A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Smokers: Lepers for a new generation

Not deterred by the impact Appleton's ban on smoking has had on their convention business, and irregardless of the fact that they already have a ban on smoking in the City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Alderman Joe Davis is proposing banning smoking virtually everywhere but outside and in your house. Actually, even those two places are in the crosshairs under Davis' proposal, since the proposal "would prohibit designated smoking areas "immediately adjacent" to outside public entrances. Owners would have to prevent smoke from drifting into the building through open windows or ventilation systems" and any home with a day care function would have to be smoke free.

So now the smokers (I am not one) who are engaging in a perfectly legal act with a substance that is available from virtually any grocery, convenience or drug store in the country, can't even huddle outside the door in the rain or sub-zero weather. The little clutches of nicotine addicted wretches are to be cast out by The Man for the greater good. Because the rest of us are STILL too stupid to know that second hand smoke is bad for us and incapable of choosing whether we wish to go to places where people smoke. It's for our own good, don'tcha know.

ACK! Look out!! Smoke just drifted in through the door that last guy opened on his way in. Take COVER! TAKE COVER! Oh no, it's spreading throughout the room. Quick, save the children!! Gas masks on. Stop, drop and roll (oh wait, that's only if you are on fire). It's insidious stuff, I tell ya. Insidious. Can't be trusted. Ban it! Ban it! For the sake of the children!!

Honestly these people drive me nuts. If you aren't aware of the potential negative health effects of second-hand smoke by now, you are too stupid to live. If you are incapable of making an informed decision based on your knowledge of the potential negative health effects of second-hand smoke by now, you are too stupid to live. If, in fact, you are too stupid to live, why oh why, do government officials and other useless bureaucrats feel it is their obligation to keep you alive, regardless of the impact on those of use who aren't too stupid to live or the economy and jobs associated with the community containing those too stupid to live?

Milwaukee is in the middle of attempting to revitalize itself. It's a bit of a haphazard effort, and nobody seems really sure how to go about it, but I have a pretty strong suspicion that making it harder for restaurants and bars to stay in business is not a good start. There's talk of getting a House of Blues downtown-- are they going to want to plunk down a venue where you can't even smoke OUTSIDE of the building? Seems unlikely.

Irony alert. It is illegal to shoot flying rats (ie, seagulls) in the U.S. and consequently there is a veritable plague of them in the Menomonee River Valley in Milwaukee. The noxious beasts crap all over everything, they are actually attacking some construction workers, and they are taking over an area the city is attempting to redevelop with commercial ventures like the Potawatomi Casino and the proposed Harley Davidson museum. But they're protected.

Milwaukee, where dirty, smelly, in some cases vicious, birds are protected and tax paying individuals who might actually wish to spend some cash in the city but like to engage in a legal, freely accessible activity are treated like leperous untouchables. Yeah, I see big things in the city's future if this bill goes through.
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