The Government Loves to Make Us All Criminals

Here in Phoenix, we use our fireplace pretty much once a year -- on Christmas Day, more as an aesthetic aid to the atmosphere and festivities rather than out of any real need for added warmth.  I bought a box of fire logs several years ago and there are still three left.

So of course the Arizona government, for seemingly the hundredth year in a row, has banned fires on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  They always have some story about some special weather condition or whatever, but oddly enough year-in and year-out these special conditions only seem to occur on Christmas.  Clearly, the ban is in place on these days because the government knows these are the only days people are interested in making fires, but the media every year credulously reports the situation like it is a total coincidence.


  1. niccolom777:

    You're lucky, here in Canada some cities like Toronto and Vancouver are trying to ban stoves/fireplaces all together!!

  2. Glenn Geist:

    How in the hell do you even acknowledge that they have any authority over your actions in your own private residence? Grow a pair, have your fire, tell the Gestapo to go fuck themselves.

  3. jon49:

    The smoke from fire places can get pretty bad when everyone is using a fireplace. Some say a rocket mass heater would be a better solution since it burns pretty clean, although it takes up quite a bit of space. So, maybe it would be a better idea to use it in the northern climes, not AZ where it doesn't get too cold. I love my electric heat pump heaters. Just push a button and it's warm! As for the once a year fire, yeah, it's too bad they don't let you have at least that!

  4. tmitsss:

    The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claims that outdoor air kills hundreds of thousands of Americans every year. EPA has used this claim to: wreck the coal industry; justify expensive and job-killing air quality and climate rules; and to scare Americans about the air they breathe. Milloy not only debunks the outrageous EPA's claims and exposes them as rank scientific fraud in no uncertain terms, but offers a roadmap for fixing the rogue and out-of-control EPA.

  5. Not Sure:

    What's the point of becoming a public servant if you can't use your position to order people about?

  6. kidmugsy:

    It's not true of, for instance, the 19th century, but I think it's fair to say that almost every environmental scare I've been subjected to in adult life has either been completely bogus, or wildly exaggerated. Meantime a real worry - the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria - advances remorselessly.

  7. jc collins:

    How the hell else do you get rid of the boxes and wrapping paper? Some of the paper burns right pretty...

  8. Matthew Slyfield:

    Yep, and now, they are trying to go after Alaskans burning wood for heat in winter. WTF?, a lot of Alaskans have no other options.

  9. Peabody:

    According to the article, the first offense is a warning. So burn away!

  10. John O.:

    The Chinese Communist Party does this to its own people. The environmental bureaucrats in the EPA clearly take lessons from the CCP.

    The latest push in the past two weeks was the Chinese authorities banning the burning of coal for residential heat despite the fact that there's no alternative to coal established in many of the cities and towns.

  11. John O.:

    Most fireplaces in Phoenix are natural gas types, its rare for new wood burning fireplaces to be built when the inversion layers during the winter cause the bans on burning them. The air pollution problem isn't because of people burning fire wood like it use to but is because of road dirt from daily traffic suspended in the air and because the city sits in a large valley between mountain ranges the air doesn't clear up, especially when its not windy. I think the no burn ban is dumb on Christmas but it was cold enough to cause the inversion layer to form and that's really only the governments real criteria these days.

  12. jon49:

    Yeah, I used to live down there and glad to be out of all the pollution. I was pretty close to downtown Phoenix the last time I lived there and there was some company that would occasionally send out some toxic waste into the air - I had to close my windows at night when that happened - it was awful. I wish the state/city would do something about that - real pollution. Granted having thousands of wood fireplaces would also be pretty bad.

    I'm sure the fire ban doesn't apply to gas fire though. The Wasatch front (Salt Lake City UT area) also has the inversion problem. But since they stopped all the pollution it isn't as bad as it used to be. But people with respiratory problems can't live there in the winter since it still gets pretty bad.

  13. Aunty Fah-Fah:

    Autos and fireplaces are on their way out.

  14. Aunty Fah-Fah:

    Tickets for second offense will be issued on non-combustible material.

  15. Fromhere:

    It shore is easy sleeping at night whilst big daddy gubt protects us.

  16. Francis W. Porretto:

    "Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against -- then you'll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We're after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can be neither observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted -- and you create a nation of law-breakers -- and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with."

    [Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged]

    Rand was never more incisive than in the above quote from one of her most vividly colored villains.

  17. Mercury:

    "So of course the Arizona government, for seemingly the hundredth year in a row, has banned fires on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day."

    Just guessing that Trump's bully pulpit is more likely to be on your side here, not Clinton/Obama's (or Bush's evidently). I'd love to watch this Twitter war in 2018!

  18. cc:

    I think another aspect of the problem is categorical thinking. An environmental harm is identified, and then any contributor to that harm is treated the same, regardless of magnitude. Someone burning trash in LA gets in trouble, without regard to how tiny this is compared to the fires they have every year. The EPA fines for a homeowner who fills in a backyard puddle is the same as for a giant factory. All of which is nuts of course but people do tend to think in black/white, good/evil terms.

  19. Jim O'Neil:

    Up here, in North Pole, Alaska, we're still allowed to burn wood, of course,
    as long as it's in an EPA approved stove, of course,
    and is long as the logs contain less than 20% moisture content, of course,
    failure to comply may result in fines, imprisonment, or confiscation of property, of course.

  20. DeadMessenger:


  21. Maximum Liberty:

    This obviously has nothing to do with environmentalism.

    They are just trying to protect Santa from being roasted alive.