 of us say yes and you say no, do you have to stop commenting? do you think such a system would increase or decrease freedom and liberty?

answer carefully, because such a system is the exact same thing as telling people with whom they can enter into voluntary transactions.

rights are rights. they derive from being human, not governmental or democratic fiat.

the argument you are making is the augment of tyrants, not free citizens.

 
At 5/31/2012 12:57 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Morg - do yo consider Tyranny of the Majority to be in play when the SCOTUS votes on an issue or Congress votes to enact a law?

We clearly operate by majority vote.

When do we decide in any given vote that "tyranny" is in effect?

if a majority voted to get rid of regulation - how would that comport with your "tyranny" definition?

 
At 5/31/2012 1:08 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Larry,
No offense intended, but you don't understand the philosophical meaning behind the phrase 'tyranny of the majority'.
Not sure what your position is on the topic, but an easy one now would be to think about gay rights in this country....just because the majority votes and says they have no rights, are you saying that makes the majority correct? That's tyranny from a majority.

Secondly, yes, I did read the link you posted. Question for you: Knowing all the (perceived) trouble the man got into for posting his plan, would you be so bold as to do what he did now? Anyone who knows the story will be very reluctant to push the powers and only hope that IJ will be there for them...no penalties handed out but the goal has still been met.

 
At 5/31/2012 1:47 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" No offense intended, but you don't understand the philosophical meaning behind the phrase 'tyranny of the majority'."

Sure I do. I'm talking about the REALITY here. What actually HAPPENS?

When a MAJORITY of Congress votes FOR or AGAINST a SCOTUS nominated by the majority-elected POTUS and the newly-confirmed SCOTUS nominee takes his/her seat and participates in a vote - what decides the issue?

doesn't a MAJORITY VOTE decide the issue?

tell me how this comports with or violates the "tyranny" idea for any/all issues decided?

Give me an example where the "tyranny" rule takes effect.

"Not sure what your position is on the topic, but an easy one now would be to think about gay rights in this country....just because the majority votes and says they have no rights, are you saying that makes the majority correct? That's tyranny from a majority."

Oh I agree with you but what is the REALITY? You're speaking of a concept and I'm speaking about how things really work.


"Secondly, yes, I did read the link you posted. Question for you: Knowing all the (perceived) trouble the man got into for posting his plan, would you be so bold as to do what he did now? Anyone who knows the story will be very reluctant to push the powers and only hope that IJ will be there for them...no penalties handed out but the goal has still been met."

No action was taken against him by the NC agency not the Law. When you read the blogs - they make all kinds of subtle accusations implying that he was "forced" to do something.

He was not.

ANY govt consumer agency that receives a complain must by law follow up on the complaint because some of them actually do result in finding someone practicing without a license in an area where people can be harmed.

Would you want them, for instance, to NOT follow up on a complaint against a Doctor practicing in an area for which he was not certified to practice?

Most people want the govt doing this. some people think the govt goes too far at times (including me) but hardly anyone wants the govt to stop doing all of it and not do it.

 
At 5/31/2012 1:58 PM, Blogger Mike said...

"Give me an example where the "tyranny" rule takes effect."

Um...I did...

"Oh I agree with you but what is the REALITY? You're speaking of a concept and I'm speaking about how things really work."

So am I...and somehow you agreed and disagreed at the same time. If you'd like more examples/explanation, I'd suggest reading some Tocquville or J.S. Mill.


- as far as the diet advice guy goes, I don't think the guy went running to get legal help just because somebody followed up on a complaint. If you would do that, then I suppose that's your "reality", but it isn't mine.

 
At 5/31/2012 2:05 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

that's a bogus example.

the supreme court's job is to prevent such things. they are not voting personal preferences but rather offering an interpretation or rights based strictly upon the constitution (or at least that is what they are supposed to do).

we decide it is tyranny when a majority tries to take away or contravene your rights.

it is precisely guys like you who are willing and even anxious to sacrifice rights on the altar of democracy that are the biggest threat to liberty. external and blatant threats to liberty are easily recognized and fended off, but insidious filth columnists taking away liberty in the guise of "the public good" are exactly how you lose your liberty.

why are you so determined to ram your preferences down my throat through government coercion?

when you seek to take away my freedom to engage in conduct that does not harm you, what else could it be called but tyranny?

 
At 5/31/2012 2:08 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

also:

larry-

i note you dodged the question. if we operated entirely by majority vote as you claim, can we ban you from posting here if we vote and get a majority?

yes or no?

do you think such a democratic process would enhance of limit freedom and democracy?

until you can answer that, you do not have a leg to stand on with your other arguments.

 
At 5/31/2012 2:09 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

We clearly operate by majority vote.

Actually, you do not. First, only a small minority of eligible voters pick the winning candidate. Second, no voter is asked to approve the laws that Congress passes. What you really have is an oligarchy that hangs on to power by pretending that there is a difference between the two sides.

 
At 5/31/2012 2:10 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

No offense intended, but you don't understand the philosophical meaning behind the phrase 'tyranny of the majority'.

Larry is one of the most ignorant posters here. You expect too much if you think that he will use the same terms as you do or understand much of the issue being discussed.

 
At 5/31/2012 2:13 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

the more i re read you post, the more it becomes obvious to me that you have no idea what liberty mean or how a constitution works.

you act like the supreme court is a group that makes policy. they do not. they interpret the constitution and make determinations of legal disagreements. they cannot even initiate the choice of the issues they adjudicate. they have to be brought to them by a 3rd party.

they are most decidedly undemocratic. that is there express purpose.

99% of americans can wish to silence a neo-nazi group, but the supreme court can and will overrule them.

we live in a society where rights are paramount to democracy. that is the whole point and genius of our constitution.

your parlor games with rhetoric do not change this.

you really have no idea where your liberty comes from, do you?

 
At 5/31/2012 2:16 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

think of it this way:

if the society voted for a king for life and could not under any circumstances recall him after the fact but had to let him rule, would you call that a democracy?

how is the supreme court different?

 
At 5/31/2012 2:16 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Vange,

I'm now embarrassed to admit it, but when I was a kid, I held the same opinion as Larry when it came to tyranny of the majority...I just didn't get it in a "majority rules" world. How could the majority ever commit an offense that was, by definition, reserved for the minority ruling class? It took me a while (and some growing up) to allow myself to listen to people who were smarter than I was.

I don't expect him to get it today, but maybe it'll click for him the next time he's on the wrong side of it.

 
At 5/31/2012 3:29 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

finally-

to answer your question about congress, the answer can easily be yes.

if a congressional edict violates your rights, then it is absolutely tyranny of the majority. this same thing is true when congress exceeds it's enumerated powers, a practice that has become shockingly common, but, nonetheless, is completely contrary to our constitution which expressly limits the federal government to enumerated powers.

such a law is both unconstitutional and illegal as well as tyrannical. how would you describe a leader exceeding his mandate and pushing through illegal rules through threat of force/jail if not tyrannical?



have you ever even read the constitution? it's quite short. i suggest you do. you seem to have absolutely no idea what it contains and to what it gives primacy.

democracy is, by design, subjugated to rights and government strictly limited.

a law that requires all americans to, say, buy private healthcare, is precisely the sort of tyranny our founders sought to avoid (and note that it is not even supported by a majority).

you have the political philosophy of a slave or a tyrant larry, not a citizen.

to be utterly frank, it disturbs me that people like you are allowed to vote. it is rights that protect me from the instincts of people like you. i presume that is why you are so anxious to try and take them away.

 
At 5/31/2012 3:51 PM, Blogger Mike said...

"you have the political philosophy of a slave or a tyrant.."

Very well said. Sadly, it seems there are more slaves/tyrants than there are knowledgeable citizens.

 
At 5/31/2012 4:00 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

mike-

i agree. mistaking democracy for liberty is precisely where tyranny starts.

i doubt even larry would describe germany or italy in 1942 as democratic regimes or countries with great individual liberty, yet those leaders were democratically elected.

it was a pretty stark example of how democracies can trample freedom if they are not restricted by rights and limited in their powers.

 
At 5/31/2012 4:10 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Not just democratically elected, democratically supported for quite some time...even after the atrocities started and the unprotected minorities were being destroyed. I guess it's ok with Larry though, ya know, since the majority got what they wanted it couldn't be tyranny.

 
At 5/31/2012 4:46 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Jesus H. Keeeerist!

the "tyranny" case is that you cannot be selected out as a class of people where the law applies differently.

what defines a class is usually NOT your political of governance philosophy but something like gender, race, etc.

the forefathers felt that if you had two houses of Congress, a POTUS, and a SCOTUS that between the 3 that minority rights would be protected.

We know that's not true either though.

Can ya'll name a particular process where it was specifically ruled that "tyranny" of the minority was in play and banned - I mean an example where "tyranny of the minority" was given as THE REASON why the law or veto of SCOTUS decision was given.

You have the theory, the concept and we have the reality.

Ron Paul got 10% of the vote, right?

so the people whose views he represents are crap out of luck.

right?

 
At 5/31/2012 4:50 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" to be utterly frank, it disturbs me that people like you are allowed to vote. it is rights that protect me from the instincts of people like you. i presume that is why you are so anxious to try and take them away. "

ha ha ha

you KILL ME guy...

I fear people like YOU having the vote.

We'd become a 3rd world country if people like you were the majority.

does this count as "prattling" guy?

 
At 5/31/2012 4:53 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Ron Paul has little to do with anything...only that he expects that we follow the constitution. Shocking concept to some, I know.

First, it's not tyranny of the minority, it's the majority, and being such, you'll seldom hear cries from the masses that they aren't trampling the minority rights well enough.

"Measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority." - James Madison

I know you think you grasp the concept, Larry. But you don't. This is not theory.

 
At 5/31/2012 4:55 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

that last post is utter gibberish.

stop ducking the question:

if we operated entirely by majority vote as you claim, can we ban you from posting here if we vote and get a majority?

yes or no?

do you think such a democratic process would enhance of limit freedom and democracy?

until you can answer that, you do not have a leg to stand on with your other arguments.

you want an example of tyranny of the majority, look at speech. the free speech of oppressed minorities has frequently been defended by the court against a majority.

look at gay marriage right now for an example of tyranny of the majority still in force.

not that restrictions against it were found unconstitutional by a federal court today.

look at the obabacare mandate to buy health coverage.

look at jim crow laws.

there are a zillion examples. if you cannot find one, you are simply not trying.

now answer the question:

can we vote to silence you oh great believer in democracy? how about if i get the us congress to ban larry from blog posting? would that seem fair, just, or an enhancer of liberty or like a tyrannical majority was taking away your liberty?

 
At 5/31/2012 4:56 PM, Blogger VangelV said...


I'm now embarrassed to admit it, but when I was a kid, I held the same opinion as Larry when it came to tyranny of the majority...I just didn't get it in a "majority rules" world. How could the majority ever commit an offense that was, by definition, reserved for the minority ruling class? It took me a while (and some growing up) to allow myself to listen to people who were smarter than I was.


People like Larry are not very knowledgeable of history. To see the problem with the rule of the majority all you have to do is to look to Athens. The Demos wound up exiling or murdering its best and brightest citizens and voted for conflicts that led to calamity. Your founding fathers knew this, and chose to avoid the tyranny of the majority by setting up a republic in which government had little power and used a system of checks and balances. It says a lot that they chose the Spartan system over that of Athens.

 
At 5/31/2012 4:58 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

the forefathers felt that if you had two houses of Congress, a POTUS, and a SCOTUS that between the 3 that minority rights would be protected.

Not quite. They knew that liberty was not dependent on who ruled but on how much power they had. The government was supposed to have little power but long before the ink was dry the Federalists had their coup and the long road to serfdom began for Americans. I hate to say this but we are almost there.

 
At 5/31/2012 5:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Sorry, Larry, I missed this:

"Can ya'll name a particular process where it was specifically ruled that "tyranny" of the majority was in play and banned"

Let's see...a process changed due to tyranny of the majority...hmmmm...

Try every presidential election.

 
At 5/31/2012 5:01 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

yes. you are prattling. it's predominantly gibberish. further, you clearly cannot answer my basic questions. this is because your position is based on nonsense and deep down, you know it.

and yes, i know you do not want me to vote. you have made it clear you would like to see my freedom limited on all manner of activity. this is precisely why i find your politics so abhorrent.

unlike you, i would never seek to take away your freedom unless you harmed another. you, on the other hand, support limiting my personal choice to engage in mutually beneficial and agreeable commerce because you think you know best.

why don't you tell me how that fails to meet the definition of tyranny?

what freaking business of yours is it what nutritionist i consult and what his qualifications are?

none. none at all.

that you insist on making it your business and hiding behind the majority to justify yourself is precisely what makes you a tyrant.

 
At 5/31/2012 5:03 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

First, it's not tyranny of the minority, it's the majority, and being such, you'll seldom hear cries from the masses that they aren't trampling the minority rights well enough.

The ruling class does not pay as much attention to the majority as you might think. If it did we would already have audited the Federal Reserve, Corzine would have been facing charges, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would have been over.

 
At 5/31/2012 5:04 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

and this:

"the forefathers felt that if you had two houses of Congress, a POTUS, and a SCOTUS that between the 3 that minority rights would be protected."

is pure twaddle. it's so wrong that it's actually hilarious.

first and foremost, our founders places the inalienable rights of the individual at the top of the pile.

they said that no law could violate them and set the scotus to strike down any that did.

it is the rights enumerated in the constitution and the explicit limits to government power that protect the rigghts of the minority.

is is precisely that the framers DID NOT trust a president and a congress that this was so.

where in hell did you learn your us history larry? you are so wildly wrong about this stuff it's shocking.

 
At 5/31/2012 5:11 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Vange,
"The ruling class does not pay as much attention to the majority as you might think..."

I'm well aware. What I meant was, if the majority isn't complaining too loudly, the ruling class fears nothing at all. Not that I believe they should bow to the clueless majority...see the 20 previous posts.

 
At 5/31/2012 5:14 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" where in hell did you learn your us history larry? you are so wildly wrong about this stuff it's shocking"

show me a different history guy.

show me a different reality.

 
At 5/31/2012 5:21 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

i'm trying larry.

you seem unable to absorb it, just as you are unable to answer my simple question:

if we operated entirely by majority vote as you claim, can we ban you from posting here if we vote and get a majority?

yes or no?

do you think such a democratic process would enhance of limit freedom and democracy?

can we vote to silence you oh great believer in democracy? how about if i get the us congress to ban larry from blog posting? would that seem fair, just, or an enhancer of liberty or like a tyrannical majority was taking away your liberty?

this is about the 4th time i have asked you.

you cannot answer it because to do so would prove you conclusively wrong and demolish your entire argument. (or at the very least let us vote to shut you up, which, while not generally a practice i support, one i'd be very interested to see you abide if forced to put your money where you mouth is)

i'm not wasting any more time on you until you answer the question.

until you can answer it, your whole argument is just fraud.

 
At 5/31/2012 5:26 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Morg - the "tyranny" question is one of Governance - not clubs and blogs.

it's a silly question guy.

if the rules here were that folks could be voted out.. I'd accept that as the rules.

but blog "governance" is not the same as 'governance' of a country that has a founding Constitution.

I think I've answered your question.

I'm a pragmatist.

you confuse that with advocacy.

I look at the reality - no matter what the "theory" or concept is "supposed to be".

that's the way I roll...

 
At 5/31/2012 5:34 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Larry,
You just don't have the goods to debate this. I know because you keep calling this a "theory" that has no place in practice. That's like calling penicillin a theory that has no place in infections.

Why are you ignoring the examples? Why are elections done through the electoral college and not 'one man, one vote'? Why do you believe that the trampling of gay rights is ok just because the majority says we can?

You do realize that your thought process is the same one that put Galileo in prison for stating a fact, right?

 
At 5/31/2012 5:50 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" you keep calling this a "theory"

I'm looking at the reality...

the reality that I see is that most of these issues are decide by majority vote...

and I'm asking for examples of how the "tyranny" question was/is decided in ways other than majority vote.

 
At 5/31/2012 6:11 PM, Blogger Mike said...

If you can't take the prime examples already before you as something to chew on, I'd again ask you to consider reading.

 
At 5/31/2012 6:16 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Mike,

For the record, I do actually argue that we should have no government regulation. I think people assume that there are good and bad regulations. I don't think so. I think we have good laws, but those are different from regulation.

The attorney for our firm and I once went through the exercise of dissecting the regs for our industry. Not one of them prevented what it was supposed to prevent. Each one had horrendous unintended consequences. There's really no such thing as "good regulation".

The best regulation is the the market and prosecution of stuff like fraud. Regulation merely creates a world of insiders and outsiders and raises the cost for everyone without preventing any fraud at all (which is the goal of regulation).

I am a big fan of private certification because I believe that it can achieve most of what regulation promises without imposing unnecessary costs, reduction in competition or the violence of the state.

 
At 5/31/2012 6:30 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Methinks,

You'll have to excuse me. I am an uneducated layman and tend to use very specific terms as generics at times....I used 'regulation' in place of 'law' for a catch-all...and, quite frankly, to me the difference makes nearly no difference.
If you can be "punished" for breaking either, it really doesn't matter how they came to be on the books.

I do agree with you that (at least) most regulation is bad...that's probably why nobody wants their names attached to the voting logs in order to make them a law.

 
At 5/31/2012 6:45 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Mike,

There's a big difference between regulation and law. Presumption of innocence does not exist in the regulatory world the way it does in law. We are constantly trying to prove our innocence.

Bureaucrats write regulation. No legislative process is required. The entire enterprise is far more opaque and creates chaos. Many of the regulations are "sprout wings and fly" regulations. In other words, they cannot be complied with.

A few years ago, the SEC decided to change the definition of fraud. In law, what makes fraud fraud is intent. The SEC decided that intent is not necessary to commit fraud. Say what? How can you unintentionally commit fraud. To date, they have not nabbed anyone on this, but it'll be interesting to see what happens when they do. Whether the SEC wins its case or not (my guess is it won't), the cost to the accused will be ruinous and the unintended consequences will be as well.

Regulation is meant to prevent fraud (which is already illegal). It never does. Instead, it protects fraud and makes it more difficult to detect.

We have a legal system that is very well equipped to deal with cases of fraud, breeches of contract, fiduciary duty, etc. There is no need for a system that attempts and fails to regulate behaviour.

 
At 5/31/2012 6:55 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Methinks,

"How can you unintentionally commit fraud?" Most of us call that "making a mistake".

I told you I was an idiot. I really have very little experience with regs in my field...we mostly deal with state law and with the FCC and, while they're complete idiots, I'm not at all concerned about them meddling in my 'small time' affairs.

To be clear, I don't doubt what you're saying...even a little. My guess is that the SEC is so outgunned by far brighter people on the practicing side that they must make the law vague enough to crucify those who make them look stupid (usually by using the SEC's very own laws against them).

 
At 5/31/2012 7:02 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

it's not a silly question. it's THE key question. the fact that you refuse to answer it is proof that your argument is intellectually bankrupt.

so let's regulate blog comments like nutritional advice. it's in the greater interest of society that they not be exposed to stupid unfounded ideas and bad logic. it's in the best interest of those posting foolish comments to be silenced so they stop making fools of themselves.

we'll vote right here, elect a board of comment supervision, and decide who gets to comment. this is just like the other regulation you support.

ready to try it?

ready to put your money where your mouth is?

no.

didn't think so.

you support curtailing the freedom of others, but refuse to subject yourself to the same tyranny of the majority that so so enjoy wielding.

you're a fraud and a hypocrite.

claiming you "look at reality" is as foolish as it is untrue. you clearly have no idea why and how our constitution was written and was successful. your notions of framer's intent are pure fiction, not reality.

then you try to hide behind the mask of all conservative tryants: this is how we do it so it's right.

you never ask "what should we do" or try to determine why.

sorry pal, but that's not reality, that's called stupidity and tyranny.

 
At 5/31/2012 7:06 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

methinks-

presumption of innocence does not exist in an increasing portion of us law.

seizure for drug crimes does not require guilt or even knowledge the crime occurred.

take a look at this case of the state trying to seize an entire hotel on that basis.

it is not alleged that the owners knew of the crimes.

but they are guilty until proven innocent and to be innocent they must prove they did "everything they could" to prevent them. there's a sprout wings and fly requirement if i ever saw one.

http://volokh.com/2012/05/21/adventures-in-asset-forfeiture/

 
At 5/31/2012 7:16 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

You're definitely not an idiot, Mike. I just don't think most people really think about this stuff in detail.

Many years ago (but after the 1996 telecom act), I briefly covered telecom providers as an equity analyst. I churned out many reports to do with regulation because regulation was so integral to business decisions for the companies I covered and their competitors. It was then, when I was forced to really think about the details of regulation, that I began to realize the shear stupidity of them and how the fundamentally screwed up business decisions and screwed customers in the process. By the time I stopped covering that industry, the ILECs were in the midst of a lawsuit that claimed the 1996 Act amounted to taking of property and the whole thing was making its costly way through the court system. When you really sit down and think about it, the idiocy is mind blowing.

The SEC is am unnatural disaster. The only thing financial regulation does is prevent people from acting in their own best interest and creates an organization that has the power (and uses it) to protect the politically connected.

Vague regulations are a problem. How do you comply with something vague? You can't. That means that no firm is ever in compliance. The SEC does not use the vagueness of regulation to nail firms that embarrass the commission (hell, its employees can do the job no better than industry). It uses them to go after firms that are competitors to politically connected firms or to nail innocent firms to prove it's proactive after the fraud of one of its protected firms is revealed to the public. Madoff, for instance, was protected by his political connections who placed calls to the commission to call off its investigations. The CFTC clearly couldn't do even the much easier job of making sure the politically connected Corzine's firm did something as basic as segregated funds. When the commissions need to show they're going after speculators when the political pressure to do so increases, firms are forced to pay huge fines for...well...for hedging. The fines are high, but low enough to make it not worth the firm's while to challenge them (even if they win - which they likely will, they'll lose more to legal fees). The average Joe doesn't know hedging from a hole in the ground, so he feels protected. Yet, the cost of capital rises and Average Joe has no idea that it could be lower.

 
At 5/31/2012 7:24 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Morganovich,

There is still a presumption of innocence for the owners. The insidiousness of civil asset forfeiture is the claim that the property, not its owner, committed the crime. It's just a clever way to expropriate property and it's one of the things that's really chapping my hide recently.

presumption of innocence decreases with the rise of regulation and the complexity of the tax code. With the IRS, there is no presumption of innocence. If I want to sue my local government over the taxes on my house, I have to pay the tax first. It's a disaster.

We are serfs of the state. There's a thriving black market in Europe and I wonder how long it will be before the black market in the U.S. (along with the state violence to stop it) grows here.

 
At 5/31/2012 7:40 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

you're still confusing whether or not I advocate for this or whether I accept it as the reality.

From a purely pragmatic point of view,
I see majority votes deciding most issues.

I even see majority votes at SCOTUS to decide Constitutional Issues.

And what I said at the beginning was that most people WANT regulation and I stand by that.

Some people think we have too much and want it scaled back.

A much smaller number are pretty much opposed to any/all regulation.

but numbers decide this issue.

Ron Paul was the best hope for knocking back regulations and the guy could not even muster 10% of the vote - ON THE RIGHT.

I look at these things and they tell me that despite the "tyranny" argument that the reality is that the majority pretty much decides.

I'm sorry that offends you.

I try to call them like I see them and I'm pretty open to any/all alternate arguments as long as they focused on the issue and not against my person.

 
At 5/31/2012 8:05 PM, Blogger Mike said...

If most people understood exactly how regulations got passed and how they were going to actually affect real people, they wouldn't want them, Larry.

Most people - sadly, it seems, you included, believe the headline "Chuck Schumer Fights To Lower ATM Fees" means nothing more than not having to pay high ATM fees... we have an ignorant bunch of fools voting and then not paying attention to the results. Perhaps it's more like tyranny of the retarded.

 
At 5/31/2012 8:13 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" so let's regulate blog comments like nutritional advice. it's in the greater interest of society that they not be exposed to stupid unfounded ideas and bad logic. it's in the best interest of those posting foolish comments to be silenced so they stop making fools of themselves.

we'll vote right here, elect a board of comment supervision, and decide who gets to comment. this is just like the other regulation you support."

no it's not. Most regulation is based on harm or potential harm to people.

" The mission of the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of North Carolina from harmful nutrition practice by providing for the licensure and regulation of persons engaged in the practice of dietetics/nutrition and by establishing educational standards for those persons."

ready to try it?

ready to put your money where your mouth is?

no.

didn't think so.

IF you DID have such a rule here.. I'd certainly abide by it but you don't get to make up your own rules guy.

"you support curtailing the freedom of others, but refuse to subject yourself to the same tyranny of the majority that so so enjoy wielding."

What I support is the laws and regs that a majority want - even if I do not agree with them. that's the way it works guy.

I think regulation is needed for some things. We have too much of it, I'd agree. I think the "nutrition advice" is on the edge but if you read their response, you'd see that they did a preliminary investigation then dropped the whole issue - and they state that in 20 years, they have referred but 2 cases to a prosecute both cases involving practicing without a license and identity theft.

"you're a fraud and a hypocrite."

actually I'm a pragmatist and pretty darn consistent on that basis.

"claiming you "look at reality" is as foolish as it is untrue. you clearly have no idea why and how our constitution was written and was successful. your notions of framer's intent are pure fiction, not reality"

I'm not arguing the purpose or intent of the Constitution - I'm only pointing out how things seems to work most of the time.

"then you try to hide behind the mask of all conservative tryants: this is how we do it so it's right."

I'm not even saying that I think it is right. I'm saying instead that it's the way it is.

"sorry pal, but that's not reality, that's called stupidity and tyranny. "

For me - the first think you have to do if you want change - is to recognize how things are right now ...and WHY..

and it is my belief - just mine.. that most people want regulation even though we know it has lots of flaws and is even counter-productive - people still want it and that's why we have it.

Why do you feel that holding this opinion is dishonest and hypocritical?

I see it merely as dealing with the ways things really are.

Most people want ..traffic controls and speed limits.

they want food and drug standards

they want the state to license doctors and other practitioners

they want nutrition labels and weights & measures on fuel pumps.

This is the way it really is.

that's all I'm saying here.

 
At 5/31/2012 8:20 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" If most people understood exactly how regulations got passed and how they were going to actually affect real people, they wouldn't want them, Larry."

we might actually AGREE on that.

Most folks who want regulations are not considering unintended effects or the fact that regulations are usually flawed and ham fisted.

Every time a kid dies of e coli from a processed food - what happens?

do people say "NO MORE REgulation"?

Nope. They DEMAND that SOMETHING be done to keep kids from being killed by "bad"/"unsafe" practices...

right?

This is all I am saying.

I'm not advocating it or justifying it.

I'm just saying that much (not all) regulation comes from "incidents" that, in turn, lead to regulation.

Here's one that just passed Congress with a vote 387-5:

" House passes bill to increase FDA inspections of foreign drug manufacturing plants"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/industries/house-passes-bill-to-increase-fda-inspections-of-foreign-drug-manufacturing-plants/2012/05/30/gJQAVsmk2U_story.html

Only 5 people voted against this regulation.

 
At 6/01/2012 8:34 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

you ARE harming me and anyone else who reads your comments. it's certainly more harm that the caveman blogger was causing.

your position on this is extremely hypocritical.

you want to take away the freedom of others, but yours is "different".

i'm not proposing to make up my own rules. i'm proposing we vote on it and use the democracy you so cherish.

but now, when it goes against you, you refuse and equivocate.

fraud.

your whole position is a self serving lie.

 
At 6/01/2012 12:13 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Larry,

"Most folks who want regulations are not considering unintended effects or the fact that regulations are usually flawed and ham fisted."

Awww, Larry. I knew we'd find common ground. That's the way to start a weekend! Now we just need you to decide not to just stand for being told what to do by these bullies and stop accepting their edicts as 'just a the way it is'.

 
At 6/01/2012 1:09 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"you ARE harming me and anyone else who reads your comments. it's certainly more harm that the caveman blogger was causing."

really? pouting about it?

"your position on this is extremely hypocritical.

you want to take away the freedom of others, but yours is "different"."

I don't think you get it. It's not me that wants to take away your freedom. I'm just the messenger here. Until you garner enough votes to overall those who want regulation... don't blame me for telling you the truth, guy.


"i'm not proposing to make up my own rules. i'm proposing we vote on it and use the democracy you so cherish."

yeah you are. you just don't like others rules.. so you wanna make your own up.


"but now, when it goes against you, you refuse and equivocate.

fraud."

I think this qualifies as 'prattling'.

"your whole position is a self serving lie. "

My WHOLE position is that most people want most regulation.

and you want to censor me for saying that... jeeze guy.

 
At 6/01/2012 2:56 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

what a load of crap.

you are NOT the messenger. you are the guy that supports it being done. you are the one saying "it's people" like that excuses taking away liberty.

that's like voting for an anti abortion candidate and then saying, hey, it wasn't me that took away the right to abortion.

you are so tangled up in your own lies, misstatements, bad logic, and misunderstanding that you are now totally contradicting yourself.

and the fact that you cannot see that arguing that what most people want (itself an unsupported assumption in terms of mark's post) trumps rights just continues to drive home that you do not understand our form of government, what the phrase "inalienable right" means, and have missed the entire thrust of this discussion.

this is like trying to explain linear algebra to a hamster.

it seems there is no possible way to get you to even understand the basis concepts here.

3 or 4 of us, just on this thread have said this about you. one would think that such a believer in democracy might start taking the view of the majority into account and at least wonder if, in fact, he really was not getting the gist of the conversation.

instead, you play the "everyone picks on me" card, but you might be better off asking yourself precisely why so many people are calling your ideas on this stupid and misguided.

you have seriously not even joined the discussion yet as it's clear you do not even understand what we are talking about.

your responses are repetitive non sequitor, logical fallacy, appeals to false truth standards, misrepresentation, and pointless orthogonal questions that demonstrate over and over that this conversation is going over your head.

i don't want to censor you. i want you to understand what the power you seek to wield feels like when it is directed at you and show you how hypocritical your position is. you are too dishonest to even offer you view on that because you know you don't want those things you seek to direct at others directed at you.

i had hoped after walking you through the blatant and provable logical fallacies in your arguments last week that perhaps we'd see some improvement here and be able to get you to make meaningful contributions.

it appears not.

sorry lar, you may just be a lost cause.

i'm going to go back to ignoring you now.

 
At 6/01/2012 3:20 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"what a load of crap.

you are NOT the messenger. you are the guy that supports it being done. you are the one saying "it's people" like that excuses taking away liberty."

it's a pragmatic point of view. It is what it is.

"that's like voting for an anti abortion candidate and then saying, hey, it wasn't me that took away the right to abortion."

well.. if I was a strong advocate of MORE regulation... perhaps.

"you are so tangled up in your own lies, misstatements, bad logic, and misunderstanding that you are now totally contradicting yourself."

there is no contradiction here. I've been totally consistent in my view.

we have regulation because a majority of people support it.

I've said that from the very beginning guy.

"and the fact that you cannot see .... and have missed the entire thrust of this discussion."

I DO understand it. I totally understand where regulation comes from and why it remains in place.

The major thrust of the protection of "rights" argument is that minority classes of people are not selected out and treated differently by the laws. A regulation has to apply to all - not just some.

What constitutes a "class" of people is not one's political philosophy, as in the case of libertarians who are a distinct minority in politics.

The Constitution basically supports laws that regulate according to our form of government - which is based on majority vote.

"this is like trying to explain linear algebra to a hamster."

yes..I Know the feeling. :-)

"it seems there is no possible way to get you to even understand the basis concepts here."

I understand them guy. It's YOU that refuses to accept the realities.

 
At 6/01/2012 3:30 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"3 or 4 of us, just on this thread have said this about you. one would think that such a believer in democracy might start taking the view of the majority into account and at least wonder if, in fact, he really was not getting the gist of the conversation."

I am not a dyed-in-the-wool libertarian - guilty as charged. I DO believe in the free market and free market principles but 100% libertarianism - I just don't see it in any country in the world except maybe totally 3rd world countries.
and the reason why is that most people in most countries reject the 100% version of it.


"instead, you play the "everyone picks on me" card, but you might be better off asking yourself precisely why so many people are calling your ideas on this stupid and misguided."

I'm just fine with any back and forth that sticks to issues and does not get personal. The fact of the matter is, there are a few of you here that like to engage in Ad Hominems for giggles and grins.

You, to your credit, are not one of them and I compliment you for that.

"you have seriously not even joined the discussion yet as it's clear you do not even understand what we are talking about."

I totally DO understand it. The fact of the matter is that it's people who want those who claim to be nutritionists regulated if the advice they offer can end up harming people.

I fully admit - this is on the edge.

But, I did not create that agency guy. I'm surmising that it was asked for and passed with a majority vote in two houses of law-makers and signed by the governor ...AND that that same agency can be done away with by the same process if a majority of people also want it done away with.

That KIND of agency likely exists in many other states having got created through a very similar process.

I'll admit that other providers of nutritional advice probably had a hand in it....

"your responses are repetitive non sequitor, logical fallacy, appeals to false truth standards, misrepresentation, and pointless orthogonal questions that demonstrate over and over that this conversation is going over your head."

oh yes. I am a bit of a contrarian, I admit.

"i don't want to censor you. i want you to understand what the power you seek to wield feels like when it is directed at you and show you how hypocritical your position is. you are too dishonest to even offer you view on that because you know you don't want those things you seek to direct at others directed at you."

translation - I really do want to censor you - not because you're wrong but because I don't like what you say. Been there. Done that.

for the most part here, you DO understand what I am saying - you just vehemently disagree... and you want to take a vote. WTF?

"i had hoped after walking you through the blatant and provable logical fallacies in your arguments last week that perhaps we'd see some improvement here and be able to get you to make meaningful contributions."

You see, I consider talk like this to be the height of arrogance and condescending to boot. If you ever wanted to really appeal to me this would be 180 degrees the wrong way.

HEY - I am MORE THAN WILLING to listen to your arguments and offer back my own in return - sometimes I can be convinced, other times not.

"sorry lar, you may just be a lost cause."

"i'm going to go back to ignoring you now."

try to keep your promise - THIS time!

 
At 6/01/2012 3:42 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"and you want to censor me for saying that... jeeze guy."

OMG!!!

After all that excellent explanation. There really is no hope.

 
At 6/01/2012 3:53 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"The major thrust of the protection of "rights" argument is that minority classes of people are not selected out and treated differently by the laws. A regulation has to apply to all - not just some."

No, Larry, that is not the major thrust of "rights" arguments.

 
At 6/01/2012 4:00 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

M: "your responses are repetitive non sequitor, logical fallacy, appeals to false truth standards, misrepresentation, and pointless orthogonal questions that demonstrate over and over that this conversation is going over your head."

Larry: "oh yes. I am a bit of a contrarian, I admit."

LOL

You may want to refine your understanding of the word "contrarian".

 
At 6/01/2012 4:17 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" A contrarian is a person who takes up a position opposed to that of the majority, no matter how unpopular."

nope.. that's a dead on dick description for arguing against libertarianism in CD.

all you have to do is say that people vote in majorities for regulation and the spittle flies!

 
At 6/03/2012 9:11 AM, Blogger Jason said...

you act like the supreme court is a group that makes policy. they do not. they interpret the constitution and make determinations of legal disagreements. they cannot even initiate the choice of the issues they adjudicate. they have to be brought to them by a 3rd party.

Morganovich, that is how it is supposed to be, but I fear these days slightly less than half the court would rather create policy than enforce the Constitution and it's amendments.

And one thing that Larry touched on that I think requires commentary, is a good number, possibly a majority of people (but I have no evidence to support that claim), THINK they want regulation. In my experience if those people understood the direct link of unintended consequences to regulation, they would certainly not want regulation. I think the whole macro-social trend of increased regulation is more about ignorance and hubris than anything else.

 

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