25 January 2005
Well, they went and did it
San Francisco Supervisors, in all their mighty wisdom and glory, have banned smoking in public spaces in San Francisco...except for where it could make the city lose money:

Alioto-Pier said she would be open to adding the city's public courses later. But she first wanted to study whether a smoking ban would drive away golfers and their fees -- an important source of revenue that funds other recreation programs.

The ban will apply to well-known open spaces such as Golden Gate Park and popular tourist destinations including Union Square and Pier 39.

Ahh, but apparently areas where tourists (the major source of income for San Francisco) may congregate are fair game as the City doesn't make any money from them there (outside of rent at Pier 39, but that's just trickle-down money (wait, trickle down doesn't work right?)) . Never mind that tourists are already annoyed that they can't smoke in bars and restaurants in San Francisco (and that the City's oh so wise ban on smoking in bars never mandated that bars put ashtrays outside so the evil cigarette butts just clog the streets)

They claim that they are banning smoking because of the "...health and environmental risks associated with discarded cigarette butts and second-hand smoke..." for the children (even though we all know that there have been studies performed by the World Health Organization and others that found "...no association between childhood exposure to ETS [Environmental Tobacco Smoke (a.k.a. Second-hand smoke)] and lung cancer risk....", but that doesn't matter to the City's Eliberliti. Alioto-Pier even included this little tear-jerking statement:

"Like most young parents out there, I've had the wonderful experience of sitting with my children on the lawn and seeing them pick up a cigarette butt and popping it in their mouth..."

To them, it's "bad" [read: "we can ban this and make money off the fines while looking like good Eliberliti!"), science be damned. Science is a tool of the male-chauvenist meritocracy that imprisons the Fae souls of the wood nymphs and turns them to the darkside after all.

Of course the City still has it's polluting diesel buses but no one dares ban them for "health" reasons now do they? Funny how apparently the state found that diesel exhaust "...accounts for 70 percent of the cancer risk from air pollution in California..." yet somehow smoking is such a big bad boogyman that it must be stopped now...with large fines to enforce the will of the Eliberliti.

Personally what I find really offensive about the whole thing (other than it being based on bad or non-existent science, it's hypocritical as it takes a chunk (potentially) out of businesses rears (Pier 39) yet leaves the City's coffers alone (protect the fatted calf!) and that it is so very very facist) is that there is a minimum $100 fine for a first offense... compare that to the minimum fine of $50 for a first offense of defecating in public or the $0 fine for being nude in public (just so long as you aren't being lewd...or smoking)

A Republican in San Francisco (Yes, he's under deep cover) relays his tales of interest... ...ok, "interest" is a strong and subjective word but you get the point.
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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

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