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Liberty To Breathe - De File
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Liberty To Breathe
The ban on smoking in restaurants and bars throughout Arizona goes into effect today. And I'm delighted, purely because it will benefit me. I guess you could say this is an example of my new approach to life, which I'm provisionally terming "libertarianism."

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elf_owl From: elf_owl Date: May 1st, 2007 05:37 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

:;coughs:: ::goes to take a glittery hot bath::
xxxpunkxgrrlxxx From: xxxpunkxgrrlxxx Date: May 1st, 2007 05:50 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
i too am glad of this smoking ban.

at the sebadoh show (did you go to it?), the majority of the crowd had to have been smoking. bleh.
grandissimus From: grandissimus Date: May 1st, 2007 06:40 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I'm afraid mine's a minority voice in this exchange, because, as I see it, another city has managed to mobilize the fascistic tendencies of its citizens against a hapless, helpless subgroup who, because they are immutably a statistical minority, must not only be bled by exorbitant regressive taxes, but must also suffer increased marginalization.

Whether we like them or not -- or whether we like their odor or not -- smokers are our canaries in the political coalmine. I shudder along with Plato at this characteristic display of Democracy. The typical exposure to second-hand smoke, even in nightclubs, would require far more time to work its cancerous effects than an average non-smoker spends in such environs. Not to mention that persecuting smokers distracts from more pressing issues of air quality, especially in Tucson; that brown cloud constantly hovering over Tucson, which one can see it quite distinctly from the Foothills), did smokers create that? Poor T-town: always having bigger fish to fry, and never frying them.

Anyway, would a libertarian really welcome such a Nanny-State intervention in peoples' affairs?
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: May 1st, 2007 07:05 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Oh, I'm just joking about the libertarian thing. "Liberty for me" but not for you!
grandissimus From: grandissimus Date: May 1st, 2007 10:07 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Gaw'Bless Amurr-ikka

Sorry if I came across as shrill in my last post. I'm not defending smoking as a worthwhile activity -- I myself have been smoke-free for nearly six months -- but merely taking exception with what I see as the deontic logic behind the legislative ban on smoking in the places you mentioned. The logic goes: you've paid to get into the club, and I, the (hypothetical) smoker have, also; we're both properly attired; and we're both behaving ourselves -- all other other things being equal, I forfeit personal liberty, the ability to smoke in the venue, because of it negatively effects me and those around me. This, and, only this, informs the ethics behind the legislated ban.

Fine. I accept this. Why, though, is this principle of jurisprudence so selectively and narrowly applied? Why aren't the same prohibitions attached to cell phone users (they ruin the atmosphere just about everywhere they go), automobile drivers, meat-eaters (HUGE carbon footprint there), and so on? Because to do so would be to usher in such a micro-managed Nanny State that no self-respecting libertarian -- or for that matter, no self-respecting Foucauldian (didn't F. once advise his students to read F. A. Hayek?) -- would want to live in it; but this is precisely the day-to-day political reality we've constructed for our those among us who take tobacco.

Just tryin' to keep the torch of liberty burnin'. . .

And, oh, yeah, let's bring back the gold standard and the Articles of Confederation while we're at it! :-)
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: May 1st, 2007 10:45 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Gaw'Bless Amurr-ikka

The problem I have with libertarianism is that it takes idealism to the point of absurdity. You're absolutely right that the logic of the smoking ban could be extended indefinitely. But I also think that we need to take account of the practical, real-world contexts that inform decision-making at this level of abstraction. Smoking directly impacts the health of non-smokers more than the other activities you mention. Sure, we could take the long view and conclude that meat-eating might be worse in the end. The difference, though, is that it's a lot harder to show the effects of that behavior on an individual at close range.
schencka From: schencka Date: May 2nd, 2007 04:15 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Gaw'Bless Amurr-ikka

I declare that guy's comment a De File no-no.

You know it's a hardline comment when Dr. Bertsch is forced to use academic-critical language.

"we need to take account of the practical, real-world contexts that inform decision-making"
grandissimus From: grandissimus Date: May 6th, 2007 04:08 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Gaw'Bless Amurr-ikka

Oh, Adam. The smoke in Tucson clears, and still you cannot see. I don't know what's so out-of-bounds about civil liberties. I mean, I suffer the persecution of fitness-freak joggers every day. I can't tell you how many times I've almost been run down by one of them on the sidewalk. And their flagrant disregard for auto traffic places them in much greater danger than any cigarette smoke ever will. What recourse do I have against them? How do I legislate them out of my sphere? A street without joggers would be a happy street indeed, because they jeopardize my person and my insurance rates every time one of them hurtles mindlessly down the street in pursuit of an optimal pulse rate.

Once you realize that what we're talking about with this Tucson smoking ban is just good ol' fashioned bully politics -- pushin' around the unpopular guy for our heady little will-to-power rush -- we'll never be able to have a fruitful discussion. You just don't know how thoroughly you've been taught to dance to the authoritarian's tune. Pulmonary health is not an inalienable right -- just ask the EPA. Besides, the *air* in Tucson's gonna kill you faster than the smoke in Club Congress, or in any other scenester hang.

Gyms are gulags. Stop being your body's slave.

"That Guy"
lwveggie From: lwveggie Date: May 1st, 2007 10:22 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Hooray, indeed.

Personal benefit is a good thing, and so is the smoking ban.

Then again, I'm a non-smoker with asthma, and I work for the American Lung Association.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: May 1st, 2007 10:50 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Hooray, indeed.

Right. It's good to remember what one's personal investments are, particularly in the determination of right and wrong. I think you're right. But I have good reason to do so. Right?
jstgerma From: jstgerma Date: May 2nd, 2007 02:50 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
As a person who works in a bar, I've been counting the days. I couldn't be happier.

The other day I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in months and she said my voice sounded deeper. I don't doubt it was from breathing smoke for 30 hours a week.
schencka From: schencka Date: May 2nd, 2007 04:17 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
At least now you can sing in tune with Bob Dylan.
tensleep From: tensleep Date: May 2nd, 2007 01:36 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
So excited. Now I'm definitely moving back to Tucson. I couldn't go out for very long when I was there because my health couldn't handle the smoke (my glands get enlarged instantly). I kept dreaming of CA. Now, I can dream of Tucson. And I went and saw the Decemberists in Chicago and it was heaven...no smoke. I could see and breath! I guess I'm a Libertarian too! :-)

I bet the desert is looking beautiful right now. Sigh.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: May 2nd, 2007 03:14 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Beautiful it is, though the heat is rising. There was a lot of patio smoke at Congress last night -- I think they're easing in the outside restrictions -- but the indoors was blissfully free of smoke. I can go out more now!
katieengl From: katieengl Date: May 2nd, 2007 03:40 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Gleeful giggling.

I was insufferable at work yesterday. BJs is already non-smoking inside, but as that girl that has to carry a heavy tray of pizza outside to people who are waiting on friday and saturday nights, i was very very sick of walking out the door through clouds of smoke. As soon as i got to work i grabbed a manager and snottily told them that if the health inspector comes today they will fail their inspection because they have no posted signs and ashtrays within twenty feet of the door.

Its super fun to watch grown men in suits move ashtrays and try to determine if they are in fact 20 feet from the door. hehehe.
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