To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Come See the Violence Inherent in the System

I've had many discussions with my lefty friends - some of whom read this blog - about the stupidity and dangers of banning smoking in bars. The biggest disconnect is that they see the issue as a regulatory issue, where as I see it - correctly - as a police state issue. Every law, regulation, and tax is enforced at the point of a gun. So we shouldn't be surprised that the police are now patrolling bars in states that have banned indoor smoking looking for people to ticket - and arrest and incarcerate (if they disobey orders to put out their cigarettes). Nor should we be surprised that citizens are now ratting out other citizens Soviet-style and threatening to call the police if they don't get what they want at bars and restaurants, as TtP reader Philip Dawdy has pointed out. But I'm surprised at how fast this anti-smoking silliness is getting out of control. We've now reached the point where the police are urging citizens to call 911 if they see someone smoking in a bar, so they can dispatch people with guns to squash this new social menace. The ultimate conclusion of all this nonsense is, of course, the outright prohibition of cigarettes. And that could happen sooner than you think. I may just kill myself. I don't want to live in a world in which there is no chance of me ever seeing Scarlett Johansson smoking in a bar.

Subject title reference here. Story on Scarlett Johansson recording a Tom Waits cover album here. Pictures of her smoking here (Warning: This last link is very NSFW).