It’s quite refreshing to discover a new enemy. It’s a bit like finding another, hitherto-unknown, utterly-obnoxious member of Hitler’s Nazi party. I find I get bored of people like Deborah Arnott after a few years. There’s nothing like new blood to quicken the pulse.
So what could be better than New Orleans Councilwoman LaToyah Cantrell (right), with her call for a complete smoking ban in easy-going New Orleans?
Within the space of a few days she’s overtaken both Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama (and of course Deborah Arnott) in my personal Hit Parade of People I Love to Loathe. She’s become an overnight international (hate) figure.
And she already has plenty of enemies in New Orleans, it seems. H/T Joe L for the news in Lousiana’s conservative Hayride that she’s been defaming the entire New Orleans police department.
Elsewhere in the Hayride, Cantrell is already under attack:
Just last night, Cantrell introduced an ordinance before the New Orleans City Council which would all-out ban smoking in New Orleans bars and public places in general. Because if anything, New Orleans politicians should be telling everyday New Orleanians and tourists how to conduct their lives, right?
Keep in mind, Cantrell has been endorsed by State Senator Karen Carter Peterson (D-New Orleans), so that should give you a clue on who she aligns herself with.
This may sound familiar in places like New York City, where smoking in bars has been banned for decades, and California, but for New Orleans? The most nonchalant city in the country (when it comes to smoking and alcohol regulation) banning smoking?
‘What’s happening,’ you may ask yourself.
Well, Cantrell, like other infamous “nanny-state” politicians, such as former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, simply have one concept they live by: The government knows what is best for you.
There will always be problems and implications when a government forces itself on the people and private businesses. It is not the role of city government to control the behaviors of the people and to control the way businesses conduct business. That is a basic right, not a left and right political issue. It just so happens that liberals fail to understand that concept, like Cantrell obviously does.
If the business owners and individuals of New Orleans do not come out in mass, there will be further prices to pay for individual liberties and rights. This will only be the beginning.
Already, the Louisiana ACLU is making a point to stay out of the issue, which is a shame considering this is a perfect case of civil liberties being violated. A representative with the ACLU said the issue would only be a civil liberties problem if smoking was being banned all throughout the streets of the city. Nonetheless, that is exactly what will happen though.
I’m still on a steep learning curve here, but I think this is set to become one of the key battles in the smoking wars. It may even be a key battle for the soul of America. Tobacco Control would really, really like to capture New Orleans, and stamp out smoking in this fun-loving city (and maybe stamp out jazz as well, as Lleweton was suggesting in comments today).
But I get the strong impression that the resistance in New Orleans is going to be ferocious. This is going to be fought street by street, house by house, just like Stalingrad.
I think a firestorm is going to explode around LaToyah Cantrell and her antismoking side-kicks. It may even suck in the rest of the USA (and the rest of the world). Antismoking Nazis may even have to parachute in Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama and Michael Bloomberg and Stanton Glantz.