Smoke ‘Em If Ya Got ‘Em

H/T Harleyrider for this NYC story:

Smokers Rights Group Sues To Have ‘No Smoking’ Signs Removed From Parks

Back in May, New York State had to delay a plan to ban smoking in state parks when “smoker’s rights” group objected, and sent the plan back for administrative review.

Now, that group.,  NYC Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (C.L.A.S.H.) has filed a lawsuit against the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) and its commissioner, Rose Harvey, after discovering that “No Smoking” sings were still being hanging in the state parks, beaches and historic sites.

“The intentional use of signage to fool park visitors into thinking that an unofficial policy has the force of law as a coercive tactic to induce compliance with a moral, rather than a legal, dictate cannot be tolerated,” said Audrey Silk, founder of C.L.A.S.H. ”Government is taking its war on smokers to the new contemptible level when it determines the rule of law is expendable when it comes ‘to those people.’ Rogue governance is a threat to all.”

The rest of Ms. Silk’s statement, including her encouragement to “smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em,” is below…

I must say that I have something of a personal interest in this story. A week or so back I wrote:

Today I had an email from an American (a New Yorker) offering to give me $100 towards me and my blog. He’s not the first American to make such an offer. But much as I’d like to blow it on beer and tobacco, I don’t really need it. And furthermore today I can see someone who really does need it. And that’s Chuck in Fremont, California. So I would say to my would-be benefactor: It’s your fellow Americans who need your support much more than I do. Send $100 to Chuck, not to me.

Chuck never got the $100, because he didn’t supply a valid email address, and anyway several people thought he wasn’t really being serious. But the above-mentioned Audrey Silk noticed that there was $100 up for grabs, and was quick to respond.

Ahem…. NYC C.L.A.S.H. is about to sue the state parks agency. I can’t afford “shy” at the moment. So how about suggesting to my fellow New Yorker that $100 come C.L.A.S.H.’s way.

So I went and did exactly that. And a few nights back (while I was away) I had an email from my would-be benefactor, saying:

Yes, I’ll send Audrey a check, probably over the weekend when I’m paying other bills.

So if she hasn’t received a cheque yet, it may well arrive in the mail tomorrow. Whether it’ll be for $100 or not, I don’t know.

I think this is a nice little story: of someone trying to help out with a little money, and me responding by finding someone else who seemed to need the money more than I did, and finally the money going to where it perhaps always should have gone: New York City. Charity, they say, begins at home. Except in this case, charity has ended up at home.

And, as for me, that’s $100 that would’ve converted to, let me see, £63.73 at current exchange rates. And at £3.30 a pint of Beck’s, that’s 19.3 pints. And since I usually take an hour to get through a pint, that’s 19 hours of quietly sitting in relaxed, pleasant, leafy, idyllic English pub gardens, listening to the birds twittering and the bees humming. And since I usually go to pubs for a pint every two or three days, that’s nearly two whole months of pleasure that I’ve just foregone…


Instead it’ll be Audrey Silk and her lawyer, sitting in a sunny New York park, listening to the birds twittering and the bees humming, who’ll be smoking cigarettes and drinking beers and trying to provoke Bloomberg’s goons to enforce non-existent laws.

But like Audrey says: “Smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em!”


About Frank Davis

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Smoke ‘Em If Ya Got ‘Em

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    ‘The camera loves you’: Lana Del Rey hints at film role as she lunches with Harvey Weinstein

    Smoking habit: Lana was last seen performing at the Eurockéennes de Belfort rock festival yesterday where she lit up a cigarette onstage

    Read more:

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    And for the freedom fighters a bit of good news for a change!

    Norcross repeals city wide smoking ban
    NORCROSS, GA (CBS ATLANTA) – The city of Norcross’ smoking ban was met with harsh criticism at Monday night’s council meeting – people worried the government might have gone too far banning all tobacco use city wide, and they gave the council an earful.

    The ban was supposed to go into effect Monday and it wasn’t just tobacco either – dip and chew was also to be banned. But instead the council voted unanimously to rescind the entire ordinance.

    “I just think, what’s next?” said Norcross resident Sara Leavy during the public comment session. “What rights are you all going to take away from people here next?”

    One by one, they gave the council an earful over the new city-wide smoking ban which was supposed to have gone into effect July 2.

    “We have a passion about peoples’ right to decide and there’s an issue here that puts it in the ball park of certain cities out there that restricts buying a slurpee,” J.P. Meyer said.

    In February, council members passed a new ordinance banning smoking in Norcross, meaning no smoking on sidewalks downtown, at city hall and even public parks.

    Some people told CBS Atlanta News that the ban was a great idea.

    “Why would you want smoke around any child?” asked park goer Brett Smith. “I think it’s fantastic.”

    But not everybody thinks the ordinance was fair to everyone.

    “If you want to ban it, at least make a section for people who do like to come to the park and enjoy themselves,” Bernard Johnson countered.

    At Monday’s city council meeting, not one person stood up in favor of the new legislation.

    “It’s a far over reach and it makes people worry, what will be next?” Keith Shubert asked. “Will it be what kind of food will you serve?”

    In a unanimous vote, the Norcross City Council repealed the new ordinance, immediately lifting the city-wide ban on tobacco.

    “The business owners felt it was too onerous,” explained the Norcross Downtown Development Authority Chairman, Pat Eidt. “They had several people say they wouldn’t come back.”

    Council member Ross Kaul told CBS Atlanta News he might consider revisiting a more focused ban on tobacco, but he said he’s going to just leave it alone for now.

  3. churchmouse says:

    Great job from Frank’s Regulars (now, there’s a new movement) here in the comments:

  4. chuck says:

    Frank,Thanks but no thanks for the offer of money.

    My tactics at the moment are unfortunately covert smoking and keeping this fact away from my new employers who would not have employed me if i had been truthful, i feel i have to use fake emails and keep away from social networking just in case my smoking habits get exposed, and especially from the HR manger in my firm who lives across the road.

    The tension in SF is a vicious circle where sympathetic non smokers are losing patience with smokers who they feel should stay indoors and smoke and not be seen aggravating tensions with smokerphobics.


    • Tom says:

      I can identify and verify with this going on in SF right now too. I have even seen an input screen for payroll processing by one (and possibly one other a few years ago also) of the major banks offering payroll services where under each employee’s background information file (name, address, wage, tax status, tax ID number, etc.) they also have a field called: “Smoker: _Yes _No” – ready to be filled in on every employee and called up when in the future someone calls the employer asking for a reference. I also believe I have experienced at least one, possibly others, but one for sure, job interview where the basis for denying employment was based partially or wholly on a former employer whose family, one of whom is high level in a local health department, began going radically anti-smoking health-fascist, may have in referencing divulged personal information regarding smoking and thus resulting in denial of employment. In SF area, this is quite common at this point – and if you have a job interview, by no means can you smoke at any time prior to the interview – I have experienced personal humiliation where anti-smokers will parade around the main area of an office shouting out that “yuuuhh, I smell something like a cigarette” loudly, while an interview is in process, as fair warning to the person doing the interview that the person being interviewed, if a smoker, will not be welcomed by other employees in that work space. I have witnessed all this with my own two eyes and ears just as I have witnessed smokers being verbally and physically harassed and threatened with a beating on the streets of SF.

      • churchmouse says:

        That is sad — all of it. I’m so sorry.

        What a change from the late 1960s. Remember ‘Are you going to San Francisco? / Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair …’?

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    Smoking ban: Majority of licensees want smoking legislation amended for pubs

    Five years after the introduction of the smoking ban in England, almost seven out of 10 licensees want the legislation amended to allow for separate smoking rooms in pubs.

    • churchmouse says:

      Robert Feal-Martinez has been telling like it is all along — pre- and post-ban.

      • churchmouse says:

        Publicans have lost the plot.

        Here’s part of the latest comment on that thread from ‘PK and the Goose’:

        ‘… Less than 21% of people smoke and even fewer of them visit the pub this industry should stop looking back its done.
        ‘Lets put the effort into more important things like rate reductions, a level playing field on VAT on food for example instead of pursuing a lost cause. It makes us look like dinosaurs.’

        Thanks, chaps. I’ll be doubly sure never to visit another pub. (Only one visit since July 1, 2007. Home entertaining since then.) Good luck on that one — you’ll need it.

        • Tom says:

          Another reason they do not make sense in their quotation – 21% market share is a large percentage. Advertisers and even politicians seeking votes fight over smaller margins than that, even single digit margins can make a difference in profitability, in particular since once overhead is taken care of over a financial operating period, the per unit profit on top of that is gravy and where the real money is to be made. With the smoking ban detering attendance to pubs, many can’t even make up their overhead, thus why they go under and that 21% market share lost becomes the difference between staying afloat or going bankrupt, let alone making profit on top of overhead. But 21% is a large enough share that is not worth throwing away – and trying to replace it with hoity-toity fancy-schmanzty is going to result in a fickle limited size customer base of the ones who can actually afford hoity-toity fancy-schmantzy and result in a lot of ownership turnover because of the fickleness of that kind of crowd, always searching for the next big trend, who will show no loyalty what-so-ever and race to the next up and comer hoity-toitiness, putting the first one out, and the cycle repeats. That’s why there’s so much turnover in bar and restaurant industry in SF among anyone not a major chain franchise or not situated in the heart of the tourist or financial districts with captive audences – and even then, with smokers excluded, even from outside areas, imagine how much trade has been lost and continues to silently walk by w/o ever going in to buy – 21%, that’s quite a lot ot throw away in midst of a worldwide recession.

        • Frank Davis says:

          stop looking back its done

          They’re totally sold on the March/Tide of History, as if there’s no swimming against the current, and it always flows just one way. It’s one of the great successes of the antis to have created a sense of inevitability, and the sense that there can be no going back. It’s done, and what’s done’s done, and can’t be undone. It’s a form of fatalism.

  6. smokervoter says:

    I’ve got a belated comment to your prior posting. The first time I ‘sparked-up’ before my work in producing the skeletal structure of a house was also the last time. It scrambled my mathematical train of thought crazily and I left the job site early.

    When I approach the numerical intricacies involved in laying out the rise and run (tread and riser) of a complicated stair run, it usually is a three or four cigarette proposition.

    Those who go to work at jobs that involve telling complete strangers how to live their lives generally have flatline brain waves and would never understand what I’ve just conveyed.

  7. smokervoter says:

    I must admit to being star-struck the other day when Audrey Silk commented here. She is one of my all-time heroes and to the best of my knowledge that was the first time she’d dropped by the Bangin’ On cyber pub (smoking definitely allowed).

    She better represents the New Yorkers I’ve met out here in California. They smoke, they drink and laugh out loud at our puritanical 2AM closing time at the bars. You don’t tell the likes of them what to do or how to live their lives.

    I’ve also met some of the constipated Bloomberg variety and I generally invite them to return to whence they came from before rudely crashing my fun, fun, fun T-bird party.

  8. churchmouse says:

    To Tom re his reply to mine above: Thank you! I thought it was just me.

    Most smokers — okay, Frank excepted ;) — really don’t go out that much now. I do my weekly grocery shopping and get a few things online, maybe go to the post office — but that’s it.

    If my better half and I eat out once a year, that’s saying something. We entertain ourselves at home now. (Note ‘ourselves’ — we know very few smokers and invite very few nonsmokers to our house.) To borrow a London football (soccer) team’s slogan — Millwall’s: ‘Nobody likes us and we don’t care’. That pretty much sums it up.

    O/T but I was sad to read that (American television star of the 1960s) Andy Griffith died, aged 86. May he rest in peace. (Frank — I think you would have liked his show when you were growing up.)

    • churchmouse says:

      I forgot to wish Frank’s American Regulars a very happy Fourth of July! Enjoy — hope you can get a few smokes in here and there. Have a few conversations about personal liberties during the day.

  9. Audrey Silk says:

    Frank, I can’t thank you enough (and Harley Rider) for this.
    smokervoter, I’m entirely flattered. But I’m no different than the rest of you… doing what I can to defeat the Prohibitionists. And though I might not post I do read Frank’s blog from time to time :-)

  10. Audrey Silk says:

    Frank, I’ve returned to report that I have indeed received a $100 check from my fellow NYer, who wrote in the accompanying note, “Compliments of Frank Davis!” Indeed :-)

No need to log in

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s