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Berkeley ponders ordinance banning plastic straws
Hmmm... Making you be responsible? This is the premise of the nanny state. Is freedom to be irresponsible the key? If the majority through it's representatives decides one is to be responsible, is there to be no refuge other than violence?
There was a time when Americans believed in freedom.

The US is dying from a million cuts. Part of the reason the USA is a nanny police state now is that whenever there is a problem, the kneejerk reaction in the US is to call for a new law.

Nanny state laws are not the best solution, however. Nanny state laws lead to more laws, higher fines, and tougher sentences. Thirty years ago, DWI laws were enacted that led to DWI checkpoints and lower DWI levels. Seatbelt laws led to backseat seatbelt laws, childseat laws, and pet seatbelt laws. Car liability insurance laws led to health insurance laws and gun liability laws. Smoking laws that banned smoking in buildings led to laws against smoking in parks and then bans against smoking in entire cities. Sex offender registration laws led to sex offender restriction laws and violent offender registration laws.

Nanny state laws don’t make us safer, either. Nanny state laws lead people to be careless since they don’t need to have personal responsibility anymore. People don’t need to be careful crossing the street now because drunk-driving has been outlawed and driving while using a cellphone is illegal. People don’t investigate companies or carry out due diligence because businesses must have business licenses now.

The main point of nanny state laws is not safety. The main purposes of more laws are control and revenue generation for the state.

Another reason laws are enacted is because corporations give donations to lawmakers to stifle competition or increase sales.

Many laws are contradictory, too. Some laws say watering lawns is required, while other laws say watering lawns is illegal.

Many nanny state laws that aim to solve a problem can be fixed by using existing laws. If assault is already illegal, why do we need a new law that outlaws hitting umpires?

Nanny state laws are not even necessary. If everything was legal would you steal, murder, and use crack cocaine? Aren’t there other ways to solve problems besides calling the police? Couldn’t people educate or talk to people who bother them? Couldn’t people be sued for annoying behavior? Couldn’t people just move away? Even if assault was legal, wouldn’t attackers risk being killed or injured, too? Do people have consciences? Having no laws doesn’t mean actions have no consequences.

If there is no victim, there is no crime.

We don’t need thousands of laws when we only need 10.

Freedom is not just a one way street. You can only have freedom for yourself if you allow others to have it.

Should swimming pools be banned because they are dangerous? Hammers? Bottles? Rocks? Energy drinks? Pillows?

Control freaks might get angry when a neighbor owns three indoor cats, but what did the neighbor take from them? Why should this be illegal? Is outlawing cats something a free country should do? Doesn’t banning everything sound like the opposite of freedom?

Instead of getting mad at people who like freedom, why don’t people realize that freedom is a two way street?

If you allow others to paint their house purple then you can, too.

If you allow others to own a gun then you can, too.

If you allow others to swear then you can, too.

If you allow others to gamble then you can, too.

Who wants to live in a prison?

Think. Question everything.
Freedom is rather hard to define. It is a good buzz word. To say you are free or not is powerful. What is it though?

Americans believe in Democracy and Human Rights. These are easier to define. Look at sovereign states. Look at the enumerated powers of Congress. Democracy says the majority, through their representatives, can impose a lack of freedom on a minority. The majority can pass said powers to the federal government through the Constitution and it’s amendments. The amendments include the Bill of Rights. This in many ways defines freedom, and denies the will of the majority. Neither federal, state nor local government can supposedly deny the Bill of Rights.

Supposedly. There is a amendment speaking of guns, and let there be guns, but it is hard to see where the Bill of Rights speaks of straws. Berkley is supposedly thus free to regulate straws. If the majority errs too much in the direction of the nanny state, or in any direction, power can be lost by those who drift far enough from the people. In the case of straws, some put financial concerns ahead of environmental. I have seen greed put ahead of responsibility often enough to favor the environment. We do need to become more responsible about the environment.

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court is appointed by politicians. What is written gets usurped by politics and modern fashion. I will grumble a lot about this, and the elite’s influence on representatives and other members of government. One can do little beyond grumbling and voting, alas. I am still stopping short of violence. I do not trust politicians, but democracy takes a clear majority united in world view, values and culture to restrain them.

Libertarians seem to put freedom ahead of democracy. They yammer about freedom, and in some ways it is good that the most sane among them do. Those that do not look at reality, who have to lie, are shunned for good reason. I oppose libertarians. The elites have imposed too much on the people. There is enough of kings, slaves are robber barons in the history books. There must be restraints on the power of the elite. Representative democracy is not ideal. I’ll again speak for direct vote networked democracy. Yet, until other restraints are placed on the government and the elites, I will use representative democracy as I can.
A part of freedom is 'freedom from'. We want freedom from certain evils. There's an obvious conflict between some freedoms. Freedom of religion implies that one has the right to participate in a religious ceremony that many others dislike or distrust. The First Amendment implies that the typical Jewish service is to go unmolested by the State. Of course a Nazi might want to barge in with Nazi paraphernalia, raise the right arm at the infamous 45-degree angle, and shout derogatory slogans. At the least this is disorderly conduct, and it is likely that the police will arrive to cart off someone who does behavior abusive of a religious service and its participants.

It's tough luck for people who hate Jews. Or... whatever religion. The First Amendment has never protected criminal communications. Speech essential to the commission of a crime, if entered into a court of law as testimony, is often an element of a case for conviction for an indictable offense.
No one rules if no one obeys.
(01-26-2018, 08:55 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: [ -> ]A part of freedom is 'freedom from'. We want freedom from certain evils.

Quite. Humans still need something or someone to fight criminal actions and military aggression. This doesn't mean that the government never commits itself to criminal action or aggression.

Communism failed. Fascism failed.

The government is not the solution. The government is the problem.

Does the government police itself?
(01-26-2018, 10:43 AM)nebraska Wrote: [ -> ]Wow.

Communism failed. Fascism failed.

The government is not the solution. The government is the problem.

Does the government police itself?

Government polices itself much better than the private sector.  The only external restraints in the private sector are the demands of the shareholders, and they don't give a rat's ass for anything other than ever greater profits.  I would call that negative policing, at least from the perspective of someone in the 99%.

Saint Ronny's declaration of the government as the problem IS the problem.  If you want government to work well, stop demonizing it.

The government does not police itself. Government workers are not kind saints.

When a business sucks, it goes bankrupt. When the government sucks, it gets bigger.

Do you realize that the USA is supposed to be a free country?

Do you realize that the USA is no longer a democracy?

Do you realize that the USA fought the British, the Nazis, the North Koreans, and Saddam because tyranny is bad?

Do you think government workers are more moral than you are?

Do you think the government can live your life better than you do?

Does the government spend your money better than you do?

Do you realize that you no longer have any rights?

Do you realize that everything is illegal now?

Do you realize that personal responsibility means to be responsible for your actions, not being forced by the government?

Do you realize that you no longer have the right to free speech?

Do you realize that no longer have religious freedom?

Do you realize that guns are illegal?

Do you realize that your web browsing, emails and, phone calls are being wiretapped?

Do you realize that you no longer have property rights?

Do you realize that the TSA will grope you if you travel?

Do you realize that you no longer have the right to remain silent?

Do you realize that government can indefinitely detain you without trial?

Do you realize that the government can torture you?

Do you realize that the government can extrajudicially assassinate you?

Do you realize the USA is bankrupt?

Do you realize that the USA is a warmonger?

Wake up.
You are beginning to remind me of the infamous kathaksung, with whom I have some unpleasant encounters on the Web -- in the old New York Times Forums and in the old T4T forums.
Do Americans who think that they can survive tyranny by joining the Gestapo realize that they have to live with their consciences?

Do Americans who think that they can survive tyranny by remaining silent and obedient realize that this plan failed for millions of people who were killed in Nazi Germany, the USSR, China, and Cambodia?

Do Americans who think that they can survive tyranny by being rich, famous, attractive, educated, or having influence realize that this plan failed to protect people in history?

Do Americans who think that they can survive tyranny by being white realize that whatever they allow the government to do to others will eventually be done to them?
(01-26-2018, 10:43 AM)nebraska Wrote: [ -> ]Wow.

Communism failed. Fascism failed.

The government is not the solution. The government is the problem.

Does the government police itself?

Neoliberalism [transnational capitalism] is an epic fail, man. Let me count the ways.

1. Destruction of the American middle class.
2. Unsustainable resource extraction
3. Climate change.
4. USSA protection service [Neoconservative horse shit protection MIC] for said transnational cronies.
5. Environmental degradation.
6. Worker degradation.

What was old, is new again, man.

We're on a one way trip to destruction. Reality doesn't negotiate. Btw, government worked really well when I was young. Government landed a man on the moon, it via the EPA cleaned up the environment. Do you  even remember flammable rivers, large cities covered in pea soup smog, leaded gas, etc. etc.?

What was old, is new again, more than ever.

A note to "Nebraska" -- pessimism and cynicism are self-fulfilling prophecies.
Most people would prefer to ignore a hard fact rather than face it.

The government is not made up of sacred men. The whole basis of government is force.

If the government is holy then why did the socialist utopia of USSR have environmental pollution?

If the government is saintly then why does the EPA pollute rivers?

If you are a poor exploited worker then why don't you quit?

If businesses are evil then why do they donate money to charities?

If tyranny is wonderful then why do people try to escape North Korea?

If tyranny is the American way then why did the USA fight Nazi Germany?

If freedom is bad then why did freedom work so well for the US for 200 years?

What country is this?
(01-27-2018, 12:50 AM)nebraska Wrote: [ -> ]WTF?

The government does not police itself.

They should do - at the end, it's the only way. Who watches the watchmen and all that. - Didn't the G.I.s do that? Peer-enforced code of conduct?
The right of revolution is an inherent one. When people are oppressed by their government, it is a natural right they enjoy to relieve themselves of oppression, if they are strong enough, whether by withdrawal from it, or by overthrowing it and substituting a government more acceptable.