Saturday, November 26, 2005

The costly indoor smoking ban

Some members of the Assembly are worried that the proposed indoor smoking ban will cut into state revenues from cigarette taxes.
But during a recent meeting of a state budgeting panel, Assemblyman Joseph Cryan, D-Union, worried the smoking ban might affect how much money the state earns from that cigarette tax.
He said the ban, if approved, could cut into cigarette sales, especially in indoor public places such as hotels, bars and restaurants.

Yeah, it will. I thought that was part of the point.

Here's some interesting numbers:
Under New Jersey law, the first $150 million raised by the cigarette tax goes
into a health-care subsidy fund used to help pay for medical care for those
lacking health insurance.
The next $390 million goes into health programs,
the next $50 million to the Economic Development Authority to pay debt on school
projects and the next $45 million to anti-smoking initiatives.

So, we're using the tax on sales of a deadly product to fund health care, school construction and anti-smoking programs. That's nice.

Here's what I'd like to see. If they enact an indoor working-place smoking ban, how many people are estimated to quit smoking? What's the savings to Our Fair State for not having these folks in the health-care system? Cross that with the numbers of the loss of their cigarette-tax revenue. I can't find the numbers or I'd do the math for us.

Let's face it though, I don't care about the tax savings/costs. The ban is simply the right thing to do. Smoking is deadly, there is no doubt about it, and anything we do to discourage this behavior is great. Anything we do to lower exposure to second-hand smoke for nonsmokers is great. Someone's right to smoke doesn't trump my right to good health, not when there's an easily available venue to smoke called "outside" (and "your own home.")

Enact the ban. S1926 and A3424, if you should want to write your legislators to voice your support (or even if you want to voice your disagreement. Write your legislators to let them know how you feel.)

148 comments:

Blue Cross of California said...

Wow great blog and interesting news as I never knew there was a ban on indoor smoking. I also had no idea that smoking caused health insurance premiums to rise.

Sharon GR said...

Directed spam pisses me off.

Anonymous said...

I'm a non-smoker in favor of the smoking ban. It was a great thing for NY to do, it's about time NJ is doing it. I don't like to tell people what to do with their own bodies, however, cigarette smoke affects me - it gets into my clothes & hair and it ruins my good time because I have to sit in someone else's smoke. Smokers can make whatever arguments they want, but they are truly selfish people. Then again, if they don't care about their own bodies, why should they care about someone else's body?

Sharon GR said...

Cool thing, anonymous- the Senate voted for it yesterday. Keep your fingers crossed!

Anonymous said...

I am an ex-smoker and disagree with this law. Why should the state tell the bars how to run their business. It should be up to the owners of each bar if they want to ban smoking in their business. There's no reason why we cannot have smoking and non-smoking bars. The non-smokers are real babies. They need to get a life. Stop crying all the time. Here a good one....when the non-smokers give up alcohol, then the smokers will give up cigarettes. We should start a BAN on ALCOHOL.

Anonymous said...

Smoke Up, Johnny!

Sharon GR said...

Anon #2,

The non-smokers do need to "get a life;" the life is our own, we're trying to save it, and those of others who have to work in a smoke-filled atmosphere for 8 or so hours a day.

If I consume alcohol, it's of no consequence to anyone else. (Unless I'm stupid enough to drive, then it's a big ol' consequence and I should be arrested, dragged off to jail and my licence taken away for about ten years. But I digress.) But if I smoke, those around me have to bear the consequences as well as myself.

You want to smoke at home? I guess you have that right. It sucks that I have to pay into the health insurance system to pay for your lack of care for your own body, but there's no way to avoid that really. You want to smoke outside? As a consequence to others' health, it's probably no worse than bus fumes. You want to smoke indoors, in public places, so the foulness is trapped and others are forced to repeatedly rebreathe your filth? Then, dammit, it is my business.

I support the exception for smoking clubs and cigar shops, btw. That's a few folks who've agreed with each other to damage their health. That's not the same as a waitress stuck in a restaurant where only 20% of the patrons smoke but EVERYONE ELSE is subject to their backwash air.

And don't give me that "economic backlash" garbage. California and NYC don't suddenly have a lack of people going to bars and clubs.

Trolls piss me off as much as directed spam.

Anonymous said...

I`m against the smoking ban.
If bar owners want to be non-smoking ok it`s their business, and if you don`t want to go to a smoking bar thats your business.
What about overweight people,old people and alcoholics don`t they strain the healthcare system. If you think eliminating smoking will protect you from illness your dead wrong.Some people are predisposed to contract certain illness and if you rid yourself of this trigger there will be another. I propose you quit driving your polluting automobile and ride a bike or better yet walk and maybe shed some of those excess pounds if you want to live that extra year in a nursing home. (which you most likly would like me to pay for)
If you have health insurance you are also helping to drive up the cost of health care with all your so called sports injuries and trivial trips to the doctor. Let he who is free from sin cast the first stone, oh I`m sorry that must be you.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the statement that it should be an individuals right to choose when it comes to smoking. When I want to go to a bar or restaurant, it is my right to choose not to breath second hand smoke. Kill yourself, don't kill the people working or the others that do not smoke. Research shows that in all states where a smoking ban has been instituted, that revenues at restaurants and bars increases. There really is no argument to support a rally to overturn the ruling. The only point to be made is in regards to casinos, which is clearly a result of lobbyist and their corrupt effect on government (state and federal / Democrats and Republican).

Sharon GR said...

Anon from 1/9 801PM:

Predisposition for illnesses means you are more likely to get something, not that you will. Lifestyle factors are the only mitigating influence when you're predisposed, such as a choice whether to smoke or not, whether to overeat or not, whether to exercize or not. Personally, I'm in darned good health considering all the things I'm predisposed to get, and that's because I exercize regularly, I walk whenever I can instead of drive, I don't overeat or overdrink, and I don't smoke.

I'm casting no stones. I'm saying my right to breathe clean air trumps your right to smoke in my face. Go smoke at home. BTW, there's a reason tobacco user's life insurance rates are astronomically higher than non-tobacco users, and it's not because of a conspiracy. You figure it out.

Anonymous said...

Dont want to breathe 2nd hand smoke in a restaurant or bar

FIND a another place to go Many Rest. and bars already have areas of NON smoking but the bar should remain smoking. Want fresh air while out to dinner GO Outside and get all the air ya want

Anonymous said...

Since everything pisses Sharon off, I wonder what her thoughts are on smoking being allowed in the casinos, while all the small business owners in the whole state suffer. The casinos had there biggest year last year and I`m sure this year will be even better. I guess the politicians of the state of NJ think the air is cleaner in the casinos.
Whenever politicans get involved they always support big business. They get in bed with anyone who has money to throw there way.
Ex. Florio and the car insurance surcharge he promised to rid us of. The only thing accomplished was to have it removed from the bill, were still paying it. The rates didn`t go down. They lead by mis-directing to get us to focus on what they want us to see. It`s not a conspiricy it`s just business.
You just go on being a Sheeple, thats a person who allows themselves to be herded like sheep.
At least we smokers can take pride in knowing we have the best politicans money can buy.
I`m allergic to peanuts do you think they will pass a law to outlaw them for me.

Al Martinovic said...

There is concern over secondhand cigarette smoke indoors but what about secondhand smoke from corporate smoke stacks? From cars, buses, and trucks? From coal fired power plants which releases deadly mercury into the air and winds up in the fish we eat?

Where is my right to breathe clean air outdoors? Those with big bucks are always exempt while small businesses suffer and individual choice and freedom diminishes by the day.

Show me one death certificate that says a person died from secondhand cigarette smoke. It doesn't exist!

Sid said...

People need to there home work! 1....some insight about banning smoking indoors
http://www.faac.ca/thefacts.htm

2.....New Jersey Legislator Wants to Ban Smoking in Your Car
http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/05/514.asp

The day a politician wants to tell me I can’t smoke in my car, that’s the day he takes over my car payments

And for what Anonymous said...
I'm a non-smoker in favor of the smoking ban. It was a great thing for NY to do, it's about time NJ is doing it. I don't like to tell people what to do with their own bodies, however, cigarette smoke affects me - it gets into my clothes & hair and it ruins my good time because I have to sit in someone else's smoke. Smokers can make whatever arguments they want, but they are truly selfish people. Then again, if they don't care about their own bodies, why should they care about someone else's body?

10:59 AM, December 16, 2005

why not ban drinking too? A DWI driver is going to do a lot more damage to you then someone having a smoke in the same room as you

Sharon GR said...

Al- "Where is my right to breathe clean air outdoors? " You have a right. The Clean Air Act (federal) passed in 1970 and was ammended in 1990. Fight for your right to breathe clean air!
You're right, death certificates don't show secondhand smoke. They show heart and lung disease, which are exacerbated by secondhand smoke.

Folks, Al runs the Pro Smoking Blog, so if you came here looking for support for indoor smoking, look there.

Sid: 1. Homework done. Secondhand Smoke Fact Sheet, Health Effects of Secondhand Smoke, Secondhand smoke- the science, Your Lung Health.org, American Cancer Society, Environmental Tobacco Smoke, and on and on and on...
2. A4306, the bill about not smoking in cars, died quietly in committee this past summer and will probably not resurrect. I think the idea here was that it was dangerous as a distraction, but other distractions can't be outlawed- like talking to passengers, etc- and it took away a right to smoke in private, so it was quietly shuffled aside and never was in any danger of being voted on, let alone passed.

Why not ban drinking? Your drinking doesn't affect others' health, except as you point out, in cases of DWI. DWI is illegal. Your smoking isn't illegal except where it affects others' health. That will be illegal when the bill is signed on Sunday.

BTW- I want to thank you both for leaving your names, not posting anonymously. That's refreshing.

Sid said...

Rememeber we do live in NJ. A pic from the NJ Turn pike and trust me sharon i smoke far less ;)
[url}http://bobjagendorf.smugmug.com/photos/4218226-M.jpg[/url]
p.s A+ on your homework :)

Cigar said...

I have to respectfully disagree with you on this one. To say something like second hand smoke kills is still a fallicy to me unless there is concrete evidence supporting it. Although I can understand a non-smoker's point of view on the subject, it seems to me the person smoking the cigarette is probably more likely to be affected by it.

The idea of an indoor smoking ban is somewhat ridiculous to me because it's almost like taking away a civil liberty. As Americans, the consumer reserves the right to use things that may or may not be detremental to their health. Now, if you don't smoke or have quit, I am pretty positive most establishments have seperate sections accomadating your needs. I don't think it's too little to have a smoking section and a non-smoking section. There are already smoke-free establishments, and non-smokers can circulate these places if the idea of a nearby cancer stick offends them.

I myself am a very casual smoker. I smoke at parties or maybe in a diner, but I think I might have bought a total of nine packs last year. I think the only thing that really makes me appose a non-smoking bill would be anti-smoking companies. The "Truth" campaigns and other commercials currently in rotation are a testament to the bias of government ideals, saying we should all conform to their idea of what is right. It all seems a little too facist in a "free" country. I'm pretty confident that most smokers know the hazards of smoking, and choose to do so anyway. That's a part of what makes us Americans.

Rob S. said...

Regardless of whether I decide to eat in the smoking or nonsmoking section, many waitresses and waiters can't decide which section they'd prefer to work in. Bartenders are stuck breathing that crap in, night after night. Ban it, and let the smokers puff away outside.

As for the casinos, they should have banned it there, too--their personnel are at the same risk.

Anonymous said...

I WILL NOT go to a bar that I cannot smoke at. I will not go outside to have my cigarette. PA bars will be where I will go. So what if many bars need to close, the employees will be healthier, they just won't be employees anymore.

As the businesses go down the tax revenues will too, so our taxes will go up. Sounds like a great plan. Vote every fool out of office that voted for this trash.

Anonymous said...

smoking is nasty, dirty, ur lungs crave oxygen not smoke. ever smell ur self after u leave a bar, u smell like a dirty ash tray. i am for the smoking ban... look at the other citys that did the ban, the business are doing just fine. smokers chew some dam gum. and get a clue.

Rob S. said...

Anon # whatever,

So crossing state lines to drink is less of an inconvenience to you than stepping outside to puff?

Have you thought this through even a little bit?

Anonymous said...

Going to a state that does not dicriminate against smokers is a choice many of us smokers will do. It happened in North Jersey when NY went smoke free.

Since I work in PA it will be a bit easier, but I refuse to go outside for people who could have stayed home if they didn't like smoke or found a bar that was smoke free.

I am sure there will be underground bars that will allow smoking, we'll call them private clubs, and get around the laws or it will just be ignored like the cell phone ban while driving. Still wondering about how many "smoking police" we will need to hire, so the state can waste even more money. I hope the bars ban together and vote every clown out of office that did this.

Time to move to the south, less taxes and less goverment control over personal freedoms.

Tony said...

Check out this site:

http://www.davehitt.com/facts/badforbiz.html

It tells the tale about how the little guy gets hurt as do the employees that are supposedly being "protected".

Rob S. said...

By all means, bon voyage. I'm sure their healthcare system will welcome your lung cancer with open arms.

And it’s not “discrimination.” It’s saying that this unsanitary habit won’t be tolerated in certain areas. I also think that people shouldn’t be allowed to have sex in restaurants, and thankfully that’s the case as well. But it’s not discrimination against people who screw.

Sharon GR said...

I checked out the page Tony recommended. It's a list of bars/restaurants in several cities around the country that have suffered business loss or closure. There's no proof at all that these are actually due to an indoor smoking ban; they are merely restaurants which closed or had business losses. Some 60% of restaurants fail every year. If you want to show us something that's not anecdotal, great.

Especially since there's copius evidence that the ban has no effect on overall restaurant and bar business:

Impact of a Smoking Ban on Restaurant and Bar Revenues --- El Paso, Texas, 2002 "No decline in total restaurant or bar revenues occurred in El Paso, Texas, after the city's smoking ban was implemented on January 2, 2002. These findings are consistent with the results of studies in other municipalities that determined smoke-free indoor air ordinances had no effect on restaurant revenues."

Assessment of the Impact of a 100% Smoke-Free Ordinance on Restaurant Sales -- West Lake Hills, Texas, 1992-1994 "The findings in this report are consistent with assessments using similar methods in other locations that have reported that the implementation of smoke-free ordinances has not been associated with adverse economic effects on restaurants."

Packet Publications Article Quoting a Rutgers University study including NYC, California and El Paso: "Likewise, a 2005 study published through Rutgers University found that smoking bans in California, El Paso and New York City had no detrimental effects on restaurant and bar income. In fact, the Rutgers report claims "business either stayed the same or increased slightly.""

Survey on New Jersey's Proposed Clean Indoor Air Act "We asked New Jersey residents if a smoking ban would impact their restaurant dining, and we found a net gain of 800,000 more adults dining out more often, as opposed to less often."

I could go on and on. Actual, not anecdotal, research shows that an indoor smoking ban would be not at all harmful and possibly a bit beneficial for business in Our Fair State.

PS. Rob S., LOL on your 12/13 12:02AM comment.

Tony said...

You are kidding yourself if you think bar and restaurant owners are in favor of this. If you read the comments that went along with the previous website it is a direct link to the bans.

Rob S. - You seem like one of those people who hide inside scared to venture out for fear of something bad happening. I doubt you ever even go to bars. But if you do, look around and count the number of people smoking. Many of them will never return and that is real. You may be in favor of the government thinking for you, but it is a dangerous precedent. I'm sure your healthcare system, really cares about you. Live life the way you want to NOT THE WAY YOU ARE TOLD YOU SHOULD. You could get hit by a bus tomorrow.

Rob S. said...

Tony: I'm not.

But if you're into armchair psychology, try this one on for size: you and Anon (if you're different people, who the hell knows) are living with an addiction, and that carries with it a certain amount of guilt and shame, and often expresses itself as anger. Look inward.

Anonymous said...

Why should we expect smokers to do anything else but burden everyone around them with their habit? The next time you are stopped at a traffic light, take a look at the shoulder of the road...no doubt you will find it littered in hundreds or thousands of filthy butts that smokers decided were too disgusting to keep in their own cars but were acceptable enough for someone else to clean up. Thank you smokers...I love seeing the product of your filthy habit every time I look down at the ground. Thank God my kids won't have to choke anymore on the noxious emissions coming from the toxic dump on the other side of the cheesy glass partition seperating the sections at IHOP.

Tony said...

No kidding its an addiction, one that I really enjoy, no guilt or shame. I feel sorry for you that you think that, you are obviously missing out on life. Drinking coffee, shopping, blogging and working out are addictions too, is there shame associated with those too, in your mind?

I am not expecting anyone to enjoy breathing in my smoke, I just don't want the government to take away the rights of business owners to run thier place the way they want to. Like it has always been.

You holy roller non-smokers could very easily stay home or find non-smoking places THAT CHOSE to be that way. Instead of taking your kids to that IHOP with the cheesy glass, if you REALLY cared you wouldn't havc been there in the first place.

Rob S. said...

You've got a really broad view of addiction. That's a coping mechanism, right?

Bob said...

People will adapt. Smokers will adapt. The Cryan family will continue to host & cater many Democratic Party parties.

Kathy S. said...

A few months ago, I walked out of a bar in NYC thinking that I had a great time just hanging out and wondering why I hadn't been in more bars. Then I realized that I didn't smell like smoke.

I look forward to frequenting more bars in my own state.

Jeri said...

I don't disagree with anything Sharon, Rob, Kathy, etc. have said about the dangers (not to mention annoyances) of second-hand smoke.

Still, the idea of banning smoking from BARS, places where people go for the express purpose of doing something unhealthy, feels rather...Puritan to me.

Americans are selectively vigilant about health concerns. God forbid anyone should light a cigarette near us, but when 80% of the adults in this country are overweight (as measured by Body-Mass Index), how worried are we about our long-term health?

So chug a few beers and a plate of cheese stix at any bar in NJ, knowing that you're doing your body good.

Signing my real name, as an ex-smoker, and daughter and granddaughter of lung cancer victims (one first-hand, one probably second-hand),

Anonymous said...

I am totally for the NJ indoor smoking ban. Although the casinos will be excempt, I am sure that down the road a few years from now, that will change and I applaud it. I would also like to see a law prohibiting smoking within 200 feet of any public entrance. I absolutely hate going into an establishment and having to walk through a cloud of smoke to get into the building. If people want to smoke, them keep them away from public entrances as I am entitled to clean fresh air.

Jeri said...

The last anonymous comment (about building entrances) reminded me of an anecdote:

When I worked at the local hospital several years ago, they instituted a workplace ban on smoking on the entire property, which meant they couldn't step outside for cigarette breaks. (Get this: respiratory therapists were treating their patients while smelling like cigarettes. Oh, the irony!)

They announced the ban over a year in advance to give employees time to quit (smoking, not their job, although a tiny minority did the latter). Lots of people bitched (this is a rural area with the attendant smoking rate), but the hospital gave free nicotine replacement therapies (patch, gum, whatever), as well as classes and all the support to quit they could possibly need.

It was a great deployment of both a carrot and a stick, and it was overwhelmingly successful. Lots of quitters who started out angry ended up grateful.

Smoking anywhere near a health care institute is ludicrous. People inside are sick and trying to breathe, and they shouldn't have to smell it on their caretakers.

However, expecting the government to ban mere annoyances--such as walking through a five-second cloud of smoke--seems like asking a lot. I would like to see a law requiring subway riders to bathe at least every other day.

Anonymous said...

these arguments about people having the right to be protected -- protected to breath clean air -- would be relevant if they were truly forced to breath smokey air...
has anyone ever walked down the street, when out of a smoke filled bar, a maniac looking, tobacco weilding patron emerged, kidnapped the non-smoking pedestrial, dragged them kicking and screaming into a bar, where they were held down in a chair with tape, had a gun pointed at them, and a dozen smokers exhaled cigarette smoke at them, yelling "breath! breath!"?...

you simply do not have to go to bars where the owner allows smoke... you can't just expect to walk into any private owned business and demand them to have the policies you want....

if that was the case i can start asking the government, on my behalf, to outlaw anything that i dont want to see, or smell, in any business i want...i can claim mental sickness - emotional duress - because i dont want to see fat people at a water park....

as a matter of fact, if breathing dangerous fumes into the air out of ones nose is grounds for outlawing that behavior in bars - in spite of what the owner desires - WE SHOULD OUTLAW SICK PEOPLE WITH COLDS OR FLUS FROM GOING TO BARS....yes we can have a government offical at the door of every bar, taking temperatures with an anal thermometer..its my right to not breath sick air!
at least with smoke, its visible, you know what you are going to be breathing and you can not attend that restaraunt....with colds, people are spreading microscopic disease on doornobs, stools, the air, etc...

of course this is all madness and overcompensation...

smoking policies should be set by the owner of a bar, just like he sets the policies for other legal behaviors -- ie what type of beer he serves, if he serves food, the menue, juke box selettion et al.. if you dont like the atmosphere, dont go there...and... DONT WORK THERE...

the employee angle on this is just as whacked out as a muslim who is a server at a diner claiming they want the owner to stop having pork on the menu because their religion doesnt permit pork to be consumed and it offends them to be part of serving pork....you shouldnt be working at a bbq pork rib joint if you dont like it...if you still want to work there, you dont have the right to use government coercion to force YOUR BOSS to change his restaurant....

Rob S. said...

You sound like you have the luxury of choosing where you want to work. A lot of people have to take whatever job they can get to make ends meet. Sure, no one's forcing them. They could always starve or something. Or they could suck down your fumes for a paycheck and hope it doesn't come back to haunt them later.

And Jeri, I admit I'm rankled by the puritanniness of this too. And if they can find an equitable sytem that lets some bars have exemptions while keeping their employees healthy -- or at least offers them hazard pay and benefits -- I'd be okay with that. I probably wouldn't go to the smoke bars (unless they had a band playing that I couln't resist), but as long as everyone knows the rules going in, that'd be fine.

Secondhand smoke for occasional patrons is an annoyance. For employees, it's more serious.

Anonymous said...

your argument is weak....what you are advocating is that anyone who decides they are in desperate need of a job supercedes the owner of that establishment... this no choice but to work in smoke, or starve argument is nothing but a talking point....in a free market economy there are plenty of job opportunities in places that are smoke free....not to mention the fact that you havent addressed the idea of the employees not minding the smoke...what if there is a staff of 5 employees at a bar that dont mind smoke? you think the government should tell them "no, you MUST mind it"?..... i fail to see how an owner with a staff who doesnt care should be regulated too....this is totalitarian.....
in addition, there are certain behaviors which are related to others and are common sense...drinking and smoking are commonly related....so these employees who would be starvation victims without a bar tend job you are whining about would be hard pressed to make a case that searching for employment at a bar in no way meant that they would be working in a smokey environment.... just because people who are sensitive to smoke need a job doesnt mean the owner of a private business should have to cow tow to them... the owner owns the property...maybe you think that i have the right to tell you whether or not you can smoke on your own property if i need a place to stay because im homeless?....and if you are so kind to give me a bed in your home, i then have the right to ask government to regulate your kindness with stipulations about you smoking near me?....

when you want to base the laws on society in relation to sob stories about people who you classify as helpless victims of unemployment oprression, the latitude the government would have to regulate just about anything will lend itself to perversion....

Rob S. said...

Regardless, it's the law, and your stretching my argument to absurd lengths doesn't change that.

And your "in a free market economy there are plenty of jobs" is simply a talking point from the other side. If there are plenty of jobs, why are 1 out of every 20 eligible people unemplyed?

Enjoy the cold, wheezy.

Anonymous said...

there are a variety of reasons why people are unemployed...too many to go into...however your assumption that the last jobs left available to apply to, are bartending jobs, and after they are filled, there are NO other jobs available is presumptuous and based in nothing...
the free market is an absolutely legit point..the market changes....
again, what is your assumption here? that if you are 'FORCED' by threat of starvation, to work in a bar with cigarettes, taht in 3 months the market will be exactly the same? no other jobs would open up in different fields?...
this is ludicrous.... im allergic to certain plant vegetation... maybe i should ask government to force the owner of my work to burn all the pollen and allergy stimulating vegetation on the lawn.... i can say "if i dont work there, i will starve" and his property rights are out the window? the government can enforce that too?
dont tell me its different, the principle is the same....

but thats assuming youre right about this fictional "work or starve" scenario you brought up...

reality is, the ownership of property should supercede that of someone that the owner doesnt even know, and may never meet, and may never apply for a job at that owner 's place....

property belongs to an owner, not to a collective body who should be able to rule by mob force(via majority) or by some aristocracy where minoritu group who uses government on their behalf to force policies on other peoples property.... ie smoking policies....

but lets really get down to the psychology of this....YOU JUST DONT WANT PEOPLE TO SMOKE...its not enough that its always been a choice for you....that you dont have to smoke, or that you dont have to go to smoke filled bars, or you dont have to work in a bar....
thats all means nothing to you...

this the non smoking fanatacism of some that simply want to control others when its not neccessary for to control them....you never HAD TO go to smoke filled bars.... yet theres still this busy-body attitude where there are those that have their visions of how someone elses property/business should be, and they want government to enforce the adherance to that vision on everyone by threat of fines or imprisonment

Rob S. said...

Um, you don't HAVE to stop going to bars now that they're smoke-free, either. That's a choice too. No one's keeping you home but you.

Bottom line is, there is some behavior that the bar owner can't choose to tolerate. Throwing darts at a waitress, say, or grabbing a bartender's ass. This is just going onto that list. And if you can't be bothered to move forty fucking feet to let another human being live longer, I can't be bothered with you.

Go ahead and get the last word. I'm done.

Anonymous said...

if that person drove 3 miles to go to a bar that they didnt have to go to, why should i move "forty fuckin feet" if the owner allows smoke?

your examples are not relevant...

of course you want to quit arguing

...you cant win on principle... you cant persuade...
thats why you like government using force of regulation on others...its the only way you can get your agenda for regulating other peoples lives accomplished..otherwise your views would not have manifested themselves freely...and we can have freedom can we?...

Anonymous said...

haha i love this "you can still go to the bar if government bans the owner from allowing smoke" rubbish.... "you can still go there, no one is keeping you home"

ok
lets apply that to other things

-- lets say that government makes a ban on certain songs on jukeboxes at bars....you can still go to the bar, and you can still own a bar

-- lets say government bans people from wearing t-shirts in bars... you can still go to a bar

-- lets say government bans entrance to a bar if you have HIV, unless you wear a hat that says "i have hiv" because someone might try to pick you up, you go home with that person and you might infect them .....but you can still go to a bar

-- government ban on sick people with colds at bars....i can catch a cold from you, (that affects my health)....you have to take a temperature reading before you enter (enforable by law)....yet, you can still go to the bar

--- how about if gov outlaws people who vote democrat from going to bars (hey! they affect me by who they elect)....you can still go to bars, you just have to be registered in any party except democrat

-- how about if government passes a law that says the bar cant serve any liquor other than beer, and wine......YOU CAN STILL GO TO THE BAR, NO ONE IS KEEPING YOU HOME !



at some point you must realize that regulations inhibit freedom...to say "look at the options you still have left" after a ban is issued is missing the point... should there have been a ban on policy that a) the owner, not government , should decide....and b) where the patrons do not have to go there?....

as long as no one is forced to go to bars that permit tobacco usage there... then it should be up to the free market force to decide things...not government....

to regulate is not freedom...its just as much a theft of liberty to force an owner to disallow smoking as it would be to force a citizen to attend bars, or force them to work at bars where the owner permits tobacco...

Andrew said...

Wow.

It is truly inpressive how many times the same arguments show up in these comments. No wonder Rob S. gave up. He's had to say the same thing three or four times.

The anonymous comment above this notes that regulations are not freedom. Of course they do. Regulations limit one's freedom, but they do so in the interest of protecting someone else's. That's the whole reason for laws that regulate behavior.

Consider speed limits. It's my car, should I be able to drive 120 MPH on a residential street? I'm only endangering myself, right?

Building codes. Why should a building owner be required to install sprinklers? You can live somewhere else. Why require Wal-Mart to have emergency exits? You can shop somewhere else.

Food manufacturers are required to label foods that contain peanuts. Why? You don't have to buy their products.

Of course we have regulations. If you're going to argue about this law, at least be realistic.

Bar and restaurant workers don't always have a choice. Therefore, the law should protect their safety. Laws protect worker safety all the time.

As for patrons, consider this: should a business be allowed to require blacks to sit in a separate room? After all, they could just go elsewhere, right? And yet, this is illegal. Why?

Public establishments cannot give favorable treatment to one group at the expense of another. Your smoking is at my expense, plain and simple. You can argue all you want, but that's the way it is. This law says my right to breath clean air is more important than your right to smoke.

Anonymous said...

you are using other examples of government infringements on property rights to justify this latest infringement in the form of a smoking ban ....

then you said the following

----------------------------
"Public establishments cannot give favorable treatment to one group at the expense of another."
-------------------------------

WHAT? ok, so i can attend ANY university i want? they HAVE TO admit me if they admit others? otherwise its favorable treatment to others and not me?

a bar is private OWNED anyway... your right to clean air is also your responsibility and only goes as far as your property...others can make their policies for theirs...simply, a bar owners right to have dirty air in HIS bar, supercedes your right to have a vision of how you want his property to be, and use government coercion on your behalf to achieve YOUR VIEW of how the air should be in his place....

DONT GO TO BARS WHERE THERES SMOKE IF YOU DONT LIKE SMOKE....tobacco is legal.... your claim to use government on your behalf to tell the owner of property that he must obey you is an encroachment on HIS rights to his property....

this garbage about having an individual regulated "FOR THE GOOD OF OTHERS" or "the common good" means that the collective state OWNS the man who opens a bar, and he must obey government on behalf of others who want to boss him around...thats not what our country is about....its about individual liberty...NOT ENTITLEMENT to force or coerce another individual how to operate on his property and use the state to do so -- thats a form of slavery

Andrew said...

WRT to colleges, they have to can't choose to exclude certain applicants or give them a different test. (And yes, I know about athletes, big donations, etc., so don't go there.)

In any case, you continue to re-state the same argument over and over. You believe business owners should be able to do whatever they want, and if someone doesn't like it, they should just not work there or patronize that business. In a nutshell, you are against any regulation. You said as much when you said speed limits, building safety codes, and food labeling are infringements to our freedoms. Given that position, it is no surprise that you are also against the smoking ban.

I'm not going to try and debate the need for government regulation here. Such a discussion is much broader than the smoking ban issue. If you want to have such a debate, I suggest you create a blog and post a link to it. I think you'll find plenty of people interested in the discussion.

Rob S. said...

It’s good to know that 140 years after the end of the Civil War, there are still some historically minded people out there who recognize the atrocities of slavery. It’s just like being forced to smoke cigarettes outside. Thank God Abraham Lincoln put a stop to that, huh?

And slave, while you’re out there, paint my house.

(I know I said I was done, and I truly am finished arguing. But I can’t help pitching in with some well-deserved ridicule.)

Media In Trouble said...

I dont know if I am late to this discussion or what.

However, I want to address at least one thing. The "free market idea" that you without the ban, the bars and restaurant owners would take it upon themselves to not allow potential customers into their restaurants due to their habits.

This is simply BS. How the hell can I as a small business owner exclude potential customers on the basis of their habits.

This is bad business. As a small business and in today's economy, restaurant and bar business depend on disposeable income. As if the economy didn't give business owners enough pressures, you are saying that they would voluntarily remove themselves from the "smokers" market? Or for that matter, the "non-smokers" market?

Doubtful.

I have an issue with the EPA fudging their study back in 1992. (3,000 deaths per year can be attributed to the environment period, not solely ETS). They have done this type of finagleing in the past wtih Electro Magnetic Force (EMF) waves.

The EPA, doing this is troubling.

However, the Tobacco industry has also put forth its fair share of junk science.

So I think a lot more investigation is needed before making judgements (including public policy).

Finally, before the conservatives go nuts, I am on the fence on this issue, and I am a huge liberal.

Anonymous said...

i dont see why i would bring the topic of regulations to another thread....that IS the issue with the smoking ban....

this is not just about smoking. and all these peripheral debates about whether or not it will make business suffer, unemployment, et al, are all off the mark...the crux of this is property rights... for all of you who are so fast to say "we need regulations," just remember two things,

1)just because someone wears a badge, a uniform, or holds a title like "legistlator" or "governer" does not make them any better than you, nor does it make them any more qualified to enforce their plans on you, or ask you to obey their will....
2)if you wonder why there are regulations on so many things already, it's because every time an encroachment on property rights is mentioned by a campaign, or by a polititcian, people let it go.... you let the smoking ban go, it means they can regulate YOUR rights on issues completely different that specifically "smoking"...it carries over to free speech, right to bear arms, right to assemble, the right to free press, i can go on and on and on....

when government bans something, ANYTHING, on private property,and courts support the ban, it sets precedence after precedence that government can take rights away....

to control another's property is slavery, to control another's actions is enslavement to others (ie governments, or mob rule , or aristocracies)....

however .... individual liberty means self government...

Rob S. said...

Anon: Thank you for the beautiful barrel. Allow me to shoot two fish.

You wrote:

1)just because someone wears a badge, a uniform, or holds a title like "legistlator" or "governer" does not make them any better than you, nor does it make them any more qualified to enforce their plans on you, or ask you to obey their will....

Um, we actually elect these people to make and enforce laws for us to follow. Or, more precisely, we elect “governors” and “legislators.” You may be talking about something different.

i can go on and on and on....

On this we agree. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

"Um, we actually elect these people to make and enforce laws for us to follow. Or, more precisely, we elect “governors” and “legislators.” You may be talking about something different."



ok, elect them to do what exactly? run our lives completely? you do realize that government under a republican form (not big r republican as the party, but a republic) is a government of limited power....sure they are elected, but they cant do whatever they want, they cant take away freedoms, and they certainly are not supposed to take property right.....

look at the federal constitution for example

first amendment "congress shall make no law......."

it goes on to say the things that congress CANNOT make laws about... the constitution of the united states, and the jersey constitution both indicate LIMITED POWER of government.... LIMITED....thats what washington and the minutemen who were right here in jersey fought for...limited government...elected officials who have REIGNS put on them... and just because the majority elected them, doesnt mean they have the right to take away minority rights....we are not a democracy.... we are a republic, new jersey is a state which is guaranteed a republican government in us constitution....

this DOES relate to this smoking ban....its government tyrrany on property rights....no matter what the ban -- a ban on jukeboxes, pin ball machines, OR SMOKING are all infringements of property rights...of liberty

Rob S. said...

Need a tissue? You've got a bit of froth on the corner of your mouth.

Anonymous said...

says rob who likes to bend over in front of government and say "give it to me hard, master"....

you sure you want to start talking shit? or stick to the issue? i notice your last response didnt address any points of substance...your argruments arent based in on principles or intellectual evaluation...

they are simply crude emotional ideas

Rob S. said...

You had points of substance? I'll have to go back and reread. All I noticed was that, in your case, at least, nicotine withdrawal leads to anarchism.

And no, I'm not going to address your points. As I said before, arguing with you is ridiculous and not worth my time. I'm just going to tease you.

Seriously, though, thanks for the comedy. Do you do pratfalls?

Anonymous said...

youve manage to quit three times in this debate only to come back with replies which dont address the substance of an issue...
ive been talking about property rights, the constitution, limited government, and principles of liberty - self governance....THOSE ARE ISSUES OF SUBSTANCE

you on the other hand have a chip on your shoulder about bars that you dont own, & the smokers there, and you just want everyone to be your way... and youre glad to have government enforce it....

have fun when one of your favorite rights gets infringed on, and the government's reasoning is "we can regulate private owned bars" why cant we regulate rob?

youre a fool

Rob S. said...

Sigh.

You wrote:

youve manage to quit three times in this debate only to come back with replies which dont address the substance of an issue...
ive been talking about property rights, the constitution, limited government, and principles of liberty - self governance....THOSE ARE ISSUES OF SUBSTANCE


Three? Whatever.

Anyway, you’re right about one thing. Those are issues of substance. And I’ll be happy to discuss them with a person of substance.

youre a fool

A fool who’s mastered the apostrophe.

Anonymous said...

....more avoidance of issues from rob a.k.a. mister "sell his soul to the government" in exhchange for changing the topic to "grammatical errors, typos, and anything OTHER THAN property rights"


isnt it about time for you to announce youre quitting for the fourth time?

Rob S. said...

I only count one time, but maybe that's because I have math skills.

And yes, I've already copped to avoiding the issue. How kind of you to notice. But as long as I'm driving you nuts, I've got a grin a mile wide.

Seriously, it's like sunshine.

Anonymous said...

you have the math skills of handless, mutant-retard, who depends on finger-counting to get to 3...

i guess when all else falls short, you pretend you are driving someone nuts....

why not?

at least it's constistent of you -- in that youve been pretending to know what youre talking all along in this blog

but look at it this way, you are a great success...you have managed to completely change the subject matter of this blog, on account of the fact that youre unarmed in terms of comprehending the subject matter.... then again ....its not like you had any other choice

Janet said...

If I had smoked this thread out earlier, I would have linked to it.:(

Andrew said...

Wow. Well, since Mr. Anonymous hasn't found any new arguments to make, I'm not going to bother and rebut. I suggest you just re-read my earlier comments and try to come up with a response whose content amounts to something more than, "NO IT'S NOT!"

Dude, I think you're smoking more than tobacco there.

Rob S. said...

Sunshine!

I was afraid you’d taken your smokes and gone home.

A handless mutant-retard? That’s awesome! I can’t come up with a fitting retort for that one; it’s just too good. I just wanna let it sit there. A handless mutant-retard.

Gosh, that knocks me out.

But you want debate? Here it is.

Your argument is way too broad. The cigarette ban is a safety regulation. You’re arguing that the government can’t make and enforce safety regulations? Man, that ship has sailed long ago. It wasn’t the free market that put up the sign that says be sure you wash your hands before leaving the bathroom and frying me up a new batch of onion rings. That was the government, baby. And a good thing, too, because I get the feeling you’re personally not too concerned about health standards.

Is second-hand smoke actually a health risk? I think so, but I’m not a scientist, and some people I respect think it’s not. So I’m willing to listen to arguments either way. That’s a debate worth having.

But saying that the government can’t make health and safety regulations? Sunshine, that’s just blowing smoke.

Greg! said...

Oh my God.
I haven't heard an argument so stridently free of reasoning or even the slightest trace of internal logic since I gave up listening to stret preachers. Thank you, anonymous, for reminding me that fuzzy reasoning is not confined to the White House these days.

My current favorite:
"when government bans something, ANYTHING, on private property,and courts support the ban, it sets precedence after precedence that government can take rights away...."

Okay. I'm gonna get me my own personal nuclear weapon this weekend. Don't worry, though -- I'll be keeping it on private property.

Greg! said...

Oh, Rob. Don't go slighting anarchists, by the way. Some of your best friends are anarchists. (Or would be, if the world were not filled with idiots like our anonymous contributor, whose irrational confusion of self-righteousness with reasoned thought prevents the elegant system of anarchy from functioning as it ought.)

Anonymous said...

i'm really moved, and touched by the willingness of rob and company to bow to "almighty government" and worship it...

apparently youre under the impression we should elect officials to rule us.... be careful what you wish for

i'll reiterate that i've pointed out property right which non ONE of you has addressed directly... youre only claim to government regulating legal behavior(tobacco usage) on private owned property is that its been done for other things.... like that jusitifies it.... i can trace my stand back to sound principle -- the right to life, liberty, and property of the individual owning that property...

most of you are dumbfounded at that, and instead choose to bring up past circumstances where government overstepped it's limits...
thats no more logical than saying if i steal your wallet and get away with it, that stealing becomes my right, and afterwords, i can then steal your tv...and then your microwave...etc...and point back to the time i stole your wallet and say "that was me baby! and i'm doing it for the community"....

Anonymous said...

greg said
"I haven't heard an argument so stridently free of reasoning or even the slightest trace of internal logic since I gave up listening to stret preachers."


maintaining property rights from intrusion by government is free of reason and logic? what is your counter to that? that instead, others are owners of someone's property? i own your house? i can ask government to enforce behaviors at your house that i deem fit? and outlaw ones that i dont? whats the sense in owning property then? just because youre willing to be ruled does not mean others should have to give up their liberty... you dont speak for everyone... neither do i....thats why ive maintained that each owner should make HIS OWN DECISIONS on policies which would effect HIS property...

as long as you arent FORCED to visit his property, you, or me, or govenment representing us, should not have authority to run his property....

Anonymous said...

note to self:

wonder how many government lovers will have a breakdown if government in the name of " eminent domain" were to seize their home to do something else with the property, which gov claims would provide a "better use of the land and better standards for the community"...

will they be saying "yes master" then?

Jeri said...

Whew. I missed a lot while I was performing CPR on Natalie T. Steppenwolf (fka "Lappy").

It's pointless to call Anonymous's (clever moniker, by the way) argument free of reasoning. "Reasoning" isn't the point. For libertarians and property rights extremists, the principle is the thing. There's no arguing the specifics of any situation. All regulations are wrong. In a way, I admire their purity of thought. In another way, it's so simplistic it verges on simple-minded.

Any "slippery slope" argument is fallacious and not based in reality, whether it's bans on automatic weapons or late-term abortions. The real world is made of shades of gray, and public policy making in a democracy is about figuring out those shades.

This issue makes me examine my enthusiasm for environmental regulations, which have the same basic principle as the smoking ban: curtail the liberties of a few so as to provide a public good (in both cases, health). I've been trying to figure out what the difference is so I can stop thinking I'm a hypocrite.

The difference is that for the most part, people can't escape pollution. Sure, if they're wealthy, they can move to a house farther from the oil refinery or paper factory. But even this has limits. Acid rain falls hundreds, even thousands of miles from its source. Global warming, is, well, global. We drive SUVs and keep our houses a cool 68 degrees in the summer, and within a few decades the entire country of Tuvalu disappears under the Pacific.

(Go ahead, Sunshine, belittle Tuvalu. You know you want to. They probably don't deserve homes above water as much as Americans deserve SUVs.)

Unless you're a truly captive secondhand smoker (say, a child in a car with a smoking parent--or, one could argue, as Rob has, a bartender), you can avoid it.

In addition, environmental regulations protect those who have no political voice--namely, children and non-humans, neither of which spend much time in bars.

Still pondering the smoking ban, though. If it weren't for the restaurant workers' health, I'd continue to scoff. It just feels silly, maybe because I stopped going to bars after I quit smoking (overall lifestyle change). Bars and cigarettes are like peanut butter and jelly to me. Yeah, I can eat a plain old peanut butter sandwich, but it just makes me think, "Damn, I could really go for some jelly."

Then again, my personal mental triggers don't really count as a policy argument. Full disclosure concluded.

Rob S. said...

Wow… He’s so cute when he goes off on a tear. Especially if you read his posts imagining Foghorn Leghorn’s voice (and making the right interjections and repetitions here and there).

Jeri,

I’ve been thinking over your “bars are for bad habits” comments from earlier, and God knows I have my share of them. But in a conversation with Sharon last night, I managed to crystallize my argument against that. Yes, I indulge my bad habits at bars. But those are my bad habits, and smoking’s not one of them. My liver and heart pay for my weakness for beer and potato skins. Why should my lungs pay, too?

However, if second-hand smoke is not a public health issue, this argument goes away. And it should. The government has more important things to do than regulate nuisances, or else Billy Ray Cyrus would’ve been in jail the minute “Achy Breaky Heart” hit #1. But if it is a health risk, people shouldn’t have to work in it.

See how that works, Sunshine? Serious people get serious responses.

Jeri said...

So now I'm a "serious person"? Them's fightin' words!! Pistols at dawn, squire!

Rob, I totally see your point. Secondhand smoke is a legitimate health risk--at least, I think that's the latest consensus. The question is, at what level? With proper ventilation, is the amount of smoke in a bar hazardous to people spending X amount of time there? After how many hours per day or per week does it become a risk, and how serious a risk? Anyone know the answer?

Unlike livers and brains, lungs do make new cells. An ex-smoker's lungs after a certain number of years look the same as a non-smoker's. The doctor of a seriously addicted smoker friend of mine (with asthma--geez) once told him that one or two smokes a day was not a problem, because the lungs regenerate that much tissue per day. Maybe the guy was a quack, or maybe he was willing to trust his patient with the facts, which are sometimes inconveniently complicated.

When it comes to hazardous drugs (or foods, for that matter), we are a society of all or nothing. We insist that "Drugs are bad, mmkay?" and any further discussion of the nuances is tantamount to being a drug-crazed hippie lunatic.

OK, there's no safe amount of cocaine or heroin, but marijuana? LSD? They can be safely taken by some people in moderation. Same goes for alcohol (for most people). Same goes for cigarettes.

Think of the anti-carbohydrate craze of a few years ago. No one ever stopped to think, duh, maybe we should have a balanced diet with exercise and everything in moderation. That's too damn complicated (and no one can make $ off it). Better to ban carbs from the cupboard, even though our bodies need them. Ban marijuana from everywhere, even though it has legitimate medical uses. Ban books with [insert thing we don't like] from school libraries.

Banning things is like a religion in this country, and it has nothing to do with how much or how little power our government has--the law's just a means to an end. It's a cultural reflex, going back to the "P" word. Sometimes I wish the Indians had wiped out those motherfuckers the moment they set foot on Plymouth Rock.

Rob S. said...

At least then we'd have swingin' British accents, baby...YEAH!

And sure, technology can offer another solution to the problem. And we should work toward one, certainly. But isn't forcing a bar owner to buy an expensive ventilation device (and upgrade when the technolgy improves) even more onerous than having them tell smokers to step outside?

Because whatever the blowhards say, the data says that smokers will still come to the bar, and still pay for their drinks.

Rob S. said...

And by the way, thank you for arguing the point, Jeri. You're like a breath of fresh air (if you'll pardon the expression).

Anonymous said...

Hey everyone, here's a joke:

Two guys walk into a bar. One lights up a cigarette. The other guy complains about the second hand smoke.

"Go outside if you don't like my smoke", says the smoker.

"You go outside and smoke, I don't want to breathe your second hand smoke."

"But I've got a right to smoke," says the smoker. "The Constitution garuntees my right to life, liberty and the persuit of happiness, and smoking makes me happy."

"Hey, wait a second", says the non-smoker, "I'm garunteed by the same Constitution garuntees me those very same rights!"

The bartender, observing this conversation speaks up. "You know what? You're both right. You're both entitled to be happy and free according to the Constitution, but the State of New Jersey debated this and decided that the health and well being of the collective citizenry trumps the desire of smokers to smoke in bars. And, well, I'm afraid I'll have to ask you to extinguish your cigarette or continue to smoke outside."

The smoker, pausing for a moment, decides to put out his cigarette. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a pipe.

"You don't mind if I light this up, do you?"

Okay, I didn't say it was a particularly funny joke :)

Christian (hey, that's my real name!)

Jeri said...

I don't know about the accents, but without the Pilgrims, our culture would be more like the lazy, hard-drinking Jamestown settlers. Maybe it'd be more like Australia!

Don't restaurants already have to have separate ventilation systems for their smoking/non-smoking areas? Otherwise they have to be totally non-smoking. That's the way it is here in MD. It might be onerous, but at least the bar owner has a choice and can decide whether it's worth the cost. Some bars just don't draw a big smoking crowd; others do (these are known as "dives").

Greg! said...

I just can't resist. Talk abut unhealthy addictions...

"maintaining property rights from intrusion by government is free of reason and logic?"

No, anonymous. Your arguments are free of reason and logic, as is your reducing this issue to a question of property rights.

This is not a property rights issue. With the exception of private membership clubs, bars are not "private property" in the sense you're trying to apply here. Appleby's is not the same as my home. Neither is Moe's Tavern. They're places of business. I don't know how the new regulation treats private clubs, so I don't actually know if it draws any distinction or offers them an exception; I should think there would be a basis for one, just as private clubs in PA aren't tied to the serving hours restrictions public establishments must follow if they're to keep their licences.

Anyway, my point here is that your reasoning breaks down the instant you try to make analogies between restricting smoking in public places and dictating behavior in the private home. The connection you're trying to make simply does not exist as you draw it. If it did, I'd be all over protesting this smoking regulation.

(You'll have to trust me on this, but I can almost guarentee I am a far, far more liberal advocate and defender of individual rights than you are. I have an investment in the issue much more fundimental than the matter of where I can light up a Malboro. The idea that I -- me! -- could possibly support government regulating every aspect of my life as you suggest is just another of those unreasoned jumps in logic I was talking about. This issue isn't about individual rights and personal freedoms any more than it is about property rights.)

Here's a sloppy analogy:
I can piss on the floor in my home. Not necessarily a good idea, but I'm free to do it. If there's something good on TV and I don't feel like walking to the toilet I can just take a whiz on the floor without leaving the room.
Why can I not then piss on the floor in my neighborhood bar? Why must I walk the few yards to a room designated as the place to piss? If I want to hold onto my spot at the bar, why can't I just piss on the floor where I'm standing? If you're worried about it getting on your shoes, you can just step out of the way. I'm not pissing everywhere in the bar, so you can just step out of range of the stream. Besides, nobody forced you to come to the bar in the first place.

Jeri said...

That's a great distinction, Greg, between private clubs and places of business.

I wish the smoking issue wasn't framed in terms of "rights." There's no constitutional right to smoke, and unfortunately, there's no constitutional right to health. If there were, we'd have a better safety net for the sick.

Health is a privilege we have to fight for, both through our own behavior and through public protections.

Anonymous said...

because the bar is not your property...if the owner doesnt want people pissing on his floor, then you have no right to piss on the floor... its no different than pissing on the floor of the owners house, or of another persons house....or on someones hotel floor...their property is theirs, your property is yours.. you can piss on your floor, in your home...because you OWN it...you can also invite people over and leave them the option to piss on your floor if they want.... or you can make your own rules about non-floor pissing for guests in your home....
this is what it means to own property -- you have the liberty to make the policies.....

this is a debate about property rights....and to say that the owner of property should surrender his liberty to make his own policies for his property, simply because he opens it to the public, misses the mark...

you also fail to understand how precedence works.... two cases, with very different details, can relate to one another on PRINCIPLES of the law...yesterday the supreme court ruled in favor of oregon in assisted suicide...not only does it adress suicide as a topic...but it also is a precedent that the federal government cant tell states what to do... (state sovereignty)...

that case can be used as precedence on other cases that have to do with things OTHER than assisted suicide because its the court taking a measure to limit the regulation power of the fed government...the subject matter in that regard is simply incidental...the bigger picture is state's rights

in the case of smoking in bars... there is a bigger picture aswell....

its a matter of the STATE government encroaching property rights....bars are not PUBLIC owned...the bar owner has no legal obligation to open his doors to the public for business, unless he wants to.......(he can close on sunday for example)...he controls the bar... you are a guest.. he controls the policies for the bar.... and he should be able to...

all of your arguments would be valid if you were basing them in a requirement that people had to be at that bar...

for example, in jury duty,, the jurors are REQUIRED to be there...they have to go...you are ASSIGNED A JOB........if you are put on a jury, i can see the idea of having regulations in behavior because no one has the option of leaving the jury room and quitting their duty....

in a bar, its no different than me making the point thaT...IF have sensitive ears, my hearing health would be affected by loUd noises...so if i go to a play or a movie, and the crowd screams or applauds, do i have the right to tell the owner of that establishment to stop people from cheering?..and if he doesnt, should government have the authority to force the owner of that theater to have a non-cheering policy?

if you say no, then you should be saying no to the smoking ban...because both bans would be based on the same principle...


laws should be based on principles...not discrimination or bias...

if government can take control of a bar away from the bar's owner, then they can take your home, your land, control of your life and your liberty....and the more we let it go, the worse taht it gets...

Rob S. said...

So down to brass tacks, Sunshine. A simple question: What if the owner doesn't want to serve Blacks?

Anonymous said...

that actually a great question.... on principle an owner should be able to decide whatever he wants on his policies....

on the other hand, the government should not be able to FORCE him to turn blacks away....

that would be a jim crowe law -- forced segregation... or, even forced discrimination....

people have a right to be racist...government has NO right to mandate racism....no matter what laws have been passed (affirmative action as an example)...just because it goes into law, doesnt make it just,,,and doenst mean it didnt rob individual rights....

this is an argument of principle, not practicality...

in a practical, and humane sense, its ridiculous to make a non-black policy....
why? because your going to lose business...for a variety of reasons,,,so there's no motive to do it in todays day and age...yet, you still SHOULD HAVE the RIGHT to be a bigot if you want to, as long as its on your property, and as long as you force no one else to give up their liberty of accepting black customers....

i have not once argued that this smoke ban was wrong because of some imaginary, or speculative reasoning.... i havent once speculated whether or not business will suffer, or get better.... its not the issue....

lets say that business will actually pick up with the ban...its not governments job to manage a business, to make marketing or policy decisions... its up to the owner...if he fucks up because hes a bad accountant, or hes a bad manager, or even a bigot, then thats on him...its his problem...

if his customers consitsently ask for a non smoke policy, he would be dumb not to go along with a non smoke policy...but its still his right to take a chance despite suggestions from patrons ....

NO ONE, has the right to force his policies though...not me, not you, not our representatives in the capital ....

i am not a gun owner, but i would stick up for your right to own a gun, to own property,,,, i dont own a bar, but i stick up for the rights of property owners...its not about my personal behaviors...its about government behavior in relation to property...

i guess i just cant convince you of that?

Rob S. said...

Not with that absolutist stance, no.

I’m wary of jumping back into this, but here goes.

You have the right to be racist. You can think any way you want. But you absolutely don’t have the right to discriminate — to act on your racism — because that is abridging the rights of others.

The free market didn't end discrimination, and would never have. Ever. It took government intervention to make desegregation a reality. Those southern lunchrooms that weren’t admitting blacks were doing decent business. There was no economic reason for it, at least on a personal business scale. And yet it was the right thing to do.

The government doesn’t own the meat that I buy. But it inspects every piece of it anyway, to make sure it’s up to edible standards. Is that the state butting its nose where it doesn’t belong, or is it acting in the public good? Because before they did that, people were getting rancid meat right and left. Getting sick and dying from it. How many people have to die before the “free market” acts?

In both of those cases, the parties in question were well and truly pissed at the government intervention. But in both cases, and I hope you would agree with me, government intervention into a private business transaction has made the country a better place.

There are times when the government acts in the public good. Do you believe that’s possible? Can you name any function of the government that you think is worthwhile?

Anonymous said...

sure i can think of many instances governmet acts in worthwhile fashion...courts for example,,, they protect the right of the accused to have a lawyer, to not incriminate himself ...government provides national defense...infastructure (post offices, roads, banks, coins money)...

im not an anarchist... but im also not going to admit to you something based on a faulty premise....

your argument is - your rights to have clean air.... i dont debate that you have a right to that, on your property, or in venues that you have no choice but to attend.... but when concerning places that you dont own, you do not have the right to tell the owner they must provide you with the air quality tht YOU WANT... just as he has no right to affect the air quality on YOUR PROPERTY...

this trusting attitude, that government looks out for the better interest of people, or that it's "intentions" are what count, is bogus...and its in deep denial of history....the founders wrote a constitution that LIMITED the governments say so over property, over individual liberties simply because government -- in the name of "the common good" -- has notoriously perverted itself into intrusion on private rights....

this spirit is reflected in the nj constitution's individual rights

amendment 21 (nj constitution)
"This enumeration of rights and privileges shall not be construed to impair or deny others retained by the people"

rights retained by the people.. (bar owners are included in "the people"... and simply becuase you SHOW UP at a bar, does not give you (through government representation in state congress) the authority to demand he runs his place as you see fit when you have not been ASSIGNED to be at that bar....

tell me who is kidnapping you (robbing your liberty) and forcing you to go to smoking bars?... can you tell when government has FORCED anyone to work at a bar??...

economic condititons are not relevant here...if that was the case, the government would have the right to take your job and give it to someone else based on teh fact that you might have a college degree, and the other person might not, and they have no options to work but at your job (a subjective argument)...

therefore it could be said (if you have a degree) that you have a better chance of finding ANOTHER job, while they are entitled to a job, given that they dont have your qualifications to seek employment ....
does this happen in nj? are people assigned to private sector jobs?

of course not...therefore government should not be enforcing smoking policies on behalf of people who dont HAVE TO work there by law....



you are required to attend a smoke friendly bar about as much as i am required to attend a concert....for me to demand no loud cheering - - on account of it bothers the health of my ears -- holds as much water as you saying you dont want to smell smoke at a bar, so government should regulate that private sector establishment...

Rob said...

Oy vey gevalt......

You know what? Fuck the smokers. They're sucking funds away from our medical system that could easily go to cure innumerable other diseases NOT caused by smoking, or other bad habits.

Go to PA if you have to, but you better go live there, because if you go to PA to smoke but live here in Jersey, you oughta pay every freakin' dime of your medical bills related to your smoking ills back to your insurance company.

--*Rob

Anonymous said...

first thing,60% of lung cancer is non smokers,2nd most of the smokers here buy cigs out of state,lost money for corrupt nj...3rd,the smoking law does not applt to atlantic city,proving the corruption is still in place in nj..the out door air will kill you alone in this state..i grew up here 40 yrs. ive seen this state go from a nice state to the bottom of the barrel, besides being the laughing stock of the country mostly due from the influx of idiot peoples...

Anonymous said...

can we please ban fat people..they hurt my eyes...

Rob S. said...

Ah, forget it. I knew if I tried to engage you it'd be the same old line of shit. But I tried one last time anyway.

You make no sense, Sunshine. Not one little bit. You're trying -- I can see you're trying -- but you just can't do it, can ya?

You want to smoke in bars. We get it. And while you can't do that anymore, at least you can take confort that there's no law against babbling incoherently in public. So at least one of your hobbies is still intact.

My advice? Move to Pennsylvania. Or better yet, move to Oregon. I hear they've got even MORE rights there.But if you're gonna be a broken record, at least flip the goddamn side every now and then.

(By the way, in case you really are in fifth grade, as I sometimes suspect? Records are what we used to listen to music on before CDs and mp3s. They could scratch, and the sound would repeat over and over again. It was never pleasant.)

And yes, I'm now up to two (2) times that I've decided to stop arguing with you and just make fun of you. That's your index AND your middle finger, if you're counting along.

Rob S. said...

Couldn't let this go:

i grew up here 40 yrs.

You grew up?

Jeri said...

"Influx of idiot peoples"? Hmm, I'm not a Jerseyite, but last time I looked, y'all had the 3rd highest state average per capita income (4th if you count DC, which is always an outlier) and fourth highest percentage of citizens with college degrees (again, 4th if you count DC).

That's some highly paid, highly educated idiots.

Rob S. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeri said...

Oops, that second one should read "5th if you count DC."

But no one counts DC. And DC people don't count, as demonstrated by their lack of representation in Congress and the Electoral College. They are the last democratically disenfranchised folk in this country. Sad.

Oh. Back to New Jersey...

Rob S. said...

Not the last, Jeri. There's also Sunshine here, whose vote doesn't count because it's not the ONLY one.

Forty years old. I think this is the point where it goes from funny to sad...

(This is the text of my previous message, which due to a quirk of blogger appeared before the message of Jeri's I was responding to.)

Anonymous said...

not every anonymous is me, dingbat...


all youve managed to do is commit to the fact that you think property rights are bogus, that government should run our lives for "the good of society", and that you dont understand how when one's rights are violated, that it leads to precedence to violate others

you'll get yours, and you'll cry louder than anyone when your liberties are violated...

difference is, i dont discriminate, i will speak up for your rights just like i speak of for those that own bars....i dont discriminate....

ive said it before, i'll say it again, youre a fool

Rob S. said...

A fool? What about a handless mutant-retard? You don't say those same sweet nothings like you used to.

(Nothings, yes. Over and over and over again. But without the handless mutant-retard, how can I tell you care?)

If you don't want to be mistaken for someone else, put a name behind your words, Sunshine.

And by Sunshine, I mean Dipshit.

Jeri said...

Sunshine, Rob never said or even implied he thought property rights were bogus, or that government should run our lives. He's given a few concrete examples of how regulations can ameliorate the negative consequences of the free market.

Jeez, I haven't seen so many straw men since that First Little Pig opened up a petting zoo.

Rob S. said...

Looking back, I should've known it wasn't you, Sunshine. He actually said something new.

But to all the anonymous people out there, fair warning: Unless you say otherwise, I'll most likely believe you're Sunshine, here.

Unless you make sense or something.

(And Jeri? lol. Seriously.)

Anonymous said...

i say the same thing over and over in hopes that maybe it will penetrate your dense, crusted cranium....i guess it's as likely a dyke sucking dick....

it doesnt matter, like i said, youll get yours.... and youll cry louder than anyone...youre government's loyal whore.... youre a house slave... pick that cotton bitch...

Anonymous said...

Now just a second there, anonymous person who doesn't want to be identified. I take issue with statements about Rob wanting to be a slave to the government. I happen to know Rob very well and I know he agrees with me and the majority of Americans in thinking that the Bush Administration's illegal wiretapping of millions of Americans for the last four years is a BAD THING.

And yet, it seems that Rob and the State of New Jersey have figured out that keeping the air clean in bars is a GOOD THING.

How could this happen, you ask? The answer can be found in the title by a Mr. Thomas Paine.

Now, you may disagree with that, and that's cool, but for heavan's sake can we get back to the handless retard business?

--Christian (hey, that's my name!)

Anonymous said...

bush being able to invade your phone conversations , on YOUR PRIVATE PROPERTY... between you and others, is precisely the same line of logic that allows government to overstep its barriers and take rights from property owners to make their own smoking policies on their property....

do you not see the principle yet?

it's hilarious how people complain about violations of rights for some things, yet dont see how it effects other things....

you want to know why government gets out of control? because when its time to fight for the rights, it only matters when it's his right to do things that he feels are important to him....he could give a fuck about someone else's... you reap what you sow....

Anonymous said...

yea thomas paine. common sense


“Government even in its best state is but a necessary evil.”
Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

yea sounds like thomas loved government....

heres another on the subject of principles.... you know, those senseless things i get accused of spinning broken records over....

"Moderation in temper is always a virtue, but moderation in PRINIPLE is always a vice."
Thomas Paine, "The Rights of Man", 1792

Jeri said...

I hate to say it, but Sunshine makes a good point in that last paragraph. It's why the ACLU represents the right to free speech for Nazis and Communists and everyone in between. It's important that we consider whether policies that either don't affect us or actually help us are right or not.

However, you simply can't equate every right. The rights to free speech and privacy aren't equivalent to the right to let some of your customers endanger the health of other customers and your employees. Saying that they're equally important rights belittles the whole notion of rights.

If you want to believe that property rights supersede every single public good, fine, go ahead. I respect your belief while heartily disagreeing with it. I believe that sometimes property rights need to be curtailed for the good of the public. Is this one of those cases? I think it's borderline, personally, but others feel differently, and I respect that, too.

That's spelled R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Use it in a sentence if it helps. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't make them an idiot or a government fuck puppet.

And thank you, eternally, for adding Handless Mutant-Retard to our vocabulary. That was worth every moment of shitwit.

Anonymous said...

jeri how have you ever been forced to go to a smoking bar??

tell me about it,,,i want to know

NO NO NO.... dont tell me all that other bullshit...

tell me how you have been FORCED to go to a bar where there is smoking?

Jeri said...

Doh! I meant the last paragraph of his 10:32 comment.

Hey, I'm #100!! Beat ya, Christian!

Anonymous said...

If by "principle" you mean that any law that takes away what I percieve to be my rights, then yes, I see it quite plainly.

However, I don't always agree with that principle.

Allow me to explain. The key word is "percieve". I may think it is my right to speed down the highway at 90 miles per hour but the state trooper over there is gonna pull me over. Why? Because someone thought that it is a good idea in the interests of public safety that limits should be imposed on speed. Officials elected to represent us in our democratic republic debated the matter and by way of a vote, passed a bill into law that sets down the speed limit.

Now of course, one could argue that in theory this is the "slippery slope" to governmental control but again I disagree there. As a nation of laws, we are bound by Reason to obey them and create - even change them - when needed.

In other words, we draw the line where the line must be drawn. Checks and balances, baby!

--Christian

(DANG! I missed being the 100th post :)

Anonymous said...

under all of your ideas, me and other voters can vote away your right to listen to certain types of music....me and other voters can vote away your right to do anything we feel we dont want you to do....if ironically, u owned a bar, our congressman represtenting us, can vote that you MUST give 12 percent of your liquor away free to patrons....

that would be the majority wouldnt it? or should the majority through representation not be able to vote on anything??

maybe you think that mob rule is a good idea...

nonsense...
a government of LIMITED powers is a government that doesnt tread on liberty....

Jeri said...

maybe you think that mob rule is a good idea...

nonsense...
a government of LIMITED powers is a government that doesnt tread on liberty....


Rhetoric 101: This is called a straw man argument. You state a ridiculous premise that we supposedly believe, then swoop in like a superhero to prove us wrong, when we never believed it in the first place.

Which is why it's pointless to argue with you. Which is why all your coworkers run the other way when they see you in the hall. Which is why your extended family never invites you for dinner anymore. You're a blowhard.

More than once I showed you a certain level of philosophical support, but you either ignored it or used my non-100% agreement with you to accuse me of looking forward to making the government (THIS government, George W. Bush and Bob Ehrlich, for cryin' out loud) my very special back door man.

And I never even got a cool nickname.

Anonymous said...

youre gettin more retarded by the second...youre arguing with me about things that you agree with me on?



you want to all what i say rhetoric? what is rhetorical about it?

you are advocating mob rule when you advocate a smoking ban on private property....you cant play on both sides of a fence and not be a contradiction..... your arguments, just like robs, are based on personal preference which you already have every right to apply to your own life....
but thats not enough, you want to tread on other's rights....

to you, property rights only mean something when whats done there is what you approve of, by your own subjective evaluation..... as soon as it contradicts your opinions, it's "fuck the property owner"......


limited government is a straw man?? when did this happen? is the constitution now a straw man document?...this is reality you imbecile.... the founding fathers realized it, i realize it, you on the other hand think its a punchline....

must be nice to live in ignorance, you dont have to think... or maybe youd rather have government think FOR you...

you still havent answered me...

when have you been forced to go to a smoke friendly bar?

and jeri,
elaborate on details

Rob S. said...

Thankfully, Sunshine, you're in the minority. "You and other voters?" Heh. Funniest thing you've said today.

I'll give you a quarter if you can find half a dozen people who agree with your crackpot line of bullshit.

Do the nurses have to put up with all this yammering when they drop by to give you your meds?

Anonymous said...

no rob, the nurses are busy treating your anus wounds from taking the government genital probe up the asshole....

Rob S. said...

Ascuze me, evvaboddy, while I a-translade:

rant rant rant, rantity rant rant rant

can't smokey rant rant

nobody listens to me rant rant rant

(pause to wheeze...wheeze...okay, where was I?)

rant rant rant

mob rule by our duly elected officials(!) rant rant

handless mutant-retard ranty ranty rant

government up your butts because that's one of my personal obsessions ranty ranty rant
(seriously, what's up with the rape fantasies, dude?)

ranty ranty rant

WAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!


Well, that'sa whadd I gedd from da transcribt.

Rob S. said...

In other words:

You're showing your true colors, Sunshine. No wonder you're anonymous. If I were airing that kind of dirty psychological laundry, I'd keep my name a secret too.

Anonymous said...

ok lets translate rob

avoid avoid avoid avoid avoid...opt to avoid all principles in exchange for saying nothing in response....

and dont forget the suction sounds of rob giving oral to government

shit rob, if government had a cock, your lip prints would be all over it....

send government a love letter, if youre gonna get raped a person with your attitude might as well pretend to enjoy it

haha youre a sheep...

Anonymous said...

rob said

"If I were airing that kind of dirty psychological laundry, I'd keep my name a secret too."




yea ok genius... and i suppose rob s. is your real name?

rob s.

..yea that narrows it down....how many people could that be? .... fuckin idiot doesnt even make sense when he tries to bust... its good youre so "open" while accusing others of hiding in anonymity....

maybe you should think of not responding, you havent tongued the government's ass enough.....get to tossin that salad , house slave...

Rob S. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rob S. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rob S. said...

friggin' typos!

Rob S. said...

Sunshine, I tried everything.

I tried arguing with you, and you were thickheaded and I got frustrated.

I tried teasing you and had an absolute ball -- because, in fact, you're so thickheaded.

Eventually, I tried engaging you again, and thought we might find some common ground somewhere. And, as you say, I was a fool.

You can't be reasoned with.

Hell, you can't be understood half the time.

And for the last day or so you've been increasingly belligerent, tossing around elaborate rape fantasies in which you substitute "government" for your own feelings of inadequacy. You're losing control, and frankly, you're no fun anymore.

You’re a goddamn toad.

Crawl back under your rock.

Jeri said...

Sorry, Sunshine, I missed your earlier question about whether I'd ever been forced to go to a smoking bar. The comments are piling up so fast, sometimes they pass in the night. Please forgive my oversight.

The answer, which you so desperately whined for, is no. I never said I did. I'm one of the people arguing that people aren't forced to go into smoking bars! I'm actually with you on this! Did you even read my posts, or did you just see a post written by someone other than you and assume it was stupid? Check out my comment where I said this issue was borderline. Check out my comment where I said bars and smoking go together like PB&J. Check out my comment where I said environmental regs protect the innocent while smoking bans protect bar customers.

Then check out my middle finger extended in your direction. I'm one of the few people here who actually agree with you on this one small point, and this is the thanks I get?

And you only called me an 'imbecile.' Didn't even bother to get creative. I'm hurt.

Anonymous said...

rob it was my intention to debate an issue...it was your perogative INITIATE trash talk...now you want to bitch because i engage in trash talk and call you a government whore?

"stubborn headed" to you means that i dont agree with your nonsensical logic... if that's stubborn, then yea, im stubborn because i dont concede to nitwits, and counterfit "know-it -alls "...


go wipe your eyes, your makeup is running.... and straighten your dress pansy....

haha youre a typical pussy...

Rob S. said...

Point by point:

rob it was my intention to debate an issue...

Is that so? Because you never once behaved in any way that could remotely be considered “debate.”

it was your perogative INITIATE trash talk...

You’re right about that. Like any other mule, I thought I’d use a two-by-four to get your attention.

now you want to bitch because i engage in trash talk and call you a government whore?

See, this is just like your worldview. No nuance. I take the time to insult you from a dozen different directions, and never brought it into the gutter. It was you who took us there. If you don’t see the difference, I can’t point it out any clearer than that. I don’t know why you’re fixated on raping me, and I’m more than a little disturbed by it.

I don’t know you, and I don’t like what it says about you. Whatever your reasons for bringing it there, I’m not gonna follow you. I’ve pointed it out, and that’s that. I’m done teasing you. I don’t in any way like you, but I hope you’re okay. If you’ve been a victim of this sort of violence, please seek help.

Really.

Greg! said...

"...if the owner doesnt want people pissing on his floor, then you have no right to piss on the floor..."

Ah, but what if he DOES want me to piss on his floor?

Okay, let's go over this again.

Your assertion that the smoking ban is a property issue does not hold up to reasoned analysis. I know you're trying your damnedest to make it a matter of private property rights, but it just isn't.

Since I enjoyed it the first time, let's stick with my earlier sloppy analogy:

I'm pissing on the floor of Moe's Tavern, my neighborhood bar. Hey, I have every right to piss on the floor in my own home, so naturally I should be able to piss on the floor here. Moe has no problem with it, and it's his bar. "Piss away, buddy," says Moe as he draws me another beer.

So is it okay for me to piss on the floor in Moe's bar?


Do you see where I'm going with this?

My pissing (on the floor or wherever) is good for Moe's business; by pissing I make room for more of the beer he wants to sell me. Moe is okay with my pissing on the floor in his bar.

The thing is, that doesn't make it okay for me to piss on the floor in Moe's bar.

Yeah, the people who don't like the smell of my urine or are upset at the prospect of me pissing on their feet can always leave and go across the street to Murphy's. Murphy doesn't let anyone piss on the floor in his bar (the bastard!). So if you want a bar where everyone has to use the toilet when they piss, go to Murphy's and stay the hell away from Moe's.

The thing is, the objection to my pissing on the floor in Moe's isn't strictly one of personal likes or dislikes – mine, the other patrons' or even Moe's. It's a public health concern. (This would be why I picked pissing on the floor rather than incessantly singing "Hey Jude" off key as an example.) I have no more right to piss on the floor of Moe's tavern than I do on the sidewalk in front of Moe's tavern. (Which is, as far as I can tell, not the case with smoking.) The sidewalk is a public place; Moe's bar is a public place; my home is not. I can piss on the floor in my home because it is my private property. I have rights within the realm of my own home that do next extend outside my private property: the right to piss on the floor, the right to smoke and, yes, even the right to refuse blacks admittance.

Are you seeing what I'm getting at here? If Moe – or, for that matter, Murphy – invites me over to his house, he's welcome to let me piss on the floor. It's his right, within the private property of his home, to let me smoke. It's even his right to invite a bunch of us over from the bar but refuse to let Carl come just because he's black.

Those same rights don't apply within the realm of his business, because it is a business. Yes, he may own it. But "private property" in the context of a business open to the public does not carry all the same implications as the "private property" of a home. Likewise, a private home isn't subject to everything a public business is. Since we've been talking about bars here, many of which have kitchens, the example of health codes comes to mind. In some respects, a smoking ban is much like an extended heath code (if you accept the threat of second hand smoke, which I tend to). Health codes exist for the public good. Do they impinge on the owner's right to serve rotten cat meat? Of course they do. They also impinge on my right to bring my own maggoty rotten cat meat into the restaurant where its larvae might spread to everyone else's non-rotten cow meat. That's what regulations like health codes are supposed to do.
(Mind you, now, no one's confiscating my personal rotten cat meat. No one's breaking down my door and searching my private property for rotten cat meat. They're just saying, "If you're going to a restaurant, leave your rotten cat meat at home.")

And Rob may have overstretched in going all the way to the race question, but it's a perfectly valid example. You asserted:

"... to say that the owner of property should surrender his liberty to make his own policies for his property, simply because he opens it to the public, misses the mark..."

It seems to me that you're missing the mark in thinking that there's no difference between a home and a business. In opening a place of business to the public you are opening yourself to liabilities and responsibilities, which don't exist in the situation of simply inviting a person into your home. When operating a business, the question is not a simple one of ownership. When dealing with customers there is, if the simplest and only by implication, a contract involved.

"...bars are not PUBLIC owned...the bar owner has no legal obligation to open his doors to the public for business, unless he wants to.......(he can close on sunday for example)...he controls the bar... you are a guest.. he controls the policies for the bar.... and he should be able to..."

Well, yeah -- the owner has no legal obligation to open his doors to the public for business. But the moment he does open them, he does have obligations. (And I'd be curious about a bar owner who NEVER opened for business.) Of course he can set the bar's hours. He can decorate. He can pick the music in the jukebox. He can even set a dress code – from "No Tank Tops" to "Jacket and Tie Required After 6:00 PM." He cannot, however, add "No Coloreds" to that list. His right to control the policies of the bar does not extend that far. Legally or, I believe, morally. Certainly not ethically.

But that's a sweeping large issue to jump to from what is, frankly, a rather assertive health code regulation.

I find it a little odd that 96% of opinions I've been hearing about this have to do with not being able to smoke in bars. (I suppose the broadcast media contributed to this proportion of representation by interviewing bar patrons almost exclusively.) The other 3% came from, of all places, bowling alley owners. (Who were, I must say, rather inventive in their attack.) Where are the people who want to smoke in restaurants? Or is it that no one's been smoking in restaurants for so long that further restriction won’t really matter?

So I won't be able to smoke in a bar in NJ. I'll cope. Hell, I live in PA. I'll do more than cope. I'll envy. I like the idea of coming home from a night out at a bar without my clothes smelling of someone's cigarette smoke. Or urine. Or rotten cat meat.

No, I don't feel my personal freedoms are particularly threatened by this. And, yes, I quite thoroughly understand the principles and workings of precedent. (That's the word you're looking for, Sunshine – precedent.) Bush's ham-handed megalomania with the NSA is a very threatening thing, but it does not parallel a smoking ban in public places. "Things that I find frightening" is no more valid a category of precedent that "Things I find offensive," although, believe me, there are plenty of both going around. The version that would relate to a smoking ban in public places would be the government's keeping record of things you said in public places. Now, for all I know they might already be doing that, but if you were ballsy or stupid enough to say it in public then you ought to accept responsibility for whatever it was you said. On the other hand, secret and unregulated monitoring of what you say in the privacy of your own home sets all sorts of dangerous precedents. Hell, if they're already listening in then they probably know you're smoking at home and that'll make it all the easier to send to no-smoking enforcement squad directly to your door when the time comes.

You wanna worry about government over-stepping its bounds, worry about Bush. Head out to a bar and knock back a few and think about the fact that we have more than two years left for him to screw things up. Just take a piss before you go, and leave your rotten cat meat at home. Take the smokes, though – you can always light up on the sidewalk in front of the bar.

Greg! said...

Jeri --

Get yourself to Philly so I can force you into a smoking bar.

Anonymous said...

drawing a line between different properties and saying one is "really private" and the other is not, is the problem here.... its your definition that is faulty...the property is still owned by the person with whom bought the proptery...

in your example, there is no threat to public health concerns on the fact that patronage at said piss-bar is not mandatory (for the tenth time)...

its no more logical than saying that gravity is a health concern in a bar because someone might fall when they get drunk there...therefore we should have NO BARS because of gravity ...

the issue is not the source of the health concern. its that in a state of liberty, each person gets to weigh and measure the health concerns vs the health benifits, and if they find that one drastically outweighs the other, they can leave the bar... its called self-government.... no state legislature laws are needed for this issue...

laws in these circimstances are needed no more than government needs to outlaw ice skating rinks because if i go there, someone else whos not a good skater may crash into me, and injure me (health concern)....

opening your property for business is an option one does with his liberty, and his rights to that property...its not a license for government to trample ownership and dictate to that owner what the owner and his patronage can work out freely on their own...

smoking has manifested itself as a behavior which many owners of bars dont mind, the employees are willing to put up with, and that customers tend to do.... this manifestation happened freely, without government force, and theres nothing to say that in time, more bar owners would by their action, outlaw smoking...

however the option should still be for that owner....in light of health concerns, or in spite of them... its not governments property to make that decision....

you criticize the government spying, see it as big government, yet you dont see big government as one that attacks property rights? is there some reason you dont see that property rights and rights to private conversations are both rights worthy of protection from government?.... doesnt bush use "public safety" as his alibi for spying without warrant?... yea "public safety" and the "common good" ...the two most perverted causes that governments embark on......

public concern is the same motive that governments claim over control of private property when they seek eminent domain programs to confiscate private land...the degree of control is not the point, the fact is, you give a little in one situation, and government wants to take miles (literally)...

Anonymous said...

i should also note that eminent domain never makes a distinction between your imaginary claims that one private property (a house) is different than a private sector bar.....its just a sweeping takeover.....so why if the government considers both types of property as property to be seized, should they consider both types different when it comes to regulations??

thats the hypocrisy of gov for you...

still trust them with the "public" good ??

Rob said...

Blah blah blah....

Let me quite Billy Preston:

"Will it go round in circles
Will it fly high like a bird up in the sky
Will it go round in circles
Will it fly high like a bird up in the sky"

--*Rob

Greg! said...

[sigh]

Okay, Sunshine, I give up. There's no point in my trying to apply any sort of logical reasoning here. As far as I can tell, rational thought is not in any significant way involved in your views. I can come to no other conclusion. Someone attempts to make a point, to draw some distinction or explore a nuance of reasoning, and you respond by trotting out exactly the same things you said before. You're not actually using them to refute or even really address any of the points someone else might have made. You're just repeating them.

Oddly, following your posts here reminds me of the frustrating experience of listening to the evasive mechanical repetitions of White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan.

Scary, huh?

Andrew said...

Wow. That's all I keep saying when I read these comments. Wow.

Several people have mentioned the second-hand smoking debate. There is a good Wiki page, with a a nice synopsis and links to many studies. I can think of one anoymous commenter who will be all over the first paragraph about Hitler's anti-tobacco league. I sure this will be held up as proof that the indoor smoking ban will lead us directly to facism.

It is clear from reading the page that there is still a lot of debate about how harmful second-hand smoke is. The EPA and WHO both concluded that regular exposure is a health risk.

One thing I found interesting is that Ireland has an indoor smoking ban. There's a joke there somewhere about how much time the Irish spend in bars, but I'm not makin' it!

Also interesting were studies that found an increased cancer risk in pets of smokers. One of our cats came to us after living close to ten years with a smoker. It died of lung cancer. (Anectdotal, of course, but that's why the studies caught my eye.)

Anonymous said...

thats the problem youre having...you want to break everything down to nuances, when this stuff should be tracable back to sound principles...

you probably think its great that government regulates in the name of "public safety" when the nuance is second hand smoke on private land...but let bush spy on you in the name of "public safety" on your priv property and youre outraged....

both should outrage you, because both are used for government expansion....thats how the machine works....

these politcians get in there and it's "we can look out for public safety when it comes to smoke, so we certainly can do it when it comes to suspected terrorists on phone calls...its for our security!! our safety ! everyone has a right to safety!"

isnt that the same as this latest ban... "everyone has a right to clean air! to safety! if youre not an "evil" bar owners who likes smoke, you have nothing to fear! we are only taking property rights from bar owners !"

that last part sounds similar to the notion of "if youre not a terrorist why worry if our gov is spying on you!"


im sure youll be myopic AGAIN and only see "smoking" and "wire tapping phones", and NOT see the connection in PRINCIPLE between both instances of government intrustion in the name of "the public interest"...

shit, the soviet union was based on whats best for the "public interest"... and it manifested into gov tyrany

but you just dont see it...
and youre just pissed off because your arguments arent sound... like i have some obligation to meet you halfway in a debate? you want me to do what? concede to you? concede what? all your arguments are without sound basis....

so....
lets check the quitters tot' board....

(drumroll)

and the total quits for rob so far is........................................

(ahh who my kiddin? youll be back threatening to "take your toys and go home again" because i wont agree with your ignorance..

Anonymous said...

andrew said

"It is clear from reading the page that there is still a lot of debate about how harmful second-hand smoke is. "

that debate is irrelevant....

its only relavent if - you are ordered by law to be in a smoking environment (jury duty would be one example, out of many)....

this latest ban involved bars, restaurants, and other private owned indoor businesses...

the air quality would only be relevant if - you are forced to breath smoke or fumes, or toxins in the general atmosphere (out in the streets, the parks, out in public land) or public buildings, which we all have claim to make the rules on ...no one is claiming that factories should be able to pollute the open atmosphere, nor polute public or private air that is adjacent to said factory....

on private land, where air quality is confined to that room, or building, you have no obligation to be there....at any point you can weigh and measure in your mind, various details about a private property (air quality, atmosphere, appearance, quality of products produced there, cutomer service, what have you) , and decide whether or not you want to 1. stay 2. ever go there in the first place, or 3. never go back.... same with emplyment there....

do you not see the difference between the public owned sector, and the private owned sector, and the dynamics of how they works ?....

call me stubborn all you want...yea, im stubborn about government control over private property...i guess that makes me a maniac?.... but trusting government would make me what? brilliant?...

i wouldnt have to ask stupid questions like "who has forced you to go to a restaruant where they allow tobacco, and forced you to be there breathing second hand smoke?" if it wasnt for stupid people whos whole argument is based in a belief that that people are forced to smell second hand smoke....


kind of hard for you to answer that question what such a question would reveal your flawed position.. so i understand all of your reluctancy...

Rob S. said...

Andrew,

Thanks for the link. that's really interesting stuff.

Rob said...

Anonymous -

Meet you halfway? No. But drop it as an "agree to disagree" situation - probably. You're not converting anyone, so why bother to continue?

Pointless...

Oh - and why the anonymity?

--*Rob

Andrew said...

It's relevant to me, as I am in favor of regulations that protect the health and safety of workers and patrons.

I ascribe to greg's opinion that the owner takes responsibility when they open their establishment (as greg described so well with his maggot infested cat meat example). Clearly there are a lot of people who share this view (as evidenced by the comments here and general support for emergency exits and maggot-free food).

However, there is debate as to whether second-hand smoke poses enough of a risk to workers and patrons to require a ban on indoor smoking (again, assuming one belives in health and safety regulations in the first place). I think those people would be interested in the information I linked to. It contains arguments from both sides that warrant consideration.

Sharon GR said...

Wow. I go away for a few days, and look what you've done with the place.

I have to laud Greg!'s comment from 12:50AM today. It best explains the difference between at-home private property rights and public-place-as-private-property rights. You open your doors up to the public, you have certain responsibilities. I couldn't have said it better than Greg!, and I won't try.

Listen, fans and friends, I think we've got to agree to disagree. All that can be said of substance has been said, and the name-calling has gotten out of hand.

For the record, opponents and foes, the smoking ban is law in Our Fair State. Gov. Codey signed it and it goes into effect April 15. The first legal challenge was easily shot down, easily. And the bill to include casinos, who lobbied like crazy to be excluded, has already been introduced; It's S-1089, for those of you inclined to write your state senators about it.

I want to thank everyone for the comic relief and the relavent discussion.

Rob S. said...

I'd also like to commend Greg on his use of the Simpsons to illustrate his point. Springfield has such a rich supply of characters and situations that their use in analogies is a stroke of genius. Bravo, Greg.

Anonymous said...

Its funny that throughout this discussion no one seems to mention the folks that work in this hypothetical bar.

IIRC correctly a number of the original smoking bans were put in place because the bar workers - the people who would be most affected by secondhand smoke - were the issue.

The workers have no choice in the matter - either they inhale smoke or they quit their jobs which seems a bit unfair.

Eric A.

Anonymous said...

why the anonymity? as opposed to you, with your nickname of "rob s" which is supposed to be what? completely revealing and open?

Rob S. said...

Get this straight:

There’s another Rob in the thread. While he is a friend of mine, and most likely has a similar opinion of you, HE IS NOT ME. Do not treat him with the same unpleasantness you spewed in my direction. He’s only posted a couple of times, and is not the one you’re so angry with.

He's the one who asked you why you're anonymous. I stopped asking a while ago. I know all I care to know about you.

Believe it or not, the smoking ban is not all about you and your beliefs. Our conversation has been a big distraction from the issue at hand.

Those clarifications made, I’m not going to take my toys and go home, as you so imaginatively put it. I’m going to continue to talk with my friends and grit my teeth while you call them stupid in their own blog, not yours. They don’t need my help to deal nuisances like you. And as you keep reminding us, they’re certainly within their rights to throw you out at any time.

Rob S. said...

Actually, Eric, I've mentioned the workers a number of times, and others have as well. But I certainly can't blame you for wading through all these posts. And thanks for signing your name. It's good to know who's who.

Greg! said...

Bored now.

Rob S. said...

Um, that should be "not wading," Eric. My bad.

Sharon GR said...

Welcome, Eric A. Thanks for signing your name.

There are several mentions of workers in this quagmire, I know it's hard to find. The sad part of this whole thing is the Casino exemption, where 40,000 workers don't get the protection that other employees in Our Fair State get. S1089 is the bill to try to close that hole- write your state senator today!

Rob S. said...

By the way, Eric -- if you are who I think you may be, say hi to Tina and Michele.

If you're not, then, um, greet a Tina and a Michele of your choosing.

(My word verrification is the Law and Order scene-change sound effect! Jjung!)

Anonymous said...

I am opposed ot the ban on principle [govt. involvement] but in favor because I detest smoke. It doesn't matter--When I went to a diner it was smoking as always. Is the bill not going into effect for another year or is it not even law yet?

Sharon GR said...

Hi Anon.,
Gov. Codey signed the bill last weekend, but it goes into effect 90 days after signing. It will be in effect April 15.

nwhitemike said...

I think this whole no smoking in public places is a bunch of bull..for if someone does not like the smoke than too bad for this is the good ol' usa an we have the rights to smoke where we want when we want..the last time i remember that this is the country of the free need i say more..An the big thing that makes me so angry of the this stupid act is that i like to go to bars to hang out with people but i don't drink so instead i would jus smoke my cigs but now i can't even enjoy a nice smoke while sittin back at a bar with my friends an lots of people i know don't even go to the bar all cause thease stupid health freaks that have nothing better to do with thier lives but wine like little girls so grow up an face the facts you's don't control the world an soon or later us smokers will rise up against you self centered pieces of garbage.

Sharon GR said...

Yeah, good luck with that "rising up" thing.

"Free" doesn't mean imposing your will on others. Smoking forces others to deal with your smoke- so it ain't just you. What facts are we not facing?

Rob S. said...

Wine like little girls?

Traditionally it's made from grapes. (Girl scouts are used to make cookies, though.)

morgoth said...

lol you argument needs work alchol kills 3 times the number of people world wide to the point in some countries 1st or 2nd offense drunk friving is punishiable by death. But dont you smoke in there thats bad lol. oh yeah while your at it ban traffic because every single study done comparatively to smoke places that at 2 packs per hour in traffic. I would like to ban your SUV because its bad for me.

This can be solved so easy if i own a bar that allows smoking i place a giant sign that reads.
"this establishment allows smoking and is dangerous to your health if you donot wish to be effected by this smoke DONOT enter or apply for any job here"

the old argument i work here and its bad for me is like me getting a job at the toxic waste dump then suing them to remove it because its bad for my health. get real every bar i know except for those places that are really an eating establishment are suffering horribly. bars that have been profitable for 100 years are going out of buisness. Its been a year where are these magical no smoking customer they were promised? ha they are right where they were before because they dont like bars not the smoke but the bar thats why they never went.

Sharon GR said...

It's amazing to me that I wrote this post almost two years ago, and I'm still getting comments on it.

morgoth, besides the fact that you need a spellchecker and a punctuation primer, you have no idea what you're talking about. Read up on how things are truly going for business owners, then, let's chat.

get over it said...

I am a non-smoker also, however, i donot agree with the indoor smoking ban. I belive it should be up to the owner's discression to allow or to ban smoking in their establishment. This way people that do not like to be around smoke should go to a bar that does not allow it. We lost half of our customers when this law went into affect. I personally beileve that its people right to choose what they do with their health, and smokers are not the only people that are selfish. Everyone in a way is being selfish here. This whole problem would be solved if there was smoking and non smoking bars. not one or the other.