[FoRK] Welcome to the American Totality. You've been warned.

Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> on Mon Feb 4 20:16:50 PST 2008

Jeff Bone wrote:
> Ian and Luis,
> Just to belabor the obvious, which doesn't matter now in Austin or 
> Lubbock or all of California or most of the US anyway these days, is 
> this:
> On Feb 4, 2008, at 6:42 PM, Jeff Bone wrote:
>>> Or, you know, everyone who goes to fucking restaurants (that is, all
>>> of us) have been sick of it for years,
> Nobody's forcing you to go anywhere that allows smoking, are they.
Fundamentally, that's a fine argument. The problem is that public 
facilities, even your buddy's bar, are a type of commons. There is 
recognition in the law about this in various ways. This includes 
indiscriminately serving the public and various rights like the ability 
to take, and own, pictures until asked to stop.

The practical matter is that allowing smoking at all meant that 
essentially every establishment was a smoking establishment, fouled for 
both non-smoking patrons and employees. If it had developed, culturally, 
otherwise, these laws may not have been passed.
>>> But I try not to go on vacation to
>>> places that still allow smoking in restaurants, much less live in
>>> those places.
> Right, and that's exercising YOUR FREEDOM OF CHOICE. Too bad the 
> prohibitionists and their apologists can't let everyone else do the same.
Let's have fun with other individual restrictions that could be argued 
to / to not affect the rest of the public. A good one that comes to 
mind, possibly perfect to argue logically, is nudity. Why isn't nudity 
allowed in restaurants and the public in general? Nudity, arguably, 
assuming reasonable hygiene of a towel, doesn't cause harm to others or 
even, in the general case, of any increased risk to others. (Common 
nudity would acclimate people so that the freak-out factor would be a 
non-issue, so don't argue that.)

If nudity were allowed the way that smoking was, how many instances of 
nudity and the perception of the likelihood of nudity would it take for 
those nudity averse to avoid public places in general? Why can't they 
just look the other way? Go to an establishment that specifically 
prohibits nudity? If the percentage of people who were nudists were even 
the current lower percentage of smokers, and it had been normal to allow 
it, how many facilities would forgo that revenue and all of their 
friends / family revenue attached?

I'm all for complete freedom for people to do whatever they want in 
their own reasonable expectation of privacy sphere. I am pretty tolerant 
of public behavior of various types. Smoking has a negative effect on my 
breathing, instantly, and just falls into the personal injury category, 
no matter how slight.
> jb

Per: sdw at lig.net http://sdw.st
Stephen D. Williams 703-371-9362C 703-995-0407Fax 94043 AIM: sdw

More information about the FoRK mailing list