Category Archives: The Nanny State

More Zero Tolerance Nonsense

I have zero tolerance for Zero Tolerance policies. And this is why:

The two boys tore down the hall of Patton Middle School after lunch, swatting the bottoms of girls as they ran — what some kids later said was a common form of greeting.

But bottom-slapping is against policy in McMinnville Public Schools. So a teacher’s aide sent the gawky seventh-graders to the office, where the vice principal and a police officer stationed at the school soon interrogated them.

After hours of interviews with students the day of the February incident, the officer read the boys their Miranda rights and hauled them off in handcuffs to juvenile jail, where they spent the next five days.

Now, Cory Mashburn and Ryan Cornelison, both 13, face the prospect of 10 years in juvenile detention and a lifetime on the sex offender registry in a case that poses a fundamental question: When is horseplay a crime?

Seriousy, folks, WTF? Ruining a kid’s life because he slapped a fellow twelve-year-old on the butt? Are we so incapable of telling kids “Behave! Keep your hands to yourself!” that our only refuge is draconian law?

Monday Morning Linkorama

  • NYT on a drug crusader. This guy disconcerts me for two reasons. One, things like this:

    In his article on Avandia, Dr. Nissen was careful to note the limitations of his analysis. In some media interviews, though, he was less guarded. On the ABC television program “Nightline,” Dr. Nissen predicted that the deaths caused by Avandia could “dwarf” the carnage of Sept. 11, 2001.

    Which is nonsense. Second, he seems to be of the school that only 100% safe drugs should be on the market. But, fool that I am, I think people should be allowed to make their decisions. As long as they know the potential risks, they can decide for themselves whether pain-killers like Vioxx or anti-diabetes meds like Avandia are worth it.

  • Apparently, problems at oil refineries are raising prices. Clearly, this is a conspiracy by Bush.
  • Boortz outdoes himself with this stupidity::

    Feingold said that Bush made misleading public statements on the war and went into Iraq without adequate military preparation. You know what? There has never been a war that this country entered with adequate military preparation. Feingold would have to censure FDR if this was the test. There was no way in hell the U.S. was prepared for war in 1941. The Japanese brought the war to us, and we responded. The Islamic fascists have now brought us war once again, and once again we must respond.

    Um, Neal? We had to go into World War II against two major superpowers on short notice in the middle of a Depression. We invaded Iraq with years of preparation times as the only superpower on the planet with a great economy. Those situations aren’t even remotely comparable.

    We could have been prepared. Men like Colin Powell tried to get use prepared with more troops and more allies. But Rummy wouldn’t have it.

    I usually like Boortz — still like him. But these World War II comparisons short circuit my temper. Bush supporters — what few of you remain — please memorize the following:

    World War II was not the only war in American History. Ths situation in Iraq is not even remotely comparable to World War II. If it were, Bush would have, like FDR, cut spending, instituted a draft and raised taxes. He would not be treating the war like it’s an annoyance he can’t seem to get rid of and would spend more time attacking the enemy than the other party.

  • Monday Morning Linkorama

    Things that amuse while I ponder my potential pending unemployment.

  • Man, I love Fire Joe Morgan and the way they take on the SMTs.

    Finally, on BBTN, Phillips and Kruk debate the “Worst Franchise in Sports.” Phillips chooses the Phillies because their next loss will be their 10,000th. This is problematic for several reasons: first, because that says as much about the longevity of the franchise (starting in 1890) as anything else. Second, the team is only 4 games out this year and has a lot of good players. Third, the team has been in the WS as recently as 1993. The Phils aren’t close to being the worst franchise in baseball, much less all of pro sports.

    Not to be outdone, Kruk chose the New Orleans Saints.

    Who played in the NFC Championship Game.

    Last year.

    Nice work, everybody.

  • I forgot to mention. Doctor Who is back on sci-fi. Happy days are here again.
  • The Surgeon general doesn’t just have weird views on gays. He’s perfect for Bush — especially since his office has no actual power but cheerleading.
  • The French have developed a market in trading driver’s license points. You know, first Sarkozy, now this. I’m starting to like the French again.
  • Steven Segal energy drink? Yes, Steven Segal energy drink.

    Then I took my first sip. Nothing in this world could have prepared me for that. The initial thought that came rushing into my mind was from a deep, dark place: Oh, that’s bad.

    I didn’t know quite what I had just tasted, but my mind immediately painted a picture of someone going into a supermarket, opening every can in the canned fruit aisle, pouring all the various syrups into one 16-oz container, and hoping for the best. It was like an evil punch made from fruits that had no business ever knowing each other.

    The second sip was even worse. This was when I first noticed the awful aftertaste. Initially, it reminded me of rancid peaches, but it quickly went downhill from there.

  • Parenthood

    I’ve been a parent for three weeks and I’m already hearing Those Words:

    “Well, now that you’re a parent, you’re going to be more progressive. You’ll want to provide for your daughter and protect her. I’ll see you at the next Hillary rally.”

    Um, no.

    Read this decade-old interview with Dave Barry and take home this quote — “Any parent that relies on any law to help him parent is an idiot.”

    I don’t want the state to provide for and protect my daughter. Because I know the state can’t. I want to provide for and protect her myself. I put her in an expensive car safety seat because I want to protect her, not because the law mandates it. I’m getting her vaccinated because I want her to be healthy, not because the law mandates it. If she stays away from drugs, it will be because I successfully explain to her how stupid they are, not because they are illegal.

    And I’m far more concerned about the tens of trillions of dollars in unfunded Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security liability that is going to come down on her like an anvil.

    Let me raise my daughter. I don’t need laws and handouts to do it. All I need is her.

    Wednesday Linkorama

  • National Review on “universal health care”.

    The health-care debate has centered on the uninsured. That so many people do not have health insurance is a consequence of foolish government policies: regulations that raise the price of insurance, and a tax code that ensures that most people get their insurance through their employer. If you don’t work for a company that provides health insurance, you’re out of luck. People locked out of the insurance system still have access to health care. But they often end up in emergency rooms because they did not receive preventive care.

    In several states in this country, it is against the law to buy health insurance that doesn’t have aromatherapy coverage.

  • The Justice Department is prosecuting accountants who find legal loopholes to save their clients money. Tell me again how Bush is a conservative?
  • The immense wave of regulation from Washington has only gotten stronger under Bush. Tell me again how Bush is a conservative?
  • Americans are the most charitable people on the planet.

    Gaudiani said Americans give twice as much as the next most charitable country, according to a November 2006 comparison done by the Charities Aid Foundation. In philanthropic giving as a percentage of gross domestic product, the U.S. ranked first at 1.7%. No. 2 Britain gave 0.73%, while France, with a 0.14% rate, trailed such countries as South Africa, Singapore, Turkey and Germany.

    Throw this in some euro-weenie’s face next time he talks about how greedy and uncaring Americans are.

  • Nanny State Empowerment

    The latest from Oceania Britain, is a campaign against drinking.

    Britain still subscribes to a system where health care is for the most part socialized. When the bureaucrat-priesthood of the National Health Service decides that a certain behavior is unacceptable, the consequences potentially involve more than scolding. For example, in 2005, Britain’s health service started refusing certain surgeries for fat people. An official behind the decision conceded that one of the considerations was cost. Fat people would benefit from the surgery less, and so they deserved it less. As Tony Harrison, a British health-care expert, explained to the Toronto Sun at the time, “Rationing is a reality when funding is limited.”

    But it’s impossible to distinguish such cost-cutting judgments from moral ones. The reasoning is obvious: Fat people, smokers and — soon — drinkers deserve less health care because they bring their problems on themselves. In short, they deserve it. This is a perfectly logical perspective, and if I were in charge of everybody’s health care, I would probably resort to similar logic.

    But I’m not in charge of everybody’s health care. Nor should anyone else be. In a free-market system, bad behavior will still have high costs personally and financially, but those costs are more likely to borne by you and you alone. The more you socialize the costs of personal liberty, the more license you give others to regulate it.

    Do you really want Barrack Obama or Mitt Romney bossing you around about your health?

    Zero Tolerance Crap

    A Virginia woman is going to jail for 2+ years for having a supervised party for her high-schooler. Reason has the details on this MADD-supported horseshit.

    Apparently, it would have been better if she’d turned a blind eye to her son and his friends’ underage drinking, and allowed them celebrate in a motel room, a vacant parking lot, or a woods, as my high school friends did, and then drive home.

    This is the same zero tolerance line of thinking adopted by groups like MADD and the American Medical Association, which a couple of years ago putting out a study lamenting that—horrors!—most underage drinkers get their first taste of alcohol from their parents. Of course, you could make a strong argument that parents are exactly who we want to give teens their first taste of alcohol.

    These people are irrational neo-temperance shitheads. The problem they have is not with responsible drinking — which this most certaintly was — it’s with any drinking. It’s the same posturing and non sequitur logic that has men dying in Iraq who can’t have a fucking beer.

    Abolish the drinking age. Make parents responsible. Having kids experience drinking — which no amount of nanny-state bullshit is going to stop — under the supervision of their parents is a good thing.

    Defining Minimums Up

    You want to know why healthcare and insurance is so expensive? Because Congress decides to do shit like this, mandating 48-hour hospital stays for women undergoing mastectomy.

    Look, it would be great if this were the case. Women should get a 48-hour stay. But you know what will happen if this law is passed? Insurance will get more expensive. Why should we make it illegal for a woman to chose a cheap insurance company that covers her mastectomy at the cost of rushing her back home? Can’t they make that choice? I thought the Dems were all about choice. But apparently crappy insurance is not an allowable choice.

    We Like the Little Guy!

    So say the liberals


    In 1937, New York, full of liberalism’s itch to regulate everything, knew, just knew, how many taxicab permits there should be. For 70 years the number (about 12,000) has not been significantly changed, so rising prices have been powerless to create new suppliers of taxi services. Under this government-created scarcity, a permit (“medallion”) now costs about $500,000. Most people wealthy enough to buy medallions do not drive cabs, any more than plantation owners picked cotton. They lease their medallions at exorbitant rates to people such as Paucar who drive, often for less than $15 an hour, for long days.

    There are examples of this all over the nation. Regulated interior designers, hairdressers, beauticians. Rent control. Price fixing. All because some elites, including many conservatives, think they know better how to run the world than the people who live in.

    At least, that’s what they say.

    Haley the Baby-Killer?

    Sully links to this diatribe about how Haley Barbour’s budget cuts to Medicaid are killing babies. It’s possible they are on to something. But it sounds fishy to me.

  • The biggest reason I doubt this analysis is that correlation is not causation, especially when the correlation is two data points. We have one (1) year’s worth of data pointing to a rise in infant mortality. The article sights numerous reasons infant mortality rates have jumped in a number of states. And is there a reason infant deaths might have jumped in 2005 for Mississippi other than Medicaid budget cuts? Perhaps. A massive natural disaster and influx of poor homeless people from one of the worst cities in America might, just might, bump up mortality rates. Let’s see what happens when Louisiana comes out with their 2005 numbers. And what happened in 2006.
  • I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Insurance does not equal healthcare. Just because someone doesn’t have Medicaid does not mean they are not getting health care. Their babies are not being born in back alleys and crack houses. If they go to a hospital, they will be admitted, they will get adequate care. Moreover, all poor mothers and babies are eligble for WIC, last time I checked.
  • I’m sorry, but this could be a fluke, despite the 95% confidence interval. It still could be. We’ll have to see when the 2006 numbers come in. But the number of infant deaths is thankfully so small (481) than a big jump might not mean anything (the broader jump throughout the South is more alarming).
  • I think it’s interesting that the authors rant and rave about Medicaid cuts. Yet what do they site as a tremendous success story? The Cary Christian Center . . . a private interest. In fact, precisely the sort of private interest that might arise in a healthier tax environment. Precisely the sort of private interest that might be more common if Medicaid weren’t expanding so rapidly.
  • What these poor people need is not more government handouts. What they need is jobs. Cutting taxes might help create jobs, especially in a state that is 51st in unemployment.
  • That all having been said, I do agree that Medicaid should provide coverage of poor babies — coverage that can be, and often is, granted retroactively. But Barbour’s idea was right, even it the execution, no pun intended, was bad. Medicaid is growing out of control and as it grows, more and more Americans are being booted out of good insurance plans into the Medicaid Gulag. I worked in medicine for 13 years. Medicaid is an utter disaster. We would be far better off just telling doctors to give out their care for free than put poor people and overworked physicians through the rigmarole that pays a pittance for their services.
  • All that having been said, I must admit that it is the politics that makes by BS meter twitter. The NYT specifically, and most lefties generally, have been predicting a massive disaster from welfare cuts for years. Of course, I’m not sure how any disaster can be worse than the destruction visited on the African-American family by the Great Society welfare state. But this is the Left’s first chance, after a decade of welfare reform to say, “See! See! We told you welfare cuts would kill babies!”.

    As I said, maybe they’re right. Maybe Barbour’s budget cuts are killing babies. But I think we need more than one year of data — and a disastrous year at that — before we start pronouncing someone a black baby killer. No?


    Well, he is a Republican I guess.