[FoRK] Bush's tanking approval ratings

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Tue Apr 12 06:30:10 PDT 2005

On Apr 12, 2005, at 2:48 AM, Ian Andrew Bell (FoRK) wrote:

> I think you're missing the point Jeff.

No, I think I understand your point quite well.  I just don't buy it.  
Smacks of political correctness, self-righteousness, populist tyranny, 
chronic victim-hood, and other nasty memes.

> What I experienced in a 10,000 square foot night club was about 60-100 
> people creating a health hazard for the other 900 people in the place 
> through an act which by their own admission has no social or personal 
> benefit.  Rather to the contrary, it gives people lung cancer and 
> makes guys like me physically ill.  It is the very definition of 
> antisocial behaviour.  On the street corner a single smoker caused me 
> difficulty from 50 yards away.  Do you think he cared?

So you are abnormally sensitive, and the world should bend around you.  

Look, it's easy:  just *stay away from the smoke.*  If that's not 
enough, *wear a mask* or something.  Or is it the job of everyone in 
the world to avoid offending Ian Andrew Bell?

Let me try a different tack.  In a previous rant a few years ago about 
the evils of progressive taxation I was offered this argument by 
certain parties on the list:  "don't want to pay all those taxes?  Then 
don't earn all that money.  Don't take a job that pays so much."  I.e., 
it was supposedly *my choice* to pay those taxes, and I should take 
responsibility for it.

The form of both arguments (taxes = choice -> responsibility, smoke 
exposure = choice -> responsibility) is the same.  It's just that one 
(the tax argument) is designed to be compatible with certain "liberal" 
political correctness memes while the other is directly opposed to a 
different set of political correctness memes.

> Cedar in Austin?  You're comparing a benign force of nature to deviant 
> behaviour that has been proven,

"Deviant behavior?"  According to whose standards?  You do realize that 
such things are subjective, right?

As for cedar being a "benign force of nature" --- it's not at all a 
"natural force" in Austin.  Cedars are an import.  They aren't native 
to the region, but they've completely *taken over* in the last century 
or so.  If tyrannical populist actions are reasonable in any context 
then it's certainly reasonable to contemplate requiring all property 
owners in Central Texas to de-cedar their property.

> clinically, to cause terminal illness in humans and other species.  
> There are plenty of things in this world we can't control, like brain 
> tumors, but we sure as hell can stop Lung Cancer.. unfortunately first 
> we need to cure ignorance and that, it seems, is spreading.

Look, it's simply deplorable to go around trying to protect people from 
their own decisions.  Not all smokers are uninformed.  Different people 
choose different risks.  It shouldn't be up to the masses.  (What 
happens if, say, the anti-cell lobby uses a public health argument to 
ban cell phones?  How would you feel about that?  Or what if the 
anti-meat lobby becomes powerful enough to, say, ban meat for the same 
reason?  Etc. etc.)

Ignorance of *one* little principle is indeed growing.  It's something 
that our grandparents' generation knew well, but that totally got lost 
in translation through our parents' generation.  It is:  minding one's 
own business is a critical part of society.

> I'm all for there being smokers' bars

Ah, well then.  Indeed this is my own position:  it should be up to the 
owner of the establishment.  If that freedom is preserved, then the 
market decides and I have no complaint.

But you realize that's not good enough for most anti-smoking crusaders, 


More information about the FoRK mailing list