Saturday, November 14, 2009

With apologies to Rev. Niemoller

The tactics being used by Smoke Free Indy and their City-County Council Stooges (Yes, I said Stooges for in my opinion that is exactly what they are.) remind me of the poem by Martin Neimoller. I will not go into it in detail here, as I have already quoted it on numerous occasions. The bottom line for me is that details, in a very succinct and credible fashion, the attacks upon our personal freedoms.

First they banned smoking in restaurants, because it was "For the Children".
Then they banned smoking in bars and taverns, because it was for the employees.
Then they banned it in Cigar Shops and Specialty Tobacco Bars, to protect non-smokers.
Then they banned smoking everywhere, and said it was for our own good.
Finally, when tobacco was banned, they came for alcohol, soft drinks, sugar, trans-fats, guns...

At what point do we say enough? Are we as a community, a state and a nation willing to let someone else dictate to us what we can and can not enjoy? Who gets to determine this? Elected officials who represent the special interest groups and not the people? What good is Liberty if we allow it to be slowly legislated away?


indybev said...

I have to take exception to your theory regarding the smoking ban infringing on your choice. You are not considering the undisputed fact that your choice infringes upon MY right to clean air. I am an ex-smoker, and living evidence of the damage smoking can do. My restrictive pulmonary disease leaves me short of breath on little exertion and limits my freedom of activity. A few minutes in a smoke-filled atmosphere, and I find it difficult to take a deep breath. I strongly believe in individual freedome, but not at the expense of others. I wish there had been a smoking ban when I was a teenager!

Ed Angleton said...

I too am an ex-cigarette smoker. I still like to to have the occasional cigar (one every two - three months).

I believe in freedom of choice. I believe that a tavern owner should have the right to decide whether their establishment should be smoking or non-smoking. I believe that you and I have the right not to frequent establishments that allow smoking if that is our choice.

I believe that the current smoking ban in Marion county is working quite well and have no objections to it given that its alleged purpose is to protect those under 18. I have no desire to see it widened. For me it's a matter of differentiating between need and want. I have no need to go to any establishment that allows smoking, however, sometimes I feel that I want to do so for various reasons. In these cases the enjoyment of being there outweighs the risks.

The bottom line is that no one is forced, against their will, to enter an establishment that allows smoking and no one is forced against their will to work there. Therefore, no one's rights are being violated if a bar, golf course, cigar store, tobacco shop and such allow smoking on their premises.

Absolutely Not Personal said...

I'm with you on this Ed!
I met my husband at a Members Only Cigar Lounge in NYC! I was smoking a cigar and enjoying a glass of Merlot. No one made me go there.

Years earlier when I was sick and had "chronic fatigue" I stayed far away from smokers. I also stayed far away from perfumes, smelly hair gels, deodorant and anything else that made me sick. I took trains rather than buses so I had the freedom to move away from someone who might have added to my sickness.

Somehow the authorities think it's okay to dictate to us, rather than offer choices so people can make their own decisions.

I'm not sure where that line got crossed, but it sure did...