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Choice Morsels

A little while ago, I heard some commentator note that Democrats, as a general rule, oppose giving the people any choice in matters -- unless the matter involves sex. It seemed like a good observation -- they don't think we can choose whether or not to wear seat belts, get health insurance, serve in the military (note that the biggest -- and nearly only -- proponents for reinstating the draft are Democrats), give more money to the government, or a host of other examples. It's only in matters related to sex (gay rights, gay marriage, abortion, etc. etc.) that they are champions of "choice."

I've been thinking about that a lot, tossing it around and bouncing it off walls, and I think I've refined it a smidgen: as a general rule, the Democrats don't want the people to choose -- unless it's in a way that doesn't really matter.

Health insurance? You can choose to get yours through work or get yours through the government. But the idea that you might want to go without -- for whatever reason -- is NOT an option.

Buy a vehicle? Sure. But don't even THINK of getting a big, gas-guzzling SUV. Whether or not you have a valid reason for wanting one, or can afford the gas and simply want one, you can't have one. They'll slap you with extra taxes, or just juggle the gas mileage laws so the manufacturers simply can't afford to sell you what you want.

Send your kids to a better school? No problem -- as long as you don't mind paying for your kid's education twice. You get to pay for the school they think your kid should go, and if you ask for a voucher to go elsewhere, fuggedaboutit.

Join a union or not? If history is any indicator, sure -- but you still get to pay your dues. And member or not, you generally have NO say in how those dues are spent -- especially those that end up in politicians' coffers.

You can even hear it in their opposition to the war in Iraq. One of the more common terms used to assail it is "choice" -- "led us into a war of choice," "chose to lead us into an unnecessary war," and the like. Regardless of one's position on the war, the use of the term "choice" as a pejorative is rather revealing.

And now back to sex. Here, they can't abolish "choice," so they simply devalue it. Homosexuality isn't a "choice," it's simply how people were born. (I think this one has some merit, but let me let this one slide.) And when it comes to abortion, the strategy is to simply make the "choice" as meaningless as possible. Have the baby, abort it -- it's all the same.

The libertarian in me rebels against this. I want the right to make choices in my life, and I demand the right to be responsible for those decisions. I want my choices about my life to mean something, for good or ill -- because they're MY choices, about MY life.

I've lost count of how many times I've quoted David Gerrold's "A Matter For Men," but he had the best definition of freedom I've ever heard: "the right to be responsible for one's actions." I insist on the right to do as I wish, and demand that I be held responsible for them -- for good or ill.

If I am protected from the consequences of my bad choices (and they are legion), then I have no right to be proud of the good choices I make. Those who would "protect" me from my bad choices are doing me no service -- they are simply trying to give me a more comfortable slave's collar, gild the bars of the cage they put me in to keep me safe.

Keep your collars and cages, people. I demand the right to fail -- because if I can't fail, then any successes are meaningless. They mean nothing unless I earn them -- because anything someone else gives you, then someone else can take away. As Gerald Ford (and not Barry Goldwater) said, "a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have."

(Editor's note: mention of Iraq war added after initial publication. Also, another version with a less-than-accurate title was initially published, then deleted.)


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Comments (93)

well said and spot on.momma... (Below threshold)
tj:

well said and spot on.momma always said to make my choices wisely,they will come back to bite you,and as I,ve found out,they do. Mom bless her heart,one smart woman.

I see freedom as the right ... (Below threshold)
meep:

I see freedom as the right to be wrong.

or stupid.

As a parent of three childr... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

As a parent of three children I was faced with one of the choices you mentioned -- making sure my children got a quality education.

You know something. When it comes to what is best for your kids, the money becomes secondary. We paid twice in order to see that our kids got the education they needed without thinking twice.

It meant we drove (and drive) 15-year-old cars, skip the plasma TV, and have stay-at-home (or driving) vacations, but it was worth it.

JT, always enjoy your posts... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

JT, always enjoy your posts but this one is one of the best. Very good job. Cannot see a disagreeable thing in it. Thanks. ww

Progressives are authoritar... (Below threshold)
kim:

Progressives are authoritarians in denial.
=======================================

Jay... Awesome post. Love ... (Below threshold)
Amy:

Jay... Awesome post. Love it, love it, love it.

Bravo. It reminds me of a r... (Below threshold)
Candy:

Bravo. It reminds me of a recent discussion point I bantered around with students in my Business Ethics class: Why is it ok for Planned Parenthood to allow my child to have an abortion without my consent or knowledge, but if the high school gives the same kid an Advil for a headache, the earth stops spinning on it's axis?

I'm still pissed that Massachusetts let the voters choose NOT to wear seatbelts some years back, then decided we were much too foolish to make our own choices, and they passed a law overriding our vote.

as a general rule, the D... (Below threshold)
wolfwalker:

as a general rule, the Democrats don't want the people to choose -- unless it's in a way that doesn't really matter.

This is close, Jay, but not quite on target IMO. I'd rather say that Democrats want people to choose -- but only from a list of choices that they, the Democratic leadership, have previously approved. From their point of view they're only giving us the benefit of their intelligence and experience, and it would be inherently wrong to not do so. The idea that a normal individual might find a way that's better than theirs is anathema to them.

Kim, that's only true of today's "progressives" -- which is a tragedy, because the original "progressives" of a century ago were rebels against authoritarianism. The entire liberal movement has been hijacked and perverted over the last forty-odd years, from classic American anti-authority liberalism to a replica of the diseased postmodernist thought that swept Europe after WW2. Europe never shook off the concept of a ruling elite -- it simply replaced the hereditary elitism of the old aristocracy with the intellectual elitism of the socialists. Whether by blood or by education, it's still elitism, and it still has the concept of a ruling class who Knows Better Than You Do. And that's where the Democrats are today.

You call your self a libert... (Below threshold)
Rance:

You call your self a libertarians, but how much of a libertarian are you?

You all say you want to be responsible for your own choices without government interference and the government's hand in your pocket to pay for programs that you can do without, but do you?

I think you're all socialists. It's just the degree you do or do not recognize it.

Ask yourself, which services provided by government agencies would you be willing to give up to maintain your liberty?

Let's list a few, and you can tell us all how much of your liberty you are willing to give up?

IRS, FBI, FDA, FDIC, FAA, NTSB, Interstate Highway System, state, county, and local highway departments, city water supply, city sewage system, local zoning board,
public schools, public colleges, state police, local police, fire department, EMTs, 911 phone system, NPS, state and local park systems, ...?

I think you're all socia... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

I think you're all socialists. It's just the degree you do or do not recognize it.

So, you're an anarchist?

Sex is probably the best of... (Below threshold)

Sex is probably the best of all things anyway, but driving my motor scooter with no seatbelts probably comes in a close second.

My dad did pretty good with his union membership. For a mere $30 a month in union dues he got health care paid for by the union for the family, earned a $1,700 a month retirement pension paid for by the union, and earned enough wages to buy three homes. There's a term for anyone who wouldn't want such a deal for a mere $30 a month in union dues like this: damn fool.

"So, you're an anarchist?"<... (Below threshold)
Rance:

"So, you're an anarchist?"

Les,

No, I'm a Socialist, like the rest of you. I just recognize it. I also, unlike many, recognize the limits of Socialism.

Rance - everything you list... (Below threshold)
marc:

Rance - everything you list with the exception of the IRS, NPS, state and local park systems all fall under normal gov functions. They are all related to public safety in one form or another or interstate commerce.

Believe it or not that is the primary function of the gov.

Better gin up another list, 'cause that one stinks.

marc,You've become... (Below threshold)
Rance:

marc,

You've become so used to them that you consider them "normal government functions". They are all the result of a group banding together to provide services for the common good that they could not provide for themselves. Most of these services could be provided by the private sector, at a price, if we were willing to deal with the fallout of them being privatized.

Honsoon:Sex is... (Below threshold)
marc:

Honsoon:

Sex is probably the best of all things anyway, but driving my motor scooter with no seatbelts probably comes in a close second.

Was it close second when a wheel bearing went ka-bluie!

There's a term for anyone who wouldn't want such a deal for a mere $30 a month in union dues like this: damn fool.

Really? A damn fool?

A damn fool is one who accepts the union offer to NOT give you the $1 raise promised and forced you to accept .50 with the "carrot" of "well the .50 cents goes to pay for your health care.

In other words, it ain't free and not only that it takes your choice away. With that .50 per hour plus all the other giveaways by the union would pay for your own insurance, with the company and doctor you choose.

A damn fool is one who pays those union dues, that ARE NOT OPTIONAL, to see a vary large part of it funneled into political campaigns of people you are the direct opposite of politically.

You hit the nail right upon... (Below threshold)

You hit the nail right upon the head, Jay... It all boils down to nothing more than simple, honest control, and that is something the Democratic party desires in heaps and spades. Of course, the American public is not only permitting this Nanny State to be constructed around them, they are demanding it... Something tells me this will escape their attention when they finally realize just what, exactly, they have allowed to happen.

You can never legislate away basic human stupidity... especially since that is one of the most basic, primary natural rights we have.

In other news, methinks someone is a wee bit confuzzled as to the definition of socialism, in either little-s or big-S contexts...

Rance, there are government... (Below threshold)

Rance, there are government institutions which protect us from those who would do us harm. The FDA for harmful foods and drugs, the FAA for safe flight, law enforcement for general safety from those who would do us bodily harm or steal from us, etc. We argue against some like the government's control of the school system hand in hand with unions, and other such institutions, the IRS's confiscatory practices with little say from "the people" on how it's spent, etc.

However, the government takes it all a step too far when, along with protecting us from others' practices which could result in harm against us, they want to protect us from ourselves. This results in people feeling they don't need to take responsibility for their own actions and those who do take responsibility are left holding the bill for those who don't.

We are social creatures. Can't deny that. But it doesn't necessarily equate to being "socialists". You're twisting the meaning of the word by simplifying it beyond it's true definition.

Progressives are authori... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Progressives are authoritarians in denial.

quote of the day... and so early too.

"However, the government ta... (Below threshold)
Rance:

"However, the government takes it all a step too far when, along with protecting us from others' practices which could result in harm against us, they want to protect us from ourselves."

The phrase "protect us from ourselves" is interesting. Because we are "all in this together", protecting you from yourself, may also be protecting me from the fallout of your bad decisions.

We are free to choose anyth... (Below threshold)
Amphipolis:

We are free to choose anything the government allows us to choose.

Marc, I'm not going to ask ... (Below threshold)

Marc, I'm not going to ask you how many homes you personally currently own or your net worth, but my father did very well with his union membership. I never witnessed anything negative as a result of his union membership, only great benefits in exchange for his small dues. When my father died of a sudden stroke in late July, he left my mother in good financial position, largely because of the good union job he held since he was 16 years old for 45 years until his knees were too worn out to continue after several knee surgeries, otherwise he would probably have worked until he was 78 like my grandmother did.

As far as my August 2, motor scooter accident, I unfortunately hit some potholes on an extremely poor street because you could not avoid them all. With the smaller diameter tires on the motor scooter the wheel bearing was damaged and I got thrown off at 25mph. I've added about $1 worth of new hardware to the front steering and have had no problems since. I avoid streets with poorer conditions and stick more with the 30-40mph streets now, which are in far better condition. There's also a lot of speed bumps and other hazzards for a suspension in my neighborhood. I broke a leafspring on my V8 Gremlin on a speed bump a couple years ago, despite driving at a slower speed over it for example. Poor street conditions can harm any vehicle, car, truck or motorbike.

For all those above who bem... (Below threshold)
FreedomFries:

For all those above who bemoan their lack of choices, go find a private island for yourself &/or your immediate family and build your own personal society where you may have all the choices and responsibilities totally the way you would have it.

Live in a society w/ all the myriad possibilities that are resultant & STFU about having your own personal choice to lead the sort of self-centered existence that you want, regardless of the nature and structure of that complex society that requires mutual cooperation.

The problem for you so-called Libertarians is that you live a few thousand years yoo late, long since past the knuckle-walking cave-dwelling era of "Freedom" that would have permitted you to indulge all the choices you want w/ no conflicting input beyond the immediate family tribe..

how does ff write the kind ... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

how does ff write the kind of crap he just wrote and at the same time complain that the Bush Admin is taking away our civil liberties? Maybe he should take his own advice and..."STFU about having your own personal choice to lead the sort of self-centered existence that you want, regardless of the nature and structure of that complex society that requires mutual cooperation." Mutual cooperation such as collecting intel on terrorists that you and the other libs deem unconstitutional. Intel that no doubt makes our society a safer place.

Demacrats as amatter of rul... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Demacrats as amatter of rule want more rules so they can break every one of them

Well, at least they got the... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Well, at least they got the sex part right. I took a political personality quiz and scored as a Libertarian.

Great article, Jay.... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

Great article, Jay.

Amen! Jay T.Very ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Amen! Jay T.

Very well said and so very true!

Rance-"Private sector"-can ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Rance-"Private sector"-can you image what the interstate system look like if this were the case.
I see 'grubble could not come up with anything to say other then to sound negative. Par for the corase.
Fast food--who the hell are you to tell us how to lead our lives?

OK Fries, I get your point.... (Below threshold)
iftheshoefits:

OK Fries, I get your point.

But can you see why some of us on the right are a wee bit wary of having our choices taken away by a political movement that thinks of us the way y'all do?

Until you guys can eliminate all this stupid election stuff, you still have to persuade us that your ideas of more government authority are really better for all of us. And you're not doing too well at present.

The usual dopey liberal hem... (Below threshold)
moseby:

The usual dopey liberal hemorrhoids that post here seem VERY, VERY confused...I am sensing many synapse missfirings. The ol' tin colander on the noggin should do the trick.

'mutual cooperation'...<br ... (Below threshold)
LJD:

'mutual cooperation'...
...like working people supporting those who do not.

FreedomFries, why don't you... (Below threshold)
Chaz:

FreedomFries, why don't you and your liberal socialists go to an island and everyone can be free, peave love and happiness in HappyLand. The rest of us who live in reality will stay where we are, thanks.

Paul H., I just h... (Below threshold)
Matchu:

Paul H.,

I just have to respond to you regarding Union dues. You appear to be incredibly ignorant regarding very basic economic matters.

You keep saying how great Unions are due to all the extra perks your father got for just $30 a month. By what you describe they are great. However, you seem to be missing a very very obvious basic rule of economics. All those perks he got (ie $1700 retirement pension)...big drum roll here...the money he got had to come from somewhere! It was not created out of thin air.

There are not too many companies offering pension plans like that anymore and that is because they are not sustanible in the long run. Pensions look great on paper and are really good for the first generation or so of workers than get in on them. The reason being is they have a lot of workers putting in $30 every month and not so many taking out $1700 a month. People are living much longer now. People are retiring and still living 20+ years. What happens when you have as many retirees collecting $1700 a month compared to as many active workers?

Thats why myself and a ton of other people see the current Social Security situation as a big problem. What do we do when we get to the point of the ratio of people paying into S.S. compared to how many people are collecting it gets too far out of balance? Something needs to be done here and anybody with even an ounce of understanding in basic math and economics can see it. I personally dont have or know of a perfect fix regarding S.S., but I do recognize the current system cant keep working as is indefinately.


Matchu

BG2K,Yer darn toot... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

BG2K,

Yer darn tootin' I'm against Euthanasia.

Any knucklehead who argues ... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Any knucklehead who argues he shouldn't be forced to wear a helmet or seatbelt doesn't deserve a choice. Kinda like a 2 year old doesn't get lots of choices either - but a 2 year old would probably know better.

"Any knucklehead who argues... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

"Any knucklehead who argues he shouldn't be forced to wear a helmet or seatbelt doesn't deserve a choice."

The arrogance of the loony left on display.

I give you JFO.

Paul H.,A Gremlin?... (Below threshold)
Uncle Pinky:

Paul H.,

A Gremlin? Really?

Last of a dying breed my friend.

P.S. Insightful post Jay Tea. Thanks.

An Emily Litella editorial:... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

An Emily Litella editorial:

Why are so many people against Euthanasia? They are no different than youths in any other country. Why it's terrible to be so against the little darlings when you have never ever met them and I....what? huh? oh, well that's very different...nevermind.

What a mess of a post, Jay.... (Below threshold)
mantis:

What a mess of a post, Jay. You've got a genuine criticism of restrictive attitudes of many on the left, especially the Democrats, but it so mixed up in a bunch of inconsistent arguments, false choices, and distortions it gets largely lost.

I agree completely with your opposition to laws meant to protect us from ourselves (seatbelts, cigarettes, etc.), but that is a different kind of choice than many of the others you note.

Health insurance? You can choose to get yours through work or get yours through the government. But the idea that you might want to go without -- for whatever reason -- is NOT an option.

Well, as far as I know only Clinton's (very detail-free) plan requires coverage for adults, and as far as I can tell there is no real argument between the "you must have coverage" crowd and the "I don't want health coverage" crowd (is it a crowd? Who are these people? Christian Scientists?). So, I wouldn't exactly call an as yet undefined requirement from a primary candidate the opinion of "Democrats."

Buy a vehicle? Sure. But don't even THINK of getting a big, gas-guzzling SUV. Whether or not you have a valid reason for wanting one, or can afford the gas and simply want one, you can't have one.

Who says you can't have one?

They'll slap you with extra taxes, or just juggle the gas mileage laws so the manufacturers simply can't afford to sell you what you want.

Oh, I see, you're opposed to vehicle fuel standards and taxes on heavy polluters (well, sometimes, maybe, when it fits the argument). In any case, you still have a choice to lay down the cash and get one, now don't you?

Send your kids to a better school? No problem -- as long as you don't mind paying for your kid's education twice. You get to pay for the school they think your kid should go, and if you ask for a voucher to go elsewhere, fuggedaboutit.

Well, my wife and I pay property taxes and we don't even have children, so we're paying for other kids education and getting no benefit ourselves. Oh wait, we are, because we value a society with strong public education and consider it our responsibility to support it, and we benefit from living in such a society. If you can afford to send your kids to a private school, great, but that doesn't get you off the hook in your obligation. If poor local schools are the problem, the answer is not diverting funds from those schools through vouchers.

Join a union or not? If history is any indicator, sure -- but you still get to pay your dues. And member or not, you generally have NO say in how those dues are spent -- especially those that end up in politicians' coffers.

I don't even know what you're talking about here. We do or don't have a choice to join unions? Union members don't have enough say in how dues are spent? What is the choice that Democrats want to take away from you here?

You can even hear it in their opposition to the war in Iraq. One of the more common terms used to assail it is "choice" -- "led us into a war of choice," "chose to lead us into an unnecessary war," and the like. Regardless of one's position on the war, the use of the term "choice" as a pejorative is rather revealing.

Some people think that we should only engage in wars of necessity, because war is, you know, bad for folks (except defense contractors). Apparently you advocate a more whimsical approach in deciding which wars to fight (start).

And now back to sex. Here, they can't abolish "choice," so they simply devalue it.

Yes, the pro-choice movement and the anti-criminalization of sodomy crowd sure does devalue choice. Huh?

Homosexuality isn't a "choice," it's simply how people were born. (I think this one has some merit, but let me let this one slide.)

Sure! Why be consistent in your logic? That's for the birds.

And when it comes to abortion, the strategy is to simply make the "choice" as meaningless as possible. Have the baby, abort it -- it's all the same.

Have you stopped trying to make sense? How is it all the same?

The libertarian in me rebels against this. I want the right to make choices in my life, and I demand the right to be responsible for those decisions. I want my choices about my life to mean something, for good or ill -- because they're MY choices, about MY life.

Ok, let's see where your logic leads after all of your examples.

- No more public education, roads, police, or other infrastructure, as paying taxes for those robs you of your choice. What if you don't want to use them?

- No more regulation of pollution, or imposition of vehicle fuel standards, because they rob you of the choice to buy slightly cheaper low-mileage vehicles. For that matter, let's abandon food and drug regulation and energy production regulation. The monetary restrictions on those industries imposed by the regulatory bodies and taxes make it harder for you to choose to buy what you want for cheaper. Plus, it robs of your choice of living in areas prone to industrial disasters and purchasing untested pharmaceuticals. Anti-choice bastards!

- Let's get rid of unions because some of the members may not get as much say as they would like in how their dues are spent, regardless of their ability to choose new leadership or participate in union business decisions. Or, let's get rid of unions because you have a choice to join one or not, which is anti-choice. I can't really tell what the hell you're saying.

- Don't really know how to deal with the sex/abortion issue since you turn around and rail at them for being anti-choice while being pro-choice, or something.

I demand the right to fail -- because if I can't fail, then any successes are meaningless.

Well, here's to your next success at forming a coherent argument. I'm sure it will have all the more meaning after failing to do so here.

I'm a little torn with the ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

I'm a little torn with the euthanasia issue. So many suicides occur each year, the thought of a law endorsing assisted suicide seems a little over the top. Such a law could undergo so many changes, the "inch" could easily turn into a "mile". As for seat belts, I usually wear one but don't nag anyone else to. The common sense rule should be that children definately are required to wear them.

ExSubNukArrogance ... (Below threshold)
JFO:

ExSubNuk

Arrogance to you. Common sense to me - to a child common sense. Lets all just what the heck we want - just like 2 yos want to do. Grow up.

jfo, by your logic we shoul... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

jfo, by your logic we should all be told that we cannot drink, cannot smoke, eat fried foods, cannot do anything that may hurt us...oh wait, that IS what you and your liberal pals are trying to tell us.

Why stop at the helmet jfo?... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

Why stop at the helmet jfo? Why shouldn't hooson be forced to wear elbow pads, rib pads, a back brace, hell, why should he be allowed to ride a scooter in the first place, it can kill him, helomet or not!!

Yeah I said all that didn't... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Yeah I said all that didn't I you idiot. Of course, the 2 yo reference fits with your idiotic response.

Do morons like you really believe it is only "liberals" who think fools like you should wear seat belts? Do you really think that? Oh, wait. I forgot whom I was addressing. Of course you do.

Now, go sit in the corner and suck your thumb little boy.

Dang Mantis. You complain ... (Below threshold)

Dang Mantis. You complain about Jay's argument being convoluted and then pretend to understand it enough to rebut it with points not really related to his overall argument.

"Well, my wife and I pay property taxes and we don't even have children, so we're paying for other kids education and getting no benefit ourselves." Nevermind that property taxes aren't solely used for education. But then you go on to explain how you do indeed benefit from it.

I don't have the time or inclination to point-by-point refute your own convoluted post, but at the very least I'll say that road maintenance, police protection and infrastructure have nothing whatsoever to do with Jay's point.

BILL CLINTON WAS A BIG TIME... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

BILL CLINTON WAS A BIG TIME SKIRT CHASER

Damn good article, Jay Tea.... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Damn good article, Jay Tea.

Here's the deal JFO,<... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

Here's the deal JFO,

I. Am an adult. I can (and do) make all my own decisions and accept all the consequences of them (intended an non-intended).

My Son (a very spunky 3 year old), is NOT an adult. It is my responcibility, as his parent, to make decisions for him based on the consequences he will face (as he's too young to responsibly make them for himself).

I happen to always wear a seatbelt, not because it's the law, but because of the laws of physics, and fatality figures for non-seatbelt wearers (compared to wearers). My son is in a car seat while the car is in motion for the same reason (and it's my responsibility, as his parent, to ensure his safety).

I don't wear a helmet when riding a bike (and don't require it of my child). I've fallen off my bike many times, and have always done fine. My son, has fallen quite a few as well, and he's fine. It's my judgement that, at the speeds he's going (with his training wheels on flat pavement) that a helmet is unnecessary. I'll reassess when he gets older and more daring.

What I will not abide by, is when I, as an adult, am treated like a child. Or when somone OTHER than myself or my wife, attempts to make decisions about my children or for my children. I'll not have somone making decisions that are "in my best interest" when they clearly don't know me, my family, or "what's best" for us.

And I'll kindly thank you to piss off on trying to do so.

The "I want to make my own... (Below threshold)
JFO:

The "I want to make my own choices" philosophy works real well if you live alone on an island. Other than that, your "choices" can have a profound negative impact on the rest of society. I think that's probably one of the reasons we have things like, well, laws. If you don't like the laws of the inability to choose to do any damn thing you want gather together enough people to vote to change the laws. I think, maybe, that's called a democracy.

jfo, how does an individual... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

jfo, how does an individuals choice to not wear a helmet impact the rest of society? And why didn't you answer my earlier questions instead of just spouting off like a child? So you ARE saying that we shouldn't be able to drink, smoke, eat unhealthy foods or do anything bad for us?!!

ExNuk SubI repeat ... (Below threshold)
JFO:

ExNuk Sub

I repeat what I've said. Yopu soind exactly like your 3yo son.
Screw the rest of society and I'll just damn wll do as I please. What I don't get about your thinking is how you don;t seem to see any negative impact on the rest of society by your desire to choose to do what you want.

By the way any rational thinking adult knows that it is the "best interest" of a person to wear a seatbelt.

Ah, JFO, but there's a flaw... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

Ah, JFO, but there's a flaw in your argument.

Laws that protect OTHERS from MY actions are all well and good (and the right thing to do for a society to function).

Laws that attemt to protect me from MYSELF are presumptuous, and usually just a way to increase revenues obtained by doling out fines.

If hooson has to wear a hel... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

If hooson has to wear a helmet why should he not have to wear all the other protective gear jfo?

"By the way any rational th... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

"By the way any rational thinking adult knows that it is the "best interest" of a person to wear a seatbelt. "

Of course they do jfo, what you apparently don't understand is who the fuck are you to tell me that I HAVE to? And if I HAVE to wear a seatbelt, why shouldn't I HAVE to wear a helmet in the car, that would protect me even further from injury.

JFO, did you actually read ... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

JFO, did you actually read what I posted.

I wear my seatbelt, ya moron, for precisely the reason you state. I don't do it because of any seatbelt law. What I disagree with is the requirement. Especially as it's a waiverable requirement on older vehicles. Then it's exposed as the money grab it really is.

Here's the thing. Jay Tea ... (Below threshold)

Here's the thing. Jay Tea isn't saying "everyone do whatever the heck (s)he pleases." The definition "the right to be responsible for my own choices" is the key here. The liberal position all too often expects no consequences - a position which reality proves both unworkable and unrealistic. Speaking as a conservative living in a liberal extended family, the two biggest differences between my liberal kin and me are (1) the fact that I tolerate their positions far better than they tolerate mine, and (2) the fact that I stress personal responsibility for choices made by free, adult human beings, where they want either government or other people to constantly save people from themselves. Basically - Jay Tee's points in a living, breathing nutshell. (Pun intended.)

DHoggsThat's a rea... (Below threshold)
JFO:

DHoggs

That's a really stupid question is so stupid I'm not going to answer it.

How does not wearing a motorcycle helmet affect the rest of society? By the cost of insurance payments, hospital costs, medical assistance etc . You think some numbnuts head injury from failing to wear a helmet doesn't cost society? If no helmet or seatbelt what the hell why have insurance - society makes us carry it on our vehicles. Why? So I don't have to pay the aforementioned numbnuts hospital bills.

The speed limit? Screw it I want to go 95 in a 55 mph zone. No added danger to anyone else, right? Only me. Wrong.

DHoggsI don't tell... (Below threshold)
JFO:

DHoggs

I don't tell you to do anything you moron. Your legislature does. Cripes you're and idiot. Don't like the law change your legislature.

Then why not answer the res... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

Then why not answer the rest of my question jfo, why should we not have to wear full protective gear on a motorcycle? In the car? Walking down th fucking street? Like I said, I assume you think we shouldn't be allowed to smoke or drink or do anything dangerous, these things all incur medical costs as well do they not? And you are trying to change the subject by putting it on the legislature, you support this kind of control, so defend it.

jfo if you are so worried a... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

jfo if you are so worried about paying for other people's medical bills, why don't you give a shit about the biggest drain, illegal immigration?! why would you support socialized health care?

JFO,How are my dec... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

JFO,

How are my decisions affecting society at large? I pay for my own health insurance and dental. I don't partake in patently stupid behavior. If I fall off my bicycle, and crack my head, who's paying for it?

Oh yeah, that's right. Me. That's why I pay the premiums. That's me taking responsibility for my actions, both good and bad.

I didn't put in 10 years protecting all that is right and good in this country just to sit idly by and have anyone take away my choices based upon what they think "is best" for me.

Heck, you probably would have prevented me from serving as it's CLEARLY a dangerous thing to do. Must protect me from myself, eh.

D-HoggsOK, just so... (Below threshold)
JFO:

D-Hoggs

OK, just so we can end this. No, believe in a general prohibition on smoking or food and I certainly do believe that people have the right to make choices in their lives. However, there are some activities which have inherent danger and which can have a negative impact on others. I don't imagine e.g. that you favor being able to discharge a firearm whenever and wherever you choose. So, we have elected officials who make judgments about these kinds of things and enact laws. Someone didn't just get up in the morning and say lets make people wear seatbelts just to piss them off. There are reasons, studied reasons why laws like that are passes. As I've said a couple of times if you don't like the law change the legislature.

And you, and the others, don't seriously believe seatbelt laws and helmet laws are purely the product of liberals. We live in a society, what we do affects others in that society and so sometimes our behavior has to be regulated. I don't think that's a belief unique to liberals.

By the way, I assume that all you people who believe in the ability to make your own choices also believe in a woman's right to choose to have an abortion. How could you not?

Correction - no, I don't be... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Correction - no, I don't believe in a general prohibition....

Fair question there JFO.</p... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

Fair question there JFO.

I support her choice. I don't like that the father doesn't have a say in the matter though.

ExSubNukIt'd be gr... (Below threshold)
JFO:

ExSubNuk

It'd be great if all of society were like you. But it isn't. That's the reality and that's why we have laws to govern it.

I agree with you about the ... (Below threshold)
JFO:

I agree with you about the the father Ex.

DEAR GOD!!!!Common... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

DEAR GOD!!!!

Common ground!!!!

Abortion is an activity "wh... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

Abortion is an activity "which has inherent danger and which can have a negative impact on others" jfo, so why should it be allowed?

ExProbably more th... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Ex

Probably more than either of us imagine.

DIf the legislatur... (Below threshold)
JFO:

D

If the legislature didn't permit it I would support that. I happen to hate abortion on a personal level though I support the right to choose it legally.

Hoggs - you think I'm for regulating everything and anything. Believe me I'm not. I just happen to believe there's a balance and I respect the people who make our laws and I try to follow them. If I don't like what they're doing I vote against it. I don't just choose to do whatever it is I feel like doing.

Come on! Get real. The De... (Below threshold)
Larry Sheldon:

Come on! Get real. The Democrats do not care a bit what you do. Not a bit.

As long as it is compulsory.

Hosoon:Marc, I... (Below threshold)
marc:

Hosoon:

Marc, I'm not going to ask you how many homes you personally currently own or your net worth, but my father did very well with his union membership.

And so, that disproves nothing I wrote. Thousands of people have gotten rich selling Amway products, and many times those thousands have lost their shirts in what amounts to a "legal" pyramid scheme.

As far as my August 2, motor scooter accident, I unfortunately hit some potholes

Yadda...yadda.... ya know at this point everyone is sick of your scooter stories with a single exception.

We all wonder how you can comment on anything related to unions, job safety or UAW strikes when you've consistently refused to respond to queries about Chinese unions that built the cheap-assed scooter or how many coal-fired power plants it takes to run that scooter plant. And you can extend that to all the chinese products you sell in your store.

In short you're a hypocrite to the nth degree.

freedomFRIED:T... (Below threshold)
marc:

freedomFRIED:

The problem for you so-called Libertarians is that you live a few thousand years yoo late,

If only that were so you would have been clubbed to a bloody pulp long ago.

marc,You forgot to... (Below threshold)
JFO:

marc,

You forgot to call them names. Your mommy wash your mouth out with soap or did you get your anal fixation fixed with the Senator?

Baghdad barney:<em... (Below threshold)
marc:

Baghdad barney:

If Democrats are against choice then the Republicans are against freedom. They are against:
-Habeas Corpus
-Free Speech
-Privacy
-Freedom from religion
-Euthanasia

Lets go thru the list one-by-one:

1. unsubstantiated accusation
2. unsubstantiated accusation
3. unsubstantiated accusation
4. unsubstantiated accusation
5. unsubstantiated accusation, but assuming it's true, aren't you glad, you're still breathing and trolling.

JFO:You forgot... (Below threshold)
marc:

JFO:

You forgot to call them names. Your mommy wash your mouth out with soap or did you get your anal fixation fixed with the Senator?

Silly me, thanks for the reminder. JFO you've become a "post title"

Very good... I like it marc... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Very good... I like it marc. I'm still laughing. See, even you can be funny once in a life time. I'm still laughing.

I'm beginning to worry abou... (Below threshold)
Imhotep:

I'm beginning to worry about Hooson's "relationship" with his motor scooter.
How many posts has he mentioned it?! And now in a sentence comparing riding it (scooter) to sex?!

Dude?!?

The "I want to mak... (Below threshold)
Chip:
The "I want to make my own choices" philosophy works real well if you live alone on an island. Other than that, your "choices" can have a profound negative impact on the rest of society. I think that's probably one of the reasons we have things like, well, laws. If you don't like the laws of the inability to choose to do any damn thing you want gather together enough people to vote to change the laws. I think, maybe, that's called a democracy.

Ok, JFO, liberals care about "society" and want to protect it, right?

Now care to explain how choice for an abortion protects the unborn that would enter society if allowed to be born? How are peoples "choices" impacting that part of our "society"?

If Democrats are a... (Below threshold)
Steve of Norway:
If Democrats are against choice then the Republicans are against freedom. They are against: -Habeas Corpus -Free Speech -Privacy -Freedom from religion -Euthanasia

The Republicans have stopped all that? Really...how is it that Hollywood, Kos,Moveon, Media Matters, The New York Times, MSNBC, CNN and George Soros can spew all their Anti-Bush/Anti-America drivel and can still walk free? To listen some of you, we're under a Saddam style regime where those people are put into the giant plastic shredder or have their tongues pulled out for speaking out against Chimpy McHitler and his grand emperor Cheney. Have any privacies you've lost since 2001? How about what personal freedoms you've lost under Bush? Can you name ONE?

ChipFirst of all I... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Chip

First of all I only speak for myself, not for "liberals" or anyone else. I find myself generalizing too much about the "the right" and I shouldn't do that.

My views about abortion have to do with my experience(s) both personal and otherwise. In this country, at this time, abortion is legal. Until it isn't, I support a woman's right to choose because it is within the framework of our legal system. We have laws which say people must wear seatbelts. Aside from the common sense issue of not wanting to get severely injures I accept the law and follow it.

It seems to me there is a social compact between the government and its citizens and also between each of us as citizens. We live together, we share responsibilities to one another and to society in general. I see it as my responsibility to follow the law regarding seatbelts and other requirements of the law which impact others as well as me. Once members (I'm talking about non-criminals here) of society start choosing which laws they will follow and which ones they don't chaos will result.

Its really quite silly to say that it is "liberals" who command that folks wear seatbelts etc. To say that flies in the face of the reality of our political system. I can't imagine anyone could really believe that. Of course people from all sides of the political spectrum care about society. We wouldn't have one otherwise.

Steve of Norway:<e... (Below threshold)
marc:

Steve of Norway:

To listen some of you, we're under a Saddam style regime where those people are put into the giant plastic shredder or have their tongues pulled out for speaking out against Chimpy McHitler

You're confusing certain elements of the left with Saddam. Although I will admit some lunatics, Lee "The Thief" Ward is one example and Bill Clinton is another, who just can't handle reality despite their claim to be based on the concept.

Why stop at the helmet j... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Why stop at the helmet jfo? Why shouldn't hooson be forced to wear elbow pads, rib pads, a back brace, hell, why should he be allowed to ride a scooter in the first place, it can kill him, helomet or not!!

If evidence had shown that elbow injuries cost society more than head injuries, I'm sure elbow pads would be required.

Reasonable people can disagree on where the line should be drawn. But it's unreasonable to claim that there should be no line, from either side.

By the way, the Republicans were in charge of the legislature and presidency for years, and I don't recall anyone attempting to repeal all those oppressive Democratic "nanny laws".

Jay, I think you make some ... (Below threshold)
RB:

Jay, I think you make some good points with regards to the nanny state, and that it is by and large the left that supports certain elements of it (the smoking ban, for one, has to be one of the stupidest things I have ever seen in my entire life). I also like your comments on the power of making errors, and I loved the quote. But you make the same mistake that many make about both sides, and that is to assume that because support for something tends to exist on one side of the political spectrum, that is therefore what that side believes. Take political correctness. Yes, support for political correctness exists mainly on the left, but it's hardly a central tenet of what liberals believe. Most liberals find it as irritating as you do.

With regards to your specific points, there probably isn't nearly enough room to deal with health insurance, but the seatbelt thing I really don't get. Can I assume you also oppose speed limits, licensing and road rules? Shouldn't I be able to drive as fast as I damn well please? Why draw the chalk line in front of seatbelts? Seatbelts save lives.

A different rule applies to private schools and vehicle choice - no one is trying to ban them. That truly would be a blow against freedom. We can argue the relative merits of deterrent taxes, but they do not in themselves constitute an attack on freedom.

Which brings me to taxation. How is taxation a blow against freedom? It's not as if we're talking about the seizure of property here. What we ultimately have is two political parties quibbling on whether the top marginal tax rate should be 40% or 35%. Anyone who honestly believes that the former constitutes communism knows nothing of the subject.

And I disagree with the analysis about the left not considering "choices" like abortion and homosexuality major choices. To suggest that even the most vehemently pro-choice person considers abortion a frivolous decision shows a profound lack of understanding on what that position entails. I believe that you buy into a line far, far too common on both sides of the political fence, which is that people on the other side are "not like us". Rehetoric aside, zero government intervention is called "anarchy". 100% intervention is called "Big Brother". The happy medium is somewhere in between, and if I put the figure for that happy medium slightly over from where you do, well I guess that means that I hate freedom.

I have to admit that I got ... (Below threshold)
Candy:

I have to admit that I got tired and stopped reading at some point, so if someone already addressed this, I apologize. It is now ILLEGAL for an adult to go without health insurance in Massachusetts - somebody way back there someplace was saying that adults have a right to choose. Massachusetts loves to take away any and all rights of the people, then complain about everybody's civil rights being violated. It's exhausting trying to keep up.

Marc, certainly pollution a... (Below threshold)

Marc, certainly pollution and labor violations are a major problem in China, but the Taizhou ChuanL Motorcycle company is about as clean and professional as you can get because of so much contracted work producing motorcycles for American companies. Quality control is pretty good in this company, especially considering the low prices for their products compared to the Italian Vespa and other motorbikes. For the money ChuanL motorcycles are a great product.

D-Hoggs, certainly riding any motorbike is nowhere near as safe as riding in a 3,000lb. car with seatbelts, airbags and all sorts of other safety gear. In a car or SUV, drivers often have the luxury of fooling around with a cell phone, stereo, makeup, smoking, food or drink while driving. On a motorbike you have to be all business and pay attention every second or you can end up dead. Driving a motorbike in congested city streets is indeed a dangerous sport, but thrilling because of the risk and open nature of bikes. I've put over 600 miles on my bike in last three months. I personally like motorbikes far more cars.

Hosoon:but the... (Below threshold)
marc:

Hosoon:

but the Taizhou ChuanL Motorcycle company is about as clean and professional as you can get because of so much contracted work producing motorcycles for American companies.

Yeah, I bet Mattel thought the same thing. Where's all that contracted work at now? It's a safe bet it won't be under the Christmas tree this year.

On a motorbike you have to be all business and pay attention every second or you can end up dead.

And avoid potholes?

Are you really the fool you appear to be?

And BTW hooson, don't even ... (Below threshold)
marc:

And BTW hooson, don't even try to claim the chinese motoring industry is more ethical than those that make all the recalled toys.

They're thieves of the first order.

Democrats believe in choice... (Below threshold)

Democrats believe in choices- theirs.

Slavery Is Freedom.

You have the freedom to smo... (Below threshold)
alacrityfitzhugh:

You have the freedom to smoke tobacco, a legal substance once hoed and weeded and picked and dried by none other than the likes of Al Gore (champion of his choice in vehicles, not yours!), so long as you smoke it outside and not anywhere near the cigarette Nazis.

You have the choice to own a gun, as long as you are Diane Feinstein or Ted Kennedy's bodyguard.

You have your choice of schools to send your children to, so long as you are Bill Clinton, a Senator or a member of the NEA. The rest of you folks would be stealing bread from the mouths of the private school teachers that your union teachers send their kids to if you took your kids out of government schools!

(BTW, when a public employee, paid with tax dollars uses that money to send their kids to a private school, isn't that the argument the NEA uses against vouchers ?)

I have to note that JFO and... (Below threshold)
epador:

I have to note that JFO and Brian both offer coherent and logical arguments in this thread that contrast what I've seen in other threads.

And a few of those trying to counter their arguments sound more like JFO and Brian have in other threads.

Must be 'cause its a full moon.

Seatbelts, motorcycle helmets and bicycle helmets all decrease significant morbidity and mortality that would suck financial and social fabric from our society. Elbow pads don't. If someone injured not wearing their seat belt would only receive health care and disability as long as their bank accounts could pay for it, and once exhausted were placed on an ice flow (melting in the Arctic) along with all their dependents, then perhaps we'd have a truly libertarian society where one was truly solely responsible to suffer the consequences of their choices.

Marc, the toy recalls were ... (Below threshold)

Marc, the toy recalls were actually for some minor problems upon a closer examination. Mattel contracts work to a number of Chinese contractors, and only one contractor in one city ran out of the paint that Mattel supplied and used some paint that they acquired themselves which had a higher content of lead than allowed under U.S. standards. Almost any mineral mined from the ground has some lead content. Even tobacco contains lead for example and the American government fails to recall cigarettes which will eventually kill 50% of all smokers.

The Barbie dolls contained a defective design by Mattel, in which magnets could possibly come loose and had nothing to do with the quality of Chinese production.

I've sold many Mattel toys on Ebay because of their collectors value and find these toys to be of high quality and a great item for financial speculation by adult collectors and toy merchants. TOYFARE magazine is a trade journal by toy merchants and collectors, and Mattel products including Barbie and Hot Wheels are indeed quality products and have high possible evaluation that can beat most Wall Street stocks for security. Model cars are another good area for speculation and investment as well.

As far as motor scooters go, many have the standard 3.50 X 10 tires and wheels, and are more prone to problems with potholes or street cracks than automobile wheels by far which generally range from 13inch on up 20 or more inches. Automobiles also have four wheels compared to two on motorbikes and are less prone to stability problems due to street conditions. I know of a recent accident where a scooter driver lost control because of a manhole cover and broke an arm for example, but my bike seems to have no problem with manhole covers, but I tend to avoid driving directly over them anyway. I've put over 800km on my bike in a liitle over three months.

[quote]By the way, I assume... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

[quote]By the way, I assume that all you people who believe in the ability to make your own choices also believe in a woman's right to choose to have an abortion. How could you not?[/quote]

Easy. The choice of the mother was made before fertilization in some 95% of all pregnancies. After that, it ~should~ be about baby's rights.




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