I thought I had seen it all,
but of course there's something new everyday.
The lady, above, is British
and holds the record for the most pierced person on the planet
. She is getting married to the calm-looking older man, below, in the blue suit, tie and shirt.
What a world!
I am glad there is no requirement that I have to marry this woman, although I do
wonder if it might be an abridgement of my right to board an airplane if I happened to be stuck behind her at airport security!
In all seriousness, I wish her and her new husband well. Let freedom ring, and may her freak flag fly from the highest halyard.
Of course not everyone takes such an open-ended view
about letting people go off in a different direction.
In France, for example
, there's a movement to ban Muslim women from wearing a burka even if they want to
Apparently, in France ladies have a right
to wear a dental floss bathing suit with two postage stamps affixed to it, but they have no right
to dress as they want, and never mind their own religious views or cultural traditions.
Of course authoritarianism is not limited to the French
, nor is it limited to the political right or left. I recently got an email from someone who was outraged that all but five of the Kennel Club's dog shows in 2011 did not charge an entrance fee. It seems the Kennel Club managed to get around the law that bans docked dogs from being shown in venues that charge admission by charging a parking
fee instead of an admissions fee. Oh the horror!
My friend proclaimed the Kennel Club work-around was a "complete mockery of the law."
A mockery of the law?
Nonsense. The law was already a mockery, which is why so many people feel free to ignore it or openly work around it without penalty.
If you demand that laws be respected
, then pass laws that engender respect. In a world of dyed hair, tummy tucks, face lifts, nose jobs, breast augmentations, nipple piercings, and all-body tribal tattoos, a simple tail docking on a puppy might not pass the laugh test of concern!
Of course there is no convincing some people
who are quite convinced that their own opinion on every matter should be bolstered by a change in law.
Persuasion and education?
That takes too long. Legislation is quicker and easier, especially if the opposition is small and weak.
Now, to be clear, I am no libertarian or anarchist rebel
. I believe in both taxes and public services, and I am a rather scrupulous observer of the law.
That said, not every idiot law deserves to be saluted.
In my own home state of Virginia, for example, it's illegal to have sex with anyone to whom you are not married
. Really? Are we going to lock up everyone? No, of course, not. The law is an arcane piece of nonsense and it is simply ignored, same as the law in Chester, England which says any Welshman caught within the city walls after sunset may be shot with a longbow
But not all stupid laws are hundreds of years old;
some are as fresh as this morning's coffee. A case example is the Seattle law, passed this week, which makes it illegal to go swimming in the local river unless you are wearing a life vest.
Of course, if you are looking for stupid on stilts
, it's always hard to beat San Francisco.
In San Francisco, the local Yellow Pages
advertises genital piercings
, but this very same city has just decided to put a ban on the circumcision of infants
on the ballot.
Eh? A ban on circumcision?
What on earth is that
Surely, it's not just me that finds it a bit creepy
is obsessed with the penises of other
And then, of course, there are such matters
as religious freedom
, the right to privacy, and public health
. Are these concerns to be kicked to the curb with a never-mind?
But, of course the absurdity
|Good enough for Jesus?|
does not stop there, does it?
The latest is that San Francisco's City Council
is moving to ban the sale of gold fish. The City has already banned the sales of puppies and kittens in pet shops. This ban was followed by a ban on the sale of:
At the moment,
- guinea pigs
- all birds
- all snakes
- all lizards
- all frogs
- all turtles
the pet store sale of ALL animals except
fish is banned in San Francisco.
And now the push is on to ban all fish.
So is there good news?
Perhaps a little.
No doubt that same turn of phrase was uttered
San Francisco Supervisor Sean Elsbernd says
"this is another animal welfare idea that will end up in the dustbin of history and go absolutely nowhere."
just before San Francisco's ban on hamster and mice sales was ushered into law.
One thing is for certain:
if this kind of nonsense is listed on the menu, it's already too close to the kitchen.
To be clear, the issues here are about more
than what is happening in San Francisco.
You see, if we are truly interested in animal or child welfare
, we can no longer afford to stand silent when the nutters take the stage,
To put it simply, we are going to have to mock the lunatics
and throw stones at the extremists.
The reason for this is simple:
the counter-argument to any and all regulation dealing with nearly everything in this world is that any
step in the right direction moves us closer to "the slippery slope" of idiocy and jack-booted authoritarianism.
Now, as a general rule, I am not a fan of slippery slope arguments
, and I speak with some real-world experience with slippery slopes.
You see, my own house is built on top of a very steep hill
, and in winter my driveway can be as slippery as oiled glass.
But so what?
My driveway has two sets of rock-and-concrete steps
up the side, and my car is a four-wheel drive vehicle. No problem.
And so it is in the real world of public policy.
There is no requirement that we check rationality at the door.
All slippery slope counter-arguments
are predicated on the notion that people are stupid, irrational, and prone to extremism and that we are incapable of hacking sensible steps into the sides of public policy solutions.
Those who oppose all regulation, all the time,
argue that intelligence, common sense, information, discretion and foresight are rare commodities.
They tell us that regulators,
social policy engineers, and arm-chair policy pundits cannot be trusted.
And how are we to counter those argument
when we have tail docking
, and goldfish
debates being elevated to the forefront of animal and child welfare concerns?
Are we going to see campaigns about hair spray on poodles
and whisker trims on whippets elevated to cover story concerns?
Are we going to see debates about the status of women
devolve to why women should be forced to wear whatever they are told by nameless, faceless men meeting in secret in the Capitol?
Are we going to let real child welfare concerns
be hijacked by the penis obsessed?
Because if we do,
then it's time to call it quits and go home.
If we cannot sort out the REAL problems
from those that are little more than contrived crises, then we have well and truly lost our way.
Labels: Politics and politicians