Thursday, June 07, 2012

Ignorance Is No Excuse For A Law.

Graybeard has a cartoon up at his place of a couple of NYPD cops thrown down on a kid holding a big gulp, and comments
"You know it will happen, because any interaction with government wherein a civilian says, "No" eventually ends with guns in the civilian's face."
Of course it will, because that's what a law IS: When you pass a law, you are effectively saying "This thing is of such momentous import that, if you do it (or don't do it, whichever,) we will compel you with force, and will back that force with the guns of the state. This is something that is so important that compliance is worth, push come to shove, shooting people."

It's pretty easy to get behind that concept for murder or theft; letting people run around doing those things would make having a peaceful society a little difficult. You could probably even get behind it for driving the wrong way on the interstate. But when someone suggests shooting people in the face if they persist in putting their sugar water in the wrong-sized cup, the correct response is to laugh them out of the room, not debate the logistics of implementation.


Joe in PNG said...

In other words, "Get healty or we will shoot you".
And sadly, some think this is a good thing.

TomcatTCH said...

I still have a dark internal chuckle about killing people over seat belt laws.

Carteach said...

You made my quote of the day. Thanks for putting reality into plain engrish.

Brandoch Daha said...

The way a statist sees it is that if you're so paranoid and antisocial as to get caught openly disobeying a fashionable law, you're the crazy one. You knowingly brought it on yourself. Now look what you made them do!

See, if you shoot a cop or hand over military secrets to the NYT or the KGB, you're fighting the power.

But if you break a mindless, petty, degrading sumptuary law about soda cups, then you're acting like some kind of icky Fat Walmart Person and you just damn well need to be told how inferior you are, and you deserve a good beatdown if you should happen to forget it.

The message of this law is that whether you obey it or not, it's humiliatingly petty bullshit.

Besides, if you pistol-whip Cletus and Lateisha until they shop at Whole Foods, they'll turn into web designers and buy a Prius and a labradoodle. And everybody will be happy and dress nicely and wear those cute square eyeglasses and have two mommies AND THAT'S THE AMERICAN DREAM YOU RACIST.

Chris said...

I sometimes imagine jerks like Bloomberg, sitting in a room with their lackeys, discussing their next move. "Well, if they put up with the soda cup limits, maybe we can ban sugary chewing gum. The peasants will have better teeth, and we won't be stepping in gum when we inspect the plantation."

Anonymous said...

Ditto Brandoch Daha.

Some people (not all libs, I'm sorry to say) take the attitude that coercive law is just peachy because, Hey! you don't HAVE to break the law.

It's the same logic that says it's OK for the police to come into your house at any time: "If you have nothing to hide, then why would you worry?"

Rustmeister said...

Change "civilian" to "citizen" and it would be better.

perlhaqr said...

docjim: I think one has to say "most people".

Liberals, conservatives (using the american definitions for both, here), greens, etc. If you scratch the right spot on most people, you'll find something that they want to ban, even though it isn't harming anyone other than the person that's doing it.

Whether it's Temperance of the traditional sort, banning everything from the Demon Rum through crystal meth, or Temperance of the new sort, banning sugar and salt and trans-fats, there's usually something that most people will say "oh, I can't let you put that in your mouth, it's bad for you!" about. And then they look at me like I'm the crazy one when I say "why don't you just mind your own goddamn business?"

TCinVA said...

Well...if they'll stop and cuff everybody in a particular zip code just because it's believed that somebody in that gaggle of humanity is guilty of something...

...or if they'll go door to door confiscating guns in an "emergency"...

...or if they'll jail you for selling wheat at below what a bureaucrat thinks is the appropriate price...

I'd cite more examples of how best intentions ends up with jack boots in faces, but I'm already sufficiently depressed that I'm thinking hard about purchasing a "la la la" frog to cheer myself up.

Carry on.

The Jack said...

TomcatTCH, from what I've seen supporters of the soda bans actually use Seat Belts Laws as an example.

"If the State can use the police powers to enforce X for the common good why not Y?"

And they take the opposite approach to police powers with an attitude that "If it helps one fatty" we should ban it.

Course I learned this from a former pot smoker still wants legalization who is also a current scotch drinker.

And yes, he actually went with "but alcohol is different!"

Ken O said...

Given laws of this sort, how long is it, really, before some patrician do-gooder is deciding who is genetically fit to reproduce? Every time I read some bs like this law, my mind jumps to Huxley and Orwell.

SiGraybeard said...

Thanks for the link, but I thought you'd have grabbed the last sentence or two, not that one.

Too obvious?

Anonymous said...

I hear that raw cookie dough is next...


Cormac said...

I'm sure there are plenty of things that I would like to ban...

But I also understand that it's just not my place to make these kinds of decisions for other people.

People who think like this seem to avoid politics.

Anonymous said...

Gracie mansion needs a saner tenant.

Ulises from CA

GuardDuck said...

from what I've seen supporters of the soda bans actually use Seat Belts Laws as an example.

Thus creating the perpetual motion slippery slope.

Josh Kruschke said...

I'm not sure we as country really know or understand what personal responcibilty is any more. Bothsides right and left fall into the trap of "this is for your own good."
What business is it of mine if two (or more) concenting adults want to get married?
If someone wants to get fat and die young that's their business.

Epsilon Given said...

"""What business is it of mine if two (or more) concenting adults want to get married?"""

This is an entirely different can of worms. I am one who finds same-sex marriage abhorrent...yet I would put up with it in a second, if States would stop licensing it, and would let marriage get absorbed into contract law.

The funny thing about the marriage issue is this: whenever someone advocates for same-sex marriage, they say things like "a partner in a relationship isn't allowed to visit me in a hospital the way a spouse is" and "I can't put my partner on my health insurance" and "But we want to adopt kids". Why the heck should I have to marry someone to get these benefits?

I should be free to put anyone on my insurance, if I'm willing to pay the premium. I should be free to visit anyone in the hospital, or have that person visit me--if we've made that arrangement beforehand. Adoption should be a personal matter between the people who currently have custody over the children, and those who are willing to take custody--the State should have no say in the matter whatsoever. And so it is, with every other benefit that we "grant" married couples; and even if you're married, the Heavy Hand of the State shouldn't be involved in any of this!

Why are we so blind, and see "oppression" because the State refuses to grant a permission slip to a couple, but don't see the multiple levels of oppression that makes it seem like this "freedom" is necessary?

Clayton Cramer is probably right: this is an issue driven by people who could care less about freedom, but see this as a way to attack the sacred institution of marriage (as many, including myself, see it); the type of people really pushing for it are generally the "let's ban soda and legalise marijuana" types referenced above, who can't see a contradiction when it smacks them in the face.

Josh Kruschke said...

"... the sacred institution of marriage..."

From the I wish I had wrote this files...

Sometimes the Right,and in this case the Religious Right, can be just as authoritarian as the left.

"Because, honestly, which traditional definition of marriage do we want our Constitution to protect?

...The one from Book of Genesis when family values meant multiple wives and concubines?
...Or the marriages of the Middle Ages when women were traded like cattle and weddings were too bawdy for church?
...Since this is America, should we preserve marriage as it existed in 1776 when arranged marriages were still commonplace?
...Or the traditions of 1850 when California became a state and marriage was customarily between one man and one woman-or-girl of age 11 and up?
...Or are we really seeking to protect a more modern vision of traditional marriage, say from the 1950s when it was illegal for whites to wed blacks or Hispanics?
...Or the traditional marriage of the late 1960s when couples were routinely excommunicated for marrying outside their faith?"

Quote pulled from here and worth reading in it's entirety:

And I will add this:

I agree with you the state should has no business in this arena, but organized religion doesn't seem to have a problem trying to use the state to force thier ever evolving definition of marriage on the rest of us.

If I want to follow the tenants of a religion, I will join and do so; if not, religion needs to stay out of my business as does the state.

Epsilon Given said...

Josh K, about the only definition of marriage I would consider sacred would be if it satisfies the free association between a man and a woman, both of whom are of the age of consent. Thus, I would only balk at things like "women traded like cattle" and "illegal for whites to marry blacks or Hispanics". Even arranged marriages don't bother me, if those who are the subject of the arrangement are free to veto the marriage.

Indeed, I see no reason why any religion shouldn't be free to excommunicate anyone for any reason; I don't even see what that has to do with the State! (Or are you saying that States have banned religious institutions from excommunicating people who marry outside their faith? If that's true, then I find it very disturbing that the State is violating the Separation of Church and State, as well as the right to free association.)

Again, if we could just implement Separation of Our Daily Lives and State, none of this would be an issue!