Friday, August 11, 2006

Fluoride Vs. Pyrethrin

Those of you that have been reading the Sacramento Bee lately know there's been an ongoing controversy over spraying areas around Sacramento for control of mosquitos in hopes of reducing the incidence of West Nile Virus.

The first two letters to the editor of The SacBee today argue two different sides of the issue. This is one of those where I find my feelings conflicted. One one hand I oppose the fluoridation of drinking water since I see it as forced medication, or treatment. On the other hand I don't have a problem with judicious use of aerial spraying to control mosquitos.

Here's a SacBee article that describes the pesticides being used and some comments from various sources on the problems involved. I don't find the arguments against pyrethrin or PBO all that compelling although they do raise valid concerns. I don't find arguments for or against flouride all that compelling, either, yet I oppose water flouridation and don't seem to have much problem with spraying pyrethrins.

What's the difference, from a libertarian standpoint, between fluoridating water and aerial spraying of insecticides? I'm not sure but I think there is one.

7 Comments:

At 12:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is where libertarianism falls to pieces on the merest brush with the real world.

To have any semblance of consistency, libertarians must oppose mosquito control, fluoridation, chlorination, sewage treatment, stop signs, speed limits, locks on gov't building doors... any form of regulation or public safety.

It's just a boutique ideology for people to blather about in coffee shops.

 
At 12:32 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Oh, I suppose if you want to equate the libertarian philosophy with total anarchy it might seem that way. I don't.

To say that any form of regulation or public safety is unacceptable isn't where I'm coming from. I just think there's a LOT more than is necessary or proper in what is supposed to be considered a free society.

I assume you're of the mind that any suggestion of reducing government control over the individual equates to no government at all and you think we need more regulation over every aspect of our lives?

 
At 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I assume you're of the mind that any suggestion of reducing government control over the individual equates to no government at all and you think we need more regulation over every aspect of our lives?"

You assume wrong. There's a reasonable balance between public safety and overregulation, one which society is always debating and refining. But reasonable balance isn't something that fits in libertarianism's effete, irrelevant doctrine.

Like I say, step out the front door of the coffee house and libertarianism dissipates like a caffeine rush.

 
At 1:34 PM, Blogger FaulknA said...

Caffeine Rush? What band is that?

Balance is the key to anything. There is currently no balance in our government. No brains either.

 
At 2:51 PM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Yep. It's just that we're way past the camel having his nose in the tent

 
At 6:35 AM, Blogger Fred said...

1:26 wrote, "But reasonable balance isn't something that fits in libertarianism's effete, irrelevant doctrine.".

Perhaps. I prefer to think libertarians don't think in terms of government needing to be involved in everything from the get- go.

All of that is pretty much a moot point in the real world as government's growth can't seem to even be slowed down, much less government actually being reduced.

 
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