Tobacco

Berkeley Prepares to Ban Fags From the Streets

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Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates has come up with a new rationale for banning outdoor smoking: It would discomfit the homeless. The extremely progressive members of Berkeley's City Council love the idea, although they're not sure it will actually do anything to get vagrants off the streets. "I don't see anyone on the council voting against it," says one councilman. "In fact, it's possible that some council members would ban smoking throughout the entire city."

[Thanks to Allen St. Pierre for the tip.] 

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  1. If homeless people would stop smoking they could use the money they save on cigarettes to rent themselves an apartment. Everybody wins. But of course, libertarian fanatics like Jacob Sullum would rather see men starve in the gutter rather than admit that a little government regulation can sometimes be a good thing.

  2. But GTJODT: We want the homeless to smoke so that they die sooner. That’s how you clean up the streets.

  3. The truth comes out: libertarians want the homeless to die. Tell me, Lamar, how much money does a person have to have before their life becomes worth something to you? How many square feet in their house?

  4. See, I thought this was all about driving the homeless off the streets with clouds of fragrant, invigorating tobacco smoke.

    There’s your win/win! Smokers enjoying themselves and ridding the public spaces of a noxious nuisance, all in one motion.

  5. Sullum: flagrant foul for reaching with an unneccesary double-entendre in title. Penalty -homosexual first born.

    i kid. i kid.

  6. how much money does a person have to have before their life becomes worth something to you?

    $500 ready cash, $5,000 total equity and an email address.

  7. Warren, I think you’re assuming that they are American citizens with your astronomical pricing….

  8. SCDTWFH: So, bascially, you’re pro-amnesty?

  9. We want the homeless to smoke so that they die sooner. That’s how you clean up the streets.

    What, do they decompose into swiffers or something?

  10. What, do they decompose into swiffers or something?

    In Ron Paul’s America they will.

  11. There is no Constitutional right to pollute the air I have to breathe every day.

  12. Smokers have brought this on themselves. They are pigs, throwing their butts all over the place without regard for cleanliness or appearance. They are disgusting, and have only themselves to blame.

  13. how much money does a person have to have before their life becomes worth something to you?

    This is not how we libertarians judge someone’s worth. We do not ask, “How much money do they have?” We do not ask, “How big a home?” We ask, “Is she hot?”

  14. Hate cigarettes, including, as somebody mentioned above, the way so many cigarette smokers seem to think the world is their ashtray, but hilarious headline.

  15. Smokers have brought this on themselves. They are pigs, throwing their butts all over the place without regard for cleanliness or appearance. They are disgusting, and have only themselves to blame.

    Absolutely. The Singaporeans know how to deal with people who disrupt cleanliness and orderly appearance.

  16. My position on cigarette bans is clear and already stated: As a public health measure, banning smoking in public while allowing smoking in private, clearly-labeled, out-of-the-way locations indoors is by far the best option. The goal there is to prevent anyone from breathing cigarette smoke except by choice.

    That is clearly not the goal of antismoking advocates, who I thereby declare liars and hypocrites.

  17. Tell Weigel about this. He hates sissy-boys.

  18. Tell Weigel about this. He hates sissy-boys.

    David Weigel wants no sissies
    So he reads to us from something called Ulysses

  19. Great Idea, I would also make “stupid ideas” in the legislative chamber punishable by 24 hours of community service.

  20. Maybe Berkeley isn’t bound for hellfire and damnation after all.

  21. Smokers have brought this on themselves. They are pigs, throwing their butts all over the place without regard for cleanliness or appearance. They are disgusting, and have only themselves to blame.

    A. This is not basic training. Private Smith screwed up ladies, now we’re going to pay….

    B. Most of the smokers I know are fairly considerate about their filthy habit. Even have one friend who brings her own ashtray. We allow smoking in our house yet nobody actually will smoke here. They always step outside.

    C. We already have laws about littering and I don’t see anyone asking to ban Mickie Dees from public because those stooopid fast food junkies roll down the window and dump the whole mess on the freeway offramp while serenading us with the latest in hip hop at sonic boom decibel.

    Amy hates SUV’s too. 🙂

  22. Disclaimer, I think dumping an ashtray on a public street should be a death penalty offense. That and graffiti art. Littering too. So don’t get the idea that I’m okay with pigs who toss butts. I’m not okay with anyone who has no respect regardless of what the litter might be. I may not have been clear. Now I am.

    I just don’t think it’s right to paint everybody with the same broad brush. Punish the guilty. You see some jerk off throw a butt out the window, call 911 and give them the license number. Then go to court and testify against them. That’s dedication. That’s belief in yourself.

    I loved the headline as well.

  23. Great Idea, I would also make “stupid ideas” in the legislative chamber punishable by 24 hours of community service.

    caning, like Singapore. Thanks Lunch.

  24. Get the hell out of here, Roger. I don’t take kindly to intruders trespassing under my bridge.

  25. It’s not so much the homeless that bother me, or even smoking; it’s when drivers toss the homeless out of their car windows when they’re through with them. That’s just disgusting.

  26. For God’s sake don’t the realize about 90+% of the homeless are smokers? I live in a city which is the homeless capital of my state and the only thing i get asked for more than change by them is a spare cigarette.

  27. Cesar,
    stop your whining, I live in Santa Monica, the homeless capital of the universe. I know a Yakov Smirnoff bit would be appropriate here, but I can’t seem to come up with one…

  28. Can i get back to the first comment?

    “But of course, libertarian fanatics like Jacob Sullum would rather see men starve in the gutter rather than admit that a little government regulation can sometimes be a good thing.”

    Apparently “GTJODT” wants the government to be robin hood. Coercing money from taxpayers is not an appropriate way to get the homeless off the streets.

  29. Also, I disagree with the whole idea Bates has because the homeless are mostly, if not entirely going to disregard this law as often as possible. And what will the punishment be?
    A fine?
    Community service?

    Ah irony.

  30. Why is it that almost every homeless person smokes, and has great, if unkept, hair?

    Berkeley could privatize the whole town
    and charge for admission to use the pvt. Sts.

    Berkeley could do away with all public restrooms and arrest those who have to go in public. That’s what the DC subway did to get the homeless outta there.

    I thought Berkeley was a liberal place?

  31. My speculation is that when a Berkeley city council member gets an idea like this one, he will say:

    “hmm . . on the one hand, this law is based on the idea that the homeless should be punished for something, and that would be anti-progressive. But on the other hand, if I vote *against* this, I will have Sided With Big Tobacco and Against the Environment.

    “If only there were a way to be pro-homeless and anti-tobacco at the same time . . . I know! Distribute free bongs in homeless shelters. It keeps the homeless off the street and it gives them something other than tobacco to smoke.”

  32. Oh, those fags!

  33. There is no Constitutional right to pollute the air I have to breathe every day.

    Bzzt. Wrong approach. Ask instead: where is enumerated power that allows the government to control this aspect of my life.

  34. As a public health measure, banning smoking in public while allowing smoking in private, clearly-labeled, out-of-the-way locations indoors is by far the best option.

    This presumes that the rather weak (at best) science on the dangers of second-hand smoking is much more conclusive than it, in fact, is.

  35. Apparently “GTJODT” wants the government to be robin hood. Coercing money from taxpayers is not an appropriate way to get the homeless off the streets.

    Which is why Berkeley’s plan is so perfect: it’s not a tax increase, it’s merely the banning of a perfectly legal activity.

  36. Jennifer,

    You are frighteningly good at this!

  37. On a more serious note,
    Many homeless people have mental health issues. Smoking helps with the side-effects of many psychoactive drugs and calms them.
    For some of the people we are talking about, not allowing them to smoke is cruelty.

  38. Yes, Kohlrabi. The world got damn lucky, the day I decided to use my powers for good rather than evil.

  39. Jennifer is pretty good at it, except for the small problem that nothing she’s written here is an argument that I’d ever make.

  40. Jennifer is pretty good at it, except for the small problem that nothing she’s written here is an argument that I’d ever make.

    Now that’s funny.

  41. Jennifer,

    “Jennifer is pretty good at it, except for the small problem that nothing she’s written here is an argument that I’d ever make.”

    I think it’s unfair for you to actually use Dan T. as your name. I want to be able to tell when he comments.

  42. ‘Twasn’t me, Kohlrabi. I’m guessing the real Dan T. is just getting snippy about being out-Dan T’d by some amateur who’s never lived under a bridge in her life.

  43. In Berkeley, can you actually tell the difference between the homeless vs. professors and students?

    Actually, having driven along San Pablo Ave., Berkeley does not appear to be a preferable place to be homeless. Sort of like Oakland with a university attached.

  44. A democracy means the majority rules. If the majority hates smoking, they should be allowed to ban it. And if you don’t like this, you have perfect freedom to just leave Berkeley. Viva federalism!

  45. Once again, my position is that communities, especially ones that I don’t live in, are free to decide the basic rules of civic conduct for themselves. After all, as long as people are free to leave and find another community more suited to them, nothing is being forced upon them.

    The (rather ironic) libertarian position seems to be: communities have to be run the way we want them to be run. So if you want to live in a smoke-free town, tough luck. We can’t trust people to decide for themselves.

  46. Of course we can’t trust people to decide for themselves! That’s why we need smoking bans!

  47. Of course we can’t trust people to decide for themselves! That’s why we need smoking bans!

    But smoking bans, in cities that choose to enforce them, are a voluntary part of the social contract.

  48. Just as I said earlier: democracy means the majority gets to impose whatever rules it likes upon the minority. That’s what the social contract is all about.

  49. True freedom means the freedom to tell your neighbors what they can and cannot do. If libertarians could get this little factoid through their heads, maybe they’d have a chance of winning an election someday.

  50. Just as I said earlier: democracy means the majority gets to impose whatever rules it likes upon the minority. That’s what the social contract is all about.

    And like any contract, you chose whether or not to enter into it. Don’t like the smoking ban in your town? Convince your fellow citizens to change it. But don’t go trying to say other communities must adhere to your ideas as to how they must operate.

    Libertarians want to impose the will of a small minority on everybody.

  51. Libertarians want to impose the will of a small minority on everybody.

    Exactly. Like when the majority was all like “imprison all the homosexuals,” the losertarians were all like “Live and let live, and don’t imprison people for consensual activities that harm nobody.” Whine, whine, whine. Where the fuck do they get off telling people to leave other people the hell alone?

  52. Once again, my position is that communities, especially ones that I don’t live in, are free to decide the basic rules of civic conduct for themselves. After all, as long as people are free to leave and find another community more suited to them, nothing is being forced upon them.

    You are a racist asshole Dan T. So you think that if a community voted to ban black people it would be OK, because the majority of the people support it and the black people could just move to another city?

    What a horrible tyranical vicious world you want to create, Dan T!

  53. So you think that if a community voted to ban black people it would be OK, because the majority of the people support it and the black people could just move to another city?

    Darkie bans, in cities that choose to enforce them, are part of the social contract.

    The (rather ironic) libertarian position seems to be: communities have to be run the way we want them to be run. So if you want to live in a black-free town, tough luck. We can’t trust people to decide for themselves.

    Don’t like the darkie ban in your town? Convince your fellow citizens to change it. But don’t go trying to say other communities must adhere to your ideas as to how they must operate.

  54. By throwing a racial angle in there you guys are misrepresenting my position. I’m not saying a city or town should literally pass any sort of rule it wants, especially ones that violate a person’s human and/or civil rights.

    But I do think that rules of conduct are appropriate for communities to decide upon for themselves – in part because it’s so easy to move to another community if you wanted.

  55. See that filthy man in the puke-encrusted pants? Yeah, him. The guy who hasn’t slept in three days and spends much of his day scrounging around in dumpsters for his next meal- yeah, the one with the lice jumping around in his scraggly little beard. See him?

    He minds very much if you smoke.

  56. You’re doing it wrong. Comments go here, SAGE goes in the e-mail field. Lurk more! Wait, this isn’t 4chan, so GB2/b/, anonymous, or make your own identity.

  57. I was born and raised and educated in Berkeley and this ban smoking everwhere trip is fucking idiotic… smoke Nazis, get some fucking lives…go drown yourselves so we can breath your air. Self-righteous PC idiots…

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