Why "loss of productivity" is NOT an issue

Jeff Bone jbone@jump.net
Tue, 31 Jul 2001 19:56:24 -0500


Jim Whitehead wrote:

> You are free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness only to the point where
> it starts affecting my ability to do the same.  Second hand smoke has been
> shown to have a causal link with various cancers, thus affecting my pursuit
> of life.

First, there's significant controvery over whether and to what extent
second-hand smoke has a causal link to any cancer.  Second, there are much
closer causal links between the second-hand effects of certain other things and
cancer than tobacco smoke;  tobacco has been singled out and demonized by the
"anti-big-co" crowd, and a highly successful agit-prop campaign waged to
brainwash the public into thinking even second-hand smoke has disastrous health
effects.  Go ahead, Jim:  produce your reports, paid for by the militant
anti-smoking lobby;  I'll haul out corresponding yet nonetheless equally
credible reports paid for by Big Tobacco.

Finally, EVEN IF SECOND-HAND SMOKE DOES HAVE NEGATIVE HEALTH IMPACT, the steps
many local governments take to limit these effects --- requiring specified
smoking-allowed areas with separate ventilation, for instance, in Austin ---
have been found to be adequate.  Therefore, if you're a non-smoker in a
designated smoking area and you're making a fuss, you're a prick;  you could
easily choose to be elsewhere.  As for businesses like bars, it should be up to
the proprietor;  if a proprietor wants to run an "all-smoking" establishment, it
should be their perogative and caveat emptor.  As for public areas, both "sides"
should simply show a little tolerance, a little courtesy, and vote with their
feet.

> Therefore, the initiator of the smoke must accept limitations on
> activities that generate it in the presense of others.

Not hardly.  Now, I try to be a very courteous smoker;  I never smoke around
children, I never smoke around people I know to be offended by it...  hell, I
don't even smoke *in my own house.*  However, I'll be damned if I'll be
prevented from smoking, say, in a public park where the offendee is free to move
away.

> Once a causal link has been established between cell phone EM radiation and
> cancer (or other illness), then the same logic applies.

Here's why the same logic doesn't apply --- indeed, why the "filtering" logic
applies nowhere:  causal links to negative health impacts can be found
everywhere!  LIVING kills you!  We do NOT have adequate data nor adequate
methodologies of analysis to establish any such links in any case beyond the
most tenuous.  Biological life is a complex thing, and correlation is not equal
to causation.

> To date, this causal
> link has not been conclusively established for cell phones (r-squared does a
> number on a signal that is only milliwatts to begin with).

I imagine that PPM of diffusing tobacco smoke obeys a similar law, don't you?

> This is why car owners were required to bear the cost of adding catalytic
> converters.

"Everybody's responsibility but mine."  Whatever, Jim.  You live in CA, don't
you?  You guys are the most eco-Nazi assholes on the planet.  I'm fucking GLAD
you're having rolling blackouts because you won't build enough powerplants for
fear of killing off the spotted joojoobee birds or whatever.  We (the US) should
just cut you guys loose to go form your own "Ecotopia" nation and then laugh our
asses off at you as you implode.

> It would be interesting to see the outcome of a class-action
> lawsuit by non-drivers against drivers in a high-smog area such as Los
> Angeles. It might actually win.

Unfortunately.

> > How about those nasty, short-sighted Brazillians
> > who are destroying our planet's lungs?
>
> This does not affect my ability to pursue life, liberty, or happiness, so
> they are free to do what they want.

Really?  Well, let's assume you live 800 years.  That lack of oxygen is really
going to suck --- huh huh --- isn't it?  You're a hypocrite, Jim.  (BTW, I have
no problem with the Brazillians chopping down rain forests.  The market will
correct the problem long before it becomes acute...)

> > How about those hormones in the beef?
>
> If I eat beef, it is my choice. Someone eating beef within 10 feet of me
> does not expose me to beef hormones.

No, but the farmer does.

BTW, if you choose to sit in a smoking-allowed section of a restaurant and you
are therefore exposed to second hand smoke --- it's YOUR CHOICE that exposed
you.  If you park your picnic blanket next to a guy who has already lit one up
--- it's YOUR CHOICE that exposed you.

> No, application of the "pursuit of life, liberty and happiness" rule crisply
> resolves this issue.

It certainly does --- in favor of the smoker.

jb