Vienna

Perhaps I should visit Vienna.

I’ve never been to Vienna.

In the wood-panelled rooms of Vienna’s traditional coffee houses, tobacco-lovers can still light up pretty much as they please. But one of the last smokers’ havens in Europe may be on course to kick the habit.

Even diehard smokers, when arriving in Austria, are in for a shock at the clouds of blue haze filling bars and restaurants, long after the rest of western and central Europe stubbed out puffing in public places.

A partial smoking ban came into force in Austria in January 2009, but the list of exceptions was long.

Small cafes and eateries under 50 square metres (500 square feet) can ignore the ban, while larger establishments need only provide a non-smoking section.

Many punters simply prop the doors open and carry on puffing regardless, prompting self-proclaimed “sheriffs” to patrol the streets and file complaints.

Because I’d love to sit in a blue-haze-filled bar, with a beer and a cigarette. I can almost imagine it, with huge barrels along one wall, and faded pictures cluttering the other dun-coloured walls.  Pictures of the Emperor Franz Joseph, and Gustav Mahler, Johann Strauss, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. And reproductions of paintings by Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, and Egon Schiele. Maybe even one or two real ones.

There’d be a juke box in the corner, of course, playing Blue Danube-type waltzes. And traditional Tyrolean red carpets speckled with blue flowers. And a polished copper bartop, with winged Venuses holding lampshades at each end, and a bartender with a big moustache behind it, like in a Fritz Lang movie. Or maybe Sternberg. And waitresses wearing efficient blue dresses with white collars, each one with a red rose pinned to her hair.

“Noch ein Bier, bitte,” I’d reply, whenever they approached me at my table and asked me anything.

“Und eine Creme-Kuchen,” I’d add, if they proved persistent.

Cigarettes are significantly cheaper in Austria than elsewhere in western Europe at an average of 4.90 euros ($6.30) per pack, compared to seven euros in France or 11 euros in Britain.

Austrians are the fourth-heaviest smokers in Europe, according to the latest Eurobarometer poll in 2012.

Thirty-three percent of people in the small alpine country light up on a regular basis, compared to an EU average of 28 percent and far more than the French or Italians. Only Greeks, Bulgarians and Latvians smoke more.

I’d have to play the part, naturally. I’d be smoking an Austrian cigarette, like Nil. And I’d carry a book about Erwin Schrödinger or Ludwig Boltzmann or somebody (in German, of course). Which I would pretend to read.

And I would still be poring over it in the evening, with knitted eyebrows, when a burly figure would emerge from the blue haze, sit down opposite me, place a battered chess board on the table, and proffer his hand and say:

“Helmut.”

And I’d reply, “Franz,” as I shook his hand.

And he’d populate the board with a set of baroque cast iron chess pieces, brightly lit beneath the hemispherical lampshade suspended above the table at eye level.

And I would clear a path for my arm through the large collection of books and ashtrays and cream cakes and beers that I had gradually accumulated throughout the day.

And we would begin to play a game of chess.

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About Frank Davis

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39 Responses to Vienna

  1. Reinhold says:

    Which I would pretend to read.

    And I’d reply, “Franz,”

    So funny! :-)))

    (In fact, Vienna is worth a visit!)

    (But I’d recommend Memphis instead of Nil.)

    • Frank Davis says:

      I was quite taken with the idea of a cigarette called Nil. The Spanish version of it would of course be Nada, and the US Zilch. It would be the cigarette of nihilists (although I’m not one of those).

      But I have the suspicion that Nil probably means Nile, given that Memphis is (or was) a city in Egypt.

      • Reinhold says:

        You’ve heard of the joke about launching a cigarette brand named “Non”? (in German: “Nicht”)
        “I am a Non-smoker!” (Nicht-Raucher!)

        But as for Nil I’m afraid you’re right. Regretably it has nothing to do with Nihil.

        Anyhow, as Theo L. recently discovered: Nil, Memphis and Camel are the brands which the Pharaohs prefered.

  2. wobbler2012 says:

    I lived in Austria for a year in the early noughties it’s a great capital city, clean, reasonably cheap and a superb non-overcrowded public transport system. Great to see that the Austrian’s are in part sticking two fingers up to the controlling nannying bastards of the world.

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    Fla. Firefighters Tell City to Butt Out of Smoking Habits
    Anne Geggis, On Sep 27, 2014

    Sept. 27–BOCA RATON — The Boca Raton firefighters’ union wants the city to butt out of firefighters’ smoking habits.

    After 24 years of contract prohibitions against firefighters using tobacco — on or off the job — Boca Raton’s fire union wants to change the contract so they can light up without consequences.

    Currently, firefighters who use tobacco can be fired.

    Union officials say they want to bring the firefighters’ contract more in line with the requirements for firefighter certification under Florida law.

    State law requires that new firefighter hires be tobacco-free for at least a year before hiring, but the law is silent on what happens after they’re hired.

    The Boca union’s proposed change that would affect 186 unionized firefighters is among the outstanding issues that led the city last week to declare an impasse in its negotiations with Boca Raton’s public safety unions.

    John Luca, Boca’s current fire union president and one of the contract negotiators, referred questions about the current contract to the union lawyer, Mark Floyd.

    Floyd acknowledged that tobacco use “is one of many issues,” but didn’t comment further.

    No-smoking policies at workplaces extend beyond firehouses, and are becoming more the norm among all kinds of employers, experts say.

    Penny Morey, a Boca-based human resources consultant for more than 25 years, has watched as companies have over the years moved tobacco out of buildings, off company property and outside company cars, she said.

    Many have adopted policies that say smokers need not apply, she said. And other companies offer incentives for smokers to quit.

    http://www.emsworld.com/news/11704490/fla-firefighters-tell-city-to-butt-out-of-smoking-habits

  4. chris says:

    I’ve been before and I’m going again next week. I’ll submit a full report upon my return–or from there if possible. It was marvelously smoker-friendly in 2009 and I hear it still is, but some killjoys in Austria’s government want to impose a total ban. Let’s hope they fail.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I look forward to your report. My Viennese bar was completely imaginary, of course. I am, for example, not in the least bit sure that there is a Tyrolean carpet industry, never mind a “traditional” Tyrolean carpet. It would be good to hear what slightly-down-market Viennese bars are actually like.

      I’d never go to any up-market ones.

      Please try to describe one in complete detail, right down to the faded photos of Franz Joseph on the walls.

      • chris says:

        Ummm, actually I found most of the city to be much more “modern” than you’d imagine. It was kind of disappointing. I will, however keep a lookout for Franz Joseph.

        • Twenty_Rothmans says:

          You cannot go to Austria too many times. Vienna is lovely, but it’s just part of the story. Like many tourist destinations, it’s besieged by Americans, Australians and Canadians who cannot comprehend that people in other countries do not slavishly follow their lifestyles.

          I’m interested to see if Chris bags a smoking hotel. There’s a German-language website http://www.raucher-auf-reisen.de/ that I have found useful.

        • “Ummm, actually I found most of the city to be much more “modern” than you’d imagine.”

          I know what you mean and I was there in 1987. Got a ride on the famous big wheel at Prater Park, made famous by the film “The Third Man” which I still haven’t seen.

          Couldn’t see how to pay for the underground, so we assumed it must have been free and managed to get a ride or two for nothing. I remember the Opera House, Parliament building, Schönbrunn Palace and an impressive museum building. And being up a tower overlooking the Danube and UN complex. I think we had a meal atop. Did it revolve? I don’t remember. Worth seeing, but not worth going to see? We only had 3 or 4 days, so we probably missed the best bits.

          We stayed at the YMCA. We were in the ‘posh’ bit upstairs behind iron bars @ £10 a night. Eating out was quite cheap too as I recall. Had to get a Wiener schnitzel. Got one of those young persons railcards and went on to Switzerland and Brussels. I love Switzerland, but I thought the Belgian capital was a disgrace. Every statue was covered in verdigris. The Atomium was nice to look at from outside, but inside was a joke. One sphere was a museum of sorts and the exhibits had cigarette ends and other rubbish lying at the bottom of the glass cases. I also remember women begging in the main streets while clutching their babies. I’ve never seen that anywhere else, just in the ‘capital’ of Europe.

          In the UK, we don’t have to go any further than London for an amazing city. At least, it was when I left it in 1997. In summer it was too hot for this Scot.

        • smokingscot says:

          @ 20 Rothmans

          And if Chris wants a little more info on hotels that still have smoking rooms in Austria – and anywhere else for that matter – I use this lot.

          http://smokers-united.com/smoker-friendly/hotels/index.php?ln=en&coco=at

          It’s a commercial site, so up to him if he wants to do the booking etc., or simply get the details and book himself.

        • Twenty_Rothmans says:

          @smokingscot
          (I hope this comment ends up in the right sequence)
          Ah, yes, I used smokers-united to try to find a smoking room in Glasgow a couple of years ago (although there wasn’t one that was free), and one in Amsterdam last year, which worked out well.
          Thanks for reminding me.

      • chris says:

        Gruess Gott, meine liebe Freunde! I’m back and to make a long story short Austria is fabulous, although the wowsers are trying to ruin it.
        Someone asked about hotels, so I should start with that. My wife (an EX-smoker,’nuff said) booked the rooms. She said she couldn’t find a smoker-friendly hotel in Vienna that suited her, and I didn’t care so much because the rest of the city is welcoming. We also went to Budapest–not so welcoming–and said she found a place–the Kempinksi Corvinus–that had a smoking floor. She booked the room back in April. Early in September, she sent them a confirmation email and was informed that as of July 21, the Kempinski was a smoke-free facility (when I hear that phrase, I’m always reminded of the late Christopher Hitchens’ response that he didn’t dine in “facilities”). I was greatly incensed by this, as I felt they should have informed us when they made the decision. if we hadn’t confirmed, was it supposed to be a delightful surprise when we showed up? I sent my own email voicing these opinions and got no reply.
        When we arrived, there was a big card on the desk in the room reminding us that smoking was forbidden and stating that violations would be punished with a 150 euro fine. This didn’t seem hospitable at all and I opposed tipping the maid, as it was part of her job to inform on us, even though I know it was not her idea and she had no say in the matter. Now if I could have bribed her to NOT tell on me, that would have been another story.
        Many such hotels at least provide a smoking room, but not the Kempinski. The only place to smoke was a tiny outdoor patio that was part of the bar. If you were there at the right time of night, you could observe the local hookers plying their trade to hotel customers.
        Our room at the Hotel am Stephansplatz in Vienna was nonsmoking too, but it had a balcony overlooking the cathedral, so I couldn’t complain too much. Nor was there any threats of fines. They also had a glassed-off smoking room in their restaurant. I felt much more comfortable there.
        I’ll write more later.

        • Reinhold says:

          Gruess Gott, Chris!
          Danke schön für Deinen Bericht!

        • Frank Davis says:

          Vienna hotels sound pretty unwelcoming. What about the restaurants and bars?

        • beobrigitte says:

          Thanks, Chris; it confirms pretty much what I have heard about Vienna.

          I’m glad I gave it a wide berth and stuck to the mountains where smoker friendly hotels/restaurants/bars can still easily be found! Nevertheless, it should be noted that the Cafe Drechsler in Vienna ditched the total smoking ban and created a comfortable smoking room.
          http://derstandard.at/2000006317534/Im-Wiener-Cafe-Drechsler-darf-man-wieder-rauchen

          The anti-smokers are going for a smoking ban there yet again, so it might be a good idea to go to Austria (Mountains) whilst we still can enjoy a real holiday.

        • chris says:

          Sorry if I’ve created a misconception. The hotel in Vienna was pretty OK; the one in Budapest dealt in threats and subterfuge. I’m pretty sure I could have gotten away with the odd smoke in my room in Vienna. My wife said she couldn’t find a smoking room in that city, but I suspect she may not have looked down-market enough.
          There’s no reason to avoid Vienna for the provinces. There were ample places to smoke indoors (and out, of course), especially little neighborhood bars called “Beisln” (“Kneipen” is the more standard word in German). These places are very reminiscent of the beloved “local”. One I enjoyed in particular was Café Injoy (Urban-Loritz-Platz-2), a tiny, cozy place decorated with Christmas lights and playing Euro-country (American-style country music with German, Italian or French lyrics). Around the corner, but unsampled by me was “Uncle Freddy’s”, which looked like a good old working-men’s bar. Very few tourists go to these places and the locals all seem to know one another, but the drinks are a fraction of what you pay closer to the center and it is an authentic experience of the place. There was also one of these little joints right off Stephansplatz, so one needn’t venture too far. “Beisln” also serve food and a contact of Christoph Loevenich’s recommended Kern’s Beisl (Kleeblattgasse 4, not far from Stephansplatz), which was a very good restaurant. There’s no shortage of smoker-friendly places (for the moment, at least) and all outdoor places gladly provide ashtrays, even one “organic” place at which we dined.

          More to come!

        • chris says:

          Vienna also had an Oktoberfest at the Prater (where the famous “Third Man” ferris wheel is. The door to the men’s room at the base is adorned with a picture of Orson Welles as Harry Lime. The Fest was not nearly as large as Munich’s, and many of the “traditional folk costumes” looked thrown together, but it was smoker-friendly, unlike its larger counterpart. All the tents had ashtrays. We went on a weekday afternoon and it was manageable. We also tried to go back on Saturday night–the last night–and it was an absolute zoo.
          Frank, I did not see much of the Hapsburg Vienna you long for. You’d think they would lay on more of that for the tourists. We did have dessert at the famous Sacher Hotel (non-smoking, unfortunately, at least from what I could see–they may very well have had a smoking room somewhere) and I’m sure if you do some research and look around you can find a smoky throwback. I understand many of the coffee shops fit the bill, and I blush to admit I didn’t explore them in depth, since I prefer alcohol to coffee when I’m on vacation (and even when I’m not).
          We also took a daytrip to the lovely riverside town of Krems an der Donau, about an hour’s train ride outside of Vienna. There we found an elegant old-style hotel/restaurant: “Alte Post” (Obere Landstrasse 32). The garden was smoker-friendly and the waiters all wore black suits. It definitely looked and felt like a throwback, though some of the waiters were obviously Turkish immigrants and none of them had handlebar mustaches. But I do suspect more of the old-style stuff can be found outside Vienna, just as those looking for the Merrie Olde England of high teas and foxhunts are best off getting out of London.
          Next: Budapest

        • Frank Davis says:

          Frank, I did not see much of the Hapsburg Vienna you long for.

          Maybe that’s because it no longer exists.

          Within days of the end of the fighting, i.e. in April 1945 still, the provisional city government was constituted and the political parties re-emerged. The situation of the city was far from encouraging. More than 20 percent of the housing stock was partly or completely destroyed, almost 87,000 flats had become uninhabitable. In the urban area, more than 3,000 bomb craters were counted, many bridges were in shambles, sewers, gas and water pipes had suffered severe damage. The imperative of the immediate afterwar period was to solve the most basic problems and get the city back to some degree of working order.

        • chris says:

          Absolutely, Frank, and somebody reminded me of exactly that the first time I’d visited and complained of disappointment in not finding the Vienna I’d imagined.

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    VFW in the shadows of the smoking ban

    Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4746 Commander Roger Blair remembers cigarettes as something he’d turn to during his time at war for a reprieve. When it came time to eat, a small pack of them would always come with his C-Rations, he said. Although he’s working on becoming a reformed smoker, sticking to his handy e-cigarette nowadays, Blair said his organization is facing a battle they never signed up for, and they can’t even smoke for relief.

    Weatherford’s smokefree ordinance adopted by city council in late February by a 3-2 vote, while a victory for some, has become a problem for many at the local VFW post. More than 70 percent of its members have expressed their desire to bring smoking back inside their facility, according to a survey sent out by the organization.

    Since the ordinance has passed, the organization’s monthly income from the cantine (dining room) has dropped from up to $3,000 a month to less than $1,500, Blair said. The VFW has also built a metal awning outside with tables just to try to accommodate smokers, another costly venture.

    Making the situation more disconcerting for smoking members, members of the council have not even set foot inside the organization’s doors, Blair said. The no smoking signs are up, per the ordinance’s requirements, but take one step inside and you’ll be exposed to years of smoke, he added, making the sign seem like an oxymoron to those unaware of the city’s ordinance.

    Should the city be able to prohibit private organizations such as the VFW from smoking?

    Blair first approached the council on May 13, approximately three weeks after the ban actually went into effect, where he informed the city that the VFW is not an eating establishment, but does host a steak night three nights a month with proceeds from the event going to nonprofits. Blair also made it clear that the facility is not open to the public and only VFW members are allowed inside. His comments were heeded, even landing the VFW a slot on the regular agenda at the city council meeting on May 27.

    According to the minutes of that meeting, city of Weatherford officials agreed to look into amending the ordinance and allowing veterans’ organizations exemptions. This decision was a 4-1 vote, with Mayor Dennis Hooks, Mayor Pro Tem Craig Swancy and council members Jeff Robinson and Waymon Hamilton voting in favor and Council Member Heidi Wilder voting against.

    Two weeks later, June 10, the draft ordinance allowing an exemption for veteran organizations was shot down 5-0. So why the sudden change of heart, members wonder.

    The minutes from the June 10 meeting reveal that the council had received several emails from VFW members expressing their desire for the establishment to remain smoke free. The council also mentioned that the original ordinance was put in place to protect citizens’ health.
    http://www.weatherforddemocrat.com/news/article_ff9acc5c-4683-11e4-bf66-8f44f0919d49.html

    2 more Pages on the link

  6. Some French bloke says:

    A very interesting sociological study should be conducted into why Austria and, to a lesser extent, Germany, have remained to this day the last western European ‘smokers paradises’. Back in the 1950s, Austria had very low smoking prevalence and concurrently very high lung cancer death rates (much higher than the US and only second to the UK, and possibly Germany). According to Derek H. Beese (http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/kpg51f00/pdf), in 1950 Austrian consumption of manufactured cigarettes per adult per annum was 1,100 (as against 2,180 for the UK and 3,250 for the U.S.), and furthermore their male rates of LC have been steadily (though moderately) decreasing from 1968 onwards! Apparently, even the local corrupt ‘scientists’ haven’t been able to gather the gall to claim a strong link existed between the two phenomena (up till now, that is).

    • Frank Davis says:

      The explanation for this may be that Germans and Austrians remember that the Nazis were also antismoking, and reject this new form of Nazism. So I imagine that the resistance to antismoking measures mostly comes from the older generations, who have long memories.

      For I have the impression that the Nazis didn’t introduce smoking bans in France or Belgium or Holland, or any of the other occupied countries. So there weren’t have been these unpleasant associations of antismoking measures with Nazism.

  7. mikef317 says:

    Totally off topic for anything I’ve ever read on this blog, but what the hell…. The New York Times has its eye on London.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/27/business/international/in-london-houseboats-offer-alternative-to-high-rent-but-new-problems-emerge.html?_r=0

  8. roobeedoo2 says:

    There’s a wonderful film called ‘Before Sunrise’ about a couple that meet on a train, get off in Vienna and spend the rest of the night exploring the city and falling in love. It’s a bit of a ‘chick flick’ but really beautifully shot.

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    Smoking ban hits Austria hard

    Saturday, September 27, 2014

    IN the wood-panelled rooms of Vienna’s traditional coffee houses, tobacco-lovers can still light up pretty much as they please. But one of the last smokers’ havens in Europe may be on course to kick the habit.

    Even diehard smokers, when arriving in Austria, are in for a shock at the clouds of blue haze filling bars and restaurants, long after the rest of western and central Europe stubbed out puffing in public places.

    A partial smoking ban came into force in Austria in January 2009, but the list of exceptions was long.

    Small cafes and eateries under 50 square metres (500 square feet) can ignore the ban, while larger establishments need only provide a non-smoking section.

    Many punters simply prop the doors open and carry on puffing regardless, prompting self-proclaimed “sheriffs” to patrol the streets and file complaints.

    “The current law was set up to fail,” says Manfred Neuberger, a professor at Vienna’s Medical University, who has led several studies on smoking bans in Europe and Austria.

    But the anti-smoking camp is set for a boost after Austria’s newly appointed health minister Sabine Oberhauser called for a total ban on smoking in public places within five years.

    “I would like to finalise this now, agree to a transition period and have a total ban in place by a deadline – the aim being within five years,” she said in a recent interview.

    Her plan is likely to run into stiff resistance and she admits no decision will be taken without involving the hospitality industry, which strongly opposes a ban.

    Many agree however it’s time for some clarity.

    “This law we have, I find it pretty ridiculous: either you have a ban or you don’t. This just doesn’t suit anyone,” said 38-year-old Roman, sat in the landmark Cafe Drechsler in central Vienna.

    The Viennese institution bade farewell to smokers after a court ordered it to make the path to the toilets smoke-free, which would have required costly alterations.

    But it is a rarity. Even Vienna’s General Hospital has a “Tabak” selling cigarettes right in the entrance. Cigarettes are significantly cheaper in Austria than elsewhere in western Europe at an average of 4.90 euros ($7.99) per pack, compared to seven euros in France or 11 euros in Britain.

    Austrians are the fourth-heaviest smokers in Europe, according to the latest Eurobarometer poll in 2012.

    Thirty-three per cent of people in the small alpine country light up on a regular basis, compared to an EU average of 28 per cent and far more than the French or Italians. Only Greeks, Bulgarians and Latvians smoke more.

    Many observers believe a culture of government compromise bordering on indecisiveness is to blame for the slow moves towards a ban.

    The Social Democrats and conservative Austrian People’s Party have ruled together almost continuously since 1945 – and both are liable to be swayed against a ban by the country’s vocal smoker’s lobby.

    As a result, “it’s difficult to impose anything,” according to Karl Krajic, a sociologist and health expert with the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute in Vienna.

    Austria’s Chamber of Commerce opposes a total ban in public places, saying restaurants and cafes invested close to 100 million euros to make alterations in line with the 2009 law. But some in the sector are open to change. “If there is a total ban, it will create a level playing field again for everybody,” said Cafe Drechsler’s owner Robert Kollmann.

    http://www.bt.com.bn/features/2014/09/27/smoking-ban-hits-austria-hard

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    A husband and wife are shopping in their local HEB. The husband picks up a case of Budweiser and puts it in the cart. “What do you think you’re doing?” asks the wife. “They’re on sale, only $10 for 24 cans” he replies. “Put them back, we can’t afford them”, demands the wife. They carry on with their shopping. A few aisles farther on, the woman picks up a $20 jar of face cream and puts it in the basket.
    “What do you think you’re doing?” asks the husband. “It’s my face cream. It makes me look beautiful,” replies the wife. Her husband retorts, “So does 24 cans of Budweiser and it’s half the price.”

    That’s him face down on Aisle 5.

  11. harleyrider1978 says:

    Farage Thinks Plain Cigarette Packaging Is ‘Utterly Bloody Barmy’

    Nigel Farage Says Plain Cigarette Packaging Is ‘Utterly Bloody Barmy’ And A Dream For Counterfeiters

    Cigarette plain packaging is “utterly bloody barmy”, Nigel Farage has insisted as he disclosed he asks shop assistants for defunct brands for “a bit of fun”. The Ukip…

    THATS MY MAN

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/09/25/nigel-farage-plain-cigarette-packaging-smoking_n_5879712.html

  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    More bent statistics from the now-discredited ASH

    http://www.ash.org.uk

    New figures from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) show that Councils in England face a bill of more than £600m a year to help people with smoking-related illness stay in their own homes (domiciliary care). The true figure may be much higher because of lack of information on some costs. There are n…

    http://www.ash.org.uk/media-room/press-releases/:smoking-costs-councils-600m-a-year-for-social-care

    • Rose says:

      Councils in England face a bill of more than £600m a year to help people with smoking-related illness stay in their own homes

      So as anyone can get a “smoking related disease” whether they smoke or not and there appears to be no disease solely caused by smoking, is that £600m paid to care exclusively for smokers or for the entire population afflicted?

  13. harleyrider1978 says:

    Progressives Are the Primary Impediment to Progress

    David Burton / September 25, 2014

    Merriam-Webster defines progress as “the process of improving or developing something over a period of time” or the “gradual betterment; especially: the progressive development of humankind.”

    By that definition, today’s progressives are the primary impediment to progress.

    Progressive policies reduce incomes, reduce employment, reduce opportunity, reduce entrepreneurship, reduce innovation, reduce economic and social dynamism, reduce productivity improvements, and reduce the international competitiveness of U.S. businesses. They ship jobs overseas. They harm children and young people by standing in the way of school choice options, by creating inadequate youth employment opportunities, and by encouraging policies that saddle them with massive student debt, a massive national debt, and crushing unfunded entitlement obligations.

    Progressive policies increase costs, increase deficits, increase the national debt, and increase the future unfunded obligations of government programs. Progressive policies increase the power of government, empower bureaucrats and lawyers, and reduce the freedom and prosperity of the American people.

    If you want to get a look at what progressive policies mean for Americans, look across the Atlantic at Europe’s slow economic growth. Look at Europe’s high debt levels. Look at Europe’s high unemployment rate—especially youth unemployment—and the duration of unemployment. It is not a pretty picture.

    President Bush gave us a number of counterproductive spending, education, and regulatory policies; President Obama has accelerated the growth of government at a rate that puts him in a class by himself.

    The ways in which progressive policies impede progress are innumerable. But these destructive progressive policies deserve particular note.
    •Progressives enacted Obamacare, which has cost millions of jobs and forced people into health plans they don’t want.
    •The U.S. tax system is among the very worst in the industrialized world, and progressives want to make it even worse by raising business and other taxes that will harm economic growth, job creation, and reduce real incomes.
    •Progressive education policies have harmed the education of countless children, making it less likely that they will have the skills to succeed.
    •Progressives support “investor protection” measures that make it difficult for entrepreneurs to raise the capital that they need to launch start-ups and grow their businesses and that keep ordinary people from investing in the most promising companies.
    •Progressives have dramatically increased regulations and want to increase regulatory costs a great deal more. These regulations harm economic growth, increase consumer costs, reduce employment, and harm the competitiveness of U.S. businesses.
    •Progressive want to further increase already massive federal spending on entitlement programs, leading to future tax increases and crowding out other federal spending.
    •Progressives want to make it illegal for teenagers and other low-skilled workers to reach the first rung on the economic ladder by raising the minimum wage.

    To realize the promise of American life, for our families to flourish and to prosper, and for our society to actually progress rather than descend into stagnant despair and discord, progressivism needs to be recognized for what it is: the anti-progress philosophy. Progressive policies are the primary impediment to a better life for the American people.
    http://dailysignal.com/2014/09/25/progressives-primary-impediment-progress/

  14. harleyrider1978 says:

    Good Guy With a Gun’ Stops Second Beheading… Leftstream Media Forgets to Mention That
    What the leftist media ISN’T telling you: after beheading a woman, Alton Nolen moved on to another woman and tried to behead her. He was STOPPED when he was SHOT by a man with a CONCEALED handgun.

    Why do you think the mainstream media has glossed-over this important detail?

    While the liberal media is willing to report that a woman was gruesomely decapitated in what President Obama would likely call another case of “workplace…

    http://www.tpnn.com/2014/09/27/good-guy-with-a-gun-stops-second-beheading-leftstream-media-forgets-to-mention-that/

    I even keep my gun on in BINGO or the smoking restaraunts I eat at…………….. Funny thing usually a no-smoking sign at a eatery is usually got a no guns allowed sign right beside it…………..

  15. beobrigitte says:

    Austria. The little country that has solved the anti-smoker’s fear of encountering passive smoke generally speaking.
    I go there quite often. It has sooooo much to offer; from fun activities to bars/restaurants with ashtrays on the table which do not even affect the most scared anti-smoker in this world!!! Sure, there are some restaurants that do supply ashtrays on EVERY table. But then, who says the anti-smokers need to be everywhere? Aren’t they supposed to be adults to CHOOSE the restarant they visit? I believe Austria provides for them, too. They do it rather interestingly; the smokers areas are rooms deeper inside than the non-smoking areas. In the smoking arears the air pressure is -unnoticably to the person there – lower than that of the one out side. The door opens to the non-smoking area – NO PASSIVE SMOKE enters the non-smoking area. Not even a whiff!
    The Anti-smoking scu- er…. crowd does know that and they have been homin in on that little, wonderful country with vengeance. They already prepared for the event of people switching to e-cigs!!!! You can only get them (cigarette-look-alikes) in PHARMACIES accompanied with a lecture on how they (e-cigs) might be bad for you. The finger of blame will be pointed towards the tobacco companies (who produce up til now in my opinion rather unattractive) e-cigs.

    The Austrians are quite resilient people; nevertheless, the anti-smoking bandwagon is rolling, hidden away from the public, into Austrian’s politics.

    My advice? GO NOW visit the country (and it’s absolutely wonderful places) whilst you still are treated as a human being. Leave lots of cash there now. They’ll miss it when it’s gone when the smoking ban is being lobbied!!!!

  16. jaxthefirst says:

    “Even diehard smokers, when arriving in Austria, are in for a shock at the clouds of blue haze filling bars and restaurants”

    Clearly written by a brainwashed non-smoker. Few “die hard” smokers would be “shocked” at the prospect of a smoke-filled bar – “pleasantly surprised” would have been a more accurate phrase to use!

  17. harleyrider1978 says:

    The cigarette at war

    By William McGurn

    You ask me what we need to win this war. I answer, tobacco as much as bullets.”

    So cabled the commander of the American Expeditionary Force, Gen. John Pershing, to the War Department in 1917.

    It’s a long way from “Black Jack” Pershing to Chuck Hagel. Not that the Obama administration shies away from wars. It’s just that the target is less likely to be the Russians or Iranians than our own troops: specifically, the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who smoke.

    This week, Defense Secretary Hagel announced he supports a ban on tobacco sales on bases and ships. This followed a memo sent to service chiefs earlier by two top Pentagon officials: “The prominence of tobacco products in retail outlets and permission for smoking breaks while on duty sustain the perception that we are not serious about reducing the use of tobacco.”

    What a narrow view of the cigarette. For nearly a century, tobacco in its various forms has been, as Pershing appreciated, a powerful weapon in what we used to call the arsenal of freedom — a symbol of confidence, grit and resolve.

    For Churchill it was his cigar. For FDR it was his cigarette in his holder, protruding upward from his upturned chin. For MacArthur, it was his corncob pipe.

    So it was too for those lower down the command chain. The Vietnam grunt with a pack of Camels strapped to his helmet. The grizzled GI on Sai­pan who made it to the cover of Life magazine with his smoke clenched in his mouth. The shirtless sailor in his helmet and dogtags, taking a cigarette break on a corner of his ship.

    Not to mention the Marine featured on the front page of The Post during the Second Battle of Fallujah.

    Hollywood understood. Think of Robert Mitchum in “The Longest Day,” lighting up a celebratory stogie after the storming of Omaha Beach. Or Mitchum again, this time fighting on the Pacific front in “Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison,” where he is stranded with a nun (Deborah Kerr) on an island. As he’s carried out on a stretcher by fellow Marines who have retaken the island, the friendship between this odd pair is conveyed when Kerr takes his cigarette from his mouth so he can exhale.

    Other such moments include John Wayne’s Sgt. Stryker sharing a pack of cigarettes in “The Sands of Iwo Jima” right before he takes a bullet in the back. Bill Holden in bed with Grace Kelly in “The Bridges at Toko-i,” having a cigarette before he ships out to the Korean War. Or Gary Sinise’s legless, cigarette-smoking Lt. Dan in “Forrest Gump.”

    Nor are these the cigarette’s only contributions to the war effort. In 1945, a former British POW who would go on to become an economist with the International Monetary Fund wrote a famous article about how cigarettes became a currency in Stalag VII-A.

    In the same way, an American survivor of the infamous Bataan death march, Lester Tenney, wrote in “My Hitch In Hell” how Japanese cigarettes, the currency of choice in his Philippine camp, facilitated trade among the prisoners. “As Adam Smith predicted,” he wrote, “this economy made everyone better off.”

    Cigarettes were also a means of compassion. We have countless images of men with faces covered in bandages or bodies mangled on the battlefield enjoying what one publication described as “last and only solace of the wounded.”

    And between enemies who shared neither language nor flag, the cigarette was often the only human bond. Consider the photo of a Marine on Iwo Jima offering a smoke to a Japanese who had tried to hide by burying himself in the sand. Another photo from World War I shows a Canadian soldier lighting the cigarette of a German prisoner.

    All this we now seem bent on doing away with. Long ago we stopped including cigs in C-Rations. Later we (rightly) stopped subsidizing cigarette prices at the exchanges. But now we want to ban military sales altogether.

    Question: When this doesn’t work, are we going to forbid people to bring smokes onto military installations — or send them to our troops in CARE packages?

    In fairness, it didn’t start with Secretary Hagel. Over the years, the Pentagon has launched any number of anti-smoking campaigns. Still, it’s especially hard to take from an administration that justifies the move in the name of military readiness even as it is busy shrinking the Army to levels not seen since before Pearl Harbor.

    Pity the Ukrainians never understood the realities of these new US priorities. If they had, they would have declared Crimea a “smoking-free zone” before Vladimir Putin invaded. And America might have taken the integrity of their borders more seriously.

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