Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Caveman Lawyer

Whether government regulators/lawmakers are fascist in nature or truly well-intentioned it really doesn't matter to me since I assume they are fascist until they prove themselves to be otherwise. However, I really have to sit back and laugh at them on days like today!! As I sat in a Brussels cafe enjoying lunch I was looking out the front window where I noticed a guy about 30 years old reading a newspaper while smoking a cigarette at a sidewalk table. Then a group of four teen-age boys walked by with the last one -- probably 15 years old -- stopping to ask the guy at the table if he could "bum" ("have a cigarette as a gift" in proper English) a cigarette. Despite the high cost of cigarettes I did not see this guy hesitate to pull a single cigarette from his carton to give to the boy AND then the guy even offered to light it for the boy!!

So regardless of increased taxes on tobacco, public smoking bans, the raising of the legal age to buy tobacco products, and multiple millions of tax dollars/euros/pounds spent to educate people not to smoke informal market exchanges such as this bumming episode happen. So what should be done to stop such human interactions? Increased foot patrols by police officers to prevent such voluntary, non-monetary transactions by checking the IDs of all people seen smoking on the street?

My "Caveman Lawyer" brain says "no" opting for a world of less laws and greater personal freedom but try to explain that to your local bureaucrat who is obligated to justify their role in this world where the bright lights and tall buildings scare me. (FOOTNOTE - all credit for the Caveman Lawyer reference go to my comedic hero Phil Hartman of Saturday Night Live fame, may he rest in peace -

Hey, can I bum a slice of pizza? :)



jdsqrd said...

I thought I was a Republican but you tell me I'm a Fascist. And, the GOP guard here in the Land of Oz think I'm a Democrat. Guess I'm just the Sybil of ideologies.

Stacey said...

And you think I'M narrow minded?!? Oh dear, please see your first sentance on the defition of pre-judging...


Anonymous said...

Dearest Space Beagle:

You might want to check the meaning of "facist".

Earth Muffin

jdsqrd said...

Mr. Hartman was even better as Lionel Hutz, Law Talkin' Guy on the Simpsons.

Todd said...

Earth Muffin,

Based on Mr. Paxton's definition below I am CLEARLY not a fascist. I would have shot Hitler myself for the greater good of humanity.

Space Beagle

Definition by Robert O. Paxton:

"Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victim-hood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion." (Anatomy of Fascism, p 218)

Anonymous said...

Guilty until proven innocent seems to be theme here!

Todd said...

Okay, bureaucrats/regulators are innocent until they destroy a company/jobs or take your home via the use of eminent domain.

Perhaps I don't sound like it but I AM open minded so feel free to educate me as why big government is good for us.

I stand corrected :)

If you want to check your own views do this quiz --