Rand Paul's baby talk

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Last week, Rand Paul (R-KY) -- man, there's a double entendre just waiting to happen -- went shithouse ballistic (pun intended) over what he sees as one of the most pressing issue in the nation today -- low-flush toilets.

At a hearing while grilling a lower level Obama Administration Energy department spokesperson, Paul was in full fury.

 

"Frankly, the toilets don't work in my house," Paul said. "And I blame you, and people like you who want to tell me what I can install in my house, what I can do."

 

Be it low flush crappers nouveau, newer and costlier and more energy efficient light bulbs, recycling (the new House leadership got rid of biodegradables in the House caff as a remnant of the despised Pelosi era), the angry and seething Libertarian and his followers are a bizarre variation on the Patrick Henry ethos that could have only sprung from the lunacy of our era--"Give me the liberty to waste the planet's resources frivolously or give me...well, all of us are draft-dodging chicken-hawks anyway, so death may be extreme, let's just say we're gonna whine loudly about it."

One would think that "conservatism" (Paul claims to be conservative) would include the classical definition, like prudence and caution and recognition that the finite resources of the planet have to be, well, conserved. Instead, he and his ilk rail about "treehuggers" and "environazis" and their mouthpieces mock people accustomed to husbanding their resources as silly.

 

But this is not conservatism. It is, as any parent whose ever seen a fou- year-old in action, the mindlessly childish defiance of anyone that dares impose anything for one's own good, even when it makes complete sense to do so--this is not a drug or alcohol law of a prohibitionary stripe, nor a ban on the salacious, nor even an actual imposition--today's "conservative" gets irate over any restriction, because, how dare you tell me what I can or can't purchase even if it will make future generations (ie, the "unborn" that they claim to care about so much) miserable.

 

In other words, baby talk. This is kiddie shit--''I will stand up to those who would see me as a child because I, well, am being childish.'' Defiance over not only the trivial, but the desire to make other people miserable by one's own lack of sense and control. No wonder the American Right uses the expression "nanny state" so much--they are stuck in perpetual infanthood and see even the most modest measures to cut down on resource overuse as a kind of totalitarian, grown-up imposed austerity.

 

It isn't a sacrifice to have less water in your john, Rand. It isn't an imposition to put in them curly lightbulbs or to haul your own bags to the Safeway or to put recyclables in a different colored barrel. It's called "accepting reality." Which is probably why Senator Paul wouldn't recognize it if it bit him on his toupeed ass.

 

Johnny Angel Wendell is a talk show host in LA at KTLK AM1150 and here on SFBG.com, as well as a musician  and actor

Comments

He said he was in favor of conservation, but not the government mandating his choice of how to do that. Water recycles in any event. There is a reason there are traces of anti depressant drugs in LA's water system, and I don't want to think about those reasons too much.

San Francisco has a megamillion dollar sewer problem and smells like -- rotten eggs (or so the papers say, charitably), because the lack of water to drive the sewage THROUGH the system once it leaves the toilet wasn't factored in.

These are unintended consequences and happen all the time with government mandates. But the real point is, what gives our government the right to do it?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 18, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

The government, unlike the private sector does (supposedly) belong to the people. The government's right to mandate low flush toilets comes from elected reps who, upon hearing and reading testimony (from everywhere), deem that maybe just maybe a stinkier sewer system is a small inconvenience as opposed to having less potable water in the future.

You sound like the 4 year old described in the essay--"how dare you make me do anything?" No one is forcing anything on you, a common sense and tiny measure of preservation has been implemented so water is available in the future.

I realize that this boggles the toddler like mentality of the Right, but you can't have everything you want whenever you want it. Grow up.

Posted by paul patterson on Mar. 18, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

complained about George Bush's illegal wars have you?

Posted by matlock on Mar. 18, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

Johnny boy, you’ve got to be kidding me! You’ve missed the whole point of the Senator’s rant in the first place. He made the point of how idiotic it is for the government to even TRY to regulate these consumer items by pointing out how they utterly screw up our lives and the consumer market as well by making stupid choices for us. Our government bureaucrats have turned both childish and petty as if they have nothing else to do but meddle in our lives treating us like children.

The new progressive slogan now is "shut up and obey!"

Posted by Darrell Jensen on Mar. 18, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

The left has become as bad as the born again Christians.

They ramble on about freedom but when push comes to shove they have this overpowering need to tell you how to live your life, for your own good, like a born againer.

For 15 years I have used some fluorescent bulbs and a 40watt incandescent bulb where I work and at home because the fluorescents make my eyes hurt and the incandescent keeps a steady stream of light.

Thanks to our born again Christian progressive betters I'm going to have to come up with something else than what has worked fine for me for years, because we are all too stupid to think for ourselves.

As a libertarian type I agree we should get the government out of who gets married to whom, the progressives agree that the government should get out of that business, and into what we do with our trash and what we buy at the store.

Obey your progressive masters, they like born again Christians know how you should live your own life.

Posted by matlock on Mar. 18, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

"Don't tell us how to live, but it's OK for us to do it to you, for your own good"

I find this all so ironic in that Johnny once said concerning the NYC Mosque.

"Before You Go All Fox News On Us.... ...The last topic in the cast is praise for Republican Congressman Ron Paul's genuinely rational and logical take on the "Ground Zero Mosque".

We ain't hatas here."

The libertarian world view is cool when it works to your advantage, but when our liberals know how you should be living your life, it backwards and childish? I understand that Ron Paul and Rand Paul are two different people, I just enjoy the picking and choosing.

Our American liberals want to be free to tell other people how to live.

Posted by matlock on Mar. 18, 2011 @ 4:57 pm

our senator's and representative's had nothing to do with the mandate's he was talking about. an unelected gov. agency placed the restrictions, that's the point that was missed
people today remind me of the "The Matrix," still plugged in to the system unable to see whose in charge and pulling the strings. corporation's and central bank's control every industrialized nation and have there currupt governments taking the heat. WAKE UP!

Posted by Guest on Mar. 18, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

Usually a mandate comes from a commission and then is enacted by an elected group.

The enviro groups in some cases have been given the authority to mandate though. Just to clarify.

Posted by matlock on Mar. 18, 2011 @ 5:57 pm

You ever see the King of the Hill episode where Hank is fighting the city council over the low-flow toilets? Hank makes more sense, though.
Sure a lot of regulations are a pain and some even do the opposite of what they intend, but as someone who does some house remodeling and construction, the new toilets work great. The first generation of low-flow weren't the best, but the latest models use half the water and flush just as hard if not harder.
You can think of regulations as creating a ceiling, but it's probably more accurate to see most of them as setting a bar. Without the regulations that Paul and other whiners like him complain about constantly, we wouldn't have cars with seatbelts and airbags, we wouldn't have fire-retardant materials in our homes, we wouldn't have water quality standards, the list goes on and on. Without building regulations, millions, not thousands, of Japanese would have perished in the recent quake.
I honestly don't know why anybody takes this moron seriously. I have libertarian leanings, but Rand Paul is a cartoon character.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 18, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

If I ever had any doubts about how utterly screwed up today's "Libertarians" are, the posts here have erased them.

The ridiculous drug laws, the suspension of habeus corpus, warrantless wiretaps, indefinite holds on "enemy combatants", the ludicrous and periodical crackdowns on adult sex workers and this little gem from Michigan, where the rights of the people to be represented by elected officials is being removed (http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2011/03/18/sfbg-radio-good-news-wisconsin-m...)--nary a peep.

But Michelle Bachmann raves about the evils of florescent light bulbs and Rand Paul goes full hyperbole about toilets and all of a sudden, the rights of the Republic are threatened.

The reasons for implementing the change in energy consumption and water use are varied, but at the root of them is this--to save you clueless imbeciles YOUR OWN MONEY, not to mention TO PREVENT YOU FROM HAVING NO WATER LATER.

Your power bills go down. Your water bill goes down. When seat belt and helmet laws are observed, the cost of public health, that's cost as in YOUR OWN MONEY. Do you grasp why these minor inconveniences are being asked of you? To prevent anything like rationing--we live a drought-riddled state--which would you prefer?

Every time some Ayn disciple kicks up a fuss about trivia or this being a slippery slope only reinforces two basic points: 1) you're easily manipulated by your 4 year old's emotions and 2) you are not an adult, mentally. A sensible human being with a knowledge of history saw all of Western Europe go Socialist after WW2 because of resource scarcity. That need not happen here, except for what talk-radio addled dingbats demand--the right to waste, as if that's sacred.

You have the right to burn through your savings if you want to, that's your money--and don't ask me to take care of you when your money is gone. But you don't have the right to burn through water and power as if they're infinite when they're not because like it or not, they belong to everyone.

Jesus Christ.....

Posted by Guest Johnny Wendell on Mar. 18, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

Randroids are not libertarians, some randroids are libertarians though. There is a libertarian party, which is a bit of sad gang often times. And then there are people who have a libertarian outlook, who unlike so called liberals don't have an interest in micro-managing people's lives.

It infuriates "liberals" that they get told what to do under the guise of "for their own good" by people such as born again Christians, who are anti-libertarian too. It makes "liberals" even madder that they can't tell the rest of us what to do for our own good.

It's also interesting that "liberals" rant and rave about how the rest of us are all so dumb and manipulated.

Libertarians as a party and a group were the refuge of gay rights, when the democrats were doing nothing. These positions that minor parties take are often co-opted by the two major parties, ecology and gay rights were co-opted by the democrats, and now these democratic and "progressive" monkeys have claimed them.

Little Johnny's post is also interesting in that he complains that we should all be thankful for these "we know whats good for you laws" because of the costs of what is being legislated. An odd argument for a person who seems to be advocating at other points, driving down wages and increasing entitlements.

"We should open the borders, legalize everyone and then raise taxes to pay for it? But look how much we are saving from helmet laws."

The argument about expanding government power at the top by Johnny is also interesting, libertarian types are usually opposed to expanding government power, I don't know if I have ever met self described libertarian who has been for laws against prostitution and drug use. That someone is opposed to certain "for our own good laws" doesn't mean they are for prostitution laws. The people who want to pick and choose their way through these schemes are "progressives," who all know how we should be living. Like born again Christians.

Posted by matlock on Mar. 18, 2011 @ 8:02 pm

So 'KY' is the double entendre? Because it means Kentucky and sex lubricant? Is that where the hyphenated interjection in the opening line was headed? Wherever it was going, it left me behind.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 18, 2011 @ 7:56 pm

You missed the point but of coarse you know that because your twist was intentional. The majority of people who probably read your articles probably won't listen to Rand Paul with a open mind and won't fact check what he said vs what your accusing him of saying. The left scare me more than the hard right. This rhetoric talk is no better then what you get on fox news. You are no different. You bitch about the GOP trying to make laws about who you should marry and other moral driven laws but then defend the same kind of laws that fit in your set of Ideals.Toilets, gay marriage... It really is all the same. I think your article is dishonest, but you already knew that.

Posted by Is this the left version of Fox news? on Mar. 18, 2011 @ 8:25 pm

Rand Paul is to Ron Paul as W was to his father--a pampered, soulless weakling.

Ron Paul laughs at his cohorts when they demand NPR be defunded for budget purposes and asks them how come no cuts in military spending?

You may not agree with Ron Paul, but at least he isn't a fraud like his son is. Same with Bush Sr.

Posted by Paul Patterson on Mar. 19, 2011 @ 7:38 am

There are costs attendant with profligate water use. Those costs are now socialized because the cost of providing water is subsidized by government. Either those subsidies go away and the price of water rises even for the most conservative users which is problematic as access to a baseline amount of water is a life necessity, or price incentives are put into place to cover the cost that marginal heavy water users place on the rest of us, costs that are socialized by subsidy.

Short of that, mandating low flow toilets is a good idea. Being that I am constantly full of shit, I prefer a dual flush crapper that was pretty pricey ($350) but which the SF PUC subsidized with a nice check for like $175.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Mar. 19, 2011 @ 8:19 am

Those who think like Paul ARE childish. You can't just do whatever you want without screwing things up for everything and everyone else. Libertarian types, including many who blog here, just don't get it. They're all like selfish children who want to do whatever they please, the rest of the world be damned. Grow the fuck up!!!

If low-flush toilets are needed to save water, then yes, they have to be mandated,and is proven by the idiotic comments of Paul and people on this blog: people often won't do the right thing and have to be forced to do it.

Posted by Jeff on Mar. 21, 2011 @ 10:03 pm

You missed the point, Jeff. It has nothing to do with what Rand or his followers want... or what you want. It has everything to do with the power of the government. The question is (and Rand seems to think the answer is "no"), "Does the Constitution allow the government to regulate toilets?"

-cheers

Posted by Guest on Mar. 21, 2011 @ 10:54 pm