Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Smoking Ban, An Offense to the King

I Googled the phrase, Offences to the King. I haven’t yet finished reading about law, seizures, forfeitures, chattel, escheats to the King, felony, treason, Calero-Toledo v. Pearson Yacht Company, United States v. Bajakajian, RICO laws and so forth. Stick around. I do not believe the health arguments. I am going to look at the research for myself. (In 4012, when all now living havepassed from memory, there will be a Saint Google, to whom miracles of prodigious feats of memory will be ascribed.) But something King Thune said on the Sunday Almanac replay rankles. “We don’t feel there will be”…( economic impacts.) I make this phrase parenthetical because I am interested in accuracy. I don’t recall the exact phrase outside the quotes. But he meant money losses. It’s revealing that he would say, “We feel” instead of “We think .”

But of course there will be. People want to smoke. It started out as cool. It quickly became an addiction. It matures into a habit, little sticks burning up money daily . The anecdotal cheering I heard at sites found through St. Technorati, (patroness of scriveners, diarists, lunatics, the confined, and cat lovers), was too self congratulatory. “Finally, that stuff just stinks.” And, “Maybe now I’ll go to that bar two blocks away, I hate smokers.” Etc, etc. I suspect the four side of the 4-3 City Council shares these sentiments. I also suspect they won’t admit as much. It was, after all, a ‘health issue’. I don’t buy it. That was just the smokescreen. (Sorry.) Will this revulsion through the nose breed more regulation? The anecdotes may not mean constituents, but there certainly are eager groundlings. Will they cheer an ordinance outlawing the picking of noses in public? The issuing of tickets at public restrooms lacking approved air fresheners? Yes, people smoke. It smells bad. People also smell bad. We belch, fart, defecate, pick our noses, sweat, falter, weaken and die. But revulsion is not an argument for prohibition. Disgust shouldn’t drive policy. The tavern and bar owners are real people. Their patrons will not inconvenience themselves at the behest of the King. If it’s easier to drive three, or four or six miles to sit at a barstool, drink beer, smoke, pick noses, fart, spit, belch, tell jokes, watch football, baseball, hockey, basketball, (lacrosse…nah), well then by God, that’s what people will do. The city in its wisdom has decided that their only course of action was denial by fiat. The ‘felonie’ has been legislated. All chattel returns to the Lords, all properties escheat to the King. They’ve stuck their damn decree into the stream of commerce. The flow disrupts yet does not stop. Those smelly people will go elsewhere. The smallest bars and taverns are left gasping on the sand.

More anon.

A word to look up, deodand. It is applicable.

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