SEAT BELTS, CIGARETTES AND STOUT
By Mary Starrett
May 28, 2003
Attention seat belt scofflaws! A massive two week, national push aimed at increasing seat belt compliance is in full swing.
Dubbed "Click It or Ticket", this campaign-with-the-catchy-name is only costing Americans $25 million for the accompanying radio and TV ads to remind us to buckle up. This is money well-spent, don't you think? Now, there's even MORE of a chance you'll be pulled over, and, if you're sans-a- belt you could drive away with a ticket for up to $86 between now and June 1st.
Law enforcement officials are losing patience with your reluctance to strap yourself in, and now they're getting testy.
For more than 30 years cars have had seat belts, yet the nanny state's wringing its hands over the fact that ONLY 75% of us wear them.
To insure 100% compliance our masters have jettisoned the guarantees of the 4th Amendment . On paper, that should mean you can't be stopped, pulled over and eyeballed unless there's probable cause you committed a crime. (If you live in Arizona, there is still some semblance of that guarantee in effect. The state's secondary seat belt law says an officer can't pull you over just to check your seat belt.)
While seat belt laws and fines vary from state to state there's a move to make belt use a NATIONAL law�Because you just can't have enough laws to protect us from ourselves, and what the individual state says is bad the feds say is even "badder".
Ronald Reagan summed it up when he said "the role of government is to protect us from each other, not from ourselves". Sadly, more and more of the laws being passed and enforced are designed to "protect" us�from�us! Roadblocks, checkpoints and random stops are now de rigueur here in the land of the free. Kind of reminiscent of Nazi Germany.
If you still maintain the illusion your privacy is intact, go to the airport. With your shoes off, face the friendly, uniformed federal employee with the wand on your inseam� and tell me all about it. And when you open your luggage at the end of your trip and see that they've placed a white card inside reminding you they've been rooting around looking for God -knows -what- tell me again.
But don't ever mention that our borders are a joke and anyone can sneak in, because, after all, it's not about security or protection�it's about getting you to slowly and incrementally give up the last vestiges of freedom.
While the Nanny State's up nights worried we're not buckling up, Globo-Nanny's having a nic-fit . Under the guise of the World Health Organization's anti-tobacco treaty, we're on the verge of being similarly protected from cigarettes. The world-wide crackdown is designed to protect us from ourselves, by "get(ting) people to kick the smoking habit and reduce the�5 million deaths a year cause by it". Those nice people in Geneva have put together something called The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. WHAT IS IT WITH THESE PEOPLE? Instead of worrying about clean water, they're consumed with controlling our personal habits! Remember: Control of a PRODUCT is always ultimately about control of PEOPLE!
Cities across America are seeing the economic fallout from banning smoking in restaurants and bars. When business owners begged New York mayor Michael Bloomberg to reverse the smoking ban there after a good number of businesses began to fail as a result of it, his response? "Let's give it a little more time". For what, MORE bars in Manhattan to close?
In Tempe, Arizona, an indoor smoking ban there has the downtown area looking like a ghost town. People are going to neighboring cities without the bans for their nights out. One feisty pool hall owner there spent over a million dollars removing a portion of the roof of his building, just to get around the ban. And still, despite the loss of business for thousands of establishments, the smoking ban bus is coming to your town next if it hasn't already been there. So, at the end of the day what this has meant is that even if you own a business, and the building it's in, it's illegal to allow a legal substance to be used on the premises.
Mega-star Nicole Kidman caused quite a ruckus when she was seen (eegads!) SMOKING at Cannes last week. The smoking S.S. were fuming over it. One group derided Kidman as a " bad role model for young women."
Funny, Hollywood-types get naked on screen, hop from bed to bed, promote abortion and other such moral genocide and what gets the headlines is that an actress smoked�
In Ireland, where the pub has been the hub for centuries, the Drinking Nazis have now determined there's a touch too much of the drink being poured 'round. They've have banned alcohol ads from Irish TV before 10pm, at cinemas, sporting events and on buses and trains.(Going to be a bit of a challenge, though, since brewing giant Guinness sponsors soccer there and Heineken has the rugby team.)
So, if you wondered why mayors in cities from Boston to Baton Rouge seemed all of a sudden concerned about second- hand smoke and seat belts and underage drinking, you should recognize these "issues" get decided at the global level and then trickle down to you and me.
I, for one , have grown, oh-so-weary of state, national and global dictates that seem to be coming faster and with greater regularity. Leave us alone. Leave us to run the risk of driving unrestrained, drawing smoke into our lungs or turning our livers cirrhotic. Just leave us alone.
� 2003 Mary Starrett - All Rights Reserved
Mary Starrett was on television for 21 years as a news anchor, morning talk show host and medical reporter. For the last 5 years she hosted a radio program. Mary is a frequent guest on radio talk shows. E-Mail [email protected]�
"While seat belt laws and fines vary from state to state there's a move to make belt use a NATIONAL law�Because you just can't have enough laws to protect us from ourselves, and what the individual state says is bad the feds say is even "badder"."
"Ronald Reagan summed it up when he said "the role of government is to protect us from each other, not from ourselves"."