Thoughtcrimes: Smoking and Abortion

State to force stores to post graphic signs vs. smoking (boston.com)

Massachusetts is poised to become the first state in the nation to force retailers to prominently display graphic warnings about the perils of smoking right where cigarettes are sold — at tobacco sales racks and next to cash registers.

Images of ominously darkened lungs, damaged brains, and diseased teeth could start appearing before the end of the year in more than 9,000 convenience stores, pharmacies, and gas stations, if a proposal by the state Department of Public Health is approved as expected. Other posters would direct smokers to where they can get help to stamp out their habit.

This story has been described on the blogs as another nanny-state proposal. The proposal does seek to control behavior through punishment, but that’s where the nanny analogy ends. In real life, eventually you outgrow a nanny, a nanny can be fired, or you can choose not to pay for an unwanted nanny.

car moneyNannies don’t try to prevent children from doing things they are allowed to do, and they don’t punish children following rules. Nannies can’t force you to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines for not complying with their wishes. Nannies can’t force businesses to post images in an effort to drive away customers.

“If somebody is trying to quit smoking and they go back to the store and they’re tempted — oh, just one pack — we hope this will help them make a different choice,’’ said Lois Keithly, director of the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program.

Thought police or thoughtcrime are more descriptive terms for what is taking place here. If you even think about smoking, you can be punished with unpleasant images or your crime. The “crime” being consideration of a legal action that is not governmentally approved.

George Orwell - 1984Massachusetts is not alone in forcing adults to think state-approved thoughts before performing a legal activity. Oklahoma passed a law that requires women seeking an abortion to see a vaginal ultrasound of the fetus and to hear a description of the fetus.

To those who endorse using the government to force others to think the thoughts you’ve chosen for them: How would you feel about an image of big brother right next to your own on your drivers license, or how about big brother posted right on your front door?

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Thoughtcrimes: Smoking and Abortion

State to force stores to post graphic signs vs. smoking (boston.com)

Massachusetts is poised to become the first state in the nation to force retailers to prominently display graphic warnings about the perils of smoking right where cigarettes are sold — at tobacco sales racks and next to cash registers.

Images of ominously darkened lungs, damaged brains, and diseased teeth could start appearing before the end of the year in more than 9,000 convenience stores, pharmacies, and gas stations, if a proposal by the state Department of Public Health is approved as expected. Other posters would direct smokers to where they can get help to stamp out their habit.

This story has been described on the blogs as another nanny-state proposal. The proposal does seek to control behavior through punishment, but that’s where the nanny analogy ends. In real life, eventually you outgrow a nanny, a nanny can be fired, or you can choose not to pay for an unwanted nanny.

car moneyNannies don’t try to prevent children from doing things they are allowed to do, and they don’t punish children following rules. Nannies can’t force you to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines for not complying with their wishes. Nannies can’t force businesses to post images in an effort to drive away customers.

“If somebody is trying to quit smoking and they go back to the store and they’re tempted — oh, just one pack — we hope this will help them make a different choice,’’ said Lois Keithly, director of the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program.

Thought police or thoughtcrime are more descriptive terms for what is taking place here. If you even think about smoking, you can be punished with unpleasant images or your crime. The “crime” being consideration of a legal action that is not governmentally approved.

George Orwell - 1984Massachusetts is not alone in forcing adults to think state-approved thoughts before performing a legal activity. Oklahoma passed a law that requires women seeking an abortion to see a vaginal ultrasound of the fetus and to hear a description of the fetus.

To those who endorse using the government to force others to think the thoughts you’ve chosen for them: How would you feel about an image of big brother right next to your own on your drivers license, or how about big brother posted right on your front door?

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Quality of Life comes with Consumer Choice

John Stossel – Big Government Bullies Part 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ED94grKcVfU

In this segment, John Stossel interviews Spirit airlines CEO, Ben Baldanza. Spirit airlines is known most recently for charging carry-on baggage fees. Ben Baldanza defends the practice of charging for carry-on bags and states something insightful about capitalism and consumer choices.

Stossel: What do you think of Senator Schumer saying these fees erode the quality of life?

Baldanza: Well the quality of life, I think, comes with consumer choice, to some extent.

Audience: Applause

Baldanza: To me it’s like going to McDonald’s and saying they have to sell french-fries with every hamburger. Now a lot of people buy french fries with a hamburger, but what if you don’t want french fries? McDonald’s still can sell you just the hamburger and not make you pay for the french fries.

There is a loss of the quality of life when the right to decide for yourself what you are willing to pay or not pay for is taken away. Regulations which decide what consumers must buy or cannot buy are encroachments on freedom and diminish the quality of everyone’s’ lives.

McDonald’s recently did experience regulators telling them what they cannot sell, as Santa Clara County did when they recently banned the selling of toys with meals. Deciding for others how and what they can spend their money on diminishes freedom and the quality of life.

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News Journalist Grilling, Not Interviewing

Army Lt Col Birther Explains Why He Will Not Deploy (Spoiler Alert! It’s Obama’s Birth Certificate)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ujl-JjawWo&feature=player_embedded

Putting aside the subject matter and focusing on how an interview is conducted needs to be addressed. The aggressive style of interview towards people that represent unpopular views and brings higher ratings to the networks is annoying.

This is a difficult subject to write about because the people hardest to defend are the same ones most likely to get an on-air grilling. Pointing out the flaws in interviews often is misconstrued as endorsing the person or group being slammed.

There is an audience for giving those with unpopular beliefs an on-air grilling. The blogs show their support for this type of interview with comments along the lines of “Interviewer X slams the group I hate, so good job interviewer X! I’m surprised interviewer X did such a good job, because usually it’s just sucking up to that group.”

Included below are several other interviews which turn into debates and grilling of the guest. The last video on this list is an example of an interviewer keeping their cool while the person being interviewed is trying to stir a debate.

Regardless of the subject matter, I expect to be able to hear someone interviewed without interruptions, and not to hear a second question asked before the interviewee has finished answering. The point of doing an interview should be to gain insight into how the person being interviewed thinks, not solely how the interviewer thinks.

A test for any news journalist/television personality is doing an interview with someone who supports a view they personal find offensive. The test is to keep their cool, allow the person to answer and bring out the relevant facts.

Anderson Cooper failed the test and reminds me of a host of other bad interviews I’ve seen on cable news. Anderson Cooper has been added the list below in my mind.

Jeremy Glick vs Bill O’Reilly

Peter Schiff On The Ed Show

Shirley Phelps-Roper of Westboro Baptist Church on Fox News

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-STpW7jarrs

Ron Paul vs Bill O’Reilly

Wolf Blitzer keeps his cool and focus while interviewing David Duke. While no journalist/television personality is capable of doing an interview as well as Mr. Spock, Blitzer comes fairly close to that level and may just have some Vulcan blood in him.

Wolf Blitzer vs David Duke

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PM9WBS1q6k8

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Fans of Government and their Victimless Crime Laws

This article caught my attention because it good example why not everyone is a fan of government. Several examples show common traits of bad government: discrimination, encroachment on personal freedom, behavior modification, hypocrisy, and the difficulty of getting rid of laws.

Tour Eiffel au fin du jourParis trouser ban for women could be lifted (Telegraph.co.uk)

A law banning women from wearing trousers in Paris may finally be lifted more than two centuries after first being enforced.

Discriminates against women, check.

The curious rule was first introduced in late 1799 by Paris’ police chief, and stipulated than any Parisienne wishing to “dress like a man” must seek special permission from the city’s main police station.

There are those who will say it was a law for the times, and since we don’t know what things were like back then, we shouldn’t judge. It’s an encroachment on personal freedom regardless of the century. They would not have passed the law if there weren’t some women wearing trousers at the time.

But a group of ten French MPs has now submitted a draft bill to parliament to remove the law, which has survived repeated attempts to repeal it.

In 1892, it was slightly relaxed thanks to an amendment which said trousers were permitted “as long as the woman is holding the reins of a horse.”

Then in 1909, the decree was further watered down when an extra clause was added to allow women in trousers on condition they were “on a bicycle or holding it by the handlebars.”

Spell out when its appropriate to wear trousers–behavior modification, check.

In 1969, amid a global movement towards gender equality, the Paris council asked the city’s police chief to bin the decree. His response was: “It is unwise to change texts which foreseen or unforeseen variations in fashion can return to the fore.”

Difficult to get rid of a bad law once it’s on the books, check.

Given that trousers are compulsory for Parisian policewomen, they are, in theory, all breaking the law.

I’m sure no policewomen in Paris has been charged with violating this law. Here is government hypocrisy of not following laws they are supposed to enforce.

Sister Antonette
Nun's Habit still legal in France. Ban on burqa = religious and sexual discrimination.

Last by not least is the failure to learn from history. France is considering banning the burqa. While France is trying to shed one discriminatory encroachment on personal freedom, it’s trying to add an almost identical one.

Compare the trouser law in France to laws in the US. Replace the word “trouser” with any of the following: motorcycle helmet, recreational drug, gun, seatbelt, or pornography. US laws have the same underlying dynamics and flaws.

Until the US government follows its own rules and removes discriminatory laws which invade personal liberty and seek to modify behavior, there is no reason to cheer for the government.

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Ron Paul Brings Change, Hope, Accountability, Transparency

White House Wonder Twins Blocking Fed Audit

The “Wonder Twins” referred to in this video are Treasury secretary, Tim Geithner, and White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel. The video has an interesting point about what might happen if the Audit the Fed bill passes.

This clip points out there is bipartisan support for the bill in the house and the senate, and yet the White House is opposed.

The White House is trying to prevent change and hope and accountability and transparency. If they lose, and we accidentally get change–sorry Obama–through the senate and the house. Well, then Obama is going to have a very interesting decision to make.

Is he going to veto financial reform to protect the Fed and Wall Street? Well if he does that, then it’s game over. There is no way that anybody in the country can pretend that Obama is for actual change.

The video fails to mention the person who has been working on this issue for thirty years. The person behind this bipartisan bill to bring change, hope, accountability and transparency is Ron Paul.

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Ron Paul Brings Change, Hope, Accountability, Transparency

White House Wonder Twins Blocking Fed Audit

The “Wonder Twins” referred to in this video are Treasury secretary, Tim Geithner, and White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel. The video has an interesting point about what might happen if the Audit the Fed bill passes.

This clip points out there is bipartisan support for the bill in the house and the senate, and yet the White House is opposed.

The White House is trying to prevent change and hope and accountability and transparency. If they lose, and we accidentally get change–sorry Obama–through the senate and the house. Well, then Obama is going to have a very interesting decision to make.

Is he going to veto financial reform to protect the Fed and Wall Street? Well if he does that, then it’s game over. There is no way that anybody in the country can pretend that Obama is for actual change.

The video fails to mention the person who has been working on this issue for thirty years. The person behind this bipartisan bill to bring change, hope, accountability and transparency is Ron Paul.

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Zombie Awareness Month: Political Zombies

Undead Nazi Zombies @ SMack! Halloween Fetish Ball 2009
Since May is the official Zombie Awareness Month of the Zombie Research Society, I’d like to draw attention to political zombies. Political zombie is a description applied to quickly dismiss all opposing views.

The Zombie label is where the name of this website originates. I found it ironic that both Democrats and Republicans dismiss each other with the zombie label without any awareness they were each others’ mindless zombie.

Republicans accuse Democrats of being Obama Zombies-infected with the Obama Zombie Virus, while Democrats refer to Republicans as Zombie-Con’s who caught their infection from the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly, as with these examples.

Now, f-off and leave us alone with your faux-news propaganda. there are critical thinking people here, not mindless zombies like your faux news viewers and Rush Limbaugh listeners.

I don’t even think the mindless zombies who watch Olbermann’s show are dumb enough to believe that Olbermann and Snow were pen pals.

Each of these statements implies they would not watch the network or shows in question. If only mindless zombies watch network X, then the person making that statement either does not watch that network or is calling themselves a mindless zombie.

The irony is that people that feel the most comfortable labeling others as mindless, uneducated, ignorant, robots, brainwashed, and indoctrinated, are the most likely to boycott opposing views and opinions. They are completely unaware of the self imposed ignorance caused by only listening to views they agree with.

The true mindlessness is believing other people have been brainwashed and that makes their views irrelevant. Being able to vote in the political process makes all views relevant. Even if you think your neighbor is a complete idiot, they still get to vote and that makes even an idiot’s view relevant.

The choices are taking other views seriously and debating them vs. dismissing them as mindless zombies. Dismissing through name-calling does not change anyone’s mind; it makes those with opposing views angry and reinforces opposition to your views.

Sexy Brain Eating Zombie NurseI prefer my Zombies Uncensored.

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Republican Does Not Equal Conservative

Southern Avenger Jack Hunter: Conservatism in Exile

Simple explanation of why Republican does not equal conservative. Jack Hunter makes clear and concise points about the how the Republican establishment is not only similar to the Democratic party in terms of trending towards socialism, but in some ways worse.

If the goal is to reduce the size and scope of the government, voting Republican simply isn’t going to work.

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Republican Does Not Equal Conservative

Southern Avenger Jack Hunter: Conservatism in Exile

Simple explanation of why Republican does not equal conservative. Jack Hunter makes clear and concise points about the how the Republican establishment is not only similar to the Democratic party in terms of trending towards socialism, but in some ways worse.

If the goal is to reduce the size and scope of the government, voting Republican simply isn’t going to work.

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