Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 427, July 22, 2007

"We are in a position to alter history."


Liberty and Celebrities in the News
by Daniel G. Jennings

Credit The Libertarian Enterprise

Two celebrity stories now playing themselves out in the news have brought me to the keyboard to deliver a little libertarian commentary.

As a wrestling mark (as true pro wrestling fans call themselves) I've been following the tragic demise of the legendary pro wrestling champion Chris Benoit. As anybody who's turned on TV in the last few days knows Benoit went berserk and killed his wife and son before taking his own life.

There has been speculation that illegal or quasi legal steroids—which virtually all professional athletes use to enhance their muscles—may have induced a condition called Roid Rage in the Canadian Crippler. If this is true (and it's just media hyped speculation at this point) then Benoit just might have been the victim of drug prohibition.

Benoit, being a working stiff with a wife and kid to support, needed Steroids to do his job (pro wrestling) but he couldn't buy them legally so he had to go to the black market or the gray market. The purveyors of black market steroids are under no obligation to make sure their product is safe, they can't be sued. Nor do black market steroid dealers have any commitment to quality, or any interest in improving their product. Why should they? They can peddle fifth rate crap cooked up by some quack for hundreds of dollars an ounce.

Now imagine if steroids had been legal and a pharmacist could sell them to you without worrying about the DEA gestapo? Benoit could have bought his steroids at his local Wal-Mart while he picked up his cat food and toilet paper. Wal-Mart being afraid of being sued would insist on quality steroids that are undoctored and free of side effects.

If steroids were legal scientists and pharmaceutical companies would have an incentive to improve them. To develop a steroid that increased muscle mass without causing roid rage, but since steroids are banned nobody has an incentive to improve them. I might also add that if steroids were legal legitimate doctors would prescribe them instead of questionable quacks, and Benoit might have gone to a real doctor who might have prescribed him steroids in a safe way.

Of course we'll never know but there's a strong possibility that Christ Benoit was the victim of drug prohibition. One of thousands but one who's name we know.

The other celebrity in the news is Paris Hilton (okay she's always in the news, I have to wonder is she a mutant who has the publicity gene?) The poor little rich jail recently finished a jail sentence, she served twenty one days in the LA County lockup for being rich and famous nothing else. Had she been a secretary or struggling actress driving home drunk she would have been sent home after paying a fine.

Wealthy Democrats like Warren Buffett will point to Paris Hilton as a reason for inheritance taxes. Taxing the income of people who inherit because they might waste it on something frivolous.

But what I wonder is so bad about Paris Hilton? She isn't that rich and she doesn't hurt anybody but herself and maybe her little dog.

This isn't to say there aren't destructive rich people spending the family fortune in harmful ways I can think of several horrible examples: George W. Bush, his brother Jeb, Ted Kennedy and his late brothers, John Kerry, Al Gore, Dan Quayle, Franklin Roosevelt and a dozen others. Spoiled brats who never having worked for a living, have decided upon careers in public service. Public service being spending the tax money of those who really work for a living on their pet projects while voting themselves and their buddies all sorts of tax breaks.

The kind of people who vote to inflict the Transportation Security Administration on the average airline passenger knowing that they'll never have to surrender their tooth paste or submit to a strip search from some perverted high school drop out who got kicked out of the Army because they have private jets to fly on. Note to terrorists want to duplicate Sept. 11, forget commercial airlines either charter a plane or just round up Abdul, Akmed and the boys buy some Saturday night specials and rent a SUV then use it to crash into a private airport and swipe some millionaire's private jet.

This means that Paris Hilton is fairly harmless until she realizes how much money she can make in that politics racket and uses daddy's money to buy her way in. . . .


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