[FoRK] Welcome to the American Totality. You've been warned.

Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> on Mon Feb 4 09:17:51 PST 2008

On Feb 4, 2008, at 10:33 AM, Lawnun wrote:

>> Jeff: As far as your original statement re: smoking -- I don't  
>> think it
> follows.  As Stephen said, regulation of smoking in food/business
> establishments regulates a public health concern that impacts  
> everyone --
> both smokers and non-smokers alike.

It absolutely follows;  if you make the "public health concern"  
argument, you simply cannot ignore the facts:  that HEART DISEASE is  
a far graver risk than lung cancer;  that heart disease is to a large  
degree influenced by diet;  and that the costs of heart disease are  
distributed among all of us to the extent that any health care is  
publicly subsidized.  Discouraging bad dietary practices among those  
who obviously already have a problem is (so the theory goes) a  
reasonable way to regulate public behavior and lower the associated  
public health care and related costs.

The *very same* logic that justifies prohibition of smoking supports  
this sort of thing.  And my argument is supported by the fact that I  
predicted THIS VERY THING many times over the years in discussing  
smoking prohibition.  If the theory is predictive, it must have some  
validity... :-P ;-)

> Appropos of nothing -- I'm always blown away with arguments made  
> from the
> staunch personal liberties camp re: the smoking ban.  Do the folks who
> viscerally object to smoking regulation in restaurants also feel  
> that state
> regulation of drunken driving is also abhorrent ?

For my part, yes --- I do to some degree find drunk driving  
regulations abhorrent.

OTOH, I'm broadly in favor of FAR STIFFER penalties for those who  
choose to drive drunk and in the process cause damage or death to  
other persons and their property.  I would even support the death  
penalty in the case of a repeat offender who severely injures or  
kills someone in the process of driving drunk.  I.e., it's not the  
drunk driving that's the problem per se, its the problems that drunk  
driving CAUSES.  Align the law with the actual problem.



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