Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Granite State vs. The Nanny State

From the New Hampshire Union Leader:

Smoking ban gets second wind in Senate

Lawmakers backed by the American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society said yesterday they will push for passage of a smoking ban in restaurants and bars.

Because, once the government gets its intrusive foot in the door, and is able to dictate to you what you can and cannot do on your private property, there's simply no way it'll ever come back for additional infringements on your rights and freedoms later on.


The ban will cover establishments open to the public, but not private clubs such as the American Legion, said the bill's prime sponsor, Sen. David Gottesman, D-Nashua.

Fuck this.

If a bar owner is told by a significanr number of his patrons that they'd prefer a non-smoking environment, he'll make the change on his own, without any meddling by the government, to keep his paying customers happy.

If his customers like to smoke in his bar, and he doesn't object, that should be no one's business but his, and the end of the debate.

He said the bill, Senate Bill 3, is not just about consumers, but about the health of restaurant and lounge workers. Exposed frequently to second-hand smoke, employees run a 50 percent greater chance of developing lung cancer than the average person, he said.

No one's forcing the employees to work there. They CHOOSE to work there, just like the customers CHOOSE to use tobacco products, and the property owner CHOOSES to let them do so on his property.

So much for these assholes being "pro-choice".

Statist, busybody pricks.

Gottesman said business owners, restaurant workers, and customers have asked him why the Legislature killed a smoking ban bill last year. A recent poll by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center found 79 percent support for the ban among the general public.

How many of those surveyed are actually bar and restaurant customers? If 79% of the bar and resaurant patrons felt that way, there woud be no need for this law, as the owners of these establishments would have alrady put up their no smoking signs, to get more paying customers into the joint.

"I have restaurant owners who are begging me, because they do not feel strong enough to do this on their own," Gottesman said.

That's they're problem. Not yours. Not mine.

"This is not a referendum on our state motto, 'Live Free or Die.' It is an economic and health issue," he said.




It's about the government telling people which legal activities can and cannot take place on their private property. Next up on their hit list, trans fats. Then, 100-proof alcoholic beverages. Then, runny eggs. Then _________ (insert politically-incorrect substance/activity here).

All in the interest of "public health", of course.

Fuck 'em.

It never ends with these people. Their need to ban things and infringe on the rights and freedoms of their neighbors is a lethal addiction. Cut off the source, once and for all, and eventually they'll shrivel up and go away, defeated.

Give in just once, and it's game over, man.

If restaurant workers are healthier, their employers save money on insurance and other costs, he said.

Banning swimming pools in hotels would reduce the number of accidental drownings, and save the hotel chains millions in liability insurance. You don't see anyone clamoring to get rid of them.

Becasue, they're not intersted in having people save money. That's a line they like to throw out there to give the illusion that they're on the side of the working man.

Nothing could be farther from the truth where these meddling little assweasels are concerned.

"All the other New England states have gone smoke-free and New Hampshire should not be left behind," Gottesman said.

Yay! We can be just like Massachusetts! Then, we too can experience steady population decline over the course of several years. Yippee!!! All the more reason to throw this bill under the bus where it belongs, I say.

Last year, the House spent two months working on a similar bill, HB 1177. It passed the House 189-156, but the Senate killed it on a 12-11 vote after reviewing it for two weeks.

Sen. Robert Odell, R-Lempster, said he is co-sponsoring SB3 because, "one thing we can do to reduce cancer in this country is to reduce the use of tobacco." He noted that one-third of cancer cases are related to tobacco use.

The only thing you'll reduce is the INDOOR use of tobacco. If a bar patron wants to smoke, he's gonna smoke. It just means he'll do it outside in the cold.

Peter Ames, lobbyist for the state chapter of the American Cancer Society, said the state should increase its tobacco tax, which at 80 cents per pack is the lowest in the region. The tax "is an extraordinarily effective tool to convince children to avoid tobacco," he said.

The old cigarette tax Catch-22.

They say they want you to stop smoking, but they don't want you to stop buying cigarettes. The more you buy, the more money the state takes in. And, if their choices are (a) maintaining the flow of cigarette tax revenue into the state coffers, or (b) reducing the number of people using tobacco in the state, do you really need an answer guide to know which way they'd go on that?

Daniel Fortin, president and CEO of the American Lung Association in New Hampshire, said that medical spending on diseases related to smoking exceeds what the state collects in revenue from the tobacco tax.

How about we just cut off all public money going to treat patients who chose to smoke themselves into the cancer ward (or break both their legs sky-diving, or drive drunk into a brick wall, etc.)? This would allow more money to be spent caring for the truly needy - people afflicted with illnesses not of their own choosing.

Want to smoke two packs-a-day for forty years or so? Hope you've got some money stashed away. Those radiation therapy bills are a real mother-fucker. Tell you what...since we're the compassionate type, we'll spring for some Oxy's if the pain gets too unbearable.

We're not complete savages, after all.

Should this asswipe's bill pass, and become law in New Hampshire, nothing would make me happier than to see bars and restaurant owners circumvent this statist bullshit by declaring their establishments private clubs, and charging a penny at the door for one-day memberships.