Thursday, October 19, 2006

Last week the Louisville Metro City Council voted to ban smoking in all public buildings, including bars; effective July 1, 2007.

Oh, did I say all buildings? I meant 'All buildings except Churchill Downs.' Yes, the racetrack has an exemption. The only exemption.

I'm no lawyer, but in my opinion that exemption will ensure that this city ordinance will NEVER go into effect. If you own a bar in Louisville and you think this ban will hurt your business, you're going to sue to get it repealed. I don't see how this ban can hold up in court if Churchill Downs doesn't have to play by the same rules as a neighborhood bar.

There is already a ban on smoking in restaurants, and I totally support it. However, I think smoking should be allowed in bars and bowling alleys. Smoking and eating don't go together; smoking and drinking do. Some whiny citizens have been quoted in the newspaper saying "We can't go to bars because of the smoke." Come on, in most bars on a Saturday night at 3am, smoke is the least of your worries.

This city is notorious for passing ordinances that are quickly overturned by judges who *gasp* actually know the law. Every few years they try to shut down all of the strip clubs by passing some crazy ass new "rules", like the dancers have to wear arctic expedition parkas or they can only serve fifty dollar diet Shasta or any patron who gets an erection is subject to the death penalty; stuff that is so asinine it usually earns the city's lawyer a public lecture from a jaded judge.

Of course, it's all horseshit. These ordinances aren't passed to actually change anything. They're passed so city councilmen can say "Hey, we tried to ban smoking and titty bars, but those wacky judges threw it out." They'll always vote for a titty bar ban, because who wants to run for reelection as a champion of adult entertainment?

I'm glad these dog and pony shows and empty posturing are fully funded by the taxpayers. That makes me feel a lot better.


20 Comments:

Blogger Tits McGee said...

who wants to run for reelection as a champion of adult entertainment?

Who? You, Todd. You.

SHAZAM!

Blogger Egan said...

It's as if you you don't like Diet Shasta, meaning you don't like recreational lesbians. I'm on to you Todd.

Blogger Übermilf said...

I'm just wondering, Todd...

Are all of the Louisville children receiving the top education in the country? You have no homeless? No poverty? No murders or violence?

That must be why your city leaders have the time to tackle THESE issues!

Considering Chicago just banned fois gras because it mas mean to geese, I understand your pain.

Blogger EEK! said...

I don't know about the ban being overturned on account of Churchill Downs, Todd. For one thing, they have more money than God or even the people who run the O'Sheas empire and that's what kept their exemption in place. Lexington's smoking ban, while pretty comprehensive, allows smoking in certain parts of Keeneland, and it seems to be going strong.

I used to hate the idea of a smoking ban, but I figure if the Irish can do it, so can we. Having been in bars in NYC and San Francisco after their bans, I have to say I don't really notice any big change, except now I'm less likely to bum a smoke off of someone and I smell a little less like Tom Waits when I come home at night. A little.

Blogger Violet said...

Interesting - "any patron who gets an erection is subject to the death penalty" - seems like it, huh? I see some "erection-based nepotism" popping up in your Champion of Adult Entertainment campaign. At least no one will be able to accuse your cabinet of disinterst.

Blogger Ian McGibboney said...

My city recently passed a smoking ban in all public buildings and private businesses--but it exempts bars, restaurants, casinos and similar places. I LOVE it. And no one complains too much, because it mainly affects the places where people found smoking a real nuisance, like work lounges. Maybe Louisville could try the same thing. It would be fairer, at least.

Blogger miss kendra said...

personally, i think smoking should be banned completely.

i understand that this is extreme, but it has no benefits. NONE. and it's harmful.

i would say that people could smoke in their own homes, but what about their pets and children? my parents smoked my whole childhood, and i shudder to think about the results of that exposure.

and some people will say, well if you want smoking banned, then ban drugs too- but the truth is that while drugs are harmful to the user, for the most part, used recreationally and not to excess (because ANYTHING is harmful in excess), they only harm the user.

smoking is bad for everyone who's near it.


[/ rant]

Blogger sonrisa morena said...

hmmm? yeah, sweetie we are definetly having our wedding in chicago ;-)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't like being in a smoke-filled bar at 8:30 p.m., which is when I'm likely to patronize a bar. It's been many years since I was actually present for last call...so I think the "Saturday at 3:00 a.m." standard is unrealistic.

If a bar allows smoking, I'm not going in, no matter what time it is. Simple as that.

Blogger Housekeeper said...

I don't smoke, but I do go to bars. Smoking may make you smell like Tom Waits, but drinking makes you smell like a pedophile priest. If you are going to a bar to drink chances are you are not THAT health conscious, so why get all worked up about the Marlboro man lighting up next to you. I think when it comes to private property, it should be at the discretion of the owner if they allow smoking or not. If people avoid locations where smoking is allowed, then market demand for non-smoking establishments will cause bar owners to move in that direction…Adam Smith would agree.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Chicago and have to say the ban is a fine thing. There are plenty of bars that we still smoke in (although I think that will change in a few years) but restaurants are much nicer. As to my trips to NYC the smoke smells in the bars seems to have been replaced by a stale beer and funk smell. Neither are good.

Blogger yournamehere said...

tits,
you say Shazam a lot, but you haven't blown me even once.

egan,
your logic is sometimes hard to follow, my friend.

ubie,
it would be a utopia without the smoking, Ubie.
Our Mayor, who is a decent sort, is also obsessed with people throwing cigarette butts on the ground. Give me a break.

eek,
I stand by my position.

violet,
I like how your mind works.

ian,
we already have a restaurant ban. I'm for it. I just don't think it should include bars.

kendra,
people would just smoke illegally. We might as well collect the taxes.
But I agree that smoking is useless.

sonrisa,
are you insulting my hometown? Oh well, I still love you.

hulkster,
you are voting with your wallet by not going into a bar that allows smoking. I think the owner of the bar should be allowed to decide what's best for his business.

housekeeper,
you are a wise woman. Well stated.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "if you're drinking, you're not health-conscious, so why do you care?" argument is just absurd.

I enjoy imbibing in social settings. I do not enjoy inhaling others' toxic fumes and coming home reeking like an ashtray. Simple as that.

Also, having spent quite a chunk of my adult life working in restaurants, I think bar/restaurant employees have a right not to inhale others' toxic fumes and come home from work reeking like an ashtray.

Blogger Egan said...

I just wanted to say recreational lesbians. No worries.

Blogger -qir said...

Obligatory irritating law student post:

That Churchill Downs has an exemption is likely not fatal to the smoking ban's legality. Laws are not required to be scrupulously fair.

That cigarette smoking in bars is a mosaic of harmful behavior is not relevant. The only issue is the harm posed by cigarette smoke, not the relative harm of other things that are not cigarette smoke.

Cultural norms are not a legal argument unless it's one the judge is addressing when he writes the opinion.

Superior court judges rarely write opinions.

My work here is done. :)

Blogger Tumbleweed said...

Too weird....we both posted smoking ordinance bullshit in the same week. We are totally meant for each other!

Blogger Tumbleweed said...

BUTT.....I beat you to it! HA

Blogger Holly's Boyfriend said...

The american legion would never go fer it. That's just not emerican...

MF

Blogger Eric Riback said...

Here in Colorado a statewide smoking ban started July 1, but casinos were exempted. Bar owners sued, and the ruling came down this week "sorry, but it's constitutional." Of course, your state's constitution is different than mine, so the result may be different. While some bars will suffer with a smoking ban, experience in places that have them is that business overall is as good if not better. The casino exemption is sad. In other words, we care about the health of patrons and workers in bars, but not in casinos? The Churchill Downs one is more reasonable -- its so the fat cats can still smoke their cigars.

Blogger Melliferous Pants said...

As a Californian smoker I was really pissed off when they banned smoking in bars...but I ended up liking it. I still smoke like a chimney when I'm drunk but when I could smoke inside a bar I used to chain smoke.

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