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Monday, December 31, 2007

Ninnie State

By Keith Schmitz

Even though smoking is bad for your health, the Journal Sentinel attacks our intellectual health and insists on running the sullen optimist Patrick McIlheran in every nook and cranny they can find.

In today's journey to wonderland Paddy Mac has perceived that pressure is being brought to bear on public smoking. All around the world places that would seem to be habitable to smoking thanks to their edge -- Ireland, Italy and now France and soon close to home Illinois -- are telling their residents smoke 'em if you got 'em but not in public. Even places they admire such as Singapore for their punishment by caning has told people to stub them out in public. Like all primal life forms McIllheran becomes tedious when he is cornered.

Hey, I enjoy an occasional cigar and I own a shisha pipe I brought back from Egypt, both of which are rather relaxing to puff on at home. But like all responsible adults I recognize smoking is an obtrusive act.

Why should a condition of employment be that someone's clothes reek from tobacco or worse, their lungs are exposed to carcinogens? For that matter why should other customers have to put up with this as well?

Unlike the letter printed in this morning's paper printed above Paddy Mac's smirky head, which expresses the opinion that people aren't really for these bans? Well, sorry Eva, people do want these bans.

There is the problem. As usual in the radcon fantasy world empirical research about the harmful effects of smoking along with polls showing support for bans are ignored or mocked. The world, however, pretty much agress with this but do not ever use this argument with conservatives. It somehow emboldens them.

As usual they summon up their philosophical nothings -- "if you don't like working in a bar that allows smoking go somewhere else," or "it's a business' right to run their operation the way it wants" or the favorite -- "nanny state." All of which in so many words translate into "we don't give a crap about people."

The question is why do they persist in resisting a law that is common sense? They talk about their rights but what about the rights of others to snort non-lethal air?

It's probably more partisan than that because for them, that is usually what it comes down to. Take your pick. After all, tobacco companies dump a lot of money into Republican coffers.

Or it could be like a lot of other causes for their opposition. Democrats are for responding to climate change or limiting access of everyone to guns so to prevent them from having these or other victories, they are agin it. They are so worried about protecting their way of life, whatever that is, that giving an inch is not in the program.

The ironic thing is this crowd is way too visceral with their hierarchy of needs rarely getting beyond the second level, so in this and many of their arguments they definitely gild the lily.

But visceral they are and they bluster on despite what the public really wants and what science proves to be an imperative, explaining why Wisconsin has changed from being the progressive state to where we are now -- the regressive state.

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