N.Y. runs afoul of free will

"We arrive into life alone. Cold, unclothed we travel the requisite inches through the birth canal and begin significant life. When the umbilical cord is severed, the conversion is complete. We are now free—but also completely and totally singular in the world. Alone at last.

"And this is also the way most of us will die; no matter how tightly others cling to us or give wishes of fond farewells, it is fundamentally us, and not them, who pass away from worldly experience.

"Each of us develops a consciousness and thereby a will. That will is a gloriously free one, it has preferences. It is the entity behind our eyes which we refer to with the word, "I."

"These truths about the solitary and willful nature of human existence give rise to a few consequences. Independence is an emergent property. Because we are ourselves, and merely ourselves, self-determination is the preferred and rightful form of governance. Therefore, we resent when external forms of governance encroach upon that small patch of green-as-grass free decision making the state of nature affords us. We permit these only when we agree that the protection from other wills they afford is within our best interest.

"How far we have come from those first, individualist principles in the state of New York. While we begin from that mystically-wild will that comes fully-installed into every newborn, it seems the pendulum—acting fully determined by its own momentum—has swung the other way.

"Case in point: it was announced last week the state had worked out an agreement that would end distribution of the popular alcoholic drink "four loko". In case you have not heard about it, the drink combines the alcohol of several cans of beer with the caffeine of multiple cups of coffee. Packaged in colorful designs and marketed to young adults, the drink has raised eyebrows as being a dangerous weapon given to the least well-equipped to handle it. The hazard comes from the caffeine. When the body receives pathologically-excessive doses of alcohol it deals with this by shuttering and using sleep to both cease alcoholic intake as well as shelter itself from the effects.

"So New York would be justified in trying to protect us from such as dangerous product, right? Wrong.

"News-flash: Caffeinated malt-drinks are nothing new. They’ve been around for as long as their constituent ingredients—people are not dropping dead in the streets.

"And why should the state be acting so parentally toward citizens? People of reason and lawful age should be permitted to make the decisions their will desires without repressive influence from civic government. They should also be allowed to experience the consequences of these wills. These two ideas—freedom and consequence—go hand-in-hand.

"If a man or woman wants to freely, and of their own volition, drink a caffeinated liquor drink, then that is his or her own concern. The community cannot unduly coerce free and individual will. That is the way nature positions us; it is the way our civilized arrangements should allow us to remain.

"The same holds true for excessive cigarette legislation. New York consistently taxes away the rights of smokers to engage in an activity that remains completely legal. Recently they have gone even further, as to work toward increasing social stigma faced by smokers. Yes, smoking undeniably causes cancers and all types of unhealth. However, the trajectory of our lives is every will’s to plot for themselves. As long as these navigational decisions are made in light of accurate, relevant information, then the role of the community in the choice is only advisory.

"Our state government does not understand these truths about human freedom and individual will. What they fail to understand is the will is an engine unto itself. It chooses its own path and some paths rough up the machine more than others. This weird and wild thing that is individuality ought not be stifled; indeed, a long history of failed rules and regulations leaves little doubt that it can never be.

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