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

Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> on Wed Feb 6 09:00:31 PST 2008

On Feb 6, 2008, at 1:36 AM, Eugen Leitl wrote:

> On Tue, Feb 05, 2008 at 05:00:46PM -0600, Jeff Bone wrote:
>
>> I reject the notion that an owner who allows uninvited guests on his
>> property for any reason --- even commercial --- has in any way ceded
>> his rights of control over his property and what happens upon it.  If
>
> How about shooting them? Not in self-defense, of course.
> How about allowing them to kill each other, as in "no cops,
> this is my private property, let them murder each other,
> I kinda like that".

There's a serious argument to be had about that one:  why shouldn't  
an individual be able to enter a contract with another individual  
that waives the legal protection of live of the first relative to the  
actions of the second?  In a sense we already do something like that  
with a variety of disclaimers, waivers, etc.  (I'm thinking in the  
case of certain extreme sports or other dangerous entertainments,  
dangerous occupations, etc.)

>> you assert that he *has* then you have created a new right for an
>> abstract, collective entity --- society --- that trumps the
>> traditional rights of the concrete individual.
>
> Rights are of course negotiable, and are created and revoked all
> the time.

Yes, but I reject the notion that your right to go wherever the hell  
you please trumps my buddy's right to assemble with the people he  
wants to assemble with and engage in whatever consensual and ---  
again --- not immediately perilous behavior he and they want to  
engage in *on his own premises.*

Nobody's answered the pertinent question that I've asked a couple of  
times, now:  does your advocacy of smoking prohibition in bars also  
extend to smoking prohibition in *private clubs?*  I.e., do you  
assert that your rights extend to regulating what can be done by a  
group of people who belong to a private club and operate a business  
that services only members of that private club?  How about private  
homes?  How tyrannical do you really want to be in your quest for  
smoking "purity?"

Here's another one:  should parents be allowed to smoke around their  
children?  I can see both sides of that argument, indeed I probably  
come down on the side of "no" on that one.  But then, I also don't  
believe parents should be able to abuse their children by way of  
religious indoctrination either.  In neither case is the child a  
responsible individual capable of consent to exposure to such behavior.

My point is there are reasonable compromises.  But forbidding smokers  
from banding together in private businesses that intentionally and  
specifically cater to them is just another example of the kind of  
small, politically-correct tyranny you see all over the place these  
days.

jb


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