Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Jackpot! Pot, Strippers, Smoking Bans, and Pipelines

You could classify this one as a rant. Just like the pull of a slot machine that comes up "Cherry, Cherry, Cherry", my blogging slot machine came up Strip Bars, Smoking Ban, and Pipeline last night as I was driving around the cities.

We just added the pot for more fun.

What provoked this rant? Pondering the smoking ban again.

I'll start by stating that I actually have a tremendous amount of respect for Rep. Tom Emmer and those who see the smoking ban as an infringement on the rights of individual business owners. While I do not necessarily agree, the passion and logic that is used in your argument is remarkable. I respect those that passionately fight for what they believe in.

People on both sides of the aisle fall prey to slick lobbying and do not remain true to their conscience, their true political ideology. That's why we have moderates, the "DINO's and RINO's". I would label people of Tom Emmer's ilk to be Reagan Conservatives.

Call me a Wellstone Liberal.

So, if in fact the smoking ban issue is really around the rights of business owners and their ability to self determine what their business does, then conceptually, why the need to be so harsh on strip bars?

I caveat this discussion by stating that I do not support this adult oriented industry. Besides being very degrading to women, they also exacerbate the body image issues that inundate our society today. I do not defend the business, other than to say it is a legal business around the world.

Shady, but still legal.

Last year, Senator Steve Dille offered SF 3394, an act to significantly regulate adult businesses. Now lets be real here. The bill was written to put a strip bar out of business in Eden Valley. It has closed other bars as well.

It was strongly supported in both the House and Senate, sponsored in the House by Rep Dean Urdahl, and ironically, Rep Emmer sat on the conference committee for this bill.

I would have voted for this bill.

But for me, it raises the question of consistency for the Republicans who espouse the edict that bans on smoking or other things looked down upon in society impact the rights of an individual business.

They come out and say, "open a non-smoking bar" and "create the competition". Let the market dictate what people want.

I would have argued the same fate for a bar in Eden Valley. The market probably would have forced it's closure anyway, but the Republicans set the precedence for putting businesses on their rear end with a bill last year to heavily regulate adult oriented businesses.

Bar owners who support smoking should have seen this one coming.

I know the morality debate on the issue as well, but I firmly believe you cannot legislate morality. Just like you cannot deploy a democracy.

The slope got a lot slipperier. The slide will be tough to stop.

So, as I shared previously, while Senator Dille is a supporter of a smoking ban he also supports the medicinal use of marijauna.

Let me say that again. Senator Dille wrote bills to close strip clubs, supports the smoking ban, but wants you to toke up, for medicinal uses only.

If you thought the effects of second hand smoke had a lot of controversy, do a search for the effects of medicinal marijuana.


I'm still waiting for the bill to make every Minnesotan a "happily married millionaire".

Surely by now, you are asking how in the hell is he going to tie the MinnCan pipeline controversy to all this.

Two words...Local Control.

Senator Dille has told us during his fights for large corporate feedlots in the our Senate District that this "not in my backyard" mentality kills business. Someone has to live by the nuclear power plant, the football stadium, the jail, and the hog farm. Basically, stop complaining and deal with it.

That will be his argument for the pipeline. Someone has to live by it, stop complaining and just deal with it.

Pipelines do spill though. Remember what happened in Little Falls this past summer where more than 134,000 gallons of oil spewed from the pipeline. Check out Rep. Jim Oberstar's press release.

The contaminated soil ranged from 6 to 18 inches deep.

Speaking of the size of the landfill for the contaminated soil,
"It’s the fourth largest landfill in the state." He further pointed out that, to receive the contaminated soil, a thick heavy plastic liner has been put down, covered with dense clay. The restoration phase will follow the recovery phase. This could take years and will include having fresh soil brought in. Studies will also continue. The site is on property owned by Robert and Cindy Poppen. Their complete 75 acres have since been purchased by the Minnesota Pipeline Company, operators of the pipeline.

Koch Industries will also run the pipeline through our backyards. What would 134,000 gallons of oil do to fertile farmland in Central Minnesota?

If farmers do not agree to less than market prices for their land, Koch Industries can use eminent domain to condemn the property for the pipeline.

One oil spill will condemn the land for the rest of our lives.

We can legislate bans on smoking.

We can legislate against adult oriented businesses, under the guise of local control.

We can legislate against the MinnCan project as well.

Why the rant? Why so much? I want consistency in our elected officials. If we truly support a businesspersons rights, then support all businesspersons rights. When we pick and choose which businesses obtain support, we create the slippery slope we sit upon right now.

Write your elected leaders. Tell them what you think.

On a lighter note, Nolan...you know what song sparked this blog posting!


American Lung Association of Minnesota said...

"While I do not necessarily agree, the passion and logic that is used in your argument is remarkable. I respect those that passionately fight for what they believe in."

I would agree with you on this point, if the pro-smoke crowd stuck to its points of personal freedoms, property rights, etc.

Instead, they deny the proven medical and scientific findings on secondhand smoke. They attack the messengers, and no one is immune: The ALA, ACS, AHA, Mayo, U of MN, Surgeon General, AMA, every medical organization in the world, basically.

They also play fast and loose with the truth. I have caught them in a number of baldfaced lies to the media and in testimony.

marcus aurelius said...

Instead, they deny the proven .... scientific findings on secondhand smoke.

Oh, contrare my Nicoderm funded non-profit. It is the the pro-smoking ban activists which try to hide these air quality studies of secondhand smoke:


I'm sorry Bobby did I accuse you non-profits of being marketing schills for the pharmaceutical nicotine industry without providing proof?

Let me rectify then:


By the way Bobby from the American Lung Association, how much of the $99 million from the Nicoderm company did you get?

"Funding from RWJF to: American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association $99,000,000.00"