[FoRK] Bush's tanking approval ratings

Ian Andrew Bell (FoRK) fork at ianbell.com
Tue Apr 12 10:51:14 PDT 2005


On 12-Apr-05, at 6:30 AM, Jeff Bone wrote:

>> 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. 
>  Uh-huh.

Uh, no.  Not just me.  Everybody suffers from second-hand smoke.  Just 
because I sneeze when I'm in proximity to it is intended to provide an 
example for how dramatic the radius of contamination is around every 
smoker.  Smokers burden the health care system too, as their rapid 
decline later in life and contraction of nasty diseases like pneumonia 
and tuberculosis costs tens of thousands of dollars per addict in 
health care, hospitalization, etc. -- and it's entirely avoidable.  
This is not to mention those who contract lung cancer from exposure to 
second hand smoke, or children of smoking parents who develop asthma, 
allergies, and other respiratory disease from early exposure.

Based on your taxation justification maybe we should let people smoke, 
but exempt the cost of their treatment from primary and secondary 
health care coverage.  Go ahead and smoke, it's your CHOICE!  But we'll 
bankrupt you when the inevitable happens and you contract Lung Cancer.  
Or perhaps we could allow people to sue others for the consequences of 
second-hand smoke.  Work with a guy who smokes incessantly while on the 
job?  Sue his ass.  It was his CHOICE!

>> 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?

In this case, no it isn't.

Dictionary:	de·vi·ant  (adj.) 		Differing from a norm or from the 
accepted standards of a society.

>> 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.

The decisions of smokers significantly alter the quality of life and 
health of people around them.  What you consistently don't understand 
is that it's NOT a personal choice exclusively -- it impacts dozens, 
even thousands, of people who come into contact with that smoker's 
effective radius both indoors and out.  According to the American Lung 
Association second hand smoke killed 53,000 people last year in the US 
alone.  In the same country there are only about 11,000 murders per 
year and about 42,000 traffic deaths.  If forces are conspiring to 
reduce those latter two numbers it should surprise no one that people 
want to reduce the former, and larger, cause of avoidable death.

> (What happens if, say, the anti-cell lobby uses a public health 
> argument to ban cell phones?  How would you feel about that?

They've tried, however they (and "they" are few) can't substantiate 
their claims and countless studies have emerged to disprove these 
theories, at least as regards current generation phones.   So it's a 
moot point.

> Or what if the anti-meat lobby becomes powerful enough to, say, ban 
> meat for the same reason?  Etc. etc.)

Then I guess there'd have to be a pretty compelling social health 
reason to ban meat.  I like beans, anyway.

> 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.

There's that sense of entitlement I was talking about... what about 
your responsibility to the world around you?

>> 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.

Well I'm pretty comfortable that in a corrected world economic forces 
would conspire to eliminate these as well anyway.  The high labour 
costs to get staff willing to subject themselves to the risk, the added 
costs of moving more BTUs to mitigate what would otherwise be a 
constant fog, the increased cost of Workers' health insurance and 
accident coverage, etc. would all likely combine to make such an 
enterprise non-viable.

-Ian.


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