Guest Commentary: No Smoking Legislation

So we have reached yet another Thursday night, and with it another night featuring a guest commentary from one of our regular readers and participants. Jon Smith is at it again, challenging us to take another look at an issue that we have discussed a long time ago. This is an issue that hits somewhat close to home for me. I am not a fan at all of the way that smokers have been treated over the last decade. They fall into the category of “sinners” who get hit with “sin taxes”. Sin taxes are one of those things that simply infuriate me. That society as a whole accepts these types of taxes and legislative maneuvers around smoking points, in my opinion, to the absolute short-sightedness of the American voter. It’s that who law of mutuality thing hitting home again. When you deem it fair to infringe on the rights of one particular group, I have to silently hope that I am around when it becomes you that is in the next group attacked.

No Smoking Legislation
by Jon Smith

So I have been meaning to do this for a while. A friend of mine and I have had extensive discussion on the recently passed and implemented restaurant smoking ban in Virginia. While he is generally a supporter of freedom and opposed to regulation, he supports the ban. He knows it is an inconsistency, but feels that it is a case where people and the market would not make the right choice on their own, and that it was ok for the government to step in. I told him that if a regulation should be passed, and there are some compelling arguments for such a thing, then it needs to be written in a different way so as not to violate the rights of business owners and the use of their property.

So here, as promised, is the way the legislation should be written. I am not in the mood to write it like an actuall bill, plus I want to talk my way through it for explanation pruposes, so it will be more a description than an actual writing of it. If the ensuing discussion does not change the description, and an actual bill is requested, I will try my hand at it.

The current bill has many flaws. The biggest one in my mind is that it places restrictions on what a business owner can do with their own business. Some argue that because statistics have shown that the businesses have done better since the ban was in place (because more people are going out that were not doing so before due to the limited number of places that were smoke free), that it is justifiable. I am not sure if those statistics include the business levels for places that were already smoke free, it would seem that their competition increased. Either way, however, even if it was a benefit in profit for the businesses, I do not think that it was within the rights of the government to pass such a law. It may be a benefit for individuals to be required by law to eat more healthily, they may find that they are more productive and happy and make more money and save money in medical bills, etc. That does not give a government the right to take away free choice from the individual. Same for a business.

There are other flaws in the law in Virginia, poor enforcement, weak penalties, etc. The law does not remove smoking totally, but it requires that any place that allows smoking must have a non-smoking area, and that the two areas must be totally separated and have seperate ventilation systems. Most places cannot afford such a thing, or are too small to have seperate sections.

The thing is, I agree with the base premise that smoking is potentially harmful, and that it at least causes a negative effect on other people. I do not like smelling like smoke, I do not like breathing the stuff, I do not like what it does to my voice or my cardio vascular system or my clothes and hair. I would not want it on my property staining my walls and smelling up my car, etc, so I do not allow it. Friends of mine who smoke are welcome to do so elsewhere, or outside, providing they properly dispose of their butts. The bottom line is that smoking does, in fact, affect people around you, it is not just something you do that only hurts you, unless you do it in a place where it cannot affect others, such as your own property, your car, in the open where you are not right next to other people, etc. The thing is, it is your responsibility to ensure that your actions do not harm other people. Some people do not view second hand smoke as harm, at least not enough to care. It is, of course, ok to smoke around those people. If you are on your own property, it is fine to smoke, because no one can force you not to on your own property, and they are free to leave if they wish. A business is open to the public, but if the owner chooses to permit smokers to enter their establishment, then they should have the right to do so. It is important, however, that everyone entering that establishment or being employed by that establishment know that they are subject to secondhand smoke.

I would write the law thus:

1) Businesses must post signage indicating that they permit smoking. If there are sections where smoking is permitted and others where it is not, signage must indicate this as well. Also, for such businesses, I support the requirement for keeping the sections separate with separate ventilation. Even tho this is a cost placed on the business by law, I support it because such a thing is required for truth in advertising. You cannot say that an area is smoke free if it is not.

You also cannot have an area that allows smoking, which many consider harmful or inconvenient, without warning potential patrons or guests that they will be subject to smoke.

2) Public areas, such as government offices, parks, etc. should ban smoking. If it is not too costly to set up and maintain, I would be ok with outdoor places having an area that allows smoking, but any costs would have to be paid for by smokers, perhaps through a cigarette tax, and the property or park would have to be large enough that people are not forced to be near the smoking area.

3) Privately owned common areas, like neighborhood clubhouses, can decide by vote of the people who pay for the common areas whether smoking is permitted. Because guests (non-owners, etc.) may frequent these places, signage indicating smoking is permitted must be set up.

4) Individuals are the actual perpetrators of harm. If an individual violates these stipulations by smoking in a public area or a business that is not an area they are free to smoke in, they are subject to fines and penalties. Private business or property owners will have the right to decide if legal action is required. Public offenders will have legal action taken against them.

5) Businesses who violate these stipulations by allowing smoking in an area without proper signage are subject to fraud violation laws and fines, etc. If a business is unable to enforce non-smoking due to the costs, they can call in support from the police. This will exempt them from being subject to legal action and place the onus of the crime on the individuals in violation.

I would likely make penalties for a first offense fairly light, as people would not be in the habit of following such laws. Repeat offenders, however, would find themselves paying more and more to smoke where it is not welcome.

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Comments

  1. USWeapon says:

    I will take the first shot at commenting on this one. Let me first say that North Carolina has gone a step further. Smoking is banned in public facilities such as restaurants and bars. There is no option to set up a separate smoking area in the establishment. It is simply not allowed at all.

    My issue with the entire concept is that it is not government’s right to step in and tell a private business what they can or cannot allow on their premises. So long as smoking is a legal act, they should be given the ability, as the owner of the business, to make that determination on their own. I know several bar owners in this area who have told me that the law hurts their business. Those who prefer to smoke when they drink have chosen to simply not come in. Where the most damage has been done is event gatherings. Monday Night Football, big fight nights, Sporting events that usually bring people out to enjoy the evening with other fans. Many are simply staying home where they don’t have to worry about losing their good seat every time they have trek outside to have a butt.

    And the real thing about it for me is that there is nothing requiring those who are worried about smoke go into that particular bar or restaurant. They can simply choose to not go in. Instead, the government decided that the right thing to do was to punish the minority in favor of the majority. They decided to usurp private property rights in favor of political correctness.

    And if people don’t come into the restaurant or bar as much, tough for the owner. I say since the government wants a say in how the business is run, they should be required to do something to replace the customers that choose to no longer come out.

    I am interested in hearing if anyone has heard of a legal challenge to laws such as this in terms of Constitutionality. Has a bar ever simply said “Frack you, government, my patrons can smoke if they want to smoke,”? If one hasn’t, does anyone have any thoughts on whether this would pass muster in front of the Supreme Court. From my perspective, it seems to be a clear violation of private property rights.

    • There are a couple of bars in Richmond that have taken that attitude, and hand-wrote “smokers welcome” in big scrawl on their windows. They are very popular. I don’t go there because I cannot breathe there, but I applaud their defiance. 🙂

  2. Won’t go into the issue here since I am a former smoker. Arizona has a law that prohibits smoking in bars and restaurants. One bar in Phoenix decided to challenge the law . . . From what I have been told that his legal fees trying to defend himself and challenge the law just put him into bankruptcy and out of business. Lesson learned that government has more money to sink you in the courts than you have to challenge the law.

    Just curious, what does the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have to say about these “sin” laws? Or do they just attack our freedom of religion?

    • I would like to see them take that on. I tend to despise a lot of the ACLU’s actions, it might not be so bad if they were consistent at least….

  3. Good Morning 🙂

    This is a clear case of “majority rules” and Big Brother took advantage of it. If a law denied a minority because of race, all hell would break loose. I was sitting here trying to think of anything that government is not involved in, in some form or another, and could not think of any.

    I’ll add more later when time permits.

    G!

  4. A Puritan Descendant says:

    We could slow a lot of this infringement on our liberties with a simple bandaid solution. A constitutional amendment requiring a 2/3 or 3/5 majority vote at all levels of government, including citizen votes, when ever a new law, or change in law, can be construed as stepping on individual liberty. How can we as a country claim America is special for it’s respect for “Freedom and Liberty for all”, if, as now, a simple majority vote can take away someone’s liberties.

    I am sure people can find problems with this, so don’t be to quick to agree with me here. An example would be Gay marriage. Some would argue that allowing gay marriage would be stepping on other’s rights and would require this 2/3 or 3/5 vote. My thoughts are, “when in doubt”, require the 2/3 or 3/5 vote to change or make any new law which might infringe on present liberties.

    Back Later, growing vegetation calls me to work.

    • Puritan

      I am surprised you didn’t get more response.

      I for one, have thought this one of the “simplest” solutions for some time.

      It is not ethically pure but if more than 66% or 75% of Americans want to run into slavery then so be it. Of course I say that because I don’t think you could get that many to accept the premise for very long.

      The current problem is not only a 50% + 1 is needed but that it can apply to only a quorum, which is 50%+ 1 present for the voting. Or less depending on how the Quorum is defined by house, senate rules.

      I would take the approach, as you, that all things are legal until outlawed by a 2/3 or 3/4 vote. Gay marriage legal……unless 2/3 say no.

      In effect, it would take 2/3 or more to reduce a freedom, not grant one.

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        Jac says > “I am surprised you didn’t get more response.”

        I find when speaking to people one on one that they often don’t say a word in response simply because they agree and like the idea. (or they think I am out of my mind, LOL)

        Jac says > “I would take the approach, as you, that all things are legal until outlawed by a 2/3 or 3/4 vote. Gay marriage legal……unless 2/3 say no.”

        I would be fine with that if Gay marriage was already legal. For this to work (dream on…) we would have to start from where we are now with many liberties already gone, otherwise it would cause all kinds of disturbance or resistance. On the other hand if we had just had a second American Revolution than yes we could begin from the standpoint of everything being legal until overturned by a 2/3 or 3/5 or 3/4 vote.

        I think to for this to have any real chance of becoming reality, it would take a national presidential candidate to push it. A grassroots movement I have a hard time envisioning, where everyone would be arguing for and against the details of it, but anything is possible.

        • Making the tyranny of the majority be the tyranny of the super majority would be better, but still tyranny of the majority.

    • Puritan.

      Yes, you can try to bury evil with more paper work, but it is patient. It will fill in all the paper work that allows it to unbury itself from paper work.

      This is why “limited” government can never succeed. Eventually, evil will find the “loop hole” in the paper and *sprung* … tyranny.

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        You may be correct. I can see our government, even with a 3/4 vote requirement, giving ‘executive type’ power to government agencies (EPA….) like they do now. That would require another ‘bandaid’ banishing the practice. On and on……

  5. Mathius says:

    It may be a benefit for individuals to be required by law to eat more healthily, they may find that they are more productive and happy and make more money and save money in medical bills, etc. That does not give a government the right to take away free choice from the individual. As long as the effects are isolated to the person, then you are correct. But if my eating habits somehow affected others – for example if I had no health insurance or savings and it was highly likely that my unhealthy eating would land me in an emergency room for which society would get the bill – then I can get behind a narrowly defined law requiring me to eat healthier.

    To recap: If you’re making yourself sick, that’s no one’s business but your own. If you’re doing something that will impact on innocent bystanders, then the government may be justified in intervening.

    As I have said all along: eat your veggies.

    • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

      And where does it end…? Where is the line drawn? Can they barge into your house and take your blood pressure, evaluate it against your bank statements and the level of insurance you maintain, and then force you onto a diet if they aren’t satisfied with the results?

      I understand where you are coming from – of course I do, I’m your alter-ego – but I disagree. If society doesn’t want to get stuck with my emergency room bills, they shouldn’t pay my emergency room bills and they shouldn’t require hospitals to admit patients who cannot pay. The free market and Darwin will take care of the issue pretty quickly.

      There’s no justification for someone claiming to know better than me what I can and cannot do with my own body.

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        “If society doesn’t want to get stuck with my emergency room bills, they shouldn’t pay my emergency room bills and they shouldn’t require hospitals to admit patients who cannot pay.”

        CORRECT CORRECT CORRECT !

  6. TexasChem says:

    Yeah…

    And they should ban drinking in bars and clubs that serve as well.I mean cmon guys drinking alcohol definitely affects your physical and mental abilities.People drive to bars and clubs.Drive home hit trees, people other cars ditches, signs etc…People walk to bars and clubs as well and get hit by cars because they are so drunk they walk out into the street.Get run over by subways.I mean CMON ITS FOR THEIR OWN GOOD AND THEIR NEIGHBORS RIGHT!

    Lets get rid of fat, old, mentally handicapped and the homeless as well because they affect our society negatively because we have to pay for their wellfare.

    Ban marijuana! Fekkn A Brahh, it is a psychoactive drug and could cause someone to have an accident! All sports should be banned while were at it because the healthcare costs are frickn crazy when they blow out a knee or hip!We should all become vegetarians too.Think of all the fat we ingest from animals and what it does to our cardiovascular system.Ban meat!

    Ban SUV’S, hell ban all hydrocarbon operated motors!It causes global warming and were all gonna frickn drown when they ice caps melt!Ban McDonalds and Arbys too!The government needs to put us all on a high fiber diet of cheerios and 1% milk!Hell fekk it milks from an animal lets use soy milk instead!

    I’m sick of the madness we call government people.It’s time to end it.

    • TexasChem says:

      Ohh gawd forbid I forgot those nasty dangerous guns ban those too!They kill people!

    • TexasChem says:

      Ban cokes and Dr. Peppers, both sugar free and diet.Aspartame causes brain rot,sugar makes ya’ fat and causes diabetes!Campbells soup and most potato-chips, have Mono-sodiumglutamine BAN it, it causes brain rot too!OMG Ban tuna!Don’t ya’ know tuna fishers kill dolphins and whales and sharks!Ban the Southpark cartoon also, they made fun of Mohammad!

    • TexasChem says:

      Ban religion, free speech, the right of the citizen to bear arms such as guns and edged weapons,while your banning everything else as that is where these so called trial test “bubbles” are headed.

      1984 Baby!Big brother loves you as long as you can benefit him in some manner!

    • Ya know TexasChem, I really hate it when you hold back and don’t tell us what you think~

  7. I’m having a hard time squaring this one up. On one hand I see it as government stepping into private business. On the other I am a smoker but also see smoking as harmful to others besides myself. But now I need a third hand because personally I have no problem going out for a night, realizing there are smoking bans everywhere, and still enjoing myself while not smoking. Its only for so many hours, if you can’t handle that then you’ve got big trouble. So someone tell me where I fit in.

    • Pretty good plan Jon-#3 I can see this working if it was established whether or not there would be smoking in common areas prior to people moving in-but if these rules where instated after the fact-I see problems. Of course, it’s impossible to make anything completely fair. The main problem I see, is getting people who are for the smoking ban to agree because they use the issue of smoking around children as their main argument to support the present bill.

      • Hi Anita-Don’t even ask how this ended up here-since it’s not an answer to what you posted-just say OH it’s just V-it’s normal for her posts to be in weird places. 🙂

  8. naten53 says:

    Dihydrogen monoxide should be banned!

    Dihydrogen monoxide:

    -is called “hydroxyl acid”, the substance is the major component of acid rain.
    -contributes to the “greenhouse effect”.
    -may cause severe burns.
    -is fatal if inhaled.
    -contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape.
    -accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals.
    -may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes.
    -has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.

    Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used:
    -as an industrial solvent and coolant.
    -in nuclear power plants.
    -in the production of Styrofoam.
    -as a fire retardant.
    -in many forms of cruel animal research.
    -in the distribution of pesticides. Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical.
    -as an additive in certain “junk-foods” and other food products.

    • Mathius says:

      And it’s it also facilitates the spread of the gulf coast oil leak.

      It can cause pneumonia.

      Its main components are hydrogen and oxygen, both highly flammable/combustible.

      Causes the majority of damage in hurricanes.

      Enables shark attacks.

    • Mathius says:

      Don’t forget that it’s odorless, colorless, and tasteless, making it extra difficult to detect and even more dangerous.

    • Worst of all, it gets your socks wet when your kids spill it on the floor.

  9. Ray Hawkins says:

    Is smoking the intentional infliction of injury upon others?

    Trying to think through this……

    If we assume that you should be allowed to do whatever you want to to yourself so long as it does not injure or infringe upon others; wherein smoke travels and retains most of it chemical makeup for at least some time; wherein a majority of the time one’s expelled smoke will affect others; are we thus positioned to say most instances of smoking infringe on the freedom of others and should be tightly controlled?

    Still trying to think through this……….

    • Mathius says:

      Yes, Ray,

      It is no different than a child who swings his arms wildly and then claims innocence when his sister gets injured. He says it’s her fault for being in his way, so she did it to herself.

      If your children did this, what would you do?

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      So – to confuse perhaps less/more here……

      Cigarette smoke I detest wholly;

      I enjoy the aroma of a pipe, but I never enjoyed smoking them;

      I enjoy smoking a cigar, I do not like the smell of a cigar if someone else is smoking it

      For as much as I find smoking completely repulsive, nasty and disgusting (I’d rather bob for apples in a bucket of vomit then smell cig smoke); I find the Government, any government, over-reaching by forcing private establishments to ban/control smoking in/on their premises. Let the business owner manage his/her business. I would not expect, at this stage, a wholesale revert back to allowing smoking by most businesses anyway, if the law(s) were repealed. Much as I do not think we need anti-discrimination laws, they have outlived their predominant use, smoking ban laws took a big swing and altered (rather than maybe reduced) the footprint of smoking. People that want to smoke will still smoke and they will find a way.

  10. Common Man says:

    What this boils down too is Government intervention and the ellimination of individual liberties; which is simply a Constitutional violation.

    Michigan recently banned smoking in all public establishments state wide. There were some acceptions: Cigar Bars, Tabacco shops, and bars can have an outside patio for smokers, however they are forced to order/serve themselves. (They have to go inside and order food/drinks)

    The real issue is not how this ban is affecting or benefiting anyone as much as it is another step towards government control. Removing the toys in a McDonalds Happy Meal, smoking ban, gun control, Census, etc, etc are all small efforts to continue the governments objective of control.

    Allowing these efforts to continue will result in the ellimination of individual liberty and freedom.

    The Government does not have any Constitutionsl authority to tell me what I can and cannot do as long as I am not violating anothers rights.

    Until the citizens of this country wake up and realize that the government is out to elliminate individual rights in order to control the population we will continue our path to slavery.

    CM

  11. Bottom Line says:

    People shouldn’t be forced to have a serving of carbon monoxide with their meal. People shouldn’t be forced to inhale second hand smoke while they’re dancing at their favorite club.

    Good thing they’re not. If you don’t want to visit an establishment full of smokers, …don’t. Go somewhere else instead. Real simple.

    Once again, it boils down to rights and responsibilities. It is the right and responsibility for a PRIVATE business OWNER to decide how to manage smoking in THEIR establishment. It’s none of the government’s business…literally.

    USW – “Has a bar ever simply said “Frack you, government, my patrons can smoke if they want to smoke,”? ”

    BL – Yes. There was a small neighborhood bar in my home town that had been open for decades. When the smoking ban went onto effect, the patrons pitched in and filled the tip jar with the amount of the fine that the owner would receive if the bacon should happen to wonder in and catch them. They opened the doors, cranked up the LARGE fan and lit up.

    Smoking bans are nothing but an encroachment on individual liberty and a detriment to local businesses.

    Check this out…

    http://www.smokersclub.com/banloss3.htm

    • Bottom Line says:

      Found an article about another non-compliant bar in Louisville.

      http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/354986/old_hickory_inn_still_standing_ground.html

      Almost two months ago, on July 1st, Louisville, Kentucky’s newest smoking ban took effect. The new smoking law makes smoking in virtually every public place illegal, smoking is now prohibited in Louisville’s offices, factories, bars, restaurants, private clubs, bingo halls, bowling alleys, and stores.

      On July 3rd I wrote an article for Associated Content that detailed how the Old Hickory Inn in the Germantown neighborhood of Louisville were planning to ignore the law, and still allow patrons to smoke in their facility. You can read that article here.

      Wondering if the Old Hickory Inn had stood it’s ground, I decided to pay the bar a visit to see if it’s patron’s were still smoking, or if the bar’s owners had given in to the new law, no longer allowing customer’s to smoke.

      Upon entering the Old Hickory Inn I witnessed several patrons still lighting up, as well as bar owner Dave Hoffman. The only sign in the bar that even hints to the smoking ban is a white plastic jar on the bar’s counter with the sign on the jar reading “Donations- Fight Smoking Ban”.

      This is after the bar has been fined twice by the Louisville Metro Department of Health and Wellness’s Division of Environmental Health and Protection, the agency charged with enforcing the new smoking law. The bar’s first fine was $50, and the second fine was $150, both fines the minimum for each offense, a third offense could cost the bar anywhere from $350 to $500. The Old Hickory Inn dutifully paid the first fine of $50 but is currently appealing the second fine of $150.

      According to health department officials, The Old Hickory Inn is not the only business to receive multiple citations. Many bingo halls and bars have also received multiple citations. In all four hundred complaints concerning businesses not enforcing the smoking ban have been placed, and a total of twenty-nine citations have been given.

      One of the biggest fears of bar and restaurant owners was that they would lose business once the new smoking laws took effect. So has it affected business at the Old Hickory Inn? According to Mr. Hoffman, the bar’s owner, they have actually seen a jump in business since the law took effect, which he credits to the fact that people know that they can still smoke in their facility. He also adds that many business owners have not fared as well as they have, but that those businesses have chosen to comply with the new smoking law.

  12. Ellen Spalding says:

    I am torn on this one, but I do see how Jonb’s input would meet thing at a half way mark. I feel for the bars due to alot of customer smoke while drinking. So I am able to see their arguement that it hurts their business. I know that the outside smoking options is good, but in places like Wisconsin, not alot of customers want to trek outside when it is -10degrees outside.
    But I do agree that if the place of business does not have a non smoking that is real, they should not be placing ad’s saying they do. Give the customers a right to choose where to go.

  13. I see the smoking ban a little differently than some issues because it does impose on people-the fact that it’s smoke makes it impossible to keep it to yourself. But like most issues they take it too far-at a local hospital they had a small roof top area with a top where people where allowed to smoke-not anymore-many other places in the hospital where non-smokers could go to relax inside and out but this was the only small little area for smokers-nope can’t have that-not based on the argument that it imposed on people-simply because they are following a too restrictive law-now you go to the hospital and you cannot smoke anywhere on their property, not even in your own car with the windows and doors closed.

  14. Mathius says:

    “If you tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise, they’ll kill you.”

    -Oscar Wilde

    • I love quotes-

      “Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected”

      Mahatma Gandhi

      • One more

        “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

        Winston Churchill

        • Mathius says:

          If you can count your money, you aren’t a billionaire.

          • “If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.”

            C.S. Lewis

            • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

              And now some Ralph Waldo Emerson:

              “Be as beneficent as the sun or the sea, but if your rights as a rational being are trenched on, die on the first inch of your territory.”

              • Okay

                “Solitude is impractical and yet society is fatal.”

                Ralph Waldo Emerson

              • Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling.

                Unknown(by me anyway)

              • Mathius says:

                Jack Handy?

              • Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then on the way out, slam the door.

    • Bottom Line says:

      “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” – GENERAL GEORGE S. PATTON, JR.

      • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

        “Don’t shoot until you see the whites of their -”

        Colonel Custer, June 26, 1876

        • Bottom Line says:

          ‘Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country!’ — Gen. George S. Patton Jr.

        • Bottom Line says:

          “Good tactics can save even the worst strategy. Bad tactics will destroy even the best strategy.” – Gen. George S. Patton Jr.

        • Bottom Line says:

          “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” – Gen. George S. Patton Jr.

    • texaschem says:

      ‘‘Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.’’

      — Mahatma Ghandi

      • texaschem says:

        HAH! Ghandi was a pacifist because the British took all the guns away from the Indians! 🙂

        • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

          Ghandi actually wasn’t that much of a pacifist.. you should read up on him a little bit. He was not such a saint – more like he just had a really good PR agent.

    • “Get out out of the way, yer spoilin’ my aim”

      D13

    • Let your concience be your guide..

      Jiminy Cricket

  15. Confession time from a non-Catholic: I am a hypocrite when it comes to smoking bans!

    I do not smoke and do not care to be around second-hand smoke and as of July 1st Wisconsin will be smoke-free in all public places and I CAN’T WAIT!

    I understand and agree with the rights of private business owners to make decisions for their business and am fed up with government intrusion.

    The issue with smoking is that even if only one person in a bar/restaurant is smoking, it stinks up the entire place. The other issue is that there were few, if any, smoke free options to choose from. So the right to choose really didn’t exist for non-smokers. We like to listen to bands, watch sporting events, go out to dinner and not come home smelling like a chimney. It is especially troubling when you take your kids and they smell like that.

    Wisconsin has a strong Tavern League that was effective in it’s anti-smoking lobbying for some time, so cities, villages, counties even, started going non-smoking piecemeal. This created huge pockets of smoking vs. non-smoking businesses and it got ugly in some locations. My own town chose not to go non-smoking on its own and wait for the state law, so we go into neighboring towns for most of our entertainment. I look forward to supporting our local businesses come July!

    • You sound a lot like my friend that I mentioned. I have no doubt that the ban will make things easier on you, it will give you more smoke free options. This, however, is not the responsibility of law. Such thinking would mean that laws should require that you locality have quality entertainment so that you do not have to go too far to find it. How about a law requiring a walmart or similar superstore in every town so that fans of such stores would not have to go too far?

      No, your personal freedom does not mean that you have easy options available to you. I like having less smoke in the bars. I do not like the way it happened. I would prefer the law be written as I suggested, with individuals being made to carry the burden of their actions. And if every single bar in my area chose to allow smoking and hoist the appropriate signage, then I have to either wear a gas mask to the bar, deal with the smoke, or not go. I can get teh band’s CD and a bottle of jack at the store and have a grand ol’ time. If I do not have the option, well, that’s just life. I don’t get to see as many bands as I would like because I don’t have the money to blow on covers and tickets and stuff. Should cover charges be illegal too because they discriminate against the poor?

      • I hear you Jon. I think the issue is it’s not the right of smokers vs. non-smokers but the rights of business owners to run their businesses as they please. And that’s where my conflict arises.

        Ironically, I’ve talked to a couple business owners and some musicians who (silently) can’t wait for this ban also, as it has impacted their health greatly.

        • USWeapon says:

          Kathy,

          You nailed it. This is an issue of private property rights. The right of the business owner to run his establishment the way that he or she sees fit. Interesting that the business owners can’t wait for the ban. As the business owner, why do they need the state to take action? They could simply make their business a smoke free environment on their own.

          USW

          • Actually, I understand why the businesses and especially the musicians cheer the ban. It is an easier way to handle the problem.

            If the business owner chooses to go non-smoking, two things happen. 1) They lose business. They may gain some because of people like Kathy, but likely not as much as they lose. 2) Smokers know that they banned smoking in the bar themselves, they cannot blame it on anyone else. It is the courage of convictions they lack. They risk their health in order to not lose business and not look bad in front of their regulars. This may be only a perceived threat, but it is still something they fear. In places where there have been bans, there is loss of business, but it is not as much as bars that go voluntarily, because the smokers who are accustomed to going out still go out, at least a lot of them do, and they do not blame their inability to smoke on the bars.

            For the musicians, they go where there is money. The ban allows them to go without having to put up with smoke. What they don’t know, and what the business owners don’t know, is that it could potentially cut business overall enough to still cause issues. The bars may still not be successful, or at least they may not still hire bands or pay as much for them.

            Still, a ban may make things easier. Again, however, I submit that making things easier is not the role of government.

            • You are correct in your assessment Jon. The business owner is not the bad guy for either group – the government is.

              I do not agree, however, that business will be lost after the ban is in place. That of course, has been the rallying cry against the ban and it did happen to some places because of Wisconsin not going state-wide right away. So you’d have one business in the City of Madison (that did put in the ban early on – those business-hating Libs you know), but a business located across the street in the Town of Madison that still allowed smoking.

              It got really bizarre here as the above situation happened near an Oscar Meyer plant in Madison. So here are all these strong union people arguing that government should stay out of private business because it cost them their after work smoking bar. Strange bedfellows indeed!

              • I have heard the argument that because bans were not universal, there was business lost, but in places where the ban was across the board, there was no loss or will be none.

                I do not have enough evidence to be sure of this. Richmond saw an uptick in business right after their ban. There were a lot of people who enjoyed going out and wanted to see how it was without the smoke. Smokers were not in the habit of not going out, so they continued to go out.

                This was followed by a significant drop. This may be totally economical, but I do not think so. Many people who went out right after the ban stopped rather quickly. They were people who had gotten used to not going out a lot because they did not like the environment. As it turns out, the expense and the environment outside of the smoke was not much different. So, many found that they still preferred to stay in like they did before. The smokers who were annoyed by having to go outside to smoke or generally not being able to enjoy their outing as they used to or in the places they used to, decided to seek entertainment elsewhere.

                Final result? Drop in sales. This was not immediate, but it occurred. Was it severe? Not sure, not even sure if my reasoning for the drop happened at all, and neither is anyone else. We are in unstable economic times, and there are a host of reasons bars are struggling. The only thing known is that they are definitely struggling, far more so than before the ban.

    • Kathy-

      The correct answer is, if there is enough of a demand for a smoke-free business, and no one is providing it – then you should do it yourself and rake in all the money!

      As for the business owners, if they are consciously trading their health for money, then complaining about the situation after the fact holds no weight with me. I can see why they would be complicit with getting the bans implemented in order to have a scapegoat, however.

  16. Judy Sabatini says:

    Hi All

    Good article Jon. I am a smoker, as well as my husband, our oldest son, and even my 88 year old mother, our youngest quit 3 years ago. Even though we are aware of what it can do to us, we do enjoy it, it’s my only vice I have, have been smoking for years.

    Here in Reno, all restaurants have no smoking, not even a smoking area, but the casinos do have no smoking areas, but yet the people who don’t smoke and use that area still complain of smoke rolling into that area even though they have air conditioning and fans that blow in there to keep the smoke from getting into those areas. Bars too have been forced to ban smoking and they too have lost business because of it, although some bar owners have permitted smoking again, have been fined because of it. They have argued because they own the establishment, they should have that right whether or not to allow smoking in them. They too have said, if people who do come in and do not smoke, should seek going elsewhere if they do not like the smell of smoke. There are lots of bars and saloons around town, that don’t allow smoking, and they should go there instead. There has been a few bars and saloons that have closed up because of the loss of business due to the smoking ban. We don’t mind the non smoking in restaurants, doesn’t bother us, and like some one said above, it’s only for a short time anyway.

    If restaurants and bars want to allow smoking, then that should be their right. Yes, I know, families frequent these places, but they should be well aware that there might be smoking allowed, and should find another place to go to. But as I have said, all restaurants banned it, but not all bars, and kids just don’t belong in bars.

    They have tried many times to ban smoking in all the casinos here, but it has been voted down every time. They would definitely lose business as well as close up because of the ban. There are I think a couple of casinos that have turned into a smoke free place, but business has dropped considerably.

    As for smoking outside, I don’t think there should be a ban on it. One can’t help which way the wind blows, but I do have the courtesy to move if I feel I am bothering someone with my smoking. And I have to agree with what TexasChem said as well.

    But, this is all just my opinion, and not looking to argue with anybody about what I have said.

    Hope all are doing well today.

  17. Governments are not like individuals.

    They are irresponsible in ways that individuals never can be, because other individuals will intervene to stop irresponsible individuals before they inflict harm on everyone around them.

    So, we do what we can to call government irresponsibility to the attention of others.

    • Bottom Line says:

      So, What do we do to stop irresponsible government before it inflicts any more harm?

      • Mathius says:

        Follow Mark Twain’s advise.

        Politicians are like diapers. They should be changed frequently, and for the same reason.

        Vote out every single incumbent out of every single level of government (including, yes, POTUS). And do this every single term until that rare gem emerges: a Mr. Smith Goes to Washington type.

        Repeat as needed.

      • BL,

        Ridicule politicians insistently. They cannot survive this tactic.

        Do NOT engage government – if you ask nothing from it or accept anything from it, will die.

        • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

          Also false.

          If you ask nothing from it, it will give you nothing.

          If you do not engage it, it will simply take from you anyway.

          Failing to engage will not result in the government shriveling up, it will result in a bigger and more oppressive government.

          If a bully picks on you in school, does he go away because your curled into the fetal position, or does he become bolder?

          You can stand up for yourself without legitimizing the actions of the bully.

          • Dread Pirate

            Also false.

            Cannot be false, if it is true.

            It is the only way proven to be effective.

            If you ask nothing from it, it will give you nothing.

            All politics exist on the premise of “doing something”.

            If it cannot “do something”, it become irrelevant.

            If one wishes to defeat an entity the REQUIRES “to do something”, deny it its need.

            If you do not engage it, it will simply take from you anyway.

            A man who steals is still a thief.

            The question is not the thief, but what you call it

            A thief has no legitimacy – which makes him evil.

            The moment YOU believe a thief has legitimacy, you have government.

            Deny the legitimacy, and the thief will be what he truly is – merely a thief.

            Failing to engage will not result in the government shriveling up, it will result in a bigger and more oppressive government.

            Government grows by its legitimacy.

            The moment it is not legitimate, the People resist it, as they resist evil when they see it.

            Do not confuse SUCCESS in resistance with LEGITIMACY of the victor.

            A murderer is successful in killing his victim – that does not legitimize his killing. Indeed, it INCREASES his threat as other see his evil and actively work to destroy him.

            BUT the moment you JUSTIFY the murderer and his act as LEGITIMATE, you turn the RESISTANCE to him as the evil!

            If a bully picks on you in school, does he go away because your curled into the fetal position, or does he become bolder?

            The moment the people believe the bully is RIGHT, he becomes bolder.

            How you may or may not handle the killer and thief yourself does not apply to this argument

            You are ENTANGLING OUTCOMES as JUSTIFICATION for the MEANS!

            This is the core root of so much misguided action – for government and against it.

            You believe ACTION (whatever it is) MUST be applied AGAINST government to STOP IT.

            But this is the SAME ARGUMENT government uses to justify itself!!

            Thus, you are DOOMED to enhance government tyranny, not diminish it, because BOTH OF YOUR a “ends justify the means” believers.

            The diminishment of government can only occur by denying it evil means – regardless of the perceived outcomes!

            You do not win over the bully by using BULLY TACTICS.

            You win over the bully by using MORAL TACTICS – which often is ridicule, and appeals to fairness.

            You do not defeat the bully because YOU are stronger.

            You defeat the bully when the rest of the class stand with you and refuse HIM.

            • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

              I hate fire damage in my home.

              I hate water damage in my home.

              But if my house is on fire, I will use water to put it out and minimize the damage.

              If the government is too large, the solution is to push in the opposite direction, not to refuse to push at all. You can morally justify doing so on the grounds that you are defending yourself and your property.

              • Dread,

                You fall into a problem with what you define government!

                Government is not defined as using ‘violence’ against ‘initiation of violence’.

                It is NOT a tool of self-defence only.

                It’s primary use is to use violence against the non-violent

                In your analogy, it is the burning down of a house of your neighbor because you dislike his decor.

              • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

                My neighbor is trying to force his decor on me, so I burn my house down instead.

              • Dread,

                Remember to remind me to hide the matches when you visit.

        • Bottom Line says:

          BF – “Ridicule politicians insistently”

          BL – Check.

          BF – “Do NOT engage government – if you ask nothing from it or accept anything from it, will die.”

          BL – Check.

          I probably do this more so than anyone here. For all intents and purposes, I am a ghost.

        • “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

          Frederick Douglass

    • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

      They are irresponsible in ways that individuals never can be. Absolutely false.

      The difference is one only of magnitude. The actions of a government are the aggregated actions of the individuals who comprise it.

      The ways that governments and individuals are irresponsible are exactly the same: for example, getting into fights, spending themselves into debt, forcing their opinions on others, contradicting themselves, posturing, etc.

      • Dread,

        They are different.

        They can justify killing innocent people. You can never do that as an individual.

        • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

          Sure you can. You can justify it to yourself. Sometimes you can convince others that it was justified as well.

          Likewise, the government convinces itself that it was right to murder. Sometimes it is also able to convince others.

          Don’t conflate the ability to act with impunity with the ability to act. Individuals and governments can both commit evil acts, and both can try and sometimes succeed in convincing themselves and others that they were justified. The irresponsible action is the same, again just different scales.

          The distinction you’re latching onto is that a community can control an individual through the threat of economic ruination, whereas no such ability exists with government.

          • Dread,

            Sure you can. You can justify it to yourself. Sometimes you can convince others that it was justified as well.

            You completely misunderstand “legitimacy”.

            Legitimacy is a grant from the People to the other person (or entity).

            It CANNOT BE self-given.

            Likewise, the government convinces itself that it was right to murder. Sometimes it is also able to convince others.

            It is IRRELEVANT whether you convince yourself or not. By YOUR action, you’ve already claimed it!!

            The ONLY matter is whether OTHERS see your claim as legitimate or not.

            Don’t conflate the ability to act with impunity with the ability to act.

            Sir, I am not conflating anything.

            It is you who is confused on this matter.

            The distinction you’re latching onto is that a community can control an individual through the threat of economic ruination, whereas no such ability exists with government.

            No, you continue to be mistaken about my position.

            Economic sanctions is merely one of many actions a community MAY use for enforcing itself on an individual.

            Ridicule is another.

            Shunning is another.

            All of these (and more) are NON-VIOLENT actions to enforce societal norms.

            The Community can also use violent enforcement against violent actions.

            Government -the use of violence on non-violent people- is unnecessary in all cases.

            • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

              You completely misunderstand “legitimacy”. Where did I say the word legitimacy in my post?

              My point is to your original statement that government is irresponsible in ways individuals never are and that is simply false. We can meander around the point, but it remains. Irresponsible actions – ACTIONS – of a government all have analogs in the actions – ACTIONS – of individuals.

              The government goes to war:an individual gets in a fight

              The government steals:an individual steals

              The government executes someone:a individual commits murder

              The government prints fiat currency:an individual hands out IOU’s

              The government spends itself into credit debt:an individual spends himself into credit debt

              ..and on and on..

              I made no assertions about legitimacy here.

              • Dread,

                Legitimacy is the only concept that separates government from base criminals.

                It is the CORE to the existence of government.

                Without it, you cannot claim to be government.

                My point is to your original statement that government is irresponsible in ways individuals never are and that is simply false. We can meander around the point, but it remains.

                Your claim of “false” has no merit whatsoever.

                The FACT that government can kill innocent people without suffering consequences proves that it can undertake actions that are forbidden to you.

                To claim this to be “false” flies head-on against reality!

              • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

                Action: I kill.

                Action: government kills.

                Reaction: I am punished.

                Reaction: Nothing.

                Actions are the same. Reactions are different.

              • Dread,

                Agreed.

                The consequences upon you influences your behavior.

                Therefore, lack of consequences on you will also influence your behavior

                Thus by the LACK of Consequences, government will act in MORE imprudent and foolish and irrational and irresponsible and evil ways then YOU!

              • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

                Consequences, government will act in MORE imprudent and foolish and irrational and irresponsible and evil ways then YOU! Agreeed. But they are same kinds of actions. Just more and bigger.

              • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

                BTW: This is called moral hazard.

              • Dread,

                Yes, moral hazard hold roots here – but moral hazard is more than this.

                The hazard comes that where such an action remains consequence-free right now, in the future, it may not – and thus, at a time where the consequences are far worse.

                So the hazard is believing that no consequence today will result in no consequence tomorrow – when indeed, the consequences WILL be delivered tomorrow when the actor is unprepared and surprised and unable to afford them.

        • Individuals do it all the time. It’s called abortion.

  18. “The Guatemalan revolution is entering its third decade. Ever since the government of Jacobo Arbenz was overthrown in 1954, the majority of the Guatemalan people have been seeking a way to move the country towards solving the same problems which were present then and have only worsened over time. The counterrevolution, put in motion by the U.S. Government and those domestic sectors committed to retaining every single one of their privileges, dispersed and disorganized the popular and democratic forces. However, it did not resolve any of the problems which had first given rise to demands for economic, social and political change. These demands have been raised again and again in the last quarter century, by any means that seemed appropriate at the time, and have received each time the same repressive response as in 1954.” — Statement by the Guatemalan Army of the Poor, 1981

    This is precisely a current-time example of the problem of government and revolution.

    Using violence to replace violence ensures violence wins. And the problems – which came from violence – remain.

  19. I am a smoker, and I go out of my way to be considerate of non-smokers (my wife quit 9 months ago). I haven’t seen any discussion about smokers’ rights. We surely pay enough in taxes for things like the SCHIP program (SCHIP happens, Ray, couldn’t resist). If it is so bad, why isn’t it all just made illegal? (Rhetorical question)

    I know that non-smokers find it disgusting, but if our govt can make smoking illegal, what is going to be next? McDonald’s causing obesity, Wal Mart selling cheap imported products, Businesses promoting a form of slavery to keep their labor costs low?

    I have one of those electronic cigarettes. It hasn’t helped me quit, but it sure freaks people out.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      I have to agree with Wasabi here. If it is so damn bad, why not just make it illegal?

      Oh yeah, then the government couldn’t tax it into the ground!

      Sorry, I cannot get very excited about this topic. If the activity is legal, then it should be up to private citizens and private business owners to decide what level (if any) exposure to it they wish to have.

      Smokers should indeed be considerate of non-smokers and not create an imposition on them. However, in my opinion, if a non-smoker goes into an establishment that allows smoking, then that non-smoker has made a concious CHOICE and has no right to bitch about “being imposed upon” by all of the smokers who are clearly abiding by the rules of the establishment in question.

      • They do, however, have the right to bitch at the owner and let them know that they would prefer that the place be smoke free or have a smoke free area. The issue is not bitching, it is that people bitch to the government to fix the problem instead of giving feedback to the business. If enough people demand a smoke free bar, an owner will meet the demand. If not enough do, then the owner will say, “sorry, I make more on the smokers, they mean more to my bottom line.”

        • If it’s a restaurant, they can go eat elsewhere. If it’s a bar, there shouldn’t be kids there. The free market should decide.

          • Wasabi

            I want to address your point because it relates to a similar claim being made by the left about “free market capitalism”. One which is false, in my opinion.

            There argument is that “Libertarians” and “Randians” and “Stupid Tea Partiers” just don’t understand that free markets won’t work because people are not moral, ethical, etc, etc. Underlying this claim is the assertion by well intention but mistaken “Libertarians” who claim “let the free market decide”.

            Well the Free Market does NOT decide anything. By assigning the Market as the actor we allow the opponents of freedom to create a “Strawman” of Capitalism and sidestep the REAL issue. That of Freedom vs Slavery.

            It is a Free Person than decides. The Market is simply the outcome of free choice made by free people.

            So to rephrase: “Free people should decide”.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Jon,

          I agree. Also, notice that we are definitively living under tyranny when privately owned business establishments become government-regulated “public places”.

      • “Thank you for holding your breath while I smoke”

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      If they want to make smoking illegal, then perhaps they should start with themselves, like Obama, and the rest of those in government who smoke. Yeah, I know, they’d be exempt from it, like they are with everything else.

  20. Dread,

    If you act, and suffer no consequences (or often, cheered) and I act in the same way, and suffer consequences and often jailed –

    ..we can say YOU get to act in ways I cannot act.

    If that act is “irresponsible” – which by definition means:
    not answerable to a higher authority
    – NOT liable
    NOT required to give account, as of one’s actions or of the discharge of a duty or trust.

    Then my statement is perfectly TRUE. Your claim of “false” hold NO merit.

    • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

      Stop saying I hold no merit. I have plenty of merit.

      BF: They are irresponsible in ways that individuals never can be

      People commit murder.

      People steal.

      People spend themselves into debt.

      Et cetera.

      You say individuals can never do these things because “other individuals will intervene to stop irresponsible individuals before they inflict harm on everyone around them.” Yet this does not seem to happen.

      One facet of being irresponsible is a disregard for consequences. Irresponsible individuals don’t consider the consequences of their actions and so, act irresponsibly before others can stop them. Then they face the consequences.

      Governments have less consequences. So they act irresponsibly. Then they face no consequences.

      So again, the actions are the same. But the results are bigger.

      • Bottom Line says:

        Dread Pirate Mathius – “…Then they face no consequences.”

        BL – Thus far…The 2nd American Revolution is still in it’s infancy.

        🙂

      • Dread Pirate Mathius

        Stop saying I hold no merit. I have plenty of merit.

        I said:

        Your argument holds no merit.

        You, as a person, perhaps. I haven’t seen you swing your saber in person, so I have to withhold judgment -pro or con- until then

        BF: They are irresponsible in ways that individuals never can be

        People commit murder.

        People steal.

        People spend themselves into debt.

        Et cetera.

        You say individuals can never do these things because “other individuals will intervene to stop irresponsible individuals before they inflict harm on everyone around them.” Yet this does not seem to happen.

        You must still be living in a cave.

        A few Headlines:</b.

        Wife of 80-year-old who shot intruder: 'He saved our lives'

        "[The intruder] missed [my mom], (but) my daddy didn't," said the 80-year-old's son, Butch Gant, who lives upstairs in the two-flat in the 600 block of North Sawyer Avenue.

        For 10 minutes and 20 seconds, Donna Jackson remained calm as she stood in the dark pleading for help and repeatedly telling emergency dispatchers that she did not want to shoot the "crazy,” "drunk sounding” man who was yelling and determined to get inside her house early Friday. But when he threw a table through her sliding glass patio door, the 56-year-old woman shot and killed the intruder.

        Homeowner Shoots, Kills Teen Intruder

        Carnation homeowner shoots intruder

        Good Samaritan Saves Driver's Life
        Hero Helped Man Out Of Disabled Car, Then Disappeared

        Good Samaritan Saves Boy's Life
        Boy Suffering From Peanut Allergy Attack Doing Well

        A "Good Samaritan" risked his life to rescue a toddler from a burning car.

        The man, whose identity is unknown, saved the life of a three-year-old boy who was injured in a fatal road traffic collision.

        And my personal favorite – this guys has his priorities right….

        Good Samaritan risks life to save beer

        …. so your point here “..I don’t see it happening…” can only be caused by willful blindness.

        Governments have less consequences. So they act irresponsibly. Then they face no consequences.

        So again, the actions are the same. But the results are bigger.

        No.

        They can act irresponsible in ways you cannot.

        Police kill 7-year old by accident – and the Cop is said to be guiltless as he was doing his duty.

        Good luck in you claiming the same.

        Trouble clicking? Copy and paste this URL into your browser: http://subscribe.wordpress.com

        • Judy Sabatini says:

          Mathius, how can somebody stop another from doing somebody harm, if there isn’t anybody around to stop them in the first place? I’d like to know how that’s possible. I ask that because here in Reno about 2 years ago, a girl was kidnapped from a dorm here at the university, was raped, and strangled. He left her body off the side of the road a ways back, and 2 weeks later she was found, with only a pair of socks on and her bra, everything else was taken off of her.

          He made the mistake of telling his girlfriend that she might have had it coming to her. By the way, she was visiting a friend at the time, but was in the dorm by herself, and nobody saw him go in that room. Come to find out, he quit his job the same day that girl disappeared and for what his girlfriend said at his trial, he was acting very strange. After all investigations took place, he was arrested, his DNA was found on her body as well as her clothing. You might have heard about this case. It was about Brianna Dennison and her killer was John Bieala and was given the death sentence, but don’t expect anything to happen with that because there are over 20 people sitting on death row since 1988. So, it does no good to sentence anybody to death, just let them rot in hell for the rest of their life.

          • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

            What’s your point?

            The only thing I’ve been saying in this whole conversation is that people act irresponsibly regardless of consequences. And that further the ways in which they are irresponsible are similar to the ways in which the government is irresponsible.

            Killing and raping a girl? That’s irresponsible. Did he act that way despite the possible consequences (life in prison/death sentence)? Nope. So is my assertion true? Yes.

            Is there a government version of raping and killing? Yup. They take what they want (rape) in ways such as eminent domain/taxation/war, and kill (murder) with executions/war. So is my second assertion true? Yes.

            What are you and Flag talking about?

        • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

          Flag, your argument is completely nonsensical.

          I say that people act irresponsibly despite consequences and you argue against that by showing cases of individuals acting responsibly. Yes most people are responsibly. Some are irresponsible anyone. Note that, in your example, someone was being irresponsible in breaking into people’s homes DESPITE the possible consequences.

          I say the government behaves irresponsibly and faces no consequences and you argue against that by showing a case of a cop being irresponsible and facing no consequences.

          • Dread

            Flag, your argument is completely nonsensical.

            That is what I said first, about yours!

            I say that people act irresponsibly despite consequences and you argue against that by showing cases of individuals acting responsibly.

            The argument does not rely on people NEVER acting irresponsible!

            It is SELF-EVIDENT that some are.

            The argument is, sir, that government can act in ways of irresponsibility (that is, IMMUNE FROM CONSEQUENCES) that normal people cannot (SUFFER FROM CONSEQUENCES).

            • Judy Sabatini says:

              Flag, maybe I should have directed my question to you instead of Mathius, I misread it in an above post and saw it was you.

              This is my question to you.

              How can somebody stop another from doing somebody harm, if there isn’t anybody around to stop them in the first place? I’d like to know how that’s possible.

  21. SK Trynosky Sr. says:

    My dad started smoking in 1932 at the age of 15. At 63 he gave it up when he had a heart scare. Three months after retiring at age 66 he was diagnosed with lung cancer.

    We were all sure that the cancer had to be the result of the 2 1/2 packs of cigarettes a day he smoked. The Oncologist disillusioned us. The oat cell carcinoma he had was the result of some kind of chemical exposure. After he died the Doctor asked me to sit down and give him a history on Dad. he grew up in the coal region in a town where the only other industry was Johns Mansville. Neither of these things were responsible.

    I remembered his stories about WW 2. The most miserable times he had as an aircraft maintainer were in a cold hanger in England in the winter of 1944. Breaking down those Mustang and Lightning engines after 75 hours in the air was no fun. Being up to your elbows in gasoline, Benzene, Carbon tetrachloride and Acetone while wire brushing parts was absolutely criminal he said. Turns out he was right, it was criminal. Forty years on, it killed him.

    Both Mom and Dad smoked while I was growing up. I’m 63 and waiting to see what, if any , result that will have on me. Then again, in High School and college I worked for a dry cleaner and we used Perchloroethylene. Maybe my death warrant is already signed.

    Mom had smoked for forty years and gave it up when Dad did. After she passed, statistically, she was listed as a smoking related death even though she had given it up over twenty years earlier. I am sure that her death was one of those little statistical factors that led to the bans.

    As Professor Batista said in college, statistics don’t lie, statisticians do.

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      HI SK

      My dad also had lung cancer, and he quit smoking some 25 years before he was diagnosed with it. Had surgery to remove one lung, got an infection, had to go back in and clean it out. Did good for 5 years, then got brain cancer, lived maybe another year if that much. He went rather quickly though towards the end. He passed away in 1998.

      My mother in law was also a smoker. She developed pancreatic cancer and was given only 5 months to live. She outlived that by 5 years. Both she and my dad had taken chemo treatments for a long time, but made them so sick, they quit couldn’t take it anymore, besides it eventually quit working towards the end in both of them. She passes away in 1977 at the age of 65, my dad was 77.

      My dad was also a shuttle driver for Lawerance Livermore Lab after he retired from his job driving for Greyhound, and there is a possibility that he was exposed to some things there but it was never proven.

  22. On the topic of smoking laws and other such rules.

    The CONTRADICTIONS are created, in my opinion, by erroneous or at least conflicting definitions from the start.

    Rights, for example, can not be in conflict with each other. Logic dictates that if they are in conflict they could not be a RIGHT. After all rights are those actions all humans are entitled to pursue. If a right were to impose upon another then one would in effect “prevent” the action entitled by another.

    Yet buried in these laws is the presumption that certain rights exceed other rights. The right to no smoke harm exceeds property rights. Or the right to smoke exceeds the right to clean air. I suggest that some of what many call rights are either privileges or are ethical standards needed to protect our rights. Remember, ethics act as the throttle on our pursuit of rights. They keep us from destroying those rights.

    Next up is the role of govt, based on the prior. What is confused here is the proper role of govt., that being the “protection of our rights” as opposed to “protection of our health and safety”. Once we confuse the two we start granting power to protect us “against” things as opposed to protecting our rights to suffer from things in our own way.

    There now. That ought to make everything clear as mud.

    🙂

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      “That ought to make everything clear as mud.”
      Agreed! 🙂

      As Puritan staggers for the aspirin….

    • OK, not sure I followed all of that, but I believe the conflict of smoking in public places arises because individuals believe their rights are greater than others. To me, public smoking bans aren’t about the individual “customers” in these cases, but the private business owner.

      As a non-smoker do I have a right to breathe clean air when I am out, or does the smoker have a greater right to his choice of participating in a legal activity? We can argue this all day and never come to a good solution.

      • It’s that word right that complicates these discussions-lets say that you have the right to the privilege of clean air – I have the right to the privilege of smoking – the business owner has the right to decide if or how he wants to honor these rights to privileges -because he is the only party involved who actually has a Right not just a privilege-and we have the Right to use or not use his business. So I guess the next question is who do we as a people want to decide-the government or the business owner.

        • Its not really the concept of a right itself, it is the concept of property. Shared property, such as air, has different aspects than other properties. One has the right to do any action if it does not affect anyone else or their property, then permission is required. If the property is shared, then it matters with whom it is shared.

      • One other thing-I’d like to talk about-On public property I believe that your privilege of clean air would trump my privilege to smoke on the basis that I cannot smoke without imposing on you. But it seems that the government and special interest groups have been very successful at making the argument that the rights of private ownership can be usurped simply because they are open to the public. This argument seems extremely dangerous to me. I think private businesses should all become private clubs-in order to enter you must file out a membership card and pay a penny. Would this trump the government laws or am I just being silly?

        • Indeed. “Public” should only refer to “publicly owned”. Private property allows the owner to have full permission over what is done. This is only changed if the property is shared.

          Of course, there is the issue of shared air and water, if you wish, you can pollute your property. IF, however, your pollutants affect other property through non-solids such as air and water, then you do not have the right to contaminate those, and you have a liability to fix that air.

          In the case of a bar, this is not a major issue, because the air is held within the “owned property”. The intermixing of the indoor and outdoor air is not enough to significantly contaminate other property. IF a bar shared a ventilation system with another business and the smoke affects it, then there must be permission to do this, or it must not be allowed.

          As for government classifying public property as anything open to the public, that is out of line.

      • One other question-would it give the members any rights that could trump the owners rights?

        • No, members are not owners. If, however, membership was sold as partial ownership, then their rights must be worked out with the other owners.

          • Okay, then would it work. Can restaurants/bars become private clubs in order to bypass the non smoking laws? I know in dry counties they have private clubs so that people can drink.

            • Private clubs get out of a lot of ABC laws in this state. There are strict requirements to be considered “private”, and there are some things that are still restricted, such as the legal drinking age. Would it work for smoking? I would imagine so, but it depends, I do not think the law was written very well. Also, because here you have to be distinctively different in your operation, including a severe limitation on marketing, it is doubtful it would really help most of the bars.

  23. Hmmmmm….a lot of great points.

    As a business owner, if I want to allow smokers….I do it…it is my right.

    As a patron…if I don’t like cig smoke…I don’t go there….it is my choice.

    Seems pretty simple.

  24. To: Dread Pirate
    FM: Governor, Laguna Madre
    SJ: Smoking

    Smoking allowed…..warm sea breezes clears the air.
    No DEA…not allowed and used for chum.
    No ATF…not allowed and used for chum.
    No EPA…not allowed and cannot be used for chum..they are environmentally a hazard.
    Rule of Law…Pirates Code. (Self governance)
    No Virgins… considered a waste.
    Free grog….means free grog.
    Plenty of sugar, potato chips, pizza, pastries, red meat….you have a right to engorge.
    Medical care….if you can find a sober doc. (early mornings are best)
    No stop signs, no red lights, no exits only…right of way goes to the bravest.
    If you use empty bottles for target practice, please pick up your glass. (Failure to do so will litter your decks with broken glass).
    No noise abatement..all night singing and carousing encouraged. (Being in tune not required, free ear plugs for all)
    Washington politicians allowed….more chum and targets for target practice.
    Dread Pirate Parrot Poop…..your responsibility.
    Please do not pee on the park benches….they are a universal bed.(But if you do, you sleep there).
    Please dispose of your trash on the evening tide. The current will take it up the east coast to join the rest of the trash in Washington.
    Bring plenty of matches….the oil leak has provided fuel for midnight sea fires. Very pretty.

    These are but a few of the luxuries at Laguna Madre……oh…no berthing taxes (remember, Pirate Code) Voluntary contributions as captured politicians, captured virgins (if there are any), captured grog, food, staples, etc gladly accepted.)

  25. Cyndi P says:

    Off topic but relevant:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jun/4/ftc-floats-drudge-tax/

    TPTB are determined to stop conservative free speech, it seems.

    • SK Trynosky Sr says:

      As the Russians used to say, there is no news in “Izvestia” (News) and there is no truth in “Pravda” (Truth).

      All things being equal, I guess it doesn’t much matter which dictatorship you live under, one is just a bit more candy coated than the other.

      • Cyndi P says:

        Doesn’t look to be much candy in the Obama dictatorship…..

        • Murphy's Law says:

          None whatsoever, unless you are here illegally….or generally wish to milk the system for all it’s worth……

          But none for anyone who is willing to work for a living. We get &*%$!! while they get the candy which was extracted from our hides.

          High fives to you, Cyndi…..the fact that you said there was none proves that you don’t even think in terms of taking from the system. But we knew that already……

          Have a fabulous day! It’s going to be a HOT one here. In fact, it looks like we could have a record hot summer, right after our record cold winter. And today I am having my patio cover replaced……the one that the huge snowstorm in February collapsed (or started to, until my lightning quick-thinking husband was able to shore it up before it all came down).

          Murf

          • I’m not afraid to translate &*%$ for you Murf.. We get SHIT.. 🙂

          • Cyndi P says:

            Thanks Murph!

            High Fives are a welcome change from the middle finger, which I seem to get somewhat often….

            😉

    • texaschem says:

      The only thing Obama could not control during the election was the internet. If you take into account the Fairness Doctrine, net neutrality and now this, it is three attempts to constrain the first amendment like no other president has. Number four is placing an “I believe the first amendment should be constrained for socially redeeming purposes” judge on the Supreme Court.

      So…I want to know what is going to be the straw that broke the camels back?Where is the line in the sand?These attempts at taking our freedom and liberty away are not going to stop.Soros funded think tanks are coming up with this BS for the lefts elitist minded control-mongers.It is time to say not only NO!But HELL NO!

      “In order to be an immaculate member of a flock of sheep, one must above all be a sheep oneself.” -Albert Einstein

  26. Judy Sabatini says:

    I think she owes the Jewish people an apology for her remarks. There must be something seriously wrong with her to say something like.

    http://www.breitbart.tv/helen-thomas-tells-jews-get-the-hell-out-of-palestine-and-go-back-to-germany-poland

    • Cyndi P says:

      She’s a Liberal. That’s what’s wrong with her!

      😉

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        She’s older than dirt, and should retire her mouth, that’s what’s wrong with her as well.

        Hope you’re doing well Cyndi

        • Cyndi P says:

          LOL!

          I’m doing good. I’m still struggling with a bit of a cold. Mostly its just sinus ‘stuff’ and a cough, with a little fatigue. There’s a nasty bug going around the island right now. I missed a couple of days of work last week. But its the weekend now, well, in a another 30 minutes or so!

          Have a nice weekend!

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            Hi Cyndi

            Glad you’re doing good, and I hope you will feel better real soon.

            Got to watch those bugs going around, seems a few people I know also caught a bug. Knock on wood, I haven’t caught anything.

            Take Care

            • Cyndi P says:

              I’m over the bug enough to go deep sea fishing tomorrow! Yipee! This place is great. You can go deep sea fishing without having to loose sight of shore. This will be my first time out on Kwaj. Hopefully we won’t get skunked!

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                Never been deep sea fishing, but then I don’t like fish, so, that must explain it. I’m not to fond of being out on boats anyway. Have a tremendous fear of deep water.

                Well, have fun, hope you catch something, and I don’t mean another bug either. 😀

        • Murphy's Law says:

          Judy-

          Dirt looks better.

          And her mouth and her a$$ changed places years ago. That has to be what happened to her face.

          As I don’t seem to have many original ideas, I will steal from JAC, and give you-

          🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

          for your post!

          Murf

          • Murphy's Law says:

            And the mouth/a$$ exchange also explains what comes out of her face…. 😉

            • Nice….

              But it’s OK, really to just say it Murf:

              And the mouth/ass exchange…

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            Hi Murphy

            Thanks for the 5 smiley faces, I’ll take them. Just wanted to share what I thought was a despicable display of her opening her mouth.

            Hope you have a good weekend.

            Take Care

  27. Murphy's Law says:

    Ray-

    Happy 1st Birthday to your boy! Give the little bruiser a hug from me!

    Murf

    • Take him out for a beer from D13…..teach him to shoot…..ride a horse….he already tackles the girls…..I like this little guy.

  28. CabotAR says:

    I agree that govt. should never step in and tell private businesses what to do. I’ll take it a step further.

    Whatever happened to freedom of choice in America. We may not like smokers, but they do have rights and, if a business wants them as customers, then the govt. needs to butt out.

    Just another freedom we have lost to the liberals.

  29. Cyndi P says:
  30. Murphy's Law says:

    Just had to pass this on….some of these made me laugh out loud.

    The Philosophy of Ambiguity

    FOR THOSE WHO LOVE THE PHILOSOPHY OF AMBIGUITY,
    AS WELL AS THE IDIOSYNCRASIES OF ENGLISH:
    Please enjoy and understand the following :

    1. DON’T SWEAT THE PETTY THINGS AND DON’T PET THE SWEATY THINGS.
    2. ONE TEQUILA, TWO TEQUILA, THREE TEQUILA, FLOOR.
    3. ATHEISM IS A NON-PROPHET ORGANIZATION.
    4. IF MAN EVOLVED FROM MONKEYS AND APES, WHY DO WE STILL HAVE MONKEYS AND APES?
    5. THE MAIN REASON THAT SANTA IS SO JOLLY IS BECAUSE HE KNOWS WHERE ALL THE BAD GIRLS LIVE.
    6. I WENT TO A BOOKSTORE AND ASKED THE SALESWOMAN, “WHERE’S THE SELF- HELP SECTION?” SHE SAID IF SHE TOLD ME, IT WOULD DEFEAT THE PURPOSE.
    7. WHAT IF THERE WERE NO HYPOTHETICAL QUESTIONS?
    8. IF A DEAF CHILD SIGNS SWEAR WORDS, DOES HIS MOTHER WASH HIS HANDS WITH SOAP?
    9. IF SOMEONE WITH MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES THREATENS TO KILL HIMSELF, IS IT CONSIDERED A HOSTAGE SITUATION?
    10. IS THERE ANOTHER WORD FOR SYNONYM?
    11. IF YOU SPIN AN ORIENTAL PERSON IN A CIRCLE THREE TIMES, DO THEY BECOME DISORIENTED?
    12. CAN AN ATHEIST GET INSURANCE AGAINST ACTS OF GOD ?
    13. IF A PARSLEY FARMER IS SUED, CAN THEY GARNISH HIS WAGES?
    14. WOULD A FLY WITHOUT WINGS BE CALLED A WALK?
    15. WHY DO THEY LOCK GAS STATION BATHROOMS? ARE THEY AFRAID SOMEONE WILL CLEAN THEM?
    16. IF A TURTLE DOESN’T HAVE A SHELL, IS HE HOMELESS OR NAKED?
    17. CAN VEGETARIANS EAT ANIMAL CRACKERS?
    18. IF THE POLICE ARREST A MIME, DO THEY TELL HIM HE HAS THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT?
    19. WHY DO THEY PUT BRAILLE ON THE DRIVE-THROUGH BANK MACHINES? (ok I know the answer to that one…..I have a blind friend whom I have driven thru the outside ATM 🙂 )
    20. WHY ARE HEMORRHOIDS CALLED “HEMORRHOIDS” INSTEAD OF “ASSTEROIDS”?
    21. WHAT WAS THE BEST THING BEFORE SLICED BREAD?
    22. ONE NICE THING ABOUT EGOTISTS: THEY DON’T TALK ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE.
    23. WHY IS THERE AN EXPIRATION DATE ON SOUR CREAM?
    24. DO INFANTS ENJOY INFANCY AS MUCH AS ADULTS ENJOY ADULTERY?
    25. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE A CIVIL WAR?
    26. IF ONE SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMER DROWNS, DO THE REST DROWN TOO?
    27. IF YOU ATE BOTH PASTA AND ANTIPASTO, WOULD YOU STILL BE HUNGRY?
    28. IF YOU TRY TO FAIL, AND SUCCEED, WHICH HAVE YOU DONE?
    29. WHOSE CRUEL IDEA WAS IT FOR THE WORD ‘LISP’ TO HAVE ‘S’ IN IT?
    30. WHY IS IT CALLED TOURIST SEASON IF WE CAN’T SHOOT AT THEM?

    Murf

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Some added ones

      Why do you park in a driveway, and drive on a parkway?

      Why are they called buildings, shouldn’t they be called builts? After all, they’re already built.

      Why is it a bank charges you with something when they know you don’t have anything in your account?

      Why is it words like tomb, comb, food, wood, good, which are spelled with the same sound, pronounced different?

      Just some of which I remember from Gallagher.

  31. Judy Sabatini says:

    Okay, this is just going to damn far now. Thank God my son’s are grown and on their own now.

    Gov’t = caretaker, parent = babysitter
    Charlie Butts – OneNewsNow – 6/5/2010 4:20:00 AMBookmark and Share

    family portrait silhouetteThe Senate is expected to take up the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    The effort is a dangerous treaty for the family, according to pediatrician Rosemary Stein of Burlington, North Carolina, and a spokesperson for the Christian Medical Association (CMA).

    “It takes away the parents’ rights to rear their child and gives it to the government,” she explains. “The government becomes the caretaker and the guardian, and the parent becomes the babysitter. Another way to define it would be ‘the government takeover of our children.'”

    If the contract is enforced, the government would have the right to intercede or supersede if officials believe the parents are doing something that is not in the best interest of the child. An example of this comes from Germany, where the government has passed laws that ban parents from homeschooling their children.

    “I didn’t know that it was this insidious, and at the same time, this overwhelming,” Stein laments. “It goes over everything — what you teach them, what you do with them [and] how they’re reared.”

    The CMA spokesman predicts this will change society from the bottom up. For instance, a 16-year-old girl in Great Britain asked her parents to let her boyfriend move in and share her bedroom. When the parents said no, the teen filed suit and won.

    It is not known when the U.S. Senate will try to ratify the treaty, so Dr. Stein says people need to start contacting their senators to voice their views.

  32. A Puritan Descendant says:

    The State of Maine’s Constitution Section 16 looks pretty clear…. or is it???

    “Section 16. To keep and bear arms. Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.”

    It is worth noting that the phrase “shall never be questioned,”
    ME CONST. art. 1, § 16, was apparently never construed to mean that the right was absolute. See supra note 20 (legislative intent), and text accompanying note 22. See also State v. Brown, 571 A.2d at 819 (reasonable police power). This phrase is the same in both the original and amended constitutions. See ME. CONST. art. 1, § 16 (amended 1987). The right that “shall never be questioned” can be inferred as the right to bear arms as limited by the police power.

    So Section 16 of The Maine State Constitution may as well read like this after past State court rulings >

    “To keep and bear arms. Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned as limited by police power.

    My point of all the above is why bother to attempt to write any freedom loving law or Constitutional amendment if the courts can so easily rewrite it to mean what ever they want it to mean. Now the above amendment can be made worthless if the State chooses.

    BF is correct when he made this statement to me above in response to my post # 4

    “Puritan.
    Yes, you can try to bury evil with more paper work, but it is patient. It will fill in all the paper work that allows it to unbury itself from paper work.
    This is why “limited” government can never succeed. Eventually, evil will find the “loop hole” in the paper and *sprung* … tyranny.”

  33. Hi Ya’ll 🙂

    Apparently, as you will see, a search warrant is now authority to SHOOT animals and people, before a “search” is actually conducted.

    Not a nice video for dog lovers 😦

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Hi G

      If it shows them shooting a dog or another animal, I won’t/can’t watch.

      How are you doing?

      • Hi Judy,

        It doesn’t show it, but is clearly heard, so be advised. I’m OK, I want to finish this labor war at work so I can do what I have to do. I started this mission, and will finish it. I’m in a bit of a foul mood, and intend on being that way at work this week, but not here or at home.

        On a good note, the garden is now fully planted and the deer herd looks fantastic! 🙂

        G!

        • Judy Sabatini says:

          Your dad has been keeping up to date on the garden, even sent pictures, and it’s really coming along. I don’t think I could even listen to that G, not when it comes to something like that. By the way, I’m sorry, and I think you know what about, don’t get mad, but your dad told me, okay, and I’m really, really sorry.

          • Don’t be sorry! Time will tell, and hopefully things will work out for the better. We have lots in the community with their eyes open. Hoping for the best!

            • Judy Sabatini says:

              well, I thought about that all night last and today, hoping things will turn out for you. I know how you feel because it happened to us, but only somebody took her.

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                And to this day, there is no closure. Our dog had diabetes, hypothyroidism, arthritis and was taking medication for everything, so who ever took her didn’t know about her problems or the insulin she had to take twice a day, G, she was my best bud, and I still miss her not knowing who or why they took her.

                I’ll keep my fingers crossed and say a prayer that she will return. Be thinking about you too and how you will be doing. I know it’s easier said then done, but hang in there, and don’t give up.

              • I’ll be fine, I never give up on anything. This was just bad timing I guess, with everything else going on. I’ll keep my chin up and march forward!

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                Well, will you keep me posted if you find out anything?

                Would like to know, okay.

                Going to go for the night, been on the computer for most of the day, and my hands and fingers are just killing me, and with this arthritis and carpal tunnel in my left wrist, it’s going to hurt something fierce tonight.

                Hope you will have a good night G, and will be thinking about you, like it or not.
                You take care okay, and HUGS to you.

              • Sleep well! Will keep you informed. Hope your hands feel better. HUGS back! 🙂

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