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Thought I would start a new thread based on what 53T ...(65 posts)

Thought I would start a new thread based on what 53T ...Live Steam
May 15, 2003 8:27 AM
stated in his post below about government's roll in our day to day lives. I hear what he said and agree with his premise that government looks to make itself indispensable by claiming to act in our best interests. His observation that most of what they do is used to perpetuate an incumbency rather than really care about what their social consciousness is doing to our freedoms, is on the money as far as I am concerned. Look at the silly nonsense about banning Oreo Cookies for goodness sakes. Or how about the bureaucrat in Oregon who has approved hiring someone to translate "Vulcanese" (sic) for mentally ill patients who state they only speak "Vulcanese". Is this a waste of money and time? I wonder how the patient conveys that they only speak "Vulcanese" if that is all they speak? The whole Second Amendment issue is another way in which the government feels they can protect us from ourselves or the cigarette smoking ban that is being implemented in many cities. It is literally killing many businesses. The government is slowly taking away the freedoms that our Fore Fathers desired and envisioned for us all. Individual liberties is what made this nation great, but we are slowly but surely taking away those simple liberties.

I think I am going to pick up "When I Was a Kid, This Was a Free Country" by Gordon Liddy - on the way from my folks house. I got the call from my Dad to bring a drill and my tools. No reason given so I must be in for something good today :O) He's 83 but that's not what stopped him from doing things himself. Though he was an excellent dentist, he has never been very handy around the house. I hope to see some good discussion here when I get back! ;0)
Henry Millercarnageasada
May 15, 2003 8:38 AM
said in a little collection of essays called Stand Still Like a Hummingbird that we as a people are more alienated and estranged from our government than our forefathers were estranged from English rule. That was fifty years ago, near Liddy's time. And near Mccarthy's time. The American dream had been dying along time.

Unfortunately I think we, as a population, have become as mentally lethargic as we have become overweight and don't even remember what the toes of our liberty look like anymore. Things will get a lot worse before they get better.
May 15, 2003 8:46 AM
We used to have less people and a lot more room to roam around in this country. Now we live next to each other and on top of each other and work in soul-killing cubicles. Your "liberties" are conflicting with my "liberties" a lot more often, and so we have all these new issues and rules and laws. It's part of the inevitable Malthusian result of increasing population and declining resources (of all kinds).
Truth from both sides of the Political SpectrumJon Billheimer
May 15, 2003 9:01 AM
Useful commentary from both mohair and steam! Geez, can you imagine??:)- With respect to the incumbency issue, John Kenneth Galbraith correctly observed in The New Industrial State that the primary impetus of large corporations is not to maximize profits, but to perpetuate themselves. The same thing is true of government. Max Weber noted over a century ago that the bureaucratic organization's primary instinct is to preserve itself and to expand its size and scope. Governments are the prime examples of this immutable law.

The Malthusian drift simply accelerates the process. Which is why conservative sentiments and nostalgia, although appealing, are usually a couple of steps behind reality.
hey, I resent that!mohair_chair
May 15, 2003 9:49 AM
I scored a 23 on the political spectrum test. Just right of the middle, between Colin Powell and George Bush.

hey, I resent that!Jon Billheimer
May 15, 2003 10:25 AM
My profound apologies. Here I thought you belonged to the SANE LIBERAL CROWD. Shoooot! I'm really losing it, complimenting two fascists in one day. I think I'm going to check myself in to the Mao-Tse-Tung Political Re-education School. This is TOOOO embarrassing. Please, please, please, Old Ed, forgive me. A momentary lapse, no??
It's OK. If old mohair is a 23, that explainsOldEdScott
May 15, 2003 10:28 AM
why he makes a MODERATE amount of sense, on occasion.
Cigarette ban killing businesses?ColnagoFE
May 15, 2003 10:04 AM
Not in Boulder, CO it's not. If anything the restaurants and bars are busier. Everyone said that it would kill biz, but it simply hasn't. I don't really agree with a law that mandates that a legal substance can't be consumed in a business that chooses to and actually voted against the ban, but it sure is nice not to have to smell like an ashtray after going out on the town for a few beers.
Boulder is no proxy for the real world (nm)TJeanloz
May 15, 2003 10:12 AM
OK...I'll give you that one ;) (nm)ColnagoFE
May 15, 2003 10:17 AM
time and place regulationDougSloan
May 15, 2003 4:22 PM
Guns are legal; try taking one on an airplane.

Screaming at the top of your lungs is legal. Try it in a courtroom.

Sex is legal. Try it in public.

Point is, just because something is "legal," it doesn't follow that it should be permitted anywhere, any time.

The smoking bans have largely been sought by non-smoking employees. They are entitled to work in a place that does not kill them, albeit slowly.

Doesn't the owner of the ...Live Steam
May 15, 2003 6:26 PM
establishment have some rights too? After all he is the one with the most financial risk. Shouldn't he be allowed to determine who he would prefer to cater to - smokers or non-smokers? It's not like he would be discriminating against anyone. You make the choice to either dine where smoking is allowed or you go some place else. As for the employees that it may effect, they too have the choice to work in a non-smoking environment by working where smoking is prohibited.

I am kind of surprised that the Dems have taken the non-smokers side. Smokers represent about 25% of the population, which is much higher than one would think, but they are still a minority. I guess they aren't the right type of minority for the Dems though :O) Maybe they figure the voting base isn't cohesive enough to really care about.
very non-ditto positionDougSloan
May 16, 2003 6:34 AM
This is one issue where I differ from el Rushbo.

Your arguments, in a libertarian state, are completely valid. However, we don't live there.

There are vast numbers of laws that are the same by analogy, for example:

*workplace safety laws -- should a company ignore safety concerns for employees? -- they can always choose to work someplace else

*discrimination laws -- should a company be free to let anyone they want in the door?

*numerous laws concerning keeping the peace, health, and welfare -- should a company be free to operate without fire codes, for example -- you can always choose not to go there; same for food quality, sanitary conditions, noise levels, and on and on -- the point is that these regulations are exactly the same -- they all require businesses to adhere to certain standards deemed beneficial for the public welfare, and the smoking regulation is no different

In a pure libertarian state, every business would be able to do exactly how it choses, and customers would be free to go there or not; however, unless we have that sort of society, people, as at present, expect certain levels of health standards so they need no worry about such things. I'd be all for the complete libertarian state, but I doubt I'd eat out much. ;-)

Yes but it is still not proven conclusively ....Live Steam
May 16, 2003 6:50 AM
that second hand smoke is dangerous and unhealthy. There are just as many studies that say it isn't that say it is. Therefore the premise of an unhealthy environment has yet to established. It may be smelly and uncomfortable, but not necessarily unhealthy. Hey, again I don't smoke except for the occasional cigar, but somehow I see that the people that do, are now being treated as lepers. People perform many acts that are objectionable and possibly unhealthy to others. I guess there is no fair solution, but again I believe that if it was posted that this was a smoking establishment, you would have to option to enter or go some place else.
don't need itDougSloan
May 16, 2003 7:01 AM
>People perform many acts that are objectionable and possibly unhealthy to others.

What other activities that are unhealthy to others do we allow? I can't think of any.

Isn't getting headaches, feeling nauseated, coughing, eyes burning, etc., sufficient reason to control smoking in public places, particularly around employees who must endure it for long periods? There are lots of safety regulations for employees, like ear protection, steel-toed boots, safer procedures, etc., that do not force an employee to choose whether to work there. By the same line of reasoning, we could do away with all employee safety regulations and let employees choose where to work. Coal miners -- sorry, you get black lung; welders -- you'll be blind in a day or two; carpenters -- no more fingers; airport tarmac workers -- you're deaf. Of course, you can always choose whether you want to be maimed, disfigured, or get cancer, or not work.

in addition..rufus
May 16, 2003 7:11 AM
you can't be dining in a restaurant and decide to take all your clothes off there. or make love to your wife on the table. both things are undoubtedly less harmful to the employees and other patrons, but actions that won't be allowed in the place. why should smoking be any different?
I loved Steve Martin's old joke about smokingColnagoFE
May 16, 2003 7:58 AM
Do you mind if I smoke? Oh Nooo, but do you mind if I fart? I doubt that farting is going to harm anyone as I doubt that secondhand smoke is all that dangerous to "healthy" individuals, but if you had someone frequently farting at the table next to you as you dined, don't you think you'd ask the manager to move? Smoking stinks and unlike a fart that goes away after a few minutes, the smoke smell stays on your clothes. Kinda like someone going around with a particularly stanky kind of cologne (Old spice maybe) and dousing everyone with it whether they wanted it or not.
I only smoke in the mid-early to late evening but never at dusk!128
May 16, 2003 10:48 AM
re: Thought I would start a new thread based on what 53T ...BikeViking
May 15, 2003 10:41 AM
Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people

The Federal government regularly encroaches into areas that, I believe, should belong to the States.

Welfare is a perfect example. When we send our taxes to Washington, we are supporting a bureacracy that turns around and sends that money back to the States. Being close to the "problem", States are far better equipped to take care of their own people, rather than looking for Uncle Sugar to bail them out.

This push for universal health care (courtesy of the Feds) is another baby step toward socialism. Next, the Feds will have to prvide adequate housing, then next proper nutritional food. They'll continue to ban legal things (booze, cigarettes, Oreo's and Big Mac's). Before you know it, Norway will be calling us Socialists!!

The Canadian Way, eh?Jon Billheimer
May 15, 2003 11:48 AM
Hey Scott,

Learn from your neighbours! States rights is a pale imitation of the REAL THING: Canadian-style confederation, complete with a repatriated constitution and a "notwithstanding, opting out clause." Heck, we've refined the art of balkanization to ritualistic annual "first ministers'" conferences during which the provincial Premiers beat the snot out of the PM and then in unison threaten to separate. Quebec doesn't even have its traditional monopoly any more. The close-to-the-people argument is trotted out regularly to buttress the "distinct society" version of polite anarchy. To complete the drift to complete atomization of the country into countless, miniscule little subsidized constituencies our "Progressive-Conservative" Party's(now is that an oxymoron or what?) byline a decade and a half ago was that Canada is a "community of communities." Sheesh, you Yanks are such amateurs when it comes to ways of completely destroying national cohesiveness in the name of grassroots politics!!!:)- And just to think that you guys think WE'RE all a bunch of Marxist one-worlders!!
The Canadian Way, eh?BikeViking
May 15, 2003 12:11 PM
The simpistic beauty of our Constitution, if adhered to, seems to strike a reasonable balance between socialism and Balkanization. There is a certain level of responsibility to the Federal gov't, but there is a growing dependence on the Feds by the States. Debates are ongoing on how much to spend to federally bail out the fiscally irresponsible states (like CA). It is inherently unfair that New Mexico residents (who balance their books) are asked to pay for the financial dalliances of other states.

It seems like your provincial Premiers are acting like spoiled children. I can't imagine they would ACTUALLY try to secede, but if you have a permissive "parent" spoiled children will get away with murder.

Simply put, if the Constitution was STRICTLY adhered to, we would have a definite shrinking of Federal gov't.

universal healthcare is good enough.....rufus
May 15, 2003 2:40 PM
for our elected representatives.
universal healthcare is good enough.....BikeViking
May 16, 2003 5:27 AM
This begins the slippery slope of entitlements. The one somewhat related issue I take great pleasure in un-PC with are school lunches. If these kids have parents, the parents are responsible for feeding them, not the government. It's a correct view in my opinion, but way too harsh for a politician to "steal food from children" or whatever evil spin an opponent would put on it.

Back to the healthcare...once healthcare is "free" (paid for by OUR taxes)...the bleeding hearts will be looking for another way to "help" people. Food and shelter are next, especially if Hillary gets elected. Luckily I don't think there are enough stupid people in the country to vote her into office.

well then, let congress and the president go to hmo'srufus
May 16, 2003 6:47 AM
why should we the taxpayers pay for every little thing related to their healthcare? let them have the same services that we in the real world out here do, and then see what kind of legislation gets passed regarding healthcare. let's see their hmo deny them a needed procedure, and see how they feel about that.

one of the problems with our government is that by being in washington, with all the perks and privileges they have voted themselves, they are insulated from everyday life.
universal healthcare is good enough.....Live Steam
May 16, 2003 6:56 AM
"Luckily I don't think there are enough stupid people in the country to vote her into office.

Unfortunately there were enough in New York to get here into the Senate :O(
Oh yes there are!:)-Jon Billheimer
May 16, 2003 8:13 AM
Don't go there! Public stupidity is expansive and potentially infinite. How do you think Dubya got elected? And then how do you think his braintrust "sold" an unjustifiable war with a pack of lies and contradictory statements?

When it comes to promises of cradle to grave government "care" for everyone the public stupidity quotient will go even higher!
When Gordon Liddy wsa a kid, this was not a free country. . .czardonic
May 15, 2003 12:30 PM
. . .for millions. I reiterate what I said earlier: If things were so great back in Gordon Liddy's salad days, or at any time in the past that conservatives would like to roll us back to, change would never have occured in the first place.

Until we achieve a utopian society that meets the wants and needs of every single citizen (i.e. forever), change will be a constant. The only rational response is to embrace change and guide it towards progress. That means recognizing the reasons why past policies failed, and why past conditions inspired change in the first place.


So the elected pander to the electorate. There's a revelation.
Ahh, now I understand.......Live Steam
May 15, 2003 3:36 PM
"Until we achieve a utopian society that meets the wants and needs of every single citizen (i.e. forever), change will be a constant."

I didn't realize we were striving for a utopian society. That is enlightening to say the least. I am catching on quickly here. All you have to do is explain how we achieve this utopian society and I'm in. After all who wouldn't want to live in Utopia? So please, go ahead, explain :O)
Sheesh. Just in case the facetiousness was over your head. . .czardonic
May 15, 2003 4:05 PM
. . .I already noted that acheiving utopia would take forever, i.e. it would never happen.
It didn't sound facetious to me ...Live Steam
May 16, 2003 5:12 AM
we were discussing the ways in which the government interferes in our lives, how they have or have not interpreted the Constitution to infringe on our liberties and basically stating these influence our perspective on day to day life in the US and you came up with the idea that the government is striving for a utopian society though it will never happen. You also said that the government is trying to appease each and every individual. This is all news to me.

Funny but I didn't find any of that in our Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence or Magna Carter for that matter. Maybe its part of the Communist Manifesto. I think you're in the wrong country if a utopian society is what you are looking for. This country is all about individual liberties and individual freedoms. I guess I understand why the Dumocrats want to redistribute the wealth in this nation - to make everyone happy that they have the same as the next guy. Hey that will never happen because it is not the nature of people. Some will always have more than others. Some will always want more than others. Being equal means we all have the same right to succeed, but it also means that we all have an equal opportunity to fail as well. Some people fail and for many different reasons.

Hey Cuba still operates under the Communist paradigm. Maybe you can swim there and say hello along the way to all those that are trying to come here to the US.
Looks like facetiousness isn't the only thing over your head.czardonic
May 16, 2003 12:00 PM
Has not man been striving throughout history to perfect society?

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union. . ."

Sound familiar?
and moreDougSloan
May 16, 2003 12:10 PM
"...and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, "

If only people would adhere to the whole thing.

May 16, 2003 12:48 PM
As long as one person's liberty can come at the expense of anothers, compromises must be made. As with most compromises, there are those who accept it as a reality of life and those who whine about it incessantly.
count me in as a whinerDougSloan
May 16, 2003 12:58 PM
As long as my freedom is being usuped, I'm a whiner.

Tell me this. If I want to work for $3 an hour, how is anyone else's liberty infringed? (Just an example)

I'm waaaaay ahead of you. }: Þczardonic
May 16, 2003 1:14 PM
Nobody is preventing you from working for $3 an hour. You are perfectly free to negotiate with your employer to give back any portion of your wage that exceeds $3. Certainly you could sell your services to clients for $3 without anyone interfering.
The preamble to the Constitution does not ....Live Steam
May 16, 2003 12:29 PM
translate to "UTOPIAN PERSUIT"! I was wondering when you were going to show your utopian head around here today :O) The preamble - We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

is a mission statement. It says that the people will act in unison to insure that our liberties and rights will be protected now and for generations to come.

I think you really need to smoke something different :O)
Yes, <i>in order to form a more perfect union</i>.czardonic
May 16, 2003 12:45 PM
Perfect union = utopia.
that's nuttyDougSloan
May 16, 2003 12:55 PM
They had a loosely organized union (provincial congress??). They wanted a better union. Has nothing to do with utopia.

You are just splitting semantic hairs so you can disagree.czardonic
May 16, 2003 1:08 PM
I am using "utopia" as a politically neutral term that simply signifies perfection in political terms.

Thus, for those interested in creating a "more perfect union", utopia would be that perfect union.
Make me king and I'll be in Utopia!MikeBiker
May 17, 2003 7:26 PM
and you'll find your face on a deck of cards some day. nmDougSloan
May 17, 2003 7:33 PM
I agree, except for the smoking part...DougSloan
May 15, 2003 4:17 PM
Freedom means I can swing my arm anywhere I want, as long as I don't hit you with it, right? Smoking smacks me right in the face -- it makes me cough, get headaches, feel sick, and is particularly bad for employees who much put up with others' smoke for 8 hours every day. Allowing smoking and then regulating car emissions to a part per billion is just plain stupid.

Yes, you should be free to smoke up your house or the great outdoors away from others all you want. Smoking right next to me in an enclosed room is the same as a physical assault.


PS: the cookie thing is really stupid.
"the cookie thing is really stupid"Live Steam
May 15, 2003 6:44 PM
Evidently the attorney that brought the suit dropped it today. He said he initiated the suit to bring awareness to the dangers our children face from poor dietary habits.

As for smoking in a work place, I can understand not allowing smoking in an area open to other employees, and designating a place for such activity. However bars and dining establishments cater to smokers as well as non-smokers. You or I have the option to dine or not in a place that allows it. I think it would be similar to avoiding a place because it is too loud for your tastes. Noise may bother some while smoking is tolerated. The employee also has the option of working where smoking is prohibited if they so choose. I liken that to some girl opting not to take a job at Hooters because she wants to keep warm and keep the air-conditioning off of her bare skin ;0)
Gotta side with Doug here.sn69
May 15, 2003 6:55 PM
Let's say I got to the restaraunt first and sat down to enjoy my meal. Why should I have to rush through it to accomodate somebody hell-bent on hastening their departure from this world, pausing on the planet only long enough to do their part to drain our medical/insurance system of funds to take care of their emphysema-ridden lungs whilst also endangering me and my family.

How 'bout this? Let's say the same person came into the restaraunt with the intent of killing himself with a burst of machine gun fire aimed at himself, only he misses and hits five other diners. Granted, that's rather extreme in terms of the analogy, but the point is that smoking is not a habit/hobby/addiction where the harmful, dangerous affects are limited solely to the person who elects to participate in it. We don't allow drunk driving either, yet we can all opt to avoid roads at times statistically more prone to drunkards being out and about.

There's simply no valid counter argument on the part of smokers (in my generally nonsensical and worthless opinion) as to why they should be allowed to endanger the rest of us or as to why they should force a behavioral modification on our part to satisfy their addiction to and participation in what is ultimately a self-destructive and externally damaging habit.

That's my immature take. Here's my mature one: screw them.
To sn69Jon Billheimer
May 15, 2003 7:41 PM
Okay Spaceman Spiff,

How about driving automobiles?? It's destructive, it's addictive, and auto accidents and emissions endanger everyone---as do jet airplanes, BTW:)-
Gotta side with Doug here.Live Steam
May 16, 2003 4:40 AM
Scott I am a non-smoker too. However my point was that you made a choice to go to a restaurant that allows smoking, thus the choice was yours to make to not go - just like not going to a place that you would consider too noisy for relaxing dining. If I own the restaurant/bar why do I have to limit my business to only non-smokers? Smoking has been allowed in these establishments for all these years. I think there must be a middle ground and some way to accommodate both. I just think it is unfair to not consider the smokers rights too.

As an aside there have been some studies that show that smokers do not cost the government more than non-smokers as far as medical benefits are concerned. They die sooner so their care generally cost the same as someone that lives longer. With the high tobacco taxes being levied they are probably holding their own in medical outlay costs.

I am just getting tired of the government telling us what we can and cannot do! I may agree in principal with the essence of the law, but can't stand it having to be legislated. Buckle up, where helmets, no smoking, no guns, no fireworks, get killed in some foreign land during a military conflict, but don't drink a cold one while your here at home! Some want to soon legislate what we can and cannot drive - the SUV idiocy! Where will it stop? I haven't had my coffee yet so this may be a little incoherent :O)
A small voice of sanity...BikeViking
May 16, 2003 5:37 AM
In Texas, an individual is permitted to ride a motorcycle with no helmet as long as that individual has a sticker on their license plate, indicating they have enough medical insurance coverage to cover them should they get into an accident and sustain a head wound.

Individual responsibilty is a wonderful thing.
smoking, by analogyDougSloan
May 16, 2003 6:41 AM
So, you can smoke in public as long as you inhale and retain ALL of the smoke, plus you maintain health and life insurance to cover the increased risk of cancer and heart disease. Sounds good.

People can smoke all they want, as long as I don't have to breathe it.

Jon, Steam, Doug, et alsn69
May 16, 2003 6:01 AM
Here's where the "reasonable man" theory comes into play balanced by a realistic view of micro-cultural differences. But first, a warning--I too have not yet had my addictive daily dose of the sacred bean, the new sipher lock that the security gestapo intalled on my office door yesterday is malfunctioning this morning forcing me to break in, I found a colony of Formosan termites chomping on my home's second story last night, and I might have to drop out of the Memphis in May triathlon this weekend (my first in 2.5 years) to fix that which the little buggy bastards rendered into toothpicks. Remember, every day that ends in d-a-y is d!ck day in the Navy.

OK. Deep cleansing breath, karmically soothing thoughts, release of morning flatulence. I'm better.

I have lived, worked and traveled in a variety of places that all have different legal takes on the smoking issue. From the standpoint of the non-smoker, however, the issue is one of freedom to live one's life without the no-kidding physical assault of life-endangering second-hand carcinogens forced upon us by those intent on ending their lives gruesomely (ever seen a late-stage emph. suferer? it's horrid). Again, and Good Sir Doug please feel free to add your legalese to my nonsensical rambling, the issue strikes me as being that of those who are doing harm not only to themselves but also to those innocently going about their lives in the same proximity.

I will defer to the drunk driving analogy again. We have the right to operate motor vehicles, but we do not have the right to operate them in an unsafe manner that places the public welfare at risk. The equivalent of Steam's argument about selecting one's restaraunt would suggest that those of us not wanting to get schwacked by drunkards behind the wheel need only never drive or drive only in dry counties. That's absurd and doesn't satisfy the reasonable man theory that suggests that "he who participates in the foolish and/or self-destructive behavior is the one who should be limited behaviorally, not those around him who could potentially be his victims." (Sorry for the gender specific terminology...all those years of Patricia Schroeder-esque political indoctrination as a white, male naval aviator apparently went to waste.)

For now smokers have rights, specifically to smoke and end their lives. Funny, dontcha think, that suicide is largely illegal (although rarely prosecuted), yet the slow, ESTABLISHED and UNAVOIDABLE death caused by smoking is allowed. Hmmm...the politics of the economics of the tobacco industry perhaps?! What they don't have, however, is the right to willfully endanger the rest of us by firing up next to me. Theirs is the self-destructive and societally dangerous behavior; theirs is the one that should be limited.

Buckle-up?! Common. Wear your helmet? Common. I'm sorry but if those issues are hard to comprehend or if they represent an assualt on one's sense of civil liberty then perhaps it's time to listen to the lifeguards who are requesting that you exit the gene pool.

Those issues are a far cry from the multi-facited issues of gun ownership, abortion, fireworks, social welfare, military intervention, etc. Of course, a litigious society can give way to many abuses, from the morbidly obese suing McDonald's for making their vanilla shakes too darn tasty to godless pinko commies trying to deny us our god-fearing, god-given, manifestly destined right to Oreo cookies--"you'll get my Oreo cookies when you pry them out of my cold, dead hands, you bastards."

Litigiousness, senselessly repetitive logic loops and the utlimate foolishness of extremist partisan politics should not supplant the basics of common sense in life, either societally or individually. Don't tell me what SUV to drive (of course I drive a Subaru, so my taste is in question from the start), but feel free to regulate the emmissions standards of these vehicles and feel free to levy higher taxe
Jon, Steam, Doug, et al PART DEUXsn69
May 16, 2003 6:02 AM
Litigiousness, senselessly repetitive logic loops and the utlimate foolishness of extremist partisan politics should not supplant the basics of common sense in life, either societally or individually. Don't tell me what SUV to drive (of course I drive a Subaru, so my taste is in question from the start), but feel free to regulate the emmissions standards of these vehicles and feel free to levy higher taxes against the larger, more destructive vehicles to offset, at least in theory, the damage the do. (By now Steam and Czar are wondering if this seemingly politcally bipolar nut-bag is hitting the bong too much.) Sure, we can argue about the causes of 9-11, but the reality of the event is that it sucked a@@, it was wrong, and those who did it should be brought to justice (and, no, frankly, I don't give a rat's a@@ if "justice" is metered out at the business end of a Barret .50 cal sniper rifle with a SEAL or Marine Scout/Sniper pulling the trigger from 1200 yards).

Crap, I'm out of coffee, and the bastards still aren't here to fix my door.

Let's talk briefly about cultural norms and how they affect these sorts of policies. Specifically, let's stay on target ("Luke, you've turned off your targetting computer, what's wrong?") and stick to the smoking issue. In SoCal, the smoking ban was largely a non-issue. Year after year, San Diego ranks as one of the nation's top two cities for fitness and overall health. Thus, it's reasonable to expect that San Diegans would welcome a smoking ban. They did, and the bar owners' fears were for naught. New Yorkers, however, specifically Manhattanites, are 24/7 uber-type As who work and live in a totally different environment. Spend a little time people-watching at night in Manhattan and you'll see high-intensity businessmen rolling right from work to the bars where work continues in some form or another until late in the evening, punctuated only by a brief dinner of 22 packs of smokes and a dozen drinks-du-jour. Everyone does it's natural to assume that they won't be too amenible to us granola eating freaks who suggest that they shouldn't be allowed to set-off pulminary napalm in public places. Culture versus the reasonable man their culture, it's not reasonable to ban smoking. That's fine; I understand. However, I still favor the ban. They can go back to their 700 square foot $3500 a month flats and smoke 'til dawn for all I care. Who knows, maybe they'll all be forced to quit and then they can all balloon-up and die of morbid obesity and stroke like the fat bastards in this pathetic city.

Here's a curve ball for you all. Both sides, BOTH SIDES, of the political equation seem increasingly intent on telling us what we can and cannot do. The right accuses the left of trying to socially engineer society into a loving, self-aggrandized utopia by legislating behavioral standards like smoking bans, PC eduction, gun control, revisionist history, etc. The left accuses the right of trying to enforce their jack-boot wearing, Fallwell-God fearing vision of ultra-white WASPishness by legislating their religous morals in schools and by enacting religously inspired controls upon our lives via legislation (Kansas--teaching creationism in school?! no thanks, I'd home school in stead).

The bottom line is that the policitcal contiuum in this country isn't linnear. Rather, it's a circle, and the further one moves from the apex, either left or right, the closer one gets to the other side in terms of the increasing desire to control society. At the bottom, it's all about totalitarianism. And that sucks a@@. The extreme left can go sing kumbaya and feel self actualized, and the right can go spank off to Martha Stewart re-runs. They're all wacked in Scott's World.

In the meantime, poverty, ignorance, bigotry, disease, hunger, and really mean people still exist in this world of ours; Cipo ain't doing too great so far; I've got termites munchin' on my superstructure; I'm
Jon, Steam, Doug, et al SECTION Csn69
May 16, 2003 6:03 AM
In the meantime, poverty, ignorance, bigotry, disease, hunger, and really mean people still exist in this world of ours; Cipo ain't doing too great so far; I've got termites munchin' on my superstructure; I'm out of coffee; yes, I'd love to drive an Excursion although I'd really would feel guilty; I don't care about the NBA playoffs; and I don't think Spitio's post from yesterday was over the line.

So there.
man, back off the javaDougSloan
May 16, 2003 6:39 AM
I agree mostly; that was one helluva rant!

I'm already down from the java high. Now I'm just grumpy.sn69
May 16, 2003 7:12 AM
Not the same!Live Steam
May 16, 2003 7:18 AM
Drunk driving and smoking are not the same. One is legal the other is a crime. I would equate alcoholism to smoking. It is not against the law to drink oneself into oblivion just as it is not to smoke. There are certainly secondary issues involved in each that effect bystanders to these habits.

My idea that establishments post whether or not they allow smoking is similar to the idea of "enter or ride at your own risk." Some places require a dress code to enter. Where does it say in the Constitution that you have an inalienable right to enter as you see fit? This is somewhat the same idea. The establishment should set the rules as long as they are within the legal bounds of the law. Smoking in and of itself is not an illegal act and neither is drinking alcohol. To legislate that the proprietor of a business cannot allow smoking if he so chooses is unconstitutional so long as smoking is considered a legal act. I guess if States were to consider issuing "smoking licenses" as they issue licenses for serving alcohol, they would surely reconsider as they would again have their hand in the pockets of the individual. More revenue for them to dole out on programs for the constituency.

You and Doug speak about the additional expense to us all for healthcare issues regarding smokers. What about the additional expense to us all for alcoholism, obesity, speeding, riding our bikes at breakneck speeds, sky diving and many other risky endeavors? Again you and I may feel that secondary smoke is unhealthy and uncomfortable to be around, but it is not conclusive that it is dangerous and unhealthy.
Again Steam, I defer to reasonable man.sn69
May 16, 2003 7:34 AM
One can "legalese" the so-called related arguments ad nauseum, yet the fact remains that somebody drinking, eating or nude skydiving themself to death doesn't harm my health, the impact to public healthcare notwithstanding. Second hand smoke, no matter how the soulless legal goons of the tobacco industry spin it, does. Bottom does. Furthermore, even if it was only suspected that it did, then those who cause it still do not have the right to expose me to that degree of possible danger unless I elect to afford them that opportunity.

How about this. Is going to watch NASCAR inherently dangerous to the spectators? Normally, no. Certain measures are taken to ensure that flying debris and driver bits don't hurl into the stands and maim or kill some hapless redneck. Still the risk remains, and said redneck knows that going into the track, assuming he can actually read. The difference between the two is that the NASCAR spectator (don't want to mortally offend OldEd any more today), knowingly assumes the risk posed by the dangerous activity in his proximity.

Now, if some restaraunts are designated as smoking and others as non-smoking, then the immediate problem is solved. Neither you, Doug nor I have to elect to patronize those establishments that are designated smoking establishments. That's easy. If, however, there are simple smoking and non-smoking sections, how are the smoke and carcinogens kept out of our section? They aren't. I can still elect to forgo dining out, but my behavior is substantially altered to accomodate those who are exhibiting a societally dangerous activity that affects others beside themselves.

Reasonable man. Why should we--those not seeking to knowingly participate in a dangerous activity--be punished or have our behavior institutionally altered by those who elect to participate in the dangerous activity? We shouldn't. They--the smokers--are electing to participate in the addition, thus they should have to alter their behavior.

By the way, I am a reformed smoker, so I willing admit to the zealous fervor of a born-again non-smoker.
Not the same!DougSloan
May 16, 2003 7:37 AM
Smoking, per se, is not the same as drunk driving. Drinking and smoking *can* be equivalent. Drunk driving and smoking right next to someone who does not want to breathe the smoke is more equivalent.

This is not a Constitutional question. Long ago, the Courts decided that the people or legislators have the power to regulate "health and welfare" and commerce. Again, there are literally thousands of similar laws and regulations on the books, and no one even considers them Constitutional issues. There are thousands of perfectly legal products that are restricted as to use, time, and place. For example, guns are legal. You cannot take, much less use, them lots of public places.

This is an argument purely about whether it is a "good idea" to ban smoking from certain places. We can fight about that forever, much as we might fight about other safety or health issues. It is not a Constitutional argument; I could cite you tons of precedent for similar regulations. It's beyond question.

drinking is legal, smoking is legal.rufus
May 16, 2003 8:39 AM
drinking and then driving a car is illegal. smoking in public areas is illegal. same thing. the actions are legal in certain circumstances, but not in others. you can have sex in your home, but not in the center of the town square. the government has seen fit to draw the line at certain activities, and that's what they have done regarding smoking.
drinking is legal, smoking is legal.Live Steam
May 16, 2003 8:57 AM
When and where do they stop drawing lines? Right now the smoking ban suits you, but there may be something in the future that doesn't like riding your bike on public roads or something. It is a perfectly legal thing to do now, but someone somewhere may decide that it is dangerous to your welfare and the welfare of others to mix bicycles and automobiles on the same roads. Guess who loses then?

I just think that the government and social activists involved in the government are just too imposing on our lives. The Bill of Rights was written to protect our individual liberties and not restrict them. Is smoking is obtrusive to a segment of the public? Yes. But it may or may not be more so than paceline riding on public roads or many other activities that people participate in that they believe is unobtrusive. Where does the government stop? Where do these radical activists stop? When we have given up all of our liberties?
i don't know where the lines should be drawn.rufus
May 16, 2003 9:37 AM
conservative republicans want more laws restricting what two individuals may do in the privacy of their own bedroom, liberals want more laws concerning where they may smoke. there are a lot of folks who wish government hadn't drawn a line prohibiting marijuana use, but i assume you aren't one of them. the truth is, the government draws those lines every day about numerous activities and individual behaviors. you may agree with some, and disagree with others(abortion?). but that's the law, and we have to live with it.

no one's constitutional rights are being limited because they cannot smoke in a bar. if their habit is such that they require a cigarette every 15 minutes, they are perfectly free to step outside to do so. if i wish to go out to a bar to drink, i can, but i am still subject to the law if i choose to drive home after doing so. i may not be harming anyone, and for damn sure it's a limitation upon my right to do what ever i wish to do, as long as i'm not harming others, but that's the law. why can't i drive drunk, i've never harmed anyone? why can't i screw a sheep in the privacy of my own home, it ain't hurting the sheep any? why can't i take someone else's child and raise it as my own, i can be a better parent than their birth mom? why can't i camp on this nice farm land, i ain't hurting anyone, and i'll tote my garbage out? let's just let people do whatever they want, where and when they want?

if there can be enough political will generated to overturn smoking ban laws, then they will be overturned. that's how a democracy works. but the overall public safety concerns are on the side of the bans.
the line is drawn at my faceDougSloan
May 16, 2003 9:55 AM
It's the old "swing your arm" line drawing. Swing it all you want, just don't hit me. Smoking hits me.

Riding a bike hits no one. Having sex with a rhino, Ed's fantasy, hits no one.

You have the freedom to smoke; absolutely. I have the freedom not to be attacked by your smoke.

i don't know where the lines should be drawn.Live Steam
May 16, 2003 10:05 AM
"if there can be enough political will generated to overturn smoking ban laws, then they will be overturned."

The problem here is that the laws banning smoking were decreed and not voted on. Hey I don't smoke, but I have a problem the way the whole issue was dealt with here in NYC.

By the way I don't believe that conservative Republicans give a rat's ass what you do in your bedroom. If you are referring to what Rick Santorum said, you have been bamboozled by the left again. You should research his stance and why he said what he said. The other issues you cite are obvious violations of the law - trespassing, kidnapping, etc. Maybe PETA would object to your use of the sheep though :O)
yes, they are violations of the law.rufus
May 16, 2003 10:22 AM
but at some point in time, they weren't. laws are passed limiting individual behavior, sometimes in huge ways, sometimes little things like smoking in restaurants. it's what comes from living as a society. curbs are placed on individual behavior that has harmful effects on the society as a whole.

and they may have been decreed, but by whom? the lord God? or elected city councilmen and mayors etc. don't like what laws they pass, vote them out and get new people in there to overturn them.
yes, they are violations of the law.Live Steam
May 16, 2003 10:30 AM
I don't know when trespassing and kidnapping weren't against the law, but you are correct about one thing - VOTE THEM OUT! I voted for Bloomberg because I thought he would be fiscally responsible, but he has proven otherwise. He is also very vindictive - more so than Rudy was ever purported to be. Heck what should I have expected, Bloomberg is really a Democrat who saw an open ticket on the other side of the aisle.

I think there are a lot of incumbents that are going the way of the dinosaur. The House and Senate will become more Republican as more people perceive their liberties as being trampled upon :O)
using the courts as a publicity stunt?DougSloan
May 16, 2003 6:48 AM
If I were the judge, I'd sanction that guy. You don't file suits just to get attention. Bad.

The smoking issue is purely a political, democratic dispute. There are aleady on the books thousands of similar health, welfare, and safety regulations. This one just happens to get lots of attention. If people want to vote to be able to go to restaurants and not breathe others' smoke, they can do that. Similarly, they could vote to limit hours of operation, noise and light levels, odors, fire codes, restrict liquor sales, etc.

The things that set smoking apart largely is that lots of people do it, there is very little utility in doing it, and it directly and certainly has ill effects on other people. What other activities do we allow in public that do that? Would we allow people to stand up and scream racial epithets in restaurants? -- can't you choose whether or not to go there or work there if they did?

On topic readingLive Steam
May 16, 2003 8:07 AM