Saturday, January 31, 2015

Yeah... pot legalization versus tobacco prohibitionists...

California has effectively decriminalized marijuana (possession of less than an ounce is a civil matter roughly equivalent to a speeding ticket — a rarely written speeding ticket), and the state has a medical (ahem) marijuana program that is, for the moment, largely unregulated. At the same time, the state is launching a progressive jihad against “vaping,” the use of so-called e-cigarettes that deliver nicotine in the form of vapor. The state public-health department says that this is justified by the presence of certain carcinogens — benzene, formaldehyde, nickel, and lead—in e-cigarette vapor. But by California’s own account, all of those chemicals are present in marijuana smoke, too, along with 29 other carcinogens.
If that seems inconsistent to you, you are thinking about it the wrong way: For all of its scientific pretensions and empirical posturing, progressivism is not about evidence, and at its heart it is not even about public policy at all: It is about aesthetics.

Yes much of progressivism seems to be social signaling via Positional Goods (both opinions and actual items).  Which is ironically rather like being in a rather traditionalist, conformist and shame-based culture.

(Oh and as a bonus, guess what wikipedia doesn't mention in their article on Monopsonies.  The closest they get is a half-hearted mention that maybe the  Pharmaceutical Industry in Australia might be one)

Vaping is, from the point of view of your average organic-quinoa and hot-yoga enthusiast, a lowlife thing. It is not the same thing as smoking, but it looks too much like smoking for their tastes. Indeed, California cites the possibility of vaping’s “re-normalizing smoking behavior” as a principal cause of concern. Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health, says that vaping should be treated like “other important outbreaks or epidemics.”

Again, normalizing smoking is wrong! (Only for tobacco...) .  And the carcinogens in vaping are bad... never mind those in pot...

Progressivism, especially in its well-heeled coastal expressions, is not a philosophy — it’s a lifestyle. Specifically, it is a brand of conspicuous consumption, which in a land of plenty such as ours as often as not takes the form of conspicuous non-consumption: no gluten, no bleached flour, no Budweiser, no Walmart, no SUVs, no Toby Keith, etc.
There is not much that I myself am inclined to ban, from Big Gulps to recreational drugs, and I do appreciate that the main problem with rocky-road ice cream is the same as the problem with cocaine: It is exactly as good as advertised. 
And this is why I wrote this post.
You've got someone on the Metrocon Fortnightly approving drug legalization.  Even equating coke with ice cream.

There's also the fun bonus of people with private jets screaming about how the proles need to drive less.  And the evergreen "Trains are cool and European; buses are icky."

But then there's this...

This habit extends throughout the culture. For example, there is precisely as much evidence for the theoretical basis of yoga (the flow of mystical energy through the nāḍi, which, strictly speaking, do not exist) and chiropractic (the manipulation of vitalistic “innate intelligence,” which also, strictly speaking, does not exist) as there is for the young-Earth creationist notion that Adam rode out of Eden on the back of a prancing brontosaurus. But those ideas receive radically different receptions. 


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