[FoRK] Welcome to the American Totality. You've been warned.
<jbone at place.org> on
Wed Feb 6 13:48:59 PST 2008
On Feb 6, 2008, at 11:40 AM, Lawnun wrote:
> That's horseshit. Smoking bans in many states apply to _PUBLIC_
> only, not private clubs (
> There are exceptions
We're not talking about public buildings, we're talking about bars.
I would be satisfied with a formulation that allowed any bar that
wanted to continue allowing smoking post-prohibition to elect to
become a private club. That seems like a fair --- even *generous* on
the part of the anti-prohibitionist crowd --- compromise.
But I'll push back on Stephen's point a little bit --- if you allow
for private clubs, then all bars are simply going to elect to become
private clubs. Why? Because all bars (as opposed to bars that serve
real food, i.e. restaurants) make a significant amount of their money
from a smallish group of regulars that come in frequently, often
daily, and stay for a number of drinks over a long period of time.
Indeed for the neighborhood bar, that's the primary business model.
And that group, OVERWHELMINGLY, is composed of smokers or people who
don't mind being around it.
Given this, you might as well simply allow smoking in all "just bar"
bars, period, because they'll exercise any loophole you allow
anyway. (Indeed in Austin around the time of the first attempted ban
there was an exception if you had a separate room with a separate AC
system for the smokers. Many establishments spent 10s of thousands
of dollars complying; when the prohibitionists realized that the net
effect was going to be mostly null, they closed that loophole in the
next attempt at the ban. Because, you see, when it gets right down
to it the most adamant prohibitionists aren't really interested in
compromise of any kind; they are ideologues on a mission.
Everything is black and white, and only the complete imposition of
their will on their unwilling targets will satisfy.)
Back to my suggestion re: bars...
There could be some exceptions to generally permitting all bar-bars
to allow smoking. When there are live music acts going on, for
example, perhaps being all-nonsmoking should be required. Again, if
you serve any significant amount of food such that people (smokers
and non-smokers alike) might want to dine there regularly, then
perhaps it makes sense for it to be non-smoking. Dance clubs --- I
can see an argument there, though less so. On the flipside, perhaps
the opposition could stop whining about restaurants and so forth that
allow smoking out on terraces and patios?
See, while they lead to complicated rulesets, compromises are
possible. But if you're going to adopt a take-no-prisoners black-and-
white stance, then you have to decide: do I value freedom, or tyranny?
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