Another libertarian-American life-saving public service announcement
With the government's continuing clampdown on lifestyles of the poor and forgotten, it's time we took a clear look at an ongoing national tragedy: the drunk driving laws. First an important definition:
Drink: to take into the mouth and swallow a liquid
Considering the importance of maintaining proper hydration in our daily activities, most doctors want everyone to consume an adequate amount of healthful fluids, particularly undiluted H2O, before climbing behind the wheel of a car. A driver who passes out from fluid deprivation is a menace to the motoring public, and should be flogged.
So, please be considerate to your fellows and always drink and drive. :)
See there, when the whole world is telling you, "Don't drink and drive," or "Drink and drive, you lose," something alien to the definition has been smuggled into the concept of "drink" we're all practically born knowing. The authorities are suggesting drinking is a bad thing, criminal even. Whattup?
What is being smuggled into the word "drink" and what's the agenda of the meaning-smugglers?
Most of the English-speaking rednecks I know realize that when the state's ad says " don't drink" the state's ad really means "don't drink alcoholic beverages in excess." But the state really wants to brainwash the public to react negatively to any amount of alcohol and driving.
I.e., to demonize anyone who insists on the right to drive with any alcohol in his bloodstream. That's what we're coming to. Hell, it's where we're at. The word, witchhunt, comes to mind.
Look at the road signs. Once-respected patrons of the three-martini lunch, our freespending, swashbuckling business-executive heroes of yesteryear, have become reckless baby killers that the cops may routinely shoot on sight. The rest of us, who enjoy stopping off regularly, are made to feel like ignorant, wifebeating hillbilly losers destined for the receiving end of the county jail.
And the blood alcohol content (BAC) limits have become steadily more draconian (severe). Now all states are at 0.08% BAC essentially by federal edict—the federales habitually enforce restrictions on freedom by cutting off corporate pork, e.g. highway funds.
It's unConstitutional for the federal government to interfere in any manner whatsoever with the transportation systems of the states. The federal government actually has no Constitutional power to regulate transportation, period. Not that anyone (except a handful of libertarian-Americans) gives a frog's fat ass!
So here we sit, citizens of a potentially wonderful country, perversely at the bottom of the legislative food chain: subject to police-cruiser mayhem, guns, badges, lawyers, screaming judges, jailers, bars, chains, piss cups, compulsory psychobabble, and probation officers crawling up our butts with a flashlight. How come?
A cynic might conclude it gives the parasites who work for government something to feel self-righteous about. Ego-stuffing, courtesy of the taxpayers. Self-justification by virtue of the looting process that keeps the statists in their Inquisitorial suits, robes, and uniforms. Certainly another expensive holy war fought on the back of Joe Q. Public.
(The analogy to the Inquisition—or the Salem Witchcraft Trials—isn't a stretch. Locally, we have a 60-something fire-and-brimstone district court judge, who presides on drunk driving cases. His sadistic pleasure is to rain epithets (curses) on terrified, crying teenage girls: "How dare you, you blasphemous nymph, drink a thimble of wine on your 18th birthday!? To jail with you for a long time… or until I get that porn vid of you and your hot cellmate.")
What's the agenda? It doesn't take a cynic to see how the system now has been juiced to prey on the casual drinker, someone who presents no detectable risk to the driving public—certainly less risk than old people, cellphones, or crying children.(1)
The agenda, my friends, is what it has always been: to quickly remove your freedom and mine as nimbly as possible.
Consider the private-property smoking bans put into effect in those fascist/socialist hybrid states of California, Connecticut, New York, Maine, Massachusetts… and others on the drawing board. These bans clearly abridge the voluntary use of one's own property. They are harshly unConstitutional. Yet, majority tyranny continues to trump The Law.(2)
The patina of altruism and bad science used to justify such incursions on our freedom of choice wears ever thinner, like the velvet glove sliding off the iron fist. These people don't care about you or your safety, much less your freedom. Their motive is to beat you up, take your property, and put you away like a George Bush terrorist.(3)
And they're winning.
Fundamentally, because the government schools have been successful in removing most vestiges of people's ability to think in terms of principle. Thinking for oneself, reasoning, has been effectively eliminated. Virtually no one stands up for the nonaggression principle, for liberty—because virtually no one understands the concept.
Check this one out:(4) When a doctor can rat you out to the state police by sharing private information about your personal biochemistry, then when the state can take away your mobility without so much as a hearing, what kind of totalitarian hell have our countrymen set loose on ourselves?
This is America.
It's time to defy these infringements on our liberty and our Constitution, we hope in a calm and orderly manner. But make no mistake about it, the body of infringements—including the drug laws and the drunk driving laws—erected upon us has no moral legitimacy. They are not The Law, and obeying them though sometimes prudent is certainly not a virtue.
In response to the specific problem of biochemical tyranny of the drug and alcohol laws, we mainly need to educate ourselves so we can persuade our countrymen to repeal the laws. Individual acts of defiance are not going to work… yet.
When decent people fully understand that wonderful, decent human beings, their neighbors, are being crushed—and at great expense—by a malicious racket of posturing powermongers, they will rise up and end it.
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
— Ben Franklin
If you're looking for something to do now, here are some options:
- Write letters to the editor, one per week isn't excessive
- Start/join a book discussion group or social club focusing on public policy issues
- Foster public shaming of sleazy government officials who attempt to profit by grinding up the lives of innocent users who have no effective spokesmen
- Full list on the What You Can Do page
Let me end with a few words of support for the recreational (alcohol) drinker.
Let's define a recreational drinker as a man who drinks two to six 12-ounce beer equivalents per day three to four times a week. I know several such individuals, a lot of them on my golf league. They're good people. You can see my stipulated range of consumption is intentionally wide to allow for wide differences in men—or differences in wide men. :)
We can say at the lower end of the range, the average guy is promoting his ideal health—according to medical studies(5)—and at the higher end, the average guy may be treading on some longer-term health problems—primarily excess carbohydrate calories. But all in all, short-range skill impairment, particularly driving impairment, is negligible. (As evidence I offer a little-cited study from Car and Driver several years ago. In that study, driver performance on a controlled-obstacle course did not deteriorate appreciably—actually improved in one case—at alcohol levels reaching 0.13% BAC. Noticeable but still highly manageable skill deterioration occurred at 0.15%(6))
Alcohol in ample quantities is good for a free society. The Boston Tea Party was lubricated by a sizeable input of rum and beer. Getting a couple of belts in you naturally fosters a healthy anger toward state power. Sure, a small number of users have a problem with alcohol, which is why freedom lovers caution against excess:
Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors… and miss.
— Robert Heinlein
As a practical matter, we have enough cops in a driving public bristling with cellphones to pull over and decommission the few alcohol abusers who endanger us on the roads. We don't need more laws, more expensive programs, more local concentration camps for first offenders, more outrageous violations of recreational and casual users, more pricey obnoxious ad campaigns… and we can even throw out the BAC sacred cow!
We need fewer, better cops to track down "worser" drivers… with help from alert citizens.
The powermongers want you to believe recreational use of alcohol is a crime. That's because they want a whole new class of criminals to go along with pot smokers, gamblers, prostitutes, and tax evaders. Recreational alcohol users rank high on the list they hope soon will include homosexuals, abortionists, and readers of Playboy Magazine.
When everyone is a criminal, guess who's in charge.
You think you're safe because you're a God-Fearing, George-Bush-voting Puritan from a fascist-teetering red state? No such luck, bub. The crime of stupidity awaits you just around the corner.
Let's put all the pretentious, deceitful, malicious, intrusive little anti-Lifestyle despots out of business once and for all. Repeal the laws and let them crawl back into their caves. If they still experience an overwhelming addiction to pushing other living things around, assign them to manage individually gold-plated, state-subsidized—donations cheerfully accepted—ant farms. Restore full rights of biochemical privacy to the American people. Now!
I'll drink to that.
- Balko, Radley. "Targeting the Social Drinker Is Just MADD," The Cato Institute, December 9, 2002. back to text
- Rockwell, Lew. "Legalize Drunk Driving," 11/2/2000. back to text
- Stein, Russ. "The Non Crime of Drunk Driving," 8/4/2001 back to text
- Balko, Radley. "Drunk Driving Laws Are Out of Control," The Cato Institute, July 27, 2004. back to text
- http://www7.health.gov.au/pubhlth/publicat/document/alcfs15.pdf back to text
- Csere, Csaba. (Geshundheit!) "D.W.I. We learn that it's possible to drink and drive…," Car and Driver, May 1989. back to text
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