Register | Sign In


Understanding through Discussion


EvC Forum active members: 57 (9175 total)
1 online now:
Newest Member: sirs
Post Volume: Total: 917,649 Year: 4,906/9,624 Month: 254/427 Week: 0/64 Day: 0/8 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Smoking Bans
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1491 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 106 of 151 (505819)
04-17-2009 7:14 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by Rahvin
04-16-2009 1:14 PM


For whos benefit anyway?
At the very minimum I think we can all agree that programs intended to discourage smoking (especially while pregnant) are in no way a form of government invasiveness and are certainly appropriate.
Semantic quibble: I support programs the encourage non-smoking as distinct from ones that discourage smoking. It's the carrot versus the stick.
Seatbelt laws that impose fines on people for not wearing seatbelts and insurance regulations that failure to wear seatbelts can void your personal injury coverage if you get in an accident are programs to discourage the non-use of seatbelts.
Taxes are also a program to discourage smoking. Imposing fines for smoking in restricted areas is a program to discourage smoking.
Locking someone up to prevent them from smoking whether they want ot or not would be a different matter.
Not all people who take heroin will have negative side effects, as well. That doesn't mean that it's not extremely risky.
So is driving, even with a seatbelt.
I'm sorry, but trying to prevent something because of a perceived possible risk just doesn't seem to work - otherwise drug use would not be the problem it is, where much of the risk is due to environmental factors, such as needle born disease, that are due to the proscribing regulations rather than to the drug itself.
I think the real issue is whether there are "costs" born by other people instead of by the person taking a risk.
Take the example of helmet laws for motorcycles: is that to prevent injury to the cyclist, or is it to reduce the cost to society of providing long term health and medical care, rehabilitation, etcetera, to someone badly injured because they did not wear a helmet?
Is the ban on smoking for pregnant women to prevent injury to the fetus, or is it to reduce the cost to society of providing long term health and medical care, special education, etcetera, to someone badly injured because their mother smoked during pregnancy?
Enjoy.

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by Rahvin, posted 04-16-2009 1:14 PM Rahvin has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 107 by Straggler, posted 04-17-2009 7:29 PM RAZD has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 152 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 107 of 151 (505820)
04-17-2009 7:29 PM
Reply to: Message 106 by RAZD
04-17-2009 7:14 PM


Re: For whos benefit anyway?
I think the real issue is whether there are "costs" born by other people instead of by the person taking a risk.
Take the example of helmet laws for motorcycles: is that to prevent injury to the cyclist, or is it to reduce the cost to society of providing long term health and medical care, rehabilitation, etcetera, to someone badly injured because they did not wear a helmet?
A bit of both?
Is the ban on smoking for pregnant women to prevent injury to the fetus, or is it to reduce the cost to society of providing long term health and medical care, special education, etcetera, to someone badly injured because their mother smoked during pregnancy?
Does such a law exist in the US? I didn't know it did.
To partially contradict some of my previous arguments in this thread............. ( Well I did say that I asked the original question to try and work out why I think what I think I think.........)
I think the reason that we have these laws is largely for the reasons that you suggest (i.e pragmatic issues of social cost)
However I think that there is an inevitable component of protecting people from their own stupidity also prevalent within the law and that this is often used as the rational justification for such laws.
If we were being cynical we would say that this is bacause such rationale seems less heartless than the more objective penny pinching argument that is the real reason........
Whatever the case I think pragmatism Vs the ideological application of principle is an inevitable and partially unresolvable conflict with regard to lawmaking.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by RAZD, posted 04-17-2009 7:14 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 108 by RAZD, posted 04-17-2009 9:43 PM Straggler has not replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1491 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 108 of 151 (505821)
04-17-2009 9:43 PM
Reply to: Message 107 by Straggler
04-17-2009 7:29 PM


Re: For whos benefit anyway?
Does such a law exist in the US? I didn't know it did.
I would be very surprised if there were, I was talking hypothetically about the issue. We do have bans in public places, bars, restaurants, airplanes, etc. to the point where it is difficult to smoke.
My parents recently went through some very tough days. Their house burned, and they were forced into public housing. My mom smokes a pack a day, she has dementia and cannot remember 5 minutes ago. Needless to say she just keeps smoking, and they got ejected from a couple of hotels because of it. Dad got pretty strung out with dealing with it. I think there has to be some allowances made.
However I think that there is an inevitable component of protecting people from their own stupidity also prevalent within the law and that this is often used as the rational justification for such laws.
That's what parents and the Darwin awards are for.
quote:
"Just think how stupid the average person is,
and then realize that half of them
are even stupider!"
--George Carlin

The Darwin awards demonstrate that you cannot make people intelligent by legislation.
Now I don't feel like I need to be a surrogate parent for some really stupid people.
Whatever the case I think pragmatism Vs the ideological application of principle is an inevitable and partially unresolvable conflict with regard to lawmaking.
Ideological laws always end up with contradictory or unreasonable applications, it seems to me. As in the Massachusetts law that requires hotels to be non-smoking buildings, and resulting in my parents being ejected. So I go for the pragmatic when laws are needed.
Thus laws against people that steal and harm others that lock them up results in their being restricted from stealing and harming others is pragmatic if it costs less.
One of the basic rules of parenting is to not give any ultimatums that you are not willing to enforce.
Enjoy.

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by Straggler, posted 04-17-2009 7:29 PM Straggler has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 112 by anglagard, posted 04-18-2009 3:34 AM RAZD has replied

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 3378 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 109 of 151 (505822)
04-17-2009 9:58 PM
Reply to: Message 90 by Straggler
04-16-2009 6:56 PM


Re: Common Sense and Law
First of all, holy cow this is a huge post.
Straggler writes:
Do you think we can legislate our way out of every social problem?
Under what circumstances is legislation not the answer?
Depends. There are many social problems that the effects are severe enough for us to legislate them.
Which situation specifically? What elements need to be legally defined in order to effectively legislate against this situation? "Wrongness" that is "obvious" to who exactly?
Yeah, and I take it you can also argue that porn is and isn't porn depending on who's watching?
Do I need to go back and quote one of your numerous little rants advocating "common sense" as the be all and end all as to what the law should be on this matter?
You can go right ahead and try to bring up as many quotes as you want. My argument has always been that there are things that people should and shouldn't do simply based on common sense, but because some people don't have such common sense we have to legislate them. Murder is one example. Theft is another. As a matter of fact, just about every law in the book should simply be something you'd do or don't do on your own simply based on your common sense. But because there are people who lack such common sense, we had to have lawyers spending hundreds of hours writing out explanations to why we need those laws.
Actually, the fact that most people go about their daily lives without having the need to refer to the law book to be law abiding citizens should be enough to tell you that you only need your common sense.
Are you going to address the practical application of applying such criteria to private homes or not?
And how many times do I have to repeat myself on this? I am not in anyway advocating a smoking ban in people's private homes. That's a ridiculous position to take. I see it the same as the various anti-sodomy laws that were in place before 2001 when they were finally struck down by the US supreme court. Notice that nowadays (and even your common sense should tell you) that the fact that performing sexual acts in the privacy of your home isn't the problem. The problem arises when there are children involved.
Ahem. Straw man alert. Non-legislative answers are not "do nothing" by any stretch of the imagination. I gave you a specific relevant example of a reasonably effective non-legislative approach in action with regard to pregnant smoking. An issue that you seem reluctant to apply your otherwise all encompassing notions of "wrongness" and "obviousness" to.
Oh, I noticed your example there. Too bad, it hasn't worked where I'm at. We've been campaigning for years.
I'm not quite sure why it has worked in your part of the world and not in my part, but I suspect it has to do with culture. Here in the US, there just isn't as much the sentiment to do right. I guess my pessimism comes from the fact that I encounter people who just don't care on a daily basis.
For the record if I could be convinced that we could effectively legislate the banning of smoking in private homes around children (or indeed others) without creating laws that are highly open to abuse in other ways that have nothing to do with public health then I would support that legislation.
It really depends on who's writing the law and how strict we are at interpreting it. In my state, there has always been a ban on possessing metal knuckles. Recently, they had to change the wordings because the bad guys began to get the plexiglass ones.
Go back and read your earlier posts Taz. Black and white. Right or wrong. "Obvious wrongness". "I know it when I see it". Wholly based on blindly imposing idealised concepts without any thought for the pragmatism of differing practical situations.
Are we going to start quote mining each other here? All those phrases I used to describe specific situations. One of those was 2 adults smoking in a car with their windows closed and the baby in the back. And you haven't answered the question. What do you think of this very specific case?
you writes:
me writes:
Because an adult can simply get up and leave your home. Your kids can't because they are dependent on you.
What about disabled people and the mentally retarded?
me writes:
That's why I referred back to the already existing laws. If you had just think about it for 2 damn seconds and use common sense... there's that magic phrase again. Ever heard of elder abuse? Or the mentally retarded? The disabled? So, when I said adults could get up and leave, you should have used your common sense and expand on that thought. But no, you had to argue like a creationist and make me spell out each step of the way.
When it comes to legally defining the law that you are advocating whose "common sense" should be used?
Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. One of the most frustrating things about debating a creationist is they are dense and make you spell out everything.
That quote I gave about common sense was a respons to your question in the previous post. In no way was I trying to say the law should be based on common sense. I was telling you to use your common sense and not act like a creationist. By not expanding a thought on your own, you act like a creationist.
1) I referred back to already existing laws, including rape laws.
2) I explained why kids are a vulnerable class and therefore should be protected while adults can just get up and leave.
1 revamped) in currently existing laws, there are many similarities between protection of minors and protection of the disabled and those who cannot help themselves.
3) You should have used your common sense and conclude when I said children and referring back to already existing laws I was already covering the disabled and those who cannot help themselves. Instead, you acted like a creationist and nitpicked what you thought to be a hole in my argument.
Which kind of proves my point that some legislation is pretty ineffective at stopping undesirable practices actually occurring. If one of these ineffective laws also creates other seperate negative consequences that have nothing to do with the issue the law (ineffectually) attempts to address then are we not better off without that particular law in practical terms?
Are you suggesting we shouldn't try to legislate some of these things simply because they are hard to enforce?
Can you give me an example of how a law legislating the use of tobacco around kids might be misused?
Disclaimer: When I said tobacco, I was actually referring to cigarettes. I don't want to see something like "how is chewing tobacco harmful to kids?"
As to your questions, I'll review them and give you an answer later.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 90 by Straggler, posted 04-16-2009 6:56 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 113 by Straggler, posted 04-18-2009 4:34 AM Taz has not replied

  
anglagard
Member (Idle past 923 days)
Posts: 2339
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


Message 110 of 151 (505828)
04-18-2009 2:40 AM
Reply to: Message 94 by Straggler
04-16-2009 8:43 PM


Re: Smoking while pregnant
Straggler writes:
I am going to invoke my devils advocate role in this thread yet again........
Taken in the spirit it is given.
To what extent do you think we should accept anecdote as evidence?
To the extent that it is clear evidence statistics is not absolute determinism, as I pointed out.
Is there a level of statistical likelihood at which you would accept a role for government in public health issues such as legislating on pregnant smoking?
Sure, but it is of course my opinion under what conditions such statistics resemble the actual reality, which of course makes any position debatable.
If so can you be more explicit about the sort of statistical likelihood you would consider to justify this?
Yes, IMHO a clear 5% increase in any negative medical condition that can be solely blamed upon second hand smoke, after using factor analysis to eliminate all other causes, such as pollution or poverty, within a 95% confidence interval and replicated through several studies independent of political or corporate pressure would make me sit up and listen.
What do our posters have that can meet those skeptical, yet reasonable, conditions?
If you do not consider any statistical evidence as appropriate on such issues how can we consider any medical (scientific even) judgements to be evidenced given that absolute certainty of empirical cause and effect is all but impossible?
Irrelevant due to previous response.
At what point, in your opinion, does the "proven" (i.e. statistically evidenced to a high degree of certainty) harm to others become a concern for the government such that restrictions on individual freedoms are justified in order to protect those "others"?
I am going to answer your question with another question, not out of disrespect, but rather to pragmatically shorten the response such that I can present my central argument in the least words.
The US already has over 1% of its populace in prison, more than any other nation, and more young black males are either in prison or under probation than are attending or have graduated from college. How can making more intrusive sanctions against behaviors a majority may disapprove of rectify this situation? At what point does a nation cease to be a republic or a democracy, or indeed even a viable economic entity, due to a culture that promotes prisons and prison guards, legislation and lawyers, over social rather than legal sanctions? Would it be 1%, 5%, 25%, 50% or more?
Perhaps instead of automatically making all behaviors one disapproves of illegal, one should consider either being more tolerant or have the patience to allow social, rather than legal, behavioral sanctions to take their due course.
Besides, I don't personally like the self-righteous puritanical strain I all too often see nowadays in a bunch of punks too young for the 60s and too old, prudish, fossilized, and authoritarian to make a meaningful contribution to the new millenium.
Edited by anglagard, : last paragraph

Read not to contradict and confute, not to believe and take for granted, not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider - Francis Bacon
The more we understand particular things, the more we understand God - Spinoza

This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by Straggler, posted 04-16-2009 8:43 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 111 by Straggler, posted 04-18-2009 3:32 AM anglagard has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 152 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 111 of 151 (505830)
04-18-2009 3:32 AM
Reply to: Message 110 by anglagard
04-18-2009 2:40 AM


Principle and Pragmatism
Straggler writes:
Is there a level of statistical likelihood at which you would accept a role for government in public health issues such as legislating on pregnant smoking?
Sure, but it is of course my opinion under what conditions such statistics resemble the actual reality, which of course makes any position debatable.
Trialling laws and modifying them as a result of practical experience would seem to be the ideal answer but I would agree that the specific details and dividing points of most laws will always be a matter of opinion to some degree and thus debatable.
Straggler writes:
If so can you be more explicit about the sort of statistical likelihood you would consider to justify this?
Yes, IMHO a clear 5% increase in any negative medical condition that can be solely blamed upon second hand smoke, after using factor analysis to eliminate all other causes, such as pollution or poverty, within a 95% confidence interval and replicated through several studies independent of political or corporate pressure would make me sit up and listen.
What do our posters have that can meet those skeptical, yet reasonable, conditions?
Now that is specific. Why 5% and not 4.9%? Is it simply an arbitrary line because pragmatically an arbitrary line is required or is there a reason why 5% is the magic number?
Is that degree of evidence practically obtainable? Are there other medical judgements that you accept that are not so specifically evidenced? Are there medical judgements that you reject that are that specifically evidenced?
Straggler writes:
At what point, in your opinion, does the "proven" (i.e. statistically evidenced to a high degree of certainty) harm to others become a concern for the government such that restrictions on individual freedoms are justified in order to protect those "others"?
I am going to answer your question with another question, not out of disrespect, but rather to pragmatically shorten the response such that I can present my central argument in the least words.
The US already has over 1% of its populace in prison, more than any other nation, and more young black males are either in prison or under probation than are attending or have graduated from college. How can making more intrusive sanctions against behaviors a majority may disapprove of rectify this situation? At what point does a nation cease to be a republic or a democracy, or indeed even a viable economic entity, due to a culture that promotes prisons and prison guards, legislation and lawyers, over social rather than legal sanctions? Would it be 1%, 5%, 25%, 50% or more?
I don't know. I agree that simply outlawing everything we deem to be wrong or stupid is not the answer. I also think blindly lawmaking on principle with no regard for effectiveness, enforcability or social negative consequences (such as an ever buregeoning prison population) is "bad" lawmaking.
I consider both the principles that "you should not hurt others" and the principle that "you have a right to privacy" to be important. I think that specific laws designed for specific situations will inevitably balance these two principles differently because of the specific practicalities that apply to individual laws. This will inevitably result in a set of laws that appear to be ideologically inconsistent.
Most people in this thread seem intent on taking the following approach to debate whatever side of the debate they happen to be on:
  • "If you think X should be outlawed because it harms people then you must think Y which also harms people should also be illegal on the same principle"
  • "If you think dangerous activity X should be allowed to take place in the privacy of ones home then you must also think dangerous activity Y should be allowed to take place in the home on the same principle"
  • "If you think X is harmful and thus to be made illegal in public then on the same principle you should also make Y illegal in private"
    Whilst I think the consistent application of principle is desirable I also think that when it comes to law the above approach to debate is pragmatically naive.
    I kind of know what I think regarding the laws under discussion. But I don't have all the answers required to fully justify why I think those laws are right or wrong. Which is in part why I asked the original question.
    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

  • This message is a reply to:
     Message 110 by anglagard, posted 04-18-2009 2:40 AM anglagard has not replied

      
    anglagard
    Member (Idle past 923 days)
    Posts: 2339
    From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
    Joined: 03-18-2006


    Message 112 of 151 (505831)
    04-18-2009 3:34 AM
    Reply to: Message 108 by RAZD
    04-17-2009 9:43 PM


    Re: For whos benefit anyway?
    RAZD writes:
    My parents recently went through some very tough days. Their house burned, and they were forced into public housing. My mom smokes a pack a day, she has dementia and cannot remember 5 minutes ago. Needless to say she just keeps smoking, and they got ejected from a couple of hotels because of it. Dad got pretty strung out with dealing with it. I think there has to be some allowances made.
    First, thanks for your post in regard to the loss of my mother. She never smoked (my father did until his passing at 87) but sure had some serious dementia in the last few years of her life. It is difficult and indeed heartbreaking and I extend my sympathy as well.
    To the heart of your post, I believe just ham-handedly outlawing anything one does not agree with regardless of circumstances is the mark of someone unwilling or unable to make decisions based upon circumstances. Indeed someone who says the law exists not for the benefit of the people but rather some abstraction that supersedes all people.
    I think Victor Hugo wrote about this condition in Les Misrables in the person of Inspector Javert. Evidently some people need to read more classic literature, perhaps then their knee-jerk authoritarianism could be tempered by a smidgen of knowledge and wisdom.

    Read not to contradict and confute, not to believe and take for granted, not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider - Francis Bacon
    The more we understand particular things, the more we understand God - Spinoza

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 108 by RAZD, posted 04-17-2009 9:43 PM RAZD has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 114 by RAZD, posted 04-18-2009 6:43 AM anglagard has not replied

      
    Straggler
    Member (Idle past 152 days)
    Posts: 10333
    From: London England
    Joined: 09-30-2006


    (1)
    Message 113 of 151 (505833)
    04-18-2009 4:34 AM
    Reply to: Message 109 by Taz
    04-17-2009 9:58 PM


    Re: Common Sense and Law
    Taz you are still misunderstanding.
    Straggler writes:
    Are you going to address the practical application of applying such criteria to private homes or not?
    And how many times do I have to repeat myself on this? I am not in anyway advocating a smoking ban in people's private homes.
    Your straw man claim is itself a straw man. I have never once attributed you with that blanket position.
    But unless you are going to prattle on about common sense yet again there is undeniably a need to legally define the exact situation that you are trying to outlaw. In the case of protecting minors from the effects of passive smoke in the home part of that legal definition necessarily involves applying legal criteria to people's private homes.
    Which part of that are you failing to understand?
    Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. One of the most frustrating things about debating a creationist is they are dense and make you spell out everything.
    It is evidently I who is not being clear enough here.
    You are completely misunderstanding my reasons for both being so pedantic and for continually referring to the actual law that exists with regard to smoking in public.
    Laws need to be specifically defined to be enforcable. It is the need to define and enforce the law on the basis of these specifics that I think leads to the dangerous consequences of the laws that you are advocating.
    Hence my (unsuccessful) attempts to get you to consider the sort of specifics that need to be defined and applied to private homes in order to create the sort of legislation you are advocating.
    Are you suggesting we shouldn't try to legislate some of these things simply because they are hard to enforce?
    No. I am suggesting that the positive and negative aspects of the law, including it's effectiveness, need to be weighed up
    Can you give me an example of how a law legislating the use of tobacco around kids might be misused?
    Let's take this step by step.
    You seem to (almost) agree with me that in order to construct an enforcable law to tackle passive smoking in the home we need specific legal definitions of the terms involved. Terms like the ones used in my real law example but that are relevant to homes rather than public spaces. Relevant terms that are different but as equally well legally defined as the ones in that example. Yes?
    Terms like "enclosed space", "in the same room", "in the presence of", "open plan", "sufficient ventilation", "in the home", "minor", "dependent" etc. etc. etc. Will all need specific legal definitions. Yes?
    (The exact terms depend on the exact situation you are attempting to outlaw. So feel free to describe the precise situation you are seeking to prevent and the list of terms requiring legal definition that you think are relevant to legislating against that situation. But for the love of God please don't start ranting on about common sense again...........)
    In order to enforce the law it will be necessary for the law enforcement authorities to have the right to evaluate whether or not these strict legal definitions have been breached in the event of a suspected infringement of the law. Yes?
    So now in the case where we have someone accused of infringing the law regarding passive smoking in the home we not only have the practical difficulty of actually knowing that smoking in the presence of a minor has occurred in a wholly private space (which itself poses both practical problems and begs questions of government intrusiveness - but let us ignore these for now) - We also have the potential situation where government officials are required to have the right to access peoples homes to determine whether or not the strict legal definitions of the terms of the law have been breached. Yes?
    Can you imagine any scenario where the right of government authorities to enter peoples homes on such a pretext might be abused?
    Imagine a situation where local government and a private resident are involved in some sort of trivial planning dispute. The authorities require access to the private residence for some reason but are having trouble gaining the appropriate legal permission to do so. Some bright spark at the council makes a bogus accusation and invokes the appropriate anti smoking law. The surveyors gain entry to the private residence under the false pretext of the smoking law.
    Imagine a situation where a radical campaigner who has broken no laws but who is a major thorn in the side of the government is known to have information and contacts that the government would like to have. Can you see how laws that enable access to his home under the pretext of a relatively trivial law might be used to plant bugs, conduct unwarranted searches etc. etc.?
    If you think I am being overly paranoid then tell me that these sorts of things do not occur.
    Are you suggesting we shouldn't try to legislate some of these things simply because they are hard to enforce?
    NO!!
    I am suggesting that smoking laws as applied to wholly private spaces would be almost impossible to enforce due to the practical difficulty of detecting infringements, would thus have little or no practical effect on tackling the problem of passive smoking AND would potentially be very open to abuse by the more paranoid and controlling aspects of government.
    In summary I think that such laws would be both ineffective and all too open to misuse. Thus, on balance, I deem them to be "bad" laws.
    Whether you wholly agree or not do you at least understand the actual basis of my opposition now?
    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.
    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.
    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.
    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.
    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.
    Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 109 by Taz, posted 04-17-2009 9:58 PM Taz has not replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 115 by RAZD, posted 04-18-2009 6:51 AM Straggler has not replied

      
    RAZD
    Member (Idle past 1491 days)
    Posts: 20714
    From: the other end of the sidewalk
    Joined: 03-14-2004


    Message 114 of 151 (505836)
    04-18-2009 6:43 AM
    Reply to: Message 112 by anglagard
    04-18-2009 3:34 AM


    Re: For whos benefit anyway?
    First, thanks for your post in regard to the loss of my mother. She never smoked (my father did until his passing at 87) but sure had some serious dementia in the last few years of her life. It is difficult and indeed heartbreaking and I extend my sympathy as well.
    And thank you. Dad is looking forward to designing and building a house that he wants to live in. At 89 he still amazes me.
    I believe just ham-handedly outlawing anything one does not agree with regardless of circumstances is the mark of someone unwilling or unable to make decisions based upon circumstances.
    Just like creationists wanting to outlaw evolution, and idealists that want to outlaw chemicals in food (did you see the howling from the chemical industry because our first lady want's to have an organic garden and not use chemicals?)
    I think Victor Hugo wrote about this condition in Les Misrables in the person of Inspector Javert. Evidently some people need to read more classic literature, perhaps then their knee-jerk authoritarianism could be tempered by a smidgen of knowledge and wisdom.
    Maybe it is my libertarian leaning, but I think fewer and more general laws are more practical. There gets to be a point where there are more people in jail than out, and so many people in courts for petty crimes while the big ones wait and wait for their day. People going to jail for life for having three convictions on possession of marijuana is just ridiculous, and when you consider that lady jane is abundantly available in prison, it becomes ludicrous in the bargain.
    Boxing up illegal immigrants in your neck of the woods doesn't solve the problem and only adds to the cost - in two ways. It costs to run the camps, and farms lose labor and productivity.
    ... someone unwilling or unable to make decisions based upon circumstances. ... I think Victor Hugo wrote about this condition in Les Misrables in the person of Inspector Javert.
    Exactly, there needs to be a reasonable approach to enforcement with discretion. Otherwise laws get applied in Orwellian ways. Was Stevens really a law breaker or was the lawsuit started to affect his political career to enable a democrat to be elected?
    Meanwhile Bush and Cheney ...
    Enjoy.

    we are limited in our ability to understand
    by our ability to understand
    Rebel American Zen Deist
    ... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
    to share.


    • • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 112 by anglagard, posted 04-18-2009 3:34 AM anglagard has not replied

      
    RAZD
    Member (Idle past 1491 days)
    Posts: 20714
    From: the other end of the sidewalk
    Joined: 03-14-2004


    Message 115 of 151 (505838)
    04-18-2009 6:51 AM
    Reply to: Message 113 by Straggler
    04-18-2009 4:34 AM


    Re: Common Sense and Law
    You seem to (almost) agree with me that in order to construct an enforcable law to tackle passive smoking in the home we need specific legal definitions of the terms involved. Terms like the ones used in my real law example but that are relevant to homes rather than public spaces. Relevant terms that are different but as equally well legally defined as the ones in that example. Yes?
    I am suggesting that smoking laws as applied to wholly private spaces would be almost impossible to enforce due to the practical difficulty of detecting infringements, would thus have little or no practical effect on tackling the problem of passive smoking AND would potentially be very open to abuse by the more paranoid and controlling aspects of government.
    If we are going to talk about a law that bans a specific group of people from smoking, then it will be discriminatory.
    If we are going to talk about a law that blanket bans tobacco in all forms, then you just classify it as an(other) addictive drug, and allow companies and hospitals to do random drug screens for it.
    My brother worked for a company that required employees to be smoke-free - at home as well as at work - and they did random drug tests to enforce it.
    Personally I find that obnoxious and invasive behavior on the part of the company. As is any drug testing law.
    Enjoy.

    we are limited in our ability to understand
    by our ability to understand
    Rebel American Zen Deist
    ... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
    to share.


    • • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 113 by Straggler, posted 04-18-2009 4:34 AM Straggler has not replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 119 by xongsmith, posted 04-19-2009 8:14 PM RAZD has seen this message but not replied

      
    alaninnont
    Member (Idle past 5523 days)
    Posts: 107
    Joined: 02-27-2009


    Message 116 of 151 (505848)
    04-18-2009 8:49 AM


    We have had a ban on smoking in public enclosed places for a number of years. We recently passed a law that bans smoking in vehicles when there are children inside. I supported it. Rights and freedoms, which are a bit of an illusion in the first place, should not deny the rights and freedoms of others.
    On the other hand, there was some work done in London with safety nets. They removed many of the warning signs along city streets and found that the number of accidents decreased. They concluded that individuals acted more responsibly when they thought that someone wasn't looking out for them. This concept applies to adults. Since the tobacco industry targets children who don't have the schema to always make rational decisions in this area, I guess it wouldn't really apply.
    Did I just lose an argument with myself?

    Replies to this message:
     Message 117 by RAZD, posted 04-18-2009 10:13 AM alaninnont has replied

      
    RAZD
    Member (Idle past 1491 days)
    Posts: 20714
    From: the other end of the sidewalk
    Joined: 03-14-2004


    Message 117 of 151 (505857)
    04-18-2009 10:13 AM
    Reply to: Message 116 by alaninnont
    04-18-2009 8:49 AM


    On the other hand, there was some work done in London with safety nets. They removed many of the warning signs along city streets and found that the number of accidents decreased.
    European Towns Remove Traffic Signs to Make Streets Safer | Europe | News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 27.08.2006
    And it is easier for pedestrians to cross the street when the drivers become more personally involved.
    One of the marks of small town behavior here in New England is that people will stop to let pedestrians cross or to allow opposing traffic to turn left.
    We recently passed a law that bans smoking in vehicles when there are children inside. I supported it. Rights and freedoms, which are a bit of an illusion in the first place, should not deny the rights and freedoms of others.
    And then as soon as the smoker stops, they light up, and blow smoke in the kids faces when they undo the child restraints?
    Enjoy.

    we are limited in our ability to understand
    by our ability to understand
    Rebel American Zen Deist
    ... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
    to share.


    • • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 116 by alaninnont, posted 04-18-2009 8:49 AM alaninnont has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 118 by alaninnont, posted 04-18-2009 6:05 PM RAZD has seen this message but not replied

      
    alaninnont
    Member (Idle past 5523 days)
    Posts: 107
    Joined: 02-27-2009


    Message 118 of 151 (505865)
    04-18-2009 6:05 PM
    Reply to: Message 117 by RAZD
    04-18-2009 10:13 AM


    And then as soon as the smoker stops, they light up, and blow smoke in the kids faces when they undo the child restraints?
    I have not seen any research done on this and, considering that the law is recent, I doubt there is any. I don't think that would happen with any frequency. I cannot remember ever seeing adults blowing smoke into kid's faces. It is hard to silence the rational thoughts when you are face to face with the ones you are hurting. It's the difference between dropping a bomb and beating someone to death with your fist. Even so, one puff of smoke in the face is better than exposing them to the second hand smoke in closed conditions for the duration of the car ride.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 117 by RAZD, posted 04-18-2009 10:13 AM RAZD has seen this message but not replied

      
    xongsmith
    Member
    Posts: 2603
    From: massachusetts US
    Joined: 01-01-2009
    Member Rating: 4.6


    Message 119 of 151 (505899)
    04-19-2009 8:14 PM
    Reply to: Message 115 by RAZD
    04-18-2009 6:51 AM


    Re: Common Sense and Law
    RAZD drops this little innocent remark amidst the discussion:
    My brother worked for a company that required employees to be smoke-free - at home as well as at work - and they did random drug tests to enforce it.
    Thunderation!!! Our other brother??
    Well, they would not have found nicotine.......

    - xongsmith

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 115 by RAZD, posted 04-18-2009 6:51 AM RAZD has seen this message but not replied

      
    onifre
    Member (Idle past 3037 days)
    Posts: 4854
    From: Dark Side of the Moon
    Joined: 02-20-2008


    Message 120 of 151 (505938)
    04-20-2009 10:08 AM
    Reply to: Message 105 by Straggler
    04-17-2009 6:40 PM


    Re: Smoking while pregnant
    Are you saying that the legally enforced use of seatbelts has not statistically reduced deaths and serious injuries suffered as a result of car accidents?
    I believe that you can surely find some statistics, conducted by the states, that will probably show a decline, but I question the honesty behind such statistics. For the simple reason that the state benefits from the the tickets issued, so it is in their best interest to show positive results from the these statistics.
    But, my point was that sealtbelts in cars do help when used and IF one is in an accident that is severe enough for the seatbelts to be effective. I think airbags, which are automatic, are much better than seatbelts.
    Overall though, we will not reduce the amount of people who die from stupid things...like not wearing a seatbelt, or any other dumb thing that humans neglect to do. So, seatbelt enforcement is good, maybe, but not overall. People will do what they want. Seatbelts are just another ticket the police can issue you when they stop you for a traffic violation. It is just another source of revenue and the fact that it reduces deaths, if in fact it really does, is the angle by which the state can continue to enforce the seatbelt laws.
    If the objective evidence says lives are saved by the enforcement of seatbelt wearing then on what basis do we deny that evidence?
    Deny the evidence no, you're right. We cannot deny the evidence specifically. BUT, we can question the states motive behind such statistics and question whether or not they are being honest. If you can, like me, realize the value of such a law for the state then you may start to doubt statistics shown to us by the government.
    My wife is Argentinian. A few years ago in Argentina a blind man was found to be driving by means of using his sighted, but disabled and non-driving, wife as a co-pilot. She gave very specific verbal instructions and he drove the car. He had been blind and driving for 15 years. His driving license had been renewed only 18 months prior to his blind driving being discovered by traffic police!!
    There may be a joke for you to use somewhere in that story....?
    This reminds me of the movie "Scent of a Woman" with Pachino, when he drives the Lambo through the backstreets of NY. Crazy shit does happen and yes that is a funny story. If I use it you will get a huge credit, which is to say, I'll personally thank you...by email. lol
    The practical application of the law makes it difficult for those responsible for enforing the law to know who should be wearing glasses or who should not.
    In practical terms the number of accidents or deaths caused by people not wearing glasses is insignificant and thus not worth legislating on.
    But frankly unless it is a major practical concern I see no reason to worry about this particular law.
    Yes, but would you not agree, because the law does exist, that if it did not exist people would still wear their glasses?
    If they are effective in practise (without resulting in other outweighing negative effects) then arguably yes they are worth having.
    Whether the law exists or not people will make the choice on their own. The results of the seatbelt laws being enforced, if I was to try and find one positive thing about it, is that more information is brought to the publics eye about the positive results of wearing the seatbelts, and in my opinion, that has been why people have taking to use the seatbelt more often, and NOT because of some minor law that really isn't enforced that much. I've only dealt with it after being pulled over for something else.

    "I smoke pot. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your mouth."--Bill Hicks
    "I never knew there was another option other than to question everything"--Noam Chomsky

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 105 by Straggler, posted 04-17-2009 6:40 PM Straggler has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 127 by Straggler, posted 04-21-2009 4:59 PM onifre has replied

      
    Newer Topic | Older Topic
    Jump to:


    Copyright 2001-2023 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

    ™ Version 4.2
    Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2024