Sunday March 9, 2014
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There is a fine line between protecting people and interfering with rights.
Where do you think this Oregon law falls?
Gov. John Kitzhaber signed into law on Tuesday a bill that prohibits drivers from lighting up if a person under 18 is also in the car.
Maximum fine for the first offense is $250.
One other question.
If this were put to a vote of the people, what do you think would happen?
I'm serious now. How far down the path to control have we stumbled?
Maybe another question....
Do the people who support this kind of stuff realize that they--and whatever it is they do that someone else doesn't like--are next?
It never ceases to amaze me how this country went from producing "the Greatest Generation", that fought a two ocean war and won it in 5 years with no welfare state as we know it today. In a matter of a few generations, this nation's citizens morphed into something more resembling a socialist state in Europe. Like you, I was hoping I would be gone before the wheels truly fall off and chaos ensues, but every day it seems the revolt draws nearer and nearer. And I suppose the sad part is that the last couple of generations simply cannot identify with the very America you and I and so many seniors grew up in and bemoan the loss of. Not sure they have what it takes to overthrow this repressive, totalitarian government. They simply do not know any other type of America. This all "normal" to them. Time will tell.
Old liberal me agrees that Oregon has gone too far with the ban of smoking in cars when someone under the age of 18 is present. Do you think drivers should be allowed to text while driving? Is it reasonable to pass laws prohibiting texting while driving?
Yes, it is reasonable to pass laws prohibiting texting while driving, also talking on the phone while driving. Texting is worse but both should carry a heavy fine. They are endangering other people as they have to look at the phone while texting. Who is watching the road?
Since I now live in Oregon, I must comment on Oregon law. It seems to me that the Oregon legislature is just as ignorant about legal matters, as are other states. When a cop stops a motorist on a busy highway, he is endangering the driver he is after, as well as himself. Creating this danger, for a law of this kind, seems to be awfully asinine.
I had no doubt that an "old liberal" like you would agree that such a law crosses the line. Old Liberals are people who believe in the Bill of Rights. So are Old Conservatives. And even Old Independents like me. What is amazing is that both political parties have managed to alienate the majority of Americans.
The differences between ordinary people of our day who are liberals, conservatives, and independents are so narrow that they are razor thin. When it comes to fundamentals we all believe the same things. It is our "leaders" who have strayed, not us.
Fred is right, of course. The Oregon legislature appears as "ignorant" of legal matters as are other legislatures, but I wonder if ignorant is the right word? Maybe we should substitute another term--"uncaring of legal matters"--if, that is, we mean the Constitution when we say legal matters.
Bernice brings up an interesting point when she asks if it is all right to make laws that ban texting while driving. There is no doubt that such a ban falls on a slope which we could call the "is it harming anyone else" slope. There are times when we have to make up our minds whether we should make laws which criminalize things which are not, in and of themselves, "wrong."
The biggest problem we have is finding some way to draw that line. We, for example, ticket people for a DUI in which they have not consumed so much alcohol to make them dangerous; the limit is far too low. And we put people in prison for taking drugs which harm no one but themselves--if they do indeed even do that.
It would very interesting to see if we could come up with a rule, or a few rules, that would say where to draw the line. Why? Because if we can't do it, then how can we expect a legislature to do it?
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