Police State Arrives In California
Every society has to have a scapegoat, an officially persecutable minority who can be harassed and harmed, insulted and degraded in order to make the otherwise obedient majority feel big and strong and powerful, even though they are in fact nothing but servile peons themselves.
American society has several official scapegoats, notably White racists or nationalists of any kind. The other big scapegoat in American society are people who use tobacco, as most of our parents did, and as people in America have been doing for centuries since the Indians introduced it to the white man in revenge for our giving them whiskey.
The most comprehensive smoking ban in the United States has now been instituted in a small yuppie suburb in California called Calabasas. Smoking in all public places is prohibited--parks, streets, sidewalks, restaurants bars, parking lots, sports events, anywhere. True, technically speaking, you can still light up if you stand at least "at least 20 feet away from any path of travel, doorway or place where people congregate," according to the city's web site at http://www.cityofcalabasas.com
In practice that means that unless smokers want to walk around town with a twenty-foot pole over their shoulders, they can't smoke in public.
People will still be allowed to smoke in their own homes, but not on their balcony or back yard if it is "adjacent to a common area" such as a swimming pool or tennis court or parking lot. People who perversely insist on deciding for themselves whether they will smoke will be ticketed and possibly fined. The city said it expects to rely on warnings and citations but will consider more serious penalties for willful or repeat offenders.
Smoking is already banned in such places as public beaches and in most playgrounds and parks in most parts of southern California. (That rumbling sound you here is Brian Wilson rolling over in his grave.) The official excuse is that public smoking exposes other people to "second hand smoke," but outdoors in California it is of course impossible to tell how much of the air pollution comes from tobacco smoke and how much comes from car exhausts and other atmospheric contaminants.
What these increasingly draconian bans are in fact are attempts to institutionalize liberal social engineering and get us used to being told what to do with our own lives and our own bodies by liberals. (Of course, when conservatives try to save infants' lives by doing the same thing with abortion, a woman's "right to control her own body" becomes immediately sacrosanct.)