1. One position that has always amused me was that of various health nazis, whether banning smoking even in the privacy of my own home* or telling me I cannot eat various foodstuff as they are bad for me, these same people are often the ones who tell us that teaching abstinence is futile, as teens will :do it anyway", and the best we can do is offer them safety instructions. So, if I get this right, there is no point in making any effort to stop underage pregnancies, syphilis, AIDS, herpes, and other STDs, not to mention increased risk of date rape, sexual violence and a host of other issues that become more frequent when involving teens in sexual matters, that is not worth fighting, as "they'll do it anyway", but we should impose the full force of law to ensure against the dire consequences of a quarter pounder with cheese? Is it just me, or does this sound a bit bizarre? Informing teens of very real dangers is pointless, but we should utilitze police powers to ensure adults don't get hold of french fries and corn chips?
2. Another of my favorites is the "do not call list". Admittedly, since everyone is annoyed by marketing calls, this one is largely supported across political lines, but there certainly was, initially at least, a push from the, mostly left-leaning, "privacy" lobby and some anti-commerce types. Which, in general, are the same people who also tell me there is no way to legally prevent homeless men from panhandling in most downtown districts. So, again, let us look at this sensibly. You can sue a company and win damages if they make a polite phone call doing nothing more than soliciting business. On the other hand, a malodorous, filthy man who stands far too close, makes vaguely threatening gestures, speaks incomprehensibly, and will not take no for an answer, against him there is nothing I can do? One is exercising a "fundamental right to speech", while somehow the other speech is not protected, mostly because it is involved in business. Again, does anyone follow this logic?
3. As I mentioned smoking earlier, it is another question that puzzles me. I understand the arguments against smoking in public, I would prefer if it were left to the owners of the venues, with each store, bar, restaurant, etc deciding on their own, with the market making the final call, but I understand the logic, if I disagree with the practice. However, having recently flown, I am puzzled by the rules against smoking "e-cigarettes" in public. An "e-cigarette" is not a cigarette, there is no smoke. At most, you exhale a little steam, some flavoring and maybe a minute hint of nicotine, and the cigarette itself, if anything leaks, emits nothing but the same mixed with a bit more steam. Why, someone wearing perfume or cologne emits more fumes than an e-cigarette! So, why the ban? I mean, I know why, it is because the anti-smoking campaign is all about bullying others into doing what's right in your eyes, and not about protecting us from "second hand smoke". But, somehow no one seems to care. Having successfully made smokers into the despised reprobates of our culture, no law is too harsh, no inconvenience severe enough, and so, whether the law makes sense or not, anything nominally anti-smoking is permissible**.
As I said, just a few random thoughts, which didn't seem to fit elsewhere, but I thought I would share them. Doubtless some will object to one or another (that phone solicitations "involve the phone", as if that somehow removed one's rights, or made it more intrusive than a bully vagrant), but I wanted to put them somewhere, so I offer them as is, and await your replies.
* I grant, few have yet pushed for total prohibition, but one Maryland township did try to enact a law prohibiting smoking in conjoined homes, on the theory it might somehow leap through the shared walls. So the right to smoke at home is not as safe as some believe.
** The smoking policy at my workplace, in order to prohibit e-cigarettes, bans "inhaling any substance", which a coworker pointed out means that breathing is impermissible for employees.
I realize I am far behind on my promised essays. Unfortunately another bout of ill health combined with a busy week at work has kept me form even coming close to what I promised. I will try to catch up this week, if at all possible. Please accept my apology.