3-23-13 Hodgepodge

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Big Brother Says, "You may eat roadkill!"

When I heard -- not quite correctly -- that eating roadkill might soon become legal in Montana, I was tempted to joke that the anti-capitalist, anti-individual rights "freeganism" movement is close to blundering into agitating for more individual freedom.

That isn't quite true, though, at least in the sense of a stupid law being repealed:

The Montana measure, which passed the state Senate, 33 to 15 vote, Tuesday and will soon head to the governor's desk, allows law enforcement to issue roadkill salvage permits for elk, deer, antelope, and moose. [bold added]
The report, carried by The Christian Science Monitor, focuses mainly on who supports the measure, even headlining with a question about whether freeganism is a good idea. (The news outlet also wrongly implies that anyone who supports an unregulated food market is a "freegan".) This focus is misplaced at best. The real question is this: Why do states forbid someone to perform an act that harms nobody, or at least nobody else?

Not that I wish I could harvest roadkill without having to look over my shoulder, but the fact that such a law is on the books at all -- and isn't being repealed -- shows us what a low ebb freedom has reached in America: Politically, we have prescriptive laws against an activity that would harm no one, except possibly the few who would practice it. Culturally (and worse!), most of the public sees this measure to license a few circumscribed cases of said activity as some kind of victory.

Weekend Reading

"[T]here is no difference between the government forcing its way into an operating room determining what operation a specific condition requires, and forcing its way into a doctor's office to prohibit the prescription of a substance that a physician, after weighing the evidence in the context of a patient's symptomatology, deems appropriate." -- Amesh Adalja, in "Medical Marijuana Opposition Is Support of Socialized Medicine" at Forbes

"Pro-capitalists have shifted to the moral debate because morality is the fundamental issue that divides the two sides." -- Wendy Milling, in "Without Question, Capitalism Is Supremely Moral" at Forbes

"Errors are not a catastrophe. It's all in how you handle them." -- Michael Hurd, in "Honest Success Isn't Fraud", in The Delaware Wave

"[I]f your spouse really is wrong about everything and you're in the right, then why go to a therapist at all?" -- Michael Hurd, in "Does Couples Therapy Work?", in The Delaware Coast Press

"What happened to the idea of principled limits on government - limits which, if adhered to, would mean reducing the size of government more on the order of 60 percent, 70 percent, or more?" -- Yaron Brook and Don Watkins in "We Should Be Embarrassed by the Sequester Debate", in Politix

My Two Cents

It is good that now, for two weeks in a row, there has been good commentary to the effect that the dreaded sequester is actually mildly "bullish", as economist Richard Salsman put it last week.

I agree with Brook and Watkins that, "We're going to need a bigger knife."

Did You Know ...

... that the now-commonsensical notion of using an umbrella in the rain was at first met with widespread derision (at least for men) when it was first introduced to England?


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