Let us decide our own vices

Schooling and deciding what’s next in their lives aside, personal appearance is one of the biggest dramas that teenagers deal with on a daily basis.
Apr 11, 2013


If Michigan lawmakers have their way, those under the age of 18 will have one less option to upgrade their looks, as the state is considering putting a stop to youngsters using tanning beds.

The state already has regulations in place that require parental consent before a minor can use a tanning bed, but now lawmakers want to take it a step further and strip moms and dads of their power to parent their children.

While the intent of the law might be good in its effort to curb people from damaging their bodies, this is yet another example of “big brother” reaching in and trying to micromanage our lives.

Take another recent example in New York, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried to ban the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. The move was part of an effort to combat America’s obesity epidemic. Good intentions aside, a New York court ruling has put a lid on the ban for the time being.

However, the fact remains that government is trying to do our jobs for us.

Let us decide if our children are able to go to a tanning salon. And let us decide if we can have the jumbo-size soft drink.

While these actions may be questionable health decisions, at what point do we begin to live in a world found in a page torn from a George Orwell novel?

Bottom line: If we don’t have the freedom to make our own lifestyle choices or the choices for our own children, then how free are we?

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.


GH Cyclist

If we want to smoke a little cannabis before bedtime...then let us make that decision too...


yep...its always heart warming to see our government using resources wisely.


When did we go from being citizens to cattle?


They want to control who can use a tanning bed, but at the same time, they do not want parents to know when their daughter has an abortion or takes birth control pills. It's a world gone mad.


word that boater.


We're as free as the bureaucrats let us, or as free as we want to be before we decide the bureaucrats have no right to let us do anything. You have a bunch of liberal Ivy Leaguers who are in government, in teaching, in the media, who have never been responsible for much of anything deciding they know better than we do, and will help us for our own good, whether we want it or not.

When you have politicans thinking they will tell us how much soda we can drink, what food we can eat, how to protect the planet, how to raise our children (MSNBC host and Hillary Clinton), how our doctors should treat us, how much money we can make and keep, and you have the people permitting them to not only think it but carry it out, you have where we are today.

To quote the clear thinking Iowahawk:

One of the creepier features of lefty language is the application of possessive pronouns. "My" is for rights (real or imagined), "your" is for responsibilities, "our" is for the stuff in my bank account they want to take. Unless it's the case of "our responsibility" in which case they actually mean "your responsibility." As the old saying goes, "what's mine is mine, what's yours is negotiable."

And people actually wonder why they want to disarm us?


I'd like to offer a solution that might help you, Wing, and others to bear up under the burden of Ivy League liberalism. A tat of Wayne LaPierre's favorite saying....seems he and I are both lovers of Latin, and I'm enamored of his rendition of a popular saying. "Illegitimi non carborundum". I knew there had to be something redeeming about the guy! Tat appointment scheduled.

Mystic Michael

As usual, Vlad, you start off with a germ of truth & wisdom...and then proceed to stretch it and distort it and exaggerate it with your false dichotomies and your leaps of paranoid illogic, until the conceptual image resembles something to be seen only in a funhouse mirror. Your world would seem to be a very scary and desperate place indeed.

(As to "how to protect the planet", call me crazy, but I just happen to pay far more heed to the word of professional climate scientists, than the word of dirty energy industry corporate shills, their right-wing enablers in Congress (*cough*Inhofe*cough*Coburn*cough), and Fundamentalist climate-change deniers.


Of course. The willful suspension of logic, discernment, and objectivity, coupled with the seemingly enthusiastic embrace and promotion of misinformation is a hallmark of this kind of thinking. Thinkers like this create that funhouse mirror, stretching, contorting, and warping, always on the verge of shattering.

For example, Vlad's finger pointing at "liberal Ivy League" leaders who "tell us what to do" as the cause of society's ills/vices conveniently gives a break to all those conservative Ivy League leaders who did great damage to this country - Bush II, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Paulson, Snow, Mukasey, Gonzalez, Ashcroft, ad nauseum. I only went back a few years.

Inconvenient truths usually don't conform to the the contortions of a funhouse mirror, nor do they conform to the specifications of one-way glass.


Interesting commentary. I believe Vlad, you and I are generational bookends to the liberal Ivy Leaguers you speak of. We saw what happened during those days from different age perspectives but yet come to many of the same conclusions today. Why is it the generation of demonstrate everything, free love, free will, distrust the man (ie position of authority) now in charge and they are so hell bent on controlling everybodies lives and rights! They have become what they so riled against. I ask honestly, does anybody else see how ironic this is?

Read your constitution people, it guarantees and protects you from a lot of this garbage. They are counting on the fact you don't understand it so they can legislate those guarantees away.


Based on some other comments, like you being "so screwed," I think I'm probably the antiquated end of the books - a seniority I don't accept happily.

I can't explain it - my grandmothers were first generation Irish; my grandfathers German and English. The English part of the grandfather's family from anthracite coal country in Northern Pennsylvania. Their children grew up in Brooklyn and Long Island, N.Y. and my parents, part of the Greatest Generation, went through the Depression. My Dad volunteered in the Army right after Pearl Harbor and my Mom traveled by train in the early 1940's to California to marry my father before he shipped out to the Pacific - neither had ever been more than 200 miles from New York city. In other words, arguing about politics was not part of their daily concerns (although my surviving Grandfather from coal country railed against FDR and I'm sure was pleased that he survived Eleanor by a couple of days).

Didn't mean to digress - I missed the free love, free will, distrust the man (although as you pointed out, ironically, they be the man and I distrust them) by only a couple of years, but the timeline is vital. I was teaching in the inner city while they were trying to shut the city down - I vividly recall having to get out of my 544 POS Volvo with a tire iron to convince the free love generation that I cared more about my teaching than I did about their skulls (and I was making less teaching in an all black parochial school in D.C. than I had made driving a truck and working landscaping on Long Island three years earlier,)

I believe, supported by history, the left (collectivists, socialists, liberals, progressives, Communists) have always had a longer view than the folks who have to work for a living, raise a family, be concerned about savings, ensuring their own healthcare, etc. They have had generations from the 60's to progress their goals, priorities, philosophies, and here we are. And since they are so better educated than we are, so much more intelligent, so much more caring, sensitive, and egalitarian, it would be a crime against nature if they didn't seize control and forcibly make us better citizens, human beings, stewards of the earth.

I'm old enough to recall how everything for the vast majority was better. Sorry about the diarrhea of the keyboard - your questions caused a reaction.


It was a '68 Volvo that broke down on the Bay Bridge.....loved that car.


My 544 was, I believe, 1962. I actually loved the car - just couldn't afford the upkeep, not to mention that the door handles on virtually every one of them was defective (I know from looking in every junkyard for miles around for replacements. I hate bridges in general, but the Bay Bridge the most. Would never have used it except it was the only was to get to the Eastern Shore. If I had broken down on the bridge I would have either jumped or jacked the first car I could stop.


It was a blue sedan - I loved it. It broke down constantly and parts were expensive ( we might have combed the same junkyards!), but who gave a fig? It was a Volvo. Your car was a super-cool sports model, much like my dad's Saab. Us kids would fight over who got to drive it, loving it and hating mom's Olds, until he traded in our beloved Saab for a burnt orange el Camino, of all things. Problem solved.

The Volvo was sold and a '64 VW bug (pearlweis), made in Germany for German use, was the cool new (used) car. It had no heater or gas gauge, but was the source of constant delight with the word "farht" on the ignition and lots of U of Cal parking stickers on the fender. Still have it, might come in handy in retirement years...:<

The fact that I can still vividly remember breaking down on the Bay Bridge is a testament to the sheer and utter terror I felt. Thank God it wasn't in the tunnel.


OMG I just knew you had VW van not a cool Chevy van. Did it have beads?


Wing - it was a VW Bug, not van. Never owned a van, nor had beads in any car, but I suppose it's not too late.....


( and it's a FORD van...)


Ah, was laughing to hard when reading your reply to see the bug. Sounds like it needed a blue stripe and number on it.


Ah, was laughing to hard when reading your reply to see the bug. Sounds like it needed a blue stripe and number on it.


No - Stripes and numbers were for the cool, new American models. This one was really special - old, stripped down, great on gas mileage, and, after the Volvo, parts were cheap and plentiful at the junkyards.


Reminds me of my late buddy "Charlie" - absolutely incomparable VW mechanic who put Bugs together from cannibalized spare parts and sold them. (That's ALL he did to keep himself in beer - to get him to work on your car you had to bring him new "tools" (a case worth). I was driving one of them when I rolled it one night, survived but had to get to NY in two days. Charlie sold me "Bloody Mary" that was green, red, and creme colored - he told me it was a 60 model. Fastest VW I ever owned - but driving up to NY in a snowstorm I ripped the duct tape off the dash vents to get some heat and almost asphyxiated myself - Charlie hadn't told me a heater core was bad and that he taped the vents for that reason. Had a brake issue and left it at a garage - the owner called me to ask me how I knew it was a 1960. I explained and he said actually, the rear end was 1960 but the front was something else and he couldn't figure what part to order. Thanks for the memory!


Your story definitely wins out over mine. Once a belt broke on the Volvo while on the DC beltway at rush hour - we had to use our leather belts as a substitute. Of course they stretched and we had to stop every few miles and tighten them up. Eventually, I was given a perfectly adequate company car - blah. No more stories.

In memory of Charlie, and our iconic cars, here's two more icons from the 60's...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w.... Enjoy the memories....


I'm sure you had one of these: http://i.ebayimg.com/t/Volkswago...$T2eC16F,!zoE9s5nc2+1BP9kbBUKf!~~60_57.JPG


A fond glimpse of a prerequisite of VDub ownership! Have one (maybe 2) still floating around here. It's not pretty, looking like it's gone to he!! and back, but, I was never the one to actually get their hands dirty. I was very good at anticipating and handing over tools.

Your description of driving to NY in a snowstorm prompted another memory of being stranded overnight in a VW bug convertible on the way back from NYC to see Fiddler on the Roof. A fierce Nor'Easter hit hard - snow up almost to the top, parked along side a desolate country road, "safe" off the interstate. It's a wonder it didn't end with asphyxiation, suffocation, starvation, hypothermia, or being hit by a snow plow. The glory days...


Speaking of the Bay, I'm glad our Dear Leader has taken steps to ensure that Muhrilanders pay to make it healthy. http://www.gazette.net/article/2...


Sshhh....in your rush to bash the Laird, you're going to give our Guv' even more good ideas....looks like he and O'Malley have already shared a few brews together....http://www.gazette.net/article/2....

Hillary-O'Malley? Sure is fun to say!


Oh no! I think we all agree on this. That's the surest sign I've ever seen that something must really be wrong.



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