Another step forward for authoritarianism

Well, they passed it. Smoking will be forbidden on all city property, save the golf courses, come July 1st. That’s right, walking around the bad smell is too much to ask of my fellow Bay Aryans. I am sooo depressed. Freedom in SF is nearing extinction, one petty attack at a time. They rationalized their newest control mechanism thusly;

  • Second-hand smoke is dangerous.
    WTF? In the 50s smoking was allowed everywhere – banks, stores… you name it! Even if you think the scientific studies are some kind of conspiracy, you can’t ignore this. If second hand smoke were a danger, all of the non-smokers from that era should be dropping like flies right now.
  • It sets a bad example for the kids.
    Right, so everyone in the park is to be a role model now? Give me a break. “Mommy, when I grow up I want to drink cheap liquor and sleep in the bushes!”
  • Butts are everywhere and difficult to clean up.
    This one does have a shred of logic. However there are cheap butt extinguisher/collectors that could alleviate this issue for all but the most inconsiderate of cig smokers.

The loons in Berkeley are looking to leapfrog us, by banning smoking from chimneys. Way to prioritize, bureaucrats.

These issues are merely excercises in control by those in power. There is a certain personality type that is driven to make a career of politics, and it’s thinly disguised as altruistic. These busybodies understand that by attaching themselves to the state, they can exert force on their fellow man. How frustrating it is for those of us who just want to live and let live.

Edit: 23:30: Fixed Berkeley link.

10 Comments so far

  1. Michele (unregistered) on January 26th, 2005 @ 2:59 pm

    Hey there, I just stumbled upon your post.

    I love what you wrote about smoking setting a bad example for kids: “Mommy when I grow up I want to drink cheap liquor and sleep in the bushes.” Hilarious!

    I grew up in San Francisco and no one seemed to care when I was a kid. Golden Gate Park’s hippie hill on a saturday smelled like a giant lit bong. But I suppose that type of smoke is okay, right?


  2. Brad (unregistered) on January 26th, 2005 @ 3:20 pm

    >If second hand smoke were a danger, all of the non-smokers from that era should be dropping like flies right now.

    Now that makes you sound about as intelligent as the “bad example” arguers.

    If running red lights was really a danger all the jaywalkers would be dead now…

    There is NO chance that second hand smoke is NO danger at all. Now if you want to make an argument that its not enough of a danger to warrant stepping on your rights, that might make more sense.


  3. Morey (unregistered) on January 26th, 2005 @ 3:35 pm

    Nice strawman you built there, Brad, but to be accurate, you would need to change the analogy to “all of the people hit by cars” (sustaining some injury). It’s a fact that up until the 60s, everyone participating in city life was breathing smoke on a routine basis.

    If you still don’t like that argument, pick another from the previous comments.


  4. Brad (unregistered) on January 26th, 2005 @ 4:20 pm

    Looks like all the fun has been had. Finally, I would be right there with you if I smoked, but I don’t. I like not having to deal with it. Now if you want to talk about the repressive stripper laws, I’m at that protest with you. Bikinis dances my ass.


  5. Morey (unregistered) on January 26th, 2005 @ 4:32 pm

    Well, they’ve already come for the smokers, the bikers, and the gun owners. Eventually they will come for the strippers too – no pun intended.


  6. Suraj (unregistered) on January 26th, 2005 @ 10:49 pm

    The following page at the EPA’s website lists with references the harmful effects of second hand cigarette smoke.

    http://www.epa.gov/smokefree/healthrisks.html

    Your example of 50s-era people not dropping dead is not really valid because 1) not all of second-hand smoke’s effects are lethal – you could just end up with various respiratory problems and 2) because for you to notice people dropping dead smoke would have to have a enormously large death rate. For example suntan lotion was only invented in the 1940s by your logic we should’ve noticed most people from that decade who lived in reasonably sunny areas to be dropping dead from skin cancer.


  7. Morey (unregistered) on January 26th, 2005 @ 11:16 pm

    Suraj, I acknowledge that my example is not irrefutable proof. But if you take that EPA report at face value, you’re kidding yourself. The story has been covered on a few occasions. I’m too lazy to look up the court document right now, but you can watch this clip.


  8. Jason D- (unregistered) on January 27th, 2005 @ 12:29 am

    What a fucking crock of shit. What’s next? No farting in public because of the ill effects of methane on the ozone? Christ almighty…


  9. Kristine (unregistered) on January 28th, 2005 @ 10:07 pm

    Reality check:

    There is a difference between “having rights” and killing yourself.

    It’s not a political or social issue. To say that this is a control thing is completely irresponsible.

    People get too caught up in being so liberal, cutting edge, and cool..that they forget what is really important. People may claim that they “really care” about the well-being of people and of the earth..and then they turn around and complain about (a fatal addiction). Not to be rude, but this is ridiculous. I’m sixteen, and I’m fighting the urge to tell you to grow up already.

    If people are so against capitalistic ideals, and wanting the best for everyone..then stop being so unrealistically selfish and stop smoking..yes people will lose jobs, but if you want to stop something, if you want to make a change..stop smoking, stop buying cigarettes..end of story.


  10. Morey (unregistered) on January 29th, 2005 @ 12:40 am

    Now who can argue with that?



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