I have caught a few minutes of Joe Pagliarulo's show on WHAM (I know, you empathize) in the past.
First comment- he is an ex-smoker which is the worst kind because he wants to put his rights ahead of everyone else's. And he seems to specialize in shows telling us how great it is that our benevolent government can tell us what to do.
The big news is that the New York State smoking ban will not be in effect for all bars on New Year's Eve. Long story short- no food can be served and a cigarette company has to be sponsoring the event. Leave out the "I guess our health is not important on Dec 31?" argument, as at least this is a step in the right direction (although we should not be happy with the crumbs the government throws us, but rather should fight for the whole cake- ie- our rights.), and listen to this logic-
Joe Pagliarulo says "Shouldn't I have the right to go into a smoke-free bar as it is a health issue" (I am paraphrasing here, that is not an exact quote). Let me ask you a few questions "Pags".
First, have you ever read studies on smoking? We all know it's bad for you, as is second-hand smoke, right? Are you familiar with the fact that "correlation does not prove casuality"? Anyone who has taken a few statistics classes can explain what this means to you. Now reread the summaries of the studies (not by the authors but by the layperson who is summarizing in the media). How many make mention of this fact? What, you mean none do? You mean these reports are quoted and taken as gospel DESPITE the fact that the results DO NOT PROVE anything? (And I am not arguing smoking is good for you- I'm wiser than that. I simply say that I would like ALL the facts presented to me in their entirety so I can make my own conclusion. And when such an important FACT as that "Correlation does not prove casuality"-which probably is not known to the average citizen- is omitted, it makes me wonder what other spin is in the article.)
Secondly, it's a public health issue, right? 3 million Americans have peanut/tree nut allergies. Some of these people have extremely severe allergies. Yet we still allow the use of peanuts in Thai restaurants! A bar can LEGALLY put peanuts out for consumption by their patrons! And this is a disease that in many cases can be easily linked- person eats peanut- person dies (rare yes, but it does happen- and much more quickly than death from inhaling second-hand smoke- the odds are pretty much against my walking into a bar, inhaling cigarette smoke and keeling over, no?) And yet no one who worries about "my health" seems to be working to ban peanuts.
The entire smoking ban issue seems to be a pet cause of Joe P. I heard him a few weeks ago stating that the restaurant owners went about it the wrong way by portending doom. He said they should have educated patrons and went along with the ban meekly (again, not a direct quote but paraphrasing his feelings).
Mr Pagliarulo, this is the United States of America. I am not a lapdog of the ruling class as you appear to be. I do not smoke but I will do whatever I can to allow you the rights to do so in public. If I don't want to inhale smoke, I will find a bar that outlaws it (and if enough people want a smoke-free environment, smoke-free bars will exist- it's called capitalism, and you may want to do a little research on the concept. Do a Google search AFTER you do one on "Freedom".) If in the 1770s, we had taken your advice to bar owners, which is simply "go along to get along", we'd all be sipping English breakfast tea and complaining about the high taxes on it. We fought a revolution (you can do a Google Search on this too- try "1776 American Revolution") so government WOULDN"T tell us how to live our lives. Yet in dribs and drabs, our freedoms disappear. And people such as yourself, who have a pulpit to stand on, are cheerleading this gradual erosion of our liberty. As an American, you should be ashamed of yourself. It isn't about the smoke, it's about the principle.
-Zjabs (Rochester's Official Columnist)
© 2003 david zjaba - 12/31/03