Print Story First they came for the smokers...
Diary
By Breaker (Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 09:48:00 AM EST) (all tags)
And lied right up until the last minute.

It was the velvet glove, iron fist. 

First set age restrictions on who can buy tobacco.

Then introduce a non-smoking carriage on trains.

Invert this so it's only a smoking carriage on trains.

Raise the age to buy tobacco to 18.

Ban smoking everywhere indoors. 

All the while, feed endless stories to the media to demonise smokers and denormalise them.  "Passive smoking", some bad science, twisting NHS expenditure to treat smoking related illness  whilst ignoring tobacco taxation revenue.  Freeloading smokers, dirty smokers, bad smokers.

Bodies that should have stood up to the ban, such as CAMRA, believed the lies and thought there would be some accommodation for those who wished to smoke in pubs and those that don't.

The original plans were to allow non-food pubs to be exempt; or to bring in a blanket ban; and to exempt private clubs such as working men's clubs.



At the last minute the exemption was removed and a blanket ban was imposed.

The Righteous were overjoyed; forecasts of pubs entering a renaissance as families and non-smokers flocked to the pub flooded the media.

Only they didn't..

Buoyed by their successes, the Righteous are now turning their swivelled eyes on the drinkers.

Don't think you haven't been warned; they have learnt their lessons banning smoking.  Within a year I think then Englandland pubs will be subject to this, or, more draconian measures.

------------------------------------------
In other news, Sky is inviting the party leaders of the three main political parties to a live televised debate..

They will broadcast it on Sky News, which is Freeview, and offer their live feeds to other broadcasts effectively free.

There will be three chairs, to be filled by a party leader or no one.

Call Me Dave has agreed to attend, as has Invisible Clegg.

Gordon "Texture Like Debt" Brown has yet to issue an answer.

If he blusters about "getting on with the job" or the like, he's going to be called a coward.  If he sends Lord Mandelsnake of Fondlebum & Boys, he'll be called a coward. 

If he turns up, he'll be shredded.

I think Sky should take a note from the Hattersly Have I Got News For You episode, and get an empty bottle ready to take GTLSB's chair.

Overall I would like to see more parties invited; Green, UKIP, English Democrats and even the BNP.

But, in an hours debate that'd lead to too short a time for the party leaders to duke it out properly.

Choosing the right debate chairman would be hard; I'd suggest taking an ordered list of 5 names from each leader and taking the first common name among them.

Questions should be taken from the audience, who will be picked at random from all applicants.

Interesting times ahead, oh yes.

Discuss.

< I find that if I | Things that kind of blow: >
First they came for the smokers... | 149 comments (149 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Just as a question by Merekat (2.00 / 0) #1 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 09:54:01 AM EST
Why would you expect CAMRA to fight a smoking ban? They're about beer.


Defending pubs maybe by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #4 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:04:30 AM EST
Some could say it's made pubs worse.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Maybe by Merekat (4.00 / 2) #5 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:05:25 AM EST
But there's lots about 'traditional' pub culture they don't defend. Like no ladies in the bar area;)


[ Parent ]
In order to have a pub culture by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #10 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:17:50 AM EST
You need to have pubs that are still open, ne c'est pas?

There were warnings (from the pub landlords association IIRC) about trade falling as a result of the ban.

They were told the ban would not be a complete blanket ban, and to stop being silly.


[ Parent ]
What? by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #11 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:19:18 AM EST
The ban, or having CAMRA beardies pontificating over their nettle ale?


[ Parent ]
CAMRA are OK by nebbish (4.00 / 2) #16 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:24:48 AM EST
A bit obsessive maybe, but without them I think both beer and pubs would be a lot worse than they are.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Yeah by Breaker (4.00 / 2) #32 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:45:16 AM EST
They do get some unwarranted stick.  From me included, of course.

But they have done some good work over the years, protecting the smaller breweries by giving them outlets to sell through, and holding events.

If only they could shed the "Morris Dancer hippy" image though.


[ Parent ]
In order for beer to be sold and evangelised by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:05:28 AM EST
You need a premises to do so.  We could open some houses to the public, some public houses for instance, or pub for short.


[ Parent ]
Nope, by Merekat (2.00 / 0) #7 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:06:26 AM EST
you've lost me. Seriously. I can't follow, even with sarcasm.
The banned smoking, not pubs I thought.


[ Parent ]
See previous comment. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #12 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:20:07 AM EST
CAMRA were warned the ban could have an effect on trade.


[ Parent ]
It's funny you think CAMRA would help by brokkr (2.00 / 0) #85 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 03:28:35 PM EST
The most geeky, specialty beer pub in Copenhagen* has always been non-smoking, even before a similar smoking ban came into effect in Denmark. The beer geeks don't want their gueuze ruined by stale smoke.

*) Slogan: "We definitely stock a beer you do not like."
--
Deyr fé, deyja frændr, deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn, at aldrei deyr: dómr um dau∂an hvern.

[ Parent ]
Corrollary to that by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #87 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 04:05:34 PM EST
I'd bet the beer geeks don't want 52 pubs a year closing, either.

And I doubt they'd want those high octane Trappist monk style beers proscribed either.

But eh, room for us all in the big tent, that's the aim.


[ Parent ]
I wonder by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #2 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 09:57:25 AM EST
.. Might help understanding across the pond to say a contingent (I'll not guess at actual size) feel the same way about gun rights in the US as the UKians feel about drinking/beer/pubs.

Ours is enshrined in the constitution, and modestly upheld by our courts.. Unsure what actual rights nanny-staters have..

In our nanny state, you need a state permit by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #8 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:14:12 AM EST
to own a handgun. I don't think long arms are restricted.


[ Parent ]
Thus modestly upheld.. by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #18 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:26:51 AM EST
Depending on the reading of the recent Supreme Court case about hand-guns in DC, I think that a permit restriction is allowable.. As no lawyer, I can't say what the legal definition of "reasonable restrictions" is..

[ Parent ]
Pubs by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #15 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:24:23 AM EST
Are part of our national character.  Some people like them, some people don't.

You have pub quizzes, pub sporting teams, you also have your local where you are on first names with the staff and landlord/lady. 

In USian terms, imagine if there was action to make it harder for your Mum to make apple pies at Thanksgiving.


[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by xth (4.00 / 1) #23 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:34:22 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by xth



[ Parent ]
Nice try, troll! by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #28 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:41:16 AM EST
These opinions are like a shield of steel! (Dunno if you'll get that reference; google Batfink).

The market has been distorted by state intervention; there are no pubs where you can go to smoke in.

So the market has been sewn up by the nanny state; publicans and breweries can no longer make a rational decision if they want to allow smoking in their pubs or not.

I can see how a pub that wants to set itself up as a gastropub might not want smoke tainting their food; I can see pubs who want to appeal to their local, mostly smoking clientele.  But that is up to the management of the pub to decide, and the punters to decide which pub they want to spend their money in.


[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by xth (2.00 / 0) #35 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:48:48 AM EST

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[ Parent ]
Eh? by Breaker (4.00 / 2) #39 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 11:06:00 AM EST
All businesses are not dependant on people going into their property to spend money, though, are they?

If you want to make the decision to passive smoke or not, then perhaps go to a non-smoking pub?  

Those that want to smoke will go to the smoking pub, where you can leave them to stink the place up ungraced by your presence.


[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by xth (2.00 / 0) #44 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 11:31:20 AM EST

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[ Parent ]
I am advocating choice. by Breaker (4.00 / 2) #46 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 11:43:12 AM EST
Before the ban I could not point you at a single office workplace, or shop, or acupuncturist that allowed smoking on their premises for members of the public. 

There was no reason for them to allow it; only additional cost in cleaning ashtrays and additional fire insurance premiums.

You can indeed take your baby to the pub (at the discretion of the landlord, of course).  Have you been to the pub more or less since the smoking ban?

But that's not the point here, is it?  The point is that state legislation is killing the licenced trade through nanny statism, and there are signs that the jackboot of nanny is going to stamp a little harder soon.

Does that not bother you?  What about when nanny decides that something you do is "bad"?  Who will speak for you then? 

See diary title for further details.


[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by xth (2.00 / 0) #47 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 11:49:01 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by xth



[ Parent ]
Or in pub marker "SMOKING ALLOWED" by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #49 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 11:55:45 AM EST
Where everyone in there does so by choice.

No one is forcing you to go into a pub full of smoke.

But if a group of smokers wants to run a smoker friendly pub, they can't.

I'll ask again - what about when nanny decides that something you do is "bad"?


[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by xth (2.00 / 0) #51 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 12:07:10 PM EST

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[ Parent ]
Orly? by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #55 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 12:18:42 PM EST
Go and look at ASH's funding..

Its 2007/08 accounts show a total income of £638,332, of which Department of Health coughed up £191,000.
It received £16,332 in voluntary donations.

This isn't about denying anything to anyone.  If a landlord wants to allow smoking in his building it is your choice to not go in and spend money there.  Who is forcing you to go in?

I don't believe it is the states business to make it harder for pubs to stay open. 

For the third time of asking- what about when nanny decides that something you do is "bad"?


[ Parent ]
smoking pollutes others' air by infinitera (2.00 / 0) #64 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 12:49:20 PM EST
Drinking does not. I'm confused by your conflation.

The state doesn't have to decide whether drinking is bad for you - nor do it have to decide whether smoking is bad for you.

But smoking is bad for others around you, and generally that makes it their business.

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

[ Parent ]
The state is not forcing you by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #67 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 12:52:17 PM EST
To go into a smoke filled pub though, is it?


[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by xth (1.33 / 3) #71 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 01:42:34 PM EST

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[ Parent ]
All it takes is one pub owner by greyshade (2.00 / 0) #73 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 02:07:52 PM EST
to decide he wants a smoke-free pub.  If they were profitable, they would be there.  If I can't smoke at the pub, I'll have a pint or two with my mate on his back lawn.

"The other part of the fun is nibbling on them when they get off work." -vorheesleatherface
[ Parent ]
And that by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #83 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 03:25:34 PM EST
Is part of the reason why we're seeing 52 pubs a week closing.


[ Parent ]
Twas my point... by greyshade (2.00 / 0) #89 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 05:18:15 PM EST
Anecdotal evidence, I know, but I have a regular watering hole I visit 2-3 times a week.  I know a fair number of other people that do the same.  Lets call this crowd the "regulars".  Every single one of the regulars is also a smoker.*  That place would close rather quickly if they told us we couldn't smoke there.  As borne out in practice over there across the pond.

I take that back.  One of the regulars is a doctor and does not smoke.  Still...

"The other part of the fun is nibbling on them when they get off work." -vorheesleatherface
[ Parent ]
My links say the same by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #91 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 06:18:14 PM EST
So why are they doing it?


[ Parent ]
but what if by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #92 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 06:47:48 PM EST
not only could you not smoke there, but you also weren't allowed to smoke anywhere else?  would you quit going out altogether?

note: not a troll, I'm actually curious.

[ Parent ]
That is the situation here in Louisiana. by greyshade (2.00 / 0) #111 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 12:56:43 PM EST
At a restaurant with smoking friends, I will generally go outside for a cigarette between the appetizer and main course.  If I am dining with non-smokers then I just make sure I have a smoke before we sit down for the meal.  Sitting sipping beers for 3-4 hours though...  That's a different story.

Interesting side note.  Starting next month the hospital I work for is going with a campus-wide ban on smoking.  It will be interesting to see the roving groups of smoking techs and unit secs huddled on nearby property soothing their cravings.  I am also curious about how they plan on enforcing this with the patient population and assorted family members.

"The other part of the fun is nibbling on them when they get off work." -vorheesleatherface
[ Parent ]
the patient population by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #122 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 03:21:28 PM EST
they just wheel their IV bags over to where the staff are smoking.  it's so sad.

yeah, i always used to laugh at our secretaries and other assorted staff standing on the nearest corner to the building.  extra amusing on rainy days.

when my hospital went smoke-free, they offered their stop smoking programs to staff for no charge.

[ Parent ]
oh and... by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #123 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 03:22:19 PM EST
so, 3-4 hours sipping a beer.  if you can't do it and smoke anywhere, then what do you do?

[ Parent ]
Until smoking is outright illegal... by greyshade (2.00 / 0) #127 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 04:29:08 PM EST
I would do what we do about every sunday and grill something up with my friends at one of our houses.  And probably not drink as much since we no longer all live right next to each other so our random 2 day a week meetups would prob be thrown into chaos.  =P

"The other part of the fun is nibbling on them when they get off work." -vorheesleatherface
[ Parent ]
also. by greyshade (2.00 / 0) #130 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 05:16:15 PM EST
When we lived near each other there were many nights that went from a couple of us deciding to grill some burgers out back to
so-and-so called.  I told them to come over!
hey neighbor! we're cooking, wanna come over?
oh, I saw such-and-such driving on the way here.  I called them and they're turning around and bringing steaks.
a full-blown cookout affair.  We would rarely drink out in those days, just one of us would host the cooking and we all got to hang.  Now, logistically inconvienent to do more than once a week, but still doable.

"The other part of the fun is nibbling on them when they get off work." -vorheesleatherface
[ Parent ]
I would have sworn by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #82 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 03:23:59 PM EST
You could.  Didn't you post earlier that the smokers could all go outside to pollute their environment and not yours?


[ Parent ]
Bad is entirely subjective by MohammedNiyalSayeed (4.00 / 1) #60 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 12:43:13 PM EST

Breathing the exhaust of automobiles is worse than cigarette smoke, yet no one's clamoring to get rid of those. Ultimately, you can't state that "smoking is bad" as if it were an objective fact; it depends entirely on your goals. No one lives forever, and every action has an effect, so while cigarettes may push one closer to the inevitable end, they make the tedium of life more pleasurable. Who would deny their fellow man pleasure (besides me, of course, out of hatred for my "fellow man")? Do-gooders, who should stop exercising their pre-emptive strikes on the liberties of citizens and land owners. They won't, but they should.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
property isn't an absolute by infinitera (2.00 / 0) #66 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 12:51:11 PM EST
It's just a social construct made real through social control.

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

[ Parent ]
Check the law books again, chief. by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #68 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 01:22:18 PM EST

Reality on the streets is more tangible. And deadly.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
adverse possession by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #98 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 11:18:22 PM EST
Nothing that is a human construct by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #109 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 12:46:52 PM EST

is absolute. Trespass on my property, and I can absolutely get the cops to show up to arrest you, though. That's "reality". Everything else is "shit people argue about on the internet".


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
that sounds an awrul lot like what infintera said. by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #114 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 01:24:59 PM EST
property is a social construct enforced through social control mechanisms.

we've institutionalized those social control mechanisms through a system of police and lawyers, sure. but ... speaking as a law student here ... at the end of the day, the law exists to server human needs, and it's a reflection of the desires of the populace rather than being some absolute truth that the populace needs to adhere to.

Moreover, even under the law, if I trespass for long enough, time will come when you can't get the cops to show up to arrest me, because ownership of the property will have passed to me.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
The law exists because it was written by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #117 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 01:30:50 PM EST

You may claim that these laws were written to "serve human needs", but that indicates to me that you don't understand how legislators actually work. Many laws exist simply because legislators feel the need to keep busy while milking the taxpayer teat.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
did i say anything about why they were *written*? by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #119 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 01:36:03 PM EST
i said something about their existence serving human needs.

i think that's true. i think it's broadly true that the system, as a whole, serves our needs - and that otherwise we would stop cooperating with it and it would collapse. (see, eg, Portugal in 1974 or Czechoslovakia in 1989).

i also think that this particular law is one of the most important laws to modern american society.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
Did I say anything about why they were written? by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #131 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 05:16:32 PM EST

They exist because they were written. They didn't write themselves. What you believe they "exist" for (and therefore were written for) is your own false belief. You're entitled to be as wrong as you like about any number of subjects.

I suspect you suffer from an eternal idealism which is not in any way reflected in real life. Good luck with that. We're done here.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
writing them is necessary but not sufficient. by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #132 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 05:22:40 PM EST
there are all sorts of laws which exist in a theoretical sense but don't in any real sense because the executive won't enforce them and/or the courts have eviscerated them.

i suspect you suffer from an eternal cynicism which is not in any way reflected in real life. it must suck to live in your world; i'm glad i don't.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
I've got some bad news for you by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #133 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 05:29:29 PM EST

You do live in my world. Keep your head down.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
nonsense. by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #134 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 05:31:21 PM EST
i live in a world which has aspects of my world and which has aspects of your world.

your excessive misery clouds your vision and causes you to interpret everything in the worst possible way.

my excessive optimism clouds my vision and causes me to interpret everything in the best possible way.

neither of us sees the real world.

no human does.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
Academic bullshit. by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #135 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:14:43 PM EST

"Philosophize" all you want, your perception remains critically flawed.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
hahahahahaha by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #136 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:23:02 PM EST
academic bullshit?

no, no. this is probably the least academic thing i've ever said.

there's a reason eyewitness reports are unreliable.

everyone filters the world through a particular set of lenses, which means everyone's view of the world is distorted as fuck.

i'm not immune.

but neither are you.

i know to a great degree what my biases are and where my view of the world is unreliable.

do you know what yours are?
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
Scroll back up to where by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #137 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:24:57 PM EST

I said we were through here. We're still through here, yet you keep typing. Why is that?


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
because i don't think we're through. by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #138 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:25:52 PM EST
i'm finding the conversation to be amusing. depressing, too, but also amusing.

so why wouldn't i want to continue it? :)

the real question is: if you think we're through, why do you keep responding to me?
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
Because you keep popping up in my replies by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #140 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:32:15 PM EST

I'm finding your end of the conversation tedious.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
so i have some sort of magic compulsion power by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #141 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:38:01 PM EST
where if i reply, you have to respond?

awesome. i've always wanted to be a superhero.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
Yeah, you're a fucking wizard. by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #142 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:42:55 PM EST

Either that, or I have a slow day today of watching progress bars, and extra free time to squander while wasting time you could be studying to contribute to the general problem of an overly-litigious society. Every second I take from your studies is an extra second the world has without another lawyer, so if anyone is a superhero, it's me.

Not to mention that I already have a bad-ass superhero costume.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
you're not taking away from studying, alas. by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #143 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:47:36 PM EST
i actually am completely incapable of studying at the moment: i'm going away for the weekend and have not brought any school-related stuff to work with me.

moreover, at this point, i could fail all of my classes this semester and still graduate, so it wouldn't really keep me from becoming a lawyer. :)

the good news is, i'm not doing torts, so i'm unlikely to contribute to being overly litigious, unless you want to argue that whatever i'm doing is forcing someone who would have done that to become a tort lawyer instead.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
I'm going to go take a dump now. by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #144 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:58:17 PM EST

It'll be the second one of the day.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
that's nice. by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #145 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:05:36 PM EST
some of us are clamoring for cleaner emissions by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #70 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 01:37:11 PM EST
and the like.  the difference is, our pockets aren't as deep as the auto industry's.  that, and we don't employ enough people to be called "NOT ALLOWED TO FAIL."

personally, i'm on the fence about the smoking stuff.  i don't want it around me.....and yet i don't feel good about widespread governmental bans.

[ Parent ]
There's a lot of clamoring for that here, too by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #75 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 02:13:25 PM EST

Yet the clamoring is done via bumper stickers on the cars I see clogging I-280 every morning and afternoon. Oh, the irony! "This has to change! Just don't make *me* change anything..." God forbid people work near where they live, or learn how to use public transit, if, in fact, it's even an option.

That said, if you own or control property, and smoking is still legally allowed, I fail to see where the government gets off telling you what you can and cannot allow inside that property. Is it yours, or is it theirs? And if it's theirs, why pay property tax on something you don't own or control? What would be the point of that?


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
true, true. by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #80 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 03:09:59 PM EST


[ Parent ]
would i be correct in assuming by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #99 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 11:22:18 PM EST
that you also object to zoning laws, and the laws which prohibit you from refusing to rent to black people?
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
Show me specific laws by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #110 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 12:48:27 PM EST

and I'll tell you whether I specifically disagree with them or not. Everything else, again, is pointless internet speculation in pursuit of an argument with no end, and no impact, if, in fact, an end could be reached.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
42 USC 3604 by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #112 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 01:21:54 PM EST
"it shall be unlawful--

      (a) To refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bona fide offer, or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin. "

Is it legitimate for the government to prohibit you from renting to someone because of their race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin?

If the answer to that is 'yes', then why is it legitimate for the government to make rules about who you can rent to and not legitimate for the government to make rules about whether you can smoke on your property?
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
Lawyerdom is mushing up your brain by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #116 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 01:27:41 PM EST

Is smoking legal outside? Can I legally buy cigarettes in stores? Then if I own property, how is something that's legal, suddenly not legal?

The law cited sounds pretty poorly worded, and relies entirely on being able to prove motivation for the retraction for an offer to rent. Do you really think that legislation stops anyone from discriminating however they see fit? If so, you're blind. In summary, that law is wrong, from my perspective, as it fails to do what it was intended to do efficiently.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
ah by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #118 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 01:33:36 PM EST
but you can legally refuse to associate with black people in general, you just can't refuse to rent to them.

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most criminal law requires proof of motivation. or, at least, of intent. By 'proof', of course, I mean, 'something which will convince a jury', not scientific proof.

in that regard, this law is no worse written than the rest of the US Code (which is, in general, pretty poorly written).

And actually, yes, I do think this legislation stops people from discriminating how they see fit. Not everyone, certainly ... but you didn't ask about everyone, you asked about anyone. This law is like any other law: some people observe it because they feel a need to be law-abiding; some people observe it because they're afraid of the consequences if they don't; some people don't observe it and get away with it; some people don't observe it and get caught.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
i'm not sure your conception of 'laws' and his.. by infinitera (2.00 / 0) #149 Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 12:53:38 PM EST
are compatible.

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

[ Parent ]
Batfink by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #37 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:57:53 AM EST
Wow. There's a blast from the past.
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[ Parent ]
You do realise by nebbish (4.00 / 2) #3 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:03:10 AM EST
That phrase is about the Holocaust, and you're applying to it to pub licensing issues?

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It's political correctness gone mad!

Yes, yes I do. by Breaker (4.00 / 2) #9 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:15:50 AM EST
The point being that the State is getting involved now in more and more ways of enforcing change on society, whether society wants it or not?

That's one slippery slope to be on, and my parallel was deliberate. 

This is one tiny corner of what the State is doing; do you know how many governmental and non governmental entities can now legally force their way into your home without a Warrant?

Do you know how many more offences you can be imprisoned for in the last 12 years?  Including filming yourself getting beaten by your partner and sharing it with likeminded friends?

Photographers stopped and searched for taking photographs of public buildings?

This is not about people lighting up in pubs, it's way more serious than that.


[ Parent ]
.... filming yourself being beaten .... by gpig (4.00 / 1) #19 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:27:07 AM EST
The beating was always illegal, regardless of the consent or otherwise of the participants. Sharing it would probably have been illegal, or at the very least incriminated the people you shared it with, as they would have been complicit in concealing the offence.

I agree with nebbish, though -- we're nowhere near the Holocaust, and overreacting doesn't help your case.
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(,   ,') -- eep

[ Parent ]
Consensual beating. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #22 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:33:47 AM EST
The violent pron act last year made it illegal to film and distribute a legal act.  Go and read up on it; I'm not googling "violent pron" through a work proxy.

We are indeed nowhere near the Holocaust, but we're at the top of that slippery slope.

You object to overreaction and hyperbole?  Then why are you reading a Breakermatic diary?  Tell you what, you can cancel your subscription and I'll refund your money.

Or we can look at other areas that the state can interfere with you.


[ Parent ]
Slippery slope by gpig (4.00 / 1) #95 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 07:14:45 PM EST
I'd argue that genocide is qualitatively, not quantitatively different to smoking bans. I can't imagine the intermediate steps between 'smoking ban' and 'genocide'. I can imagine the intermediate steps between 'smoking ban' and 'chocolate ban', so I'm not saying there's no slippery slope, it's just a different slope ....

I was just expressing an opinion that I thought you were overreacting -- I don't expect you to stop :) I'm reading because, well, for all that we rarely agree completely, I'm interested in (and concerned about) the same things you are. And occasionally you say something that makes me think, hopefully that goes the other way too.

I don't know about the English violent porn Act, so you may be right there. I'm pretty sure the similar Scottish one (also recent) didn't make it illegal to film something that was legal. (It's kind of strange to me that I am still mostly English, but because I spent so much time in Scotland I don't really know much about the English situation any more).
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(,   ,') -- eep

[ Parent ]
State gains a minor control over the people. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #105 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 04:50:05 AM EST
The people do nothing.  The State gains more control...

I do often end up a little more educated after these Daily Mail diaries I post; which is part of the attraction for me writing them.

UKian violent pron act - if you were to be violent in a sexual way to your consenting GF that'd be legal.  You film it, and distribute it to likeminded friends, that's illegal. 


[ Parent ]
UK violent porn act by Dr Thrustgood (4.00 / 2) #139 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 06:31:00 PM EST
The problem is where to draw the line. Read up about "operation spanner," that's something that some people would call sick, and that some people would call natural, beautiful and so on.



[ Parent ]
overreaction and hyperbole is harmful by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #100 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 11:24:13 PM EST
because it causes the squishy moderate middle to assume that all of your concerns are just as irrational as your hyperbole are ... meaning that they stop listening and assume that anyone who is concerned about what you are is a loon.

that makes it much harder to achieve the policy objectives you wish to achieve.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
Ever watched a boxing match? by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #102 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 11:41:31 PM EST
Better yet - ever paid to see one? Illegal, by your logic!

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Debate and smoking by gpig (4.00 / 2) #13 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:22:39 AM EST
Don't trust Murdoch's lot to run a fair debate, to be honest. Sky News is trash (though now I'm in the US and have seen Fox news, which makes it look like a paragon of news virtue).

Re smoking ban, I'm in two minds. I only really know the Scottish situation, where polls showed that the ban was narrowly opposed before it was introduced, and narrowly approved afterwards (by a slightly greater margin). Still, I'm concerned about the implications for liberties, though not Holocaust-level concerned. As a non-smoker and good friends with a severe asthmatic, I'd have been more in favour of something which encouraged non-smoking pubs or non-smoking areas, rather than an outright ban.

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(,   ,') -- eep

Mordoch by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #20 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:29:31 AM EST
Which is why I think the debate chair should be chosen by the leaders - no way of there being an accusation of bias then.

As a poorly reformed ex smoker, I'm pretty much in both camps.  I thought the "ban where food is served" was a pretty good compromise.  At my local, I am often the only one in the pub; the rest of the clientele and the landlord are all outside smoking.

But as I was saying to nebbish, this is about more than just smoking; it's State control afflicting every portion of our lives; the smoking ban is but one tiny symbol of government intrusion.


[ Parent ]
Agreed by gpig (2.00 / 0) #96 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 07:20:49 PM EST
that the smoking ban is a tiny issue compared to other stuff that is going on.

Of the 'government intrusion' things that are happening in the UK at the moment, I'm way more concerned about persecution of photographers, which is a severe restriction on citizen reporters.
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(,   ,') -- eep

[ Parent ]
Depends where you do your polls, doesn't it? by yicky yacky (4.00 / 5) #25 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:37:30 AM EST

I bet they weren't done exclusively in pubs.

You then end up with a situation where a Clapham-based 'majority' (with whom it has fuck-all to do) effectively end up banning hunting (with which they've never had an encounter).

The tyranny of the whimsical uninvested is the natural end-state of market-based politics.


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Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
Seven [n/t] by Herring (4.00 / 2) #29 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:41:39 AM EST


christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
[ Parent ]
Hmmm, did I do a minor rant by Vulch (4.00 / 3) #36 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:57:03 AM EST
...At LHusi about hunting and how round where I grew up at least there were only a handful of toffs on horses and most of the people were the rural working class on foot just enjoying a day out?



[ Parent ]
You did by Breaker (4.00 / 2) #53 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 12:12:03 PM EST
And I confess, that was one side of the debate I had not heard of before.

Another benefit of going to the pub!


[ Parent ]
Splendid by Vulch (4.00 / 1) #58 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 12:35:27 PM EST
I thought I'd subjected someone to it recently...

Not of course that you can find rural working class people these days, they're being forced into the big towns and cities because they can't afford the house prices and rents where they and their ancestors were born.

But that's OK because the rural pubs get turned into failing gastro pubs before being sold off for redevelopment as more second homes, and the village schools have all closed because the new property owners either send little Tarquin and Jemima to a private school miles away or they're only there during the holidays anyway. And they stock up at the local supermarket before driving down for the weekend so the village shop has closed as well.


[ Parent ]
Another pub rant? by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #62 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 12:45:53 PM EST
Excellent!

Is it mechanisation, EU CAP fallow allowance farming by the landowner or what that is driving down the wages of the rural working class?


[ Parent ]
Not exactly driven down by Vulch (4.00 / 3) #74 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 02:12:05 PM EST
Rural wages have never been great. You could point a finger at mechanisation as being a cause, but that has been largely forced on farms because their income has barely increased since the 70s. Where 50K annual income for a farm in 1975 would support the farmer and his family, and a couple of stockmen and their families, in 2009 with about the same coming in the farmer is having to do all the work himself because even at minimum wage rates it would cost a third of that to hire a labourer, his wife probably has a full time job elsewhere to pay for the running costs of the extra equipment the farmer needs, the stockmen and their families moved into town and their cottages had to be sold off to raise capital when the old tractor fell apart and the milking parlour needed a complete refit to meet the latest EU filtered through DEFRA requirements.

The stockmans son wants to move back to where he grew up as he does part time work for several of the farms around and it's a fair old round trip from the town every day, but it's part time and seasonal work and so he's lucky to break 10K in a good year. By the time he's paid the running costs of the car he needs (did I mention the bus service stopped years ago?) and given something to his mum for board there's no way he'll be able to afford the 95K for even the cheapest 2 bedroom cottage in the area, never mind the 125K+ for anything usefully close to the farms.

It's not easy to find the figures, but it does make you wonder just who is profiting when you see how little the amount the farmer gets for a pint of milk, or for the wheat that goes into a loaf of bread, or for a sheep ready for the butcher has changed, and how much more expensive the finished items are in the shops these days. You could also think of agricultural subsidies as being a direct contribution to the bottom line of the Tesco annual profits.


[ Parent ]
Speaking as an Archers listener by Herring (4.00 / 1) #78 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 02:49:17 PM EST
and, probably more significantly, someone who grew up in the countryside, it is pretty bloody out there.

I've thought for a long time that farm subsidies are really supermarket subsidies. Bring back the Milk Marketing Board (my mum used to do work for them sometimes).

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

[ Parent ]
Milk Marketing Board by Vulch (4.00 / 1) #81 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 03:14:00 PM EST
Abolishing price controls to encourage competition only works if there's no other distorting factors like subsidies getting in the way. And if the ultimate markets aren't dominated by a small number of entities with the power to dictate terms.



[ Parent ]
Markup by Dr Thrustgood (2.00 / 0) #79 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 03:08:53 PM EST
I was astounded at the prices at Bishopsgate Market. Ten times markup on the supermarket shelves, and that's when buying a single whole salmon! God knows how much more it is when one buys in bulk. I imagine the same's true with the like of Smithfield market, the farmers must be getting a sweet lot of fuck all.



[ Parent ]
Ah, here we go by Vulch (4.00 / 3) #84 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 03:28:27 PM EST
(Comment Deleted) by xth (2.00 / 0) #54 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 12:16:19 PM EST

This comment has been deleted by xth



[ Parent ]
I also note by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #57 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 12:23:54 PM EST
The throwing of the strawman is still legal...


[ Parent ]
Actually by Vulch (4.00 / 1) #59 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 12:39:45 PM EST
Bear baiting was mostly an urban activity, it needs some substantial infrastructure. You'd be more on the mark with badger baiting, but I'd note that the last proponents of that tended to be urbanites and that rural folk got into protecting setts and discouraging the activity long before it was made illegal.


[ Parent ]
Hehe by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #65 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 12:50:39 PM EST
You should do a diary in the Breakermatic style - "My top 5 pub rants".

Aside from a little catharsis for you, we might get some education out of it.


[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by xth (2.00 / 0) #72 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 01:44:06 PM EST

This comment has been deleted by xth



[ Parent ]
Hmmm? by Vulch (2.00 / 0) #76 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 02:15:41 PM EST
3 comments up I said "the rural working class"...

The pub rant may have varied a bit, but not many townies followed.



[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by xth (2.00 / 0) #106 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 07:17:28 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by xth



[ Parent ]
Freedom2Choose by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #38 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:58:45 AM EST
Had an expose last year on the poll results, before the ban came in.

Pub landlords were conveniently forgotten about because they had emailed their poll results in. 

The majority of respondents to ASH's "free and fair" poll were those who already belong to ASH and other such busybody organisations.  They rigged the poll, but it is the poll which is so often trotted out.

F2C is under maintanance right now, but reading the breakdown was interesting.


[ Parent ]
Market-based politics? by gpig (2.00 / 0) #97 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 07:23:51 PM EST
Last I checked you couldn't buy extra votes ....

The Scottish polls were borne out by my own experience, but that's probably skewed by the people I know and the place where I was living.
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(,   ,') -- eep

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by xth (4.00 / 1) #14 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:23:09 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by xth



Yes by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #17 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:26:28 AM EST
I think SKY went on last GE results, not the MEP elections.

It will be interesting if UKIP can turn the MEP results into domestic results.


[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by xth (4.00 / 1) #21 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:30:19 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by xth



[ Parent ]
Yep by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #24 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:34:59 AM EST
Invisible Nick is running the party into the ground; they should be hammering Labour at the polls.

Time for St Cable to step up?


[ Parent ]
Thing about the UKian nanny state is by jump the ladder (4.00 / 4) #26 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:37:39 AM EST
It seems overly concerned with personal behaviour but doesn't seem bothered about issues like unemployment or housing.

It's concerned with by Herring (4.00 / 3) #27 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:40:26 AM EST
whatever the shouty newspapers are bleating about this week.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
[ Parent ]
I can't see that getting better by Breaker (4.00 / 2) #31 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:43:21 AM EST
Under Call Me Dave, either.

Arse!


[ Parent ]
And lo there was a great accord by Herring (4.00 / 6) #33 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:47:21 AM EST
in the land of HuSi.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
[ Parent ]
Doesn't have the same aspect of control by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #30 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:42:35 AM EST
And they're pretty hard problems to resolve.

Far easier to BAN SOMETHING or NAG.

Have you had your five a day?


[ Parent ]
Not particularly a fan, by yicky yacky (4.00 / 1) #34 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 10:48:36 AM EST

but that phrase has forever been subverted for me by this.


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Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
SEVEN! by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #40 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 11:11:50 AM EST
"The Welsh - they're all filth!"


[ Parent ]
This video is not available in your country due to by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #42 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 11:30:34 AM EST
copyright restrictions.
--
[ Parent ]
No: by yicky yacky (4.00 / 5) #45 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 11:34:13 AM EST

This video is not available in your country due to copyright restrictions. It works fine here.

Suck it up. Your lawyers started this shit.


----
Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
EIGHT!!!! by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #50 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 11:59:49 AM EST
You're on fire today!


[ Parent ]
Huge involvement in housing by Alan Crowe (4.00 / 1) #115 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 01:27:13 PM EST
You cannot just buy some land and build a house on it. You need planning permission.

As far as I can see the planning system is structured to restrict supply house and thus push up prices. This benefits those who own two or more houses at the expense of those who don't own a house. The system also benefits those who have one house and can expect to inherit another.

Here is my guess as to why people thought that house prices would never go down. The population tends to grow, so there is always demand for new houses. But house building is labour intensive. All those bricks to lay! So a new house is always going to cost roughly three times the annual wage of skill labour. That underpins the price of second hand houses.

Nowadays planning controls create an artificial scarcity, breaking the link between price and cost and benefitting the haves at the expense of the have-nots.

While I'm ranting I might as well complain about Nanny's approach to unemployment. Once upon a time there were people and people could play both sides of the employment market. They could find a job or they could start a small business and take on a few staff. Now-a-days there are employers and employees and lots and lots of employment law. If you want to be an employer you need a business with a hundred employees, big enough to carry the overhead of a graduate personnel manager to keep up with tax, national insurance, and discrimination and dismissal law. Every law to protect employment is also a law to harden caste distinction and keep employees in their place.

[ Parent ]
smoking is bad for you, just sayin' by greyrat (4.00 / 1) #41 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 11:16:53 AM EST
No like drinking

.

.

.

or fucking random people.

Those rules by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #43 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 11:31:05 AM EST
sound pretty much like what's in place in Massachusetts.
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Have they also by Breaker (4.00 / 2) #48 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 11:49:07 AM EST
Made it an offence to photograph the police as yet?

How about owning a handgun?

Can you still hunt foxes with dogs?

Can foreign radio presenters still visit, or is there a list that they must not be on?

Can you have an impromptu sing-song with a couple of musicians in a pub without being fined / arrested?


[ Parent ]
I was talking specifically by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #52 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 12:10:51 PM EST
about the liquor rules.
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[ Parent ]
Here, as elucidated in comments by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #56 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 12:20:26 PM EST
I am talking about state intrusions, and using this as an example.

I do remember when in USia being mystified at being able to buy beer in Walmart, but for spirits I had to go across the parking lot to the offlicence.  Can't remember which state that was in though.


[ Parent ]
Tetchy! by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #61 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 12:43:48 PM EST
I'll refrain from participating from here on.
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[ Parent ]
My apologies. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #63 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 12:47:35 PM EST
Didn't mean to be aggro with you.

Other posters, however...


[ Parent ]
it varies from state to state. by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #101 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 11:29:49 PM EST
here in hippy california you can buy hard liquor in the supermarkets, but the 7-11s can only sell beer and wine (and only choose to sell shite wine).
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
Did you see the things about by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #69 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 01:25:17 PM EST
Plastic glasses?

However the Sky News Debate thing seems like a bit of a stunt:

ITV and the BBC have accused Sky News of potentially scuppering a televised debate between the three main party leaders ahead of next year's general election after the satellite channel broke cover today by saying it would hold one even if Gordon Brown did not take part.

The rival broadcasters are understood to be angry that the head of Sky News, John Ryley, made the declaration today in an article in The Times ahead of a meeting between all three on Friday, where they were due to discuss strategy for televised leader debates.


--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
More debate thoughts by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 3) #77 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 02:30:01 PM EST
I think it's actually in Labour's interest to enter the debates, which is why Mandelson's been trying to sound favourable on them.

As we see in America, debates are basically Gaffe hunts for the benefit of the media. Who's going to misspeak, misremember a statistic, get too emotion and seem to lose his temper, fail to get emotional when asked about a hypothetical attack on his wife, whatever.

Labour are behind and need something to shake up the race. If it's Brown who makes The Gaffe, that won't leave them much more screwed than they already are. If Cameron makes The Gaffe, that evens things up. Cameron is very posh and very smug by nature, and The Gaffe might be something that highlights that.

So why hasn't Brown accept the debate? It could be that he's terrified. It could be that he's lost touch with reality and doesn't think he's behind. But I suspect it's the usual thing: Brown is a ditherer and never makes any decision until the last possible moment, or indeed several months later.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
I was wondering when you'd post ;) by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #86 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 03:47:35 PM EST
BBC and ITV are pissed off that Sky ate their lunch.  Terrible form when some upstart decides to actually hold the powers that be to account, you know. 

The empty chair threat has not really been used for too long; IIRC there's a video interview when Paul Staines of Guido Fawkes fame asked Paxo - why not put an empty chair up if the relevant party won't send someone, and was fobbed off with a pretty lame excuse by the Paxster.

I agree with your gaffe hunt theory to a degree; which is why I don't want soft questions handed to any of them.

If CMD or GTLDB are planning on tax hikes or funding cuts, let them field questions by the electorate to make their case.  It is a concern that Sky will appoint a Jerry Springer like Chair; concerned only about soundbites and revving up the baying audience.

I don't know; it could be good.  But GTLSB has truly revealed his nature as the ditherer today.

And I bet if he doesn't attend, it's at the last minute and Mandy steps up.


[ Parent ]
Upstart by Herring (4.00 / 3) #88 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 05:07:38 PM EST
Except that Murdoch has far more actual power in the UK than the prime minister (and pays far less tax).

I have little faith in TV debates. Blair would do far better than Brown against the likes if Cameron, but they're all basically lying shits in thrall to the popular media and the megacorps who will give them the high paying consultancy gigs when they leave office.

This country is not being run for the benefit of you and me, it's being run for the benefit of the Murdochs and the Goodwins and whoever runs Capita or United Health.

(This post is sponsored by Stella Artois)

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

[ Parent ]
Conspiracy! by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #90 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 06:15:20 PM EST
This post is also sponsored by that same Auntie Stella.

And yes, you are utterly right in many ways there. 

Although I would chide you in omitting the juicy gigs that certain firms grant the politicians whilst still in office.

Now, what are we going to do about it?


[ Parent ]
In the US by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 2) #103 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 01:14:11 AM EST
Presidential debates are organized by a bilateral commission which ensures that debates aren't biased to one candidate (and that pesky third parties are usually excluded).

It's interesting that both Cameron and Clegg seem happy to just let Rupert Murdoch make the arrangements, though his media hasn't remained entirely impartial in the past.

SunKinnockFrontPage

Are they boldly committed to a new world of voter interaction, or have they just been bought and paid for by a foreign billionaire? We report, you decide.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
my questions by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 2) #93 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 06:55:07 PM EST
are the pubs really closing due to lack of smokers?  the data in the article begins in January of this year, a notoriously poor financial year for many people (at least, from where i sit). 

so, when did the smoking ban begin?

because if it was earlier than Jan 1, then maybe all the pub closures are due to less disposable income available?  i mean, we can't afford to drink the way we did pre-baby (and it wasn't even excessive back then) and others I know are in the same boat.

then again, if you fine folks aren't having the same financial issues we are, then my questions are also pointless.

i'm just trying to get a better picture of what is going on.

Yes. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #94 Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 07:02:07 PM EST
And there are no hard and fast statistics.  That's the way they like it.

The government relies on polls taken by quangos; many of which are in the governments pay.

ASH; see comments passim.

There is also the pressure on pubs as supermarkets and loss leading booze promotions.

It's not just this ban that is affecting people; that's a push.  It is cheaper to drink at home, which is a pull.


[ Parent ]
Why pubs are closing elsewhere by Merekat (2.00 / 0) #104 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 03:57:23 AM EST
Bavaria had no evidence of an enforced smoking ban when I was there recently, but bars still stood empty and some were only open 2 days a week and the owners taking on second jobs to make ends meet. The reason is simple - the queues outside the off licenses show people just don't have the money to go out.


[ Parent ]
here by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #107 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 08:31:42 AM EST
a beer will cost me $5+/pint and a glass of bad wine will cost $8/glass.  a 6-pack of the same beer starts at $7, and a bottle of pretty good wine starts at $10.  it's just not cost-efficient to drink outside of the home.

[ Parent ]
right. by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #108 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:36:59 AM EST
i spent last weekend at a music festival. bad beer was $7 for 12 oz. decent beer was $10 for 12 oz.

not worth the money. especially not when i can get a perfectly good high breathing other people's clouds of pot smoke.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
Depends on the venue I guess. by greyshade (2.00 / 0) #113 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 01:23:21 PM EST
My friends and I have a little hole-in-the-wall place we go to.  We hit the place a couple of days a week so we never pay cover when there's a no-name local band.  Most nights they have some kind of drink special.  I did the special last night, 2$ draft.  I had the Killians.  I'm on a first name basis with the owner and the staff.  If you need to drink on the cheap they have 2$ 16oz Miller High Life cans every day of the week.  We'll see some college kids every so often discover the place for that reason, but it has a very "corner pub" feel to it.  It is conveniently located near downtown so it is an easy place for me and the guys to hang out for a bit after work as we no longer live near each other.  The normal clientelle tends to be young professionals sitting on the patio talking shop or catching up with friends.

Now if you go downtown proper to a trendy college joint you'll end up with prices like you mention.  However, it is possible in most places (I would assume) to find a reasonably priced place to drink; you just have to go off the beaten path.

"The other part of the fun is nibbling on them when they get off work." -vorheesleatherface
[ Parent ]
beer quality counts by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 1) #125 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 03:30:54 PM EST
I will NOT drink the Killians, nor the Miller.  If I just wanted cheap beer, I'd head to Rice and get the $0.50 cups of Perl Light (that's what it cost in my day, probably a bit more now) down in Valhalla.

Also, 99% of the time, I have a Dude in tow, so hitting a dive just isn't going to work.

Even back when I was something of a bar fly, I did not drink the cheap crap because it was disgusting.   When I pick up a 6-pack at the store, it's not the cheap crap for the same reason.

It always has been cheaper to drink at home.  Moreso when it comes to drinking wine.

[ Parent ]
well you were talking 5$pints for crap domestic... by greyshade (2.00 / 0) #128 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 04:39:31 PM EST
I was just giving a counter-example.  I think average price at the more mainstream dives reflect your experience.  I usually drink whatever Abita beer I'm in the mood for at the time, but  I am biased because they are brewed here in Louisiana.  Still a damn sight better than miller/bud/coors etc.  Also, I like a Killians on occasion.  College nostalgia. 

"The other part of the fun is nibbling on them when they get off work." -vorheesleatherface
[ Parent ]
college = Shiner Bock by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #146 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 09:33:49 PM EST
ah, the memories...

[ Parent ]
The Bavarian "ban" by BadDoggie (2.00 / 0) #148 Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 12:03:08 PM EST
It was full of loopholes and even then caused business to plummet so badly that more than one owner committed suicide. The bar I ran saw an increase in business for precisely three days running and then became a fucking ghost town, as did every other place which didn't take advantage of the "private smoking club" loophole. Business still hasn't returned because people had already started staying at home before the major financial mess began.

Bavaria's "private club" loophole has now been closed with a nod toward the little shitty Stuber'l: if your floorspace is under 75m² you can allow smoking. Over that and it's either banned or you can have a smoking section but only if it's fully separated by permanent walls and ventilated such that no smoke can reach the non-smoking areas. Non-permanent structures are all exempt, so smoking indoors is fine at the Oktoberfest (always the Bavarian politicians' main concern) as well as any other event using "tents", even when they're rigid structures. Still unfair but not as bad as it was before and a little more even-handed.

woof.

OMG WE'RE FUCKED! -- duxup ?

[ Parent ]
Anecdotal by Herring (2.00 / 0) #120 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 03:08:02 PM EST
But speaking to a guy who runs a pub, he reckoned that the ban cost him 40% of his trade. Another factor is cost - supermarkets sell alcohol incredibly cheaply when compared with pubs. They have been accused even of selling beer as a loss leader.

Given the choice of having a pint for £1 at home with a fag (sorry, cigarette) or going to the pub and paying £3 to stand out in the rain ...

Funnily enough, one thing that would help pubs - and also clean up the streets a bit - is a minimum price for a unit of alcohol. I understand that enough tramp juice (strong, cheap cider) to get utterly wrecked is costs well under £5. There is an argument that this would force the homeless to drink non-potable spirits such as meths, but that would mean that they aren't a problem for as long.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

[ Parent ]
How can he be sure it was 40%? by R343L (2.00 / 0) #121 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 03:16:23 PM EST
There are several things that seem to have occurred in the last few years in Britain: ban on smoking in pubs, a major economic recession, and increased sales (quite cheaply) by groceries and off licenses. Personally, I generally speaking like to drink with people, making a congenial pub, even if more expensive, appealing. However I can see that if I were a smoker it would be less appealing to go out, but even more so if all my friends have less money. That is, I could see the smoking ban not ultimately having as much an effect if either prices in off licenses go up a bit and/or the economy picks up.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
I guess from the accounts by Herring (2.00 / 0) #124 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 03:23:36 PM EST
Also this was before the recession really bit.

I take it with a pinch of salt though - it was the pub next to Crap Corp and they'd laid most people off.

The ban did have a big effect though. It really isn't uncommon to see the majority of people in a pub (including the bar staff) disappear out the door. Also, pubs now smell of stale beer, vomit and piss.

I don't go to the pub much these days, but that can't be the sole cause of the decline in the industry.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

[ Parent ]
when did the ban take effect? by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #126 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 03:33:41 PM EST


[ Parent ]
I have a sneaking feeling by dmg (4.00 / 2) #129 Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 04:39:35 PM EST
That enforced vegetarianism may be on the cards too eventually.
--
dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.
I know when they banned smoking in PA by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #147 Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 09:41:28 AM EST
restaurants, my favorite micro-brewery lost the weekly lunch visits from my cigar smoking pals. We'd go and sit and nurse cigars while drinking beers and eating lunch.


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