US General Erection 2012
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  1. #11
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    Jun 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocity Kendall View Post
    Apart from Frances laughably wrongheaded thing about the Burka, Im not really sure how any of those things are specifically or uniquely european problems. The War on Drugs is an American thing the rest of us have to go along with if we dont want to be embargoed. In the same way you dont like bloody beaurocrats sticking their noses in your business, the rest of the world is sick of the US doing the same.
    You speak almost as if you think I am an American. Anyway, I agree on the above point: the insane war on drugs seems to be mostly an American export that they now ram down everybody's throats. It's also where just about all the creationists come from.

    "but the seemingly unstoppable creep of the nanny state."
    I think you'd like The Daily Mail. They love phrases like that. Another favourite is "Its political correctness gone mad!" They always arrive packaged the same way every time. Theseeminglyunstoppablecreepofthenannystate. Itspoliticalcorrectnessgonemad. All one word. Its lazy thinking, peddled by newspaper sellers who want to manipulate your righteous indignation into forcing you to buy their rags. What seems to slip past everyone is that political correctness is effectively the enshrining in law of a bit of basic human decency. And that what you call a 'nanny' state isnt just to 'protect' you. Its to protect other people from you, from your smoke, your guns, your sexual proclivities, from your freedoms.
    I think images of the nanny state, a suffocating veil of governmental interference into every corner of your private life that annoy you so much exist much more in your mind than in reality.
    Actually, I seldom read newspapers at all. It's not clear to me why society needs to be protected from anything I do: in public I am a model of courtesy.

    I do not watch films I find offensive. I don't read books I find offensive. If there's too much smoke in a restaurant I simply leave. As long as my neighbour keeps his naughty pics and sexual proclivities inside his own house, none of it bothers me either.

    Thus I'm not sure we need to enshrine everything into law. This is especially true when the laws in question cannot be effectively enforced, because then they achieve little more than to breed disrespect for the law in general.

    You are of course right that ultra-libertarians sometimes greatly exaggerate the extent and scope of such laws, and some of the worst of these laws are in force in America, land of the free, rather than in Europe. But I am concerned about the witch hunt against smokers, for example - if we are not careful we're going to end up with yet another Prohibition. I am also concerned about constant calls for anti-blasphemy laws (though perhaps we needn't worry too much about that.) Anti-porn laws or regulations can sometimes be of some concern to artists (and they're pretty silly because it is another instance where nobody is forced to look at images they don't like, and where the stuff is in any event freely available on the web).

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