Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

On Banning Things - (MA move to "ban" Oxycontin; Democrats as "directing brain" lawmakers!)
AMERICAN SPECTATOR.ORG ^ | MAY 13, 2005 | Lawrence Henry

Posted on 05/13/2005 1:24:51 PM PDT by CHARLITE

The old NRA slogan says, "Guns don't kill people. People do." That's no fun, if you're a "lawmaker" -- odious name for a representative, isn't it? U.S. Representative Stephen F. Lynch (D-South Boston), "has filed a bill seeking to pull the controversial drug [painkiller Oxycontin] from the market," reported the Boston Herald Saturday, May 7.

In announcing his bill, Lynch referred to a recent robbery attempt in an Arlington, Massachusetts pharmacy. Two would-be thieves showed guns and demanded the druggist's Oxy stash. Lynch did not tell what happened next, which would have suited the NRA's purposes better than his. The pharmacist pulled an under-the-counter piece and blazed away at the robbers. The robbers shot back, then fled. Nobody got hit. No charges were filed against the gun-wielding druggist, who, the Arlington police noted, had a pistol permit and had been robbed before.

The story quoted an unintentional howler from a nurse who objected to Lynch's proposed ban. "(Oxycontin) has revolutionized comfort for many of my patients," the nurse said. Well, yes. Oxy is comfortable stuff. I've taken it myself after my most recent operation.

Here's another pregnant quote from Robin Hogen, vice president of public affairs for Oxycontin manufacturer Purdue Pharma, who objected to the Lynch bill. "You're really allowing criminals to dictate health care policy."

Tempting libertarian rant in there.

I WOULD NOT CALL thing-banners criminals. To get too serious about their philosophical and practical foolery itself risks more foolishness in turn. Carrie Nation was not a Communist. But boy, we do have a lot of Carrie types, and we have always had. Combine them with the Schumer sorts ("I have a passion for legislating") and you get a kind of horror-film creeping menace. It seems unstoppable.

A movement against drunk driving was probably in order. Some reduction in blood alcohol content (BAC) legal limits, too; it's down to .10 in most states. But now, as noted by John Doyle in an opinion column in the May 7 issue of the New Hampshire Union Leader, "Police have begun arresting people with a BAC at just a fraction of the legal limit." He cites three recent cases of arrests made for BAC levels of .03, .02, and, in one bust in Florida, a .00.

The decades-long battle to ban tobacco presents a sadly familiar stretch, from set-aside no-smoking areas in restaurants to citywide prohibitions. You can no longer smoke on windy Los Angeles beaches. My grandmother, who had herself signed a temperance pledge at the turn of the last century, used to love to sit near a man with a good cigar at a baseball game. Alas, there are open-air ballparks today that have never known the whiff, and never will.

Goofy all this thing-banning may be, but one must acknowledge the sinister as well. What is the ultimate thing, after all? Property.

THE INVALUABLE THEODORE DALYRYMPLE explains in a can't miss article in the latest City Journal, analyzing post-World War II collectivism in Great Britain.

After the war, building on the nationwide consensus and collateral good feelings that had developed from the coordinated war effort, British thinkers almost uniformly came to believe that government planning should be applied to creating peacetime prosperity and fellow-feeling. Wrong-headed as that notion may have been, the war being a unique experience, it captivated even such as George Bernard Shaw ("We are all socialists now") and the-then-yet-to-be disillusioned George Orwell.


Orwell's assertion that the state would simply calculate what was needed airily overlooked the difficulties of the matter, as well as his proposal's implications for freedom. The "directing brains," as Orwell called them, would have to decide how many hairpins, how many shoelaces, were "needed" by the population under their purview. They would have to make untold millions of such decisions, likewise coordinating the production of all components of each product, on the basis of their own arbitrary notions of what their fellow citizens needed. Orwell's goal, therefore, was a society in which the authorities strictly rationed everything; for him, and untold intellectuals like him, only rationing was rational. It takes little effort of the imagination to see what this control would mean for the exercise of liberty. Among other things, people would have to be assigned work regardless of their own preferences.

Is it such a stretch from banning Oxycontin to embracing a planned economy? Not really. The impulse proceeds from the little to the bigger, as Dalrymple notes: "If we live entirely in the moment, as if the world were created exactly as we now find it, we are almost bound to propose solutions that bring even worse problems in their wake."

Take Oregon, for example. The lefty-greeny types there have passed laws over the years encouraging fuel-efficient automobiles. The citizens complied. Now comes the inevitable. The state's gasoline tax revenues are projected to start dropping as of 2014 as gas-sipper cars consume less fuel. So a state task force has recommended levying a per-mile tax on driving. Some 600 citizens in the college town of Eugene have volunteered to have GPS devices installed on their cars to monitor miles driven and to pay the per-mile tax. Such virtue!

For an example of "solutions that bring even worse problems in their wake," see the numbing discussion of tax alternatives in the lower paragraphs of this story this story by Seattle Times reporter Eric Pryne, published July 3, 2004 (yes, it's been going on that long). Sample:

(The state panel) suggested a tax of 1.25 cents per mile to eventually replace the state's gas tax of 24 cents per gallon. For a car that gets average gas mileage -- 19.7 miles per gallon in Oregon -- the total tax bill would be about the same.

But few cars are average. A 2004 Honda Civic that gets 36 miles to the gallon would pay more tax than today; a 2004 Range Rover that gets 12 would pay less.

One can imagine the roars about "fairness" and "emissions standards" that followed that determination. And it requires only memory, not imagination, to realize that the new tax would rather be added to, not "replace," the old once reality sets in.

POOR STEVE LYNCH PROBABLY will not get to ban Oxycontin. But he'll keep trying. He considers himself a "directing brain." So does Chuck Schumer.

Imagine that.

Lawrence Henry writes every week from North Andover, Massachusetts.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: banning; bostonherald; charlesschumer; democrat; directingbrain; drug; guncontrol; healthcare; lawmaker; laws; legislator; massachusetts; oxycontin; report; representative; smoking; stephenflynch; wodlist

1 posted on 05/13/2005 1:24:57 PM PDT by CHARLITE
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]



2 posted on 05/13/2005 1:39:01 PM PDT by MoralSense
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Hi Char..

"You're really allowing criminals to dictate health care policy."

I take that to mean that honest, lawabiding citizens are finding it harder and harder to get legal scripts from MD's because of the trial lawyer obsession with phony drug claims.

Everyone knows that "oxy" can be addictive when used improperly. It is not when used for the purpose of relieving pain.

When a person in pain can't get a legal script, they will often go to "black market".

This insanity has to stop. Why bother doing all the R&D to develope effective medicines, only to have WoD warriors shoot them down?

I, for one, am tired of this BS.


3 posted on 05/13/2005 2:11:03 PM PDT by nothingnew (I fear for my Republic due to marxist influence in our government. Open eyes/see)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Related thread on Steve Lynch and his proposed ban on Oxycontin:

4 posted on 05/13/2005 2:13:09 PM PDT by LibFreeOrDie (L'chaim!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nothingnew
"This insanity has to stop. Why bother doing all the R&D to develop effective medicines, only to have WoD warriors shoot them down?"

Exactly. We're living more and more in an unacceptably controlled world. This is not what our Founders visualized or intended. Governmental "directing brain" intrusions upon our daily choices must stop. I concur.

Thanks for your reply, nothingnew. Greetings to your lovely wife!

Char :)

5 posted on 05/13/2005 2:43:23 PM PDT by CHARLITE (Not gonna be happy until the Hillster is sent packing.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]



6 posted on 05/13/2005 6:21:53 PM PDT by ellery (The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts. - Edmund Burke)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nothingnew
"Everyone knows that "oxy" can be addictive when used improperly. It is not when used for the purpose of relieving pain."

I'm not for banning OxyContin but people can become addicted to it even when doing nothing more than taking prescribed doses for the purpose of relieving pain. Some people become addicted easier than others. The longer people are on it, the greater the risk of addiction.
7 posted on 05/13/2005 8:12:50 PM PDT by TKDietz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]


"A wise man ought to realize that health is the most valuable possession and learn how to treat his illnesses by his own judgement.
Hippocrates - A regimen for Health circa 500 B.C.

8 posted on 05/14/2005 11:26:28 AM PDT by PaxMacian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

The problem with Oxy is that is is addictive not just as a pain killer but as a drug of abuse. I don't know a single heroin, crack or cocaine user but I do know of at least 5 families that have been literally destroyed by oxycontin addiction. This drug doesn't deliver enough value to offset the evil it causes. It should be banned. That simple.
9 posted on 05/14/2005 1:48:31 PM PDT by dalight
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson