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

Lawnun <lawnun at gmail.com> on Wed Feb 6 09:40:34 PST 2008

On Feb 6, 2008 12:00 PM, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:

> > How about shooting them? Not in self-defense, of course.
> > How about allowing them to kill each other, as in "no cops,
> > this is my private property, let them murder each other,
> > I kinda like that".
> There's a serious argument to be had about that one:  why shouldn't
> an individual be able to enter a contract with another individual
> that waives the legal protection of live of the first relative to the
> actions of the second?  In a sense we already do something like that
> with a variety of disclaimers, waivers, etc.  (I'm thinking in the
> case of certain extreme sports or other dangerous entertainments,
> dangerous occupations, etc.)

AS to the second (the "Fight Club" scenario) I don't see a problem. I
actually think if two guys want to go pummel the shit out of one another for
fun and profit, even if it leads to the death of one or both, its a free
country.  Assuming no coercion, and adequate knowledge and consent, I'm all
over that.  The first scenario however -- with your friend just up and
shooting someone on his property because its _his_ property has been
generally denounced on the grounds that absent a reasonable defense (e.g.,
protecting one's person from bodily harm), there's no valid justification.

> >> you assert that he *has* then you have created a new right for an
> >> abstract, collective entity --- society --- that trumps the
> >> traditional rights of the concrete individual.
> >
> > Rights are of course negotiable, and are created and revoked all
> > the time.
> Yes, but I reject the notion that your right to go wherever the hell
> you please trumps my buddy's right to assemble with the people he
> wants to assemble with and engage in whatever consensual and ---
> again --- not immediately perilous behavior he and they want to
> engage in *on his own premises.*

 That's horseshit.  Smoking bans in many states apply to _PUBLIC_ buildings
only, not private clubs (
There are exceptions (California, D.C.,  Ohio and Md also have extended that
to private clubs, but Md and DC both utilize hardship exceptions for
businesses that have lost a percentage of business from smoking). So, if
your friend wants to launch his own private bar, for his smoking buddies, my
guess is he'd be fine in doing so (unless Austin's rules as such are even
more encroaching).

> Nobody's answered the pertinent question that I've asked a couple of
> times, now:  does your advocacy of smoking prohibition in bars also
> extend to smoking prohibition in *private clubs?*  I.e., do you
> assert that your rights extend to regulating what can be done by a
> group of people who belong to a private club and operate a business
> that services only members of that private club?  How about private
> homes?  How tyrannical do you really want to be in your quest for
> smoking "purity?"

Even though I'm a nonsmoker, and think that bans on smoking in public
restaurants, bars and clubs is perfectly reasonable, I too, find the
argument to be null at the point where the public distinction gives way to
the private.  What you do as an adult in a private venue (assuming its
consensual and only affects the people who have consented to participate) is
within your rights, imho.  But so long as restaurants, bars, and clubs are
willing to accept money from just about anyone, those restaurants, bars, and
clubs are public in my book.

The only one who's  calling anyone a tyrant btw, is you.  Some of us just
enjoy breathing.

> Here's another one:  should parents be allowed to smoke around their
> children?  I can see both sides of that argument, indeed I probably
> come down on the side of "no" on that one.  But then, I also don't
> believe parents should be able to abuse their children by way of
> religious indoctrination either.  In neither case is the child a
> responsible individual capable of consent to exposure to such behavior.

My views on children are so contrary to the mainstream, I'll leave this one
for someone who  actually wants to/has spawned. ;-)

> My point is there are reasonable compromises.  But forbidding smokers
> from banding together in private businesses that intentionally and
> specifically cater to them is just another example of the kind of
> small, politically-correct tyranny you see all over the place these
> days.

At least in DC, there have been a number of establishments that have been
able to survive the ban -- precisely on that principle.  'Aromas,' a
well-known cigar bar only a short metro stop away from me, successfully
overcame the smoking ban under the hardship exemption.  WE've also got a
handful of shisha lounges out in Adams Morgan that have also reinstituted
their indoor smoking policies, despite the ban. Personally, I think that's
beautiful.  If you're going to go to or work in a cigar bar, you generally
know what you're getting yourself into, and I agree, smoking bans in such
places should not apply.  The neighborhood family restaurant on the other
hand?  Completely different story.

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