The Lileks Zone

Civilization is a modern invention, too. Explains why they can’t stand it

You may have heard of the case of a British family who lost their kid to the state because everyone in the household is too bleedin’ fat, and the Health Authorities deemed the child at risk for becoming stout. Whether they took him Elian-Gonzalez styl, with troops in riot gear holding Mum and Da at bay while they hooked up a block-and-tackle to swing the tot out the upper-floor window, I don’t know. I do know that England will continue to be the source of stories of PC gone starkers, and that the vast majority of porridge-spined Britons will continue to take it.

Now comes a story from Boston that makes one wonder how the scolds in the Sceptered Isle would react: A family has decided to forgo heating this winter to do their bit for climate change. A 16-month old baby is among the residents of this bleak house.

Would this be sufficient cause to take away the kid? Probably not. Just as multicuturalism has a pecking order that belies its kumbaya egalitarianism – all victims are equal, but some are more equal than others – so it is with modern progressive thought. Given the ruminations some make on the wisdom of a one-child policy, it seems that A) the child ought to be glad it’s shivering for the Cause, and B) if it does expire from exposure, well, it’s done its bit for Mother Earth, eh? A family that had three children and kept them all warm with fossil fuels: enemy of the planet. A family that has one and lets him lose the occasional toe when the climate turns cold: heroes. (Besides, with all this warming about, the house can’t get too chilly.)

So they get a pass. Unless dad works at home and smokes, of course. An Ontario truck driver has been fined for smoking in his truck, because the cab is a “workplace,” and you can’t smoke there. Even if it is your property, to use an archaic word that means . . . well, not sure what it means. Better to use “workplace,” because then the state can regulate it. As the fellow said in “1984” – it’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.

Dig this:

Neil MacKenzie, the manager of tobacco programs for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, said even a farmer’s enclosed tractor would be considered a work environment.

“Whether or not you have the sunroof open or windows down … it’s an enclosed workplace and you’re prohibited from smoking in that vehicle,” he told Windsor radio station CKLW.

MacKenzie added, however, that no one would march into a field and fine a farmer for smoking in an enclosed tractor.

“Before we take any radical action on it, we’d confirm with the Ministry of Health whether there’s precedent,” he said.

Yes, that’s what’s stopping them from trudging across a muddy field, slapping the Winston out of a farmer’s mouth, and fining him: they’re not certain whether there’s precedent. But there will be. They need precedent, because that makes their actions “legal.” And “legal” makes it right.

(PS: the comments on the Boston story are priceless, as you might imagine; one person sniffs that 63 degrees is a perfectly fine temperature for winter: “People have lived for years in less than 72 degree heated homes and been healthy and happy. Central heating is a modern invention.”

That’s now what you call something to discredit it.)

Login to Listen

Episodes of The Hugh Hewitt Show Podcast are available to Hughniverse members only.

Get Your First Month for 99 Cents!

Commercial Free Audio

Commercial Free Audio

Access to a commercial free archive of The Hugh Hewitt Radio Show Podcast.

Listen On-Demand

Listen On-Demand

Listen to the show anytime you want.
24 hours a day / 7 days a week. Whenever and Wherever.

Archive Calendar