Tuesday, June 26, 2007

oh where oh where can my baby be?


The OCRegister, in what I'm sure is a Libertarian rant with no intention of irony, says:
And Paris Hilton is in jail only because of this entirely arbitrary government fiat.

Whether the level is 0.08 percent or 0.10 percent, why should someone's blood alcohol level in itself be a crime?

Maybe having that much alcohol in their blood makes some people less likely to drive safely. But there are lots of perfectly legal things that can make you a less-safe driver. Cell phones and iPods are common distractions. A law school professor of mine was known to read books while driving. Then there's one of the biggest, most dangerous distractions: the person sitting next to you. And don't forget noisy kids in the back seat.

OK. In the hands of Richard Pryor, this might be funny. But here's more:
Why should alcohol consumers be singled out for punishment – as demanded by the 19th century Woman's Christian Temperance Union – except that the prohibitionists' modern-day counterparts, such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving, are organized against them?

. . . In general, we don't punish people because of some factor that may simply make them statistically more likely to harm others.

Really. Interesting. How about those on the Do Not Fly lists? How about those held in Guantanamo because someone turned them in for a US Army Reward? How about those sex offenders on Megan's List?

This has to be intended as irony, humor. How else do we explain this:
Miss Hilton went to jail not for the drunken driving itself, but for driving again after her license was suspended. This, too, is an injustice.

After all, driver's licenses have nothing to do with safe driving. As anyone who's traveled Southern California freeways knows, having a license does not make one a competent driver. And there are plenty of people without a license who undoubtedly would be fine drivers. Even without licensing, you already have a much stronger incentive to drive safely than the government could ever provide: Your own life is at stake each time you get behind the wheel.


Ah, the credo of the righteous Libertarian. Responsibility rests with the person, to know what is right, and to know what is best for one's self. And the corollary to the driver's license analogy is, as expected, is gun registration. Not mentioned, indeed, but never far from the hearts of Libertarians.

This is just simple-minded foolishness. Following this logic, there is no need to ticket speeders, until they kill someone. There is no need to arrest someone waving a gun in public, until they shoot someone.

This is childish thinking, juvenile logic. But it's the OC Register, Libertarian beacon to the world. Or something.