Monday, October 26, 2009

The Uplifters are at it again.

Based on statistical analysis, the fascistii are gaining on me.

It took them six years from my arrival in Knoxville to pass an ordinance requiring the wearing of a sweater when it's cold outside; here in Indy it took them less than two.

What? You think my analogy is too odious? Then why did the statement from my Betters at City Hall say "This isn't about business owner's rights; this is about Health!" And as anybody who's ever had a mother knows, wearing a sweater when it's cold outside is Healthy!

A more robust citizenry would have made Christmas Tree ornaments out of any legislators so overreaching in their officious busibodiness, but the flame of the Spirit of '76 guttered and burned out long ago in this fair land. Maybe next we can legislate the proper size of frickin' toilet tanks. Oh, wait...

48 comments:

Paul said...

Time to move, I say. To many people there for my taste. Even in the lower reaches which is still semi hill billy country.

NattyBumpo said...

I don't mind the smoking bans in practice, but there are plenty of REALLY good air-filtration systems that could have been subsidized by the .gov for bars and the like with greater effectiveness, and less impact on the business owner. How can the local "Gentleman's Club" have scotch and cigar nights now that there is no smoking? I liken these laws to seat-belt and helmet laws, apparently we are all too stupid to make good choices for ourselves, and given the number of clowns in office, I would actually have to agree that the majority of the people are, in fact, stupid. But why punish me just because I can tie my shoes? Can we elect Tam queen and get some common sense back?

Tam said...

Thing is, the Indy smoking ban is already pretty comprehensive: The only businesses where you can smoke indoors are places that restrict entry to those 21 years of age or older or private clubs. In both instances, if the owners thought it was warranted, they would have already banned smoking.

Apparently, secondhand smoke in a room full of drunken twentysomethings listening to a live band at 150dB at 0127hrs is bad for you, but just being in a room full of drunken twentysomethings listening to a live band at 150dB at 0127hrs is as healthy as mothers' milk.

Andrew said...

While I agree that the smoking status of private enterprises should be decided by the free market, the sweater analogy is not just odious, but spurious. Your failing to wear a sweater doesn't, after all, blacken my lungs.

To keep things fair, cigarette purchases should require a driver's license endorsement (like organ donors) explicitly waiving any claim to tax-supported health resources. Deal?

Nathan said...

"but there are plenty of REALLY good air-filtration systems that could have been subsidized by the .gov"

Why? If your customers want less smoke, surely they will be willing to pay a little extra to help pay for the smoke-eaters.

Or maybe you just budget for smoke-eaters just like you budget for any other piece of capital equipment.

Remember, when you say the gov ought to subsidize, you're really offering up the contents of your own pocket.

NattyBumpo said...

But the sweater analog points to the basic premise that adults can't think for themselves. If you don't want to be in a smoke-filled bar, don't go in. If you were the bar owner, you should be able to decide if you were going to be smoke-free or not. Here in Portland, pre-ban, some pubs had gone to non-smoking to promote a "family friendly" atmosphere. I wouldn't hesitate to take my girls in for a burger to one of those places. If I wanted to go see my buddy's band play in tavern that would let them play, well, I could expect to stink of smoke after words. MY CHOICE, not some punk-ass politicians. I haven't needed mommy to tuck me in for a long time, and .gov is no mommy-a mother, maybe.

NB

sorry Tam, but these kinds of laws get me a bit riled up.

Nathan said...

And Tam's analogy about noise is spot-on. I can't wait till I'm in the nursing home and have to yell at my young caregiver to make him/her understand me.

I'll take a smoky bar any day over a loud one.

Sherm said...

A comprehensive smoking ban just went into affect here in MT so that even naughty businesses are now covered. I don't smoke and, frankly, think anyone who does is a lot less smart than they look. That being said, I also don't think it is the government's concern. I have never posted the government provided no smoking signs in my business and, barring direct action, never will. Note, there are some compensations living here even with the ban - the CZ in my briefcase not considered as concealed being one of them.

Anonymous said...

Myself, I'd shoot teh smokers on sight.

They smell worse than if they rolled around in manure all day. And I really, really dislike attending bars where the atmosphere is thick with smoke. Without a ban, there were very few places where one could go and have a few beers with friends while breathing unpolluted air. None in winter. Only non-smoking places were some stupidly expensive cafés. I wouldn't want to be seen dead in one of those.

I may have eaten long pig on occassion, but I have my standards, and I won't put any burning nonsense into my mouth, nor breath it.

-Orc.

Tam said...

"Myself, I'd shoot teh smokers on sight."

Bring it, my man.

OA said...

Can't wait until we have government run health care and they come full on after the fat people.

"How can they do this to us!?"

Pffffft...

GuardDuck said...

"To keep things fair, cigarette purchases should require a driver's license endorsement (like organ donors) explicitly waiving any claim to tax-supported health resources. Deal?"

"Can't wait until we have government run health care and they come full on after the fat people."

Oh yeah,

I pay for my own health care, thank you very much. My health care costs do not increase because someone eats too many Big Macs and doesn't ride a bike.

My costs go up when people don't pay for the care they have received.

My costs go up when the government interferes in health care by covering a large, expensive segment of the population but only pays for 60% of their care - while prohibiting the provider from charging the balance to the person actually receiving the care.

My costs go up when providers have to practice hugely expensive defensive medicine to prevent massive losses to lawsuits. When defending against even frivolous suits costs large sums of money.

My costs go up when the government interferes in my ability to enter into a private business arrangement with a health care insurer. Legislating limits and mandating coverage on things that I have no need of.

But no, my costs don't increase from someone eating too many Big Macs or smoking. Unless, of course, we have single payer, socialized medicine. Then my costs would go up.

Since it is the mantra of the progressives that unhealthy life choices cost us and must therefore be legislated away, and that cost would be made into fact by socialized medicine - Therefore socialized medicine = laws against fat people and smoking.

The law of unintended consequences goes a step or two further though. If I pay for your health care, your risky activities also must be legislated away, in the name of saving money. Unnecessary and risky activities such as:

Rockclimbing, windsurfing, mountain climbing, football, basketball, handball, soccer, baseball, softball.

Alcohol use, unprotected sex, sunbathing, swimming at any location without a lifeguard, boating, skiing.

Basically anything that has any risk has to be outlawed because your body will not belong to you anymore. It's care is in the hands of the state and you can't place it in a position where it will cost taxpayers extra money.

You may not like the idea of a guy eating too many Bic Mac's or not riding a bike, but be careful what you wish for, unless you lead the most boring life in existence there is something you do that others can take away.

Wolfwood said...

I don't know if Orc is just a regular being facetious, but his view is more common than I'd thought. My roommate is moderate-liberal and while we disagree on a lot, I can usually see where he's coming from. In discussing a proposed smoking ban, though, he sounded exactly like Orc (minus the shooting part). I was floored. Maybe the idea that one person's freedom should be curtailed because someone else is annoyed by it shouldn't be shocking to me, but it still is.

dave said...

Orc whined:

[Smokers] smell worse than if they rolled around in manure all day. And I really, really dislike attending bars where the atmosphere is thick with smoke. Without a ban, there were very few places where one could go and have a few beers with friends while breathing unpolluted air. None in winter. Only non-smoking places were some stupidly expensive cafés. I wouldn't want to be seen dead in one of those.

See, Tam, you've missed the point--he really, really dislikes it. And I'm sure you don't want to subject him to the monumental indignity of forcing him to "be seen" in "one of those" cafés. Heaven forfend--he has rights, you know!

Jesus, Tam, stop thinking so much of yourself!

perlhaqr said...

Amusing that someone going by the nickname "Orc" is a whiny little pantywaisted bitch. I'm picturing something Paris Hilton would carry around in a purse, here.

M said...

"While I agree that the smoking status of private enterprises should be decided by the free market, the sweater analogy is not just odious, but spurious. Your failing to wear a sweater doesn't, after all, blacken my lungs."

Andrew, you seem to be missing the point, this law applies to private property. If you don't want to be exposed to an activity on private property than don't enter the property. Unless it's you own it, in which case feel free to prohibit it.

og said...

There are laboratory ventilation systems that will remove all trace of tobacco smoke from a room. They care expensive, but they work. They work well enough that they remove toxins that are fatal in a few parts per million. Why do they not require that bars and restaurants have these? it's easier to slam the social lepers, smokers.

I stopped smoking years ago, and recently I have begun smoking on weekends, last weekend i had probably six. I will consider myself a brother to the oppressed class of smokers forever. As for the idiots that "don't like the smell", well, how about pissing up a rope? I don't like your attituide, but there it is.

Now, to whether wearing a sweater makes you healthier, I can say that wearing a sweater increases blood flow and improves morale.

Assuming Tam is wearing the sweater, that is.

tomcatshanger said...

I don't understand some folks.

I hate second hand smoke.

I have zero interest in the government banning it.

I have no idea how folks can advocate the government using the threat of deadly force to stop others than themselves from doing something that is easily avoided on the personal level.

Hell, I have no idea how folks can advocate the threat of deadly force with regard to seat belts.

wv: kablogg A Blog about kabooms?

Joseph said...

It's all about who's ox is gored for some folks. They are perfectly happy to sit by and watch other's freedoms taken as long as they have their own.

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.


I'm a fatty and I know its just a matter of time until we have public health care and start banning fat people or force them to do things to be more "healthy". Because, its for the good of all you know...

Noah D said...

perlhaqr sez:

I'm picturing something Paris Hilton would carry around in a purse, here.

Nah, the Chihuahua had no say in the matter of it's existence and nature.

Orc chooses to be that way.

GuardDuck sez:

Unnecessary and risky activities such as: [long list snipped]

And, of course, our hostess's chosen favorite recreation...

OA said...

GuardDuck, your "hey, I get it...that's blatant sarcasm" antenna is down. Reorient it skyward and try again for signal. See if it picks up on me making the same point as Joseph. If not, seek hobby as big tent republican talk show call-in regular.

GuardDuck said...

I got it OA, sorry that I used it as a segue into my rant. :)

Will said...

Let me try to present the public smoking problem from my perspective: You've just had your steak brought to your restaurant table. As you start to cut, someone walks through tossing handfuls of methamphetamine crystals around the room, making sure to hit everyone's food and drinks. He takes a seat at a table in the center of the room, and continues to toss his drug around for the next ten minutes. A few other diners take up tossing their own drugs around. While you are eating your meal, there is always at least one person actively dispensing their drug on/in other peoples food. What's wrong with this picture?

Now, for those who think my scenario is stupid, what do you think all those smokers are smoking for? For a drug. It's called Nicotine. The most addictive drug known to mankind. It has that rank due to withdrawal effects lasting upwards of a year. It is so toxic, it is used as a pest control poison.

An allergy to Nicotine is common enough that tobacco is on the standard allergic test panel. What's almost funny, is that few people now react to the test, since the .gov mandated that Nicotine be removed from the injection solution due to its hazardous nature.
It's been stated that if Nicotine was a new drug, it would be at the top of the restricted list.

Frankly, I don't care what drugs someone wants to indulge in. Just don't force me to join in.

I don't think the private property angle is appropriate in this situation. We are talking about a public business. The public is invited in to spend their money in the establishment.
Unfortunately, most of the time when left up to the management, they will chose the default response which is to spend no more money than anyone else. I understand the financial aspects of the situation. Forcing a business to spend big money to keep the air clean in just part of it is silly. Better to just mandate that all the indoor air remain clean. But, most businesses will not ban indoor smoking due to the perception (right or wrong) that they will loose customers. As I recall, one of the factors pushing non-smoking in service businesses is the onset of long term employees suing for health damages due to the atmosphere they were required to work in.

I generally don't vote in favor of smoking bans, due to the traction that it adds to the left wings' control agenda.
I would wish for two things. One: A way to eliminate an allergy to Nicotine.
two: Considerate smokers. Unfortunately, that is an oxymoron, in most cases.

ibex said...

Will,

there is nothing wrong with this picture. If you don't appreciate people tossing their drugs around, you are free to eat at another venue that prohibits this sort of behavior or eat at home.

No, it's not a public business. The doors may not be locked, but that doesn't mean that you are a part-owner of the place. The public is invited, yes. You are free to decline that invitation. In fact, I'd encourage you to do so. I'm a non-smoker myself, but people like you are giving all of us a bad name. You want more considerate smokers? Lead by example and be a more considerate non-smoker: Stop asking people to use force to make smokers more "considerate" (hint: it's not considerate when it's forced) or give you the pony you always wanted.

Mr.B said...

"You've just had your steak brought to your restaurant table. As you start to cut, someone walks through tossing handfuls of methamphetamine crystals around the room, making sure to hit everyone's food and drinks. He takes a seat at a table in the center of the room, and continues to toss his drug around for the next ten minutes."

You whiny little pissant. No one forces you to enter the establishment, nor eat there. You make the choice. Want a steak in a smoke free atmosphere? Go to a smoke free establishment. Can't find one that is smoke free? Must not be a market for one. Want one bad enough? Open one yourself. Perhaps your like-minded fellow citizens will patronize you enough to make you successful. or not.

Much like a movie theater, you have the choice to enter or not. Don't want to see naked people or hear profanity? don't go to "r" or "x" rated movies. Your choice. Or not.
Just because you really really don't like something is not a reason for your government to ban it. Personally, I cannot stand whiny little shitheads who think that their personal preference is higher on the list than anyone else's, but that doesn't mean that we should shoot or incarcerate folks like you.
You fall into the trap of thinking that your choices, needs and wants are the responsibility of the government to take care of, not yours. You wish to see your choices and preferences made law. You suffer from the supreme arrogance in thinking that your wants are most high. Sure, you have a Really Good Justification for it. But in reality, it is just you stamping your foot and crying "because I want it that way!".
Sadly, it is people like you that are becoming more and more prevalent, leading things down the path that Kalifornia and Massachusetts have taken.

And that way lies loss of freedom. You gotta take the good with the bad. Deal with it.

og said...

"And that way lies loss of freedom. You gotta take the good with the bad. Deal with it."

Damned nicely put. Just for that, I'm never going to pee on your car.

Anonymous said...

What? No update? No report from the meeting room? No report from passing out pamphlets all day?

And tell us what the vote was, Tam?

Were the Uplifters victorious as they were in the Land of Orange and white suits and string ties?

Shootin' Buddy

Tam said...

Amazingly, 14-13 against. That was a more unexpected upset than would be an IU thrashing of 'Bama.

I don't pass out pamphlets as often as I write them on the internet.

Anonymous said...

Unpossible!

You mean you can fight the Uplifters but freedom isn't free?

It's as if you have to work or something.

ARaaarrrrr (Wookie roar).

Shootin' Buddy

Tam said...

I was thinking about establishing a constitutionally-limited government with strictly enumerated powers, but I was told that it was the will of the majority that mattered, and that I should take my wacky ideas and go to Planet Kashyyk.

Anonymous said...

Yes, constitutionally-limited government in operation here. Health and safety regulations are within the police powers of the states.

The Uplifters that infest the Land of Orange chose way one of regulating places of public resort and dressing, Indianapolis chose differently.

It's almost like no one is going to give us anything; we have to work at it.

Veeerrrom (my light saber, I am a Jedi Knight of my mom's basement), verrrom . . .

Shootin' Buddy

theirritablearchitect said...

"...made Christmas Tree ornaments out of any legislators so overreaching in their..."

I'm getting a little choked up. I thought that no one else had such...pleasant ideas about how to put to good use those parasites.

NattyBumpo said...

Oh, and one thing I forgot to ask. Is it a tight sweater?

Caleb said...

hooray for sanity preserving itself for at least a day.

Ah, smokers. The class of people that it's politically correct to hate for making a personal decision.

Sendarius said...

Mr B. made a comparison between choosing to enter a restaurant and choosing to enter a movie theater.

I have a question: Is it legal to smoke in a movie theater?

og said...

"Is it legal to smoke in a movie theater?"

In some places it is. I've been to a theater where you can smoke. And then there are drive-ins. I like to go to drive-ins for the fact that smoking is allowed (your car, afterall) you can bring whatever snacks you want, maybe a beer, and do as you please otherwise.

Chris M said...

"You've just had your steak brought to your restaurant table. As you start to cut, someone walks through tossing handfuls of methamphetamine crystals around the room, making sure to hit everyone's food and drinks. He takes a seat at a table in the center of the room, and continues to toss his drug around for the next ten minutes."

You whiny little pissant. No one forces you to enter the establishment, nor eat there. You make the choice. Want a steak in a smoke free atmosphere? Go to a smoke free establishment. Can't find one that is smoke free? Must not be a market for one."

I, also, thought that was a sound argument until I moved to a state with a "clean air" act. Then I observed something not considered before.

For the first time in my adult life, I found I could eat out and enjoy the meal. No more need for takeout food. But I saw something else, also.

Just across the river from the city where I lived was a similar city in a state with no anti-smoking laws. The restaurants there were free to fill themselves with cigarette fog to their owners' and customers' hearts' desire. But you know what? When the non-smokers actually were given a choice, when one side of the river had restaurants without smoke, the restauranteurs on the other side of the river suddenly found it economically advantagist to ban smoke in their establishments as well.

As long as all restaurants were filled with smoke they could argue there must not be a market for non-smoking areas. But once those areas became available it quickly became apparent that there are far more people who enjoy breathing fresh air than customers who need to share their addiction with the rest of the world.

Mr.B said...

"But once those areas became available it quickly became apparent that there are far more people who enjoy breathing fresh air than customers who need to share their addiction with the rest of the world."

You prove my point. Markets decide better than governments.

It's a freedom thing. Let the markets (and therefore the business owners) decide the course of action. If non-smoking works better, then it will thrive. If not, then it won't.

If you understand this point, then you are most likely a conservative, small government advocate, if not, then you are most likely a liberal, socialist.

Tam said...

"...customers who need to share their addiction with the rest of the world."

Aw, Chris, you had me going there. I really thought I was reading an unbiased economic analysis until you accidentally Tourette'sed there at the end.

George said...

...and I thought the phrase was,
"PROMOTE the General Welfare", NOT
ENFORCE...?

elmo_iscariot said...

I don't really know whether it's a good idea to wade into this one, and in any case, I wanna throw out some disclaimers first: I believe in limited government. I don't believe in government telling property owners what they can and can't do on their property. If you wanna smoke, it's none of my damned business (just like whether you wear a seatbelt or helmet). Even though I love the effect smoking bans have on my life (I remember when even asking for the "no smoking" section was a crapshoot as to whether they'd put you on one side of an imaginary line, three feet from a table full of smokestacks), but have to reluctantly oppose them on principle; the owner's property rights trump my imagined right to have my preferences met in somebody else's space.

That said, lighting up a cigarette in a room full of strangers is damned rude, and the fact that smokers have grown up feeling entitled to indulge any time they want doesn't change that. There are plenty of things that're fun and rewarding (like blasting Rammstein, furiously masturbating, and parading around in leather thongs) that shouldn't be enjoyed in a crowded restaurant. Cigarettes stink like crazy (seriously--I _like_ tobacco, but have no idea how you can tolerate that cheap, dry crap ;) ), and subjecting rooms full of people to 'em every time you go out isn't a great way to win friends.

_Yes_, it's the property owner's right to allow cigarettes, German metal, enthusiastic onanism, and fetish underoos if that's what he wants. And in a perfect world, the government wouldn't have anything to say about any of it, and people who didn't like it would go elsewhere. But we live in a world where people use their governments' authority to address grievances that don't pass strict libertarian scrutiny. In this world, pissing off large numbers of ordinary people isn't usually a winning strategy for keeping your rights untrampled.

You have a fundamental right in this country to carry any gun you want anywhere you want, and many jurisdictions still recognize that right. But if you want that right to hang around as long as possible, slinging your AR to go see the kids' hockey game probably isn't the best choice. Lots of cities have fairly permissive demonstration laws due to the First Amendment but (to use a recently popular example) the Folsom Street Fair isn't gaining many friends outside the ranks of the already-faithful. If the goal was ever keeping smoking bans away, a bit of courtesy and discretion in packed restaurants would've gone a lot further toward heading off hardline none-indoors-never legislation.

I hate indoor smoking but will defend a property owner's right to allow it. Most people, even in the US, won't. Saying "fuck you, I can do what I want" is most likely not the best way to deal with a mojority that votes and is pissed off by your behavior. I haven't been around the sun too many times, but for as long as I can remember "fuck off" has been the typical smoker attitude toward people who're put out by it.

elmo_iscariot said...

...a mojority...

Which sounds like the swingin'est consent-based system of government this side of 1973.

Will said...

elmo, good thing you put your disclaimer at the beginning, instead near the end AS I DID. Appears that the name calling attackers only read the first paragraph or two, and then skim the rest. Typically, the same types don't bother to read all the prior posts before opening their mouths.

As I recall, the proper way that rights are outlined is: your rights have no limits UNTIL they begin to infringe on my rights.

example: Your new next door neighbor decides that he is going to use his back yard to target practice. With his .500 S&W. You have a yard full of kids. Very noisy, somewhat hazardous. Where do your rights begin?

Or this: Your neighbor across the street is deaf. He has a hotrod with a monster motor, 1400hp on alky. He runs open headers, because he likes to feel the exhaust. He also has a 5000watt stereo in the car and house that he plays at max because he wants to feel the music. He works on call, so he comes and goes at all hours day and night. His deaf friends come and go with their hotrods, so sometimes you hear multiple engines running. He also works on his dragster, 6000hp. You go over to complain about the noise, he hands you a card that says "fuck off or move". Your house feels like an earthquake is in process. The cops suggest earplugs or muffs. Now what?

elmo_iscariot said...

I actually gotta disagree with you, Will. Your examples are all of people whose actions have an effect on people outside their own property, while a restaurant owner deciding to allow smoking affects you only if you choose to _enter_ his property. It seems like you're thinking of a restaurant as a public space like a sidewalk or town square, when it's actually more like your living room. If you choose to let people come into your home so you can sell them things, it's your call whether they can blast loud music, strut around naked, use your indoor shooting range, or smoke. Why are the standards different when your property's downtown?

I get the frustration; you and I feel like we have no restaurant options in places where everybody allows smoking. Thing is, we have no inalienable right to restaurants. If we don't like what the market has to offer, we can bring our own alternative to market or do without. It isn't really the place of government to mandate that businessmen offer us the service we want the way we want it.

Will said...

elmo,
I really wasn't thinking only of restaurants, just of public smoking in general. I used the restaurant to set up the scenario of people introducing drugs into something you are going to consume. While you have to eat, you don't have to do it in public, of course. Unfortunately, not much choice when it comes to breathing.

Still, my point is that smokers rights to put that stuff in their own lungs should not include the right to inflict it on my lungs. Breathing is not optional.

Tam said...

"Still, my point is that smokers rights to put that stuff in their own lungs should not include the right to inflict it on my lungs. Breathing is not optional."

And yet I betcha you own a gasoline lawnmower, so we'll agree that your view of which carcinogens and pollutants it's okay to emit and which are icky is pretty flexible.

Look, Will, I haven't even smoked inside my own home for a decade now. I don't mind stepping outside for a cigarette. However sometimes I like to sit there and sip a beer and read a book while smoking. There are vanishingly few places left to do this in town, all of them bars off limits to minors, and now the whiny health nazis want to take those away, too. Gosh, why ever would I be pissed about that?

Mr.B said...

Article on my blog that is related (sorta). Does a landlord have the right to ban firearms in his/her apartments? Tennessee AG says YES.

I agree. He owns the property, the tenant is a renter. They have the choice to rent form him or not. Similarly, I would support a ban on smoking in apartments. Its private property. The landlord gets to set the rules.

Will said...

Sorry, Tam. For once, I failed to read the original article. I did not realize the ban included bars. That IS stupid. Smoking and drinking go together. I've been aware of that fact for my whole life. Funny thing is, that's about the only place I can tolerate breathing cigarette smoke for any length of time. For some reason, alcohol seems to moderate my Nicotine allergy.