Thursday, October 06, 2011

The lemon's long tail

A few months ago, I posted a complaint about a thin bit of anecdotal sub-journalism by Nicholas Martin. In it, Martin complains that his daughter can't open a lemonade stand in a park, or at home, without getting permits for commercial food prep. Or so he says.

I pointed out that the laws were unlikely to be enforced — the same thing he was told by the person he says he spoke to — and that they have a broader purpose that supports the public good, and that complaining that the zoning laws technically prevent food stands is pretty weak sauce.

Martin, having apparently just gotten around to googling himself, complained in my comments. Because I know that literally no one reads comments on months-old entries unless they're googling themselves (or tapirs, which has been my number one search term for about a month), I've decided to move it up here, out of fairness to Martin. (If anyone else has comments they think I missed, let me know).

Nicolas Martin said...
There is nothing misleading about my piece, which you could have verified by contacting me. Through some painless googling you could also have discovered that the Consumer Health Education Council has been around since the 1980s.

Since the piece ran there have been several incidents of lemonade stands being shut down by authorities. But more importantly, the regulations prevent adult entrepreneurs from offering services and selling products. Unfortunately, there are reactionaries who oppose the liberalization of consenting economic activities among adults.
7:10 AM

Josh said...
Well, there was plenty misleading about your piece, which I verified by reading it.

And just because the Consumer Health Education Council has been around since the 1980s doesn't mean it's not astroturfing, a phrase that's been around since the '80s.

In fact, the first result of a painless google search is Sourcewatch's article on the American Council on Science and Health, an astroturf organization.

As far as lemonade stands being shut down, well, you know, one of those things about being a journalist and not a flack is that you could provide at least a couple of links to support that.

Further, as long as we're talking — those regulations also prevent health risks and deaths. Reactionaries, a term usually reserved for conservative revanchists, generally want to remove regulations in order to socialize risk and privatize profit.

But I'm glad that the Consumer Health Education Council will be fighting to overturn drug laws that prevent consenting adults from enjoying economic and recreational activities.
12:48 PM

(EDIT: Corrected spelling of "flack" from "flak," a typo.)

If any of you several readers have comments on this, this post is probably the most likely place to get them read.

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