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Won't Someone Think of the Poor Criminals?
September 28, 2004 11:09 AM   Subscribe

Arnold Signs Prison Smoking Ban
By July 1, 2005, there will be no more cigarette smoking in California's prison system.
Makes sense, no smoking in our bars, no smoking behind our bars.
posted by fenriq (118 comments total)

 
Well, I guess he'll lose the felon vote.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:16 AM on September 28, 2004


Well that will certainly stop the brown marketing of cigarettes in exchange for goods, services and NOT pounding someone in the ass... not. But he didn't do it for that reason, he did it for pussy californian reasons.
posted by Dome-O-Rama at 11:25 AM on September 28, 2004


Oh, let them smoke 'em if they got 'em.
posted by adampsyche at 11:27 AM on September 28, 2004


No fenriq, it doesn't make sense. It doesn't help anyone. And it actually can help keep the prisoners under control. And it's not the same as banning it in bars - it's not like they can "step outside" for a smoke. Gee, maybe while they're at it they can ban getting ass-raped - oh sorry, wait, that's part of the punishment. Never mind.

That sound we're all going to hear on July 2, 2005: the screams of every prisoner in Cali forced to quit cold turkey.
posted by jaded at 11:29 AM on September 28, 2004


Oh My God. There's gonna be riots. The inmates are gonna kill each other, wipe themselves clean out. This is worse than if they actually got all the drugs outta the prisons.

Of course, the guards and prisoners who smuggle smokes in are gonna be Kings.

[This is BAD.]
posted by Shane at 11:34 AM on September 28, 2004


Jaded, it was a little tongue-in-cheek, no it doesn't naturally follow that no smoking in bars means no smoking in prison.

And I would very much like to see the part of the penal code where it says that being ass-raped is part of the punishment.

How does smoking keep prisoners under control?
posted by fenriq at 11:38 AM on September 28, 2004


WHAT THE HELL IS ARNOLD THINKING? NUTCASE.

Then again, if they actually find a way (such as hiring small armies of extra guards) to enforce this, it just might work:

"Hell no, man, I ain't goin ta jail. I was scared straight. My brother got sent down and HE HAD TO QUIT SMOKING!"
posted by Shane at 11:41 AM on September 28, 2004


Holy shit. Has the Governor ever watched an episode of Oz?
posted by Potloaf at 11:42 AM on September 28, 2004


"Inmates of American prisons are protesting this week. They claim that the reading of their mail by prison officials is an violation of their human rights. Well, that and the DAILY ANAL RAPE!"

--Norm McDonald
posted by Robot Johnny at 11:44 AM on September 28, 2004


I'm currently searching pretty much nationwide for a tech writing job, and I'm a pipe smoker. Is there anywhere in Kalifornia left where you can still legally smoke?
posted by alumshubby at 11:46 AM on September 28, 2004


Excellent. Long overdue.
posted by rushmc at 11:49 AM on September 28, 2004


Smoking is evil, or at least the most disgusting still-sociallly-legitimate activity (in some quarters). Give them nicotine patches, and that's all. Good, Arnold!
posted by ParisParamus at 11:51 AM on September 28, 2004


Next up: bread and fruit and water will be eliminated from prison menus, as inmates can make hooch from those ingredients. Governor Arnold suggests a vitamin suppository to replace the nutrients lost by these changes as, you know, felons are all ass raping girly men.
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:52 AM on September 28, 2004


God halts Schwarzenegger from smoking near Capitol.
posted by gwint at 11:57 AM on September 28, 2004


I like the idea of long time smokers becoming shoplifters so they can kick the habit on the state's nickel.

And alumshubby, it depends on what's in the pipe and if you've got a prescription for it. But I'm pretty sure you can still smoke inside your house. Or car. Have fun with that hotbox!
posted by fenriq at 12:05 PM on September 28, 2004


Awesome. One more step towards eliminating smoking everywhere so us non-smokers don't have to put up with someone else's filthy addiction.
posted by bondcliff at 12:10 PM on September 28, 2004


At least the prisoners will live longer, healthier lives and be better able to make a dent in three consecutive life sentences! Unless of course they're only serving 5-7 years. Then they'll come out stronger (weight training), able to run longer (no smoking), more experienced (learning new tricks from other inmates), and more desperate (little opportunity for ex-cons, high recidivism rate)!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:14 PM on September 28, 2004


non-smokers die every day
posted by mr.marx at 12:15 PM on September 28, 2004


The Department of Corrections already bars tobacco use by inmates in 13 of its 32 adult prison facilities.

It doesn't seem as though this is really anything new.
posted by orange swan at 12:17 PM on September 28, 2004


I would have thought that there were more serious issues to address. It does seem kind of twisted that a county that still sanctions State murder of inmates it's worried about their health!

Reminds me of the old question :ยท)
posted by DrDoberman at 12:27 PM on September 28, 2004


bondcliff, how often have you been sitting in your prison cell hoping that you don't have to deal with someones filthy addiction?

Your statement makes about us much sense as you supporting the government banning my smoking in my own home... ie: none.

Your use of the word everywhere to include places where you have no right or, (in the case of the prison) potential desire to be makes me think you haven't thought your position through properly.
posted by jon_kill at 12:28 PM on September 28, 2004


What's amazing is to watch people smoking in the street, and to realize how oblivious they are to the disgustingness of what they're doing, and to the perimeter their smoke travels.

In prison or out, asking smokers to decide the degree to which their pollution should be regulated is absurd.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:28 PM on September 28, 2004


I could say the same thing about your words, ParisParamus.
posted by jon_kill at 12:31 PM on September 28, 2004


While I agree with Paris that this is a good thing, and it's a filthy habit, I find it amusing that this is the only form of pollution he's opposed to.
posted by Ryvar at 12:33 PM on September 28, 2004


alumshubby, you can smoke most places outside, and there are a number of bars (at least in san francisco) where you can smoke too. the law against smoking in bars was put into effect to protect the employees of the bar; you know, the whole second hand smoke thing. any bar that is only operated by owners (like if the barman is the only employee and the owner, or if it's a cooperative) then it's up to the owners whether or not smoking is allowed.
posted by christy at 12:36 PM on September 28, 2004


I worked on the periphery of the correctional system when New York banned smoking in state prisons (most counties have followed suit and the that haven't have filed suit). In NY the rationale was since smoking was banned in other workplaces the co's and other employees deserved the same consideration.

An ancillary benefit was the removal (for the most part, there will always be contraband in our prisons and if you can get heroin I expect you can get a Kool) of a cigarette based economy -- there is a reason prisoners aren't allowed to carry cash and for all practical purposes a crate of smokes was the equivalent of a twenty dollar bill. It's quite easy for a nicotine addict to get himself into debt, those three-for-one deals the big guy at the end of the tier offers have a way of biting you in the ass (sometimes literally) when that commisary deposit is a week or two late.

Additonally, with mandated sentences for non-violent drug offenders there is a large population with a variety of health issues ranging from AIDS and the associatted respiratory problems to emphysema. It is folly to make available a substance that exacerbates existing health problems and increases the burden on a sadly underfunded and poorly staffed health care system.

I don't know if they are doing the same in California but in NY when the policy was changed depending on certain conditions, I don't recall the specifics, nicotine patches and counseling were made available. One of the largest supporters of this was the correctional officers union. Nobody, but nobody, wants to do anything to increase the stress levels of violent felons who spend the majority of their days doing pushups, lifting weights and sparring with one another.
posted by cedar at 12:36 PM on September 28, 2004


Its' the only form of pollution I'm opposed to? Me, PP, who is a road cyclist, who recycles, who is anti-SUV/motorized recreation, who lives a City and hasn't owned a car in 8 years-- huh?
posted by ParisParamus at 12:39 PM on September 28, 2004


Dam.
posted by LinemanBear at 12:40 PM on September 28, 2004


jon-kill, it doesn't affect me personally but I'm glad to know that someday when i snap and they pull me from the clock tower I may be sent to a place where I don't have to constantly breath in a cloud of smoke.

As more and more places realize they don't have to tolerate smokers the better it will be for non-smokers everywhere.
posted by bondcliff at 12:46 PM on September 28, 2004


It's hilarious to me that people relate this story to their own personal distaste for the smell of smoke. This is a corrections policy issue, and likely to be a pretty big deal, inasmuch as it is really implemented. But who cares about that when there's a gripe to be made about the scent on the patio of one's favorite restaurant? Yes, for the record, I hate smoking too.

What's next, hosing prisoners down with testosterone? Implementing an in-cell gambling interface and passing out shivs? Lube dispensers and ball-gags in all the showers?

Honestly, I just can't see this being implemented. It didn't really work in bars. It's not really going to work in prisons.
posted by scarabic at 12:48 PM on September 28, 2004


Sweet Lord.

First of all, a prison full of killers, rapists and bank robbers undergoing nicotine withdrawal is a frightening prospect for those who have to work there, I'd imagine.

Plus it just creates another opportunity for contraband and smuggling.
posted by jonmc at 12:51 PM on September 28, 2004


scarabic: "Honestly, I just can't see this being implemented. It didn't really work in bars. It's not really going to work in prisons."

I don't know about where you live but I where I live it's worked just fine in bars. I don't see many places that violate it willingly and trust me, I spend a lot of time in bars. Liquor licenses are hard to come by, easy to lose and expensive to litigate.

And, it does work in prisons. It's really not that hard to enforce, it's not like they can run out to the 7-11 for a pack of smokes -- if the commisary doesn't sell them you ain't gonna get them. They have never been allowed to be distributed by visitors or sent through the mail -- that cellophane reseals a little too easily for comfort.

For the record I smoke like a chimney -- just not in bars or prison. Or my house. Or my friends houses. Damn, I spend a lot of time outside lately.

[on preview] Contraband isn't as big an issue as one would think, jonmc. It just doesn't make that much sense when dope is so much more valuable and portable. Ever try putting a pack of cigarettes in balloon and hiding it in your ass, you can hide a boatload of dope that way and it's far less painful. People often pass raw tobacco around (trustees have access to the staffs smoking areas and you wouldn't believe the market for a half smoked butt) but as far as contraband from outside goes tobacco simply doesn't provide enough bang for the buck and your visitor is going to feel pretty stupid picking up a felony for passing you a cigarette.
posted by cedar at 1:02 PM on September 28, 2004


Quitting smoking is good , Arnold still smokes his cigars so inmates must stop smoking because their smoke is pollution to others, but Arnold smokes in a tent so he doesn't pollute the environment.

Obviously, when it comes industries it's a whole different story because their pollution isn't pollution it is jobs being manufactured and you don't want to lose your job, even if it may render your life more miserable.

Oh I almost forgot, war is peace.
posted by elpapacito at 1:02 PM on September 28, 2004


Smoking is evil, or at least the most disgusting still-sociallly-legitimate activity (in some quarters). Give them nicotine patches, and that's all. Good, Arnold!
Uh, you know he smokes cigars right? Uh, you know he's been known to walk into non-smoking restaurants (outside of California) smoking a cigar, and *asked* to put out the cigar. You do know that cigars smell just as bad as cigarettes do, right?

And I would very much like to see the part of the penal code where it says that being ass-raped is part of the punishment
Please tell me you're joking fenriq, please.

And as far as nicotine patches and treatment? Do you have any idea how much the state is going to be bilked for that? Talk about a great private sector supply position.

Then again, I wouldn't want to piss off any smokers.
posted by raygun21 at 1:05 PM on September 28, 2004


When I toured Central Prison in Raleigh (with the Sociology Club) back in the late seventies, the place reeked with the smell of pot.

There'll be smokes in jail.
posted by konolia at 1:09 PM on September 28, 2004


This marks the first time I've read a ParisParamus comment and thought to myself, "Right on".

I don't expect it to continue but its nice to know that there are always some topics that we can agree on.

cedar, thanks for the image of a convict trying to stuff a pack of cigarettes in his butt, that'll keep my smiling until the end of the day!

On Preview: raygun21, nope, not kidding, show me where the ass-raping part of the sentencing is in the California Penal Code. Jaded brought it up and I just wanted to point out that being ass-raped while in prison isn't part of the punishment, its incidental to the court mandated punishment.
posted by fenriq at 1:11 PM on September 28, 2004


Contraband isn't as big an issue as one would think, jonmc.

Regardless of the availability of drugs of any kind they'll still want their cigarrettes, trust me. 90% of all dopers I've known were smokers. It'll find a way in. Prison tend to house experts in getting around rules and obtaining contraband.
posted by jonmc at 1:13 PM on September 28, 2004


"There'll be smokes in jail."

This points out something that hasn't been mentioned.

By the time most prisoners hit the state system they have been in county lockups (jails) for anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of years. Providing the county jails are also non-smoking this shifts most of the burden to the county level. After several months in county the most acute of the withdrawal symptoms will have passed -- this is why NYSDoC only offered the nicotine patches when the policy was first implemented, the thinking being that after the initial population was treated incoming prisoners would be acclimated to a smoke free environment.
posted by cedar at 1:18 PM on September 28, 2004


"I don't know about where you live but I where I live it's worked just fine in bars. I don't see many places that violate it willingly and trust me, I spend a lot of time in bars. Liquor licenses are hard to come by, easy to lose and expensive to litigate."

I have no idea what types of bars you frequent, cedar, perhaps the smoke is in your eyes :) here in Albany, NY most bars I frequent have 'bust' funds and ashtrays behind the bar.

/derail
posted by DBAPaul at 1:18 PM on September 28, 2004


And it actually can help keep the prisoners under control.

Sort of, yeah. The pulling of a black market currency that's easy to define is probably a good thing, but there's other drawbacks. Prisons who have smoking make a pile of cash off of selling cigarettes. I knew a guy who was inside up north and happened to be there when a smoking ban went through. One of the things they did was stop giving them as much food in order to increase junk food purchases at the prison store. Pretty shitty, if you ask me.
posted by lumpenprole at 1:21 PM on September 28, 2004


"You do know that cigars smell just as bad as cigarettes do, right?"

You have about 1/8th of a point--I don't think Arnold is allowed to smoke on the job. Now it is true that one aspect of a prison facility is dormitory/residential. But, alas, everywhere is a common area, so no go.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:22 PM on September 28, 2004


I can't believe that I agree with PP on something, that smoking is especially stinky. But for the love of god, let them smoke.
posted by adampsyche at 1:24 PM on September 28, 2004


fenriq, whether or not it's part of the penal code, the reality of the situation is that rape is a very real threat in prison. we're just not honest enough to admit that's what we're sentencing criminals to. i wish we'd have the guts to at least state the whole punishment instead of pretending that getting 10 years in the pen just means staying in prison for 10 years.
posted by jcruelty at 1:25 PM on September 28, 2004


In related news....

^you are an inspiration to us all sir.
posted by jonmc at 1:29 PM on September 28, 2004


I for one am glad that I won't be anywhere near a prison in California in the next few months.

Quitting when you want to is hard enough, quitting when you're forced to? I don't even want to imagine the anger.

I recently quit, because I wanted to. It wasn't easy, I'm still bitchy as hell most of the time. And yes, weird. It changes you, sometimes not for the better, even though you're healthier and nicer to be around in terms of smell.
posted by kamylyon at 1:29 PM on September 28, 2004


jcruelty, I'm not disputing the fact that it is a very real threat.

It is an unfortunate side effect of incarceration but not its point (yes, bad pun badly intended).

But if ass-raping is added to potential punishments, what about beatings and the other less rectally invasive hijinks those kooky guests of the state get up to?
posted by fenriq at 1:32 PM on September 28, 2004


And, it does work in prisons. It's really not that hard to enforce

What? Illicit drug use in prisons is already rampant. Just add nicotine to the list.

I live in the SF bay area and there are tons of bars/cafes/clubs here that don't enforce the smoking ban. It's practically expected that if a bar has a patio, it will be filled with smokers. And many places will still give you an ashtray at the bar if you ask, even indoors. The Lone Palm on Guerrero. Dr. Bombay's on 16th. Papa Toby's on Valencia. Thalassa on Shattuck. You just have to know where to go. The situation hasn't changed in the last several years, either. There seems to be no "movement" to further enforce the ban.

Likewise, I wonder how prison guards actually feel about this. Maybe they're happy they got one more "stick" to use. Be a bad boy and I'll enforce the smoking ban on you!

I have to say it tickles me pink to know that ParisParamus lives where he does and hates smoking - hah!
posted by scarabic at 1:41 PM on September 28, 2004


You have about 1/8th of a point--I don't think Arnold is allowed to smoke on the job
For someone who is so proactive in regards to pollution I'd think you wouldn't want to support a Humvee drivin', cigar smokin' guy. But I guess it's flexibility and compromise that's part of this whole "getting along and surviving" thing.

Still, I can't help but think secondhand smoke is the least of worries in the common areas of a prison (you know, the ones rife with overcrowding and horrible conditions [you know, because we're more worried about people getting lung cancer then, I dunno, becoming productive members of society and all]).

that's what I find so friggin' cute about this type of legislature: no lung cancer, but you can get AIDS for FREE!! or die of severe internal bleeding, hepatitis, stabbings, etc. if we really are trying to protect the inmates (and staff), those are the things that need to be banned and enforced. but that would cost too much money, after all that's what this whole thing is about: SAVING MONEY and not saving lives. it's bullshite "feel good" crap that makes all of us (the ones not in prison) feel a little bit better. as long as they're not building improved facilities in my neighborhood, or using my hard-earned tax dollars to *gasp* make someone else's life a little easier and safer I am fine.

just make sure to provide your email address, otherwise you may have to quit dignity cold turkey.
posted by raygun21 at 1:53 PM on September 28, 2004


Wait a second. If you smoke in prison, what will they do to you? Put you in prison?

We're not exactly talking to a bunch of rational people here when we ask prisoners to stop smoking. They don't have much to lose...
posted by shepd at 2:21 PM on September 28, 2004



Your statement makes about us much sense as you supporting the government banning my smoking in my own home... ie: none.


Now that's just dumb. Presumably people who come to your house do so voluntarily, because they want to be there; therefore, anything they may be subjected to while on the premises cannot be deemed "cruel and unusual punishment," so long as they are free to leave at any time.

We're not exactly talking to a bunch of rational people here when we ask prisoners to stop smoking.

Good thing we're not "asking" them, then.
posted by rushmc at 2:28 PM on September 28, 2004


Me, PP, who is a road cyclist, who recycles, who is anti-SUV/motorized recreation, who lives a City and hasn't owned a car in 8 years-- huh?

This marks the first time I've read a ParisParamus comment and thought to myself, "Right on".


Right on, PP!

Hey, he deserves it, and it's a novelty for me ;-)

And I may not be vocal about it, but I'm allergic to nicotine and many other chemicals that cause my windpipe automatically to shrink to the size of a cocktail straw, so I know how you feel (or worse.)
posted by Shane at 2:32 PM on September 28, 2004


we're not "asking" them

Exactly, asking implies a choice. They lost the right to choice when they committed the crimes that put them in prison on the first place.

On the other hand, why should non-smoking prisoners get the privilige of a smoke-free environment? I mean, they're there for a reason too. Let em suffer for it!
posted by kamylyon at 2:48 PM on September 28, 2004


um, in the first place
posted by kamylyon at 2:49 PM on September 28, 2004


shepd, there are always nastier prisons to be sent to, there are always nastier wings to be sent to, there's isolation, there's Chinese water tortures, there's the nasty anal-rape wing of the prison.

Plenty left to lose, I'd say.
posted by fenriq at 3:07 PM on September 28, 2004


"But if ass-raping is added to potential punishments, what about beatings and the other less rectally invasive hijinks those kooky guests of the state get up to?" -- fenriq, that's exactly my point. i'm not morally opposed to punishment by the state, but i think if we're not going to make an effort to stop rape and beatings from happening (and we don't; rape is an accepted part of prison culture) then we should at least acknowledge that it's included in the sentence. to do otherwise is dishonest and immoral.
posted by jcruelty at 3:23 PM on September 28, 2004


I can't help but think secondhand smoke is the least of worries in the common areas of a prison
What about the employees of the prison? Here in the Dallas, Tx area, no smoking in the jails.

My last work place in Ca. was in '92 at a small company located LA County. By law you could smoke inside the office at your desk if certain ventilation requirements were met. Is it still like this?
posted by thomcatspike at 3:28 PM on September 28, 2004


I don't think Arnold is allowed to smoke on the job.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who set up a tent outside his smoke-free state office to accommodate his taste for a good cigar, signed a bill Monday barring tobacco from state prisons.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:38 PM on September 28, 2004


Grab a clue, people.

If you think tobacco is so evil, then why don't you simply outlaw it? Cigarettes are legal. I know it must hurt your sensitive souls to read that, but you're going to have to deal with it. Oooh, I can't smoke in the bar any more? That's cool, I'll just hang around with my other smokers right outside the door.

You sanctimonious, self-satisfied, and selfish* people disgust me.

* - That's right, selfish. You wouldn't be satisfied to have "smoking" and "no smoking sections". No, not until the earth is rid of cigarettes will you be happy.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:56 PM on September 28, 2004


C_D, you mean I can just declare cigarettes illegal and it actually happens? Hmm, I've been declaring them illegal for years and it doesn't seem to make a damned bit of difference.

And no, I don't want the world rid of cigarettes, I want my fucking father to be alive and healthy again. Take your pithy little sanctimonious insult and shove it up your ass.

And it wouldn't have anything to do with Big Tobacco throwing millions and billions of dollars at politicians, that couldn't be enough to keep poison legal? Could it? Oh wait, sure it could.
posted by fenriq at 4:05 PM on September 28, 2004


I live in the SF bay area and there are tons of bars/cafes/clubs here that don't enforce the smoking ban ... The Lone Palm on Guerrero. Dr. Bombay's on 16th. Papa Toby's on Valencia.

not exactly "tons" but ...

The Lone Palm is worker-owned, I believe, so it's allowed there. it's awfully smoky sometimes ...

Dr. Bombay's is no longer. it's now Cama. no smoking.

i dunno 'bout Toby's Goodtime Explosion or whatever's it's called. i figured smoking was only ok on the patio. smoking is still legal on patios, right? like Zeitgeist? like that room at the Hemlock that isn't really outside but well ventilated? i can't believe those places are flouting the law. i thought it was legal in outside areas.

most of the "dive" bars i go to in SF (Drift Inn, Expansion, Annie's) got rid of their ashtrays long ago. there was an initial resistance when the law first passed, but all the bars i frequent (which is a fair number) seem to follow the law now.

as for cutting it for prisons, it's a good move, i think, for the sheer health-care savings alone. i have a hard time thinking that patches and withdrawal treatment are more expensive than cigarette-related-disease treatment.

It's hilarious to me that people relate this story to their own personal distaste for the smell of smoke.

it's funnier to me that some people relate the serious effects of secondhand smoke to a personal distaste for the smell.

lastly, to all you smokers, please pick up your fucking butts. i'm tired of seeing them littered all over my damn city. throw them in the trash, or put them in your pocket to throw away later. you're not helping your case at all by littering profusely.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:07 PM on September 28, 2004


Please stop saying "ass-rape"; it's grossing me out and the word "rape" alone is surely sufficient, and probably more accurate as well. Let's not forget that, thanks to non-violent offender drug sentencing, over the past 25 years the female prisoner population in California has risen at least 850%. There are plenty of ways to sexually torture someone without involving the ass. And I'm with you, C_D.
posted by obloquy at 4:08 PM on September 28, 2004


Seriously, prisoners should grow on site and have access to as much marijuana as they want to smoke. If many of them spent 90% of their time zonked out, 90% of prison problems would be solved. Granted, there are some that wouldn't be settled down, but they would stand out more, and be easier to control.
Three months before being released, then they are transferred to a non-marijuana facility, to get their heads clear and get them ready for a return to society.

What problems?
posted by kablam at 4:09 PM on September 28, 2004


If you think tobacco is so evil, then why don't you simply outlaw it?
Because it makes too much money. What would the GOP be without Philip Morris? Poorer.

fenriq, did your dad work in a secondhand smoke environment, or was he a smoker?

kablam: when was the last time you stopped smoking weed for 3 months? besides, imagine the HEALTH CARE COSTS from the prisoners getting the munchies. hell, imagine the riots when the last snickers has been sold. ::shudder::
posted by raygun21 at 4:14 PM on September 28, 2004


I want my fucking father to be alive and healthy again.

Oh, was he a restaurant worker, poisoned over decades of second-hand smoke?

People make choices. Sometimes they're bad choices. But they are ours to make, not yours to dictate. So go play your little sentimental blame-game someplace else.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:26 PM on September 28, 2004


I had a nonsmoking friend die of lung cancer a couple of years ago. Entirely possible that secondhand smoke did him in.
I live in North Carolina, where just about every politician has to dance with the tobacco devil in order to get elected. Lots of good old Southern Baptist farmers grow death in their fields. Denial is a powerful thing.
posted by konolia at 5:24 PM on September 28, 2004


Honestly, I just can't see this being implemented. It didn't really work in bars. It's not really going to work in prisons

My brother unfortunately had to spend some time in the CA penal system last year: county lock-up to state prison to honor farm. I visited him while he was at the farm (and boy was that an experience..."spit out your gum" I wasn't chewing any gum "leave your purse in your car" "remove your sweater" etc.) and there was no smoking at any of the places he was incarcerated. He told me one of his buddies got in trouble for picking up a butt discarded by a guard.

My brother's experience? No smoking, no drugs, and no rape. He did, however play a LOT of sports and went to lots of church services (out of boredom,) sang in a Christmas program for the guards, and took computor classes. He was in one year and started smoking again as soon as he got out.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:38 PM on September 28, 2004


raygun and fenriq: You can blame politicians for taking tobacco money (that filthy GOP again), but the majority of money isn't thrown at politicians, it's taken by government for whatever it chooses.

A masterstroke of big tobacco. End tort harassment by making government depend on its revenue, earn monopoly position from government.
posted by trharlan at 5:38 PM on September 28, 2004


damn, i forgot there are no politicians in washington. it's just "Government" -- that big, faceless entity that makes all the decisions for us.

fucking republic, so boring. wake me up when i can participate in the spending of my tax/lawsuit dollars.
posted by raygun21 at 6:10 PM on September 28, 2004


Did you misunderstand my point, raygun21, or are you just ignoring it?
posted by trharlan at 6:16 PM on September 28, 2004


metafilter: please stop saying "ass-rape"
posted by centrs at 6:33 PM on September 28, 2004


trharlan: point = govt. is feeding from the trough of big tobacco, even though it claims it is helping the citizens.

correct o no?
posted by raygun21 at 6:45 PM on September 28, 2004


In other news, Heroin use in California prisons is predicted to shoot up overnight.
posted by bwg at 7:09 PM on September 28, 2004


Is it just me, or does everbody enjoy watching addicts pretend to rational about their addiction?

Hours and hours of un, I tell ya.
posted by NortonDC at 7:12 PM on September 28, 2004


Yeah, let's ban everything that smells bad or offends me in any way. People who haven't showered recently shouldn't be allowed in bars or restaurants. People who talk too loud shouldn't be allowed on sidewalks...

I mean, I understand the health argument. But the "it annoys me" argument is pure crap... society should not be legislating that stuff. It's ridiculous. In the above cases, places can certainly enforce restrictions like that, or not, as their clientele wishes. As long as no one is forced to be around a smoker while they are smoking, there's no issue. And people were NOT forced to go to or work in bars and clubs before the 1998 ban. They just wanted to legislate their personal annoyances onto others.

[and a lot of smokers do pick up their trash, unfortunately, like everything else in society, it only takes a small number of people to create a big problem... and anyone who drops their butts on the ground should be heavily fined, no question]

However, if we're stuck on the legislating annoyances crap, I propose we ban children from restaurants. They can stay out on the patio or be at home. I should be able to eat wherever I want without putting up with that crap. Heaven forbid I show some tolerance to things I don't personally like.
posted by wildcrdj at 7:22 PM on September 28, 2004


Smoking is banned in every workplace here (Vancouver). Restaurants, bars, government offices, buiness offices, malls, stores, etc. If anybody has a real problem with it, I've yet to hear-- some bars have made provisions so that there are separately ventilated smoking rooms off their main one, or otherwise made sure that there's a access to the outdoors. One of the unexpected pleasures of this is that many small restaurants and cafes now have tables and chairs outside, which has led to a type of openness and life on the streets which I really enjoy... And being able to go and see a show without coming home reeking of smoke is sheer pleasure.

On the other hand, I did smoke for ten years, and I feel for those inmates who are losing the company of their cigarettes. Nicotine withdrawal can be brutal. I can't help but wonder if, this move is obstensiblyl for the good of the inmates, the time and effort wasn't directed to education and counselling instead.
posted by jokeefe at 7:33 PM on September 28, 2004


I propose we ban children from restaurants.

Oh God yes. But more importantly, we must ban the parents for bringing them there in the first place.

And movie theaters, if the movie isn't for children.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:42 PM on September 28, 2004


Less time for tobacco smoking means more time for pole smoking?
posted by jmccorm at 8:00 PM on September 28, 2004


There are adult only restaurants.

And Civil_Disobedient, no, you're right, my father didn't die from second hand smoke in a bar. He smoked by his own choice and died because of it. And because of that, I hate the tobacco companies, I hate the tobacco executives and I hate anyone making a buck off of selling death.

You want to call that a sentimental little blame game? Fine. I would rather consider is a lesson hard learned. Cigarettes are poison, they shouldn't be legal, I'd be happier if they were illegal but they're not and people get addicted to them. You ever been addicted to anything? Its not quite so simple to just stop.

Of course, I'm talking about mere mortals and not the almighty Civil_Disobedient. Mortals struggle with these things, that's why they are but a hint of a shadow of your supremeness. Oh yeah, and you're super funny too, really. No really.

obloquy, sorry about that. I'll try to not say ass rape anymore. How about this? Everytime I write Civil_Disobedient, just replace it in your head with ass rape, it pretty much means the same thing.
posted by fenriq at 8:36 PM on September 28, 2004


jmccorm: maybe it'll help with that latent American aggression. Instead of invading countries, the US will start pulling its pud.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:55 PM on September 28, 2004


So, if you break the ban what the hell are they going to do... put you in jail?
posted by clevershark at 9:22 PM on September 28, 2004


Legalize everything you stupid, sanctimonious fuckasses.

It's my body, and I'll damn well medicate it as I please. And yes, I said medicate. I'll damn well medicate to vanquish pain or induce orgiastic esctasy, as I see fit. 'Cause they're one and the same, just different shades of gray.

Your unhinged whinging about everything that really has nothing to do with you affecting your precious quality of life is directly fucking over my quality of life. Stop. Now.

Nicotine is quite useful. Yes, I'm addicted. I'm also a fucking alcoholic. That is not the point of this argument.

But if it wasn't for nicotine and a number of other substances - legal and not - I'd have offed myself long, long ago.

I won't burden you unduly, but life often sucks on this pitious little planet of ours. You know this, I know it.

For some of us it sucks even more. If even all a stoner, mushroom eater, opium eater, or even crackhead gets from their medication of choice is nebulous dreams, you have no moral obligation (and certainly no fucking right!) to deny them. Pain is subjective. You have no right to deny anyones claim of pain, and what soothes it.

For some, dreams are all they have.

But this is also not the point.

Consider: Nutritional supplements being banned. Like L-Tryptophan. What about B-6 and B-12? I know quite a few people that LIVE on megadoses of the B complexes. What about vitamin C? What about Valarien root? St. John's Wort? Garlic? Chocolate/PMA? Caffiene? What about DMT? It's already a banned, scheduled substance in the United States. But it occurs naturally in the human brain. So, what, we're all contraband now?

The only logical, empathic, humane, and just solution is complete legalization, or complete illegality for everything consumable including foods and spices. (Don't get me started on spices...). But with complete legalization we also need complete freedom of information and access to education.

And even this isn't really the point.

How many cultural, spiritual and intellectual revolutions have been fueled by substances? All of them. Every single fucking one. Name one, there's filthy dope habits behind it driving it forward beyond the instincts of survival. Coffee and cocaine begat the industrial revolution. "Spices" in the form of psychoactives, preservatives and medicinals spurred the "discovery" of the "new" world. (Clove and nutmeg, for starters, are startlingly psychoactive at small threshold dosages.) Judaism is very likely a product of mushroom cults based in the Urals and Mesopotamia.

The personal computer and global-networking environment you're personally enjoying and exploiting is a direct result of the insights and echoes provided by LSD-25 as channeled through the truly inventive, brilliant, and out there. Ask Wozniak. Ask Jobs. Ask the old guard IC designers at Intel. Ask Mandelbrot. Ask Mitch Kapor. Ask Justin fucking WASTEsoft Frankel. Ask every long-haired power-grabbing, fire-stealing computer hippy that ever fought the good fight against mainframe, time-sharing hegemonies. Ask the hardcore assembly programmer down the hall.

Human intelligence and symbology-using hominids is quite likely to have been a product of psilocybin-containing mushrooms or other psychoactives.

By legislating self-medication, and trying to divide food from drugs, we only limit our own progress. Mark my words, nunshitters. Contraband only creates crime and black markets and limits our horizons. Anyone who says otherwise has never even glimpsed the really big picture, nor have they even approached the inside edges of "the box".

Ad Astra Per Aspera.

Now get the fucking hellshits out of my way, you pansy-assed fuckspigots, I'm gonna go smoke.
posted by loquacious at 10:22 PM on September 28, 2004 [1 favorite]


Is it just me, or does everbody enjoy watching addicts pretend to rational about their addiction?

Is it just me, or does everybody enjoy watching self-righteous blowhards sticking their "no's" everywhere but mostly where they don't belong?
posted by clevershark at 10:28 PM on September 28, 2004


loquacious, an interesting and passionate viewpoint. While it was easy to imagine Jobs doing the Leary three-step, somehow I never got the image of little Billy Gates dropping acid and getting in touch with his inner super groove.

But what if what you do to your body impacts my ability to do what I want to my body? How do you justify that?

Anyone else notice that big old moon? No wonder the world's been pissed off today.

fucking hellshits out of my way, you pansy-assed fuckspigots

This was really very, very nice. What's a hellshit?
posted by fenriq at 10:43 PM on September 28, 2004


Jesus fucking christ.

I'm so sick of this bullshit. Are people really concerned about the blight of tobacco? Then we should be banning the fucking thing. It kills millions of people, recently among them my father, a smoker of thirty-odd years. I hate cigarettes and I want them gone from every place I go.

What are we doing instead? We're restricting the use of tobacco, and in so doing hurting countless people who are only tangentially involved in its trade, either by seriously damaging their business practices or by bizarrely denying them the right to practice something that remains very legal. I may come from a family cut down by cancer (my grandfather died of lung cancer as well), but I also come from a family of bar owners, and I know how devastating the New York ban has been. And did we do anything to deserve financial ruin, other than tolerate a legal activity that half the country still practices? The appropriate targets are the tobacco companies, which should be shut down. Let all smokers go through withdrawal together without regard to who they are, and let the air be clean everywhere.

And if we're not prepared to do that? Fuck it. Let them smoke everywhere, and don't fuck with people just because they happen to be vulnerable. Smoking restrictions outside a very limited context make no sense -- my dad would be the first one to say so. The only appropriate response to tobacco is an outright ban, which places the onus squarely where it belongs.
posted by Epenthesis at 1:00 AM on September 29, 2004


For a moment I tought I was reading Oprah , Oreilly and Stern at the same time ! Let me congratulate the above showbusiness personalities for helping forming logic looping debating skills while making money out of it.

Damn I should quit and join the pundit machine.
posted by elpapacito at 5:36 AM on September 29, 2004


Cigarettes are poison, they shouldn't be legal, I'd be happier if they were illegal but they're not and people get addicted to them.

Lots of shit is poison. Lots of stuff is addictive. I know, let's start a campaign to stop anybody from doing anything that might be dangerous to themselves. We can start by handcuffing everybody to their front door.

You ever been addicted to anything?

I'm addicted to calling people out on their own self-righteous bullshit. Your dad died from cigarettes, he made his choice. My grandfather died from cigarettes, he made his choice. My other grandfather died from old age after smoking for thirty years. Know why he didn't die from cancer? Because he fucking quit when he realized it was bad for him.

And fenriq, being a complete asshole isn't going to bring your dad back.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:43 AM on September 29, 2004


fenriq: While rape isn't technically part of the punishment when you go to prison, it is a well established fact that it occurs and that it occurs more often than it should. There is at least one case on recent record in which a Florida judge actually mentioned that probability of rape was a factor in his decision - specifically, he thought that it was a good idea. Everyone knows that it happens, but few are willing to do anything about it and none of those few are the people with the real power to stop it.

Everyone else calling for the outright ban of tobacco: The problem with banning any substance is that it is a slippery slope that is easily traversed. By banning the use/sale of certain consumable items, we are allowing the government to write into law as fact the idea that we do not have enough common sense to stay out of trouble. Furthermore, we are removing personal responsibility and culpability from the equation.

By asking for the ban of tobacco (or any drug) you are saying to the government: "I am too stupid to make the right decision, please make it for me. My fellow humans are to stupid to make the right decisions about their lives, please make it for them."

You do not have the right to make that statement on my behalf.

Look, anyone with the brains god gave a turnip is aware of the fact that smoking is bad for you. It pretty bleeding obvious - you cough the very first time you try it. No shit it's bad for you. But for some, the peace and joy tobacco brings is worth it. Used in moderation, tobacco like all things, is relatively safe.

Alchohol ruins just as many lives - you saw how banning that went. And my, making pot illegal has really really stopped people from smoking up. Funny how "controlled substance" is actually a kind of oxymoron.

You might as well ban Twinkies. They make people fat.
posted by jaded at 5:56 AM on September 29, 2004


this is making me want a cigarette and a cup of coffee while being ass-raped.
wait, coffee's still legal, isn't it?
posted by kamylyon at 7:01 AM on September 29, 2004


Lots of shit is poison. Lots of stuff is addictive. I know, let's start a campaign to stop anybody from doing anything that might be dangerous to themselves.

Alchohol ruins just as many lives ... You might as well ban Twinkies. They make people fat.

It's fun to watch people deliberately ignore obvious facts, like the whopping difference between doing something that only poisons yourself, and doing something that poisons everyone in the fucking room.
posted by GeekAnimator at 7:46 AM on September 29, 2004


Civil_Disobedient, then perhaps you should stop being a complete asshole, I know my father's dead. Yes, he made a bad choice and it cost him his life, does that make the tobacco industry any less culpable? What about if its proven that they bred and grew tobacco to be as addictive as possible? What if they sprayed it with chemicals to make your body dependent on it?

Where does the line get drawn that says its up to the user to get "clean" or its up to the manufacturer to stop stacking the deck against you?

Its not so simple to quit smoking, he tried, many times. The only time it worked was when they told him he had lung cancer.

I know, let's start a campaign to stop over simplistic stupid "solutions" to problems that aren't really problems in the first place to avoid having to address issues like addiction to cigarettes. I know, let's start an online community where armchair quarterbacks can argue endlessly and never actually do anything. Yeah!

kamylon, hey, depending on the state you're in ass-r, I mean Civil_Disobedient, is legal.
posted by fenriq at 8:03 AM on September 29, 2004


They recently banned smoking in Fayetteville, AR (in restaraunts). It is nice to be able to go eat at places that I previously couldn't because spending an hour in the smoke-filled air would leave me miserable for a few days afterwards.

Now if only I could mount a turret in my front yard to eliminate the zombies that toss still-burning pieces of paper out their windows as they leave the park across the street, things would be peachy. I pick up more cig butts than I do all other litter combined. Once or twice I have had some fun tossing a rotten tomato at someone's car when I caught them in the act, but that still doesn't quite outweigh having to pick up other people's trash in my flower beds.
posted by bargle at 9:23 AM on September 29, 2004


On the other hand, why should non-smoking prisoners get the privilige of a smoke-free environment? I mean, they're there for a reason too. Let em suffer for it!

A little thing called the Bill of Rights, see cruel and unusual punishment.

But if it wasn't for nicotine and a number of other substances - legal and not - I'd have offed myself long, long ago.

You hardly paint yourself as a credible point-of-view on the issue, sorry. If you are this disfunctional, then you stand as more of an argument for the abolitionist side (which I do not support, btw).
posted by rushmc at 9:37 AM on September 29, 2004


I'm also a fucking alcoholic.

Lucky man. When I get drunk, it don't function.

The only time it worked was when they told him he had lung cancer.

I'm gonna harsh ya here, so clench up: sounds like lung cancer was what it took to motivate him adequately. Nic is one of the most addictive drugs, yes, but quitting ultimately does come down to an active choice. If your old man had desired it enough, he'd have stopped long in advance of the cancer. He didn't: ultimately, his choice.

Outlaw it.

Oh for cripe's sake! The "War on Drugs" is a dismal failure. A complete, collosal, wasteful, idiotic, and pointless failure. It's very likely the most unsuccessful government initiative of all time. It could not possibly fail any more spectacularly, and it would be difficult for it to fail more harmfully than it has.

Outlawing nic is the stupidest possible idea evah.

It's my body, and I'll damn well medicate it as I please.

Damn straight. As long as you are not harming me, wtf would I care what you do to your body?

In a country where fully 3/4s of the population should never have been allowed behind the steering wheel, and pose a direct threat to my safety, worrying about whether Joe Who is shooting smack doesn't make any sense at all.

Legalize everything.

Control supply. Set quality standards. Deal it through liquor stores or pharmacies.

Control locale: bars, shooting clubs, whatever. Disallow use in public parks, homes with children, whatever. Set very harsh penalties for being impaired while driving, or in public, whatever.

We can set things up so that users can use safely, so that the public isn't endangered, and so that addicts can seek treatment easily and effectively.

Sure as hell that things couldn't be any worse than they are with the current thick-headed approach.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:17 AM on September 29, 2004


A little thing called the Bill of Rights, see cruel and unusual punishment.


Is no one seeing the irony in that? Bill of Rights and prisoners, hmmm.

Sorry, IMHO prisoners have no 'rights'.

And I've just argued myself into a corner.

looks for an escape route
posted by kamylyon at 11:16 AM on September 29, 2004


Sorry, IMHO prisoners have no 'rights'.
Thank God you're not running things. Just wait until you're in jail on some bullshit charge, then let us know how you feel.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:31 AM on September 29, 2004


Sorry, IMHO prisoners have no 'rights'.

::beheads Martha Stewart::
posted by bargle at 12:43 PM on September 29, 2004


difference between doing something that only poisons yourself, and doing something that poisons everyone in the fucking room

That's kinda the point of smoking areas, dontchaknow? I remember one bar in Boston that actually had separated the entire two-story facility into a smoking and non-smoking floor. Different air circulators, even different entrances. So where's the problem there?

I can just envision some annoying prat raising hell about how his "rights are being trampled" because there's smoke over here. "Well, go over there, then." "But I wanna stand right here!" Selfishness, that's all.

Civil_Disobedient, then perhaps you should stop being a complete asshole

Please. While I sympathize with you for your loss, that is completely irrelevant to the discussion of personal responsibility. I feel bad for people who have family members killed in car wrecks, too, but I don't think automobiles need to be banned.

Everytime I write Civil_Disobedient, just replace it in your head with ass rape

What are you, five years old? If you want to have a discussion, fine. If you just want to throw a temper-tantrum, I recommend you ask your mommy to put the diaper over your head instead of you ass.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:48 PM on September 29, 2004


Civil_Disobedient, yep, that's right, I'm five years old and have a dirty diaper. Wow, you just totally nailed me, I can't believe I've been able to fake being a adult for so long.

I was having a discussion with the community before you had to get personal with me. It was my post, I took your You sanctimonious, self-satisfied, and selfish* people disgust me comment as being directed at me for having the audacity to post it. Were you levelling that at ANYONE who thinks tobacco and tobacco products are evil and should be legislated out of the market? Maybe you ought to be a little clearer.

Take your false sympathy for the death of my father and shove it. Your pity is condescending and grotesque. I can almost hear you saying it, Well, he SHOULD have known better than to smoke, poor stupid, stupid man. But I feel bad for him, I really do, dumbass.

Oh, gosh, that makes me feel soooooo much better coming from you, oh master of words Civil_Disobedient. Actually, no, no it doesn't.
posted by fenriq at 2:57 PM on September 29, 2004


:::sends kamylyon to look up the word "inalienable":::
posted by rushmc at 4:09 PM on September 29, 2004


Pardon my French before, I was having a rough work day, but the opinion stands. At least I was creative and funny about it.

rushmc: You actually prove one of my point. You don't know who I am, where I've been, and what has happened to me over my life. The things I've experienced not everyone could survive. I'm not going to spill my life's past woes here for anyone's amusement, but let's just say some have been psychologically, physically and spiritually traumatic, to understate it. Have some compassion, empathy and grace.

The world is often a dark and dangerous place, and I'll take my solace and survival where I can find it.
posted by loquacious at 5:21 PM on September 29, 2004


point -> points.
posted by loquacious at 5:22 PM on September 29, 2004


whatever rushmc, Thomas Jefferson wasn't faced with thousands upon thousands of people who had deprived others others their "inalienable" rights either, was he?
posted by kamylyon at 5:32 PM on September 29, 2004


oops, minus one of the 'others'
posted by kamylyon at 5:33 PM on September 29, 2004


du uh and plus and 'of'
posted by kamylyon at 5:35 PM on September 29, 2004


fenriq, you have decided to make it personal. Take a look at the thread. Me: 6:56 PM. Comment directed to "you people". Not "you, fenriq." Next comment, yours, 7:05 PM. Directed at "C_D".

You (fenriq) are apparently too dense to realize that my comment was directed at you (anti-smokers), illustrated by the phrase "you people." Perhaps English isn't your first language and you're not accustomed to this phrase. Or perhaps you forgot that the world (and this thread) is made up of many people, and that every comment isn't necessarily directed at you specifically. The originator of the thread isn't automatically the center of attention; every comment isn't directed at them personally. So get over yourself.

Take your false sympathy for the death of my father and shove it.

How about you stop taking your pathetic, ineffectual ability to do anything about your father's death and directing that anger at people who happen to disagree with you.

I'm five years old and have a dirty diaper.

No, you see, you've completely missed the joke. Let me explain it to you: she puts the diaper over your head instead of your ass because you've got shit for brains.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:48 PM on September 29, 2004


Civil_Dumbass, I didn't miss the joke, there was no joke. Shit for brains, wow, epiphany, you're like the most clever wordsmith of all time, you come up with that all by yourself? Hope you didn't hurt yourself doing it. Oh no, wait, yeah, I do.

Now I'm dense and might be one of them furriners that don't speaka the good Engrish?
Oooh, you're knocking my self esteem into the ground. I don't know how many more of your crushing psychological blows I can withstand before I crumple under your undeniable and infallible logic, oh mighty ass ra, I mean Civil_Dumba, I mean Civil_Disobedient.

Tell you what, you go fuck off and live your life being the Ubermensch I'm sure you think you are. I'll live my life secure in the knowledge that you're a used colostomy bag. Happy? Probably not but hey, who cares?
posted by fenriq at 6:19 PM on September 29, 2004


Woops, that was over the top.

MetaFilter: I'll Push Your Buttons, You Push My Buttons and A'Warrin' We Will Go
posted by fenriq at 6:38 PM on September 29, 2004


"I have to say it tickles me pink to know that ParisParamus lives where he does and hates smoking - hah!"

Sorry, but I live in Brooklyn, near the top of a hill. The air's pretty good. I haven't been to Paris is 6 years, and the reasons not to go are a three-way tie between old girlfriends, THE FRENCH, and the smoke....
posted by ParisParamus at 6:49 PM on September 29, 2004


Are prisons workplaces in your offshoot of reality, Civil_Disobedient?
posted by NortonDC at 6:53 PM on September 29, 2004


Uh, kamylyon, I'm on expert or anything, but I think that inalienable rights are supposed to apply to everyone, including people who have been imprisoned. I think the Bill of Rights and every single other 'law' applies to people in prisons. There is an entire amendment (1 out of 10) devoted to prison conditions, and I think that amendment applies to people who are in prison.

I'm not sure that US citizenship is just garbage that can be taken away on the whim of a judge. Most people consider it something precious. (Or did...)

Prisoners are people, too. Sometimes they are people who have done bad things, and sometimes they aren't, but rape in prison, whether perpetrated by guards (very often) or other prisoners shouldn't be dismissed blithely like you have done.
posted by goneill at 7:02 PM on September 29, 2004


Beth's neocon boyfriend here. A little late on this, but these people are not exactly supposed to be having the rewards of working, obeying rules and regulations, and otherwise contributing to or at least not detracting from the betterment of society.
posted by beth at 9:43 PM on September 29, 2004


Paris, do you honestly think you're not breathing a shedload of pollution every hour you live in or around NYC? I'm pretty sure that your "fresh air" would be considered filthy thick swill by a lot of people in towns across the mid-west.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:46 PM on September 29, 2004


Beth's boy: I'm pretty damn sure that cons are, in fact, exactly supposed to be obeying rules and regulations. I'm pretty sure that those cons who don't toe the line end up punished for breaking the rules.

Personally, I couldn't care less if prisoners have the vote. In fact, I think I'd rather they didn't get to vote. Loss of privileges and freedoms is a logical consequence of imprisonment, IMO.

Once they've served their time, though, they should have every right and responsibility of other citizens, and especially they should have the right to vote.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:59 PM on September 29, 2004


Loss of privileges and freedoms is a logical consequence of imprisonment, IMO.

I agree completely. The thing is, rights are neither privileges nor freedoms.
posted by rushmc at 8:01 AM on September 30, 2004


Rights are granted by society: they are not laws of nature. As a society, we can choose which rights we support, and to whom we grant them.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:32 AM on September 30, 2004


Not in America, baby:
all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights
Political fiction, no doubt, but a very instructive one.
posted by NortonDC at 2:15 PM on September 30, 2004


Rights are granted by society

No they aren't. They can be interfered with by society, but it doesn't grant them.
posted by rushmc at 10:52 PM on September 30, 2004


Pray tell, then, how they can be taken away.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:43 AM on October 1, 2004


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