Friday, February 16, 2007

Bipartisanship = bigger government and less freedom

At least that's how it appears to me today. Two new pushes for big government leftism is on the way. One deals with smoking, and the other deals in censorship.

First - Smoking. Ted "drive off the bridge" Kennedy and the king of fascists himself, Henry Waxman, along with Tom Davis and John Cornyn are pushing to increase the power of unelected bureaucrats over tobacco.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers reintroduced legislation Thursday that would give the FDA the same authority over cigarettes and other tobacco products that it already has over countless other consumer products.

"Congress cannot in good conscience allow the federal agency most responsible for protecting the public health to remain powerless to deal with the enormous risks of tobacco, the most deadly of all consumer products," Sen. Edward Kennedy (news, bio, voting record), D-Mass., said in introducing the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act with Sen. John Cornyn (news, bio, voting record), R-Texas, and Reps. Henry Waxman (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., and Tom Davis, R-Va.

This is a horse manure measure. It has no positive benefits whatsoever. We all know that smoking is dangerous. It is illegal for minors to smoke. There are warning labels on ciggy packs. It has been known for 40 years that smoking has a strong coorelation to cancer. This is no secret. People still make the choice to smoke or not smoke based on that information. How is increasing more government regulations going to help? If tobacco is so bad - ban it (at the state level to conform with the 10th amendment). Until then, shut the hell up with the grandstanding and chicken@##@ measures. Put up or shut up.

The other bipartisan measure is big government censorship being pushed by one democrat and one republican at the FCC - home of unelected bureaucrats.

"In general, what the commission's report says is that there is strong evidence that shows violent media can have an impact on children's behavior and there are some things that can be done about it," FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said Thursday.

The issue is bipartisan. Martin, a Republican, gave a joint interview to The Associated Press with Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps.

"The pressure to do something on this is building right now," Copps said, noting that TV violence comes up regularly during media ownership hearings he conducts across the country. "People really feel strongly about this issue all across this land. This is not a red state or a blue state issue."

The report also suggests that cable and satellite TV could be subjected to an "a la carte" regime that would let viewers choose their channels, a measure long supported by Martin.

"We can't just deal with the three or four broadcast channels — we have to be looking at what's on cable as well" Martin said.

It's called an on/off switch. Let's use it.

Are hockey games going to be censored? They have fights and people hitting each other with sticks. What about the UFC? John McCain tried to ban it once. Boxing? Kickboxing? What about the A-Team? They have (gasp) shootings on that show. This is a major can of worms.

I have a better idea. Disband the FCC's content regulation division.


Pogo said...

Cigarettes are just about the most heavily taxed thing around these days, with government in most places collecting several dollars per pack in taxes, and that is on top of all the billions the cigarette companies are paying for lawsuit settlements. (most of which went to various government units around the U.S.) It turns out that cigarette companies, wholesalers, and retailers only get to keep a few pennies each of every dollar collected from the sale of each pack, with the rest going to government.

So when we look at further regulating cigarettes, we need to look at who is REALLY making all the money from the sale of cigarettes, and wonder at the strange prospect of government regulating it's most profitable product.

Pogo said...

While I don't like a lot of the stuff on modern TV I have to agree with Dan that the government should not be in the business of censorship, that this is the responsibility of parents and others who directly supervise children. Once the government gets into the business of censorship it will just keep adding more and more to the list of things to be censored, anything that any person may happen to complain about. Look at the way demonstration of religion is now being banned from schools and government - would it be a big step for government to ban religion from television on the theory that airwaves and communications bandwidth belong to everyone, so no person should have to be offended by seeing anything religious? Preposterous? I bet our grandparents generation never would have believed that religion would be banned from schools and government.

Once government gets its hooks into censorship it will just keep taking on more and more power. Since none of us can predict where this will go in the future, lets just leave it alone by keeping government out of the censorship business today.

Republican=Conservative said...

While the issues layed out in this article are good, I think bipartisanship is important. If America, if Republicans, if Democrates are not willing to be bipartisan than America will not continue to be "that city on a hill".