Saturday, December 10, 2011

Top 5 Things That Aren't Legal, But Should Be

The U.S. is one of a few countries where freedoms are guaranteed, yet, here's my list of the top 5 things we should be free to do, but aren't.  Crazy, huh?  (Full disclosure, I'll note my personal relation to each issue.)

5: Smoking in bars.  (I don't smoke, and like bars where nobody is smoking.)  If someone opens a bar by getting financing, renting a location, purchasing equipment and supplies, hiring and training staff, and buying advertising, he should be free to do whatever he wants with it.  Yet in a growing movement to ban smoking in bars, bar owners may be subject to a fine.  We all know smoking is bad for you, but grown-ups are free to do bad things so long as they don't adversely affect others.  But this isn't about the smoker's choice to smoke, it's the bar owner's choice to allow smoking.  If a bar owner thinks that a smoking ban will increase business, then he can institute a ban.  Otherwise, he can allow smoking.  It shouldn't be the government's call.

4: Prostitution.  (7-Up approach--never had it, never will.)  Film it and claim it has artistic value and you can pay people for sex; drop the camera and pretense and you can't.  Buy someone a bunch of drinks or flowers to make love, you're cool; give the same person the cash to buy it herself, you're a crook.  People should be free to reign over their bodies, including selling sex, if they desire.  Legalizing and regulating prostitution could generate tax revenue, prevent the spread of disease, give prostitutes basic human rights, and curtail underground prostitution by utilizing the resources currently invested in fighting what amounts to consenual sex between adults.

3: Marijuana.  (I don't use drugs.)  Why is pot still illegal?  It's less harmful than alcohol and almost all, if not all, other drugs.  Two U.S. Presidents admit smoking dope, and no doubt others have done so without copping to it.  A recent poll shows that more than 50% of Americans favor legalization.  Why is it illegal?  Because a myth about the dangers of weed and a culture of marijuana as a gateway drug has developed and persisted, despite scientific evidence to the contrary.  Ridiculous.

2: Gambling.  (I love to gamble, but I'm a cheapskate.)  Every state can make a fortune legalizing gambling.  Centuries old prudishness and bullshit puritanical values provide reasons against legalizing gambling.  It's more of the government deciding that you aren't responsible enough to spend your money, often citing the fact that in a casino, all the odds favor the house.  What's ridiculous is that these same governments often offer state-sponsored lotteries, where the odds of winning are orders of magnitude smaller than the worst games in casinos.  The position is hypocritical and untenable.

1: Gay marriage.  (I am a man married to a woman.)  The best argument against this is some people's amorphous concept of what constitutes a family.  Yet studies show there is not an adverse affect when a child is raised by same sex parents.  Upbringing and cultural biases make people ignore the data.  Ideally, these biases wouldn't affect the government, but politicians often kowtow to their constituency, regardless of the freedoms promised to U.S. citizens.  In 50 years, people will look back at us with disbelief, the same way we look at people who thought anti-miscegenation laws forbidding blacks and whites from marrying were a good idea.  Besides, it's not the government's job to regulate who individuals associate with.  The government should be out of the marriage business altogether.

So that's it.  Sorry it's not funny, but I was in a ranting mood while drafting.  So...  Did this stir anything up in you?  I'll assume anyone who doesn't comment agrees completely (and continue to live in my happy little bubble where everybody thinks like me).  Of course, you could comment below and set me straight.

10 comments:

  1. The 29 trillion dollar bailout, Citizen United, The Patriot Act, The Bush Tax Cuts and Afghanistan doesn't make the list?

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  2. Dude, this is "things that aren't legal, but should be."

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  3. Totally disagree with Smoking in bars. Not one mention of Second hand smoke? Smoking does adversely affect others. Find it odd that you left that point out.

    Plus who wants to come home smelling like smoke every time you go to a bar. Don't miss that one bit. You could make a strong argument that smoking should be illegal all together but that's whole another topic.

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  4. lol, oops my my dad. Didn't read that part.

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  5. Totall agree with the smoking in bars thing Kooz.  Always have.  Second hand smoke DOES in fact adversely affect others...those who made the choice to frequent that bar.  Guess what...you don't have to go!  And also, if you don't want to smell like smoke after coming home from a bar, then again...YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO!  That's what's great about this country...choice!

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  6. Yeah, my point is made, perhaps better, by @0185d1052b581848c6330cdd4e08170e (above).  The one thing I hated about going out was smoking in the bars.  I love that nobody smokes in bars anymore (at least in NY and CT, where I usually go out).  But it shouldn't be a mandate.  We shouldn't have the government telling us what we can and can't do--a bar is private property.  the government is free to ban smoking in parks, but not in my lawn, or example.

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  7. Come down here to SC. Smoking is legal everywhere, including the 7-11, restaurants, church, everywhere (though a few cities have taken no their own bans, statewide it's still wide open). I think smoking itself should be outlawed altogether. 

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  8. marijuana should definitely be legal but to many old farts and uneducated people would rather talk trash than learn some real facts. I used to be all against drugs because growing up you just hear they are bad and will ruin your life. Yeah if your doing meth LOL but marijuana don't get no safer. I've been way more fucked up drinking alcohol to the point I could barely walk let alone feeling dizzy as fuck to the point you just puke. I have never had this problem with marijuana and I've been on it for 5+ years now.

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  9. I agree, pot is pretty safe.  And I would completely support your right to smoke joints every day, even though I don't smoke it myself.

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