While some of those voters may well plead diminished capacity, contributory negligence or involuntary pigslaughter, they are most certainly guilty as accessories to unintended consequences, that ever-increasing side effect of political acts.Ê Faced with a ban on the methodology for housing pregnant sows, the only two Florida pig farmers who used so-called "gestation cells" are exiting the business, capitalizing their porcine assets.Ê (For background on the Florida initiative, read: We, the [Pregnant Pigs] Of the State of Florida )Ê
"If you had to be tortured and killed or just killed, I think most of us would go for just killed," rationalized a PETA spokesvegan who didn't even attend the funerals.
Well, yes, forced to choose between false premises, "just killed" might be the option of choice, akin to a mark's pick in three-card monte.Ê In the case of pig farming, "tortured" is in the eye of the beholder.Ê The differences between terrorist and freedom fighter come to mind.Ê Killed, however, is killed.Ê Not much room for postmodern relativistic interpretation there.
Although the American Veterinary Medicine Association, a somewhat more credible source than PETA, endorses the birthing habitats that the Florida initiative eliminated, voters chose to believe people who eat kale.Ê (Not to cause dissociative issues for vegan hordes, but don't veggies suck nutrients from the precious planet?Ê Aren't non-leather shoes made from byproducts of petroleum?Ê Aren't hemp plantation workers exploited?)
It won't be long before the unfortunate of us who live where initiatives are allowed will be again pestered by special-interest groups convinced that representative government established by the Constitution is an alien plot.Ê Lest you, too, be suckered when they return, there are some basic rules for dealing with initiatives, and it's never too soon to learn them.
no initiative petition solicited by someone who doesn't look
like you.Ê A barefoot guy with orange hair in a t-shirt that
reads "save the shrimp" is not likely to be pushing something
you support.Ê You may appropriately refer to this procedure
as profiling.Ê It does not violate the civil rights of petition
gatherers.Ê On the other hand, setting initiative signature
gatherers afire in the public square is not free expression
protected by the First Amendment.
in totality, any words spoken by any signature gatherer, including
the seemingly innocent "good morning."Ê If approached, you are
a pigeon to be plucked of signature, name (please print) and
address, just like those Hollywood celebrities who sign all
that are put before them.Ê You don't want to act like a Hollywood
celebrity, do you?
no initiative petition you have not read.Ê You should have learned
to sign absolutely nothing you have not read from the same person
who taught you not to talk to strangers, but parental responsibility
isn't what it used to be.
an initiative is qualified for a ballot by obtaining the requisite
number of signatures, you are truly screwed.Ê The initiative
will be publicly debated.Ê Ignore the debate, because neither
side will tell you the truth.Ê It's more and more likely that
neither side understands the truth, because none of the political
activists crafting these things has ever been mistaken for James
Madison.Ê Not even Alexander Hamilton.
you vote on an initiative, carefully study the ballot language.Ê
Have an unabridged dictionary, advanced economics textbook and
a fairly complete law library close at hand.Ê Keep in mind that
voting yes frequently means no and vice versa.Ê It's complicated
out there, and that's not unintentional.
an initiative passes, the losing side will sue to have it overturned.Ê
Probability theory teaches that you are exceptionally likely
to be on the losing side.Ê Being a responsible citizen, you
should set aside an amount at least equal to your children's
college fund to pay your fair share of the legal costs.
There is, of course, an easier, better way to deal with ballot initiatives.Ê Just say no.Ê With the rarest of exceptions, initiatives are mischievous undertakings that behave badly once set upon a largely bewildered populace.Ê Remember that business about how one citizen can make a difference.Ê Ninety-nine times out of a 100 that's not true, but a large unruly mob is a whole different story.Ê Tea, anyone?December 20, 2002