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Governmnet intrusion into private lives

by Mac McMullen / January 16, 2007 6:28 AM PST

This ?rant? IS NOT about drinking and driving; it IS NOT about sexual abuse or other sex laws; it IS NOT about smoking or not smoking or health issues, it IS ABOUT government intrusion into private lives.

We?ve all witnessed government intrusion into private lives, from the local school board, to city; county; state, and federal government, and agencies within those bodies. Not always from enactment of ?laws?, introduced and voted upon by elected officials, but also from self-important civil servants in implementing laws and ordnances, by ?interpreting? those documents in ways to allow the imposition of ?personal? preferences and ideologies.

As examples?..

Sexual abuse in the workplace?.I agree there needs to be barriers and consequences for those instances when someone carries things too far, either aggressively or repeatedly. I do not agree that someone overhearing an off color joke, in a conversation to which they were not a party, falls into this category, but we have seen such in disciplinary hearings and court cases. When questions in these hearings and court rooms are crafted to elicit only yes or no answers, essentially taking the subject out of context, this abuse of the intent and spirit of the law constitutes government intrusion.

Sex offender laws?..I agree with the intent and purpose of these laws and regulations, and the mandatory registration of sex offenders, although I don?t know if such registrations have proven valuable to any great extent. I also feel some individuals, both genders, have been so ?classified? beyond common sense. I strongly agree that any person in an ?authority? position should be held to a high standard. However, where no ?authority? relationship exists, between an ?adult? and a sexually active ?minor?, even though I frown on such behavior, regardless of gender, I believe the only true victim in these cases is the adult. A gym teacher or coach, who gives a student of the opposite sex a ?pat? on the rear during practice faces a sexual offense citation. Research the registered sexual offender list in your neighborhood. You will find that only a small minority of those ?criminals? actually perpetrated a ?crime?. Government intrusion resulting from a lack of common sense and application of the spirit and intent of the law on the part of authorities overseeing the complaint.

Driving while intoxicated?.acknowledging that ?but for the grace of God? is in the minds of many, this is a serious and dangerous subject. Recently I read a report of one individual accruing his 16th DWI arrest. 16 ! And he is driving without a valid license or insurance, and is out of jail. ???? Another case of an individual picking up his 26th traffic citation in 18 months. Six of those were DWI. Either the police officer who wrote the citation failed to show up in court, or a defense attorney successfully defined ?is?. IMO this is reverse government intrusion by not enforcing the laws.

Child abuse??An article in the local paper recently offered that a woman was charged with child abuse for allowing a child under 5 years of age to be placed in a vehicle driven by a drunk driver. The article didn?t indicate who the driver was, or the relationship between the driver, the child or the woman. The article did state that she was also cited for failing to place the child in restraints. OK, these restraint violations were traffic violations. But the ?child abuse? charge ? Reaching and stretching things beyond reason. Government intrusion, IMO.

Smoking??I strongly believe that smoking is a personal choice outside of government control. I agree with smoking bans in some instances. I also believe a business owner, such as a lounge or restaurant, should be allowed the right to declare if or not smoking is allowed on the premises. This should not be within reach of the government. Recently, the regional medical center in this area, the only hospital, declared it a no-smoking area including inside private vehicles in the parking areas. One of the TV news channels reported pending ?legislation? in several cities that would impose a citation by police for anyone smoking in a private vehicle with anyone under 18 years present in the same vehicle. I am of the belief that a private vehicle is an extension of the home. If this bit of government intrusion comes to pass, it would seem the camel has more than his nose under the tent.

In this line of thought, recently, a sitting US Senator from a northern State, and candidate for president in the 2008 election, while attending an event in a southern State, cared to expound that the Confederate Flag should not be allowed on the premises of the State Capitol of that southern State. Isn?t this a decision for the population of that State ? Government intrusion with a long arm.

Whose next on the soap box ?

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Like so many laws enacted with the best of intentions....
by Angeline Booher / January 16, 2007 7:16 AM PST

.... they lead to the abuse of them.

Like some charges made in the work place, as you pointed out. Though I think that, say, a boss making the granting of sexual favors in order to get a raise or a promotion, or suggestive touching are sexual harrassment. But it has gone too far. I know of one company where some females objected to be greeted with, "Good morning, ladies", so now everybody is referred to as "guys".

There is a web site re: sex ofenders here, and I do check it out. I do see some for statutory rape, which could have been consentual. But rape never is, and I am one of those who believes that those who so abuse children will never be "cured". Nor will a rapist, as that is an act of violence, not sex.

The DUI laws are painfully ineffective, and the "punishment" much too lax for repeat offenders. So are those for driving on a suspended license.

I ate in restaurants, rode in trains, and flew in airplanes for years before the no smoking bans, and never heard anubody complain. But the "second hand smoke" campaign has intensified the bans. They are probably a good public practice. However, not allowing smokers to step outside on their breaks is over the top, IMO.

One of my biggest gripes re: local government is not making the fines for breaking the leash laws much more expensive.

As for the Confederate flag, I come from a family who fought on the Uniion side. But the Confederate flag is a part of this country's history, it can be a good reminder of when brother fought brother, and the Union was saved. I think politicians who make statements concerning it are pandering for votes. Which, BTW, happens with so many politicians over various issues.

Of course, we are the ones who elect our governing officials. How often do we let them know how we feel?

Angeline
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email
semods4@yahoo.com

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Pandaora's box here :-(
by grimgraphix / January 16, 2007 7:36 AM PST

I would ask what the difference is between what is mentioned in this post and other government actions such as the patriot act and the practice of government surveillance without a warrant.

But then again that might be crossing the lines of the new TOS.

Funny how intrusion on established personal freedoms is and isn't acceptable law depending on the situation.

grim

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There's a whole lot of things............
by Mac McMullen / January 16, 2007 9:44 AM PST

...in front of people day in and day out, on a personal level,
that don't have a basis in partisan politics.

Thank somebody for little favors !

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(NT) Chuckle... I told ya! Pandora's box! ;-)
by grimgraphix / January 16, 2007 11:09 AM PST
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I thought of another one.
by Angeline Booher / January 17, 2007 12:54 AM PST

For years trhere was a boarding house near me. When the owners put it up for sale, it took a long time to get a buyer for the property. In the meantime, the zoning changed, aand such a place was no longer permitted. After that it sold, and the buyer wanted to turn it into a group home. The agents did not inform him that zoning did not permit it. Too much time had elapsed for him to sue the agents. He waited a long time before going to the appeals board, which rejected the appeal. TYhe Codes department ordered him to convert the dwelling back to a single family home. He did not.

More time passed.

A local judge has started a "drug court", a good thing. Another personal interest of his are half-way for addicts or "safe" houses for abused women. So he told the fellow who bought the property he would buy it and turn it into one or the other. When our neighborhood association formally complained, his arrogant reply was, "If you don't like it, buy it back from me."

(There is a question that perhaps governemnt funding for the judge was involved.)

So far, we have not seen any notice of property transfer.

So my gripe is that one person has the power to overrule an entire the city government agencies. Especially when that person looks for property far from where he lives.

Angeline
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email
semods4@yahoo.com

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Because....
by Angeline Booher / January 17, 2007 3:54 AM PST

... the issues that Mac raised have absolutely nothing to do with what you cited. They were around long before it.

He raised issues determined by localities, states, smoking in restaurants , and how companies might interpret harassment parameters set quite some time ago.

Those sorts of things can certainly be discussed without getting into what you cite which has always turned into a mess.

Consider that your Ganges River topic could have also been accused of being religious. But the responses showed that was not the case as the focus was on the river itself.

Angeline
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email
semods4@yahoo.com

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... yet someone has posted a TOS-related
by drpruner / January 17, 2007 4:42 AM PST
In reply to: Because....

message on Ganges thread, in ALL CAPS. Look to your delete keys, Mods. Happy

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(NT) BTW, don't miss the smiley in both.
by drpruner / January 17, 2007 4:50 AM PST
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Saw 'em. BTW, thanks...
by Angeline Booher / January 17, 2007 6:35 AM PST

.... for reminding me what the Boy Scouts used to make the water safe to drink back then.

I agree about the pollutants.

Angeline
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email
semods4@yahoo.com

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Simply a difference of opinion.
by grimgraphix / January 17, 2007 9:11 AM PST
In reply to: Because....

I won't elaborate more than saying I see it as being no more or less than in for a penny or in for a pound when it comes to the issue of personal freedoms.

I personally believe that a car should be viewed as a private sanctuary and not in the public purveyance when it comes to smoking a cigarette... but anyone caught drunk driving should be tried for attempted murder as their actions are comparable to sitting on the porch of a house shooting a gun indiscriminately into the neighborhood whether they actually hit someone or not.

I also was not complaining about the post... just pointing out it had political connotations.

grim Happy

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A new definition of "The sound of freedom"?
by drpruner / January 17, 2007 4:40 AM PST

Homeland Security tearing open your mail.

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Here's one just down the road from you, Del.
by drpruner / January 17, 2007 4:47 AM PST
http://www.kfoxtv.com/news/10767050/detail.html?subid=22105263&qs=1;bp=t

"January 16th 2007 -- Students at one New Mexico school aren't just getting graded on their school work.
Parents of overweight students at Berino Elementary School are getting letters from the school nurse on how to improve their children's health but not everyone thinks it's a good idea."

Anthony USD has bigger (!) problems: Student pregnancies. Last year there were two in elementary. The medical people tell me that any pregnancy in an under-16 girl is a definite health issue for her. What should gov't do/not do in these cases?
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At some point.....
by Mac McMullen / January 17, 2007 6:12 AM PST

Parents and kids must start to accept personal responsibility.

Government does not belong in the home.

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