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Another "war" is declared to justify government intervention
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I've always thought of government as an entity whose sole reason for existing was to protect the individual rights of those who freely empower it to do so. Let me further refine that to say I've always considered that it's sole legitimate function. What F.A. Hayek called the "night watchman" form of government. Obviously, that's why you find me in the libertarian camp.

Just as obviously, there a war being waged in this country in which those who believe in the "Santa Claus" form of government are winning. That group considers government a tool with which the concept of "fairness" (radical egalitarianism) can be ruthlessly applied. Its products are the welfare state, the belief that government has the right to violate the rights of some to benefit others and, of course, the all powerful and intrusive right of government to determine what is best for everyone and act on that determination. War on drugs, war on poverty, etc.

The most recent example of this is a purported "war on cancer" and the apparent need for government to intrude even more deeply to ensure it protects us from, well, ourselves:
U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton called for U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulation of tobacco and a national war on cancer.

The New York Democrat and presidential candidate made the remarks Monday at the Livestrong Presidential Cancer Form in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Clinton urged "a much more aggressive outreach. That's why I favor the FDA being able to regulate advertising about nicotine and tobacco products. And we're going to push through, I hope, a bill to get that done."

Such regulation would require an amendment to an old law. The Clinton-era FDA asserted the authority to regulate tobacco in 1996 but the tobacco companies challenged that authority in court. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2000's FDA et al vs. Brown & Williamson et al that the federal act creating the FDA didn't give it that authority.

Clinton said tobacco is "an addictive, deadly substance and we need to regulate it."

Clinton also praised local and state efforts to ban smoking in public places such as restaurants, but didn't endorse a national ban.

She accused the Bush administration of abandoning the "war on cancer."
Can you see it coming? How many examples of "we're going to take things from you" do you have to hear before you understand the level to which she and others like her want take government intrusion?
She said another major goal should be "affordable healthcare for every single American because that goes hand in hand with the war against cancer."
Is tobacco bad? Yes. Is it addictive? Yes. Is there enough information out there for an adult to make an informed decision about its use? Yes.

And that is what a free people should be left to do.
 
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That’s why I favor the FDA being able to regulate advertising about nicotine and tobacco products.
Ok, seriously...

If by now you aren’t aware that smoking is likely to cause things that will kill you, you are either God Damned Retarded, or have been living in a cave for the last, oh, 30 years.

It’s ON the f*cking PACKAGE!!!!

I’m looking right AT the damn thing!!!

You can not stop people from being complete morons. No matter how many laws you pass, they will still be morons.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Ummm, yeah. But that hasn’t been a satisfactory enough conclusion to this little war. They (certain pols) think you must be protected and, of course, if they’re going to run your health care too, well they believe they’re entitled to tell you what you can and can’t put in your body.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
While I despise Clinton and feel that people should be allowed to abuse their bodies with whatever drug they like regulating advertising is actually a good idea because of big tobacco’s marketing strategy; target the young. See they know once people get into their late 20s without smoking odds are they never will. BT needs to hit them when they’re younger and susceptible to professional marketing thus there is a constant need to keep the industry in check.

That’s one use of government, to protect those who need it and children qualify.

These laws would not stop people from smoking, these kinds of laws stop BT from making it look cool to smoke. That’s an important distinction that in your self-righteous libertarian fury you might have not noticed.

Of course it’s self-defeating, the government should encourage smokers, they pay more taxes and die before becoming a drain on social security. Plus anyone who smokes is a moron and less morons is always good.
 
Written By: salvage
URL: http://http://www.hairyfishnuts.com/
Dear Democrats,

I don’t require, and I do not want, your protection.

Please go f*ck yourselves.

Sincerly,
America
That’s one use of government, to protect those who need it and children qualify.
No, that’s one use of parents. I don’t want a huge pile of people deciding what’s best for my kid, damnit! It is NOT their job, it never WAS their job, is should never BE their job.

WHY are you so willing to hand over basic parently rights and responsibilites to hundreds of people you’ve never met, most of whom you can’t even NAME?
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
I’m always reminded of the lines from "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof":

"Don’t you know that’s going to kill you?"

"Yup."

"Well, why do you do it?"

"Because I like to drink."

~~ fin ~~

Same deal with my cigarettes. And nobody can do a thing about it, no matter what.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Clinton said tobacco is "an addictive, deadly substance and we need to regulate it
But for all the programs they want, they’re counting on cigarette taxes. If they reduce the number of smokers, these idiots are effectively defunding their programs...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
No, that’s one use of parents. I don’t want a huge pile of people deciding what’s best for my kid, damnit! It is NOT their job, it never WAS their job, is should never BE their job.


Once again, there is no huge pile of people deciding what’s best for your kid, damnit. Learn to read. They are deciding what is best for the regulation of a deadly addictive poison. That is a good thing. If you want your kid to smoke (and I hope you do) you are not being interfered with so calm down.
 
Written By: salvage
URL: http://http://www.hairyfishnuts.com/
Once again, there is no huge pile of people deciding what’s best for your kid, damnit. Learn to read.
Your words say "no no", but
That’s one use of government, to protect those who need it and children qualify.
says "yes yes"...

Government (which, assumingonly congress, is SEVERAL hundreds of people), doing anything :for the children" is defacto abdication of parental responsibility. If kids shouldn’t smoke, then parents should takes steps for them to not smoke. The Goverment can go screw off.

It is not the Governments job to "protect those who need it". It’s there to enforce contracts, and provide for the national defense. Marlboro isn’t invading, so leave my Reds the hell alone.

When me no get smokey-smokey, I start to go stabby-stabby.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
doing anything :for the children" is defacto abdication of parental responsibility.


Uh no. So the government should perhaps get out of the food regulating business? Parents should decided if that baby food is what it says it is on the label! Not guberment! Otherwise they’re doing their parent’s job!

It is not the Governments job to "protect those who need it". It’s there to enforce contracts, and provide for the national defense.

Congrats! You just contradicted yourself in one sentence, not an easy trick.
 
Written By: salvage
URL: http://http://www.hairyfishnuts.com/
"...have been living in a cave for the last, oh, 30 years.

Longer. The term ’coffin nails’ has been around since 1880, and tobacco was considered unhealthy before then.


" BT needs to hit them when they’re younger and susceptible to professional marketing thus there is a constant need to keep the industry in check."

Yeh, that theory works so well with alcohol, which we all know is not a problem.

Sen. Clinton can start by funding her war on cancer with money presently spent on subsidizing the tobacco industry. I ain’t going to hold my breath until she does, though.



 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Yeh, that theory works so well with alcohol, which we all know is not a problem.

It does, government regulation ensures that underage drinking is kept down, everyone knows that for a kid it’s easier to get illegal drugs than legal ones. Advertising is likewise controlled.
 
Written By: salvage
URL: http://http://www.hairyfishnuts.com/
government regulation ensures that underage drinking is kept down
Tim, just stop. The above line proves he has no idea what he’s talking about.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
All this use of war as a metaphor (on cancer, on poverty, on terror, etc.) is getting to be too much. I declare a war on the use of war as a metaphor.

And...

It is not the Governments job to "protect those who need it". It’s there to enforce contracts, and provide for the national defense
What’s the purpose of a national defense other than to protect those who need it? (Well, that’s the legitimate purpose, unfortunately some politicians use it to project power into other states to try to shape their political systems).
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
What’s the purpose of a national defense other than to protect those who need it?
The concept behind "defense" is lost. You gonna use Abrams tanks and Apache helicopters to enforce no-smoking laws?

No?

Then we’re talking about completely different things, you moron.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
What’s the purpose of a national defense other than to protect those who need it?
Right, because only a college professor couldn’t make the distinction between an army/navy protecting citizenry from an attacking enemy, and a meddling nanny protecting citizenry from making bad choices, such as smoking, eating transfats, etc.

No wonder people here call you a cretin Scotty.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
"government regulation ensures that underage drinking is kept down"

"The above line proves he has no idea what he’s talking about."

So true. He obviously has no experience with the regurgitation problem among underage drinkers, and the complete failure of government regulation to prevent it.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I was talking about the old staple of "college kegger" and the underage drinking parties you find at every high school.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Quibbling about definitions and other insignificant minutiae, pretending they actually have relevance, and taking contrarian positions is what passes for profundity and insight among the pseudo-intellectuals that populate our college campuses. These are the folks who are baffled by the Gordian knot, and make a career out of analyzing each and every loop and strand.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
government regulation ensures that underage drinking is ——>kept down<——

Fact: it’s harder for a kid to get alchohol than marijuana, this is because of sensible government regulation.

Of course kids can still get booze but it’s harder with drinking laws than without and the ones in university really aren’t a problem frat boys ODing is good, less morons they should be adults by time they get there anyway.

So if something doesn’t work 100% you don’t do it? What is the alternative to the current regulation then?
 
Written By: salvage
URL: http://http://www.hairyfishnuts.com/
Fact: it’s harder for a kid to get alchohol than marijuana
Are you talking about a 5-10 year old kid, or a 15-16 year old kid here?

Because your "fact" seems awfully fishy
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
"this is because of sensible government regulation"

Of which? Both are regulated. Both are readily available. Which is more in demand is, of course, a matter of taste.

If it is, in fact, easier to obtain marijuana, it is probably due to the physical properties of the two; alcohol is much bulkier and therefore more difficult to transport and conceal. Marijuana is also probably more cost effective, i.e. the cost per buzz is probably lower. Of course rolling joints does require more manual dexterity than unscrewing a cap or popping a beer can.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
The concept behind "defense" is lost. You gonna use Abrams tanks and Apache helicopters to enforce no-smoking laws?

Then we’re talking about completely different things, you moron.
Touchy, touchy. I admit I was teasing you, given how you and JWG try to find any way that wording I use can be twisted to mean something else, I figured turn about was fair play. Given your reaction, it seems you don’t like it. If you’re going to dish it out, you have to be able to take it.

On the broader issue, though, on this I agree that government’s role is not to protect people from themselves — this kind of policy is one reason why as much as I can’t identify with the GOP, I can’t identify with the Democrats either.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
This shows Hillary’s fundamental confusion. She thinks that cutting down on smoking will somehow take the stress off of her "universal health care system."

On the contrary, people living longer is exactly what will add more stress to her system, which will result in a habit even deadlier than smoking, a habit that the aforesaid "universal health system" will be forced to acquire: compulsory euthanasia.

It won’t do to simply fail to treat people. That would hurt the system’s reputation. But still, what to do with the mess caused by the seriously ill?

By 2084 (the 100th anniversary of 1984) people might be smoking ten packs a day in hopes of dying before they are ordered to the hospital to be killed.

But no matter what, everyone will be "healthy."
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Scott Jacobs:
If by now you aren’t aware that smoking is likely to cause things that will kill you, you are either God Damned Retarded, or have been living in a cave for the last, oh, 30 years.

It’s ON the f*cking PACKAGE!!!!
True, but I think it’s worth noting that this came about because of governmental regulations. I don’t think the tobacco companies put the Surgeon General’s warning on their product just to be good citizens, and I think it’s unlikely in the extreme they would have done so without some sort of pressure from the government. In retrospect, this seems to have been a reasonable thing for the government to do, at least in my view.

In any case, it seems unlikely governmental regulation will be able to do much more in regards to limiting smoking. Malcolm Gladwell’s "Tipping Point" book explores the pervasive social phenomena of smoking, and that many young smokers actually overestimate the dangers of smoking. When particular, highly-connected people start smoking, they pass the meme virally throughout their social network, and there isn’t much the government can do about that sans making it a capital offense. Even if tobacco companies couldn’t advertise, they’d still have Hollywood and TV shows.
 
Written By: James O
URL: http://
Haven’t cancer survival rates been rising while Bush has been in office? Aren’t our survival rates better than those of our European friends?

Yes and yes:
Cancer Survival in US Increasing for Many Cancer Types
Cancer Survival Rates Improving Across Europe, But Still Lagging Behind United States
(Registration required)

Scandinavia isn’t too far behind the US, mind you, and survival rates for some kinds of cancer are increasing while others (lung cancer) aren’t, but overall, we’re already winning this "war".
 
Written By: Bryan Pick
URL: http://www.qando.net
True, but I think it’s worth noting that this came about because of governmental regulations. I don’t think the tobacco companies put the Surgeon General’s warning on their product just to be good citizens, and I think it’s unlikely in the extreme they would have done so without some sort of pressure from the government. In retrospect, this seems to have been a reasonable thing for the government to do, at least in my view.
I would distinguish between government regulations: a) expanding citizen access to knowledge which allows them to make better informed choices; and b) using overt bans to outlaw activities or substances that a person might be harmed from, even if they choose to accept that risk.

I think that some government regulations have been positive — labeling of ingredients on food (people can see how much fat, transfat, sugar, etc., is there — very helpful if you have kids), and other health regulations/inspections. The market alone would not be able to provide that knowledge to most citizens, and trying to get it would be extremely cumbersome and expensive, and there may not be enough incentive to get people to do it (especially if they don’t realize that their lack of knowledge is significant). By creating more informed consumers and citizens, this actually helps the market function effectively — government regulation can assist the market.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I think people are smart enough to know that smoking kills. With that said, I think we should let people make their own decisions as long as they are not harming anyone else. If they want to kill themselves, then let them. It may sound cold, but these are grown folks; they know the consequences.
 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://www.apexcreditcards.com
So true. He obviously has no experience with the regurgitation problem among underage drinkers, and the complete failure of government regulation to prevent it.
There is no way government can regulate underage drinking. Kids have easy access to everything and anything these days, whether illegal or not. We need to go back to the roots and give the parents the authority to discipline their children.
 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://www.apexcreditcards.com
"The market alone would not be able to provide that knowledge to most citizens,..."

That is utter nonsense, Erb, and the fact that you can get online and say it proves the point.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
"...give the parents the authority to discipline their children."

Ooh. Discipline. Ummmmm.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

 
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