Nanny State Strikes Hometown, USA

The City of Marietta, Georgia, a northwest suburb of Atlanta just up the street from my hometown of Smyrna, Georgia, has earned two gold, Nanny-state stars.  The Marietta City Council has just voted to ban smoking in the town square, Glover Park.  Henceforth, any poor sap who might still be harboring under the illusion that he lives in a free country, and makes the mistake of lighting a cigarette, cigar or even a “weed,” in the great outdoors that might also happen to be within the confines of the town square, can be arrested and fined $500.  One freedom-loving council member, patting herself on the back for this all-American action to outlaw yet another vestige of individual freedom, pronounced herself “pleased” and expressed hope that the ban would soon be extended to all parks in the city.  In a spectacular display of scientific knowledge, another city council member “applauded” his vote to ban smoking in the outdoor park because, in his view, the park constituted a “confined area.” 

Such apparently un-American and dangerous activities as children skating or riding bicycles in the park, are already prohibited (heaven forbid a child might want to actually have fun roller skating with their parents in a public park).  Large, black, visitor-unfriendly  signs warning against such un-wholesome activities already are posted around the park’s perimeter.  No doubt, the offense of smoking will soon be added to signage containing the growing list of criminal behavior in the area.

As part of its Nanny-state ”two-fer,”  Marietta also has decided to install surveillance cameras in some parks.  While illicit sexual activity reportedly has been a problem in some of the city’s parks, the council, in true, modern-day fashion, decided that simply enforcing the laws against such improper public behavior would not suffice, and opted instead for the remedy of placing everyone who might choose to enter the public park for a private moment, under digital-camera surveillance.  Of course, if a surveillance camera just happens to catch someone lighting up, or skating, well .  .  .  they were warned.

97 comments Add your comment

Michael

July 17th, 2009
7:05 am

Good for them. I hope many more cities follow in there footsteps. Smoking does just as much harm second hand as to the smoker. Though I believe in personal freedoms I do not feel those freedoms can come at the harm to other people.

The REAL GodHatesTrash, Superstar

July 17th, 2009
7:10 am

The only people that smoke any more are the tattooed and toothless.

This is just a way to keep them out of sight back in their trailers, and off the streets.

Caveman

July 17th, 2009
7:21 am

THe nanny state lovers might as well ban cars next since they put out more carcinogenic smoke than any twenty smokers.
Smoking should be encouraged since non-smokers incure more health care costs over a lifetime. Medicare and social security would both be in the red without smokers too.
But let’s keep pretending that cigarettes are evil, it the PC thing to do.

Whatever

July 17th, 2009
7:40 am

Michael – It is that statement right there that opens the door to government rule in everything. “Though I believe in personal freedoms I do not feel those freedoms can come at the harm to other people.” Spoken like a true political person who wants power. I’m just out to “save” you, so I need as much control as possible to do that.

What about the freedom of others not to be around the smoker? Or not to go to events in the square because people smoke? And what about the loud music played at concerts or events in the square? Don’t you know that’s bad for your hearing? Better ban that too!

It would be one thing if a smoker was breaking into your house and smoking in your room, but being in an open area and claiming it was infringing on your rights? Really? And having the enforcement of law behind making it “illegal”? Wow…watch out, it is only the beginning.

Why do you think that people like our current Congress and Obama can go on and on about this nonsense of global warming, tax you billions of dollars to start a plan that won’t even lower the temperature of the globe? And why do you think they will soon be able to tell you how far you can drive, before you’ll have to pay more money that is. It is all a big grab of power and money and it is all in the name of “Though I believe in personal freedoms I do not feel those freedoms can come at the harm to other people.”

We open a very slippery slope when we let so many other people decide what “harm” can be defined as and utilize that “harm” to restrict the actions of others.

Willis

July 17th, 2009
7:46 am

If I’m sitting in the park and some ignoramus comes close to me, lights up a stinking cigar, pipe, or cigarette, why should I have to move in order to escape the stench. Yes, it is a free country supposedly, and that freedom includes my right not to have to smell stench. The ban is good but probably won’t be enforced, just like so many other “laws” that don’t mean anything.

bob

July 17th, 2009
8:02 am

Ask the council if they would rather be locked in a garage for fifteen minutes with a running car or a pipe smoker. Of course everyone knows the car exhaust will kill you but they still have cars by the square. If the council was worried about health, shouldn’t they ban the worst first ?

Rob

July 17th, 2009
8:05 am

I’m OK with smoking in a public park if they will enforce littering laws when they throw their butts on the ground. Park benches (and red lights at intersections) are often littered with them.

Copyleft

July 17th, 2009
8:11 am

Ahh, the freedom to poison your neighbors… can we truly be said to have a nation of liberty when this most precious of rights is trampled?

I wonder how Mr. Barr feels about regulations on dumping industrial waste into community water supplies? Are they a horrid shackle on our freedoms too?

Flip

July 17th, 2009
8:12 am

Willis wrote… “Yes, it is a free country supposedly, and that freedom includes my right not to have to smell stench.”

Would Willis or anyone care to show me specifically where that “right” exists? U.S. or Georgia Constitutions? What law passed by what Congress or Legislature? Which executive order?

dgroy

July 17th, 2009
8:22 am

Bob Barr, a Great American, thanks for bringing this to our attention. Government is intruding way too much in our lives and this is just another example of their foolish laws. We should nip this in the bud (that’s what Barnie would say)by having a great big smoking party in the park and everybody light up and skate or rollerboard around the park. Lets see how many would get arrested. We should protest against such actions/laws that are being passed for frivilous reasons. Rise up.

Jeremy

July 17th, 2009
8:35 am

Flip wrote “Would Willis or anyone care to show me specifically where that “right” exists? U.S. or Georgia Constitutions? What law passed by what Congress or Legislature? Which executive order?”

Fair enough – care to show me where most of things we do and take for granted are specifically outlined within or beyond the basic Bill of Rights? Pretty sure you won’t find the right to smoke anywhere. So what exactly is your point?

Big C

July 17th, 2009
8:36 am

The nanny state all started with seat belts. Uncle Sugar protecting us from ourselves.

Chuck

July 17th, 2009
8:36 am

Dunwoody Park is still a great place for a lunchtimr tryst with the one you love

retiredds

July 17th, 2009
8:49 am

Bob, while you’re at it how about a Nanny prize to Sonny Perdue and the GA legislature. Sonny because he won’t let Georgians vote whether to approve alcohol sales on Sunday because….. he doesn’t believe in it. And the GA legislature which won’t let Georgians vote for or against taxing themselves on transportation. The latter seems to be that since Republicans are against any tax if individual Georgians voted to tax themselves for transportation related issue where does that leave them? But I believe the real issue here is control, neither the Governor nor the legislature want to allow the people of Georgia to decide for themselves whether or not they want to buy alcohol on Sunday or whether or not to tax themselves. So Bob difficult as it may be for you as a conservative how about a Nanny award for Sonny and the legislature. I’ll be waiting …. but I am sure it will be a long time.

zeke

July 17th, 2009
8:49 am

Stupid leftist commies are ruining the USA daily! The Constitution allows us all to be morons, and, those like the Marietta council and a lot of you commenting here, must exercise that freedom daily at the expense of the rest of us!

Akmed Picklesimer

July 17th, 2009
8:50 am

Maybe they should quit calling it a park and rename it a museum.

As a private investigator, Chuck, I can tell you it’s also a great place for photography.

Copyleft

July 17th, 2009
8:51 am

Wow, the desperate-loser namejacker got started early on his admission of defeat!

I accept your surrender, Namejacker. The rabid right loses again because, like 1984/Che/Maniac/Commie, they just can’t THINK.

dj

July 17th, 2009
8:51 am

Personally, I have no problem with people smoking and destroying their bodies. However, they don’t have a right to destroy my body.

My wife and I attended the Stevie Wonder Concert at the Verizon Amphitheater . We had lawn seats and we had to tolerate the smokers all around us. The smokers made our concert experience less than wonderful. Some of us – non smokers – get headaches due to cigarette smoke. My wife and I hate the nasty smoke on our clothes and in our hair. We were looking forward to breathing fresh air and taking in the wonderful music of Stevie Wonder. Unfortunately, we were held hostage by all the inconsiderate smokers all around us.

In a public area, I can walk away from a tobacco user. Unfortunately, smokers tend to follow me when I relocate to other areas of the park. Sure, I have the power to get away from smokers. However, smokers should take hold of their addiction and be considerate of others.

zeke

July 17th, 2009
8:51 am

OK voters in Marietta! Here is a prime reason to term limit these ridiulous kooks by voting them out at the first opportunity! Better yet petition the State Attorny General to have them removed from office!

JF McNamara

July 17th, 2009
8:54 am

I’m with you on this one Barr. I don’t smoke, but I don’t care if others do (so long as they pick up the butts). It’s an open air park, so smoking shouldn’t even be an issue.

As for cameras, sadly, that’s the way we’re headed. The longer I live, the more I think Orwell just had the year wrong…

Jack

July 17th, 2009
8:58 am

Its cool, us smokers will just not be spending our money at dumb a** events in the park anymore, or cobb county for that matter. Hope its keeps some of you non smoking haters who don’t have jobs out of jobs a whole lot longer! GFYS

jeff

July 17th, 2009
9:04 am

Hooray for the parfumitist! Best laugh I’ve had today. Next thing the Nannies will go after is getting rid of all diary and beef products since belching cows contribute 2% of the greenhouse gases that they are so concerned about.

When do the rest of us stop this nonsense and go after the Nannies?

Turd Ferguson

July 17th, 2009
9:18 am

If the smokers are regulated by the gubmint should not the fat people receive the same “fair treatment”? Fatness/gluttony is just as deadly as smoking. And what about the rights of the shoes that are made to be squashed daily by these fatties…do they not have rights also? And what about the squirrels in the park, are they not entitled to a free meal? Butt how might they get this free meal when the fatties refused to give up even a french fry crumb.

And what about the trees? Are then not entitled to their fair share of the carbon monoxide produced by smokers? And what about…

The Snark

July 17th, 2009
9:20 am

Come on Bob, isn’t it about time to put down Newt’s GOPAC memo with the list of nasty words you can use to demean your opponents? You can’t have a genuine civic discussion by putting together a string of meaningless insults like “nanny state.” If you’ve got a point to make, then make it in plain English. I would think that the last election made clear that people have tired of Rove-speak and want real solutions.

[...] Bob Barr says the nanny state has struck his hometown of Marietta. [...]

Brad

July 17th, 2009
9:28 am

DJ, really??? Drama much? 2nd hand smoke outdoors will do you NO harm at all. I’m sure the people next to you were a bit put off by your B.O. and halitosis as well, but I don’t see them trying to ban that… yet. Jeremy, the Bill of Rights doesn’t give us rights; it limits what the state can do. Saving us from ourselves is not one of the state’s jobs. That’s state as in government not state as in the particular state you reside in, btw. Reading these comments has me convinced this country’s as good as done. Both “sides” of the political fence are full of morons who haven’t a clue what the Constitution says. One side would ban public displays of affection and the other would ban anything that makes anyone (except Christians of course) feel bad. Tax us to death to provide for children what their parents should be responsible for – and now providing for those parents as well. Is there a vacant block of land somewhere that we can move to and start over? Here’s the laws – Don’t kill anybody, don’t steal from anybody, don’t physically harm anybody. Do that and you’re in big trouble. Otherwise, you’re on your own. Have fun.

Ron

July 17th, 2009
9:34 am

Michael – you are a cretin! Maybe you should break out your old Mussolini black shirt, since I heard they are coming back into fashion! I have a suggestion – let’s ban all Southern Baptists from Sunday post-church buffet restaurants, since they simply gourge their corpulent “temples of God” once a week after having been fed a healthy dose of spiritual tripe just minutes prior. This way we can put a stop to right-wing obesity and piety at the same time.

It is vapid short-bus rejects such as yourself that are allowing this country to be controlled by the morons that sit on the city council.

Dalton Dukes

July 17th, 2009
9:40 am

Remember, this process began in offices. Then restaurants. Then bars. Now parks. Next will include all of downtown Marietta. Then all of Cobb County. Then all of Georgia. Then total prohibition. It’s called the incremental approach to behavior modification.

I can’t wait to see what they will target next. Exhaust fumes and gasoline fumes are known carcinogens. Sun rays are known carcinogens. Shouldn’t the Marietta council ban the sun downtown? Or at the least, pass a law enforcing citizens to cover themselves completely…long sleeve shirts, wide brimmed hats, no shorts, no sandals, shall be permitted downtown. For the greater good donchaknow!

Now about that water in Marietta. Are there any known carcinogens resulting from the treatment process?

Amazon T

July 17th, 2009
9:41 am

While we’re making laws can we pass a law that gets all the stupid drivers off the roads during rush hour? To Chuck and Akmed…Callaway Gardens beats Dunwoody Park for both.

dj

July 17th, 2009
9:41 am

Please …..Brad… bad breath and body odor has nothing to due with my right to enjoy a music event or taking time from a hectic day to meditate in a quiet and peaceful park without the smell of nasty smoke blowing up my nose.

Besides, if the people were offended by my funk, they have the right to mooooooove away!

Ashley

July 17th, 2009
10:03 am

Thanks Bob, keep up the good work!

PMC

July 17th, 2009
10:15 am

This just illustrates the importance of private property rights and the necessity to own as much of it as one possibly can. Just last week I was in one of the last vestiges of our country where one can actually walk down the street outside with an alcoholic beverage (shocking and offensive I know) It’s amazing how forcing morality on others is more important than freedom to many people in this nation.

PMC

July 17th, 2009
10:17 am

For the record, this has little to do with smoking. Much more to do with personal freedoms.

Copyleft

July 17th, 2009
10:20 am

For the record, this has everything to do with being poisoned by nearby idiots, which has never been a protected right.

Chris Broe

July 17th, 2009
10:32 am

I thought clandestine, hidden cameras were for proving that the nanny is abusing the kids, not so that the nanny can find even more reasons to spank them. There’s something really wrong here. Obama is considering legislation that will ban future Octomoms, (nanny nats), and I would be FOR that bill if it would have prevented the Jonas Brothers.

Turd Ferguson

July 17th, 2009
10:33 am

The left will never get it until the State moves to restrict their access to only 1 BigMac daily or 1 Xanax daily or 1 Valium daily or one daily trip on their Sedway etc…

Ron

July 17th, 2009
10:59 am

Evidently Copyleft was on the same short bus as Michael – brilliant commentary! “being poisoned by nearby idiots…” – That phrase is very much apropos if it is in reference to politicians at the local, state or federal level. Individuals such as yourself are oblivious to the hastened erosion of liberties or the concept of personal accountability. The State has the answers – it is capable of protecting the citizenry from itself – it should feed us, clothe us, and think for us! You are the idiot for abrogating your critical thinking skills and laying them on the altar of stupidity. Go back to sleep for now…

Class of '98

July 17th, 2009
11:03 am

Hey GodHatesTrash…..

Your messiah Barack smokes too.

Bob

July 17th, 2009
11:04 am

As an ex-smoker I can certainly understand restrictions on smoking in certain public venues, but the further restrictions in re to adult only destinations such as bars is simply a move to make life difficult for smokers; to ‘encourage’ them to quit and infringes on the property rights of the owners. The science of second hand smoke; the attribution of extreme danger, i.e., ‘no safe level of exposure’ is simply a lie. Just consider how long it takes [we're talking decades] for an active smoker to develop an illness compared to someone who is exposed, usually for a limited amount of time, to second hand smoke which is highly dilluted. Is it possible that someone might become ill from prolonged exposure [years]? Yes. Just as some people become ill from pollution or exposure to everyday chemicals. But the level of danger is so low that the EPA was forced to cook the books in order to pursue their policy of disinformation thus allowing ignorant public officials to pursue their puritanical and un-American crusade against smokers by outlawing smoking even in outdoor settings. The tobacco companies obfuscated and now the highly funded anti-tobacco movement does the same. The public is manipulated at will. Ultimately, life is messy and you cannot legislate the non-utilitarian qualities out of people. When tolerance and reasonableness wanes, you will invite further regulation and control of your life by folks who enjoy that sort of activity. Ultimately you will not be pleased with the result.

[...] Barr says the City of Marietta has become a nanny-state:The City of Marietta, Georgia, a northwest suburb of Atlanta just up the street from my hometown of [...]

STFU

July 17th, 2009
11:33 am

“The only people that smoke any more are the tattooed and toothless.
This is just a way to keep them out of sight back in their trailers, and off the streets.”

God Hates Trash sounds like some intolerant poser hypocritical nazi POS that needs his teeth kicked in. I’d pay a buck.

Copyleft

July 17th, 2009
11:48 am

Ron: It’s very simple. You have every right to commit slow suicide by whatever means you choose.

You have ZERO right to take anybody else with you, and we’re simply not going to let you, no matter how much you whine about your imaginary “freedom to poison people.”

ExpatJimbo

July 17th, 2009
11:53 am

Yes, those tattooed and toothless smokers. You know, like our Harvard-educated President of the United States and most powerful man in the world.

Can anybody point to a SINGLE case of anybody getting ANY serious illness from second-hand smoke? And I’m not talking about limp-wristed types coughing dramatically.
I’ve never smoked (tried one in high school and it tasted like dog-crap) but some of you sissies are way over-the-top. You don’t deserve the freedom our forefathers DIED for. You weak people cheer the restriction of freedom just because you personally disagree with it. How selfish, petty, and short-sighted.

ExpatJimbo

July 17th, 2009
11:54 am

Actually, Copyleft, you may note that suicide is in fact ILLEGAL. Apparently your government has ownership over your own body.

David S

July 17th, 2009
12:06 pm

This entire fight is the reason why the “public” should not own anything in this country. Just look at virtually every problem we have with regards to use. As soon as the government gets involved, the problem becomes much worse. A privately owned park would have its rules and you could either live with them or leave. You could appeal to the owner, but you could not use the coercive power of the state to FORCE what you want. Time to end our dependence on and love of government

TC

July 17th, 2009
12:09 pm

About 12 years ago we buried my wife’s parents. Her Father died six weeks before her mother. The father did not smoke. Her mother did. Her father died of emphysema. Her mother, lung cancer. The military doctors who treated them both said the father developed his disease because his wife smoked. He died of second hand smoke. Point blank. Period. They they would provide statements to that effect if the family wanted to make a case but we were to devistated by the deaths to do so. If people want to smoke in the park, fine, just make sure they do so with a bag over their heads, or set up smikers tenst for them, because smoke does not stay in the area of the smoker. It drifts into everyones lungs. As for the argument that cars cause more problems…we need to work on that too. Two wrongs do not make a right.

ExpatJimbo

July 17th, 2009
12:09 pm

Gorilla Glue, I’m not a fan of Obama either, but what impeachable offense has he committed? And “jive-talking”? Did you just step out of a racist time-capsule from the 1970s? Surely even a moron like yourself can agree that your current president is much more articulate and well-spoken than your previous one.

Fran

July 17th, 2009
12:12 pm

Curious that cancer and emphysema rates have gone up since all of these smoking bans have been enacted. How in the world did people survive back in the days when you could smoke in planes, hospitals, ballgames, etc?

TC

July 17th, 2009
12:18 pm

To Fran
“How in the world did people survive back in the days when you could smoke in planes, hospitals, ballgames, etc?”

They didn’t. They died. We just were not tracking those deaths as being smoking related back then.

bobfromCanton

July 17th, 2009
12:21 pm

It is sad that people don’t look any farther than the actual thing that is being made a crime. Since that is their pet peeve it is ok. For instance, how soon will it be before eating too much fat is a crime. Imagine walking thru the square and being hauled away because you are too fat and should not be eating that ice cream cone! The Nanny state is headed in your favorite food or habit’s direction. Just wait and see. I remember when you had the right to not wear a seat belt, we still had metal dashes in cars and no ABS, no air bags, etc. America wake up, wait… it is already too late!

Fran

July 17th, 2009
12:31 pm

TC, my 91-year-old mother and 89-year-old father might disagree with you. (He smokes about $300 worth of cigars every week, by the way, and has done so for 70 years).
Also, why are lung cancer rates higher here in the US than they are in places like Japan, where people still smoke religiously?
Trust me, I’m not one of these whackos who doesn’t believe tobacco is harmful (inhaling anything other than air is not natural and potentially dangerous, obviously). I just think the “threat” is completely overblown, there are many more factors contributing to it (like the toxic pharmaceuticals we’re encouraged to become addicted to, or the steroids and chemicals in our food) and, more importantly, it’s NONE OF THE GOVERNMENT’S BUSINESS!

Ron

July 17th, 2009
12:32 pm

You have ZERO right to take anybody else with you, and we’re simply not going to let you, no matter how much you whine about your imaginary “freedom to poison people.”

CopyLeft – you astound me with your insight! You must have a GED. Those of us who are still sentient will not abject imbeciles such as yourself take us along the path of lunacy while you exercise your “freedom to poison people” with ignorance.

Try again moron!

Copyleft

July 17th, 2009
12:55 pm

Glue-insky or whatever your current name is…

So you concede you can’t actually point to an impeachable offense–you just want Obama impeached because you dislike his politics.

Hmm, what’s the word for that? Oh, yes–STUPID. Suck it up, loser.

Chris Broe

July 17th, 2009
1:02 pm

The AJC reported that a man used a chain saw to foil an attack by a mountain lion.

Note: This is why the ancient Romans fed Christians to the lions, and not lumberjacks.

Keith

July 17th, 2009
1:09 pm

As a Libertarians Bob should know that “your rights end where mine begin”. You can smoke anywhere you want as long as no one else has to inhale or smell it. Thank you Marietta! All you smokers can go back home and close the door and smoke your brains out.

TC

July 17th, 2009
1:30 pm

There is a concept in civil society that says you have a right to swing you arm, unless it connects with my face. I feel that way about smoking. You have a right to smoke, until your smoke reaches my lungs. I have no issues with smokers inhaling, just exhaling where others have to breathe. In addition to my in-laws, I have buried my father and three aunts. All smokers. All died from lung cancer. None of the remaining siblings smoke, and they have now outlived the smokers by 20 years or more. Smoking is one of the reasons I do not believe in universal health care. If you are going to poison yourself, then don’t ask me to pay for it when you are in the hospital for cancer treatment. I feel the same way about alcoholism and obesity. But at least with the latter two, they keep their addictions to themselves, they do not force me to eat or drink. Smokers are inconsiderate and pass their addiction around. Imagine, you are sitting in the park having a nice lunch and a bulimic comes over to your picnic and throws up on your meal. Having smoke intrude in on a nice park experience is exactly the same unpleasant thing, but worse because the smokers “vomit” actually invades other peoples bodies.

Bob

July 17th, 2009
2:02 pm

Actually if you want to continue the “swing your arm” argument, you can argue that everyone’s actions effect everyone else. The alcoholic, the drug addict, the obese person, anyone who indulges in unhealthy practices, as we are increasingly told, costs society in productivity and in health care costs. If you don’t buy energy efficient appliances or use mass transit you are damaging my environment creating pollution such as ozone and small diameter particulates from a variety of sources that reach my lungs and has a real effect on health. If you like, there is no end to it. It is a matter of tolerance. There are many things I don’t like but I choose to let pass because we can’t live in a world where everything we don’t like can be banned. The nuisance of tobacco smoke has been in decline for quite a while. The prevalence of smoking has dropped markedly in the past few decades and the areas in which you can be exposed to smoke has as well. A zero level of tolerance isn’t useful to you or to your fellow citizens.

Ron

July 17th, 2009
2:15 pm

The systemic issue has nothing to do with smoking, or any other “vile and offensive” activity – get off of your pathetic soap boxes. The danger at hand is having the state (in all of it’s manifestations) gaining more control of our daily lives – what you can say or can’t say, do or not do, etc. Personally, I would like to see stupidity stamped out in our lifetime – it is most assuredly rampant considering some of the pathetic drivel being thrown in some of these posts!

marleneb

July 17th, 2009
2:41 pm

Ah yes. Freedom from bicycles, roller skates, smokers. Comming soon, freedom from ice cream, apple pie, roasted pork. Ah yes, freedom for only the nanny mob in the good old U.S.S.A.

cr747

July 17th, 2009
2:52 pm

Why is the president allowed to smoke in the rose garden at the white house? Scared his mother in law my spank him if caught?

JW

July 17th, 2009
2:53 pm

Bob, why don’t you shave off that goofy mustache?

truckerjay

July 17th, 2009
3:03 pm

I’ll mark that place off as a stop I won’t be making anymore. You wanna be a nanny? I’ll spend my dollars elsewhere.

Ron

July 17th, 2009
3:23 pm

Evidently the likes of TC and CopyLeft welcome the dawn of modern-day fascism or the “Corporate State” – and why not! We now have Government Motors, bailed-out banks, an out of control Federal Reserve, government eavesdropping, ad infinitum ad nauseum. Keep drinking the koolaid, because you have now gone “Full Tard!” Neither of you mental midgets understand the consequences of heading down the road to embrace Big Brother.

TC

July 17th, 2009
3:43 pm

For me, this is not about a corporate state. My comments come from personally having lost loved ones from smoking and one in particular from second hand smoke. I have not called anyone names or said anything other than I have personal experience of smoking being invasive and dangerous to people other than the smoker. I am not on any soap box, but in a very real and personal space. If I were to get a soap box, I might point out the irony of people like Mr. Barr and others being up in arms about the government telling them what they can and cannot do in public, yet they are the very same people who want the goverment to get totally involved in the contract between two people that is marriage or tell women what they can do with their own bodies. It does not get any more invasive than that, yet I do not expect Mr. Barr or people like Ron to be in the forefront of true individual freedom from government intrusion into personal lives. When someone tells you who you can and cannot marry, can and cannot leave your children or property to or what you can do with your own body, including who has the right to bury it, THAT is BIG BROTHER.

retiredds

July 17th, 2009
3:47 pm

cr747, the president can smoke in the Rose Garden because he is the president. The habit is deplorable and is not a good health example.

Jefferson

July 17th, 2009
3:52 pm

What political party do the “nannies” belong to? I’m betting “R”, but could belive different.

Ron

July 17th, 2009
3:52 pm

TC – again, you miss the big picture. Personally, I don’t care who marries who, or if a woman chooses to have an abortion – it is none of my business, nor is it the business of the government. I don’t care if someone snorts coke, rolls a fattie, or rides the whit pony – it’s your body. Dimwits such as the laughable city council members will not be satisfied until all of your activities are monitored for “moral” correctness. This scary mentality is a by-product of living in a state overrun with bible-thumping fanatics.

Copyleft

July 17th, 2009
3:56 pm

Ron, that would be a compelling argument–IF smoking had no effect on anyone around you.

This is not the case. See why that makes a difference?

marleneb

July 17th, 2009
3:59 pm

Just like the global warming scare tactics as I sit here in mid-July with temps in the 50’s and lower, that puff of smoke will kill anyone within a park’s breadth. Have people really become this stupid, or is it really minority population eradication? One can only pray that these new eradicators will get their due, just like Hitler did!

Ron

July 17th, 2009
4:16 pm

Copyleft – it does not make a difference in the OUTDOORS. Eating bacon burgers each day will kill you – and your kids more readily. The FACT is that people still have the privilege of stupidity – which is not really a bad thing, because it might have a positive Darwinian effect.

Marleneb – people have truly become this stupid. The gene pool has been diluted to the extent that only guppies prevail!

DeKalb Conservative

July 17th, 2009
4:56 pm

Sweet! One less place smokers can smoke equals less cigarettes they will smoke, equals less packs sold, equals less tax revenue….

Oops… unintended effect?

[...] Source [...]

electrician

July 17th, 2009
6:18 pm

THE ALCOHOL BAN IS NEXT!! iI cant wait until I no longer have to share the road with even one alcohol user thats had even ONE drink!. I’ll feel so much safer driving on our roads ,and so will all of you.LEGAL PRCEDENCE IS GREAT AND POWERFUL..THANK YOU NANNY!.

cr747

July 17th, 2009
6:53 pm

Retiredd, you hit the nail on the head, he is the pres, or is supposed to be. I could think of a lot of other names to call him, but I won’t. It seems to me like a double standard here,lt’s ok for the pres. but don’t you dare light up out there on the back side of my ranch. I might send some smoke from California to DC. I don’t smoke but I don’t have a problem with people that do. Use to be able to smoke on a plane, use to choke me, give me a headache, but I didn’t complain about it. Grew up around lt, still alive and going every day without a problem. They are talking about stopping smoking in the US service, guess they are afraid smoking will kill them before a sniper will. What a shame, lt’s alright for our young people to get shot trying to protect the US and for the pres. to smoke but our service personal can’t. Come on there’s something wrong with this picture. I think it’s about time we put someone in the Whitehouse and Washington that care for the people instead of themselves. Go VOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Eric

July 17th, 2009
6:57 pm

Marietta gov. has gone completely mad!!

Baby Buchanon

July 17th, 2009
7:51 pm

Time to outlaw all the liberals. And the gays. And the hypocrites. And all the citizens too damn lazy to work.

Ayn Rand was right

July 17th, 2009
8:02 pm

Keith – as a Libertarian, Mr. Barr knows that we are responsible for ourselves, not others. If you don’t like it, you walk away.

Be careful of what you wish for…remember when the government told us legislating insurance for all drivers would protect us from uninsured drivers. Who has actually been protected by this law? Oh yes, that would be the insurance companies that sell insurance to responsible people at increased rates. Those who didn’t buy insurance before the law, don’t still.

Baxter

July 17th, 2009
9:26 pm

Sadly, I don’t think this has much to do with all of you non-smokers and your right to breath fresh air.

People who do smoke should dispose of their butts properly, but many of them do not–they toss them down with the expectation that someone else will take care of it. Much like so many of the other issues in this country–someone else will be there to take up the slack.

The comment about smokers financing government programs is dead-on. Smokers contribute through taxes a lot of money! But after all, it is all about money.

One has to wonder though, which group will be next?

Bill Kern

July 17th, 2009
10:29 pm

First of all, second-hand smoke is bullsh!t science. Clearly. It’s not real. Stop nodding your heads and agreeing on how dangerous it is just because you don’t like the smell. If you fake-believe it, then the fake scientific study was conducted JUST for people like you. Get a grip. If one of the worst complaints about human behavior is you accidentally getting a whiff of someone’s Winston, consider your life ignorantly blessed.
Secondly, even if it WERE deadly, walking away from someone smoking in an outdoor park is a simple enough way to avoid it without resorting to rewriting the local laws.
But it’s at least a shred more understandable on public property. In private businesses, the government should have no say whatever about smoking. Even the “I don’t want to breathe your crap” argument hits a brick wall when you’re talking about an establishment owned by a private individual. Don’t like it? Withdraw your patronage. Period. No business owner has to make special accommodations for YOU if he doesn’t wish to. This is America, damn it.
You people who want legislation passed in opposition to behavior you find inconvenient make me more sick than any secondhand or firsthand smoke ever can. Your understanding of freedom is a perversion. You will ignorantly lead the march to trample on people’s rights in the name of NOT trampling on people’s rights, and you’re so caught up in the big government paradigm that you don’t even realize it.

Michael H. Smith

July 18th, 2009
7:38 am

It is good to see that no one is getting on a “soap box”. Strange how anyone would get on an Internet blog to air personal views in a rambling round-robin and think otherwise.

It is probably due to people like Bob Barr, who foment liberty and freedom as a cause to defend against the noble vestiges of a restrained government, lest a “subtle tyranny” emerge?

Stranger still, among human behavior disorders, is the acceptance of government being the source and granter of our rights with no evidence natural or otherwise to indicate government ever created one individual. To the contrary, government is endowed by its’ creator, We the People, with its’ endowed rights solely alienable and beholding to us alone.

Indeed Bob Barr the “new order of the ages” has gone awry seeking to restore the old guards and in the process as it seems, common sense has been poured down the drain. The idea that the open areas of a public park is a “confined space” where any potential harm from cigarette smoke would present an “unavoidable public harm” to others evades all sound reasoning that constitutes an issue of public safety concern.
Designated no smoking areas around restrooms, drinking water fountains and trash cans or anywhere the public’s “access is confined” in a public park would rightly serve government’s obligatory duty to protect life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

In keeping with thought and theme, governments are instituted by the people to serve them as individuals. Public surveillance cameras only serve governments that have little interest in “policing the public” via means of lawful indiscriminate public observations to protect life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

We have a Republic, if we can keep it, said Ben Franklin: Accepting the “subtle tyranny” of a “nanny state” government is the best assurance, we shall lose it.

Soap box and all.

Brad Steel

July 18th, 2009
10:33 am

Bob,
This is an innane article about a non-issue that you have tried to twist into a dangerous infringment on our personal liberties! Puh-leez. You’ve shown your delusion by referencing smoking “a weed” and a”vestige of our indiviual freedom.” Uh yeah?

Consider tghis call to action for your moment: Hey everyone, let’s protest by joining the kids in te park who are on “the pot” a go smoke “a weed”. It’s our last vestige of person freedom. Then we can make a hidden-camera video by getting a handie from a meth-homo.

Dre

July 18th, 2009
11:07 am

So you dismiss Mr. Barr’s argument entirely because he’s not up-to-date on marijuana parlance? Seems pretty dumb.

cr747

July 18th, 2009
11:18 am

You people are addressing the wrong person here. Don’t blame Bob Barr, blame the idiots in Washington sitting around with their fingers up their ### and their nose in our (the citizen who put them there) business puffing on their cigs. and spending our tax money on something that’s in left field. Lets do something about it and VOTE the ones guilty, (the Democrats) out, and put our people in. By the way I’m a democrat, but as I have said before, I DIDN”T VOTE FOR ONE. And won’t the next time if they don’t get it right. PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!

Vlad the Impaler (of hoes)

July 18th, 2009
11:30 am

The “two parties” are the SAME THING. They sit down together, pick a bunch of meaningless hot-button issues that don’t really affect anything, and choose different sides in those non-issues to have the ignorant masses scratching at each other’s throats. They take turns in power and blame the “other side” for all the problems, and most of you retards fall for it EVERY TIME.
VOTE THIRD PARTY!!

cr747

July 18th, 2009
12:00 pm

Vlad, that’s what I said, vote them out and put someone in for the people. Don’t think I’m a retard yet, or I wouldn’t be flying this 747, possibly over your house.

Brad Steel

July 18th, 2009
3:09 pm

He should “do a google” to get hipped to that, dude.

“Dre” too cool!!!

jt

July 18th, 2009
7:28 pm

Saw a documentary called “Inside Iran” the other night. The Iranian people were smoking anywhere, riding motocycles without helments, and some taxis didn’t even have seatbelts. Their divource rate is less than one percent and family lawyers are rare.

We simply must “free” these oppressed people.

Considering the law mentioned in this column to “protect” citizens from second-hand smoke, typhoid and e-coli have killed thousands. There should be a LAW that mandates hand-washing after every evacuation. Even in your own home.

I am sure the nanny pansy, kenny-G loving, neurotic American metrosexuals would agree.

gloom and doomer

July 18th, 2009
7:50 pm

This will be a moot issue – as will many other far more important issues – when the economy crashes and burns in the 4th quarter and when the dollar is eventually dumped as the world reserve currency.

Besides, being able to handle the smoking issue is about as competent as the self-serving crowd in Marietta government – although not all are – can rise.

Let’s see them solve the real problem of the traffic clusterf*** that is Whitlock as quickly. Then I will be impressed.

Andrew Jason

July 19th, 2009
1:35 am

I can’t stand cigarrettes but there shouldn’t be laws against them. If a smoker is such a jerk as to smoke around strangers in the park who ask him politely not to karma will take over. Don’t worry. Surely there is a law already that applies to someone who is blowing smoke in your face constantly.

Bars and restaurants should be allowed to either be smoking, non smoking, or smoking section restaurants. Leave it up to the owner of the restaurant. It is crazy to ban cigarrettes in bars. People (not me) like to drink and smoke in bars. I can see them banning alcohol next. Alcohol is far more offensive and dangerous than cigarrettes. We need 90% less laws. 99% more freedom. We still have no right to harm someone else or someone else’s property.

If you smoke in the park and blow it in my face then I will ask you nicely to please not do that. If you are a deranged sterno bum I might just hastily walk away. I might call the police not because you are a smoker but because you are harassing (for lack of a better word) me. But there should not be a law against smoking in a park. That is what parks are for among other things.

The REAL GodHatesTrash, Superstar

July 19th, 2009
8:24 am

Jt, I don’t think the government should mandate butt-wiping, but decent folks like myself always do it anyway.

Try it. It might feel weird to you, never having done it, but, like you said, it’s healthier.

Vlad the Impaler (of hoes)

July 19th, 2009
11:49 am

excellent post, andrew jason. i have always been weary of the title “lawmaker”- don’t we have enough already?
I’m in the same boat as you- i don’t smoke and i think it’s a nasty, disgusting habit. but i sure as hell don’t want the damn government telling me or anyone else they can’t do it.

Morgan-LynnGriggs Lamberth

July 19th, 2009
3:56 pm

Yea for the nanny1 She rocks. She overcomes the theocons, the real would-be dictators!

Morgan-LynnGriggs Lamberth

July 19th, 2009
4:00 pm

Yea for the nanny! Left up to the libertarians, we would indeed be on the road to serfdom! Monopolies, low wages, consumer fraud, health and safety violaitons, maybe child labor and such.

Morgan-LynnGriggs Lamberth

July 19th, 2009
4:06 pm

Thanks for the nanny! Libertarians would take us onto the road to serfdom- monopolies, low wages, possible child labor and such, consumer neglect, and bad health and safety problems.
Bob, yea to our ACLU! Thanks for your efforts with it1

Morgan-LynnGriggs Lamberth

July 19th, 2009
4:09 pm

it! Sorry for the typos. Please put pressure on Obama-Biden not to continue Bush-Shrub violations.

Glover Park Fan

July 20th, 2009
1:22 pm

Why do you all assume it’s a liberal/conservative thing? The Marietta City Council is about as conservative as you can get. I don’t appreciate having to endure smoke when the park is crowded. Otherwise I can just move away. Like I would with any other annoyance. It’s a little difficult when the park is crowded for an event.

virgilk

July 20th, 2009
4:58 pm

Since everyone over 30 has been raised around SHS/ETS,and SHS/ETS IS SUPPOSED TO BE SO DEADLY, why are Baby Boomers the longest living of all generations? Why, since smoking has dropped from 54% to 24%, are all the diseases supposedly caused by smoking, on the rise every year? California has the oldest smoking ban and their Asthma rate is 16% and Kentucky has only a 6% rate of Asthma with the highest rate of Smoking? Why do Anti’s still say SHS/ETS KILLS, when the EPA Report they base their statements on was found to be a FRAUD by Federal Judge Osteen and two Congressional Committees?

Why, did the longest/largest studies by the ACS and the WHO find SHS/ETS had no connection to Cancer or Heart Disease? Why are there more than 250 other studies with the same findings?

Why can’t the Anti-smokers find or admit to any of these studies?
Could it be because of the Billions to be made from the sale of Smoking Cessation Products, when their own studies show that quitting Cold Turkey is more effective?
Could it be because Profit is more important to them than Health?
Clearly SHS/ETS is not the Health threat they make it out to be.
So, why are Smokers being treated like Second Class Citizens? This smells like it’s all about smell and discrimination caused by Greed.