The Watchtower of Destruction: The Ferrett's Journal - This Is, Perhaps, The Difference Between The Right And Myself
[Recent Entries][Archive][Friends][User Info]
This Is, Perhaps, The Difference Between The Right And Myself|
I would argue that it's unlikely that you would be the only person ever to come into contact with and object you painted with lead paint. Ever if you lock yourself in your home and never let anyone inside, eventually you will die and someone else will be living there.
So, at best, you are putting off the danger into the future and passing it off onto the next generation (not unlike some of the budget policies of both of America's most popular political parties.)
Personally, I don't give a shit about light bulbs either way, but I don think that the government has the right to regulate products to do some degree and that as far as attacks on personal liberty go light bulb choice is pretty low on the totem pole.
There are tons of real attacks on freedom going on in America, so I sorta think that the right wing would be better at focusing their efforts at the uncountable number of larger problems.
As I said, everything we ever do has the potential to impact others, but that doesn't make it okay to micromanage everyone's lives.
I'm in the process of buying a home. I just got the results of my home inspection. If the house had been built before 1978, as my previous home was, it would have included a lead paint inspection. Older homes may also still have asbestos, lead pipes, etc. These things are not killing us off, but it is good to be informed so that we can make changes or choose to not buy the house. I don't have a right to buy that particular house, nor to force the seller to make changes before I buy it. I simply arranged, via contractual agreement with the buyer, to have an inspection done prior to purchase, with the purchase contingent on the results of that inspection.
Yes, lightbulb choice is pretty low on the totem pole of individual liberty, but it is still an attack on liberty and it's not wrong to speak out against all such attacks.
So how do you feel about the Ron Paul and Barney Frank introducing legislation to legalize marijuana?
Marijuana legalization is a weird one. It's never seemed real to me that pot is illegal since I've never been anywhere in the United States or Europe where it couldn't be purchased quickly and easily and never been anywhere where people felt the least bit inhibited about admitting they have smoked pot. It's like this big theory of illegality.
So, on that level, I think making it officially legal is a good idea, because it's up there with laws against wearing ties on Sunday - an anachronism from an earlier era.
On another level I like the idea of legalizing it so that it can be taxed and the funds can help with our current budget deficit.
On a broader note, I think the best way to reduce marijuana usage would be to lower the drinking age to 18 - since a lot of people of high school senior and first three years of college age smoke pot because it's easier for them to get their hands on on a Friday night than alcohol is.
On a still broader note I think that the illegality of pot - and the huge unencumbered consumption of it, leads many young people to believe that all drugs are as mostly harmless as pot is. So, they try other drugs.
Now, I don't give a shit if people use heroin or opium or LSD because in all of those cases they are generally not annoying in public.
On the other hand coke heads are really annoying so I do worry about the illegality of pot leading people to try pot think it's not a big deal and then try coke and end up annoying me in public after it's turned them into huge assholes.
Now, it's true that people have the right to be raging assholes in public. I'm just against public policy that encourages them to be raging assholes in public.
|Date:||June 24th, 2011 04:37 pm (UTC)|| |
Frankly, I'd rather people used marijuana than alcohol - the odds of someone holding up a liquor store or beating their spouse while high is a lot lower than while drunk. Mostly there's just the munchies to contend with.
On the other hand coke heads are really annoying so I do worry about the
illegality of pot leading people to try pot think it's not a big deal and
then try coke and end up annoying me in public after it's turned them
into huge assholes.
This is how I feel about alcohol. :-P
|Date:||June 25th, 2011 03:27 am (UTC)|| |
Ah. I see a massive racial disparity there. I know a bunch of PoC who are scared spitless of using pot, lest they get the nasty end of race-based sentencing/etc. (Which bugs me, because I'm with you...I'd much rather see potheads than drunkards.)
|Date:||June 24th, 2011 04:40 pm (UTC)|| |
I think public ethics begins with the concept that your right to swing your arms ends at the tip of my nose. Lead paint? It's poison. It's poison to make it, it's poison to use it, and there's no way you can make it, use it, and dispose of it without some of it escaping into the environment. It's my right to not be poisoned by your behavior. However, since it takes a really long time for me to go from house to house asking people to agree to not poison me, the government does it for me. I have no issue with that.
Your liberty is fine - just make sure it doesn't interfere with mine.
I hope you realize that lead is a natural substance, and as long as you aren't eating it you'll be fine.
Mercury in lightbulbs is a different matter.
|Date:||June 24th, 2011 05:17 pm (UTC)|| |
Of course - so is arsenic - but when used in, say, leaded gasoline it becomes airborne and then my only choice is to not breathe. And mercury in lightbulbs isn't *nearly* as dangerous as lead because it's not likely to become airborne particulate.
Leaded gasoline does cause lead to become airborne. I'm not so sure lead paint does the same thing. We really have to ask how far the government can go in managing our lives and making us all feel safe. I suppose that is the question that we are actually discussing, though it's easy to get caught up in the minutiae.
Mercury in lightbulbs can enter the water supply because homeowners are notorious for not disposing of things properly, and many people still don't realize that fluorescent bulbs even need special disposal. Mercury gets on hands, which go into mouths, and mercury gets into the water supply due to inappropriate disposal.
Anyway, it sounds like we both agree that we are entitled to a certain amount of individual liberty, so it's just a matter of figuring out where to draw the line. It's always a difficult decision to make, in my opinion.
And if a house covered in lead paint catches fire--as houses have been known to do--that lead paint becomes an airborne particulate, causing specific damage to firefighters who show up and neighbors who happen to be home.
The lead in the paint also has to possibility of leaching off into the ground, affecting crops and neighbor's gardens, as well as making it into the water table.
While each individual home has a low chance of burning down, keeping lead paint around suddenly makes the job of "firefighter" extraordinarily (and pointlessly) dangerous, and leads to specific food and water problems in places that routinely experience wildfires (pretty much every state in the American Southwest.)
No, lead paint isn't just an individual problem, even if you do lock yourself into your house. While it's not necessarily a huge problem for individuals, it is a problem in the aggregate, just like lead-based gasoline, which we've also banned.
By the way, the government still uses lead paint to paint roadways and parking lot lines, as well as in military uses. The hysteria over lead paint has resulted in artists being almost unable to buy "flake white" paint for their art (at least in large enough quantities for its actual purpose, which is to undercoat canvas before painting with oils), even though the equally "dangerous" cadmium based paints are still available.
At any rate, the answer to the lead paint question is for homebuyers to know what they are buying, and to avoid conditions they find unacceptable.
Now, what do we do about the mercury in lightbulbs?
|Date:||June 24th, 2011 05:19 pm (UTC)|| |
Gesso works just fine for undercoating a canvas before painting with oils - I know, I've used it. And it's far less likely to make the artist even more of a raving lunatic.
The simple act of painting with lead paint will not render the artist a raving lunatic, though that is an amusing image. :-)
|Date:||June 24th, 2011 05:31 pm (UTC)|| |
No, but if you've ever painted, you know it gets *everywhere*. I managed to get paint on my back once, a color I wasn't even using. I've gotten specks on my face, in my eyes, and on my hands - which can wind up in my mouth.
I think one of us misunderstands why lead paint is dangerous, and how much exposure is required to actually cause a problem. Everything I read says that it's prolonged exposure, particularly in young children, that causes issues. A little lead paint on your skin isn't much of an issue, and even if it was you could make the personal choice to simply avoid painting with it. That's not a good reason to pass a law prohibiting it.
So the only important question here is whether the use of lead paint has a detrimental effect on those who choose not to use it, and if that effect is enough to encourage a government prohibition (which is ultimately enforced at the end of a gun).
In my opinion, very few things are worth getting the government involved.
I have to say your argument here is well laid out and I can appreciate that. I will also add that although I can argue the purpose of what may seem like micro-management government, it really bothers me that we have so much time and energy to argue these things when I feel there are more important things we could be working towards - education and major health issues. When I think of dollars and hours spent fighting on either side fo these issues - I get angry and unfortunately, usually get angry at the people who are fighting change, fighting logic, and fighting to keep their rights to make choices that just seem archaic.
As a whole, however, I have to agree that very few things are WORTH getting the government involved - I truly resent that it seems it HAS to sometimes.